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Spring/Summer 2018 issue now available. P I C K U P A C O M P L I M E N TA R Y COPY IN ONE OF OUR OFFICES.

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


PRINCESS FLOWER COLLECTION


What’s next in spine surgery. This is today’s Cone Health.

There are few parts of the human body more vital than the spine. Cone Health is a nationally-recognized leader in spine care, ranked number 1 in North Carolina for medical excellence in both spinal surgery and spinal fusion (CareChex, 2018). The world-class physicians, caregivers and technology at Cone Health provide advanced support and treatment for the entire spectrum of spine conditions. Above all, you’ll receive peace of mind knowing that some of the best care in the country is where you need it most...nearby. Learn more at conehealth.com/spine

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1001 Country Club Drive

One of Greensboro's most iconic homes. Massive Elizabethan style dwelling. Extraordinary home. 

1915 Granville Road

Located on one of the most desirable streets in Old Irving Park this 1930's Georgian comes complete with an unexpected guest house. 

5601 Westfield Drive

Enjoy the best of both worlds. Country estate with city living!

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407 Parkway Avenue, Suite I Greensboro, NC 27401

Gary Jobe 336-272-2772 336-549-1146


THE FIRST

AND ONLY

Alehouse IN STOKES

county.

THE PREMIER

CANOE And KAyAK

livery

ON THE dAn river.

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

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

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

1110 FLINCHUM ROAD, DANBURY, NC, 2701

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www.greenheronalehouse.com

www.danrivercompany.com


I FOUND FIN D YOU R

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MUSIC

We want your feedback.

for a

Scan here and take this quick survey to let us know how we are doing. Questions will change each week.

Sunday Evening in the Park

F R E E A D M I S S I O N — J O I N U S F O R G R E E N S B O R O ’ S 39 YE A R M U S I C A L T R A D I T I O N !

JUNE 3

6 pm 7:15 pm

JUNE 10

6 pm

JUNE 17

6:30 pm

JUNE 24 JULY 4 JULY 8

6 pm

Sam Frazier & the Side Effects doby Greensboro Big Band

Playing two 45 minute sets

Philharmonia of Greensboro

Songwriter, Americana Funk

Latham Park W. Wendover Ave. at Latham Rd. & Cridland Rd.

Swing, Jazz

Greensboro College 815 W. Market St. • Front Lawn (facing W. Market St.)

Classical, Pops

Lindley Park Starmount Dr. at W. Market St. & Wendover Ave.

Banna

Irish

7:15 pm

West End Mambo

Latin

Barber Park 1500 Dans Rd.

7:30 pm

Fun Fourth Fireworks Concert Philharmonia of Greensboro

Classical, Pops

Location TBD

6 pm

Low Key

7:15 pm

Gate City Divas

JULY 15

6:30 pm

Eastern Music Festival Young Artists Wind Ensemble

JULY 22

6 pm

Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra

Playing two 45 minute sets

Classic Rock to Pop Blues, R&B, Jazz, Soul

Gateway Gardens 2924 E. Gate City Blvd. LeBauer Park 208 N. Davie St.

Classical, Pops

Guilford College Founders Lawn 5800 W. Friendly Ave.

Jazz

In conjunction with Parks & Rec Fest from 4-6 pm. Come early. Fun for the entire family!

JULY 29

6 pm 7:15 pm

AUGUST 5 AUGUST 12 AUGUST 19 AUGUST 26

6 pm

Sweet Dreams Rob Massengale Band The Zinc Kings

7:15 pm

The Radials

6:30 pm

Greensboro Concert Band

6 pm 7:15 pm 6 pm

Warren Bodle & Allen Wonderwall The Tribute Wally West Little Big Band

Playing two 45 minute sets

Blues, R&B, Jazz, Soul Variety, Rock & Roll Piedmont Old Time Music Americana, Country

Hester Park 3906 Betula St. Lindley Park Starmount Dr. at W. Market St. & Wendover Ave.

Classical, Pops Folk Beatles Cover Band Jazz

Gillespie Golf Course 306 E. Florida Street

Park in the Jaycee Country Park, Shelter 7 Parking Lot 3905 Nathanael Greene Dr.

Blandwood Mansion 447 W. Washington St.

For cancellation information, call 336-373-2549. Please note: All dogs must be on a leash.

Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors:

@gsocityarts @musepgso

Presented In Conjunction with the Eastern Music Festival

@gsocityarts

336-373-2549 www.musep.info • music@greensboro-nc.gov


“Welcome Home!”

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June 2018

Features

Departments 17 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 20 Short Stories 23 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 27 Omnivorous Reader By D.G. Martin

31 Scuppernong Bookshelf 33 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 41 True South By Susan Kelly 43 In The Spirit By Tony Cross

47 The Pleasures of Life Dept. By Bridgette A. Lacy 53 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 54 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 76 Arts Calendar 89 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Brian Faulkner

57 Peaches Poetry by Steve Cushman 58 Comforts of Home Cooking

Across the Gate City, families from near and far have brought the rich flavors of their homes to share with us

62 A World Beneath One Roof By Billy Ingram Super G Mart is an international bazaar for local foodies

66 Where’s the Beef? By David Claude Bailey The Cheapskate’s Guide to Cheap Steaks

68 An Open Hearth for Open Hearts By Nancy Oakley In the Ganem family, hospitality is the language of love

75 Almanac By Ash Alder

Cover Photograph and this Page by Amy Freeman

12 O.Henry

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Fine Eyewear, Artwork and Jewelry 327 South Elm | Greensboro 336.274.1278 | TheViewOnElm.com Becky Causey, Licensed Optician Find us on Facebook


M A G A Z I N E

Volume 8, No. 6 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408

What matters to you, matters to us

www.ohenrymag.com Publisher

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

Front row (left to right): LuAnn Dove-Ramsey, Private Banker; Pam Beck, Private Banker; Karen Button, Fiduciary Advisory Specialist; Ryan Newkirk, Wealth Advisor; Parrish Peddrick, Senior Wealth Planning Strategist; Fritz Kreimer, Senior Investment Strategist; Kyle Quinlivan, Senior Fiduciary Advisory Specialist

Our team of experienced professionals will work to help you reach your unique goals. We offer the dedicated attention of our local team backed by the strength, innovation, and resources of the larger Wells Fargo organization. To learn more about how your local Wells Fargo Private Bank office can help you, contact us: Ryan Newkirk Wealth Advisor NMLSR ID 589706 336-378-4108 ryan.newkirk@wellsfargo.com

O.H

Advertising Sales

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

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

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

336.617.0090, ohenryadvertising@thepilot.com

O.H

Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Douglas Turner, Finance Director 910.693.2497

wellsfargoprivatebank.com Wealth Planning   Investments   Private Banking   Trust Services   Insurance n

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Wells Fargo Private Bank provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the banking affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo & Company. Insurance products are available through insurance subsidiaries of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by non-affiliated Insurance Companies. Not available in all states. © 2017 Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Member FDIC. NMLSR ID 399801 IHA-4760701

14 O.Henry

June 2018

©Copyright 2018. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Simple Life

Letting Go Until then, hang on to dear, sweet life

By Jim Dodson

On a glorious end-of-spring afternoon,

my friend Keith Bowman took me to see his farm, 15 miles southeast of town, a forested tract of land to which he has devoted the last 35 years so as to turn it into a peaceable kingdom for people who love nature.

We met when I wrote about Keith and three college buddies who’ve attended every Masters Tournament together since 1960, a friendship still going strong 60 years later. During our conversations about Augusta National, Keith let on that he once took a sprig of the famous Augusta azaleas hoping to root and grow the same plant here in North Carolina on his farm where he and a cousin cultivated more than 600 azaleas and rhododendron. When he learned I was an addicted gardener, he invited me to ride out someday and see his “garden that’s gone a little wild.” Before that, however, was the matter of an old tree. “There it is,” he said, pulling to the side on a quiet lane that turned off the Company Mill Road. “What do you think of that?” The tree was an ancient poplar, rising from a small forested vale below the road bed, massive and very mystical-looking, knotted and gnarly as a giant’s index finger rising to a deep blue sky, at least 13 feet or so in circumference. The monster looked like something out of a children’s story, the home of a Druid king or hermit wizard. “One day when I was about 13, my father brought me here to see this tree and told me how his grandfather hid in it to avoid being conscripted by the Confederate army.” On his next birthday, Keith Bowman will be 85. “The tree was probably close to 100 years old back then.” “What amazes me is how it has survived everything from rough weather to changes here in the countryside,” said Keith. “Its top was sheared off long ago but it’s still putting out limbs and leaves. It just won’t let go, comes back year after year.” Keith’s farm, which is named Ironwood and sits near the village of Climax, was pretty amazing in its own right. Though there are fields he leases to neighbors for raising crops, most of the 120-acre property is covered by a gorgeous forest of hardwoods. There is a handsome unpainted farmhouse and a large barn well off the road, both of which suffered significant damage from the great ice storm of 2014, when large trees toppled onto their roofs. Other trees fell onto the spectacular octagonal gazebo built by Keith and his late father, Ross, beside the acre-and-a-half pond Keith had built at the heart of his earthly paradise. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The gazebo and pond were designed for swimming and fishing. The structure features hand-cut wooden shingles from the mountains and is bunkered by the aforementioned red and white azaleas. “Because of the ice storms, the place doesn’t look as nice as it used to,” Keith needlessly apologized. “But this has certainly been a source of a lot of joy to me, friends and neighbors,” he allowed as we walked through the woods to see the remains of a large nursery where rhododendron and large azaleas were returning to a wild state. In the farm’s glory days, Keith invited school groups and neighbors from nearby Climax to use the property for “a getaway in nature,” and once threw a party for neighbors from the crossroads with barbecue and a bluegrass band. Ironwood visitors fished, had picnics, hiked and swam. There is even a fancy paneled outhouse with a cathedral roof, skylight, electric lights, running water and a chandelier. “It’s kind of the Cadillac of outhouses,” Keith joked. Across the pond, he installed an orchard with 81 fruit trees and a large grape arbor of Concord, scuppernong and muscadine varieties. “For years I had so much fruit I couldn’t give it away,” he told me as we strolled around the pond. It was late in the day and the surrounding woods were stirring with life, full of birdsong. The light was almost ethereal, the serenity complete in the seclusion of Keith Bowman’s Peaceable Kingdom. “You wouldn’t believe all the wildlife around us,” he was moved to say as we walked, pausing to marvel as a trio of honking Canada geese zoomed over the pond and our heads, heading north with spring. “That’s why it means so much to me to keep this place the way it is — to pass it along to someone who will properly care for it and allow others to use it for relaxation and spiritual renewal.” As a kid, Keith dreamed of becoming a test pilot, and nearly achieved that dream by training as a fighter pilot during the Cold War. After that he worked as an engineer on the Nike missile for Western Electric in Burlington. A long career with the Small Business Administration followed — he was in charge of both Carolinas for a time — introducing him to good friends he keeps up with this day. For a decade he performed with a traveling gospel group. Though he never married (“a couple of near-misses,” he says with a wistful laugh, “that just didn’t work out”) he has enjoyed a full life of faith and friendship, belonging to several different churches. It’s the uncertain fate of Ironwood that chews at him. Since the death of a neighbor who did most of the heavy maintenance work on the property, Keith can’t possibly keep up with all that needs to be done. “I don’t have any relations left to give it to,” he admitted, as we started back to his car. “That’s a problem I think a lot of older Americans face these days. As we get older out in the country, younger folks aren’t replacing us. They want to live in the city. You can’t blame them. But connections will be lost.” For this reason, Keith has spent decades photographing nature and June 2018

O.Henry 17


Simple Life New England Elegance in the South

Southwyck Farm Bed & Breakfast

1070 Southwyck Farm Road • Lawsonville, NC 27022

336-593-8006 www.southwyckfarm.com 18 O.Henry

June 2018

creating documents to show what was done, filling several meticulously organized scrapbooks. When I suggested that he might consider giving the farm to a local church for a retreat or youth camp, given his strong connections to local congregations, he smiled and shook his head. “I know people who have done just that. Most churches would sell the property for other purposes.” On the drive back to town, he showed me the historic Tabernacle Methodist Church where generations of his family are buried. The interior of the church was a handmade gem. Keith has photographed all of its stained glass windows. “I think about a line I heard from the film Life of Pi,” he mused as we drove back into town. “All of life seems to be about letting go of things you love. Truthfully, I’m the worst person in the world at letting things go,” he said with a laugh. “But you’ve got to eventually let it go. I know that.” Keith and his personal nature preserve were still on my mind a few days later when I phoned my friend Joe who is an experienced forester who helps people just like Keith figure out what to do with their land when the time arrives to let it go. Joe, as I knew he would, agreed to give his perspective and advice. I even looked up the quote from Life of Pi, which goes, “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Keith, at least, is taking his own sweet time to say goodbye.  Out in my half-finished Japanese garden, meanwhile, which has shown great improvement over the course of a cool and rainy spring, I couldn’t help but think about the things of this world I treasure but will someday have to let go. As it happened, I was planting a pair of Red Slipper azaleas and a Christmas fern mixed with the ashes of the three well-loved golden retrievers that brought our family incalculable joy over the years. My garden will be the final resting places for dear old Amos, Bailey and Riley the Rooster, as we called him — and, with a little luck, perhaps the head gardener as well. A rusted iron sign that stood forever in the peonies of my late mother’s garden read: Dig in the soil, delve in the soul. No place better than one’s garden to do that. Thomas Jefferson always made lists that he kept in his back pocket, especially when in his garden. Keith and his farm were still on my mind, and I couldn’t help but make my own mental list of the people and things of this world I shall someday have to let go. Naturally, my adorable wife and four great kids top the list — though with luck they’ll have to let go of me first. As I dug, my simple list grew: my dog Mulligan, old friends, golf with buddies, quiet time in my garden, a house that finally feels like home, early church, arboretums, old hymns, my wife’s caramel cake, histories and spy novels, birds at the feeder, the glory of spring, the spice of autumn, the silence of snowy nights, film scores, dawn walks, rainy Sundays, supper on the porch, the blue of dusk, garden catalogs, my new rubber boots, my old guitar, blue limericks, roses in June, freshly baked bread, driving back roads, all of Scotland, half of England, the poems of Billy Collins and Mary Oliver, and a few other things I shall surely miss and think of later. Leave it to Mary Oliver to offer the best advice to Keith and me and others like us. “To live in this world,” she said, “you must be able to do three things. To love what is mortal and hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and then, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Short Stories Sip, Sup and Santé!

The vines in Burgundy have tender grapes, especially those so carefully nurtured as to produce wines with the exclusive designation, Premier Cru. Enjoy some of them on June 8 at 7 p.m. at Print Works Bistro’s Premier Cru wine dinner (702 Green Valley Road). Ambassadors from Champagne Taittinger and Maison Louis Jadot will be on hand alongside Chef Leigh Hesling, who’ll whip up some inspired pairings with the various wines. And it goes without saying, but we can’t resist: Bon Appétit! Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com. Tickets: goo.gl/QdU7UE

To the Table!

Community Table, that is. Want a tantalizing preview of the popular fall eat-fest and arm of Triad Local First, the nonprofit that promotes independent businesses? Then mark your calendar for June 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast (204 North Mendenhall Street). As a part of its monthly Wine Wednesdays, Double Oaks is promoting Community Table and has invited eight of the event’s chefs who will pass around appetizers and mingle as you’re sipping and savoring, enjoying live music — and learning more about this year’s eight-course feast, which will also take place at Double Oaks on September 30. And yes, you can purchase advance tickets to Community Table, appropriately dubbed Six Degrees of Southern. Info: (336) 763-9821 or double-oaks.com.

Fired Up

The sizzle, the smoke, the searing. With warm weather and veggies coming up in the South Forty, it’s time to fire up that grill. For some pointers, head to Adult Cooking Class — Grilling in the Garden on June 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Greensboro Children’s Museum (220 N. Church St.). There, Lynn Wells, owner of Thyme Well Spent — Personal Chef Services LLC, will guide you through preparing chimchurri sauce, which you will then smother in grilled steak, vegetables and fruit. Your final “exam”? Tucking into your creation alongside your classmates and taking that first bite of charred goodness. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. To register: https://sales.gcmuseum.com/ performance.aspx?pid=18557

20 O.Henry

June 2018

Catch as Catch Can

Meaning a new release from UNC Press, Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast by Debbie Moose. Whether it’s Chowan Shellfish “Muddle” or Warm Kale Salad with Mountain Trout, the cookbook author of Savor of the South’s Buttermilk and Southern Holidays offers tips for home cooks on when and how to source North Carolina fish and shellfish, and includes an astounding 96 dishes for almost anything that swims in the waters of the Old North State. Sample a few of Moose’s seafood specialties when she appears at Scuppernong Books (304 South Elm Street) on June 24 at 3 p.m. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


True Blue

We just can’t get enough of those plump, sweet, antioxidantfilled nuggets that bloom and grow this time of year and even better when they’re baked into muffins, scones, cobblers and our favorite: pancakes. Yep! June 30 marks that time again: Blueberry Pancake & Celebration Day at Greensboro Farmers Curb Market (501 Yanceyville St.). For $5 you can line up for a stack of Chef Alex (As in Cheesecakes By) Amaroso’s blueberry flapjacks — with your choice of Neese’s various sausages — and devour them on the market’s lawn while listening to live music. The only thing that could possibly top such sinful sweetness? Peach Pancake & Celebration Day in late July! Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

La Vie en Rosé

Not to be confused with the Mateus that your parents used to drink in the 1970s or the white zinfandel craze of the 1980s, exquisite rosés are produced in wine-growing regions far and wide (though in our humble opinion the vintages from Provence are tops). They come in all shades of pink and varying degrees of sweetness — and comprise one of the fastest-growing segments of today’s wine market. On June 13, you can learn more — sip by sip with wines from around the world — at Wine Appreciation Class, a casual classroom offered monthly at Grove Winery (7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville.) Cost of the class is $28 and includes instruction, wines, light nibbles and a giveaway. Info: grovewinery.com/ wine_class_1.html

Wingding

Or rather, Wingfest 2018, celebrating — what else? — everybody’s favorite pub grub, chicken wings. Sponsored by the Arc of High Point, a nonprofit that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental challenges, Wingfest takes place June 16 at Piedmont Triad Farmers Market (2914 Sandy Ridge Road, Colfax). From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can sample the best wings of the area, with competitors claiming victory in categories such as “People’s Choice,” and “Lord of the Wings.” See who can consume the most wings in a minute, quaff a brew from Natty’s, Preyer or Gibb’s Hundred, while enjoying the sounds of The Fabulous Flashbacks of Archdale, and artistic creations by the folks at the Arc. Info: ncagr. gove or arcofhp.org.

