December O.Henry 2018

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Peace on earth and goodwill to all. Š2018 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.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity.



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Santa at the Biltmore Hotel 11:00AM – 2:00PM Tea with Clara Carolina Theatre | 1:45PM Holiday Party in LeBauer Park 12:00 – 3:00PM Triad Local First’s Downtown Holiday Stroll 1:00 – 6:00PM Holiday Stroll sidewalk sale Vintage to Vogue | 1:00 – 6:00PM

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Givesboro November 15 – December 15 Piedmont Winterfest Ice Rink LeBauer Park | November 16 – January 27 First Annual Holiday Invitation Show & Sale Center for Visual Artists | November 24 – January 4 Mousetastical Mouse Hunt Greensboro History Museum | December 1 – 30 Winter Show at GreenHill GreenHill | December 2 – January 18 Greensboro Ballet’s The Nutcracker Carolina Theatre | December 8 –16 Elf the Musical Jr. Community Theatre of Greensboro | December 8 – 16 holiday movies at the carolina theatre Visit for the schedule. Holiday Cooking Classes Visit for the schedule.



festival of lights 6:00 – 9:00PM The Market at the Festival of Lights LeBauer Park | 5:30PM The Jingle Market Vintage to Vogue | 6:00 – 9:00PM




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Greensboro holiday parade 12:00PM Holiday Parade Fun at the Museum Greensboro History Museum | 10:00AM – 12:00PM HOLIDAY CONCERT in lebauer park 6:30 – 8:30PM Holiday Cheer with Newberry & Verch The Crown at Carolina Theatre | 8:00PM First Friday Visit for details. | 6:00 – 9:00PM




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Santa at the Biltmore Hotel 11:00AM – 2:00PM holiday wreath class Preyer Brewing Company | 4:00PM Holiday CONCERT in LeBauer Park 6:30 – 9:00PM Queensboro – A Night Before Christmas Vintage to Vogue | 7:30PM Santa at the Biltmore Hotel 11:00AM – 2:00PM SantaCon Bar Crawl Visit for more information.


Santa at the Biltmore Hotel 11:00AM – 2:00PM


Holiday Shopping Special at GreenHill GreenHill | 12:30 – 2:30PM


Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra Holiday Concert Carolina Theatre | 7:30PM


Cookies with Mrs. Claus Greensboro Children’s Museum | 3:30 – 4:30PM


Cookies with Mrs. Claus Greensboro Children’s Museum | 3:30 – 4:30PM


Santa at the Biltmore Hotel 11:00AM – 2:00PM

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December 2018 FEATURES

55 Winter Solstice

Poetry by Sarah Edwards

56 The Return of the Light

By Jim Dodson A celebration of food and faith at Greensboro’s Temple Emanuel

60 Our Christmas Sing

By Margaret Maron A tradition that measures the years

62 Folding Architecture into Christmas By Maria Johnson Greensboro’s Carl Myatt models good cheer

68 Folly Jolly

By Nancy Oakley At Körner’s Folly, nothing succeeds like excess

79 A Magical Plant

By Ross Howell Jr. When life hangs in the balance, hang msitletoe

81 Almanac

By Ash Alder

DEPARTMENTS 15 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 20 Short Stories 23 Doodad By Ogi Overman 25 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 27 Omnivorous Reader By DG Martin 31 Scuppernong Bookshelf 33 Drinking with Writers By Wiley Cash

47 True South By Susan Kelly 49 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 51 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 85 Arts Calendar 104 GreenScene 111 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 112 O.Henry Ending By Nancy Oakley

39 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 43 In The Spirit By Tony Cross Cover Photos by Mark Wagoner Photograph this page by Amy Freeman

8 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Happy Holidays!

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


Volume 8, No. 12 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.”

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David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • 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 Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner CONTRIBUTORS Ash Alder, Jane Borden, Grant Britt, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Tony Cross, Clyde Edgerton, Billy Eye, Ross Howell Jr., Billy Ingram, Susan Kelly, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, D.G. Martin, Ogi Overman, Romey Petite, Angela Sanchez, Stephen Smith, Astrid Stellanova

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10 O.Henry

December 2018

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

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Simple Life

Silent Nights Holding infinity in the palms of our hands

By Jim Dodson

When I was a kid, Christmas

Eve couldn’t get here fast enough, the night I eagerly awaited all year. Mine was a visceral excitement fueled in part by the happy torture of unopened gifts beneath a heavily tinseled fir tree, and the crazy notion that if and when I somehow dropped off to sleep, a jolly bearded housebreaker would enter our premises and leave behind fantastic things I’d coveted from the pages of America’s holiest book — the Sears Catalog.

My excitement was also fueled by the other mythic theme of that singular night — the enchantment of a candlelight church service that always ended with congregants passing a small flame hand-to-hand as everyone sang “Silent Night” before filing out into a cold and silent night. The flickering candles, the mingling scents of burning wax and well-worn hymnals, the ancient readings from Isaiah and St. Luke of a savior babe born in a barnyard stable, the sight of whole families bundled into creaking pews with squirming kids and yawning grandpas, O Magnum Mysterium — somehow it blended together into a delicious stew of magic and wonder that I felt — nay, believed — in my very bones. To this day, it’s the only time I intentionally stay up past midnight, stepping outside with a wee nightcap of bourbon or The Art & Soul of Greensboro

aged port to savor what may be the truest of silent nights. Biblical scholars have long debated (and most disputed) the commonly assigned date of the historical Jesus’ birth (neither Luke nor Matthew makes mention of it happening in winter), leaving believers to accept the early Roman Church’s artful grafting of the birth of Jesus Christ onto pagan Rome’s popular feast of Saturnalia, a major holiday that coincided with the winter solstice that was known for its feasting and gift-giving in celebration of the returning of the sun god, Sol Invictus. For what it’s worth, ancient Persians assigned that same day, December 25, to be the birthday of their own returning sun god, Mithra. While in the Hebrew Calendar, the celebration of Hanukkah — the “Festival of Lights” that memorializes the restoration of the Second Temple of Jerusalem following a revolt by the Maccabeans and the miracle of a menorah that burned for eight days — begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which happens to fall anywhere from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. Just to make things more interesting, the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church accepts January 7 as the true birth date of Jesus Christ, the proper date of “Old Christmas.” Some leading Biblical scholars even maintain that the birthdate of Christ was in March, the start of spring. Whatever else might be true, the Christmas-loving kid in me has never required a proof-of-authenticity label or even an official “start” date in order to believe in the transformative magic of the holiday season — whether it’s the lights of Hanukkah or lovely myth of Father Christmas or even lovelier myth of a virgin birth in a barn. I embrace the true meaning of the word “myth,” by the way, an ancient word that has been stripped of its spiritual power by modern misuse, originally denoting a traditional story meant to convey an important message, often based December 2018

O.Henry 15

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Simple Life

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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on historical events, revealing an important belief, practice or phenomenon — all of which perfectly explains why we human seek the light in whatever form on the longest nights of the year. Here’s my own favorite Christmas story. During the years we lived on a wooded hill in Maine — deep in a forest of birch and hemlock that almost always had a dusting of snow by Christmas Eve — the Episcopal church we attended put special emphasis on its annual Christmas Eve pageant, an ambitious staging of the Nativity complete with angels, wise men and watchful shepherds guarding their flocks by night. One year our prodigies, Maggie and Jack, snagged important roles as attending sheep, while my good friend and regular lunch pal, Colonel Robert Day, debuted as the archangel Gabriel. Colonel Bob was an ideal Gabriel, a lovely giant of a gent who’d lost two sons through tragedy and disease but somehow turned his unspeakable grief into counseling families grappling with their own personal tragedies. In his former life, Bob had been one of the first to lead his unit of army engineers across the Rhine into Nazi Germany during the closing days of the Second World War and was on his way to lead a similar invasion into Japan when the Japanese capitulated. The rest of his military career was spent at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he served as admissions director for many years, laying the foundation for the admission of women to the Academy. Someone kitted out Colonel Bob with a massive pair of papier mâché wings for the pageant, which he sported with the dignity of Laurence Olivier until one wing detached and conked one of the baby cows on the head, bowling over the poor little creature. For a moment, the glory of Jesus’ birth was upstaged by anxious gasps as the little cow was righted and Bossie’s head removed. Beneath was a laughing kid. The audience broke into spontaneous applause. The kid-cow beamed. “Now that’s a small miracle,” one of the sheepmoms whispered to me with relief. And onward we went to the big finale of gifts from the Magi. That particular year, the Christmas Eve family service that followed was held at the Settlemeyer family’s barn in the hills west of town. The Settlemeyers had real sheep and cows and a horse or two that were undoubtedly amused by the dozens of shivering families that crowded into their freezing barn to light candles and hear about a savior being born on a Midnight Clear. It was my job, as it happened, to provide the musical accompaniment on my guitar, fingers stiff with cold. Fortunately Colonel Bob showed up with a flask of good Irish whiskey. As a live chorus of sheep bleated, I plucked out a respectable “First Noel” followed by “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!” and

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December 2018

O.Henry 17





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Simple Life

“Silent Night” as candlelight passed from hand to hand, illuminating one face at a time. Up to that moment, worth noting, it had been a snowless winter in Maine — always an anxious thing for the locals (and yours truly) who counted on decent snows to insulate their foundations and garden beds and provide a pristine landscape for their favorite wintertime activities. But as we blew out candles and stepped out of the Settlemeyers’ barn, a second small miracle took place — or maybe just good theatrical timing by the universe. “Look, everybody,” someone cried, “it’s snowing!” Indeed it was — a curtain of beautiful silent snow falling like an answered prayer over the darkened landscape. During the short drive home, my ever-wise lamb of a daughter wondered if the sudden appearance of snow might really be a miracle. “Absolutely,” I assured her with the faith of a mustard seed, recalling Albert Einstein’s quote that there are two ways to live your life — as if there’s no such thing as miracles, or that everything is a miracle. For the record, a third miracle occurred that silent night, one involving her proud papa and brilliant Scottish grandmother, Kate, a professed agnostic who cried once when I took her to Evensong at King’s College in Cambridge. I nicknamed her our “Queen Mum.” Together, we managed to put together a German dollhouse that looked more like a Rhine river castle and came in 4,000 pieces with a dozen pages of instructions in medieval German. In truth, I abandoned the quest around 2 a.m. leaving Mum to her third pot of tea, the rest of the Drambuie and a dying fire. I was certain the task was beyond us both. In the morning, however, Maggie’s dollhouse looked worthy of a Fifth Avenue toy shop window. “How’d you do that?” I discreetly quizzed the Queen Mum. “The power of faith, James,” she came back with a prim smile. “And good Scottish tea.” Sadly, I think the town fire marshal may have put the kibosh on any more Christmas candlelight services in a livestock barn, that old spoilsport. But I carry the sweetest memories of many such Silent Nights in my heart, that one above the rest. Like Einstein, you see, I’ve come to believe everything is a small miracle — the oil that lighted lamps for eight days, a prince of peace born in a freezing stable, an angel with a broken wing who mended broken hearts, an agnostic’s tears and people of every race and creed who gather on the darkest night to celebrate the return of the light. Besides, as Mother Theresa reportedly pointed out, nothing is small to God — only infinite. OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 19

Short Stories Top Brasserie

Remember in December

Or specifically, on December 15, the date on which Wreaths Across America encourages U.S. communities to place wreaths on the gravestones of their fallen military heroes. You can participate in the Gate City’s version of the program, Wreaths Across Greensboro, by sponsoring a wreath (or several) and attending a ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery (3901 Forest Lawn Drive) that will include a shuttle to the veterans’ area, hot chocolate and coffee. For more information go to


’Tis the season for giving, so why not give yourself a gift that keeps on giving — to others? When Chez Genèse opened in October in the antiques district on South Elm Street (for breakfast and lunch only), it began serving la vraie cuisine française. But, above all else, it also sought to serve those who are less fortunate: “It is our goal, as a team, to come alongside incredible individuals who (due to intellectual or developmental disability) may have the odds stacked against them in the workforce, to help develop and celebrate their own interests and potential,” chef Kathryn Hubert writes on the back of a menu, the front of which I drooled all over. My advice? Start with une verre of Languedoc rosé ($6) and the charcuterie board ($14) — jambon, saucissons (little sausages), smoked salmon and, of course, fromage: the creamy tomme de Savoie or, perhaps, a bold chèvre or Roquefort (your choice). If it’s rainy, why not order a classic and comforting bowl of soup, the creamy red-potatoand-leek ($5) or a soupe au poulet ($6) that’s rich in the way only the French seem to attain? Daily plats du jours ($11-12) are stickto-the-ribs, hearty French country fare — sausage with lentils, lamb stew with turnips or, on Fridays, bouillabaise! Baguette or croissant sandwiches, along with pizzas and tarts, complement five traditional salads on the lighter side. Et les desserts? Ooh la la! Bon appétit, salut and Joyeux Noël. Private evening events available. Info: — D.C.B.

Saved by the Bell

No, not the kind that rings in a schoolroom, but the sort that accompanies the Salvation Army’s ubiquitous red buckets this time of year — and the focal point of Jacob’s Bell. The Yuletide tale by Triad author John Snyder is set in 1944 and flashes back to the 1920s and ’30s to reveal the journey of Jacob, a wealthy Chicago businessman, who suffers a fall from grace. But winding up as, of all things, a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army, the book’s protagonist ultimately finds redemption and as any good Christmas tale should include, love. Available at the usual suspects, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and more. Info:

20 O.Henry

December 2018

Show Ho Ho!

Meaning Winter Show at GreenHill (200 North Davie Street). Starting December 1 with Collector’s Choice Fundraiser, a preview of the exhibit that offers ticketholders first choice of 500-some works by North Carolina artists in advance of the public opening on December 2. You’ll wonder as you wander among the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and works in glass, fiber and ceramics at the wealth of creativity springing from our state’s red clay. Can’t make either date? Not to worry: Winter Show runs through January 18, adding a little springtime to the short dark days of the season. Tickets (for Collector’s Choice): The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sounds of the Season

Jazz and jingle were made for each other, especially in a swank environment Check out Greensboro’s newly renovated Carolina Theatre (310 South Greene Street) on December 18th for a concert of seasonal tunes, courtesy of Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra. Boasting “new versions” of all genres, from sacred to secular, PTJO’s lineup will inspire toe-tapping, hand-clapping, headbobbing, be-bopping, and more. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

Blades of Glory

Break the ice, quite literally (but not an arm or a leg), by channeling Hans Brinker, or better yet Olympians Joey Cheek and Dorothy Hamill, when you spin around the WFMY News 2 Piedmont Winterfest skating rink in LeBauer Park (208 North Davie Street). From now through January 27 you can rent a pair of skates for just $10 and practice your best Salchow or camel — or simply glide around without taking a spill. And speaking of gliding, how about some cool runnings on the ice slide? For information on public skate times, children’s rates and group rates (think: skating party à la Peanuts Gang) go to

Visual Treats

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” wrote Romantic poet John Keats. So why not spread a little seasonal joy with the gift of art? All month, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to attend the Center for Visual Artists’ Holiday Invitational, held through January 4 at the Cultural Center (200 North Davie Street). Opening on December 1, gift seekers can peruse art and fine, handmade wares as they sip craft beer, and on December 7, mingle with the 50-some local artists who created the items. Additionally, there will be craft-making sessions, among other events, throughout the season. Best of all, the beneficiaries are, not only the loved ones on your Christmas list, but the working artists and CVA’s educational programs that bring art to makers of all ages. Info:

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

One of the beauties of the holiday season is the combination of Christmas-y and secular concerts. Granted, some radio stations have been playing carols since Halloween (it seems), but, hey, the FCC doesn’t require you to listen to it. And for the discerning listener, there is plenty of live music to choose from, traditional and otherwise, to make the season bright. So get out there and roast some dang chestnuts.

