January 2014 O.Henry

Page 1

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David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales & Circulation Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 Advertising Graphic Design 910.693.2469, lauren@ohenrymag.com

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Marty Hefner 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com ©Copyright 2014. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

4 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



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January 2014 departments

9 Hometown By Jim Dodson

12 Short Stories 15 The City Muse

17 Life’s Funny

19 Omnivorous Reader

22 Book Excerpt

25 N.C. Writer’s Notebook

26 Lunch with a Friend

31 To a Healthy 2014

33 To a Healthy 2014

35 Street Level

39 Birdwatch

41 Life Of Jane

By Emily Frazier Brown By Maria Johnson By Stephen E. Smith By Tim Swink

By Sandra Redding

By David Claude Bailey By David Claude Bailey By Maria Johnson By Jim Schlosser By Susan Campbell By Jane Borden

68 79 85 95

Arts & Entertainment Calendar Worth the Drive GreenScene Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

96 O.Henry Ending

By Nancy Bartholomew

Bill Mangum’s first painting — his Mother’s Christmas present, 1975. Feautres

45 Quick Point

Poetry by Maura Way

46 The New Year G List Things and people we miss By Staff and friends

51 Whip-poor-will

Our 2014 First Place Memoir Winner By Susan Swicegood Boswell

52 The Art of Faith

Acclaimed North Carolina artist Bill Mangum’s long journey from darkness to light By Cindy Adams

57 Carolina Preserves An Artist comes home By Jim Dodson

58 Cottage Industry

How clever Johannah Stern made the perfect home in her own image By Deborah Salomon

67 January Almanac

6 O.Henry

Winter Daphne and a touch of Ben Franklin for the New Year By Noah Salt

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

New year. New looks.

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The New Year Me

By Jim Dodson

Two winters ago, while visiting

for the holidays, my daughter, Maggie, made a point of asking me to get her up at the crack of dawn so she could go off to hot yoga class.

At that time I’d only vaguely heard the phrase “hot yoga class” around town, which conjured a charming picture in my mind of thoughtful people concerned about declining yak populations and freeing Tibet and other such noble enterprises sitting peacefully après group meditation in a peace circle on a warehouse floor or a redwood log in the forest drinking organic hot cocoa or maybe green tea, sharing cleansing quiet. Then again, I’m a 60-year-old broken-down golfer with a dodgy right knee from football donkey years ago who still limps around the golf course carrying his own bag for exercise and sometimes, weather permitting, walks to work. “Happy to get you up,” I said. “Hot yoga sounds like fun, especially if they give you hot cocoa.” She stared at me incredulously, as if I’d made an impolite yak mating noise. “Dad, they don’t give you hot cocoa. And I wouldn’t exactly call hot yoga fun, though it is fabulous. I’m totally addicted to it — go twice a week back in New York. It’s what keeps me sane.” “No hot cocoa?” “No. But you really should try it. Seriously. The stretching alone would be great for that old athlete’s body of yours. You’ll feel so wonderful after you finish a session. And the place I’m going to here is such a beautiful space. They play gorgeous meditation music and place lavender-scented cloth on your head and massage your neck with relaxing oils at the end.” “Sounds great,” I agreed. “I guess I can always buy my own hot cocoa afterward.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“So you’ll go?” “Absolutely.” “Wonderful. You’ll thank me!” But, alas, I didn’t go. Over the next year, in the interest of exercising more and improving my health, I limped around the golf course a little more than usual and steadfastly avoided setting foot in the Taj Mahal of a health club where we belonged, simply because the multitudes of people exercising there — especially the old ones — were so frightening in their dedication to physical fitness. They wore headphones and huffed along on computerized treadmills and other machines that required a basic engineering degree to operate until they looked half-dead, at which point they mopped their brows and sauntered past flabby sometimers like me wearing a look of pure Teutonic smugness. And this was just the old ladies! Back in the late 1960s and early 70s, when I blew out my right knee from idiotically stepping on a kicking tee while playing football, nobody except guys who pissed off the coach by sitting on their helmets during games or lonely aces who couldn’t get a date if their own sisters invited them out went to the gym to actually exercise. The gymnasium wasn’t at all cool except with body builder types who shaved their armpits and actually dated their sisters. In the 80s, I played a great deal of pick-up basketball with college dudes ten years my junior, plus shortstop on two different fast-pitch softball teams. I also hiked in the mountains and ran a couple of 10K road races with a crazy girlfriend who ate tofu by the crate and planned to live forever. Trying to keep up with a skinny girlfriend with the approximate body fat of a Serengeti cheetah, I learned, is no fun at all. She literally left me somewhere around mile five and that was that — for romance and road racing. In the 90s, I built my own house on a hilltop in coastal Maine, rebuilt old stone walls, planted stuff, chopped and stacked wood endlessly, and shoveled more snow than one man should probably have to shovel unless he’s in a Soviet gulag in Siberia. I walked a golf course twice a week and even joined January 2014

O.Henry 9


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my first gym, which I belonged to for about three weeks, until I realized the people reading The Bridges of Madison County on the Stairmaster machine and taking their own pulses actually liked going to the gym. Also, I didn’t like being naked with strangers who loved to admire their toned bodies in full-length mirrors. Had the strangers been female, well, that might have been a different story. Anyway, flash ahead 20 years — lots of chopping and walking and working like a convict in a garden, keeping me more or less in what I called “farmer shape” — to the winter day I finally took my daughter’s advice and showed up at the yoga studio for something called “Warm Flow Yoga.” I was the first to arrive for class on the appointed Saturday morning and discovered the instructor was an attractive young gal named Lisa, who was so charming and blessedly fit, I was tempted to turn and bolt for the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. Lisa quickly put my qualms to rest, placed me on a rented yoga mat, and explained that the purpose of yoga is to achieve a proper balance between the body and the spirit through various timeless meditational poses meant to exercise the body and liberate the dude within. Being a yoga rookie, I was advised to watch others as they performed the various traditional asanas (postures) and warm-ups and to “listen to my body” by doing only what I felt my old body could handle. “There’s no right or wrong here,” she emphasized. “Yoga is a learning process you must do at your own speed.” Seven women and one guy joined the class and immediately began stretching out. I started stretching out too, pretending I knew what I was doing, which I didn’t, but rather liked doing anyway, greatly enjoyed in fact, especially watching all these fit middle-aged women in skimpy outfits warming up all around me in the candle-lit room with serene flute music coming from a Tibetan mountaintop. I vaguely wondered if this might be why they call it “hot yoga” but then the class started and all such worldly distractions disappeared as Lisa led the class though a host of flowing postures and breathing exercises meant to still the monkey in the mind, to free our spirits from past and present concerns, to find peace and sacredness of the moment, the simple act of being. Truthfully, Warm Yoga nearly killed me at several points, especially when my dodgy right knee refused to cooperate on a difficult one-legged pose. But somehow, with Lisa’s gentle guidance, I even got through most of the challenging poses, and by the time I was lying flat on my back during the final recovery period, breathing deeply and covered with sweat and relaxed as a steamed lasagna noodle, I truly realized why Maggie and 30 million other Americans find this ancient form of exercise so completely and utterly beguiling. I’d completely forgotten about that final glorious touch — a soothing cool cloth smelling like my old lavender garden back in Maine, placed over the eyes. For a few lovely moments I was back in my old Maine garden, and in a bit of heaven. I left the studio feeling like a new man with an old body that was eager to return as soon as possible. With or without the hot cocoa at the end. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at Jim@ ohenrymag.com

10 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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ShortStories Ski Style

Margaret Smith finds joy on the mountains after more down to earth subjects. From manicured mansions to slippery ski slopes. Margaret Supple Smith, architectural historian and professor emerita at Wake Forest University, has made the leap without a tumble. Her latest book, American Ski Resort, Architecture Style, Experience, by the University of Oklahoma Press, is a product of 10 years of research. When we last talked with Smith it concerned early 20th Century, Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen, subject of an O. Henry feature last February. She has written and lectured on Keen, who designed Reynolda House and other big homes in Winston-Salem and Greensboro’s Irving Park. She also spent considerable time with N.C. Women’s History Project, which resulted in a book she co-authored. “. . . I was ready for a change — outdoors, men, recreation, sport, national scope — all those things,” says Smith, an intermediate skier. “What I discovered was a wonderful postwar story about the burgeoning of outdoor recreation, expanding architectural practice and colorful characters. I was able to bring what one reviewer called my ‘socially alert eye’ to the ski industry.” She spends time explaining the origins of Aspen, Vail, Sun Valley, Sundance and Snowshoe and others. Her book, loaded with photos and costing $45, is available at Ski & Tennis Station in Greensboro and online. She’ll be speaking at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Series at Wake Forest Feb. 11 from 4-5 p.m. Smith has returned to familiar territory. She’s at work on “Winston-Salem’s Era of Success 1912-1930: First Families, Great Houses and True Stories.” Charles Barton Keen, she says, will be a major figure.

Mule Love It

Bernie Harberts is a travel writer — more accurately, rider — of a different sort. Harberts, who lives in Southern Pines, has made a career of taking long trips via old timey conveyances. By boat, bike, mule — Atlantic, Pacific, Tasmania and Newfoundland all are familiar to him. So are the back roads of North Carolina. In 2004, Harberts and his mule Woody traversed the state before pushing on to San Diego. Along the way, they scooped up friends, pictures, recipes and stories of North Carolina rural life, which they’ll share, for free, on January 12 at 3 p.m. at the Greensboro Historical Mule-seum, er, Museum. Gee, haw can we make such a horrible pun? Info: .greensborohistory.org , or phone (336)373-2043.

12 O.Henry

January 2014

Book Fair

“Writers Meet Readers” is the title of the January 26 Sunday O.Henry Book Fair, a concept that would have appealed to the event’s namesake, William Sydney Porter. And surely O.Henry would have admired the forum for the fair, the O.Henry Hotel’s newly refurbished event space. Writers who will be selling and signing their books include the thirteen authors who appeared in O.Henry’s December issue, with titles ranging from light fare such as Dena Harris’ A Diet Book for Cats to a hardboiled thriller by Greensboro dentist John F. Saunders, Spartan Negotiator. Newly published books also run the gamut, including Tim Swink’s tobacco-noir fantasy, Curing Time, J. Edward Gray’s American Revolutionary War fiction, New Garden, and John Stevens’ stunning Scribe: Artist Of The Written Word. Poets a’plenty will be in attendance — Sarah Lindsay, Terry Kennedy, Michael Gaspenny and Steve Cushman — plus nationally published local writers invited by the event’s co-sponsor UNCG’s MFA Creative Writing Program, to include Michael Parker, Fred Chappell, Lee Smith, Drew Perry and others. O.Henry’s own Jim Dodson will be on hand to welcome those who love to read and write, beginning at 4 p.m. In O.Henry’s honor, there will be a cash bar. Info: (336) 334-5459 or www. ohenryhotel.com

Tie One on One

If you’re looking for a different kind of locally hatched gift for your guy, check out the bow ties by fledging fashion company Blake Ashland & Co., the brainchild of 25-year-old Blake Zanardi of Greensboro. Every one of his 60 designs has a name — the mustachioed Mo; the madras Prepster; the note-covered Ragtime; the classic black Bond. Zanardi worked at Julian’s, a Chapel Hill clothing store, during his years as a UNC student. With the encouragement of storeowner Alexander Julian, Zanardi created a line of ties for his fraternity before graduating in 2011. Last year, Zanardi returned from a teaching stint in Spain and began churning out more designs on an old Singer sewing machine in his parents’ basement. A couple of Greensboro stores sell the ties, which cost $40–50. Gordon’s Menswear, where Zanardi works part-time, carries traditional models. Civic Threads stocks the funkier fare. Zanardi keeps the pedal to the floor while he hunts for a full-time job. He hopes to nurture his ideas into a full line of clothing one day. “We’ll see if we can get textiles back in Greensboro,” he says. See squareup.com/market/blake-ashland-and-co for the full menu, including snappy holiday designs or call (336) 580-3724. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Soft Soap Purrings

Most local music mavens would agree that veteran musician and poet Bruce Piephoff is one of Greensboro’s “darlings,” well known for his creativity and longevity. With the recent release of his 22nd solo album, Piephoff once again lives up to his reputation. Containing eight new works that deal with some recent changes in Piephoff’s life, Soft Soap Purrings leans toward an Americana/rock/folk sound with two spoken word pieces (Piephoff studied poetry at UNCG where he received his MFA in Creative Writing). Look for excellent supporting vocals from Claire Holley,L.A. singer/songwriter, as well as Lynda Dawson and Pattie Hopkins of Kickin’ Grass. Longtime friend Scott Sawyer sizzles on electric guitar and Aaron Ballance brings a modern acoustic folk/blues sound on dobro. The album was recorded at the legendary Fidelitorium Studios and mastered by Gavin Lurssen in L.A. Says Piephoff, “I feel the material is as good as anything I’ve put out and the quality of the sound recording may be better than anything I’ve released to date.” For what else he’s up to and where he’s playing, check his Facebook page.

Wish Dishes

On January 25, diners at Sedgefield Country Club will gather for wine, dinner, music and auction action to raise money for the Make-a-Wish foundation. With eight chefs from McConnell Golf Properties from across North Carolina competing to plate their finest signature dishes, the most challenging part of the evening will be deciding what not to eat. Pan-seared sea scallops with smoked tomato grits is on tap from N.C. native Todd Jackson, chef at the TPC at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh. A European-inspired strudel, featuring a duet of sesameseared rare tuna and lobster with a fennel arugula salad, will be whipped up by award-winning chef John McAllister of the Old North State Club in New London. Chicago-trained Pedro Villasana from Durham’s Treyburn Country Club will prepare his pan-seared red snapper with bruschetta accented with fresh lemon, dill and a splash of sherry. And for the real meat lovers, Sedgefield’s own Michael Monahan, who cooked at The Cardinal Club in Raleigh, will prepare porter-braised osso bucco, flanked with truffled polenta and rutabaga puree. Presentations will follow by Make-a-Wish beneficiaries, but most guests may probably be wishing they had two stomachs. Info: (336) 299-5324 or adminasst@ sedgefieldcc.org.

And the Winner is . . . Up to you!

A Greensboro audience will see three cutting-edge modern dance performances and pick one for inclusion in the North Carolina Dance Festival later this year. The festival — a production of Greensboro’s nonprofit Dance Project Inc. — is a tour that leaps about the state for five months every year, starting in September. The audience participation show, scheduled for January 18 at 3 p.m, is a bonus day at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center. Works by three emerging North Carolina choreographers — two from Raleigh, one from Wilmington — will be performed, and audience members will rate each dance. You need not be dancer to participate in the survey, but some twinkle in the toe area would be helpful if you engage in the other bonus day offerings: master classes by Jen Guy Metcalf of Greensboro’s Terra Nova Dance Theatre and by Karola Luttringhaus of Wilmington. Register and pay for the classes at danceproject.org/festival (see workshops). A $2 donation is suggested for admission to the Audience Choice Show. Info: (336)373-2727.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Garlic is Good for You

Anyone who regularly visits the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market at 501 Yanceyville Street has surely stopped at Cornerstone Garlic Farm’s booth. How could anyone miss a booth featuring eleven varieties of garlic, plus samples of garlic jellies, seasonings and rubs,. By early spring, they’ll have green garlic and garlic scapes. Related to the Greek word for sceptre, scapes are the tops of garlic stalks, the curly and towering stems of the flower — fresh, vibrant and pungent. Infused along with ginger in mild rice vinegar, scapes make a sauce that subtly unlocks the complexity of garlic in any dish, from salads to greens, from black beans to seafood. Info: cornerstonegarlicfarm.com,

Deep Roots – It’s More than Tofu…Answered Prayers on Aisle Five

The Oxford Dictionary 2013 word of the year is “selfies,” which is no surprise since we all like capturing images of ourselves. (Hey, even Pope Francis posed for a gone-viral selfie.) Much like a selfie, the chalkboard wall outside the entrance to downtown Greensboro’s Deep Roots market on Eugene Street has become a communal screen for self-projections. Half art installation, half confessional, it begs attention. Here is the canvas for our collective wishes, dreams, regrets, where we can pause and scribble before rooting through the veggies and fresh-baked bread. It’s not quite a shopping list . . .more like a community bucket list. “Before I die…” the board prompts, and Deep Roots’ shoppers fill in the blanks in multicolored pastels. “Before I die…I want to fix my marriage,” writes one sad shopper. “. . . Go to Space,” writes an adventurer, adding an illustration of a rocket ship, presumably Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, set to blast off in 2014. “Hike the Appalachian Trial,” a grounded someone hopes. “. . . Find a rich man,” writes a caustic, or broke, shopper. This is written in the color of money, circled for emphasis. “Not have a broken heart,” is scripted by another, like a poignant whisper. “LIVE FEARlessly” a conflicted someone scrawls, half in caps, half in lower case. And while we cheer for them all as we commandeer buggies through the aisles, silently, Saint Teresa of Ávila whispers, “Answered prayers cause more tears than those that remain unanswered.” January 2014 O.Henry 13






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The Day Job

The City Muse

Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s not enough.

By Emily Fraser Brown

“You look lovely, Miss

Sara,” I instinctively grin while embracing the 5’ 2” woman who greets me at the door of her ranchstyle home, wearing the familiar ankle-length denim skirt that she’s never been seen without in the time I’ve known her.

“You been sleepin’? Eatin’? And don’t lie,” she’ll grumble while swatting her cat off the oversized armchair she requires me to sit in while visiting. I stopped arguing with Sara years ago. She’s volunteered for me on five different campaigns now, and I just can’t pick a fight with a woman who gives up hours of her day to help me without complaints. But I mostly stopped pushing back because Sara makes me laugh. In my line of work, you don’t pass up on a laugh. Laughing energizes me for the 100-hour workweeks that were common in 2012. More to the point, it humanizes and authenticates a system that appears to most people as forever rehearsed. I work in politics. That’s what I say when people ask me about my day job . . . so they can change the subject swiftly. Occasionally, people tell me about their favorite cable news hosts or gleefully express that they love to argue. I don’t love to argue, and I don’t watch cable news. I just work in politics. Sometimes I help raise money for a political party. Other times I implement voter engagement strategies for specific candidates. My job title changes, but they all boil down to owning four identical blazers in case I can’t complete a load of laundry for weeks at a time. And I never sleep enough for my parents’ liking. The 2013 November election was perhaps the most contentious in Greensboro City Council history. Jamal Fox almost lost his job, but instead became the youngest person ever elected to the city council. And T. Dianne Bellamy-Small, the longest consecutive serving council member, was unseated by her former volunteer. But it was also an election season full of passion, warmth and a lot of reasons to laugh. For instance, Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann had life-size cardboard cutouts made of herself to add to the election zest. Whenever she ran late to a candidate forum, her campaign manager would place Cardboard Nancy in her place. When Human Nancy arrived, wearing the identical red blazer, eyeglasses and pendant necklace, she hoisted herself under her arm, passed her cardboard self off to the campaign manager, and proceeded to answer questions without missing a beat. One of those cardboard cutouts came home with me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. She also gave me two tickets to the Men Can Cook fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center. My date and I ran into Nancy on the floor of the Special Events Center and made small talk. Only a handful of minutes into The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the conversation, I went into stitches over one of my own jokes, gesturing elaborately with my hands . . . knocking her plate into the air and onto both of our feet. Horrified, I covered my face and hissed that I couldn’t believe what just happened. Caleb stuffed his hands in his pockets and mumbled back, “I can.” After a long, technologically challenging night wrestling with electronic voter files to create detailed lists for volunteers and a morning setting up the dozen volunteer cellphones to forward incoming calls to my own phone, I thought I had become a master of the technological universe. But I quickly felt old and outdated when I tried Domino’s Pizza iPhone App. Enter Nancy Vaughan’s preteen daughter, who may actually be her most skilled campaign adviser, with a tutorial. But in the end, all three of us threw up our hands and decided to call the store. Mike Barber returned to Greensboro politics this year after a brief retirement. The Gate City may be his first love, but golf is his greatest pleasure. It’s hard to spot him without a Wyndham sweater vest or First Tee of the Triad jacket, likely thinking his luck on the golf course would translate to the polls. And as though he simply took a break from the course each evening to impart his wisdom on infrastructure and economic development, he often left me campaign literature for volunteers wrapped in plastic Wyndham Championship bags. It’s a shame that so many people don’t pay attention until the general election, because many of the most colorful moments happen in the primary. One challenger in District 3 openly admitted that he was running to find a wife, advertising himself as a progressive Catholic with a clean bill of health, ready to mingle. A candidate for mayor often paused before addressing crowds to kick off his flip-flop sandals, pacing the room barefoot. The third District 1 contender filed with the Board of Elections to appear on the ballot with the middle name “Queen GetErDone,” and we held our breath waiting to see if she’d sue the weekly newspaper Yes! Weekly for publishing a “10 Best” list of the civil lawsuits she’d already filed in recent months. I like to tell people to vote as if their free weekend parking and recycling depends on it, but it really is that straightforward and serious of an investment. City Council is the most transparent, accessible level of government, and the food truck festivals, locally owned businesses, future performing arts center and ongoing Civil Rights Museum are all the product of hardworking public servants who believe in the perfectibility of our Piedmont town. They’re frustrating, but they’re also sincere and, delightfully, amusing. OH Emily Frazier Brown, who can be reached at emilyfrazierbrown@gmail.com, is a resident of Greensboro. January 2014

O.Henry 15


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gluten-Less Maximus

Life’s Funny

To do or die-it

By Maria Johnson

Call me a gluten for punishment, but I recent-

ly decided to go gluten-free for a weekend.

