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E VERY ROLE X IS M ADE FOR G RE ATNE S S . THE COSMOG R APH DAY TON A , I N T R O D U C E D I N 19 6 3 , W A S D E S I G N E D T O M E E T T H E D E M A N D S O F PR OFE S S ION AL R ACEC A R D R I V ER S A ND QUICK LY E A R NED ITS ICONIC STATUS. WITH ITS PATENTED CHRONOGRAPH MECHANISM AND BEZEL WITH TAC H O M E T R I C S C A L E , I T A L L O W S D R I V E R S TO P E R F EC T LY M E A S U R E EL A P S E D C I R C U I T T I M E A N D C A L C UL AT E AV E R AG E S P E E D.
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( more for less, with our house-cut fries )
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T U E S D AY N I G H T S P E C I A L : SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONGS FROM A SOUTHERN KITCHEN Chef Jay Pierce’s traditional skillet-fried chicken & drink specials, dinner begins at 4 PM Live compositions and renditions by Laurelyn Dossett and friends 6:30–9:30 PM ( no cover charge ) 1 4 2 1
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Come to our OPEN HOUSE to celebrate the artist in everyone!
Creation Celebra tion SATURDAY, AUGUST 27 12 NOON TO 4 PM
See what CITY ARTS can inspire in you! r Free mini-classes, performances, opportunities to audition and register for Fall programs. r Add your contribution to the “Community Canvas” and fill your “Passport to Creativity” by taking a tour through all activities to get $5.00 off any Fall class registration r All kinds of Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts, Playwriting, and chances to perform
Ground floor of the Greensboro Cultural Center 200 North Davie Street
& Price Bryan Performance Place at Festival Park The Greensboro Cultural Center at Festival Park represents the heart of the city’s cultural world. The complex provides four levels of galleries (including gift shops), studios, classrooms, and rehearsal halls and is home to 16 arts organizations.
The Cultural Center’s unique setting offers several areas for meeting space as well as space for weddings, receptions, LEBRATION 2011 AD.indd 1 concerts, socials, birthday parties, bridal and baby showers and many other events. Festival Park, the two-block area surrounding the center, is the hub of Greensboro’s downtown cultural activities. The Price Bryan Performance Place provides a creative environment for a variety of outdoor festivals, concerts, and theatrical performances. Please call for additional information as well as for rental fees.
Greensboro Cultural Center 200 North Davie Street
M A G A Z I N E VOLUME 1, NO. 1
“I fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090
227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor 910.693.2506 • email@example.com Andie Stuart rose, Creative Director 910.693.2467 • firstname.lastname@example.org Ashley wahl, Associate Editor kathryn galloway, Associate Art Director CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David Bailey, maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser, Deborah Salomon PHOTOGRAPHERS cassie Butler Jim green, Sam froelich CONTRIBUTORS Jane Borden, tom Bryant, Jack Dodson, Sam froelich, robyn James, Sarah lindsay, Dale nixon, lee pace, lee rogers, Stephen e. Smith, Astrid Stellanova mary novitsky
David woronoff, Publisher ADVERTISING SALES pat taylor, Advertising Director 910.693.2505 Darlene Stark, Advertising Manager 910.693.2488 Hefner 910.693.2508 6/17/2011 marty 10:13:44 AM Ansley Spencer 336.324.6154 laura morris 336.471.4237 elaine penn 910.620.1248 Sam froelich 336.402.3772 perry loﬂin 910.693.2514 circulation 910.693.2488 ©Copyright 2011. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Tom Chitty has long been the Triad’s go-to guy in real estate. With 29 years of experience, this southern gentleman is known for his integrity, honesty and professionalism. Tom and his highly qualified team take no client for granted. When you are ready to work with a realtor who genuinely cares about you, work with Tom. It’s like having an old friend welcome you home.
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O.Henry 9 Hometown Willie and the Bull By Jim Dodson 12 Short Stories Your Guide to the Good Life 15 icon Oh, Yum By David C. Bailey 16 Artist at Work Iron Man By Ashley Wahl 18 The Omnivorous Reader Revolutionary Thinking
37 She Touches My Hand
A new poem by Sarah Lindsay
Greensboro poet Sarah Lindsay is the author of three collections of poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Awards. Her latest work is Twigs and Knucklebones (Copper Canyon Press, 2008).
38 The Long Goodbye Of John Hart The House in the Woods 39
By Stephen E. Smith
An excerpt from Iron House.
21 O.buzz For The Common Good
42 Voice of the City Oldest Living O.Henry Tells All 4 7
By Jack Dodson
home 23 hitting The Vacationer’s Prayer
By Dale Nixon
At 91, Charlotte Porter Barney knows more about her famous ancestor than anyone.
By David C. Bailey vine wisdom
The Bloom of Rosé
By Jim Schlosser
You think you know O.Henry? Think again.
By Maria Johnson
25 The Hop Head A Kingdom For My Beer 27 28 32 34
The two-time Edgar winner reflects on the city that made him a best-selling writer.
By Robyn James
The Serial Eater
Birthplace of Champions 48 By Lee Pace
How the Wyndham Championship came to be a symbol of the Triad’s rebirth.
The Perfect BLT By David C. Bailey The sporting life
Renaissance Man By Tom Bryant Street Level
The Boy of Summer By Jim Schlosser Arts Calendar
64 73 GreenScene By Sam Froelich
77 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 79 life’s funny My Favorite Four-letter Word
The House That Love 54 Built By Deborah Salomon
The home of an iconic textile giant is now the perfect treasury of art for two.
Greensboro’s 60 Johnny Appleseed
By Lee Rogers
Bill Craft’s philosophy was “better to ask forgiveness than seek permission.” Lucky us.