• December 4, High Point Theatre: Some years back I wrote a column on the five best voices in country music, those who were so operatic and polished that it was almost demeaning to call them “country.” Coming in at No. 2 was John Berry. He does a Christmas tour each year, which, come to think of it, is not country at all. You will walk away with goosebumps. • December 7, Blind Tiger: Greensboro

may rightfully claim two of the finest blues guitarists on the planet, ever since Eric Gales met a local girl and moved here (the other being Bob Margolin). But, just as with John Berry, Gales is hardly confined to a specific genre. In fact, there are those who question whether he is actually from this planet. He does stuff that’s otherworldly — upside-down and left-handed.

• December 9, Greensboro Coliseum: While most national touring acts shut it down for much of December, that’s when the TransSiberian Orchestra cranks it up. Their holiday show is so in-demand, there are actually two ensembles. Seriously. If you’ve never seen them, they will make you look at Christmas music in a whole different way. • December 11, Ramkat: Could it have


By now it’s the stuff of Gate City legend, but what would the holidays be without the Running of the Balls? It might be too late by the time you read this to register for the race through Greensboro’s festive Sunset Hills, whose residents celebrate the season of light with thousands of illuminated orbs suspended from the neighborhood’s towering old oaks. But there’s nothing stopping you from cheering on the competitors on December 15, and enjoying hot chocolate, tasty eats, music and camaraderie — while supporting a cause that makes the lives of others merry and bright: the Northwest North Carolina Food Bank. Info:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

really been 20 years since Lucinda Williams set the world on fire with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road? Apparently so, since she’s doing a 20th anniversary tour behind it. After all these years that CD is still in regular rotation in my life, just as clever and fresh as it was in 1998. Can’t wait to see her again live.

• December 31, Westover Church: I’ve

loved Dixieland jazz since grade school, and there weren’t then and aren’t now any finer purveyors of the style than the Dukes of Dixieland. Sending you to a show in a church may be a first, but you’re gonna have to just get over it. See you there.

December 2018

O.Henry 21

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Sometimes the road

not taken takes awhile to find. In Terry Fritz’s case, it took him until middle age to veer off the beaten path and chase his bliss. But once the decision was made, there was no turning back. And that has made all the difference.

Fritz, 61, was in the midst of a lucrative and successful career in Philadelphia as a pharmaceutical sales rep for Pfizer when he was offered a position as VP of sales and marketing for a startup pharmaceutical company in Greensboro. He moved here in 2000, was laid off in 2006, but stayed in the industry as a management consultant until about seven months ago. It was then that he transitioned from a hobbyist into a full-time second career as, of all things, a luthier. (For anyone who doesn’t know, luthiers make and repair string instruments that typically have necks and sound boxes like a guitar and violin.) “I could not have done it without such a good 35-year career,” Fritz explains. “I’d gotten both my kids through college and didn’t owe anything, had most of the woodworking tools already, had played guitar all my life, so it seemed like a natural progression.” At the behest of a craftsman friend, he took a class under a former machinist for the C.F. Martin & Co. and built his first guitar in 2006. He then enrolled in a luthier school in Atlanta and started doing repairs, eventually converting into building. “I just fell in love with the process,” Fritz says with a smile. “I can work a 14hour day and not feel like I’ve worked at all.” Three years ago the Ohio State grad launched his own brand, Fritz Guitars, and in that relatively short span has made a name for himself as a premier builder of one-of-a-kind, boutique guitars. They are not, mind you, for the beginner, but rather the professional and/or collector with discretionary money. Prices range from $2,750 to $6,900. “One of the finest compliments I ever got came from a guy I built an electric guitar for who said, ‘I don’t know whether to play it or hang it on the wall as a work of art,’” he said. “He recently called back and wants me to build him an acoustic.” It is that perfect combination of sound and beauty that is the ultimate goal for Fritz. “I try to find something unique in look and feel in every guitar I build,” he noted. Toward that end, his acoustic instruments have four features almost never found on one instrument: a transitional arm bevel, a player-side soundboard, a radial grain rosette, and a torrified front wherein all the resin and sugar is cooked out of the cell walls of the wood. “Not only does that look good, but it gives it a different resonance. It makes a brand new guitar sound like it’s a hundred years old,” he notes. Currently Fritz builds on commission as well as selling at events such as the N.C. Folk Festival, International Bluegrass Music Award IBMA shows, Piedmont Blues Preservation Society PBPS Blues Festival and MerleFest. Two of the artists who play his creations are David Holt and Lakota John. “I’ve got seven in my inventory right now,” he affirms. “I’m building between seven and nine a year, but I’m getting faster.” Chances are, he’s going to have to. — Ogi Overman OH Info:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Holiday Gift Guide

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O.Henry 23

Life’s Funny

Talkin’ ‘bout My Generation Giving no quarter to the Top 25

By Maria Johnson

I resist click bait most of the time because it’s a total time chew.

But once in a while — in the same way I enjoy an occasional bag of Cheetos — I enjoy “news” that clearly isn’t. Take, for example, the piece that snared me recently: The Top 25 Things Baby Boomers Think Are Cool, a compilation by the celebrated Millennial journalist Serget T. The implication, Boomers, is that if you like anything on the list, you’re not cool. Spoiler alert: You’re not. But you’re also not very disciplined. Soooooo, click. 1. Diamonds. Did you know that most jewels are a scam? People purposefully keep the stones out of the market to drive the prices up. Think of all the student loans you could pay off with the money spent on diamonds. I agree that natural diamonds are a rip-off, and they’re often mined under horrible conditions. But if you ever propose marriage to someone special, your highminded self had better not cough up a piece of pink zirconia. Trust me on this, kiddos. 2. Golf. This is the most boring sport in the world, it hurts your back, and apparently it only exists as some sort of status symbol. Plus you have to spend tons of money just to start? No thanks. Agree. My husband probably could offer up a reasonable argument, but he’s out playing golf, so . . . 3. The mall. You can buy everything you want online without any need to go into a crowded store with a terrible parking lot. Unfortunately, this is true. I say unfortunately because I have great memories of Orange Bowl slushes, Spencer’s gifts, and walking counterclockwise around giant planters for no apparent reason. 4. Plain toast. Make fun of our avocado toast made on artisan bread all you want. But do you know what sucks? Plain, dry toast on boring white sandwich bread. Agree, but no one eats plain toast unless they have malaria. 5. 24-hour news networks. It’s basically just trash for your brain. Like Top 25 lists. 6. Crocs. I don’t care how comfortable they are. They still look ridiculous. Yes, they do. Call me when you develop plantar fasciitis — which you will, my little child of Vans with no arch support — and I’ll let you borrow mine. 7. Reader’s Digest. Wrong generation. That was your grandparents. 8. Ironing. It’s so boring. I’d rather let my clothes be a touch wrinkled than spend time ironing everything I own. Yes on the boring part, but as far as I know, only my grandmother ironed everything she owned, and I’m here to tell you that hell hath no fury like a cardboard bath towel. However, in defense of light starch, I will say this: Do not — I repeat, do not — wear a rumpled shirt to a wedding or a job interview. 9. Jorts (jeans shorts). The last time I checked, New York was awash in young women wearing cuffed denim shorty shorts. Granted, the effect was not the same as the knee-length dad jorts pictured in your list, but then again, do you really want to see your dad in cuffed shorty shorts? Mind your denim bias. 10. Scripted art from department stores. Whether it’s a wall decal or a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

painting, it just looks . . . tacky. Bless Your Heart. 11. Airbrushed T-shirts. Woooo-hooooo! Daytona Beach, Spring Break, 1979. Yeah, baby — smoking free cigarette samples and playing that Devil’s Triangle drinking game that was so popular among Boomers. 12. Conspiracy theories. Baby Boomers are the generation that brought us JFK and moon landing conspiracy theories. It’s no wonder they believe sites like “” these days. I’m so glad young people are beyond fringe theories (cough-cough, Kanye West and David Bowie are spirit-swapping soul mates, cough-cough). 13. NCIS. Damn straight. If you ever turn up dead and in the Navy, you’d better hope Jethro and Abs are on the case. 14. Sending emails. Emails are the worst. You’re right. It would be sooooo much better to have lengthy texts and attachments pouring into a place where I cannot ignore them. 15. Landlines. AKA cell phone finders. 16. Cruises. Wow, a prepackaged vacation where you’re trapped on a boat and get to visit another country for two hours and feel like an adventurous traveler. Agree. Never been on one, never wanted to. 17. Paper bills. Ugh. Paperless bills are SO MUCH BETTER. Yup, paper’s on the way out. And yet . . . have you ever noticed how quickly a feral Millennial will snatch a $20 bill from a Boomer hand? Watch your fingers. 18. Messages in ALL CAPS. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. TEXT US BACK, AND WE WON’T HAVE TO YELL. 19. Retirement funds. HAHAHAHA. YOU’RE FUNNY. 20. Mrs. Dash. There’s a WORLD of spices out there. Why are you yelling about spices? 21. Home shopping channels. I generally agree that we don’t need more stuff. However, the stretch puffer coat with removable hood and faux fur, in dark purple or black, is undeniably attractive. 22. Slacks (shown with picture of Boomer dude in billowing, cuffed UN-IRONED khakis) Do these look good on anyone? Wait. I think I’m starting to understand skinny jeans. Fabric under tremendous body heat and pressure needs no ironing. 23. Racquetball. What is the point of this sport? (To score points). Who plays it? (Racquetball players). Why don’t you play tennis? (Because we are playing pickleball). 24. Patterned wallpaper. All wallpaper looks bad, but Baby Boomers tend not to notice. True, it looks bad. And false, we notice. 25. Giant cable TV packages. Point taken. Roku to the rescue. With a high-def antenna to pick up local network affiliates because . . . NCIS. For the record, this list of 25 things ran on to 62 things, ending with “unpaid internships.” I agree. Fork over the dough, fellow Boomers. And do yourselves a favor, Millennials: Learn to count. OH

Also on Maria Johnson’s recommended reading list: Top 25 Reasons Your Dog Follows You to the Bathroom. December 2018

O.Henry 25

The Omnivorous Reader

A Masterpiece that Matters To Kill a Mockingbird continues to resonate

By D.G. Martin

Last October, on the final episode of

PBS’s The Great American Read, Harper Lee’s 1960 Southern classic To Kill a Mockingbird was named “America’s Best Loved Novel.”

From a list of 100 candidates and a total of 4 million votes cast over several months, Mockingbird was a clear winner, receiving 242,275 votes. What explains the popularity of Mockingbird and its staying power more than a half century after its publication? The host and leader of the The Great American Read, Meredith Vieira, said she was not surprised with the result. “Mockingbird,” she said, “is a personal favorite of mine — one that truly opened my eyes to a world outside of my own. Harper Lee’s iconic work of literature is cherished for its resonance, its life lessons and its impact on one’s own moral compass.” Vieira told USA Today that she would have picked Mockingbird if it had been solely up to her. “I read it when I was 12. Of course it holds up; it’s a brilliant novel, and all of the lessons I learned then resonate deeply now. I think the reason I picked it is because I read it at a pivotal time in my life. I was a young kid growing up in Rhode Island and I didn’t know anything, really, about bigotry or racism, and that book pointed it out in the voice of a little girl, which appealed to me. And her dad (Atticus Finch), his ability to fight the good fight and step into other people’s skin. When you’re trying to determine your moral code moving forward, in that time in your life, your parents are influential, teachers are as well, but books are, too. And that book said to me, ‘You can do the right thing, or you can do the wrong thing.’” For me, the book’s lasting success comes from its poignant story of Jean Louise, or Scout, whose love and respect for her father, Atticus, and his example gave her the courage to face the dangers and unfairness of a flawed world. It is also Atticus himself, the small town lawyer in the Jim Crow South of the 1930s, with his example of dignity, kindness and courage. But it is much more complicated according to a new book, Why To Kill a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Mockingbird Matters: What Harper Lee’s Book and the Iconic American Film Mean to Us Today, by Tom Santopietro. That staying power is remarkable, according to Santopietro, because in “the nearly sixty years since Mockingbird was originally published, the world has changed much more than the previous three hundred years combined.” Santopietro gives us a biography of the Mockingbird phenomenon. He takes us to Harper Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, and introduces us to the friends, family and neighbors who were models for the characters of her book, to her gentle home life, and the town’s oppressive segregated social system. In Mockingbird, Monroeville becomes the fictional town of Maycomb. Harper Lee as a child is the basis for the central character, the tomboy nicknamed Scout. Lee’s father, A.C. Lee, is the model for Atticus Fitch. Her childhood friend, Truman Capote, becomes Scout’s good friend, the irrepressible Dill. Her family’s troubled neighbor, Sonny Boulware, is the inspiration for the mysterious, frightening and, ultimately, heroic Boo Radley. Santopietro explains how Mockingbird was first written and then rewritten. Lee’s early drafts focused on Jean Louise as a grown-up. The revisions eliminated the adult woman from the book and only told Scout’s childhood story. When the revised work was sold to a publisher, it took the country by storm and won the Pulitzer Prize. Then came the movie staring Gregory Peck as Atticus. Santopietro devotes twice as many chapters to his account of the production of the movie as he does for the making of the book. On UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch recently, Santopietro explained how Peck’s star power enhanced the role of Atticus. “Peck was also a smart Hollywood star, and he thought, ‘I’m producing the film, I’m starring in the film, there’s gonna be a big courtroom scene in there.’ He was protecting his territory.” In that powerful courtroom scene, Atticus defends the black defendant, Tom Robinson, who is accused of the rape of a white woman. Atticus demonstrates Robinson’s innocence, but the all-white, all-male jury convicts him nevertheless. Mockingbird’s powerful message of racial injustice and oppression was clear, in the book and the film. Certainly, race is an important factor in the book’s continuing importance. December 2018

O.Henry 27


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December 2018

But Santopietro believes that something else explains why the book “still speaks to such a wide range of people.” On Bookwatch, he explained, “What the book to me is about that’s so extraordinary — and I tried to write about this — it’s about what I call the ‘other,’ the concept of anybody who does not feel like they fit in. Every one of us in this room, every human being at some point, feels like the ‘other.’ You talk differently, you walk differently, you act differently, and that’s the journey through adolescence, which is universal. We all have felt that way sometimes. And, what Harper Lee is saying is that when we’re children, we think of the world as black and white, all good, all bad, but it’s so many different shades of gray. That’s our journey through adolescence, and she makes us realize that the people we fear, the monsters in our life, in fact can be our saviors. So, there are two people who fit the construct of the ‘other’ in Mockingbird. One is Tom Robinson, the African-American man unjustly accused of raping a white woman, and the other is Boo Radley. So, Scout and Jem think of Boo Radley as this monster in that dark house and, in fact, he’s their savior at the end, and I think that universal journey through adolescence — as we all learn those lessons — that to me is why the book still matters.” In 2015, shortly before her death, the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman gave us a different and disturbing look at Atticus in the 1950s, set 20 years after the events in Mockingbird. On a visit home, Jean Louise sees Atticus leading a meeting of the local White Citizens’ Council, one of many established throughout the South in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision to resist the Supreme Court’s and the NAACP’s efforts to destroy “the Southern Way of Life.” Confronting Atticus, she says the Citizens’ Council contradicts everything he had taught her. Do we now, like Jean Louise, have to push Atticus Finch out of our pantheon of heroic images? Even though he is on the wrong side of history, Atticus’ core human values win out as they lead Jean Louise to confront him and to make him proud of her for doing so. Many of our parents and grandparents who lived in Atticus’ times, like him, would never fully accept the changes the civil rights revolution brought to our region. But the core values of human kindness and respect for all people that they taught prepared their children to welcome and even work for those changes. And for that, they and Atticus are for me, although imperfect, still heroes. OH D.G. Martin hosts North Carolina Bookwatch, which premiers Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the North Carolina Channel and airs on UNC-TV Sundays at 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 5 p.m. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 29

