August 2018 OHenry

Page 1

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e are Greensboro, North Carolina. We are the city of makers. We design, build, create. We roll up our sleeves. We get our hands dirty. We get it done. We make it happen. Made in Greensboro celebrates those makers — the entrepreneurs, the artists, the community builders, the next generation of leaders. Made in Greensboro is an initiative of Action Greensboro and the City of Greensboro.

SAM WADE PORTRAIT PAINTER When you look around at his Eugene Court studio space, it’s hard to imagine that about a year ago, art was merely a side hustle for Sam Wade. The emotional portraits that line the lobby walls of Foundry Studios and Gallery represent months of non-stop painting by the contemporary realist. They’re his first real attempt to make a go of it in the art world. And they’re stunning. The Greensboro native studied classical guitar at Weaver Academy, and moved to Nashville, thinking he might become a professional musician. That idea quickly faded, and he transferred to Middle Tennessee State to study painting and graphic design. Last year, a small office space opened in a building Sam’s father owns. He ditched his life in Tennessee to try art full time back in his hometown. He opened the Foundry, which is now home to three artists. He’s already had some success – selling one of his first and favorite portraits late last year at the Hilary Clement pop-up gallery downtown.

JAMILLA PINDER HEALTHCARE HERO Find something or someone in need, and figure out how to help. While that isn’t her job description, it’s how Jamilla Pinder operates. Jamilla, a Community Care Program Manager at Cone Health, has worked her way through the health system for 20 years. She started right out of high school, as a young mother working the third shift checking patients into the emergency room while studying agricultural economics at NC A&T. Her latest project is Renaissance Family Medicine, a Cone Health Clinic that opened in February on Phillips Avenue. It provides primary care services to adults and children 12 years and older in northeast Greensboro. Prior to opening the facility, she spent about 6 months in the community, attending neighborhood association meetings, talking to residents about their healthcare needs. The neighborhood was a healthcare desert. She’s adapted to the community’s needs as they come – including doing wellness checks for people in the wake of the April 15 tornado that ripped through the neighborhood. “In the position I’m in, I’m able to be a bridge between the community and healthcare. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything else. It affects all aspects of your life.”

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Bishop McGuinness High School and Center for Creative Leadership Partnership for Leadership Development


ishop McGuiness Catholic High School has been known for the quality of its academic program and personalized school culture. The school recently asked itself a transformational question, “What would be possible for our community if we explicitly nurtured the development of leadership skills in every student in our community and gave them opportunities to lead in a diversity of ways?” Bishop McGuiness identified a partner in the Center for Creative Leadership to begin an exciting multi-year journey to embed skills training, conversation, and opportunities for students to practice skills around leading self, leading academically, and changing their world. This journey is being guided by a team made up of administrators, students,

parents, and faculty. A parent recently observed, “I am excited about this because not every student can be student council president, but every student can become a better leader and start learning life skills that will position them to be successful as a person and in life.” Bishop’s principal, Tracy Shaw reflected on the timing of the partnership with CCL, “We had already begun to empower our school with a one to one program using MacBooks, giving students opportunities to take ownership of the school by representing Bishop to the community, and creating a stock market simulation. This new partnership builds on these efforts and adds the ability for us to collaborate in new ways and be more intentional leaders where we are.”

The Center for Creative leadership is a global leadership development educational nonprofit organization, with global headquarters in Greensboro, NC. The Center works with schools and school systems locally and across the country to develop leadership capacity with everyone from Boards, to formal positional leaders, to teachers and students.

Shaw who is in her eighth year at Bishop further echoed, “when we began to discuss the possibility with the Center of Creative Leadership working with us, it became clear that our missions were aligned and that this partnership would only enhance our ability to “serve in a world in need of peace, love and justice.”

To find out more about the Center’s work in K-12 education, see

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August 2018 Features

60 The Real Song of the South

By Nan Graham How an eccentric Alabama spinster collected folktales and living voices — human and animal alike — from an age that is gone with the wind

Departments 19 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 22 Short Stories

68 Story of a House

25 Doodad By Maria Johnson 27 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson

75 Almanac

35 Scuppernong Bookshelf

64 A Passion for Palindrones By William Irvine

By Maria Johnson Dennis Howard’s high-tech, front-row seat to the Wyndham Championship By Ash Adler

29 Omnivorous Reader By D.G Martin 37 The Literary Beat By Cynthia Adams 41 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 45 True South By Susan S. Kelly 47 Wine Country By Angela Sanchez 49 In the Spirit By Tony Cross 53 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 55 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 76 Arts Calendar 88 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Valerie Nieman

Cover Photograph by John Gessner

12 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Fine Eyewear, Artwork and Jewelry 327 South Elm | Greensboro 336.274.1278 | Becky Causey, Licensed Optician Find us on Facebook


Volume 8, No. 8 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408

What matters to you, matters to us Publisher

David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • Brad Beard, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, John Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner Contributors Ash Alder, Jane Borden, Grant Britt, Susan Campbell, Clyde Edgerton, Billy Eye, Ross Howell Jr., Billy Ingram, Susan Kelly, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, D.G. Martin, Ogi Overman, Romey Petite, Stephen Smith, Astrid Stellanova


Front row (left to right): LuAnn Dove-Ramsey, Private Banker; Pam Beck, Private Banker; Karen Button, Fiduciary Advisory Specialist; Ryan Newkirk, Wealth Advisor; Parrish Peddrick, Senior Wealth Planning Strategist; Fritz Kreimer, Senior Investment Strategist; Kyle Quinlivan, Senior Fiduciary Advisory Specialist

Our team of experienced professionals will work to help you reach your unique goals. We offer the dedicated attention of our local team backed by the strength, innovation, and resources of the larger Wells Fargo organization. To learn more about how your local Wells Fargo Private Bank office can help you, contact us: Ryan Newkirk Wealth Advisor NMLSR ID 589706 336-378-4108

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Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Douglas Turner, Finance Director 910.693.2497 Wealth Planning   Investments   Private Banking   Trust Services   Insurance n




Wells Fargo Private Bank provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the banking affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo & Company. Insurance products are available through insurance subsidiaries of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by non-affiliated Insurance Companies. Not available in all states.

©Copyright 2018. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

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14 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Simple Life

Last Days of the Yard King A final summer of innocence is shelter from the storm

By Jim Dodson

That July I owned the neighborhood. Or at

least my block.

It was 1968. I was 15, towing a wheezing Lawn-Boy push mower behind a well-traveled Schwinn Deluxe Racer with chrome-plated fenders and dual side baskets. My mother called me Jimmy the Yard King. Actually, I had three jobs that summer. One was mowing half a dozen lawns in the neighborhood at a time before lawn crews were commonplace and customers could phone your parents if they didn’t like the job you did. The second was a weekend job as an usher at the newly opened Terrace Theatre, where I was required to wear a snazzy tangerine orange, double-knit sports jacket with a black, clip-on bow tie. The jacket matched the theater’s innovative “rocking chair” seats. My job was to keep kids from violently rocking their brains out and disturbing other customers by banging their knees. This often resulted in my giving chase to truants hopped up on candy. That summer I also had my first job teaching guitar two mornings a week at Mr. Weinstein’s music shop — for five dollars an hour, no less. Given my combined income, my mom joked that she might have to someday ask me for a loan. I was saving up for either an Alvarez guitar or a Camaro, which ever came first. The year 1968 has been called “The Year that Shattered America.” Looking back, it was the year we both began to lose our innocence. Being a son of the newspaper world, I paid close attention to the news, read the paper daily and never missed Uncle Walter on his evening broadcast. That year, for the first time, the Tet Offensive by the Viet Cong brought the horrors of the war in Southeast Asia home to 56 million American TV sets. On my birthday that February, I saw the iconic photograph of a South Vietnamese general publically executing a Viet Cong prisoner. The picture shocked Americans, stoked the anti-war movement and turned millions of Americans against the war. One month later, the My Lai massacre that killed more than 500 civilians but wasn’t revealed and investigated for another year — all but finished off public support for the war. That spring I taught myself how to play every song on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and started performing around town with my buddy Craig Corry who lived two doors away on Dogwood Drive. We wound up placing third in the city’s teenage talent show that next fall and made an appearance on Lee Kinard’s Good Morning Show, our first and last TV appearance. On a breezy afternoon that April, I was playing golf with my dad when we heard that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Tennessee. We watched riots break out in Detroit and the Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C. happen on TV. Commentators wondered if America was coming apart at the seams, heading for revolution in the streets. I was more interested that the Broadway smash musical, Hair, featured live and fully naked people on stage. I couldn’t fathom it but sure wished I could see it. On the plus side that summer that America was going to hell in a hand basket, as Mr. Huff down the street always grumbled when I showed up to collect my $8 for mowing his lawn, I took Ginny Silkworth to the Cinema Theater to see Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. It was great. I fell in love with Shakespeare and, in a way, Ginny Silkworth. She was my first date ever. We grew up attending the same church group. Unfortunately my dad had to drive us to the theater, under strict orders not to say anything embarrassing. After the movie, Ginny, a deep thinker with a warm and horsy laugh, wondered what I planned to do with my life. I told her I planned to write books, probably travel the world, play my guitar, mow lawns and maybe move to England. She punched me on the arm and laughed adorably. Ginny and I stayed in touch for decades. She went on to become a gifted schoolteacher in Philadelphia and passed away from breast cancer many years ago. I miss her still, especially her wonderful laugh. Earlier that summer, Robert Kennedy was gunned down after winning the California Democratic primary. My mother really liked Bobby Kennedy. We watched his funeral train together and she actually cried. My dad was a half-hearted Nixon guy. My mom used to joke that she did her patriotic duty by cancelling out his vote in the voting booth. By July I was deep into my lawn-mowing life, guitar-playing, trying to forget what was going on in America. I hated the usher job at the Terrace so much I handed in my elegant orange usher’s jacket in early August, blaming my family’s annual beach trip to the Hanover Seaside Club at Wrightsville Beach. We went there every year for at least half a dozen years, though this would be the final time. I loved the Seaside’s unfancy dining room, its cool wooden floors and big porches where I could sit for hours in a real rocking chair and read. I read Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair that summer, getting hopelessly addicted to his storytelling. I also finished John LeCarré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, picturing myself mowing a lawn in some far-flung, sun-mused outpost of the British Empire, a spy in short pants, enjoying a gin and tonic with some sultry blond who looked like Tuesday Weld. That week a family from southern Ohio was visiting the Seaside Club. A pretty girl named Sandy was reading Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, bare August 2018

O.Henry 19

Simple Life

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Migrating Gulf Fritillary butterflies return to our gardens each fall. With our Seaside Garden Package, you can dine al fresco, surrounded by these graceful and elegant guests, and then visit nearby Airlie Gardens and the NHC Arboretum.

feet tucked up in the rocker just down the porch. We struck up a conversation and took a walk on Johnny Mercer’s Pier. Sandy told me that we humans were destroying the world, killing the oceans with our garbage and fighting an unwinnable war. She told me she was going to become an “environmental activist” like her aunt who was attending the Democratic National Convention in Chicago as a delegate from Ohio. The Seaside Club didn’t have a TV set, so there was no way to see what was happening in Chicago. We heard, however, that there were police riots and lots of injuries at the convention when Chicago’s mayor turned the police loose on Yippies and the Students for a Democratic Society who tried to crash the party. For the rest of the week we were pretty much inseparable. Sandy was a year older and half a head taller than me. She was no Tuesday Weld but I liked her a lot. Like me, she was crazy about books and movies. The Graduate was playing at the Crest Theater in Wrightsville Beach. She suggested we go see it. That year the Motion Picture Association of America instituted its film rating service, serving as a guideline for parents anxious about a movie’s content. I was worried about getting in. You were supposed to be at least 16 but the lady working the box office took one look at Sandy, then me, and let us in for a buck and a quarter each. Sandy didn’t care for the movie but I loved it. The night before her family headed home to Ohio, we talked until midnight while seated on a stack of canvas rafts stacked beneath the Seaside Club. My family was staying through the Labor Day weekend, our final days there. The next night, I gigged a huge flounder in the tidal flats off Bald Head Island and wondered if I would ever hear from Sandy again. She actually wrote me a couple of times and I wrote her back. In 1974, a F5 tornado flattened her hometown of Xenia, Ohio, killing something like 100 people and leaving 10,000 homeless. I never heard from Sandy again. I like to think she’s somewhere in the world saving the planet. Back home, with school starting, I still had a few weeks of decent lawnmowing income to count on, plus teaching guitar for Mr. Weinstein. I knew all the dogs in the neighborhood, those which were friendly and those that weren’t. I knew the better-looking moms, too. When you’re 15 and King of Yards, you notice such things. Looking back from half a century, life seems deceptively simpler then, so far away from the anti-war protests, the burning cities, the murder of visionary leaders, the riots, the raised fists at the summer Olympics, Nixon winning the White House, O.J. winning the Heisman. “And stones in the road/Flew out beneath our bicycle tires. . . ” as my favorite singer Mary Chapin Carpenter remembers in her beautiful anthem to that moment in America’s life. “Worlds removed from all those fires/ As we raced each other home. . . ” I rode my bike everywhere that summer, pretty much for the last time. I mowed lawns, ate my first Big Mac, kissed Ginny Silkworth and had part of me awakened by a spirited girl named Sandy. I taught myself to play every song on Revolver. I went to Scout camp for the final time, did the Mile Swim twice, finished off my Life Scout award, built a nature walk at my elementary school for my Eagle project. My Yard King days came to an end. Fifty years later, I can remember these things like they happened yesterday, and wonder what a 15-year-old in America thinks about in 2018. History, I’ve learned, may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes like a Mary Chapin song. “And the stones in the road/Leave a mark from whence they came/A thousand points of light or shame/Baby, I don’t know.” OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at

855.416.9086 • 20 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

You are my sunshine...

Greensboro’s fancy yellow Diamond Destination Tues.-Fri. 10-6pm Sat. 10-3pm

211 A State St. Greensboro, NC (336) 273-5872

Short Stories Photograph by Lynn H. Donovan

Keystrokes to the Kingdom

There’s still time to make the, uh, deadline for the exhibition of that quaint piece of technology, the typewriter. The final bell for type-WRITE will sound on August 19, so head over to the Greensboro History Museum (330 Summit Avenue; to see vintage writing machines that transformed mass communications in the 20th century, before the advent of the personal computer. After having a gander at typewriters belonging to John Lennon to Tennessee Williams — as well as descendants of this magazine’s spirit guide, O.Henry — let your fingertips do a little clacking on those clunky old keys, as did one museumgoer, Phyllis Shaw, who shared with us her “Haiku for the Typewriter”: Typewriter magic, Words flow from willing fingers — Moments of the soul.

Freeze Frames

Can This Battlefield Be Saved?

And no, we don’t mean Greensboro’s Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, but another plot of hallowed Revolutionary ground, Alamance Battleground (50803 N.C. Highway 62 South, There, in 1771 (a full decade before the Guilford Courthouse conflict), an armed group of backcountry colonists calling themselves Regulators took on the royal militia dispatched by Governor William Tryon. The Regulators’ beef? The ageold resentment over Government corruption and overreach. But the upstarts were soundly defeated, many of them killed and some later hanged, stoking the fires for Revolution. Today, operating as State Historic Site, Alamance Battleground faces the threat of encroaching development, as two tracts of land adjacent to the park are currently on the real estate market. The site’s fate needn’t echo that of the Regulators, if a 501 c 3, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, along with Friends of Alamance Battleground succeed in purchasing the property. You can help them out by visiting www. or — and keep a vital part of N.C.’s past alive.

