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O.H

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 hattie@ohenrymag.com Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 amy@ohenrymag.com Circulation Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488

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4 O.Henry

Advertising Graphic Design Dana Martin, Ad Coordinator 336.617.0090 Lauren Shumaker, Judi Hewett 910.693.2469 Subscriptions 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2014. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November 2014 Departments

Features

57 Occam’s Razor

Poetry by Valerie Nieman

58 The Biscuit King

Is there any Southern Food more sacred than the hallowed biscuit? By Jim Dodson

64 Food for the Soul

Five dishes, transformed into sacred food by family, tradition and loving cooks

74 1945

A Remembrance By Charles D. Rodenbough

76 Above It All

Porter Aichele and Fritz Janschka have perfected the fine art of living in Greensboro’s first modern high-rise By Maria Johnson

86 Mama’s Fern

11 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 14 Short Stories 17 Short Story Winner By Kay Nelson Cheshire 21 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 23 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 27 Scuppernong Bookshelf By Brian Lampkin & Staff 31 Lunch with a Friend By Cynthia Adams 35 Minor Details By Joe Hoesl 37 Gate City Journal By Molly Sentell Haile 41 Artist at Work By Ogi Overman 45 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 47 The Sporting Life By Tom Bryant 51 Seen & Unseen By Maria Johnson 55 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 92 Arts & Entertainment November Calendar 112 Worth the Drive: Winston-Salem 113 Worth the Drive: High Point 120 GreenScene 125 N.C. Writer’s Notebook By Sandra Redding 127 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 128 O.Henry Ending By Stephen E. Smith

Hope Chapman’s heirloom is a long-lived fern By David Claude Bailey

89 November Almanac By Noah Salt

Cover Art by Meridith Martens Photograph this page by Hannah Sharpe

6 O.Henry

November 2014

The 2014 O.Henry Magazine Short Story Winners We take great pleasure in announcing the O.Henry Magazine Short Story winners for 2014, a Greensboro literary tradition we resurrected three years ago. Once again, a record number of outstanding submissions had our editors scratching their heads and heatedly arguing in behalf of their favorites. The competition was fierce and the winning margins razor-thin. Best of all, beyond the final selections mentioned here — which will be featured in coming months — many other entries will find their way into the pages of the magazine in 2015. Meanwhile, our three winners (complete with endings worthy of our namesake) for this year include Kay Nelson Cheshire’s “Missing Words” (First Place), Susan Boswell’s “Maples in October” (Second Place) and Deborah Gsell’s “Cut Short” (Third Place). In our Youth Category, Lindsay Leonard, 16, took first in the Youth Division for her soulful “Waiting for One,” followed by Junn Park’s imaginative Second Place “Untitled” entry about the universe. Obviously, the art of creative writing is alive and well in the Gate City. We’re already eagerly anticipating next year’s submissions — and arguments. Also coming early next year? A limerick contest for April 2015. Start sharpening your wits and No. 2 pencils now . . . The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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WINTER SHOW

D ECEM BE R 7, 2 01 4 - JA N UA RY 11, 2 015

Winte r Sh ow b rin g s tog eth er 1 20 a rtists e a c h yea r from a c ross No r t h C aro l in a an d co nst i t u te s a comp reh en sive su r vey of the finest a rt a nd c ra fts be ing p ro d u ced i n t h e st ate. To co mme morate Green h ill’s 4 0 th a nniversa ry this yea r, Greenhill wi ll p resen t wo r ks fro m 4 0 n ew a r t i sts, 4 0 artists w h o have be en in Winte r Show in the pa st 1 0 year s w it h C u rato r, Edi e C a r p e n te r, an d 4 0 artists from the first thre e de c a de s. The a rti st s co me fro m aro u n d t he st ate, with a mix of med i um s inc luding pa inting, sc ulpture, ph o to g rap hy, cerami c , j ewe l r y, wo o d work, fab ric an d fibe r works, a ll within a ha rm onious in st al lat i o n .

COL L E C TO R’S C H O IC E

P U B L IC O PE NING

S at urday, D e ce m be r 6 , 2 01 4

S u n d ay, D ece mb er 7, 2014

7:00 - 11:00 PM

2 : 00 - 5 :0 0 P M

Greenhill’s ticketed preview event offers a rare opportunity to meet & mingle with Winter Show artists, purchase great art & enjoy a lively evening offood, cocktails & music. $70 for members & $85 for non-members.

Enjoy homemade holiday cookies created by Mary Lacklen courtesy of The Fresh Market, music by Holt Gwyn, plus children and families can explore and create in ArtQuest at Greenhill. Weaver Academy student docents will be giving presentations on a selection of artists and works featured in Winter Show. Free and open to the public. Donations appreciated.

M AKE YO U R R ES ERVATI ON S N OW! Green hillNC .o rg/Winte r - S h ow

Gre e nsbo ro Cul tural Ce nte r | Downtown G re e nsbo ro | greenhillnc.org | 336.333.7360

Images left to right: (1) Alexis Lavine, Blue Breeze, 2012 (2) Elizabeth Lasure, Untitled, 2013 (3) Mario Gallucci, Bar Bar, 2014

C EL EBRATIN G 4 0 Y EA R S O F G REENHIL L


Simple Life

Saying Grace By Jim Dodson

In our house, saying

Illustration by Kira schoenfelder

grace at Thanksgiving — anytime, really — is something of a cosmic adventure. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolate, you never quite know what you’ll get.

I suppose this is because we’re a fairly diverse lot as blended modern families go, a spiritually mixed tribe that includes everything from Catholic elders to Jewish young people, with a liberal sprinkling of Protestants in the middle. My wife grew up Roman Catholic but her college-boy sons, who were reared in a reformed Jewish tradition, now see themselves as broad-minded, multi-faith guardians of a fragile planet, eco-crusaders. My own children, who grew up stout little Episcopalians singing in the Chapel Choir, now seem more inclined toward the meditational power of Buddhism seasoned with a smidge of the enlightened agnosticism from their late Scottish grandmother. If there is fault to be assigned for this hothouse society of homegrown free-thinkers who gather round our supper table only a few times a year now, typically only at the holidays, it probably falls on the heads of my wife and me, who dutifully instructed our children in the spiritual traditions of their forebears but strongly encouraged them to make up their own minds about matters of the spirit, for life has a way of road-testing endurance and faith in a variety of unexpected ways. Still, under my roof, I have certain practices and beliefs that aren’t fully negotiable and saying grace — offering a simple blessing of thanks over a shared evening meal — is one of them. Maybe it’s the force of tradition that perpetuates this ritual of gathering or possibly the simple grace that comes with the wisdom of saying thank you. Gratitude, goes an old French proverb, is the heart’s memory. “The mouth gives voice to what fills the heart,” points out Luke’s Gospel. Whatever it is, and regardless of their true feelings about the practice, our diverse band of cosmic travelers is pretty good-humored about humoring the old man’s old-fashioned desire to join hands, bow heads, and thank whatever kindly force of the universe allowed us to gather and break bread one more time. Perhaps they sense, as I certainly do, that in a world that’s moving as swiftly and unpredictably as the one around us does, the act of pausing to merely express a timeless form of gratitude to whatever divine and mysterious power shapes and illumines our lives is not only a healthy social exercise but a way of getting in touch with each other’s heart. But there are always nice surprises, like the time my young daughter, Maggie, then about age 4, pointedly asked to say her first grace at The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Thanksgiving and forcefully came out with: “Dear God, thanks for this nice food Mom made. And, oh, by the way, Christmas is coming up and I’d really like to have that doll house. And please stop Jack from whistling at bedtime. He’s so annoying.” As far as this patriarch is concerned, all thanks are welcome. Blessings come in every form, as diverse and surprising as life itself. My own faith journey, after all, is a pretty mixed affair of the heart. My great-great-grandfather was an itinerant Methodist preacher who founded churches across the state after the Civil War, but I grew up a skinny-legged Lutheran in Greensboro surrounded by two large and robust food-loving Methodist and Southern Baptist clans for whom sharing a homemade meal — and saying grace over it — was central to their exercise of faith. But this was just the foundation of my own magical mystery tour of grace. My first memorized blessing was the classic: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food,” though some years later I raised more than a few shocked aunty eyebrows by declaring, “Good gravy. Good meat. Good God, let’s eat!” By attending a Scout troop at a Quaker church, I grew fascinated by the idea of an inner light of God in every soul and the simplicity of Quaker ways. In high school, meanwhile, I fell hard for the transcendental writings of Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, which naturally led me on to the sages of the East who heavily influenced them and a deepening love affair with the beautiful writings of ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Sufi poets, whose grasp of the beloved seemed to eclipse and inform my own evolving understanding of a loving force that can’t be defined or contained by any particular religion or rigid doctrine. To this day, as a result, wherever work or pleasure travels take me, I love turning up at a local cathedral, church, temple or synagogue simply to sit and soak up the music and prayers of the faithful. I even dig sitting in empty churches — recalling Emerson’s famous remark that the silence before the service is often more powerful than any sermon. Moreover, as I age, like my own father and his father before him, I find myself less inclined toward the social politics and endless theological squabbles of modern church life in favor of the simple splendor of nature and changing seasons, seeing more of God’s presence in the smallest movements of the natural world, the silence of a vernal pool in spring, a walk along a leaf-strewn dirt road in fall, hungry birds at a winter feeder or my own growing garden come spring. The path to heaven, as a good and cheerful Buddhist friend of mine likes to say, is heaven itself. During the two decades we lived on a forested hill in Maine, I claimed a granite rock looming over a hidden stream in the woods behind my house where the dogs and I used to go sit for an hour or so once a week, my private woodland cathedral, my personal philosopher’s stone where I retreated to just sit and think or not think, to simply observe and be observed by sovereigns of the forest. Invariably, I wound up counting my blessings. November 2014

O.Henry 11


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Simple Life Once, on a book tour, a radio interviewer asked me what religion I practiced. Without thinking, I joked that I was probably unfit for any religion that would have me, per se, but was essentially a “Southern Transcendentalist and practicing Quaking Buddho-Episcotarian with a strong fondness for old timey Baptist hymns and a good Methodist covered dish homecoming supper on the lawn.” “Is that, like, a real religion?” she wondered. “Yes ma’am. With only one known practicing member, I’m afraid.” When our own spiritual wayfaring progeny agree to say grace over a holiday meal and come out with a rambling exhortation about the shrinking Arctic shelf or the perils to the planet of an unchecked military industrial complex, I simply thank God for their own growing awareness of the world they are inheriting. Saying grace is, after all, simply a form of prayer — a conversation between heaven and human beings as diverse as human society itself, dating back thousands of years before any single religion got itself organized. “Pray,” wrote the blind poet Homer, “for all men need the aid of the gods.” Not surprisingly, prayers of gratitude or thanksgiving are among the oldest hymns of man, recorded as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. In every society the act of giving thanks to a higher power for the abundance of field and table is one of the most commonly defining elements of human civilization. America’s first Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621, was essentially a communal prayer of thanks to God for providing the food that sustained their fledgling colony in a dangerous new world. Saying grace from that day forward invariably took the form of thanking God as well as the hands that made the meal.

For more than two decades, even my Scottish mother-in-law, a wise old agnostic with a deeply tender heart, grasped the power of this idea and loved to lead us all in her favorite childhood grace — “Some hae meat and canna eat. Some hae meat and want it. But we hae meat and we can eat and so the Lord be thankit!” Lately I’ve been researching potential new blessings and graces for our New Age Turkey Day table where the Southern-fried Transcendental patriarch always gets to say a few words of thanks as the tapers are lit and hands joined. Lately, I find, the fewer the better. A sampling of this year’s leading contenders: “Do good and don’t look back.” — Dutch proverb “He prayeth best who loveth best; all things both great and small.” — from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge “If your only prayer was thank you — that would be enough.” — Meister Eckhart “A table is not blessed if it has fed no scholars.” — Yiddish proverb “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused.” — Anonymous “Grub first, the ethics.” — Bertolt Brecht “Eat your bread with joy, drink your wine with a merry heart.” — Book of Ecclesiastes “May the love that’s in my heart pass from my love to yours.” — Traditional American blessing “Thou hast given me much. Give me one more thing — a grateful heart.” — George Herbert, English poet and pastor Somehow, hands joined, this just says Thanksgiving to me. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com.

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November 2014

O.Henry 13


Short Stories

Greens Scene

Greensboro Beautiful, the nonprofit that so handily keeps our public gardens stunning, has a longstanding tradition of rolling out Fraser fir wreaths, white pine roping and poinsettias just in time for the holidays. This year, it’s doing so at a new location and different date — Sunday, November 23, noon until 5 p.m., at Lewis Recreation Center, 3110 Forest Lawn Drive, close to where Pisgah Church and Battleground mix it up with Lowe’s Home Improvement. In addition to free craft activities to keep the kids busy and food vendors to stave off your hunger, local artisans will be selling their wares. Save 5 percent by pre-ordering by November 7. Or band with your neighbors for 20 percent off on bulk orders. Info: (336) 373-2199 or greensborobeautiful.org. DCB

Admittedly a Little Bit Bland

“There’s no glitter,” says Judith Kastner of Blandwood mansion’s holiday finery, which will be on display from November 13 until December 31. “Back in the Colonies, Puritan settlers in Massachusetts created a law in 1659 banning the celebration of Christmas,” she says.“ After all, they had left England and were trying to distinguish themselves and set up their own traditions.” The law was not repealed until nearly a century later in 1856. And in an era before Dickens popularized the English Victorian Christmas, “they didn’t have large stores to go shopping in, so they gathered what was available: colorful leaves, berries, nuts and fruit, bird feathers, pine cones and lots of greenery,” says Kastner, operation director of Preservation Greensboro, which owns and operates the mansion as a museum. The idea is to recreate what Christmas looked like in the 1840s when North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead and his family occupied the house. Tour hours are 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 2–5 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket info: (336) 2725003 or www.preservationgreensboro. org. DCB

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November 2014

Remembering Randall

The title of the event says it all — Randall Jarrell and his Students. Continuing its celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Greensboro’s most celebrated poet, UNCG’s creative writing MFA program is assembling a quorum of former students and Jarrell scholars who are a living legacy to his talents as a poet and teacher. With support from the Class of 1952 Distinguished Professorship fund, the keynote speaker will be Heather Ross Miller, Jarrell’s student who has won the most acclaim as a poet. She is also the author of the recently published Celestial Navigator, a collection of poems concerning Jarrell. Jarrell student and novelist Sylvia Wilkinson and poet Emily Herring Wilson will join in the program, along with Richard Flynn, author of Randall Jarrell and the Lost World of Childhood, and UNCG’s Anthony Cuda, a leading modernist scholar. “In organizing this event we are celebrating the heritage of the Woman’s College, UNCG and Randall Jarrell, focusing on the contributions his students have made in the literary arts of writing and scholarship,” says poet and UNCG prof Stuart Dischell, organizer of the event. Begins at 2 p.m. November 1 in the Virginia Dare room of the Alumni House on College Avenue on the UNCG campus. Info: mfagreensboro.org/event/randall-jarrell-students. DCB

Übermensch

Continuing his obsession with Walter White, the tragic hero of TV’s Breaking Bad, Dmitry Sitkovetsky will lead the Greensboro Symphony in a program featuring three works of uber-heroic proportions: Britten’s 
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes; Tchaikovsky’s epic Piano Concerto No. 1; and Beethoven’s Napoleonic Eroica symphony. From Peter Grimes’ slow descent into madness in Britten’s classic opera to the disillusionment with Napoleon reflected in Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, Sitkovetsky and renowned pianist Igor Kamenz will elevate audiences into the hubristic realm of tragic heroism on Thursday, November 6, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, November 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets: (336) 335-5456, extension 224, or Greensborosymphony.org. DCB

Sauce of the Month

The new trend for barbecue restaurants is to be all things to all fans of all styles of cue, offering Eastern North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Texas barbecue with regionally appropriate sauces. That certainly works for me: For years, I’ve carried a bottle of Scott’s sauce in my car, preferring Lexington-style cue spiked with Eastern-style vinegar-andpepper sauce. Lured to Stokely’s BBQ & More in Burlington (3519 South Church Street) by a menu that features hickory-pit pork, beef brisket, ribs, in-house cured ham, plus smoked turkey and sausage, I splashed some Stokely’s Eastern Sauce atop my pulled pork. The pork was perfect and the sauce was classic: sharp, wonderfully fragrant and just peppery enough to get your attention. But what really impressed me in this day and age of frozen hush puppies and containerized slaw were Stokely’s homemade sides — creamy cole slaw, rich baked beans and Brunswick stew. Lexington and rib sauces also available. Info: stokelysbbq.com. DCB The Art & Soul of Greensboro


HOLY SALCHOW!

What has become a downtown Greensboro tradition — outdoor ice skating in the winter months — returns November 20, but in a new location. The WFMY News 2 Winterfest will relocate from beside the Greensboro Cultural Center to 106 Barnhardt Street in the burgeoning Railyard district. The Worx restaurant and City Market, a popular thirdThursday gathering, have been attracting crowds to the area for months. Now the block is turning into a regular hub of after-hours activity with the opening of Gibbs Hundred Brewing Co. and The Forge, a members-only work space for people who build things from metal, wood and other media. At Winterfest, look for faves including the Berico Fuels Ice Slide; the Rice Scion Skate Shed; disco nights; an ice rink webcam; and a kids’ play area with artificial snow. New this year: events promoting the U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be held January 17–25 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Hey, boxcars ain’t the only things in a railyard with double axels. Info: downtownindecember.org/festivals MJ

Hold the Mustard

Why, you might be asking yourself, would anyone paint a series of hot dogs, some “fully dressed,” others nude and a few dissected? As one art critic observed, “Jernigan’s drawings, collages, paintings and sculptures charted her daily life and movements, elevating the banal into objects of indexical beauty.” This painting is one of two by Candy Jernigan that are part of Art on Paper 2014 — on display through December 14 at Weatherspoon. Zeroing in on the overlooked, Jernigan recorded with sometimes haunting results the world of the East Village, including drug paraphernalia, trash and objects crushed under trucks. “Throughout the 1980s,” says Xandra Eden, Weatherspoon’s curator of exhibitions, “Candy Jernigan, who died of cancer at the age of 39, combined conceptual art strategies with quirky examination of the everyday, a practice that several young artists in this show share, particularly Glenn Kaino, Harriet Hoover, Susan Collis, and Myung Gyun You.” Jernigan, Eden points out, “was part of New York’s East Village scene — artists, writers and musicians, including her husband, Philip Glass. Her playful works reflect her environment as she experienced it.” Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon@uncg.edu. DCB

Fire and Ice

With the production of The Member of the Wedding, Triad Stage continues its commitment to challenging both audiences and actors. Depicting “the intrinsically enmeshed lives of whites and blacks in the American South,” the play explores the fragile bond between a maid, Bernice Sadie Brown, and Frankie, an awkward 12-year-old tomboy who’s oh-so-weary of smalltown Georgia. Things get complicated when Frankie learns she’s invited to be a member of the wedding of her beloved brother and his fiancée — but decidedly not invited to join them on their honeymoon — playing through November 9. Then, beginning November 28, Preston Lane, author of Brother Wolf and Beautiful Star, brings back The Snow Queen, his adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of an eerily-icy mountain spirit. With original music by Laurelyn Dosset, audiences will be chilled to the bone as a brave young girl searches for her friend on an otherworldly and frost-bound journey into the highest peaks of the Blue Ridge. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org. DCB The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman If you’re a live concert aficionado, you have much to be thankful for this November. So shake off that Turkey Day L-tryptophan hangover and hit the streets!

• November 1, Mack and Mack: Downtown’s upscale boutique turns into a cozy concert venue periodically. The Ashevillebased Americana trio Red June gets the month started in style. No need to dress to impress — their harmonies will do all the impressing you need. • November 13, Blind

Tiger: Ever-popular singer-songwriter Greg Humphries, who made a national splash in the ’90s, brings his electric trio to the ever-popular tiger that can’t see this month.