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December 2018

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

Tomes and Tinsel

This Yuletide season sees a bevy of new books and events for children

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

Bring on the holidays! This year, yes, this

year, you’ll be ready before the stores have emptied of anything resembling your loved one’s true desire. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of new children’s books and when they’ll be coming out this holiday season, along with a few events that will surely delight even the most difficult nieces and nephews on your list. October 16: Construction Site on Christmas Night, by Sherri Duskey Rinker & A.G. Ford. The trucks are gearing up for Christmas by building a special gift! But there’s a surprise waiting for each of them, too! Presents await for Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck and Cement Mixer as each finishes its part of this big, important job and rolls off to a sweet and sleepy goodnight. November 13: Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote, by Kirsten Gillebrand and Maira Kalman. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of New York’s Senators and a passionate advocate for women’s rights — like her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother before her. Maira Kalman is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including Looking at Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything. She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, and illustrated Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style. December 4: Little Owl’s Snow, by Divya Srinivasan. Divya’s illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker magazine, and she has done work for This American Life, They Might Be Giants, Sundance Channel, Sufjan Stevens and The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Weird Al” Yankovic, among others. Divya was also an animator on the film Waking Life. She has written and illustrated many picture books, including Little Owl’s Night, Little Owl’s Day, and Octopus Alone. EVENT: December 5: Tony Diterlizzi, author of The Broken Ornament. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. 6 p.m. Free. More! More lights, more presents, more cookies, more treats. More. More. More! So, when Jack breaks a dusty old ornament, he’s not sure why his mom is so upset. They can always get more ornaments, so what’s the big deal? Turns out the ornament was an heirloom, precious for more reasons than one. And Jack has a lot to learn about the true meaning of Christmas. December 11: I Wish It Would Snow, by Sarah Dillard. Winter has just begun, and one little bunny wants it to snow, hopes it will snow, and wishes it would snow. And, finally, the fluffy flakes begin to fall from the sky. First one flake at a time, then more and more until little bunny finds himself up to his ears in a blizzard and then — whoops! — he rolls downhill in a gigantic snow ball, right through the front door of his treehouse. Home and cozy at last, he wakes up next morning and ready to play outside with his forest friends. Sledding down a snowy hill, his frolicking comes to an abrupt halt when he hits the grass! Oh, no! Now there’s not enough snow! A perfect book for Greensboro’s spotty snow events! EVENT: December 22: Stacy McAnulty, author of SUN! One In a Billion, LOVE and Dear Santasaurus. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. 11 a.m. Free. Stacy McAnulty is the Triad’s tireless gift to the children’s book world. A Kernersville resident, she’s now published 20 books, with more on the way. Perfectly timed for getting the kids out of the house as the holiday energy surges to overload! OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. December 2018

O.Henry 31

Drinking with Writers

Poetry and Protest The gravity of the written and spoken word

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

Khalisa Rae is a star, and

like a star her presence bends the fabric of the universe in a way that draws creative people into her orbit: writers, activists, choreographers and artists. But it is not simply people who are drawn to Khalisa. Justice projects, writers’ workshops and femme empowerment movements have all found their way to her. Or maybe I have it wrong. Perhaps she is not the star but the explorer drawn to burning centers of mass where historical infernos rage hot and bright, where smoke burns the eyes, and where the good work of community building can begin once the fire is sated. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Khalisa Rae is a poet, feminist speaker, performance artist and educator who holds an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her first collection of poems, Real Girls Have Real Problems, was published in 2012, and she has been a finalist for the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks poetry prize. Her collection Outside the Canon: Poetry as Protest is forthcoming. I first entered Khalisa’s orbit when my friend Lori Fisher told me the two of them had joined forces to start Athenian Press and Workshop in Wilmington. Along with a few others, the two women envisioned Athenian as an “anti-racist, feminist, creative organization” that would offer space for writers, artists and activists to work alone, together, and with their communities to effect change. According to their mission statement, the organization is based on core values that include social justice, feminism, accessibility, community building, sustainability and independence. Before long they had found a home they called Athenian House, where they regularly hosted open mics, readings, meetings and other community events. When I met Khalisa at Drift Coffee in Wilmington’s Autumn Hall neighborhood in early November, I quickly learned that Athenian was only one of the many projects she had initiated, joined or planned to start, all of them December 2018

O.Henry 33

Drinking with Writers

centered on the writer’s role in social justice and community organizing. Drift Coffee has done an exquisite job marrying the laid-back feel of Wilmington’s beach community with the city’s upscale tastes in fine coffee and food. The menu is focused and healthy, combining standard breakfast fare with surprises like the Acai Bowl that features house-made granola and the Za’atar Spiced Chicken Sandwich with apple and tomato chutney and a tahini spread on sourdough bread. Drift’s light-filled interior is bright and welcoming with white walls, slate-colored cement floors, and comfortable tables and chairs where people are just as likely to be holding business meetings as catching up with friends. Khalisa and I ordered some coffee and found seats in a sun-drenched corner. I asked her what had brought her to Wilmington from her native Chicago. “I wanted to write films,” she says. “And this was the place to do it, so I

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came to UNCW.” But it was not long until Khalisa’s passion for writing turned toward poetry, and she found an opportunity to work with activist poets in Greensboro. She left the Port City for an undergraduate degree at North Carolina A&T. A few years after graduating, she found herself in Wilmington again, working in community outreach and programming for the YWCA, leading workshops in writing and diversity training around the city, and eventually discovering the literary and cultural home she had not found as an undergraduate. The more time Khalisa spent in Wilmington, the more she uncovered painful remnants of the city’s racial strife, strife that is grounded in events like the wrongful convictions of the Wilmington 10 and the 1898 coup d’état, which is the only successful coup in American history and an event that would greatly affect Khalisa’s work as a poet and activist. While working at the Cameron Art Museum as part of their Kids at Cam initiative, Khalisa met Brittany Patterson, an artist and social worker who had just seen the 1898 documentary Wilmington on Fire. Patterson and Khalisa began a discussion about how to use art to repair the racial

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December 2018

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December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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rifts that had run through Wilmington for more than a century. “We wanted to curate something that was a medley of poetry and dance to focus on how 1898 affects people today,” says Rae. But the goal was not simply a performance. “The first thing we did was to have the cast sit in a circle and talk about what it means to be a person of color, what it means to be a white person moving around in spaces with people of color who were all affected by 1898.” The outcome was the Invisibility Project, a performance that reaches across racial lines and combines dance choreographed by Patterson and spoken word poetry written and performed by Khalisa. The group’s first performance was in 2017, and their work has continued since with a special production to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the 1898 coup. “It’s been interesting,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about this community, about what certain public spaces mean to certain groups of people, about how the past can push down on you without you understanding why.” Khalisa and I finished our coffee. Nearly two hours had passed, and our conversation had run from our early fascinations with the written word to our hopes for our city’s racial reconciliation. As we got up to leave I could not help but feel pulled toward her energy and passion. I could say it was gravitational, but perhaps my feelings were anchored by the gravity of this generation’s struggle to reach through Wilmington’s painful past in the hope that, once the fire is out, there will be a hand to grasp. 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.

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38 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

A Gift to Be Simple

When does Santa consciousness begin?

By Jane Borden

Santa Claus is like the measles vaccine:


Even if you don’t want to expose it to your child, you must in order to protect all kids. Otherwise, children infected with Santa Claus doubt will spread it around in ever increasing numbers until no one can go to Disney World without a face mask.

For my daughter, the ruse began earlier than I expected or wanted it to. She was 6 months old for her first Christmas. At that age, her days consisted of being moved around by two giants, who fed her and occasionally strapped her in and out of a big machine that moves fast. She aimlessly wandered among colorful plush items, some of which blared and blinked. She occasionally found herself in a pool of splashy liquid. She didn’t understand the concept of gifts, much less that there can be a scarcity and then sudden surfeit of them, or that an elderly stranger would create said surfeit with elaborate design but without logical reason. Seven years ago, when my niece was 18 months old, I asked what she’d like for Christmas, and my sister replied, “An empty water bottle. She loves how they crinkle.“ I purchased, drained and wrapped a single serving of Crystal Geyser. My niece was delighted. She squeezed the bottle, flopped it around and used it to bang a variety of furniture items. She loved it almost as much as the ribbon previously donning it. Pieces of literal trash for the win. This anecdote framed my mindset during my daughter’s first Christmas. Babies just want to crinkle. Or, maybe it’s that they want to be indoctrinated into a consumer society with an over reliance on semisynthetic organic polymers and a lack of forethought of the ramifications of disposability. It’s one or the other. Either way, they don’t want gifts. I procured none. After dinner, on Christmas Eve, my family fell into the routine we’d developed over the previous eight years. I waited for my sisters’ children to fall asleep, poured myself a glass of wine, and watched/heckled as they and their husbands set up Santa Claus presents on five different chairs in my parents’ living room. I’d barely a chance to capture on film my frustrated and tipsy brother-in-law struggling to assemble a medieval-looking tower guarded by a dragon who spews plastic stones, when my sister asked, “Aren’t you going to set up Louisa’s chair?” Of course not: crinkle, consumerism, etc. I had a pass on Santa that year, and figured I also would the following year, and maybe even the one after that. “She doesn’t care about Santa,“ I said. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“No, but my boys do. Don’t you think they’ll wonder why Santa didn’t bring her anything?” Of course. How could I not have anticipated this? How can I call myself a feminist while failing to recognize the basic structure underlying any kind of systemic lie? Patriarchy, Santa Claus: six of one, half a dozen the other. Now it was my brother-in-law’s turn to laugh at me: What a rookie. Making matters worse, we are not a family who wraps Santa Claus presents. I mean, ultimately this habit is not “worse” — see earlier discussion regarding the ramifications of disposability — but on that night the lack of wrapping meant I couldn’t fool my nephews and nieces with empty boxes in bows. When they looked over, they would expect to see all of Louisa’s loot, each item in the full monty. And these wouldn’t be passing glances. With the precision and commitment of a card counter, each child would scan and catalog the collective take of every other child. Each pile must generally be the same size, containing about the same number of gifts, and, most important, totaling the same amount in worth. Kids claim to hate math, but when assessing their siblings’ Santa piles, they’re suddenly on full rides at M.I.T. We can’t be satisfied with what we have until we’re certain no one else has more. Knowing this truism of human nature, it’s amazing we adopted capitalism. Major societal isms aside, my point is that I really should’ve seen this Santa problem coming. Like something out of a family holiday film, I found myself at 10:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve with no presents for my daughter. First, I ransacked her suitcase for any clothing yet unpacked. I needed something to which no cousin could point and say, “Louisa wore that yesterday.“ In this way, a brightly colored hand-me-down outfit bearing mermaids became a Christmas miracle. Clothing can cover a lot of real estate on a chair. This would be my centerpiece. I hadn’t traveled with toys. Mom has a full chest, which is usually a blessing but on that night a curse, as my nephews and niece were familiar with every December 2018

O.Henry 39

Life of Jane Tis the Season for a Beautiful Smile

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game, stuffy and rattle in the house. But then, on a dresser high enough to have gone unnoticed, in my mother’s room, I found a small dog figurine. Everyone knows how much babies love china. That felt like a stroke of genius but afterward, my ingenuity fizzled. I leaned a stack of diapers on the chair back, and balanced a new bag of wipes against the arm. I filled her empty stocking with tissue paper — the one magic trick available — and draped it over the chair back. It was almost passable, save for a large gap on the back right of the chair seat. Something was still missing. I searched the kitchen pantry. Bingo: a bottle of peach-flavored, artificially-sweetened Propel brand electrolyte water. My mother always has it in stock. The children love it. However, because it is full of fake sugar and large doses of vitamins and minerals, my sisters limit their children’s intake, imposing an artificial kink in the supply chain and thereby increasing demand. A bottle of Propel, for a baby, was at least equivalent to a 5-year-old’s medieval dragon castle. Santa has left the building. I dislike the amount of lying required to prop up this St. Nick business. Children aren’t stupid. Each logical question forces us to invent new falsehoods, which only compromise the architecture of the original lie. Why is Santa at the mall? Why is the Santa at this party my uncle? Why, when I told Santa I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll, did I also get one from my great aunt Emily and another from my great aunt Janie? Further, of course, there is the question adults ask themselves, which none can answer: Why do I want my child to sit on a stranger’s lap in a shopping mall, so much so that I’ll wait 90 minutes to do it? Still, no parent can avoid participating in this house of cards. On Christmas Day, I tossed off lie after lie. When my nephew asked, with justified incredulity, “Why would Santa give her diapers?! That’s not even a toy or anything!” I told the biggest fib of all. “Babies don’t need much,“ I said. Yeah right, thought anyone who’s been to a baby shower ever. What will I tell him next — that there are never lines at the DMV? This year, my daughter is 3 1/2. She’ll understand Santa for the first time. Why should I invest so much effort and money into convincing her of a lie — especially when it only leads to inevitable disappointment? The lesson seems to be that you can expect to receive without reason from a person who doesn’t know you. I want to teach her the opposite: to give without reason to people unknown. I want her to be Santa. Maybe I’ll have her pass around Propel. OH When Jane Borden approaches her second childhood, the O.Henry staff plans to give her a huge stack of adult diapers for Christmas. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Here are a few things to do at our places. • Winter Hotel Specials: Book your winter weekend getaway at or • Holiday Happenings: Learn more at • O.Henry Tea & Nutcracker Tea’s: A family tradition! • O.Henry Jazz & Package: See the schedule and learn more at • Songs from a Southern Kitchen: See the schedule and learn more at • New Year’s Eve Packages & Events: See all the festivities at • Winter Menus: We’re featuring favorites from the farm: beets, mushrooms, kale and more...oh my!

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In the Spirit

Beer on Whiskey Not so risky. And sometimes surprisingly delicious

By Tony Cross

In holidays past, I would have a moment

of clarity when visiting my loved ones. It would come on suddenly, and always within 12 hours of arriving. Like clockwork. “I’ve got to get out of here and get a drink.” The members of my family are not big drinkers. I would have a beverage or two around them, but I always craved my escape drink. It’s not because my folks are hard to be around — they’re amazing. It’s because this time of year stresses me out and I turn into Mr. McJerkface after a few hours of sitting around. Mom and Pops live near me now, but for almost a decade they didn’t. There were no close bars that could whip up a decent drink, so off to the dive bars I went. One of my favorite things to order was a beer with a whiskey back. It did the trick every time. So, for this month’s column, I teamed up with Jason Dickinson, a certified Cicerone — think sommelier for beer or, as I like to call him, “beer nerd.” We had fun pairing up a few different styles of beer with spirits. And by we I mean that I texted him the three spirits I was bringing, and he used his expertise to

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bring a few pairing suggestions for each. Use these pairings anytime of the year, of course, but give these a shot when you’re out of town and are drawing a blank when you run away from your family.

Sour/Blanco Tequila

For our pairing, Jason brought Dogfish Head’s Sea Quench Ale Session Sour, and I provided El Jimador. Right off the bat, I sensed this would work. I spied a picture of a lime wheel on the can, and immediately saw the word “salt” in the description. That’s a margarita all day. “I chose this because of its year-round production,” Jason said. “It’s one of the few sours that we’re going to see on draft in more places pretty soon.” The first sip was all we needed. Tart and salty. Perfect with a blanco tequila — just make sure the label has “100 percent Agave” on it. If it doesn’t, I don’t think any beer will save you. If the spot you’re frequenting doesn’t have any sour-style beers, grab a Mexican lager. As I’ve mentioned before, a can of Modelo and tequila have been good pals of mine during the summer. However, I wouldn’t discriminate against them in winter.

Milk Stout/Spiced Rum

We combined a Nitro Merlin Milk Stout with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and it went together quite nicely. The Merlin is light, creamy and smooth. The Nitro comes from the beer having more nitrogen gas than carbon dioxide (like most traditional beer). This also gives the beer a touch of sweetness. December 2018

O.Henry 43

In the Spirit I picked Gosling’s because there’s more likelihood of finding it behind a bar than other rums that I would drink straight (e.g., Smith & Cross, or rhum agricole). With that said, I never drink Gosling’s on its own. The distillery owns the trademark for “Dark ‘N’ Stormy,” so there’s that. But never on its own. But boy, oh boy, these two are yummy together. The sweetness of the rum and spice complement the chocolaty creaminess of the Merlin. I would pour my shot into the beer next time. Again, the chances of your finding the Merlin at a dive bar might be slim, so if you don’t see it anywhere, grab a Guinness. “A Guinness has a dry and roasty flavor profile, so adding the sweetness of the Gosling’s will bring a nice counterbalance,” Jason says. If they don’t have a Guinness, walk out.


