May O.Henry 2019

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May 2019 DEPARTMENTS 19 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 24 Short Stories 27 Doodad By Grant Britt 29 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 31 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 35 Scuppernong Bookshelf 39 Drinking with Writers By Wiley Cash

43 True South By Susan S. Kelly 45 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 47 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 70 Arts Calendar 88 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Kate Goodrich

FEATURES 51 Four Egrets at the Reservoir Poetry by Terri Kirby Erickson

52 Recipe for Success

By Maria Johnson At Greensboro's lone homegrown kitchen store, friendly is the extra ingredient

54 When Friendly Was Friendly

By Billy Ingram Tales from our most beloved shopping center

58 Heart of Red Oak

By Jim Dodson Beer — and Bill Sherrill — are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

62 Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue

By Cynthia Adams Catherine Harrill pushes aside old boundaries in her brilliantly edited new home

69 Almanac

By Ash Alder

10 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408 PUBLISHER

David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mallory Cash, Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, John Koob Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner CONTRIBUTORS Ash Alder, Jane Borden, Grant Britt, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Tony Cross, Clyde Edgerton, Billy Eye, Ross Howell Jr., Billy Ingram, Susan S. Kelly, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, D.G. Martin, Ogi Overman, Romey Petite, Angela Sanchez, Stephen E. Smith, Astrid Stellanova

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May 2019

©Copyright 2019. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The PROBLEM with Back Problems Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work and experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives. So back pain is a common, yet potentially disabling condition. The problem is that most places simply do not understand the cause and therefore, do not properly treat it.

What causes back pain? The back is a team of bones, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Most cases of back pain are mechanical in nature, which means the MOVEMENT is often dysfunctional. Some of the simplest movements- for example getting out of a car or picking up a piece of paper of the floor- can cause painful irritation and inflammation of the structures of the spine. POOR POSTURE over a period of time is the most common cause that we see that leads to improper alignment and faulty movement of the spine. The muscles over a period of time become ropey and tight and it gets to the point where you can no longer selfcorrect the posture.

The problem with traditional back pain treatment Traditional back pain treatment does not make sense in the majority of cases. If the problem is with the posture and the movement of the spine, then what is pain medication going to do to solve this problem? Pain medications, steroids, and shots do a good job of temporarily covering up your body’s “smoke detector” telling you there is a fire! Meanwhile, the problem continues to deteriorate and the spinal joints continue to decay. The epidemic of prescription opioid overuse starts right here. If someone tells you that you have Spinal arthritis and there is nothing you can do besides take medications, THEY ARE WRONG! These folks tend to just stop doing the things they love. They skip their grandkid’s basketball game because they cannot sit on the bleachers. They avoid going on vacation because they cannot ride in the car. They start to suffer side effects from the medications and become inactive. Weight goes up and blood pressure goes up since they can no longer exercise. Does this sound like you or someone you know? This is the typical person we see who has been through the traditional pain medication route.

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Simple Life

Dirty Hands, Happy Heart And other gifts from the universe

By Jim Dodson

When all else fails, Mulligan

the dog and I head for the garden.

Possibly because I hail from a family of Carolina farmers and rabbit tobacco preachers, digging in the dirt is not only second nature and something that draws me closer to my maker, but also serves as a cheap and effective therapy in a world that seems increasingly shaped by the insatiable gods of work and money. For many Americans, work has become something of its own secular religion. According to Gallup, Americans average more hours of work per year than any of our fellow developed nations, yet 87 percent of U.S employees don’t feel fulfilled by how they earn their living. That’s a staggering problem that helps contribute to rising depression and addiction across all sectors of society. In 1919, as Fast Company recently noted, 4 million Americans went on strike to demand fairer wages and a five-day work week — the beginning, historians point out, of the so-called American leisure class. As a result, weekends became enshrined in the culture. The bad news? We’re losing ground to our obsession to work longer and harder with diminishing returns, the average American working a full day longer than the 40-hour work week fought for by our early 20th century ancestors. Maybe you’re one of the fortunate ones who loves what you do. I certainly am, having enjoyed a varied journalism career and book-writing life that has taken me to places I only dreamed about as a kid. Today, I own the privilege of serving as editor of four robust arts-and-culture magazines staffed by a talented crew of folks across this state. We’re a merry band of storytellers and artists who love what we do and never take that gift from the gods for granted. How we spend our time away from the job says a lot about us, a lesson some of us had to learn the hard way. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

At age 30, in 1983, I was the senior writer for the largest news magazine in the South, the Sunday Magazine of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a magazine where Margaret Mitchell once worked and the South’s finest writers appeared. Over my seven years in Atlanta, covering everything from Klan rallies to presidential candidacies, I took only two or three full weeks of vacation. When I finally received the summons to Washington, D.C., for the interview I’d grown up hoping for, I felt utterly empty, burned-out, ready to find a new way of earning my daily crust. The unexpected epiphany came following my big interview in Washington when I phoned my father from the outer office of Vice President George H. W. Bush. I’d been one of the first reporters to travel with Bush during the 1980 presidential campaign and gotten to know him fairly well — sharing a love of baseball, beer and New England. My dad asked how the job interview went. I told him it seemed to go well, save for one small problem: I wasn’t sure I wanted the job — or even to be a journalist any more. “I have an idea,” he said calmly. “Why don’t you change your flight plans back to Atlanta and stop off in North Carolina?” The next morning, he picked me up at Raleigh’s airport and drove us to Pinehurst. My Haig Ultra golf clubs were in the back seat of his car. They hadn’t been touched by me in years. For at that point, almost incomprehensibly I hadn’t played a full round of golf — the game I loved best — more than once or twice while living in the hometown of Bobby Jones. Instead, I’d worked myself into an early grave — or so I feared. After our round on famed No. 2 we sat together on the porch of the Donald Ross Grill and talked over beers about what I feared might be a premature midlife crisis, or worse. He could have laughed at my youthful angst. But he didn’t. My old man was one great fellow, a former newsman and advertising executive with a May 2019

O.Henry 19

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Simple Life poet’s heart. My nickname for him was Opti the Mystic. After listening to me pour out my tale of existential career woe, he smiled and remarked, “I wouldn’t give up on journalism just yet, sport. You have a God-given talent for stringing together words and telling stories of the heart. I do, however, have a small suggestion for you. You may laugh.” “Try me,” I said, desperate for any guidance from Opti. “Perhaps you should try writing about things you love instead of things you don’t.” I looked at him and laughed. “What kinds of things?” I asked. He shrugged and sipped his beer. He was 66 years old, the age I am today. “Only you can answer that. Use your imagination. What do you love? You’ll find the best answer there. It may sound ridiculously corny to you, but try telling the universe what you love and you may be surprised at the results. The path is never straight. But trust your gut. One thing leads to another, including people.” Humoring him, I admitted that I loved golf and being in nature but didn’t know a soul in either of those worlds and couldn’t imagine how I would find my way into them. Once a singlehandicap golfer, as I’d proven that day at No. 2, I couldn’t even break a hundred on the golf course anymore. Having grown up hiking and camping in the mountains and forests of my home state, it had been years since I’d been deep in the woods. I’d even loved mowing neihborhood lawns and working in my mom’s garden, but hadn’t done that in almost a decade. Still, something got into my head. Or maybe it was my gut. A short time later, I withdrew my name from consideration for jobs in Washington, quit my gig in Atlanta and took a 2-month writing sabbatical at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts at Sweet Briar College. It was springtime in Virginia. I wrote for three or four hours every morning, working on a novel about a Georgia farm family for a legendary editor at Harper & Row. In the afternoons, I took long walks through the pasturelands, fields and woods of beautiful Amherst County, Patrick Henry country. One afternoon I helped an elderly couple down the road weed their garden and took home a stunning bunch of peonies that reminded me of my mom’s garden back home in Greensboro. The novel was a dud. My heart was never in it. But the legendary editor, pointing out that books would come when the timing was The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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May 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Simple Life right, insisted that I call Judson Hale at Yankee Magazine in New Hampshire. I followed up on his advice and soon found myself working as the first Southerner and senior writer in Yankee Magazine’s history. I got myself a pup from a Vermont Humane Society, lived in a cottage by the Green River and taught myself to fly-fish. My heartbeat slowed. I even rediscovered my lost passion for golf on an old course where Rudyard Kipling once chased the game. A few years after that, a story I wrote about a forgotten hero of women’s golf even landed me a sweet job at Golf Magazine and a decade’s service as the golf editor for American Express, a job that took me around the world and inspired me to take my dad back to England and Scotland where he learned to play golf as a soldier during the war. He was dying of cancer. It was our final journey. The little book I wrote about, Final Rounds, became a bestseller that’s still in print. Opti had been right about all of it — the power of doing what you love, listening to heart and gut while expressing your desires and gratitude to a generous universe. Whatever else may be true, I am proof that one good thing — and more important, one good person — can invariably lead to another. Over the next two decades, I built a house on a forested hill on the coast of Maine, fathered two wonderful children and basically invested their college funds into a massive English garden in the woods. A dozen books followed, including Arnold Palmer’s memoirs. That job brought me home again thanks to a chance to teach writing at Hollins University in Virginia and simultaneously help my partners create distinctive arts-and-culture magazines that people in this state seem almost as passionate about as we are. Today, I consciously belong to an intentionally slower world, taking time to do the work I love but never failing to spend time in the garden with my dog, Mulligan. A golf round with my childhood pal never hurts, either. Perhaps I’ve just come full circle. In any case, friends tell me I’m more productive than ever. If so, that’s probably because dirty hands make for a happy heart, as an aging gardener once said to me. That aging gardener was my mom, who had a magical way with peonies and roses. May was her favorite month, the month where spring gardens reach their glory. Mulligan agrees with me that our roses and peonies have never looked better. OH


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Contact Editor Jim Dodson at

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

O.Henry 23

Short Stories Flower Power

We take them for granted as we’re tearing down Interstates 40 and 85 in a mad rush (and one hopes, not texting and driving). But why not stop and smell, if not the roses, the wildflowers that carpet medians and roadsides of our highways? Or at least learn about the Wildflower Program from Derek Smith, environmental engineer at the North Carolina Department of Transportation. An employee of NCDOT for 26 years, Smith will discuss the types of wildflowers grown and different agronomic challenges across the state at noon on Thursday, May 9 at the Chip Callaway Lecture Series hosted by Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (215 South Main Street, Kernersville). The lunch and learn will also reveal how you can grow wildflowers in your own garden. To register: (336) 996-7888 or

Dare to Dream

Double your pleasure with not one but two local productions of Man of La Mancha, the popular Broadway musical based on Miguel de Cervantes’ epic, 17th-century novel, Don Quixote. Scripted by Dale Wasserman as a play-within-a-play, the show begins with the character of Cervantes awaiting trial in prison during the Spanish Inquisition. His fellow prisoners insist he hand over his possessions if he is found guilty. Cervantes agrees and in the mock trial that follows, mounts his “defense” in the form of a play: the story of a mad knight errant under the assumed name, Don Quixote de la

Mutable Mangum

Just when you think you’ve identified William Mangum’s artistic style, better think again. The artist is unveiling his latest works in the exhibition, Transitions at dual receptions on Thursday and Friday, May 30 and 31, and at an open studio on Saturday, June 1 (303 West Smith Street). Consisting of more than 50 new works, the show reveals the range of Mangum’s talent, from representational paintings to abstracts and underscores that however constant a presence he is in the city and the state, his only constant is, of course, change. To attend an opening reception or learn more about the exhibition, contact Joy Ross at (336) 379-9200 or

A Walk in the Park

Lindley Park, that is. Hard nowdays to imagine one of Greensboro’s best-loved neighborhoods as an amusement park at the end of a trolley line with dancing, vaudeville, a casino and a manmade lake, but that’s exactly what occupied the 60 acres once belonging to local businessman and entrepreneur, John Van Lindley. By 1917, when the amusement park had had its run and share of fun, the city hired landscape architect Earl Sumner Draper to design the planned neighborhood with winding streets and sidewalks with the park as its focal point. So enjoy the green space, with its arboretum, and get to know the turn-of-the-century and mid-century homes surrounding it on Preservation Greensboro’s Ninth Annual Tour of Historic Homes & Gardens (Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19). As the nonprofit’s flagship fundraiser, the tour supports future historic preservation efforts in the Gate City and Guilford County. For more info about tickets and downloading the walking app, go to tour-of-historic-homes-gardens/.

The Beef People

Mancha, who is determined to return chivalric honor to a dreary world. With its theme of upholding ideals (no matter how grim life gets) and stirring score (including the showstopper “The Impossible Dream”), it’s no wonder Man of La Mancha garnered six Tony awards in 1966, including Best Musical. Catch it May 1–26 at Triad Stage (232 South Elm Street, Greensboro) or May 3–5 and 9–12, at the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem (Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art or SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem). Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or; (336) 7254001 for tickets or

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May 2019

Got a legitimate grievance? Need to gripe or get something off your chest? Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t keep all that ire bottled up — or take it out on fellow motorists in the form of road rage, or shout at coworkers, friends or family members or the TV, and please, don’t kick the dog, either. Just head to the newly formed Curmudgeons Corner and air your diatribe(s) to like-minded folk at 10 a.m. every second Wednesday at Scuppernong Books (304 South Elm Street). If you’re seeking more information about the group you can call the Curmudgeon-in-Chief at (336) 897-0283, who may not be inclined to answer. Best just to show up and vent. There, now, feel better? The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Creative Campers

With summer vacation around the corner, why let the kiddos while away the hours of the long hot days in front of a video screen, when they can tap into their inner Van Gogh or Michelangelo? From June through August children ranging from pre-kindergarteners to rising sixthgraders can engage in a variety of creative pursuits at one of GreenHill’s weeklong camps. Little tots can explore colors by making their own paints and tools, or recreate their own version of the popular game “Candyland,” while first-, second- and third-graders can choose from craftmaking or creative problem-solving, among other classes. There are camps devoted exclusively to paper-making, drawing and painting, and getting your hands dirty in paint, mud or clay. Whatever you choose, the time to register is now! To do so, go to

Home of the Grave

Or graves, plural. Not to mention an insane variety of exotic trees, thanks to the late, great green thumb of local plantsman and polymath Bill Craft. Yes, we’re referring to historic Greenhill Cemetery, which is really, really green this time of year, given the amount of rainfall these past several months. See what’s sprouting and blooming, and learn about the storied lives of the cemetery’s, um, permanent residents, many of whom shaped Greensboro, on Friends of Greenhill’s springtime tour on Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m. Meet at the southern gate on Wharton Street with the oh-so-reasonable admission of $5. Info:


The French Farmer’s Wife (1987 Beeson Road, Kernersville) returns Thursday, May 2 through Saturday May 4 with its first barn sale of the year. With an emphasis on, but not limited to, French provincial antiques and vintage pieces, the sale features fetchingly curated and staged finds, such as large pieces of furniture, baskets, glassware, linens, soaps, garden accouterments and considerably more. As a special treat, Debbie Dion Hayes will be on hand to sign her book, Paint, Stencil & Design on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Can’t make the sale? No worries, la fermière française will open her doors again July 25–27 and October 24–26. Info:

Winning Innings

The High Point Rockers are the newest ball club in the Triad, but did you know The International City has been hosting baseball games since the 1880s? It’s just one of several tidbits you can learn by visiting the exhibition, At the Old Ball Game, which opened late last month at the High Point Museum (1859 E. Lexington Avenue) Not only does the show cast a backward glance at local enthusiasm for America’s National Pastime, it also examines the current climate for the game with various lectures, events and programs, including the chance, on Saturday, May 4, for a free appraisal of your baseball cards and memorabilia. Now that’s what we call a homerun. Info:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

I can’t prove it, but if asked their favorite month, I bet most folks would answer “May.” There’s just not much to dislike about it. As Goldilocks would say, “Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.” Plus, the outdoor concerts and street festivals are kicking off, making this a music-lover’s paradise. So, enjoy, there’s lots to choose from.

• May 2, Carolina Theatre:

For their Command Performance this year, the Showplace of the Carolinas has chosen Three Dog Night. The iconic rockers who ruled the early ’70s with 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three No. 1s, are still actively touring with original member Danny Hutton. Those patented “Joy to the World” three-part harmonies are still intact.

• May 10, High Point Theatre:

Not that it ever recedes for true believers, but May means that beach music again kicks into high gear. And the group that (one could argue) started it all, The Embers, are in the area, along with The Collegiates. If you saw them at the N.C. Folk Festival last year, you know that with Craig Woolard back in the fold, The Embers remain at the top of the “sand in my shoes” heap.