22 O.Henry

August 2018

Skip the cell phone camera and admire photographs taken old school–style at Analog, the latest exhibit at GreenHill (200 North Davie Street). Running August 3 through November 4, the show features the works of eight North Carolina photographers who used traditional analog photography and older processing methods to produce images that appear to be suspended in time. Look for Holden Richards’ silver gelatin print and kallitype on watercolor paper, titled Dead Tree, Eno Basin, or the haunting Café New Mexico, Dale Rio’s chromogenic print of an abandoned stop on Route 66 — both testaments to the value of taking a backward glance. Info: Dale Rio Café, Mew Mexico, chromogenic print • 16 x 20 in

Night at the Museum

Forget the top hat, white tie and tails! Slip on a pair of PJs, grab the kids and head to for Pajama Jam on August 10 at 6 p.m. at the Greensboro Science Center (4301 Lawndale Drive). Geared toward families with children ages 12 and under, the fête includes jamming to the tunes of Sandbox, face painting, crafts, a supper provided by sponsor Chick-fil-A, and the all-important goodie bag. And the biggest goodie of all? The museum’s conservation efforts — preservation of species and habitats, field research, awareness and more — that benefit from your pajama partying. Tickets: The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph by Jak Kerley

Hoppers Here

In case you missed her debut in July, be sure to head to First National Bank Field (408 Bellemeade Street) to meet the newest member of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Little Jackie Robinson. Following in the pawprints of her predeccesors, Miss Babe Ruth and Master Yogi Bera, who have gone on to the Happy Hunting Grounds, the 4-month-old Lab puppy joins her counterpart Miss Lou Lou Gherig as bat dog — though, at her tender age, she has much to learn. And anyway, it’s the last hurrah for the Hoppers’ home season, which winds up August 7–13 and again on August 23–31, before playoffs begin. Sigh! Where has summer gone? Tickets:

Love Trane

Photo credit : Matt Beard Costumes: Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt / 2017 Cirque du Soleil

OK, so it’s not technically until next month, but we wanted to give jazz lovers plenty of time to plan for the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival on September 1 and 2. For the eighth year, Oak Hollow Festival Park (1841 Eastchester Drive, High Point will echo with the strains of guitarists Jackie Venson and Lee Rittenour, vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, singer/songwriter Gregory Porter, percussionists Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. and a special treat, Ravi Coltrane and Michelle Coltrane, son and stepdaughter of the festival’s namesake. And be sure to catch the 2018 Coltrane All Stars, led this year by Mondre Moffat, not to mention the newest generation of jazz cats, middle and high school students, whose summer camp musical training is preserving jazz as a genre, not to mention the legacy of a High Point hometown musical hero — and genius. Tickets: (336) 819-5299 or

Ice Breaker

One of the hottest acts around is quite literally becoming the coolest, as Cirque du Soleil takes to the ice with its latest show, Crystal. For the first time in its 34 years, the company’s gymnasts and aerialists combine their gravity-defying manoeuvres with twirling, gliding and freestyle skating. The frozen chosen will perform seven shows of Crystal August 22–26 at the Greensboro Coliseum (1921 West Gate City Boulevard), prompting us to wonder: Will they change their name to Ice Cirqual? Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem In town this Labor Day weekend? Then motor down Biz 40 on September 1 and 2, and beat the heat at Incendiary Brewing Company, the newest microbrewery to join the Twin City’s ranks of Foothills, Hoots, Small Batch, Wise Man, Fiddlin’ Fish and Joymongers. So named for its location at 486 North Patterson Street — the Bailey Power Plant that fueled Reynolds Tobacco’s factories once upon a time — Incendiary will inaugurate its taps with a “Reignite the Coalpit” launch party. Expect all manner of interesting brews, such as the dry-hopped saison made in concert with High Point’s Brown Truck Brewery, plus music from Winston-Salem’s Gears & Guitars, the outfit that booked stellar acts to Bailey Park during the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic in May. Should be a, well, smokin’ good time. Info:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

So, August means that the big acts don’t tour, the clubs all but shut down, and the street festivals wait for cooler weather. Obviously, everybody’s gone to the beach, the mountains or the movies, right? Well, actually, no. There are plenty of us taking stay-cations and getting our jollies in our own backyard. Granted, the pickin’s might be a little slimmer, but they’re there. Oh yes, they’re there.

• August 11, Blind Tiger: Generally,

you won’t find The Dickens playing anything but “society gigs,” music biz lingo for private parties, upscale weddings and corporate events, because that’s where the money is. Although they did play The Deck in Jamestown last month, you’d better catch them at the BT, because it might be their only club gig for awhile.

• August 11, Ramkat: Hailing from Woodstock, New York, the Felice Brothers started out as the three siblings and some other folkie/hippie cats playing the subways of Gotham. Since then they’ve become the darlings of Americana and roots music, playing all the major festivals like Newport Folk, Bonnaroo and Mountain Jam while releasing over a dozen albums. Go! • August 14, Lucky 32: Do you miss Fiddlin’ Faye Petree as much as I do? Our local-girl-making-good relocated to Atlanta, last playing here at Triad Stage’s Christmas show, Beautiful Star (with Laurelyn Dossett and Riley Baugus). Her new band, GMOS, piggybacked a Tuesday gig here, and I’ll expect to see you there. • August 22, White Oak Amphitheatre: Some two decades ago, 3 Doors Down became cultural icons with the release of “Kryptonite.” Twenty million albums-sold later, they’re still kickin’, albeit with a couple of personnel changes. Another of my faves, Collective Soul, is also on the bill • August 31, The Crown: Although

the Carolina Theatre is undergoing massive and wondrous renovations, in the upstairs venue it’s business as usual. The mesmerizing and marvelous Anne-Claire Niver is holding her CD release party there, joined by the Sam Frazier Band and blueberry. The perfect way to close out the month. August 2018

O.Henry 23

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Remembering the 1960s Jerry Bledsoe was there – and has his say in a fun new memoir

Jerry Bledsoe’s new memoir, Do-Good

Boy: An Unlikely Writer Confronts the ‘60s and Other Indignities, describes how the fledgling writer — who would go on to become a celebrated reporter, columnist and author — brushed against some of the most significant events of the era: the Cold War and the gathering storm in Vietnam, the space race, and the civil rights movement. He also witnessed firsthand the emergence of rock legend Jimi Hendrix, who appeared with his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, as the opening act for The Monkees at a July 12, 1967 concert at the Greensboro Coliseum. In the following excerpt, Bledsoe details the showmanship of Hendrix, who was dressed in tight black velvet bell-bottoms, long love beads, heavy ornamental rings and a bandana tucked into his Afro. He kicked off the set with “Purple Haze” and closed it with a cover of “Wild Thing,” which he’d played the month before at the Monterey Pop Festival before setting his guitar on fire. On this night he swept through the tune playing the guitar in every way it could be manipulated, switching early on from his left hand to his teeth, creating sounds I didn’t know a guitar could make and causing me to wonder how many teeth he still could call his own. Shifting from his teeth, he played his abused Fender Stratocaster upside-down and backwards, over his head, behind his back, between his legs. He even got down on the floor and plucked it with his toes. At one point, back on his feet, he appeared to be having sex with it. As he neared climax, he began swinging his instrument in the air, slammed it to the floor and jumped up and down on it. He seemed upset that he wasn’t inflicting enough damage, and as his fellow band members continued playing furiously, he picked up the guitar by its neck, swung it around knocking down microphone stands and began beating it on the floor until pieces started flying. He didn’t set it on fire, perhaps because it might have gotten him arrested in Greensboro because flames weren’t allowed in Coliseum performances. Hendrix strutted off stage sweating profusely. The audience seemed stunned, uncertain how to respond. As he passed our group of applauding and smiling admirers, he muttered, “Let ’em ****in’ little Monkees top that!” OH — Maria Johnson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Life’s Funny

Classically Gassed Just a Note on Music Appreciation

By Maria Johnson

Once in a while, like most columnists, I like to dip into the ole email bag.

So this month, I’ll address a totally legit, 100 percent genuine plea from a reader. “Dear Maria: I hope you can help with my totally legit, 100 percent genuine plea. As you know, because you are such a worldly person, we are on the threshold of the social season, which means I’ll be getting invitations to symphony concerts. Here’s the problem: Unless I’ve heard a piece of classical music in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, I am at a loss. I feel extremely guilty about this. Not really. But I’d appreciate your advice on how I can get more out of classical music. Yours truly, Khilda Wabbit.” Thanks for writing, Khilda. First of all, please know that you are not alone. In fact, you’re never going to believe this, but I have the exact same problem, which is exacerbated by the fact that my husband luvvvvvvvvs classical music, which often leads to the following, exchange in our home. Him: Hey, there’s a great concert coming up with music by (insert the name a of long-dead, white dude with Farrah Fawcett hair). Want to go? Me: (Insert scream of anguish) Him: We could go to dinner at (insert the name of a restaurant I really like.) Me: OK. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, our relationship with classical music started off smoothly. I think it was our second date when he asked if I wanted to go to a symphony concert. At the time, I was more of a Prince fan, but I was like, “OK, sure,” because, you know, I’m not a total rube. Heck, back in the olden days when I was a kid, my mom listened to classical music on public radio before public radio was a big thing. We had a big vinyl record of Peter and the Wolf, so I was familiar with the fact that flutes were members of the bird section and that wolves played French horns. My best friend’s mom was the music teacher at our elementary school, and she dragged, I mean treated, us to young people’s concerts by the local symphony orchestra. Furthermore, I excelled at the mandatory trilling of spit-filled plastic recorders in the fourth grade, and my brother and I spent scores of Saturday mornings mesmerized by Warner Bros. cartoons, which were peppered with classical selections thanks to the genius and thrift of Carl Stalling, who knew that most classical music was in the public domain, i.e. free of licensing fees. All of which is to say, I was very well prepared for this second date. So the concert starts, and we’re soaking up some pretty music by — I dunno, someone — and Jeff’s getting into it, and I’m liking it, too, because I recognize the music. And I think, Now would be a good time to impress him, so I lean over and say: “This is from Bugs Bunny.” And he nods and smiles. So I hit him with some deeper knowledge: “It’s from the scene where the sheep dog and the wolf are clocking into work with The Art & Soul of Greensboro

their lunch pails.” And he nods. So I continue. “And they say, “Mornin’, Ralph,’ “Mornin’, Sam,’ ” And Jeff nods and goes, “Peer Gynt.” And I’m thinking, “Wow, he even remembers who their friends were.” If you’d asked me at the time, I’d have given classical music two thumbs up. Then came our second concert. That’s when it hit me: Not every classical concert contains selections from Bugs Bunny. Here’s what that concert sounded like to me: U8r9ybe8fu3xyhikhktvbhv;xpr9j0tff Kjc;.ihcoeuihihuicbufibcerlcue ‘of;kbvmo3tijoirhefubhouidbw8wuhl Plus, I committed the cardinal sin, which is to say that I clapped between movements. You’d have thought I refused to pass the Grey Poupon. Also, I might have whistled in there somewhere. It’s all a blur. The upshot is this, Khilda: When you’re at a symphony concert, don’t clap until everyone else does. And just to be safe, don’t whistle. Or draw in the margins of your program. Or think that no one will notice if you hold your phone beside your leg and play Words with Friends. Or calculate how many new episodes of Arrested Development you could be watching on Netflix in these two hours. Noooo, Khilda, just calm yourself and focus on the music. Perhaps you, too, will come to understand that classical music enriches our lives. It’s all around us, especially in fancy grocery stores, where it is a sign that you are about to pay way too much for tomatoes. Also, it can be found in many movies and TV commercials. You might know my favorite Richard Strauss piece, the one called Thus Spach Zarathustra, which he did for an Oreo Thins commercial a few years ago. Oh wait. I’m wrong. He wrote it a long time before that — for that scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the monkey figures out he can use an animal bone to bust up other animal bones. Sorry about that. It’s important to be accurate. That’s why I’ll give you the full name of another beautiful piece — Fantasie Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66. — that Frederick Chopin wrote to accompany an awesome slow-motion skateboard jump in a recent Mountain Dew commercial. Also, I am blown away by the ditty George Gershwin wrote for that United Airlines commercial. Rhapsody in Blue, I think he called it. Get it? Blue sky? The point, Khilda, is that it takes effort to learn. On both sides. Orchestras are trying, too. Their audiences are shrinking (literally, because the average age of a concertgoer is approximately 204), so they’re trying to appeal to younger folks by stirring in multimedia accents (PIKSHURS! YAY!) Finally, I’ll leave you with this hopeful note: If a concert ends early enough, there’s still time to catch dessert and coffee. OH Maria Johnson can be reached at

August 2018

O.Henry 27

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Omnivorous Reader

Chang and Eng Legendary twins who called North Carolina home

By D. G. Martin

If I asked you to

name our state’s best-known citizen, living or dead, who comes to mind?

What if I said to think of people of who lived in Mount Airy? I bet you would say Andy Griffith. After all, his still-popular TV show was set in Mayberry, which was based on his hometown, Mount Airy. But long before Griffith was born, long before television, two world-famous men moved to Surry County farms near Mount Airy. They were known in America and Europe as Chang and Eng, the Siamese Twins. Still today, almost 145 years after their deaths, people all over the world know about the two brothers, joined together from their birth in Siam (now Thailand) in 1811 until their deaths near Mount Airy in 1874. In 1978, Irving Wallace and his daughter, Amy Wallace, wrote a popular biography titled The Two: The Story of the Original Siamese Twins. The Wallaces used their great storytelling gifts to entertain readers while laying out the details of the twins’ amazing lives. After growing up in Siam, Chang and Eng came to the U.S. and were displayed throughout the country and Europe before settling in North Carolina, marrying sisters, and having more than 20 children between them. (See attached chronology.) Until recently, The Two had a virtual monopoly on the story, but two new books provide additional facts and a more modern examination of the twins’ lives and times. The newer books are Joseph Andrew Orser’s The Lives of Chang and Eng: Siam’s Twins in Nineteenth-Century America, published in 2014 by UNC Press, and Yunte Huang’s Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History, published earlier this year by Liveright. Though the Wallaces covered the story in great detail, they wrote for Americans of the 1970s. Our attitudes about race, immigration and the exploitation of unusual human specimens have evolved. Orser’s Chang and Eng re-examines the basic facts of the twins’ lives and challenges earlier understandings of the meaning and lessons of their experience. Using the reactions of 19th century Americans and Europeans to the twins, Chang and Eng is more than a standard biography. It becomes an examination and evaluation of social attitudes about race, ethnicity, slavery, immigration, citizenship, and the exploitation of the unusual and deformed. Orser recounts a host of interesting facts about the twins that his readers might have forgotten or never knew. For instance, the twins, though born in Siam, were really of Chinese origin. Their father was certainly Chinese, and their mother may have been partially Chinese. So why weren’t they, and all other conjoined twins who came afterward, called Chinese Twins? It seems to have been a matter of 19th century branding. The explanation

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

given by one of their managers, James W. Hale, was that they were “more likely to attract attention than by calling them Chinese.” After traveling all over the U.S. and Europe, why settle in rural North Carolina? Their 1839 decision was, Orser writes, “well orchestrated: it was not spur of the moment.” In the big cities, he explains, the twins “were too closely linked to their public exhibition and their foreign origins; there was little room in the North for them to settle down to lives of quiet respectability.” After moving first to Wilkes County and later into adjoining but separate farms in Surry County, they became U.S. citizens, acquired and managed slaves, and when the Civil War broke out, they supported the South, each of them supplying a son to serve in the Confederate Army. The twins were joined at their chests by a relatively short band of tissue. Today a surgeon could separate them but the doctors of the time were uncertain. There could have been other reasons, as well. As one of their doctors explained, “Those boys will fetch a vast deal more money while they are together than when they are separate.” After their deaths, when the bodies were examined, some doctors concluded that one or both of the twins would not have survived an attempted separation. In Huang’s Inseparable, the author’s personal background lends a special perspective. Like Chang and Eng, he grew up in Asia. After college at Peking University, he came to the U.S. and worked in the restaurant business in Alabama before completing his Ph.D. in poetics at SUNY-Buffalo. Living in the American South, he experienced challenges not unlike those that confronted Chang and Eng more than 150 years earlier. He sees the twins as fellow immigrants. While taking Americans to task for their “ugly rhetoric against immigrants,” Huang wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal, “Throughout American history, almost all immigrants, legal or illegal, have indeed had mountains to climb . . . But few newcomers to the U.S. have crossed more daunting barriers than Chang and Eng Bunker.” Huang uses the twins’ lives to examine other features of American society during their lifetimes. He includes a long section describing the acrimonious relations between the twins and P.T. Barnum, the clever exhibitor of rare spectacles and weirder attractions who took advantage of Chang and Eng and the public. Huang writes that Barnum understood that the American nature was to submit to clever humbug, even when it flaunted the facts. Huang compares Barnum to a “trickster” who is an engaging confidence man and a colorful figure ubiquitous in literature and film. He dupes others and often dupes himself as well. The trickster does not know either good or evil. He is more amoral than immoral. He is a simple confidence man. Huang argues that in Barnum’s time, “democracy also became a game of confidence, in the double sense of the word: political representatives gain the trust August 2018

O.Henry 29


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Chang and Eng Chronology May 11, 1811 Conjoined twins are born in a small fishing village in Siam (now Thailand). They are named In and Chun, which became Eng and Chang. Father is Chinese. Mother probably half-Chinese.

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of the common men and pull a con on them.” “In nineteenth-century America,” Huang continues, “no one did it better than P. T. Barnum in turning confidence into entertainment; no one was a better trickster than the Prince of Humbugs.” To become an expert on Chang and Eng, ideally you would want to tackle all three books, but if you can only read one, Fred Kiger, Chapel Hill’s inspirational Civil War and local history speaker, suggested in a recent lecture that you start with the Wallaces’ old standard, The Two, to get the big picture. Then you will want to read the two new books for the rich, more modern perspectives they could bring to your reading table.

