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Capture each giggle, each bubble, every moment. Today is about Lola and Grandpa and blowing bubbles. His laugh, her giggle, their time together. At Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, our focus is on living. Our care is about enabling you to live more fully, with comfort from pain, relief from symptoms and choices on how to live. So the most important thing about your day becomes bubbles with Lola. Together we’ll discover how to capture life’s most important moments.
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CONTRIBUTORS Cynthia Adams, Jane Borden, emily Frazier Brown, tom Bryant, Clyde edgerton, tina Firesheets, terry L. Kennedy, Sara King, meridith martens, Bill morris, mary Novitsky, Nancy Oakley, michael Parker, Stephen e. Smith, Astrid Stellanova,matthew Young, Lee Zacharias
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45 Practical Gods Greensboro’s Literary Map 46
Poetry By Terry L. Kennedy
By Bill Morris
A street-level guide to our finest writers’ homes
Good Advice from a C.O.D.
November 16, 1991
Well Read, Well Loved
By Michael Parker
Brilliant short fiction by a modern master By Clyde Edgerton
An excerpt from our favorite Considerably Older Dad’s latest book By Lee Zacharias
Prologue to At Random, the riveting new novel by UNCG’s Queen of Prose
By Cynthia Adams
For this well-traveled couple, home is where the books and antiques make beautiful
Cover Photograph by John Gessner Model: Cameron Harris Photograph this page by John Gessner
9 Hometown By Jim Dodson 12 Short Stories Your guide to the good life 15 The City Muse By Emily Frazier Brown
17 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 19 pleasures of life dept. By Tina Firesheets
21 serial eater By Tina Firesheets Omnivorous Reader 27 The By Stephen E. Smith 30 artists amongst us By Maria Johnson 35 The sporting life By Tom Bryant 39 Game on By Jim Schlosser 43 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 66 Arts Calendar 72 GreenScene 79 80
The Accidental Astrologer
By Astrid Stellanova O.Henry Ending
By Matthew Young
the Chair of No return by JiM dodson
Not long ago we
PHOTOGRAPH BY CASSIE BUTLER TIMPY
moved the world headquarters of O.Henry magazine from the cramped but oddly charming building we’ve called home for many years to a new and improved office space.
Among other things I shall miss is my secret bathroom in the back of a broom closet, which was anything but bright and cheerful. I used to tell visitors it was my personal wine cellar looked after by an unfriendly caretaker who is breeding a special kind of spider. I’ll also miss the thermostat that was so old it was impossible to determine whether the heat or the air conditioning was running. Now we have a depressingly nice bathroom, and people who know what they’re doing have their finger on the thermostat. Life has suddenly lost all its adventure. Luckily the Chair of No Return made the journey. That’s what I call the ancient club chair that I’ve owned for going on thirty years — the one in which, conservatively estimated, I’ve read at least several hundred books if not more. Long ago I concluded a man may not be entitled to his own castle, but he certainly can’t get far in this life without a beloved reading chair. Mine’s at least fifty years old and has been recovered more times than you can count. The springs are so shot that when you sit in it you sag to the ﬂoor and must have the leg strength of an Olympic long jumper in order to get out, hence its official name. Certain persons on our staff like to make sport of this chair, especially with me wedged in it, and some confessed their purported surprise that either one or both of us made the move to the new office. As I pointed out to these sweet if culturally disadvantaged individuals, I have a long and politely checkered history with this chair and, besides, across the ages man has always needed a chair he could call his own. Consider kings and their thrones, which eventually led to husbands and their throne rooms. Where would the dads of this world be without a La-ZBoy recliner of their very own? Mine’s not fancy at all, just a conventional checked club chair you might find in any venerable London men’s club where the members are dying off The Art & Soul of Greensboro
by the hour and the carpet smells faintly of cat pee. But don’t be fooled by its humble appearance; the Chair of No Return is actually a time capsule that holds fine memories of literary treasures and a whole lot more, including an amazing assortment of things that fell into its spring-works over the decades and fell out when I rolled it over in order to move it. Here’s a mercifully brief inventory: One striped tube sock from my 1967 Little League team, the Pet Dairy Dodgers. A letter I wrote (but evidently forgot to mail) to Playboy magazine’s Miss January of 1969 conveying my utmost devotion and admiration for her stunning, uh, smile. A moderately preserved brown mouse. A DayGlo orange golf ball, circa 1975. A faded cardboard coaster swiped from the bar at Rules in Covent Garden, Graham Greene’s favorite hangout. Other stuff I can’t mention in a family magazine. Good old Marjorie Huddlemath gave me this chair in the spring of 1968 after her husband, Donald, kicked the bucket and she grieved by quickly redecorating his den. She was our crusty neighbor on Dogwood Drive and the only true Yankee on my parents’ block in those days, a Michigan woman of strongly held and sometimes crazy opinions. “Donald dearly loved that chair,” she confided sentimentally the afternoon after I crossed the street to lug it home in order to save it from the Goodwill man. At that time it was covered with cracked green leather that resembled the skin of Godzilla. “It has quite a history, dearie. And you can have it if you solemnly promise you won’t ever bring it back.” Thus the start of the chair’s never returning. Among other interesting details, Mrs. Huddlemath claimed the chair belonged to Gerald Ford’s fraternity house back in Ann Arbor. Ford played center and linebacker on the Michigan football team, you may recall, and was the only president we ever had who made Eagle Scout and later fell down the steps of Air Force One. This is what happens, I suppose, when you play football without a protective facemask. Many years later I met Gerald Ford at a golf outing in Palm Springs and offered him my beloved club chair — now recovered in a discreet clubby houndstooth cloth — for his presidential library, specifically referencing Marjorie Huddlemath. “Oh, Lord. I remember her. That woman is crazy,” he told me. “I wouldn’t give that chair to Leonid Brezhnev. God only knows where it’s been and who or what’s been in it since it left the frat house!” July 2013
Live W h e re Y o u L o v e Love
W h e re Y o u L i v e ! !
OK, I completely made that up. The truth is, I never met Jerry Ford or even Leonid Brezhnev for that matter, though I did brieﬂy belong to the Guilford County Young Republicans back in the days of tube socks and my enduring love for Miss January. But that’s another story. Not to put too fine a point on this business, I certainly know where the Chair of No Return has been over the past thirty-odd years because I’ve dragged that sucker up and down the East Coast at least three times, and it’s never-ever let me down — or up very easily. As I said from the outset, it’s central to my reading life and I wouldn’t sink, you’ll pardon the expression, to getting rid of it now that it’s even shabbier and showing its age even more than I am. You see, when I sit in it, which is daily, and whenever I write this column, I have unusually strong opinions just like Mrs. Huddlemath. For instance, right this minute I’m sitting here thinking someone has to do something about all these people walking around with insanely white teeth. If the good Lord had meant human beings to have teeth as white as a ﬂuorescent lightbulb in an undisclosed CIA interrogation room, he would have made us all People Magazine celebrities and TV anchor people. I saw a commercial the other day featuring tiny Olympian Mary Lou Retton and rangy former NBA star Bill Walton, for example, and have no idea what they were selling — radioactive toothpaste? Clorox mouthwash? — but their teeth were so unnaturally white I had to put on sunglasses just to find the remote and change the channel. See what I mean? I must be channeling Marjorie Huddlemath or maybe even J. Ford from his happy no-face-mask Ann Arbor days before the burden of the nation’s highest office fell on him and he took his nasty tumble down the steps of Air Force One. Anyway, in a nutshell, that’s why my beloved reading chair, the Chair of No Return, will always be with me and I remain blissfully immune to the uninformed opinions of insensitive colleagues who would like to see one or both of us go away and never return. Not surprisingly, it’s where I took extreme pleasure in reading the outstanding book excerpts and original essays that grace this annual Summer Reading Issue of O.Henry magazine, featuring an unprecedented lineup of North Carolina’s finest writers including the latest releases from Clyde Edgerton, Michael Parker and Lee Zacharias. Now please step away, dear reader, because I’m eager to sit here and savor them all a second time. Also, I have an important update to finally get off to Miss January of 1969. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at Jim@ohenrymag.com
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Now Hear this
Now through July 27, as the Eastern Music Festival tunes up under the baton of music director Gerard Schwarz, one of America’s preeminent conductors, audiences will pay big bucks to hear the likes of Ignat Solzhenitsyn, André Watts, Lynn Harrell, Leonid Finkelshteyn, Robert Vernon and EMF alumnus Jeffrey Multer. But those in the know will be attending concerts for chump change — or free — that feature the 200 high school and college students who come from around the world to study with the celebrated EMF faculty in a highly-competitive, ultra-selective, five-week program. Music lovers who realize that some of the best performances feature these bright young artists learning from, and playing side-by-side with, the best in the business will be putting these events on their calendar: • Young Artists Piano Recitals on Saturday afternoons, July 7—21, capped with Pianopalooza on July 24. • Young Artists Chamber Recitals, intimate afternoon performances featuring conversational pieces written for small groups of players on July 15, 17 and 22. • The Young Artists Orchestras performing on the lawn at Guilford College in a fun, relaxed setting at Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park on July 17. • Soloists, who, having competed all summer against one another, will get their chance to shine in the final performances on July 25 and 26. So this month, make time to soak up the sounds of the EMF, and while you’re experiencing today’s finest musicians, stay tuned — you’re probably also listening to the virtuosos of tomorrow. Now where else can you hear that? Info: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org. JC See the June Arts Calendar, page 66, for a full schedule of events.
Worth the Drive to Winston-salem
Leon Larry Hamlin had such zest for life, and particularly for life in the theater, that he acquired the moniker, “Mr. Marvtastic.” The playwright, actor, director and producer applied his uplifting philosophy to Winston-Salem’s biennial National Black Theatre Festival, which he founded in 1989. The result surpassed expectation, with each festival being more Marvtastic than the last. Over the years, luminaries such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Cicely Tyson have trod the boards in the internationally recognized, extravaganza — which includes workshops, a film festival, a poetry jam and a marketplace. This season’s lineup promises yet more sizzle on the stage, or stages, as some forty productions will fill nineteen venues around the Twin City from July 29 — August 8. Chester Gregory kicks off the celebration with The Eve of Jackie: A Tribute to Jackie Wilson, while Lillias White, well known to Broadway audiences, will take center stage in Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues. Look for performances from Rain Pryor, daughter of late comedian Richard Pryor and Jeanette Pearson Washington (aka Mrs. Denzel Washington), Tonya Pinkins and Dorien Wilson (this year’s celebrity co-chairs) and more. Though the theater world mourned Hamlin’s passing in 2007, NBTF continues to shine. Could anything be more Marvtastic than that? www.nbtf.org. NBO
Yes, We Have No rotten tomatoes
Can you remember when, on a hot summer night, you hopped in the car and just went to a movie, no matter what was playing — which was long before you might end up watching serial chainsaw dissections or one character becoming another character’s dinner entrée? Not to worry. With the Carolina Theatre’s Summer Film Festival, all ﬂicks have been juried for watchability by local movie fanatics, and there’s not a rotten tomato in the bunch. Drop by Greensboro’s 86-year-old “Showplace of the Carolinas” and catch Hitchcock classics on Mondays; “guy films” (picked by the guys at Rock 92) on Tuesdays; Facebook favorites such as The Sound of Music on Wednesdays; and cult classics such as Tim Burton’s iconic and underappreciated Mars Attacks on Thursdays, which some misguided critics think is an overripe tomato. And unlike movie theaters of my youth, you can belly up to the concession stand and order an ice-cold beer. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. DCB
Your Life in 1,000 Words
Flannery O’Connor, who once described herself as a “pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I’ll-bite-you” complex, also said that those who survive childhood have enough writing material to last them for the rest of their days. Perhaps you agree? O.Henry magazine invites you to share a brief chapter from your inimitable real life story — told in a thousand words or less — by entering our 2014 O.Henry Magazine Memoir Contest. the guidelines are simple: Memoirs should not exceed 1,000 words Original, unpublished manuscripts only One submission per entrant Deadline: October 1, 2013 How to submit: Email your submission to davidclaudebailey@ ohenrymag.com using the subject line “O.Henry Memoir Contest.” Be sure to include your name, telephone number and mailing address in the body of the email. Winning entries will be published in O.Henry magazine. Contest is open to any resident of Guilford County. AW The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Short Stories To Market We Go
Live tunes. Fresh food. Plump produce. Funky art. Soft lawn. Cold beer. What’s not to like at The City Market, the South-End neighborhood’s after-work assembly that camps hard by the railroad tracks in downtown Greensboro every third Thursday of the month? Next date: July 18, 5–9 p.m. Tucked away on Barnhardt Street, just over the railroad tracks off the 500 block of South Elm Street, the market covers a swath of grass and blacktop between The WORX restaurant and emerging Spice Cantina, a new Mexican restaurant with a 2,500-square-foot patio. Each successive market will have a theme. July’s is “Maker,” so look for homemade gadgets, doohickeys and thingamabobs. Making the music will be funk and soul band Doby. See gsocitymarket.com for map and info. MJ
Remains of the Day
Looking at one of Justin Poe’s miniature imaginings of the interaction between architecture and the natural world at the Center for Visual Artists (CVA) gallery is not always a comfortable experience. Halfruined and weathered houses perch perilously, on the very edge of sliding into collapse. Towering conglomerations of fragile elements teeter precariously against challenging verticality. “It’s very much about frailty and the very ominous stance humans have on their landscape,” says the recent Guilford College graduate. “We very much dominate our environment, but fool ourselves into thinking that we aren’t subject to it.” Using binders of craft glue, wood putty, sand, Super Glue and paint, Poe creates theatrical landscapes mostly from found objects, like the figure of a bird buried in this as yet untitled creation. “I like people to make up their own stories about my sculptures,” he says. Poe says he’s “fascinated with nature and structures in nature that are being repurposed” — as you will be if you visit Reliquum, Latin for “what is left, remains,” at the CVA gallery through July 21 at 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7475 or greensboroart.org. DCB
Sauce of the Month
Despite its name, Worth Mitchell’s Three Juiced Bootleggers Grill N’ Marinade is 100 percent alcohol-free. (For those who’d rather not go unjuiced, don’t worry, there’s Three Juiced Bootleggers triple-distilled moonshine, too.) Mitchell, a Stokesdale real estate investor and land developer, developed his marinade from a family recipe that he’s been fine-tuning for more than a decade. With a base of molasses, olive oil and vinegar, Three Juiced Bootleggers — dark and mildly sweet, with fragrant suggestions of citrus, anise and basil — is a knockout on pork, and good for juicing up chicken, shrimp or steak. Unlike the syrupy concoctions that line most store shelves, this is a marinade that looks and tastes homemade. And you need not venture into the backwoods to run into Three Juiced Bootleggers; just head to The Fresh Market, Food Lion or threejuicedbootleggers.com JC
Mipso at MUSEP
Mipso — Chapel Hill’s hottest new harmonizing, song-writing, stringplaying folk group — is coming to Greensboro twice this month. Their new-school, blue-grassy, unmistakably sweet North Carolina sound has built a devoted following around the Triangle, where they attended UNC while selling out four consecutive shows at the legendary Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. Now, ahead of a second album release and a tour to Japan this fall, the group is stopping by Greensboro for the Fun Fourth Festival on July 4 and for Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park, aka MUSEP, at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park on July 28. Info: funfourthfestival.org, www.musep.info and mipsomusic.com. JC
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The City Muse
Whiskered and Proud Having a cold one with the Greensboro Beard and Mustache Club
Daniel Johnson, Chris Kelly, Baeden Buckner, TravisMay, Michael Duez, Andrew Dudek (front)
by eMily FraZier broWn
PHOTOGRAPH BY LYNN DONOVAN
has it been since we’ve associated facial hair with someone distinguished?” asks Baeden Buckner, pacing near the pool table in Suds & Duds — a Walker Avenue gem for anyone who fancies Budweiser and a clean pair of jeans. Buckner sports a brown mustache, the ends of which he twists upward throughout the evening.