Reach for the Stars

Peanuts, Crackerjack, craft brew, hot dogs, North Carolina. barbecue, brats from Giacomo’s cart. Sure, the concessions alone are worth a visit to National Bank Field (408 Bellemeade Street), but we suspect the real reason you’ll go to the downtown ballpark is to watch the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which hasn’t been held in Greensboro since 2008. Featuring selected players from all 14 of the league’s teams, the contest takes place June 19 at 7:05, with festivities beginning on June 18 and extending to the 20th. For tickets and info: milb.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman Quite often, your merry musical maven begins this monthly laundry list with a weather reference. Yet, with a balmy February, March snows, a tornadic April and maniacal May, the old axioms seem not to apply. Heck, whatever the weather, let’s just go listen to some live music. • June 1, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: My first thought upon glimpsing Whiskey Myers was, “OMG, it’s Goosecreek Symphony reincarnated.” And, yes, persona aside, there are some similarities. But this Texas septet stands on its own as an authentic, roots, foot-stompin’ ensemble, the stuff that clever Americana and alt.country was made for. • June 3, White Oak Amphitheatre: Well now, this could be interesting. I never got a chance to experience the Gin Blossoms when they were the darlings of the grunge world. I’m very curious to see if the uniqueness of their sound stands the test of time. If not, they’re worth hearing again for old times’ sake. • June 9, Ramkat (Winston-Salem): Remind me to tell you the story of getting kicked out of the backstage door of the Greensboro Coliseum for posing for a picture with Kings X, whom I had interviewed earlier, who were opening for AC/ DC. Well worth the trip across the county line to see them again. • June 19, Greensboro Coliseum: Two words are all the hype this show needs. No embellishment, no flowery descriptives. Simply, Paul Simon. • June 23, Greensboro Arboretum: While not exactly and exclusively a musical event, the Greensboro Summer Solstice celebration is assembling 20 bands on three stages. Among the headliners are Ramu and the Elusive Groove (reggae) Anne-Claire Niver, Jump Out Boys, Graymatter, and Annabelle’s Curse. Dance like nobody’s watching.

June 2018

O.Henry 21


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life’s Funny

Baked into Memory A familiar treat bridges generations

By Maria Johnson

Photograph by maria Johnson

“Do you make baklava?”

It’s a question I get fairly often from people who know I’m half Greek. But, seeing as how the Greek part came from my father, who did very little of the cooking when I was growing up, the answer is no. Or it was no, until a few weeks ago. That’s when I tied on an apron with 80-year-old Joanne Macropoulos, a stalwart at Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Greensboro. For more than 40 years, as long as the church has had its annual Greek Festival, Joanne has helped to make and sell the pastries, a huge draw and moneymaker at the three-day wingding. You know what I mean if you’ve inched along in the pastry line, waiting for your chance to salivate and shell out for the confections — the densely sweet baklava; the kourambiedes topped with powdered sugar; the twisted koulourakia; the shredded-wheat-look-alike kataifi; the nut-topped spice cookie melomakarona: and the wickedly moist yogurt cake, yaourtopeta. These delicacies brought Joanne and me together. Sort of. Technically, I met her in the intensive-care unit after my dad had a major stroke three years ago. But pastries, in a roundabout way, led to that connection. Here’s how it happened: My dad loved the Greek festival. Specifically, he loved the pastries at the Greek festival. And therefore — even though he and my Methodist mom didn’t attend church there after they retired in Greensboro — our family’s attendance at the festival was mandatory. Every year, about the time we finished our Athenian chicken and Spartan vegetable plates in the fellowship hall, Daddy would clear his throat and say, as if the thought had just occurred to him, “Would anybody like some pastries?” This was our cue to nod, and say “Sure” and offer to buy them, at which point he would wave us off in an I-got-this gesture and shuffle off to the pastry table, where he’d drop a few phrases in Greek and wait until he got a nibble from another Greek speaker. He always hooked someone. Pretty soon, he’d be telling some poor dear pastry lady, as succinctly as possible — which was not very — about how he came here from Greece as a kid and, I’m fast-forwarding here, about the amazing accomplishments of his entire family who were, in short, brilliant. That’s when he’d start pointing at us from across the room. He’d wave. The pastry lady would wave. We’d waved back. And he’d return to the table with boxes, plural, of pastries. He was so happy in those moments. This went on for 20 years. Until the stroke.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The next morning, as my dad struggled to respond, we couldn’t tell how much he comprehended. I knew one thing for sure: The first language in would be the last language out. I drove to the Greek church, where we’d had so many good times over pastries, and threw myself on the mercy of the priest, Father Thomas Newlin, who didn’t know me from Eve’s housecat. Still, I asked: Did he know anyone, preferably a native of Greece, who could come to the hospital to talk and pray in Greek? He thought he did. I gave him the room number. The next day, Joanne appeared. I’m not exaggerating when I say she looked like an angel. She was white-haired, erect, serene — one of those people who shines with a light from within. We roused my dad. Joanne stepped up, touched his shoulder and spoke to him in Greek. Then she prayed. My dad — who before the stroke found a quiet place every morning and evening and prayed by himself, always in Greek — looked at her through heavy eyes. His right hand, the only hand he could move, trembled over his chest. He was trying to cross himself. Joanne visited again, each time bearing pastries for our family, who kept a bedside vigil until Daddy died, at age 95, a couple of weeks later. Joanne came to the funeral, this lady who didn’t really know us, but somehow did. We knew her, too. We continued to see her at Greek festivals — it seemed like a tradition we needed to carry on — but more often, Joanne and I ran into each other at the Spears Family YMCA, where we both work out. One day, I stopped her in the hallway. We chatted for a while, and then I blurted out: “Would you teach me to make baklava?” I’m not sure where that came from. Maybe I was channeling my Greek yiayia and namesake, though I’m pretty sure she knew how to make baklava. Maybe I wanted to feel closer to my Greek heritage, especially with my dad being gone, and I figured the shortest path was in learning to make a crowd-pleaser that screams “GREEK!” Or maybe I knew, from time spent in the kitchen with my Alabama-born grandmother, and my mother, and my husband, and our two sons, that if you really want to bond with someone, you cook with them. You create together. In any case, I was relieved at Joanne’s reply: “Sure!” I arrived at her door with two pounds of butter. She handed me an apron. “It says ‘Greece’ on it and everything,” she said. We laughed. I’d take every advantage I could get. June 2018

O.Henry 23


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Life’s Funny

She showed me the basics. How to blend sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves with ground English walnuts; how to paint a heavy metal baking pan with butter, then layer the leaf-like phyllo dough, which she orders in rolls from New York. Every sheet gets brushed with melted butter. Every two sheets, you sprinkle the walnut mixture. Phyllo. Butter. Phyllo. Butter. Nuts. Phyllo. Butter. Phyllo. Butter. Nuts. On a nearby table, a plastic-spine recipe book from the Greek church in Charleston, S.C., was laid open to her favorite baklava recipe. She didn’t need it. I asked how long had she been making baklava. She looked at me with the mock-shock expression I’d seen my dad wear so many times. “I was born knowing how to make baklava!” she said. As we talked, a CD of bouzouki music played in the background, and Joanne told me her story: How she was born in the village of Karpenisi, 180 miles northwest of Athens; how her mother died when she was 7; how her older sister passed up a chance to come to America to live with family, but Joanne, then 14, jumped at the opportunity. She figured she’d have a better wardrobe here. “I have to have more than two pairs of shoes,” she announced to her family, who bought their children one pair of shoes for the summer and one for the winter. Anyone who knows the sylphlike Joanne, and how stylishly she dresses, would not be surprised to hear her motivation for immigrating. Neither would they be shocked to learn that she traveled alone, on an ocean liner, for 15 days, until she met family in New Jersey and traveled by car to another village: Burlington, as in North Carolina, NC. It was 1952. There was no Greek church in Burlington, so her family came to the Greensboro church. That’s where Joanne met and married George Macropoulos, who was the son of the priest, thanks to an Eastern Orthodox rule that allows men to marry before they become priests. “Have you ever heard the saying that the son of a priest is the grandson of the devil?” Joanne said with a twinkle in her eye. She and George — who died in 2003 — had two sons, Nick and Chris, who have done very well, as have Joanne’s three grandchildren, Alex, Christina and Stephen, who are, in short, “brilliant.” Into the oven went the pan of baklava and, as we waited, out came the pictures and stories. I nodded in recognition. I was in hauntingly familiar territory. It occurred to me that Joanne, at some point, probably had met my dad at the church’s pastry table and listened to him gush about his family. Sitting at her kitchen table, it felt like we were closing a giant, invisible circuit. The other feeling that grabbed me floated in Joanne’s soft vowels, slightly gargled in the back of her throat, a sound I cannot make no matter how I try to pronounce certain Greek words. I had not heard those sounds since my dad died. I wanted to cry. At soft rolling vowels. Want to know how weird and powerful memory can be? There you go. The smell of butter and cinnamon and the sight of golden phyllo said the pan was ready to come out of the oven, cool, be drenched in simple syrup of water, sugar and lemon juice and left to absorb the sweetness overnight. Joanne explained how, if you pour the syrup over a spoon to break the stream, no place in the pan becomes sodden. It was the kind of knowledge that lurks between the lines of a recipe, where the secrets of cooking, and so much more, live. For this kind of knowledge, you have to show up ready to work in the kitchen, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. And the baklava we made? It was, in short, brilliant. OH Contact Maria at ohenrymaria@gmail.com. This year’s Greek Festival is scheduled for September 28-30. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Omnivorous Reader

Triumphant Return Frazier is back with a new historical novel that reads like poetry

By D.G. Martin

Charles Frazier’s

blockbuster first novel, Cold Mountain, marked its 20th anniversary last year. It won the National Book Award in 1997 and became a popular and Academy Award-winning film starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renée Zellweger. From Cold Mountain and the books that followed, Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods, Frazier gained recognition as North Carolina’s most admired writer of literary fiction since Thomas Wolfe.

Frazier’s many fans celebrated the April release of his latest novel, Varina, based on the life of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ wife. But, because his most recent previous novel, Nightwoods, had come out in 2011, they wondered why he had made them wait so long. The simple answer: Frazier refuses to work fast. Every word of every chapter of every one of his four books was reviewed, rewritten, replaced and restored by him to make the final product just right. It’s that process that makes Varina a book so full of rich and lovely prose it could pass for poetry. And well worth the wait. Because Varina is historical fiction, Frazier faced a challenge similar to the one Wiley Cash encountered in his recent book, The Last Ballad. Writing about a real person — textile union activist Ella May Wiggins in Cash’s case or Varina Davis in Frazier’s book — limits an author’s freedom to create and imagine without limits. The facts of history set firm and solid boundaries. On the other hand, those real historical facts provide the framework within which Cash and Frazier, both, have succeeded in developing interesting and believable characters. Varina takes us back to the 1800s and the Civil War, a period it shares with Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons. The central character of the new book is Varina Howell Davis, until now an obscure Civil War footnote. Frazier refers to her as “V.” He builds V’s story around an unusual fact. While living in Richmond as first lady of the Confederacy, she took in a young mixed race boy she called Jimmie. She raised him alongside her own children. At the end of the Civil War, Union troops took 6-year-old Jimmie away from V, and she never learned what happened to him.

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Frazier begins his story 40 years later at a resort-spa-hotel-hospital in Saratoga Springs, New York, where V is residing. James Blake, a light-skinned, middle-aged African-American, has read about Jimmie. His memories are very dim, but he begins to think he might be that same Jimmie and sets out to visit V at Saratoga Springs. When Blake calls on V at the hotel, she is suspicious, having been the victim of various con artists who attempted to exploit her fame. But something clicks. “She works at remembrance, looks harder at Blake’s broad forehead, brown skin, curling hair graying at the temples. She tries to cast back four decades to the war.” Blake visits V for several Sundays, and Frazier builds his story on the growing friendship and the memories they share. During the course of Blake’s visits, V remembers her teenage years in Natchez, Mississippi; her courtship and marriage to Davis; life on his plantation while Davis is often away in military service or politics; living in Washington as wife of a U.S. senator and Cabinet official; being the first lady of the Confederacy; and her post-Civil War life when she becomes friends with the widow of Ulysses Grant and writes a column for a New York newspaper. These are important subplots, but the book’s most compelling action develops in V’s flight from Richmond when it falls to Union troops at the end of the Civil War. In the book’s second chapter, V and Blake begin to recall their journey southward. As V prepares to leave Richmond on the train, Davis tells her she would be coming back soon because “General Lee would find a way.” But Lee does not find a way this time. V’s family, including Jimmie, servants and Confederate officials, travel to Charlotte, where an angry mob confronts them at the rail station. Evading the mob there, they “traveled southwest down springtime Carolina roads, red mud and pale leaves on poplar trees only big as the tip of your little finger, a green haze at the tree line. They fled like a band of Gypsies — a ragged little caravan of saddle horses and wagons with hay and horse feed and a sort of kitchen wagon and another for baggage. Two leftover battlefield ambulances for those not asaddle. The band comprised a white woman, a black woman, five children, and a dwindling supply of white men — which V called Noah’s animals, because as soon as they realized the war was truly lost, they began departing two by two.” Their goal is escape to Florida and then Havana. Supplies have shrunk and their money has become worthless. Rumors circulate that their caravan has a hoard of gold from the Confederate treasury and June 2018

O.Henry 27


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Reader that there will be a big reward for their capture. Frazier writes, “In delusion, bounty hunters surely rode hard behind faces, dark in the shadows of deep hat brims, daylight striking nothing but jawbones and chin grizzle, dirty necks, and once-white shirt collars banded with extrusions of their own amber grease.” Like Inman’s trek toward home in Cold Mountain, V and her companions confront adventure and terror at almost every stop. In Georgia, low on food and soaking wet, the group finds refuge in a seemingly deserted plantation house. As they settle in, two or three families of formerly enslaved people appear, accompanied by the son of their former owner, Elgin, a “white boy, who grew less beard than the fuzz on a mullein leaf.” Elgin sasses and threatens two former Confederate naval cadets, Bristol and Ryland, who are accompanying V’s group. He blames them for losing the war. Ryland responds in kind, “You’ve not ever worn a uniform or killed anybody, and you’re not going to start now. Have you even had your first drink of liquor?” Ryland and Bristol laugh when the boy reaches into his pants and pulls out a Derringer pistol and points it at Ryland. “And then Elgin twitched a finger, almost a nervous impulse, and an awful instant of time later, Ryland was gone for good.” Frazier writes that Ryland had been transformed in a matter of seconds “to being a dead pile of meat and bones and gristle without a spark. Three or four swings of the pendulum and he was all gone.” Instantly Bristol guns down Elgin. Before moving on, V’s group and the former slaves bury Elgin and Ryland, two more unnecessary casualties in a war that simply would not end. With V’s group back on the road, we know their attempt to escape is doomed to failure. But Frazier’s dazzling descriptions give us hope, hope that is quickly dashed when Federal troops capture V and take Jimmie away from her. Readers who loved Frazier’s luscious language and compelling characters in his earlier books will agree that Varina was worth the long wait. But what are they to make of V, her husband, and the Confederate heroes who are bit players in the new book? Perhaps Frazier leaves a clue with the final words, as James Blake remembers what V says to him on one of their visits at Saratoga Springs. “When the time is remote enough nobody amounts to much.” OH D.G. Martin hosts North Carolina Bookwatch, which airs Sundays at 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

