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4 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

M A G A Z I N E Volume 1, No. 3

“I fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090

227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com Ashley Wahl, Associate Editor Kathryn Galloway, Associate Art Director CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David Bailey, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser, Deborah Salomon PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Froelich, John Gessner, Hannah Sharpe CONTRIBUTORS Tom Bryant, Linda Bryant Frank Daniels III, Lynn Donovan, Sara King, William Mangum, Meridith Martens, Dale Nixon, O.Henry, Lee Pace, Kit Rodenbough, Stephen E. Smith, Mary Novitsky

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David Woronoff, Publisher ADVERTISING SALES Marty Hefner, Sales Manager 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Ansley Spencer 336.324.6154 Laura Morris 336.471.4237 Sam Froelich 336.402.3772 Perry Loflin 910.693.2514 Circulation 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2011. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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December 2011•January 2012 9

HOMETOWN

Winter in the Blood By Jim Dodson

STORIES 12 SHORT Greensboro’s

Good Life

AT WORK 16 ARTIST A Few Moments

with Fred Chappell By Stephen E. Smith

OMNIVOROUS READER 18 THE Voices in the Night

By Stephen E. Smith

CITY MUSE 21 THE A Little Juggling, A Little

22

Dancing

By Ashley Wahl

GATE CITY ICON

Mistress of the Dance By Maria Johnson

24

STREET LEVEL

A Place Where They Know Your Name

By Jim Schlosser

27

SPIRITS

Fashionably Old-Fashioned By Frank Daniels, III

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THE SPORTING LIFE

The Black Duck

By Tom Bryant

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GOLFTOWN JOURNAL

Wizard of the Fairway By Lee Pace

Arts Calendar

75 GreenScene By Sam Froelich 79

LIFE’S FUNNY

Hearing Voices By Maria Johnson

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O.HENRY ENDING

The Woman I Never Knew By Kit Rodenboug

Our Cover: We invited nationally acclaimed artist Bill Mangum to create a piece of special cover art to celebrate our annual tribute to the magazine’s namesake. With a stopwatch he found at Mary’s Antiques on South Elm and vintage combs he scouted online, Mangum created a beautiful rendering for O.Henry’s most famous tale. For a chance to win the original artwork, see this month’s Short Stories.

FEATURES

of the 33 Ballad Chinese Buffet Poetry By Deborah Salomon

34 The Gift of the Magi By O.Henry

Our Annual O.Henry tribute to the magazine’s namesake

36 All I Want for Christmas By David Bailey

101 things I wish someone would give me to eat

44 Parade of Giants By Jim Schlosser

Greensboro’s revitalized Christmas Parade bring out the kid in everyone

46 Food for the Soul By Ashley Wahl

A tour of the Gate City’s used and indie book shops

50 Orbs In My Oaks By David Bailey

Confessions of a neighborhood holdout

52 All in the Family By Deborah Salomon

Well-loved Ayrshire speaks of a vanished golden age

63 Midwinter Almanac By Noah Salt

Glorious stars and perfect garden planning time

Photograph this page by John Gessner

6 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Winter in the Blood BY JIm DoDSoN

D

uring the years we lived on the coast of Maine, new friends enjoyed asking me how a Southerner could possibly stand winter in Maine. The town where we lived, after all, just north of Portland and well below zero — as the old Bing Crosby line goes — averaged about 75 inches of snow per winter. Some diehard Yankees simply couldn’t fathom how I managed to get through to spring. “Oh, I absolutely love it,” I invariably shot back with gusto. “Reminds me of my boyhood in North Carolina.” Many would look askance at this remark, sensing a tug on their well-insulated leg, especially if they’d never ventured south of, say, Connecticut. “You can’t be serious,” my neighbor Henry Toothacher declared the first time he heard me say this, breaking up. We happened to be having toddies beside a warm woodstove in our house during our annual winter solstice party. He added with a knowing chuckle, “Everybody knows it don’t snow way down yonder. They got palm trees.” “That’s on the coast,” I shot back pleasantly. “I grew up in the western Piedmont. We had a couple of decent blizzards a winter.” Henry never quite bought this statement. I invited him to look it up, but he never did. But as anyone who grew up in or around the Triad in the 1960s and ’70s can happily attest, long before there was talk about the effects of global warming, winter always brought a nice jolly snowstorm or two to this area, sometimes piling up several feet and shutting down roads and schools for days. I remember many winter nights wading forth into the darkened reaches of snowy Starmount with my pal Patrick McDaid, heading for the popular sledding spot on the country club golf course or simply heaving snowballs at any fool dumb enough to be out fish-tailing in a rear-wheel car, which is all there really were in those days. Similarly, I remember Ham’s on Friendly opening up to serve food three days after a particularly heavy January storm dumped double-digit snow on the area — and then saw the bottom fall out of the thermometer, plunging temperatures to near zero for days. Most of the Gate City’s side streets remained unplowed, but my mom foolishly lent me her Chrysler Newport to go on a date with my girlfriend Kristen. On the way to her house in Hamilton Lakes, I approached the light at Friendly and Holden and found myself unable to stop, skidding straight through a red light on a plowed road that had refrozen at dusk — my first exposure to the tricky art of winter driving. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

After supper at Ham’s — the place was packed with folks suffering from a Carolina version of cabin fever — it began snowing again, and we poked our way out Battleground to Guilford Courthouse and built an anatomicallycorrect snow-woman at the feet of Nat Greene’s noble steed — a snow bride to comfort the hero of Guilford Battleground on one of the longest, coldest nights of the year. I think perhaps it was then and there I decided I had to someday live in serious snow country, a northern place where the cold arrived with the sharpness of a descending ax and snow flew by Thanksgiving. Perhaps this is because I’m a February birth, a true son of winter, a fellow with winter in the blood. Whatever the case, I came to look forward to the shutting down of the year and the frozen birth of a new one with an almost giddy anticipation. Around Thanksgiving — sometimes on the day itself — I began hauling out my Rube Goldberg plant-protecting structures and installing them over shrubs that would soon be buried beneath five feet of snow. I split logs and topped up my woodpile on the side porch, proving that cutting and stacking firewood warms you twice. I strategically placed shovels for digging out from house to barn, and made sure I had halite for the refrozen patches of ice. The first big snow, even for seasoned New Englanders, is probably always the best. Though they’ll stridently dismiss the notion, even snow-savvy Yankees like Henry Toothacher go a little mad. One day around December 10 or 15 or even as late as the winter solstice, the snow pours down like a veil from heaven and the known and visible world disappears under a fragile quilt of white. Twenty odd years ago we began hosting a small solstice party where guests were asked to simply perform something for their supper on the longest night of the year. Over the course of those nights — most of which brought friends and neighbors and newcomers shimmying up our long hill and trudging out of the snowy night — we had everything from an aria sung by a visiting Met Opera contralto to a real St. Lucia — a young girl wearing a headdress of lighted candles. My favorite performer was good old Colonel Bob, a dear friend who served as the admission director who first brought women to West Point and endeared himself to my children by playing Gabriel the angel (with a pair of tilted wings) in the church Christmas play. Bob’s specialty was original blue limericks, which he would stand and recite with brio, bringing the house down with laughter. December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 9


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December 2011/January 2012

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The world, I think, pauses during such moments, while the snow mounts up and the silence deepens deliciously. I once looked out our back window during a noontime blizzard and saw my first moose — a big young fella, impressive rack — standing in our vegetable garden, snow piling up on his antlers, perhaps forlornly wondering where his girlfriend went. He came back for years. Over many years of those deep winter nights, especially as January came on, I also made a gardener’s bargain with the large family of whitetail deer that inhabited our forested hilltop. At the rear of our property I popped several large Korean hostas into the ground for their late dining pleasure and followed up on hard clear winter nights — when the northern stars shine like jewels on crushed black velvet — by putting on my red wool Elmer Fudd jacket and marching through the knee-deep snow to the back of the property near a rebuilt stone wall. There, I cleared a large space and dumped 100-pound bags of sorghum. I could almost feel them watching me from the deep hemlock forest, and in the morning there were literally hundreds of snowy hoof prints where they had come out, young and old, to eat and cavort in the arctic star shine. Some winter years, in strict violation of town fire codes, we also burned a huge New Year bonfire and, like New Age pagans, tossed whatever objects whose power we wished to be free of onto the flames, sending sparks to the winter gods. I burned more than one poor manuscript that never got off the ground. These and a few other things were a Southern boy’s pure winter delights. Now, back home again, I have two decades of those memories tucked in a quilt of memory, yet rest assured I’ll still be watching the weather forecast for news of an approaching winter system that will shut down the streets and bring a delightful disruption to this well-mannered Piedmont world. If it does come, I’ll naturally be an old hand at driving through the ice and snow, though the very fact that I can claim such a talent makes me not a little nostalgic — wishing I could go back to the magic of those faraway snowfalls that buried my hometown in white, magically stilled the world, and prompted beautiful Kristen and me to sculpt a snow-queen for Natty Greene. At odd moments, I still find myself worrying about that whitetail herd, wondering if they’re getting enough to eat on these long winter night. The only cure for such pangs, I find, is to slip on my Elmer Fudd jacket and just take myself for a good long cold walk beneath the winter stars, happy to have known the heart of the season in two places I dearly love. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry

Short Stories

Your Guide to the Good Life in the Triad

“A Gift” for You You can win the framed original cover art for this month’s O.Henry Magazine, a spectacular rendering of “The Gift of the Magi” by acclaimed artist William Mangum, simply by telling us in 150 words or less about a gift that changed your life. The winning essay will be chosen by the magazine staff and the artist. To enter, snail mail your essay to: Magi Contest, O.Henry Magazine, 227-A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC, 27403. All entries must be received by midnight, December 31. JD

Smartin-Up

Smudged eyeglasses. Unpolished shoes, belts and satchels. Bluetooth earpieces in business meetings. Loud cell phone conversations. These are a few of Sindy Martin’s least favorite things, and they can be career chillers, too. So Martin, a High Point etiquette consultant, has compiled her daily reminders of business manners into a book called Smartin-Up ™ Your Professionalism in 365 Tweets. Some tips are common sense — “Please refrain from digging the wax out of your ears in public” — but many are subtle and reflective of the times — “Paradigm shift: 1st call; 2nd email; 3rd text. Only through a phone conversation can you hear tone of voice.” Think of the handbook as an up-to-date, biz-savvy mother whom you can pick up and put down at your convenience — without offending anyone. Available for $14.95 in paperback www.amazon.com. MJ

12 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

Close to Home

After turning tassels last May, UNC-Chapel Hill grads Taylor Haulsee, Nick Ledyard and Stamp Walden spent countless hours in the University library working out the logistics of their collective brainchild — supportlocalnc.com — before launching the business website here in Greensboro on Sept. 22, 2011. “It’s not a unique idea,” Haulsee says of the forprofit initiative to encourage local spending habits, “but we’ve drawn from all the best business models to offer incentives and a practicality that no other company gives.” The easy-to-navigate website allows visitors to access local deals, which are organized by region, in addition to providing information on NC products, local businesses and Support Local NC’s 10 percent initiative. Besides having a positive economic impact in the Triad and abroad, these three amigos hope their venture will “counteract cultural homogenization by promoting the maintenance of the unique identity of the place we call home,” says Haulsee. Viva la vida local. AW

A Spud by Any Other Name

Perhaps it’s not the most eye-catching of variants. Still, the white-skinned O.Henry sweet potato (no traceable relation to our namesake Willie Porter) is found by many to be the sweetest of sweet potatoes, with cream-colored flesh that, when baked, has a drier texture than its ever-popular orange-fleshed cousin. Mike Causey of Downtown Farm Market (505 N. Greene St.) gets ’em when he can from Olan Dunn Farms in Dunn, NC, deeming the heirloom “light and refreshing.” Causey recommends baking one at 400 degrees for about an hour. “Some people stick ’em in the oven with the dirt still on,” he says. “I rinse mine, cut one end off so the steam has somewhere to go, and rub it with olive oil. You can add butter and cinnamon when it’s done, but I think they’re good plain.” AW

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry Artful Living

Flowers and chocolates aside, February promises to be particularly sweet for emerging and mid-career artists seeking guidance on how to turn their art into prolific careers. On Feb. 11, the Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts (SEA) Conference will be held in the Elliott University Center at UNCG from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Keynote speakers include contemporary AfricanAmerican artist Beverly McIver and best-selling author and O.Henry editor Jim Dodson, in addition to a mix of several other working successful arts entrepreneurs, content matter experts and creative industry professionals in the realms of the visual, performing and literary arts. A welcome reception will be held Friday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the studio of internationally acclaimed metal sculptor Jim Gallucci. For more information, contact Bryan Toney at the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center UNCG, 336-256-8647 or bctoney@uncg.edu. AW

Sauce of the Month

As a teenager on his daddy’s dairy farm near McLeansville, Gerald Fryar was known far and wide for the barbecued pork and turkey he grilled around the holidays to make a little spending money. Later he and his wife, Elaine, continued the tradition until “it just got to where it was too much to do,” says Elaine Fryar. But people kept asking for the sauce, she says, and I see why. An aromatic, sweet ’n’ sour combo that’s got a distinctive garlic and oregano twang, Fryar’s Famous Original Sauce is just sharp enough to be a little sassy. Splash it on your tired old holiday turkey, and you’ll be gobbling it down. Info: 336-6211341 or www.fryarsauce.com. DB

How Come We No Fall Off?

In the fall of 2003, the growing number of refugee children at Mendenhall Middle School needed help. So Betty Stratford, an assistant in the media center, did what came naturally: She got ’er done, launching a tutoring program that continues today. Now, Stratford has scratched another item off her to-do list, self-publishing a book that chronicles her experiences. How Come We No Fall Off?: Tutoring Refugee Children in an American School tells the stories of these students and the volunteer tutors who have helped them. How Come We No Fall Off, is available in paperback for $9.97 at www.lulu.com/ browse/books/7. MJ

Legends Never Die

Ralph Hodgin, profiled in the August-September issue of O.Henry as the oldest living former Chicago White Sox, died Oct. 4 at age 96. He was also the fourth oldest living former Major Leaguer. Hodgin had a hefty batting average, including one season in which he hit more than .300 for the White Sox. He once struck out only 14 times in one season. He started his career with the old Boston Bees in 1939 and finished with the White Sox in 1948, with time off for military service. Hodgin was born in rural Guilford County near what’s now Piedmont Triad International Airport, returned to Greensboro after his baseball playing days and died after living his final years at the Brighton Garden retirement center in the Guilford College community. JS The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Silent Night

People are buzzing about the BookUp — the Triad’s spin on Seattle’s Silent Reading Party, founded by Greensboro-based author Jo Maeder. Even Maya Angelou digs the new BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) social affair where folks who can’t find time to read have reading time set aside for them. On Dec. 27, local book lovers are invited to “celebrate long-form reading in a short-form world” by reading silently, together, at The Coffee Break, 1820 Spring Garden St., from 6 to 8 p.m., and again in January, same time (date and location TBA). For more information, see the Facebook page (search: The Bookup), or follow @TheBookup on Twitter. AW

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 13


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14 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

One Divine Pastry BY DAVID C. BAIleY

“I

n Jewish tradition, the dinner table is a small altar,” says Temple Emanuel’s Rabbi Fred Guttman. “It is the special place where the experience of relationships with family members and with God takes place.” By contrast, the kitchen is the stage where love is packaged into pastries and pâtés and the joy of cooking struts its stuff: “Chop onion in wooden bowl until the tears blind you,” begins a recipe for chopped liver in Temple Emanuel’s community cookbook, L’Dor V’Dor/From Generation to Generation. “Add livers and chop until the right arm no longer cares what the left arm is doing.” Although there are six recipes for chopped liver (half of them vegetarian!), the most requested recipe in the book is Rascha Kriegsman’s Schnecken — which really isn’t Schnecken at all. Schnecken (which means “snail” in German) “is another dough that’s usually made with yeast,” says Kriegsman. Her recipe is actually for rugelach, a pastry of Polish origins some say was popularized in America by a recipe of Nela Rubinstein, wife of pianist Arthur Rubenstein. Rugelach means “little twists” in Yiddish. “The reason I changed the name is my grandchildren couldn’t pronounce rugelach,” Kriegsman says. Jewish pastries and cakes are venerated the world over, and the dessert section of L’Dor V’Dor is replete with recipes for fine noodle kugel, monkey cake, strudels of every stripe, Viennese guglhupf and hamantaschen (which means poppy-seed pockets in German) — a recipe that came from Lea Israel, who many years ago operated a bakery on Tate Street. Temple Emanuel has been around since 1907, with its first few services held in the rented second floor of a grocery store on South Elm Street. The reform Jewish congregation has moved several times since, with it strikingly modern Jerusalemstone temple now on Jefferson Road.

Kriegsman says her schneckens, aka rugelach, are easy to make. “The thing is, you have to make the dough a day ahead of time,” she says. And you also have to remember to take the cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator ahead of time to let them reach room temperature. You could always leave them out overnight, says Kriegsman, “but I never have done that. Neither my mother nor grandmother did it.” Nor, I suspect, will her grandchildren, who come over to the house to help her bake the pastry they can’t pronounce. Kriegsman is not rigid about the size or shape of her rugelach. “I’m not making them in a bakery so that every piece has to look just like the other one,” she says. “There will be a big one and a small one. One time, one of my grandchildren made a giant one. He decided he didn’t want to roll anymore so he just rolled it all into one big one.” Kriegsman does have a technique that she thinks distinguishes her recipe from others. Instead of using just flour beneath her dough when she rolls it out, she uses flour laced with cinnamon and sugar. “I tried it one time and decided it’s much better that way. It’s not dry.” Kriegsman says she’s “not one of those people who stays in the kitchen all day. I love to knit,” but her children and children’s children are always asking when’s she going to make some more schnecken. And, she says, “This is the one thing they ask me to please make for the food festival.” And for Kriegsman, that’s one of her small offerings at God’s altar. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Schnecken, aka Rugelach

Dough: 2 sticks butter, softened 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon of salt Mix together butter, cream cheese, salt and flour and divide into four balls. Wrap in plastic and place dough balls in the refrigerator overnight. Sprinkle: �1/2 cup brown sugar �1/2 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2� cup nuts, chopped (optional) Mix together the ingredients for the sprinkle. Take one ball of dough out of the refrigerator, and use the sprinkle as the flour to roll the dough into a 10-inch circle. Cut out wedges like a pie, and roll up each wedge, starting at the widest end. Then roll them in the sprinkle mixture again. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet, and repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes, then place the cookies on a rack to finish cooling. OH Do you have a favorite local cookbook? We’d love to know about it. Email us at ashley@ohenrymag.com

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December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 15


Artist At Work

Telling Lies and Teaching School A few well-spent moments with Fred Chappell

By Stephen E. Smith

Q: A:

We know you and Susan were longtime friends with the late Reynolds Price. Can you tell us a little about your friendship with Reynolds? I met Reynolds in 1954 when I first went to Duke and ran into a young fellow named James Applewhite. We struck up a literary conversation and thought we might go visit the editor of the campus literary magazine, The Archive, and after drinking a few bottles of courage we went and knocked on his door. Reynolds wrote to me later that he thought he was going to be mugged. Apparently we didn’t look entirely reputable at that point. But he welcomed us in and as always he was courteous and generous, and he asked us our aspirations as writers and said, “Why don’t you bring some of your material by?” I did and we went over this long poem many, many times and eventually he rejected it. I was sick of it, and we went on to other things. He published a few of my poems and stories, and we kept up with each other until he went off to Oxford and got a degree over there. He came back to teach at Duke for just a short while. At that point we renewed our friendship in a different way because I was married and Reynolds was a lonesome bachelor. He’d come over to the house late at night, and we talked a lot. He was crazy about our son, Heath, and he very much loved Susan.

16 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

Photograph By Sam Froelich

F

red Chappell, North Carolina’s former poet laureate, is an icon among Southern writers. His novels, short stories, poetry, and criticism have earned him membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He’s the recipient of the Leila Lenore Heasley Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, the T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing, and the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest honor the University of North Carolina system can bestow on a faculty member. In 1985, he was the joint recipient of the Bollingen Prize in Poetry of the Yale University Library. Mr. Chappell has received numerous other literary awards, including the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the state’s highest literary honor for fiction, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. He has received six Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Awards from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society. His stories have been included six times in Best American Short Stories. One of them, “The Somewhere Doors,” received the World Fantasy Award in 1992. He holds honorary degrees from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Spring Hill College. He is now retired from teaching at UNCG and lives with his wife, Susan, in Greensboro.

Our relationship went on like that for a long time. There is one story to tell that took place in 1955. Reynolds said to me at 10 o’clock one night, “Fred, this nice lady writer — I bet you know her work; her name is Eudora Welty — she is coming to visit. She’s riding a bus in from Mississippi. She’ll be here about 2 a.m. Why don’t you go down to the bus station and meet her?” And I said to Reynolds, “I promised I’d go drink beer with some guys tonight.” That was my first big literary step. I was a freshman. What did I know? After that we’d see Reynolds at literary gatherings over at Duke. He came to our home a couple of times for dinner, but it was difficult because he was in a wheelchair by then and our place wasn’t very accessible. But he was always the same witty, charming, and courageous kind of guy he’d always been — very worldly wise. I remember when Reynolds’ first novel came out, and there was a big flurry of fame. He would come by and tell us Hollywood stories. He had British connections and he’d met literary people at Oxford, especially Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They were big news in those days and Reynolds said that Elizabeth was a very beautiful woman but tough as nails.

Q: A:

Can you tell us about your friendship with novelist, poet, short story writer, and essayist George Garrett?

I first met George when he came to visit Dr. Blackburn’s writing class at Duke. I wasn’t in the class, but Dr. Blackburn invited me to meet this writer. I didn’t know about George, so I bought a couple of his books and read them and I had lots of questions to ask him. After the class, we went over to Dr. Blackburn’s house to have a drink and George and I got to talking The Art & Soul of Greensboro


and it turned out that we had friends and ideas in common. He was one of the funniest guys I’d ever met. We were close friends ever after that. For some reason, George got it in his mind that I was a well-known writer. I hadn’t published a book or hardly anything, but he invited me to give a reading at the University of Virginia along with a poet by the name of David Slavitt, who he also thought was a famous writer. I was drinking a little too much, and I didn’t read as well as I should have. It was my first reading, and I was terrified. But George made it go off all right, and afterward they dumped me unceremoniously in a bed in what was an outbuilding. George came by late the next morning to wake me up and he said, “The last person to sleep in this bed was William Faulkner” — and that made me feel even worse, which was the point. We remained good friends, and we’d see each other three or four times a year at literary festivals. I recall that George was writing a silly movie titled Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster in a motel somewhere, and he phoned me to say he needed a line for a character to say when the monster comes in and I gave them “My God! the monster!” but it was changed to “My God! the Maul!” which was the monster’s name. So I had one line in the movie.