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1824 Robert Hunter, a Scottish merchant in Siam, sees twins swimming, thinks of them as monsters with potential to attract paying customers in the U.S. and Europe, but is unable to persuade the king to allow their departure from the country. 1829 With the help of sea captain Abel Coffin, the king is persuaded to allow the twins to leave. Coffin and Hunter form a partnership and enter into an agreement with the twins’ mother to pay her $500 and to return the twins within five years. 1829 Arrive in Boston, where they are displayed to crowds. Appear in New York City and other places. 1830 Travel to England in steerage while Coffin and his wife travel in first class. January 1831 Depart England and return to U.S. (not in steerage this time) in March and resume heavy travel and exhibition schedule. July 1831 On vacation in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, they are accosted by locals (including Col. Elbridge Gerry who, as governor of Massachusetts, would give gerrymandering its name). Twins are charged with disturbing the peace and required to pay $200 bond. May 1832 Upon reaching 21 years, the twins declare their independence from the Coffin and take charge of their exhibition program. 1835-36 Exhibition of twins in Europe. 1839 The twins retire to Wilkes County, North The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Carolina, purchase a 150-acre farm in nearby Traphill, build a house, and open a general store. 1843 They become American citizens, adopt the last name Bunker, and marry local sisters. Chang wed Adelaide Yates (1823–1917), while Eng married her sister, Sarah Anne (1822–1892). 1844 Ten months later, each couple has a baby girl, beginning families with a total of more than 20 children.

1846 They move to nearby Surry County, where they build two houses about a mile apart on adjoining tracts of land. The families of each twin stay at their respective houses, while Eng and Chang take turns visiting every three days. They follow this pattern for the rest of their lives. 1849 The twins return to New York to exhibit with 5-year-old daughters, Katherine and Josephine, and find difficult competition from P.T. Barnum and his collection of exhibits such as the popular Tom Thumb. Unsuccessful, they return to N.C. after six weeks.



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1853-54 Traveling with Eng’s daughter Kate and Chang’s son Christopher, their tour makes 130 stops and covers 4,700 miles. 1860 They agree to be displayed by the hated P.T. Barnum for the “insulting amount “ of $100 a week. November 1860 Travel to California via rail crossing in Panama. After exhibiting in San Francisco and Sacramento, they depart California on Feb. 11, 1861. 1861-65 As owners of more than 30 slaves, they support the Confederacy. Two sons who serve in Confederate Army are wounded and captured. The loss of slaves and the value of Confederate assets creates a financial emergency. Dec. 5, 1868 Under an arrangement with Barnum, twins depart for Great Britain with Kate and Chang’s daughter Nannie. 1869 Mark Twain writes a humorous story inspired by the twins, “The Personal Habits of the Siamese Twins.” 1870 On the Cunard steamer Palmyra returning from England, Chang suffers a stroke. His health declines over the next four years.

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Jan. 17, 1874 At age 62, Chang dies, and within hours Eng follows. OH

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O.Henry 33

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

World Enough and Time August’s releases span the globe

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

Travel guru Rick Steves wrote an inter-

esting book this year: Travel as a Political Act. Reading about the world might also constitute a kind of political act. In an era when simple curiosity about other cultures passes as a suspicious act, understanding and engaging in the culture and ideas of other places becomes downright radical. Here are some of August’s new releases from around the globe. Read them in public places.

August 7: Babylon, by Yasmina Reza (Seven Stories Press, $23.95). Winner of the Prix Renaudot and shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt, playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza’s books have been translated into more than 35 languages. Her play “Art” was the first translated play to win a Tony Award. This book is a truly original and masterful novel from one of the world’s most inventive and daring artists. August 7: This Mournable Body, by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Graywolf, $16). Tsitsi Dangarembga is the author of two previous novels, including Nervous Conditions, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. She is also the director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel culminates in an act of betrayal — revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be. August 7: Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else, by Maeve Higgins (Penguin, $16). Maeve Higgins is a contributing writer for The New York Times and the host of the hit podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL. She is a comedian who has performed all over the world, including in her native Ireland, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Erbil, Kurdistan. Now based in New York, she cohosts Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, both the podcast and the TV show, on National Geographic Channel. Comedian John Hodgman says: “Maeve Higgins is brilliant; but her brilliance isn’t the braggy, headlight kind The Art & Soul of Greensboro

that tries to trap her subjects deer-like in a cold, dead glare. Instead, she lights every room she enters with warmth, welcome, and generous rays of sheer funny. And in this book, she illuminates the world.” August 14: Ball Lightning, by Cixin Liu (Tor Books, $28.99). Cixin Liu is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People’s Republic of China. Liu is an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) and a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked as an engineer in a power plant. His novels include The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End. This novel explores what happens when the beauty of scientific inquiry runs up against the drive to harness new discoveries with no consideration of their possible consequences. August 21: Brazil: A Biography, Lilia M. Schwarcz and Heloisa M. Starling (FSG, $40)For many Americans, Brazil is a land of contradictions: vast natural resources and entrenched corruption; extraordinary wealth and grinding poverty; beautiful beaches and violence-torn favelas. Brazil occupies a vivid place in the American imagination, and yet it remains largely unknown. In an extraordinary journey that spans 500 years, from European colonization to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Lilia M. Schwarcz and Heloisa M. Starling’s Brazil offers a dramatic history of this complex country. August 21: God of Shadows, by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart, $25) The celebrated poet hailed by Ursula K. Le Guin as a “storyteller, truth-teller, and visionary” gives us a mesmerizing new collection of poems. Crozier is the author of 16 previous books of poetry and lives in British Columbia. Even Canada has become worthy of suspicion in the new paradigm. Let’s cross the border together into the sanity of poetry. August 28: We That Are Young, by Preti Taneja (Knopf, $27.95). Preti Taneja was born in England to Indian parents and spent most of her childhood holidays in New Delhi. She has worked as a human rights reporter and filmmaker in Iraq, Jordan, Rwanda, and Kosovo. A stunning debut novel, a modern-day King Lear set in contemporary India: the tale of a battle for power within a turbulent family, for status within a nation in a constant state of transformation, and for the love and respect of a father disappearing into dementia. OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. August 2018

O.Henry 35

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Literary Beat

The Book Lover

The American Library Association taps Triad local Wanda Brown as its next president By Cynthia Adams

Wanda Brown, recently installed

president-elect of the American Library Association, has spent her lifetime observing the power of the written word. Director of library services at Winston-Salem State University, Brown says that “stories shape the lens of how you view life.” Now, she is training her lens upon a new kind of public library, and Brown will use the ALA’s international platform to become an agent of that change.

A lifelong love of stories and storytelling is only one source of Brown’s progressive vision for libraries, which casts them as the vibrant heart of community life. In a changing community dynamic, libraries are thrust into roles requiring them to be much more than repositories of books and periodicals. Today, they are pressed into a far different kind of public service, a fact made evident by librarians like Brown. Libraries provide enrichment for the mind and physical shelter during storms and extremes of weather — oftentimes a safe harbor for those with nowhere else to go and no place to belong. “I think that our community would be stronger if libraries took the lead,” Brown says. “Libraries are all about being open and welcoming and inclusive, committed to making a difference.” Belonging is a common thread in Brown’s personal narrative. She says she “carries a great story within her,” and it is one borne of hardship. It has uniquely equipped her for a role for which she seems destined. Her personal story is underscored with determination to prove herself — a familiar prescription for high achievers. Brown grew up during the 1950s in a foster home down east in Elizabethtown, N.C. Her father learned to read alongside her and her brother at the kitchen table. “My mother and father were older, they were 50, and kind of rigid. But my father valued education. He couldn’t read when he first adopted us; his mother had died and he had to go into the fields and work as a child. When I came home, with my books, he would sit with me. I watched him teach himself how to read.” She ascended from difficult beginnings to become an accomplished faculty member and associate dean at Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, having earned her graduate degree — as a working adult with a young child — in Library and Information Science from UNCG. In 2016, she assumed the position of director at C.G. O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State, the same institution where she had graduated with The Art & Soul of Greensboro

a B.A. in English (of course) and psychology in 1977. Brown describes that move as “coming home.” As she tells it, she was thrilled to come full circle, to the place where her journey with higher education began. Here at WSSU, she felt she could make the impact that she craved most. “I always had the dream, that if I was going to be a director, I wanted to be a director at Winston-Salem State . . . to make a difference in students who looked like me.” As a biracial 6-year-old child, whose white birth mother placed her with the family who would adopt her and her younger brother, Brown developed a drive to succeed — “Maybe subconsciously to prove a value or worth,” she explains, as she was preparing to leave for New Orleans to accept the ALA presidency, one of the highest roles a librarian can attain. (It is also an honor determined by her peers.) “No child who is adopted doesn’t have those moments,” she adds, describing how she struggled with the pain of abandonment. “Either way, I am now committed to helping those around me and helping those who cannot help themselves.” With the ALA behind her, she has a forum to do so. Brown is the first librarian from a historically Black college or university to become the ALA president. The ALA was founded in 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It now has an international reach with nearly 60,000 members around the world. Books, of course, are the currency of any librarian, and Brown’s favorite writer is Carole Boston Weatherford, an African-American author who now lives in North Carolina. But she doesn’t hesitate to name her personal favorite novel. “The very best book I’ve read in my life was The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd,” she says, stressing that she related to the themes of loss and love. “Although, most of the things I read are leadership things, self-help, the Harvard Business Review. I enjoy reading.” She has taken on many professional leadership roles. During her career, Brown had served as the president of both the North Carolina Library Association and the Black Caucus of the ALA. She was the 2015 recipient of the DEMCO/Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship and the 2013 University of North Carolina-Greensboro School of Education’s Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. But now, Brown has a rare and global reach in her newest challenge. In New Orleans, Brown was thrust onto a national stage, surrounded by a surprising number of famous writers and luminaries, including former First Lady Michelle Obama. When the ALA convened in late June the opening address was delivered by Obama, whose memoir Becoming will be released in November this year. August 2018

O.Henry 37

The Literary Beat

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August 2018

Other celebrity authors attending the ALA meeting included actors Sally Field, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Viola Davis. The ALA’s agenda included filmmaker and writer Emilio Estevez, whose new film, The Public, was screened. The film, which stars Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright and Taylor Schilling, along with actual patrons of the Cincinnati public library, had multiple screenings during the ALA meeting. It speaks to the complicated role of public libraries, depicting precisely how the Cincinnati library’s patrons, many of them homeless, seek shelter among its stacks and reading rooms when the city is hit with “a bitter Arctic blast.” As Estevez dramatically illustrates, the patrons and library staff have forged personal relationships. After the ALA screenings, he moderated discussions of the film along with the director of a homeless shelter, underscoring the broader civic responsibility of public institutions. The emerging role of a library as sanctuary is a growing focus for librarians like Brown who are thrust into social action. She envisions summer academies based in libraries, where children in need can have a sandwich and also find mental and psychological nourishment. “We must reach across the community to say, ‘There are students in the classroom where the love of learning is being so washed from them by third grade, it’s no wonder they are in prison by 13.’ If those young boys are identified in second or third grade as potentially in trouble, the public libraries say, ‘Hey, we’ll bring the basketball players in, we’ll have them eat some, play some, read some, and have an academy. Right here!’” Learning, too, is a crucial form of nourishment. Even more than books, Brown insists that “my greatest love is people. So, I do think that has been the driving force in my life, a desire to give.” Deprivation has inspired Brown’s sense of generosity, imparting a worldview that is compassionate and inclusive. She firmly believes her early struggle has taught her lessons in empathy and the pain of exclusion. To that end, new initiatives for ALA will address becoming inclusive, says Brown. “The primary emphasis was the profession itself is not diverse. I would love to have something around diversity and inclusion. We, the ALA, do awesome things, but I don’t think we tell our stories enough, and make people aware of the differences we make in the communities we serve.” OH Cynthia Adams ( worked in the Walter Clinton Jackson library at UNCG as a student in the 1970s, when only the librarians could access the Internet, searches were charged by the page and the card catalog was crucial. Social action? Not so much.

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Life of Jane

Garden of Plenty

Reading, rereading and speed-reading children’s classics suspends time By Jane Borden

I often wonder if the writers of

Illustration by Harry Blair

children’s books would approve of how I abridge their works as my toddler speed-turns the pages. She was most aggressive about it between 18 months and 2 years. I think she had confused reading with the act of flipping paper.

She isn’t wrong. With a book, function is form. And there certainly are endless tomes to flip through, so let’s not delay. Besides, she quotes the books to me, so our pace can’t be diminishing comprehension much. I suppose every generation consumes content faster and with more discretion than the previous cohort. She may have been born to speed-read. Although I appreciate the convenience of a truncated bedtime routine, her haste sometimes leads to a role reversal, in which I request we slow down. This especially happens when we read a book from my own youth. The Very Hungry Caterpillar remains as charming and beautiful as it ever was, as does A Color of His Own, their staying power a result of their stories’ simplicity. A caterpillar prepares for and undergoes a transition — it’s an inexhaustible metaphor. The chameleon feels different until it finds another like itself — a fundamental shared human experience. Did I understand these meanings as a child? Does Louisa now? Mom remembers me begging for books. Dad says he often fell asleep at my side before I did while reading to me. I don’t remember. One privilege of parenthood is the opportunity to glimpse back at your own childhood — the way you understood the world before you started making memories of it — through the eyes and experiences of a child. By studying my daughter’s engagement, I can touch myself through time. Eager to facilitate such time-traveling experiments, I ordered a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. The collection of poems, first published in 1885, was a staple of my early years, as well as of my parents’ childhoods. My mother’s mother, Lou Tucker — known to us as Nana and for whom my daughter is named — often quoted “Time to Rise” on mornings when we slept at her house on West Newlyn Street.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A birdie with a yellow bill Hopped upon the windowsill, Cocked his shining eye and said: “Ain’t you ’shamed, you sleepyhead!” My dad had forgotten the poem’s origin and thought he knew it from her. Later, when he read A Child’s Garden of Verses to my sisters and me, he rediscovered the poem in the book, to his delight. Now my sister Tucker quotes “Time to Rise” to her boys. The first time I read it to Louisa, she asked, “What’s he name?” Louisa wants every illustrated character to be accounted for by moniker. If a story doesn’t specify a name for a pictured character, she’ll ask, “What’s she name?” Sometimes I reply, “I don’t know. What do you think her name is?” “Ellie.” “Ellie sounds right,” I agree, and continue reading. Other times, when she asks, I spit forth whatever name pops into my head, without breaking stride. Either way, if ever she stops me from turning a page, I know that somewhere on that spread is a character in need of appellation. Presumably, as a child, I also saw people that way, as incomplete — or at least inscrutable — until they were named. Perhaps this is the root of the story in Genesis, when Adam names the animals, to illustrate something fundamental in our brain development. What I admire most about A Child’s Garden of Verses is how effectively Stevenson conjures the perspectives of children. The poems are often reveries, similar to play itself, exploring a moment or image, developing without purpose or direction. What a child describes to readers in “The Swing” is governed by the cycle of the swing itself. “Up in the air and over the wall,” there are “rivers and trees and cattle and all.” On the way back down, there is the “garden green”— until the child hurtles upward again. It is only three stanzas long, chronicling two repetitions of motion, yet it evokes in the reader the feeling of rushing up and down ad infinitum, seeing new lands only to have them disappear and be discovered again. In “From a Railway Carriage,” a child literally just describes whatever ap-

August 2018

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Life of Jane



42 O.Henry

August 2018

pears in the train’s window as it rolls along, and then whatever appears next. It’s the poetry version of object permanence. “The Land of Counterpane” is my favorite. Reading it to Louisa, when the book first arrived, it summoned such powerful sense memories that I suspect I memorized the poem for some school assignment or another. I paused upon finishing it, trying to pull shadows from my brain. She tugged at the page to turn it. I obliged and moved on, just as I did, presumably, after whatever prior reading since lost. The narrator of the poem recalls being sick in bed and spreading his toys — leaden soldiers, ships, trees, and houses — over his bedsheet. He was the giant, he says, watching over the land of counterpane. It’s a simple and wholly pleasant image, as most of Stevenson’s are, and somehow is also nostalgic and melancholic. This is Stevenson’s sleight of hand. A child plainly depicts an experience and it’s like he’s plunked a baited fishing line into your brain, catching and plucking out the same memory from your own childhood. I wonder if adults love the book more than children do — and which of the two he meant it for. If the bulk of the book’s poems are indirectly nostalgic, a section of dedications at the end more overtly yearns. The author addresses family members and childhood playmates, calling on “time which none can bind.” The last poem, “To Any Reader,” invites us to see other children “through the windows of this book” — children who are also playing in a garden or reading. But then Stevenson reveals the child to be a mirage, “For, long ago, the truth to say, / He has grown up and gone away, / And it is but a child of air / That lingers in the garden there.” I’m not a Stevenson scholar, but I suspect this mirage child is the reader herself. For those of us prone to nostalgia, it is a comfort to be told I can’t reach her because it gives me permission to leave her alone. What’s she name? I can’t recall. However, Stevenson does not seem to suggest that the impossibility of success should stem one’s efforts. And so I search for clues by watching Louisa, and I meanwhile enjoy the data she provides. Currently, she is the child of air she’ll never know, but whom I can. My own mother says I made her pause on every page before letting her turn it, and that I caught her every time she tried to flip more than one at a time. OH As she currently speed-reads her way through Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Jane Borden finds it difficult to remember what he and she names are.