• November 15, High

Point Theatre: You’ll be “Feelin’ Alright” as soon as rock icon Dave Mason hits the High Point Theatre stage. “Only You Know And I Know” how special this night is going to be. If you have a problem with that, well, “We Just Disagree.”

• November 15, Turntable:

If you haven’t been to Jamestown’s famous house-concert venue, shame on you. Now’s your chance to redeem yourself by hitting their second-anniversary party, featuring Charleston, South Carolina, troubadour Johnny Delaware.

• November 26,

Greensboro Coliseum: You may have thought the Christmas season got under way on Black Friday. Wrong. It’s when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra hits town. The hardest-working band in America (at least for a month) will play two shows (4 and 8 p.m.) this year. OO

November 2014

O.Henry 15


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The 2014 O.Henry Magazine Sho r t S t o r y W i n n e r

Missing Words By K ay Nelson Cheshire

M

artin Graham was on his third book tour when his father died. A reporter asked if it was a surprise and Martin lied. What he truthfully wanted to say was it had been more than thirty years since his old man had surprised him about anything. Martin remembered that long-ago summer after his senior year in high school, working odd jobs to save money for a Royal Electric typewriter. He often went inside the stationery shop just to smell the ink and feel the heavy bond paper. Words seemed to float on the air waiting for a place to land, and he wanted those words to land on paper in his machine. When Martin had earned the final $20, he ran home to get the hidden sock with the rest of the money. After searching, then dumping the contents of all the drawers on the floor, he convinced himself the money and the typewriter dream were gone, and he knew who had stolen that dream. He went to his parents’ bedroom and tore up every inch. Martin found the empty sock stuffed in the bathroom trash can. He expected it, but the proof was hard to swallow. If his mother had been home, he would have broken her thieving hands. Instead, he sat and waited. Long after the fading light had darkened the walls, his father came home from his construction job. “Son, why’re you in the dark?” He held his voice steady. “She’s a thief.” “Who’s a thief?” “Mom!” Martin screamed. “She took the money I was saving for a typewriter. She took it for a damn bottle of booze.” “Son, your mother has a disease,” his father said, shaking his head. “I’m sorry about the money.” “Sorry? You think she’s sick. Well, old man, you better wise up. She’s a drunk and you’re just fooling yourself if you think otherwise.” His father grabbed Martin’s shirt and slammed him against the wall. “You have no idea what I think and you never will. I said I was sorry about the money.” Martin stared into his father’s black, water-filled eyes, until the old man let go and walked out the door. Martin rarely spoke to his mother after that night. A week before college started, Martin found a Royal Electric typewriter in his room. He knew his father had worked overtime to buy it, but when Martin tried to thank him, he waved it off. Martin’s mother died his sophomore year when she stepped off a bus and a yellow truck slammed her high in the air, ending that unquenchable thirst for alcohol. Martin stayed away after graduating, writing short stories and sending the published pieces to his father, but he never responded. During visits home, he always took his latest stories or novels, but his father would just set them aside. Martin finally stopped sending him anything. Through the years, Martin accepted the peaceful tolerance between them.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

After his father’s funeral, Martin stopped by the old house. He searched his father’s bedroom, looking for insurance papers, the deed to the house, a will. Under the bed he found a gray metal box. The first things inside were old pictures of his parents. He’d never seen his mother healthy and wondered what caused someone to love booze more than family. Beneath the photographs were papers folded in three piles. Martin picked up the first, opening the top sheet. It was the life insurance papers and he glanced over the policy, but what he saw made his body involuntarily react as though he had been punched. Searching every sheet of paper, he found each contained the same thing: an “X” for a signature. It was all he could do to keep the bile from rushing up the dry road of his throat. Among those papers was one addressed to Martin from his father’s lawyer. “If you are reading this, it’s because your father, as he would say, has ‘Gone to the Lord.’ He wanted you to know he loved you very much, but he and your mother never learned to read or write. He was too ashamed to tell you. Remember Miss Tilly, your old neighbor? She knew about your parents and volunteered to help you with your homework all those years. Whether your mother’s drinking had anything to do with her inability to read, no one, including your father, ever knew. But he told me, ‘My wife said the only thing she did right was give birth to that boy.’ “Years ago your father brought me your stories to read to him. Every time I’d finish one, amazement was etched on his face. He just never knew how to tell you he was proud. One day he stopped bringing me your work, but he continued to follow your career. He’s left you the house.” Martin sat so long holding those papers that the light left the room like an unwanted guest. He thought back through the years, when his father would take his stories, put them aside. Martin assumed it was indifference. Instead, his father wasn’t able to read a single word he had ever written. The shock was like a bullet straight and precise into his heart. Martin felt the anguish of never sharing the power of the words missing in his father’s life, or of love, the one word that floated between them all their lives, never landing anywhere for either of them to write, read or say to each other. Martin decided his father must have thought . . . then stopped himself, remembering what he had said during that old confrontation, “You have no idea what I think and you never will.” “Well, old man, you were right,” Martin said to the silent room. Then he cried, cried for the inventiveness of words that his mother and father never knew, for his own ignorance of his parents’ struggles, and for believing that the last surprise had been when he was 18 years old. OH Kay Nelson Cheshire has a collection of poetry, Beyond the Window, from St. Andrews Press. She lives in Greensboro. November 2014

O.Henry 17


We’re looking .

for a few good toys! And WE WANT YOU to help. Join Ward Black Law in supporting the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign!

Location

Drop-Off Hours

Deadline

208 W. Wendover Ave., Greensboro

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

December 19, 2014

You’re Invited Join us for our annual Toys for Tots kick-off event on Friday, December 5th, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can drop off a new, unwrapped toy or donation made out to Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, thank a Marine and enjoy refreshments and festivities! There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit. We will continue to be a drop off location for Toys for Tots until Friday, December 19th.

18 O.Henry

November 2014

336.333.2244 wardblacklaw.com

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208 W. Wendover Avenue

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Greensboro


Roller Girls

The City Muse

The queens of mayhem on wheels

By Emily Frazier Brown

Photographs by Hannah Sharpe

“You might even be able to smell us.”

Carnegie Brawl’s email sat at the top of my inbox, directing me to 3123 Cedar Park Road. I was told to hook a right and drive until I couldn’t go any farther. There, I’d see a cluster of cars, possibly hear the cringe-worthy sound of knee pads sliding across the ground and maybe even smell their hard work. MaryAnn Kozikowski, as she’s known by day, is the president of Greensboro Roller Derby. This consists of a competitive group of women who are split into “A” and “B” teams, operating similarly to a school’s varsity and JV division, respectively. Periodically Kozikowski holds a class for what’s called Fresh Meat, initiates who may know nothing more than how to remain upright on quad-wheel roller skates. They meet in an industrial warehouse and practice six hours a week, not including the times they meet for business, have an additional scrimmage or have a game. You’ll see very few men, none of whom compete. You’ll see makeshift bleachers, small cubbies for personal belongings, the occasional promotional poster and plenty of space for the different groups to stretch, exercise, ready themselves, and get to work, powering forward by the will of their own bodies and a small set of wheels. There is no air conditioning. There are no complaints. There are no excuses. The way the game is played — and won — is a little complicated. To begin with, each team tries to get the other team’s “jammer” out of their way. The jammer’s helmet sports a colorful star to signify her ability to make points each time she laps the defensive players of the opposing group. One object of play, obviously, is to help your own jammer score by completing as many laps as possible. “Jams” — what you’d call a “play” in another sport — can last anywhere between two seconds to two minutes. To signify the end of a jam, a player only needs to slap her own hips with both her hands, at which point the referees (the most common excuse for the presence of men) then blow their whistles. Reasons to end a jam may be that they’ve scored enough points and want to keep the lead, or perhaps they’re so far down they want to call it before falling too far behind. Mothers and wives, teachers, bank tellers and college students alike strap on skates. But once they’re in the warehouse, they are members of the Carnegie The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Brawl, Brody Slaughterhouse, Thoreau Her Down, Sigourney Cleaver, Mauly Ringwald and several full lists of similarly creative names to warn you ahead of time that they come bearing mayhem. These teams belong to an intraleague of teams. The leagues are similarly named creatively — the Greensboro Counterstrike, the Elm Street Nightmares, the Battleground Betties and the Mad Dollies. They have dedicated referees who are former players or the husbands of current roster members (known as Team Undefeated). They’ve spent the last three years building up a raucous and impressive group of women who leave their normal identities the moment they step out of their practical automobiles and day-to-day lives to fasten on protective gear, assuming bold names that emphasize their commitment to their newly chosen family. This has been Greensboro Roller Derby’s first full year playing in the big leagues. WFTDA, which stands for the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association and is pronounced colloquially as “woofda,” is the highest governing body for roller derby contests. Our traveling team made up of the best players from Greensboro defends our name, the Gate City Roller Girls, in the league. Our home games are played at the Greensboro Coliseum. The players aren’t paid to compete, but ticket sales and membership dues help pay rent for practice space and maintain the resources they need to travel and compete. Any surplus goes to charity. Their injuries can be gnarly. I counted one broken nose, a scarred knee that’s been covered up by an impressive tattoo of a sailing pirate ship, more than a couple of bent and bruised legs, and one girl still in a sling. They all say it was worth it. They either continue to play or are looking forward to being back in the rink. The visible signs of their injuries are sort of badges that show that the women from Greensboro shouldn’t be messed with. Their mission? Fostering sportswomanship, athleticism and teamwork. Fresh Meat members are trained on the necessary skills of the sport, and then drafted by an intraleague team, later having the opportunity to try out for the traveling Gate City Roller Girls team if they choose. The number of teams and their split between the “A” and “B” teams mean each woman can decide what level of competition she wants to engage in. Those who seek merely the release, the exercise, a way to meet new people and a chance to engage in an emerging sport can enjoy the game for the fun of it. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a group of people so aggressively committed to fun. OH Emily Frazier Brown wouldn’t qualify for the Fresh Meat, but likes to think she could. November 2014

O.Henry 19


A wrinkle is a flaw.

But a ripple is art.

shorescleaners.com

High Point

I Greensboro I Winston Salem


Of Mice and Me

Life’s Funny

Would you care for a little wine with that cheese?

By Maria Johnson

My cellphone has several options for

alarm sounds. Many of them have names that are dreamy and peaceful, not at all conducive to getting out of bed.

“Stargaze.” “Twinkle.” “Crystal.” “Cosmic.” “Silk.” I get sleepy just typing the words. My husband uses a sound on the other end of the spectrum. It’s called simply “alarm,” a fitting description for the blaring throb that should be used to signal a nuclear meltdown. WEH! WEH! WEH! GET OUT OF BED! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! GET OFF THE PLANET! I don’t mean to sound like a laxative commercial, but what is needed is something gentle yet effective. May I suggest a sound that’s faint but impossible to sleep through. The sound is “mouse.” Here is what “mouse” sounds like: Scritch-scritch-scritch. Scritch-scritch-scritch. To be more specific: Scritch-scritch-scritch, scurry-scurry-scurry. Scritch-scritch-scritch, scurry-scurry-scurry. Many homeowners will recognize these sounds, as this is the time of year when mice leave their summer homes (our yards) and travel a few feet to their winter homes (our attics). I remember the first morning I awoke to these sounds. Scritch-scritch-scritch. Maybe a tree branch is brushing against the side of the house, I thought. Scurry-scurry-scurry. OK, maybe the wind is blowing a tree branch down the side of the house. But the branch is touching the wall intermittently, so it sounds like little footsteps. At times like this, I’m always amazed at the highly unlikely scenarios I can convince myself of. I stopped breathing and listened harder. The sound was coming from inside the walls. Little feet were running down an interior hallway, like students in middle school. I was pretty sure I could hear tiny lockers slamming shut. I nudged my husband awake. “Do you hear that?” I whispered He sat up in bed and listened. “Mouse,” he declared. A trip to the attic confirmed it. Not only had mice squeezed through a loose screen behind a vent, they’d been munching away steadily at a papier-mâché tunnel — aka, a giant mouse cracker — that my husband and sons had built for a model railroad. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Jeff set out some mousetraps and baited them with cheese. Do you like cheese with crackers? I do. So do mice, apparently, because they picked the traps clean of cheese and, I imagined, repaired to the cracker-tunnel to enjoy their snack and drain tiny bottles of Beaujolais nouveau. Then an experienced mouse hunter told Jeff that you had to make the critters labor over the traps long enough to trip the snapping mechanisms, so Jeff smeared peanut butter on the traps. At this point, I would like to note that Lance Inc. makes two basic kinds of snack crackers: those with cheese and those with peanut butter. Scritch-scritch-scritch. Nibble-nibble-nibble. Glug-glug-glug. I admit that I found the idea of running a mouse bistro pretty funny. Jeff, however, was not amused. He spent one afternoon at a home improvement store. When he came home, he dumped the contents of a plastic bag onto the kitchen island. There, before us, lay the instruments of war. Sticky traps. Inescapable tunnels. Devices that emitted high-frequency sounds to drive mice away. I rejected the sticky traps, which worked like fly paper, on the grounds that they constituted cruel and unusual punishment. At least death by mousetrap was swift and decisive. The sound-emitting device was intriguing. I wondered if — similar to the music torture sometimes used on prisoners of war — the devices spewed around-theclock rock, perhaps by a hard-core band of cats. We plugged in one of the devices. Several days passed. Scritch-scritch-scritch, scurry-scurry-scurry. I could only assume that the devices emitted ultrasonic jazz, which our valued customers enjoyed with their cheese and crackers. By now, of course, I was growing rather fond of our little wire-chewing, diseasetoting friends, though not fond enough to join a mouse lover’s organizer such as — and I would never joke about something like this — The National Mouse Club, which sets standards for the so-called “fancy mouse.” To wit: “The mouse must be long on body with long clean head, not too fine or pointed at the nose, the eyes should be large, bold and prominent. The ears large and tulip shaped, free from creases, carried erect with plenty of width between them. The body should be long and slim, a trifle arched over the loin and racy in appearance.” Again, I never would, or could, make this up. Our mice, however, were not show mice. They were mongrels without papers. They proliferated freely and frequently, which helped to convince me that we should expand our bistro’s offerings to include Slim Jim, which Jeff wedged under the bait plates of the mousetraps. Sure enough, our beady-eyed buddies loved the jerky treat to death. Soon, there was no more pitter-patter of little feet inside our walls. We thought that we had gotten rid of the mice until one day when Jeff was in the garage and found one of his winter golf gloves turned inside out, its lining shredded and fluffed with a vengeance. Clearly, the wee beasties had been gathering nesting material, proving that — with apologies to Scottish poet Robert Burns — the best laid traps of mice by men/some times they go right by. OH Occasionally, Maria Johnson can be heard scurrying down the halls of O.Henry, where she is a contributing editor. But she, too, is hard to catch.

November 2014

O.Henry 21


22 O.Henry

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The OmnivorousReader

Nobody’s Business but Her Own A neighborly slice-of-life glimpse into the life of Harper Lee

By Stephen E. Smith

Ask a few of your more

literate friends if they can identify the source of this line: “. . . and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”

It’s likely one of them will tell you that it’s from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The use of “waked up,” a childlike expression that’s charmingly Southern, strikes a memorable note with many readers. Even folks who haven’t read the novel remember the final line of narration from the movie. Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is one of those rare works of fiction that’s had a cultural impact, capturing a time and place where racial injustice was the norm and suggesting the possibility of a kinder, more inclusive America. It’s surprising there haven’t been bushels of literary biographies, memoirs and first-person exposés exploring the life of one of the South’s more influential writers. But, then, Lee hasn’t been the least bit cooperative. She’s reportedly turned away every writer who’s attempted to produce a definitive biography or memoir. I’ve read two recent Harper Lee bios, neither of which claimed to be “authorized,” a distinction reserved for former Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills’ The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee. Mills purportedly has a signed document from Alice Lee, the novelist’s older sister, stating that Harper Lee approved of and participated in the writing of the book. Enough said? Not so. As soon as the Mills’ bio/memoir appeared, Lee issued a statement from the nursing home where she’s been confined since suffering a stroke in 2007: “Normally, I would not respond to questions about books The Art & Soul of Greensboro

written on my life. Miss Mills befriended my elderly sister, Alice. It did not take long to discover Marja’s true mission; another book about Harper Lee. I was hurt, angry and saddened, but not surprised. I immediately cut off all contact with Miss Mills. . . . Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood.” And therein lies the controversy which has propelled The Mockingbird Next Door onto the best-sellers list. This literary hubbub notwithstanding, Mills did not embark on a mission to produce the definitive authorized biography; she was assigned to write a newspaper story on Harper Lee for the Chicago Tribune to accompany the One Book, One City project, a reading program in which the residents of The Windy City would read and discuss To Kill a Mockingbird. Contrary to Lee’s reputation regarding journalists, Mills found both Alice and Harper (friends and family call her Nelle) engaging and forthright. In fact, the sisters took Mills, who suffers from lupus, under their collective wing, finding her a rental house next door, and including her in day trips and family activities involving close friends. They did their laundry at the local wishy-washy, exercised together, fished, participated in casual book discussions, and visited Alabama historical sites. Much of Mills’ book is taken up with her own personal history and the routine of everyday life with Harper Lee: “On weekdays, Nelle quite often would invite me for an afternoon cup of coffee at McDonald’s. We’d sit in the booth to the left of the main door or the first table over on the righthand side. I’d ride along as she picked up Alice after work and then made the six-minute drive to the small lake down the hill from the Community House to feed the ducks and geese. As Nelle would slowly pull over and get the Cool Whip tub out of her truck, the ducks would offer the kind of noisy welcome that only they can.” Blah, blah, blah. Harper Lee likes to November 2014

O.Henry 23


Reader

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24 O.Henry

November 2014

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play the slots, she’s capable of a moderate display of temper and can be forthright in her use of language, although she’s never quite as surly as the typical curmudgeon. As for the gossipy stuff readers have come to expect from biographies of significant literary figures, there’s precious little juicy stuff to be had in Mills’ account, especially of the literary sort. Lee describes Truman Capote as a “psychopath,” who habitually lied about himself and others (Capote was Harper Lee’s playmate when they were children and she immortalized him as “Dill” in To Kill a Mockingbird). She and Capote fell out after the success of Mockingbird and never spoke again. She appreciates Eudora Welty’s work and dislikes Flannery O’Connor’s Catholicism and her description of To Kill a Mockingbird as “a good book for children.” (Mills writes that Lee “felt lucky Mockingbird was published when it was. Much later, and it might have been classified as young adult fiction and never reached the audience, and all the adults, it did.”) Who are Harper Lee’s influences? When asked that question at a press conference for the publication of Mockingbird, Lee answered, “Oh, mostly 19th century, rather than 20th century, writers. Charles Lamb, Jane Austen, Thackeray, all that crowd.” And that’s pretty much it. According to Mills, Harper Lee is an interesting Southern woman who wrote a great novel and decided, for whatever reason, not to write another — and to paraphrase the old blues song, “It ain’t nobody’s business but her own.” What’s puzzling is that Lee objects to a book that does little more than describe a rather innocuous friendship, leaving readers who are devoted fans of To Kill a Mockingbird bemoaning the lack of introspection. At best, The Mockingbird Next Door is a sweet slice-of-life glimpse of small-town life in the American South. In the final accounting, To Kill a Mockingbird stands on its own, as do our other bildungsromans, Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn. Mills’ peek into the life of Harper Lee reminds us that we can look forward to similar bio/memoirs on J.D. Salinger (there are a slew of unauthorized offerings available), and that someday we’ll no doubt be granted furtive glimpses into the lives of Thomas Pynchon and Cormac McCarthy, our other resident literary recluses. As for Harper Lee, she was capable of forgiving herself for all the beautiful books she might have written but didn’t. That in itself is no small accomplishment. OH Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

O.Henry 25


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Scuppernong Bookshelf

Turkey Day Therapy Take one good book and call us in the morning

By Brian L ampkin and Staff

We all must

survive. That’s the first rule of any family Thanksgiving reunion. The disparate family parts reconvene, and soon we’re all thrown back into patterns of behavior we arrogantly thought we’d abandoned as we grew into self-aware adults. Not so fast, your brother reminds you, as he faux-playfully teases you about your teenage sexual behaviors. And suddenly you’re that defiant teenager again lashing out in any direction at all the injustice. No amount of calming meditation or anti-anxiety medication is going to help. The only thing that’s going to get you through this weekend with Uncle Charlie’s crush on Sean Hannity and Aunt June’s new intentional community for anti-authoritarian knitters is reading. Find a quiet space away from the madding crowd and read. Or sit among the noise and insults at the table and put your nose in a book. Here are a few titles that might help you through the Thanksgiving repast.