Gluten, as you know if you’ve read celebrity news lately, is a protein found in wheat. Some people have a compelling medical reason to avoid gluten. Those would include people with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that’s inflamed by gluten, and people with gluten intolerance or other sensitivities to wheat. For the rest of us, going gluten-free is a choice. One might say a fad. But I won’t say that, lest I be pelted with rice cakes. Lots of celebrities and athletes credit gluten-free diets with making them leaner and more energetic. Novak Djokovic, the tennis player, says a glutenfree diet helped to vault him to the top a few years ago. Gwyneth Paltrow is on a gluten-free diet. So are Lady Gaga and Bill O’Reilly, which I find funny for reasons I can’t fully explain. Closer to home, I have a friend who swears by her gluten-free-by-choice diet. She says it makes her mentally and physically sharper. Then there was a local newspaper story in which the writer challenged his readers to go gluten-free. He said it made him feel 17 again. Really? Like that’s a good thing? What the hay. I eat a pretty healthy diet anyway, and I decided that doing without gluten for a couple of days wouldn’t be too hard. I warned my husband that should the 17 thing be true — and I start wearing strawberryflavored lip gloss, doing The Hustle and refusing to observe a curfew — a bolus of Bisquick should bring me back to my senses. Full disclosure: I scheduled my gluten-free weekend to begin the morning after a birthday celebration during which I could gluten-load. Bread? Don’t mind if I do. Flatbread appetizer? Certainly. Breaded calamari? Love it. Cake? Oh, just a slab. Ice cream? Only if it contains a flour-based thickener. I also prepared by digging up a list of gluten-free grains, which included things like amaranth, teff and montina. Yeah. That was my reaction, too. The good news? Rice, oats and cornmeal are gluten-free. If cornbread and grits were for me, who could be against me? The next morning brought an immediate challenge. My husband buys fresh bagels every Saturday morning. No problem. I still had enough cake and ice cream in my veins to be happy with hot oat bran cereal and dried blueberries. Things got a little tougher at midday after I played tennis for a couple of hours. My stomach was gnawing. I reached for my favorite granola bar, but whoa. Hard red wheat was one of the first ingredients. No foul. I hurried home and ate some leftover baked fish and barley risotto. I was The Art & Soul of Greensboro

thinking how this gluten-free thing wasn’t so bad after all, when I remembered the list of gluten-free grains. Barley was on the list . . . wasn’t it? It had to be. Barley looks like oats, for gawdsakes. By now, all of you grain-iacs can guess my horror at discovering that barley and rye are full of gluten. No biggie on rye. I mean, how often do you eat a reuben or down a shot of rye whiskey? But barley? Barley is one of the main ingredients in beer. (Deliver the next line in the manner of George Costanza addressing Newman on Seinfeld): You’re pushing your luck, gluten. I repented by tacking a half-day onto my test and pressed on. My afternoon snack was peanut butter on rice crackers. Dinner was pizza on gluten-free crust, a thin, dense layer that resembled the pancakes I once made from scratch and forgot to put baking powder in. Still, not bad. I substituted wine for beer. Easy enough, though I coveted my neighbor’s porter. Later that night, I had yogurt and nuts. The next morning, I went with hot oat bran and blueberries again. Lunch was leftover lentil stew and a slice of gluten-free pizza. Afternoon snack: hummus on rice crackers. Dinner: chicken, brown rice, asparagus. Dessert: two flourless peanut butter, oat and chocolate chip cookies. Monday was the hardest. I briefly considered making an egg and eating it with . . . what? A rice cracker? Amaranth? Bacon? None of those sounded good. I went with hot oat bran. Again. Lunch was a salad, rice crackers and cheese. By mid-afternoon, I was feeling pretty lean. And mean. And energetic in the way that zoo animals get at feeding time. I knew it was time to quit when I caught myself fantasizing about pasta salad. Here’s the thing: I can see some value in going gluten-free by choice. You’ll end up axing a lot of starches and sweets because gluten-free alternatives are not that plentiful. That means fewer carbohydrates and fewer blood sugar swings. I’m not a huge meat person, so I probably ate less overall while minding the gluten. The downside is, if you’re an active person you might have a hard time finding enough convenient carbs for energy. So I’m going to try splitting the difference, opting for foods made with rice, oats and corn when possible, but leaving room for wheat-fueled walks on the wild side. How much trouble can you get into when your idea of a pure-grain party is a box of Triscuits? OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. She can be reached at maria@ohenrymag.com or the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop nearest her house. January 2014

O.Henry 17

u 26 Paths to Leisu o re – F Y 21 ind One For

43 Parks & Recreation Administration 43 Athletics Office


Ballfields & Concession Stands

9 Latham Park 11 Levette 10 Lewis 12 Old Peck 13 Pomona 14 Rankin 15 Revolution 16 Smith High School 7 Stoner-White Stadium 17 West Market

1 Allen Jr. High 3 Carolyn S. Allen Park & Athletic Complex

2 Barber Park 8 Joe Davis Park 18 Constance Griffin Field 4 I.C. Apple 5 Hampton 6 Hester Park 7 Jaycee Park Soccer/ Football Complex

24 48



Public Gardens

27 51 7 10

19 Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden 46 The Bog Garden 20 Greensboro Arboretum 56 Gateway Gardens

City Cemeteries

43 Cemeteries Office 51 Forest Lawn Cemetery 52 Green Hill Cemetery

53 Maplewood Cemetery 54 Union Cemetery

44 15



Culture & Recreation

41 City Arts 38 Caldcleugh Multicultural

40 Greensboro Youth Council 24 Lake Brandt 25 Lake Higgins 26 Lake Townsend 43 MainStream Resources


Arts Center 43 City Beautiful 23 Gillespie Golf Course (Therapeutic Recreation) 33 Coach Al Lowe Boxing Center 40 Greensboro Farmers 39 Camp Joy Curb Market at Hagan-Stone Park 44 Greensboro Seniors 23 Specialized Park Services (Smith Senior Center) 40 Youth Programs 42 Greensboro Sportsplex

Regional Parks

2 Barber Park 21 Bryan Park 27 Country Park 6 Hester Park


46 49




18 4

33 Lindley Center 34 Trotter Center 36 Peeler Center 18 Warnersville Center 37 Windsor Center

12 38


57 34



7 Jaycee Park 55 Keeley Park 29 Price Park



43 40





Recreation Centers

30 Brown Center 31 Craft Center 57 East White Oak Center 4 Glenwood Center 32 Leonard Center 10 Lewis Center




11 2



16 5

6 36

Swimming Pools

39 Camp Joy at Hagan-Stone Park 33 Lindley Outdoor Pool 34 Peeler Outdoor Pool 16 Smith High School Indoor Pool 44 Smith Senior Center Indoor Pool 18 Warnersville Center Outdoor Pool 37 Windsor Center Outdoor Pool



Tennis Facilities

21 Bryan Park 6 Hester Park 7 Spencer Love Tennis Center 9 Latham Park 2 Simkins Indoor Sports Pavilion

s •



Visit us online for directions and facility information.

rk s

• Afterschool programs, day camps, classes, special events, sports, parks, gardens, lakes and trails • City Arts - dance, drama, music, visual arts and Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center • Recreation centers, year-round programs for teens and seniors, MainStream Resources • Volunteer opportunities, social media sites and more!

ls ra i


•Lakes •Pa




48 Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway (paved) 10 Bicentennial Greenway (paved) 49 Lake Daniel Greenway (paved) 50 Latham Park Greenway (paved) 58 Downtown Greenway (paved)

Gardens c i l ub


336-373-CITY (2489)

PARKS, GARDENS, LAKES, TRAILS, SPORTS, RECREATION CENTERS & MORE! For a complete list of year-round leisure programs and activities for people of all ages and interests, visit Greensboro Parks & Recreation at:


 Visit us on Facebook & Twitter!

The Omnivorous Reader

True South

A new guide to “living the good life” down South by the editors of Garden and Gun is fun, informative and probably meant for your Yankee cousins

By Stephen E. Smith

I’ve been read-

ing haughty, self-conscious books about Southern eccentricities since, well . . . , since I learned to read, and I can assure you there’s not enough real estate in this magazine — or in all the magazines I’ve ever read — to separate the good books from the bad, the useful from the chaff. If you’re new to the South and you don’t want to spend the remainder of your natural life contemplating the subtleties of various barbecue sauces, there are a couple of necessary literary selections you should have at your fingertips.

The first is The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, a 1,600-page compendium that’s an absolute necessity for any library. And the second is To Kill a Mockingbird, a work of fiction that transcends much of our literature, Southern or otherwise (certainly Absalom, Absalom! belongs on the list, but Faulkner can be a dark and troubling read for the neophyte). If books won’t suffice, you’ll find TV programs such as Duck Dynasty, Swamp People and, God help us, Honey Boo Boo, and there are a surfeit of magazines, websites, broadsides, monographs, pamphlets, plays, recordings, films and obliging storytellers to assuage your curiosity. So it was with some trepidation and not a little weariness that I picked up the latest volume dedicated to who and where we are: The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life by the editors of Garden and Gun, a bimonthly, Charleston-based lifestyle magazine that offers articles on travel, sporting life, food, music, the arts and literature.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Before you slap down $17 for this 300-page guide, be advised that it’s exactly as advertised; it’s a handbook and doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a compelling cover-to-cover read. But if you’re seeking a rudimentary knowledge of the finer points of Southern living, such as the uses of seersucker, white bucks, cowboy boots, hats, lemonade, party punch, mint juleps, bourbon, ticks, trout, frogs, alligators, snakes, kudzu, Southern dialects, the blues, hunting, fish batter, fried chicken, hot biscuits, sausage gravy, desserts, ramps, grits, okra, cast-iron skillets — the usual detritus — you’ll find expositions sufficient to satisfy your needs. The handbook opens with an epigraph by our own Clyde Edgerton and an introduction by David DiBenedetto, the editor of Garden and Gun, and is then divided into six parts — Food, Style, Drink, Sporting and Adventure, Home & Garden, and Arts and Culture. Most of the articles are unattributed, generally middlebrow, and presented with a touch of cheekiness, which seems to acknowledge the impossibility of breaking down the South into its component parts. If, for example, you’re considering establishing a hennery in your yard — these days Southerners are back to raising cluckers in town as well as in the country — the handbook offers a few thousand words on yardbirds. Under the subheading “What About the Lawn?” you’ll discover this useful suggestion: “Chickens are going to scratch, so you can surrender a corner of your yard or invest in a mobile coop. A coop on wheels keeps the flock from wearing out one spot, plus it helps spread natural fertilizer all around. ‘Chickens are just pooping machines,’ Lagare-Floyd says. ‘And the grass is always greener where they’ve been. Their poop is amazing fertilizer.’” If you’re a Southerner, you’ll probably say, “Hey, I already knew that!” But transplants from Seattle, San Diego or West Palm Beach might find the suggestion helpful. And the same level of instruction is available for growing tomatoes, collecting antique linens, gardening, constructing a rope swing, making a wreath, shining silver and so forth. The more abstract entries are written by authors whose names you might January 2014

O.Henry 19

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Reader recognize. Roy Blount Jr. discourses on telling a great story, man vs. weed and sipping whiskey; Julia Reed on throwing the ultimate party; Jonathan Miles on drinking like a Southerner; Jack Hitt on the beauty of cooking a whole hog; John T. Edge on why Southern food matters; and Daniel Wallace on the great Southern novel, rules of the road trip, and Southernisms. A couple of entries are both informative and memorable. Dominique Browning’s “Memories of a Southern Home” will awaken recollections for anyone raised in the South. “There was always someone rocking on a deep porch, and wide hallways gave on to staircases that led to upper floors . . . . The house was old and held a family’s history in its rooms . . . .” And Ace Atkins’ “The Truth about Robert Johnson and the Devil” traces the oft-repeated legend about the crossroads encounter back to its source. When visitors come seeking the ghost of the archetypal bluesman, Atkins tells them the truth: “I talk about public records and the venereal-disease statistic of the Great Depression, but no one wants to hear it. They want to know about Johnson’s life as heard through his eerily tuned guitar and the voice of a man who walked with hoodoo stones in his passway, side by side with the devil, just long enough to tell his tale. It’s a good story, if not a true one.” Most of the recipes in the “Food” section are Mama Dip simple, but I would caution readers to sample the fare before inviting guests over for dinner. The instructions for “Perfect Fried Chicken,” which I tried, are especially suspect, and “Great Grits” recipe is a victim of hyperbole. (Hey, buy the good grits, follow the cooking directions and top them with a flavorful spice or topping. Simple enough.) And if the recipes for kudzu sound good to you, have at it. Although the editors included an excellent entry on how to “Catch and Pick a Blue Crab,” they don’t offer a recipe for making crab cakes, a must in any Southern coastal kitchen. I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland — a backwater as Southern as Mississippi — and here’s how you do it. Catch, steam and pick the crabs yourself. Do not use pasteurized supermarket crabmeat that has no taste. If the crabs don’t kick, don’t cook. The meat must be fresh; otherwise, it can kill you. Sprinkle in breadcrumbs, mix in a little beaten egg, sautéed onions and shape into cakes. Salt and pepper to taste. Fry them slowly in butter until golden brown. Chomp away. Like everything in the South, it’s simple, delicious, and maybe a little dangerous. OH Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 21

Book Excerpt

Smoke and Magic A book excerpt from Curing Time, by Tim Swink

In his first novel, Greensboro writer Tim Swink spins a tale about Hume Rankin, a North Carolina tobacco farmer who becomes increasingly desperate as his crop wilts in the field during the summer of 1959. When his life-long nemesis, who’s always had his eye on Hume’s land and his wife, is found dead, Hume ends up in jail in the scene below — until he’s transported elsewhere by powers beyond our realm. He winds up soliciting help from the world of magic, though he is warned of the perils of calling on the “middle world.” —DCB By Tim Swink The mercy of sleep was hard won in jail. The occupants held deep in the barred catacombs welcomed the blackness that accompanied it. Men being corralled in such confines produced a cacophony of night sounds. Nightlong sessions of staccato snoring, coughing and the flutter of gas being expelled kept a man awake into the wee hours. The fortunate could catch sleep early and ride it into the darkness before the other inmates got there. For Hume Rankin, the soft, hiccupping sound of men crying bothered him the most. He was enveloped in that darkness when the dream came to him. Hovering above him, sitting on a log, was a little man, dressed in a rough-made vest that was bound at the waist by a thick leather belt. His feet and legs dangled over the side of the log and were bound in boots, made from the hide of an animal that looked to be deerskin. The curl of smoke wafted upward from the corncob pipe he held clinched tightly in the corner of his mouth. Hume’s attention focused on the rising smoke. It remained there as a whitish-gray cloud, held captive by the jail cell’s ugly green ceiling. He watched the billowing smoke bounce along the ceiling, seeking an escape. The search enthralled him for some time, when strangely, the ceiling began to disintegrate. Stars, embedded in blackness, began to emerge, filling the space where the confining ceiling had been, allowing the clouds of smoke to rise into the darkness and join with puffy white clouds, floating above him in the night sky. __________________ The crackle of the fire and its light illuminated the forest around him. Turning his head slowly, he realized he was deep in a forest of hardwoods that had shed their leaves, on which he now lay. The fire danced upward, encircled by a pit, lined with river rock. Its warmth made him a bit woozy as he stared into the center of the flames. He held his gaze there for some time, when all at once, he sensed a presence across from him. Cocking his head sideways, he glanced through the fire as the little man, who had appeared in his jail cell, emerged and took form, sitting on a log on the other side. Peering through the blaze, the visage of the man came to him in orange, distorted waves, but the slight smile and the twinkle in his eye was steady. The two locked eyes and remained that way, not uttering a word, studying each other through the crackling fire that danced between them. An inkling of recognition had just begun its walk toward Hume

22 O.Henry

January 2014

when he heard the man speak. “Hello, old friend.” Startled, Hume looked around the fire-lit circumference, but found no one had entered the encampment that could have uttered the welcome. Eyeing the surrounding woods and its empty silence, he turned his attention back to the little man, whose previous slight smile now beamed through the fire. His cherublike face held a wide grin, framed by a white beard, exposing little, square, brown-stained teeth that gripped the pipe in the corner of his mouth. Hume attempted to get up from his resting place to confront the diminutive man, but he could not. His arms and legs betrayed him, paralyzed, unable to assist. “Why don’t you just stay put awhile? We need to talk,” the slight fellow seemed to say through the steady grin, though he never moved his lips. “You say that? How the hell’d you do that?” Hume asked, perturbed. “We can do things in this world that you can’t, or forgot how to, that is,” was the reply. “You wanna talk to me, you can start by moving your damn lips, you little boron!” His bumbling of that last word bewildered him, just as the little fellow’s thoughts again came to him. “No, I am not a moron, my friend. But you, at times, have certainly acted like one. But I will not dishonor you by calling you names. And I’d appreciate it if you would refrain, on your own accord — with no assistance from me — from calling me names in the future. I am known in this world as Jebeddo.” Again, the little man’s lips did not move, and Hume realized the man was filling him with thoughts, not words. Relenting somewhat, Hume relaxed. “So what is it you think you and me need to talk about, Mr. Jebeddo? And I ain’t got all night. Got somewhere I’m supposed to be right now, and you’re putting me in jeopardy.” “The night will cover your absence. Don’t worry about your previous engagement. There will be time enough for that.” “Just what are you anyway? You one of them gnomes my daughter always talks about seeing and talking to?” “Ah, Mary Ellen — such a dear, trusting child. You and your wife did a fine day’s work when you first thought of that one.” “You keep my family outta this, or so help me I’ll . . .” “Well, I really can’t do that now, can I? After all, it was Mary Ellen who first opened the door for you and I to meet, didn’t she?” “What the hell you talking about. I ain’t never met or known about you till this night! And Mary Ellen ain’t sittin’ round this fire tonight.” “I’m not speaking of our meeting tonight. I speak of our previous encounters.” “Ain’t so. I never met you till tonight, and I wish that honor were still yet to come.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Book Excerpt

The filtered light of morning mixed gray with the cell wall. Hume rolled over onto his back, rubbed his dry eyes and recalled the dream from the night before. A sense of disappointment took up space in the cell with him. The freedom he’d experienced in that dream came back to him and the mystery of the night reminded him of childhood nights, spent camped around a roaring fire, filled with the spirit of the unknown. In a very real sense, he acknowledged to himself that he would have embraced the night if it had, indeed, been real. But he knew it was just a dream. He heard the jailer making his rounds down the hall, rousing the prisoners from their hard-earned sleep, as he rolled out of bed and walked, stiffly, over to the sink to wash the night’s dream from his face. Standing before the washbasin, he stretched, arched his back and raked his tangled hair. And at that exact moment, he detected the faint but distinct odor of wood smoke, as a portion of a broken leaf floated to the floor behind him. OH

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“Really? Perhaps you don’t recall, or just don’t want to. But, my dear sir, we have encountered each other numerous times before — those times in the fields, in the barn and beside the creek. In the evenings you love so, when the light of night and day marry and hold you in that timeless moment of neither male nor female — when there are no opposites and all is in harmony — we’ve met. As much as you wish to suppress it, we are not strangers, you and I. It is you that allowed Mary Ellen to open the door for the possibility of us. “And as much as you want to think that every time she spoke of us, every time you heard us speak to you from the creek, every time you heard a rustle in the field, or you thought you were being watched in the forest — you thought you turned your head away from the possibility. But each time, you turned your head back around, unsure, but curious. Searching! And that is what makes you worth saving, my friend.” “Naw. Afraid you got the wrong man. I lost my chance at salvation a long time ago, and that was my choice.” “That was not your choice. That was the circumstances of your life, and the circumstances of other lives that made the choice. You just responded and went along.” “You don’t know who you’re talkin’ ’bout — ’bout salvation and such. You’re preaching to someone who may have just killed a man. And if you’re so damn smart, and know so much ’bout the inside of me, why don’t you answer that question, and maybe we can all cut the chase and go home.” Silence followed as the two sat across the distance, staring at each other, neither speaking until Hume, glaring back through the blaze, concluded. “I thought so. Look, I know this is all a dream, and you ain’t really sitting over there talking to me through the top of your head. And I have to admit, I believe I’ve dreamed about your damned, little, munchkin ass before — like the dream with you and your wee friends dancing around a fire and the owl spouting its nonsense up in the tree.” “Good! You remembered.” “Least this’d better be a dream, or else I’m gonna be in a world of trouble when they find I broke out through the ceiling of that jail and am not there when the jailer makes his rounds.” Allowed to stand, Hume brushed the leaves from his pant legs. “Yeah, I remembered. I remember a lot of things. Like I better get my ass back now — with your permission, of course. A new day bound to be on the rise back there, and coming soon. “Yes, it is my friend,” the little man said, as his kind, knowing smile floated across the lowering fire. “A new day is on the rise. And it is your time. The owl has deemed it.” __________________

Tim Swink will read from Curing Time at Barnes & Noble on Thursday, January 16 at 7 p.m. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 23


February 26-March 2, 2014 For details, showtimes and tickets, call 336-217-7220 or visit theatre.greensboro.edu

24 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Carolina Poetry Society Adult Contest is January 10. Check out ncpoetrysociety. org for descriptions of the ten categories offered and guidelines for entering. Winning poems will be published in Pinesong; poets will read their prize-winners at the May Awards Day held at Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. The North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) requires submissions to the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition to be postmarked January 17. The deadline for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize is January 30. Info: ncwriters.org.

