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World-class Hospitals

The Network for Exceptional Care. The 5 world-class hospitals of Cone Health may have different names, but they share one promise — to provide exceptional care to patients, their families and the communities they serve. 5 CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE | 100 LOCATIONS | 2 MEDCENTERS | 3 URGENT CARE CENTERS | 1000 PHYSICIANS | 2500 NURSES | 8000 DEDICATED PROFESSIONALS | CONEHEALTH.COM


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S U S T A I N A B L E

S T Y L E

SUSTAINABLE ST YLE Whether celebrating a wedding, a birthday, a graduation, mitzvah, family reunion or any other special occasion, you can be guaranteed that our staff will do everything possible to create a truly memorable, unique and special event. 7 0 4

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EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS Quintessential settings for special occasions, from signature weddings to business meetings. Let us help you create memories that will last a lifetime, whether you have 5 or 150 guests.

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B R E A K FA S T What a Way to Start Your Day!

Monday – Friday beginning at 6:30 AM, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 AM

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I N F O R M A L LY E L E GA N T, ZESTFUL DINING Fresh seasonal food using old-world European culinary sensibilities and flavors.

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T U E S D AY N I G H T S P E C I A L : SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONGS FROM A SOUTHERN KITCHEN Chef Jay Pierce’s traditional skillet-fried chicken & drink specials, dinner begins at 4 PM Live compositions and renditions by Laurelyn Dossett and friends 6:30–9:30 PM ( no cover charge ) 1 4 2 1

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M A G A Z I N E volUme 1, no. 2

“I fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090

227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com

Tom Chitty has long been the Triad’s go-to guy in real estate.

Ashley Wahl, Associate Editor Kathryn Galloway, Associate Art Director

With 29 years of experience, this southern gentleman is known for his integrity, honesty and professionalism. Tom and his highly qualified team take no client for granted.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David Bailey, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser, Deborah Salomon, PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Froelich, John Gessner, Hannah Sharpe

When you are ready to work with a realtor who genuinely cares about you, work with Tom. It’s like having an old friend welcome you home.

CONTRIBUTORS Tony Abbott, Tom Bryant, Edward Cone, Frank Daniels III, Jack Dodson, Mary James Lawrence, Sam Froelich, Sara King, Meridith Martens, Dale Nixon, Ray Owen, Lee Rogers, Shari Smith, Stephen E. Smith, Astrid Stellanova, Mary Novitsky

O.H

David Woronoff, Publisher

“This is a people business and our clients are the most important people we know.” ~ Tom Chitty

TomChitty &Associates Direct Line: 336-420-2836 Email:

tom@tomchitty.com

ADVERTISING SALES Darlene Stark, 910.693.2488 Marty Hefner 336.707.6893 Ansley Spencer 336.324.6154 Laura Morris 336.471.4237 Sam Froelich 336.402.3772 Perry Loflin 910.693.2514 Circulation 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2011. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

Website: www.tomchitty.com

4 O.Henry

October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October/November 2011 9

HOMETOWN

Voices of an Autumn Night By Jim Dodson

SHORT STORIES 12 Your Guide to Greensboro’s Good Life ARTIST AT WORK 16 The Songbird By Ashley Wahl THE OMNIVOROUS READER 18 Blues Man By Stephen E. Smith THE INDIE BEAT 20 Perfect Dinner Music By Jack Dodson HITTING HOME 23 Me, Too By Dale Nixon ICON 24 The Mayor of Tate Street By Jim Schlosser LETTER FROM THE HILLS 26 Well-Designed Women By Shari Smith PIEDMONT TO PROVENCE 28 Bourbon and Branch Ribs By Mary James Lawrence THE HOP HEAD 30 The Wall of Beer By David C. Bailey SPIRITS 33 Sweetness and Memory By Frank Daniels, III THE SERIAL EATER 34 Here’s Your Oyster By David C. Bailey THE SPORTING LIFE 36 Wild Ducks on the Haw By Tom Bryant 62 Arts Calendar 73 GreenScene By Sam Froelich

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The Accidental Astrologer

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O.HENRY ENDING

FEATURES

40 Ghost Signs 46 Last Days of Jefferson Davis By Jim Schlosser

They’re everywhere. But look quick before they vanish

By Ray Owen

Greensboro’s role in our national conflict was, at best, complicated

48 The Batwoman of Sunset Hills By Maria Johnson

Holy flying varmit! She lives!

50 Lost at Sea 52 Two Visionaries

By Jim Schlosser

Does the Gate City have a link to America’s most famous ocean tragedy?

By Deborah Salomon

Between Edward Loewenstein and Randy McManus, a glorious house is reborn

60 Bounty From Above By Lee Rogers

Falling pecans and persimmons are a sweet sound of Autumn

By Astrid Stellanova

LIFE’S FUNNY

Oscar and Me By Maria Johnson Son of Billy Jack

6 O.Henry

By Edward Cone

October/November 2011

Our Cover: Historical image of Loewenstein from Martin Studios, Greensboro. Photograph this page by John Gessner

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Selling the Triad’s Lifestyle 100 Fisher Park Circle

Iconic home known as the Gateway to Fisher Park — beautifully restored following historic guidelines, over 5000 sq. feet of incredible beauty. Home has been featured in many magazines for both interior room and lavish gardens—overlooks Park. $1,150,000.00

1206 Hill Street

Live on one of the best streets in Latham Park/Irving Park area. This charmer is ready to move into with fresh paint and new carpet. Family room with fireplaces on both levels, eat-in kitchen and more room than you can imagine. Nice, deep back yard with patio, rocking chair front porch and a wonderful place to call home. $249,500.

540 Woodland Drive

725 Hood Place | Old Irving Park

Southern elegance combined with prime location overlooking golf course—wonderful family home with 6 bedrooms and 5 full baths, elegantly appointed rooms plus master suite on the main level. $1,290,000.00

2107 Carlisle Road

Irving Park at its best. High ceilings, hardwood floors, custom paneling, millwork and bookcases. Master suite on main level with more than generous bedrooms upstairs each with separate bathrooms. Wrought iron gate to beautifully landscaped and fenced back yard with brick patio and additional storage. $475,000.00

3309-3311 Gaston Road

Build your dream home on this acre lot in old Irving Park. One of the most desirable settings available. Please contact agent for survey and details. $975,000.00

Old Sedgefield approximately 4.36 acre parcel on Donald Ross course overlooking number 2 & 3. Survey on file — contact agent for details. $1,100,000.

205 Sunset Drive | Old Irving Park

One of Old Irving Park’s original homes — 5 bedrooms. 4 full baths, 2 half baths — three levels of family living. Pocket doors, beautiful hardwoods, high ceilings, four fireplaces and Tall Pines — a wonderful outdoor surprise! $1,100,000.

903 W. Cornwallis Drive

Seeing is believing the renovations to this story and a half Irving Parker. Walls removed to make a super master bedroom,bath and walk in closets. Kitchen with knotty pine countertops & mirrored backspashes. Sunroom overlooks breathtaking back yard. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths 3000 plus square feet!! $374,000.00

1605 Carlisle Road

Stunning views of clubhouse and golf course in Old Irving Park. Elegant living and dining rooms, kitchen with butler’s pantry & wood beamed family rm. with fireplace. Third floor guest suite, 2nd level bedrms. and baths, private front courtyard and extra deep lot—300”. Basement garages with interior stairs. $1,250,000.00

Contact

Katie Redhead REALTOR®, Broker, ABR, GRI, CRS

336-430-0219

katie@trmrealestate.com

900 Rockford Road High Point, N C

Stunning estate on approx.. 5 acres in the heart of Emorywood. 1930 ‘s Norman Tudor with original architectural details restored to exact specifications—over 10,000 square feet of total renovation. Gated security entrance, auto court, garden tea house, walkways & bridges all in a park like setting. Price upon request. By Appointment Only

Adamsleigh

Approx. 13 plus acres overlooking famed Donald Ross golf course in the heart of Sedgefield. A true NC treasure built during the Depression for textile magnate Hampton Adams, main house with formal rooms, bedroom suites, elevator & hidden stairwells. Servant’s quarter with kitchen, bedrooms and baths, former stables on property, swimming pool, boat house, greenhouse and tennis courts. Price upon request—By Appointment only

1401 Sunset Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408 | www.trmrealestate.com | 336-274-1717


HomeTown

Voices of an Autumn Night

Lessons from Opti and the Greyhound By Jim Dodson

F

unny what you don’t forget. On the way to the ball field that evening, I asked my mom if she had something that would make my face a deathly white. After the big game, I hoped to be the linebacker from hell. “Honey,” she said, “aren’t you a little old for trick or treating? You’re almost fifteen.” She was right, of course. But fourteen is a funny and complicated age — no longer a boy, not yet a man — and a group of neighborhood kids was going out a final time to scavenge for Halloween candy. Before that, however, was the championship game against Bessemer, a talented all-black team from Greensboro’s east side. I played for the all-white Elks Club, which had just won the city’s Southern Division championship and the first round of the playoffs against a team from Glenwood. Our home field was Lindley Park, and the city’s Midget League championship was on the line. Ironically, Bessemer had demolished us 42-7 in the first game of the year, so more than a little pride was involved. I was still new to the west side of Greensboro and feeling my way along. Earlier that summer we moved from out in the country near Pleasant Garden to Starmount, and I was forced, kicking and screaming, to switch from Jackson Junior High to Kiser — the “rich kids’ school,” as my pals on the racially mixed Jackson football team needled me. Indeed, having been a starting defensive back and second-string wide receiver on that team, armed with a letter from Coach Robinson no less, I’d reported to football tryouts at Kiser assuming I was a lock for the team, but I never even got to touch a football. The coach had his favorites and I was just some skinny hick from the Southside, left waiting for a chance along with half a dozen or so other rejects who stood on the sidelines holding our helmets. After three days of watching and sulking, I went home and asked my dad to come out and speak to the coach on my behalf — or else I would quit the team. Lots of other fathers did this, I pointed out, chumming with the coach as if they were members of the same club. I figured my old man would do this because he was “old Greensboro” and — more importantly — he’d played halfback on a Greensboro High team that went to the state championship game against Durham back in the late 1930s. Hence my surprise when I heard his response. “If all it took to make the team was your father showing up to chat with the coaches,” he said, “what kind of team would that be — and what would that do for you? No,” he calmly added, “I think you need to make it entirely on your own and fight your way to the top. That way it’ll mean something. Win or lose, you’ll be a better man for it.” For the record, he’d said exactly the same thing about Scouting — flatly refusing when asked to serve as Scoutmaster in the troop where my brother and I belonged. The other kids’ fathers all participated but not ours, the adman philosopher who was prone to embarrassingly quote Winston Churchill on courage or Emerson on self-reliance when you least expected it. Oh, lucky us. I called him Opti the Mystic behind his back, and not as a compliment to his perpetual upbeat nature. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The author, a grinning fool, is seen between 42 and 41.

So I sucked up my disappointment and showed up for one more humiliating day of preseason practice, failed again to even touch the ball, then turned in my sorry shoulder pads and helmet. It hurt to quit, but I decided it would hurt more to stay. My annoying dad said he understood my decision. “More often than not, you learn a lot more from failure than success,” he said. “For one thing, you learn there really is no failure — everything teaches you something valuable. Keep your head up. The right door will open when it’s time.” Another Opti pep talk. But then a door did unexpectedly open. A coach named Tommy Harroway called the house, inviting me to come out for the Greensboro Elks Club team, which had begun practicing in Lindley Park earlier that week. He said he’d gotten my name from a neighborhood kid who’d showed up late for Elks Club tryouts, and several of my fellow Kiser rejects had also joined the team. The next day I went out and found myself playing backup halfback to a bruising runner named Robbie Hilliard. We played our first game a few days later and I was a complete flop, making about ten yards in a dozen attempts. Afterward, unable to convince myself there was no such thing as failure, I asked the coach to let me play defense, my natural position, and he agreed to make the switch. Part of me really longed to hit someone. That pent-up teenage angst nearly got me booted out of Kiser that same week when I showed up wearing the de rigeur uniform of a Jackson Trojan — jeans, high-top black Converse sneakers, and a banded Carolina T-shirt. Unfortunately, the cool dress code at Kiser included Nettleton shoes, slacks from Bernard Shephard and a knit shirt with a cute little alligator. As I was chatting with a girl named Connie and her pal Gwen in the school courtyard at lunch time, a guy named George with a wave of bleached hair sauntered over and shoved me into the bushes, mocking my clothes. I got up and knocked him on his rear end with one solid punch to the chin. Almost instantly, I felt someone grab me by the scruff of my neck and lift me off the ground. It turned out to be a hulking red-haired dude named Mr. Baker, the vice principal. He hauled me to his office, nearly flung me into a chair, and leveled a finger in my face. “I don’t know who you think you are, kid, but if you think you’re coming into my school and starting fights, you’re sadly mistaken.” He assured me I was going to be suspended. Seething from this second injustice, I asked him if I could at least call my father. He told me that might be possible — after a good paddling. October/November 2011

O.Henry 9


HomeTown

Just then, a stout dark-haired teacher named Louise Garber steamed into the office, an unlikely savior. She was my new civics teacher. “I saw the whole thing from my classroom window,” she declared. “All this boy did was defend himself. You’ve got the wrong kid, Baker.” Mr. Baker looked deflated. He told me to get out of his office and warned he’d better never hear a peep from me again. The Elks team was unexpected salvation, too. We won all but that opening game that season and wound up in the championship finale on Halloween night against undefeated Bessemer. By that point I was playing both defense and offense, alternating at linebacker and offensive tackle. One of my jobs on defense was to “shadow” a skinny kid named Leon, their star player. “He’s a regular greyhound,” said Coach. Wherever he went, I was supposed to go as well. The problem was, the greyhound was twice as fast as anyone else on the field. The game was your classic defensive struggle, a stalemate that came down to the final seconds in a 7-7 tie. Then something crazy happened — though these years later it seems the perfect bittersweet finish to the lessons of that faraway October. We were on their five yard line and, as time expired — at least in my memory — our quarterback lofted a perfect pass to my friend Jack Gibson, our best receiver, but someone tipped it, allowing Leon to snatch it out of the air and sprint the length of the field for the winning score. Several of us tried to catch him, but Leon left us in his dust. At the far end, the Bessemer team mobbed their hero. I walked back dejectedly to the sideline where some of my teammates were actually crying. I wanted to cry, too, but I was still in shock — and hating the fact that an unexpectedly wonderful football season was suddenly over. Coach Harraway had us line up and congratulate the victors from the east. I remember that Leon was still holding the football, grinning to beat the band when we shook hands. On the short drive home, my dad congratulated me on being part of some-

10 O.Henry

October/November

thing special. I felt oddly elated, in part because I’d made several good friends and found my place on that team entirely on my own, guys I would go off to college with within a few years. Two weeks after this, during the team banquet at the Elks Club, I was probably the most surprised person in the room when I heard my name called for “Most Improved Player.” Coach Harraway told my parents the thing he liked most about me was my attitude and the fact that I never quit. Even I absorbed the irony of that compliment. For the record, I didn’t go trick or treating that night, or ever again. In Mrs. Garber’s civics class, I fell in love with presidential politics and wondered if someday I might cover them as a reporter. Years later, I actually sent her a card from the campaign trail while covering the 1980 presidential primaries for the Atlanta Constitution Sunday Magazine. She told my mother how pleased she was. For the record, save for a brief walk-on effort at college, I never played organized football again, or really wanted to. I took up golf seriously the next spring and taught guitar. Now, when I think back at that faraway October of 1967, I’m struck by how many important things I learned about defining who you are — and will become — without realizing it. And I can still hear the voices from that amazing October night. The day this magazine hits the streets I’ll be attending my 40th high school reunion. It’ll be great to see my old classmates and, if I’m lucky, some of the guys who shared that special night forty-four years ago. Jack Gibson tells me a few of them have actually passed on. I find myself thinking about Leon the greyhound — picturing that ecstatic smile on his shining face. I hope he’s still with us and his life has turned out well. I hope he still has that football, too. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


RELAX YOUR GRIP. You know what the golf pros say: You’ll get better results if you loosen up. Good advice off the course, too, which is why we suggest you consider a few days in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina to reconnect with your spouse, your family and your inner self. Our charming resorts and spas will take you a world away from your day-today stress. Our unique shops, potteries and galleries will offer a little retail therapy for those in need. And then, of course, there are our famous championship golf courses to simultaneously calm the mind and reinvigorate the spirit. We’ll return you to your life with a relaxed outlook and a new grip on your priorities.

LET GO. LOOSEN UP AT THE HOME OF AMERICAN GOLF®. VISIT WWW.HOMEOFGOLF.COM TO PLAN YOUR STAY.

PINE NEEDLES RESORT HOME OF THE LADIES GOLFARI Site of three U.S. Women’s Open Championships, Pine Needles and Mid Pines have challenged golfers for more than 80 years. Both Donald Ross courses have been preserved to be played as the designer intended. LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell and her family continue their commitment of providing the very best hospitality and course conditions. Versatile meeting space and dedicated staff combine to exceed guest expectations. 800.747.7272 · pineneedles-midpines.com


O.Henry

Short Stories

Grampy Knows Best

Your Guide to the Good Life in the Triad

The Fiddle of the Sphinx

The Sphinx Organization had a dream: for classical music to reflect cultural diversity and play a role in the everyday lives of youth. Marta Richardson, who teaches violin at Peeler Open School for the Performing Arts, dreamed the very same thing — that’s why she’s asked the community to help bring the Sphinx Virtuosi here to Greensboro. Ask and ye shall receive. Don’t miss the Sphinx Virtuosi in concert featuring the Catalyst Quartet on Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. at Aycock Auditorium, UNCG — one week before they’ll take the stage at Carnegie Hall. This unique chamber orchestra features 20 alumni from the Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players. Program features well-known repertoire in addition to works by African-American and Latino composers, including works by Bach, Bartok, Michael Abels and ColeridgeTaylor Perkinson. Cost: $10. Tickets: (336) 334-4TIX or boxoffice. uncg.edu. Info: www.sphinxmusic.org. Limited number of free student tickets available; call (336) 256-0167 to inquire. AW

GUM’s a Poppin’

Gary Baldwin’s smiling a lot these days and it’s not just because he hears the word “cheese” all the time. His father, Bill “Grampy” Baldwin, was known for giving his more-cheese-thanmayo pimento-cheese spread to family and friends. After being laid off, Gary started selling Grampy’s Pimento Cheese in three varieties — hot, not, and a deluxe three-cheese variety without pimento. Order by calling (336) 207-8091 or through www.grampypimentocheese.com DB

Dan Riedel gives himself the willies sometimes. Call it an occupational hazard. Riedel leads ghost tours through downtown Greensboro. The business that he and his wife, Bridgette, started three years ago — Carolina History and Haunts — is going like gangbusters. Or is that ghostbusters? Last year, the couple added a similar tour in Charlotte, but Riedel still spends much of his time chillin’ spines in downtown Greensboro, where folks love to huddle after dark — especially this time of year — for a 90-minute, mile-long trek past half a dozen places with a spirited history including Blandwood Mansion, Biltmore Hotel, M’Coul’s Public House, and the Carolina Theatre, where a woman perished in a 1981 fire. Reservations for the haunted jaunts are required online at www.carolinahistoryandhaunts.com or by phone (336-905-4060). Cost: $15 a person, with a $2 discount for booking online. Groups of six or more pay $12 a person, no discounts. Kids 8 to 12 years old cost $13, and children 7 and younger are free. Tours leave Friday and Saturday nights year round, plus evenings when the moon is full. More dates are added around Halloween. If it makes you feel any safer, the tours start in front of the Greensboro police station at 300 W. Washington St. MJ

Greensboro Urban Ministry sprints into the holiday season with a new twist on its annual Greater Greensboro CROP Hunger Walk. Participants now can run a certified 5K that follows the same route as the downtown walk. The hoofing commences when the runners take off from NewBridge Bank Park at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 23. For the sake of feeding the hungry, walkers will eat their dust, following at 2:45 pm. Register for either event at www.greatergreensborocropwalk.org or at 1:30 p.m. at the park on race/walk day. There is no fee for walkers. Runners pay $25 before Oct. 16, $30 after. Without breaking stride, GUM will host its Feast of Caring on Nov. 17, 5-7 p.m., at First Baptist Church. Organizers of the soup-and-bread meal promise a piece of pottery or five Bill Mangum holiday honor cards for a donation of $25 or more. Last year, the feast yielded almost $90,000 in donations. That’s one soup-er supper. MJ

12 O.Henry

October/November 2011

Haint It Grand?

Fear Factor

As if there weren’t enough ways to flood your undergarments at the Woods of Terror on Church Street, the owners have added a new diuretic called Chaos 3-D, a labyrinth of 12 rooms, each one covered with freaky fluorescent art and based on a startle scare. The owners say there’s nothing like it on the East Coast. Translation: BYO Fruit of the Loom. The Woods of Terror, an indoor-outdoor affair with stops like Miner’s Massacre, Redneck Hayride and Clown Town, has been named one of America’s Best Haunts for several years. For hours and ticket info, go to www.woodsofterror.com or call (336) 286-9396. MJ The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry The Art of Change

A country song and a sermon inspired the message behind artist William Mangum’s 2011 Honor Card — do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone. Since 1988, Mangum has been donating his artistic talents to help raise awareness and funds to benefit the homeless in our community. “To give is to receive,” says Mangum. This year’s Honor Card, titled “Change the World,” will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 17 at the Greensboro Urban Ministry’s annual “Feast of Caring” fundraiser, First Baptist Church, 1000 W. Friendly Ave., 5 to 7 p.m. Honor Cards will also be available throughout the holiday season at William Mangum Fine Art Gallery, Barnes & Noble, Leon Hair Salons, various area churches and the Greensboro Urban Ministry. Suggested donation: $5. Information: (336) 271-5959 or www. greensborourbanministry. org. AW

Alight Touch

Six hundred. Every year, that’s how many Greensboro area residents learn they have breast cancer. Alight, a local foundation started by breast cancer survivor Mary Gorrell Jones, helps them. The group gives newly-diagnosed patients a tote bag filled with a hand-sewn pillow and books about treatment options and local resources. The non-profit also provides financial aid and education programs, and it’s funding a private waiting area for breast cancer patients at the expanding Cone Health Cancer Center. The area will be staffed by volunteers wearing “Survivor” buttons. Alight’s annual fundraiser is Oct. 6, 5-8:30 p.m., at the Tyler White Gallery on State Street. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and soft drinks will be served. Non-sponsor tickets for the fundraiser are $35 each. Tickets for the raffle — featuring an oil painting by Florida artist Barbara Flowers, along with a David Yurman teardrop pendant donated by Schiffman’s jewelers — are $20. You do not have to be present to win. To get tickets, go to www. “Strength,” by Barbara Flowers, 16x20 oil $1800 alightfoundation.org and look under “support us.” MJ

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Au Naturel

“We use 70 pounds of fresh onions and seven gallons of freshbrewed coffee in every batch,” Michelle Whitlock says of Fireside Foods’ Blackjack BBQ Sauce from Summerfield. “There’s nothing in it that you can’t pronounce.” Made from fresh and natural ingredients, Blackjack is neither thick nor syrupy and doesn’t taste remotely like catsup. What it does taste like is a tangy, complex combination of coffee, chilies and garlic, sweetened by onions and brown sugar with just an echo of Worcestershire sauce. Take one Crock-Pot, add one chicken and a bottle or two of Blackjack, says Whitlock, who founded Fireside with her husband, Jody, and slow cook it until you’ve got an incomparable batch of barbecued pulled chicken. Available at Bestway, Downtown Farm Market, New York Butcher Shoppe, Sam’s Old Fashion Meat & Seafood, The Extra Ingredient, Town & Country Meat and Produce, Triad Meat Company and University General Store. Suggested retail price, $6.50, www.firesidesauces.com DB

Audible Preserves

No need to be a manic sports fanatic to appreciate this all-star lineup. (Helps if you like bluegrass, though.) On Friday, Oct. 14, bluegrass legends Peter Rowan and Tony Rice will lead a band of award-winning musicians for the Piedmont Land Conservancy’s Land Jam 2011, a benefit concert to help preserve family farms and natural places in the NC Piedmont. Joining Rowan and Rice onstage: Bobby Hicks on fiddle, Craig Smith on banjo, Tony Williamson on mandolin and Bert Sprye on bass — all but one of them residents of the Tar Heel State. Local singer/songwriter Laurelyn Dossett will host and perform. Jamming begins at 8 p.m. at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Cost: $20. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. Info: landjam2011.com. AW