Let’s hope that your Thanksgiving dinner follows a decidedly different narrative arc than the meal featured in Herman Koch’s The Dinner (Hogarth, $14). The entirety of the action in the novel focuses on a dinner table conversation between two couples; but in a matter of chapters, the reader becomes aware of a separate, tangential conversation going on beneath the apparent one that threatens to burst to the surface and change things irreparably. Dark, atmospheric and tense — ­ The Dinner is one you’ll want to read before its inevitable adaptation into a blockbuster film. — Brian Etling The preparation time for the holiday meal can sometimes feel like a small eternity and at times one might begin to relate very well with the narrator The Art & Soul of Greensboro

of Knut Hamsun’s Hunger (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16). Hunger is the story of a Scandinavian man slowly losing his grip on reality. Desperate and starving, he wanders the streets of Oslo ruminating on his profound hunger and falling deeper into a pit of fear and paranoia. Despite the fact that the narrator is decidedly an “anti-hero,” readers can’t help but feel themselves relating personally to him. This humanization is the real success of the novel – that, and the fact that Hamsun can even make a pencil seem appetizing. — Brian Etling In The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet, by Arnold van Huis (Columbia University Press, $27.95), two entomologists and a chef work very hard to convince you and me that insects are a sustainable source of protein and a crunchy, tasty addition to our diets. It’s packed with useful facts, anecdotes from less squeamish cultures, simple recipes and pictures of mealworm ice cream. Stop squishing bugs underfoot and throw them into dinner. — Steve Mitchell Anyone who finds eating to be an essential part of living and is thankful for that sustenance should read Wendell Berry’s collection of essays in Bringing It to the Table (Counterpoint, $14.95). It is humbling to realize that for over forty years, Berry and others have been earnestly warning us that America’s industrial agricultural is dangerously unsustainable. Berry is eloquent and offers concrete advice on being conscious of the effects our food choices have on the Earth, the economy and our quality of life. — Rachel York A Moveable Feast (Scribner, $12), Ernest Hemingway’s posthumously published memoir about living in Paris as a young man in the 1920s, is an uncontrived glimpse of life among an incredible collection of people. Most striking to me are the details of how he ate, and how clearly and frequently he recounts specific meals. Living on a small and inconsistent income, he wrote, “Hunger is a good discipline.” Not being able to afford regular meals certainly makes the experience of eating more vivid. For Hemingway, though, hunger and eating seemed to become part of a greater aesthetic cycle of emptiness and fullness. — Rachel York “During these last decades the interest in professional fasting has markedly diminished.” So goes the opening line in Franz Kafka’s short story “A Hunger Artist” (The Complete Stories, by Franz Kafka, Schocken November 2014

O.Henry 27


Bookshelf Books, $17). There’s always someone at the table who has decided that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to begin a fast or to turn vegetarian. So much for Grandma’s immaculate turkey. Perhaps Kafka’s story will help you find some empathy for this difficult character in your family life —“A Hunger Artist” is really a story of the failure of empathy in our civilized world. — Brian Lampkin Just in time for Thanksgiving, let’s talk about Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers (Griffin, $15.99), an exploration of a small American town in which a large number of the populace simply vanish one day in what comes to be known as The Sudden Departure. How do those remaining adjust and go about their everyday existence? These are questions to consider as the remnants of Thursday’s turkey slowly disappear. — Steve Mitchell But enough about the food on the table. It’s the people around the table that worry us. I recommend Rebecca Solnit’s new book, Men Explain Things to Me (Dispatch Books, $11.95). You’ll want to remind Uncle Charlie, when he pulls himself away from Fox News, that “violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.” Clear, concise and adamant, Solnit makes point after point about the realities of male violence, particularly against women. The perfect book for those ubiquitous Thanksgiving football games, with or without Ray Rice — the man who explains things to women with his fists. – Brian Lampkin Ever have someone say, “Oh, it’s nothing” when they receive a favor? This bothers Anne Lamott. “If generosity is nothing, then what is anything?” In her new book, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, due to be released on November 11 (Riverhead Books, $22.95), Lamott discusses ways life can mess with us and possibly how to proceed despite it all. The season of “giving thanks” often lends itself to sentimental reflection on our personal lives. And while the end product of finding beauty and meaning can be elusive, she points out that at least we have some time (our whole lives) to work on it. Lamott writes on a wide range of topics: walking in the redwoods with her friend who is living with ALS, teaching writing workshops to prisoners in San Quentin, breakups, sobriety and even a battle of wits with a fellow classroom parent whose wardrobe is exclusively bicycle shorts. But the book takes these difficult situations and doesn’t simply say she realizes she’s lucky at the end of each story. With humor and realness Lamott shows the reader her experience accepting everything that is swung at her along the way and living as best she can . . . and with thanks. — Kira Larson And so finally we do want to give thanks, and to love the families we’ve been born into and the ones we’ve choosen. So do your best, dear readers, eat heartily, read long, and forgive where possible. It might go both ways. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 29


Holidays

at old salem Experience authentic history, fresh-baked treats, unique holiday gifts, seasonal concerts, and the holiday spirit.

november 4–december 31

November 8 shops at old salem holiday open house – music, food, shopping, and more Beginning November 14 candlelight tours – with music, games, food, and drink November 29 – December 20 saturdays with st. nicholas – family activities and a visit with St. Nicholas December 13 salem christmas – A full day of hands-on activities and holiday fun! visit old salem or shop online for unique holiday gifts

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

30 O.Henry

November 2014

old salem museums & gardens, winston-salem, north carolina

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Lunch With a Friend

High Noon at Briggs Barbecue

Doc Tetons, aka Dr. David Best, comes armed to his teeth and hungry as hell

By Cynthia Adams

It’s a shootout at high noon and I’m

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

unarmed except for my pepper spray. Doc Tetons, aka Dr. David Best, is wearing the requisite black boots, striped breeches, vest and armbands of a gunslinger. He also wears a holster, low-slung — and, of course, a badge (more on that later). At his fingertips are custom-made, engraved Spanish pistols.

“Colt copies; I had them made about fifteen years ago,” he says. Doc’s face is a mask of sweaty concentration. (Or irritation?) His fingertips look to be itching to reach for the pistols at his hips. A bead of sweat rolls down my brow; the sun climbs higher. It’s hot, and someone could be bothered. But dead men (or women) can’t pick up restaurant tabs, so I figure I have a healthy chance of living to see sunset if I mention I’m buying lunch. I blot my shining forehead, worrying that Doc could draw at any time, just as his shooting pal, Jim Neilson, sports a drawn semiautomatic weapon. The Doc is a cool customer, but his friend seems jumpy. “At least,” I offer in a jokey, creaky voice, “if your friend blew a hole in me you could fix it.” Doc is also a surgeon, wearing a natty black tie with a real gold dollar tie pin his grandfather gave him. His black doctor’s bag is nearby. “Um, but not the kind of hole that would create,” he says as his friend lowers his gun. Then Doc laughs. Hard. In fact, he nearly doubles over. We’ve made a stop for a little live fire action at The Rockingham County Gun Club en route to our lunch destination at the place of Doc’s choosing, Briggs BBQ & Cafe, in Yanceyville. Doc closed up shop at lunch this Friday so he could get out and blow off some steam at the gun club with an old friend before chow. At age 62, this is how the good doc plays. As his nine-to-five self, David Best, M.D., runs Best Impressions near Wesley Long Hospital in the building his father, a pediatrician, built in 1982. But long before Best got into the medical world, he was a hands-on cowboy

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

working with cattle along with his dad. In Doc’s point of view, cowboys and cowhands are just as authentically Eastern as Western. As he explains, cowboys date to American Colonial times, when once upon a time there were cowboys running cattle in the uplands of the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, as well as in parts of the Northeast. Before Best assumed the occasional persona of Doc Tetons, he was a Carolina cowboy, working with some of the toughest bulls on the range — the Charolais. Heavily muscled and intimidating, a mature Charolais bull can weigh in at 2,400 lbs. The Best family owned a Pleasant Ridge farm near the airport and bred beef cattle. The distinctive Charolais breed is almost white in color. Charolais beef is also known for being lower in fat. Best’s father worked to genetically modify the breed, which are often crossed with Angus and Hereford cows. “He was trying to breed the bloodline to breed out the horns,” says Best. Hornless cattle are safer to handle and less prone to inflict harm on other cattle and their offspring. Best worked cattle while attending Grimsley High School, graduating with the class of 1969. He continued working on the farm throughout medical training at UNC-Chapel Hill, and returned to the farm with his new wife for a time immediately after graduating. Sharpshooting November 2014

O.Henry 31


Opus 2014-2015

The City Arts Music Center of the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department proudly presents the Opus Concert Series, free of charge! The popular concert series showcases outstanding musical entertainment at exciting venues throughout our community. Join us!

CONCERT SERIES

GROUP

CONCERT DATE

TIME

Sunday, November 2, 2014

3 PM

Choral Society of Greensboro Jon Brotherton, Conductor

Saturday, November 8, 2014

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

Saturday, November 15, 2014

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3 PM

St. Pius X Catholic Church 2200 North Elm Street

Marimba Christmas Andrew Dancy, Conductor

Thursday, December 11, 2014

7 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble Wally West, Conductor

Monday, December 15, 2014

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Greensboro Oratorio Singers Jay O. Lambeth, Conductor

Thursday, December 18, 2014

7 PM

Carolina Theatre 310 South Greene Street

Saturday, February 14, 2015

6 - 8 PM

Bur-Mil Park Clubhouse 5834 Bur-Mil Club Road

Sunday, March 8, 2015

3 PM

Lindley Recreation Center 2907 Springwood Drive

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

Saturday, March 14, 2015

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Greensboro Tarheel Chorus John Peeler, Conductor

Saturday, March 28, 2015

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Philharmonia of Greensboro Peter Perret, Conductor

Saturday, May 2, 2015

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble Wally West, Conductor

Sunday, May 3, 2015

3 PM

Choral Society of Greensboro Jon Brotherton, Conductor

Friday, May 8, 2015

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

Saturday, May 9, 2015

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Greensboro Youth Chorus Ann Doyle and Nana Wolfe-Hill, Conductors

Monday, May 11, 2015

7 PM

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Friday, May 15, 2015

7:30 PM

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church 607 North Greene Street

Philharmonia of Greensboro with Special Guest: Danville Symphony Orchestra

Peter Perret, Conductor

Greensboro Percussion Ensembles with Special Guest: North Carolina A&T State Percussion Ensemble

Mike Lasley, Conductor Greensboro Youth Chorus Ann Doyle and Nana Wolfe-Hill, Conductors

Greensboro Big Band, Sweet Sounds in partnership with Bur-Mil Park; includes dancing, dessert and music

Mike Day, Conductor Philharmonia of Greensboro, Pillow Pops Concert with Special Guest: Dance Project: the School at City Arts

Peter Perret, Conductor

Greensboro Percussion Ensembles Mike Lasley, Conductor Greensboro Brass Ensemble Kiyoshi Carter, Conductor

32

For details about the concert programs, please visit our website at O.Henry November 2014 • 336-373-2549 • music@greensboro-nc.gov www.city-arts.org.

LOCATION

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Greensboro Historical Museum 130 Summit Avenue

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

New, unwrapped toys are being TheFOX8 Art & Soul of Greensboro collected for Gifts for Kids.


Lunch With a Friend

came later — by near accident. “Friends and I made a plastic device to feed deer,” he explains. “We wanted to sell them, and took them to a gun show.” And that was that. At the gun show, a man decked out in a sharpshooter costume caught Best’s eye. His spurs jingled. The chrome on his two six shooters glinted in the light. His cowboy hat was tilted back at a rakish angle. Best got to talking to him and soon found himself at a firing range blazing away with a Colt .45 single-action Peacemaker. Best, who grew up around guns and was a decent shot, was soon a member of the Single Action Shooting Society of America, SASS. “I was shooting a .22 rifle on my dad’s farm. Shooting is just another form of precision, in the way that injecting varicose veins is just another form of precision.” Best joined the ranks of SASS sharpshooters, “home of cowboy action shooting.” For Best, the theater of dressing as a sharpshooter “just goes with the guns.” After a loud show of fire power — shooters and observers wear protective ear phones — we continue on to Briggs (as in Briggs and Stratton, mind you) BBQ & Cafe. It raises nary an eyebrow that Doc is still wearing full-on sharpshooter regalia as he strides inside the dining room, which is small but packed with customers. One says she occasionally drives forty miles from Greensboro to Yanceyville to enjoy their generous servings of home cooking. At Briggs, sweet tea and lots of it is the drink of choice. “The fried cornbread is just like my grandmother used to make,” Best says. “Sometimes that is all I want, it’s so good.” But we order barbecue with the fixings, as well as okra, pinto beans, slaw and turnips. Best is right. The fried cornbread is wonderfully crisp but not in the least greasy. The service is friendly and fast, leaving you barely enough time to take in the abundant artwork lining the walls — artwork that is, as one artist friend likes to say, best described as easily understood. Breakfast is served at Briggs until 11 and is hearty — thick slices of fatback, biscuits overstuffed with pork chops, toast sandwiching eggs, sausage and bacon — as well as the usual offerings of pancakes and eggs any way you want. Their pillowy biscuits garner high praise. Fit fare for hungry cowboys. The barbecue plate comes with two vegetables and bread for $6.50. The Brunswick stew, hamburger steak and chicken livers are always on offer, along with a bologna burger. Mile-high meringue-topped chocolate pies beckon, but no one has room for dessert. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Emptying glass after glass of Briggs’ tea, we talk SASS, and how Best became a member in 1984, holding badge number 3513. The fun comes from adopting an alias and outfitting yourself in an authentic costume that complements your persona. Then, the adopted alias is registered once accepted by SASS. Why Teton? “Wyatt Burp was already taken,” he chortles. “Teton,” by the way, is French for “breast,” a not-so-subtle reference to surgical breast augmentation? Members compete using single-action revolvers, shotguns or rifles. In the spirit of SASS, they are expected to dress the part, use weapons contemporary with their dress and adopt good sportsmanship. There are now over 100,000 registered members. Another physician and urologist, known as Doc One Eye, shot with the group for a while. SASS also has a network of local clubs throughout the state. The doc was a guest on the range in Rockingham, at the invitation of his friend Neilson. Both men live in Greensboro — Best lives off Friendly Road in Greensboro, and Neilson lives nearby in Starmount. “I’m affiliated with at least four clubs,” Best says. He travels all over the state, dressed and armed to the teeth for the monthly match (held on Sundays in nearby Eden), which is his home club. Blissed out on cornbread and thoughts of what lies ahead, Doc Tetons slips outside Briggs. He has a quick chat with the cafe owner before climbing into his Jeep and heading toward the nearby Dan River with his kayak. He will sleep beneath the stars and do some fishing for phase two of his excellent, manly-man adventure. “Remember Blazing Saddles?” Doc Tetons asks with a wicked grin as we part company. I swear, if he had a mustache, he would twirl it. He pats a shiny badge pinned to his costume. “‘We don’t need no stinking badges’ is from the movie.” Actually, the line was stolen from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but who’s splitting hairs? A large spider sits on his black hat, like a mean old mascot. I can’t help myself: “Why is it there?” I ask, pointing. “So you will ask why it is there,” Doc retorts with a derisive snort and laugh. A smirk plays on Doc’s face, which fades as he heads off into the sunset. The fish are biting. And dead fish tell no tales. OH Cynthia Adams lives and writes in Greensboro. Her email is: inklyadams@aol.com. November 2014

O.Henry 33


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Minor Details

A Woman Worth Millions

How Weatherspoon Art Museum become home to a modern master By Joe Hoesl

UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum

Photo by Weatherspoon: Willem de Kooning, “Woman”, 1949-50, Lena Kernodle McDuffie memorial purchase, 1954.

opened in 1941 in a former physics lab on the campus of what was then Woman’s College, not in the free-standing, modernist building it now occupies at Tate and Spring Garden streets.

In 1954, John Opper, a professor in the art department, was given $1,800 to drive his station wagon to New York City to buy artwork for the museum’s permanent collection. As his colleagues waited anxiously, many thought he would return with a carload of paintings. What a surprise when Opper showed up with just one. And it was an abstract painting that a number of people didn’t like. “Get your money back,” they said. “I don’t think I can do that,” he replied. Fast forward to the late 1980s. The telephone rings and Ann Dortch, Weatherspoon’s office manager, answers it. The caller says, “You have a painting by de Kooning titled ‘Woman’?” “Yes, we do,” Dortch replies. “I’d like to offer you $1 million for it.” She checks with the director of the museum and comes back to the phone. “I’m sorry,” she says. “It’s not for sale.” Several weeks later, Dortch answers the phone, and the same caller says, “I’ll give you $4 million for the painting.” She checks and again notifies the caller that UNCG’s de Kooning is not for sale. This goes on for several weeks. Each time the caller raises the ante, and each time Dortch says it isn’t for sale. Finally the caller says, “Who actually owns the painting?” Dortch replies, “This is a North Carolina university, so, technically, I guess the governor owns it.” (In fact, all of Weatherspoon’s paintings belong to a private foundation.) The caller must have called the governor’s office because a few days later the governor is on the phone. “What kind of painting do you have up there that’s worth $15 million?” The painting, of course, is by Willem de Kooning, a Dutch American abstract impressionist artist, now considered a modern master. A couple of years ago, New York’s Museum of Modern Art had a huge de Kooning retrospective featuring twenty paintings with an appraised value of $4 billion. One of his paintings titled Woman III reportedly sold for over $150 million. I asked Nancy Doll, Weatherspoon’s executive director, how much she thought the painting was worth. She diplomatically said she didn’t know. But she admits that it is a very valuable painting. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Joe Hoesl is perhaps best known to Greensboro as the playwright who pens adaptations of William Sydney Porter’s short stories for the Greensboro Historical Museum’s 5 by O.Henry. November 2014

O.Henry 35


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Gate City Journal

Finding Warnersville

For many, the opening this month at the Greensboro Historical Museum of an exhibit celebrating the life of one of Greensboro’s most influential neighborhoods will be a rich journey into our heritage — for others, long overdue

Photographs from Greensboro Historical Museum and Larky M. Robinson, Jr.

James and Nannie Mae Shoffner

Wooden candlestick by Larky Robinson Jr. in his 9th grade shop class in 1967 at J C Price School

Robinson family: Martha Fox, Larky “Lark” Robinson, Larky M. Robinson and Ethel Potts Robinson in front of their house on Marsh Street J.C. Price School 1962 state softball championship ball By Molly Sentell Haile

Gloria Poole remembers once upon a time

in Warnersville when her Uncle Marshall’s pet ring-tailed monkey lived in a cage under the shade of her grandmother’s huge peach tree. Everyone on the Southside knew her Uncle Marshall because the monkey would jump on him when he said, “Come here,” and ride around the neighborhood in his arms, Poole says, bringing the past and her uncle back to life via oral history. That’s the sort of unsung history the Greensboro Historical Museum is recreating in Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories, an

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

exhibit that opens Sunday, November 23.

