August O.Henry 2019

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My favorite summer read

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August 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Calling all born storytellers, shaggy dog fans and fearless yarn-spinners!

Thursday, August 15 7 to 9 pm at Red Oak Brewery in Whitsett

Join us for the first O.Henry Magazine Story Slam, an evening of great competitive improv storytelling, homegrown humor and fabulous Red Oak beer in an authentic Bavarian Lager Haus! Offer up a memorable 6-minute story about this month’s theme -- “The Summer Everything Changed” -- and you could win a cash prize and cool bling!” Tickets are $10 in advance (and includes your first beer) Competition is limited to first 10 storytellers who sign up at the door.

Brought to you by

For information and tickets visit

August 2019 FEATURES 51 Well-Versed

By Ashley Wahl A pocketful of poets and photographers reflect on summer

52 Summer

Poetry by Terri Kirby Erickson Photograph by Mallory Cash

57 Summer's Only Child

Poetry by Sarah Edwards Photograph by John Koob Gessner

58 Raisins

Poetry by Sam Barbee Photograph by Mark Wagoner

59 Any Summer Day

Poetry by Stephen E. Smith Photograph by Laura Gingerich

53 Blackberry Boogie

Poetry by Shelby Stephenson

54 The Last Day of Summer

60 Sensei & Sensibility

By Cynthia Adams The ancient art of bonsai enhances Mendy and John Kearns’ midcentury home

Poem by Anthony S. Abbott Photograph by Andrew Sherman

55 Final Concert

71 Almanac

Poetry by Fred Chappell Photograph by Tim Sayer

By Ash Alder

56 Lines to a Toad in a Rose Garden Poetry by Ruth Moose Photograph by Lynn Donovan

DEPARTMENTS 13 Simple Life By Jim Dodson

16 Short Stories 19 Doodad

By Grant Britt

21 Life’s Funny

By Maria Johnson

23 Omnivorous Reader By D.G. Martin

27 Scuppernong Bookshelf 31 Drinking with Writers By Wiley Cash

34 Life of Jane By Jane Borden

37 Food for Thought By Jane Lear 41 True South By Susan S. Kelly

43 Gate City Journal By Maria Johnson

47 Birdwatch

By Susan Campbell

48 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye

72 Arts Calendar 87 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

96 O.Henry Ending By Nancy Oakley

Photograph this page by Amy Freeman

8 O.Henry

August 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Volume 9, No. 8 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408 PUBLISHER

David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • Lauren M. Coffey, Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mallory Cash, Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, John Koob Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner

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August 2019

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Simple Life

The Reluctant Pilgrim

By Jim Dodson

Two decades

ago, on the eve of the new millennium, the acclaimed Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake was asked what single change in human behavior could make a better world.

Every tourist, he replied, should become a pilgrim. Sheldrake earned the distinction of being the “world’s most controversial scientist” because he rejected the conventional belief that nature and the universe can only be explained by scientific data. His journey from atheism to an ever-expanding spiritual awareness and eventual embrace of his Christian heritage produced several fine books on the subject along the way, but it began with his simple curiosity about the common spiritual practices of the world’s religious traditions, highlighted by pilgrimages that awakened and expanded his own evolving views of human consciousness. What Sheldrake was getting at, I think, was that a tourist travels the world in search of new experiences that provide superficial pleasure or delight, a material quest, if you will, that looks outward rather than probing inward. A pilgrim, on the other hand, travels over unknown territory with an open mind and spirit willing to face any physical obstacle that arises, stepping out of the daily routine to deepen one’s awareness of a divine presence and the journey within. Pilgrimages are as old and varied as the world’s many religions, personal journeys that mean different things to every pilgrim. Two decades ago, I took my dying father on a journey back to England and Scotland to play the golf courses where he learned to play the game as a lonely airman just before D-Day. Ours wasn’t a conventional spiritual pilgrimage, I suppose, though in retrospect I see it as something akin. For 10 days we traveled and talked about his life and mine, leaving nothing unspoken between us, ushering his long journey to a beautiful close and enriching mine in ways I’m still counting up today. A couple of years later, in the midst of an unexpected divorce, my young daughter, Maggie, and our elderly golden retriever spent an entire summer The Art & Soul of Greensboro

camping and fly-fishing our way to the fabled trout streams of the West. Like a couple of modern-day pilgrims from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales — or maybe a Hope-and-Crosby road movie — we went in search of new meaning and old rivers, lost the dog briefly in Yellowstone, blew up the truck in Oklahoma, saw soul-stirring countryside and met a host of colorful characters who made us laugh and cry, creating a bond my daughter and I share to this day. When Maggie’s little brother, Jack, asked to have his own mythic adventure, we took off the summer before 9/11 hoping to see every wonder of the Classical World. Owing to events in a suddenly unraveling planet, age-old conflicts in the Middle East, China and Africa, we only got as far as the island of Crete before turning for home. But traveling together through the ruins of a mythological world — following the footsteps of Homer and Herodotus, Marcus Aurelius and Aristotle — brought us both a deeper understanding of how we got here. Today, my son works as a documentary journalist in the Middle East, still trying to make sense of its age-old conflicts. As it happens, I wrote books about these family adventures, which in my mind perfectly fit the definition of a spiritual pilgrimage, a journey over unknown ground that mystically leaves the traveler changed for the better. Last August, my wife and I joined 30 other pilgrims from our Episcopal Church for a more traditional spiritual walk along the Via Francigena — the ancient pathway linking Canterbury to Rome. In Medieval times, Christian pilgrims traveled the long road to pay homage to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul before catching ships to the Holy Land. I’ll confess, at first I was hesitant to go — a reluctant pilgrim who prefers to walk alone — or with only one or two others on such travels. In a sense, my wife and I reversed this ancient tradition by making our first trip to the Holy Land weeks before our Tuscan walk to attend my son Jack’s wedding to a lovely Palestinian gal he met in graduate school at Columbia University. The wedding festivities lasted several nights in Old Jaffa, the ancient port town next to Tel Aviv, where legend holds that Saint Peter received his vision to take Christianity to the gentiles of the Levant. For the father of the groom, perhaps the most moving moment of this August 2019

O.Henry 13

Simple Life

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August 2019

life-changing journey came on the morning of the ceremony when my wife, daughter and her fiancé Nathanial went for a swim on the beautiful beach that links the modern city of Tel Aviv to the ancient one of Jaffa. Afterward, following Arab tradition, I walked to the Char family patriarch’s house to ask permission for his beautiful granddaughter to marry my son. Tannous, 77, smiled and gave his blessing and we shared an embrace as both familiess applauded and music broke out. An hour or so later, the wedding took place at a stunning basilica on the bluffs over the Mediterranean Sea. The rooftop celebration went on well after midnight beneath a full summer moon, prompting my own bride and me to slip away and stand on Jaffa’s famous Bridge of Wishes, where we quietly renewed our own wedding vows — for it was our wedding anniversary, too. As we walked home to bed through Jaffa’s moonlit streets, I suddenly remembered that I’d left my watch on the beach where we swam that afternoon. True, it was only an inexpensive Timex Expedition watch, one of half a dozen Expeditions I’ve owned — and lost — over the decades. But in this instance, it seemed like a metaphor for our travel through time and space. The last full day of this family pilgrimage was spent following a scholar from Hebrew University through the familiar and rarely explored corners of Old Jerusalem, whose famous public spaces — the Wailing Wall, the Via Delorosa, the Church of the Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock — were jammed with tourists throwing down money on “holy” relics and cheap souvenirs while young Israeli guards kept watch with Uzis in hand, a stunning contrast that made these famous pilgrimage sites feel oddly oppressive. It was only in the much quieter Armenian and Christian sectors of the old city, where tourists rarely venture and the churches are spectacular, airy and cool, that I found myself breathing easier and wondering why the so-called holy sites had felt anything but. An answer of sorts revealed itself weeks later when we set off on foot with our fellow pilgrims on the Via Francigena, an 80-mile walk through the stunning countryside and soulful hill towns of Tuscany. On our first day out, we walked 18 miles through lush vineyards and olive orchards — sampling ripening grapes and recently cured olives as we went — traversing a forest where the annual wild boar hunt had just begun. Owing to my dodgy knees, I volunteered to be a sweeper bringing up the rear of the group, a pattern I repeated all week. This allowed me to walk at my own pace, get to know other pilgrims who The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Simple Life took their turn bringing up the rear, and travel at my leisure, frequently by myself for hours at a time, entirely off the clock of the world and my lost Expedition watch — as our group leader Greg liked to say — off the hamster wheel of our lives. At the end of each grueling hike, I enjoyed getting to know my fellow travelers over pasta and good red wine, rowdy fellowship and swapping tales of blistered feet and the day’s ah-ha! moments. The excellent gelato cured a lot of what ailed my aching feet and muscles. For this pilgrim, however, it was the quiet hours of walking alone or with my wife that I came to savor most, following a stony trail traveled by untold thousands before us across the ages, through deep forests or over sweeping hilltops where distant villages and Medieval abbeys — our destination each day — sat like painted kingdoms in a Medici fresco. My only real concern was the fabled Tuscan heat of late summer. But after walking for two days in the heat, something rather marvelous happened. I emerged from a deep glen where I’d stopped to look at chestnut trees and wild mushrooms to find Wendy waiting for me on a rise in the stony road, just as a thunderstorm broke and a cooling rain fell. Over the hill, we came upon idle orchards and an abandoned farmhouse being reclaimed by the wild. We sheltered there for a while, soaking in the glorious rain, looking at the vacant rooms, wondering about the people who once called this beautiful ruin a home half a century ago or just last year. Unexpectedly, I found this to be the most moving moment of the entire pilgrimage, a reminder of our own brief walk through the storms of life and a changing universe. Wendy was kind enough to take a photograph of it. The rain mercifully followed us to Siena and Rome, where the skies cleared, the sun bobbed out, the heat returned and the summer tourists swarmed over the Vatican and its celebrated museums. I bailed out halfway on the official Vatican tour, feeling as oppressed by the grandeur of monumental Rome as the holy relics of Old Jerusalem, concluding I must either be a poor excuse for a Christian pilgrim or a true country mouse. Back home, I had a friend who is a gifted artist secretly paint the abandoned farmhouse, and gave it to my wife for Christmas. She loved the painting but joked that it was really for me. I couldn’t disagree, pointing out that I also gave myself a new Expedition watch for our next pilgrimage. OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



O.Henry 15

Short Stories

Legends and Lagers

Calling all raconteurs, tellers of tall tales, narrators, myth-makers, fabulists or just plain liars! Come ye one and all to the Lager Haus & Biergarten at Red Oak Brewery (6905 Konica Drive, Whitsett) on August 15 for the first-ever Story Slam presented by O.Henry and its younger sibling, O.Hey. Starting at 7 p.m. contestants — some with the help of a little Dutch courage — will deliver a 6-minute, spellbinding narrative centered around the theme “The Summer Everything Changed.” So start polishing now. Who knows? You just might walk away with some swag as a prize. To purchase tickets, please visit

The Coolest Show on Earth

Sip ’n’ See

What goes well with a looksee at fine art? Why, a craft cocktail, of course. (Cucumber gimlets, anyone?) Mixed with tasty eats, live music, artist demos and a scavenger hunt with prizes stirred in, and you’ve got Art on the Rocks. Taking place at 6:30 p.m. on August 23 at Greensboro Cultural Center (200 N. Davie Street), the party is more than just a farewell to summer, but also a fundraiser for GreenHill’s numerous, innovative and oh-so-essential educational programs. For tickets and more information: (336) 333-7460 or

Court-ly Love

Querrey, Johnson — Isner, maybe?? Not to mention vollies, lobs, lightning-fast serves — and cold cans of locally made Sunshine beverages to beat the heat. Yep. It’s back: The Winston-Salem Open (August 17–24). Held at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex (100 West 32nd Street, WinstonSalem), the Open is the last stop on a nine-tournament series leading to the U.S. Open in Forest Hills, New York. And it’s considerably more than a sporting event: The contest is also a charitable nonprofit that benefits multiple organizations, including the WinstonSalem/Forsyth County Public Schools. Tickets:

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August 2019

For 26 years, UniverSoul Circus has engaged audiences with its jovial, high-energy spectacle. You’d expect a variety of acts from around the world that are sure to produce thrills — contortionists from Guinea, skaters from Cuba, American motorcycle trick artists, Colombian high-wire artists, even a Cossack on horseback — but the unexpected is the music, ranging from classical to pop, with jazz, R&B and Latin, hip hop and gospel beats. The combination of the two is sure to bring a smile to your face and a spring in your step. Catch it August 13–18 at Greensboro Coliseum parking lot (1921 West Gate City Boulevard). Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

Buzz Feed

To bee or not to bee? Well, why wouldn’t you bee one of 10,000 people buzzing around the hive that is Kernersville’s Honeybee Festival? Still going strong since 1975, the festival will be held this year on August 17 at K’ville’s Fourth of July Park (702 West Mountain Street). Sure, there are bee-keeping demos, bee pollen-based products, but there are also food trucks, live music, a Ferris wheel, pony rides, a — woohoo! — Blacksmith demonstration (bee still our beating hearts!), and as you might expect, honey. Sweet! Info:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

The Art of Golf

By that we don’t mean perfecting your swing or your mind game. Nor are we referring to paintings of lush links, but a mini golf course consisting of nine playable holes — aka Gate City Acres — created by local artists, architects and designers, including Michael Clapp (featured in the March issue of this magazine), Sewell/Black, Rose Field, a team of creatives from Pace Communications and more. On view through August 18 at Center for Visual Artists (200 North Davie Street), the exhibit will also feature a “pro shop” with concessions — and golf-themed cartoons by O.Henry contributing editor Harry Blair. Info: (336) 333-7475 or


Love ’Trane

A love supreme, that is, especially for local jazzheads who come to anticipate the John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival. Now in its ninth year, the festival, which will be held August 31 and September 1 at High Point’s Oak Hollow Festival Park (1841 Eastchester Drive), features local and internationally known talent. The Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra and the Coltrane All-Stars, as well as the Coltrane Youth Jazz Workshop will whet your appetite for headliners that include Boney James, Brian Culberson, Nnenna Freelon, Lisa Fischer, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Michelle Coltrane, stepdaughter of the festival’s namesake who returns by popular demand. Info: Tickets: The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Normally the concert season seems to pick back up in September, but this year August is jampacked with, well, jams. As I am researching my top-five list, typically I’ll start with eight or nine contenders, but this time I had 16 legit shows I could easily recommend. But, after some soulsearching, here are the five that made the cut. • August 4, Carolina Theatre: A couple of years ago the Marshall Tucker Band played MerleFest. Truthfully, I was expecting a bunch of guys playing Marshall Tucker songs. But by set’s end I was standing, screaming for more. With Doug Gray, who’s been there since day one, on lead vocals, this is no nostalgia act — this is the real deal.