North Carolina Beauty by Phillip Philbeck

“Main Street in Old Salem”

Q:

Your last book, Ancestors and Others: New and Selected Stories, was published in 2009. What have you been working on lately?

A:

“Grandfather Mountain”

I’m usually working on two or more things at once and I’m superstitious about talking about it, but I’m hoping to keep working on a series of short stories about a guy who’s selling shadows for a living. And I’m working on some poems — and also I’m dodging work. I’m retired and yesterday was my birthday and I’m 75. Amazing. There was a time when I didn’t think I’d make it to 40.

Q: A:

Have you ever considered a memoir?

No. What for? All I ever did was sit around and tell lies and teach school, if there’s a difference between the two. When I retired I decided I’d go back and read through Western literature. I started with Homer and I’ve read all of Plato and Herodotus, some of it in the original Greek. I read all of Aristotle worth reading, close to 1,500 closely printed pages, and that was enough. Now I’m just finishing the The Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius. Unfortunately, I’ve reached the point in my life where now you read the Bible. OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 17


The Omnivorous Reader

Voices in the Night Asheville poet Allan Wolf’s unconventional voices make this historical novel a grand but terrifying tale

By Stephen e. Smith

A

fter the 1997 media saturation success of the movie Titanic, myriad documentaries on the History Channel, A&E, and NatGeo, hundreds of magazine articles and speculative volumes, DVDs galore, and God knows how many traveling artifact exhibitions, one might suspect that the Titanic mythos has worn a trifle thin. All right already: The great ship hit an iceberg and sank. Enough said. Not so. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the bookstore, there’s a new novel about the sinking of the most infamous passenger liner in the history of the known universe. Asheville poet Allan Wolf has written The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, a novel that takes its place among the umpteen other Titanic tomes — fiction, nonfiction, even a cookbook or two — that have become available since Lawrence Beesley published his The Lost of the SS Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons in 1912. Considering the volume of Titanic material available to the reading public, Wolf faces the considerable challenge of luring benumbed readers into plowing through a 466-page story that’s been told too many times before. Granted, his novel will get a boost in April when the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking rolls around, but it’s still a tough sell. So how has Wolf chosen to beguile his readers? By bringing to life his characters, fictitious and real, notorious and otherwise, by allowing them to make their cases to the reader. The usual suspects are present — Thomas Andrews, Margaret Brown (the unsinkable), Bruce Ismay, and Captain E.J. Smith — but Wolf also includes ordinary folk, a smattering of second and third-class passengers and crew — Olaus Abelseth, the Immigrant; George Brereton, the Gambler; Thomas Hart, the Stoker; Louis Hoffman, the Tailor; Isaac Maynard, the Entrée Cook; Jamila Nicola-Yarred, the Refugee; Oscar Woody, the Postman (and a native of Roxboro, NC); John Snow, the Undertaker; and an egalitarian collection of lesser characters. Wolf has also given voice to one of the ship’s resident rats, the iceberg that precipitates the calamity, and one of the undertakers who collected the bodies in the days following the sinking. And he allows these characters to speak at length of their experiences before, during, and after the disaster. Distress signals, many of them reprinted verbatim and accompanied by the appropriate dots and dashes, “Records of Bodies and Effects,” and letters are sprinkled

18 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

throughout the text, lending verisimilitude to the obviously fictional elements of the narrative. Instead of writing in a conventional format with large blocks of prose explication, description, and dialog, he employs a poetic form in which he truncates his lines to produce the illusion of free verse. In the case of the Iceberg, end rhymes and Anglo-Saxon alliteration are employed: “The heart, the heart — that little living lump/….They keep the beat. The meter. Steady rocks./Like clocks: they tick and tock to trace the time./And when two human lovers meet — they chime/…The ice will have his pick of human hearts/ as soon as fair Titanic plays her part.” In “The First-Class Promenade,” written with end and slant rhymes and an obvious metrical structure, the rhythm approximates the cadence of the passengers’ footsteps and heartbeats. In the cases of the ship’s rat, the telegraph operators, and the Titanic itself, “concrete poetry” is arranged on the page to approximate the movement and gradual upending of the ship as it begins to sink. At the moment Titanic finally succumbs to the forces of nature, a two-page smattering of quatrains surrounds snatches of dialog and minimalist imagery that convey the desperation of those who find themselves suddenly facing death in the cold sea. Prosody aside, Wolf’s narrative unfolds neatly and intertwines the lives of many of the characters — the Baker and the Ship Rat, the Undertaker and his many charges, and Captain Smith and Frankie Goldsmith, a small boy who’s searching the ship for imaginary dragons. The theft of a money belt from Jamila Nicole-Yarred, the Refugee, brings her story together with that of Sean Gould, the Stoker, who has signed aboard using the alias Thomas Hart — a subplot that traces the fictional Gould’s conversion from a thief to a good Samaritan and finds him in a lifeboat freezing to death and draped in the Gambler’s dinner jacket, the pocket of which contains “a worthless bank draft, ruined by water.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Wolf has meticulously researched his subject and despite an occasional slip — “win-win situation” is used twice and is, according to Merriam-Webster, an expression that postdates the sinking — he has produced an insightful, instructive, and compelling historical novel about the sinking of Titanic. Since the distinction between fiction and nonfiction seems to have become meaningless in American pop culture, Wolf is to be applauded for including in his “Notes” brief but immensely interesting biographies of the characters, and he’s careful to distinguish between reality as popular history perceives it and fiction as readers would

...Wolf’s narrative unfolds neatly and intertwines the lives of many of the characters — the Baker and the Ship Rat, the Undertaker and his many charges, and Captain Smith and Frankie Goldsmith, a small boy who’s searching the ship for imaginary dragons.

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have it. He also sets straight many of the misconceptions that continue to surround the sinking, as with the villainization of J. Bruce Ismay and the aggrandizement of Margaret Brown, both of which occurred long after Titanic had settled to the bottom of the Atlantic. Candlewick Press, the publisher of The Watch That Ends the Night, has a reputation for offering the best in children’s literature, and certainly Wolf’s latest contribution to the genre is appropriate for “young adults,” ages 14 to 21. But the novel will be of interest to anyone who’s a Titanic buff — or a lover of grand but terrifying tales well told. OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 19


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20 O.Henry

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December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A Little Juggling, A Little Dancing Hippie Tonk, Jimmy Stewart and dancing to African drums By Ashley Wahl Time travel comes to mind on South Greene Street. The majestic Carolina Theatre is a beacon in the city night. It’s a Wonderful Life is playing several times in December for six bucks. Tickets become time portals. Passages to an age when life was simple — back when things were black and white, in fact. Mind in motion, motion pictures remind me: The Sundance of the Triad is fast approaching. In February, the Carolina Film and Video Festival shows indie films from around the globe on the campus of UNCG. Sci-fi meets spaghetti western? Lord knows what else.

Q

Downtown, drumbeats bring the park to life. A crowd has gathered for West African dance by the Center City fountain, bare feet in the grass, inhibitions abandoned. My toes, set free, begin to tap. Wesley Williams, the whirling dervish of the Urban Dance Theatre, spins and bounds center-stage at this free, weekly fitness class. His colorful chaya pants puff like balloons. “It’s not Hammer time,” Williams says with a laugh. His bride speaks through her music as she plays the dundun. A man bedecked in jewelry slaps a pattern on the djembe drum. Their gleaming smiles compete with a purple-shrouded setting sun. We dance in celebration on the lawn, men and women of varying age and skin color, to a Tiriba rhythm that traces back to the Landouma people of western Guinea. Drum sounds bounce off city buildings. At times, I feel like a great egret — a free spirit. Do the others feel this way? As if they’ve transcended themselves and the vain, self-imposed limitations that so often confine happiness. Think Little Miss Sunshine, the Sundance hit of 2006 — the Hoovers onstage during the beauty pageant talent show. People gawk as they walk by. We dance on and smile.

Q

On Friday night at Elsewhere, a double-storefront-thrift-store-turned-livingart-museum, Play City kindles creativity and collaboration in a wild, mountainous world of assorted knick-knacks and material surplus. There are bins of buttons and doll parts, leaning towers of organized The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The City Muse chaos, walls of assorted fabrics, and a lifetime’s collection of junk. Art installations are mounted and hung — some, undone. Every item is a piece of an everchanging puzzle, a glimmer of insight into the life of the woman, Sylvia Gray, who accrued all this stuff. How to play: Receive a green card. Acquire currency (i.e., buttons). Contribute a skill or trade to the City of Elsewhere. Collaborate and imagine with others. On this day, Elsewhere needs a juggler. My brother taught me how a month ago, so I dig through a crate filled with things — everything you can imagine, and some things you cannot — searching for three balls of similar proportion. A fellow in a red cowboy hat helps me reach one. I offer a button. For another button, I seek my fortune. “Select four items from this basket and arrange them as you wish,” Elsewhere’s clairvoyant instructs. I choose a chess piece (a black rook), a spoon, a blue seahorse and a plastic flower with a rubber stem that curls and coils. She scribbles on a scrap of paper: Your strong sense of balance will keep you grounded. Visit the ocean when you need to be refreshed. In the Confess-A-torium, people write their transgressions in spiral-bound notebooks. I read everyone else’s. Nobody told me not to. The pawnshop owner conducts a same-sex marriage in the back alley as a soft breeze tickles metal wind chimes. They sing out. The boy in the red cowboy hat catches the plastic bouquet. Figures. His arm span is impressive. At the Apothecary Liquid Library, a medicine man crushes herbs (mint leaves) with a mortar and pestle. I tell him my ailment. For two buttons, he creates a concoction for writer’s block. It tastes a lot like sweet tea.

Q

Robert Watson reads from his new book, Robert Watson: The Complete Poems, on the campus of UNCG. He speaks of watching Frost read here. Watson’s response to a friendly crowd: “I should have run for president.” Two musicians mingle after the reading. Bruce Piephoff and Josh Watson (no relation to Robert), are graduates of the MFA Writing Program Bob founded years ago. They discuss their new CDs. Piephoff’s music muses Dylan. Josh’s band, The Grand Ole Uproar, define their style as Hippie Tonk. Later that night, I listen to new music at the Green Bean and am inspired by the harmonica. OH Our muse, O.Henry associate editor Ashley Wahl, is a born wanderer. December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 21


Gate City Icons

Mistress of the Dance From vaudeville to the Nutcracker, Elissa Fuchs has left her mark with the generations By Maria Johnson

5-6-7. Where’s 8?

She’s coming, someone says. It’s the first rehearsal of the ballet corps in the Waltz of the Flowers, a dance in Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic, The Nutcracker. The 92-year-old has been choreographing the waltz for the Greensboro Ballet for nearly 30 years. She used to choreograph other Nutcracker dances, too. But now, she’s down to the waltz, a peaceful valley between peaks of showier numbers that happen in the second act while the prince squires Clara around Dreamland. The eighth girl arrives. Fuchs begins. She stands before them in tight black pants, a loose blouse, and supple practice shoes. Her lips and fingernails are dabbed with red. Her beauty-shopped hair is smooth and silver. Gravity has had its way with her, compacting her frame, but there is green in her limbs yet. You can tell by the way she moves in front of the mirrored wall. Have any of you ever done the waltz before? One? OK, we start from scratch. That’s where she started with dance. She was three and living in New Orleans. Back then, she was Elise Minette Levy. Her father sold lighting fixtures and did stage lighting. Her mother was a frustrated artist who thought all little girls should take dance. Elise’s older sister did, but it didn’t stick to her. It stuck to Elise. So did acting. She joined a children’s theater. Whenever anyone asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up, she pointed to the stage. OK, 1-2-3-4-5-6. Turn your body more. Honey, stretch that back leg on six. When Elise Levy was 16, her mother got a letter from another mom who’d moved to Chicago with her daughter, a professional dancer. Come to Chicago

22 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

in September, the mother said, they’re casting shows. No, said Elise’s father, we don’t have the money, and you should finish high school. Elise’s sister, who was just married, heard about the opportunity. I’ll pay for you to go to Chicago, she told Elise. OK, said their father, but only if the rabbi approves. I know what you’re worried about, the rabbi said. You’re worried about a young girl going into show business. But if you haven’t taught her right from wrong by now, it’s too late. Let her go. 1-2-3-4-5-6. Back. And breathe. And plié. And smile! Bouree! Face this way to me! Elise and her mother stepped off the train in Chicago. The headlines said, “Huey Long Assassinated.” That was a Tuesday. They moved into a rooming house and went to see the numerologist who lived upstairs. She helped them pick a new name for Elise. Half the people in show business were Jewish, but it was still risky to keep a Jewish name, especially if you wanted to dance ballet. They tinkered with the first and middle names. Elissa Minet sounded French. Perfect. By Friday, the little French girl had a job in vaudeville. She was a chorus girl. She tapped, kicked and spun around stage, sometimes in a see-through dress. You had to be a little risqué in vaudeville. For eight months, she and her mother, an excellent seamstress who was hired on as a wardrobe assistant, traveled with the troupe: a chorus of 16 girls; a comedian; a straight lady who fed softballs to the comedian; a star act; a tumbler; a juggler; and a guy with a trained seal. They survived a fire, a flood and a bus accident. When they got back to Chicago, Minet got word that the producer Michael Todd — a future Mr. Elizabeth Taylor — wanted to see her. Minet thought she was going to be fired. Todd offered her a solo act on the nightclub circuit. Minet can-canned, tangoed and rumbaed her way around Chicago for a year. The avuncular Todd found her a short-lived job on Broadway. He got her other auditions. She worked the borscht circuit, a cluster of resorts popular The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs By Sam Froelich

E

lissa Fuchs is always counting. Sometimes silently. Sometimes aloud. It comes from a lifetime of dancing. Right now, she counts teenagers in tutus.


with Jewish vacationers in the Catskills. She spent six months with Ballet Russe, a Russia-based company that toured the United States; then, tired of the travel, she took a ballet job at the International Casino, a Broadway club where she mingled with high-kicking dancers and leggy showgirls who wore little but smiles. She watched people step on the white mink coat slung over the back of Joan Crawford’s chair. She saw Jimmy Durante jump on stage and play piano between shows. He was adorable, but, oh, what a filthy mouth. She had a chance to go to Paris, to dance at the racy Moulin Rouge, but her father said no. Her passport said Levy. It was 1938, and Hitler was on the move in Europe. Her father was adamant. She was furious. She applied her anger to work. She won a spot in the ballet corps of the Metroplitan Opera Co. She was 19. Another Jewish dancer who went to the Moulin Rouge spent six months under house arrest by Nazi sympathizers. Next, we do chassé. Forward-2-3-4 and back-2-3-4. She had dark hair, inky eyes, long lashes and eyebrows as tall as the St. Louis Arch. She was rather tall for a woman back then — 5-foot-6 and change — and impossibly thin. Maybe 100 pounds. Hips no wider than a breadstick. She wasn’t beautiful, but she was attractive. Striking. Glamorous. She could dance and, just as important, she could express. She knew when to bat those lashes. When to turn an ankle. When to unfurl a hand with a graceful flourish. She worked her way up to soloist. She was Cleopatra in Faust. One of the Three Graces in Tannhauser. A high priestess in Aida. A gypsy in Carmen. She was well-known in dance circles. She knew two choreography geniuses — Jerome Robbins, who danced with her at Ballet Russe, and George Balanchine, who gave her dance lessons later. Both kept it simple. They got rid of the all the junk — that’s how she says it. Balanchine also taught her how to watch a group when you’re teaching, with your head tilted back and your eyes narrowed. It gives you better peripheral vision. Plus, it makes you look like you know what you’re doing. 1-2-3, 2-2-3 AH-AH-AH! Honey, that’s not right. It’s three steps. Not two and a half. Walk three steps. OK? Ready. Go. During the ’40s, she moonlighted in radio soap operas. She traveled with a Victory Troupe, pushing war bonds with Milton Berle, Martha Raye, Victor Mature, Carol Landis, Walter O’Keefe and Kate Smith. She was on stage when Smith sang “God Bless America” for the first time. Everyone cried. When the war ended, Peter Paul Fuchs came back to his job as an assistant conductor with the Met. He and Elissa appreciated the artist in each other. Other men, businessmen, had wanted her to quit ballet. Not Fuchs. He wanted her to be herself, to dance, and when she was too old for that, to teach. They married in 1949. This is not easy. It’s lunge-2-3, lunge-2-3, lunge-step- flat-up! They followed his career back to her home state. She started the Baton Rouge Ballet Theater. He taught at LSU, conducted locally, and traveled the world for jobs on the podium. It wasn’t easy. They had a daughter. Two careers. Two artistic temperaments. They came to Greensboro in 1976 to slow down. He conducted the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and she settled in as a teacher with the Greensboro Ballet. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In 1981, the ballet did a fashion show fundraiser with a Nutcracker theme. Fuchs and ballet director Maryhelen Mayfield decided to try the full ballet the following year. People warned them not to. The competition was stiff. A few miles away, in Winston-Salem, the NC School of the Arts was doing a lavish production of The Nutcracker. Almost 30 years later, Fuchs throws her head back and flings her arms wide at the memory of the Greensboro Nutcracker. It flew, she says. Pas de chat! 1-1-1-1. Up and up and up and… AHHHHH! This way! They moved to a retirement community in the ’90s, when his Alzheimer’s started getting bad. Independent living, assisted living, skilled care. His leaving was like a death without a funeral. He died in 2007. She still lives independently. She drives, shops, works. She lives life. She lies on her bed and does yoga stretches and breathing exercises. She emails. She plays cards. She eats what she wants, cutting back only if clothes feel too tight. She watches “So You Think You Can Dance?” and compares her opinions to the judges’. Sometimes, she tells them aloud, “No, you are wrong!” She is a ballet mistress, and that is what they do. They oversee. They correct. But they don’t squash — not if they’re

good. She is good. She praises as energetically as she criticizes. Assemblé! Assemblé! That’s right! That’s it!

Two days a week, she teaches adult classes at the Greensboro Ballet. When a production is under way, she works four or five days a week. She loves working with the young people, passing on what she knows. Guide right. Follow the girl in front of you, even if she’s wrong. Dance the steps until they are second nature. If you’re thinking of technique while you’re dancing, you’re lost. Your mind must be one step ahead of your body, always. This is very good. I mean, we’re not ready to go on stage, but we’re getting better. The young dancers, some with braces on their teeth, see an old lady before them. They don’t see the 3-year-old in ballet shoes; the lithe girl who can-canned in smoky clubs when she was about their age; the young woman who dodged Hitler, studied with Balanchine; the teacher who defied well-intentioned advice here in their hometown. They don’t know that they dance The Nutcracker because of her and others. That she got a cochlear implant — a device buried in her brain — so she could hear well enough to teach them. They would never guess that she has felt what they feel, made the same mistakes they make. That’s OK with Fuchs. She gives them everything she has anyway. She leans back against the wall, palms to the mirror. She closes her eyes and counts a beat that has inhabited her for a very, very long time. 1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3. Yum-pum-pum, yum-pum-pum, yum-pum-pum. If they need her, she will go into makeup and costume and be the grandmother who greets party guests in the opening scene of The Nutcracker. Otherwise, she will take a seat on the side of the theater and watch. She will track her girls, and she will count. If she sees missteps, she will go backstage and tell them. As long as there is one more show, there is work to be done. The Greensboro Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at the Carolina Theatre on Dec. 9 and 16 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 10-11, 17-18 at 3 p.m. For more information, go to www.greensboro.com/season/nutcracker-2011, or call 336-333-7480. OH December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 23


Street Level

A Place Where They Know Your Name

By Jim Schlosser

T

he juxtaposition is jarring. A big chain drugstore that failed stands empty at the corner of North Elm and State Street. Almost directly across the street on the other side of Elm, customers fill up a locally owned, independent drugstore that has been a busy place for more than 50 years. Brown-Gardiner Drug Company has bucked the trend of chains driving out local pharmacies. And it has survived since 1958 because of a combination of personal service (it delivers drugs to homes, once a common service among pharmacies but now rare); location near the city’s ritziest neighborhood, Irving Park; and a decision in 1960 to open a soda fountain. Nearly all drugstores once had soda fountains, including the chain Walgreen, whose long-closed store on South Elm Street enjoyed a reputation in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a hangout for drugstore cowboys. Brown-Gardiner stands as a relic. To my knowledge, it has the only soda fountain among the city’s pharmacies. Its counter serves a full breakfast and lunch. Some customers come daily for both. Brown-Gardiner is nothing fancy, just a square building, with a powder-blue awning, stuck between a gas station and one of the few private homes that remain on a block gone commercial. Yet for all its unpretentiousness, the drugstore has become a city landmark like Yum Yum, Libby Hill and, until it closed recently, Ham’s Restaurant on West Friendly Avenue. Someone has called Brown-Gardiner a “testimony to uniqueness.” It is included among iconic places in the book Our Vanishing Americana, A North Carolina Portrait, by Mike Lassiter of Statesville. The drugstore is divided by a half wall; medical-related items and prescriptions are filled on one side, sandwiches and soda are dispensed on the other. The half wall on the fountain side is plastered with feature articles about the store along with point-and-shoot snapshots of customers, including Rep. Howard Coble, whose Greensboro office is down the street. One old picture shows wait staffer Kendra Roach as a little girl in the store with her grandmother, Imogen Sells, who managed the counter for 25 years. Each morning, before 8 a.m., loyalists start coming in the back and front doors. Sometimes orders are filled without a word being spoken between wait staffers (only one is male) and customers. “The staff is just fabulous. They all know what we want before we order,” interior designer Jane Moffitt says, hovering over an egg sided with a tomato and a muffin. “They bring our food before we ask for it.” She adds, “You run into your clients, you run into your friends, you bring your children in here.” She treasures the “fountain mentality” of the place, its personal touches, including the staff’s texting regular customers about specials, such as homemade banana pudding.