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August 2018

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True South

Git-R-Done And in record time, to boot

By Susan S. Kelly

My sister thinks I’m OCD, but it’s

Illustration by Romey Petite

not that at all. Now, I’ll admit to, in my young mother days, putting a notepad at the top of the steps to write down how many times in a single day I went upstairs and downstairs, but I was merely collecting sociological and scientific statistics. No, my husband, who folds his eyeglasses cleaning cloth six times before replacing it in the little plastic case, and the guy in the pew in front of me at church who takes out the hymnal and smooths the tiny folds in the page corners where they’ve been carelessly creased, are both closer to OCD than me. (Though, during the next overlong sermon, I’m going to do that, too.) My issue is CAD: Compulsive Achievement Disorder. I don’t consider CAD a suffer-from syndrome, but a blessed-with aptitude.

You’ve got your PWE, Puritan Work Ethic, loosely defined as the fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun. And you’ve got your basic multitasking. Both are related to Compulsive Achievement Disorder. Because I do love me a list. Few things in life are as satisfactory as crossing off to-dos. Roundup weeds. Check. Pickup alterations. Check. Send bio to speaking gig. Check. Finish this writing piece. Check. Respond to that invitation. Check. But there exists an entire realm beyond typical daily errands. I’m talking scheduling the deletion of future unnecessary emails; planning ahead to refill the dishwashing liquid bottle from the mammoth Costco bottle; noting all upcoming weddings/baby showers/birthdays in back of the calendar so you’re always on the lookout for gifts. I mean, doesn’t everyone time themselves on how fast, how efficiently, and The Art & Soul of Greensboro

with how many fewer steps and reaches it requires to unload a dishwasher? Here is a classic two minutes in a CAD day: Empty bathroom trash can into bedroom trash can on the way to plugging in the phone charger that’s beside the bedroom trash can on the way to putting the toilet paper plastic wrapping on the upstairs hall table to be taken downstairs for the recycling bag which is in the laundry closet and just go ahead and fill the laundry detergent for the next time you have a wash, turn to take the clean wine glasses off the drying pad, replace in the bar and check the mail on the desk beside the bar to see if anything that you’ve predated to send is ready to be sent. Two minutes. Tops. There’s some DNA to this CAD. I ran into my first cousin at the grocery store, and he showed me his list, which was arranged by where the items came on the shelves. Beyond that, he’d put asterisks beside the items that were on sale that week, and beyond that, he’d put stars by the items he had coupons for. Oversharing, perhaps, but there you are. Sometimes, at supper, I’ll say to my husband, “Do you want to know what I did today?” He says, “No, I know you’re amazing.” And I just have to live with that minor acknowledgement. Then I go upstairs and binge Netflix. Because I’ve earned my downtime. Speaking of husbands, CAD is especially advantageous during, uh, disagreements and stalemates. You can always refill the saltshakers, clean out the fridge, make salad dressing or iced tea while you’re refusing to speak. Bustle and busyness are terrific strategies for stonewalling. Not that CAD doesn’t come with drawbacks. Automatically reaching for the cards to shuffle them when it’s not your turn to shuffle irritates by-the-rules bridge players. And it’s tiresome to have to dust off presents you wrapped weeks before. Of course, you have to find where you hid them first. That’s senior CAD. Rather than some mental problem, I’m going to lay this issue at the feet of all the movies I watched as a child. Mary Poppins did five things at a time — though she had bluebirds to help her — and Snow White had her seven dwarfs, and especially Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when Dick Van Dyke cooked breakfast eggs on a fabulously complicated machine. Call it what you want. I’m getting it done. OH Susan Kelly is a blithe spirit and an open book, or reading one. August 2018

O.Henry 45

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Wine Country

Summer’s Perfect Pairs Taking advantage of August’s garden treasures

By Angela Sanchez

Summer is an

Photograph by john gessner

abundant time, especially in the Sandhills. There’s an abundance of sun, heat, humidity and yummy produce. How amazing is it to eat a fresh, vine-ripened tomato in season? Heat-loving basil and oregano grow so rapidly you can’t pick them fast enough before they bolt. There’s sweet corn on the cob, lots and lots of zucchini, and yellow squash growing like weeds. Don’t forget the beautiful peaches so sweet and juicy we have to race the bugs for them. One of my personal favorites, the cucumber, is perfect this time of year, picked just before it gets too big and loses its sweetness. I love the way it protects itself from the blistering sun by hiding under its broad leaves and prickly vines.

My love of delicious, local summer produce is only equaled by my love of great wine and beer. So, naturally, I try to pair them as often and as well as possible. The following are some of my favorites, made with the goods we haul off our family farm, and using the cheeses and wines we love. They are simple and easily prepared without cooking. Let’s face it, who really wants to stand in the kitchen with an oven set at 450 or over a blistering outdoor grill when it’s already 95 and the humidity is 80 percent? The summer tomato is one of nature’s most perfect fruits. Full of sweet, juicy flesh with a bright acidity, it needs a rich cheese like burrata, a fresh mozzarella with whole milk cream added. The rich and creamy fattiness of the cheese is a complement to the bright bite of the tomato. Slice the tomatoes and cheese thick and stack them or slice the tomato into pieces and set it alongside the burrata whole. Drizzle the best olive oil you can find over it. I suggest an herbal-infused or arbequina from Spain, with a pinch of sea salt like the solar-evaporated Sea Love Sea Salt from Wrightsville Beach. Add a crack or two of fresh ground black pepper. You can also use a flavored salt like smoked pepper or a citrus blend. The finishing touch is fresh basil and oregano cut and sprinkled to lend freshness and a peppery earthiness to the dish. Although not growing in season right now, you can toss in some of my favorite olives like The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the buttery green Castlevaltrano from Sicily to add a meaty richness. The accompanying wine needs to be clean, crisp and light. Gavi di Gavi of Italy has some weight and an almost oily mouthfeel along with a backbone of acidity. Some bright lemon and citrus notes make it a perfect pairing. Zucchini can seem boring, but it can make a beautiful summer salad. Get it fresh and of the right size — at least the length of your hand and about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. A sharp vegetable peeler is all you need to make long slices, the more uneven the better. Lay them out on a large platter and drizzle with the same great Spanish olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with basil and oregano. I like thyme here also. Shave Parmigiano-Reggiano over it, the more the better. Use Italian Parmigiano, not an imitation. A cheese planer is the easiest tool but grated is another option. For a wine pairing I prefer rosé. French or Italian is always good, but for this I like a Spanish rosé with a bit more weight, like Mas Donis. It is a blend of grenache and tempranillo, roseviolet in color, fruity and herbal but clean. It holds up nicely to the richness and saltiness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it’s not too heavy to overpower the delicate zucchini. Last but not least, the cucumber cannot be denied when it is at its peak in season. You could pickle it, but why not try it with feta and a great marinade? Slice into 1/4-inch slices and toss in an olive oil marinade with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. You can make the marinade in a jar and shake to mix. Pour it over the cucumbers and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The feta should be top quality like the goat’s milk feta from Paradox Farm. It can be cut into cubes and marinated the same way, tossing them together. If you prefer, switch out the cucumbers for ripe peaches. No need to marinate them. With the cucumber and feta I prefer a light, easy drinking beer like Duck Hook from Southern Pines Brewery. With either version — cucumber or peach — a delicate and balanced sparkling wine such as 1928 Prosecco from Italy with just a hint of sweet fruit and a dry finish is just right. If you want something a bit drier, the 100 percent pinot noir, Jean-Baptiste Adam Cremant Sparkling Rosé from the Alsace region of France is yeasty and vibrant and tastes like summer, with strawberry and peach notes. As we meander our way through August’s heat, be sure to enjoy its abundant produce and try something new while doing it. Drink well and think about keeping it light and refreshing, but stylish enough to add to the flavors of the season. OH Angela Sanchez owns Southern Whey, a cheese-centric specialty food store in Southern Pines, with her husband, Chris Abbey. She was in the wine industry for 20 years and was lucky enough to travel the world drinking wine and eating cheese. August 2018

O.Henry 47

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In The Spirit

Spa Water with a Kick A flavored gem from Durham Distillery

By Tony Cross

Photograph by Tony Cross

In the past, I’ve complained about North

Carolina ABC stores rolling out the red carpet for copious bottles of flavored vodkas. Though I still find this to be the case, there are exceptions. Full disclosure: I’ve tried a friend or date’s cocktail — you’re sharing a sip if we’re hanging out together — that tasted quite delicious, only to find out that the base spirit was a flavored vodka. It didn’t happen often, but it happened. However, the only time I was completely wowed by a flavored vodka straight was the first time I kicked back a sample of Durham Distillery’s Cucumber Vodka.

On an early spring day last year, my father accompanied me to a meeting in Durham. “Just please don’t say anything,” I pleaded. I inherited the gift of gab from him, so I know that when he gets going, it’s hard to stop. Pops riding along ended up being a good idea. He’s in shape, has a silver handlebar musThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

tache, wears dark shades, black clothing, and looks like a badass. Actually, he is a badass; he served 20 years in Special Forces. So, with my dad standing 6 feet behind me while I made my pitch, it looked like I had a bodyguard. Ka-ching. As soon as the meeting was over, we stepped outside, high-fived, and made our way down the street to Durham Distillery. We were greeted by co-owner Melissa Katrincic. Her husband, Lee, the head distiller and co-owner, joined us. They gave us the grand tour, explaining how their Conniption gin is distilled. The Katrincics are both scientists, and that’s how they approach their distilling. My dad doesn’t drink gin, but he’ll try anything once, and if he likes it, he’ll have it again. Melissa is chatting away with Pops, while Lee is answering my questions. Before I know it, samples of their American Dry and Navy Strength gins are being offered, and oblige them we did. The gin seemed to immediately “get good” to Pops, and all I could do was smile and revel in how quickly he can go from 0-to-60 in storytelling mode. In the midst of his explaining one of his past adventures, I noticed Melissa starting to pour a different liquid into a taster glass. My dad’s story stopped dead in its tracks and he asked, “All right! What’s next?” Lee and Melissa explained that this was their cucumber vodka. They had used it in the past as a component in some of their gins but had decided they were going to bottle it on its own in North Carolina. One sip, and we were both blown away. On our way back to Southern Pines, the conversation kept August 2018

O.Henry 49

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In The Spirit circling back around to, “My God, I can’t wait until they release that vodka.” Later I reached out to Lee, asking him to explain how he’s able to capture the pure essence of the cucumbers in each batch of vodka. Unlike other flavored vodkas, which are basically just a distilled vodka with an extract added, Durham Distillery’s tastes like fresh cucumber slices have completely filled up the bottle. It’s no wonder Lee and Melissa say it’s like “spa water with a kick.” “The cucumber vodka is the only cucumber vodka on the market distilled under vacuum (no heat applied) with no artificial flavors or added sugar. Most others you see will be extract-based. With ours, only alcohol and fresh sliced cucumbers are used to make it,” Lee says. They handpick their cucumbers, which are peeled and sliced, then put in a pot on their vacuum still. “Our corn-base ethanol is added to the pot and the still is sealed. The vacuum still only has a 5-gallon capacity, so it’s made in very small batches. A vacuum pump removes all the air from the still. Under the reduced pressure, the ethanol boils around room temperature. So, all that great cucumber flavor is being extracted and subsequently distilled without any heat. The cucumber distillate we get off the vacuum still is around 185-proof, so we add our deionized water to cut it down to 80-proof for bottling.” Did you get all of that? In short: handpicked, small-batch, science, alcohol, delicious. Last year I wrote an article praising Durham Distillery’s Conniption gins, and pleading for them to get a spot on our ABC shelves. In addition to their gins and vodka, they also make excellent chocolate, coffee and mocha liqueurs. Durham Distillery’s gin is also sold in London. London. Melissa and Lee were inducted into the United Kingdom Gin Guild. Lee says that the guild is 300 years old, and he and his wife are only the fourth and fifth U.S. distillers ever inducted and the only ones from the South. We’re lucky to have such an amazing distillery, producing topnotch spirits. Once you get your hands on their cucumber vodka, try this easy spin on a Moscow Mule I whipped up:

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Cuke Mule

2 ounces Durham Distillery Cucumber Vodka 4-5 ounces ginger beer 4 dashes Angostura Candied ginger and cucumber slices (garnish) Pour vodka into a rocks glass, add ice and ginger beer. Top with bitters. Garnish with candied ginger and cucumber slices. OH Tony Cross is a bartender who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails in Southern Pines.

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O.Henry 51

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Summertime Blues Late summer brings the arrival of the little blue heron

By Susan Campbell

Late summer can be an espe-

cially exciting time for those of us who are birders. We need not travel far to find unexpected visitors, especially when tropical weather blows birds off track and they show up as close as our backyards.

Often these strays are here for only hours. Other times, they stick around in response to environmental conditions that bring them our way. One late summer visitor to look for is the little blue heron, only don’t expect it to be blue. That’s because young blue herons, which these inland wanderers almost always are, are covered with white feathers — except for the very tips of their wings. And for those with really sharp eyes, the bill of these small herons is pinkish or grayish and the legs are greenish unlike the bright yellow legs of the great or snowy egret, which also may turn up in the Piedmont or Sandhills at this time of year. These beautiful white waders are best spotted in shallow wet habitats: streams, small ponds, water hazards, retention areas or other places with standing water. Little blue herons may be seen all by themselves or mixed with other long-legged waders. You may even spot them standing alongside the much larger great blue heron. Little blues can be identified by their more upright foraging posture and slow, deliberate movements. And watch for their down-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

ward angled bills as they stalk prey. Unlike other small waders, they will hunt in deeper water, often all the way up to their bellies. Little blues hunt not only small fish but frogs, crawfish and large aquatic insects. It is thought that their coloration allows them to blend in inconspicuously with similar white species, which offers the juveniles protection. Foraging alongside great egrets also seems to afford little blue herons an advantage as these larger birds stir up the water, flushing up a meal for nearby little blues. It takes little blue herons at least a year to develop adult plumage — not unlike white ibis that can also be found breeding along our coast. (By contrast, great blue herons sport dark plumage their first summer and fall.) Adult little blue herons may have a pied appearance for a time in late winter or early spring. But by April they will turn a slaty, blue-gray all over, with a handsome bluish bill. Unlike other wading birds, they lack showy head or neck plumes. They are also unique in having projections on their middle toes that form a comb, which is used as an aid when grooming. Unfortunately this species has experienced an alarming drop in population numbers over the past half century across North America. Loss of coastal wetland habitat, continued declines in water quality, as well as being shot as a nuisance in fish hatcheries all are thought to be contributing to the decline. So be sure to stop and appreciate these stately, though smaller birds should you come across one — wherever you happen to be. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at August 2018

O.Henry 53

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54 O.Henry

August 2018


336.714.6848 | The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy

Hip to Be Square O.Henry Square continues to thrive

By Billy Eye

“A hick town is one in which there is no place to go where you shouldn’t be.” — Alexander Woolcott

The point

at which Bellemeade and Greene converge, where the 300-block of Battleground sprouts from a two-lane trickle into a gushing river of vehicles, was once referred to as O.Henry Square. May still be, for all I know.