October/November 2011

O.Henry 13


Most Requested Recipe

Heavenly Dumplings By David C. Bailey

W

hat’s the most requested recipe in the College Place United Methodist Church cookbook, featuring the members’ favorite recipes from 1899-2010? “That’s easy,” says Carol Deaton, who has dozens of recipes in the book, including the busy mom’s answer to what to do with hamburger — foil dinner. “Easy bake chicken. It’s one of the favorite meals we fix at church.” Which is why she and Pam Farlow are slicing dozens of frozen Tyson Farm chicken breasts in the kitchen of Weaver House. It’s 4 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month, and they’re cooking supper for an estimated 100 homeless residents, who will sit down to a supper of chicken, rice, corn and beans, hot rolls and homemade desserts at 7 p.m. “For some of them it’s not just the only hot meal they’ll get today,” Deaton says as she trims a piece of gristle from one breast, “it’s the day’s only meal, so we try to make it as homemade as possible.” Ray Edwards, a Navy cook in World War II and Pam’s 85-year-old father, perfected the recipe for church gatherings of Methodist Men. “It’s got chicken, butter, cream of chicken soup and Pepperidge Farm stuffing,” says Carol’s husband, Ed Deaton. “How could you go wrong?” An insistent buzzing from the back door suggests that other church members are arriving with pre-prepared desserts, all from Centuries at Table, 1899-2010: pineapple layer cake made with cream cheese, butter and eggs; Rosie’s chocolate-chip cake, enhanced with sour cream and a quarter cup of brandy; blackberry cake swimming in blackberrywine glaze; and mystical bar cookies, “which are sort of like a dump cake,” says Crystal Nickell, opening a container that releases a Pandora’s box of come-hither aromas. “It’s got pecans, graham-cracker crumbs, coconut, raisins, semi-sweet chocolate — everything but the kitchen sink.” Other dessert favorites from the cookbook include blueberry buckle, passion pie, better-than-sex cake and cherry berries on a cloud, which is what’s so nice about community cookbooks — the names of recipes are as inventive and enticing as the dishes themselves: I-40 dip; earthquake cake, everlasting slaw, basic fat-burning soup, sausage Wellington, strawberry-pretzel salad and, of course, Baltimore crap cakes. Carol Deaton shoots her eyes to the ceiling and says that they’ve printed stickers to amend the “crap” on page 91, “but the word’s got out and people want the orginal edition.” They’re available for $12, weekdays from 8 until noon from the church (275-3364, 509 Tate St., Greensboro, N.C. 27403) or for $15 by mail-order. The easy bake chicken recipe on page 78 calls for 12 pounds of chicken breasts. Here’s an adaptation by Ray Edwards that serves eight. When I wondered aloud if some Dijon mustard, a bit of sage and a splash of riesling wine wouldn’t make it better, Carol Deaton looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “Then it wouldn’t be easy,” she says. 4 whole chicken breasts, cut in two pieces 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can of cream of chicken soup 1/2 cup of chicken broth 1 cup of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix 1/4 cup of butter, melted Place chicken breasts in a pan. Mix together cream of chicken soup and broth. Pour over chicken. Crush stuffing and sprinkle over chicken, adding more if needed. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing. Cook at 350 degress for appoximately 45-50 minutes or until chicken is done. OH Do you have a favorite local cookbook? We’d love to know about it. Email us at ashley@ ohenrymag.com

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


O.Henry

King of the Grill

A&T State’s football tailgate party is the city’s biggest outdoor party of the year, and Clarence McKee is legendary for his ribs and hospitality

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larence McKee Jr. loves his monster grill. More importantly on football Saturdays at North Carolina A&T State, hundreds of hungry tailgaters and fellow Aggie fans love what McKee and his friends Everett Dumas and Terry Williams do with this mother of all mobile gas grills they affectionately call “Big Mac.” On any given home game day for the Aggies, the trio cooks up small mountains of ribs, chicken, pork chops, hamburgers, hot dogs and fried fish on the massive, multipurpose, custom-built grilling rig, feeding upward of five hundred fans for free at the famous pre-and-post-game tailgate party under their distinctive purple Omega Psi Phi tent in the front lot at Aggie Stadium. Quite often, depending on start times, a typical game day actually commences before the kickoff with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, grits and pancakes cooked on Big Mac’s special griddle — then winds up with a post-game feast of ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, fried chicken and all the trimmings afterward. “The last thing we want,” says Clarence, 70, A&T class of ’63, with a boomingly youthful laugh, “is anyone going hungry on game day, before or after the victory!” Suffice it to say, the man many simply know as the “King of the Grill” — testified to by a special apron that bears the title — is something of a cooking legend and Aggie megabooster who has been in the middle of the action for more than half a century. As a sophomore and Jesse Jackson’s fraternity brother in 1960, McKee was one of the first A&T students to participate in the historic Woolworth sit-in that gave rise to America’s non-violent civil rights movement. After finishing with a degree in economics in 1963, he stayed to earn a master’s degree and eventually met his wife, Marlyne. Their son and daughter, Clarence III and Alicia Hunter, also became Aggie alumni. These days, on the heels of a career as a student administrator for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Clarence directs the Upward Bound program at Winston-Salem State University. But cut the man and he bleeds Aggie purple and gold. McKee has been tailgating since the middle 1970s, making him one of the founding fathers of a beloved Aggie tradition that has grown like kudzu in the countryside over the past forty years. On any given football weekend, dozens of younger grillmasters and cooks make the Aggie Tailgate an eating extravaganza not to be missed, filling up two designated lots by Aggie Stadium — making it the spiritual centerpiece, if you will, of arguably Greensboro’s biggest social event of the year, a three-day family-friendly extravaganza cosponsored by the City of Greensboro called “Aggie Fanfest” which attracts upwards of fifty thousand participants. During homecoming weekend — this year the big game against Delaware State falls on October 15 — the area around the War Memorial Stadium becomes a festive village of live musical performances, food and craft vendors

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A King and his retainers: Everett Dumas, Clarence McKee, and Terry Williams get ready for a Aggie Tailgate weekend, while (below) the Marching Aggies strut their stuff. of every stripe, a kids’ carnival and one big family reunion — topped off by a spectacular parade highlighted by the nationally recognized Marching Aggies (a.k.a. “The Blue and Gold Machine”) and no less than eight competing high school marching bands. “I like to say we know how to do homecoming up right,” says Leonora Bryant, NCAT’s Director of Alumni Affairs, noting that the Fanfest weekend pumps an estimated $18 million in revenue into area hotels, restaurants and shops, second only to the ACC Tournament and the High Point Furniture Market in terms of benefit to Guilford County’s economy. Aggie Fanfest, she adds, “is not only a great way to welcome back our alumni but also attracts young people, drawing them into the heart of the A&T experience.” For diehard fans like big Clarence McKee, decked out in his bright gold “Official Tailgater” jersey and his famous royal apron, feeding old friends and newcomers alike is simply part of Aggie pride and natural hospitality. “If there’s a more generous man on this earth I don’t know him,” says his cooking cohort Terry Williams, whose brother Ronnie actually made the huge “Big Mac” grill from a blueprint McKee drew up. He points out that most of the food is paid for from McKee’s own pocket with the help of a few donations from appreciative alumni. “Aggie fans come back from all over the world during homecoming weekend,” say the King of the Grill with characteristic modesty. “It’s just nice to be able to welcome them home in style and give them something good to eat. Football and good eating, you know, go hand in hand.” Amen, and please pass the ribs. OH October/November 2011

O.Henry 15


The Songbird

Artist At Work

Like our own native ‘Redbird,’ Laurelyn Dossett creates musical magic and beauty

By aShley Wahl • PhotoGraPh By hannah SharPe

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s darkness fell across the Appalachian valley on a crisp evening winter before last, Laurelyn Dossett watched through the window of a cabin near Fancy Gap, Virginia, alone, probably barefooted. “During the day, as far as I knew, I was the only person on the planet,” says Dossett, recalling the dense woods, the fog — the sense of total isolation, save for the sounds of her old Gibson and the blanket of the surrounding natural world. “But at night, the lights slowly started to appear,” she says. Her blue eyes brighten. “I realized I was not alone.” Those lights — distant houses, proofs of life — became the inspiration behind “Lights in the Lowlands,” one of the six pieces that make up The Gathering, the song cycle Dossett was commissioned to write for the North Carolina Symphony’s upcoming Holiday Pops concert.

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October/November 2011

The score, arranged by American composer Aaron Grad, sits on a worn wooden coffee table in Dossett’s den here in Greensboro. Her rocking chair creaks as she shifts forward to pick it up. She thumbs through, marveling at the intricacy. “I’m just a folk-song writer,” says Dossett, rocking softly. “I write what I see, what I hear, what the birds are doing… I wasn’t trained in composition.” No matter. Dossett has a gift: storytelling. And with that sweet, songbird voice of hers, people listen.

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Rewind the years. Before Dossett’s endeavors with the NC Symphony began. Before one of her songs appeared on Levon Helm’s Grammy-winning album, Dirt Farmer. Before collaborating with playwright Preston Lane to write music for four original Triad Stage productions. Before co-founding the roots duo Polecat Creek. Just fifteen years ago, “Mom” was Dossett’s full-time job. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


“I sang a lot to the girls,” she says of her daughters, then 8, 6 and 3. “I just didn’t have any way to accompany myself.” Guitar lessons began with Greensboro musician Scott Manring, now a dear friend who frequently performs with Dossett at local venues. “I felt silly,” she says, “having to phone the babysitter just to go.” Clearly Dossett caught on quickly. In whirlwind fashion, she found herself in the midst of a prolific career as a folk singer/songwriter, however unintentionally, she admits. And now she’s a composer to boot. “I just wanted to be able to play and sing at home,” says Dossett.

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Her Southern roots run deep. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, into a family of “church folk,” Dossett grew up singing hymns. Her voice is pure honey. Ask anyone who’s heard her sing. In 2009, Dossett performed a symphonic adaptation of “Remember My Name,” a song from Triad Stage’s Bloody Blackbeard soundtrack, for the NC Symphony’s Blue Skies and Golden Sands tour. A year later, she received the NC Arts Council Music Fellowship for songwriting. Needless to say, when the Symphony contacted her to write and perform the music for their 2011 holiday concert, they knew exactly what to expect: music immersed in Southern culture. So she retreated to the mountains, reflected on home life, let nature be her muse. And she delivered quintessential Carolina, and a deeply personal set of songs in which her thoughtful observations and knack for storytelling simply radiate. Images of rolling mountains, starry skies and long leaf pines are few of many archetypal icons and motifs found in The Gathering. Biblical allusion, instrumentation and the storytelling nature of the music itself add further regional flair. In January, arranger Aaron Grad received Dossett’s recordings — some featuring the accompaniment of a string band. He was instantly taken with her work, concluding the folk singer and the NC Symphony to be a “very ambitious and audacious combination.” “The thing about her writing I love so much is that it sounds so effortless,” says Grad. “I found the songs to be beautiful, and very elegant,” he adds. “Simple, but also rich and full of emotion. And she left a lot of room for the orchestra. She really designed the songs in a very thoughtful, very intelligent way.”

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Her cycle of songs tells a story. “A journey home,” says Dossett, “from the wilderness.” And back into the wilderness again. “I think we’ve all felt like the prodigal child at one time or another,” Dossett muses, in an attempt to explain the wandering, reflective nature of The Gathering that so many can relate to. Then she picks up her guitar — a rescued 1929 Gibson L-0 — and sings a few lines from “Lights in the Lowlands.” There are lights in the lowlands tonight They’re a promise that I’m not alone Will my father still know me, my mother still remember me? Should I follow the lowland light home? Should I follow the lowland light home? “The holidays can be very stressful for a lot of people, and very difficult,” says Dossett. Sometimes coming home means facing loss or hardships. Of course, many The Art & Soul of Greensboro

times it’s joyful, too. When the story’s wandering daughter reaches home — the frenzied musical apex of The Gathering — a tune called “Redbird” paints the bustling scene of a traditional Southern gathering, including all the dynamic characters one might expect to be present. Dossett’s own family reunions are certainly similar, she assures. The names of her daughters, Emilia, Rosalie and Sophie, appear in the lyrics. Rosie is making cornbread, Sophie is making pie Uncle Jim is telling stories, Uncle John is telling lies Annie is chopping onions, Asa is chopping logs Aunt Lucy feeds the baby, Aunt Suzy feeds the dogs Alive with rustic imagery, “Redbird” includes a composition of piccolo, oboe, bassoon, flute, brass, percussion and string, plus parts for an old-time string quartet featuring Dossett on guitar, Rhiannon Giddens on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Joe Newberry on banjo. And all four will sing. “It sounds like a hoedown,” says Dossett of the festive song named for our state bird — another motif woven throughout The Gathering, introducing day and night. Gathering “They’re very noisy all day long,” she says of the northern cardinal. “‘Redbird’ is just the country people way of saying it.”

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Locals can catch Dossett making sweet music at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen most Tuesday nights at her “weekly bar gig.” She’s also set to perform as part of the Listening Room series at Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret on October 29 with Kari Sickenberger of Polecat Creek. For a taste of what to expect from the NC Symphony’s upcoming Carolina Christmas performances on November 25 and 26 at the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, Dossett and her old-time string band will have a recording of The Gathering ready by

November 1. To imagine the dynamics of an entire symphony behind them is nearly impossible. But it’s happening. “My hope is for the audience to experience the full richness of the emotional journey that will be taking place,” says Grad. As for Dossett, she expects it to be an emotional evening. She reflects on her first endeavor with the NC Symphony, two years back. “It was very overwhelming to have all that beautiful sound behind me as I sang,” she says. “I couldn’t believe the symphony was playing my song.” Regardless, she hopes to connect with her audience in her usual, intimate way — almost as if she were performing for family in her own home. “I put my songs out there from an open heart as much as I’m able to,” says the songwriter. Although the characters in her songs are strictly products of her rich imagination, Dossett’s own experiences and relationships often inspire and influence her work. The Gathering begins with a daughter, alone in the wilderness, traveling back home. “But the individual who comes out of the other side is a mother,” says Dossett, reflecting on her stage in life. “My youngest child just graduated from high school. I’m sort of coming out the other side myself. It wasn’t intentional, but it ended up that way.” As Dossett continues her own musical journey, sure to be filled with frequent detours into the wild, one thing seems certain: Home resides within. Lucky for us, like the beloved songbird she immortalizes, her home is here. OH

October/November 2011

O.Henry 17


The Omnivorous Reader

Blues Man A classic jazz master’s life story is a clear window into American race relations

By StePhen e. Smith

I

f you’re looking for a clichéd, white-bread definition for the blues rendered in the vernacular — “if there weren’t no womens there weren’t be no blues” — you aren’t going to find it in Bob Riesman’s I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy. What you will find is something approximating the truth about African-American secular music marked by a strong 4/4 rhythm, flat sevenths and thirds and a 12-bar structure. More importantly, you’ll follow the career of one of the great bluesmen, Big Bill Broonzy (born Lee Conley Bradley in August, 1903, in Jefferson County, Arkansas; died in Chicago on August 15, 1958), from his musical beginnings with a corn-stalk fiddle to the moment he was made famous by Derek and the Dominos’ cover of “Key to the Highway” and Eric Clapton’s rendition of “Hey Hey.” Even if you aren’t a fan of the blues, you’ll likely find Broonzy’s story an informative journey that reflects and details the temper of the times in which he lived. Riesman had at his disposal what every biographer longs for and dreads — an autobiography written by the subject he’s studying. Big Bill Blues: William Broonzy’s Story is the only autobiography by a bluesman of the period and in 170 pages, Broonzy tells the truth as he wants the reader to see it, which is, of course, a much distorted history (books by musicians tend to contain many falsehoods). Broonzy discourses on life in the Jim Crow South and his 30-plus years in the music business, most of it spent in Chicago. He’s also very generous to his contemporaries — Lonnie Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lil Green, Memphis Minnie, Washboard Sam and many others — and he includes plausible descriptions of how he composed his songs and the sources and significance of his lyrics. Working from Broonzy’s autobiography, Riesman sets the record straight. Broonzy’s date of birth is corrected from 1883 to 1903, and the invented events of his youth are researched, as much as possible, for accuracy. His service in World War I and his move to Little Rock and then to Chicago are given adequate treatment. More importantly, Broonzy’s discography — 220 songs recorded between 1924 and 1940, many of which are available on YouTube — is reviewed and the dates of those recordings are listed along with the blues artists that accompanied him — and in many cases, the artists Broonzy backed on recordings and in live performances. For most of his career, Broonzy’s music was confined to “race records” on

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the Paramount, Blue Bird, Meloton, Vocalion, and other specialized labels, and he performed primarily for black audiences. In the late ’20s and ’30s, he made little money from his music. A $25 payday was exceptional, and for many years he held other jobs, most notably as a Pullman Porter. He began to attract a white audience with his appearance in People’s Songs in 1946. These hootenannies were often organized by Pete Seeger and featured “field hollers, work songs, hymns, and spirituals [that] were presented as black contributions to American culture.” Broonzy, Lead Belly, Josh White, and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were included in these “hoots,” thus increasing their acceptance among mixed audiences. Broonzy’s performances received attention of composer and music critic Virgil Thomson. In his review in the New York Herald Tribune, he singled out Broonzy as one of “the most masterful of the performers.” The focus of People’s Music was on unionization and eradication of racial injustice, and many of Broonzy songs, such as “Just a Dream,” played to those themes: “I dreamed I was in the White House, sitting in the President’s chair/I dreamed he shaked my hand, said ‘Bill, I’m glad you’re here.’/But that was a dream, Lord, a dream I had on my mind./And when I woke up, not a chair could I find.” Broonzy’s “Black, Brown, and White” became an anthem to equality, “an unmistakable indictment of discrimination on the basis of the color of one’s skin”: “Me and a man was workin’ side by side/This is what it meant/They was paying him a dollar an hour,/And they was paying me fifty cent/They said, ‘If you’s white, you’s all right,/If you’s brown, could stick around,/But as you’s black, hmm, boy, get back, get back, get back.’” Following World War II, changes in musical tastes and the elimination of race records by the big record labels resulted in a decline in Broonzy’s recording career in the United States. Moreover, he began to lose favor with his black audience. But Broonzy was nothing if not adaptable. Over the years, he had changed his playing style to accommodate shifts in musical taste, and with the disappearance of race records, he began to tour Europe, The Art & Soul of Greensboro


attracting large audiences and crafting his persona to take advantage of the changing musical environment. “The real old time singers who worked in the fields,” he told a ’50s audience, “there’s almost none of them left now. I’m 58 and caretaker of a college now.” In May, 1952, Broonzy sat down with folklorist Alan Lomax to tape an interview in a Paris hotel room and expounded on his views concerning race relations in the United States: “I think a man should be what he is. Regardless to what you are, or who you are, or where you come from. And that don’t just go for a Negro. That go for every nationality in the world.” Riesman offers much of the Lomax interview verbatim, and it’s apparent that Broonzy’s art is simply a reflection of race relations in the United States during the early to mid-20th century. Riesman notes, with a smidgen of sentimentality, that if Big Bill Broonzy had been at Barack Obama’s inauguration, he would have recognized his words in Joseph Lowery’s benediction: “…for the day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around … when white will embrace what is right.” OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 19


The Indie Beat

Perfect Dinner Music By Jack DoDSon

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o matter how politics might have let you down this year, or how your favorite sports team may have failed to reach the playoffs yet again, there are always two solids in life: music and food. For Kasey and Matthew Hickey, a married couple working out of their San Francisco apartment, these two things were good enough together to create a novel blog called Turntable Kitchen, based around a shared love of music and cooking. Not only is it just a great resource for both, but the couple goes the extra step of pairing each song with an outstanding recipe, so that every meal has its perfect soundtrack. The blog, a perfect indie hybrid, focuses on using fresh and local ingredients in its food. A quick look through recipes will have you headed to the farmers market for whole wheat flour, produce, fresh herbs — and soon enough, you’ll be making pasta from scratch and cooking vegetarian burgers made from beets, beans and onions. (The whole time you make this burger, you should be listening to Mark David Ashworth’s Autobus.) The point of all of this? Well, it pretty much just comes down to a love for both eating and listening. In their own words, from their About page: “We feature recipes with a focus on local, fresh ingredients, hand-selected ‘Musical Pairings,’ album reviews and musings on our city livin’ and country hoppin’ adventures. Most importantly, we aim to introduce food lovers to music and vice versa.” And they definitely haven’t gone unnoticed. Not only have they been profiled in The New York Times, featured on GOOD magazine’s Daily Good email service, recognized by MTV for their excellent blogging skills, and featured on a number of other websites, but they’re beginning to branch out into the world outside the monitor. Earlier this year, Turntable Kitchen announced it would be providing subscribers with their “Musical Pairings Box,” a monthly package filled with nonperishable ingredients, recipes, and a hand-made record with musical pairings for the meals. It’s kind of like McSweeney’s for foodies and music lovers. They charge $25 per month, and don’t charge for shipping. As of the first month, though, they only accepted a limited number of orders, so they moved quickly into the “reserve now” phase, and have announced that they plan to expand the operation in coming months. And, let’s be honest, you probably have to wait until you can go buy yourself a turntable for this, anyway. Sometime next month, when you’ve come across the perfect $20 piece of “junk” turntable at a thrift store, then you’ll feel justified subscribing to this musical box. But, when you look at this from a broader perspective, this is by no means the first time that music and food have been so artfully blended. The New York Times, in their profile of the Hickeys, points out that indie hero M. Ward happens to be the co-author of a blog dedicated to crème brûlée. Another Times piece talks about the extensive lengths restaurants go to for the perfect background noise: “Silent, strident or Streisand, there’s no consensus on what should play on the dining room hi-fi. Without an easy recipe for success, chefs and restaurateurs turn to consultants, D.J.s, enthusiastic staff members and their own record collections, seeking a mix that works.” Go check out a local dinner theater, head to a traditional jazz club — true foodies tend to be music lovers, and vice versa. Perhaps that’s why this blog

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is so fresh, appealing and successful. They tap into an established niche market, and their solid writing, good recipes and little-known and well-placed song choices make them a great resource — and complement to any meal. On a final note, if you really have some time on your hands, you’ll find extensive album reviews, interviews with artists, and the ever-present top-10 of the year list that every music blog is required by unwritten indie law to feature. (In fact, their top-10 for 2010 is a great one, if only in the sense that they place many of their albums in an order that other music blogs wouldn’t — adding a good perspective, and perhaps allowing you to find some good music you haven’t heard of yet.) Now, enough of this, it’s time for a playlist gathered from a quick perusal of the couple’s site. And, since it would be inappropriate not to include it this month, some recipes to try. Please note that a number of these are from their best of 2011 so far list. Bon appétit and happy listening! Songs for your cooking pleasure: Miniature Tigers — Boomerang Jay-Z & Kanye West — Otis The Fantasies — Earth Life Typhoon — CPR/Claws Pt. 2 Bon Iver & James Blake — Fall Creek Boys Choir Bishop Allen — Bishop Allen & The Broken String TV Girl — Benny and the Jetts (this is not a cover, unfortunately, but it’s still awesome) The Weeknd — High For This tUnE-yArDs — Bizness Washed Out — Amor Fati Motel Beds — Obey Your Lunch Loch Lomond — Elephants & Little Girls The Decemberists — January Hymn Toah & Mirah — Eleven (featuring tUnE-yArDs) Fleet Foxes — Helplessness Blues (yeah, I’ve covered that one here, but they love it, too) Foods for your eating pleasure while you listen: Watermelon gazpacho Shaved asparagus salad with anchovy vinaigrette Corn salad with avocado Pan roasted cod with chanterelles Prosciutto-wrapped halibut over truffled polenta Chapati (Indian flatbread popular in the northwest of the subcontinent) Buckwheat pasta OH Jack Dodson is a senior at Elon College and news director of the school radio station. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 21


A Choral Ensemble of Professional Singers

Saturday, October 1, 8:00 PM Monday, October 3, 7:30 PM Like a fragrance, a song has the power to conjure a cherished memory. Join us for a trip down memory lane with music written to celebrate and commemorate important events in our lives: Birth, Death, Love, Marriage, and Worship.

Saturday, December 10, 8:00 PM Monday, December 12, 7:30 PM Decorating, baking, writing cards . . . Treat yourself to a night off and enjoy a stress-free evening of holiday cheer served up at our festive annual holiday concert. Special Guests: The Greensboro Youth Chorus

Tickets & more information: 336-333-2220 or www.belcantocompany.com

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October/November 2011

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Hitting Home

Me, Too

Small random acts of kindness make us all the same

By Dale niXon

T

his is one of those stories that just has to be told. It’s really not quite long enough for a column, and it won’t take you very long to read. But the content is so meaningful to me that I don’t want to fill this space with anything else. I’ve even given a title to this story. I call it “Me, Too.” This story took place at the post office near my home, but in my heart, I know it could happen in any post office in any town. It was one of those days when you go to the post office and wish you had stayed home. To start off, all the good parking spaces out front were taken. And you knew that when you pulled out to leave, you would be taking your life in your own hands. It seems like everybody tries to leave at the same time. Inside, things weren’t much better. The line was out to the front door. Everyone had filled the ropedoff maze that bears signs reading, “Please enter here,” “Please wait here for next available clerk,” and “Exit here.” You could tell that everyone in the line was busy and in a hurry. They stood first on one foot and then the other. Everyone stared straight ahead, and an occasional cough was the only sound. I was waiting in the line. Impatient. Checking my watch every now and then. Willing the line to move along so I could get on with my day. It was then that I noticed a little old lady in the doorway. She used a cane and slumped sideways each time she took a step. She was oblivious to the waiting line, too. She hobbled straight by us to the counter and reached for her change purse. Quietly, the postal clerk said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t wait on

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

you now. You’ll have to go to the back of the line and wait your turn. She shrugged her shoulders and painstakingly made her way to the end of the line. I heard from behind me, “You can get in front of me.” The next person said, “Me, too.” And on up the line… . “Me, too.” “Me, too.” “Me, too.” Over and over, the same words were repeated. Some even taking her arm to guide her on her way. By this time, I was first in line. The woman stopped beside me, leaned on her cane, looked me straight in the eyes, and I said, “Me, too.” She placed her hand on mine and said, “I only need a couple of stamps, and I have the correct change. I won’t take long.” She made her way over to the postal clerk. I turned and looked down the line of waiting customers. They were all smiling. Me, too. OH Columnist Dale Nixon resides in Concord. You may contact her by email at dalenixon@carolina.rr.com.