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“If someone asks what an American porter is, this is it to a T,” says Jason. “This is the beer a lot of people point to as the classic one in this category. There are a couple of producers that do one — Sierra Nevada makes a good porter. But Deschutes Black Butte Porter is generally thought of as THE porter for American style. They’re usually low ABV too.” That’s news to me. And if you’re as ignorant about porters as I am, keep reading. “Because bourbon and rye have been really popular over the past decade, the breweries rest their porters in bourbon and rye barrels. So, for me, this is a no-brainer.” This is one of the reasons I like Jason. Out of the park. One gulp of the Black Butte followed by a swig of Maker’s Mark (again, pretty much a trademark whiskey in myriad bars) pulls Jason’s theory together. The porter was dry on the end and having whiskey in between sips lent an oakiness to my palate. We both agreed that this was our favorite of the night. Bourbons tend to be sweeter than rye, but rye has spice. Me likey the spice. So next time, I’m having a porter with rye, that’s a what’s up, for sure. In the pre-Jason era, when I paired beer and spirits, I’d make up my own boilermaker — by definition a shot of whiskey dropped into a glass filled halfway with beer. It was usually an IPA and a rye whiskey. Why? Because at the time, those were my favorite styles of beer and whiskey to drink on their own. As soon as I arrived at my getaway drink spot, that’s all it took to wash my Scrooge demeanor away. Now, as the saying goes, I got options. OH Tony Cross is a bartender who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails in Southern Pines.

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True South

Holiday Fantasies Get on board or get out of the way

By Susan S. Kelly

My mother was having a Christmas cull one


year and asked if I wanted the toilet lid cover. As one does.

This piece of church bazaar finery was my first claim as a child when the box of decorations came out every Christmas: a forest green, glitter-glued felt oval adorned with a ho-ho-hoing Santa face of pink, white and red felt with sequin eyes, a tufted cotton beard, and a clever drawstring to tighten the cover just so around the commode lid. I thought it was divine. I have it still, the outlined shapes of eyebrows becoming visible as it disintegrates, revealing the crafts-bynumbers kit it originally was. In the attic, Santa’s slowly getting de-flocked and de-felted somewhere under the Advent wreath candles that became a waxy purple unicandle during the 100-degree days of August. The good news about Christmas, besides the obvious Good News, is that tastemakers and arbiters of Tacky are banished, or at the very least, muffled. That’s the bad news as well. Everyone is permitted his or her holiday indulgences and eccentricities. Last year my neighbor had an egg-shaped wreath on her door, and I have no idea whether it was accidental or intentional. Flannery O’Connor famously said of William Faulkner, “Nobody wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down.” This sentiment applies to Christmas as well. Either get with it, or get mowed over by it. But we can agree on this sentiment: Without women, there would be no Christmas as we know it. Females are out there in the trenches, responsible for every holiday fantasy promulgated in mags and ads — caroling, cookies, gingerbread houses, the works. “I see more of the Salvation Army ringers than I do my husband,” a friend once remarked to me. Another friend drew the line in the sand, er, carpet. “I shopped, wrapped, mailed, decorated, planned, cooked, cleaned and organized,” she told her husband and two sons. “You guys have to take down the tree.” They took down the tree all right. They took it down at Easter. Another friend buys herself an additional piece of her Christmas china every time her ex-husband mentions his new wife’s name in her presence. I suspect she’s on finger bowls by now. As for that gingerbread house fantasy, here’s what I have to say about doing that with your children: Go for the pre-fab kits. I actually made gingerbread from scratch, spread it thinly on parchment-paper-lined baking trays, then cut it into wall shapes. Like many activities, it was cuter in the planning than the execution, never mind unappreciated. I’m still digging peppermint candy slivers out of the kitchen heating vents. Instead, keep an illustrated Hansel and Gretel book, complete with candy-covered fantasy gingerbread house, on the

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coffee table along with ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Point out what really happens to bad little boys and girls, not getting switches in stockings. I don’t understand the Fairness Doctrine of today, when couples routinely alternate Christmas between families. I get Christmas Eve, you get Christmas morning, they get Christmas Day dinner . . . logistics alone are on a par with the Normandy invasion, not to mention the emotions, prompting my nextdoor neighbor to wryly refer to the comings, goings and schedules as “the prisoner exchange.” To counter this trend, I had a third child after two boys — fully aware that the baby would likely be another boy — just to increase the odds that someone, someone, would come home to me at Christmas. Still, the in-laws have a powerful draw, in part because my sister-in-law concocts eggnog with five kinds of liquor, which she totes around during the holidays in a wheeled cooler. I don’t mean that the cooler holds containers of eggnog. I mean that the cooler actually holds the eggnog itself, sloshing around. Open the lid, and enticing clumps of a substance I’m afraid to ask about — Ice cream? Whipped cream? Egg whites? Butter? — float whitely on the surface. Five kinds of liquor soften, not to mention blur, the blow of absent family. And it was my motherin-law who taught me the value of smilax at Christmas. I wrap the supple stems all through my (so-called) chandelier, and suspend papier-mâché angels from that green and leafy heaven. Ivy will not do that for you. I’ve also nurtured two smilax shrubs for years, for no other reason than to use their bright berries at Christmas, and have concluded I have two males or gender-neutral plants. Whatever their sexual preferences, they aren’t producing and I’m still using fake red berries. Still, if I haven’t been able to fulfill every Christmas fantasy, I’ve managed to produce a few of the Christmas food fantasies out there. Clove-studded oranges: Check. Apples dipped in egg whites, then coated with granulated sugar so they appear to glisten: Check. On my friend Ginny’s birthdays, her mother would hand her some cash and say, “Run uptown and buy yourself a bathing suit for your birthday.” It’s not surprising, then, that Ginny’s ongoing fantasy for her own daughter was that she’d dash downstairs on Christmas morning, see wall-to-wall presents, and fall over in a dead faint at Santa’s largesse. If this is your fantasy, point your compass toward the North Pole of IKEA. Last I checked, a cloth tepee that covers 10 square feet of living room space was $5.99. Same for the fabric playhouse you drape over a card table. Never mind their two-hour shelf life; they come in desert browns and beiges, and jungle browns and greens. Because nothing says Christmas like camo. OH Susan Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and proud grandmother. December 2018

O.Henry 47

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O, Tannen-Bird! The feisty red-breasted nuthatch flocks to North Carolina’s evergreens in winter

By Susan Campbell

Every few years, certain species of

birds show up in the South when their food supply to the north becomes scant. This winter seems to be one of those years for the red-breasted nuthatch. Weighing in at only a few ounces, these feisty songbirds travel in small groups, typically moving during the cooler months from Canada’s 1.5-billion-acre boreal forests into the northern coniferous forests of the United States. As long as they can find enough seeds to sustain them through the season, they may not travel very far. But this fall, the red-breasteds’ favorites, found in spruce and fir cones, are already hard to come by. Therefore, they have begun to move well southward in search of suitable alternatives and can now be found in forested areas across North Carolina.

Red-breasted nuthatches are easy to recognize with their white eyebrows and rusty colored undersides. Like all nuthatches, they have gray backs and short legs and tails, along with a distinctive pointed, upturned bill. It’s great fun watching these birds crawling forward, sideways or upside down in search of food. And they are experts at clinging on the tippy-tops of branches as they hunt for their next meal. Strong legs and sharp claws enable red-breasteds to The Art & Soul of Greensboro

navigate the challenging terrain of evergreens, and their specialized bills work well to pry out seeds that other birds cannot reach. They adeptly are able to ferret out seeds from the smaller cones of cedars, hemlocks and larches. Here in our area, the sizable cones of loblolly and longleaf are easy pickings for these ravenous little birds. This species has a very distinct vocalization, like its cousins, the whitebreasted and brown-headed nuthatches, which are common here in the Sandhills and Piedmont. Red-breasted nuthatches do not sing but rather call frequently. Listen for a horn-like “yank, yank” coming from the treetops. You are much more likely to hear this bird before you see it. But individuals may be mixed in with chickadees and titmice traveling through the area. Any location with abundant pines, such as Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve or the edge of Fort Bragg or the Sandhills Game Lands, is prime territory for these little birds from now through February. I am hoping that our winter banding activities will include capture of at least a few individuals in the next couple of months. We have only been fortunate enough to study a couple close-up one winter in 2012, which was the last big invasion of the species this far south. Red-breasted nuthatches readily do come to bird feeders. They are attracted to oil-rich sunflower seed above all else. They will, however, also take advantage of suet especially if it contains peanut butter (as mine always does). You may find them attempting to monopolize your feeding station and bullying other birds — even larger birds such as cardinals. Defending food sources is a big part of daily life for these small guys and gals who year round live much of their lives on the edge. Regardless, I am looking forward to a few of these winter visitors finding my offerings this winter. Their colorful appearance and feisty behavior always make me smile. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at December 2018

O.Henry 49

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Wandering Billy

Home for the Holidays With the help of Piedmont Airlines

Southern accents. Employing people who genuinely cared, who mastered their craft, was how a spunky hometown “The man who has no startup expanded to become one of the imagination has no wings.” major national carriers. As soon as I WFMY’s longtime kiddie show host The Old Rebel boards a Piedmont took a seat on their planes, I felt as if I’d — Muhammad Ali flight at Greensboro-High Point Airport in the 1960s already arrived home. Hired as a flight attendant for Piedmont in the early 1980s at 23 years of age, Holley Greene Rogers recalls, on Christmastime 1987 with great fondness. I was work“The crews all had a lot of fun on layovers. Most of us knew each other’s faces, and it was like going to a small university and running into so many folks we ing in Beverly Hills, banging out movie-poster and trailer knew and had flown with before.” In 1986, the airline stepped up in a big way, graphics for motion picture blockbusters. That was the “We were so excited when Piedmont flew their first international flight. It was Charlotte to London and we felt like we were hitting the big time.” first year I began making any significant contributions to What I appreciated most were the touchdowns, landings smooth as Lou the dozens of high impact one-sheets that flowed from the Rawls. I don’t think I’ve truly enjoyed flying since Piedmont was acquired by USAir 30 years ago. “We were all sick to see the Piedmont name go away,” Holley Seiniger Advertising shop every year, considered Hollytells me. “We all thought it should have been Piedmont buying USAir. We were wood’s gold standard. an airline with a great employee/management relationship, we all loved Mr. Just a smattering of the 1987 campaigns I was involved in included: Full Metal [Thomas Henry “Tom”] Davis who founded Piedmont.” Of that rocky transition, Jacket, The Princess Bride, Flatliners, Dirty Dancing, The Untouchables, Lethal Holley notes, “USAir was the opposite of Piedmont, rusthead mentality, the emWeapon, Overboard, Wall Street, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Moonstruck, 3 Men ployees hated management, but I did love my career at USAir. I flew for 22 years.” and a Baby, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Throw Momma From the Train. There are at As for Christmas Day 1987, what I remember most is that afternoon, meeting least a couple dozen more you’d recognize, caught up as I was in an unending up with extended family at the Carolina Circle 6 (admission $2.99) to watch Fatal tornado of 18-hour days, each with multiple deadlines. Attraction, a film our Seiniger crew had completed in the campaign for months Hands, imagination and the formidable tools at our disposal served as our earlier. I hadn’t yet been confronted with a lineup of posters we’d produced, Photoshop in the pre-Digital Age. I entered the arena every morning that first framed in a row outside and inside a movie theater. It was kind of a rush. year terrified I might be called on to render something I wasn’t capable of. All through that screening of Fatal Attraction, during the most frightening Fortunately, that never happened. scenes, I screamed like a giddy little schoolgirl, a reaction my cousin Wheaton I enjoyed staycationing in Los Angeles between Christmas and New Year’s. It found hilarious. was a paid time off since a majority of the entertainment-industry players vacated I moved back to Greensboro in 1994, before Sunset Hills’ world famous the premises. It was a great opportunity to decompress, and getting around town Running of the Balls. Back then, every Christmas Eve, Mother and I would dine was a breeze. Despite that, in 1987, I chose to spend Christmas with the family in out with family and friends, then afterward drive around the Irving Park neighGreensboro for only the second time in a decade. borhoods to see how folks decorated their homes. It was also a quest to locate the I was, in a word, exhausted, trudging down the jet bridge for Piedmont Flight house everyone seemed to agree that year was the closest approximation to the No. 2 out of LAX aboard a 767 wide body jet, connecting with Flight No. 6 CLT tacky, over-the-top Griswold residence from Christmas Vacation. There was apparto GSO. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, Piedmont Airlines took a personalently a competition that went on for several years among the neighbors along an ized, folksy approach to flying, with most of the flight attendants graced with soft otherwise nondescript cul-de-sac off Willoughby, some houses lit up so intensely By Billy Eye

I think back

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy

they had trouble keeping the power on. You see, a few years earlier, one of the movies I was teamed on was, in fact, Christmas Vacation, my contribution being the typography. The artist who painted that unforgettable image of Chevy Chase being electrocuted on a snowy roof was Dave Christensen, who was also responsible for the poster illustrations for Driving Miss Daisy, The Gods Must Be Crazy and Major League with the mohawked baseball, among others. His desk was positioned right next to mine at Seiniger Advertising. I asked Dave Christensen, residing in Salt Lake City today, if he had any memories of his Christmas Vacation poster. “I tend to remember the negative aspects of stuff from the past,” he said via email. Keep in mind Dave’s incredibly modest, “I was always stressed over projects for Tony Seiniger (as we all were, right?) so I painted it quite large. That was the first negative comment he made. It was about 6 feet high. The second comment was about too much detail in the toolbox that’s flying in the air.” I still recall the morning Dave brought that amazing illustration in, artists gathering around as he pulled back the cover flap to reveal what we all instantly knew would become a classic. Dave’s first version had Chevy in civvies holding an electrified TV antenna, the jolt sending his toolbox and tools flying. ( To see the original version go to www. or ohenrymagazine) After many revisions, Chevy was redressed as Santa, his toolbox replaced by an exploding bag of presents. Despite the many changes Dave Christensen enjoyed the process, “I kind of miss working with airbrush, colored pencils and brushwork. I still do a lot of pencil drawing but then I scan it into Photoshop and go from there. So much more versatile.”


