June O.Henry 2014

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MUSIC for a

Sunday Evening in the Park


For cancellation information, call 336-373-2373.


6 pm 7:15 pm 6 pm

Wally West Little Big Band

Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble

6:45 pm

Greensboro Big Band

6:30 pm

Philharmonia of Greensboro


of Outstanding Concerts! Americana, Folk Rock Jazz Swing, Big Band Jazz Classical, Pops

Blandwood Mansion W. Washington St. & Edgewood St. The Shops at Friendly Center 3110 Kathleen Ave. Hester Park 3615 Deutzia St. off W. Vandalia Rd.

6 pm

Sweet Dreams

7:15 pm

Knights of Soul

7:30 pm

July 4th Pops Concert Philharmonia of Greensboro

Classical, Pops

White Oak Amphitheater 1921 West Lee St.

6:30 pm

EMF - Young Artist Orchestras

Classical, Pops

Guilford College Founder’s Lawn

Blues, R&B, Jazz, Soul

Gateway Gardens 2924 East Lee St.

This concert is made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of VF Corporation.

6 pm


6 pm

Warren, Bodle & Allen

7:15 pm

Carolina Coalmine

6 pm

Allison King Band

7:15 pm 6:30 pm 6 pm 7:15 pm 6 pm


Martha Bassett Band

Celebrating ears

7:15 pm

Rob Massengale Band Greensboro Concert Band Zinc Kings The Radials with Lisa Dames doby Soul Biscuit

Guilford College Dana Auditorium Lawn Folk

National Military Park Country, Southern Rock Hwy. 220 N., Old Battleground Rd. Pop, Soul, Jazz, Blues Variety, Rock & Roll Classical, Pops Bluegrass Contemporary Country Funk, Soul Motown, Beach, 60s & 70s

Lindley Park Starmount Dr. at W. Market St. & Wendover Ave. Latham Park W. Wendover Ave. at Latham Rd. & Cridland Rd. Festival Park 200 North Davie St. Bur-Mil Park Hwy. 220 N., right on Owl’s Roost Rd.

This concert is presented in conjunction with Bur-Mil Park.


Thank you to our

2014 Sponsors:

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June 2014 departments

13 Simple Life

16 Short Stories 21 Life’s Funny

23 Omnivorous Reader

27 N.C. Writer’s Notebook

29 Best Reader Memoirs 2014

31 Bookshelf

35 Gate City Icon

39 Game On

43 Birdwatch

47 Street Level

53 Life of Jane

By Jim Dodson

By Maria Johnson By Stephen E. Smith By Sandra Redding By Lynn Wagoner

By Brian Lampkin By David C. Bailey By Lee Pace

By Susan Campbell By Jim Schlosser

90 99 105

By Jane Borden

Arts & Entertainment June Calendar Worth the Drive GreenScene


57 Aunt Lavinia Strikes Poetry by Fred Chappell

58 The Pies Have It

Three wonderful wedges of happiness — and cobbler, too

62 Our Favorite Waitresses By Jim Dodson An ode to Greensboro’s goddesses of grub

66 Summer Simple By David C. Bailey

Strawberries and fish? Yes! says Mary James Lawrence

70 Tommy By Fred Chappell

The further entrepreneurial adventures of Mary Ellen, eco-visionary

75 A Father’s Claim to Fame By Sandra Redding Catfishheads in the freezer

76 Her Home’s Her Stage By Maria Johnson . . . filled with memorabilia from a lifelong love of show biz

82 The Orchid Keeper By Karen M. Alley

Identifying and saving native orchids is David McAdoo’s mission

87 June Almanac By Noah Salt Weddings galore and the quotable gardener

111 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

112 O.Henry Ending By Cynthia Adams

Cover Photograph by Hannah Sharpe

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June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

POP! Join us at The View on Elm for our Anne et Valentin and Theo Eyewear Event on June 5th, 3-7 PM

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New Anterior Approach for Total Hip Replacement This technique offers a patient less pain and scarring as well as an anticipated shorter recovery time.

M A G A Z I N E Volume 4, No. 6 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com David Claude Bailey, Senior Editor dbailey@ohenrymag.com Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer Judi Hewett, Graphic Designer

Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Joann Dost, Sam Froelich, David McAdoo, Hannah Sharpe, James Stefiuk Contributors

Matthew D. Olin, MD

Karen M. Alley, Jane Borden, Susan Campbell, Fred Chappell, Brianna Rolfe Cunningham, Tina Firesheets,

is a fellowship trained hip surgeon with extensive experience performing direct anterior total hip replacement surgery.

Martens, Mary Novitsky, Ogi Overman, Nancy Oakley, Lee

To schedule an appointment with Matthew D. Olin, MD to determine if this surgery is for you.


Call: 336.545.5030

Laurel Holden, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Pace, Sandra Redding, Noah Salt, Stephen E. Smith, Astrid Stellanova, Lynn Wagoner

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 Circulation Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Advertising Graphic Design 910.693.2469, lauren@ohenrymag.com

For more information about Dr. Olin and surgery visit www.greensborohipandkneesurgeon.com

Subscriptions Dana Martin 336.617.0090, dana@ohenrymag.com ©Copyright 2014. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

6 O.Henry

June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Simple Life

Walter’s Wallet

By Jim Dodson

Not long ago, while cleaning out a desk

Illustration by Laurel Holden

drawer I should have cleaned out years ago, I found a simple but beautifully made full-grain leather breast pocket wallet with the initials “W.W.D.” embossed in gold leaf just inside.

It looks brand-new and essentially is — though it was made sometime in the early 1940s. My father gave me this wallet in 1995 while we were on a golf trip to England and Scotland to play the golf courses where he learned to play the game while serving on the Lancashire coast trained glider pilot during the Second World War. The wallet originally belonged to my grandfather, William Walter Dodson, a gift from my father to him upon his return from the war in the early summer of 1945, when my grandparents took a train from their farm in North Carolina to meet my dad returning to New York Harbor on the Queen Elizabeth. As far as I know, it was the only visit they — Walter and Beatrice Dodson — ever made to New York City. My mother met them there, dolled up to look like Veronica Lake and fresh from her job working for an admiral in Annapolis — being chased around the desk by a “brass admiral,” as my old man always ribbed her. She was indeed a beauty, the youngest of eleven children from the hills of West Virginia and a former Miss Western Maryland who up and ditched a rich guy named Earl who drove a Stutz Bearcat before the war in order to marry my father shortly before he enlisted. While my dad was away, the singer Tony Martin offered her a job singing with his orchestra, but my strong-willed Southern Baptist grandmother quickly put the clamps on that. My dad purchased this handsome wallet for his father somewhere in London’s Covent Garden, I learned decades later, and a dozen bottles of French perfume for his Liberty Bride after the liberation of Paris, and hid them in the bottom of his military footlocker to get past customs officials. I have no idea what he brought his mother. Real English tea, perhaps. The story I always heard was that they all went to Toots Shor’s on 51st Street for supper that night but couldn’t get in for all the jubilant GIs and their gals — settling, in the end, for pastrami sandwiches at the Carnegie Delicatessen. My grandparents, farm people, reportedly turned in early at their modest hotel, and my dad took his bride to a Broadway show. My dad tried to give me this wallet for the first time on the day of my grandfather’s funeral in 1966. I suppose he reasoned that because I was named for both my grandfathers — Walter is my middle name — I might wish to have it as a keepsake of its quiet-spoken owner. But he was wrong about that — at least then. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I was 13 and didn’t see the point of carrying around a dead man’s unused wallet, even one I was named for, though even then I recognized its fine craftsmanship, hand-sewn from Moroccan leather, with a fine brass zippered compartment and even an ingenious little slot containing a leather square marked “stamps,” a relic from a time when a letter home really meant the world. Then there were the three beautiful initials in gold leaf. I did love my grandfather, you must understand, even if I didn’t fully grasp his peculiar ways, his calm and protracted silences and natural simplicity of motion. By the time I really got to know him, Walter Dodson had given up his farm in Guilford County and moved with my grandmother to a small cinderblock house surrounded by rose bushes and dusty tangerine trees on the shores of Lake Eustis in central Florida. I hated going there for Christmas. No place on Earth could possibly have been slower and more boring to my churning pre-teen brain. And yet . . . Walter took me bass fishing in his skiff and showed me how to cast a spinning lure and, later, in his modest carport, taught me how to cut a proper straight line with a hand saw and hammer a nail without smashing my thumb or finger. He smoked cheap King Edward cigars and sometimes hummed what sounded to me like church hymns, though he never went to church when my Baptist grandmother did. William Walter Dodson headed straight for his garden. Mind you, I was never uncomfortable in my grandfather’s presence — in fact, quite the opposite. Though I couldn’t have begun to put it into words at those moments on those silent bayou waters, he struck me as a man who loved being outdoors all the time, either tying his tackle lines or snipping his roses or hoeing in his large vegetable garden or just sitting in his shaky carport chair listening to what my older brother Dickie and I mockingly called “redneck string music” on his Philco radio as the crickets sang on his lawn and fireflies danced in the tangerine trees. Astonishingly to us, our grandparents didn’t even own a TV set. After Walter’s sudden death, after I declined to accept the gift of his wallet, my father placed his father’s wallet in his office desk, where it stayed for the next thirty years. He brought it along with us to Britain for what would turn out to be our final golf trip and offered it to me, almost off-handedly, one evening as we were having supper in a pub in St. Andrews. By then I had a very different understanding and appreciation of my “simple” Southern grandfather. He was a rural polymath and carpenter who never got beyond the third grade but had a gift for making anything with his hands. During the 1920s, he worked on crews erecting the state’s first rural electrification towers, for instance, and returned to Greensboro just in time to serve as a foreman on the crew wiring the Jefferson Standard Building, the state’s first “skyscraper.” Walter’s famously calm silence suddenly made sense. His mother, Emma, my father’s grandmother, was a full-blooded Cherokee woman who was known June 2014

O.Henry 13

Simple Life for her natural remedies along Buckhorn Road between Hillsborough and Carrboro. My father spent his earliest summer days on Aunt Emma’s farm, accompanying this gentle Native American woman on her daily plant-gathering walks over the fields of the original Dodson home place. Walter, the oldest of her four sons and two daughters, clearly identified with his lost Indian ancestry — as did, to some extent, my own father. Today, the old family homestead is an upscale housing development. But like Walter’s surviving wallet, nothing important is really ever lost. One of the first adventures our father took my brother and me on as small boys was to hunt for buried arrowheads at the Town Creek Indian Mound in the ancient Uwharrie Hills. When we began camping and fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he always took a bag of useful books along to read — a hodgepodge of titles ranging from Kipling’s Just So Stories to the works of Sir Walter Scott — which he called, tellingly, his “Medicine Bag.” William Walter Dodson, I came to learn, was a man from another time and place who knew the simple pleasures and abiding peace of the natural world. His own kindness wasn’t showy but genuine. During the Great Depression, whenever someone down on their luck showed up at his back door seek-

ing help, according to my father and other family members, Walter would feed him and provide a bed in a spare but clean room behind his barn. Skin color was irrelevant. My Southern Baptist grandmother, though something of a social butterfly who preached the value of book-learning, wasn’t nearly so naturally generous of spirit. Somewhere in our voluminous family scrapbooks is a faded snapshot of Walter standing beside a black man I only knew as “Old Joe” who lived in that room and helped out on the farm for years. No one knows his real name but it hardly matters. Reportedly, Walter and “Old Joe” were close friends for years. Save for my own fading memories and a rusted twenty-two rifle and this handsome wallet from Covent Garden — still looking almost as new as that day my father gave it to his father in New York City half a century ago — that’s about all I have left of my paternal grandfather, the dignified fellow who taught me to fish in a bayou and saw a straight line and — more importantly — savor the healing quiet of nature. I tell myself Walter never had enough money to really need such a fine wallet, which may explain its excellent condition. But that’s only speculation on my part.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the rhythms of W.W.D.’s simple life. By contrast, my modern life seems anything but simple. Which explains why, going forward in this column space, I plan to write about the simple life I aspire to — the small things, people and moments that need to be observed and learned from simply for the grace they provide. Hence the new column title. This week I’m driving up to New York City to see my son Jack, a recent college graduate working for a documentary film company. Making films is his dream. We’re going to play golf together for the first time in many years. Afterward, maybe even over cheap cigars, I think it may be time I offered Jack his great-grandfather’s wallet, which I recently found in back of my own office desk, where it’s been since that final trip in 1995. If he’s not quite ready to have it, well, I’ll naturally understand. I’ll be more than happy to hold onto it until he feels the need to have it. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at Jim@ohenrymag.com.

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June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



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Short Stories

The Write Stuff

Summer reading is one of the season’s indulgences. O.Henry magazine, however, hopes you’ll engage in some summer writing. For Guilford County residents only, the 2014 O.Henry Short Story Contest offers cash awards and publication in two categories: adult and high school students. All submissions must be no more than 1,000 words in length. One entry per writer. All entries must be received by no later than July 1, 2014. Entries should be emailed, along with complete contact information, to ohenryshortstories@gmail.com (or snail-mailed to O.Henry Short Story Contest, 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, N.C. 27408). DCB

Furniture Matters

Here’s a fairly basic concept: no child without a bed. From 2008–2013,The Barnabas Network’s No Child Sleeps on the Floor Campaign has provided beds to more than 3,764 children. The nonprofit serves families suffering from homelessness, domestic violence, resettlement, fire, flood or economic insecurity. Almost 500 children got beds last year, while a total of over 2,300 individuals in 806 households were served. While collecting donated furniture, Barnabas sometimes picks up unique treasures, the occasional one-of-a kind piece, plus market samples. These are periodically offered for sale. To check out the goods, drop by 2024 16th Street on Saturday, June 14, beginning at 8 a.m., behind the Walmart on Cone Boulevard for the Furniture Matters Estate Sale. Proceeds benefit The Barnabas Network. (336) 370-4002 or www.thebarnabasnetwork.org. DCB

Sauce of the Month

On hikes with my friend Jim, snacktime is always a major event. From his backpack emerges a pepper grinder, a cutting board, a chef’s knife and, most recently, a little bottle of Plum Granny Farm Raspberry-Chipotle Mole Sauce. This smoldering blend of ancho and chipotle chilies is tempered with cocoa, molasses, lime and raspberries. Jim layers it on top of whatever he picks up at Jerusalem Market: pita bread, smoked salmon, taleggio cheese, even Serrano ham. Until recently Granny’s goods were only available in Winston-Salem and points west, but recently Good Food Growers Market on N.C. Highway 66 south of Kernersville began carrying it. Or you can get it — and the jams they make and the fruits they grow — at the farm in King. Info: www.plumgrannyfarm.com. DCB

Marketing Vehicle ‘Downtown’ Abbey

Preston Lane doesn’t like to see men running around on theater stages in tights. Nor is he keen on the sound of offstage trumpets heralding the arrival of kings and other royalty. It’s all a bit too cheesy. That may partially explain why in the twelve years that Triad Stage has been around, not one Shakespeare production has graced its stages. Until now. As Triad Stage’s artistic director, Lane is ready to take on one of the bard’s plays that he does like, All’s Well That Ends Well. But gone are the ersatz Elizabethan clothes. Lane is reshaping it to be set in the early 1920s. As for the clothing, think more of, whoops, “Downtown” Abbey. And no trumpets. Otherwise, it’s still, as Triad Stage describes it: “A wild journey of risks, magic, war, traps, betrayal and true love” as Helena, a beautiful young, and cunning woman, fights to win the affections of Count Bertram, who rejects her as beneath him. She’s determined to show him the error of his ways. June 8–29 at Triad Stage, downtown Greensboro: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org BH

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June 2014

“When we go out to check on the cart and the volume of produce has dwindled but the jar is full of money, it always feels like the Tooth Fairy visited us,” says chef Jay Pierce about how well the honor system works with The Veggie Cart at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen. Besides, Pierce is not going to lose sleep if a few parsnips go missing. He says the cart was envisioned from the get-go as a community service and marketing vehicle: “Our guests get to see how beautiful the produce is before we cut and cook it — and what farm it came from,” he says. In June, look for greenhouse tomatoes, strawberries, maybe some peaches, kale, carrots, radishes, fingerling potatoes — and always Jay’s voodoo sauce. Surprisingly, Pierce says spring is a tough time in the Triad to buy local vegetables: “All of the summer crop plants are going into the ground at that time. Most farmers in our neck of the woods don’t plant spring crops.” But come summer: “We get the pick of the litter.” www.lucky32.com. DCB The Art & Soul of Greensboro

EMF (Exhilarating Music Fun)

Deciding which of the Eastern Music Festival’s concerts to attend is a daunting challenge, especially during the first week. On Wednesday, June 25, those who love the piano can catch, in the same concert, both Gideon Rubin, music director of the Los Angeles Music and Art School, and William Wolfram, who has played with the San Francisco, Saint Louis and Seattle symphonies, in EMF’s annual Piano Gala. Then on Friday, June 27, Wolfram will play an all-Beethoven program with the student and faculty orchestras. Coming on Saturday, June 28, is EMF’s grand opening concert. Dual Grammy Award-winner Lynn Harrell will channel King Solomon’s voice through his cello in Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo.” In the second half of the program, the Eastern Festival Orchestra will play Tchaikovsky’s turbulent “Pathetique” Symphony No. 6. in Dana Auditorium, Guilford College. And that’s just the first week. See a complete schedule at easternmusicfestival.org. DCB

Spot Coverage

Anticipating the dog days of summer, O.Henry magazine and Ed Matthews of WFMY-TV’s “2 The Rescue” (www.wfmynews2.com/ features/2-the-rescue) will offer dogs and their best friends (you) a chance to be featured in our July “All-Dog” issue. On Saturday, June 7 beginning at 9 a.m., All Pets Considered (www.allpetsconsidered.com) is inviting the public to its “Paws-to-Celebrate” grand reopening at 2614 Battleground Avenue. O.Henry hopes you’ll squeeze yourself, your dog (or dogs) into our photo booth for an extended family portrait. On a first-come, first-served basis, those who make a donation of $5 or more to celebrate SPCA of the Triad’s 20th anniversary (www.triadspca.org) can take home a strip of instant photos. O.Henry will then run as many of the photos as we can squeeze into our July print edition, posting the overflow on our website. Come by. You’ll soon be seeing Spots.

Ogi Sez

Greetings. Welcome to Ogi (Overman) Sez, a montage of magical musical moments and can’t-miss shows in and about the Gate City. So, as Briscoe Darling would say, “Jump in and hang on.” • June 6, Blind Tiger: From Athens, Georgia, the Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band, hand-picked by owner Doc Beck for his birthday party. • June 12, Greene Street Club: From Boston, a hot indie-alt act, Somos, touring in support of their fulllength debut, Temple of Plenty. • June 12, Festival Park: My pick for Thursday after-work shagfest at the BB&T Beach Music — the Magnificents Band, which now includes Greensboro sax maniac Neill Clegg. (Sleeping Booty on the 26th.) • June 14, White Oak Amphitheatre: Wildfire Music Festival headliner Vince Gill will be joined by the Greencards, Gibson Brothers, Sierra Hull and the Time Jumpers in this mini-MerleFest Americana showcase. • June 21, Lindley Park: Release your inner sprite at Greensboro’s tenth annual Summer Solstice celebration. Look for fifteen acts on three stages, including AM rOdeO, Ladies Auxiliary, Ranford Almond along with Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. Faerie wings and glitter recommended. OO

Bring Spoons to the ’Spoon

Still-life depictions of the stuff people hunger for date back at least 37,000 years to when Paleolithic Ice Age artists drew bison on the walls of caves in France. To date, no monumental images of doublestacked jelly doughnuts oozing yellow custard have been found on the walls of Chauvet. However, Weatherspoon Art Museum reeled in this 6- x 6-foot painting as part of Food for Thought. The pair of nesting confections was painted by Boston artist and doughnutdauber-extraordinaire Emily Eveleth, who has focused on this junkfood icon for more than a decade. The show — organized by Xandra Eden, the museum’s curator of exhibitions — “reveals how artists transport the art historical tradition of still life painting into new territory by using food to explore contemporary issues and social concerns.” The exhibit opens June 20th with a Summer Solstice Party, 6:30–9:30 p.m, featuring, appropriately, food trucks, music, family fun and a one-of-a-kind cocktail, “a neighboorhood infusion by the L.A. art collaborative Fallen Fruit,” but made, naturally, with locally harvested ingredients. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro, (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon@uncg.edu. DCB The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Regency, 2012, oil on canvas, 73 x 71 in. Courtesy of the artist and Danese/Corey Gallery, New York.

June 2014

O.Henry 17

A symbol of everlasting love

should be everlasting as well.


High Point

I Greensboro I Winston Salem


A Healing New Sight in Greensboro The Wendover Treescape


he first phase, sixty-two trees strong, of a new healing and meditation garden is greeting commuters as they pass Wesley Long Hospital on Wendover Avenue. Through the work of a group of dedicated volunteers, including cancer survivors, caregivers and caring citizens, a two-acre plot of land is being transformed into a garden, full of handicapped-accessible paths, inviting benches and beautiful perennials, trees and shrubs. It’s taking shape on a plot of land designated as a wetland and will be a place of respite and hope for families and patients as they go through cancer treatment. Healing Gardens at Cone Health Cancer Center and Wesley Long Hospital is a partnership between Cone Health Oncology Center, the city of Greensboro and volunteers. The trees are actually on a strip of land owned by the city that borders the future site of the garden. “One of the most wonderful aspects of this project was the help we received from the city,” says Skip Hislop, Cone Health’s vice president of oncology services. “They not only allowed us to plant on their property, but they also helped dig the holes to plant these 1,000–3,000-pound root balls and committed to water the trees during the first year.” “Before our trees were planted, patients looked out their windows at a view of traffic and heard the noise of the cars and trucks,” says Mary Magrinat, co-chair of the garden project. “By planting trees we not only helped create a beautiful view in all seasons for both patients and people driving along Wendover, but we also created a noise barrier to improve the atmosphere at the cancer center.” Landscape architect Sally Pagliai of Studio Pagliai donated her time and talents to create the Wendover Treescape. It is made up of a variety of trees, including cryptomeria, arborvitae, maples and hollies, that will provide shades of green allyear round, as well as bursts of color in the spring and fall. Keep watching for changes as you drive by the hospital or walk along the Lake Daniel Trail. OH For more information on the progress of the healing garden and how you can help, contact Mary Magrinat at mmagrinat@triad.rr.com. ­— Karen M. Alley The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

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20 O.Henry

June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life’s Funny

Memorandum from Mama Hair today, hopefully gone tomorrow

By Maria Johnson

I would like to address the consternation

that has arisen because of my older son’s hair. Not consternation on your part. On my part. Frankly, the werewolfish quality of The Boy’s head is on my radar because it’s probably on your radar, too, although you have been nice enough not to say anything about it.