• August 6, Durham Performing Arts Center: Until the Tanger Center is completed, this is what we have to deal with: No fewer than four acts at DPAC could have been on this list. But the one I chose was Ringo Starr. Why? Because he’s Ringo Blanking Starr! • August 10, Ramkat: After the longest phoner I’ve ever had with a subject (1:35) for a story I wrote on MerleFest this year, it would be sacrilege not to send folks to see James Nash and the Waybacks. We saw them at their SRO show here last year and will, no doubt, be back for their return engagement. • August 17, Greensboro Coliseum: When my very favorite female vocalist and my all-time musical hero team up for a tour together, my world gets a whole lot brighter. Yep, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson on the same bill. Only question is, who will be the headliner? • August 31, Camp Springs Bluegrass Park: I could write a book on the wild and wacky times we had at Camp Springs during the dawning of newgrass and psycho-billy music. It has lain dormant since Carlton Haney’s death but now has been revived. And who better to lead the rebirth than the finest vocal group in all of bluegrass, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out? Ah, the memories, or what I can remember of it.

August 2019

O.Henry 17

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A Musical Walk in the Park Approaching its fourth decade, MUSEP is proof that some things get better with age





or the last four decades, a Sunday stroll in the park for Greensboro residents comes with a musical option. Conceived by former Greensboro Park and Recreation’s musical program director Barry Auman in 1979, the aptly named Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series showcases local bands in free concerts in citywide parks. Originally a 6-week program, over the years it expanded into a 12-week, summer-long, fabulously popular celebration of the season. The series features local and regional artists as well as pairing with the EMF, this year featuring the Young Artists Wind Ensemble. It also showcases the Greensboro Concert Band, who kicked off that first MUSEP in Latham Park in ’79, the Philharmonia of Greensboro and the Greensboro Big Band. The concerts are held in various venues including a new venue addition this year, White Oak Amphitheatre, which hosted the initial dual offering of the Gate City Divas and poet/daredemon/honky-tonk angel David Childers and the Serpents on June 2. Local is the name of the game, says Jennifer Hance, MUSEP’s planner since 2006 (and successor to O.Henry’s own Lynn Donovan, who succeeded Auman in 1991). “We really want to focus on musicians who are in Greensboro and surrounding areas,” she says (which is no doubt music to the ears of journeymen singers, players, bands and orchestras.) Always in touch with its audience to see what they’d like to hear, Hance says “We make sure that we’re getting bands and musicians that the community wants.” Hance has recently moved to the position of community engagement coordinator for Parks and Recreation, with a new Music Center director to be chosen next year. But no matter who’s in charge, the roving venue concept for the concerts will endure. “It’s always been that way,” Hance says. “The main reason we do that is because we have so many beautiful park facilities here in Greensboro, and we really want to highlight those different facilities and be sure that we’re reaching into all areas of our community.” Proof of that comes this month, MUSEP’s last for the season, starting with Sweet Dreams’ blues, jazz and R&B echoing through Gateway Gardens on August 4. Wally West, a staple of the series, will wrap up it up on August 25 at Blandwood Mansion with jazz from his Little Big Band. In addition to the music, Hance says MUSEP gives Greensboroians an opportunity to explore the city’s open air gardens, which she calls hidden gems, showcasing all the facilities available for them to enjoy year round. OH — Grant Britt The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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// August 2019

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All dates and opponents are subject to change.


Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) Greensboro Grasshoppers (PIT) Hagerstown Suns (WSH) Hickory Crawdads (TEX) Kannapolis Intimidators (CHW) Lakewood BlueClaws (PHI) West Virginia Power (SEA)





Asheville Tourists (COL) Augusta GreenJackets (SF) Columbia Fireflies (NYM) Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) Greenville Drive (BOS) Lexington Legends (KC) Rome Braves (ATL)

Life’s Funny

Poetry in Motion Or, the metamorphosis of a childhood dream

By Maria Johnson

WIMBLEDON — This is not what I

imagined: First, it’s not rainy. Or broiling, as it has been in Europe for the past few weeks. It’s perfect weather, which makes the day all the more astounding. I finally made it to Wimbledon, though not in the way I dreamed about, when I first started sleeping with a pro.

Pro Staff, that is. It was a Wilson wood racquet, lacquered black and white, with nylon string, candy-striped by threads of red and blue. My mom bought it at Value Village near our neighborhood pool, which had three hard-surface tennis courts tacked on. Tennis was an afterthought, but there was a decent pro and a free clinic for kids. So I went. It was the Seventies, and the great American tennis boom was, well, booming. Chris Evert was a be-ribboned, two-fisted metronome. Her boyfriend and, for a while fiancé, Jimmy Connors, wore a Buster Brown haircut, shorty shorts and swung a steely T-2000 racquet. Then there were B&B. Bjorn and Billie Jean. The slap shot Swede and the rhinestoned conquerer of Bobby Riggs. The sport also served up John McEnroe, who picked volleys out of his shoestrings, and the freshly defected Martina Navratilova, who feasted on Twinkies and — when she had her head together — top 10 players. It was a glorious time to find tennis. And that’s what it felt like — a discovery of immense importance. Here was a sport that offered personalities, drama, romance, tons of TV coverage, and most of all, for me personally, an irresistible feeling. I remember the first time I connected, really connected with a forehand. A bunch of us kids in the free clinic were lined up on the service line, starched into ready position, racquets pointing straight ahead at 12 o’clock. The pro tossed us a ball. We would take the racquet back to 6 o’clock, step and hit on the first bounce. I socked the ball into the fence. It hit the sweet spot. Sweet Jesus. The vibration traveled from ash, to arm, to all of the addictive juices an 11-year-old brain could offer. I was flat hooked. From then on, I lived on court, rubbing blisters, practicing tosses under the midday sun, and generally redirecting my neighborhood-baseball arm into a serve and volley arm. I devoured Tennis to Win, by Billie Jean King, who started playing at exactly the same age I did. If this fireman’s daughter from Long Beach, California could make it to the pros, why couldn’t I?

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I made a sign that said “Think Wimbledon.” I taped it to the ceiling above my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last star I wished on at night. Certainly, if I repeated it enough, believed it enough, envisioned it enough, I would get to the high altar of tennis Which I did, eventually. After a decent high school playing career, I hung up my racquet for 20 years until our boys were small and we joined a neighborhood swimming pool with some tennis courts tacked on. At the urging of a friend, I took a lesson with the pro. The pro put me on a club team, and that’s how the second act of my tennis life started. The sport looks so much different from this station in life. Absent the blinders of youth, and the ridiculous pressure I put myself under as a kid, I see that practice never makes perfect. At best, practice — or THE practice — of any game or craft gives you perspective to see that game itself is the teacher. And so you learn that some shots are winners and some are stinkers. That the difference between winning and losing is hitting just a few more winners. That the secret to hitting a few more winners is to let it happen. And that letting it happen means you might not get what you wanted — or you might — just not the way you thought you would. The grass is so green here. It’s mowed in vertical stripes, just like on TV. I can see so much better, in person, how the ball barely comes up off the surface. I can see the ball boys and girls running with precision, bowling the yellow felt balls to each other around the edges. They are so serious, putting themselves under such pressure. Sitting in the second row of an outer court, I can see what the American brothers, Mike and Bob Bryan, are signaling to each other en route to a Fourth of July doubles victory over a Slovakian and Ukranian pair. I can see my husband and bearded sons chuckling in awe at the heavy kaboom of Bob Bryan’s serve and the playful “you can’t touch this” short volleys of brother Mike. I can see ivy-covered walls and boxes and of purple and white petunias glowing in the mid-afternoon sun. Beyond that lies a tree line, and beyond that, out of sight, a village, and more villages, and vast, vast life. This is not at all what I imagined it would be like. It’s so much better. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at August 2019

O.Henry 21


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The Omnivorous Reader

A Tree Grows in Carolina

Two debut novels renew old Brooklyn ties

By D.G. Martin

Some North Carolina liter-

ary old-timers remember a special link between North Carolina and Brooklyn.

In 1943 Harper & Brothers published the best-seller, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of America’s most-loved novels. The North Carolina connection? Although its author, Betty Smith, based the novel on her experiences growing up in Brooklyn, she wrote the book in Chapel Hill. As a struggling divorcée with two children, she had moved to North Carolina to work at the University of North Carolina as a part of Paul Green’s writing program. The money she earned kept her going until the success of her book gave stability to her economic life. This year the literary connection between Brooklyn and North Carolina has been renewed by two debut novelists, each with connections in both places. It happened earlier this year when Smith’s publisher, now HarperCollins, released A Woman Is No Man, the debut novel of Etaf Rum. Like Smith, Rum based her novel on her life growing up in Brooklyn. Like Smith, the divorced Rum moved to North Carolina. Like Smith, she had two children. Like Smith, she found work in higher education, in Rum’s case, community colleges near where she lives in Rocky Mount. Rum’s Palestinian immigrant family and neighbors in Brooklyn in the 1990s and 2000s are not the same as Smith’s families, whose roots were in Western Europe. Still, both books deal with women’s struggles to make their way in families and communities dominated by men. The central character in the first part of Rum’s book is Isra, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl whose family forces her into marriage with an older man, Adam. He owns a deli and lives with his parents and siblings in Brooklyn. Adam and Isra move into his family’s basement. Isra becomes a virtual servant to Adam’s mother, Fareeda. She pushes the couple to have children, males who can make money and build the family’s reputation and influence. When Isra produces only four children, all girls, she is dishonored by Fareeda and by Adam, who begins to beat her regularly. Isra and Adam’s oldest daughter, Deya, becomes the central character of the second part of the book. Adam and Isra have died, and Fareeda raises their children. When Deya is a high school senior, Fareeda begins to look for a man in

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the Palestinian community for her to marry. Deya wants to go to college, but she is afraid to bolt from her family and the community’s customs. Though fiction, A Woman Is No Man is clearly autobiographical. As such, Rum explains, the book “meant challenging many long-held beliefs in my community and violating our code of silence.” “Growing up,” she writes, “there were limits to what women could do in society. Whenever I expressed a desire to step outside the prescribed path of marriage and motherhood, I was reminded over and over again: A woman is no man.” She writes that “what I hope people from both inside and outside my community see when they read this novel are the strength and resiliency of our women.” It will stir readers for other reasons, too. Its themes of conflict between a drive for individual fulfillment and the demands of community and family loyalty are universal. The author’s well-turned and beautiful writing makes reading this debut novel a pleasure. Finally, her careful, fair-minded, sympathetic descriptions of complicated and interesting characters give the story a classic richness. Whether or not A Woman Is No Man attains the beloved status of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, it will surely be a widely appreciated treasure. Another debut novel connects Brooklyn and North Carolina. This time it is a North Carolina native who moves to Brooklyn from Elizabeth City. From there, De’Shawn Charles Winslow moved to Harlem, where he wrote In West Mills, a book about African-Americans living and struggling in eastern North Carolina from roughly 1940 to 1987. There are no major white characters, and no focus on Jim Crow racism. There is almost nothing about racial conflict or the civil rights struggle. Putting these themes aside, Winslow shows his characters grappling with universal challenges that people of all races confront as they deal with the human situation. West Mills is a fictional small town in eastern North Carolina, somewhere between Elizabeth City, where the author grew up, and Ahoskie, where the main character of the novel was born and reared. That main character, Azalea Centre, or Knot, as she is called by everyone, has moved to West Mills from Ahoskie, where her father is a dentist and a bulwark of the local church. Knot, however, wants to get away from her family and make her own way. She finds a teaching job in West Mills. Knot loves 19th century English literature. That sounds good for a teacher, but she also loves cheap moonshine and bedding a variety of men. One of them, Pratt Shepherd, wants August 2019

O.Henry 23


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to marry her. But after a session of enthusiastic lovemaking, she tosses him out of her life. Soon after Pratt leaves, Knot learns she is pregnant. She does not want to end the pregnancy, but wants nothing to do with the child after its birth. To the rescue comes a dear friend, Otis Lee Loving, and his wife, Penelope, or “Pep.” They find a local couple to adopt Knot’s daughter. Only a few people in the community know that Frances, daughter of Phillip and Lady Waters, is really Knot’s birth child. Shortly after she recovers from her delivery, Knot becomes pregnant again. Otis Lee comes to the rescue once more. He finds a place for the new baby with local storeowners, Brock and Ayra Manning. They name the baby Eunice. When they grow up, Frances and Eunice, not knowing about their common origin, come to despise each other and fight for the attention of the same man. On this situation, Winslow builds a series of confrontations and complications that challenge the comfortable order of the West Mills community. Meanwhile, as time passes, the community seems immune to the racial conflicts developing in other parts of the state. In one of the book’s few mentions of racial conflict, Otis Lee hears stories in 1960 about “the young colored people in Greensboro who had organized a sit-in a couple of months earlier” and pronounced it a terrible thing. Winslow writes, “Greensboro hadn’t come to them yet. And Otis Lee hoped things would get better so that it wouldn’t have to.” Otis Lee is not only Knot’s loyal friend and rescuer, he becomes a major character. In a flashback to prohibition days he travels to New York City to rescue an older sister who is trying to pass for white. That effort fails, but his relationship with that woman provides a poignant thread that carries the book to one of its surprising endings. Gathering early praise, Charlotte Observer critic Dannye Powell wrote of In West Mills, “Within its confines lies all you need to know of human nature — its stubbornness and grit, its tenderness and devotion, its longing and its sorrow, and how the best-kept secrets will threaten to take apart the heart, chamber by chamber.” She concludes, “You’ll be hearing more about Winslow and his stunning debut novel.” You will be hearing more about Winslow and Etaf Rum. Betty Smith would be amazed and proud. OH D.G. Martin hosts North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 5p.m. on UNC-TV. The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel Tuesday at 8 p.m. To view prior programs go to http:// The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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August 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scuppernong Bookshelf


August brings some entertaining reads about writing, language and believe it or not, punctuation

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

While it might seem obvious to say,

the simple fact is often overlooked: Poems are made up of words, syllables, symbols. The raw material of highminded, emotionally charged, life-changing poetry is the humble letter and its disrespected companion punctuation. Below you’ll find a compendium of recently published or soon-to-be published books on words, language and letters. Some of them are more useful — and more readable — than your average book of poems.