This is a rare intersection with five corners. And around 1935, what had been a shaded residential neighborhood was slowly transformed as robust commerce began fueling a quiet downtown expansion. Granted, nearby there’s a 110-room hotel with almost 300 upscale apartments under construction that will hug O.Henry Square to the west. Still, there are many intriguing sites that would be familiar to folks 50 years ago. Look around and you can see vestiges of an era when downtown’s hip pocket was devoted to insurance, finance, automotive repair and used cars; a corridor where, even to this day, businesses set down roots and remain in place for decades. In the not too distant past, 1968 for instance, O.Henry Square was dominated by the rear of the O.Henry Hotel, Chandler Tire and the Central Fire Station to the east, the Greensboro branch of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance to the west, and Universal City Credit to the north. And today, approaching the square from the south, rounding the corner from North Greene onto Bellemeade, Martin’s Frame & Art Shop continues to anchor a collection of mostly glass-fronted storefronts dating back to 1940, currently vacant but in excellent condition. In 1968, the angular, glass-front unit adjacent to Martin’s at 253 North Greene was General Greene Grill. Along with Peter Pan Cafe (now a convenience store two blocks south) this was where the area’s gay gentlemen not-sosurreptitiously congregated from the 1950s into the ’70s. Apparently, it was obvious to just about anyone who unknowingly meandered in. This was Greensboro’s Tenderloin District, such as it was, where young men passing by the General Greene would hear someone from the lunch counter shout out, “Fresh meat!” Institutional memories linger, gay men were still cruising Commerce Street, half a block west, well into the 1990s. The unit next door sports a fanciful façade with Italianate-inspired columns and mantels highlighting the second floor.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Jefferson Standard Life Insurance’s one-story Greensboro sales office was situated across Bellemeade (today supplanted by Charles Aris’ high-tech headquarters). In 1973, the Odd Fellows constructed their two-story Buena Vista No. 21 lodge hall next door, incorporating what had been Jefferson’s side parking deck and dramatic porte-cochère for their front lot. The Undercurrent Restaurant, just steps from the Odd Fellows Lodge, is a magnificent 21st-century reclamation project of a stately 1951 building, a stunning makeover from grimy to glam. Customers of Dixie Sales & Service would scarcely believe this was where transmissions, drivetrains, STP, Delco batteries and the like were sold and installed. Dixie operated here for more than half a century. The entire structure, including the attached former repair garage (converted into office space) was thoroughly and completely re-imagined in 2006 before Undercurrent moved in. Elongated picture windows were carved into the building’s sides for added brightness; impressive touches adorn the roomy interior. Undercurrent’s open-face frontage with glass-brick accents still echoes how it looked all those years ago, only now instead of fixing cars it’s fixing some of Greensboro’s finest food in elegant surroundings. Holding down the corner of Battleground and West Lindsay are two more erstwhile storefronts, both thriving in modern times. Uncorking fine wines for almost 20 years at this location, Zeto’s showroom was, back in the day, our local Sherwin-Williams dealer. Across Lindsay was Milton R. Barnes Furriers from the 1930s until the mid-1970s when this building briefly housed Dr. Music. Currently, it’s a State Farm Insurance broker’s office. Next, along the 400 block of Battleground is the quasi-Moderne –Spivey Office Building, the King Korn Redemption Center was an occupant in ’68, where shoppers traded books of stamps they’d collected from retailers, basically loyalty points, for appliances and home furnishings. Everyone who was anyone recovered their living room heirlooms at Murphy’s Drapery and Upholstery Shop on the corner of Battleground and Smith Street. That sturdy dark brick plant with large, metal-framed showroom windows is currently an artist’s studio and law offices. Across Battleground stands another downtown stalwart, Smith Street Diner. When this two-story multi-use was completed in 1936, Gus Moutafis Restaurant and Legion Barber Shop were the initial ground floor tenants. Moutafis also resided in the Burke Apartments upstairs until, a couple of years later, the restaurateur relocated, opening the aptly named Carolina Lunch across from the Carolina Theatre where he plated plantation-style fare for decades. With a loyal clientele, James Everhart continued barbering at Legion’s original site until around 1966. It’s where many a baby boomer got their first clipping. August 2018

O.Henry 55

B’nai Shalom Day School

Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School 1725 NC Highway 66 South Kernersville, NC 27284, (336) 564-1010,

2900 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410, (336) 665-1161,

Focus: B’nai Shalom Day School is the Triad’s only infant – 8th grade Jewish independent school. We foster academic excellence, maximize individual student’s potential, and develop leadership skills in a dual curriculum (English and Hebrew). Aftercare and full day option available (7:30 am to 6:00 pm) as well as generous financial aid opportunities. Grades: 8 wks - 8th grade • Enrollment: 125 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: On a rolling basis. Meet with Director of Admissions, classroom visit, academic assessment (Pre-K and older), transcripts from current school. Tuition: $4,040-$12,000 (preschool), $2,388-$16,990 (K-8)

Focus: The largest private high school in the Triad. Outstanding high school experience with exceptional academics, extracurricular activities and athletic opportunities. All faiths welcome and financial aid available. Located minutes from downtown Greensboro. Grades: 9-12th • Enrollment: 405 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Admission is on a rolling basis. Please visit for an application or call the admissions office at 564-1011 to schedule a campus tour. Tuition: $10,226-$13,826

Focus: A classical Christian school founded in 1994 by a group of parents who envisioned a school that would cultivate their children’s growth in the knowledge and love of God without sacrificing academic excellence. A time-tested process for educating a child at all stages of development, a classical Christian education teaches students how to think, not what to think. Extended day and tuition assistance available. Grades: PreSchool-12th • Enrollment: 830 • Student/Faculty: 9/1 Admission Requirement: Priority application deadline is February 1st. Applications received after this date will be processed and considered as they are received. Tuition: $1,125-$10,915

Canterbury School

Greensboro Montessori School

High Point Christian Academy

804-A Winview Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 855-5091,

Caldwell Academy

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Road, Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-2007,

2856 Horse Pen Creek Road, Greensboro, NC 27410, (336) 668-0119,

800 Phillips Avenue High Point, NC 27262 (336) 841-8702,

Focus: A PreK-8 Episcopal School with strong academics and a focus on educating the whole child - mind, body and spirit. Extended day and financial assistance available.

Focus: Greensboro’s only accredited Montessori school where toddlers to teens achieve academic excellence through project-based, experiential learning. Additionally, students organically develop real-world skills in creativity, leadership, problem solving, and social responsibility so they’re prepared for a lifetime of achievement.

Focus: HPCA provides an academically rigorous environment rooted in a Biblical worldview. We are committed to Christ-centered, quality education and academic excellence in partnership with family and church within a loving, caring atmosphere. Grades: Preschool - 12th grade • Enrollment: 650 Student/Faculty:16/1 Admission Requirement: Admissions is on a rolling basis; inquiries, tours and interviews are on-going. For specific requirements please visit Tuition: $6,550-$9,650

Grades: Preschool - 8th grade • Enrollment: 350 Student/Faculty: 7/1 Admission Requirement: Requirements vary per grade level but include: application, teacher evaluation forms, developmental assessment or classroom visit, transcripts from current school. Tuition: $5,950 - $8,350 (preschool), $3,443 - $17,215 (K-8)

High Point Friends School

Grades: Toddler (18 mo) - 9th grade • Enrollment: 240 Student/Faculty: Under 3 years, 6:1; 4 years and above, 12:1 Admission Requirement: Requirements vary per grade level but include meeting with the director of admission, completing an application, submitting teacher recommendation forms, and visiting a classroom. Tuition: $9,036-$17,448

Noble Academy

Our Lady Grace School

800-A Quaker Lane High Point, NC 27262 (336) 886-5516,

3310 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 282-7044,

201 S. Chapman Street Greensboro, NC 27403 (336) 275-1522,

Focus: High Point Friends School, grounded in Quaker values, fosters academic excellence, self-confidence and leadership skills through collaborative learning, extracurricular opportunities, and service learning engagement for students in Preschool – 8th grade.

Focus: A grades 2-12 independent school that specializes in empowering students with learning differences to pursue their highest potential within a comprehensive, supportive educational environment. Strong academics along with athletics, music, art, drama, and IDEApath are offered.

Focus: Catholic education with on-level and accelerated academics and character development. Inclusive Special Education programs for students with AU and LD diagnoses. Educating the whole child to serve and to lead with love, respect, dignity, and integrity. Visit for more information.

Grades: Preschool - 8th grade • Enrollment: 208 Student/Faculty:14/1 Admission Requirement: We encourage prospective families to visit, interview and learn more. A current application, teacher recommendations and current assessments and report card will be utilized to make our final admissions decision. Tuition: $1,950-$6,240 (Preschool); $8,760 (Kindergarten); $10,050 (Lower 1-5); $10,740 (Middle 6-8)

Grades: 2 - 12 • Enrollment: 150 Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Students need to have an average to above average IQ score and a diagnosis of ADHD and/or learning difference (we recognize CAPD) and a current psych-ed evaluation. Admission on a rolling basis. Tuition: $20,550 - $21,450

St. Pius X Catholic School

Grades: 3 years old - 8th grade • Enrollment: 250+ • Student/Faculty: 12/1 Admission Requirement: Application form, school transcript, current preschool teacher assessment, immunization form and admissions screening test. Tuition: $3,653-$8,745 (see website for special programs)

2200 N. Elm Street Greensboro, NC 27408 (336) 273-9865,

The Piedmont School /John Yowell Academy

815 Old Mill Road High Point, NC 27265 (336) 883-0992,

Westchester Country Day School 2045 N. Old Greensboro Road High Point, NC 27265, (336) 869-2128,

Focus: Catholic elementary school serving Pre-K through 8th grade, emphasizing Christian values and academic excellence in a nurturing environment. Grades: PK - 8th grade • Enrollment: 440 Student/Faculty: 15:1 Admission Requirement: K-8 applicants must participate in a standardized assessment conducted by ABC Educational Services, Inc. Please visit for more information or contact the admissions office at 336-273-9865 to schedule a campus tour. Tuition: $6,276 - $9,144

Focus: A wonderful K-12 independent school dedicated to providing an outstanding educational environment for students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics enhanced by music, art, drama, and athletics. Grades: K - 12th grade • Enrollment: 100 Student/Faculty: 6:1 word study, language arts, math. 12:1 all other subjects. Admission Requirement: Enrollment is on a rolling basis. Requirements include an average to above average IQ, and either an ADHD diagnosis or another diagnosed learning disorder. Tuition: K-2 $17,500 • 3-8 $18,579 • 9-12 $19,179.

Focus: Westchester Country Day is a college preparatory school teaching and guiding students in grades PK-12 to strive for excellence in moral and ethical conduct, academics, the arts, and athletics. Grades: PK - 12th grade • Enrollment: 420 Student/Faculty: 16:1 Admission Requirement: Admissions is on a rolling basis. Please visit for more details or call the admissions office at (336) 822-4005 to schedule a tour. Tuition: $2,625 - $17,990

NC grants available.

Wandering Billy

By 1968, Lanier’s Soda Shop had combined both street-level spaces for dishing out hot fudge sundaes and banana splits. From 1977 until 2000, Robinson’s Restaurant made this their “Home of good food and friendly atmosphere” before Smith Street Diner started slinging old-fashioned countrystyle platters tasting very much like what you’d have been served at dozens of downtown eateries a half-century ago. Smith Street Diner’s food is so popular, eager weekend patrons, jockeying to be seated, can be seen crowding the sidewalk out front. A time traveler from 1968, gazing south from Battleground and Smith, would find these surroundings surprisingly recognizable. Nearby auto repair shops dating back to the 1930s are still doing their thing, and everywhere you look there’s a sense of architectural continuity, in itself a rarity. Here’s hoping O.Henry Square retains its singular charm well into the future so folks continue flocking to this funky oasis where architectural antiquities from a long-gone era heighten our understanding of how past and present interconnect, enhancing our quality of life in meaningful but immeasurable ways. OH Billy Eye moved downtown in 1997 when folks would say, “Why would you want to live downtown? There’s nothing but bums there!” Contact him at

Greensboro Day School 5401 Lawndale Drive Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-8590

• Mediation and Litigation Services • Board Certified Family Law Specialist • Top 100 Attorney in America, Worth magazine • Legal Elite, Business North Carolina magazine

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To learn more, contact Aycock Family Law at 336.271.3200 or 125 South Elm Street | Suite 501 Greensboro, NC 27401


North Hills | Adjacent to Renaissance Hotel 919-788-4200 | Raleigh, North Carolina

Focus: The most dynamic, comprehensive PreK-12th grade academic environment in the Triad. With a focus on friendship, scholarship, and sportsmanship, our mission is to develop the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to be constructive contributors to the world. Grades: Preschool - 12th grade Enrollment: 800 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Admission on a rolling basis. Begin accepting applications in the fall for admission to the following school year. For complete details, please visit Tuition: $7,200-$23,100

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

O.Henry 57

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58 O.Henry

August 2018


1840 Pembroke Road, Suite 1 Greensboro, NC 27408 336-315-2331

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


August 2018

Let loose in the pasture, bays, chestnuts, grays, and paints graze beneath blue skies, their coats shining like copper pots. And scattered around their feet, creeping buttercups, yellow as freshly grated lemon zest — each petal clustered around the center, creating a corolla of color so dazzling, they rival the sun’s golden light. And it is quiet here, the way a room is quiet but not silent, with the sporadic whinnies and wickers of contented horses, the buzzing of bees, the croaking of frogs in a nearby creek — a low hum of pleasing sounds. But it is mostly about the light, this idyllic scene, how bright it shines on a horse’s satiny skin, how all the flowers cup their yellow palms to catch it. — Terri Kirby Erickson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

O.Henry 59

The Real

Song of the South How an eccentric Alabama spinster collected folktales and living voices — human and animal alike — from an age that is gone with the wind

By Nan Graham


e scrambled flat on our stomachs, wrestling the bulky cardboard box from under the looming four-poster bed. My cousin Anne and I are not teenagers . . . we’re not even middle-aged . . . so it was a grim spectacle of struggling grayheads, who risked never getting vertical again, to do this. The musty papers and letters of one of the most colorful of our relatives, our greataunt, Martha Strudwick Young, a diminutive professional writer, born the year after the War Between the States began, contained some surprising new information. Cousin Anne had never looked in the boxes since her mother’s death in 1970, some 40-plus years ago. We were only a few miles from Martha Young’s birthplace in Hale County, Alabama, at a place called The Pillbox a few miles out from Greensboro, Alabama, and my visit had prompted questions about the writer’s childhood. We were well into the second round of iced tea when Anne remembered the flat coat box stored beneath the bed. We knew from family stories that Martha’s early years were spent riding in the carriage with her father, Dr. Elisha Young, through the Hale County countryside as he made his rounds and tended to his patients. A surgeon in the Confederate Army stationed at Fort Morgan in Mobile — and imprisoned in New Orleans after the fall of Mobile — Dr. Young returned to his little family after the war to practice medicine in Greensboro, Alabama. A born storyteller, the doctor entertained the little girl with stories of making quilts with his black nurse as a young boy, eyewitness accounts of battles on Mobile Bay, and starving troops in the Alabama countryside as the father and daughter roamed the county in his buggy on house calls. He told of performing the first ever suc-

60 O.Henry

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cessful cutting and suturing of a carotid artery on a man stabbed and brought to his kitchen table in the middle of the night. The patient survived the procedure in the makeshift operating room. Dr. Young said that early quiltmaking, common among young Southern boys in the 1860s in the county, gave him his surgical skills. Martha had a quick ear for the rich dialect of the black folks at home and in the rural countryside. She was spellbound with their musical language and loved their tales of witches, wicked spells and ha’nts, and stories of talking birds. She absorbed the speech, its cadence and energy, of the black storytellers. Martha took mental notes on the actual calls and songs of birds of her native Hale County along the wooded roads. She was a good listener and had an excellent ear for mimicry. She began to write and craft the oral tales told to her by blacks in her household and those she knew in the small community of Greensboro. She listened to the musical calls from the men and women who peddled fresh butterbeans and field peas ( “Fe-ull Peeas. Yas. Freee-sh Pleeeez . . .”) from carts on the dusty streets of her neighborhood. She listened to the ghost stories of the cook Chloe in the family kitchen house and to the animal stories of Isham, who helped with the horses and cows. She wove the tales into lyrical and haunting stories about sparrows’ chatty conversations with crows and baby robins squabbling among themselves. And useful warnings that picking peaches from the tree after sundown would kill the tree. Martha added her own keen observations of nature in Greensboro and the countryside around it, and incorporated the sounds of the birds and creatures as an integral part of her stories. Being the oldest child of the eight siblings (of whom only five survived), Martha as a young adult in her 20s inherited the role of caretaker of the family at her mother’s early death in 1887. Her physician father could never have manThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