Chris Runge, curator for the Piedmont Aviation Historical Society, supplied the photo at the top of this column featuring The Old Rebel and Pecos Pete from WFMY’s long running kiddie show. About that picture Chris tells us, “The Old Rebel is boarding an F-27 for a simulated flight in Winston-Salem.” Seems one of the 1965 episodes of The Old Rebel Show featured a “flight” on Piedmont. “The taping was done at Smith Reynolds in Winston-Salem,” Chris explains. “All of the shots were on and around an F-27. Audrey Black was their stewardess and introduced Old Rebel’s viewers to the wonders of flight.” The filming took place in the hangar lot. “After the ground shots, the crew boarded a company-owned Beech plane to get some aerial footage and the film was spliced together to create the ‘flight’ on Piedmont’s F-27.” OH Billy Eye wishes each and every one of you a very merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Winter Solstice


I dread dark-closet mornings, cold feet in sloughing slippers, thinning robes from Christmas past. I stumble, squint to find the switch that turns on a fluorescent dawn, wander to the window, feel the snow, its weight upon the trees, feel the horsetail wind fly off the roof to sting my cheeks. I close my eyes, cover dark with dark, dream a sun-path on the kitchen floor, a yellow road like Oz to lead me barefoot to sweet tea and sand. I picture the azalea bush ablaze, blooms redder than a cardinal’s wing, dogwoods, baby blanket colors crocheted creamy yellow, white. I long for days when skies stay bright until I sleep, and morning is a lyric light sings. — Sarah Edwards

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The Return of the Light A celebration of food and faith at Greensboro’s Temple Emanuel By Jim Dodson • Photographs by Mark Wagoner


he third verse of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, sometimes known as the Hebrew Bible, describes the birth of divine light in a darkened world: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.” This year, the Jewish observance of Hanukkah — a Yiddish word that means “dedication” — begins on Sunday evening, December 2, and ends on Monday, December 10. The beloved winter celebration of Jewish heritage called the “Festival of Lights,” observed by the sharing of traditional foods, the ritual lighting a special menorah and reciting of prayers, along with playing games and

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offering gifts over eight nights and days, commemorates the restoration of the Second Jerusalem Temple in 167 BCE. At that time, the Holy Land was ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire of Syria, which was forcing the people of Israel to accept Syrian Greek culture and spiritual beliefs in place of their own Hebrew God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by a freedom fighter named Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on Earth, drove the Syrian Greeks from their land and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, rededicating it to the divine light of God. When the victors sought to relight the Temple’s menorah (the sevenThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

branched candelabrum) in celebration, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Syrian occupiers. Miraculously, they lit the menorah with the one-day supply of oil that somehow lasted for eight days until new holy oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity. To commemorate this miracle, Jewish sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly lighting of a special menorah called the Hanukkiah, using the shamash (“attendant”) candle to light one candle each night until all nine candles are ablaze. Special prayers accompany the lightings, and blessings and songs of praise are sung after the candles are lit as families exchange “gelt” (everything from jelly beans to coins, often made of chocolate) and gifts large and small. They also play “dreidel” (a game of chance played using a four-sided top) and share special holiday foods cooked in oil to symbolize the endurance of the Jewish people. In observant households, lighted menorahs are placed in windows to bring light to the darkness. “Hanukkah really is a celebration of the return of the light, maybe not considered a high holy event in the Jewish calendar but a very big deal to families and especially children,” explained Ina Eisenberg one evening not long ago when we dropped by Greensboro’s historic Temple Emanuel to learn about the “Festival of Lights” from half a dozen of the congregation’s longtime members and finest cooks. “Hanukkah is a celebration of memory and food, a time to light the menorah and say prayers and give small gifts, and certainly eat!” Eisenberg added with her distinctive Memphis-born laugh. “Purim and Passover may be the traditional cook-off holidays in Judaism, but the foods of Hanukkah are simple and fun. That’s part of their charm. They lift the spirit and bring people together. It’s all about sharing love and eating food you probably wouldn’t eat other times of the year. If I don’t make Mrs. Felsenthal’s famous matzo balls and chicken soup, for instance, which my mother got from Mrs. Felsenthal’s daughter decades ago, my husband is completely crushed. Ditto my challah bread.” Diane Goldstein, who owns a collection of 25 different kinds of menorahs, was prompted to remember the lights of Hanukkah in the apartment building where she grew up in Queens, New York. “Almost everyone in the building was Jewish and there was always a large lighted menorah in the lobby at the holidays — a really beautiful sight on a winter night — lighted menorahs, in fact, in almost every window of the building,” she recalled. “It was to great step into that lighted lobby and smell all sorts of wonderful things being made for Hanukkah — brisket and jelly doughnuts and, best of all, potato latkes!” Barbara Sohn, who grew up in Greensboro and is known not only for her baking prowess (“That’s my therapy”) and famous brisket recipe, added, “The unifying element in all these foods — of all Hanukkah cooking, in fact — is oil, a symbol of the oil that miraculously lighted the menorah. Everything from cookies to meat must be made with oil.” “In other words,” quipped Ina Eisenberg, “Hanukkah food is a heart attack on a plate.” “The old joke says that’s why Jewish men die early,” someone added, prompting a wave of laughter from the gathered cooks. Amy Thompson, Emanuel’s current president, explained that her annual tradition is to peel and shred 10 pounds of potatoes and soak them in water to prepare for the annual gathering she and husband, Joe, host for friends and family one night during the holiday. “They come for our latkes. Mine is a very traditional recipe and I’ve learned that’s what everyone likes best.” And though some cooks experiment with other main ingredients, such as sweet potatoes or zucchini, Thompson has found there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing. “Nobody in our house liked them as much as my original recipe. Hanukkah is somewhat like Thanksgiving in that regard. There’s a turkey and stuffing that your family really likes. And if you try something new, well, it never works out. You end up going back to the tried and true favorite. That’s our latkes.” Naomi Marks is a New Yorker who came to Greensboro to attend college The Art & Soul of Greensboro

after the Second World War, met her late husband, Arnold, and became a founding member of Temple Emanuel. She recalled how she and Arnold loved the family-centered quality of the holiday, teaching their three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren the traditions of the holiday. “The first night, my kids always got a nice gift, something they really wanted, followed by smaller gifts the rest of the week — books and puzzles and things like that. They also loved playing the dreidel game. When they got a little older, our kids always brought their friends home for Hanukkah, many of whom weren’t Jewish,” she recalled. “They loved the food and intimacy of our celebration. In some ways it is a nice complement to Christmas — the lights, the food, the sharing of gifts with family. My potato pancakes were very traditional as well. But I always made my own warm applesauce to serve with them. That’s what made mine special.” “I didn’t grow up with Jewish foods and holidays,” said Midge Pines, Temple Emanuel’s first female president, “because I was actually born into a Catholic family in New York. My mother, however, was Jewish, and when we moved out to Los Angeles I joined the synagogue. The fun part for me was learning the Jewish holidays and traditions along with my three young sons. These days, when you come to my house at the holidays, you’ll get pickled herring and a delicious kugel — which is not specifically a Hanukkah dish but, my goodness, you can’t eat latkes for eight days in a row!” The lively conversation of Hanukkah fellowship and foods shifted back to an unexpected moment of “darkness.” The delightful cooks of Temple Emanuel agreed that the lights of Hanukkah would perhaps be even more meaningful this year in the aftermath of recent tragic events in Pittsburgh, when a hate-filled gunman attacked the Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 members of the congregation during their Saturday morning prayers. Three days later, a gathering estimated at 2,000 people turned out for an impromptu rally against hate and violence at Temple Emanuel, an overflow crowd that filled the temple sanctuary and adjoining spaces to standing room only and spilled outside to hear reflections from a cross-section of the Gate City’s spiritual leaders. “It was a remarkable thing to witness,” said Amy Thompson. “People from every faith tradition in Guilford County showed up seemingly out of nowhere — Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics and Christians of all sorts — to show their support and help us grieve. It was mind-blowing and deeply touching to the Jewish community, sending a wonderful and much needed message of hope and solidarity — that there is always light in the darkness.”

Midge Pines’ Pickled Herring 1 6–8 ounce jar herring fillets in sour cream 1 hard-boiled egg 1/2 to 3/4 tart apple, pared, cored and chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 small can of red beets, chopped 4 tablespoons sour cream 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 tablespoon oil 2 tablespoons sugar Salt and pepper to taste

Chop herring fillets in very small pieces, removing any skin, bones and scales. Chop egg, apple, onion and beets. Add all together with sour cream, vinegar, oil, sugar and seasonings. Mix well. Serve with crackers or cocktail rye. Keeps for three or four days. Do not freeze.

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Barbara Sohn’s Amazing Brisket 1 4–5 pound first cut brisket 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix 1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce Potatoes and carrots Heat oven to 350 degrees Place brisket in deep roasting pan. Combine sugar, soup mix and chili sauce; spoon over meat and cover pan. Cook for 2 1/2 hours, remove and cool for one hour. Slice meat against grain, cover and cook brisket for another 2 hours, or until brisket is tender.

Simple Chicken Soup

3 chicken breasts 4 carrots, halved 4 stalks celery, halved 1 large onion, halved Water to cover Salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional) Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat falls off of the bones (skim off foam every so often).

Add quartered red bliss or Yukon Gold potatoes (unpeeled) plus a small bag of baby carrots and cover with sauce, for the last hour.

Take everything out of the pot. Strain the broth. Pick the meat off the bones and chop the carrots, celery and onion. Season the broth with salt, pepper and chicken bouillon to taste, if desired. Return the chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the pot, stir together, and serve.

Midge’s Kugel

Naomi Marks’ Easy Potato Latkes

12 ounces noodles 1 cup cottage cheese 1 cup sour cream 3 eggs, beaten 1 stick butter, softened Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook and drain noodles according to package directions. While still hot, add the other ingredients and stir well. Pour mixture in greased casserole and bake in preheated 350-degree oven 35 to 40 minutes. For variety (and to make it sweet), you can add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a handful of raisins,

2 cups raw grated potatoes 1/2 cup grated onion Pinch of baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon of flour or matzo meal 2 Eggs

Peel potatoes and soak in cold water for several hours, then grate and drain. Beat eggs well and mix with other ingredients, add a little pepper if desired. Drop spoonfuls on hot greased skillet and cook until golden brown, both sides.

To make it savory, add only 1/2 stick of butter. Then sautée one medium chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1/4 cup chopped celery When veggies are browned, add to noodle mixture and bake as above.

Keep warm in oven until ready to serve with warm applesauce

Pour mixture in greased casserole and bake in preheated 350-degree oven 35 to 40 minutes.

Easy 10-minute Applesauce

Can be frozen — defrost completely before warming in a 350-degree oven 10 minutes.

Mrs. Felsenthal’s Famous Matzo Balls

1 cup water 1 stick butter 1 cup matzo meal Parsley, sugar, salt, paprika, ginger, nutmeg and grated onions to taste 3 eggs, separated In a medium sauce pan combine water and butter. Heat until butter dissolves. Add matzo meal and stir until water is absorbed. Season to taste with parsley, sugar, salt, paprika, ginger, nutmeg and grated onions. Mix well. Beat egg yolks until lemony and add to matzo mixture. In a clean bowl, with clean beater, beat egg whites until stiff; fold into matzo mixture. Chill well in covered container for at least 4 hours To make the matzo balls, dip fingers in warm water and roll chilled mixture into balls. If you wish to freeze, place on a cookie sheet and freeze. The frozen balls can be placed in a plastic bag until you need them. When ready to use them, drop them in boiling chicken broth and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. Add to your favorite soup! Yield: 27 medium/small matzo balls

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3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and quartered 3 Fuji apples peeled, cored and quartered 1 cup apple juice 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional) 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons honey ½ 1 teaspoon cinnamon Combine apples and all other ingredients in microwave-safe container. Microwave uncovered for 10 minutes. Use blender or potato masher to blend to desired consistency. Serve warm or chill for later use.

Amy Thompson’s Mandelbrot (A sweet bread similar to biscotti)

3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 3/4 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup walnuts Optional: chocolate chips, dried cranberries. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

From left: Barbara Sohn, Naomi Marks, Midge Pines, Ina Eisenberg, Amy Thompson, Diane Goldstein

Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together and add to the sugar mixture. Mix until blended, adding the nuts as the dough starts to come together. Briefly knead the dough on a floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces and shape each into a log about 3 inches wide. (Add chocolate or cranberries at this point.) Place logs on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30–35 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Slice logs diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Lay them on the cookie sheet cut side up and return to oven. Bake on the top shelf for 10 minutes and then on the bottom shelf for 10 minutes until toasted and brown.

Sweet Sufganiyot (Traditional jelly doughnuts)

3 cups flour 2 teaspooons baking powder 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional) 2 eggs 2 cups sour cream Oil for frying Jelly (any preferred flavor — black raspberry a favorite) Powdered sugar In a bowl, blend together the flour, baking soda, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, eggs and sour cream. In a skillet, heat the oil, and when very hot, drop tablespoons of batter into it. When the batter puffs up and turns light brown, turn it over and cook the other side. Set doughnuts on paper towel to cool. Make a small hole and fill with jelly. A cooking syringe can make this easy. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. OH

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Our Christmas Sing A tradition that measures the years

By Margaret Maron • Illustrations by Laurel Holden


ohn thought it was probably the Christmas of 1978. Scott said, “No, I think it was earlier.” “Maybe 1976?” asked Celeste. Carlette thought that sounded about right. After hearing them puzzle over when it all began, I finally went through some of my old journals and found this entry: “First time all five Honeycutts here for dinner since the summer. By candlelight, firelight, and tree lights, we sang carols till midnight.” It was December 23, 1977. As farm girls growing up amid the tobacco fields of Johnston County,

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Sue Honeycutt and I had sung in our church choir. I can carry a tune as long as it is pitched no higher than B♭, but Sue’s voice soared like an angel’s. After school and marriage, we were separated first by an ocean and then hundreds of land miles, yet we kept in touch; and once my husband and I moved down to the family farm where I grew up, the friendship became even stronger. There were eight of us that first Christmas: Sue and her husband, Carl, had two nearly-grown daughters and a teenage son; my husband and I had a 13-year-old boy. That evening together had been so much fun that we did it again the following December. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Do something twice in the South and it immediately becomes a tradition. The first three or four years, our ritual was to sing every seasonal song we could remember, from “Silent Night” to “Silver Bells” to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” followed by a sit-down dinner, and ending in an exchange of gifts. We eventually scrapped the gift exchange — boring and too time-consuming. Instead, everyone is now encouraged to perform a party piece. This might be a dramatic scene from a school play, an original comic skit with hand puppets, an operatic aria by a granddaughter who has inherited Sue’s voice, or a Christmas poem. (I have to be restrained from reading A.A. Milne’s “King John’s Christmas” every year.) Early on, our sons made us laugh with their take on the classic “Who’s On First?” routine. This past year, Sue’s 6-yearold great-granddaughter donned a blue shawl and shyly mimed “Mary, Did You Know?” When her father was that age, he came with a stash of Christmas riddles: “What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Frosted Flakes, of course.” Getting measured soon became another part of the tradition. One end of our kitchen wall is thick with dated lines that mark the years. Off come the shoes and everyone who’s still growing stands up straight, heels against the baseboard. A granddaughter will proudly announce that she’s grown two full inches since last year, while her cousin is delighted to see that he’s almost as tall as his uncle was when that uncle was 10 years old. Sue and Carl’s newest greatgrandchild went on the wall this past Christmas. She was only six weeks old and her daddy had to straighten out her little frog legs to get an approximate measure.


or several years, as people began to put on coats and hats and look for their car keys, the evening would wind down with a child’s whisper, “Is it time to get silly yet?” I would nod and slip her a handful of clothespins, which she quickly shared with equally mischievous cousins. Looking like innocent angels, they maneuvered among their elders, surreptitiously clipping a clothespin on the back of an uncle’s shirt, a grandparent’s sleeve, the hem of an aunt’s skirt. Soon everyone would be laughing and slapping their clothes to find the clothespin, which they immediately transferred to someone else’s scarf or hat. More than one clothespin went home on the coattail of an unsuspecting victim. There are 26 of us now and our sit-down dinner has devolved into little plates of finger foods. The meal still ends with coffee and a Yule log elaborately decorated with meringue mushrooms, but I’ve passed the recipe on to our older granddaughter. Some songs are dropped as new ones are added, but we’ll never drop “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Everyone joins in on all the words except for the “gift” itself, which becomes a solo or duet, depending on how many people are here. Early on, Carl croaked out “two turtledoves” in a distinctly tone-deaf baritone, which so cracked us up that he was awarded permanent possession of the second day. With her beautiful voice, Sue was a natural for “five golden rings.” The rest of us split up the remaining days in no particular order, although my husband is rather fond of “three French hens.” Carl left us last year and his pitch-perfect son inherited those two turtledoves. It breaks our hearts to know that this year someone else will have to sing Sue’s five golden rings. It will be a bittersweet continuation and more than one pair of eyes will glisten in the candlelight. But laughter has always been a huge part of our tradition, too. As the first generation of grandchildren matured, their slapstick silliness faded away, but two of Sue and Carl’s great-grandchildren are now 10 and 7. I think it’s time to slip them some clothespins. OH A native Tar Heel, Margaret Maron has written more than 30 novels and dozens of short stories. She was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2016. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Folding Architecture

into Christmas Greensboro’s Carl Myatt models good cheer By Maria Johnson • Photographs by John Gessner


ane Levy starts watching in late November for the distinctive Christmas card from her friend, architect Carl Myatt. It always seems as if Levy’s out running errands when Myatt personally delivers the card, so he props the block-lettered envelope against her door, and Levy sees it when she gets home. “The ritual is, I drop everything and open up this little toy miniature,” she says. “I don’t get very far. Honestly, I don’t think I even sit down. I just go to the sideboard and have at it.” Myatt’s pop-up greetings — renderings of buildings that he has designed — require some assembly. Spatially challenged? He includes step-by-step instructions.