Take this gem of prose style: Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, by Benjamin Dreyer (Random House, $25. 2019). Dreyer, among other things, is the copy chief at Random House and has been the editor for books by Michael Chabon, Shirley Jackson, Michael Pollan, Elizabeth Strout and dozens more of our favorite writers. Much funnier than most poems, Dreyer’s English gives example after example of how to use language and how to avoid misuses of language. But really the entire book is an example of effective, engaging prose style. Mary Norris continues her love affair with the roots of language with Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen (W.W. Norton, $25.95. 2019). Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris’ solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’ memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine — and more than a few Greek men — Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own. Coming soon: August 6: In Other Words: An Illustrated Miscellany of the World’s Most Intriguing Words and Phrases, by Christopher Moore (Bloomsbury, $18). Ever racked your brain for a word you’re convinced should exist, yet is inexplicably absent from the dictionary? All languages have their limitations — should The Art & Soul of Greensboro

English fall short, the expression may lie elsewhere. That’s where this book comes in: a quirky, international lexicon of linguistic gems that captures (lexicon is the subject, right?) cultural untranslatables with satisfying precision. August 13: And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks, by Lawrence Weschler (FSG, $28). Whatever else neurologist Oliver Sacks was addressing, language and communication were at the center of his concern. Weschler sets Sacks’ brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks’ capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. Here is the definitive portrait of Sacks as our preeminent romantic scientist, a self-described “clinical ontologist” whose entire practice revolved around the single fundamental question he effectively asked each of his patients: How are you? Which is to say, How do you be? August 13: First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing . . . and Life, by Joe Moran (Penguin, $17). The sentence is the common ground where every writer walks. A good sentence can be written (and read) by anyone if we simply give it the gift of our time, and it is as close as most of us will get to making something truly beautiful. Using minimal technical terms and sources ranging from the Bible and Shakespeare to George Orwell and Maggie Nelson, as well as scientific studies of what can best fire the reader’s mind, author Joe Moran shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling and alive. August 13: Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English, by Gyles Brandreth (Atria, $26). In this brilliantly funny and accessible guide to proper punctuation and so much more, Gyles Brandreth explores the linguistic horrors of our times, tells us what we’ve been doing wrong and shows us how, in the future, we can get it right every time. Covering everything from dangling participles to transitive verbs, from age-old conundrums like “lay” vs. “lie,” to the confounding influences of social media on our everyday language, Have You Eaten Grandma? is an endlessly useful and entertaining resource for all. OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. August 2019

O.Henry 27

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Summer Daze


When being outdoors was a terrifying adventure

By Clyde Edgerton

It was a hot summer


day. 1951. In my memories of my seventh year, all summer days were hot ones, calling for me to go outside and get into them. There was no air conditioning yet in any home in our neighborhood, so there were no cool, enticing places except by a creek in the woods. You wouldn’t be caught dead inside a house — even looking at the little Emerson black and white TV. You couldn’t pull up a Minecraft adventure, or a video game, or a YouTube on that little machine. Life was outside.

Don Mitchell and Norris Campbell were on their bikes out in the yard. Did I want to go see a dead snake? Of course I did. We were off, down the dirt road we lived on — on our bicycles — a right turn into the Goodwins’ driveway, which kept going behind their house, straight ahead on through the church graveyard, onto school grounds, by the ballfield, and on to a less familiar place down behind the school. They were in the lead, we were pedaling right along. My Roy Rogers bike (Roy was a cowboy movie star back then) had a saddlebag like a horse and a small molded head of Roy’s horse, Trigger, between the handle bars. (Bumping along on my bike, I could never have dreamed nor been persuaded that Roy Rogers would one day be unknown to most anyone alive.) Don veered slightly to the left around a large, ground- level square of cement; Norris veered right. I saw no reason to avoid it — it was about the size of a room. I didn’t notice that a deep ditch filled with growing green grass was around the perimeter of the cement. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The bike’s front wheel dropped into the ditch, the bike stopped, I kept going, my hands out in front of me. When I gained some sense of where I was, I was sitting on the cement, staring at my right hand. Where the thumb connects to the hand looked like no thumb joint I’d ever seen; the thumb was off at an angle, and a bone was pushing up from somewhere, but not breaking through the skin; it looked absurdly irregular. I screamed and started crying loudly. I have a vague sense that Don and Norris were with me all the way home, one of them pushing my bike. My next clear memory is of my mother staring at my hand, asking me to sit on the front steps of our house, while she goes into the neighborhood to find a car so she can take me to the emergency room. My father is at work with our car. And next comes Teresa . . . oh gosh, last name escapes me. Teresa stands before me. She’s my age. “What happened?” she asks. “I think I broke my thumb,” I say, between sobs. I’m crying from fear as much as from pain — my thumb is deformed. Teresa reaches out and gently takes my arm, turns it so she can get a good look. She announces: “They might have to take it off.” Those words seared me — are still seared into my memory. I tell the story above because it’s a story. And because it happened in my childhood — outdoors. These days, I drive through neighborhoods and I often see no children out of doors on bikes. Maybe I’m in the wrong neighborhood. Maybe I’m in the wrong town. Maybe I’m in the wrong century. A careful parent, or a glazed-eyed teenager, might say, “You don’t get hurt when you stay inside.” Yes, you do. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. August 2019

O.Henry 29

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August 2019


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinks with Writers

Southern Holy Smoke Matthew Register’s quick rise from roadside to barbecue fame

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

For Garland, North Carolina, native

Matthew Register, it all started with a dream, a dream of teaching his three young children how to cook barbecue.

“In eastern North Carolina, you’re always around barbecue,” he tells me on a warm July day. The two of us are sipping pale ales from Foothills Brewing on the back deck of his family’s vacation home in Kure Beach. “Soon I realized that I could stand outside and drink beer and listen to music and nobody would bother me if I was cooking. And then I read John Shelton Reed’s book Holy Smoke, and it changed me. I began experimenting with recipes and giving barbecue away. People started calling and asking if I’d make barbecue for their family reunions.” Once the people of eastern North Carolina, a place so steeped in barbecue history and culture that it has its own style of barbecue, came calling, Matthew and his wife, Jessica, knew they were on to something. They opened a roadside stand and sold barbecue sandwiches for $5. They wanted to sell 30 on the first day; they sold 150 instead. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“We couldn’t believe it,” he says. “It all happened so fast.” And then the Sampson County Health Department got involved. “I have a really good relationship with the health department now, but back then they made pretty clear that I couldn’t be selling sandwiches on the side of the road.” Matthew and Jessica began the search for a spot to open a small restaurant, and a former fish market seemed like the perfect place. In April 2014, Southern Smoke opened in downtown Garland, and the dream of teaching his children about barbecue exploded into something Matthew never could have imagined. Since then he has appeared on The Today Show. He has been featured in magazines and spoken at conferences around the country. And, in May, Register released his first cookbook, Southern Smoke: Barbecue, Traditions, and Treasured Recipes Reimagined for Today. Even after all those hallmarks of success — a thriving restaurant, national acclaim and a cookbook — Matthew, as he writes in the book’s introduction, “didn’t set out to become a chef. In fact, even once cooking all day was my full-time job, I was uncomfortable with the title.” I ask him if he has grown more comfortable with being considered a chef in recent years. “A little,” he says. “When I think of the word chef, I think, that’s what Keith Rhodes is. That’s what Dean Neff is. That’s what Ashley Christensen August 2019

O.Henry 31

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is. I’m slowly growing more comfortable with it.” He takes a sip of his beer and looks at his book, where it sits on the table between us. “But now I’ve got this cookbook, and I’m dealing with those same feelings when people call me author.” Make no mistake: Matthew Register can cook barbecue, but he can also write about it. While there are plenty of wonderful recipes in Southern Smoke, there are also the stories behind them. For example, the recipe for Smoked Chicken Quarters with Papa Nipper’s Church Sauce tells the story of Jessica’s grandfather, Jimmy Nipper, a man who “spent much of his youth shoveling hardwood coals into pits night after night, cooking whole hogs.” While he went on to join the North Carolina highway patrol, Jimmy continued to cook for fundraisers and church functions. One of my favorite recipes is for Saltine Cracker Fried Oysters, which features a secret passed down from his great-grandmother Grace Jarmen Hart. The recipe also features instructions for making his grandmother Dorothy Hart’s tartar sauce with Duke’s mayonnaise, to which Matthew dedicates a short essay that argues for Duke’s being the best mayonnaise around. Don’t use it? “That’s a shame,” writes Matthew. I ask him about the stories and historical information that accompany the recipes, and he tells me it was important both to honor his family as well as the diverse backgrounds of the people who have contributed to Southern cuisine. “With Southern food, there may be five The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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different wives’ tales about a dish, but you still don’t know where the food came from. A lot of people don’t understand how important West African food and culture are to Southern cuisine and vegetables like okra, for example. Our barbecue style is from the West Indies. A lot of our cuisine came from other parts of the world. But this is our story. This is what we are.” Aside from writing the recipes, I ask him about the experience of making a cookbook. “We shot the photographs for the whole cookbook in four days,” he says, his forehead breaking out in sweat at the mere memory of it. “It was late July, early August, 100 degrees. We made 16 to 18 dishes a day. We just cranked out food.” Perhaps that is what Matthew is best at: cranking out food that is personal, consistent, and brimming with history. “We opened Southern Smoke and had a long line on the first day, and the line hasn’t stopped,” he says. Later, after telling Matthew and his family goodbye, I notice a plaque hanging just outside the front door. It reads, “Be careful with your dreams. They may come true.” Matthew Register should have been more careful. OH Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2019

O.Henry 33

Life of Jane

Fun with Moby Dick and Jane

By Jane Borden

Think Moby Dick is overly long,

unnecessarily complicated and tedious enough to make readers question the existence of God? Congratulations! You may as well be an academic (print your own Ph.D.), because not only are you right, but that was also (mostly) the author’s intent. This is in part why fans of the novel are rabid. Rather than regarding its laborious nature as something to be endured on the way to enjoyment, they see the hardship as part of the point. Every supernerd longs to be part of a secret meta club, the more winking and clever, the better. This is how, back in the early 2010s, a handful of ubersupernerds came to create a board game based on Moby Dick — a game as intentionally long, complicated and tedious as its source material. And because this is exactly the kind of literary humor my husband, Nathan, adores, he donated to the game’s Kickstarter page, which means that once the instrument of torture, I mean, game, was finally produced, we received a copy in the mail. “Cool,” I said. Then I opened the instruction booklet and discovered it is 10 full pages — including a page of (small-text!) glossary terms. Before you can learn the rules of the game, you must adopt a lexicon? Hard pass. The game sat on a shelf for more than a year because Nathan had no one to play it with. Finally, almost two years later, in the summer of 2015, when we rented a house in Joshua Tree with two other couples, Nathan saw his chance. There

34 O.Henry

August 2019

would be ample time to pass, others in our group were avid readers and I would literally be trapped in the desert. He packed “Moby Dick or, the card game”— of course, it has a referential title — in his suitcase. Almost immediately after we arrived at the Airbnb, Nathan suggested we play. Our friends were intrigued. But then, in spite of the fact that he is employed as a teacher, it took him 20 minutes to explain the rules to our friends. I do not blame him. I do not blame our friends. And so we embarked on a great adventure that would test our strength and rattle the very scaffolds of our souls, and from which we would emerge forever changed. Which is to say, it was annoying. Since Moby Dick is ultimately a story about revenge, then you can call me Ishmael, because the tale I’m about to relay is one of a person wishing a fate worse than death on the creators of this game. Sure, this essay is a little unfair, because I am not the target market for this game. In fact, I have never even read Moby Dick. But I have been stranded on a plane and had to sleep at an airport hotel and then wake up to take a train to rent a car, which got stuck in the snow — and I’m guessing that’s more or less the same experience. If you are like my husband, go and buy this game. It will scratch your highbrow itches. If you are like me, Yahhhrrr, beware the depths of confusion and futility into which ye will hurtle headfirst, not unlike the sailor, in the beginning of the novel, who, while retrieving oil from a hunted whale, falls into the carcass of said whale, which then sinks into the sea. In other words, kiss your night goodbye. You may wonder how I know that plot detail if I haven’t read the book. Ah, you’re a close reader! I scoured a plot breakdown of the novel on the Internet in order to execute the following compare-and-contrast between the novel and the experience of playing a game based on the novel, with the intention of saving you from ever having to play it yourself. Now, let’s ship out. • While writing Moby Dick, Melville invented several words by taking existing words and changing them slightly. While we were playing the game, The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Or not so much

Life of Jane

my friend Susanna challenged Nathan several times, “Are you just making up these rules?”

• As the book does, playing this game will also force you to question the existence of God, because how could a just and loving creator put you through this?

• The book is one digression after another. It’s a story about a whale hunt until, for dozens of pages, it’s instead a reference text detailing the process of hunting whales and extracting their oil. No, it’s about imperialism. Or, wait . . . boats? This is how you’ll feel while playing the game. Once you figure it out, it will change and you must learn new rules that force you to adopt new worldviews — which, come to think of it, sounds like imperialism, so that’s an interesting layer, but still, Nathan, are you making up these rules?!?

• Or perhaps it is judgment meted. Melville named his sea captain after this Bible verse: “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:33). While playing the game, you will ask yourself: What did I do to anger God?

• In the book, Ahab’s ship, the Pequod, couples — or gams — with nine other ships. Each meeting is a kind of parable. The repetitiveness of the game is also a series of parables, each one telling you to get a life. • While sailing toward the equator, the Pequod experiences a typhoon. Lightning strikes the mast and disorients the compass. There will come a time when you will also feel completely lost. • After taking what they want from hunted animals, the crew leaves behind the whale carcasses for sharks to consume, sometimes without even untying them from the ship. While playing, you will envy the whales. • Throughout the novel, Melville alludes to or references the Bible, Shakespeare, Homer, and various other literary, religious and cultural sources. The game also borrows elements: from card games, dice games, role-playing games, and, when you’ve reached your breaking point, Russian Roulette.

We didn’t sit down to dinner until 10:30 p.m. It had taken four hours for us to reach the last “chapter,” after which we could finally fight the great white whale, Moby Dick. Who won? No one! That’s the point. Everyone loses. The game is a metaphor and, as such, was never actually intended to be fun. I went to bed around midnight. Have I mentioned yet that I was very pregnant? When I waked at 6 a.m. the following morning due to a series of singleengine planes buzzing past my window on account of a meetup of the local recreational pilots’ club, I thought about something Nathan said the night before. Scholarship tends to agree that Moby Dick is a criticism of transcendentalism and, specifically, an argument against the transcendental tenet of self-reliance. Ahab is a caricature of extreme self-reliance. Lying in bed, I certainly did not feel in control. The planes would only continue, like the incessant and inescapable waves of a typhoon on open seas. I dressed myself and entered the living room. Everyone else was also awake, having reached similar conclusions. It was the perfect morning to play “Moby Dick or, the card game.” OH Jane Borden is a Greensboro native, who now lives in Los Angeles, where she is still playing that last round of “Moby Dick or, the card game.” Please send help.

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O.Henry 35

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Food for Throught

Plum Crazy America’s sudden passion for heirloom fruits and vegetables means glorious varieties like Santa Rosa and Mirabelle plums are widely available By Jane Lear

One of my earliest food memories


is of a high-walled garden somewhere along the Cape Fear. It belonged to friends of my parents, and while they sipped long cool drinks in the shade of a venerable live oak, I was allowed to explore and eat pretty much anything I could find. Blueberries, raspberries, the pears reached by shinnying up a knotted rope to a convenient branch. Figs, plump and sweet with ultra-delicate skins.

