March O.Henry 2016

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March 2016

Features 59 Monet’s Water Lily Pond at Giverny Poetry by Shelby Stephenson

60 From Boom to Bust

By Ogi Overman The one-of-a-kind art of Felix Semper

68 The Mystery of Martinville

By Charles Rodenbough How the epicenter of the American Revolution vanished into time

70 A Joyful Noise

By Grant Britt At Greensboro’s United House Of Prayer for All People, the Madison Heavenly Sounds trombone shout band lifts the spirit and feeds the soul

Departments 15 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 18 Short Stories 21 Doodad By Ogi Overman 23 O.Harry By Harry Blair 25 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson

74 To the Ride

27 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen Smith

78 Easter Baskets of the Gate City

31 Scuppernong Bookshelf 35 In the Spirit By Tony Cross

By Amy Freeman A photo essay on the Sedgefield Hunt By Serena Brown Look what the bunny brought these notable North Carolinians

80 Story of a House: Historic Wafco Mills By Maria Johnson The industrial chic of a writer’s retreat

93 Almanac

By Rosetta Fawley Peanuts, graceful dogwoods, Mad Hatters and March Hares

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

39 Breathing Lessons By Cynthia Adams

47 Pappadaddy’s Mindfield By Clyde Edgerton

49 A Novel Year By Wiley Cash




Life of Jane

By Susan Campbell By Jane Borden

94 Arts Calendar 117 Worth the Drive to High Point By Nancy Oakley

119 GreenScene 127 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

128 O.Henry Ending By Cynthia Adams

41 The Voice of a City By Dr. John Redhead

45 The Evolving Species By Deborah Salomon

Cover Photograph by Sam Froelich

March 2016

O.Henry 9

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Dover Square 10 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A Vintage Auto Showcase

In A Championship Setting The fourth annual Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance, North Carolina’s premier collectable car showcase, returns to Pinehurst Resort on April 30, 2016. Tickets on sale now • 910.973.6594 Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club 800-747-7272 •

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12 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Simple Life

A Walk in the Woods

Exploring an ancient battleground and the beautiful, snowy landscape of memory

By Jim Dodson

By the time we reached the empty park-

ing lot, the snow was really coming down, coating the forest in a mantle of white.

It was just after dawn and my wife was away for the weekend. On a Sabbath lark, the dogs and I had come for an early walk in the woods of the battleground. The snow — the first of a hither to snowless winter — was a genuine surprise, a lovely bonus. I knew these ancient pathways well, or did once upon a time, because I roamed the park’s bridle paths and historic killing fields as a boy on foot or on my bicycle. I was probably more at ease in the woods than anywhere else, speaking the language of old trees and hidden creeks, judging them to be magical places inhabited by watchful spirits and kindly revenants, my own imagination running free and wild. I suppose this may have been the product of a fairly solitary childhood fueled by my father’s newspaper odyssey across the deep South and the classic adventure books I was drawn to from the moment I learned to read. Old forests always hold secrets and are fertile ground for the young hero’s transformation. Snow is also magical, especially here in the middle South where it is so blessedly rare, principally because it mutes the affairs of the world and draws most things to a respectful halt, often shifting one’s perspectives inward. As a kid roaming on a bike in the 1960s, I remember snowfalls that shut down Greensboro and other parts of the state for days, even weeks at a time. Once, anticipating just such a storm, Mrs. Mills, my sixth-grade teacher, asked us to memorize a snow poem. I chose Longfellow’s “Snow-flakes” and can still summon a few key stanzas by heart: Out of the bosom of the air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow In a way, she cleverly set me up for good old Elizabeth Smith in my junior year of high school, who gave me a surprising gift after I shocked my buddies by winning a city writing contest: The collected works of Robert Frost, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

America’s snowy laureate, which only fueled my fascination with the winter landscape, paths diverging in bare or yellowing wood and choices that make all the difference. Truthfully, even before I fully realized this fact, snowy woods have always been a comfort and cure for whatever is ailing me, unquestionably one reason I happily resided on a forested hilltop near the coast of Maine for nearly two decades. That place still shows up in my winter dreams. As the dogs excitedly dragged me past General Greene on his whitecaped steed deeper into the ancient hardwoods, I thought it might simply be the strange winter weather — or telltale absence of it — that had me seeking the cold comfort of a Sunday walk in the woods. The balmy holiday season just past was more fitting for Key West than old Catawba, alarming in its long-range forecast, confirming 2015 to be the warmest year on record, a planet growing hotter and more socially volatile every year, altering everything from the lives of indigenous plants to the migrations of birds and nations, many with disastrous consequences. On a happier note this winter morn, I gave myself the task of seeing if I could find the “screaming brothers,” as I once called a trio of remarkable old trees in a row — hickories, I believe — that presented large oval mouths (home to critters) beneath bulging “eye” knots and bare outstretched limbs that made them look like terrified soldiers fleeing the battlefield. They stood, I vaguely recalled, somewhere off a footpath near an open meadow where hundreds of Colonials and British soldiers died and twice their number were wounded in less than ninety minutes of action one cold mid-March afternoon. In the news this morning 235 years later, I learned that English actor Alan Rickman and rock legend David Bowie had died within hours of each other, both gents in their 60s. Rickman was one of my favorite actors long before he brought the mysterious potion master Severus Snape to life in the Harry Potter canon, and though I wasn’t the biggest fan of David Bowie’s music, it was touching to hear him say in a recent radio interview that he didn’t fear dying anymore — just grieved that there was less time to do things he’d learned were really important, to see those around him come to flower. As the dogs joyously sniffed fallen logs and yanked me along, I realized something along the same lines was weighing on my wintery thoughts. In our close, blended family, only one of our four children remains an actual teenager, and not for very long; my two are now young adults in their March 2016

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Simple Life

mid-20s, living and working in New York City. My wife’s two are finishing college in Boston and New Jersey. They all have their own demanding lives and loves and don’t really appear to need my wife and me the way they did just five minutes ago. The good news is they each seem prepared and confident to venture over the horizon and make a contribution to a world growing more complex and warmer by the year, a comfort that their moms and I did our jobs pretty well. The bad news is, I’m just not sure I’m prepared to let them all go so soon, to depart from Daddyland. “Children are our crop, our fields, our earth,” wrote the late James Salter in his exquisite novel, Light Years. “They are birds let loose into darkness. They are errors renewed. Still, they are the only source from which may be drawn a life more successful, more knowing than our own. Somehow they will do one thing, take one step further, they will see the summit. We believe in it, the radiance that streams from the future, from days we will not see. Children must live, must triumph. Children must die; that is an idea we cannot accept.” Trying to let your grown children go, once and for all, birds into darkness, is a task made more challenging by an age that’s moving at dizzying speed. Social scientists point out that there’s been more change in the half century since I found the Screaming Brothers in a revolutionary forest than at any time in human history, a truth as inspiring as it is terrifying. We stand on the cusp of breathtaking cures, they point out, unimagined discoveries, and technological mega-wonders. Yet we live in a world where polar ice caps are melting faster than they are forming and medieval savageries are reducing the symbols of Western civilization to dust. For me and my kind who are passing from the Earth, it feels a little like losing your way in a beautiful snowy woodland without thinking much of where you are headed. That’s when I realized I might be lost, if that’s the right word for it. The woods were lovely, dark and deep — and I was panting like a panicked sheep, to woefully paraphrase Frost. Suddenly on my mind were two colleagues who’d recently suffered heart attacks. The one who failed to make it was also walking his dogs, a gentle giant in his early 40s; the other was a friend and editor just ten years my junior. If I keeled over right then and there, it occurred to me, the snow would lightly cover me up and Mulligan, my beloved alpha female, I was fairly sure, would wait loyally by my side. Would Ajax, my wife’s young and ridiculously spoiled Golden Retriever, do the same? If one croaks in an ancient wood, does anyone but God or your dogs bother to notice? For the record, my companions didn’t appear the least bit concerned about this possibility. Through a curtain of snow, I saw what The Mull was so intent upon. A familiar obelisk stood in the clearing yonder and a family of deer, what appeared to be a doe and two yearlings in search of breakfast, were guardedly watching us as they moved toward safety in the far woodland. A few moments later, as we were moving on down the path and across the stream and up the hill, the Screaming Brothers suddenly appeared, only there are just two now and they didn’t look nearly so alarmed, more like old men yawning. It took us only a little while to get back to the car. By that time, others were arriving with their dogs and the snow was easing up. A woman dressed for the Iditarod was being pulled along by her twin black Labs, making for the bridle path we’d just left. As our dogs swapped vital information about their owners, she remarked with a big Sunday smile that snow made her feel like a kid again. I told I her I knew exactly what she meant. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at

16 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Short Stories

Primavera Professional

What’ll it be? Clematis? Gerbera daisies? Day lilies? Flox or foxglove or hollyhocks? The variety of perennials that grow in the Piedmont Triad is huge — and overwhelming — to even the most experienced gardeners. Why not listen to the advice of an expert, a professional on all things primavera? Adrienne Roethling, garden curator of Kernersville’s Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, is here to help with her talk, “Spring Perennials,” a Lunch and Learn at noon on March 10. You provide your own lunch, Ciener will provide drinks and Roethling will point you to the perennials that thrive best in the area. Afterward, you can choose from plants on sale to make your garden grow, maybe even silver bells, cockleshells and pretty maids in a row. Registration required. Info: (336) 996-7888 or

Jean Scenes

A regional medical center, an art collection, a national park, not to mention roads and schools all bearing the name synonymous with Greensboro: Cone. Readers of O.Henry will recall the saga of the Gate City’s first family in our September 2015 feature, “The Cones of Greensboro.” Now comes the story not only of the family, but its manufacturing empire, Cone Mills and its employees in The Denim Dynasty, a documentary by Appalachian State prof Beth Davidson, which will run at the Greensboro Historical Museum on March 20 at 3 p.m. Featuring archival footage and interviews with former employees, the film rolls back the clock to when Cone was the King of Denim and Greensboro was center of the realm of the world’s largest textile manufacturers. Info:

18 O.Henry

March 2016

Good Reads

The legal tangles of midwife in rural Vermont (Midwives), the final days of World War II (Skeletons at the Feast) or the Armenian genocide in Turkey (The Sandcastle Girls) . . . The themes of Chris Bohjalian’s novels are as broad in sweep as his plots are intricate, and when combined with nuanced portrayals of the human condition, well, that’s a recipe for a bestseller. Or several. So read ’em and eat: At 6 p.m. on March 22 the author will discuss his works at the Friends of the UNCG Libraries annual dinner and fundraiser at the Cone Ballroom at the university’s Elliott Center. Reservations can be made through the Triad Stage box office: (336) 272-0160 or

Vernal Vanguard

Who says there’s nothin’ new under the sun? Its direct transit over the equator ushers in spring and a profusion of avant-garde music, the focus of Lovesphere 21. Launched in 1995 in New York City, the arts festival spanning a sixty-seven-year arc takes place every year on the Vernal Equinox. This year, Lovesphere comes to downtown Greensboro, shedding light on forwardthinking music by Anonymous Bosch, Unfinished Bird, N4HC and Graham Holt, who will perform at Scuppernong Books on March 18. The following day, Laurent Estoppey takes the mic at Glenwood Community Bookstore in the afternoon. Wrapping up the festival in the evening at PB& Java are, among others, Lovesphere founders Lawrence “Lipbone” Redding and guitar virtuoso Eugene Chadbourne, as well as UNCG prof Mark Engebretson and his trio The Difficulties. So dig the new vibe, have a howl of a good time and in years to come, tell your grandchildren you saw the best bands of your generation. Info:

Pet à Porter

Who are they wearing? Poochi? Vivienne Westie? Regardless of the label, collars are in this year, as are all manner of hats, costumes and accessories —fashion Dos for dressing to the nines. Or rather, canines. Yup, it’s Dogs on the Catwalk, (March 19) a fashion show at Triad Stage’s Pyrle, where dogs — heh — put on the dog. But the parade of rags and wags is all for a good cause: to raise money for Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network. In fact, the show’s four-legged participants are either up for adoption or have been taken into loving families. So don your best, er, houndstooth, come out at 7 p.m. and enjoy an evening that includes a silent auction, libations, nibbles . . . and haute dogs. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem

His striking contrasts of black-and-white landscapes bridged technology and nature with each snap of the camera shutter and sealed his reputation as one of the best-known and best-loved American photographers ever. See the work of a master at the top of his game at Ansel Adams: Eloquence of Light, opening March 11 at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, the only venue for the exhibit that consists of forty photographs never before assembled under one roof. The images reflect Adams’s Romantic portrayal of nature and commitment to environmentalism — snow-peaked mountains of Alaska’s Denali National Park, thundering waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, a haunting moon rising over the stark vastness of the American Southwest — all nods to the museum’s partner, the National Park Service, which celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary this year. Info: (Photograph: Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, ca. 1948. Photograph by Ansel Adams. ©2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust)

From Beaconwood to Broadway Star

Why attend Art Rocks, a fundraiser for the Weaver Academy for Performing & Visual Arts and Advanced Technology? Apart from a good time — including an art auction, refreshments and folk-rock tunes from The Rabbit Collective — the event, which gets going around 6 p.m. on March 19 at the Sternberger Artists Center (712 Summit Avenue), supports budding talent that does Greensboro proud. Case in point: Weaver alum Bennett Sullivan, a banjo player who got his start with a short-lived, local bluegrass band, Beaconwood. Named for a street in the Lake Jeanette area where he, guitarist Ryan Stanford and mandolin player Eric Robertson grew up, Beaconwood had the chops to play MerleFest in 2005 and developed quite a following. After graduation, the three guys took divergent paths. For Sullivan, that meant bouncing around between grad school and cruise ship gigs before landing in New York City. A couple of years ago he got an important call that young banjo players dream of: Would Sullivan play for the writer/comedian/actor/bluegrass musician Steve Martin at his apartment? Nervous much? “Oh, man, yeah,” Sullivan says. But he performed well, and he got along with Martin. “He’s kind of quiet. Very nice. Very direct. He’s always creating. That’s what I get from him. He’s always focusing on the next thing,” says Sullivan. That next thing is Bright Star, a musical Martin co-wrote with musician Edie Brickell. Set in North Carolina in the 1920s and ’40s, the story is “about discovering a love you thought that you’d lost,” says Sullivan who appears as a stage musician in the show. Now in previews at Gotham’s Cort Theatre, it officially opens March 24. But success isn’t likely to spoil Sullivan. He still stays in touch with the Beaconwood guys. Last summer, the three reunited for a gig at Common Grounds, a coffeehouse and wine bar on Elam Avenue in Greensboro. “It was a great turnout,” says Sullivan. “It was so much fun to see everybody who supported us in high school. I’d love to do another one.” Playing in Beaconwood, Sullivan says, was a formative experience for him. “If I hadn’t done that, I don’t know where I’d be.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

Ogi Sez If March weather runs the gamut from lion to lamb, then so do its myriad musical offerings. No Ides to beware here, folks, just shake off winter’s chill, get out and enjoy. • March 12, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: One of the true icons of the ’70s, Leon Russell looks and sounds exactly the same as he did when he was a Mad Dog and Englishman. He still cranks out “Tight Rope,” “A Song For You,” and all his other hits with the same authority as the Stranger in a Strange Land era. • March 12, The Crown at The Carolina: For the first time ever, MerleFest is sponsoring a pre-event tour, titled MerleFest on the Road, featuring three of the bands on this year’s bill. Teleco, High Plains Jamboree, and Zoey and Cloyd (from Red June) will get the faithful in the spirit. • March 14, Greensboro Coliseum: This is the biggie, boys and girls, the one you’ve been waiting for since 2009. While AC/DC has played the Coliseum nine previous times, to over 110,000 fans, this will be their only stop in the Carolinas or Virginia this tour. • March 17, Carolina Theatre: Heart be still. The one and only Jewel is coming to town. She hypnotized me twenty years ago and I’ve been under her spell ever since. Hope I don’t hyperventilate. • March 26, O.Henry social lobby: The Select Saturdays series has been SRO since its inception last fall. So when it welcomes back by popular demand jazz-pop-soul chanteuse Melva Houston, you might want to get there early. Just sayin’. March 2016

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Make your plans now to join us in Greensboro for the The National Folk Festival— one of America’s largest, most prestigious, and longest-running celebrations of arts, culture, and heritage.

September 9-11, 2016 GR EEN SB O R O • N C

Best of all, this three-day celebration is FREE! No tickets needed! A large-scale, three-day outdoor event presented FREE to the public, the National Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. It features over 300 of the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers, and craftspeople in performances, workshops, and demonstrations, plus children’s activities, savory Southern and ethnic cuisines and craft brews, non-stop participatory dancing, storytelling, parades, and more. w w w. n at i o n a l fo l k fe s t i va l. co m | w w w. g re e n s b o ro - n c. g ov


Surround Sound (engineer) Bill Payne, longtime force in the local music scene

Photograph courtesy of Bill Payne


hey used to be called “roadies,” but as sound reinforcement systems evolved and became more sophisticated, sound gurus had to change their job descriptions. The good ones became professional sound engineers and technicians and designers, some of them even using their skills to become business owners, audio engineers, studio producers and concert promoters. Bill Payne has, at one time or another, worn all those hats and a few others. These days, after a successful and varied audio career, he is at the top of his game, a system designer for Unified AV Systems, among other things. Those other things include being the technical director for the Bryan Series, a talent booker for the Greensboro Fringe Festival and Piedmont Land Jam, Dobro player for the Alley Rabbits, and founder and producer of Triad Acoustic Stage. It is that last pursuit that takes up most of Payne’s spare time, is closest to his heart and has the most impact on the Greensboro music scene. He produces between eight and twelve shows a year, most of them at Mack and Mack downtown, with the bigger ones at Revolution Mill, and this month a three-band “MerleFest on the Road” show at The Crown above the Carolina Theatre. “The biggest thing we’ve been able to see is the population of Greensboro waking up to live music,” Payne says. “There are at least a half-dozen house concert venues now, and coffee shops that are doing it right.” In fact, live music has become so successful, “It’s tough finding open slots for concerts, which is great and amazing.” Payne booked his first TAS show in January 2007, with Stevie Coyle, ex-Waybacks fingerstyle guitarist. Since then the series has hosted such notables as Chris Smither, Claire Lynch, Rob Ickes, Missy Raines, Howard Levy, David Lindley, Jim Lauderdale, John Cowan and, most recently, Tony Furtado. How does Payne attract such talent? First, look to his roadie roots. He began his career with Audio Unlimited, soon finding himself on tour with The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and other mega-stars. He then went to work for WGHP-TV, followed by stints with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, an Atlanta convention group, Elon College (before it became Elon University), and Holiday Inn Four Seasons Convention Center (now the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center), all of them sound- and production-related. These kinds of chops have fuelled Triad Acoustic Stage’s role in the growth of the local music scene, and Payne’s formula is quite simple: “Creating a no-stress environment for the performers when they walk in is the most important thing,” he says. Maintaining that atmosphere is also challenging, he says. “The trick is to surround yourself with people who are really, really good at what they do.” — Ogi Overman The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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From 3,400 - 5,000+ square feet 1.5 & 2 story homes; first floor Owner’s suites available Limited basement homesites available Spacious, wooded homesites Four sides brick exteriors March 2016

O.Henry 21

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22 O.Henry

March 2016

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P hil Barker’s Refinishing Refinishing of

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March 2016

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Life’s Funny

A Little Dab’ll Do Ya The lethal mix of middle-age parents and dancing

By Maria Johnson

There comes a time in all parents’

lives when they realize that their primary power lies in their ability to embarrass their children.

