July O.Henry 2018

Page 1




802 Northern Shores Point Greensboro

5091 Millpoint Road Greensboro

4601 West Friendly Avenue Greensboro

MELISSA GREER 336 –337–5233

MELISSA GREER 336 –337–5233

MELISSA GREER 336 –337–5233







6808 Polo Farms Drive Summerfield

5903 Snow Hill Drive Summerfield

7051 Toscana Trace Summerfield

BETH BRANNAN 336 –253–4693

FR ANCES GIAIMO 336 –362–2605








4000 Brass Cannon Court Greensboro

3511 Primrose Avenue Greensboro

4001 Gaston Court Greensboro

MELISSA GREER 336 –337–5233

K I M B E R LY W I L S O N 336 – 662–7805

JA R E E TO D D 336 – 601 –4892




Adams Farm 336 – 854 –1333 • Elm Street 336 –272– 0151 • Friendly Center 336 –370 – 4000 ©2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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July 2018 Features

Departments 21 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 24 Short Stories 27 Doodad By Grant Britt 29 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 31 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 35 Scuppernong Bookshelf 37 Pappadaddy By Clyde Edgerton 39 Gate City Journal By Billy Ingram 45 In The Spirit By Tony Cross

64 The Real Patch Adams

49 Wine By Angela Sanchez 51 Food for Thought By Jane Lear 55 True South By Susan Kelly 57 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 59 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye

By Cynthia Adams Life with a new puppy is nothing short of comedy

92 Arts Calendar 102 GreenScene 111 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 112 O.Henry Ending By Nils Skudra

68 Rescue Me

By Ross Howell Jr. Lessons of fostering dogs in need of a home

72 Top Dog

By Maria Johnson World famous poodle handler Chris Manelopoulos, of Alamance County, dishes on how he gets blue-ribbon performances out of his show dogs.

74 Better Hounds and Gardens

By Nancy Oakley Fanciful doghouses fund worthy causes across the Triad

78 Dog Daze

Our Summer of ‘18 Photo Contest

80 The Art of the Farm

By Maria Johnson Aubrey Cupit embraces an ancestral call of the land with 21st-century know-how

91 Almanac

By Ash Adler

Cover Photograph by Mark Wagoner

14 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Volume 8, No. 7 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com Publisher

David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • jim@thepilot.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • andie@thepilot.com Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • nancy@ohenrymag.com Brad Beard, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, John Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner Contributors Ash Alder, Jane Borden, Grant Britt, Susan Campbell, Clyde Edgerton, Billy Eye, Ross Howell Jr., Billy Ingram, Susan Kelly, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, D.G. Martin, Ogi Overman, Romey Petite, Stephen Smith, Astrid Stellanova


Advertising Sales

Ginny Trigg, Advertising Director 910.691.8293, ginny@thepilot.com

Hattie Aderholdt, Advertising Manager 336.601.1188, hattie@ohenrymag.com

Lisa Allen, 336.210.6921 • lisa@ohenrymag.com Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 • amy@ohenrymag.com Allison Shore, 336.698.6374 • allison@ohenrymag.com Lisa Bobbitt, Advertising Assistant

336.617.0090, ohenryadvertising@thepilot.com

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Private Client Group Alex Sigmon Branch Manager 806 Green Valley Rd. Greensboro, NC 27408 Phone: 336-545-7100 www.wellsfargoadvisors.com ©Copyright 2018. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Investment and Insurance Products:

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July 2018

O.Henry 17

T R O P S S PA to

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3/5/2018 7:43:06 PM

July 2018

O.Henry 19

Simple Life

Lulu and The Mull By Jim Dodson

This is a story about

two beautiful dogs, one that I’ve known for a decade, the other for less than an hour.

One is my canine soul mate — my God Dog, as I think of her. The other briefly touched my soul. So here’s the tale: It was rush hour and I was running late for an afternoon speaking event. On the horizon, the sky was black, the first fierce thunderstorm of the season was breaking. The traffic was heavy. Everyone was hurrying home before the tumult broke. That’s when I saw the dog. Approaching one of the busiest intersections in the city, traffic zooming in all four directions, a dog bolted across the road two cars ahead of me. Both cars swerved and the driver directly in front slammed on brakes, allowing the dog to barely make the landscaped traffic island. As I watched, the animal started to cross the oncoming lane, causing a blast of horns and automotive mayhem. One car just missed her, another swerved. the dog jumped back onto the island. Some things are pretty simple. I stopped my car in traffic and got out, opening a back door, hoping the terrified dog would jump in. She didn’t. She merely stared at me, frightened, panting and exhausted. Over the decades, traveling hundreds of roads large and small, including in at least two foreign countries, I’ve pulled off busy highways to try and help dogs in distress, not to mention at least one chicken and probably half a dozen snapping turtles. In almost every case, a good outcome resulted. That was certainly the case 10 years ago when I pulled into a park to give a talk at a festival and saw a skinny black dog bolt across busy US Highway 1 in Aberdeen, narrowly avoiding the wheels of a FedEx truck. Moments later, as I parked the car, the same skinny dog — a black pup with a white star on her chest — streaked past me, headed for some kids playing near the woods. An hour later, as I was leaving the park, the same black streak passed again, heading straight back to the busy highway. I squatted and called out, “Hey, black dog! Stop! Come here.” To this day, I don’t know why the dog stopped. But she did, whipped around and looked directly at me. We were maybe half a football field apart. Then she did something amazing. It may have even changed my life. It certainly improved it. The dog ran straight to me and jumped into my arms, like she’d known me forever. She was filthy, a wiggly pup with liquid brown eyes, a runaway or a stray, the happiest dog I’d ever seen.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I asked some park maintenance men if they knew where she came from or who she might belong to. There was no collar. “That dog don’t belong to nobody. She’s been around here a week or more,” one of the workmen said. “I think she lives in the woods and eats from the garbage cans. We can’t catch her. How did you?” “She just came to me when I called.” He laughed. “Guess that means she’s your dog now.” I asked the kids by the woods, too. “She lives in the woods,” one told me. “You should see her run. She catches squirrels and birds and stuff. Fast as lightning.” So I took her to three different shelters in the county. Two were full occupancy. By the time we reached the no-kill shelter in a neighboring county, the dusty pup was sitting on the center console between the front leather seats of my new car, making herself at home. She was actually leaning against me. The women who ran the shelter gave her a shot of worming medication, a small biscuit and said to me with a smile, “That dog really seems to like you.” So I took her home to my cottage and phoned my wife in Maine to let her know I’d found a pup running wild and might need to keep her until I could find her owner. My wife laughed. We already had two dogs, a pair of aging golden retrievers. “Of course you will.” “Just until I find her owner.” “Sure. If you say so.” I bathed the pup. She hated it but came out shiny as a baby sea lion. Next I fed her a can of Alpo. She ate the food in three gulps and threw it up with several small animal bones. The girl was obviously a hunter. I thought of calling her Diana, Greek goddess of the hunt. That night I heard snoring and rolled over to find the pup lying on her back next to me in bed, head on the pillow, snoring to beat the band. When I spoke to her, she looked at me with the most soulful brown eyes I’d ever seen and thumped her tail. I ran an ad in the newspaper but never found an owner. Looking back, I’m certain the universe never intended me to find an owner. The pup had found me. I named her Mulligan, a second chance dog, or “The Mull” or “Mully” for short. Some people have a God Parent or God Child. I have a God Dog, an animal divinely sent to keep an eye on me. Dog, after all, is simply God spelled backwards. She and I have been together over a decade now, traveling pals through life, best friends who have gone down many roads in each other’s company. Wherever I go, she goes – to the garden, to the store, ever watchful, always waiting, ready to ride. The Mull sleeps beside my side of the bed. And when I leave bed well before dawn, my God Dog follows me and my cup of coffee outside to sit beneath the morning stars to reconnect with the universe. July 2018

O.Henry 21

Simple Life


Oceanfront Balcony Views Photo courtesy of Joshua McClure

22 O.Henry

When Ajax, our big retriever that I call “Junior,” finally lumbers out for our morning walk around the neighborhood, The Mull is ready to lead the pack. Junior is young, spoiled, far too good looking for his own good. He knows four or five good words like “walk” and “Cookie.” But the The Mull hasn’t given up on him, thinks there’s hope for him yet. Mully has the vocabulary of a gifted middle-schooler – or at least telepathic powers. In any case, she roams ahead off the lead, scouting the world where she once ran wild, seeing everything that moves around us, smiling the entire time. Junior lumbers behind, basically oblivious save for the grazing rabbits in yards, carrying his own lead, impressed with himself, following the family alpha dog. Ironically, I didn’t have the God Dog with me the afternoon I stopped rush-hour traffic in two directions for half a dozen blocks while trying to coax the terrified dog on the island into my car. Fortunately a woman driving the other way stopped traffic on her side of the island and got out to lend a hand. And a second driver appeared with a cup of water, hoping the dog would pause to drink so we could grab her. For several minutes — a small eternity it seemed rather hopeless. She ran circles around my car, was visibly tempted to jump in, but eluded our efforts. Finally, as she rounded the corner for the umpteenth time, I dove and grabbed her by the back leg. People applauded and tooted their horns supportively. I thanked the two guardian angels who stopped to help but only caught their first names – Laura and Sean I took the dog straight home. Mulligan and Ajax warmly welcomed her. But the newcomer was so skittish, she raced behind my den chair and refused to move until The Mull, my wise old foundling, went and sat with her for a spell. It was like watching a family counselor at work, the God Dog doing her thing. The dog eventually calmed down enough to come out from behind the chair to drink some water and take a biscuit from my hand. I saw a faded tag with a phone number on her narrow collar. Her name was Lulu. The phone number was a Los Angeles number. I called it anyway. After several rings a woman answered. “Do you have a dog named Lulu?” I asked. “I sure do,” she said. “You found her? I’ve been so worried. She ran away a when the thunderstorm broke. Lightning struck and she was gone.” Lulu lived more than 4 miles away. She’d had never stopped running until she’d reached the traffic island. “Well, she’s safe now at our house.” I gave her our address. She pulled up 20 minutes later, expressed deep gratitude and informed me that she and Lulu were about to relocate to France. “I can’t believe she let you get near her. She’s terrified of lightning and people. It’s a miracle you could catch her.” “I had some help.” I mentioned the two angels on the road and the help of Junior and The Mull. She scratched Mulligan’s head. The God Dog smiled, As always, her brown eyes shined, her tail wagged. “What a sweet dog. How long have you had her?” she asked. “Not long enough. Just 10 years.” I told her about saving Mully from a busy highway, joking how it was she who really saved me. OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Short Stories Canine to the Rescue

“Speed of lightning, roar of thunder/ fighting all who rob and plunder . . . ” No, it’s not Underdog, but Super Smiley. From shelter denizen to world citizen, this pooch and his owner Megan Blake have logged 150,000 miles to spread the word about kindness to pets through seminars with topics such as pet travel and “dogumentaries.” Along the way, Super Smiley has copped a few acting gigs (including a feature film on the Hallmark Channel) and done the pup walk down the red carpet. But not to worry: Fame hasn’t gone to this pooch’s head. You can catch him and Megan at 9 a.m. on Saturdays at High Point Library (901 N. Main Street, High Point) for group dog training and at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays for yoga or, rather, doga, courtesy of Green Lincoln, at Le Bauer Park (200 N. Davie Street). Info: (336) 883-3660 or highpointnc.gov and greensborodowntownpars.org

Movie Mania

So it’s undergoing major renovation; the Carolina Theatre (301 S. Greene Street) will still host its Summer Film Festival and Carolina Kids Club upstairs in The Crown. Starting on July 8 with 1993’s Robin Hood Men in Tights, and for kids, Disney’s Robin Hood on July 9, the festival will continue through August 18 with an eclectic mix of cinema. From the classics (Taxi Driver, My Dinner with André) to the weird (Memento, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2., The Cook the Thief, the Wife and Her Lover), the festival covers just about every genre conceivable, including sci-fi (The Fly, Godzilla, Alien), foreign flicks (Jules et Jim, Babette’s Feast), romance (Romeo + Juliet) and a great genre for summer, martial arts. Sure, you can enjoy the artistry of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but for our money, we’ll take Jackie Chan’s seemingly endless combat sequence in The Legend of Drunken Master. Admission for children is $5; for adults, $7 — and don’t forget the popcorn. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

It Takes a Village . . .

. . . to have a village fair. And on July 21, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Mendenhall Homeplace (603 W. Main Street, Jamestown). Presented by the Jamestown Historical Society, the Village Fair includes interpreters who will explain the history of what was once the most important trading town in the Triad, and demonstrate crafts from the period, as well. As you immerse yourself in days gone by, enjoy live music, good eats from vendors and don’t forget to stop by the Mendenhall store right across the street at City Lake Park. Info: mendenhallhomeplace.com.

Far Out

And far away, or so the 1960s seem (at least to those who weren’t around then, or those who’d rather forget that era). Nonetheless, the decade of turbulence, war, social unrest and change, plus sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll profoundly influenced art. Tune in, turn on and drop by Weatherspoon Art Museum (500 Tate St.) to see for yourself at 1960s: A Survey of a Decade. On view from July 14 until February 17 of next year, the exhibit features works by the likes of Alex Katz, Robert Rauschenberg, among others, plus Robert Stanley, known for prints on Day-Glo paper of the decade’s usual suspects, the Beatles, James Brown and the Rolling Stones. So, when do we get to celebrate the ’80s? Info: weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

24 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Allagash. Check. Ballast Point. Check. Big Boss, Dogfish Head, Lagunitas. Check, check, check. Yep. It’s that time again, folks: The Summertime Brews Fest. Of course, there will be local faves on tap on July 28 at the Coliseum (1921 West Gate City Boulevard. And with Neese’s Sausage presenting, well, you can only imagine what the eats are like. We’re hoping Natty’s, Wiseman and Joymongers will compete in the brewer’s competition — always great fun, especially when Cory Luetjen & the Traveling Blues or Cassette Rewind take the stage. Get your tickets now, either at the Bestway on Walker Avenue, Natty’s, Preyer Brewing or online at summertimebrews.com.

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

As the summer heats up, the concert season cools down, making top-shelf shows a bit harder to find. Fear not, Brothers and Sisters, your faithful scribe is out beating the bushes for the can’t-miss gigs. And, per usual, I found them.

• July 1, Blind Tiger: The BT

Bottom’s Up

Forget Hollywood’s formulaic stuff: The real deal in the genre of romantic comedy is Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Whether they’re making love or war, the mortals and faeries in this season-appropriate comic fantasy weave tangled webs far beyond any conceived for The Bachelor or The Real Housewives series. Catch a performance of it, courtesy of Guilford County Schools’ Summer Arts Institute and the Drama Center of City Arts from July 13–15 and 19–22 in the open air at Barber Park (1500 Dans Road). Admission is a suggested donation of $10; in the event of rain the performance will move to Stephen D. Hyers Studio Theater (200 N. Davie Street). Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

Taking the Cure

In this day and age of confusing and often conflicting medical advice, take, er, heart: It wasn’t much different a century ago. Just have a gander at the O.Henry short story, “Let Me Feel Your Pulse,” or better yet, hear a dramatic reading of it from David Madden, novelist, short story writer, literary critic and Civil War historian. The LSU Robert Penn Warren Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus whose accomplishments would be the envy of any writer, including William Sydney Porter himself, will appear on July 6 at 7 p.m. at Scuppernong Books (304 S. Elm Street) to present the story, which will prove, as so many O.Henry stories do, that laughter is indeed the best medicine. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Free for All

Get your classical music fix all afternoon on July 22 at Eastern Music Festival’s Open House, a series of free concerts held throughout the campus of Guilford College (5800 West Friendly Avenue). Starting at 1 p.m. you can hear a Percussion Ensemble at Dana Hall, followed by a guitar orchestra concert at 2:15 in the Carnegie Room. At 3 p.m. the Young Artists Piano Recital (aka “Pianopalooza”) strikes a chord — or many — in Sternberger Auditorium at Founder’s Hall, and winding up the day back at Dana Hall is Eastern Festival Orchestra’s concert of overtures by the who’s who of the classical cannon: Beethoven, Weber, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Berlioz, Dvorak, Ives, Debussy and Copland. Whew! Info: easternmusicfestival.org.

typically features touring acts, but, for my money, the best show of the month features all homegrown talent. Their 30th anniversary party is a who’s who of local legends over the past 20 years, to whit: Walrus himself, Ray Loughran, headlines, joined by such luminaries as Sam Frazier, Eddie Walker, Andy Ware, Patrick Rock, Joey Barnes and more.

• July 6, Ramkat: When the word

“Americana” was coined around the turn of the century to describe that too-goodfor-mainstream brand music, Darrell Scott automatically became its darling. One of the finest songwriters alive today, he is also a stellar guitarist and singer. These days he’s touring with his own bluegrass band, which makes this a must-see show.

• July18, Durham Performing Arts Center: Yes, it’s not exactly in

our backyard, but members of the Indigo Girls cult have been known to travel much farther than this to see their idols. They don’t tour as much as they used to, making this an even more special event.

• July 20, White Oak Amphitheatre: If you didn’t get

enough blues to sate your appetite at the annual PBPS Carolina Blues Festival, your prayers have been answered. The Gate City Blues Festival features Lenny Williams, Latimore, Clarence Carter and three more national acts. That oughtta do it.

• July 20, Winston-Salem Fairgrounds: The Nitty Gritty

Dirt Band were already stars before they released the “Circle” album (Will the Circle be Unbroken), which became one of the most iconic records of the 20th century. Hard to believe that’s been over 45 years ago, but, trust me, they haven’t lost a thing over that span. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

O.Henry 25

Some of my favorite clients have four legs! THE FIRST


Alehouse IN STOKES





ON THE dAn river.

Direct Line: 336-420-2837 Email: barryshardeman@gmail.com Website: www.TomChitty.com

Š2018 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity

26 O.Henry

July 2018

WELCOME to t h e G r e e n h e ro n A l e h o u s e A n d t h e d A n r i v e r c o m pA n y

The green heron opened in 2013 and now is the first and only alehouse in stokes county and the favorite place for many hikers, mountain bikers, paddlers, road bikes, and sports car clubs to cap off their adventure with a cold one from one of our 20 taps of: ales, beers, cider. This year we have expanded our wine selection to include 8 wines ON TAP! We have live music nightly every weekend.

We provide professional canoe & kayak rental and shuttle services on the Dan River at Hanging Rock State Park in the North Carolina foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can rent our canoes and kayaks, or bring your own boats for a shuttle up the river. Call for resevations or book online by 5pm the day before.







The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Strings of Desire EMF’s fifth annual Guitar Summit

Young classical guitarists often dis-

cover their chosen profession comes with one major drawback. Because becoming proficient on your instrument requires a lot of time alone, you’re practically sentenced to a life of solitary confinement. Woodshedding with fellow musicians hasn’t been an option — till now. EMF has come up with a solution, redemption for those formerly incarcerated in lonely rooms.