The Greensboro Beard and Moustache Club touts itself as the first of its kind, although it now has neighboring chapters throughout the state. Andrew Dudek, founder and president, sports a gray beard so dapper that no one would question his qualifications for leadership. He elaborates on Buckner’s comments: Presidents, generals and notable clergymen donned elaborate facial hair without any diminishment of their social stature. That ignites a prolonged debate among the whisker-heavy roundtable as to whether or not Teddy Roosevelt purposefully styled his mustache (and if he actually did fight a bear). Neither matter is settled, but they don’t actually have to be. The members explain that most of their membership dues and other proceeds go to charities, such as ALS, in between sipping their drinks and wiping foam out of their whiskers. Periodically, the group is caught up in jokes or in conversation about their day jobs (REI, GameStop, Information Technologies and a symphony orchestra) or their children (merchandise director Adam Glover will soon have a daughter). The comfort between the gentlemen is unmistakable — they are friends for reasons that extend beyond their appreciation for one another’s hair prowess. Finally untangled from a discussion of their favorite bars and unrelated personal anecdotes they beg me not to write about, they plan for their upcoming competition in Charleston, South Carolina. Chris Kelly, standing at least 6-foot-1 and with broad shoulders, somehow seems diminutive compared with the beautifully braided, Viking-like beard that nearly reaches his belt. Buckner breaks the news that another local favorite (who happens to have a red beard) will be at the competition. Chris is heartbroken (“Red beards always win”). The nearby sound of someone’s reaction to his eight-ball being sunk four rounds earlier than he anticipated is masked only by the smell of linens fresh out of the clothes dryer and the distanced cheers of baseball fans who are sitting in the bar area. Despite the collection of characters in the The Art & Soul of Greensboro
uniquely convenient establishment, it isn’t hard to focus on the group of men who have gathered for the board meeting. In the center, a distinguished 40-something who is describing the dapper upturn his beard will take on competition day is nursing his second IPA. To his right there sits a beard just under a foot long, which makes up for it by being the thickest brunette garden of the bunch. Completing the circle is a traditional tangle of a beard and mustache combination adorning the face of the young father-to-be, the braided locks of a 20-something who is generous with high fives and cheers, and a well-groomed mustache befitting the poster of a Dapper Dan canister. Neatly trimmed goatees and vintage sideburns pass by to say hello and confirm the next meeting date. Each gentleman at some point rests his hands on his face to emphasize a point, as if his hair could make the argument on its own but chose instead to speak through them. I learn about their favorite styling products; that between the lot of them there hasn’t been a clean-shaven face in nearly a decade; that there are men who have made their name on creative uses of the sideburn region; and that one man with an exquisite beard is quite likely to be familiar with those who are similarly tonsured — in Richmond, Charleston and throughout all of Texas at least. Greensboro businesses want to host them; the club changes the location of their meeting periodically, often because of an invitation. They are considering a “Flash Beard Mob,” in which they can use social media to summon a large number of hair-clad men and their enthusiastic fans to appear at a local business of their choosing. One Gate City entrepreneur even requested a list of their favorite products so she can keep them in stock. Kelly and Buckner have committed to nearly matching logos tattooed on their right arms, one of which was done by Greensboro artist Nate Hall. More importantly, they enjoy their monthly visits with local businesses. When Dudek’s wife suggested six years ago that he simply start a club instead of stopping men in stores to talk about their facial hair, she didn’t know that he would take her literally. He did, and now well-tonsured beards are becoming a staple in our city. Each evening spent among bar stools in a local laundromat, or at popular Irish pub M’Coul’s, they carry with them an infectious amusement that could turn anyone into a fan of whiskers. OH Emily Frazier Brown is a native of Greensboro. She graduated from UNC Greensboro in May of this year and will be staying in the city. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. July 2013
Not the Fainting sort But they got my goat anyway
by Maria Johnson
Not long ago, my husband and I cele-
PHOTOGRAPH BY CASSIE BUTLER TIMPY
brated our anniversary at a country inn. We decided to take their old-lady bicycles for a spin one morning, so I asked the innkeeper to recommend a route.
She said, “If you turn right and go to the end of the road, you can do a loop. And you will see the fainting goats.” Wha? I asked if the goats really fainted. She said they didn’t hit the dirt much anymore because they were used to people, but, yes, if you scared them enough, they would keel over. My mission was clear. Seconds later, we rounded the corner, and there they stood, behind a fence, under an umbrella of pine. Goats. A dozen of them, their jaws sliding sideways like typewriter carriages. They looked up. I ditched the bike. “Here, goaty-goaty-goat.” “What are you doing?” said my husband. “Trying to make goats faint, duh,” I said. At times like this, I feel sorry for my husband. He had no way of knowing — back when we got hitched — that one day he’d be standing on a country road, straddling an old-lady bike with fat-butt seat and a tire that rubbed its chrome fender with every revolution — sssk, sssk, ssssk — and watching his bride try to make goats faint. But back to the more important issue: how to topple a goat at thirty yards. I shouted. I waved my arms. No luck. I chalked it up to distance and made a vow: one day soon, I would fell a goat. Back home, I did some research. Fainting goats are technically known as myotonic goats. Myotonic means having to do with muscle tension. A genetic disorder makes fainting goats lock up when they’re scared. They don’t lose consciousness, but they do take a tumble sometimes, reminiscent of an old newspaper friend whom you might describe as myo-vodka-tonic. Anyway, the paralysis usually goes away after a few seconds, which was good because it meant I wouldn’t feel too bad when I tipped a goat. Nonviolently, of course. I nosed around the local goat community and found Charley Edgar. She and her husband have a menagerie, including fainters, at their place in Ramseur, and Charley knows a lot about goats. She has heard that farmers traditionally kept fainters with other meat goats so that predators would get the fainters first, making them the sacrificial lambs of the goat world. These days, people who keep fainters often put them out with donkeys because apparently donkeys make great watchdogs. Watchasses. Whatever. Anyway, I liked Charley immediately because Charley admitted that The Art & Soul of Greensboro
sometimes she makes the goats faint just so she can laugh at them and, no, she didn’t feel bad about this and, yes, she was OK with me doing the same. We commenced to goat-spooking. We jumped at them and went, “Huah!” I slapped my notebook. We chased them around the pasture. Some goats went stiff in the back legs and staggered around, but none of them fainted. Charley explained that prime fainting age was six or seven weeks old, so the kids were a little young for that, and the older goats were just jaded. It took a pretty good startle to up-end them. “We had a lawnmower backfire once, and that got several of them,” she said by way of education. I thanked Charley and went home downcast. Later, I was seeking solace online when I spied a Facebook page for a local business whose name I intend to steal as the title of my first novel: The Fainting Goats of Moon Shadow Farm. The next thing I knew, I was meeting Bill Kepley and his 5-year-old son, Wilson, at their farm one glorious Saturday morning. It was the kind of day that gives you confidence you can make a goat faint. And man, we tried. We leapt at them, and hooted at them, and ran at them. Wilson got a bucket and ran through the woods beating it with a stick. I hollered every scary thing I could think of. “Wolf!” “Snake!” “Kardashian!” “Kim Jong-un!” Nothing. I whipped out an umbrella because my younger son said he’d seen a YouTube video of someone snapping an umbrella open to make goats faint. So we went Mary Poppins on the little bleaters, but again, all we got was a bunch of slit-eyed cud chewers hobbling around straight-legged. You’d have thought we were watching a lunchtime basketball game at the YMCA. That’s when Wilson said if we really wanted to make them faint, we should push them into the electric fence. Smart boy. I predict he will go far on Wall Street. But, in the interest of not having the O.Henry office picketed by goats’ rights activists, I passed on the idea. I think Bill could see how disappointed I was. He ran up to the house and came back with one of the most awesome T-shirts I’ve ever seen. “Moonshadow Farm,” it said, “Fainting Goats and Spotted Asses.” “Here,” Bill said. “This is for you.” And that, dear reader, is the story of how I got my ass shirt handed to me, courtesy of the goats that got my goat. OH Maria Johnson promises no goats were harmed in the making of this column. But they probably were embarrassed. July 2013
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Pleasures of Life Dept.
Blackberry Summer Nothing comes close to those sweet
By Tina Firesheets
My grandmother lived her
entire life in the rural mountains of western North Carolina. She said little, and rarely showed much emotion. Even when my crotchety grandfather shook his cane at her, she hardly reacted. Granny Adams — as she was known to some cousins — dipped snuff and read a Bible chapter every night before bed. She was rarely idle.
I think of her most in the summer, especially in July. That’s when we went blackberry pickin’. The blackberry patch below her house sat in a flat field, the Tuckasegee River on one side, a steep bank on the other. The best time to pick berries was after breakfast, when the morning was still cool and the spongy earth beneath our feet slighty damp. We dressed as if it were winter, not the height of summer. Long-sleeved flannel shirts and raggedy pants protected our arms and legs from the briars that reached out to snag us. My grandmother wore a hat over her thin hair — her hawkish nose the only visible feature beneath its brim. We picked quickly, so by week’s end, our purply-stained fingers were toughened by tiny little pin pricks dealt by those thorny bushes. Our field of vision was often speckled with a relentless swarm of gnats. But I didn’t mind. For every handful of berries that hit my bucket, another went straight into my mouth. We picked silently, covering different areas. My buckets filled with berries that shone like gemstones under the sun. My molars filled with tiny seeds. After picking berries, we peeled off our clothes and stepped into the bath — washing off chiggers and removing tiny ticks no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. My grandmother would simmer the berries over her wood-burning stove. I can still smell the aroma of bubbling berries and sugar. Once the berries have simmered in their juices for a while, they form a thick sauce that is just delicious over hot, homemade buttermilk biscuits. Fancy chefs today would call it blackberry compote and might tart it up with chipotle or basil. Give me my grandmother’s simple blackberry cobbler any day — blackberries topped with hand-rolled dough made from lard stored in a gallon bucket under the sink. Like my grandmother, there was nothing fancy to her cooking. It was just good. She never measured a single ingredient or set a timer. Her gnarled fingers resembled old tree limbs, and they operated purely on muscle memory.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
wild berries of Granny Adams
Granny Adams canned and preserved most of her summertime bounty. She was a poor mountain girl who married and had babies well before she reached her 20s. She raised seven children on food made from scratch. They were so poor, my father wore clothes his older sisters outgrew. The summers of my childhood were delicious. Her garden yielded soft juicy tomatoes, sweet corn and okra that was simply divine chopped and fried in bacon grease. There was always a fresh cake of cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet. But nothing topped those blackberries. Although my grandmother communicated with tired, drawn-out sighs more than actual words, I knew she loved me by what she put on my plate. Country sausage every morning for breakfast, with fried eggs over-easy. Sticky, maple-flavored homemade popcorn balls in the fall. And when she hadn’t cooked anything, I could have as many Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies as I could eat. The house where Grandma lived no longer stands, and all that’s left of our blackberry patch is my memory of it. Log-cabin vacation rentals have replaced her garden and our blackberries. Since my move to the flatlands, I scan landscapes, both urban and rural, looking for blackberry bushes. Sometimes I buy them at a farmers’ market. If the berries are juicy and sweet, I like to savor them one by one — without sugar. The way I would if I had plucked them myself. But I recently made an unexpected discovery while visiting a friend in Jamestown. Her business encompasses an expansive rolling field, bordered by railroad tracks. As my toddler son ran ahead of me, I inhaled deeply the sweet smell of honeysuckle. And as is my habit, I looked in sunny spots for thorny bushes holding red berries. I found them along the bank below the train tracks. The next day, I mentioned to my friend that I had discovered the blackberry bushes. “Really?” she asked. “I love blackberries.” “Yeah. I’m going to have to bring my buckets and pick some,” I said. I wanted to lay claim to them, worried that others might get the same idea. She must have understood what I was getting at. “Don’t worry. It’ll be our secret,” she assured me. I sighed, thankfully. It won’t be as good as my grandmother’s, but I promised to make her a cobbler. OH Tina Firesheets, a freelance writer living in Jamestown, gave up the glamorous working life for toddler temper tantrums and endless demands to see Elmo. July 2013
Forget what you think you know about the staple of Mexican dishes — and let these innovative Gate City taco-makers educate you
By Tina FiresheeTs
First, let’s discuss what a tradi-
PHOTOGRAPH BY CASSIE BUTLER TIMPY
tional taco shouldn’t be.
Not smothered in cheese. Not topped with diced lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. And a traditional Mexican taco is never ever served in a hard, yellow shell, but in a fresh, soft, still warm, corn tortilla. So how did gringos get the notion that tacos are served in hard shells? Two words. Taco. Bell. The chain that presents Mexican fare the way Sbarro interprets Italian cuisine. Above all else, traditional Mexican tacos rely on meats that are cooked with care — asada (grilled steak), pollo (grilled chicken), lengua (beef tongue), chorizo (sausage), tripa (tripe), carnitas (roast pork) and pastor (marinated pork). Tacos are also traditionally finished with minimal, but seasonally fresh toppings. Perhaps a sliced radish or a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves. A wedge of lime or fire-roasted pepper may rest beside them. Add your own salsa — either red, rojo, or green, verde. But as with many foods introduced to Americans, the taco has evolved. While Baja fish tacos have made their way into mainstream restaurants, chefs in the Triad have been putting their own interpretations and ethnic spins on the taco. The result is a fusion of flavors with meats, spices and accouterments from as far away as Asia and the Middle East. Take the Korean barbecue taco. Long popular in California, where there are large Mexican and Korean communities, this concept was just recently introduced in Greensboro. (See sidebar) And increasingly tacos are getting an upscale makeover with fillings like blackened ahi tuna or lobster tempura. When it comes to the taco, its versatility is only limited by the chef’s imagination. Still, for the purists, the most authentic tacos
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
are found at small tacquerias or markets selling Latino food. How about a taco tour through the Gate City?
Carnicera el Mercadito
103 Muirs Chapel Road, Greensboro; (336) 855-5722. A tacqueria is, simply, a place that sells tacos. Here, the tacqueria is within a bakery and Latino supermarket. This is as simple and authentic as it gets. The complexly flavored, savory fillings make these tacos some of the best in town. An order of four tacos costs $6. They are served in freshly made corn tortillas and topped with cilantro and onions. Options for fillings are the impressive array of beef, pork or chicken described above, including lengua, braised beef tongue. Order at the counter (English is often spoken) and take your order to one of the half-dozen tables separating the grill from the supermarket aisles. During the week, customers are manual laborers or families, with the occasional Anglo dressed in office attire jostling in line. And if your visit leaves you inspired to make your own tacos at home, grab a bag of fresh, warm tortillas from the container next to the store’s register. Their aroma will fill your nose and warm your face as soon as you lift the lid.
Crafted, The Art of the Taco
219-A South Elm Street, Greensboro; (336) 273-0030 or craftedtheartofthetaco.com Kristina Fuller’s philosophy for her downtown restaurant, Crafted, is direct: “We are not a Mexican restaurant. We are a taco joint!” That’s not to say you can’t order a basket of chips and salsa at her restaurant. Or a burger. But the emphasis — and what draws her customers — are tacos. Fuller, a fine dining chef, calls the tortilla “the perfect vessel” because the options for turning it into a meal are endless. Fuller’s vision uses tacos as a platform to experiment with what appeals to her own palate: Southeast Asian, Southern and Mexican cuisines. Take her Fedora taco — blackened ahi tuna, kimchi and spicy garlic aioli. It’s a medley of Japanese, Korean, Mexican and contemporary American flavors. July 2013
Serial Eater When she introduced the Fedora at her Adams Farm restaurant, The Bistro, it was a hit and has stayed on the menu. Why not open a taco joint, she wondered. Her mother and business partner, Rhonda Fuller, was skeptical, and four years passed before Greensboro’s first taco fusion bar came to life. Kristina Fuller says the first taco she ever ate was probably her mom’s. Ground beef in a hard shell. “It was good. As a kid, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s tasty,’” she says. “But the first taco I ever ate that sort of changed my mind about tacos was when I started to experiment on my own with it.” The Fedora remains her favorite, but she offers traditional tacos using fresh corn tortillas from El Mercadito. Choose from chicken, pork, chorizo, fish, shrimp or veggie fillings. The selection of specialty tacos includes the Fixie, braised beef brisket with grilled pineapple, sweet chili sauce and coconut aioli. Or the Hoodie, falafel with spicy pickled cucumbers, shredded carrots, greens and a spicy sour-cream sauce. Does she ever tire of eating tacos? “It’s easy to eat them every day because you’re not eating them with the same filling or flavor,” she says.