Rather than run from this truth, or think about its implication — you’re old and uncool — I suggest that you confidently wield your No. 1 weapon: dancing in front of your kids in public. Let’s face it: Unless you had children when you were 8, by the time your kids are in middle school, you can’t dance anymore. I mean, you can hide out in The Electric Slide or The Wobble line at a wedding, but your days of spotlight dancing are over, OK? By the time the kids are in high school, you’re pathetic, all right? Young ’uns in college? Shee. Your body is ruined. You’ve moved too many mini-fridges into dorms, clonked your head on too many open cabinet doors, and slipped on too many ice cubes that have bounced out of your refrigerator door dispenser and melted into a puddle of orthopedic possibility. Call it the toll of modern life. By the time the kiddies matriculate, you’re basically a human tree with four creaky limbs and a trunk that’ll snap before it’ll bend. This, my friends, is the best time to take up Embarrassment Dancing. I realized as much when we went to a freshman orientation with our younger son. For this two-day affair, they put kids and parents into separate groups with student leaders. At the end of the second day, one of the student leaders tweeted a picture of his parent-group doing The Whip, which he had taught them. For the unfamiliar, whip is slang for car, and when you dance The Whip, you basically crouch down, put one of your arms out and move as if you’re steering a car. That’s the idea, anyway. Here is what the photo showed: A dozen middle-age parents who appeared to be getting up from a toilet by using a grab bar. There was no mirth, just faint relief and a whisper of panic at the prospect of never standing up straight again. Later, I showed the picture to our son. “Isn’t that funny?” I said, squealing with delight. “Mmmm,” he said. That’s when I knew I had to learn The Whip. So I did. I went to YouTube and found a video of a fellow named Silentó doing The Whip, as well as The Nae Nae, which is sort of like The Whip, only with one hand thrown up in the air. I worked on my moves until I looked like Silentó as much as a 54-year-old white lady can, which is to say, not at all, except in my mind. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

About a week later, we were having some friends over, and I appealed to my college-bound son to help us clean the house. He said, “OK,” which in teenspeak means, “Haha. Good one.” So I said, “Hey, check this out” and broke into song: “Now, watch me Whip; now watch me Nae Nae; now watch me Whip, Whip; now watch me Nae Nae . . .” Naturally, I paired the vocals with the dances I’d been working on. “I learned this from Silentó!” I huffed over my Nae Nae. Well, you’ve never seen such a look of terror on a boy’s face. “STOP!” he said. “Be a pity if I did that when folks were over here, huh?” I said. “Don’t!” he said. “ ’Course, if the house was clean . . .” Our guests arrived to a spotless home, and there was no Whip or Nae Nae to be seen that evening. Honestly, I forgot about my newfound power until Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did The Dab in an end zone celebration back in October. By then, my son was in college, where he probably thought he was safe. Which he was. Until I drove over to Raleigh one morning to check out a project that he and fellow engineering students were presenting at an expo. Just before the judging, he texted me that there was a delay. “Great,” I texted back from the parking lot. “That’ll give me a chance to practice The Dab that I will do in celebration of your victory.” “Mom, please, no,” he shot back. Understand now, this was a room of would-be engineers and their professors. The only dabbing they do is when they spill something in a lab. Not that I don’t admire them. I do. Their projects were amazing. Some of the students built hovercrafts. Trust me when I tell you that the only way a bunch of journalism students could come up with a hovercraft would be to order it online. Anyway, I walked into the hall and sniffed out the boy. There he stood, surrounded by his concrete-canoe-building friends. When he saw me coming, he stared me down. I dabishly dipped my forehead to my forearm and kept walking. He shook his head and mouthed one word. “No.” I smiled and nodded. Both us knew what this meant: We would be eating lunch at the restaurant of my choice. OH Maria Johnson is currently working on Hit the Quan, which should be perfected by her son’s birthday. Better yet, by her birthday. Contact her at March 2016

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Omnivorous Reader

Blank Spaces A minimalist tale of the human condition

By Stephen Smith

Readers unfamiliar

with Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitizer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge or her New York Times bestseller The Burgess Boys are likely to find themselves adrift in the structural nuances of her latest offering, My Name is Lucy Barton. Lucy’s fictional autobiography unfolds in a series of anecdotal recollections that begin during a seven-week hospital stay resulting from an infection following an appendectomy. During her lengthy recovery, Lucy’s husband, a shadowy, scratchily drawn character — all of Strout’s characters are transient and vaguely realized — persuades Lucy’s long-absent mother to sit at Lucy’s bedside for a week. They chat now and then about, well, this and that — there are no gruesome recollections, no life-altering revelations, no long-buried family secrets — and somehow the entire novel ends up being about nothing less than coping with fear, disgust, anger, guilt and sadness — and all of this is achieved using delicate brush strokes, a randomized form of open composition, with an emphasis on the changing qualities within Lucy’s rather mundane life and the indifferent but “amazing” world that surrounds her New York hospital room: “I turned my eyes toward the window. The light from the The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Chrysler Building shone like the beacon it was, of the largest and best hopes of mankind and its aspirations and desire for beauty. That was what I wanted to tell my mother about this building.”

But Lucy doesn’t reveal to her mother the building’s symbolism; nor does she attempt to define her relationship with her mother and other family members, including her own husband and children. Which is entirely the point of the novel. My Name is Lucy Barton is about the blank spaces in the narrator’s psyche laid out on an impressionistic canvas skillfully depicting contemporary American life with its fundamental abnormalities and impairments. Simply stated it’s a book about nothing that is, finally, about the basic mysteries of the human condition — which makes it a remarkable achievement and a compelling read. Lucy’s formative years were spent in abject poverty. Growing up in rural Illinois, she lived with her siblings and parents in a dirt-floored garage. Other than a blessed ignorance of popular culture, an inability to comprehend irony, and the occasional unexplained need to disappear into frivolous diversions such as ducking into a New York department store to chat with a stranger, Lucy doesn’t outwardly exhibit the effects of her impoverished upbringing. She did well in school, earned a scholarship to college, married, and gave birth to two daughters. She lives in New York, where she’s a successful novelist. But during her mother’s visit, Lucy is unable to verbalize her feelings about her loveless childhood, and her mother is equally incapable of expressing her feelings of failure. Although Lucy has managed to shut out the past, the years of emotional privation occasionally surprise her: “There are times now, and my life has changed so completely, that I think back on the early years and I find myself thinking: It was not that bad. Perhaps it was not. But there are times, too — unexpected — when walking down a sunny sidewalk, or watching the top of a tree bend in the wind, or seeing a November sky close down over the East River, I am suddenly filled with the knowledge of darkness so deep that a sound might escape from my mouth . . . ” What’s remarkable is that Lucy remains complacent and nonjudgmental March 2016

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The Omnivorous Reader concerning her past, present — and even her future. When her mother-in-law introduces her as “coming from nothing,” Lucy isn’t offended. Years later, she comments: “I took no offense and really, I take none now. But I think: No one in this world comes from nothing.” Despite her obvious intelligence and her keen powers of observation, Lucy’s insights into the workings of the culture are hardly discerning: “It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.” Economic inequalities aside, Lucy is of the opinion that “people who have been given the most by our government — education, food, rent subsidies — are most apt to find fault with the whole idea of government” — which hardly constitutes a breakthrough in human thought. All of which makes it sound as if the novel is easily set aside. Not so. Strout coaxes her readers into the emotional flow of the narrative through her skillful use of experiential commonality. After she and her ex-husband have divorced, Lucy admits that she sometimes loves him more than when they were married: “And there are days when I have such a clear image of him sitting at his desk in his study while the girls played in their room that I almost cry out: We were a family!” And her daughter tells her that “I love him [Lucy’s new husband], Mom, but I hope he dies in his sleep and then my stepmom can die too, and you and Dad will get back together.” Lucy blames herself for the divorce and thinks: “I did this to my child.” What could be more human? If life occasions regret, Strout would have us find peace with circumstances we cannot change, with a past that’s irrevocable. In doing so, she’s written a novel that refuses to be pigeonholed; there’s not a minor niche or nook where her intriguing study of the human experience fits. Composed of skeins of seemingly innocuous and muted vignettes, the threads are woven together into a minimalist tale that directs the reader into his or her own reality — and it’s these random musings that resolve themselves into something approaching a truth that will leave readers wondering if they’re reading autobiography or a treatise on the imperfections of the human condition. Who’s likely to enjoy and profit from reading Strout’s latest novel? It’s safe to borrow a little syntactical pizzazz from the late poet and critic Randall Jarrell: Maybe My Name Is Lucy Barton isn’t for everyone — or maybe it is. OH Stephen Smith is a poet and fiction writer who is a longtime contributor to the magazine.

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March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 29

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March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scuppernong Bookshelf

Muses of Éire Irish and Irish-inspired reads

Easter 2016 marks one-hundred years

since the Easter Rebellion in Ireland. This month we look back at the remarkable moment on the road to Irish freedom and forward to some current books on Irish history and literature. There’s really only one place to begin:

The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats (Scribner, $22) Easter is elegiac. The Christian death-into-resurrection mythology has become a part of our mythological psyche. William Butler Yeats’ poem “Easter, 1916” is ostensibly about the Easter Rising, in which armed Irish nationalists attempted to wrest control of their country back from the British during Easter Week, 1916. The coup was a failure and many of its principal players were executed before the week was out. The last stanza asks, “O when may it suffice . . . Was it needless death after all?” For Yeats, we live on in order to write and remember the names of the fallen. Their deaths catalyzed the rise of Sinn Féin, a separatist group responsible for helping declare Irish independence. “We know their dream; enough/ To know they dreamed and are dead;” Yeats says, because despite having paid the ultimate sacrifice (and true to the redemptive nature of Easter) a “terrible beauty” has been born. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In a Time of Violence: Poems, by Eavan Boland (Norton, $15.95) We could easily lavish pages on writers of the gloried past, but Yeats isn’t the only poet to write about the Easter Rising. Eavan Boland, one of the most important recent voices in Irish poetry writes about the often forgotten experiences of women at specific moments in Irish history. Though she chronicles events that happened decades ago, her style is fresh. With her seventh volume, In a Time of Violence: Poems, Boland blends eerie scenes of women living through the country’s troubled past with raw reflections about more contemporary conditions on the island. Either way, it all feels incredibly immediate, reminding us that all history is made in the present. The Gathering, by Anne Enright (Grove Atlantic Press, Black Cat $15) In The Gathering, Enright combines lyrical prose that defines the Irish literary tradition with a brutally modern take on family tragedy and redemption. As the Hegarty clan gathers to mourn their dead brother, a secret whose roots wind through generations is unearthed, twisting the family narrative and exposing the raw love and loss that can only be dealt by those we hold closest. The Road to Ballyvaughan, by Gibbons Ruark (Jacar Press, $15.95) Is Gibbons Ruark from Ireland? No, but he is Ir-ish. The Raleigh-based poet first visited Ireland in 1978 and now considers it a second home. In his new book, The Road to Ballyvaughan, Ruark collects thirty-five years of March 2016

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March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Bookshelf poems about the pubs of Dublin and the rain in Monaghan. The whole collection sings with the music and lyricism you would expect from someone who hung out with Seamus Heaney. If you’re looking for something strictly Irish, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a local translation, look no further.


The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry, selected by Peggy O’Brien (Wake Forest University Press, $19.95) Did you know that Wake Forest University is perhaps the most notable resource for Irish poetry in the United States? If you don’t believe us, listen to former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and California’s poet laureate Dana Gioia: “Wake Forest University Press . . . is really the best press in the Western hemisphere for Irish literature.” Or literary critic Helen Vendler: “Through Wake Forest University Press, Ireland comes to America.” This 650-page collection will introduce you to all the Irish women poets you’ll ever need to celebrate one-hundred years of uprising.

New on the shelf this month And look for these noteworthy books coming in March: March 1: The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry, by John Feinstein (Doubleday, $27.95). It’s high time Feinstein got around to writing about the center of college basketball. He’s written about every other possible sports topic. Sure to be a local bestseller.

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March 1: 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion, by Morgan Llywelyn (Forge $16.99). A paperback reissue of the 1998 novel. The Library Journal calls it “a spellbinding tale that evokes Ireland’s misty hills and tumultuous history with style and passion.”

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March 15: Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities, Ryan Gravel (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99). An important look at how cities might thrive. Especially useful for cities at a new crossroads. Like Greensboro. March 29: Lust & Wonder: A Memoir, Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99). Much-anticipated new book from Burroughs — this one on where sex and love intersect and where they don’t. OH The Scuppernong Bookshelf was written by Brian Etling, Shannon Jones, Brian Lampkin and Gabe Pollak. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In the Spirit

The Magic of Mezcal From below the border comes a taste that’s growing rapidly in popularity

By Tony Cross

The array of

funny faces and reactions I’ve received when offering mezcal to guests could make a hilarious Vine or short film. I’ve been hit with rolling eyes and even puzzled looks after my suggestions. People tend to confuse mezcal with mescaline, a psychoactive part of the peyote cactus. Even though most of the United States has welcomed agave distillates with open arms, we have some catching up to do here when it comes to Mexican spirits.

Agave is a subfamily of the asparagus family, not the cactus, which many believe. Called “maguey” in Mexico, this plant has been used for centuries for many things like food, shoes, rope, medicine and drink. Mezcal is made from harvested or wild agave, unlike tequila, which is made from only blue agave. It’s the “heart” of the plant that transforms over time into the fine spirit. Agave hearts are called piñas, because they resemble large pineapples, and can weigh from 50 to over 100 pounds. It’s the way the piñas are cooked that further differentiates tequila from mezcal. To start, the jimadors (agave farmers) split the piñas, cook and shred them. In making tequila, halved agave hearts can be cooked two ways: baked in ovens or steamed in stainless steel cookers. The traditional way to cook agave hearts when creating mezcal is to dig a pit and line it with hot rocks, creating an underground oven, and filling it with the agave hearts. The piñas roast and smoke for up to a few weeks. Roasting the hearts breaks down the sugars into a rich, caramelized, earthy and smoky flavor. They are then crushed by a stone wheel called a tahona, which extracts all of the juice. The fermented juice is then distilled (usually to proof: 40-50 percent ABV). Mezcal has an internationally recognized DO, or Dominación de Origen, that was granted in 1995. Also,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

under Mexican law, a spirit with the mezcal name can only be made in the state of Oaxaca, the neighboring state of Guerrero and three states to the north: Durango, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas. Mezcal (spelled with a “z” by law in Mexico, though Americans often spell it with an “s”) sales have been soaring in the 21st century. In fact, three-fourths of all tequila and mezcal exports are sold in the United States. In the last decade alone, mezcal and tequila sales have outsold every other spirits category percentage-wise. It’s been hard for me to buy different mezcals from our local ABC because sometimes the only way to purchase certain spirits is by the case. However, thanks to a barman in the Triangle, things are starting to change. I first met Marshall Davis early last year at Centro, a Mexican restaurant in Raleigh, during a staff training session. I listened with shock and awe when Davis told me that within the next month he would be opening up North Carolina’s first mezcal bar in the newly refurbished space above Centro, calling it Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria. It is North Carolina’s only mezcal bar, with more than fifty-three different bottles of mezcal to enjoy. Over a year ago, Davis was bartending at a Laotian restaurant, Bida Manda, when he was approached by Centro owner and chef Angela Salamanca to create an intimate and focused bar program in the renovated space above her restaurant. Pretty soon, Davis found himself ordering as many mezcals as he could get his hands on. His infatuation with mezcal is helping everyone else in the area; Davis knows that Gallo Pelón is paving the way for other restaurants and bars that are having trouble with harder to find mezcals. “Every connection I make to import a new bottle opens a door for all other businesses in the state to have access,” he says. From the dimly lit atmosphere, through the music — everything from electropop to Spanish punk rock — to the attention to detail with his guests, Davis’ love of mezcal and hosting shines in every visit. The result is quite the experience and, as Davis puts it, “unlike anything else in Raleigh and the Southeast!” Every time I’ve had the chance to drive to Raleigh and have a good time, Davis and crew have always been more than hospitable, dropping knowledge in an unpretentious manner while making their lovely concoctions. Even if you’re feeling timid and are unsure, Davis is pretty certain that he can March 2016

O.Henry 35

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March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In the Spirit

convert you. He usually opts for a Oaxacan Mule, which is mezcal oro joined with reposado tequila, cucumbers, fresh lime and ginger beer. His new favorite is a drink that’s new to their list, The Rooster and the Pearl, which is a great sipper that marries Del Maguey Vida Mezcal with Cynar, Amontillado sherry, sugar and Peychaud’s bitters. “I can honestly say that it wasn’t love at first sip,” Davis reflects on his first taste of mezcal. “But I was anxiously anticipating a ‘second date.’ Mezcal and wine have a lot in common. Just as it may be unfair to judge wine as a category based on trying a cheap blended red, it would be unfair to judge mezcal based on a singular brand or varietal.” And he’s right. From the tending of the soil, the time of the harvest and the types of yeast, all play a crucial role, like wine, when creating mezcal. Davis and I both agree that Vida from Del Maguey is an easily accessible mezcal from our local ABC. Once you get past the bit of smoke, notes of fruit and cinnamon make for easy sipping with its long finish. Think Islay Scotch, but with more vegetal roundness and spice. Vida is the best bang for your buck when starting out with mezcal, and Gallon Pelón is the best mezcal experience you’ll have in an hour’s drive. The Rooster & The Pearl (Marshall Davis, Gallo Pelon) 1 1/2 oz Vida Mezcal 3/4 oz Cynar 1/2 oz Amontillado sherry 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters 2 small sugar cubes (muddled with bitters) Grapefruit twist Stirred and served on the rocks OH Tony Cross is a bartender who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails in Southern Pines. He can also recommend you a vitamin supplement for the morning after at Nature’s Own. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 37



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38 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Breathing Lessons

The Ohm-budsman For Robert Merlin, mind over matter is what truly matters

By Cynthia Adams

Robert Michael Merlin is

settled into a comfortable desk chair while dreamy, meditative music plays in his office on Sunset Drive in Irving Park. The tony neighborhood seems an unlikely location for a hypnotherapist’s office, but there it is, shoehorned between a thriving real estate business and a bank on Sunset Drive: the Merlin Centre for Hypnosis & Enlightenment. Merlin is hardly a fantasy figure from Arthurian legend (in case you’re wondering, the surname is, in fact, his given name) but a fit gentleman of a certain age with olive skin, a thick head of black hair streaked with gray and penetrating blue eyes. He is dressed casual but the cuffs of his brown checked shirt are crisp. Merlin is a boardcertified master hypnotist, past life regression therapist, who also teaches hypnosis.