October/November 2011

O.Henry 23


Gate City Icons

Photograph by Sam Froelich

The Mayor of Tate Street

Though he politely rejects the title, nobody knows more about the life of College Hill than UNCG’s Jim Clark By Jim Schlosser

A

n ordained minister, Jim Clark was violating a commandment: Thy shalt not read thy old press clippings. “The damn stuff I was saying — like (the need for) an alternative city council — geez,” he says, while studying yellowish, tattered clippings from 30 and 40 years ago. He was in the office of the Greensboro Review, which he edits, and which is next to his cluttered office, from which he directs the master of fine arts program at UNCG. Clark has been up the hill at UNCG for three decades now, an iconic member of the faculty: a poet, writer, teacher, administrator, one who seems to know everyone in Greensboro and beyond who has ever put words to paper. Long ago, he was downhill from UNCG, on Tate Street, the business district below the campus. For about a 10-year period in the late 1960s and well into the 1970s, Tate drew from great distances a counter-culture clan. Jim Clark was mentor and confidante to hundreds of alienated youth who loitered along Tate and in the surrounding neighborhood now known as College Hill. Few attended UNCG. The scene became so chaotic that UNCG discouraged students from visiting the area. The school planted thorny bushes on the hill beside the Brown Music Building to, ouch, discourage young people from sitting on what became known as Hippie Hill. Before the bushes, the knoll provided a splendid view of the entire stretch of Tate. The “freaks,” as they were called, were also constantly being shooed from sitting on a wall in front of the offices of two doctors near the intersection of Tate and Walker Avenue. “On Friday and Saturday there were hundreds of people with nowhere to go, nowhere to sit,” he recalls. Clark remembers that at times he was in the face of one of the doctors, the late Joe Christian. Clark now realizes how much good the physician did for Greensboro. He loved music and art, and almost single-handedly built the Bog Garden behind Friendly Shopping Center and gave it to the city. He also was known to make house calls. “You think these people are your enemies, then you sit down and find you like the same things,” Clark says. “We were so busy being angry, sometimes we didn’t make friends.” Clark arrived on Tate Street in 1969 as an associate minister of Congregational United Church of Christ. Several of the church’s youth members had gone to Tate Street and hadn’t come back. “I went looking for them,” he says, “and didn’t come back.” Draw a caricature of a 1970s hippie and you get Clark. He had a long flowing

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beard and scraggly clothes. He still does, and he still lives in the same house as back then, on Carr Street, just off Tate. But he has mellowed after a long stint as member of the establishment, a classification he must accept as leader of the MFA program. He says he can now see points of view that perhaps he didn’t appreciate long ago, such as doctors not wanting the wall in front of their offices lined with hippies, and merchants not wanting store entrances blocked by loitering youth. Still, he liked what he saw on Tate Street. “All the creativity and passion for social justice and desire to deal with problems of the world — I was just amazed,” he says. A group of ministers and other socially conscious people formed the Greensboro Ministry for Social Change, with Clark the main man and the hippies on Tate Street the main constituency. A newspaper was started, the Greensboro Sun, which reported on Tate Street happenings and opined about the nation’s affairs and the Vietnam War. The Sun’s newsroom was space in an elevated ramshackle building behind the east side of the Tate Street business district. Because it looked like one, the hippies and others named it the Tree House. It became a sanctuary for young people running from the law for drugs, for avoiding the draft and for other violations. Because Clark was the face of Tate Street, he was called the street’s “hippie mayor.” He disputes the title, insisting it belonged to another man who was a street fixture and an activist. “I was called a lot of things on Tate Street — one starting with an ‘m’ — but I was not the mayor,” he says. Nonsense. Anything that happened on Tate and in the College Hill neighborhood, Clark was involved. He helped organize a now legendary baseball game between the hippies and their nemesis, the Greensboro Police Department. The idea was to promote harmony between the two groups. The hippies figured the cops were flabby from riding around in their cars, eyeballing the doings of the nonconformists. The assumption was the cops would be a push over on the diamond. But the cops who showed up at the field in Cone Mills’ Revolution Mill village, Clark recalls, looked as lean and agile as today’s Greensboro Grasshoppers. The hippies didn’t help their own cause. They just had to be hippies. They took to the field in tuxedos and cowboy boots and other outlandish outfits. Their fans in the stands passed around an inflated pig with a cop hat to raise money for charity. The final score was something like 20 to 0. He can’t tell the story of the game without mentioning the headline in the next day’s Greensboro newspaper: “Freaks Flub at Revolution.” “That hurt,” he says, adding that after the drubbing, “Everyone wanted to whip some hippie ass.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Fortunately, the hippies had a few guys who could play hoops. Clark rememenrollment at about 25. The program has been in existence long enough that bers the outcasts defeated a team from the young lawyers association, the Jaycees its alumni are teaching in far-flung colleges and universities. They recommend or some other establishment organization students for the program. Like conventional folks, hippies fell in love and wanted to marry, just not the “They tell them you really must go to Greensboro and study with Michael conventional way. Clark performed one wedding in the middle of the lake at Parker,” Clark says. Parker is a current MFA faculty member and writer who Greensboro Country Park. He stood in a paddle boat, while the bride stood in Clark says “is tearing it up” with his work and is a hot topic in literary discussions. another and the groom in another. Critics are embracing Parker’s novel The Watery Part of the World, in which North If it sounds like clowns at play, Clark says serious work was taking place along Carolina’s Outer Banks come into play. Tate Street. A soup kitchen and a co-op were organized, counseling was provided. Clark insists the program is a great boost for Greensboro because “people The hippies organized the first Tate Street Festival. Decades later the come here and they really love Greensboro. They think it’s a great place to live event continues, attracting thousands to the street fair and making it one of and to write.” Greensboro’s major entertainment events. He’s looking ahead to 2015. That will be the 50th anniversary of the MFA There were some incidents involving the hippies that attracted police, but program. A fund raising campaign is being organized. The goal will be to raise Clark believes the press and others exaggerated the differences. Not once, he says, enough money in four years to provide fellowships and teaching assistantships to did police or FBI ever violate the sanctuary of the Tree House. They never barged every student. That would mean no one would have to pay the $14,000 annual in and dragged people away. Clark believes mutual respect developed. cost to attend the program. Currently, only 50 percent of the students receive Clark, however, didn’t make many friends among Greensboro’s Finest fellowships and assistantships. by harping on the need for a police review board to investigate alleged police The de facto mayor of Tate Street just turned 64. Instead of walking to work, misconduct. Still, his good works along Tate impressed some police officers. One he now drives the short hop to his office in the university, the relatively new nominated him as the Nat Greene Sertoma Club man of the year. humanities building on Spring Garden and Forest Street, passing through Tate Clark and the hippies convinced the local cable Street. These days the street is calmer and more system to give them a government access chanpeaceful. He sees people eating at restaurants with nel. The Cablevision people offered some beat-up, international cuisines. He says the Tate Street Coffee “A lot of people outdated cameras and other equipment. Clark Shop is a throwback of sorts to the old days. People and the hippies somehow got the gear up and gather there to discuss politics and literature. called us socialists running and went on the air. Clark and the late Disputes still erupt. Clark’s wife once had to put Sol Jacobs, a delicatessen owner who staged a long herself in front of asphalt machines to keep the city and communists, and eventually successful campaign to change the from paving Edgar Alley, one of the city’s few unbut we were social city council election from at large elected to one in paved streets. It runs between Tate and Mendenhall which some members were elected from districts, Street. Trees form a canopy and the hidden-away entrepreneurs — let’s had their own show. They sat in front of a cozy lane is one of College Hill’s beloved idiosyncrasies. fireplace. People phoned in their complaints and Residents want it left as is. start a co-op, a soup problems. Clark and Jacobs dispatched camera There have been disputes between people who kitchen, a TV channel, crews to film the issues. own their homes in College Hill and renters, many of whom are young people who like to congregate on a newspaper and a After a while, being married with a family, front porches on worn sofas. Clark seems to sympaClark needed to make more money than he was thize with the sofa sitters. He says College Hill “is a street festival.” earning tackling social issues on Tate Street. He front porch community. People like to sit on front did some work for the American Friends Service porches, drink beer and talk literature.” Committee. He taught part time at a local busiStill, the street and neighborhood won’t ever ness college. Similar part-time teaching gigs followed at UNCG, Guilford be like yesteryear when Tate was known throughout the state as a place for the College and other institutions. disenchanted to find kindred spirits. At UNCG, he also worked with Trudy Atkins in publishing the university’s “There was a 10-year period when it was really magic,” he says, a touch wistalumni magazine. He remembers turning in a 1,200-word story, with Atkins tellfully. “I think more creative energy came out of Tate Street ... we would say, ing him, “This is a good story. Make it 300 words and don’t lose anything.” ‘We have a problem? Let’s do something about it.’ “It made me realize the beauty of taking something and boiling it down,” “A lot of people called us socialists and communists, but we were social entreClark says. preneurs — let’s start a co-op, a soup kitchen, a TV channel, a newspaper and a Atkins, now the editor of Triad Retirement Resource Guide, says Clark “has a street festival.” way with writers. He makes you feel good. He loves writers, and he loves writing.” He points out that many of those so-called misfits are today business people, And, she says, he has never changed from the “plain Jim Clark” that people knew successful artists and writers. He stays in touch. on Tate Street years ago. As for his future, Clark says once 2015 arrives and funding is in place to take In the early 1980s, UNCG, perhaps recognizing Clark’s organizational skills care of all MFA students, “I’m out of here. I have my fishing pole in my office.” and can-do attitude, asked him to take charge of its MFA program. He was told it The office fishing pole sounds like a fish story. The literary-minded Clark was stalled and needed jump-starting. just doesn’t seem the type to wet a line. But he steps in the office overflowHe says he couldn’t fail. He had a wonderful faculty that included esteemed ing with books and papers, clears away a few stacks, and out comes a fishing writers such as Fred Chapell, Robert Watson and Tom Kirby-Smith. pole. It’s right near a book written by one of the faculty members, Craig Nova, “He can be assertive at times and quite accommodating,” Kirby-Smith says. Brook Trout and the Writing Life. “The fact he has been in the position so long says how essential he is.” He’s proud of the role he’s played in the wild days of Tate Street. Some Clark also was soon editing the Greensboro Review, which initially published good was done locally, but upon reflection he wonders if perhaps it failed in a poems and stories by MFA faculty and students. Now it receives manuscripts broader context. The hippies wanted to end racism, repeal laws against the use from faraway places. of marijuana, create a police review board, end all wars. Under his guidance, the MFA program gets about 300 applications annu“We thought everything was possible,” he says, “But it hasn’t played out ally — and accepts only 10 students. The two-year program likes to keep total that way yet.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 25


Letter from the Hills

Well-Designed Women When life falls apart, you need your girls

By Shari Smith

M

iss Maebelle and Miss Glenna Mae are best friends. They come into the Café for lunch most days except Friday, which anybody with good sense knows is their day at the hairdresser’s. If you see one, you see the other. I’ve heard them argue over which one cusses the most, a debate that ended when Maebelle said that she only cussed when she drank and since her stomach went bad, she isn’t allowed to drink; therefore she does not cuss. Miss Glenna Mae said she never did do no damn cussin’. They’ve been neighbors since Johnson was president. Their husbands have passed. They go to the same church, St. Mark’s Lutheran on Main Street, the one on the right, if you’re facing North and confused by two Lutheran churches built right next to one another in a town of less than one thousand people. They travel a good bit, go to the beach or the mountains, where they once got snowed in for a solid week. The Boys at the Back Table laughed and laughed about that. How funny they thought it was that Maebelle and Glenna Mae were stuck up there in the mountains, in some log cabin, with not one thing to do but talk to each other. I knew better. We grow up learning about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and all the stupid things men did that messed up a perfectly good world. We’re taught the proper placement of a comma and not to dangle a participle though I think commas are pretty swell and will use them anywhere I damn well want to. The well meaning school systems of this country will even waste everybody’s time teaching math, a subject I have managed to either avoid or decimate for going on fifty years so feel free to tell me I should have paid more attention in Mrs. Balser’s class. But, not once, in being told how to mix up biscuits with a fork or to abstain from canning tomatoes if “Aunt Sally” was visiting (’cause the lids won’t seal), not once did anyone tell me how much I would need my girlfriends. I should have picked it up from watching old women, but I was young and stupid and more interested in what those good looking boys were thinking. I found out, much of the time, they ain’t. I know a lot of good men, fine men, men who would take a bullet for me. Some of them are educated and well read, and some of them are neither and one of them can’t write more than his own name, but they are good and honest, and I love them, I love them true. But, I know that when life falls apart, you need your girls. When my sweet Labrador puppy died from an ugly disease left in my yard by a pack of strays, my next door neighbor, the former mayor of this fine hill town, was all but loading the gun for an evening of stray dog killin’ despite breaking several town ordinances and state laws. His wife, she came over and sat in my kitchen, and we talked. And laughed. And cried. When my house was on fire and sending black smoke into the sky, Robin McGraw got in her car, drove into town, and threatened the man parts of

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the boys at the barricades. She said she was coming through and they said yes ma’am. She was crying before she hugged me, but she soon wiped her eyes and got on her cell phone and barked orders at people for the next two weeks. My son had an emergency wardrobe before they had put out the flames. When volunteers, through charred ceiling beams and soaked insulation, found their way to his closet, they had women all over Catawba County washing his clothes the way they said to do it: spray with Febreze, hang outside, wash twice with Gain detergent, and dry with two dryer sheets. If they still smell, throw them out. Robin worked until she saved two quilts my grandmother sewed from patches of my aunts’ dresses and my dad and granddaddy’s work shirts. How are you supposed to thank somebody for that? Alisa Carpenter stood up front with me the morning after, when I went to the church. It’s the most efficient way of communicating with people of Claremont. I was wearing a coat someone had wrapped around me the night before and hadn’t brushed my hair or washed my face. I spoke, but I remember little of it. I explained that it started with a wood cook stove and that we wouldn’t know what we needed for several days, but I sure did appreciate how much everybody wanted to do. Most of that week is a blur. They say I had a conversation with Jeff Murray when he offered to send over his crew to help carry and with D.B. Setzer about bringing over a tractor trailer to use for storage, but I have no memory of it. I do remember Alisa, standing behind me in the church, her hands clasped in front of her and tears falling, soft sobs in the background while I talked. It was the last time I saw her cry. She carried out and washed and scrubbed every dish and pot and pan and this and that we could find, and she found more than anyone else would have. She organized an army of strong boys in their twenties to carry what she couldn’t and made decisions she knew I was, at the time, incapable of making. When she found me one morning, sitting in my truck, sobbing uncontrollably, she opened my door and looked at me. I was so thankful she was there, believed she would wrap her arms around me and understand how awful it was, cry with me in the aftermath of the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Instead, Alisa smiled from ear to ear and said, “Now, what am I gonna do with you? Come on, and hear Katie practice. She’s singin’ a solo at church on Sunday morning. You should come, but you won’t.” I stopped crying and went to choir practice. Edie Connor fixed baked spaghetti and put makeup in a little basket by the sink on my first night in the borrowed apartment. She said to call her if I needed her but she was leaving because my boy and I needed some time to ourselves to talk and work all this out of our systems. She did the dishes, too. Years before, when I saw no way out of a relationship that all but killed me, Margaret Garrison looked me in the eye and told me, “It’s time, sweet girl. It is time. You have to go and you have to go, now.” And she was right. She always The Art & Soul of Greensboro


was. Take Julia Sugarbaker, throw in an occasional swearing and big, gaudy, tacky costume jewelry and you have The Great Margaret Garrison. Once, we were talking about grown children when Margaret said, “They do not need to think for themselves until I am dead.” If you knew her, you would agree. I had good girlfriends before I came to this fine old hill town though I am ashamed of the bad job I did in fully appreciating them. Marla Jones could drive the getaway car full of girls hoping to avoid prosecution and graduate in 1979 faster than any boy in the county, and she did it with eyelashes Hollywood would die for. The girl knew mascara and how to make full use of a gas pedal. I can still hear her sweet voice as she threw Levis at my head on those Saturday mornings right soon after McDonald’s had come out with a new item on the menu. “Shit! Get up and get in the car or we’re gonna be too late for Egg McMuffins!” Driving fast while applying eye makeup was but one of her many gifts. Sometimes Paula Schroeder was in the car with the rest of the criminal element, but more often she was an Accessory After the Fact. Paula was born maternal, destined to be a caretaker. She babied a football player who did not deserve her and doted on Andy Smith, her childhood best friend. She baked cookies and soothed broken hearts, and she married the cutest boy, Rich Hawkins, a year behind us in school. My own Abbie would soon be a year old the day I got the phone call that Paula’s baby boy had been born and was in trouble. I dropped Abbie off with a sitter and flat flew to the hospital. Baby Quinton was gone before I got there. Paula’s mother and sister, Beth, were in her room, guarding her like German Shepherds. The men were standing in the hallway. Paula told me Quinton had dark hair and looked like Rich. That next summer when we sat on bleachers and watched grown men play softball like it was the World Series and winning meant rings and ticker-tape parades, Paula said, “You know, you are the only one who talks about him, about Quinton. Everyone is afraid to mention it. They act like he wasn’t here but he was. He was to me.” Me, too. Paula has four of the prettiest children, even if three of them are boys, and three pretty grandbabies even if all of them are boys. They pile on top of each other for pictures she posts on Facebook and look like a wacky bunch only found in ’50s television families. Paula is always smiling. Paula Schroeder Hawkins is the mother of five babies, not four, and we remember that. We remember him, her girlfriends, her partners in crime. There are a hundred ways to measure friendship, yardsticks to use when choosing the label “Best Friend.” I often say that if I ever need to bury a body, I will call Alisa Carpenter. That body would be six feet in the clay and she would be back to cookin’ ham and beans before they realized anybody’d gone missing. But, truth is, I have always had an army of gravediggers, women who will sacrifice their time and bail money to come running if I needed them. One of them is a corporate giant in St. Louis who calls me on long drives. One is living with a rock star in L.A., taking pretty pictures and partying with famous people and still checks my blog every day. One of them is only three hours away, telling me daily that I’m good at this writing thing when I am pretty sure the jury is still out. One of them, Lady Blue, out there on the coast, I’ve never met but she is there; don’t think for a minute, she ain’t. Another, who writes dark and stormy books, even lives in Alabama. Who would think a Carolina girl could find anything divine among Tigers and Crimson? Roll Tide, my ass ... but, there she is, writing like a fallen angel with her cigarette and “little whiskey drink.” They are my girls, scattered like Steel Magnolia petals, gathered like hoop skirts and pinafores. When your house burns or your dog dies or your boyfriend is Satan or Keith Whitley drinks himself to death (lord, that was a bad day), the men go to pacing, trying to figure out what to do, what to say. But, women just know. I do believe we are designed that way. OH Shari Smith lives on a small farm in Claremont, NC, a town of “almost one thousand people.” She is at work on a book called I Am a Town. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 27


Piedmont to Provence

Bourbon and Branch Ribs

S

o, what is a girl to do when sixteen French neighbors coming for dinner desire to eat “American”? After a bit of head scratching, I settled on ribs. I would pull in some of my Kentucky roots with my Bourbon and Branch BBQ Sauce. However, finding ribs in the South of France is not an easy task. Hadn’t really seen them in the grocery store, so I knew it meant a visit to the boucherie (butcher shop). Walking up to the counter, and in my best French (it’s just OK), I requested five slabs of ribs. Well, Daniel, the butcher, stepped back, and shook his head. I’m thinking he failed to understand my French and I am going to have to figure out another way to make my request. But no, that isn’t the problem. The problem was that my order would require him to buy three pigs and he would have too much other pork to sell. OK, easy solution. I will take four slabs. Uh-oh ... another problem. He says he will now have an extra head!! I don’t know where to turn at this point as I have no idea what do to with a pig’s head. Where are the Costcos and Sam’s Clubs with their stacks of vacuum-packed pork ribs when I need them? I am looking bewildered AND desperate. So then it is Xavier, my French chef partner, to the rescue. He graciously offers to take the head. Does this mean there will be a meal in my future that I won’t be too excited about? No, that noble pig’s head is destined to become a Fromage de Tete de Porc, an absolutely delicious terrine, very French, but something I never try myself! Thank you, Xavier. On with the “American” meal. So enough of the trials and tribulations of cooking “American” in France. The following recipe, my take on eating “American,” was a hit with my French friends. Cooking ribs is a technique, and this recipe is just a jumping-off point for you. Once you understand that you begin with a dry rub and cook them in

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the oven before ever adding sauce and heading to grill, you will appreciate how many flavor combos there can be.

Bourbon and Branch BBQ 3

slabs pork ribs, trimmed

5 Pepper Rub: 2 Tbs. smoked paprika 1 Tbs. paprika 2 Tbs. chili pepper powder 1 Tbs. black pepper, coarsely ground ½1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper 1 Tbs. ground cumin 1 Tbs. ground oregano 1 Tbs. brown sugar 1 1/2 Tbs. salt Combine first 5 ingredients (the peppers). Stir well. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to mix. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Evenly distribute spices, reserving 2 teaspoons for the sauce, on all sides of the slabs. To prepare the pan, tear off enough heavy duty aluminum foil to encase the roasting pan. Yes, to wrap up and around the pan. If pan is wide and two pieces of foil are necessary, make sure you fold the edges together to create one solid piece. Place pan on top of foil. Place roasting rack in the pan. Top with rib slabs. Some overlapping of the edges is OK. Add as much water as possible to the pan without touching the rack. Fold/roll down edges to seal. A good seal is very important. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 2 ½-3 hours. Carefully remove The Art & Soul of Greensboro

PhotograPh by Sam Froelich

By mary JameS laWrence


from the oven. Uncover (watch out for the steam). Ribs should be completely cooked at this point. Allow to cool, then transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Bourbon and Branch Sauce ½1/2 cup bourbon 1 cup Branch water ( if you don’t have “Branch” water, tap will do) ½1/4 cup brown sugar 2 Tbs. molasses 2 Tbs. cider vinegar 1 1/2 ½ Tbs. espresso powder 2 Tsp. worcestershire sauce 2 Tsp. 5 pepper rub 1 bottle (12 oz) Heinz Chili Sauce In a 1 1/2 ½ - 2 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients except chili sauce. Reduce by half. Add chili sauce. Stir to combine and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Cool and store until ready to finish the ribs. Finish: Cut chilled ribs into portion sizes. Brush with sauce. Grill briefly 5-10 minutes each side just to mark. Serve. Grilling is my preferred finish but you can also finish in the oven as is necessary in Provence in the summer, when any outdoor grilling is banned. You don’t want the fire helicopters to show up; they will douse your fire from above and soggy ribs covered in ash are not good. Yep … I have seen it happen! Do ahead suggestions: These ribs freeze beautifully before or after they are sauced and grilled. Place portions on sheet pan. Freeze. Place in sealable plastic bag. To use, thaw on sheet pan. Reheat in preheated 350 oven for 15-20 minutes. If they have already been sauced and grilled, gild the lily by adding extra sauce before reheating. Mary James Lawrence divides her time between Greensboro and the South of France. She is the author of “Mary James Dishes It Out”. You can contact her via her website www.maryjames.net.