To my face. Yet. Maybe because you haven’t seen him recently. Did you see him at church on Easter? No? Good. As you know, my dearest Other Mothers, The Boy just finished his junior year in college. He’s 21 and wonderfully, willfully independent. He is a grown man. I cannot tell him what to do anymore. But I want you to know I am trying. For the record, here is my official position: I really don’t care how long a man wears his hair. In fact, I rather like longish hair on some men. It conveys a sort of artistic, devil-may-care attitude that I find attractive. I give you my infatuation with Johnny Depp, Bubba Watson and Brad Pitt, when he’s in one of his longhair phases. I’ve always said that hair is no biggie because it’s not permanent. If it’s too short, it’ll grow. If it’s too long, it can be cut. Expressing your individuality or rebelling with hair length, color, texture, etc., is pretty innocuous in my book. Also, I feel that people who judge other people harshly because of something as superficial as hair are pretty shallow. This is my official position. But, as you Other Mothers know, my real position is this: I will pay big money to anyone who will steal into The Boy’s room under cover of darkness and shear him like a sheep. It hasn’t always been this way. Since he was little, The Boy has worn his thick blondish hair short, mainly because it tends to get bushy when it grows out. When he was in high school and played golf all the time, he kept it short because it was cooler and because he hated the way long hair flipped out from under a golf hat. Since going to college, he hasn’t had much time for golf, but he has kept his hair short. True, he was a little shaggy when he came home for winter break, but Larry the Barber took care of him. He went back to school looking good. We saw him again in February when we took him out for his birthday. His hair looked nice. Full, but nice. Then came spring break. He went camping in Utah with friends. On his way back to school, he spent a night at home. He looked . . . rustic. His hair and beard were in full glory. But — ha-ha-ha — that’s the way boys are supposed to look after a week of camping, right? “You need a haircut,” his father said. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“You need a haircut,” I said. “I know,” The Boy said. We saw him a month later, at a parents’ function in Chapel Hill. He had played golf that morning. It was humid. He was wearing a golf cap. He looked like Bozo, with explosions of hair on either side of his head. We pulled him aside. “Your hair looks bad,” his father said. “Get a haircut Monday,” I said, slipping him a twenty. We plastered on smiles and mingled with other parents. That night, The Boy’s friend Peter texted me: “My mother says she enjoyed meeting you and that John needs a haircut.”
Translation: “My mother wants to know what’s wrong with you.” My husband told me I shouldn’t take The Boy’s hair personally. That’s not the way it works, I told him. I am his mother, therefore, in the eyes of Other Mothers, I am responsible for his hair. In a similar way, I told my husband, I am your wife, therefore I am responsible for your ties. Everyone knows this. My husband shook his head. I eyed him closely. At least his hair was well-trimmed. Two weeks later, The Boy came home on Good Friday, his hair untouched. It is difficult for me to describe his noggin without resorting to geological terms. It was a mesa of hair with prominent buttes of whiskers punctuated by the occasional plateau of fuzz. “Well,” his grandmother said, greeting him with a smile. “You have a lot of hair.” Translation: “What’s wrong with your mother?” The Boy promised he would get it cut by Easter. Sunday dawned bright and windy and hirsute. At this point, if you tell me that Jesus had long hair, I just might punch you. I am not Jesus’ mother. You will understand, Other Mothers, that my cool is totally blown. My tolerance of individual “expression” is out the window. Long hair is fine, in theory, but NOMBH. Not On My Boy’s Head. With little left to fall back on, I have employed guerrilla humor. This morning, I texted The Boy. “So, how’s it going over thair? Everything hair is good. Take hair. Love you.” Getting no reply, I followed with, “Your hairoscope for today says you will be extraordinarily lucky. Let me know the good news.” Still no reply. As you Other Mothers know, I need to be careful. The more we push, the more they resist — or worse yet, take our advice to the extreme. I am cautioned by a story told to me by an Other Mother.
Once there was a mom who was shocked and horrified by her son’s long hair. “I cannot believe you make me go to church with you looking like this,” she said. By the following Sunday, the son had seen a barber. His mother was shocked and horrified. Her son was shaved bald. OH If The Boy has not been shorn by the time you read this, Maria Johnson is probably under psychiatric hair. Console her at maria@ohenrymag.com. June 2014

O.Henry 21

The Omnivorous Reader

True South Cooking just like your grandmother did it

By Stephen E. Smith

I’ll bet your sainted grandmother could cook

like nobody’s business. Apple pie, yeast rolls, chicken fried in bacon fat, chocolate cake, pot roast, cookies coming out the whatever — all the stuff that your hardhearted cardiologist has placed on the no-no list. I’ll bet too that your mouth waters when you recall the days when it was perfectly all right for a sweet old lady to indulge you with her culinary skills. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to then, if only for a mouthful of nostalgia? Well, you can. Sort of. A unique, albeit diminutive publishing domain that plays on sensitory wistfulness has taken root in North Carolina. Native Ground Books & Music out of Asheville (where else in the state would such an enterprise take hold?) offers a shelf of titles that are bound to take you back to the good old days of butter, sugar and hog fat. Barbara Swell is the mastermind behind this publishing business, and she’s edited a cookbook for every mouthful of Southern cooking — Old-Time Farmhouse Cooking, Secrets of the Great Old-Timey Cooks, Log Cabin Cooking, The First American Cookie Lady, Take Two and Butter ’Em While They’re Hot and others. “My West Virginia grandmother, Maudie, taught me to make pies and biscuits and to garden, can and hang my laundry to dry in the fresh mountain air,” Swell writes. “Standing elbow-to-elbow at her big white enameled drainboard sided sink is where I learned how to cut a sugar cookie, what seeds to plant, how to get (and keep) a man, and that rum doesn’t count as

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

alcohol if it’s drenching your fruit cake.” In addition to her cookbooks, Swell has a newsletter and blog — this month’s concoction is dandelion blossom honey spritz — and she teaches cooking classes and generally makes herself available to anyone who is steadfastly devoted to the past. I picked up three of her cookbooks —The Lost Art of Pie Making Made Easy, The First American Cookie Lady and Aunt Barb’s Bread Book — with the intent of putting a few of the recipes to the test. After all, the proof is in the pie, et cetera. But I’m not much of a chef. Left to my own devices, I’m capable of microwaving a mean cup of water and shoving a pan of José Olé Frozen Mini Tacos into a preheated oven. And that’s it. So I recruited two experienced cooks — fellow barfly Chris Larsen and pastry chef extraordinaire Sara King — to test recipes of their choice. Chris whipped up a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie whose ingredients included (obviously) rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and pie crust. Chris emailed me: “I found the recipe in Barbara Swell’s pie book, and it appealed to me because both main ingredients are coming into season and all five ingredients could be found in your grandmother’s kitchen (no weird liqueurs or modern day conveniences). At first I thought I’d totally failed and the author had diabolically neglected to mention an important step in the process. The pie was downright soupy, so I threw it back in the oven for another twenty minutes and actually waited twenty-four hours for it to set-up. The result was sweet and sour and nicely gooey. My friend Carmen gave it a ten because the flavors blended together.” I ate a slice of Chris’s pie, and it was flat-out delicious. If I’d been left alone with this strawberry-rhubarb delight, I would have eaten the entire thing. It was that good. But Sara’s experience with Mama Drop Cookies was anything but positive. The recipe called for brown sugar, molasses, butter, eggs, cream, ginger and soda dissolved in sour cream or milk. “It was a complete flop,” Sara attested. “Since the recipe said to make the batter stiff enough to drop, I added more baking soda, but that didn’t work. And all this time I was thinking of Mama Dip and hoping for the best, June 2014

O.Henry 23


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June 2014

but the drops spread all over the pan, so it was a mess! Befuddled, I looked at the other ‘drop’ recipes, and saw that in those, flour was included, an ingredient not mentioned in Mama Drop Cookies. As Barbara Swell says about a brownie recipe that included the wrong ingredients, the Cookie Lady was ‘distracted,’ understandable since she was dealing with over 200 cookie recipes! Ms. Swell corrected the ingredients, so I’d say she’s the ‘chef extraordinaire.’” Sara later followed a Cookie Lady recipe to produce a pan of scratch brownies that were first rate — very chocolaty, crusty on the outside and chewy in the middle. The longest of these books is 152 pages, and each volume is liberally illustrated and sprinkled with black-and-white photographs and short expositions such as “How to Store Bread,” “Campfire Baking,” “Cookie Baking Tips,” and all such old-timey stuff. In short, they’re fun and quick to read and campy enough to bemuse a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Swell’s publications are in the spirit of The Whole Earth Catalog and The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, and Other Affairs of Plain Livin’ — little time capsules, capturing the wisdom and know-how from individuals born around the turn of the last century and hearking back, in a more timely sense, to the heyday of the hippie, Wavy Gravy and the backto-the-land movement. I do, however, have three cautions you should consider when relying on these cute cookbooks. First, our grandmothers didn’t use recipes. They were trained by their mothers, and they instinctively knew the correct ingredients for fruit pies, shortbread cookies and bialystokers (yeast rolls flavored with onion). Second, they didn’t need to measure ingredients; experience had taught them to shake in a little of this and add a pinch of that. And they didn’t need a stopwatch to time their culinary creations. They’d simply say, “Well, that custard pie ought to be about done.” So don’t expect Swell’s cookbooks to supply every minute movement involved in the cooking experience. Go to nativeground.com and order a few of these collected recipes. While your log cabin is filling with the aroma of fresh bread and lemon ginger cookies, you can stitch a quilt or play clawhammer banjo. OH Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


ALL-AMERICAN SUMMER MAY 27 – AUGUST 31 There’s no better place than Old Salem to experience an All-American Summer. It is the site of the nation’s first official 4th of July celebration and after all, George Washington really did sleep here!

june 13 & 14 1o a.m. – 5 p.m. SHOPS AT OLD SALEM SUMMER SIDEWALK SALE

Sidewalk sale featuring clearance items, closeout deals, and bargains for everyone! FREE.

independence day in old salem july 4 – 5, 2o14 weekend celebration july 4 9:3o a.m. – 4:3o p.m.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION & NATURALIZATION CEREMONY Hands-on activities, music, games, food and fun as well as a moving naturalization ceremony and a jazz concert at St. Philips.

july 5 9:3o a.m. – 4:3o p.m.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION Hands-on activities, music, games, rifle demonstrations, and more.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

winston-salem, north carolina For a full list of events and activities, visit oldsalem.org

June 2014

O.Henry 25

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By Sandra Redding BOOKSTORE EVENTS Books and summertime go together. — Lisa Schroeder June 7 (Saturday, 10 a.m.) Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Dori Jalazo, Triad author and illustrator of One’s Own Self, a book for all ages, will discuss creativity, read, then invite those attending to share feelings about her powerful story. scuppernongbooks.com. June 9 (Monday, 7 p.m.) Barnes & Noble, Greensboro. Award-winning journalist, editor and long-distance runner Will Harlan will read from Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island. Harlan spent nineteen years researching Carol Ruckdeschel, the remarkable woman who fought the Carnegie family and the National Park Service to save turtles. store-locator.barnesandnoble. com/store/2795. June 14 (Saturday, 11 a.m.) McIntyre’s Books, Pittsboro. Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road, set in a dystopic near future, is a stunning debut novel. Peter Mock, the bookstore’s savvy book buyer, has high praise: “I’ve never read a novel quite like this, and I’m looking forward to hand-selling the heck out of it.” www.fearrington.com/village-shops/ mcintyres-books/ June 14 (Saturday, 11 a.m.) The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines. Karen White’s A Long Time Gone. A wonferful ladies’ summer read. June 18 (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.) The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines. Nan Chase and DeNeice Guest with Drinking the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders. June 27 (Friday, 6 p.m.) Quarter Moon Books, Topsail Island Beach. Fans of best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe will enjoy wine and cheese as Monroe reads from The Summer Wind, the second novel of her Lowcountry Summer trilogy. Filled with captivating characters, this just-released book chronicles the sad plight of wild dolphins. quartermoonbooks.com/ You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then write for children. —Madeleine L’Engle The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Summer’s here and the reading is easy — especially for children who, admit it or not, will miss the book connection school provides. Here are just a few options for filling that void: • Laura S. Wharton co-wrote The Mermaid’s Tale with her son, William Wharton. Set in Seven Lakes (near Pinehurst), this absorbing mystery includes an interview with Mermaid Linden (Linda Wolbert), a performer with Mermaids in Motion. Great way for kids 8–12 to learn about ocean conservation and meet a mermaid with a big heart. www.laurawhartonbooks.com. • Writing about what she knows is JoAnn Bryson’s plan. Brevard, where she lives, is a sanctuary for white squirrels. Inspired by those rare and bushy-tailed critters, she made them the heroes in her books for young children. Last May, Bryson introduced her latest, Prissy and the Little Squirrel Rescue the Calf, at Brevard’s White Squirrel Festival. Find her books at the White Squirrel Shoppe in Brevard. www.whitesquirrelshoppe.com. • Carlene Morton of Mebane, an avid reader and author of two published children’s books, was a librarian before retiring. She now writes whimsical stories and transforms used books into one-of-a-kind art. In 2013, Morton’s altered book creation, To Kill a Mockingbird, won Best of Show in the art competition Alamance Reads From Your Point of View. carlenemorton.com. • John Claude Bemis, a popular writer from Hillsborough, brings passion for music, folklore and spinning tales to his novels for young people. Named 2013 Piedmont Laureate, the guitar-playing Bemis combines picking and grinning to his lively book promotions. The Nine Pound Hammer, first novel of his Clockwork Dark trilogy, won an N. C. Award for Juvenile Literature. From September 8–11, Bemis will teach a Table Rock workshop, Writing for Children and Young Adults, at Wildacres in Little Switzerland. Registration: tablerockwriters.com. “I’m asked if I think universities stifle writers . . . They don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” —Flannery O’Connor North Carolina has several universities, including Chapel Hill, Wilmington and Greensboro, that offer excellent creative writing programs taught by revered authors. Vallie Lynn Watson, author of A River so Long, taught two fiction classes at UNCW last spring. “I’d never studied nor taught in a Fine Arts program; now I want to be a student all over again!” she says. “Rich classes like book-building, publishing and novel writing shape students for a variety of careers.” Through UNCG’s WriteOn Greensboro, four MFA students offer free workshops to nonprofits and schools. The result: Mirages I Have Seen: A Community Anthology of Write-On Greensboro, 2014. Just released at Scuppernong Books on April 27, the anthology contains work by class participants. “If the world was composed of thoughtful writers, the world would be better composed,” observes E. D. Edwards, director of UNCG’s Center for Creative Writing in the Arts. July 31 is the deadline for Press 53’s Award for an Outstanding Poetry Collection. The prize includes publication and a $1,000 cash advance. Complete details at www.Press 53.com. Got book news? Send details to sanredd@earthlink.net. OH Bookstores and organizations, if you have a major event, let us know. Writers, if you have published a book in 2014, we want to hear about it. Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in the 18th century Quaker community of Deep River. Email her at sanredd@earthlink.net. June 2014

O.Henry 27


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Best Reader Memoirs 2014

The Trials of Lasterday A young teacher’s unexpected gift from a room of unruly squirts

By Lynn Wagoner

Her eyes were squinted, her cheeks puffed

and nostrils flared as she pulled all thirty-eight inches of herself up as tall as she could and exploded: “You have an ugly car and it has ugly tires!” Having hurled every insulting phrase she could think of at me, sounding much more like a hard-core rapper than the 4-yearold child she was, she resorted to the single most hurtful thing she could come up with. She insulted my brand-new 1974 Toyota Corona, a recent college graduation present. What had I done to incur such wrath from this adorable little girl with the three fuzzy pigtails? I had escorted her into our classroom bathroom and suggested, with all my brand-new teacher wisdom, that she spit in the receptacles there rather than on her classmates. Obviously this was not an idea she was fond of, and as I racked my brain for my next teacherly move, I was consumed with one overriding question — what was I thinking when I took this job?

I had been working in the china department of a popular store in the town where I attended college. Lenox, Mikasa and Denby appealed to my sense of organization, all the dishes had names, orders were easy to fill and customers were, for the most part, pleasant. I had recently graduated with the ever useful B.A. degree in psychology, gotten married and was about to be made manager of the housewares department in the store. As 22-year-olds in the early ’70s were known to do, I had begun questioning my purpose in life. Was I meant to sell china forever or should I try to use the psychology and child development knowledge I had spent the last four years acquiring? As I sat in my new tiny one bedroom apartment looking at want ads, it was so easy to think I should definitely go work with children. I sent in my sparse resume and got the first job that I applied for at a governmentsubsidized daycare in the next town, about twenty-five minutes from my home and close to another prestigious college campus. One’s thinking can certainly change in a hurry. Less than a month into this job and I was seriously second-guessing myself. I longed for the predictability of china. My class was made up of fourteen 4- and 5-year-old children and, thank goodness for me, a wise assistant who had worked at the center

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

for several years. What a diverse group of children that was — ethnically, racially and socioeconomically. As if that weren’t challenging enough for a brand-new untrained teacher, there were students who were cognitively advanced, students with delays and learning differences, and children with challenging behaviors, all in this group of “typical” children. I tried to make the best of it, seeking out the other teachers and my assistant for advice, but all too often I found myself winging it and hoping for the best. Sometimes I was fortunate enough to have a good outcome. Although it was not something we covered in my child development classes, answering 5-year-old Samantha’s question about the possibility of marrying Donovan, even though they were not of the same race, seemed to go pretty well. I also survived dealing with my first medical emergency when Paul jumped from the old VW bug in the playground to the swing set (it was a different time in the realm of childcare rules and regulations) and ended up with a compound fracture. I was petrified to call his parents, but they responded with “boys will be boys,” and I was very thankful for that. I faked my way through Evan’s discussions of gravity and how the refraction of light makes a rainbow, and even understood when Billy told me about things that happened lasterday. Lasterday, it turned out, was when the things that happened before today took place. Unfortunately, not everything went so well. Rest time was the worst time of day. When left alone with these fourteen little angels during the classroom assistant’s lunchtime, I was totally overwhelmed. Besides the talking and laughter, children literally were jumping from cot to cot and I had absolutely no control. I tried all my psychological mumbo jumbo about how it made me feel for them not to listen to me to no avail. It took Leslie walking back into the room from lunch for peace to reign, and all she did was walk into the room. Demoralizing! I also was unable to stop Ronnie from sailing blocks, wooden trucks and even my clogs across the room when he became agitated, and then there was Felicia, the tiny terror who often brought her classmates to tears and me to my wits’ end. How could I be their teacher? I didn’t know enough. I had few skills and no answers. I felt responsible to help them, but I was the one who needed help. Oh, how I longed for lasterday! And then, I got it. I began to understand the gift my first class of students was giving to me. Although I often felt guilty about what I was unable to do for them, it is because they showed me what I didn’t know that I became a real teacher. I finished my year with them and decided to go to graduate school to earn my M. Ed. in early childhood special education. I am forever indebted to them for being the first of the many great teachers I have learned from during a career I have loved for forty years. OH After recently retiring after working with more than 500 young children and their families, Lynn Wagoner is excited to discover what lessons she will learn nexterday. She can be reached at lnwag531@gmail.com. June 2014

O.Henry 29




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June Books


Scuppernong recommends: A monthly review of the books that matter

By Brian Lampkin

Excerpt from Sous Chef: 24 Hours

On The Line, by Michael Gibney (Ballantine Books, 2014. $25):

“While no environment is free of accident and human error, the ability to work collision-free is expected of any good cook. In good restaurants, everyone works this way, with sprezzatura: a certain nonchalance that makes their actions appear to be without effort and almost without thought, an easy facility in accomplishing arduous tasks that conceals the conscious exertion that went into them. They instinctively move about one another in the narrowest corners without even the subtlest brushing of hips. There are no burns or cuts, no pans dropped, no spills or messes made. Its practitioners call this performance “the dance.” And while its choreography comes naturally to those of a certain acumen, it is important to develop proficiency in it if you have any hope of advancement. In our kitchen it’s not lack of experience, intelligence, or skill that compromises the dance; it’s the rare occasion when one of the cooks lets his emotions best him. He’s hung over, his mind is elsewhere, he suffers from a temporary bout of indolence, forgetfulness, unpreparedness, disorganization, anger. In this state he can’t see clearly the deficiency of his own work, and it isn’t until an especially time-sensitive moment that he realizes the error of his ways with a grumble — ‘Oh, shit!’ — and must spin or dash, and thus spills and splashes, burns himself, and messes up the station. And the messier the station gets, the harder it is to maintain organization. And the less organized you are, the more frequent the ‘Oh, shit!’ moments. It is cumulative disruption.” Michael Gibney’s Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line gives us the idealized grandeur of the great kitchen while at the same time exposing how fragile the grace and beauty of the kitchen dance can be. The elegance of the artistry of food depends entirely upon a long line of people whose commitment to the craft is variable. Make no mistake, it is art this three-star New The Art & Soul of Greensboro

York kitchen aspires to, but Gibney knows that art is made by people and people are more likely to undermine great art than achieve it. Still, it is the thrill of the aspiration that makes Sous Chef so engaging. A must-read for anyone in Greensboro working in a kitchen, and anyone else interested in how a restaurant works. Other books have exposed the inner workings of kitchens. I knew a chef who was horrified by Bill Buford’s Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a DanteQuoting Butcher in Tuscany (Vintage, 2007. $16) because it told the dark secrets of Mario Batali’s kitchen. My chef knew that every kitchen holds dark secrets because it is an incredibly stressful environment that removes the filters of polite society and no chef should be held accountable for his or her behavior in the oven fires of an 8:30 rush. Maybe. But George Orwell certainly wanted the owners of restaurants held accountable for the kitchen work conditions in his great expose Down and Out in Paris and London (Mariner Books. $14). First published in 1933, Orwell gives us the kitchens of our collective nightmares while Gibney’s Sous Chef aspires to the dream of food as art. Read both. Another new release, Gulp, by Mary Roach (Norton, 2014. $26.95; $15.95 pb) works from the other end of the food experience. Roach takes on our digestive system, from before the beginning to after the end. Her resources include digestible cameras, doctors far more obsessed with stomach acid than is probably healthy, and a woman who specializes in sensory forensics. With a style that’s light, witty and informational, Mary Roach tells us all about what we eat, why and what happens when we do. You don’t often imagine the sixteenth president of the United States toiling in the kitchen over a pot of spicy New Orleans chicken curry or New Salem biscuits, but Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen, by Rae Katherine Eighmey (Smithsonian, 2014. $21.95), will have you thinking differently. This fascinating new work gleefully straddles the line between enlightening personal biography and 19th century cookbook. Learn about the life of Honest Abe as man, husband and cook while trying to decide whether you June 2014

O.Henry 31

Bookshelf want to give some of his favorite comfort food recipes a try. Just be sure you remember to take off your stovepipe hat before you sit down at the table.
 The University of North Carolina Press has introduced a lovely series of perfectly designed cookbooks under the Savor The South banner. Titles focus on ingredients Southerners have come to know and love: Pecans or Pickles and Preserves or Okra or Bourbon. With each book under 100 pages, there are currently eight titles in the series at $18 each (Tomatoes is $19). Writers include Andrea Weigl from Raleigh’s News & Observer and Kathleen Purvis from The Charlotte Observer. Each book presents a history of the ingredient — including linguistic observations on the proper pronunciation of “pecan” — before providing classic and unique recipes. Look for two new titles, Sweet Potatoes and Southern Holidays, in September 2014. These are delicious looking books that deserve a special display in your kitchen. Speaking of books in your kitchen, we asked the staff here at Scuppernong Books to talk briefly about the books that are in their own kitchens at home. Most often that means a cookbook, as Erin Hayes found in her kitchen: “My love of Italian food began with my first trip abroad on my own, and it has been a love affair I’ve been cultivating ever since,” she says. Science in the Kitchen and The Art of Eating Well, by Pellegrino Artusi (University of Toronto Press, 2003. $48.95), she says, “captures the diversity and clever variations on classic recipes that I discovered during my travels. Artusi, a prosperous Florentine silk merchant, had a passion for gastronomy. Unable to find a publisher to support his endeavor, he simply published it himself. Today, over a hundred years later, it is still one of the standards in many Italian homes.” Greg Grieve has two classics in his kitchen: “There is a long row of cookbooks in my kitchen, but the one I actually use is an old dog-eared copy of the Joy of Cooking that my grandmother gave to me. Michael Pollan’s The Botany

of Desire (Random House, 2002. $16) leans against my row of cookbooks. I put it there to remind me of the complex web of human and nonhuman elements that compose — and I guess also decompose — our food chain. In The Botany of Desire, Pollan illustrates how domesticated plants and the people who grow and eat them form a reciprocal feedback loop around our desire for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. Specifically, Pollan tells the story of apples, tulips, marijuana and potatoes, and demonstrates not only how we have domesticated them, but how they have changed us.” In Kira Larson’s kitchen is a copy of Robert Grabhorn’s A Commonplace Book of Cookery: “Originally published by Arion Press in San Francisco and reprinted in Berkeley, California, by North Point Press, this book is a finely printed collection of quotes, anecdotes, proverbs and facts about food, drink, cooking and dining. I believe everyone should have at least a few books that can be opened for quick little thoughts whenever you feel the need.” The Food & Beverage Overlord at Scuppernong, Steve Mitchell, keeps a copy of Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course (Sterling, 2013. $27.95) handy: “Lots of great information, but never stuffy or pretentious.” Brian Etling has a much less utilitarian book to help him through his kitchen travails: “When you’ve burned the chicken and overcooked the pasta, it’s nice to have a copy of The Essential Rumi around to put things back into perspective.” OH Brian Lampkin is an owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro. He likes to hang out in kitchens at parties.


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June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Icon

Comeback of a Fish Camp Legend In the hands of Gus Oliver’s daughter Tina, once beloved Bonnie Kay Seafood is yet again packing in the customers

DeAna Voss, Tina Oliver, and Bonnie Oliver By David Claude Bailey

Photograph by Hannah Sharpe

“The summer before he died at age

95 1/2½, he was out there on his backhoe, shoring up the dam,” a longtime customer of Bonnie Kay Seafood says, pushing himself away from a table littered with the deep-fried remains of Gus’ Platter, a golden mountain of shrimp, oysters, crab, scallops and flounder. Gus was the man who, in 1957, built Bonnie Kay in the evenings, brick by brick, after drilling wells all day. It was Gus Oliver who, on his father’s farm near Pleasant Garden, dug the lake without which Bonnie Kay wouldn’t have been a bona fide fish camp. And it was Gus who built his own airplane. And motorcycle. And automated oyster scrubber. “If Dad didn’t have something and wanted it, he’d just build it,” says Bonnie Oliver, co-owner of the Greensboro icon that nearly shut down a couple of years ago. Her kid sister, Tina The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Oliver, put Bonnie Kay back in the swim, Bonnie says.