Mainstream, meet the future: Medical journals such as The Journal of Pediatrics and the European Society of Cardiology extol the virtues of hypnosis for a roster of medical maladies., a mainstream medical site, suggests hypnosis for everything from digestive problems, such as, IBS to panic attacks. (Hypnobirthing, by the way, was employed by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.) In an article in Prevention magazine, Harvard Medical School psychologist Carol Ginandes joined the growing chorus and was quoted as saying, “If somebody told you there was a medication that could treat a hundred different conditions, didn’t require a prescription, was free, and had no bad side effects, you wouldn’t believe them.” Though careful not to deem the practice a “magic wand,” Ginandes thinks that hypnosis “should be made available as a supplementary treatment for all patients who could benefit. Right now.” Merlin’s clients would agree. One says he helped her to stop smoking. Seven years since, she hasn’t so much as lit a cigarette. Others swear hypnosis has enabled them to lose weight. Others have been able to live pain-free. “I give back the control that people have lost or need,” Merlin says. His own path to enlightenment began in Boston. Born to a Russian Jew and an Italian Catholic, Merlin spent his formative years in Miami. As he came of age, he developed an interest, not only in the dual strains of his own religious background, but in all traditions, as well. Amid the framed diplomas and certifications for smoking cessation and weight loss that line an entire wall in his office, there are books on psycho-spiritual matters, various religious icons, and a quote by Chief Seattle: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but The Art & Soul of Greensboro

one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Merlin’s take on the affirmation: “I live my life through spirit. I am here for two reasons: to get closer to God and to help people,” he says. His interest in hypnosis began with his study of psychology, from which he took a detour by running his own insurance business in Cornelius, North Carolina. Its sale has allowed him to pursue his first love at the Merlin Centre, whose primary service is hypnosis. Put aside any notions you might have of gimmicky Vegas stage acts. Rather, as Merlin explains, expect a guided relaxation experience. Hypnosis can help shift attitudes about specific subjects, and it can also help with habits and stresses. The only requirement, Merlin emphasizes, is that the individual desire change. Almost anyone can be hypnotized, he says in a published Q&A for his clients, “As long as the person is willing and has the ability to concentrate and relax.” There is a miniature Zen garden on Merlin’s tidy desk — a nod to both. Contrary to myth, the ability to be hypnotized does not suggest a weak or suggestible mind. “This is not brain-washing,” Merlin insists. “There is a positive correlation between the ability to concentrate and the depth of hypnosis. The higher the IQ, the more easily a person may be hypnotized,” Merlin says. Most of his clients are “everyday people,“usually referrals from three Triad therapists and a psychologist. Some are looking for a more efficient or profound form of meditation to reduce stress or insomnia, others for specific behavior modification through hypnosis. Merlin also sees young people who need help with pre-exam jitters on college admission tests, and many whose habits are ingrained despite years of conscious efforts to break them. Diabetics, for an example, look to Merlin to change their relationship with food and themselves. He frequently works with rheumatoid arthritis patients and people seeking pain management. “There is no such thing as pain,” Merlin says. “It’s an electrical response.” He describes how he teaches people to visualize their pain going away. The technique, whether alleviating pain, illness or other ailments employs the reverse of an old axiom: Don’t just do something, sit there.” It’s an abrupt shift from how we’re conditioned as a society, or as Merlin says, “Americans think they must do something all the time.” But it happens that our conscious will is often not enough to effect changes in our lives. Merlin explains how habituated imperative to act leads to stress, which is often the precursor to illness. “For most of my clients, I am the last person people come to, not the first,” Merlin observes. “Smokers, for example, have tried drugs, patches and other things.” He explains that hypnosis employs the subconscious, which controls about 85 percent of what we do, and this is largely our biological mandate. “We’re hard-wired for one thing,” he adds. Actually, two: “Preservation of the self, and propagation of the species.” The light alpha state achieved in deep relaxation, he says, is where behaviors are altered. Merlin is not a magician, and hypnosis is not a magic wand (that word again), though it may seem so for those who reap its benefits. “I don’t code, diagnose or change people,” he says. After all, change is an inside job. OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry March 2016

O.Henry 39





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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Voice of a City

Learning to Have Faith

In a season of rebirth — and time of great uncertainty — one of Greensboro’s most beloved preachers offers pragmatic wisdom on the challenge to believe

By Dr. John Redhead

“Nathanael said unto him, Can

there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” — John 1:46

“How do you get faith?” Not long ago a young man asked me that. “Well,” I replied, “that’s an interesting question. Tell me more of what you mean by it.” Take the Communists, for example,” he went on. “They have a creed and they tell their people what to believe, and they have to take it or else. But it’s different with us. We can believe or not, as we choose. Some of the things you talk about I would like to believe, but how do you go about getting faith?” I thought immediately of a man named Philip in the New Testament. He had come to believe something which he considered worthwhile. He went to tell his friend Nathanael about it, and Nathanael said, “Oh, yeah! You’re all wet. How can this thing be?” So Philip answered him in three little words “Come and see.” Down this road are to be found the answers to some of the thorniest questions of our Christian faith. Now we want to make that pilgrimage. Take, first of all, the question of faith in the goodness of God. It is no easy thing to believe that God is good. When Philip came to Nathanael with the report that the Messiah of Israel, the one long looked for and longed for who had come at last, and that he was this Son of a carpenter in Nazareth, Nathanael was dumfounded. Nazareth had a reputation in Palestine that was none too good. When Nathanael put his question to Philip, he was quoting a proverb: Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? The man who thinks asks this same question about the goodness of God. Nazareth extends its boundaries and covers the map of the world, and the thinking man puts this question: Can any good God come out of this Nazareth scheme of things? The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sit down with such a man and seek to answer his question on the basis of thought alone, and see how far you get. For every argument you can bring forward in favor of your point, he can offer another just as good against it. Talk all you will about good things like sunshine and saints and little children, and he will come right back at you with things like snakes and storms and wars. If he knows his business and you are not on your guard, he will come close to doing for you what the toad did for the centipede. But suppose you say instead to your man: My friend, faith in God is not something which can be settled by argument alone. Faith is the response of your total self to a way of believing. Yourself, like Gaul, is divided into three parts: mind and heart and will. When you seek to argue yourself into faith, you are responding with only one third of your personality, your mind. But if you will take what Jesus says about God and then go out and bet your life it is true, making the grand gamble with mind and heart and will, you will find coming to meet you such a person as Jesus described God as being. Life will then begin to work better on that basis than it has ever worked before. What can a man who has never matriculated know about college life? What can a man who has never been in the water know about swimming? What can a man who has never taken a wife know about marriage? What can a man who has never gone out with God know about faith? No quest, no conquest. No experiment, no experience. Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy [an Anglican priest known for giving Woodbine cigarettes to dying soldiers in field during World War I] has described for us the moment when real religion was born with him. He was alone at night on a moor beside the sea. Above him was the great black dome of heaven and a million stars. There was no sound but the boom of the waves against the cliffs. He was alone; and yet he was acutely conscious of a great, vast, mysterious Presence — the spirit of the universe moving there in the dark. He felt that night as he was to feel on a later occasion when he lay by himself in no man’s land between the trenches and watched a moving figure March 2016

O.Henry 41

The Voice of a City

Not everyone could spot the family resemblance. Fortunately, her doctor did. Donna Owens is a caring, dedicated nurse. Still, her liver disease diagnosis was an unwelcome surprise even though her mother had battled something similar years earlier. But the real eye-opener was learning 15 other members of her family also faced liver problems. Not one to readily give up or give in — especially when it comes to family — Donna worked closely with her primary care physician and specialists at Cone Health to manage her disease through diet, exercise and medication. She’s healthier for it and determined to share her success with 15 very special people. Learn more about Donna and her inspiring family bond at

Exceptional Care. Every Day.

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coming toward him, not knowing whether it were friend or foe. Suppose he whispered, “Who goes there?” Would the answer be a bullet, a friendly word, or silence? Just so had he felt on this night on the moor beside the sea. Suppose he cried out to this mysterious spirit of the universe, “Who goes there?” Would there be any answer, or would there be nothing but the boom of the waves against the cliff? He decided to risk it. He made his cry. “Who goes there?” In that moment his soul received an answer, and the answer was one word: God. Just so does faith demand that risk, that gamble, that adventure. Someone said concerning Christopher Columbus that when he started out, he did not know where he was going; and when he arrived, he did not know where he was; and when he returned, he did not know where he had been: but all the same he discovered America. It is just as true of us as it was of him: no exploration, no discovery. I say that some of us have found a God who is good. You say, “Can any good God come out of this Nazareth of a world?” And I say, “Come and see.” This is the only way you will ever know. Down this road lies also the answer to the question of a changed life. A preacher stands in the pulpit and talks about the new birth, about conversion, about a transforming power which can change a life which knows itself to be weak and bad into a life that is good, saying, “We have found the secret.” And you look at the thing you have on your hands, the thing called life, the thing that makes promises only to break them, the thing that intends to be better but which, when cornered by temptation, always gives in and feels ashamed because of it. And you say, “Can any good thing come out of this Nazareth of human clay?” Try to settle that question by argument alone, and you will be up against a brick wall. A Moslem proverb has it: “If thou hearest that a mountain has moved, believe it; but if you hearest that a man has changed his character, do not believe it.” Can a leopard change his spots? Can you make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Can a man be born again, converted, changed, so that the old life that was, is no more and a new life comes into being? Is not the wisdom of the race, enshrined in its proverbs, all against it? The only answer possible is the answer which Philip made to the incredulity of Nathanael: “Come and see!” When Louis Pasteur proposed his hypothesis that disease is caused by a germ and that inoculation with an antitoxin would kill the germ and cure the disease, the doctors of his day laughed at him. Suppose he had accepted their doubts. Suppose he had settled the matter by argument. Suppose he had been persuaded not to try his experiment? But he said to his doubters, Come and The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Voice of a City

see! and so today we drink our pasteurized milk. Whenever a man is honest and earnest enough to make the experiment, to put this truth to the test, he will find his way to faith in the fact of a new life. So Leo Tolstoi put it on this wise: “Five years ago I came to believe in Christ and my life suddenly became changed. I ceased desiring what I had wished before, and began to desire what I had not wished before. The direction of my life, my desires, suddenly became different: what was good and bad changed places.” Thomas Carlyle puts it down in one, two fashion: “You cannot understand a person unless you do two things: surrender to that person and then identify yourself with him, or you know nothing about him.” Just so! Sit down and do nothing but argue about it, and you will never know the secret of this faith. But get up and step out upon it. Surrender to this Man of Galilee and identify yourself with him. As you know him, you will know, too, the power that transforms. To bring it down to where you live, ask yourself this question: If Christ were sitting with me at my desk at the office, in the locker room at the club, in the hotel room in New York, could I be anything less than my best? You could not to save your life. As long as you are in his presence and under his control, it is easier to change and be your best than not to be. I am simply asking that you “come and see.” It is worthy of noting here that this was all our Lord himself asked of men. He began by picking out twelve men “that they might be with him.” One day he found two fishermen working on their nets, and he said to them, I want you to be my friends. He saw another man named Matthew sitting at his desk collecting taxes, and he gave him the nod. Finally, there were twelve of them. He did not say anything for a long time about being anything more than a carpenter. As a matter of fact, he appears to have been careful not to say anything. It was at least two years after they had lived together in the closest companionship till he mentioned it. Then one day he took them aside and said to them, What do you think about me? And Simon Peter was the first to speak: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” These twelve took nothing for granted. They followed this teacher from Nazareth simply because they liked his looks. They began by think-

ing of him as a man like themselves. It was only after they had lived and worked with him that they decided there was something about him that was different. And so I do not ask you to take anything for granted. I simply ask that you be honest and in earnest and willing to make an experiment. I simply ask that you be willing to spend some time with him; that you take the New Testament and walk up and down its pages with him; that you invite him to step out from its covers and be your guest for a while; that you take him with you in your thoughts and ask his opinion when you make your decisions. Some of us have made this experiment. We say to you, “My friend, we have found our Man. He seems to know his way around in this old world better than anybody else we have ever known. He has the last word-and it’s a good word — about life and duty and destiny. He has put us on the right track about things, and now we find life more satisfying than it has ever been before. He has helped us to see that the universe is good and made us want to be a part of that goodness. He has a word of pardon for a bad conscience, a word of peace for a troubled mind, a word of power for a weak will. All in all, he is just about the finest thing that can happen to you, and he is this Carpenter from Nazareth.” “Nazareth?” you say. “But Nazareth is such a mean little place. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” And there is only one honest answer we can make to that honest question: “Come and see!” Will you? OH

He seems to know this old world better than anyone else we have known

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Dr. John A. Redhead was senior minister at Greensboro’s First Presbyterian Church from 1945– 1970. Born in Centreville, Mississippi, Redhead grew up in Mississippi and Louisiana and graduated from Southwestern College (now Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee), Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia), and awarded a Doctor of Divinity by Davidson College. In those years, he was known throughout the United States for his ability to interpret Christian truths in terms the average person can take hold of and use over The Protestant Hour, the Columbia Church of the Air and the National Radio Pulpit. He published eight books of sermons with Abington Press. This sermon was adapted from a book also titled Learning to Have Faith.

John Jenkins, MD

Internist, Cone Health

A piece of wisdom Dr. John Jenkins, MD, of Cone Health passes on to medical students is that sometimes the last thing you want to give a patient is a diagnosis. Because when you do, you stop considering other possibilities. If Dr. Jenkins did not heed his own advice, he may never have uncovered the link to liver disease his patient Donna Owens shares with 15 members of her family. Learn more about Donna and Dr. Jenkins’ “aha moment” at

Exceptional Care. Every Day.

March 2016 CH_Donna_O'Henry_6x10.75, 2.75x10.75_DS.indd 2

O.Henry 2/12/16 43 10:29 AM

I’ve never been too comfortable on the sidelines. That’s why I chose Well•Spring. From the basketball court to business and community, I believe the more you put into life, the more you get out of it. I’m happy to have found teammates at Well•Spring that share my passion for life.

Hayes Clement

Resident since 2011 4100 Well Spring Dr. Greensboro, NC 27410 (800) 547-5387 • (336) 545-5400 A member of Well•Spring Services, Inc.


44 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Evolving Specie

Mourning Glory The life lesson of proper funeral attire

By Deborah Salomon

There it hung, the last gar-

ment in the storage closet I must empty before returning to North Carolina, leaving life “way up North” as I had known it for four decades. Sunshine streaming through the window cast a greenish hue on the rumpled black linen fabric of a dress I had worn only once.

I can remember shopping with my mother and her saying, “That would make a nice summer funeral dress,” pulling a sedate dark print from a rack of raucous florals. I never understood why she didn’t shop for a “winter funeral dress,” perhaps because most ladies already own a dressy dark winter outfit. Or simply keep their coats on. For the longest time I considered the practice morbid. Isn’t death sad enough without an advance purchase? You shouldn’t buy clothes for a funeral. Just go, express condolences and leave. Eventually, as relatives aged, the thought of summer funeral attire did cross my mind as I put away winter suits, any of which would suffice for a cold-weather service. I did get caught once after my father-in-law died during the September wardrobe transition. The only outfit I had that was even remotely appropriate was a black-and-white checkered skirt and blouse. The checks were grotesquely gingham, prompting my son to tease, “Hey Mom, you look like a tablecloth in mourning.” After that debacle, I kept an eye peeled for a dusty blue jacket dress or a gray striped sheath or perhaps a watery taupe with three-quarter sleeves. I didn’t want to look funereal, just decent. I can’t pinpoint the year when having a summer funeral dress became more important. My father died in 1985, at age 90 — but that was in January. When a parent lives to this such an extraordinary age you naturally sketch out plans for their passing. As an only child, I would be in charge of my incredibly well-organized mother’s final arrangements. Chatting with her during her stay at the Western North Carolina retirement community where she lived, she’d speak of documents, photographs, keepsakes, the disposition of this and that. Every other sentence began “After I’m gone . . .” She stopped noticing my clothes when declining health forced her into the skilled care unit at age 92. Her world had narrowed. No longer could she The Art & Soul of Greensboro

hear, read, walk, criticize, argue politics or respond during our daily phone conversations. Her brothers and most of her contemporaries had died; younger visitors found communicating difficult. Again and again she approached the brink. Again and again I received a midnight call, left on the 6 a.m. flight and arrived to her fussing about cold soup for lunch. The last trip was in July, 2000. “Amazing — she’s a fighter,” the nursing staff said of this umpteenth false alarm. Still, I knew I had to go shopping. That organic connection between mother and child suggested the end was near — and neither of my summer funeral dresses seemed right. One I wore to work, too routine for the impending occasion. And for this youngish grandma with OK legs, the second option, even with dark stockings, was too short — at least for a family funeral. I wanted my mother to know, in death as in life, that I respected her conservatism. Black wasn’t my first choice. However, as I walked through the department store, a dress practically jumped off the mannequin: a black linen (“Linen’s so cool in the summer,” she always said) doublebreasted coatdress with big pearly buttons, notched collar and elbow-skimming sleeves. The dress was fashionably long (“I hate draggy skirts” rang in my ears) so I hemmed it just below the knee. The tag read size 4, which would please her, also. All was ready when the phone rang at dawn on August 18, 2000. My mother’s journey had ended. As she slipped peacefully toward that better place, she called out to her parents, my father and my daughter as though she could see them, the nurses said. Pride overcame sadness as I spoke at her memorial service. In 98 years, this eldest child of a minimally educated bricklayer from Reidsville and a gentle country woman from Rockingham County had worked her way to a Master’s degree from Columbia University (during the Depression, no less), pursued a career in teaching mathematics, owned a home, survived cancer, kept up with world affairs and set standards I could not possibly meet. But instead of glorifying her achievements, I related anecdotes that occasioned chuckles. They, too, knew she hid Heath bars in her bedside drawer and liked nothing better than being right. I said nothing about the summer funeral dress, of course. The dress spoke for itself. It was, I finally realized, not an antiquated fashion dictum but a lesson in life — a lesson about preparing for death with acceptance, practicality, equanimity —and without fear. OH Deborah Saloman is a contributing editor to O.Henry’s sister publication PineStraw. March 2016

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The Bear Truth

By Clyde Edgerton

I recently read — in a newspa-

per, or magazine, or somewhere — this quote from a man who’d just killed a black bear weighing over 700 pounds: “I never thought I would kill one that big, but the Lord blessed me with a big one to take.” (I didn’t make that up.)