Now in its fifth year, the Guitar Summit allows EMF attendees the chance to work with their peers as well as to strengthen their skills with one-on-one, master class tutelage from a trio of faculty guitar instructors. The program was developed under the guidance of Kami Rowan, PhD, and currently department chair for Guilford College’s music department where she has helped to build up a robust classical guitar program. She was also involved in putting together the Weaver Academy for the Performing Arts. A classical guitarist, she has long wished for a guitar summit for students, but until recently nothing like it, save the odd weekend-long festival, existed. When given the go-ahead, there was only one caveat. Music director and conductor, Gerard Schwarz, insisted that Jason Vieaux be on the program. “That was my only thing. ‘You can plan this any way you want, but I want Jason to be one of the teachers,’” Schwarz told Rowan. Vieaux’s 2015 solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo and he was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. She also recruited Julian Gray, professor of music and director of the Guitar Studies for Shenandoah Conservatory of the Shenandoah University, known for his innovative and progressive arrangements. “I felt like the three of us really complemented each other; we brought very different skills to the table.” Rowan says of the immersive two-week program that will host 18 students (up from 12 the first year), ranging in ages 14 to 28. “They must really want to come,” Rowan allows, emphasizing a rigorous audition process that requires performance videos, a repertoire and instructor list. “By immersive, I mean they wake up in the morning and they’re on it. We have class first thing and they don’t stop until they go to bed.” The Summit is also groundbreaking in that the students get to collaborate, first working on-on-one with her, then a large guitar ensemble with all 18 guitarists. This year’s piece, “We’re All In This Together,” was written by local composer and Guilford alum Mark Charles Smith. As a bonus, students are chosen to work with other instrumentalists. “That’s really different, and definitely a plus for their résumés to have that type of chamber music experience,” Rowan says. EMF Executive Director Chris Williams concurs, citing the solitary life of a guitarist. “It’s a real challenge for some of these people to work in small ensembles,” he observes. “Maybe it’s the first time they’ve done something like that.” — Grant Brittt OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 27

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Life’s Funny

It’s a Dog Meet Dog World By Maria Johnson

There are times, when you’re

tromping around with Don Brown at his Siendo Farmstead in McLeansville, that you know he is talking about dogs, but he could be talking about other creatures, too.

“A dog carries with him a social experience wherever he goes,” Don says. “If that social experience is torn or marred, then you’re going to have problems.” For the record, we don’t consider Rio, our 8-year-old foxhound, a problem dog. From the time we found him, bony, beaten up and beaten down by whatever had passed in the two years before my younger son heaved him from roadside to backseat, our family has considered this gentle and skittish hound a blessing and an enigma, which is a blessing in its own way. We pay more attention to a mystery, don’t we? By “we,” I mean humans. And maybe dogs, too. That’s why I’m here, to learn more about dogs in general and about my dog in particular. The instrument: a WalkAbout with Don, who started his canine jaunts about 10 years ago, after a long hitch in dog training and doggie daycare left him with more questions than answers. Sure, if people taught their dogs to sit on command, they would feel better about themselves, Don observed. But what were their dogs thinking? How did they see the people? And other dogs? What was going on between them? Even if obedience was the only thing that mattered to you, the social part was relevant. “A socially healthy dog will tend to be easier to train,” says Don. That’s when Don and his wife Hutsie, opened their 16-acre property to friends and others who heard about their LifeStyle Dog Training business by word of mouth. For a small fee, folks and their dogs could roam the fenced farm with Don and his dogs, and sometimes with other owners and their dogs. Don called the events WalkAbouts after the Aboriginal practice of booting young men into the wild where, in the company of other young men, they learn who they are and how they fit into society. Don did the same with dogs: He turned them loose in nature and watched them become themselves, which they can only do, he says, with other dogs. “It’s a dose of dogs that dogs need to orient how they think and perform socially,” he says. “A dog needs to be with other dogs at times.” Don’t mistake Don for an advocate of dog parks. He’s not a fan. Too many owners misread their pooches and other dogs, some of which should not be unleashed in a public spaces. That’s why Don screens visitors — both human and canine — with an application and in-person evaluation. Having cleared the application hurdle, Rio and I rumble into Don’s driveway shortly before noon. I pop the hatch. Rio jumps out, sniffs a fence with Don’s dogs on the other side, pees on the fence (nice to meet you), sniffs,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

pees again and trots off to trace every boundary on the farm — fence lines, tree lines, shore lines — with his keen snout. “His world is full of scent, not so much pictures,” Don says, drawing a contrast between scent hounds and sight hounds such as his own dogs, silken wind hounds, which like greyhounds, employ their eyes more than their noses. Don characterizes scent hounds as “ignorantly bold.” He heeds the power of breed and age — and temperament, which is inborn and expressed in behavior, which in turn is molded by experience, but only to a point. In other words, dogs are who they are. Don releases one of his laid-back dogs, 9-year-old Logan. He and Rio barely nod to each other. Rio skips into the woods. Don shakes the cocktail by adding 3-year old Cora, 9-year-old Cimarron and 12-year-old Belita. We travel as a crew in search of Rio. We spot him on the far side of the pond. I call. He gallops toward us then halts. He is wary of the pack, even with me standing in their midst. I call again. He barrels toward us. He draws closer and . . . whoosh, buzzes by us at full speed. Don’s dogs stand still. You can almost hear them saying, “What the . . . ?” They’re stumped. And so is Rio. Dogs, like people, search for familiar ground, a sameness that comforts them, Don says. Rio is reaching out in a way that usually works for him, provoking a playful chase. He tries one more fly-by with no luck. He disappears into the woods, re-emerging only after I separate from Don and his dogs. He sticks close as we walk back to the house, where Don puts the dogs into a smaller yard. Rio noses around the edges, but he and other dogs don’t engage. Don’s diagnosis: Rio’s sensitive and stoic with a hefty helping of stage fright. Sometimes, he distances himself from group experiences that could help him. Like some male dogs, he has a narrow vision of social life. He could benefit from more mixers with dogs and from more “check-ins” that reward eye contact with humans. “You’re in a position of opening his mind,” Don says. All of which rings true. And would be fair because Rio has opened my mind, this once- indifferent dog that now “talks” to me when he wants something; who finds me sitting on the patio steps and rests his head on my shoulder; who literally jumps for joy whenever he sees his houndy friends Henry, Annabelle, Archie, Pumpkin and Sally. He is wonderfully complex, never wholly predictable, ever evolving, full of quirks and love, abilities and fears, a unique bundle of past and present. He is, after all, who he is. We’re talking about dogs, right? OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. Contact her at ohenrymaria@ gmail.com. Reach Don Brown at LifeStyleDog@aol.com.

July 2018

O.Henry 29

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Omnivorous Reader

To Boston and Back A history of the psychedelic ’60s

By Stephen E. Smith

The stoner who said

“If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t really there” got it wrong. Most of us who lived through those times recall what went down, even if we did inhale. But if your memory is less than eidetic, Ryan H. Walsh’s Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 is an engrossing aide-mémoire, a jumbled catchall of social upheavals and artistic convergences that occurred in Boston half a century ago.

Walsh focuses on two narrative threads, one societal and the other musical, that evolved in parallel. The first is the founding of Mel Lyman’s Fort Hill Community, variously identified as a commune, cult or family; and the other is Van Morrison’s mystic stream-of-consciousness song cycle Astral Weeks recorded while the Irish blues rocker was hiding out in Beantown. Both events, although unrelated, had a transmutative effect on a flower-power generation searching for “peace and love” and alternative lifestyles. Walsh begins with the not-so-secret culture-shifting decision by Bob Dylan to electrify his backup band and crank out a high-decibel version of “Like a Rolling Stone” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Members of the audience still debate whether Dylan was greeted with widespread booing, but Walsh maintains the crowd was exiting in a funk when harmonica player Mel Lyman took the stage and intoned a 20-minute dirge-like rendition of “Rock of Ages.” Lyman was a member of Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band, a Boston group that had achieved modest national success. By 1966, he’d emerged as the charismatic leader of a community that squatted in abandoned houses in the Fort Hill section of Roxbury. Lyman had drifted from California to North Carolina (he learned to play banjo from Asheville’s Obray Ramsey) and settled in Boston, attracting a

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

coterie of subservient followers. His Fort Hill Community was no runof-the-mill hippie commune. Daria Halprin and Mark Frechette, the stars of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point; Paul Williams, the publisher of Crawdaddy magazine; musician Jim Kweskin; Jessie Benton, the daughter of Thomas Hart Benton; two children of the novelist Kay Boyle; and Owen DeLong, a speechwriter for Robert Kennedy, were all active members of the Fort Hill family. Lyman asserted complete control over community members and employed LSD trips, astrological readings and physical intimidation to maintain discipline. Members remodeled dilapidated dwellings and distributed the counterculture biweekly newspaper Avatar to support themselves. The cult’s sole purpose was to serve Mel Lyman and his creative enterprises, and in 1973, Frechette and two other members of the family attempted, ostensibly at Lyman’s bidding, to rob a Roxbury bank to fund a film project. One member was killed by police, and Frechette was sentenced to prison, where he died under suspicious circumstances. Walsh delves into the cult’s internal disputes, most of which concerned the content and publication of Avatar, and he details the less seemly workings of the Fort Hill Community, branches of which are still active in Boston, Los Angeles and Kansas. What became of Mel Lyman is a mystery. It was reported that he died in 1978, but no death certificate is known to exist. The second thread of Walsh’s secret history traces singer-songwriter Van Morrison’s gradual rise to national prominence via his recording of Astral Weeks, a 1968 Warner Brothers release that went unnoticed at the time but has since achieved cult status. Morrison had first emerged on the music scene as the lead singer of the Belfast band Them, who charted with “Gloria” and “Here Comes the Night.” Morrison had a 1967 solo hit with “Brown-Eyed Girl,” but he’d made a bad business decision, signing with Bang Records, a company with mob connections. Warner Brothers had to buy out Morrison’s contract, and the singer moved from New York to July 2018

O.Henry 31

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Reader Boston with his girlfriend Janet Rigsbee (aka Janet Planet), where he began composing the songs for Astral Weeks and playing rock clubs, high school gyms, roller rinks and amusement parks across New England with a group of local musicians known collectively as the Van Morrison Controversy. To record Astral Weeks, Morrison traveled from Boston to New York and laid down the tracks backed by jazz pros who’d never heard of the 22-year-old singer-songwriter wailing away in the vocal booth. Morrison never spoke to the studio musicians, but guitarist Jay Berliner, drummer Connie Kay, vibraphonist Warren Smith and bassist Richard Davis (the name of the flutist is lost to history) provided the backing that helped bring Morrison’s lyrics to life. The songs are about childhood, death and rebirth, and in “Madame George,” “Cyprus Avenue,” “Astral Weeks,” “Slim Slow Slider,” “Sweet Thing” and “Beside You,” Morrison’s craggy voice rings with a coarse authenticity. Astral Weeks has survived and sweetened over the years, and Walsh’s thorough investigation of the recording process reveals the inner workings of the musical experience without diminishing the album’s subtle ability to mesmerize listeners. A slew of pop culture luminaries make brief appearances in Walsh’s history: Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground; Peter Wolf, future front man of the J. Geils Band; bluesman Howlin’ Wolf; singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman; Tufts University Shakespeare scholar David Silver; LSD guru Timothy Leary; and others. Since video and audio recordings of most of the principals exist, readers can access images of the characters and hear the crazy ideas they espoused. Dick Cavett’s painfully uncommunicative interview with Daria Halprin and Mark Frechette can be viewed on YouTube, and the album Astral Weeks is streamable on internet devices, as are numerous recordings of Mel Lyman, including his Newport Folk Festival “Rock of Ages” performance and eerie album cuts featuring Lyman and the Fort Hill Community. Jim Kweskin’s America Co-Starring Mel Lyman and the Lyman Family is available on CD. Fifty years out, a replay of these historic recordings in conjunction with a reading of Walsh’s detailed history will remind readers that the Grateful Dead had it right all along: “What a long strange trip it’s been.” OH Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He’s the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press awards.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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July 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scuppernong Bookshelf

Road Reads

Satisfy your wanderlust with tales of travel and faraway places

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

I’ve done things. Some good; some

perhaps less so. But one thing I did when younger that still brings shameless joy to my heart was to crisscross the country by car, by train, on foot. Those travels, almost always begun in July, inform my understanding of the American environment and remind me of the need to take risks, to get out. It’s hard to find the time for a three-month jaunt through the backroads and byways, but longing for something is another reason to live. Here are some new books, published this month, to nurture your desire to move around. July 3: Flash: Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip, by Richard Ratay (Scribner, $27). In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them — from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks. July 3: Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity, by Michael Kinch (Pegasus Books, $27.95). Vaccines are part of world travel, but watch out for those communities that have created new pockets of old diseases. This book is a smart and compelling examination of the science of immunity, the public policy implications of vaccine denial, and the real-world outcomes of failing to vaccinate. July 3: The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West, by John F. Ross (Viking, $30). “John The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wesley Powell was not just a great explorer — he was the great prophet of the arid West whose vision is now coming true in a dusty era of drought and wildfire. This book reminds us to pay attention to savvy people, not to our preferred dreams and delusions — in that sense it couldn’t be more timely.” — Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature. July 10: Just a Shot Away: Peace, Love, and Tragedy with the Rolling Stones at Altamont, by Saul Austerlitz (Thomas Dunne, $27.99). Travel to your favorite summer music festival with joy in your heart, but remember this: The Hell’s Angels are not any one’s idea of an appropriate security system. July 10: The Last Cruise, by Kate Christensen (Doubleday, $26.95). “In The Last Cruise Kate Christensen has given us a smart literary thriller whose ambitions extend well beyond its genre. It’s terrifying in ways you don’t expect.” — Richard Russo, author of Nobody’s Fool and Empire Falls. I always knew that cruises were a nightmare waiting to happen! Stick to the roads. July 17: Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk, by John Lingan (Houghton-Mifflin, $27). In the tradition of Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting With Jesus and J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, an intimate account of social change, country music and a vanishing way of life as a Shenandoah town collides with the 21st century. July 24: Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back, by Melissa Stephenson (Houghton-Mifflin, $23). “With a searing honesty, Melissa Stephenson examines the decisions of her life and the often unexpected consequence. Driven races through time like one of the many automobiles she drives, repairs and loves. Ultimately, she loves literature more, and this book is the grand and glorious result.” — Chris Offutt, author of Country Dark. July 24: The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places, by William Atkins (Doubleday, $28.95). In the classic literary tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Geoff Dyer, a rich and exquisitely written account of travels in six deserts on five continents that evokes the timeless allure of these remote and forbidding places. OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. July 2018

O.Henry 35

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Changing Customs, Fading Manners Who is minding what?

By Clyde Edgerton

“Mind your manners” is a

Illustration by Harry Blair

phrase that is probably less heard today than it was 60 years ago. Back then (I was a teenager), I would have no more worn a hat inside a house or building than I would have peed in the street. (I would have peed in the backyard, down toward the woods, and that would not have been considered bad manners where I’m from in rural North Carolina.)

Are we sometimes talking about changing customs, or changing norms, rather than changing manners? Shades of difference move between those three terms: customs, norms, manners. Your mama, or another trusted relative, probably never said to you, “Mind your customs,” or “Mind your norms.” Customs and norms describe habitual stuff out there in a society — descriptive. Manners are more about what happens in smaller group settings — prescriptive, connected to right and wrong. And sometimes I think (like other older folks) that manners haven’t changed; they have simply disappeared. Well, almost. Perhaps disappeared in other parts of the country, and are hanging by a thin thread in my home section of the country, the South, where people do not have accents unless they are from elsewhere. Let’s take family reunions — and “eating order.” Family reunions in my childhood were like Christmases. The family planned ahead for, and looked forward to, each family reunion. It was a big deal. We had five of them each year. (It’s down to two now.) When it was time to eat from the big long table with covered dishes (you were likely out of doors), the older folks served themselves first. Had I, as a child, started for the food right after the blessing, my mother would have said, “Mind your manners, Son,” and I would have remembered that children served themselves last, not first. It was a matter of right and wrong, good and bad. Simple good manners. There were only good and bad manners, no debatable manners, or, for that matter, “politically incorrect” manners. “Politically correct” — for better and/or worse — hadn’t been invented. My first brush (that I know about) with my own politically incorrect manners happened at a dinner party (among academics) in about 2000. Each of us stood behind our own chair before being seated. When it was time to sit, I reached for the chair beside mine because standing behind that chair was a woman. As I started to pull back her chair for her to sit, she quietly held the chair in its place. I didn’t get it. I assumed she was looking the other way. I tried again, and then looked into her eyes. The message was clear. She did not like what I

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

was doing. She remained silent. I turned loose of her chair and tended to my own. I was confused, but there was no doubt that she did not like me messing with her chair. I have since figured out what was perhaps going on. (I have two daughters, and would like to consider myself an intersectional feminist who believes rational feminism can lead to men’s liberation.) I think back on that occasion, on the matter of customs, norms, manners; on the woman beside me at the dinner party; on my mother (not an academic by a long shot) and how she behaved in social situations. I’m pretty sure my mother, had she been a modern-day feminist, would have said, “I’d prefer to pull out my own chair, but thank you.” She would have said that because she had good manners — innate good manners. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW.

July 2018

O.Henry 37


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal

Unchained Melody How Break the Chain is breaking new ground in caring for dogs

By Billy Ingram

Photographs provided by Billy ingraham

“Absolutely not, we are not bringing a

dog into this house.” That was Dad’s predictably visceral reaction after a neighborhood teenager rang our doorbell late one night, cradling a newborn puppy in the palm of his hand, one he’d found whimpering unaccompanied down the sidewalk. Our neighbor believed, correctly as it turned out, that a puppy would be a natural addition to a home with young kids and no pets. Dear Old Dad didn’t see it that way. But with three chirping birds pleading to adopt that wide-eyed orphan, he finally gave in.