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AN AMERICAN EATERY DOWNTOWN The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 29


The Hophead

The Wall of Beer

By David C. Bailey

T

he Hophead has done the math. To sample every single brew on the Wall of Beer, you’d need to drink three beers a day, every day, for a year, which might not seem particularly daunting to those of us who have been in training for years. But what if, for instance, you started with a 9 percent Blushing Monk Belgian Style Ale as your appetizer, followed it with a 9 percent bottle of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA for your entrée and then for dessert had an 11 percent Blithering Idiot Barley-Wine, whose label would only too accurately reflect your state of mind as you drained the last drop. Bestway regularly stocks 850 different kinds of beer and ale on “The Corner” at 2113 Walker Avenue. Running the entire length of the store, a 78-foot-long cooler keeps every bottle ice-cold. With seasonal brews coming and going, Roger Kimbrough, who founded and owns the Wall of Beer with his wife, Nancy, figures that over a year’s time, the store easily carries more than a thousand different beers. And yes: “If you drank three a day, you could possibly do it, but you’d either become an alcoholic or diabetic,” he says with the soft chuckle that often punctuates his speech. What sort of man, The Hophead wonders, seeks out the rarest and most delectable of the 100,000-plus beers and ales on the planet and then assembles a savvy crew of experts to help his customers fathom, say, the weird world of cherry- and raspberry-inflected Belgian lambics or understand the difference between a subtle West Coast IPA vs. an East Coast hop bomb? Casually dressed in jeans, looking so unlike the department-store manager he used to be, unpierced and untattooed in contrast to his hipper-than-thou Greensborohemian checkout clerks, Kimbrough, 54, looks owlishly bookish, which he is: “I just bought a nice set of Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations,’” says the former antiquarian book dealer, “though not a first edition.” And, yes, there’s a correlation between the man who once sold a first edition of Galileo’s 1638 Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche and now buys cases of Coney Island Albino Python White Lager. It’s all about research, he says: “I had whole notebooks about my assortment before I bought a single bottle of beer.” Admittedly, having 30 distributors ply you with the likes of the newest maple-bacon porter has its moments, but buying, stocking and rotating for

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freshness 500 cases of beer a week sounds a lot like work to The Hophead, not to mention refurbishing a grocery store that’s been in continuous operation since it began life as an A&P in 1947. “What needed fixing? In a word, everything,” Kimbrough says. “We had to put in new flooring, all new coolers, freezers, all new shelving, all new electrical, new gas lines. Am I missing anything?” Yes, doors. They weren’t big enough, so the Kimbroughs had to cut through a brick wall to add a larger back door and remove the plate glass windows in the front to get the new $30,000 point-of-sale cash registers into the store. Kimbrough says the couple is prepared to spend up to $250,000 on making Bestway live up to its name. The Wall of Beer was one of the first improvements they made, “which was a very smart move on our part,” he says. “It brought a lot of new people in.” Kimbrough clearly remembers the first time he saw a customer photograph the beer aisle and the day he heard someone say, “Meet me at the Wall of Beer.” Craft beer drinkers — mostly educated, upper-middle-class white males 25-54 — are an attractive demographic. “It’s not unusual to have a $400 or larger sale to a customer,” Kimbrough says. A big boost to business is beer geeks who, via FedEx, trade, say, a Winston-Salem Foothills Seeing Double IPA for a California Pliny the Elder Russian River IPA. (IPAs are Bestway’s best-sellers.) And Bestway’s location is prime — about a mile from the Friendly Taj McTeeter and not far from where a Whole Foods is going into the old Sears building. Oddly, Kimbrough wasn’t a beer drinker while going to high school in Detroit or getting a business degree at Ann Arbor. “I was a bit slow out of the gate,” he says. Then again, the beer of choice was Stroh’s. Things changed in Atlanta when he ordered his first bottle of Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. “I thought I’d lost my mind spending five dollars for a bottle of beer back in ’84. It’s now one of my favorites. I realized I never wanted to drink beer again just to drink beer.” As he and his wife worked for Macy’s, May Stores and then Federated department stores, Kimbrough drank his way around the world out of bottles imported from Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Norway, New Zealand and Russia. The craft beer craze was just beginning to crest in the 1990s when the couple moved to wine country, where the movie “Sideways” was made. Though Kimbrough left managing department stores for selling rare books, his wife stayed on, coming to Greensboro to be closer to her family and to manage a Hecht’s. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph by Sam Froelich

In Heaven there is no beer, which is why there are 850 varieties on Walker Avenue


Using their department-store background, they’ve made it fun to shop at Bestway, a grocery store organized unlike any other. The aromas of bread and coffee greet you as you enter the store, with other high-margin items such as ice cream, champagne and boutique barbecue sauce in your face, just as high-priced jewelry and perfume are upfront in department stores. Sales, which improved 45 percent in the first year (2009), have kept on climbing, Kimbrough says, despite the recession. Or maybe because of it: Sure, there’s a $600 9-liter-super-magnum-sized bottle of Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw and an $80 3-liter bottle of Double Bastard Ale (which comes with a roommate-proof lock and key on the cap), but sixpacks of the finest craft bottles are in the $8-12 range — and for The Hophead’s money, a lot more complex and interesting than a bottle of wine costing double that. “Craft beer is an affordable luxury,” Kimbrough says. “For a fraction of the price of wine, you can drink like a king.” Or, for some of us, like a Blithering Idiot.

Tasting sidebar:

Here are three extreme beers with three radically different profiles. If you don’t see something that you like here, just ask for assistance and explain what kind of beer is your favorite, even if it’s PBR. Like The Hophead, whose lawnmower beer is Genesee Cream Ale, Roger Kimbrough is not a beer snob — and doesn’t hire any. Sorachi Ace, Brooklyn Brewery’s version of the rustic farmhouse ale that Belgians brew at home, is bright, fruity and funky. With a bitter backbone of New Zealand Sorachi yeast, this 100% bottlefermented brew has notes of lemongrass against a symphony of malt. “Sunshine in a Glass.” 7.6%, $9.99 for 1 pint, 9.4 ounces. Shmaltz Brewing Company’s He’brew (Get it?) line of beers might seem like something you’d buy as a gag gift, but its R.I.P.A. or Rye India Pale Ale is one of the most complex and interesting IPAs on the East Coast (Sarasota Springs, N.Y.). Ryewhiskey barrels give it a velvety taste that’s wonderfully dominant — and balanced by an avalanche of hops. 10%, $10.99 for 1 pint, 6 ounces. Brewed by North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, California, rich, creamy Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is, at the same time, sweet, bitter and dizzingly complex. In fact, it’s so intense, it’s sort of like eating meat. 9%, $8.99 a four-pack, 12 ounces each. OH

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O.Henry 31


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Spirits

Sweetness and Memory

For my taste, nothing says it better than a wellmade Manhattan By Frank Daniels, III

A

mong my favorite memories are the evenings I got to spend in my grandfather’s library, where I was invited to stop by after work and have an evening cocktail and listen to him chat with my father about work. I came to realize after he passed away how those conversations forged a solid foundation of knowledge of our family and our business. Those evenings always started with the two of them fixing a cocktail. I remember the cocktails generally starting with a base of good Kentucky whiskey. As my granddad aged, his doctor badgered him into having just one cocktail. I recall that he, by and large, followed Dr. Proctor’s advice … he did limit himself to one cocktail, but the glass he used kept getting bigger and bigger. After he passed away, and my work demands expanded, my post-workday traditions were not so genteel, and I forgot about my grandfather’s traditions and conversations. An egregious sin. Several summers ago we began a tradition of trying new cocktails during our annual vacation retreat to Figure Eight island. We enjoyed our evening libation ritual and brought it home to Nashville, Tennessee. We now enjoy discovering new spirits, mixers and cocktails, and enjoy a quiet drink in the garden, or library, or with friends before dinner. What makes cocktails fun for us is that we get to determine the taste, the texture and match it to the time of year, who’s on the guest list, and the mood we want to set. I love straight whiskey, wine and beer, but with these fine drinks the distiller, the vineyard or the brewer makes the choices that determine taste and texture, so that as host you are showcasing their art, not yours. Making cocktails is all about reveling in the details. The end result, the cocktail, comes from the process of making the cocktail a fun expression of the ingredients, and learning what pleases your palate. You can get caught up in making the “perfect” cocktail, but the perfect cocktail is the one that you create to your taste. Experiment with recipes until you get “your” cocktail right, then make it part of your repertoire, so that it tastes “perfect” every time you make it. Many cocktails were invented to disguise the taste of sub-par liquor, primarily during wartime and during the American Prohibition. Thank goodness distillers have moved well beyond those days, and now frequently emulate winemakers and brewers in their quest for the best expression of their art. Cocktails come in great variety with every conceivable ingredient and spirit, but I have found that the classic cocktails became classic because they hold up, year after year. Classic cocktails should have a good back story, and the Manhattan lives up to its billing. Lore has it that the Manhattan was created in 1874 for Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, at the Manhattan Club in New York City, where she was attending a dinner for New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden. Like many 19th century American cocktails, the original used rye whisThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

key. Many now prefer the sweeter note of Kentucky Straight Bourbon, often using small batch bourbons to give the drink greater complexity. And as the cocktail culture continues its revival, we are treated to an increasing array of superb new spirits, aperitifs, mixers and other cocktail ingredients. The Manhattan cocktail is one of the great beneficiaries of this bounty. The new boutique whiskeys sparkle in a Manhattan, and, if you can find them, the availability of Italian (sweet) vermouths is expanding rapidly. If you can find it, make a Manhattan with Carpano Antica. Oh, yeah. As we head into fall, the Manhattan cocktail stands as a perfect way to begin an evening, or to end a long working day. The proper Manhattan has a wonderful translucence that evokes thoughts of foliage and football, of cooling evenings and quiet conversation; of my grandfather — a lovely blend of sweetness and memory. To achieve this translucence never shake a Manhattan; combine the ingredients in a mixing glass or pitcher with ice and stir gently until the glass is cold to the touch. Stir too vigorously and the vermouth will become cloudy. Do enjoy.

Manhattan

I prefer a taut Manhattan where the sweetness comes from the excellent small batch bourbons that we are getting from Kentucky. Since this is a cocktail, you should experiment until you find your taste. 2 1/2 ½oz. Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Woodford Reserve) ¾3/4 oz. Sweet (Italian) vermouth (Carpano Antica or Dolin Sweet) dash Angostura bitters Maraschino cherry Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir gently until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with cherry. OH Frank Daniels is an editor and writer living in Nashville, Tennessee. fdanielsiii@mac.com October/November 2011

O.Henry 33


The Serial Eater

Here’s Your Oyster

Folks reportedly eat more of these slippery bivalves during hard times. Maybe that’s why our oyster bars are booming

By DaviD c. Bailey

T

he oyster, I would argue, is one of the most visceral things you can put in your mouth. What other food goes down your gullet with its heart still a-flutter? “Oysters are alive,” a shucker at Rodyney’s Oyster House in Toronto once observed. “It’s not like they’re pets or anything, but you do have a relationship with them, whether you realize it or not.” My relationship with oysters is long-standing, going back to the stew my mother would make every fall from oysters that had gently curled up from being sautéed in butter. Or the savory oyster-and-onion dressing she made to stuff the wild ducks my father brought back from Currituck Sound. And then there was that first slippery-raw bivalve I ate a few years later in the dim confines of the oyster bar at Green’s Supper Club. I shut my eyes, teethed it ever so tentatively and then swallowed it down on faith in my father, who always shared with me the foods that he loved. As for relationships, I think it’s the oyster bars rather than the oysters with which we form lasting relationships. Greensboro will soon have four. If you’re willing to drive two dozen miles, you can visit several more. Like many other areas of human endeavor that involve relationships, finding an oyster bar that’s just right for you can be a challenge. And so it was that the Serial Eater spent much of his summer and fall in selfless sacrifice. Risking exposure to the dread Vibrio vulnificus, I’ve been chasing oysters from Apalachicola, the James River, the Rapahannock and elsewhere with ice-cold beer and the occasional glass of white wine, as per Hemingway’s instructions, and all within the Triad. In the process, I’ve become something of an expert on both the oysters and ambience of our oyster bars. Echoing the words of the Walrus and the Carpenter, come and walk with me — on an oyster-bar crawl. After all, at this time of year when the leaves are turning and the rivers and bays cool down, the oysters are fattening themselves up for the long winter — or a quick bath in cocktail sauce. First stop is one of those rare restaurants that continue to get better with age — Green’s Supper Club (4735 N. U.S. 29, Greensboro; 6211-3444 or www.greenssupperclub.com). Green’s gets its oysters from Kellum Seafood out of Weems, Virginia, the same outfit that supplied Green’s founder, George Greene. They’re expertly shucked for you at a long u-shaped granite oyster bar that stretches the length of the restaurant. Shuckers, some of whom have been there for decades, keep the patter going while effortlessly popping open bivalves that may come from the Gulf or the Chesapeake depending on availability. With a backdrop of hand-painted beach scenes

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and neon beer signs, Green’s is just raffish and loud enough to make it real. Add ice-cold beer served in frosted mugs, incomparable housemade onion rings and the sassiest cocktail sauce in North Carolina, and who needs the beach? But Green’s is so much more than the Triad’s most authentic and venerable oyster bar. Opened after World War II, for decades Green’s was THE place to dance cheek-to-cheek to Big Band music. With a genuine scroll bandstand, the supper club was where couples, enveloped in blue cigarette smoke, danced the light fantastic, sipped elegant cocktails and ate intimate dinners at tiny little tables. “I’ve found in some papers where Greene had to pay $10,000 to bring bands in here back in the good old days — Tommy Dorsey and all those other cats,” says Tommy Baynes. Baynes, with his wife, Kathy, quite literally rescued the restaurant after Greene died in 2001, completely rebuilding the place from the ground up, lovingly preserving the campy atmosphere, the nightclub and, best of all, the oyster bar. “An oyster bar is where people of all ages and walks of life sit down together and get to know each other,” says Kathy Baynes. “That’s entertainment in itself.” Especially on Thursday night, which you just might want to know is biker night, a form of entertainment in itself indeed. In a decade when news about seafood has seemed pretty grim, things are beginning to look up for the Chesapeake Bay, which oyster-lover H.L. Mencken once described as the greatest protein factory on the planet. In fact, Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants, which has operated in Greensboro and elsewhere since 1953, now serves raw and steamed Chesapeake Bay “super oysters,” depending upon their availability, in its newly opened oyster bar in Greensboro. The oysters come from Cowart Seafood Corp. in Lottsburg, Va. Owner Lake Cowart says they have to keep them in cages to prevent voracious cow-nosed rays from gobbling them up. “We’ve seen them sucking up and eating oysters 3 ½inches long,” he says. Genetically altered, “super oysters” are triploids, with three sets of chromosomes instead of two (whatever that means). For oysters, who don’t sing in cathedrals, the sole result of being sterile is that they get fat fast, which is good for you and me, even if it’s not that big a plus for the oysters themselves. Gladys, my wife’s grandmother, would welcome the advent of triploids. She quit eating oysters raw when she discovered they could alter their gender, terrified at The Art & Soul of Greensboro


the thought that one might have a sex change on the way to her stomach. Luke and Elizabeth Conrad opened the first Libby Hill on the outskirts of Greensboro, converting a roadhouse that the sheriff had padlocked because of “bawdy activity” into a family-friendly restaurant. Fifty-eight years later, their grandson Justin Conrad opened the chain’s first oyster bar in its flagship restaurant off Battleground (3920 Cotswold Avenue; 336-288-6782 or www.libbyhill.com) and decided the time had come to serve beer for the first time in the chain’s history. “I got one call,” says Conrad, who turned to beer and raw oysters because “we had to do something to attract a different demographic, a new age range” — 25-55-year-olds instead of the 55-85year-old crowd that the chain has thrived on for years. “It’s been great,” he says. “We’ve exceeded our expectations.” Maybe that’s because of the prices and value, which are, after all, Libby Hill’s hallmark. Oyster prices are seasonal and may go up, but on a recent night my oyster-loving roommate and I stuffed ourselves with a $13 half-peck of steamed oysters (about 17), a shared fish platter ordered from the regular menu, two salads, a Fat Tire beer and iced tea, all for less than $30. Cowart’s Chesapeake oysters were plump, salty and, to my taste, sweeter than, say, Apalachicola or other Gulf oysters, but by no means as large. The décor is clean if a bit generic — the inevitable leaping blue swordfish and crab floats arrayed on aquamarine walls. However, the antique maple oyster bar is stunning, and our shucker was deft and personable. If Conrad set out to create a family oyster bar that just so happens to serve beer, he couldn’t have done better. “Raw” is a good adjective to describe Bimini’s Oyster Bar (106-B Guilford College Road; 336-285-9787 or www.biminisoysterbar.com). And that’s by design: “I had a lady call me one day,” says partner Saul Shavitz, “and she said, ‘My husband’s looking for an oyster bar — and don’t take this the wrong way — but is this a dirty, little old seedy oyster bar where he can come and drink draft beer and eat oysters?’ And I said, ‘Ma’am, some people might not take that as a compliment but I do. Send your husband down The Art & Soul of Greensboro

here because I think we’re just the place for him.’” “No Bad Days,” Mon, is the spirit at Bimini, where the Caribbean islands meet Myrtle Beach — whether in the original Myrtle Beach location, in High Point, which opened in 2007, or in Greensboro, which opened just this summer. Shavitz, who was raised in High Point, worked as a teenager in Bob Shaw’s Friendly Road Inn and remembers visiting Green’s as well as Greensboro’s shrine to seafood and New Orleans music, Salt Marsh Willie’s. Never mind what they say about people drinking their troubles away during a recession, Shavitz says. “For us, people eat more oysters in hard times. We’re seeing good food increases in Myrtle Beach,” he says. “We had the best year we’ve ever had in 2011,” says Randy Russell of Full Moon Oyster Bar in Clemmons (1473 River Ridge Dr., Clemmons; 336-712-8200 or www.fullmoonoysterbar.com), where you can find a line out the door almost any night of the week. “We go through 5,000-6,000 pounds of oysters a week,” he says, even in the summer — proof positive that North Carolinians have jettisoned the old, tired saw about eating oysters only in “r” months. At the time of this writing, Russell planned to open a Full Moon in Greensboro near the intersection of Wendover and Guilford College Road. Full Moon is by far the Triad’s most cosmopolitan oyster bar, what my daddy would have called “a classy joint.” With an ambitious and refined menu that includes lobster bisque, Full Moon even has a short wine list with a nutty Sonoma Valley La Crema Chardonnay that pairs nicely with the bivalves. Most of Full Moon’s oysters come from Leavins Seafood of Apalachicola, Florida, which gets its oysters from all along the Gulf Coast. From time to time, Full Moon serves oysters from the Chesapeake, Canada and Stump Sound, North Carolina — even Washington state (“You can taste the Pacific ocean in them an hour after you’ve eaten them,” Russell says.) Heading into late fall, Russell says oysters “will keep getting better — brinier, firmer and fatter.” Nothing, he says, compares to an oyster. “When you want oysters, and you get in the mood, you’re going to find an oyster bar,” he says. “It’s the aura of the oyster.” OH Contributing Editor David Bailey sure loves his job. Luckily, he’s skinny. October/November 2011

O.Henry 35


The Sporting Life

Wild Ducks on the Haw By Tom Bryant

T

he Haw River begins as a couple of small natural springs in Forsyth County and flows through Guilford, Alamance and Chatham Counties to the Jordan Dam. On the downriver side of the dam, the Haw joins the Deep River to form the mighty Cape Fear that flows to Wilmington and the Atlantic Ocean. At one time or another, I’ve paddled most sections of that long stretch of water. On one trip when the river was at flood stage, I swam through a lot of it chasing a canoe. But that’s another story. This is a tale about duck hunting on a small part of the Haw from Swepsonville to Saxpahaw in Alamance County. In the early 50s on through the mid-’70s, the Haw would often run blue with foam as high as two feet in some areas of the river. The foam came from textile mills along the banks that used the flow of the water as a dumping ground for their wastes. When the Clean Water Act regulated wastewater disposal, the river cleaned itself up a little. Actually, not just a little, a whole lot. The Haw hasn’t reverted to its pristine quality of the early days and probably never will. The population of the river basin is too dense. But in the ’70s and ’80s when I spent a lot of time on its waters, the clean-up was most welcome. My good friend John Vernon and I cut our duck hunting teeth early on an eight-mile rocky section of river between Swepsonville and Saxapahaw. John was a big quail hunter, having hunted his grandfather’s farm in Person County as a youngster just as I was a small game hunter, also having hunted on my grandfather’s farm in South Carolina. So we had the love of the outdoors in common. John and his lovely bride, Vicki, had moved back to North Carolina after he had completed graduate work at New York University. He then began working with his father at their Burlington law firm. I had just started a small weekly newspaper, and needless to say, John and I were up to our eyeballs in our respective careers. We weren’t so busy, though, that we couldn’t spend a few Saturdays quail hunting. On one late fall hunting trip up to John’s home place, he brought up the idea that we should try our hand at duck hunting. “Tom, I’ve got a client who has a farm on the Haw River. Last week we were talking about bird hunting, and he said that he didn’t have quail on his farm anymore; but when he was down close to the river the other morning, he jumped about a couple hundred mallards. They were evidently feeding

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on acorns that floated down the little creek that runs through his farm. He said we could come down there and hunt anytime.” Thus it began, our obsession with one of nature’s finest creations, the wild duck. The following Wednesday afternoon, I picked up John at his office, and we drove down to the old gentleman’s farm to get the lay of the land. We needed to find a place to launch the canoe for retrieving ducks if our hunt was successful. The sun was close to setting, so we didn’t have a lot of time to reconnoiter before we ran out of daylight. I parked where the dirt road dead-ended, and we walked down through the woods. The terrain slanted downward at a pretty extreme angle the closer we got to the river. “I don’t know, Tom. This could be rough, hauling a canoe in the predawn dark with all the gear. We’d even have to cross this fence before we get to the water.” We climbed over a broken-down hog wire fence and came to the river that was flowing at a lazy pace. “You’re right, John. We’ll have to make a couple of trips, one for the canoe and one for the gear. So we need to get here early, especially since we don’t know where we’re going on the river. Hey, look! There they are!” We happened to be standing back in the tree line and the five mallards landing in the river couldn’t see us. Across about twenty yards of water was a small spit of an island covered in thick brush and stunted trees. We could see the downstream point of the island, and the ducks that had just landed swam around it and on down the river. “Can you believe it, Tom?” John whispered. “We have just stumbled onto our future duck hole. This is where we need to be Saturday morning. By the way, are we gonna eat breakfast before we hunt or after?” Breakfast always plays a big part in a successful day afield, and the ones we enjoyed in those days were something to behold: bacon or country ham or both, eggs cooked any way, redeye gravy, grits with loads of butter, biscuits soft like grandma used to make, and strong, stand-up-a-spoon black coffee. I believe that the reason breakfast is still my favorite meal comes from those early duck hunting days. Now, though, it has been whittled down to healthier cereal and blueberries. Four-thirty the next Saturday morning did find us conducting what we later called a Saxapahaw Chinese fire drill. The canoe bounced off trees and scraped across brush as we dragged it to the river. In the blackness of predawn, we struggled to keep our balance and sense of direction. “Well, where is the cotton-picking river?” I asked after spending what seemed an inordinate amount of time trudging and hauling. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration By Linda Bryant

A good friend and a great country breakfast made it a special time on the river


“We’re going the right way unless the river started running uphill,” John replied. “Here’s the fence, so it shouldn’t be too much farther. There it is.” The river ran cold and dark not twenty yards from where we stood. “Man, I don’t want to do this every morning. We’ve got to find another place to put in,” I said. “A fellow could break a leg on this trek.” “Let’s check the river later before we take out,” John replied. “There’s got to be a better way.” And there was. After an unsuccessful morning hunt where we saw a lot of ducks heading downriver and flying too high for shooting, we picked up the measly half dozen decoys that we had haphazardly thrown off the point of the little island, and paddled upriver to search for a better launching point. “That must be the creek that flows through the farm,” John said as we rounded a bend. A small cut in the bank with clear water gushing into the muddy river looked like the place that John’s friendly farmer had told him about. We paddled up the little creek about fifty yards and pulled the canoe into a slough. An overgrown path ran up the hill to a pasture with Black Angus cows grazing near a small house. “If we can drive across that pasture,” John said, “we’ve got it made.” “Yep,” I replied, “Let’s head back, load up, and go talk to your friend to see if he’ll let us cross his pastures. Maybe you can cut him some slack on your hourly fee.” As it turned out, the old gentleman did give us access to his farm, and we successfully hunted the Haw for several more years until circumstances took us to more diverse hunting locales such as our own duck impoundments overlooking the Pamlico Sound. Our hunting style has changed over the years. We’re a little longer in the tooth, and our hair has thinned and grayed around the edges, but we still have the same enthusiasm that continues to roust us out of a warm bed at four o’clock on a frosty January morning. It helps just as it did on the Haw in those early years to know that a duck hunter’s breakfast goes with the hunt. Now when we make hunting plans the evening before, we always go over particulars such as where to put the decoys and how many we’ll use, which blind to hunt, what the weather will be like, how warmly to dress, and how many shells to take. Important stuff like that. But I can still hear John asking about the most essential part of a successful duck hunt. “Are we gonna eat breakfast before or after?” OH Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry Coming Of Age

Fall 2011

On the morning of my twenty-first birthday my sister left for California. Suitcases, boxes, tied to the roof, she waved goodbye and vanished. My sister left for California taking with her the only home I’d known. She waved goodbye and vanished. In the back seat the children read comics. She took away the only home I’d known. In my city, snow graying on the dirty streets. In the back seat the children read comics, in their old apartment dust and the flicker of grease. In my city, snow graying on the dirty streets nowhere to go now, nothing to be done in their old apartment dust and the flicker of grease. Where do you live, my friends at college ask? Nowhere to sleep now, nothing to be done except take the train back to school. Where do you live, my friends at college ask? In the regions of the mind, in my shuttered heart. I take the train back to school, closing my old coat around my neck. In the regions of my mind, in my shuttered heart I watch for the star that played at Bethlehem. I close my old coat around my neck and walk the sixty stairs to my tower room. I watch for the star that played at Bethlehem and kneel in silence by my narrow bed. Nothing comes but the spinning of wheels. She waved goodbye and vanished tossed her cigarette out the window on the morning of my twenty-first birthday. — Tony Abbott

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 39


Ghost Signs Scattered throughout the city, fading with time, are reminders of Greensboro’s vibrant commercial past

W

by JIm SChloSSer • PhoTogrAPhS by SAm FroelICh

hen a woman asked if the business was a hardware store, owner Kit Rodenbough suppressed an urge to say, “Get real. Does it look like Coble’s Hardware?” She didn’t want to offend a potential customer. Rodenbough owns Design Archives, a vintage apparel and handmade accessories emporium that occupies two adjoining stores at 34244 S. Elm St., dating to the 1920s. The woman’s confusion came from the name spelled in the tiles leading to the door of one of the business’s two entrances. The tiles say “Coble Hdwe Co.” It’s a ghost sign. Downtown Greensboro is haunted with them. They have been left mostly by businesses that vanished decades ago, in some cases, more than 80 years. Some stretch across exterior brick walls and are barely legible after years of neglect and weather exposure. One of the most faded occupies the wall of an alley at 518 S. Elm St. It advertises Coca-Cola “Five cents at all soda fountains.” Coble Hardware closed in about 1934, when owner Jack Coble cleared the store of nails and wrenches and stocked it with sports equipment. The store became Coble Sporting Goods, which old photos show with a large vertical sign outside. The hardware sign on the floor tiles apparently was covered. It remained so until recent years when a tenant before Design Archives exposed it. “I love it,” says Rodenbough, who relocated to South Elm earlier this year from Tate Street near UNCG. “I would never cover it because it is old, because it is a piece of history. I have always been into genealogy. I love all of that. We have already thrown away too much of our history. We’ve got to preserve the rest. That’s what makes every downtown unique.” Ghost signs are a treat for urban scavengers. John Stilgoe, a Harvard professor, wrote a book in the early 1990s, Outside Lies Magic, urging the curious to walk and ride looking for vanishing urban and rural reminders of the past. “Go outside, move deliberately, then relax, slow down, look around. Do not jog. Do not run — Pay attention to everything that abuts the rural road, the city street, the suburban,” he writes. “Stroll. Saunter. Ride a bike and coast along. Explore.” Stilgoe finds magic — and history — in old telephone poles, mailboxes, manhole covers, abandoned railroad beds, rusty sidings and other objects that seem hauntingly beautiful by their simple ordinariness. They tell stories of what used to be.