Making Sense By Sandra Redding

How to Entice a Publisher

Savvy writers find novel ways to attract publishers. After Clyde Edgerton completed Raney, his first book, he wrote Louis D. Rubin, co-founder of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Rubin loved baseball. If Rubin would agree to read his novel, Edgerton promised to send a prized autographed baseball along with the manuscript. Rubin published the novel . . . and sent back the baseball. Edgerton’s twelfth book, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages, was published last spring. Why not give Edgerton’s method a try? If your genre is history, promise a relic. If you’re a poet, send a nightingale. Write mysteries? Maybe a pistol will get the publisher’s attention. Romance? Use your own imagination for that one. Sadly, Rubin died last November. He was 89. A revered teacher, first at Hollins, and later, Chapel Hill, he wrote numerous books and mentored several prominent North Carolina writers, including Jill McCorkle and Edgerton. He will be missed.

Author! Author!

“We walked along the crackling road. Those winter mornings were so cold that I felt I would ring like an anvil if my father touched me.” Thus begins Fred Chappell’s lyrical novel, Brighten the Corner Where You Are. What a wonderfully evocative description of winter. But when the weather turns frosty, I’ll be inside reading two January releases recommended by Terry Kennedy, poet and associate director of the UNC-Greensboro Creative Writing Program: Drew Perry’s, Kids These Days and Sarah Addison Allen’s latest novel, Lost Lake. Kids These Days is book number two for Perry, who teaches writing at Elon University. His Meet & Greet schedule includes five appearances in January, two in Greensboro: O.Henry Hotel, Greensboro (January 26, 5 p.m.) and UNCG Visiting Writers Series, Greensboro (January 30, 8 p.m.) Allen, from Asheville, is noted for the wizardry she weaves with magic realism. Her four previous novels possess a strong sense of place combined with whimsical characters that charm their way into readers’ hearts. If this one follows suit, it will be another winner.

Winning the Game

Writing contests are more abundant than snowflakes in January, so polish up your prose and poetry pages. The submission deadline for the 2014 North

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

For twenty-five years, the Visiting Writers Series (VWS) at Lenoir Ryne University in Hickory has lived up to its mission statement: “We believe the beauty and power of words help us make sense of the world.” The 2014 lineup is packed with beauty and power: Belle Boggs, LRU’s Spring Visiting Writer in Residence and short story writer, on January 16; Isabelle Wilkerson, the first AfricanAmerican woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, on February 20; Joseph Bathanti, poet, novelist and professor, on March 6; Sherman Alexie, poet and filmmaker, on March 27; and Mary Pope Osborne, children’s book author, on April 5. All events are free and open to the public. Info: visitingwriters.lr.edu.

“A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.” From The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. O’Brien will be reading at UNC Wilmington on January 15, 7 p.m.

Writer Wisdom

Each month this page will include advice from an established North Carolina writer. In February, words from a live scribe will be published, but this time we dipped into the past. Burton Raffel, who selected and wrote the introduction to 41 Stories by O.Henry, states that this popular writer, born as William Sydney Porter right here in North Carolina, “taught himself to turn mundane material into magical fiction.” O.Henry’s secret was persistence. During one 30-month period, he wrote and sold a short story every week. So, gaze at the stars or walk in the woods for inspiration, but don’t let your keyboard get dusty. Follow O.Henry’s example. Keep writing; keep loving to write. We need your help. Which living North Carolina writer would you like to see featured in Writer Wisdom? Have you recently published a book or won a writing prize? Is your group or organization sponsoring a contest or planning a conference? What’s your favorite writing retreat? Keep us informed of literary happenings in your corner of the state. Send to sanredd@earthlink.net. Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s first novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, has just been published. January 2014

O.Henry 25

Lunch with a Friend

At Liberty with Saint Pita

By David Bailey

Richard Cox not only remembers when

Liberty Oak was where Battleground and Lawndale get all tangled up with railroad tracks, he remembers when there wasn’t a Liberty Oak (The restaurant, not the tree: He’s not that old.).

Still, when he came to the Triad to teach music at High Point College sixty years ago, the dining scene in the area was downright dismal compared to the fine wine and haute chow he’d enjoyed while studying at the Paris Conservatory: “Our idea of a fun evening was to drive over to Greensboro and eat at the S&W Cafeteria downtown,” he says as he sits in perhaps his favorite restaurant and tucks into Liberty Oak’s pita-bread sandwich, a Mediterranean cavalcade of artichokes, zucchini, tomatoes, black olives and feta. It’s a Saint Pita, of course, just what you’d expect a choirmaster to order. In December, Cox retired after serving half a century as Holy Trinity Episcopal Church’s choirmaster. “He has established a standard of musical excellence which is an essential and enduring aspect of Holy Trinity’s identity as a community of faith,” intones Rector Timothy J. Patterson, who describes Cox’s departure as the church’s third choirmaster in its 100-plusyear history as “apostolic succession.” Cox’s post at Holy Trinity is only the latest of his many contributions to joyful noise: forty-two years of teaching at UNCG; nineteen years on and off with the Greensboro Opera Company and four years as director of Bel Canto, Greensboro’s acclaimed music ensemble. He has also prepared choruses to sing blockbusters like Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s ninth and Britten’s War Requiem with the Greensboro Symphony and the Eastern Music Festival. So what’s he going to do now, everyone asks him. “I may take up percussion,” he says, his eyes twinkling but without the slightest hint of a smile, so it’s hard to tell whether he’s joking or not. (He isn’t.) “There are a lot of fun things you can do with percussion — marimbas and all kinds of neat instruments — and you don’t have to worry about embouchure,” he says, referring to the exact positioning of lips, tongue and teeth that wind players must

26 O.Henry

January 2014

achieve for perfect tone. Classic Cox, wry and subtle — typical of the musician who was born in Rocky Mount and sang in the glee club at Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, from which he graduated in 1945. His dad, a certified public accountant, hoped he’d be a pianist, but Cox fell in love first with voice and later with choral directing. “I decided early on that I wanted to be a choral director, no doubt under the influence of Paul Young, our very inspiring choral director at UNC.” In Chapel Hill, Cox became friends with another music major, Andy Griffith. “We had a lot of classes together and I got to know him well,” Cox says. “He was a nice guy, always funny — and had a real sense of joy in life.” Griffith, he says, was a good singer and a first-rate actor even then. Cox went straight from UNC to the renowned Paris Conservatory on a Fulbright Scholarship. “I loved Paris and wanted to stay there,” he says. “Forever.” Although his master’s degree from Chapel Hill was in musicology, his visitor’s card identified him as a voice student, which became his de facto specialty there. His mentor there was a distinguished French baritone, Charles Panzéra, who had studied under one of the foremost French composers of the early 20th century, Gabriel Fauré. Though Cox thought his French was good, he still blushes remembering how, after eating his first meal in Paris the waiter had inquired, “Voulez vous l’addition,” and Cox responded, no, he’d had plenty to eat rather than understanding that the “l’addition” was French for the check — the “added” sum of what he’d ordered. The time in Paris turned Cox into something of a foodie and a fan of wine, one of the reasons he was attracted to the original Liberty Oak back when it was little more than a cheese and wine shop operated by Walter Fancourt and his brother, John, in Irving Park Plaza Shopping Center. With Greensboro’s best wine list and pun-ful sandwiches — Uncle Wally on a Bialy, the Smokin’ Granny and Humma This — stuffed with gourmet ingredients, Liberty Oak soon attracted a loyal following from Greensboro’s Irving Park, the toney neighborhood nearby. Although the restaurant moved downtown in 1999, its airy interior and hip bar, paired with an eclectic cuisine, continued to draw customers, some of whom hadn’t had a reason to leave the suburbs for years. Since 2009 the busiThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs by Sam froelich

Shaped by his year in Paris, Greensboro’s iconic music man and choirmaster shares his operatic passion for good food and wine at his favorite downtown bistro.

Lunch with a Friend

ness has belonged to Scott Rudolph, who owns three barbecue restaurants all outside of Greensboro, and Eddie Gramisci, an Argentine immigrant who came to Greensboro in 1996 with $10 in his pocket and also owns New York Pizza. The ownership may have changed, but the menu and the ambiance have been retained, and that’s what makes Liberty Oak so comfortable. “The service is always outstanding, never strained,” Cox says, which is what he says keeps his younger son, John, who’s a global-studies prof at UNC-Charlotte, coming back whenever he’s in town. Cox is also a big fan of the restaurant’s salmon. He’s also fond of the paté or cheese plate, which he splits with his wife, Mary Alicia. The two met at Northwestern when she was getting a master’s in piano and he a doctorate in music history and literature. “She was my trophy bride, fifty some years ago,” he says. But back to Paris, or rather, back from Paris to the United States. Cox reported to the draft board in October of 1952, only to find out he had a heart murmur. The only teaching job he could find was in Lawrenceville, Illinois, where he did a year’s duty in junior and senior high before he landed a job teaching music appreciation, voice, sight-singing and church music at High Point College, which he describes as “very Methodist” at that time. Six years later, attracted by the opera, symphony and other music opportunities in the big city of Chicago, he entered Northwestern for graduate school. Little did he think that he’d be first chair tenor with the Chicago Symphony Chorus a year later, singing under Margaret Hillis. In fact, Cox could have had a career as a singer, but he says, “I was more committed to directing choruses and teaching people how to improve their voices.” Landing a job at UNCG with his ABD degree (all but dissertation), he’d ride his bike six blocks to campus and immerse himself totally in directing chorus and teaching voice and music appreciation. “The greatest success I had in teaching is seeing success in my students,” he has modestly insisted over the years. When he came to Holy Trinity as The Art & Soul of Greensboro

associate choirmaster in 1963, he discovered he particularly enjoyed teaching people who had not been professionally trained. “You have to be able to hear in your mind what a voice could sound like and work toward that,” he says. In Chicago, he learned a valuable lesson from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated — and some say sadistic — Fritz Reiner. “I don’t think you should ever insult people who are singing for you,” Cox says. “If you want to make people succeed in music, you have to make them feel they’re doing something right,” he once said. “Richard has never embarrassed anyone,” says longtime choir member Libby Haile, who was 16 when Richard signed on. “It might be one person coming in too soon, but he directs the error to the whole section and rehearses it with them.” Cox recalls, “Reiner just insulted everybody all the time. Everybody was terrified of him. You can’t treat choruses that way and expect them to stick around and I never thought it was necessary.” Students “revered” Cox, says a former dean of music, as did the UNC Board of Governors, which presented him its Award of Excellence in Teaching. When you ask choir members about Cox, they talk about his demanding precision. “Richard certainly doesn’t let things slide,” says Haile, who praises his quiet authority coupled with kindness. In fact, he’s known nationally as

January 2014

O.Henry 27

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Lunch with a Friend “the Diction Guru,” having published two books on the subject, as well as a scholarly tome on The Choral Music of Benjamin Britten. Ensuring that his choruses understood what they were singing is allimportant to Cox even if it requires him to translate the text himself. “One of the main things I’ve always tried to do is to get people to sing words as if they meant them,” he says. Over the years, he also put pen to paper as a frequent contributor to the News & Record’s letter-to-the-editor column, often championing the cause of the downtrodden and most recently criticizing the loss of benefits to the state’s unemployed. He frequently has pointed out the paper’s errors, omissions and missteps. And he loves to undermine the moral high ground that hypocritical politicians claim. When La Cage Aux Folles was attacked in the paper for promoting homosexuality back in 1997, Cox wrote, “Does Romeo & Juliet promote teen sex? Does The Wizard of Oz promote witchcraft? Significant art is often significant because it helps us understand — but not necessarily agree with — characters who are less than perfect.” Going forward, in addition to continuing to write letters to the editor, Cox says he plans to hatch some projects with Holy Trinity as choirmaster emeritus. And he will continue tutoring and teaching music appreciation at Shepherd’s Center, Greensboro’s equivalent to Elderhostel. And, he says, “In the summer, I might watch baseball — all . . . day . . . long.” Cox became a baseball fan more than thirty years ago: “In 1979, I went for the first time to Wrigley Field (in Chicago) and that sort of did it.” He and his son John are both big Cubs fans and in 2008, the first time since 1908 that the Cubs made postseason appearances in consecutive seasons,

the two of them became really hopeful. The day after the Cubs were wiped out in a five-game series, Cox got a message from his still hopeful son. It was succinct: “2018” was all it said. Nowadays, Cox is following the Braves with his daughter who lives near Atlanta. “I’ve been to games where I could look down and see Jane [Fonda] and Ted [Turner] and Rosalynn and Jimmy [Carter],” he says. He’s not terribly troubled by the Braves proposed move to Cobb County. His daughter lives in Cobb County in the town of Marietta. So now that he’s retired several times over, does he have any advice for others? “I don’t go along with this insistence on people deciding what they’re going to do with their whole lives and majoring in it so when they get out they’ll get a job — not even knowing whether they’ll like it or not or whether they’re going to be happy in it,” he says. College is a time when we should be discovering our interests and ourselves. “You don’t go to college just to prepare for a job,” he says. “It takes the joy out of going to college and it takes the curiosity out of it.” Is there a secret to his happiness, because from the minute you meet Richard Cox, you realize that he is, deep down inside, a contented and happy individual? “The secret is doing something you really love,” he says. “My father was a CPA and hated it. He had his first heart attack at 50 and died at 64. And I’m pretty sure it was because he hated his work.” “I’ve never had a job like that,” Cox says. “I’ve always loved what I was doing.” OH O.Henry senior editor David Bailey misses the best waitress Liberty Oak ever had, his daughter Sarah, who’s moved to Mallora, Spain.

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O.Henry 29


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January 2014

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To a Healthy 2014

Return of the Elegant Gentleman The sheer power of an $86 haircut

By David Claude Bailey

When I mentioned in a

staff meeting that I hadn’t had a professional haircut in thirty years, you could have heard a hairpin drop.

I explained that I’ve been sleeping with my barber for the past fortyseven years and that lately she’s been extra busy enjoying her retirement from teaching. “No,” a co-worker said. “What we’re curious about is why you avoid barbers.” The answer to that, like so many of my eccentricities, springs from my childhood in Reidsville. Back then, Mr. Dawson cut my hair for a buck, which had to be the cheapest haircut in town because I had the cheapest dad in town. It is not a pleasant memory. I’d sit squirming in the chair, bound too tightly at the neck by a safety pin and suffocating in the overpowering haze of cigarette smoke and Parisian-labeled hair tonic, all stirred by the whap, whap, whap of the overhead paddle fan. Mr. Dawson was always in a hurry, never once asking me what sort of haircut I wanted because, let’s face it, I was going to get the haircut my dad paid for — a buzz cut so short I wouldn’t be going back anytime soon and one that my cronies at school would rib me about for a week. And that wasn’t the only aftermath. What occasioned all the squirming was how Dawson would whistle-hum “I Dream of Jeanie” in harmony, at least to his ears, with the menacing whirr of his clippers. Then on the high notes, he’d go tremulo, sort of warbling and gargling at the same time as he’d arch his head back, his eyes closed in ecstasy during his favorite passages, meanwhile whizzing parts of my head so severely you could later see red weals through the fuzz. So when I met a woman who not only admired my fashionable surplus of 1960s hair, but offered to trim it for me, is it any wonder that I married her? Over the years, I admit, her enthusiasm for hair-styling has waned a bit, and as one of my co-workers once commented, post haircut I go from looking like a Civil War general to a Civil War prisoner. (Apparently my live-in barber has taken a page from my daddy’s philosophy: If you can get that boy into the chair, you better cut off all the hair you can.) My explanation prompted Hattie Aderholdt, one of O.Henry’s crackerjack sales reps, to send me to Jay Bulluck, owner of Local Honey, “old-fashioned luxury for discerning ladies and handsome gents.” The repurposed Indian Motorcycle dealership on Commerce Place sure didn’t look like any barbershop I’d ever seen, and the “library” (aka waiting room) has magazines you wouldn’t find in any Reidsville barbershop — Saveur, Dwell, Tom Tom and Alternative Medicine (and, of course, O.Henry) — as well as a book titled I Am Dandy, The Return of the Elegant Gentleman.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

As I was checking out the rakish beards and well-turned handlebar mustaches of various dandies, the neatly bearded and coiffed Bulluck greeted me and took me to one of his futuristic, but highly comfortable chairs. Though Dawson had a Coke machine, he never offered me a craft beer, as Bulluck did. We soon fell into a companionable conversation that ranged from how his collarbone had mended after a spill from his Ducati motorcycle to the demise of his grandfather’s and father’s garment plant, in part because of NAFTA. Realizing it was time to face the music, I told Jay I wanted a completely new look and mentioned some of the dapper dos I’d seen in The Return of the Elegant Gentleman, which understandably led us to the topic of men’s fashion. Bulluck explained that men’s hair fashion had undergone something of a revolution in the years between Mr. Dawson’s attacks and my wife’s latest curtailing of my curls. “About fifteen years ago we saw men migrating away from barbershops and going into salons that looked like barbershops, the Super Cuts, the Fantastic Sams, places that were less expensive and based more on volume,” Bulluck tells me. “All of a sudden we had a big flood of new clientele because men were no longer uncomfortable coming into these places anymore.” Bulluck — who went to Leon’s Beauty School, is a licensed cosmetologist. Barbers, he explained are licensed and regulated by a separate board. “Men eventually grew comfortable going to salons,” Bulluck tells me, “and that’s when that whole metrosexual movement arose, where all the men were very plucked and tweezed and powdered.” By contrast, my hair and beard are falling away, no tweezing or plucking here, under the quick flourish of Bulluck’s deft scissoring, and instead of the whistle-hum of “I Dream of Jeanie,” there’s a groovy beat in the background. And unlike Mr. Dawson, who one time telephoned my dad to make sure I was authorized to get a flat top, Bulluck celebrates my hirsute eccentricities. For instance, instead of a close mustache trim, he says, “I think it would look completely awesome with some mustache wax, especially if I left the tips right here and gave a little bit of a tweak to it so you’d have a little bit of a handlebar thing going.” The result, if I say so myself, is quite dashing and debonair. Even better, I’m no longer terrified of barbers. But I am my father’s son and there was that little matter of sticker shock, which certainly shocked my ticker —$72 for the haircut, which, with the addition of a well deserved 20 percent tip, totaled $86. Former N.C. Senator and erstwhile presidential candidate John Edwards, it should be recalled, sunk his White House aspirations owing to a fancy $200 haircut. That said, my co-workers oohed and aahed. My 20-something daughter said I looked downright distinguished. And my wife said I looked a lot younger. And think of it this way, she added. “What would you have paid a psychiatrist to rid you of your barbershop trauma?” OH January 2014

O.Henry 31

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January 2014


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

To a Healthy 2014

Blowing Smoke With e-cigs, it’s tough to be a rebel without an outlet.