El Camino Real
4131 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro; (336) 632-0003 or www.elcaminoreal01.com The other thing you should know about tacos: Leave the utensils wrapped in the napkin. Frankie Casillas, owner of El Camino Real, tells his friends: “We’ve got to teach Americans how to eat Mexican food.” And tacos aren’t meant to be eaten with a fork. “You gotta use your fingers. Get messy, and enjoy it,” Casillas says. His restaurant bookends a small shopping center on Spring Garden Street that includes a Mexican grocery store. Tacqueria El Azteca got its start in the same spot, before moving to the Guilford College area. El Camino Real is cozy and attracts a balanced mix of Mexican and nonMexican customers. Baskets of chips and salsa, upbeat Mexican music and two flat-screen TVs greet guests. Tacos are $1.50 each and are served on fresh tortillas made in-house. Fillings include asada, pollo, lengua, chorizo, tripa, carnitas and pastor, a subtle blend of marinated pork and pineapple. Toppings include diced onion, cilantro, sliced radish and avocado. Casillas says Americans are more open to trying authentic Mexican food today than when he first got into the restaurant business more than twenty years ago. When customers suggested he launch a food truck, he did. In May, the El Camino Real food truck started a weekly trek to Jamestown. It’s also parked daily in a BP gas station parking lot at 2512 Battleground Avenue. Truck fare ranges from $2–7 and reflects typical Mexican street food: sopes, tacos and burritos. Food you eat with your hands.
Tacqueria El Azteca
5605 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro; (336) 292-4008 or www.taqueriaelazteca.com Gloria Guzman says she’s made tortillas for most of her 57 years — fresh, daily, one-by-one. She forms each tortilla by hand, squeezes it in a press and then pops it onto the griddle, where it puffs and browns in seconds. She then removes the tortilla at the precise moment it’s done. She is known as the tortillera. In Mexico, women generally make tortillas. The person who cooks tacos are called tacqueros, and they are almost always men. In the Tacqueria El Azteca kitchen, Guzman and the tacqueros work side-byside or back-to-back in a cozy kitchen with just enough room for a handful of cooks. The restaurant’s owner, Greg Munning, is a Greensboro native. His background is Italian-American, but with years of experience working in Mexican The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Serial Eater restaurants during college and a degree in Spanish, he decided he’d start a traditional Mexican taqueria. His quest to find recipes for good, authentic tacos took him to the Mayan region of Mexico. It was at a truck stop in the small Mayan village of Carrillo Puerta that he encountered the best taco he’s ever eaten. He especially remembers the roasted tomato salsa and the perfectly cooked beef. In 2000, he opened a small restaurant on Spring Garden Street that drew mostly Latinos. Its specialty is what Munning calls a rustic, true taco — a corn or flour tortilla, filled with beef, chicken or pork, served with sliced radish and a wedge of lime. In 2007, Munning upgraded to a larger space in the Quaker Village Shopping Center across from Guilford College. The expansion and relocation meant catering to a new clientele and offering hard-shell tacos, a wine list and thirty-five different tequilas. But what still excites Munning are traditional tacos, which led to his foray into the food-truck business, providing him with an outlet for “rustic, honest Mexican street food.” Munning sounds like a kid talking about his new bike when he describes the experience of driving through town in the food truck. “I’m a tacquero,” he says. “I am what I am.”
El Nuevo Mexican Grill
The hand-painted sign that faces High Point Road entices customers with the When exercise store won’tparking do the lot, trick, Coolsculpting safely words: $1 tacos.diet In aand convenience they’ll find Tacquito Estrella, a genuine, authentic taco truck specializing in traditional Mexican fare: barbacoa freezes away stubborn fat without surgery or downtime. (a method where the meat is simultaneously steamed and smoked); asada; lengua It issoft FDA - cleared(pork withskin). undeniable results in as little one or ; tripa; and chicharron Served on Styrofoam plates,asthe corn tortillas are the real deal, and the generous portions of meat are topped with just a treatments! Effective for men and women, Coolsculpting sprinkletwo of diced onion and cilantro. OH
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114 North Elm Street, Suite 102, Greensboro; (336) 275-1887. This Korean-owned Mexican eatery was most recently an Asian cafe. It mostly attracts the downtown nine-to-fivers looking for a quick lunch. Although there are numerous tables upstairs and downstairs, orders are placed at the counter. The bulgogi, Korean barbecue, was good. The shell and toppings were Americanized. And no kimchi. But the price is right: two Korean barbecue tacos for $5.25.
329 Tate Street, Greensboro; (336) 274-6684 or sushirepublicgso.com Sushi Republic is an atmospheric sushi restaurant popular with the UNCG crowd. I love their bulgogi taco, made with Korean-style barbecue beef, avocado, tomato, cilantro and cucumber, $7.95 (for two). So here’s a spot where I can have my bulgogi and sushi. But no kimchi. Lose Your Muffin Top & Love Handles! Mark’s Restaurant
Non-Invasive Fat Removal 616 Dolley Madison Road, Greensboro; (336) 387-0410 or www.marksrestaurantnc.com Look for a CIA-trained chef, white tablecloths and a staff with starched aprons at this fine-dining boite. Mark’s $14 lobster tempura taco — with yellow-tomato salsa, honey-chipotle sauce and Monterey Jack cheese — is definitely not a workingman’s lunch. But I highly recommend it if you’re feeling a bit flush. Generous portions of lobster are the star attraction of this tortilla,Announcing tempura-frieda to perfection. The yellowfat tomato salsa is a beautiful one-hour, non-invasive removal reduction and refreshing side. treatment! Dr . Barber is proud to be among the first in the
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Omnivorous Reader
Lost and Found at Sea A beguiling memoir of ﬁnding faith and a full sail
By sTePhen e. sMiTh
Once Upon a Gypsy Moon, an introspective account of his solo voyage through Atlantic coastal waters to the Bahamas and his navigation of an equally perilous midlife crisis, was immediately explicable, visibly and spiritually so, to this reviewer. In the early ’60s, I worked the docks in the little harbor town of Annapolis, Maryland, the jumping off point for Hurley’s odyssey, and I spent my early years crewing up and down the Chesapeake. I’ve also put in my fair share of time in the Gypsy Moon’s early ports of call — Beaufort, Southport and Charleston. And what I know is that Michael Hurley is no Sunday sailboat wuss. He’s hardcore, a salty dog, one of those crusty cusses who’d anchor his Bermudarigged sloop between the Yacht Club and Naval Academy and bob there for weeks on end, indifferent to the turmoil around him. Believe me, to venture alone into the Atlantic in a 32-foot sailboat is an undertaking that would give pause to the most experienced sailor. As for the midlife crisis, well, those of us who have suffered through such emotional upheavals know the journey is not quick or easy, even if the outcome is positive.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Hurley has woven these two life experiences — one physically demanding and the other emotionally hazardous — into a memoir that offers a little something for almost everyone. Readers are likely to feel immediately comfortable with the had-it-all-lost-it-all-andfound-myself motif, and the episodic seaward passages are beautifully described and easily comprehensible, despite the use of technical terminology. In 2009, Hurley had reached the moment in his life when he had little to lose. Because of his involvement in an extramarital affair, his 25-year marriage had ended in divorce. His career as a lawyer was at an impasse, and he had few prospects. So in August, he motored the Gypsy Moon out of the Magothy River, into the broad Chesapeake Bay, and pointed the bow southward. He anchored the first night forty miles north of Hampton Roads and wondered at his predicament: “The lights in the windows of the houses onshore gave off a soft glow, and I imagined that families inside were sitting down to dinner. I missed my own family. It is in just these still, calm moments when the naysayers of conscience seem to arrive.” But when he considered turning back, he was overcome with a deep sorrow and rationalized that reversing course would be an admission of psychic defeat. At that moment, he committed himself and his reader to a lengthy voyage of discovery. The next few days took the Gypsy Moon and its wayward captain to Beaufort, where he settled his boat into a slip at a local marina and returned briefly to his law practice in Raleigh. It was during this initial halt in the journey that the perils of Hurley’s personal life began to crowd in on him. He grappled with his notions of a deity — “There is a God . . . . Our every breath, our every joy and sorrow, and every element of the physical world, from its otherwise inexplicable existence to its well-ordered symmetry, fairly shouts his name.” This might be expected of man in Hurley’s circumstance — it might even be necessary; sailing alone on the open ocean after a painful divorce could bring out the God in anyone — but his spiritual musings assume, for the reader at least, less significance when he imagined wisdom in song lyrics. He pondered the words of pop culture gurus such as Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Loggins and Messina, and Van Morrison and took to heart lyrics that seemed to illuminate July 2013
Reader his predicament and point his life in the right direction. Readers who aren’t consumed by an ongoing infatuation may find this rock’n’roll stuff mildly distressing — or at least disconcerting. As much as we love the Rolling Stones, most of us don’t, thank goodness, look to them for guidance in our personal lives. Still, the readers will probably find Hurley’s ingenuous ruminations disarming. While in Raleigh, Hurley met a woman on the Internet — an all-too-common happenstance these days — and instantly fell in love with her. She happened to live in South Carolina, and when the Gypsy Moon arrived in Charleston, she and Hurley enjoyed a couple of romantic dinners. By their third night together they were committed. “I smile inside each time I recall hearing Susan’s words through the fading signal on my cell phone as I worked the Gypsy Moon into the channel headed offshore on that bright Monday morning: ‘I am totally committed to you.’” They were married eight months after their first meeting. Despite these personal distractions, Hurley’s sailing exploits, proceeding in fits and starts, remain completely enthralling. He encountered rough weather and wrestled with longing and loneliness and the technical aspects of sailing a small craft on the ocean. The winds and currents sometimes worked against him, and there were the inevitable annoyances, all of them fraught with metaphor one is likely to encounter on such an adventure. But Hurley completed his journey, at least its physical component, and the fate of the Gypsy Moon is eventually determined by circumstances beyond his control. Did Hurley’s whirlwind romance, burdened with unrealizable expectations, result in a meaningful long-term relationship? Predictably, he expresses a strong faith in his marriage, but there are also doubts: “No man or woman married more than a month needs to read an essay of mine to understand the stubborn differences between men and women.” Perhaps the most interesting part of Hurley’s memoir remains to be written. From Odysseus onward, readers have searched for metaphors in struggles of voyagers. Perhaps we take reassurance in the belief that a satisfying outcome grants the traveler a wisdom that might be passed along. For readers who find themselves in the open frame of mind, Once Upon a Gypsy Moon might offer insights into the vagaries of love and fate. What Hurley enjoys, for the time being at least, is what most of us profess to seek — a modicum of peace in our lives. OH
We’re not a mexican restaurant, we’re a taco j
Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at email@example.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9:30pm Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm 219-A South Elm Street Greensboro NC 27401 | (336) 273-0030
we’RE NOT A MEXICAN www.craftedtheartofthetaco.com
RESTAURANT, WE’RE A TACO JOINT Tuesday-Saturday 11am-10pm 219-A South Elm Street Greensboro NC 27401 (336) 273-0030 www.craftedtheartofthetaco.com
Artist Amongst Us
Chasing the Moments
A summer-long retrospective, The Storyteller’s Eye: The work of Greensboro Photographer Jerry Wolford, highlights the work of one of North Carolina’s most-acclaimed photojournalists By Maria Johnson
he camera was good to Jerry Wolford as a teenager. The neighborhood girls let him crash a slumber party when he came around with his step-daddy’s camera, an old Zeiss rangefinder. And newspapers around Randolph County paid good money for his freelance photos, which allowed him to keep his rust bucket of a car, a ’68 Triumph Spitfire, coughing a little longer. The camera also gave Wolford — who was blessed with the heart of an artist, the twang of a farmer and the agility of a flying squirrel — a way up and out. “I was a little trailer-park kid,” he says. “I was destined to work in a mill.” And he did, for a summer during community college. But he never stopped snapping, and over the next quarter-century he built a career as one of the state’s best photojournalists. The winner of multiple state and national awards, 48-year-old Wolford is now in his twenty-seventh year as a staffer for the News & Record newspaper in Greensboro. This month, the Greensboro Historical Museum opens a summer-long retrospective, A Storyteller’s Eye: The Work of Photographer Jerry Wolford. The show features about seventy-five images that bracket the spectrum of life. Joy. Sorrow. Silliness. Surprise. Fury. Wolford makes fast friends, but people aren’t always glad to see him and his Canon coming. Many times, in touchy situations, they glare back at his lens and suggest what the wiry little photographer with oval specs and a shiny pate might do with his flash. Sometimes Wolford backs off. Sometimes, he pushes back. He works for money, sure, but no one works as hard as he does for money alone. It’s not a paycheck he’s chasing when he monkeys up a radio tower and hits the dirt and slogs through rain and sprints toward smoke and chews the fat and studies faces and waits on the light. He’s chasing the moments that will touch people. “I want to make people feel,” he says. “I want them to live and feel the emotion of life. All of it. Wouldn’t it be silly to think you only took pictures of part of it?” OH Wolford’s exhibit at the Greensboro Historical Museum will be up through September. Admission is free. For more information, call the museum at (336)-373-2982 or visit greensborohistory.org. To see more of Wolford’s work, go to www.jerrywolford.com.
Firefighter Dean Michaux carries a bridal portrait away from a fatal fire in Browns Summit in 1995: Wolford was struck by the juxtaposition in this scene — the loveliness of the bride against the tragedy of a home in flames. Because someone died in the fire, Wolford couldn’t bring himself to ask questions about the portrait, but he admired the firefighter’s act of kindness.
Man being restrained by police at a Ku Klux Klan march in Greensboro in 1986, the first march in Greensboro after the Nazi-Klan shootout of 1979: “That’s John Willie Horn,” says Wolford. “I think he was a reverend, and he was there to tell the Grand Dragon that he loved him. He was going to shake his hand and tell him that he loved him.” The police, Wolford says, decided to restrain him for his own safety. “He was crossing the barrier between protesters and the Klan. He had an American flag, and I think he had a Bible. They whisked him off and put him in a car. I was scared to death. All I knew was, you could die at a Nazi-Klan shootout.” Wolford shot this photo for his personal portfolio before he was hired at the News & Record. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Twiggy the water skiing squirrel: Wolford encountered Twiggy at a boat show at the Greensboro Coliseum in 2011. “It’s a real neat story,” says Wolford. “There used to be a guy who trained squirrels to do this, and he died in a boating accident, and his wife has carried on.” Apparently, this photograph made Twiggy famous. “If you Google that image, it’s all over the world,” Wolford says. He included pictures like this in the exhibit to appeal to average people. “This photo does not impress my peers,” he says. “But who can look at that and not laugh?”