By Maria Johnson
80 O.Henry Ending My Big Fine Greensboro Wedding By Jane Borden
On Our Cover: Photograph by
Jim Green of Alderman Company. Shown left to right: Greensboro musicians Molly McGinn and Laurelyn Dossett; novelist John Hart; News -Record columnist Jeri Rowe; Margaret Benjamin, Board Chair, Greensboro Historical Museum; John Hammer, Editor, The Rhino Times; Tammy Milani, ceramic artist; Catie Morgan, recent graduate, UNC-G School of Music; Ed Cone, writer and blogger; and Jessica Mashburn, lead singer, AM rOdeO. Shot on location at the Green Valley Grill.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
漏 D. YURMAN 2011
1951 Battleground Avenue 路 336.292.8355
$65 â€œJoin me as I celebrate the magnificence of North Carolinaâ€™s environment in this poignant volume that highlights picturesque landscapes and spectacular vistas. Enjoy the journey as I take you across the Old North State in my personal tribute to these special places and the organizations protecting their natural beauty.â€?
11 x 12 inches 152 pages â€˘ 140 paintings
Willie and the Bull A boy on a bike, a writer for the ages, and the teacher who brought them together
BY JIM DODSON
turned a corner and suddenly there she sat, her tiny round head dwarfed by a huge atlas of the world. This was at the downtown public library in the early summer of 1983. I was passing through my hometown on my way to a job interview at The Washington Post. “Miss Smith?” I said, tentatively. She rolled up her good eye and gave a friendly snort. “Oh, yes. How nice to see you.” She pointed to an empty chair. “Please do sit down.” Louise Smith was a Greensboro institution, my junior year English teacher in 1970, a chunky spinster with a half-closed eye who stood barely five feet tall and oddly resembled, well, a slightly bemused bull, hence the unflattering nickname bestowed by generations of Grimsley students. More than a decade had passed since I’d last seen the little woman who was most responsible for making me into a writer. But she acted as if it had only been a matter of days. For the record, my father’s two younger brothers, James and Benny, both had Miss Smith for English at then-Greensboro High School in the late 1930s, not long after she graduated from North Carolina Woman’s College. I also knew she lived in a small house on Tate Street, a street named for my father’s great-grandfather, an itinerate Methodist preacher and land surveyor who helped lay out the modern boundaries of several counties in central North Carolina. So we seemed to be linked by some invisible Gordian knot long before I showed up in her class. On my first day in her survey of American literature and advanced composition, we learned she planned to retire at the end of the year, hoping to travel extensively because, as she pointed out with a chuckle — and I jotted this down — “Travel broadens the mind, television the rear end.” We all laughed, and someone sent a paper airplane bouncing off the blackboard producing another gale of laughter. The Bull was half-blind and seem to counter our modest acts of teenage anarchy with the kind of wry grace and tolerance that come from decades of guiding generations of witless wiseguys like us through the perilous straits of Walt Whitman and basic grammar. So for these reasons I had a soft spot for The Bull almost from the begin-
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
ning, even before I found myself reading Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut and pondering our midterm assignment to write a story for possible submission to the school’s annual short story-writing contest. The winning story would vie for the O.Henry Award, named for the Gate City’s most celebrated literary son, William Sydney Porter. Curiously, I probably knew more about Willie Porter than most of my contemporaries did because my father was a former newspaper man who loved the short fiction of Rudyard Kipling and O.Henry. Collected works by both men, not surprisingly, anchored my bedroom bookshelf. Moreover, as a kid who grew up pedaling a bike over the same streets where Willie Porter came of age, I’d spent enough time poking around in Porter’s reconstructed drugstore in the Greensboro Historical Museum to feel a modest kinship with the plucky local fellow who struck off to make his fortune at age nineteen and wound up becoming one of the most popular writers of the Gilded Age — even more famous than Mark Twain for a time. For my contribution, I wrote a short story about my late grandfather, a rural polymath named Walter who helped wire the Jefferson Standard Building in 1922. The story concerned the last summer of his life, based on family tales I’d picked up knocking around his now-abandoned home place deep in the woods at the Dodson’s Crossroads, near Carrboro. To my great surprise, the story won the O.Henry Award for 1970, a prize given annually since 1923 by the O.Henry Study Club, and I was probably the most surprised kid in the class when The Bull announced my name.
n the last day of class, I stayed behind to wish her well in her world travels and thank her for inspiring me to keep reading and writing. At my mom’s suggestion, I even brought her some flowers. The Bull gave me a little book of Robert Frost’s poems. “You seem to like his work,” she said, adding: “Perhaps someday you’ll live in New England. Writing can take you a long way, if you’re willing to take this journey. ” I smiled at this, a tad embarrassed. It’s not easy being unmasked as a class clown, after all. That summer, though, I worked for the first time as the wire room boy at the August/September 2011
Greensboro Daily News. A pair of newsroom internships followed. Two summers after that, fresh from college, I returned to the paper for a while, won a couple of writing awards, and soon I found myself in Atlanta working on the same magazine staff where Margaret Mitchell had once worked.