By Maria Johnson

I’d just transferred some mon-

ey online when the bank wanted to know if I’d fill out a survey. For perhaps the first time in recorded history, I clicked “yes” and plowed through the questions. It was time to claim my prize for participation. These were the options: 1) Anti-aging system. 2) Weight loss formula with Garcinia cambogia. 3) Electronic cigarettes. Interesting choices. I wasn’t feeling especially wrinkly, fat or addicted to nicotine, but I was curious — a wee bit about Garcinia cambogia (Magical herb? South American spinning instructor? Grateful Dead tribute band?) and more about e-cigs, which I first noticed when I saw a guy sitting in a park, puffing away on something that looked sort of like a cigarette — but not really. The ember didn’t crawl up the stick when he dragged. There was no ash. And there was no smell of smoke. Well, roll my ’baccy. It was an electronic cigarette right here in the former heart of the flue-cured nation. What a sea change since the day, thirty years ago, when I was working as a reporter in a rural bureau and received a press release about the Great American Smokeout. I called the local American Cancer Society chapter to find out if any activities were planned. No, the spokeswoman said. After hemming and hawing, she admitted the influence of tobacco money was too big in that community. Even the American Cancer Society trod carefully. I shrugged my shoulders, hung up and lit a Virginia Slims Light 100. Smoking was common among journalists back then. The main newsroom was as foggy as the San Francisco Bay at dawn. In time, all of us broke the nasty habit. Thousands of people resolve to do the same every year, especially when the champagne corks start flying. Electronic cigarettes are supposed to help by delivering a puff of vapor that contains nicotine but none of the tar, carbon monoxide or other poisons found in cigarette smoke. Funny then that hordes of high schoolers have started “vaping” for fun. Convenience stores sell disposable e-cigs at $10 a pop. More popular are the $30 hookah pens that come with cartridges that can be refilled with

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

flavored smoke juice. When teachers leave the room, the undetectable vapor tricks begin — rings, now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t ghost, the French inhale, the vortex. Back at my bank’s webpage, I clicked on the e-cigs prize option to read more. I was met by a picture of a sultry young blonde on a dark red background. She held an e-cig in her right hand. Her lips were pursed. You could almost hear her husky whisper: “Lithium ion battery, charger and USB plug included.” A testimonial by attractive Darren J. promised: “The quality and feel of the unit is definitely up there.” Well, I mean, if the quality of the unit is good. Suddenly, I craved an e-cig. Forget that I’d never had one. I typed in the discount code — VAPOR — which reduced the shipping charge to six bucks. A week later, my starter kit arrived. It included an instruction manual, wall charger and black plastic crush-proof pack. I thought of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. I saw him unrolling his white T-shirt sleeve, taking out his plastic, crush-proof pack of electronic cigarettes and asking in a disaffected voice if anyone had a wall charger. This was too good to keep to myself. I enlisted my husband, Jeff, and our friends Bob and Elaine to try the e-cigs. All former smokers, we gathered in their den one night when the kids were away. Jeff poured some wine. Elaine lit a candle. Bob put on some Jethro Tull. Jeff unscrewed the white part of the e-cig from the filter and snapped it into the USB plug, and stuck it into the wall charger. When the end glowed red, it was fully charged. I took a drag and passed it around. We waited. “Do you feel a nicotine buzz?” I asked. “Not really,” said Elaine. “A little,” said Jeff. “Mmm . . . ” said Bob. He shook his head. We agreed that the vapor was pretty, well, vapid. Still, we could see how having something to hold and put in your mouth might help a smoker taper off the real thing. If you didn’t smoke, was the nicotine hit big enough to make you want to start? Not for us. But was it enough to keep a nonsmoker shelling out for e-cigs? It might not matter. A few days later, I received an email saying that I was being billed $80 for the full cost of the starter kit and $20 for refills that I’d be receiving regularly. It seems I’d missed some fine print. I yelled into the phone for twenty minutes before the company representative agreed to cancel my “subscription.” If you think quitting smoking is hard, try quitting not smoking. OH How likely is Maria Johnson to participate in another bank survey? Highly never. January 2014

O.Henry 33



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34 O.Henry

January 2014

11/26/13 1:54 PM

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Street Level

Real Muscle

Weightlifter Bill Piephoff’s Greensboro Health Club was the pioneer of fitness training in the Gate City. from the south entrance to what’s now Center Park, in the thick of the business district. The club took up the second floor of a white-painted building. Picken’s Barber Shop was on the first floor and next door was Carol Martin’s smelled of sweat dripping Photography Studio. Bruce Piephoff, Bill’s son and a story in himself for his forty-odd years from muscle-bound bodof writing and singing folk/blues and poetic songs in the area, remembers, ies. Not the pleasant aro“When someone dropped a heavy weight on the floor — boom! — everyone mas that one sniffs in the worried about the barber down below with a razor to someone’s face.” Carol Martin complained that when he had a subject posed for a fancy, well-equipped fitphotograph, ready to snap the shutter, a falling weight would shatter the ness centers that saturate peace, shaking his camera and the subject. The club drew some of the strongest weightlifters in the state, but few Greensboro today with could outlift Piephoff, the area’s Charles Atlas who won Mr. North and walls of flat-screen TVs to South Carolina in the early 1950s and was inducted in 1994 into the N.C. Weightlifters Hall of Fame. Piephoff could bench press 400 pounds keep workouts from be(Ronny Barnes won the title later and also entry to the Hall of Fame). coming boring. Every July 4, the health club sponsored an outdoor lifting contest In the beginning, there was only at Greensboro Country Park. There, Piephoff invented the Farmers one health club, not counting the Walk. A person picked up two 200-pound barbells and YMCA. Now there are fifty or more in the Triad. walked as far as he could. At the Grand Canyon where Bill Piephoff’s Greensboro Health Club was the Barnes said Piephoff he lived for many years city’s first private club, and maybe the first in the state. won every time, going as People drove great distances because Bill’s was only long as 200 yards. Most place like it. people couldn’t make it It opened in 1947 and lasted under Piephoff for fifty, and some couldn’t about twelve years. In fact, it continues today — even lift the barbells. The though you would never recognize it, what with all the Farmers Walk was later ownership, name and location changes. incorporated as an event Piephoff started in a warehouse on East in a nationally televised Washington Street downtown. He moved to Stafford weightlifting show. Street, a short, now defunct thoroughfare near the Piephoff, in Barnes’ county courthouse. The club occupied a basement words, was a “man ahead below a Midget Grocery Mart. of his time” in starting a fitSomehow, people found it. Ronny Barnes, ness center when exercising Piephoff’s assistant, remembers that the great wasn’t the craze it is now. amateur golfer Frank Stranahan was a regular when His business, according to he came to Greensboro to play in what’s now the his ads, was “devoted to the Wyndham Championship. He had won two British Amateurs, was runnerculture of mind and body.” up twice in the British Open, second in the Master’s and U.S. Amateur — in Some members devoted most of their lives to bodybuilding. R.L. Hurley, addition to winning weightlifting crowns. He didn’t need to win money a Goldsboro postal worker, came often. Well into his 60s, he bench pressed on the golf course (although later he did turn pro) because he was an heir 400 pounds. to the Champion Spark Plug fortune. He kept barbells in the trunk of his Some people viewed the health club as gathering place for, well, weird luxury car and loved to watch bellboys at the old O.Henry Hotel downtown guys. Wearing skimpy outfits and heavy black shoes, they prided themselves struggle to lug his luggage to his room. on their bulging torsos, with thighs bigger than logs. They loved showing Barnes remembers Stranahan lifting 400 pounds of dead weight from off their washboard abs and spent hours with weights honing biceps, deltoid the floor. muscles, triceps and pecs. After a few years, Piephoff moved the health club to the place most They stood before mirrors posing, their muscles glistening people remember it, 107 East Gaston Street (now East Friendly), across But Bruce Piephoff, who hung around his dad’s club as a child, said that

By Jim Schlosser

The place

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Piephoff competing in a weightlifting contest as a young man

January 2014

O.Henry 35

Street Level

in addition to the fanatical lifters, the health club attracted lawyers, doctors, student-athletes and ordinary people just wanting to stay in shape. One was Jack Elam, who first began working out when he was a young lawyer. He kept at it when he was mayor from late 1960s to the early 1970s. “I kept coming up there because I thought it was good for me,” he says. “I wanted to keep my body going.” He said he and the other fellows also liked the Gaston Street location because they could go to the window and look down on women driving by in cars. So it wasn’t heavy lifting all the time at the health club. On certain days, women were allowed to lift. But they were stymied other days. Only one set of showers existed in the rear of the facility. If some skinny kid who was tired of being bullied on the beach joined, added bulk and then punched out his tormentors, Piephoff was proud. Barnes remembers in the late 1950s a Reidsville High student coming in weighing 165 pounds. Steve Ritchie was the school’s star quarterback but said he needed to add twenty pounds in order to play on the Air Force Academy football team. Ritchie worked out at the club for three months, upped his weight to 185 and became the academy’s star running back. His team went to the Gator Bowl in 1963, but lost to Carolina. He later became one of the leading aerial aces in the Vietnam War. He returned home and ran for Congress unsuccessfully. One of the few amenities the club offered was Piephoff’s concoction of a

fruit milkshake with protein. He also had a protein fruit candy bar. Barnes said the milkshake was actually what we’d call a smoothie today. He saw something like it in California and brought the idea back to Piephoff. One classy touch: Piephoff played opera music during workouts. One youngster, Greensboro Senior High student Tom Booth, became so enthralled hearing tenor Mario Lanza he decided to take up opera singing. He eventually became a performer at the Metropolitan Opera and elsewhere. One aspect of the business Bill Piephoff was especially proud of, says Bruce Piephoff, was his club’s racial composition. “My father never had to integrate because he was never segregated,” he says. Remember, this was the late 1940s and 1950s, when Greensboro was a strictly segregated city. But black people had been working out at Piephoff’s place since the beginning. “We lost members because of that,” Barnes recalls. “But Bill refused to back down.” Business began to decline around 1970. Piephoff’s wife, Janet, was killed in an auto accident that year. Bill seemed to lose interest in the club and weightlifting. By then, after a decade on East Gaston, the club had relocated to the second floor of a building beside the Carolina Theatre on South Greene Street. About three years later, Piephoff sold the club to Barnes and another partner and took off for Arizona, where he became well-known for his wood carvings. He remained there twenty years or so before returning home. He

“My father never had to integrate because he was never segregated,”

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36 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Street Level

died at age 85 in 2002. Barnes, meanwhile, renamed the club after himself, moved it across the street and then resettled in a former wholesale grocery store building at 500 Spring Garden Street, about halfway between downtown and UNCG. There he added Nautilus equipment, which came on the market in the early 1970s, plus other amenities. Membership soared to 11,000, and he vows he isn’t exaggerating. The exercise rage was kicking in. Members wanted more than weights. They especially wanted Nautilus gear, which was a combination of machinery and weights. They also wanted aerobics, stair-stepping machines, stationary bikes and treadmills, plus TVs mounted on the wall. Barnes tried to oblige them, as did two UNCG students who later bought the business from Barnes and a partner, businessman and politician Chuck Forrester. The business, however, continued as Ronny Barnes Nautilus Fitness Center. Barnes stayed as an advisor and trainer. Future pro football players Lee Rouson of Page, Jeff Davis of Dudley, Ethan Albright of Grimsley and the Bostic brothers, Joe and Jeff, of Smith High, were regulars. In 1997, Dr. Donald Linder, who had made millions selling his share of a health-management business, bought out the two UNCG students and turned the operation into the Pyramids Wellness Center. Linder also bought the city’s two premier health clubs, Sportime Racquet & Athletic Club, with two locations. He closed the old Ronny Barnes center. Today, Linder concentrates on his Sportime Racquet Athletic clubs on Lendew Street (near Woman’s Hospital) and on Oak Branch off West Wendover Avenue. He has since renamed Sportime The Club at Green Valley and The Club at Oak Branch. The club offers spacious facilities with handball courts, swimming pools, yoga classes, massage rooms, a full-time physical therapist and many other features that weightlifters at the Greensboro Health Club couldn’t have fathomed. It’s also not too much of a stretch — and stretching was something early health club members didn’t do, Barnes says — to say the Greensboro Health Club morphed into what is known as The Club today. Piephoff sold to Barnes who sold to the UNCG students who sold to Linder. It’s not an exaggeration to say that despite the contrast in facilities today versus yesteryear, more sweat was spilled, more grunts uttered and heavier weights were lifted at Bill Piephoff’s Greensboro Health Club than any place that has come along since then. OH Jim Schlosser is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. He can be reached at jim@ohenrymag.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro



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January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Winter Hummingbirds By Susan Campbell

For birders, this is

Photograph by Henry Link

the most exciting time of the year.

Yes, familiar visitors from the far north are showing up in flocks: white­-throated sparrows, dark-­eyed juncos and yellow-­rumped warblers. Even bufflehead and ring-necked ducks are not hard to find. But, for me, it is the wintering hummingbirds that make the next few months so special. Believe it or not, although they’re not common, these tiny visitors settle in at sugar­-water feeders left up by the hopeful all over North Carolina, even in the Triad. Some are ruby-throateds, but the hummingbirds that visit in winter are far more likely to be Western species such as rufous, black­chinned or calliope. Additionally, Anna’s, broad­-billed, broad­-tailed, buff-­bellied and Allen’s hummingbirds have spent all or part of the winter here. In the past a few lucky birders even recorded a couple green violet­ear hummer and one green breasted mango as well. This long list of species has made our state the highest in hummingbird diversity in the Eastern United States. Along our coast, where the weather is moderated by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, daytime temperatures seldom dip below freezing and ice and snow are rare. Insectivorous birds, including hummingbirds, find plentiful prey in the abundance of thick, evergreen foliage. In fact, ruby-­throated hummingbirds can be more numerous in some locations on the Outer Banks during the cooler months than during summer, since tall trees for nesting are scarce along the state’s barrier islands and beaches. But the Bank’s scrubby beach habitat is a great place for small birds that eat tiny insects like spiders, mites, midges, flies and aphids to spend the winter. In the interior of the state, rufous hummingbirds are more likely visitors at this time of year — as far west as our southern mountains. Western hummers that frequent more northern latitudes or higher elevations are actually very cold tolerant; after all, summers there may not be much more hospitable than our winters are here! Calls and emails from excited (and sometimes confused) hummingbird hosts start coming in after the first hard freeze, usually in late November. But many wintering hummers are not reported until winter weather settles in, which tends to be about now. Adult males are easy to identify by their stunning gorget colors and patThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

terns. However, you’re actually more likely to see females and immature individuals, which have rather subtle differences in plumage and can be difficult to identify. If you’re lucky enough to get a photograph, that may be sufficient for identification purposes. More often than not, however, in-hand scrutiny is necessary. That means calling in an expert to trap and band your tiny guest. Here in the Triad, we have had one ruby-­throated, a number of rufous hummingbirds and also a calliope, plus the state’s first­ever broad­-tailed hummingbird. The diversity of large, mature evergreens in the area, combined with scattered wet areas makes for excellent year-round hummingbird habitat. It’s likely that many winter hummers have gone undetected and/or unreported in past decades, perhaps because people just give up hope and take their feeders down. Maybe most don’t see hummingbirds because they don’t look for hummingbirds. You, however, can take steps to encourage overwintering hummingbirds even if you don’t choose to provide feeders year-round. Colorful perennials are always attractive to hummers, and the absolute best plant for this purpose is pineapple sage. This member of the Salvia family, with its fruity-­scented foliage and bright red, long spikes of late-season, nectar-­rich tubular blooms is a beacon for hummingbirds as well as for fall butterflies. Grow it in pots that can be sheltered on cold nights so the blooms will persist into the winter months. Japanese mahonia, winter honeysuckle and camellias too can be cold weather hummingbird magnets. And consider putting out a feeder; feeder maintenance is easier than you may think during cold weather. In our area, a feeder hung close to the house will be protected most cold days and many nights. The regular (4 parts water/1 part sugar) solution will not freeze unless the air temperature drops below 27 degrees. And in winter the liquid is much less likely to ferment; simply rinse it out and refill every two weeks or so. I can’t promise that you’ll see hummers, but, if you’ll try a few flowers or maybe a feeder, there is a chance you, too, may attract your very own tiny but hardy and hungry winter visitor. And please let me hear about it if you get lucky! OH For more about wintering hummingbirds in North Carolina, go to: naturalsciences.org/research-collections/research-specialties/birds/nc-hummingbirds Susan would love to hear from you. Send wildlife sightings and photos to susan@ ncaves.com or call (910) 949-3207. January 2014

O.Henry 39




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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

Dish of Legend

Beloved hot chicken casserole is pretty amusing — until it divides the family.

By Jane Borden

Illustration by Meridith Martens

The birth of the second child is typically

traumatic for the first. As the third born, I can’t say whether or not this happened to my eldest sister when the second came. But I did witness the exact thing with our husbands. Such a rift occurs, I imagine, as an extension of a perceived competition over resources, which for children is the parents, and which for my brother-in-law, Marc, is hot chicken casserole from Goldsboro.

Back in the good ol’ days, before my middle sister and I married, Marc was the only son-in-law. As my mother’s first boy, he received her undivided dotage, which usually manifested itself in the form of a brown paper bag containing a frozen aforementioned casserole. As far as I can tell, the rectangular tin contains chicken and gravy on the bottom and stock-soaked bread chunks on top. “It’s Thanksgiving in a bowl!” Marc exclaims over the phone when I ask about his favorite dish. “If I have one, I come home for lunch. I heat it up and eat it for breakfast.” One deep-dish serves twelve people; Marc usually finishes it in two days by himself.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The dish of legend first arrived in my parents’ home a little over a decade ago, a gift from one of Dad’s cousins. My parents liked it enough to track down the woman making them out of her kitchen. They acquired another and served it at a family meal attended by Marc, who raved. From that point forward, whenever family or friends went through Goldsboro, Mom ordered two: one for her and one for her blessed and only son. “He asks for them for his birthday and for every Christmas,” Mom said when I called. Then her voice dropped a few notes and she added, “But when Wes started getting them, Marc got upset.” Wes is the second son, the middle sister’s husband. He also loves hot chicken casserole, but doesn’t advertise it as much — a typical secondchild defense. Marc, meanwhile, doesn’t deny his attitude. Unprompted, he confessed, “I get jealous when I see your mother giving them to my brothers-in-law. I used to get everything.” A minute deeper into the conversation, he shouted excitedly, “Oh, I actually got some this week. Your mom brought me leftovers from a dinner.” This I knew. I had talked to Mom first and heard her speak of painstakingly dividing the leftovers so the two portions, for Marc and Wes, were perfectly equal. But I didn’t tell Marc this; I wasn’t sure if he knew he’d only received half. As my mother frequently advises, “You don’t have to tell everything you know.” As a human, I deem this excellent advice. As a memoirist, I have not always followed it. As a hot-chicken-casserole enthusiast, I know it’s paramount. January 2014

O.Henry 41

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January 2014

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Life of Jane enough to ignite war? I asked Marc why he doesn’t call Goldsboro himself. “The lady moves around!” he blurted. “She’s a nomad! She went somewhere and then came back.” I hear my sister explain in the background, “She moved to Atlanta for a little while.” Marc’s response to this information: “It was devastating.” The mystery of the resource’s origin and the perception of its dearth surely contribute to its power, a part of which transfers to she who controls the flow: mother. I’m not saying Mom wouldn’t give Marc the cook’s number; I’m saying that Marc, who still remembers being the favorite son, would never ask. Several years ago, Mom threw a Christmas Eve dinner for sixteen adults — neighborhood friends and their children, who were mostly daughters, who all had husbands. The house swarmed with sons-in-law; Mom served three hot chicken casseroles. Once we all had trays, she made an announcement: The day before, she’d received a frantic call from the cook in Goldsboro. The woman had lost her wedding ring and was certain it would be in one of the sixty casseroles she’d made and sold for the holiday, so she asked each of her clients to keep an eye out. Before we dug in, Mom turned it into a game, saying, “If someone finds a ring, that person is the King of Christmas.” About five minutes later, one of the sons-in-law shouted, “I’m the King of Christmas! I’m the King of Christmas!” and held up the ring. Then everyone had a laugh — not least of which because we all know who’s the real king. OH Greensboro native Jane Borden, author of the highly-acclaimed I Totally Meant To Do That, lives in L.A.

Renovating your kitchen?

Photo: D

ustin Pec k Photog


When Nathan and I started dating, he was living in Chapel Hill, so we frequently shared meals at Mom and Dad’s house. After one gathering, a birthday celebration attended by all of us, Marc spied a paper bag on the kitchen table and hopefully peered inside. Indeed, it contained a hot chicken casserole from Goldsboro. “Marc was excited,” Mom recalled during our phone chat. “He thought it was his! But then I said it was for Nathan. And he didn’t like that.” “I did not like that,” Marc confirmed when I called, speaking of the incident — again, unprompted. “I think they should all be mine!” This, he says, in full knowledge of how many there have been. I asked Mom, “What’s the total number of casseroles this woman has made for you?” “Oh, I couldn’t begin to guess!” she replied before doing just that: “It’s been at least ten years now, and I buy about ten a year, so probably a hundred?” “One hundred?! Does someone always have to drive to Goldsboro?” “Well last time, she was making a trip to the mountains, so we met in the parking lot of the Sam’s Club in Greensboro, and I bought eight.” “You bought eight hot chicken casseroles — at once — in a parking lot.” “[Sigh.] Jane, you can just call them ‘chicken casseroles.’” She’s right; the name I use is a bastardized combination of the aforementioned delicacy and another dish that has lived in our freezer, called hot chicken salad. But I won’t change my descriptor. Because the phrase “hot chicken casserole” makes me laugh — though not as hard as the image of my mom making a poultry drug deal outside of a Sam’s Club. If there have been one hundred casseroles in our family alone, and if this woman will meet her customers in a parking lot, how can this resource be scarce

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O.Henry 43



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In sweet and inscrutable houses

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 45

Last Christmas, for reasons sentimental and savory, we held our annual Christmas luncheon at Anton’s Restaurant on Battleground. To those of us who grew up in Greensboro, Anton’s (and the old IPD) recalled a simpler time of life and a lot of great memories. Little could we guess that after half a century of life, the landmark restaurant would close its doors in 2013 and actually become a fond memory. This year, as we brainstormed what we plan to make an annual January affair — the G-List of amazing things all related to the life and times of Greensboro — we found ourselves animatedly listing places, people and events who shaped our lives but vanished too soon from the streets of the Gate City. As we sadly added Anton’s to the list of the dearly departed, it struck us that January — named for a god who peered backward as well as forward in time — is as an ideal moment to pause and take note of things and people that have faded from view but are warmly remembered — the secret diary we all carry with us, as Oscar Wilde once described such memories. Thus this year’s G-List theme: Things we remember — and miss — about Greensboro. Frankly, being reminded of these landmark places, events and people was like meeting dear old friends again. We present them pretty much as they came to us, in random fashion, like life itself, with free-form thoughts from staff and friends of the magazine. Enjoy. And a most prosperous and happy New Year from our staff! 46 O.Henry

January 2014

— Jim Dodson, editor The Art & Soul of Greensboro



List for 2014

The Old Rebel Show: Seriously, who didn’t go on this show?