Way back when, Gus Oliver hand-breaded every Virginia oyster that came out of the kitchen and built the eatery’s reputation on thick, golden filets of flounder — served on paper plates. Heaping helpings of hush puppies, french fries and creamy slaw came family-style — without a salad in sight. And, oh yes, if you wanted a frosty beer to chase down a half-dozen oysters on the half shell, Gus and his wife, Ann, would gladly oblige, unlike the owners of so many other fish camps and other restaurants that refused to mix alcohol with family fare. Admittedly, Bonnie Kay got off to a slow start, with its unpaved parking lot, Spartan dining room, concrete floors, beaded knotty-pine paneling and homemade wooden booths. But that was all in keeping with the North Carolina tradition that fish camps be rustic. In fact, the Tar Heel State can lay claim to the first use of fish camp “to designate a restaurant specializing in fish dishes,” according to the Dictionary of American Regional English. “Often the lake on which the camp was situated provided the fish for a nearby restaurant,” the book says. The state’s first seafood eateries were in Calabash, where the Becks and the Colemans held outdoor oyster roasts beneath a canopy of shady oaks in the 1930s. Luther Lineberger brought fish camps to the Piedmont when he set up a hut on New Hope Road near Gastonia, serving customers under a tin roof. Bob Shaw’s Friendly Road Inn was the grandaddy of Greensboro post-war fish camps, started in 1951, with Luke Conrad and his wife opening Libby Hill in 1953. Tina Oliver says her father was friends with Conrad, serving with him in World War June 2014

O.Henry 35

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June 2014

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

II, and may have turned to him for advice on setting up a fish camp. Gus’ young wife, Ann, though, was a perfect partner as a veteran of Greensboro’s old Bull & the Bush as well as McClure’s Restaurant and Sir Loin Club. “Mom was the financial person,” says Tina. “She was the rock.” Though Gus Oliver was generous to a fault, says Brian Randall, who partnered with the Olivers in the mid-1970s, “He had the world’s biggest heart. If it wasn’t for that lady there,” he says, pointing to a photo of the two published in the News & Record, “that guy wouldn’t have had a nickel. Gus was the soft touch; Ann was the business head.” (Still, Ann approved a $30,000 loan to Randall to buy a restaurant after he left Bonnie Kay.) Gus and Ann were determined to best the competition by serving enormous servings of only the best seafood, fried in peanut oil, at value prices. But to do it, they had to work day and night. “When my sisters and I were young,” says Tina Oliver, “we could go a couple days without seeing our parents, even though they were working next door. When we got home from school, they were at work, and when they came home, we were in bed. Although it was a rewarding occupation for them, it was hard on all of us.” Sister Kay Oliver, after whom the restaurant is co-named (Tina hadn’t been born yet), deliberately followed a career path to avoid working in the restaurant. (Kay died in 2011.) “Our family never focused on your career because, dammit, you were going to be in the restaurant,” Tina recalls. “One day he said to me, ‘If you don’t work here, what are you going to do?’” It was a question Tina Oliver struggled with for decades. Like with most restaurants, working in the kitchen could be beyond stressful. Randall remembers a truckload of what turned out to be marginal flounder coming in. As the cooks began to fry the filets according to a strict regimen, under which each piece of flounder coming out of the basket was flipped so that oil wouldn’t pool in the curled filet, Gus would sniff the fish. “He’d smell it every so often, and I bet he threw 150 pounds of fish on the floor. I know because I had to clean it up,” he recalls. “He could get hot, not that often, but, boy, if you ruffled his feathers, you’d have a firecracker on your hands.” Bonnie, who had worked in the restaurant since she was 12, started working full-time after high school. “I didn’t have a choice,” she says, “or thought I didn’t have a choice.” Her former husband, David Voss, joined the business in the late 1970s. “David was really good, a very talented guy,” Randall recalls, but he never got Gus’ approval. Bonnie and David took over in 1981 after Gus and Ann retired to Florida. Over the years, the restaurant thrived, expanding with a first, second and then third dining room. Back in those days, eight fry cooks and ten waitresses satisfied more than a thousand hungry fish eaters on weekends. In the 1980s, readers of the News & Record named Bonnie Kay Greensboro’s best seafood restaurant. In another survey, N&R food reviewer John Batchelor gave it a first-choice award among fish camps and put it in first place for service. But by 2000, Bonnie Oliver had had enough: “I called Dad in Florida and said, ‘David and I are getting divorced. You need to come up here and do something about the business.’” Although she says she loved getting to know Bonnie Kay’s customers — and then the children and grandchildren of those customers — Bonnie came to realize the restaurant business “was never really a good fit for me. I’d go home and I’d be just mentally exhausted.” Tired of the grinding routine, the pressure and her unhappy marriage, she says, “I didn’t lift a finger for a couple of months, though I planted hundreds of flowers.” Even Ann Oliver admitted the strain, once telling a reporter, “In twenty-four years Gus has been away two weekends and I think I’ve been away three.” Gus

Gate City Icon

Oliver leased out the restaurant from 2000 until 2003. The restaurant’s reputation and bottom line suffered. Bonnie’s children took over — only to face unprecedented rising seafood prices because of the Gulf Oil spill and the worst econonic downturn since the Great Depression. “It’s easier to keep someone’s trust than to try to get it back,” Bonnie says. “People had lost faith in Bonnie Kay.” When Gus Oliver, and then his daughter Kay, died within days of each other in December 2011, Bonnie and Tina Oliver became co-owners of the restaurant. The following January they looked at the books and found out how dire the situation was. “It was awful,” Tina recalls. “Part of it was we needed more customers, but we also needed a price increase.” The restaurant was behind on its state and federal taxes, and suppliers had become less than cooperative. “Do we close it or keep it open, those were the only two options,” Tina says. “If we kept it open, changes had to be made.” Bonnie agreed, but says, “I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I’d pulled my tour of duty.” To everyone’s surprise, Tina Oliver decided she was interested. “One morning I woke up and realized I didn’t have to work for him, it could be my business,” she says. “I realized I’d have a say in the way it was done, which I guess is the Gus Oliver in me.” Trying to answer her father’s question of what she was going to do with her life, Tina had tried any number of things over the decades — catering, running a party store and, most recently and rewardingly, going back to UNCG to get a degree in community health education. She landed a job as a manager at HealthServe Community Health Clinic before it closed in August of last year. “I loved it,” Tina says of her job as volunteer coordinator. Those decades of looking for her place in the world had taught her that she was a lot more like her daddy than she ever imagined. “I want something that challenges me, that pushes me, something that forces me to grow and not be stagnant. But it took me a long time to realize that.” In January 2012, Tina, along with Bonnie’s daughter, DeAna Voss, began rebuilding Bonnie Kay’s reputation. They had good help. Gerry Kennedy had worked as a server for thirty years; Jack Smith, lead cook and purchasing manager, had been there for fifteen; several others had been there for almost a decade. But as an owner, Tina was able to do what hadn’t been done in years — she began infusing capital into the struggling business. In September, after juggling two jobs, she left HealthServe to work at Bonnie Kay full time. Voss, who had worked at Bonnie Kay since 2004 and had earlier worked at several restaurants in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, painted the entire restaurant and continued as a server while Tina turned to the kitchen, switching to peanut oil, using domestic catfish, putting onions back in the hush puppies and offering hand-breaded jumbo shrimp. She also began serving locally grown produce such as collard greens and topped the pound cake she baked using her Momma’s recipe with freshly picked strawberries. With management and financial experience from HealthServe, Tina enjoys running Bonnie Kay. With practically no advertising, business has picked up with a 12 percent increase over 2012, 15 percent over 2013. “I don’t have to go online to see if I can clear a check anymore,” she says. In fact, she and her husband are planning a trip to New York soon to visit Tina’s stepdaughter. Isn’t she worried, as her mother and father would have been, about being away from the restaurant? Not in the slightest, she says. “I trust DeAna, I trust Jack. I trust my staff.” OH

“It’s easier to keep someone’s trust than to try to get it back,” Bonnie says. “People had lost faith in Bonnie Kay.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Senior Editor David Claude Bailey eats steamed triploid oysters from the Chesapeake Bay year-round. June 2014

O.Henry 37

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38 O.Henry

June 2014


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Game On

Rough Stuff

With a return to more natural Championship courses, traditional Open deep rough has given way to short grass — the Scottish way

By Lee Pace

Long rough is to the U.S. Open what

Photograph by Joann Dost

peach cobbler and Rae’s Creek are to the Masters, what whins and wind and gorse are to the British Open, what plunk plunk fizz fizz is to the island green 17th hole at the Players Championship. Small boys have been lost in the gnarly stuff lining the fairways at Oakmont and Baltusrol over the decades, invectives muttered and blood pressure roiled.

Ben Hogan won at Oakland Hills in 1951 with a seven-over-par total, with thick fescue rough pinching the fairways a mere nineteen yards in width in some spots. The grass was so long in spots it literally laid over, and a member found seventeen balls alongside the seventh hole. Porky Oliver lost twelve balls in a practice round at Olympic in 1955, and it took Hogan three shots to get back to the fairway after driving into the rough on the last playoff hole that year against Jack Fleck. Arduous acres of Bermuda grass exacted their pounds of flesh at the 2005 Open on Pinehurst No. 2, with USGA officials pinching the fairways to twenty-three to twenty-five yards across. Lining the short grass were blankets of rough three inches deep, the grass emboldened over the spring and early summer by 400 sprinkler heads, generous applications of fertilizer, a warm growing season and rotary mowers that left blades in upright positions, allowing balls to sink deeper. “The rough is a lot harder than it was the last time I played here,” Vijay The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Singh said of the 1999 and ’05 championships. “You can get the best of lies, and you can move it 150 yards, max.” “If you hit it in the rough, you’re not going to hit it on the green,” Chris DiMarco added. “It’s as hard as I’ve seen it anywhere. There’s no controlling your spin out of there and no controlling the bounces short of the green.” Rough as a lethal hazard became part and parcel of the U.S. Open challenge — along with the twin demon of lickety-split putting surfaces — in the mid-1900s when the courses like Oakland Hills, Merion and Oakmont that had been designed during the times of hickory shafts and hard, twitchy golf balls were becoming outdated. With steel shafts and rubber-cored, balatacovered golf balls, players were driving well beyond established hazards. Rough was a form of fortification. “The rough should not be so deep as to make recovery impossible or to increase greatly the prospect of lost balls, but it should not be so thin that a wood or long iron can be played from it without difficulty,” one USGA official wrote to a host club in the early 1950s. Ironically, that official was Pinehurst’s own Richard S. Tufts, grandson of the Pinehurst founder and a key USGA officer through the late 1940s, early 1950s and the USGA president in 1956-57. Tufts was on the USGA’s Competitions Committee in the late 1940s when the USGA began asserting more influence over how individual clubs maintained and prepared their courses leading up to the Open. In 1952, Tufts and USGA Executive Director Joe Dey developed the template that has been part of every U.S. Open since — slick greens, narrow fairways, an intermediate cut of light rough off the fairways adjacent to heavy rough, and as many as four cuts on and near the greens. Now in 2014, the Open returns to Tufts’ course, and there will not be a blade of three-inch Bermuda, fescue, bluegrass or ryegrass rough in sight. June 2014

O.Henry 39

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June 2014

The only long grass will be the whippets of wiregrass grown indigenously in the Sandhills of North Carolina and now an integral part of the 2010–11 restoration of No. 2 under the auspices of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. “This may be the first U.S. Open course played without long rough,” says USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “We’ve never done that before. It will certainly be a different look and feel to the golf course than what we’re used to seeing.” The same trend that vexed Tufts and Dye in 1950 was in play to even greater degrees at the turn of the 20th century. The tandem of whitehot balls and robust drivers overwhelmed classic courses in the 6,800-yard neighborhood and the only defense for them over the last three decades was for the greens committees and superintendents to grow rough — more of it, thicker, longer. Spread more fertilizer and spray more water. The result was a homogenized look that took the latitude out of a golf course and left little imagination or option in playing recovery shots. “Tournament golf has gotten to be 99.9 percent ‘pound it out of heavy rough,’” Crenshaw says. “To me, it’s very boring. I’ve gotten sick of it. There’s got to be something different from that. Yet that’s the mainstay of defenses put on courses. It’s anything but interesting. “I sense that other players feel that way also. And I think Mike Davis and the USGA recognize that. I think Mike has the idea that maybe, just maybe, you can have a U.S. Open that’s just a little bit different . . .” Different indeed with the idea of short grass being a hazard. That’s an idea embraced heartily by architect Tom Doak. “Of all the courses I have seen around the world, only a few have taken advantage of the possibilities of short grass — probably because it requires a good budget to manicure extra acres of fairways,” Doak says. “But consider the list: the Old Course at St. Andrews, Augusta National, Pinehurst No. 2, Royal Dornoch, Muirfield and Ballybunion at the front. With so many new courses lusting after this sort of status, you’d think a few would try to implement this technique.” Doak caddied at St. Andrews for a year after graduation from Cornell University and got his real education, he says, “on exciting courses which had cost nothing to build and which were affordable for all to play. Ever since, I’ve felt a responsibility to build courses which reflect the ideals of the game as the Scots still play it.” And the Scots are certainly not playing a lot of the sixty and sixty-four degree lob wedges so popular in the United States. They can run their ball along the taut surfaces of the British The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Game On Isles, they play their shots under the brisk winds, and they use their imaginations to picture a ball in flight, striking ground and then running along the surface to an eventual stop. American courses with stringy rough surrounding a green allow for essentially one shot — a fierce swipe with a heavy club with lots of loft. “On a course like Pinehurst, you have more options, but at the same time, that makes a lot of people uncomfortable,” Doak says. “You don’t know which shot to play and don’t really commit one way or the other and you mess it up. So many people are just not comfortable putting from off a green or chipping the ball. They reach for the lob wedge automatically. We’ve done two courses at Bandon Dunes, and there’s nothing but short grass there. The caddies try to keep the wedge in the bag. But people keep trying that thirty-yard wedge off a tight lie and a firm fairway. They hit it halfway up the bank and the ball comes right back to them.” It was at the USGA’s annual meeting held at Pinehurst in February 2010 that incoming USGA President Jim Hyler spoke of the association’s initiative to promote more natural looking golf courses, groomed with less water and chemicals and fewer man-hours. “Our definition of playability should include the concepts of firm, fast and yes, even brown, and allow the running game to flourish,” Hyler said. “We need to understand how brown can become the new green.” Four years later, the USGA is on the cusp of staging back-to-back U.S. Opens on a Pinehurst No 2 course that will perfectly illustrate those concepts. There are some 700 fewer sprinkler heads on the course now than there were in 2005. And as many as six different mowing heights have been cut to two — one for the greens, another for everything else. “It’s a throwback to the old days and the idea of ‘maintenance up the middle,’” Davis says. “This is a major focus of our Green Section. Maintain the middle of the golf course and spend less time and money on irrigation, fertilizer and fungicides in the roughs. Go back to the way golf used to be played. You use less resources and you reduce the cost. “You just hope around the world, people will look at this golf course and say, ‘It doesn’t have to be lush and green.’ Maintenance up the middle is a great message for the game.” Listen closely this June and you might just hear golfers vilifying the short grass for the first time ever in a U.S. Open. OH Lee Pace’s book, The Golden Age of Pinehurst — The Story of the Rebirth of No. 2, is available onsite and online at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. Follow him at @LeePaceTweet. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 41


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Feeding the Birds How to make your backyard feeder a buffet for feathered friends

By Susan Campbell

Bird feeding: It

sounds easy enough. Just buy a bag of seeds, fill a tray, tube or hopperstyle feeder, and they will come. Birds are not that different from us when it comes to chowing down. We can certainly subsist on bread and water (for a time anyway), but given a choice, we thrive on — and prefer — variety. I guess this is one of the reasons that buffet-style restaurants are so popular. So to attract an abundance and variety of birds, you need to roll out the red carpet and offer appetizers, a main course and then, of course, dessert. The more kinds of food you provide, the more birds you’ll attract. And birds need healthy options just as we do.

If you want, think of seeds as the appetizer course, a little something for everyone since seeds are sought out by almost any bird, no matter what the season. Our mothers once tossed crusts of bread out into the backyard to feed the birds, but nowadays we realize that seeds are a lot better for birds than leftover toast. Sunflower, in particular, is an oily seed with very high protein content. But in the shell, only birds with larger, stronger bills can get to the heart. Hulled sunflower, however, can be eaten by almost any bird and are often favored by birds that don’t typically eat seeds — wrens and warblers, for instance. Species with smaller bills will pick out smaller hearts or chipped pieces. Most birds, however, prefer protein-rich insects over seeds. In fact, birds probably think of meat, as we do, as the main course or entree. All birds rely on bugs at least part of the year; others, only during the breeding season.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

And insects are a terrific protein source for baby birds. Live bugs, of course, are preferred, but a little tricky for backyard birders to catch and present. Dried insect larvae have the distinct advantage of staying put at your feeding station. Mealworms are an excellent option. (The freeze-dried variety is more economical than live ones.) Suet blocks are another good protein source, made from animal or plant fats. Peanut butter, nuts and seeds are often incorporated into suet blocks, which are not hard to make at home. The suet is usually placed in a mesh bag or in a hanging, cage-like feeder to keep birds and squirrels from destroying or carrying away the entire block. You’ll probably find, however, that it’s too expensive to provide a regular diet of either insects or suet to all the birds in your neighborhood. So maybe think of insects and suet as a sort of gourmet treat. Finally, there’s dessert. Sugar-water feeders of all kinds have become very popular in the last thirty years. But most feeding enthusiasts haven’t realized that nectar is not just for hummingbirds. If it is offered in a feeder with large enough ports, chickadees, warblers and orioles will be attracted. Other sweet treats can be offered as well. Fruits, since they are a natural food, are an obvious choice. Fresh or even dried fruit can be quite popular. Also a dish of grape jelly is a preferred attractant for colorful orioles, not to mention woodpeckers and tanagers. Scattered cornbread or cookies will always disappear quickly. And egg shells are a good source of calcium during nesting season. As popular as bird feeding has become, you needn’t worry about wild birds becoming dependent on our help. Harsh winters notwithstanding, studies suggest that even when bird feeders are readily available, wild birds only get about a quarter of their food from them. Birds are resourceful and instinctively seek out other the food they need to complete their diet. But be warned: Feeder-watching can become downright addicting to those doing the feeding! OH Susan Campbell would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted at susan@ncaves.com or (910) 949-3207. June 2014

O.Henry 43

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Street Level

The City We Once Knew

and yet, as buildings fall to make way for the new Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, if you know where to look, tracks of a once-vibrant Elm Street remain By Jim Schlosser

As demolition

Photographs courtesy of Greensboro Historical Museum

levels most of the east side of North Elm Street’s 300 block and buildings on bordering streets, an argument could be made that the block died fiftythree years ago.

On August 21, 1961, a line of hearses arrived at 338 North Elm, Wesley Long Hospital. Wesley Long was the block’s focus, the city’s second busiest hospital, occupying a long brick building in the center of the block that extended from Elm almost to what’s now Summit Avenue. The hearses, which in those days doubled as ambulances, transferred sixty patients to a new $3.5 million Wesley Long on Elam Avenue, then out in the suburbs. The move sucked the life out of the block. Now, eight out of the block’s ten remaining buildings have either been demolished or are slated to be demolished to make way for Greensboro’s $60 million Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. The burial is being officiated by the grim reaper of demolition in Greensboro and elsewhere, D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. Dr. John Wesley Long founded the hospital in 1917 in a big Victorian house at 338 North Elm that he’d bought from insurance agent W.B. Merrimon. Over time, brick additions were added to the back of the house. In the 1940s, the house was removed and a new brick facade added to the sixty-five-bed hospital. Until 1917, North Elm from Bellemeade Street to Fisher Avenue was lined with Victorian and Queen Anne houses occupied by the city’s most prominent and wealthiest people. If too lazy to walk the few blocks to downtown’s core district, they could hop the streetcar. The tracks split the thoroughfare. As the hospital grew, businesses gradually moved into the houses, many of which doctors bought for offices. Previous owners moved to nearby Fisher Park or two miles away to Irving Park. The 300 block is just the latest mass destruction along North Elm downtown since the 1960s. Four other blocks already have all but vanished and been rebuilt. Lost in the process were Greensboro’s imposing granite city hall, clothing stores, barbershops, car dealers, a funeral home, an interior-decorating business, four drugstores, a bowling alley and a number of hole-in-the-wall Greek-owned restaurants that served delicious food at cheap prices. There was even a miniature golf course in the 200 block in the 1930s. These places attracted people and characters and added vitality to the sidewalks. Today, what remains among the four blocks are the seventeen-story Jefferson Standard Building, completed in 1917; the eleven-story Bank of America Building from the 1990s; the sixteen-story former Wachovia Building, opened in the The Art & Soul of Greensboro

1960s and now converted to Center Pointe condominiums; two enormous parking decks finished in late 1980s and early 1990s; the nineteen-story Renaissance Plaza office building completed in 1989; the still relatively new Center City Park that wiped out a row of businesses along Elm and West Friendly Avenue; the twenty-story high rise now called the Wells Fargo Building on West Lindsay Avenue in Elm’s 300 block, west side; the blue-tinted office building now called by its address, 301 North Elm; and the Marriott Hotel, which opened in the 1980s across from the old Wesley Long site. Moreover, an L-shaped shopping center within the downtown called the Bishop Block was destroyed in 400 block in the 1970s to make way for a new savings and loan and later the Wrangler Building. The savings and loan building is now owned by VF Corporation, which owns Wrangler. The new buildings are architecturally striking, even monumental, but the people inside are rarely seen. Those who work in the Jefferson, Lincoln Financial and Bank of America buildings don’t even have to touch the sidewalk. They can walk from a parking deck through a skywalk that serves all three buildings. What’s new or recent is tasteful; but lost were the small businesses, shops, restaurants, the hospital and government building that made the blocks hum with pedestrian activity — and with characters. Reporters congregated at the soda fountain at Wilkerson’s Drugstore in North Elm’s 100 block to interview sources and prospect for new tips. It was a decrepit building. A stockbroker took a seat one day and shouted, as the wait staff looked mortified, “Give me one of those cockroach sandwiches.” At Kirkman’s Barbershop in the same block, highly paid executives and lowly store clerks waited their turn to get haircuts and shoeshines. As soon as the clippers stopped, the barbers would always ask, “Leave it wet or dry?” At the Savoy Restaurant near Kirkman’s, District Court Judge E.D. Kuykendall Jr. downed beer every day between the morning and afternoon session of court held in city hall right across the street. He made no apologies, and no one ever challenged him about this seemingly unseemly judicial habit. The long-gone Banner Building on Elm beside the Jefferson was where a Duke law student, Richard Nixon, applied for a job at the Koontz law firm in the late 1930s. The firm rejected him. At the original O.Henry Hotel in the 200 block, renowned local radio personality Bob Poole, arguably the funniest man in Greensboro, broadcast his quips, music and weather forecasts from studios in the hotel’s basement. Slim Pickens came to the studio and played live for several years while living in a downtown house. At Smith’s Cleaners on Davie, which stood on a portion of what’s now Center City Park, you always encountered an acquaintance, some not fully dressed. A reporter for the old Greensboro Record owned two shirts. Each morning, Effie Smith handed him a clean shirt, which he donned at the counter. He handed the dirty one over to be cleaned. The phones at Mitchell & Anthony’s grocers in the Bishop Block Shopping June 2014

O.Henry 47

Street Level

Center stayed busy with callers. The store took phone orders for home deliveries. Judging on your viewpoint, North Elm has benefited by the rising new buildings and the demise of the old. The tall buildings have brought new or expanded trade and created a skyline visible from the suburbs. Before, the Jefferson and old Wachovia Building constituted the only two candles in the city’s skyline. Somehow a portion of the 300 North Elm east side managed to survive a mass clearing until now, although it has been chipped away at through the years. A 1940 photo from atop the Jefferson Building by photographer Carol Martin shows a block with trees; houses; the hospital; the Long Apartments, where many nurses lived; the Long office building, home of the weekly Greensboro Free Press; lots of doctor’s offices; three gas stations; a tire dealership; a dry cleaners; and several restaurants. Today, an elevated view shows a block dominated by a vast parking lot, added after the destruction in early 1991 of the giant Western Auto Store at Elm and Summit (that part of Summit used to be Bellemeade). Once the hospital closed, the doctors moved to new structures across from the new Wesley Long and to Moses Cone Hospital, which opened eight years earlier. Today, most of the trees are gone. All the houses have vanished, including the one across from the Greensboro Historical Museum. It had a backyard rooster that went cock-a-doodle-doo every morning well into the 1960s. Former 300 block dwellers included Dr. John Wesley Long himself and C.W. “Moon” Wyrick. Wyrick was the city’s fire chief and official Santa Claus. George Stansbury, perhaps the county’s most powerful politician, lived in a big house with a turret. His nickname was “Kingfish,” testimony to his influence. As far as architectural gems go, the block offered little, except for the stately