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October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Ghosts signs are so common in old sections of America’s downtowns that model railroaders seeking to replicate a town can order signs for buildings on their model layouts. TW Decals, which makes miniature ghost signs from photographs of real ones, says in its promotional literature that ghosts signs “give one a glimpse of the products of a bygone era.”’ Or products that survive but which have been around so long that some of their advertisements no longer look fresh, including one for Salisbury-made Cheerwine cola that TW Decals offers. Normally, a political bumper sticker disappears after votes are counted. Not the one pasted on a window on Lewis Street near the 500 and 600 blocks of South Elm. It says “Johnston Congress.” Eugene Johnston ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 and 1982. Johnston’s wife, Karen, said she and her husband always got a kick out of the sign’s longevity when they dined at a restaurant on the corner across from the sticker. Five and dime stores vanished long ago from America’s main streets, but in Greensboro surviving signs serve as reminders. One on the upper reaches of a brick building on the southwest corner of South Elm and Washington Street says “Silver’s.” It was a dime store chain operated by Isaac Silver and Brothers in the first half of the 20th century. In Greensboro, the name was retired in 1961 — though not removed from the building — by H.L. Green Co., a dime store chain which had purchased Silver’s some years earlier. Green closed in 1970, and the space is now occupied by Glitters, whose coowner Gary Barkey calls his business an “eclectic gift shop.” He says about the only time he’s heard anyone make reference to Silver’s was when some women came into the store and said they had once worked at the dime store. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 43


In the 200 block of South Elm, highlighting a majestic Art Deco building, signs advertise S.H. Kress & Co., which operated a dime store there from 1939 to 1975. The store was then used for storage for the next 25 years, with the Kress signs remaining. In the early 2000s, the building was remodeled for restaurants, offices, and a rooftop terrace for social gatherings. The restored building was named, well, the Kress Building. The signs have meaning again, although the one above the entrance saying “S.H. Kress & Co.” is out of date. The Kress chain went out of business long ago, leaving behind hundreds of Art Deco structures, with Greensboro’s considered among the best. The decision to leave some signs requires weighing sensitivities. Until the early 1960s, Jim Crow customs required the city’s black community to use a small library on the back of the historically black Bennett College campus, on downtown’s eastern fringe. After integration came, a new library opened nearby and the college converted the former library for new uses. The old sign that said “Carnegie Negro Library” was covered. During a remodeling project in the 1990s, the old sign was exposed. Bennett officials saw history in it, even though the word Negro is no longer acceptable as a term for black people. The sign is now a conversation piece for those who pass by on East Washington Street.

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he meaning of some signs isn’t so apparent. Few realize that the “W” high up on the Triad Stage’s building at 232 S. Elm St. stands for Montgomery Ward. The department store occupied the building until the 1960s. The 200 and 300 blocks of South Elm were department store row. In the 200 block, an enormous building has barely legible signs painted on the back facing South Davie Street that say “Ellis, Stone.” Understanding the name requires a knowledge of department store genealogy.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


In the 1960s, Ellis,Stone was purchased by the Thalhimer’s chain, which changed the store’s name but left the Ellis, Stone signs on the building’s exterior walls. Thalhimer’s left downtown in the 1970s and moved to Friendly Shopping Center, where it was later purchased by the Hechts chain. More recently, Hechts became Macy’s. The Ellis, Stone signs left behind on the old building — now renovated for social functions in a grand ballroom — serve as a link in the store’s evolution to Macy’s. The name Ellis, Stone also can be barely made out on the back of a building on the opposite side of South Elm. The building was the store’s location before it moved across the street in 1949. One of the ghostly buildings downtown is the Guilford Building, a vintage high-rise across the street from Silver’s. On the South Elm and Washington Street sides are etched in stone “Greensboro Bank & Trust Co.,” the building’s anchor tenant and namesake when the structure opened in 1927. The Great Depression drained the bank, and it closed in 1933. Other banks later occupied the ornate brass banking room off the main lobby, starting in the late 1930s with Guilford National Bank and followed more than 30 years later by Northwestern Bank. Each covered the GB&T signs with their own. Hallimar Properties, a family owned enterprise, bought the almost vacant building in 1993. By then, Northwestern had been bought in 1985 by First Union, which closed the Guilford Building operation, although a Northwestern sign remains on the building’s south wall. Hallimar began restoring the building floor by floor. It uncovered the Greensboro Bank & Trust signs. The name still looms large. Yet, “Only once or twice have people asked, ‘Is this Greensboro Bank and Trust and where is it?’” says Diana Poston, a member of the family that owns the historic building. The building’s present name is derived from Guilford National Bank, even though the bank has been gone for nearly half a century. Guilford Bank’s name survives, however, on a night deposit book embedded in the front facade. Guilford’s lobby contains a now rare but once common device that one could call a “ghost object.” It’s a mail chute. Letters and packages came tumbling down 11 floors into a magnificent brass mailbox mounted between the elevator shafts. The chute remained in use for a while after Hallimar Properties bought the building. But then someone dropped an object from high in the building just as the mail carrier was emptying the mailbox. The object whacked him on the arm. On the post office’s advice, the chute and the brass box decorated with an eagle were sealed. Another wonderful brass box in the lobby now handles the mail. “It has intrinsic and historic value,” Poston says of the chute, as well as the Greensboro Bank & Trust signs and Guilford Bank night deposit box.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Across the railroad tracks in the 500 block of South Elm, painted signs remain for South Side Hardware, which was there from the early 1900s until 1995. At the end of the alley beside the former hardware store is a small brick structure, a ghost object. It was a dynamite safe. The store wisely stored its explosives, bought by farmers for clearing stumps, outside the building. Across the street, at 514 S. Elm, a ghost object stands at what was Fordham’s Drug, which operated from 1898 to 2002. The store’s decor stayed unchanged the whole time, with a 1902 soda fountain serving CocaColas and cherry smashes mixed at the counter. The ghost symbol is an apothecary cup at the apex of the facade. Cups like it were once common as symbols of pharmacies early in the 20th century, but are rare in this era of look-alike chain drugstores.

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t the nearby railroad crossing, the name “Southern” for Southern Railway appears over the door of a classy building that was the railroad’s passenger depot from 1899 to 1927. It was replaced by a new depot on East Washington, which is now the city’s transportation center for buses and Amtrak trains. The Washington Street station closed in 1979 and stayed vacant for years until it was revitalized as the transportation center. At the top of the imposing columns at the entrance, the name Southern Railway remains. So does a Southern Railway arrival and departure board in the main concourse, although Southern — now merged into Norfolk Southern Railway — hasn’t run a passenger train since 1979. Time has run out for B.B. (Byron) Eaton, but his name still appears as a watchmaker on the steps leading to the second floor of the building at 302 S. Elm St. Many old Greensboro residents came of age when many second and third floors of South Elm buildings were occupied by dentists, doctors, lawyers, tailors and craftsmen such as Eaton. People knew if they were at the right place as they followed the names painted inside the stair step. They found Eaton at the top, in his shop, bent over a work bench repairing watches. As is nearly always the case, ghost signs and outdated objects bear no relationship to present tenants. Perhaps the most contradictory sign is at 245 E. Friendly Ave., two blocks east of North Elm Street. The entrance over the door of the large building says “Fruits * Produce.” Under it is a cast iron strip sculpted with fruit baskets and other related objects. Until the late 1960s, this was W.I. Anderson Co., a wholesale produce company. The sign remained as Duke Power occupied the building for years, followed more recently by a charter school, now closed. A law firm is now one of the building’s occupants. Clients enter under the “Fruits * Produce” sign. Maybe it’s appropriate. After all, a visit to a law firm often requires plenty of lettuce. And the grocer’s scales sculpted in a cast iron strip could be interpreted as the scales of justice. Back at Design Archives, not to be confused with Coble’s Hardware, Kit Rodenbough realizes another ghost sign has emerged over the entrance above the Coble sign. It says “Ellenburg and Shaffer Glass Art Studio.” This was the tenant before her business arrived. “I’m going to leave it,” she says. “I love leaving the old stuff behind.” OH

October/November 2011

O.Henry 45


The Last Days of Jefferson Davis

How Greensboro mirrored the tragedy of the lost Southern cause

by r Ay oWen

Bennett Place

The 150th anniversary of North Carolina’s secession from the

Greensboro Civil War soldiers

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Union has come and gone in Greensboro with little fanfare, and maybe that’s entirely appropriate considering the horror that the Gate City experienced as the Civil War drew to a protracted and grim close. After the train bearing Jefferson Davis pulled into Greensboro’s stately railroad depot on April 11, 1865, and the gaunt, six-foot figure of the Confederate President in his frock coat could be seen walking the streets at all hours of the day and night — his mind filled with schemes of how to continue the battle — the city became the center of the pandemonium that accompanied the total collapse of the Confederacy. And that’s particularly unfortunate in that Greensboro was never enthusiastic about going to war in the first place. Before the war began, when a flood of Confederate patriotism swept across other Southern states, Guilford County remained steadfast in its loyalty to the Union. In early 1861, Guilford County’s citizens voted 2,771 to 113 against a state convention to consider seceding from the union. While Abraham Lincoln’s election as president triggered the secession of the lower South, for the most part North Carolina favored the Union. In fact, North Carolina was the last state in the South to secede. But following the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops, the die was cast. The state would stand where God had placed it — in the South and with the South — and on May 20, 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union. The clouds lowered and the storm broke as church bells were melted into cannons and plowshares hammered into swords. Union Army officers from the state resigned, rushing home to take command of raw recruits, while the governor ordered the seizure of the coastal forts, along with the Arsenal at Fayetteville and the Mint at Charlotte. The Guilford Grays were mustered into Confederate service on June 20, 1861. With farewells such as never The Art & Soul of Greensboro


witnessed before, the soldiers departed from the city’s railroad depot — sisters, wives and mothers clinging around their necks, as fathers with dim eyes bid them off to war. Under blue silk banners the women flocked around the cars, waving their handkerchiefs and throwing in beautiful bouquets. There were four long and trying years of war. Confederates won battles in Virginia, but their northward advance was turned back in 1863 with heavy casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union fought battles of Greensboro Quaker house attrition against the South, while General Sherman captured Atlanta and marched to the sea. With war raging on the battlefields, a neighbor-against-neighbor fight erupted in the troubled midsection of North Carolina. Throughout the war there had been murmurs of dissent, and in time a militant Unionist underground formed that led to a bloody insurrection. Fearing the mounting conflict, Confederate authorities dispatched troops to stop the uprising. A pre-war Underground Railroad that already ran through Guilford County was expanded by the militant Unionists and used to transport draftdodgers, deserters and even whole families north to escape persecution. Long before the war started, the Underground Railroad — the greatest movement of civil disobedience since the Revolution — may have had its starting point in New Garden, six miles west of Greensboro, near what is today Guilford College. Pacifist, antislavery Quakers were among the first groups to settle the district surrounding Greensboro, forming the core of the state’s Quaker Belt. They were the only sizable community of abolitionist-thinking south of the Border States, producing dissenters like New Garden native Levi Coffin and his cousin Vestal Coffin. Levi Coffin The two set up a Sunday school where slaves were taught to read using the Bible and were instrumental in founding the Underground Railroad — engaging thousands of citizens in active subversion of the law. Thousands of fugitive slaves were transported across hundreds of miles of unfriendly territory to safety in the free states. The Battle of Bentonville, March 19-21, 1865, was the last major engagement of the war. Fought in Johnston County, it was the largest battle ever on North Carolina soil, with around 4,500 total dead. The wounded were transported to Greensboro, and by late March the Guilford County Court House, the Edgeworth Seminary, the Odd Fellows Hall, and the Methodist and Presbyterian churches were being utilized as hospitals. On April 3, 1865, the Confederate capital of Richmond fell, and President Davis escaped with his cabinet on the railroad headed south. They proceeded to Danville, but were forced out by Union troops, making their way to Greensboro on April 11, 1865. Arriving in the city, they were met with a cool reception. Davis found refuge for a time at the home of John Taylor Wood, with his staff forced to make a boxcar their boardroom and sleeping quarters. For a few weeks, Greensboro—and the decrepit boxcar — became the seat of the waning Confederate government. Throughout April 12 and 13, Davis held meetings with his staff and generals on the feasibility of reuniting rebel forces or brokering a peace with the The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Union. By mid-April, Greensboro was coming unraveled as citizens hid their gold and squirreled away provisions. Sometime around April 12, Davis received word that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House. He silently wept when he came to the understanding that the end was approaching. For Davis it was “never say die,” but death was all there was. As the news spread, other Confederate commanders began to realize that their Jefferson Davis strength was fading and they began to lay down their arms. General Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender at Bennett Place near Durham on April 26 effectively ended the rebellion. After his army of 90,000 were paid off and mustered near Greensboro, the city overflowed with thousands of gray-clad soldiers and those fleeing before Sherman’s army. Greensboro’s population of about 2,000 citizens swelled to almost 100,000. Troops left behind their guns, received paroles and were paid a piece of silver for their service. Liquor was cheap and many soldiers were drunk, with scenes of anarchy witnessed at every corner. North Carolina had been reluctant to leave the Union, yet no one lost more, with one quarter of the battlefield dead from the Old North State. Barbarized by war and with the loss of the power to restrain them, many soldiers took the law into their own hands. They plundered area camps, dragged officers from their horses and rode off carousing. In robber bands they wandered the region, with instant death the penalty for anyone who opposed them. Jefferson Davis held his final meeting with his cabinet on May 5, 1865, in Washington, Georgia, at which time he declared the Confederate government officially dissolved. He was charged with treason, though never tried, and during the Reconstruction Era he urged Southerners to be loyal to the Union. In the end, the South suffered as much from the barbarity of its own people as from the armies of the North. The South lay in ruins as the ragged soldiers found their way home — passing stone chimneys where houses once stood, with tangled hedge rows guarding fences. Once familiar places were rendered strange, free of any trace of farm life — save perhaps the starving dog. The devil had breathed his fire upon the land and eaten everything in his path. The men returned to wives who would not let them in until they burned their clothes and washed away their sins — sweeping away the war with the dirt. OH

Ray Owen is an author and historian living in Southern Pines, NC.

Surrender near Greensboro October/November 2011

O.Henry 47


The Batwoman of Sunset Hills

(Who knows a thing or two about singing mice, too)

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by mArIA JohnSon echnically speaking, Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell is an organismal biologist who teaches vertebrate zoology to graduate students at UNCG. But you can call her Batwoman. The Batwoman of Sunset Hills. Tonight is her night. It is a dark and stormy night. For real. It has just stopped raining. The air is heavy, and the streets are shining, but that has not stopped her neighbors from heeding the bat signal. No, not a bat shape beamed against the sky. Don’t be such an Alfred. The sign was an impromptu email. It said: “Tonight. My house. After dark.” She sent it to three people. Now, a couple of dozen people mill around the street corner in front of her house on a school night. You know how it goes. You say, “Tell anyone who might be interested,” and boom, you get a convention. Which is OK with Batwoman. She’s the civic type. So here, in the glow of a street light, her neighbors and their children, who are in various stages of pajamadom, huddle around five hand-held receivers to listen to static. At least, it sounds like static to the untrained ear. To Kalcounis-Rueppell, it’s a symphony of ultrasounds — sounds with frequencies too high for human ears to register. The receivers — which are set to bat-friendly kilohertzes — suck up the sounds and drag them down to our speed. But how to tell the sound of bats? Is it that rhythmic crackle? Nope. Crickets. That whooshing gust? The ultrasonic purr of a passing car. That fuzzy tap-tap-tap? The normally imperceptible part of someone’s keys jingling as he walks. Half an hour earlier, when the rain let up, Kalcounis-Rueppell went outside and saw enough bats to fill a belfry, but the air traffic has slowed. We are in the middle of a storm cell, she says. Like little weather forecasters, only accurate, the bats know it. They also know insects don’t fly in the rain, so they’re waiting in the trees, conserving energy, venturing out sparingly for beetles, moths, mosqui-

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toes and other entrees. More static. Kids tease, chase, take turns on a long swing hanging from a tree in front of the home where Kalcounis-Rueppell lives with her two daughters and husband, Olav Rueppell. He’s a biologist, too. His specialty is bees. Batwoman and Beeman. Is this a superhero hatchery or what? Could be. But like most moms who have a paying gig, Kalcounis-Rueppell has no time to run capes to the cleaners. Dressed in flip-flops, a light sweater and capri pants, she oscillates easily between her jobs as mother and scientist. “Tell them to leave him alone!” “… so, they are getting ready to hibernate…” “Get back on the curb!” A receiver explodes. BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM. Gunfire. Bat talk for “Which way to the buffet?” The crowd turns to the hot receiver. “There’s one!” “Did you hear that?” “That’s a bat!” Forget what you read about people needing a jillion forms of entertainment. Here on the corner, where Kalcounis-Rueppell occasionally breaks out the bat detectors, everyone is smiling. Interested. So that’s what a bat sounds like — a machine gun. Not the squeaks you hear on the intro to “Scooby-Doo, Where are You!” They want to know more about the bat they just heard. “Where is it?” Kalcounis-Rueppell points straight ahead. The bat is — or was — flying right in front of them, invisible against the trees. It’s emitting bursts of ultrasound, waiting for them to bounce back. If the bat thinks it has spotted food, it sends more signals, faster, to home in on the target. The process is called echolocation. Kalcounis-Rueppell breaks it down, here on the street corner, in flip-flops, in the middle of the week. She loves to share her knowledge of bats, which are a hot topic this time of year, with Halloween in sight and every kid gripping fat, black Crayolas to draw The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Testing, testing. Eek-two-threespooky pictures with elongated four. “m’s,” the universal sign for bats. Actually, the mice songs, Kalcounis-Rueppell and her when slowed, sound like whale students stoke the seasonal songs. interest with visits to schools, If you want to see KalcounisScout groups and libraries. Rueppell go all academic, ask her They are regulars at the Boo “So what? Why is it important Bash, a family event at the to know what kinds of sounds Natural Science Center of bats and mice make?” Her dark Greensboro, where they field all eyes will flash, and she’ll explain sorts of batty questions. that it’s critical to understanding “Are bats attracted to womhow animals respond to changen’s hair?” ing environments. No, bats are not hairdressFor example, different species ers. They are, however, inof bats use different frequencies sectivores, and if insects are to echolocate. By monitoring attracted to your sweat or, as these frequencies, Kalcounisin the case of mosquitoes, your Rueppell knows which kinds of carbon dioxide emissions, then Same bat time, same bat channel: Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell (left) and Gary Rogers on the chase. bats are hanging around. Little bats could follow. brown bats and long-eared bats “What are the most common used to be common here. No species around here?” more. It could be because of a fungal disease, White-Nose Syndrome, that has Big brown bats, evening bats, red bats, Eastern tri-colored bats, hoary bats decimated bats in the Northeast. The disease was confirmed in North Carolina and free-tailed bats. earlier this year. “Do we have vampire bats?” That should concern anyone who wants to avoid getting a mosquito-borne No, vampire bats live in Central America. illness or seeing a crop ravaged by beetles or moths. Without bats, the insect “Will they bite people?” population would soar, causing widespread health and agriculture problems. They prefer cows, but, yes, if you frequent Central American cow pastures at “The cost would be in the billions,” says Kalcounis-Rueppell. night, be very afraid. In other words, we are connected to the smallest peep in the night, which “Do bats live in caves?” is a comforting thought when you’re standing on a corner in Sunset Hills on a The bats you see around here in the summer usually live in tree cavities, muggy school night, listening to static and watching people smile. attics, bat houses and other places they can hide behind wood. The females and One of them is 12-year-old Hannah Cousins. This is her first time batting. their babies, called pups, live in groups called summer colonies. The males go it She grips the detector with the zeal of a convert. alone, batching it behind shingles and flags of tree bark. “This is fun,” she says. “I’ve heard three tonight. We heard a cricket in In September and October, they all flap over to the mountains to mate and the trees, too.” hibernate in caves and old mines. Don’t believe everything you see in children’s When someone perks at a flurry of white noise, Hannah Halloween pictures; around Greensboro, it’s rare to see bats still flying at trickclarifies: “That’s interference.” or-treat time. She likes science. She has studied ultrasound in “Most Halloweens are way too cold,” says Kalcounis-Ruepell. school. Who knows? Maybe there’s a science projEternally nocturnal in her interests, she studies mice, too. Earlier this ect in this bat stuff. OH year, Smithsonian magazine featured her in a story called “Singing Mice.” The fact that mice vocalize is no news to scientists or anyone who has watched the animated version of “Cinderella,” but KalcounisRueppell and her students proved that native mice sing to each other in the wild, too, and at higher frequencies than their lab-bound cousins. This was no easy task. At research sites in coastal North Carolina, they rigged computers, microphones and cables to record the ultrasounds of wild mice at night. The equipment had to be waterproof but not so insulated that it poached in the heat; the cables had to be carefully strung over bushes and tree limbs lest they be chewed by mice trying to keep their trails clear; and the microphones had to be set at the right height on tiny microphone stands. Seriously. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

O.Henry 49


Lost At Sea An imperious wealthy woman and a vanished estate called Great Oaks may link Greensboro to the tragedy of the Titanic