Visitors can see pictures of Warnersville’s founder, a Quaker lawyer from Pennsylvania named Yardley Warner, as well as photographs of the thriving black-owned and operated businesses on Ashe Street during the mid 1900s. There are also candids of the opening of the swimming pool at Warnersville Recreation Center, a summertime bicycle festival, and the 1954–56 J.C. Price School high-stepping baton girls in their tall hats and white boots. Better yet, visitors will hear history in the words and voices of those who made it through audio and video clips. Stories like James Griffin’s. He recounts a childhood memory of his grandfather’s funeral procession down Ashe Street. Griffin says when he turned to look back at the line of cars trailing behind, he saw his grandmother’s house standing in front of flat, empty stretches of land where much of Warnersville had been recently razed for the redevelopment. Others remember how teachers often ate dinner at their students’ homes or how a boy who misbehaved down the street couldn’t get home before word reached his mother. And there are stories of the Warnersville Rec Center direcNovember 2014

O.Henry 37


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Gate City Journal tors and coaches, youth leaders and ministers at the neighborhood churches, and teachers at J.C. Price who taught kids not only sports and Sunday School lessons and grammar, but also how to live right and do good work in the world. Each of the stories in the exhibit connects to the broader Warnersville story of a community that continually redefines, rebuilds and preserves home. “What is community?” asks Robert Harris, the Greensboro Historical Museum’s curator of exhibits. “How much is geography part of that and what happens when the geography basically goes away? Does the community still exist? What methods does it carry on? . . . And in this case, everything changed so wide-sweeping, so fast.” Jon Zachman, the museum’s curator of collections, adds that Warnersville hasn’t received the attention or scholarship it deserves. “The physical destruction and the emotional or cultural loss of community — that’s a universal story that largely impacted African-American communities,” he says. “That’s something I think a lot of people will be able to relate to.” Communities were virtually destroyed by urban development all across the South, whether it was Durham or Richmond. For the past year, Zachman, UNCG intern Angela Thorpe and a group of Warnersville residents serving on an Exhibit Advisory Group have collaborated on plans for the exhibit, gathering dozens of oral histories, more than 400 photographs and numerous artifacts. Among other things, the exhibit will chronicle Warnersville’s controversial founding two years after the end of the Civil War. Yardley Warner, a white man from the North, bought 35 1/2 acres a mile south of Greensboro’s city limit and, with the help of former slave and carpenter Harmon Unthank, sold the land in parcels to recently freed slaves at a time when local landowners refused to sell to them. The exhibit also highlights Warnersville’s flourishing years as a vibrant neighborhood from the turn of the

century to the 1960s and its struggles in the years following a 1969–71 top-down government urban renewal project that devastated the geography of the neighborhood. Despite losing numerous houses, dozens of stores, a number of businesses and several blocks that were cut off by wide thoroughfares, Warnersville residents worked hard to sustain their tight-knit community. Warnersville’s history needs to be “folded into the story of Greensboro.” That is the charge of a historical museum, Zachman explains, to be a keeper of stories. The GHM curators and the Exhibit Advisory Group are excited that the exhibit will reach many people who don’t already know Warnersville’s prominent role in Greensboro’s history, including children who are growing up there now. Museum educators are collaborating with teachers at Jones Elementary School to plan field trips to the exhibit and visits by curators to the school. They hope stories about Warnersville — a place that has been cradle to a college, one of the Greensboro Four, and a venerable list of national and local educators, ministers, and social activists — will inspire present day students to imagine their own futures as leaders who care about their community. James Griffin says the legacy of Warnersville’s unique community continues in a world where many people don’t know or care to know their neighbors. “Even today in Warnersville, because it’s been almost fifty years since redevelopment, the same thing applies now,” Griffin says. “We still know the neighbors four or five streets over and where everybody lives, which is unusual for any community these days and times. In this particular community you know people still. Everywhere.” OH Molly Sentell Haile, whose work has been published in the Oxford American, is a graduate of UNCG’s creative writing MFA program. She teaches creative writing at Hirsch Wellness Network in Greensboro.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Artist at Work

Stayin’ Alive

Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn have found the musical formula that combines creativity and sustainability

By Ogi Overman

Let’s face it: The music industry is in a

photogrphs by sam froelich

continuing state of decline. While label execs — known as “suits” to the musicians — prefer to call it a “period of transition,” no one knows exactly what it is transitioning to. CD sales are down, and downloads are too. Yes, streaming media services such as Spotify and YouTube are soaring, but it takes 1,500 song streams to produce the equivalent revenue of one album sale.

Plus, most bars and nightclubs do not pay bands as much as they did ten, twenty or even thirty years ago. Where does that leave musicians? The stereotypical “struggling” has now become starving, part-time or former musician. One local couple, however, figured out a way to beat the system, to have a full-time musical career that both fulfills their creative desires and provides them a comfortable lifestyle. And, no, they didn’t have to go down to the crossroads and make a deal with the devil to do it. What they did was take their collective and individual talents, combine them with a strong work ethic, a lifelong love of music and an ever-deepening love for each other, not to mention that they devote practically (but not quite) every waking moment to honing and perfecting their craft. Meet Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn. Known collectively as AM rOdeO, Evan is also half of another duo with standup bassist Dana Bearror, while keyboardist Jessica also enjoys a flourishing solo career. Among the three, they work roughly 250 dates a year. Their steadiest is a Wednesday night gig at Printworks Bistro, which they have been doing for four years.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“You don’t hear of many acts playing a weekly house gig for that long,” says Jessica, “and we’re grateful for it, and especially for (owner) Dennis Quaintance.” Other stops on her regular rotation are WineStyles, Graffiti’s Bistro, the Tasting Room, Grandover Resort and Potent Potables in Jamestown. Dana and Evan may also be seen regularly at Finnegan’s Wake and Five Points in Winston-Salem, Gia in Greensboro and The Deck in Jamestown. Add to that frequent shows — either as a duo or solo, at the area wineries such as Childress in Lexington, Medaloni Cellars and Westbend Vineyards in Lewisville along with Autumn Creek in Mayodan; Starmount and Greensboro country clubs; wedding receptions; the Wyndham Championship; corporate events; private parties; and numerous benefits — and you get the picture of a very busy couple. Because these types of jobs typically involve playing cover music to a crowd whose sole focus is not always on the band, it is sometimes frowned upon by “serious” artists, all of whom are convinced they’re going to be the next Beatles. Well, first of all, there is no next Beatles, and second, at one time Evan Olson seemed for a while to have had a shot at being the next Paul McCartney. Longtime area music buffs will remember him as the tall, blond heartthrob who ruled the ’90s. After stints with Majosha (with Ben Folds and Eddie Walker) and Bus Stop (with Chuck Folds and Snüzz), he went solo, ultimately signing a contract with Universal Records. His CD, One Room, yielded two singles, but neither cracked the Top 40, and he was subsequently dropped by the label. “I was pretty lost for a while,” he told this reporter some years later. “I fell into that pit of self doubt, got divorced, drank a lot and did a lot of soul searching trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life.” And what he did was what he’d always done — play music without an allconsuming focus on rock god and pop idol status. “All I’d ever wanted to do was make a living playing music,” he muses (even though he did pick up a degree in psychology from UNCG along the way). “I November 2014

O.Henry 41


Artist at Work

am still doing what I’d set out to do initially, and I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life.” Naturally, part of that happiness is tied to having found his soulmate as well as his musical partner — and musical she is. To say that Jessica Mashburn grew up in a musical family is an understatement. Her grandmother, Mildred Carpenter, and uncles, Curtiss and Peter Carpenter, founded the Cammys, beach music’s version of the Grammys, and still run it today, while her mother was one of the initial photographers and boosters of Merlefest. Jessica, in fact, has been to all twenty-seven Merlefests, and performs each year at the Cammy Awards, held at North Myrtle Beach. “Music was my religion growing up,” she says. “My parents believed so strongly in the importance of music, that when they brought me home from the hospital, they had ‘Darling Baby Girl’ by Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs cued up in the car cassette player, so that it would be the first song I ever heard.” They went on their first date on Halloween 2008 and soon began writing tunes and working up a repertoire. She, too, had been part of a duo, called 176, with fellow pianist Julie Crosson, and at the time was programming the music for the six restaurants Quaintance-Weaver ran. Quaintance asked her and Evan to compose a musical tribute for an international technology company, AMI, which was very well received and opened the door for several other opportunities. “We’d been writing some together, but that really gave us the confidence to realize we could do this,” she notes. “Dennis asked us to play Wednesdays at Printworks shortly thereafter, then in 2010 we cut an album (Doot), and later got commissioned by the Center for Creative Leadership to write a fifteen-minute opus for their fortieth anniversary. Things just started coming together.” The beauty of their personal and professional relationship — the thing that makes it work — is that they seem to be able to blend all facets of their career so seamlessly. They perform together or apart, they write together or apart, they record together or apart. “Why can’t you do both?” Evan asks rhetorically. “Why can’t you do it all; chase the dream and play originals, yet still make money with covers? Just because we play covers doesn’t mean we can’t still write songs and be creative.” Adds Jessica, “We weave that part of it into our lives; we make it work for us.” If the proof is in the pudding, consider the following: Last year Evan released his seventh solo CD, titled Eternal Bliss. He wrote, produced, performed and recorded all thirteen tracks. He also writes for film, television and radio and has had TV cuts on Sex and the City, Ugly Betty and One Tree Hill; the soundtrack for a series on the

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November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Velocity cable channel called Tech Toys 360; and a movie credit for a song he wrote for Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3. As a duo, they co-wrote a song for the Canadian TV series Degrassi High. They also rerecorded a tune Evan had written years ago, this time with Jessica on vocals, that is now the theme song for the Internet soap opera Beacon Hill. “They’re saying there’s a good chance it will get picked up by TV,” says Evan, “and if so, they’ll still use it as the theme. We don’t like to get too excited but we’re hoping for the best.” Another song that has some industry heavyweights excited is an ode Evan wrote to Jessica, titled “Classic Heart.” The backstory is that twice a year, the couple visits New York City, where they perform on open mic night at the famous jazz club Birdland. The club is also frequented by well-known New York singer/songwriter Christine Lavin, who has twenty-one solo albums to her credit. Lavin fell in love with the song, sent it to engineering marvel Philip Klum for remastering, and began playing it on a New York radio show she hosts. Meanwhile, Evan and Jessica made a video to accompany the song. “Christine is convinced this song is a hit,” says Jessica. “She sent it to Jeff Daniels, who loved it. She says it’s just a matter of the right person hearing it, and she has the connections to get it into the hands of the right

GABRIEL OFIESH

Artist at Work

person. You never know.” (Preview it by Googling “Evan Olson” and “Classic Heart.”) But one thing you do know is that this musical pair has figured out the formula for sustaining a career in perpetuity. They do all their recording from their upstairs studio in their comfy, cozy home in Lindley Park, where Evan shares custody of his daughter, Ava, 13, and son Griffin, 11, from his first marriage to Trina Olson. They are working on their second AM rOdeO album, and Jessica is developing a torch song show where she will perform standards with an accompanist. And even with their rigorous work schedule, the fact that most of it is local leaves them time for a “normal” family life. “You have to treat it as a business,” remarks Evan. “It’s our passion and our bliss, but to make it sustainable, you have to look at it that way.” Echoes Jessica, “We make it work.” If the definition of success is being able to turn that thing you’re most passionate about into your vocation, then Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn are the poster couple that defines it. OH After a failed career as a musician, this month marks Ogi Overman’s 30th year in journalism. He is putting the finishing touches on A Doughnut and a Dream, a book of his column.

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O.Henry 43


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Birdwatch

American Kestrel

Once a rare sight in our skies, this swift-flying falcon is making a fine comeback A young American Kestrel By Susan Campbell

Look! Look! Up there on the electrical

wire: It’s a dainty falcon. Or is it just a resting dove? Nope. The tail is squared off and the head is too big. And what about the small, hooked bill? And that tail bobbing? Yes, it is an American kestrel!

American kestrels are sexually dimorphic. Translation? Like a lot of birds, males and females can be distinguished from one another by plumage differences. Females have rufous backs, wings and tails with thin, black barring. The males, by contrast, have blue-gray wings and a rufous tail with only a black terminal band. Both have boldly patterned heads. Look for black “sideburns” at the ear, a distinctive “mustache” and a dark spot on the nape. Kestrels have long wings and tails that make them remarkably swift and maneuverable fliers. They not only nail mice, lizards and small birds with ease in sometimes thick underbrush, but they can snatch large insects from thin air. As with all falcons, American kestrels use a quick bite to the neck with their specially notched bills to efficiently dispatch their prey. Kestrels were a rare sight across North America not too long ago. For a carnivore near the top of the food chain, the magnified effects of DDT caused thinning shells and consequently low nesting success. In fact, mass mortality was reported in some areas. But the species has made a good recovery. They may be found breeding across North Carolina. They are most likely to nest in urban areas with buildings that have enough nooks

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

and crannies for nesting. Or they may find wooded habitats where large, decaying trees with plentiful nest holes are left standing. We do have breeding birds in the Triad, but you’ll likely see lots more kestrels in winter as birds from farther north make their way here in the fall, staking out territories where rodents are abundant. This is usually open habitat such as farm fields, pastures and airports. Individuals will perch patiently, often for hours, from a good vantage point, high up where they watch and listen for prey below. Being such agile fliers, they can actually hover for short periods as they zero in on prey. Because they can see in the ultraviolet range, American kestrels have the seemingly uncanny ability to track rodents, such as voles, by their urine trails. Interestingly, here in the South, wintering kestrels often divide habitat by sex. Females, who arrive first, stake out feeding territories in the most desirable, open locations. By the time males arrive, they are relegated to the wooded fringes. In summer, pairs defend Triad nest sites mostly in urban areas. Kestrels are as secretive during the breeding season as they are visible in winter. Nests are made in old trees with large cavities, often originally hollowed out by woodpeckers. The best clue to their presence are thin, high pitched “killi, killi, killi” calls. So, now that you know how and where to look, maybe you will spot an American kestrel or two this winter. Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com, by phone (910) 949-3207 or by mail at 144 Pine Ridge Drive, Whispering Pines, N.C. 28327. November 2014

O.Henry 45


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The Sporting Life

November Nocturne

Remembering good friends and good times in the quiet of late autumn morning darkness

By Tom Bryant

Something jarred me from a

sound sleep and a weird dream. The little clock on my side of the bed glowed red: 3:30. Vestiges of the dream drifted like wisps of smoke from an early winter campfire. I knew it was an important recall of times past and could make a great impact on the days ahead, if I could only remember. Sleep was impossible, so I silently eased out of the bed, not wanting to wake Linda, and headed for the kitchen.

I quietly closed the door to the hall, went to the kitchen, and looked out the window to the woods on the north side of our house. Leaves were nearly all off the trees, and a full moon cast shadows as a brisk northeast wind blew in the first cold spell of the season. I flipped on the light over the counter and fired up the coffee maker, trying all the time to remember the dream. Too late, I thought, it just wouldn’t come back, maybe later. November is one of my favorite months. In years past, this special time of year would find me up to my nose in hunting paraphernalia: shotguns, duck decoys, bird hunting coats and trousers, all kinds of gear spread out in the roost, my little garage apartment retreat where I do most of my writing. But not this year. This November found me sitting at the kitchen table at 4 a.m., bewilderedly trying to remember a dream. This entire year seemed to be one major event after another. In the earlier months we were in Florida, then back home to spend most of the summer on an extended trip out west. Fall came and one of our oldest and dearest friends, Ed Perkins, died after a long battle with cancer. Ed and Nan were more like family than friends. We met them at a very formative time in our lives. Linda and I were just married, a real adventure in its own right, and

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

we were putting us together as a couple, thinking for two rather than one. It was a time of discovery, learning individual likes and dislikes. During this period, we were fortunate to meet Ed and Nan. They were moving to a bigger home, one with three bedrooms right next door to their present location. Our plan was to rent the little two-bedroom house that they had lived in for a couple of years. They needed the larger space for their new, soon to arrive daughter, Laura. The coffee pot whistled that it was ready and I poured a cup, added a big dollop of Irish Cream creamer and sat back down at the kitchen table. I could hear the wind whistling through the few leaves left on the dogwood by the sunroom door. I’ll start a fire later when Linda wakes, I thought. It’ll feel good today. I remembered those early days living next door to the Perkins family in Burlington. Ed and I were instant friends. It’s true that opposites attract. Ed was an industrial engineer working in the textile business and was meticulous and exact as only an engineer can be; whereas I was a newspaper guy, a dreamer, happy to just be reading a book, sitting in the sun. We got along great. If Ed and I were opposites, Nan and Linda were identical in their likes and dislikes. They became as close as sisters. Ed was a super athlete. He played all sports in high school and was drafted to play football at Guilford College close to Greensboro. His real love, though, was golf, and I bet he walked around the world several times chasing that little white ball. I was more into wilderness sports, although I did play football and baseball in high school and baseball in college. Golf? I had always agreed with the man who said, “Golf is a good walk, spoiled.” But this didn’t stop Ed from trying to teach me the better points of the game. One Saturday afternoon I was sitting in our little living room watching a football game when Ed came in and said, “Bryant, come on. I’m gonna teach you how to hit a golf ball.” We drove to a driving range, not far from home, and Ed put me through the paces. I used his clubs and surprisingly did fairly well with the driver. But when I used the irons, I dug up enough ground to plant peanuts. I believe he knew that I could probably learn to play the game adequately, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me to be a real golfer. After that, he didn’t pressure me to follow him around the course. November 2014

O.Henry 47


The Sporting Life

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I got another cup of coffee and decided to go ahead and start a fire in the den. I always like to leave the fireplace with wood and kindling ready to go. One match and I had a roaring blaze. The heat from the fire took the chill out of the air. The door to the hall opened and Linda came in. “What are you doing up so early? It’s only 5 o’clock.” “Couldn’t sleep. Weird dreams,” I replied. Linda sat on the hassock in front of the fireplace. “The fire feels great,” she said. “What did you dream?” “Don’t know. It was strange, though.” She sat and watched the fire for a bit, stood up, stretched and said, “Hon, I’m going back to bed. It’s two hours until daylight. Don’t forget, you’re supposed to go hunting this afternoon with Rich.” “Yeah, I know. Now that I have the fire started, I’m going to read a little.” I picked up the latest copy of Garden & Gun as Linda went back down the hall to bed. It didn’t take long for me to drift off, holding the magazine, and the dream returned. It was of Ed and Saint Peter. They were sitting at a table in a room at a beautiful white columned, celestial golf club right on the southern side of the Pearly Gates. It looked as if they’d just completed 18 holes and were enjoying a little libation. I heard Ed, “Well, Pete, old boy, you did pretty well today. I thought you had me on the 18th. I’ll give you another chance tomorrow. You need to work on that slice, though.” “You’ve really settled in here, old sport,” Saint Peter replied. “Anything else I can do for you, other than losing at golf?” “Well, I miss Nan and the family and all my friends,” he said. “But they’ll join me soon enough, I reckon, just not too soon. They’ve got a lot to do yet.” “Not to worry. When it’s time, they’ll come,” St. Peter replied. “Oh, one other thing to add to your list, when that Bryant boy gets up here, I really want to teach him how to play a decent round of golf.” “We have had stranger requests and we’re noted for our miracles,” Saint Peter said. “We’ll give it a try and I hope it works, but that’s going to be one heavenly chore.” “Don’t worry, Pete, between us we can make it happen.” A log rolled over in the fireplace and sparks shot up the chimney. The magazine slipped out of my hand and I awoke from my impromptu slumber, smiling. I remembered the dream. OH Tom Bryant is an avid outdoorsman who prefers the 19th hole to all the others.