Summer Soup June’s a mixed bag of new releases

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

I don’t know how to feel about

June. School’s out, which brings joy to some and terror to others. Summer’s here, and with it the withering heat that fries May’s floral beauty into a dry, pale palette. June holds my birthday, but the cause for celebrating it has run its course, if you follow my meaning. I’m ambivalent about June, and I’m here to tell you it’s perfectly OK to be of two minds about some things. June’s a mishmash, so here’s a mash-up of largely unrelated books that will newly appear this month. Some will appeal to you; some might repel. And some will leave you uncertain. Good. June 5: Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous, Christopher Bonanos (Henry Holt, $32) The creator of The Wire, David Simon, says: “Arthur ‘Weegee’ Fellig was perhaps the perfect vehicle for defining and delivering the fear and wonder of the modern city to our American spirit. Journalist, artist, and huckster, Weegee stole shards of a New York through a camera lens, then reassembled the great city in a mosaic that somehow — despite a fair degree of fraud — still defines urbanity itself for us. We know the photographs, and now, with this biography from Christopher Bonanos, we can finally know something of the legendary, improbable, and much-caricatured man.” June 5: Double Take: The World’s Most Iconic Photographs Meticulously ReCreated in Miniature, by Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger. (Thames & Hudson. $40). Double Take presents 40 astonishingly accurate reconstructions of iconic photographs — ranging from the earliest known to the world’s most expensive. With images showing the reconstruction process, a supporting essay and an in-depth interview with the photographers, Double Take is a dream for lovers of photography or miniatures — with a twist. June 5: The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, by Andrew Lawler (Doubleday, $29.95). What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? That question has consumed historians, archeologists and amateur sleuths for four hundred years. In The Secret Token, Andrew

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Lawler sets out on a quest to determine the fate of the settlers, finding fresh leads as he encounters a host of characters obsessed with resolving the enigma. In the course of his journey, Lawler examines how the Lost Colony came to haunt our national consciousness. Lawler appears in person at Scuppernong Books on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. June 12: Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth, by Adam Frank (Norton, $26.95). Thrilling science at the grandest of scales, Light of the Stars explores what may be the largest question of all: What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate? June 12: Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them): A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying, by Sallie Tisdale (Touchstone, $25.99). The concept of death is hard to fathom. Tisdale explores our fears and all the ways death and talking about death make us uncomfortable — but she also explores its intimacies and joys. She looks at grief, what the last days and hours of life are like — and what happens to dead bodies. Advice for Future Corpses includes exercises designed to make you think differently about the inevitable June 19: Call Me American: A Memoir, by Abdi Nor Iftin (Knopf, $26.95). Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. June 19: The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai. (Viking, $27). Writer Garth Greenwell (who appeared at Scuppernong two years ago) says this “expansive, huge-hearted novel conveys the scale of the trauma that was the early AIDS crisis, and conveys, too, the scale of the anger and love that rose up to meet it. Rebecca Makkai shows us characters who are devastated but not defeated, who remain devoted, in the face of death, to friendship and desire and joyful, irrepressible life. I loved this book.” I’m in. June 26: The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading, by Edmund White (Bloomsbury, $28). Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice is a compendium of all the ways reading has shaped White’s life and work. His larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world’s best-loved cultural figures. OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. June 2018

O.Henry 31


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Life of Jane

City Girl

A brief history of Borden and the ’boro

By Jane Borden

I believe identity is shaped by place, especially by the towns and cities of childhood. As a memoirist, I’ve made a (modest) career out of self-investigation. As a new parent, I’m more confused than ever. Therefore, to learn about myself, I turned to Greensboro’s past. Here’s a timeline of our shared histories.

circa 1750

• Before it was Greensboro, the area was known as Capefair, which was settled by Quaker migrants from Pennsylvania. • Before I was Jane, I was going to be named Millie, after one of my father’s aunts. Actually, my mother’s doctor believed I would be a boy, so before Millie, I was probably Robert. Or Doug.

Illustration by Meridith Martens

Late 18th century

• Greensboro becomes the third most populous city in North Carolina. • I’ve been third place, generally speaking, most of my life. I always made the varsity teams in school, but I never started. I was good enough at improv to be placed on one of the theater’s house teams — but not on one that performed weekend nights. I published a book! It wasn’t a best-seller. You get the idea.

Late 18th century

• Sallie Stockard wrote in The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, that Greensboro was established on “an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit.” • I almost always have fruit on me. Raisins, apple slices, a tangerine: You’ll find them in the side console of my car door, at the bottom of my purse, smushed into a pants pocket. I feel more in touch with Greensboro than ever.

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1808

• The city’s name became Greensborough, after Nathanael Greene. Other places in America named after the same man include Greeneville, Tennessee, Greenville, South Carolina, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a 128-foot long Army tug boat and a nuclear submarine. • I was named after Jane Pullen, who was named for Jane Armfield. Other women in America named for Jane Armfield include Jane Preyer, Janie Fountain, Ellie Jane Preyer and Janie Vaughan.

Early 1800s

• The county seat moved from Martinville to Greensborough, deemed the natural choice on account of being the geographic center of the county. Later, a courthouse was built to hear local disputes and cases. • My parents’ house was also deemed a natural location for a courthouse, by me, who filed countless complaints, and made arguments for both the prosecution and defense, depending on what had been asked of me or what I had been caught doing. My parents are still surprised I’m not a lawyer. But I think I understood, even then, that an actual court of law would never accept my key tactic of “wearing down” the judge.

1865

• Greensboro did witness the demise of the Confederacy when Governor Vance surrendered to Union officials in the parlor of Blandwood Mansion. • And I am still witnessing the demise of the Confederacy, because its prevailing ideologies are slow to disappear.

1869

• The Bank of Greensboro becomes the first bank chartered by the state of North Carolina. • When I was a freshman at Page High School, I saved money all year to buy an $85 ring at Glitters on Elm Street. It was a big green eyeball, encased in dragon claws. Needless to say, I was cool. June 2018

O.Henry 33


Life of Jane 1890

• The Daily Record was first printed. A later iteration of it would eventually merge with another local paper, the Greensboro Daily News, and become the Greensboro News & Record. • In 2005, I started writing about my life. But I have no employees. Still, like newspaper staffers everywhere, I wonder if I chose the wrong career.

1900

• Greensboro became known as a center of the Southern textile industry. • One time I tie-dyed T-shirts in Girl Scouts. You better believe it was cutting-edge fashion. I also invented a few pairs of cut-off shorts in high school, but my factory foreman (mother) wasn’t pleased with the product.

1926

• WBIG begins broadcasting. • In 1978, I started talking, and haven’t stopped. The only time I’m quiet is when I’m writing, and really that’s just talking onto paper.

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• During this time, Greensboro grew so rapidly that it experienced a housing shortage. Workers scrambled for one of the 80 to 100 affordable housing units built each year. Growth even continued during the Great Depression, when about 200 new families came each year. • I put on 15 pounds in high school.

1957

• The Greensboro Science Center was first established, but under a different name, the Greensboro Junior Museum. • In 1987, I asked my parents for a guinea pig. Instead, they gave me a book detailing how to care for a guinea pig. I read it and didn’t want one anymore.

1960

• The Greensboro Four sat at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworth’s on Elm Street, requesting service. The largest civil rights protests in N.C. history would take place in Greensboro over the next few years. • The concurrence of having a child and living under our current president have simultaneously increased my capacity for empathy while increasing my awareness that “not being part of the problem” still makes one part of the problem. I have joined the organization White People 4 Black Lives and am (slowly) learning to fight effectively for racial justice. I will never have the courage of the Greensboro Four, but I strive always to be better than I was the day before.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 35


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life of Jane

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Early 1960s

• Greensboro got its own Barn Dinner Theatre. • I performed live comedy for seven years during the aughts. However, I am a terrible cook.

1969

• Governor Robert W. Scott ordered 600 National Guardsmen, a tank, a helicopter, an airplane and several armed personnel carriers to crush an uprising of students from Dudley High School and A&T University, who became frustrated after Dudley’s administration denied their choice for student council president on account of the candidate’s ties to the Black Power movement. • This is where I stray from Greensboro history: Although they could occasionally be described as authoritarian, my mother’s attempts to quash my rebellions were always warranted.

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1978

• The United Arts Council of Greensboro raised $550,000 to save the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro from demolition and reopen it as a community arts performing arts center. • I rescued several pieces of furniture off the streets of Brooklyn because, free furniture. I never refurbished any of it, but the pieces definitely lent my home “history.”

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1983

• Emerald Pointe water park opens in Greensboro. • Around the same time, my family tied a rope swing to a tree in our side yard. I chipped my tooth once, while swinging, which is generally the reason I wasn’t allowed to go to Emerald Pointe. To wit, a decade later, while going down a slide at a water park on the Outer Banks, I broke my nose.

1993

• Carolyn Allen became the first female mayor of Greensboro. • Throughout my childhood, my uncle Lucius told me I could one day be the first female president of the United States. After seeing what’s happened in the last few years, I’m relieved I didn’t try to.

2010

• The census determined that 48.33 percent of the population of Greensboro is religiously affiliated, broken down thusly: 11.85 percent Baptist, 10.25 percent Methodist, 3.97 percent Presbyterian, 3.71 percent Roman Catholic, 2.61 percent Penecostal, 1.17 percent Episcopalian, 1.02 percent Latter Day Saints, 0.96 percent Lutheran, and 11.03 percent other Christian denominations (including Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Moravian, Church of Christ and nondenominational); 0.82 percent Islam, 0.60 percent

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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38 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life of Jane Judaism, and 0.34 percent Eastern religions. • Similarly, I ascribe to all belief systems a little bit, but am mostly Christian. Side note: I am surprised the Presbyterian population is that small, considering how many bells are in the First Presbyterian Church’s bell choir. I got a real workout as a kid.

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• The formerly economically depressed downtown area has seen incredible redevelopment and growth, attracting new businesses, shops, bars and restaurants. • Since college, and an early foray into sales that followed shortly after, the business areas of my brain were also neglected. Unlike Greensboro, they may never see reinvigoration. • Greensboro is once again the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. • I have let an errant neighborhood basketball sit in a corner of my lawn for weeks. • Gateway University Research Park, a joint project between UNCG and A&T, attracts businesses in the nanotech, high-tech, aviation and transportation/logistics sectors. • I recently decided I should have pursued the sciences. Unlike Greensboro, it’s probably too late for me. • Greensboro continues to be home to eight universities and colleges. • Sigh, I used to read. And learn. Novels, science journals, current events. I had intelligent conversations too. Now I clean sippie cups. • The I-40 & I-85 interchange is always backed up. • I create similar logjams when I move through parties because I keep stopping to talk to people. Then again, who am I kidding? I don’t attend parties anymore. So, what have I learned? That Greensboro remains a thriving and innovative business and cultural center. And that I’m at a bit of a stalemate. But even if there’s no longer time for me to throw cocktail parties, read books or bathe regularly, I am buoyed by my confidence in building a happy and supportive home life for my daughter. Perhaps that’s the biggest quality I can endeavor to share with Greensboro, the city that reared me: being a beautiful place to call home. OH Jane Borden has exhausted the pertinent details of her life in this month’s column.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 39


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June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


True South

Father’s Day A daughter’s tribute

By Susan Kelly

When I was 7, my father would stroll

through the den on Sunday evenings where I was rapt before Lassie, anxious for Timmy’s fate in the well, or the barn, or the field. My father would pause, then say, “Watch: Lassie is going to pull on that rope (or apron string, or gate latch) and everything will turn out all right.” “How did you know?” I demanded afterward, when Timmy was safely rescued. “Because,” he’d say, “I write this stuff.”

When I was 9, my sleeping dog snapped at a neighbor’s child who reached to pat him, and my father gave the dog away. I never forgave him, and he suffered for it. When I was 11, had a horseback riding accident, and had to have a kidney removed, my father said, “Do not worry your pretty little head. My pal Bynum Hunter lost a kidney in a sledding accident when he was your age, and he’s just fine.” (Bynum lived to be 92.) When I was 12, and began parting my long hair down the middle, my father said, “You should part your hair on the side.” “Why?” I asked. It was 1967; everyone was parting their hair down the middle. “Because,” my father said, “a middle part makes your nose look bigger.” When I laughed at that, or some other pronouncement he made, he’d say, “You know why you’re laughing? Because I’m right.” When I was 17, worrying how I’d know when I met the man I wanted to marry, my father said, “You’ll know. When you can barely breathe, can’t stand to be apart from someone for a single minute, you’ll know.” When I was 19, coming to Greensboro for basketball tournaments and debutante parties, my father would say, “Why not drop by and see Nan?” — my glamorous Greensboro grandmother, who lived in a miniature castle on Kemp Road filled with untouchables. I never dropped by, and he never asked if I did. I hope he forgave me. When I was 21, I called long distance, sobbing, summoning my father to the phone from a cocktail party because the man I was in love with seemed to be uncertain about our future. “It’s time to fish or cut bait,” my father said. (He fished.) He was a son of the South, a Greensboro kid, whose own father died when my father was at boarding school. So when textile magnate Spencer

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Love told him to go into textiles, and a job would be waiting for him, my father went to N.C. State. Frat boy and varsity swimmer, he stayed faithful to “Cow College,” as he put it, even in a family sea of Tar Heels. “Ah,” he’d say, as I packed the car after a visit home, impatient to return to Chapel Hill, “back to the womb.” For five seasons a year (summer, fall, winter, resort, spring) he went to New York Monday through Thursday, always returning with a present: a Steiff animal from FAO Schwarz, a Broadway soundtrack album (My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, South Pacific), or a wondrous Surprise Ball, countless yards of crepe paper wound tightly around trinkets at its core. When friends from school visited, he’d admire whatever they were wearing, ask, “You pay retail for that?” and examine the collar label. They adored him. He loved bananas, drank Schlitz and Scotch, and every summer, reread A Summer Place, by Sloan Wilson. He peppered his speech with Yiddish from his time in the “rag trade” or “the dress business” — oy vey — and with lines from movies and songs. “Listen, Mack,” he’d begin a sentence, or, “All this and heaven, too,” when I was elated. “Looks like we made it!” he’d sing out from Barry Manilow, over a triumph, and when sorrow struck, “This too shall pass,” he’d tell me. “Fool’s names, as in fool’s faces, always appear in public places,” he’d remark at the sight of an overpass or bench layered in graffiti. He brooked no backtalk. “Don’t give me that thousand-yard stare,” he’d say during an argument. “These proceedings are over. Period.” Sternness included shaming. “He cannot tell you he’s thirsty,” my father said when he came home one evening and found the dog’s empty water bowl. “It’s a dumb animal.” “Dumb” meaning helpless, dependent entirely upon me. My father taught me to draw “Kilroy Was Here” cartoons without lifting the pencil from the page. He could waterski and whistle, do the jitterbug and the camel walk and a backflip like nobody’s business. I never heard him argue with my mother. I never heard him utter a swear word. He refused to wear a seatbelt because he refused to let the government tell him what to do, and he dropped his subscription to the Greensboro Daily News the day the paper dropped the “Dick Tracy” comic strip. He refused to buy me a pair of Wallabees because he thought they were Communist shoes, but when I found a three-ring bikini in Seventeen that could only be found in New York, he moved heaven and Earth to get it for me. Protector. Adviser. Jokester. Teacher. Nurturer. Molder. Thirty years on, for a death that came too soon, here’s my eulogy, finally. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. OH Susan Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and proud new grandmother. June 2018

O.Henry 41


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


In The Spirit

TOPO’s Whiskey and Rum

New releases from one of North Carolina’s most inventive distilleries

By Tony Cross

Photograph by Tony Cross

Four years

ago, I was in my final couple of hours of wrapping up a Saturday night behind the bar. It was busy and I was slinging drinks and carrying on the type of banter that goes with the territory. Usually after 8 p.m. on a weekend night, most of my guests were relaxed enough to tolerate, maybe even laugh at, my antics. In between the chaos, two gentlemen took seats at the bar. After greeting them, I turned around to grab a bottle of rye and make a drink. “Do you guys carry TOPO spirits?” one of them asked. It had to have been some sort of divine intervention, because my first thought was, “Yeah, but you’re the only person to ask for it.” TOPO vodka was the first local spirit I carried, and I was a little disappointed that guests weren’t flocking to support a local distillery. Another way of putting it is: My feelings got hurt when guests didn’t like what I did. But instead of talking first and thinking later, I said, “Actually, yeah, we carry their vodka. It’s good stuff.” Good job, Tony. Not The Art & Soul of Greensboro

being a smart-ass paid off for once. I had just met the owners of Top of the Hill Distillery, Scott Maitland and Esteban McMahan.