• May 18, LeBauer Park: Last year the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society moved its 32nd annual Carolina Blues Festival back downtown to rave reviews. They’ll be back there this year with another power-packed lineup of five stellar acts, headlined by the incredible Dom Flemons. The perfect way to spend a May afternoon and evening. • May 30, Greensboro Coliseum:

If, like me, harmony is your thing, Pentatonix needs no introduction. With the recent emergence of a capella vocal groups as a musical force, they have emerged as the cream of the crop. Their five parts can be literally chillbump-inducing.

• May 30, Ramkat: Did you happen to catch CBS’ recent Sunday Morning segment on Marty Stuart’s country music memorabilia museum? He is what Nashville used to be, and if he has his way, will one day be again. He looks and sounds the part, and His Fabulous Superlatives, ain’t bad, either. May 2019

O.Henry 25

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Shain! Come Back! International Blues Challenge winner Jon Shain returns to the Piedmont





Jon Shain is a fighter.

For his latest bout in January, he knocked out more than 260 opponents to take the title for the International Blues Challenge’s Best Solo/Duo challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Shain has been in training for decades, a fixture on the Triangle blues/folk circuit since he was a history major at Duke. He honed his Piedmont Blues guitar skills playing with Big Boy Henry and John Dee Holeman after joining Music Maker Relief Foundation’s Slewfoot Blues Band. Following graduation in 1989, Shain and John Whitehead formed Flyin’ Mice, ostensibly a blues/rock duo that specialized in line-blurring. “We always had kind of a fingerstyle blues approach in Flyin’ Mice even after we got a drummer,” the musician says. “Then we mixed in bluegrass and country elements, and my own material has always kinda bordered on blues.” The blurred lines sometimes confound people, as Shain quips: “In folk circles they all think of me as a blues player.” How is he regarded by fans of the blues? “In blues circles I’m definitely kinda folksy.” The Mice were an eclectic bunch that Shain says “didn’t let any genre keep us from trying something.” Started as a blues duo in ’89, the band expanded in membership and genre, covering Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley when the guitarist got a banjo. WAKE, a four-piece active from’96–’98, had a country-rock flavor, a folkier version of the Flyin’ Mice. Incidentally, Shain initially entered the IBC 10 years ago as a duo with F.J. Ventre, getting to the finals before getting knocked out. “Maybe the difference in 10 years was my ability to connect with the audience more,” Shain says of his win, which got him a slot at this month’s Carolina Blues Festival, as well as a booking in the Las Vegas Big Blues Bender in September and a spot on the West Coast/Mexican Riviera Rhythm & Blues Cruise, with artists including Los Lobos onboard. “We just go where we want,” Shain says of his output, including his latest, Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday Soon, partnering with Ventre. “The album I did before that was a solo fingerstyle blues album tribute to W.C. Handy, ragtime and blues picking with nothing but guitar and vocal,” adding that it was a chance to get his guitar ya-yas out. “Now that we have this blues challenge winner on my mantle too, the next album we do is gonna try to return to blues a little bit more.” — Grant Britt OH John Shain will appear at Carolina Blues Festival, held May 18 & 19 at LeBauer Park, and Grove Winery on May 26. Info:;

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O.Henry 27


Mother’sIDEAS Day May 2-June 6 Aging Mastery Program for Caregivers

This 6 week program will be conducted on Thursdays from 4:30pm-8:00pm in conjunction with Mount Zion Baptist Church’s Caregiver Connect Program. The class educates caregivers about the impacts of caregiving and also provides them with the tools they need to stay healthier and happier in the caregiving journey. Topics covered include healthy eating and hydration, sleep, exercise, advance planning, financial fitness, and more. Call 336.373.4816 for information and to register.

Mother’s Day honor cards are available for a donation of $10 or more

1401 Benjamin Parkway • Greensboro, NC 27408 336-373-4816 Fax: 336-373-4922 600 North Hamilton Street • High Point, NC 27260 336-883-3586 Fax: 336-883-3179

Serving older adults since 1977

Senior Resources of Guilford is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization eligible to receive tax deductible donations. Your support enables the agency to respond to requests for information and services that will assist seniors to continue to live independently..

28 O.Henry

May 2019


by sending a check to Senior Resources of Guilford, 1401 Benjamin Pkwy, Greensboro NC 27408.

Featuring Artwork by local senior citizens available for sale


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life’s Funny

Chop House

The sport of axe-throwing lands in the Piedmont By Maria Johnson

Tony Wohlgemuth, the wizard of


Kersey Valley amusement park in Archdale, has noticed an invasion of sorts along our northern border: Lots of trends in entertainment attractions come from Canada.

Take escape rooms, the group puzzle solving exercises built around storylines. They were a craze up yonder before they migrated here. Now, the maple-flavored sport of axethrowing — think of it as darts on steroids — is sweeping the United States, mostly as a bar game because, you know, who can resist mixing sharp blades with alcohol? In this area, Wohlgemuth was the first to take a whack at it, having opened his indoor and outdoor venues earlier this year, but his attractions are a bit of a throwback. They’re alcohol-free in keeping with Kersey Valley’s family-friendly atmosphere. Just good, old-fashioned blade-chucking here. In case you’re picturing longhandled axes à la Paul Bunyan, be advised the instruments of the sport are more like hatchets. They’re 14 inches long and weigh about a pound each, so they’re fairly easy to hurl end-over-end. “It’s kind of Medievalish. There’s something empowering about it,” says Wohlgemuth, who started Kersey Valley on his family farm in 1985 and has grown it — with the help of his wife Donna, and his business partner David Rundberg — into an entertainment hub, with escape rooms, laser tag, zip line, high-ropes course, a corn maize and — the real haymaker — Spookywoods in the fall. Wohlgemuth constantly scans the horizon for new attractions, so his interest was piqued when he spotted axe-throwing on YouTube back in 2016. He checked with his insurance guy. “Forget about it,” came the reply. Wohlgemuth kept his eye on axe-throwing. He watched competitions on ESPN and delved into the rules and regulations of WATL, the World Axe Throwing League. In January, Wohlgemuth was getting ready to refresh his oldest escape room, which had rough-cut pine walls and smelled of pitch, when an idea struck him: what if they used the room for axe-throwing? He measured to make sure two 12-foot lanes would fit — they would — and he called a Chicago outfit, Axe Insurance Co., that has carved a real niche, so to speak. Yes, they said, they would cover participants and spectators at Kersey Valley. Wohlgemuth prodded. Would they cover an outdoor axe-throwing experience

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

with 11 stations along a trail once used for Segway tours? Well, you’d be the first to try that, but shurrrrrrrrre, came the answer. Wohlgemuth was in business. He opened his axe attractions in early February. “We’ve been booked every Saturday since then,” he says. Corporate groups, clubs, couples, friends and families have given the sport a whirl. On a recent weekday afternoon, 33-year-old Meghan Williams of Charlotte, and 33-year-old Greg Collins of Greensboro, celebrated their second year of dating with a 90-minute trip to the axe room, which Greg heard about from a friend where he works at . . . wait for it . . . a hospital. Truth is so much better than fiction. During a safety session, they learned the basic rules of axe-throwing, which include, but are not limited to: Never hand an axe to anyone. Never throw an axe at anyone. Never touch the sharp edge of an axe while asking, “Is it sharp?” Their “Axe-pert Instructor” Sydney Parks explained the throwing motion: a chop from the elbow rather than a throw from the shoulder. The axe should make one rotation before hitting the target, which is painted on pine planks. Ideally, the top corner of the blade will sink into the soft wood. After a few dozen practice throws, Greg and Meghan started their games. An electronic scoreboard kept track. Eighties music played in the background at their request. Greg, who grew up throwing axes at stumps on a farm in Ohio, narrowly won the first game. He celebrated a bullseye by vigorously ringing a brass bell on the wall. “That was forceful,” Meghan observed dryly. A couple of throws later, she stuck the bullseye, swaggered to the bell and gave it a hearty clang. “What’s that, Collins?” She teased. They laughed. Women tend to do better than men at axe-throwing, says Wohlgemuth. “Men try to muscle it, but it takes more finesse than brute strength. It’s a great equalizer.” In fact, the record for most points on the outdoor course is held by a 10-yearold boy. Kersey Valley recommends that children be 13 to play, but if a young ’un is able to handle it, they can fling an axe, too. “It’s all in the technique,” says Wohlgemuth. “If the technique is right, it doesn’t take much strength.” And that may be the kindest cut of all. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. To see a slow-motion video of Greg Collins in action, go to O.Henry’s Facebook page. May 2019

O.Henry 29

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May 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Omnivorous Reader

On the Lighter Side The study of humor can be serious business

By Stephen E. Smith

“Who was Alexander the

Great’s father?” my 11th grade history teacher asked (this was back in the day when educators expected students to know a little something about world history). Before anyone could raise his or her hand, my friend Norman Alton, slumped in the desk beside me, blurted out his answer: “Philip’s Milk of Macedonia!”

Norman wasn’t the class clown. He didn’t make monkey faces or squawk like a jungle bird. He was the class wit, a usually subdued presence whose occasional response to teachers’ questions exhibited a startling degree of wordplay and a remarkable, if somewhat perverse, intellectual insight. Philip’s Milk of Macedonia: Everyone laughed, even the thickheaded ones. Even the teacher. James Geary’s latest book, Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It, explains how Norman’s agile, word-warping mind worked, analyzing the bits and pieces of intellect and psychology that conspire to make wit and its resultant humor a force in our lives. And Geary would seem to be the man for the job. He’s deputy curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and the author of I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World, the New York Times best-selling The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and Geary's Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists. The book opens with a dissertation on the pun. Punning is typically regarded as the lowest form of humor (make a pun and you’ll elicit a cho-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

rus of groans), but it isn’t a simplistic exercise; it involves two incongruent concepts connected by sound and, if it’s a truly clever pun, it demonstrates a degree of insight that delights with its absurdity. “Puns straddle the happy fault where sound and sense collide,” writes Geary, “where surface similarities of spelling and pronunciation meet above conflicting seams of meaning.” Philip of Macedonia and Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia have nothing in common except, when spliced together, an unexpected degree of silliness and a certain similarity in sound and structure. Apparently, Geary counted the puns in Shakespeare’s plays: “There are some 200 puns in Love’s Labour’s Lost, 175 in Romeo and Juliet, 150 in each of the Henry IV plays, and upward to 100 in Much Ado About Nothing and All’s Well That Ends Well.” And he offers fascinating facts aplenty: Lincoln was an avid punster. The notion that Adam and Eve chomped into an apple is a misinterpretation of the Vulgate where the adjective form of “evil” malus, is malum, which happens to be the word for apple, thus fixing the misidentification of the apple as the offending fruit. Geary also includes enough obscure puns to last a lifetime, e.g., English essayist Charles Lamb was introduced by a friend who asked him, “Promise, Lamb, not to be sheepish.” Lamb replied, “I wool.” Lamb went on to write an essay entitled: “That the Worst Puns are the Best.” And when Groucho walked into a restaurant where his ex-wife was dining, he proved Lamb right: “Marx spots the ex.” All right, you can groan now. Geary then delves into “witty banter,” couching his observations in an original faux 18th century play riddled with contemporary allusions. Using research paper format (who among us wants to read another research paper?), Geary explains how the brain reacts to wit and humor, and in a slightly more interesting chapter he explores the neurobiological mechanism of wit — the ability to hold in mind two differing ideas about the same thing at the same time — asserting that comedians who are bipolar have an advanMay 2019

O.Henry 31

Jamie Blow Photography

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32 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Omnivorous Reader tage over their less afflicted peers. If you’re an oldtimer, you’ll be reminded of Jonathan Winters, who gave us Maude Frickert and Elwood P. Suggins from Bellbrook, Ohio, a yokel who’d seen “some 76” flying saucers. But Geary focuses on a more derivative and annoying comedian, Robin Williams, as a prime example of a bipolar individual who could make instant disconnected connections. He also presents numerous examples of individuals who suffered bouts of unrestrained wit, such as the case of a 57-year-old man who began constantly joking, laughing, and singing. “After the patient’s death, his wife discovered scores of Groucho Marx glasses, spinning bow ties, hand buzzers, and squirting lapel flowers in their garage. An autopsy showed asymmetric frontotemporal atrophy and Pick’s disease.” Neurological mechanisms notwithstanding, readers are likely to find their attention waning in chapters such as “Perfect Witty Expressions and How to Make Them” (can we be taught to be witty?), “Advanced Banter” and “An Ode to Wit,” which falls with a predictable thud. In an especially cringe-worthy chapter on “jive,” Geary explains “Dozens,” a form of interactive insult which is “a part of African-American tradition of competitive verbal invention” in which combatants face off before a crowd and “direct aspersions at their adversary’s shortcoming”: Your mother is so ugly that she has to . . . ” He also includes a lengthy out-of-date jive glossary — “Cat: A cool, witty person,” “Chippies: Young women,” “Eighty-eight (88): Piano,” “Knowledge box: Brain,” etc., — which is completely unnecessary. Do we need to understand the mechanisms at work in the creation of humor? Probably not. But quick-witted people charm and amuse us; we appreciate them, crediting them, whether they deserve it or not, with a high degree of intelligence. Any understanding of how the witty mind works only deepened our appreciation of their talent. And there’s much that’s entertaining and informative in Wit’s End; unfortunately, Geary’s use of various literary conceits and his incessant cleverness wears thin and eventually begs the question: Is it possible to be too clever when investigating cleverness? My old friend Norman Alton, who is by now on a first name basis with Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, knew a good quip when he’d delivered one. He didn’t push it. As we all cackled, he remained silent and straight-faced, accepting our laughter as praise. OH Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He’s the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press awards. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

O.Henry 33

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34 O.Henry

May 2019



The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scuppernong Bookshelf

Greensboro Bound Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival — Schedule of Events *All information is subject to change. Please check for updates.

THURSDAY, May 16 5:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Opening Reception. Catered by Jerusalem Market. Cheryl Oring, I Wish to Say, Interactive Art Project. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG Campus. What is Democracy? with Astra Taylor. Film Screening and Conversation about Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG Campus.

11:15 a.m. Outside Agitator with Cleveland Sellers and Adam Parker. Auditorium, International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

Mothers and Strangers with Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, Jill McCorkle, Marianne Gingher. Moderated by Samia Serageldin. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Writing the First Novel with Etaf Rum, Mesha Maren, Xhenet Aliu. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum.

This Is Your Life Memoir Conversation with Huda al-Marashi, Brian Belovitch, Jessica Handler. Moderated by Deonna Kelli Sayed. Conference Room, Greensboro History Museum.

Performance Poetry Workshop with Ashley Lumpkin. This is a ticketed event. Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Whose I Is It? Poetry Conversation 1 with Ross Gay, Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Michael Gaspeny, Tyree Daye. Moderated by Coen Cauthen. UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

Inspiration Strikes Back! with Constance Lombardo, Rebecca Petruck, Leslie C. Youngblood. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library.

World Changers with Baptiste and Miranda Paul. Children’s Area, Greensboro Central Library.

Just Be You! with Kelly Starling Lyons, Vanessa Brantley-Newton Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library.

FRIDAY, May 17 7:00 p.m.

Wiley Cash in Conversation with a Laurelyn Dossett. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

9:00 p.m.

Music and Words. Poet Michael Basinski, Composer Alejandro Rutty, and The Difficulties. Scuppernong Books.

SATURDAY, May 18 9:30 a.m.

Character Parade. Dress as your favorite book character. By the back doors of the Greensboro Cultural Center.

10:00 a.m. The End of the World as We Know It. Conversation with Rebecca Erbelding, Frye Gaillard, and Rick Van Noy. Auditorium, International Civil Rights Center and Museum

The Poet’s Menagerie. Jabberbox Puppets and Fred Chappell. All Audiences. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Appalachian Reckoning: A Response to Hillbilly Elegy. Contemporary Appalachia Conversation 1 with Robert Gipe and Ricardo Nazario y Colon. Moderated by Meredith McCarroll. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum.

The Real and the Unreal: Speculative Fiction 1 with Valerie Nieman, Michele Tracy Berger, and Jamey Bradbury. Conference Room, Greensboro History Museum.

Creative Nonfiction Workshop with James Tate Hill. This is a ticketed event. Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Contemporary Muslim Writing with Soniah Kamal, Huda al-Marashi. Moderated by Krista Bremer. UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

Hot Summer Reads with Jo Hackl, Gillian McDunn, Alicia D. Williams. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library.

I Got The Rhythm! with OrKIDStra, Connie Schofield-Morrison, Frank Morrison. Children’s Area, Greensboro Central Library.

Astronaut/Aquanaut with Jennifer Swanson and the Greensboro Science Center. Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

12:30 p.m. Writing as Intersectional Feminism with Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Michele Tracy Berger, and Cassie Kircher. Moderated by Jennifer Feather. Auditorium, International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

Short and To The Point. Short Story Conversation with Xhenet Aliu, Jen Julian, Michael Croley. Moderated by Krystal Smith. UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks with Miranda Paul, Lamar Giles, and Amy Reed. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library.