A peahen and a rooster spar at the Randolph County farm of Bill and Mary Rhodes in 2012: Wolford was tooling through the country when he saw some chickens and a windmill in the background. “I thought, ‘Now that’s pretty lame but I bet I can work out something with a wide angle lens and that windmill,’” says Wolford. He found the farmer, who insisted on showing off his peacocks. Wolford didn’t care about the peacocks, but he followed the farmer anyway. “He said, ‘You ought to see what happens when I feed them animal crackers.’ I said, ‘Oh no, you don’t have to do that for me.’ Well, you’ve never seen such a fight. I’m telling you, it was like throwing Popsicles down in front of a bunch of 5-year-olds.” Wolford says the moral of the story is, “You never can get locked into what you think your photo is because sometimes something better will happen out of the blue.” Windblown pants: This 1987 photo won Wolford his first award. He was working for The CourierTribune newspaper in Asheboro when he spied the billowing britches as he drove through the community of Red Cross. “I mean, any young photojournalist would have seen that and stopped,” says Wolford. “I’m not special, but I happened to be at the right place at the right time. The way you know a photo is great is when you realize that you probably will never see it again.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Zykell Burke, 5, cools off by dumping a pot of water over himself, 2011: The newspaper needed an A-1 photo that July day, so Wolford and another photographer went looking. They saw Zykell and stopped, expecting a so-so photo. “Then, the giant pot came out of the house, and the magic occurred. I was down low on the ground with my 85-millimeter lens and captured the special moment,” says Wolford. “The most rare photos are born when I can use all my abilities with those special ‘gift’ moments. That’s what I live for.” July 2013
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Melissa Greer Chairman's Circle Gold Award 2010,2011,2012
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The Sporting Life
The Old Man and the River Anticipating a day on the fabled St. Johns River fills our man of the outdoors with high hopes — and sweet dreams
By ToM BryanT
“And when he reached in that live well and
pulled out that giant bass, I almost fell out o’ the boat.” Linda looked at me, smiling, as she chopped up lettuce for our supper salad. We were camped in the little Airstream below Deland, Florida. I had just returned from a quick trip to Mother’s old winter home in Astor on the St. Johns River. It’s been years since anyone has used the old place, and I wanted to see what shape it was in. On this jaunt, I also checked out the Black Water Marina, where my dad used to keep his little fishing skiff. Like everything else in Florida, it had changed. Not many boats, and the ones berthed there were giant party crafts supporting the rumor that the river has become more a cruising, sightseeing venue than a world-class bass-fishing location.
When I drove over to the public landing, I met an older fisherman just in from a day on the river, and that’s when I saw the giant bass. The old guy had a boat from another era, and in the live well on his craft was the biggest bass I had ever seen. He told me about his catch and, surprisingly, invited me to go with him the next day. I was to call him around 9 that evening to set up a time. My last fishing trip on the St. Johns was years ago, and I was wound tight with excitement. “Before you call, you might want to get your fishing stuff together and see if you need more equipment,” Linda suggested. Before we left home on this, our annual late spring camping and fishing trip, I had stored in the back of the Cruiser an ancient South Bend bait casting rod and reel that my grandfather had given me when I was a youngster and also my dad’s old Garcia spinning outfit that my brother, Guery, had refurbished. I also put my aged tackle box in the storage trunk of the camper. Not the best fishing gear; it was more sentimental than practical.
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“I’ll wait,” I replied. “Who knows, the fellow might back out since I’m a perfect stranger. He could have changed his mind. It’s about 9. I’m gonna give him a call.” I went out under the awning of the Airstream where I could get better reception on the cell phone. “Mr. Banks?” The phone was crackling a bit and I walked around to see if I could get a better connection. “Yep, this is Jim Banks. What can I do for you?” “Tom Bryant here, sir. I met you this afternoon at the boat landing in Astor. You were kind enough to offer to take me fishing tomorrow and wanted me to call at 9.” “Good for you, buddy roe. Meet me in the morning at the same place around 5. Bring some cold drinks, if you want ’em, and a sandwich or two. We’ll be gone about all day.” “What kind of fishing gear should I bring? Unfortunately, I only have a couple of ancient rods and reels.” “Sort of like us, old sport. They’ll work fine. I’ve got plenty of fishing tackle and some rods if needed. See you in the morning.” I went back in the Airstream and relayed the conversation to Linda and she said, “You look like a kid the night before Christmas. Why don’t you go on to bed? I’ll fix some lunch for you to take, and I’ll wrap up the rest of the pound cake, which you can share with your new friend.” I knew I’d have a hard time getting to sleep. I was so antsy, sort of like the day before the opening of duck season. But it was really no problem, and it seemed as if I had just shut my eyes when the little alarm clock started its insistent ringing. I arrived at the landing at about 4:30. Early as usual I thought, but I had just parked the Cruiser in a slot close to the trees and grabbed my gear out of the back when I heard a motor on the river. I couldn’t see the boat, but I recognized the unusual sound of the kicker from the afternoon before. There was a low fog across the black water, illuminated by a waning moon, and in a minute or two the pockety-pockety sound of the old engine came from around a far bend. A craft that looked like it had been built when my granddad was a youngster slid out of the mist like an apparition. Mr. Banks was amidship running the boat from what looked like a fiberglass center console, the only difference being it was made of wood. “Put your gear aboard, sport. I’ll hold her to the bank for you.” I tossed my fishing rods in the bow and we went putting and creaking, through swirling fog, heading up river. There was a faint grayness coming from July 2013
Pe s t o P a s t a • C h o c o l a t e W a l n u t P i e • C h i c k e n S a l a d • B r e a d P u d d i n g
the east, promising a good day. I propped myself next to the console as Mr. Banks increased the speed of his boat and steered her toward the center of the flowing black water. He leaned over and said in a loud voice, “We’ve got about a forty-minute run until we start fishing. You might want to sit up there in the bow. It’ll be more comfortable.” I moved to the forward bench and watched as the river flowed by. The early morning sun was beginning to shine through the trees throwing shadows from the bank. Every now and then, Mr. Banks would point out an alligator lying in the shallows. In no time it seemed, the river opened into a large lake. “Lake George? I shouted back at Mr. Banks. “Yep. We’ll be fishing in just a few minutes.” He slowed the craft and turned toward a small opening that seemed to be a shallow creek flowing into the lake. It appeared to be impassable, and I was surprised when the narrow cut, bordered with live oaks covered with hanging moss, opened into a small lake. Banks shut the engine and let the boat drift. He said in a low voice, “You better get your rig ready. Try not to bump the boat. This place holds some big bass and they oughta be hungry.” I unlimbered Dad’s refurbished spinning outfit and was digging in my tackle box when Banks said softly, “Here, Bubba, try this lure. It’s an old wooden topwater popper. Throw it at that cypress log hanging off the bank. Put it right where the log enters the water. I betcha there’s a big un hanging out there.” The wooden lure had to be about as old as the boat and I double-tied it to my twenty-pound test fishing line. Man, I thought, I hope I don’t lose this thing. My first cast was perfect. Almost bouncing off the log. I slowly reeled, the topwater lure making a popping noise. The lure was halfway back to the boat when an underwater object came after it, pushing the water like a miniature submarine. “Get ready! Banks exclaimed. “That’s a big un!” The bass hit the bait like a freight train, and I reared back on the rod to set the hook. As the bass went deep, it was like I had caught a Volkswagen. “Don’t lose him!” Banks was shouting. “That bass could be a record breaker!” I was trying to turn the fish back toward the boat and I kept hearing a persistent ringing noise. What is that sound? I wondered. “Tom, Honey, its time to wake up, the alarm clock is ringing. Remember, you’re going fishing this morning and you don’t want to be late.” A dream! I sat bleary-eyed on the side of the bed. The big fish was just a dream. But maybe not — the day’s just starting. OH
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Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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The Lost Red Gem
Donald Ross’ master design for Sedgefield included two outstanding golf courses, the “Blue,” where next month’s Wyndham Championship will be played, and the “Red,” which never got built
By Jim Schlosser
Image from the Tufts Archives
ing nearly ninety years, Sedgefield Country Club finally has a second golf course.
The recently announced merger of Sedgefield and the Cardinal Golf & Country Club — under the Sedgefield name — allows members of both clubs to play the other’s course anytime, as well as use the clubhouses, tennis courts, swimming pools and other facilities. From Sedgefield in southwest Guilford County to the Cardinal in the northwest, it’s a good drive — by auto, that is. If the desire for an additional course helped motivate the merger, better economic times in the late 1920s would have enabled Sedgefield members to have played a second course much closer to their clubhouse. Sedgefield’s master plan, drawn in 1924, called for two 18-hole courses. One opened in 1926, the course on which the Wyndham Championship PGA Tour tournament will be played next month. In Sedgefield’s early years, that course was called Valley Brook. An office building near the country club keeps the name alive. Today, the course is known simply as Sedgefield. The second course also had a name, but it’s been lost to posterity. Club officials and a long-time member say they have no recollection of it. Both courses were designed by the master architect Donald Ross of Pinehurst. His most famous creation, Pinehurst No. 2, will be the site of the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens in 2014. Ralph Stout, a mapping expert who is now deceased, told me in a long-ago interview that as a youngster he remembers following Ross through the sedge brush and forest of what was an old hunting preserve owned by John Blackwell The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Cobb. When Scotsman Ross barked an order, the lad planted a stake in the ground, designating where a tee box or green or bunker would be built. Cobb, a wealthy Northern industrialist, died in 1923. His daughter sold the property in 1924 to a company headed by A.W. McAlister of Greensboro. It was McAlister who adopted the name Sedgefield because of the plentiful sedge brush. Donald Ross had his own names for the two courses, on paper at least. He called what became Valley Brook the Blue Course. The second was the Red Course. Luckily, the Blue Course was completed three years before the Great Depression hit in 1929. Hard times caused construction projects everywhere to cease. By then, two-and-a-half holes on the Red Course had been graded. Construction stopped and never resumed. Eventually, houses arose on what would have been fairways and greens. Reminders of the Red Course remain. Sedgefield’s practice range occupies the intended 18th hole, a par-3, 198 yards long. The 17th hole, planned as a 393-yard par-4, was a large open space for years until the Sedgefield club built its tennis complex there. Ross placed most holes of the Red Course north and east of the Blue Course. Four holes would have passed close to High Point Road, the highway that runs by Sedgefield’s main entrance. A map showing both courses is in the Tufts Archives, part of the Given Memorial Library in Pinehurst. It can be seen online by Googling: “Tufts archives sedgefield.” The Ross collection there also contains detailed, holeby-hole drawings of the Blue and Red courses. The drawings show Ross’ hand-written notes in pencil made while he scoped out the courses. July 2013
State Street 40 O.Henry
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Game On “Depress green about 1 inch so as to form saucer shape . . . enlarge lake as shown to give water hazard on first and second shots,” say his notes on the 416yard 3rd hole on the Red Course. Greens shaped like inverted saucers are a Ross trademark of the many courses he designed or redesigned — some estimate the number at 400. Golf balls landing on saucer-shaped greens often roll off and wind up in the fairway or greenside bunker. Club founder McAlister was a man of grand projects. In 1909, he led a group that developed the Irving Park neighborhood. The Greensboro Country Club course, also designed by Ross, was and is the neighborhood’s centerpiece. Around the same time McAlister started Sedgefield, he moved his insurance company, Pilot Life, from downtown to a hilltop campus on High Point Road. Buildings were modeled after Tryon Palace in New Bern. The Pilot complex, directly across from Sedgefield, would be the first suburban main office headquarters in North Carolina. For Sedgefield, McAlister envisioned a posh golfing community on the order of Pinehurst. Up went big houses, attracting wealthy people who moved from Greensboro and High Point. Under McAlister’s plan the club’s signature building would be a rambling, Tudor-style building, which doubled as an inn for the public and, for Sedgefield members, as a clubhouse. At first, it was named the Sedgefield-Continental, but soon became the Sedgefield Inn. The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded there in 1953. Today, the inn serves exclusively as the clubhouse, which provides a magnificent backdrop to the 9th hole of Ross’s Blue Course. The master plan also included stables, which still exist, and bridle trails meandering through the Sedgefield community. Some trails remain visible. Polo grounds were never built. Nor was a gun club. The club did follow through with a
delightful Sedgefield Tea House, which was between the entrance and exit roads to the club. The tea house survives, but for years has been a private home, currently for sale. A quaint shopping district was planned but it never materialized, except for a gas station that pumped fuel for years near the clubhouse. With the merger of Sedgefield and the Cardinal, Cardinal members gain access to a Donald Ross course. Sedgefield members in turn get to play a superb Cardinal course designed in 1974 by Pete Dye, arguably the modernera Donald Ross. Distance between the clubs shouldn’t be a handicap. There’s precedent. The first country clubs to merge, in the early 1970s, were the Greensboro Country Club in Irving Park — so close to downtown the skyline can be seen on some holes — and Carlson Farms Country Club, seven miles away off Horse Pen Creek Road. The name Greensboro Country Club survives. Members enjoy playing two contrasting courses, one dating to 1909, the other to the 1960s, with a barn and a silo reminders of the time the course was a dairy farm. Cardinal members may find the Sedgefield course a respite from the challenges of their course, which even the best golfers find difficult. Members from both clubs might have found the Red Course, had it been completed, less than challenging. Golf courses back then were shorter. The Cardinal plays a tricky 7,002 yards. The Red Course would have measured 6,402 yards. With today’s new equipment and juiced-up balls, good golfers would likely have overpowered the Red Course, a lost gem and something the PGA pros who assemble this August to contend for the Wyndham Championship will likely never know anything about. OH Jim Schlosser is a contributing editor of O.Henry Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Life of Jane
Innocents in Ireland Who knew it was the town brothel anyway?
By Jane Borden
Illustration by Meridith martens
forget the first time I slept in a brothel. It was also the last time, and, obviously (I hope), an accident. When I was 24, a friend and I spent a week driving from Dublin to Galway and back. We secured all lodging in advance and always booked economy. Waterford had been a last-minute addition to the itinerary, and this budget inn on the quay seemed, online, perfect. The city, home of the namesake chichi crystal, was the one place my parents had hoped I’d visit. Probably not in this way.
But it wasn’t as if women in wigs and fishnets loitered on the stoop. We weren’t greeted with a “Hey Big Spender” song-and-dance number just inside the door. We checked in at dusk and found the building nondescript, the room shabby, but nothing too strange. As if I would’ve recognized a brothel anyway. I had no reference point in Irving Park. The houses of ill repute I knew were those in old Western films, and this Irish homestead had no gauzy curtains or player piano. For whatever reason, the business’ thinly veiled front worked on these stupid Americans. Somewhere, someone was laughing in Irish. We dumped our bags and went to meet Courtney. A couple of weeks prior, on the patio of a bar in midtown Manhattan, I’d befriended a group of kids on holiday from Waterford. I told them I was headed their way soon, and one, Courtney, offered to take us out if we swung through town. After walking the quay, we met up with several of her friends at a restaurant. I don’t remember where. I do remember that when I answered her question about our lodging, she replied, “Oh no,” and then suddenly added, “Never mind.” Making good on her promise, Courtney and her crew took us to Waterford’s most happening nightclub. It was already full when we arrived, but the dance floor, a sunken, floor-lit pit in the room’s center, remained empty, in spite of the DJs thumping contributions. Why was no one dancing?