Since that night, I’ve formed a relationship with TOPO’s spirit guide, McMahan. No one in North Carolina’s distillery game seems busier than him. If you follow TOPO on Instagram (handle: topoorganicspirits), then you know exactly what I mean. If I had to guess, I’d say that he’s doing three to four events a week across the state. The guy is everywhere. And thanks to McMahan’s work ethic, I was able to debut my carbonated cocktails on draught to a ton of people when he asked me to bartend with him at Stoneybrook two years ago. Since then, we’ve collaborated a few times and he always makes a point to let me know when he’s in Moore County. The last time I saw McMahan was in March, when he was finishing up an event at the Carolina Horse Park and wanted to link up so he could turn me on to TOPO’s new whiskey. After having a drink and catching up, he gifted me a bottle of their organic Spiced Rum and Reserve Carolina Straight Wheat Whiskey. I first got a taste of TOPO’s Spiced Rum last fall during Pepperfest in Carrboro. McMahan had invited my friend and co-worker, Carter, and me to come out and use pepper-infused TOPO vodka with our Reverie strawberryginger beer. We had a blast, and our cocktail even took first place. While we were there, we got to see the TOPO crew unveil their newest spirit, the Spiced Rum. A few months prior to Pepperfest, the guys over at the distillery were still tweaking the rum. They’d given me a taste at the time, and it wasn’t bad. When I got to try it at Pepperfest, it was clear they had gotten it just right. On the nose, there’s vanilla, orange, and the slightest whiff of banana. On the palate, orange and vanilla are still present, but I can also taste spices — cinnamon is definitely there, clove is subtle, and allspice seems to round it out. McMahan June 2018

O.Henry 43


In The Spirit

The smile of your dreams doesn’t have to be in your dreams anymore.

says their rum is “N.C.’s only USDA Certified Organic rum. It is distilled from organic evaporated cane juice and molasses, and spiced with organic fruit and spices. Unlike most spiced rums, it is not heavily sweetened post-distillation, nor are there artificial colors and flavors.” Heck, the rum was even awarded a bronze medal at the American Distilling Institute Competition this year. I would suspect that rum purists might not go crazy about it, but I think it’s fun to play around with, and goes well in a variety of mixed drinks. You can definitely go the Dark n’ Stormy route, or you can fiddle around with something like I did below:

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As much as I like to stay busy, I can do lazy, too. Case in point: that bottle of TOPO’s Reserve Carolina Straight Wheat Whiskey. I didn’t want to open it until I could take a picture of it for this issue’s column. I’ve had this bottle staring at me from my kitchen counter since March. All I had to do was take a picture of it. Well, I did. Tonight. And I opened it. Tonight. One of my friends has been telling me how good this whiskey is. I’ll be hearing “I told you so” sometime later this week. I asked McMahan about TOPO’s new whiskey, and he had this to say: “The TOPO Organic Reserve Carolina Straight Wheat Whiskey is N.C.’s first and only locally sourced straight whiskey. It is distilled from a 100 percent wheat mash bill of USDA Certified Organic soft red winter wheat from the Jack H. Winslow Farms in Scotland Neck, N.C. It is distilled below 80 percent ABV, barrel aged in #3 char new American oak barrels two to four years at no more than 125 proof, and then it’s non chill-filtered.” I know, he forgot to tell me how smooth this whiskey is. Congratulations are in order, too. McMahan was just notified that TOPO placed gold in the San Francisco Spirits Competition. No drink recipe for this one, folks. If you must, an old-fashioned. I’ll take mine neat with half an ice cube. Cheers! OH

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44 O.Henry

June 2018

5/11/18 9:23 AM

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

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 45


Enjoy

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The Pleasures of Life Dept.

Scents and Sensibility The loss of smell brings an unexpected gift

By Bridgette A. Lacy

Photographs by John t. Jones and Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

Maybe I should have taken

more time to smell the fragrant rosemary in my yard. Or I should have soaked in my almond-scented bubble bath more often. Perhaps, I should have savored the sweetness of my Uncle Jack’s red roses instead of assuming they would always be there for me. Nineteen years ago, when I lost my sense of smell, my ability to relish those simple pleasures went away. I never thought that at 37 years old, my olfactory nerve would be stolen by a benign brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. Even when my neurosurgeon told me that losing my ability to smell was one of the side effects of brain surgery, the reality of what that meant didn’t sink in. How could it? After all, I was facing life or death. Before the tumor — and the surgery that saved, but forever changed — my life, I was a smell-centered person. Smells resonated with me. They had the ability to set my mood or even shape my attitude about ordinary, everyday activities. A soak in that aromatic bath soothed me at the end of a long day. A sip of orange, cinnamon-flavored tea calmed me in the evening. The sensuous waft of the lavender growing in my front yard delighted me as I rocked back and forth on the porch. I appreciated the world so much more, in part through my nostrils. At first, I thought I had survived the surgery with my sense of smell intact. I even complained to a nurse that my ICU room stank. Phantom odors, I guess.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I returned home from the hospital in October 1999 after five-and-a-half hours of surgery. I tried to recover and return to my old routine while also adjusting to the loss of sight in my right eye. It took me awhile to understand why my pot roasts burned to a crisp in the oven. I had always used the aroma floating through the house as a sign the roast was close to done. Sometimes my mother would visit to find a banana or some other fruit rotting on the countertop that I had forgotten about. I didn’t truly realize I couldn’t smell until I received two gift baskets that included scented candles, a fragrant bubble bath and soap. As I sat in a chair, a friend commented on the wonderful aroma of one of the candles. She said it smelled like an autumn day. I inhaled to find no scent of anything under my nose. Nothing. I ran into the kitchen and opened a bottle of Lysol. Nothing. I ran outside and snipped a piece of rosemary. Nothing. I was crushed as the realization of what this meant pressed upon me like the weight of a barbell. At first, I hid the gift baskets in a closet. I couldn’t bear to see them and risk being reminded of what I was missing. I shoved them behind the door and tried not to think about them. Months later, when my scalp began to heal from the trauma and incisions of surgery, I realized I couldn’t even get my typical natural high from the hints of coconut and honey in my freshly-washed hair. Shampooing my hair had always been a reassuring, sensory delight. Somehow, it just made me feel better. My aunt would often say she knew when I was at my mother’s house visiting because she could smell my shampoo in the air. Now, that was gone too. After all that had happened to me, I couldn’t even sniff my way through June 2018

O.Henry 47


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June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Pleasures of Life Dept. recovery. It was hard knowing I couldn’t smell my own body. I was changed. It was devastating but I knew I had to find ways to cope with the loss. It took time, but eventually, I finally mustered the courage to retrieve the contents of those gift baskets. I needed the closet space, but also I was determined not to let perfectly good lavender-scented body wash go to waste. Even if I couldn’t enjoy the benefits of their aroma, I still wanted to use them. I am a practical soul at heart. I started to remember how much I loved it when people commented on how nice I smelled, whether it was from a scented soap layered with a matching lotion or a tiny dab of White Linen perfume behind my ear. The kind words from others about my personal fragrance became the ultimate compliment. I liked that family, friends and colleagues appreciated that about me even though the same experience was unfortunately lost to me. And so, I happily put the gift scents and soaps to good use as they were originally intended. The hardest part of moving about the world without a sense of smell is explaining my loss to people. It just doesn’t seem to register to most that such a condition may even exist. In the course of any given week, some unsuspecting person may say: “Smell this. Ooh, that smells good, doesn’t it?� The same people are pretty shocked when I reveal that scent does not register with me. Yes, it is a little awkward. However, my loss of smell has actually forced me to relish and rely on my remaining senses. I cherish the fact that I can still taste. Bitter, sweet, salt and tart still delight my tongue. My love of good food and my affinity for sharing it with others inspired me to write my first cookbook. Sunday Dinner, a Savor the South Cookbook from UNC Press, published in September 2015, was a triumph for me. It’s been very well-received. (Editor’s note: It was a finalist for the Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize awarded by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.)

I set out to make Sunday Dinner a life-affirming celebration of recipes, as well as a tribute to the value of meals shared and prepared with those you love. It highlights some of my most endearing memories, many of them intricately and lovingly tied to smells and thoughts of home. The recipes call to mind my time spent in the garden and kitchen with my maternal grandparents. When I was young, I spent many a Sunday afternoon taking in the familiar smell and sizzle of Grandma frying chicken and the sight of Papa’s Nilla Wafer-brown pound cake cooling on the back porch. His cakes always released their own distinct, irresistible aroma that filled the air. When I’m standing in my own kitchen recreating these time-honored dishes I grew up with, I sometimes think about my sense of smell, or rather the lack of it. As quickly as those thoughts appear, I redirect them to focus on the loved ones who originally created these meals and how much my family continues to influence me in and out of the kitchen. As the years have passed, every once in a while, I experience a smell memory. It’s a curious thing. Once, in a grocery store, while walking past a display of country ham in sealed vacuum packs, I remembered the smell of country ham frying in a pan. It was so real I could practically taste it. Another time, driving home from a day spent with a male friend and his mother, I suddenly felt like I could smell spring in the air. The car windows were down and I remembered how the scents of that season came rushing in with the crisp smell of freshlycut grass combined with the sweetness of one of my Tropicana, long-stemmed roses. These smell memories come flooding back with such crystal clarity, I almost feel like I really did smell something. When that happens, I’m not mad. I’m not upset. I just remind myself that while that part of me is gone, so much more remains. Then, I simply and resolutely smile, take a very deep breath and thank God.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 49


GRADUATES Head Out In Style

The Pleasures of Life Come ’n’ Get It!

The following dishes are one of many evocative of home and family:

Mama’s Meaty Crab Cakes

I request my mother’s crab cakes almost every time I return to my childhood home. These meaty crab cakes flavored with Old Bay Seasoning are far better than any I’ve had at a restaurant. They are crunchy on the outside from the cornmeal and moist on the inside. My mother serves them on Martin’s potato rolls with potato salad. There will be no leftovers with these. In fact, get to the table fast. These won’t last.

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Makes 8 servings 1 pound fresh jumbo lump or lump crabmeat 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1⁄2 medium white onion, finely chopped 1⁄2 green bell pepper, finely chopped 2 tablespoons Hellmann’s mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or more, to taste 1⁄3 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs Cornmeal for dredging 2 cups vegetable oil (more or less, depending on the size of your skillet) Place the crabmeat in a large bowl. Remove the cartilage (lump crabmeat doesn’t have much). Add the celery, onion, green pepper, mayonnaise, Old Bay, and bread crumbs and stir together gently with your hands so as not to break up the crab too much. Add more mayonnaise if the mixture looks too dry. Shape the mixture into eight patties about the size of the palm of your hand. If you are cooking the crab cakes immediately, dredge them in the cornmeal. If not, you can store the crabmeat mixture in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to cook (up to 2 hours) and dredge them just before cooking. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Don’t use too much oil; it should reach only halfway up the side of the crab cakes. Gently place the crab cakes in the pan and fry on one side until browned, about 2–3 minutes. Carefully flip over the crab cakes and fry them on the other side until they are golden brown. Drain the cakes on a paper towel and transfer them to a warm platter. Serve with your preferred sauce. NOTE * Buy the crabmeat the day of or the day before cooking because fresh crabmeat perishes quickly. Jumbo lump or lump crabmeat makes for the best crab cakes. The meat is pricey, but it’s worth it for this special meal. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph Courtesy of UNC Press

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The Pleasures of Life

Esther’s Summer Potato Salad

My mother started making potato salad when she was a girl. The oldest of four children, she made it Sunday after church and would make enough to fill the large vegetable compartment at the bottom of the refrigerator. Her father, my beloved Papa, a blue-collar worker, often carried the potato salad in a mayonnaise jar for his lunch. My mother was a Moore, and many Moore family gatherings were marked by this classic summer salad. “My love of potato salad came from watching my aunt Shirley make it and smelling it in my grandmother’s kitchen,” she says. The scent of fresh-cut celery, onions and pickles drew her closer to the bowl. “We always ate it when it wasn’t ice cold. That’s why I like it today when it’s just made.” Makes 6-8 servings 6 medium white potatoes 1 cup chopped celery 1 white onion, chopped 1⁄2 cup pimentos 5–6 sweet pickles, chopped 3 hard-boiled eggs, grated 5 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard 2 teaspoons cider vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Salt and black pepper, to taste Paprika for garnish

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Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them in small, uniform chunks. Put the potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Boil until fork-tender, about 20–25 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let cool, about 30 minutes or so. You want them warm but not hot. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and add the celery, onions, pimentos and pickles. In a separate bowl, combine the grated eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and sugar. Taste it. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Gently combine this mixture with the potato salad. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. OH Recipes from SUNDAY DINNER: a Savor the South Cookbook by Bridgette A. Lacy. Copyright © 2015 by Bridgette A. Lacy. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www. uncpress.org Bridgette A. Lacy served as a longtime features and food writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh. She is also a contributor to The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 51


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52 O.Henry

June 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Birdwatch

Feathered Phantom

The secretive, beautiful green heron finds a summer home in these parts

By Susan Campbell

Think of a heron and a tall, lanky

wader comes to mind. However, the green heron is quite a different animal! This stocky bird is about the size of a crow with relatively short yellow legs. But it does have a dark, dagger-like bill and a handsome, velvety-green back, dark cap and chestnut-colored body. And in true heron form, it moves slowly and deliberately, hunting in and around the water’s edge. Because of this slow-motion lifestyle, this bird is often overlooked. When it flushes from thick vegetation or croaks to advertise its territory might be the rare occasions that this bird gets noticed.

Green herons can be found through most of our state. Here in the Sandhills and Piedmont they spend the spring and summer months in all types of wet habitat. Not surprisingly, they feed on fish, amphibians and large invertebrates. They have even been known to grab hummingbirds from time to time! Very versatile hunters, green herons can dive and swim after prey if motivated. Moving through deep water is likely made possible by their natural buoyancy and partial webbing between their toes. Most remarkably, this is one of a very few bird species that actually uses tools. Individuals have been known to use The Art & Soul of Greensboro

worms, twigs, feathers, bread crusts and other enticements to lure small fish within easy reach. Green herons are adaptable when it comes to breeding as well. A pair bond is formed between males and females from spring through late summer. The male will choose a spot and begin nest building early on. The female will take over and construct a platform of sticks that may be solid or quite flimsy. But the nest will always be protected, whether it is in a tree or large shrub. The clutch of three to five eggs is assiduously tended by both parents. Likewise, the young will be fed and brooded not only by the female but by the male as well. And for several weeks the heron family will stick together while the juveniles learn what it takes to survive. You can expect to see green herons from late March into September. Most members of the population in the Eastern United States then head to the Caribbean and Central America in the fall. Even before this southward movement, individuals may wander in almost any direction, especially if food levels drop or water sources dry up. Individuals have covered very long distances. Surprisingly, a few have been observed as far away as Great Britain and France. So over the next few months, if you scan the edges of wet habitat, you may be lucky enough to spot a green heron, hunched over with a long, sharp bill, staring intently into the water. Better yet, listen for a loud, catlike “skeow” or odd screaming that may give these somewhat secretive birds away. Should a bird fly, it may seem somewhat crow-like with slow wing beats, but its partially unfolded neck will certainly give it away. OH Susan would love to hear from you. Feel free to send wildlife observations to susan@ncaves.com June 2018

O.Henry 53


Wandering Billy

Return to Tall Timbers A testament to the power of storytelling

“Wow! I like being part of a magazine that changes people’s lives.” — O.Henry Contributing Editor David Bailey

This time Eye wasn’t out wandering, it

was my precious sister Rives who, until recently, was unaware she’s a television spokesperson for Peters Auto Mall. No, really!

You see, one Saturday afternoon Rives and her boyfriend Mark Burgess, mandolin player for Flint Hill, drove down a long gravel roadway alongside a small body of water off Pinecroft Road to take a gander at a dilapidated bridge at the end of that road. My sister became familiar with the area after I moved from Los Angeles into a magnificent home on the other side of the lake in 1994 following a career in the motion picture business. Unknowingly, I found myself living next door to where I spent my first year of life, with my newlywed parents on Twin Lakes Drive, in a small cabin behind the expansive log house my grandparents were residing in, one they’d christened “Tall Timbers.” Quoting from my May 2016 O.Henry article about that experience: After . . . I described the crazy place I’d just rented my mother stood right up, “Take me out there now!” Incredulous as we rolled up the gravel drive, she stared peculiarly at that monumental log chalet across the lake, as if unsure of something. As we came to a halt in front of our new home she remarked, “This is the place! Those books of North Carolina ghost stories I read to you when you were a young child were written by the man who lived in this house. John Harden.”