In time, I married, fathered two children, built my own house on a forested hill on the coast of Maine, and produced half a dozen books. My writing for various publications literally took me around the world, and the books kept coming. Six years ago, following a stint as writer-inresidence at Hollins University in Roanoke, I moved to Southern Pines to work for The Pilot newspaper hich brings us to the library referand soon found myself serving as editor of PineStraw ence room on Greene Street where, magazine, an award-winning arts and culture magafollowing my seven years in Atlanta, I zine that has flourished on the old-fashioned belief happened across The Bull studying a map of Egypt. that terrific writing and fabulous photography and a I took as seat and asked how she’d been, consense of fun are the best ways to explore a place and vinced she had no clue who I was. celebrate its history. “Never better,” she replied with a squinting grin. The place I’ve always loved most, of course, is “You see, I am preparing to embark on a great advenGreensboro — the city I know best, and the place ture that I’ve dreamed about since I was a girl.” She that gave me a wonderful writer’s life I could scarcely planned to sail down the Nile to Luxor, she said, and have imagined back when I won that O.Henry hoped to catch the sunset award in Bull Smith’s from the steps of the Great classroom. Perhaps I speak Pyramid at Giza. a spiritual son of Willie The place I’ve always asPorter, I congratulated her — but if there’s a more then politely wondered if culturally diverse American loved most, of course, city with richer she remembered me. The history and Bull gave one of her famous more vibrant arts scene — is Greensboro — snorts and chortled at this. seasoned by hard times but “Of course I remember the city I know best, poised for a glorious renaisyou, dear boy! I’ve followed sance by a public spirit you and the place that your career with great can see and feel everywhere interest. It always makes — I simply don’t know it. gave me a wonderful me proud to see what my To that end, in this students accomplish.” inaugural issue of O.Henry writer’s life.. For a moment, I was a magazine, you’ll find engaglittle dumbstruck. Then ing work by five of the most I found my tongue and engaging writers this city filled her in on my pending job interview in ever produced — a perfect half-dozen if you care to Washington, admitting I also had — wonders count cover star John Hart, the best-selling two-time behold — a strong inclination to move to Maine Edgar-winning author whose latest book, Iron House, or New Hampshire. debuts in our pages. “Probably ruined by reading too much Robert Contributing editors Jim Schlosser and Maria Frost,” I told her, reminding her of the little collecJohnson are nigh on legends for their awardtion she had given me. I was torn between a big-city wining writings on Gate City life, David Bailey is newspaper career and a place that seemed to draw arguably the finest — and funniest — food writer me like a fly-line to a mountain stream. in the South, and lavishly talented homegirl Jane “It may sound trite, dear boy,” she said. “But my Borden, whose splendid new collection has just advice is to follow your heart and you’ll never go been published, is a rising star on the horizon. wrong. And who can say, perhaps someday you’ll In the coming months and years, we hope to even come home again.” introduce you to many more outstanding artists We chatted for a few minutes more and then I and writers who powerfully connect with this wished her safe to the steps of the Great Pyramid. remarkable city — producing a magazine we hope She thanked me and told me to keep writing and you’ll be proud to claim as your own. never stop. As I walked down Tate Street the other Those were her exact words. I never saw her afternoon, trying to remember which tiny house again. once belonged my most unforgettable teacher, A short time later, instead of taking the job in I couldn’t help but think about her sitting on Washington, I followed my heart to a trout stream the steps of the Great Pyramid, giving a friendly and cabin in Vermont and went to work for Yankee snort to the ancient sunset. Somehow, wherever magazine as that legendary magazine’s first senior they are, I suspect Willie and The Bull are both writer (and Southerner), a move that changed my life amused and pleased. OH in ways I’m still counting up.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Your Guide to the Good Life in the Triad
this One’s For You, Cupcake
Destroyed by a tornado in High Point, 12-year-old custom baking business Crawford’s Creations has come to roost in Greensboro, a bit like Dorothy’s farmhouse in The Wizard of Oz. Custom-dessert diva Teresa Dames Crawford creates one-of-a-kind cupcakes, cookies, birthday and wedding cakes that would amaze Toto. Join them at 230 N. Spring Street on the second Saturday of the month for Cupcake Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information: 336-688-5094 or www.crawfordscreations.com. DB
eat, Walk, Love
The good news is you don’t have to walk and chew gum at the same time. But walking and chewing are delightfully central to Taste Carolina’s new gourmet tours of downtown Greensboro, which depart year-round on Saturday afternoons. The two-mile treks start at the Undercurrent restaurant on Battleground Avenue. Other stops typically include Jammin’ George, purveyor of homemade jams, baked goods and other delicacies; the Downtown Farm Market on North Greene Street; the Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum; Cheesecakes by Alex; Table 16 and Bin 33. Along the way, participants sip, nibble and chat with chefs and owners about how they turn locally grown ingredients into get-in-my-belly goodness. “It’s a true insider experience that you’re not going to be able to find just by going there and eating yourself,” says guide Meredith Pettigrow. Walkers sample local history, too, as Pettigrow feeds them information on the Lincoln Financial buildings, the civil rights movement in Greensboro, and a scribbler named O.Henry. The Greensboro jaunts begin at 1:45 p.m. and end at 5:15 p.m — just in time for supper. Cost: $43 each. Reservations required. Go to www. tastecarolina.net and click on “tours,” then “Greensboro.” MJ
Music and Culture and arts? Oh, My!
From September 22 though October 8, Greensboro’s 17 Days festival will feature over 100 world-class events (performances, workshops, exhibits and more) at dozens of local venues. To kick off the fair, new orchestral work by Grammy Award-winning composer and fiddle player Mark O’Connor will make its world premiere as performed by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra on September 22 and 24. Indeed, there’s no place like home. For a complete schedule of festival events, visit 17daysgreensboro.org or call the United Arts Council at 336-373-7523. AW
Big Man on Campus
Area tennis fans are sure to go ball-istic when 6-foot-9 Greensboro native John Isner starts banging aces at the inaugural Winston-Salem Open to be held Aug. 2127 at Wake Forest University. The tourney is a new stop on the ATP tour, replacing the New Haven Open as the last tune-up before the U.S. Open. Fans in Winston will experience a new venue, too — a 13-court complex built for the WSO and major collegiate tournaments. The hard courts will smile on Isner, who posseses a towering serve and recently cinched his second career ATP singles title at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I. Other Americans scheduled to squeak sneakers at the WSO: Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison and Isner’s frequent doubles partner Sam Querry. For more information, go to www. winstonsalemopen.com. MJ
Get Your Greek On