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The reply: It took a while to get going. I asked something like, “But don’t people want to?” This was a rhetorical question; our group had been vocally eager all night. Courtney explained, “No one wants to be first.” We finished our drinks and I suggested we go for it: take the plunge and boogie. Every eye in the group simultaneously grew large and then moved from side to side as their owners shook their heads in terror. A second round was acquired. A second round was finished. Still, no one in sight tripped anything fantastic. The patrons hovered near the pit with desire. Some of them singing along, tapping feet and swiveling hips — but only on the sidelines. “This is ridiculous,” I said. “Come on.” The two stupid Americans ran for the pit and, then, another thing I’ll never forget: Courtney and one of her girlfriends shouted, “No!” and literally reached out their arms to catch us, stop us from embarrassing ourselves. My gosh, what was the big deal? There wasn’t one. We were only alone for 30 seconds before a few locals joined, and then a few more; by the song’s end, the dance floor was packed and stayed that way for the rest of the night. Courtney and her friends were in awe. “That was so cool.” “I can’t believe you did that.” They said we were fearless. I said they were severely stunted. Later, after Courtney had a few more drinks, she let loose about our lodging, i.e., said, “You’re staying in a whorehouse.” What could she mean? I had been there, I explained, and seen no swinging saloon doors. She said it wasn’t the sort of place Johns go, but rather the place they are taken. Excluding stupid Americans, she told us, all of their rentals were hourly. I asked, with great hope, if this was a rumor, an urban legend. She shook her head. No. Everyone in town knew. Perhaps because it was too late to find alternative lodging, or maybe because, like Courtney, the Americans had also had a few, we stayed at the inn anyway. If this scenario happened today, I would sleep in the car rental, or on a park bench. I would wander the streets until dawn. But at 24, I guess we were a bit, for better or worse, fearless. We just shrugged our shoulders: What was the big deal? OH Jane Borden is a native of Greensboro and the author of the highlyacclaimed memoir I Totally Meant To Do That.
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July 2013 Practical Gods The evening sun reflects off our blue birdbath, the memory of afternoon rain, as the day’s end is marked on an empty wall; the leaky gutter still crying, inconsolable — like a mother who has just found, or lost, her only child (a fact I only mention because, from our bed, it always seems to be raining). There is no point to this: my wife does not want a child; the weather does not reflect unknown desire. If she were home, I would undress her in the cooling light, the tears from the willows glistening on her skin. But she is in a different season, and I am here alone. What would happen next, I will not say. You should know that the blue birdbath has the slightest of cracks and is always glazed with rain — make what you want of it. There is only one robin that visits our yard — her breast its own sunset. At dusk she hops from puddle to puddle — listening.
Photograph by Cassie Butler Timpy
— Terry L. Kennedy
Terry L. Kennedy — author the chapbook Until the Clouds Shatter the Light That Plates Our Lives — teaches at UNCG, where he is the associate director of the graduate program in creative writing and editor of the online journal storySouth. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
By BiLL morris • PhotograPhs By Lynn donoVan • iLLUstrations By harry BLair
reensboro’s rich and complex literary DNA winds back at least to the 1870s, when a local teenager named William Sydney Porter was dreaming up stories while working in his family’s downtown drugstore at 121 South Elm Street. The boy grew up to become one of America’s most popular and beloved writers, and today his pen name is everywhere in his hometown — on a highway, on a hotel, on a barbecue joint and on the cover of the magazine you’re reading. But O.Henry was just the beginning of Greensboro’s literary flowering. Since his time, the city has attracted and nurtured noteworthy writers of every imaginable form — fiction, poetry, history, biography, plays, true crime, criticism, thrillers, essays, screenplays and journalism. Why? Some say it’s because of Greensboro’s five colleges. Others believe it’s because the city leaves writers alone to do their work. Still others theorize that the people of Greensboro have always regarded writers as makers of worthwhile, even valuable, things. These virtues — a lively intellectual climate, peace and quiet, and respect — explain a lot. Here, then, is our map of just a few of the places in Greensboro where writers have lived and loved, dreamed and died, while producing a bounty of work that has turned this city into that rarest of American places: a town where, it seems, there are as many people writing serious books as there are people reading them. We apologize in advance for inevitable omissions. It would take volumes to map the complete strand of Greensboro’s literary DNA.
The Porter Family Drug Store
121 South Elm Street — now the ofﬁ ces of Horus Construction
Chancellor’s House At UNCG
1400 Spring Garden Street, now the Jane Harris Armﬁ eld and Emily Harris Preyer Admissions and Visitors Center Beginning in the 1930s, the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG) developed a Tennessee connection that would draw some of America’s finest writers to Greensboro — to give readings, deliver lectures, teach seminars or establish long and lustrous teaching and writing careers. The source of the connection was John Crowe Ransom, a native Tennessean who became a leading American poet, critic, teacher and editor. Many of Ransom’s colleagues and students followed him from Vanderbilt University in Nashville to Kenyon College in Ohio. Some of them eventually made their way to Greensboro. Beginning in 1944 and running through 1969, a yearly Greensboro event called the Arts Forum attracted the likes of Flannery O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell, Carl Sandburg and Saul Bellow. The chancellor’s house on Spring Garden Street became a sort of social hub, a scene of parties and readings, and a home away from home for such visiting luminaries as Eudora Welty and Robert Frost. The elegant house, built in 1922, was slated for demolition by UNCG in the late 1990s. It was saved from the wrecking ball by public outcry and moved 900 feet up the street. The chancellor now lives off-campus.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Allen Tate and Caroline Gorden
112 Arden Place
Among the earliest arrivals were Allen Tate and his wife, the novelist and critic Caroline Gordon, who arrived at Woman’s College in 1938. Tate, a student of Ransom’s and a member of the Fugitives at Vanderbilt, was a contributor to the Southern Agrarians’ manifesto, I’ll Take My Stand. A poet, critic and mesmerizing teacher, Tate completed his only novel, The Fathers, while he and Gordon lived in a house at 112 Arden Place in Greensboro. After just one year on campus, Tate and Gordon were wooed away by Princeton, though they would return to Greensboro many times to teach, lecture, give readings and visit friends. The Tennessee connection they helped establish was destined to bear glorious fruit.
114 Fisher Park Circle In 1946, the Tennessee-born fiction writer Peter Taylor, a former student of both Ransom and Tate, came to teach at Woman’s College, the alma mater of his wife, the poet Eleanor Ross Taylor, a sister of James Ross (see below). Taylor, who was on his way to becoming one of America’s greatest short story writers as well as a decorated novelist and playwright, returned to Greensboro for two more teaching stints in later years. The Taylors eventually bought a capacious clapboard house at 114 Fisher Park Circle, which Peter called “this fine Edwardian ruin . . . our biggest and ugliest house yet.” It became the scene of many legendarily convivial parties. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Randall Jarrell 1416 West Lake Drive
In 1947, another native Tennessean and Ransom acolyte arrived at Woman’s College to teach. This one, the wildly gifted poet and critic Randall Jarrell, stayed for the long haul — until he died at age 51 in a tragic, and still mysterious, car accident near Chapel Hill in 1965. For a time, Jarrell and his first wife, Mackie, shared a duplex with the Taylors at 1924 Spring Garden Street, about a mile from the campus, a building now gone to dust. Later Jarrell, a revered teacher, lived at 1416 West Lake Drive with his second wife, Mary von Schrader, who died in 2007 after writing a memoir about Jarrell and editing two volumes of his letters. Jarrell left town often for numerous teaching, speaking and readings gigs, but he always came back to Greensboro. One of Jarrell’s favorite haunts was a sort of tree fort/clubhouse behind the house at 305 Tate Street, where he liked to read, socialize and unwind. In the 1950s Jarrell served a two-year term as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, now known as the Poet Laureate. In his too-short life he produced a glittering body of work — poetry, criticism, short stories, children’s books, translations and a novel. His 1960 poetry collection, The Woman at the Washington Zoo, won the National Book Award. Jarrell is buried in the New Garden Friends Cemetery near Guilford College.
Robert Watson 527 Highland Avenue
In the mid-1960s, a decade after he came to teach at Woman’s College, New Jersey native Robert Watson was charged with creating one of the nation’s first master of fine arts programs in creative writing, part of the school’s metamorphosis from Woman’s College into the co-ed University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Watson, a poet and novelist, was one of the prime motivating forces behind The Greensboro Review, now a prestigious literary journal that appears twice a year. Watson, who died in 2012 at age 86, is credited as a primary architect of a creative writing program that is now consistently rated one of the best in the nation. Watson’s house was a short walk away from the campus and he and his wife, Betty, turned it into a favorite gathering place for student writers. Although it has since been torn down, UNCG’s Maud F. Gatewood Studio Arts Building replaced it — fortuitously appropriate since Betty is a painter herself.
Fred Chappell 305 Kensington Road
Born in the mountains of western North Carolina and educated at Duke University, Fred Chappell came to Greensboro in 1964 to join Watson’s crew of creative writing teachers. Working with Watson and Peter Taylor, Chappell helped birth the MFA program at UNCG. For the next forty years Chappell became known as a tireless nurturer of young literary talent, while quietly, doggedly producing his own blizzard of words that includes novels and short stories, books of poetry and criticism, reviews and lectures. From 1997 to 2002 Chappell served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina, just one of many honors and awards in a diverse career that has won him comparisons to Robert Penn Warren and James Agee. One interviewer called him “the South’s resident man of letters, the bashful Appalachian godfather of literature.” Bashful may be the operative word here. Chappell, an utterly unpretentious man, signs letters to friends “ole Fred.” Now retired from teaching — but still writing every day, with some of his newest work appearing in O.Henry — Chappell lives with his wife, Susan, in Sunset Hills, not far from the campus where he changed so many young lives.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Candace Flynt 2005 Madison Avenue
“Fred was an inspiration; he made you believe in yourself,” says Candace Flynt, one of Chappell’s many students who went on to have a sterling literary career of her own. Flynt, who was born and raised in Greensboro and now lives in Sunset Hills, has published three acclaimed novels and is researching a fourth. Since earning her MFA at UNCG in 1974, Flynt, a former reporter for The Greensboro Record, has found her hometown to be conducive to the making of fiction. “Writing is a totally solitary endeavor, and Greensboro is a place that leaves you alone,” she says. “There’s none of that adulation and privileged status of writers down in the Triangle.”
Lee Zacharias 1712 Madison Avenue
Born in Chicago and educated at Hollins University and the University of Arkansas, Lee Zacharias joined Fred Chappell and Robert Watson on the UNCG creative-writing faculty in 1975, taking over the editorship of The Greensboro Review. For the next three decades, Lee mentored some of the MFA program’s finest students, winning awards from both UNCG and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for her teaching excellence. Zacharias is the author of the short story collection, Helping Muriel Make it Through the Night, and two novels — Lessons, winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and the newly released At Random (excerpted on page 56). A collection of essays, The World You Leave Behind, is forthcoming from Hub City Press.
308 Woodlawn Avenue James Ross, a native of Stanly County, was part of a remarkable family known as “the writing Rosses.” His sister Eleanor (the wife of Peter Taylor) was an accomplished poet; sister Jean (wife of the poet Donald Justice) wrote short stories; and brother Fred was a novelist. Jim Ross lived in Greensboro for many years and spent the last years of his life in a handsome frame house in Lake Daniel with his wife, Marnie Polk Ross. Before his death in 1990 at age 79, Jim Ross had done an almost unheard-of thing: He published one brilliant novel — and never published another. They Don’t Dance Much, a bloody yet slyly funny tale set in a rough North Carolina roadhouse during the Depression, won high praise from Flannery O’Connor, among others, after its publication in 1940. But the novel slipped into obscurity. Ross kept writing fiction, publishing a handful of short stories but never another novel. He spent twenty years working as a political reporter and editorial writer for the Greensboro Daily News, where he retired in 1975. That year, Ross’ lone novel was re-issued by Southern Illinois University Press as part of its Lost American Fiction series. Mysterious Press in New York recently released a new edition of the novel, which is cited by aficionados of “country noir” fiction as an under-sung classic. Former News & Record writer Jonathan Yardley recently raved about it in The Washington Post. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Marianne Gingher 301 East Hendrix Street
Born in Guam and raised in Greensboro, Marianne Gingher credits three teachers with setting her on the path to a literary career — Peggy Joyner at Grimsley High School, Fred Chappell at UNCG and Max Steele at UNC-Chapel Hill. All aspiring writers should have such mentors. With their tutelage — and years of hard work — Gingher became a successful novelist, short-story writer, memoirist and teacher (She directed the creative writing program at Chapel Hill from 1997–2002). She recently co-edited an anthology of short stories by North Carolina authors and co-founded the Jabberbox Puppet Theatre, which puts on puppet shows targeted to adult audiences.
Burke Davis Hoskins homestead
Durham native Burke Davis moved to Greensboro at the age of 6 and won his first literary award while still in high school. His winning entry in a statewide essay contest was titled “My Experience As a Snake Man in the Boy Scouts.” It was an auspicious beginning to a long, prolific literary career. Davis worked as a newspaperman, including a ten-year stint as a columnist for the Greensboro Daily News, and went on to write nearly fifty books — novels, biographies and histories — many of them based on the Revolutionary and Civil wars. With proceeds from his first published book, The Ragged Ones, he purchased the Joseph Hoskins homestead near the scene of the 1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The house, which people thought for years had sheltered British troops involved in the battle, really dates from 1813. But it still figures largely in The Ragged Ones — and it became the incubator of two more literary careers: Davis’ daughter, Angela Davis-Gardner, and his son, Burke Davis III, both of whom became novelists. It is now a museum, the Colonial Heritage Center, now part of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Burke Davis died in Greensboro in 2006 at age 93 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
717 North Church Street In an old frame house facing the railroad tracks that slice through Greensboro on their way from New Orleans to Washington, D.C., Bill Trotter has produced a body of work that is astonishing both for its variety and its uniformly high quality — novels, histories, biographies, short stories, novellas, true crime, reviews, essays and, for good measure, columns on computer games. His collection of classical music on vinyl records is renowned, and his knowledge of the music is encyclopedic, especially the life and works of Jean Sibelius and Leopold Stokowski. Yet Trotter’s philosophy of writing is more lunch-pail than longhair: “Adopt a blue-collar attitude and write for whatever and whoever will pay you for your time, sweat and expertise.”
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Longtime columnist for the Greensboro News & Record, Jerry Bledsoe encountered the story of a lifetime when the newspaper’s police scanner crackled with a report of an incident near Guilford College. Modest and unassuming, the Friendly Hills Apartment Complex became the unlikely launch pad for one of the most bizarre incidents — and one of the best-selling books — in Greensboro history. As police closed in on Friendly Hills on June 3, 1985, Fritz Klenner and his cousin, Susie Lynch, left their apartment and loaded her two sons and two dogs into Klenner’s Chevy Blazer, chock full of weapons and munitions. They then led police cars and a helicopter on an O.J. Simpsonesque chase through the streets of Greensboro, leaving several wounded police officers in their path. The Blazer finally stopped at a roadblock near Summerfield — and exploded. With dogged pursuit, thorough reporting and a compelling narrative style, Bledsoe turned the bloody incident, and a passel of family murders that preceded it, into an awardwinning series of articles in the newspaper. The true-crime book he wrote about the family, Bitter Blood, became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Bledsoe now lives in nearby Randolph County.
Orson Scott Card 401 Willoughby Boulevard
Orson Scott Card is no stranger to the best-seller lists. In fact, he may be the closest thing in Greensboro to a brandname author. Born in Washington state and raised in the West, Card came to Greensboro in 1983 to work on a computer magazine — only to see his fledgling writing career take off. In 1985 and 1986, Card’s science-fiction novels Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, won the Hugo and Nebula Awards — the only time any writer has won sci-fis two most prestigious awards in back-to-back years. But Card did not allow that success to pigeonhole him. His volcanic output includes fantasy, biblical fiction, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, plays, novelizations, comics, screenplays and dialogue for video games. Somehow he also found time to write a wide-ranging weekly column for the The Rhinoceros Times, which recently published its last edition.
2116 Walker Avenue, now Walker’s Bar In its heyday, a dark little cave of a beer joint on Walker Avenue became Greensboro’s go-to literary watering hole, its Algonquin round table. There were high-backed wooden booths, 25-cent longneck bottles and Blatz on draft (wise tipplers avoided the Blatz, aka “hangover in a jar”), and just about everyone seemed to be talking about the books they were reading, the books they were writing, or the books they wished they were reading and/or writing. One night at closing time, Fred Chappell grabbed a mop and started swabbing the floors — just for the hell of it. When Eudora Welty went to the Pickwick on one of her visits to town, her only demand was that her beer had to be served in a glass. Mary Elizabeth Parker, a poet, recalls nights there in the 1970s: “This hole-in-the-wall, about as deep as a rich woman’s closet, was where I drank my two icy beers (then no more money), and waited for the word, the phrase, the insight which would announce itself to me as The Secret of Writing.” Bill Morris, a former columnist with the Greensboro News & Record who now lives in New York City, is the author of the novels Motor City and All Souls’ Day. He has been published in Granta, The New York Times, Popular Mechanics and The Daily Beast, and he’s a staff writer with the online literary magazine The Millions.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Currently reading: The Measures Between Us, a novel by UNCG MFA grad Ethan Hauser
Perennial favorite book: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Favorite new author: Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat and Other Stories.