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December 2011/January 2012

The store also has a Christmas buffet for regulars. Santa Claus even visits. “It has a different feeling than most restaurants you go to,” says Kevin Williams of Cary, who recently discovered Brown-Gardiner while working as a construction supervisor on a big project at Moses Cone Hospital. He now comes every morning. Echoing similar comments from others, Williams says, “I remember this type of pharmacy growing up.” Another superintendent on the Cone project, Daniel Edwards of Charlotte, says one aspect of Brown-Gardiner especially reminds him of a drugstore he knew in South Carolina as a boy: “A group of old men sat around and talked about anything and everything a couple of hours each morning,” he says. Three such groups hold forth at Brown-Gardiner. One comes early and talks across a u-shaped section of the counter. Another group comes slightly later and occupies an oblong table with six seats near the store’s front entrance. The third group comes in at 9:30 and takes over the oblong table. Bobby Banner, who sits with the group at the counter, says, “You come in here and you get all the good information that is absolutely trivial.” Developer George Carr, sitting next to Banner, says, “You want to hear an ugly rumor? Come in here.” The first group at the oblong table once gathered at various restaurants around Greensboro for breakfast. Its members finally settled on Brown-Gardiner. “We like this place better than the others. One of the other places didn’t like you to linger. Here you can linger,” regular Sam Hopper says. The wait staff just keeps filling coffee cups. Eventually, customers make their way to cashier Betty Browning, who they say has been there forever. Actually, she came in 1995. Customers don’t part with much money. “Two ninety-nine for breakfast!” declares Tim Bryson, owner of a floor design company.  “You can’t beat it.” Some customers come in with peculiar tastes. The staff calls one “Pickle Bob.” He insists on a pickle atop his egg sandwich. The fountain doesn’t stock soup — except for retiree Carter Sheppard and another guy. A few cans are kept especially for them in the kitchen cupboard. “Convenience, friends, and the food is pretty good,” says Sheppard about why he comes regularly from a nearby apartment complex. Tim Bryson, who was seated with designer Moffitt, says, “You run into people in public and they’re like, ‘I know you from Brown-Gardiner.’” Moffitt and Bryson both live in Irving Park. Brown-Gardiner has a reputation as a gathering place for the neighborhood. It’s true to an extent, but the fountain attracts all kinds, including construction workers, day laborers, business people, and students from nearby Page High School. It’s a democratic setting. The staff can easily size up customers, such as Moffitt. They discovered —  The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs By Sam Froelich

For more than half a century, Brown-Gardiner Drugs has specialized in serving loyal customers


Street Level and she admits to it — that she’s sort of prissy. So one Saturday, Betty Browning and cook-waitress Nancy Wicker insisted she come by Wicker’s garden and get her hands dirtied up rooting potatoes. “She is not a potato-picking person,” Bryson says. Moffitt showed up with waitress Samantha Solis, who had never picked either. Both got down and dirty. “If I didn’t come in here, I would have never had that experience,” Moffitt says. She could take her customers to a fancier place for business talk, but she says Brown-Gardiner seems to suit everyone’s taste when it comes to food and décor. “I have a client at Fountain Manor,” Moffitt says, referring to an upscale town-house community nearby. “She’s 91. I’ll pick her up and bring her here where she eats. We chit-chat and sometime do our little business.” With most customers, more bull gets shot than business conducted. Determining the truth, says oblong table regular Curtis Laughlin, “is like shoveling smoke,” adding “you hear the same durn thing every morning.” Regular Bynum Hunter, a long-time lawyer, loves telling everyone every time he comes in, “You know less when you leave than when you came in.” Hunter says evidence of BrownGardiner’s iconic status came some years ago when a group of Greensboro guys hired a taxi in Washington to drive them 300 miles to the Gate City. He says the group needed to agree on a well-known drop-off. They chose Brown-Gardiner. Hunter swears the story is true not smoke. Attrition has hurt the 9:30 group at the oblong table. Three of

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the regulars, including Clayton Lee and Bill Craft, died in 2010. The discussions used to get politically heated, with conservatives (one was even opposed to women sitting with the group) sharing space with moderately liberal types, such as Joe Johnson, retired from the UNCG faculty. “Politics has really toned down,” says Johnson, adding that his morning visits “are a great reason to get out every morning. They are good people here — well, most are good people. Unfortunately we have lost too many since I’ve been coming.” Brown-Gardiner dates to 1958 when W.C. Brown and Paul Gardiner opened a drugstore in a small space on Northwood Street across from Cone Hospital. It did not have a soda fountain. Gardiner sold out to Brown. The business shifted in 1960 to its present location, a former Laundromat. Brown opened a soda fountain on one side of the store. Eventually more tables had to be added because two lines of customers, one from the rear door and one from the front, stood waiting to sit down and eat. Brown retired in 1986 and sold the business to pharmacist Robert Shearin, who came in 1972 and bought a piece of the store in 1976. The store celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008, with the presentation of a painting of the exterior done by artist Bill Mangum, who lives nearby and is a regular. The painting hangs behind Betty Browning at the cashier counter. At 73, Shearin works hours that would waylay a younger person. Even though the store is closed Sundays, he’s there filling

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O.Henry 25


Street Level prescriptions for Fellowship Hall, a treatment center for alcoholism and drug addiction. He has several other institutions for which he is the pharmacist. On most mornings, he doesn’t have time to listen to the banter from the soda fountain counter and tables. He often has 50 prescriptions waiting to be filled by the time he arrives. Brown-Gardiner would stump any economist trying to explain success and failure. When the Rite-Aid Pharmacy opened across from Brown-Gardiner, some feared it might hurt Brown-Gardiner’s trade in prescription drugs, cold remedies and other products. On the contrary, “It helped us,’‘ Shearin says. “People couldn’t get waited on over there and they would come over here.” Shearin says with pride that one family chose Brown-Gardiner for a wedding luncheon. Another family held a reception at the store after a funeral. “We had a lady to meet both her husbands here,” he says. “One died and she met another.” One gets the feeling that 96-year-old Ira Pleasants is looking for her man. She has never married but she talks as if she has a roving eye when she comes to Brown-Gardiner. She and her sister, 86-year-old Janie Ruth Pleasants show up every Wednesday for breakfast. It’s part of their exercise routine. “We don’t want to hibernate,” Janie Ruth Pleasants says. “That’s not good. We try to keep moving.” At a nearby table, Curtis Laughlin is talking about when as a boy he worked at a drugstore like Brown-Gardiner, except the owner was a crook. He had a way of filling an ice cream cone with less cream that the cone would hold. One day he caught Laughlin giving a customer a full scoop — and fired him from his 15-centan-hour job. “I went up to him and stuck the ice cream cone right in his nose,” Laughlin says.

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December 2011/January 2012

No one has ever complained about being shorted at BrownGardiner. Portions from the kitchen, where Faye Terry and Nancy Wicker cook, are generous. The busyness of the place has not gone unnoticed. Shearin gets calls and letters from people wanting to buy his store. The answer is no. He said he enjoys the health of those Page High customers. He said his dermatologist told him recently his feet are the best he has ever seen. That comes from him standing on them all day. Even with the Rite-Air store gone, Shearin still faces plenty of competition. A CVS and Walgreen are a block away. But, he says, “We can’t even tell that they are there.” Hector McEachern, retired from a bank and now a business consultant, pauses from his breakfast of eggs, bacon and grits and explains why it’s important that Brown-Gardiner continue being a neighborhood-friendly drugstore. “It is kind of nostalgic . . . We live in a time when people really, I think, want to reach back and get a little taste of how it used to be here,” he says. He smiles as he nods toward the vacant former Rite-Aid store. He’s fascinated — and delighted — that a major chain store went out of business while BrownGardiner keeps dishing up the good eats and filling the prescriptions. “That,” he says, “is so great.” What’s also great is the vacant parking lot in front of the former drugstore. It provides convenient spill-over parking when times get busy at Brown-Gardiner. OH Jim Schlosser is a Brown-Gardiner regular and contributing editor for O.Henry Magazine.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Spirits

Fashionably Old-Fashioned

With the coming of winter, nothing warms better By Frank Daniels, III

T

he whispers of winter, leaves showering from the maples, poplars and oaks, not really cold enough for a fire, but when has that stopped us, and finally a quiet evening. Time to reflect … my grandfather loved Old-Fashioned cocktails; he would have a couple nearly every evening after work. When he got older, Dr. Gaddy told him he could only have one, no more, preferably less. I recall that as the months went by his glass kept getting bigger, but he only had one. I can see him now, his silver-maned leonine head bent forward by 80-odd years of corralling his brothers and then his son, chuckling at putting one over on young Dr. Gaddy. Or, of this rare quiet evening, time to choose a book, perhaps something we cheated ourselves out of when we younger. “When him and the old lady come down in the morning all the family got up out of their chairs and give them good-day, and didn’t set down again till they had set down. Then Tom and Bob went to the sideboard where the decanter was, and mixed a glass of bitters and handed it to him, and he held it in his hand and waited till Tom’s and Bob’s was mixed, and then they bowed and said, ‘Our duty to you, sir, and madam’; and THEY bowed the least bit in the world and said thank you, and so they drank, all three, and Bob and Tom poured a spoonful of water on the sugar and the mite of whisky or apple brandy in the bottom of their tumblers, and give it to me and Buck, and we drank to the old people too.” (Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Published 1885. Ch. 18) Some have called the Old-Fashioned the original whiskey cocktail, a mixture of sugar, bitters, a small amount of water (to melt the sugar) and rye whiskey, cooled by a couple of large ice cubes. Regardless, a cocktail that is described in the great American novel, and has glassware named for it, deserves our full attention. The Old-Fashioned is fun, simple to make well, and lends itself to experimentation with the basic ingredients to make the cocktail sweeter, drier or even tart. The quality of the whiskey is paramount. If you want a sweeter OldFashioned, use a Kentucky straight bourbon like Woodford Reserve, Four Roses Single Barrel, or, if you can find it, something like Whipper Snapper from Oregon’s Ransom Distillery. For a drier, almost tart Old-Fashioned, use a quality 100 percent rye such as Sazerac Rye or Black Maple Hill Rye Whiskey. The fun part of making an Old-Fashioned is the muddle, where you get to make a mess in the bottom of the glass, and is a good place to experiment. Originally the muddle was made with a sugar cube, bitters, an orange slice and a bit of water, and if you are using rye whiskey, this muddle is excellent, with the sugar balancing the dry tartness of rye. With the sweeter tasting Kentucky bourbons, I leave out the sugar and enjoy muddling the orange slice with a bit of lemon zest along with Cointreau or Combier Orange Liqueur and bitters. Until recently almost everyone I know used traditional Angostura bitters, but there are a spreading variety of bitters available to try. I have experimented with Peychaud’s, Regan’s and Fee Brothers, though I generally The Art & Soul of Greensboro

stick with the old Angostura. Lastly, I love cocktails that suit glassware. Forgive my pettiness, but a martini from a Reidel martini glass with a rim that is so thin it disappears just tastes better. And an Old-Fashioned desires a heavy-bottomed double old-fashioned glass that feels meaty in your fist; one that holds a substantial amount of whiskey and a couple of large, slowly melting ice cubes. The Old-Fashioned is a cocktail that pleases your senses, the sight of condensation beading on the outside of the glass, the rich smell and taste of good whiskey, the sound of ice, and the feel of the weighty glass as you lift it to your lips … each sense adds to the enjoyment. Enjoy.

Old-Fashioned

1 sugar cube (or 2 tsp. sugar or Splenda) 3 dashes Angostura bitters ¼1/4 oz Cointreau or Combier Orange Liqueur lemon zest 1/2½ orange slice 1 maraschino cherry 2 1/2 ½ oz Kentucky straight bourbon or 100 percent rye whiskey Orange slice Maraschino cherry In a chilled old-fashioned glass, soak sugar with bitters and orange liqueur. Add lemon zest, orange slice and cherry. Muddle well. Fill glass with ice and add whiskey. Stir well to combine flavors. Garnish with orange and cherry. OH Frank Daniels is an editor and writer living in Nashville, Tennessee. fdanielsiii@mac.com December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 27


The Sporting Life

The Black Duck Illustration By Linda Bryant

For Silas and Roosevelt, a final day on the Pamlico By Tom Bryant

I

t was unusually quiet at the boat landing. A half-moon rode high in the sky outlined by a thin ring that promised bad weather later in the day. “Ring around the moon,” said the old man as he pulled the ancient Bronco around to line up with the boat ramp. “We could get some sleet or snow before the morning’s over, old boy.” Wagging his tail in response, his Lab climbed down from the truck slowly and walked back to the boat. The half-moon provided enough light so the old man didn’t have to use his flashlight. “Wait a minute there, Roosevelt, and I’ll help you.” The grizzled old Lab was past the days of jumping effortlessly into the boat on the trailer. The best he could do now was get his front paws on the side, and the old man would hoist him the rest of the way aboard. “Now you keep your eyes on things, old sport, while I load the rest of the gear.” The “rest of the gear” included a couple dozen ancient L.L. Bean cork decoys of mallards, black ducks and blue bills, his trusty 870 pump shotgun, and a gunning bag packed full with shells, lunch and, last but not least, a thermos of hot coffee. In the bow of the boat, close to Roosevelt’s favorite spot, he reverently tucked a ratty cardboard box that had seen its best years. You could tell by the old fellow’s movements that he was completely familiar with the landing on the Pamlico and had launched there many times in the past. There was no wasted effort. As he loved to say, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a geezer, it’s that it makes more sense to walk around it than climb over.” Christmas was just over and the New Year loomed ominously on the horizon. He needed this hunt, he thought. He launched the boat, tied it to a post on the pier, and parked the old truck at the side of the oyster-shell parking lot. As he crunched back to the little skiff, he remembered the old days when he and the boys hunted on the sound. It seemed as if it were yesterday. Now he was the last one left. He paused at the pier and looked out across the water. The moon cast a silver glow off the boat, and he could feel the wind freshening out of the east. It’ll turn to the north before the day’s over and make for a tough ride coming back, he thought. “Just so long as it doesn’t get as bad as when Joe and I made the run back to the Pungo,” he said to Roosevelt as he pulled once on the old kicker, fired her up and headed out across the black water. Joe was one of the Black Duck group, and he and the old man had fished and hunted forever, it seemed; but that hunt on the Pamlico years ago when the surprise squall came up was one to remember. It was about a 45-minute motor to the duck hole; and, although the moon was bright, the old man didn’t need it. He could make this run with his eyes closed. Roosevelt lay down in the bow with his head on the beat-up cardboard box. “Well, old sport,” the old man said to his dog. “It’s been a lot o’ years that we’ve been doing this, and now we’re the last ones, sole caretakers of the Order of the Sleeping Black Duck. You wouldn’t remember when we got started. It was even

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December 2011/January 2012

before you came along.” And as he turned the skiff into the wind and pulled his mackinaw tighter around his neck, he thought back to earlier, younger times. There were seven of them in the beginning, all hell bent for leather, working hard and playing harder. They were a diverse group with one thing in common, and that was the love of duck hunting. Ultimately, when they all became a little older and more civilized, they would become leaders in their chosen fields of business. A couple of them actually became famous, their names household words; another couple were well known but for the wrong reasons. It was on a hunt to the Virginia Eastern Shore where the Order of the Sleeping Black Duck was formed. A young stockbroker who was just breaking into the business organized the trip. The rest of the group included a couple of lawyers, one who would eventually become a federal judge, a pair of textile manufacturers, a newspaperman, and finally Silas, the last living member of the Order. Silas was a contractor and general jack-of-all-trades. His job carried him all over the world to exotic places and adventures. An ex-Marine, it was rumored that he was involved as a mercenary with a group that rescued several U.S. citizens from Iran. Only he knew that story to be true, and it never came up in any of his conversations. The organization officially started after a long day’s duck hunt on the Chesapeake. After the hunt was over and while enjoying a few libations by a roaring fire in the lodge’s giant fireplace, the group’s conversation floated from here to yonder but mostly concentrated on how much fun they were having and how they wanted to do it again every year. Each man could feel a special bond growing, not necessarily because their personalities matched. Lord knows this was a diverse group, but in a duck blind they were one and the same. Steve, the newspaperman, got the ball rolling. “All right, men. I’ve got a great idea. To keep this thing moving forward, we’ve got to have a purpose. And sitting on that table in front of the fire is our mascot.” Steve pointed to a carved sleeping black duck decoy. “We’ve got to have that thing.” The owner of the lodge had carved the duck, and it was truly a masterpiece. “Here’s how we can make it work. We’ll jointly buy the black duck, and every year we’ll take turns keeping it. At the end of a member’s time with the duck, we’ll have a huge game dinner, giving the decoy to the next hunter in line, alternating year after year. If a member breaks the chain, he’ll never have luck hunting again.” The black duck decoy, resting in front of the fire, seemed to take on an aura The Art & Soul of Greensboro


of its own as the fellows poured themselves another drink and worked out the details. With two lawyers in the group, it didn’t take long to get all the particulars straightened out. Years rolled on and one by one the members headed, as Steve put it, to that “Duck Blind in the Sky.” Steve was the next to the last to go, leaving Silas and his old dog Roosevelt to carry on the black duck tradition. “Look, Roosevelt, there’s the point.” The old Lab sat up in the bow and watched as Silas pulled the boat in the lee of the cut to put out the decoys. It was poetry in motion as he placed the decoys in the classic J spread with the blue bills on the outside. In no time, the blocks were out, and he moved the skiff around the point to a hidden slot in the bank. He covered the boat with an old pepper-gray tarp, grabbed the ancient cardboard box out of the bow and said to Roosevelt, “Come on, old sport. There’s one more thing we’ve gotta do.” They walked out to the point that sheltered the lee where they would be hunting. The wind was beginning to turn to the north, and waves were splashing on the little piece of land that thrust out into the sound. The old man pulled the sleeping black duck decoy out of the box and wedged it into the sand. He then stepped back and surveyed his handiwork. His rig was in the lee with the bluebills on the outside. The turning wind was working in his favor. “It looks good,” he said to himself, as he and Roosevelt walked back to where they were going to build their makeshift blind. The old man was breathing hard and had to stop a couple of times as he pulled up brush and stuck it in the ground. “All right, old dog. Come on back here and let’s hunt.” He sat on his dove stool and waited for the sunrise, his loyal dog at his side. Sunrise came with a beauty that you can only find on the Pamlico. Clouds

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Sporting Life

were scudding across the horizon, spitting sleet mixed with snow, a perfect duck hunters’ morning. Blue bills and ringnecks buzzed the decoys, and a group of mallards sat down close to the blind. Roosevelt whined with anticipation. He wanted to see some action. The old man whispered, “This morning, old sport, we’re just gonna watch.” And watch they did, until a pair of black ducks splashed down close to the decoy on the sand. “That’s what I wanted to see.” They watched the blacks swim around for a long time until the old man stood up and they flew away. He hadn’t even loaded his shotgun. “Let’s go, Roosevelt, it’s been a good hunt, and I’ve got a meeting with the doctors tomorrow.” Roosevelt was ready. He longed for the warmth of the old truck. The old man really wasn’t. He knew that this would probably be his last adventure until he joined his partners. The news the doctors had given him in the past weeks was not good. He was slower picking up the decoys and had to take several breaks before he cranked the old kicker and headed back to the landing. “It’s been a good run. Nobody owes me a thing.” As they motored away, Roosevelt kept looking back at the point where they had hunted. Silas cut the motor and turned the boat. The sleeping black duck decoy was still on the little spit of land facing out over the sound. “Look at him, Roosevelt. Doesn’t he look great sitting there? That’s where he belongs. The boys would be proud.” He fired up the kicker a final time and pointed the skiff into the wind. The salt spray and cold wind felt good. OH Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist.

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O.Henry 29


Golftown Journal

Wizard of the Fairway

Greensboro’s Bill Harvey was in a class by himself — a gentleman amateur living off the fat of the game

By Lee Pace

O

nce upon a time, before golfers earned a million bucks for winning a pedestrian PGA Tour event and half a million for sewing a logo on their shirt, back when professional golfers were looked upon as “the help” and prohibited from entering the clubhouses of nice country clubs, there was a certain cachet to being an elite amateur golfer. The late Billy Joe Patton played shots from the woods while chirping to the gallery. He even made the cover of Time magazine. Bill Campbell crunched his ball 275 yards down the fairway with a persimmon driver, strode regally in his tweed cap to hit it again, and won another Walker Cup match. The late Harvie Ward sank a birdie putt from the fringe and smiled yet again at a comely lass in the gallery. And in the thick of it all was Greensboro’s own Bill Harvey. “We had a ball,” says Harvey, who celebrated his 81st birthday last fall. “That was a great time. I loved every minute of it. “There was no money being a golf pro,” Harvey says between a sip of coffee and a forkful of eggs one morning breakfasting with son Scott in the Sedgefield area of Greensboro — not far from where he lived, ran Sedgefield Driving Range for half a century, and played daily at Sedgefield Country Club. “Hell, I made more money playing gin than I could have playing golf.” Harvey played in 18 U.S. Amateurs and four decades worth of Eastern Amateurs and Porter Cups and other top amateur events, riding his razorsharp iron game and nerves of steel to great advantage. “We had some great golfers and competitors. I was a lucky man to be able to do what I loved to do,” he says. Harvey won 10 tournaments in a magical year of 1973; it would have been 11 had he not lost in a playoff for the North and South Amateur championship in Pinehurst. On the 38th hole of the championship match at Pinehurst No. 2 against Mike Ford, Harvey hit what he says was one of the best shots of his career — a four-wood cut shot from the trees with a restricted swing. His ball landed on the green but, sadly, he three-putted to lose the tournament. “I just wish I’d been a better putter,” Harvey laments. “I might have won a few more tournaments. I might have won the U.S. Amateur. I could hit 17 greens and three-putt three out of four times. I might make a 15-footer and then the next hole run it past three feet and miss the putt coming back.”