Is it the succulent souvlaki? The relaxing retsina? The merry bounce of the bouzouki? Whatever the trigger, thousands of people go a little Aegean every year at the annual Greensboro Greek Festival. This year, it’ll be Sept. 16-18 at the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 800 Westridge Road. Just look for the tent and the traffic jam. Inside the gate, you’ll find food, music, dancing, a gift shop, and that temple of tastiness, the pastry shop. MJ
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Photograph of Cupcakes and Moppin’ Sauce by By Sam Froelich
Ballpark With a Beat
If you can’t find your groove at the first Triad Music Fest, you might not have a groove to be found. A partial line-up for the festival — scheduled for Sept. 3 at Greensboro’s NewBridge Bank Park — includes the critically acclaimed rapper Lupe Fiasco, whose latest album features collaborations with John Legend and Trey Songz; the rock band Fuel; up-and-coming country singer Lee Brice; New Boyz, a hip hop crew known for a dance style called jerkin’; Miguel, a falsetto who has penned songs for Mary J. Blige and Usher; the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who breathe new life into traditional black string music; the rapper Outasight; and the guitar-driven rock band The Stone Chiefs. Tunes start at noon. General admission tickets are $25. Call 336-268-2255 for more info. MJ
sauce of the Month
Alfred Hitchcock fans: Rejoice! The Carolina Theatre is psycho-thrilled to present Vertigo (Aug. 1), North by Northwest (Aug. 8) and Frenzy (Aug 15) on the big screen Mondays at 7:30 p.m. as part of its fourth annual Summer Film Festival. Tickets: $5. For a complete schedule of shows, tickets and more information visit www.CarolinaTheatre.com or call the box office at 336-333-2605. AW
Bill Dudley’s friends said that the sauce he developed for the oyster roasts he periodically stages was “So good, it’s scary!” And that’s just what the label says on his Climax Moppin’ & Soppin’ Sauce. Ketchup-based, but tangy and aromatic with savory umami notes, it is, in fact, fabulous on oysters. If you like a sweet barbecue sauce, it would be fine for backyard barbecuing. Info: 336-509-8792; www. climaxsauce.com. DB
Going Both Ways
The founders got it right when they named one of our earliest streets “Greene.” They included the third “e,” the way namesake Gen. Nathanael Greene spelled it. That was not true of the town’s name, Greensboro, also named for the hero of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Now a second aspect of Greene Street may soon be made right. If a city council-approved study endorses the idea, Greene will be two-way again, as it was until the late 1940s when many downtown streets became one-way. Two-thirds of Greene already is back to being two-way. That leaves only a three-block section in the middle. The study will determine the effect, if any, that going both ways will have on traffic from three parking decks along the stretch. JS
Photograph of “Stickworks” by Cassie Butler
Nothing peeves us like seeing someone hiking a trail while yakking on a cell phone — if only bears could sense Justin Bieber ring tones — but you have to hand it to the folks at the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. They’ve teamed up with some indoor types to create free apps stuffed with information about North Carolina’s state parks. Trails, facilities, reservations, events, news alerts — they’re all in there. The apps work on iPods, iPhones and Android smart phones. Subscription versions offer GPS-aided navigation and topographic maps for the real freaks o’ nature. This means it’ll be a lot easier to spy a bathroom for junior. It also means no more excuses for getting lost in our fave spots at Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain, Stone Mountain and New River state parks. Ah, progress. Go to www.ncparks.gov for links to the apps. MJ The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Acclaimed environmental sculptor Patrick Dougherty’s “Disorderly Conduct” makes the campus of Guilford College look like Wonderland. Suessville. Somewhere in-between. Inspired by a wasp nest found during the harvesting of nearly eight tons of saplings necessary for the project, Dougherty’s monumental “Stickworks” were created with the help of 150 volunteers and will remain on display until February 2012 — “hopefully longer,” says Terry Hammond, director and curator of Guildford College’s Art Gallery. Have a walk-through. Sculpture located at the College Quadrangle. Information: 336-316-2438. AW August/September 2011
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Gate City Icons
After 90 years, the Spring Garden Street legend still can’t make the dogs and ice cream fast enough
By DAviD C. BAiley
Photographs by Cassie Butler
urrounded by pipes, gauges and valves, Karin Engles observes, “When you’re making ice cream, you feel kinda like a mad scientist making some crazy creation.” At 25, Engles is the fourth generation of Aydelettes making Yum Yum ice cream or steaming hot dogs that are so red they remind you of Christmas. “I can get them even darker if I want to,” says Rodger Aydelette. “Curtis Packing Co. here in Greensboro is making them just for me.” At 59, as vice president of Yum Yum Better Ice Cream Co., he has that sort of authority. Of course, he might want to consult his coworker and younger brother, Clint, 53, also a VP, and his father, Bernard, who at 89 is president and owner, along with his wife, Hazel. Bernard gets credit for perfecting the hamburger-intensive chili (with no thickeners such as instant mashed potatoes, thank you), making the Yum Yum hot dog a benchmark against which all other Gate City hot dogs are measured. His father, W.B., introduced the bright red dogs after he’d seen them in New York. Blanketed with onions and vinegar-and-relish slaw (hold the mayo), 360,000 hot dogs are unleashed annually at Yum Yum. Add chips, drinks (including Cheerwine) and ice cream, and that’s the sum total of what Yum Yum vends: “Don’t change anything and keep it simple,” says Rodger Aydelette, who has a degree from UNCG in physics. “I bought the most expensive hot dogs you could get and it didn’t go well.” One customer came up and asked him what on earth they’d done to the dogs. “After I told him, he threw his partially eaten dog — and two others, untouched — into the trash right in front of me.” After his horse kicked him, founder Wisdom Brown Aydelette gave up his ice-cream cart in downtown Greensboro and in 1921 built a shop at the corner of Forest and Spring Garden on the edge of town near what was then Woman’s College. Named West End Ice Cream, its logo touted Yum Yum, a pink concoction studded with grape nuts. The name stuck, though the ice cream is long gone because the grape nuts slowly turned soggy. In 1973, UNCG and W.B. waged war after the
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
school decided a big new administration building was more important than a small family business. W.B. lost and predicted the nearby new store “is not going to be near as good.” Maybe so, but someone still buys 16,000 gallons of ice cream a year, every lick of it homemade. After a school year abroad, getting married and hiking the Appalachian Trail, Karin Engles moved back to Greensboro to follow in the footsteps of other Aydelettes. “You feel really important carrying on what your great-grandfather did,” she says, wiping her hands on her apron. Rodger Aydelette is really proud of having a business that offers his son, Rodger II, 22, and his daughter a place to work and supports four families. He’s especially pleased Karin is making the ice cream. “She’s just a little old thing, a peanut, but she carries around those 70-pound cans of ice cream with ease.” With a UNCG degree in psychology and English, is this really what Karin Engles wants to do? “I’m never like, ‘Oh I have to go to work today,’” she says. “I can see me being here forever.” OH David Bailey, a food fanatic, is a contributing editor for O.Henry Magazine.
