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We Know Greensboro.

ince 1928 Prudential Yost & Little Realty has been a part of the fabric of the Greensboro community. As a leader in residential real estate sales, our sales associates take pride in helping families and individuals make our area home. There is no better place to live and work than Greensboro, and there is no better company to help you with your home sale or purchase than Prudential Yost and Little Realty.


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When you awaken each morning in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina, 43 courses will beckon. Many have achieved international acclaim.

GOLF, SLEEP, GOLF, SLEEP. REPEAT AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY. All will challenge your best game and fill your days with the kind of invigorating relaxation unique to the sport. Each night, you will retire knowing that tomorrow is another tee time. Though many would dispute the notion that man does not live by golf alone, we do offer up other forms of sustenance in the form of quiet pubs, vibrant sports bars and renowned restaurants featuring menus from continental to North Carolina home cooking. And that, as most golfers will agree, is the perfect prescription for the ideal vacation.

THE PERFECT GETAWAY AWAITS AT THE HOME OF AMERICAN GOLF®. VISIT WWW.HOMEOFGOLF.COM TO PLAN YOUR STAY.

TALAMORE GOLF RESORT Located mere footsteps from the Village of Pinehurst, Talamore Golf Resort features 36 incredible holes designed by two legends: Rees Jones and “The King,” Arnold Palmer. The Talamore Resort Course and the private Mid South Members Course continue to receive high acclaim - both have been rated 4.5 stars by Golf Digest and named in America’s Top 100 courses by Golflink.com. Call one of our golf specialists today and plan your trip to the famed Sandhills region. 800.552.6292 · TalamoreGolfResort.com

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST Nestled among the longleaf pines in the heart of North Carolina lies a charming village where golf isn’t a pastime so much as a way of life. The Village of Pinehurst embraces the historic Pinehurst Resort with tree-lined streets, white picket fences, cottages, shops, pubs & restaurants. So whether you’re looking for a pint after your round or a gift for your spouse, you’ll find it in the Village of Pinehurst. 910.295.1900 · vopnc.org

PINEHURST CONCOURS DʼELEGANCE A new champion will be named on the storied links of Pinehurst Resort, this time for “Best in Show” for automobiles in May 2013. This event, featuring more than 150 of the most historic automobiles and motorcycles from around the world, including significant military vehicles will combine the world-class amenities of Pinehurst Resort, special experiences for all attendees, some of the greatest vehicles ever created and an opportunity to benefit and honor the men and women of the military from nearby Fort Bragg, N.C. www.pinehurstconcours.com


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M A G A Z I N E Volume 3, No. 3

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227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com Ashley Wahl, Associate Editor 336.617.0090 • ashley@ohenrymag.com Cassie Butler, Photographer/Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer

15 Carlson Terrace

2107 Carlisle Road

Contributing Editors David C. Bailey, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser Photographers Sam Froelich, John Gessner Contributors Harry Blair, Jane Borden, Tom Bryant, Ann Deagon, Sara King, Meridith Martens, Mary Novitsky, Charles D. Rodenbough, Noah Salt, Stephen E. Smith, Tim Swink

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March 2013

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Marty Hefner, Sales & Circulation Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 Advertising Graphic Design Kira Schoenfelder, 910.693.2508 kira@pinestrawmag.com ©Copyright 2013. 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


Sylvester Stallone’s choice of fine writing instruments


March 2013 Features

Lest We Forget 51 Poetry By Ann Deagon

Medusa Lives 52 By Ashley Wahl

Guilford’s iconic poet and queen of myth

54 Sweating Like Enoch By Ann Deagon A Southern childhood

revealed

The Second Battle of Guilford Courthouse 58 By Charles D. Rodenbough

How the original vision for the battleground got lost in a bureacratic maze

The Last Days of Nathanael Greene 62

By Jim Schlosser

Our city’s namesake deserved a better ending

66 Love At First Sight

By David C. Bailey

The sweet salvation of a grand old house

75 March Almanac

By Noah Salt

An ode to Narcissus and other signs of spring departments

9 Hometown By Jim Dodson 12 Short Stories Your Guide to the Good Life Requested Recipe 17 Most By David C. Bailey 19 The City Muse By Ashley Wahl 21 The Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 25 Hop Head By David C. Bailey

29 Serial Eater By David C. Bailey 37 Street Level By Jim Schlosser 41 Gate City Icon By David C. Bailey 45 The sporting life By Tom Bryant

of Jane 49 Life By Jane Borden 78 Arts Calendar 89 The GreenScene 95 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 96 O.Henry Ending By Tim Swink

Cover Photograph Courtesey of Ann Deagon Photograph this page by John Gessner

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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HomeTown

A Walk in the Woods

By Jim Dodson

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ranscendental tree-hugger Henry Thoreau once observed that a man who walks through the woods for the positive effect of the life of a forest on one’s soul is likely to be regarded as a loafer, whereas a fellow who surveys the woods for its uncut timber is broadly hailed as an enterprising citizen, a man in quest of a better world. Walking in the woods with no agenda beyond open eyes and ears is an experience I rank right up there with reading a superb book or sharing a great meal with friends, quiet and seemingly ordinary pleasures that feed all of the senses and deepen one’s connection to a multi-layered world. If this makes me a tree-hugging transcendentalist, so be it. The grand architecture of old trees, hidden streams and overgrown forest paths have always been endlessly alluring to the kid in me who refuses to grow up. In another life I must have been a Junior Green Man or trainee Irish Druid or at least a decent tree frog because as a somewhat bookish and solitary kid whose imagination was fueled by Kipling’s Just So Stories and classical mythology, my parents couldn’t keep me out of the woods and streams of wherever we happened to live. By age 10 I’d authored at least two tree houses on land — or, as it were, trees — not my own, including an impressive affair built from scrap lumber in a century-old sycamore leaning over a creek in the woods behind my parents’ house on Dogwood Drive, in the heart of the small forest that came down to make way for a subdivision of princely brick mini-mansions not a month after I left for college. The shock was to come home at Christmas and discover (even though I hadn’t climbed up into that tree house for years) that my tree house and the grandfather sycamore were both gone, scraped from earth to make way for foundation footings. Even the creek had somehow vanished, gone underground. Boy Scouts meant a great deal to me not so much for the fellowship with like-minded kids in my patrol and troop, but because of the opportunities it afforded me to hike mountain trails or to go off the path and explore unknown woods, ideally on my own. Even the few times I managed to get myself lost, I never really felt all that lost. And one of the most fun things I ever did was go on a three-day survival camping trip in which we learned, among other things, how to make “biscuits” from the dried inner skin of a pine tree. They tasted terrible, but also wonderful. For my Eagle Scout project, not surprisingly, I cut a nature trail through the thick blackberry-tangled woods by my old elementary school on Greensboro’s The Art & Soul of Greensboro

south side. One of the first things I did when I returned home to North Carolina seven years ago was go check out my old nature trail just to see if it had somehow survived the passage of forty years, half expecting it to be a new subdivision. Amazingly, the woods were still intact though the hand-made signs marking various species of trees and shrubs were long gone. Small price to pay for the surge of relief and joy I experienced walking that trail again after 43 years. All lessons in enchantment, notes spiritual writer Thomas Moore, begin in nature — especially in the mystery and majesty of trees. Plato, among others, believed earth-bound divinities resided among groves of trees, and every ancient religious tradition — including early Christianity, which took most important allegories, parables and symbols directly from long-extant pagan traditions and rites — assigned powerful enchantment to trees and forests, and the mysteries they contained. In European fairy tales designed principally to instruct the young, forests were always where both danger and the hero’s transformation lay in wait, a powerful metaphor for life. Buddha found enlightenment meditating beneath a Bodhi tree, while Jesus Christ — as related in the popular Appalachian mountain Easter legend — was crucified on an old wooden cross hewn from the slender dogwood tree: “With blossoms like the cross for all to see / As blood stains the petals marked in brown / The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.” “Although nature is usually thought of as the quintessential example of the material world,” writes Moore in The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, “paradoxically nature gives us the most fundamentally open mind to spirit. Mountains, and rivers, and deserts, enjoying a lifetime far exceeding our own, give us a taste of eternity, and an ancient forest or gorge reminds us that our own lives are brief in comparison.” Many years ago, not long before my father died, I used details from his memory of having carved my mother’s name and his own in a 200-year-old beech tree that grew in the forest of Compiegne, in France, not long before he shipped home from the Second World War. All I had to go on was that the venerable tree grew on a bridle path near an iron gate and a stone bridge, somewhere in the famous forest adjoining the market town where the Germans surrendered in World War I. The forest, now a municipal park, sprawled for hundreds of acres and was veined with creeks and sun-dappled bridle paths. I hunted for most of a golden October afternoon and was on the cusp of giving up when I took a different way out of the forest and crossed a small stone footbridge and stopped dead in my tracks. Bright yellow beech leaves were floating serenely in the black water March 2013

O.Henry 9


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March 2013

beneath a small stone bridge, and directly ahead stood a large rusted gate entrance to the park. Beside the gate rose a massive beech tree tattooed with hundreds of carved names and dates and initials. It took me a little while but I actually found their initials and the date when my father had been there in August of 1945, days before he shipped home. “Bonjour, Monsieur,” an elegant old man carrying a cane and dressed in a wool topcoat and felt bowler said to me as he shuffled past. I was halfway up the gate straining to get a close-up photograph to prove I’d been there — or, more correctly, my old man had. I explained in my horribly broken French about my father taking a walk in the woods here shortly after the liberation of Paris — about the summer afternoon he found a glorious beech that had stood since the days of Napoleon and left his mark in its skin. The old gent seemed to grasp my point, speaking a language that required no words. As beech leaves filtered down, he smiled and swept his cane to the vast canopy of limbs and tangled vines around us, turning a slow and stately circle, a twinkle in his eye. “Fantomes belles! C’est magique, n’est-ce pas?” All I could do was grin and nod, moved by his ardor for the woods. It really was one of my life’s most magical moments, though I didn’t have a clue what fantomes meant. When I showed my dad the photo, he smiled and nodded much as I had done. “He said the woods were full of beautiful ghosts,” I explained. “That woods must be full of them,” agreed my father. During the twenty years we lived in a post and beam house on a densely forested hill in Maine, just off the abandoned and overgrown town road of 100 years prior, on the remains of a farmstead surrounded by 600 acres of mature hemlock, birch and beech trees, I never felt more at home — or secure — than in our patch of woods, a house made from beams of Canadian spruce. My children and I grew accustomed to the rhythms of forest life, watching the seasons come and go, the familiar sounds of the house settling and the forest kingdom at night, the music of owls and eerie yip of coyotes under the moon, and shadowy movements of the deer we fed through the hardest days of winter. I had several hikes designed for different seasons, but the one I perhaps most enjoyed was the vernal pool deep in the forest overhung by a ledge of granite left by a receding glacier, mossy and embowed by balsam trees — my “Thinking Rock,” as I named it, the place I often went before the mayflies hatched and the black flies swarmed, to sit and read and make notes. When the flies became too intolerable, I simply waited until July’s dryness struck and went back — often to find the pool all but gone for another year, but spongy and cool. I wrote whole parts of three different books in a notebook sitting on my

Thinking Rock. March down South is a great time to walk the woods too, the ideal time to see nature as she stretches and puts on her slippers, forest floors coming alive with wild trillum and Virginia bluebells, even the magical pitcher plant if you’re really keen-eyed. Truthfully, I’m not much for walking through modern neighborhoods — unless I’m off the leash in Paris with an afternoon to kill — but fortunately the two places where I spend most of my days now — Greensboro and Southern Pines — have glorious urban forests where a walk at the edges of a day is a cure for anything that ails the spirit. Weymouth Woods, which surrounds my house, is home to the largest surviving longleaf pine forest in North America, a wood-walker’s paradise, sprawling pine barrens that are anything but, home to swamp thickets and soulful sandy ridges, an Eden of friendly dragonflies, hog nose snakes, fox squirrels and 160 different varieties of birds, including the splendid red-cockaded woodpecker, a highly social bird who makes his home in ancient pines. Not a mile from our house stands a very old longleaf said to be nearly twice as old as the U.S. Constitution, the oldest pine in North America. A couple of summers ago, my dog Mulligan — whom I found running wild in these same woods as a pup, hunting and living off the land — and I attended the tree’s 482nd birthday party. Mulligan wasn’t particularly impressed, keeping a sharp eye for something she might once have chased. But considering that the tree was standing just 30 or so years after Christopher Columbus set for North America was sure enough to get my attention. It has to be one of the oldest living things on Earth, not counting Hugh Hefner. In Greensboro, where I spend the other half of my time, I often walk the woods of Guilford Battleground Park at dawn, the nation’s oldest memorial battleground, a sacred ground where a ragtag army of farmers lost a battle but probably won the war against the British Army 232 years ago this March 15. [Be sure to see our related stories in this month’s issue.] I’ve known this old park’s stone paths since I was a Mulligan-sized pup and never fail to feel fantomes des patriotes when I’m walking there. Forest are made for weary men, wrote the poet Mary Carolyn David, that they might find their souls again. And little leaves are hung on trees, to whisper of old memories; And trails with cedar shadows black, Are placed there just to lead men back Beyond the pitfalls of success, To boyhood, peace, and happiness. Take a walk in the woods as spring dawns, and you’ll see what I mean. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Courting History

Poet Speaks

North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti wasn’t born here. He grew up in East Liberty — Pittsburgh’s Little Italy — and came to the Tar Heel State in 1976 as a VISTA volunteer to teach writing in the state’s prison system. Nope, he had never heard of grits. Search “Meet Joseph Bathanti” on YouTube to find a video posted by the North Carolina Arts Council in which the poet recalls falling in love with the state and with the woman who helped him through his “first ever serving of grits.” Better yet, hear him tell the stories in person on March 20 at 4 p.m. in the Hodges Reading Room inside the Jackson Library at UNCG, the university where former NC Poet Laureates Fred Chappell and Kathryn Stripling Byer taught and studied. As Poet Laureate, Bathanti is enouraging war veterans to use poetry to share their stories. When he isn’t writing poems or hanging out in prison, he teaches creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone. This Friends of the UNCG Libraries event is free and open to the public. Info: (336) 256-0112 or www.uncgfol.blogspot.com. AW

The Art of High Fashion

Monet, van Gogh, Wyeth and Mondrian will be there. In spirit. Models at the fourth annual Restoration Runway Fashion Show and Auction — to be held March 21, 6­to 9 p.m. at Greensboro Country Club — will wear colors and textures inspired by famous artists. The event includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and a live auction. Proceeds go to the nonprofit Restoration Place Ministries, which provides affordable counseling to women. Tickets are $65, online, at Fleet Plummer or The Contemporary Lady. Info: (336) 5422060 or restorationplaceministries.org/events. MJ

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March 2013

Tennis buffs will find plenty to love in the new book Tennis in North Carolina: Celebrating Our History, published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of The North Carolina Tennis Foundation. Packed with photos, clippings, anecdotes and lists, the book notes dozens of Greensboro folks including Allen Morris, who reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1956 and later played an exhibition match in Greensboro against soon-to-be famous Arthur Ashe; textile magnate J. Spencer Love, whose name graces a city tennis center; Julia Anne Holt, winner of multiple state singles and doubles titles; Jack Warmath, seven-time state doubles champ and longtime State Closed tournament director; Jane Preyer, who beat world No. 1 Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1981; and, of course, current top American player John Isner. The book — written by Tim Noonan, a former touring pro who owns Heritage Histories of Chapel Hill — costs $39.95 and can be purchased at the foundation office, 2709 Henry Street, Greensboro, or by going to nctennis.com/historybook. MJ

Shorthand, Etc.

Whether you’re hip, hopeless or hovering in between on social media, you’ll want to check out YAMFest, the Youth & Media Festival at Grimsley High School on Saturday, March 16. Aimed at students, parents, educators and community leaders, the free workshops start at noon and cover subjects including entrepreneurship and social media. Panelists will consider the effects of social media on young users, and there’s a session, just for adults, to answer FAQs. Speakers will include Hugo Van Vuuren of the Harvard Innovation Lab and Sandra Cortesi of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. After 4 p.m., winners of a tech-oriented ideas competition will be announced. Door prizes, food trucks and a dance party will sweeten the deal. The Bezos Scholars Foundation provided a seed grant for the festival after Grimsley senior Kassra Homaifar and math teacher Roberta Rohan attended the scholars program at the Aspen Institute last summer. RSVP to YamFest at www.yamfest.weebly.com. MJ

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Short Stories

Sauce of the Month

Viva Los Ramblers!

Red coat, blue coat photograph © Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection

The much-loved and long-lived Red Clay Ramblers, a Tony Award-winning, NorthCarolina-based string band now in its fortieth year, will perform at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro on April 12. Over the years, The Ramblers have been on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor; have played with legendary musicians such as Ralph Stanley and Randy Newman; and have appeared with TV celebrities Jay Leno, Candice Bergen and Harry Smith. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $24.50, plus a $2.50 theater restoration fee. Info: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. MJ

Trip to the Barber

As Bugs Bunny once sonorously sang, “Figaro qua, Figaro là/ Figaro su, Figaro giù.” By which he meant, “Figaro here, Figaro there/ Figaro up, Figaro down . . .” But, alas, this year Figaro’s in another town — Winston-Salem, to be precise. Not to worry. The Piedmont Opera has got Greensboro covered. First there’s La Lunch at noon on Wednesday, March 6th. Opera fans can feast their eyes, ears and bellies in O.Henry Hotel’s spacious dining room while Maestro James Allbritten and several cast members of the upcoming Rossini’s Barber of Seville share their insights on the iconic opera. Then, on Sunday, March 17th, a luxury bus will leave the parking lot of Whole Foods at Friendly Center at 12:45 p.m. for a 2 p.m. matinee performance. The trip, which includes a short briefing on the opera and requires registration, is $10. Box lunches and tickets, which run from $15–$80, are extra. Info: (336) 7257101 or www.piedmontopera.org. DCB The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“When I was growing up, my grandmother, and later my mother, would make chowchow in the fall of the year,” recalls Greensboro resident Charles McNeil, creator of Chaz’s Chow Chow. “Like most guys, I didn’t pay much attention to how they made it, I just enjoyed the added zing it gave to food.” As time went by, both McNeil’s grandmother and mother died without passing the recipe on to McNeil. Sorely disappointed with store-bought chowchow, the retired N.C. government crime-prevention specialist spent five summers conducting an investigation into how to recreate the chowchow of his youth. He even took a course at N.C. State on how to preserve acidified foods. The result, visually and on the palate, is truly a gourmet’s chowchow, piquant, complex and crisp — fit for fare well beyond pintos and collards. Using fresh vegetables, especially cauliflower, is one of his secrets. “I also added celery, green and red bell peppers, and green and red tomatoes to enhance the visual appearance,” he says. And instead of traditional cayenne, he used a secret blend of exotic chile peppers. Now Whole Food shoppers can enjoy that “added zing” thing. Info: www.facebook.com/ChazsChowChow or chazschowchow.com. DCB

Shear Delight

By now, children of any self-respecting parents have made a farm visit and know where their food comes from, but do they know from whence their sweaters and coats originate? “Most haven’t got a clue,” says Olga Brewer Elder, co-owner with her husband, John, of The Stoney Mountain Farm near Burlington. Bring them, she urges, to the farm’s annual shearing day on Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Watch Willow, Firewater, Hennesy, Mi Sueno and 66 other sheep lose their winter coats as they’re shorn, in as little as two minutes flat, by two professional sheep shearers — one from Greensboro and another from West Virginia. Chickens will be underfoot and llamas in the pasture. Self-guided farm tours available. Take home some eggs, along with some raw or finished wool. Easter’s early this year, so there won’t be any new-born lambs to pet yet. However, yearlings and plenty of pregnant ewes will cherish any attention you can give them, Elder says. Info: (336) 421-82344 or www.stoneymountainfarm.com. DCB

Red Coat, Blue Coat

Will the outcome be the same? Bet on it. American blue coats and British red coats — 200 strong — will clash in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse this year at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, just as they did in 1781. The re-enactment in Greensboro Country Park (parking in Jaycee Park, next door) will commemorate the 232nd anniversary of the turning point event in the American Revolution. America lost the battle against the larger British forces. But Americans inflicted such heavy casualties that the British surrendered later that year at Yorktown, prompting one British politician to say Great Britain could ill afford another such victory. Other events include a 7 p.m. nightly lecture series at the national park’s visitor’s center March 13­–15. (No admission but reservations requested: (336) 288-1776. Wednesday, historian Carl Borick will speak about American prisoners of war in the South from 1779­–82; Thursday, historian Jim Piecuch will discuss the Revolutionary War cavalry; Friday, historian Michael Cecere will focus on the Revolutionary War service of Gen. Light Horse Harry Lee. At 10 a.m. Saturday, a wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled at the monument of Gen. Nathanael Greene, the city’s namesake. It will include Revolutionary War music by the Guilford Fife and Drum Corps, accompanied by a volley of musket fire. On Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., events will include weapon demonstrations, depictions of military and civilian life during the war, musical performances and guided walks through the park, which covers more than two hundred of the roughly thousand acres. Info: www.nps.gov/guco. JS March 2013