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Seen & Unseen

Nature’s Oracle

Once hailed as America’s most provocative eco-theologian, Thomas Berry — who would turn 100 this month — understood we are all one with a sacred Earth community

By Maria Johnson

I first heard of

Thomas Berry more than twenty years ago, when I was a newspaper writer here in Greensboro. His name was hitched to an accolade, and I was surprised to see that the late Greensboro native — monk, ordained priest, decorated scholar — was a big deal among ecologists and spiritual leaders around the world.

I’d been here for about ten years. Why hadn’t I heard of this guy? I sniffed around until I found a contact — who it was, I can’t remember — and found out that Berry no longer lived in Greensboro. He sometimes visited family in Greensboro, but no one knew when he might visit again. I couldn’t get a direct number for him. I left my name and number with the standard request to “Call me if . . . ” I knew I’d never hear back. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t think of Thomas Berry again until his name came up in a story idea meeting a few months ago. Some of his friends and family were cooking up a November celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. He had died in 2009, in Greensboro, at the age of 94. Who wanted the story? Thomas Berry lay under twenty years’ worth of sediment in my mind, but I felt him stirring, trying to stand up and shake off the grit like a kid who had been buried in sand at the beach. If I couldn’t get to him during his life, I thought, maybe I could track him down now that he was gone. Thus began my crash course in Thomas Berry. I started my research with the resource that I’d lacked twenty years before — a well-stocked Internet, which provided me with an outline of the man.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Born in Greensboro. The third of thirteen children. A monk-in-training at age 20. An ordained Catholic priest at age 38. Holder of a Ph.D. in history. Student of the world’s religions. Teacher at several universities. Founder of a religious research center. Co-founder of a monastery. Recipient of multiple honorary degrees. Around the world, people honored his thinking, which grew at the intersection of ecology and religion. He believed that the divine infuses everything in the natural world. We humans are part of that world — but we are not the masters of it, and we’re on a path to disaster, he warned, if we keep treating the planet as if it’s a commodity to be used. In 1989, Newsweek magazine tagged Berry “the most provocative figure among the new breed of eco-theologians” Berry didn’t call himself a theologian. He preferred the term “cultural

historian” or “geologian.” I watched an online video snippet of him reciting a poem. (Google “Children of the Forest” and “Berry.”) He had a long face, kind eyes and the look of someone who’d seen a lot. He spoke in a low, slow voice. He understood the power of words hung in space just so. My next stop was his sister Margaret. Margaret Berry, who turns 96 this month, lives in the Well-Spring retirement community in Greensboro. Her apartment isn’t huge, but it’s an airy, peaceful place. It reminded me of a church. Under a simple cap of white hair, Margaret, a former nun, reminded me of Thomas — or the pictures I’d seen of him. There was the same face etched with kindness. A humble spirit. She called him “Brother.” He was born at St. Leo’s, a Catholic hospital on Summit Avenue, and lived first in the family’s home on Douglas Street off Asheboro Street, now Martin Luther King Drive. In 1927, they moved to a home on Colonial Avenue in Kirkwood. Margaret was 9. Thomas was 13. She showed me a picture of the large brick home. In the front yard, a child sits on a pony. The family was prosperous. Their father — William Nathan, “W.N.” November 2014

O.Henry 51


to most — started Berico Fuels, Inc. Berry’s given name was William Nathan, after his father. Later, when he entered a monastery, he took the name Thomas in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas. At an early age, Margaret says, “Brother” stood out as special. “He was particularly beloved because there was a gentleness about him, and a goodness, and a sweetness about him that was marked,” she says. He was an altar boy at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church at the corner of Elm and Smith streets, where he attended elementary school before his parents sent him to a Catholic boarding school in Maryland. They sent all of their children to a Catholic secondary school because this area had none. Berry was an enthusiastic Boy Scout in Greensboro. His Scoutmaster, Lacey McAllister, took the troop to Fisher Park, where they learned the names of trees. The exercise was not lost on young Berry: Trees had identities, too. When he was 11, he had an epiphany in a meadow down the hill from where his family’s Colonial Avenue home was being built. The meadow was covered in white lilies. There, in a patch of green and white, he felt the harmony of nature. “The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass. A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my thinking at a more profound level than almost any other experience I can remember. It was not only the lilies. It was the singing of the crickets and the woodlands in the distances and the clouds in a clear sky,” he later wrote in his book The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future. “Whatever preserves and enhances this meadow in the natural cycles of its transformation is good; whatever opposes this meadow or negates it is not good.” That experience propelled him for the rest of his life, as he continually pushed the boundaries of his understanding. He served as a military chaplain during World War II. He traveled to China in 1948, the year before Mao led the Communist revolution. Confucianism and Taoism intrigued Berry. All of the world’s religions intrigued him. “He read all of the world’s sacred texts in their original languages,” says his niece Ann Berry Somers, a senior lecturer in biology at UNCG. She sat at the dining room table with her Aunt Margaret, remembering “Uncle Brother.” He was a quiet soul, they say, but people were drawn to him. “How are things with you?” That’s how he started conversations. Once he found out what interested someone, that’s what he talked about. “You couldn’t be around him and not love him and appreciate his vast knowledge,” says Somers. “ One minute he was talking about 13th century China, the next minute he was talking about the aborigines in Australia or Native Americans or cell biology.” Not only could Berry recite knowledge, he could synthesize it. He saw a much bigger picture than most people. “He had an incredible grasp of the long sweep of history and the root causes of problems,” says Nelson Stover of Greensboro. “The guy was brilliant.” Stover was my next interview. He and Berry became friends after Berry moved to Greensboro in 1995, at age 81, to be closer to family. By that time, Berry had penned six of his nine books. He had traveled the world; taught at Fordham University in New York; and started the Riverdale

52 O.Henry

November 2014

Center for Religious Research, also in New York. His teachings had helped to inspire the creation of Genesis Farm, a learning center in New Jersey. Later, some of his students would start the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University. Another devotee would begin the Center for Earth Jurisprudence in Florida. The center addresses what Thomas Berry thought was a blind spot in the popular concept of rights: They were assigned only to humans. Berry also would co-found Green Mountain Monastery in Greensboro, Vermont, where he is buried. As influential as Berry was, he was thoroughly unassuming. He often wore the same blue jacket. He drove an unremarkable small car. He left his keys in the ignition. If friends pointed out that his car could be stolen, he would say, “If someone needs it more than I do, they can have it.” He lived in a converted stable on the property that belonged to Ann Berry Somer’s parents. The stable, at the end of Four Farms Road off Horsepen Creek Road, housed a slice of Berry’s library, which once numbered 10,000 books. Berry spent much of his time reading, writing, thinking, communicating softly. He viewed himself as an idea man whose job it was to inspire others. He almost never talked directly about God or theological questions. “He was a Catholic priest, and in my opinion, he didn’t want to get himself in trouble,” says Stover, himself an ordained minister. In reading Berry’s books, I could see that he was after something bigger than any one brand of religion could offer. He was after a unifying force, a ribbon of truth that curled around everything. Science, nature, the divine. There was no split in his mind. His devotees got it. Spinoffs followed. Locally, Stover started nonprofit Emerging Ecology Inc. in response to Berry’s insights. A faith-based group, Environmental Stewardship Greensboro, formed. Greensboro’s Peggy Whalen-Levitt took the reins of the Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, which operates at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary in eastern Guilford County. Carolyn Toben owns Timberlake. I met her at the Green Valley Grill, where she and Berry often ate together. Toben, an educator who’d first met Berry in 1978, was freshly widowed and drowning in grief when they became reacquainted in 1999. Berry helped her to resurface with a sense of purpose in developing Timberlake. Today, teachers and children go to Timberlake to learn about the “sacred Earth community,” a favorite phrase of Berry’s. “He claimed that because we’ve lost a sense of sacredness of the Earth that we think we can do anything to it,” says Toben. “If you love something, you don’t harm it.” We sat in the booth where she and Berry usually sat. He liked the restaurant’s high ceilings and classical background music. He also liked the hard rolls. He slipped extras into his jacket pocket. Toben, who wrote a book, Recovering a Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry, says her friend despaired of the planet’s health and of the commercialism that eroded it. He wasn’t antibusiness, but he was anti-excess. Humans should live minimally, he believed, taking only what they need and repaying the planet with appreciation and care. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph from Greensboro Historical Museum Archives

Seen & Unseen


Seen & Unseen He used the term “mutually beneficial relationship,” Toben says. “We’re not just here to ‘get.’” Like a sentinel species, Berry felt the tremors of changes coming. He worried that people had separated themselves from the natural world, but he also believed in the goodness of people. More important, he believed in the enduring power of providence that was here long before humans showed up. Even after he suffered a stroke in 2003 and moved to Well-Spring, where his sister Margaret lived, Berry had hope. He also had a sense of humor. “He laughed all the time,” Toben says. “He hated piety.” Berry once told Toben that he was a brooder as a child. “He said the only places he could think of to brood were a prison or a monastery, so he went to a monastery,” Toben says, laughing. Why was such a likable guy — a guy whose papers are archived at Harvard University — not better known in his own hometown? Could it have been, I asked, because his writing was sometimes difficult to read and understand? Toben nodded. In trying to express a new way of thinking, Berry made up new terms, and it would have been easy to dismiss him as tree-hugger. Also, Berry was not a publicity seeker. In fact, he criticized the media for boosting commercial-

ism and for paying too little attention to industrial threats to the planet. Fair enough. I still liked the guy, and I wanted to see the birthplace of his calling. Late one afternoon, I drove to the corner of Colonial Avenue and Liberty Drive. There, up the hill, was his childhood home, still in fine shape. A creek flowed at the bottom of the hill. Once, around the creek, was the meadow where the white lilies had bloomed. The meadow is largely covered with roads and homes now. I walked along the creek and listened to the crickets singing, the crows cawing, the walnuts and acorns falling. On a higher register, more birds sang. More than a dozen grasses and groundcovers grew under my feet. Around them, trees, bushes, mosses, ivies. Bees buzzed. Ants crawled. Squirrels nibbled. Waterbugs dimpled the surface of the creek. There were so many kinds of life here. I was one. The light of the declining day filtered through the turning leaves. A breeze stirred. The rhythm of nature was almost audible. Standing on a bridge over the creek, I wished that I’d know Thomas Berry. Then I realized that I probably did. OH

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Meet Mark Weddle, our new resident mixologist. You may know him for his award winning Bloody Mary or his amazing craft cocktails. We think he’s the best in the Triad… bar none.

Maria Johnson is a contributing editor at O.Henry magazine.

Thomas Berry Centennial Events in Greensboro. November 2: Rudolf Steiner and Thomas Berry: Anthroposophy and the Ecozoic, a conversation with Eve Olive, 2 p.m., The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, 625 Fulton Street, Suite 8, Greensboro. Registration: beholdnature.org/ thomasberrycentennial/php. November 6: Presentation of the Greensboro Public Library’s Thomas Berry Award, 3:30 p.m., Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Drive, Greensboro November 7: The Meadow Across the Creek, a performance of music and word by Andrew Levitt and Scott Walker, 7:30 p.m., Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro November 9: When the Earth Becomes Revelatory, a talk by Nelson Stover, 3 p.m., Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library. November 16: Body, Being, and the Emerging Ecozoic: Thomas Berry’s Relevance to Modern Medicine, a conversation with Renee Eli, 2- p.m., The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World. Registration: beholdnature.org/thomasberrycentennial.php

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Josephine’s Bistro & Bar

336.285.6590 josephinesbistro.com 2417 Spring Garden St. Greensboro

November 2014

O.Henry 53


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life of Jane

Perfectly Dressed

With Stella and Nana running the show, Thanksgiving was the stuffing of dreams By Jane Borden

When my mother was a child, as

Illustration by Meridith Martens

she remembers, several women in Danville made efforts to poach Stella’s services on Thanksgiving. They even tried booking her years in advance. But she never accepted. Stella and my grandmother had made some kind of pact: Thanksgiving Day in perpetuity.

She was a popular cook-for-hire in Danville and was often in the kitchen at dinner parties, which is presumably how she met my grandmother, Lou Tucker (known to me as Nana). It’s difficult to decipher how much of any business relationship is simply business. But my mother believes that Stella and Nana, also a great cook, shared a mutual admiration as well. Their meals were partnerships. Thanksgiving was a larger collaboration, of course; several among the thirty-plus family members in attendance were responsible for dishes. Still, Stella was the star. Each year, she made squash casserole and pineapple pound cake, which I can still taste, but it was her dressing that bewitched three generations of my family. By the time I woke up on Thanksgiving mornings, the smell had already filled the house. As far as I’ve gathered, the difference between stuffing and dressing comes down to whether or not the dish was previously inside a bird. But now that most people have foregone cavity stuffing altogether (it’s hard to achieve a high enough temperature inside without overdoing the meat), the difference in vernacular is mostly regional. Southerners call it dressing. And Stella’s came in the form of individual patties a little smaller than your palm, which, even after baking, still bore the indentions from her thumbs.  Before showering and sometimes even before brushing our teeth, my sisters and I ran downstairs to steal piping-hot pieces of butter-brown dressing that were slightly chewy on the outside and dotted with sautéed onions, celery and mushrooms throughout. But we weren’t allowed to make return trips, and not because she couldn’t spare them. She transferred trays in and out of the oven all morning, making, I guess, at least six dozen patties. We were allowed only one pre-meal trip because Stella didn’t want us underfoot in the kitchen. Mom was sensitive to this decree, having grown up under the same conditions.  Just as I can’t remember a Thanksgiving before Stella, neither can my mother. She also awoke each Thanksgiving morning, but in Danville then, to the savory smell of vegetables and bread crumbs baking in homemade turkey gravy. And, like my sisters and me, she and my aunt were allowed to steal a piece before the main event. But then, when Stella went in the pantry, or ran out to her car, they’d sneak in the kitchen and swipe a few more.  It was when Nana moved to Greensboro, in the early ’80s, that the holiday

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

gathering transferred to my parents’ house instead of hers. Only the location changed. My cousins still made their respective dishes. Nana baked a coconut cake. She and her sister Janie both made gelatin salads, which were slightly different and silently competing, leading everyone to take one of each out of fear, and declare them both delicious. Nana even brought her own tablecloth and flower arrangements: The dining room was different, but she was still the host. So Stella started driving to Greensboro. One year, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Stella went to the hospital with heart trouble. Rather than push on without her, Nana canceled the meal completely and made a reservation for all thirty-plus at the Greensboro Country Club buffet. (My sister Lou remembers that our Great Aunt Emily was so engaged, walking around talking to people, that she never ate.) Many more Thanksgivings passed on Carlisle Road in Greensboro with both Nana and Stella running the show. Then my grandmother died. And Stella never came back. Her health was failing (she died not long after), and anyway, after more than forty years, their oral contract was complete. That was in the early 2000s. Since then, my mother has made the dressing. She told me that sometime in the late ’90s, “when it became clear that this was something I would be doing for a long time,” she tried to watch Stella make the famous dish. “But the second I started asking questions, she kicked me out of the kitchen.” So the next year, Mom tried again, this time silently.  “Did you have to pretend you weren’t watching?” I asked.  “No, she knew what I was doing and didn’t care. She just didn’t want to be bothered.” Mom added, “To Stella I was still a little girl. I never grew up in her eyes. I was mother’s child.” “Did you take notes?” I asked. “Take notes?! Jane, she wouldn’t let me speak! ‘Take notes’ . . . huh. You wouldn’t have lasted two minutes with all of your questions.” That’s when I knew our conversation was over.  Mom will never know which parts of the process or ingredients her eyes failed to catch. Her rendition is delicious but it’s definitely not the same.  “I tried for a few years to make the patties, but they kept crumbling,” she explains. “I can’t figure out how Stella did it.” So she bakes a casserole dish of the stuff and cuts it into squares. When I asked for details about the recipe, she said I’d have to watch sometime, but only if I promise not to speak.  Now that we’re older, my sisters have also taken on dish responsibilities. Lou does the sweet potatoes, and Tucker the squash casserole. I’m not allowed to make a dish, though, because I don’t live nearby. “Where are you planning to make it?” Mom asks. “Not in my kitchen!” OH Jane Borden lives in Los Angeles, and is planning to make the dressing for her in-laws. November 2014

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56 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November 2014

Occam’s Razor Furtive bird belly deep in bog, careful wader, frog fishing the aperture between swamp and the undershade of trees: A king rail? On closer encounter, dagger beak, slaty back; a skeptical yellow eye blinks, the neck extends longer than expected and the rail reshapes to a green heron, no more exotic here than me. I crumple my checklist: Do not multiply birds beyond necessity. — Valerie Nieman

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Sacred Foods

King of Biscuits

How homegrown Biscuitville (and a certain devoted Greensboro customer) started a Southern biscuit renaissance By Jim Dodson • Photographs by Hannah Sharpe

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ehold the Southern-style biscuit — life’s greatest food. Yes, yes. I know. Leafy greens and mineral-rich sweet potatoes and organic this-or-that are darlings of the super-food crowd. For the record, and just so you know, I’ll probably eat my approximate body weight in both my mama’s incomparable recipe for collards and a healthy wedge or two of sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving dinner this year. Also, please note that I merely said Southern-style biscuits are life’s “greatest” food and not, as it were, the most clinically nourishing foodstuff, which technically speaking they are not, though if consumed in reasonable moderation as both the Bible and the late James Beard wisely advise, a well-made Southernstyle biscuit with a dollop of real churned butter and homemade preserves and/ or locally sourced honey indisputably nourishes both body and soul in ways that can’t simply be measured by cold nutritional analysis. The appellation “great” simply refers to the many layers of a Southern biscuit’s capacity to please, or as a friend of mine sums it up, “Good biscuits are so bad — and so good for you.” Finally, just to be clear, we are not speaking of what loyal British subjects routinely call a “biscuit” — a hard-crusted cookie-like thing that generally tastes like ground up municipal shrubbery and is served as a dipping crust with hot tea with milk at 4 on a rainy afternoon in Stoke Poges, nor even a wedge of Madeleine cake often casually and mistakenly referred to as a “biscuit” by fans of Marcel Proust’s novel Swann’s Way, a powerful remembrance of things past. No sir. The pure and sacred food staple I’m speaking of with unapologetic reverence, essential to the very life force of many in these balmy latitudes — mythically circular in shape and risen like the kneaded dough of redneck salvation itself, wrought lovingly by floured human hands and served piping hot and

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glazed golden brown — resides deeply in the ancestral memory of those of us blessed by the grace of a Southern birth or at least a chosen Southernhood. My own sweet remembrance of biscuits past begins with the memory of my paternal grandmother, Beatrice Taylor, a Scripture-quoting, biscuitbaking dynamo who came to live with us in Greensboro not long after my farmer grandfather trundled off to his heavenly reward, the year I turned 13 as it happened, which at that moment seemed an incalculable inconvenience to my emerging teenage independence until I got one whiff and taste of Granny B’s amazing homemade biscuits. Suffice it to say, over the next four years before her own translation to a higher kitchen came to pass, I enjoyed both the unexpected benefit of her earthbound advice on any number of subjects (“It’s an empty wagon, dear, that rattles most,” “Remember, child, forbidden fruit makes for many jams,” etc.) as well as her divine homemade biscuits at every Sunday dinner. Not surprisingly, the compliments she invariably fielded at family holiday meals remained the crowning touch of her glorious biscuitry. My mother, poor thing, a fine Southern cook in every other way, could never quite master Granny B’s recipe for biscuit perfection, though I heard her (and many others) politely ask the Queen of Biscuits for her magical biscuit recipe many times over those years. “Honey, it’s all inside my head,” Granny B. always blithely replied. “Maybe someday I’ll jot it down for you.” But alas she never did, perhaps because a great Southern biscuit recipe is a joy forever but not easily parted with, every bit as valuable as the Confederate silverware once hidden beneath the abandoned privy. In summary, my grandmother took her famous recipe with her to the sod of a churchyard in rural Wake County, and I pictured the Almighty sitting down to breakfast with a biscuit-eating grin on his mug, asking gratefully “Hey, ya’ll, who made these great biscuits? Mind passing the grape jelly?” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Burney Jennings The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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T

rue homemade Southern-style biscuits in those days — we speak here of the avocado-hued decade of the early 1970s — were not the easiest of things to publicly come by, generally only the province of better meat-and-three country cafes that once dotted the rural landscape of this state. The sudden advance of fast-food culture, moreover, dealt these indigenous eating joints — and thus the availability of good homemade biscuits — an incalculable blow. Which makes the next part of this story so rewarding. Flash ahead a couple of years to the autumn weekend I wandered home from college in the mid-1970s to join my dad and two of his buddies for their weekly Saturday morning round at Green Valley Golf Club. His group was almost always the first off the tee, true “dewsweepers” of the game, and my dad, it turned out, always brought his pals coffee and ham biscuits from a newly opened place on Battleground Avenue eponymously called Biscuitville.