We named her Molly, and she spent the first night in the kitchen howling and crying. When we got her back from the veterinarian late the next day, it was my father who was howling and crying, that skin-and-bones pup was, by weight, more worms than dog. Although he made more than a decent living, our father was raised a country boy during the Depression and found it difficult to accept that, “I just spent $200 on a beagle mutt!” When Molly needed to do her business, we would just open the back door to let her out. We lived on Blair Street, across from what is now Bill Craft Park, so it seemed like a reasonable idea. Except, for some unknown reason, Molly had a penchant for roaming one block up to Hammel where our aunt lived, baying incessantly outside her back door. As a result, our dog would get snatched up by Animal Control. A lot. So we fenced in the backyard, with wooden posts to disguise the chain links. Not that Molly didn’t — all too often — tunnel her way

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

out so she could howl away at that aunt she was weirdly fixated on. I hadn’t thought about that adorable pooch in years. Not until, on the road to High Point, Sylvia Mayon turned to ask, “Are you a dog person, Billy?” I replied somewhat reluctantly, “Not really. I mean, I loved our mutt Molly growing up but, to be honest, I only like my own animals.” Doris Day I’m not. But this isn’t a story about dogs, per se. It’s about a local power couple, Andrew and Sylvia Mayon, who created Break The Chain Kennel Kru to identify dogs habitually chained to one spot in someone’s backyard. The nonprofit’s goal is to build for them a deluxe, well-appointed kennel so that animals can experience some level of freedom. The Mayons came up with Break the Chain 2 1/2 years ago. Together with a cadre of determined volunteers, this nonprofit has erected more than 50 canine habitats. “I always got angry when I saw dogs at the end of a chain,” Sylvia explains. “We had volunteered with Project Heart where we delivered dog houses, educated owners on spay and neuter, but when we left, that dog was still on a chain. Instead of being angry all the time, I wanted to do something about it.” Some ways these dogs are tethered can be inexplicably cruel as Andrew told me, “These chains can be heavy, metal logging chains weighing down their necks that can get wrapped around a tree, causing the animals to be protective of a very short space.” How does a dog end up this way, confined for a decade or even their entire lives, I asked as we were on the way one Saturday afternoon to erect a kennel for a Gulf War veteran’s pet. Sylvia told me, “Many times, as in this case, the dog was abandoned by its owner and someone stepped up to save that animal from the shelter,” Sylvia adds. “In their mind they’ve ‘rescued’ a dog from being euthanized.” “We’ve heard it all,” Sylvia laments. “One dog owner said, ‘He’s our alarm system.’ We told him, ‘We have three big dogs and they all live inside and they know when Andrew is coming home from a block away. So they can be an July 2018

O.Henry 39

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40 O.Henry

July 2018

GreensboroBuilders.org The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal alarm system from inside the house as well.’ I mean, they’re not going to be able to do much on a chain or in a kennel.” “Some people have just grown up with a dog on a chain,” Andrew adds. “It’s just the way they’ve always known it. Grandma and Grandpa had their dog on a chain, Mom and Dad had their dog on a leash.” That’s where another major portion of their mission comes into play. “We are so much more than unchaining dogs,” as Sylvia says. “A lot of it is education and providing resources.” She tells me that spay/neuter is the No. 1 requirement, and that all pets in the household have to be fixed. Then to qualify for this service, clients must be on some form of governmental assistance or low income.” That does not automatically qualify someone for a kennel however. “I do a phone interview first,” she says. “I have a questionnaire where I can get a better idea of the situation.” Once she determines they might be a good candidate for our program I will do a home visit with another volunteer. That way, Sylvia continues, “We can actually see the situation and meet the owner, meet the dog. If they’re looking just to get a free kennel and then not see us anymore, that is not part of our program.” They’ve partnered with Project B.A.R.K., an organization that offers to spay/neuter for $10 or $15 depending on the size of the dog. This must be paid by the owner. “That’s crazy inexpensive, but it gives them some skin in the game,” Andrew explains. “Many of these dogs have never been to a vet, never had their shots. So we have a great relationship with Benessere Animal Hospital. The hospital provides other low-cost services, he says. “I did not want to go unchain a dog then build the kennel, walk away, and know that that dog might be dying of heartworms. Dr. [Janine] Oliver [Benessere’s owner] has been a part of our journey since the very beginning because she believes in our mission.” Their commitment involves making home visits every four to six weeks, plus providing replacement straw and dog food for owners who that are disabled or lack transportation. Volunteers will even take one of these pets home for a night so they can experience for the first time what it’s like to sit on a couch or sleep on a bed. If a pooch is outside due to bad behavior in the home, Break the Chain will hire a trainer. “We try to get the dog integrated back with the family,” Andrew says. “Most of them are pit bulls, pit-bull mixes, so I like to show the softer side. Just because they’re on a chain and they’re a pit mix does not mean they’re a bad dog.” Arriving at our destination, a tidy mid-century home in High Point, we meet Bronx, a pit mix abandoned when his previous owner relocated to The Art & Soul of Greensboro



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O.Henry 41

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42 O.Henry

July 2018

Gate City Journal another state. That sweet boy could not have been friendlier or more enthusiastic, bounding about excitedly, reveling in the attention from the 16 folks gathered to build his pen. Although this Saturday afternoon’s crew was largely made up of novices like myself, the whole enterprise was quite enjoyable. The 10’ x 20’ kennel was easily assembled and then outfitted with a new igloo, straw flooring, water and food bowls, pooper scooper, and an overhead tarp for shade and weather protection. Inside the igloo they spread cedar chips, a natural flea and tick repellant. Many of the Kru were friends and coworkers of Edward Jones employee Cathy Johnson Deal, who had recently passed away at a young age. With her daughter Taylor in attendance, a commemorative plaque was placed on the kennel door in Cathy’s honor. That leisurely but emotionally charged endeavor took about an hour. “With the regular crew we can set up in as little as 15 minutes,” Andrew says. “For us it’s not about how fast to get the kennel up, it’s spending time with the owner, getting to know the dogs. That’s what builds trust. When you have a connection, hopefully they will be more apt to listen and take your suggestions.” Sylvia gave me some background as we’re were packing up the tools, “This dog [Bronx], you didn’t see him tied to the tree like I did with blankets in his igloo. Which was a teaching moment. When we did the home visit, the temperatures were freezing. What the owner didn’t realize is that those blankets absorb the moisture, so basically the dog was lying on ice. And right away, as we were leaving, [Bronx’s owner] Charles removed all the blankets.” Afterward, everyone congregates at a nearby restaurant, as is custom, for fellowship and to discuss that day’s effort. If indeed you are judged by the company you keep, Cathy Johnson Deal must have been a truly splendid person. On the trip back to Greensboro, the Mayons recalled for me their first build, for William Jones, now a member of Break the Chain’s board of directors. While he had been very much attuned to his dog’s needs, Animal Control had been out to warn him about a new tethering ban that levies a $500 fine. Sylvia met with Jones and, “I was so impressed by William I said to Andrew, ‘What do you think if we send out an email to a few of our friends and we raised enough money to build his dog Cash a kennel?’ And Andrew said, ‘Let’s do it.’ In three days we raised the $500 needed.” She laughs remembering, “Mind you Andrew and I had never seen a kennel close up. It took us 3 1/2 hours to build that kennel.” That was before they discovered you could assemble one with panels The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal like they do today, “Once we saw Cash lie down in that straw it literally brought tears to my eyes,” she says. “As we were building Cash’s kennel we looked over and two backyards down was another dog on a chain named Fido. His owner came out and asked what we were doing and I told him and, on the spot I said, ‘What if I raise the money to build Fido a kennel, would you get him neutered?’ and he said, ‘Absolutely.’ We got back to the car and I said, ‘I just found my purpose in life.’” If a client moves, the kennel is theirs to take with them. The team will even assist with that. If there comes a point where someone doesn’t need it anymore, the kennel will be repurposed for another dog. The Mayons have only had one person sell a kennel out from under them. Referrals may come from a neighbor of a recipient or from Animal Control when someone has called them out about a chained dog. If they feel the family might be a good prospect for Break the Chain, Animal Control will give them a flyer about the program. Although approached many times to franchise the operation, Andrew demurs, “We tell them no, we’re not interested, but we’ll be happy to share the concept and tell them how to do it. Break the Chain is just us, just Guilford County.” Sylvia adds, “I’m very detail- oriented, so to me it’s not how many dogs we can unchain, it’s the whole experience. I want it all to be a class act.” With so many components at play, this outreach consumes several hours every day. “We try to do a build every other weekend but we also have straw deliveries going out and transporting dogs to the vet for emergency surgery.” Days after his kennel was erected, Bronx was one tail-wagging, happy pup as he left Benessere Animal Hospital with all of his shots and his first bath. They even boarded him for a couple of days so he didn’t have to be out in one of those thunderous storms we had a few months back. Folks from all around the country, along with corporate sponsors, fund this worthy operation. Andrew is proud to say, “Every dime goes into our builds. We don’t buy dinners or fuel the car with donations.” I can testify to that! OH

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July 2018

O.Henry 43

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44 O.Henry

July 2018

$90Everyone, sponsors a childincluding for one week ofmy the 8 ½ week summer rescue dog Sarge, program; $765 sponsors a childdeserves for the entire summer program.

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and their families - it can change lives. Preston Young Cell: 336-420-1478 Donations: The Salvation Army of Greensboro P.O. Box 5310 Greensboro, NC 27435 Preston.Young@trmhomes.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In The Spirit

The Perfect Martini How to create — or botch — a great one

By Tony Cross

After closing,

Photograph by Tony Cross

I rent out the kitchen at Nature’s Own to work on prepping and batching kegged cocktails. I get ideas just walking around the store grabbing ingredients. One night as I passed the shelf of vermouths, I thought to myself, “Self, I probably need to re-up on some Dolin. Why have people been telling me about their terrible martinis lately?” Let’s talk about what you (or your bartender) are doing wrong.

The martini is the international symbol for cocktails. I just made that up. Or maybe not. What other shape — whether it’s a neon sign, printed on oven towels, or painted on a canvas at Bed, Bath & Beyond — represents an alcoholic drink that’s recognized everywhere? Everyone over 21 knows about the martini. This doesn’t mean that everyone has tried one, much less enjoyed this quintessential classic. I can certainly tell you that I did not fall in love my first go-round. Quite the opposite, actually. If memory serves, I believe all I was drinking was cold, lousy gin, in a martini glass. What a moment. From talking to my bar guests in the past, to chatting with friends and clients, here are some tips: Just because it’s in a martini glass doesn’t make it a martini. I’m getting this one out of the way, because you’d think it should be selfexplanatory, but . . .

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

What recipe? OK, this one should be pretty obvious, but just like with other cocktails out there, a lot of bartenders (home or away) just throw it all in there and don’t look back. Unless you’re quite skilled, stick to measuring. You might think you look cool behind the bar free-pouring that loooonnnngg stream of gin (probably vodka), but you don’t. If it doesn’t taste good, your guests are ordering something else. Plus, you just poured 4 ounces of gin in an oversized martini glass, and made your server spill it all over his/ her hand. Good job. Do this instead: Order some jiggers from a reputable online store (I love the Japanese style) and measure. Consistency is key, and you want your guests coming back every evening because they know that your martini is the best every single time. What vermouth? A majority of bars across this county (and country) have rancid vermouth on the shelf. I was recently at a local spot that I wouldn’t have guessed would do such a thing. I didn’t have the heart to say anything, but luckily my buddy did. Vermouth is fortified wine, so you have to treat it like a wine, and refrigerate it. It’ll last for months (if you’re doing it right, you’ll be running out before that’s even an issue). You can also opt for smaller bottles if you’re not making many on average. When it comes to which kind, Dolin Dry has my heart. This French vermouth has been in production since 1821 and been in my belly since I was 21. Just kidding, I was drinking Jägerbombs at 21. Gin. To the gin martini drinkers: Just any old gin won’t do. It’s true that we have lots of local distilleries popping up, and they’re making some fantastic stuff, but for a martini, for me, it’s got to be Plymouth Gin. It’s so soft, with slight earthyJuly 2018

O.Henry 45

46 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In The Spirit like undertones. I’ve never been great at describing spirits on my own, so there you go. Soft and earthy. But really, some other gins have a ton of different botanicals going on, and it’s just too much for me. Plymouth really mingles well with the vermouth. It allows both products to let each other shine. If Plymouth is not available, a London Dry will do. May I suggest Tanqueray 10? Execution. In the 1971 copy of Playboy’s Host & Bar Book (I am a loud and proud owner — Mom, I only read the recipes) it says, “A martini must be piercingly cold; at its best, both gin and vermouth are pre-chilled in the refrigerator, well stirred with ice and poured into a pre-chilled glass. Energetic stirring with the ice is all-important; the dilution makes the drink both smooth and palatable.” (Mario, 1971) Yes! Especially that “energetic stirring” part. I’m stealing that. The martini needs to be silky smooth and ice-freakingcold! Just cold is not going to cut it. If you are (as the same book calls its reader) a martini man, you should always keep your gin in the fridge. Having both your gin and vermouth cold from the start is going to help propel your martini to the next level. We already know not to use bad ice, but let’s refresh our memory really quick. Rubbish in, rubbish out. If your house water is great on its own, you shouldn’t really worry. Chances are, that’s not the case. So, get your own molds, and fill them with distilled water. Make sure that all of your ingredients go into an ice-cold mixing vessel. I prefer a mixing glass. If you’ve never used one, give it a shot. You can also try (after adding your gin and vermouth; see proportions in “Recipe”, below) to completely fill up the vessel with crushed ice. You can’t get much colder than that. You will be stirring, not shaking. If you’re having a hard time stirring correctly, there are a couple of great videos on YouTube that can guide you. I’m not ashamed to tell you that’s how I taught myself. Recipe. These vary slightly, but this is what I make for myself: 2 1/2 ounces Plymouth Gin 3/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth Strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with olive(s) or lemon peel. Scroll up and repeat. I should note that some folks like to use a dash of orange bitters. If I do, it’s with a blend that I’ve mixed from a few different companies. Not really a game changer. OH

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Tony Cross is a bartender who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails in Southern Pines.

www.StateStJewelers.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry 47

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48 O.Henry

July 2018



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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wine Country

Wine Uncorked It can be simple, easy and eco-friendly

By Angela Sanchez

Photograph by john gessner

Why not drink

wine out of a can? Why not drink wine from a bottle with a screw cap or Stelvin closure? Maybe, even a keg? Before all of you confirmed cork devotees get too upset, I’m not talking about grand cru Burgundy or first growth Bordeaux or single vineyard California cabernet from Screaming Eagle. I’m talking about wine that is made to be consumed young — what some people refer to as table wine — without oak or bottle aging. It’s the stuff we everyday folk consume on a regular basis. It’s what we take on boats and road trips and keep chilled for the backyard barbecue and camping in the summer. It’s the wine we have in the fridge and on the rack in the kitchen for when a friend drops by and needs a friendly ear. Nothing serious, just a good bottle we enjoy. Like a lot of people these days, I want convenience that’s also eco-friendly, but my primary reason for exploring alternative closures and vessels for wine is the cork itself. Harvested from cork trees grown in Portugal and then crafted into fitted closures for wine bottles, the cork contains living organisms that can go bad and “taint” the wine. It can happen as often as one in every 12 bottles. According to thekitchn.com, fungi which naturally reside in cork can come into contact with bleaches and other sterilization products found in wine cellars, tainting the wine and rendering it “corked.” Have you ever opened a bottle of wine that smelled and/or tasted like wet cardboard or gym socks? At home you might suffer through it and never purchase that wine again. At a restaurant you paid double,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

sometimes triple, the actual cost of the bottle and probably just decided you didn’t like the wine or simply chose the wrong bottle. But, no cork, no taint. This, of course, doesn’t apply to high-end premium wines, single-sourced or from small, highly acclaimed biodynamic vineyards. I’m talking about that bottle you pick up for under $15. If you’re headed to the beach, boat or backyard this month, you want something that tastes good, fits in a cooler, chills quickly, stays that way, and is easily disposed of and recycled. And since you can’t ask the waiter to bring you another bottle, it helps if it’s not tainted. Convenience, taste and an eco-friendly container can all be achieved from wine with a screw cap, in a can, keg or even a box. Studies show, and I have confirmed through years as a wine professional, that screw caps and Stelvin closures keep wine fresher longer, creating less waste. You might even want to avoid the bottle altogether. No glass on the beach or by the pool, and who wants to dig around for a wine tool? One can of wine is equivalent to a half bottle. Coolers are made for cans and, at the end of the day, cans are recycled at an 80 percent rate compared to 20 percent for glass. Let’s face it, wine can be snobby. A lot of people don’t even like to drink beer out of a can. To each his own. If nothing but a bottle with a cork will do, fine. But it is summer, so don’t be afraid to try something for fun that’s also convenient and friendly to the environment. Keep your snacks simple too. Easy wine and summer outdoor activities require cheese with great flavor but not too serious aging or washing. Snacking cheese, not thinking cheese. Try a great aged cheddar like Tickler from England with a bit of crunch from whey protein or a Southern classic like pimento cheese. All Southern cooks have their own recipe, usually a blend of cheddars, pimentos, Duke’s mayonnaise and maybe pickled jalapeños or olives. Easily shared and great with simple crackers or used as a dip with celery, pimento cheese is the perfect summer snack. Whatever you choose, it’s July, summer is here, keep it simple and easy. OH Angela Sanchez owns Southern Whey, a cheese-centric specialty food store in Southern Pines, with her husband, Chris Abbey. She was in the wine industry for 20 years and was lucky enough to travel the world drinking wine and eating cheese. July2018

O.Henry 49

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50 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Food for Thought

Pamlico Perfection There is no need for fancy cooking at the beach, especially when local shrimp are running

By Jane Lear

There is something freewheel-

ing about beach house cookery. All the familiar props, from tools to staple foods, are gone, and most folks happily make do with whatever they can find in a stranger’s kitchen cabinets and at the grocery store, seafood market and farm stand. Everything will taste delicious, after all, because most people who love the beach spend the entire The Art & Soul of Greensboro

day outdoors. Even if you do nothing more strenuous than laze under an umbrella with the latest page-turner, you somehow manage to work up an appetite.