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Short Stories

For the Love of Painting By Maria Johnson

S

ometime this month, if all goes well, Monsignor Anthony Marcaccio, of Greensboro’s St. Pius X Catholic Church, will be hung. On a wall. In the church. Last year, St. Pius parishioners hired up-and-coming British artist Nancy Fletcher to paint a life-size portrait of the jovial Marcaccio. Commissioning a pastor’s portrait is not a common practice, but Marcaccio is not a common pastor. He has led St. Pius for almost thirteen years, an unusually long time in one church. Membership has more than doubled during his tenure. A few years ago, he oversaw a $7 million expansion to house the growing flock. “He’s so loved,” says parishioner Julie Clark, who spearheaded the drive to paint Marcaccio. “He wants so much for this church and this community to succeed, and he wants everybody to be a part of it. That kind of enthusiasm is catchy.” The idea to get Fletcher to paint Marcaccio hatched after Clark saw one of Fletcher’s pieces in downtown Greensboro in late 2011. The painting — of a raven-haired woman — was part of the annual Winter Show at Green Hill Center for NC Art. “It was so well-executed,” Clark says of the portrait, which suggested an artist with classical training. Later that night, Clark met Fletcher and discovered she’d studied in Florence. That’s where she met her fiancé Travis Seymour, an artist from Morehead City. They were working in a Wilmington studio when Greenhill’s Edie Carpenter found them as she scouted for Winter Show artists. The couple already knew about Greensboro. They’d been to the Proximity Hotel for an art event to benefit Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test. Everyone in Greensboro had been so kind to them; selling Fletcher on painting Marcaccio was easy. Selling Marcaccio was harder. “I said, ‘This is crazy. It’s going to be seen as extravagant, like, Who does he think he is?’” said Marcaccio. “I was totally against it.” He softened after seeing pictures of Fletcher’s work — “I said, ‘Holy mackerel! This is not your average portrait painter’” — and gathering assurances that the painting would include symbols of the church’s expansion campaign, “Making a Place at the Table.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

By the time Marcaccio said yes, the fundraising was under way. Clark won’t divulge the cost of the portrait, but she says Fletcher, at 36, is early in her career so, “We got her at a really good time.” Shortly after the church commissioned Marcaccio’s portrait, Fletcher’s portrait of her fiancé was accepted for a show at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The painting appeared on the cover of the museum’s bulletin last summer. By that time, Fletcher, a native of rural Lincolnshire who now lives in London, had spent several days in Greensboro sketching and photographing Marcaccio along with objects that would appear in the painting: the carved wooden table from the sacristy; a stole representing priestly office; a white surplice, or clerical tunic; a Gospel book; the wafers and wine of Communion; a bust of St. Pius; the medals of the orders to which Marcaccio belongs; a candle symbolizing Christ as the light of the Church; an incense boat; keys representing the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Fletcher personalized the painting further by adding a Gothic chalice that Marcaccio’s family gave him; the yellow pads on which Marcaccio writes his homilies; and Marcaccio’s beloved dog Chica the Chihuahua. Back in her London studio, Fletcher worked on the 54-by-80-inch canvas daily for three months. The unframed oil painting was unveiled at Clark’s home in December. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh! That is really amazing,’” says Marcaccio, who was stunned at how well Fletcher had rendered the details. The melted candle wax. The metallic tassel of a stoll. The fur of Chica’s ears. “I thought, ‘That dog is going to walk off the canvas,’” Marcaccio says. Later this year, Fletcher will enter the painting in the Portrait Society of America’s Members Only Competition. She has won similar contests before. She likes the chances of the Marcaccio portrait, her largest painting yet and one of the most challenging. “Painting all of the different textures — from the dog’s fur to the tassels — requires certain observational skills and paint handling,” Fletcher says via email. “It was a challenge to marry the studies that I had made in Greensboro . . . with the natural lighting in the studio.” The self-effacing Marcaccio is thankful — for the church and for himself — that the painting turned out so well. “I think I look like Uncle Fester, but she made me look pretty good,” he says. For more information about viewing the portrait, contact St. Pius X Church at (336) 272-4681 or email piusxfaith@aol.com. To see more of Fletcher’s work, go to fletcherfineart.com OH March 2013

O.Henry 15


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Most Requested Recipe Seasoned with Love From its famed chicken pie to its celebrated sugar cake, the Moravian way of cooking continues to please By David C. Bailey

“O

ne of our members moved to Atlanta and was talking about Moravian chicken pie to one of her neighbors,” Lucille Kimel recalls. After passing her mother’s recipe on to the woman, one day her phone rang. It was the neighbor, wanting to know, “Where do you buy Moravian chickens?” “It is not necessary to use converted chickens; just say the Moravian blessing before the meal,” the Home Moravian Church community cookbook, With Heart & Hand, suggests — which is typical of the commentary that peppers this 414-page volume. In addition to 800-plus recipes that Kimel and others on the cookbook committee helped gather, look for all sorts of historical tidbits: “The Church attic was an ideal place for the women to dry their laundry,” says a blurb on page 251. “This was stopped in 1812, however, because of the harmful moisture it created.” In 1875, says another note, “Sister Elizabeth Hughes Rights baked 1,200 lovefeast buns for the Friedland Centennial celebration, using a recipe from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She started at 5 a.m. and finished at 4. p.m.” Another passage recounts how, “In the early days, there was no heat in the Church. Worshippers dressed accordingly and often brought charcoal foot warmers.” Though Home Moravian Church in Old Salem has a rich history, it is really the Johnny-come-lately of early Piedmont North Carolina Moravian churches. Located in the middle of 100,000 acres the Moravians purchased from the Earl of Granville, Salem was the third congregational town, preceded by Bethabara in 1753 and Bethania in 1760. Thirty-eight years later, in 1798 — admittedly 215 years ago — the cornerstone for Home Moravian Church was laid and an order was placed for a state-of-the-art Tannenberg organ from Lititz, Pennsylvania. With Heart & Hand is filled with what will be music to food-lovers’ ears — note after note from family members with last names such as Spaugh, Leinbach, Livengood, Pfaff or Spangler telling about how this or that recipe was passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. On page 229, Jane Evans Frazier Gray comments, “This recipe [for Aunt Martha’s potato salad] was scribbled in the back of a cookbook belonging to my grandmother, Martha Jane Evans Knott. There were few specific amounts since she rarely measured anything.” In its fifth printing, the cookbook contains all the traditional Moravian favorites — Winkler’s Moravian sugar cake, potato doughnuts, Bethlehem lovefeast buns, Candle Tea coffee and Moravian slaw — though Kimel says that recipe is just a little problematic. First ingredient? Sixty pounds of green cabbage. “My problem is cutting it down to two people,” she says. But those wanting, say, “Beef Stew for a Crowd” will be interested in the “Feeding the Multitudes” section that contains the Moravian slaw. The beef stew serves one hundred, requiring forty pounds of lean stew beef and twenty pounds of potatoes. A recipe for Moravian chicken pie serves twenty-four and the Brunswick stew feeds thirty. One of Kimel’s favorite notes follows a recipe for Jackson tea cakes, penned by June Reid Elam: “When I was very young, my mother, Mary, and her sisters, Anna and Pauline, would gather at my grandmother’s to make Christmas cakes,” Elam writes. “After the cookies were baked and stored in large lard cans, my mother would take her portion home and keep them in a cool space The Art & Soul of Greensboro

upstairs under the eaves until Christmas. One year my sister, Carolyn, and I slept in the bedroom adjacent to the storage closet. Every night we sneaked into the cans and took a few cookies to bed with us. Eventually we were found out and stopped. I think our mother found crumbs in the bed.” On page 87, Helen Vos shares her mother’s recipe for brown bread. “She was born in Iowa in 1880 and raised a family of six kids. Usually, we baked this bread in empty #2 cans, which produced little round slices.” And then there’s Meg H. Gardner’s recipe for sugar cake. “My grandmother, Sue Miller Hancock, better known as Grandmama, made sugar cake every Easter when I was a child,” she wrote. “We loved it.” With mornings cold and Easter on the way, here’s the recipe.

Moravian Sugar Cake 1 1/4¼-ounce package dry yeast ¾3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided 1 1/2½ cups warm potato water, divided 1/4¼ cup lard 1/4¼ cup butter 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup mashed potato 4+ cups flour Butter, cinnamon and light brown sugar for topping Dissolve yeast and 1/2½ teaspoon sugar in ½1/2 cup warm potato water. Cream sugar, lard, butter and salt. Add eggs, potato, yeast mixture and flour, in that order. Mix well after each addition. Knead dough lightly on a floured surface and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. If rising overnight, place in refrigerator. Divide dough and spread in two greased baking sheets with sides. Let rise again for one hour. Punch holes in dough and fill with bits of butter. Cover with brown sugar and cinnamon. Let rise while reheating oven to 375 degrees. Bake twenty minutes or until golden brown. Copies of With Heart & Hand can be purchased by mailing $30 (which includes shipping) to Home Moravian Church, 529 South Church Street, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101. Or you can buy them directly from the church office or from shops in Old Salem. OH March 2013

O.Henry 17


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The City Muse

Written in the hand, felt in the heart

By Ashley Wahl

S

quelch the image of cuff bracelets and mood rings. She isn’t wearing a head scarf, either. Her fingers are bare as bones. She’s neither gypsy nor eccentric, although she does own a toy poodle named after French fashion designer Coco Chanel. Meet spiritual reader and adviser Doreen — call her Miss Doreen, please — who works out of her home at 1602 West Cornwallis, a humble white cottage just down the corner from Lawndale Drive. “My gift comes from God,” the clairvoyant says. Walk-ins are welcome, “but it’s better if you call.”

*

Little Miss Doreen grew up in Louisiana, home of Mardi Gras and the po’ boy sandwich. When she was 5 years old, her maternal grandmother recognized her gift. She saw the signs because she, too, had been able to perceive the otherwise unexplainable. As had her great-grandmother. “I knew things that I shouldn’t know,” says Miss Doreen. For example, “I kept asking my aunts about their [unborn] kids,” whose faces she would see years later. Oh, precious youth, thought Granny. By age 9, she was old enough for “the talk.” “Not everyone sees the things you see,” her grandma explained to her. Young Doreen spent long summer days at her grandmother’s house, observing. Eventually, says Miss Doreen, “she let me give readings and helped me understand what I was seeing.” Her brother would grow up to be a carpenter.

*

Miss Doreen, 36, has been giving readings in the Gate City for nearly fifteen years — nine years right here, on the outskirts of Irving Park. “I like the noise,” she says in response to the traffic. She draws all sorts: skeptics, lovers and customers of Kerr Drug. And the Muse. How much for a reading? Depends on which type. Palm, cards or crystal? “I’m a po’ girl,” says the Muse. Palmistry it is — and for $25. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

*

Of course there are limitations: No. 1, “I don’t see death. Only God knows that,” says Miss Doreen. Her eyes are warm and brown and keep constant contact with her client as if they can see right through to the soul. Then she asks if you’d like to hear the good and the bad — yes, she sees both. She doesn’t touch my hand. Just looks at it. Says she sees a long lifeline. Notices my ring finger, bare as bone, and the sherbet orange head scarf tying back my auburn hair. I expected her to tap into affairs of the heart, maybe ask about my cats, and tell me that I would or would not have children. Instead she went straight for the core of my most gnawing question. I cannot tell you what was said. “Best that you keep your reading a secret,” Miss Doreen advises. “Now, be well, catch up on your prayers, and remember to give thanks.” In the end, she offers me a tissue. She suggests I call her at back [(336) 540-1555] should the Muse ever wonder what cards or crystals might reveal.

*

Often, Miss Doreen gives advice without having been asked. She will stop total strangers in their tracks if she thinks they ought to know something: not to go on a certain trip, for instance. Yes, they have come back to thank her. Funny thing about the gift? “I have normal women’s intuition,” Miss Doreen says, but she has never been able to predict her own future. She did not know that she would meet her future husband at the wedding she attended seventeen years ago — she doesn’t always wear her ring during readings — or that they would have two sons, or that those sons would be so enchanted by video games. If her boys have children, will her grandkids have the gift? She does not know. “Ever wish you didn’t have the gift?” asks the Muse. “Yes. A lot of times,” admits the adviser. But she loves helping people. “Even if I tell them about a bad situation, at least they know how to make it a little bit better.” OH Our muse, O.Henry associate editor Ashley Wahl, is a born wanderer.

March 2013

O.Henry 19


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The Omnivorous Reader

Doggerel Verse

The rhyme and reason of the 2012 presidential campaign

By Stephen E. Smith

I

have a friend who employs an innocuous, straightforward observation to pacify people embroiled in angry political discussions. “Well,” he says, shrugging his shoulders, “we’re on a 24/7 news cycle.” This verbal device may be more perceptive than clever, especially as it applies to Calvin Trillin’s latest offering, Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse, a mildly amusing reminder of the agonies inflicted upon us during the seemingly endless presidential campaign. Trillin is a witty guy. And more importantly, he’s perceptive and occasionally he’s flat-out hilarious. But 30 months of political news coverage — the explication of every infinitesimal detail of the Republican primaries and the presidential race, the parsing of every sentence uttered by every candidate, the examination of every remotely interesting piece of background information, the analysis of every gesture and involuntary tic, all of it reported ad nauseum 24 hours a day on network, cable and radio news — has left us jaded. I suspect this overexposure has permanently dulled our ability to enjoy political humor. After all, it’s difficult to laugh about something we’re heartily sick of. The excess is apparent in the opening verse: Mitt Romney put Seamus on top of the car. (“He liked it up there, and we weren’t going far.”) Obama, in boyhood, while in Indonesia, Once swallowed some dog meat without anesthesia. Though dog lovers wouldn’t be either man’s base, A dogfight seemed what was in store for their race. And people were saying, “We wonder which dude’ll Emerge as the pit bull, and which as the poodle.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Why were the Seamus and the dogmeat stories reported so widely and so often to the American public? Who, other than an acutely sensitive animalrights type, cares about such foolishness? Apparently, Seamus is fine, and I know plenty of dogs who love to stick their heads out the car window while speeding down the highway. And so what if Obama ate dog meat? A member of Shackleton’s ill-fated Trans-Antarctic Expedition ate his pet Newfie and remarked, “I loved that dog, but this is the best damn thing I’ve ever eaten!” Since the ratings-driven networks give us what we crave, Dogfight amounts to little more than an untimely reminder that our appetite for this kind of political tripe leaves a bad taste in the mouth. We gobbled the slop and now we’re suffering the inevitable dyspepsia (excuse the protracted metaphor; inanity is contagious). To his credit, Trillin spares none of the usual suspects, beginning with Bobby Jindal: “. . . But Jindal, thought to be a true past master/ Of speaking, was, in fact, a true disaster./ . . . He proved to be an easy man to mock:/ He’s like the dorky page on 30 Rock.” Trillin lampoons the tea party to the tune of “Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof, and bemoans the disappearance of Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell: “Because of you, just for a while,/ Those witchcraft jokes were back in style” (when were witch jokes in vogue?) Fox News earns a terse mention — yeah, the bias here is liberal — and a good many rhymes are devoted to Donald Trump’s wacky behavior: All White House hopefuls we forewarn: You’ll have to prove that you were born. Before Trump hits the state of granite, He must identify the planet Where he first took on human form — A place where blowhards are the norm. March 2013

O.Henry 21


Reader Republican presidential aspirants Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, etc., are skewered in turn, and especially amusing are the Michele Bachmann lines sung to the tune of the Beatles’ “Michelle” and the verse devoted to flash-in-thepan Rick Perry: The biggest gaffe had happened in November, When Perry, in debate, could not remember The third of three departments he would toss Into the scrap heap once he was boss. Then he said “Oops.” With that word it was clear The White House was a place he’d not get near.

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The Newtster gets his comeuppance in the title to a prose entry: “Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then Left Two Wives Who Had Serious Illnesses, Tries Desperately to Make Light of a Bad Cough.” The economic debate is dealt with in four short lines: “It comes to the same simple credo/ Around which the party has danced:/ If rich people pay less in taxes,/ Then everyone’s life is enhanced.” Akin, Mourdock and Ryan and their abortion/ birth control pronouncements aren’t overlooked: “The Rape Science Three can provide more reminders/ That now Mitt’s got wingnuts in all of those binders.” And so forth. Humorous though these verses may be, there isn’t a line in Dogfight that’s likely to find a permanent niche in popular culture — nothing as catchy as “Men seldom make passes/ at girls who wear glasses” or “”Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” But, then, Trillin isn’t recognized as a poet in the sense that Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash are. Moreover, his verses are too topical to have much of a shelf life. Five years from now, who’s going to remember, outrageous as it is, that Gingrich accepted $25,000 a month from Freddie Mac to act as their “historian”? Trillin fans — those who found much to admire in About Alice, Remembering Denny and Messages from My Father — will file DogFight on the shelf beside A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme; Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme; and Deciding the Next Decider: The 2008 Presidential Election in Rhyme, and there it will probably remain, filed under “So clever it’s sad.” OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com.