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At first sight it resembled a golden barn with a drive-through window. Imagine my surprise when I learned all the establishment served was homemade-style Southern biscuits with a variety of fillings, from jam to ham. “They must be pretty good,” I recall commenting, sniffing at the bag. The sniff was mighty promising. “They sure are,” he assured me. “Probably as close as you’ll get to your grandmother’s.” Needless to say, I had my doubts. But he was right. I’m guessing I ate at least three ham biscuits before teeing off that morning. More important, every trip home after that involved a Saturday morning run to Biscuitville for warm, fresh-made biscuits, and it turned out my dad stopped by so regularly on his way to work during the week, the counter help soon knew him by name — as well as his biscuit preferences. At the holidays he brought home sacks of Biscuitville biscuits to serve to family and friends and never failed to have a platter of their ham and sausage biscuits at his annual office Christmas party.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


It’s probably a slight exaggeration to say that Biscuitville (and my old man) saved the sacred Southern biscuit from being relegated to second-class status in the face of fast-food hegemony, but it’s clearly no coincidence that thanks to Biscuitville’s eye-opening homegrown success over the next three decades — the first of its kind to build a food empire based exclusively on one thing, the perfect biscuit — just about every fast-food chain in America eventually jumped on board the Biscuit Express, hoping to promote their own version of the legendary Southern staple of life.

W

hen I told this story to Biscuitville’s youthful president, Burney Jennings, at his company’s home office on Yanceville Street around 8 o’clock one recent cool autumn morning — forty years exactly after my first Biscuitville biscuit — he merely smiled. “You know,” he said, “I’ve heard some version of that story for years. My

father would say that’s simply the power of a good Southern-style biscuit.” Burney’s papa, Maurice, got the idea for Biscuitville after starting out in the flour brokering business and opening several successful restaurants in Burlington, including the much-loved Cutting Board and eventually one of the town’s first exclusive pizza parlors, aptly called Pizza-to-Go, which evolved into a chain of ten regional restaurants called Pizzaville. On his extensive travels in the flour and restaurant business, the elder Jennings was always on the lookout for something new and innovative. Inspired by a restaurant in Georgia that served homemade biscuits with a variety of fillings, Jennings first began serving buttermilk ham and sausage biscuits for breakfast in all of his Pizzaville restaurants. The biscuit recipe was as close as he could get to the ones he remembered from his rural grandmother in middle Tennessee. Years later, Jennings would joke that his brother inherited the family farm but he got something more valuable — his grandmother’s biscuit recipe. Made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits proved a move popular with

Crawford Morgan, High Point Road Biscuitville The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Pizzaville customers. “With the success of our biscuits, I wanted to try an allbiscuit restaurant,” he writes in the 2009 insightful business history of the company by J. Phillips Johnston. “Naturally we would call it Biscuitville.” The first one opened in Danville, Virginia, in 1975. Others quickly followed, including the unit in Greensboro where I had a biscuit epiphany sometime in the middle 1970s.

U

sing an enlightened “people-first” philosophy of management that made his employees some of the most loyal in the fast-food industry, underscored by a conservative growth plan that emphasized maintaining the highest quality — and freshest biscuits — available, Biscuitville eventually became a poster boy for the way a family-owned, ethically-based company should be run, earning national attention from business experts. In 1996, Maurice Jennings handed the operations of the company to his son Burney,

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a 1987 Elon graduate who grew up working a variety of jobs in his papa’s restaurants on his way to the president and CEO slot, while Maurice assumed the role of chairman of the board emeritus. Today the company employs 900 people and operates fifty-four restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia. Earlier this year, as the result of extensive research on its own devoted customer base, the company began slowly rolling out an innovative lunch menu inspired by its authentic Southern roots and vision of acclaimed chef Andrew Hunter — a new “Fresh Southern” lunch menu that features classic Southern sandwiches and sides sourced from local suppliers ranging from Stan’s Pimento Cheese to Chandler’s Barbecue. For what it’s worth, when news of the company’s new lunch menu reached the always-hungry offices of O.Henry magazine (within two days of its official unveiling, I might add), we immediately dispatched staff to bring back everything on the new menu — plus a few ham biscuits — for a panel taste test.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Suffice it to say, our big mistake was foolishly ordering only one of each new menu item — which promptly led to minor verbal affrays over delights such as the Curly Country Ham Melt, Maple Country Ham and Fried Chicken Club, Country Fried Steak and Caramelized Onion, Pimento Cheese and Bacon, BBQ Bruiser and Southern Fried Catfish sandwiches. In a word, the fried okra and sweet potato casserole were also to die for.

B

eing the son of a fanatical Biscuitville regular, I sadly only got a healthy wedge of each sandwich but polished off most of the fried okra while my colleagues were busy pointlessly arguing over which sandwich was best. Consensus could simply not be reached. They were all superb — anything but conventional “fast food.” For the record, in memory of my own biscuit biscuit-loving dad, I also snagged a pair of the ham biscuits for the road. When I passed along the news of the high excitement Biscuitville’s latest

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

menu unleashed in our offices, Burney Jennings simply smiled a second time. “We’ve had a very positive response from our customers,” he pointed out, noting that the new Fresh Southern Menu was currently on a “slow roll-out” in the Greensboro, Eden and Alamance County markets before expanding to its other restaurants sometime early next year. Even some of the company’s familiar golden buildings will be getting a “freshening up” to go along with new signage and the company’s “Fresh Southern” logo. “The bottom line for us,” the younger Jennings added, “is that we are a family company that loves what we do — make the best biscuits we believe you can find anywhere. That’s how we started and that’s what we remain true to.” Somewhere, I’m pretty sure my old man — who passed on to a higher teeing ground about the time Maurice Jennings passed the reigns of Biscuitville to his son — must be smiling at this news. And maybe Granny B, too. OH O.Henry’s editor Jim Dodson likes biscuits the way that William Sydney Porter liked malted and distilled barley.

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Foodfor theSoul Sacred Foods

No matter where we come from, certain foods touch something deep within the soul – sacred dishes that delight the tongue and stir the heart, especially at the holidays

Moravian Chicken Pie By David Claude Bailey • Photographs by Mark Wagoner

E

ach time another member of my father’s family dies, I’m conflicted. Sadly, another story-telling uncle, a dear aunt or a cousin who was once a playmate will have retired for eternity beneath the overshadowing oaks of God’s Acre at Friedberg Moravian Church. On the other hand, I know that after the service each of us will sit down to a thick slice of piping hot Moravian chicken pie, smothered in some of the best gravy that’s ever passed through my lips. To me, it’s sacred food, blessed by a loving and hallowed tradition, though the pie makers at First Moravian Church in Greensboro argue that love buns seem to them much more like sacred food since they’re served inside the church itself during Moravian Love Feasts. No argument. Any sect that offers real food in the sanctuary is my kind of church, so I peeked in on one of the two teams baking hundreds of pies for First Moravian’s annual Candle Tea. The Candle Tea is a church bazaar and festival that marks the beginning of the Christmas season for a lot of folks in the Lindley Park neighborhood and beyond. (This year it will run Friday, December 5, from 2–9 p.m. and Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 304 South Elam Street, Greensboro.) If you haven’t had a Moravian Chicken Pie, put away all thoughts of previous savory pies: “They’re very simplistic,” explains Teresa Walker, who’s in charge of the gravy detail. “They’re chicken, pastry and a little bit of gravy,” she explains for anyone who’s missed the experience. “No vegetables,” she adds — unless you count gravy as a vegetable, as I do. The gravy is made with the pan-drippings from chicken leg quarters and breasts, roasted by the men folk before Sunday School and cooked low and slow during the church service to make sure the chicken is amply blessed. It’s picked from the bone and minced, with the drippings and fat reserved. Flour is whisked into the fat and the rich, reserved chicken broth is added — “No canned soup or Swanson’s,” Walker says. The resulting gravy is thick, velvety and better than any sauce Escoffier could have imagined. Making the pie crust is almost an art in itself, one Teresa’s husband, Russ Walker, has mastered, fifty pounds of flour at a time. “You just have to have the feel for it,” Teresa says. “Some people can’t get the hang of it.” Both 6-inch and 9-inch pies are available, each with double crusts decorated with cutouts of little chickens on top and inscribed with an “M.” “You get the crispness of the bottom crust and the crispness of the top crust and the moist chicken in-between,” Teresa says. “The Women’s Fellowship group decided to make pies available for sale at Candle Tea a few years ago, and, because I enjoy cooking, I agreed to chair that committee. The first year we only made 250 pies. The demand for our pies has grown so much that last year the two groups prepared approximately 1,500 pies.” Teresa says she remembers first eating chicken pie when church members brought them by after her younger siblings’ births. Then, the women’s fellowship baked a chicken pie when her grandmother passed away. She says that knowing you’re getting something made by hand and not store-bought makes the dish all the better. “It’s comfort food,” she says, “and an outreach of love, one for another.”

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Teresa’s Moravian Chicken Pie: 5 pound stewing chicken Celery Carrots Onions Salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons flour (each pie) 1/2–3/4 cup broth (each pie) Simmer chicken with celery, carrots and onions in water to cover until it falls off the bone. Cool and remove meat from the bones. Save broth and remove fat, reserving it for gravy. Cut or shred chicken into small pieces. Discard celery, carrots and onions. Fill the pie crust with chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour over meat. Slowly pour 1/2 – 3/4 cup of broth over the meat. Roll the top crust and cover the top of pie. Seal edges with fork or crimp. If you’re freezing the pie, freeze it uncooked. Bake a fresh pie 45 minutes and a frozen pie 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Edges of pie may be covered with foil to prevent getting over done. Make gravy by whisking flour into the fat and adding the mixture to the remaining broth, cooking it until thick and creamy. Serve gravy with the pie. Makes two pies.

Pie crust for 10 double-crust pies 5 pounds flour 1/2 cup salt 3-pound can Crisco 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups ice cold water Mix flour and salt together in very large bowl. Cut Crisco with pastry blender and hands until mixture is crumbly. Add water and mix with your hands until dough comes together. Form into 20 even-sized balls. Put in freezer bags and freeze individually. To use dough: Thaw before rolling on lightly floured board. Yeild: 10 double crusts. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Teresa Walker

/

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Annah Awartani

d

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Muslim Maamoul By Molly Sentell Haile • Photographs by Mark Wagoner

A

nnah Awartani, owner of Zaytoon Mediterranean Café & Catering downtown, remembers the thwacking symphony of small wooden cookie molds with handles hitting kitchen tables all over the Palestinian village of her childhood on the last night of Ramadan. “The beauty of it was, with clusters of neighbors, wall-to-wall, you could hear different symphonies. From my house, it was boom boom! boom boom! And from another, toong, ja, ja, ja, toong!” Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and children gathered in one household the night before Eid al-Fitr (the festival of breaking the Ramadan fast) to sing, listen to traditional Arabic music and bake maamoul together. The adults shaped and filled dough balls with dates or a mixture of pistachios, walnuts and cinnamon and passed the stuffed balls to the children, who relished their essential and thunderous job — pressing the dough into the intricately carved molds and banging them against the table to release the uncooked treat without marring its beautiful design. Then the children carefully placed the lovely treats onto a baking sheet. Awartani, who still has the bright eyes and rosy cheeks of the little girl she is remembering from the West Bank in the 1970s, says the smell of the sweet dough — like shortbread — and the aromatic spices, dates and nuts baking in the oven is, “Oh my God, heavenly.” Baking maamoul on the last night of Ramadan “is a sacred tradition that has been passing from generation to generation through history,” Awartani explains. Here in Greensboro she and her daughter, Nora, continued the tradition by inviting a group of women over to enjoy each other’s company while preparing maamoul and listening to traditional Arabic music, “and Arabic Pop, too,” adds Nora, who has grown up here and is a recent graduate of Guilford College. “It was fun. I even brought my friends to celebrate, and they loved it, too.” Awartani explains that maamoul is an ecumenical sacred treat. Palestinian Christians bake maamoul for Easter, and Jewish families in the Middle East serve a similar treat, hamantasch, during Purim. Traditionally, children receive money and gifts from relatives as part of the Eid al-Fitr festivities, and Awartani remembers feeling too excited to fall asleep the night before. Parents, exhausted from holiday preparations, told their children to hurry to sleep so the man with the burnt leg, the folkloric boogeyman Abu Ijir Maslookha, wouldn’t come down from the surrounding mountains to get them. The next morning Awartani’s family prayed at the mosque, visited the cemetery to bless their ancestors, and then walked back the neighborhood to celebrate the breaking of the Ramadan fast with family and neighbors over coffee and maamoul. Word spread fast as to the best maamoul in the village. People would whisper, “Have you tasted her maamoul?”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Annah’s Maamoul 1/2 cup ghee or butter, melted 2 cups fine semolina or all-purpose flour 1/2 cup warm water 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda  Powdered sugar, to taste

For the filling: 1 block of ground dates (found in Middle Eastern markets) or 1 1/2 cups of chopped dates 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon anise Melt the ghee or butter until it becomes hot. Pour it over the flour, baking soda, and work it in with a fork until it cools off. Then use you fingers to mix it more. If you use ghee you can leave the dough until the second day or even more if you are busy, but if you use butter, leave it for only a few hours. Meanwhile, get the filling ready.  Mix the ground dates and the spices together and make small balls. After an hour add the warm water to the flour and mix very well until it becomes workable dough. Take a small part of the dough and form a ball. Make a hole in the middle and put the stuffing inside.  Close the hole and circle the ball in your palm to make it very round and smooth. At this point, press it carefully with a fork to make a design. Or you can put the ball inside a plastic pop-up maamoul mold from a Middle Eastern store. Unfortunately, you won’t need to thwack these! Arrange the balls on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until they become slightly brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet. Dust with powdered sugar unless you do not want them very sweet.

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Taiwanese Rose Chicken By Kyra Gemberling Photographs by Mark Wagoner

F

or women who dread cooking, marrying a man who can hold his own in the kitchen is a dream come true. Unfortunately for them, Hao-Shen Cheng is already taken. And not only can he cook, the ambitious 34-year-old from Changhua, Taiwan, prepared his entire wedding dinner by himself this past March. But the newlywed is nothing if not modest. “In Taiwan, we normally prepare ten dishes for the wedding and every single dish has a different meaning,” he says. “I picked eight. I couldn’t do ten.” Still, the dishes certainly weren’t devoid of cultural symbolism. The word “chicken” has the same pronunciation as the word “home” in Taiwanese, so chicken is always incorporated into the meal for special holidays, such as Chinese New Year. Specifically, Rose Chicken gets its name from the decadent smell of the rose cooking wine the chicken is boiled in, so Cheng thought the dish would be a romantic addition to his wedding menu. What really sets it apart, though, is the array of flavorful spices incorporated into the cooking wine “soup” — dried licorice, aniseed, cinnamon, just to name a few. Cheng suggests pouring the remaining soup over the chicken after it has been served, though it’s almost good enough to slurp by itself. And don’t worry about preparation difficulty — “The only skill you need is knowing how to cut the chicken,” he says, though you’ll need to go to an Asian food store for some of the spices. But for Cheng, there’s no doubt that “Ants Climbing a Tree,” or stir-fried bean threads with ground pork, is the recipe he holds closest to his heart. The meaning behind the dish centers on the tale of a poor girl, E Dou, who has nothing but a small piece of pork to feed her ill mother. She chops the meat into tiny pieces and cooks it with a bundle of lowly bean-thread noodles. But due to her failing vision, the mother sees small black dots instead of pork and cries out that there are ants crawling on the noodles. After E Dou explains, the mother laughs and enjoys the dish, giving it its nickname. Cheng insists the recipe is “easy, tasty and has a good meaning,” especially because it reflects the concept of filial piety — showing care and respect for one’s elders, which is very important in Asian culture. “I hear a lot of news today that if someone’s parents are sick, they don’t care or they don’t pay attention to them because they don’t want to pay the [medical] bill,” he says. “That makes me sad. So hopefully people can eat this dish and think of the story behind it.”

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Hao-Shen’s Rose Chicken 3 1/3 cups water 1 whole chicken ½1 cup rose cooking wine* 1 ½ cup soy sauce 2 ounces sugar 3 pieces dried black cardamom or thao qua* 5 pieces dried licorice or cam thao* 2 pieces dried aniseed* 1/4 teaspoon dried whole cloves or dinh huong* 1/2 teaspoon dried citrus/orange peel* 3 pieces cinnamon 1/2 tablespoon salt 1/3 cup sesame oil* * These can be found in any Asian market. Boil water in a large pot. Put chicken in for two minutes. Remove and set aside. Add rose cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, dried thao qua, dried licorice, dried aniseed, dried cloves, dried citrus, cinnamon and salt to water. Cook for 30 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off stove and allow chicken to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove chicken and brush skin with sesame oil. Cut and serve.