Guilford County Schools Poet Laureate Program Reading. Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library.

2:00 p.m.

Civil Rights: The Past and the Future with Cleveland Sellers, Brian Lampkin, Robert W. Lee, and Adam Parker. Moderated by Aran Shetterly. Auditorium, International Civil Rights Center and Museum

The Book of Delights with Ross Gay. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

New Voices. Contemporary Appalachia Conversation 2 with Carter Sickels, Mesha Maren, Michael Croley. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum.

Writing About Place with Tyree Daye, Cathryn Hankla, Cassie Kircher. Moderated by Michael Gaspeny. Conference Room, Greensboro History Museum

Memoir Workshop with Jessica Handler. This is a ticketed event. Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center

Writing About Sexuality and Identity with Bill Konigsberg, Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Brian Belovitch. Moderated by Coen Cauthen. UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage

First Draft with Rebecca Petruck, Jennifer Swanson and Brenda Rufener. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library

I Got the Rhythm! With OrKIDStra, Connie Schofield-Morrison, Frank Morrison. Children’s Area, Greensboro Central Library

#girlpower with Alicia D. Williams, Kelly Starling Lyons, Leslie C. Youngblood. Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library.

The Showdown. Greensboro Opera and the UNCG School of Music present this short opera, written by fifth-grader Neveah White with music by Alejandro Rutty. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

The Novel Has Many Characters. Novel Conversation with Jamey Bradbury, Soniah Kamal, Etaf Rum. Moderated by Michelle Young-Stone. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum.

3:15 p.m.

What’s the World Coming To: Environment and Climate Change with Susan Hand Shetterly and Rick Van Noy. Moderated by John Duberstein. Auditorium, International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The Real and the Unreal. Speculative Fiction 2 with Jenna Glass, T. Frohock, Sheree Renee Thomas. Conference Room, Greensboro History Museum.

HOTBOX: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business with The Lee Brothers. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Young Adult Workshop with Megan Shepherd. This is a ticketed event. Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Environment and Place: Contemporary Appalachia Conversation 3 with Valerie Nieman, Carter Sickels. Moderated by Robert Gipe. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum. May 2019

O.Henry 35

Just one more reason to smile We know first impressions count. Our newly renovated office offers the best in comfort and technology so we can continue to be our best for you.

Scuppernong Bookshelf 3:15 p.m.

Afrofuturism with Michele Tracy Berger, Sheree Renee Thomas. Moderated by Gale Greenlee. Conference Room, Greensboro History Museum.

The Novel Has A Plot with Jessica Handler, Jamey Bradbury. Moderated by Steve Mitchell. UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

Short Story Workshop with Krystal Smith. This is a ticketed event. Conference Room, Greensboro Cultural Center

Marvel, Magic, and Mayhem: Comics Conversation with Brian Smith, Chris Giarrusso, Jeremy Whitley. Moderated by Drew Meyer. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library.

Global Storytime with the Greensboro Montagnard Community and Casa Azul. Children’s Area, Greensboro Central Library.

The Music of What Happens with Bill Konigsberg. Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library.

4:30 p.m.

Women, War, and West Point with Claire Gibson and Heath Hardage Lee. Auditorium, Greensboro History Museum

Language and Its Discontents: Poetry Conversation 2 with Jim Whiteside, Ricardo Nazario y Colon, Mike Basinski, Cathryn Hankla. Moderated by UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

Write Now! with Lamar Giles, Baptiste Paul. Tannenbaum Sternberger Room, Greensboro Central Library.

You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover with Constance Lombardo, Vanessa BrantleyNewton, Frank Morrison. Children’s Area, Greensboro Central Library.

Fearless Females of YA with Amy Reed, Megan Shepherd, Brenda Rufener. Nussbaum Room, Greensboro Central Library.

7:30 p.m.

A Conversation with Zadie Smith. This is a ticketed event. Cone Ballroom, UNCG Campus.

SUNDAY, May 19 12:00 p.m. Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe with Rebecca Erbelding. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Call today to schedule an appointment (336) 282-2868

2511 Oakcrest Ave, Greensboro, NC 27408

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36 O.Henry

May 2019

Paris and the Prairie. Liza Wieland and Michael Parker in Conversation. Upstage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

1:15 p.m.

The Great Believers with Rebecca Makkai. Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center.

Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses with Sage Rountree and Alexandria DeSiate. Upstage Cabaret, Triad Stage.

UNCG Writing Camp Refugee Writers. Center for Visual Art, Greensboro Cultural Center.

3:00 p.m.

No Walls and the Recurring Dream. Ani DiFranco in conversation with Rhiannon Giddens. This is a ticketed event. Harrison Auditorium, A&T University Campus. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Here are our top to do’s! Join us! • O.Henry Jazz & Package: NEW TIMES! Every Thursday from 6-9 PM and Saturday’s from 7-10 PM. See the schedule and book your overnight package at • Proximity Mother’s Day Buffet: May 12 • Cake Decorating Class: July 13 | 10:30 AM Order tickets online at • PWB Pop-Up Dance Club: May 3 & June 7 • Summer Hotel Offers & Packages: Book your weekend getaway, EMF Package or more at or • Dine Al Fresco! Spring is finally here. Take a break, enjoy the weather and dine in our gardens at Lucky’s, GVG and PWB. • Songs from a Southern Kitchen: See the schedule at • Summer Menus: We’re featuring some favorite ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, asparagus, salmon, trout and more...oh my.

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May 12th Yoga 2:00pm

Looking for something different? Red Oak has paired two truly unique entities, America’s Craft Lager Brewery, the home of Unfiltered, Unpasteurized, Preservative Free, Fresh Beers and their charming Lager Haus with its old-world ambience. Relax among the plants and trees in the Biergarten, enjoy the stream, admire the sculpture… Great place to unwind after a long day.

May 18th Pints & Paints 7:00pm Wednesday Nights Music Bingo at 7:00pm Fridays Brewery Tour at 4:30pm Wednesday - Sunday Various Food Trucks on Site

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 37


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinking with Writers

Blood Memory Five friends and a meal to remember

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

In his first poetry collection,

1998’s Eureka Mill, Ron Rash writes about the connection he feels to his father, grandmother, and grandfather, especially their waking before dawn to work in textile mills. Rash refers to this connection, the connection to an ancestor’s experience without the experience itself, as “blood memory.”

I have always felt a kinship with Ron, and it is not just because our people come from the same places — the South Carolina Upstate and western North Carolina. I feel a deep bond with the experiences he writes about, the people he portrays, and the often disappearing landscapes he puts on the page. Is it blood that connects us? No, but when I read his work I feel like I understand Ron and the people he writes about as much as I understand my mother and father and the people who came before them. This is what I was thinking about — this blood memory — when I left my adopted hometown of Wilmington and drove across the state, where the Appalachian Studies Association was hosting its annual conference on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Normally, I am not someone who enjoys conferences: the academic talk, the nametag gazing, the feeling that everyone there is vying for the same thing, whether it is publication, notoriety, or the keys to both. But I felt at ease as the elevation increased and the air cooled because I knew I would be spending the weekend with writers and scholars who view the world in much the same way I do. There were many people I was looking forward to seeing again or meeting The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the first time during our stay in Asheville, but I would be lying if I said I was not giddy at the thought of spending time with Lee Smith, someone I do not see as often as I would like and someone I will go to my grave believing is the most charming and warm-hearted person in all of American literature. Along with novelist Silas House and his husband, writer Jason Howard, my wife Mallory and I had plans to have dinner with Lee in Asheville on Friday night before Saturday’s conference keynote event: a discussion between Lee and Ron Rash with me serving as the moderator. I had met Silas House a few times over the years, but I really got to know him after we spent an evening in Swain County, North Carolina, last spring, facilitating creative writing workshops and readings with groups of high school students from western North Carolina and New York City who were participating in a literary exchange program. I had never met Jason before, but I knew his work, much of it focused on Kentucky’s rich music history and environmental issues like mountaintop removal. For dinner, the five of us met at Rhubarb in downtown Asheville. Asheville has become a culinary mecca over the past decade, and while you may hear a lot about restaurants like Cúrate and Cucina 24, Rhubarb serves consistently incredible food comprised of regional ingredients. John Fleer, a Winston-Salem native and Rhubarb’s owner and chef, is the former executive chef at Blackberry Farm, and he was named one of the “Rising Stars of the 21st Century” by the James Beard Foundation. After a meal at Rhubarb that might include crispy fried hominy dusted with chili and lime alongside wood-roasted sunburst trout you can see how Fleer is steering into the 21st century with the roots of his Southern history fully intact. Rhubarb is one of my and Mallory’s favorite restaurants in Asheville, and we were proud to share it with Lee, Silas and Jason. Over dinner and drinks, I asked Silas how he had come to know Lee. “Over 20 years ago I submitted a story to a workshop Lee was teaching at the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky,” Silas said. “And a few weeks later I went to one of Lee’s book signings. I was so nervous to meet her because I loved May 2019

O.Henry 39

Drinking with Writers

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40 O.Henry

May 2019

her books, and I wanted to be in her workshop.” Lee laughed and picked up the story. “And when you came through the line and told me your name so I could sign your book, I said, ‘How funny. I just read a very good story by someone named Silas.’” “And it changed my life,” Silas said. And his life is still changing. His most recent novel, Southernmost, received rave reviews and kept him on a book tour for most of the spring and summer. Over the years, Jason came to love Lee just as much as Silas does. “I was in Washington, D.C. a few years ago,” Jason said, “and suddenly I heard Lee’s voice on The Diane Rehm Show. I dropped what I was doing and drove right to the NPR station. The receptionist asked me what I needed, and I said, ‘I’m just waiting on Lee Smith to finish her interview.” Lee burst out laughing. “I came out of the studio, and there you were. It was like we planned it.” Before dinner, Mallory and I had discussed whether or not she should bring her camera gear, but we decided against it. We wanted to enjoy the evening talking to people we do not get to see that often. But Mallory did take one photo with her cell phone; in it, Lee, Silas, Jason and I are all squeezed onto one side of the table. If you did not know better, you might think we were family. The next afternoon, during the conference keynote, Lee, Ron Rash, and I spent an hour or so onstage in a packed auditorium talking about Appalachian writers and literature and issues specific to the region. “I think it’s important to be able to steer students toward writing that reveals something about themselves,” Lee said. “There’s value in seeing your life on the page.” “Robert Morgan did that for me,” Ron said. “And so did Fred Chappell’s book I Am One of You Forever.” After our discussion, we took questions from the audience. Someone stood in the dark theater and asked if any of us have ever felt slighted because of the place we call home or how we speak. “For me personally, that’s why I don’t want to ever lose my accent,” Ron said, “Because that to me is a rejection of your heritage. The way I look at it is, OK, you can make fun of my accent, but we can out-write you, we can out-music you, and we can out-cook you.” I agree with Ron. I am proud of the place and the people I am from, and I am proud to share stages and dinner tables with them. They feel like family. They feel like blood. OH Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 41

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42 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Only in the South

True South

When layaway simply won’t do

By Susan S. Kelly

Admit it: There are scenes


and situations that could only happen in the South. I’m not talking about moonshine, magnolias, accents or tobacco. Collards, however, are involved. Exhibit A: One bitter-cold, sleeting January, my mother was hosting her luncheon bridge club gathering at her house (it’s worth noting, and also probably apropos to Only in the South, that my mother had lived in a different town for 18 years, and her bridge club had never replaced her; they’d used substitutes. For 18 years). Never mind that these were the ’70s, they were still — again, Only in the South — the days of linen tablecloths, sterling silver, crystal goblets, and what I term girl food: lemon bars, asparagus spears, and a chicken casserole concocted with Campbell’s mushroom soup. Somewhere between the shuffling and the cleaning, the disposal backed up, the dishwasher broke down, and water from ice-damming in the gutters began running down the walls. The luncheon was not a success. The minute the last guest left, my mother drove straight to Montaldo’s and bought herself a mink coat. (Also worth noting: All through my childhood, when I watched game shows on TV, and fur coats were the ultimate prize, my mother was very firm in her belief that no one under 50 should own a fur coat. She’d reached the required age, but only just.) However, she had to put the mink coat on layaway. That night, she told her mother, my grandmother, who lived in the ultra-sophisticated burg of Walnut Cove in Stokes County, what her day had been like. The next morning, my grandmother drove straight to Montaldo’s, bought the mink coat herself, and delivered it to my mother. Not so much because she The Art & Soul of Greensboro

felt sorry for my mother — which she no doubt did — but because there was just no way that a daughter of hers was going to have anything on layaway at Montaldo’s. Exhibit B: A friend of my mother’s — we’ll call her Joan — was having a meeting at her house, necessitating finery, flowers, decorum, and girl food (see above). Minutes before the meeting, Joan smelled something awful. The maid had elected that particular morning to cook up a mess of collards (not girl food). Joan panicked. “You can’t cook collards now, Myrna!” she scolded, revolted by the stench, and that a dozen grande dames were about to descend into her stinking living room. (Did I mention the meeting involved debutantes? Also Only in the South.) “You’ve got to get rid of those collards!” So, Myrna did what she was told. She took the big pot of greens off the stove and emptied the whole malodorous mess down the toilet. Which promptly stopped up and overflowed. And no embroidered hand towels in a powder room, or asparagus spears with hollandaise, can overcome a clogged commode, collards, and matrons clad in ultrasuede. Exhibit C: My friend Betty grew up with an irascible, alcoholic mother. A real character, who I loved, but was, nevertheless, a drunk. Years later, at a party, Betty was talking to a friend who was married to another adult child of an alcoholic, in a family that might have had even more dysfunction and irregularities than Betty’s. Still, the son — we’ll call him James — had survived and thrived. Thinking she was delivering a compliment, Betty said, “Look at James. He’s successful. Normal. Happy. With all that was going on in his house, how in the world did he turn out so well?” The friend didn’t miss a beat. “Just like you did, Betty. Good help.” Debutantes, collards, Montaldo’s, and good help. Only in the South. OH Susan S. Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and a proud grandmother. May 2019

O.Henry 43

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Purple Reign For birdwatchers, the return of the purple martin marks the true arrival of spring

By Susan Campbell

For many bird enthusiasts, it is not truly

spring until purple martins return. Their unique and twangy song, high-flying acrobatics and glossy plumage easily distinguish them from the other members of the swallow family. But it is the species’ affinity for manmade housing that endears them to thousands of martin landlords across the United States. In fact, east of the Rocky Mountains, purple martins are completely dependent on gourds and multifamily housing to raise their annual broods. Nesting Martins love company and pairs may take up residence in close quarters with anywhere from a few other families to dozens of them during May and June. Established colonies have been known to include a hundred or more adults if space is available. In prime habitat, less experienced birds may delay breeding until a vacancy in the housing occurs. Martins return to North Carolina from their wintering grounds in Brazil by late March. However, early individual scouts may be seen as early as late February. Experienced adults are paired for the season by early April. Both

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

male and female share the nest building duties, producing a nest of pine needles and leaves. The female lays five to seven eggs and patiently sits on them for about two weeks. After hatching, the young are fed by both parents for up to a month before they are strong enough to leave the nest. They remain associated as a family group not only with each other but also their neighbors in the colony until late July when they begin their journey southward for the winter. Purple martins are found where larger flying insects are plentiful during the warmer months. This is usually close to water given that their favorite prey includes dragonflies and damselflies, which tend to be abundant near ponds, lakes and rivers. For many years it was erroneously believed that martins were an ideal form of mosquito control. But recent research has shown that they do not pursue mosquitoes. This is almost certainly related to the mosquito’s small size. Maneuvering to catch such tiny prey has virtually no energetic benefit. Also peak foraging occurs around midday, not at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Attracting martins requires some forethought. The birds need lots of room to soar and maneuver adjacent to their home. It needs to be in an open location at least 30 feet from human housing and 60 feet from the nearest tall trees (the farther, the better!). The gourds or house should be 10–20 feet high and clear of any bushes, shrubs or vines. Open area around the pole and housing will reduce the likelihood of predation by mammals or climbing snakes. Once a few pairs of martins are successful breeding in a new location, they will not only become very site faithful but also attract other individuals. Indeed, countless people each year find that providing for purple martins and sharing in their summertime activities is the ultimate backyard birding pursuit. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at May 2019

O.Henry 45

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May 2019

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Wandering Billy

Hamming it Up

Going Hollywood, a birthday bash and new life for urban spaces

By Billy Eye

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.” — Mae West

This summer marks my 50th year in

show business. No, almost really.