That’s why I am only fussy about a couple of things. The first is tomatoes. More often than not, I’ve been disappointed by the selection at coastal Carolina farm stands; typically, the tomatoes are commercial hybrids and not very interesting or flavorful. I always hedge my bets, then, by bringing plenty of good ’uns with me — both backyard beefsteaks and heirlooms in varying shapes, sizes and degrees of ripeness. I bring lots of them, enough for a week’s worth of salads and the best sandwiches in the world. I pack them in low cardboard boxes and nestled in beach towels, stem-side up so their rounded July 2018

O.Henry 51

Food for Thought shoulders won’t get bruised. I’m also uncompromising about finding local wild-caught shrimp, one of my favorite beach eats. The brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) that are running now are sweet and fat. And whether you buy them from a seafood purveyor or roadside cooler, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their source. “Anyone selling shrimp should know who they purchased it from (if they didn’t catch it themselves) and should be able to provide some details (e.g., the name of the boat, the fish house, area of the coast, etc.) if it’s from North Carolina,” writes Scott Baker, fisheries specialist for the NC Sea Grant Extension Program. “The NC Catch organization has a directory for seafood retailers that provide local products.” NC Catch can be found online at nccatch.org. The last North Carolina shrimp I had were real beauts — just hours out of the hold of a boat working Pamlico Sound. This shallow lagoon separating much of the Outer Banks from the mainland is a remarkable body of water; it’s so broad and long that when explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano reached the coast in 1523, he thought he had reached the Pacific Ocean. My extended family that gathers at the beach expands or contracts depending on circumstances. What never changes, though, is a love of the

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52 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Food for Thought surf and a great reluctance to leave the beach in order to go make dinner. That means we all share kitchen duty — and no one ever complains about the fact that peel-your-own boiled shrimp is the default meal. Add corn on the cob and a platter of those tomatoes, and you have easily attainable perfection in no time flat. When it comes to cooking shrimp, I’m a big believer in protecting the physical integrity — thus the flavor and tender texture — of seafood. Unless I’m stuck with very large shrimp, I never fool with deveining. Why open up that thin, resilient armor and risk coarsening such delicate meat? To my mind, there’s no beating the succulence of headson shrimp, but lots of people prefer the convenience that comes with buying them heads-off. I also cook shrimp in the smallest amount of water I can get away with, covering them by just 2 inches or so. As far as the seasoning is concerned, I add a quartered lemon and enough sea salt to make cold tap water taste like the ocean. If you are a fan of a seafood boil blend such as Old Bay or Zatarain’s, toss some in as well, but use a light hand — you don’t want to overwhelm the clean, briny-sweet flavor of the shellfish. James Beard famously declared that “the unpardonable fault in preparing shrimp is overcooking,” therefore attention must be paid. After bringing the seasoned water to a boil, add the unpeeled shrimp and start timing from that moment. Depending on the size of the shrimp and how many pounds of them are in the pot, begin checking for doneness at about two minutes. Once the shrimp are a beautiful rosy-pink on the outside, opaque inside, and firm yet tender in texture (cut one open to check), immediately drain them in a colander. Spread newspapers over the table and eat the shrimp hot out of the shell, with melted butter (add garlic or a spritz of lemon if the spirit moves), or cooled, with a horseradishy cocktail sauce. A New Orleans-style rémoulade would be wonderful too, but I don’t know — all that mincing and measuring sounds like too much work at the beach. The adults in my crowd can easily put away at least three-quarters of a pound of shrimp per person. Any leftovers are tucked into the fridge for lunchtime shrimp rolls the next day. Peel the shrimp and cut them into chunks. Add some Duke’s mayo, a little Dijon mustard, shredded carrot, chopped scallion, and perhaps some chopped red bell pepper or celery for crunch. Serve in lightly toasted hot dog buns. Then slather on more sunscreen and go outside. The surf is waiting. OH



Digital Impression

No Temporary Crowns Same Day Crowns

CALL TOdAy TO SChEdULE yOUR AppOINTmENT (336) 282-2868 2511 Oakcrest Ave, Greensboro, NC 27408 www.gsodentist.com Like us on Facebook

Jane Lear was the senior articles editor at Gourmet and features director at Martha Stewart Living. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry 53

Everyday is a beautiful day at Dirty Dogs!


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Pick up your copy of

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

2119 Walker Ave.

345 S. Elm St.

5707 W. Friendly Ave

Natty Greene’s

NC Farmers Market (Colfax) Lox Stock & Bagel

Triad Stage

Mark Holder Jeweller

Across from Civil Rights Museum

Sister’s Jewelry

232 S. Elm St.

134 S. Elm St.

Smith Street Diner

438 Battleground Ave.

Corner of Elm & Bellemeade UPS/FED EX 102 N. Elm St.

Old Town Draught House 1205 Spring Garden St.

54 O.Henry

July 2018

Jams Deli

Across from the Carolina Theatre 315 S. Greene St.

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

Fish Bones

200 N. Davie St.

2439 Battleground Ave. 211 State St. 330 Tate St.

US Post Office 4615 High Point Rd. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 501 Yanceyville Street

K & W Cafeteria

3710 S. Holden Rd.

Zack’s Hot Dog’s

201 W. Davis St., Burlington

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Hit the Highway

True South

An ode to the road

By Susan S. Kelly

It’s a universal truth of sum-

Illustration by Meridith Martens

mer in North Carolina, when the beach and the mountains become our magnetic poles, that sooner or later you’re going to be traveling on Interstate 40. Or “Forty,” as its fans and its haters call it.

I’m a fan. You can have your backroads. How can a pastoral scene compare with the racetrack of 423.6 miles that (somewhat) horizontally slices the state? Every mile is pure entertainment. Sure, the “Bridge Ices Before Road” signs get boring, but the stuff people are hauling more than compensates. Where else but on I-40 in North Carolina can you find Christmas trees and golf carts and watermelons and boats? Plus, skis, surfboards, bicycles, kayaks, coolers, tobacco, cotton, horses, coonhound cages, Airstreams, and the requisite pickup or two hauling a chest, a mattress, a La-Z-Boy, and a fake tree, tarp a’ flappin’. It must be admitted that when I pass one of those silver-slatted semis, I strain to see if there are hogs inside, just before I avert my eyes and try not to think about their ultimate destination. Same for the vanilla-colored school bus whose sides read “Department of Prisons.” Don’t tell me you haven’t tried to peer into those windows crisscrossed with wire. I grew up with a father who always pointed out the guy with the rifle on his shoulder while inmates worked on the roadsides. Don’t see that much anymore, or those silvery mud flaps sporting silhouettes of naked ladies. Now the rigs are hot pink, for breast cancer. Progress. I’m not the slightest bit offended if a rig driver honks at me as I pass. If someone still finds my 63-year-old knees attractive, I ain’t complaining. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

How does a town get a name like Icard? I particularly like those lead drivers with flashing head and taillights that warn of “Wide Load.” What a cool job. Like Dorothy Parker, who famously said that she’d never been rich, but thought she’d “be darling at it,” so would I in one of those cars. Think of the books-on-tape you could finish. The amazing variety of stuff dangling from rearview mirrors — sunglasses, leis, air fresheners, Mardi Gras beads — all give a glimpse into a driver’s personality, like bumper stickers. (Question: How did so many Steelers fans wind up in North Carolina?) And while Virginia holds an unofficial record for vanity tags, I-40 is no slouch in that department, either. PRAZGOD. KNEEDEEP. IAMAJEDI. JETANGEL. Hair seems to be an ongoing tag topic: HAIRLOOM. NOHAIR. And this: SPDGTKT. Seriously, why not just call the cops instead of advertising? I do not understand convertibles on interstates. Do not fret yourself over aliens and vampires: If I-40 traffic is any indication, white pickup trucks are far more likely to take over the world. You can’t fail to notice, while the Athena cantaloupes you bought at the state farmers market are growing more and more fragrant in the backseat, that, let’s face it, the flowers and trees planted in medians around Raleigh are way more attractive than anywhere else in the state. Harrumph. Near Fayetteville, D.C. license tags get more numerous, just as around Asheville, the Tennessee tags multiply, and around Benson, the New Yorks and Floridas proliferate. Granted, I’d swap a few Bojangles and Cracker Barrel signs for South of the Border and Pedro puns on I-95, but that Mobile Chapel — a permanent trailer in the parking lot of a truck stop near Burlington — never fails to intrigue. As does Tucker Lake, a Johnston County curiosity with a fake beach and so kitted out with rope swings, slides, ski jumps, cables and random docks that you can scarcely see the water. Moreover, a stretch of I-40 around Greensboro has its own ghoulish nickname — “Death Valley” — for its unfortunate statistic of wrecks. And how about those cell towers disguised as pine trees? Come on. The “trees” are so spindly that they look like they belong, well, somewhere near the actual Death Valley. So much to see from mountains to coast. What you won’t see, though, is the sign where I-40 begins, in Wilmington, that reads “Barstow, California 2,554 miles.” It was stolen so often that the DOT got tired of replacing it. Meanwhile, if you happen to have a list of locations for the elusive Dairy Queens along I-40, please text me. Calories don’t count when you’re a friend of Forty. OH Susan Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and proud grandmother. July2018

O.Henry 55

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Little Brown Bird How I love Thee! In search of the rare grasshopper sparrow

By Susan Campbell

One of the rarest breeding birds

here in the Piedmont is the grasshopper sparrow. This diminutive, cryptically colored bird can only be found in very specific habitat: contiguous, large grassland. Such large fields are increasingly hard to find across our state these days. And even if you seek out the right habitat, seeing an individual, even a territorial male, is not very likely because they are so secretive and well camouflaged. But if you persist, you might hear one of them. Their voices are quite characteristic: a very high-pitched buzzy trill. It is the combination of their call and the typically grasshopper-rich areas in which they are found that gives them their name.

Nowadays these birds are only found in manmade grasslands. In the Sandhills, the only location where they breed is at the Moore County Airport. I have identified as many as 12 grasshopper sparrow territories between the runway and Airport Road. I suppose some birds may use what are called drop zones, areas targeted for paratrooper operations at Fort Bragg. However, these typically have a variety of plants — not ideal territory for these birds. Up around Greensboro, I hear that they can be found scattered among the agricultural fields along Baldwin Road. If you make the trip, also be on the lookout for a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

dickcissel, a fairly, large, yellowish sparrow-like individual that is even, an even rarer find. Grasshopper sparrows return from their wintering grounds in Mexico and the southeastern coastal plain of the United States by mid-March. Males spend much time singing from taller vegetation, often beginning their day well before dawn. They use short, low fluttering flight displays to impress potential females. Eggs are laid in cup-shaped nests in a slight depression, hidden by overhanging grasses, containing four or five creamy-colored eggs that are speckled reddish-brown. Habitat loss has certainly affected the small local populations of these birds, plus routine mowing of these fields usually destroys nests. But the birds stay and attempt to nest again. In shorter grass, their nests are easily detected by predators, such as foxes and raccoons. Therefore, breeding success tends to vary greatly from year to year in these types of locations. If the habitat remains unaltered from May through August, grasshopper sparrow pairs can produce two (and sometimes three) families in a year. But these birds are also vulnerable to the effects of pesticides. Although they do eat small seeds associated with the grasses that grow around them, they also rely upon significant numbers of insects, especially when they are feeding young. Grasshopper sparrows are surely not easy to observe in summer but, in winter, they are even harder to find. They mix in with other sparrows that frequent open spaces and seldom sing. But for those experienced birdwatchers who enjoy the challenge that comes with sorting through “little brown birds,� (like me!), their flat foreheads, large bills and buffy underparts are a welcome sight.t OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com. July2018

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July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Goodbye to a Grand Dame

Wandering Billy

Martial arts, musical memories, and a shout out to a local birthday girl

By Billy Eye

“If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.” —Master Po, Kung Fu

decade or so, the Empire and Regency Rooms have hosted an untold number of lavish wedding receptions and corporate events while one of the city’s nicer bars, Churchill’s, was neatly tucked away in a ground floor corner until they too were forced to vacate. I hate to see this remarkable landmark swept aside.


Designed in 1949 by the fabled New York architectural firm Voorhees, Walker, Foley & Smith, this was a more modern structure than was typical on South Elm, with glass balconies, crystal chandeliers, ornate floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a grand marble staircase, a true Grand Dame of southern architec-

Watching the TV series Kung Fu (1972–1975) the other night reminded me of a tiny sliver of my well-spent youth hanging out with Radames Pera in downtown L.A.[as per L.A. Times]’s underground music scene circa 1981. The night we met he talked about returning to L.A. after a few years studying acting under Stella Adler in New York. I was fascinated by that, even more so when he told me about how he’d portrayed Young Caine on Kung Fu, the “Snatch the pebble from my hand” kid with the shaved head. I don’t remember him having much more hair than that when we’d run into each other at the notorious punk club Brave Dog and numerous Sunday afternoon The.o.ret.i.cal parties. He was around 21-years-old then, smart guy, still is I imagine, seemingly as centered as his “Grasshopper” role but with an amazing backstory. After Kung Fu ended, he was cast as Mary Ingalls’s beau, John Jr., on Little House on the Prairie and would later play a key role in one of my fave action pics, Red Dawn in 1984. Radames left the business shortly after that, and I understand he lives comfortably with his wife and baby daughter in France now.

ture. At some point, this Ellis-Stone store became Thalhimers before closing in 1975; in the 1990s an antiques mall took over the spacious interior. For the last

To celebrate the 40th anniversary this month of Peaches Records & Tapes opening on High Point Road, I interviewed a number of former employees for another venue. There was one person who kept coming up in conversations. Universally loved at Peaches was Raymond Tucker, nephew to Jim Tucker who played Pecos Pete on The Old Rebel Show in the 1950s and ’60s. Jim informed me: “Bill Trotter — he passed away recently — was the classical buyer. One of the things he really prided himself on was that he had every single classical album from all of the major labels in stock,” Tucker recalls. “People would come from all up and down the East Coast just to shop there because they knew they could find what they were looking for.” Tucker remembers one eccentric customer in par-

I spent a lazy hour or so wandering around the

nearly empty Elm Street Center one Saturday, where everything was up for sale, including the fixtures, in anticipation of its impending demolition to make way for another new hotel downtown. I dimly recall my mom dragging me along when this was Ellis-Stone department store.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



O.Henry 59

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy ticular. “Every time he came in the store he always asked for one thing, if we had any albums by Gogi Grant. We’d go through the same routine.” Tucker recalls how he’d come in every three months and ask if they’d gotten anything by Gogi Grant. “And we had to take him to the Vocal section, to the Gs, show him there’s nothing there,” Tucker continues. “Then he’d ask if he could special order anything and we’d have to take him to this vast directory of everything in print and show him that, under Gogi Grant, the only thing still in print was one oldies 45 of ‘The Wayward Wind’.” Peaches’ Atlanta megastore was renowned for its Grauman’s Chinese Theatre–style entryway where Emerson Lake & Palmer, J. Geils Band, King Crimson, Gregg Allman, The Kinks, ZZ Top, KISS, and Paul McCartney scribbled their names with a stick before mashing hands into wet cement for posterity. Like the Atlanta branch, Greensboro had its own star-studded entryway where celebrities like Hank Williams Jr., L.T.D., Barbara Mandrell and The Brothers Johnson cemented their relationship with our local Peaches. Forced into bankruptcy in 1981, investors swooped in to purchase only the most profitable outlets scattered around the South and Southeast. An unfortunate result of that divestiture — the sidewalk of fame in front of the Atlanta franchise was “smashed to bits in a single afternoon” following a dispute over who owned it. The same likely happened to our own concrete autograph garden. Greensboro’s Peaches closed in early 2001.


Sending warm wishes and sweet sugar kisses to my new bestest friend, urban explorer, and most enchanting lunch companion Emery Isabella, celebrating her first birthday in July. ¿No es ella la más linda?. OH Billy Eye recently uncovered definitive proof that the Earth is indeed flat but, after accidentally catapulting over the edge, he hasn’t been heard from since and is presumed lost in space. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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July 2018

Summer Boy

The summer we were seventeen I watched you in the sun. Blond and blue Beside the pool Teasing girls you hardly knew. Jackknife off the high dive — Daring other golden guys. I watched. You didn’t see. Dark and dusky me. — Phillis Thompson

The Real

Patch Adams Life with a new puppy is nothing short of comedy By Cynthia Adams


Photograph by Mark Wagoner

omedian Robin Williams made Dr. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams famous when he portrayed the physician and social activist in a 1998 biopic. I met the good doctor in a Washington airport in 2006 as he departed on his trademark Gesundheit Global Outreach Clown Mission. Adams was impossible to miss in a sea of weary travelers; he sported a handlebar mustache, gray hair tucked into a pony tail, and a clown suit rather than scrubs, adopted in order to dispense laughter as the best medicine. When I tapped him on the shoulder of his lurid Hawaiian shirt to say hello, he grinned as if we were old pals, and in minutes it seemed we were. (An Adams meeting an Adams seemed hilarious to him.) Dr. Adams gave me his card, extolling the value of good humor for good health and urged me to take his laughter training course. So, I did, in June that same year. (My certificate is signed by the Cheerman of the Bored.) Another Patch Adams entered my life, but he looks nothing like the physician, even though he too is a born comedian and has curative powers. He has bottle-brush whiskers, a wonky, slap-happy gait, and is brown mostly except where he isn’t. He is funny without trying, but if he could talk, he would say he wasn’t born yesterday, yuck yuck — but he was born last year. This is the true story of the real Patch Adams. Patch Adams wasn’t funny right off the bat. He was wary. His brown eyes were wide; he twitched occasionally but was largely silent. He had just left his mama and family for the first and last time. There was a lot on his mind. Mostly, he kept to himself, close to his blanket and laid low. We cooed at him, took pictures, provided him with puppy pads (given

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the subzero weather) and plied him with holistic treats and kibble, carefully chosen for his optimal growth and good health. Perhaps we overplied him. Within hours of being in his new home (which we carefully introduced to him room by room, just as Cesar Milan has instructed in his books) the tiny pup was sick. He vomited. Then vomited again. The little guy kept being sick. By daybreak on a frigid Sunday, we zoomed off to the emergency vet. It was hovering around 6 degrees outside. They quarantined us in case he had parvovirus. They asked his name. (We had a list of possibilities. Patch Adams was on the list.) We tested the name, telling the vet staff the pup’s name was Patch Adams and this elicited laughter. Yet we didn’t feel like laughing. We texted the breeder, asking if any of his litter mates were sick, terrified Patch wouldn’t make it a full 24 hours in our care. In another hour, they had given him fluids and antibiotics. Chastened, we brought puppy home. No more holistic treats. He recovered within 24 hours. We abandoned Milan’s instructions and let him go wherever the hell he wanted, grateful that the puppy was still alive. The plucky little guy, now introduced to the scary world of medicine, was officially Patch Adams.

c “Puppies are adorable,” writes Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey’s “adorable puppies” article is spread in my lap while multitasking, reading, writing a draft and glancing at the Dog Days webcam, where 4-month-old Patch is spending the day at play in doggie day care. I’m a nervous wreck. And exhausted. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Our miniature schnauzer came to us on January 6. His predecessors in our household, Kip and Zoe, were also terriers and lived to be 16 years old. We had long forgotten how having a puppy around the house is a lot like having a newborn infant: the sleeplessness, feedings, check-ups, immunizations, and all- important potty training. Immunization figured largely into our lifestyle. Puppy could not go into public spaces until he had all his shots. Friends came over and brought gifts — toys, a portable water bottle and treats. Hubby and I begged off no matter the invitation. (I even skipped an invite to go backstage at the Bon Jovi concert in Charlotte. Don’t judge.) After three months, puppy had proper immunity, and hubby bought a day-care package at Dog Days so we could drop him off for socialization. The entirety of puppy’s first day, I checked the Dog Days webcam, jogging between cameras to be sure that the little guy — barely 6 pounds — could handle the manic pack of dogs that endlessly circled him as if they were skating at Rockefeller Center. I yearned for him to be bigger, faster. TEN POUNDS is the magic number. Hawks and other predators can easily grab up such a tiny pup. I willed him to become bigger. Speaking of magic, Patch is unnaturally cute. Of course, all puppies are adorable, like Oprah says. But from the day I took him in hand (literally, he fit in my palm—weighing 2.74 pounds) there was no denying this liver-and-tan colored mini-mite has something special. Forget yucky liver and think chocolate: Patch is the color of a melted Hershey’s bar with dabs of marshmallow cream. We weighed Patch each evening and recorded his data in my orange journal if I didn’t fall asleep while writing. We tag teamed between our bill-paying jobs and puppy training. (Actually, my husband does the training; I do back up, clean up and fretting.) Since that first week, puppy commanded our complete attention as the natural world commanded his. At one point, hubby shoveled 9 inches of snow in order to make a path that would not swallow Patch, who liked snow. Puppy had a snow rapture, eating it, burying his face in it and digging his way to Mongolia. The weather was Biblical. Soon after snow came a deluge. The first three months brought 31 days of rain and relentless cold. Patch didn’t mind. He humored our following him around, umbrella in hand, as he meandered in the yard seeking the perfect spot to pee, unhurried by sideways rain and stinging winds. He studied each tree root and base as if the secrets of the universe were encrypted there. He sniffed and inspected moss, weed and ivy as if he were a botanist and had the fullness of time. Of course, he has time; he is brand-new and the world is his. In desperation, hubby spent $75 on a party tent, which he erected smack at the back door at the end of a puppy ramp he has built for tiny Patch. Our winter fitness ratcheted up, as we logged 10,000 steps searching out perfect pee spots. We strived to convince puppy, a born skeptic, that the perfect pee spot lay directly underneath the tent. Hubby bought weights and tie-lines to secure the tent during a ceaseless onslaught of storms. One fine day, Patch attempted the dog door, although he wasn’t large enough to push his way through the flap. We stood on either side, brandishing treats and encouragements. “You can do it!” we said helpfully, my voice unnaturally high, cheering him. When puppy mastered his first re-entry via the dog door, we were ecstatic in full-on Snoopy Happy Dance mode. We grabbed up Patch and inhaled his essence.