And there were wonderful plums. I found their thin, taut red skins and gold flesh mesmerizing. Their rich aroma and full-on sweet-tart flavor were a revelation, and their texture — well, after my mother tried one, it was the first time I heard the word “lush.” Those beauts were worlds apart from the characterless supermarket plums that are so common today. For ages, I thought those plums I enjoyed as an 8-year-old couldn’t possibly have been as magical as I remembered. Until, that is, about 15 years ago on a visit to northern California, when I first bit into a plum from Frog Hollow Farm. The cultivar was ‘Santa Rosa,’ I discovered, and I felt as though I’d found a long-lost friend. Santa Rosa has a grand American history. It was bred in 1906 by the celebrated horticulturalist Luther Burbank (1849–1926) at his plant research center. Named for its birthplace, the plum is arguably his crowning achievement. It’s no surprise that our family friends, both enthusiastic home orchardists, would have gotten their hands on some trees. The tight skin of a perfectly ripe Santa Rosa pops when you bite into it, and when devouring the flesh (“lush” is exactly what it is), it’s best if you’re leaning

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

over the kitchen sink. I have this image of the modernist poet William Carlos Williams doing so, whisking his tie out of the way at the last second, before turning guilt into art in “This is Just To Say”: “I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox / and which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast. / Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold.” Any high school English teacher will tell you that this much-anthologized poem, written in 1934, can have a number of different meanings, including temptation and the triumph of the physical over the spiritual. But it’s also a great example of how to offer a non-apologizing apology after inconveniencing a loved one. The subsequent parodies (the first, by Williams himself) continued for decades and indeed have been given new life as a meme on Twitter: “I have closed / the tabs / that were in / the browser / and which / you were probably / saving / to read / Forgive me / they hogged memory / and were / so old,” wrote stvnrlly@stvnrlly. Happily, America’s increasing passion for heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables means a wider array of interesting plum varieties is available, including Santa Rosa and the small ‘Mirabelle,’ which is yellow blushed with crimson and intensely sweet. (In France, it’s used to make plum eau-de-vie.) Keep your eyes open, and if you see juicy looking tree-ripened plums for sale anywhere, snap them up. The Williamses and their icebox aside, plums won’t continue to ripen if chilled. Keep them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight instead. If you must refrigerate them (they’re a magnet for fruit flies), don’t wash the ripe fruit beforehand, and bring to room temperature before eating. Another tip? Never cluster or stack plums or any stone fruit — that leads to uneven ripening or bruising. So spread out your bounty onto a platter instead of piling it into a bowl. Whenever I see promising plums, I always buy too many, because I can’t decide what to do with them. A galette is always appealing, as is an upsidedown cake. But I often take the path of least resistance and roast them, a August 2019

O.Henry 37

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Food for Throught technique I picked up from cookbook author and all-around culinary goddess Georgeanne Brennan. She roasts her stone fruit in a wood-fired outdoor oven, but a regular old oven works fine too, even though it isn’t nearly as romantic. And her trick of serving the roasted fruit with crème fraîche worked into fresh ricotta is a keeper: The thickened cream gives the fluffy, uncomplicated ricotta a nutty sweetness, a little tang, and voluptuous body. I love the rich, faintly spicy flavor of roasted plums all by themselves, but you could easily use peaches or a combination of stone fruits — plums and nectarines, say. And you could substitute a dollop of mascarpone or softly whipped heavy cream for the creamy ricotta. Roasted plums are versatile. They swing homey or haute, and are ideal if you aren’t a baker or need a gluten-free dessert, because there is no crust or crumble topping involved. They cook quietly all by themselves and make the kitchen smell heavenly. And, if you are fortunate, there will be a spoonful or two left for tomorrow morning. Then again, you could just eat your plums out of hand, leaning over the kitchen sink.


Roasted Plums with Creamy Ricotta and Honey

1 cup fresh ricotta About 1/4 cup crème fraîche A dash of pure vanilla extract Sugar 6 to 8 plums, depending on size, or a mixture of plums and nectarines and/or peaches Extra-virgin olive oil Honey, for drizzling 1. Preheat the oven to 475º. Stir together the ricotta, crème fraîche, vanilla and about 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste, in a bowl. Pop that into the fridge until ready to use. 2. Cut the plums from stem end to bottom, first down one side, then the other. Gently twist the halves together; if they separate from the pit easily, that means they are freestone. Otherwise, they’re clingstone, so cut the flesh away from the pit in largish wedges. Put the plums in a shallow baking dish just large enough to fit them in 1 layer. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil and turn them a few times to coat. Generously sprinkle with sugar and turn once or twice more. Roast until the plums have just collapsed and are tender and just caramelized enough, about 20 minutes. 3. Serve the plums in small bowls with the creamy ricotta and honey, for drizzling, on the side. OH

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O.Henry 39

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True South

Climbing the Ladder Summer jobs are the bottom rung

By Susan S. Kelly

It’s August. How’s that summer job


going for your prodigal son and daughter? You know, the fancy-pants NYC internship that you’re heavily subsidizing. Or are your offspring going to one day say accusingly, as mine have, “Why didn’t you make me get an internship?”

The short answer is that we were clueless, and, more accurately, didn’t know anyone higher up the career-boosting food chain. Your father and I just figured everyone had the same kind of summer jobs we did, i.e., menial. Because the true purpose of summer jobs is to show you what you don’t want to be when you grow up. My husband: delivering Cokes from a flatbed truck all over Fayetteville in 100-degree heat; me, hustling quahog jewelry and fake scrimshaw in a tourist joint on Nantucket, where I was hired solely on the basis of my built-in “pleases” and “ma’ams.” Ergo, my children had glam jobs as caddies, counselors, ground trash collectors at apartment complexes (think candy wrappers and condoms; they came home with bloody knuckles from working the parking lot), and as stockroom employees packaging bolts of fabric in a warehouse for UPS pickup. Still, everyone should have to work in what’s known as the “service industry” at some time in their life: retail clerk, waitress, lifeguard, etc. If you know an adult who’s a jerk, I bet he/she never had to wait tables or take orders as a teenager. And if you have a college grad on the professional prowl, whatever you do, guide him or her away from the three jobs that nobody, nobody in their sane mind, wants: minister, head of a private school, and the manager of a country club. Constituents — congregations, parents and members — of those occupations believe themselves entitled. In other words, they own you. And I have proof, with the following true-to-life examples.


My aunt and uncle’s son, William, went away to boarding school. Before Thanksgiving had even arrived, the headmaster called my aunt to say that William just wasn’t going to cut it. He couldn’t conform to the rules, couldn’t toe the various lines, and William was just going to have to come home. My aunt wasn’t fazed. “Oh no, he is not,” she informed the headmaster. “I sent a perfectly good child to you in September. Whatever’s happened since then is your fault, and you’re going to keep him.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Country Club Manager

Frank was an incorrigible charmer who basically lived at the country club. In the dining room, on the golf course, in the card room, but mostly in the bar. Your classic handsome bad boy, who was also drunk, demanding, misbehaving and embarrassing. One morning when the club manager found Frank sleeping under a table in the bar, glasses and cigarettes strewn around him, he called Frank’s mother. “Mrs. Simpson,” he said politely, “your son has become a real problem. I’m going to have to ask you to do something about his behavior at the club.” There was a pause over the line. “And you, sir,” Mrs. Simpson replied, “serve very ordinary chicken salad.”


My great-uncle Bill in Walnut Cove had a dog he loved better than life, named John G. But John G kept getting into Lou Petrie’s garden. Lou told Bill that if John G got into his garden one more time, he was going to shoot him. Bill paid no attention. One Sunday in church, where my grandmother played the organ, word got ‘round the congregation that John G had gotten into the garden again and Lou Petrie had flat-out shot him. Church stopped then and there, and everyone went to the Petries’ where, sure enough, John G was lying dead between the tomato vines. The minister’s wife dropped to her knees beside the lifeless animal. “Do not worry,” she said. “I’ll bring John G back to life,” and praying loudly, began massaging his bloody body. My grandmother looked on, horrified, then headed straight for the house, and the telephone. She dialed the operator and put in a long-distance call to the bishop of the North Carolina Diocese of the Episcopal Church on a Sunday morning. “Bishop,” she said, “you have a minister’s wife down here trying to raise a dog from the dead. What are you going to do about it?” My advice? Steer clear of a career that involves dues, tuition or tithing. OH Susan S. Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and a proud grandmother. August 2019

O.Henry 41

IT’S ALL IN THE details.

photos by Barbour Spangle Design


constr uction

42 O.Henry


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Gate City Journal

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

While most journalists struggle, Sally Nagappan has found a niche By Maria Johnson

Like most writers, Sally


Nagappan is curious. She asks a lot of questions, and sometimes the answers light a fire in her — a passion for truth that passes through who-what-when-where-and-how.

In other words, she’s a journalist. Two years ago, Sally, now a rising fifth grader at Irving Park Elementary School, started a neighborhood newsletter called A Better World: Fisher Park Kids News. The first issue — printed on a single sheet of paper, front and back, in full color — came about after Sally and her mom, Sarah Jordan, stopped to talk to a neighbor who’s a teacher. The conversation turned to immigration. Sally, whose paternal grandparents came to the United States from India in 1970, jumped into the frontyard discussion about modern-day newcomers. “We decided we should write about this, and so we did,” says Sally, with 11-year-old matter-of-factness. Sally and her neighbor teamed up to create the first newsletter. In the lead editorial, labeled “Sally’s Opinion,” the fledgling scribe supported legal immigration. “I think maybe they should have documents,” Sally wrote. But she challenged readers to have compassion for refugees and illegal immigrants. “How do you think it would feel if you had to leave your country because it was dangerous or you needed a better job but you were undocumented?” she asked. With fifth-grade simplicity, she summed up a complicated issue that stymies older, supposedly wiser heads. In neighborhood news, she investigated water that was flooding the streets around her house. She found out the city had hired a contractor to flush out water pipes that had not been cleaned in 60 years. “Look at all this wasted water! But really they were flushing the pipes,” she wrote under photos of the repairs in progress. In lighter news, she included a short feature about Halloween. “There was a zombie wandering the streets. He chased people but he wouldn’t hurt them because he was a nice zombie,” she reported. “It was tiring toward the end but all in all it was fun.” Sally and her neighbor assembled the paper. Sally drafted her dad, Suresh, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

to print them on his office printer and help with distribution of the first issue in November 2017. “I was the paperboy,” he says. After that, the bulletin became a family enterprise. Sally’s dad, who wrote for his high school newspaper near East Lansing, Michigan, lent Sally his cell phone to take photographs. He helped her lay out the newsletter on a laptop. Together they walked door-to-door, delivering the sheet to people living on Isabel, Hendrix and Olive streets in the northeast quadrant of historic Fisher Park. The second issue appeared in March 2018 — “I tried to make it monthly, but it was too much,” Sally says — and she settled into the current format: a question-and-answer session with someone in the community, plus an editorial and a photo feature. Her interviewees have included Officer R.C. Dixon of the SCALE (School- Community Alternative Learning Environment) School in Greensboro; Rabbi Andy Koren of Temple Emanuel; her grandmother, Saku Nagappan; Rev. David Fraccaro, executive director of FaithAction International House; Greensboro fire chief Bobby Nugent; Holocaust survivor Hank Brodt; and, most recently, Sally’s great-great-uncle Victor Troutman, who was a Marine in the Pacific theater in World War II. With help from her father, Sally picks subjects whose views are sometimes neglected. “They don’t get their voices heard a lot,” she says. Maybe because she’s so young, Sally has a way of bringing out her subjects’ vulnerabilities. Officer Dixon confessed to her that sometimes police are just as scared to speak to people as people are to speak to them. Sally doesn’t hesitate to ask tough questions. “Is a wall really that bad?” she asked FaithAction’s Fraccaro on the subject of adding more wall along the southern border of the United States. “We think there are smarter ways and more affordable ways to monitor the border,” replied Fraccaro. The reason Sally likes to interview older people, she says, is to document their experiences while there’s time. “It’s now or never,” she says candidly. Suresh Nagappan says the project reflects his daughter’s determination. “I’ve always appreciated Sally’s work ethic,” he says. “She dives in and sticks to it.” Her ability to ferret out subtleties and yet understand the big picture makes her a good journalist, he adds. August 2019

O.Henry 43

Gate City Journal

“I think she does a great job of not reducing people to a job or activity or event in their life.” So far, through eight issues, readers have responded favorably. Sally’s across-the-street neighbor, Marianne Gingher, a professor of English and comparative literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, sends notes of support regularly. “I like getting fan mail from her,” Sally says. She perches on a comfortable chair in the lobby of her editorial office, also known as the living room of the family’s bungalow. “I’ve lived in this house all my life,” Sally says, tugging at the sleeve of her cardigan. When she’s not churning out copy, she explains, she likes to swim for fun and play violin and ukulele. She enjoys crafting with beads. A few feet away, her brother Will, who’s 8, wiggles on a couch between his parents. “My dad wants Sally to ask me to write an opinion piece about school lockdowns,” says Will. The look on Sally’s face says she’s heard this story idea before, and she’s not sold on it. “Maybe the next issue,” she offers. Will presses. He brings up her refusal to run a free ad for the leaf-raking business he operates with a buddy. “I don’t want to do advertising,” she says cleanly. The kid is a born editor. But she nixes her current gig as a career. She’d rather be a doctor, like both of her parents are, or maybe help immigrants by working at FaithAction, she says. Still, her stint in journalism is teaching her a few things. No. 1, it’s not easy work, she says. It takes a lot of planning to conduct interviews and put together an interesting paper, especially when your news hole has doubled from two to four pages. Also, she’s found out, being a reporter introduces you to all kinds of people, including people you don’t agree with. In Sally’s opinion, that’s not a bad practice. “It makes me a better person to listen and learn,” she says. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She wants to be like Sally Nagappan

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August 2019

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Going Native

Be kind to our feathered friends by gardening with local plant species By Susan Campbell

During these dog days

of summer, if you are looking for a reason to shirk tasks such as weeding or abandoning your attempts to grow the perfect lawn (not to mention spending less time watering), I may have some good news for you! More and more folks are abandoning conventional landscaping to take advantage of local plants — from towering trees right down to ground-hugging grasses, even mosses in order to produce patches of native habitat. And this is very good news for our birds and our pollinators — actually an invaluable turn of events for literally scores of wildlife species.

Anyone who has been a backyard gardener will probably give you more than one argument for shunning vast lawns and alien ornamental plantings. The list is endless: pest problems, irrigation, expensive fertilizers, dangerous herbicides and pesticides, plus the cost and pollution from gasoperated trimmers and mowers. Using local species is not only likely to result in better success but it provides a “sense of place.”