It all began back when I was 12 years old, after I noticed that the back porch at 1200 Hill Street looked an awful lot like a stage. So I rounded up the neighborhood kids, including Trudy and Ann Warren who lived there, and put on a play using a parody of Dragnet from Cracked magazine for a script. Within days, we were invited out to channel 48’s studio off Wendover to videotape our sophomoric shenanigans for a segment on that station’s afternoon cartoon-fest, The Kiddie Scene with Mr. Green, introduced as “The Hill Street Moppets.” The only thing I remember about the program was they played the song “Yakety Sax” incessantly and broadcast those dreadful Mighty Hercules animated shorts (“Herc! Herc!”). Actually, I got my start a few years earlier, when I wrote and starred in the fifth grade play at Irving Park Elementary. I was “The Flying Nut.” But, TV baby, that was the big time, with our skit screened at least a dozen times on Channel 48. Later this year, you can catch me portraying a sleazy music company executive in a motion picture shot here in Greensboro, directed by Maurice Hicks, entitled Rap & Rhyme. I’ve seen a rough cut and, if I say so myself it’s amazing . . . stay tuned.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Attended a gala luncheon at the Greensboro Country Club celebrating recently retired businesswoman and lumber magnate Marion Hubbard’s 90th birthday thrown by her daughters Libby and Ada. There must have been at least 150 of her closest friends there, if the fire marshall had shown up they’d have shut the place down. The food was wonderful, the cake divine. I’m guessing half the residents of Well-Spring were present. I saw a lot of familiar faces and was lucky to be introduced to a few new folks, as well. By coincidence, I sat next to a couple I’d never met, Joel Funderburk and his lovely wife Norma. “Funderburk,” I said shaking hands. “That name sounds really familiar!” Duh, that’s because our February 2018 issue featured the ultramodern home on Cornwallis that Joel designed and built in the 1970s, adjacent to Medford Lake, where the couple lived for 40 years. I had just read Nancy Oakley’s story literally the night before, while researching another subject, but I never made the connection (typical!). Not only that, O.Henry magazine scribe Susan Kelly’s mother was also at the table. Joel and I traded stories about Old Greensboro, about Otto Zenke and why there are log cabins in Pinecroft, but when Norma asked if young people today know what Hamburger Square is, I was very excited to tell her about the meeting I attended the day before. You see, big changes are afoot around Hamburger Square. For the uninitiated, the corner of South Elm and McGee earned the moniker “Hamburger Square” back in the 1930s when there were diners on three of the four corners — California Sandwich, where Natty Greene’s is today; Jim’s Lunch, now Two Brothers Brewing; and Sunrise Lunch, currently home to Just Be. Within steps there were a half dozen other restaurants, including New York Lunch, the Hotel Clegg’s Coffee Shop in the newly remodeled May 2019

O.Henry 47

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Christman-Cascade Building alongside the tracks on South Elm. While they all served hamburgers, California Sandwich and Jim’s (both remained in business for more than 40 years) were distinguished for their longstanding rivalry over who made the best hot dogs, which admittedly doesn’t shed a lot of clarity about why the area was called “Hamburger Square.” Nevertheless, the corner has remained remarkably intact for nearly a century now, and in my not-so-humble opinion, downtown’s crown jewel. The renovation of Hamburger Square is Greensboro Beautiful’s 50th anniversary project, spearheaded by April Harris, David Craft and Randall Romie. Kitty Robinson was in attendance, Greensboro Beautiful’s first coordinator, back when the group was formalized in 1968. Before that, Kitty and her compadres had been undertaking beautification projects around town under the name City Beautiful, for example the green space along Cone Boulevard and dogwood trails. “Before, the money had to go through the Parks and Recreation department of the city,” Kitty tells me about those early days. “We incorporated as Greensboro Beautiful because we wanted our money to go directly into our projects.” First up for Hamburger Square’s facelift will be a colorful new coat of paint for that weathered trestle above Davie Street, transforming what is now a drab and uninteresting view. “We’ve had lots of community input,” April explains about the next step, to brighten up the pedestrian and car thoroughfare underneath the trestle. “A lighting person came and showed us ways to have swatches of light to achieve different effects. You can set these LED lights to gradually change colors or be static.” The lights will be mounted up high to shine down. Future enhancements will include a trainviewing area and as a complement to the existing 100-year-old shade trees, additional plantings to create greener spaces. Also in the works is some paving designed to increase pedestrian safety. Everything new is old again!


Half a block north of Hamburger Square, specifically that alley between the Biltmore Hotel and the shops on South Elm and Washington, there’s an ambitious undertaking meant to revamp this dreary back street, where workers take cigarette breaks and stray cats mate. Ryan Saunders of Create Greensboro is behind it, “In 2018, I was living on the third story above Scuppernong Books which backs up into that alley. So I was using that alley on a daily basis.” He was struck by the wasted potential this corridor possessed. For years, Ryan has been infusing life into dead spaces, both here and in High Point, “Obviously, there are a lot of hurdles to jump over to make this The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy happen,” he admits. “But we want to create an alley that has that open, street-square feeling, where there’s landscaping and seating, so cars, bikes and people can share it,” he says. At night, he muses, “Gates would close so you could buy coffee from the coffee shop, you could buy a beer, get food and hang out. There’s an entertainment stage we envision for concerts.” The first step is paving the alley, which is underway, but this grand scheme will rely on ingenuity, adaptability and a bit of providence. “If you take the first step today, the rest will follow,” is Ryan’s philosophy. Currently there are two large storefronts on the 300 block that have been vacant since the 1980s. “Those are really deep buildings, very old buildings,” Ryan points out. “From a real estate standpoint, the owners are going to have to invest a lot of money, really do a lot of improvements to get a tenant in there.” Create Greensboro’s concept would accommodate a subdivision of those 3,000-square-foot former furniture stores into micro-shops, with an entrance facing the alley. “Because you have a smaller space, you’re paying less rent,” Ryan says. “So it’s more approachable for an entrepreneur. Washington Alley is not just a beautification process, this is basically an incubator for small businesses. That’s really what incremental development is all about.” Relatively small projects like these have a huge impact on day-to-day life for those of us who live and work downtown, and help foster an environment that may encourage young creatives to stick around and not leave town at the first opportunity. Like I did.”


Traverse a few blocks down South Elm to find my fave noshery, Chez Genèse. Not that they need the publicity, this charming bistro is nearly always at capacity and will be even more so, I suspect, when Centric Brands relocates its headquarters into the former Blue Bell plant next door. No matter how packed this comfy corner cafe can get, one is always able to enjoy a quiet conversation, and Eye was pleased to discover potato leek soup on the menu on my last visit, one of my go-to dishes. Don’t know if it’s still on the board but it was the best I’ve ever tasted, richly creamy with miniature wedges of potato to make it hearty enough for a meal. I also recommend the quiche of the morning — tall, silky smooth. Anyone lunching or breakfasting with me at Chez Genèse becomes an instant fan. You will too. OH


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Four Egrets at the Reservoir Four great egrets, the wands of their slender necks waving, wade through tall reeds and tranquil water to the sound of a kingfisher’s call. The tops of surrounding trees are lit from above, and the ground below them, shadowed. All is serene, from the gander swimming in circles to water striders, skating across the reservoir’s still surface. In summer, lilies bloom and multiply, their petals a delicate shade of pink. But the wedding-veilwhite of the egrets’ feathers is stark in early spring, against umber, sienna, and olive, and the evening air, cool and weightless here, where egrets come and go — like darkness and the light. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

— Terri Kirby Erickson May 2019

O.Henry 51

Recipe for Success At Greensboro's lone homegrown kitchen store, friendly is the extra ingredient By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Sam Froleich


s you might expect, Julia (as in Julia Child) and Jacques (as in Jacques Pépin) love hanging out at The Extra Ingredient, a gourmet kitchen store in Greensboro. The duo usually show up after lunch and chill in the back room, which doubles as a business office, stockroom and a surprisingly utilitarian break room, albeit one with very nice Cuisinart coffee makers. On this particular day, Jacques and Julia are jazzed. Jacques jumps on a visitor, literally, and Julia pulls used paper napkins out of the trash and chews them with great interest. Hmm. Flaky. Layered. One might say parchment-like. Inspired, Jacques sniffs out a tennis ball and commences gnawing. Felty, he seems to say, with a hint of rubber. True, hunger makes animals of us all — and Jacques and Julia are part golden retriever — but spending time at The Extra Ingredient has a way of boosting the appetite and the ability to satisfy it. How else to explain Art and Martha Nading’s 34 years in business? In a time when mom-and-pop stores are dropping like — sorry, foodies — flies, the shop stands as one of 17 locally owned, non-franchise stores among Friendly Center’s 130 tenants. They’re also the only homegrown kitchen store in town. Gone are Cook’s Corner and its later iteration, Roosters. Rest in peace, Tobacco USA. The Extra Ingredient is the only local player left on the bricks-and-mortar field with chains Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table and a few department stores with “better” home sections. Then there’s the elephant in every retail room: the internet. “Is Amazon going to own the entire world?” Art asks earnestly. “These things are out of our control, but we are trying to adapt. We have totally reinvented ourselves.” The Nadings wrote the original recipe in the early 1980s. Art had just earned an M.B.A. at Wake Forest University, and he had planted a foot on the first rung of the corporate ladder at Western Electric in Greensboro. He spent his days formulating business plans.

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May 2019

“I was bored,” he says. “It wasn’t very creative and everybody around me was saying, ‘I can’t wait to retire.’ It was all about what they were going to do, not what they were doing now. It was very sad.” His bride, Martha, a UNCG alumna and a native of Winston-Salem like Art, applied her fashion merchandizing smarts at upscale women’s stores — Images in Clemmons and Montaldo’s in Greensboro, both locally owned. An idea stirred in the young couple’s minds: What if they opened their own kitchenware store? They loved to cook and entertain, and they relished the swell of nouvelle American cuisine or “something besides a steak,” as Art puts it. Martha Stewart’s first book, Entertaining, was published in 1982, and the Nadings ate up the do-it-yourself ethos. At home, they served homemade bread, shrimp scampi and cannoli to their supper club friends. Heck, they even had a pasta maker, which put them in the culinary elite at the time. Using his analytical skills, Art wrote a business plan for himself and Martha. They studied magazines about food and franchising, and they scouted the few gourmet stores that existed in the area. Winston-Salem had The Stocked Pot.

Greensboro had Cook’s Corner. Charlotte had zip. The Nadings considered launching their business there, but an opportunity appeared closer to home. A space now occupied by Athleta became vacant in Friendly Center. Art’s father, Henry, a real estate agent who had managed Thruway Shopping Center in Winston-Salem, urged the couple to grab the chance. “He felt Friendly Center was the best location in North Carolina,” Art says. With financial backing from their parents — plus the young couple’s savings and a bank loan — Art and Martha opened The Extra Ingredient in 1985. Martha came up with the store’s name while sitting — where else? — at the kitchen table. Art pounced on it because the name suggested more than cooking utensils. ‘'To me, it opened up the doors for us to be more,” he says. “It put us in the category we had to be in.” Looking back, Art describes those early years as a relatively easy time for an energetic pair of young folks to open a store. “People weren’t as sophisticated as they are now, “ he observes. “There was lots of room for error. It was a beautiful time to be who you wanted to be.” Shoppers back then would have found essentially the same things they find in the store today: soothing music, helpful staff, high-end pots, pans and prep tools, serving dishes and utensils, tabletop and glassware, gadgets, linens and something exotic for the time — fresh, whole-bean coffee. The perky smell filled the store, and the Nadings kept a pot of hot java, with tasting cups, on standby for customers. Martha made it her mission to educate people about the nature of good coffee. To wit, it’s a perishable food meant to be consumed while fresh. “In the grocery stores, it should be with the oranges and apples,” she says. The Joe was a hit from day one. Then, now and always, roasted coffee beans have been the store’s top seller. The rest of sales depended on customer tastes. For a long time, the Nadings had a secret weapon in sussing out the trends: Joel McLendon. McLendon, a rep for various kitchen supply The Art & Soul of Greensboro

lines, was in his mid-70s when the Nadings were just getting off the ground. He had started out by selling toasters for Sears at age 18. “He nurtured us along,” Martha remembers. “He had this great positivity, continuously.” “I miss him so much,” says Art. McLendon died in Dallas, Texas, at age 99, in 2012. By then, the Nadings were experienced riders on the retail roller coaster. They’d opened and closed a store in Myrtle Beach and moved to a new slot, their current location, in Friendly Center. They’d watched sales climb on the strength of the nesting boom and the proliferation of TV cooking shows — then nose dive in the Great Recession of 2008, when sales flopped like a soufflé on standby. A decade later, the Nadings and their dedicated staff of part-timers are still climbing back in a retail landscape altered by another major force: the roaring machine of the internet. Their strategy? Embrace it, figure it out, use it. “You have to have Facebook. You have to have Instagram. You have to have a website,” says Martha. “You can’t move back in time,” adds Art. “You have to move forward. It’s growing all the time, the multichannel, multimedia approach.” Three years ago, they started selling their wares — including whole-bean coffee — from a comprehensive website. Online sales have grown steadily as customers have figured out that, item for item, the store’s prices are competitive. “Everybody’s becoming educated to the fact that Amazon has the same prices as everybody else,” Martha notes. “Sometimes, we’re cheaper.” The store also competes well with other bricksand-mortar operations, says Art. Foot traffic, while slimmer than pre-2008 levels, is steady at The Extra Ingredient, the Nadings say. They have loyal customers who are addicted to the coffee and social interaction, while others are brought in by an increasingly diverse stock. In recent years, the store has added more packaged food — sauces, jellies, cookies, candy

and such. Frames, candles, mugs and decorative umbrellas lend a gift-shop feeling. The snarky dish towels are a hit. So are trendy pieces like the Supoon, a goose-necked silicone spoon and scraper, and novelty items like the “Li’l Wieners” erasers packaged in a can like Vienna sausages. Every Saturday, the store hosts an event for customers, whether it’s a demonstration of cobblermaking or a tasting of local honey. “We are constantly looking for ways to make it more exciting,” says Art. “We often say we’re in the entertainment business.” “People want to be dazzled,” adds Martha. In some ways, the Nadings’ customers have changed over the years. No longer is the kitchen the province of women only. More men shop for kitchenware, alone or with their mates. The Nadings and their suppliers try to cultivate culinary families; couples who register for wedding gifts at the store receive a free Vietri dish that says “Amore.” The Nadings also target shoppers who want healthy and environmentally friendly choices. The store carries reusable silicone straws — a replacement for disposable plastic ones — cast iron cookware, which is growing in popularity with young people. Often, people come in looking for an item they remember their mothers or grandmothers using in the kitchen. Longtime saleswoman Kelly Albright remembers a man who didn’t know the name of the tool he wanted, so she did what she usually does with stumped customers. “You just start showing them things, and eventually you figure it out,” she says. He wanted a pastry cutter. Another challenge: kitchen vocabulary is often regional. “ ‘Spatula’ has many different meanings,” Albright says laughing, adding that it can be used to describe a flipper, a bowl scraper or a flat metal blade. Saleswoman Karen Dolan notices that many customers like to talk about what they’re cooking, and they ask for advice.