48 O.Henry

June 2014

houses. The hospital had a dignified marble stone archway entrance and an inviting solarium on the top floor of a three-story brick building. Patients could watch people across the street buy Fords from Ingram Motors. They could see people hurl tenpins and duckpins down the alleys at the Greensboro Bowling Center. Upstairs teenagers gathered at a community center after Friday night football games. Soldiers stationed at the giant Army Air Force base during World War II congregated at the center when it became a USO club during the war. After Wesley Long closed, two-thirds of the hospital building was torn down. The remaining one-third, facing Elm, was renovated into a boxy office building, called 338 North Elm. For years, in a parking lot where the back portion of the hospital stood, tiles from an operating room remained visible. Retiring Congressman Howard Coble has for many elections had his campaign office in 338 North Elm. Even though he’s retiring from Congress this year after thirty years, his supporters have hung a sign on the south side of the building saying “Howard Coble our congressman.” One nice piece of architecture remains — for now — the former Andrews Pure Oil Station (remember the ad, “Be Sure with Pure?”) across from the historical museum. It and many other Pure stations were built with pitched roofs that had built-in birdhouses under the eves. The building, which hasn’t pumped gas in sixty years, retains the birdhouses. The station stood next to, and in front of, a long building that served many purposes during the 20th century, including a General Tire dealership and Cummins Diesel Engine’s local operation. The building and the gas station have been restaurants in recent years: Macado’s, Solaris, Summit Station Eatery and, most recently, Boston’s House of Jazz and Blues. The buildings will be torn down.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro




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Street Level


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June 2014

The block recently lost downtown’s last drugstore, the independent Burton’s Pharmacy, which occupied a white-brick shoebox of a building at 120 East Lindsay Street. Downtown used to have a dozen or more drugstores. Four were near the hospital, including the pharmacy at the original O.Henry, a half block away. Downtown’s only 1960s’ style motel, the Greensboro Inn, at Lindsay and Church streets across from the historical museum, was the first building in the block to fall for the PAC, in January of this year. Good riddance, Greensboro police said. The “No Tell Motel,” as some called it, was forced to close in 2014 as a public nuisance. Prostitutes, junkies and other unsavory characters claimed the motel as home and kept police blue lights flashing in the parking lot. A woman was found murdered there. The father-in-law of a former Greensboro police chief was shot to death there. One man who was charged with committing twenty-eight burglaries downtown was arrested there. The place looked so sinister that people avoided walking by it. The police feared answering calls there. Drug dealers beat up an undercover agent. The inn wasn’t always bad. It opened in the early 1960s, replacing several houses, as a clean, respectable place — part of the Travel Lodge chain, featuring a nice restaurant. It was inviting enough to be pictured on a postcard. In the 300 block, the city has decided to spare the former Shahane Taylor eye clinic building, now the Blvd. Interiors Marketplace, where interior designers show wares. The space won’t be needed for the PAC. So, perhaps, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Building next door will survive. The city says for now the building does not figure into the PAC site. That’s good news for the chamber staff. It seems to always be on the move. It has twice been on North Greene, once in the Jefferson Building, once in the Dixie Building on South Elm, among other locations. The chamber of commerce spent a chunk of money in 1997 renovating beyond recognition what had been the 16,000-square foot Art Deco-style Gilmore Medical Arts Building. It stood beside Wesley Long before and after the hospital closed. One of the tenants was a beloved pediatrician, Dr. Adrian Rubin, who treated generations of children and stayed put even after the hospital moved. While North Elm blocks fell, South Elm Street lost only one significant building, the National Theater, where Elvis played four shows in 1956. A parking lot now occupies the site. South Elm survived because owners of old buildings dating to the 19th and 20th century renovated them for new uses without destroying the facades. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Street Level

Natty Greene’s Pub, for example, was once a seedy hotel, with a burger and beer joint on the first floor. The Center Theater, its marquee still protruding over the sidewalk, is now a nightclub. The old Montgomery Ward Building is now Triad Stage. It retains the “W” at the top of the facade. The South Elm district has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. As for North Elm, “People have felt the need to tear everything down to build everything up,” says Betty Cone, a downtown booster since the 1970s and key to keeping South Elm looking much at it did 100 years ago. Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro Inc., says South Elm at the railroad tracks was once downtown’s epicenter. It was all commercial. During that time, most of North Elm downtown stayed residential. Later, he says, the epicenter shifted to what is now North Elm and Bellemeade, the site of the original O.Henry where a classy old house was torn down for the hotel in 1918. It was easier to tear down a section with old houses, whose owners were eager to sell and move to newer, more fashionable neighborhoods. “This area had the greatest opportunity for change,” Briggs says of North Elm. Only one house from the old era of when North Elm was mostly residential survives. It stands in the 500 block, at the corner of Elm and Fisher. It is called Sanctuary House and helps the mentally ill. For the record, perhaps the most notable person born at the old Wesley Long remains alive and lively today, former Gov. James Baxter Hunt, whose parents were living in Pleasant Garden when he was born April 16, 1937. Hunt would serve sixteen years as North Carolina’s governor, and was the first governor born in Guilford County since 1804. (Present Gov. Pat McCrory, who grew up in Jamestown, was born in Columbus, Ohio.) It’s not true that upon his worldly entry, the effusive Hunt asked for a comb to slick back his hair, then expressed how proud he was of the Wesley Long staff for the marvelous work it did birthing him. But he would’ve done it, if he could’ve. Also, for the record, Deborah Lynn Tickle, whose mother lived on McCormick Street in Glenwood, was the last baby born in old Wesley Long Hospital. She arrived Tuesday night before the hospital’s Wednesday closing. If alive, she would now be 52. Efforts to reach her were unsuccessful. If she reads this, give us a call. OH It’s not true that upon his worldly entry, O.Henry’s contributing editor Jim Schlosser was pounding away on a typewriter. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 51

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June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

The Summer Dinner Party Made easy on the Internet

By Jane Borden

Welcome, Jane Borden! You found this

blog post because you and your boyfriend are hosting your first dinner party together. You’ve come to the right place! Below, our experts have laid out, in easy steps, exactly what to expect on this special night. It’s gonna be a hot mess! Your friends will forgive you. Eventually. 1. You’ve only thrown one or two dinner parties in your whole life, and also, this is the first that you and Nathan are hosting together. It’s important, as you want some of your close friends to get to know him better. So you’ll do almost no planning whatsoever. Wing it, girl! 2. In fact, this is the only article you’ll read about pulling off dinner parties, so you’ll miss the No. 1 tip offered by every food blog in the history of the Internet: Don’t make something you’ve never made before. You’re a trailblazer.

Illustration by Meridith Martens

3. You and Nathan choose risotto — because you’ve always wanted to make it; not because you want to spend 45 minutes standing over a gas flame during record August heat in Brooklyn. You want to do something nice for your friends, because they do nice things for you. Why not trap them inside a blazing-hot apartment with no escape? Your first dinner party as a couple will be special: like a ring of hell, or a napalm attack. 4. When Bartow, your first guest, arrives, and you tell him what you’re making for dinner, he’ll say, “Really? Oh, no, nothing, I mean, that sounds great. Thanks for having me!” 5. When your remaining guests, Brian and Cathy, arrive, Brian will be less coy: “Risotto? Are you serious? Oh, I see: It’s premade or something. It’s not? You know it requires an open flame for like, forever, right?” Then you’ll say, “Don’t worry; we have an air conditioner.” 6. “Beat the Heat” Tip No. 1: Make sure your AC unit is a cheap one you inherited from a former roommate who got it on sale at Rite Aid, which doesn’t even really sell air conditioners. After all, this unit worked perfectly fine cooling a ten-by-7-foot bedroom, which was never literally on fire. 7. OK, you’re ready to get started. First, “warm up” the apartment by makThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

ing oven-roasted pizzas as an appetizer. 8 People are already uncomfortable, so start a literal fire in the kitchen. Your guests will sweat, then lobby to turn off the AC, and open every window instead because, “There’s a fire on the other side of the apartment — this thing can’t fight a fire, Jane.” 9. “Beat the Heat” Tip No. 2: Keep drinking! Your glasses are the only things not made out of 100°. 10. Force your guests to make their own drinks, because even though you’re currently suffering from chronic tendonitis, you choose to serve an elaborate cocktail requiring slicing, squeezing and muddling, none of which you can actually do. 11. After seven minutes, the group will set up pot-stirring shifts, in reaction to Nathan shouting, “I think I’m dying!” 12. Force your guests to pick up more shifts than their true allotment (see tendonitis). 13. Each shift will be spent alone, while the others hide in the bedroom, where it’s at least 2° cooler. But this is fine, because the person standing over the flame does not really feel like talking. 14. “Beat the Heat” Tip No. 3: Also, open your front door and then prop open the building’s front door, and the roof-access door. Do not worry about unwanted entry as any potential burglar passing by would feel the heat from inside, assume he’d died, and then try to outrun hell by bolting in the opposite direction. Also, keep drinking. June 2014

O.Henry 53

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane 15. Oops, you run out of ice. 16. Everyone simultaneously shout-volunteers to go out for more ice. 17. At the end of Bartow’s first shift, he’ll scream, heroically, “I can keep going, I can make it a little longer.” Then, fifteen seconds later, he’ll shout, “I was wrong! I can’t make it any longer.” 18. After handing over the spoon, Bartow will stick his head inside the freezer, and then pull it out, saying, “By the way, don’t lean directly over the pot; I think I dripped into it.” 19. Party game: Try to pretend that hearing your name called for a shift change isn’t like having your name chosen in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” 20. Fail at that party game. 21. Wonder which layer of the Earth your apartment currently resembles most. 22. Ask, “Why didn’t the cookbook tell us to avoid making risotto in the summer?” Remember that it’s common sense. Wonder if you’re also not supposed to go on a picnic in a snowstorm.

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23. “Beat the Heat” Tip No. 4: Your guests will begin “hanging out” with their heads poking out of open windows because the steamy August Brooklyn night is preferable to the dwarf star currently imploding inside your building. You aid the situation by laughing and taking pictures of them. 24. Keep drinking! Everyone will switch to white wine when the ice runs out, but the wine will turn warm after five minutes of being in your glass, so also, drink fast. 25. Through flushed and splotchy faces, your guests will declare this the best risotto they’ve ever had, because it has to be, or else kill me now. Even so, no one savors it, but devours it, so it will just be over and you can all climb onto the building’s roof, where you’ll pronounce the 85° Brooklyn night “So good.” 26. Congratulations! Your entire dinner party is drunk, and illegally on a roof deemed unsound to carry weight. Click through to the next post, titled, “Liability.” OH Jane Borden wants you to know that her book I Totally Meant to Do That is in stores and at JaneBorden.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

O.Henry 55

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June 2014

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June 2014 Aunt Lavinia Strikes Aunt Wilma’s fabled spoon bread sits Beside Aunt Martha’s perennial grits; Here Sissie’s chicken a la king Companions Darla’s Jell-O ring, While Cousin Willoughby has brought in A gay attempt at haute cuisine, And next — the terror of the soul: Aunt Lavinia’s casserole.

The fumes it breathes are strong enough To set the smoke detectors off; The radon gauge screams into red, The Geiger counters go stark mad. The laws of physics confirm our fears — A half-life of four billion years: For mankind’s future we must control Aunt Lavinia’s casserole;

The years come round and, as they do, Cousin Barney’s Irish stew Will return again somehow To take an undeserving bow, Along with Mother Elsie’s bread, A stone to commemorate the dead, Like the victims we enroll Under “Aunt Lavinia’s Casserole.”

Or else it’s what our family Will bequeath to all eternity: An angry, evil, black morass Slowly approaching critical mass. Ages will roll, constellations change, Gemini into Virgo range, And then the system from pole to pole Will collapse into the casserole.

Uncle Zeph asks blessings on The peach preserves and crisp cornpone Aunt Matilda so tediously made, And the zucchini marmalade Brought by crazy Uncle McGhee He includes democratically; But his blessing is not whole — It omits the casserole.

— Fred Chappell from Family Gathering, Louisiana State University Press, 2000

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

O.Henry 57

The Pies Have It A pure wedge of happiness Photographs by James Stefiuk

Father Knows Best By David Claude Bailey

When it comes to pies, the oak that this acorn fell from was Claude Colonelue Bailey. My daddy was a lifelong Kiwanian, and when regular meetings were suspended for the summer, our family would socialize once a month with the families of other club members at some country church or another — Speedwell Presbyterian on Ironworks Road, for instance. For a modest donation, the ladies auxiliary would lay out a feast featuring the likes of crunchy fried chicken, fluffy biscuits stuffed with country ham, marvelous watermelon-rind pickles and green beans cooked with taters. Seranaded by a chorus of crickets, we’d stuff ourselves silly. Decades later, the mere memory of those evenings warms my heart and makes my stomach rumble in anticipation. What I anticipate above all else is chocolate chess pie. Now what I most liked about my father is how he gave advice that wasn’t challenging to follow: “Son,” my daddy would tell me as we stood in line, “be sure to get yourself some pie first time you go through the line. It’s gonna go fast.” My South Carolina lowcountry wife, Anne, nearly swallowed her tongue in the late 1960s at Bur-Mil Park the first time she tried some of my Aunt Betty Reid’s chocolate chess pie at a Bailey family reunion. Too overwhelmed to ask for the recipe, she cooked her way through the pie section of a number of cookbooks until she happened on the Rockingham County Extension Homemakers Cook Book, which features no less than eight chess pies.

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At the top of page 223 is a chocolate chess pie from Lucy Ross of the Bason Club. It’s got four eggs, a whole cup of chocolate syrup, a stick of butter and an entire can of evaporated milk. Skip it. Next on the page is a chocolate pie from the kitchen of Mrs. E.V. Boswell of the Out Our Road Club. E.V.’s pie uses two eggs, half the evaporated milk and four tablespoons of cocoa — plus a stick of butter. Through trial and error, Anne has modified E.V.’s pie by doubling up on the cocoa, substituting unsalted butter and adding just a pinch of salt. It’s become a holiday must-have, and my daddy and I would always compliment Anne’s pie by getting ourselves a slice before my uncle had a chance to say grace.

Anne & E.V.’s Chocolate Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 stick of butter Pinch salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 6 tablespoons cocoa 5 ounces canned evaporated milk 1 unbaked pie shell Mix ingredients well with mixer. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 35–40 minutes

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Meringue Memories By Nancy Oakley

I have so many vivid memories of her: an infectious cackle of a laugh, bird feeders that were never empty, exquisite needlework — and lemon meringue pie. Geneva Everhart Creech (or Neva, as I called her when I was a child), her husband, Harry, and three children lived next door to my family for the whole of my growing up. And every October when my dad’s birthday rolled around, she would appear at the back door with one of her pies, which invariably took the sting out of turning another year older for my dad. “It was my Grandmother Everhart’s recipe,” says Geneva’s elder daughter, Jane Buchanan, who works as a registered nurse at Wesley Long Hospital. “When I was a little girl, we’d go to family reunions [in Spencer, North Carolina], and my grandmother always, always made lemon meringue pie.” But the key to the pie’s success is all in the meringue, which Grandmother and Geneva would make by hand. Buchanan remembers watching, rapt, as her mother sat in the kitchen, fluffing a bowl of egg whites with a coiled wire egg beater. “She would beat this, and I would think, this meringue is going to hit her. It came so close to the edge of the bowl but never got on her clothes,” Buchanan recalls. “She would beat, beat, beat that meringue . . . and it was beautiful.” Beautiful, too, is Geneva’s cursive script neatly outlining the recipe for “Mother’s Lemon Pie” on an index card jammed among others in a box in my mother’s kitchen — a generous, if bittersweet legacy of the pie-maker, who died in 1998. So when my own birthday rolled around recently, I skipped the cake and opted for this confection. I may not be getting any younger, but after one bite, I felt like a kid again. Thanks, Neva.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Mother’s Lemon Pie

4 heaping tablespoons flour 1 cup sugar Pinch salt Grated rind of half a lemon Juice of 1 lemon 2 cups warm water 3 egg yolks 1 tablespoon butter 1 unbaked pie shell Blend ingredients in a double boiler and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Pour into a baked pie shell and cool. Meringue 3 egg whites 1 tablespoon water 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/8th teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoom vanilla 6 tablespoon granulated sugar Put egg whites, water, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until foamy. Continue beating at high speed and slowly add the 6 tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over the hot lemon mixture, being careful to seal meringue to the crust. Bake in a 300 degree oven until golden and tipped with brown.

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Show Pies By Maria Johnson

That’s what we called my grandmother’s pecan pies for special occasions. For everyday pies, she mixed pecan pieces into the egg-and-syrup filling. The pecans floated to the top in a nutty mosaic. For show pies — which she served whenever she wanted to impress someone at Sunday dinner after church, she topped the pie with harder-to-comeby pecan halves in concentric circles. If God hadn’t gotten to you in the preceding hour, a show pie from the oven of this small-but-mighty Methodist woman would. Thank you, Jesus, for our many blessings including, but not limited to, show pie. When my husband, a Yankee and pie aficionado, first encountered show pie, he did not know what to make of it. But he ate it, of course, and he proclaimed it good. Real good. It was unlike anything he’d ever eaten because, although his own grandmother had baked professionally — if the woman made one pie, she made four — no one in Michigan had pecan trees growing in the backyard, as my grandmother and grandfather did in Spencer, North Carolina. The only “pecan pie” my husband had ever eaten was factorymade goo with leaden crust. He was an instant convert. He asked for my grandmother’s recipe and started his own legacy. Now, every Thanksgiving, he and my sons — who have inherited the Y-pie gene from their father — whip up a show pie, complete with concentric nuts. The Michigan relatives rave about the PEE-can pie from down South. One nephew loved it so much he started making it. Now he has moved to Austin, Texas, where he surely will notice that the state tree is the pecan tree. I expect he will adapt the recipe to suit his own personal landscape. Thus spread languages, diseases and pie recipes. My grandmother would be proud.

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Cora Brown’s Pecan Pie Crust: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening 2–3 tablespoons cold water Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a fork or pastry blender, adding water gradually until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Form dough into ball. Do not overwork. Roll out dough on floured wax paper. Pick up waxed paper with crust, lay over pie pan crust-side down and peel off waxed paper. Gently push crust into pan. Trim overhanging edges. Roll remaining dough into ropes and lay on crust edge. Make fancy by pressing with fork to make fluted edge. Cover with piecrust shield if available. Filling: 1 cup dark Karo syrup 1 cup sugar Pinch salt 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 whole eggs, slightly beaten 1 1/2 cup pecans pieces (for show pie, use 1 cup pecan pieces, 1 cup pecan halves or enough to cover pie in concentric circles.) Preheat oven to 350°. Combine syrup, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Add slightly beaten eggs. Pour into 9-inch unbaked pie shell (not deep dish). Bake for 50–55 minutes or until center springs back to the touch.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In Defense of Cobbler: No Prissy Pie for Me By Cynthia Adams

I can see my child-self now, wading into a blackberry thicket with a tin bucket behind my grandmother, Mama Patty. She wisely wears a long-sleeved cotton dress and apron; I wear shorts, a T-shirt and dirty white Keds. My grinning teeth are already purple, my mouth watering. And the dreaded thorns — no berry is harder won — wait for bare limbs as I strain to reach the darkened berries. Brambles spring, too, snagging my ponytail and flesh. Wrestling free, they rip angry red tracks that tattoo my scrawny limbs. Mama Patty plunges heedlessly into the thickest tangle of prickly brambles, ignoring the unripe red berries. A perfectly ripened berry is nearly black and fragile — grasp it too hard and it easily bruises, oozing purple sweetness that you’ll take to school with you the next day. Nothing is more redolent of summer than a blackberry, warmed and sweetened by the sun, bursting with flavor. Mama Patty knew her way around plants like a botanist; she knew what plants could heal infections, sweeten your breath or cleanse the blood. Best of all, she knew exactly where to find the best berries when the time came. When the buckets were filled — slowed by too many berries making their way into my greedy mouth — Mama Patty made cobbler. Pies are prissier, difficult and easy to screw up, dry out and over-bake. As anyone knows, a cobbler is juicier, lusher, sweeter and honors the fruit better than your lowly pie — and it’s rustically toothsome and just about impossible to mess up. Plus, you can load more fruit into a deep-dish cobbler than a pie. It’s the best vehicle for delivering a payload of pure sunshine in the mouth Just ask Chip Stamey, of Stamey’s on High Point Road, whose restaurants sell approximately 1,250 servings of fruit cobbler a day. (That’s fifty pans of twenty-five servings.) Over half of his customers can’t resist ordering it, and many come just to eat cobbler. “The recipe is my Uncle Keith’s — he brought cobbler to Stamey’s in 1960,” explains Chip. “My cousins were peach farmers, and that’s why Stamey’s had peach cobbler. We always serve peach.” Like Stamey’s strawberry, apple and blackberry cobblers, they contain only about one cup of sugar per pan. That is about as much as they care to divulge of the Keith Stamey recipe. “We make our own crust,” Chip Stamey adds. “The pastry is what makes cobbler.” Customer Arnold Humphrey, age 90, eats at Stamey’s counter three days a week and attests to the cobbler’s excellence. “I like the blackberry best,” says Humphrey. “It’s usually here around July 11.” During Founder’s Day, Stamey’s offers blackberry cobbler to honor Keith Stamey. Mama Patty often made extra biscuit dough for cobbler or even her famous chicken dumplings. Easy peasy. In her view, there was no need to chill and roll out pastry dough, nor use a recipe — just dead reckoning. She would heap as much fruit as a dish could hold, along with dough, sugar, butter, and, cocking an eye at it, added more of whatever she thought lacking and then baked it up. Mama Patty inherently knew how a GE oven and ordinary ingredients wrought triumphs a Michelin star chef might admire. When her biscuit dough had a 35-minute, 350-degree-quickie with apples, peaches, strawberries, cherries, blueberries or blackberries — their love child was a cobbler. The flavors ran and melded as the tender berries burst; butter melted and mixed; the sugar caramelized; the dough rose and expanded, yielding something soft, tender and goldenly delicious. In fact, a really good cobbler can barely contain its goodness, so it ought to be capped off with more dough so the juicy little love tryst inside doesn’t end up all over the oven. Touch a spoon to that golden crust, with fruit bubbling around it, and it yields up more than the sum of its parts. A cobbler just begs to be attacked again and again; dig deep and you find more runny lusciousness below. And next day cobbler, cold? Oh my word! Phenomenal baker that she was, Mama Patty died in 1974, without written recipes for cobblers, pound cakes, egg custards, or comely tea cakes. Jane Gibson, who edited the award-winning hospice cookbook, Forget Me Not, offers a personal fruit cobbler favorite from her Grammy’s recipe box. Each spoonful is a sweet memory of things your young self knew about berry picking and summertime. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Grammy’s Peach Blackberry Cobbler ½1 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup all-purpose flour 1–2 cups of sugar — adjust amount based on sweetness of fruit 1 tablespoon baking powder Pinch salt 1 cup of milk 4 cups fresh peaches Lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 cups blackberries (or 1 cup blueberries) ½1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 ½ teaspoon cornstarch for thickening if needed Melt butter and pour into 9 x 13 pan In a bowl combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Pour batter over butter melted into a baking pan. Do not stir. Place peaches and lemon juice in a pot. Add ¼cup of sugar. Stir, taste and add additional sugar to get to desired sweetness. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add in lemon zest, almond extract. Stir mixture and pour over batter but do not stir. Sprinkle blackberries and then cinnamon — do not stir. Bake 375 for 40–45 minutes — until golden brown. OH