Photos of the Titanic are courtesy of the Natural Science Center

by JIm SChloSSer

I Mrs. Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza

Charlotte and son Thomas Cardeza aboard their steam yacht Eleanor, circa 1900

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f only a soggy ladies’ shoe or glove appeared among the Titanic artifacts in an exhibition about the great shipwreck at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro. It might give the exhibit a local angle. What other passenger who boarded the Titanic in April 1912 brought along 32 pairs of shoes, 84 pairs of gloves and 72 dresses than Charlotte Drake Cardeza? Wikipedia says no passenger had more luggage — 14 steamer trunks and four suitcases — than Cardeza. Some of her belongings may be among the 5,500 artifacts raised to the surface since the shipwreck was discovered in 12,500 feet of water 400 miles from Newfoundland in 1985. But nothing in the glass cases at the Natural Science Center seems to have belonged to Cardeza. Of course, only a fraction of the artifacts are included in the exhibit, which will remain in Greensboro until late November. Charlotte Cardeza survived the sinking, along with her 36-year-old son, Thomas, his valet and Mrs. Cardeza’s maid. The Cardeza story begins with Philadelphia lawyer James Cardeza, who was married to Charlotte Cardeza and was the father of Thomas, their only child. James and Charlotte divorced, but it’s unclear if it was before or after James created between 1886 and 1893 a wonderful estate north of Greensboro. It included a lofty, 20-room Queen Anne house. The house came to be called Great Oaks and the 3,000-plus acres around it Reedy Fork Ranch. Though obscured by trees, the house until recent years faced U.S. 29 North. The highway, of course, wasn’t there when James Cadenza brought his wealthy Northern friends — and perhaps Charlotte Cardeza — in the 1890s to hunt on the vast grounds. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Titanic lifeboat and paperboy

demanded that Thomas and the valet be allowed on the lifeboats. Another story has Thomas and his valet stealing crew uniforms and gaining space in lifeboats as if to help passengers. All four survived. Charlotte Cardeza later showed gall by sending the Titantic’s owner, White Star Lines, a bill for $177,000 for her lost belongings. White Star paid her $8,000. Here’s why 1900 as the year of the Cardeza’s divorce seems problematic. Another Internet source says James Cardeza in 1897 remarried, to an actress named Cecile. They had a baby, who died in infancy in 1899 at Great Oaks. The couple buried the child at Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro. In 1960, after Cecile Cardeza died, her ashes were placed in a grave beside her baby in Green Hill. James Cardeza sold Great Oaks in 1903. It had several different owners until earlier in this decade, when Starmount, Co., bought the house and Reedy Fork Ranch for a residential and commercial subdivision. Starmount couldn’t fit Great Oaks into its development plans and offered to give the house to anyone who would move it. The house was considered the finest Queen Anne house in Guilford County and was reputed to be haunted. Workers doing roof work reported hearing a baby crying, although the woman living at the house before Starmount bought it didn’t have a baby. A Chapel Hill couple later took the house, disassembled it and moved it to Chapel Hill and rebuilt it. At least three of the four survivors of the Titanic enjoyed long lives. Charlotte Cardeza died in 1939 at age 85 in the Philadelphia area. She left a $52 million estate, and is buried in Pennsylvania. Her son was 76 when he died in June, 1952. It’s not clear when his valet, Gustave Lesueur, died. He was 35 in 1912. Charlotte Cardeza’s maid, Anniver Ward, died on Christmas Day in 1955 at 81. Charlotte Cardeza had another link to Greensboro, though indirect. Greensboro was a textile town, with at least two companies, Cone and Blue Bell (now VF Corp.) making denim. Charlotte Cardeza’s father, a British textile man, pioneered the process of making denim blue jeans. OH

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition features over 125 legendary artifacts conserved from the ship’s debris field, offering a poignant look at the Titanic and its passengers. Exhibit runs through November 27 at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Dr. Museum hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Monday through Sunday). Tickets/Information: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

It can’t be said with certainty that Charlotte Cardeza, a member of a wealthy Philadelphia family, ever stayed at Great Oaks. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, says the couple divorced in 1900, which would have meant she probably did visit. She reportedly had a passion for hunting. But that divorce date is suspect, as will be explained later. It would seem likely that Thomas, while growing up, accompanied his father on hunting trips to Great Oaks. In 1912, Charlotte Cardeza, after a big game safari, booked passage out of England on the Titantic with the two servants and Thomas, who listed his occupation as “gentleman.” The Cardeza party had the largest staterooms aboard the enormous ocean liner. She paid $4,500. The Natural Science exhibit said that equals $103,000 in today’s dollars. When the ship started to sink, Charlote Cardeza, wearing one of her 10 mink coats, and her servant were allowed to climb into a lifeboat. The boats were in short supply and only women and children could board. Thomas Cardeza and his valet were supposed to remain on the Titantic and go down with honor, with the rest of the male passengers. But according to one account, Charlotte Cardeza asserted herself and

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Reedy Fork Ranch, Great Oaks circa 2000 October/November 2011

O.Henry 51


Story of a House

Two Visionaries When floral design guru Randy McManus set out to lovingly restore Edward Loewenstein’s famous Commencement Home, nothing short of magic happened — inside and out By Deborah Salomon • Photographs By John Gessner

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good florist knows when a nosegay suits better than a bouquet. Randy McManus — the darling of Greensboro party-givers — answers to good florist, innovative interior designer, ardent gardener, humanitarian and philosopher. His Modernist house, a commencement project built in 1959 by the students of architect Edward Loewenstein (see box) for $24,000, is a quirky nosegay on a street lined with sweet Southern flora. Brake at the anomaly fronted by banana trees, goldfish trenches and plants sprouting from the roofline. Notice the dreaded double carport walled with breeze blocks and floored in concrete. Randy banished the car in favor of wire porch furniture. Once a carport, now a veranda. He sits back, basking in feng shui. “It’s cool here, with the breeze blowing through the blocks — and private, too,” he says. The impression, even before opening a front door flanked by jumbo

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Left: Randy McManus, among other things, grows banana trees in his front yard. Above: Triple wow! Chartreuse woven-fabric chairs light up the dining area, in contrast to neutral den with an Eames chair.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Above: Hollywood-style sunken living room, typical of the 1950s, is furnished for ultimate comfort, with period designs. Below: Plants and art lead the eye up in classic foyer. Breeze blocks and banana trees set this Loewenstein house apart from Southern-style neighbors. glass wall planters, is Mad Men gone mod, in Florida. More specifically, a fifties flashback with Loewenstein’s architectural ideology intact. Randy himself is a flashback to an era when educational options were scarce for a severely dyslexic child growing up in Sumner, N.C. “College was out of the question,” he says. “I barely graduated from high school.” Even then he was a hard worker, says Kim Venable, a business assistant who has known Randy since childhood. “He could make people laugh, maybe to compensate. I’m still amazed at what he creates.” Instead of succumbing to his disability, the twelve-year-old, already into gardening, started a plant business from a tiny greenhouse. He begged cuttings from friends, grew his own stock and designed dish gardens, which he peddled from an old station wagon. Offices loved them. Soon, florists became his customers. The young entrepreneur was asked to water plants at a mall. “I took my mother’s teapot and a bucket,” he chuckles. This evolved into a commercial plant maintenance business with IBM-caliber clients, where in addition to providing TLC, he installed 25-ft trees — and finally sold out to a competitor. Still in his twenties, Randy turned to flowers. “It came natural to me,” he says. Almost. The groundwork for his skills, which include landscape design, garden sculptures and other media, was laid by a compassionate art teacher: “My life changed in the eighth grade, when Eva Bimbo said, ‘Randy, typing isn’t doing you any good. Come to my class.’” Bimbo, also a plant person, “opened up something in me, planted a seed,” which grew into Randy McManus Designs. Randy expressed his gratitude for help and guidance by establishing Friends with Flowers: Four days a week, volunteers recycle wedding arrangements into bedside bouquets donated anonymously to hospice clients. “I love the concept of giving to patients who never receive flowers,” he says. So does volunteer Doris Deal of High Point, who rearranges donated flowers

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Above: Kitchen — avant garde in 1959 — remains virtually intact, including original laminate countertops and pimple painted cabinets with metal pulls. Fascinating details survive: corner kitchen sink, wired-in clock and range hood buttons. Below: McManus spends “cozy time” in an Eames chair. Vinyl floor —‚ a mini-chip pattern — is so fifties.

for Hospice Home. “Randy’s a flower person — a wonderful person,” she says. “The flowers mean so much to our patients.”

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rtists express themselves in their surroundings. Randy leans toward natural materials and earthy colors. His mountain retreat in Virginia has a sod roof alive with vegetation. Randy looked beyond floral wallpaper, veneer paneling, shag carpet, outdated systems (no AC) and saw a stewardship opportunity in this Loewenstein house which, co-incidentally, or maybe providentially, was completed the month and year he was born, 1959. The outcome is not only stunning but respectful, with plumbing fixtures, valances, kitchen cabinets, bifold doors, exterior colors and some surfaces — confetti-pattern vinyl flooring, Formica countertops, concrete slab deck — unchanged, as though exhibits in a decorative arts museum. “Some things I had to accept and figure that the good outweighs the bad,” he says, like creaky bifold doors, which signal ample closets. Not a square inch is wasted in the iconic layout: no great room, media center, wine cellar or culinary extravaganza. A hallway leading to three bedrooms and family bath branches left from the wide foyer. To the right, Randy’s modest kitchen opens onto a TV den — possibly a breakfast room — which continues into the more formal dining area. Two steps down, a sunken living room. One step, made of marble, continues across the fireplace as a hearth. A window wall with Holiday Inn-style sliding glass doors exposes the living area to the deck and Randy’s walled garden, where limes, baby oranges, more banana trees and other exotica thrive; The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Randy’s talent shines in his garden, with tropical plants and a grove of cherry trees, a trench goldfish habitat. He softens the concrete patio with a fruit-bearing lime trees and stylized outdoor chairs.

where walkways are paved with tree trunk slabs, where goldfish swim, a grove of cherry trees blossom, a hammock awaits and Randy’s iron sculptures blend into the greenery. A secret garden, an artist’s garden far from the maddening crowds.

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andy researched and collected period furnishings. “Actually, they find me,” he says. In context, they make sense. “That coffee table (in the den) is from the same year the house was built.” The table, of a vaguely Danish modern design occasionally spotted at garage sales, fronts a sofa from Goodwill that Randy had re-covered in a near-extinct brown tweed. An Eames molded plywood chair and ottoman complete the grouping. They are family. They are where Randy “cozies down” with Frieda, his Jack Russell terrier. The kitchen, with a futuristic corner double sink, needed only adjustments in the simple painted cupboards to accommodate a microwave and larger refrigerator. Randy replaced a disfigured vinyl floor with nubby Berber carpet squares which can be lifted and replaced if soiled. A grill nook now displays a handsome pottery urn. The sunken living room exudes comfort, from a boudoir chaise lounge to the long, low sofa and Lucite occasional tables. Patrick Lee Lucas, a Loewenstein expert who teaches interior architecture at UNCG, calls the living room Hollywood style: “This core of the house grounds the design and provides variety.” Tall paintings of leaves emphasize ceiling height, while pouf side drapes with giant polka dots exist only to cover a blank space at the end of the window wall.

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Otherwise, throughout the house, minimally dressed windows let the sun stream in. The dining area, where Randy gives earth tones a bye, elicits a what’s-withthose-crazy-chairs-woven-from-chartreuse-seat-belt-material reaction. They belly-up to a massive oak country table, lightly whitewashed. Behind it, a linear painting emits enough fire to keep the enchiladas hot.

“I

blasted the walls with cream paint so the art would show,” Randy explains. Most is abstract, “… better for me, because my brain is abstract.” Randy still struggles with dyslexia, which he blames for a controlling, perfectionist streak. Even the eyeglasses on his bedside campaign chest look posed. Yet as a floral designer/business owner he works from diagrams and attends to paperwork. With cream walls, oversize windows and pre-prefinished light strip-wood floors, the three bedrooms clumped at the end of the hall provide gallery space for Randy’s art, some created by friends, other paintings purchased here and there to suit a particular wall. One guest room contains nothing but a scale model, crafted in wood, of his mountain house against a wall of tree lithographs. Bittersweet/terra cotta hues join browns and beiges in the master bedroom — a mix of styles only a good eye could assemble. Through the bedroom window, a forest: “It feels like I’m waking up in a treehouse.” In the adjoining bathroom with original sinks and counters, Randy executed the sole structural change: a tiled shower room with floor sloping toward a center drain, which

Continued on page 58

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Modern Pioneer

To say he was a dreamer simply wouldn’t do. Mid-century modernist Edward Loewenstein (1913-1970) was a visionary in the realms of both architecture and civil rights. And an activist, too. Lucky for Greensboro, his actions — and his legacy — continue to speak for him. Loewenstein moved to the Gate City in 1945 with his wife, Frances Stern, the stepdaughter of Julius Cone. No doubt the Chicago native arrived with a fresh perspective. With a BA in architecture from MIT, Loewenstein began practicing design independently in Greensboro in 1946. He later joined forces with Robert A. Atkinson Jr. to form a prolific partnership that continued from 1953 until Loewenstein’s death in 1970. Loewenstein-Atkinson was also the first architectural firm in the state of North Carolina to hire African-American architects and designers. “If you don’t like it, you can leave,” he told employees with objections, says his daughter, Jane Levy. In just two dozen years, Loewenstein and his firm produced roughly 1,600 commissions, both residential and commercial. Their work populates Irving Park, Starmount and the Westwood Road corridor of Greensboro. The firm’s commercial portfolio includes the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina’s Coleman Gymnasium and the former Greensboro Public Library on Greene Street. Although only a small portion of Loewenstein’s residential projects would be considered genuine Modernist homes (roughly two dozen), many blend traditional ideals with Modern elements. His own house is “of a different sort” says Patrick Lee Lucas, associate professor of interior architecture at UNCG. “It’s the antithesis of white-collar tradition.” Tucked away on a large wooded lot, Loewenstein’s 1954 house, now home to his daughter Jane and her husband Richard, features slanted windows, curved walls, built-in storage space (to eliminate the need for excess furniture), and an integration of various natural elements, including wood and stones. A friend of Jane’s says, “Being in your home is like hugging the environment and being hugged back.” Jane remembers her father bolting a double reel tape recorder to his car in the ’60s in attempt to learn Spanish. “He loved to learn,” she says of her father. He likewise loved to teach. In addition to mentoring interns at the firm, Loewenstein taught at the Woman’s College for nearly a decade. Under Loewenstein’s guidance, his students designed houses and supervised their construction. The first commencement house was constructed in 1958. Two more followed. And he continues to influence young minds. In 2007, graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Interior Architecture at UNCG explored Loewenstein’s buildings as the backdrop for their studio work and fall exhibit. “He was truly an incredible individual,” says Lucas, who is working on a book about Loewenstein’s many innovations in the civil rights era. “He was such an advocate for civil rights,” says Lucas, “and his work in that regard, because it was different, well, he’s sort of saying something.”

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doubles, Randy says, as his hurricane shelter. The sum: quite something. “Randy has done a great job reawakening the building and making it his own with contemporary furnishings and finishes,” Lucas notes. Plus, Randy has created a horticultural environment which threatens to eclipse even the Loewenstein legacy. Randy McManus loves his home for practical reasons: “It works, it flows, it lives great,” he says. At a moderate 2,000 square feet the house easily accommodates 70 at a party. Guests flow from deck to livingdining room, to Randy’s “cozy” den, into the kitchen and foyer, out to the carport veranda, which he transforms into a disco bar. The owner’s enthusiasm for details remains fresh three years after moving in. “Look at this clock,” he says, pointing to numbers and hands installed directly into a kitchen wall. “It’s been running since the house was finished. Look — dimmers (on lights over the valances). See this slanted wall? It hides the bedroom door so people can’t see it from down the hall.” Several Loewenstein houses in Greensboro have been demolished, making each revitalization precious to cognoscenti, including Loewenstein’s daughter Jane Levy. “She came to see it and said her father would appreciate what I’ve done,” Randy says with pride. Most of all, his home represents success. “I started from zero. My father said, ‘Since you’re not good at reading or spelling, focus on things you’re good at.’ Everything I have was built on a learning disability. When there’s a gas shortage or a bad economy, I reflect on the struggles I had in school [for perspective.]” Each day Randy intones a littleknown prayer of Jabez, found in Corinthians, which guides his life: Oh God that you would bless me indeed, And enlarge my territory, That your hand would be with me, And that you would keep me from evil. The house itself has succeeded in replacing the negative energy of his previous residence: “I was looking to make something into a Zen peaceful place. I felt I could do it here. This house has changed my life. Now, it’s me.” OH

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In The Garden

Bounty From Above That delicious sound you hear is merely pecans and persimmons falling in the neighborhood by lee rogerS

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enjoy foraging for wild foods. After all, what could be more fun than going for a walk and picking up dessert along the way? Still, I’m no Euell Gibbons. I refuse to eat poke salad. But there are oodles of wild foods quite literally ripe for picking in the Piedmont Triad at this time of year — pecans and persimmons, for instance. And you don’t have to go wild to find them. And almost anything, probably even poke salad, can be made palatable if you add enough butter and cream. Or better yet, bacon. Fruit and nut trees grow in surprisingly urban locations, often planted by the squirrels and birds. Or look for remnants of family orchards in older neighborhoods or along our county roads. You just have to learn to recognize them and mark the spot in your memory — or be ready to swerve to the side of the road and stop on a dime. I think that may be how I took out my very first vehicle, a 1972 Opel Cadet. But I digress ... But you better get them while you can. Greensboro city forester Mike Cusimano tells me that he’s had a number of requests to remove nut trees on city property simply because they’re an inconvenience to some neat freak or another — not his words, mind you, but mine. One city resident wanted to take out a perfectly healthy walnut tree that had the nerve to drop its harvest on his or her car. How about parking farther down the street and taking home the free walnuts? At Costco they’re going for $15 for a two-pound bag! Sure, squashed persimmons attract bees and wasps while pecan leaves leave ugly stains all over your lawn furniture. And yeah, falling nuts can dent your precious Beamer. But come on, people, whose side are you on? Trees or cars? I know where I stand. Think about it; trees are a lot like chil-

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dren or pets, and we don’t kill them because they’re occasionally annoying, even if we might sometimes feel like it. We all know better than to pick fruit or nuts from private property without permission, but people can and do forage from the wild and from public property. That’s OK with our city forester, who believes, “There are things in this world your government doesn’t need to know. Remember,” he says, “You ain’t guilty unless you get caught.” The historic Aycock neighborhood boasts so many pecan trees that they recently started hosting a pecan festival. Who needs an excuse to celebrate this outstanding native American nut tree, first brought to the attention of the colonists by Lewis and Clark in 1732? The nuts are a delicious treat and are also loaded with antioxidants and healthy vitamins. One year Aycock’s crop was so heavy that people were bringing trucks and ladders to help themselves. This year people will go nuts, so to speak, on October 1; you can find out more about it from the historic Aycock website (www. historicaycock.org). Jimmy Fleet boasts nine pecan trees on his property at the corner of Hendrix and Yanceyville Street. One of them is a variety of papershell pecan that you’re supposed to be able to peel with your bare fingers. He told how his grandfather, Mr. Charles Augustus Hendrix, had planted two pecan trees side by side in the front yard shortly after he built the house in 1906. The two trees grew for 50 years without producing any. Finally, he cut one down. The next year, the one that was left bore a heavy crop. Probably scared it into production Some neighbors believe that the older pecan trees in the historic Aycock district were planted by the Cone family for their workers who lived in mill housing. Alan Cone thinks that just might be an urban myth. He told me that many houses in that neighborhood were built in the early 20th century

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


for Cone Mills management. Perhaps the homeowners planted the trees; after all, people back then were accustomed to living off the land resourcefully. “It was more of a common practice to plant trees and particularly fruit trees,” said Jimmy Fleet. “Up where my house is, there was an orchard. This was on the outer edge of Greensboro when I was a kid.” Bessemer Avenue, he says, was the city limits and all of that land was open. “They did it for food,” Fleet told me, “and they didn’t waste anything. On the hog they used everything but the squeal.”

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nother outstanding native, one that plops its gooey and astringent signature on Mercedes and Land Rovers all over town, is the wild persimmon. The tree likes to grow in clusters and bears an orangey mass about an inch in size. According to the guru of woody landscape plant enthusiasts, Professor Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia, “the plant is found in pastures, fence rows, roadside ditches and a hundred other less than hospitable sites,” and even “does well in cities.” The beautiful Asian persimmon cultivars can be grown in our climate, but local connoisseurs say that the native American fruit has the best flavor, especially for that old-fashioned Southern dessert, persimmon pudding. Persimmon pudding aside, there are all kinds of benefits to having persimmons around. You can use the wood to make your billiard cues and golf club heads. Or you can collect the seeds and use them for a Native American game called Platter involving colored dice and seeds and a wooden bowl (platter). Scoring is recorded using an arcane numeric system. According to the persimmon authorities at persim-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

monpudding.com, “there was a great deal of gambling associated with Platter. Great Platter tournaments, lasting for days, were played in front of an audience with considerable fanfare, superstition, and ritual.” This was because they had not yet invented the golf tournament. More fascinating persimmon trivia can be found at the above-mentioned website. But it’s more fun to visit our local persimmon festival. It takes place in November on the historic family farm of photographer Gene Stafford (558 N. Bunker Hill Road, Colfax, NC). My neighbor Nina Williams clued me in about the persimmon tree in our side garden that was planted by the previous homeowners, Rev. and Mrs. McCluskey. “When they fall on the ground and they’re ugly and smushy, that’s when you get them. That’s when they’re good. And there’s a fine line between rotten and ugly and smushy,” was my neighbor’s advice. But even if they appear to be ripe, you will get a bad surprise if you pick them too early. The same website offers this vivid description. “Tannins in persimmons make your tongue, cheeks, and gums feel as though you’re chewing on a cross between aspirin, alum, and chalk. Your tongue almost feels like a fine sandpaper. It isn’t nearly as hazardous nor debilitating as you often see in print … You will still be able to talk, eat, & drink.” Glad to know that! “However, persistence pays off with persimmons and you should be rewarded with ambrosia when you learn how to judge ripeness.” And remember, the harvesting can be a fun outdoor adventure. So next time you take a bike ride or walk in a wild patch of Greensboro, bring along a collecting bag and your inner hunter/gatherer. And tell me if you find some really tasty way to prepare poke salad. OH

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October/N ovember 2011 Arts Calendar October 1

ASTRONOMY DAY. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Learn about the vast and beautiful universe we live in. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Dr. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

October 1 - 9

LIVE THEATER: The 39 Steps. Hitchcock meets hilarious in this comic farce. Four actors, 150 characters, recreate the entire movie through clever staging and hilarious quick costume changes. Tickets: $10 - $20. Open Space Cafe Theatre, 4609 W. Market St. Box Office: (336) 292-2285. Info: www.osctheatre.com.

October 1 - 14

GRIND: A Skate Art Show. Exhibit that examines the progression of skateboarding, contemporary art influenced by skateboarding and the skater lifestyle. Features art on decks, graffiti art, illustration, stenciling, sculpture and apparel along with work by guest artists, BannerWood and Houston Patton. Info: (336) 333-7485 or www.greensboroart.org. COHILL FESTIVAL. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. First Annual Cohill Fest features national and regional bands, beer sales stations, local artists and vendors, local farmers market, a reading and café section and interactive art by Elsewhere Artist Collaborative. On Mendenhall St. (between Spring Garden St. and Walker Ave.) Info: (336) 446-9194 or 17daysgreensboro.org. EXHIBIT OPENING. 1 - 5 p.m. 2011 Biennial Exhibition features recent work by faculty members in the Department of Art at UNCG. Exhibit includes painting, sculpture, collage, photography and video; runs through December 18. Weatherspoon Art Museum, located at the corner of Spring Garden and Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. PLAYSHOP. 2 - 4 p.m. Explore new ways to learn, create and imagine at Elsewhere, a living museum designing collaborative futures from old things. Perfect for families and people of all ages. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 549-5555 or elsewhereelsewhere.org. LIVE PERFORMANCE. 2 - 5 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. OAKTOBERFEST. 3 - 9 p.m. Greensboro’s new fall tradition. Complete with live musical entertainment, German sounds, kids art activities (until 6 p.m.), bratwurst and handcrafted brews from our hometown Red Oak Brewery. Festival Park, adjacent to the Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 373-7523 or 17daysgreensboro.org. FOOD & WINE WEEKEND @ THE O. HENRY. 6:30 11:30 p.m. Music, art, theatre and a grand five-course Wine Dinner. O. Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road. Info: (336) 373-7523. Tickets: www.ohenryhotel.com. CHORAL ENSEMBLE: Great Day. 8 p.m. Concert by Bel Canto Company. Music written to celebrate and commemorate great events in our lives: Love, Marriage, Worship, Birth and Death. Program includes selections by Eric Whitacre, Hall Johnson, George Frideric Handel, Heinrich Schutz and more. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2220 or www.belcantocompany.com. POETRY PERFORMANCE: Boundless. 8 - 9:30 p.m. Josephus III takes his listeners on a poetic journey. Sloan Theater, Greensboro Day School, 5401 Lawndale Dr. Info: (336) 375-4569 or www.JosephusIII.com. JABBERBOX PUPPET THEATER. 8 - 10 p.m. Original puppet comedy for adults. Mack and Mack, 220 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 275-6225 or www.jabberboxpuppettheater.com.

October 1 - 6

MUSICAL THEATER: The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper). Set in Victorian London’s seamy underworld, a classical musical satire featuring an evocative score by Kurt Weill. Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

October 1 - 8

17 DAYS PIANO. Express your musical side on a piano painted by a local artist. Lobby of Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www. greensborohistory.org.