Hao-Shen’s Ants Climbing a Tree 3 1/2 ounces ground pork 3 pieces chopped ginger 5 chopped garlic cloves 1 chopped green onion 1 to 2 tablespoons broad bean paste with chili* 1 cup water 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 2 bundles bean thread noodles 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil 1/2 tablespoon (or to taste) pepper-infused corn oil* * These can be found in any Asian market. Stir-fry ground pork in large nonstick skillet until well done. Add chopped ginger, chopped garlic and half of green onion. Cook one minute. In separate skillet, stir-fry broad bean paste 30 seconds until it looks redder. Add water, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add bean threads and cook, stirring until bean threads absorb water. Add sesame oil, pepper corn oil and continue stirring. Put on plate and add pork, then add remaining green onion on top. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Hao-Shen Cheng

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Platter courtesey of Dolce Dimora Fine Linens, Tablescapes, & Gifts The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Liliana Lira-Rivera

,

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Christmas Tamales By Nancy Oakley Photographs by Mark Wagoner

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ou go one side and then the opposite side over that, and then flip the tip of the corn husk up, like you’re lifting a blanket, covering the baby’s feet,” says Liliana Lira-Rivera, demonstrating how to wrap a tamale. The corn flour dumpling is a staple in Hispanic cultures at Christmastime, whether stuffed with chicken and green salsa; or pork and red salsa; or cheese and poblano peppers; or in Mexico, sweets, for children. “When you’re closing the tamale,” she continues, “the opening has to be facing upright, and it can’t be bending a little bit, because they’re getting so soft when they’re being steamed it makes a mess.” The longtime Triad resident, graduate student at UNCG’s Spanish program and mother of an 8-year-old doesn’t tie the husks that cradle the spicy delicacy. “It’s a time thing,” she says, lamenting the busy nature of 21st century life that has truncated the process. “But my grandmother does tie them.” Lira-Rivera and her mother, Delia, owner of El Buen Gusto Bakery in Kernersville, learned the art of tamale-making from the family matriarch in their native Guanajuato, Mexico. “When I was little,” Lira-Rivera recalls, “we used to make tamales at my mom’s house. My grandma was widowed. She had four girls. The only guy was my dad!” The atmosphere was casual, reminiscent of slumber parties, as the women chattered away, sometimes in their pajamas. By contrast, the tradition was more festive among her father’s larger family, who would gather at their farm or rancho to make the tamales. “It was like, music, and everybody was singing, and the kids were singing,” Lira-Rivera remembers. And when it came time to eat the tamales, they’d wash them down with champurrado, a thick, hot drink made of corn flour, chocolate, cinnamon and water (or sometimes milk). Regardless of the size or formality of gathering, Lira-Rivera maintains that making tamales embodies the warmth and conviviality associated with the holidays — a house filled with the aroma of spices, the sound of talking, laughter, perhaps music: “It’s just that moment of getting together. And you’re actually making things together. I think it’s a really special time for the family.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Liliana’s Chistmas Tamales for a big crowd 6 cups maseca or other instant corn masa flour 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1/4 cup lard 8 1/2 cups chicken or pork broth

For the filling: 2 1/2 pound cooked chicken or pork, shredded 2 cups red sauce* 2 cups green sauce* Soaked corn husks or banana leaves *Available at Hispanic grocery stores To make the dough, mix the MASECA, salt, baking powder, lard and broth until the batter is light and fluffy. For the filling, mix half of the meat with red sauce. Set aside and mix the other half of the meat with green sauce. To make the tamales, take a corn husk or banana leaf and spread a portion of batter on it. Add some of the filling and place it in the center of the batter. Close the leaf and finish wrapping the tamale with another leaf. If necessary, use two or three leaves to keep the batter in. Place the tamales vertically in a steam cooker, not too tight. Cover the steam cooker and steam for one hour.

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Jewish Hamantasch By Jenny Drabble Photographs by Mark Wagoner

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ith seventy-five pounds of flour, twenty pounds of sugar and enough eggs to keep the local grocery store in business, Louise Van Schaak secures her apron and puts her game face on. Mission? To bake several thousand pastries for Temple Emanuel’s biannual fall Jewish festival with only four months left on the clock. She envisions the delectable pastries that will soon fill her kitchen with an alluring aroma: hamantasch, a flaky Jewish pastry that cradles globs of gooey sweetness in a blanket of dough. She fondly remembers baking — and more importantly — eating the pastries her mother made using a generations-old family recipe. While the traditional pastries contain lekvar — prune jam that may also contain poppy seeds — the sky is the limit for modern-day hamantasch: nuts, cheese, chocolate, fruit or whatever else strikes your fancy. “Once you get over the fear of making them look appealing, you realize they’re very simple to make,” says Van Schaak. “They connect us with our culture and they’re also delicious.” And who would’ve thought these bite-sized pieces of paradise would be inspired by a villain’s three-corned hat? As the story goes, Haman, known by his distinctive triangular hat, was a villain in ancient Persia who wanted to annihilate the Jews. On the thirteenth day of Adar — a Hebrew month celebrated in late winter or early spring — Haman was defeated, spawning the Jewish holiday Purim as a day of jubilation. In Israel, Purim is now similar to Halloween. Kids dress up, exchange gifts and, of course, munch on a hamantasch — or hamantaschen if they eat more than one. “Hamantasch is centered around Purim, so it’s a real treat, not something you get to eat every week,” says Van Schaak. “It’s hard to find authentic Jewish food in Greensboro, so there’s no choice but to make it yourself.” OH

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Louise’s Hamantasch 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 sticks margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 eggs 4 cups flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons milk Filling of choice Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream together the sugar and margarine. Add vanilla and eggs. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl, then add to the sugar-and-egg mixture, alternating with milk. Mix until a ball forms. Wrap the ball of dough in wax paper and refrigerate until cold. Roll dough out onto a cutting board and cut into circles. Add filling of choice (fruit, chocolate chips, poppyseed, etc.) to the center of dough circles. Fold edges of dough circles up to form triangles. Place on parchment paper and bake until golden, about 15–20 minutes.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Louise Van Schaak

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Cake stand courtesey of Carolyn Todd’s Inc The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Home Front

1945:

A remembrance By Charles D. Rodenbough

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lthough Armistice Day was originally established to commemorate the signing of the agreement that ended World War I on November 11, 1918, it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans who served the United States whether during war or peacetime. For me, my understanding of war and its consequences began in 1945, a year that has been assigned the subtitle “Year Zero” in several recent histories. The Dutch author Ian Buruma comments that, near the mid-20th century, “one world had ended and a new uncertain one was beginning.” When I had just begun a pin-map of “Europe at war,” my mother had let me use the plain silver pins from her sewing basket. Now, I was 12 and more sophisticated. The war had been going on for four years, and I had pins with colored heads. So I marked “captured” with red, “bombed” with blue, “German” with black. The movements of the Russians were identified in green and all other Allies in plain silver. I could look at my pasteboard-backed map and follow progress as Italy and Germany retreated. At night I listened to the radio news with my dad and he could help when the announcer used a name that was new to me. Dad had been there, you know — in the first war. Well, not everywhere, but when we both were stumped, he sent me to our World Book Encyclopedia to look the place up. Mom and Gram would observe this ritual with more satisfaction than I thought it deserved, but it was serious man stuff. I had heard my parents refer to our rental house at 503 West Colonial Drive in High Point, North Carolina, as a Dutch colonial, which they considered a style. I thought it just helped identify the street. It was a nice location. There was a large open triangular park in front with a big weeping willow tree that gave it the look of a meadow. I could walk to Ray Street School with my friends and the bus stop was just a block away. We shopped on Saturday when Dad could drive us. With gas rationing, we were used to combining trips. Dad had an “A” sticker, which allowed him gas for some travel with his work, but everybody was careful to save gas. Each member of the family, even Gram, had a ration book for food and clothing. I thought it was a mark of responsibility that even children had their own ration books. Of course I was never allowed to keep up with my own. Mother kept it. I couldn’t understand anyway those tiny little sheets in the book, different colors for different purchases. During the winter Mother was not getting out much and Dad let me help him on Saturday with the shopping. Every other Friday he would come home for the afternoon and we would drive Mother out on High Point Road toward Greensboro for “treatments” at a large institutional building with extended grounds. I was not told, and I resisted the urge to ask, why? I did understand that she was not very well. At night I had a recurring image that someday either she or Dad would die. What would I do? My brother Leigh had joined the Navy right after he had graduated from high school. I knew Dad had done the same thing at

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the time of the First World War. Leigh was seven years older than I was and my role model. I would have resisted giving him hero status but the whole family had a constant concern and admiration for him. Mother called him “Leigh-bo.” He was special to us all. With Leigh away, first at the University of North Carolina in the Navy V-12 Program and then at Columbia University, our household was small but was supplemented by my grandmothers: first Mother’s mother, Grandma Boone, and when she left, Grandmother Rodenbough. Only later did I fully realize that these widowed grandmothers had been left without support after their spouses died and were being shared with my parents’ sisters. They were not considered a burden and I often heard what a help Grandmother was now that Mother was not well. It was not always obvious to me what help they provided because one was virtually blind and the other was so afflicted by arthritis that she had limited movement. I still loved their presence and I saw that for the most part they were a comfort to Mother. It seemed obvious to me that most of the time in January, the war news spoke of the Allies moving in on German territory. The Americans landed at Iwo Jima in the Pacific. I began hearing the word “Holocaust” but no one seemed to want to explain. Dad did make clear his opinion when “that Roosevelt man” was inaugurated for a fourth term, but Mother pointed out that Dad was in the minority. When the Americans crossed the Rhine at Remagen, Dad could say that he had crossed the same bridge in 1917. In February, Dad had to place wooden blocks on the floor under the foot of my parents’ bed to raise Mother’s feet at night. She began to take more of her meals in bed. I had to take them up to her when I was at home. Dad would take them at night. Gram Rodenbough had been a good German cook, but it had been some years since she had that regular responsibility. Mother never ate much and Dad and I gradually began to alternate eating supper with her. I knew she was taking special medicine. Leigh called with regularity as his schedule permitted. The telephone was downstairs in the breakfast room so Dad would help Mother down when his call was imminent. We would all congregate around the table for a collective conversation. I was proud of a ship model of an American destroyer that I was putting together. Leigh had asked for sea duty on a destroyer after he got his commission. After each call, Mother would cry. I could never be sure if it was for joy or fear and so I was never certain how I should feel. Mother seemed to be pleased that I was a member of the boy’s choir at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. The director had created the only such choir in High Point, a novelty for the furniture city — very English. We were asked to perform throughout the city, particularly at civic clubs. I was now attending my first year at Central High School. My teacher, Miss Wolling, was beautiful to me. A young redhead, her fiancé was a U.S. Marine in the Pacific and the class became emotionally concerned with both his safety and their romance. She enjoyed particularly teaching us music and her introduction to Scheherazade inflicted a life-long The Art & Soul of Greensboro


love of music on me. She also organized a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, which we rehearsed for a spring production. I had a small solo part as a sailor, which seemed to thrill Mother.

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remember I was down at the corner where Colonial Drive crossed Council Street the day one of my friends came running up crying out, “president Roosevelt is dead! President Roosevelt is dead!” I was not immediately saddened but this was big news. The President of the United States had died. I ran home to be the bearer of the biggest news I thought I had ever been able to convey. It was April 12th. “Mother! Grandmother! President Roosevelt is dead!” Big news, but I had nothing to follow up with and I had to observe what an adult reaction would be to such news. A flood of questions were flung about and it was only after the radio in the living room was turned on that details were known. I began to wonder what Dad would say when he got home. Our household was never for Roosevelt, but he was the president, the only one I had ever known. Since we had been for Mr. Wilkie, I wondered if he would now be the president. I spent the evening up in Mother’s room. She sat in her chair during the day and read when she was alone. At the moment she was reading Lusty Wind for Carolina. She said it was written by Inglis Fletcher, a North Carolina writer, and she was learning more about our state. We talked about pirates and I said that the school didn’t teach much about North Carolina. Mother and Dad were both from Pennsylvania and it seemed that most of their relations were from there, or New Jersey. We talked about the previous summer when she and I had taken the train from High Point to Philadelphia and visited my Aunt Anna and Uncle Ralph. They had a Mercury convertible with a shiny wood-coated body. When Uncle Ralph drove us home from the station, he put the top down and I saw more lights than I ever had in my life. They danced off the shine of that car and sparkled. And when we got to their home at Rittenhouse Plaza, I discovered that it was an apartment building. The lobby was grand polished marble, and an elevator with an operator took us up to 5C. I recalled with enthusiasm my stay in the city. “Remember how Uncle Ralph let me go down to the cigar store on the Plaza and buy his cigars for him each day?” Mother remembered the train ride when the passenger car we were in was full of soldiers and sailors going home on leave or headed overseas. They nearly adopted Mother and this 12-year-old who somehow must have represented people in their own families. The boys seated us comfortably and gathered around us with many questions, but Mother seemed to take them all in such a personal way that everybody seemed to belong together. Dad came in with further news that the president had died while in Warm Springs in Georgia. A funeral train was scheduled to take his body up to Washington and the following evening after supper the train would come through High Point. “Can we see it, Dad?” I was quick to ask. “I had already thought to take you down, if your mother thinks it is a good idea.” The Southern Railway came through the center of High Point well below street level. Even the red-roofed, tiled station was below the street. If High Point got its name from being the high point on the railroad line, I always wondered why the station was built in a ditch. By 10 at night, the honeysuckled banks along the tracks were filled with families prepared to observe this historic moment. The train from the south approached the station very slowly, about ten cars. We saw people inside and then came the final car. It was lit and someone sat beside a large brown box with

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

flowers all around. I heard someone say it was Mrs. Roosevelt, but I had never seen her and couldn’t say. The train made a sustained, clipping sound as it went by and people were very still. Then, it had suddenly passed, lighted windows diminishing in the distance. People carried their silent impressions into the community. I was quiet on the way home because I couldn’t decide whether Dad was sad because he had really liked President Roosevelt all the time. Perhaps he was pondering the fact that twenty-six years earlier he had been fighting in France and now his son was about to be sent to fight in the Pacific.

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pril 19th was my 13th birthday. In the evening we started to open my presents in Mother’s room. I got an army canteen and an ammo belt on which I could hook it. I had just opened a Navy seaman’s hat that Leigh had sent when the telephone began to ring downstairs. Dad ran down to answer and called up to tell us it was Leigh. He rushed back up to carry Mother down for this extra surprise. Leigh was very busy with his final exams before he was to be commissioned as an ensign. “Mother, I’ve got to hurry up or this war is going to be over before I get there,” he said. His mother assured him that there would be time enough for him to show all the girls how handsome he was going to be in an officer’s uniform and the war could wait. We would be unable to come to New York for his graduation, but he would have some relatives in attendance. The husband of one of Mother’s cousins, Commodore Jack Richards, was commander of the Navy unit at Columbia University and he would actually be giving out the commissions to the new ensigns. The call was a special present for me, but I saw that it was especially a joy for Mother. We went back to her room and after opening a few more presents, I sat with her until it was time for me to go to bed. In my room, I stared up at all the phosphorous cut- outs of aircraft silhouettes on my ceiling and thought about the exciting time Leigh was having, and all the news of the war, and all my gifts, and drifted to sleep. Soon after midnight I was awakened by Grandmother. “Charlie. Come right away and say goodbye to your mother. She is dying.” I suppose I hurried into Mother’s room. Dad was standing there and motioned to me. I climbed on the bed beside her and kissed her. She was quite still. We were all crying. Dad told me to go down to the telephone and call Dr. Taylor and tell him Mother had died. I walked down the stairs to the landing and turned to the right to go the rest of the way to the telephone. I had a task but I was overwhelmed by questions and fears and sadness. I couldn’t qualify shock. I waited for Dr. Taylor and directed him upstairs. Mother’s good friend and neighbor, Mrs. Hunter Dalton, came soon and took me back to her home for the rest of the night. I lay in her guest bed staring at the overhead light reminding me of that disappearing funeral train. They brought my Mother’s casket back to the house two days later and placed it in the dining room by the window. People patted me on head and shoulder and made nice comments to me about Mother, which I heard but did not digest. It was at the arrival of my red-headed teacher that I dissolved in grief, surprising even myself. We took Mother back to Pottsville, Pennsylvania, to be buried in the Boone family plot in the Charles Baber Cemetery. Leigh had been able to come over from New York and I was introduced to relatives I had not known of before. On April 22nd, Dad and I, along with Aunt Anna and Uncle Ralph, drove to New York and were present in the Church of St. John the Divine to see Leigh commissioned. Back in High Point I had missed my debut performance in H.M.S. Pinafore. OH Historian Charles D. Rodenbough has written five books and is a research fellow at Cobb Institute at Howard University in Washington, D.C. November 2014

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Story of a House

Above it All Overlooking the city from Greensboro’s first modern high-rise, Porter Aichele and artist husband Fritz Janschka have created the art of home

By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Amy Freeman

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designer? Porter Aichele’s eyes grow wide. Don’t get her wrong. There’s nothing wrong with designers. She has a niece in Charleston who is a designer. But Aichele hiring a designer to orchestrate the interior of her own home? “That just wouldn’t be me,” says the retired head of UNCG’s art department. Neither would it be her husband, artist Fritz Janschka. And really, with that much artistic firepower in the family, there is no need for a designer’s help with the gallery-like haven that they have fashioned inside a 1,400-square -foot condominium in The Hampshire, a fourteen-story tower near the juncture of North Elm and Northwood streets, next to bustling Wendover Avenue. Before there was Center Pointe or any other high-rise living quarters in Greensboro, there was The Hampshire. Built as apartments in 1963, what was originally named the Greesnboro Tower Apartments became the city’s first modern high-rise. Developers converted the building to condominiums in 1984, enclosing balconies and flipping the entrance from the North Elm Street side to the Carolina Street side. Over the years, the building has housed a diverse array of people including attorneys, judges, publishers, professors, ministers, nightclub owners and members of several prominent families, including the Tangers and the Cohens. The tower’s single-story living, central location and conveniences — including a pool, gym and library — have made it an attractive spot for retirees. In 2006, The Hampshire was the perfect answer for Aichele (EYE-kel) and Janschka (YAHN-shka) after they sold an Irving Park home in so they could afford to buy a Danville, Virginia, home designed by Greensboro’s master of mid-century architecture, Edward Loewenstein. Aichele, a historian whose specialty is early 20th century art, was still working at UNCG, so the couple needed a small, low-maintenance place in Greensboro. Aichele had always admired The Hamphire’s modernist facade of glass and brick rectangles. She and Janschka toured the building one afternoon. “The traffic on Wendover made it look like you were in some neat big city

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Developers converted the building to condominiums in 1984, enclosing balconies and flipping the entrance from the North Elm Street side to the Carolina Street side. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Hanging above the reproduction French daybed are several of Janschka’s drawings. The drawing in the center is by American artist Rose O’Neill, creator of the characters that Kewpie dolls were based on.

like Chicago,” says Aichele, who also liked the building’s twenty-four-hour security desk and proximity to Fisher Park, where she would spend many happy hours walking the couple’s Italian greyhound, Boo Radley. Once inside the condo, they were sold on the foyer, which would provide ample space for art; on the pale gold walls that would be a warm and lovely background; on the parquet floors, which needed only a light sanding and sealing; on the two full baths; on the casement windows that could be cranked opened to catch a breeze; and even on the window dressings, which would stay with the condo. “I can’t remember the last time I liked anybody’s draperies,” says Aichele, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, who came to Greensboro by way of Philadelphia, where she and Janschka met at Bryn Mawr College in 1973. She was doing graduate work. Janschka was teaching. She was 26. He was 54. “I was working my way through graduate school in the library, and Fritz was delinquent with the books. I retrieved him and the books at the same time,” she says. They moved to Greensboro, to Fisher Park, in 1990 when she left Temple University for the UNCG job. Initially, she worried about uprooting Janschka from Philadelphia. “He said, ‘Porter, I left Vienna. I can leave Philadelphia,’” she remembers with a smile. A native of Austria, Janschka left the capital city in 1949 after founding the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism with four other students from The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Their paintings contrasted sharply with the country’s art during World

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War II. “It was Hitler’s art — house and home, children and cows and vegetables,” says Janschka, remembering the days when Germany strong-armed Austria into fighting for the Axis powers. After the war, he and his fellow students wanted no part of the provincial art. “We just took that, and shredded it, and made something new,” he says. Janschka and Vienna’s other fantastic realists were known for putting familiar objects in unfamiliar surroundings. Other artists, such as Reneé Magritte of Belgium and Salvador Dali of Spain, were doing the same thing.

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oday, three of Janschka’s four compatriots survive, and Janschka, 95, works every day. His studio occupies one of the condo’s three bedrooms. Like the workspaces of most creative souls, it’s strewn with books, papers and the instruments needed to channel the mind. Janschka’s drawing table is heaped with colored pencils. Another bedroom is Aichele’s office, which is much more orderly. A tall bookcase holds some of her prized possessions: books that are illustrated by artists, as well as books that are works of art by themselves. One is an accordion-style book by Janschka. The third bedroom actually is used as a bedroom. It’s also decorated with reminders of an artfully lived life: a lady’s secretary that belonged to Aichele’s mother; a sculptural Indian deer that lies in repose over a door frame; a Mobius strip done by Janschka; and several of Janschka’s early watercolors. He creates watercolors and drawings in the condo, where the low light is easy on paper. He keeps the more durable oil paintings at the light-flooded home in The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The condo’s warm colors – courtesy of parquet floors, pale gold walls and floor-to-ceiling drapes — made it attractive to the couple from the get-go.