But the real and lasting bonus to embracing native landscaping has a more global reach. It restores vestiges of original ecosystems — so much of which were lost as a result of agriculture, forestry and other land use changes since the Industrial Revolution. All of those small patches of habitat being created represent a new hope for bees, birds, reptiles, amphibians and even mammals that have been displaced over the decades. Relatively few large tracts of land are available for preservation these days: Our best hope for the future literally lies in each and every one of our own backyards. Dare I begin with exotics? Sadly, many have escaped and turned into an invasive species nightmare. Water hyacinth smother ponds. Rapacious Japanese wisteria or rampant Japanese honeysuckle gobbles up trees and shrubs. Popular privet hedges and the Bradford pears crowd out native species. Worse yet, the drought-tolerant nandina, whose berries are loaded with cyanide, can actually kill birds, including cedar waxwing, American robin, Northern mockingbird and Eastern bluebird. Buy local and get good local advice on native species. Better yet, visit the N.C. Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill where you can see native flora growing during the course of the entire year. For a good online source, type “NCSU Native Plant Resources” into Google to get expert advice by region. Finally, should you reside in a community with restrictions on landscaping that may make this sort of yard challenging, I would suggest looking into National Wildlife Federation’s backyard certification program by typing “nwf certified wildlife habitat” into Google. With hope, an official designation as well as the signage that goes with it, your project will be justified and understood as beneficial by the powers-that-be. OH Susan would love to hear from you. Send wildlife sightings and photos to

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2019

O.Henry 47

Wandering Billy

News You Can Chews Eatin’ up all that the local scene has to offer

By Billy Eye

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ” ― Ronald Reagan

Downtown Greensboro has something it

hasn’t had since the 1970s, a real, honest-to-goodness, bona fide candy store. Gate City Candy Company is owned by Dan Weatherington, who tells me this sweet spot in the 500 block of South Elm has been a lifelong ambition. “I’ve been wanting to open a candy store since I was a little kid,” he says.

There’s a section reserved for Opal’s peanut brittle, frosted pecans and sponge candies. “It’s made right here in Greensboro,” she says. Opal once worked at Cone Mills she says, and the guy who’s making the candy now got the recipe straight from Opal. “He’d been doing it on the side and turned it into a full-time business,” Weatherington explains. Homemade fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels and nuggets come from Nancy’s Candy Company in Meadows of Danville, Virginia, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. “As soon as we can get things worked out we’re going to produce our own fudgen but all of the chocolates will still come from Nancy’s,” Dan says. This place is your childhood on display — Pez, Pop Rocks, Smarties, Ring Pops, Jelly Bellys, M&Ms in colors I’ve never seen before including black. They also sell soda pop, a rainbow of Nehis and even bacon-flavored, carbonated sodas. Then there’s my favorite, sour cherry candies, just like the kind I used to buy by the pound at the center city’s original confectionary located in a nook that was eventually repurposed as the entrance to Churchill’s, next to White and Wood.


Looking for a distinctively distinguished Sunday brunch experience? A few weekends ago filmmaker Maurice Hicks and I shared a terrific noontime meal, accompanied by a Jazz trio, at the historic Magnolia House downtown on Gorrell Street. Several issues back, O.Henry magazine published a feature by Grant Britt about this lovely home. It’s the place listed in the famous Green Book where

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African-American performers stayed from the 1950s into the 1960s when playing gigs in our city. Count Basie, Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, Joe Tex, and a plethora of legendary performers crossed this threshold back in what we euphemistically refer to as “the day.” It’s a limited brunch menu, but if you’re fortunate enough to find Burgundy Beef Tips over Creamy Grits on the menu, are you in for a treat. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a meal more, and the elegant surroundings doubles the pleasure. I also recommend you take a few moments to get acquainted with the neighborhood around Magnolia House, dotted as it is with some of the finest homes in the city dating back to the turn of the last century, when Greensboro’s toniest families took up residence there. Book reservations online at


For some time I’ve been meaning to check out A Special Blend coffeehouse on West Market, adjacent to The Art Shop where I spent a great deal of lucre back when I was a working artist. I finally got the opportunity, albeit under unusual circumstances. I was playing a small part in a film scene that took place there, directed by local horror-meister Jaysen Buterin. Also in the scene was Thomas Marvin of the “Jared & Katie in the Morning” show on WKZL. Someone must have told Thomas that the slower an actor delivers his lines, the more screen time he’ll get, but I’m not sure that advice applies when you’re playing a homeless person. A Special Blend stands apart not only for its fair-trade, organic, Arabica brews served alongside locally sourced pastries and sandwiches, but also because they employ folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities, enhancing their ability to lead more productive and meaningful lives. It’s a very friendly place. Next time you find yourself contemplating a trip to Starbucks maybe you’ll want to give this enterprise an opportunity to caffeinate your day instead.


In keeping with the poetic theme of this issue, here’s a bit of doggerel of my own. See if you can spot all of the Greensboro references both past and present. 22-year old Bobby was a hot-blooded lad; Living in the basement of a Fisher Park pad. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy A simple abode, Glascock stove and a toaster; Over his bed hung an old Joe Camel poster. Awakening at noon, shaking off crumbs from crackers; Bobby pulls Cowboy Cuts up, then bangs on his Clackers.

Financial planning for life’s milestones…

Last night’s Wildflower Witbier left his head in a hurt; Sliding into Gold Toes, he dons a Ralph Lauren shirt. A Vicks inhaler jars him awake, On the counter a Made-Rite sandwich awaits. A note left by mother has a special request, eh? “Pick up Liver Pudding down at Bestway.”

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Bobby downs an Orange Crush, then lights up a Kent; With a David Oreck candle to cover the scent. Searching around for the keys to his car, He finds them in a box labeled El Moro cigar. Revving up his sleek, Jeep Wrangler, he’s out on a tear; A hint of Mother Murphy’s butterscotch sweetening the air.

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Approaching the boulevard, picking up speed; He thinks,“Stamey’s hush puppies are what I need.” Blows past a Thomas Built with the stop sign displayed; (One town over is where that school bus was made.) Distracted by a HondaJet streaking the sky; A dangerous situation escapes Bobby’s eye. A Volvo semi is jackknifing ahead; A collision ensues, now Bobby is dead. A horrible sight, no Bill Magnum scene; Or anything you’d encounter in this magazine. TV cameras arrive because 2 Wants to Know; Breathless reports ensue on The Good Morning Show. Two mangled vehicles, naught left but to pray; D. H. Griffin and Mack Trucks hauling the wreckage away. Sadly, Bobby’s lack of attention and pursuit of frivolity; Led yesterday to the canceling his Pilot Life policy.

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O.Henry 49


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2019 Summer Reading Issue


A pocketful of poets & photographers reflect on summer


sk a poet to show you a glimpse of summer and they will not give you words on a page. “OK,” they will tell you, tying a silk cloth over your eyes, and then they will take your hand, guide you to the end of the sidewalk, where you will leave your shoes. The earth feels wet and cool beneath your feet, each step like a distant memory, and the more you trust the ground beneath you, the more you will notice that everything is alive. Whether or not you’ve been here before, or think you have, there is something foreign within the familiar, and the possibility of discovery ignites you. Just beyond a swollen creek, where chorus frogs shriek in the wake of an August rain, something will demand your attention — a fragrance, perhaps. Or filtered light flickering across your face and skin. Or the sense of nearby movement. You will know when it arrives, and when it does, it will draw you closer to the source. Before the cloth slips down below your eyes, you will feel a shift in the air. And then you will see it: a moss-laced grove, a golden field, the garden of a lover who still haunts you. The poet who led you here is gone, and in the midst of this enchanted dreamscape, you have unearthed something within yourself, a pain or a delight — an awakening that cannot be reversed. This is the beauty of poetry. Sweet or bitter, subtle or Earth-shaking, whatever truth has been revealed reminds you of the exquisite cauldron of human emotions that you might stumble upon at any instant. For our annual August Reading Issue, we invited a number of our favorite poets (including two Poet Laureates) to take us somewhere special with their words, matching them with a gifted photographer to illustrate their vision. In this dreamy, golden season dripping with raw honey and memory, each moment is ripe with surprises. You’ll see. You can leave your shoes behind. You need only be open to discovery. — Ashley Wahl


Bee-stung, stringy-haired girl with a belly-full of grape Kool-Aid, banana popsicles, and watermelon seeds too small to spit out — you are born again every summer into the body of a woman you never met and wouldn’t speak to if you had, with a mother who drove don’t talk to strangers into your head like a roofing nail. I can feel you rising up in me come June, like a cornstalk pushing through hard ground. Because of you, I want to climb every tall tree like a bear cub, find a hot metal slide and scoot down it, sticky and squealing. I want dirt on my heels, sugar on my tongue. So I eat cake for breakfast, go barefoot to get the morning mail.

— Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson’s work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, The Sun, Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. She is the recipient of the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. Photograph b y Mallory Cash Mallory Cash is a Wilmington-based editorial and portrait photographer whose work has appeared in the Knoxville Museum of Art, multiple regional and national publications and galleries in Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Blackberry Boogie

Ripe, texture’s like the underside of a mule’s chin, Or the boldness of July, the Slave Girl’s freedom pin Drawing us back, beginning, a hard knot, Or mini pincushion set in a finch’s breast, Bent into a bush in August, Among briars, scratchy as thoughts Of red bugs I would always get And pick off with a needle dipped in alcohol-sweat I scraped around my ankles, sometimes In my groin, little dots like paprika Mama Sprinkled over fried chicken to brown it. The plump berries I loved best, like coal bits Polished for show in a heritage museum. My coffee-tin would thud, at first, then rage With brimful promise Mama’s pie-crust Would turn the Home Comfort Range to lust. Luscious is the world to mine, For she would never lose a one to wine, Or let forgetfulness sour to pudding In place of blackberry pie, a fitting Substitute. There just is not one, And that black, purplish juice? What fun I always felt, since I was her baby, Scraping and licking the plate — king at her table.

— Shelby Stephenson

A member of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, Shelby Stephenson was the eighth North Carolina Poet Laureate and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Last Day of Summer

On the last day of summer the sun sank slowly through the roiling clouds into the surface of the lake. It was evening, and for a moment while the sun lay between clouds and water the whole lake shone like burnished gold. Afterwards, he stood on the dock and watched the small brown leaves on the path to the house and thought how soon the path itself would be leaves. He thought of the goldfish, buried for the winter in the covered pond and how glad he had been to see them in the spring, uncovered at Easter, safe for another year. Now, his body bare, he glided into the smooth lake and felt the warmth in his limbs for the final time. In the morning they would leave and when they came back another year perhaps the quiet place where he had stood and watched the orange sun come from under the cloud and sink into the water would be changed and he and the summer would be gone forever.

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— Anthony S. Abbott

August 2019

Anthony S. Abbott, the winner of the 2015 North Carolina Award for Literature, is the author of seven books of poetry, two novels and four volumes of literary criticism. Photograph by Andrew Sherman Andrew Sherman is a freelance photographer with an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design who specializes in architecture, food, and lifestyle portraits.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Final Concert

Within a sweltering twilight, the omen of autumn: as when an orchestra sounds a pianissimo chord in low register, absorbed more than heard, or heard only in expectancy, our senses poised, awaiting the downstroke, our breathing not yet unison, the tremulous quiver of wing as moth settles to leaf, the sigh of laurel leaf as it receives the moth: And now the music begins, adagio, sultry, immersive as sunset, the Festival surrendering to nighttime its sweet season.

— Fred Chappell

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 1997– 2000, Fred Chappell has written more than 30 volumes of poetry and prose, and has been awarded the Bollingen Prize, the T.S. Eliot Award the Thomas Wolfe Prize. Photograph by Tim Sayer Based in Southern Pines, Tim Sayer has been documenting the lives and businesses of clients throughout the East Coast for the past 10 years, providing high-end portraiture and innovative wedding photography. August 2019

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Lines to a Toad in a Rose Garden You’re all eyes,

even on the back of your head and warty as a road. Brown as the ground below your leap beneath roses. Roses red as song, pink as a whistle, yellow as whiskey and white as wishes. The air is all roses breathing, their petals open to God and glory and whatever good comes winging this day. But Toad is bugging. He’s good at his job; fast and careful. On time and off, he sees upward, past roses to his calling and takes it all in Toad’s time.

— Ruth Moose

Ruth Moose recently published Going to Graceland with St. Andrews Press and is compiling her sixth collection of poetry to be named Amarylli. Photograph by Lynn Donovan After a successful career in arts management, Greensboro native Lynn Donovan turned her photographer’s lens to nature, travel, arts and entertainment.

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Summer’s Only Child One of one at home, my dolls and I play dress-up games alone.

One of ten with cousins on the farm for two too-short August weeks, we play Simon, Rover, Hide and Seek. They make fun of my city clothes, but I know where I hang my summer overalls to race around the barn, be first to prime the pump spill frothy water, fill the metal cup that’s hung there, all alone for years, like me, so happy when it shares. At milking time, we only need one spoon to skim the cream, then wipe moustaches on our sleeves. I sleep with cousin Joyce. We tell stories about ghosts — so real we hear them creeping up the stairs. Then giggling, safe, barely awake, we wait for sun to rise behind the rooster weathervane. I wish the cocky rooster in the yard were quiet like the vane, would quit his crow that lets me know it’s time to wear my city clothes again, go home to one of one, instead of one of ten.

— Sarah Edwards

A retired member of the clergy of the United Church of Christ and a regular contributor to PineStraw, Sarah Edwards has published two volumes of poetry. Photograph by John Koob Gessner Trained in New York City and based in Southern Pines, John Koob Gessner is an innovative photographer who captures images ranging from musicians to architecture. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Raisins -- for E.L.P

Having ground up their final juices of tenderness, I forgot that all flavor fades: that decent delight is portioned by good fortune, or those special folks. After my grandfather, who re-wrote the Bible, surrendered his last fistful of raisins to the black and white goats, I learned to endure without easy sweetness. During our last summer, we re-tarred the coop, burned out wasps. Between pitchers of sun-brewed tea, he explained dragonflies and why roses need each thorn. Late afternoons, a hewn oak handle churned rock salt into chocolate.

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Sickness drained him away. I accept the fact he drank heavy, and that it killed him. I lost his New Testament notes, but salvaged the bifocals from his desk and have protected them all these years. I refuse to misplace the imprint of the calloused palm that helped me straddle the cedar rail of the pasture fence when we counted wrens fluttering through threads of sunset under low sourwood branches while the goats butted and danced in his vineyard’s last light.

— Sam Barbee

from That Rain We Needed (Press 53)

Sam Barbee’s poems have appeared in Poetry South, The NC Literary Review, Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina. Photograph by Mark Wagoner Mark Wagoner is a Greensboro advertising and editorial photographer with more than 40 years of experience working for many of America’s Fortune 500 Companies, producing over 100 magazine covers. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Any Summer Day

One summer day forty-five years ago, my five-year-old son and I walked down the detergent aisle in the A&P, the shelves stacked high with Cheer and Joy, and he squeezed my hand and asked, “Daddy, why are we here?” Today I sit in my car at a railroad crossing as a freight train rumbles through town, each boxcar adorned with swirls of paint, words I can’t interpret, codes I can’t decipher, when there appears a simple query sprayed yellow on an empty coal-car: “Where are we going?” Those are the essential questions, aren’t they? The first asked by a child who’s lived more than half a century and who’s now wiser than I, the other posed by a soul who believes our lives have an inevitable destination. The crossing gates rise skyward, the red lights cease flashing, and all I can offer is uncertainty. The last freight car rocks southward: here we are, there we go.