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December 2011/January 2012

He scowls. “Nope, I couldn’t putt a lick.” His son smiles and rolls his eyes. “I imagine there are a lot of broke people who thought he could putt OK,” Scott says. Scott’s grandfather, Ernest Harvey, was head pro at Sedgefield, where Bill learned the game as a caddie. He developed his skills playing at High Point College and was good enough to attract the attention of The Glenn L. Martin Company, an aircraft manufacturer in Baltimore that was looking to beef up its company golf team. During the winter months, Harvey inspected aircraft; during the spring and summer, he was out playing golf. He was newly married and had a baby girl, and after two years, moved back to North Carolina. Harvey sold insurance briefly and used the golf course to develop his client list. Eventually he learned he could make more money playing golf than selling insurance. “From 1952 through the mid-’70s, I played seven times a week, sometimes eight or nine,” Harvey says. “I went to Florida in November and was there through March every year, going from one tournament to another. Played golf for money during the day and gin at night. It wasn’t expensive to live — a room at a Holiday Inn was about ten bucks.” Gastonia’s Charles Smith called Harvey “D.E.” for “Dead End,” as in, “There’s no end to you.” A passage from the Niagara Falls Gazette in 1963 described Harvey’s victory in the Porter Cup and his colorful persona on and off the golf course: “Harvey played the course with the swashbuckling bravado of a Mississippi riverboat gambler. He also proved himself an amiable, sociable fellow not averse to staying up late for a party.”One year at the GGO, Harvey stayed up all night playing cards in the clubhouse, then walked to the first tee. “I made the cut and was low amateur, but I couldn’t collect a nickel,” Harvey says. “I made more playing cards than if I’d won the tournament.” Harvey played frequently with TV star Jackie Gleason. “Crazy son of a bitch,” Harvey says. “He’d drive his golf cart down the middle of a tee and a foot away from the putting green. He got thrown out of the Country Club of Miami because he wouldn’t obey the rules.” He competed with and against Sam Snead. “Leonard Thompson and I played Snead and Ed Tutwiler one time,” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Harvey says. “We took ’em for a nice figure. Snead said, ‘We’re going nine more.’ Son of a bitch shot 30 — six-under. He got even.” At a tournament in Pensacola in 1973, Harvey was tied with amateur stalwarts Ben Crenshaw, Danny Edwards, and Gary Koch for the lead through 10 holes in the final round. On the 470-yard finishing hole, Harvey hit a two-iron into a stiff wind to within six feet, made a birdie and won the tournament. Crenshaw, a three-time NCAA champion at the University of Texas in the early 1970s before turning pro, played frequently with Harvey on the amateur circuit. “The more money he was playing for, the lower he shot,” Crenshaw says. “If the betting was heavy, Bill was liable to go in the low 60s. He was absolutely unbelievable. I remember his 10-finger grip, his mallet-head putter, that deadly stare he gave the ball before hitting his shot.” Scott Harvey, 33, has met plenty of his dad’s old contemporaries while putting together an impressive amateur golf resume of his own, including a victory in the 2011 Carolinas Amateur at The Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach. “They love to tell of having seen him hit this shot or that shot, saying he was the best long-iron player they’d ever seen, things like that,” Scott says. “I took Dad to the Senior Tour event at Prestonwood about three years ago. Guys like Leonard Thompson and Andy Bean would stop and say, ‘We’re out here playing, but your daddy was the best.’ That was cool to hear.” Randy Brownlow first met Harvey while working as a cart boy at Sedgefield in the early 1970s. After graduating from Guilford College, Brownlow began a career as a manufacturer’s rep and had the freedom to play a lot of golf, often with Harvey and his cronies at Sedgefield. “Bill was a great iron player,” Brownlow says. “Many times I played with him and watched him hit 18 irons straight at the flag. Some maybe a little long, some a little short. He might draw one in, fade another. But it would be 18 exactly at the flag.” Brownlow also marveled at Harvey’s ability, in a day long before GPS devices and sprinkler heads marked with yardages, to eyeball a shot and ascertain the distance. “Bill would look at a shot and say, ‘170 to the flag,’” Brownlow says. “Then you’d step it off and it might be 169. He was never more than a yard or two off.” Beyond the cards and beer and betting, though, was a man generous with his time, tutelage, and money whenever it came to helping younger golfers. Harvey cut back on his competitive golf in the late 1970s when sons Bill and Scott were born and after their mother left Greensboro to return home to Florida. Harvey has four children spread across three generations, the youngest son 16 years old and living with Harvey. Hale Van Hoy, the Carolinas Golf Association executive direcThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

tor from 1965-91, says Harvey was one of the few people he would have sent out to play a tournament round by himself knowing that Harvey would not give himself the benefit of the doubt on a rules issue. “Bill was such an honest person,” Van Hoy says. “He wouldn’t get what was coming to him in a questionable situation. He was one of my favorite people.” Harvey took many a young player under his wing over four decades, drove them to tournaments and counseled them on the rules, all the while playing a brand of high-stakes golf that allowed him to earn a living. He would always share the day’s winnings with his younger partner but would bear the tariff alone if they lost the match.“Bill was the best person for a young player to play with,” says Durham’s Dan Hill III. “He would go out of his way to keep you out of trouble as far as the rules were concerned. If you had a ball in a creek or a hazard, he’d make certain you knew what not to do. On the greens, he would control who was putting and when. He was always very helpful. “But he had the reputation of being a riverboat gambler.” Still, says Hill, “He was as much a gentleman on the golf course as anyone I ever played with.” One protégé was Joe Inman, one of six children in a working-class Greensboro family. Inman says he never considered himself “poor” growing up but acknowledges the Inman children wore hand-me-down clothes and lived in a house with eight people and only one shower. Inman took his caddie fees from Starmount Forest Country Club home and turned them over to his mother. Occasionally Harvey would slip a hundred-dollar bill in Inman’s hands and say something like, “You’re looking skinny, kid, go get something to eat.” “Bill had this gambler persona, and in that world you had to look and talk tougher than anyone else,” says Inman, who went on to careers on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. “But that’s not who he was. Guys like Jack Lewis and Leonard Thompson and I knew different. He loved us, there’s no question about that. But at that time, a man couldn’t express that emotion. But he was a sweet guy. “Bill Harvey was like The Wizard of Oz ‑— he was the guy behind the curtains pulling the strings. He was larger than life.” One day Brownlow suggested to Harvey that he write a book on his life. “I lived it, I don’t need to write it,” Harvey said. “Besides, there would be too many ‘expletives deleted.’” OH Lee Pace will write about hickory golf and other vintage topics in his forthcoming book, “The Golden Age of Pinehurst,” due out in spring 2012.

Come here often?

At least every other month to pick up my copy of

O.Henry Magazine!

Wondering where we’ve been all your life? Look for our O.Henry blue boxes around town or get your copy at these locations: The Red Collection Greensboro Cultural Center Shores Fine Dry Cleaners Mary’s Antiques Brown Gardiner Drug Store Proehlific Sports Adams Inn The Club Sheraton Hotel Grandover Resort O.Henry Hotel Proximity Hotel Lucky 32 Green Valley Grill Print Works Bistro Summit Station Eatery Mark Holder Jewelry Greensboro & High Point area Harris Teeters Liberty Oak Schiffman’s Jewelers New Garden Nurseries Iron Hen Café Earth Fare Basil’s Southern Lights Golf USA Triad Stage / The Pyrle Theatre Purgason’s High Point Bank Main & Taylor Dog Days Kriegsman Furs Undercurrent The Secret Tea Room Café Check www.ohenrymag.com for additional locations as they are added.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 31


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32 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry

Winter 2011/2012 Ballad of the Chinese Buffet When pizza gets boring and hot dogs aren’t right When the hour’s not early and his pack is not light When a doughnut cannot keep the hunger at bay Santa Claus heads for the Chinese buffet. Not the ones here, oh no-no-no-no Up to the Triad he’ll merrily go The place is humongous; it’s full night and day, La-dee-dah-dah at this Chinese Buffet. Beside Santa’s sleigh is parked a John Deere Good food and lots of it, workers find here Instead of salut, they call out ole! At the la-dee-dah Chinese Hard Hat Café. The chicken is made by a General named Tso Or a Shanghai kick-boxer better known as King Po One was a soldier, the other, they say Knocked out Bruce Lee at the Chinese buffet. Customers here aren’t of Asian descent Kentucky Fried Chicken is where they all went Perhaps to McDonald’s, perhaps Chick-fil-A Not la-dee-dah-dah to the Chinese buffet.

The shrimp may be mushy, the ginger is canned Anything fresh has been formally banned At least when the check comes there’s not much to pay Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho at the Chinese buffet. Starbucks is dark now, Subway shut down There’s nothing for Santa to eat in this town Never is, never will be on cold Christmas Day Except — tra-la-la — at the Chinese Buffet. The welcome is warm, the broccoli bright green The sauces are pungent, the meat never lean; For Rudolph, they’ve even got Szechuan hay At the come-in-your-overalls Chinese buffet. So hark, yonder gentlemen, all of good cheer Pass Santa a stein filled with cold Tsing Tao beer Raise up your chopsticks — a hip-hip-hooray For the tireless cooks at the Chinese buffet!

— Deborah Salomon

Hanker for egg rolls, soup hot and sour? Kris Kringle will meet us in less than an hour, All you can eat — what more need we say? Come get it, y’all, at the Chinese buffet. Rice is piled high, resembling snow Ribs are a-cracklin’, the mein very lo Dumplings are sizzling, I guess that’s OK When you eat at the la-dee-dah Chinese buffet. Duck won’t be Peking, crab isn’t real Wings need hot peppers — yet this is a meal So full of wild flavors that won’t go away (Burp) At the still irresistible Chinese buffet.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 33


The

Gift of the Magi By O. Henry

In 1905, William Sydney Porter, better known as O.Henry, sat in his apartment on Irving Place in New York having just returned from a relaxing trip. He had been fired several weeks earlier from the New York Sunday World. This came after some business type at the newspaper discovered O.Henry was getting $100 for writing only one story a week.  “Can him!” the man thundered. O.Henry was glad to be free from the pressure of producing a weekly piece of fiction for the Sunday World, each one with a clever ending — his trademark. What he didn’t realize was that even though he had been terminated, his contract with the Sunday World extended through that December. Thus, Bill Porter, as he was called by friends, was surprised when a World copy boy knocked on his door. He asked O.Henry for his Christmas story. What Christmas story? He had been fired. He had no Christmas story, O.Henry replied. The copy boy, feeling the pressure to come back with something, said he wouldn’t leave until O.Henry produced a Christmas yarn. “All right,” Porter finally said, “I’ll give you a Christmas story.” David Stuart, an O.Henry biographer, says O.Henry went to his writing table and began writing with a pencil on a yellow pad “never stopping, never faltering. He wrote for two hours, handing the office boy each page as he finished it, not halting to correct.” The pages were “The Gift of the Magi,” second only to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as the world’s best loved Yule story. This anecdote seems to settle a continuing argument between two New York restaurants, Sal Anthony’s and Pete’s Tavern. Both are on Irving Place and both claim the story was written on their premises. The location of Sal Anthony’s wasn’t a restaurant then. It was O.Henry’s apartment. And, yes, the writer did spend time drinking at Pete’s Tavern at the end of the block. It’s still open and bills itself as New York’s oldest bar. But despite pinpointing a booth where Pete’s Tavern claims “Gift” was written, it appears the honor goes to O.Henry’s apartment, which ultimately became Sal Anthony’s. It was there that O.Henry reluctantly sat down at his writing table and dashed off the classic. — Jim Schlosser

O

ne dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eightyseven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

34 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad. In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.” The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good. Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling — something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim. There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art. Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy. So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet. On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street. Where she stopped the sign read: “Mme. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, The Art & Soul of Greensboro


large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.” “Will you buy my hair?” asked Della. “I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.” Down rippled the brown cascade. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand. “Give it to me quick,” said Della. Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation — as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value — the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain. When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends — a mammoth task. Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do — oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?” At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.” The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two — and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves. Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face. Della wriggled off the table and went for him. “Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again — you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say ‘Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice — what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.” “You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?” Jim looked about the room curiously. “You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy. “You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you — sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?” Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year — what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. “Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.” White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs — the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims — just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!” And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!” Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit. “Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.” Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled. “Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.” The magi, as you know, were wise men — wonderfully wise men — who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. OH

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 35


All I Want For Christmas Is 101 amazing local things to eat

Some people eat to live. As the Serial Eater, I live to eat. Even better, I eat for a living. When friends visit, they open my refrigerator door with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning — which got me thinking. Why not make this year’s letter to Santa Claus comprehensive, listing some of the more unexpected and over-the-top viands, drinkables and sweets from around Greensboro that I’d like to find stuffed into my size-14 stocking. Some are old favorites from the farmers market. Others I found prowling specialty shops, curb markets and holes in the wall. I’ve sought out what’s homegrown, favoring fresh and local over exotic and imported, while keeping St. Nicholas’ carbon footprint a small one. In the process, I’ve been amazed at what an abundance of tantalizing and luscious treats I found within a close radius of Greensboro. Maybe that’s why after ranging all over the planet, I find myself living in the land of country ham, sausage, chess pies and chow-chow, but with cosmopolitan access to more exotic fare such as champagne-and-chocolate truffles, almond-studded brioche and Italian gelato. Greensboro, you’re a foodie’s Valhalla. BAKED GOODS, SNACKS AND SWEETS Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

Using his mother’s recipe, Rick Pendarvis bakes a light, airy benneseed wafer that’s more like a cookie than its Low Country relative. Tem, by the way, is short for Thelma.

Benne Bites, 704-279-0680, Rockwell, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$5 a snack pack

2 Big Boss Baking Yes, cookies accented with Asian five-spice, a.k.a. wu hsiang fun — Company anise, fennel, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pair these Chinese Five-Spice savory cookies with a floral oolong tea. Cookies

Big Boss Baking Company, 862-2677, High Point, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$10.99 a dozen

3 Crawford Snowflake Cake

Eggnog, rum, peppermint or whatever. You pick the flavor and design. But my cake-loving friend is convinced that snowflake would be the icing of choice on a custom-made, four-tier you-know-what at any holiday party.

Crawford’s Creations, 230 N. Spring St., Greensboro, 688-5094, custom orders by phone or at the store on Spring Street

$300, serves 100

4 Creasman Farms Pumpkin Roll

Think spicy pumpkin bread, slathered with cream cheese, rolled into a foot-long log for slicing. Good for your holiday buffet, dessert or even breakfast.

Creasman Farms, 828-691-4821, Hendersonville, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$15

1 Aunt Tem’s Benne Bites

5 Delicious Bakery Bûche de Noël

36 O.Henry

What it Costs

It’s the holidays. Pull out all the stops and order a French-inspired Delicious Bakery, 3700 Lawndale Dr., Yule log — a chocolate sponge cake, rolled around semi-sweet ganache, Greensboro, 288-3380 drowned in a chocolate glaze, with chocolate mushrooms on top.

$30, serves 12-15

6 Dewey’s Moravian Sugar Cake

Dewey’s, 877-339-3974, with three For centuries the Moravians have been combining yeast-raised dough seasonal locations in Greensboro: with loads of brown sugar and butter to make arguably one of the Shops at Friendly Center, Brassfield finest breakfast foods on the planet. Shopping Center and Wendover Place Shopping Center.

$5.99 for 12 ounces

7 Donut World Apple Fritters

Each morning, a steady stream of patrons lines up for the old-fashioned doughnuts fried by Cambodian doughnut chefs. I guess they haven’t tried the gigantic, apple-laden fritters.

Donut Word, 2509 Battleground Ave., and 5561 West Market St., Greensboro, 315-0202

$1.48 apiece

8 Eden Flowers Rice Cakes

These light-as-air Asian rice cakes, made before your very eyes, are a terrific, no-guilt snack my wife and I have become absolutely addicted to when we shop at Super G Mart.

Eden Flowers, Greensboro, 210-3884, directly across from checkout at Super G Mart, 4927 W. Market St., Greensboro, 252-1056

$5 for 2 bags

9 French coffee macarons

Look for Laura’s French-inspired blueberry galettes, quiches, lemon tarts, Normandy pear-and-almond-cream tarts, and best of all, coffeeinfused macarons that slowly and deliciously melt in your mouth.

Laura’s Goodies, 456-2027, at her booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$1.75 each

10 Gnam-Gnam Gelato Pie

Think of Gnam-Gnam as Greensboro’s upscale Yum-Yum, which is precisely what its name means in Italian. You know you want to wow Gnam-Gnam Gelato, 3712-K your guests with a pie filled with tart-and-chunky pumpkin gelato. It’s Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, 288-8008 made from milk, so go ahead: Top it with whipped cream.

December 2011/January 2012

$16.55 a pie

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs by Hannah Sharpe, Kathryn Galloway and contributed

The Goodie


BAKED GOODS, SNACKS AND SWEETS The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

These extravagantly rich, dark chocolate morsels are served as the crowning glory of Goat Lady dinners. No reason your glorious dinners can’t be similarly crowned.

Goat Lady Dairy, 3515 Jess Hackett Rd., Climax, 824-2163, or at their booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$7.25 for six

12 Goodness Gracie Heavenly Toffee Cookies

Graham cracker crunch dipped in pecan-studded toffee. Need I say more?

Goodness Gracie Gourmet Foods, Wilmington, 910-792-0800, or from The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

$7.99 for 6 ounces

13 Gorilla Grains Granola

Alicia Rehburg developed her recipe while trying to convince her chef husband, Steve, that not all granola tastes like cardboard. Her “secret” ingredients are organic oats sweetened with brown sugar and rounded with real butter.

Gorilla Grains Gourmet Granola, 376-3501, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$6.50 a pound

14 Spring Garden Bakery’s sticky buns

As big as Frisbees and so glazed with sugar and cinnamon they’ll make your teeth hurt, the sticky buns at Spring Garden Bakery have been attracting UNCG students — and The Serial Eater — for a quarter of a century.

Spring Garden Bakery and Coffeehouse,
1932 Spring Garden St.,
Greensboro, 272-8199

$2.45

15 Homeland Creamery Peppermint Ice Cream

The Homeland people put Red Bird candy canes in a blender and pour on the cream to make this heavenly, seasonal treat.

Homeland Creamery Store, 6506 Bowman Dairy Rd., Julian, 685-6455, or at Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

$7.99 half gallon

16 Jerusalem Market’s Bourma, aka kataifi

Seliba Hanhan sweetens his Middle Eastern version of kataifi with Jerusalem Market, 5002 High Point sugar, not honey. That’s why his bourmas are crunchy with shredded Rd., Greensboro, 547-0220 dough and Turkish pistachios instead of being sticky sweet.

11 Goat Lady Dairy goatcheese chocolate truffles

17 K&W Cafeteria I’m addicted to K&W’s jalapeño-studded cornbread. Add a thick Mexican slice of cheese and you’ve got supper. cornbread

K&W Cafeteria, 3200 Northline Ave., Greensboro, 292-2864

$1.79 each $2.75 for six pieces

18 Karina’s German Cheesecake

Rather than being cream-cheese based, this cheesecake is made with eggs, butter and lots of sour cream and then graced with a crunchy top.

Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave. Greensboro, 369-0190

19 Le Petit Bakery Chocolate Whoopee Pies 20 Le Petite Bakery Date, Granola and Chocolate Chip Cookie

My friend, who clucks happily about the Iron Hen, often fills her craw with a take-out order of a whoopee pie, homemade with cocoa, butter, cream cheese, flour and sugar — “as good as grandma’s,” she says.

Le Petit Bakery, 286-3768, Greensboro, available at the Iron Hen Café, 908 Cridland Rd., Greensboro, 617-7105

$2

If this is health food, call me a health-food freak. I love granola — especially when it’s the third ingredient with butter and brown sugar being the first two. As good as cookies get — and good for you too.

Le Petit Bakery, 286-3768, Greensboro, available at Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

$1.19 a cookie

21 Loco for Coco chocolate and champagne truffles

When the black dog of mid-winter bites you, take one of these as often as needed, and sit back and wait for the endorphins to kick in. Oh so dark and delicious, with just a hint of the bubbly.

Loco For Coco, 2415 C Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, 333-0029

$1.30 for one, $7.50 for six

22 Loco For Coco dark chocolate non-Pareils

My wife says dragees, those tiny little white things on top of nonpareils, are strictly for decoration. I like the crunchy sound they make as you savor the sinfully rich chocolate.

Loco For Coco, 2415 C Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, 333-0029

$8 for 6 ounces

23 Lucky 32 chocolate chess pie

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

What it Costs

If someone doesn’t bake you a chocolate chess pie for the holidays, I feel sorry for you — and suggest you give Jay Pierce at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen 24 hours notice. He’ll do it for you.

Lucky 32, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro, 370-0707

December 2011/January 2012

$3.79 a slice

$26 a pie

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BAKED GOODS, SNACKS AND SWEETS The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

24 Fried SweetPotato Pie

A trip to the Yanceyville Street farmers market is not complete without one of Mamie Faucette’s fried pies and her big, welcoming smile.

Mamie Faucette, 292-2950, Greensboro, at her booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

25 Maxie B’s lemon-curd gingerbread with whipped cream and blueberries

My Aunt Rachel used to make gingerbread especially for me, but she Maxie B’s, 2403-7 Battleground Ave., didn’t use lemon curd, whipped cream and blueberries like Maxie B’s Greensboro, 288-9811 does. I bet Aunt Rachel just didn’t know any better.

$1.75

$4.80 a slice

my book, New York Deli’s pastries are some of the best in the 26 New York Deli In Triad. Their caramel-topped, butter-laden apple pie made with Caramel Apple Pie Granny Smith apples makes me miss my momma.

New York Deli and Pastry Restaurant, 3724-C Battleground Ave., Greensboro, 540-1645

27 Ninth Street Bakery coconut macaroons

Ninth Street Bakery, Durham, $1.29 a 919-688-5606, at Deep Roots Market, cookie 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

Ninth Street Bakery’s made-from-scratch and freshly baked macaroons are superb — bristling with coconut and almond extract.

$3.50 a slice

My sweet-toothed friend raves about Ollie’s Bakery’s hand-glazed brioche, baked by a pastry chef trained in France. Topped with sliced, crunchy almonds and available by the slice, it’s French toast, vraiment.

Ollie’s Bakery, 1420 Westover Terrace, Suite E, Greensboro, 333-9500

29 Peace, Love and Poundcake’s pumpkin chess pie

“It’s just an old-timey chess pie, made from my grandmother’s recipe,” says Nancy Jones — old-timey as in butter, cream, eggs and with a pecan-praline sauce to gild the lily.

Peace, Love and Poundcake, 3753346, McLeansville, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$10

30 Pignoli Nut Cookies

Cookies made from pignoli (pine) nuts are a Christmas tradition in Italy — and at Giacomo’s, where they’re homemade.