Artist At Work
Sculptor Jim Gallucci is out to create an arts renaissance in the Gate City — one exquisite piece of metal at a time By Ashley Wahl • Photographs By Cassie Butler
fter wiping his brow, Jim Gallucci readjusts his horn-rimmed glasses and takes a long, cool drink of water. By the looks of his hands — and his mottled khaki overalls — the man knows a thing or two about elbow grease and iron. “Coffee?” he offers. The clock reads 10 a.m. He drank his coffee hours ago. One cup is all he drinks. Through the walls of the break room, the drone of grinders, saws and other metalworking tools can be heard from the workshop, where Jim spends most of his time. Deadlines are particularly pressing today. His assistants are hard at work. Two sculptures for the North Carolina Veterans Park in Fayetteville are under way. The crew is also working to complete a series of twelve iron gates to be placed along an abandoned railroad underpass currently under restoration as part of the extensive Downtown Greenway project here in Greensboro. “It’s a real, real big deal,” Gallucci says of the project that was awarded a prestigious grant by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of its Mayor’s Institute on City Design. “We’re connecting neighborhoods that have been separated by roads,” he says. “I see it as a very hopeful kind of thing.” Although he’s not a native son — Downtown advocate Betty Cone calls him “adopted” — Jim Gallucci has been living and making sculpture in the Gate City for over thirty years. Rather fitting, really, for an artist whose portfolio boasts an extensive collection of gates.
“I remember when it hit me,” Gallucci says, “that gates are such a perfect format.” For the artist, gates are portals through which the public can explore art.
* True to his sociable nature — “He doesn’t know a stranger,” a colleague swears — sculptor becomes storyteller. He paints the scene, flashing back, fifteen years or so, to a filling station in Wilkesboro, en route to the annual Rosen Sculpture Exhibit in downtown Boone. His face glows. “I’m pumping gas,” Gallucci says, “when a fellow walks over, spits tobacco juice onto the hot concrete and asks, ‘What’s that supposed to be?’ gesturing to the massive steel sculpture in the back of my truck. A gate. “‘I know it’s a gate,’ the fellow says, breaking for another spit. ‘But can you tell me what it means?’” And so, Gallucci the storyteller says, he shared the symbolism of Immigrant Gate — a sculpture that represents the journey his Italian ancestors took in hopeful search of the American Dream — with the camel-mannered man he met at this particular Blue Ridge gas station. “It’s about leaving the Old World for new opportunity,” Gallucci told him, simply. And at that, the fellow spits, takes a second look at the gate and, with reverence, says, “I like it.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro
“That was probably one of the best art criticisms I could ever have,” says Gallucci. “That Everyman could walk up, immediately be engaged by what I was doing, and then be captured by the art of it.” He takes another slow drink of water. “Everyone can understand a gate. Once they understand the gate, they can begin to discover what the art is all about.” Children can, too. Gallucci’s “whisper” gates (and benches), inspired by his daughter Madeline, feature the simple use of sound tubes to encourage interaction — with the art and with others. One such gate is at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh.
* Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Gallucci picked up an English degree — and met his wife, Kathy — at Le Moyne College. Somewhere in the midst of things he got the itch to learn to sculpt with iron. “So I decided to teach myself one summer,” Gallucci says. When Gallucci’s father saw him hammering hopelessly at a scrap of iron out by the garage — attempting to make a chisel by using an old forge — what he said surprised his son: “You’re doing it all wrong.” Like second nature, Gallucci’s old man showed him how it’s done. “Is this what you’re trying to do?” he asked, striking the hot iron once or twice. Sure enough. “When you’re nine years old in Italy, they start you in a trade,” Gallucci explains. “By the time my father immigrated to the States, when he was thirteen, he was a journeyman blacksmith. He taught me everything he knew.”
* Gallucci went on to receive his MFA in sculpture from Syracuse University in 1976. A year or so later, he accepted a teaching position as an art instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After teaching for nine years, he took a year off to focus on his art. “I worked in the studio that year instead,” he says. Good thing, too. That year, Gallucci created artwork that was selected to go to the World Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia. Then, Brisbane City Council bought his work. “All of a sudden, I went from a guy that left teaching to an international artist.” He never did go back to school. Then again, he never really stopped teaching.
* In 2005, Gallucci designed and built his 7,200-square-foot studio on Industrial Avenue where he and a staff of six assistants — whom Gallucci trains — design and fabricate sculpture full time. His sculptures have graced many notable venues, including the Navy Pier — the site of the world’s largest outdoor sculpture show held annually in Chicago, Illinois. They’re also woven throughout this town. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Find Millennium Gate on West Washington, or the pair of playful blue benches that grace the Cultural Arts building. At NewBridge Bank Park, the entry gate — his depiction of a massive metal baseball bat — spans 52 feet. But Gallucci and his crew do more than sculpt gates and benches. They also make handrails, bridges, and a host of site-specific monuments. The possibilities seem boundless. “We’re not just making gates all day long. That’s retail. We don’t do that,” the artist assures. “We do one-of-a-kind here. That’s what makes it special. And that is the future.” The future, as Gallucci sees it, is reminiscent of a 19th century industry — “a time when people went to the cobbler for custom-made shoes.” As he sees it, the American Dream is still achievable — ironclad, of course. “This is still a place that knows how to make stuff.”