Learning to ice skate at the Coliseum: Fall down, get up, fall down, get up.

Original Ham’s: Even bigger. Miss that circulating train

The high dive at the Elks Club: For only the truly brave, skilled or plain stupid Lake Daniel: Best make-out spot this side of Country Park

The Sunset Café when it was on Spring Garden Street: Back when being a vegetarian was really cool

Atticus Books:

Thalheimers windows at the holidays: A touch of Fifth Avenue on Elm

Sears downtown: Home of

The Greensboro Generals: Great fights interrupted by occasional exciting hockey Blumenthal’s downtown: Cheap jeans, great service, the redneck’s answer to L.L. Bean Guilford née United Dairy Bar: The best double sundae anywhere

One classy bookstore

the Wish Book, finest toy department in town The S&W Cafeteria: Granddaddy of elegant cafeterias, with Howard Waynick playing organ on the mezzanine

The Record Bar at Friendly: Best public teen hangout spot in the early 1970s

Meyer’s Tea Room: Elegant ladies’ retreat, famous for shrimp salad sandwiches

Cheesewhiz burgers at Casey’s Barbecue:

Big with the Grimsley lunch crowd The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 47

Lee Kinard: Can you say

“Good morning?” We did, forever . . .

The Rhino Bar:

GSO’s answer to New York’s Algonquin Round Table City Festival Stage: A little Munich in the city

“Pro” wrasslin’ at the Coliseum: Crowd more entertaining than the wrasslers Tate Street circa 1968: Peace, love and who is burning that Turkish carpet?

Janus Screening Rooms: First true art film

house — with wine, no less

The Boar and Castle:

Legendary passion pit. Sure miss those green drinks and evenings in the grape vines

McAdoo Heights: A town within

a city — populated mostly by Cone Mill workers; now home to swanky State Street shops

The Original ACC Basketball Tournament: Back when you could name every player on every ACC team

Woolworth’s on Elm: There’s a good reason it made history

The smell of downtown’s newsstands: The musk of cheap cigars, out of town newspapers, and those funky men’s magazines in the back


original site on the corner: Where you could sit on the wall and watch the world pass Fred Koury’s

Plantation Supper Club:

Slammin’ Sam loved the place. So did his dates

The Greensboro Sun: Tate Street’s fine

alternative newspaper, run by Jim Clark

The Bushes Bar: A moment of silence, and a cold Shlitz tall boy please, for all those brain cells that perished

The Other Date Cruise Palaces: Sky Castle on High Point Road; The Hot Shoppe on Summit; Knuckle’s Barbecue; Bob Petty’s; and all roads lead to Monroe’s on East Bessemer

The Pickwick Bar: More literary talent on any given night than honors English class

Favorite old timey swimmin’ holes: Ritter’s Lake, Oakhurst swimming pool on High Point Road

The GGO: The Jaycee version of Woodstock; we sure miss Sansabelt and snow in April!

48 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Green Valley Golf Club: City’s Everyman golf

club. They tore down paradise and put up an office park

Faces we sure miss seeing regularly: Rich and

Emily Preyer, Martha Sharpless, Angeline Smith, Bob Sawyer, Sandy Bradshaw, Maggie Keesee-Forrester, Arthur Bluethenthal, Judge Elreta Alexander, Rich Brenner, John Kernodle, Claude Manzi, Chief Moon Wyrick, and Wade York, the nation’s oldest barber

King’s Barbecue on Phillips Avenue: Best ribs in town

The Castaways: Shag, anyone? The smell of popourri at Friendly: Temple of impulse buying, Pet Rocks and patchouli incense WCOG’s “Name it and claim it” contest: The station that drove our parents crazy The King Cotton and original O.Henry hotels: True dowagers, last of their breed Greensboro Coffee Shop: A cup of real Joe before coffee became a “grande” affair

Hamburger Square on

Christmas Eve: A sad, sweet scene straight from Thomas Hart Benton

“Poole’s Paradise”

on WBIG: The voice of Greensboro The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Straughan’s Book Shop on

West Market: O.Henry’s hometown deserves more than one great book shop

The Big GI:

World War II recreation center turned into post-war department store Drive-In theater heaven: The Piedmont on Market, the Skyline on North Highway 29, The Park, The Pointer, the South

Yelverton’s Eastern Style Barbeque: A true taste of the

east in the west

The Nightshade Café: A jazz cave never looked so good

Glory days of the Greensboro NewsRecord: Jim Ross, Irwin Smallwood, Smith Barrier, Jerry Bledsoe, Greta Tilley, Stan Swofford, Mutt Burton, Bill Snider, Ed Yoder, Ned Cline, Jack Scism, Jonathan and Rosemary Yardley and our own Jim Dodson, Jim Schlosser and Maria Johnson . . . no wonder it was the best newspaper in the South Burlington Industries Headquarters on Friendly: Groundbreaking design, beautiful corporate campus, now a parking lot for Mimi’s Café

The Mezzanine at Belk: Scout uniforms and outdoor gear long before it was fashionable January 2014

O.Henry 49

Woody Durham: Was

there ever anyone better?

Will’s at Friendly:

Not much of a bookstore but a great place to buy your mama a gift

Glenwood Five and Dime: Tables of

beautiful stuff a dime could really buy

News and Novels at Golden Gate: For serious

book-lovers, first place to carry the Sunday NY Times

The Original Jay’s Deli on North Elm: Where we met our first true submarine sandwich

Miniature Golf Course at Greensboro Country Park: Terrible condition but loads of fun

Coble Sporting Goods: The place to

get your baseball gloves and ice skates

Camp Wenasa in Browns Summit:

Generations of Scouts, the famous Mile Swim, old man Brook’s haunted house across the lake, killer chiggers True ladies fashion houses: Brownhill’s, Prago-Guyes, Montaldo’s Original Fleet-Plummer: Aisles of gizmos and great stuff we didn’t know we needed, especially at Christmas

Scott Seed at Friendly Center: Every classy shopping center needs a place to buy Sevin and suet

Planter’s Peanut Shop on Elm: Small place, irresistible smells, free samples

50 O.Henry

January 2014

Tom McDonald’s Orchestra: When music made you want to dance

Younts-DeBoe Clothier:

Dress shirts displayed in bureau drawers; high church of Nettleton Shoes Friendly Toy and Hobby: Everything a kid needed for a meaningful life; where we got our first slot car The Old Krispy Kreme on Battleground: A perfect late-night run Gate City’s late great movie houses: The Cinema: formerly the Victory, early art house cinema The Palace: City’s historic black theater on East Market, thriving until it was torn down in the 1960s The Center: Sweet mainstream Hollywood fare including To Kill a Mockingbird The National: Elvis sang here in its heyday, horror films followed The Elm: Famous for its big marquee on North Elm, popular in the 1940s, now the site of Center City Park The State: Hamburger Square’s seedy theater, famous for cheap Western’s The Star: When porn was quaintly called dirty movies

Threads of Greatness The other great men’s shops: Bernard-Shephard, Joel Fleishman’s, Hall-Putnam, Vanstory’s, Guy Hill.

The Apple Cellar:

Isn’t this where we saw a young UNCG nursing student named Emmylou Harris for the first time? OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Best Reader Memoirs 2014

M y

L i f e

i n


T h o u s a n d

W o r d s

Whip-poor-will By Susan Swicegood Boswell


s a child, I would lie at the foot of my bed on summer nights and gaze through the screen of an open window. Drawn by the sounds from the river, my thoughts drifted upward, past tall tops of whispering pines, across a sky strewn with stars. I grew up in the country. My parents’ simple home was built on a tract of farmland bestowed to them by my maternal grandmother, Jane Ward Young, as was done for each of her four children. Rolling meadows, dense forest, pale bottomland and freshly plowed fields created a colorful patterned quilt upon the land; the pieces stitched loosely together by winding dirt roads and penny-colored creeks. To the west, the Yadkin River’s strong currents leached burnished soil from the banks, transforming the river into a long undulating ribbon of copper. This land was my playground and refuge. I built playhouses from fallen tree limbs and wove moss into carpets of silver and green. Clay from the creeks was scooped out by my hands and shaped into vessels. As I grew older, I rode horseback along trails worn deeply into the earth by the natives who had lived there before me. Rains unearthed glistening arrowheads of flint and quartz, their tips poking up like gophers. In the near-silence of the evenings, you could almost hear the land exhale, moaning softly beneath the weight of her own being. From the hush emerged a song in rising crescendo: WHIP-poor-WILL, WHIP-poor-WILL. This music was my lullaby, a song shared by my mother and me before I was born. It soothed me like a second heartbeat in three-quarter time. I found the nightly refrain comforting in a way my mother never did. Evenings blurred her sense of reality. Old wounds surfaced and festered. Volatile mood swings, which were most often directed at my father, erupted. I stood witness in the crossfire, an unintended casualty in my parents’ war. My mother leveled the same accusations at him year after year — he had never loved her, he had cheated on her, he was a piece of crap. Daddy usually said nothing, though at some point, he’d drop his head and ask, helpless and pleading, “What you want me to do about it, Mur-Louise?” I wished he would smack her across the mouth, but he never did. His pathos made my mother furious. With her head pitched at a queer angle, she perched, agitated, on the sofa with her cigarette held stiffly between rigid fingers. She exhaled the fumes dramatically. She uttered my father’s name with contempt, as if the act of saying it hurt her teeth. “Oh, Clifton. Clifton, Clifton.” I am eight or nine years old. Mother stands in the backyard, her face illuminated by a fire blazing in a rusted-out trash barrel that she has hauled up to the house. “Cliff-ton?” she calls, something ominous, cagey in her tone. Although the night is pitch black, her eyes pierce the space of fifty yards between us. I see the shotgun. I hold Daddy’s hand as we encircle her in the velvety darkness. Our footsteps are so light it feels as if we are floating. “Clif-TON!” she screams. “Come back here!” Maybe she’s foolish enough to believe her words will cajole us into revealing our whereabouts when a shotgun would not. She momentarily The Art & Soul of Greensboro

disappears, then pitches shadows into the flames. Blackness ignites and spews forth in venomous strands. What she has set fire to, I do not know, although it likely includes some of my father’s personal belongings and favorite possessions. The night air presses the smoke low to the ground; its acrid scent seems disconcertingly familiar. There is a part of me that feels scorched by the heat and forsaken with the smoldering ash in the bottom of that barrel. Over forty years have passed since I held my father’s hand in the innocence of childhood. My parents are both gone now, each of their deaths an ending to the story they shared. Daddy finally stood up to my mother in his own way. He shot himself on a clear October day in the carport just beneath my bedroom window. Mother passed away nearly twenty years later, seemingly at peace and surrounded by her children in the deep sleep of morphine. There are many ways to put miles between a life, past and present. I’ve seen and touched a small portion of the world, but have never forgotten where I’m from. A stubborn streak of dirt is permanently wedged beneath my fingernails. My veins, if opened, would still ooze copper from the river. I made my new home in the city, where instead of a heartbeat, there is a hum. I find contentment and inspiration within the walls of my little garden, the gift of family and friends and written words which help me understand and define my journey. My husband and I share a son and thirty years of marriage built on a foundation of love and mutual respect. I’ve protected my child from the emotional conflict I knew as a child. I recently discovered that the whippoorwill was considered sacred among the Native Americans who once lived and hunted on our land. They believed that whippoorwills possess the supernatural ability to capture lost souls and transport them safely to their final resting place. The memories of my childhood are rooted in the land, but rise toward the river. I know so much now; there are things I wish didn’t know at all. Yet, I am certain that grace can be found in unexpected places. There remains the hauntingly beautiful song which still echoes deep in my soul like an anthem. WHIP-poor-WILL, WHIP-poor-WILL . . . In my dreams I hear the call. I awaken for the night song. The whippoorwill rises and reaches out from the depths of darkness, lifting me up note by note. She releases me whole and filled with joy on a familiar winding road near penny-colored creeks, in my own unbroken country. Susan Swicegood Boswell grew up in western Davidson County, where she learned life is too short to be anything but happy. Visit her new blog at www.girlfromgoatpastureroad.com January 2014

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William Mangum’s long and difficult odyssey to the top of the commercial art world — fraught with terrifying setbacks — is a living testament to the power of belief in a gift with divine origins By Cindy Adams

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph by Hannah Sharpe

The Art of Faith


ith thousands of loyal fans and a brand-new-furniture deal newly struck with Klaussner Home Furnishings in Asheboro, William Mangum, North Carolina’s most genial and generous artist, would seem to have it made. At age 60, “Bill” to his friends and collectors, is the very picture of good health, tall with broad shoulders, blue eyes, a shock of dark hair and a ready smile. But truth be told, in the last few years, Mangum — who has rightfully earned the sobriquet “North Carolina’s Artist” by painting almost every important waterfall, mountain, church, lighthouse and landmark in the state — has endured a series of Jobian misfortunes that seem more biblical than Hallmark. First in 2008, he herniated two discs while picking up a heavy box during a charity event. Back surgery followed, in the face of the worst financial downturn the art world has seen in decades. Then, after a two-story fall from a ladder in May 2012, came a compound fracture to his humerus and the elbow of his right, painting arm. For six months, Mangum says he didn’t paint at all. “Period. Then, I began doodling again.” A subsequent November head-on collision heaped insult on injury. As did the onset of devastating arthritis. “I lost cartilage in my thumb,” he says. “It is now bone-on-bone.” More surgery, last January, was the only solution. “It grinds to a point they have to go in and strip tendon out of your arm.” But only his closest friends knew what Mangum was going through. Outwardly, all appeared fine — as finely composed as a William Mangum landscape. How could his collector base or TV audiences, watching him promote his work and books during PBS fundraisers, know that privately, the prolific artist confided to friends that he might never paint again? But all these recent events, and his response to them, are classic Mangum, just the latest in a continuing series of comebacks and reinventions, the first of which was his becoming an artist in the first place, rising from a hardscrapple, sometimes tortured childhood in a home rife with physical abuse. And each comeback is a testament to Mangum’s resilience, optimism and faith, says Joy Ross, his gallery manager for nineteen years. “He truly believes things will always be all right. He has that faith.” His friend of many years, O.Henry editor Jim Dodson, notes: “All great artists

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

are masters at renewing and sometimes reinventing themselves. And Bill is an absolute master at taking personal trial and misfortune and spinning them into spiritual gold, acquiring the wisdom and humility that comes with suffering. This grounding in life’s hard knocks is the source of his authenticity and vision.” Over the years, as a tenacious survivor, Mangum has defied the odds again and again and has used the pain he’s suffered to inform his paintings — paintings of an idyllic, beautiful world, the North Carolina he loves to capture on canvases. And he does it because his loyal fans (25,000 on his mailing list and 3,000 on his email list) have kept him going over the years: “People need you so you’ve gotta get up and go back and do it,” he says, characteristically upbeat. “And I love to be needed. Sitting down is not the answer.”


angum inherited his good looks and optimism from his mother, Louise Mangum, who suffered a massive stroke in her 20s, possibly due to physical abuse. As a boy, Mangum had been subject to the same. Louise eloped in the early 1940s with Robert Carey, a traveling Bible salesman. When their child, Bobby, was born in 1943, the couple left him with his maternal grandparents in Broadway, a little town near Sanford. “I am not quite sure what transpired,” Mangum reflects, “but my mother made her way to Pinehurst.” She became a nursing assistant at Moore County Hospital and met William “Bill” Mangum Sr., who had just left the Army. On April 4, 1953, William Mangum, Jr., was born. “I was a child of that new love,” he observes. Meanwhile, the infant’s 10-year-old half-brother, Bobby Carey, remained with his grandparents. As the couple awaited a divorce decree and prepared to marry, Mangum Sr. was in an auto accident. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter and imprisoned. In the meantime, Louise Mangum’s mother died, leaving her to raise the two boys on her own. When Mangum Sr.’s brother, Hugh, came onto the scene, offering financial security, love and marriage, Louise accepted, and the boys moved to a Naval base in Norfolk, Virginia. Hugh, a career sailor, was abusive when drunk. “The man I knew as my father, Pops, was actually my uncle,” says the artist. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born at Charleston Naval Base. When Mangum was eight years old, and Hugh Mangum was deployed in January 2014

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the Mediterranean, Louise Mangum suffered a stroke. While Louise convalesced, Elizabeth was sent to Raleigh to be raised by her Aunt Dora, Louise’s sister. As for Mangum, “I went to live with relatives in Mamers [between Sanford and Lillington in Harnett County],” says Mangum in the introduction to his book, Carolina Preserves. “As a young boy, I could not believe I had been thrown into this stopping place along the road. I hated the rural existence and yearned for the day when I could leave.” His twin consolations were the maternal sweetness of his Aunt Kate, and the solace of art. Mangum was on an upward trajectory from his very first “doodle,” as he calls them, when his teachers realized he could draw either muscle cars or rural scenes with equal and unusual skill. His third-grade art won a blue ribbon at the State Fair. In 1971, Mangum graduated from Pine Forest Senior High School in Fayetteville and began studying art at Sandhills Community College. He later transferred to UNCG. Mangum had earned his way out of Mamers with 50 cents worth of watercolors. His first big success was at an art exhibit as a senior at UNCG. With $300 from Bobby Carey, his older brother, he framed ten of his pictures. “I sold every one of them,” he says. “I guess I should pay him back,” he jokes. In 1977, he married Cynthia Berkley. The next year, he produced a limited edition print titled West Jefferson, which sold 500 copies. “I earned more than $50,000 my first year selling my artwork,” says Mangum. “In truth, I had no idea how to handle my success.” He first bought a house in Lake Daniels and then one in Irving Park. He overspent and overborrowed, with interest rates at 20 percent. In 1980, he filed for bankruptcy. It quite literally knocked him to his knees. The night before going to bankruptcy court, at one of the lowest points in his life, Mangum had a religious epiphany. He made a pact to serve God. He says that when he went to court the next day, he was completely at peace. Mangum became a deacon at First Presbyterian Church. He repaid every creditor despite the protections afforded by bankruptcy. “I see this, Bill’s resilience, purely from a faith-based situation,” says Bill Morrisette, president of Morrisette Paper Company. “He is grounded in his faith. It’s that pure and simple. Even when he was down and out, his faith has sustained him, crisis after crisis.” “We were next-door neighbors to the Mangums in the mid ’80s for over ten years. Even after his bankruptcy, I recall his telling me about how after

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he graduated from UNCG, making all kinds of money, he was living the life, flying to New York. Then, one day, he looks out the window and thinks somebody is stealing his Cadillac . . . but the man was repossessing it.” He set out to re-engineer himself and threw himself into good works. As Ross observes, the new Mangum was “anything but status quo.” He became involved with a homeless man named Michael Saavedra, which ultimately led to a continuing involvement with Greensboro Urban Ministry. Morrisette recalls the pact that Mangum made. “He told the Lord if he got out of this, he would dedicate his life to Him. The only way he has survived these things is with a great faith.” “My faith has been the bedrock that all things will work out,” Mangum says. “I strive to just be patient on the Lord’s timing.” Beginning in 2005, things suddenly began going wrong again — with a difference. As the economy slowed, like a lot of other people, Mangum’s business was severely affected. But what really tested his faith was a cluster of injuries that threatened his ability to paint, at a time when he sorely needed to boost his business. “The bankruptcy I had in 1980 was raw and sobering,” he recalls. But he had never seen the art landscape look quite so dire after the economic crash of 2008. That same year, typically overscheduled, Mangum had shoehorned a Greensboro volunteer event into a full day and was working in a warehouse during a charitable event. “I picked up a heavy box,” he remembers. He felt the gut-wrenching pain of two herniated discs suddenly rupturing. One heavy box plunged Mangum into a netherworld of pain and private upheaval for another three years.