By happenstance, I’d just gotten a call from a bear friend inviting me to make a return trip to the Pender County branch of B.E.A.R., or Bear Elders Annual Retreat. My bear friend takes me every few years. Blindfolded as usual, I was transported to an undisclosed location in Pender County — about forty-five minutes north-northwest of Wilmington. (The convention is held just prior to hibernation each year.) On arrival — a cold night in late January — after removing my blindfold, I saw some of my old bear friends. We laughed it up around a big bonfire in the woods, slapped each other on the back, and caught up on our families, etc., before we walked to the convention cabin situated, oh, maybe fifty yards from the bonfire. Some of my friends walked upright with me and others waddled on all fours to the meeting. Inside: a big wood stove in the corner, benches, and a low stage. A honey bar stretched along the wall to my right. The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. I remember this from the prayer: “Dear Lord, we know You wouldn’t ‘bless a human

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

being with a big one of us to take.’ We know You better than that. We know that You bless the world with us, and that you bless us with the world, a beautiful place for all God’s creatures. And we know that ‘take’ means ‘kill.’ Thank you, dear Lord, for allowing us to also occasionally take a man. Yes, thank you for sometimes blessing us with a big one to take. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” The speaker for the night was Barlow Ben Blackbear of Burgaw. The title of his speech? “Large Men We Have Taken.” It was an interesting talk. I got a little nervous with the gales of laughter about “the look on his face as he kept looking over his shoulder,” etc., etc., but several bears wandering back and forth to the honey bar during the speech placed a warm paw on my shoulder, bent over, and whispered in my ear something like, “Hey Clyde buddy, don’t fret. We know you are just under 200 pounds. And we know you’ve only taken quail, dove, and rabbits. Don’t you fret, Boy.” The bears weigh their human trophies on certified scales in Newton Grove and they are mounted by area bear taxidermists. The world record is 341 pounds (1958). Only fourteen over 300 pounds have been taken, ah, killed. After the speech there were lots of laughs and stories around the bonfire, very few growls. I have found bears to be gentle and easygoing, full of fun. I put on my blindfold, climbed into my friend’s SUV, and headed home to read-up on the Constitution — you know, the rights of animals, the rights of men and women, the rights of guns. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a memoir and a new work, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. March 2016

O.Henry 47


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March 2016

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A Novel Year

Confessions of a Writer’s Spouse Soaking in the truth

By Wiley Cash

The following

is part of a recorded conversation between my wife, Mallory, and me about what it’s like to be married to a writer. Mallory: Are you recording this on your phone? WC: Yes. Mallory: Don’t let your phone fall into the water. WC: Do you always give your interviews from the bathtub? Mallory: Just the important ones. WC: Would you like to tell our readers why you’re soaking in the bathtub? Mallory: Because I’m pregnant and my body is falling apart. WC: OK, let’s get started. I began working on this current novel in early 2013, so it’s been almost three years. Mallory: It seems like so much longer. WC: I was hoping to finish it by your birthday. Mallory: My 32nd birthday? WC: No, your 31st birthday; the one that just passed. Mallory: I just turned 32. WC: You’re 32? Really? I’m sorry. I was going to finish the novel by your 32nd birthday and write my monthly column about what it’s like to finish a novel. Since I didn’t finish it, I thought I’d interview you about what it’s like to live with someone who’s trying to finish a novel. Mallory: It’s tense at times. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

WC: In what way? Mallory: It’s magical at times. WC: Be serious. Mallory: I am being serious. Being a writer means you always have homework. You can’t clock out. When you’re not writing you’re reading novels to blurb, you’re answering emails, writing essays and articles. Your thinking about your novel takes up a lot of headspace, and I can see it on your face, especially in the beginning and at the end. Sometimes, the beginning and the end last for months. But there’s magic to it sometimes too. WC: What are some of the challenges of living with someone who’s writing a novel as opposed to living with someone in a different line of work? Mallory: A lot of people probably talk to their spouses about work, but being a writer’s spouse means there are hours of listening to your spouse read out loud. WC: Is it challenging when I read my work out loud? Mallory: It can be, to be honest. Sometimes, I think you read to me because you know there’s an audience and you’re critical in a way you wouldn’t be if you were just reading to yourself. I understand that I’m just standing in for your own ear. I can tell when you want constructive criticism, and I can tell when you just need to share. What’s also challenging is that I’m present when you’re conceptualizing the novel at the very beginning, and I hear about the book from the initial idea to the first draft to the final draft, and I’m called upon at the end to read it with the eyes of a first-time reader. That’s difficult to do when I’ve watched the process unfold. WC: Do you feel pressure to say nice things when you read my work-in-progress? Mallory: Not anymore. In fact, I feel like I’ve let you down if I come back and tell you it’s great. I don’t purposefully look for things to critique, especially early on, but if I don’t have something critical to say, it probably means that I’m not reading very closely. March 2016

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A Novel Year

WC: Has this affected you as a reader? Are you harder on the books that you read for enjoyment? Mallory: Yes. I analyze dialogue. I analyze tricks that show the passage of time or the physical details of a place or a person. I can see the seams in a story after reading so closely for so long. WC: What are some of the good things about being married to a writer?

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Mallory: It’s interesting to witness the creative process. It’s not as romantic as people think, but it can be. I enjoy line-editing your manuscript proofs at the very end. In terms of our relationship, it gives you flexibility to work from home, which can be a curse and a blessing. WC: Are there any moments that you look back on as being particularly dark? Mallory: All three of your novels have had dark moments while you were writing them, not to mention the numerous rejections from literary magazines you’ve gotten over the years. It was hard watching you write A Land More Kind Than Home, especially when things didn’t work out with your first agent. That was a dark time. I thought, “This may be over.” And when you started working with your current agent, there were times during the revision of Land when you doubted the novel’s worth. It’s difficult for me to see you doubt yourself and your work. WC: What’s it like for you whenever I finish a book? Mallory: There are short-lived bouts of euphoria experienced by both of us, followed by nerves because you move on to something else: You want to renovate a farmhouse or organize a letterwriting campaign to your senator. If you don’t have a million things going on, you try to drum up something to keep busy. WC: How did your training as an attorney prepare you for being married to a writer? Mallory: I learned endurance in law school. I learned how to stay awake when people are droning on monotonously. WC: Are you saying that our interview has come to its end? Mallory: I’m saying that my fingers have turned to prunes. WC: Thank you for letting me interview you. Mallory: You’re welcome. Are you going to read this out loud to me before you submit it? WC: Of course. Why would I mess with a good thing? OH Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released last year. He lives in Wilmington.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Canada Goose How the northern waterfowl became a permanent resident of North Carolina

By Susan Campbell

The Canada goose: For some the

image is a magnificent and noble bird of the North. For others it is a noisy, messy nuisance that just won’t go away. In recent years it seems people either love or hate Canadas. (And about that adjective: Although the “Canada” goose is not about to undergo a name change, I can assure you that the vast majority of the birds you see are actually made in America.) When I was a lot younger, flocks of these majestic birds signified the changing of the seasons. I would hear the distant unmistakable honking and search the sky for skeins of birds moving on their annual journey. But times have changed. I challenge you to find a municipality along the Eastern Seaboard where the birds cannot be found twelve months of the year.

Regardless of their origin, Canada geese are definitely legal aliens and are the second largest of the waterfowl found in North Carolina, with tundra swans a good 30 percent larger and up to half again as heavy. Tundras are only here from late October into early March and are not seen in the Piedmont. However, it’s well worth the journey to see them blanketing the large lakes and sounds of the coastal plain. Canada geese, although only found here and there in our mountains, are now permanent residents in the rest of the state year round. And their large, nonmigratory population continues to grow even in urban areas. Canada geese are almost unmistakable, with their light brown back and chest, white bellies, black legs and a distinctive white chin strap that contrasts with their black bill, head and neck. Other geese such as greater white-fronted or the domesticated greylag will be tan all over and sport pinkish orange bills, legs and feet. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Don’t, however, be tempted to take the ever-present flocks of Canada Geese for granted. It’s not unusual for a migrating wanderer — a passing greater white-fronted goose or a snow goose — to be attracted to the feeding or loafing flock. Or on occasion, the smallest subspecies of Canada, the cackling goose (about as big as a mallard), will join the group. Historically Canada geese overwintered in Eastern North Carolina’s extensive areas of large, open water. Lake Mattamuskeet tended to be the area with the largest concentrations. The shallow freshwater lake with abundant submerged aquatic vegetation as well as acres of adjacent agricultural land, often planted in corn, provided optimal habitat. In fact, the original National Wildlife Refuge logo there once included the Canada goose. Another inland became a seasonal goose magnet, as well: Gaddy’s Goose Pond (in Anson County). Lockhart Gaddy, a big-time goose hunter, was lucky enough to attract a few passing birds to a large pond on his property during the mid-1930s. Then he began managing intensively for wintering waterfowl and succeeded in hosting as many as 10,000 Canadas by the 1950s. As the interest in goose hunting grew in the 1960s and ’70s in the Eastern United States, others to the north followed Gaddy’s lead: especially around the Chesapeake Bay. With plentiful food and good habitat at hand, not surprisingly, more and more Canada geese abandoned the long flight home to Canada and began spending the summer — and winter — farther South, thousands in North Carolina. Wild flocks do show up still, but their numbers are dwarfed by the omnipresent native population. Also, many of the nonmigratory geese we see are the offspring of hand-reared birds that were released decades ago so they could be hunted. However, they had no parents to show them the way either north or south from here thus; they never leave. So what if the length of days and nights confuses them? They’re not about to leave environs of the golf courses, riverbanks and reservoirs where they were hatched. As the first southerly breezes of spring begin to blow, large flocks of migrant Canada geese will begin to head north. Their loud honking will give them away as they pass high overhead on their way back to nesting grounds in the boreal forests, north of the border and beyond. But not to worry, their relatives are here to stay. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at March 2016

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Life of Jane

Beware of Easter bunnies — and babies — bearing gifts

By Jane Borden

In spite of

Illustration by Meridith Martens

enjoying idyllic Easter traditions in my youth — picking flowers from our yard for the wire-mesh cross at First Presbyterian Church, hunting for marshmallow candies inside tulip blooms in my great aunt’s storybook garden — my strongest memory of the holiday is the time I dressed as the Easter Bunny to work a party for 3-year-olds.

It was a sweet gig. At 13, I was a regular babysitter for a couple of the children invited, so my audience members were already my fans. Plus, there’d be candy. My parents dropped me on the other side of Dogwood Park, where I climbed inside a polyester, adult-sized rabbit, and attached the bug-eyed helmet. Then I sauntered into the mêlée, basket of candy in hand, adopting my best congenial walk. Just your average steroidal Lepus, looking for fun and eager to hug. Everybody get psyched. The first child who saw me started to cry immediately. Within seconds, they were all screaming, abandoning their hunts to help spread the warning to neighboring villages: A monster conjured from the unknown had come to wave its hairy paws at them and dance a jig. “Regard its tapping foot! Its unnatural cotton tail!! Why does the beast present its behind?! Only heaven can save us now.” Thirty seconds after affixing the costume’s head, I removed it. Then, commenced a new terror. “The monster is my babysitter! The monster is

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

my babysitter? Clearly, I have never noticed my babysitter’s behind!!” Every moment in early childhood, because we are born clean slates, is unfamiliar and incomprehensible. Reality is sudden, overwhelming, occasionally horrifying and confounding to pick apart. Then enters a creature breaking the rules their brains have so struggled to grasp. It resembles a stuffed toy but possesses free will. It has dead eyes, but sees. It was not invited. Still, heartbreakingly, the children were torn. Though wailing, they did not run — because this half-beast babysitting specter bore sweets. Candy is the closest thing toddlers have to religion. Like grace, it is perfect, rare and delivered by gods. Was this polyester monster the deity their parents addressed before meals? Certainly, each meal ended with sweets. In the end, though, the basket of treats could not calm. They dropped even the candies they’d already collected, and with good logic. What if the foilwrapped chocolate rabbits in their hands began to speak and dance as well? They could suffer no more unexplained wagging behinds. But slowly the children understood and accepted that they were safe, and that I was still me but in strange clothes. We exchanged belated hugs. I babysat often. Usually, this involved feeding kids boxed macaroni and cheese, playing games, and putting them to sleep not long after I had arrived. Afterward, there were hours to kill. So you could say I was babysitting or you could say I was eating cheese. Every fridge contained the string variety, and usually Kraft slices too. I also ate the leftover mac and cheese, as well as small portions of pretty much everything in the refrigerator and pantry. As long as there was enough for my portion to go unnoticed, I partook. It was the prepubescent equivalent of swiping a bit of liquor out of each bottle in your parents’ cabinet. But I also did the dishes, always, in a desperate ploy to stay employed. I tidied toys and wiped counters. Then I watched television until the adults returned to March 2016

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Life of Jane drive me home. My mom instructed that I never count wages upon receiving them, so I stuffed the wads and checks in my pocket, pulling them out as soon I crossed my parents’ threshold. Sixteen dollars, fist-pump to the sky! And that was a raise. When I started at 12, I charged $2.50 an hour. I had taken a babysitting class at Cone Hospital, so I deserved every penny. Babies watching babies. The kids liked me because I was one of them. When I texted Nancy May — who co-organized that egg hunt — to ask what she remembered about the day, she said, “I also got a lot of special grown-up candy for you. But your mom told me afterwards that you were disappointed not to get the same kind the kids had on the hunt, so I brought some of that over to your house later.”

Candy is the closest thing toddlers have to religion. At some point, presumably during my twelve years in New York, I forgot how to be with children. This, in spite of a diet still filled with children’s candy. Now, I’m relearning. The reality of having my own is not at all the way I had imagined it would be. You think it’ll be hard. Or, at least, people tell me that a lot — “It must be hard.” They say it because they can’t imagine, don’t know what to expect. But parenthood isn’t hard, per se. It’s just a new reality. And there is definitely a long transition into understanding how this reality works. The transition itself is difficult, absolutely. But the reality? I can’t say if it’s hard or easy. It just is. So, parents out there, take a moment to imagine a scenario. You have just had your first child and are in the middle of that harrowing transition, still coming to grips with what the phrase constant care actually means. You are leaning over a crib at 3 a.m., wiping poop off its railings, struggling with a squirming and crying infant, when, out of nowhere, an elephant-sized baby saunters into the nursery, waving its big-baby hands and doing a little jig. What would you do? Even if it came bearing an oversize basket full of what, at that moment, are your favorite things — wine, a hot meal, sleep — it’s a basket full of sleep. I don’t care how much you want it, you scream. OH Jane Borden lives in Los Angeles with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. She stopped hallucinating by the crib a few months ago. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March 2016 Monet’s Water Lily Pond at Giverny I feel the colors break into strokes as you brush a lock of hair from your forehead: reveries take over the landscape: streams of steady visitors bloom lilies I cannot squander, even as sleep breaks upon the lawn and the poplar leaves rumple brown and yellow plainly around you, the poet’s bench casting its shadow away from the bridge, the sales of note-cards, haystacks, sunsets, a green dress, oils, completions among minnows and carp, a redbreast or two love dops. —Shelby Stephenson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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From Boom to Bust The one-of-a-kind art of Felix Semper By Ogi Overman • Photographs by Sam Froelich

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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ne of the most misused words in the English language is “unique.” It is regularly used to mean out of the ordinary or odd or different, when, in fact, it means singular or one of a kind or in a class by itself. Felix Semper’s art is unique in the truest sense of the word. Semper uses a process that he invented, and not surprisingly, given the hundreds of man-hours involved creating his works, they are not cheap. How not-cheap? Well, his cheapest sculpture is $30,000 and most expensive $150,000, but most run in the $50,000 range. But Semper does not talk about money. He talks about passion and drive and joy and creativity. He talks about having the courage to follow one’s bliss and dig deep into one’s soul to discover a way to create something that’s never been done before. “I knew that for me to be successful, I could not follow anyone, that I would have to do what comes from my heart,” he muses. “I said, ‘I’ve got to break the mold and come up with something new.’” And that something new he coined is called “stretchable paper sculpture.” At first glance most of Semper’s works would pass for a typical bust, made of clay or plaster or papier mâché. But then he does something extraordinary. The process begins with thousands of sheets of paper, each one glued on alternating ends and placed in a stainless steel template. Once the stack of papers is dried it is compressed in a special press until it forms what appears to be a block of solid material. Then it is ready to be carved into whatever face Semper chooses. At that point, he takes the head and pulls it apart, stretching it out and bending it, not unlike the bellows of an accordion. Then it seamlessly folds back in place to become a bust again. “It took me about a year of trial and error to come up with a prototype,” Semper says. “I didn’t have any rules or guidelines to follow; everything I do is completely freehand. It takes me from three to four months to finish one.” You might think that Semper grew up with a passion for art and spent years studying it in art school. But only the first assumption — the passion — would be correct. Until 2008–09 he was a very successful custom home builder, the owner of Semper Homes. He was building between twelve and fifteen homes a year, many in the upscale Brassfield and northwest area of Greensboro. Then when the economy collapsed and the Great Recession hit, Semper was forced to declare bankruptcy. “I got stuck with five or six half-million-dollar homes when the economy tanked,” he admits. “A lot of us went under. It was really tough.” But, for Semper at least, there was a silver lining. He decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an artist, and threw every bit of energy, passion and wherewithal toward that end. “I looked at myself and said I was at a point in life where my kids were grown and this was my chance,” he recalls. “I had always incorporated art in my building and everything I’d done,

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and said this is what I needed to do. It was my only chance and I decided to give it all I’ve got.” It was, in fact, as a builder that Semper came across the special type of paper that he uses. “I needed something that would not tear and remembered these doors I used to install.” The material is a structural fiber used to fill hollow doors that will support up to a thousand times its weight. “I realized that I could use this fiber for my art,” he explains. “I took the doors apart and figured out how the process worked and said, ‘Hey, I might have something here.’” Semper’s studio/workshop in Revolution Mill not only contains his sculptures but several dozen of his more traditional works of art on canvas as well. Many of them, such as the exaggerated figures in “Cigar Series,” reflect the artist’s Spanish heritage. He was born in Cuba and lived much of his early life in Madrid, before coming to the United States, eventually settling in Greensboro some sixteen years ago. His paintings adorn the walls of local dining establishments, including Mark’s Restaurant and Southern Lights. This month, Semper is hosting an exhibition of both his paintings and sculptures that will include likenesses of Picasso, graffiti artist Basquiat, Cuban poet José Martí, Jimi Hendrix and Marilyn Monroe. Fittingly, the bust of Hendrix is made of vinyl records, all by Hendrix, and the Marilyn Monroe is crafted from magazines, all containing stories about her. But the centerpiece of the exhibition is the unveiling of a brand-new work titled Daphne: From Tree to Paper. It is a twist on the Greek myth of the nymph Daphne, who in fleeing the advances of sun god Apollo, turns into a laurel tree. Semper’s sculpture began as an oak tree trunk and branches and is now a full-figure sculpture, complete with stretchable head, depicting Daphne’s emergence into womanhood. To say it is breathtaking would not be an understatement. Nor to say that it’s unique. OH The opening reception for Felix Semper’s sculptures and paintings takes place on March 11, from 5 p.m. 8:30 p.m. at Studio 2, in Revolution Mill (1178 Revolution Mill Drive). Featured will be a poetry reading, wine, and a live Latin and experimental jazz group fronted by a xylophonist. Info: Ogi Overman has been an editor, reporter, columnist and contributor for a number of central North Carolina publica http://www. tions since 1984.Joyful Noises The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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How the epicenter of the American Revolution vanished into time By Charles Rodenbough

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Image provded BY the Greensboro Historical Museum Archives


March 2016

of Martinville


es, George Washington slept here. On June 2, 1791, on the final leg of the Southern Tour he mounted to demonstrate what this thing called a President looked like, Washington spent the night in Martinville, a small town that was beginning to coalesce around the courthouse that by that time was identified as the location of a pivotal battle of the Revolutionary War. Earlier, a youthful Andrew Jackson made Martinville his home while clerking in a store there and studying law. On March 15, 1788, the man who would become the nation’s seventh President in 1829 was said to have organized the first celebration of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Martinville — on Jackson’s 21st birthday. With his young friends Andy used cock fights, horse racing and a dance in the evening to declare his majority in the most boisterous manner in keeping with his later reputation as a frontier character. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Image provded BY the Greensboro Historical Museum Archives