aged without his eldest daughter’s capable and no-nonsense discipline of her younger, motherless brothers and sisters. Martha practiced her bird calls and storytelling skills on the younger children, who were enthralled at their big sister’s tales of the talking buzzards, singing bats and swamp witches. Amazingly, she continued her writing despite being mistress of a large household and surrogate mother to a brood of children ages 7 into pre-teen. And after raising her younger brothers and sisters, Martha, or Tut (rhymes with foot), as the family called her, decided that the single life was the life for her. As she always replied to inquiries about her marital state: “No, I am not married. I shall stay . . . forever Young!” (Her early siblingrearing may explain the decision of the many spinsters out there, especially around the turn of the century.) Granddaughter of an Alabama anti-Secessionist, she had a college degree and was encouraged in her writing by her family. She started her career under the pseudonym Eli Shepperd, since young women from the South were not usually accepted in the male-dominated literary scene. She began submitting her dialect bird stories to the New Orleans Times-Democrat, which first published her work in 1884, a Christmas story titled “A Nurse’s Tale.” Other Southern newspapers published the prolific writer’s stories. The creator of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, Joel Chandler Harris, gave high praise to the dialect writer, according to one newspaper account and even collaborated with Martha on one of his Uncle Remus collections. Joel Chandler Harris himself wrote: “Her dialect verse . . . is the best written since Irwin Russell died. Some of it is incomparably the best ever written.” Her first book, with the catchy title Plantation Songs for My Lady’s Banjo and Other Negro Lyrics and Monologues, was published in 1901, still under the pseudonym Eli Shepperd. The originator of Brer Rabbit contacted the writer under that name. Joel Chandler Harris invited “Mr. Shepperd” to join him at a small hunting lodge at his Georgia home, Eagle’s Nest, to work on a collection of folk stories. It was a secluded spot and Harris felt it would be a productive collaboration. Naturally, Martha revealed her identity as a lady and responded that she hardly thought that Mrs. Harris would approve the plan. The two writers did eventually collaborate, but not in the secluded setting first suggested to Eli Shepperd! More books followed Plantation Songs: Plantation Bird Legends (1902), Bessie Bell (1903) (later re-released as Somebody’s Little Girl in 1910), When We Were Wee (1912), Behind the Dark Pines (1912), Two Little Southern Sisters (1919), and Minute Dramas: Kodak in the Quarters (1921). Another Martha Young book, Fifty Folklore Fables, was reviewed and mentioned in publicity releases but is unable to be located. Plantation Bird Legends and Behind the Dark Pines are The Art & Soul of Greensboro

both illustrated with pen-andink drawings by J.M. Conde, the artist used by Joel Chandler Harris. Besides her eight published books, numerous articles and stories by Martha appeared in such magazines as Woman’s Home Companion, Cosmopolitan and Christian Advocate. Cosmopolitan, begun in 1886, was a family magazine at the time (a far cry — not even in shouting distance — from the modern Cosmopolitan) and featured such established writers as Jack London, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser and later H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw. (In 1965, Helen Gurley Brown, author of Sex and the Single Girl, revamped the family magazine of Martha’s day, zeroing in on women’s issues, becoming the familiar magazine we know today as the sexy Cosmopolitan.) Martha Young reached her literary peak in the first decade of the 20th century. Her whimsical bird stories in African-American dialect were a runaway hit. Her books were a smash across the country, North and South. The Pittsburgh Gazette was among those who raved about her Plantation Bird Legends: “What the Grimm Brothers did, taking from the lips of unlettered peasants the folktales of the foretimes and setting them down for the delight of the after age, has now been done by Miss Young.” Martha’s other animal tales included such titles as “Why Brer Possum’s Tail Is Bare,” “Mr. Bluebird’s Debt,” and “Why Mr. Frog Is Still a Batchelor.” Martha even performed live at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1906, reading stories and poetry in dialect from her published books and actually performing bird calls and trills to the audience’s amazement and delight. Other “musical numbers by prominent artists,” not mentioned by name, were also to appear on the evening program. She became a popular speaker in the East and almost all reviews of her events laud her delivery and lively presentations with comments about her distinctive voice. OK. It WAS a different era, but I like to think Martha was an early Susan Boyle — without the bad hair — an unlikely candidate for public success having been raised in the tiny town of Greensboro, Alabama. Tickets for the performance were $1, the equivalent of about $27 in today’s currency, when the 1906 worker’s wage was about $300 per year and the average hourly wage 22 cents an hour. Her Waldorf-Astoria poster shows the studio photograph of the petite 28-year-old Martha in an elegant pose. Reality was that in 1906, Miss Young was well into her 42nd year and a bit more stout (as they say in the South) than the slender young woman pictured. Tut even had an offer to perform in vaudeville in New York, but politely demurred. (I am certain her lips were pursed when she did.) She was quite prolific: plays, novels, stories for education journals and poetry, some even feminist. The poem “Uncle Isham” written under her pen August 2018

O.Henry 61

name is narrated by an African-American to suffragettes who laughingly says ladies, don’t bother. He complains that he got the vote, but it didn’t change a thing . . . so never mind! Hollywood called early on. One of her books, Somebody’s Little Girl, caught a Hollywood mogul’s eye. His office called the author Martha Young. As it turned out, it was not her story they were interested in, it was the title. Could they purchase the title alone, they asked. Martha was mortified at the idea. “Of course not,” she replied. “I would just as well sever my child’s head from its body as sell my title from its story.” (It does make you think of Gloria Swanson’s has-been character in Sunset Boulevard when she thinks Cecil B. DeMille wants her for a movie comeback, when he actually only wants to borrow her vintage 1929 Isotta-Fraschini touring car.) Hollywood went elsewhere for a title, and unfortunately, we do not know which movie resulted after these failed negotiations with Martha. One family story centered around Martha’s ferocious love of coffee and her prodigious consumption of the drink. She downed a dozen or more cups a day, but one Lent she decided to deny herself her most precious beverage. She announced what she was giving up for Lent with an unseemly pride to family, friends and neighbors: No coffee for 40 days and 40 nights. About a week into her extreme Lenten abstinence, her brother came to see her. The door was open; he called . . . no answer. He wandered through the empty house until he heard a tiny voice from the closet. “In here, Elisha.” He opened the door and saw his sister sitting on a straight chair in the darkened closet, drinking a cup of coffee. “Tut,” he chastised, “Don’t you know the Lord can see you, even in this closet?” “Of course I do,” she said, taking another sip. “But the neighbors can’t.” Her Presbyterian brother closed the closet door and left her to her secret sin. Tut became the family eccentric, a standout in a host of relatives competing for the title. Martha Young never voted in any election, even after women won the right to vote. She had been born the year Alabama seceded from the Union. Alabama came back after Appomattox . . . Martha never did. She was of the notion that she was not a citizen of the United States and accordingly, was not an eligible voter. Her tiny feet were a particular source of pride. And with reason. In Martha’s day, Birmingham was where you shopped when you wanted something grand. It was Alabama’s answer to Paris. Passing the city’s finest shoe store, Tut stopped to read the display sign:

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TRY ON CINDERELLA’S SLIPPER You Might Be the Lucky Winner of a Pair of Shoes of Your Choice! Tut strolled into the shop and sat while the salesman slipped the crystal slipper on her foot with ease. A perfect fit! She selecting the most cunning — and expensive — shoes on display. With shopping bag in hand, she waltzed out to meet her family for the triumphal return to Greensboro. Needless to say, she and her feet were the envy of every female in town. In all her photographs from that day forward, she managed to display her Cinderella foot peeking out from her floor-length dress. Also vain about her small hands, she always posed them prominently in every picture. At one dinner party, she took a stroll in the garden at her host’s home at dusk. When she reached to touch a flower, she was bitten by a small garden snake. She rushed to the house, where she dropped to the sofa, crying, “My hand! My beautiful little hand. Ohhhh!” She held her hand aloft for inspection. As the guests gathered round, Martha put on a performance her fellow guests never forgot. Sarah Bernhardt would have been proud. Talk about how to sabotage a party. Tut’s uber-vanity quickly became part of the family history. Local lore in Greensboro claims that Margaret Mitchell came calling on Tut in the 1930s. She was looking for advice on African-American speech patterns and dialect on a certain book she was writing. There is no evidence of this research visit by the author of Gone with the Wind except three local Greensboro sources who have heard the story handed down. In 2006, a call came from Hollywood asking if I had or knew of any recordings of Martha Young’s voice. Production was beginning on a new film about Zelda Fitzgerald. They had heard of Martha Young’s work and were anxious to hear her Deep South accent for resource material for the film. Alas, although there is mention of her recordings in several writings about her, none could be tracked down. The aging author did not mellow with age. One of my favorite stories about Tut was about her later years, when she developed diabetes in her old age and would not go to the doctor for follow-up visits. “But Martha,” her friends insisted, “You need to get your blood checked.” “I certainly do not,” she replied, drawing herself up imperiously. “I can assure you, I have the very best blood in Alabama.” As the century rolled on and literary styles changed, Martha turned from The Art & Soul of Greensboro

writing lively animal stories to religious poetry and full-length plays as her next endeavors. It was an unfortunate career move. Martha’s religious poems are excruciatingly bad, but despite that fact, they continued to appear in magazines and newspapers. A few of these poetic gems’ titles: “Buddha’s Lilies” (Tut was an avid Episcopalian) and “Sermon on the Mule,” “Blessings of the Magnolia,” and “Sermon Against Bad Language.” The tedious plays (my personal favorite was Dice of Death) and her novels were never published, thank God, and now languish in a library’s special collection archives. In the late 1930s, Walt Disney contacted Martha’s agent, according to correspondence found under that bed. The Disney studio was interested in animating her bird characters and stories. The elderly author had almost stopped all writing by now, but her agent’s letters were wildly optimistic. Disney, flush with the huge success of the 1937 release of Snow White, was working with Martha’s bird stories and had come up with some ideas on using them in a Disney full-length animated feature film. “Oh no,” wrote Martha after reading one Disney adaptation, “Sis Sparrow would never say such a thing! No, no, Brer Crow could not possible perform such a dance . . . it’s all wrong. Wrong!” The imperious author was unyielding to the siren song of Hollywood. Negotiations broke down after several years, the letters reveal. The headstrong Miss Martha Young proved a tough cookie. Five years later, Disney came out with Song of the South, the mix of animation and real film characters. Aunt Tut died in 1941 and the correspondence recording the futile negotiation with Walt Disney was stashed under that poster bed in Hale County, where it

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

remained until a few summers ago. Sis Sparrow could have been singing “Zip-aDee-Doo-Dah” while Bruh Crow and Martha Young’s other bird characters danced, if only Proud Martha had not been so mule-headed. She coulda been a contenda . . . maybe! Acknowledgment for the culture and dialect of the black stories is a growing movement in the literary world. Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon, the true story of a survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, was refused by editors in 1927 because of its dialect narrative and is now published with a scholarly introduction. Aunt Tut is not completely forgotten. Almost all her early works have been republished by academics and folklore enthusiasts with original titles and author Martha Young’s name. And so the original stories remain in print. Virginia Hamilton, a noted AfricanAmerican author, read some of Martha Young’s folktales, rewrote them (it is almost a translation from the dialect) and had famed Barry Moser illustrate the stories. When Birds Could Talk and Bats Could Sing, published in 1996, is a beautifully illustrated book of Martha Young’s stories that are a joy to read today. ( My only complaint: The book is titled by Virginia Hamilton. As an academician, Hamilton surely knew that the correct way to title the book would be: By Martha Young as retold by Virginia Hamilton.) There is a brief explanation of Martha Young on the last page of Hamilton’s book. The beautiful new version of Martha Strudwick Young’s fanciful tales of talking sparrows and dancing crows is thankfully preserved. OH Nan Graham is a regular Salt contributor and has been a local NPR commentator since 1995.

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A Passion for

By William Irvine • Illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia


t all started when I discovered the mysterious connection between TUMS and SMUT. This childhood revelation (and the fact that I can read backward, a talent which I inherited from my mother) has led to a lifelong interest in collecting and inventing palindromes, words and phrases that read the same way forward and backward. The cult of the palindromes owes its existence to Sotades of Maroneia, a Greek poet and satirist of the third century B.C., who invented palindromic verse and coined the term. The last century has produced J.A. Lindon and Leigh Mercer, British palindromists of rare accomplishment, as well as part-time palindromist and full-time humorist James Thurber. (One of his best: HE GODDAM MAD DOG, EH?) The secret to constructing a fine palindrome is to start with a promising middle word with well-spaced vowels and consonants (FALAFEL or ASPARAGUS or ARUGULA spring to mind) and build outward, rather than starting with an end word (a mistake common to beginners). Punctuation is suspended; the only poetic license. Only a small number of palindromes make any sense without a frame of reference. So, unless you know you are reading a note from a New Guinean decorator, R.E. PAPUA ETAGERE GATEAU PAPER doesn’t mean much. Or AMARYLLIS SILLYRAMA (a comedy club for flowers?) Or how about SATAN, OSCILLATE MY METALLIC SONATAS? For some reason, there are many good palindromes that incorporate the names of Republicans and dictators: DRAT SADAM, A MAD DASTARD; WONDER IF SUNUNU’S FIRED NOW; NORIEGA CAN IDLE, HELD IN A CAGE IRON. And consider this fine Sarah Palin-drome: WASILLA’S ALL I SAW. Some of the best palindromes are remarkable in their brevity and simplicity: EVIL OLIVE, for example. Or the exquisite GOLDENRODADORNED LOG. But these pale in sophistication when compared with one of my all-time favorites, composed by the British author Alastair Reid: T. ELIOT, TOP BARD, NOTES PUTRID TANG EMANATING, IS SAD. “I’D ASSIGN IT A NAME: GNAT-DIRT UPSET ON DRAB POT TOILET.” The artist Steven Guarnaccia and I have been palindrome pals for a very long time. (In fact, so far back that when we began collaborating, the internet was something in a galaxy far, far away.) So in response to those youngsters who say, “Can’t you just look all these up on the Internet?” I gently reply that many of my earliest efforts were actually the result of countless hours with pad and paper, thumbing through dictionaries and collecting word lists of likely candidates. It sounds quaint, now, doesn’t it? The following drawings are from our latest collaboration, DO GEESE SEE GOD: A Palindrome Anthology (available on Amazon). I hope you enjoy these plums of our palindromic plundering! OH When he is not indulging in logology, William Irvine is the senior editor of Salt.

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Rooms with a View Dennis Howard’s high-tech, front-row seat to the Wyndham Championship

By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Amy Freeman

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Story of a House


alk about efficient. Dennis Howard’s new home packs value on several fronts, one of which happens to be in the back: a verdant view of Sedgefield Country Club’s golf course, home of this month’s Wyndham Championship, a home-stretch tourney for PGA players who are trying to amass enough points to qualify for the upcoming FedExCup playoffs. Howard, a commercial builder and passionate duffer, moved to the new home last summer, just before the Wyndham teed off. He didn’t unpack in time to entertain, but this year, he plans to invite friends and family to check out his new digs — and the waves of golfers and galleries washing through the first green and second tee, a segue bracketed by his panoramic view. Howard lives here thanks to his late wife and college sweetheart, Cynthia, who died in 2015. A couple of years before that, she told him about a golf-course lot that was for sale on Gaston Road about 2 miles from where they lived on Old Onslow Road, overlooking Hole 14. Cynthia, a real estate agent, was eager to buy the lot on the first hole. “We didn’t know what we were going to do with it,” says Howard. “We bought it because it was such a good lot. She said, ‘We need to hang onto that; it’s a nice piece of property.’ “ Howard, who builds office-warehouse spaces, snapped up the lot and held it while he devoted himself to caring for Cynthia, who was fighting cancer. He regrets nothing about their final years together. “We were closer than we’d ever been,” he says. “We spent so much time together.” After Cynthia passed, Howard decided to build on the vacant lot and sell the two-story home they’d shared for 28 of their 48 years together. “There were just a lot of memories,” he says. “It’s not like I wanted to forget about her, but it was kind of overwhelming.” He took his longtime friend, architect Carl Myatt, to lunch and told him about the lot. After lunch, they toured the site, which slopes sharply to the street. Howard wanted his house to sit on the high side, not only for the golf-course view, but also to avoid the creek at the base of the hill. He wanted the home to be one-story so he could age without worrying about stairs. He wanted all doors to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. He wanted four bedrooms, enough space for his four grandchildren to visit. He wanted a three-car garage with room for a golf cart (read: grandchild taxi). He wanted a home office. He wanted an open, airy design with 10-foot ceilings and 8-foot doors scaled to the ceiling. He wanted energy efficiency. Above all, he wanted to showcase the prize view and create plenty of inviting spots to watch golfers and nature. Myatt obliged by drawing a plan that maximizes the vantage point and minimizes the energy costs. “It’s probably the best home for energy control that I’ve ever done,” says Myatt. The bricks-and-mortar result, built by D. Stone Builders, is a 3,400-squarefoot model of comfort, utility and scenic oomph. The heart of the U-shaped home parallels the golf course, with views from every vital room: The master suite; the great room, which is topped with a tongue-in-groove fir ceiling; the cozy den, which is linked to the great room by a see-through fireplace; and a vanilla-hued kitchen decked with chocolate-chip granite. A russet streak in the granite flows like a river across the island and countertops. A screened porch off the kitchen allows for bug-free dining and leads to an open porch hemmed by a knee wall. Teresa Garrett, a designer for builder Stone, helped Howard with myriad cosmetic decisions. She picked the cabinets and hardware, as well as the granites and tiles, including the iridescent tile that was used to create a waterfall wall in