Giacomo’s, 2109 New Garden Rd. # E, Greensboro, 282-2855

$12.95 a pound

31 Red Bird Brand Old-fashioned striped hard-candy sticks that come in a box with a cellophane window and taste like the ones Santa Claus brings from peppermint the North Pole. candy sticks

Piedmont Candy Co., Lexington, available at Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, 275-1655

$2.99 a pound

32 Red Band Old My daddy would always pick up a box of horehound candy around Fashioned horehound the holidays and we’d go “eewwwww.” Now I love the stuff. stick candy

Helms Candy, Bristol, Va., from Sam’s Olde Fashioned Meat Market, 1511 Twain Rd., Greensboro, 375-0141

$2.50 for a slice

28 Ollie’s Bakery almond toast

$3.25 a slice

33 Reto’s tarte tatine

Call first, to make sure this classic and luscious caramelized-apple Reto’s Home Cuisine, upside-down tart is available. Swiss-born chef Reto Biaggi will make it 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro, on request — along with anything else with a French accent you might 274-0499 want.

12 ounces, $2.95

34 Stamey’s cherry cobbler

Stamey’s Old Fashioned Barbecue, If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you this item ought to be about Stamey’s 2206 High Point Rd., 299-9888 or peach cobbler, but who can resist those fire-engine red cherries? We 2812 Battleground Ave., 288-9275, order it by the panful. Greensboro

$1.69 for one serving

35 Three Sisters Chipotle cheese stars

A three-sisterly take on the traditional Southern cheese straw. Julie, Lee and Irene use sharp cheddar, organic Lindley Mill flour from Graham and a hint of chipotle pepper to add a smoky note to this old favorite.

Three Sisters Artisan Bakery, 978-5079, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$6 for 8 ounces

Zaytoon Mediterranean Café, 301 N. Elm St., Greensboro, 373-0211, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$5 for 6

36 Zaytoon’s dates, stuffed with This sweet and savory Middle Eastern mezze — or appetizer — reminds me of the tastes and smells of Lebanon, one of the most English walnuts and accented with delicious places I’ve ever visited. cardamom 38 O.Henry

What it Costs

December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


MEATS & CHEESE The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

$6.99 for a small pie

37 A Full Measure If you haven’t had an authentic Moravian chicken pie — sans vegMoravian Chicken etables and thickener, just chicken, salt and pepper in a crust — treat yourself to one. They’re simple and simply delicious. Pie

Jack Carter Produce, 605-2934, in the retail building at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

38 Ashe County I mix this pepper jack with sharp cheddar to make a sassy pimientopepper jack cheese spread. Perfect for nachos. cheese

Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, 369-0190

39 Bessemer Curb Slightly spicy and not too salty, this fresh-ground sausage is so lean you’ll need to spray your pan with Pam first. Like eating a pork Market housetenderloin patty. made sausage

Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, 275-1655

$2.99 a pound

Calico Farmstead Cheese, 3737 High Rock Rd., Gibsonville, 697-2213, or from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216.

6.4 ounces for $3.39

Chapel Hill Creamery, Chapel Hill, 919-967-3757, from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

$4.39

40 Calico Cut this cheese into little blocks, skewer the blocks with tiny pieces of pimiento. Pop it all into a microwave and you’ve got instant hors Farmstead Skillet Cheese d’oeuvres. 41 Chapel Hill Creamery New Moon Brie 42 Faucette Farms Smoked Hog Jowl 43 Giacomo’s sweet dry sausage

Wow your guests with baked brie topped with caramelized local apples and onions. Then watch their faces when you tell them the cows chew their cud near Chapel Hill.

Faucette Farms, 7566 Friendship If you’re making your New Year’s Day collard greens with fat back Church Rd., Browns Summit, or bacon, try hog jowl. It’ll give your greens body and kick them 656-3927, or their booth at the up a notch. Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market These shrink-wrapped two-packs of San Guiseppe Salami Co.’s sausage (Greensboro’s own Giacomo) make perfect stocking stuffers, Giacomo’s Italian Market, though, hint, hint, my stocking’s big enough for one of those big ‘uns 2109 New Garden Rd., 282-2855 that hang from Giacomo’s ceiling.

$9.99 a pound

$6 a pound

$3.99 $21.48 a pound, $9.03 for .42 pound

44 Goat Lady Dairy fig and honey spreadable goat cheese

Stuff jumbo medjool dates with this savory cheese or make a dessert pizza with it, using fresh figs and raisins.

Goat Lady Dairy, 3515 Jess Hackett Rd., Climax, 824-2163, or at Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, 369-0190

45 Hickory Tree #2 Tasty Turkey BBQ

The Serial Eater generally avoids anything “healthy,” but with turkey, vinegar and pepper as the main ingredients, I tried — and loved, this tangy, smoky barbecued turkey.

Hickory Tree #2, 2804 Randleman Rd. Greensboro, 392-3680, available at Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, 2751655

46 Hogwild cracklins

Cracklins are deep-fat-fried pork rinds, enhanced by a thick layer of belly fat. John Garrett of Hogwild swears they’re misunderstood. “They’re really not bad for you,” he insists — and his word is good enough for me.

Hogwild, 697-0698, with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

47 Mac’s Farms’ Moonshine SemiDry Sausage

I first saw this sausage mentioned in a recipe for catfish gumbo. And it is great in soups and sauces, but there’s nothing wrong with frying it up for breakfast.

Mac’s Farms’ Sausage Company, $3.19 a Clinton, 910-594-0095, from Sam’s pound Olde Fashioned Meat Market, 1511 Twain Rd., Greensboro, 375-0141

48 Neese’s Country Scrapple

Neese Country Sausage, Greensboro, Milder and chunkier than liver pudding, Scrapple’s list of ingredients 800-632-1010, from Bestway, 2113 (which you know you’re going to read) is shorter than souse’s. Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

$2.19 a pound

This new addition to Neese’s line of freshly ground and lean sausage was so hot I didn’t take the top off my ever-present bottle of Texas Pete.

$4.19 a pound

49 Neese’s Extra Hot Country Sausage The Art & Soul of Greensboro

What it Costs

Neese Country Sausage, Greensboro, 800-632-1010, from Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

December 2011/January 2012

$4.79 for 6 ounces $2 a package

O.Henry 39


MEATS & CHEESE The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

What it Costs

like the kind you could get cut from a hoop in general stores back Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave., 50 North Carolina Just before the food-safety police cracked down. From cheese-loving Ashe Greensboro, 369-0190 hoop cheese County, “rat cheese” was what my daddy called it.

51 Pigs’ feet

Bessemer Curb Market’s got them fresh by the pound or in a gallon jar from Hannah’s. I can see my daddy eating them in his Barcalounger, watching TV.

52 Real Catering When my daughter comes home from grad school, she makes a beeline for David Wright’s booth to get her bacon-and-cheddarReal Bacon cheese fix. Pimento Cheese 53 Richard’s DIY sausage. One package will season 30 pounds of meat, pork, Delicious Sausage venison or buffalo. For the true carnivores on your Christmas list. Seasoning 54 Rising Meadow Forget turkey. Wow your crowd with a handsome rack of lamb, Farm rack of dusted with rosemary, thyme and garlic. Cook mine rare, please. lamb 55 Rothchild’s Angus Farm oxtails

Jamaicans, Chinese, French and Germans all know that the most flavorful part of a cow is its tail, especially when it’s braised and made into soup.

56 T.L. Henry Souse

If you don’t know what it is, you don’t want any and certainly don’t want to know what’s in it. But in the souse category, this stuff’s the real deal.

57 Thomas Brothers Country Ham center slices

The “twang” of a really good country ham comes from the cure, not the salt. Thomas Brothers’ country ham is the genuine item with tangy, nutty notes.

58 Tia Anna’s Queso Fresco

Whether you want a topping for black beans, salads or tacos or you’re making chile relleños, consider using queso fresco — literally fresh cheese, with salt added. Made in Gibsonville and dated for freshness, Tia Anna’s is local and potentially fresher than cheese imported from Mexico.

59 Totally Nuts habanero cashew spread

Add cashews to cheese and you make something already good even better. Habanero peppers and lemon juice give the spread a zesty edge.

Available at Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, 275-1655 Real Catering, Greensboro, 312-2448 from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market Richard’s Delicious Seasoning, 621-0664, Browns Summit, available at Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro Rising Meadow Farm, 3750 Williams Dairy Rd., Liberty, 622-1795, or at their booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market Rothchild’s Angus Farm, Liberty, 327-9020, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market T.L. Henry, Wilson, available at Bessemer Curb Market, 932 East Bessemer Ave., Greensboro Thomas Brothers Foods, Asheboro, 672.0337, from Sam’s Olde Fashioned Meat Market, 1511 Twain Rd., Greensboro, 375-0141

$9.99 a pound $4.25 a pound fresh, $15.99 for 4.25 pounds pickled $5 for 8 ounces $2.29 for 8 ounces $17 a pound $2.50 a pound $4.98 a pound $5.99 a pound

Calico Farmstead Cheese, Gibsonville, 697-2213, or at Compare $4.99 a Foods, 1000 Summit Avenue pound Greensboro, 691-8044 Totally Nuts, 843-697-2856, Mayodan, at his booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$4.50 for 5 ounces

JAMS, PICKLES, SPREADS AND CONDIMENTS The Goodie

40 O.Henry

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

60 Blessed Earth Farm cayenne pepper jelly

You know what to do with it, and it involves cream cheese and crackers. Also good slathered on chicken and turkey.

Blessed Earth Farm, Graham, 376-0314, or from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

$5.39 for 8 ounces

61 Blessed Earth Farm dilled okra pickles

Why buy okra pickles from Texas when you can get them from Graham? Zestier than Mt. Olive’s, they’re dilly-icious.

Blessed Earth Farm, Graham, 376-0314, or from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

$7.69 for 12 ounces

62 Fryar’s Original poppy seed dressing

Made with olive oil, this traditional poppy seed dressing is great on salads and even better with fresh fruit.

Waseda Farm, McLeansville, 621-1341, or from The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

$7.50

December 2011/January 2012

What it Costs

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


JAMS, PICKLES, SPREADS AND CONDIMENTS The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

63 Green Mountain Gringo Roasted Garlic Salsa

My PC daughter eats Green Mountain Gringo organic chips and their all-natural salsa, bristling with chunks of garlic, which is OK by me since the Texas Pete people now own the Green Mountain Gringo.

TW Garner Food Co., WinstonSalem, 888-875-3111, from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

64 Hiatt’s grapeleaf pickle

My momma used to make these cucumber pickles, which get a certain The Berry Patch, 931-0012, in the je-ne-sais-quoi from the introduction of grape leaves. Hers were better, retail building at at the Sandy Ridge but these are definitely worthy. Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

65 Hooper’s 100% Natural Tipsy Tomato Red Wine Sauce

Made in small batches just across the state line in Martinsville, Va., this savory pasta sauce is spiked with North Carolina’s Shelton Wine.

green beans are an old favorite, but I’ve never had any that 66 Milly’s Dillies Pickled had the crunch factor and zip that Milly’s Dillies’ “extremely” hot Pickled Beans pickled beans have. Hand-packed from beans Milly Wingfield grew.

What it Costs

Hooper Foods, Martinsville, Va., 276-670-2031 or from The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767 Milly’s Dillies, 580-4324, Stoneville, or at their booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market Miss Jenny’s Pickles, Kernersville, or from Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

68 Moon Creek Farm Cowboy Caviar

Think fresh, homemade salsa but with black-eyed peas as a base, amplified with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. The cowboy part is in the spicy kick.

Moon Creek Farm, Yanceyville, 694-4406, or at their booth at the Sandy Ridge Road Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.

69 Spinks tomato jam

Made from homegrown early girl tomatoes with a hint of mace, Yvonne Spinks, 431-2280, Trinity, Yvonne Spinks’ tomato jam is cooked in a copper jam pot and begs to with a booth at the Sandy Ridge Road be paired with goat cheese. Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

$7 a pint $5

$5

$3.50

$3.69 for 10.5 ounces

From The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

Can you say lamb chops?

$3.99

$7.99 a quart

67 Miss Jenny’s Miss Jenny’s pickles are crisp and taste fresh like homemade pickles. Habanero Bread These are like traditional B&Bs but with a sassy habanero kick. and Butter Pickles

70 The Extra Ingredient “private label” Mint Jelly with Leaves

$4.89 for 16 ounces

with a strong ginger and garlic kick, this is more of a traditional 71 Thomas Peach Spicy, sweet-and-sour Indian chutney. It will take your Crock Pot pork roast Chutney to the next level.

Thomas Gourmet Foods, $6.50 Greensboro, 299-6263 or at The Extra for 10 Ingredient in Friendly Shopping ounces Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

72 Ward Farms Whole Pickled Asparagus

Picked young and tender, these crisp, intensely-sour asparagus spears are pickled with garlic and jalapeño. A tart reminder of spring in the depths of winter.

Ward Farms, 5337 Cook Steward Rd., Whitsett, 698-9622 or at Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

I buy my tortillas by the kilo, made from yellow corn. As the label points out, they’re made in Mt. Airy and “Ricas, como hechas in casa!” — rich as if they were made in your house.

El Anahuac, Mt. Airy, 789-8044, at Compare Foods, 1000 Summit Ave., Greensboro, 691-8044

$1.39 for 2.2 pounds

Cornerstone Garlic Farm, Reidsville, 336-555-444 or their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$40 for a 2-foot; $9.50 for a small rista

$5.99

STAPLES The Goodie

73 Anahuac Corn Tortillas

because these sell out around the holidays. If you miss them, 74 Braided garlic Hurry try Cornerstone’s Garlic Herb Mix or some cloves of their homeristras grown garlic.

75 Carolina Plantation Gold Rice

Grown in the Low Country of South Carolina, where it was introduced from Madagascar in 1865. What a great back story this will be for your Hoppin’ John this year..

What it Costs

Carolina Plantation Rice, Darlington, $12.99 S.C., 843-395-8058 or from The Extra for 2 Ingredient in Friendly Shopping pounds Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 41


STAPLES The Goodie

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

76 Handance Farm dried hops

Yes, as in beer-making hops, and Pat Bush swears they make a great and soothing tea. Me? I plan to make a hops syrup that will turn a PBR into an instant IPA.

Handance Farm, Reidsville, 349-4486, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

77 Homeland Creamery butter

Homeland Creamery Store, 6506 Most farm-fresh butter is mild and not very different from what you Bowman Dairy Rd., Julian, 685-6455, buy in the grocery store. Homeland’s cultured butter is tart and tastes or from Deep Roots Market, 3728 like the butter my Aunt Rachel used to churn. Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

78 L & B Apiaries local blackberry honey

What it Costs $3 a package $5.19 for 16 ounces

Drizzle this aromatic honey into your tea and savor last summer’s crop of ripe blackberries.

L & B Apiaries, 5602 Bledsoe Dr., Greensboro, 316-0504 or at The Extra $6.99 a Ingredient in Friendly Shopping pound Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

79 Massey Creek pasture-raised brown eggs

My wife insists that she can tell the difference between free-range eggs and grocery-store eggs. And that’s just fine with me if she’s more inclined to make hollandaise sauce and bake lemon-chess pies.

Massey Creek Farms, 140 Massey Creek Rd., Madison, 427-3771, or from Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

$3.99 a dozen

80 Old Mill of Guilford buckwheat flour

I use my momma’s Pennsylvania Dutch recipe to make light and yeasty buckwheat cakes, but there’s also a recipe inside each bag of this stone-ground buckwheat flour.

Old Mill of Guilford,1340 NC 68 North, Oak Ridge, 643-4783

$4.70 for 2 pounds

81 Quaker Acre Apiaries raw wildflower honey

Bill Mullins’ bees buzz through College Woods, a stand of ancient trees that predate the Quaker settlement around Guilford College. Though the bees certainly visit clover and flowering bushes, the honey’s dark tone probably comes from the many tulip poplar trees that crowd the forest.

Quaker Acre Apiaries, 852-4035, Greensboro, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$5.75 a pound

82 Quaker Acre Apiaries Gourmet Made from an English recipe, this mead-wine vinegar is subtle without the bite of cider vinegar and is dry, rather than sweet. Honey Wine Vinegar

Quaker Acre Apiaries, 852-4035, Greensboro, or from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$5 for 375 milliliters

Still Hollow Farm, Sandy Ridge,

Rich, thick and savory with cloves and cinnamon, it begs you to make 871-9338, or from their booth at 83 Still Hollow the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farm apple butter hot waffles on a cold morning.

$4 for 8 ounces

84 Vintage Bee Cinnamon Creamed Honey

$7.99

Take a biscuit, sandwich butter and a spoonful of Vintage Bee Cinnamon Creamed Honey and, presto chango, instant honey bun.

Farmers’ Curb Market Busy Bee Apiary, Chapel Hill, 919-942-2006 or from The Extra Ingredient at Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

DRINKABLES The Goodie

42 O.Henry

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

Who’s Got it and Where

85 Café al Grano sampler

Michael LaClair is offering a three-variety gift package with 4-ounce samples of his often exotic coffees. Taste the difference that comes from quality beans and fresh roasting.

Café al Grano, 708-1649, at his booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$12 for three bafs

86 Counter Culture Espresso Toscano

Espresso’s the fuel that powers holiday cooking. It doesn’t get any blacker and better than Durham’s Counter Culture high-test variety.

The Fresh Market, 3712 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, 282-4832

$11.99 for 12 ounces

87 Fortuna Bali Blue Moon coffee

Arguably Greensboro’s boldest coffee, Bali Blue Moon is shadegrown, organic and fresh-roasted. Expect a smooth duet of chocolate and berry notes with almost zero acidity.

Fortuna Enterprises, 6211 Chimney Center Boulevard, Greensboro, 3 16-1256 or from The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

$14.95 a pound

88 Freshsqueezed, organic orange juice

This has to be the best beverage bargain in town, and what’s better than orange juice fresh squeezed before your very own eyes?

Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, 369-0190

$2.99 a pint

December 2011/January 2012

What it Costs

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


DRINKABLES The Goodie

Who’s Got it and Where

What it Costs

89 Grove 2008 Symphony dessert wine

This European-style dessert wine is my favorite North Carolina wine. Grove Winery & Vineyards, 7360 Subtle and refined, it has a delicate finish intensified by what the Brooks Bridge Rd., Gibsonville, French call noble rot, a mold that bolsters the wine’s complexity. 584-4060

$17.99 a bottle

90 Highlands Cold Mountain Winter Ale

This seasonal, cult brown ale, which has a different spice profile every year, comes in around Christmas and sells out within days of its arrival.

$5.99 for 22 ounces

Highlands Brewing, Asheville, 828- 299-3370, from Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

91 Junior Johnson Holiday eggnog and punch get real old, real quick. Junior Johnson’s kickapoo joy juice will put a little tiger in your tank. White Lightning

Piedmont Distillers, 203 East Murphy $21.95 St., Madison, 445-0055 for a tour. a fifth Your local ABC store for the liquor.

92 KimBees Almond Gourmet Sweet Green Tea

KimBees Southern Gourmet Traditions, 317 Martin Luther King Dr., Greensboro, 323-8773

This is sort of like nonalcoholic amaretto — only sweeter. Kimbee sweetens her tea Southern-style, the way my mother-in-law did.

$2.50 a pint

93 Koppers Where else but at the counter at The Extra Ingredient can you get chocolate-covered your fix of dark-chocolate-dipped espresso beans from a gum-ball machine for a mere quarter? espresso beans

From The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, 299-9767

94 Larry’s Beans Organic, shade-grown and fair-trade, coffee from Larry’s Beans is Grand Turk Blend North Carolina’s grooviest java, and the Grand Turk blend is “super bold, exotic, unabashedly dark and dusky.” coffee

Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, 292-9216

95 Natty Greene “Growler” of Red Nose Winter Ale

This dark, malty brew — spiced with cinnamon, ginger and orange peel — will take the chill off the darkest winter night. At 6.8%, it’s gotta be good for whatever “ales” you.

Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Co., $13 for 345 S. Elm St., Greensboro, 274-1373 a 64or at Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., ounce Greensboro, 272-4264 growler

96 Mexican CocaCola

Nothing’s better for that New Years’ Day hangover than real Coke, not the kind with cocaine in it, the kind loaded with caffeine and sugar instead of corn syrup.

Earth Fare, 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, 369-0190

97 Midnight Moonshine with Real Cherries

Madison moonshine’s gone cordial with five fruit-infused mason jars Piedmont Distillers, 203 East Murphy $21.95 — strawberry, apple pie, cranberry, blueberry and my fave, cherry. The St., Madison, 445-0055 for a tour. a fifth color and packaging are really classy, at least for moonshine. Your local ABC store for the liquor.

98 Red Oak 12 pack

In December 2009, Red Oak put its Munich malt, Bavarian hops and Weihenstephen yeast into bottles for the first time. It’s every bit as good as draft Red Oak, which is pretty darn good.

Red Oak Brewery, Whitsett, 447-2055, from or at Bestway, 2113 Walker Ave., Greensboro, 272-4264

$19.99 for a 12 pack

99 Stamey’s Sumatra coffee

Stamey’s bought Tobacco USA’s coffee roasters so it could continue serving its own house blend of coffee, but I like the bolder, darker 100% Sumatra that Stamey’s offers.

Stamey’s Old Fashioned Barbecue, 2206 High Point Rd., 299-9888 or 2812 Battleground Ave., 288-9275, Greensboro

$11.25 a pound

100 Tea Hugger Treasure Chest

From Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong to Rosemary-Lemon Darjeeling, this 24-tea gift pack features the Tea Hugging duo’s hand-packed, premium selection of teas.

Tea Hugger, Greensboro, 370-4969, from their booth at the Yanceyville Street Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market

$25 for 24 tea samples

101 Ward Farms blueberry juice The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Why It Ought To Be On Santa’s Radar

You don’t often see blueberry juice, at least not in North Carolina, but Ward Farms makes theirs from fresh North Carolina blueberries.