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March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Hop Head

The Big Sip

A sober walk through a world of microbrews and distilleries

By David C. Bailey

B

alancing a steno pad and a foaming glass of Four Saints’ stout in one hand, my pen in the other, I’m being tossed in a sea of other beer drinkers in the Greensboro Coliseum at The Big Sip, billed as “a next level beverage festival.” As I’m trying to document the competing chocolate and vanilla notes dancing on my tongue, yet another person asks me why I’m writing instead of drinking. “I get paid to drink beer,” I tell them, reminding myself once again how much I love being the Hop Head. “I want your job,” is the inevitable response. Maybe. Maybe not. My deadline is in six days and an earlier idea for a Hop Head column bombed out big time. The plan had been to introduce my soulmate to my favorite place to drink beer, The Pour House. We’d go on a Wednesday, when sixty beers are on tap for half price, plus hamburgers cost only five bucks each. What could be more romantic than watching the sun set through the garage door windows of The Pour House? And maybe we’d discover, as we billed and cooed over a glass of oh-so-romantic Golden Monkey Tripel, that after all these many years, we’d found something else that we had in common — a love of craft beer. Surely, I decided, out of sixty beers from all over the planet, Anne would find one she liked. Which would mean that instead of my meeting up with my pals at Sticks and Stones or Sessions for a little bromance, the two of us could tap into a new source of romance. This Wednesday might be the eve of a deeper commitment, to sharing our innermost passions and desires — especially those involving The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Fuggle hops, crystal malt and wild yeast. After trying any number of ounce-sized samples that the staff so cheerfully drew, Anne concluded that she didn’t like the lightest and brightest of the pilsners, or the cherry, raspberry or blueberry brews, or even, to her credit, any of the winter ales stoked with nutmeg, cardamom or cinnamon. In fact, she decided that she didn’t particularly like the taste of hops and wondered if there wasn’t a beer that tasted a little more like champagne. On her seventh sample, she ordered a pint of Stella Artois. She sat valiantly sipping away at it between bites of her excellent Holy Guacamole burger — until she asked me whether I didn’t want to finish it before it got warm. I also noticed she seemed to be distracted by the seven TV screens with seven different games on them. Or maybe it was the folks at a nearby table competing either for who could wear the silliest hat or who could shout the loudest. What is it women want? Whatever strange combination of elements constitutes a romantic venue for Anne, The Pour House just wasn’t offering that night. So here I am at The Big Sip going from booth to booth looking for a column. I was expecting a beer festival, but as soon as I saw the gleaming brass of Blue Ridge Distilling Company’s whiskey still, I realized the sip might be significantly bigger than I had anticipated. Shortly afterward I was trying a neat shot of single-malt Defiant, made in the North Carolina mountains by Tim Ferris, a salvage diver and president of Defiant Marine, Inc. It was clear that this was w-h-i-s-k-y, rather than w-h-is-k-e-y, reflecting Defiant’s similarity to Scotch. Made from 100 percent barley, Defiant was round and spicy, if a tad raw, no doubt due to its six months March 2013

O.Henry 25


Hop Head

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March 2013

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of aging. While one arm of Defiant Marine was pumping 38 million gallons of water out of the New York City subway system, its other arm near Bostic in Rutherford County was distilling this whisky, soon to be available in ABC stores. In Defiant’s neighborhood was Muddy River’s booth, distiller of Belmont’s Carolina Rum, which I’d tried and liked. Across the aisle was Lenoir’s Carolina Distillery’s booth, with Carriage House Apple Brandy, Strawberry Infusion and co-owner Chris Hollifield’s forked beard, vying with “Big Dan” Morgan’s beard for best tonsorial display of the day. Also in the buy-local category was the first legal distiller in North Carolina since prohibition, Madison’s Piedmont Distillers. Serving its sticky-sweet Midnight Moon fruit-infused corn liquor, the booth was mobbed. Luckily, samples of its classic and excellent Junior Johnson 80-proof, sugar-free corn squeezings were also available. Around the corner was imported Everglo vodka, made with lemons, limes, tequila and lots of sugar, favored by Snoop Dogg, Mariah and Bishop Don Juan. The booth was also the launching pad of V2 Vodka — as in the WW2 rocket. With an incredibly cool bottle, V2 is distilled five times over in Holland for purity and is imported by Carolina One, which I was told is Greensboro’s one and only importer of spirits! In addition to being pure, V2 is fortified with caffeine and taurine, which the Mayo Clinic website says may improve mental — and athletic — performance. Not the beverage of choice, I suspect, for Asheville Running Tours, a group that promotes four beer runs in Asheville. Definitely not the sort of beer runs I’m expert at, these involve running shoes and treks of 1K, 2Ks and 5Ks — which is OK if you’re into that sort of thing. Me? I think I’ll opt for the one-mile Wine Waddle, featuring wine bars and chocolate. Surrounded by twenty-eight booths featuring cider and microbrews, five booths serving wine and another five booths pouring hard liquor, it’s hard to believe this is the same city where less than four decades ago you had to hide your alcohol on the floor of a restaurant in a brown bag. With six distillers, more than 100 wineries and 60 breweries, North Carolina has come a long way from the time when people went blind from drinking moonshine brewed in the backwoods. And yet I’m still waiting for someone to open a candlelit, romantic pub that serves beer that tastes a lot like champagne. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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March 2013

O.Henry 27


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Serial Eater

Championship Chow When the tournament is on, here’s where to go

By David C. Bailey

A

s ACC basketball action heats up in March, part of the madness inevitably involves finding decent chow between tournament sessions. Despite some really good options at the Greensboro Coliseum’s concession stands, sometimes you just want to get away from the hoopla and find something a little more interesting. Scouring the area within a two-mile radius of the historic arena on Lee Street, I’ve picked nine of my favorite spots — all open for lunch and dinner, though I’d certainly recommend calling first to make sure the place isn’t mobbed. Distance and time from the Coliseum is via Google Maps under normal traffic conditions, which won’t prevail during much of March. And do be advised that some places don’t accept credit cards. Bon appetit! ¡Buen provecho! Itadakimasu! Or buon appetito!

Photographs by sam froelich

Akashi Japanese Restaurant 2528 High Point Road, (336) 292-0884; akashijapanese.com 0.5 mile, 2 minutes Known for: Fresh and classic sashimi, sushi and maki rolls served in a serene setting Don’t miss: Quintessential sushi, plus crunchy California maki rolls “Triad’s first sushi chef since 1983” says the menu, and it’s clear from the vintage interior and the assembled mementoes that Akashi is a veteran in this era of burgeoning hibachi grills, most of which also offer sushi fare. Akashi’s measure of difference is a sushi chef who’s a real master of classically crafted salmon rolls and other sushi made from sea bass, octopus, tuna or giant clam. It’s sushi (seafood on top of rice —$3.5–8 for two to three pieces) as it ought to be — fresh, simple and simply delicious. Also superb are his maki rolls (sushi rolled up with rice, seaweed and sometimes vegetables — $4–8.25 for six pieces) — with the California and spicy tuna standouts. Best of all, Akashi offers a fun and soothing setting, with frosted glass and rice-mat blinds shielding diners from the craziness on High Point Road. And while whimsical anime cartoon characters engage in antics below the glass-topped tables, the really serious action takes place on your platter.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Beef Burger 1040 West Lee Street, (336) 272-7505; www.biff-burger.com/beefburger.htm 1.1 miles, 2 minutes Known for: Very fast food, fried veggies and burgers — from yesteryear Don’t miss: The vintage, signature roto-broiled Biff Burger and the fried anything that doesn’t get out of the way Beef Burger — formerly Biff Burger — has been cooking patties under its patented Roto-RedBroiler and dipping them into its special sauce for more than a half century — since 1961. The price of a burger — 99 cents! — is almost as cool as the building’s 1960s’ retro-cool architecture. But the thing that probably generates more return customers is what emerges from the deep-fat fryer: tater tots, mushrooms, broccoli’n’cheese nuggets, zucchini sticks, breaded squash and okra, chicken livers and onion straws — all fried to crunchy perfection. Consider having funnel-cake fries for dessert. Coliseum Country Cafe 1904 Coliseum Boulevard, (336) 299-1809 0.7 mile, 2 minutes Known for: Soothing soup and other down-home food Don’t miss: Fried green beans, pineapple casserole and cornbread. This humble-looking cafe plates some of Greensboro’s best comfort food with the friendliest service in town, so don’t be surprised by how busy lunch hours are. Located in an aging strip center, this eatery may not look like much from the outside. However, the Andy Griffith-era memorabilia and its “honey-what-can-I-get-you” wait staff transform this small cafe into a warm and homey place, amplified by hearty meals, value-priced. But don’t dismiss it as just another country cafe. The rib-sticking soups ($1.99 a cup), rotating daily, are worth the trip. The meat loaf, fried chicken and other standards ($7.99 with two sides and drink) are textbook in execution. But, Lord, the pan-fried, jalapeño cornbread makes me miss my momma. March 2013

O.Henry 29


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30 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Serial Eater

El Milagro Taqueria Y Torteria 3008-A High Point Road, (336) 851-9222 1.0 mile, 3 minutes Known for: Fresh made, authentic and overstuffed taqueria chow Don’t miss: The chorizo and/or “el pastor” tacos

First Carolina Delicatessen 1635 Spring Garden Street, (336) 273-5564; www.firstcarolinadeli.com 0.7 mile, 5 minutes, closed Sundays Known for: Deli sandwiches made with Boar’s Head meats and ice cold beer

If you want MexicanAmerican with margaritas and the same old Mexican menu as dozens of other places, La Bamba and San Luis are close by and dependable. But if you’re looking for authentic home-style taqueria chow, check out Milagro. Look for a Mexican kitsch setting with hand-painted murals on bright, cilantro green walls along with Mexican soap operas on the TV. All this is paired with speedy service, home cooking and blistering-hot salsa with the chips. If the pork skin or tongue tacos are a little too authentic for you, order the mild beef pastor or the kicking chorizo taco ($5.99 for four). Each order comes with a roasted jalapeño, grilled onions and lime sections for squeezing over the tacos.

Don’t miss: Taylor-Pork-Roll-and-cheeseburger Acknowledged as one of Greensboro’s best delicatessens, this is a popular UNCG hangout. Expect crowded tables and booths, especially at lunch, and a Jersey waitress with authentic accent and attitude. Though the service is speedy and the sandwiches, salads and cookies are top-notch, the parking lot is small and lunch is mobbed. Time your visit before or after the lunch rush, and order the grilled Taylor-Pork-Roll-and-cheese on a kaiser bun ($6.50) — or if you’re really starving, the totally over-the-top TaylorPork-Roll-and-cheeseburger all the way ($6.75). I get mine on a bialy and order a side of hot German potato salad. Or order the carrot sticks and pretend you’re eating healthy.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013

O.Henry 31


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32 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Serial Eater Jack’s Corner Mediterranean Deli 1601 Spring Garden Street, (336) 370-4400; www.jackscornerdeli.com 0.9 mile, 5 minutes, closed Sundays Known for: Middle Eastern comfort food with a family atmosphere Don’t miss: Spinach and cheese-studded spanakopita or the lentils and rice made from Jack’s family’s recipe Ghassan’s is right up High Point Road and serves excellent Middle Eastern chow, with their steak and cheese sandwich and chicken kabobs as standouts. But drive a little farther to the corner of Aycock and Spring Garden, and you’ll find that Jack’s is much more intimate, with lots of offerings beyond sandwiches and wraps. The atmosphere reflects the family that runs it — warm and friendly — and the food tastes like someone’s momma made it. The Mujaddara lentil and rice plate with sautéed onions ($6.99) is comfort food of the highest order. Or try the ample Dwali sampler ($8.50), with its stuffed grade leaves, spinach and cheesestudded spanakopita, plus falafel and tabouleh. Be sure to ask for some of their

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

homemade hot sauce. The chicken or the rice pilaf ($8.50) is also good. And you know you want baklava for dessert. Old Town Draught House 1205 Spring Garden Street, (336) 379-1140, oldtowndraughthouse.com 1.6 miles, 8 minutes Known for: Excellent pub grub with a range of draft microbrews on tap Don’t miss: Chicken Philly steak sandwich A favorite haunt of UNCG students, this airy, diner-esque pub serves an excellent selection of microbrews (notably local Natty Greene’s ales for $3 a pint). Sandwiches, appetizers, pizzas and salads, which you order from the bar, come fast and are a notch above most pub grub. Their version of a Philly steak sandwich ($8) is deliciously different, with grilled chicken steeped in a secret marinade — carpetbombed with Swiss cheese plus caramelized onions, peppers and mushrooms. And the fries are well worth the calories.

March 2013

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34 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Serial Eater

Tito’s Pizza & Subs Restaurant 2700 High Point Road, (336) 299-4944; titospizzasubs.com 0.7 mile, 2 minutes, open seven days a week Known for: Speedy pizzas, subs and other Italian fare from a classic diner Don’t miss: Stromboli with griddled onions

Open the door of Tito’s and step back into the 1950s, an era when nobody counted calories and pizza ruled. Belly up to the counter, sit on one of the revolving, chrome stools and bask in the retro/

original decor of checkered black and white linoleum floors, lemon yellow walls and green tufted naugahyde booths. The pizza’s classic here, but why not pull out all the stops and go for the gooey, cheese-intensive stromboli ($7.99 — think small pizza dough folded over so the outside’s on the inside, only with twice the cheese of a pizza and griddled onions if you ask for them). Skip the fries and add a made-fresh Greek side salad ($3.99). Yum Yum Better Ice Cream Co. 1219 Spring Garden Street, (336) 272-8284, www.facebook.com/ yumyumbettericecreamandhotdogs 1.6 mile, 8 minutes, closed on Sundays Known for: Greensboro’s iconic and quintessential ice cream parlor Don’t miss: North Carolina’s reddest hot dogs and a scoop or three of homemade ice cream for dessert

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March 2013

O.Henry 35


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36 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Street Level

The Curious Case of Col. James Winstead Did the beloved Greensboro banker jump or accidentally fall from the rotunda of Richmond’s City Hall? The mystery remains

By Jim Schlosser

H

e jumped in Richmond and they ran in Greensboro — to Piedmont Bank on South Elm Street. The alleged suicide in Richmond of bank president Col. James Winstead of Greensboro on August 23, 1894, caused a big run on Piedmont Bank by depositors who demanded their money. They assumed if the bank’s president killed himself, something must be amiss with the bank’s finances. The panic, forgotten except for a mention in a few history books, ranks as the first runs on a bank in Greensboro. Even though the facts overwhelmingly support suicide, some Greensboro people, including the editors of The Greensboro Patriot newspaper, refused to concede Winstead had taken his life. Well-to-do, well-liked, church-going prosperous people don’t kill themselves. This was a time when any hint of suicide was considered shameful. Families often hushed it up.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The doubts raised about Winstead’s death make it a 119-year-old cold case frozen solid. Greg McQuade, anchor/reporter of “Virginia this Morning” on Richmond’s CBS affiliate, seeks to do some melting. McQuade was in Greensboro recently interviewing people and taping sites, including Winstead’s grave in Green Hill Cemetery. Hundreds attended Winstead’s graveside service on August 24, 1894. Today, the name on the stone is barely legible from long exposure to the elements. “He’s disappearing from history,” the newsman said. McQuade began his probe after receiving a tip from one of his frequent sources, Selden Richardson, a Richmond historian. Richardson told him the death was one of the most dramatic in Richmond’s history. Winstead went by train from Greensboro to Richmond on August 22, 1894, where he checked into Ford’s Hotel about 5 p.m. He told people he intended to spend the next day in the city, visiting friends. Winstead ate a hearty breakfast the next morning at the hotel, greeting friends and business associates. They said he seemed fine. March 2013

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Street Level

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38 O.Henry

March 2013

According to a story in the Richmond Times, the old banker then went next door to city hall — a towering structure still there — and climbed four floors. There he had to ask three people before someone came up with the key he would need to get into the narrow passageway leading up to the clock-tower rotunda, with its splendid view of Richmond. Once in the passageway, he found another door at the end blocking his way. Determined, he went to the trouble of climbing up to the transom, crawling through and lowering himself to the floor. Winstead took off his shoes and climbed onto the narrow granite wall around the rotunda and plunged 94 feet. The landing was gruesome, as witnessed by several people. His body was impaled on a spike protruding from an iron fence. The Richmond Times had no doubt that it was a suicide. Among others, the newspaper quoted an 11-year-old boy who said he saw Winstead take off his shoes, throw down his cane and hat, get onto the balcony, ponder a moment and jump. But in Greensboro and in Milton, the small North Carolina town where Winstead’s nephew lived, members of the upper class were convinced the death was accidental. The Greensboro Patriot ran the Times story, but wrote one of its own disagreeing. The Patriot said it would be unthinkable that a man of Winstead’s stature would jump to his death. Instead, the paper said he surely fell accidentally while sightseeing, which the paper didn’t find an unusual thing for Winstead to be doing even early in the morning. The Patriot speculated why Winstead took off his shoes: His rheumatism must have been bothering his feet. The rotunda’s narrow ledge was also blamed. The Patriot went on to report that Winstead suffered from vertigo. The nephew, who brought the mangled body from Richmond to Greensboro, told the paper his uncle had had a bout with vertigo two months before. “We believe that the dizzy height he attained was greater than he could safely withstand, and that his death was purely accidental,” The Greensboro Patriot said. But what was he doing on the narrow ledge if he had vertigo? Because of the adamant views of the nephew and movers and shakers in Greensboro, the Richmond coroner said he would not list suicide as the exact cause of death, although he added he was certain it was. Winstead had given no hint of depression or worries to friends in Greensboro or in Richmond. Acquaintances who had seen him the previous day and others who saw him the next morning said he seemed his regular, digniThe Art & Soul of Greensboro


Street Level fied self. A few people who saw him but didn’t know him described him as so dignified that they assumed he was a preacher. For sure, not everyone in Greensboro thought the death accidental. The bank’s depositors rushed to the bank at 104 South Elm Street, near the main square of Market and Elm, to withdraw their money. According to Ethel Arnett’s 1955 book, Greensboro, the bank’s board turned to its lawyer, R.M. Douglas, to pacify depositors. He spread newspapers over the main room of the bank and gathered all the money he could pull from the vault. He then piled the money on the newspapers to assure depositors that the bank had plenty of cash on hand. It worked. Nerves were calmed. Depositors went home, leaving their dollars behind. Subsequent inquiries showed the bank was not financially troubled. Winstead didn’t owe it money. He had business interests in tobacco in Virginia and Atlanta, but no suspicion arose about those dealings. Intriguingly, the day of his death Winstead was carrying about $9,000 in cash. Winstead led an exemplary life. He lived in one of the large houses that once lined West Market Street downtown. He was involved in politics and community projects. He was a leader on the building committee that was constructing a new home for the city’s Methodist church. That church, West Market Street United Methodist, still stands, about a block from where Winstead lived. “I’m still gathering information,’’ McQuade says of the Winstead case. “If you said his bank was in trouble, I could see it as a suicide. But the bank wasn’t.” McQuade is famous in Richmond as a story teller who finds interesting stories. He’s won the Edward R. Murrow award there ten times. He says, “This is a fascinating story,” and one that will be broadcast. There’s only one conclusion about the case, writes Selden Richardson, the Richmond historian. “The reason for Col. Winstead’s dramatic end, be it vertigo, self-destruction, leaning too far over the low balcony, or a chance gust of wind, will never be known.” While any evidence of why Winstead jumped or fell from the clock tower has vanished, evidence of his death remains. Thousands of Richmond residents walk each day past the fence that impaled Winstead. One of the spikes — the one that Winstead landed on — remains bent from the impact. McQuade says as far as he knows no one has ever tried to straighten it. OH Jim Schlosser is a regular contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 39


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40 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Gate City Icon

Brightwood Inn A love story

Photograph by Sam Froelich

By David C. Bailey

“W

e’ve been together fifty-nine years,” says Lucille Little. And before you jump to any conclusions, she adds, “But we’ve never lived in the same house, and we’ve never spent the night together.” Suddenly, the phone rings. “He won’t answer it,” she says as she makes her way down the dimly lit bar to stop it from jangling. He is Paul Treadway, owner of Brightwood Inn, a roadside restaurant and bar in Whitsett. The story of how Lucille served Elvis a glass of milk and a hamburger with lettuce and tomato in 1955 is oft-told and well-known. What people don’t know is how Treadway rescued the drive-in restaurant in 1950, and — with the help of Little, his sister Carolyn Sutton, and others — has kept it open against all odds going on sixty-three years. “I’m fortunate to be 84 years old and still here working,” Treadway says, his eyes twinkling beneath the brim of his Irish tweed cap. “It just don’t make sense.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Maybe not. What does make sense is the story of Brightwood Inn’s survival, a story that’s got nothing to do with Elvis and everything to do with Lucille and Paul. When Treadway first saw Brightwood Inn, it had been vacant for so long weeds were growing window-high. “You could absolutely not see the doors,” he recalls, once more wiping down the long, green Formica bar that parallels U.S. Highway 70. “Me and my mother and two sisters came down here and worked like dogs to get it opened back up,” he says. After growing up in coal-mining country in Bonnie Blue, Virginia, “The only thing I knew how to do was work,” Treadway says. “Up in the mountains, I worked like a dog all day long for fifty cents a day.” Little grew up in Eastern North Carolina in Farmville. “My momma was a little bit on the sickly side, so I started working at a very early age.” Between serving a merchant marine an ice-cold Budweiser and fixing two highballs for a Florida couple who drop by each year while visiting their son, Little launches into her story: “There was two girls and a boy, and the boy March 2013

O.Henry 41


Gate City Icon wasn’t old enough to work, so that left me and my sister and my dad. We put in tobacco, we dug peanuts, we picked cotton, we harvested corn, we threw the hay up on the wagon.” Little says she fell in love at 15, and four children followed almost before she knew it. Meanwhile, she moved with her husband, whom she later divorced, to Greensboro, where he got a job at Rock Creek Dairy, just across the road from Brightwood Inn. In 1953, Little, struggling financially and with a 3-month-old baby, asked Treadway for a job as a waitress. “I didn’t know doodly squat from being a waitress,” she says, but Treadway showed her the ropes. “It was a whole lot of trials and errors, but I did learn.” Treadway says that when he took over the café three years earlier he hadn’t known much more. Is it true he didn’t even know how to cook a hamburger? “Absolutely, coming out of the mountains. And there was nobody here to teach me. I had to teach myself.” Newspaper accounts say Brightwood Inn was started as a truck stop in 1936. An Elon College professor turned it into a diner. Treadway says it was called Parkinson’s when Gurley Andrews, who owned the building, asked him to take it over. What was more important to a drive-in restaurant’s business model in the ’50s than burgers, barbecue or hot dogs, though, were the cool, tall ones that could be consumed in the privacy of your automobile. Brightwood Inn’s location was perfect — between Greensboro and Burlington on U.S. Highway 70, the prime artery connecting the Triad to all points east. “This was the road that went to Duke, State, Carolina and [the old campus of] Wake Forest,” Treadway says. “They had to go by my front door here.” Treadway is quick to give credit to others for Brightwood Inn’s success. It was area businessmen like Andrews who helped him with financing, advice and their patronage. “Write this down: C.A. Wharton, druggist, Gibsonville; Speed Burgess, General Tar in Burlington; Colonel Humphrey who owned Humphrey Construction Co.; Glenn L. Lewis, a doctor in Gibsonville. “Besides,” Treadway says, “I didn’t build it up. My customers did.” When Interstate 85 began to siphon off the truck clientele, liquor by the drink passed, boosting business. “Seems like everything came along at just the right time,” Treadway says. Liquor by the drink certainly redefined Little’s career path. In the early 1980s, Treadway began urging Little to learn how to mix drinks. “I did not want to be a bartender,” she says. “I don’t drink. I never drank. I don’t smoke. I don’t tell dirty jokes. I’m not the typical bartender.” But one day when the regular bartender didn’t show up, Treadway asked Little if she’d fill in temporarily: “I’ve been

42 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Gate City Icon Would she call it love? “I love him. I love my customers. I love my children.” the temporary bartender ever since,” she says. “He said he was going to hire But has she finally learned to love bartending? “Yeah, as long as I keep another bartender but he didn’t.” my mind occupied, I’ll have a good night,” she says. “My doctor told me Little has always run a tight ship. A sign on the door says tank tops are proMonday, working is your salvation.” Little won’t tell you her age, but she’s hibited, a message aimed at men, not women: “I’m not going to look at a man’s got an inner beauty that transcends any counting: “A lot of people who hairy underarms,” she says. Also, no arguing, no fights. “They cannot use come in here, the first thing they do is they stop right here at this gate and profanity. They can’t get loud. They can’t turn the jukebox up.” Sounds like a say, ‘Come here and give me a hug.’ Even before schoolmarm? “I’m the teacher, the mother, the they get served.” babysitter. I’m all those things put together.” “I did not want to be a The newspapers have been predicting the Consequently, the stress level is high. Back demise of the restaurant for decades, Treadway in the bar’s hey-day, Little remembers people bartender,” she says. “I don’t says. “Don’t push me into the graveyard. I might standing six deep to get inside. And the hours drink. I never drank. I don’t hit the hundred mark. It’s not that many years are worse. She still comes in around 4 in the now.” Do the two of them ever talk about evening and rarely leaves before 3:30 the next smoke. I don’t tell dirty jokes. away closing Brightwood Inn? “We don’t plan to morning. Seven days a week. Treadway readily admits he’s a workaholic: I’m not the typical bartender.” anytime soon,” Little says. “Oh, no, no, no,” says Treadway. “I’ll never retire. I’ll go down in “That’s my problem,” he says. “I made a huge flames.” mistake. I never got married. My mother said If you can’t find the time to drop by and have a cheese burger and tall, one day you’re going to regret this.” Did he end up marrying Brightwood cool one, at least check out the video that the News & Record photogInn instead? “That’s right,” he says. rapher Jerry Wolford made: jerrywolford.com/projects/brightwood/ Over the years, Little and Treadway have grown closer and closer. Each day main_movie.swf. OH when she comes to work, he goes out to her car, opens the door for her and makes sure she doesn’t fall coming in. “We’re as close as you can be to being a husband David C. Bailey is a regular contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. and wife without getting married,” Little says. “We depend on one another.”