Speaking of essence: Patch’s breath smells of puppy: sweet, grassy, delicious. Patch’s favorite discoveries are rocks as large as he is, sticks, pine cones, organic matter such as wads of grass and weed. And, not to overlook this, puppy is enchanted by any paper product. He eats, licks or chews everything in sight, including my hair and face. His favorite squeaky toy is hot lips, a ridiculous looking rubber Mick Jagger 40-Licks imitator.



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c On his second stay at Dog Days, I logged on to the webcam while writing an academic piece. Patch was hard to spot at first because he was literally inching along the wall in shadows, trying to make himself invisible. This again summoned childhood experiences at the roller rink. My heart thrummed. It took all the strength I could muster to not leave my desk and race over to rescue him from a frisky black Lab that could have eaten Patch for a snack. Unnerved by the Lab, Patch backed himself into a corner, clearly looking for a human to rescue him He hugged the wall until forgetting his momentary panic, darted directly underneath another very large breed, appreciatively stopping to inhale the dog’s hindquarters. I mumbled, Oh NO! Patch treated the larger dog like a fragrant overpass and yet — luckily — nobody died. By this time my mind was so far from my writing it was hopeless to pick up the threads of the draft. I called hubby. Did you see that??? He had. I turned off the webcam, calmed myself and looked at other dogs on Pinterest. Is Patch as cute as I think he is? Yes. Then I scanned the Internet for puppy training videos. I am particularly fond of a schnauzer named Chumpie. And another owned by an English couple who proudly videoed the mini-schnauzer, roughly Patch’s age. On her homecoming, the triumphant new mom announced the wee pup’s name was Peggy. This struck me as a name for a grandma with a fondness for the accordion. The couple also announced their plans for Peggy’s training, installing her in a crate downstairs, leaving the tiny creature utterly alone her first night. Peggy whined softly, then the whine bloomed into a gutting wail. The young husband cried, too, saying, “Help!” Peggy had “made sick” three times inside the crate. Oh, familiar territory, this.

c During a March 12th snowstorm, the party tent collapsed as I worked out of town. Hubby dejectedly told me the tent was toast. The tent kept our sanity. We played “Taps” for it as it was stuffed into the garbage can. We were invited to a dinner party. I texted the unflappable hostess that we would not be able to stay long. “Bring puppy!” she texted back. I was not in my right mind. I elected to take puppy to a grown-up dinner party. The entire time, I strained to see where puppy was and cringed at the thought that he would break with his much-touted training and have an accident. Patch managed nonchalance. We did not.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

We are a nation of dog lovers. Most homes have a pet (68 percent). In case you ever wondered, Arkansas has the highest percentage of dog owners (47.9 percent) and Illinois has the fewest (32.1 percent) This year’s Wes Anderson film, Isle of Dogs, was a runaway hit. The Isle of Dogs Facebook page had, at my last count,167,828 likes and 170,534 people following it. I watched the trailers more than once and put the movie onto my Netflix queue.

him up again, giving him a cuddle. Patch, being no fool, licks her appreciatively, showering her with kisses. Nearly every time I log on, which is approximately every half hour, someone has him in arms, stroking him. Charisma, I think. DNA cannot be tested for that.


My sister-in-law Mary (who lives in the dog-loving state of Arkansas, by the way) also has a mini-schnauzer, which my brother, John, named Leroy. Leroy is two months older than Patch. He has been losing his deciduous, or baby teeth. Mary phones to discuss this. When Patch began losing his, we collected them, tiny calcified shards. He crunched on them, like popcorn seeds, as he teethed. Does the tooth fairy visit puppies?

We started taking Patch out in public and noticed how different it was to take a walk with a puppy. People literally began smiling 20 paces away. Patch, now sturdier and thoroughly immunized against all the scariest diseases, walked with us in Latham Park on our usual route. Except nothing is usual any longer. Patch has charisma, according to my brother Kevin. This must be what it is like to be born with charisma: strangers smile beatifically. They speak lovingly. They wish to stroke your perfect coat. “He looks just like a plush toy come to life,” gushed a perfect stranger last Sunday afternoon. “Like Pinocchio!” blurted her walking buddy. Pinocchio? “I don’t know!” she blathered, staring at Patch. “He’s just so adorable.” We knew. “What is he?” was the next question. We thought we knew. The breeder said he was purebred schnauzer, but we had niggling doubts. Could chocolate-brown Patch be a Yorkie? “I didn’t think we were getting a Yorkie,” hubby worried. He sought Dr. Janine Oliver’s opinion. “Patch sure is small and has such a little nose. And he’s brown . . . ” the good doctor says, leaving any doubts to bloom in the air over our squirming, albeit charismatic, puppy of uncertain pedigree. “There are DNA tests,” Oliver replied. “That’s one way to be sure.”

c Unbeknownst to me, hubby ordered Wisdom Panel’s DNA test. He took a smear of saliva from Patch and sent it away to a lab. When he told me, I asked whether he would he feel differently if Patch weren’t a mini-schnauzer? Hubby said he just wanted to know. As we waited for the DNA verdict we read training books, watched dog programs and compared Patch to every mini-schnauzer we encountered. Out and about, strangers stopped to stroke his gleaming coat: “So cute, but what is he?” We had jokey replies. Puppy was a muggle. A hamster. A schnauzer. Eyebrows shot up.

c I’m back at the webcam. Patch is in day care again. This is important for his socialization. The training books stress this. A kind woman in a hoodie picks him up and carries him around. He lies down near a friendly looking golden doodle, and then hoodie-wearing woman scoops The Art & Soul of Greensboro


c At our front door is a concrete statue of a mini-schnauzer bought eons ago in Southport. It has grown green with age and bears Kip and Zoe’s dog tags. When the last of the two pets died, I wrote a piece about it and sent it to O.Henry’s senior editor at the time, David Bailey. He called me. “We cannot publish this,” Bailey intoned. “It is so dark. Everybody would want to kill themselves. But I hope writing it was therapeutic for you.” It wasn’t. Now I felt even more depressed. Still deep into mortality matters, I asked family what things they might want as we updated our will. After radio silence, my Arkansas niece replied by email. She wanted the concrete dog statue.

c The DNA report confirmed that Patch is as the breeder said. Patch is now 11.58 pounds of pedigreed schnauzer and has begun developing a personality as the vet predicted. Patch is perceptive, affectionate and joyful. He is loyal. Pick a superlative. Pedigreed or not, we couldn’t have found a better friend. Patch’s puppyhood will evaporate, a fact both anticipated and dreaded. On my desk is an item torn from the December 2017 Tatler concerning pet burials. It reminds me of one of my favorite epigrams, penned by Alexander Pope: “I am his highness’s dog at Kew;/Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?” There are stories of Lord Byron’s dog Boatswain and his fine tomb. Accounts of the Queen’s private graveyards at Balmoral and Sandringham where the royal corgis rest. The article posits the million-dollar question: “will our animals go to heaven?” The Reverend Professor Andrew Linzy of Oxford, who specializes in graveside memorials, answers thusly: “Animals will be in heaven. They’re not sinful, faithless or violent in the same way human beings are, therefore there’s no bar to redemption.” I second the writer Charlie Gilmour’s succinct end: “Amen to that.” OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry. She is shopping for a miniature Hawaiian shirt for Patch, just in case anyone should spot one.

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Rescue Me Lessons of fostering dogs in need of a home

By Ross Howell Jr. • Photographs by Mark Wagoner

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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he sisters — Laurel and Claire Holland — are teenagers now, but back when my wife, Mary Leigh, and I agreed to foster a dog for two weeks named “Fisher Park Sam” for two weeks, they were girls. On the evening I rounded the corner of Isabel Street with the new foster — a big brown inscrutable pit-bull mix — the two girls were playing in their front yard. Laurel — the older and taller one — is chatty, and trotted from the yard to the sidewalk at our approach. “How old’s your dog?” she asked. “We don’t know,” I answered, pulling Fisher Park Sam to a stop. “The vet thinks maybe he’s 5.” By then Claire, the younger sister, had joined us on the sidewalk. Claire’s the quieter of the two, more pensive. The dog stood about as high as her chin. She studied him carefully. Laurel — not especially satisfied with my first response — asked another question. “What kinda dog is he?” “We don’t know that, either,” I answered. “He’s a rescue dog.” Claire was pondering this answer with great gravity. Then her face brightened. She looked up, placing a hand on her hip. “Well,” she said. “Has he rescued anybody yet?” Fisher Park Sam was our second try at fostering a rescue. The first had come and gone not long before — a young male dog named Patches. There are breed-specific rescue organizations networking throughout the country, and Patches came to us through an English cocker spaniel rescue group. His owner in Durham had become nearly immobile from the onset of a progressive illness, and could no longer provide the dog’s care. Patches was handsome, remarkably like a dog I’d owned years before. He was bright, eager, well-behaved and neutered. He had everything going for him — the kind of foster that quickly finds a permanent home. And he did. In a matter of days. A work colleague of mine and his partner wanted him. Mary Leigh and I knew they’d provide a wonderful home. But I’d let myself grow so attached to Patches I couldn’t even be at our house the evening he was picked up. I left Mary Leigh in charge of the transfer, and drove around Greensboro for an hour, sobbing like a boy. It was a hard lesson. If you don’t give up a foster dog, then you can’t help another. Enter Fisher Park Sam. I’d seen him collarless a couple of evenings in the dead cold of February as I walked our full-time English cocker, Pinot, in Fisher Park. He’d wag his tail and sniff Pinot, but whenever I tried to put a hand on him, he’d vanish into the night. We learned a neighbor had brought him in off the streets that spring. He was gaunt, just half the body weight he carries today. He had heartworms. He was intact, so he’d have to be neutered. Another neighbor, Sally Atwood, along with others, had started a fund in the name of “Fisher Park Sam” at North Elm Animal Hospital. Dr. Anne Mitchell was providing his care. “Any veterinarian is going to help with stray or homeless pets,” says Mitchell. “While Sam had a fund, vets also provide pro bono services when they can.” What brought Mary Leigh and me into Fisher Park Sam’s life was a more immediate problem. The neighbor who’d rescued him in the spring lived in a small apartment and had a large dog of his own. It was just too much to manage. So we agreed to foster him for two weeks, so other arrangements could be

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made. Frankly, we were concerned about bringing a big, strange dog into the house with our 25-pound cocker. Fisher Park Sam was scary. Silent. His eyes were blank from pain and sickness. There were broad scars on his muzzle, neck and shoulders. His coat was thin and dull. Sometimes when I walked him I’d see people cross the street ahead so they wouldn’t have to pass him on the sidewalk. He was inscrutable as Buddha. But — we discovered — just as wise. Nothing bothered him. Not Pinot lording it over him in her small dog diva way, jealously guarding her toys, scrambling into his bed from her own just as he was about to lie down. He’d raise his head and look at me in silence, waiting for me to correct the situation. I’d put Pinot in her bed and he’d curl up in his own. No one would adopt him, as is the case for many dark-colored dogs. So we adopted Sam, and he began his new life as nanny dog. We received another call from the English cocker rescue. This was for an older dog named Buddy that had been abandoned by his family. They’d just packed up their house and moved, leaving him on the spot. We were told he had digestive issues. When we picked him up in Hickory, his stomach was badly bloated. He was so depressed and sick he wouldn’t make eye contact. He had given up. On the trip from Hickory he farted so often and with so much fragrance we had to keep the car windows rolled down in spite of the heat. None of this bothered Sam, his backseat companion for the trip. In time we got Buddy relatively healthy. He turned out to be a clown, doing what we called his “happy dance” whenever it was mealtime. In spite of his fear of cameras, we were able to get some pictures. Buddy hit the adoption lottery. He was nearly the twin of a dog a man and wife living in southern Ohio had recently lost to old age. Mary Leigh and I were misty-eyed as Buddy climbed into the couple’s van, already outfitted with a plush new dog bed and plenty of treats and water. They sent us photos periodically of his final years napping at home in his personal leather recliner or in his bed at his owner’s office. Next was Cher, a red miniature dachshund rescued with her brother Sonny from a puppy mill in South Carolina. Her brother was so ill he died. But Cher was about as full of life and attitude as a dog gets. She immediately fixed on Sam. Wherever he might venture, Cher was sure to follow. This was especially helpful in training her to walk on lead. As far as we could tell, she had never been out of a cage. The first time I put her on the sidewalk, she face planted when she stepped off the curb. She could chew through a harness more quickly than Houdini could pick a lock, escaping from Sam and me three times. And she ate a portion of the back seat of my old Volvo while I was in the bank depositing a check. While Sam watched, of course. But Cher found a home with a dachshund-lover outside Philadelphia, an elderly lady who already had dachshunds at home and wanted another. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Through Cher we learned about a kind of Underground Railroad for dogs — a system of vehicles driven by volunteers who ferry animals place-to-place. Some volunteers spend their whole weekends in this service. We drove Cher to a Holiday Inn just north of the Virginia line on I-85. From there she was driven to Arlington, Virginia. There she changed cars for Baltimore. Finally, with a different driver, she was delivered to Philly. Next we fostered Sansa, a magnificent, honey-colored female pit-bull mix with white markings and pale green eyes. She was remarkably intelligent, but so headstrong and full of energy she was tossed out of obedience classes twice. I was never able to get her to walk without tugging. Sam and I were never fitter, walking mile upon mile to try to wear her down. Sansa found a home in New Hampshire with a woman who had a police officer friend who trained canines. Sansa’s new owner made the 11-hour drive each way to Greensboro over a weekend with a friend. When last we heard, Sansa was an inseparable companion to the woman’s cats, a vigilant guard against neighborhood black bears, and the absolute star of her obedience school. Next came Sophie, a brindle 8-week-old pit bull we kept for a weekend. She completely terrorized Sam during her brief stay. He ran from her on every occasion, inside the house or out. It was clear Sam didn’t do puppies. Then there was Elly Mae, a blue pit bull with white markings. She believed sandy beaches had been created just for her. She dug holes. She dug canals. She dug so deep she’d lie sideways in the hole and dig laterally. She dug until she’d nearly covered Sam with sand as he sat stoically by, watching pelicans ride the wind. Next was Greta, a white propane tank of a dog, with big, ink-black spots here and there. As with Sam, we’d agreed to foster her for two weeks. But her circumstances were quite different. Greta had already found her forever home, if we could help her recover from a snakebite just under her right eye. That side of her face was a grotesque mask, swollen half again as large as the left side, with a thick scab about the size of a silver dollar on her cheek. Sweet and stalwart, young Greta was good about her medications and recovered quickly. Though she’ll always have a scar from the abscess on her cheek, the swelling in her face had nearly disappeared when she left us for her new life. And last there’s Lucy, a nearly deaf 10-year-old American cocker. She looks like Lady in the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp. Only she has more spots. Lucy came to us by way of fellow writer Maria Johnson, who — along with other neighbors — had been providing food and care for her after her owner essentially abandoned her. Lucy follows me everywhere. Sometimes when I’m working outside she puts her little paws up in a window and gazes longingly. You’d think I’m the scientist who’ll one day discover the cure for cancer or the diplomat who’ll formalize the agreement for a de-nuclearized Korean Peninsula. Most of us have had our share of disappointment and loss. Maybe that’s why I like working with dogs, dogs whose options have nearly run out, whose prospects are anything but bright, dogs who’ve forgotten what kindness is if they’ve ever known kindness at all. It’s not easy to help dogs. Sometimes you fail. And sometimes there’s Sam. His two-week stay has stretched to seven years. I’ve written essays about him. I’ve used him as the inspiration for a character in a novel. When years ago my little neighbor Claire asked me if Sam had rescued anybody, I didn’t have an answer. Now I do. Sam was rescuing me. OH

In case you’re interested in helping dogs or other animals, here are some local groups you may not have heard about: All Pets Considered manager Alison Schwartz is the Greensboro contact for the Almost Home Dachshund Rescue Society, a nationwide organization of volunteers that seeks to rescue abandoned, abused, neglected and unwanted dachsunds and dachshund mixes, provide necessary veterinary and behavioral care for them, and place them in homes where they will be a perfect fit. Info: allpetsconsidered.com. The Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation (AARF) was organized in 1995 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to provide safe, loving, and appropriate homes for homeless cats and dogs. With its house at 311 Harvey St. in Winston-Salem, AARF is supported by a volunteer board of directors and dozens of volunteers who work tirelessly to implement the mission of the organization. Info: aarfanimals.org. The heart of the Merit Pit Bull Foundation is the rescue, fostering, and permanent placement of pit bull type dogs abandoned, neglected, abused, or surrendered by their owners in North Carolina. The foundation promotes education about the breed to the general public, media, and lawmakers; teaches responsible dog ownership; and supports community action for the benefit and welfare of pit bull type dogs. Info: meritpitbullfoundation.com With two employees and dedicated foster families and volunteers in Guilford, Forsyth, and Rockingham counties, the Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network is a 501(c)(3) public charity providing rehabilitation, fostering, and adoption for animals of all sizes. Offices are located at 5803 Bur Mil Club Road. Over the years Red Dog Farm has helped more than 1,700 animals find forever homes. Info: reddogfarm.com. Triad Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. (TGRR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, humane treatment, and placement of homeless golden retrievers, and to the education of the public about the breed. Foster homes are always needed. TGRR works with other regional rescue groups to arrange long-distance adoptions when necessary. Info: www.tgrr. The Humane Society of the Piedmont, located in Greensboro, was founded in 1953. A non-profit organization dedicated to reducing petoverpopulation, its largest program is the Planned Pethood Spay, Neuter and Wellness Clinic. The society also offers a SPOT Mobile Clinic, as well as FURRY FRIENDS financial assistance to owners who need help providing food or veterinary care for their pets. Info: hspiedmont.org The SPCA of the Triad has been caring for neglected, abandoned, and injured animals for 22 years. Currently located at 3163 Hines Chapel Road, the SPCA is currently raising money to build a new, larger facility. By providing shelter, food, medical services, spay and neuter, safety, caring, and adoption services, SPCA staff and volunteers help transform frightened animals into trusting, loving companions. Info: spca.org.