$.25

$12.29 a pound

$1.69 for 12 ounces

Ward Farms, 5337 Cook Steward $7.79 Rd., Whitsett, 698-9622 or from Deep for Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden 25.4 St., Greensboro, 292 - 9216 ounces

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 43


Parade of Giants Greensboro’s revitalized Christmas parade brings out the kid in everyone

By Jim Schlosser

E

xactly 81 years later, the similarities are striking. In 1930, Greensboro began suffering from the Great Depression. Some people had lost their jobs, others were scraping for money. The city needed cheer-

1951 and 1963 Santa is Fire Chief Calvin “Moon” Wyrick. Historical images by Carol Martin from the Greensboro Historical Museum

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December 2011/January 2012

ing up. So Greensboro held its first Christmas parade. Santa arrived after first circling the city in an airplane. Then he waved to the crowd from a float that inched along a 2-mile-long parade route that went up North and South Greene and down North and South Elm streets. One of the 75 floats featured a coffin with a figure labeled “the Depression” inside. Except for a five-year lapse in the 1970s, the city has had a parade ever since. The city’s Christmas parades have gone through three incarnations. The first from 1930 to late 1960s were huge spectacles, attracting as many as 100,000 people to downtown to watch bands, floats and celebrities such as Hopalong Cassidy, Miss America and, of course, Santa Claus, who always rode in the last float. Then, the parade began to flounder. Greensboro’s downtown declined as stores moved to the suburbs. An ugly incident marred the 1969 parade, held during a period of racial unrest. A group of young people climbed atop Santa Claus’ float and harassed the usually Jolly Old Elf, who in those days was the city’s fire chief, C.W. (Moon) Wyrick. Wyrick had been the city’s official Santa Claus since the 1940s. As fire chief, he was known as a hard cussing taskmaster. But he was a pussycat as Santa Claus, except for that day in 1969. Expletives poured out from behind his snowy-white beard. He resigned as Santa Claus after that. The parades over the next few years paled in comparison with those of the past. The sponsors, the merchants association, decided to end the event after 1974. In 1979, the Greensboro Jaycees brought it back, but on a limited scale. It was a short parade up Greene Street. Few floats or bands participated. “It was Mrs. Tutu and her dance class and a bunch of cars,” says former Mayor Jim Melvin, who remembers one parade attracted at most 3,500 spectators. The puny processions continued for 21 years. By 1999, Melvin, by then president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, had seen enough. He decided it was time, with Jaycee help, to give Greensboro the sort of parade he remembered going to with his mother on parade day — the Friday after Thanksgiving. (Melvin remembers after one parade sitting on Santa Claus’ lap in a department store and being asked what he wanted. “To go to the bathroom,” Melvin replied.) The parade is now held the first Saturday in December. Melvin hopes to once again see the downtown crowded with people who will leave plenty of time after the parade for shopping and eating in some of the places that have helped to revitalize downtown. That’s the way it was when he was young. In those days, department stores unveiled elaborately decorated windows on parade day, and stayed open late to accommodate shoppers. The day was considered the official start of the holiday season. Yule lights strung across downtown streets blazed for the first time. Melvin’s quest to restore the parade to its former glory, now in its 11th year, seems to be getting some traction. He believes that 60,000 people, conservatively, now turn out for the event. “I’m not sure we haven’t come close,’‘ he says of his 100,000 goal. “There are people in the parking decks and in buildings looking down. You put five and six people deep along the curb all the way from Greene Street to the Children’s Museum on Church Street. That’s a lot of people.” Certain changes were inevitable. The date, of course, has changed. The route is somewhat shorter: North Greene to Market to Church and north to the museum. But the goal remains unchanged: to get people from the region, not just from Greensboro, downtown to watch the parade and forget about their problems, followed by discovering — or rediscovering — downtown’s restaurants and shops.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Photographs courtesey of Jim Schlosser and Jim Rumley, a lifetime member of the Jaycees What has made the parades since 2000 so spectacular are the balloons, something yesteryears’ parades lacked and which are not featured in other Christmas parades in North Carolina. Melvin credits Henri Fourrier, head of the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, with coming up with the idea. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have a Macy’s parade,” Melvin remembers Fourrier telling him. Balloons are pricey. So Melvin’s Bryan Foundation ponied up the dough. Parade planners contacted Big Events Inc. of Oceanside, Calif., which has an inventory of thousands of huge balloons, including the Grinch, Woody Woodpecker and Cat in the Hat. If you haven’t seen them, the balloons are a big deal, with 12 to 18 different ones delighting crowds in recent years. The foundation paid Big Events about $33,000 for this year’s helium-filled characters. Big Events sends a specialist from California each year to supervise the sometimes tricky inflation of the balloons and to brief volunteers on how to handle the ropes that keep the balloons on course. The pre-parade inflation has become a Christmas tradition itself, attracting a crowd to the lawn of the VF’s Wrangler division headquarters on North Elm Street. Melvin says the balloons were brought in “for the children.” And when you get the children “you’ll get the parents,” he adds. History is repeating itself. A sizable newspaper ad preceding the 1930 parade notes that the purpose of that first parade “is to arouse Christmas spirit and to appeal chiefly to the children.” At a time when many are struggling to make ends meet in 2011, the theme of this year’s parade, scheduled for Dec. 3, appropriately is “The Gift of Giving.” But nowdays, youngsters and parents can ooh and ah as the huge inflatables float down the parade route, soaring five and six stories high, seemingly even taller when they reach the top of the hill on East Market Street and begin the decent to Church. Big Events owner Charles Trimble says Greensboro should congratulate itself. “A lot of cities can’t afford balloons,” he says. “You have quite a privilege here. You are in a league with Dallas and Atlanta.” As for the magic of the balloons, Trimble say, “It’s the color and size, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

something floating in the air. They aren’t threatening. They are all happy and bright.” The bands are another gift from the Bryan Foundation. During the period when the Jaycees sponsored the miniature parade, each band received $50 to perform. That amount is now $1,000, with a bonus to the band chosen most outstanding. The Jaycees remain a key part of the parade. They handle the operations and contribute some money. Besides the Jaycees and Bryan Foundation, money also comes from the Greater Greensboro Merchants Association, the Visitors and Convention Bureau, and municipal government. The parade has also partnered with the Festival of Lights organizer, Grassroots Productions. The festival comes on Friday night before the parade and includes caroling and musicians performing along Elm Street and in stores. The highlight comes with the lighting of the official city Christmas tree in Center City Park. Again, the Bryan Foundation financed the hoisting of the big tree, paying $40,000 for a towering, reusable tree, garlanded with dazzling lights. The parade has rules. No floats or activities with a political message. That was also the rule in parade No. 1 in 1930. If winds top 20 m.p.h., the balloons don’t go. This hasn’t happened so far, although two balloons went poof when accidentally punctured during the parade. Past grand marshals have included Olympic speed skater Joey Cheek, a Greensboro native, and racing legend Richard Petty. Another honored guest a few years ago was an Army Reserve unit that had just returned from Iraq. The foundation put the soldiers and their families up at the Marriott Hotel, which is on the parade route. The first 11 Melvin-era parades have come during what must seem to many like continuous hard times. He hopes for a return to good times such as the late 1940s, the 1950s, and much of the 1960s. Times back then, he says, were so much simpler. Problems didn’t seem insurmountable. But then as now, any respite from the harsh economic realities is a gift and welcome diversion — with nothing equal to an old-fashioned Christmas parade. OH December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 45


Food for the Soul

Gate City readers are blessed to have great used and indie bookshops By Ashley Wahl • Photographs By Hannah Sharpe When Borders shut its doors for good last summer, many people read the death of the nation’s second-largest bookstore chain as a grim reminder of our economic insecurity. And worse, an omen that paper books might follow suit. But those who glory in the tactile comfort of pages turning remain optimistic. A recent New York Times article even suggests that the void left by Borders may be filled by a resurgence of the used and independent bookstore business. And that’s music to book lovers’ ears. Of course, no one questions the growing popularity of e-readers, or the reign of Barnes & Noble, which stocks tens of thousands of titles and the chance to see authors wooing readers in corners. But there’s something unmistakably charming about a bookshop that you can’t find just anywhere. And the characters you meet within. Greensboro has a half dozen such gems, each embodying a guiding spirit of its own. Come with a book title in mind. Might find it, might not. But come for the purpose of simply exploring and, well, the possibilities are endless. Transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. Life is about the journey. Bookshops are for getting lost. They promise adventure. And oftentimes, real treasures.

The Browsery Don’t expect to find a Harlequin Romance novel at 516 South Elm Street. Ben Mathews doesn’t sell them. “I prefer Tolstoy,” he says. “And William Faulkner, who is God to me.” The Browsery is a wonderland for the literati. A wild, overgrown wonderland with creaky floors and that earthy, old book smell that stirs the senses. To hear the place described as “neat” would cause Ben visceral pain. But Ben knows where his books are. He stocks roughly 20,000 titles — all hardbacks for five dollars. And he’s been in the bookselling business for nearly 40 years. Georgia-born and raised, Ben landed in Greensboro in his late 20s. An assistantship during his graduate studies at UNCG taught him one thing: “I did not want to teach English.” So he opened a bookshop instead. First on South Mendenhall, then downtown, in the middle of the antique district, where he’s been since ’79. “I’ve probably educated more people here than I would have in the classroom,” he says from the mound of papers, books and knick-knacks he calls a desk, punctuating his sentence with a sip of coffee. Talk prose with him.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


“I read novels as if they’re poetry,” he says. “And some prose just needs to be heard aloud.” He excerpts A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a poem by Dylan Thomas, from memory. “…and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow . . .” Yes, Ben is known to recite an occasional poem. “I’m full of shit,” he cracks. And overflowing with poetry, as in Shakespeare, several of whose plays he’s committed to memory. Robert Frost poems are his favorite. “He was misunderstood,” Ben says of the sage of New Hampshire. “And he’s mistaught. He’s not just the sweet, gray-haired nature poet people seem to think he was.” Recite a Frost poem for Ben and he might just give you a book. And if you’re looking for a recommendation, he’ll throw you at least one. Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan and Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series come tumbling off the top of his head. While you’re browsing, check out the antiques and collectibles in the front of the store: German steins, heirloom china, assorted mason jars. Charles Gibson, Ben’s business partner, can help with those. But save the book talk for Ben. 516 S. Elm St. Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (336) 274-3231

Glenwood Coffee & Books At 10 a.m., coffee brews at Glenwood. A sleepy neighborhood stirs to life. Glenwood, regulars know, is short for Glenwood Coffee & Books, an independent bookshop that opened up on Glenwood Avenue last May. It’s also the name of the curious orange tabby that calls the place home. And there’s certainly an aura of home about the place. As morning light streams through the storefront window, Glenwood naps on a wooden chair, tail twitching slightly. A young man studies a chessboard between sips of coffee — Larry’s Beans, local, organic and fair-trade, of course, a spicy, smoky Cowboy Blend. “I’d like for Glenwood to eventually become a community collective,” says shop owner Al Brilliant. “It already sort of functions as a community center.” Free Wi-Fi draws a college crowd. Care for coffee? Serve yourself. “We use the honor system,” a Glenwood patron says. And volunteers help keep the venue clean and open late. But Al, the spirited 70-something-year-old teacher, author and independent publisher, is full-time book czar. “I’m only a part-time Buddhist,” he says with a soft chuckle. Browse the shelves. An intimate collection of 5,000 new and used books tells all. When it comes to literature, Al’s persnickety. “I’ve been called a curator,” he admits. Books on philosophy, art, women’s gender studies, poetry, social justice and critiques of capitalism reign. On the subject of capitalism, Al wastes neither tear nor tissue over the fall of Borders. In fact, the megachain’s bankruptcy practically furnished the shop. Note the glossy wooden tables, chairs, and rolling ladders. And the irony. “We got them for a great price,” he says with a wide grin. Today’s new arrivals include Letters Home by Sylvia Plath, The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm, and a collection of gay fiction. “For me, every day is like Christmas here,” Al says, sifting through another box of goods. “And I’m going to have a week of Christmases with these.” 1310 Glenwood Ave. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (336) 553-8234

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 47


Pages Past Used & Rare Books

Empire Books

Funny how easy it is to get lost in a place so small. Roger March designed his shop that way — in a series of alcoves filled with books. When it comes to bookshops, Pages Past is just about as whimsical as they come. Walk slowly. There’s a lot to take in. And yet, everything seems to fit. Posted newspaper clippings. Antique desk lamps. Enveloping nooks. The bust of Frédéric Chopin. Strings of white lights. Shimmering garlands. “Book people are crazy,” says Roger, making no exception for himself. “And bookshops are hubs for the different thinkers of the world. They’re safe havens.” Roger has been selling books via mail since the early ’90s. “Eventually I had a storage unit that contained thousands of books,” he says. “At that point, I figured I could financially justify an open shop.” He looks around Pages Past, wide-eyed. “And once again,” he says, grinning, “here I am with a storage unit filled with books.” Although 80 percent of Roger’s business comes from online sales, his open shop shelves nearly 15,000 books. “I don’t handle many mass market paperbacks,” Roger says. “I specialize in old leather-bound books, collectibles, and Victorian literature.” Marvel at the hand-stitched bindings. Untrimmed pages. Rare finds. “But,” the antiquarian says, “I’ve also got real books for real people.” North Carolina fiction, engineering, music, art, history, religion. “And there’s the kitty litter” he says, pointing to the children’s section. A box of books shifts by the spirituality section. Out crawls Maxime. And up she climbs onto Roger’s shoulder — a tortoiseshell cat with a black and orange split face. She sits there, content, as he thumbs through a collection of poetry, stopping to read Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “The Buck in the Snow.” “…Tails up, with long leaps lovely and slow, Over the stone-wall into the woods of hemlocks bowed with snow . . .” Roger is drawn to poetry and nature musings. His eBay name, “woodlands walker,” suggests the same. “But each person must discover for him or herself what speaks to them,” he says. And the best way to discover is through exploration. “You can look online,” says Roger. “But serendipity happens in a bookshop.”

Mark Wingfield, 33, is the new kid on the block. Sort of. In 2004, Mark and his late friend Shane Straight started selling books online from Shane’s basement. A year and a half later, Empire Books was born. They opened shop across the street from Guilford College. Last September, Empire Books relocated to Spring Garden Street. Right around the corner from Pages Past. Of course, Mark phoned owner Roger March first. “Our inventory is different enough,” says Mark of the two bookshops. “We both sort of envision a book corner here on Spring Garden. Like Printer’s Row in Chicago, but on a much smaller scale.” The place is spacious. And tidy. Plus, there’s room for growth. Beautiful stained pine shelves, custom built by Mark, Shane, and Shane’s father, stock close to 35,000 books — “everything from high-end collectibles to mass market Westerns.” There’s an extensive selection of graphic novels too. Ditto academia. And rows of books with decorative bindings. Customers can buy, sell, trade or achieve store credit. But Mark continues to buy and sell online. “It keeps me in business,” he says. So what got this young gun interested in running a bookshop? “My mother worked in a county library system,” Mark says. “From the time I could string sentences together, I’ve had a book in my hand.” Besides, he adds, “there’s something so sterile about just selling online.” Call him an old soul. Free Wi-Fi and an open foyer invite customers to stay awhile. Mark’s visions for the extra space: a future site for author readings and films a la projector. “The important thing is that it’s fun,” Mark says of his bookselling endeavor, noting that he’d intended to become an archeologist. “Now I dig in boxes instead of dirt,” he says. Then, with a sheepish grin: “Sometimes I find dirt in the boxes too. Along with the occasional insect and photographs I probably shouldn’t see. I guess you could call it intellectual archeology.”

1837 Spring Garden St. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday afternoons by chance. (336) 574-1877

1827-B Spring Garden St. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (336) 218-0450

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sacred Garden Bookstore

Edward McKay Used Books & More And more is right. Regulars know the drill. Edward McKay buys, sells and trades more than just used books. And they have more books than they can keep count of. And, for that matter, more regulars. They could use more parking, though. Although it’s a chain, with shops in three additional North Carolina locations, not to mention their trinity of supplementary online units, Edward McKay has that unmistakable beatnik flavor that makes it beloved by Greensboro bookworms. The place stays busy. Don’t get too distracted by the CD selection out front. Or do. Box sets include Louis Armstrong, Led Zeppelin and just about everything in between. Quirky signs abound. One reads: If the sticker is round, the price is marked down (it may have a few scratches but it’s still guaranteed). Books are in the back of the shop, downstairs, along with DVDs, board games, and vinyl records. The shelves, custom built, are well labeled, well organized, and tidied to a near impeccable nature. Looking for fiction? Hardback, paperback or pocket-sized? Oversized classics get their own section. There is a sea of poetry — Keats, Cummings, Chappell, Berry, Pound. Find books on cooking, crafts, and counter-culture — The Ralph Nader Reader, Methland, Toxic Sludge is Good for You. There are over 10,000 square feet to explore. And more used books here than any other shop in Greensboro. There’s even a “Free Stuff” shelf in the back. Today’s finds: pet owner manuals on hamsters and rats, drama, and grammar textbooks, a Spanish dictionary, and a Danielle Steel novel. Behind the front desk, a swarm of employees work to contain an avalanche of used treasures that customers haul in by the boatload for store credit. Edward McKay staffs about 35. “We thrive on the creativity of our staff,” says regional manager Roger Hannah, who has been with the company for over 12 years. “It’s what makes the place what it is.” To book people, it may seem unfathomable — if not downright immoral — that electronics are also available for purchase. Roger argues that Edward McKay is simply evolving with the times. “But there are always going to be people who want paper books.” 1607 Battleground Ave. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. (336) 274-4448

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

There is a scene in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in which Pi Patel’s priest, imam and pandit meet him, by chance, at the same time in the street. That is what it’s like to enter Sacred Garden Bookstore. Only, there is no chaos here. Just a spirituality junction. Ivy creeps up the cobblestone steps to the porch of the old house. It’s a quaint place, easy to overlook. But the corner of Fisher and Simpson Street is a sacred space. A ministry of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Sacred Garden opened its doors in January 2007 to serve as a well of knowledge for the entire Greensboro community. Or simply Arcadia. “We’re open to anyone who is on a spiritual journey, no matter the path,” says co-manager Jane Cooke. Amen — and Aum — to that. The shop is modest, stocking just over a thousand titles. Yet there seems an ocean of text to fish from — books on spiritual direction, prayer, allegory, grief, memoirs and parenting. Thich Nhat Hanh, Kabir Helminski and Thomas Berry mingle in the favorite authors section. There’s room for science, too. Find The Universe in a Single Atom, by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Co-manager Shelley Miller recommends Gunilla Norris’ Simple Ways Towards the Sacred, a series of meditations and ways to find the hallowed in everyday things — a stone, a shawl, even a clothespin. She removes the paperback from the shelf, flipping to the chapter titled “A Bowl.” “Consider this,” Shelley says, reading from the book: “A bowl demonstrates limits. It can only hold what it can hold. What am I unrealistically holding?” The old floor creaks softly as if in agreement. Indeed, there is a mystic spirit among these grounds. During the month of December, an Alternative Christmas Sale will feature the works of local artisans and various fair-trade products. And don’t leave without browsing through the Book Exchange shelf. Or visiting the prayer and meditation garden out back, open to the public from sunrise to sunset. “Isn’t this relaxing?” says Shelley, pausing to listen to the soothing flow of the garden’s fountain. “This place,” she says, “is an oasis in the city.” 211 W. Fisher Ave. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (336) 544-1225 OH December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 49


Orbs In My Oaks By David C. Bailey

Even my closest friends call me the Christmas curmudgeon. Who knows what my neighbors call me. Sixteen years ago our family found an affordable house in Sunset Hills. Built during the Great Depression, it had no air-conditioning, few closets, and an octopodean network of clanking radiators. When the telephone technician saw the wiring in the basement, he was aghast. But my wife, Anne, and I instantly fell in love with the 20-some mature trees ��� some of the tallest on the block — that shade the yard and pelt us annually with thousands of acorns and gumballs. The Christmas we moved in, a transformation was quietly taking place in Sunset Hills. About the time we hung our vintage Moravian Star on the front porch, three blocks away, Jonathan and Anne Smith’s daughter, home for the holidays from N.C. State, planted a seed that would grow into something much larger than any oak. She’d seen a ball covered with Christmas lights hanging in a tree in Raleigh and thought it magical. “We hightailed it down to Holliday Hardware on Spring Garden Street,” says Jonathan on a YouTube video, “and got some chicken wire.” And so Greensboro’s first “lighted ball” was created and covered with a single strand of Christmas lights. “We plugged it into an extension cord, took it out and flung it over the lowest limb and came inside and [my daughter] said, ‘Look, Daddy, a car is slowing down to look at it.’” Now fast forward sixteen winters, several hundred miles of chicken wire and thousands of glimmering orbs in the oaks later. These days during the holidays around 25 to 50 cars an hour slow down to view the lighted balls of Sunset Hills, aka Candy Cane Lane. Two years ago, I posted something on my blog about how all my neighbors had their balls up in the air and what it felt like to be the only one on my street without balls. I don’t think the post increased my popularity. I did hoist my Moravian Star as high up in our tallest tree as my surf rod and a three-ounce weight could put it. Walking my springer spaniel the next day, I passed some of my closest neighbors shooting arrows attached to strings into their oaks. One of them mentioned that he thought he saw me putting balls up into my trees. Did I tell you they were among the tallest on the street? “No,” I said, “I put up a Moravian Star and that’s all the damn Christmas you’ll get out of me.” As soon as those words were out of my mouth I knew they’d come back to bite me. A tough-skinned journalist, I’m used to grumping about the holidays with my ink-stained colleagues; however, the look of shock on my gentle neighbors’ faces spoke volumes. To their credit, they’ve continued to invite us to their holiday festivities, though they tend to steer the conversation away from things Christmas and anything arboreal when I’m in the room.