— Stephen E. Smith

Stephen E. Smith is the author of seven books of poetry and prose, the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry. Photograph by Laura Gingerich Laura Gingerich is a freelance photographer known for capturing the moment. When Laura’s not on assignment she shares her passion for photography leading workshops near and far. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sensei & Sensibility

The ancient art of bonsai enhances Mendy and John Kearns’ midcentury home By Cynthia Adams • Photographs by Amy Freeman


ach home tells a story. It becomes the repository of past and present struggle and triumph, which is certainly the case of the High Point home of John and Mendy Kearns. In their case, their home is filled with unique expressions, both artifact and the organic. The Kearns’ modern and eclectic home features a most unique interior drawn from three generations of family art history and heirlooms. And then there is the unexpected — a living art form, bonsai, deepening and enriching their inner lives and exterior living areas. Their private residence, surrounded by woods and landscaped grounds, is a sanctuary from the wider world, a space where the people and things they value most are closely kept. The Kearns home has a modern vibe but dates to 1968. It is handsomely oriented to the back gardens and pool. Coursing behind the house, a small creek winds through landscaped grounds punctuated by Japanese maples that are redolent of bonsai. And, of course, inside the garden wall are a wide variety of potted bonsai almost everywhere you look. The house belonged to NASCAR-owner Bill Davis before them, says Mendy. It is a pleasant, spacious house, oriented to the private yard with extensive windows off the living room.It is also a living laboratory for John’s passion for the ancient art of bonsai. Mendy and their two daughters adore the classic pool, which hugs the lines of the midcentury modern home. John adores, and is obsessed The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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with, the scores of bonsai surrounding the pool. The Kearns’ residence speaks to honoring traditions — one they inherited and others imported from the Far East. As a descendant of the Kearns family, owners of a once bustling High Point factory, John is steeped in history and a reverence for place. “My great-grandfather had a hosiery mill, called O.E. Kearns & Sons, on Hamilton Street.” (O.E. was his abbreviated name, Oscar Eugene, says John.) According to the City of High Point’s textiles archives, it was among five significant manufacturers: “Between 1910 and 1920, many well-remembered mills were started: Amos, Melrose, Crown, Triangle and O.E. Kearns. By 1923, High Point boasted 26 textile plants including 14 hosiery mills, and 42 percent of the revenue generated by city industries came from textiles. By 1940, there were two cotton mills, two silk mills, and 27 hosiery mills.” The High Point Museum maintains examples of Kearns-made white cotton socks with a classic cuff in its collections. The former mill, which closed in 1963, later housed Hamilton Fabrics, which John’s father, Tom Johnston Kearns, Jr., opened in 1978. His father died in 2018, active in the business until the end. Now John is the second-generation family member to head Hamilton Fabrics. John earned an associate’s degree at Lees-McCrae College before entering N.C. State to study horticulture and greenhouse operations. He finished his degree in December 1983 just as his father’s partner had quit. He sent inquiries to nursery businesses. “But it was dead of winter and they responded ‘try us again in April.’”

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John’s father suggested he consider the fabric business. “He said, if it worked fine, if not fine. I discovered the joy of the textiles business too.” Before John knew it, he had a sample case and a sales territory. “I love the textiles industry; I found the joy in it,” he reflects. John says while he made textiles his vocation, he found a niche that allowed him to remain in the natural world. It was bonsai, which he had discovered when a boy on the cusp of adulthood. Bonsai took on greater meaning once he accepted a position in the family business, one requiring time indoors and frequent travel. Bonsai was how he decompressed from an over-stimulated world. “It’s my therapy,” says John. “Some people play golf; I tried golf when I was little, and all it did was get me frustrated.” Bonsai, on the other hand, was something one controlled. It is singularly Asian. The Western mind seeks immediate gratification. Bonsai is not that; it is the very opposite. The cultivation of bonsai required exquisite patience and dedication, exemplified by Mr. Miyagi and his young mentee Daniel in The Karate Kid: “Think only tree,” he says. “Nothing else in the whole world, only tree.” The art of bonsai becomes a study in self-awareness. And while there are many devotees, it is hardly mainstream in America. “There are what they call, ‘finish bonsai,’ on the market,” says John. But buying such a tree is expensive, and drains the joy out of it, he says. “Creating your own tree, watching it grow through the process of training,” is the joy of the experience. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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From mid-February to spring, he devotes five to seven hours weekly to his craft. But during summertime, it’s a daily endeavor with frequent watering. In times of intense heat, the roots would dry and wither otherwise. “Daily,” he stresses. His young daughters Maggie and Liza are sometimes involved in the watering. Maggie once had her own bonsai tree. However, Liza rolls her eyes at the very suggestion of becoming more involved. “No. Way.” John laughs. As he became a devotee of bonsai he gradually acquired “every book in print on bonsai, probably 75.” He attends bonsai shows and seminars in and out of state. An Arkansas expert comes each February to give John a hand with the more labor-intensive aspects of bonsai maintenance. The expert is so knowledgeable, “I probably learn more from him than anything. He used to be head of production at Brussel’s Bonsai in Memphis.” When he returned to his Arkansas roots, he began offering himself to support other enthusiasts. A tradition began, where the two men work together and prepare the bonsai for warmer months. An annual Chicago-based bonsai show during August is attended by a couple of thousand, says John. He also occasionally attends a Winston-Salem club, and says it is “kind of like a car swap meet. You can take a tree and find out what is happening if you have a problem. Or learn more about what works for one plant versus another when it comes to pruning and watering.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Mendy quickly says, “I really don’t know much about it,” yet manages to convey with a smile that perhaps she does. Mendy is a Certified Public Accountant and vice president. Like John, she works in the family business at Hamilton Fabrics. “I have three coats made from Hamilton Fabrics I wear to markets,” says Mendy. The on-trend coats and skirts were custom- created by a seamstress in High Point to showcase some of their most interesting and au courant products. It worked, says Mendy. “They are eye-catching.” Everything in the living room is covered in Hamilton Fabrics, she adds. “The antiquities are mostly from John’s family.” However, some of the living room artwork was painted by her mother and grandmother. In the kitchen there’s a colorful display of art created by Maggie and Liza. The antiques throughout their main living areas have been in the family for several generations, says John with quiet pride. His great-great grandfather began a furniture company called High Point Mantel and Table, actually in the same block as the family’s now defunct hosiery mill. “They made fireplace mantels, kitchen tables and desks.” The family own pieces from his great-grandfather’s furniture company, including a library-style table and other table and chairs. A walnut freight desk in the living room once held bills of lading for outgoing freight in the warehouse of his grandfather’s hosiery mill. “When I was a kid, it was all beat up,” John says, remembering when it was still in the factory. A functional piece, the joints are intricately joined and August 2019

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dovetailed — no glue. “They kept the paperwork for freight shipments here,” he explains. John’s father had the standing desk refinished. It is such a great piece, he kept it in his bedroom and later passed it along to John and Mendy. The oldest piece in the family’s possession dates back to the colonies. “This chest came over on the Mayflower,” says John, indicating a simple pine chest in front of the den sofa. “On the family tree (above the sitting room mantel) is an ancestor who was a passenger on the Mayflower. The chest was theirs.” Someone, he laments, had “painted it Pepto-Bismol pink; I had it stripped down.” His father helped develop the family’s ancestral tree, plotting the genealogical histories. It was he who established the provenance of the Mayflower chest. In the living room John points out a game table with remarkable, somewhat formal design, intended for chess or checkers, “that has been in the family for generations.” He moves into the dining room, stopping at a mint-condition, wood-encased radio that still works. “It’s been a while since I plugged it in, but this radio was in my great aunt’s house in Charlotte.” (She also left John another treasure and even greater rarity; a camel saddle.) The library-style glass-front cabinet the radio rests upon was once used in the family hosiery mill and dates to the turn of the 20th century by John’s estimate. Yet Liza, who is watching as her father gives a tour, “would probably paint it,” John accuses, and gives her an affectionate grin. “I ask her what she would do if she inherited all this stuff? She hates old brown furniture.” He watches

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closely for a reaction. Liza good-naturedly shrugs. Exiting the kitchen, with a brief nod to the camel saddle which looks much like a quirky stool, John returns to his other favorite topic: the great outdoors. “My parents were both avid gardeners. I grew up in the garden,” he says. He marvels. “You could order a bonsai for $9.99,” he says, standing before a wired bonsai in his collection, which he estimates is 40 years old. “I pointed out a bonsai, and said ‘I want one of these.’” John was only 13 years old at the time. “It lived about two weeks, but died, and I kept the container and put another tree in . . . it lived maybe four weeks and it died.” John persevered. “I finally got the hang of it. One [bonsai] led to a picnic table full of maybe 12–14. By this time, I was probably 17.” Instead of focusing upon girls or cars, he was admittedly obsessed with care and cultivation of miniature, manicured trees. Then John laughs again. “I liked cars too,” he corrects. “I drive a big Suburban, but it’s more for work, filled with (fabric) sample cases.” After marriage, he and Mendy acquired a house and a greenhouse, where John tended a steadily growing bonsai collection numbering more than 150 trees. The house, one of unique design by Norman Zimmerman, with extensive gardens including a waterfall and koi pond, was unsuited for children. “It wasn’t working for the girls.” The young couple stuck a for-sale sign out “and sold it the next day.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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There was no choice but to whittle his collection down. After the family decamped to a High Point condo, John had to sell all but five of his beloved trees. “It was fun, but I was ready for a break from it.” But he had not left bonsai behind. “I kept all my tools.” John says, “It was a full-time job keeping the bonsai trimmed and sprayed . . . I travel a lot, too, and then came home and spent time in the greenhouse Saturday and Sunday. Maggie, my oldest, had her own tree.” Most of John’s bonsai are outdoor varieties that he can over-winter in his garage. Only two are tropicals. One is a Brazilian rain tree that winters indoor, one of only two that he brings inside as temperatures plunge. The other is from the Beautyberry family, native to exotic, warmer climates. John points out hardier bonsai varieties, including flowering quince, crepe myrtle, and a zelkova. Then John only touches briefly upon the true price of his passion; of what bonsai requires. Bonsai is a jealous mistress of his free hours. “It’s ideal for retirees, someone with time on their hands,” sighs John. It is an ongoing process. “I had a propagation bed where I’d grow cuttings 15 years ago. I gave a friend a small boxwood bonsai. It turned out really nice. When he sold the house, he allowed me to dig it up and replant it.” Now, John maintains seedlings in a training area. Seedlings of Trident maples will be separated later for a better presentation. If he finds a contorted “reject” tree at a garden center, he buys it. Bonsai does not strive for straight lines but artfully gnarled and twisted profiles. “You do not want perfect and straight.” There is the perpetual hunt. In a display area is a “grove” of Beech trees John collected in the woods four years ago, as well as a Sweet Gum he found.

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“I kept them separate containers to let them get established then put them together in a ‘forest’ planting this spring.” Each year “you have to repot, root prune and maintenance prune. It’s very maintenance intensive. You can skip it maybe one year, but if you don’t do it, they get root bound.” The work requires a fixed routine beyond merely repotting: “Rake the roots off and put them into fresh pots.” The branches are also wired to follow a beautiful pattern suggesting traditional bonsai. He uses copper wire on the branches to achieve that signature look. “This gives them movement,” he says. As winter approaches, John loads the bonsai individually onto separate rolling carts and moves the fragile trees under cover in the garage. He rolls them out to water. Among his collection is a 40-year-old Trident maple from a Mississippi collector. He acquired it from his Arkansas bonsai source. Yet one of the oldest in John’s present collection is an Elaeagnus, remaining from his bonsai-intensive house. “The lone survivor,” he says. “Native to China. It is an evergreen. It’s probably 50 years old.” He had to cut away some of the bark and decay, a mark of bonsai’s transcendence over perfection. John grows quiet. “It is a beauty.” He is aware his collection is unusual. “It is art,” John says. “That’s what it is.” OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

An Ancient Art

In late Spring, High Point resident Todd Nabors traveled to Japan where he saw rare and ancient bonsai. By Asian standards, ancient means trees that are centuries old. He learned firsthand that bonsai holds profound significance in the East. Bonsai is “deeply-rooted in the Shinto reverence of nature and the Buddhist belief in wabi sabi,” Nabors says, and it remains a revered and protected interest. “Armed guards don’t allow photos of the oldest and most valuable bonsai, which range in age from 300–1000 years.” Nabors adds he was affected by a visit to a Japanese museum dedicated to bonsai. “When I visited the Shunkaen bonsai museum outside of Tokyo in May, I marveled at the serene atmosphere, complete with armed guards charged with the protection of these dwarf trees, many of which are regarded as national treasures,” Nabors recalls. “Our genteel guide quietly showed us rows of majestic pines and deciduous trees, some of which are multiple hundreds of years old. All of these little trees, displayed in glazed pots, are lovingly moved, rotated and watered three times a day. Once the charge of priests and scholars, bonsai are imbued with deep meaning.” The art of bonsai typified the Japanese aesthetic for Nabors, who has traveled extensively. “Intended to inspire, gnarled trunks contrast with delicate buds and blooms, bringing to mind trees in nature, made more beautiful by the travails of unrelenting winds, rain, cold and heat. To a lover of patina, bonsai as an example of the Japanese concept of the imperfect as beautiful rings true. The aesthetic of bonsai appeals but the deeper significance lies in the perseverance required to maintain these little metaphors of natural beauty.” — C.A.

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1738 Battleground Ave • Irving Park Plaza Shopping Center • Greensboro, NC • (336) 273-3566

Be your own kind of beautiful ...

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1804 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, NC 27408 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) • 336.763.7908 Mon. - Fri. 11:00am - 5:30pm • Sat. 11:00am - 4:00pm

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


By Ash Alder

“Every apple orchard is haunted,” a friend recently offered. “Have you ever noticed? All of them. Day or night.” I considered the statement, the labyrinths of gnarled trees echoing with distant thuds of falling fruit, autumn’s electric whisper . . . “I could see that,” I replied. And yet, having never experienced an orchard in August, when the skin of the earliest apples turns from yellow to green, green to red, the flesh inside from green to white, I wouldn’t know for sure. Could only speculate that the ripening of such autumnal offerings in the sweltering heat of late summer is some kind of omen. Yes, summer is here. Yet the tangles of wild blackberries will vanish in an instant. There is movement in the periphery. Always. Perhaps there is something haunting about that.