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O.Henry 61

Waitresses We Love An ode to the Gate City’s goddesses of grub


By Jim Dodson • Photographs by Hannah Sharpe

n old friend who worked as a waitress for nearly a decade in Manhattan while struggling to break into Broadway once informed me that the “trick” to being a successful waitress is being able to smile and appear utterly unflappable in the face of a culinary disaster or an irresistible urge to dump a bowl of fish stew onto the head of an obnoxious customer. When I mentioned this to Julia Ingle at Josephine’s not long ago, she threw back her spiky blonde and heavily lacquered hair and gave an engaging hoot. “Oh, lord that’s so true,” she declared. “But fortunately, when you’ve been a waitress for as long as I have, honey, you’ve seen just about everything you can possibly see — and learned how to deal with it. I find most people appreciate a waitress who works hard, knows her stuff and is eager to make their dining experience pleasant.” An invigorating sense of humor helps, too. When we asked Julia how long she has been working the waitress, she deadpanned: “At least a hundred and fifty years.” Then the popular waitress laughed and expertly guided us through that evening’s broad array of chef specials, pausing to give a sweet minicommentary on the preparation of each dish. Don’t kid yourself. Though she’s a pro’s pro at the waitressing game, Julia Ingle’s only been at it roughly thirty years. After graduating in the Dudley High class of 1976, she found that the freedom of waitressing appealed to her for various life-related reasons. Among other virtues, it provided a good flexible income, gave her a chance to use her considerable “people” skills, and let her be around lots of very good food. Not surprisingly, Julia’s vita includes working stops at a string of successful Gate City eateries ranging from Green’s Supper Club to Lucky 32. When Josephine’s on Spring Garden Street opened up for business almost four years ago, she came aboard and has been a customer favorite ever since. “My approach, I suppose you might say, is to treat folks like they were family,” she provided after artfully suggesting the restaurant’s legendary fried green tomatoes as a starter simply because we’d never had them. “Eating is one of the most important things people do every day. It brings people together naturally, like music and romance. So I try to make customer feel like they are really welcome at my table — willing to do whatever it takes to send them away happy.” In the hands of a veteran like Julia, we naturally opted for her recommendation of Josephine’s famous fried green tomatoes over the tempting seared foie gras with micro beet salad with roasted cashews and cherry tomato leek jam — making a mental note for our next visit — and weren’t the least bit disappointed. My wife, Wendy, went for the homemade carrot gnocchi with seared spring greens and ginger, while I opted for the fresh “crispy skinned” red snapper with fingerling potatoes, lump crab, Swiss chard and lemon hollandaise. Enhancing the experience was the bits of conversation that flowed around her service, as she appeared and disappeared with immaculate timing. “You have to learn to read a guest’s mood,” she explained at one point while refilling our water goblets. “Some people want to chat with their server while others simply want to be alone with their food and companions. After you’ve done this awhile you develop an instant instinct for this.” In our case, we wanted to hear about Julia’s recent weekend at Merlefest with her fellow Josephine’s waitress Patty Smith, and she kindly and entertainingly obliged. “Because we helped out with the lighting crew — we brought dessert for their big dinner, see — we actually got to camp right on the grounds of the festival and see Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard up close and personal. We even saw legendary Ralph Stanley perform. He’s 87 and kept forgetting things but, Lord, it was fantastic, though after three days of two middle-aged ladies sleeping in tents I looked at Patty and said, ‘Girl, my back is killing me. I think we’ve about done enough’, and we got out before the rest of the crowds.” I thanked her for reminding me that Merlefest has long been on my radar but always seems to sneak up on me in the spring. “Well, honey, next year I’ll save y’all a camping spot right next to ours,” she declared, expertly orchestrating the removal of empty plates and a flawless delivery of the dessert menu. Alas, we could only look and enjoy our coffee because the evening’s meal and rich conversation had left us deliciously full and happy campers, as it were.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


n a world where first-rate service is promised but rarely delivered, a great waitress like Julia Ingle is sometimes hard to find. Yet if there were such a thing as a Gate City Waitress Hall of Fame, we know three more veterans of the waitressing arts who would be inducted in the first class. One is Tammy Tucker — “Like the country music singer,” she drawls, “only nicer, a true redneck girl from the country” — which may be an understatement for this beloved waitress at the alwayscrowded Coliseum Cafe, a hard-working, infectiously upbeat daughter of Pleasant Garden who learned her deep knowledge of country cookin’ and serving grace from her grandmother, Opal Jordan. Tammy owns college degrees in horticulture and accounting but turned to waitressing seven years ago and has never looked back. The staff of O.Henry met her a year or so ago when she handled a table full of noisy staff members with the skill and unflappable goodwill of a frat-house mother. “I wanted a change of pace from what I was doing and found the job at the Cafe fit the bill perfectly for me,” she explains. “It’s become like a home away from home to me, and my customers are really more like family because we see each other several times and week a check up on each other’s lives. I know their tastes and their personalities — which makes the experience all the more fun for both of us.” During a recent medical leave of absence, for instance, her admiring customers sent cards and get-well wishes by the bundle and sang her praises all over Facebook. “Everyone was so pleased when Tammy returned,” confirms Cafe owner Carolyn Johnson. “In many ways, she symbolizes what we’re all about here at the Cafe — a down-home feeling of family that is as authentic as the food itself.” “It meant so much to me that they cared enough to keep checking up on my recovery,” Tammy says with genuine feeling. “Being a good waitress starts with someone wanting to make your lunch or dinner a special moment in your day. That’s what my grandmother used to say to me and what I think about when I’m serving my customers. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” She laughs sweetly and adds, “I’ve put on eighteen pounds since I came back. Life is good.” The staff of O.Henry couldn’t have put it better.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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eanwhile, at the always-crowded, fast-moving scene at Lox Stock & Bagel deli on Battleground Avenue, indefatigable Ruth Anne Roland, who has been refining her talents of serving customer for almost three decades, thinks good waitressing is actually a key ingredient in the popularity of a restaurant. “In some ways you really are the face of the restaurant, the thing some people will take away with them as well as their feelings about the quality of the food. So if the service is poor, that can really have an impact on whether customers return. That’s why you have to be someone who loves meeting people and building relationships in this job. Your role is a little like being a mother and a friend — at least that’s how I approach it. The two things most needed, in my opinion are patience and good humor. I love my customers and I make sure they know it.” These are insights Ruth Anne also picked up on a lengthy waitressing trail that began almost thirty-four years ago at Your House diner and on to Mr. Dunderbak’s at Four Seasons Mall, among other stops, before she found her perfect fit in the high-energy atmosphere of Lox Stock & Bagel. “We’re a family restaurant — the Meyler family is just fantastic to work for — and that quality shows in how we treat our customers, most of whom are regulars. The food here is wonderful, something we’re all proud of. That’s why I love my job so much and never have a problem going to work.” When we pointed out that some of our staff at O.Henry, faced with so many great deli classics and so little time, sometimes have difficulty making up our minds what to order. Ruth Anne laughs. “It can be a problem. But that’s where we can help you figure out what you’ll love. When in doubt,” she adds with a knowing smile, “try the hot Italian sub. That never fails to please.” Ditto Ruth Anne Roland.

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inally, with full water glasses raised, we salute Sandra Bollinger of the Green Valley Grill, a waitress so beloved by the devoted patrons of this iconic Greensboro dining scene she’s almost a legend herself. The High Point native took up waitressing at her hometown’s Old Plank Restaurant immediate after graduating from High Point College with degrees in psychology and sociology in the late 1970s. “I planned to work only one year. Like most college grads I was uncertain what I would do next. Graduate school didn’t really interest me. I took a job at the Old Plank waitressing and found I had a knack for it. The money was good and the work was something I naturally enjoyed.” Eventually it was on to Greensboro’s Franklin’s off Friendly, where she worked until owner Bill Sherrill gave up his interest in the popular eatery. She took off eighteen months to spend in Spain with her sister and returned to Greensboro just as Dennis Quaintance and Mike Weaver were opening Lucky 32. She was among the first to sign up, delighting customers and earning a record number of “stars” in the restaurant’s innovative employee rating system until she made a jump to the company’s posh Green Valley Grill, where she’s been ever since. “In every best sense of the word, Sandra really is a star among stars,” says Quaintance. “She’s earned more stars in our system than anyone for her exemplary service and really acts as a model for a lot of our younger folks. We stress great service and nobody does it better than Sandra,” he says. “It helps that I really love what I do and have been with the company twenty-five years,” Bollinger points out — which explains why at a time of life many veteran waitresses would be hanging up their order pads and thinking about kicking back, Sandra Bollinger still works seven days a week, taking only Saturday afternoons off as a rule of thumb. “I have regular customers whose tastes and dining habits I know by heart,” she points out. “Learning to read a customer’s likes and dislikes and food preferences is important because you really customize the dining experience to their desires. Sometimes they want to chat with you and other times they want to dine in silence. A good waitress picks up on all of that.” She pauses, smiles and reflects. “I’ve been doing this so long it’s basically second nature. The restaurant is like my second home. I want our customers to feel the same way about dining with us.” OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

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Summer Simple Food mavin Mary James Lawrence’s summery feast of fish tacos and strawberries is easy to produce, hard to forget By David Claude Bailey • Photographs by Hannah Sharpe


his is summer,” Mary James Lawrence says, emerging from her fridge with a bunch of fresh cilantro in one hand and strawberries tumbling out of a generously filled carton in the other. “Let’s keep things simple and easy.” Fish tacos with strawberry-and-kiwi salsa, followed by strawberry shortcake topped with a warm cream sauce may not sound simple, but once you get the ingredients assembled, total prep time is thirty minutes max — and that’s for a festive al fresco lunch or an elegant dinner that will wow your guests. And seasonal, local ingredients are its pillars: “Please get your strawberries from the farmers market,” says Lawrence, whose TV segments on WFMY-TV and cooking classes at Roosters Gourmet Market emboldened several generations of Greensboro cooks to don aprons and create dishes that are easy, impressive and delicious. Believe it or not, she says, a good strawberry is hard to come by. “They’ve been so hybridized. It’s difficult to find one that’s not as big as your fist.” Lawrence recommends old-fashioned varieties of berries that are not hybridized for long-distance shipping. And she suggests seeking out smaller berries. “Look for berries that are red all the way through.” Strawberries have been eaten since 1,000 A.D. in England, where they got their name from the plant’s tendency to send out runners to scatter or “strew” their prodigy. Wild American strawberries, which are larger than their European counterpart, were once so prolific in America that no one bothered to culture them for the garden until the late 18th century. Despite their name, strawberries are not berries in the strict botanical sense; they are more fruit than a berry. Highly fragrant, strawberries have an aromatic spiciness that makes them distinctive: “If you’ve chosen good strawberries, anyone who walks in the room can immediately smell them,” Lawrence says.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Fish or shrimp paired with strawberries may not, at first blush, seem like a marriage made in heaven, but Lawrence says it’s a shame to restrict strawberries to the dessert menu. “Strawberries are more than sweet,” she says. “If you taste strawberries without sugar, they’re not overpoweringly sweet. In fact, they’re almost citrusy, making them very versatile in savory dishes.” Remember, she says, “Tomatoes are also a fruit.” Lawrence suggests combining strawberries with kiwis to make a really colorful sauce. Adding red onions, lime, cilantro and sriracha sauce kicks things up a notch, but pomegranate molasses, available at Whole Foods and Super G Mart, is the secret ingredient. The key lime extract, available from the Savory Spice Shop, adds a punch to the sauce. Choose a mild, flaky fish like cod or flounder. “Don’t marinate the flounder for too long, fifteen minutes tops,” she says. “And I used the largest shrimp I could afford.” It’s summer, so why not grill the seafood, and get fresh, handmade corn tortillas from Carniceria El Meracadito on Muirs Chapel? “Put them on the grill at the last moment to warm them up,” she suggests. “After that, you just toss together the seafood and the salsa. Nothing more is needed except perhaps a side salad.” For dessert, she serves the strawberry shortcake she grew up eating with her family in Kentucky. “My grandmother had a strawberry patch, and we’d go out and pick our own berries,” she recalls. The shortcake’s hallmark is simplicity, basically biscuit dough with sugar and an egg added. It’s just flour, sugar, salt, egg, half-and-half — and Lawrence’s secret ingredient, lots of freshly ground nutmeg. “The eggs stabilize the dough and make it more foolproof,” she says. The first time each season that she makes shortcake, Lawrence combines two or three recipes worth of the dry ingredients and stores them in Ziplock bags. “That way, all I have to do is put the butter and eggs in it and I can whip up hot shortcakes any time I can find fresh strawberries.” To really take things over the top, Lawrence tops the strawberries off with a very simple hot cream sauce. “You just take your cream, brown sugar and half a stick of butter and boil it gently,” she says. “Use a tall pot because it will boil over, and keep reducing it until it gets really thick. Easier than in my grandmother’s day, when she would skim the cream off the top of the milk.” Lawrence insists that rosé is the perfect choice of wine. In fact, for a match made in heaven, she suggests going to Zeto’s for some Whispering Angel, a reasonably priced Chateau D’Esclans rosé. Lawrence flinches when I mention beer. But after I tell her about eating fish tacos under the stars at Carmelita’s Fish Tacos in Sayulita, Mexico, paired with a light, bright golden, ice-cold Sol cerveza, she concedes that beer wouldn’t be wrong with fish tacos — but shudders when I want to pair porter with the strawberry shortcake.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

Strawberry Shortcakes with Hot Cream Sauce

Marinade: 2 teaspoon minced garlic Zest of 1 lime 3 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon cumin Pinch red pepper flakes 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 pound large, peeled and deveined shrimp 1/2 pound flaky fish (flounder, cod)

2 pints strawberries 1/2 cup of your favorite preserves (strawberry, fig or raspberry) 2 cups flour 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 4 ounces butter, room temperature 1 large egg, lightly beaten 3/4 cup half-and-half

Combine marinade ingredients and marinate shrimp for 2–3 hours. Marinate fish the last 15 minutes. Preheat grill to very hot. Add seafood and sear. Cooking time will be 5–10 minutes depending on temperature of grill. TIPS: Flounder can be difficult to grill because the filets are typically thin. Since the fish will be pulled apart and the final appearance isn’t key, fold them in half or thirds with the skin side on the outside. For the shrimp, I choose the largest I can afford because they can marinate longer and stay on the grill longer.

Strawberry Salsa

Hot Cream Sauce:

2 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup brown sugar 4 ounces butter Mint for garnish Sliced almonds Chocolate pieces, (optional) Hull strawberries, slice. In the microwave, warm about 1/2 cup of your favorite preserves and pour over berries. Set aside to cool or refrigerate if desired.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add butter and blend (rub with your fingertips) until the texture is a coarse crumble. Place beaten egg in 1 cup liquid measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup mark with half-and-half. Pour, all at once, into flour mixture and stir with a fork. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 400F for 10–12 minutes.

Hot Cream Sauce:

In a large saucepan (large because it tends to boil over), combine cream, sugar and butter and stir until reduced (approximately by a half to three-quarters) and thick. To Assemble: Slice top off of warm shortcake and set aside. Crumble bottom into individual compote. Top with strawberries. Ladle on hot cream sauce. Add top piece and pieces of chocolate. Garnish with mint. If shortcake has been made ahead, wrap in foil and reheat. OH Senior editor David Bailey was banned as a child from a strawberry field for eating too many berries.

1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut up 1 kiwi, sliced and quartered 1 orange, sectioned and diced 3–4 tablespoons chopped cilantro 2-4 tablespoons purple onion Zest of 1 lime 1 teaspoon or drizzle of pomegranate molasses Combine fruit. Add cilantro, onion and lime zest. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses.


3 tablespoons plain yogurt 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/4 teaspoon lime extract 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce or to taste Pinch salt Freshly ground black pepper. Assembly: Put a small amount of sauce on tortilla. Flake the fish and dice the shrimp. Place on top of sauce and finish with salsa.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 69


The further entreprenual adventures of Mary Ellen By Fred Chappell • Illustration by Harry Blair


r. Ponder had written out a list of items on the back of a smudged envelope addressed to the Joyful Enterprise Grocery & Linoleum. The return address was Evergrow Farm, Linden Creek, N.C. 27464. Alongside the ingredients suggested by Mary Ellen for her recipe — the mashed black-eyed peas, the canned spinach, cornmeal, red wine vinegar, and yard grass — he had set down symbols: check marks, asterisks, dotted circles like eyeballs, squiggles, Q’s and indecipherables. Beside these symbols he had sometimes placed the letters “k l.” On the farther sides of some words he had looped scribbles she could not read. It was mid-afternoon. Mr. Joshi said that he had expected her to come to his grocery emporium at 11 so that they could discuss the ingredients, make further plans and wheel. “It is too soon to deal,” he declared in tones almost mournful. “Careful preparation is required before the matter of finances can be broached. A cautious start is best.” “I had to go to the dentist,” Mary Ellen said. He gave her a look of profound commiseration. “I am grieved to hear of this misfortune. I hope the situation was not life-threatening. I have consulted dentists over the years and rarely rejoiced at the prospect.” He paused to recall. “But the outcomes have generally been positive. Can you see?” He hooked a finger into his mouth and pulled down, exhibiting two gold teeth on the left side. “Did it hurt much?” she asked, hoping never again to see his face contorted in such manner. “It is difficult to remember physical discomfort to an exact degree. I seem to recall that I did not jubilate. Did you endure suffering?” “A little bit. My cousin Tommy chipped my front tooth with an umbrella.” “Did this take place during a tempest? Sometimes people become excited by unsettling weather and perform inexplicable acts.” “We were in the apartment. He wanted to play pirates with sword fighting. He pretended the umbrella was a sword. He jumped out of the closet at me.” “Ah. An accident, then.” “That’s what he told my mom.”


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“Was it not the case?” “He is a bully. Someday I will kick his butt.” “Have you considered what may ensue if you return violence for violence?” “He will tell my dad that I beat him up for no reason. He will say that I sneaked up on him from behind. He is a tattletale and he makes stuff up.” “May I look at your tooth-wound?” He leaned and gazed. “I can discern no damage. Your upper lip is a little swollen.” “Dr. Hopley said he fixed it fine and nobody would notice and the swelling would go down.” He straightened and was immediately lost in thought. “He must be a spirited young person, your cousin,” he said at last. “By how many years is he your senior?” “He is my same age but only bigger.” “Does he come often to visit?” “Aunt Penny has to talk to many divorce lawyers all day long. So she drops Tommy off. My mom says I’m supposed to entertain him. I thought she meant I was supposed to sing and dance. But she meant I had to play with him, and he doesn’t fight fair.” “I’d like to become acquainted with Tommy.” “She’s dumping him off at our place again tomorrow.” “Perhaps he would like to inspect the Joyful Sunrise. I would treat the both of you to fruit drinks.” Mary Ellen looked about. The spaces of the store seemed emptier and gloomier than ever. The lazy flight of a large black fly through aisle four underscored the lonely, shadowy atmosphere. The fluorescent glow from the freezer case in back gave the shelves a spectral aspect. “I don’t know if I can get him to come here.” “Perhaps the gratis fruit drink will be an enticement.” “Maybe. What kind of fruit is a gratis?” He considered. “The best kind. I hope you will be able to persuade him. What else might we offer?” “If Mr. Bad Cop was here, I guess Tommy would like to look at his pistol.” He considered again in a more leisurely fashion. “I can make no promise, but you may describe to him the presence of Sergeant Washington as a possibility.” “OK.” “In case the possibility eventuates, we should prepare. Things too unexpected may escape our control.” He found a small piece of chalk under the counter. “Come with me.” She followed him down aisle one to the end. There was a bare space of about five feet between the last shelf and the freezer case. To the left was the door of the men’s room. He grasped her shoulders gently and led her to stand just past the end of the aisle. Then he viewed her post from several angles, nodded, and chalked a large X on the floor at her feet. “Do you observe the door to the men’s room? That we shall designate as Stage Left. Now look to your right toward the edge of the freezer case. That will be Stage Right. The X is your mark. You must stand here and talk to Tommy and await entrances from Stage Left and then Right.” “What for?” “Events do not always fall out accidentally for the best. Sometimes we must arrange for ourselves the petty details of our larger destinies.” “I don’t know what you mean.” “You are learning stagecraft — how to find your mark as an actor, how to lead another character to place himself in correct position, how to improvise dialogue toward a dramatic point.” “I still don’t.” “I trust your ingenuity to bring Tommy to this exact spot when he visits the Emporium. You must devise a strategy.” “But I don’t —“ He led her back to the counter at the front.“Now, shall we speak about our

ingredients? I have begun to consult with Krazy Loon and he has made a few suggestions. For instance, he thinks you might substitute wheat grass for lawn grass. He conjectures that the lawn grass will contain some quantity of fescue which in its raw state in not considered acceptable fodder for humanity. That makes it unusable for the kaleburger.” “What is wheat grass? Who is Krazy Loon?” “He is, among other things, a gastronomist.” “Like the man who reads the gas meters in the apartment basement? “Is he a very tall person with strange white hair?” “No. He is fat and wheezy.” “Then reading gas meters there is not one of Krazy Loon’s various exercises. But he is talented in many ways and could read the meters if called upon.” “All right.” “A gastronomist knows about things to eat. Shall we continue?”


s Mr. Ponder had suggested, the prospect of close personal proximity to a big pistol proved persuasive, though Tommy professed to doubt her words. His countenance was often marked by signs of stubborn temperament, aggressive skepticism, ugly mischief and general discontent. When he entered the Sunrise his expression only darkened. It grew even darker when he found no trace of Sergeant Washington. Tommy was ill suited to any environment he had ever encountered. Mary Ellen thought he did not look like a regular kid but like an entity constructed of rejected parts from the Boy Manufacturing Company. His middle was round and tubby, but his arms and legs were spindly and protruded from his middle, as in the drawings small children make of their parents. But in those drawings the youngsters like to add a big yellow sun to the sky and appurtenance it with powerful rays of yellow light. Any sun in Tommy’s sky would be purple-black, she thought, and none of those M-shaped birds that children include would show themselves. “Hello?” Mary Ellen called. The reply was a silence that begged to be broken. The Emporium was shadowy as never before, though it was 11:30 in the morning. Some of the lights in back were not working. “Come down this way,” she said. Tommy followed her to her X. There they stood silent until he said, “You lied to me. I told you, if you lied to me you were going to get it good.” “You better not try anything.” “Why not?” “Because it would be an exceedingly bad idea,” said Sergeant Washington, stepping out of the door marked Men’s Room and entering from Stage Left. The most fun Mary Ellen had enjoyed in these past few days now occurred as she watched Tommy’s expression change. She was used to the size of the sergeant; Tommy had not seen him before. He stepped back from the man, edging a little closer to Mary Ellen. She moved away to let him stand alone. “I have had my eye on you,” Sergeant Washington said to Tommy. “You are showing tendencies toward future evil-doing. You have already taken quite a few steps down the primrose path to perdition and are acting with malice aforethought. Just look at your disgraceful T-shirt.” His tubbiness was emphasized by a black T-shirt with crooked white lettering: Life is Crap. Tommy glanced down at his proud message, then looked into the policeman’s face with an air of nervous defiance. “So?” he said. “You are comparing human life to an animal-byproduct fertilizer. But you know little of agriculture and even less about life. You have chosen a smartass remark as a fashion statement. This shows that you care extremely little about proper dress and nothing at all about socially acceptable manners.” “So?” “It seems that I have arrived upon the scene in the nick of time. Just now

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you threatened your cousin, who is a girl, with physical violence. If I had not been here, you probably would have murdered her. But had you thought what to do with her poor, broken, slaughtered body? It is not so easy to dispose of a corpse. I have brought many a cold-blooded killer to justice because he or she had not thoroughly considered the problem.” “I wouldn’t do nothing like that.” “You threatened Mary Ellen. She has a special relationship with local law enforcement. You said you would cut her throat, disembowel her and perform disgusting acts with her detached ears.” “No I never.” “I heard you threaten her.” “I just said she was going to get it good.” Sergeant Washington thrust forward his imposing chest. “Do you see this?” “Yeah.” “Yes sir.” “Yessir.” “What is it?” “A badge.” “What does the badge signify?” “That you’re a cop.” “Very good. Perhaps I have underestimated your intelligence. Now, a law enforcement officer has to learn many things. The sociology of poverty, for example, though a dispiriting subject matter, is very helpful in gaining a broad perspective on what at first may seem but the simplest of misbehaviors — double-parking, for instance. The officer must also learn all the different methods of identification and these may involve the sciences of chemistry, physics, biochemistry and dentistry. One of the disciplines an officer must master is dialectology, in particular, the argot of the criminal subculture. In that specialized jargon, the phrase ‘going to get it good’ has a settled, well-defined meaning. It signifies that a victim will be divested of his or her liver and lights, the throat severed with a straight razor and the ears cut off, painted with green acrylic and attached to the tail of a kite to be flown at noontime over the district attorney’s office. The display of this latter mutilation is intended as a gesture of defiance to law enforcement and indeed to the very spirit of the law itself. What do you have to say? Did I not hear you threaten your cousin?” “I wouldn’t really hurt Mary Ellen bad.” Tommy’s gaze strayed. “She told me you would show me your pistol and let me hold it.” Mary Ellen’s face turned so red her freckles became invisible. “Liar liar pants on fire.” She spoke in a low, barely controlled tone. Sergeant Washington looked carefully at Mary Ellen, seeming to think deeply. Then he thumbed open the guard strap of his holster and withdrew the big, shiny pistol. “If you are going to fire the weapon, you’ll have to take off the safety.” He handed the pistol to Tommy. He reached eagerly and it fell immediately from his grasp onto the toe of his Nike basketball shoe. He yelled loudly. He hopped about on one foot for a space of time. He said a great many words that Mary Ellen was never supposed to say or even to know. “I take it that you’re no fan of heavy metal,” said Sergeant Washington. “Yow!” To this syllable Tommy appended several varied specimens of his uncouth lexicon. “I judge from your word choices that you must be a devoted partisan of animal-byproduct fertilizer,” the sergeant said. “Yet still I cannot picture you toiling in the fields with hoe or rake.” Tommy subsided into baleful silence, broken only by a furtive sniffle or two. At this point there entered from the shadow of the freezer case, Stage Right, the sergeant’s colleague, patrolman Will Hannah. His physical appearance was almost the exact opposite of Sergeant Washington. Will was, by his own admission, the Good Cop, and in plain clothes he looked the part. Tall, blond, clean-shaven, wearing a light cotton jacket and a blue tie, he presented a bland, even a mild, aspect.