Literary guilty pleasure: I have plenty of reasons to feel guilty, but what I read is not one of them.
Where do you plan to get away this summer to read? I live in Austin in the
summers so in the afternoons, when it is in the triple digits here, I go read in the shade on the hill above Barton Springs Pool, an Austin institution, a spring-fed 68 degrees year-round, a perfect place to combine my favorite things: reading and swimming.
Quintessential summer read: Indepen-
dent People, by Halldor Laxness. Itâ€™s about sheep farmers in Iceland and was published in the â€™30s. I like to read Russian lit in the summer as well, because I hate cold weather in real life, but I have no problem with it on the page, especially in the summer swelter.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
By miChaeL ParKer
babysitter had never seen an attic or a basement, since she had lived all her seventeen years in a trailer so close to the sound that even houses were built up off the ground. One afternoon she put the baby to bed in her crib on the old sun porch, pulling all the blinds and curtains to fool day into night. She waited for the child to fall asleep while sitting just outside the nursery on a long wooden bench running down a corridor almost as wide as the trailer where she lived with her mother and two younger brothers. “When the house was built in the 1840s they kept the hallways wide to allow a good breeze between the front porch and back,” the baby’s father had told her on the first day of the job. He took her through each room and talked of things like crown molding and wainscoting and he called their walk through the house a tour, which reminded her of when she was still in school and they climbed in buses and followed their teacher through the loud rooms of the Dr Pepper bottling plant. The father called the bench a pew and said it had come out of the Episcopal church downtown, which her mother had pointed out to her one day, claiming all the people who worshipped there were stuck-up drunks. The babysitter wondered why anyone would put a church pew in a hallway. It was hard and it hurt her back but she sat there every day during naptime, listening for the baby (who was not really a baby anymore; she was almost 3, but the babysitter had answered an ad for a babysitter and so the baby in her mind was a baby) to stop chastising her stuffed snake. She stared at the carpet, which the mother had once referred to as a “runner.” It seemed to the babysitter that this couple had their own words for everything and that it did not change what the things were, so as soon as they were gone she would take the child into the kitchen and pull things out of the drawers and say to the child, “What is this?” “Spoon,” the child would say and the babysitter would say, “Damn right, it’s just a spoon.” “Stop it,” the babysitter heard the child say to her snake. Finally the babysitter heard the light ragged sleep-breath of the baby. The babysitter knew that the child’s breathing would always sound alarmingly syncopated because she had had a baby herself, though the baby was taken away from her, a fact that the couple with the huge hallways could never know. Breath rose and it fell; it stopped and started no matter how much you wanted it to be even and regular. Nevertheless, the babysitter wanted it for the baby. And she wanted it for herself. Behind the door at the end of the hallway rose the attic stairs. On warm days not yet hot enough for air-conditioning, the door was open to allow a fan to cool the upstairs of the house. On those days she was told to leave the windows in the sun porch open just a few inches so the fan would draw the breeze, but the fluttering curtains terrified the child and she stood up in her crib crying about ghosts, and so the babysitter closed the windows and the child soaked the sheets of the crib with sweat and woke cross and the babysitter said to her, “Well, which is it? You have to choose. Either you see ghosts or you burn up.” Today the windows were open. There was a breeze. The babysitter had never actually seen the fan, but it sounded monstrous and disturbing, like the loathsome snarling that filtered most days through the woods surrounding the trailer. Chain saws, backhoes, neighbor boys riding ATVs through the cabbage fields. Even so far from town, machines drowned out the birdsong, the rustle of wind through The Art & Soul of Greensboro
pine needles that the babysitter remembered hearing when she played in the dirt yard when she was not much older than the sleeping baby. Today the fan was off and the door was shut. The child was asleep — and would be for an hour at least. The babysitter pushed open the door into a heat that she understood well from living in a treeless field through summers when there was no money to run window units. The sloped roof had nails sticking out of its boards. Pink thick blankets of insulation stretched into corners so faraway dim she wasn’t sure the attic had an end. The floor was strewn with suitcases, as if the father, home from a trip, had tossed the bags from the top of the stairs. The babysitter had never owned or even seen inside a suitcase because she had never been on a real trip. Once a boyfriend was taking her to Kings Dominion, but her extra clothes and makeup and toothbrush were stuffed in a plastic sack, and before they even crossed the Virginia line her boyfriend got pulled over for speeding and it turned out his license had been suspended. She had to call her mother to come pick her up from the magistrate’s office, but her mother’s boyfriend Raymond showed up instead and on the endless ride home he called her boyfriend names and told her how worthless she was. The babysitter opened a red vinyl suitcase and studied the zippered pouches, the compartments for shoes. She stepped over the suitcases, drawn to the light that spilled in from the double doors. Outside was a tiny balcony. The couple probably had a name for this, too, but it had wooden bars and it was a balcony to her. Through the towering steeples of town she saw the drawbridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, raised to let a yacht pass. She was higher than she’d ever been, higher than the pines, a part of the sky, so high she could not be brought down to testify against Raymond and what he did to her, too high to hear her mother claim Raymond was a sweet man who’d had a hard upbringing, how can you say those things about him? Far below she saw her car parked in front of this huge house. Her red Mustang. Ten years old and the back quarter panel was painted with primer and three of the hubcaps were missing but it was the only thing in the world that was hers alone. The sight of it did not make her proud as it once had, but suddenly terrified that it was all she’d ever own, that everything after would have to be shared with the same sort of men her mother brought home, then, three weeks or months later threw out. The babysitter went inside and turned on the fan. It was burning up inside the attic. It took a few seconds for the fan to come to life but when it did it was so loud she knew she would not hear the baby should the baby wake and cry out. She knew she should go down, but she wanted the doom she’d felt to be blown right through her by the breeze sucked from the sky by the fan. “At least I won’t ever have so many things I have to make up names for them,” the babysitter said into the wind, and the fan chopped her words up so that they resembled sleep-breath and sent them down to the baby, who woke to see, through the bars of her crib, the billowing skirts of the woman whose house this once was, come again to swish along the corridor in search of the husband who had never returned from the sea. OH Michael Parker’s new ﬁ ction, “Widow’s Walk”, is published by permission of the author, a UNCG professor of creative writing and ﬁ ction and author of ﬁ ve novels, with a sixth on the way.
Good Advice from a C.O.D. By CLyde edgerton
have a daughter, Catherine, aged 30. I have a 9-year-old son, Nathaniel, a 7-year-old son, Ridley, and a 6-year-old daughter, Truma. I’m 68. The age gap between the younger kids and me is not something I think about much, because I feel, physically, about like I did when I was 40 — or at least I think I do. I think I... I just forgot what we were talking about — age? I do think about age, and as I write, if I have something to say to older dads (a growing population), I’ll insert a short section labeled *C.O.D. — which means it’s intended for the Considerably Older Dad. For example: *C.O.D. If you read tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen (your kids will probably love them), you’ll be able to identify words in these stories that are not within the experience of younger fathers. Words like hearth, anvil, harness, scythe, plough, and stockings. IN-LAWs If they are dead, your in-laws will probably not interfere with your fathering. But they may. Family norms tend to stay around for several generations — things like whether or not presents inside Christmas stockings are wrapped, whether or not shoes should be worn in the house. Whether or not Baby can stay up late at night, or watch television only one hour a day. In other words, even if your in-laws have passed on or live in Nova Scotia, they may still whisper into your wife’s ear. If your in-laws are alive and are reasonable people, you’re probably OK. But if they seem occasionally unreasonable, then consider this: When talking to either of them, probably the mother-in-law, about real and potential baby problems, rely on the pronoun I, not the pronoun you. In other words, say something like, “I don’t think I want her to have that Popsicle while she’s screaming,” rather than, “If you give her that Popsicle, I will kill you.” This is something you’ll have to practice beforehand — by yourself. Just look in the mirror and say things like: “I can change the diaper.” “I’d like to hold her for a few minutes.” “I’d rather try it this way.” “Thank you, but I’m thinking that maybe I should . . .”
The words uncomfortable and unable might also be helpful. For example: “I’ll be uncomfortable if she gets that Popsicle while she’s screaming.” Or “I’ll be unable to agree that she go with you and Pee-Pa to Las Vegas. I’m really sorry.” Don’t say: “The hell you say.” If your spouse and her parents share many baby-raising ideas that you strongly disagree with, then I suggest you read my next book — due in about eighteen months. It will be called Day to Day in the Dark Recesses of a Cave. LETTERS TO BABY Imagine — if you never got one — a letter written to you by your father before you were born (or soon after). I’ll sprinkle throughout this book some that I wrote to my children from time to time. Dear Little One, This morning your pregnant mom and I walked on the beach, and like we’ve been doing lately, we found something for you. Today it was a starfish. Several times lately we’ve picked up shells for you. We’ve been thinking about different names for you, but we haven’t come up with anything yet. About four days ago, your mother got so excited she called me from her cell phone (they are pretty new) and said, “I couldn’t wait to tell you. I felt the baby move!” Love, Daddy OH Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages was published by Little, Brown and Company in 2013. It is excerpted by permission of the author, Clyde Edgerton, who is the author of ten novels and a memoir. He teaches in the Creative Writing Department at UNCW. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Currently reading: Local Souls by Allan Gurganus
Perennial favorite book: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Favorite new author: Wiley Cash Literary guilty pleasure: Obits Where do you plan to get away this summer to read? North Carolina mountains
Quintessential summer read: Local mountain newspapers
PhotograPh by Cassie butler timPy
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
November 16, 1991 daylight the road between the nameless bar and East Side Pawn was surely bleak, but on a rainy November night the pavement shimmered beneath a sea of neon colors. To the couple in the car, the little strip of civilization appeared like an oasis from a landscape of deserted warehouses and dead-end turns, but instead of stopping the man drove on. “Where are you going?” the woman said at last. She turned to gauge his expression, for it flustered him to be lost, and the fluster often took the form of irritation. At the least he would be annoyed that she had asked. Three weeks ago he had lost his job, and in everything since he had been quick to perceive injustice or slight. It was that seeming look of irritation which impressed itself upon her even as she anticipated the jolt and swiveled her head. At the same instant the boy dove out of darkness. She knew it was a boy, though it happened so fast she saw no more than his denim jacket and dark hair. The wheel thunked, and the body flew across the hood.
“Jesus Christ,” her husband said. Later it seemed to her that for a full minute they sat listening to the motor tick while they waited for the shock to release them into action, but she was wrong. Before the car stopped, she had flung her door open. She was on her knees, blind in the headlamps that lit only rain, feeling with her hands along the slick street and cinder shoulder. Behind the car her husband knelt over a dark form. “I can’t tell if he’s alive or not,” he said in a voice so weak it guttered. He stood. “We’ll need to find a phone.” Her hair stuck to her face in wet strands; she had lost her shoes. In the rain she couldn’t tell if she was crying, but she knew it was a boy because they had a boy at home. The Introduction of At Random, published by Fugitive Poets Press in Greensboro in 2013, is excerpted by permission of the author, Lee Zacharias. A UNCG Emerita Professor of English, Zacharias is the author of a short story collection and two novels. She’ll read from At Random at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Glenwood Coffee and Books.
Perennial favorite book: Oh, do I have
to choose? They are very different: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Great Gatsby, Rich in Love by Josephine Humphreys, The City Is a Rising Tide by Rebecca Lee, That Night by Alice McDermott, and Peace by Richard Bausch. I could be happy rereading each of these books for the rest of my life.
Favorite new author: Susan Woodring,
who lives in North Carolina. She’s marvelous, and her novel about small-town life in North Carolina, Goliath, is wonderful.
Literary guilty pleasure: Dove dark
chocolate and HGTV, which is to say that
my guilty pleasures are not literary. One should never feel guilty for reading.
Where do you plan to get away this summer to read? I was on Ocracoke, supposed to be there for two weeks, but my dog ate two steel-wool S.O.S. soap pads and a sponge (that after $6,000 worth of vet bills to diagnose his GI tract disease), and I had to come home. This summer I will be reading on my screened porch in Greensboro with a wary eye on the dog.
Quintessential summer read: For
years I took huge classics I’d never read before to the beach, and I was so into them and finishing them off gave me such a sense of accomplishment, but I guess they began to influence my own work because my agents started to say things about my novels like “Moves kind of slow, doesn’t it?” (This is after I’d just read Stendahl, whose to-be lovers take 200 pages even to brush hands.) So I figured I’d better quit that. Now I read contemporary novels and memoirs and other more journalistic works of nonfiction in the summer.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
PhotograPh by Cassie butler timPy
By Lee ZaCharias
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Story of A House
Well Read, Well Loved
With a beautiful library at its core, the eclectic collection of Tom and Sharon James makes their Stoney Creek home come alive with history By Cynthia Adams • Photographs by John Gessner
lue and white porcelain rests on gleaming Federal-era chests. French creamware bounces light from the top of a polished Pennsylvania cupboard. A tall clock ticks soothingly, and muted Oriental rugs thread throughout the house. Oils, watercolors, antique maps, etchings and lithographs grace the walls. Tom and Sharon James’ Stoney Creek house is a collector’s treasure trove. The interiors mesh old finds and new, distant and local, with intense memories and provenance. The successful and traveled couple could have been modern-day Betsy and Jeff Penn collectors — filling their home with bought-to-impress exotica. Instead, the Triad transplants chose regional, American and international art objects piece by piece, valuing the histories attached. Thirteen years later, there are touches of France for the two Francophiles within, as well as a lot of Tar Heel influences. Each sparkling room of the smartly curated house tells a rich story. In June of 2000, the Jameses took possession of a spacious brick traditional home, with the Stoney Creek golf course in their backyard. With changes in mind, Sharon brought items from the Rochester home she had built, including an entry hall lantern salvaged from the Savoy Hotel in Kansas City.
As their first home together, the couple began merging households and finding their own aesthetic. Ceiling fans were exchanged for early 1900s originals. A carriage-style door replaced a standard garage door, and a cupola and cheerful weather vane found a perch on the roof. A copper portico went over the front door, and then a copper lantern. Brick walkways went in and concrete was banished. A deck, plantings, a fountain and other softer touches emerged. Very quickly, they imprinted themselves on the new house — builder basics began disappearing. And that was just the exterior — inside, the house was transformed by thoughtful degrees. Walk into the two-story foyer, and there’s even a nod to Triad bibliophiles. “When we added over-door crossheads, or over mantels, the contractor, Ken Edwards, had some salvage wood from the Greensboro Library, so there’s a little Greensboro history in this newer house,” says Sharon. It was an auspicious start for the makeover. Tom’s historical maps, art and antique guns made the interior edit. Tom grew up in the shadow of American history near Stratford Hall, home place of Robert E. Lee. (Some of the couple’s favorite holidays, and interior inspiration, center on nearby Williamsburg.) The Art & Soul of Greensboro
A carriage-style door replaced a standard garage door â€” and a cupola and cheerful weather vane found a perch on the roof. A copper portico went over the front door. A deck, plantings, a fountain and other softer touches followed.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
“Among favorite antique paintings is an unsigned Hudson River valley landscape in the living room,” says Sharon James. The house is a personal merger of the couple’s belongings and their time together, a careful edit of books, art and furniture.