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June 2018

Before I was born my father built the bridge over the reservoir separating the drives Hardens and the Ingrams, made precarious over the ensuing decades by missing and splintered beams. Stepping gingerly across on October 1, 1994, I chanced to look down. Scrawled into one of the supports in Dad’s handwriting was the date the concrete was poured — 10-1-54 — forty years ago to the day. John Harden’s book Tarheel Ghosts was published on October 1, 1954. While my sister and Mark were snapping photos, Tall Timber’s current residents, the Jenkins family, walked down to greet them. After Rives mentioned that our grandparents lived here in the 1950s, and they had added a second floor to the home because the ceiling had been high enough to accommodate it, Betsy Jenkins told my sister how they came to be there. All due to O.Henry magazine, as it turned out. Back in 2016, Mrs. Jenkins described to me in an email the unusual circumstances that resulted in their residing on Twin Lakes. “Last October, my husband, Justin, and I began dreaming of relocating our large family to Greensboro. We are natives of Southern California and, like yourself, have grown disenchanted with the rat race. This is not where we want to raise our children. We dream of an outdoor life for them, with more woodcraft and kindling and less Minecraft and Kindles. My family have all moved to Greensboro and we fell in love with the area. Justin began looking at job postings and I began looking at real estate listings. “I saw Tall Timbers on a real estate website and it was love at first scroll. It was everything we’d ever dreamed of. It was also way out of our price range. Still, I showed it to everyone who would look at it, with glittering eyes and breathless words. “Then the house was suddenly taken off the market. We sighed but resigned ourselves to the fact that it wasn’t something we could have afforded anyhow. We looked at other homes but nothing ever measured up The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph courtesey of Billy ingram

By Billy Eye


Wandering Billy to Tall Timbers. “In April, my mother brought back a copy of O.Henry magazine from a trip to Greensboro . . . and immediately lost it, never even cracking it open. This was actually her second copy of the magazine. She had picked one up and then accidentally left it in a restaurant. She couldn’t really say why she had been so determined to have a copy of the magazine. On August 19th, I was helping her pack up her house here in SoCal for their move to Greensboro when she finally located her copy. She opened it at random to your article and cried out ‘Betsy! It’s your house!’ My mother will now carry the title of prophetess in our family. “I grabbed the magazine, scanned the article and then quickly picked up my iPad to see if I could locate the Realtor who had represented Tall Timbers when it had been listed. Justin and I had discussed the possibility of approaching the owners and offering to purchase their home for much less than what they had been asking. Seeing the home in your article had rekindled that first love again and I wanted to pursue it. “To my astonishment, I discovered that Tall Timbers had been relisted less than an hour earlier, now within our price range. I quickly called my husband. He said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ “After we had talked to our agent, I had time to actually read your article. What a wonderful history my family is joining! How excited we were to learn that the Hardens raised five boys on the lake. We also have five sons. What a legacy Tall Timbers will be for them. My mind is already churning out ideas for a series of children’s books about the Boys of Tall Timbers. “I am an artist, like yourself, and am delighted at the idea of working in such an idyllic setting. Most of my work is currently designs printed on tableware, dishes, linens, etc, but my dream is to produce children’s books in the line of Beatrix Potter, Edward Ardizzone and A.A.Milne. How serendipitous that this lovely lake will once again play muse to an artist with aspirations to follow a new dream. “I am indebted to your grandparents for their beautiful and clever additions to Tall Timbers! The storage spaces and knotty pine totally have my heart. We homeschool the younger boys (I have one high schooler enrolled at the Math and Science Academy) and the home is laid out so well for our needs. My husband works from home and will use the guest cabin, your first home, as his office.” Wouldn’t you know there’s an O.Henry twist ending? The Jenkins moved into Tall Timbers on October 1, 2016. OH

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 55


June 2018

Peaches

are what she wanted in the end said they reminded her of South Carolina that summer she was fifteen, living with her Auntie Josephine in a white clapboard house at the end of a dirt road.  They’d pick cotton during the day, eat peaches for lunch, her fingers sticky the rest of the afternoon.  There was a boy who worked the farm, Jerri, who kissed her one July afternoon and then never returned to work. There were thunderstorms, she said so quick and fierce, all you could do was lay in the fields and let the rain wash your dirty face, your hair,

pray you didn’t get struck by lightning. And dogs would appear, follow behind you for an hour or two then disappear.  Her aunt would walk out into the field with a wicker basket of peaches, smiling, saying take two, take three and she took all she could stomach. In this nursing home, now, I don’t have anything to give her except my time, my ears for her stories, so on my next visit I bring her a peach and while she can no longer chew it, still she lifts it to her nose, smells the sweetness beneath the surface, rubs it against her cheek, a scene so private I have to look away. — Steve Cushman

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 57


Comforts of Home Cooking

Across the Gate City, families from near and far have brought the rich flavors of their homes to share with us

Soup’s On! Mythos Grill’s cure for whatever ails you By Cynthia Adams Photograph by Mark Wagoner

E

ven the pernicketybadboy chef Anthony Bourdain ’fesses up to hoovering down mac and cheese when he’s in want of comfort. But not me. Whenever I’m puny, feverish, chilled, stressed, cranky, gassy or sniffly — the seven dwarves of bleccch — I know the cure. I need avgolemono, aka Greek penicillin. Pronounced Ahv-yo-Lemon-o with a silent g, it translates simply into egg and lemon. Mythos Grill (Taste of Greece: Fresh, Healthy, Delicious is their mantra) starts the stock, which is the basis of this classic Greek dish, every morning and afternoon except Sunday, when the restaurant is closed. Into the pot go simple ingredients (chicken, broth, egg, lemon, rice) that are stirred, simmered and stewed into creamy subtlety. It is more than the sum of its parts. As the spoon nears my mouth, a rich, meaty bouquet greets my nose. And on the palate, don’t look for fireworks: It’s comfort food incarnate, as only chicken soup can be — silky and round, with just a hint of sour from the lemon and richness from the egg. The rice gives it a creamy texture. As it heads toward my stomach, my pulse slows, sinuses open, headache eases and eyes clear. (I check my compact mirror, and by God, I even look better.) Healing by avgolemono has begun. “It has a fan club,” admits Mythos owner Eddie Balla. Eddie and his wife, Miranda Balla, run the Market Street location and sell their soup by cup, bowl, or quart, made by the gallons, rain or shine, cold days or hot. How did Eddie master the perfect consistency of his avgolemono? He had years of practice, having worked in Athens, Greece, at age 20. When he opened Mythos Grill in 2005, Eddie called it “Greek fast-food, but cooked to order and fresh.” Another family member, Samir, runs the Mythos Battleground location. Samir says the soup at both grills is made faithfully from Eddie Balla’s recipe.

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Eddie says modestly, “It’s a very famous Greek soup — I didn’t invent it.” As much as 20 gallons are sold between the two restaurants six days a week. After a cold spring, the soup-making — and — sales continued into late April although production dropped--to about 6 gallons made twice daily at Market Street alone. During the summer months, the Ballases discovered they sold less, yet a steady customer demand continued. The classic dish has origins in Mediterranean sauces and soups created with egg yolk and lemon. “You can make it with orzo or rice,” Eddie explains. “In the northern part of Greece where I am from, we use rice . . . We make the broth out of chicken, which we use later.” Eddie adds rice to the broth near the end of the preparations. “At that point, we add the chicken in it, and on the side, we have the egg ready. We only use the yolks; you can use the egg white, but we don’t.” He whips egg yolk with lemon juice in a separate dish, while in another, he mixes butter and a small quantity of flour, which is added to the simmering rice and broth at the end. Before that final step, Eddie extracts a bit of broth, which is whisked into the frothed egg and lemon juice. This goes into the pot about five minutes as the soup is thickening during the final minute of cooking. “The time when we add that is very important,” Eddie cautions. “If you put it in too late, it won’t give the smoothness of it. Too early . . .” he frowns. “You must put it in the right time for the creamy texture!” “We were keeping it only for wintertime, but a lot of people ask for it,” says Eddie. “We’re not going to give up on it if it makes customers happy.” Patting his slender waist, he adds, “For some reason, when you have an upset stomach, it is soothing. It is a comfort food.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The House that Jack Built Jack’s Corner is a hub for Mediterranean food and good conversation By Ross Howell Jr. Photograph by Mark Wagoner

A

t the intersection of South Aycock and Spring Garden streets — in the shadow of the water tower painted with the brawny UNCG Spartan — stands Jack’s Corner, a Mediterranean deli that’s been serving Mediterranean fare located here for 26 years. The building has a curved façade and big windows — reminiscent of 1960s roadside diners. Inside I’m greeted by Jacob (Jack) Bishara, a tall man as strong-jawed as the Spartan on the water tower. His face breaks into an easy, broad smile as we sit at a table. “I was the family’s baby boy,” Bishara says. “I was a little spoiled, you know? When I was about 16, I said to Mom and Dad, ‘I have no interest in going to college.’” His parents asked what he thought he would do to earn a living. He didn’t have an answer. So the Bisharas set out on a family trip, first to Michigan, then to Texas. Bishara had uncles in the restaurant business at both places. “They said to my Dad, ‘Don’t you own property right by the college? Why don’t you open a restaurant?’” But neither Bishara nor his parents had any experience. His grandfather, James Bishara, came to the states from Ramallah, Palestine, in 1934. During the Depression, he’d made a living selling linens door-to-door. When he returned to Ramallah for a visit, he convinced his son, Essa — Jack’s father — to emigrate in 1956. Essa settled in Tennessee and worked in real estate. When he returned to Ramallah for a visit, he noticed an attractive young woman at a party thrown by two brothers who were his boyhood friends. “Why, that’s little Najwah!” the brothers exclaimed. The attractive young woman was their sister, whom Essa hadn’t seen since she was a girl. In time they were married. Najwah came to the United States with Essa in 1962. “Mom and Dad were living in Knoxville,” Bishara says, “when they drove to Greensboro to visit her two brothers.” His father was struck with how beautiful the city was, and decided Greensboro was the place to raise a family. “So they moved here,” Bishara says. “This is where I was born.” Since his mother had grown up in Ramallah helping cook for a family of 10, she had recipes for Mediterranean dishes going back generations. Bishara’s father thought she was the obvious partner for his son’s venture. Bishara pauses, gazing at a wall of framed photos. There are mustachioed The Art & Soul of Greensboro

men with fezzes and women in flowing dresses gathered with their children. There’s Najwah in her gown and Essa in a suit on their wedding day. There’s a bearded priest in the robes of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church — Najwah’s grandfather, who married the couple. “One day my Mom and I were talking business,” Bishara continues, “and she looked at me and said, ‘I think we can do this.’” And they did. In what had been a curb market catering to college students, Bishara and his mother opened a sandwich shop — with hamburgers, subs, hot dogs, potato chips, and so on. “We thought it best to stay mainstream,” he says. “But we also had hummus on the menu. Falafel. And tabbouleh.” But this was 1992, and there wasn’t a lot of talk in Greensboro about healthy ethnic foods at the time. The first couple of years were “a real struggle,” Bishara says. Then something happened. Grunge music — in the person of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana — exploded on the popular scene. “All of a sudden,” Bishara says, “these young people were coming in, looking for vegetarian food.” So Bishara expanded the Mediterranean portion of the menu — easy to do, with all his mother’s home recipes. Today, ethnic specialties comprise 85 percent of the items on the menu. Some customer go-tos? “The Mediterranean platter — with falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, pita, and baba ghanouj,” Bishara says. “And the double gyro platter—that’s always popular.” Other favorites are the chicken kabob platter, the lamb shawarma, the chicken souvlaki and gyros. With a nod to its early days, the deli offers a falafel dog and a falafel burger. I haven’t even mentioned the sandwiches, salads and children’s menu. When I ask about the future, Bishara tells me he and his wife have three children — aged 17, 16, and 12. “When the kids were little, I’d bring them into work with me,” Bishara says. “They really liked hanging out. But my wife — because she knew how much time the restaurant took — would say, ‘Jack, you don’t want them to love it too much.’” None of the children are interested in the business now, Bishara tells me. Then he smiles. “But they’re young,” he says. “Who knows what will happen?” June 2018

O.Henry 59


The Soul of Fellowship United House of Prayer For All People serves a heaping helping of love, seven days a week By Jim Dodson Photograph by Mark Wagoner

F

or better than 75 years, as part of its social outreach ministry, the United House of Prayer For All People has served great home-cooked food to those in need or those simply with a hearty appetite starting first on East Market Street and these days, at the cafeteria in the basement of its handsome Dudley Street sanctuary. Long regarded as one of the best-kept secrets in Greensboro’s crowded dining scene, we checked in with a noontime crowd and discovered the church is still dishing up the best in classic soul food — Southern fried chicken, smothered pork chops, deep-fried fish on Fridays and weekly specials sided with soulful staples that include savory seasoned collards, slow-cooked green beans, homestyle mac and cheese and always a generous piece of cornbread. Wednesday is baked spaghetti and Thursday is the church’s much-anticipated and famous

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June 2018

meatloaf day. If you’re lucky, most any day you can sit down to chicken and dumplings, and there’s always at least a couple kinds of cake that will make you miss church picnics. Every dish is fresh and made from scratch by the loving hands by three principal cooks and a staff of half a dozen workers who volunteer their time and talents to the church’s community outreach. A typical lunch (after which you may need a nap) runs less than $10. “The cornerstone of our success is our volunteers,” says senior pastor Hubert Swaringer. He emphasizes that one of the prime missions of the church’s nondenominational parishes nationwide (there are more than 135, including sister churches in Charlotte and Durham), is to operate a kitchen — open to anyone and everyone — “fresh, wholesome food at a reasonable price they can afford. Our founder’s philosophy was that if you feed a hungry man, you can also feed his soul.” Students from neighboring N.C. A&T State University, just across the street, are frequent diners during the school year, and so are soul-food fanatics who happen to know about the kitchen through word of mouth. Every penny the cafeteria generates goes into the budget of the church, but nary a penny is spent on advertising. “We do a pretty good job with word of mouth,” notes kitchen coordinator Denise Gray. “We cook it with love, they hear about it and come.” When the tornado ripped through east Greensboro in April, the cafeteria provided meals to many victims and emergency workers and recently held a marathon fish fry to generate money for its scholarship fund to help A&T students. “I worked at A&T for 32 years and retired in 2012,” Denise Gray adds. “I came over here to help out and have been here almost every day since. The people here love cooking and serving others. That’s what serving the Lord is all about.” A perfect description of Soul Food, we think. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Pizza as it Should Be

Family-style is the hallmark of Cugino Forno By Jim Dodson Photograph by Mark Wagoner

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ne might easily forgive loyal patrons of Cugino Forno pizzeria in Revolution Mill for assuming its owners Joseph Ozbey and Yilmaz Guver are Italian brothers who happen to make the closest thing to authentic Neapolitan pizza. In fact, they are Turkish cousins (as is their third partner Adam Aksoy) who fell in love with the simple cheese pizza served at iconic L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples and brought the recipe and know-how for the “world’s greatest pizza” with them to America. After all, by some accounts this internationally beloved foodstuff was birthed in Naples when fishermen began dousing day-old bread with tomato sauce and layering on the cheese. The pizza know-how was supplied by Joseph, an engaging 26-year-old who, following college at Georgia Tech and traveling extensively through Europe, wrangled a job mopping floors at the famous Naples pizzeria “just to learn everything I could about how to make their amazing pizza.” Progressing from mop to pizza-prep took more than eight months of hard work that included plenty of 5 a.m. mornings and late nights. “They make pizza in a very Old World way,” says Joseph. “I watched and learned every aspect of how they did it and got to know the guys there. We remain friends to this day. We’ve incorporated everything they do here; down to the smallest detail.”

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That includes the three massive Italian-made 7,000-pound wood-fired ovens made from Mount Vesuvius sand and shipped to the Port of Wilmington via freighter just before the restaurant opened its doors just over a year ago. “They barely fit through the doors,” Joseph says, laughing at the memory of the tight squeeze. With an equal mix of hickory and oak, the mighty ovens produce upwards of 1,000-degree heat that can cook a pizza in less than 90 seconds, but the real secret of their Old World taste is the double-ought (“00”), extra-fine pizza flour imported directly from Naples, same San Marzano tomato sauce and a delicious double Bufala Mozzarella that “was in Naples yesterday.” Flour, sea salt, yeast and a bottled water constitute the simple family recipe that makes Cugino Forono — the name means “ovens of cousins” — pizza so beguilingly different. Following a search that took Joseph on a two-month car odyssey around the state, the cousins learned about a great open space at Revolution Mill and soon knew they’d found home. They outfitted the airy space with large communal tables to encourage conversation, developed a menu with a dozen authentic variations of the famous original, fired up the ovens and started making genuine Napoli pizza. Robust and imaginative salads, real Italian wines, fresh cannoli and a state-of-the-art rotating gelato cooler — made by Ferrari, no less — filled with gelato that arrives from the Old Country almost daily completes the simple but spectacular offerings. Italian flags and European soccer jerseys hang everywhere and a special “Spice Bar” allows customers to jazz up their pizza, if so desired. Puccini’s opera arias, or the familiar theme to The Godfather, play in the background. The topping on the cousins’ pizza may be the warm reception they have found with the Gate City diners. “Authenticity to the smallest detail is our key,” says Joseph. “But quite honestly, we weren’t at all certain this kind of simple pizza would go over well in America. The community, however, has embraced our home-style approach to pizza. We have customers who come every week to dine with other families, couples and children, old and young, people enjoying the experience of being together.” Great pizza, he says, will do that. “It’s been a great journey for us to come so far and find a home in Greensboro. We hope to be serving families for a very long time.” OH

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A World Beneath One Roof Super G Mart is an international bazaar for local foodies By Billy Ingram Photographs by Sam Froelich

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n the past 50 years, our city has undergone a culinary transformation, from an international food desert to a genuine hub for haute cuisine from every corner of the globe. Laotian, Vietnamese, African, Egyptian, Thai, Yemeni, Indian, TexMex — Greensboro has a global, palate-pleasing smorgasbord. Imagine how difficult it would be sourcing all the myriad exotic ingredients those diverse ethnic undertakings require were it not for Super G Mart, located on West Market west of Spring Garden. If you haven’t experienced this cultural mashup, you must. Wandering among its stalls is like opening a Russian nesting doll; the deeper you dive the more there is to discover. Stare wide-eyed at towering aisles stacked with 20 varieties of Udon noodles, hundreds of aromatic spices, Japanese green teas and coffees, Vietnamese meatballs, Korean dried licorice, Indian curry paste, juices and extracts from just about every conceivable fruit and vegetable. Plus, this great big grocery superstore boasts a full-service meat and fish market, alongside a produce selection that features an encyclopedic array of fruits and vegetables — cranberry beans, aloe vera leaves, green coconuts, kumquats, whole tropical jackfruit, seven pears of assorted origins, a dozen cultivars of bananas, vivid red and green habaneros, and a vast array of indigenous roots. Everything you never knew someone, somewhere needed, all under one roof. In the meat section, recognizable drumsticks, steaks, chops and other traditional cuts of meat are on display alongside tails, feet, belly meat, shanks, jowls, not to mention a variety of gizzards, intestines, stomach, liver. Multi-pound packs of fatback will keep that Fry Baby you borrowed from the neighbor bubbling for months. Look for conveniently cubed goat heads, pig ears, beef lips, black-skinned chickens dressed for healthful chicken soup, ox and turkey tails (turkeys have tails?!?), and pre-packed chicken feet. Even if you’re no wannabe Top Chef, this is a one-stop shop for ancient incantations, spells, and curses. Over in the seafood market, squid, catfish, kingfish, red drum, black sea bass, yellow croaker, and pink snapper lay upon a bed of chipped ice. Seasonally you can buy live tilapia, lobsters and blue crabs. There’s also salmon heads for fans of fish-head curry. One caveat, these fishmongers are sometimes overwhelmed meeting the requests of