Martinville? Maybe you’ve seen the sign, which (with a misspelling) reads “Martinsville Road” as you go down Battleground Avenue, and wondered where’s Martinsville? For many it is a mystery. Just as the ancient world “lost” Carthage, Troy and Pompeii for awhile, the exact location of Martinville, as central to this area’s history as it is, was shrouded by the passage of the decades. So it’s high time to celebrate one of the Triad’s, if not the state’s most historic spots. When Guilford County was organized in 1770, Governor Tryon needed some sort of wedge between Rowan County and Orange County to defuse the concentration of Regulator unrest along the Haw River and Deep River. A small town like Salisbury in Rowan or Hillsborough in Orange would be just the thing, he thought. However, within six months Tryon was in open conflict with those same Regulator forces at the Battle of Alamance. Only a few years earlier, Edmund Fanning had acquired considerable land from the estate of William Churton, including 350 acres in the midst of what was then called the Scots-Irish Nottingham Settlement between Buffalo and Reedy Fork creeks. It was from the midst of this acreage that Fanning in 1771 had John Campbell deed one acre to the new county for a courthouse. Before taxes could be raised sufficient to the construction of the courthouse, the county court meetings were held in the house of Robert Lindsay on Deep River. When the Revolutionary War began, the courthouse was still under construction, so court continued to be held in the Lindsay house. As the war continued, the courthouse structure at Guilford was completed and was used routinely as a point of rendezvous, particularly when Colonials were sent against the Overhill Cherokee. The courthouse building was a log structure — 20’ x 20’ —at least as large as Robert Lindsay’s Great Room. “Guilford Court House, erected near the great State road,” recalled a contemporary, “is situated on the brow of a declivity, which descends gradually with an undulating slope for about a half mile. It terminates in a small vale; intersected by a rivulet.” In the afternoon of March 15, 1781, two armies clashed in a bitter and prolonged struggle with the rustic log building in the very center of the opposing forces. What was left when the smoke cleared was a battered shell, its contents strewn all about. Five months after the battle, the lands of Tories (or Loyalists), who had resisted the Revolution, were sold by North Carolina as confiscated land. Alexander Martin and his brother-in-law, Thomas Henderson, bought the Edmund Fanning land that surrounded the courthouse. Three weeks later, in one of the more bizarre circumstances of the war, a Tory force under the command of David Fanning and “OneEyed” Hector McLean rode into Hillsborough, the temporary state capital, and captured the Governor, his council, many Continental officers and soldiers, along with various members of the General Assembly, and marched them as captives to Charleston. Alexander Martin, then serving as President of the North Carolina Senate, happened to be out of town and escaped the raid. He automatically became Governor, acting for imprisoned Governor Thomas Burke. In effect, Martin not only became the Governor but pretty much the government of the state. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Meanwhile, the battle for dominance between the Whigs and Tories teetered with ferocious and deadly consequences. One bystander remembered riding by a spreading oak and seeing it swinging with Tory bodies one day, only to find it festooned with Whigs the next. Prisoners were summarily shot or “spiketed” on the courthouse lawn: having their bare foot placed on a spike driven into a block and their body pivoted until the spike protruded. After a few months Burke broke parole, and returned to the state to re-assume his office. In the election a few months later, Martin defeated Burke, serving for three years. He ended this block of service in May of 1785 and in November, he and Henderson began selling lots surrounding the courthouse of Guilford County. On this land they had already laid out the town of Martinville. Old Salisbury Road became Greene Street and Reedy Fork Road became Battle Street and where they crossed became the center of town. The four squares each faced four lots on Greene and two deep on Battle, likely totaling thirty-two 1-acre lots, though only about a third were ever sold as lots. The existing courthouse was to the northeast in the North Square, along with Thomas Henderson’s storehouse building, which he had moved over to serve as records storage. When the legislature authorized the transfer of the

Map of the Battle of Guilford

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northern half of Guilford County to a new county to be named Rockingham, Martin’s and Henderson’s interest in Martinville appears to have shifted. Henderson moved from his position of Clerk of Court of Guilford to the same post in Rockingham. By then, Martin had built a house about a mile south of Martinville, but most of the rest of his extended family was settled in Rockingham and Stokes Counties. In 1787, Alexander Martin was chosen as one of the five delegates of North Carolina to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. He was the only delegate from the frontier of the state and the only one to represent the very conservative subsistence farmers who made up the majority in the west. Near Martin lived Reverend David Caldwell, a Presbyterian minister and at an earlier time, fellow student at Princeton College with Martin. Anchored by strict Ulster Presbyterians, active as Whig revolutionaries, Martinville was surrounded by nonconformist, peace-loving Quakers and Moravians, along

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Image provded BY Carles Rodenbough

Views of Guilford Battleground Park in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (1888)

with Lutherans and the Tory/Regulator sympathizers of Stinking Quarter. Martin’s important position in state and national politics placed Martinville and Guilford County at the center of the political formation of state and nation. The financial and political power of North Carolina was still in the east but it was in places like Martinville, Salisbury and Hillsborough that the future momentum of growth in North Carolina was shifting as populations surged down the Valley Road out of Pennsylvania. Early surviving Guilford court records demonstrate that there were few resources to maintain the public facilities, and concerns for the repair of the stocks, jail, whipping post and pillory were a constant concern. The results of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse had not been kind to the log building and after a decade it had to be replaced by a frame building, bigger and more versatile. Court, held once a quarter, drew crowds to Martinville and several taverns were licensed to provide food, shelter and refreshments. Like most farm-to-market settlements, a store, a cooperage and other businesses sprang up around the crossroad to serve the farms for miles around. On court days, enterprising farmers brought wagons of food and drink to be sold to the crowds. Gambling and card playing were fixtures of entertainment. In the tradition of the county fairs of Europe and England, such events transformed local routines. The local Post Road brought mail in a route that covered a weekly circuit of courthouses from Stokes, Rockingham, Caswell, Orange to Guilford. That route was the same as the court circuit ridden by judges, lawyers, scribes and litigants each quarter. Oddly, the written record of Martinville’s history, never mentions a church in the limits. In the vicinity, however, the Quakers had been well established at New Garden and the Presbyterians at Buffalo. Reverend David Caldwell, who was at Buffalo, operated the only school, a “classical” school at his home. He was also considered the only local doctor, although he was not professionally trained. Records suggest — and that’s all we have to go on — that during the entire time of its existence, Martinville had a sort of uneasy impermanence. The presumed lack of a church seemed indicative. A single mobile source of economic opportunity, i.e., a quarterly court, was fine and a necessity, but court could be conducted anywhere there was a facility. Roads, of course, converged on the courthouse but as time passed, more roads provided alternative routes. And by precedent and preference, courts were generally located in the geographic center of a county. Martinville was off-center. The Martinville folks, the “courthouse crowd,” naturally preferred business as usual. But veterans of the Revolution began to age and die and as younger people took over leadership “Centrists” saw a new opportunity for control by campaigning for a more central location. It seemed a standoff until something beyond politics would settle the issue. In 1807, Governor Alexander Martin died at Danbury on the Dan River, the home to which he had by then retired. It seemed the thinnest of motivations but it was enough. Even though the Centrists at first discovered that the center of the county was in the midst of a swamp, they later revised their survey to the top of a grade and laid out Greensborough with its center near the current courthouse. A substantial new courthouse had already been sanctioned and property around it was soon a premium location. Building delays prevented the official transfer of court to Greensborough until after

Image provded BY Carles Rodenbough

the spring term of 1809. That act removed all reason for Martinville to survive. The public buildings were vacated and immediately began to deteriorate. Residents like Robert Lindsay moved to Greensboro, considering their houses at Martinville as farms in the country. Liquor, gambling, gaming of all kinds lost favor. Only the roads remained in use and passers-by had little reason to stop. It was only in the 1850s that citizens began to recollect that a major battle had been fought at this same location. The veterans of that conflict had died and people were concerned that they had lost their story. “Where were the battle lines? Where did they bury their dead?” Stories arose about ghosts and spooks; relics surfaced that attracted collectors and even gave value to artifacts. In 1846 William Henry Foote described the site of Martinville. “The court-house is gone [and] the village is wasted to a house.” He waxed poetic, finding “dilapidated buildings and the stoic ruins of the old courthouse chimney.” That was what the American historian Benson J. Lossing found in 1850 when he sought to visit, map and describe all the battlefield sites of the Revolutionary War. He rode out there in a snow storm so that what did remain was even more disguised. He made a pitiful sketch of what remained of the chimney, probably the one to the original log courthouse. Such ruins and relics speak to each generation. In 1865, two great armies were about to end their fighting again in Guilford County. This time Federals and Confederates had swollen Greensboro to 200,000 souls. Two Union soldiers took the opportunity to walk out to the site of Martinville and the battlefield and recorded their prophetic thoughts: “Greensboro is the present county-seat of Guilford County, and the ‘Old Court House,’ a few miles distant, has disappeared as a village, a few buildings almost unused being the only mark of the old town. Natural topography, however, does not change its material features easily, and in this case a cleared field or two where the forest had formerly extended seemed to be the only change that had occurred in the past century. With General Greene’s official report of the battle in our hands, we could trace with complete accuracy every movement of the advancing enemy and his own dispositions to receive the attack. We could see the reasons for the movements on both sides, and how the undulations of surface and the cover of the woods and fences were taken advantage of by either commander. Military principles being the same in all times, we found ourselves criticizing the movements as if they had occurred on one of our own recent battlefields. It brought the older and the later war into almost startling nearness, and made us realize, as perhaps nothing else could have done, how the future visitor will trace the movements in which we have had a part; and when we have been dust for centuries, will follow the path of our battalions from hill to hill, from streams to streams, from the border of the woods to the open ground where the bloody conflict was hand to hand, and will comment on the history we have made.” — April 1865 The celebration of the Centennial of the nation in 1876 introduced new interest in military sites of the Revolution. Accordingly, Judge David Schenck convinced some of his Greensboro friends to incorporate the Guilford Battleground Company to purchase and save the old battlefield for future generations. At first they struggled with their mission, considering it to be a memorial and a public recreational park. In 1917 Guilford Courthouse National Military Park became The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the only military park created in the first quarter of the 20th century, preserving the site “for historical and professional military study.” In 1933 the park was transferred from the War Department to the National Parks Service under the Department of Interior. A decision was almost immediately made to locate the site of the original courthouse and to reconstruct a replica. Since that time, a series of archaeological surveys have sought proof of the exact location. None having been able to satisfy authorities of the precise location, so the search for Martinville continues to this day. OH

David Schenk (center) with the original Board of Guilford Battleground Company

Want To Go? Although the exact location is under dispute, the site of Martinville is definitely within the bounds of Guilford Battleground Military Park. Go to the Tourist Center and a ranger will direct you to Tour Stop #6 nearest the site. An alternate route would be, coming north out of Greensboro on Battleground Avenue turn right onto Martinsville Road and go across to Lawndale Road. Turn left on Lawndale for about a mile to where Old New Garden Road turns right. Old New Garden was closed in the park but was once actually Greene Street in Martinville. The Greensboro Nature Science Center is actually the exact center of the hundred acres established in 1785 as Martinville by the North Carolina Legislature. Charles Rodenbough is an author of nine books, novels and histories of North Carolina including a biography of Governor Alexander Martin. His most recent book, written in partnership with Gary Brown is Martinville, A Courthouse, a Battle, a Town in Guilford County History. Rodenbough can be reached at March 2016

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A Joyful Noise

At Greensboro’s United House Of Prayer for All People, the Madison Heavenly Sounds Trombone Shout band lifts the spirit and feeds the soul


By Grant Britt • Photograph by Sam Froelich

he music hits you with a punch to the heart. Like a gospel freight train thrumming down the rails, it makes everything in the surrounding area vibrate with the brassy rhythm. Band members and audience alike bounce to the beat. You can’t keep still — the sound permeates your body as it vibrates up your breastbone, tickling your spine. As trombone slides reach for the heavens, Greensboro’s United House of Prayer for All People swells to the strains of the Madison Heavenly Sounds Trombone Shout band, and all heaven is breaking loose. Under the leadership of House Of Prayer founder Charles Manuel “Sweet Daddy” Grace, switching out the organ in church services for brass instruments first came into vogue in the late 1920s. The Cape Verde native, whose first church was founded in Charlotte in 1926, had a lone trombonist with him at first. But as Grace sought a way to attract people to his services, he added brass bands. These were originally driven through town on a flatbed truck to attract crowds to hear Grace’s message. The bands also created another House of Prayer tradition: The kitchens found in every HOP today. “Daddy Grace started this because in the ’20s people didn’t have jobs or food; there was no welfare, no food stamps, no Social Security, so he started a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

food program,” says Apostle H.M. Swaringer, who presides over the Greensboro church. “He would have soup kitchens, and people would line up and come in and get their bowl of soup and their bread. His ideology was a hungry man doesn’t want to hear about the word of God. Feed a man’s belly and you can talk to his soul.” At a recent HOP service, there did seem to be a lot of well-fed souls in attendance. The spirit was being heard, and it moved your heart, your soul and your feet. There’s no mystery as to why they call these horn-wielding praise bearers a shout band. When this music starts to swell, it lifts you up, encouraging you to shout and dance. Leader Andrew Kittrell fronts this brass furnace, blasting high-pitched praise to the heavens. As the band swells behind him, the congregation is buoyed up on pulsating waves of worship. The band currently has as many as seventeen members. I witnessed seven ’bones, a tuba, sousaphone and two drummers, snare and a kick making a joyful noise no one could ignore. You feel the floor vibrating beneath your feet as the band takes it up a notch. Kittrell hollers “Thank you, Daddy,” as the spirit moves him, and many members of the congregation at the Cathedral on Dudley Street join him, dancing and shouting in the spirit. The service is truly an all-ages event. Even the

smallest kids in the congregation are fully engaged in the proceedings, many already in training for future musical service. The church takes a unique approach to getting children interested in the music with what they call fist bands. The children emulate the instruments with their hands, arms and lips. “They ball up one fist, and since we use tubas and trombones, they turn their arm up over their head as the bass horn, and that’s how they learn how to play their instrument,” Swaringer says. Children as young as 3 blow into their fists at first, making the sounds of the horn while pumping an arm like a trombone slide or pressing imaginary tuba keys. As they get older, kids are given a mouthpiece from a ’bone or tuba to practice on before graduating to an actual instrument. “They hear the sounds, and that sound is embedded in them, until by the time they are seven or eight they can play an instrument as good as a person who has been taking music all their lives,” Swaringer adds. Reading music is not a requirement, and few band members do, playing entirely by ear. “Reading music is phenomenal,” Kittrell says, “but to have the gift of playing by ear is unbelievable. It’s a gift from God.”
 “Run man” Khari Mincey, who also plays an important role in the band, doesn’t read music either. “It’s an extension of your voice,” he says of his instrument. “My dad used to tell me all March 2016

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the time, ‘If you can sing a note, you can play a note.’” Born and raised in the church, Mincey started playing when he was age 4. “When you play, you’re projecting yourself,” Mincey says. “That’s you, through an instrument.” His “run man” duties include playing three- or four-part harmony, being in the background and keeping everything under control. Swaringer, who played in New York City’s HOP shout band, says the run man’s main duty is to keep the band moving as the bass element. “The bass does all the turning,” Swaringer says. “Bass — he calls, and he carries ’em into it, and the rest follow . . . and that’s the way it is.” The band is a family tradition for many members. Kittrell’s grandfather, Preston Kittrell, was told by Daddy Grace to come back from Virginia to Greensboro to start a band. “When he was told to go back to Greensboro in the ’30s to start a band, he came back as one trombone player,” Swaringer says. “And out of that one birth of trombone they got a band.” It’s a unique sound. Swaringer says some folks compare it to New Orleans brass bands, but he says HOP has a more upscale, African beat. Crescent City brass bands make you want to strut, the shout bands have a swooping glide, the horns slithering around underneath the melody with a slippery rhythm dominated by bass and drums that makes you jump and shout. The leader and most of the players play the trombone like a trumpet, like an entire choir of Fred Wesleys, James Brown’s former bandleader who pioneered high-pitched funk trombone. It’s for edification, jubilation, for people to respond, and it lifts a burden off them,” the Apostle says. “It’s a spiritual thing that lifts you up rather than puts you down.” And because the members play by ear, there’s no sheet music to go by, so no performance is ever the same. They can’t play the same thing twice because they’re taught it’s not about what you hear, it’s about what you feel. Swaringer contends that aspect confounded some of the greats of jazz who saw the bands perform. The Apollo Theater was right across 125th Street in Harlem from the House of Prayer Swaringer attended, and he says it wasn’t unusual for performers to stop in and listen to the band after their gigs at the famed venue. Swaringer claims the band even impressed the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. “They would try to write down what they were hearing, but they could never get it,” he recalls. “And they would talk about it: ‘How do you guys do that? And they would come back the next night, and the band would play, and they wouldn’t play nothing they had played the night before, and they’d be going, ‘Where did that come from?’” The Apostle says it was more than the music that drew them: “One reason they would come to the House of Prayer was that they couldn’t eat in the places they were playing,” Swaringer says. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“The HOP had food, and they would come up there to eat their dinners cause the HOP’s service wouldn’t get out till 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning.” But at the House of Prayer, both belly and soul are catered to equally. “The band in the church plays the most important part,” Swaringer says. “They’re in the beginning of the service, the middle, at the end. If the choir sings a song, when they finish, to enhance that, they are the sugar in the coffee, they are the sweetness in the tea, they enhance the meal. I’ve given them the bread, now here comes the dessert, the music that comes afterward.” But the Apostle wants folks to know the band is much more than musical caterers. “The philosophy and the doctrine of this church is to save our young men. We use our musicians to teach our kids, and as a way of keeping our children out of harm’s way,” he says. “When you have a band, twenty or thirty young black men and they are serving God, that shows people in the community that all our black men are not thugs and gangstas.” Although the band’s venue is in the sanctuary, they do occasionally play in public, as well. The shout band Swaringer was a member of in New York toured the world, playing Spain, Belgium and the Opera House in Sydney, Australia. “Those people had never heard of gospel, period,” he says of the aria-loving Aussie audience. “They’d never heard anything like that. We turned that place out. We just took ’em to church.” The New York–based shout band also played the White House, The Smithsonian and Kennedy Center. His dad’s shout band played Carnegie Hall. The Madison Heavenly Sounds have played out-of-town gigs at other churches as well as the local Festival of Lights, and are in negotiations to join the lineup for both The National Folk Festival and 17Days. Anyone is welcome to attend the Sunday morning services, but if you want a taste of what the shouting is all about in a more casual setting, the Apostle has a surprise in store — for the band as well as the public. 
 “They don’t know they’re doing rehearsals on Fridays, yet,” the pastor says slyly, as Kittrell and Mincey receive this new blessing, heads bowed. “When the weather breaks, they’re going to be across the street [in the church parking lot] doing barbecues.” Meanwhile, the band will host some open-air rehearsals. That way those who come will not only be entertained, “They’ll also get the barbecue and the fish.” Now that’s truly a blessing worth shouting about. OH In a future edition of O.Henry, writer Grant Britt will recall his own days of reaching for the heavens with his horn in the Key West Funeral Band. In the meantime, he rumbles about music from his memento-crammed Greensboro abode, tooting his own horn for various and sundry publications.