Flower Mandala

In August, when roadside ditches brim with late summer wildflowers — sweet pea and yarrow and swamp milkweed — pull over. If you travel with water and a makeshift vase for occasions such as this, handpick a small arrangement for an instant boost in spirit. And if you’re feeling inspired, dream bigger. Last year, an hour before sunset, a gardener friend and I met at a favorite climbing tree by a nearby lake to design a flower mandala for the simple joy of creation. I brought a modest handful of black-eyed Susans, some amethyst, a single sunflower. She brought a garden: purple clover, coleus, woolflower, Queen Anne’s lace, fern, walnut, sycamore leaves, and at least a handful of miscellaneous beauties rich in color and texture. Ancient tools for meditation, mandalas are believed to represent the cosmos, radial designs that guide the creator toward a sense of inner harmony and the essence of his or her own soul. Ours led us to a space of absolute wonder, and as the final fireflies of summer began dancing among the boughs of our beloved tree, we noticed a small group of passersby that had quietly gathered to enjoy our nature installation — two spirals joined by an unbroken thread of leaves and petals. We are all so intricately connected. When you follow the simple callings of your heart, no telling how you will color the world.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Bring on the Magic

Among our late summer bloomers: bee balm, a showy yet rugged perennial that blossoms red, pink or lavender. Also called horsemint, Oswego tea and bergamot, its fragrant leaves add notes of citrus and spice to any garden. What’s best? Hummers, bees and butterflies find the flower simply irresistible. A member of the mint family, bee balm grows best (and spreads!) in full sun. Add its colorful flowers to your summer salad, dry its leaves for tea, and above all, know that your balm is a sweet, tasty tonic for a band of local pollinators.

It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man. — Henry David Thoreau

Spoonful of Sugar Water

A friend recently shared with me a Newsroom 24 article from 2018 that states that without bees, we wouldn’t be alive. “If bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, says David Attenborough, voice of The Blue Planet and Planet Earth, humans would have just four years to live. He suggests leaving a teaspoon of sugar water in your garden to help energy-depleted bees make it back to the hive. “Simply mix two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach,” says Attenborough. In so many words: Save the bees, save humanity.

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. — Sam Keen

The Night Sky

This year, our beloved Perseid meteor shower occurs just two days before the full Sturgeon Moon, creating less than optimal viewing conditions for the annual display of up to 90 shooting stars per hour. That said, just before dawn on Tuesday, Aug. 13, the moon will set, gifting us with an hour of darkness — a blessed chance to catch a glimpse of the magic. OH August 2019

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August 2019

Jambalaya Jam

Big Top

Popcorn Time







August 1

August 1–September 29

August 3 & 4

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Timothy and Brendan McNulty, authors of The Meanest Man in Congress: Jack Brooks and the Making of an American Century. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

WARP AND WEFT. Catch Interwoven: Natural and Illusory Textiles. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770

H2O HO! HO! 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Get a splash from the past with early American water sports at “Fun With Water.” Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

DEAD AGAIN. 9:30 p.m. Celebrate Jerry Garcia’s birthday with Grateful Dead tribute band, Uncle John’s Bone Family. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

August 1–16 FAB FLICKS. From Elvis in Blue Hawaii to James Stewart in Vertigo, a variety of movies are yours to choose from at the Summer Film Fest. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

August 1–18 SHAPE UP! Last chance to see Double-Edged: Geometric Abstraction Then and Now. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770

August 1–September 15 PROFS’ PIECES. The works of local art professors are on view at 2019 UNCG Faculty Biennial. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770

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August 1–October 20 THE HUMAN LEAGUE. Get a leg up at Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or

August 2 JAMBALAYA JAM. 5:3 9 p.m. Aka First Friday Dinner, featuring the Louisiana delicacy along with another, beignets. Chez Genèse, 616 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad. GEE WIZ! 6 p.m. Meaning, wizards — and witches, too. Billed as an evening of “mystery, mayhem and magic” join the fun for Spellbound. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. To register:

August 3 NUTRITION FOR NONAGENARIANS. 10 a.m. And centenarians, and octogenerians or anyone getting up there in years at “Eating Healthy for Aging Adults.” Free and open to the public. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: ticketmetriad.

August 4 MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Sweet Dreams dishes up some Blues and R&B followed by Latin beats from West End Mambo. Gateway Gardens, 2924 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Info: STRAINS OF MARSHALL MUSIC. 7 p.m. You’ll hear it in a love song, as The Marshall Tucker Band tunes up. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or BUILD THE WALL! 8 p.m. With “construction boss” Brit Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 5–9 KIDS A-COOKIN’! 9 a.m. At Summer Junior Chefs camp, highlighting world cuisine. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar

Mindful Conversation



18 & 25

August 8–11

POPCORN TIME. 7:30 p.m. Grab a lawn chair for a family-friendly movie, National Treasure: Book of Secrets under the stars. Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or

WALK THE WALK. 8 a.m. While learning about the historic Washington Street district from historian Glenn Chavis. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington St., High Point. To register: (336) 885-1859. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Philip Gerard, author of The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or CALLING ALL GANS FANS. 7:30 p.m. That would be David Gans, singer, guitar picker and humorist who takes the stage with Viva la Muerte. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or TREE HUGGERS. 6 p.m. Meaning, epiphytes, plants that grow on trees without causing damage to them. Learn all about ’em from Josh Williams, garden manager. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register (336) 996-7888 or

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



August 6

August 8


To Have And Have Knot

August 10 BOOK BABBLE. 2 p.m. Join WFDD and Scuppernong Book Club’s discussion of Where the Crawdads Sing. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

August 10 & 11; 24 & 25 HAMMER DOWN. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Smite makes right when The Blacksmith is in town. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 11 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Mark Warren, author of Born to the Badge (Wyatt Earp: An American Odyssey #2). Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or ’MATER MEAL. 6 p.m. Pay homage to the noble B.L.T. at Sunday@Reto’s. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad. MUSEP. 6:30 p.m. Greensboro Concert Band delivers some pops and classical. Lindley Park, Starmount Drive at


West Market Street, Greensboro. Info:

August 12–16 CLUB MED. 9 a.m. That would be Summer Teen Camp, featuring the Mediterranean cuisine of Greece, the Middle East and Turkey. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad

August 13–18 BIG TOP. Get a dose of high-energy, light, sound and lightheartedness when Universoul Circus comes to town. Times vary. Greensboro Coliseum parking lot, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets:

August 15 MINDFUL CONVERSATION. Noon. Learn how to navigate the twists and turns of caring for someone with dementia at “Why Do They Do That and What Can I Do About It?” Lusk Center, 2501 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER. 7 p.m. Regale audiences with a 6-minute tale of summer at O.Henry’s and O.Hey’s first-ever Story Slam. Red Oak Lager Haus, 6905 Konica Drive, Whitsett. Tickets: ticketmetriad MUSICAL MASHUP. 8 p.m. Cuban-Caribbean rhythms meet R&B, soul, rock and hip hop in the sounds of Flow

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Arts Calendar

Tribe. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or

August 15–18 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2682255 or

August 16 TED TALK. 7:30 p.m. Or rather, Tour, as Ted Nugent spreads a case of cat scratch fever. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 17 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 11 a.m. More to the point, how to become a published one at a pay-your-own lunch discussion led by My Cousin Vinny mystery author Lawrence Kelter. Presented by the local chapter of Sisters in Crime. Rancho’s Restaurant, 10463 N. Main St., Archdale. To register: POTTERY PALAVER. 6 p.m. Get the dish on dishes over delicious dishes at Art for Dinner, featuring Seagrove potter Ben Owen. Griffin Room, Grandover Resort, 1000 Club Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: COUNTRY COOL. 7:30 p.m. Leave it to an Outlaw to seek out some ’grass — bluegrass. Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss share the stage. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

August 17 & 18 AU NATUREL. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. See how early Americans used natural fibers in décor and clothing at “The Art of Textiles.” High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 18 MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7 p.m. Wonderwall performs Fab Four covers, while doby gets down and funky. Latham Park, West Wendover at Latham Park Road and Cridland Road, Greensboro. Info:

August 18 & 25 TO HAVE AND HAVE KNOT. 11 a.m. Or, to have and to hold. The Carolina Wedding Shows unveil photographers, cake makers, venues and just about anything else related to nuptials. 8/18: Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. 8/25: Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, 421 27th St., NW, Winston-Salem. Tickets:

August 23 ROCKTAILS. 6:30 p.m. Sip a cucumber gimlet while admiring art — and participating in a scavenger hunt at Art on the Rocks, which benefits GreenHill’s educational programs. Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7460 or SECOND TO NONE. 7:30 p.m. Though they call themselves 2nd Today. Hear the Gate City locals’ punk-alt rock tunes, as well as Asheboro’s The Burnt Biscuits and international sensation Mightier Than Me. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

PAUL PERFORMANCE. 7:20 p.m. As in, Paul Robeson, performer, scholar, activist and the focus of a show by Phillip Hayes Dean, and starring Jason McKinney and accompanist Christopher Bagley. Well Spring Theatre, 4100 Wellspring Road, Greensboro. Tickets: August 25 MUSEP. 6 p.m. Wally West Little Big Band swings it out in two sets. Blanwood Mansion, 447 W. Washington St., Greensboro. Info:

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Arts Calendar

RAT-A-TAT-TATTOO. 6:30 p.m. Learn all about the history of North Carolina Tattoos from C.W. Eldridge, owner of Tattoo Archive in Winston-Salem. Morgan Room, High Point Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

August 26–29 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank

Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or

August 31–September 1 ’TRAIN TUNES. It’s that time again: The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. Oak Hollow Festival Park, 1841 Eastchester Drive, High Point. Tickets: ticketmetriad.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen. (Members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. PreTo register: (336) 574-2898 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

Tuesdays 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 PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, curated by O.Henry’s own Ogi Overman and featuring live performances of roots and Americana music. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or

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

Thursdays ALL THAT JAZZ. 6 p.m. Hear live, local jazz with the O.Henry Trio and selected guests. 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 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

Fridays THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($3 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or

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SEEING STARS. 5 p.m. Under the stars! Spartan Cinema, a free, summer film festival, kicks off this month with screenings of The Princess Bride, (8/2), The Greatest Showman (8/9), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (8/16), Aquaman (8/23), Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse. LeBauer Park, 208 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info:

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

Saturdays 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: MORE MARKET MANIA. 8:30 a.m. See what’s on tap at the High Point Farmers Market, with programs, “Peach Palooza” (8/3); “Garden Day” (8/10); “Discover Your Library” (8/17) and Featured Farmer (8/24 and 8/31). High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3011 or KIDS’ CORNER. 11 a.m. Keep ’em busy with programs led by Indigo Dance Academy (8/3) and moon jellies from the N.C. Aquarium (8/10). High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666.

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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) 373-2928 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

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:

Sundays GROOVE AND GRUB. 11 a.m. Chow down on mouthwatering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams, while students from the Miles Davis Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or

JAZZ ENCORE. 7 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

HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, 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) 5742898 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, 503 N. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 2742699 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. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or chicken.htm.

Saturdays & Sundays KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities

To add an event, email us at

by the first of the month ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE EVENT.

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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: 140 • 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. Leadership Initiative partnership with the Center of Creative Leadership. Only school in the Triad awarded the College Board AP Honor Roll Distinction. Minutes from Greensboro and all faiths welcome. Grades: 9-12th • Enrollment: 405 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Admission is on a rolling basis. Tuition: $11,000-$14,950

Focus: Educational excellence using time-tested Classical methods to make full use of students’ developmental stages. Classical themes of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty complement the Christian worldview presented in all instruction. Students learn how to think, not what to think, equipping them to be lifelong learners with a solid foundation in our rapidly changing world. Grades: PreSchool-12th • Enrollment: 670 • 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: $5,802 - $12,061

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

Canterbury School

Greensboro Day School

Caldwell Academy

Greensboro Montessori School

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

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

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

Focus: Canterbury School empowers young leaders with curiosity, compassion, and creativity. A PreK-8 Episcopal school, we offer challenging academics, a diverse and inclusive student body, and a focus on service learning in every grade. Our indexed tuition program makes a Canterbury education affordable for everyone.

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: PreK - 8th grade • Enrollment: 350 Student/Faculty: 6/1 Admission Requirement: Families are encouraged to visit and learn more. To apply, families must complete an application, teacher recommendation form, and schedule a child visit. Tuition: $6,000-$8,400 (PreK), $3,443 - $17,715 (K-8)

Focus: Greensboro’s only accredited Montessori school where toddlers to teens achieve academic excellence through project-based, experiential learning. Students organically develop real-world skills in creativity, leadership, problem solving, and social responsibility, so they’re empowered to positively impact the world.

Grades: 2-Year-Old Preschool - 12th grade • Enrollment: 750 • 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: $3,850-$23,900

Grades: Toddler (18 mo) - 9th grade • Enrollment: 234 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: $9,372-$18,108

High Point Christian Academy

New Garden Friends School

Noble Academy

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

1128 New Garden Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 299-0964,

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

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: 670 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

Focus: The Triad’s only independent preschool-12th grade offering a relevant, challenging curriculum and built upon the long-held standards of extraordinary Friends schools. Inclusion, respect, collaboration, and the peaceful resolution of conflict are modeled by teachers and experienced as fundamental pieces of an NGFS education.

Focus: An 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, performance and visual arts, and IDEApath are offered.

Our Lady of Grace Catholic School

Grades: PK-12 • Enrollment: 280 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Families are encouraged to visit. Rolling admissions. Application, report cards and/or transcripts, student visit, and essays for older students are required. For details please see Tuition: $7,400-$21,550

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: $21,300 - $22,100

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

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 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.

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 $18,025 • 3-8 $19,136 • 9-12 $19,754

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: 18:1 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: $2,910 - $19,650

Grades: 3 years old - 8th grade • Enrollment: 245 • Student/Faculty: 12/1 Admission Requirement: Application form, school transcript, current preschool teacher assessment, immunization form and admissions screening test. Tuition: $3,840 - $12,324 (see website for special programs)

NC grants available.

GreenScene Parisian Promenade

Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Lonnie Blumenthal, Vaughan Clauson

Lyla Buffington, Patika Starr, Ava Hrinko Cari, Amber, Christopher & Zelda Kollman Syntheia Finklepott, Frankie Hogan

Carol Geisler, Anthony Smith

Nancy Kenerly, Oletta Laman, Julee Johnson Hoogo Brodie, Merja Sederelm, Henry & Ella Brodie

Khaled, Mohamed & Naghan Alhafyan

Marybeth & Tim Schneider

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Lea & Natalyn Williams

Joel & Samantha Brooks

Janet, Autumn & Ron Hampton

Susan & Joanna Russell

August 2019

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Creative Brain Fitness 21 Skills for Aging Youthfully

Maximize balance and flexibility Exercise body and mind simultaneously

Sit down and prepare to have fun!

To find out more or book a class or appointment, contact Cathy Propst, RN, MSN at 1st Choice Home Care.


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

1515 W Cornwallis Drive, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408

Phone: 336.285.9107 Fax: 336.285.9109


Welcome Silvia Durango, LMBT, Tom Annese, LMBT & Mary Stewart, LMBT to our Massage Team!