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Pitch, fold, tuck, and behold: An enchanting blend of merriment and marketing. “These little contraptions contain an oversized spirit,” says Levy. “They bring such joy.” Levy understands the emotional power of structures; her father was the late Greensboro Modernist architect Ed Loewenstein, whose sleek residential and commercial designs elicit smiles to this day. Myatt and Lowenstein never worked together, but Myatt has done projects for friends of Levy, and she admires his deft touch. She keeps his cards and displays them in the foyer of her home every holiday season. She doesn’t celebrate The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Last year, Myatt fashioned a card from his design of Dennis Howard’s new home on the first green of Sedgefield Country Club’s golf course. For the occasion, Santa’s reindeer spring from the front courtyard, and the three-car garage is transformed into a stable for sleighs.

Myatt delivered his first 3-D greeting in 1997. The stand-alone arch is inscribed with drawings of his residential and commercial jobs.

In 2000, Myatt combined seven of his projects in a cityscape montage that stands against a snippet of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Myatt’s stepson, Robin, who died in 2008, suggested the background.

Christmas, but she delights in Myatt’s labor of love. “I think it’s a joyful way for him to express himself to everyone,” she says. Her visitors agree. They love to pick up and study the card-stock creations. Like dollhouses, some of the models contain interior rooms that coax viewers to peek through openings. “They invite participation,” Levy says. Myatt, who grew up celebrating Christmas in the Baptist church in Houston, Mississippi, started his card tradition with more “hum” than “ho.” He sent a store-bought card in 1992. Two years later, he issued a Christmas letter of sorts, complete with a list of recent clients. In 1997, he turned out a three-dimensional arch covered with drawings of his recent projects. He saw it as a way to honor his clients — and to advertise to prospective customers. From then on, his stand-up salutations were standard. They leaned on Myatt’s ability to make three-dimensional models, a specialty of architects. “We do it all the time, so why not?” he says. Every year, he mulls which of his projects can be shrunken, flattened to fit The Art & Soul of Greensboro

into an envelope and reconstituted by non-architects. Occasionally, he opts for a simple trifold card that stands on edge. But several of his cards require spatial skills to build. To make them easier, Myatt — who works in the top-floor studio of a Fisher Park home he designed — spends untold hours drawing, cutting and folding prototypes. His color printer guzzles ink during trial runs. His models require no glue or staples, though he once enclosed two straight pins to secure a roof. He sweats the choice of envelopes and stamps, too. He addresses each envelope — more than 200 last year — by hand. “It’s like a project,” says Myatt. “When it’s finished, everybody says that looks simple, but it’s not simple.” The reward, he says, is imagining his friends and clients opening and building his glad tidings. “I can see their smiles,” he says, as a sympathetic grin lights up his face. “Architects are visualizers.” OH

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Inspired by the diverse architecture of the street where he and his wife, Wanda, live, Myatt drew this trifold panorama in 2003. He used color sparingly to underscore the holiday decorations and lighted windows. A former college track athlete, the 80-yearold Myatt is an inveterate walker in Fisher Park.

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Myatt designed re-creations of a kitchen and a law library that were rebuilt at Greensboro’s Blandwood Mansion — the Italianate home of long-ago Gov. John Motley Morehead — in 1984. The two structures, called dependencies, are linked to the main house by segmental arcades.

Celebrated local stonemason Andrew Leopold Schlosser built the rocky King’s Chair in the 1930s. It was relocated to Fisher Park in 2014 and memorialized in Myatt’s Christmas card later that year.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Myatt gave friends and clients a lift — three lifts actually — in this 2013 card that was inspired by the elevators he designed to improve handicapped accessibility at Buffalo Presbyterian Church, College Park Baptist Church and the Executive Forum office building at Battleground and Wendover avenues. Slide a tab skyward, and Santa pops out atop the shaft while baby Jesus appears on the second floor — on his way down to Earth, we assume. December 2018

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Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the 2002 card, and . . here’s Greensboro’s First Baptist Church, which hired Myatt to design a renovation of the sanctuary. He moved the choir box, arranged the pews in a semicircle, and lowered the pulpit to bring the shepherd closer to the flock.

Recipients of this 2005 card simply folded along the lines to make a pyramidal vase for a vivid pink blossom that never needs watering.

Peer through the window in this 2016 card to catch a glimpse of the Myatts celebrating Christmas in their home. The fireplace, which in real life is framed by pieces of an old piano, glows with a fire. A Peruvian manger box rests on the mantle.

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Perhaps Myatt’s grandest card, this 2011greeting shows an addition he designed for the Danville, Virginia, home of Greensboro’s Porter Aichele and Fritz Janschka. The home was designed by Ed Loewenstein and built in 1953. Myatt’s master bathroom flanks the bedroom and studio. Janschka, an artist who died in 2016 at age 97, enthusiastically colored the card, adding details on the bookshelves. Myatt scanned and printed Janschka’s work before cutting out the cards, one by one, with an X-ACTO knife and a steel straight edge.

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Folly Jolly At Körner’s Folly, nothing succeeds like excess By Nancy Oakley Photographs by Amy Freeman


t first glance Körner’s Folly appears to be the stuff of that old saw, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” But look closer, and you’ll discover it’s an extension of the man who built it, Jule Körner. Perched right on Main Street in downtown Kernersville, (the town having been named for Jule’s grandfather, Joseph Körner), the imposing Victorian brick house with the steep gabled roof is a product of Jule’s restless ingenuity and marketing savvy. Not to mention his “tongue-in-cheek” sense of humor, says Dale Pennington, executive director of the site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “There was method to his madness,” she says. Both of which were apparent in Jule’s early career. After studying art in Philadelphia, he enjoyed a stint in advertising for the Bull Durham Tobacco Company, where, under the pseudonym Reuben Rink, he created a stir by painting advertisements on the sides of buildings and barns. According to The Reuben Rink Company, a marketing and ad agency in Winston-Salem named for the original “Reuben” and headed by Jule’s greatgreat-grandson J.G. Wolfe, Jule would paint the tobacco company’s bovine mascot as “anatomically correct” and then, in anonymous letters to local newspapers, express faux outrage at the so-called offending images. As intended, the letters succeeded in drawing crowds to the outdoor billboards — increasing public awareness of the Bull Durham brand. Just as surreptitiously, the mysterious “Reuben Rink” would then repaint the billboards, camouflaging the bulls’ extremities, often with strategiThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

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cally placed fences. But the puckish Jule didn’t stop there: He claimed to have painted similar billboards on the sides of the Great Pyramids and Mount Kilmnajaro, “which isn’t true,” Pennington affirms. When he switched careers to interior design, the huckster in Jule again anticipated the notion, “build it and they will come.” So, in 1880 he constructed the gabled house on Main Street, which would double as his residence and a showroom, or living catalogue, for clients who were enjoying middle-class prosperity of the Industrial Age. Where to begin? The front porch is as good a place as any, with its intricate, hand-laid tile and “Witches Corner,” a small nook containing a cast-iron pot where visitors have cast pennies. “It’s a nod to Halloween, a European tradition,” Pennington explains. “If you deposit coins into the witches’ pot, it will keep evil spirits and witches out of the house.” Not that a talisman is needed here. Any evil spirit that dares enter this wonderfully weird dwelling would be too confounded to stick around. For once inside, the senses are assaulted with an onslaught of high-Victorian flourishes, such as layer upon layer of molding in various patterns, heavy dark cabinetry with barley twist accents, a fireplace framed with ornate colored tiles, an intricately carved mantel, and a painted ceiling — and all of this in just the front entry hall that originally served as a carriageway. “A horse and buggy could pull in right off Main Street into the center of the house. And then stables were attached to the left, and to the right, rooms,” Pennington says. An expression of Jule’s quirkiness, yes. But also an example of his efficient use of space, and again, his marketing genius. Those fireplace tiles, for The Art & Soul of Greensboro

example, came from Zanesville, Ohio. The moldings in the house are, to use Pennington’s word, “a hodge-podge,” of locally crafted work and newer materials of the period, such as Bakelite, all easily transported to Kernersville by rail.


n 1890, four years after Jule’s bride, Polly Alice, entered the picture, the first of several remodels began that would expand the structure’s 15 rooms to 22, all in varying dimensions. Among the modifications? That indoor carriageway and stable were moved across the street. The adjacent front parlor became the master bedroom (unheard of in the day), the stable and hayloft were closed in to accommodate a guest bedroom, the tack room became the library. To accommodate the Körner children, son Gilmer and daughter Doré, a playroom with the ceiling height of 5 1/2 feet was installed directly above the carriageway-turned-foyer. Polly Alice could not only hear the pitter-patter of her children’s feet, she could keep an eye on them, too — through the playroom’s floor-to-ceiling pivot windows. Though certainly a potential hazard to children who could easily have fallen through them (these were kids whose pet of choice was a raccoon named Bob, after all), the windows also helped air flow through the house. Other touches reflect Jule’s ingenuity, such as the sunny breakfast room, containing “one of the first skylights in a private home in America,” says Pennington — and one of the defining features for the house’s National Register status. She also points to an icebox, an alcove built into 14-inch thick walls of the main kitchen, and shelving outside one of its windows and covered with a screen that served as a pie-safe. Jule, she says, “considered this kitchen to be one of the most modern of its time because it was very efficient, December 2018

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in his opinion. No wasted space, all these custom built-ins.” And he was ahead of his time in other ways, for some of the finishes — painted cabinetry and subway tiles, for example, are de rigueur today. Jule also cut trap doors in the floor and covered them with grates to let cool air flow from the basement in the summertime. To the smoking room he added small doors so as to seal off the space in the event of fire (and positioned the room with easy access to the water pump outside). Speaking of fires, the house had no shortage of heat, with some 15 fireplaces — remarkable, considering there are only six chimneys. “There’s an intricate flue system in the house,” Pennington explains, pointing to an archway over the master suite concealing a flue that connects a downstairs fireplace to another upstairs. “So it’s using the aesthetic to hide the pragmatic,” she observes. With Jule’s penchant for the theatrical, it’s not surprising that he converted the billiard room to a theater on the very top floor of the Folly (a moniker bestowed upon the place by his puzzled neighbors, one which the former ad man fully embraced). “There’s no attic. It’s the roofline. This is what it looks like in reverse,” says Pennington of the angled ceiling resembling the folds of an origami sculpture. Painted on them are murals of cupids; hence the venue’s name, the Cupid Park Theatre that opened in 1897 for stage and musical productions. “Polly Alice felt that her children had such unparalleled access, to travel, theater, vocational resources,” explains Pennington. Access that she extended to her children’s friends and other local youngsters in the formation

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of a youth theater group, believed to be one of the first private little theaters in the country. A crack seamstress, Polly Alice designed and sewed the costumes for the plays and taught music lessons alongside a Greensboro music professor, Charles Brock, while Jule, who fashioned an unusual circular curtain rod over the stage, built the sets. “I just imagine it being a wonderful time at the Folly,” Pennington muses. And it still is: To this day, the Cupid Park Theatre hosts community plays and revues, along with puppet shows, a staple of the Christmas season.


t Yuletide, Körner’s Folly quite literally shines. “If the house is over-the-top now,” says Pennington, “at Christmas it’s to the nines.” In late October local volunteer groups, each of which has “adopted” the Folly’s 22 rooms, start decking the halls, a process that continues through Thanksgiving, just in time for holiday tours. These, says Pennington, began about 15 years ago, but ramped up in the last decade. In the last five years, candlelight tours and additional puppet shows were thrown into the mix. The decorations must be period appropriate. After all, the Victorian era, again because of mass production and middle class expansion, not to mention that other icon of the day, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, gave rise to many of our modern holiday traditions: Christmas cards, ornaments, ham and turkey dinners, eggnog, and of course, Christmas trees and garlands. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Decorators have leeway to interpret a yearly Victorian theme. Last year’s was “Victorian Christmas Traditions,” this year’s, “A Körner Family Christmas.” Pennington says the Folly staff encourages the use of Moravian decorations, including the distinctive Moravian stars, in keeping with the family’s heritage. But they do make a couple of concessions to modernity and safety: Given the age of the house, greenery must be artificial (though of such high quality as to look real); and no actual burning candles are allowed so as to prevent the house from going up in a blaze as it could easily have done in the Körners’ day when son Gilmer slept under the Christmas tree with a bucket of water handy. “We put the 12-foot tree in this room,” says Pennington, referring to the pièce de résistance of Jule’s vision: the grand reception room, with carved archways, ornate figures flanking fireplace mantels and seemingly in defiance of Victorian propriety, remote, curtained off corners, “where couples could steal a kiss at his parties,” Pennington explains. The seasonal pageantry is a crowd-pleaser, drawing an estimated 3,000 visitors among an annual total of about 10,000, but the holiday tours serve a larger purpose: to help raise money for the ongoing restoration of the house that began in earnest in 2012. “In a lot of ways the restoration work we’re doing now is carrying out their vision,” says Pennington of the 26 local families who bought Körner’s Folly in 1970. At the time, the house sat vacant, the Körner children long since havThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

ing grown up and dispersed. Following Jule’s death in 1924, with the Great Depression and two World Wars, upkeep had become impossible. Taking smaller family heirlooms (the large Victorian furnishings, such as the foyer’s massive cabinets, being too large to disassemble and move), the family boarded up the house, which fell prey to vandals and looters. It became a haunt of local teenagers, some of whom carved their initials in one of the upstairs hallways. Even after the property’s purchase and placement on the National Register, it was manned solely by volunteers for 30 years.


ow, with a professional staff, three phases of restoration have been completed — the porch, the foundation, the roof and chimneys. The fourth phase, the Folly’s interiors, started in 2015 with daughter Doré’s bedroom, aka the Rose Room, a confection of soaring pink walls and floral trim. Gilmer’s room, it turns out, was a bright, robin’s egg blue, thanks to an architect’s color analysis. “With the technology today, they’re finding the colors are so much more vibrant than we used to think they were,” Pennington notes. They are also discovering Jule’s constant tweaking of the house’s interiors. “He was never satisfied,” says Pennington. Even up until his death, he had drawn plans for another renovation. The house is still a work in progress, painstakingly refreshed room by December 2018

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room. The Cupid’s Park Theatre was upfitted last year, its 120th anniversary, and next up is the ground-floor master bedroom, but not until January. Meantime, Christmas comes again to Körner’s Folly, every day as festive as Fezziwig’s ball in Dickens’ classic opus. And surely that jolly old elf with the sly twinkle in his eye — not St. Nick, but Jule Körner — would be pleased that his calculation paid off: He built it, this oddity of oddities, and they are still coming — by the thousands. OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry. Christmas events at Korner’s Folly continue this month through January 5, 2019. For more info visit

Separate and Equal

Though known as a creative visionary with an irreverent sense of humor, there is another side to Jule Körner, evident in the cottage that stands behind Körner’s Folly, containing the site’s gift shop and administrative offices. Known as Aunt Dealy’s Cottage, it was the residence of Clara Körner, nursemaid and surrogate mother to Jule Körner, whose biological mother died when he was 2 years old. As a slave owned by a family in Salem, just down the road, Clara had been hired by the Körners to care for Jule and his siblings (who gave her the nickname “Dealy,” a variation of “Dearie”); the family later bought her freedom, but she chose to remain with them, drawing income from rental property in Winston that Jule’s father, Philip, had bequeathed to her. So revered was Aunt Dealy that every year, on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, Jule Körner would hang black swags across the Folly’s windows and porches. “It was unusual for this area, says Dale Pennington, the Folly’s executive director. “To me, it speaks to someone who didn’t much care what people thought.” And when Clara herself died in 1896, a funeral, officiated by a black pastor was held on the Folly’s north lawn, drawing an integrated crowd. Refused burial in the whites-only cemetery in the Moravian church across Main Street, Clara’s body was interred in the Körner family plot — a standalone piece of property bordering the church graveyard that Jule purchased — separate in death from the rest of the Moravian congregation, but equal among Körners. -N.O.