Body and Soul

“The ideology was to feed people, give ’em a wholesome meal, make sure it has a meat, a vegetable, and a starch,” Apostle H.M. Swaringer says of the original purpose of the United House of Prayer kitchen. It hasn’t changed much in the time since the early days of the church, when, the Apostle says, you could get a bread-and-gravy sandwich for a quarter. “We’re still lower than anybody else, but we can’t just give people food, it has to be wholesome,” he says. Salads have been added, but the food has always been fresh: “That was [Sweet Daddy Grace’s] concept: wholesome, affordable food, and every church that we have throughout the U.S. all have kitchens, every one.” Today lunch or dinner with a meat, two veggies and cornbread goes for ten bucks or less. But it’s money well spent. The fried chicken is cripsy, with a spicy zing that goes right down to the bone. The Cornbread’s like a slice of cake — sweet and fluffy. Even the cabbage is worth mentioning, never overcooked. And speaking of fluffy, save room for a piece of pineapple cake with overlapping layers of pineapple and frosting ready to explode deliciously in your mouth. On any day there are at least ten meats on the chalkboard, from pigs feet to turkey necks, from chicken gizzards to hamburger, from sirloin steak to baked or fried fish. Veggies are of the down-home variety — green beans, okra, corn and tomato succotash, mac and cheese and boiled potatoes. And for dessert, choose from at least three, maybe cheesecake chocolate cake. Although I still recommend the aforementioned pineapple cake. If you don’t want a full lunch or dinner, the friendly ladies on the cafeteria serving line will make you a sandwich for $4 to $6. The chitterling sandwich is interesting from an architectural as well as a practical standpoint, probably as hard to build as it would be to eat without disbursing most of it all over yourself. The Beef Rib sandwich option also might be challenging to get from hand to mouth, but from the looks of things on previous encounters, well worth the effort. The kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. One of the servers says there are plans to open for breakfast soon, but at press time, no time had been set yet. Serving home-cooked meals since the 1930s, The Madison Kitchen at the United House Of Prayer is the first step in taking care of your soul. The rest takes place in the cathedral upstairs with the help of the Trombone Shout band, God, and you. Also, keep your eyes, ears, and nose on alert on upcoming warm Friday evenings when barbecue and fish will be offered for sale while the band rehearses in the parking lot across from the church on the corner of Market and Dudley, where the big UHOPFAP bus is parked March 2016

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To the Ride Foxhunting with the Sedgefield Hunt Photographs by Amy Freeman

The air is crisp, the earth still hard but green. The masters of the hunt in their pinks and the rest of the field wait astride their mounts. The hounds — Penn-MaryDels — are all in. It is the last month of foxhunting season, and could there be a more invigorating day for the sport with the venerable Sedgefield Hunt? Established in 1927, Sedgefield is the third oldest in North Carolina. But “hunt” is a misnomer; the hounds, “herded” by their whippers-in, are in the chase for an artificially laid scent or drag. What a relief for Fabulous Mr. Fox!

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Elegant in hat and stock (cravat), Abby Jones is all smiles when her favorite steed is nearby. A masterful job by joint masters of the hunt Fred Berry (left) Rich Weintraub (right) and Martin Schlaeppi (group photo above, far right).

First field master Abby Jones astride Statesman, one of only 700 pure bred Cleveland Bays in the world.

Left to Right: A tip of the hat to Kathy Hartman, Frankie Harrington (hat maker), Donna Spoon and Elaine Berry.

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Over the top! Joint master of the hunt Rich Weintraub thrills spectators with this jump.

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In his dual role as master of the hunt and huntsman, Fred Berry leads the field.

Fred Berry and Abby Jones navigate brush and fence.

Guy Cooper and his mount take a breather.

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Katie Mac Wright, well on her way to becoming an expert horsewoman, relaxes with her pony, Belle. March 2016

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Easter Baskets of the Gate City By Serena Brown


Photographs by John Gessner

ot long ago, we had a lively staff discussion about ancient Easter rituals, hoping to find a way to have a little fun and freshen up the holiday’s most unabashedly commercial tradition of the Easter basket. As we were fascinated to learn, the Easter basket celebration actually has spiritual roots in early medieval times when it was customary, with the coming of spring, to set out baskets typically used to carry bread and cheese and other staples of life, filled instead with early seedlings meant for the fertility goddess Eostre (or Ostara) — a move designed to increase the chance of a good grain harvest. According to pagan legend, the highly mobile fertility goddess bore her own basket filled of eggs and other goodies as she traveled o’er the world with the spring dawn, signifying new life, rebirth and nature’s renewal, a tradition adopted by the early Christian church to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The idea of a mythical Easter hare that brings good things is also deeply rooted in German folklore. According to this tradition, a white hare would leave Easter baskets filled with candles, candies, brightly colored eggs and sweetbreads meant for children of all ages to enjoy on Easter morning. Perhaps encouraged by the success of their earlier invention, the Christmas tree, crafty, 19th-century German settlers brought the Easter Bunny tradition with them to America — where it spread, well, rather like rabbits in romance, if you get our drift. Anyway, inspired by these traditions, we opened the floor of ideas, whereupon one nostalgic staffer suddenly lamented, “Why can’t EVERYONE receive a basket filled candy and grownup goodies on Easter Morning? Nobody is too old for a personal Easter basket!” Truthfully, we couldn’t disagree — which opened up a whole new lively discussion on what sort of goodies each of us would like in our own custom-made Easter basket, which in turn led us to wonder what the Easter baskets of notable North Carolinians — sadly gone but still with us in name and spirit — would wish for in THEIR William Sydney Porter’s sense of humor is evident in baskets. See what happens when grown-ups get into the candy eggs? his stories. So the bunny thought he would be tickled Even so, we think the Great White Traveling Hare and the by an eponymous graphic novel. He would certainly be Goddess Eostre would both approve. amused to find a hotel in his name gracing his hometown. What might at first glance look like a postcard is in fact an invitation to become the hotel’s writer in residence. He’ll need good notebooks and a pen — and some camellias for his room. For his darker side, there’s a basket-sized selection of booze and a bag of Cocktail Classics. Cheers.


John Coltrane

Appropriately known as “Trane” to his friends, jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane hailed from the railway town of Hamlet in the Sandhills. He even released an album called Blue Train. We’ve given John a model train from the National Railroad Museum in Hamlet to remind him of home. Not blue, but it is the type of train he would have seen in town as a boy. It doubles as a pencil sharpener if he needs to make notes. Reeds are always useful, and, just in case Trane should travel home without an instrument, the bunny’s squeezed a saxophone into the basket, along with some sheet music (to replace the score in High Point Museum’s collection). Some postcards depicting the railway’s landmarks in his birthplace and a mug from the very line that ran up and down the East Coast for late-night-session coffee are also in the basket. And some roses (complete with raindrops) and brown paper packages tied up with string for the man who recorded “My Favorite Things.”

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Andy Griffith

Most people will forever associate Andy Griffith with Mayberry, but the well-informed bunny knows that Griffith really lived in Manteo. So the bunny put some postcards in his basket. But he didn’t forget Mayberry — for old time’s sake he added a model of the sheriff’s car and some Andy Griffith Show trading cards. “Well now, take down your fishin’ pole and meet me at the fishin’ hole,” as Griffith’s song goes. He’ll be equipped with vintage lures and a spinning reel, and he has old-fashioned candy for snacking. If he feels like singin’ and playin’ while he’s fishin’, there’s an antique ukulele. His own Christmas ornament can nod and sing along.

Dolley Madison

Flowers for the first First Lady, a daughter of Guilford County. Yellow begonias are cheery for spring. The bunny has loaded Mrs. Madison’s basket with treats and necessities for the consummate hostess. The silver ladle is just the thing for serving a presidential punch. Nonpareils are the only candy worthy of the unparalleled Mrs. Madison. There’s a souvenir miniature of the portrait of Washington that she saved from fire at the White House. Mindful of Mrs. Madison’s elegant style, the bunny’s put in plenty of feathers for trimming hats and pelisses. There’s a little leather purse for pin money. And the bunny felt such a great lady should have something very special, so he chose for her a cameo in the fashion of her time.

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Story of a House

A Well-Considered


A writer’s retreat with an industrial past

By Maria Johnson


Photographs by Amy Freeman

rian Crean likes a challenge, whether it’s running his first marathon, breaking 85 on the golf course or making 766 square feet feel like a lot of living space. He pulls off the last trick handily in his Historic Wafco Mills condominium. Parsed from an old gristmill on West McGee Street behind Greensboro College, the condos debuted as a cutting-edge adaptation of an industrial property more than three decades ago in 1983. “It’s hard to believe in 2016, but the whole thing was way out on a limb when it was conceived in the ’70s and ’80s,” says Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro Inc. “There was a debate about what to do with industrial properties,” he recalls. The assumption was that the building would be torn down and replaced with single-family housing. “People were like, ‘Industrial building? Who would want to live in an industrial building?’ ” The first deal to rehab the old mill crashed. Another developer stepped in and transformed the historic mill into condos with the help of federal tax credits. A 1982 story in The Hamburger Square Post, a monthly tabloid that focused on downtown Greensboro, talked about the people who were pre-buying Wafco condos with special mortgage loans at the then-ultralow rate of 10.5 percent. “Who are these urban pioneers who like the concept of living within walking distance of downtown — who enjoy living between two colleges, with a myriad of cultural events almost at their door?” the writer asked. The answer: “There are the young couple just graduating from law school, a woman in her 70s, a professional, single man. The majority work downtown, can walk to work, and like the urban living concept.” Preservation watchdogs will make a distinction between the condos that opened in 1983 in Historic Wafco Mills, which snuggles up to the railroad tracks — a clue to its former life as a feed and flour mill — and those at plain ol’ Wafco Mills, a series of side-by-side units that were built in 1987 to mimic the old mill. The historic section, where Crean lives, is actually a patchwork of three buildings — the original 1893 clapboard mill, along with a brick addition that was tacked on in 1907, and a final brick postscript that rose at the corner of West McGee and South Cedar Streets in 1912. The last appendage is the most ornate; brick pilasters and segmental-arched windows appeal to architecture

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buffs. A stepped gable tops the building. Inside, homeowners enjoy exposed brick walls and 13-foot ceilings. On the McGee Street side, units with first-floor entrances, such as Crean’s, have street-level decks that literally put residents in the flow of pedestrians who use the sidewalks. Thirty years after opening, the condos continue to attract those who want more than cookie-cutter quarters. “It’s still the home of the ‘cool kids,’ but anymore it’s not the only example we have in Greensboro of that kind of living,” says Briggs, citing the makeovers of industrial spaces at Revolution Mill and at The Lofts at Greensborough Court. “Even in new construction, developers will mimic the industrial feel with those interior brick walls,” Briggs says. “What was once avant-garde is now almost requisite.” Crean, whose last name is pronounced “crane,” remembers walking past Historic Wafco during his time in grad school at UNCG, but he never thought much about it until he snared his M.F.A. and decided to settle in Greensboro. “A few friends from grad school stuck around, and I had a nice network of creative people,” he says. Then in his 30s, Crean realized that he didn’t want to move to a big city. “A smaller university town had a creative, youthful energy that was appealing, so Greensboro fit the bill.” He started looking for places to buy. That’s when the old mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, popped out at him. “I like history, and I like things with character, but I’m a minimalist in a way,” he says. He checked all of those boxes when a real estate agent walked him through the condo he now occupies. “I said, ‘This feels like me. I can live here,’” he recalls.

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The space is straightforward: one room with a galley kitchen downstairs, a loft and one bathroom upstairs. Crean renovated the downstairs in 2013, just in time to be included in a Preservation Greensboro Inc. tour of homes in the College Hill neighborhood. He ripped up the wall-to-wall carpet and replaced it with cherry hardwoods. He also remade the kitchen with cherry Shaker-style cabinets, black soapstone countertops and stainless steel appliances. The new wall cabinets are shorter than the originals. Crean sacrificed the cabinet space to create more elbowroom underneath. He also chucked the standard double sink and went with a single, deep bar sink to get more counter space. He jokes about the new sink: “It’s great because I can leave dirty dishes in there, and no one sees.” Not that dishwashing is a real chore. Crean owns two plates: one for him, one for a girlfriend. He owns an extravagant four bowls only because his niece gave him two extra. A cyclist and runner — he plans to run the Chicago Marathon later this year — his decorating taste echoes his body type: lean and efficient. That’s a good thing, a necessity really, in a small living space. Crean extends his flare for the spare to his condo’s main living area. A tufted, angular black leather couch is sleek without being sterile. The other furniture is essentially see-through: a metal-and-glass coffee table with matching TV stand and desk from Ikea. Crean used the desk, along with black-wire shelves, to separate the foyer from the living area. The wire shelves — the kind you usually see in garages — hold storage cubes. With all of the hard surfaces, the living area could be austere, but it’s not because Crean, who studied sculpture and printmaking in grad school, understands the need for different textures and forms. That’s why he made sure the storage cubes were fabric. He also chose the cubes because of their handles — round silver grommets. The grommets mirror the wheels of the bicycles that Crean stores vertically in the foyer. The effect is sculptural. “I’m one of the few guys that likes sports and art,” he says. Other textures soften the living area. A gigantic vertical timber, a vestige of the old mill, functions as a tree of life, leafed out with greeting cards, family photos and Crean’s headphones. A small aquarium with a beta fish named Schopenhauer — a nod to Crean’s undergrad degree in philosophy and to his astrological sign of Pisces — flanks the couch. As all zodiac buffs know, people born under the sign of Pisces are natural poets who are sensitive to their surroundings, so it’s no surprise that Crean’s home is harmonious. He softened the living area with carpet squares from FLOR. An avid photographer, he printed one of his pictures on canvas and hung it, frameless, above the sofa. The photo shows two books by Henry David Thoreau against a leafy background. Crean carries the books — Walden and Letters to a Spiritual Seeker — to Lake Brandt, where he likes to read and walk. Crean is a writer, as well as an artist and athlete. In the early 2000s, he was an arts columnist for TriadStyle, a weekly arts tabloid. These days, he confines his writing to his Web site, “I’m happier when I write on my own time,” he says. He pays the bills by working as the registrar and project manager for ECS Conservation in Browns Summit. The company restores rare books, documents, photos and art on paper. Clients include the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court Library, Biltmore House, Duke University’s Nasher Museum and the Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point. The job calls on Crean’s aesthetic sense and his disciplined personality, both of which are on display in his condo.

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“I enjoy the challenge of not getting too much stuff and of using things for more than one purpose. It’s an ongoing decision,” he says. “I’ve learned that if you only buy things that you really, really love, you won’t buy that much.” He’s in the middle of updating the bed and bath area upstairs. Already, he has selectively improved the bathroom. “I didn’t want to drop a lot of money by gutting it,” he says. Instead, he installed a spiffy new toilet, painted the oak vanity black, added new knobs, and framed the long, plate-glass mirror with molding, also painted black. New faucets and light fixtures are up next. He’ll keep the beige floor tile, which he installed shortly after moving in. Because of the tile and the wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs — and perhaps, too, because hot air rises — the loft feels warmer than downstairs. An exposed brick wall with two towering windows dominates the space. Matchstick blinds and peace lilies accent the windows. Crean plans to ditch a wooden desk between the windows — he rarely writes there — but he’ll keep two trunks, one that he inherited from his father, and one that came from his grandfather. “I guess I’m the trunk guy,” he says. “I think I’ll put my sentimental keepsakes in there.” When he can, he’ll handle the improvements himself. “I’ll make my own headboard and shelves and things like that — just some creative updates,” he says. “I want the upstairs to feel as well-considered as the downstairs. It’ll be a long work in progress.” For as long as he lives here, he admits, the whole place will be a work in progress. “I’m always thinking, ‘What can I do to make it better?’” he says. “I’ll keep working at it until it feels right. Even though I don’t do a lot of work on foundry pieces or in printmaking anymore, I feel like I’m still creating things.” OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry.

88 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

817 Rankin Place $389,000

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Do not miss the opportunity to own this fabulous home! No expense spared with a gourmet kitchen, 9’ ceilings, hardwoods, exposed brick, and built-in speakers throughout. This house is an entertainer’s dream with an open floor plan, front and back porches, and a private patio with outdoor fireplace. Located just a stone’s throw from shopping and restaurants. Huge detached garage has apartment above with great rental history.


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Help a child to survive and succeed Mentor volunteers needed to help an elementary child for 30 minutes a week: To have them read to you, perform a 2 minute math drill, spelling drill and discuss their Work Conduct Contract (W2c)

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Kristen Haynes 336-209-3382

March 2016

O.Henry 89

Paul J. Ciener

Botanical Garden IS PROUD TO PRESENT

“I Have Elephants in MY Garden so What’s Your Problem” by Marie Butler

Empowering Dreams. Embracing Legacies.

Life & Home

Landscape Coordinator, Virginia Zoological Park

Marie Butler Thursday, March 24th, 2016 6:00 pm-8:00 pm Garden Ballroom 215 S. Main St., Kernersville $30 per person Please enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine beginning at 6:00 pm before Ms. Butler’s lecture. RSVP by March 19th to (336) 996-7888 or register online at Spectacular Spring Tulip Bloom Celebration Sunday, April 10, 2016 2:00pm-4:00pm

“Tulips and Daffodils” by Brent Heath

Garden writer, photographer, educator and owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, Virginia

Brent Heath Sunday, April 10, 2016 1:00 pm Garden Ballroom 215 S. Main St, Kernersville $30 per person Please enjoy the reception with refreshments beginning at 1:00pm before Brent’s lecture. RSVP by April 7th to (336) 996-7888 or register online at

“Inspiring Gardens of the World” by John Elsley Connoisseur of plants, traveler and photographer of gardens around the world

John Elsley Saturday, May 14, 2016 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Garden Ballroom 215 S. Main St, Kernersville $30 per person Please enjoy a continental breakfast beginning at 9:30am before John’s lecture. RSVP by May 11th to (336) 996-7888 or register online at Spring Plant Sale Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 9:00am until 1:00pm

Paul J. Ciener BotaniCal Garden 215 S. Main Street, Kernersville 336-996-7888

90 O.Henry

March 2016

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Tradition of Real Estate Success Continues Announcing the addition of Jake Letterman to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost and Little Realty

Life & Home


ohnnye Letterman is excited to announce her son, Jake Letterman, is joining her in real estate. Jake is a 3rd generation RealtorŽ, grandson of Johnnye Greer Hunter, who was one of Greensboro’s most significant Realtors. Jake is excited about using his industry knowledge and experience to assist home buyers and sellers. His aunt, Melissa Greer, and uncle,Waban Carter, are also in residential sales at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost and Little Realty. His family, wife Claudia & children, John & Nickolas, are very active in the Northern & Northwest communities. Our family looks forward to helping your family with all your Real Estate needs.



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March 2016

O.Henry 91

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March 2016

Call 910-693-2488 or or mail payment to P.O. Box 58, Southern Pines, NC 28388 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

By Rosetta Fawley

Peanut Gallery

March is National Peanut Month. The nut part is something of a misnomer. Peanuts are in fact legumes, edible seeds that grow in pods — the same family as beans and, of course, peas. They originated in South America, from where they traveled with trade over the whole world. North Carolina is writ large in their North American history. Rumor has it there is a record of a Royal Society paper that originated with a Dr. Brownrigg in Edenton, who was experimenting with peanut oil extraction in 1769. Peanuts provided food supplies for African-American slaves being transported over the Atlantic, and in turn AfricanAmerican cooks incorporated the peanut into Southern cuisine. Commercial farming of peanuts flourished in North Carolina during the nineteenth century, as exemplified at plantations such as Poplar Grove in Wilmington, from where peanuts were shipped all over the world. What is more delicious than fresh peanut butter from homegrown peanuts? The Almanac challenges anyone to return to store-bought after experiencing such a thing. And as we now know, peanuts thrive here, so why not plant some in this year’s garden? The Virginia variety is best suited to North Carolina. It needs 130—150 days of sun, so if you’re impatient to start this month, begin your seeds indoors in case of late frost. They prefer a sandy, well-drained soil, and they fix their own nitrogen, so you won’t need much fertilizer; just dig a little compost into the soil before you plant them out. Be patient. In time small yellow flowers will appear close to ground level; they will drop pegs down to the soil, and there the pods will grow underground. Amazing. Check your seed packet for the appropriate harvesting time. When you have dug them up, leave the plants to dry in the sun for a week. Then start podding. You’ll have had about four months to decide how to cook your peanuts. Or you can just eat them from the pod. Yum.