“When they come in for a springform pan for a cheesecake, they want to know how you do it,” she says. For this reason, the Nadings hire salespeople who know their way around the kitchen and provide them with hands-on training, often by vendors, so they can explain how to use products. “When you say, ‘I’ve used that,’ it makes a big difference to people,” says Dolan. Shoppers appreciate the store’s community roots, too, says salesman David Hagaman. “I think customers are aware that we are local and will specifically shop with us because of that,” he says. The Nadings, in turn, lean local in their business dealings because they want their spending nourish the area. “We live here,” Art says. “It’s our community,” says Martha. They buy coffee beans from four roasters, two of them local: Fortuna Enterprises and Piedmont Roasting Company. They also support local causes and programs such as Greensboro Urban Ministry; the Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum; The Arc of Greensboro, which provides services to people with development disabilities; and Alight Foundation, which supports local breast cancer patients and their families. Though they’re stalking traditional retirement age — he’s 63, she’s 64 — the Nadings have no plans to turn off the lights any time soon. With their two sons grown and living elsewhere — one in Houston, Texas, and one in Telluride, Colorado — and their own parents now deceased, the couple are happy to have the store to occupy their hearts and minds. “We are very blessed,” says Martha. “We are in fairly decent health,” says Art. “For me, the stimulation is a way to stay healthy.” The challenge of running a small business in the Age of Big keeps them as sharp as the premium carbon steel knives they sell. “You can’t just be local,” says Art. “You gotta be good.” OH

Friendly Times

Tales from our most beloved shopping center By Billy Ingram


y mother told me a story once about how she and a childhood friend rode their bikes into the woods west of her family’s home on West Greenway in Sunset Hills. This was back in the 1930s when Sunset Hills still had woods. She and her friend managed to get hopelessly lost in that forest before finally coming across a single cabin where a nice old hermit directed them back to civilization. That patch of woods, located well outside city limits, was to one day become the site of Friendly Center. Friendly Shopping Center was a major part of my young life in the 1960s and ’70s — the lollipop tree at Ellis-Stone excited me as a toddler. In later years I was buying film and having pictures developed at Carolina Camera, along with shopping for art supplies and books from Wills. How well I remember inhaling those fluffy Sweet Shop cupcakes, playing endless Captain Fantastic pinball games at Brunswick Lanes and wolfing down Woolworth’s banana splits, where customers popped a balloon to determine its cost, as little as a penny (I was never so lucky — full price every time). My Aunt Gertrude would only grocery shop at the Friendly Winn-Dixie — they were “The Beef People” after all. Our finer clothing came from Bernard Shepherd, where you’d merely sign a receipt. Your credit-worthiness was assumed, a bill would arrive in the mail. A trip to Friendly Center was de rigueur during the holidays, if only to drive past the mechanical waving Santa and sample free snacks at Hickory Farms, a permanent fixture in those days. There was a hometown feeling to Friendly Shopping Center. With its open-air plan and proximity to postwar neighborhoods such as Starmount and Guilford Hills, it became a town square for what counted as the suburbs in those days. Moms could mail letters, meet friends for lunch, check out the latest fashions, and do the grocery shopping all in one stop. Dads could pick up dry-cleaned suits and starched shirts at Blue Bird Cleaners (conveniently located next to the ABC store). Kids could walk or ride their bikes to browse the trains and model kits at the toy store — or in the case of one 12-year-old, would-be golf writer and O.Henry editor, try to purchase a Playboy magazine at Eckerd Drug. Contributing to the village-y vibe was the fact that the majority of the stores were locally owned. Fleet-Plummer before it relocated was your typical hardware concern but they had a big toy selection around the holidays. One Christmas, as Santa was laying out our presents, it was discovered that my sister’s Chatty Cathy doll didn’t possess the gift of gab, so Dad got Mr. Plummer out of bed to meet him at the store and replace it for one that talked. Friendly Center was a lot smaller when I was a young man, compared to today, but considerably larger than its first incarnation. While there were established shopping centers in Greensboro by the mid1950s, most notably Summit, Lawndale and Plaza, none were nearly so ambitious, or what we would call today “upscale,” as Friendly Shopping Center. “Piedmont Carolina’s first and only complete regional shopping center” was

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designed for “casual shopping,” open Monday through Saturday. When Friendly Center debuted in 1957, it consisted of two blocks with 12 shops each: BLOCK A: Guilford National Bank, Pleasants Hardware, Leon’s Beauty Salon, Harllee’s, Inc, Friendly Toy & Hobby Shop, Stanley’s, Inc., Junior Circle Shop, Guy Hill, Carolina Camera Center, Wills Book & Stationery, Laurie’s Sportswear, Venus Slenderizing Salon. BLOCK B: Mason’s Florist, Jay’s Delicatessen, Harold’s, Eckerd Drug Store, Clippard Barber Shop, Blue Bird Cleaners, F. W. Woolworth Co., Belk, Kirby’s Shoe Store, Guilford Dairy Bar, Colonial Stores, Kyle’s Friendly Service. On August 1, 1957, Blanche Sternberger Benjamin, wife of Starmount cofounder Edward Benjamin, cut the ribbon to open Friendly Shopping Center to the public. Within an hour, all 1,300 parking spaces were overflowing; 25,000 shoppers flooded through the doors on that one day, representing one out of four Greensboro residents. Behind Pleasants Hardware, previously in business for 48 years at 519 S. Elm, Mom could drop off the little ones then browse the aisles in peace while they frolicked in the children’s playground. The main attraction, stretched over a concrete pit, was a mammoth trampoline that youngsters could bounce around on for 25 cents an hour, unsupervised. Laurie’s was the first local fashion boutique to leave downtown and head west. In business for 13 years before relocating, William and Athena Simon’s store was named for their daughter. Our first Eckerd Drug Store was at Friendly. Wills Book Store had been selling novels and paperbacks for 52 years on Elm, and this was their second location, with as much space devoted to stationery, art supplies and gifts — paperweights, bookmarks, china figurines of Beatrix Potter characters — as books. At 24,000 square feet, Belk was the most opulent store in the center. Shoppers were greeted by a 12-foot high, 70-foot long mural facing the mezzanine floor depicting the administration building at Woman’s College (UNCG), First Presbyterian Church, and the statute of General Greene at Battleground Park. This was Belk’s 354th store but considered important enough that John M. Belk, chairman and CEO of the company, along with his top executives, were in attendance for day one. “I worked stocking Belk before they opened in 1957,” Phil Callicutt remarked. “I became famous for not allowing Mr. John Belk in the front door. I told him to ‘Go around to the back door like the rest of the salesmen.’ I was lucky that my career with the company wasn’t hampered.” As a convenience, credit accounts could be carried over from the Belk store downtown. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Another elaborate mural, this one of crushed glass, could be found at Harold’s Restaurant. Restaurateur J. Harold Coble boasted his dining room was the most modern in town, interior designed by Ray Teague, a member International Art Association. Diners enjoyed a cosmopolitan ambiance of Philippine Mahogany, brass and crystal chandeliers, 20 contemporary art installations, 30-foot planters shielding the kitchen, and two romantic alcoves papered in Japanese grasscloth, while supping on European cuisine and flaming desserts that the maître d’hôtel adapted from Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel. A considerably more downscale ambiance that included the combined aromas of plastic flowers, grease from the lunch counter and cedar shavings that lined hamster cages greeted shoppers at Friendly’s Woolworth’s. Unlike the downtown branch, it was considered a self-service operation, where you could find cheap toys, sundries, clothespins bandanas, goldfish, comic books and an abundance of poster boards used in many a school project. There won’t be any salesgirls,” the store manager bragged. “Just checkout gals.” Flush with success, Friendly Center underwent its first expansion in 1959, adding six new units that included Ellis-Stone (which became Thalhimers), a post office, bakery, and the ABC store. Boy Scouts in the ’60s would regularly encamp on the western edge of the shopping center; one winter morning campers woke up to several inches of unexpected snow atop their tents. Scouts purchased their official gear in Belk, their shoes at Kirby’s. Blissfully unaware of the dangers of radiation, Kirby’s Shoe Store had a fluoroscope under which children could view their feet, allowing them see right through to the bones. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Friendly Center still had room to grow, and grow it did in 1967, a push to the north that added iconic stores like Bernard Shepherd Clothing, Gate City Pharmacy, Friendly Car Wash, Cass Jewelers, Thomas Photo Supply, Harvey West Music Company, Paul Rose Department Store, K&W Cafeteria, Rosenthal’s Bootery, Bocock-Stroud Sporting Goods, Merle Norman Cosmetics, and that eclectic emporium everyone fondly remembers, Potpourri. Besides the ubiquitous scent of patchouli, Potpourri was known for bizarro merchandise like melted soda bottles repurposed for vases, an endless array of incense, love beads, blacklight posters, pet rocks, mood rings, kitschy tchotchkes galore, in addition to the dozen jars of stick candies positioned at the register, where every purchase was placed in a glossy paper bag topped with the store’s icon, a yellow sun with bright orange rays. At one of their many sidewalk sales, I bought a 2-foot high inflatable plastic Coke bottle that hung from the ceiling of my bedroom. Potpourri was founded by David Grimes, by all accounts beloved by those who worked for him. Grimes sold a lot of fondue kits, which became all the rage in 1967, before discovering there were no fondue cookbooks. He commissioned his own, and Potpourri Press was born. Production offices were set up behind Krispy Kreme on Mill Street where the outfit published dozens, maybe hundreds, of hippy-dippy booklets with titles like Gardening with Ferns, Lovers Dining and Napkin Folding. In 1967, Gate City Pharmacy, like Scott Seed two years earlier, closed their downtown digs to relocate to Friendly. The drugstore is still there, but sadly, the customer-friendly garden store, smelling of potting soil and fertilizer, is not. May 2019

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The center’s 1967 expansion was preceded by the state-of-the-art Terrace Theatre, opening on Christmas Day 1966 showing Walt Disney’s Follow the Boys in Ultra-Vision, on a wall-to-wall screen with 6-track stereophonic surround sound. Another groovy component at the Terrace was the plush rocking chair seating. My cousin Billy Owens worked at the Terrace Theatre. “It was in 1970, right before I got out of ninth grade,” Billy tells me. “I was making 85 cents an hour. Now, that was just an usher job, if you were head usher, $1.15.” Membership had its privileges: Employees of the Terrace could show their pay stubs to get free admission at the Janus Theatres, the city’s first multiplex just beyond the Plaza Shopping Center at Battleground and Northwood, and the Carolina downtown. Billy says he almost died at the Terrace — twice. “We would do kiddie matinees on Saturday morning,” he recalls. “We had an old PA system with those old metal microphones so we didn’t have much of a way to get music through it.” These events were hosted by WFMY’s George Perry (The Old Rebel). “We had this old turntable with a metal arm,” Billy says. “So I turned it on and grabbed both of those metal things at once and it zapped me and knocked me down.” When he came to, “There was The Old Rebel’s face above mine saying, ‘You OK?’ I went, ‘Yeah.’ And then I did it again!” The next movie attraction would show up on a Sunday morning. “Big canisters that were set right out front and nobody would steal them,” Billy says. “They would book the films for a month and then, two weeks in, they’d say, ‘Held over for a third week’ then ‘Held over for a fourth week.’” A second auditorium was added on in 1974. When asked what his favorite place at Friendly was back in the day, Cousin Billy doesn’t hesitate. “I loved Jay’s Deli, that was a lot of fun, they had great food.” He was especially fond of the Lolly Burger, “I asked them, ‘What’s in the Lolly Burger?’ They said, “Everything that’s left over.’” Jay’s would actually take cold cuts, grind them up, make patties, then fry them like a hamburger. Besides Belk, Jay’s Deli is the only original Friendly establishment still present. But in name only, having changed ownership and menu decades ago. “Jay’s Deli was started by Sol Jacobs, who was my uncle, and Morry Jacobs, my dad,” Rick Jacobs tells me. “It was a deli and a gourmet foods store also with

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everything from escargot to fine cookies and meats and cheeses to go.” Rick worked there in 1970, “You had to be 18 to work in a place that served alcohol, so whenever my cousins turned 18 they went to work for Jay’s.” Most of the sandwiches at Jay’s were named after other shops at Friendly, for instance the Mason (Mason’s Florist) was rare roast beef, slaw and Russian dressing. “The lunch rush was monumental, it was pandemonium, controlled chaos,” Rick remembers. “There was a lady named Gertrude who worked there for years and she kept it going. After the lunch rush, my first day working there, I saw Sol make himself a sandwich and get a cold beer out of the cooler and sit down. He looked up to me and said, ‘When you turn 60, you’re entitled to a beer break.’” Jay’s most popular creation was the Atomic Submarine Sandwich, keeping a stack of them prewrapped by the register. “The customers were a big cross section, the best selling beer by far was Blatz,” Rick recalls. “One time I got upset with a lady and I mouthed off to her a little and she went to complain to Sol. He told me to go into the kitchen and stay there and I thought he was going to come in there and rip me a new one but he smiled and said, ‘This is why I own my own business, so I can do what you just did.’” Described as a ‘radical guy,’ Sol Jacobs was very politically active, running for mayor twice against Jim Melvin in the 1970s. “All the stores leased space from Mr. Benjamin,” Rick remembers. Part of the lease agreement stated that, once a year or so, Edward Benjamin could dictate to business owners what he wanted to see displayed in their storefront window. “He wanted to do a promotion for U.S. Savings Bonds at Jay’s one month,” Rick says. “Mr. Benjamin came in with a big Savings Bond with American flags and had it all dressed up but Sol was dead set against the Vietnam War from day one and so was my father. Sol did everything Benjamin required him do but in the corner of that window he added his own sign that said something to the effect of, ‘Any money invested in Savings Bonds should be designated for troop withdrawal only.’” In 1969, Potpourri was joined on that block by two additional shops owned by David Grimes, Greetings Galore and Reed Runners. “I loved working for Dave Grimes,” says Teresa Moore, an employee of Reed Runners for eight years beginning in 1970. “He was like an older hipster. David came back The Art & Soul of Greensboro

from California with the idea for the shops.” Reed Runners carried rattan furniture, candles, woven baskets, everything to make your apartment look like Mary Tyler Moore’s. “We had those hanging basket chairs, we sold a lot of those, also hammocks and wicker furniture,” Teresa notes. “There was nothing in the store that anybody needed but it was stuff you couldn’t find anywhere else.” Teresa has fond memories of those days, “David Grimes was an awesome employer, he cared about his people. I think we made a little bit more than other people in terms of wages so everybody that worked there stayed for a long time because we enjoyed it.” On Saturdays David provided lunch in Potpourri’s back room for all his employees. The only unpleasant aspect according to Teresa, “We had a talking myna bird that could say ‘Hello,’ ‘How are you?,’ and ‘What’s up?’ Cleaning the cage every morning came with the job.” Behind that row of shops was The Trophy Room tavern (where Newk’s is today), notorious for bartenders allowing underage drinking, despite the legal drinking age being 18. Decked out in manly-man décor, its walls lined with sporting awards, and an enormous aquarium separating the hunting- and fishing-themed sides, the place attracted the likes of Ron Muir, who played left wing for the city’s minor league hockey team, the Greensboro Generals. Within a few short years, The Trophy Room moved to Spring Garden near the UNCG campus where, at night, the watering hole became a disco. By 1971, the center had grown to 65 stores, including Schiffman’s, opening a second store at Friendly. “No, there has never been a mention of closing our downtown location as it has always served as the headquarters for our organization,” Lane Schiffman informs me. “We believe both locations have been staples for us and the community since 1893 and we continue to see growth as Greensboro continues to thrive.” Situating the newer branch between Starmount and Irving Park made sense as Lane Schiffman points out: “Our father was looking to serve customers in their own backyards and had the foresight to see that Friendly Center was where Greensboro was moving. His ultimate aim was to make Schiffman’s more accessible to everyone.” Friendly Center, coupled with the Four Seasons Mall, led to the demise of the center city as a prime retail destination, the only major player remaining after the 1970s was the original Schiffman’s. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In 1976, Friendly Center launched Forum VI, an upscale mall on the corner of Northline and Pembroke anchored on the first level by a larger K&W Cafeteria. My mom loved Forum VI, with two floors for shopping and fine dining that included Montaldo’s, Urban Artifacts, The Nicholas (later Robert’s) restaurant and Kabuto. The mall concept fizzled, empty parking spaces could usually be found right beside the front door. K&W survived however, one of the few places you can dine that looks the same as it did 40-plus years ago. As the 1980s came to a close, Starmount announced plans to enclose Friendly Shopping Center, transforming it into an indoor mall to better compete with Four Seasons across town. For almost two years they proceeded with plans that envisioned leveling most of the stores in order to put shops where the parking was and parking where the shops were. Fortunately, they thought better of the idea. Instead, a $2 million makeover took place in 1992. In 2006, a year after a new concept The Shops at Friendly was established, where the iconic pink glass-and-steel box housing Burlington Industries’ headquarters once stood, Starmount sold the entire complex for more than $200 million. That’s a lot of love beads and mood rings. On December 6, 2016, I was one of about 100 people who attended the opening of a Time Capsule, buried 50 years earlier to the day alongside the Terrace Theatre. Unfortunately, the container had been breached, everything inside immersed in red clay mud. It wasn’t clear what exactly was inside. A fitting metaphor, you may say. The past is, well, buried. And one day, the hip and trendy national chain shops that seem so fashionable and of-the-minute will fade into memory like beloved institutions such as Potpourri and Carolina Camera. But, really, can you imagine heading west on Friendly Avenue and not seeing Santa waving at you? OH Billy Ingram is currently writing a book about his career as a movie poster designer for the major Hollywood studios in the 1980s and ’90s. Got any fond Friendly memories? Please feel free to share them at facebook. com/ohenrymagazine. May 2019