* Behind the front desk in the studio, a corkboard offers method to the metal madness. “This is how we keep track of which sculpture is where,” Gallucci says, “just like an airport tracks its carriers.” Twenty or so are in transit. A piece in Greer, South Carolina, for instance, is due to be moved. Destination: Jackson, Missouri. Wind Passage is tacked beneath Greensburg, Kansas. “We’ve become big supporters of Greensburg,” he says of the tiny town entirely wiped out by an EF5 tornado back in 2007. “It was wind that destroyed the city, and it is wind that has rebuilt it,” the artist says of the town’s new green initiative, which includes the use of windmills to power the city. Plus, he adds, constructing an arts center was one of the primary undertakings of the citizens of Greensburg at a time of unthinkable tragedy and bleakness. “That just shows how focused they are on rebuilding their community,” he says. “The arts can save us. Art brings business, shows vitality, and sometimes above all, it offers hope in times of despair.” Behind Gallucci’s studio sits a reminder of a time America most needed hope: a pile of steel beams from the World Trade Center. A year after the 9/11 attack, Gallucci’s Gates of Sorrow, phase one of a project designed using the steel from the twin towers, was unveiled in New York City in honor of the souls lost on September 11, 2001 — a day that, subsequently, unified the nation. The construction of the second phase of the project, the 53 foot Gates of Hope, as Gallucci alternatively calls them, awaits funding
* Soon, Gallucci hopes to expand his realm. He envisions a local renaissance in earth materials. A stone carver to collaborate with him on future projects. A woodshop. Printmaking and photography studios. Who knows, maybe even glass blowers. “I want to see Greensboro become the Florence of the South,” he says. In the meantime, long live the Gate City. OH August/September 2011
The Omnivorous Reader
Revolutionary Thinking A pair of splendid new histories illuminate the Battle at Guilford Courthouse
By stePheN e. smith
or most of us born in the South, the Civil War is an explicable moment in our history. We know a little about great-great-grandfather so-and-so who lost an arm fighting the Yankees (or was it the Rebs?) and we’ve heard of Sharpsburg (Antietam), Gettysburg, and Appomattox Courthouse. But when it comes to the Revolutionary War, we’re a bunch of ignoramuses. Most Americans couldn’t tell you the inclusive dates of that long ago struggle, much less explain the strategic and tactical particulars that eventually secured our independence from Britain. If it weren’t for the egregiously anemic History Channel and, God help us, Mel Gibson, most of us would know almost nothing about our struggle for independence. Moreover, no aspect of the Revolution is more inexplicable than the war as it was fought in the Lower South. If place names such as Monck’s Corner, Waxhaws, Chatlotee Courthouse, Ninety-Six, Cowan’s Ford, Camden, Cowpens, King’s Mountain, and most importantly, Guilford Courthouse are a mystery to us, the remedy is at hand. Two books published within the last 15 years go far in explaining the war in the South in general and the clash at Guilford Courthouse in particular. For an engrossing overview of the Southern campaign, there’s no better popular history than John Buchanan’s The Road to Guilford Courthouse: the American Revolution in the Carolinas. With the exception of the occasional annoying use of the authorial “we,” Buchanan’s writing is lively, concise, and eminently readable, and his facility for explaining the intricacies of battle and his skill at vividly crafting images bring events to life with startling clarity. The principal players are revealed in detail by thoroughly examining their character, motivation, strengths, and especially their weaknesses. Clinton’s reticence, Gates’ cowardliness, Marion’s aplomb, Tarleton’s ruthless impetuousness, Greene’s instinctive grasp of strategy are portrayed with the reader’s easy comprehension in mind. More importantly, the British and patriot points of view are presented with equal attention to detail and a keen appreciation for the circumstances in which the armies found themselves, as with Buchanan’s description of the British physical and mental state of mind prior to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse: “There were no Tory auxiliaries. Officers and men had been on short rations since late January. They had not been given breakfast and they had marched twelve miles that day while the Americans ate their breakfast and rested. They were outnumbered two to one. If they lost they had nowhere to retreat, no one to come to their aid. But every unit was regular, every man a veteran, every soldier a product of iron discipline. It being the dying time, their officers from cornets to generals were with them. When Lord Cornwallis gave the order to advance they too did not hesitate.” (Our politicians would do well to contemplate the above passage before sending our armies to fight wars thousands of miles away from home.)
If Buchanan’s history piques your interest, you’ll want to read Lawrence Babits’ and Joshua Howard’s Long, Obstinate, and Bloody. This detailed study of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse is an impressive achievement, and it’s likely to be the definitive history for many years to come. But be warned, the authors are professional historians who have exhaustively researched their subject, so much so that the typical history buff is likely to find himself overwhelmed by minutiae, albeit details vital to understanding the battle. But if you’ve digested Buchanan’s general history and you’re willing to take the time to grasp the sometimes convoluted details of troop movements and other particulars heretofore ignored in the sparse histories of the battle, you’ll find ample satisfaction in this thorough analysis of the military, social, and cultural significance of the clash at Guilford Courthouse. Drawing on personal accounts, period maps, pension documents, muster rolls, and common sense, the authors have meticulously recreated the battle with special attention paid to the roles of individual units, their place and performance on the battlefield, and their commanders’ decision-making processes. The authors have gone so far as to conduct experiments with the weapons and munitions employed by the opposing armies: “North Carolina militiamen used seven buckshot in their buck and ball loads as early as 1760 and were using the same load at Camden in August 1780. Modern experiments conducted with buck and ball load demonstrate that even inexperienced shooters quite easily hit a mansized target with the big ball at 50 yards….” If the details are many, the strategic sweep of the battle is by no means overlooked, as with the explication of Greene’s relatively straightforward plan of battle. Borrowing from Morgan’s tactical masterpiece at Cowpens, Greene arranged his militia units, armed with rifled muskets that were incapable of supporting bayonets, in two lines backed by Continental Regulars who had bayonets fixed The Art & Soul of Greensboro
to their smooth-bore muskets. The militias were expected to fire a few well-aimed shots and then retire to the relative safety of the Continental line — which they did. But nothing goes as planned in a pitched battle, and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was no exception. Conflicting testimony, hyperbole, embroidery, outright falsehoods, statements taken years after the events being described, and the confusion of battle are, insofar as possible, disentangled by Babits and Howard. Whenever possible the voices of individual soldiers are allowed to ring through time, as when mediating the dispute regarding the conduct of the North Carolina militia during the battle: “In pension accounts taken nearly fifty years after the battle, many North Carolinians were brutally honest about their fight. Orderly Sgt. Elihu Ayers stated that ‘at the battle of Guilford this applicant was one of the