Equal Family Time

In North Carolina the spring or vernal equinox falls on March 20. This is the point at which the sun is positioned vertically over the Equator, resulting in days and nights of equal length all over the world. In Japan the equinox is called Shunbun no Hi and is a national holiday. The day is a celebration of nature and all living things. Traditionally, family ancestors were also celebrated at the time of the equinox, and so the holiday is often a time of family reunions. March 20 is a Sunday; let’s take a leaf from the Japanese book and make it a day of family garden time.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“‘In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ waving the other paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’ ‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’ ‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. ‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’” From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Good Dogwood

Does anything suggest spring more than the flowering of a dogwood? Cornus florida, the tree that bears our state flower, is a treasure. Not only is it gorgeous year-round, but also those sumptuous fall berries help sustain the birds through the colder months. Early spring is the ideal time to plant bare rooted or burlapped dogwoods in moist, loamy soil. Keep in mind that growing wild in the woods they are an under story tree, meaning they grow in the shade of larger trees — they can make it in full sun but will require more TLC and regular watering to prevent heat stress. Remember too that the dogwood’s roots are very shallow and wide-ranging; they appreciate a thin layer of mulch spread from about three inches from the trunk to the edge of the drip zone. Try to avoid competition from grass and other plants in the root area. According to Appalachian popular legend, Jesus’s cross was fashioned from dogwood. The tree was so anguished by its purpose that Jesus comforted it by promising that never again would dogwoods grow large enough to be used with such cruelty. And sure enough, now the dogwood is a slight, elegant little tree. If yours doesn’t grow very tall, it’s blessed. OH

March 2016

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March 2016 If you like Green Eggs and Ham



Leapin' Ladies of the ACC



Family secrets and young love



March 1

March 1–24

March 1–May 1

SAM I AM. 3:30 p.m. You will like green eggs and ham at a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, involving a reading of Green Eggs and Ham, followed by a plateful of the real thing with ingredients from the Edible Schoolyard. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or

COLOR YOUR WORLD. It’s all about you if you attend It’s All About the Hue. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or

SAY HELLO TO PAN AM. As in, PanAmerican Modernism: AvantGarde Art in Latin America and the United States. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 445-5770 or

March 1–13 VISIONARY’S QUEST. Get an inside view of outsider art at Radiunt Abundunt, a new play by Preston Lane, with music by Laurelyn Dossett. Performance times vary. Triad Stage, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or 94 O.Henry

March 2016

March 1–April 17 EARTHY. The health of the planet is the focus of Reclaiming Nature: Art and Sustainability. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 445-5770 or SPARKS OF CREATIVITY. See the colorful “Firework Drawings” at Rosemarie Fiore: Falk Visiting Artist. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 445-5770 or

March 1–June 12 EXCELLENT ABS. Or rather, Ab Ex, Abstract Expressionism, one of many artistic strains at De Kooning in Company. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 445-5770 or

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar

Modern day Romeo and Juliet


Celtic-inflected rock of Scythian




Enjoy the smooth moves

12 & 26


March 2

March 3

March 4

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Elizabeth A. Carlson, founder of North Carolina Music Ways and author of North Carolina String Music Masters: Old Time and Bluegrass Legends. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Join novelist Quinn Dalton for a release party of her newest work, Midnight Bowling. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

FAM TRIP. 5–8 p.m. Take advantage of Family Friday Nights, courtesy of Wrangler, and pay only $2 admission to explore hands-on exhibits and activities. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or

March 2–6

GRIMM-ACES. Live happily ever after by attending An Evening of Short Plays — Fairytale Mash Up. Performance times vary. The Drama Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3732026 or

LEAPIN’ LADIES. The ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament takes center court. Game times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard. Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 3–6

RAVE AGAINST THE MACHINE. 10 p.m. From restaurant to pop-up dance club, cut a rug to tunes spun by DJ Jessica Mashburn. Printworks Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3790699 or

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online @

Practicing Commercial Real Estate by the Golden Rule Bill Strickland, CCIM Commercial Real Estate Broker/REALTOR 336.369.5974 |

96 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar March 4–20 JET SET. Unless you’re a Shark. Either way, there’s a place for you at West Side Story. Performance times vary. Community Theatre of Greensboro, 520 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7469 or

March 5 TESTING HIS METAL. 10 a.m. Hammer. Check. Tongs. Check. Forge. Check. The Blacksmith is back! High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. (336) 885-1859 FAB FEMMES. 1 p.m. Meet costumed interpreters portraying important figures from the Gate City’s past at “Lifted Voices: Women Making Herstory in Greensboro.” Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or TUMBLRS. 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Mix gymnastic leaps, bounds and pyramids with artistry and stage craft and you’ve got Peking Acrobats. See them and be awed. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or

March 6 PERRET’S POPS. 3 p.m. And tops! The former conductor of the WinstonSalem Symphony leads Greensboro Philharmonia at a Pillow Pops Family Concert, featuring Dance Project: School at City Arts. Lindley Recreation Center, 2907 Springwood Drive, Greensboro. Info:

March 10 BEST IN CHAPEAU. 2 p.m. Support the Horticulture Scholarship at Sandhills Community College by sporting a stylish hat (and gloves) at a Parisian-themed fashion show and tea. Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs, 4301-A Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Tickets available at the Council building, from a garden club member or at the door. Info: (336) 282-4940. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March Arts Calendar March 7 VEIN GLORY. 2:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Bare arms at the Paul J. Ciener Blood Drive. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. To schedule an appointment: (336) 996-7888 or (use sponsor code: Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden).

March 11 CELTICS. 9 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) Throw down to the Celtic-inflected rock of Scythian. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or

March 11–13 LEWIS-VILLE. A beloved fantasy with spiritual overtones takes on an added dimension. See Narnia, the Musical. Performance times vary. The Drama Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. (336) 373-2026 or

An Evening with Beth Leavel featuring Dominick Amendum at The Pyrle Theater, Triad Stage Monday, March 14, 8pm Join Tony Award-winning UNCG Theatre alumna, Beth Leavel ‘80, and Broadway’s Wicked Music Supervisor, UNCG Music alumnus Dominick Amendum ‘01, for an evening of music and entertainment. Tickets on sale now!

Scan the code with your smartphone, visit or call the Triad Stage Box Office at 336.272.0160.



98 O.Henry

March 2016


March 11, 13 & 14 IN A BIND. Gently used books from dealers, colleges and universities and average folks are up for grabs at the 14th Annual Used Book Sale. Hours vary. Beth David Synagogue, 804 Winview Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 294-0007 or

March 11–July 17 PHOTO FINISH. Admire forty photographs never grouped together at Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (888) 6631149 or

March 12 & 26 JAZZMATAZZ. 6:30 p.m. For some Saturday jazz, enjoy the smooth grooves of the Thomas Linger quartet with help from vocalist Nisha DeMeo and pianist Sam Frazier (3/12), and Melva Houston swings out with some Broadway and Gershwin faves (3/26). O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 8542000 or

Experience Builds Character Marsh Kitchens designs and builds beautiful kitchens for today’s families. Visit us online or come see us personally at one of our three Triad locations.

JOURNEY MAN. 8 p.m. He’s just a city boy, who filled Steve Perry’s shoes as Journey front man from 1998–2006. Catch Steve Augeri: An American Cancer Society Benefit. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

JAMESTOWN 1 Finish: Alpine/ Espresso Wood: Maple Overlay: Full

Inspired designs since 1906. Visit our showrooms for more inspiration.




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sting like a bee Float like a butterfly,

March 12–June 12 SCAVENGERS’ MUSE. Explore artists who convert cast aside items into art at Nexus: Found Objects. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 445-5770 or weatherspoon.

March 13 & 27 ’TOON UP. 3 p.m. Last chance to observe waterfowl — from a pontoon boat. Lake Townsend Marina, 6332 Lake Townsend Road, Greensboro. To register: (336) 3733741 or

March 14 SOURCERS’ APPRENTICESHIP. 6:30 p.m. Learn to distinguish good leads and info from bad at “How Do You Know That? Evaluating and Presenting Your Sources (Basic Genealogy 101).” High Point Public Library, 901 North Main The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 99

Lake Jeanette Recreation Association is a Private Swim and Tennis Club open only to members and their guests.

Come Join Us Today!

Call 601.3395

Lakeside Facility • 5040 Bass Chapel Road • • • • •

8 Har-Tru Soft Courts with Subsurface Irrigation and State of the Art Lighting 4 Lighted all season Tennis Courts Nationally Ranked and Recognized USPTA Tennis Pros Tennis Programs and Social Events for all levels of play and ages Two 6 Lane Pools with Baby Pools, Water Slides and Diving Well

Turnstone Facility • 312 Turnstone Trail • • • • • • •

Fun and Competitive Swim Team Poolside Social Events for all ages Group and Private Swim Lessons Full Service Grill and Lakeside Dining Fitness Programs for Men and Women including Free water Aerobics Basketball court and fenced playground area Large Rental space for Parties and Events

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Check Out Class Times and more at 7360 Brooks Bridge Road Guilford County NC 27249 336.584.4060 Upcoming Events March 18 Wine & Song w/Lauren Light March 19 Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon March 20 NC Food Rodeo

Visit Grove website for more information

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100 O.Henry

March 2016

5703-A HUNT CLUB ROAD GREENSBORO, NC 27410 336.294.2299

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar Street High Point. Info: (336) 883-3637 or SHOCK ’N’ ROLL. 7:30 p.m. Get ready for a little bone-rattling music from rock gods AC/DC. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

March 15 THE GREATEST. 7 p.m. He was a lightning rod in matters of race, religion, politics and sport. See the documentary, The Trials of Muhammed Ali. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

March 16 ’GATE KEEPER 10 a.m. As deputy chief counsel for the committee in 1973, he was eyewitness to the scandal that rocked the presidency. Rufus Edmisten discusses Watergate at a Museum Guild meeting. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1959 or TALKING A BLUE STREAK. 5:30 p.m. And a yellow, and red and so forth. Hear Donald Martiny and James Williams discuss the importance of color in their works on view in It’s All About the Hue. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Travis Mulhauser, author of Sweetgirl. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

March 17 DIFFERENT STROKES. 1 p.m. & 6 p.m. Meaning, those that don’t require a paintbrush. Laura Maruzella teaches you how to fill a canvas by other means at “Learning to Paint Without a Paintbrush.” Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or JEWEL TONES. 8 p.m. Folk/pop sensation Jewel brings “Picking Up the Pieces” Tour The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 101

March Arts Calendar to town — but not to the Crown. Alas, no Crown Jewel. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

s for arch Madnes Move over M s er st Je the beloved Court RAWK SHOW. 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Hop aboard the Crazy Train at a St. Patrick’s Day bash to welcome home local rockers, The Mantras. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or

Together, we will discover what it means to capture the moments that really matter. At Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, our focus is on living. Our care is about enabling you to live more fully, with comfort from pain, relief from symptoms and choices on how to live.


2500 Summit Avenue | Greensboro, NC 27405

102 O.Henry

March 2016

March 18 CUISINE SCENE. 5 p.m. Pick a filling, any filling: spinach, kale, mushrooms, ham, cheese, Nutella, banana and lemon. It’s Tween Cooking Class: Crepe Café. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: To register: (336) 574-2898 or HARK THE SOUND. 7 p.m. Match the NCAA fight song, played by a live band, with the correct college at “Name that Team,” Greensboro Symphony’s fundraiser. Greensboro Coliseum (the Terrace), 1921 West Gate City Boulevard. Tickets: (336) 3355456, ext. 239 or KIRK MUSIC. 7:30 p.m. As in, hip hopand R&B-inflected gospel tunes by Kirk Franklin. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or The Art & Soul of Greensboro

HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Not very. Southern Culture on the Skids has been proffering “Americana from the wrong side of the tracks” since 1983. Hear ’em and indulge your white trash fantasies. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or

March 19 OVA OFFICE. 10 a.m. Learn how to dye eggs using natural plant materials, such as onion skin or blueberries. Material fee of $1 per egg, limit two per person. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Chef Sarah Foster, who penned Foster’s Market Favorites. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or

Visit 

March Arts Calendar

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SOUNDING OFF. 7:30 p.m. That would be the Greensboro Concert band, striking up under Evan Feldman’s baton at an Opus concert. Dana Auditorium, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: www.

March 20 WHAT’S ALL THE (T)RUCKUS ABOUT? Noon to 4 p.m. Why, Grove’s first NC Food Truck Rodeo of the year, of course. Chow down and drink up! Grove Winery, 7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville. Info: (336) 584-4060 or JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM. 2 p.m. Due diligence is all. Sisters in Crime and High Point Library host Julie Bates and Lynnette Hall Hampton who discuss the importance of research in writing a book. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833660 or BLUE JEAN BABIES. 3 p.m. Learn about the legacy of the Cone family and their employees in Denim Dynasty, a documentary by App State prof Beth Davison. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

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March Arts Calendar

Join Piedmont Opera for a magical midsummer night where old and new Flames Strike up A dizzy whirl of romance.

COURT JESTERS. 3 p.m. March Madness gives way to net nuttiness, as Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Cheese Chisholm, TNT Maddox and crew bring their antics to The Harlem Globetrotters 90th Anniversary Tour. Meadowlark would be proud. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

“Send In the Clowns” is just one irresistible highlight of this Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical.





A Little Night Music

oW f o per r t insto for hr n-S al ma ee em nc es!

March 18th, 20th & 22nd The Stevens Center of the UNCSA Tickets NOW at 336.725.7101 or Coach Transportation available From Greensboro for the March 20th matinee

NightMuseGreensboroOHENRY.indd 1

2/12/2016 11:46:55 AM

1000 West Friendly Ave • 274-3286 •

REELS AND RIFFS. 7 p.m. Hollywood and hep cats . . . it’s a winning combo for “Jazz at the Movies,” a performance by Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

March 21 JOY RIDES. 10 a.m. Retired USAF vet Joy Johnson shares her experiences in “Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder.” Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or SULU PERFORMANCE. 7:30 p.m. From “helmsman” of the SS Enterprise to Facebook sensation, with stints as director, author and activist in between, George Takei has plenty to talk about at the Bryan Series. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

March 22

Children’s Sunday

BEKNIGHTED. 7 p.m. Beware the killer Rabbit of Caerbannog! It’s a sendup for the (Middle) ages: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

Table Service & Communion

March 24

Tenebrae Service

CONFECTION PERFECTION. 11 a.m. Get yer koulourakia, spanakopita, baklava and, heh, opa wide. It’s the Ladies Philoptochos Annual Greek Pastry Sale. The Dormition of Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 800 Westridge Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-8013.

First Baptist invites YOU to worship with us! Palm Sunday | March 20 at 10:30 am Maundy Thursday | March 24 at 6 pm Good Friday | March 25 at 7:30 pm Easter Sunday | March 27 at 10:30 am Easter Worship

Sunday Lenten Sermon Series Last Words of Christ on the Cross Wednesday Evenings during Lent Mid-week Vespers at 6:15 pm | Sanctuary 104 O.Henry

March 2016

ZOO LANDER. 6 p.m. Marie Butler, landscape coordinator for Virginia Zoological Park presents, “I Have Elephants in My Garden so What’s Your Problem?” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or YARN BURNERS. 7 p.m. Listen to compelling tales or Grab the mic and tell your own at the Triad Storytellers Exchange Story Slam. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or

March 26 TUNE IN. 8 p.m. Catch Joy on Fire and eschew easy listening with The Difficulties. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

March 27 IN THE BUFF(ET). 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Buhbye, Lent. Dig into hand-carved meats, other good eats and tasty sweets at the Easter Buffet. Proximity Hotel, 704 Green

Valley Road, Greensboro. Reservations: (336) 215-2868.

March 28 JUST JOSHIN’. 7 p.m. From Manic Monday to Music Monday . . . catch Josh Neas at one of the South's Best Bookstores. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or

Q Come Visit

Irving Park





• Shopping • Food • Art • Entertainment

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

TALK IS CHEAP. Noon. Bavardez bien! Pardon our French and join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

Tuesdays READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to storytimes: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’. 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen — live music featuring Alan Peterson and Alex McKinney (3/1); Martha Bassett, Sam Frazier and Pat Lawrence (3/8); Laurelyn Dossett, Scott Manring and Alex McKinney (3/15); Alan Peterson and Alex McKinney (3/22); Laurelyn Dossett, Scott Manring and Alex McKinney

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

March 2016

O.Henry 105

AG Jeans • Alice & Trixie • BB Dakota • Bella Dahl • Diane von Furstenberg • Dolce Vita Shoes • French Connection • Hudson Jeans • Invisibelt • Joe’s Jeans • Joie • Joie Shoes • Joy Joy • Lilla P • Lysee • Marie Oliver • Paige Premium Denim • Rebecca Minkoff • Sam Edelman Shoes • Tart • Velvet • Vince. . . . and many more!

You’ve known Libby Hill for delicious seafood for 60 years.

Enjoy your favorite fish this Lenten season at Libby Hill Five Locations to serve you: 3920 Cotswold Ave 3011 Randleman Rd 3930 High Point Rd Mayberry Mall, Mt. Airy 1629 Freeway Dr., Reidsville

Greensboro’s oldest independent restaurant.

March Arts Calendar wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or htm.

d amateurs ta L ocal pros an

ke the mic

(3/28) at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3700707 or

Wednesdays MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15,

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Preschool Storytime I convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or

Thursdays TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime II convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or

ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox and Neill Clegg, and special guests in the O. Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar: Clinton Horton (3/3); Karon Click (3/10); Sarah Strable (3/17); Nishah DeMeo (3/24); Brenda Morie (3/24). No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel. com/jazz.htm. JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 2752754 or OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or HYPERLINK "http://www.idiotboxers. com"

Sometimes it’s smarter to lease than to sell your home. Call us when you think you’re there! Michelle will be pleased to discuss how Burkely Rental Homes can help you.

-Sterling Kelly, CEO Burkely Communities, LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 107

Come find out why we are where your dog wants to be! 11,000 square feet of indoor & outdoor space • Safe, clean & stimulating environment . . . always supervised • Doggie daycare and overnight boarding • Three separate playrooms based on size of dog • Full-service grooming available • Online webcam to watch your dog

First time visitors receive first day FREE!


705 Battleground Ave.

108 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Arts Calendar


THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the handson exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $4 Fun Fridays. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or

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

Saturdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday,

plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 2742699 or

Sundays HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $4 admission, as opposed to the usual $8, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone. Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker.

Nightmares on E lm


Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or To add an event, email us at by the first of the month prior to the event

modern furniture made locally

511 S Elm St. | Greensboro NC 27406 | 336.370.1050

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 109

dressing childhood.

Irving Park

P lay prett y in these comfortable, tradit ional beaut ies. 336.275.1555

1724 Battleground Ave. Suite 104 Greensboro, NC 27408

Q Come Visit

Irving Park





• Shopping • Food • Art • Entertainment

Pick up the current issue of O.Henry magazine at one of these locations when you are shopping or dining in the Irving Park Area: 1618 Wine Lounge Carolyn Todd’s Cheveux Dolce Dimora Easy Peasy Feathered Nest Irving Park Art & Frame Main & Taylor

110 O.Henry

March 2016

O.Henry magazine’s office The Pack-N-Post Pastabilities Polliwogs Randy McManus Designs Serendipity by Celeste William Mangum Fine Art Gallery

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Premiere Custom Design & Retail Jewelry Since 1969

State Street

Yamamori Ltd.

501 State Street, Greensboro, NC 336.274.4533

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

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

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Thank you for voting us the BEST •Surgeon • Physician • Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery Practice


211 State Street • Greensboro

In-Office Surgical Suites

March 2016

O.Henry 111










Gre e n sb o ro Co l i seu m Discount tickets at

So uther nId e alH o me 800.849.0248 | A Southern Shows Inc. Production

Arts &CULTURE 112 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 113

Arts & Culture

Artist Reception with Cheyenne Trunnell March 18, 6-8pm

SIGN UP TODAY, Lunch and Learn with Cheyenne • 11:30am-1pm • $20







Campers (ages 4 and up) experience the rich environment of the ArtQuest Studios through weekly camps, balancing each day with guided instruction, free exploration, stories, games and recess while discovering works of art in The Gallery at GreenHill.