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 43


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44 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Sporting Life

The Cypress Swamp From Merchants Millpond to the mighty Chowan

By Tom Bryant

M

erchants Millpond hunkers down in Gates County on the far northeast corner of North Carolina. It’s a buster to get to, but as four of us found out in the late ’80s, it’s well worth the trip. We were into canoe paddling in those days, and most weekends would find us on a stretch of water, slowly drifting a laid-back swamp or blackwater river. That is, if we weren’t riding a roller coaster of a whitewater rapid. I believe it was my good friend John Vernon who actually put us onto Merchants Millpond and Bennetts Creek. John did quite a bit of bird hunting in those days, and Gates County was one of his favorite places to hunt and one of the few locations that supported a growing population of the noble bobwhite. I wish it were so today, but I understand that the county, like most everywhere else in the state, has also suffered from a demise of the little birds, much to the misfortune of bird hunters. It was late winter, and spring seemed to be forever away. Duck season was over and it was too cold to fish, except for the diehards, and we weren’t in that group by any means. We were sitting as close to a blazing fire in the fireplace at the old Alamance Wildlife Club as we could get. Dick Coleman, one of the ringleaders of our group and major proponent of road trips, threw another log on the fire. “I’m bored stiff. We need to go somewhere and do something. Sitting around this fire is making me old.” That’s when Vernon tossed in the idea of canoeing Merchants Millpond. “I was in Gates County last fall, bird hunting with some of my good lawyer friends.” “Let me stop you right there,” threw in Coleman. “Is there such a thing as a good lawyer?” Coleman and Vernon were always at it in a friendly way, Coleman being an archconservative and Vernon leaning a little to the left. We always had some good conversations out of that pair. “If my good friend from the right would listen for just a second, even he

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

will be enlightened,” responded Vernon. This is going to be good, I thought as I walked over to the fridge to get a beer. “Can I get anybody anything?” “How about getting Coleman an open mind,” Vernon replied. “It looks as if I’m gonna have to call in the heavy guns. What’s Bobo doing today?” Coleman said, laughing. Tom Bobo was also a member of the group, and if it was possible, even a little more to the right of Coleman. I lined up with Coleman and Bobo; but Jim Lasley, a newspaperman, also more of the liberal kind, made the group even out, politically, that is. We always had some great talks, and I think our differences made us even stronger friends. “Before I was so rudely interrupted and as I was saying,” laughed Vernon, “Merchants Millpond up in Gates County is something to see. It’s one of the largest pure Cypress Swamps in the state, and if we really want to make a trip out of it, we could also paddle Bennetts Creek. The creek flows south out of the Millpond into the Chowan River. Probably take us three or four days, enough to keep even Coleman interested.” “OK,” Coleman replied, fired up now that a road trip was in the air. “When do we leave?” As we later found out, a man by the name of A. B. Coleman, no relation to our good friend Dick, purchased the Millpond in the ’60s and later donated it to the state. That gift, along with land the Nature Conservancy contributed, now makes up the 3,250 acres of Merchants Millpond State Park. We left home base late on a Friday, and the six-hour ride put us there after sundown. I’ve always hated to pitch camp after dark, and this trip was no exception. We kind of felt our way into the boat landing area of the millpond and put up tents right behind the vehicles. After a scratch supper of sardine sandwiches, we piled into the tents, hoping to get an early start the next morning. Sometime during the night, I thought I heard a bobcat cry, but I went right back to sleep. I was the first up the next morning right before sunrise. A cool thick fog, March 2013

O.Henry 45


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Sporting Life almost heavy enough to be rain, floated out of the swamp. Cypress trees stretched heavenward, their top branches obscured by the mist. Coleman came yawning out of his tent, and we stood soaking up the silence. Somewhere deep across the waters of the millpond, we heard a loud splash along with the hacking croak made by a blue heron. “I’ve read,” Coleman said, “that this area is the northernmost extent of alligators’ habitat. You reckon that’s what we just heard?” “Nah,” I replied, “it’s too cold for alligators up here. If they’re up here, they’re still hibernating or whatever it is they do in the winter.” “Yeah, you’re probably right. Let’s get a move on. We’ve still got to take one of these cars down to the Chowan where we’ll take out. We’re burning daylight.” John and Jim were up by then, and we left them to pack the canoes while Coleman and I made the car portage. We arrived back at the millpond a little before noon and debated on camping another night at our present campsite or heading on down the creek after a brief paddle around the swamp. We decided to hit the creek. Bennetts Creek’s headwaters are on the western side of the Great Dismal Swamp and the creek flows into and out of Merchants Millpond State Park. South of the millpond, the creek meanders through the Chowan Swamp and into the Chowan River, our ultimate destination. Jim and John had packed the canoes perfectly, but unfortunately, after our brief tour around the swamp, we had to unpack them again so we could portage them over the dam that held back the waters of the millpond. Even with the late start and difficulties faced in crossing a couple of beaver dams, we still made it several miles down the creek before stopping to camp for the night. The rest of the trip was exactly as we had pictured it with abundant wildlife and waterfowl. We had great meals cooked by our executive outdoor chef, John Vernon, and were constantly amused by the dry wit of Dick Coleman. Our easy float ended after three days when we emerged from the little creek into the immense Chowan River. It’s been years since our adventure in Gates County, but I hope to make the same trip again this fall. I understand that a group of volunteers by the name of the Stewards of Bennetts Creek have constructed steps and a dock on the creek side of the millpond. It’ll be interesting to see if they have made the right kind of progress on that little creek that flows so delicately into the mighty Chowan. OH Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 47


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life of Jane

Sacred and Unearthed Digging up an ancient Philistine bowl means feeling the pull of the universe

By Jane Borden

Illustration by Meridith Martens

I

t’s a brand new space that would leave me uneasy, fearful that my worries and my fears would find ways in through cracks not yet clogged. But to each her own. Some people feel panic when they look at the stars and fathom their smallness in the universe, while others feel peace. I’m crouching inside a room-sized hole in the ground, at the base of a chalky mount between the coast and inland hills of Israel, an area believed to be Gath, the ancient Philistine city that, according to the biblical Book of Kings, was razed by the Aramean king Hazael in 830 BCE. Buckets of detritus and clues have already been pulled from the dig. I’m standing on top of a buried village. And I’ve been given a pickaxe. I bring the tool to my shoulder, and then spin my head 360 degrees, looking for the feds, the government agents who will wheel in by kicking up dust in a black limousine, and then tackle the pick out of my hand, based on hidden-camera footage of me in my room at the kibbutz last night, dropping the plastic bathroom cup three times before successfully filling it with water, and then tripping over the carpet on my way to bed. Surely they wouldn’t give the uncredited and unscreened American girl a sharp tool with which she might disrupt seventeen years of archaeological research or, at best, impale her shin. But no one comes. And there is a lot of dirt to sift and remove from “Area D.” Gently, timidly, I begin to dig. My fellow journalists and I, who are touring the country on behalf of our respective publications, are giddy to have dirt under our nails and in our nostrils. Occasionally, something exciting appears in the hacked-up earth. An olive pit, which aids in carbon dating, and may also point to the location of a hearth. A pumpkin-seed-sized fragment of animal bone, which helps decipher what this village ate, raised, sacrificed or worshiped. A few shards of pottery, which, when glued together puzzle-style with nearby pieces, will hopefully lend a shape and design suggesting the people’s origins and cultural ties. Slowly, it becomes a rote process. I grow accustomed to the work, and start hacking the soil with less intention. Almost immediately, I pick my ax directly into a large shard of pottery just beneath view, and, in devastation, pull out the handful of pieces I created. Seeing me downtrodden, the supervising archaeologists, Aren Maeir and Amit Dagan, kindly say, “That’s why we have glue.” Imagining that an ancient Philistine might, as I do, store his or her pots and vessels together, I now approach this corner with extra care, using only a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

brush. Immediately, the circular pattern of the bottom of a vessel appears. Digging through time, I discover its bulbous shape, reddishbrown hue. It is perfectly intact; it is perfect. Turned upside down, perhaps by a fleeing Philistine, perhaps by the centuries, it slowly reveals itself, each curve more breathtaking than the next. Handles appear, one on each side, and inches away, the circular shape of another smaller vessel’s base. My neighbor notices and abandons his post to help. We work in silence, although our breathing rates have audibly increased. The professors begin to direct us: remove this section of earth first, use the brush here and the ax here, be careful. The entire dig gathers around. Finally, the two ancient bowls are completely uncovered. Maeir uses measuring tape to record their precise locations and depths, and then slowly, as we hold our collective breath, pulls the larger vessel from the ground. He inspects it briefly and — as if he were a doctor holding an infant I’d birthed — hands it to me, a questionable decision as my hands immediately begin to tremble. It’s likely that the last person to touch that bowl was a ninth-century Philistine who either washed, ate from, dropped or abandoned that bowl in a moment of fleeing, dying or being captured. Later, when I think no one is watching, I cry a little without really knowing why. As someone who mines life for a living, spins experiences into essays and true-life tales, I constantly assess the ways in which one event in my life might mean the same thing as another: a run-in with a beautiful but fleeing deer in my driveway becomes a stand-in for a memory from my childhood that is now forgotten; the illusion I present to customers at a historical restaurant represents the self-inflicted delusion I harbor regarding an apartment I’ve rented. I rely on an intra-life metaphor system that in turn reshapes said life into a series of connected dots, gravitational pulls — between events and feelings, between reactions of the past and realizations of the present. My life is a series of pairs, triplets, and, if it’s a particularly long essay, quadruplets. The effect, for better or worse, is that the fabric of my experience is like the fabric of space, with certain planets, meteors and stars in orbit with one another, due to circumstance or insight, each irrevocably altered by its partners. But my time at the dig in Gath was more of an experiential singularity, an event too emotionally combustible for lines to remain that might connect it to any other event in my life. And yet, when the fog of adrenaline burned off, I saw that there is in fact a line, just one, that moves untouched through 2,842 years. And I saw that my solar system of attractions and warped space fabric is only one in a vast universe of pull, of bending toward. OH Jane Borden is a native of Greensboro and the author of the highlyacclaimed memoir, I Totally Meant To Do That.

March 2013

O.Henry 49


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


March 2013 Lest We Forget for Cora

Here three strands of barbed wire kept the uningenious cows out of the woodlot so they would not spoil their milk at blunder against trees. The wire’s down this fifty years at least. Only this poplar, thickened like a woman between the unrelenting bands, bark cinched at knee and waist and neck, has overgrown what choked her. She witnesses. Do not forget the poplar, or the fence. I write this for the beauty of a woman’s face Black, deep-lined, grown old in Birmingham

— Ann Deagon April 27, 1976

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013

O.Henry 51


Medusa Lives

Iconic Guilford College poet Ann Deagon transformed generations of young writers — and herself — on the long journey from the deep South By Ashley Wahl

I

n 1956, Ann Deagon and her husband, Donald, joined the faculty of Guilford College. Teaching classics and publishing poetry, Deagon became something of a mythical figure — a striking creature with a voice deep and canorous as an ancient cello and a mind sharp as a saber. Her journey to Greensboro was happenstance. Ann was born in Birmingham in 1930. The Alabama heat was stifling, the grip of the Depression as steadfast as racial disparity. “My father lost his job. His father lost his job. They put their savings together and opened a little storefront grocery,” says Deagon. By the time she was 13 years old, Ann was nearly six feet tall, strong and able as any boy her age. Her wild hair seemed near possessed — dark waves harsh against stark white skin. On weekends she worked as a butcher at the storefront grocery her family owned on the outskirts of Birmingham. Ann remembers the poor, black customers. Many of them worked at a nearby cement plant, legs wrapped in tattered cloths “so the lime would not eat up their flesh,” she says. Most were illiterate. Her father honored a credit system, so Ann would pencil their names onto their bills for them, enamored with the musical quality of their voices. For Ann, that grocery was as sacred as any church or temple. Within those walls, she was free to speak with whomever she liked. But her mother was of plantation stock. “They wanted me to be Shirley Temple,” Deagon remembers. “I identified much more with my father’s working people.” As a girl, Ann learned Italian from Enrico Caruso and other great operatic voices that spilled from her maternal grandfather’s records. She all but devoured books. But she never understood why people were treated differently depending on the color of their skin — or why nobody else seemed troubled by the fact. In high school, an English teacher encouraged her to apply for a college scholarship. “We didn’t have money,” she says. “I never thought I could go to college.” Her ticket to Birmingham-Southern College, where she fell in love with a thespian named Donald, was an essay she wrote about how she would one day become a renowned heart surgeon — “a pipe dream,” says Deagon. “I had a lot of imaginary futures and personae . . .” Ann graduated in three years — “I felt I ought to be out there working,” she says — but, once again, was nudged to continue her schooling. She applied to Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both schools offered her tuition, room and board, but Chapel Hill of-

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fered her an additional $400. Ann packed her bags for North Carolina and earned a doctorate in classics. “It changed my whole life,” she says. Ann taught at Guilford College for 36 years. Donald was head of the drama department. “Here, I’ve had immense freedom. I didn’t have to become a famous scholar. I could become a poet.” The couple built a post-and-beam home on a quiet lot near campus and walked to work through the New Garden woods, a sacred tract of land that had served as a sanctuary for runaway slaves a century earlier. In 1962, when the first black student was admitted to the college, he lived in the Deagons’ spare bedroom. Poetry did not spill forth until her 40th birthday. “It was so very strange,” she says. “I just wrote madly for several years.” She never took a single creative writing class. “I was just writing out of my own crazy mind.” How she became published was as fortuitous as her path to academics. “It was luck,” says Deagon — or maybe, to put it in the mythological context that defines her life, simple fate. She has published ten books, including one novel, and her poetry has appeared in more than one hundred magazines and anthologies. When Donald died in 1985, her muse was gone. “Now I write only when I am so desperately moved that I cannot resist it,” she says. Deagon retired from Guilford in 1992 as Hege Professor of Humanities and Writer in Residence. At 83, she no longer stands at a towering six feet. Cancer thinned her unruly hair. But those who meet her don’t forget her or her voice. The poet’s house is a catacomb of memories, festooned with trinkets and objects from her past: a meat cleaver from her father’s store, whimsical statuary, the heads of Greek deities mounted side by side along the walls. One she carries with her almost everywhere she goes — an iconic, eye-catching Medusa, the head of which hangs heavy on the center of her chest. She has worn it everywhere. “For me, [Medusa] is an image of transformation,” says Deagon. “It’s not turning men into stone — although that might be an advantage on occasion. It means turning life into art.” She flashes back to her girlhood in Birmingham as if she can hear the voices of the customers. “I had the sense that what they said was really what was in their hearts.” Ann tells aspiring poets to do the same thing: “Write the poem that only you can write, and write it in a way that nobody has seen.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Photographs by Sam Froelich

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013

O.Henry 53


Ann Deagan as a teenager, with her father

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sweating Like Enoch A remembrance from a deep well of Southern childhood By Ann Deagon

W

hat I say here will not make any statements about the South, or the Southern white, or the Southern black. It can’t even be a memorial to the particular blacks I knew as a child in Birmingham, for clearly I never knew them. If what they were to me was somehow different from what they were to my family and my people, it was still not ever close to what they were themselves. I couldn’t really see through to them, any more than they could really have seen me — a skinny, thoughtful child showing not much promise of turning into a Southern lady. Which I never did. But because I never did, there are some things I have to say about myself. And because I have said them rather obsessively in various encounters with friends and strangers, it’s well that finally I set them down here. There was a moment when my parents would have wanted to read this, when they wanted quite desperately to understand why I had “betrayed their deepest ideals.” But when I tried to explain by recalling to them these trivial incidents, their bitterness increased. They realized that they themselves had failed, that thinking me perceptive they had never taken the trouble to teach me proper racial attitudes — and still they found it incredible that I had so irrationally interpreted my own childhood experiences. Gradually they came to accept the idea that I had been corrupted by communist professors or fellow students at college. I hope now that they will not see this writing. In going back to childhood memories I walk uncertain ground. I can’t be sure of dates or even of my exact age in any of these experiences — but it is precisely their timeless quality that marks their lasting impact on me. For instance, the several colored women who worked for my relatives in my childhood remain nearly indistinguishable, simply because they were all that maids were supposed to be: faithful and unremarkable. But there was one man, when I was very small, who was himself, and whom I recognized as a separate being. He used to come up to my grandfather’s house in Birmingham from down in the country, and when he arrived would work out in the yard and after supper sit down in the kitchen with Cora, the cook. I thought as a child that since he came up from the country he must still be a slave, and as a matter of fact he might have been born one, as this was in the early thirties and he was quite old. At any rate, his name was Enoch. Enoch was so black that his skin seemed quite literally a barrier — something neither light nor thought could penetrate. I would sit on his lap and watch him talk with Cora, and when he opened his mouth it was something apocalyptic. I can’t remember whether his teeth were white or yellow, but his tongue and mouth were to me a startling shade of red. I had thought The Art & Soul of Greensboro

he must be black through and through, but inside his mouth was the same color as mine, which had to me the quality of miracle. There was another thing about Enoch that I could relate to: he sweated. It was not that I recognized this as a basic human characteristic, for Enoch sweated like no person I had ever seen or heard of, with quiet drops of water mysteriously swelling all over his face, dissolving into rivulets around his mouth and down his chin, and even splashing on my upturned face. The whole family used to chuckle over how Enoch sweated — but they also used to laugh at how I sweated: “Look at Ann Blocker, she’s not perspiring, she’s sweating!” In fact, sometimes they would even say, “She’s sweating like Enoch!” And the gentle tang of my own sweat licked onto my tongue had somehow the quality of a sacrament — not really tying me to Enoch, who was too foreign and uncanny for me to feel quite at one with, but certainly separating me from them, equally strange to me with their delicate deodorants and their delicate perspiration. I find it difficult even now to formulate precisely what I felt about Enoch, but it was the sense of a kinship transcending time and place. I was aware that he was terribly old and I terribly young, but I felt myself somehow descended from him, as if by some sort of mystical evolution he had sweated me into existence out of whatever jungles and ages lay between us. I never imagined that we were exactly the same kind of creature, as I never imagined that Enoch had thoughts and ideas he could communicate. In that respect he was less human to me than my grandmother’s spitz puppy, whom I spent long hours trying to convert to Christianity so that she could get to heaven when she died and be there for me to play with. I had been led to believe that I, like my young aunts and my parents, I who thought consciously and self-consciously, was the flower God had planted. Yet we seemed somehow artificial, unreal. Sitting silently in the kitchen in Enoch’s lap, I felt I’d found a secret root into the real earth. Of course I was wrong about myself. It was blind romanticism for me to yearn toward whatever voiceless and elemental being I imagined in Enoch. For whenever I did run up against that elemental life I was more sickened than fulfilled. I remember, for instance, once when my grandfather came in early one morning from hunting, striding through the kitchen with a sodden crocus-sack of dead birds. One of them he had shot especially for me: a yellow flicker, the official state bird of Alabama. Its wings when he spread them out were magnificent, and I didn’t see a single drop of blood. Perhaps that’s why when he rubbed its breast against my cheek I thought I heard its heart still beating. And in my heart, poor childish child, I would have to identify with the bird and not with the hunter. March 2013