Tom’s father was a government cartographer and the son inherited a love of old maps and documents. He owns at least nine French maps dating from the 1500s. James family history exhumed from the past hangs in the kitchen. Tom displays a Civil War rifle that belonged to Virginia ancestors. “There is a great family story of the rifle probably belonging to a Yankee raider,” he explains. “An uncle claimed to have shot him.” The rifle and a Union uniform were discovered beneath a barn on his aunt’s farm. For Sharon, a love of antiquities began with a decorative box on a New Orleans work trip in the 1980s. “I was hooked on antiques from then on.” Jack Hall, a High Point designer and antiques dealer, stoked the fire. The two met while in the U.S. Air Force over twenty years ago. “Jack educated my eye and taught me about learning from the best — even when I couldn’t afford it.” She became fascinated by late 18th and early 19th century furniture and art. Sharon and Tom met in New York in 1997. After three years of commuting dating, they were walking the grounds at Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. “It was Tom’s birthday, and he popped the question, to my amazement,” Sharon says with a smile. Challenging work lives meant they had to commute to date. By 1998, Tom relocated to North Carolina with the Sealy management team and lived in Jamestown. Sharon continued as a hospital administrator in Rochester. But in February of 2000, Sharon’s house was on the market and she had accepted a job as a senior vice president at UNC Hospitals. She flew to North Carolina in a snowstorm to find a house equidistant between their jobs. They found their Stoney Creek two-story, which they described as “nicely kept and 4 years old, with a circle drive and landscaping.” In March, the pair married and the personal merger of their belongings and treasures began. They purged, sending duplicated objects to their children. Careful edit of books, art and furniture — boxes and boxes — would synthesize households. Both Sharon and Tom spent work and vacation time in the States and Europe — and the world became their marketplace. Sharon, an international hospital surveyor, travels widely. Tom is semiretired and teaches finance and investing courses at Elon and High Point universities. He also works for a Durham investment firm. What Sharon and Tom had learned was how local art and pottery reflected a place’s aesthetic. They acquired and commissioned works by Carolina artists. The list of paintings on their walls reads like a The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The library’s inspiration is late 18th-, early-19th century British Colonial, which Sharon says put existing pieces to good use. “Now that we both work out of our home,” Sharon James says, “the library has become the most important and heavily used room in our house.” It is also the meeting place of interests in history, biography, language, science, medicine, math, architecture, antiques and design. catalogue of Tar Heel painters: Paul Hee, Allie Ann Scott, Connie Logan, Derek Roach, Mike Hoyt, Judy Crane, Anne Hughes Johnson and Roy Nydorf. They chose pottery by Mark Hewitt, Siglinda Scarpa and Charlie Tefft. They also bought while attending local shows. “We have a lovely watercolor by Ion Carchelan from Moldova who has exhibited at several area galleries,” Sharon says. “Among favorite antique paintings is an unsigned Hudson River Valley landscape in the living room, a 19th century oil of the Scottish Highlands by an English artist named Ellis in the dining room, and 19th century oil portraits we have named Uncle George, Cousin Andrew and Aunt Sarah!” In a guest bedroom hang watercolors by French artist Michel Duvoisin — a nod to their life abroad. Abundant blue and white porcelain was also amassed. (They became cautious of Chinese porcelains due to expense and an abundance of fakes.) They collected Japanese pieces such as Imari and Arita, and also Delft, French faience, English Staffordshire and Russian Gzhel. But soon there was more local art on the walls — and this time, deliberately faked. A Gibsonville faux painter created a silver leaf effect on the dining room ceiling, along with soothing clouds on the master ceiling. She applied a burnished gold to an upstairs bathroom suggesting rich leather walls. “Many of the paint colors and wallpapers were selected with the help of Jack Hall when we first moved in,” Sharon says. “I still have his The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
sketch of his recommended placement of my furniture in the living room and it has never changed in the thirteen years we have lived here.” His influences permeate the couple’s home. Hall’s partner, Rick Hargrove, sourced the antique ceiling fans. “It went smoothly for us,” says Sharon. Except the avid readers needed book space and apportioned unfinished space for a library and study. “So by August, we created a huge room, with a sitting area, a wall of bookcases, a TV and a workspace.” The library’s inspiration is late 18th-, early-19th century British Colonial, which Sharon says put existing pieces to good use. “Here I merged a chest Tom has and an antique chest with the sofas I already had. Later, I added the desk for him and a leather chair. I was working off what we owned and were merging.” Sharon’s desk was from her office at the Cleveland Clinic. The library also has a 19th century double student lamp and Tom’s melodeon, a rare foot-pump organ that has been fully restored. On the wall of shelves is a collection of 19th century books — all read and enjoyed, Sharon points out. “Now that we both work out of our home,” she says, “this has become the most important and heavily used room in our house.” It is also the meeting place of interests in history, biography, language, science, medicine, math, architecture, antiques and design. The shelves swelled full. “It was easier to do than one might think,” Sharon says. She still collects Florence Nightingale books and arcana. In 1990, Sharon visited a Nightingale ward in Edinburgh, Scotland, before it was razed. “Most think of her as the lady with the lamp,” Sharon says, but what Nightingale discovered in the 1850s presaged what we know now about the spread of infection. Sharon has a framed letter written by Nightingale herself and “owns both first English and first American editions of Notes on Nursing, her book on hospital design. A reprint of Nightingale’s reports as superintendent at London’s Harley Street Hospital is on the shelf, and Sharon uses them as references when she speaks publicly. Books fill other niches in the Jameses’ house. Tom loves novels, especially Dickens, and he also enjoys reading novels in the Game of Thrones series. “I have books in other parts of the house, and secretaries filled with books. I keep buying books when I travel,” Sharon says. Tom, a man who once drank diet soda from morning till night, discovered viticulture one day. Ironically, he was sitting in Natty Greene’s brewery in downtown Greensboro and reading about the emerging North Carolina and Virginia wine industry. Sharon pointed out that he knew a lot about business development but little about wine. Tom addressed that by enrolling at Surry Community College, where he earned an AAS in viticulture and enology. It was a practical choice. Tom made frequent business trips to Europe and loved France. He also spoke French. The couple acquired an ancient townhome in Ancy-le-Franc after moving to the Triad. They spent time getting to know the wines and cuisine of the great cities of France, especially in northern and southern Burgundy, and, of course, continued antique hunting. Antiquities became a growing passion. In her early days as a North Carolina transplant, Sharon volunteered as a docent at the 1815 plantation house of Ayr Mount in Hillsborough. “He has the most incredible collection of Federal furniture in all of his homes! To be able to see these rare pieces up close was very special to me.” Reading owner John Jenrette’s Adventures with Old Houses thrilled Sharon and she enrolled in decorative art courses during free time. When Sharon was in graduate school, an economics professor took the class to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. “One of the things he taught us was that the decorative arts reflect the economy, the culture and the finances of that particular The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Top: An antique clock and still lifes by Roy Nydorf; French settee; French table from Caroline Faison Antiques; Middle: Pennsylvania cupboard and antique white cream ware; Bottom: French copper pots, cream ware and French faience pottery collections. July 2013
An antique textile covers the bed in the upstairs guest bedroom. Collecting regional, American and international art objects piece by piece, the two Francophiles turned each sparkling room into a smartly curated blending of their rich and traveled lives. period,” she says. “Through decorative arts you learn a great deal about the society and what it valued.”
he Jameses’ kitchen will undergo cosmetic changes slated for this year. “When we first moved in we removed a built-in desk area in the kitchen to make room for an 1830s Pennsylvania step-back cupboard,” Sharon says. “We added granite countertops, a new kitchen sink and faucet and tumbled marble backsplash.” They changed the breakfast pendant light with a patinated bronze and crystal chandelier from Whitehall in Chapel Hill. Square foot by square foot, the couple replaced carpeting in the master bedroom with hardwood. One by one, they remodeled closets. Plantation shutters went up. The screen porch and deck got an opaque gray stain and white railings. On almost every point, they agree. Apart from one detail: “Our only area of disagreement has been the painting of the interior of the brick porch white! Tom, like most men, believes you don’t paint brick!” Tom won out. The landscaping has been changed with the help of Todd Nabors, who created a more soothing, neoclassical feel, even adding a garden fountain. “Greensboro is rich with consignment stores for wonderful vintage and some antiques,” Sharon says. “I have made use of them over the years — Maison, CoCo Larose, Red Collection, Antique Market Place, Blvd Interiors and Aubrey Home, to name a few. Also, Todd Nabors, Jules, and Lion’s Crown. The Farmer’s Wife in downtown Greensboro and Caroline Faison are other great resources for antiques.” Patsy Jourdan’s shop in downtown Burlington, Designing Windows, is a particular favorite for window treatments. The Jameses draw inspiration from museums, historic properties like Williamsburg and antique shows (including the White House Antiques Show in Gates Mills, Ohio, the Western Reserve Academy show in Hudson, Ohio,
and the Western Reserve Museum Show in Cleveland, Ohio.) In the 1980s, Sharon attended the Smith Antique Forums in Kansas City. “It was here where I learned the differences in identifying American and British antique furniture.” She has continued learning, taking courses on decorative arts from David Lindquist and daughter Elizabeth at their Whitehall Shop in Chapel Hill, and another course in Charleston, South Carolina, on American and English furniture. Increasingly, French decorative influences crept into Stoney Creek. There are French bergere chairs in the living room, and a chair from Provence was shipped back for one of the bedrooms. A Louis Philippe mirror hangs in the dining room. Recently, a French farm table was bought for the kitchen. The laundry room, which is the most playful room in the house, became a tongue-in-cheek “French laundry.” Sharon wanted an elegant laundry room. Oak cupboards were painted white, then tile was laid from Imagine Tile. Stroheim and Romann black-and-cream toile wallpaper was used on the walls, and a taupe, checked paper on the ceiling. Heavy crown molding was added, and then six antique Victor Petit lithographs (from the Loire Valley) were hung as an added touch. And topping off the grandeur, Sharon added a crystal chandelier. “I liked this room so much that I had the door removed so that I could more readily see it as I passed through the hall. This is clearly a woman’s room, as my husband is almost embarrassed by it!” But Tom only shrugs as Sharon laughs and argues, “But why shouldn’t one do laundry in a beautiful room?” According to the Jameses, it is easier to address what hasn’t changed in their house than what has: “Paint, wallpaper, every faucet and light fixture have been replaced,” Sharon says. But that’s understandable for a couple whose lives, like so many people their age, have been defined — and redefined — by changed and frequent moves. “I’ve never lived in one house for thirteen years,” she says. But she’s certainly getting used to it. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Sculpture Art Show
July 1 — August 18
July 2 — August 7
WOOD YOU. . . Like to see Speaking in Species, works of art made from wood by more than two dozen Tar Heel artists at Green Hill Center for Art, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillcenter.org.
KIDLESS TUESDAYS & WEDNESDAYS. July 2 and July 9, 11 a.m., are the last chances to drop your kids off for Tuesday movies at the Carolina Theatre, but every Wednesday until August 7, they can attend Carolina Kids Club beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
July 1 — July 21
POE SHOW. Guilford College grad and sculptor Justin Poe has a one-man exhibit of thirty-six tiny architectural structures teetering on the vertiginous edge of nature at Center for Visual Artists Gallery, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7485 or www.greensboroart.org.
July 1 — 31
July 2 — September 8
Fourth with an Independence Day Parade, followed by a street festival featuring four stages of live entertainment, craft vendors, fair food, beer and rides in downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-4595 or www.funfourthfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival’s Young Artists Orchestra performs Benjamin Britten and Richard Strauss at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
July 4 — 7 STORYTELLER’S EYE. View three decades of pho• tographs by award-winning Greensboro News & Record • HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are at home — at NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade photographer Jerry Wolford at the Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.
Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255.
EMF. 8 p.m. Leonid Finkelshteyn plays Holst and SHARING. Share The Harvest uses your surplus zuc• • Tubin the Young Artists Orchestra on his double chini, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables to feed • EMF. 8 p.m. The Eastern Music Festival faculty mem- bass atwith Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, hungry families. Last year, they collected 14,240 pounds of bers make even more music at Christ United Methodist
produce, donated by gardeners who grew more than they could eat. Go to www.sharetheharvestguilfordcounty. org to find one of the dozen or so sites and when they accept produce.
EMF. 8 p.m. The Eastern Music Festival faculty members make — what else? — music at the UNCG School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org. Key:
• • Art
Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
July 6 — August 4
EMF. 8 p.m. Members of the Northwest Boychoir sing sacred and secular music at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
BARN BLONDE. Legally Blonde The Musical, an all-singing, all-dancing, feel-good musical comedy starring Broadway sensation Erin Sullivan, is coming to the Barn Dinner Theatre, 120 Stage Coach Trail, Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2211 or box-office@ barndinner.com.
• FUN FEST. 9:30 a.m. — 6:30 p.m. Kick off your • • • • • Film
Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro
EMF. 8 p.m. Pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn plays Mozart and Schumann at the UNCG School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3337450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Young artists Daniel Reinker and Mara Gearman tune up their violas under the baton of Jose-Luis Novo at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
• EMF. 8 p.m. Pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Alexander’s • EMF. 8 p.m. The Eastern Music Festival faculty son, plays Ground 0 and more at Guilford College, 5800 members tackle Hovhaness and more at Christ United West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3337450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
INKY. 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Make ink from black walnuts grown locally and then try it out with a handmade quill pen at High Point Museum’s Historical Park, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.
The City Market
July 12 — 21
Methodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SIT A SPELL . . . and watch Godspell, Jr., featuring “Day By Day” and the parables of Jesus Christ at the Community Theatre of Greensboro, 520 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7469 or www.ctgso.org.
• EMF. 3 p.m. Young Artists Piano Recital in a relaxed • EMF. 8 p.m. Members of the Greensboro Opera July 12 — July 21 — for the audience — afternoon concert at Guilford sing the Italian way in the first half and Broadway in the BIG ’UN. Big, The Musical, based on the classic Tom College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. • second half at Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Hanks comedy about a boy whose wish to be “big” comes Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org. Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestitrue, is playing at Weaver Academy Theatre, 300 South Spring Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2026 or www. • NACHTMUSIK. 6:30 p.m. Music for a Sunday val.org. Evening in the Park by the Eastern Music Festival Young thedramacenter.com. SUMMER GIRL. noon — 2 p.m. Author and Artists Orchestra on Founder’s Lawn, Guilford College, • conservationist Mary Alice Monroe will be signing her 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373July 13 new novel, The Summer Girls, at the Greensboro Science 2549 or www.city-arts.org. EMF. 8 p.m. Violinist Augustin Hadelich plays Center, 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) • Busoni, Tchaikovsky and Brahms with the Festival July 8 — 25 288-3769 or www.greensboroscience.org/events. Orchestra at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternJuly 11 • CAMPY. Resources for Artful Living is sponsoring a series of Children’s Theatre Summer musicfestival.org. EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival’s Young Artists Camps, including Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio • Orchestra performs Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at Guilford at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South • RULE THE ROOST. 9 a.m. —3 p.m. Adorn your own canvas with Dawn Ashby’s “Rooster” painting Mendenhall Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 273-8724 or College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org. Key:
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
• • Art
and collage workshop, back by popular demand at The
• • Film
• • Fun
July Arts Calendar Creative Center, 900 16th Street, Greensboro. Details: (336) 455-1618.
and more at The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, 6136 Burlington Road, Gibsonville. Info: (336) 449-4846 or www.nchistoricsites.org/chb.
sized plates, delectable desserts and beverages at The City Market in The Railyard, behind the 500 block of South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: www.gsocitymarket.com.