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October 1 - 15

VanderVeen Photography

TRIAD STAGE: Upstage Cabaret. The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Fright; directed by Bryan Conger. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves and a mummy wreak havoc in this raucous parody of Victorian morals and Hollywood horror. This two-man “tour de farce” takes on everyone from the Brontës to Mel Brooks. Tickets: $18. Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: www.triadstage.org. Box Office: (336) 272-0160.

October 1 - 30

BLACKBEARD’S QUEEN ANNE’S REVENGE: The Battle Between History and Science. A Pirate Story and nine treasures from the NC Maritime Museums and NC Dept. of Cultural Resources plus a museum treasure map for the youngsters. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

October 2

ART IN THE ARBORETUM. 12 - 5 p.m. Fifty juried fine arts and craftsmen from throughout the region, featuring weaving, glass, jewelry, paintings, pottery, mixed media, photography, wood and more. Greensboro Arboretum, 401 Ashland Dr. Info: (336) 373-2199 or GreensboroBeautiful.org. JABBERBOX PUPPET THEATER. 2 - 4 p.m. Original puppet comedy for adults. Mack and Mack, 220 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 275-6225 or www.jabberboxpuppettheater.com. MUSICAL SHOWCASE. 7 - 9:30 p.m. Live music from the faculty of the Music Academy of NC. Proceeds benefit student scholarship fund. Featured artists include Swing Triade (Gypsy Jazz), Andrew Dancy (Marimba), Mittie Douglass (Soprano), Peter Shanahan (Flute), and Christy Wisuthseriwong (Piano). The Music Academy of NC, 1327 Beaman Place. Info: (336) 379-8748, ext. 103 or www. MusicAcademyNC.org.

October 2 - 3

FINE ARTS EXHIBIT. Annual Exhibit features drawings, paintings and pastels on Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m.; Monday from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Keifaber Studio of Fine Arts, 909 Fairgreen Rd. Info: (336) 280-0589 or www.annekiefaber.com.

October 3

FITNESS BY THE FOUNTAIN: Yoga. 6 - 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. Bring you own mat. Center City Park, Downtown. Info: www.centercitypark.org/events.

CHORAL ENSEMBLE CONCERT: Great Day. 7:30 p.m. Performance by Bel Canto Company. Music to celebrate great events in our lives: Love, Marriage, Worship, Birth and Death. Selections by Eric Whitacre, Hall Johnson, George Frideric Handel, Heinrich Schutz and more. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2220 or www.belcantocompany.com.

October 4

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707. AN EVENING WITH TONY BLAIR. 7:30 p.m. Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to promote understanding of and between the major religions and to make the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world. Cost: $40 - $80. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: bryanseries. guilford.edu. CAROLINA FILM CLASSIC: The General (Silent Film). 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines. Film accompanied by Ron Cater on the Carolina’s organ. Music begins at 7 p.m. Tickets: $6/adults; $4/students, seniors, military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com.

October 5

TUNES @ NOON. 12 - 1:30 p.m. Live music from Sam Frazier at Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St. Info: www. centercitypark.org. CURATOR TALK. 6 - 7 p.m. Join Edie Carpenter for a tour of Relocations exhibition from a curator’s perspective. Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 3337460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. FITNESS BY THE FOUNTAIN: African Dance. 6 - 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. Center City Park, Downtown. Info: www.centercitypark.org/events. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. STARS OF AMERICAN DANCE. 7:30 p.m. Dance stars from across the country to perform ballet, contemporary, tap, musical theatre and more. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

October 6

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. ALIGHT ANNUAL FUNDRASER. 5 - 8:30 p.m. Raffle to benefit breast cancer patients in our community and those who love them. Raffle items include original artwork by Barbara Flowers and jewelry from Schiffman’s Jewelers. Tickets: $35; Raffle tickets: $20. Info: (336) 856-2777 or info@alightfoundation.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October/N ovember 2011 Arts Calendar

DOCUMENTARY FILM: The Last Mountain. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. A look at the coal industry in the eastern United States, the environmental and economic issues and the power of ordinary citizens to affect change. Directed by Bill Haney. Weatherspoon Art Museum Auditorium, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

ROCK CONCERT: Big Head Todd & The Monsters. 8 p.m. Colorado-based rock band with Todd Park Mohr on guitar and vocals, Brian Nevin on drums and vocals, and Rob Squired on bass and vocals at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Tickets: $35.50, $30.50, or $25.50 (vary by location), plus a $2.50 Theatre Restoration Fee. Info: www. BigHeadTodd.com; www.carolinatheatre.com. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. MUSICAL TALES OF MELDAVIA. 8 - 10 p.m. Greensboro College professor Dave Fox (Dr. Drave) and the legendary Sam Frazier (Le Fraze) explore the fascinating history of Meldavia through stories and song. Mack and Mack, 220 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 275-6225 or www.mamclothing.com.

October 6 - 9

SHAKORI HILLS GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL. Familyfriendly festival of music, dance, art and education. Four days, four stages, over 60 bands. 1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro. Info: (919) 542-8142 or www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org.

October 7

FRIDAYS AT FIVE. 5 - 7:30 p.m. Live music at Governmental Plaza, Greene St. Cost: $3 (benefits the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro). Info: www. greensborofridayatfive.com. COMMUNITY ART SHOW: Opening Reception. 5 - 8 p.m. Exhibit open to participating Artstock artists, Interactive Resource Center artists, and to all community fine artists; will remain on display through November 11. Interactive Resource Center, 407 E. Washington St. Info: (336) 332-0824 or www.gsodaycenter.org. FIRST FRIDAY. 6 - 9 p.m. Self-guided tour of Downtown shops, art galleries and studios, museums and alternative art venues. Downtown Greensboro. Info: www.downtownfridays.com. DRINKS & DECKS. 6 - 9 p.m. Enjoy an outrageous evening filled with skate art, art on decks, loud music, skaters, roller derby girls, artists, a raffle and refreshments. Center for Visual Artists, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 333-7485 or www.greensboroart.org. MAGIC ART BUS. 6 - 9 p.m. Get your art on with art activities for everyone. First Friday, Downtown Greensboro. Info: (336) 509-8988 or magicartbus.com. MEET THE ARTIST. 6:30 - 8 p.m. Lee Walton at Relocations Exhibition, Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. AN ARTIST CURATED EVENING. 6 - 10 p.m. Join a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

series of interactive programs exploring social creativity and participation at Elsewhere, a living museum designing collaborative futures from old things. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 549-5555 or elsewhereelsewhere.org. FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE. 7 - 10 p.m. Local music from HWYL and Twin City Buskers. Local wines available for purchase. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St. Info: www.centercitypark.org. ARTQUEST 15TH BIRTHDAY & OPEN HOUSE. 7 p.m. Celebrate 15 years of creativity and learning through NC art while kids paint the town in the new NC Art Studio. Art demos, music and family activities included. Artquest at Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org. SPHINX VIRTUOSI CONCERT. 7:30 - 9 p.m. An all Black and Latino Chamber Orchestra featuring the Catalyst Quartet. Program includes well-known composers in addition to works by Black and Latino composers including Bach, Bartok, Juan Bautista Plaza and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. Cost: $10. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St. Tickets: (336) 334-4849; boxoffice.uncg.edu. Info: www.cmacproject.com. FOLK-ROCK CONCERT: Indigo Girls. 8 p.m. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers released ten albums from 1988 through 2007. The Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Tickets: $45, $34.50, or $27.50 (vary by location), plus a $2.50 Theatre Restoration Fee. Info: www.IndigoGirls.com; www.carolinatheatre.com. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. COMEDY. 8 p.m. Hot off his July appearance on Lopez Tonight, comedian Jarrod Harris. Greensboro’s own Tyrone Davis, Ben Jones, Eric Robertson and Adam Allred will also perform. Tickets: $20/ advance; $25/day of show. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Odeon Theatre. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

October 7-8

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 8 p.m. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. Tickets: $10 - $30. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Box Office: (336) 333-7470. LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE FOR CHILDREN: Freckles and the Great Beach Rescue. Premiere Performance pairing classical music with a captivating children’s book about a very special puppy, written by Greensboro author, Ellen Lloyd. Concert designed for families with young children. Friday from 6 - 7 p.m.; Saturday from 2 - 3 p.m. Music Academy of NC, 1327 Beaman Place. Info: (336) 379-8748. Tickets: www.MusicAcademyNC.org.

October 7 - 9

GREENSBORO CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy the adventures of Aladdin and his newfound Genie. Huggins Performance Center at Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St. Tickets/ Info: (336) 373-2026 or www.TheDramaCenter.com. CAROLINA FALL CLASSIC DANCESPORT. Over 300 dancesport athletes competing for a place in the National Championships. Competition includes Cha Cha, Waltz, Rumba, Foxtrot, Paso Doble, Tango and more. Greensboro Downtown Marriott, 304 N. Greene St. Tickets/Info: (336) 623-4961 or www.carolinafallclassic.com. October/November 2011

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October/N ovember 2011 Arts Calendar

October 9

PHOTO EXHIBIT: Blues Down Under. 1 - 5 p.m. Exhibition of photographs taken at the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2010 in NSW Australia by Alex Forsyth. Wine and cheese to boot. The Artery Gallery, 1711 Spring Garden St. Info: (336) 274-9814 or www.arterygallery.com. COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 2 p.m. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. Tickets: $10 - $30. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Box Office: (336) 333-7470.

October 11

The Avett Brothers

October 8

OPEN STUDIO. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Over 100 works of fine art in oil for sale. Live music by Kristy Jackson, refreshments, wine and more. Free. Connie Logan Studio, 1206 W. Cornwallis Dr. Info: (336) 282-5904 or www.cplogan.com. THE GOOD LOVELIES. 7:30 p.m. Funny and upbeat, with just a pinch of sass, three-part harmonies, constant instrument swapping and witty on-stage banter. Dana Auditorium at Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave. Info: (336) 316-2000. AVETT BROTHERS IN CONCERT. 8 p.m. This high-flying ensemble tears through tunes with unbridled energy popping banjo and guitar strings right and left. White Oak Ampitheatre, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

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October/November 2011

MUSIC FOR GREAT SPACES. 8 p.m. Relevents Wind Quintet, a group of professional Greensboro musicians. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene St. Tickets: $18/adults; $15/seniors; $5/students. Info: www.musicforagreatspace.org. Box Office: Carolina Theatre at (336) 333-2605.

October 8-9

ARTSTOCK TOUR. An Artist Studio Tour throughout the greater Greensboro area featuring the works of 60 individual artists at over 30 local sites. Media includes painting, photography, sculpture, graphics, pottery, collage, mixed media, wood, fiber and glass. Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. For artist listing and site addresses, visit www.artstocktour.com.

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. NOON @ THE SPOON. 12 - 12:20 p.m. A 20-minute tour of a new exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts. Free. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

October 12

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October 13

EXHIBITION OPENING. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tom Burckhardt: Falk Visiting Artist. Burckhardt innovative and humorous works. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Information: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. ARTIST LECTURE: Tom Burckhardt. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Meet and learn from the Fall 2011 Falk Visiting Artist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. MIXED TAPE SERIES: The Exorcist. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of priest to save her daughter. Tickets: $5. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com.

October 13 - 15

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 8 p.m. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. Tickets: $10 - $30. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Box Office: (336) 333-7470.

October 14

LAND JAM BENEFIT CONCERT. 8 - 11 p.m. Bluegrass legends Tony Rice and Peter Rowan join award winning North Carolina musicians for a one time only show to support Piedmont Land Conservancy. Laurelyn Dossett will be host and opening act. The Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Tickets: $20 (plus $2.50 Theatre Restoration Fee). Info: www.landjam2011.com; www. carolinatheatre.com. Box Office: (336) 333-2605.

October/N ovember 2011 Arts Calendar

CMT ON TOUR: Tailgates & Tanlines. 7:30 p.m. Luke Bryan with special guests Josh Thompson, Josh Kelly and CMT’s next Superstar winner Matt Mason. Tickets: $29.50 & $34.50. Greensboro Colisuem Complex’s Special Events Center. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com. MUSIC FOR GREAT SPACES. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. James Giles, pianist, is equally at home in the standard repertoire and in the music of our time. Tickets: $18/adults; $15/seniors; $5/ students. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Box Office: Carolina Theatre at (336) 333-2605.

October 14 - 16

AGGIE FANFEST. Runs in conjunction with NC A&T’s annual homecoming celebration. Includes carnival games and rides, food and merchandise vendors and live musical entertainment. Prime viewing site for Saturday’s legendary homecoming parade. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, War Memorial Stadium. Info: (336) 315-8301.

October 15

JAMESTOWN SWING CHARITY CONCERT. 3 - 10 p.m. Live music from Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin and Legends of Beach. Proceeds to benefit YMCA “We Build People Campaign.� Tickets: $15/advance; $20/day of show. Gannaway St., Jamestown. Info: www.jamestownswing.com. GREENSBORO TARHEEL CHORUS. 7:30 p.m. Part of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Greg Fischer. Free admission. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd. Info: (336) 373-2549.

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YESTERDAY: A Tribute to the Beatles. 8 - 10:30 p.m. Tickets: $22.50 (adults); $20.50 (students/seniors/military) plus a $2.50 Theatre Restoration Fee. The Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Info: www.carolinatheatre. com. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. ELSEWHERE FUNDRAISER: Game Show. 8 p.m. A three floor fundraising extravaganza at Elsewhere, a living museum designing collaborative futures from old things. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 549-5555 or elsewhereelsewhere.org.

October 15 - 16

ALAMANCE ARTISANS GUILD STUDIO TOUR. Open studio tour showcasing 52 artists. Fiber, woodworking, painting, pottery, digital imagery, glass, jewelry, mixed media, recycled assemblage, sculpture and photography. Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday from 12 - 5 p.m. Alamance County, Graham. Info: alamancestudiotour.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

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Arts Calendar October 16

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 2 p.m. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. Tickets: $10 - $30. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Box Office: (336) 333-7470. ARTIST RECEPTION. 3 p.m. Figure: The Art of James Barnhill. Exhibit runs through December 16. African American Atelier, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 333-6885 or www.africanamericanatelier.org. STANDUP COMEDY. 8 p.m. The Trailer Park Boys bring their Drunk, High and Unemployed show to the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Tickets: $30 (advance); $32.50 (day of show), plus a $2.50 Theatre Restoration Fee. Info: www. carolinatheatre.com. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. B.B. KING IN CONCERT. 8 p.m. The King of the Blues is still rocking and rolling. Tickets: $55 & $65. War Memorial Auditorium. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

October 16 November 6

TRIAD STAGE. A Doll House by Henrick Ibsen; adapted by Preston Lane. The most controversial play about love and marriage ever written still shocks and thrills a century after its lead character opened a door to freedom. Tickets: $10 - $44. Triad Stage, 232 South Elm St. Info: www.triadstage.org. Box Office: (336) 272-0160.

October 17

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. 7 p.m. Open mic session celebrating rhythm and rhyme. Free and open to the public. Greensboro Central Library, 219 N. Church St. Info: (336) 373-2471.

October 18

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

October 19

GALLERY TALK: Fritz Janschka & Friends. 12 - 12:30 p.m. Artist Fritz Janschka is joined by colleagues Fred Chappell, Keith Cushman, and Mark Smith-Soto for a special reading of James Joyce in celebration of Janschka’s exhibition, My Choice, “Joyce”. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123. HISTORY SYMPOSIUM. 1:15 - 6 p.m. A series of lectures on how Greensboro and its lawyers led the debates that culminated in the constitution of 1868 and its groundbreaking public education clause. Reception to follow. Pre-registration requested. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave.

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October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org. Schedule and registration: mary.allen@greensboro-nc.gov.

October 20

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. ART LECTURE. 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Liquid Selves: Buddhism, Desire and the Reality of Virtual Worlds. 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Gregory Grieve discusses how religious practice is being reshaped through virtual communities. Reception to follow. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. MIXED TAPE SERIES: Killer Klowns. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town. Tickets: $5. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com.

October/N ovember 2011 Arts Calendar

Jaybird, Molly McGinn, Frank Boyd (storyteller and musician), Johnny Burris (bagpipes), Bobby Doolittle and Jim Carson (jazz duo) and Southern Magnolias. Coolers welcome. Mack and Mack Clothing, 230 S. Elm St. Tickets: www.triadacousticstage.com.

October 22 - 27

October 25

October 20 - 21

DANCE THEATER. 8 p.m. John Gamble Dance Theater and Jan Van Dyke Dance Group. A joint performance with original choreography by the UNCG Dept. of Dance. Tickets: $15, $12, $9. Dance Theater, UNCG. Box Office: (336) 334-4849. Info: performingarts.uncg.edu.

October 20 - 22

PERFORMING ARTS AUDITIONS. Open auditions for youth ages 10 - 17. Seeking actors, singers, dancers and those interested in working behind the scenes of We Are One Cultural Arts Project 2011-2012 season. Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center, 1700 Orchard St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-5881.

October 22

Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade St. Info: (336) 553-2656. WIZARD OF OZ TEA @ THE O. HENRY HOTEL. 2 p.m. Enjoy special treats, crafts and community seating at whimsically decorated tables. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and the Munchkins will also attend. Cost: $50 (includes a ticket to the 17th annual production of The Wizard of Oz at the Carolina Theatre). Green Valley Grill, 622 Green Valley Road. Reservations: (336) 854-2015.

Photo by Global Views

HIGH POINT FURNITURE MARKET. The largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 85,000 people to High Point. Registration required. Info: www.highpointmarket.org or (800) 874-6492.

October 23

GREATER GREENSBORO CROP HUNGER 5K. Walk (or run) to end hunger in our community and abroad.

ART LECTURE. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Manly Crafts: Mike Kelley’s (Oxy)moronic Gender Bending. Between 1987 and 1992, Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley produced a series of works that dislodge conventional gender categories. Cary Levine will contextualize Kelley’s work within a particular period in American visual culture and society. Reception follows. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707. CAROLINA FILM CLASSIC: Frankenstein & The Bride of Frankenstein. 7 - 9:30 p.m. A double feature of classic horror movies. Tickets: $5. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com.

October 26

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15,

GHOST STORIES IN THE GRAVEYARD. 11 a.m. Featuring storyteller Cynthia Brown, plus a book signing for her new book, Folktales and Ghost Stories of NC’s Piedmont. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

JOHN GAMBLE DANCE THEATER. 2 & 8 p.m. John Gamble Dance Theater and Jan Van Dyke Dance Group. A joint performance with original choreography by the UNCG Dept. of Dance. Tickets: $15, $12, $9. Dance Theater, UNCG. Box Office: (336) 334-4849. Info: performingarts.uncg.edu. MOONLIGHT CEMETARY WALK. 5 - 9 p.m. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org. GHOST STORIES AT BLANDWOOD. 7 p.m. A spine tingling evening with local storyteller Cynthia Moore Brown. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Cost: $5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Blandwood, 447 W. Washington St. Info: (336) 272-5003 or www.blandwood.org. GREENSBORO SYMPHONY: POPS Series. 8 p.m. Sweet Baby James, The Music of James Taylor. An evening of acoustic rock with hits like “Blossom” and “Fire and Rain.” Tickets: $22 - $38; $10/students. Westover Church, 505 Muirs Chapel Rd. Box Office: (336) 335-5464, ext. 224. Info: www.greensborosymphony.org. LISTEN LOCAL MUSIC PARTY. 8 - 10 p.m. A showcase of local musicians of all acoustic genres. Performers include AM rodeo, Sinai Mountain Ramblers, Soul Central Band with The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

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Arts Calendar

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wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

October 26 - 29

LIVE THEATRE: Deathtrap by Ira Levin. 8 p.m. One of the great popular successes of recent Broadway history, inducing both thrills and spontaneous laughter. Tickets: $20/adults; $18/seniors; $10/students. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 268-6759.

October 27

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LIVE PERFORMANCE. 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. QUASI-DOCUMENTARY FILM. 5:30 - 7 p.m. Arist Nikki S. Lee explores identity and conformity by photographing herself as a member of various ethnic groups and subcultures (skateboarders, Latinas, Long Island housewives). A postscreening discussion follows. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. TRIAD STAGE UPSTAGE CABARET: PostScript Talkback. Join the cast of A Doll House following the 7:30 p.m. performance for a non-scripted, freewheeling discussion sure to enhance the theater-going experience. Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

October 28

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 7 - 9 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. GALA EVENING @ THE ART SHOP. 7 - 9 p.m. Two Man Show: People, Places, Romance! Fine wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres and new originals by Raffaele Fiore and Daniel Del Orfano; limited edition canvases by Del Orfano will also be exhibited. The Art Shop, 3900 W. Market St. Reservations: (336) 855-8500. Info: www.artshopnc.com

October 28

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FILM: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (With Cast). 9 - 11 p.m. A screamingly funny, sinfully twisted salute to sci-fi, horror, B-movies and rock music all rolled into one deliciously decadent morsel. Costumes encouraged. Rated R. Cost: $10. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www. carolinatheatre.com.

October 28 - 30

SYMPHONY TOUR OF HOMES. “Opening Doors for Music,” presented by the Greensboro Symphony Guild. Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. Cost: $20/ advance; $25/day of tour. Ticket Retail Outlets: Smith Beautiful Living; Fleet Plummer; Extra Ingredient. Info: (336) 632-1812.

October 28 - November 6

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LIVE THEATER: Self Defense, or death of some salesmen. Seven white men have been found dead along I-95 in Florida. A prostitute is arrested and charged with their murders. The police say she’s a serial killer; she claims seven separate acts of self-defense. Inspired by the true story of Aileen Wuornos. Brown Building Theatre, 402 Tate St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

October 29

THE LISTENING ROOM: A Series of Intimate Concerts. 8 p.m. Featuring Laurelyn Dossett and Kari Sickenberger of Polecat Creek. Tickets: $15; $13/Cabaret Club Members. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St.

Information: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org. FILM: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Without Cast). 9 - 11 p.m. A screamingly funny, sinfully twisted salute to sci-fi, horror, B-movies and rock music all rolled into one deliciously decadent morsel. Costumes encouraged. Rated R. Cost: $10. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 3332605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com.

October 30

LIVE THEATRE: Deathtrap by Ira Levin. 2 p.m. One of the great popular successes of recent Broadway history, inducing both thrills and spontaneous laughter. Tickets: $20/adults; $18/seniors; $10/students. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 268-6759.

November 1

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

November 2

ART LECTURE. 4 - 5 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, this talk goes over ways of understanding the body, from traditional to modern, explaining changes and the reasons for them to arrive at a better understanding of the “new” body in art. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

November 2 - 5

LIVE THEATRE: Deathtrap by Ira Levin. 8 p.m. One of the great popular successes of recent Broadway history, inducing both thrills and spontaneous laughter. Tickets: $20/adults; $18/seniors; $10/students. The Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 268-6759.

November 3

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,” will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. FILM: The Greenest Building. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Documentary by Jane Turville presents a compelling overview of the important role building reuse plays in creating sustainable communities. Weatherspoon Art Museum Auditorium, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. ART AFTER DARK: Mask Magic. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Explore the mythic associations of masks from around the world and observe their ceremonial uses; theatrical possibilities; see how the artists in Persona: A Body in Parts use masks as a device to reveal and conceal. Cost: $5 (non-members). Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. MIXED TAPE SERIES: Highlander. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com. THE LISTENING ROOM: A Series of Intimate Concerts. 8 p.m. Featuring Mondre Moffett and the A&T Jazz AllStars. Tickets: $12; $10/Cabaret Club Members. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November 4

Arts Calendar

FIRST FRIDAY. 6 - 9 p.m. Self-guided tour of Downtown shops, art galleries and studios, museums and alternative art venues. Downtown Greensboro. Info: www.downtownfridays.com. MUSIC FOR GREAT SPACES. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Isabelle Demers, organist, is a diminutive dynamo to whom La Presse in Montreal attributed “vehement virtuosity.� Tickets: $18/ adults; $15/seniors; $5/students. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Box Office: Carolina Theatre at (336) 333-2605. THE LISTENING ROOM: A Series of Intimate Concerts. 8 p.m. The Greensboro Symphony “ON Edge,� featuring Amphion Percussion. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

November 4 - 5

.PTU8JOFT #FUXFFO 8*/&5"45*/( -*7&.64*$ 5)631. '3*4"5 4"51.  QN

4HE3HOPSAT&RIENDLY#ENTERLOCATEDBEHIND-IMIS#AFE    4UES  7ED4HURS  &RI3AT  3UN  -ONCLOSED MEET THE ARTIST: William Mangum Open House. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 2 - 5 p.m. Meet North Carolina’s Artist HTTPWWWWINESTYLESNETGREENSBORO and receive a complimentary autographed miniature print. William Mangum Fine Art, 2166 Lawndale Dr. Info: (336) 379-9200 or williammangum.com. NC DANCE FESTIVAL. 8 p.m. The 21st season of the NC Dance Festival begins with two nights of performances at UNCGreensboro, Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St. Tickets: $18/adults; $14/students and seniors; $9/UNCG students. Group tickets also available. Reservations/Info: (336) 334-4849.