O.Henry 55


S

ome years ago I wrote a poem embodying this incident and showed it to my mother and one of my aunts. Their response was that I had misrepresented my grandfather, who was both an excellent shot and a humane man, who would never have left a bird half alive. I assured them that I too was convinced that the bird had really been dead, but I meant to show that a child might imagine suffering even where none existed, and so face a choice the more lucid adult might avoid. (It amused me briefly to think how far from Camus’ was their “lucidity” which made it necessary to consider Enoch happy.) One other incident from my earliest years stands out painfully to me now, which then I associated only with the pleasurable gaiety of my other grandfather’s house. I don’t know how young I was, somewhere between two and four, when they taught me to ask for a snack by saying to the grown-ups, “Got any old cold bread?” This sally would produce not only food (ranging from cake or cookies to simple bread, which I wadded into delicious salivaflavored balls to be cherished secretly for hours), but also much welcome hilarity among the adults. In fact, several years ago they taught my young daughter, down [to Alabama] for a visit, to repeat the same phrase. I was grown myself before it dawned on me that this was the formula of the beggars who came to the back door from time to time during the Depression years: “Missus, have you got any old cold bread?” It was not that my people were callous to suffering or meant to be contemptuous of the poor. When I was nine years old and we were able to buy a small house in a residential area, my mother used to save all the stale bread to give to a maid who needed it to feed her chickens. I suppose they had quite simply accepted the world as it was, and if they joked in the beggars’ language, after all they too had lost their houses and jobs in the Depression. I as an adult have also accepted the way things are, have built my house, and dispense my minor charities only through the most impeccable agencies. But I as a child had not consented, and I feel a sort of horror at that violation of my innocence. It was in the new house with its big backyard that I first saw the old Negro women and the children in the alley going through the garbage cans, filling their peach baskets with God knows what. My parents reassured me that they were not hungry but only wanted slop for their pigs and chickens. In fact, they gave me rather an idyllic picture — which they probably believed themselves — of messy but cheerful little Negro shacks in the green countryside where our garbage was graciously metamorphosed into plump (though grimy) pigs, chickens, and pickaninnies. I wanted to believe in this, but I never went very close to the alley gate — and even at a distance I could see how ravenously some child ripped open the orange I had sucked and discarded, and tore it with his white teeth. I knew that something was wrong, but that to the people around me everything was all right and I was not to worry. No one tried to convince me of anything; in fact, it was with reluctance that I was informed of the reasons Negroes were to be treated differently. When I asked why my mother gave the yard man water out of a mason jar instead of a glass, I was told gently and with regret that it was because Negro men often had diseases which my family wanted to protect me from. When I asked why she gave him only bread and molasses for dinner when he stayed all day, she answered truthfully enough that that was what he was used to and what he wanted.

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I was old enough to realize that this was true, and to glimpse the tragedy of a condition in which people might become incapable of desiring something different from what they had. And so I “misinterpreted” what I saw around me, not concluding that it was right to avoid contact with Negroes, but that it was wrong for them to have all the diseases; not being glad that they could be happy with bread and ’lasses, but grieving that they didn’t ask for steak. I even misinterpreted what should have been the clinching episode, the day we discovered that the yard man had secretly drunk the bottle of home-made wine my grandfather had put up for me the year I was born. It was labeled in his elaborate script: For Ann Blocker’s Wedding, and had been stored away carefully in the back of the dining-room sideboard, where we came across it one day nearly empty. I imagine he was quite honest in protesting he thought we wouldn’t care about any old home-made wine in an old used bottle, especially when we had good wine and even whiskey in the house. And besides, it had been stuck away back there for years. I suspect that he knew every bottle in the house, that he judged by some intuitive but infinitely precise calculation what bottle what week he might swig what fraction of, and had in this case miscalculated only from not knowing how to read my grandfather’s script. My parents were irritated but hardly surprised by the incident, and after the momentary disgrace he was treated the same as ever. One doesn’t hold a grudge against a dog which has scrounged the meat unattended on the table. “After all,” they said, “it’s the nature of the beast.” For me it was not so easy to understand. I was nearly grown at the time, as best I recall, and I felt it imperative to comprehend, to assign cause and effect, to analyze the act. I thought there must be some necessary relationship between the fact that openly this man took the mason jar humbly from my mother’s white hand — and secretly set his mouth to the mouth of my wedding bottle. If he could somehow proudly have refused the jar, would he have thirsted less for the bottle? To me the incident confirmed not the answer my people had long ago accepted, but the question. It was almost now the basic question: not what have we done wrong, but what must we do to be saved. I found no answer myself, but here in Greensboro where I now live, one day some students quite simply refused to drink any more out of that jar. They sat down and called for glasses.

I

realize, having written this far, that I have to this point segregated my stories, as if my attitude toward race had sprung exclusively from my contacts with black people in childhood. Which is of course not so. For if I interpreted these incidents differently it was because of some basic inability to accept the standard version. I would be proud if I could say “refusal,” but it was simply inability, though from that inability developed eventually a state of mind that could say no. God knows they all tried to make a Southern gentlewoman out of me. Ironically enough, I was born on Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19th), and as a little child I was convinced that he himself came to my birthday parties — the result, I suppose, of all their talk about him, the pictures in my scrapbook, and the fact that I had a great-uncle with a white beard. I felt The Art & Soul of Greensboro


just a little bit haunted by General Lee, and though I developed an honest respect for his dignity, gallantry, and decency, to tell the truth I really preferred his horse. Rest in honor, Robert, but haunt me no more. I would not want to have to show you your flag streaming from the flivvers of the KKK or flexing on the shoulders of the Alabama State Police. I prefer to celebrate my birthday a little early, remembering Martin Luther King, born January 15th, 1929, the year before I was born. My mother’s people were of the old aristocracy, tempered by the disaster of the Civil War and emerging if not into wealth and power still into respect and achievement. My grandfather, without formal schooling, taught himself engineering as a laborer on the locks at Mobile and became city engineer of Birmingham, a man absolutely honest and independent. He had what I later learned to call arete: the excellence proper to man. But excellence is always defined in the context of the times, and the times were changing. Bull Connor (of police dog fame) was already on the City Commission when I was a child. I would have liked to emulate my grandfather, and in a sense I have. I was the first in the family after the Civil War to graduate from college, and the doctors and judges from whom he was descended might well recognize me as their heir, for all that my doctorate is in classics. Probably the main difficulty lay in my being expected to emulate not him but the women of the family — which I found utterly impossible. In the first place, they were all small and somewhat delicate, even my grandmother, whose scented body might have outweighed half-a-dozen less fulsome ladies of just five feet tall. As for me, I stopped growing finally just short of six feet, and from the beginning was clearly weed, not flower. My grandfather’s house sheltered a wife and four daughters, along with Cora, the black housekeeper — a bevy of bodies all seeming to me impossibly well groomed, impossibly feminine. Even Cora always wore with queenly dignity a paper grocery bag, its sides rolled up to cover her head like a turban. I recall my grandmother promising me a manicure kit if I would only keep my fingernails neatly clipped and filed for a month, and various mothers and aunts from time to time rolled up my wayward hair. My portrait was even painted twice in oils. They tried.

I

rather got the impression, unjust of course, that they were more interested in my nails and Shirley Temple curls than in me. At any rate, I found considerably more enjoyment in converse with my imaginary companions, themselves an odd combination of fairies, gallant swordsmen (I had read volumes of Dumas, found behind the coats in my other — dead — grandmother’s closet), and movie stars whose pictures my youngest aunt collected. I read a great deal. At nine I had read Ivanhoe and a good many plays and sonnets of Shakespeare, as my mother had inherited a set of six tiny volumes of his works, which I would smuggle out to play. I had learned to speak in blank verse, and though my relatives found my speech somehow unnerving, none of them ever realized what I was doing. These sound like the resentful recollections of an unhappy childhood, yet my childhood was actually quite happy, as I was surrounded by two close-knit family groups who loved me dearly and without rival. My fa-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

ther’s father was an upstanding man who had married my grandmother in bold defiance of her father, going armed to his wedding; and who had made the leap from grocery clerk to traveling salesman to owning his own small store. My grandmother had died while their children were still young, and I felt a romantic and mystical attachment to her, since they told me I resembled her, both in statue and in loving books. But still it was the gallantry and uncompromising honesty of my father and grandfather that I identified with. My father’s people had been farmers, not aristocrats, but they thought of themselves as honorable men, and so I judge them. Yet it is their basic integrity which gives to their error its terrible dimension: In all good conscience they consented to an evil system, and in all good conscience, bitterly now, they defend it. I have avoided speaking directly of my parents because they are still living and agonizing now over this same question, as they see their nation, their church, even their daughters corrupted by what they take to be a foreign ideology. But the one thing I most want to say about them is that from them, rather than from any of my own idiosyncrasies or experiences, came the ideals and convictions that now stand between us. They gave me their entire love and trust from my earliest childhood, and more than that, they gave me freedom to choose my own beliefs. They respected themselves and me; and it never occurred to them that I might use my freedom to undermine what they believed to be the foundation of their world. To the extent to which their world was founded on the system of white supremacy it was irrational and immoral and had to fall — or rather has to fall eventually, for I am not fool enough to think that I speak from the top of the hill. In fact I cannot yet believe that the stone is not going to roll back again and crush us all. But to the extent that their particular world was founded not only on the dirty reality but also on the clean ideal of integrity, justice, and even brotherhood — as taught if not practiced in Sunday school — it must somehow retain its equilibrium. A firm may go bankrupt without invalidating the principles of accounting, and it is by its own principles that the South has been judged and found wanting. I have set myself up as a judge, but I am aware that I too stand judged — not of abandoning my people’s ideals, but of consenting so long to see them mocked in a corrupted and corrupting system. I who knew from the beginning that segregation was wrong sat obediently in the front of the bus, bending my pride to wear the sign WHITE, as much an indignity to my understanding as the other side that read NEGRO. The unthinking whites who sat beside me were little more to blame than the unthinking Negroes who filed to the back. I was to blame and knew it. Even as a child I watched the Negro children from a distance, held back by my growing horror of their state and the shame that I participated in it. I offered them nothing but my half-sucked orange, never my hand. One cannot rid oneself of guilt, which is after all simply a form of selfknowledge. And knowledge is the one thing from which we can never recover. OH Editor’s note: This essay was written for a national journal in the early 1970s but not published until now.

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The Second Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Demolished in the name of progress, a pair of dramatic arches honoring a pair of distinguished North Carolina Revolutionary War generals remains a painful object lesson in bureaucratic bumbling —and a blight on our state’s honor

By Charles D. Rodenbough Images Courtesy of Greensboro Historical Museum Archives

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s we praise our men in uniform as heroes, we should consider how often we have mistreated some of our most illustrious soldiers from past generations, especially two North Carolina heroes whose exploits were once commemorated by twin monumental arches at Guilford Courthouse Battleground — monuments that were torn down in 1930s in the name of progress and turned into lowly parking barriers. Before the General Greene Monument was erected in 1915, two handsome triumphant stone arches honored the memory of two of North Carolina’s most noteworthy generals from the Revolutionary War, Francis Nash and William Lee Davidson. How and why these arches were cited for removal in 1930 is a story that encompasses the conflicting visions of the private group that saved Guilford Courthouse Battleground for posterity and the governmental bureaucracy that developed it into the park thousands now visit. It is a tale of successful citizen initiative blossoming into public preservation. But it is also a story about how professional planning can go awry and erase from posterity the intentions, visions and works of previous generations. As early as 1888, Judge David Schenck became concerned that the site of the battle of Guilford Courthouse, a pivotal event in the Revolutionary War, was on its way to being lost to residential sprawl. He personally arranged to

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buy what he considered the core of the original site, about fifty acres. Then he formed a nonprofit group, Guilford Battleground Company, to help him raise money to purchase adjoining parcels and to create a permanent park for public use in hopes of preserving the spirit and memory of the battle. Judge Schenck’s tireless efforts came to proud recognition when, in 1917, Congress established the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park to be administered by the War Department. It was the first Revolutionary War battlefield to be made a national park and the only national military park established between 1906 and 1925. But Judge Schenck had few preservation prototypes to study in the United States for his battlefield park. The centennial celebration in 1876 had instigated public interest in the Revolution and in the Founding Fathers. But the judge had to rely on the people of Guilford County for the funding he needed to develop the site. His vision all along had been to develop a public park, a retreat, where families could go to enjoy nature and history. But he also hit upon the idea of building a series of monuments to commemorate the historical events that had taken place before and after the battle on March 15, 1781. After all, there was nowhere in North Carolina where the heroes of that war, not just of the one battle, were memorialized. Should it not be at this park? Would it not be possible, he proposed, to move the bodies of such people as North Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence here for reburial and mark their contribution with a public monument? And even if he couldn’t get permission to move the graves, maybe just the monuments themselves would suffice to honor such contributions, he argued. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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By 1917, when the park was transferred to the War Department, some critics felt that Judge Schneck and Joseph Morehead, his successor as head of the Guilford Battleground Company, had gone overboard in establishing the “state’s official Revolutionary War burial ground.” That same year, Ernest Peixotto, in his book A Revolutionary Pilgrimage, complained that “a group of patriotic citizens” had decorated the battleground “with granite tents, boulders, pyramids and triumphal arches until it now resembles a suburban cemetery.” Peixotto had a point. Over the past decades, the company had succeeded in moving ten bodies to the battleground. As well-intentioned as it might have been, Judge Schenck’s vision of combining a pleasure ground and a graveyard for Revolutionary War heroes clearly collided with what today professionals consider the integrity of historic sites. Ultimately, the most visible and tragic casualties of this clash for the soul of Guilford Battleground were the triumphal arches. There’s no disputing that two of the most noteworthy heroes of the Revolution from North Carolina were General Nash and General Davidson. Nash had been killed on October 7, 1777, at the Battle of Germantown. Davidson died on February 1, 1781, at Cowan’s Ford on the Catawba River. Their deaths were recognized immediately as devastating losses to the American Army. On November 4, 1777, the Continental Congress requested the governor of North Carolina erect a monument at the expense of the United States in memory of General Nash. This very early public commitment predates by twenty-two years — 1799 — the first memorial in the nation to honor the Revolution’s heroes at Lexington Green. On September 20, 1781, just nine months after the death of Davidson, a similar request was passed by the Continental Congress for a monument to honor Davidson’s contributions, not to exceed $500. On October 5, 1781, Alexander Martin was elected governor of North Carolina, having served briefly the year before when Governor Burke had been captured. Governor Martin was one of the senators from Guilford County and maintained his home at Guilford Courthouse near the battlefield. Coincidentally, Alexander Martin was second in command, and beside Francis Nash, when Nash was killed at Germantown. But in 1781, state and national coffers were nearly bare and

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in spite of these personal motivations, nothing came of the monuments. But they were not forgotten. Centuries later, on January 30, 1903, Congress approved by resolution the erection of two commemorative monuments not to exceed a cost of $5,000 each, the funds to be distributed under the direction of the secretary of war. The location for the memorials was left to the North Carolina governor, who chose Guilford Courthouse. Work was undertaken by the Wilmington office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in July 1904. Andrew Leopold Schlosser — a stonemason from Presov, Slovakia, who made his home in Greensboro in 1900 (he’s the great-grandfather of O.Henry’s Jim Schlosser) — likely laid the Mount Airy granite that graced these arches. The Davidson Arch was completed first, and the Nash Arch, on the opposite side of the right-of-way of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad, was completed soon after in the summer of 1905. Today, there’s no sign of where they once stood. But driving up New Garden Road from Battleground Avenue, a row of statues runs east beside the visitor’s center. Those monuments mark the restored old trace. And where New Garden crosses Old Battleground Avenue, the Nash Monument once stood. Across Old Battleground Road is a jogging path along the route of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Railroad. The Davidson Monument stood between the tracks and the present site of the General Greene Monument. Both monuments came in under budget at $4,951 each. The twin arches created an imposing prospect as the slow moving train went by the battleground or stopped there on the Fourth of July when a traditional celebration brought crowds of people to the park. The monuments were the largest structures at the battlefield until the General Greene Monument was erected in 1915. Meanwhile, the running struggle between the War Department and the Guilford Battleground Company continued to fester until the summer of 1930. That’s when Edward R. Mendenhall, the politically appointed president of the company, had the Greene Monument gilded, the remaining bronze statues painted black, and ordered that one granite monument be painted with alternating black-and-white stripes. The time, the War The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Department decided, had clearly come for a formal plan to restore the integrity of the battlefield site. This coincided with the New Deal and the establishment of the Public Works Administration (PWA). In 1933 the War Department surrendered the administration of the battleground to the PWA and awarded $97,000 “for its internal amelioration.” A master plan was created and the two arches were summarily demolished in the name of progress. The rationale? They had been built across the roadbed and were wide enough for only one vehicle to pass at a time. Last year, I stepped down after several years as a member of the board of Guilford Battleground Company. Although I have a long-standing appreciation of the Battleground park’s administration, this incident seems to me a classic study of how poor choices can be made by public bureaucracies — whether on the city, state or federal level. Granted, neither general was directly connected with the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. And it should be remembered that the decision was made in the middle of the Depression when the state — and certainly neither Guilford County nor Greensboro —had any money to move the arches to more appropriate locations — Davidson County, for instance, or Nash County, or to Raleigh. In retrospect, though, it is an inexcusable shame that they were lost, and that loss is unquestionably a blight on the honor of North Carolina and an object lesson going forward. In 1975, when a curve did relocate New Garden Road at the stoplight, that solution adopted in 1933 might have saved the memorial arches. The recognition of these true Revolutionary War heroes, first authorized within months of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, had to wait 124 years to be built and dedicated. They stood proudly for thirty years, honoring the memory of two of North Carolina’s most illustrious war heroes. They were handsome and historic structures, complementing the other statues and edifices at the park. Suddenly they were cast aside. The Guilford Battleground Administrative Summary says that, “When attempts to donate the arches to other sites foundered, the park’s maintenance staff cut their massive granite blocks into more manageable pieces and used them for various purposes, such as lining park roads to prevent parking on their shoulder.” OH

© Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection

Historian Charles Rodenbough has authored five books and is currently lead researcher on The Sauratown Project in affiliation with the Institute of African American Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Last Days of

Nathanael Greene Saddled with debts and an unfaithful wife, the hero of Guilford Courthouse — and namesake of the Gate City — belatedly archieved the appreciation of a nation By Jim Schlosser

Lanky for a man of his era, Gen. Nathanael Greene also stood tall as a leader of the American Continental Army, hero of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, namesake of Greensboro and other cities.