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demanding customers. You’ll want to be patient and jostle for your place in line. Plus, the best way to see the store is by slowly browsing, because it’s difficult to take in everything on the first visit. A favorite of caterers and fine dining chefs for years, Super G is a welloiled operation, requiring constant restocking and inventory control due to the sheer number of neatly arranged products they carry. The place is a maze of shelves and alcoves stocked deep with canned whelk and baby conch, rice vinegars, dried mushrooms, ginger powders, crated duck eggs. . . there’s an entire refrigerated case reserved for European breads and cheeses. Know what else you’ll find? Almost anything else you’d look for at a standard grocery store; Dole fruit cups, Peter Pan peanut butter, Southern Pride pimento loaf, grape Juicy Juice, Lucky Charms. And prices lower than a snake’s belly which, surprisingly, I didn’t find in the coolers. At the entrance to Super G is a colorful European-style marketplace with mom-and-pop fashion, knick-knack, and jewelry boutiques, professional services, and my favorite the Used Shoe Store, where you can literally walk in someone else’s moccasins. On the way home, you might want to stop off for some Vietnamese coffee at the Asian Kitchen, a funky fresh eatery just inside Super G’s front door. Vietnamese Pho is their specialty but I’m especially fond of the beef in peanut sauce. For dessert, Suman rice cakes are a Filipino treat, sweet sticky rice cooked in coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves, steamed then sprinkled with sugar. Or maybe you want to wash it all down with a Honeydew Tea, one of many refreshing flavors Asian Kitchen brews. Super G anchors the FantaCity International Mall where families from far-away nations gather daily to create culinary experiences unlike any other. Perhaps I’m over-romanticizing, but I believe an intimacy is established, consciously or not, when folks prepare meals from handeddown recipes. Tampopo Ramen & Hibachi is Greensboro’s first honest-togoodness Japanese noodle shop. Ramen-ya actually, a store primarily serving ramen with a few other options to bulk out the menu. Their sumptuous broths are prepared over the course of several hours, in the traditional style. Reflecting Sun Ja Lim’s passion, she of Sushi Republic fame, I can attest to Tampopo’s delectable authenticity, noodles and hearty ingredients. Tongues are not only delighted but wagging about Sana’a’s home-style Middle Eastern entrees, savory kabob platters, lamb mandi, chicken tawook, fish salta, vegetarian specialties and freshly baked saluf. Judging from friends’ and published rave reviews, this newly opened corner space is nothing short of sensational. Stroll around FantaCity and you’ll also find Chinese, Korean, and Kimchi-to-go restaurants. I doubt old-timers weaving ladies’ lingerie on this spot for decades beginning in 1950 would recognize FantaCity as Guilford Mills’ first permanent finishing plant. In the early 2000s, that brick albatross was transformed into this international shopping center but, unlike Cotton Mill Square in the ’80s, they did so without regard to preserving the original architectural integrity. Just as well, fitting actually. FantaCity thrives on gritty optimism, no need for unnecessary hindrances from the extinction. Within these walls a palatable entrepreneurial spirit manifests itself around every corner, hard-working individuals engaged in the pursuit of that exalted All-American dream. Providing the public with an experience like no other. OH

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Where’s the Beef? The Cheapskate’s Guide to Cheap Steaks By David Claude Bailey

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et’s just get this out of the way. I am an expert on steaks, having served a weekly apprenticeship that spanned almost two decades at the University of Steakology in Reidsville. In my youth, grill master extraordinaire Claude Colonelue Bailey presided over a smoking-hot seminar every single Saturday night. Sometimes he lectured on the uses and benefits of fresh garlic, A-1 sauce and even homemade rubs, but his lessons always employed lots of salt and ground pepper and a Weber that almost glowed under its burden of white-hot charcoal. I have eaten, by my scientific calculations, more than 4,000 T-bones, sirloins, filet mignons, porterhouses, New York strips and other delectable cuts of beef in my lifetime. I’m a glutton for homework. His teaching assistant, my mother, turned out the extraordinary complements to our weekly lessons. She always peeled and hand-cut potatoes and double fried them. She’d pre-rub her salad bowl with cloves of garlic, and we’d usually have hand-beaten biscuits or, on special occasions, her cloverleaf rolls. Inevitably after Dad remarked about how God is great, God is good, and had thanked Him for our food, mother would say, as if we hadn’t heard it a thousand times, “You could drive all the way to Greensboro and not get a steak dinner this good.” My sister, Betty, and I would roll our eyes. And then, almost ritually, before the meal was over, Dad would wonder aloud why anyone would pay for a steak in a restaurant when you could cook a better steak at home. More sibling eye-rolling ensued. Since then, I was fortunate to have been a restaurant critic for more than a decade and have tried steaks in dozens of restaurants, some of them Prime, aged steaks, seared at 800 degrees. Let me say that I certainly appreciate the difference between USDA, aged Prime meat and what’s available in the grocery store and at most restaurants. But being someone of Scots-Irish ancestry, it has always been with the utmost reluctance that I readily cough up $50-plus for a T-Bone steak. Especially, if I’m not on expense account. So I have always been on the lookout for what I call The Cheapskate’s Cheap Steaks. Believe me, they’re out there, though I’ve wrestled with many gristly and fat pieces of meat to find them, at the best and the worst of restaurants. In fact, I’ve learned Dad’s lesson: At most restaurants, you’re better off ordering something other than steak. However, over my years in Greensboro, I’ve found some notable exceptions to Dad’s rule. But it’s not just any steak that I’m after. To be a good cheapskate’s cheap steak, the meal should be a special experience. I’m always looking for a complete steak dinner — the meat, French fries, a fresh garden salad and a first-rate serving of bread. Plus, the ambiance of the place, in combination with the food, ought to provide more than the sum of the parts. What I’ve tried to do here is spotlight steaks and venues that are, above all else, places that present extraordinary cuts of beef, seared to perfection, in an ambiance that provides, for at least an hour or so, something you simply can’t reproduce at home. And all this at a price not a lot more than it costs me to grill a steak at home, just as my dad did. OH

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Café Europa 200 N. Davie St., (336) 389-1010, facebook.com/europagso The Meat of the Matter (How the steak, itself, rates) hhh (3 out of five stars). 6-ounce sirloin steak-&-frites, “lunch-sized (available at supper on request). Grilled — tender, juicy and not overly seasoned — Europa’s steak is a tad thin, though this is in the tradition of steaks I’ve had abroad. Larger 8-ounce “dinner” steak available for $18. The Tab (For a steak dinner — with the price per ounce of steak calculated based on the total tab) $13 ($2.17 per ounce of steak). Served without bread or salad — steak & frites means just that. Ambiance, service and measure of difference This lively, downtown brasserie has a stylish, Continental interior, featuring distinctive hardwood paneling. The vibe is urbane, almost clubby with attentive service. It’s hard to choose between the bustling bar and the popular patio. Measure of difference: Hippest spot in town to eat steak & frites. Sides and Extras The fries are cut as shoestrings and best eaten before they cool. I enjoyed the cabernet butter, but ask for it on the side so it doesn’t overpower the steak. A salad is $2.50 extra, and I think Europa’s Caesar is well worth the price. The Bottom Line With intimate corners and booths, plus sidewalk dining, Europa’s Continental “chic” nicely complements its reasonably priced and hearty fare — prepared with élan. And I highly recommend the mussels.

Lucky 32 1421 Westover Terrace, (336) 370-0707, lucky32.com The Meat of the Matter hhhhh (5 out of five stars). 10-ounce, Black Angus salt-and-pepper ribeye available at lunch only. I found this easily the best “cheap” steak in terms of taste, preparation and quality. Unlike some other ribeyes, the meat was marbled and rich, with excellent texture. The Tab $16 ($1.60 per ounce of steak). Served with bread and one side. No salad. Ambiance, service and measure of difference My advice? Eat in the bar with its rich, hardwood accents and intimate, high-back tufted booths. It’s, at the same time, both atmospheric and airy. I’ve always found the service attentive and obliging. Measure of difference: For us, Lucky 32 rates as a special-occasion destination. Sides and Extras The Texas Pete-fried onions atop the steak were a fun addition. And I could almost make a meal off Lucky’s excellent bread. The fries are hand-cut, double-fried and first-rate. I, however, find it hard to resist Lucky’s collards, sassy and tangled with side meat. Salad is $3.25 extra. The Bottom Line Lucky 32 is always like an old friend to me, welcoming, cozy and totally predictable. Yes, the lunch-priced ribeye costs a couple bucks more than other steaks, but the total package of food, service and ambiance is hard to beat.

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Oakcrest Family Restaurant 2435 Battleground Ave., (336) 288-7585, oakcrestfamilyrestaurant.com The Meat of the Matter hhh (3 out of five stars). Two 5-ounce ribeyes. It’s hard to imagine getting more meat for your money. Marinated, liberally seasoned with garlic and griddled, here’s a classic, cafe steak — in fact, two of them for the price of one. The Tab $9.99 ($1.11 per ounce of steak). Served with Texas toast, salad and fries. Ambiance, service and measure of difference I love Oakcrest’s emphasis on family dining. Don’t expect fawning service, white tablecloths or atmospheric flourishes. Instead, look for a spanking clean, well-lit interior that screams ’50s diner chic, with pine booths, retro furnishings. Come twice and your waitress will know you by name. Measure of difference: Incredible bang for the buck. Sides and Extras The service is family-friendly and the servings are humongous. And I’m a total sap for the garlicky, griddled Texas toast. Ask for the house-made Greek dressing atop the large iceberg-based salad. I found the rough-cut, skin-on fries, though probably frozen, some of the best in town. The Bottom Line Unless I’m missing it, this is one of the best meatand-potato deals in town. And sometimes a no-frills, expedient diner experience is just what you’re looking for.

The Pavilion Restaurant 2010 West Vandalia Road, (336) 852-1272, pavilionrestaurant.com The Meat of the Matter hhhh (4 out of five stars). 5-ounce Petite Sirloin. In spite of the really low price, this was an outstanding steak, thick and juicy, well-seasoned and perfectly cooked rare, as ordered. No, it’s not a huge cut, but excellent, as are Pavilion’s other steak offerings. The Tab $12.95 ($2.59 per ounce of steak). Served with Texas toast, fries and salad. Ambiance, service and measure of difference I love the vintage, fine-dining décor of this venerable eatery, with its exposed brick walls, frosted-and-cut-glass panels between booths and découpaged tables featuring magazine covers from yesteryear. Measure of difference: Pavilion’s food is carefully prepared and, above all else, value-priced — in a setting that bespeaks a tradition of fine dining. Sides and Extras The service is attentive, friendly and personable. The generous iceberg salad was fresh — the dressing, homemade. The crunchy, lightly battered fries came sizzling. And I inhaled my two slices of buttery, Texas toast. The Bottom Line Going to The Pavilion is like stepping back into a more gracious and leisurely era. It is definitely an institution. But it’s kept pace with the times and, in my opinion, is one of Greensboro’s best- kept fine-dining secrets.

Chez Anne My house, by invitation only — and don’t hold your breath.

Tripps Restaurant 1605 Highwoods Blvd., (336) 292-0226, trippsrestaurants.com The Meat of the Matter hhhh (4 out of five stars). 7-ounce, center-cut “petite” sirloin. Lightly seasoned and nicely seared with grill marks on the exterior, yet rare on the interior. The Tab $14.79 ($2.11 per ounce of steak). Served with bread, fries, steamed zucchini and a salad. Ambiance, service and measure of difference With an inviting steakhouse/fern-bar décor, accented with hardwood and exposed brick, I like Tripps for its inviting, casually-elegant ambiance that feels nothing like a chain. Measure of difference: Here’s the total steak-dinner package — bread, salad, fries, vegetable and the steak itself — at an almost unbelievable price. Sides and Extras Our meal started with a small, freshly baked loaf of bread, a nice way to begin the dining experience. The fries came sizzling hot, and the salad was fresh and generous, with almonds, bacon and garlicky croquettes. The combination was, all around, a notch above what I expect from a chain — or from anyone else for the price. The Bottom Line Steaks are a specialty at Tripps, a Greensborobased chain, but it was the entire experience that combined to deliver exceptional value — polite service, generous sides, a decent selection of wine and beer, plus a grilled sirloin thick enough to still be rare. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Meat of the Matter hhhhhhh (seven out of five stars). 8-ounce, Angus top sirloin from Harris Teeter VIC-priced. Grilled rare to perfection on a Weber by a Kansas City Certified Barbecue Judge — me! Dusted with asada seasoning. The Tab $10 ($1.25 per ounce). With Chef Anne’s pommes Lyonnaise, a salad featuring homegrown mesclun, along with her handmade, buttery biscuits, here’s a meal that’s hard to beat. Ambiance, service and measure of difference Farmhouse shabby décor, complemented by eclectic furnishings, mismatched tableware but incredible, tableside service from the chef herself, Chez Anne is my favorite venue. Al fresco dining available. Staggering selection of beer, wine and single-malt Scotch. Measure of difference: No need for a designated driver. Sides and Extras An incredible meal, cooked to order with the one added ingredient no one else can deliver — true love. I will definitely be eating here again. The Bottom Line My dad was right. The best value on a steak dinner is the one you cook yourself, provided you have an excellent sous chef who will accept as a tip — and the highest compliment of her culinary skill — a hug and a kiss. OH June 2018

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An Open Hearth for

Open Hearts In the Ganem family, hospitality is the language of love By Nancy Oakley • Photographs by Amy Freeman

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isa Ganem animatedly recalls the moment she and her husband, Sam, knew they’d found the perfect house in which to spend their twilight years. “We’d been looking, looking, looking,” she says. “I showed him this house, and he said, ‘This is it. I can tell by the smile on your face.’” The humble ranch house on a quiet street in the middle of Irving Park was the kind of place anyone would overlook driving by it — anyone except the bright-eyed and imaginative Lisa, who had redone a similar rancher when she and Sam and their three children lived in Salisbury years ago. “I didn’t have the vision,” Sam Ganem allows, admitting that he couldn’t see beyond the dwelling’s age, with its small rooms, cork floor, knotty-pine kitchen and overgrown shrubs. But where he saw darkness, Lisa saw light. “She just goes, ‘Oh, this is great! We could do this, and this and this,’” Sam remembers fondly. “And I said, ‘OK, fine. Just give me an outdoor kitchen.’” As a gastroenterologist for Eagle Physicians, his days are “filled with all sorts of commotion,” as they are for Lisa, owner of Certicode, a company that collects, analyzes and reports diagnosis and treatment data on cancer patients, and offers accreditation support to cancer programs, with the goal of improving patient care. “Cooking is relaxing,” says Sam, explaining that his interest in it developed in childhood. Coming from a large Lebanese family, he’d watch his aunts and uncles putter around the kitchen. “I’d pick up ideas here and there, put them in things I would like to do,” he says. After he and Lisa met (in the ER of the hospital in her small hometown in Tennessee, where she was working as a med-tech), cooking became a shared pastime. “We loved to cook,” says Lisa. “It was our calming thing.” They explained as much to each of his

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aunts, “the one that made the best tabbouleh, the one that made the best grape leaves, and we wrote down the recipes and learned to make them,” Lisa recalls. “And now it’s a big thing at Christmastime — his birthday’s on Christmas Eve — and we make a big Lebanese feast.” With Sam working and her staying at home to rear three small children — Paige, John and Frances — Lisa had assumed the family’s culinary responsibilities. In 2004, after 10 years in Salisbury, they began looking for larger environs — but not too large — and moved to Greensboro, settling into a shaded house on Dover Road. As the kids grew older, Sam started firing up the oven again, branching out beyond the Lebanese delicacies he grew up with. Italian, Mexican and Asian fare became part of his repertoire. “I’ll go into a restaurant and say, ‘This is good.’ And I’ll talk to the waiter and I’ll say, ‘What’s in this? And they’ll kind of tell me what’s in it. And I’ll go, “I can make this,” he says with quiet certitude. A trip to New Orleans might result in a gumbo once he’s back home. “He thinks about things,” Lisa says admiringly, adding that Sam, also a musician who played guitar for a rock band in his teenage years, has the same remarkable ability to strum any tune he hears. And then, of course, there’s grilling, which he’s so fond of — and which necessitated that outdoor kitchen in their new abode that Lisa dubbed “The Nest” after they bought it in the fall of 2016. “I knew what it could be,” she says. “It could never be grand, it could never be palatial.” But it could easily become a home. So Lisa enlisted the help of local designer and draftsman Jim Weisman, whom she describes as “a joy” to work with. Over a six-month period, she says, “We went back and forth, back and forth” until they agreed on a plan that would open up those dark nooks The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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and crannies and small rooms that Sam had found so off-putting. By mid-April of 2017, builder Kevin Otey and his crew broke ground and began the transformation that would last another six months. They added a small front porch with narrow, rectangular columns, and dormers, encased in copper, which help shed water and give the house more definition, as do the bronze gutters. Inside, a new front door, molding and millwork, such as the graceful curvilinear design on the dining room ceiling and the partially coffered den ceiling, lend an elegant touch to the more open spaces, thanks in part to widened doorways to the dining room, den and former living room. Now Lisa’s office, it overlooks the front yard, owing to a large picture window (a friend’s suggestion) that replaced what had been a blank wall flanked by two standard-size windows. “You can just sit in here and do your thing,” Lisa says, adding that the leafy view — and visiting squirrels outside — is a favorite of their three cats: Yanna, a Craigslist find, Parker, so-named because the Ganems rescued him from a parking deck, and Fillip, an orange striped fellow, whose name derives from the Chick-fil-A parking lot where Lisa and Sam found him half-frozen. And who wouldn’t want to hang out here, among the soft palette of cream and grays? Particularly striking is a statement wall covered in grasscloth, behind the office bookshelves, a suggestion of interior designer Lauren Tilley. “My builder and I were like, ‘grasscloth, are you kidding me?!’” Lisa says of the material that is seeing a sudden resurgence since its heyday in the 1950s. But she concedes, “It really did set off those walls.” The cream-colored walls create a sense of airiness throughout the rest of the house, which now has a seamless flow: a new hallway separates the living area from the master; in a finished attic, Sam can retreat among framed Beatles album covers, books and memorabilia from his rock band days; while extra bedrooms can accommodate visiting family members. There are no plans as yet for the finished basement, but with its newly whitewashed brick hearth,