November 5

VISITING POTTER: Demonstration & Trunk Show. 12 - 3 p.m. Featuring Jugtown potter Travis Owens. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org. LIVE PERFORMANCE. 2 - 5 p.m. As part of the exhibition, Persona: A Body in Parts, Kate Gilmore’s work, “Wall Bearer,� will be performed by Triad area residents. McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. PHILHARMONIA OF GREENSBORO. 7:30 p.m. Part of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Robert Gutter. Featuring Sarah Rulli, flutist. Free admission. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave. Info: (336) 373-2549. THE LISTENING ROOM: A Series of Intimate Concerts. 8 p.m. The Eastern Music Festival returns after a successful season celebrating their 50th Anniversay. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

November 6

JOHN MELLENCAMP: No Better Than This Tour. 7 p.m. Showcases Mellencamp in an acoustic context, fronting a small combo recalling blues/country and rockabilly roots and with his full rock band. Tickets vary. War Memorial Auditorium. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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October/November 2011

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November 8

Arts Calendar

NOON @ THE SPOON. 12 - 12:20 p.m. A 20-minute tour of a new exhibition, Fritz Janschka: My Choice: “Joyce”. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY. 6 - 7:30 p.m. Professors Sarah Cervenak, George Dimock and Frank Woods lead a discussion on the current exhibition, Race and Representation: The African American Presence in American Art. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

ALTERNATIVE ROCK CONCERT: Pixies. “Doolittle Tour” features songs from the band’s 1989 release, “Doolittle.” Tickets: $39.50 & 49.50. War Memorial Auditorium. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.pixiesmusic.com.

November 9

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

November 10

WILL READ FOR FOOD. 7 - 9 p.m. Annual fundraiser to benefit area food banks and shelters. Complimentary refreshments provided. Suggested donations: $10; $5/students. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St. Info: UNCG MFA Writing Program at (336) 334-5459. GREENSBORO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Masterworks Series. 7:30 p.m. Program includes Smetana Ma Vlast Moldau; Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, Ray Chen; Dvorak Symphony No. 8 in G major. Greensboro Coliseum, War Memorial Auditorium. Box Office: (336) 335-5464, ext. 224. Info: www. greensborosymphony.org.

November 10 - 13

TOURING THEATRE OF NORTH CAROLINA. 8 p.m. (Thurs. - Sat); 2 p.m. (Sunday). Star Spangled Girls is a review from diaries, letters, and interviews by and about the women who served the United States during WWII. Five actresses portray WAC’s, WAVE’s, Army Nurses, and Red Cross volunteers as they share memories and sing excerpts from popular Wartime songs. Tickets: $15; $10/Cabaret Club Members. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Box Office: (336) 272-0160. Info: www.triadstage.org.

November 11

GREENSBORO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Sitkovetsky & Friends Chamber Series. 8 p.m. Program includes Tartini Devil’s Trill Sonata; Dvorak Terzetto; Brahms Sonata op. 100 A in major. Featuring guest artist Ray Chen, violin. University of North Carolina School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver St. Tickets: $30/adults; $5/students. Box Office: (336) 335-5464, ext. 224. Info: www.greensborosymphony.org.

November 12

LOVE RESTORATION GOSPEL CHOIR. 7:30 p.m. Part

70 O.Henry

October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Arts Calendar

of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Mike Williams. Free admission. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd. Info: (336) 373-2549. GREENSBORO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Masterworks Series. 8 p.m. Program includes Smetana Ma Vlast Moldau; Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, Ray Chen; Dvorak Symphony No. 8 in G major. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave. Box Office: (336) 335-5464, ext. 224. Info: www.greensborosymphony.org.

November 12 - 13

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: The Wizard of Oz. 7 p.m. (Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.) A timeless classic at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605.

November 12 - 20

LIVE THEATER: Fantastic Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox’s antics anger the farmers; the farmers act back, endangering all the animals on The Hill. But Mr. Fox has a plan to save them all. Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

November 15

CAROLINA FILM CLASSIC: The Maltese Falcon. 1:30 (matinee) and 7:30 p.m. (evening). Tickets vary. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605. Info: www.carolinatheatre.com. SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

November 16

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123. BLUES ROCK CONCERT: An Evening with Joe Bonamassa. Guitar hero and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa and his ace-touring band. Tickets: $49 - $79. War Memorial Auditorium. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

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November 17

FEAST OF CARING. 5 - 7 p.m. Greensboro Urban Ministry’s annual fund-raising campaign. Pottery bowl (donated by local potters) or four Honor Cards (featuring original artwork by local artist William Mangum) given with minimum pledge/donation of $25. Fresh soup and bread will be served. First Baptist Church, 1000 W. Friendly Ave. Info: (336) 271-5959. MONTI STORYSLAM. 8 p.m. Open mic night for anyone with a story to tell. Eight volunteers take the stage to share five-minute narratives on the show’s theme. Stories are scored by a panel of audience judges; a winner is declared. Tickets: $12; $10/Cabaret Members. Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret, Pyrle Theater, 232 S. Elm St. Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

November 18

GREENSBORO CONCERT BAND. 7:30 p.m. Part of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Evan Feldman. Free admission. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave. Info: (336) 373-2549.

November 18 - 19

PRIME MOVERS DANCE CONCERT. 2 p.m (Fri.); 8 p.m. (Sat.) Original dance works by members of the UNCG Dept. of Dance student organization. Tickets: $12; $9; $6. Dance Theater, UNCG. Box Office: (336) 334-4849. Info: performingarts.uncg.edu. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Bill Krebs, CRPC®, CLU, ChFC® Senior Vice President, Investments

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804 Green Valley Road, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408 T 336.574.5731 | T 855.211.9820 F 336.574.8024 piedmontwealthadvisors.com Past performance may not be indicative of future results. SmartMoney does not endorse any product or service of Raymond James. The survey criteria included performance of recommended stocks, customer satisfaction, and user-friendliness of account statements and websites. The Wall Street Journal does not endorse, sponsor or approve the investment programs of Raymond James. The survey identifies the top five analysts across various industry categories, basing the awards on stock-picking skill. Fortune magazine ranking based on an average score of nine key attirbutes of reputation: people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products/services, global competitiveness, and innovation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not solicitation to buy or sell Raymond James Financial stock. © 2011 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 11-BDMKT-0594 SFS CW 5/11.

October/November 2011

O.Henry 71


Arts Calendar November 18 - 20

COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO: The Wizard of Oz. 7 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.) A timeless classic at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Box Office: (336) 333-2605.

November 19

HOLIDAY STROLL IN REYNOLDA VILLAGE. 5 - 8 p.m. A fun evening of shopping and entertainment, filled with the sounds of Carolers of Christmas Past. Carriage rides available. Historic Reynolda Village, 2201 Reynolda Rd., Winston Salem. Info: (336) 758-5584 or www.reynoldavillage.com. CHORAL SOCIETY OF GREENSBORO. 7:30 p.m. Part of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Jon Brotherton. Free admission. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd. Info: (336) 373-2549.

November 21

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. 7 p.m. Open mic session celebrating rhythm and rhyme. Free and open to the public. Greensboro Central Library, 219 N. Church St. Info: (336) 373-2471.

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November 22

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

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November 23

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MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123.

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November 25 - 26

NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY: A Carolina Christmas. 8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.); 3 p.m. (Sat.) Grant Llewellyn and the Symphony debut a new, heartfelt work by Laurelyn Dossett: The Gathering. Also featuring vocalist Rhiannon Giddens Laffan, mandolin virtuoso Mike Compton, guitar wizard Joe Newberry and the Concert Singers of Cary. Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Tickets/Info: (919) 733-2750 or www.ncsymphony.org.

November 25 - 27

CLASSIC ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL. Craftsmen’s Christmas features original designs and works from hundreds of talented artists and craftspeople from across America. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Special Events Center. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

November 29

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October/November 2011

SKILLET FRIED CHICKEN & SONG. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

November 30

GREENSBORO YOUTH PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE. 7 p.m. Part of the City Arts OPUS Concert Series; Conducted by Mike Lasley. Free admission. Room 100, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St. Info: (336) 373-2549. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 - 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rOdeO at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd. Info: (336) 379-0699. LIVE BLUES JAM. 8 - 11:30 p.m. Local Blues musicians perform at The Summit Station Eatery, 125 Summit Ave. Info: (336) 373-1123. To add an event, send us an e-mail at ohcal@ohenrymag.com by November 1 for the December/January issue. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Henri Fourrier, Zack Matheny and David Woronoff

GreenScene

Bill Krebs, Honor Jones and Charles Betts

O.Henry Magazine Launch Party July 28th, 2011 - Greensboro Historical Museum Photographs by Sam Froelich

Gene and Karen Johnston Jim Slice, Charlotte Barney, Jimmy Slice and Charlotte Slice

Daniel, Mary Katherine and Kathy Craft Jim & Honor Jones and David Woronoff

Anne Barnhardt and Chrissy Barbour Grey Lineweaver and Gary Rogers

John Fields, Kimberly Daniels and Gene Johnston Jim & Kathy Gallucci and Justin Catanoso

Chip Calloway, Jim Dodson, Grey Lineweaver and Lee Rogers

Jamie and Jim Crouch

Ogi Overman and Charlotte Slice

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October/November 2011

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October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene Triad Music Festival Photographs by Sam Froelich

Michael Mitchell, Charity Harrell, Krista Carter

Rebecca Harrelson, Santiago Diaz Adam Booth, Kaley Stone

Malena Mchughes, Nathen Haskins,

Kay & Philippe Grain

Julia Solomon, Jessica Pusch

Nick Coble, Brooke Faust, Casey Cook, Nikki Faircloth, Brian Dunn

Brittany Clifton, Paige Rickard

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Shannon Smith, Katrina Asprogiannis

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

www.meridithmartens.com October/November 2011

O.Henry 75


GreenScene Sal Championship Game 1 Photographs by Sam Froelich

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October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Astrid Stellanova, 59, owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in Climax, NC, for many years until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings opened up a new career path. Feel free to contact Astrid for insights on your personal stars or hair advice for any occasion at astridstellanova@rocketmail.com.

ccidental BY ASTRID STELLANOVA

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Libra (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23) Well glory be! I’d sooner swish fish oil than be in your shoes this month. Although addressing an issue in the love department sounds about as appealing as a plunk in the head from a falling chestnut, buck up, Bumpkin. For better or worse, you’re fixing to find yourself in a situation that’s hairier than second-hand skivvies. On the 11th, a wealth of opportunity awaits if you’re up for the plunge. If not, create your own happiness on the 21st when Neptune has you feeling sharper than blade of Bluegrass. And when life deals you lemons on the 25th, for Pete’s sake, Sweet Cheeks, fold! Scorpio (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)

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That’s not rotten squash you smell, Sugar. It’s change, and it’s heading your way faster than wild grass through a woodchuck. Grab life by the horns on the 13th when Saturn throws you more ups and downs than Mama’s favorite soap opera. When temptation as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party beckons on the 22nd, avoid it like the plague! They always say ye who never makes mistakes never makes discoveries. Scratch that notion, Pumpkin Face.

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Sagittarius (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21)

Well if this don’t beat a goose a-pecking! You don’t have to stop being yourself for people to think you’re the berries, Child. Course, it wouldn’t kill you to eat a little humble pie, neither. On the 11th, the full moon will have you feeling sweeter than Mama’s apple bonbons just as sure as a cat has climbing gear. Use that hunk of energy to help others, Hon, particularly in the middle of the month when someone right near cooks your goose.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20)

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Put your tray table up, things are fixing to plumb take off! When Jupiter has your aspirations higher than a Carolina pine on the 5th, don’t bite off more than you can chew — you remember what happened last time you tried to pull that stunt, Sweetheart. On the 13th, things could get sloppier than grandma’s kisses if you let them. Let sleeping dogs lie and keep your eye on the prize. And when Mars has you feeling tougher than a two-dollar steak, well, I recommend you take fullfledged advantage.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19)

I declare. You may be a sweet-talking thing, but you’re right near as full of wind as a corn-eating horse. A slip of the tongue on the 3rd will have you busy as a stump-tailed cow at fly time trying to cover up your keister. (I’ll let you jerk yourself out of that knot, Hon.) By the 11th, your head’s liable to feel foggier than a batch of Blue Ridge cider. Don’t sweat it, Neptune will slap you back to reality faster than you can say Bob’s your uncle. Never you mind about that.

Pisces (Feb. 20 - March 20)

Well, dog my cats. Jupiter just may give you the nudge you need to do a little soul searching, Sweet Pea. A word from the wise: Open your mind and shut your pie hole. Oh, and when it comes to affairs of the spirit, yours could use a little seasoning. Just don’t eat your supper before you say grace. On the 25th, reality may be tougher to stomach that Grandpa Harry’s meatballs. You’ll muster up the strength to soldier on, no doubt. What you lose on the swings you can gain on the roundabouts.

Aries (March 21 - April 20)

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For the love of pickled pigs feet, Child, Jupiter has you feeling friskier than two teens in the backseat of Mama’s Monte Carlo! Keep in mind: Loose lips sink ships. On the 11th, you’ll have to meet someone in the middle before either one of you can move forward — once you do, you’ll be more productive than a pair of Siamese rabbits after the oyster special. Save some of that gusto for the 26th when Venus plumb peppers up your gumbo.

Taurus (April 21 - May 21)

b

Well I’ll be John Brown! With a to-do list bigger than Charlie Sheen’s slush fund, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help once in a cottonpicking while. (Your calendar needs a colonic cleanse just about as badly as I do!) On the 6th, prepare yourself for a situation that’s stickier than salted licorice. Just remember: If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch one. Oh, and with the grace of the new moon on the 23rd, you’ll discover that an old concern of yours isn’t worth a wet whistle anymore. It’s always darkest just before the dawn.

Gemini (May 22 - June 21)

Hot-ma Gandhi! With the full moon on the 11th, your social life is fixing to be in more jeopardy than Alex Trebek’s mustache to a pair of anvil pruners. Take advice from someone you respect on the 17th, even if truth’s a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, and keep your words soft and sweet this month, Baby Cake — you’ll be eating them on the 23rd if you’re not careful. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Cancer (June 22 - July 23)

As my Uncle Foote used to say, snakes hang thick from a cypress tree like sausage on a smokehouse wall. You know what that means better than anyone. Although you’ll feel as disconnected as a hambone to split pea soup in the beginning of the month, hang tight for Neptune’s grace on the 21st when you’re able to start drawing blueprints for a brighter future. A getaway on the 28th will help hoist you out of the doldrums, just don’t forget your wits while you’re gone. By hook or by crook, leave the past for the wolves and soldier on, Beanstalk!

Leo (July 23 - Aug. 23)

e

Lordy be. Darned if you couldn’t right near talk the hind leg off a dog. With Mars motivating you on the 11th, for Pete’s sake, Child, scratch what’s been itching you and make a move that’s more anticipated than the next movie in that dishy vampire saga. Trust me, Sugar Lump; with the grace of Neptune on the 21st, life will be spicier than grandma’s eggplant curry! Of course, happiness usually comes at a cost. Let the chips fall where they may.

Virgo (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23)

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Bless your weary soul, the hits just keep on coming, Pumpkin. Don’t expect your imagination to save you from reality on the 6th, Sweetheart. I swan, that brain of yours is funnier than a fart in church. When Saturn tries to lead you astray on the 8th, think before you leap for once; otherwise, prepare yourself for a conflict as useful as a negligee on a wedding night. Like it or not, it’s time to wake up and smell the pork rinds, Sugar. You ain’t the only one with problems bigger than Barbra Streisand’s sneezer.

October/November 2011

O.Henry 77


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October/November 2011

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Oscar and Me

Life’s Funny

From the back of a camel, the world is a much bigger place By MarIa JoHnSon

B

ack when I was a smidge of a girl, I begged my parents for a pony. Our backyard in Lexington, Ky., was big enough, I argued. Phooey on city ordinances, whatever those were. But my mom and dad weren’t buying it — the plea or the pony. So I took my ponies where I could find them — fairs, fundraisers and parking-lot carnivals. Usually, they were tethered to a wheel. They trudged in tired circles, wearing trenches in the dirt. These days, the sight would make me angry, but back then, I didn’t give a flip. It was my chance to be a cowgirl, to pray for a tiny steed that would slip the surly bonds of the Bluegrass Fair and gallop into the sunset with me along for the ride. “Yup,” some old-timer would say later, pausing to spit tobacco juice, “I reckon she’s in Laramie by now.” So imagine how I intrigued I was when a friend told me that he’d spied someone giving camel rides at Tractor Supply Co. in Asheboro. Camels? The ships of the desert? In the Piedmont? You can fit everything we know about camels into a pack of cigarettes. I tried to picture a young girl dreaming of camels, reading camel books, drawing camels, hanging on for dear sweet life atop a lumpy cud-chewer at a county fair. What would the old-timer say if the girl and her camel broke free? “Yup. I reckon she’s in Abu Dhabi by now,”? I wasn’t so sure about this globalization of fantasy. So I rang up Darrell Stanley, the owner of Carolina Camel Rides in Ramseur, and arranged to meet him and the camels at a fair outside Danville, Va. The roosters were still crowing when I got there. Generators were humming. A band was doing a sound check. I spotted the camels, Oscar and Sandy, inside their metal fence. They were chewing grass, their lower jaws looping sideways. From across the pen, Oscar, a double-humper — known in the business as a Bactrian camel — fixed his gaze on me. He flipped his tail a couple of times and walked over. Sandy, a single-humper — also known as a dromedary or Arabian camel — followed. They stared at me over the top rail, their teacup ears sticking out behind their eight-ball eyes. Wearing fuzz the color of — well, a camel hair coat — they looked a little bit like teddy bears. With knobby knees. And feet the size of dinner plates. They batted their third eyelids at me. Sandy leaned over to Oscar and cooed. I swear it sounded like, “Whooo?” They were no Shetland ponies. But they were kind of cute. That’s when Darrell walked up and told me the story of how he became a camel whisperer. It started about four years ago when his church wanted a camel for their live nativity. Darrell, whose family runs Heritage Hills Livestock and Llama Farm in Randolph County, knew about Oscar and booked him for the event. Then Darrell learned that Oscar was for sale. Darrell knew only 10 percent of the world’s camels are Bactrians, native to the steppes of Asia, and very few were trained to give rides. He wrote a check. Darrell’s wife, Candace, likes to say, “Oscar came home from church with us.” With his sweet personality, Oscar quickly became a part of the family, and the Stanleys’ camel herd grew. First, they added Sandy, who was a baby and had to be bottle-fed. Then they picked up Niles, a dromedary chap who specialized in lock picking. Once after Niles had burglarized Darrell’s generator room several times, Darrell anchored the latch with a nut and bolt. “I’ve got you now,” he thought. A few days later, Darrell noticed that the nut and bolt were missing and the latch was lifted. Niles had mutilated the generator. He plucked off wires and reThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

moved the dipstick. On his way out, he closed the door behind him. Darrell, who grew up with farm animals, had never seen anything like it. “Horses are absolutely stupid next to camels,” he said. Somewhere in the midst of this, God had a word with Darrell, who was then part owner of a used car business in Asheboro. “Enough with the used cars,” the Lord told Darrell. “Let’s see where this camel thing goes.” So Darrell, who’d been looking for a way to share his faith with more people, sold his interest in the car place and started Carolina Camel Rides two years ago. He bought himself a Goliath-sized trailer and a sleek Freightliner diesel, and he covered the 73-foot rig with an eye-catching paint job and camel graphics. Now, Darrell cruises the East Coast with his camels, spreading the word about the Lord and his friends with three stomachs. Jesus is the way to salvation. The camels store fat, not water, in their humps. The Lord will forgive your sins. Yes, camels can spit, but it’s a defense mechanism. They work at fairs, live nativities, Bible schools, corporate parties, and promotional events. This fall, they’ll stride in the homecoming parade at Campbell University, home of the Fighting Camels. If a client wants, Darrell can bring ponies, too. He has found that more people ride the ponies — the rides are cheaper than the $5 camel rides — but more people are curious about the camels, which many folks have seen only in film and on television. So they come close. They study the bulbous eyes, the square teeth, the slit nostrils meant to keep sand out. They touch the butterscotch fur. They hear the camels talk in soft rumbles that some people compare to the voice of Star Wars character Chewbacca. And they ride. They ride for the novelty, and they ride to compare the experience to being on horseback. That’s what drew 12-year-old Madison Kalz to the platform where she boarded Oscar. Up to that point, she’d been strictly a horse and pony girl. Now in a pasture in Danville, her world was becoming a bigger place. Darrell tugged at the lead. Oscar started forward with his rocking gait. Madison, who’d just had her face painted to resemble a spotted cat, pitched back and forth. Her mouth turned to an “o” of delight. She and Oscar circled the ring a couple of times. Then Oscar, who is a bit of a ham, paused. He held his head up and posed for Madison’s mom, who was snapping away with her cell phone. It was a great picture — a regal beast and a little girl who smiled broadly as the breeze ruffled her ginger hair. She sat tall in the saddle, sure of herself and her trusty mount. Suddenly, Abu Dhabi didn’t seem so far away. Neither did Laramie or anywhere else a camelgirl might want to go. Later, I took a spin on Oscar, thanked Darrell, got in my car and drove home. I walked straight out to my patio and surveyed the scene. You know, we have a pretty big backyard. OH Maria Johnson works the insect and exotic animal beat for O.Henry Magazine. October/November 2011

O.Henry 79


O.Henry Ending

Son of Billy Jack

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — even on Halloween By Edward Cone

O

n Halloween night, 1976, I was apprehended and taken into custody by an officer of the Greensboro Police Department. This was less dramatic than it sounds. At 14, I was stupid enough to light a firework immediately in front of a parked vehicle without noticing that said vehicle was occupied by a uniformed patrolman. No chase ensued. The cop just waited until the small, fountain-style pyrotechnic finished its desultory emission of colored sparks, then got out of the car and plucked me from the crowd milling around the Clarks’ yard on Kimberly Drive. The crowd posed no threat to the policeman. It was a lawless group, almost by definition, in that the ’70s were a time when the old rules had been broken and new ones were not yet in place, and of course it was Halloween. The whole decade, in fact, was Halloween: a temporary suspension of the established order, a hedonistic interregnum complete with outlandish costumes and a profusion of unhealthy treats for the asking. But in Irving Park, at least, mischief ran more to shaving cream and eggs than to resisting arrest. And so I was escorted, unnerved, to the cruiser and placed in the back seat. “Keep the faith,” shouted my friend Laura. I wasn’t sure what this meant, in context, but it made me feel like Billy Jack walking through rows of raised fists to face justice, and by the end of the seven-block ride to my house I was asking, politely, if it was possible for me to be handcuffed. In the dark of our driveway, though, my fear returned. The cop had been forced by my own idiocy to remove me from the scene of what even I understood to be a minor infraction, but I did not know how my parents would react. My father, in particular, had an ambivalent relationship with authority. On the one hand, he was a straight arrow who believed in doing the right thing because it was the right thing, a former Eagle Scout who scoffed at his peers for cheating on their taxes and their wives. On the other hand, he was a reader of Kafka and a Yossarian fan who knew in his bones that The Man, in his various guises, was often a bully and frequently a menace. Also, and crucially, my dad liked to blow things up. A favorite tale from his youth involved him tossing a pound of sodium into the Greensboro Country Club pond, producing an explosion and a good-sized fireball. More recently, on a family trip out West, his purchase and ignition of a large rocket, which came to rest under a mobile home before expiring with a bang, caused my mother to give him the silent treatment for half the width of one of those enormous occidental states. So I had that going for me. The policeman and I entered the house. My dad — younger then than I am now — was stretched out on the sofa, watching television. He did not look up when I announced my presence and my escort, because, I guess, he was used to my attempts at humor. Then he did glance in our direction, and leaped over the coffee table with impressive agility to greet this unwelcome

80 O.Henry

October/November 2011

visitor. A brief conversation ensued between the physician and the officer of the law, the former offering assurances that he would take things from there, the latter producing a ticket for possession and discharge of pyrotechnics before heading out the kitchen door. My father did not seem furious, so I suggested that I be allowed to rejoin my friends and resume my Halloween. This suggestion was not well received. Instead, we spent the rest of the evening watching old horror films together in the den. It was weird: I was in trouble, but not deep trouble. There were nuances to the situation. My freedom of movement and association were curtailed for the next few weeks, and I was reminded that the law, even those parts of it so difficult to follow in a state abutting South Carolina, was to be respected, along with its authorized agents, who at any moment might be parked in unexpected places. A full generation later, Halloween is in some ways bigger than ever, an adult holiday marked by sexy nurse costumes and beer sales that rival Super Bowl weekend. But parents have regained some control since the ’70s, if only because we know what we were up to back then. Or so we tell ourselves, at least. OH Greensboro native and resident Edward Cone has stayed one step ahead of the law while working as a writer and editor for a variety of national magazines. He is also a longtime columnist for the News & Record. Illustration By Meridith Martens The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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