hat works so well for Mangum, says Ross, are his energy and discipline. Ross is his manager and coordinator for the gallery in Lawndale Shopping Center, overseeing his art books and business ventures. He paints his realistic watercolors most days of the week on a schedule, like any other job. He calls this “the business of art.” If he hadn’t become an artist, Mangum says he would have liked to have become a businessman like his successful older sibling. He decided to incorporate the two. Mangum’s genius was in understanding that the public wanted a lot more than paintings. They wanted art they could understand and afford — books and prints. He represented a different kind of artist, one with charm and The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs by Sam froelich

approachability. Mangum often painted inside the gallery, jumping up from the easel to greet collectors and chat. He inscribed thousands of books and prints. But after the back injury, his concentration took a hit. Standing at an antique drafting table in his gallery, well stocked with brushes, paint and paper, he could barely think for the pain. No matter. Mangum would close his door, ignore the phone for a few hours and paint anyway. Financial worries grew as persistent as physical pain. The Great Recession had changed everything — worse than the late 1970s recession that had plunged Mangum into bankruptcy. His competitors were struggling as well. “Economically, there was no comparison between the 1970s and recent years. It has just devastated my industry. There is no longer a trade across America; no trade shows, no trade magazines. It really is kind of dismal,” Mangum says. Eventually, it grew difficult for the artist to walk, let alone paint, despite cortisone injections, therapies and traction. By July 2010, Mangum yielded to disc replacement. “I had pain shooting down my leg; I had no option other than having the replacement,” he recalls. It was a complex surgery with a long convalescence. Surgery meant time away from his gallery and time away from his livelihood. “The back surgery was a daunting thing,” he admits. For the first time, Mangum was disabled. He began a nine-month rehabilitation program, but it was September 2011 before he felt healed. “I was pretty much back full force. Some of the most entertaining therapy was going to the Y and working in the pool with the therapist. It was a slow process.” While he had powered through the back surgery, the art market was damaged and floundering. Mangum intensified a schedule of public appearances, charitable and corporate events. He and his wife decided to downsize since the children were no longer at home and sold the family home on Country Club, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

moving to Huntington Drive. And then, in May 2012, Mangum fell off the roof. He fell on a Saturday morning at his new residence, only two weeks after their move. Mangum is naturally athletic and likes being busy. He decided to use the leaf blower to clean the gutters, bracing himself with one foot atop the roof and another on the ladder. “Then, I felt the ladder begin to slide out beneath me.” When he came to, Mangum saw exposed bone, tissue and gore. His body temperature plunged. He was sliding into shock, but had his cell phone with him and called his youngest son, Preston. “Preston gathered me up. He got me to the hospital,” Mangum recalls. “They started cutting my clothes off. They didn’t operate for a couple of days until they stabilized me.” Mangum had a total of eight fractures to the humerus and elbow of his right arm. He underwent back-to-back surgeries with two surgical teams waiting. They pinned his arms and shoulders back together and inserted rods to stabilize them. There would be more surgeries to follow. “Initially, I just felt like it was going to be a matter of weeks. It became apparent it would be months before it came to a head,” he recalls. And would he paint again? When Mangum returned to Huntington Drive, he returned to a construction site, with painting and floors being refinished. He slept on a hospital bed in the living room for six weeks and reviewed his life. Mangum doesn’t especially like discussing what followed. “It was very humbling,” he says. In the darkest moments, lying alone in the living room, Mangum took stock. This was, he knew, “life threatening as well as career ending.” But he counted himself lucky to be alive. “Guess I could have sat in a wheelJanuary 2014

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chair to paint, if it had taken a bad turn” he says, his voice trailing off. Formerly a fast, prolific painter, he suffered post-surgical nerve impairment that made speed impossible. “I had to go through six months of blocks to shut down my right arm and try to reboot it; calming it. It did work, eventually.” He was also lucky that he had decades of work to draw from. “The one advantage I had was to pull on my library of paintings. That was when I had the idea for the book North Carolina Beautiful in 2011.” His granddaughter, Jayden Honeycutt, gave Mangum the inspiration for a green theme, “the idea of protecting things for the future.” He contacted six conservation and preservation groups, conceptualizing a book that contained natural scenes worth noting and protecting. He slowly, painfully, doodled. “Then I began small illustrations to round out the book. Small flowers and butterflies. Outside of that, out of the 130 paintings inside, I only did eight or ten new ones,” he says. “I drew upon previous work to round out that book.” All the while, Mangum remained true to his faith and kept giving generously to charities, especially the Greensboro Urban Ministry and those benefitting the homeless. His 2012 Honor Card raised nearly $500,000. The Ministry’s programs derive enormous benefit from Mangum’s contribution: over $3.1 million netted and counting. Statewide, the Honor Card has generated $4.5 million.


or twenty-five years watercolor artist William Mangum has been a hands-on advocate for the homeless, donating his artistic skills and publishing gifts to make the Honor Card program one of the most well-run and leveraged charitable programs in the country,” writes Mike Aiken, executive director of Greensboro Urban Ministry, which keeps all sales proceeds from cards bearing Mangum scenes. Greensboro Urban Ministry keeps all sales proceeds from cards bearing Mangum scenes. “I was coming out of the arm surgery. I had to do the Honor Card left-handed, for the most part. If there was one thing I was going to accomplish, it was the Honor Card — it took me 2013 Honor Card about three months to do it,” he says. “I don’t care to do that again.” Volunteer Lynette Bleisteiner met Mangum two years ago working at the shelter’s Wednesday morning breakfast. “Bill encourages homeless people who try their hand at art. They proudly bring it to breakfast for his opinion and critique. He motivates them and gives them dignity.” Still unable to paint, Mangum worked at the gallery as often as he could, helping with sales, leveraging his enormous body of work through products — puzzles, calendars, gifts and cards. And he dreamed of a licensing agreement, twice coming within a whisper of making it work with two large furniture companies. Licensing agreements had been the key to enormous success for painters like Bob Timberlake. He also learned he had damaged tendons in his wrist. “I didn’t want the public to know,” Mangum admits. “From the early days, I always believed in the starving artist label. I thought people would buy from an artist for a season, but if you didn’t (keep going) it would get stale. That’s when the idea came of doing Michael’s book.” By the fall of 2012, Mangum completed the primary work on Michael’s Gift. Then in November 2012, Mangum had a head-on collision while driving

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alone en route to Greenville, for a speaking engagement. “On my way there for the Honor Card program. I was on Highway 64, watching traffic. There was a big ramp and a pickup truck coming down.” Before crashing, Mangum remembers veering into the left lane, unable to avoid it. Mangum left his demolished van behind and gave the speech. Afterward, he rode home in a wrecker with the van in tow. The next day, he saw a doctor to appraise the damage. “It set me back a few months. ” And problems with his hands continued. Mangum has been diagnosed with basal thumb arthritis. In January of 2013, Mangum underwent surgery on his left hand. “When I had the hand surgery, it was career-threatening surgery. Any dentist, surgeon or musician has a career ended without use of their hand,” he says. Mangum has delayed surgery on his dominant right hand. Sympathetic nerve problems returned; a vicious loop played on. Going into 2013, it looked as if Mangum’s streak of bad luck was coming to an end. On mend from his multiple injuries, he got a phone call from Klaussner furniture executive Geoff Beaston. Beaston, who had worked on Bob Timberlake’s line for Lexington Furniture in 1990, wanted to meet with Mangum to discuss a licensing deal based upon his Carolina Preserves art book. The collection, built around the book’s images, rolled out on the occasion of Klaussner’s 50th anniversary. On October 24, 2013, an exuberant Mangum strode through the Carolina Preserves Collection rooms. A group of about fifty friends and families met for a private reception in Klaussner’s showroom as dusk fell over an emptying Hamilton Street. High Point — manic for one long burst — was about to enter its extended winter hibernation until spring market. But not yet. “Can you believe it? Isn’t this just great?” Mangum asked over and over. Rita Heath, a retired employee, who had traveled from Oak Island, said “I am so, so thrilled. I am so happy for him.” Beaston radiated calm excitement as he waited for the crowd to quiet. He took the microphone in hand to announce that Klaussner’s excellent market results, “were up 29 percent.” By any marker, this was excellent news. And nobody appreciated that more than Mangum. Mangum began thanking people present “for staying the long journey.” He joked lightly about “falling off a roof,” and the people who had bought an original recently “knowing old Bill probably needed that.” His speech was a summation of a daunting journey that even his closest friends feared might end in a different place. He spied Tonya, his Pilates instructor. “You’re the real reason I’m standing here,” he smiled, eyes moist. “I couldn’t be standing without you,” and then looked down, collecting himself. “You hurt me,” he smiled, “but I’m standing here because of it.” It was vintage William Mangum, a man who’s learned that misfortune, pain and suffering are part of the human lot, no matter your talent or wealth, and that enduring it and rising above it are all that matters — something he learned from his long-deceased Aunt Kate and his mother, and their belief in his talent. “Mom always said, ‘Just wait,’” he said, voice cracking. “‘Just wait, Honey,’” he repeated softly. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

With Carolina Preserves,

North Carolina’s Best Loved Artist Comes Home By Jim Dodson


ate one afternoon not long ago, as shadows lengthened across a massive furniture showroom in High Point, we found our good friend Bill Mangum at his easel near the entrance of Klaussner Home Furnishing’s new Carolina Preserves Home Collections, featuring over 100 different pieces in two themed collections inspired by the painting — and philosophy — of the man who has been called North Carolina’s Artist. By most accounts, Carolina Preserves, inspired by Mangum’s famous book of the same name, was one of the major stars of the October 2013 Furniture Market. “For me,” Mangum allowed, leading a visitor through the impressive showroom, “this is such a personally gratifying experience because so many of the pieces you’ll see in the lines came directly from my own studio and home life. It’s been an unbelievably rewarding way to connect with the people who buy my art — a way of sharing who I am with them.” Geoff Beaston, Klausner’s VP of marketing, the visionary behind artist Bob Timberlake’s and Arnold Palmer’s The Art & Soul of Greensboro

signature furniture lines several years ago for Thomasville, confirms and underscores the point. “To have Bill so deeply involved in every aspect of the line’s creation — from the functionality of the pieces to the fabrics used to upholster them (all inspired by his paintings), is an incomparable gift. He’s full of great ideas and — like his work and life themselves — speaks powerfully to people. He gives this line a depth and originality and personal authenticity you can see and feel. He’s really put his soul into the collection.” Beaston reports that Carolina Preserves had an exceptional Market debut, breaking company sales records selling through record numbers of orders that came from around the globe. With an appealing mid-price point that makes the joint collections of Carolina Preserves appealing to the largest segment of fine furniture buyers — “Blue Ridge” is solid cherry wood, “Sea Breeze” a painted birch — Beaston expects the Carolina Preserves name to grow rapidly after the furniture begins reaching retail stores nationwide in March. OH January 2014

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Story of a House

Cottage Industry Well-traveled Johannah Stern is a homegrown original. Just like the Carlson Farm house, she made a home in her own image By Deborah Salomon • Photographs by Kevin Banker


ohannah Stern is, well, an unusual woman. The Greensboro native lived for a year in a palatial apartment in Florence, soaking up Italian culture and lifestyle. She is the only female owner/operator of a hunting/fishing lodge in North Carolina, in the state’s only county (Stokes) with a self-contained mountain range and no four-lane highways. Her background is photojournalism. Her parties are legend; how many local hostesses throw a bash celebrating Roald Amundsen reaching the South Pole in 1911, where the guests must wear fur? Yet, Johannah proudly sports the Old South label. “My favorite horse was named Confederate and my family’s been here since before the Revolutionary War.” Goes without saying that Johannah’s home, inside and out, is, well, unusual. Because this adventuress wouldn’t thrive in a foursquare Georgian

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revival or even a Tara knock-off. Not that she hasn’t tried. “I grew up with five siblings in a wonderful old house (1910), more formal, in the Aycock Historic District,” Johannah begins. “The house burned down when I was 16.” This creative young woman planned to use her master’s degree documenting Israeli women in the military. Instead, she married, had three sons and a daughter, became a professional volunteer for schools and various service organizations. Her home base — “A gorgeous Colonial on Madison Avenue . . . I wept when we had to sell.” Since Sternsville was also home base for many teenagers, they needed spreadout space. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Then I totally revamped a house in Latham Park,” Johannah continues. “I wept when I left that one, too.” By now, shouldn’t Johannah be running out of projects? Hardly. Her taste had matured. Downsizing was out since her children, now grown, drift back from time to time. She admired Frank Lloyd Wright and the modernist homes designed by noted Greensboro architect Edward Loewenstein — also the cottage-y atmosphere possible on a country knoll. Serendipitously, her Realtor called with a cryptic message: You’re going to love this property. For Johannah, the property — four acres overlooking a pond on Greensboro Country Club’s Carlson Farm Course — proved love at first sight. Only problem: “The house was abysmal — a bad early ’70s ranch,” meaning stucco walls, pea-green tile glued over hardwood floors, a maze of tiny rooms, meaningless to The Art & Soul of Greensboro

her open, expansive lifestyle. “I felt like looking up who built it and asking, ‘How did you put such a home on a beautiful property like this?’” But the driveway wound over a dam and through a dense archway of trees. The setting lent itself to knotty pine and shabby chic. Johannah snapped it up in 1998. At first, she considered demolishing the house and moving a Loewenstein onto the knoll. Too complicated. Instead, after mulling until 2005, she undertook a year-long uber-renovation of her own design. “Any house can be fixed,” Johannah says with, well, optimism. “I can fix this one.” Never mind that during the same year she dealt with a broken collarbone and a divorce. January 2014

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You know what you want, an architect told her. All you need is a draftsman, a builder and, of course, artisans to antique-finish beadboard walls, cut and lay a hearth made of black marble salvaged from the original O.Henry Hotel and fit ceiling beams Johannah herself trucked from a pre-Revolutionary War cabin in eastern North Carolina. Bless the Triad. “If you have an idea, you can find somebody here to execute it,” Johannah learned. Painted brick — and so much more — obscure any hint of the original exterior. A grapevine trellises over the front porch, delineated by Greek columns. Moss grows on the porch table. A scene, perhaps, from an Italian film. “I hate to drive up to a house and first thing you see is double garage doors,” Johannah says. Who needed that garage anyway? Let’s have a circular brick parking area, raise the garage roof, open three walls to the air, hang ceiling fans and outline the space in rough-hewn barn board.

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Let’s arrange comfy indoor-outdoor furniture, call it a pavilion — and strew it with friends. A fireplace already existed on the back wall, a stone’s throw from the kitchen. Now, let’s feed the friends. Johannah knows kitchens like Dave Brubeck knew jazz. “I’ve redone two before. A chef helped me.” Chefs still drop by to admire her handiwork — defined by stubborn must-haves like windows abutting on a corner, which didn’t pass code. “So we installed a steel beam,” she beams. Her countertops: a combination of swirling green-tinged Italian granite on the range island and butcher block elsewhere. Her sink: farm-style, deep and wide, hammered Mexican copper. Her Whirlpool one-ups Sub-Zero with same-sized stainless refrigerator and freezer, side-by-side. Cabinets in antique ivory feature a lighted soffit shelf filled with culinary curiosities, including a Guilford Dairy glass milk bottle. Outside the window wall stands a stately magnolia “that’s almost like wallpaper.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Because a daughter of the Old South must have her magnolia. Beyond the open kitchen Johannah made eight small rooms into one mega-chamber, without removing sections for dining, conversing and sunning. Furniture is purposely low, not to obscure views from every window. Only the library has four walls, along with quasi-Jeffersonian furnishings, a fireplace and tall bookshelves to fulfill Johannah’s purpose: “I grew up with books. Books are old friends or friends you haven’t met. My goal is to have places where people can come in, sit down and read a book.” Oversize TVs? Computer monitors? Out of sight. Look up. Look down. Throughout, floors and ceilings fitted together from wide-board knotty heart pine rescued from a tobacco warehouse unify the carefully jumbled areas. Johannah scatters Orientals over them, even in the bathrooms. She found a graceful side door with beveled glass on eBay, drove to Philadelphia, brought it back. Her furniture, well, defies classification. She adores case pieces; they are everywhere. “A chest is like a surprise because you don’t know what’s in the drawers,” Johannah reasons. With abandon, she mixes stripes, checks, patterns in cool colors on upholstered pieces clumped between antiques — ancient or semi, believing that everything worthwhile happened before 1940. Clutter is no concern, if meaningful, like cut glass and family photos. Art completes the variety, from paintings brought back from Italy to UNCG artist Ben Berns, purchased “before his art got cost-prohibitive.” The second floor — another surprise, enormous bath suite, dormered bedroom and sitting room/office laid out shotgun-style are more

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casbah than cottage. For a while, Johannah says, she had an Arabian nights thing going on, with gauzy curtains dividing the space reflecting a rainbow of jewel tones. Soon, she will about-face, covering all with Wedgwood blue toile. “You can incorporate different time periods (in a house),” Johannah believes. “History is a flow, a process. Life is a process, too, and it’s OK if your home reflects that.” The parties began even before the renovation was complete. “Johannah gets 100 percent acceptance to her invitations,” says longtime friend Bridget Holcombe. “It’s not the Martha Stewart kind of entertaining. People would miss a funeral (to attend).” Expect music and dancing, Bridget continues, with food spread out in the kitchen for guests to help finish. Some perch in the feeding areas — others, mostly guys, head for the pavilion. Surroundings set the relaxed tone. “Wherever Johannah lives, she makes it homey.” A vibrancy, a fluidity permeates Johannah Stern’s cottage, as she calls the 4,500-square-foot residence. Planned openness allows her to be within sight of guests and children, as well as watching over the grounds, which she finds peaceful, even inspirational. “Us misanthropes like to live out here where it’s private,” Johannah says with a devilish grin. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but people who know Johannah Stern — and her cottage — get the drift. OH Deborah Salomon is a staff writer for PineStraw and contributing writer for O.Henry magazine. She may be reached at debsalomon@nc.rr.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 65

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66 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Reflect upon your present blessings, Of which every man has plenty; Not on your past misfortunes, Of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

By Noah Salt

What Would Ben Do? In 1726, 20-year-old Ben Franklin — author of Poor Richard’s Almanac — wrote down his thirteen virtues of a successful life. We thought a New Year refresher couldn’t hurt. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform what you resolve without fail. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly. If you speak, speak accordingly. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Moderation. Avoid extremes. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or accidents common or unavoidable. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. Humility. Imitate Jesus or Socrates.

Into the Southern Wild New gardening books always brighten our day , and this winter brings the usual crop of promising titles. The one that captured our fancy straight off, however, is Timber Press’ Native Plants of the Southeast by Larry Mellichamp, a comprehensive guide to the best 460 species for the garden. Mellichamp, Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Botanical Garden, profiles hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, the other native plants that call the Southeast home and adapt well to garden cultivation. With concise but comprehensive profiles of plants and how they might best be used in conventional garden settings, lavishly enhanced by photography by veteran wildflower photographer Will Stuart, this book should become the go-to resource for Southern gardeners eager to break out of the “local garden center mode” and truly express their botanical individuality. Retail: $39.95. Available at area bookstores or through Timberpress.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A Favorite Winter Plant Daphne odora — aka “Winter Daphne” — is a delightful evergreen shrub, native to China and Japan, that often produces a bounty of fragrant pale pink blooms and sometimes red berries come late January and February. Though Winter Daphne is relatively short lived — ten to twelve years is the norm — the rewards, if placed in a moist and rich loamy soil near a patio or terrace, pruned little and largely left alone, will be appreciated by anyone who loves the garden in winter. Your nose will thank you.

Give and Grow in 2014 Out with the old, in with the new. Go do good and don’t look back. Everyone has a favorite expression for ringing in the high hopes for a new and unblemished year. Some years ago, citing a dodgy track record on the subject, we took inspiration from a gardening friend who abandoned making specific New Year resolutions and aimed instead for a generally low-key goal of being more fulfilled by wanting fewer material things and giving more . If there’s anyplace ideal for growing your own human compassion in the unmarked days ahead, not to mention deepening your connection to the ground beneath your feet, might we suggest you start a new garden and share its bounty with others? People who give flowers and vegetables and even whole trees — as a thoughtful neighbor of ours did a few years ago, bringing over a pair of young Japanese maples — make the world a much better place, one living gift at a time. Every time we look at those beautiful maples, we think fondly of the lady who lost her husband and surprised us with tender baby trees — a lovely metaphor for life and death and the inevitability of spring’s eventual return. OH

January 2014

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January 2013

Arts Calendar

Jay Z at the Greensboro Coliseum

Wedding Expo


Parisfal by the Royal Opera 1/





January 1–31

January 5

January 11–12

A TIME TO REMEMBER. Public history master’s students at UNCG have gathered a rich set of stories about the American naval base at Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) in an interactive exhibit, The Guantánamo Public Memory Project. International Civil Rights Museum, 134 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274 – 9199 or sitinmovement.org.

ALL’S FAIR. Whether it’s the decor, cake, DJ or ceremony, work out all the details of your big day at the Wedding Fair. Enjoy live music, prizes and fashion shows. The Embassy Suites Hotel, 204 Centreport Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 5451970 or 33bride.com.

BIG RIG GIG. 7:30 p.m. Cheer for Grave Digger, Monster Mutt, Stone Crusher and other really big wheels that keep on turning at the U.S. Hot Rod Monster Jam. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum. com; monsterjam.com.

January 5

SELFIE. 8 p.m. Hip-hop superstar Jay Z, aka Shawn Corey Carter, brings his Magna Carter Holy Grail tour to town. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com. Key:

• • Art


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Performing arts

January 8

• HIGH NOTES. 6:30 p.m. Those of us who missed the December performance of Parsifal by

the Royal Opera will get a second chance to see (and hear) Wagner’s final masterpiece at Carmike 18. Just remember to turn off your phone. Also January 12 at 1 p.m. Carmike 18, 4822 Koger Boulevard, Greensboro. Info: (336) 851-0960 or carmike.com.

• • Film


• • Fun


January 10–12

WINNEBAGO-GO. With the right tents, sleeping bag and RV, the outdoors can be yours. Take a gander at ’em at the 25th annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show. Times vary. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Special Events Center, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com.

Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January Arts Calendar

Bread making tutorial

Woodblock prints at Weatherspoon 1/


The Birds plays at the Carolina Theatre 1/




January 11

January 12

January 13

LEARN AND CHURN. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. You don’t have to be one of the upper crust to see how bread and butter were made in “olden times.” Costumed interpreters will show you how — for no dough — at Hoggatt House. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

TARHEEL TRADITIONS. 3 p.m. How did the town of Pin Hook get its name? And what’s the fate of flour burgers? Find out at Bernie Harberts’ presentation, Hoofing It By Mule Across North Carolina, in which he shares anecdotes, photos, recipes and customs of rural life acquired during his 600-mile trek from the mountains to the sea. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043; greensborohistory.org.

ROOTS, PART DEUX. 6 p.m. Larry Cates continues his introduction to 17th-century English records, A Beginner’s Guide to Jumping the Pond, Part 2, which focuses on finding locations where Southerners’ forebears may have originated. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

January 11

• WOOD YOU. Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo period, 1615–1868, to the 20th century

demonstrate “the custom of directly observing nature and imbuing its flora and fauna w ith symbolic meanings.” Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

January 14

January 12

A FINE FEATHER. 7 p.m. What’s all the flap? Alfred Hitchcock’s 1961 thriller The Birds. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2065 or carolinatheatre.com.

BELLE WEATHER. 7 p.m. Get a new attitude with the vibrant vocals of Lady Marmalade herself, R&B legend Patti LaBelle. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com. Key:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

• • Art


Performing arts

• • Film


• • Fun


January 2014


O.Henry 69

January Arts Calendar January 15

SAUR A NOTES. 10 a.m. Learn about historian Charles Roedenbough’s Sauratown Project and the early plantation of 18thcentury surveyor William Byrd, who charted the line between Virginia and North Carolina. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

January 16–17

PLANT-ASTIC. 9 a.m. Calling all green thumbs! See what’s sprouting at the N.C. Nursery & Landscape Association Green and Growin Trade Show. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Special Events Center, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com.

January 16

VEG OUT. 7 p.m. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, this screening of the documentary Forks Over Knives serves up powerful evidence to suggest that eliminating animal-based products from your diet can cure or reverse degenerative diseases. Kathleen Clay Edwards Library, 1420 Price Park Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2923 or wholefoodsmarket.com.

January 16

MOONBEAMS. 5:30 p.m. Falk Visiting Artist Jiha Moon will discuss her iconographic, popfantasy interpretations of traditional Japanese landscape paintings. Her work will be on display until April 13. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon. uncg.edu.

www.transitdamagefreight.webs.com 70 O.Henry

January 2014

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Key: Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/ Fun History Sports Speakers The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January Arts Calendar January 17

SEND IN THE CLOWNS. 8 p.m. Who’s got the last laugh? Watch as five local comedians vie for a $1,000 prize at Idiot Box Comedy Club’s Sixth Annual Ultimate Comic Challenge. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2065 or carolinatheatre.com.

January 17

BLOWHARDS. 7:30 p.m. Relavents Wind Quintet sounds high notes to the Music for a Great Space Series. St. Pius X, 2220 North Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: Carolina Theatre Box Office, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro; (336) 333-2065 or carolinatheatre.com.

January 18

HAMMER AND TONGS. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Strike while the iron is hot and watch the blacksmithing demonstration at Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

January 18

• BENÉT-SAYER. 8 p.m. Or, rather, singer. R&B crooner Eric Benét soothes with soulful sounds. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2065 or carolinatheatre.com.

••• •


Key: Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Fun History Sports Speakers

• • Film


Blacksmith demonstration at Historical Park 12/


Treasures • Antiques • Consignments

Organizing and Personal Assistant Services Alli McVann

336-461-6900 www.allicadabra.com Bonded - Insured The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

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January Arts Calendar

New Year, New Possibilities

January 18

IN THA’ HOUSE. 7 p.m. Toss a coin in the hat for history at Preservation Greensboro’s Blandwood Bash! — a fundraising party for Greensboro’s only National Historic Landmark, Blandwood Mansion. Dine, drink and dance at Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: jkastner@blandwood.org or (336) 272-5003.

A new year brings new opportunities to choose a retirement lifestyle that exceeds your expectations. Well•Spring residents enjoy exceptional retirement living with the most diverse mix of social activities and healthcare plans in the area. Here you can maintain an independent lifestyle while enjoying new friendships and opportunities for enrichment, from university courses to excursions and casual get-togethers.

January 20

CHILLIN’. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Offload the offspring for a winter party day at the Greensboro Children’s Museum. The Snow Day Camp will guarantee fun games, science experiments, art and garden activities; but the snow isn’t included. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Tickets & Registration: (336) 547 – 2898 or gcmuseum.com.

At Well•Spring, we strive to be your first choice for retirement living. Come visit our award-winning community, and see why the best beginnings start here. Contact us today for more information. www.well-spring.org (336) 545-5468 • (800) 547-5387 4100 Well Spring Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410


January 23

ARKANSAS TRAVELER. 7 p.m. Country star and Natural State native Justin Moore rocks it in his Off The Beaten Path tour, with help from Randy Houser and Josh Thompson. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com or moorejustinmusic.com.

January 23 & 25

BOW MONDE. Violinist and Greensboro Symphony Orchestra conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky will have the world on his strings with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Op. 61, and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 at the Tanger Outlets Masterworks Series concert, Diamonds in the Rough. 7:30 p.m. (January 23), War Memorial Auditorium, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro; 8 p.m. (January 25), Dana Auditorium, 1941 N E W GA R D EN R D

72 O.Henry

S T E 2 08

January 2014


N C 27410

336.9 07. 7536


••• • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Film Literature/Speakers Sports

• • •

Performing arts Fun History

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January Arts Calendar

Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 335-5456, ext. 225 or greensborosymphony.org.

January 24–26

AHOY! Seek out the kind of boat you’d like to float, and some hot rods (and reels) at the Central Carolina Boat & Fishing Expo. Times vary. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Special Events Center, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or greensborocoliseum.com or moorejustinmusic.com.

January 25

SWANKY. 7 p.m. Put on the ritz and raise your forks for the Wish Gala, benefiting Make-aWish. Eight executive chefs from McConnell Golf properties will serve up some tasty eats, while silent and live auctions help raise funds for the worthy cause. Music, a live painting from artist Dan Nelson and presentation from a local Wish family fill out the bill. Sedgefield Country Club, 3201 Forsyth Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-5324 or adminasst@sedgefieldcc.org.

January 26

BOOK FARE. 4 p.m. Twenty-some local writers will be selling and signing their books at the O.Henry Book Fair, co-sponsored by the O.Henry Hotel and UNCG’s MFA Creative Writing Program. O.Henry’s own Jim Dodson will be on hand to welcome those who love to read and write. And in O.Henry’s honor, there will be a cash bar. O.Henry Hotel 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro, (336) 854-2000. Info: (336) 334-5459 or www.ohenryhotel.com.

January 28

PUDDING IT ON. 5 p.m. Join members •of The English Speaking Union for A Tartan

Evening, with Scottish dancing, bagpiping, moments of history about how the Scottish occupied and conquered Piedmont North Carolina, culminating in a recitation of Robert Burns’ address to the Great Chieftain o the Puddin’ Race, the Haggis. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

January 31

KEYBOARD MEETING. 7:30 p.m. The Music on Mendenhall Series starts its 2014 season with the Catawba Piano Trio, aka Jacob Hahn, Dan Skidmore

••• • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Film Literature/Speakers Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro

• • •

Performing arts Fun History

Divorce Recovery for Adults Coping with Divorce and Separation First Baptist Church GREENSBORO 1000 West Friendly Avenue

Begins Wednesday, February 5 (for 9 sessions) 6:15 - 7:45 pm $25 (includes materials) The Divorce Recovery programs blends large and small group work. The Rebuilding program follows. Online Registration is available! www.fbcgso.org/divorce_ministry // 274-3286, x288 January 2014

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Downtown Greensboro 74 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January Arts Calendar and Anne Sellitti, who will tickle the ivories to the likes of Haydn, Schumann and contemporary composer Alexander Amadeo. Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South Mendenhall Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 275-6403 or athinkingchurch.com.

January 31

MICE AND MEN. 8 p.m. It’s the opening night of Guilford College’s Theatre Studies’ production of Animal Farm, George Orwell’s dystopian political satire under the direction of Ian Woolridge. Runs until February 8th. Sternberger Auditorium, Guilford College, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 316-2047 or guilford.edu.


BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. PreRegistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com Key:

• • Art


Performing arts


CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs from a Southern Kitchen. Sit down to Chef Jay’s signature fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Molly McGinn on the 7th; Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring on the 14th and 21st; Martha Bassett and friends on the 28th — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

TOTALLY RAD. While every day is an event at Geeksboro, on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month they serve up an unexpected blend of high and low tastes. Criterion Tuesdays set a serious tone at 7 p.m. with classic films from the Criterion Collection. Pop culture at both its best and worst comes at 9 p.m. every fourth Tuesday with Totally Rad Trivia at Greensboro’s newest and most intimate movie theater, aka Geeksboro, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 355-7180 or geeksboro.com/events.


• • • Film

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and


• • Fun



Guilford College Theatre Studies’ performs 1/


Handmade Fair Trade Local Artists

352 S. Elm Street

Downtown Greensboro www.onlyjustbe.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


January 2014

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January Arts Calendar live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.


DUBBEL TIME. 9:30 p.m. Drop by Greensboro’s premiere Beer Hall and Garden for a saison and a session — a jam session, that is. Sessions’ open mic night showcases original-only music by local talent in a lively but cozy atmosphere. Performer sign-up begins at 8:30. Sessions, 820 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Info: sessionsbeer.com or (336) 317-8676

JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, freshbrewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

Mussels, wine & music


OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8 — 9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 2742699 or www.idiotboxers.com.

•• •

• • • • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Literature/Speakers Fun

Performing arts Film History Sports

FRESH READS. 10–11 a.m. Beginning January 13, cultivate your pint-sized chef’s culinary talents and literary tastes in Book & Cook, a “drop off” kitchen reading experience at the Greensboro Children’s Museum. 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Pre-Registration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com

Fridays & Saturdays

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


IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www. ibcomedy.com. OH To add an event, email us at ohenrymagcalendar@gmail.com by the first of the month prior to the event.

Arts & Culture

130 Summit Avenue Greensboro, North Carolina


Exhibit on display through February 2014 (336) 373-2043

76 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Paintings B y

C.P. Logan

Arts & Culture

Shawsville Snow

42x56” original oil

Original Oils, COmmissiOns, WOrkshOps, studiO Classes, Online Classes, painting parties


We care about the


• Local and Regional Orignal Art and Gifts • Conservation Framing • Shadow Bow and Needlework Framing • Corporate Framing • Emergency Framing Services

Happy NewYear

2105 - A W. Cornwalls Drive Behind Finks Jewelers - Next to The Elks Club Phone : 336-274-6717 • www.IrvingParkArtandFrame.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

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Yasmin Leonard Photography

Flowers Gifts Plants

recover from the holidays, and treat yourself

Like us on Facebook! 336.883.6249 | 1313 N. Main Street High Point | sami@justpriceless.net | www.justpriceless.net

1107 N. Main Street, High Point • 336.889.0400 • aboutfacedayspa.com VISIT US ON FACEBOOK! Voted the area’s best day spa!

M A G A Z I N E Find it at these High Point Locations:

• Harris Teeter, 265 Eastchester Dr. • • Harris Teeter, 1589 Skeet Club Rd. • • J.H. Adams Inn, 1108 N. Main St. • • Shores Fine Dry Cleaning, 804 Westchester Dr. • • Tex & Shirley’s, 4005 Precision Way • • The Rush Fitness Center, 2620 N. Main St. • • Theodore Alexander Outlet, 416 S. Elm St. • • Vintage Thrift and Antiques, 1100 N. Main St. • The J.H. Adams Inn and Hampton’s Restaurant Historic Boutique Hotel, Four-Star Fine Dining Restaurant and Premiere Event Venue

Inn 336.882.3267 / Restaurant 336.882.2002 www.jhadamsinn.com

78 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worth the Drive to High Point A Whole New Perspective

Tom Shepherd wants more people to look up. Up. Up. Up at the sky. Not just to see if it’s raining, but to really look at it. It’s nature’s mood ring. Notice its ever changing colors and cloud formations. And when night falls, well, for Shepherd, it’s the best time to tilt your head back and take it all in. He’s been a stargazer for about three decades. Throughout his years of observation, he’s also collected countless stories about the night sky. Shepherd, a naturalist at Piedmont Environmental Center (PEC), is careful not to call himself an astronomer. But he is a seasoned observer and collector of night sky stories. This month he will share his knowledge through a three-night workshop at PEC, being held Tuesday, January 21, Thursday, the 23rd and Saturday, the 25th. Shepherd will explain how to navigate the night sky. Though participants may bring their own telescopes and binoculars, the center also provides them. If it’s too cloudy to spot the stars, Shepherd will hold programs in the auditorium. Participants also will gather around a campfire in the outdoor tepee at the center. There, Shepherd will share from his collection of more than forty stories about the origin of the moon and stars. The tales come from Native American, Roman and Greek cultures. “It’s always kind of amazing that many of the stories are closely related,” Shepherd says. “Different cultures see the same pattern in the sky. The stories are designed to help explain the natural phenomenon.” Here’s a sneak preview of a story from the Plains Indians about how the coyote became the moon.

Long ago — before there was a moon — the people were very unhappy because it was so dark at night. They heard strange noises and animals outside their lodges, but were afraid to go out because they couldn’t see. One day an elder shared their worries with a coyote. The coyote offered to become the moon so that they could see at night. That very evening, he came out of the east, and rose as the moon high into the night sky. The coyote returned for fourteen days, shining more brightly each night until he was as bright as the full moon. Over time, the people weren’t afraid, and hunted and fished. The coyote observed their activities each night — and reported them the next day. Angered, the people asked him to shine less brightly. The coyote liked being the moon, but it was time-consuming. So he told the people he would be the full moon just once a month, and after that, he would shine less and less brightly. One night, there would be no moon so that he could hunt and play games. And that is how the coyote became the moon. Piedmont Environmental Center, 1220 Penny Road, High Point; 7–9 p.m., January 21, 23 and 25. Cost: $25, PEC members; $40, nonmembers. Info: (336) 883-8531 or www.highpointnc.gov/pr/piedmont_environmental_center.cfm — Tina Firesheets

Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem Designs of the Times If you think graphic design is strictly the purview of pallid hipsters sporting turtlenecks and horn-rimmed glasses, think again. Design is for everyone, and it’s all around you, whether you’re watching television, leafing through a book or eyeing a fast-food label. You’ll appreciate the ubiquity of the genre even more when you see thousands of examples of it displayed and deconstructed in Graphic Design: Now in Production at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in WinstonSalem. A collaboration of the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt and New York’s National Design Museum, the exhibition, on view through February 23, demonstrates how the field of graphic design, once fairly limited to typesetting and photo retouching, has exploded in the last fifteen years, thanks to the advent of desktop publishing and advances in digital technology. In the blink of an eye, a design can move from concept to computer screen to print, video or sculpted object, allowing the designer to become artist, marketer and storyteller. Consider, for example, the wall collage of concert and film posters that greets you as you enter the exhibition space. A cascade of color and overlapping words and images, the screen-print advertisements for bands like The The Art & Soul of Greensboro

White Stripes, Yo La Tengo and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones will stop you in your tracks. As will the “voting booth,” an installation of redesigned logos for everything from Starbucks to Popeyes Chicken (you can vote whether you like the design before or after it was revamped), complete with commentary from the website Brand New. “Underwhelming. Looks like it’s paying homage to the postage stamp,” says one critic of the new Library of Congress logo. From there, wend your way to the eclectic display of video installations blaring TV commercials and block print posters, one of which reads “Oil and water do not mix,” made from actual oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. There are T-shirts, note cards and stickers; film and television titles; charts and graphs, which show how design can convey dry data in dynamic and entertaining ways; a video of Google Doodles; an entire section devoted to typography (designers, please refrain from salivating), and another devoted to books and — magazines! The usual suspects are here — European design publications, New York magazine, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar — with one glaring omission: O. Henry, of course! But take heart that print is alive and well . . . and will be for a long time to come. Info: 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem, (336) 725-1904, secca.org. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. OH — Nancy Oakley January 2014

O.Henry 79

Join the Party!

AllA D’SAlon

a lla campanella m aster stylist

Visit our new Greensboro location!

Classic European Style Elegant private setting Online BOOking www.alladsalOn.cOm

By phone: 336-306-8417

Your dog will love our boredom-free run, fetch, swim, slide play space DAYCARE




336 Witt St., Winston-Salem NC 336.765.7833 5648 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem NC 336.602.1538 3511 Lawrence St., Clemmons NC 336.766.0123 15 Battleground Court, Greensboro NC 336.763.3064 www.ruffhousing.com mail@ruffhousing.com

Company Shops Market | Burlington’s Food Co-op 268 E. Front St., Burlington

Jerusalem Market 5002 High Point Rd., Greensboro

Deep Roots Market 600 N. Eugene St., Greensboro

Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market 2914 Sandy Ridge Rd., Colfax

Earth Fare 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro

Savory Spice Shop 3354 W. Friendly Ave., #142, Greensboro

The Extra Ingredient 801-D Friendly Center Rd., Greensboro

Whole Foods 3202 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro

Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 81

Personal Training That’s Truly Personal Exclusive distributor of Jan Marini MD skincare. No cost, No obligation consultations. Over 30 years experience

Ask about our membership special Weight loss & weight management Cardio-vascular health Joint & muscle pain TM SilverSneakers and ACTion 4 Aging Adults  Special needs & post-recovery training    

602 Pasteur Dr. Greensboro, NC 336-938-0341

Please call for Holiday Specials

Life & Home

Sandra Richardson,LME A division of Best Impressions Plastic Surgery




L E T ’ S


M O V I N G !

...start 2014 in your dream address

435 Dolley Madison Rd • Greensboro www.actbydeesenc.com

R E A LT OR®, B R OK E R , M B A , A B R , C S P , GRI, CRS, SFR, CPM

• michelle@michelleporter.com www.michelleporter.com ©2013 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

Fisher Park Treasure

Make This Yours Teaching Studio

Todd E. Rotruck We stand behind what we sell and install Serving Friends and Families for Generations

Loaves... Scones... Pizza.... even Gluten Free! Learn to bake your favorite breads at Make This Yours NC Teaching Studio

2013 recipient of the Piedmont Triad Business Ethics Award

REALTOR®, Broker 336-402-1668 www.ToddRotruck.BHHSYostandLittle.com

Fisher Park

205 N. Park Dr. 6 Bed/5Bath $495,000


With 20 years in the field as a remodeling contractor, my perspective gives buyers and sellers a distinct advantage....we make good neighbors!

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

www.makethisyoursnc.com 336-574-0714


• Bathroom Remodeling • Kitchen floors & Backsplashes • Tile Repairs & Cleaning Service • Complete installation service by qualified craftsmen M-F 9-5 and by appointment 4719 Pleasant Garden Road, Pleasant Garden 336-674-8839 | www.mariontile.com

82 O.Henry

January 2014

©2013 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity.


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life & Home

Sometimes a smile says it all

Best Wishes for a Great 2014!

Doncaster trunk show

Melissa Greer Realtor / Broker, GRI, CRS

Monday, January 20 through Saturday, January 25 10 to 5 Monday through Friday & 11 to 3 Saturday at Blvd. Interiors Marketplace 348 N. Elm St.

Chairman’s Circle Gold Award 2010, 2011, 2012

336.337.5233 www.melissagreer.com melissa@melissagreer.com

Dr. Beth Borden (336) 644-2770 1009 Hwy 150W Summerfield The Art & Soul of Greensboro

©2013 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

Offering Missy, Petite and Women’s sizes Contact Mitzie Weatherly or Gayle Koonce at SophieGraceLLC@gmail.com

January 2014

O.Henry 83

Art of Cloth Parsley & Sage Fenini • Comfy USA Winter Sun Chalet • Amma

Sizes: XLarge, 1X, 2X, & 3X

State Street

515 State Street Greensboro, NC 27405

Vera’s Threads Sizes: Small, Medium, & Large

517 State Street Greensboro, NC 27405


www.linneasboutique.com ALL SIZES

Come Let Me Fit Your Mug Presented by UNCG MFA Writing Program, O.Henry Hotel and O.Henry magazine.

Hosted by Jim Dodson, Editor, O.Henry magazine. Oliver Peoples Riley R

Meet twenty local authors selling and signing their books, including:

Lee Zacharias, Tim Swink, John Stevens, Lee Smith, Alice Sink, John F. Saunders, Sandra Redding, Drew Perry, Michael Parker, Jo Maeder, Sarah Lindsay, Terry L. Kennedy, Holly Goddard Jones, Dena Harris, Tom Hardin, J. Edward Gray, Michael Gaspeny, Steve Cushman, Fred Chappell Info: (336) 334-5459 or go to ohenryhotel.com for a complete list of authors and books.