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Bill Sherrill

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Heart of

Red Oak

Beer — and Bill Sherrill — are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy By Jim Dodson Photographs by Laura Gingerich


n a recent warm spring Friday evening, the bar at Red Oak Brewery’s spanking new Lager Haus and its newly completed Biergarten are filled with happy customers and an air of cheerful gratitude that another workweek is in the books. It’s time to hoist a cold Red Oak or one of half a dozen housecrafted beers on tap to toast the start of a warm and welcome weekend. At least that’s the feeling of the colorful owner and creator of this festive little piece of Munich, Germany — a pretty happy guy in his own right. Earlier in the day, Bill Sherrill, arguably one of the godfathers of artisan brewing in North Carolina, received some very good news about the future of crafted beer in the state. A friend who works as a lobbyist in the North Carolina General Assembly phoned to let him know that a lengthy campaign led by Sherrill and other craft brewers to change a state law that prohibited them from producing and selling more than 25,000 barrels of beer without contracting with a wholesale distributor had succeeded. Under the revised law, the state’s 200 craft brewers could now make and distribute 50,000 barrels on their own. It’s a victory not only for thirsty

beer drinkers across the state but also a shot in the arm for smaller, independent craft brewers like Sherrill who’d essentially bumped up against the 25,000-barrel cap, limiting further growth without turning their beer over to a distributor, who probably wouldn’t keep, for instance, Red Oak refrigerated during transport as classic German lagers should be. “It’s definitely a reason to celebrate because this will mean more jobs in the long run and be great for the state’s economy,” says a visibly pleased Sherrill. His illuminated sign by his Red Oak brewery hard by the southern flank of I-40/85 in tiny Whitsett has become something of a roadside icon and a growing attraction in recent years, underscored by the opening last fall of the brewery’s capacious Munich-style Lager Haus. The aforementioned Biergarten, with its neat communal tables and fire pit beneath a grove of lacy bark elms, is simply the latest addition to meister Sherrill’s complex. Next up is a 10,000-square-foot office and art gallery that will showcase major North Carolina and Southern visual artists when completed sometime late this year or early next. In the meantime, his popular Lager Haus features its own eclectic works of art in the form of a 17th-century wedding settle (bench) that was given in 1640 to the Earl of Northumberland, a pair of royal family crests from England’s House The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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of Windsor and the Royal House of Holland, a 500-year-old coat of arms from the German Millers Guild, oil paintings from ice skating legend Dick Buttons’ private collection, antiques and an illuminated “Burgie” (i.e. a vintage Burgermeister Beer sign) from the Sputnik years rotating over the bar. “I found that during an art crawl 21 years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona,” relates Sherrill over the convivial din of his patrons. “Pretty special, isn’t it? It seems to make people happy. That’s the point.” Indeed it seems to be one of many reasons the festive Lager Haus has become both a roadside destination and a routine gathering spot for everything from local civic groups to book clubs, family reunions and alumni evenings — even a Bible class that meets there every other Thursday. “We have probably the widest range of patrons imaginable,” says director of customer services, Ashley Justice, with a laugh. “I’m talking about lawyers from Raleigh, college students and professors from Greensboro and Chapel Hill, business folks and Harley bikers.” Plus, she says, there are game boards for families, NASCAR on Sunday, musical Bingo on Wednesday evenings and trivia nights on Thursdays. “We host events for the sheriff’s department and local hospitals. This really is an Old World place where everyone feels welcome.” Dogs are welcome too — treated to their own special watering holes — while gourmet food trucks feed their masters on a rotating basis. A highlight of this ongoing festive calendar is the gifted German oompah band that shows up annually to perform on weekends through Oktoberfest. Sherrill also plans to add an authentic Brat Stube (Kiosk) selling German sausage.

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ll three entities — craft brewery, Lager Haus and art gallery — are the kind of yeoman dreams Bill Sherrill has spent a career bringing to life. In 1979, Sherrill opened Franklins Off Friendly with a talented chef named John Berres and a charismatic young house manager named Dennis Quaintance, the three of them creating one of the Gate City’s hottest restaurants over the next decade and a half. From there, Quaintance went on to start a successful wine brokerage and later partnered with construction guru Mike Weaver to open Lucky 32 restaurant; the two would later bring a pair of award-winning luxury boutique hotels, the O.Henry and Proximity, to life. “I can’t imagine what my life and many others would have been like without Bill,” says Quaintance, who met Sherrill when he was 17 and followed him east after working for him in hotels and restaurants in California and Seattle. “He is such an original thinker. For Bill, it’s not about the money. It’s about creating things that make people happy. Bill doesn’t conform to any formula. He is completely unconventional and creates what makes him happy and shares that with the people around him.” In 1989, after expanding the footprint of Franklin’s to include a Top 100 wine cellar, Sherrill decided to shut it down and concentrate on making the kind of German lager he’d developed a taste for while attending high school in Switzerland and traveling around the world for a full year after finishing


Duke University. He went on to earn a master’s degree in hotel management at Cornell University. His quest to find the perfect brew and the kind of equipment that could make the Bavarian-style amber lager he had in mind took him on a tour of West Coast craft breweries and across Germany before he settled on equipment found at Chesapeake Brewing Company. He brewed his first beer in 1990, selling it mainly for the next year through his small chain of bar and grills in Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Charlotte. In 2008, Sherill opened his Red Oak Brewery on a patch of family land in Whitsett, officially the state’s second-oldest craft brewing company, with eight employees and an unpasteurized beer that was so fresh it required refrigeration at all times. Today, the brewery occupies close to 30,000-squarefeet and is closing in on 70 full- and part-time employees who seem to find Sherrill’s take of the Golden Rule in management style agreeable. “We have just three rules,” he notes — “Be honest, work hard and treat the customers the way you would want to be treated.” His eight different beers are distributed as far west as Boone and Morganton, as far east as Little Washington and Calabash. When it eventually opens, Red Oak’s art gallery will not only house a bounty of original works Sherrill has collected over decades from North Carolina and Southern artists, but also works he’s brought home from some of the 95 foreign countries he’s visited over the past half century. Among other things, he hopes the gallery will also serve as a place for seminars and round tables on the arts. “I know it’s kind of crazy,” Sherrill allows while sharing a brew with several of his old friends from college days at Duke. “I mean, who would spend this kind of money on good beer and great art?” He knows the answer to his own question, of course. “Here,” he says with the Old World charm of a proud Biermeister. “It’s been a long week. Have another beer and relax.” OH Jim Dodson’s antidote to the brouhaha of publishing is a brew-ha-ha with one of Bill Sherrill’s craft beers. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue Catherine Harrill pushes aside old boundaries in her brilliantly edited new home By Cynthia Adams • Photographs by Amy Freeman


azz plays softly in Catherine Harrill’s Fountain Manor townhouse when she opens the airy double French doors (ones that contractor Gary Jobe installed ages ago for a previous owner). That she says, is serendipitous. So is the fact that she already possessed the gleaming French Regency brass doorknobs now affixed to the doors. Those helped kick things up a notch from the get-go. Like so many of the furnishings that survived a severe edit, Harrill nabbed the brass knobs at a vintage store. “I bought them without knowing where I would use them,” she says with a smile. She fondly mentions vintage resellers like Adelaide’s, The Red Collection and Carriage House as she points out old loves — that is, longtime favorites enjoying a new life after making the curating cut. A ghost-style acrylic fixture with brass accents hangs over the entryway. Just inside the entry, a grand gold pier mirror (another vintage score) bounces light into the serene kitchen.

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The house reverses the kitchen-out-of-view plan. The sleek kitchen is primary. With white marble tile and white quartz, it is an understated study in how to create a white kitchen that isn’t sterile — and worthy of being right upfront and on view. The refined and well-lighted space provides a sight line through the downstairs all the way to the sunroom and rear terrace — something Harrill methodically created via a gut job. Just beyond the monochromatic kitchen is the unexpected: Fully saturated color! The once conventional dining room was opened up and now is done in broody, bohemian blues, even on the ceiling. It is now a space with a frisson of excitement —featuring a long and sexy velvet banquette with button tufting, two gleaming white bistro tables, vibrant wallpaper and two sculpturelike fixtures. Is this Greensboro? The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

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Harrill’s condo synthesizes departures from the norm, while still creating a satisfying and exciting whole — an unmistakably conscious design. Here, Bohemian chic meets Zen. It is a revelation. Forget Builder Bob clichés. This homeowner wasn’t having it. “I’d had enough chair rail to do me for a lifetime,” Harrill jokes, taking a seat at a sleekly modern bistro table and serving a pizza that combined fig preserves, brie and pistachios. The combo elevating pizza to an unexpected and savory plateau is worthy of the kicky dining room. “I have dinner here every night,” she adds with a smile of pleasure. The soundtrack for dining in such a space is, rightly, jazz. Comprised of counterpoint, improvisation, with a hipster cachet, it is the music of creative breakthroughs. All indications are that after Harrill retired as a clinical social worker at Cone Health, she had a literal breakthrough of her own. For not only did she discover a soundtrack for her new digs, she also blew out the rear wall in order to accommodate a creative revision, adding another 200 square feet to her living space. She banished chair rail, along with decades of stuff during a year and a half of serious evaluation. And she wisely chose to have her expansive vision drafted, vetted and then drawn by Greensboro residential designer Jim Weisner before she even talked to anyone about costs, avoiding the expensive mistakes witnessed on home design shows. “He does architectural drawings. I hired Jim to do renderings before I

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talked to contractors. I knew from the inspection report that I needed to discuss with a professional what could be opened up structurally,” Harrill explains. He came back to discuss a few things — and they were resolved.” As it happened, they had attended the same high school. Serendipity indeed. Using Weisner’s plans to obtain renovation quotes, she settled upon general contractor Gary Jobe. The renovation went without a hitch. Here’s what you should also know about why she got it all so right. Harrill is a former home stager. Aware that she was going for something different, she understood the need for a crack team to get there, from pen on paper to hammer and demo, right down to paint and fabric. Long before Harrill became a health professional, she developed a business working with Realtors in staging listings when the HGTV network and Designed to Sell were new. “People’s stuff intruded upon their ability to see a space.” Once decluttered and staged, homes sold. I think we’re all ADD,” she offers. “Just having a cleaner space where your eye can rest is so different.” Now Harrill sought aesthetic advice. “I walked in Vivid [Interiors] on Elm Street by chance, she says. “It felt right — all the color! I wanted to break out of my comfort zone.” Ultimately, designers Gina Hicks and Laura Mensch at Vivid guided the renovation of the dining room from concept to installation and consulted on the master bedroom, but the majority of the choices were Harrill’s. Whereas Harrill once favored a heavier and “layered look” her new home called for something else. She points to a substantial primitive table serving as a desk in the sunroom. “Imagine putting that table here,” she reflects. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The designers quickly understood that the new dining room needed something completely different than traditional furnishings. And a design which allowed for through traffic to the rooms beyond. “Vivid’s designers, Gina and Laura, came to my apartment and I showed them a file of ideas and inspirations,” Harrill says, recalling the designers’ array of fabric swatches, paint samples and wallpaper for inspiration. Things clicked. “Gina suggested the banquette and two tables,” she continues. The idea required a complete shift for Harrill. “But, I said, ‘OK!’ surprising us all.” Ultimately, Harrill landed upon vintage office chairs she had painted and recovered for additional seating in the dining space. “They consulted with me, and helped me with other furniture, which included some seating and a few pieces of art.” One major piece they selected hangs over the fireplace. But the majority of the art choices are from Harrill’s own collection. It had all incubated before the fortuitous estate sale. In the year before Harrill wandered into the sale, she had determinedly kept an eye on Fountain Manor. The community off north Elm was developed in 1973. It became her habit to drive through almost weekly noting For Sale signs. “The units sell so quickly,” she explains. At the same time, she considered another freestanding house, having left a 4,200 square foot home in Wedgewood. Meanwhile, she rented an apartment and took stock of her possessions. “I wanted high ceilings and sidewalks,” she says, not to mention a neighborhood suited to walking. “I realized the reason I had been looking at Fountain Manor was, I didn’t want to be isolated. I’m somewhat of a loner.” A friend, Katrina Solomon, was a resident. “I knew her 15 years,” she adds with a contented smile. Harrill had even attempted to buy another Fountain Manor condo still languishing in bankruptcy after eight years. It was not moving according to plan and the bank was in no hurry to sell. One day in August of 2017, Harrill was waiting for her Realtor to show her a house on Northwood, and before she could even see it the Realtor phoned to inform her someone had snapped it up. Something made Harrill drive over to Fountain Manor, where she spied an estate sale notice. She entered the sale and walked right into her future. “I bought a yellow curio cabinet that day,” Harrill notes. (The cabinet is in the all-white kitchen — yellow has become one of her favorite punctuation points in the very edited home.) “And noted just as I was on my way out a notice that the house was going on the market that coming Monday. I called my Realtor, who came over, and we made an offer that night.” A house and a yellow curio cabinet, all in one fell swoop. “I got the high ceilings,” she says, as another smile creeps across her face. Time spent in an apartment had prepared Harrill for transitioning from a large home to half the space. It caused her to embrace the new, and make downsizing a creative experiment. Was it consciously planned that way? It The Art & Soul of Greensboro

evolved that way. Harrill visualized something very different: a space with room for art, discovery and joy. “I had also just retired. And, I wanted a place where I felt comfortable, that offered peace, serenity. Stuff doesn’t make you happy.” After retiring from Cone Health, her life’s routine was changing. Harrill was, by design, shedding things that no longer fit into her life. She was going to Marie Kondo her way to serenity. “When I went to the apartment, I took all the stuff I wanted. When you get there, and start moving in, unpacking, you think, I’ve done this enough.” This meant family antiques. Then her cousin visited with even more family heirlooms, including china and a dining room table. She determinedly culled, aided by her former training in helping others declutter, while applying the Kondo question: Does this spark joy? Although Harrill had two adult children, Harrison and Hannah, she May 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

realized, “The younger people don’t have these attachments. Why was I going to save it?” Even so, she checked in with them while culling heirlooms. “My daughter wanted my grandmother’s china. It’s beautiful, and she had a lot of happy associations with it. I kept the flatware and I use my mother’s sterling everyday — why not? — we only got to use it twice a year.” She laughs a bit ruefully. Her mother died in recent years, but her father lives in Greensboro. There are a few nostalgic items that made the cut. “My mother and I both loved shoes. That’s a shoe mirror from Montaldo’s when it used to be downtown,” she says, pointing out the delightful mirror, which complements the velvet banquette in the dining room. “My mother scored it. I’m not sure how.” Montaldo’s figured into a happy memory, so the joy-sparking mirror has a place of prominence. On Christmas Eve, she and her mother would head to the iconic downtown department store for its annual shoe sale which began at 3 p.m. “There was a gentleman who worked there with great taste. We had two hours before they closed.” Invariably, great shoes came home with the duo. She remained in the apartment as home renovations began after Christmas of 2017, once construction permits were in place. Work proceeded smoothly, thanks to Harrill’s crack team. The kitchen, gutted, allowed for new cabinetry to run to the ceiling The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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and for a spacious island. With the downstairs revised, the space opened and its potential revealed itself. The awkwardly steep stairs were replaced with wider risers. The rear wall’s bump-out allowed for a generously-sized sunroom and remaining space for a smaller patio. Harrill moved into her new home on April 10, 2018. Her personal space is quietly neutral. The master bedroom features a graphic, Brutalist black-and-white, grass papered wall behind the bed. “Gina said it goes with the traditional kinds of things I liked in here. I have a lot more color than I’ve ever had downstairs. But for my living space, I kept it calmer,” Harrill explains. A French gilded chaise found in a vintage store is central to the room’s edgy look, featuring hand-painted black-and-white upholstery. She accented her space with brass touches. “I’d never had matching bedside tables,” she says. “It seemed like a luxury I wanted to go for.” A black-and-white painting by local artist Billy Cone hangs on the bedroom wall. Baths throughout the house were redone. The master bath now features a deep soaking tub. “The bathrooms aren’t really big,” Harrill says, but the closets are. Perfect for her beloved shoe collection. With paint, paper and new furniture in place, and Harrill’s many pieces of art hung, there was a mere moment of self-doubt as she walked through the expansive, Bohemian space. “I had a period of anxiety, wondering, did I make it too fancy?” admits

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Harrill. “I’ve always made do with whatever I could get, and that was fine. But to do a dining room like that with a banquette?” But as Harrill came to realize, the new dining room made entertaining easier and less formal, whereas most dining rooms molder unused. She can now place food and beverages on the large kitchen island and seat anywhere from six to nine guests — no ancestral dining table required. And there was the joy factor. Her kids take on the outcome? “Harrison is 27, and my daughter, Hannah Morecraft, is 30. And they like it.” Morecraft, who lives in Raleigh, later sent an email: “My mom’s new place is exactly her personality — creative, fun, eclectic and warm. My brother, my husband and I, and maybe especially our Bernese Mountain dog, Bear, love visiting whenever we can and spending time chatting on the patio or around the big kitchen island. I’m so glad she found a great team to help her pull it all together.” Standing on the redesigned patio, Harrill pointed out the trees beyond a new wrought-iron fence, which affords an unobstructed view. “I was sitting out here one day and looked at the crepe myrtles and counted them. There were seven of them. I realized I felt like I was at home. There were crepe myrtles lining my driveway at my former home — exactly seven.” Some things need no editing. OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


May n

By Ash Alder

The soft thud of a magnolia blossom crashing down upon the tender earth takes me back . . . Rope hammock swing. Soft light filtering through smooth green leaves. Love notes tied with twine to sweeping branches. We both knew it would not last. And yet we had our glorious season. Life is like that. Fleeting as a fragrant white flower. And as May blossoms burst forth in jubilant splendor, we cherish the transient, intoxicating beauty of spring, and relearn the sacred dance of loving and letting go. May is the beginning and the end. On the bookshelf, Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac hasn’t been opened since the crash-landing of yet another bygone romance that died on Easter weekend, years ago now. January, February, March, April. Four cozy months of essays read aloud in bed, yet if we took any morsel of wisdom from Leopold’s poetic reflections of the natural world, it was this: Life is an endless dance of change. This morning, I take the book to the front porch, turning to the dog-eared page of May — a fresh new chapter. As a black-capped chickadee draws quick sips from the nearby birdbath, I read about the return of the upland plover, what Leopold refers to as the “final proof of spring” in rural Wisconsin. Here, the final proof of spring is gone. We have landed on the fresh new chapter of May, a glorious season of its own.