“Did I hear a cry of distress?” he inquired in an offhand manner. “This young, future evildoer dropped a pistol on his foot,” the sergeant said. “What kind of pistol?” “It was my service revolver.” “Oh my.” He blinked his blue eyes three times. “That is a heavy piece. No wonder he cried out. His poor little foot may be bruised. How did he come to have the weapon?” “He took it from me?” “This unpromising youngster?” “I suffered a moment of inattention. In that brief instant, he snatched it from me and threatened my life and the life of his cousin Mary Ellen.” Patrolman Hannah looked at her as if he had just noticed her presence. “We have met before.” “Yes sir. You are Mr. Good Cop.” “Please don’t say that. It makes me seem ineffective.” He turned to Tommy. “Do you think I’m Mr. Good Cop?” Tommy pointed an angry finger at Sergeant Washington. “He told a big fat lie. I never snatched nothing. He handed me his gun.” “He handed you his weapon and you dropped it? That does not seem likely.” “It’s lying right there on the floor.” He nudged it with his toe and said ouch again. The sergeant scooped up the revolver. He spoke to patrolman Hannah. “I don’t know if you watch the police dramas on television. In those productions the plainclothes detectives wave these weapons about as if they were flyswatters. Yet some types are rather hefty.” “I once tested a long-barrel .45 caliber that weighed something like three pounds,” said Mr. Good Cop. “If your young friend had dropped that one, he might have suffered a broken bone.” The sergeant re-holstered his piece. “He’s no young friend of mine. He is not properly prepared to handle weapons and he has shown himself unworthy. And there is the matter of his mortal threat to Mary Ellen. I am undecided upon a course of action.” “Maybe you could let me kick his butt,” Mary Ellen said. He looked at Mr. Good Cop. “What do you think of that suggestion, Will?” He shook his head. “I try to adhere to the wise tenets of our colleague, Mr. Joshi. It is best not to return violence for violence.” “Then what shall we do?” “Let us confer.” The pair of them huddled, turned away from Tommy and Mary Ellen, and muttered purposefully. Tommy smirked. This was his moment. He stretched out a skinny arm and pinched his cousin on her left bicep. She knotted her fist, eager to defend herself, but then the policemen brought their attentions to bear. “We have decided,” said Mr. Good Cop, “that violence for violence is a defective strategy. Sergeant Washington will deliver to you the gist of our deliberation. I am unable to stay and help him explain because I am at this moment receiving an urgent call on my policeman’s cell phone to go do battle with some evildoers down in Dogsaddle Alley.” “I don’t hear any phone,” Tommy said. “That’s because you are not a police officer. You hear it, don’t you, Wash?” “Loud and clear.” “So I must go and join the eternal struggle for truth and justice. I will exit Stage Right and enter the shadow of the freezer case. Pay close attention to the sergeant. Farewell.” He walked away heroically, his shoulders held straight and his stomach pulled rigid. Sergeant Washington came to tower over Tommy like a factory chimney. “Pay attention,” he said. He reached into the inner pocket of his tunic and brought out a small paper folder. “Here it is: The Ten Best Ways to Stay out of Jail.” He handed it to Tommy. “Take this and study it at every opportune moment. Keep these maxims always present in mind. Take them to heart. Next

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time I see you I will quiz you on this small tract and I will expect you to be letter perfect.” Tommy regarded the pamphlet in his hand as if it had been fished from a sewer. “What if I don’t?” “What is the final word in the title?” “You couldn’t put me in jail. I ain’t done anything.” “From the standpoint of the strict line of duty I could not. Regulations would not permit. But there is also the motive of personal pleasure. It would strike me as jolly to observe you behind bars. And your incarceration might restore the roses to Mary Ellen’s cheeks. I speak figuratively, you understand.” Tommy opened the document. He read haltingly. “If you will not hear Reason, she’ll surely rap your Knuckles. I don’t get it.” “Understanding Poor Richard requires patience and practice. Mary Ellen, would you like to explain to Tommy?” “I don’t understand either,” she said. “You are unused to the rhetorical device of personification. In time we will remedy that shortcoming. The apothegm means, ‘If you don’t use your head, your head will pay the price.’” He flicked Tommy’s forehead with his thumb. “Like that, only harder.” He rubbed. “That hurt.” “Not much. Are we now clear about the duties that have been assigned to you, Tommy? You are to study diligently The Ten Best Ways to Stay out of Jail. You are to leave off bullying Mary Ellen. You are to learn good manners and practice them. You are to memorize some poetry for the Policemen’s Poetry Preservation Project. The last part is the fun part. There will be handsome prizes for the winners of the competition.” “Competition?” said Mary Ellen. “We will keep you informed,” said Mr. Bad Cop. He patted Tommy on the head before the lad could duck away. “Mary Ellen has kept the promise she did not actually make,” he told him. “You were allowed to see and hold a large policemen’s pistol. You can boast about it to your friends.” At this suggestion, Tommy smiled. His eyes brightened. “But you must not fib. You must not say that you actually fired the weapon and wounded a criminal who was robbing a bank. Tell the truth. Honesty is the best policy, according to The Ten Best Ways.” His instantly despondent expression showed that Tommy heard and comprehended these sad strictures.


t supper that evening Mary Ellen asked her mother if Tommy was coming to visit again tomorrow. “No. Tomorrow is Saturday and divorce lawyers don’t work on Saturdays. How are you and Tommy getting along? I thought you were beginning to like him when Penny came to pick him up today.”

“OK, I guess.” “He seemed calmer than usual. Did something happen between you two?” “Not really. It’s just that he does not want to go to jail.” “Well, who does?” her father asked. “Would you like to go to jail?” “Mr. Bad Cop told me it is unlikely I will be incinerated. He gave me the Ten Best Ways to stay out. I will study them carefully, like he says.” “Incinerated?” “I think he must have said incarcerated,” Laura said. “He told me to say, ‘Hey,’ and do you ever hear from any of the Bipeds from back when. What are Bipeds?” “That would be the Burly Bipeds. I used to be in with a group of buddies who called themselves that.” Mary Ellen pushed a small, boiled, red potato around her plate with her fork. She had goaded it round the circuit six times already. She expected she could roll it four more times before her mother took the fork from her hand and speared the veggie, saying, ‘Don’t play with your food. It’s childish.’”

“I saw your T-shirt that said Burly Bipeds. It had a motorcycle on it. Were you in a biker gang?” He hesitated. “Well, yes and no.” “Not exactly,” Laura said. “You should tell your daughter the truth.” “That is the truth. Mostly.” “Your father and his friends didn’t have much money. They couldn’t afford Harleys or Tomahawks or whatever. They rode mopeds.” “Mopeds? Like little Billy Jim Haggins rides around the walkways?” She had never seen her father blush. For someone with so little practice in the reaction, he managed a strong shade of scarlet. He did not look toward Mary Ellen. “His gang was called Bipeds on Mopeds,” said Laura. “We called ourselves the Burly Bipeds.” Eric Ackerman sat up straight in his chair. He labored to look dignified. “We never backed off from a fight, not even with the Wild Boars.” “You didn’t need to back off,” Laura said. “Those guys were not going to challenge a bunch of kids on mopeds.” She twisted Mary Ellen’s fork from her fingers, tined the little potato, and advanced it toward her daughter’s mouth. “Don’t play with your food,” she said. “It’s distracting.” “And silly,” her father said.


hese late July days, with school-opening five weeks away, Mary Ellen had no friends to exchange a confidence with. Even at school she had only a few. Sometimes she and Merla would trade secrets. Merla would reveal highly embarrassing details about her family and Mary Ellen tried to match her stories one for one. Sometimes she had to invent incidents to match the degrees of embarrassment that Merla disclosed. But she would never tell Merla or anyone else alive on Planet Earth that her father used to belong to a moped gang. That secret she would carry to her grave. “He said to tell you he heard the Bipeds were planning a reunion and you were specially invited.” “The policeman said a reunion was planned?” “I’m not sure that’s such a wonderful idea,” Laura said. “Sergeant Washington, you call him? What does he look like?” Mary Ellen supplied the best description she could muster, emphasizing Mr. Bad Cop’s magnitude of bulk. She mentioned that his pistol was surprisingly heavy. Her father looked at her mother. “Washington,” he said. “Do you think that could possibly be —” “Washtub,” she said. “It is hard to picture him as a police officer. He was in a real biker gang. Slaughtered Pigs or something.” “Chopped Hogs. I hear he went into the military after he dropped out.” “That was at the suggestion of Judge Hardy. Wasn’t there something about his continual infractions of the law? The judge advised him that the Army might enlighten his attitude.” “Ole Wash loved to gun his Hog,” Eric said. “If there was a noise ordinance in effect at any hour in any neighborhood, he was heck-bent on violating it.” “You could say hell. Cousin Tommy says it all the time.” Mary Ellen gazed guilelessly at her father. “He says other words too. Sergeant Washington says Tommy’s language is not fit for polite company.” Laura sighed. “I don’t know where he picks up such bad habits. My sister is always careful.” “I wonder if this cop is the same guy as my old pal from way back,” Eric said. “I’d like to chew the fat with him. Does he usually hang out at this grocery store?” She hesitated, confused by the undesired image of her father and Mr. Bad Cop leaning against the counter of the store, arms folded, looking at each other while gnawing great gobs of pig fat, the disgusting juices dribbling onto their chests. I’m glad I’m a vegetarian, she thought. “Not always. If you ask Mr.

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Ponder, he can get him to come.” “Who is Mr. Ponder? . . . Oh, never mind. I remember now. Sometimes I get confused.” “Yes,” Mary Ellen said.


fter the meal each of them wanted to watch a different TV show. Eric was devoted to professional football, including the preseason games. Mary Ellen wanted to see a nature show called Killers of the Night Jungle. Laura voted for a long-running English series in which the wealthy characters spoke a language so handsome it made the actors’ teeth glow. The servants of these well-spoken gentry chattered in a dialect Mary Ellen could make nothing of. If she closed her eyes, she might be listening to a nature show about monkeys in China. “You know,” said Eric, “I’ve been thinking. I’m not sure IQ is the best name for a pony. There is such a thing as low IQ. Maybe you should try again.” “Maybe I will,” Mary Ellen said. “’Course, it’s not the worst name in the world. I once heard of a horse called My Grandma Lost Her Tweezers in a Barroom Full of Geezers.” “Oh, Eric,” said Laura. “That’s a fib.” “They shortened it to Tweezers for the racing forms. She won by a hair. Every time.” “We will watch Haunching Downs,” Laura said. “I want to find out if the scullery maid understood the words in Farsi she overheard in the third upstairs bedroom.” Eric said, “Isn’t that the language she usually speaks?” Laura clicked on the TV, so Mary Ellen retired to her bedroom, not waiting even to see if the job of the maid was to wash and polish skulls. She tugged a box from beneath her bed and took out the Portfolio. In these latter days it had outgrown its cardboard folder and now she stuffed the materials into paper grocery bags. This was not an efficient filing system and it most particularly was not neat. Laura commented upon the messiness. “If you are going to be a businesswoman, you must keep your records neat as a pen.” Neat as a pen. Nope. That expression would never pass Language Skills scrutiny. Mary Ellen had a number of ballpoints in easy reach. They protruded like porcupine quills from a well-washed Smucker’s Orange Marmalade jar on her vanity-table desk. These pens were not neat. The one that came from a urology clinic was dented and ragged; she chewed on it while thinking. There was what used to be a nifty pen that wrote in four different colors when she thumbed down the cylinders. But she had stepped on it and now it offered only a gruesome purple. The one from the Financial Triad Partnership would sometimes write but would often balk. The one from Possum Drop Wine Cellars was too fat for her fingers. She mumbled. “It should be as neat as a doorknob.” She recalled the cool, smooth, unblemished porcelain knobs that opened the teachers’ lounge in her middle school. Mr. Joshi had given her a copy of her kaleburger ingredients with the notations he had made. He had drawn a line through the can of black-eyed peas and written in fava, which Mary Ellen rhymed with Ava. Red wine vinegar was completely obliterated with red ballpoint strokes and the term Malbec substituted. She tried to think what a Malbec might be. It sounded like something her father would take her to visit in a zoo, something not easily digestible. There was a “?” beside the word, so maybe Mr. Ponder didn’t know what it was either. Next to the “?” were the letters “k l.” Krazy Loon. There were other appearances of “k l” down the margins of the list. This personage, whom she had not seen, took on many shapes in Mary Ellen’s imagination. His name might belong to a character in an animated TV cartoon and in this guise she pictured him as thin-faced with wild and wacko


eyes and a shock of red clown hair like that of Bozo the clown. But Mr. Joshi had mentioned that he was tall and white-haired and with these attributes she envisioned him as a villainous character in a Batman movie — thin, cadaverous, towering but ungainly, with frost-white hair that fringed his forehead with spikes like icicles. These images did not well comport with his occupation as a cook. When she thought in those terms, she saw him as a skinny lad in his late teens wearing a cook’s small paper cap and a white T-shirt with his name in small letters on the shoulder and a large Sizzle Burger logo on the chest. Like the guy she had seen manning the grill when she and her dad brought home Sizzle Burgers for supper that one time. She had liked the Sizzle Burger with pimiento cheese topping. But now she was a vegetarian, and the pleasure was lost to her forever. In the lower right hand corner of the slip of paper, Mr. Joshi had marked off a square and headed it Kale on Wheels (“k l”). Below this heading was another list: curly k.; black k.; purple, golden, Funaro’s k.; Mrs. Capshaw’s k.; spinach k.; and Ornamental. She decided that these were different varieties of kale that Krazy Loon was thinking of as possibilities for the Supremely Delicious k-burger and its healthy freight of vitamin K. “Spinach k.” was canceled with a ballpoint stroke. Maybe Mr. Joshi disapproved. Some of the other kinds intrigued her. Was black kale as black as the space behind your eyeballs or only as black as ink? Was purple the color of a sunset cloud, or only mildly purple, like the bruise on her arm where Tommy had pinched her? She would especially like to gaze upon golden. She could see it in her mind’s eye gleaming like the treasure in a robber band’s desert cave. Open Sesame. The golden kale would be heaped in moldering wooden chests and guarded by a giant serpent. Ornamental. All she could picture was little, tiny, kale-lette bouquets of tinsel hanging on a Christmas tree. How could you make a burger of those? As for Funaro’s and Mrs. Capshaw’s — unthinkable. Why would a normal person allow any kind of kale to be named after them? She must discuss the questions with Mr. Ponder. She was pleased that he and his friends were helping her with the burger she had invented. They knew things she did not know and had access to opportunities and materials she could never have thought of. But the projects that had developed from her original concept were complicated. Each of them would require time and patience. Mr. Ponder cautioned her not to be “over-hasty.” How long would it take? She sighed when she pulled out a paper-clipped set of drawings she had made. The drive-in structures for the Supremely Delicious Kaleburger chain were to be in the shape of the letter K. The straight spine of the letter would contain the kitchen and drive-through window. The legs would offer parking spaces with speakers to order into. The buildings would be unique and unmistakable, especially to people flying over in helicopters. Many customers would come just to enjoy the surroundings. “An attractive ambience is necessary,” Mr. Joshi said. Mary Ellen did not understand why they would need an ambulance. That sounded like an idea only some Krazy Loon would propose. Her eyelids drooped, her head nodded. Maybe IQ is not the best name, she thought hazily. But it is not the worst. The worst, the rottenest, most horrible, ugliest, sickening name would be Tommy. If I had a pet slug, I wouldn’t name it Tommy. She rose from her labors and fell into bed and went to sleep fully clothed. OH This is the fifth in a series of stories about the headstrong Mary Ellen Ackerman by retired UNCG creative-writing professor and former North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell.

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Evolving Species

Fishheads in the Freezer My daddy’s claim to fame was that he caught more catfish than anyone in all of Randolph County

By Sandra Redding

My father, Elmer Hamilton Raby, who

often received blue-ribbon praise even when it wasn’t Father’s Day, developed a unique system for ascending to No. 1. Count yourself lucky! I’m sharing his secrets.

Daddy was brought up during the Great Depression in the do-or-die terrain of Franklin, North Carolina. At age 6, he lost two-and-a-half fingers on his right hand when his older brother Clyde, while attempting to cut firewood, accidently axed them off. Fortunately, all of Daddy’s left-hand digits survived intact. My father’s formal education was also cut short when the school he attended went up in flames before he finished eighth grade. With his prospects reduced to ashes, he spent the next two years hoeing family farmland alongside his grandpa, a red-headed Irishman called Rawbone. At age 13, when Daddy decided to leave Franklin for better prospects in the Piedmont, he washed behind his ears, combed the tangles from the thick black hair he’d inherited from his full-blood Cherokee grandmother, and put on new overalls, a good-luck gift from his grandpa. Though he planned to hitchhike to Greensboro, the man who picked him up was only going as far as High Point. Deciding he liked the optimistic name of that town, Daddy stayed, spending his first night in an alley. The next morning, he headed out to seek fame and fortune in Furniture City. With a determined look in his brown eyes and holding his head up just as if he had something to be proud about, he walked the streets until he spotted an impressive brick building. Reasoning that if he worked in an enclosed place, the sun would never again turn his neck red, he ventured inside. Gaining employment at Adam-Millis Hosiery Mill required only one tiny lie: “Yes sir, I surely am 16,” Daddy told the manager. By age 22, after being promoted to fixer, he convinced my auburn-haired, green-eyed mother to marry him. “Winning the prettiest girl in the Piedmont,” he often bragged, “was without a doubt the high point of my life.” When Uncle Sam sent numerous mill workers across the ocean to fight World War II, my father’s missing digits kept him home. Simply being available, plus possessing the ability to keep a knitting machine clicking, brought unexpected popularity. In 1942, Laughlin Hosiery Mill in Randleman offered a higher paying job plus benefits. Though the terrain Daddy viewed had been part of Greensboro during the early 1800s before it became Dicks Grist Mill and finally Randleman, that fact neither disapThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

pointed nor encouraged him. What won him over were the lush woodlands there — filled with squirrels to shoot; crowded with fish to bait. My mother loved to shop, have lunches with friends and catch the latest movies on Friday nights. She swore she’d never leave civilized High Point to live in the country. Daddy was forced into another tiny lie. “If you’ll go with me,” he told Mom, “we’ll move back to High Point in two years.” Mom never stood a chance against the humongous wildlife population. As if that weren’t enough to lure a hillbilly from Franklin to this rural Eden, there was also the added enticement of Friday night poker games. Though many believe that pursuing what they do best is the abracadabra necessary for reaching stars, Daddy disagreed. Instead he passionately pursued what he loved most. He played a banjo. I know because my mother showed me pictures of him strumming love songs to win her heart. A month after they married, he lost it in a poker game. It didn’t matter. The banjo, never his favorite thing, had merely been a means to an end. What he loved most, besides my mother, was fishing, so that’s where he cast his heart and soul. Some weeks he spent more time at Polecat Creek, his favorite fishing hole, than he did at Laughlin Hosiery Mill. Though Daddy considered himself the American Idol of catching catfish, he couldn’t convince anyone else, not even his best friend, Clifford Allred. “I pulled in fifty yesterday,” I once heard him claim. Clifford paused a few seconds, then scratched his head. “Well, I’ll be dang, Elmer. Your nose just grew ten inches.” Which brings up another rule for reaching the top, or the bottom, which is where catfish actually hang out: Know how to promote what you’ve got. How did my father prove his fishing successes? First, he tried taking photographs of every fish he caught, but his cohorts claimed that all Polaroid catfish looked the same. Eventually Daddy got lucky. Playing poker, he won a large store-size freezer, big enough to fill half our back porch. Mom hoped to freeze vegetables and meat in it. Daddy had another idea. Henceforth the whiskered head of every catfish reeled in was chopped off and filed in the freezer, each one lined up, complete with a label specifying the month, day and hour caught. After one look at his frozen fishhead inventory, most enthusiastically agreed that Elmer Raby was indeed the best dang catfish fisherman not only in Randleman but in all of Randolph County. Only Clifford still questioned my father’s success. “Now Elmer,” he’d ask frequently, “are you sure you didn’t buy them at the fish market up there in Greensboro?” OH When she isn’t writing novels, Sandra Redding, who was born near Polecat Creek, pens O.Henry’s Writer’s Notebook column. You can reach her at sanredd@earthlink.net June 2014

O.Henry 75

Story of a House

Her Home’s a Stage Pam Murphy’s eclectic home in Browntown is a living museum to family show biz — near and far By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Lynn Donovan


ho needs a doorbell? Whenever a delivery truck pulls up to Pam Murphy’s house, her three terriers — Maggie, McDuffy and Gracie — launch into a chorus of arfs. The concert is ongoing. Packages land on Murphy’s doorstep all day long. “Now you see the affliction,” says Murphy, an avowed collector, as the boxes and envelopes pile up outside during an interview. “I have the collecting bug.” Pottery. Miniature grandfather clocks (the granddaddy of oxymorons). Leather books. Copper pots. Lucy dolls. Star Trek memorabilia. Blue-and-white porcelain. Antique furniture. Paintings and figurines of terriers. Santa Clauses. Somehow, they coexist peacefully under the gambrel roof of her Dutch Colonial home in Browntown (named for its developer, Brown Realty Co. Inc.), a refined but relaxed neighborhood that hangs between Greensboro’s Irving Park and New Irving Park. Built in 1963 by Luke Jobe, the home on Kimberly Drive was first bought by Roger and Majelle Soles, who moved from a much smaller house on Country Club Drive. Roger, then an executive vice president of Jefferson-Pilot Corp., went on to become JP’s CEO, board chairman, and a pillar of the Greensboro business

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community. JP later was bought by Lincoln Financial Group. Roger and Majelle Soles lived comfortably but not as grandly as they could have. Their biggest indulgence might have been their home’s den, which they made larger by absorbing a space that was intended to be a two-car garage. They tacked on a carport later. “My father was always a carport man,” says son Bill Soles of Greensboro. “He said garages were not useful because you fill garages with junk and can’t get cars in them anyway.” The extra large den of the home on Kimberly Drive feels like a well-appointed hunting lodge with its old-brick fireplace and hearth, solid wood mantel, and vaulted ceiling with exposed beams. Roger Soles wanted a large space for hosting business associates, visiting celebrities, and his golfing, fishing and card-playing buddies. Golfer Sam Snead, opera singer Beverly Sills and a string of politicians were among the guests entertained by the Soles family. “My father was very actively politically, behind the scenes,” Bill Soles says. “I’d say probably every sitting governor, senator and 6th District congressman was at the house at one time or another, soliciting his support.” Pam Murphy relishes the den because she entertains a lot, too. She divided the room with a long, custom-made sectional sofa by Carolina Chair in Hickory. The sofa faces a 60-inch flatscreen TV above the fireplace, the focal point of annual Oscar, Tony and Super Bowl parties. The area behind the sofa contains more seating and a baby grand piano from Murphy’s childhood home in Greensboro’s Sunset Hills. “I grew up with parties,” she says. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Her father, Pete Murphy, was president of Dillard Paper Co. He and his brother Kermit started Mother Murphy’s Laboratories Inc., which makes flavorings for products including doughnuts, dog food, tobacco, sports drinks and ice cream. Pam Murphy was a vice president at Mother Murphy’s until she retired in 2005. The following year, she bought the Soles house and moved from a smaller home in nearby Kirkwood. Since then, she has devoted her time to decorating and entertaining — but not always as a hostess. Long a stage presence in Greensboro, Murphy, a trained opera singer, is president of Community Theatre of Greensboro. She’s also the music director of the 5 by O.Henry, an annual dramatization of five short stories by Greensboro native — and this magazine’s namesake — William Sydney Porter, whose pen name was O.Henry. The plays are stitched together with interludes of live music from the turn of the 20th century, when O.Henry’s career peaked. “Every year, I sing,” says Murphy, whose rich soprano voice has graced productions by the Greensboro Opera Co., the N.C. Shakespeare Festival, and the nowdefunct Livestock Players. She has sung as a soloist at First Presbyterian Church, where she is an elder and still active in the choir. She also appears with the Open Space Cafe Theatre on a third-floor stage, The Crown, at the Carolina Theatre. “I enjoy giving back,” she says. Her family has a history of performing. Her mother, Irene, and her father met when both were in a play at Woman’s College, where her mother was enrolled; because it was an all-girls school, men from the community were imported for the male roles. Her mother’s aunt Emily Wentz was a dear friend of Jeanette MacDonald, a singer and actress who gained fame from doing 1930s musical films with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy. Murphy’s great aunt was a chorus singer for MacDonald at the Roxy Theatre in New York. Later, MacDonald paid for Wentz to attend secretarial school; she wanted a personal assistant she could trust. “They knew each other since they were 16 years old,” Murphy says.