523 St ate St , Gr eensb or o, NC Massage services provided by NC Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists.

Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary M A R ION Tile & Flooring


August 13 - August 26 Please contact me for your personal appointment.

Bathroom Remodeling • Kitchen Floors & Backsplashes Complete Installation Service by Qualified Craftsmen


Monday - Friday • 9am-5pm

4719 Pleasant Garden Road, Pleasant Garden 336-674-8839 |

88 O.Henry


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile • Brick & Stone • Marble & Granite Cork • Hardwood • Carpet • Luxury Vinyl Tile

August 2019

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

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Donna Bradby, Greg Horton

Walker & Dabney Sanders


A Rich Celebration for Triad Stage Saturday, June 8, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Amanda Clark, Brittany Carroll Karen Dyer, Ernestine Taylor, Kate Barrett Rich Whittington (Honoree) & Glenn Whittington

Deborah Hayes, Gregg Nelson Sarah Hankins, Preston Lane, Justin Nichols, Jason Brogdon

Sarah Hankins, Denise Gabriel, Cassandra Williams

Chip & Kay Hagan

David Byrd, Jeff Stanley

Beth Ritson, Amy Daluz, Lee Spencer, Jimmy Tunstall, Cinny Strickland, Chip Johnson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May & Alan Spiewak

August 2019

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Neurofeedback is training the brain waves or EEG to assist the brain in learning to function normally.


BRAIN PERFORMANCE Neurofeedback training reduces the symptoms of many issues in children, teens and adults including: • ADD/ADHD • Depression • Anxiety • Memory Decline • Head Injury • Addiction • PTSD and more


Neurofeedback Associates Inc.




Gail Sanders Durgin, Ph.D., BCN-Fellow, QEEG 2309 West Cone Blvd, Suite 210 | Greensboro

MITZIE WEATHERLY • 336-314-5500

336.540.1972 |

So Many Faces

when it comes to selecting a Realtor® ... For the one who will listen to you and get results, give me a call!


825 South Main Street Burlington, NC 27215 336-222-0717

90 O.Henry


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

August 2019


336-337-0045 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Chris, Eli, & Harper Lemons, Maria Eggers, Kensley Lemons

Brad Mykins, Tyson

Celebrate #Furr-eedom!

Guilford County Animal Services Saturday, June 29, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Donya Hodge, Alexa Pickett

Jessica Cook

Nancy Fauser, Beverly Levine, Azucera Gert-Roberts, Heather Gert, Annorah Lewis

Lisa Lee, Carlos Mena, Socks, Lyssa Twomey

Sandy Forman, Kate Serhinowski

Mary Sainworla, Christine, Wheigei & Frances Bright

Alli & Peter Gagnon Natalie, Gavin & Nina Tapia, Roman Chauncey

Evan Olson & Jessica Mashburn

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Jessica & Susan Lambert

August 2019

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Robin Johnson, Kent Stingon

Onyinyechukwu Onwuka, Adeyemo Adetogun

American Block Party Fun Fourth Festival Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Catlin Rose, Jessica Becher

Dan Bayer, Audrey Berlowitz Woody Hazelwood, Shonta Adams

Donna, Nate, & Mike Crockett

Pat & Buck Couch, Anne McDowell, Kristi Bunting

Sherry & Mark McGregor

Valorie Yeary, Tony Zook

92 O.Henry

Douglas Rowlands, Samantha Potter, Doug, Lisa & Michael Rowlands

August 2019

Rhonda & Huck Terry

Morgan Dunlap, Austin Adams, Tana Dunlap

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

1816 SAINT ANDREWS ROAD, GREENSBORO, NC 27408 A family’s dream come true, this Wolfe home will delight all ages. 5 bedrooms and 5-1/2 baths in main house featuring the master BR/BA and additional BR /BA on main level. 3 BR/BA upstairs and BONUS ROOM with surround sound and snack bar, excercise room and cedar closet. A separate cottage with game/tv room, wet bar and full bath and loft. Beautiful details in the open floor plan incorporate high ceilings and custom moldings, built-ins, custom cabinets and coffered ceiling. Enjoy the conveniences of a 2-car attached garage and generator.

Beautiful! - $1,195,000

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687

Lea Beuchler 336-207-4859

©2019 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.



Carriage House Antiques & Home Decor

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


2214 Golden Gate Drive Greensboro, NC CLOSED SUNDAYS FOR THE SUMMER Monday-Friday 10-5:30 • Saturday • 10-5

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sizes: 1X, 2X, & 3X


Vera’s Threads Sizes: S,M, L & XL


Hours: M-F 11-6, Sat 11-5 2274 Golden Gate Drive | Golden Gate Shopping Center | Greensboro, NC August 2019

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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

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS 409 State Street, Greensboro | 336-840-7898 wonderlandbookshop wonderlandbookshopnc


online @

501 State Street Greensboro, NC 27205 | 336.274.4533 | 10:00-5:30 Monday-Friday | Saturday 10:00 - 3:00 and by Appointment

94 O.Henry

August 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

By Jupiter!

The Accidental Astrologer

The large, jolly-old-elf planet moves direct from its retrograde phase, bearing gifts along the way By Astrid Stellanova

Four months ago in April, Jupiter went retrograde. On

August 11, Jupiter is going direct. This means (stellar Star Children that y’all are) that you can finally put to good use the knowledge you’ve been saving up for God-knows-how-long, but definitely too long. Mid-August, the full moon is in Aquarius. Dance on fertile ground and allow that psychic energy to rise up in you from your tippy toes. Meanwhile, don’t settle for humdrum but spice it up — douse them collard greens with peppers and vinegar!

Leo (July 23-August 22) A tub of the world’s finest cellulite cream won’t straighten out the wrinkles from last month’s fiasco when your vanity got the better of you. A sweet-talking somebody sold you on a ridiculous number of superficial fixes. (Not literally, Sugar, the metaphorical kind.) What you really crave and need is straight talk. Learn to fight desperation with hope that ain’t found in a jar. Besides, a blind mule ain’t afraid of darkness. Virgo (August 23–September 22) You’re a creative spitfire, known to let the pot boil over when you are in the middle of a project. Virgo season begins August 23, and that will signify a season of planning and cogitating. Give your sensitive self the time to reach those who matter. Libra (September 23–October 22) You wiggled around an issue like a worm in hot ashes. Now get a grip, because you are so whizbang amazing at so many things you seem to fixate on those teensy things you aren’t good at. Sweet thing, move into the big picture stage of your life. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) Sulking and bitching are bad enough when you’re a teenager, but downright unattractive when you’re middle-aged. Don’t bother your besties unless you are on fire. Fergoddsakes give them a break. Buy ’em coffee, wine, whatever. Period. Sagittarius (November 2–December 21) You went all Jesus, judgment and cheetah print when under pressure. Back up and clean it up and say you’re sorry. If you can somehow remedy that situation, then you deserve a gold star. The next lesson is learning grace when things are going well. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) This month may feel like a repeat of when you spilled sweet tea all over the place and it was noticed. The good news is your devoted friends just rolled their eyeballs. Now you get to return the favor when someone else spills something all over the place. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Sugar bun, the full moon on the 15th is like magic time for you and the causes dearest to you. Use the light of the big, round orb to guide you and your steps. You have the platform to help those poor Muggles who don’t have your super powers. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Is there a loud, louder, loudest dog barking? Any signs of guilt you’ve overlooked? Be perceptive. Not to say jump to conclusions, just be aware. Late this month is a second full moon, which may give you surprising powers and light. Aries (March 21–April 19) You’re in for a spell of unexpected events, which is a lot like saying it’s hotter than hell in Texas. Aries born are born for the unexpected, which you will take to like a wizard to a wand. Fried okra and Jesus may figure into this month’s events. Taurus (April 20–May 20) If you practice and repeat your newfound skills, you have opportunities open that you have never experienced. The question is, will you, or is it irresistible to you to break wind in the spiritual elevator and pretend you didn’t? Gemini (May 21–June 20) There’s you, elbowing your way ahead, whether it’s a 75 percent-off sale or a spiritual crusade. Sugar, sometimes your ambition isn’t just blind — it is plain wrong. Bite back that impulse to power to the front and give somebody else an (unbitten) hand. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Now that you have survived a down-to-the-wire scary time, you look worse than death on a saltine cracker. Take care of yourself, put your face back on, pull up your britches and take a respite. Remember, you can almost always disarm with charm. 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 2019

O.Henry 95

O.Henry Ending

Ready for Rhyme Time

By Nancy Oakley

Call me a philistine, but I’m a

sucker for rhyme.

My penchant for verse — perverse, some would say — traces to childhood, when my mom would sing nursery rhymes, usually involving cruelty to birds, whether the infamous four-and-twenty baked in a pie or the tragic song about a robin in winter: “The North wind doth blow,/ And we shall have snow,/ And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?/ He’ll sit in a barn/And keep himself warm/And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.” This one would send me into hysterics, screaming and crying about poor robin every time she sang it. (I didn’t realize how lucky I was. A friend’s mother used to serenade her children with a grisly little ditty about the ghost of Anne Bolyen, “With her Head Tucked Under Her Arm.”) Whether “ ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’” or “plop, plop, fizz, fizz/ Oh, what a relief it is?” or “If it doesn’t fit/You must acquit,’” rhyme, especially when it’s set to music, grabs us by the heartstrings and stays with us. Ancient poets understood its power. Why have Beowulf and Chanson de Roland (literally translated as — hello! —The SONG of Roland) achieved epic status? Because generation upon generation could remember those heroic stories made more heroic by rhyme. Don’t believe me? You should hear my colleague David Bailey sing Homer’s Odyssey, as Homer did to his audiences 2,800 years ago . . . in Greek . . . burnished with a Reidsville accent. Once I was beyond crying about poor robin, I cut my teeth on Mother Goose, of course, and an all-time favorite, The Big Golden Book of Poetry, an anthology compiled by the publishers of the Little Golden Books, distributed, by and large, in grocery stores. Recently they’ve enjoyed a resurgence among boomers as coffee table tomes with ironic titles, such as Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from a Little Golden Book, and similar ones about love, family and so on, each no doubt racking up enough sales to put the gold in Golden. The poetry anthology is no exception: Out of print, a used edition lists for $164 on Amazon. But its content, as Mastercard would say? Priceless. Among the book’s heavily illustrated pages are long poems, such as “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” and small ones like “Sally and Manda.” (Two “little lizards,” FYI, “Who gobble up flies in their two little gizzards.”) There are poems by well-known children’s authors — Robert Louis Stevenson, Kate Greenaway, Rachel Field — and anonymous ones, too. Poems about nature, animals, taxis, shoes, country fairs, games of make-believe. And one I loved to read aloud, a 14-stanza opus

96 O.Henry

August 2019

by Ogden Nash, “The Tale of Custard, the Dragon.” In a nutshell, it’s the story of Belinda, a little girl who “lives in a little white house,/ With a little black kitten [Ink] and a little gray mouse [Blink],/ And a little yellow dog [Mustard],/and a little red wagon, /And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon [Custard].” Nash goes on to explain that “Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,/And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs.” Mustard? “Sharp as a tiger in a rage.” Custard? Not so much. He keeps “[crying] for a cage.” Until a home invasion – from a pirate, with (trigger warning for the hypersensitive) “pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,/And he held in his teeth, a cutlass bright.” Everyone is paralyzed with fear except Custard who — spoiler alert! — gobbles up the pirate, gains newfound respect from his housemates, but still cries for a cage. The end. Kind of a yawner when told in prose. But in poetry it packs a punch. However silly — OK, childish; guilty as charged — Nash’s verse stood me in good stead by the time I was steeped in lit crit in college, identifying rhyme schemes of Italian and Shakespearean sonnets, or learning how The Bard used rhyming couplets as a signal, a trigger warning, if you will. I came to appreciate the poet’s craft — including Broadway “poets” Cole Porter or Alan Jay Lerner — of expressing emotion and soul-searching within strict rhyming structures, like French poet Paul Verlaine’s phonic experimentation, “les sanglots longs, des violons, de l’autonne/Blessent mon coeur d’une langueur monotone.” Never mind its meaning (unless you prefer an irreverent British cartoonist’s take that the poem is about “a leaf falling on a pile of dogshit”), the point is the music in the sounds of the words. So what the hell happened? Once I got to studying — excuse me, “explicating” — non-rhyming poetry, I was a little lost. Though, one of my sister’s boyfriends had a solution as irreverent as that British cartoonist’s: “Just interpret everything as man’s alienation in the modern world,” he advised. But I was the one who felt alienated. And still do, especially when I turn on the radio. Sorry, but Taylor Swift moaning about how some man done her wrong ohhhhooooowhoooaahhhh. Yeaaaaaaaah. Unnnhhhh-huunnnh are words pathetic compared to Cole’s poetic, “You’re romance/You’re the steppes of Russia/You’re the pants / On a Roxy usher.” I guess that’s why I’m the bottom, and Taylor’s in the Top 10. Like poor old Custard the Dragon, crying for his cage, little ol’ Nancy O., looking back toward long ago, realio, trulio, longs for rhymes on the radio, if not on the page. OH Meantime, she finds solace in editing the poetic prose of O.Henry’s scribes. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


And waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting . .


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.

MICHAEL TOUREK, 46 ACTOR He had dreams of making it big on Broadway. But Michael Tourek’s acting career didn’t really take off until he moved to Greensboro. Now he’s an UNC Greensboro MFA graduate with an IMDB page full of television and movie credits and teaches students at colleges across the Triad. “I had dreams of the bright lights of Broadway,” he says. “I started to chase my dreams of being an actor in New York. I wouldn’t change that part of my life for anything.” For the next ten years, Michael traveled around the country performing musical theater classics in medium-sized cities and living in New York City or Nebraska – depending on how flush with cash he was. At the same time, his love life with fellow performer Sara Ruth was blossoming and he followed her to Greensboro, where she attended graduate school at UNCG and he finished a bachelor’s and performed locally at Triad Stage. A friend from Triad Stage introduced him to his agent in Summerfield who would prove important to launching his transition from stage to screen.

When Sara made it clear their growing family was going to stay in Greensboro, Michael decided he needed to take the time to study acting. He went to UNCG for his masters. His career took off. He had co-star roles in One Tree Hill, Sleepy Hollow, Under the Dome and recurring role in the Cinemax show Banshee. Then he got to play Alexei, a tough guy role in the holiday comedy Office Christmas Party, starring Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. His time with Bateman would prove more fruitful for his career. Bateman is an executive producer and star of the crime drama Ozark. Michael landed the recurring role of the enforcer Ash. Bateman welcomed him warmly his first day on the set. “It was one of the first times when I really felt like I deserved to be there,” Michael says.

W W W. M A D E I N G S O. CO M

GREENSBORO Friendly Center • 336-294-4885 WINSTON-SALEM Stratford Village • 137 South Stratford Road • 336-725-1911