Conflicting testimony, hyperbole, embroidery, outright falsehoods, statements taken years after the events being described, and the confusion of battle are, insofar as possible, disentangled... North Carolina militia who got panick struck and ran from the scene of action.’ John Amos, a Wake County man, reported that the ‘militia was dispersed and scattered in every direction.’” The official record notwithstanding, who’s to doubt the word of old soldiers who have nothing to lose? Taken together these two excellent histories offer an opportunity to comprehend the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in its totality. But no amount of reading can replace an investigation of the battleground itself. With the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park only a few miles away, you can drive to the battleground and view two excellent films in the visitors’ center, hike the two-mile path of the battle, and perhaps attend the annual Reenactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at email@example.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
For The Common Good Three websites that harness the good of the Internet By JACK DoDsoN
#1: Vote Easy www.votesmart.org/voteeasy In the 2008 presidential election, 131 million people turned out to vote, according to the U.S. Census — a record number that brought out 63.6 percent of the voting population. But voting is only half the battle — knowing who you’re marking your support for is arguably most important. Periscopic, a company that focuses on “socially responsible data visualization,” created an answer to this challenge in partnership with nonprofit Project Vote Smart. The site, created in 2010, allows users to choose their state and district to view their candidates, and then compares their feelings on a number of policy issues with those of the candidates. This spans House members to governors and presidential candidates. Here’s how it works: Once you’ve selected your state, you answer questions about a slew of issues including Afghanistan, abortion, environment, guns and taxes. If your candidates are Internet-savvy, they might have filled out their own answers to these questions, which helps for the sake of instant clarity. If you can ignore the somewhat goofy soundtrack of birds chirping and dogs barking in the audio loop, this website can be an invaluable tool for figuring out where your candidate stands on the issues. If nothing else, it’s a terrific starting point on what can be a long and sometimes tedious election season.
#2: Redu www.letsredu.com The Internet creates endless opportunities for organic movements through social media — hence the prowess of Facebook and Twitter — but it’s only been recently that nonprofits and social movements have taken full advantage of this tool. Redu is ahead of the curve. A site devoted to rethinking U.S. education policy and systems, encouraging a vigorous exchange of ideas and alternatives to the current education system — or at least reworking what’s already in place. “Following the belief that education will not be solved through a single bill passing or by policy makers alone,” goes the site’s mission statement, “our goal is to create a destination where educators, parents, students, and everybody who cares about the issue have the means to engage in the ongoing conversations, be inspired by reform stories, and make a difference in their own way.” Sounds good. But Redu’s more than talk. Because Microsoft is one of the numerous companies behind the site, users may sift through Bing’s vast array of videos, articles, images on the subject of “U.S. education reform,” having instantaneous access to a world of stimulating ideas. Recent intriguing articles ranged from “The Hacker’s Approach to Education Reform” to “Why Standardized Tests Kill the Joy of Learning.” Bolstered by quick facts on education issues (including a large infographic pointing out that 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year in The Art & Soul of Greensboro
this country), the site boasts an inspiring, well-produced intro created by Vimeo, clean layout and a splendid integration of Bing. The functionality is simple but interesting enough to keep the most Web-savvy thoughtfully entertained.
#3: BoostUp.org Finally, another site that probes the same issue by narrowly focusing its energies on student dropouts. BoostUp takes a different form than Redu in the sense that it’s an actual online campaign, rather than a platform for discussion. Here, in a country where one in three students drops out before graduation, you can donate “boosts” to directly encourage students to finish high school. “Boosts” aren’t always of a financial nature. They also involve active mentoring with a struggling student which can include counseling, assisting with homework, and simply listening to a young person’s frustrations. BoostUp.org urges visitors to take a personal stake in their local drop out crisis by seizing opportunities to get involved with students near them. The site also highlights students’ stories as a way to inspire others to get involved. The innovative site features three major sections: The Facts, The Challenges and Take Action. The Facts is a section with posts providing specific numbers and information on student dropout rates across the country. As with any large social issue, there are deep, underlying causes of America’s dropout crisis. The Challenges section of the site provides ample context on the nature of the problem, explaining the many reasons a young person opts to drop out — ranging from personal and family reasons to the need to get a job. But beyond being a resource for those who want to make a difference in their communities, BoostUp provides excellent resources for struggling students — including links to Boys and Girls Clubs, suicide hotlines, college preparation and GED information. In short, this is a great site that harnesses the tools of the Internet and applies them to make a difference in the lives of those who need it. Just like its do-gooder twins, Vote Easy and Redu, BoostUp.org is a splendid informational starting point for addressing a major social ill — websites that give the concerned users the information they need to make smarter decisions and make a difference in their worlds. OH August/September 2011
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The Vacationer’s Prayer
I sure need the break. Fortunately, God doesn’t
By Dale Nixon