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the work of the appropriately named Nathan Wainscott, the room holds the promise of a space for relaxing or merrymaking. Anchoring the house is the den and indoor kitchen, where, flanking a vented fireplace, are a set of bookshelves and a built-in aquarium, a “bucket list” feature for Lisa. “The cabinet guy — he’d never done this before — he was like a deer in the headlights,” she says, as colorful angelfish, platys and goldfish, among others, glide through the backlit tank filled with greenery. With help from Triad Reef Critters, which had seen freestanding aquariums before, they found a builder with a template that would accommodate the tank and all its accouterments. It’s a complement to the sea green and cream colors of the den, from the sofa and recovered recliners to the exposed wood chairs, which Lisa “adores,” in part because they were gifts from Sam’s mother when she moved to Abbotswood. Almost everything in the house is bestowed with meaning: the portraits of their children in the dining room, its chandelier (another cast-off from Sam’s mother), its table, a piece by the now-defunct custom furniture makers Councill Craftsmen in Denton. “They don’t make the hardwood anymore,” Lisa says wistfully. Her sparkle returns when pointing out a piece of artwork in the den, an abstract of pink and bluish green and cream by local painter, Amy Gordon. “She had just had a show at Tyler White [O’Brien],” Lisa explains, “And they called [her] and said, ‘Lisa just wants one of your pieces.’ And she said, ‘Well I’m wiped out, but I’ve done a couple of things in blue, so I’ll just bring ’em over.’” Lisa and Sam were astounded when they saw the painting, titled The Clearing, not only for its hues, so similar to the ones they favored, but also because it seemed destined for the empty wall by the new hallway leading to the master . . . especially when they discovered the artist’s subtle written message in the canvas: “Making space for new memories.” It’s the perfect companion to the Zen-like aquarium, the soft candles and orchids scattered about. Nearby is a framed print of a dictionary definition of The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


“nest” which reads: ‘noun. 1. A snug, comfortable or cozy residence or situation; a retreat, or place of habitual resort.” Lisa laughs at the popularity of the print among visiting guests who ask where she acquired it. “TJ Maxx?” she suggests, with a shrug. If coziness is synonymous with the concept of a nest, it is essential to any kitchen. And certainly, the indoor kitchen, with its spacious granite-topped island and crisp cream cabinets, bookended by a laundry room and mudroom, is just that. But the true pièce de résistance is the outdoor kitchen that Sam requested and the adjacent patio, overlooking the backyard, the focus of which is a saltwater pool. Originally, the backyard consisted of grass, trees and a profusion of boxwoods that the house’s previous owner had acquired from Mount Vernon. There had been a sunroom in the den area, (now extended to a wall of windows), but otherwise, no direct access to the yard. The back of the house simply dropped off from a fairly high level. But now? A spacious patio with table and chairs leads to steps flanked by wrought-iron railing (a nod to the original wrought-iron work, the only adornment in the front of the house) and terraced landscaping. “It was definitely a vision that Jim Weisman thought over,” Lisa says. “I wanted to get in that yard. It was so high up, I just wanted to get down there.” They cleared out the boxwoods, leaving enough, along with some camellias and hollies, to line the periphery of the yard, the center of which is taken up with the pool. “I love it, love it,” Lisa enthuses. “It’s so calming. It has fountains you can turn on. All kinds of uplighting, landscape lighting so it’s nice at night.” Even the next-door neighbors are appreciative of the view. And certainly, of the aromas of steaks, burgers and Sam’s specialties, lamb chops and honey-lime chicken, wafting from his impressive stainless-steel grill. He especially appreciates a flat surface designated for searing meat, (essential to successful grilling, to seal in the flavors) and a feature for inserting a spit, for roasting. And he is never without his digital thermometer, another must-have. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Some people have those fancy thermometers where they put the probe in, and they can see [the temperature] on their telephone,” Sam notes. “That’s a bunch of baloney! I just watch ’em, because that’s part of the fun, too. Watching them. Have a sip of wine. Put the thermometer in and say, ‘Yeah. It’s ready.’ Great satisfaction.” Beside the grill is a mini-refrigerator and griddle where, he says, “I can do a couple of pounds of bacon, pancakes.” When he isn’t cooking breakfast, he’s out on the patio most mornings, according to Lisa. “The sky is orange and the sun just comes in beautifully. He’ll come out here with his coffee. It’s like his quiet moment when the sun comes up.” Otherwise, the outdoor area is a gathering place for family and entertaining. A mere month after the Ganems moved into The Nest last October, they hosted their annual oyster roast, a tradition started by some friends who used to frequent the oyster bar at Green’s Supper Club every Thanksgiving. “We had three bushels of oysters; had ’em raw, cooked, steamed. Brunswick stew,” says Sam. “Everybody was out here in their coats,” Lisa chimes in. No matter. Just bring out the portable heater to keep guests warm. “Definitely my love language and one of his love languages is hospitality,” she reflects. Since the oyster roast, the Ganems have hosted a gathering at Easter, a bridal shower and family dinner of Indian kabobs for eldest child Paige. As a newly minted medical school grad, she’ll follow in Dad’s footsteps by pursuing a path in internal medicine, and with husband-to-be, Mark Aderholdt, will settle in Greenville, S.C. Son John starts law school in Tennessee in the fall and the youngest, Frances, will return to Chapel Hill. There will be more dinners and parties, and reasons to celebrate — the Christmas feast and Sam’s birthday, for one. “We’re really close,” says Lisa. “The kids — we wanted a place they wanted to come to.” For now, she and Sam enjoy the company of Yanna, curled up on one the sea-green recliners in the den, Parker, who’s likely retreated to the basement, and a sleepy, contended Fillip, who stretches the rug in the den. Far from empty, The Nest, for all who live here, is decidedly best. OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry June 2018

O.Henry 73


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74 O.Henry

June 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A L M A N A C

June n

By Ash Alder

On this June day, the buds in my garden are almost as enchanting as the open flowers. Things in bud bring, in the heat of a June noontide, the recollection of the loveliest days of the year — those days of May when all is suggested, nothing yet fulfilled.

June evening fades in such a way you wonder if it’s all a dream. We let go of spring, our palms now cupped to receive the first blackberries, scuppernongs, Cherokee Purples warm from the sun. Plump strawberries slowly vanish from the patch, and when the fireflies come out to dance, out, too, comes the homemade mead. This year, summer solstice falls on Thursday, June 21. We celebrate the longest day of the year with bare feet, new intentions, sacred fire and dance. Now until Dec. 21, the days are getting shorter. Savor the fragrant amalgam of honeysuckle and wild rose. Feel the hum of heavy hives, porch fans and crickets. And as cicadas serenade you into dreamy oblivion, sip slowly the sweetness of this golden season.

Whistling for More

I can’t see “Butter Beans” hand-painted on a roadside sign without hearing the Little Jimmy Dickens tune my grandpa used to sing or hum or whistle to himself on quiet Sunday drives: Just a bowl of butter beans Pass the cornbread if you please I don’t want no collard greens All I want is a bowl of butter beans. Red-eye gravy is all right Turnip sandwich a delight But my children all still scream For another bowl of butter beans. When they lay my bones to rest Place no roses upon my chest Plant no blooming evergreens All I want is a bowl of butter beans. The Carolina Chocolate Drops sing a much sultrier song about this summer staple, but both tunes suggest that, in the South, the lima is the darling of beans. Good for the heart (this sparks another ditty but we won’t go there), butter beans are rich in dietary fiber, protein, minerals and antioxidant compounds. Slow cook them or toss them in a cold summer salad. Regardless of how you choose to eat them, best to get them fresh while you can.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

– Francis King

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.

– L. M. Montgomery

Magic, Mighty Oak

When the sun sets on Saturday, June 23, bonfires will crackle in the spirit of Saint John’s Eve. On this night, the ancient Celts would powder their eyelids with fern spores in hopes of seeing wee nature spirits dancing on the threshold between worlds. The Celts sure loved their nature spirits. According to Celtic tree astrology, those born from June 10 — July 7 resonate with the sacred oak, a tree said to embody cosmic wisdom and regal power within its expansive roots, trunk and branches. Strong and nurturing, oak types radiate easy confidence. They’re most compatible with ash (Jan. 22 — Feb. 18) and reed (Oct. 28 — Nov. 24) and ivy (Sept. 30 — Oct. 27). If you find yourself in the company of an ancient oak on a dreamy summer evening, do be on the lookout for playful flashes of light.

Gifts for Papa

Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 17. I think of my papa’s old fishing hat, how it would slide down my brow and, eventually, past my eyelids, then remember his hearty laugh. A few seeds of inspiration for the beloved patriarch in your life: A new feather for the old cap. Homemade bread for mater sandwiches. Pickled okra — local and with a kick! Homemade mead. Seeds for the fall garden: lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, pumpkin. June 2018

O.Henry 75


June 2018 The Bard in 97 Minutes 6/

Fabrizio Bosso Quartet

1-3

6/

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

15

6/

24 -29

June 1

758-5282 or moa.wfu.edu.

(336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

June 1, 15 & 29

OL’ BLUE EYES IS BACK! We’re spreadin’ the news to fans of The Chairman: Don’t miss My Way: A Musical Salute to Frank Sinatra. Performance times vary. Community Theatre of Greensboro, 520 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7470 or ctgso.org.

June 1–3

FADING COLE. Last chance to catch the multimedia — and collected — works of a local talent at Carol Cole: Cast a Clear Light. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon. uncg.edu.

NEEDLES AND NUPTIALS. 10 a.m. Learn about Civil War battlefield medicine and Quaker wedding traditions at two re-enactments. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. LILY FEST. 1 p.m. It’s a first in the area, and you can come to Triad Daylily Fans: American Hemerocallis Society Accredited Daylily Flower Show. Fellowship Presbyterian Church, 2005 New Garden Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 456-4509. MELODIC. 6:30 p.m. Pack up a picnic and some lawn chairs to hear All Saints Gay Pride Chorus Concert en plein air. All Saints Episcopal Church, 4211 Wayne Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-0705 or allsaintsgreensboro.org. HORNS ’N’ HORSES. 7:30 p.m. Catch the thrills and spills of bull riding, bareback riding, roping, racing and more at the Southeastern Rodeo Association Heritage Rodeo. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster. com.

TWINKLE TOES. 10 p.m. Get down, throw down and shake a leg at Pop-Up Dance Club, with DJ Jessica Mashburn spinning tunes. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com.

June 1–10

LADIES OF THE LAKE. 7:15 a.m. Be an early bird and join one of Lake Brandt’s guided paddling tours for women. Prices vary according to the type and size of vessel. 5945 Lake Brandt Road, Greensboro. To reserve: (336) 373-3741.

June 1–17

HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or milb.com. SHORT SHAKES. Meaning, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Get a few belly laughs as Little Theatre of Winston-Salem performs 37 of The Bard’s plays in 97 minutes. Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem. Tickets: (336) 275-4001 or LTofWS.org.

June 1–July 8

AFRICAN ODYSSEY. Learn about the Kuba, Kongo, Mbuti, Shoowa and Fang cultures through an interactive exhibit: Escape the Museum: Central Africa. Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, Wingate Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (336)

June 1–August 19

June 1–August 18

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June 2018

BROWSING BURGS. Take in images of urban life at City, Village Exurbia: Prints and Drawing from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

June 1–July 15

SIZE MATTERS. See how objects of different scale and media share other affinities at Extreme Measures. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. KEYED UP. See a collection of vintage typewriters, including those used by Maya Angelou and Tennessee Williams, at the exhibition type-WRITE. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info:

June 2

June 3

PARIS ICI. Noon. Sidewalk artists, music, a poodle parade . . . nothing like Paris in the springtime — or the next best thing, Parisian Promenade. Join the fun and be sure to order the latest garden print by local artist Bill Mangum. Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden, 1105 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Arts Calendar Hobbs Road, Greensboro. Info: greensborobeautiful.org. MUSEP. 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Sam Frazier & the Side Effects offer a dose of Americana, while the rockin’ soul outfit doby dishes up some funk. Latham Park, West Wendover Avenue at Latham Park and Cridland Road, Greensboro. Info: musep.info. AUTHOR, AUTHOR 3 p.m. Meet Lynne Hinton, author of The View from Here. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. TUNEFUL TONIC. 7 p.m. They’re da Bomb(ay): ’90s rockers, The Gin Blossoms kick out the jams. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 4 & 6

POINT ’N’ CLICK. 9 a.m. Become an expert shutterbug at Elizabeth Larson’s primer about “Learning Your Smart Phone Camera.” Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

June 5

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet novelist Rebekah Frumkin, author of The Comedown. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 6

TABLE TEASER. 5:30 p.m. Come to Wine Wednesday for a preview of the chefs who’ll be preparing delicacies for Triad Local First’s big do, Community Table. Buy your tickets for the annual fall feast early. Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, 204 N. Mendenhall St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-9821 or double-oaks.com.

June 7

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Andrew Lawler, author of The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

June 8

WINE AND DINE. 7 p.m. At the Premier Cru Wine Dinner (see page 20), Proximity Hotel, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Tickets: goo.gl/QdU7UE. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com. ELEMENTAL. 8 p.m. The shining stars of ’70s R&B Earth, Wind & Fire light up the stage. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 7453000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 8–14

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

June 9

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet author Jill Osborn who will be signing copies of her book, Accessing the Media. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 9 & 23

FERRUM MONGER. 10 a.m. The coals are hot and he’s smokin’! See The Blacksmith in action. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.com.

June 10

MUSEP. 6 p.m. Start practicing your jitterbug moves for two sets of swing and jazz from Greensboro Big Band. Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: musep.info.

June 12

AUTHOR, AUTHOR — AGAIN, AGAIN. 6:30 p.m. Lynne Hinton, author of The View from Here, delivers another talk, presented by High Point Public Library and BookMarks. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3674 or email lauren.mitchell@highpointnc.gov.

June 14

SHEAR DELIGHT. 6 p.m. Take care of those unruly, leggy plants at “Pruning Without Fear — Training with a Purpose,” a lecture led by garden manager Josh Williams. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

June 15

HEALING MUSIC. 7 p.m. The lives of many Gate City residents were quite literally blown away in the April 15 tornado. Now, Fabrizio Bosso Quartet is blowing sweet, healing sounds of a jazz trumpet and vocals at a Tornado Relief Concert, benefiting efforts to help Hampton, Erwin and Peeler Elementary Schools.Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St. Greensboro. Tickets: thevandyke.org.

June 15–24

FIN-FIN SITUATION. That would be Community Theatre of Greensboro’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

June 16

THE MARCH OF TIME. 8 a.m. Historian Glenn Chavis leads a walking tour of historic Washington Street. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington St., High Point. To register: (336) 885-1859. BREW HA HA. 10 a.m. Sample colonial teas, including imported Chinese tea, and learn about the importance of the hot beverage among colonial settlers. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. EMF. 1 p.m. Wander through the streets of downtown while enjoying free music at the Chamber Crawl, including sounds from Chad Eby and Friends, Railyard String Quartet, UNCG Steel Drum Ensemble and the Minerva Saxophone Quartet. The Crawl starts at Koshary, 200 S. Elm St., and ends at The Fainting Goat, 115 W. Lewis St., Greensboro. Info: easternmusicfestival.org

June 17

ARTS SPLASH. 6 p.m. Groove to the R&B sounds of Carolina Soul Band at the first Arts Splash concert series sponsored by High Point Arts Council and the city’s Parks and Rec department. Mendenhall Transportation Terminal, 220 E. Commerce St., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787. MUSEP. 6:30 p.m. Classical and pops music are on the program from Philharmonia of Greensboro. Lindley Park, Starmount Drive at West Market Street and West Wendover Avenue, Greensboro. Info: musep.info.

June 19

STELLAR. 7:05 p.m. That would be the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, pitting North against South. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or milb.com. SLIP SLIDIN’ AWAY. 8 p.m. He’s off to look for America. Hear folk rock icon Paul Simon for the last time as “Homeward Bound — The Farewell Tour” rolls into town. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

June 22

TEE HE’S. 8 p.m. Meaning, funnymen Cedric “The Entertainer,” Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez, reuniting for The Comedy Get Down. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster. com.

June 23

HEART AND SOL. 2 p.m. Don your faerie wings, grab your magic wand and join other sun-worshippers at Greensboro Summer Solstice. Greensboro Arboretum (401 Ashland Drive) and Lindley Park, (3299 Starmount Drive), Greensboro. Info: (336) 339-1828 or greensborosummersolstice.org. EN VOGUE. 8 p.m. Get a sneak peek at the latest threads at Greensboro Fashion Week’s Preview. The Mill Entertainment Complex, 816 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: greensborofashionweek.com.