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Murphy’s home is full of furniture and collectibles that were gifts from MacDonald and her husband, Gene Raymond. There’s a drop-leaf secretary made of crotch mahogany; a set of painted, nesting tables; a couple of armchairs upholstered in silk; a gilt Baroque mirror; and a letter attributed to French Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s first wife. Another one of Murphy’s treasures is a cel from an MGM cartoon of The Blue Danube waltz that was given to MacDonald by Walt Disney. Murphy — who describes her taste as “eclectic/traditional/artsy-fartsy” — has displayed heirlooms and family photographs throughout her house. There’s a photograph of her maternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Harold Rich, at an Easter Parade on 5th Avenue in New York. Harold’s family owned a coconut processing plant. “Food . . .” says Murphy, alluding to her family’s businesses. “It was inevitable.” Murphy also inherited her great-grandmother Rich’s handmade wedding stockings, purses and handkerchief from the late 1800s. Murphy’s mother had them professionally framed in shadowboxes. “She felt that was the best way to conserve them,” says Murphy, who displays the items in her dining room. The room used to be a cul-de-sac with one way in and out. Murphy added another doorway, creating a better traffic pattern. “I’ve had parties with 100 people here, and it flows,” she says. She made other changes, too, including the renovation of his-and-hers bathrooms into a giant master bath with a heated floor; and the addition of a breakfast nook, a TV room and a bar off the kitchen. She totally overhauled the kitchen. Out went the cupboards and 20-inch soffits above them. In came cupboards that stretch to the ceiling. Never mind the top shelves being out of reach. “I have a footstool — and tall friends,” Murphy quips. Out went a peninsula that jutted from one wall. In came a stainless-steeltopped island with an open shelf for Murphy’s copper pots. Out went the original electric range. In came a Wolf stove and later a sixburner Viking that Murphy calls “my baby, my monster.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Out went the laminate countertops. In came quartz and butcherblock countertops. She also got rid of several doors in the base cabinets. She replaced them with drawers, including swallow-tailed drawers that glide out diagonally from corners. The drawers make the space usable and accessible. “I love them because you don’t have to take stuff out to get to other stuff,” she says. Murphy saw the corner drawers on the website houzz.com. Her contractor — Jerry Snow The Magnificent, as she calls him — found a cabinetmaker to build them into Murphy’s kitchen. Murphy kept a few touches of the former owners. In the half-bath downstairs, the sink is illuminated by cloisonné sconces that came with the house. The light switch inside the door is decoupaged with gold finches. Murphy believes it’s the work of Majelle Soles. “I wanted something of hers because she loved this house, too,” she says. Then there is the room that she is certain Majelle — and her own mother — would have hated: The Diva Room. It was an upstairs bedroom. Now, it’s a show-biz museum, filled with memorabilia from Murphy’s life on stage and from shows she has seen or admired. Hence the movie posters, playbills, autographs, Star Trek collectibles and a complete collection of dolls based on I Love Lucy episodes. Lucy in the chocolate factory? Got her. Lucy making the Vitameatavegamin commercial? Right here. Murphy combs the Internet for possible additions to her collections. She’s also a regular at yard sales, tag sales, antique fairs, auctions, consignment stores and events such as the Bizarre Bazaar, a twice-a-year crafts show in Richmond, Virginia. “A friend of mine and I go up there and spend the whole day buying stuff,” she says. Then begins the task of fitting in the newcomers. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“I think if you find something and you love it, somehow you’ll be able to fit it in,” Murphy. “If it really, truly doesn’t work . . . you still fit it in there anyway.” With a river of items flowing into the house, you’d think it would be piled high, but Murphy makes room for new acquisitions by donating pieces to Goodwill, consigning them at The Red Collection and having yard sales. Her mother was that way, too. “My mother was the best thrower-outer ever, which is why I don’t have any of my Nancy Drew novels,” Murphy says with a laugh. “Except for family things, I’m very good about saying, ‘OK, that didn’t work. Let it go.’ If I didn’t, it would be a hoarder house, and you can’t have parties if you have a hoarder house. I like for people to enjoy the house.” They’ll never lack conversation pieces. A delivery truck squeaks to a stop at the curb. Maggie, McDuffy and Gracie start singing again. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at maria@ ohenrymag.com.

June 2014

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The Orchid Keeper

Goodyera pubescens aka Rattlesnake Plantain


Retired electronics executive David McAdoo is on a mission to find, identify and save the state’s native orchids. Careful where you step By Karen M. Alley • Photohgraphs by David R. McAdoo

t first glance, David R. McAdoo seems an unlikely candidate for the sort of person who would scour the woods of North Carolina looking for rare and endangered orchids. A West Point graduate with a B.S. in systems analysis, McAdoo is an Army vet who served in Vietnam and went on to become a business director at Tyco Electronics. But McAdoo’s love of plants and orchids was part of who he was long before his years in the Army. As a child, his family owned a cabin in the mountains of Pennsylvania. “We would spend our summers up there, and my brother and two sisters and I would roam the woods, canoe in the rivers, and hike in the mountains day in and day out,” McAdoo, 68 and now retired, says. “It was there I saw a pink lady’s slipper for the first time.” For those of you who haven’t seen one, the bloom of this wild orchid, sometimes called a moccasin flower, is so otherworldly it stops hikers in their very tracks. While his time in Pennsylvania might have given birth to the naturalist in him, it was as an adult in Kentucky that McAdoo first began seriously pursuing — and photographing — orchids. He started out taking pictures of wildflowers during hikes with his family, but began to lose interest. “I ended up turning to orchids because I fell in love with their delicate beauty,” he says. McAdoo and his family moved to North Carolina in 1987, and since

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then he has spanned the state searching for and taking textbook-quality close-ups of orchids, from the beaches of the Outer Banks to the far reaches of the mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He helped find and identify three new colonies of the small and threatened whorled pogonia, one right here on the eastern edge of Guilford County. Whorled pogonias are so named for the whorl — or ring — of five or six leaves just under the flower, which is not particularly showy. McAdoo identified another colony with the help of a friend: “Mark Rose, whom I go hiking with a lot, owned Breckenridge Orchids in Greensboro. One day a man stopped in to buy some cultivated orchids, and said he had some small whorled pogonias in his yard,” he says. Rose called him immediately: “We were skeptical, but it was worth taking the trip just to satisfy our curiosity. Turns out when we got up there, he had more than a few plants. We found fifteen, and now they are marked in the federal database for protection.” While orchids are a prolific family, with more than 30,000 species, sixty-nine of which can be found in North Carolina, these are very fragile plants that are in need of protection. Unlike most flowers, orchids have very shallow roots. And though botanists don’t know why, most species can only survive in the presence of certain types of fungi. What that means is that if an orchid colony is growing in an area that is marked for development, there is usually no chance of saving them. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Cypripedium acaule aka Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

O.Henry 83

Platanthera peramoena aka Purple Fringeless Orchid

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Transferring them to another area rarely works. In the case of orchids like the pink lady’s slipper, the plant flowers the first year or two, but by the fourth season, all signs of life are gone. In an effort to foster orchid awareness, McAdoo and his friend Rose founded the Native Orchid Conference in 2003. Today the group has grown to over 700 members and serves as a network to bring together orchid enthusiasts (nativeorchidconference.info). The members promote conservation efforts and participate in research projects. Over the years, McAdoo has fostered a talent for finding orchids. “I find myself driving along the highway and being drawn to pull over if I see an area with conditions ripe for orchids,” McAdoo says. But you don’t need decades of experience to find them yourself. With so many species growing in our state, and some very prolific even in the Triad, it’s just a matter of looking in the right places. Some of the orchids found in the Greensboro area include downy rattlesnake plantain, showy orchids and pink lady’s slipper. McAdoo’s tips for finding orchids start with knowing the type of environment that fosters them. The stunning pink lady’s slipper, for instance, grows well in an acidic soil, with a good layer of leaf litter to provide the fungus necessary for propagation. Look for areas where pine trees are growing, because they enjoy the same type of conditions as orchids. Also, if you have areas where you commonly find spring wildflowers such as trilliums,

Galaris spectabilis aka Showy Orchid you just mighty find orchids there as well. The coast and mountains offer rich hunting grounds. “You can see spring lady’s tresses by the thousands growing in medians as you drive along the coast,” McAdoo says. Another of his favorite haunts is Linville Falls. “When walking on trails through the mountains, pay attention to the ground near you along the trail. What looks like just a pile of sticks might actually be hiding a colony of orchids if you search around a little. Just look for signs such as a seed pod bursting through or a few green leaves among the litter.” With species blooming as early as March and continuing into November, there’s almost always a good time to go out hunting for orchids. So put on a good pair of walking shoes and get out there. McAdoo says it’s important to remember the old saying to stop and smell the roses. But in this case, it should be stop and look for orchids! OH To see more of McAdoo’s photos of orchids, click on www.ncwildflower.org/plant_galleries/orchids or www.flickr.com/photos/ncorchid/ sets/1003778.

Spiranthes vernalis aka Spring Lady’s Tress The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Karen M. Alley is a regular contributor to O.Henry and a freelance writer living in Elkin. Her work has been published in several magazines, including Carolina Gardener. June 2014

O.Henry 85

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“If you would have a lovely garden, you should live a lovely life.” — Shaker saying By Noah Salt

Road Trip Time June is the perfect month to hit the outdoors. Here are six suggestions for a great family road trip: 1. Carolina Beach Music Festival, Pleasure Island, June 7 2. 16th Annual Edenton Music and Water Festival, June 7–8 3. World Ocean Day 5K Race for the Planet, Kure Beach, June 8 4. Historic “Double Opens,” U.S. Men’s and Women’s USGA Open Championships, Pinehurst and Southern Pines, June 8–22 5. Greensboro Summer Solstice Celebration, Lindley Park, June 21 6. North Carolina Blueberry Festival, Burgaw, June 21

New on the Gardener’s Bookshelf While browsing in our hometown Country Bookshop recently, we were pleased to find a splendid new volume of garden truths and observations called The Little Green Book of Gardening Wisdom, edited by Barbara Burn (Skyhorse Publishing, $16.95), the ideal wedding gift for gardening newlyweds or a gardening friend’s birthday (or, for that matter, your literary-minded self for those lazy June afternoons when the work is done and the toddy is made). Chapters range from “The Art of Gardening” to rare and thoughtful reflections on garden work and plant selection from an impressive array of sources and authors stretching from ancient Egypt to Alice Walker; Cicero to Dave Barry. Three of our early favorites: “Life begins the day you start a garden.” — Chinese proverb “Much virtue in herbs, little in men.” — Ben Franklin “Let the mint plants, the tarragon, and the sage push up their spikes, just so high that a drooping hand, as it crushes their slender leaf stems, can set free their impatient scents . . . I love you certainly for yourselves — but I shall not fail to demand your presence in my salads, my stewed lamb, my seasoned sauces; I shall exploit you.” — Colette, Earthy Paradise (1966)

Bustin’ Out All Over In June, everything seems to bust out like there’s no tomorrow — graduates, wedding toasts and skimpy bikinis come first to mind. And for good reason, the sixth month of the year brings the longest hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the first official day of summer on the 21st, the so-called summer solstice that’s been celebrated in one form or another since the first Homo sapiens donned a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers and proposed to his favorite cave girl. The optimism and fertility of early summer perhaps explains why plants — and matrimony — enjoy their most vigorous periods during these early days of summer. June is still by far the most popular month for getting hitched — has been, in fact, for centuries. The month takes its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of love and marriage, whose female fertility and power to shape life was celebrated with a popular festival of flowers and feasting across the ancient world. Plutarch advised young couples to marry around the time of the summer solstice to assure a happy life with abundant children. In the meantime, a few of the latest wedding stats to chew on as you wait for the ceremony to begin: 2.3 million couples wed every year in the U.S. That’s roughly 6,200 a day. $72 billion is spent on weddings annually. The average wedding budget is $20,000. The average wedding ring cost $1,016. The average number of invited guests is 178. Ninety-nine percent of newlyweds will take a honeymoon. They will spend three times more than the average summer vacation. $8 billion is spent yearly on honeymoons. Most guests spend $75 to $100 dollars for a gift. The average age of brides is 25.3; grooms, 26.9.

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O.Henry 89

June 2014 Visual Performing Arts Program 6/

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June 1

June 2

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HOPPERS HERE. 4 p.m. The Greensboro • Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park,

’SOX ROCKS. 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) • Rocker and American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox

June 1–13

June 3

Memorial Visual Performing Arts Program, featuring Guilford County Minority Students. African American Atelier, Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-6885 or africanatelier.org.

screen. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre. com.

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June 1–July 20

BIG TOP. See the changing attitudes toward the circus at The Greatest Show on Earth: Circus Imagery from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

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90 O.Henry

June 2014

Performing arts Film History Sports

GENERAL ADMISSION. 7 p.m. Give it five stars • and a salute. Patton, the 1972 biopic, marches onto the

June 4

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. noon. Meet John Warley, • author of A Southern Girl. Scuppernong Books, 304

South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 4

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6 p.m. Meet Alex Albright, • author of The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the

Texas Pet Twin City Rib Fest 6/


Modern Navy. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 4–8

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers • are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or gsohoppers.com.

June 5

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 12:15 p.m. Join author • Sandra Redding for a BookBreak and discussion of

her novel Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

June 5–8

PIG GIG. Now in its tenth year, the Texas Pete Twin • City Ribfest has become a respectable member of Premier Barbecue and Music Events, a national organization promoting ’cue and tunes. Go hog wild with ribs, pulled pork, live music and merch. Downtown Wintson-Salem. Info: twincityribfest.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June Arts Calendar

Dog Days 6/

Sesame Street Live 6/


June 6

COOPS DE VILLE. 10 a.m. See the chickens that have come home to roost within the city limits at the second Annual Coop Loop, presented by the Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, Greensboro. Tickets: greensborourbancooploop.org.

June 6

DOG DAYS. 6 p.m. Art has gone to the dogs — literally! Raise funds for Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network in the company of our four-legged pals and artists Addren Doss and Brenda Behr, who’ll give painting demonstrations. Proceeds from art sales (on view through June 15) will benefit the rescue organization. Tyler White O’Brien Gallery, 307 State Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or kathylovesart@aol.com.

June 6

TGIF. 6 p.m. Celebrate the week’s end listening • to live music by the Bronzed Chorus while admiring

Two Artists One Space: John Beerman and Noé Katz (through June 22). Also on display: Select Collection: Prints of Romare Bearden (through June 22). Greenhill,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or greenhillnc.org.

June 6–8

MUPPETEERS. Join Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster and the rest of the Muppet gang for Sesame Street Live: Can’t Stop Singing. Performance times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 7

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 10 a.m. Meet Dori Jalazo, author of One’s Own Self. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 7

HERBAL LIFE. 10 a.m. Learn from costumed interpreters how European settlers used herbs — and then take home a lavender sachet for only $1. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

Triad Antique & Collectible Show



June 7

FEELIN’ GROOVY. 7 p.m. Like a bridge over • troubled water, Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel with the Greensboro Symphony will soothe your soul. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 7453000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 7

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Rose Senehi, • author of Dancing on Rocks. Scuppernong Books, 304

South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 7–8

JUNK-ET. 9 a.m., Saturday; 10 a.m., Sunday. It’s a • collector’s collective: the Triad Antique & Collectible,

Toy, Hobby & Sportscard Show. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: greensborocoliseum.com.


•• •

•• •


Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

June 2014

O.Henry 91

June Arts Calendar June 8

June 9–12

Little Big Band jazzes things up on the first of the Sunday Music in the Park series. Blandwood Mansion, West Washington and Edgeworth Streets, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

intermediate to advanced students. Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. To register: www. danceproject.org/school.

MUSIC IN THE PARK. 6 p.m. Martha Bassett • Band gets things going and then at 7:15 p.m. Wally West

POINTE BLANK. 10:30 a.m. Dance Project: the • School at City Arts offers instruction in ballet for

June 10

June 8–29

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Greg Grieve, editor • of Playing With Religion in Video Games. Scuppernong

WELL-WISHERS. Will Shakespeare mixes unrequited love, betrayal, true love, dirty tricks, magic and war. It’s a wonder, but by the curtain call, All’s Well That Ends Well. Triad Stage, Pyrle Theater, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

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

June 11

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Katherine • Kelly, author of Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for

June 9

Radiant Living. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

AUTHOR. AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Will Harlan, author of Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble. com/store/2795.

June 9

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Carrie Knowles, • author of Ashoan’s Rug. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 11

Martha Bassett Band 6/


AUTHOR. AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet local scribe • Orson Scott Card, author of Earth Awakens. Barnes

& Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2795.

•• •

• • • • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Literature/Speakers Fun

Performing arts Film History Sports

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

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

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

O.Henry 93

Irving Park

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

Tues. - Fri. 10-5, Sat. 10-4 or by appointment 1832 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 www.facebook.com/Serendipity by Celeste

Treasures for the home and garden Everything in the store is 10% off with other selected markdowns as much as 50% off!

SUMMERHOUSE 1722 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro Open Weekdays 10am- 5pm; Sat 11am - 4pm 336.275.9655 • SummerhouseStore.com


June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June Arts Calendar June 13

June 14

reunion, a celebration of the 1970s, with music courtesy of Brice Street Band. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com

of Byrd. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. com.

THAT ’70s SHOW. 7 p.m. Regardless of your alma AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Bonnie ZoBell, • • mater or graduating year, you’ll revel in the 2014 classless author of What Happened Here, and Kim Church, author

June 13

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Neil Hinson and Paul Friedrich, authors of Man v. Liver. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 14

M*A*S*H. 10 a.m. Find out how surgery was • performed during the Civil War era at a recreation of

Jack & the Jelly Beanstalk



Alexander’s Battalion Field Hospital, where re-enactors illustrate the life of a Confederate Army surgeon. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

June 14

CRAFTY. 11 a.m. Learn how to make crafts from • recycled materials and listen to a good tale or two at Ten

Thousand Villages: Crafts for Young People. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

June 14

FIRED UP. 3 p.m. Strummin’ and hummin’ char• acterize the Wildfire Music Festival, featuring The Time

Jumpers, country legend Vince Gill, Ranger Doug, Dawn Sears & Kenny Sears. Festival proceeds benefit the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, committed to music education and improving children’s lives through music. White Oak Amphitheatre, Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 14

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Valerie Nieman, • author of Blood Clay, and Marjorie Hudson, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 14–28

• • • •• • • • Irving Park Key: Art Music/Concerts Literature/Speakers Fun

Performing arts Film History Sports

The Lollipop Shop is closing! Blow-out Sale!

All inventory to be sold! Great time to stock up on Spring & Summer clothes, future gifts & baby presents! Total liquidation & closing our doors July 31st

The The Lollipop Lollipop Shop Shop The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Irving Park Plaza Irving Plaza

1738 Battleground Battleground Ave., Ave., Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 1738 NC 336-273-3566 • Mon Fri 10-5 pm & Sat 10-4 336-273-3566 • Tues - Sat 10-5 pm pm

Beautiful Children’s Clothing & Gifts June 2014

O.Henry 95

June Arts Calendar •

FEE! FI! FO! FUM! Jack and the Beanstalk morphs into Jack and the Jelly Beanstalk, a production of UNCG Theatre. Performance dates and times vary. Brown Building Theatre, 402 Tate Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4392 or brownpapertickets. com/event/631155.

June 15

INK-STAINED. 2 p.m. Hey, baby, what’s your genre? Nonfiction? Young Adult? Mystery? The Triad chapter of Sisters in Crime reveals the importance of knowing what genre you write before you market your masterpiece novel or historical tome. High Point Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: murderwewrite.org.

as Greensboro Big Band strikes up a medley of jazz and swing tunes. Shops at Friendly, 3330 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

Anybody can be a camper at the “Murals, Minds and Communities” summer camp, which uses the theme of color to teach literacy skills and healthy activities. African-American Atelier, Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street. Info: (336) 333-6885 or africanatelier.org.

June 16

FAMILY TIES. 6:30 p.m. Michelle Doyle of • the Greensboro Family Center of the LDS Church

June 19

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Ole Giese of • Greensboro reissued his book Long Stories with a

explains how to become an armchair genealogist by using the FamilySearch website and local Family History Center. High Point Library, Morgan Room, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

racier title, Poetry and Underwear and Other Stories. Giese will tell you all about it and read from his book, a collection of engaging and humorous stories, often ending with a twist worthy of O. Henry. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator. barnesandnoble.com/store/2795.

June 17

GOLD DIGGERS. 7 p.m. Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable scramble to put a ring on it in the 1953 comedy, How to Marry a Millionaire. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com

June 15

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Laura Wharton, author of The Mermaid’s Tale and Monsters Below. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

MOD MOVES. 6 p.m. Dance Project: the School at City Arts offers instruction in modern dance for intermediate to advanced students. Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. To register: www. danceproject.org/school.

June 15

June 18–27

June 19–26

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers • are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2682255 or gsohoppers.com.

June 17–August 12

June 20

MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. 6:30 p.m. Celebrate the official start of summer and the exhibition Food for Thought (through August 24) by looking at food art, drinking cocktails made from local fruit, eating chow from food trucks and listening to live music. Yup, it’s the tenth Annual Weatherspoon Art Musuem Summer Solstice Party. Weatherspoon Art Museum,

•MUSIC AL FRESCO. 6 p.m. Seems like old times, •MURAL, MURAL, ON THE WALL. • • • • • • • • Key:



Performing arts






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June 2014

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June Arts Calendar corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770, weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

June 24

EMF. 8 p.m. Hear faculty chamber music at Eastern • Music Festival, Christ United Methodist Church, 410

June 21

North Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2120160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

FAIRY MUCH FUN. 2 p.m. The Greensboro • Summer Solstice stirs up the pixie dust as it descends

upon the Greensboro Arboretum on fairy wings with music, drumming, dancing and a dramatic and fiery finale beginning at 9 p.m. Info: (336) 339-1828 or www. greensborosummersolstice.org.

June 25

EMF. 8 p.m. Get keyed up as Gideon Rubin and • William Wolfram perform at Eastern Music Festival’s

STEP INTO THE PAST. 9 a.m. Literally, on a walk• ing tour of High Point’s Washington Street. Historian

June 26

Glenn Chavis reveals how this district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was abuzz with business and entertainment during segregation. Space is limited. To register, call the High Point Museum: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

WALKING TALL. 9 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.) A • Southern twang, Gospel and blues — and an early education in cello — characterize the sound of Seth Walker, considered one of the premier roots musicians in the United States. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: theblindtiger.com.

June 21

JAZZ HANDS! 11:30 a.m. Dance • Project: the School at City Arts

June 27

EMF. 8 p.m. And the Beethoven • goes on, thanks to pianist William

offers a contemporary jazz master class for intermediate to advanced students. Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. To register: www.danceproject.org/ school.

Wolfram and TannenbaumSternberger Youth Orchestra, under the baton of Gerard Schwarz. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 212-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 21

SHALL WE DANCE? • 10 a.m. Shirk the Twerk

June 28

EMF. 8 p.m. Hello, cello! • Lynn Harrell pulls some

and learn dancing and courting rituals — 18thcentury-style! Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

strings for a program including Bloch and Tchaikovsky, with Gerard Shwarz conducting. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 212-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 21

GOURMET GARDEN. 1 p.m. Now that you’ve • tended your garden, learn how to prepare tasty eats

June 28

from its harvest, courtesy of Whole Foods and Edible Schoolyard. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

lesson is included. Greensboro Shrine Club, 5010 High Point Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 508-9998 or piedmontswingdance.org.

MUSIC IN THE PARK. 6:30 p.m. Classical • and pop tunes fill the air thanks to Philharmonia of

June 29

MUSIC IN THE PARK. 6 p.m. Get your groove • on with Sweet Dreams and then, at 7:15 p.m., Knights

Greensboro. Hester Park, 3615 Deutzia Street, off Vandalia Road, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

of Soul. Gateway Gardens, 2924 East Lee Street, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

June 23

EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival kicks off with • a faculty chamber music recital. UNCG School of

June 30

Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 212-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org. Art


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Performing arts

• • Film


Josephine’s Bistro & Bar

SWINGIN’! 7:30 p.m. Take a spin around the dance • floor to live swing music. An hour-long introductory

June 22

• •

it’s warm in here…

Piano Gala. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2120160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 21


guarantee We

EMF. 8 p.m. Class is the name of the game at a faculty chamber music recital. UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 212-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.


• • Fun


Introducing Josephine’s Cut Shoppe, now serving flame grilled USDA prime steaks and other selected meats.

336.285.6590 josephinesbistro.com 2417 Spring Garden St. Greensboro

Sports June 2014

O.Henry 97

June Arts Calendar WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays

BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage • in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music,

movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com

produce, cakes, pies and cut fleurs for a pretty table. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels • with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro. com/live_music.htm.




CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Y’all come for Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs from a Southern Kitchen. Tuck into Chef Jay’s signature fried chicken and gravy, plus select beer and wine specials and live music by Martha Bassett and friends on the 3rd; Molly McGinn on the 10th; Scott Manring and friends on the 17th; and Martha on the 24th — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3700707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.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 Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros • and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South

Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www. idiotboxers.com.

Fridays & Saturdays Wednesdays

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m.–12:30 • p.m. Get fresh — on Wednesdays — with locally grown

NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A • 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m.–1 p.m. • Saturday is market day, with Egglicious Day on June 7,

with chef-duo John Jones and Kerrie Thomas cooking yolks and cracking jokes, followed on June 28 by Peach Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus • an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The

Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.ibcomedy.com. To add an event, email us at ohenrymagcalendar@ gmail. com by the first of the month prior to the event.

Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.

• • • •• • • • Key: Art Music/Concerts Literature/Speakers Fun

Performing arts Film History Sports

Treasures • Antiques • Consignments 14th Annual

Blues Crawl southern pines, nc

Saturday, July 12th, 2014 Featuring

The Treasure House Consignment • Antiques Art • Furniture • Gifts Home Decor • Garden MORE Arriving Daily

New Location Two entrances at 346 S. Worth St. and 347 S. Main St.

336.228.1691 | Mon-Sat 11-6 Downtown Burlington, across from Zack’s Hotdogs

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98 O.Henry

June 2014

Sunrise Theater 1:00 - 4pm 7:30-9pm Eye Candy 9-10pm 10:30-1am Wine Cellar 7:00-11pm O’Donnell’s 9:00-1am Bell Tree 900-1am Cup Of Flow 9:00-1am Rhett’s 9:00-1am Betsy’s Crepes 9:00-1am The Jefferson 9:00-1am


For tickets and more information, go to www.sunrisetheater.com.

All access Armbands are $18 before July 6th and $20 after July 6th. “Day of” Ticket sales begin at 10am with the Annual Sidewalk Sale at the tent near the train station. The Sunrise Preservation Group. Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) Tax-Deductible, Non-Profit Organization

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs from Graylyn International Conference Center

Gray Matters For a taste of a tycoon’s lifestyle, head to Graylyn International Conference Center, the Norman Revival manse overlooking an expansive park off Reynolda Road. Thanks to a recent change in tax laws, Graylyn is no longer the exclusive purview of conferences or affiliates of its owner, Wake Forest University. Its gates are open to all with a Tour Pour du Jour (held every month, typically on the third Sunday with June’s on the 22nd). Begin in the library, an elegant space lined with dark wood paneling “imported” from a French hotel — much to the consternation of the French government. There, you will enjoy a reception of cheese and a couple of glasses of Graylyn house wine. One of Graylyn’s butlers will take you through the former dream house of Nathalie Lyons Gray and her husband, Bowman Gray. The latter was once chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the marketing genius who came up with the camel for RJR’s iconic advertising campaign. Designed by 28-year-old architect Luther Lashmit and completed in 1932, Graylyn bears Nathalie’s aesthetic throughout: sun-drenched sitting and breakfast rooms; hand-painted tiles; and wrought iron

Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem accents. Standouts are the Persian card room with walls that once adorned a Turkish mosque; the pool room with its porthole windows taken from a cruise liner and whimsical murals of marine life and myths (note the mermaid and buried treasure chest); and the stunning, floating stair tower, a favorite spot for photos. Your butler/guide will regale with you tales of Bowman Gray’s tragic death at sea — only three years after the completion of the estate — and Nathalie’s subsequent retreat to a cottage on its grounds. You’ll hear about Graylyn’s days as a psychiatric hospital, the 1980 fire that destroyed its third floor, and, as some insist, the presence of ghosts. But why stop there? If you reserve in advance, you can stay for a four-course dinner, courtesy of executive chef Greg Rollins. A fan of everything local, Rollins even grows the strawberries and herbs in a garden on the estate. You might be treated to, say, a fresh salad and salmon filet in a lemon caper cream — and something sinful for dessert. Don’t worry about the calories: You can work them off with a stroll around the grounds — and give silent thanks to the Grays for their hospitality. OH

Graylyn International Conference Center, 19000 Reynolda Road, WinstonSalem. To reserve a Tour Pour du Jour ($20 per person) and a four-course dinner ($52 per person) call (800) 472-9596 or visit graylyn.com.

www.devajewelry.com 49 Miller Street next to Whole Foods • Winston-Salem • 336.723.4022 • Monday-Friday 10-6 Saturday 10-5 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

O.Henry 99

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June 2014


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worth the Drive to High Point

Young, wealthy singles in the late 18th and early 19th centuries often met their spouses at a formal dance. First came the exchange of timid glances. She may have flirted with her fan. He would have requested an introduction through a gentleman in her family. The two would might have then shared a dance. If they hit it off, he could call on her later. Very proper. Very Jane Austen. Dating may have changed today, but fans of this era can learn more about courting rituals and the dances of that time at the High Point Museum this month. The museum will host the free program June 21 at its Historical Park. Kimberly Mozingo, a costumed interpreter for the museum, says that in the past, the event has been well-attended. It can draw up to 100 visitors of all ages, depending on the weather. Participants will learn about courtship rituals, the different dances of the time and how women used fans to best advantage to flirt. Visitors can even learn a simple dance called “Haste to the Wedding” that day — not that the dance has anything to do with a wedding, Mozingo says. But it is simple and easy to learn. She says wealthy families often hired dance instructors for their children. “You were taught these dances from the time you were a small child,” says

Mozingo, who is also an 18th century historian. That’s because each dance could have as many as two dozen moves and its own music. Couples may have held each other’s hands, but never embraced one another during dancing, which resembled our modern square dancing. Still, how the couple interacted during the dance might make or break the possibility of a future relationship. “The dancing was a big, big part of the courting ritual,” she says. After the program, visitors are invited to check out the historical park, its unique buildings and the museum. The park, adjacent to the museum, features three historic buildings, including a blacksmith shop that dates to around 1841, moved from Davidson County to the park in 1970. The nearby Hoggatt House was originally a one-room log cabin built in 1801 and moved to the park in 1973 from nearby Phillips Avenue and Rotary Drive. The Haley House — the home of Quakers John and Phebe Haley — was completed in 1786. It originally stood on a road that ran from Petersburg, Virginia, to Salisbury, North Carolina, and is recognized as Guilford County’s oldest documented structure on its original foundation. OH Early American Dancing & Courting Rituals, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., June 21, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point; Call (336) 885-1859 or click on highpointmuseum.org for hours.


Soda Fountain Drinks • Sundaes • Floats

Yasmin Leonard Photography

Photograph from High Point Museum

Shall We Dance?

Our Weddings Are…

Like us on Facebook! 336.883.6249 | 1313 N. Main Street High Point | sami@justpriceless.net | www.justpriceless.net The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Vintage Thrift and Antiques

Located in the Historic Sherrod Home at 1100 N. Main St., High Point 336.886.1090 | Monday - Saturday 10-6 June 2014

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Arts & Culture


Yvonne Kimbrough

Beach Girls


From 4:30pm-9:00pm Enjoy, live music, food, beer, wine, kids activities,and shopping in the Historic Depot 5/23

Megan Doss Band


Love and Valor




She Bop


Dark Water Redemption




336-644-8722 www.yvonnekimbrough.com | ykimbroughart@bellsouth.net oil painters of america | portrait society of america

102 O.Henry

June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Willow Walk

June 7 & 8, 2014

Willowbrook Park

willow walk ART



You are invited to attend the 7th Biennial Willow Walk. Explore Burlington’s Willowbrook park after it is transformed into a sculpture garden. FOOD



Sunset at Willow Walk

Saturday, June 7 6:30 - 9:30pm, Sat. June 7 A ticketed evening event. 10am - 6pm Tickets $35. Sunday, June 8 scan to purchase or Noon - 5pm

The Perfect Performance for a Summer Evening


call 336-226-4495

We care about the ART of FRAMING!

Arts & Culture


Willow Walk

Burlington, NC

Join Greensboro Ballet in collaboration with Eastern Music Festival for

Summer Serenade at the Carolina Theatre July 2nd at 7 p.m.

EMF musicians conducted by Grant Cooper, the performance will include George Balanchine’s “Serenade” as well as a short piece choreographed by Maryhelen Mayfield, danced to Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony.” Join us following the performance for a reception to raise funds for student scholarships. Tickets for the performance and the reception are available through the Carolina Theatre Box Office www.carolinatheatre.com

15% off all graduation framing thru June! 2105-A W. Cornwallis Drive Greensboro, NC irvingparkartandframe.com • (336) 274-6717 Monday-Friday - 9:30 - 5:30 • Saturday - 10 - 4 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


For more information go to: www.greensboroballet.org June 2014

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Paintings B y

C.P. Logan


Spring-Summer Session 2 Begins the Week of June 23 Adult 8-Week Classes • Pottery • Drawing & Painting • Sculpture & more!

Youth 1-Week Art Camps • Pottery • Drawing & Painting • Comic Book Drawing

Workshops & Events

• Principles of Drawing Workshop, June 14 from 1:30-4:30 pm • More workshops being planned!

For a schedule of classes and to register, visit www.artalliancegso.org

Arts & Culture

Greensboro Cultural Center | 200 N Davie Street | Greensboro, NC 27401 336-373-2725 | artalliancegso@gmail.com Art Alliance is co-sponsored by City Arts

“The Yellow Door” 30x40” oil

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


Arts &CULTURE Roaring 20 Flashback


Celebrating 90 Years

Saturday, July 12 • 11 am to 4 pm Live Jazz • Flappers & Dancing • Graveyard Ghost Tours Storytelling & Children’s Activities with Miss Tammy Tastings, Demonstrations & Vendors at the Museum Shop Hear About “Greensboro in the Roaring Twenties” Richardson Park Tours • Lunch • FREE Admission FREE Admission • Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday from 2 - 5 pm www.GreensboroHistory.org • 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro • 336-373-2043 104 O.Henry

June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


William Smith, Jerry Hudson, John Black

Lisa & Buster Johnson

Family Service of Greensboro Oyster Roast Lindsey & Frank Auman’s Lawn Friday April 25, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Bob & Donna Newton

Lynn Black, Lane & Becky Schiffman, Diane & Kevin Pusch, Cyenthia Barker

Mike & Georgia Lineback

Michelle Crow, Arnold Schiffman, Indira Roberts, Sandi Hedgepeth

Melissa Pittman, Liz Johnson, Austin Pittman, David Johnson

Patrick & Maureen Fiorentino

David & Lauren Leppert, Shari Spradley, Leigh Smith

Anna & Jonathan Ramsden, Daniela Helms

Matt Mulry, Sean Kornegay, Pete Callahan

Tim & Janie Burnett, Lindsey & Frank Auman

Gary & Anita Graham, Eric & Susan Wiseman, Jan & Scott Rowe

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

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Stephanie & Matthew Sarnecky


Lindsey & Frank Auman

Make-A-Wish Derby Party Saturday, May 3, 2014

Photographs by Sam Froelich Bonnie Janke, Dawn Dobrilla, Katie Crow, Renee Hiner, Jessica Ford

Shannon & Patrick Fiorentino

Tom & Lorraine Neill

Vance Schiffman, Daniela Hems, Robert Helms Kara & Stephen Cox

Kevin & Elizabeth Phillips, Misty McCall

Brooks, Tyler, & Pamela Olson

Jenni & Ryan Newkirk

Kimberly Watts, Debbie Penel

Allie Kleinman, Rachel Daly

Kevin McKnight, Amy Brindley, Evelyn McKnight, Jessica McKnight

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June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sally Anderson, Helen Barnes

Katie Brabham, Stephanie Guido

Holy Trinity Day School 60th Anniversary Gala Thursday, May 8, 2014 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Will & Lauren Martin, Tessa & McNeill Kirkpatrick

Ashleigh Reier, Ashley Goble

Tim Patterson, Kathleen Forbes

Muff Houlshouser, Jane Forbes Fields, Liz Burns

Laine & Drew Rendleman

Mary Katherine & Durant Bell

Alison & Alex Rosser

Bob Knox, Jay Kenerly

Robert & Mary Plybon, Martha Stukes

Chad & Tricia Merrell

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2014

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Melissa & David Garrison

Meg & D.J. O’Brien

Green Acres Gala benefiting Greensboro Children’s Museum by Greensboro Center for Pediatric Dentistry Saturday, May 17, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Erica & Jeff Reichard

Mary Plybon, Anne Clendon

Anne & Sriyesh Krishnan

Peter & Emily Murphy, Sloan & Greg Fleming

Chris & Alison Durham, Christina & Patrick Rush

Kim Burgess, Emily & Todd Rangel

Bonnie & Frank Kuester

Mary Ann & Mike Conrad

Jehan & Damian Clark

Rob Lockwood & Katie Lakey, Kristen & Joe Alkire

108 O.Henry

June 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Area Schools

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Summer Days Program: May 27 - June 13 Call for details

201 Parkmont

Wonderful family home with Master Bedroom on main level. 3 Bedrooms and 2 Bonus rooms on upper level. Custom Kitchen, living Room, dining Room, sunroom. Raised Patio, fenced back yard. 2-car garage. Must see this updated home! Price upon request.

206 Sunset

Grand one of a kind luxury home. Golf course location. designed for the fullest enjoyment of each season and gracious family living. 4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Price upon request

4 New Bern Square

Desirable floor plan in Ascot Point. This meticulously maintained home with master bedroom on main offers high ceilings, hardwood & tile floors on main level. 2 spacious bedrooms, closet storage and bath upstairs. 2-car garage, Charleston patio and much more! Price upon request.

101 Wentworth

home with a view perched on a hill overlooking the park! Charming home in irving Park offers so much for family and entertaining! updated kitchen, new roof, freshly painted inside, hardwoods & tile accent most of this home. lovely terraced back yard for gardening and relaxation. Price upon request.

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©2014 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.

June 2014

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The Write Stuff For Guilford County residents only, the 2014 O.Henry Short Story Contest is officially under way. Cash prizes and publication go to winning entries in two categories: Adult and high school students. Contest guidelines:  All submissions must be no more than 1,000 words in length.  All entries must be received no later than July 1, 2014.  One entry per writer  Entries should be emailed, along with complete contact information including address and phone number, to ohenryshortstories@gmail.com (or snail-mailed to O.Henry Short Story Contest, 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, N.C. 27408).  Winning entries and runners-up will be published in the magazine or online, with winners announced at a special celebration.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

By Astrid Stellanova Bless my heart. Here it is, June, the sixth month, as in Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. Astrid here is a romantic and loves me a little tulle, some pink roses and a summertime wedding. That “I do” button is a whole lot more fun to hit than the “undo” key. Re-do and do-overs are all part of the fun this month. Which raises the question: Will my cold-footed Beau ever put a ring on it?

Gemini (May 21–June 20) Of all the people you spend time with, you like yourself the best. Is that bad? Good? Not my call, as anybody with a smidge of sense sometimes needs to recharge. Anywho, Honey, you have solitude galore in the stars this month, but by the end of June this comes to a halt when Venus slides into Gemini and everything changes again. By the 28th, not even a rainy day can kill your buzz. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Just about everybody gets whacked by that Mercury retrograde, and you won’t escape either. Child, one thing you can do is do a real back-up — not as in, slam the Chevy into reverse, but back up as in save that suspense novel you’ve been writing onto the cloud. (Thought nobody knew, huh?) You are about to bring somebody into your inner circle. This new confidant ain’t tall and mysterious but short and funny. What all this means is, you put your trust in somebody that ain’t your usual type. That in itself is mysterious enough. Leo (July 23–August 22) Given the fact that you put so much stead in what your friends say instead of a shrink, the stars say be sure to get yourself some smarter friends. This is one of them months when you need good counsel, and Leo ain’t often humble enough to ask for it. So, if it’s given freely, take it. Beau has got a Leo friend who don’t believe water’s hot unless he sticks his finger in it. Your career track is slicker than the Indy 500 right now. Your love life? Not so much. Virgo (August 23–September 22) Money-making mania continues in your sign this month, and you will be whooping it up like some fool on Let’s Make a Deal. With the stars in your favor, risk is perfume for you, fortunately or not, and you’re acting like you hold a royal flush. I don’t care if you think this entitles you to play video poker the live-long day, ’cause it just ain’t healthy. Get you some sunshine and a square meal. The Virgo fun ramps up by month’s end when Venus enters Taurus and skin wins. You cash out and hide the money under the mattress to chase the love jackpot. Libra (September 23–October 22) By the middle of the month, a full moon (on the 13th) delivers good news and surprises concerning family and travel. I’ve said it before: Keep a bag packed, wear clean underwear and top off the Kia’s gas tank. Another new moon arriving on the 27th brings a nice work surprise. Your new work interest may not be Don Draper, but he might be D. B. Cooper’s alter ego. If he tells you something surprising, keep your face straight and act like you suspected it all along. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) Scorpios are the Crock-Pots of this old universe — slow cookers, Baby, either always cooking something up or about to boil over. The stars know a Scorpio ain’t going to give away much about themselves. As my Scorpio Mama says, she is good at keeping secrets if they are her own. When Neptune is retrograde this month, you get very introspective and start cleaning up some old business. This is a good thing and will lay a foundation for something better. Change is here.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Frustrations might lead you to take stock and muscle toward changes that leave you in a better place. Empty the attic, closet and basement. Clear the garage. If you find them Cabbage Patch babies, hit Ebay and find a buyer, because this month ain’t a good time for Sagittarians to get a loan. Funnel that fear into something else, Child, because Grandpa Hornblower says fear is just false evidence appearing real. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Relying on luck is like putting your trust in a man working at the women’s cosmetics counter. Too much blush never looked good on nobody but a clown. Whatever happened to trusting your own fine self, Honey? Take charge and don’t let nobody get your name on a contract until you know it is the best deal you could broker. I didn’t sign on no dotted lines when I developed my STIFF hair care products without my Philadelphia lawyer, Albert B. Arbitrage, signing off first. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Are you prepared to kick back and take it easy for a change? That’s June for you, Baby. Think tranquil. Think quiet. Just don’t think too much. After mid-month, Mercury makes some moves that will affect you in July but not just yet. You will have a lot of dream time — lots of time to muse, make nice with friends, and just — do what Aquarians do so well. Peace out, Child. Don’t bust outta that lounge chair unless somebody’s holding out a lemonade. Pisces (February 19–March 20) I already know you didn’t take Astrid’s advice last month to try a new hair color. Maybe you’re easy, but you sure ain’t no pushover, Lordamercy. The good news is, you get a second chance because once again, things are nuttier for your sign than my Cousin Mabel’s fruit salad. Try temporary color. Be bold and beautiful. I done told you it’s better to change your hair than tear it out, because this month is buggy and you surely will know it. Aries (March 21–April 19) Chaos, hair on fire and crossed wires. Sound familiar? That’s just any old day if you’re a fire-eating Aries. You leave all that, and more, in your wake. Stash the cash. Change your passwords. Clunk the burglar on the head with a can of Raid and then spray it in his eyes. Hide the body if it comes to that. Honey, this month is more than you counted on when Venus enters Gemini on the 23rd. If you’re still of childbearing age, take “extry special” precautions, Star Child. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Honey, you still got it, and this month you are hell-bent on finding and wooing somebody who still wants it. You will succeed, as you possess exceptional woopowers this month. But let’s bet when you do woo, you’ll want somebody else almost immediately. Your powers to charm are equal to your powers to bewilder, sweet thing. Want you they will — it’s just that your romantic self sees spring-green opportunities in almost every pasture. June is your wait-wait, back-up month. And when you look at the charts, a retrograde in Mercury on June 7 fiddles with all the reset keys on your console. OH For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path.

June 2014

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O.Henry Ending

The Magic of Sweet-Tea

By Deb Hosey White

I was a pale, thin, sniffling child. Ghostlike white hair and see-through skin with celery green eyes wide with worry. My chewed nails reflected my fear of all I didn’t yet know or understand. Severe allergies explained the wet, wadded tissue forever balled up in my fist.

I remained a sickly child until my pediatrician scheduled me for a tonsillectomy at age 7. Those thirty-six hours in the hospital ruined me for any healthy relationship with the medical community. Never mind the lies they told about “all the ice cream you can eat” after your tonsils are out. My nightmare hospital experience included a disturbingly incongruous moment that remained a mystery until I was old enough to get the joke. A silent orderly wheeled me into surgery. The room was already bustling with masked doctors and nurses. Flat on my back, the bright lights hurt my eyes. No one spoke to me. I was cold, frightened and needed to pee. Then the doctor leaned in and said, “Here we go!” I couldn’t imagine where we were going. Ether dripped from a large eyedropper onto a metal sieve covered with cheesecloth pressed over my nose and mouth. I began to panic. No one had explained anything, except the ice cream part. “Breathe normally,” a voice said. I flinched and some of the foul-smelling ether splashed onto the anesthesiologist. He pressed the sieve more firmly onto my face. “Count backwards from ten,” he commanded, muffled by the mask. “Ten,” I began. Then one of the nurses said to the anesthesiologist in a giggly coquettish voice, “Pee-yew! Doctor, how does your wife sleep with you at night?” “As a matter of fact, when I’m around, she sleeps quite well.” As the room erupted in laughter, I dropped down into a rabbit hole of nightmarish unconsciousness where adults laughed in the same room where frightened, sick kids got their tonsils yanked out. After that, I spent a lifetime fighting anxiety attacks every time I underwent a medical procedure, large or small. Then I moved south. My first medical encounter in North Carolina involved a trip to the podiatrist. The appointment was a short consult on a painful big toe — a straightforward, in-and-out-in-no-time appointment. Until the doctor took one look at my toe and announced I needed a little surgical procedure. “It won’t take long,” the doctor told me. “We can take care of this right here, right now.” And off he went to find a nurse and a big needle. I immediately started feeling queasy. I was not mentally prepared for

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June 2014

scalpels and stitches. When the doctor returned, I attempted to beg off. “You know, I drove myself here. I wasn’t planning for you to actually do anything today except look . . .” My voice trailed off. I sounded so lame. “You won’t have any problem driving — it’s your left foot. The sooner we take care of this the sooner you’ll be on the mend. He was laying out a line of little cutting implements as he talked. The nurse was swabbing my toe with iodine. When he swiveled back toward me, rubber gloves in place and needle in hand, I was holding my breath and feeling lightheaded. “Are you OK?” Normally, at this point in my panic attack, I lie and say I’m fine. But his soft Southern accent sounded sincerely concerned, so I told the truth. “Actually, no. No, I’m not. I’m feeling a little woozy and scared.” He lowered the needle — the one that was half the length of my foot. “No problem. I know just what you need. Sweet-Tea.” The nurse smiled and kept swabbing. I thought I’d misunderstood but before I could say, “Pardon?” he was on the intercom: “Bev, can you send in Sweet-Tea, please?” “Oh. Um, no. I don’t drink sweet tea but thanks anyway.” I tried to sound polite but a touch of big city skepticism crept into my voice. I wondered — did sweet tea come with everything here in the South, including surgery? “Oh Sweet-Tea’s not a drink. She’s a person!” Just then the door opened. Into the room trundled an adorable little lady dressed in happy-face sunshine scrubs. A cap of red curls bounced around her cherub face, and her round cheeks glowed. She took my hand between her two chubby little soft ones — as soft as biscuit dough — and proceeded to smile sweetly into my face, calmly telling me everything was going to be just fine. “Meet Sweet-Tea!” said the doctor, a grin as wide as Texas on his face. I started laughing and crying at the same time. Suddenly I was amused and comforted. Sweet-Tea held my hand and talked so serenely, I was enchanted. Walt Disney couldn’t have created a better distraction. Before I knew it my toe was wrapped in cerulean blue tape and I was ready to go. After Sweet-Tea left, I told the doctor he could clone and market her to the medical community. He just chuckled. Human touch is such a simple thing. Right there for the asking. No prescription required. Although you can’t get Sweet-Tea just anywhere, I’ve learned that when I’m anxious, it’s OK to ask for someone to hold my hand. OH Deb Hosey White is the author of the novel Pink Slips and Parting Gifts and the Beyond Downton Abbey guidebook series. Although she’s lived in Greensboro for several years, she still doesn’t drink sweet tea. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

and a touch that calmed the spirit

When given the choice,

you’d prefer to be given a choice. You may not know it but, when your doctor recommends an imaging procedure, you have a choice. Greensboro Imaging has offices all over the Triad and is locally owned. All of our radiologists are sub-specialty trained to better serve the needs of you and your physician. Additionally, Greensboro Imaging is part of the ACR Radiation Reduction Initiative to ensure high-quality images with minimal exposure to radiation. So the next time your doctor recommends an imaging procedure, say that your preference is Greensboro Imaging, the Triad’s premier image provider. For a complete list of our services and locations or to make an appointment, call us or visit our website. greensboroimaging.com


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