ear Lord, I’m ashamed to admit it, but it has been some time now since I have talked to you. Oh, I know we’ve shared a word or two in passing. I’ve mumbled to you several times as I drove down the road, stirred the soup, or just before I closed my eyes at night, but this conversation needs to be more than that. Since I’m more comfortable writing than I am talking, please lean over my shoulder and read this letter as I type. Lord, I want to apologize for neglecting You over this long, hot summer. The steamy weather and the break in a busy schedule were the perfect excuses for taking a vacation from You. Each Sunday I announced to family and friends it was just too hot to get all dressed up to sit through Sunday morning worship services. Struggling with pantyhose, tight clothes and uncomfortable shoes could wait until fall. Sunday school lesson books were put on the shelf, and the offering envelopes bearing our names were stashed in a drawer. I’d pull them out in September. Sundays with silent alarm clocks and a pause in the routine — that’s what a summer should be. I remained uncommitted and exercised my right to say, “No.” Teaching vacation Bible school was no vacation to me, and anyway, that was probably the same week we’d be at the beach. Join a circle? Hold an office? Well, I’d just have to wait and see. There were those times I should have baked a cake or fixed a casserole for the sick or bereaved. But, Lord, as You planned it, the fresh vegetables of the season came in, and I was too busy shelling, shucking, stringing and cooking for my own family. And I gave my family top priority this summer. We went to the mountains, picnicked in the mountains, swam in the ocean and took long rides through the country. We ate good, and we played hard. We were on VACATION for several glorious months.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
So, if we’ve had so much fun this summer, why am I offering my apologies to You? It’s because I suddenly realized that I have taken a vacation from You, but You haven’t taken one from me. I have seen and heard You every day of this season. The sun has continued to shine and the rain has continued to fall. The ocean waves wash in and out with the tide as they have always done. The mountains remain majestic, and flowers and vegetables continue to grow. The grass is still green, the sky is still blue, and rainbows awe us with their colorful show. One day has followed the other without a break in the routine. I have yet to read that a miracle was postponed due to the holidays or because of the extreme heat. There is comfort in knowing You never take a vacation, and remorse in thinking of my extended leave. So, Lord, if You’ll accept my humble apologies, next year I’ll just block out a week. Love and thanks, Dale OH Columnist Dale Nixon resides in Concord. You may contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Hop Head
A Kingdom For My Beer Todd Fisher, a fellow of many talents, is a champion home-brewer with the royal blue ribbon to prove it
By David C. Bailey
Photograph by Sam Froelich
hrough the searing dog days of August heading into the sweltering humidity of September, the Hop Head will be sucking down lots of light Red Oak Hummin’ Bird lager and, if I happen to be at the ball park on a Thirsty Thursday, gallons of Guilford Golden Ale from Natty Greene’s. I will also be hanging out at the recently opened 1618 Wine Lounge on Battleground Avenue next to Pastabilities. I’ll admit that wine lounges are a little chic and atmospheric for my blue-collar tastes (I miss the old Pickwick on Walker), but I dropped by 1618 to talk to the man who concocted the lounge’s excellent beer list, Todd Fisher. Fisher, I’d heard, was the winner of the 2011 Gambrinus Cup, for which honor I toasted him with a heavenly chalice of Triangle Brewing’s Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale that he’d recommended — eight percent and incredibly priced at three dollars a pint. Fisher is my new role model — an actor, playwright, public servant, bartender and home brewer, all rolled into one impish package. On a lark, he entered his stout in the U.S. Open Homebrew Competition, and out of 400 entries, won not only a blue ribbon, but also the honor of having his beer brewed on a commercial scale by Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem. Knights in shining armor and their ladies fair will be quaffing Fisher’s stout at the upcoming Renaissance Festival in Charlotte, an event at which I myself have tipped more than a few mugs of merry mead and jolly old ale. What path, I wondered, what course of study, what apprenticeship leads one to a prize-winning stout? “There’s just a little serendipity to it all,” the linebacker-sized Fisher says. “Ninety percent luck and ten percent preparation,” he admits, which means there’s hope for all of us aspiring home-brewers. I brewed gallons and gallons of mediocre beer while in college, inspired by my father, who’s gone on to that great big brew pub in the sky. I recall my old man decked out in a yellow slicker and nor’wester hat, pouring out geyser after geyser of his home-brewed beer after it started going bump in the night, terrifying my mother and altering the aroma of our pantry forever. But I digress. Fisher’s journey began when his wife, Christine, bought him a homebrew kit several years ago for his birthday — “and has regretted it ever since,” he says. But Fisher’s real inspiration came after he attended a charity beer fest at the Greensboro Coliseum, where he discovered that “the best beers were from the homebrew clubs. I mean they had weird beers, jalapeno tequila ale, coconut-milk porters, coconut-chocolate stout, and The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Mountain Dew ale — which was made from fermented Mountain Dew and tasted just like Mountain Dew.” Over-served toward the end of the event, he remembers blurting out that he could probably make some pretty good beer himself. “And the guys there were like, ‘Can you boil water?’ And I’m like, ‘YEAH!’ and they said, ‘Well, you can make beer.’ And I’m like, ‘Sure.’” He started with a “dump-andstir” kit, which he insists is foolproof. Canned malt extract is dumped and stirred into a pot of boiling water. Add yeast when it’s cooled, put it into a closet, and in a few weeks, you’ve got forty-eight or forty-nine bottles of stout from a kit that cost something like thirty-five dollars — much less than a dollar a bottle. “Now the real way to save money is to go all-grain because grain is cheap,” Fisher says. All-grain means buying malted grain for a couple of bucks a pound and turning it into beer. He figures his prize-winning stout cost him something like twenty-seven dollars for forty-eight bottles. Of course, Fisher’s math does not include the cost of his mash tun, lauter tun and brew kettle. Or the burner on which it was heated. Or the chain of Igloo coolers he’s improvised into his garage brewery. “Every time I go to the beer store, I buy a new piece of equipment. It’s quite an addictive habit,” he says without a hint of irony in his voice. But since his wife got him started, why shouldn’t the equipment costs show up on her balance sheet? (And, yes, they’re still happily married.) Fisher’s not about to give out the recipe for his stout or even tell me what kind of hops he used (although in the way of beer-nerd stuff, he says they had a huge “alpha-acid component” and he “dry-hopped” the stout). It’s fitting Fisher’s stout will be served at the Renaissance Festival. He’s very much a wild and crazy Renaissance kind of guy. A UNCG Theater and Dance alum, his day job is arts and education director for Greensboro’s City Arts, which offers programs in dance, drama, music and visual arts. He’s the director of Greensboro’s Fringe Festival and his “Koun Kukki: The Legend of Hamachi and Unagi” was voted Best Drama at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. So ... is he thinking of changing careers and maybe opening a brew pub? Having worked for years in the food industry to support his theater career, Fisher already knows how hard and risky it is to open up anything in the food and beverage category. “I think my love for the stage is a lot greater than my love for beer,” he says. “Now if I could combine all of that in one place, a brew-pub theater? It could be the first of its kind right here in Greensboro, North Carolina.” The Hop Head will drink to that. OH August/September 2011
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