Ross Howell Jr. and Sam are enjoying their walks with Lucy. Given their ages, they don’t walk very far. And not very fast. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

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Top Dog By Maria Johnson


n the world of big-time dog shows, handler Chris Manelopoulos is a stud. He’s comparable to legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert, except Manelopoulos is trainer and jockey in one. He tutors purebred canines from around the world at his Tarquin Kennels in Alamance County, then he trots his coldnosed champions around the most storied rings in dogdom: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the AKC National Championship, the World Dog Show and dozens of smaller contests. In recent years, he has handled an outstanding Afghan Hound and several Russell Terriers (commonly known as Jack Russells), but poodles are his specialty. His most decorated student, a white standard poodle named Remy, won 63 Best-in-Show titles during her short career in 2007–08. Twice, she pranced away from Westminster with a blue ribbon in the nonsporting group. Twice, she clenched the national title from the Poodle Club of America. Her victories boosted Manelopoulos’s profile, which has grown stronger since. To date, his charges have sunk their teeth into four national poodle club titles, tying him with two other handlers. At age 46, he’s likely to smash the record and become the top poodle guru ever. “In handler years, I’m coming into my prime,” says Manelopoulos, a native Aussie with a hearty laugh. “Many of the top handlers are between 45 and 60. It’s a little bit like horse training where experience and reputation mean a lot, especially to the more premier or elite clients. It takes time to get to that point.”

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World famous poodle handler Chris Manelopoulos, of Alamance County, dishes on how he gets blue-ribbon performances out of his show dogs

Manelopoulos and his wife Rachel Corbin, also a trainer and handler, moved from the West Coast to the Raleigh area in 2000. For eight years, they lived in Greensboro, where they rented part of the Nanhall kennel, before settling in rural Haw River. Recently, we sat down for a tongue wagging on Manelopoulos’s porch; in the background, big-haired show poodles frolicked and yapped in their runs; beside the home’s front door stood two fabric-over-wire poodles. They were made as Christmas decorations, but here, they stay up all year. How did you become a poodle handler? I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and my parents had toy poodles. They showed them a little, and I lived across the street from a park where there was a big obedience school. I used to go watch the dogs, which led to me going to obedience trials, which led to going to dog shows. As a teenager, I started showing dogs for a very famous all-breeds judge in Australia. She asked me if I would be interested in coming over to America for six months to learn about dog shows. That was 27 years ago. Did you have a breakthrough show or dog? I had a miniature named Nina. She won a (Poodle Club of America) national, and that got people to notice me. That was in 2000. Then, in 2003, I got a bitch from Australia . . . Wait, do you correct you yourself a lot when you are talking about bitches to nondog show people? Yes, because in magazines, they don’t like you to say “bitch.” But in 2003, I got a bitch, a black standard poodle from Australia named Tasha, and she was the top nonsporting dog, so that was my second national. She won The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Westminster and all those top awards. Remy was the next one. She’s still, to this day, my top-winning dog. What makes a dog special? There are a lot of things. Being really good in structural quality, the physical part, is the first part. Each breed has a breed standard that the judges go by. There are several good dogs out there, but what makes a dog a really top one is having that “it” factor, just as in acting or modeling, that kind of thing. It’s like I say to people all of the time: You can see two women walking down the street and one may not be quite as physically attractive as another one, but they way they carry themselves, their attitude, can definitely make a difference. Some dogs just have it. Do they know it? Yes. The top show dogs love the attention. They love going to dog shows, they love the performance part of it. They love the clapping of the crowds and they react to that. Many of the top show dogs — if we go to a small show, they don’t show as well because there aren’t as many people, and the dogs really seem to pick up on it. Can I put you on the spot and ask if you’re the same way? Yeah, I am. When I go to a small 500-dog show in Lumberton, N.C., it’s a little hard to get as excited as I would walking on the floor of Madison Square Garden in New York, but as a professional you have to put forward the same amount of effort. Tell me about the role of handler. A lot of people don’t understand the role of handler. Yes, it’s to guide the dog around the ring and have it show, but there’s a lot more to it than that. You have to be very aware of your surroundings and your situation and things that might distract your dog. You have to be in tune with your dog to get the best performance out of her. When they’re happy, they show better. They look better. So it’s not just about a constant stream of treats, which I’ve noticed the handlers keep giving. Yes, because sometimes that’s distracting to constantly be feeding them. It’s about encouraging them to be confident in themselves. Some days, they have a bad day. Some days, they don’t feel like it. Some days, they’re tired or they slept wrong, and they’re sore or whatever. They don’t always show the same every day. It’s picking up on those things. There’s a lot of mental work that goes on with the dogs. How would you buck up a poodle that was not having a good day? A lot of it is the way you talk with them, your mannerisms. You have to be calm and purposeful and deliberate in what you do and encourage the dogs to be the same. Being frantic and panicking doesn’t really work. The dogs need consistency, steadiness and encouragement. And they can tell? Yes, dogs react more to the tone than the actual words. The words are not that important. People are the same way. You can have very serious conversations with people, but if you have it in the right way, people react much better than they do of you are yelling and screaming. Dogs are exactly the same. How might you talk to a dog? I talk to them almost constantly when we’re in the ring, primarily to encourage them and to keep them focused on me. I’m quiet and subtle, but I talk a lot in the ring. Give me a clip of what you might say in the ring? Oh, if they’re excited I’ll say, “Just be easy. Don’t go too fast.” If they’re a little slow, I’ll say, “C’mon, let’s go! Let’s go!” These are not things you’re going to hear. I’m only a foot or two away from the dogs, so I don’t have to be loud. A lot of the time, I tell them to watch the judge. And they’ll do that? Yeah, I’ll practice with them in the ring, and I’ll have someone pretend to be the judge and feed them. So often they think the judge might give them a little treat so they focus. There’s a lot of training to do things like that The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Is it true that poodles are the most intelligent dogs? Oh, I think they absolutely are. They’re extremely easy to train. They’re very social. They require more mental stimulation than physical stimulation. The number one thing a poodle wants to do is make you happy. That’s not true with all dogs. Let me ask you about the classic poodle haircut, the pompom bracelets and the big hair and ears, and the puffy tail and jacket. Where did that come from? Originally poodles were hunting dogs so people would take them in small boats or around water to retrieve ducks. People think it’s a French breed, but it’s not. It’s a German breed. They have a water repellant coat and they don’t shed, so they constantly grow hair all over their bodies. The hunters found they could shave the dogs so water could drain away, and they’d dry quickly. They left the jacket because in Germany the water was cold, and they wanted hair around the heart and lungs to keep the internal organs warm. They would shave the legs from the elbow to about the pastern, or the knee, and that was so the water would drain away from the chest quickly. What about the pom-poms? They left the pom-poms on the front legs so when they ran through brush, it wouldn’t cut their knees. They would shave the feet so they would not pick up mud and dirt. They left the pompoms on the hips to protect the hips and kidneys in the cold water. They shaved the back legs so the water would drain away quickly, but they left the hair to protect the hock joints in the brush. They say the only reason they left the hair on the tail is so when they were swimming in the water, or running in the brush, they could see the tip of the tail. Obviously that trim has become very stylized, but the basis for it is a tradition hunters did 200 years ago. So when then they started showing poodles, they wrote the breed standard to say they had to be shown in this hunting trim. It’s called the Continental trim today. Are poodles still used as hunting dogs? Yes, many people hunt with their poodles. I think on Duck Dynasty they hunt with a poodle. But they don’t trim them like that. In fact, I will give you $1,000 if you can convince one of the Duck Dynasty guys to hunt with a poodle in a Continental trim. Honestly, I’ve never watched Duck Dynasty. Did you see the movie Best in Show? Yes! They used three standard poodles as stand-ins for the one standard poodle. One of them was one of my poodles. When I was in Seattle, they filmed the movie in Vancouver. For two weeks they needed poodles for the shoot. One of them was one of mine, named Gina. Did you think the movie was funny? Oh yeah, I love that movie. Some dog-show people hate it because they’re like, “Oh, it characterizes the dog-show world.” And I’m like, “But it’s a fairly accurate portrayal.” It’s a little extreme, but there’s a lot of truth in it. What’s you’re next big show? We’re going to the World Dog Show in Amsterdam in August. I’ll have two dogs there, Brie and Venus. Brie will go to the AKC show in December. I don’t know about Westminster. If we don’t take Brie to Westminster (in February), we’ll take Venus. The world show is different in that the biggest American show is five and a half thousand dogs. The World Dog Show attracts over 20,000 dogs. That’s a lot of bitches, Chris. Exactly! OH July 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Story of Doghouses

Best In Show(place) Take a stroll down Woof Lane on the property of AA Stables off Groometown Road and you can’t miss it: a miniature copy of the horse barn on the hill just above, with its own landscaping. “Dale and I talked about doing a fundraiser,” says Aryn Schloemer, the stables’ owner, referring to her best friend Dale Jennings, whose family has owned and operated Bicycle Toy and Hobby in High Point since 1927. Raise the Woof provided them with a ripe opportunity. “We’re super competitive. It was winter . . . and we were bored,” Schloemer says. They would find out just how competitive, though, when they set about collaborating on the project. “This is Dale’s design,” she says laughing, as she produces a crude pencil drawing square with a triangle on top and a single arched doorway. Then she reveals her mother Myra’s design, which would become their blueprint. It contained a front door with a porch, a side doggie door, dormers and a silo. Jennings would build — and build, and build, as the level of detail ratcheted up. His simple arch for a doggie door gave way to sliding-track double doors. And a house has to have windows, too. “Mom does stained glass,” Schloemer explains, “so we made her put one in.” And why not some LED lighting and a solar panel? Schloemer’s father-in-law, an engineer stepped in to help. “There were intense moments, because we’re all very aggressive,” Schloemer admits. The silo would double as a chute for the dog food to slide down right into a bowl. And the interior of the house seemed plain, so Schloemer enlisted the help of an artist friend to paint a mural — of dogs, dontcha know. But the real test, not only of craftsmanship but also of friendship, was the little front porch with the slate foundation. “That porch was the undoing of us,” Schloemer recalls. “It was ridiculous!” Jennings chimes in. And it was about the only thing the two friends seem to agree on, as a bemused Robin Lindsay confirms. “They were bickering with each other the whole time,” she laughs, remembering their setting up on the day of the Raise the Woof fundraiser. But pain usually produces great art, and on that day in February, AA Stables and Bicycle Toy and Hobby took home the firstplace prize of Best In Show. Which means Dale Jennings is no longer in the doghouse.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Better Hounds and Gardens Fanciful doghouses fund worthy causes across the Triad By Nancy Oakley • Photographs by Amy Freeman


ike most good ideas, it all started with a casual conversation. John Grein, a professional dog trainer who trains and handles police dogs for High Point Canine Solutions, was chatting with Robin Lindsay, a volunteer with Davidson County Animal Alliance. The two had gotten to know one another two years ago after Lindsay had sought Grein’s help with a German Shepherd rescue that was showing aggressive behavior. “I do a fundraiser every year in May for the High Point and Archdale police departments’ retired K-9 units,” Grein explains. A retired builder, he remembered another fundraiser from 20 years ago, “where we built playhouses for the community, and I challenged other builders to build them.” And then came the light-bulb moment: “‘We should do doghouses.’” Under the handle, “Raise the Woof,” the two friends formed a board that included Lindsay’s cohort in animal rescue, Allyson Little, along with Mary Souder Hites. They put the word out last winter (typically a slow period for builders), with a goal of auctioning off 30 custom-built doghouses to benefit four charities. “We wanted to help two children’s organizations and two animal organizations,” Lindsay says. They chose to support Backpack Beginnings, which combats food insecurity among children; GOFAR (Go Out For A Run), a nonprofit that Lindsay founded to address childhood obesity; the High Point Retired K-9 Heath Fund, which helps with medical care costs for retired police dogs (many of which have sustained aches and pains and injuries in the line of duty); and Davidson County Animal Alliance, which rescues neglected and abused animals, and champions spaying and neutering. Teaming up with High Point University and High Point Canine Solutions, the crew secured a date in late February for the fundraiser. They invited several vendors, some hawking food and jewelry, others, such as Break the Chain and Camp Bow Wow, advancing dog-related services to gather in The High Point University Community Center in the former Oak Hollow Mall. The appointed day arrived . . . and far exceeded anyone’s expectations. Some 60 doghouses started pouring into the Community Center. “I was amazed at the craftsmanship!” says Lindsay. “The detail!” The structures included everything from a Snoopy Red Baron doghouse to a Boeing jet. Thomas Built buses fashioned a house from the grill on the front of one of its buses and a replica of one of its early trolley cars. On behalf of the High Point Police Department, David Saintsing of Royal Remodeling in Thomasville created a Swiss chalet with a long, low-slung shingled roof. “Price nursery had flowers on top of theirs. It was out of this world!” Lindsay recalls. Orrell’s Food Service recreated one of its tractor trailers with a slight name change in its logo, “Orrell’s Woof Service,” taking a couple of food bowls along for the ride. Prizes awarded for Best In Show, Most Unique and Funniest, the last of which went to a camper (an “aarf V”?) that was ultimately shipped to some dog-lovers in Florida. “We estimated we had 400 to 500 people come throughout the day,” says Grein. “We sold all 60 houses and grossed right around $20,000.” All of it went “right back into the nonprofits,” he says. Grein credits Lindsay, Allyson Little and Souder Hites as the driving forces behind the event. “We had such a good feedback and response that we have been asked to do it again next year in February and include cat houses and bird houses,” he says. An event that will be worth Tweeting about, no question (for forthcoming information, go to raisethewooffundraiser.weebly.com). In the meantime, this year’s entries, scattered hither and yon, are enjoying a second life as homes to pooches in need of shelter, as objets d’art for dog-lovers, or curiosities that give one . . . paws. July 2018

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House of Tudor “Jeff does this to me all the time; I figured I could do it to him,” Joan March jokes when recalling how she started bidding on doghouses at Raise the Woof, which she attended without the company of her husband. “I ended up with five!” she laughs. She gave away four of the houses and keeps this elaborate Tudor-style manse in the barn behind the family business, March Motors, in Lexington. Easily over 5 feet tall, the confection constructed by Home Depot bears the intricate, interlacing timbers characteristic of Tudor style, wrought-iron door hinges and blue curtains. All told, it contains about $2,500 worth of building materials. Fit for a king, or Queen Elizabeth’s royal corgis, at least, the house would make a great, if overthe-top crate for the latest addition to the March family: a 9-monthold Samoyed named Willow. “I’ve always loved the breed,” says Jeff March, who acquired his first Samoyed in college. “They’re very smart.” But given her short puppyish attention span, Willow seems more interested in the artificial turf in front of the imposing abode — as a convenient place to squat — before joining her adopted siblings, Sadie, Rory and Healy (named for an Austin-Healy, of course), and a cat named Spook on the lush grounds of the family spread. No matter, Joan will happily sell the Tudor to any interested takers. For details, contact Robin Lindsay at raisethewoof@gmail.com.

A Salty Dog’s Retreat When Jonathan Marquez first heard about Raise the Woof, he thought it was “amazing.” As the CFO and business manager of High Point’s Northwood Animal Hospital, which he owns with wife and lead veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Slivka, Marquez feels community outreach is critical, considering Northwood’s roots in High Point since 1940. “Our hospital is dedicated to supporting these types of events,” he says. When he saw this cheerful blueand-white canine beach cottage, the brainchild of custom builders Darren and Cynthia Binkley of DarCyn Homes in WinstonSalem, Marquez immediately started bidding for it (along with six other houses). “I liked it because I like the beach,” he explains “and because of the color. I’m a big Carolina fan.” He initially brought the “surprisingly light” structure home for his own dogs, Hokie, Tar Heel, Raina and Oliver, who held his birthday celebration at the beach shack “and loved it,” Marquez assures. Not so much the skittish Macy, a boarder at Northwood, who seems uncertain about hanging out on the rooftop deck of the house, now a fixture of the dog park (High Point’s first) in back of the hospital. “I thought it would be nice for our clients to enjoy,” Marquez reflects — right down to the toy fish “swimming” around the doorway, a temptation for any boarder to sink his teeth into. Boop, boop diddum dadum wadum chew!

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Good Ole Coppertop After she’d given away three of her five doghouses, Joan March sent the fourth to a nearby location where it would be sure to catch everyone’s eye: The Bob Timberlake Gallery in Lexington. “People talk about it all the time,” says Evanne [pronounced “Evan”] Timberlake, granddaughter of the famed Realist painter, whose works, furniture and home accents fill the gallery situated off Old Highway 64. And why wouldn’t they? For the cedar shingled house with the copper roof is the handiwork of John Grein, who repurposed materials from other construction jobs. Hinged, the handmade, standing-seam copper roof opens up, converting it to a sunroof on nice days. But it will protect Fido during inclement weather, too, owing to the treated wood foundation, prefinished hardwood floor, cedar closet–lined, insulated walls and the finishing touch: leaded, etched insulated windows. Bob Timberlake and the family’s Boykin spaniel George, (pictured left) will happily show the house to any prospective buyer. The artist assures that proceeds from the sale will go to Raise the Woof charities, Retired K-9 Heath Fund and Davidson County Animal Alliance, for as an avid dog lover, he believes canines enrich our lives, choosing the words of humorist Will Rogers to make his point. “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.” For more information contact Evanne Timberlake at the Gallery at (336) 249-4428.

Astro’s Turf Remember that episode from The Jetsons when the millionaire J.P. Gottrockets reclaims his dog Tralfaz, who’d long ago run away and, under the name Astro, found a happy home with the Jetson family? The episode left an impression on Christy Spencer, especially the Space Age doghouse that Gottrockets outfitted for Astro/Tralfaz. “Dogs are near and dear to my heart,” she writes in a blog post for JKS Incorporated the sports marketing company based in Welcome, where she serves as vice-president alongside her husband, JKS founder and CEO Will Spencer. On hearing about Raise the Woof, Christy felt JKS should be represented. She remembered the onion-shaped, canine crashpad in the animated TV show and appealed to her company’s team of engineers, artisans and craftsmen, who fashion all manner of advertising displays for clients, routinely creating sponsor logos for cars for NASCAR events. “They can build anything,” Christy affirms — with only a printout of a cartoon doghouse as a guide, as it turned out. In a case of life imitating art, the JKS crew delivered, and their entry won the distinction of “Most Unique.” Christy and Will Spencer bid for their doghouse at the auction (along with the aforementioned camper, now in Florida) and bought it back, proudly displaying it alongside various cars in the lobby of JKS headquarters. Lounging in the sleek, futuristic abode is a plush toy dog, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. For if you’ll remember, Astro/ Tralfaz, the, er, dog star, tires of his swanky digs chez Gottrockets and returns to the Jetsons where he belongs. To see the JKS magic at work, check out the following video: www.facebook.com/jksincorporated/videos/1770188193026389 OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry.. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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D OG DA Z E It was doggone hard to pick favorites of our Summer of ‘18 Photo Contest – so many adorable pooches and people. In our minds, everyone is a winner.