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A Magical Plant When life hangs in the balance, hang some mistletoe By Ross Howell Jr.


he more I write about plants, the better I see how we humans are compelled to invest them with meaning. Consider mistletoe. Practically all of Western civilization hangs on its evergreen, parasitic little branches. Escaping Troy’s annihilation by invading Greeks, Aeneas would be named the ancestor of Rome by the poet Virgil. Along the way, Aeneas used mistletoe, the “golden bough,” to light his way “through a vast and gloomy forest” to the river Styx, according to Professor Frank H. Tainter. There, he shows the bough to the ferryman, Charon, and “both were immediately transported to the nether world.” Says Professor Tainter, “Such was the power of the mistletoe plant!” The ancient Celts viewed it as a fertility plant; the Druids as a magical cure for most anything. This pagan primal power was translated delicately into a Christmas kissing tradition in 18th-century England. And that’s how most of us think of the plant today. Shirley Broome remembers her mother — known as “Mom” to Greensboro Farmers Curb Market goers — having two big maples in front of her house. The maples were dying and loaded with mistletoe, but they were her mother’s favorite trees. Finally she agreed to have one felled. “Some of the branches of mistletoe were as thick as my thumb,” Shirley says. “We left part of the maple limb attached, so customers could see how the mistletoe grew into the bark. “People were surprised at the size of the clusters! I had one bunch that must’ve been 12 inches in diameter.” Did Mom ever hang a sprig of mistletoe in her own house? “Goodness, no,” Shirley says. “We didn’t have time for that!” For O.Henry Contributing Editor David Bailey, gathering mistletoe meant getting to fire his father’s 12-gauge shotgun. Near Reidsville, “We’d head to an old home site where there were several massive oaks,” David says. “There’d be a nip in the air and to this day whenever it starts to get cold, I recall the acrid scent of cordite.” David’s father loaded No. 8 shells, small shot used for dove or quail. For a 6-year-old boy, aiming accurately enough to bring down mistletoe from a towering oak wasn’t easy. “Two or three shots would leave my shoulder bruised, but I was ecstatic,” David says. “We’d usually get a third of a bushel basketful to take to neighbors and friends.” “Mom would’ve whipped up eggnog by the time we got home and I was allowed just a whiff of nog,” David continues. “Good memories, even if my sister planted a big old, sloppy wet smooch on me under the mistletoe.” Some of his wife’s earliest memories of Christmas revolve around the search for mistletoe. “My mother’s younger sister Hope was in high school then and dating, so of course mistletoe hanging from the doorways was essential,” Anne says. “The urgency of procuring the stuff, and the ritual of gathering it, made it plain to me that mistletoe was a magical plant.” As her father drove down woodland dirt roads of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, her mother, aunt and Anne would search the tall trees. Once they’d spotted a fine growth, “Dad would park the car, get his gun and shells from the trunk, and confer with Mom and Hope,” Anne remembers. “Which bunch was fullest? Which least obscured by intervening branches?” With all the input from her mother and aunt, and her own squeals added

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into the equation, “It could take almost an hour to get down to the nub of gathering mistletoe,” Anne says. “At last Dad would take aim, and after the blast the air under the tree was filled with a snowfall of small green clusters, peppered with waxy white berries,” Anne continues. “We’d retrieve the fullest twigs and pile them into a box in the trunk of Dad’s Ford. Dad was a good shot and he’d always bring down a few more clumps, just in case we ran out, I suppose.” O.Henry’s editor Jim Dodson says his earliest memory of mistletoe dates back to seventh grade, when his mother asked his father to collect mistletoe for the Christmas holiday. “Dad loaded my brother and me in the car along with a shotgun and we headed out Buckhorn Road near Mebane,” Jim says. Driving on what was then a country road, “We turned into an overgrown sideroad and hiked half a mile into an oak forest to an abandoned house with giant oak trees out front,” Jim adds. “Those trees were loaded with mistletoe.” This was the spot, his father informed the boys, where their great-grandfather, “Jimmy” Dodson, had grown up. Nearby was the house where their greatgrandmother, Emma Tate Dodson, had been raised. Both the Dodsons and the Tates had journeyed to North Carolina on what Jim’s father called the “Great Road,” or “Great Wagon Road,” the path that many Scots-Irish immigrants followed in search of places to settle in their new country. “We blasted away with the shotgun,” Jim continues. “I remember we had so much mistletoe we loaded it in a cardboard box.” On the way back, they hiked to a spot on the Haw River, where the Dodsons had operated a gristmill in the early 19th century. “That was the first time I remember my father sharing with us a sense of family history,” Jim says. “The idea of the Great Wagon Road really caught my imagination.” With more than enough mistletoe to satisfy their mother’s request, they took what remained to the Lutheran Church. And you can read about the Great Wagon Road when Jim completes his current book on the historical road. See? Quite a bit still depends on a branch of mistletoe. OH Ross Howell Jr. is circulating a collection of short stories to various publishers. Please wish him luck. December 2018

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December n By Ash Alder

It’s been a while since you’ve come to visit, and when you see her, you gasp. She looks different. And not just the kind of different one looks from the passing of an ordinary spring, summer and fall. She has stories. In the sweeping meadow, the weeping cherry is the axis about which all of life revolves. It’s always been this way, at least for as long as you have known her. Which is why you’re so shaken to discover the woodpecker drillings along her trunk and branches. Signs of decay. As you sit beneath her trunk, comforted by her silhouette in purple twilight, three, four, five white-tailed deer slip through the longleaf veil in the distance. Either they do not see you, or they recognize you as one of their own. Six deer. Seven. You watch them graze in the meadow — just feet away now — and as the last doe brushes past, you exhale a silent prayer. Grace is here. You place your hands on the weeping cherry’s trunk, honoring this perfect moment, this bare-branched season, the vibrancy among decay. It’s time to go home now. It won’t be the same. But there are stories to share. And grace.

Spirit of the Deer

As a child, Christmas Eves were spent at my grandparents’ house, where all the cousins hoped to be the first to spot the shiny pickle ornament Papa had hidden in the tree. After evening Mass, then dinner, where soft butter rolls, pumpkin bars and scalloped potatoes were first to vanish from the spread, gifts were exchanged. Whoever found the pickle got theirs first. And then, the hour drive home. “Watch for deer,” Papa would say before we left. We always saw them, frozen in the headlights on the roadside. Three, four, five . . . six deer, seven. I counted until drifting off to sleep. Many ancient cultures believe that when an animal crosses your path, its spirit has a special “medicine” for you. The deer is a messenger of gentleness and serenity. If you happen to see one in the thicket of holiday hustle and bustle, even if it’s the one you recall snacking on your hosta and pansies last spring, consider the ways you can bring more grace and kindness to yourself and the world.

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Comet and Cupid

According to National Geographic’s Top 8 Must-See Sky Events for 2018, the comet eloquently named 46P/Wirtanen will travel past the luminous Pleiades and Hyades star clusters as it makes its closest approach to the Earth on Sunday, December 16 — the comet’s brightestever predicted passage. Whether or not you catch the celestial show, don’t miss the chance to celebrate the “rebirth of the Sun” on Friday, December 21 — the day before the full cold moon. Call it winter solstice, Yule or midwinter, the longest night of the year is a time for gathering . . . and ritual. In Japan, it’s tradition to take a dip in the yuzu tub, a hot bath filled with floating yellow yuzu fruit, to ward off the common cold. Not a bad way to welcome winter. Or around a fire with dearest friends, sharing stories and cider beneath the near-full moon.

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread. – John Burroughs, The Snow-Walkers, 1866

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December 2018

Gifts from the Kitchen Cooking Class



December 1 FREE FOR ALL. 9:30 a.m. A free movie, drink, popcorn and sing-along are part and parcel of Christmas at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-3605 or FLOAT-ILLA. Noon. Ooh and ah over floats, marching bands and balloons at the Holiday Parade. Downtown Greensboro. Info: AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Paul Stennett, author of Acts to Grow. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

December 1 & 3 ESPRIT DE CHORUS. Listen to the ethereal sounds of Bel Canto Company’s holiday concert, “Joyful Noel.” Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2220 or

December 1–2 MOUSE-SKATEER. Or slippin’ Mickey, as Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party winding up its run. Performance times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or PLANTA CLAUSE. Noon. Anniversary Garden Club invites kids and pets to meet Santa and enjoy seaThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

Beatlesesque: A Tribute to the Beatles



sonal displays. Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs Building, 4301-A Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 282-4940.

December 1–9 BEAUTIES AND BEASTS. Catch Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World before it leaves forever after. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.

December 1–23 GHOST STORY. As in that seasonal fave, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, courtesy of Triad Stage. Performance times vary. Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or

December 1–29 CHRISTMAS PAST. Choose from a variety of tours, events and demonstrations to learn how Moravian settlers celebrated the holidays. Old Salem Museum & Gardens, 900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem. Info and tickets:

December 1–February 3, 2019 DANDY ANDY. See Andy Warhol: Prints, Photographs and Polaroids from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770

Toast the New Year with the Dukes of Dixieland




December 1–February 17, 2019. MODNESS. Turn on, tune in but don’t drop out of 1960s: Survey of a Decade. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or

December 2 YOU GOT IT MADE! 11 a.m. Made 4 the Holidays, to be specific. Check out arts, crafts and pottery by local artisans. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE. 1 p.m. The 46th Annual Holiday Open House, that is, featuring, food, music, crafts and Santa. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or NOT EVEN A MOUSE. 3 p.m. Bel Canto Company performs a children’s concert, The Night Before Christmas. Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2220 or AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 3 p.m. Meet poets Emma Bolden (House Is an Enigma) and Karen Meadows (almond, eyeless). Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

December 4 PRESENT-ATION. 6 p.m. What are some of the most December 2018

O.Henry 85

Seasons Greetings from




would love to wish our readers

Happy Holidays

86 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar

inspired gifts? The kind you make. At Adult Cooking class, you’ll learn how to prepare “Gifts from the Kitchen.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

December 5 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6 p.m. Meet children’s book author Tony DiTerlizzi, who wrote The Broken Ornament. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or



December 6 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED. 6 p.m. Create your own holiday cheer with Dan Lis, head bartender of GIA for “Adult Cooking: Celebration Cocktails.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Matt Stansberry, author of Rust Belt Arcana. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

December 7 ROOTS REVELRY. 8 p.m. With fiddle and banjo in hand, Newberry and Verch bring some seasonal sounds to the stage. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-3605 or

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December 7–9; 13–16; 20–22 B-ACH! HUMBUG! See the Moravian version of Dickens’ classic Yuletide tale, An Old Salem Christmas Carol, Courtesy of The Little Theatre of WinstonSalem. McChesney Scott Dunn Auditorium, SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem. Tickets:

December 7–14 CRACK PERFORMANCE. UNCSA’s lavish production of The Nutcracker, replete with a live orchestra, is the largest in the Triad. Not to be missed. Performance times vary. Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., WinstonSalem. Tickets: (336) 721-1945 or

December 8 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Georgann Eubanks, author of The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or FAB FAUX. 7:30 p.m. Hear Raleigh-based band, Beatlesesque: A Tribute to the Beatles. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-3605 or

December 8 & 9 LOVE-IN. 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. and 4 p.m. Or more precisely, The Season of Love, title of this year’s Christmas Spectacular. Lawndale Baptist Church, 3305 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Tickets are $5 for general seating, $10 for reserved seating. Info: (336) 288-3824, ext. 309. TEA FOR TUTUS. 1:45 p.m. Meet and greet characters from The Nutcracker at “Tea with Clara.” Renaissance The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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December 2018

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

Arts Calendar

Room, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

December 8, 9, 15 & 16 NUT JOB. They’re ba-a-a-ck! Clara, Drosselmeyer, the Mouse King, waltzing flowers and more return for Greensboro Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

December 8 & 22

Redefining Family Law

BLOWIN’ SMOKE . . . 10 a.m. The Blacksmith returns. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

December 9 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 1 p.m. Meet Michelle Johnson, author of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

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

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AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Dwayne Walls Jr., author of Backstage at the Lost Colony. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or ROCK’N’ROLL OF AGES. 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Though not exactly haunting, the sounds of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghost of Christmas Eve will get you in the Christmas, er, spirit. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 7453000 or

December 10 CLEAN LIVIN’. 6 p.m. Starts with clean eating. Sign up for “Adult Cooking: Healthy Appetizers for Entertaining.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: TARTED UP. 6 p.m. “Holiday Tarts Made Easy” is the focus of another adult cooking class with pastry chef Rachel Schmidt. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

December 10–22 TINSELTOWN. Literally. Get your fill of Christmas flicks, from It’s a Wonderful Life (12/10) to Holiday Inn (12/22), with Home Alone, Die Hard, The Shop Around the Corner and tons more in between. Screening dates and times vary. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

December 11

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December 2018

GRUB & GROOVE. 11 a.m. Brown bag it and chill to the sounds of “Big Band Holidays,” streamed live from Lincoln Center. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or ENOUGH, ALEADY! 6 p.m. As seasonal obligations mount, learn how to say “when” or better yet, “no” at a Working Women & Wine Event, courtesy of Linen The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Get Back Your Kick!

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Arts Calendar

& Glass: “How to Set Effective Boundaries During the Holidays,” a discussion by personal trainer and life coach Donna Nealy. 1002 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem. Tickets:

December 13 BAKE ’N’ TAKE. 5 p.m. Kids age 8–11 bake their favorites and learn new culinary tricks at “Kids Cooking: Cookie Swap.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

December 15 NICK OF TIME. 9 a.m. Meaning St. Nick, the focus of activities at Santa’s Workshop Day. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: ’TWEEN TIME. 11 a.m. And time for more holiday cookies for the 11–14 year-old set. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

December 18

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BAH HUM. 8 p.m. Lowland Hum, that is. The husband-and-wife folk duo who will perform seasonal tunes from their popular album, Songs for Christmas Time. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

December 19 CLAUS AND EFFECT. 3:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus dons her apron to bake cookies, swap stories and make holiday craft with parents and kids. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

December 20 WHERE THERE’S SMOKE. 8 p.m. There’s Ozuna. Catch the singer’s light-filled, pyrotechnic concert. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

December 22 GRAB AND GO. 7 a.m. Need some last-minute items for your Christmas feast? Then head to the pre-Christmas Eve Market. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info:

December 24 JINGLE BELL JAZZ. 5:30 p.m. Join Sheila Duell, Randy Craven, Neill Clegg and Paul Leslie for a special Christmas Eve Program. Social Lobby, O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 8542000 or HYPERLINK " jazz.htm"

December 29 GRAB AND GO AGAIN. 7 a.m. Entertaining again? The New Year’s Eve Market will have just what you need. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info:

90 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

BUY L It’s



Light Up the local holiday spirit! November 15th thru December 31st For more information visit

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2018

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Merry Decor and Gifts Galore FURNITURE, ACCESSORIES AND GIFTS. Tuesday- Saturday 10-5pm 3500 Old Battleground Rd. Suite A (336) 617-4275 •


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December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

#buylocalseason • Join the effort • Visit

shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops

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support locally owned businesses

St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460

December 31


COUNTDOWN. Noon. Let the little ones ring in 2019 at Rocking Noon Year’s Eve, featuring Dance Project’s Dance Zone. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

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

AULD LANG SYNE JAZZ. 5:30 p.m. & 9 p.m. Catch a New Year’s Eve Early Show with Jessica Mashburn, Dave Fox, Steve Haines & Thomas Heflin, and a New Year’s Eve Late Show with The Mondre Moffet Jazz Society. Social Lobby, O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or NOLA NEW YEAR’S. 8 p.m. Toast the New Year with some New Orleans jazz from the Dukes of Dixieland. Westover Church, 505 Muirs Chapel Road, Greensboro. Tickets:

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. Preregistration: (336) 5742898 or CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

Arts Calendar

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or ’TOONS FOR TOTS. 3:45 p.m. From October 30– December 4 kids can tap into their inner Pixar with a course in digital animation. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or PINT-SIZED GARDENERS. 3:30 p.m. Teach your kiddies a love of gardening and edible things at Little Sprouts (ages 3 to 5 years). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or

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) 3790699 or

Wednesdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs are belles — at least through December 19, when the Mid-Week Market goes into hibernation. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info:


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

PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, featuring: String Thing (12/4); Johnny Cobb (12/11); Karon Click (12/18). Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or fried_chicken.htm.

ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) — and featured guest artists Sheila Duell (12/1); Nishah DiMeo (12/13); Lydia Salett Dudley (12/20); and Joey Barnes (12/27). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or

CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie

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

Home Holidays for the

PLEASE ADOPT Loving pets need loving homes Older dogs make great companions When adopting, make vaccinations and spay/neutering a priority Benessere Animal Hospital hopes adopting a new family member will be at the top of your list this holiday season

Thanks and Happy Holidays - Team Awesome

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1052 GRECADE ST. | GREENSBORO, NC 27408 Conveniently located in Midtown

336.897.1505 | The Art & Soul of Greensboro

shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops

shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops • service • food • farms • shops

support locally owned businesses

December 2018

#buylocalseason • Join the effort • Visit

O.Henry 93

Arts Calendar

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

Friday 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

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: 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 s

Business & Services

GENIUS AND JAVA. 11:15 a.m. With a cup of Joe as inspiration, create that masterpiece at Coffee and Canvas, which pairs painting and sipping. Cost is $5 and includes art supplies and bean. Griffin Recreation

Center, 5301 Hilltop Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732928 or email WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats Ariel Pocock, Steve Haines & Thomas Heflin (12/1); The Penn Family (12/8); James Gilmore, Autumn Rainey, Will Ledbetter & Ernest Turner (12/15) and Benjamin Strickland & the Gate City Ramblers (12/22), and Kevin Clark, Neill Clegg, Aaron Matson, Will Ledbetter & Ariel Pocock (12/29), while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can shake, rattle and roll with percussion instruments; while Get Moving! inspires

Bill Strickland, CCIM Commercial Real Estate Broker/REALTOR 336.369.5974 |


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December 2018

Sundays FOOD OF LOVE. 11 a.m. Chow down on mouth-watering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams, while students from the Miles David Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And 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) 574-2898 or MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or fried_chicken.htm.

Saturdays & Sundays

Practicing Commercial Real Estate by the Golden Rule

94 O.Henry

physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto:

To add an event, email us at

by the first of the month


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December 2018

O.Henry 95

Decorate Holidays YO U R H O M E FO R T H E

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December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN 2018 of High Point

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December 2018

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December 2018

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O.Henry 99

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December 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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DECEMBER 8-9 • DECEMBER 15-16 AT THE CAROLINA THEATRE Ask about our beloved Tea with Clara pre-events • December 8 & 9 at 1:45pm Ticket sales at 336-333-2605 Event Info: The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2018

D O W N T O W N G R E E N S B O R O. O R G

O.Henry 101

Arts & Culture

Fa la la

Pottery in the Southern Tradition


Unique Gifts for Christmas

A collection of Artisan gifts featuring pottery, glass, sculpture, wood, jewelry and original artwork exhibited among festive holiday decorations for giving and for the home.

336-668-0025 | Fall Hours – TUE thru SAT 10-5 Highway 68 In Oak Ridge

an Artful gathering of Gifts

Your wish is my Brush’s Command

GUNTER HAUS Art Studio (336) 350 - 3741 Angie Gunter

presented by

G336.350.3741 UNTERHAUS.COM



Cher Shaffer, “Jeremy Friends,” mixed media

213 S. Main Street, Graham, NC 27253 | 336.226.4495 |


102 O.Henry

December 2018

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Open late ‘til 8:00 pm on Thursdays

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts & Culture




The Art & Soul of Greensboro








December 2018

O.Henry 103


Patty Ringler, Ben Farrell

Sarah Purcell, Emily Nunn

Greensboro Signature Chefs Auction Gala March of Dimes 80th Anniversary

Friday, October 5, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Bert Hayes, Lauren Rhodes, David Colvin III, Myeerah Zhang, Kyle Kubanka

Lauren & Nathaniel Carswell

Chad & Erin Stafford

Sona Ishrani, Rita Bartlett, Craig McInstosh, Shelly Penvmalli

Laura Paiewonsky, Amanda Oha

Nyote & Feraud Calixte

Michele & Matt Slaine

Chef Michael Harkenreader, Brittany Leary Gina Zieme, Emiley Turnel

Cory & Amanda Henson

Katherine Hughes, Michael Nix

Dr. Christina & Patrick Rush

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December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Mark Griffin, Stephanie & Joe Kinnarney

Tiffany Nelms, Danielle Carter, Stephanie Cheek, Tiffany Carr, Amanda Nelms

Men Can Cook

Women’s Resource Center

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Jessica Bowes, Jasmine Weaks, Sharon Storm, Leslie Scher Phelps & Kate Sprinkle, Jim & Abby Donnelly

Braylon Barbee, Ty Shoemake

Mignon Elks, Karen Makar, Elizabeth Bader

Liz Willard, Sharon Canovali, Camilla Fordum

Michael Pearson, Xander & Amber Robinson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Neil Johnson, Allen Broach

Hayley Crowe, Karen Sutton

Lawyer Sutton

Brian Carter, Ian Gray

Jonathan Lyles, Colton Frye

Cliff & Marcia Thomas

December 2018

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

Be your own kind of beautiful ...

Happy Holidays Clothing, Accessories

Gifts & More!

1804 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, NC 27408 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) • 336.763.7908 Holiday Hours: Mon. - Fri. 11-6pm • Sat. 11-5pm • Sun. 12-4pm

106 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



Joe Bryan Jr, Ben Cone Jr

Gary & Bernadette Sheehan

“Setting the Stage” Carolina Theatre Capital Campaign Donor Reception & Ribbon Cutting

Monday, October 8, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Evan Olson & Jessica Mashburn

Steve & Gina Freyaldenhoven

Debra & James Smith, Dr. Irish Spencer Jack Whitley, Spencer Conover, Mary Ellen Boelhower

Bruce & Jan Smith

Kaitlin Smith, Britt Preyer

Betty Cone, Randy Spivey, Dr. Irish Spencer Amy Grossman, Kevin Gray

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Debbie Hynes, Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh

Gary & Carol Krikorian

Bob & Judy Wicker

December 2018

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GreenScene Blue Jeans & Pearls Gala Carolina Adoption Services & ABC Adoption Services

Saturday, November 3, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Emily Sudermann, Helen & Stuart Williams, Sherry & Joe Smith

Jessica Shular, Bria Lindley Faith, Brian, Lincoln, Amanda & Kamali Leitzke

Karen Hixson, Alison Lawson, Caren Jenkins

Dollie & Jo Davis

Sonia Sansone, Tyrone & Alesandra McCollum

Ann & Bryant Harrell Ron & Debbie Hitzel

Robb & Stacey Jolly

Cindy & Ike Hatzisavvas

Richard & Julene Valitutto

Amy Cox, Stacey Price

Alan & Brittney Bissett

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A Real Joy of the HOLIDAY Season is the opportunity to say

Thank You

And wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and the very best for the New Year Kay and Xan

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687 ©2017 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.


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


The Art & Soul of Greensboro December 2018

O.Henry 109

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

110 O.Henry

December 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

Brilliant and Batty A cold moon rising ramps things up for the ramped-up December born

By Astrid Stellanova

My Grandpa talked about the Cold Moon, which is what the old-timers used to call the

Yule Moon. The Cold Moon falls on December 22, just as Old Man Winter tightens his grip over the Old North State. So, baby, it’s going to be a cool Yule. Winter Solstice is just 19 hours earlier, with the full moon sitting just above the horizon in a show we won’t forget. What people do forget is how tough it is being a December child and competing with the biggest holiday season of the year. Brilliant or batty, December babies bring it: Ozzy Osbourne is a December baby. Ditto for Samuel L. Jackson and Taylor Swift. Stalin, Sinatra, Spielberg, Walt Disney, Jane Fonda and Pope Francis, too. That’s the short list. — Ad Astra, Astrid Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Here you are, Birthday Child, with a bucket list that is slap full of ink. Stop making lists and start making memories. After the holidays, go to what calls you: Graceland or Dollywood. Get a gee-tar. Back talk somebody who scares you. Pick a bone with the smartest one in the room. Be too big for your britches. Don’t hold your taters. Have a hissy fit with a tail on it, or get as nekkid as the day you came into this world and take the Polar Bear Challenge. Just don’t fiddle fart around, ’cause a birthday reminds us to make the time count before we kick that bucket slap over. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) You owe a debt to Saint Nick Nack for your love of the holidays. Sugar, nobody can outdo you at the high altar of tackiness. If there is a corner in the house you haven’t put a bow or geegaw on, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Sprinkle all the fairy dust you can; in this big old world, more than a few are grateful to you for the smiles. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Sugar, as much as you want to come clean, this ain’t the time to air your dirty laundry. Things could get nastier, faster. So make nice, bake something yummy for the neighbors and get into the spirit without taking the cap off the spirits. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Yes, you have a taste for the good things in life. But Darling, life in a gated community — like, say, a jail — wouldn’t be your cuppa tea. You have got to stop allowing some wild-child impuls es to get the better of you. Take a shine to normal. Aries (March 21–April 19) Honey, sometimes you just have to slam the gol dang door! This is that time. You want to believe the best. Someone walked back into your life with sass and attitude. Also, a sense of entitlement. You are being far too kind and generous. Taurus (April 20–May 20) You are on the highway to the danger zone, Baby. Yeah, you want to buy the world a Coke and shower it with love, but try reining in your impulse to pull out the wallet. Splash out on kindness, not dollars and you will be more than loved.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gemini (May 21–June 20) True, life can suck. True, you seem to have managed to jam a straw right down in it and pulled from the very bottom. Act like you have got some raising, child. What happened has happened. As for the sucky part, what you do with it is up to you. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Have fun, but try to be home before zero-dark-thirty. This is no time to be taking chances. Grandpa used to say when you finally get your ducks in a row, first be sure that all of them are yours once you start counting them little tail feathers. Leo (July 23-August22) If the saying is true, that there is an ass for every seat, then you are in luck. You have something important in the wings and need everybody that ever waved or winked at you for support. They will be there, Sugar, both gems and asses, too. Virgo (August 23 – September 22) A dog may bark, but it is definitely not the same as a hyena. And bluebirds know better than to take up with a buzzard and build a nest. Somebody has already warned you — don’t get into the Jell-O punch at the office party and forget that. Libra (September 23–October 22) Cuss and fuss if you want to, but you are going to enjoy the holidays a lot more than you expected. Keep your superstitions tamped down and your wet shoes out of the oven. Don’t matter what temperature you set them on, shoe leather won’t turn into biscuits. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) If you drank act-right juice with the same determination you gulped down the Jack Daniels Root Canal Remedy, you might not have to face the long list of people you have ticked off. Make amends. Send some fruit baskets. Like Mama said, try to act right. 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. December 2018

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O.Henry Ending

Mom’s Cure for Christmasitis By Nancy Oakley

When I was a child, Christmas always

came late. Incredible as it seems in this age of ushering in the Yuletide season the day after Halloween, my parents didn’t put up a tree until the Solstice — and often waited as late as the 24th of December to finish shopping. “You’ll get tired of Christmas,” they’d say to my sisters and me. But their delay tactics only exacerbated our feverish excitement, a condition that Mom dubbed “Christmasitis.” To abate it, and to assure her own peace on Earth and goodwill toward us, she allowed a couple of seasonal concessions: Advent calendars, which we’d get in Sunday school and tape to the dining room window on December 1, and Christmas books.

The latter were stored in a large, flat, department-store gift box in the hall closet. Its annual appearance ramped up our collective case of Christmasitis — momentarily. For once we delved into the trove of tomes — storybooks, chapter books, picture books, coffee-table books — all was calm, all was bright. At least until Mom could get dinner on the table. There were the classics, of course, Scrooge and his modern-day counterpart, the Grinch. We had two copies of The Night Before Christmas, one of which contained quaint and muted, turn-of-the-century illustrations that my eldest sister preferred. I, on the other hand, liked the edition with rosy, 1950sstyle illos of Santa, and Ma-mah in her kerchief and the narrator of the poem in his cap and purple dressing gown. My boisterous middle sister had an inexplicable penchant for The Birds’ Christmas Carol, a maudlin Victorian tale about a saintly girl too ill to get out of bed who nonetheless arranges a festive Christmas for her poor neighbors — and then croaks. Talk about holly-jolly. We didn’t much care for a paperback — another Sunday school handout — about the three Wise Men chasing the Star of Bethlehem. It had ugly orangeand-green cartoonish illustrations. We, however, loved unfolding an accordion book with the lyrics of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” on one side and “The Friendly Beasts,” on the other. My eldest sister developed an obsession

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December 2018

for the partridge and the symbolism of the 12 gifts, and my middle sis, for the “donkey all shaggy and brown” on the book’s flip side, prompting her to sing the carol — over and over. We pored over an anthology with its glossy cover of a red candle dripping wax. It consisted of several poems and short works, such as Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” with our favorite sentence, “The dog was sick,” and O.Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” To our young minds the poor husband in the tale got a raw deal; after all, the girl’s hair would grow back and she could use those pricey tortoise-shell combs, but he’d never see that watch again. But what really worried me was the tale in Christmas Stories ’Round the World about the little girl who puts a wreath of lighted candles on her head for St. Lucia’s Day. By far, our favorite book — and the one that endangered Mom’s peace and goodwill because we fought over it so often — was the overisized, Golden Book of Christmas Tales. In spite of its worn and dog-eared condition, the book’s illustrations are still vivid, if not lurid, starting with the angel on the cover in flowing red robes, skydiving toward Earth with a baby doll in her hands. Equally sensational are the stories, most of them biblical: the cherry tree that bends over so a pregnant Mary en route to Bethlehem can pluck a few healthy snacks from its branches; the cock that crows on its serving platter, scaring the, well, bejesus out of King Herod; and even more frightening, the wolf-like monsters called Callicantzari that fly around terrorizing Greek peasants who haven’t painted a cross on their doors. An antidote to the thrills was a story in the tiniest book in the box, A Pint of Judgment, in which a little girl attempts to acquire an item jokingly scrawled at the bottom of her mother’s Christmas wish list: “a quart of judgment.” Puzzled, the child asks her congenial uncle for a definition. He tells her it’s common sense, which she understands to be common “cents,” so she saves all her pennies, which amount to only a pint. Still, she puts them in a cup inside her mother’s Christmas stocking, which then spills out on the floor on Christmas Day, giving everyone a good laugh. As it surely made my mother laugh when she was about the same age as the story’s protagonist. For written in neat handwriting on the book’s inside cover is an inscription: “To Ann from Daddy (because she had a pain in her stomach). December 11, 1939.” Which just goes to show, whether for stomach-ache or Christmasitis, a good book can cure what ails you. OH Nancy Oakley’s grown-up Christmas reading includes David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries and a coffee table book about kitschy Christmas decorations. Some would argue she could use a good deal more than pint of judgment. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Real holiday page turners

GREENSBORO 225 South Elm Street • 336-272-5146 and Friendly Center • 336-294-4885 WINSTON-SALEM Stratford Village • 137 South Stratford Road • 336-725-1911