Yet as the Revolutionary War ended in American victory, he felt like a casualty of the war, not one of its heroes. The hosannas that greeted him could not ease the torment and humiliation he felt over personal matters. This may have hastened his death prematurely just five years after he weakened the British at Guilford Courthouse — 232 years ago this month on March 15, 1781. The outcome, although technically a loss for the Americans, led to the surrender of the world’s most powerful army at Yorktown six months later. Historians haven’t focused much on Greene’s postwar years, perhaps because they were so few. Instead, the concentration has been on the long Revolutionary War in which Greene participated from beginning to end, rising from militia private to America’s most gifted and dependable field general, with the highlight perhaps Guilford Courthouse. Gen. George Washington said no general performed better than Greene. Washington said if anything happened to him, he would want Greene to take his place. But tributes failed to cheer him. As he told Secretary of State Henry Knox, he “was so overwhelmed with difficulties, he knew not which way to turn.” He said he wished he had “the peace of mind to enjoy the public trophies.” Rather than see his troops go hungry and raggedy in the American South as he guarded Charleston from left-behind British troops, Greene borrowed money for food and clothing from a lender of dubious reputation. When the loans were called, Greene couldn’t pay. He thought the new American government would send the money, but it lacked the funds. Suits piled up against Greene, with legal fees adding to his debt. Also, much publicized, humiliating letters kept coming from a former officer Greene had reprimanded during the war. The man claimed he was treated unjustly, his reputation besmirched. He challenged Greene to a dual. On the advice of Washington and others, Greene declined. Greene’s marriage was thought to be blissful, having fathered five children with Caty Greene. But rumors persisted that his society-loving younger wife had been unfaithful while he was away fighting. The rumors gained traction after the war when the general was surrounded by an entou-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

rage of men, who all seemed infatuated with Caty Greene and she to them. She likely had had at least one affair while Greene was alive, maybe two or three shortly after his death, including with one of Greene’s best friends, Gen. Anthony Wayne. South Carolina gave Greene property in appreciation for his Southern campaign against the British. It was the 1,000-acre Mulberry Grove Plantation near Savannah, far removed from his native home in Rhode Island. During the war Greene had already invested in the purchase of twenty-mile-long Cumberland Island, where the Georgia and Florida coasts come together.

After the war, Greene’s goal was to make money growing

rice and cotton at Mulberry and harvesting live oak trees for shipbuilding at Cumberland. He would have to use slave labor, which must have troubled his conscience. He was a Quaker. The tree removal was slow and the planting years 1783, 84 and 85 were wretched at Mulberry. Greene’s debts grew. Greene had been fairly wealthy in Rhode Island before the war. Falling in financial ruin was not socially acceptable in his view. And he couldn’t stop Caty Greene. At the height of his financial troubles, she went on a spending spree in Philadelphia. “He was a man of great prominence. This would have put him on the outs. The man had a heart,” says Phillip Sellers, a tour guide and historian in Savannah. “He was Washington’s great man. He deserved a great deal more than he got after the war.” He might have persevered had not on a scorching June day in 1786 a hatless Greene toured a nearby plantation. He became ill with headaches that night and stumbled into a stupor. He died June 19. He was just short of 45. A sun stroke was ruled the cause. This was strange considering Greene endured treacherous weather elements throughout the Revolution, including at Valley Forge. But the New Englander “was not accustomed to the weather in the South,’’ Sellers says. And while Greene could have delegated heavy lifting to others on the plantation, he took his turn in the muck. “He was a hard worker,” Sellers says. During the Revolution, Savannah had laid out 22 squares and named them for historic figures, such as James Oglethorpe, who designed the town, and there was a Greene Square in honor of the general. But he was buried instead at Christ Church Cemetery, to much fanfare, including a 13-gun salute. Businesses closed that day out of respect for Greene. Years later many towns tried to coax Savannah into giving up Greene’s body, but the answer was always no. March 2013

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Mulberry Grove in 1794 Courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society, [1361-PH-01-17-6162]

Then, as if to add to Greene’s postwar misfortune, his grave was lost. Later, an archaeologist found it. A statue of Greene was built in Johnson Square in 1829. Greene’s remains were placed under it. The ceremony attracted French Gen. Marquis de Lafayette, a Revolutionary War hero and great admirer of Greene. Johnson Square is the ideal burial place, says tour guide Sellers. “That’s the great square. It was the first square laid out in Savannah. It is the most visible square with maximum prominence.”

Greene’s financial woes

Nathanael Greene by Charles Willson Peale, from life, 1783 Independence National Historical Park

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didn’t end with his death. They were transferred to Caty Greene, who eventually married one of her lovers, the manager of Mulberry Grove, Phineas Miller. She ultimately was successful in petitioning the new U.S. government to repay the money Greene had spent on clothing and feeding his troops. For a while, she and Miller made a go of Mulberry. During frequent trips to the North, she met Eli Whitney, whom she hired to tutor her children at Mulberry. Whitney was smitten by the charming Caty Greene. He eventually professed his love for her, though she was much older. At Mulberry, Whitney and Miller worked with wood and machinery and concocted the cotton gin, which removed the seed from the cotton ball, making cotton growing even more profitable. The invention could have been the salvation to the Greene family’s money problems, but other innovators were close to perfecting the gin. Patent suits resulted. Neither Whitney nor Miller made money from the gin. Whitney eventually returned to the North, where he made money making parts for muskets for the Army. He died in 1825. Despite his burial in the far-away Deep South, the nation didn’t The Art & Soul of Greensboro


forget Greene. In 1808, Greensboro, the one in North Carolina, the new county seat of Guilford County, was named for him. So was Greene Street, one of downtown’s major thoroughfares. And there was Greene Township in the rural county. Greenville, South Carolina, and other new cities made the general their namesake. Greensboro, using federal money, erected the iconic equestrian statue in 1915 at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. More recently, a statue went up in the center of a traffic roundabout, appropriately on Greene Street. Caty Greene and Phineas Miller made a profit from Mulberry, but not for long. Eventually, it had to be sold at auction. Caty Greene and Miller moved to Cumberland Island, the one investment made during the war that Gen. Greene managed to keep and the one that eventually paid off.

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Under Miller and Caty Greene, the live oaks on the island built many ships, including the U.S.S. Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides.” Caty Greene spent the rest of her life on Cumberland, in a big house called Dungeness. She died there at age 60 in 1814 and is buried on the island. A final postwar insult was hurled at Nathanael Greene’s memory from a fellow general who surely studied Greene’s Revolutionary War strategy in preparing for the Civil War. Union Gen. William T. Sherman, known as the man with the match, marched through the area at the end of the war. He torched Mulberry’s plantation house where Greene had resided the brief years he lived after the war. Tour guide Sellers says about the only reminder of Mulberry Grove today is a highway historical marker. OH

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Story of A House

Love at First Sight

The grand old house at 604 Summit was a mess. All it needed was a decade of TLC By David C. Bailey • Photographs by John Gessner

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loaked in wisteria, for years Tar Heel Manor’s Hollywood faux Dutch gambrel roof rose proudly from the jungle that embraced it on Summit Avenue, like Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It was, in fact, the whimsical roofline that caught Mindy Zachary’s eye in the real-estate flier she had picked up. While living in San Francisco, Zachary had amused friends by adopting nicknames for historic homes. There were the beauties and beasts, twins and rows, thens-and-nows — and, yes, lovers. “That last category is the one I hold near and dear,” she says, her voice going all dreamy. “It is reserved for the old houses with peeling paint and dry rot, dripping with history but fading away. They tug at my heartstrings, and I feel compelled to save them.” But lurking behind its Disneyesque facade of fallen Victorian grandeur, Tar Heel Manor was a mess — the roof of its sleeping porch bowed like a swayback horse, trees growing literally from its roof, its interior waist-high with decades of debris, and its rooms ravaged by squatters. Worse yet, its very foundation was very slowly sinking, its basement filled with water. “It was horrible,” Zachary says, staring almost in disbelief at “before” photos in a photo album. “I cannot — I cannot — tell you how awful it was.” But that didn’t keep her from buying it. Why? “We can be very safe and be very careful all our lives, or we can live close to the edge and explore everything that is out there,” Zachary says, her eyes brightening and her voice turning effervescent. To her, 604 Summit Avenue was love at first sight. “If you love hard, you may have a terrible broken heart,” she says. “But if you don’t, you never really get a chance to love.” Which brings us to how Zachary came to Greensboro in 1995 to marry husband No. 6, and, ultimately, to restore house No. 12. “I met him at a funeral of someone we both knew,” she says, standing in the house’s stately parlor, the sun cascading through the nine-over-one pane windows

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and backlighting her hair like a halo. “Maybe that’s a cautionary tale: Your emotions are a little crazy at funerals.” Four months after they’d met, she left the enchanting San Francisco Bay island of Alameda, California, gave up a high-paying position in sales and abandoned a twenty-year involvement choreographing for a community theater. She remembers telling her mother, “I’ve got to go to Greensboro or I’ll die.” Her mom replied, “Well, then, you better go.” She left it all, “dragging the kids kicking and screaming three thousand miles away.” He was enrolled in UNCG’s writing program and working as an independent contractor. “I thought, This is perfect. He can build things.” The marriage lasted less than a year: “I had left everything I loved in California, my mom, my dad, whom I adored, my family, theater. Every person I knew I’d left to be here with him and he wasn’t here for me,” she says. She realized she knew practically no one in Greensboro, and the job she’d found as a receptionist and bookkeeper was deadly. What’s more, her children labeled the ranch house she’d bought “the brick oven.” She says she fell into a state of deep depression. Then she discovered 604 Summit. “My dad said, ‘Oh my God, she’s done it again.’” Zachary’s fascination with old houses is rooted in southern and northern California, where she grew up surrounded by some of the best-preserved examples of Victorian architecture in America. Then there was Zachary’s aunt, who worked at Disney Studios. Zachary fondly recalls how she and her mother would have lunch “with Auntie Flo-Flo at the studio commisThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

sary, and we’d walk the back lot where the [1960 Disney classic] Pollyanna set stood, or we’d wander the halls of the animation department.” Scenes from Peter Pan’s Victorian London along with other Disney architectural fantasies “all seeped their way into my subconscious,” Zachary says. “With free tickets we made frequent trips to then brand-new Disneyland where everything was perfect, and old-timey Main Street was my favorite spot.” Her first restoration was an 1890s two-room blacksmith shop in Alameda just after her first marriage at 19. Then came houses on Schiller Street, Santa Clara Avenue, Adams Street and San Jose Avenue. When a charming, one-story Stick-Style house on Madison Avenue was threatened, she moved it right down Main Street: “People lined up for brunch at their favorite coffee shop to watch.” Zachary says that’s when her parents started saying she’d never be happy until every house looked just like Main Street in Disneyland. “And I guess that’s true,” she says. Tar Heel Manor certainly has a storied past. Around 1904, Dr. John C. Clapp, a dentist, and his wife, Nellie, built a handsome but honest, twostory foursquare house on fashionable Summit Avenue. (The son who grew up there, Ernest, became the clerk of Guilford County Superior Court.) The house’s pyramidal roofline was crowned with four dormer windows. Later, the Clapps remodeled, expanding the house to the rear and updating the roofline with the fanciful gambrel inset with its whimsical elliptical window. In 1938, Charles D. Kellenberger, a furniture executive with the Standard Table Co., bought the house for his daughter, Ruth Shea, whose husband, March 2013

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Frank, had died of appendicitis in 1926. Zachary speculates that Kellenberger bought the house so his daughter would have a regular and sustained income — subdividing the house to create sixteen bedrooms for a traveler’s lodge. But don’t get the idea of a timid and retiring widow eking out her days in lonely drudgery. Diaries, letters and articles that Zachary found among Ruth’s effects revealed a published writer and world traveler. Ruth went down the Amazon River and visited China. She took her two children cross-country to the West Coast and Yellowstone, camping along the way. “She was a feisty old gal,” says Zachary. But as time passed, she transitioned to boarders, meaning she only had to wash sheets and towels once a week instead of daily. And in the end, she became reclusive and a pack rat. The result was both a historical treasure trove and a nightmare. Piles and piles of newspapers, magazines, bills, receipts, ledgers, letters and diaries provided a chronological, day-by-day history of the house. One notebook recorded every single wedding gift that Ruth had received. Another room was filled with what appeared to be all the aluminum TV dinner trays that had ever entered the house. And there were clothes, unworn for decades but carefully folded, erupting from shelves, drawers and the attic — even the decayed remains of Ruth’s wedding trousseau. “The basement was like a mausoleum,” Zachary recalls. “Dozens of rotting chairs hung from the floor joists. Moldy rugs and sofas with springs poking through were scattered everywhere.” And every water heater that had ever been replaced stood in a long line, creating a train of about a dozen water heaters. “When you have to hire D.H. Griffin, who helped to clean up the World Trade Center, to clean out your basement, you know you have a big mess,” Zachary says.

Z

achary closed on the house in 1998, putting no money down, paying less than half the asking price of $165,000 and getting Ruth’s sons, who lived in Florida, to carry the loan. “Half is nice, but it was still way too much,” she says. Fourteen years and an estimated $250,000-300,000 later, memories come spilling out as this combination storyteller and story-maker takes visitors on a tour of her nearly restored work-in-progress: • The quarter-sawn oak banister reminds Zachary of the day a Realtor cautiously unlocked the house’s front door: “None of the woodwork in the entry hall had been painted,” she recalls, which meant that she would not have to remove decades of paint with a blow torch or paint remover. “That was a total gift. I said, ‘OK, I have to buy it now.’” • Standing in front of what’s become her office, she points to a set of double doors. “These doors I found upstairs and they were the original front doors. See the mail slot?” • The rear staircase sets her off on a tale about how her architect, John Linn, discovered that the back half of the house was actually a smaller, two-story house that had been moved to the site around 1910, turned sideways and deftly attached to the foursquare’s rear: “It was originally a singlestory house with two front doors, so it could have been a slave quarters. What other uses could there have been for a two-room house with two front doors: men on one side, women on other?” • As she approaches the top of the back staircase, she points to the left: “This was once a humongous sleeping

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


porch, added probably in 1918 when everybody was putting sleeping porches on because of the flu epidemic all over the neighborhood. Over time it became swayback.” Which leads to a long story about its reconstruction. • Strolling from the dining room to the island where a tenant is chopping up onions for lunch, Zachary points up to triple skylights three stories above and what may be Greensboro’s only balcony overlooking a kitchen. “I saw a picture of this in a magazine,” she says. “I went to my architect and said, ‘Can we do this, can we do this?’” The architect caved: “So we opened the kitchen up all the way to the roof.” Though a bit disorienting, the effect is, in a word, stunning — and a colossal waste of space. Why did she do it? “It’s breathtaking. It makes people say, ‘Wow.’”

A

fter she bought the house in 1998, Zachary lived in it almost a decade before she could afford to do much more than stabilize it. She recalls washing her dishes in the upstairs bathtub for six years. In 2006, after a long series of upsets, setbacks, mishaps and an expensive betrayal by a business partner, “the city nailed a condemned notice to the front door just a few days before Christmas and I had to move in with my folks,” Zachary recalls. But looking back with her inextinguishable optimism, she says, “It turned out to be for the best. If that thing with my business partner hadn’t turned south, I wouldn’t have been able to spend that last year of his life with my dad.” Just before he died in December 2007, Zachary recalls him telling her, “You show them you can do it,” she says. “That was one of the last things he said to me.” Her mom backed her husband’s request with funding: “She became my initial banker until I could line

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Ruth Shea, previous owner of 604 Summit Avenue

up constructions financing,” Zachary says. With a big helping hand from her son, Daniel, and her daughter, Amanda, she managed to first get the house cleared and the partition walls pulled down. “It was a family affair,” she says. “Thirteen boxes of contractor bags removed the first load of debris. Traffic along Summit was stymied every trash-day for weeks.” Next, she attacked what she calls the “misguided improvements.” When the white-and-green aluminum siding was ripped off, she was delighted to find the original clapboard in good shape. She worked from the outside in, so the house would be less of an eyesore for neighbors, and from the top down to stem the leaking: “Water was pouring through this back house,” she says, pointing to where the older, smaller house had been joined to the foursquare. “People told me to tear this part off, but I thought I’d be murdering the house to do that.” Her motto throughout the whole process? “The only way to swallow an elephant is one bite at a time, and this was the biggest elephant you’ve ever seen.” In 2012, Preservation Greensboro gave Zachary its Preservation Award. “We like to reward those projects that really go beyond what people needed

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to do,” Executive Director Benjamin Briggs said at the time. “Mindy certainly went beyond all that with the cleanup that she had to do, tackling this very large house and putting so much energy into it, preserving the layers of history.” Above all, he praised “her respect for the past.” Zachary is 62 and retired, if you can call yourself retired when you keep books for five companies and take care of a 4,000-square-foot historic house (7,200 including the basement and attic). The house is rented to Sally Pagliai, a landscape architect. Zachary still lives with her mom, who’s 88, along with her daughter and Cece, the grandchild she and her mother dote over. As she’s standing in front of the house, admiring its handsome façade and sweeping porches, she says in passing that completing 604 Summit “might be the culmination of this phase of my life.” She says she no longer feels the need to live in historic houses. “This one needs a big rambunctious family that likes to entertain and is on the go and wants to be near downtown and be a part of this very cool neighborhood,” she says. But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t take on No. 13: “My job is to save old houses. It was what I was born to do.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The March Sky As nights grow shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, the brightest winter constellations shift to the west. Notable among the nighttime star clusters is the famous Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, arguably the finest star cluster in the Northern sky. OH

By Noah Salt March is a month of powerful change, both in nature and the affairs of man, a time of thawing Earth and violent winds, aptly named for the Roman god of war. Anglo-Saxons called it Hlyd-monath, the month of storms, perhaps giving rise to the popular folk belief that if it comes in “roaring like a lion” it will hopefully exit “like a lamb.” Formerly the first month of the ancient Roman calendar, a time meant for house cleaning and purification rites, it ushers in spring and brings the opportunity for fresh new beginnings. A month best observed walking and planning. This year spring officially arrives on the 20th day of the month, and Easter falls eleven days later. Across human history, March has been a propitious month of debuts. According to his ship’s log, explorer Ponce de León got his first glimpse of Florida in March, 1512. International icons Coca-Cola and France’s Eiffel Tower were both introduced in March, and the first trans-Atlantic telephone call was made March 5, 1926. Juliette Low started the Girl Scouts in 1912, and the “Star-Spangled Banner” became our national anthem in 1931. The U.S. adopted Eastern standard time March 13 (1884), and Hawaii officially became a state on March 13 (1959). Jonas Salk introduced the first polio vaccine (1953) and RCA debuted the first color TV set a year later. Fittingly, Walter Cronkite made his first appearance as the anchorman of the CBS News in March 1962, a post he occupied until his retirement in 1981. Our favorite March day is the 17th, when green beer flows and 34 million Americans claiming direct Irish ancestry throw a heck of a party, though official “Peanut Butter Lovers Day” on the 1st is admittedly a very close second.

Out in the Garden

With spring officially sprung, March brings a flurry of tasks to the gardener’s days. Assuming you cleaned and organized your garden shed over the winter, here are a few tasks that should be done now: Early March is the last time you can safely prune most trees and shrubs, the perfect time to snip away dead canes on roses and trim back summer and autumn clematis. Hedges may be planted a final time and fruit trees given a final pruning. As garden temps rise, this is an excellent time to get your soil tested. Kits are available at almost every garden center or county agricultural extension office. Now’s the time to enhance your soil nutrient amendments, including composting and mulching mature beddings. Set out organic slug traps now. Planning and labeling and even getting a jump on staking are tasks that will save you time once the warm weather arrives and weeding becomes an issue. Some hardy annuals like sweet peas can be sown around mid-month. Indoors, start tender annuals and vegetables from seed, including broccoli, kale, cabbage and onions.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“The afternoon is bright,
with spring in the air,
a mild March afternoon,
with the breath of April stirring,
I am alone in the quiet patio
looking for some old untried illusion —
some shadow on the whiteness of the wall
some memory asleep
on the stone rim of the fountain,
perhaps in the air
the light swish of some trailing gown.”
 — Antonio Machado, 1875-1939 Selected Poems, #3 Translated by Alan S. Trueblood

Ode to Narcissus

A flower most closely associated with March is the narcissus, or “wild daffodil,” named for the vain young man of Greek mythology who met his demise by becoming smitten with his own image on the reflected surface of a stream, only to be reborn as a golden flower, sometimes called the Lent lily because it blooms in early spring and often fades by Easter Day. Naturalized in clouds of bold and pale yellow across the meadows of New England and Britain, daffodils are the true golden herald of spring’s arrival in much of the Northern Hemisphere, immortalized by William Wordsworth, a devoted rambler who was so moved by a field of wild narcissus in Ullswater in 1802, he wrote: “I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o’er vales and hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd, / A host of golden daffodils; / beside the lake, beneath the trees, / fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

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76 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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March 2013

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ar

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Mca Calendar M

March 1

FIRST FRIDAY EXHIBIT & FASHION SHOW. 6 – 9 p.m. Roots. African American Atelier Inc., 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-6885 or www. africanamericanatelier.org.