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. — Sophocles

Cinco de Mayo

Mark your calendar. The Eta Aquarid Shower peaks just before dawn on Sunday, May 5. You could witness 10—40 meteors per hour. Not exactly the return of Halley’s comet, but it’s a chance to catch a glimpse of the famous comet’s debris. Find yourself a soft spot on the lawn. Breathe in the aroma of Southern magnolia. Enjoy the show.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Mother’s Moon

The Full Flower Moon rises on Saturday, May 18. Also called Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon and Corn Planting Moon, this month’s moon illuminates red fox pups, fluffy cygnets, and wildflowers everywhere. Speaking of lunar magic, The Old Farmer’s Almanac looks at the positions and phases of the moon to determine the “best days” for various activities. This month, the best days for planting aboveground crops are May 8 and 9 (plan now for July sweet corn on the grill). Plant belowground crops May 26. Cut hay May 1–3. Prune May 10–11 to encourage new growth. Can, pickle, or make sauerkraut on May 26.

’Tis like the birthday of the world, When earth was born in bloom; The light is made of many dyes, The air is all perfume; There’s crimson buds, and white and blue, The very rainbow showers Have turned to blossoms where they fell, And sown the earth with flowers. — Thomas Hood

Gifts for Mama

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 12. I think of my fourth-grade teacher, who asked us to bring in one of our mother’s high heels. Yes, just one. We spray-painted it gold, lined the inside with floral foam, and proudly stuck a dozen plastic flowers inside. Happy Mother’s Day to all. May you walk in beauty. Here are a few seeds of inspiration for the beloved mother figure in your life: • Daylily bulbs • Mexican tarragon for the herb garden • Azaleas • Ornamental pepper • Wax begonia • A new pair of shiny gold shoes

May 2019

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May2019 Command Performance Benefit Gala Three Dog Night

Alamance County Historical Museum's Garden Party




May 1&2 TOSS-UP. 6 p.m. Spring into spring with spring salads and pasta. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets:

May 1–5 LAST CHANCE. To see Art on Paper 2019: The 45th Exhibition. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or

May 1–6 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or

May 1–26 IMPOSSIBLE DREAMER. Enjoy the adventures of a Spanish knight errant in Man of La Mancha. Performance times vary. Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or STUDENT MASTERS. See works in a variety of media at 2019 UNCG M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or

May 1–October 20 HUMAN LEAGUE. See a large, er, body of work at Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form.

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Adult Cooking: Ravioli Night




Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or

Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem. Tickets:

May 2

May 4

CUTTING VEDGE. 4:30 p.m. Veggie burgers are on the menu at Kids Cooking (ages 6–8). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

BERRIED TREASURE. 8 a.m. That would be pancakes smothered in the sweet, succulent fruit of the season. Yep. It’s Strawberry Pancake Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 502 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info:

CANINE CROONERS. 8 p.m. Better known as Three Dog Night, bringing joy to the stage – and the world – with their old-fashioned love songs at the Command Performance Benefit Gala. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

May 3 SUGAR HIGH. 5:30 p.m. Catch the opening reception for the food-themed exhibit Sweet (through 7/14), with gypsy jazz selections from First Friday Minor Swing Band. Bring a sweet treat as a donation and belly up to the cash bar. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or LET’S GROOVE TONIGHT. 10 p.m. At Pop-Up Dance Club, featuring the spins and grins of DJ Jessica Mashburn. Print Works Bistro, 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or

May 3–5 & 9–12 IMPOSSIBLE DREAMER II. Double your dose of Don Quixote in Winston-Salem Little Theatre’s production of Man of La Mancha. Performance times vary. Southeastern

TEA’D OFF. 10 a.m. Learn the importance of tea to American colonists and enjoy a cuppa at “Tea for Two.” High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or CARD CARRYING. 11 a.m. Bring your collection of baseball cards and other memorabilia to be appraised. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or DRUNCH. 11 a.m. That’s brunch with mimosas or in this case, “Mommosas,” a key component of Adult Cooking: Brunch, which also features biscuits, pimiento cheese and strawberry jam and eggs. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: PONY UP. 4 p.m. And don a fancy lid for the Derby Day Soiree, including what else? Bluegrass music, juleps, good eats and more for the 145th Kentucky Derby and fundraiser benefiting the preservation of the Greensboro Woman’s Club headquarters, the Weir-Jordan House, 223 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar

Historical Tour: Greenhill Cemetery

Meet Poet: Ricky Garni




N.Edgeworth St., Greensboro. Tickets: BLUE GREENSBORO. 7 p.m. Listen to the tunes of Nellie Travis, Bishop Bullwinkle, Shirley Murdock, Theodis Ealey, Roy C., Pokey Bar and Sir Charles Jones at the Gate City Blues Festival. White Oak Amphitheatre, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd. Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 765-3000 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Scuppernong’s own Brian Lampkin launches his book, The Tarboro Three. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or SING IT PROUD. 7 p.m. How else would Triad Pride Performing Arts deliver their 20th Anniversary Concert? Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Conductor Carol Stephenson leads Greensboro Tarheel Chorus on a selection of classics, such as “A Wink and a Smile,” “Happy Together” and more. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Info: HANGING WITH CHAD. 8 p.m. And Ariel, too. Meaning, Ariel Pocock and Chad Eby. Hear ’em at The Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

May 5 BLESS THE BEASTS. 10:30 a.m. And the plants, too. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts & Wellness Intuitive Painting & Yoga



Bring your four-legged, furry and fernlike friends for the Celebration of All Creation & Open House, and blessing of animals and plants. All Saints Episcopal Church, 4211 Wayne Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-0705. MAKIN’ AND SHAKIN’. 11 a.m. Browse the wares of regional artists at Made 4 the Market Local Makers Show, while enjoying food truck fare and live music. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: COBBNOB. 2 p.m. Photographer and American Daylily Archivist Kevin Cobb shares his picture-taking techniques at the Triad Daylily Fans’ meeting. Earthfare, 2965 Battleground Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 456-4509 or HORTENANNY. 2 p.m. Enjoy plants and the company of planters — not to mention a chat from the irrepressible Chip Calloway at Alamance County Historical Museum’s Garden Party. 601 Truitt Drive, Elon. Tickets: (336) 226-8254. OPUS CONCERT. 3 p.m. Get your “wah, wah, wah” fix with Greensboro Brass Ensemble and Greensboro Trombone Ensemble, under the batons of Kiyoshi Carter and Larry Porter. Trinity Church, 5200 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info:

May 6 PRESENTING AND ACCOUNTED FOR. 5:30 p.m. Listen to HPU students’ presentations about the history of High Point’s Congregational United Church of Christ. High Point Museum, 1885 E. Lexington Ave., High Point.


Info: (336) 885-1859 or TOE-TAPPIN.’ 8 p.m. Morelike foot-stompin’ and handclappin’, to describe the N’awlins-inspired sounds of Davina and the Vagabonds. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

May 7 MONSTER, INC. 10 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. The Cookie Monster is in town for “A Sweet Celebration,” which launches the Healthy Relationships Initiative, a collaboration of UNCG, various local nonprofits and Sesame Street in Communities to help kids navigate life’s challenges. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point (at 10 a.m.) and Greensboro Public Library (at 3:30 p.m.), Central Branch, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: WIZ KID. 7 p.m. See the movie that started it all: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or AUTHOR, AUTHOR 7 p.m. Meet Mary Flinn, author of the historical novel Lumina, set in Wrightsville Beach. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

May 8 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Emily W. Pease, author of Let Me Out Here. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. May 2019

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EVENTS 5/1 & 2



Workshop Greensboro Children’s Museum 6:00 pm

Greensboro Bound Workshop Greensboro Cultural Arts Center 3:15 pm

Strawberry Pancake and Celebration Day

5/15 & 16


Fundraiser Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 8:00 am

Cooking class Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm

Spring Salads and Pasta Cooking class Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm


5/4 Adult Cooking: Brunch Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 11:00 am

5/5 MADE 4 the Market

Adult Cooking: How to Help a Picky Eater

Spring Appetizer Book Camp


Creative Non-Fiction Workshop with James Tate Hill Greensboro Bound Workshop Greensboro Cultural Arts Center 10 am


Local Makers Show Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 11:00 am

Performance Poetry Workshop with Ashley Lumpkin

5/8 & 9

Greensboro Bound Workshop Greensboro Cultural Arts Center 11:15 am

Ciao! Italian Night Cooking class Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm

5/9 Adult Cooking: Ravioli


Memoir Workshop with Jessica Handler Greensboro Bound Workshop Greensboro Cultural Arts Center 2:00 pm

Short Story Workshop with Krystal Smith

Young Adult Fiction Workshop with Megan Shepherd Greensboro Bound Workshop Greensboro Cultural Arts Center 12:30 pm


Ani DiFranco in conversation with Rhiannon Giddens Greensboro Bound Talk Harrison Auditorium, NCA&T 3:00 pm

5/23 Double Oaks Coastal Wine Dinner Wine Dinner Double Oaks B&B 6:30 pm


Adult Cooking: Botanical Body Products Workshop Greensboro Children’s Museum 5:00 pm

Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 6:00 pm is powered by

For more events, visit




Arts Calendar

Get Back Your Kick!

Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

Discover the newest skilled rehabilitation center serving Guilford county and the Triad area!

May 8 & 9 CIAO DOWN. 6 p.m. Learn to prepare some classic dishes from Italy at “Ciao! Italian Night.” Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets:

May 9 WILD AND FREE. Noon. Learn about the state’s roadside wildflower program at a Lunch and Learn featuring Derek Smith, environmental engineer for the NCDOT. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or UNDER THE INFLUENCE. 4 p.m. No, it’s not one of those swill-and-paint parties but an Adult Workshop that teaches you how to create variations of color and texture using alcohol-based paint. Space is limited; cost is $35. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 333-7460 or PILLOW TALK. 6 p.m. Meaning, pillows of pasta filled with mushrooms and herbs, and smothered in homemade sauce. Learn how to make ’em at Adult Cooking: Ravioli Night. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: LOVELY LINDLEY. 6:30 p.m. Learn about one of the Gate City’s neighborhoods at Preservation Greensboro’s talk, “The Secrets of Lindley Park.” First Moravian Church, 304 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Info: AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, author of Wounds of Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

Schedule a visit or stop by today! • • • •

Dedicated private suite for short term rehab 6,000 square foot therapy gym with a mini rehab to home apartment simulator Most major insurance coverage accepted Admissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Part of the Liberty Healthcare Management Network of Services

485 Veterans Way, Kernersville, NC

(336) 515-3000


May 9 & 10 PUTT FOR A PURPOSE. 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. Tee up at Spring Swing’s golf tournament that helps Room at the Inn, a nonprofit benefiting single mothers and mothers-tobe. Then celebrate at the Rose Gala the following evening. Starmount Forest Country Club, One Sam Snead Drive, Greensboro. Tickets:

May 9–11 BOOK BONANZA! 9 a.m. What else could it be but the 61st annual St. Francis Book Sale? Browse among 60,000 tomes including fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, coffee table books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, games and more. Sales benefit multiple organizations including Reading Connections, Wheels4Hope and more. St. Francis Episcopal Church, 3506 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-4721 or

May 10 DIVINE INSPIRATION. 6 p.m. Catch a new exhibit Abounding with Grace, featuring the spiritually infused works of Asheville artists Cheynne Trunell and Molly Courcelle. Meet the artists at a lunch and learn at 11:30 a.m., as well. O’Brien Gallery, 307 State St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 279The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Located on one of the prettiest streets in the heart of Old Irving Park with Zenke touches throughout including a stunning foyer and curved staircase. Wonderful circular flow from the living room to the fabulous outdoor blue stone patio and expansive back yard. Here you will find space for everyone....Make the Move Today. $1,030,000. | 336.314.5500

Mitzie Weatherly May 2019

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shops • service • food • farms

Arts Calendar 1124 or

LET’S ROLL! 5 p.m. Literally! Tween Cooking explores the intricacies of making sushi, using ingredients from the garden. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Philharmonia of Greensboro and Conductor Peter Perret bring the sounds of Franck and Beethoven to the stage. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Info:

May 10–11 GET YOUR GREENS. 9 a.m. And shurbs, flowers, trees and more at the Master Gardener Passalong Plant Sale. N.C. Cooperative Extension, Guilford County Center, 3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 641-2400.

May 10–19 BRRRR! Catch cold with a youth theatre production of Disney’s Frozen. Performance times vary. Community Theatre of Greensboro, 520 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7470 or

May 11 TIME TRAVELERS. 8 a.m. Historian Glenn Chavis leads a tour of Historic Washington Street. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or BOOK BAGS. 9 a.m. Paperbacks, hardbacks, coffee table

support locally owned businesses

tomes and more can be yours at Friends of High Point Library Book Sale. High Point Regional Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: SAY “YES” TO THE DRESS. 2 p.m. Participate in Preservation Month with textile conservator Paige Myers of the N.C. Museum of History who will conduct a workshop in preserving old wedding dresses. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or

May 11 &12; 18 & 19 VIEW TO A KILN. 9 a.m. & 1 p.m. Peruse cups, planters and platters at a spring kiln opening. Curry Wilkinson Pottery, 5029 S. N.C. Highway 49, Burlingon. Info:

May 12 A FINE AND QUIET PLACE. 2 p.m. Everything’s green and blooming at Greensboro’s historic Greenhill cemetery, so why not take a springtime tour? Admission is $5. Meet at southern gate at Wharton Avenue, Greenboro. Info:

May 13 CLEAN YOUR PLATE! 6 p.m. Learn how fruits, veggies and dips — and a little psychology — can broaden finicky palates at Adult Cooking: How to Help a Picky Eater. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

May 14 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet Ricky Garni, who reads from his latest collection, A Concerned Party Meets a Person of Interest. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

May 14–20 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or

May 15 MILKIN’ IT. 10 a.m. Harriet Mattes leads a Historical Society Guild meeting with a talk about the history of High Point Dairy. High Point Museum, 1885 E. Lexingon Ave., High Point. Info: POTABLES FOR PIX. 5 p.m. It’s all in the presentation! Teen Cooking: Instagram-able Food, shows you how to show off your creations, place settings and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. They got rhythm! Hear Greensboro Percussion Ensembles, led by Conductor Mike Lasley. Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info:

May 15 & 16 HORS D’OEUVRES DE COMBAT. 6 p.m. The art of

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May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Arts Calendar making killer apps is the focus of Appetizer Boot Camp. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets:

liner Stone Temple Pilots at Gears & Guitars. Downtown Winston-Salem. Concert tickets:

May 28 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Irène Mathieu, poet and author of Grand Marronage. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

May 15, 22 & 29 SWEET TALK. 5:30 p.m. Join in Art & Dialogue discussions about nutrition, food marketing and artists’ inspirations related to the exhibition Sweet. Suggested donation for entry. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or

May 16 CHAKRA AND AWE. 5:30 p.m. Tap into your chakras and creativity with yoga and a free painting session at Arts & Wellness: Intuitive Painting & Yoga. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 333-7460 or

May 16–19 LITERARY LOWDOWN. Books, authors, puppets and more! Check out Greensboro Bound at various sites throughout the Gate City’s downtown. Info: See page 35 or