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December 2011/January 2012

Photograph By Lynn Donavan

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Photographs and instructions from Julie Stahr and Anne & Jonathan Smith

I considered my tree-borne Moravian Star a beacon of good taste and restraint — until the star filled with water. December was really rainy that year, and each day saw the star droop lower till finally it floated only an inch or two above the roof. I actually had second thoughts about plugging it in, but the bulb was up in the neck of the top point of the star, away from the water. And it certainly wasn’t going to catch on fire with all the points that pointed downward filled with water. Finally, a wind storm brought my gesture of the spirit of Christmas tumbling down — in pieces. When my family came for their annual infusion of homemade egg nog last Christmas, they oohed and aahed over the aerial display, which can really be magical, especially after several servings of Anne’s egg nog. What’s not to like . . . other than a constant stream of rubberneckers clogging the streets, throwing their beer cans out on the sidewalk, walking around shooting their flash cameras into your windows, not to mention the continuous loop of the “Little Drummer Boy” on outdoor speakers, droning on into the wee hours of the morning. “C’mon,” a friend from another neighborhood said. “Just how bad can the traffic get?” Imagine, I told him, that it’s December 23rd and your house is right between Old Navy and Barnes and Noble in Friendly Shopping Center. Ho Ho Hum. Each year, one or two of my neighbors ask me whether I’m going to put balls in my trees. And they tell me about the training session held annually at the corner of Ridgeway and Madison at the Smiths’, which I call Ball Central. And they always generously offer to help me. Now I’ve got to say, the prospect of shooting a potato gun or giant sling shot or sending arrows into the air certainly appeals. My across-the-street neighbors, Michael and Rosalie Clark, gather kids and parents and neighbors, put their firepit near the street and have a fun and loving occasion hanging their balls around Thanksgiving. Says Michael, who started out with a dozen or so balls his first year, “I hang 30 balls in my trees, and each ball has a 100-bulb string of lights. I’ve maxed out. That is all the current the circuit breaker will tolerate.” Says Jonathan Smith, “Once you develop a love for lighted Christmas The Art & Soul of Greensboro

balls, there’s no known cure.” Each year, the footprint of orb-lit oaks expands. From Madison and Ridgeway, where the first balls were raised, they quickly spread down our street, Rolling Road. In another year or so, like a wildfire, they’d jumped Market Street. Then like kudzu they blanketed East and West Greenway and made their way up Chapman, Pinecrest and Woodbine, with coverage recently developing on Elam and Friendly. And each year the traffic of viewers gets heavier and heavier. But there are benefits — with more lookers the drive to collect canned goods for Second Harvest will probably top the 4,089 pounds collected last year. And Jonathan Smith tells how one seriously ill mother loved to ride through the neighborhood with her family. “You could see the glow of the lighted Christmas balls reflected in her eyes,” he says. “I think one of the coolest things we get to do in life is to share our friends with other friends. The lighted balls are just a prop that enables us to do that.” It’s really special, Jonathan says, “just to know, for that family, the lighted balls will always be something special when their mom’s gone. Which is why ours stay on day and night in her honor.” OK, Jonathan, maybe there is a Santa Claus. Anyone know where you can buy a waterproof Moravian Star? OH Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive welcomes donations of canned goods throughout the months of December and January to benefit Second Harvest and the Greensboro Urban Ministry. Drop-off location: 2205 Madison Ave. (Corner of Madison and Ridgeway) December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 51


Spirit of the English countryside plays out in details: leaded windows, tile roof, walled garden, circular drive, dovecote and longtime residents Elsa and Jere Ayers.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Story of a House

All In The Family

Sedgefield’s stately Ayrshire evinces the well-loved charms of a distant and romantic England By Deborah Salomon • Photographs By John Gessner

N

ever did a house cry out louder for a butler than Ayrshire at Sedgefield Country Club. And there he is: Hopkins, proper in morning coat, vest, tie and gloves, holding a silver tray for calling cards. Hopkins, sadly, is an artful mannequin. The Cotswold Tudor country manse, however, is real: turret, leaded windows, tile roof, guest cottage, dovecote, dog runs, horse farm, pool and circular driveway awaiting a Bentley or Rolls. “All this is from a bygone era,” says Jere Ayers, wearing pressed jeans of the current one. Jere knows. He lived within Ayrshire’s weathered brick walls from infancy until young manhood, returning with wife Elsa to raise a family in the home designed by his architect uncle, built by his parents in 1935 with profits from the family hosiery business. “I felt like I never left,” Jere says, sinking back into a chair in the oak-paneled library crafted by Amish carpenters employed, records indicate, for 11 cents an hour. Piedmont textile mills responsible for the Cone, Love and Ayers dynasties are long gone. The history lingers: Nathan Ayers married Nell, the daughter of hosiery mill baron J. Hampton Adams, during the Great Depression. The Adams’ Italian Renaissance mansion in High Point, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been restored as J.H. Adams Inn. Adams brought son-in-law Nathan into the business which, despite the economy, was cash-rich. The newlyweds needed a suitable home; as was the custom, they traveled extensively in Europe, jotting down details from various estates to incorporate into their own. “My grandfather told my mother you’ll never have a chance to build like you can now,” with materials, craftsmen and funds available, Jere says.

Past Tense

But Nell didn’t want new. She craved that European patina. So her father bought an 18th century grist mill in Red Cross, N.C., removed the beams, demolished the walls and carted the bricks to Greensboro, where architect Sanford Ayers translated Nell’s jottings into a 10,000-square-foot home on 10 acres, operated by a seven-person staff. The wormy beams were installed throughout while the bricks, once laid, were painted, then 48 hours later sandblasted to Stratford-on-Avon vintage. Floors are slate and butterfly-pegged oak, some strip-laid, others patterned. Bones are steel and concrete, the gutters, copper. Plaster and wood The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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moldings have fanciful designs. The bumpy wall texture was achieved by distressing wet plaster with the heel of the artisan’s hand. Rooflines exhibit a slight-but-intentional swag, as an ancient building might. However, Jere states proudly, “This house has settled less than an inch in 75 years.” Ayrshire was built so tight that its occupants have never installed air conditioning. While in pre-war Europe canvassing castles, Nell Ayers also shopped for furniture. “She practically grabbed (antiques) from the jaws of Mussolini,” Elsa continues. The list is impressive: a living room console, circa 1748, with a companion piece in the Louvre; a Dutch blanket chest dated 1560; a Savonary carpet specialordered in 1840 and a side chair thought to be from the court of French kings. A set of 18th century equestrian prints leads up the spiral staircase inside the turret. John May of Hilton Head, Ayers family friend and designer, associate of world-famous interior designer Billy Baldwin, whose clients included Jacqueline

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Kennedy Onassis and Greta Garbo, offers this theory: “(Wealthy Americans) traveled abroad and copied manor houses — this was ‘the look,’ the European stability. But (Ayrshire) avoided pretentious qualities.”

A Period Piece

Jere and Elsa’s favorite room is the bar, formerly a sunroom off the formal living room, now a trophy gallery. Every specimen, including two leopards, many antelope, buffalo, puku and zebra, was shot by them in Zambia. Elsa explains that these animals, long of antler and tusk, were old, therefore cast out of the herd. The satiny oak bar itself, built in Hilton Head, is one half of a 14-foot sailboat. “This is a working bar,” Jere explains. “My parents, being good Southern Methodists, hid the whiskey. Then I married an Episcopalian and built a bar.” A Romanesque fountain in a niche opposite the dining room provided water for drinks. My, my; what would Nathan Ayers say? “Good show, son,” Jere chuckles The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Above: Formal living room, with beams from a N.C. gristmill, retain touches of famed interior designer Otto Zanke; with portrait of Nathan Ayers in hunting attire. Right top: Bar doubles as a trophy room displaying game taken in Zambia. Right middle: Orginal sconces and a period floral arrangements by Randy McManus. Right: Tower staircase embellished with antique equestrian prints and bronze statue.

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Left: Paneled library, rich in hunt motifs, was where the family met each evening before dinner. Right: Formal dining room with portraits of Elsa and the Ayers’ daughters. The chandelier molding is fashioned in the pattern of the Ayers’ Tiffany silver pattern.

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mischievously. Nell, although classically inclined, did not exclude modern amenities. Shower heads at multiple levels were installed in the master bathroom. She chose ceramic tile walls, stainless steel countertops and a designated pot cupboard for the kitchen; in the butler’s pantry stands a well-worn 1955 General Electric refrigerator. “It still works fine. Why should we get rid of it?” Jere says. They did add a brick range alcove, an island and a second refrigerator to the copious, well-equipped but hardly glamorous kitchen. Glamour rules the dining room — fit for an F. Scott Fitzgerald saga — dominated by a massive table made from five-foot wide mahogany boards. Dinner was served here to Nell, Nathan and their two children every evening at 6:30 p.m. They dressed. Other meals were taken in a smaller family dining room. When a weekend soiree included dancing, the mahogany table was pushed against the wall. Special construction allowed the top to be tilted vertically forming a shelf for highball glasses. The Adams’ sterling flatware pattern by Tiffany is echoed in the chandelier molding. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“My mother was only 25 years old when she did this house, but there’s nothing we would change,” Jere says. Ninety percent of Nell’s furnishings remain. Of course Nell had help: colors, Art Deco upholstered pieces, arrangement and tone belong to Otto Zanke, the hottest interior designer North Carolina had ever produced, who left his imprimatur on many impressive homes of the period.

“The Way We Were”

Ayrshire breathes the romance of Britain, of 1930s films, and of its residents. Elsa Griffin was raised in a Greenville, S.C., country club setting, with ponies and dogs. After graduation, both Elsa and Jere set sail on the European Grand Tour still popular with affluent families in the 1960s. The two crossed paths in New York, before boarding an ocean liner: “We hung around with each other, that’s all,” Elsa smiles, coyly. Unbeknownst to her, Jere had written his mother, “I have something to show you.” The something was Elsa, who met Nell and Nathan Ayers upon return. December 2011/January 2012

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According to Southern custom, Elsa remembers being asked, “Who are your people?” Fortunately, the Ayers knew Elsa’s “people.” They later learned that Elsa’s father had dated Jere’s mother. Elsa, an accomplished horsewoman, rode with Nathan Ayers and became an admirer of Nell’s brilliant mind and fabled taste. Nell told her son, “Don’t you dare marry anybody else.” Nevertheless, Jere didn’t propose for three years. The new Mr. and Mrs. Ayers took up residence in a 900-square-foot apartment. About a year later, Nell became ill. Nathan asked his son and daughter-in-law to move into Ayrshire, manage the house and encourage Nell. “I was overwhelmed,” Elsa recalls. “But you did what you were supposed to do. Who wouldn’t love this beautiful house?” Nell, aware she was dying, instructed Elsa on the care and maintenance of Ayrshire. “All you need to know is Odessa,” Elsa was told. Odessa had been the housekeeper for 30 years. She knew every napkin, vase, creaky stair and family quirk. She also knew babies — a good thing since Elsa was pregnant. “I was terrified. Dessa took over.” Nell Ayers died in 1967. Nathan married Martha Love, widow of fellow textile baron J. Spencer Love, and moved into the equally impressive Zanke-decorated Love house. Elsa was now chatelaine of Ayrshire.

A New Age

The charming bedchamber, used by daughters and granddaughters, with added trompe d’oeil wall décor.

Elsa, Jere and their daughters still gathered for dinner at 6:30 p.m. But much to Odessa’s displeasure, nobody dressed. Jere suggested his wife add some personal touches to his childhood home. First step, call John May. “The living room was green. The oak paneling had been painted. I fainted; (Elsa) picked me up.” Elsa would tell John “…let’s do this room.” A good designer is an analyst, John says. “You figure out what people want even if they can’t express it. You’re looking for a mood.” He and Elsa concluded that updating, not change, was in order. Walls were lightened. Bed and playrooms were equipped for the girls. May had the clout to order a recolored Braunschweig fabric for the library and, in general, create a less formal atmosphere suited to an era where servants were fewer and children more adventuresome. “Our children and their friends were all over the house,” Elsa recalls. “At one time, we had 16 dogs.” Over the years the spiral staircase was screened to prevent falls and the servants’ back stairs came out, replaced by a bathroom. But the family, now including grandchildren, still gathers around the wood-burning library fireplace at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-dinner chat. “We’re living in a different era,” Jere notes. “I am sad, philosophically, that our grandchildren won’t have the opportunity to live that lifestyle.” “They wouldn’t like it,” Elsa counters. “But the grandchildren are as comfortable here as in a modern house,” like the Ayers’ place on an island off South Carolina, with a great room, glamorous kitchen and air conditioning. “I can manage that one myself,” Elsa says with relief. But no update or change will ever contradict Nell Ayers’ mandate for Ayrshire, Jere insists: “She said if this home ever becomes a house, we will sell it next week.” After the house passes to another family, as it eventually will, Elsa says she will not return. Too many memories. “This has been a well-loved house,” she concludes. OH

What better use for a warthog than a rustic guardian of the loo?

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


You have a preference in the brand of orange juice you buy for your family. Shouldn’t you have a preference in your family’s imaging center? Never really thought about it? Well, you should and Greensboro Imaging should be your preference. All of our radiologists are sub-specialty trained to better care for you—each X-ray read by a board-certified radiologist to ensure accuracy. Greensboro Imaging offers a wide range of imaging procedures for women, men, young and old. So, the next time your doctor suggests imaging for you or someone in your family, express your preference. Tell them you would like to go to the Triad’s premier imaging provider, Greensboro Imaging.

Call or visit our website for a complete list of services or to make an appointment.

greensboroimaging.com 336.433.5000

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December 2011/January 2012

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December 2011/January 2012

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By Noah Salt

Out In The Garden

We have several garden favorites that shine through the bleak midwinter months. Heleborous niger, a member of the buttercup family, is often called the Lenten or Christmas Rose and Rose of Noel because of its prodigious blooms in winter, much more showy than any other flower in the garden. One legend holds that the plant originated through a young shepherdess who followed the other shepherds to Bethlehem. On the way, she wept because she had no gift to give, but the angel Gabriel took pity and touched his staff to the frozen ground and brought forth a lovely bunch of blooming flowers. They certainly make a big difference in our winter garden. Our other favorite is Daphne, the small deciduous or evergreen shrub from the laurel family that puts forth small pink cluster blooms that can bowl you over with their miraculously sweet smell — some say even more powerful than gardenia, named for a maiden nymph of classical mythology pursued by the god Apollo. In the popular story, the goddess Diana hears Daphne’s pleas for help and changes her into a beautiful laurel plant, forever bravely blooming through the coldest days of winter. The shrub is so beloved in China, where it actually originated, Daphne is still grown on temple grounds. As January dawns, garden catalogs come in a blizzard, making this the prime month to plan and winter dream about your New Year garden, revising what failed and branching out for something new. Midwinter is a great time to take a course or read up on gardening techniques, boning up on the characteristics of your particular micro-climate and regional characteristics. As nature drowses, this is also the peak time for planting burlap-balled shrubs and trees. Ash spread liberally from your wood stove will sweeten the garden soil with potash and charcoal. This is the time to improve your soil. Don’t forget the birds. Use your Christmas tree as a backyard bird feeder covered with homemade suet.

Stars of Wonder

Midwinter is a splendid time for stargazing. Throughout December and January, particularly an hour after sunset, looking due south, the bright and colorful stars of Orion act as a signpost to the constellations. Taurus the mighty Bull sits high with the double cluster of Perseus also in easy view. Scholars have long debated whether the “Star of Bethlehem” that led the Magi to the newborn Jesus, as described in the Book of Matthew, was a new star or a passing astronomical event. According to Johann Kepler, a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn occuring in 7 BC accounted for the brilliance of the guiding “star,” whereas more modern interpretations range from a comet to a super nova as recorded by Chinese and Korean stargazers about that same time. Regardless of your view on the subject, look up in early evening and admire Venus shining brighter than just about anything else in the winter sky. Mars also puts on its best show, doubling in brightness too, as the year draws to a close. Jupiter remains in fine view, rising around nightfall and staying visible all night.

Winter Legends

Tradition holds that Joseph of Arimathea, in whose tomb Jesus was buried, left Jerusalem and sailed to Britain, whereupon he planted his staff in the soil and saw it grow into the English hawthorn tree, which blooms at Christmas rather than spring. In ancient days, sprigs of the blooming hawthorn were carried far and wide across Britain as proof of Christ’s nativity and an agent of conversion. To this day, on Christmas Day, the Queen receives her morning breakfast with a sprig of blooming hawthorn. English Holly is the consummate holiday decorating plant regarded as a sacred symbol of the Earth’s renewal by early pagan tribes. Yet with the spread of Chrisianity, the plant’s red berries made it an ideal symbol of Christ’s blood, with its prickly leaves reminders of the crucifixion wounds. In Druidic culture, the Holly King was viewed as the Lord of the waning year, the Green Man who ruled from midsummer to midwinter, culminating in the festival of Yuletide. A sprig of holly should be carried by travelers as a protection against winter storms. Mistletoe — a fungus that grows abundantly in oaks — was cut and hung through the midwinter season to invite various blessings upon a household, including second-sight, fertility, and kind weather. The plant is often associated with Venus, the goddess of love, which is why people developed a tradition of kissing one’s beloved beneath it.

“God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.” – J.M. Barrie

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December 2011•January 2012 Arts Calendar December 1

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, Wall Bearer, will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE @ SALEM COLLEGE. 4 - 5 p.m. Featuring the Salem College Chorale and the Salem College Chamber Choir, student scripture readers and the lighting of Moravian candles. Salem College, Hanes Auditorium, 601 S. Church St., Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 917-5493. ART LECTURE: The Drama of Identity. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. In conjunction with Persona: A Body in Parts, Kathryn Shields, Ph.D Art History, will speak about contemporary visual art practices that deal with metaphorical masking, visual communication and identity. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP. 7 - 9 p.m. A discussion of The Day of Small Things by NC author Vicki Lane. New members welcome. Limited number of discussion books available for check out. Greensboro Central Library, 219 N. Church St. Info: (336) 373-2471. NC SYMPHONY. 8 p.m. Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Concertmaster Brian Reagin tackles the haunting violin concerto by one of Mahler’s finest musical descendants, Alban Berg. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St., Greensboro. Info/ Tickets: (336) 334-4849. CHRISTMAS FROM DUBLIN: A Traditional Irish Christmas. 8 p.m. Holiday show features traditional Irish song, dance and stories. Tickets: $27.50/adults; $25.50/seniors, students, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. LIVE MUSIC @ GREEN BEAN. 8 p.m. Music by Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band. Green Bean Coffee Shop, 341 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 691-9990. OPEN MIC @ THE IDIOT BOX. 8:30 - 10 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic for some great comedy. Cost: $5. Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-BOXX.

December 1 - 4

December 1 - 19

PANEL EXHIBITION: The Many Faces of George Washington. Quality reproduction images of dazzling paintings, photos and iconic objects from the Mount Vernon Collections. Seven exhibition sections include: Against All Odds in Two Wars, Realistic Visionary, Wise DecisionMaker, Impassioned Leader, Practical Scholar, Visionary Entrepreneur, and At Home at Mount Vernon. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 2332 New Garden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-1776.

December 1 - 31

CHRISTMAS AT BLANDWOOD. Celebrate an antebellum Christmas with the Moreheads, take a docent-guided tour and learn the origin of common Christmas traditions. Tues. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun., 2 - 5 p.m. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Blandwood, 447 W. Washington St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-5003 or www.blandwood.org.

December 2

CHRISTMAS PRODUCTION. 6 - 8 p.m. Follow The Star: A Walk to the Manger. Family-friendly walking tours begin every 6 minutes, and allow the audience to experience the birth of Christ as seen through the eyes of Jesus’ mother, Joseph, the innkeeper, the angels in Heaven and the Bethlehem shepherds, ending in a live nativity. Christ United Methodist Church, 140 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-1571. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. 6 - 9 p.m. Annual holiday kick-off celebration featuring six blocks of live music, pictures with Santa, children’s crafts and more. Lighting of the Community Tree in Center City Park and holiday sing-along highlight event. 122 N. Elm St., Downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0060. FIRST FRIDAY. 6 - 9 p.m. A self-guided walking tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, alternative art venues and more. N. Elm St., Downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0060. ART GALLERY OPENING RECEPTION. 6 - 10 p.m. The Art of Design. Artwork that was inspired by, or is the inspiration for Fine Design. The Studio & Gallery, 109 N. Cedar St., Suite #2, Greensboro. Info: (336) 420-4810. TRIAD STAGE: A Christmas Carol. A Holiday Tale by Charles Dickens, adapted by Preston Lane. 90 minutes. Tickets: $10 - $44. Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets/Showtimes: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org. DISNEY ON ICE: Dare to Dream. Featuring scenes from Tangled; The Princess and the Frog; and Cinderella. Tickets: $15 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www. greensborocoliseum.com; www.disneyonice.com. Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

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Film

December 2 - 20

NC SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL PRESENTS: A Christmas Carol. A music-filled adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. High Point Theatre, 220 E. Commerce Ave., High Point. Info/Tickets/Showtime: (336) 887-3001 or www. highpointtheatre.com.

December 3

HOLIDAY PARADE AFTER-PARTY. 12 - 3 p.m.

Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

Storytelling by Mrs. Claus, second annual “Vote for Your Favorite Toy” and chance to meet historical characters in costume. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org. THE MET: Live in HD. 12:30 p.m. Handel’s Rodelinda. Approximate Running Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, Friendly Center. Info: (336) 297-9440 or www.metopera.org/hdlive. GALLERY EXHIBITION OPENING. 1 - 5 p.m. Altered States & Visions. A display of artistic works depicting the experience of mind expansions and visions, and products of such mental conditions. Exhibit on display through Feb. 12. Gregory D. Ivy Gallery, Weatherspoon Guild Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. DOWNTOWN WALKING FOOD TOUR. 2 - 5 p.m. A guided tour of revitalized downtown, modern culture and incredible food intertwined with 200 years of history. Wear comfortable shoes; 3 miles of walking, rain or shine. Cost: $41. Undercurrent Restaurant, 327 Battleground Ave., Greensboro. Info: www.tastecarolina.net. LIVE PERFORMANCE. 2 - 5 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, Wall Bearer, will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

CHRISTMAS PRODUCTION. 5:30 - 8 p.m. Follow The Star: A Walk to the Manger. Family-friendly walking tours begin every 6 minutes, and allow the audience to experience the birth of Christ as seen through the eyes of Jesus’ mother, Joseph, the innkeeper, the angels in Heaven and the Bethlehem shepherds, ending in a live nativity. Christ United Methodist Church, 140 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-1571. GREEN HILL WINTER SHOW & SALE: Preview Party. 7 - 11 p.m. Collector’s Choice. Meet and mingle with artists, buy great art and enjoy a lively evening of food, wine and music. Call for reservation. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www. greenhillcenter.org. OPUS CONCERT SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Featuring the Greensboro Youth Chorus. Ann Doyle, Tom Shelton and Nana Wolfe-Hill conduct. Free admission. First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549. SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA & JAZZ ENSEMBLE. 7:30 p.m. Featuring the UNCG Jazz Ensemble directed by Steve Haines. Concert juxtaposes classical and jazz genres with works that bridge traditional boundaries. Ticketes: $10/general; $6/senior; $4/students; $3/UNCG. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St., Greensboro. Info/Tickets: (336) 334-4849.

December 3 - 4

SUPER FLEA MARKET. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Sat.); 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Sun.). Variety show features new and used merchandise, collectibles, antiques, crafts, jewelry, primitives, home décor, glassware, clothing, furniture, steins, upscale and just plain stuff. Greensboro Coliseum Pavillion, 1921 West Lee St. Info: www.superflea.com.

Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Arts Calendar December 4

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 - 4 p.m. Special reenactments, music, demonstrations, refreshments and handson activities, including candle dipping. Free. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave. Info: (336) 885-1859. GREEN HILL WINTER SHOW & SALE: Public Opening. 2 - 5 p.m. A comprehensive collection of work by the artists of North Carolina. Complimentary cider and cookies. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. JAZZ ORCHESTRA CONCERT. 3 - 5 p.m. North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra brings its popular Holiday concert to Greensboro. Show features seasonal favorites. Tickets: $21.50/ adults; $15.40/seniors, students, military; free for children 8 and under. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

December 4 - January 15

GREEN HILL WINTER SHOW & SALE. A comprehensive collection of work by the artists of North Carolina. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

December 6

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Angela Easterling. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

A WINTER CONCERT. 8 p.m. A collaboration of songwriters and musicians featuring Laurelyn Dosett, Rhiannon Giddens, Mike Compton, Joe Newberry and Jason Sypher, and the music of The Gathering: A Winter’s Tale in Six Songs, and the Triad Stage smash hit Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity. Tickets: $10 $30. Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

December 6 - 10

UPSTAGE CABARET: The Santaland Diaries. 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) Returning for a fourth smash season, The Santaland Diaries features a quintessential elf gone bad as he relives a series of less-than-merry misadventures in David Sedaris’ hilarious antidote for holiday havoc. 60 minutes. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

December 7

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. 4 & 8 p.m. Part theatrical show, part rock spectacle. Tickets: $29 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.trans-siberian.com. Key: Art Music/Concerts Dance/Theater Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Film December 2011/January 2012

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A PROGRAM OF GREENSBORO PARKS AND RECREATION

Take a class, Live creatively!

www.City-Arts.org

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Saturday, December 10, 8:00 PM Monday, December 12, 7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N Holden Rd, Greensboro

Saturday, February 18, 2012 Wine: 6PM, Dinner: 7PM, Concert: 8PM

Revolution Mill Studios Event Center, 1000 Revolution Mill Dr, Greensboro

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December 2011/January 2012 Arts Calendar

WISH LIST WEDNESDAY @ GREENHILL. 5 - 7 p.m. Make a holiday wish list at The Shop at Green Hill Center’s Wine and Gift Registry. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www. greenhillcenter.org.

December 8 - 11

TRIAD STAGE: A Christmas Carol. A Holiday Tale by Charles Dickens, adapted by Preston Lane. 90 minutes. Tickets: $10 - $44. Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets/Showtimes: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

December 8

CURATOR TALK & TOUR. 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Edie Carpenter introduces the new Artists of Green Hill’s Winter Show. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. BOOK CLUB SOCIAL. 4 - 5:30 p.m. Discuss new ideas for your book club, good books to read, strategies for starting a new book club and much more. Free and open to the public. Hosted by BookMarks Book Festival at Forsyth Public County Library, 600 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem. Info: www. bookmarksbookfestival.org. OPUS CONCERT SERIES. 7 p.m. The Greensboro Oratorio Society presents Handel’s “Messiah.” Free admission. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.greensborocoliseum.com. FILM: Climate Refugees. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. A look at how climate change has become a national security risk. Directed by Michael Nash, 2010. 95 minutes. Free. Museum Atrium, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon. uncg.edu. Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

Dance/Theater

Film

December 9

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Chocolate Lovers Paradise at The Art Shop. 7 - 9 p.m. Fine wine, chocolate desserts and opportunities to win prizes and participate in a painting contest. Admission: Two cans of food for the Greensboro Food Bank. RSVP by Dec. 3. The Art Shop, 3900 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 855-5800 or www.artshopnc.com.

December 8 - 10

OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. 8 p.m. Tim and Scrooge. A new musical look at the characters from A Christmas Carol ten years later. The ghost of Scrooge appears to help Tim make choices about business and love. Tickets: $20/adult; $17/senior, student; $10/17 and under. Open Space Café Theatre, 4609 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 2922285 or www.osctheatre.com. SOUTHEAST HONORS STRING FESTIVAL. One of the premiere string performances and pedagogy events in the region. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5299. Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

GREENSBORO BALLET: The Nutcracker. 8 p.m. A Greensboro Family Holiday Tradition. Cost: $10-$35. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/ Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com. COMEDY SHOW. 8 p.m. Brian Regan, one of the premier comedians in the country, has fervent fans that span generations. Tickets: $39.50 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum. com; www.brianregan.com.

Sports

Andrew Lloyd Webber & Friends Ring in the New Year with...

SATURDAY, DEC 31, 2011 8PM, Westover Church

the Greensboro Symphony and Tony Award winners, Debbie Gravitte, Sal Viviano and Anne Runolfsson with tunes from Broadway’s biggest show stoppers like Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Rent, Chorus Line, Wicked and Chicago!

Tickets Starting at $22: greensborosymphony.org | (336) 335-5456 x 224 Coliseum Box Office | Ticketmaster.com Sponsor:

Two Great Concerts, One Sensational Orchestra – Greensboro Symphony POPS

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with vocalist John Pagano and the GSO featuring songs by Sinatra, Cole Porter and much more!

TUESDAY, FEB 14, 2012 8PM, Westover Church Tickets Starting at $22: greensborosymphony.org | (336) 335-5456 x 224 Coliseum Box Office | Ticketmaster.com Co-Sponsors:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

o DEC. 2 t0 DEC. 2 The Triad’s original family Christmas tradition for more than 30 years!

HIGH POINT THEATRE BOX OFFICE

220 E. Commerce Ave., High Point Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. 336. 887.3001 Etix: www.highpointtheatre.com

www.ncshakes.org

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 67


December 2011/January 2012 Arts Calendar December 9 - 10

PECULIAR PEOPLE PRESENT: Victorian Christmas. 7:30 p.m. Step back in time and celebrate a Christmas play based on the G.K. Chesterton family in London. Hot chocolate and apple cider before the show. Tickets: $17. Location: 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro. (Note: Venue not handicapped accessible.) Info: www.peculiarpeople.com or (336) 253-4254.

December 10

DOWNTOWN WALKING FOOD TOUR. 2 - 5 p.m. A guided tour of revitalized downtown, modern culture and incredible food intertwined with 200 years of history. Wear comfortable shoes; 3 miles of walking, rain or shine. Cost: $41. Undercurrent Restaurant, 327 Battleground Ave., Greensboro. Info: www.tastecarolina.net. LIVE PERFORMANCE. 2 - 5 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, Wall Bearer, will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. TRIAD BEST OF BROADWAY SERIES. 2 & 8 p.m. Mamma Mia. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. Tickets: $47.50 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

December 10 - 11

GREENSBORO BALLET: The Nutcracker. 3 p.m. A Greensboro Family Holiday Tradition. Cost: $10-$35. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/ Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com.

December 11

SANTA SAFARI. 8 - 11 a.m. Includes breakfast with Santa, crafts, games, an OmniSphere show, animal enrichment activities and exclusive access to the Museum. Admission: $10/members; $15/non-members. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. CUPCAKE SATURDAY. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sample as many as 10 cake flavors; only $1 each. Crawford’s Creations, 230 N. Spring St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 688-5094 or www. crawfordscreations.com. FUSED GLASS ORNAMENTS WORKSHOP. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Create your own permanent holiday memories with ornaments showcasing your unique design style. Center for Visual Artists, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337475 or www.greensboroart.org. CHRISTMAS AT THE CAROLINA. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Children are invited for a free showing of The Santa Clause. Limited seating. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. THE MET: Live in HD. 12:55 p.m. Gounod’s Faust. A new production. Approximate Running Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes. Tickets: $24/adult; $22/senior; $18/child. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, Friendly Center. Info: (336) 297-9440 or www.metopera.org/hdlive.

OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. 2 p.m. Tim and Scrooge. A new musical look at the characters from A Christmas Carol ten years later. The ghost of Scrooge appears to help Tim make choices about business and love. Tickets: $20/adult; $17/senior, student; $10/17 and under. Open Space Café Theatre, 4609 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2285 or www.osctheatre.com.

December 13 - 17

UPSTAGE CABARET: The Santaland Diaries. 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) Returning for a fourth smash season, The Santaland Diaries features a quintessential elf gone bad as he relives a series of less-than-merry misadventures in David Sedaris’ hilarious antidote for holiday havoc. 60 minutes. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

December 13 - 18

PECULIAR PEOPLE PRESENT: Victorian Christmas. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Step back in time and celebrate a Christmas play based on the G.K. Chesterton family in London. Hot chocolate and apple cider before the show. Tickets: $17. Location: 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro. (Note: Venue not handicapped accessible.) Info: www.peculiarpeople.com or (336) 253-4254.

December 12

CENTER CITY A.M. BRIEFING. 8 - 9 a.m. Breakfast forum bringing together various downtown stakeholders to network, share information, support downtown businesses and provide programs related to downtown’s development. Guilford Merchants Association, 225 Commerce Place, Greensboro. Info: (336) 378-6350. ROCK CONCERT. 8 p.m. My Morning Jacket with special guest Delta Spirit. Tickets: $47. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www. mymorningjacket.com.

December 13

GREENSBORO BALLET: Tea With Clara. 1:45 p.m. Meet and mingle with Clara and other dancers from The Nutcracker. Cost: $15 (includes delicious treats). Renaissance Room, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com. Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

68 O.Henry

Dance/Theater

December 2011/January 2012

Film

disabilities to have choices as they live their lives in the community. Three Adult residents will have framed paintings available for a suggested donation of $100. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit The Arc of Greensboro’s “Beyond the Canvas” program. Tyler White Gallery, 307 State St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or www.tylerwhitegallery.com. SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Molly McGinn and Scott Manring. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707. CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. White Christmas (1954). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are song-anddance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a “sister” act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen). 120 minutes. Tickets: $6; $4/students, seniors, military and groups (10+). Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

NOON @ THE SPOON. 12 p.m. A 20-minute tour of new exhibition, 2011 UNCG Dept. of Art Faculty Biennial. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. THE ARC OF GREENSBORO ART SHOW. 5:30 - 7 p.m. The Arc of Greensboro promotes and advocates for opportunities that empower people with developmental Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

TRIAD STAGE: A Christmas Carol. A Holiday Tale by Charles Dickens, adapted by Preston Lane. 90 minutes. Tickets: $10 - $44. Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets/Showtimes: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

December 14

COLLECTORS DISCUSSION. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Collectors discuss passion and interest in collecting art. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 7:30 - 9:45 p.m. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). George Bailey has so many problems he is thinking about ending it all — and it’s Christmas. 130 minutes. Tickets: $6; $4/students, seniors, military and groups (10+). Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

December 15

TRIAD STORYTELLING EXCHANGE. 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Learn about the art of storytelling in a supportive, non-competitive environment where newcomers can try out storytelling, just listen, or hear professionals practicing new material. CityArts Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www. greensborolibrary.org. CAROLINA THEATRE MIXED TAPE SERIES: A Christmas Story. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 69


December 2011/January 2012 Arts Calendar December 15 - 17

PECULIAR PEOPLE PRESENT: Victorian Christmas. 7:30 p.m. Step back in time and celebrate a Christmas play based on the G.K. Chesterton family in London. Hot chocolate and apple cider before the show. Tickets: $17. Location: 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro. (Note: Venue not handicapped accessible.) Info: www.peculiarpeople.com or (336) 253-4254.

December 16

ASTRONOMY CLUB MEETING. 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Third Friday of every month. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. LIVE MUSIC @ GREEN BEAN. 7:30 p.m. Featuring The Leeves, Fort Wilson Riot and The Old One-Two. Tickets: $3 - $5. Green Bean Coffee Shop, 341 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 691-9990. GREENSBORO BALLET: The Nutcracker. 8 p.m. A Greensboro Family Holiday Tradition. Cost: $10-$35. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/ Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com. EMF JAZZ & BLUES. 9 - 11:30 p.m. Featuring professional saxophonist Jack Wilkins. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699.

December 16 - 17

OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. 8 p.m. Tim and Scrooge. A new musical look at the characters from A Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

Dance/Theater

Film

Christmas Carol ten years later. The ghost of Scrooge appears to help Tim make choices about business and love. Tickets: $20/adult; $17/senior, student; $10/17 and under. Open Space Café Theatre, 4609 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2285 or www.osctheatre.com.

December 17

CANDLE DIPPING IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Costumed interpreters will demonstrate how to make your own candle. All ages welcome. Cost: $1/candle. Limit of 2 candles per person. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave. Info: (336) 885-1859. GREENSBORO BALLET: Tea With Clara. 1:45 p.m. Meet and mingle with Clara and other dancers from The Nutcracker. Cost: $15 (includes delicious treats). Renaissance Room, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com. DOWNTOWN WALKING FOOD TOUR. 2 - 5 p.m. A guided tour of revitalized downtown, modern culture and incredible food intertwined with 200 years of history. Wear comfortable shoes; 3 miles of walking, rain or shine. Cost: $41. Undercurrent Restaurant, 327 Battleground Ave., Greensboro. Info: www.tastecarolina.net.

December 17-18

GREENSBORO BALLET: The Nutcracker. 3 p.m. A Greensboro Family Holiday Tradition. Cost: $10-$35. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets/ Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.greensboroballet.com.

December 18

CANDLE DIPPING IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 1 - 4 p.m. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate how to make your own candle. All ages welcome. Cost: $1/candle. Limit of 2 candles per person. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave. Info: (336) 885-1859. Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. 2 p.m. Tim and Scrooge. A new musical look at the characters from A Christmas Carol ten years later. The ghost of Scrooge appears to help Tim make choices about business and love. Tickets: $20/adult; $17/senior, student; $10/17 and under. Open Space Café Theatre, 4609 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 2922285 or www.osctheatre.com. PECULIAR PEOPLE PRESENT: Victorian Christmas. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Step back in time and celebrate a Christmas play based on the G.K. Chesterton family in London. Hot chocolate and apple cider before the show. Tickets: $17. Location: 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro. (Note: Venue not handicapped accessible.) Info: www.peculiarpeople.com or (336) 253-4254.

December 19

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. 7 p.m. Open mic session celebrating rhythm and rhyme. Free and open to the public. Greensboro Central Library, 219 N. Church St. Info: (336) 373-2471.

December 20

CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 1:30 p.m. (matinee); 7:30 p.m. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). George Bailey has so many problems he is thinking about ending it all — and it’s Christmas. 130 minutes. Tickets: $6 ($5/ matinee); $4/students, seniors, military and groups (10+). Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

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December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett, Scott Manring and Molly McGinn. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

December 20 - 22

PECULIAR PEOPLE PRESENT: Victorian Christmas. 7:30 p.m. Step back in time and celebrate a Christmas play based on the G.K. Chesterton family in London. Hot chocolate and apple cider before the show. Tickets: $17. Location: 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro. (Note: Venue not handicapped accessible.) Info: www.peculiarpeople.com or (336) 253-4254.

December 20 - 23

December 2011/January 2012 Arts Calendar

December 20 - 24

CHRISTMAS DINNER TO-GO. Let Chef Leigh Hesling, Chef de Cuisine Carrie Longnecker and their amazing team prepare your Christmas feast — to-go. Order by Wednesday, Dec. 21. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699.

December 21

December 27

CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 1:30 p.m. (matinee); 7:30 p.m. Miracle on 34th Street. Starring Maureen O’Hara and John Payne. Tickets: $6 ($5/matinee); $4/students, seniors, military and groups (10+). Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

December 22

UPSTAGE CABARET: The Santaland Diaries. 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) Returning for a fourth smash season, The Santaland Diaries features a quintessential elf gone bad as he relives a series of less-than-merry misadventures in David Sedaris’ hilarious antidote for holiday havoc. 60 minutes. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org. Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Dance/Theater

Film

December 24-25

TRIAD STAGE: A Christmas Carol. A Holiday Tale by Charles Dickens, adapted by Preston Lane. 90 minutes. Tickets: $10 - $44. Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets/Showtimes: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 1:30 p.m. (matinee); 7:30 p.m. White Christmas (1954). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a “sister” act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen). 120 minutes. Tickets: $6 ($5/matinee); $4/students, seniors, military and groups (10+). Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3332605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

December 23

LASER HOLIDAY. 7, 8 & 9 p.m. Light & Music Show. A spectacular laser show will dance across the 40 ft. dome of the OmniSphere Theater. Admission: $3/person in addition to general admission. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

BOOKUP. 6 - 8 p.m. Inspired by Seattle’s silent Reading Party, the BookUp is a Triad gathering in a public place where it’s B.Y.O.B. — Bring Your Own Book. No charge; ordering drinks/refreshments encouraged. The Coffee Break, 1820 Spring Garden St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 2302310.

January 1 - 8

TITANIC EXHIBITION. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Last week to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Featuring over 120 real artifacts recovered 2.5 miles down from the ocean floor. Room re-creations and compelling stories from survivors, each highlighting a different chapter of Titanic’s maiden voyage. Admission: $12/members; $21/adults; $20/seniors & chil-

Sports

December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 71


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72 O.Henry

December 2011/January 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


December 2011/January 2012 Arts Calendar dren ages 3 - 13. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

January 6

FIRST FRIDAY. 6 - 9 p.m. A self-guided walking tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, alternative art venues and more. N. Elm St., Downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0060. ART GALLERY OPENING RECEPTION. 6 - 10 p.m. Black and White and Shades of Gray. A collection of artwork and home décor featuring the influence of Black/White/ Gray. On display through Feb. 1. The Studio & Gallery, 109 N. Cedar St., Suite #2, Greensboro. Info: (336) 420-4810.

January 9

January 17

TRIAD BEST OF BROADWAY SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Elvis Lives. A multi-media journey across Elvis’ life through his music. Tickets: $35 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.triadbestofbroadway.com.

January 18

GREEN DRINKS GREENSBORO. 5:30 - 7 p.m. Free monthly networking event open to anyone in the community looking to socialize and connect with others interested in sustainability issues. Grab a drink, walk up to someone and say “Are you green?” and you’ll be made welcome. The event is held on third Wednesdays at alternating locations. Info: greendrinks.greensboro@gmail.com or www.greendrinks. org/NC/Greensboro.

January 19

TRIAD BEST OF BROADWAY SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Young Frankenstein. The classic Mel Brooke movie, alive. Tickets: $45 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www. greensborocoliseum.com; www.triadbestofbroadway.com.

January 10

NOON @ THE SPOON. 12 p.m. A 20-minute tour of new exhibition, Altered States & Visions. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

January 12 - 22

OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. Nunsense A-Men. Live Professional Theatre. Open Space Café Theatre, 4609 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2285 or www.osctheatre.com.

January 13

MUSIC FOR A GREAT SPACE. 7:30 p.m. Jack Mitchener, Organ. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Rd., Greensboro. Tickets: Carolina Theatre Box Office at (336) 3332605. Info: (336) 638-7624 or www.musicforagreatspace.org.

January 14

BURMESE PYTHON’S BIRTHDAY BASH. 3:30 p.m. Bertha, the Burmese Python, turns 19. Celebrate her birthday by signing her card, doing fun crafts and watching her gobble up birthday treats. Free with general admission and/ or membership. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. CUPCAKE SATURDAY. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sample as many as 10 cake flavors; only $1 each. Crawford’s Creations, 230 N. Spring St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 688-5094 or www. crawfordscreations.com. GALLERY EXHIBITION OPENING. 1 - 5 p.m. Richard Mosse: Falk Visiting Artist. Photographer Richard Mosse, known for his restrained and highly aestheticized views of sites associated with violence and fear, has spent the last two years shooting a new series of work titled “Infra” in the eastern Congo. Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum Gallery, Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk, Sr. Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

FILM: Play Again. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. A moving and humorous documentary that follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure. Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, 2010. 82 min. Free. Museum Atrium, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. TRIAD STORYTELLING EXCHANGE. 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Learn about the art of storytelling in a supportive, non-competitive environment where newcomers can try out storytelling, just listen, or hear professionals practicing new material. CityArts Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www. greensborolibrary.org.

January 20

ASTRONOMY CLUB MEETING. 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Third Friday of every month. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

January 21

THE MET: Live in HD. 12:55 p.m. The Enchanted Island. A new production. Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes. Tickets: $24/adult; $22/senior; $18/child. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, Friendly Center. Info: (336) 297-9440 or www.metopera.org/hdlive. GALLERY EXHIBITION OPENING. 1 - 5 p.m. To What Purpose? Photography as Art and Document. Exhibit on display through April 8. Gallery 6, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. COUNTRY MUSIC CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Miranda Lambert: On Fire With Chris Young & Jerrod Niemann. Tickets:

$27.25 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com. GREENSBORO SYMPHONY MASTERWORKS CONCERT. 8 p.m. Program: Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky. Feauturing Sergey Antonov, cello and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 335-5456 Ext. 224 or www.greensborosymphony.org.

January 22

LIVE MUSIC @ GREEN BEAN. 7 p.m. Wavvy Hands “Homies” Tour 2012. Tickets: $3 - $5 Donation. Green Bean Coffee Shop, 341 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 691-9990.

January 26 - February 12

GREENSBORO FRINGE FESTIVAL. Theatre artists of Greensboro showcase premieres performed by local talent. Tickets: $10/show. Visit website for schedule. City Arts Studio Theatre, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 549-7431 or www.greensborofringefestival.org.

January 27

COMEDY SHOW. 8 - 10 p.m. The James Gregory Show starring “The Funniest Man in America.” Tickets: $22.50/adults; $23/50/students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3332605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. LASER SHOW. 7, 8 & 9 p.m. Laser Floyd: The Wall. Must-see laser show set to the music of Pink Floyd. Tickets: $5. Limited seating. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Run-time: 45 min. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org

January 27 - February 19

FESTIVAL STAGE PRESENTS: Oil City Symphony. Four 1960 graduates reunite in a high school gym to give a recital in honor of a favorite teacher in this fun-for-the-whole-family musical. Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., WinstonSalem. Info/Tickets/Showtimes: (336) 747-1414 or www. hanesbrandstheatre.com. To add an event, e-mail us at ohcal@ohenrymag.com by January 1 for the February/March issue.

January 16

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. 7 p.m. Open mic session celebrating rhythm and rhyme. Free and open to the public. Greensboro Central Library, 219 N. Church St. Info: (336) 373-2471. Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Dance/Theater

Film

Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

Sports December 2011/January 2012

O.Henry 73


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Grimsley High School - Class of 1971 Reunion October 2nd, 2011 Photographs by Sam Froelich

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