Creative Writing

84 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Shelby Wyrick, Kaitlin Reid, Marty Pavolko

Mayor Robbie Perkins learning the Chicken Walk

Chicken Walk Benefit for the Interactive Resource Center Saturday, November 16, 2013 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Shannon Stewart, Amy Murphy, Michael Mayo Sr. Alice Matthews, Amanda Fonorow, Marie and Waffles Tretiakova

Rah and Tra Rlayang

Marcia Cham, Dominic DeLuca, Judy Helms

Montrail Williams, Gerald Carter

Sharon Fields, Don and LaDonna Brown

First Quaker Friends Team

Starr Ward, Jessica and Guinny Culver, Jessica and Zeb Scout

Kayla Oates, Chaundra Rogers, Alexia Goins

Bojangles Chicken, Mariah Ricks, Renee Duff

Stephanie and Trinity Evans

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 85

Premiere Custom Design & Retail Jewelry Since 1969

State Street

Yamamori Ltd.

501 State Street, Greensboro, NC 336.274.4533 YamamoriLtd.com

Hours: 10:00-5:30 Monday - Friday, 10:00-3:00 Saturday And By Appointment

Come In and See Our Selection of Asian Arts and Curios, Japanese Woodblock Prints, Laquerware, Nippon Porcelain, Yixing Teapots...and More!






*Ask About Almost Pain-Free Surgery with Experal*


Dr. Contogiannis has been Selected as One of Americas Top Plastic Surgeons in 2012

86 O.Henry

January 2014


In Office Surgical Suites 333-9022 • 211 State Street • Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Viv Kenerly, Rosemary Plybon, Hal Kenerly


Kamrie and Crystal Morris

Polar Express Day Greensboro Children’s Museum Saturday, December 7, 2013 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Kayla Roseboro, Santa Claus, Zamari Miller

Mason and Melanie Litchfield

Zoe, Althea and Ava Hall

Chloe Baker, Zoe Hawkins Margan, Natalee and Minoo Schnidt

Trent Bryant

Caitlin and Sarah Glancy

Huly and Lordly Nwabeke

Jeremiah and Raven Gore

Michael, Lance and Christina Park

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 87

Area Schools

Pick up your copy of

Look for our blue boxes at the following distribution points: Cultural Arts Center

4925 W. Market St.

Friendly & Elm

5707 W. Friendly Ave

Junior League Bargain Box Natty Greene’s 345 S. Elm St.

Across from the Carolina Theatre

For a complete list of distribution points, please visit our website at www.ohenrymag.com

J’s Deli

200 N. Davie St.

315 S. Greene St.

Jams Deli

NC Farmers Market (Colfax) Lox Stock & Bagel 2439 Battleground Ave.

Mark Holder Jeweller 211 State St.

Triad Stage

Sister’s Jewelry

Across from Civil Rights Museum

US Post Office 4615 High Point Rd. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market

232 S. Elm St.

134 S. Elm St.

Smith Street Diner

438 Battleground Ave.

Corner of Elm & Bellemeade UPS/FED EX

330 Tate St.

501 Yanceyville Street

K & W Cafeteria

3710 S. Holden Rd.

102 N. Elm St.

Sacred Garden Bookstore

1205 Spring Garden St.

Zack’s Hot Dog’s

Old Town Draught House Fish Bones

211 W. Fisher Ave.

201 W. Davis St., Burlington

2119 Walker Ave.

88 O.Henry

January 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Area Schools Directory School Name Caldwell Academy

2900 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 665-1161 www.caldwellacademy.org

Canterbury School

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Road Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-2007 www.canterburygso.org

Greensboro Montessori School 2856 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 669-0119 www.thegms.org

High Point Friends School 800-A Quaker Lane High Point, NC 27262 (336) 886-5516 www.hpfs.org

Noble Academy

3310 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 282-7044 www.nobleknights.org

The Piedmont School

815 Old Mill Road High Point, NC 27265 (336) 883-0992 www.thepiedmontschool.com

St. Pius X Catholic School


Caldwell is a classical, Christian community school that provides Preschool students with the tools of education so -12 that they become lifelong learners.

PreK-8, Episcopal school focused on rigorous academics and service to others with an exceptional teaching staff and diverse student body.


GMS teachers guide children to complete work independently in Toddler multi-age classes using hands-on ma(18 mo.) terials. Students study Environmental –8th grade Education, Spanish, Art and Music year-round. High Point Friends School instills academic excellence, self-confidence and leadership skills through experiential learning, extracurricular activities, and service learning opportunities for students in Preschool – 8th grade. A K-12 Independent School that specializes in working with students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics along with athletics, music, art, and drama are offered. A wonderful K-8 independent school dedicated to providing an outstanding educational environment for students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics enhanced by music, art, drama, and athletics.

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

Catholic elementary/middle school emphasizing Christian values and academic excellence in a nurturing environment.

Salem Academy

The Southeast’s premier day and boarding college preparatory school for girls, dedicated to fostering the intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical growth of young women and their future roles as global citizens since 1772.

500 E. Salem Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-721-2643 www.salemacademy.com


Preschool –8th


Enrollment Students: Faculty





Open to all qualified students and is based on academic records, admissions testing, personal interview, and teacher recommendations.



Requirements vary per grade level but include: application, teacher evaluation forms, developmental assessment or classroom visit, transcripts from current school.

$14,450 (K-8) $4,700 (PreK)


Under 3 Meet with Admissions years 6:1; Director. Classroom visit Elementary and teacher assessment (for & Middle students age 3 and older.) School 10:1


Admission is based on academic records, placement testing, and teacher recommendations. A classroom visitation is also required prior to admittance.

$1,512-$5,000 (Preschool) $7,290-$8,190 (K-8)

Students need to have an average to above average IQ score and a diagnosis of ADHD or another diagnosed learning disability and a current psych-ed evaluation.








Admission Requirements




Reading, Requirements include an Language average to above average IQ Arts, and either an ADHD diagnoMath 6:1. sis or another diagnosed All other learning difference. subjects 8:1





Must participate in a standardized assessment conducted by ABC Educational Services, Inc.


Application, transcript, student essay, SSAT, three recommendation letters, personal interview. Applicants are given careful consideration without regard to race, creed or ethnic background. online: believe.salemacademy.com

Day $20,260; Boarding $41,300, Salem Academy Grant programs available.

Special Advertising Directory

greensboro’s college sInce 1838.

Greensboro College is a vital part of the educational & cultural landscape of the Triad. YOUR involvement & support is an integral part of maintaining the legacy that was started 175 years ago by the very individuals that founded and built the city of Greensboro. Our students, staff, faculty and alumni give back to the community every day. We believe that we enhance the quality of life in this community, making it a better, more interesting place to live. Don’t take our word for our value in this community. Ask any of the 2000+ alumni (or relatives of alumni) living in and contributing to this community what influence Greensboro College continues to have in their lives. Ask the Guilford County Schools how we are a part of the ever-evolving educational circle. Hundreds of our graduates go to work in the school system as teachers and administrators who help to shape your children’s future. Ask the multitude of our partner non-profit organizations how our students' involvement with them strengthens their service to the community at large. Ask your neighbors how many times they have attended our Lessons & Carols service, our lectures, performances and events that are free and open to the public.

Please consider making a financial contribution to Greensboro College - a part of your history that has served this community for 175 years!



Joan Sherrill, Caroline Panzer, Betty K. Phipps

Ashley Wahl

Greensboro Historical Museum Guild Meeting Monday, November 18, 2013 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Marilyn Cotten-McMichael, Josie Gibbony

Beth Sheffield, Jon Zachman

Doris Melson, Shirley Harris, Sue Halliday Smith, Anna Weston

Gayle Fripp, Carol Collis

Kevin Reid, Lilla Robinson

David Claude Bailey, Maria Johnson, Ashley Wahl, Hattie Aderholdt, Lynn Donovan, Jim Schlosser

Bill Moore, Claudel Lassiter

Don Saunders, Carol Moore, Linda Jensen

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Merle Frazier, Bonnie Morrah

Peggy Longmire, Linda Denmark

January 2014

O.Henry 91

Jim Cross. Jacob, Jodi and Sarah Rigby


Ugly Sweater Tour: Storytelling Performance Triad Storytelling Exchange Greensboro Historical Museum Monday, December 2, 2013

Karen and Robb Fulkerson

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Andy Offutt Irwin, Jim and Chartee Plyler

Jane and Suresh Chandra

Sandra Redding

Sandra Keller, Cathy Holcombe, Lynn Rich Hyrum, Lucas, Rachel, Adam and Caleb Shirley

Dawn Amundson, Jim Steger, Lynda Stumpf, Brenda Valle, Carol Steger Jim and Nancy Falanga

Amanda Cox-Lucas, Sherry Barr, Michiko Stavert

92 O.Henry

January 2014

Donna Maskill, Beth Sheffield, Kay Stowe

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

First Nest – Dream Nest – Empty Nest – We Make Greensboro Home Old Irving Park

206 Sunset Drive

Stately & elegant classic home -- Golf course lot (14th Green of Greensboro Country Club) No expense spared in renovation and updating with attention to detail. Elegant architectural features, spacious rooms. Perfect for family and entertaining. Outdoors just as inviting with patios, gardens and private pool area. Must see. Price upon request.

Willoughby Park

3722 Durness Way

Old Irving Park

1810 Huntington Road

Golf course lot with best backyard view. Great home with updated kitchen and main level baths. 3 bedrooms and 3 and one half baths. Hardwood, cork and tile floors throughout. Patio with fireplace overlooking a pool and golf course. Garage and lower level rec. room and kitchenette. Room to expand to second level. Must see. Price upon request.

Irving Park

206 Meadowbrook Terrace

Old Irving Park - overlooking 2 parks! This charming classic Placed Perfectly—this wonderful family home has 4 bdrms home has been updated and well maintained with hardwood and 2.5 baths-livingroom.diningroom,open den/kitchen and floors on both levels and completely painted throughout. Updated bonus room upper level Bedrooms-spacious master bdrm. 2-car attached garage, Fenced backyard with patio, garden and baths, Plantation shutters, wooden blinds and wooden shutters. 2-car garage with office and half bath. A must see! $599,000 play area. Must see. $338,000

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale Kay Chesnutt 336-601-2337 336-202-9687

Xan.Tisdale@bhhsyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@bhhsyostandlittle.com ©2013 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

Irving Park Irving Park

Happy New Year


Plus our beautiful All Fall & Christmas Winter Clothing Decorations and Accessories

30%- 75% OFF

50% OFF

And warm Winter Lingerie

50% OFF

Clothing u Baby u Jewelry u Lingerie Bath & Body u Tabletop u Home Accessories 1826 Pembroke Road, Greensboro, NC 336-274-3307 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) Monday thru Friday 10:00–5:00, Saturday 10:00–4:00

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2014

O.Henry 93

It’s all about you at Cheveux

Shop, Shop, Shop! at the

Lollipop Shop

during our BIG Winter Clearance Sale! Smocked dresses, Jumpers, Sweaters, Knit dresses, Coats, Hats and more… Girls - newborn to size 14 Boys - newborn to size 7

Irving Park

Remember, we now carry the famous, incredibly delicious ham biscuits and other goodies from Lady fingers in Raleigh! We’re fully stocked in our freezer, so call us and we’ll reserve some for you!!

Irving Park Plaza 1738 Battleground Avenue Greensboro, NC 336-273-3566 Monday - Friday 10-5 pm Saturday 10-4 pm

Our wonderful shop is for sale. Please call if interested

Lori O’Donnell Owner/Stylist

Kristi Doganavsargil Owner/Stylist

Look your best for the New Year! • blow-outs • color • cuts • new styles • manicures • pedicures

Gift certificates available

Q Come Visit

Irving Park





• Shopping • Food • Art • Entertainment

Pick up the current issue of O.Henry magazine at one of these locations when you are shopping or dining in the Irving Park Area: Shannon Bishara Stylist

Katie Clark Stylist

April Haumann Nail Technician

Lorie Ring Stylist

Amy Sellers-Kane Stylist

Emily Miller Stylist

336.285.9379 • Irving Park Plaza • 1736 Battleground Ave. Greensboro, NC 27408

www.cheveuxgreensboro.com 94 O.Henry

January 2014

1618 Wine Lounge Benjamin Craig Carolyn Todd’s Cheveux Dolce Dimora Easy Peasy Irving Park Art & Frame The Lollipop Shop Main & Taylor

O.Henry magazine’s office The Pack-N-Post Pastabilities Polliwogs Randy McManus Designs Summerhouse Webster’s Frame & Art William Mangum Fine Art Gallery

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

The New Year

Here’s to deep fried Elvis and better sequins in 2014 By Astrid Stellanova My New Year’s resolution is to eat a deep fried Elvis — banana and peanut butter sandwich — for breakfast. Also, I resolve to buy better sequins, because I am tired of them dang things falling off on the floor like party dandruff. My third resolution is to find me a gas station that pumps gas — heard there’s one over at Golden Gate shopping center. Sick of ruining my very expensive airbrushed nails filling up the tank. Here’s my advice: Make resolutions we know we can keep. I resolve to eat three Hershey’s kisses every morning. To swear less. And to get my muffin top fat sucked out with that laser thingie.


Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Seemed like by the time you blew the candles out on your birthday cake last year, something else was on fire. Like your hair. 2013 was that kind of year. But Venus transits your sign January 31 – March 5, which is good news. Prosperity ahead in 2014. You’re an earth sign, and it’s unlikely you are going to go get an ankle tattoo or do something rash with all that new cash. But the stars are going to ground you, and what you might do is get too rooted in an idea and just not know when to quit. This is a new year, and everything can work if you figure out how to keep your eyes open to a very good opportunity and not miss it.

mojo this month. But don’t just work it — have some fun. Go to the Bahamas and learn to sled with that wild bunch. Learn to speak fluent dog. Buy a Ouija board and find out where Grandpa Hornblower hid the money. Then call me.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) There are a lot of attractive qualities in a Cancer. But being stingy is not one of them. Loosen them purse strings and share the wealth, ’cause you are coming into some unexpected money. A very good financial situation for 2014. Now you can pay off that boat you never use. So, buy a cup of coffee for the next person in line. Also, this year you may start seeing ghosts. I ain’t quite saying you will give the Long Island Medium a run for her money, but you are definitely going to move into unexplored territory.


Leo (July 23-August 22) The thing about Leo is, you are a people magnet, but once you attract them, you don’t know exactly what to do with them. It would be nice if you liked people as much as they think you do. You got some complicated times to navigate in the love department. But you do have a very active dream life, and this month you may even dream up a scheme that can actually work. A new career is definitely on the horizon. Let’s hope it ain’t a Ponzi scheme.









Aquarius (January 20-February 18) Write, record, draw, anything, but hit the mute button and dial back on the dialogue. I’ve known a lot of Aquarians and they are all good talkers . . . um, communicators. But, at least you have got lots to communicate about because this month you are going to be a good luck magnet. Between the new year and July, Jupiter transits Cancer, which is good for Aquarius. It either means you can work it faster or work it better. Just work it, Water Bug. If you ain’t working, the best date to look for a job is the 15th.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Despite too much Pabst, Thunderbird and Mogen David on the 31st, clear the cobwebs and take heart. January 1 is a big day, Sweet Thing, and you’ll feel great after a pack of Nabs and a bloody Mary, Beau’s favorite breakfast. You are in the mood for love this month, and your love engine is hitting on all cylinders. The other good news is that your work life gets more traction too. Work life? Check. Love life? Double-check. You’re going to feel like a water bug on a lily pad — good enough to bust and somewhere to land. Aries (March 21-April 19) I’m gonna bet a sausage biscuit you’ve been fuming because your social life ain’t up to par. By the 11th, you got more going on than even you can handle, and you are living large, eating fried tenderloin with red-eye gravy. Little fire sign, the stars will align for you this month. You’re in high cotton, and your professional life is about to blow wide open. Do that TV commercial; get in on that new business idea. You may have something bigger than the Salad Spinner up your sleeve. Or the Inertia Egg Beater. You can’t tell what might happen next, even if you do piss a few off.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You got Mars in your sixth house just as the new year starts, so Honey, this means the party is on. But there is also something else interesting going on in the Taurus family dynamic. January could be the month you learn about a sibling you never knew you had, or get some discombobulating DNA results. All of which means your actual family history is a mystery. Switched at the hospital? Your father is an alien? No matter, when the mystery clears, you might discover you like being a little more exotic than you ever knew.


Gemini (May 21-June 20) Whatever you say about this sign, you won’t call it dull. Here’s some good news: You could sell ice to Eskimos this month. You could talk the queen into running nekkid across Balmoral during her winter vacation. You could make Beau tell the truth about how much he paid for them new rims. You got big

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Virgo (August 23 –September 22) You start this year by having unexpected spiritual experiences, so keep your mind open but your mouth shut. Or your mind shut and your mouth open — either way you get a taste of something new. January 1 has the new moon in Capricorn, which is good for relationships and love, and ole Virgo could hit pay dirt on Match.com. This month will be a time of earthly delights, better than a Baby Ruth and a 7UP. It ain’t half bad being you right now! Libra (September 23-October 22) Being thrifty pays off this month, when your investments finally hit. Financially, you are a mini-Warren Buffett, and don’t let anybody mock you for bringing a baloney sandwich for lunch. You have had the good sense to tighten your belt when you needed to, and this month you see the benefit. Hey, you may drive a 20-year-old Toyota, but it’s paid for, and you get the last laugh when you finally get to take the family to Disney World. Just don’t make them go listen to a time-share spiel for the free admission tickets.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Everybody knows the test for the Scorpio is to learn about vulnerability. But what everybody doesn’t know, ’cause you’re so good at keeping secrets, is you are never more vulnerable than when you go to a Mary Kay party. Hey, I understand the power of a good lipstick or Spanx. But that isn’t really addressing things, is it? When the new moon in Capricorn brings in the new year, you got a lot going on. By the 30th, a lot of what is worrying you is resolved.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) The first part of the month — as credit-card bills roll in — may not be your best time, but you’ll get your financial house in order. Just don’t party so much over the holidays you forget what house is yours. The last part of the month is the better part. And relief is at hand by the 11th. Did I mention this is the month you will win new friends and develop super powers in the career arena? Well, Astrid don’t lie. OH For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path.

January 2014

O.Henry 95

O.Henry Ending

By Nancy Bartholomew

This morning a

patient I’d been seeing for the past fifteen or so years didn’t show up for his appointment. I can only remember one other time when he hadn’t shown, and it was within the past few months. He’d been struggling with poor health for several years, so I wondered if he was sick again and had forgotten. After fifteen years, you tend to know someone fairly well, especially in my business, so I just knew something was wrong. I remembered how frail he’d seemed in our last session and how I’d thought of the Indian saying about fragile people’s souls being light to the ground.

I didn’t want to bother him if he was sick, so I sent a brief text message asking if he’d forgotten me. When his daughter from South Carolina called back a few hours later, sounding like she had a cold and asking me to call her as soon as possible, I just knew.

Tom didn’t believe in God. Didn’t believe in an afterlife. “When you die, that’s it, Nance. You’re just dust.” He said this when his father died, said his father believed the same thing. Yet a few months later, when he’d gone out for a predawn walk, he’d seen his father standing at the end of the walk. “Maybe it was just a guy who looked a lot like him.” But the man vanished as Tom approached, and while he wouldn’t admit he’d seen his father, I could tell he’d wondered. Tom was hovering between here and there, his daughter said. She said they didn’t know why he was dying, only that he was. The doctors couldn’t understand what was causing him not to respond to their treatment or what

96 O.Henry

January 2014

had caused such a buildup of fluid. “But they know he won’t come back,” she said. “He’s going.”

She sounded so matter of fact, so composed, and I listened, remembering the trials and tribulations of her adolescence, how aggravated and frightened he’d been and how proud he’d been of the woman she’d become. I felt oddly detached, as calm and removed as the voice on the other end of the phone, as if none of this were truly real and happening.

I told Tom’s daughter I’d come to the hospital as soon as I could, by six at the latest. Then I hung up and returned to listening to a book by the Long Island Medium — not because I’m a fan but because I wanted to hear what a woman from Long Island who channeled dead people, sometimes in a Bath & Body Works store or in Nordstrom, sounded like. I thought I could use a character like her in a story. . . because that’s just what writers do — we steal people.

 The Medium talked about how people sometimes send symbols or appear as a symbol. She told a story about a cardinal appearing to a woman who’d lost her husband. And while I may believe this is possible or even true, something about her brash, confident manner was off-putting. Like she knew for a dead certain fact what happened and how everything worked on the other side. Like Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, only without as much heart.

 At 4:30 I saw my last patient at the house and as we spoke, Tom died.
 At 5:30, as she was leaving, the woman stopped on the porch and pointed to a corner of the screen. “Oh look,” she said. “There’s a bird trapped on your porch. How’d he get in here?” She looked around. “The door was closed and there aren’t any holes anywhere. That’s weird.” She shrugged. “Oh, well. See you next week.”

 I propped the screen door open, closed the door into the house and gently shooed the little bird out and on its way.

“There you go, Birdie,” I said, watching him soar off toward the trees. “Fly on home.” OH Nancy Bartholomew is the author of eleven amateur sleuth mystery novels. A psychotherapist in private practice, she lives in Greensboro with her two psychotic dogs, Maggie and Mighty Mouse. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

Between Here and There

John Reganess, CFP 速 First Vice President - Investments Fundamental Choice Portfolio Manager 324 W. Wendover Ave #301 Greensboro, NC 27408 (336) 544-1015 john.reganess@wfadvisors.com https://home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/john.reganess

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