H O NO RABLE M ENTIO N The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The photo conte st i s sp o nso re d by D o g D ays o f Gre e n s b o ro

July 2018

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The Art Of The Farm

Aubrey Cupit embraces an ancestral call of the land with 21st-century know-how By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Brandi Swarms

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ike any good Millennial, 31-year-old Aubrey Cupit appears to be biologically attached to his cell phone. He has an Instagram account and a Keurig coffee maker. He favors long-sleeve T-shirts, and his short auburn hair descends to a rusty mustache and beard. You could envision him loping down the streets of Charlotte or New York City, as many of his former high school and college classmates do. But you probably won’t see that — unless he’s visiting — because Aubrey Cupit is a farmer. A small-time, independent, one-man-show farmer. A get-up-with-the-sun farmer. A ground-hog-cussing, weather-watching, dusty-jeans-wearing, worn-out-by-Saturdaynight-and-ready-to-sleep-in-until-8-on-Sunday-morning farmer. He owns 9 acres in northwest Guilford County and works two of those acres to make salad, essentially. He raises leafy greens, tomatoes, herbs, carrots and a smattering of other vegetables. At the moment, he’s heavy into broccolini, that leggy, small-headed cousin of broccoli. Also, he’s getting into cauliflower, which is trending now. Kale is dead. You heard it here first. He sells to local restaurants and to the general public at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. He also peddles produce from a roadside stand at the mouth of the gravel driveway to his land. Gate City Harvest, that’s his place on Pleasant Ridge Road in Summerfield. As the crow flies — which it actually does out here — it’s very close to where Cupit grew up, in The Cardinal, a 1980s neighborhood molded around a golf course, swimming pool and tennis courts. In other ways, it’s oh-so-far away from the childhood of a guy who chose to go back to the land he never had.

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ubrey Cupit (rhymes with Muppet) was a typical suburban kid. He kicked soccer balls and slugged baseballs on well-groomed fields. He played first-generation Xbox video games. He loved Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists. In middle school, he jettisoned sports for art and photography. He painted watercolors to give to his mom on Mother’s Day. He drew every one of North Carolina’s seven lighthouses. “My brothers had bigger personalities than I did,” says Cupit, who was a fraternal triplet and one of four boys growing up. “I was more introspective.” No one grew vegetables at home, but Cupit’s mom, Sharian, was an avid landscape gardener. She tended a beautiful yard. Cupit didn’t notice. He went to UNCG to study art. His junior year, he needed an elective. He took one that sounded interesting and relatively easy: “Religious Traditions and Care of the Earth.” The lecturer was Charlie Headington, an expert on permaculture and sustainable gardening. Headington talked about how religions viewed the Earth differently — some as a thing to be ruled, some as a thing to be revered — and how that played out. The ideas fell on fertile soil in the mind of the young artist, who threw himself into writing papers for the class. The essays jumped out because they went beyond the minimal requirements. “You can tell people’s comfort levels with ideas by how closely they stick to the guidelines,” Headington says. “Aubrey’s a person who feels comfortable with intellectual discussion.” Cupit supported his arguments with ideas he’d read about elsewhere. “That’s what a teacher really enjoys — having a person with an original mind. I think that really comes from his art background,” says Headington. Before the semester was up, he suggested that Cupit intern in the gardens at Greensboro Montessori School, which Headington designed and maintained. Cupit appreciated the offer but let it slide. That summer, Headington ran into Cupit in the store where Cupit worked, Video Review on Battleground Avenue, a now-defunct touchstone for local movie buffs. Headington pitched the internship again. “Aubrey was taking my money, and I said, ‘Well, hey, how about it? Are you interested?’” Headington remembers. It wasn’t much, that second offer, but it was enough to nudge Cupit’s life down another track. He didn’t become a farmer overnight. First, he wandered in the desert. Correction: tomato patch. He put in sweaty hours at the Montessori gardens, digging out tangles of Bermuda grass, a maddening chore. He didn’t mind. “It felt good to be a part of something bigger,” he says. He progressed to planting. He learned the underpinnings of permaculture, a way of growing that mimics nature and minimizes human intervention. When it works well, Cupit says, permaculture yields food that is healthier and cheaper than food that comes from high-input agriculture. Cupit took a degree in fine art, but he kept his hands in the dirt at Montessori — where he still manages the garden and teaches part time — and he signed on at Whitaker Farms in Climax, a large grower of strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes. Under the tutelage of Faylene and Richard Whitaker, he toiled in the greenhouses and worked their stall at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Sandy Ridge Road. Faylene schooled him on the psychology of the market. “She would always say, ‘Pile ‘em high, and watch ‘em fly.’ If you have a few tomatoes at the end of the day, you’ll never sell them. People will not buy the last ones. Psychologically, we respond to copious amounts, not skimpy stuff,” says Cupit. He gleaned more from Daniel Woodham of Greensboro’s NIMBY (Naturally in My Backyard) Gardens. Cupit watched Woodham woo customers by waving bouquets of fragrant herbs at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. “He’d be like, “Hey! You know you want some of this basil!’” Cupit recalls. “You couldn’t help but talk to him. He’s a very charismatic guy. He kind of helped to bring me out more.” Cupit, who describes himself as a “book farmer,” supplemented his education by reading. He digested The Market Gardener, by Jean-Martin Fortier, and two volumes by Eliot Coleman: The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, and Four Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.

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Cupit loved the conviction that saturated those pages: that you don’t have to farm big to be successful. Small, well-managed, Earth-friendly farming could work. It was working. The practitioners weren’t getting rich, but they had comfortable lives. They could support families. They had enough. And that would be enough for Cupit. It was a long germination, but at the end of five years, he was ready to be transplanted to the field.


or generations, farmers have come into land by inheritance. But, as familyowned acreage has dwindled, the farmers of Aubrey Cupit’s generation have come into land by other means, namely Zillow and Trulia. Starting at about age 25, Cupit combed real estate websites, looking for a few acres where he might start his own farm. “I was just dreaming, but I knew that it would happen,” he says. He looked into a couple of listings, but nothing seemed right. Then, his grandmother, J’Nell Hofstetter, answered her landline. “I understand your grandson is looking to farm,” the caller said. It was Elaine Pegram, a former neighbor on Pleasant Ridge Road, where Hofstetter had grown up on a farm. The Pegrams had a few acres to spare. They could sell to developers anytime they wanted to — but they didn’t want to. Hofstetter alerted Cupit, whose mother and father helped him to secure a loan. Thanks to family, Cupit was in business, right across the blacktop from where his great-grandfather, Clyde Huff, had raised tobacco, corn and hogs. Cupit never knew Huff, but his mother tells him that Huff fished the Pegram pond behind Cupit’s house. He spent time in the barn that now belongs to Cupit. “I think about it a lot. Where did I get it from? How did it all come about, this passion? My mom always tells me I remind her of her Pawpaw Huff,” says Cupit. “I don’t know how I feel about religion, but it does make me think sometimes that there is some kind of art to this — something out of our control.”

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ecause Cupit’s operation is small, so is most of the equipment he uses day to day: a hand tractor, which is basically a motor with wheels and a place to attach implements; a wheel hoe, and a broad fork, which Cupit grabs at the cross bar, stabs into the dirt and rocks back and forth to loosen the soil before planting. Since the initial preparation of his land, he has avoided tilling, a costly procedure that stirs up weed seeds and aerates microorganisms, causing them to gobble nutrients and deplete the soil. Cupit brags that he can turn over a shovel of dirt in his field and find earthworms, a sign of healthy soil. He doctors the dirt sparingly. His fertilizers and soil conditioners are composted horse manure, mineral dust, green sand, feather meal and bone meal. For pesticides, he uses neem oil, chrysanthemum oil and bacillus thuringiensis. Cupit, the farmer, is still very much the artist. You can see it in his insistence on quality materials and in his devotion to scale, He started out small, putting into production only two of his 9 acres. He spent the first year preparing the soil, an oasis of well-drained sandy loam in a region heavy with clay. The ground, once home to strawberries, wheat and tobacco, had lain fallow for 20 years, the perfect prescription for soil to rest and rejuvenate. Cupit plowed, disc-harrowed and then seeded with clover and rye. He watched as a fresh, green blanket covered the ground. He plowed it under and disc-harrowed again. He planted his first crops in the fall of 2014. “It was profitable from the beginning,” he says, noting that farmers generally sink their profits into improvements, which he has. Last year, he added a vegetable-washing station and a walk-in cooler to an old barn beside his new 350-square-foot log cabin. A crew of Amish builders raised the one-room shell and topped it with a red tin roof. Cupit plumbed and wired the cabin by himself. “I’m kind of a YouTube carpenter and electrician,” he says. “It was what the budget required, and I knew I didn’t want to live big. I wanted to be simple.” Within view of his front porch, the ground bristles with rows of vegetables that change, like garments, on a seasonal wheel. Beets, collards, kale, radishes, lettuces, broccolini and carrots — sweet, warm-colored darts that thrive in the sandy soil — emerge in the sweatshirt weather of spring and fall. Yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green beans, peppers and eggplant flourish in the sleeveless heat of summer. Sweet potatoes, winter squash and cauliflower store sunlight as hats and gloves appear again. Cupit extends the growing seasons of his bestsellers with two heated greenhouses and two moveable caterpillar tunnels. “We push lettuce, tomatoes and cukes as much as we can — at least 10 months,” he says. “You make more money when you’re the only one who has them.” Many of his tomatoes will spend their lives in a greenhouse, growing on twine trellises in the “lower and lean” method that he learned at Whitaker Farms. The practice allows vines to stretch 10 feet or more from one spot in the ground. As each vine grows, Cupit lets out the twine from an overhead spool and slides the spool along a wire. The diagonal curtain makes the fruit easier to pick. Cupit might be a throwback to old-timey truck farmers, but he embraces current science, technology and ag-fashion, if there is such a thing. He owns a shiny green John Deere 4120, which he uses to mow and move manure, but you won’t find this farmer advertising tractors with a baseball cap. Instead, he wards off skin cancer by wearing the kind of broad-brimmed straw hats favored by West Coast lifeguards. He buys the sloping hats on Amazon. He slips his feet into Mucksters, low-cut rubber garden boots, not brogans. His Levis bear the telltale outline of a cell phone carried in his front pocket. He consults it often. Someday, he’d love to use his iPhone to control irrigation and move his greenhouse walls for optimum heat and light. Controlled growing environments will become more important, he believes, as global warming causes more extremes in weather. He expects that, one day soon, phone apps will allow people to order local produce and schedule pick-up or delivery. All of this would increase the margin of error in farming, which is especially important for small operations like Cupit’s. His labor pool consists of him and his mom, who is retired from Burlington Industries and visits the farm almost daily. She mows, washes and packs produce, and minds the roadside vegetable stand. “She

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wants to see me succeed, and she loves farmwork,” says Cupit. “I think she’s proud to see the evolution of the business.” Cupit’s commercial customers are happy with the results. Jody Morphis, who with his wife, Anne Marsh, owns Blue Denim, a Cajun-Creole restaurant on South Elm Street in Greensboro, has been buying produce from Cupit since they met a year ago at a Greensboro Farmers Curb Market fundraiser featuring locally sourced bacon-lettuce-andtomato sandwiches. “I think his tomatoes won Favorite Tomato,” says Morphis, who buys nearly all of his produce from Cupit now. “He’s definitely my favorite farmer to deal with, first of all because he’s growing great stuff, and he has a great personality. Most farmers aren’t able to go out and shoot the breeze with people. A lot of the older farmers are men of few words.” Cupit’s prices don’t hurt. “Aubrey’s prices are better than anybody’s,” says Morphis. Cupit’s other restaurant customers include White and Wood, Cafe Europa, Table 16 and Jerusalem Market in Greensboro, as well as Michelle’s Kitchen & Table in Burlington. Twice a week, Cupit delivers produce to them in his 1998 Ford pickup. Twice a week, he carries his produce to the Yanceyville Street curb market. Most weekdays, he works in the gardens and classrooms of the Montessori school. That’s when he’s not tending his own farm. His early-to-bed, early-to-rise lifestyle exacts a cost: limited opportunities to socialize. “I have to say ‘No’ a lot,” the young bachelor says with a rueful smile. Many people his age have no clue about the gritty realties of farm life, which Cupit is quick to list. “It’s dirty. It’s hard. It’s hot. You’re in the sun. You’re always cutting yourself. About once a month, you want to quit, but you just have to wait until the next day,” he says. He finds solace in online communities of other Millennial farmers. They might be as rare as hen’s teeth, but they find each other on Facebook and Instagram. They share advice and photos of what they’re growing. Cupit’s generational peers run Fair Share Farm in Pfafftown; Pine Trough Branch Farm in Reidsville; Mighty Tendril Farm north of Hillsborough; and Sugar Hill Produce, also north of Hillsborough. While they’re eager to scratch out a living, Cupit says, he and his young agrarian friends believe there’s more to life than accumulating titles and dollars for themselves. They want meaningful work, he says, and they’re finding it in the ground beneath their feet. “There’s something about taking care of this dirt we have,” he says. “If you have the itch and the passion, it’s worth it.” OH For more information, go to gatecityharvest.com; @gatecityharvest on Instagram; or facebook.com/gatecityharvest/. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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“It is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.” – Mark Twain from Puddinhead Wilson


July n

By Ash Alder

Trumpet creeper is blooming. In the kitchen, tea is steeping on the stovetop — sugar bowl on the table — and Papa’s shucking sweet corn on the front porch. July is sensuous, flavorful, dreamy. Dahlias and daisies. Fried squash blossoms. Beach trips and sunburns and roadside stands. Pull over. Load up on pickled okra. Homemade salsas and jams. Baskets of plump, juicy peaches. “July makes me think of dolphin-diving into the soul-quenching ocean,” says a friend and self-proclaimed “Magical Nomad” who has created a life of RV adventures with her husband and their longhaired Jack. “Hiking in damp forests, finding secret waterfalls for skinny-dipping . . .” And watermelon. “Something about eating watermelon in the summer reminds me we can really be carefree . . . like children.” Play. Pick blueberries. Make ice cream. Visit the old tire swing. And as the bullfrog moans into the balmy night, dance with the fireflies.

Get You a Ripe One

Cucumber salad, pickled melon, cantaloupe gazpacho — all well and good. But no July picnic is complete without homegrown you-know-whats. Guy Clark surely knew. He knew what to pair them with, too.

Eat ’em with eggs, eat ’em with gravy Eat ’em with beans, pinto or navy Put ’em on the side, put ’em in the middle Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle . . . Big and Better Boys. Brandywines. German Johnsons. Early Girls. All well and good. And they taste even better than their names. Don’t get me started on Cherokee Purples unless you’re going to slice one up.

Taste of Summer

How exciting it was to see that first-ever watermelon carried inside like a newborn, thick green skin cut open to reveal juicy bright pink fruit. Was it Fourth of July? My first piece was sliced like pie. And who told me a watermelon would grow inside my belly if I swallowed a seed? Grandma? I think I cried. The rind on my plate resembled a smile. Seed-spitting was a thing. Each cousin had a cup of them, lined up across the lawn, and gave the sport their best effort until the sparklers came out. Tomorrow: cubed watermelon, served cool, midday. Yes, this is what they eat in heaven.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro Greensboro

In the Garden

Not too late to plant squash, corn or snap beans, plus heat-loving herbs like basil, thyme and sage. If you’re gardening by the lunar cycle, plant annual flowers and aboveground crops July 13–26, while the moon is waxing. The Full Buck Moon falls on Friday, July 27. Pop flowering bulbs such as gladiolus and butterfly lily into the earth at the end of the month.

Along the river’s summer walk, The withered tufts of asters nod; And trembles on its arid stalk the hoar plum of the golden-rod. – John Greenleaf Whittier July 2018

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July 1–August 4

SAVE THE DATE. Support young aspiring filmmakers through the program Paper 2 Film at the organization’s wine social on 8/4 at 5 p.m. Van Dyke Performance Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 483-5932 or paper2films.com.

July 1–August 26

TOWN HALL. Explore different urban scenarios at City, Village, Exurbia: Prints from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

July 3–4

PATRIOT GAMES. Flags, fireworks, fun . . . and freedom. Enjoy ’em all at the Fun Fourth Festival, downtown Greensboro. Info: funfourthfestival.org.

July 3–7

LEAPS AND BOUNDS. 11 a.m. Amazing physical

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feats are highlighted as the 2018 USA Gymnastics Competition springs into action. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

July 4


BARGAIN BOOKS. 10 a.m. Add to your library with some finds at the Annual Half-Price Used Book Sale. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. MUSEP. 7:30 p.m. Philharmonia of Greensboro delivers some classical and pops tunes — with fireworks afterward. Lincoln Financial parking lot, at the corner of Davie Street and Friendly Avenue, Downtown Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov. EMF. 8 p.m. Maestro Gerard Schwarz and Eastern Music Festival Orchestra conjure up “Mozart’s Magic,” with pianist William Wolfram, violinist Randall Weiss, flautist Les Roettges, Daniel Reinker on viola . . . and



fireworks! Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

July 4–6

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or milb.com.

July 4–7

JAZZ-O-RAMA! Celebrate America with uniquely American music at special July 4 jazz performances, featuring Ben Strickland, Ariel Pocock, Neill Clegg, Will Gobel and Jake Stith (7/4); Terrell Stafford, Ariel Pocock and Steve Haines (7/5); Tanya Ross and the O.Henry Trio (7/6); Nishah DiMeo and band (7/7). Performance times vary. O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar


color me blue 7/


July 7

ART START. 2:30 p.m. Ignite your child’s inner creative spark at Art Studio, which encourages exploration of various artistic mediums and techniques. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or email the museum at marketing@gcmuseum.com. GEM DANDY. 7 p.m. There are no, er, carbon copies of Diamond Rio, which brings its beautiful mess of music to the stage. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

July 7 & 8

MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Mind your p’s and q’s by practicing penmanship with a handmade quill, and ink made from walnuts. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro



July 8

ZINE SCENE. 2 p.m. Learn the elements of ’zine-dom at the GSO Zine Workshop. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Low Key serves up classic rock and pop, and the Gate City Divas belt out blues, R&B, jazz and soul. Gateway Gardens, 2924 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

July 9

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY. 7 p.m. Of writing, that is. Attend First Draft: A Greensboro Bound Event. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

July 11–17


HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are



home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or milb.com.