FIRST FRIDAY. 6 – 9 p.m. Free self-guided walking tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, alternative art venues, plus live music and more. Downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-7523 or www.uacarts.org.

ART EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION. 6 – 9 p.m. • FIRST FRIDAY AT GREEN HILL. 6 – 9 p.m. Live muKingdom: Animalia. Exhibit by Daniel McClendon. CVA • sic from The Hushpuppies. Cash bar offers wine selections Gallery, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., from The Tasting Room. Free and open to the public. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7485 or www.greensboroart.org.

TRIAD GOODWILL ROCK THE RUNWAY FASHION SHOW. 6 – 11 p.m. Show features ensembles for

women, men and children found on the racks of Goodwill retail stores. Shop looks off the runway, enjoy cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, and bid on silent auction items. Private concert by the Sleeping Booty Band. Tickets start at $50. Elm Street Center, 203 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-9801 or www.TriadGoodwill.org.

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Worldrenowned touring group comprised of boys between the ages of 10 and 14. Tickets: $22.50/adults; $20.50/students, seniors & military. Discount available for children 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3332605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

GREENSBORO SYMPHONY CHAMBER SERIES CONCERT. 8 p.m. German Romantics for winds and strings. Stefani Collins, violin. In collaboration with the Mallarme Ensemble. Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll for winds and strings; Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin and double bass; Spohr’s Nonet for strings and winds. Tickets: $30. UNCG School of Music Recital Hall. Info: (336) 335-5456 x 224 or www.greensborosymphony.org.

March 1–3

TRIAD STAGE MAINSTAGE. 8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday); 2 & 7:30 p.m. (Sunday). Kingdom of Earth by Tennessee Williams. Tickets: $10–$52 (depending on performance date and seat location). Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www. triadstage.org.

“Kingdom Animalia” March 1 Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

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March 2013

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro


hibits by female artists on International Women’s Day. For more information and an updated list of events, call (336) 9874793 or visit www.femaleartistcollective. com.

UNCG THEATRE. 8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday); 2 p.m. (Sunday). The Long Christmas Ride Home and Hot ‘N Throbbing by Paula Vogel. Tickets: $5. Brown Building Theatre, 402 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

DRL TOONS! TALENT SHOW. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. A showcase for area students to support student creativity. Tickets: $5/advance; $9 ($7/students & children)/day of show. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 392-0126.

NORTH CAROLINA THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 9:30 a.m. & 12 p.m. (Friday); 2 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday). Charlotte’s Web by E.B. The Hush Puppies, March 1 White. Tickets: $18/adults; $15/ children, students & seniors; $12/ UNCG alumni and groups of 10 or division of Children’s Home Society and its array of parent more; $7/UNCG students. Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate St., education and youth crisis prevention programs. Tickets: Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu. $10/adults; $5/children 6 to 18; free for kids under 6. Family packages: $20 (two adults and two children). The Empire March 2 Room, 203 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.chsnc.org. NEW BRANDING CELEBRATION. 9 a.m. – 12 March 5–9 p.m. The Natural Science Center will celebrate its new name and logo with festive activities. Natural Science ARTQUEST TABLE PROJECT: Burlap Weaving Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. and Un-Weaving. 3:15 – 4: 15 p.m. Andrea Donnelly uses a Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. warp weaving technique in some of her work in Two Artists, One Space. Explore this process in ArtQuest and create SILLY SATURDAY. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit with the your own wall hanging. Cost: $5 per person, children unCat in the Hat and join in a musical parade, Seussical der one are free. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. hat making, story time and face painting. Greensboro Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or www.gcmuseum.com.

• ART EXHIBIT OPENING. 1 – 5 p.m. Head to Head. The importance of the human head — the nexus

of thought, emotion, and expression — is demonstrated through a variety of artwork that ranges in date from 1907 (“Tete d’enfant” by Henri Matisse) to 1995 (“Trophy Head” by John Ahearn). Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

• CRAYONS MATTER LAUNCH & BENEFIT. 6 – 9 p.m. Two hundred donors who give at least $200

will help deliver 800 backpacks to Ghana. Tyler White Gallery, 307 State St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or www.crayonsmatter.org.

NIGHT OF WORSHIP & CD RELEASE. 7 – 11 p.m. A night of music and worship to celebrate the release of Jonathan David and Melissa Helser’s new album, Ocean & Bottomless Sea. Featuring special guests Stephen Roach and Songs of Water. Tickets: $9. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3332605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

March 3

LUNCH BY THE LADLE. 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Soup-tasting event to benefit Family Life Education Services

CORKS FOR KIDS PATH. 7 – 11 p.m. Annual wine tasting event featuring a variety of unique, handcrafted wines from small wineries, locally brewed craft beers, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Event created by Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro to support medically fragile and grieving children. Tickets: $65; Sponsorships: $125. Empire Street Center, 203 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 621-2500 or www.corksforkidspath.org.

March 6

ROYAL COMEDY TOUR. 7 p.m. America’s longestrunning and most successful urban comedy tour. Tickets: $42.50 & $49.50. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www. royalcomedytour.com.

FRIENDS OF THE UNCG LIBRARIES EVENT. 4 p.m. The Digital Temple: Telescope for George Herbert’s ‘Book of Starres,’ presented by Christopher Hodgkins and Robert Whalen. Event features materials from UNCG’s George Herbert Collection. Free and open to the public. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, UNCG. Info: (336) 256-0112 or www.uncgfol.blogspot.com.

March 7

SUSTAINABILITY FILM & DISCUSSION. 6:30 p.m. In Organic We Trust (2012). Free and open to the public. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

• MIXED TAPE FILM. My Neighbor Totoro (2010). Animated family adventure directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Rated G. Tickets: $6/adults; $5/students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

March 8

• INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Be inspired by stories of Greensboro women

from three centuries. Tickets: $15 (includes box lunch). Reservations: (336) 373-2982. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

GREENSBORO FEMALE ARTIST FESTIVAL. Area venues feature performances, showings and exKey:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

BLACKSMITHING DEMO IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All ages welcome. Free and open to the public. Drop-in. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

OPERATIC SHOWCASE. 8 p.m. One-night-only performance of excerpts from Amy Scurria’s new opera, Pearl, an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Featuring Elena DeAngelis, soprano. Suggested donation: $10-$20. Free parking available in the Church Street Parking Deck. Greensboro Cultural Center Recital Hall, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: www. elenadeangelis.com/engagements.

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

March 8–24

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO. 8 p.m. (March 8-9, 14-16, 21-23); 2 p.m. (March 10, 17 & 24). Cabaret. CTG turns the Broach Theatre into Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub. Tickets: $10-$30. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7469 or www.ctgso.org.

March 9

WRITING CONTEST DEADLINE. The Burlington Writers’ Club Annual Spring Contest, open to adult writers in Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rockingham Counties. Cash prizes offered in six categories. Rules available at most area libraries. Info: (336) 227-2351 or www.burlingtonwritersclub.org.

BLACKSMITHING DEMO IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All ages welcome. Free and open to the public. Drop-in. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

HIGH POINT HISTORICAL SOCIETY FUNDRAISER. 6:30 – 9 p.m. “Leap Into History” cocktail party celebrates the ’70s and ’80s, specifically

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

March 2013

History

Sports

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March Arts Calendar

the important people, events and objects that tell High Point’s story during these decades. Tickets: $25. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info/ Register: (336) 883-3022 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

• JOEY BARNES & LUNA ARCADE CD RELEASE PARTY. 7:30 p.m. The former drummer for Daughtry will release his long-awaited, 38-song, solo CD and kick off his “On With The Show” tour. Huggins Performance Center, Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro. Tickets: $10. Info: www.joeybarnesofficial.com or (336) 392-1700.

students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

SWING DANCE. 7:30 - 11:30 p.m. Introductory jitterbug lesson at 7:30 p.m. followed by live swing dance music. No partner or experience necessary. Nonmembers: $10; members: $8. Theatre, 7 Vintage Ave., Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 508-9998 or www.piedmontswingdance.org.

March 12–16

ARTQUEST TABLE PROJECT: Ink Blots. 3:15-4:15 p.m. Andrea Donnelly’s imagery in Two Artists, One Space plays off positive and negative space, which are reminiscent of ink blot drawings. Experience the fun of creating your own ink blots to create symmetrical works. Cost: $5 per person, children under one are free. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www. greenhillcenter.org.

MUSIC AFTER FASHION. 8 – 9:30 p.m. Low and Lower. Brooks Whitehouse, cello and Paul Sharpe, bass. Tickets: $15. Mack and Mack, 220 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-6225 or www.brookswhitehouse.com.

March 10 GREENSBORO CONCERT BAND. 7:30 p.m. • Evan Feldman, Conductor. Free admission; donations ap• CHORAL PERFORMANCE. 3 p.m. Bel Canto Company and First Presbyterian Chuch Chancel Choir preciated. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800

March 14

join forces for a free performance of Bach’s masterful “Johannes-Passion” (St. John Passion), complete with chamber orchestra. First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2220 or www.belcantocompany.com.

W. Friendly Ave. Info: www.cityarts.org.

MIXED TAPE FILM. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Spirited Away • (2002). Animated fantasy about a young girl trapped in a

strange new world of spirits. Rated PG. Tickets: $6/adults; $5/students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

March 12

NOON AT THE ‘SPOON. 12 p.m. Twentyminute docent-led tour of new exhibit, Diana Al-Hadid. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

e la Lunch by th

80 O.Henry

• • Art

UPSTAGE CABARET AT TRIAD STAGE. Reverse Psychology by Charles Ludlam; directed by Jonathan Bohun Brady. Take two psychiatrists, married to each other. Add two patients, also married to each other. Mix up who loves whom with their various neuroses. Tickets: $20/general admission; $14/Cabaret Club members. UpStage Cabaret, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

h3 ddle, Marc Key:

March 14–30

Music/Concerts

March 2013

CAROLINA CLASSIC MOVIE. 7:30 p.m. Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Rated G. Tickets: $6/adults; $5/

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

March 15

Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


State Street Shoppes

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www.LilloBella.Com • 507 State Street • Greensboro, NC 336-275-7645 • Mon - Sat 11am - 6pm

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Size Small to 3x

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Come In and See Our Selection of Asian Arts and Curios – Old, New and Gently Loved 501 State Street Greensboro, NC 27205 336.274.4533 YamamoriLtd.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Hours 10:00-5:30 Monday - Friday 10:00-3:00 Saturday And By Appointment March 2013

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Summer Camps Recreation Center Day Camps June 10 – August 9 (ages 5-12) 7:30 am-6 pm, Monday-Friday

Develop Skills

Registration ongoing, now until full!

Brown, Craft, Glenwood, Leonard, Lewis, Lindley, Peeler, Trotter, Warnersville, Windsor

Music & Movement

Scholarships available! To register or for more information, call the recreation center in your area.

Make Friends!

Outdoor Adventure Camp Fishing, archery, kayaking and more!

City Arts: Dance, Drama, Music, Arts, Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center

Greensboro Sportsplex Basketball, volleyball, roller hockey, soccer, sports, fitness and more!

Enjoy neighborhood playgrounds, city pools and spraygrounds!

VISIT GREENSBORO PARKS & RECREATION ONLINE AND CLICK ON SUMMER CAMPS!

www.greensboro-nc.gov/leisure

373-CITY (2489) 82 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Summer Fun SAINT PIUS X SUMMER CAMPS

ay Aw r me boro Ballet m s Su reen r G ou of ol

We offer summer day camps to rising K-9th graders across the Triad!

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Choose from • Sports • Technology • Enrichment • Art • Science • Stage Performance and more!

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For ages 3 and up

336.333.7480 www.greensboroballet.org

Saint Pius X School 2200 North Elm Street Greensboro, NC 27408 336.273.9865

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EXPLORE SUMMER

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YMCA camps offer your kids a chance to have fun while building a healthy spirit, mind and body. Plus, they get to: • make new friends • play sports and games • get messy • learn funny songs • have fun • be a kid

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ymcagreensboro.org The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Explorations for ages 9 – 15 Kids vs. Wild! June 24th – 28th Molecular Gastronomy! July 15th – 19th Science of Survival! July 29th – August 2nd Upcycling! August 12th – 16th

Explorations for ages 4 – 8 Water, Water Everywhere! July 8th – 12th Potion Science! July 22nd – 26th www.dorealscience.com 336.339.2674 March 2013

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March Calendar •

PIEDMONT OPERA. 8 p.m. Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Tickets: $15-$80. Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 725-7101 or www.piedmontopera.org.

Performing arts

BLACKSMITHING DEMO IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All ages welcome. Free and open to the public. Dropin. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

PIEDMONT OPERA. 2 p.m. Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Tickets: $15-$80. Luxury bus service available for Greensboro patrons ($10). Meet at the parking lot of Whole Foods at Friendly Center. Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., WinstonSalem. Info: (336) 725-7101 or www. piedmontopera.org.

BELLY DANCE GALA. 7 – 9 p.m. Daliana’s Troupe Bellysima presents a unique tapestry of belly dance, drama and storytelling. Tickets: $17.50. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

• •

March 18

tions of military and civilian life during the war, musical performances and guided walks of the park where the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place. American blue coats and British red coats will clash at 2 p.m. Greensboro Country Park, 3905 Nathanael Green Drive, Greensboro. Info: www.nps.gov/guco.

Sunday). In the Soup. Tickets: $5-$10. Odell Auditorium, Huggins Performance Center at Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www. thedramacenter.com. Music/Concerts

ARTISTS RECEPTION. 3 p.m. African American Quilting Circle.Exhibit on display through May 7. African American Atelier, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-6885 or www.africanamericanatelier.org.

• HISTORICAL REENACTMENT. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Festivities include weapons demonstrations, depic-

• GREENSBORO CHILDREN’S THEATRE. 7:05 p.m. (Friday); 4:30 p.m. (Saturday); 2:05 p.m. (Saturday & Art

BUNNY DAY. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Local rabbit breeders bring English Lops, New Zealand Giants, Satins, and other breeds of live rabbits for visitors to see and pet. Festivities also include face painting, crafts, story telling and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Free with admission and/or membership. Natural Science Center, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www. natsci.org.

March 16–17

March 15–17

• •

March 17

GREENSBORO ASTRONOMY CLUB MEETING. 7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and held on the third Friday of every month. Natural Science Center’s OmniSphere Theatre, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

Key:

March 16

MUSIC FOR A GREAT SPACE 7:30 p.m. Henry Ingram Memorial Concert featuring Julian Schwarz, cello. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Rd., Greensboro. Tickets: Carolina Theatre Box Office at (336) 333-2605. Info: (336) 638-7624 or www.musicforagreatspace.org.

History

Sports

MUSEUM GUILD MEETING. 10 a.m. “Admiring and Caring for Fine Needlework.” A sampling of quilts and other needlework from the museum collection and a discussion about caring for your own treasures. Guests welcome. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

March 19

PIEDMONT OPERA. 7:30 p.m. Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Tickets: $15-$80. Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 725-7101 or www. piedmontopera.org.

March 19–23

• ARTQUEST TABLE PROJECT: Playing with Summer Fun

The Piedmont School

Digby Eye Associates digbyeye.com

Quenching the thirst of students who learn differently

Two locations: 719 Green Valley Rd, Suite 105, Greensboro (336) 230-1010 2401-D Hickswood Rd, High Point (336) 454-2020

JAY JOHNSON

1045 East Lindsay St Located off East Wendover Ave

273-0256

Open Tuesdays- Saturday

84 O.Henry

Factory Certified Master Volvo Technician with 27 Years Experience Call for Various Discounts

March 2013

Catherine MCMillan Peterson Catherine@PayrollMadeeasy.CoM

336-685-1048

Awesome Summer Programs Available!

K-8th Grade • www.thepiedmontschool.com

336-883-0992 • 815 Old Mill Road, High Point The Art & Soul of Greensboro


March Calendar Positive and Negative Space. 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Andrea Donnelly’s imagery in Two Artists, One Space plays off positive and negative space, which are reminiscent of ink blot drawings. Try your hand at creating a positively wonderful work of art. Cost: $5 per person, children under one are free. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

March 20

FRIENDS OF THE UNCG LIBRARIES EVENT. 4 p.m. Joseph Bathanti, current North Carolina Poet Laureate. Free and open to the public. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, UNCG. Info: (336) 256-0112 or www.uncgfol.blogspot.com.

March 21

DESIGN & FUNCTION SEMINAR. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Decorating maven Donna Kaiser’s four-part design series features speakers from High Point’s design, furniture and textile industries. Topic: The many influences on your décor, including fabrics, paint and wallpaper, flowers, fashion and trends. Non-members: $50/series; $20/class. Members: $25/series; $10/class. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

ARTIST TALK. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Andrea Donnelly and Heather Lewis discuss their exhibit, Two Artists, One Space. Free and open to the public. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

WAMJAM. 6 – 9 p.m. A series of informal performances featuring UNCG students, faculty and friends. Performances held in spaces throughout the museum. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

We’re not a mexican restaurant, we’re a taco joint Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9:30pm Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm 219-A South Elm Street Greensboro NC 27401 | (336) 273-0030 www.craftedtheartofthetaco.com

RESTORATION RUNWAY. 6 – 9 p.m. Fashion show and auction to benefit Restoration Place Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides accessible, affordable counseling services to girls and women in the Triad. Tickets: $65 (available at Fleet Plummer and The Contemporary Lady). Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 542-2069 or www. restorationplaceministries.org.

March 21–24

UNCG THEATRE. 7:30 p.m. (Thursday): 8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday); 2 p.m. (Sunday). The Giver and If Only the Lonely Were Home. Tickets: $5. Brown Building Theatre, 402 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

March 22

GUEST LECTURE AT WEATHERSPOON. 4 p.m. New York-based art critic and curator Gregory Volk discusses Diana Al-Hadid’s work in the context of international contemporary art. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

EXHIBIT PREVIEW PARTY. 7 p.m. Draped in Legend: A Velvet Dress, a Carriage Trunk and a First Lady. Celebrate the return of Dolley’s red dress and see the newly preserved Madison carriage trunk. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS. 7 p.m. Fans determine the rules of the game. Tickets: $22 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

••• • •

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

• • •

Performing arts Fun History

The Bistro at Adams Farm 5710-M High Point Road Greensboro | 336.294.4610 thebistroatadamsfarm.com March 2013

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March Calendar •

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON LASER SHOW. 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m. Experience Pink Floyd’s music with a choreographed light show. Tickets: $5. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Natural Science Center’s OmniSphere Theatre, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 2883769 or www.natsci.org.

March 22–24

SOUTHERN IDEAL HOME SHOW. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday); 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sunday). One of the largest Home and Garden shows in the Triad. Admission: $9 at door; discounts available online. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: (800) 849-0248 or www.southernidealhomeshow.com.

FREE SCREENING CLINIC. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Greenville Shriners Hospital invites all children under age 18 for a free orthopaedic screening. Brown Recreation Center, 302 E. Vandalia Rd., Greensboro. Info: (864) 255-7863.

NATURAL EGG DYEING IN THE HISTORICAL PARK. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dip eggs in dyes made from plant materials. All ages welcome. Cost: $1 per egg. Limit 2 eggs per person. Drop-in. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www. highpointmuseum.org.

ARTQUEST STUDIO PROJECT: Spring It. 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Express your feelings about spring through paint, collage, sculpture, and fiber. ArtQuest Closed Friday, March 29. Cost: $5 per person, children under one are free. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

ART FOR LUNCH. 12 p.m. Enjoy a 30-minute talk on The Penetrating Gaze with Ann Grimaldi, Curator of Education. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

DOCTOR’S DAY. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Kid-friendly event to honor local doctors and increase health and physical fitness awareness. Doctors will be on site to perform teddy bear checkups. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed animal. Hosted by the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine Alliance. Free with admission and/or membership. Natural Science Center, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

March 26–30

March 27

March 23 MUSEUM EXHIBIT OPENING. Draped in Legend: A Velvet Dress, a Carriage Trunk and a First Lady. Celebrate the return of Dolley’s red dress, most recently on display at the Smithsonian Institution, and see the newly preserved Madison carriage trunk. Exhibit on display through June 16. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www. greensborohistory.org.

PRESENTATION. The Passion of the Christ (2004). Film focuses on the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, from the Last Supper to His condemnation to death. Rated R. Tickets: $6/adults; $5/students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

March 28

GEORGE STRAIT IN CONCERT. • 7:30 p.m. The Cowboy Rides Away Tour with special

guest Martina McBride. Tickets: $72.50 & $92.50. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.georgestrait.com.