Tyler White O’Brien Gallery 307 State Street, Greensboro (336) 279-1124

Camps are $125 per week. Register before April 15 to receive $10 off.


March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Anue Ligne • Alison Sheri • Bel Kazan • Elena Wang Gretchen Scott Designs • JP Mattie & More

Company Shops Market | Burlington’s Food Co-op 268 E. Front St., Burlington

Jerusalem Market 5002 High Point Rd., Greensboro

Deep Roots Market 600 N. Eugene St., Greensboro

Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market 2914 Sandy Ridge Rd., Colfax

Earth Fare 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro

Savory Spice Shop 3354 W. Friendly Ave., #142, Greensboro

The Extra Ingredient 801-D Friendly Center Rd., Greensboro

Whole Foods 3202 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro

Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro

Area Harris Teeter Stores

116 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worth the Drive to High Point Heart-Pounding

The powerful sounds of San Jose Taiko The unmistakable sound of a mallet striking a large, taut circle of skin is so powerful you can feel its reverberations in the pit of your stomach down to the tips of your toes. Taiko, the art of Japanese drumming, evokes the energy of the universe, so you can imagine the soul-shattering effect when an entire ensemble pounds their skins on stage. Or why not experience the effect in person, at High Point Theatre, which hosts San Jose Taiko (SJT) on March 20th? Taiko (the Japanese word for “drum”) originates in ancient Japanese myth, in which the sun goddess Amaterasu had such a fearsome quarrel with her brother and storm god Susano’o, she shut herself in a cave, casting darkness on the Earth. When the other gods failed to draw her out of seclusion, Ame-no-Uzume, the goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry, gave it a try. She emptied a tub (in other accounts, a barrel of sake) and began

dancing on it, creating such a ruckus that Amaterasu emerged from the cave. Light returned to the Earth, and with it, a new art form. In actuality, taiko is thought to have started in South China and Korea, before emerging in Japan in the 6th century. Like drumming in so many cultures, it was a tool of communication, military exercises, theatrical accompaniment and religious rituals until the early 1950s, when a jazz musician, Daihachi Oguchi, adapted taiko to ensembles (kumidaiko) using different-sized drums and various rhythms. Nearly twenty years later, a Californian named Roy Hirabayashi had reconnected with his Japanese roots and by 1973 was incorporating taiko into children’s activities at a local Buddhist temple and was inspired to form San Jose Taiko. In true American melting-pot tradition, SJT began incorporating African, Brazilian, Latin, Filipino and jazz rhythms into its repertoire, mixing in dance, string and woodwind instruments, cymbals and song. Ensemble members compose and arrange their own works, and they must be made of sturdy stuff: Endurance exercises and running are a part of band practice. But the mind-body connection is all part and parcel of SJT’s musical philosophy, which includes four basic principles — kata (form), ki (energy), attitude and musical technique. These are the pillars of programs and workshops available to the general public, college students, children and parents. Corporations, such as Apple, IBM and Sony have even sought SJT’s instruction for team-building retreats. It’s not so farfetched, for the true mission of the ensemble, as Hirabayashi, an NEA National Heritage Fellow in Folk and Traditional Arts, intended is to bring people together “through cultural understanding, artistic expression and rhythmic heartbeat.” Beating hearts, please, don’t be still. Info and tickets: — Nancy Oakley


state of the ART • north carolina

Where Nuturing

Really Makes a


Renew your body and soul

Chanel - Clarins - Skinceuticals - Orlane - Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare - MD Formulations - Bare Minerals Ahava - Archipeligo - The Thymes - Tyler Candles - Eric Javits - Hobo - Baudelaire - Simon Sebbag

About Face Cosmetics & Day Spa 1107 N. Main Street, High Point


Visit Dead and Gone • Original Artwork Oil on Linen Canvas • 36” x 48” • $3,500

f MeridithMartens.Artist • 910.692.9448

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

online @ March 2016

O.Henry 117

One of the Cooking Classes of the Proximity and White Oak Cotton Mills, Greensboro, N.C.

Saturday, March 5, 1 – 4 pm Lifted Voices: The Women of Greensboro Costumed actors portray female residents from the past.

Wednesday, March 16, 12 – 1:30 pm Lunch and Learn in celebration of Greensboro’s diverse women and their leadership,

with Tina Firesheets, editor of 1808. Reservations required; please contact Mary Allen at or 336-373-2982. Free program, box lunches may be purchased in advance.

Sunday, March 20, 3 – 5 pm Denim Dynasty Documentary documentary film screening and lecture by filmmaker

Admission is free. Hours Tues - Sat 10 - 5 Sun 2 - 5

130 Summit Avenue Greensboro NC 27401 336.373.2043

Dr. Beth Davision, ASU. The film explores North Carolina's textile heritage through stories of the Cone family and textile workers.

118 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Book Signing at Blandwood Mansion for Catalyst: Jim Martin and the Rise of NC Republicans Author John Hood & Governor Jim Martin Monday, January 11, 2016 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Ernie Wittenborn, John Hood

Governor Jim Martin, John Hardister

Hank Henning, John Graham

Nancy Kenerly, Gordon Johnson, Oietta Laman, Kay Muchinsky Paul Powell, Jim Martin

Tom Dayvault, Steve Ford

Frankie, Laura, Jimmy & James Piedad

Alan Perdue, Bill Simpson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Justin Conrad, Sebastian King

Graham Sheridan, Bonnie Naas

Eugene Lester, Keith Bowman

John Hood, Nancy Hoffmann

March 2016

O.Henry 119

Golden Gate Shopping Center

Vera’s Threads Sizes: 1X, 2X, & 3X



Small, Medium, Large & XLarge


Oh My Gauze • Parsley & Sage • Art of Cloth • Fenini Kleen • Comfy USA • Chalet • Amma • Heartstring Hours: M-F 11-6, Sat 11-5 2274 Golden Gate Drive - Golden Gate Shopping Center

Rolling Down the Bunny Trail Where people AnD CloTheS GeT A SeConD ChAnCe

Carriage House

Antiques & Home Decor Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm • Sunday 1-5pm 2214 Golden Gate Drive Greensboro, NC

336.373.6200 120 O.Henry

March 2016

Thrift Store 501c3 Non-Profit ► Donations Accepted ► recycled business Casual/ professional Attire ► Supporting Job Training programs ►

2222 Golden Gate Drive | The Shops at Golden Gate 10am-6pm, Mon-Sat A DiviSion of STepUp GreenSboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Jeanne Tannenbaum, Alan Cone

Nancy Radtke, Altina Layman

2016 O.Henry Award Reception

ArtsGreensboro/Greensboro Partnership Thursday, January 28, 2016 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Laura Way, Mac Sims

Henry & Shirley Frye

Jamal Fox, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Keith Holliday, Justin Outling Betty Cone

Trudy Atkins, Jo McKinnon

Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh, Spencer Conover Victoria & Ron Milstein

Chip & Kay Hagan, Priscilla Taylor Dr. Irish Spencer & William Spencer, Jr

Barbara Williams, Betty Cone, Alexa Aycock

Jessica Mashburn, Wally West

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Priscilla Taylor, Anne Hummel

March 2016

O.Henry 121

Save the Date


Area Schools

April 6, 2016 ~ 9:00 am in the Farlow Kennedy Center


1917 N Centennial St. in High Point ~ (336) 884-3333 x263

Challenging the mind. Nourishing the spirit. Canterbury’s unique educational approach features: • A PreK-8 setting focused on the needs of young children and adolescents • An 8:1 student/teacher ratio • A whole-child approach that develops mind, body, and spirit through academics, athletics and outdoor education, and the arts • An Episcopal school tradition of strong academics and inclusiveness

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Rd. Greensboro, NC 27455 336-288-2007

122 O.Henry

March 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Timothy & Kristen Britt

Morgan Hazel, Virginia Billings

Big Hair Ball

The Guild and Junior Guild of Family Service of Greensboro Foundation Saturday, January 30, 2016 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Amber Colburn, Stephanie Figueroa, Kianna Sisco

Charlie Beth Burns Kameryn Purdie, Maggie Epes, Cameron Kiser

Lisa Ganem, Lisa Allen Marela Turkie, Jennifer Stone, Christina Cromwell, Mojgan Jordan Sally Hayes, Kylie McClure, Jessica Thomas, Nawal Dergham

Brandon & Fatima Forney

Addie Clem, Mary Grace Beard, Hannah Diaz Kathleen Ellison, Hailey Hawkins, Olivia Ingram

Lisa & Janice Lanier

Ellen Harris, Mollie Winstead, Kelsey Chamberlain

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 123

Stacy & Amit Hampel


Marvin Richardson, Ryann Hyer

B’Nai Shalom 45th Annual Cadillac Dinner Starmount Forest Country Club Saturday, February 6, 2016 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Hillary Zakan, J Vansickle, Andrew & Amanda Mbuvi

Caryn & Jim Herman

Margaret Borrego & Frank Brainard

Gerald & Marjorie Donnelly

Joe & Toni Jacques, Jessica White, Travis Hinkle

Sarah & Patrick Neff

Susan Siegel, Merily Benson, Wayne & Margene Patrick Kyle & Katie Giffin, Emily Bradford, Alan Layton

124 O.Henry

March 2016

Courtney & Joseph Thomas, Mike & Beth Shor Rachel Wieselquist, Emily Hawk, Corrianne Sindler

Erin & Tim Harris Adam & Rima Kleiner

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Time for Spring and a New Nest! Irving Park

2704 Lake Forest Drive

Life on the Lake! Wonderful home on large lot with lake view! 4 or 5 BRs & great Kitchen! Daylight Basement w/Great Rm w/bar, BR, new BA, storage/workshop. pool table remains. Beautiful views from the Deck! $739,900

Old Irving Park

Irving Park

3518 Waldron Drive

Classic and stately home has 3 stories that have been updated & re-done. High ceilings, hardwood floors on 2 level & large windows – perfect for entertaining. 5 BRs, 4.5 Bas, porches & patio. $555,500


Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

1101 Sunset Drive

Irving Park brick home, overlooking the golf course. Great open floor plan master on the main that is ready for move in! $1,399,000

2904 Bishopsgate Way

New brick home w/lots of upgrades! High ceilings, hdwd flrs on main, Kit w/granite, SS appliances & gas cooktop. Playrm/ office. Den w/stone FP w/gas logs; 3-car att garage. $364,500

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687 ©2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.



Tickets on sale at Green sboro Col iseum Box O ffice an d Ticket m The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2016

O.Henry 125

The Accidental Astrologer

Mercurial March

Time for inspiration to take root — and perspiration to make it happen By Astrid Stellanova

March is the birth month of Michelangelo, Albert Ein-

stein, Maurice Ravel, Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Richard Burton, Edgar Cayce, Nat King Cole ... and Rupert Murdoch. And that, Sweet Things, is the short list. All Piscean, all gifted, all interested in the world of ideas. Does that mean all Pisceans are more alike than different? Wish we could ask Cayce, don’t you? I think it must mean that there is something about this water sign that is too mercurial for even the mystics to describe. –Ad Astra, Astrid

Pisces (February 19–March 20) This new year has meant you had to tack in the wind just to keep your boat afloat in the choppy waters of life. Drop anchor and inhale; all is well and your craft is safe. Sometimes, your navigational skills are tested, but you have the inner resources to make it all well. Your sense of reckoning won’t fail. This is a year with many peaks and valleys, but each take you toward an important aspect of your best self. Check the horizon; if you have something on your bucket list, don’t let high winds discourage you. Set sail toward your dreams, and revel in a fascinating year, you Sexy Sailor. Aries (March 21–April 19) Just admit it. When your childhood sweetheart carved your name on a tree, you were secretly shocked anybody you wanted to lock lips with would bring a knife on a date. That’s how you roll; your mind makes leaps and jumps and most of life experiences are hilarious and off-kilter. Keep your wit, Honey; you will need it this month when you get a surprise visit from an old flame and some unwelcome company. Taurus (April 20–May 20) You may seem about 10 cents short of a dollar this month, but you have put a large chunk of your gray matter on hold while you try to figure out what is making you so restless. You know you may have great powers of intuition; but you are not exactly acting like the CSI of mental compulsions. Keep calm, Sugar, and try to avoid making too many decisions without hashing things out with close friends. Gemini (May 21–June 20) There was a time when you were the funniest person in the room. Now, you can bring a party mood crashing down with one long, scary stare with your wild eyes, and a can of Raid. Your current bad mood has nothing to do with what someone did to you; it has to do with not letting go of an old offense. It is so last year, Sweetheart. Release it. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Is it possible you have overdone the self-improvement campaign? This would be a good time to say hasta la vista to pain and remorse, and hola to happiness! Astrid’s best insight is that you forgive yourself the slowest — if you can change that dynamic, you are fine-tuning yourself, and can go humming through the rest of this month like your best self. Leo (July 23–August 22) Honey, foreign travel is in the wings, and if you give yourself permission, this is a turning point in your life karma. Something unexpected is opening up to you, and it will mean you might have to renew your passport and kick-start your sense of adventure. In case you were thinking of opting out, just be sure this is not because you have allowed yourself to become lazy — er, passive. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Virgo (August 23–September 22) There are at least three opportunities that will present themselves this month. Consider them self-checks. One will involve an old friend. Another will involve an old enemy. A third will involve a complete stranger. What do they have in common? Sugar, ole Astrid thinks you will find the questions just as thrilling as the answers. Libra (September 23–October 22) No matter how hard you try, you cannot stop explaining yourself. Here’s the truth: All those explanations are a snoozer. No matter how much you want to elaborate, it just bores people into a stupor. Brevity, Baby. Say less, and it will be the best thing you ever did for the people you want to impress. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) It was a drag having to go through what you did; it was no fun and just about everybody felt sorry for you. But stop singing the same ole tune like One Song Debby Boone. If you can pick up one foot and take a step in the next direction, you might just find your footing is fine. Everyone is pulling for you, Sugar. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) You’re feeling like the tossed-out drier sheet of life. A drier sheet makes the wash easier to fold and smell better; but does anybody ever sing the praises of the drier sheet? Well, Honey, ole Astrid will. Just remember how different it was before we had them; our underwear was full of static. Thanks to drier sheets, we are static free and fresher. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) How did that brave step feel last month? Glad you did it? I hope so, because you are one step closer to a grand journey that will be nearly invisible to those around you. Somebody wants something you have to give. If you can trust them, trust the universe, and even trust ole Astrid, I guarantee you will be all right. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) This new season has already brought some regrets; it made you regret that you offered something that came so cheaply. Let’s just say it looked magnanimous on the outside but you know it was like re-gifting Grandma’s dried-out fruitcake. Nobody really wanted it. You are sheepish because you have that much character. Now, make the sacrifice they really need and deserve, Sugar. OH

For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. March 2016

O.Henry 127

O.Henry Ending

A Game Gal

By Cynthia Adams

Peggy sits at the end

of the bar, nursing a chardonnay. It’s a Tuesday night; the bar of the Italian restaurant is nearly empty. Jacob, the bartender, offers Peggy a top-up and she brightens. “Danke schön,” she says and smiles.

She turns to me on her right and says, “I learned a few things in Germany.” “Oh?” I say. “It was the only time my husband and I ever went anywhere,” she adds. “We worked all the time.” I sip my wine and she continues. “When we went to Germany, we stayed a month. A whole month,” she repeats, marveling. I ask where in Germany, but Peggy no longer remembers. I tear into a crusty bread loaf, casting a few smiles at Peggy who is clearly dining alone. Her eyes turn to the TV screen above the bar, flickering with a rerun of the Alabama/Clemson game, which had ended with a trouncing the night prior. “Who did you like?” I ask Peggy. “Clemson,” she answers, brightening. “Too bad they lost,” says my husband, dabbing a heel of bread into a dish of olive oil. Peggy’s face shadows. “They lost?” she asks confusedly. I try to assure her that my husband isn’t a time-traveler; the game was played last night, I tell her apologetically, and frown at him for spoiling it. Peggy looks briefly flustered. She is a regular, always sitting at the same spot near the door, and the staff all smile at her. She knows the cooks in the kitchen. On Thursdays, the restaurant’s wine is half-price, so Peggy buys a bottle, which the bartenders keep under the counter. Doled out nightly, it lasts until the next week when the transaction repeats. At 83, Peggy is slight and her gray-blue eyes sparkle. She likes to talk about the companies she and her deceased husband once owned. They had a newspaper distribution business, a trucking business and a restaurant in

128 O.Henry

March 2016

Clemmons. Later, they were part-owners of a restaurant in Friendly Center. Her son, Trip, is usually with her. “You know, that’s not his real name,” she confides. “He is Albert the third. Tripled. So we always called him Trip.” What she doesn’t say is, her son is battling a terminal illness. She smiles bravely. “He’s a good boy,” Peggy says softly. Jacob is busy, and she waits for him to bring two coffees to go. One is for Trip. After Peggy’s ride arrives, the bar seems much emptier. We talk about what it means for her to come out for her nightly nip. “She’s a nice woman,” says the handsome Jacob, who treats Peggy with the patient respect a young man would reserve for his own grandmother. “She always orders the same thing. It’s easy.” It’s also easy to imagine that at her age, Peggy might have stayed home; might have pulled an afghan around her shoulders and watched the game from a recliner. But she didn’t. Her granddaughter had urged her to get out, so she obliged. Earlier that night, I had seen my own mother, swaddled in a pink robe, wan and feverish from double pneumonia. My mother is four years older than Peggy. She is shy, and would never go to a bar alone, order a glass of chardonnay and two coffees to go. Jacob brings our tab; we pay and exit into the night, scanning a starless sky for signs of the promised snow. Did Peggy holiday in Munich, perhaps? Or Baden-Baden? And I wonder if there, as here, she relied upon the kindness of strangers. Did she ever remember where, in Germany? Perhaps later, as she was sipping her coffee? The world is a big, sometimes overwhelmingly lonely place. But tonight, it seems the world needed Peggy’s company just when Peggy sought the world’s. I slip my gloved hand into my husband’s, and forgive him for telling Peggy who lost the game. OH Cynthia Adams, a Greensboro writer, is almost always partial to eating at the bar. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

Life is meant for the playing fields, not the sidelines

Find your home at the end of the Rainbow... 7709 Northern Estates Point

1/2 mile from Northern High School This over 3800 heated sq ft custom home in Northern Guilford Country features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths with a bonus room on the second level, 750 square feet of unfinished loft space and a 3 car side entry garage. Experience the quality of solid wood doors, handmade cast interior bronze hardware, and a wonderful outdoor space, all with an eloquent finish. Welcome the winter with abundant natural light and a stone linear fireplace that are perfect for keeping warm and entertaining family and friends. A culinary dream kitchen completes this home, equipped with chef appliances, custom designer cabinets and beautiful granite countertops.


Luisa Duran • Owner/Builder/Broker

336.369.2187 • •


The average yearly non-tuition expense in NC is $9,169. W H E N T H E Y M A K E T H E G R A D E , B E R E A DY . G E T T H E M S TA R T E D W I T H A C H E C K I N G AC C O U N T F R O M CA R O L I N A B A N K . / 336.288.1898 CHECKING • SAVINGS • MORTGAGE • HOME EQUITY

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