July 12

BOOK TALK. 10 a.m. Anyone who loves books and music is encouraged to join a discussion of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto at Newcomers Book Club. Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2923 or library. greensboro-nc.gov. FLOWER POWER. 6 p.m. Learn how to spread some plant love at The Pollinator’s Buffet,” a lecture by curator Adrienne Roethling. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org. NANO, NANO! 6:30 p.m. Greensboro Science Center provides a glimpse at the field of nanoscience in conjunction with the exhibit, Extreme Measures as part of the Tours & Treats program — capped off with cool treats in July 2018

O.Henry 93

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Arts Calendar the sculpture garden. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

July 13–22

PUCKISH. Catch Drama Center’s plein-air production of a Shakespeare favorite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Amphitheatre at Barber Park, 1500 Dans Road, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

July 14

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 11 a.m. Join Steve Stinson, author of Squiffy and the Vine Street Boys in Shiver Me Timbers, a Read-a-Book-Write-a-Book discussion. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. BOOK TALK. 2 p.m. Join a Science Matters Book Club discussion of The Beak of a Finch: The Story of Evolution in Our Time, by Jonathan Weiner. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. STRUM ’N’ HUM. 3 p.m. Learn about the guitar and songwriting around a campfire, courtesy of Guitar Center at Strings and Things. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or send an email to marketing@gcmuseum.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Danica King, author of Figure It Out. Scuppernong

Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

July 19

SHODDY WORKMAN. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Our favorite Iron Man is back: The Blacksmith demonstrates his skill on Saturdays and Sundays. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 8851859 or highpointmuseum.org.

July 20

July 14, 15 & 28,29

July 14–February 19

PAST IS PROLOGUE. If you remember it you weren’t there, the saying goes. Well, yet again, Boomers can relive their youth while Boomer wannabes can live vicariously at an exhibition showcasing art from a tumultuous era, 1960s: A Survey of Change. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

July 15

MUSEP. 6:30 p.m. Eastern Music Festival Young Artists Wind Ensemble blows it out with classical and pops. LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

July 18

EMF. 8 p.m. Swoon to selections from great musical and operatic love stories — Madama Butterfly, Tosca, A Chorus Line — at “What I Did for Love,” performed in conjunction with Greensboro Opera. Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

BOOKTALK. 7 p.m. Join a discussion of a body image panel with Jes Baker’s Landwhale. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. BOOK TALK. 1 p.m. Join in a discussion of Bernie Krause’s The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origin of Music in the World’s Wild Places. Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2923 or library. greensboro-nc.gov. COLOR ME BLUE. 7 p.m. As in, Gate City Blues Festival, featuring Lenny Williams, Latimore, Tucka, Clarence Carter, Theodis Ealey, Pokey Bear and Sir Charles Jones. Yowsa! White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

July 21

TIME-TREKKING. 8 a.m. Let Glenn Chavis take you on a tour of Washington Street, the historic black business and entertainment district during segregation. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington St., High Point. To reserve: (336) 885-1359. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Bryan Robinson, author of Daily Writing Resilience. Scuppernong Books,

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July 2018

O.Henry 95

Arts Calendar 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

July 21 & 22

AQUATIC ACTIVITY. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Water-bucket races, thumb-waterers and learning how to have fun with water, old school–style. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

July 22

EMF. 1 p.m. Enjoy a series of concerts — percussion, guitar, piano, orchestral — at the fourth annual (and free) EMF open house. Guilford College campus, Greensboro. Info: easternmusicfestival.org. IN YOUR WRITE MIND. 1:45 p.m. Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., offers guidance for sticking with writing projects from start to finish, a lecture courtesy of the Murder We Write local chapter of International Sisters in Crime. High Point Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: murderwewrite.org. MUSEP. 6 p.m. Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra lets it rip in two, 45-minute sets. Guilford College, Founders Lawn, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov. ARTS SPLASH. 6 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and picnic, and enjoy the country music of Dori Freeman at the High Point Arts Council’s Arts Splash concert. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787.

July 24

I THINK, THEREFORE, I JAM. 6 p.m. Learn the basics of jam making at Jam Session, an Adult Cooking Class. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

July 25

EMF. 8 p.m. Purcell, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin and more fill the bill at the Classical Guitar Summit. Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

July 27–29

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or milb.com.

July 28

DARE TO EAT A PEACH. 11:30 a.m. At Peach Pancakes and Celebration Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. HOPPIN’. 1 p.m. What pairs well with hot weather? Frosties, of course! Sample hundreds of craft beers at the Summertime Brews Festival. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets and info: summertimebrews.com.

July 29

MUSEP. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Winding up the Parks and Rec Fest at 4 p.m. are Sweet Dreams, with a lineup of blues, R&B, jazz and soul, and Rob Massengale Band, offering up a variety of rock ’n’ roll favorites. Gillespie Golf Course, 306 Florida St., Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.


BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen. (Members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 5742898 or gcmuseum.com. CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Chamber Players deliver sweet sounds. UNCG College of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver St., Greensboro. Tickets: Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.


READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story times: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10

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July 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

O.Henry 97

Arts Calendar

a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Story time convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. PINT-SIZED GARDENERS. 3:30 p.m. Instill in your kiddies a love of gardening and edible things at Little Sprouts (ages 3 to 5 years). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for “Songs from a Southern Kitchen”: Jack Gorham and Carrie Paz (7/3); Sam Frazier and Eddie Walker Duff (7/10); Stained Glass Canoe (7/17); Vaughan Penn and Family (7/24); The Radials “lite” (7/31). 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/greensboro_music.htm. CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 greenhillnc.org. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.

EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Chamber Players return with more sweet sounds. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.


TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs are belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.


TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) — and guests Sarah Strable (7/12), Sheila Duell (7/19), plus Tanya Ross (7/25). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm. JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754 or www. tatestreetcoffeehouse.com. OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

Thursdays & Fridays

EMF. 8 p.m. What are the kids up to? Find out at eight concerts in the Young Artists Orchestra Series, led by resident conductors Grant Cooper and José-Luis Novo. July 26 sees the Young Artist Concerto Competition winners. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.


MINI MAKERS. 11 a.m. Let your child (age 5 or younger) bring out his or her inner van Gogh at ArtQuest’s Masterpiece Fridays, featuring tales from classic storybooks and artistic activities. Cost is $6 per person. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St. Greensboro. To register: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org. THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($2 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. FREE FLICKS. Sunset. Grab a lawn chair and settle down to watch Spartan Cinema, a series presented by UNCG and Greensboro Downtown Parks that runs through August. This month’s movies include: Captain America: CivilWar (7/6), Despicable Me (7/13), Lion King (7/20) and The Sandlot (7/27). LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greensborodowntownparks.org.

Fridays & Saturdays


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98 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.


Saturdays & Sundays

KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can shake, rattle and roll with percussion instruments; while Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto: marketing@gcmuseum.com.


FOOD OF LOVE. 11 a.m. Tuck into mouth-watering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams while students from the Miles David Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or thehistoricmagnoliahouse.com. HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grownups, too. A $5 admission, as opposed to the usual $10, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32. com/fried_chicken. htm. HEEL! 4:30 p.m. Discipline your pooch with Megan Blake’s Group Dog Training, sponsored by Green Lincoln. LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greensborodowntownparks.org.

To add an event, email us at


by the first of the month

ONe Month prior to the event.

Arts & Culture

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. DOWNWARD DOG. 9 a.m. Literally. Megan Blake teaches poses for you and Fido at Doga. High Point Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 8833660 or highpointnc.gov. THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats the Ernest Turner and Ariel Pocock (7/14), The Mondre Moffat Jazz Society (7/21), plus Lydia Salett Dudley (7/283), while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

Arts Calendar

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

O.Henry 99

An Experience Extraordinaire




Gerard Schwarz, conductor, and the Eastern Festival Orchestra with . . .

Orchestra Celebration

Fri., June 29 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM

Jeffrey Multer, violin

Arts & Culture

Bluegrass Legend

Midsummer Magic

June 30* | William Wolfram, piano

Del McCoury Band


July 7* | Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

Crossing Currents


Sat. July 14 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM



Misha Dichter, piano & Eva Wetzel, violin

American Stories

Sat. July 21 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM

Kun-Woo Paik, piano & Jason Vieaux, guitar

Festive Finale

July 28* | Stefan Jackiw, violin * 8:00 PM | Dana Auditorium | Guilford College

Afro-Mexican Beats, Rhythms, And Rhymes

Las Cafeteras SAT


Join us for our 57th season JUNE 23-JULY 28, 2018 Greensboro, NC

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: EasternMusicFestival.org

MeRiditH MaRtens state of the ART • north carolina

Rising Traditional Appalachian Stars

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Stevens Center uncsa.edu/presents 336. 721. 1945 The American Music Series is made possible with the generous support ofthe Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

100 O.Henry

July 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts & Culture

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Summer Concerts 7 p.m. Saturdays





Steep Canyon Rangers

Rhiannon Giddens

Weekly Concerts Daily Mountain Music Museum Exhibit

BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org 700 Foothills Road, Galax,Virginia Near MP 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (866) 308-2773, ext. 212 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

O.Henry 101

GreenScene BB&T’s

“Vita di Lusso, a Life of Luxury”

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Colin Parks, Ed Parks, James Blackwell

David Sprinkle, Mindy Oakley John Singleton, Darrell McDonald

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Mike Kessler, Kim Baranowski, Will Burris, Daniel Cuttrell Robin & John McEntyre Michele Mondulo, Allison Shore, Stefano Cazzaniga, Lisa Allen Reginald Baker, Patrice Smith, Charles Dabney

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102 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

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O.Henry 103


Tamara Slaughter, John Whisnant, Katherine Davey, Anne Daniel

Triad Stage’s Broadway On Elm An Evening with William Ivey Lon

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Erin Barnett, Jennifer Stanley, Julia Fallon, Cyndy Graham

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104 O.Henry

July 2018

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July 2018

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O.Henry 105


Emma Lee, Vivian Ellis

Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival

Friday, May 18, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Angel Schroeder, Nancy Hoffmann Brian Lampkin, Steve Mitchell

Catherine & Carl Billingsley Paige & Ava Enochs

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106 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

July 2018

O.Henry 107


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108 O.Henry

July 2018

3/30/18 9:25 AM

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Shalane Griffin, Brooks Copeland

Dolley & Me Tea

Greensboro History Museum

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Dana & Reece Cossic, Janet Marshall

Pete Turner (John Adams), Tyrone & Yuja Fernando, Nema Jhurry Eliza & Stacey Ofsanko

Julie Copeland, Alison Soucy

Abigail Adams (Lynn Rich), Isaac Ehrman, Aaliah & Reece Cossick, Thomas Jefferson (Charles Prefontaine)

Suzanne Walke, Linda Denmark, Hazel Fisher

Aubrey Blevins, Phil & Angie Morgan

Olivia Horan, Lily Kate Wilson

Leslie Gunter, Alison Soucy, Madison & Brooke Gunter

Laney & Harper Kaley

Martha & Meredith Newton

Debbie, Gabby, Stephen & Jeremiah Causey

Edgar Jaynes (Singer), Lynn Rich (Abigail Adams), Charles Prefontaine (Thomas Jefferson), Heather Jaynes (young Dolley Madison), Kate Schlosser (Dolley Madison), Pete Turner (John Adams), Carolyn Malone (Martha Washington), Jim Young (George Washington)

Susan Robinson, Susanne Hall, Tiffany Lam-Balfour, Uma Avva, Tyson Strandberg

Mary Katherine Faucher, Martha & Mark Kaley

Genevieve & Xavier Lam-Balfour

Kristin Cooper (First Lady of NC), Leila Wolonick, Madison Hinshaw, James Madison

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Karla Comer, N Williams, Q Robbs, Rachel Blake, Mona Lisa McCorkle, Yvonne Lee Hawkins, Jaclyn & Sierra Tyson

Yuja Fernando, Dolley Madison (Kate Schlosser)

July 2018

O.Henry 109

Business & Services

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110 O.Henry

July 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

Heavens Above! Action-packed planets rule the July Sky

By Astrid Stellanova

Mother Nature provides far more reasons than fireworks on the

Fourth to look skyward, Star Children! Come July 15, a crescent moon meets Venus in a swoon-worthy event. That will be followed by a total lunar eclipse on July 27. And then, on the same date, Mars will be ready for its close-up when Earth passes between the Sun and Mars. This will be our biggest, closest and best encounter with Mars — an event that won’t happen again for 17 years. Should you miss this, optimists and health nuts can mark their Daytimers for July 2035. Ad Astra — Astrid

Cancer (June 21–July 22) Birthday Child, you’ll be sopping up praise like King’s Syrup on a biscuit this month. There will be plenty of cake, candles, razzle, dazzle and enough sizzle to make this one of your best celebrations ever. In the fullness of time, another side of your life came to life, and it was a beautiful secret modestly kept from many. Your selfless acts have been revealed, and people are wowed by your big ole generous heart. Leo (July 23–August 22) Maybe the best thing you can do is to launch a charm offensive, because being defensive just ain’t working for you, Honey. One thing you keep forgetting is how your long trust in an old acquaintance just isn’t working for you as well as it is for them. Speak your truth and let the cards fall slap on the table. Virgo (August 23–September 22) Sugar, as irresistible as you are, nobody’s liable to want to steal your blood and sell it. It’s true your sweat tastes like nectar but the skeeters are the only ones that know it. Mix and mingle. Stop being afraid of stranger danger, because you are safe and loved, and attractive to the single and solvent. Libra (September 23–October 22) You might as well live in the moment ’cause you might not get into the next one given how badly you’ve been navigating. Your emotional GPS has gone kerflooey and needs resetting. And despite your photographic memory, you seem a tee-ninesy off in your ability to remember where you put your keys or glasses. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) A friend will help you move; but a real friend will help move and hide the body. Was there ever a friend who was there no matter what? You know who’s been there for you, and they need you now in their worst hour. Call them, thank them, and show up. If you’re lucky, there won’t be any corpses involved. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) You might be surprised just how far you can stretch one good yarn. The ability to turn everything into a great story is one of your super powers. Work it, Baby! It turns out that everything is useful in this big ole schoolhouse of life, even in the darkest hours. Reuse, recycle, reframe the past and share it. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) In the past, you didn’t exactly reach for the stars, Sugar. Some of your extra special The Art & Soul of Greensboro

powers included Jolly Rancher Jell-O shots, quick quips and sarcasm. It’s your fallback under pressure, and you have sure felt the pressure. Use new muscles. Sarcasm can be inverted into a form of sharp insight — not a bite. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) You really tried to fit in, but left others wondering if you are a Southern belle or a dumbbell. The truth is you’re neither. Your good mind and instincts are going to be needed in the latter part of the month when someone near and dear is challenged. Don’t be demure, and don’t play dumb. Step up! Pisces (February 19–March 20) If you only knew how long I looked for Mr. Wrong, you might not expect I ever found Beau. For ages I wanted a bad boy, becoming an expert bad girl to match, specializing in seeking rebels without a cause. Being bad never felt as good as the day I woke up and recognized my true love was hiding in plain sight. Aries (March 21–April 19) You may have to declare your wild self a disaster area. You are close to qualifying for federal assistance given the way you cut a path of destruction last month. Sugar, your idea of escape since that fiasco has involved a gravy bowl and comfort food. Don’t fall prey to one more ramen noodle or wild whim. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Sugar, you got good ammo but bad aim. Your intended target didn’t take a hit, but an innocent did. They are the forgiving type, so if you own and iron things out you won’t feel like such a dip wad. Meanwhile, a dream you pushed aside could happen for you and deserves to be re-examined. Gemini (May 21–June 20) That hurt, Sugar. You swallowed your pride and tried to reconnect with an old pal. You felt about as welcome as a yellow jacket in an outhouse or a skeeter in a pup tent. They know they behaved badly; just step back and resolution will come. Meanwhile, a very welcome surprise is on its way.

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 2018

O.Henry 111

O.Henry Ending

Barkelaureate Pedigree Adventures of the dog who loves Guilford College

By Nils Skudra

first entrance to Guilford College off Friendly Avenue: the whimpering and moaning, low and throaty, which crescendos as we reach the campus proper. By then Jackson, a white, fluffy, impossibly big-headed, double-coated, curly-haired Bichon Frisé, is standing on all fours, and his barking has gone from allegro to prestissimo in a matter of seconds, which can mean only one thing: He wants to get out and touch ground on his beloved campus if not for its rich history and rolling topography, then for its invitation for him to be the nature boy he was meant to be.

I am a Civil War historian and Jackson, named for Gen. Stonewall Jackson, is affectionately known as “the history dog.” In truth, he is my service dog, helping me navigate the “real world” and intricacies of human interaction, so often confusing to someone like me, adrift on the autism spectrum. He has traveled with me to more than 40 cities in North Carolina, which I have visited in an effort to document their roles in that bloodiest of conflicts. During our sojourns, Jackson has been on several university campuses and even peed on the Old Well at UNC before I could stop him — much to the shock of a group of humorless students. He walked up the steps of the Duke University Chapel and gave Robert E. Lee a meaningful look before authorities took the statue down. Closer to home in Greensboro, he favors the area near the Foust Building at UNCG where I hang my academic graduate-school hat, but it is Guilford College that has his bestial heart. Twice, weekly we seek solace from Guilford’s tranquility and reserve and its stately buildings. There is something in the air that is holy and sacred here. Jackson is leashed by legal necessity but moves with enthusiasm and alacrity, bounding up the steps of Dana Hall. He loves this place and on one occasion, caused me to lose my footing and my grip on his leash as he ran through its open doors reveling in momentary freedom. A guard, heavy with his sense of duty, demanded, “What’s that dog doing at this school?” Imagining the worst, (a call to the campus police, a severe scolding, invoking

112 O.Henry

July 2018

State sanctions and levying of a fine, which I really don’t need since I had still not paid my delinquent Piedmont Natural Gas bill), I gathered my wits and responded that the best part of Jackson’s day is whenever he can spend some time at Guilford College. “It is his ‘hallelujah time’ when the spirit of unfettered canine glory rises up in him and he is at one with the world,” I explained, mentioning my dog’s unfettered glee at exploring each tree and bush, careful not to disturb the Eastern bluejays and mourning doves — though the omnipresent squirrels might be another story altogether. The guard suddenly laughed and broke into a smile. “OK, then,” he said. The possibility of censure is gone and we leave Dana Hall, past Duke Memorial for the Hege Library. And wouldn’t you know it? Déjà vu all over again. Jackson bolted through the open door, his leash trailing him and I in hot pursuit, as everyone in it shrieked with delight. He was running amok and simultaneously barking at the top of lungs, having a field day in the Hege! Running after Jackson I yelled to the librarian behind the desk that he is my service dog and she yelled back, “What service is this dog providing?” “Er, circulation?” I offered, as Jackson headed in the direction of the Quaker Room. I managed to scoop him up, get him tethered again, and race out of the library, volleys of laughter in the background. This is his campus and bounding everywhere upon it, he unabashedly claims it as his own. I have often wondered whether he had a past life here; perhaps he was Levi Coffin’s dog or sat under a nearby pulpit listening to hymnals being read. When no one was nearby I even looked him squarely in the face and asked if he were a reincarnation of some Quaker personage, a possible explanation of his great affection for this school. Whereupon he cocked his head, met my eye and winked, smiling that endearing Bichon Frisé smile, broad, beaming and mysterious. A Friend’s best friend indeed. OH Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, Nils Skudra moved to Greensboro UNCG’s History MA program with a concentration in Civil War/Reconstruction History. As a recent graduate, he hopes to find full-time employment as a research historian, archivist or curator. In his spare time he writes for local publications, such as the Greensboro News and Record and Asheboro Magazine. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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