May 17 FOREVER YOUNG. 7 p.m. Celebrate 20 years at The Gala, a fundraiser featuring the food and liquid libations of more than 25 chefs, brewers and mixologists. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Tickets: OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Cuban Overture, a little Gershwin and many more selections fill the bill for Greensboro Concert Band’s program, conducted by Kiyoshi Carter. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info:

May 18 TROOP TRIBUTE. 10:30 Discover the role of African Americans in the military at living history presentations. High Point Museum, 1885 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or IN THE HOUSE. 11 a.m. Make that “houses.” Preservation Greensboro’s Ninth Annual Tours of Historic Homes & Gardens spotlights Lindley Park. Tickets can be purchased in advance at PGI Headquarters, Blandwood Mansion, 334 Washington St., Greensboro, or online at

Meet Author: Peter Guzzardi



discusses some of the most cherished treasures in its collections. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or

May 21

May 30–June 2

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Evan Williams, author of Ripples. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

GREAT SHAKES. As in, Shakespeare. Teenage actors perform two shows, As the Bard Turns and Romeo and Juliet, A 45-Minute Foray for Drama Center’s production, Shakespeare-at-Hand. Stephen D. Hyers Theatre, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Tickets: 335-335-6426 or

May 22 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet longtime bookeditor-turned-author, Peter Guzzardi, who introduces his first book, Emeralds of Oz. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

May 23 BLOOMING BITES. 5 p.m. Find out which petals suit your palate at Kids Cooking: Flower Power (ages 8–11). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: FILM FEMMES. 7 p.m. Support Hirsch Wellness, which provides healing arts programs for cancer patients and caregivers at Lunafest, a traveling film festival for, by and about women. Community Theatre Greensboro, 520 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets:

May 24 CULINARY COSMETICS. 5 p.m. Concoct beauty treatments without leaving the kitchen at Adult Cooking: Body Botanicals. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

OLD SCHOOL. 7 p.m. With a new name! As RBRM, New Edition band members Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins bring some good ole R&B to town. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd. Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or

BRASS TRACKS. 7:30 p.m. Hear selections for trumpet and cornet from Vince DiMartino, who joins North Carolina Brass Band for its final season concert, “Carnival!” Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 340-6764 or

ARTIFACTUALLY SPEAKING. 10 a.m. Bill Moore, former director of the Greensboro History Museum,

76 O.Henry

May 2019

May 30 MUSICAL MÉLANGE. 6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.). Listen to the sounds of Senegalese frontman Diali Keba Cissokho backed by Kaira Ba, comprised of four Tarheel string musicians at the fundraiser Concert on the Lawn. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. Tickets: (336) 996-7888 or

OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Conductor Jon Brotherton and Choral Society of Greensboro sound off with Orff’s Carmina Burana. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info:

May 20

SWEET TALK. 5:30 p.m. Artists Rachel Campbell and Bethany Pierce discuss inspirations for their works on view in the exhibition Sweet. Suggested donation for entry. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or

May 24–27 BIKES, BANDS, BEER. It’s that time again: bicycle races of the Winston-Salem Classic and cool tunes featuring head-

May 30 & 31 MULTITALENTED MANGUM. 4 p.m. See the latest from North Carolina’s Artist at Transitions by William Mangum at a reception for the artist. Or drop by an open studio on June 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., William Mangum Studio, 303 W. Smith St., Greensboro. To RSVP to the receptions, email

May 30–June 5 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. First National Bank Field, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or

May 31 RUNNIN’ ON EM & TY. 7 p.m. Really. Meaning, local folk duo Em & Ty, with opening act Lowborn. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or

June 1 STAGING AREA. 10 a.m. OK, so it’s the May Calendar but we wanted to give you plenty of time to attend the second biennial festival of the NC Triad Theatre League. GTCC Campus, 901 S. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 373-2728 or

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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May 2019

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garden exploration and fun in the kitchen. (Members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. PreTo register: (336) 574-2898 or

Jason Duff (5/14), Lakota John (5/21), Crystal Bright & Anita Lorraine (5/28). Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or

JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754 or

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


OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or


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

Fridays THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($3 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or

READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story times: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or

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

CREATIVE KIDDIES. 3:30 p.m. Art Explorers is a group that encourages children ages 3 to 5 to release their creativity through a variety of artistic media and techniques (through 5/21). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register:

Business & Services

PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, featuring performances by Sam Frazier & Eddie Walker (5/7), Abigail Dowd &


ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz with Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) and featured artists Zac Covington (5/2), Liz Penn (5/9), Lydia Salett Dudley (5/16), Nishah DiMeo (5/23), Diana Tuffin (5/30). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel. com/jazz.htm.

SEEING STARS. 5 p.m. Under the stars! Spartan Cinema, a free, summer film festival, kicks off this month with screenings of Crazy Rich Asians, (5/10), Incredibles 2 (5/17) and Isle of Dogs (5/24). LeBauer Park, 208 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: JUNIOR GENIUSES. Kids can explore and express themselves at Masterpiece Fridays, featuring art activities, a lollipop tour of the current exhibit and storytime, including Ish (5/3), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (5/10), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (5/17), Nino’s Mask (5/24) and My Monster Mama Loves Me So (5/31). GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 333-7460 or STU-STU-STUDIO. 5 p.m. Join in on Friday Night Studios: Focus on Food, workshops centered around nutri-



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May 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


May 2019

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Arts Calendar

tion and health, in conjunction with the exhibition Sweet. Through 7/12. Pay what you wish. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or

supplies and bean. Griffin Recreation Center, 5301 Hilltop Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2928 or email Latrisha.

Fridays & Saturdays

WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or

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 St., Greensboro. Info: MORE MARKET MANIA. 8:30 a.m. See what’s on tap at the High Point Farmers Market, with programs, “Strawberry Delight” (5/4); “Garden Day” (5/11), “Discover Your Library” (5/18) and Featured Farmer Bernie’s Berries (5/25). High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3011 or THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or GENIUS AND JAVA. 11:15 a.m. With a cup of Joe as inspiration, create that masterpiece at Coffee and Canvas, which pairs painting and sipping. Cost is $5 and includes art

JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats, Bronwen Bradshaw, Chad Eby, Aaron Matson and Steve Haines (5/11), Angela Bingham, Stephen Anderson, Ron Brendle, and Scott Sawyer (5/25), while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or

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

Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto:

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

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80 O.Henry

May 2019


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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May 2019

O.Henry 81



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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

O.Henry 83

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84 O.Henry

May 2019

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Arts & Culture

Hear the wild winds of fortune. Your destiny calls and adventure awaits. A poet, thrown into prison, fears the Inquisitor, but the inmates demand their own kind of justice. The poet begins to tell a story of a mad Knight determined to achieve his impossible dreams.





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www. May 2019

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Arts & Culture 86 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts & Culture


FEATURING CHEYENNE TRUNNELL & MOLLY COURCELLE MAY 10TH - ARTIST’S RECEPTION 6-8PM Lunch & Learn with this dynamic duo at 11:30 a.m.

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May 2019

O.Henry 87


Michelle Smith, Winston McGregor

Margaret Arbuckle, Jen Mangrum

Education Summit

Guilford Education Alliance Thursday, March 21, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Skip Moore, Michele Schneider Paula Jarrell, Traci Poole, Ryan Robertson, Charles Smith, Mildred Poole, Corey Jeannette, Sharon Contreras, Brent & Olivia Gerald, Deitrah Watts, Joyce Smith Robert Smith, Tony Jarrett, Lolita Molave

Cyril Jefferson, Blake Odum, Greg Drumwirght Alana Walker, Jennifer Stepney

T. Dianne Bellamy-Small, Pam Greene, Leslie Cavendish

Joyce Dixon, Armenia Odum, Winston McGregor, Blake & Olivia Odum

Carlen Walters, Aimee Depoortere

Elisabeth Hornfeck, Kema Leonard, Karen Hornfeck

Samina Bahadur, Mandy Makris, Randall Saenz, Namra Ahmed, Weaver Walden, Carla Flores-Ballesterus

88 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Ashley Vance, Amy Reed, Rena Watson

Jason & Tracy Britt, Kristen & Tim Britt

Corks for Kids Path

Hospice and Pallative Care of Greensboro Friday, March 8, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Jennifer Stone, Rebecca Webster, Ben Allen, Lauren Crowder

Sandy & Lisa Duck

Kim Ketchum, Donna King

George & Stacy Kroustalis, Ryan & Aphten Lang, Becca Richardson, Pete Kostopanagiotis

Luke Heavner, Jessica & Andrew Ketner Jane Matteson, Karen Dolan, Mary Boyd, Nancy Schiltz

Mary & Jim Hollingsworth, Debra Catto

Kevin Pearce, Linda Ehrhardt




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90 O.Henry

May 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Jim Dodson, Lee Britt, Mike Boland

Robert Sneed, Renee Harvey

Springfest at Grandover

Presented by Seasons Style & Design Sunday, March 24, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Pat Vedder, Cissie & Rick Apple, Jackie Tanser

Jo Brooks, Carol McCoy Jill Hollingsworth, Sue Morris

Katherine Jones, Jonathan Wright, Dawn Holshouser

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Jodie McClement, Jessie Doughty, Faith Watson

Chip Calloway, Todd Nabors

Nancy Warberg, Leslie Scher

Jackie Tanser, Ellen Ashley, Ashley Kotis

Lisa Simpson, Katie Houston

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

O.Henry 91


Katie Page, Sherry Alloway, Pamela Habor

A New Place to Call Home Children’s Home Society of NC Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Christine Byrd, Caitlin & Craig Stay

Aesha McCoy, Nicole Chandler Susan & Grace Michel Gene LeBauer, Narayan Khadka, Gail LeBauer

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May 2019

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! LD O S



! LD O S


As some of the Triad’s top Real Estate Brokers, with hundreds of millions in sales, Kay Chesnutt and her team bring enthusiasm, knowledge, passion and directed energy to each and every sale. Working hard for their clients, whether buyers or sellers, their mission is to deliver excellence in service in every transaction, even long after the sale.

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687

Lea Beuchler 336-207-4859

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2019

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State Street

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May 2019



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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Stardust Memories

The Accidental Astrologer

Forget the Vegas floor show and look to the skies for a spectacle you’ll never forget By Astrid Stellanova

If you’re a fan of the fantastic, find a good spot for sky-watching

around May 4–6 when the Eta Aquarids put on a show that will rival the Bellagio’s dancing fountains to dazzle us. This is one of the year’s best meteor showers. A waxing moon will mean low illumination, offering a good gander at falling stars galore. Star Gazers, try not to fall off your fishing stool when shooting stars reflect off the pond and fish jump right outta the water. If ya’ll should miss out, pass out or fall out, you get a second chance for gawking at something be-yoo-teefull next month when the Arietids occur on June 7. Taurus (April 20–May 20) There’s you, bullish and charged up, and then there’s everybody else in the room fighting for the leftover oxygen. You have big appetites, needs and dreams. If you weren’t so dadgum full of life force, it would be tempting to just lure your wild self into a padded room, lock the door and keep walking. But who can walk away? Boring you ain’t. Amazing you are, when you harness all that star power for the good. If you don’t find the discipline, you exhaust friends and confound enemies. Gemini (May 21–June 20) You can’t motivate some people, even if you gave them a job in a MoonPie factory licking marshmallow crème off spoons. Motivating somebody else in your life just ain’t your job, Sugar, but motivating yourself, is. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Third time’s the charm, and, Honey, you can bet your stars and garters you are gonna succeed. If you can tap, yodel or clog, or have a dog who can, get yourself to Nashville. The stars are in your favor. Leo (July 23–August 22) The enemy of your enemy ain’t necessarily your friend, Honey Child. You trusted a conniving devil, and you found out you don’t like sharing the same lumpy bed, do you? Kick ’em out and put ’em in your past. Virgo (August 23–September 22) Your secret desire may be to play Cher in a tribute band. Whether that happens or not, you will at least be able to find both an open mic and the courage to read that poem you wrote. Sometimes you gotta be you. Libra (September 23–October 22) Don’t just use your head as a hat rack. Modesty ain’t working right now. Put your good brain to use, Honey, and notice how opportunity is right smack dab in front of you. It’s your turn to show ’em what you got! The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scorpio (October 23–November 21) You’ve been so dang disconnected you don’t even know when to shout Bingo. Speak up, Sugar! Everything is pointing to the fact that you need to act. If you do, you avert a big old problem, and if you don’t, you won’t. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) You got an epic surprise. Someone shocked you silly and sucked the sugar right out of your cheeks. In this case, it is plain wonderful to be wrong. You counted this someone out, but found they counted for something. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Your mouth was wide as Texas but nothing came out. Stage fright, Sugar? Looks like it. Practice speaking up to somebody who gets your goat until the words comes naturally. Meantime, get yourself a good calming mantra. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) You buttered their butt and tore it up like a stale biscuit. Feel better? Vengeance was yours, and now you can mark that fool off the list. Focus on your better angels, not the avenging ones. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Sugar, you love who you love, and you just despise everybody else. Except, you don’t exactly say that. In the interest of world peace, end a grudge you’ve been nursing since fifth grade. Have some gumption. Aries (March 21–April 19) Lordamercy, watching Aries Star Children gets my eyebrows raised up so high my hairline has to beg for space. Let up on the ambition, and pick up on downshifting. You ain’t got to be first all the dang time. 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. May 2019

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O.Henry Ending

Stitches in Time

A mother’s miracles with needle and thread By K ate Goodrich

When I was very small, my mother

Much later, I tried my own hand at knitting under her guidance. But my “scarf” came to a desultory halt at 6 inches in length, the needles jammed into immobility by the intensity of my efforts. I never took up needles again but marveled as off the ends of hers spun such intricate patterns as the curved heel of an argyle sock. No project was too small — or too large — for this seamstress extraordinaire. She did not hesitate to tackle reupholstering a couch or fashioning a set of lined floor-to-ceiling drapes for our dining room. To most every piece of clothing she made for us, she set her unique signature — a creative trim or appliqué or fringe plucked out by deft hands. But there is one creation of hers, indelible in my memory, that also carries a great burden of guilt. On a Saturday expedition to an old fabric emporium in a run-down section of Philadelphia — where normally we would never have ventured without my father — my mother patiently endured my rejection of one bolt of cloth after another as she roamed the store’s dusty, claustrophobic aisles hoping that her next suggestion would prove to be The One. The ivory brocade we finally selected was so lovely that I almost wished I were getting married instead of merely singing in the high school chorale affair. Having resurrected five yards of the stuff from its dusty sepulchre, my mother proceeded to construct a wonder that Cinderella’s fairy godmother would have envied: The shimmering ivory brocade was slowly transformed into a floor-length sleeveless gown with a wide, rose-colored moiré sash. My pleasure and anticipation grew each time I stood for another fitting and stroked the gown’s folds, feeling like that glass-shod princess. And like the fairytale heroine, I wore my lovely dress only once. It grieves me to say that a case of nerves during the evening’s big performance caused me to sweat profusely. The dress was stained beyond repair.

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I didn’t know then that, over a lifetime, “favorite” clothes flow in and out of a woman’s closet like money in the bank: I figured this would be my favorite dress forever. I thought only with guilt and deep regret of the dozens of hours and zillions of stitches my mother had invested to make — what? Make a dress? Not really. Like the new drapes and the transformed couch — and the yellow sweater with bunny buttons — the dress, as an object of beauty, was ephemeral. But as an act of love, it is permanent. For my mother’s only desire was to make her eldest daughter happy and, for one special evening at least, to feel very beautiful and grown up. So, thanks Mom. I haven’t forgotten. Never will. OH After living and working in Boston for more than 40 years, Kate Goodrich retired to Wilmington in 2013 to be near the beach, where she can be found most seasons in a chair engrossed in a good book. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


worked small miracles in cloth and wool. Tiny clothes, too small for me, she fashioned for my doll. The very sweetest, my favorite by far, was a pale yellow sweater, with each of its little pearly buttons in the shape of a bunny. These treasures just appeared: I never saw the knitting and purling, the cutting and stitching, the post-bedtime hours and all the love that went into creations such as that lump of yellow wool no bigger than her hand.

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SHARE THE ROOM WITH A THOUGHT PROVOKER. An Academy Award winner, a Supreme Court Justice, and two Pulitzer Prizewinning authors. Each one brings an important message from their life and work. Hearing from them firsthand — with the community members who have joined you — is a powerful experience. Be our guest for an outstanding season of the Guilford College Bryan Series, and let’s get our community talking.


SALLY FIELD Iconic Actress

MARCH 24, 2020



Supreme Court Justice

OCT. 2, 2019



Pulitzer-Prize Winning Novelist

Presidential Historian

APRIL 23, 2020

NOV. 12, 2019

In 2020, we will welcome you to the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, a thrilling new state-of-the-art facility opening in the heart of downtown Greensboro.