June 24

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet cookbook author Debbie Moose, author of Carolina Catch. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. MUSEP. 6 p.m. and 7:15. Tour the world with Irish tunes from Banna and Latin beats from West End Mambo. Barber Park, 1500 Dans Road, Greensboro. Info: musep.info. ARTS SPLASH. 6 p.m. Listen to some Venezuelan Tambor from Betsayda Machado. High Point University Amphitheater, 905 Founders St., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787.

June 24–29

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

June 25

YOU’RE SO VEIN. 2:30 p.m. Show a little sang-froid June 2018

O.Henry 77


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78 O.Henry

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Arts Calendar at the Paul Ciener Blood Drive. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. For an appointment: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org. EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Music Festival begins with a program of Haydn, Ravel and Mozart with guest artist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performing alongside The Mile-End Trio. UNCG Recital Hall, 100 McIver St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 26

EMF. 8 p.m. Eastern Chamber Players perform works by Vivaldi, Bach and then some. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2720160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 27

EMF. 8 p.m.“Brass Fanfares” features selections from the Spanish Renaissance, by Monteverdi, Cesare, Albinoni, Barber and more. First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 28

EMF. 8 p.m. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg fires up her violin at a Signature Performance with Piazzolla and Tchaikovsky. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 29

EMF. 8 p.m. Gerard Schwarz picks up his baton for Opening Night, the first-ever pay-what-you-can performance, featuring a program of Berlioz, Bruch and Brahms, with Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, violinist Jeffrey Multer and EMF’s Young Artist Orchestras. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Market St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

June 30

BLUE JAM. 8 a.m. Line up for Chef Alex’s flapjacks, your choice of Neese’s sausage and live music at Blueberry Pancake and Celebration Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., (event will be held on the lawn at the corner of Lindsay and Yanceyville), Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. EMF. 8 p.m. Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák and a new work, Plea for Peace, by Augusta Read Thomas, fill the bill of the first concert of the Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Festival Orchestra Series. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.

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 N. Church

St., Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Tuesdays

READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story times: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. PINT-SIZED GARDENERS. 3:30 p.m. Instill in your kiddies a love of gardening and edible things at Little Sprouts (ages 3 to 5 years). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen: Lyn Koonce & Friends (6/5); Abigail Dowd and Jason Duff (6/12); Graymatter (6/19); Molly McGinn, Dave Willis and Brent Buckner (6/26). 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/ greensboro_music.htm. CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N.

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O.Henry 79


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June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Arts Calendar Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 greenhillnc.org. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/ live_music.htm. ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs are belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

Thursdays

TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) — and guests Georgianna and Liz Penn (6/7), Courtney Hudson (6/14), Jessica Mashburn (6/21) and Noah Powell (6/28). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm. JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754 or www. tatestreetcoffeehouse.com. OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 81


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82 O.Henry

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


MINI MAKERS. 11 a.m. Let your child (age 5 or younger) bring out his or her inner van Gogh at ArtQuest’s Masterpiece Fridays, featuring tales from classic storybooks and artistic activities. Cost is $6 per person. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St. Greensboro. To register: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org. THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($2 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. FREE FLICKS. Sunset. Grab a lawn chair and settle down to watch Spartan Cinema, a series presented by UNCG and Greensboro Downtown Parks that runs through August. This month’s movies include: Queen of Katwe (6/1), Mulan (6/8), The Princess and the Frog (6/15) and Sing (6/22). LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greensborodowntownparks.org.

Fridays & Saturdays

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

Saturdays

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats the Anne-Claire Niver & Band (6/2), Dorian McCorey, Brandon Mitchell, Brandon Atwell, Brandon Lane (6/9), Dr. John Henry & Friends (6/16), Mac McLaughlin Quartet (6/23) and The Penn Family (6/30) while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com. IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

instruments; while Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or email marketing@gcmuseum.com.

KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can shake, rattle and roll with percussion

ohenrymagcalendar@gmail.com

Saturdays & Sundays

Sundays

FOOD OF LOVE. 11 a.m. Tuck into mouth-watering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams while students from the Miles Davis Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or thehistoricmagnoliahouse.com. HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $5 admission, as opposed to the usual $10, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Wendover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32. com/fried_chicken.htm.

To add an event, email us at by the first of the month

ONe Month prior to the event.

Business & Services

Fridays

Arts Calendar

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 83


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84 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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COLOR YOUR WORLD awesome annuals stunning perennials, tasty herbs, flowering shrubs & trees, gardening supplies and gifts

GUILFORD GARDEN CENTER Where gardening is fun!

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 85


Arts & Culture

Summer Concerts 7 p.m. Saturdays

Sierra Hull • 6/23 Kruger Brothers • 6/30 Steep Canyon Rangers • 7/14 Rhiannon Giddens • 7/28 For a complete schedule of concerts, visit

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86 O.Henry

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Reproductions from Original Oil Paintings High Quality Paper or Metal Plates Sizes range 16x20 up to 40x60 • Prices start at $270

Agnes Preston-Brame

May 25- July 1, 2018 • Reception June 9, 5-8 PM

Revolution Mill Central Gallery 1150 Revolution Mill Dr, Greensboro , 27405

www.revolutionmillgreensboro.com

June 2018

O.Henry 87


An Experience Extraordinaire Orchestra Celebration Fri., June 29 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM

Gerard Schwarz, conductor Jeffrey Multer, violin Eastern Festival Orchestra

Midsummer Magic Sat., June 30 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM

Gerard Schwarz, conductor William Wolfram, piano

Romance Sat., July 7 | Dana Aud. | Guilford College | 8:00 PM

Gerard Schwarz, conductor Anne Akiko Meyers, violin Series continues: July 14 • Misha Dichter, piano July 21 • Kun-Woo Paik, piano and Jason Vieaux, guitar July 28 • Stefan Jackiw, violin

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

88 O.Henry

Tickets on Sale NOW Box Office 336.272.0160

Claim your spotlight To advertise here, call 336.601.1188

FOR MORE INFORMATION: EasternMusicFestival.org

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene

Yngrid & Javier Chacon

Command Performance 2018

Gala Benefit for the Carolina Theatre Thursday, April 19, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Seth & Kathy Moore, Madelyn Crowell, Chris Brown

Rebecca & Quinton Simons Vanessa Bullock, Toby Williams

Sharon Bullock, Stephanie Martin, Fannie Taylor Jeanette Kimel, David Ledesdorf

Megan & Chris Hampton, Alissa Batts Angie & Phil Morgan, Nancy Sebastian, Eva Nifong Carey & Antoinette Baldwin, Jackie Jessup, Herb McNeal, Thelma Harris, Tony Graves

Gladys Knight Spencer Conover, Kaitlyn Smith

James & Debra Smith, Mary & Ed Maxwell

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Cathryn McMichael, Will & Mary Truslow, Bonnie Fish

June 2018

O.Henry 89


shops • service • food • farms

support locally owned businesses

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Wedding on the horizon? Gordon’s has you covered with rental and purchase options available! YOUR LOCAL, NEIGHBORHOOD CLOTHIER

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Burkely Rental Homes client

There are times when it’s smarter to lease than to sell your home. Call me when you think you’re there! I’ll be pleased to discuss how Burkely Rental Homes can help you.

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90 O.Henry

June 2018

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GreenScene

Joshua, Rachel & Samuel Naylor

Tornado Volunteers

Friday, April 20 & Saturday, April 21, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Miriam Marley, Joe Corvino, Renee Saxon, Maurice Stuart

Kim Simon, Yolana Person

Jeanie Duncan, Lyn Koonce

Shana Thompson, Lisa Ridley Ronnie Kolodziej, Kristie Roden, Dale Holder Haleigh Harrison, Berkley, Leeann Jones, Abigail Raskoskie, Sierra Dalton Asley Striblin, Gerald Roberts, Breez Dennis

Susan & Ben Miller, Felipe Will Armstrong, Raphael Wrenn

Papa Cisse, Mike Quinn, Nadine & Amina Cisse

Gregory Tatum, Consuella Gibson, Percy Thompson, Gloria Alston, Theresa Thompson, Martha Dick, Lisa Richardson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June 2018

O.Henry 91


Anahita & Mona Gupta

GreenScene Greensboro Youth Chorus

30th Anniversary Gala Celebration Friday, May 4, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Mary Katherine Terrell, Hannah Swanton

Kristy Hill-Spanik, Chad Merritt, Sarah Parris DeGennaro

Beverly & Joe Carrigan

Karen Connor McGugan, Cathy & Sara Connor

Alicia Bivona, Grace Homer

Anika Rueppell, Sharanya Ananth

Olav & Matina Rueppell Ryan & Alisha Homer, Ann Doyle

Anika Gupta, Sophia Joel, Aurora Milholin

Jacqui VanLier, Christina Schneider, Lucy Jones, Grace Schneider

Ginnie Williamson, Susan Faucher, Mark Engebretson

Robin Cobia, Ed Hines, Bill & Sudie White, Louise Bristol, Russ Robinson, Jordan Miles, Ann Robinson, Stan Styers, Daniel Craft, John Bristol, Megan Ray, John Knowles, David Craft (kneeling)

GreenScene Bill Craft Park Clean Up Saturday, April 21, 2018

Photographs by Sam Froelich & Shelton Styers John Knowles, John Robinson, Shelton Styers

Robin Cobia, Ed Hines, Stan Styers

Pat Brooks, Ann Robinson

Sudie & Bill White

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92 O.Henry

June 2018

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Xan.Tisdale@bhhsyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@bhhsyostandlittle.com ©2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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June 2018

O.Henry 93


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94 O.Henry

June 2018

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Accidental Astrologer

Summer Simmer The heat’s on in June but the stars say, “Cool it!”

By Astrid Stellanova

Star Children, I do relate to all the mischief you are in right this hot

minute with Summer Solstice approaching on the 21st. We’re all hot and bothered. I’m a hopeless romantic, too. June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. Let. That. Sink. In. If I was to finally tie the knot with Beau, I’d have more pink, tulle, icing and frou-frou going on than Shelby’s wedding in Steel Magnolias. I would also hand out Pepto-Bismol as a wedding favor, because shortening and sugar are a plural food group in my world, and happiness or heartache still bring stomach ache. Pepto-Bismol solves at least one of the problems. You’re welcome. I’m dispensing a few more warnings that just about all of y’all in Star Land need to heed. And why not follow the (free) counsel of older and wiser Astrid? – Ad Astra Gemini (May 21–June 20) Honey, you got an itch to be bewitched. And when you say I do, remember it’s durn difficult to find the undo button. Most folks just settle for a do-over before they have been done over. You have lost your mind because somebody has been wooing and undoing you. Your powers to charm and bewilder can strike in the same sentence. If you see a greener pasture, we know your M.O. You will be over the fence and bolted before the one you loved and left has even figured it out. The sensible thing would be to just hit the pause button. But Sugar, sensible is not in your wheelhouse. Cancer (June 21–July 22) You cannot hear thunder. What got into you, Sugar? Let me just say, Karma honked the horn at you and you just sashayed right on past. You cannot outrun your destiny. Take two minutes to read that again. There is a real need for you to own what happened, and make amends.

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Be like my dog Woodrow and hit the woof. Howl! Holler! You have tamped down all your emotions and now it is time to let them out! You are not dead yet, despite all your attempts to give that impression. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) If you loved yourself as much as you love your pocketbook, you wouldn’t let yourself go just because a no-good somebody broke your little heart. Time to splash out on some new duds, a haircut and some Crest teeth strips. Then, love, grin and bear it. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) How far are you going to take this bad mood of yours? I will tell you that orange sure ain’t your color and it sure ain’t the new black. If you kill/maim/sabotage somebody in a jealous rage, the only thing you will have discovered is your own personal hell.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) My Lord! Somebody steered you wrong, but you decided that somebody knew more than everybody else. That friend could be a serial killer and you would still think they would go for your bail. This is going to hurt, this cliff dive, because you convinced yourself the very one driving you over cared about you. Let the healing begin.

Pisces (February 19–March 20) By the time word of your adventure traveled back, and it traveled fast, there was nobody who could look you straight in the eye and not think: Lordamercy! So you blew your inheritance on something like a big trip to Dollywood. It ain’t nobody’s business but yours. Live on the memories, Sweet Thing.

Virgo (August 23–Sept. 22) This is your life. And this month is like spending 24 hours in a Vegas casino and winning a cup of quarters. Yes, Sugar, it does beat losing. But not by much. Go get you some sunshine, rehydrate, then have a square meal and recover your senses.

Aries (March 21–April 19) I’d like to introduce you to your future. But I won’t. It ain’t in my power to tell you what will happen if you take the steps you’ve been contemplating. It’s extreme, even for you, Sugar. For the love of Pepto-Bismol, don’t run over a small child just trying to get ahead when you will anyhow.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) It’s a recurring theme: You need to escape, and your bag is packed with your best clean underwear with good elastic. Answer this: Are you running from love, or towards it, Honey? When you recover from itchy feet, you may find nothing that scary is chasing you. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) Where is your sense of self-preservation? Is this love or is it suicide? You and your beloved are like planets circling the same sun but on a collision course. You don’t have to treat love like nuclear fusion. Love doesn’t have to destroy you to excite you.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Taurus (April 20–May 20) Lord help us. There is not enough sunscreen in the world to keep you from SPFing this thing up. You know what I mean. You have got one powerful opportunity, and all you need to do is exercise just a smidge of caution. But that ain’t happening unless somebody bodily restrains you. 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 2018

O.Henry 95


O.Henry Ending

Fraised and Confused A paean to the waning days of strawberry season

By Brian Faulkner

June is that it marks the beginning of summer, no matter what the calendar says. Dreams of “School’s out!” float through the minds of children like mid-year sugarplums as we bigger ones begin pining for the beach, the lake or the mountains. One of the worst things about early June, however, is that strawberry time has pretty much spent itself. That always makes me sad, so much so that sometimes I wonder if the greeting card business may have missed a big marketing opportunity by not making note of the season’s passing. Imagine this illustration: a couple of Norman Rockwell kids gazing on a green strawberry field, fruit-stained bucket dangling empty between them. The caption, written in a child’s gentle hand, reads, “Parting is such sweet sorrow . . .”

If America ever got to vote for its favorite fruit (much more fun than voting for politicians), the strawberry should win hands down — case in point: the rate at which strawberries disappeared from a serving table one memorable evening a couple of years ago. The occasion was one of those standup cocktail parties, the sort of thing at which a mass of bone-tired people appear willing to exchange their last drops of energy for an hour or two of convivial chatter and some free eats after walking a trade show all day. Whoever catered the event did a fabulous job. The egg rolls were just right — not too soft, not too firm; flaky and perfect. The Asian noodle dishes were shot through with pleasing, subtle flavors. Tiny tomatoes with mozzarella balls on a skewer were surprisingly delectable. The applewood-bacon pizza slices were thin, indescribable and consumed in great quantities. But what most caught my eye were the strawberries fairly shouting from the far end of the room. They were riotous red and succulent, the kind of vision even food photographers would salivate over. There were other fruits for the taking, but they didn’t seem to vanish as fast as the strawberries. I can’t think of strawberries without my No. 2 grandson coming to mind. His birthday lands smack in the heart of North Carolina’s strawberry

96 O.Henry

June 2018

season. And since he and I share the same birth date (separated by more years that he probably can count), it has become my custom to surprise him on that day by popping up at some random time and place. I’ve surprised him in a museum and a tourist trap and once just sort of appeared in front of him on a public sidewalk (with the aid of an enormous oak tree to hide behind). The most memorable birthday surprise, however, happened in a strawberry field. My son and his family had arrived early, as planned, and were busily filling their buckets. I counted on that distraction to ease my car into the parking lot (the kid could identify it at a hundred yards), don my disguise and slip into a nearby row. I got pretty close to them before he got wind that the bent over old dude with the oversized hat and umbrella was his grandpa. Fun stuff! This year, I had hoped that strawberry season might hold on a little longer, given the chilly, wet April that we suffered through, but Mother Nature played her cards close and I largely missed out. I considered a family trip to the North Carolina Strawberry Festival down east in Chadbourn (my wife grew up nearby, and they always had a sinful supply of berries and, thanks to a freezer the size of a Volkswagen, feasted on them long into summer). Then I thought about sticking closer to home and checking out the strawberry fields off North O.Henry Boulevard. They’ve been growing strawberries there for something like four generations. It didn’t take much imagination to envision buckets overflowing with crimson goodness as my family joined hundreds of other strawberry lovers around the patch, people who do not hesitate to lick their fingers in public as they fantasize about the sweet treats they’ll create when they get home. Somehow busy-ness got in the way, and that didn’t happen. Even the vanilla crème strawberry birthday cake I’d envisioned was a no-show, although I did manage to suffer through its chocolate fudge cousin with cream cheese and whipped cream on top. Such are life’s little disappointments. But take heart, there’s only 11 months to go now till strawberry season! OH Brian Faukner will have to settle for snacking on strawberries from Florida this summer, while he dreams of next year’s Carolina crop. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

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R uEB aR | 3 1 8 S . Elm S t re e t GR EENSB OR O | 91 9. 931 . 2426


UNC GREENSBORO NAMED A COLLEGE OF DISTINCTION

One of only 4 North Carolina public institutions to be recognized

STUDENT SUCCESS

VIBRANT COMMUNITY

RESEARCH SERVICE

GLOBAL IMPACT UNC GREENSBORO

Profile for O.Henry magazine

June O.Henry 2018  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

June O.Henry 2018  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Profile for ohenrymag
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