• EMF. 8 p.m. The Eastern Music Festival faculty FAMILY FRIENDLY. 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. Celebrate members play Beethoven and Brahms at Christ United • African American heritage with live music and dance perMethodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. • BY ANY OTHER NAME. 7 p.m. “Roses . . . are not formances, vendors, food, children’s activities, exhibitions Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org. as high maintenance as your wife (or husband)!” contends •
NOT RANDOM. 4 p.m. Lee Zacharias will read from her new novel, At Random, a tale of domestic and generational conﬂict, at Glenwood Coffee & Books, 1310 Glenwood Avenue, Greensboro. Info: www.facebook. com/G.coffeeandbooks�.
EMF. 4 p.m. Young Artists Chamber Recital at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro; followed by an all-Vivaldi performance by the Festival Orchestra at 8 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 3 p.m. Eastern Music Festival young pianists celebrate Bastille Day in an afternoon concert at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are at home — at NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255.
EMF. 8 p.m. Robert Vernon on the viola with the Eastern Music Festival’s Young Artists Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
• EMF. 1:30 p.m. Young Artists Chamber Recital, at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue,
Greensboro; followed at 8 p.m. by Robert Vernon on the viola at the UNCG School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
• • Art
RAILYARD. 5 p.m. — 9 p.m. While listening to freestyle jazz music from the Brand New Life band, stroll, sip and sample a smorgasbord of artisanal breads, sampler-
• • Film
• • Fun
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horticulturalist Sandra Zazzara at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. Info: (366) 996-7888 or www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Violinist Jeffrey Multer takes off with Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, with a side trip to Debussy’s Iberia at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Celebrated pianist André Watts pairs up with Julian Schwarz, cello, at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3337450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
FAIR ’ NUF. 1 p.m. High Point Museum opens the Mendenhall Meeting House in City Lake Park to celebrate the history of the Quakers at Mendenhall Plantation, 603 West Main Street, Jamestown. Info: (336) 454-3819 or www.mendenhallplantation.org.
EMF. 3 p.m. Eastern Music Festival young pianists celebrate Sunday with an afternoon concert at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
NACHTMUSIK. 6:30 p.m. Blues and Americana Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park by EMFfringe featuring Molly McGinn on the Dana Auditorium Lawn, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.city-arts.org.
EMF. 1:30 p.m. Young Artists Chamber Recital at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro; followed at 8 p.m. by Eastern Music Festival faculty members at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
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EMF. 8 p.m. Pianist Jeewon Park plays SaintSaens, Beethoven, Copland and more at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Andre Lash clears the pipes on the Fisk Organ with J.S. Bach and the Festival Orchestra and Chorus at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Some of the Eastern Music Festival’s most talented piano students perform solos, duets and more at Pianopalooza at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition Winners performing Copland and Ravel at The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
July Arts Calendar
• MYSTERY MAN 6:30 p.m. Mystery Brewing’s Erik Lars Myers keeps beer students hoppin’ while Chef Jay
MINT TO BE. 7:30 p.m. Swing Dance with Mint Julep at the Greensboro Shrine Club, 5010 High Point Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 508-9998 or www.piedmontswingdance.org.
July 26 — July 28
R&B&FUNK&SOUL. 8 p.m. After fifty years as lead singer of The Gap Band, Charlie Wilson has gone solo, with special guest comedian Jay Lamont at White Oak Amphitheatre, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: Coliseum Box Office, 1921 West Lee Street or www.ticketmaster.com.
Pierce pleases their palates at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Reservations: (336) 370-0707 or www.lucky32.com.
• SHAKES ON THE GREEN. 5:30 p.m. England’s most notorious king, Richard III, comes to life where
Shakespeare originally intended — outside — on the lawn at Barber Park, 1500 Dans Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2026 or www.thedramacenter.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition Winners performing Prokofiev at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
BUTTONED UP 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Buttons used to be made from wood, walnuts, bone and threads before plastic arrived on the scene. Button instruction available on the half hour at High Point Museum’s Historical Park, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 8851859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Cellist Lynn Harrell performing Dvorak and Rimsky-Korsakov at Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450 or easternmusicfestival.org.
NACHTMUSIK. 6:30 p.m. Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park, first bluegrass by Zinc Kings, then Americana and folk from Mipso at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 2332 New Garden Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.city-arts.org.
HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are at home — at NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255.
WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Tuesdays
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 Laurelyn Dossett and friends — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or www.lucky32southernkitchen.com.
MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live acoustic music by AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or www. printworksbistro.com.
JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz — at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.
OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8 p.m. —9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www. ibcomedy.com.
Fridays & Saturdays
IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show on Saturday 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.
NIGHTMARES AROUND ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or www. carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information. OH To add an event, email us at email@example.com by the ﬁrst of the month prior to the event.
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Marguerite Elskoe, Rita McAdoo-Bey, Leola McAdoo, Patricia Holt, Sheila Siler
Parisian Promenade Sunday, June 2, 2013
Photographs by Sam Froelich Jeff & Belinda Brown
Terri Jones, Tracey Jones
Kristen Snider (with Snuggles), Allison Keith, Robert Osborne
Bill & Wanda Usher Britnee Young, Gracie Brown
Noel McKelvey, Tessa McKelvey Taylor Watford
Lorna Cowan, Ben Estes with Totoro, Ruth Estes
Amy Johnson, Michael Rogentine, Theresa Luomanen, Nic Bandsuch
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GreenScene City Market Thursday, June 20 2013
Photographs by Lynn Donovan Bob Isner, Paula Pierce, Dianne Ziegler, Milton Kern
Nick & John Loﬂin Karen Condon, Susan & Carley Sassman, Sidney & Ricki Gray
Fabulous family home in Provincetown. Four or five bedrooms, five full and three half baths. High ceilings, custom moldings. New roof 2012, trim painted. Hardwoods and new carpet. Three-car garage, pool and much more! $765,000
2412 North Beech
4BR/4.5 BA -- Full finished Basement. Move-in condition with many extras: Generator; Central Vacuum; 3 Car Garage; Ceiling Fans; Raised Deck; Garden area; Neighborhood Pool; Porch; Security features; Bonus Room, Den and lots of Storage. $499,999
5207 Bodie Lane
Great house, great condition & great location! Master bedroom on main level. High ceilings, lots of hardwoods, additional space can be finished off. Wired for security. Screened porch, fenced back yard. Priced right! $439,000
Lee Mortensen & Jim Budd
John Halvorsen & Kacey Teer Yul Bennerman
4 Hillwind Ct
6 Fountain View
Wonderful Main level 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath unit. Patio with beautiful view of grounds. Updated kitchen cabinets, updated tile floor and appliances new in 2002. Parquet flooring in dining area and hall. Updated HVAC and hot water heater in 2010. Pool and clubhouse on property. $129,000
Ann Lynch, Russ Williams
“CLICK OR CALL… WE DO IT ALL” Xan Tisdale Kay Chesnutt 336-601-2337 336-202-9687
Yost and Little Realty
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Sen. Gladys Robinson, Rep. Alma Adams, NC Treasurer Janet Cowell, Rep. Pricey Harrison, Linda Carlisle
Women in Political Leadership Up Close and Personal Thursday, May 30, 2013 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
Gail Foy, Valerie Fields, Claire Appling Dr. Margaret Arbuckle, Rep. Alma Adams, Dr. Myra Shird
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Speaking in Species | A North Carolina Perspective Thursday, June 13, 2013 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
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Luke McCollum, David Caldwell
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The Accidental Astrologer
Saucy July By Astrid Stellanova Gemini (May 22-June 21) The wheel may be turning, but the hamster is dead. When the wheel stops, you might wanna try a new plan, my twin. Do that, and Santa’s going to bring you some real good news by Christmas. Knock me down and steal my teeth, darlin’, cause you also got some surprises that have to do with keeping a tight ship and straightening up. Miss A has to ask you, where the heck is “yonder,” anyhow? Cancer (June 22-July 23) Luv water parks, my little crab legs? Ready to get wet-n-wild? Put on your water wings or grab a float. Mid-month, a Grand Water Trine slides slap-dab into Cancer with Neptune and Saturn lining up. This Grand Water Trine is the difference between your worn-out self treading water and being on a slip-and-slide, having a Water Bug Ball. You still have some unfinished business, like it or not, but Astrid foresees some very fun times in the hot sunshine. Leo (July 23-Aug. 23) On the toughest days, you look like a runaway taxi with all the doors open. Are you coming or going? By the Fourth of July, you could have more fireworks popping than Betty Cone at the Fun Fourth — and you may be wailing for self-medication. Miss A. here is just out of detox for the, um, nth time. Ain’t any legal substance scarier than retail therapy and a MasterCard! That’s right, my little sparkler, cut up the MC and get your shine on some other way, know what I’m saying? Virgo (August 24-Sept. 23) Sweet patooty, there’s a reason you can always get a dinner date: It’s called personal charm. You own the art of the schmooze, and by the 7th, it is downright scary how you can work it, thanks to Jupiter in Virgo. Here’s Astrid’s position: Until the 23rd, go flat out. Anything is possible. Get footloose like Kevin Bacon. Roll with the good times, happy feet, not under them. Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) Got a pen? Ink in the 4th as a red letter day, as in a day your sweet thang makes you see red and your wild eyes will shoot fire like it’s Armageddon! Stay cool — like the AA bumper sticker says, “One Day at a Time!” The sun in the house of love connections comes on like a Baptist preacher at a summer revival. Sometimes love strains the Sagittarian’s last nerve — but if I’m lying you can butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Remember: ODAT. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) Capricorn dramas can be too twisted for color TV. You want success, and you think nobody else knows? The stink of ambition is rolling off you like after-shave ads in Esquire magazine. Until the 8th, miscommunication starts messing with your plans, thanks to Mercury in retrograde. It won’t let up until the 20th and by then, there ain’t much harmony in the hive. You might just try a little kindness and share the honey if you want happy bees. Astrid’s just saying. Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) You ever seen that Canadian astronaut singing in the Space Station, Honey? That cool bit of business has got to be an Aquarian. He’s strumming David Bowie while the station’s leaking ammonia — but he’s down with it. You got Leo influences coming in this month that will blow the doors off the barn — or the wings off the Station. You might just try innovating, because there is no better time than this month to just be your bold self. Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20) Here’s how July’s going to fly: Tranny go outta the car? Just a hiccup. House on fire? No biggie. You are super fly this month, and nothing can mess with your harmonic convergence. You see things with special powers, baby. Good golly, you GOT special powers. You got mojo working and you have never been better at leading and rolling with things. The love train is rolling into the station, too. Finesse it! Aries (March 21-April 20)
Sweet pants, you’re the grand master of shoulda-coulda-woulda. Never mind. By the 13th, you got a sweet dream all lined up, just waiting for a can’t-miss shot! Honey, you going to be hotter than Tiger Woods when he scored Lindsey Vonn — just grin and take home the gold! Pluto got you calling the shots, in that aw-shucks Libra way that would make Colonel Foghorn Leghorn roll over and shut up!
You gripe sometimes when you got a ham under each arm. Try a little patience, hard head. The last half of the month is going to be your kind of month. Rise and shine and hit the gym. This is one of those times when the ram might try focus, instead of world domination. At the end of the day, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. All that hot ambition can dry your thick hide right out.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21) By the 12th, the Sun aligns with Neptune for a big ole cosmic Uh-Oh. Except — you can use your stubborn self to make stuff happen. Just hold on, sister, and stock up on Febreze. Whatever hits ain’t much worse than a fart storm at a chili cook off. Things smell better by the 30th. Take the bit in the mouth and just haul destiny out of the ditch. Never forget, you’re that strong, little stinger. That stubborn, too!
Taurus (April 21-May 21) It’s rough when you’re buck naked in the pond and lightning’s striking. And it’s even worse when you’re playing water polo with the preacher’s wife. If this is love, then hang in there and just be sure she ain’t your cousin. She might jar your preserves. And if it is the real thing, love makes this month bearable. Otherwise, you’re going to feel more confused than an orphan on Father’s Day. OH
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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. July 2013
The final days of Private John D. May
By MAttHeW yoUnG
As the Civil War heated up and North Carolina seceded from the Union, thousands of young men volunteered to fight for their new country. Among them was 32-year-old John D. May of North Carolina.
A farmer, John and his 25-year-old wife, Elizabeth, had four children — Charles, 7, Ida, 5, Reding, 3, and Edgar, 1. Both he and his wife were native North Carolinians and both of his older children were attending school. All this according to the 1860 Census. In the spring of 1861 May joined The Guilford Guards, Company E of the 2nd North Carolina Infantry. The first action John likely saw was in the summer of 1862 at the Seven Days Campaign when General Robert E. Lee took command of the newly formed Army of Northern Virginia in an attempt to drive Union General George McClellan out of the state. It was the first of many heated battles in which John’s regiment would suffer heavy losses. By the summer of 1863, after fighting in the battles of Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, out of a thousand soldiers who had stepped forward in 1861, only about 250 were still standing. Among them was Private John D. May. May was with the regiment when it crossed the Potomac River in June of 1863. They stopped to celebrate by sipping ice water and sleeping indoors when the unit took over the U.S. barracks at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Then, on June 30, 1863, the unit received orders to hurriedly march south toward Gettysburg, where its 2,400 residents were about to witness the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. After a double-quick march in wool uniforms under the hot July sun, the regiment engaged in combat. The brigade commander, 26-year-old Brigadier General Stephen Ramseur, led his men against the flank of the Union I Corps, defending a long, narrow, tree-covered position known as Seminary Ridge to the West of Gettysburg. “Ramseur could handle troops under fire with more ease than any officer I ever knew,” Adjutant Frederick Phillips of the 30th North Carolina recalled. By the time Ramseur, after whom the town of Ramseur was named, got into position to make his attack, his men were able to get into the enemy’s front, flank and rear. Through thick black smoke, the men in the 2nd North Carolina advanced in close quarters, loading their muskets with rapidity and pouring deadly accurate volleys down onto the Union men. The Federals began to fall
back. Hundreds of Union prisoners were taken, while others attempted to escape through an unfinished railroad cut leading back toward Gettysburg. After Gettysburg fell to the Confederates, the 2nd North Carolina sat out most of the fighting on the following day. But, just as the sun went down, on July 2, 1863, they were ordered to move forward to Culp’s Hill, occupied by entrenched Federal troops. As his men passed, Ramseur said to them, “Keep advancing until you’ve driven them back into the works. ‘North Carolina to the rescue’ will be the watch word.” After reconnaissance, Ramseur himself sent word back that the position was very strong. His division commander, Robert Rodes, called off the attack. This decision not to attack has been questioned ever since. Major General Jubal A. Early’s division was attacking a similar position at Cemetery Ridge, and it was hoped that a simultaneous attack by both Early and Rodes would break the Federal line. Among the 28,000 Confederate casualties of the battle was 34-year-old Private John D. May. During action on the very first day, he was shot and captured. After treatment in a field hospital, he ended up in the DeCamp General Hospital on Davids’ Island, New York, just east of the Bronx. After suffering in agony for thirty days, May died on July 31, 1863. The cause of death is listed as gunshot wound, though he probably died, like so many others who were admitted to hospitals at the time, from an infection or disease. In May of 2013, while doing research for the Greensboro Historical Museum on Guilford troops at Gettysburg, I visited Cypress Hill Cemetery, which is located next to the J subway line off Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn. In the National Cemetery section, I found John May’s grave on a slight incline, in line with nearly identical marble stones. As I stood there on Memorial Day weekend, with rows upon rows of American flags fluttering in a strong breeze, thinking about the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg to be observed this month, I took a few moments to reflect upon their courage and bravery, borne so long ago. Next to May’s stone —numbered 735 so family and friends could more easily locate it and bearing the simple inscription “John D. May/ N.C./C.S.A.” — was the grave of a Union soldier; their headstones, slightly different, but their sacrifice, the same. Buried side-by-side with Confederate and Union troops were also the bodies of Union colored troops — anticipating by a century and a half the integration of our society that was set in motion by this great and terrible war. They all deserve to be remembered. OH Matthew Young is the author of several articles on the Civil War and has been working in history museums since he graduated from college. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Illustration by Harry Blair The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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