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the glass-enclosed master shower. More glass wraps a sun porch off the master suite — “It’s a good place to watch it rain, too,” Howard says. The bedroom also sprouts a home office with a golf-course view; Myatt fit the office into a narrow space by using kitchen-style cabinets and countertops to maximize the work surface and storage. “It’s well laid-out, thanks to Carl,” says Howard. Myatt also heeded his client’s wishes by creating an easy flow of traffic and sight lines in the long axis of the house. “If you’re in the kitchen, you’re able to look in the great room, through the fireplace and into the den. You can see the master-suite door, and you can see who’s coming and going through the front door,” says Myatt. He tucked a guest room against the main corridor so visitors would wade into the flow instantly. He recessed one wall of the guest room to accommodate a bank of built-in closets and cabinets on the other side, in what would have been a blank wall in a side hallway. Score another point for efficiency, a reflection of Howard’s priorities. “Any good architect can take the pieces and come up with a solution,” says Myatt. “But you have to capture the personality of the person with the siting and with the arrangement of spaces to suit his needs.” Howard, who took an engineering degree from N.C. State and served in the U.S. Air Force before coming to Greensboro to sell heating and air conditioning systems, knew exactly what he wanted in terms of the home’s technical features. He worked with Frank Marrara, Stone’s director of construction, to pick materials for a maintenance-free exterior (see brick, vinyl and metal surfaces). To conserve energy, a heat shield made from a lightweight film developed by the U.S. space program, lies between the studs and the sheetrock, enveloping the house. During construction, Howard said, “It looked like the whole thing was wrapped in aluminum foil.” Crews paid close attention to taping seams in the heat shield, especially around outlets and ducts, and to friction-fitting rolls of insulation between the studs. “The installation of material is critical in energy design,” says architect Myatt. “Not everybody can do it. You can’t have the person who was a plumber last week do the installation this week.” Installers also taped and caulked generously around doublepaned, argon gasfilled doors and windows made by high-end manufacturer Sun. “The windows are more energy efficient than the walls,” says Howard. No-mullion glass in every portal provides unobstructed views, and triple locks on the doors mean extra security and tight seals to keep air from leaking in or out. An air lock at the front door — two sets of doors separated by a short foyer — does the same. “The crawl space is encapsulated,” says Howard. “Instead of insulating under the floor, they insulated the walls of the crawl space and put down a vapor barrier on the ground,” he says. His friend Harry Boody at Scientific Environmental Design mapped out a heating and cooling system that filters the air more than most home systems do. “It’s almost hospital-quality air,” says Howard. He estimates that all of the high-tech, energy-sipping features added 20 percent to the price tag of his new home, but it’s el-cheapo to maintain. “I’m averaging, with heating and cooling together, for the first year, $74 a month,” he says. “When the bill comes in, I look at it and smile.” He also grins at the changing vista behind his home. Spring ushers in birds and blossoms; summer brings a palette of greens, fall paints the landscape with toasty colors; and winter outlines the boughs of a distant evergreen in frost and snow. “It makes a nice Christmas scene,” he says. The home also gives him enough to-dos — up next is an outdoor fireplace — to put some plans on his horizon. “This is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time,” he says. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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w w w. r a n d y m c m a n u s d e s i g n s . c o m 74 O.Henry

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August n

By Ash Alder

Remember meeting that first giant? Being dazzled beyond words by its radiance and splendor, gasping as if you’d just entered a world alive with magic beans and singing harps and ornate birds with eggs of gold? Or perhaps you met a field of them? Smiling sun gazers. Stilt walkers among a carnival of phlox and zinnias and late summer bloomers. Nothing says August like a host of majestic sunflowers. As they follow our blazing sun across the wispy-clouded sky, these towering beauties remind us that we, too, become that which we give our attention. Listen for the soft thuds of the earliest apples. Notice the silent dance of the spiraling damselfly, wild raspberries, the star-crossed romance between milkweed and goldenrod. Queen Anne’s lace adorns roadside ditches and, in the kitchen, fresh mint and watermelon smoothies await sun-kissed children still dripping from the pool. “Can we grow our own?” they ask, eyes still aglow from the cheerful band of sunflowers they saw at a friend’s house days ago. Come spring, as they work the magic seeds into the cool soil, all the world will sing.

Good Clean Fun

Given optimal growing conditions (plenty of sun and space), the sunflower can grow up to 13 feet tall in as few as six months. And once summer and her birds have harvested the last of its seeds, consider using the head as a biodegradable scrubbing pad.

Cozy with the Crickets

Sure as the summer garden yields sweet corn and sugar snap peas, the Perseid meteor shower returns. Following the new Sturgeon moon on Aug. 11, the annual show will peak on the night of Sunday, Aug. 12, until the wee hours of Monday, Aug. 13. A thin crescent moon should make for excellent viewing conditions. Cozy up with the crickets. Believe in magic. Breathe in the intoxicating perfume of this summer night. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days — three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. — John Keats

Food for Thought

The dog days are still here. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the hottest days of summer coincide with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, beginning July 3 and ending Aug. 11. Meantime, sit beneath the shade of a favorite tree. Sink your teeth into a just-picked peach. Lose yourself in a tangle of wild blackberries. And as you watch the busy ants march along empty watermelon rinds and overripe berries, remember there is work to do. Stake the vines. Can or freeze excess of the harvest. Prepare the soil for autumn plantings: purple top turnips and Chinese cabbages; Ebenezer onions and cherry belle radishes; spider lilies and autumn crocus and greens, greens, greens. Allow yourself to enjoy it.

The luxury of all summer’s sweet sensation is to be found when one lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass, soaked with sunshine, aware of regions of blossoming clover and of a high heaven filled with the hum of innumerous bees. — Harriet E. Prescott, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1865

August creates as she slumbers, replete and satisfied.

— Joseph Wood Krutch

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August 2018



August 1–16

KIDDIE CINEMA. Carolina Kids Club continues with The Lion King, Hercules and WALL-E. Performance times vary. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

August 1–18

SHOWTIME! Starting with Godzilla and ending with Akira, the Annual Summer Film Festival winds up its 11th run. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

August 1–18

SHOWTIME! Starting with Godzilla and ending with Akira, the Annual Summer Film Festival winds up its 11th run. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

August 1–September 1

HOT DIGGITY! This is the last month to register for the Master Gardener Volunteers’ 17th Annual Guilford County Gardening Gala and Seminar

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(September 20), featuring seminars, workshops, foodtrucks and more. Guilford County Cooperative Extension, 3309 Road, Greensboro. To register: (336) 641-2400 or

August 2

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Cathryn Hankla, author of Lost Places: On Losing and Finding Home (excerpted in the April 2018 issue of this magazine). Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

August 3


ATTENTION: CULTURE VULTURES. 6 p.m. Learn about the wealth of opportunities — exhibitions, performances, classes, and then some — at Greensboro Cultural Center Open House, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2447. RAVE ON NEVERMORE. 10 p.m. Shake a leg at Pop-Up Dance Club, led by DJ Jessica Mashburn. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or



August 4 & 5

SCHOOL DAZE. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Costumed interpreters show the differences between education then and now at “Readin’, Writin’ Rithmetic. High Point Musuem, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 5

MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Tap your toes to some Piedmont-style old-time tunes from the Zinc Kings, followed by The Radials’ brand of Americana and country. Hester Park, 3906 Betula Road, Greensboro. Info:

August 6

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6:30 p.m. Meet Susanna Kearsley Monday, author of Bellewether. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 9

HERBIVOROUS HERBS 6 p.m. Meat-eating plants? You betcha. Learn more at “Fascinating Carnivorous The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Plants of the Southeastern U.S.,” led by David MacAdoo. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or

August 10

MEATHEADS. 7:30 p.m. That would be the Tenderloins, the comedy troupe behind the hit truTV show Impractical Jokers. Catch a few belly laughs at their “Cranjis McBasketball World Tour.” LJVM Coliseum, 2825 University Drive, Winston-Salem. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 10–18

PORTER PLAYHOUSE. As in William Sydney Porter, our magazine’s namesake, whose trove of short stories has inspired another round of dramatic adaptations, 5 By O.Henry. Performance days and times vary. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: Tickets:

August 11

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet poets Pam Baggett (Wild Horses) and Tsitsi Ella Jaji (Beating the Graves). Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or

August 11 &12, 25 & 26

BEATDOWN. The Blacksmith bends iron to his will on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 12

MUSEP. 6:30 p.m. Classical and pops are on order, courtesy of Greensboro Concert Band. Lindley Park, Starmount Drive at West Wendover Avenue and West Market Street, Greensboro. Info:

August 13–17

CAMPY. Water play, basketball and the creation of Earth are just a few of the things kids will [?experience?] learn at All Saints summer camp — with snacks and lunch thrown in. All Saints Episcopal Church, 4211 Wayne Road, Greensboro. To register: (336) 299-0705.

August 13

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Bill Leatherman, author of A Cup of Coffee and More, talks baseball — and more. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or

August 15

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Beth Macy (Factory Man) discusses her latest tome, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: A book purchase is included in the price of a ticket.

August 18

ALMA ’MATERS. Celelbrate that quintessential summer fruit — the noble tomato — at BLT Challenge and Tomato Celebration Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar

Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: MAKE A KILLING. Noon. Literally, at “Killing for Fun and Profit,” a lunch discussion led by Southern humorist and mystery writer Cathy Pickens and hosted by the Triad NC Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Rancho’s Restaurant, 10463 N. Main St., Archdale. To reserve: BOOK TALK. 2 p.m. Join WFDD/Scuppernong Book Club discussion of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet Ricky Garni, author of Wowed by Lard. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or

August 18 & 19

HERBANITES. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Check out the historic herb garden and learn how early European settlers used the plants for various purposes. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 19

MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Folkies and Fab Four fans will enjoy sets by Waddell and Allen, and then a Beatles cover band, Wonderwall the Tribute. Country Park, 3905 Nathanael Greene Drive (parking available in the Jaycee Park lot), Greensboro. Info:

August 22

SOUL TRAIN. 7 p.m. The Rock & Roll Express Tour chugs into town with 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul and Soul Asylum on board. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 22–26

ICE-O-METRICS. Cirque du Soleil performers keep their cool with Crystal, the company’s first-ever production combining gymnastics and ice skating. Performance times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 25

HOT DAWG! 9 a.m. Learn more about all things canine at Dog Days on the Lawn, featuring dog washing stations, rescues, dog training and vendors selling treats and toys for Fido. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet Carly Joy Miller, author of Ceremonial. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or

August 25–December 9

ONCE UPON A TIME. Contemporary artists turn to a time-honored literary genre to express contemporary angst in Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or


August 26


MUSEP. 6 p.m. Take a trip to Westworld, as Wally West Big Band strikes up some jazz music. Blandwood Mansion, 447 W. Washington St., Greensboro. Info:

August 28

BOOK TALK. 7 p.m. Join the Science Fiction Book Club for a discussion of Daniel Jose Older’s Shadowshaper. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or

August 29

INVENTIVE. 5 p.m. Learn how artists, art historians and professors think outside the box at a discussion of the book, Creative Collaboration in Art Practice, Research, and Pedagogy. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Liese O’Halloran Schwarz, author of The Possible World. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336)763-1919 or NEW TUNES. 7 p.m. It’s the official release of AnneClaire Niver’s new album, I Still Look for You, (featured in the March issue of O.Henry), along with performances by Sam Frazier and blueberry. The Crown at The Carolina Theare, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or


BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, August 2018

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Arts Calendar movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen. (Members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 5742898 or CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Chamber Players deliver sweet sounds. UNCG College of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver St., Greensboro. Tickets: Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or


READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story times: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Story time convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or PINT-SIZED GARDENERS. 3:30 p.m. Instill in your kiddies a love of gardening and edible things at Little Sprouts (ages 3 to 5 years). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or

PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen: Bruce Piephoff and Scott Sawyer (8/7); GMOS, featuring Fiddlin’ Faye Petree (8/14); Graymatter (8/21); and Crystal Bright (8/28). 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or


TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs are belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info:


TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or

Lakeview at L a k e J e a n e t t e

ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) — and featured guest artists. All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754 or www. OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or


THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($2 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or FREE FLICKS. Sunset. Grab a lawn chair and settle down to watch Spartan Cinema, a series presented by UNCG and Greensboro Downtown Parks that runs through August. This month’s movies include: Moana (8/3), Queen of Katwe (8/10), Black Panther (8/17) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (8/24). LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info:

Save the Date

Save Date the

septeMBer 28th • 6pM Dinner & Drinks CatereD By 1618 with Live MusiC

3 IbIs CIrCLe $399,900

suMMerFieLD FarMs 3203 PleasanT Ridge Road, summeRField, nC

Tranquil park like setting with sunsets over the water. 3bdr / 2.5 baths with master on main. Beautifully updated kitchen and baths, light filled open floorplan and large deck are perfect for entertaining. Other features include; den / study with built-ins, french doors, heaving moldings and hardwood flooring on main living areas. Relax and enjoy lakeside living!

Catherine Feeney Broker/REALTOR


78 O.Henry

August 2018

Bringing awareness of Ovarian Cancer through research funding and helping those going through cancer treatment

For more information visit or call 336-866-0003

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar Fridays & Saturdays

NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or


TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: DOWNWARD DOG. 9 a.m. Literally. Megan Blake teaches poses for you and Fido at Doga. High Point Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3660 or THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or GENIUS AND JAVA. 11:15 a.m. With a cup of Joe as inspiration, create that masterpiece at Coffee and Canvas, which pairs painting and sipping. Cost is $5 and includes art supplies and bean. Griffin Recreation Center, 5301 Hilltop Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732928 or email WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong

Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or

Saturdays & Sundays

KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can shake, rattle and roll with percussion instruments; while Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto:


FOOD OF LOVE. 11 a.m. Tuck into mouth-watering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of

Chef Irvin J. Williams while students from the Miles David Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grownups, too. A $5 admission, as opposed to the usual $10, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or HEEL! 4:30 p.m. Discipline your pooch with Megan Blake’s Group Dog Training, sponsored by Green Lincoln. LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info:

To add an event, email us at

by the first of the month

ONe Month prior to the event.

New England Elegance in the South

Southwyck Farm Bed & Breakfast

1070 Southwyck Farm Road • Lawsonville, NC 27022

336-593-8006 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

O.Henry 79

BedStu Gabor Think! Lior Paris Judy P Milla

Unique Shoes! Beautiful Clothes!! Artisan Jewelry!!! Shoes Sizes 6 - 11 • Clothes Sizes S - XXL

507 State Street, Greensboro NC 27405 336-275-7645 • Mon - Sat 11am - 6pm

80 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Carriage House Antiques & Home Decor 336.373.6200

Photo: Daniel Stoner

Habitat • Oh My Gauze! • Alembika • Cut Loose Prairie Cotton • Parsley and Sage • Iguana • Luukaa • Comfy USA Chalet • Grizas • Kleen • Cheyenne • Heartstring • Et Louis • Flax

Monday-Friday 10-5:30 • Saturday • 10-5 Sunday 1-5

Sizes: 1X, 2X, & 3X


Golden Gate

2214 Golden Gate Drive Greensboro, NC

Vera’s Threads Sizes: S,M, L & XL


2274 Golden Gate Drive • Golden Gate Shopping Center • Greensboro, NC Hours: M-F 11-6, Sat 11-5

Business & Services

RAy BAN | MAui JiM VeRSACe | OAkley | COStA Your eyewear provider for over 35 years, locally owned and operated

2222 Patterson St. #A | Greensboro, NC 27407 336.852.7107 | Only one block from the coliseum.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

O.Henry 81


state of the ART • north carolina

Katie Koballa, iC Travel Agent

Business & Services

336.402.3238 336.299.4164

Buyers Wanted!

Yvonne Stockard Willard Realtor™, Broker, GRI

Dead and Gone • Original Artwork Oil on Linen Canvas • 36” x 48” • $3,500

f MeridithMartens.Artist • 910.692.9448

336.509.6139 Mobile 336.217.8561 Fax

717 Green Valley Road, Suite 300 • Greensboro NC • 27408



in • golf club repair, • custom club fitting, • and we sell new and used golf clubs.

improper equipment can wreck your golf game Practicing Commercial Real Estate by the Golden Rule Bill Strickland, CCIM

kelly’s golf

Commercial Real Estate Broker/REALTOR 336.369.5974 |

2616-C Lawndale Drive • Greensboro, NC 27408

336.540.1452 • 82 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. You’ll find them only at your local kitchen specialist.

Shop LocaL for Best Prices We Service What We Sell & Offer Personal Attention 336-854-9222 •

2201 Patterson Street, Greensboro, NC (2 Blocks from the Coliseum) Mon. - Fri.: 9:30am - 5:30 pm Sat. 10 am - 2 pm • Closed Sunday


the gift of reading.

etc. Consignment • 336-659-7786

etc. Home • 336-659-0900

Monday-Saturday 9-6 690 Jonestown Rd. • Winston-Salem

Business & Services

You won’t find them in ordinary kitchens. Or at ordinary stores.