March 26

• CAROLINA CLASSIC SPECIAL

DESIGN & FUNCTION SEMINAR. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Decorating maven Donna Kaiser’s four-part design series features speakers from High Point’s design, furniture and textile industries. Topic: The Power of Design. Non-members: $50/series; $20/class. Members: $25/ series; $10/class. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

THINK TANK THURSDAY. 6:30 p.m. Discover the connections between seemingly unrelated ideas in a series that looks at contemporary culture by pairing scholars

Area Schools

hands-on Greensboro’s premier Montessori School... Serving children ages eighteen months through eighth grade, where students develop a love of learning through individually guided, hands-on discovery and exploration. Come discover the GMS difference for yourself! • Authentic Montessori curriculum, exceptional and caring faculty • Unparalleled environmental education programs • Low student-teacher ratios • Before & after-school care, enrichment programs & Middle School sports Open House Tours: March 8th and 22nd at 9 am. Call today to reserve your spot!

86 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


with community experts. Free and open to the public. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770.

for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic musice by AM rOdeO. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699.

March 30

Thursdays

ALICIA KEYS IN CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Set the World on Fire Tour with special guest Miguel. Tickets: $39.50 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www. aliciakeys.com.

• SWING DANCE. 7:30 - 11:30 p.m. Introductory jitterbug lesson at 7:30 p.m. followed by live swing dance

• • JAZZ JAM AT BIN 33. 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. The Upperlineup. Bin 33, 324 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info:

JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754. (336) 609-1833 or www.bin33greensboro.com.

Saturdays & Sundays

KATS: THE MEERKAT MUSICAL. 1 & 3 p.m. The Natural Science Center’s meerkats take center stage. Duration: 30 minutes. Free with admission/membership. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

Tuesdays

• •

Wednesdays

• MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 – 10 p.m. Mussels

NIGHTMARES AROUND ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute historical candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Open Year-Round. Cost: $15/ adults; $13/children 8-12. Children 7 and under are free. Group rates and online discounts available. Info: www. carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information. JAZZ IN THE A.M. 11 a.m. Featuring saxophonist Alex Smith and friends. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS

OPEN MIC COMEDY AT THE IDIOT BOX. 9 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic. Admission: $4 (includes one drink). Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699.

given by the audience; each show is one-of-a-kind. Saturday 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. Tickets: $10/$7(students). Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info/RSVP: 336-274-BOXX.

Saturdays

music. No partner or experience necessary. Nonmembers: $10; members: $8. Greensboro Shrine Club, 5010 High Point Rd., Greensboro: (336) 508-9998 or www.piedmontswingdance.org.

LIVE MUSIC AT LUCKY 32 SOUTHERN KITCHEN. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs From a Southern Kitchen. Featuring Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

March Calendar

Fridays & Saturdays

Sundays

• WINTERFEST DISCO NIGHTS. 7 – 10 p.m. WFMY News 2 Piedmont Winterfest, outdoor ice skating • LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET COFFEE. NC Hot Club with Rex Griffin (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) Irish Music with disco lights. Festival Park, Price Bryan Performance Place, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 207-5216 or www.piedmontwinterfest.com/friday-night-disco.

(3 – 6 p.m.) Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754. OH

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.); 8 p.m. (Sat.). Actors create scenes on-the-spot and build upon the ideas of others. Performances based on suggestions

To add an event, e-mail us at ohcal@ohenrymag.com by the first of the month prior to the event.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

MERIDITH MARTENS, artist Large Scale Paintings Custom Residential & Corporate Design

www.meridithmartens.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013

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Downtown Greensboro

Jewelry • Clothes • Shoes • Home Accessories

93

%

OF ENVISION® PLAN HOLDERS SAY THEY WILL RETIRE ON THEIR OWN TERMS*

38%

OF INVESTORS WITHOUT A PLAN THINK THEY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE COMFORTABLY IN RETIREMENT.**

NICO’S

201 N. Elm St. Lunch: Mon-Fri Dinner: Mon-Sat nicorestaurantandbar.com

Which circle would you rather run in? Wells Fargo Advisors’ unique Envision planning tool helps us get to know your specific needs and goals in order to create your tailored investment plan. Monitoring your progress is easy. You’ll always know you’re on track to reach your financial goals. Find out how having an Envision plan can help you live the life you planned. Call today.

NICO’S

brings the authentic flavors and aromas of Southern Italy to Downtown Greensboro.

House-made pastas, sauces, desserts using fresh, local ingredients.

INVESTMENTS • PLANNING • RETIREMENT

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC 3623 N. Elm Street, Suite 100A Greensboro, NC 27455 336-545-7100 • 1-800-545-1322 324 W. Wendover Avenue, Suite 301 Greensboro, NC 27408 336-272-0523 • 1-800-443-7128 Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured u NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value

*RESULTS ARE BASED ON A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY HARRIS INTERACTIVE FROM JUNE-JULY 2011 AMONG1004 INVESTORS WITH FINANCIAL ADVISOR RELATIONSHIPS. **THESE FINDINGS ARE PART OF THE WELLS FARGO-GALLUP INVESTOR AND RETIREMENT OPTIMISM INDEX CONDUCTED FEBRUARY 3-12, 2012 FROM A SAMPLING OF 1,022 RANDOMLY SELECTED INVESTORS. NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE OR SUCCESS. NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHER CLIENTS. Envision® is a brokerage service provided by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. ©2012 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Member SIPC. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. All rights reserved. Envision® is a registered service mark of Wells Fargo & Company and used under license. 0312-1323 [88511-v1]

88 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene

Chandler King

Allie Kleinman

Big Hair Ball at Elm Street Center’s Regency Room Saturday, January 26, 2013 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Melanie Albright, Kelly Rightsell, Diane Sanderson, Susan Boydoh

Kristen Burke

Sarah Jessup Mebane Ham, Jody White, Bill Roane, Ron Johnson, Jeri D’Lugin

Erin Jackson, John Lin

Jenna Kimsey Hayleigh Carroll

Katrina Guilford, Nate Hayes, Mary McGinley

Ellie Holleman, Erin Jackson, Caroline Smith

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013

O.Henry 89


Alison Jones, Susan Feit

Tim Tsujii, Charlie Jones

Green Scene

Joseph Bryan Family Foundation Annual Luncheon at the Greensboro Downtown Marriott Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Photographs by Sam Froelich

John Hughes, Brooks Westerhof

Andy Scott, David Parrish

Margaret Arbuckle, Robin Britt

Bobby Powell, David Taylor, Daniel Craft

Beth Hemphill, Rick Betton, Lindsey Zarecky, Glenn Dobrogosz

Surrounded by her family, Barbara Palmer (in blue) holds the award honoring her late husband Pat Palmer and his contributions to soccer in Greensboro David Woronoff, Jim Melvin, Carole Bruce

90 O.Henry

March 2013

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


g t n i i m r p e s in old salem

Where Everything is New Again m a r c h 1 – m ay 2 6

14 Charleston Square Ascot Point, Greensboro

Ascot Point Classic! Brick home with master bedroom on main level. 9 foot ceilings, custom moldings, hardwood floors on main level. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths on upper level. Lots of storage. 2-car attached garage. $395,000.

25 Willett Way Greensboro

Easy living at Canaan at The Noles. Master BR on main. Great kitchen with stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors on main, carpet in Bedrooms, tile Baths. Master Bath with separate shower & tub. Great storage & closet space. Upstairs additional Bedroom plus bonus and continental bath. 2-car attached garage. Ready to move in! $335,000

2412 North Beech Lane North Beech, Greensboro

The fun is blossoming this Spring at Old Salem.

4BR/4.5 BA -- Full finished Basement. Move-in condition with many extras: Generator; Central Vacuum; 3 Car Garage; Ceiling Fans; Raised Deck; Garden area; Neighborhood Pool; Porch; Security features; Bonus Room, Den and lots of Storage. $499,999

The gardens are in bloom. Hands-on seasonal activities abound. Plan your visit today!

chocolate-dipped history March 2

Celebrating coffee, tea and American Heritage® chocolate through demonstrations, hands-on activities, tastings and more. 9:3o a.m. – 4:3o p.m.

300 Parkmont Drive New Irving Park, Greensboro 4BR/3.5 BA – Classic Brick Ranch completely updated. New roof in 2009. Hardwoods, moldings, master suite with dressing area. Gourmet kitchen/breakfast bar/stainless appliances. Triple Zoned HVAC. Fenced Yard/Brick Patio. $479,000.

mesda lecture: the london furniture trade in the early 18th-century March 19

Guest lecturer Adam Bowett, British Furniture Historian. 7 p.m.

Our State behind the scenes at old salem March 22 – 24

All-inclusive weekend event—unique behind the scenes experience.

“CLICK OR CALL… WE DO IT ALL”

easter festival March 30

Egg dying and painting, Easter egg hunt and more! 9:3o a.m. – 4:3o p.m.

For a full list of events, classes & concerts, visit oldsalem.org or call 336-721-735o

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

winston-salem, north carolina

OhenryAd.indd 1 The Art

& Soul of Greensboro

Yost and Little Realty

Xan.Tisdale@pruyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@pruyostandlittle.com

2/12/13 1:38 PM

March 2013

O.Henry 91


Arts & Culture

Monet and Mod Podge Ladies Night Out — Painting Parties

Ellie McFalls, MCHt.

Grief Recovery, Hypnosis, EFT-Phobias

Tracey J. Marshall Body Essence & Energy

Fine Art

Rev. Brigitte Cutler-Fosque RM Robert W. Fosque RMT Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Intuitive Readings, Reiki

Michael Gagliano OT/L, Reiki Master Treatments for: Pain, Stress, Trauma & Disabilities

Workshops, Art Exhibits, CrEAtivity 101, Film & vidEo Arts, litErAry Arts, pErForming Arts, businEss ClAssEs, spAnish, spirituAlity, summEr CAmps, t EChnology, visuAl Arts, WEllnEss And morE 900 16th Street, Greensboro, NC 27405 • (336) 617-3328

www.thecreativecenter.net

L I V E PE R F O R M A N C E

One Night Only–April 4

Salem College preSentS one of ameriCa’S renowned–and daring–Creative pioneerS!

Laurie Anderson APRIL 1-28, 2013 Laurie Anderson: DIRTDAY!

A riotous and soulful collection of songs and stories depicting the landscape of life. Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Art Exhibit ~ Collected Stories: Books by Laurie Anderson 40 years of a creative career. April 1 – April 28; Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

92 O.Henry

March 2013

Elberson Fine Arts Center | 500 East Salem Avenue Made possible by the June Porter Johnson Series for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Free Admission, Reservations Not Required www.salem.edu/culturalevents | 336/917-5313 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene

Laverne Vass, Gaynelle Nichols

Tennessee William’s “Kingdom of Earth” playing at Triad Stage Sunday, February 17, 2013 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Kevin Martin, Wesley Willeford Beth Joyce, “Tennessee Williams,” Ian Joyce

Johnsie Hahn, Pat Freese, Jean Osborne

Michael & Pat Artman Trent Pcenicio, Bobby Figueroa

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gloria & Walter Harris

Tammi & Amelie Marohn

Jimmy & Jenni Ford, Jacie Meaux, Scott Hinshaw

March 2013

O.Henry 93


Arts & Culture

“The Resolute Dragoon” Col. William Washington’s 3rd Continental Light Dragoons Participants in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse

MARK J. SPANGENBERG

Fine Art & Design

For all your fine art and mural needs www.markspangenbergfineart.com 336-274-4108

SAVE THE DATE

+

+

Ballet, Beer & BBQ Saturday, April 13 at 5:30pm, at Flintrock Farm in Reidsville, NC A unique fundraising event that promises to be a Rustic Adventure you won’t soon forget!

336.333.7480 94 O.Henry

March 2013

www.greensboroballet.org

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


For Love of Buster

Life’s Funny

Big ears, listens well, perfect bar companion By Maria Johnson

Photograph By sam Froelich

H

e has a great bar face. His sad, soulful eyes look like they’ve seen it all. His big ears are made for listening. And his nose? It could smell the truth a mile away. That’s why everyone falls for Buster, the beloved bassett hound, chief of security and mascot of The Corner Bar in Greensboro. His companion, Mike Decker, tends bar there, slinging specials to the Lindley Park regulars and students who haunt the joint on Spring Garden Street near UNCG. Buster stays home when Decker’s working. It’s too hard to watch customers and a low-to-the-ground hound at the same time. But when Decker’s not working, you’ll often find him in a booth with “Buhhhssstah Browwwn,” as Corner Bar regulars call him, on the floor next to him. It’s hard to believe that Decker walked away from Buster the first time he saw him. Decker’s girlfriend at the time dragged him into a pet store to look at puppies. And there he was — a bassett puppy just a couple of months old, with ears as long as his body. But Decker didn’t want a dog. He’d had a black Lab mix named Shuggie a few years back. “Shuggie, you’re Number One,” he’d say. “What does that make me?” Decker’s then-wife would say. “Uhhh . . . not Number One?” Decker would say. After the divorce, Shuggie died. Decker was devastated. Another dog? No other dog could measure up to Shuggie. Weeks later, Decker’s girlfriend wanted to go back to the pet store, this time to peruse Easter bunnies. And there was the same bassett pup, much bigger — almost too big for his crate. Decker walked out again. He returned a few days later by himself. “How much for the bassett hound?” he asked. “A thousand dollars,” said the lady behind the counter. Now, looking at Decker, a solid-built guy who wears a downturned mustache and a tattered Wake Forest cap, you might not guess that he was once an artist and furniture maker. He made the sanctuary furniture, including the Ark of the Covenant, for Temple Emanuel. The point is Decker will work for beauty. And there was something beautiful about that little dog’s face. “Look, he’s been in here way too long,” he told the lady. “Will you take $600?” Deal. The first place they went was The Corner Bar, where Decker introduced his sidekick as Buster Brown, a name that’s more about art than accuracy. A bassett hound is the symbol of Hush Puppies shoes, not Buster Brown shoes, but the name Buster Brown fit the wee hound perfectly. Women cooed. Bartender Cindy Peebles declared herself Buster’s godmother. Man and beast held court from a booth. They’ve been almost inseparable ever since. Inside Decker’s Nissan, Buster sets his hind feet on the back seat and plants his front paws on the console. His head hovers beside Decker’s. Their side-by-side profiles draw grins from other drivers. They go to the dog park together. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

They drive through Bojangles’ together. The chicken is for Decker. He won’t let Buster eat fried food because it’s no good for him. If Decker leaves the car, Buster lowers the electric windows and hangs his head out to watch for Decker. “He follows me everywhere,” says Decker. Often, in the evenings, they hang out at dog-friendly bars such as Brewski’s Tavern, where Buster’s buddy, Brewski the Rottweiler, works. Buster has a lot of friends, two-legged and four-legged. Just check his Facebook page. Back in January, many of his pals turned out for his second birthday party at The Corner Bar. Henry the foxhound was there. So were Fiona and Prince the pit bulls; Bailey the beagle-shepherd; Putter the dachshund; and Roo the rat terrier mix. Decker hung balloons and bought a carrot cake (“Buster likes rabbits”). Buster’s eyes gleamed as Decker opened the packages and let him sample the gifts, mostly Milk Bones. All around, people watched and laughed. Buster has that effect. Working behind the bar, Decker has bounced a few trouble-makers when Buster hasn’t been around. But no trouble has erupted on the nights Buster has been there. It goes like this: Buster and Decker walk in together, and all eyes swing to Buster. Smiles break out. Buster, on his leash, walks around to greet each person with equal affection. Then he settles onto the black rug beside Decker’s booth. Often, Decker will look down the bar and see someone twenty feet away smiling at Buster. “People gravitate to him,” says Decker. “He changes their whole mood.” And Buster’s mood? Steady. Calm. Peaceful. Bemused. He likes to watch people punch the speed bag that drops from an arcade-style boxing game. He enjoys the howling of karaoke night. He loves to join a crowd to watch football. He used to wear a Cleveland Browns hat with a special chinstrap and ear holes for dogs. Then — perhaps because he was disgusted with the Browns’ performance — he chewed his hat to pieces. His Browns jersey remains intact. The number on his back says “00.” But Decker’s eyes tell the truth. Buster’s Number One. OH Last March, Maria Johnson wrote about her dog Rio. She has decided that March is dog month for Life’s Funny. March 2013

O.Henry 95


O.Henry Ending

The Mayor of Browns mmictter u S A Southern Gothic chara

in the truest — and finest — tradition

By Tim Swink

T

he mayor never wore shoes. Not, at least, from spring until the first frost. He often sat beside the tracks at the Browns Summit train station, shirtless and wearing a pair of faded bib overalls, espousing whatever came to mind to anyone who would listen. He was the kind of guy your father taught you not to be . . . a big talker with even bigger ideas. After a few moments in his presence, you couldn’t help but turn and walk away shaking your head. But with a slight smile on your face. Lindsey Troxler was a character right out of a Southern Gothic novel. His brown, leathery skin appeared to be as tough as the bottoms of his bare feet, with which he would extinguish his unfiltered Chesterfield cigarettes. Folks far and wide knew him as the mayor of Browns Summit. Over the years, he became something of a mythical figure, his actual deeds and misdeeds blurring with the stories people told. His mother died when he was 6 years old and he was raised, primarily, by his two aunts. He lived his entire life in an antebellum mansion that he later inherited in 1967 at the age of 39, when his father passed away. The Civil War-era mansion was built by his grandfather, Isaac Roger Troxler, in 1832, with slave labor. Lindsey was once married to a nurse at Bowman Gray in Winston-Salem. But he had a spirit that could not be tamed, and she eventually left him. After she took her leave, briars and weeds eventually took over the grand old mansion. It remained that way until his death in the mid-’90s. At one time, the Troxlers owned over 2,000 acres — from Browns Summit in Guilford County to the Rockingham County line. To this day, Troxler is a name linked to land and farming in North Carolina. Lindsey’s distant cousin, Steve Troxler, is the current North Carolina commissioner of agriculture. I met Lindsey in the summer of 1970, the year he came up with the idea of holding a rock concert at his farm. One of his pastures was configured much like Max Yasgur’s farm up in Woodstock, New York. Adept with a bulldozer, Lindsey shaped the far lower end of the pasture into a natural amphitheater. He enlisted locals who caught wind of the festival to lend a hand in building the stage in exchange for free tickets. He put in a pond for skinny-dipping, ran the electricity and after much back and forth, he obtained the go-ahead from Dr. Sarah Morrow, the director of the Guilford County Health Department at the time.

96 O.Henry

March 2013

Some of Lindsey’s relatives thought it was a bad idea. “This thing was right down Lindsey’s line,” his second cousin, Barron Troxler, recalls. “He was getting publicity, and nobody could talk him out of proceeding with it.” And proceed, he did, but in Lindsey’s own inimitable way. There had been rumors the Allman Brothers were coming. I was assigned the job of securing the back gate in exchange for a free ticket. Now I’m not the biggest guy in the world, but the possibility of meeting the Allman Brothers was too much to turn down. As concert time approached, another rumor started circulating: A motorcycle gang was on its way to the concert. If they came to the back gate, I was told not to let them in. And that’s just about the time I abandoned my post. In the end, the Allman Brothers rumor was just that. And I later heard that the lights blew moments after the first band started playing. The concert ended then and there. But Lindsey was nobody’s fool. His second cousin, Jerry Hopkins, told me that at one time Lindsey had one of the finest milk herds in the state, stocked with Wisconsin dairy cows. The story goes that he brought them back as calves in the trunk of his 1951 Chevrolet sedan. Then there was the time when Lindsey was in the market for a bulldozer. He went to one of the local companies that sold bulldozers toting a brown paper bag. Seeing him, barefoot and carrying a paper sack, they dismissed him with a laugh. Unfazed, he walked to another dealer, where he paid cash for the dozer with money he extracted from the brown paper bag. Lindsey Troxler passed away in 1995. He was a character in the truest sense. But we need characters in this world. They enrich our sometimes dull, ordered lives. It’s as if the earth on which Lindsey walked was just a little bit darker, a little bit richer. Talking to people about him, they’d invariably say, “Lindsey. Oh lawd! I hadn’t thought of him in ages.” Then they’d shake their heads with a thoughtful, far-away look . . . and a slight smile on their faces. OH Tim Swink, who grew up in Greensboro, recently completed his first novel, Curing Time. Illustration by Harry Blair The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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March 2013 O.Henry  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2013 O.Henry  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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