This handcrafted statue from Burkina Faso uses the ancient lost wax method of casting bronze. Fair Trade Retailer Since 1946

1564 A Highwoods Blvd Greensboro NC 27410 336-834-4606

ASHMORE RARE COinS & MEtAlS Since 1987

• 30+ years as a major dealer of Gold, Silver, and Coins • Most respected local dealer for appraising and buying Coin Collections, Gold, Silver, Diamond Jewelry and Sterling Flatware • Investment Gold, Silver, & Platinum Bullion

Visit us: or call 336-617-7537 5725 W. Friendly Ave. Ste 112 • Greensboro, NC 27410 Across the street from the entrance to Guilford College

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The way to spend your summer 1614-C West Friendly Avenue Greensboro, nC 27403 336-272-2032 MondAy-FridAy: 10:00-6:00 sAturdAy: 10:00-4:00

August 2018

O.Henry 83

shops • service • food • farms

support locally owned businesses our cuStomerS are younG and the younG at heart. they are the claSSic american beauty or thoSe lookinG for threadS that are uniquely on trend.

boutique boutique 809 Green Valley r oad Suit e 101

| 336-944-5335

T u e s - F r i • 1 1- 5 : 3 0 | saT • 1 1 -3

“I couldn’t be happier with my renters, or my rental income” Brantley White

Burkely Rental Homes client

There are times when it’s smarter to lease than to sell your home. Call me when you think you’re there! I’ll be pleased to discuss how Burkely Rental Homes can help you.

Greensboro's Locally Owned Kitchen Store since 1985

Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, NC 1-800-528-3618

84 O.Henry

August 2018


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Join the effort. Visit

shops • service • food • farms

support locally owned businesses

Furnishing stylish homes in the Triad FURNITURE, ACCESSORIES AND GIFTS. Tuesday- Saturday 10-5pm 3500 Old Battleground Rd. Suite A (336) 617-4275 •

Fresh whole food

is the secret to healthy living Call us for Dr. Oliver’s nutrition recommendations for your pet. Dr. Janine M. Oliver

1052 GrecaDe St. | GreenSbOrO, nc 27408 Conveniently located in Midtown

336.897.1505 | The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

Join the effort. Visit

O.Henry 85


Life & Home

is a beautiful day at Dirty Dogs!

LOCAL PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGEABLE INTEGRITY RESOURCEFUL ORGANIZED “It’s essential to have a local, knowledgeable professional as a resource to help you with your buying or selling needs. Please give me a call. I’d be happy to help guide you through the process.” – Michelle



• Dog Treats and Antlers • Shampoos, Conditioners and Fragrances • Dog Toys • Collars and Leashes

Our Services

• Self-Service Dog Wash • Premium Dog Wash • Grooming Introducing Heather Richardson, Pet Stylist • 336-587-0195


L E T ’ S


M O V I N G !

...turning dreams into an address REALTOR®, BROKER, MBA, ABR, CSP, GRI, CRS, SFR, CPM • ©2017 BHH Affiiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

2511 Battleground avenue, greensBoro, nC • (336) 617-7191 • Like us on Facebook Monday-Saturday 9am -7pm • Sunday 12-5pm

“Your kindness and compassion in the care of my father are so greatly appreciated. I don’t know what we would do without you. Thank you for being such a critical part of his recovery. We are so very grateful for you.” — With love, Alexandra

Quality Care, Kindness & Affordability. All While Staying at Home.

i s A l l A B o U t t h e d e tA i l s

Kathy Nevil, RN • Janet McGoldrick, RN (Owner) Angelia Cox, RN (Owner) • Cathy Propst, RN



Aug. 30 - sept. 11 Please contact me for your personal appointment.

A s h l e y s tAt o n s C o t t AgenCy leAder/stylist 3 3 6 .7 0 6 . 4 6 1 8 A s tAt o n @ w o r t h n e wy o r k . C o m

86 O.Henry

August 2018

1515 W Cornwallis Drive, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408

Phone: 336.285.9107 Fax: 336.285.9109


The Art & Soul of Greensboro


on your 1st 60 or 90 Minute Custom Massage w/any therapist Not valid with any other specials or discounts

A to Zen welcomes Brandon Harris, LMBT 336.334.0044

5 2 3 S t a te S t , Green sb oro, N C

Call Me IF you’d lIKe to Sell youR HoMe!

Life & Home

I Buy, Renovate and Sell ReSIdentIal Real eState!

Roddy aKBaRI 336.337.2402

Arts & Culture

Massage services provided by NC Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists.

November 9, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m. November 11, 2018 @ 2:00 p.m.

UNCG Auditorium (408 Tate St.) FREE Parking

Tickets: $15 - $85 (336) 272-0160

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



O.Henry 87


George Daher, Chef Jay Pierce, Christine Daher

Chef Reed, Cayce, Lynn, Reece & Ken Gordon

Community Table Chefs Teaser

Triad Local First & Double Oaks B&B

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Roxy Ulmsten, Amanda Djukie, Amy Gordon

Stephen Carter, Amy Williams

Chef James Patterson, Mary Lacklen (Project Coordinator)

Daniel & Caroline Crupi, Jonathan Emmons Charlotte Plyler, Vicky Corrington, Mary Jo Moody

Frances Lemond, Julian Glasser

Jesse Eads, Chef Jay Pierce, Chef Chris Blackburn, Chef Kris Fuller Rebekah & Donny Root

Michelle Bening, Alan Weigt

88 O.Henry

August 2018

Kristi Benedict, Blake Walters, Jill Chouinard

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene Well Spring - A Life Plan Community 25th Anniversary Reception

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Mike Pinson, David Worth Ken & Catherine Sisk

Doris Tanger

Clem Clement, Buzz O’Brien, Hayes Clement, Lou O’Brien

Ingrid Cassuto, Joan Gregory, Nancy King Judy Hagge, Alan Tutterow Bonnie McAlister, Ramona & Tom Presson Nancy Gutterman, Diane Joyner, Ruth Fitzgibbon, Jane Nutt, John Fitzgibbon

Pauline Cramer, Don & Janet Doles, Jean & Ches Singleton

Phyllis Goldman, Beth Hart, Judy Labath, Peggy Sorge, Jerri Linn Phillips, Vilma Roberts

Ann Senn, Kay Chesnutt

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Anne & Steve Fleming, Sherrill Hall

August 2018

O.Henry 89

2018 University Concert 2019 & Lecture Series Arts & Culture

Don’t miss our upcoming season, featuring artists such as Audra McDonald, Alan Alda, Herbie Hancock, Mark Morris Dance Group, and more!

© Douglas Kirkland

© Allison Michael Orenstein

For tickets and more information:

UCLS.UNCG.EDU | 336.272.0160 90 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene Greensboro Ski & Outing Club 50th Anniversary

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Richard Huffman, David Lippucci

Mary Ann & Paul Gudino

Suzanne Hill, Terry Gilbert Sheree Hyde, Linda Egerton

Beth Livingston, Jeannine DelCambre David Duff, Mark Critzer

Steve & Sue Auffinger Jordan Savariego

Van & LeAnne Duncan

Darren Smith, Maggie, David & Mitchell Freeman, Anna, Elizabeth & Will Burris

Maggie, Deedie & Mitchell Freeman

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Will & Tom Spradling

Elsie Bell, Beth Livingston

August 2018

O.Henry 91

GreenScene Gateway Gardens

Edible Community Garden

Monday, June 18, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Hanna Smith, Ryan Todd Renee Hicks, Ben Brown

T’ebony & James Rosa (organizers)

Sergeant Swarm, Paris Garrison Denise McCollough, Shirley Garner

Chad Roberts, Shirley Foster, Larry Burnett

Phil Fleischmann, Ron McMillan

Johnny Galbrath, Lee Britt, Edith McNeal Braxton Young, Justus Skeets Odell Cleveland, Alexandra Wofford, Sergeant Swarm, Sharon Hightower, Caden Crews, Nasha McCray, Paris Garrison, Ashlynd Dennis, James Rosa, Nikolai Smith, Larry Burnett, Quina Weber-Shirk

Nasha McCray, Quina Weber-Shirk

Marikay Abuzuaiter, Yvonne Johnson, Larry Burnett

92 O.Henry

August 2018

Elyse Tishuk, Haley Wilson

Kathy Cates, Karen Neill

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life is Better at the Lake 7 Blue Gill C ove lake Jeanette

4 Beds | 4 Full Baths | 1 halF Bath | 4,141 sq Ft

Live in Greensboro’s own Chetola inspired home designed by Bob Timberlake. Custom built, this home is true Craftsman in architecture with details boasting rich wood trim, seeded glass, and signature Timberlake lighting. It offers large outdoor living space perfect for entertaining in a lake setting. The great room, kitchen and master down open to the back patio and fenced yard. This home is a masterpiece with character in every room.

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687 ©2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

227 S. Elm Street Downtown Greensboro

Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:00- 7:00

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2018

O.Henry 93

Recipes fRom the old city of

Downtown Greensboro

JERUSALEM Middle Eastern food is naturally good for you. Jerusalem Market provides you with complete foods with all good nutrients, good fats, the food is natural fuel. Loaded with protein, nutrients, and vitamins, Middle Eastern food is naturally engineered for the most beneficial effect on the body.


10% OFF


“You Will Be Pleased”

310 South Elm Street • Greensboro, NC 27401 336.279.7025 | Mon-Sat 11am-9pm |

We love Dogs, and more important,


spencer’s vintage & fine consignment not your ordinary

Store, bUt a

shopping eXperience

225 SUmmit ave. • GreenSboro t U e S d ay - S at U r d ay • 1 0 a m - 6 p m

336.579.84 4 9

Specializing in doggie happiness WE OffEr: dog daycare • sleepovers grooming • webcams

705 Battleground Ave.

94 O.Henry

August 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

Cat’s-paws, Cat’s Meows and Mixed Nuts

In the height of Leo season, August brings a little bit of everything By Astrid Stellanova

August birthdays for Leo and Virgo are something special.

Even the stars will twinkle brighter! There’s a partial solar eclipse (on the 13th — so Sugar, we get to shut it all down and focus on luminous Leos. Cat Nights begin on the 17th, and may tempt witches to trade their brooms for feline claws and tails, if our Irish seers are right. But, no lie or stretch of truth, August brings National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, National Raspberry Cream Pie Day and National Girlfriends Day. If days devoted to ice cream, pie or gal-pals don’t grab you, then consider August 3 is International Beer Day . . . and Grab Some Nuts Day is conveniently the same date. Shew, Star Children, I cannot begin to tell you how many mixed nuts deserve to be roasted and canned this month. — Ad Astra, Astrid Leo (July 23—August 22) Here’s the thing, Sugar. There’s a good reason some friends just don’t mix; you can’t trust them anymore than you would trust a rooster crossed with a turkey buzzard or a goldendoodle crossed with a coyote. Things went cattywampus when two segmented parts of your life came together. To fix this situation, consider sorting out why and how this ever happened. For your birthday, someone is willing to retire a debt owed. And it isn’t about the money. Virgo (August 23—September 22) Sugar, you are the straw that stirs the drink. Ain’t nothing fun happening until you make the scene. Just looky, at how much social capital you have. Spread that stardust around to all your thirsty friends and stir something up. Libra (September 23–October 22) Your nemesis has an ego big enough to have its own ZIP code. This ticked some people off and they are ready to change sides and be your personal booster club. Keep your chin up and go high, Honey, if ever they go low. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) Don’t get all tore up. You lost something you really didn’t even want. If you can stop looking in the rearview mirror, you will find you actually like the approaching view right in front of you. Keep on keeping on, and don’t allow yourself to break down in the tow zone. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Don’t that just beat a hog playing the maracas? Here you had all the talent you ever needed to succeed at the very thing that makes your heart sing —and you questioned it forever. You have just accidentally found your way right side up. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) News that’s tougher to swallow than canned biscuits and expired Spam has got you shaken. In the next 48 hours, you learned you really are up to the challenge. It just happens to look harder than it is. This won’t bring you down. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Yep, betrayal stung and you have hollered at the moon. Sooner or later, we all get to hike up to the crest of Fool’s Hill. Now come on back down. When you do — wiser, stronger, better — ain’t nobody getting your goat again. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Whaaat? You’re due for a come-to-Jesus meeting with reality. If you think there’s a conspiracy against you, Darling, you are just plain wrong. Spend your days and nights ignoring all those conspiracy theories and focusing on your God-given talents. Aries (March 21–April 19) You feel like you were either shot out of a cannon or torpedoed by a loose cannon? Shake it off, Buttercup. Times were, this one special someone could tie you up in knots, but not anymore. You have the power . . . so take it and use it. Taurus (April 20–May 20) The last person you forgave was safely buried before you got around to letting go. Not that you are mean, but you sure do know how to hold a grudge. Resentment is a poisoned well. Stop lowering the bucket and drinking what is just plain toxic. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Look a little closer. Give it the hairy eyeball: The wheel may be turning but the rat is dead. Stop the whole business of trying to force something to work. When the path is truly clear — and it will clear soon, Honey — you will not struggle anymore. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Here’s the dilemma. You’re gonna have to burn that bridge or walk across it. That bridge. Set it on fire and you are done with all those old connections. If you walk across, you make new connections that didn’t get scorched. Free yourself, Darling. OH

For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. August 2018

O.Henry 95

O.Henry Ending

By Valerie Nieman

Gentlemen, avert your eyes from the area

beneath those lavender walls. Safer not to approach the temple of the mysteries. Just consider stories about those unfortunate Greek fellas who wandered into the precincts.

On the lower level at Belk in Friendly Center, the presiding priestess of intimate apparel is a native New Yorker, Bette Ann Fugmann. She stands under a sign for “customer service,” and here, that means more than handing over a debit card and getting “have a nice day” along with the plastic bag. Bette has been fitting women at Belk for a dozen years, leading the uninitiated through the intricacies of finding a comfortable home for the girls, one that will not pinch, ride up, slip down, bind, rub or collapse. She took me under her wing oh, five years ago. Like a lot of women of that certain age, my introduction to bra shopping had been a few shelves of white cotton models in boxes. Choices were limited. Maidenform’s advertisements offered fantasy — “I dreamed I was wanted/Venus de Milo/opening the World Series in my Maidenform bra.” Playtex, of 18 hours fame, notably crafted Neil Armstrong’s moon suit. “I was trained to fit bras and it’s been very rewarding,” Bette says, her no-nonsense voice like a stream running over gravel. “Women walk into an intimate apparel department, regardless of the store, and it’s very overwhelming. They have no idea of their size, just arbitrarily grab something and go to the dressing room.” Sounds familiar. What about that lime green number with the black lace? Bette knows better. “It’s so important to go to a retail store where there is someone certified to fit. You would be surprised what a big difference it makes, and what size you actually are.” With her short-clipped white hair, fashionable glasses and “statement” jewelry, she could be middle management, which she was. Her husband’s company transferred him to North Carolina in the mid-’70s. “In 1975, few women worked, but my mother took care of my girls,” Bette explains. “I was offered a job at Western Electric, but I didn’t want to work at the same facility as my husband.” Instead, the Hofstra graduate says she walked into a small dress shop in

96 O.Henry

August 2018

Burlington and came out with a job. That turned into ownership. Ten years later, when it looked like husband Mike would be transferred, she sold the shop, regretfully. The transfer fell through and Bette says she went back into human resources with Belk at Carolina Circle Mall, Kayser-Roth Hosiery, then Moses Cone. Downsizing brought her to Belk at Friendly Center “for a short time” that has lasted. She and Mike, parents of two daughters, still live in Alamance County, where Bette indulges her passion for movies. “Any movie, I like anything,” says the woman who was named for Bette Davis after her mother — you got it — saw a movie. Bette imparts secrets, sotto voce, as she proffers this model or that in the dressing room. “The key is getting the correct band size — it has to be very tight so you don’t come out the bottom.” And then the art of the cup size, which can vary, and the style. “Contour may not fit a middle-aged or older woman,” she explained. The flesh heads south. Thanks, gravity. “I see women I would like to go up to and say, please, come see me. I don’t do it. My daughter gets aggravated with me when I mention it to her — you just know how things should look.” Her pet peeve? Customers who ignore her advice. “If I measure you and you argue with me while we’re in the dressing room — when I am trying to tell you what is right — then I just say take what you wish. Eight out of 10 will bring it back.” The other two are probably too timid to meet the blue eyes of the bra priestess. Bette is not, it goes without saying, sold on virtual shopping. “You cannot order a bra online unless you have been fitted and you know the vendor. This generation, they like to order online, even rugs they order!” One last bit of arcana is imparted as she hands me a model the color of raspberry sherbet: “With this brand, neutrals never go on sale.” OH A graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte, Valerie Nieman teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University. In addition to publishing volumes of poetry and short fiction, she has a fourth novel appearing in 2019. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

The Fitter Down to the (under)wire

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