The alcove is a balcony that was enclosed when The Hampshire, first known as the Greensboro Tower Apartments, was converted to condos in 1984. The 1940s barrelback chairs are flea market finds. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Albert Barnes, who said that artwork can be successfully presented in the same way a good painting is structured.

East meets West with French and Japanese black lacquered boxes displayed on a French tea table. In the background are Biedermier chairs with teardrop slats. November 2014 80 O.Henry

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Aichele found this Sputnik chandelier on eBay. The baroque reproduction mirror belonged to her mother. The floral watercolor, done by French artist H. Jerard, was the first piece of art that Aichele and Janschka collected together. Aichele found the framed head of a hat mannequin at Caroline Faison Antiques in Greensboro. Janschka mounted the head on a monstrance stand. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Left: Janschka’s tongue-incheek assemblage called Home-Based Missile Launcher landed him on the Today Show with John Chancellor in 1962.

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Left: Aichele’s love of Japanese ceramic and porcelain can be seen in the vignette over the Queen Anne table and bench. Right: The bronze is by the couple’s friend Philadelphia sculptor Christopher Cairns. Danville. Aichele, who retired three years ago, used to think they would return to Philadelphia when she stopped working. No more. “In twenty some-odd years, you make a life for yourself,” she says. “You make a lot of friends.” Aichele and Janschka’s friends include architect Carl Myatt and his wife, Wanda, who own a modern home in nearby Fisher Park, and former state poet laureate and UNCG English professor Fred Chappell and his wife, Susan.

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bookshelf in the living room holds a copy of Familiars, Chappell’s new book of poetry about cats. Janschka illustrated the book with pen-and-ink drawings. A specialedition companion to the book features paper made of fur combed from the Chappells’ cats. The works of more friends, including several of Aichele’s former students, cover the walls. The furniture and accessories are a geographic and stylistic sampler:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

a Biedermeier sofa and end table; an 18th century French tea table; an English chest; and a wooden glove box that Janschka found in a Philadelphia thrift store and had mounted on table legs. Aichele’s fondness for textiles shows up in the paisley shawls and pillows that garnish sofas and chairs. The paisleys remind her of portraits of 19th century women painted by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Many of those women wore paisley shawls. “I think I’m preserving their material culture and making it my own,” she says. The couple have found many of their treasures in thrift, antique and consignment shops. Locally, Aichele favors The Red Collection, Shoppes on Patterson and The Farmer’s Wife. “Something that’s $5 can be as interesting as something that’s $500,” she says. She found an angular Sputnik chandelier, now hanging over the dining room table, on eBay. “I had this teeny little French chandelier there, and it looked dopey, so I November 2014

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The master bedroom is decorated with Janschka’s watercolors from the 1970s. The throw on the bed is part of Aichele’s Chinese embroidery collection. wanted to do something a little bit splashy,” she says. The foyer is plenty splashy with an assemblage that Janschka titled HomeBase-Missile Launcher, part of a series called Interiors for Fallout Shelters. The sculptural piece, which resembles a grandfather clock, is supposed to be a camouflaged missile launcher. Janschka created the piece after President John Kennedy announced in 1962 that every school should have a bomb shelter. The work caused a stir in Philadelphia, and the brouhaha landed Janschka on the Today Show with John Chancellor. Anti-war Quakers were incensed that Janschka would disguise a missile launcher. “Fritz said, ‘No, you don’t understand. I’m with you,’” says Aichele. “It was tongue in cheek,” says Janschka, his eyes twinkling with mischief. Within a few feet of the assemblage are an Indian wedding bench; a trompe l’oeil that tricks the eye with a grid; a Chinese temple table; a collection of

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Japanese porcelain; and the torso of a Buddhist bodhicitta, or enlightened one. One of the most impressive things about the couple’s condo is that they have arranged so many pieces with so many different colors, textures and heritages in such close proximity, and yet the space hums in harmony. “Don’t you just get what you like, and it all works together?” Aichele asks. Any designer could answer that. OH Fritz Janschka’s Portrait Museum, a collection of twenty oil paintings honoring Janschka’s favorite artists, in the styles of those artists, will be on exhibit at Greensboro’s Greenhill January 30 through April 2. Info: greenhillnc.org. Maria Johnson is a contributing editor at O.Henry magazine. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Janschka brought home a lamp, but Aichele disliked the shade, so Janschka replaced it with a canvas cube featuring his selfportrait. Aichele’s portrait is on the top of the cube because she’s on his mind.

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Mama’s Fern

Whatever it is — squirrel tail fern or herbaceous perennial — Hope Chapman’s extraordinary heirloom fern is a long-lived wonder

By David Claude Bailey Photographs by Lynn Donovan

T

he sweetest smile brightens Hope Chapman’s face as she bends over to give one of the two massive ferns flanking her front door in Northern Shores the sort of affectionate pat someone might give a collie. “These plants have got to be 60 years old,” she says. “As long as I can remember, these ferns were on either side of the front door of the house in Crescent City, Florida, where I grew up.” Never ask a woman’s age, my mother told me, but, Mom, is there anything wrong with asking how old someone’s memories are? So, based on inside information — and my calculations — the two Asparagus densiflorus plants that now sit, barring frost, on Reggie and Hope Chapman’s front porch are at least 70 years old.

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November 2014

“My mother, Susie Pickens, died in 1996 at the age of 96,” Chapman says. “When mother died, my sister, Joanne Collette, got one of the ferns, and I got the other. I divided my one into two and they’ve been at my house ever since.” Mind you, I’d never call one of them Audrey or expect them to suddenly utter “Seymour” in unison, but looking at their tentacle-sized, twining tendrils twisting gently in the wind, it’s hard not to be reminded of the young, sweet thing that sprouted in Little Shop of Horrors. “They’re so happy,” Chapman says, and it’s true. They do seem to possess a sort of animation that only certain plants with limber appendages have, almost as if they want to shake hands with you. Sticking strictly with science, Asparagus densiflorus is not officially a fern, though it’s often called an asparagus fern. “I call it a squirrel-tail or fox-tail fern. Mother called it a squirrel-tail fern,” says Chapman, who’s read pretty extensively about them. “They originated in Cape Town or the South Cape of Africa, so who knows how Mother got them.” She does The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Re-Bath Triad 2:Layout 1 9/11/14 10:45 PM Page 1

know that her mother once grew plumosa ferns commercially, the feathery kind used in flower arrangements. “It reminds me of her and the home I grew up in,” she says. “Mother grew lots of cutting flowers — glads, sweet peas and calla lilies — that friends used for weddings and parties.”  Without a florist in the little town of Crescent City, “she was it,” Chapman says. “I never thought about it, but before long I was getting flowers and putting them all over the place, and now my daughter is doing the same thing.” But back to the Asparagus densiflorus. “In fact, it is not a fern,” says www.plantify.co.uk, “but a herbaceous perennial. Its real leaves are almost insignificant, and what appear to be midgreen needle-shaped leaves are in fact very short stems. The sheer number of these gives the plant its delicate, fern-like appearance.” It’s certainly not hard to care for, says Chapman, who mists and waters them gently twice a week during the summer and fertilizes them once a month. Moving them inside in winter, though, involves, quite literally, heavy lifting. “My son’s a policeman and a bodybuilder, and he moves the plants to the garage each fall,” Chapman says. “But he finally said, ‘I’m not going to take a chance anymore.’” Then she adds, “But he still does.” For winter, they’re wrapped snugly in the webbing that comes off the Christmas tree — until they’re ready to greet the spring. “There are a lot of memories there. If they die, part of me dies,” she says to them fondly. “I tell my friends, my mother would be jumping up and down in heaven if she knew someone was enjoying her ferns.” OH

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November 2014

O.Henry 87


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November 2014

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


“I have come to regard November as the older, harder man’s October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer’s death as winter tightens its grip.” —Henry Rollins, actor, columnist, punk rock icon

November By Noah Salt

Nutmeg’s Secret History

Gobble it Up It’s finally here, gathering time for America’s favorite eating month. According to The New York Times, the average number of calories a person consumes at Thanksgiving dinner is an astounding 4,500, proving beyond the shadow of any doubt that Turkey Day is our most gluttonous day of food consumption. Curiously, according to something called the Calorie Council, which sounds like a nefarious government agency, most of those calories come from the all-day snacking around the TV that defines Turkey Day in most American households. Still, Americans on average consume more than 675 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving. Approximately 40 million green bean casseroles are eaten along with 50 million pumpkin pies, and God knows how much oyster stuffing. According to Butterball, the turkey brand that sells more than 12 million of the 51 million birds sold annually, there’s a very good reason the company offers a special “Turkey Help Line.” The Dumbest Five Questions to the Butterball Help Line: 1. “Is it OK to thaw my turkey in the bathtub while bathing my kids?” 2. “Can I brine my turkey in the washing machine?” 3. “Can I use my oven’s self-cleaning cycle to speed up the cooking process?” 4. “If I cut my turkey with a chainsaw, will the oil affect the taste?” 5. “Can I take my frozen turkey into the sauna to thaw it out faster?”

Who knew the Almanac Gardener’s favorite holiday spice has a secret sordid past? Nutmeg — one of the three most popular spices used in holiday cooking — was in such feverish demand by Holland’s wealthy diners in the 17th century, according to food historian Michael Krondl, that Dutch spice traders resorted to imprisoning and killing competing English merchants and massacring the nutmeg-farming people of the Banda Islands in Indonesia to keep their edge in the spice trade. Also little known: After years of battling the rival English, both sides sat down in 1667 to hammer out a deal in which the Dutch traded control of Manhattan Island to the English in exchange for the last nutmeg island the British controlled, as well as access to South American sugar plantations. Why was nutmeg so valued? Consumed in the right quantity, it was known to cure certain ailments and provide “milde and pleasant hallucinations,” according to one ancient Dutch herbalist. We say pass the pumpkin latte and pile on the nutmeg, please. Stayed tuned next month for “Eggnog goes wild.”

November’s To-Do List With cool days here and most of the heavy gardening behind us for a bit, now’s the time to get a jump on next spring’s garden: • Rake up leaves and create a leaf mold area or add to your compost pile. • Prune flowering trees and shrubs as they drop their blossoms. • Clean up garden, rake out and remove dead material. • Divide and transplant perennial plants. • Plant last of spring flowering bulbs and sow wildflower seeds. • Before the ground freezes, generously water shrubs and potted plants. • Sharpen tools, reorganize storage shed, drain and store hoses. • Begin your master plan for 2015, in advance of spring catalogs. • Restock bird feeders. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

O.Henry 89


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November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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November 2014

O.Henry 91


November 2014 Al Neese Jazz Project

Sleeping Booty Bands

UniverSoul Circus

7

2

11-16

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November 1

COMMON CORES. 8 a.m. What’ll it be? Red • Delicious? Rome? Granny Smith? Come to Apple

Celebration & Appreciation Day and enjoy fall’s favorite fruit on a stack of pancakes. Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2402 or gsofarmersmarket.org.

KILN JOYS. 10 a.m. Fifty-some artisans display their pots, plates, vases, sculpture and who-knows-what at the Potters of the Piedmont Pottery Festival. 100 Block of East Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: www. pottersofthepiedmont.com.

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DREAM OF JEANNE. 8 p.m. Standup comedy literally reaches new heights in the person of Jeanne Robertson, a 6' 2" North Carolina native, whose Southern–style humor includes sidesplitting routines about rafting with Baptists and bungee-jumping naked. High Point Theatre, 220 East Commerce Avenue, High Point. Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointtheatre.com.

RHYTHM SECTION. 7:30 p.m. The HPU • Percussion Ensemble delivers some toe-tapping beats

November 1–9

GUILD-ED AGE. 7 p.m. Don some ’60’s glam threads à la Holly Golightly or James Bond and revel in music, food, culture and fashion for the Symphony Guild’s 50th Anniversary Gala. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: www. gsoguild.org.

under the direction of marimbist and composer Nathan Daughtrey, Pauline Theater, Hayworth Fine Arts Center, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. Info: (336)-841-4673 or highpoint.edu.

BRANCHING OUT. 10 a.m. Go out on a limb with MOD MOVES. 7:30 p.m. Professional danc• • NeighborWoods Right Plant, Right Place Community ers from across the state step it up at the 24th N.C. Tree Planting, which restores trees lost to Duke Energy’s vegetation management program. Glenwood, Steelman Park, 925 Highland Avenue, or Westerwood, Lake Daniel Park basketball court, Greensboro. Info: (336) 371-2199 or greensborobeautiful.org.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

92 O.Henry

Performing arts

November 2014

Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

pany in Carson McCuller’s The Member of the Wedding. Performance times vary. Pyrle Theater, Triad Stage, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Ticket: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

November 1–21

Dance Festival, presented by Dance Project. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate Street, UNCG, Greensboro. Tickets: (866) 579-8499. (336) 272-1060 or danceproject.org/festival.

• •

DEARLY BELOVED. An isolated girl comes of age • with only her maid and young cousin to keep her com-

v

MAD PLATTERS. Glass, ceramic, pottery and tile • works are the media of regional artists whose work is on view in Broken Dishes. African American Atelier, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-6885 or africanamericanatelier.org.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November Arts Calendar November 1–December 7

DILL-IGHTFUL. Falk visiting artist Lesley Dill • displays her work: Faith & the Devil. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon. uncg.edu.

HUE KNEW? Two abstract artists inspired each • other and influenced each others’ work as illus-

trated in Al Held + Robert Magold: B/W to Color. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

November 1–December 14

PAPER PUSHERS. For the 43rd year, Art on Paper • showcases the work of emerging and established artists, thanks to the generosity of Xpedx (formally Dillard Paper Company). Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

320 College Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 256-0112 or www.uncgfol.blogspot.com.

November 5

NEWSMAKER’S MARK. 10 a.m. Attend a small ceremony and reception celebrating the historical marker for Capus Waynick, former News & Record and High Point Enterprise newspaperman, state legislator and ambassador. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

November 5

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet cookbook authors Debbie Moose (Southern Holidays) and April McGreger (Sweet Potatoes). Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

November 5–6

November 1–December 31

GOIN’ TO THE CHAPPELLE. 7 p.m.; 10 p.m. Comedian Dave Chappelle brings laughs to the inaugural show of the new Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

Hundred Years of American Design. Reynolda House Museum of Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (888) 663-1149 or reynoldahouse.org.

November 6

CO-CHAIRS. Turns out, sitting is actually good • for you — if you take a gander at The Art of Seating: Two

November 1–February 15, 2015

PAINT JOBS. See how renowned artists, such • as Willem DeKooning [see page 35] and Ralph

Humphrey, have broken new ground in painting techniques at Innovations in Painting: Selections from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

November 2

SMOOTH SOUNDS. 6:30 p.m. Hear some New • York–style jazz, courtesy of the Al Neese Jazz Project.

Crown at the Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

November 2–4

WINGS OF DESIRE. Bring an extra hanky for • Piedmont Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly,

the tragic love story by Giacomo Puccini. Times vary. Stevens Center, 405 West Fourth Street, WinstonSalem. For a fee, Piedmont Opera will chauffeur Greensboro residents by bus to the Sunday matinee. Tickets: (336) 725-7101 or piedmontopera.org.

HOT HOUSE FLOWERS. Noon. Hadley Cash • shares his knowledge and expertise at Orchids 101,

a Lunch and Learn program. Paul Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. To register (by November 5th): (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

November 6

South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR, 7 p.m. Meet family law at• torney Letitia McGeough, author of How to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2795.

TWENTY-FOUR KERET. 7 p.m. Learn about • the works of Israeli polymath, Etgar Keret, author of

short stories, graphic novels, and scripts for television and film. Extraordinaire Cinema, R.G. Wanek Center, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 841-4673 or highpoint.edu.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Gwen Hyman • THE CARSON SHOW. 7 p.m. Friends of UNCG • Rubio, author of Love and Ordinary Creatures. Greensboro Libraries explore The Member of the Wedding: The Play,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

WHITE HATS & BLACK HATS. 8 p.m. The • Greensboro Symphony and pianist Igor Kamenz ex-

plore good and evil in Heroes & Villains, a Masterworks program of Britten, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456, ext. 224, or greensborosymphony.org.

November 7

TWINE AND TUNES. 6 p.m. Celebrate First • Friday with Following Threads: Fiber Art and Drawing (on view through November 19) and the cerebral sounds of Triangle Improvisors Collective, which explores the music of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk — as well as concepts in literature, language, physics and math. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

COMPUTERIZED CANVASES. 7 p.m. Discover • the digital art and illustration of Barbara Nessim, a pio-

neer of the genre, whose works have appeared in Rolling Stone, Time, New York Magazine and in her current tome, An Artful Life. Sechrest Art Gallery, Hayworth Fine Arts Center, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 841-4673 or highpoint. edu.

LOCAL’S VOCALS. 7:30 p.m. Kick out the • jams with Grammy-nominated hit maker, Daughtry,

headed by Triad native son and American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6 p.m. Celebrate the release FINE TUNED. 7:30 p.m. The Greensboro • of Mary Flinn’s Breaking Out. Scuppernong Books, 304 • Symphony takes its Heroes & Villains program down

November 3

by Carson McCullers, with Keith Cushman of the English Department leading the discussion. Hodges Reading Room, 2nd Floor, Jackson Library, UNCG,

November 6 & 8

the road. Professional dress required. Pauline Theater, Hayworth Fine Arts Center, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. To register: (336) 841-9209, highpoint.edu/community or reservations@ highpoint.edu.

LAST LAUGHS. 8:30 p.m. Who will be the last • standup standing? Find out at the final round of the 7th Annual Ultimate Comic Challenge, North Carolina’s largest standup comedy competition. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

GYRATE! 9 p.m. Throw down to the Sleeping • Booty Band, purveyors of ’70s dance music, jazz, funk, punk and more. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 7453000 or ticketmaster.com.

Public Library, 219 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-3636 or jon.bradsher@greensboro-nc.gov. Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

November 2014

History

Sports

O.Henry 93


November Arts Calendar November 7–9

High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

Opening times vary. Pavilion, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Info: superflea.com.

JUNK-TION. Antiques, collectibles, vintage • clothing, furniture . . . could it be? Yes! It’s Super Flea!

GLITTER’N’ GLOSS. Get a jump on Christmas • at the Holiday Market, featuring gifts and holiday

decorations galore — and for those averse to shopping — an appearance by Santa plus food and wine samples. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Info: greensborocoliseum.com.

November 7–16

FELIX AND OSCAR. Two divorcés — a neat freak • and a slob — become roommates in Neil Simon’s be-

loved comedy, The Odd Couple. Dates and times vary. Community Theatre of Greensboro, Starr Theatre, 520 South Elm Street. Greensboro.Tickets: ctgso.org.

November 8

CAROLINA COMMEMORATIONS. 10 a.m. • Author and photographer Dr. Douglas Butler presents

After Appomattox, North Carolina Civil War Markers, a companion to his exhibit (on view through December 13).

DO OR DIADEM. 6 p.m. Hear the joyful noises of Casting Crowns, who will be belting out some faithinspired songs, as will accompanying acts Mandisa and the Sidewalk Prophets. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 9

REVENGE OF THE GENES. 3 p.m. What • happens when DNA evidence refutes documentation

of public records? Find out from John Reynolds, past president of the Forsyth County Genealogical Society. Morgan Room, High Point Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3637, ncroom@ highpointnc.gov or highpointmuseum.org.

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 3 p.m. Hear Unicorn • Press authors Martin Arnold, Julie Funderburk, and Ross White. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

ENGAGED. 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Check out the • Artisan’s Bazaar where local artists will be selling

their hand-crafted items including jewelry, glass, fiber arts, and pottery to benefit The Early Childhood Engagement Center at Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road Greensboro. Info (336) 292-7890 or LVanschaack@TEgreensboro.org

November 10

DO-GOODERS DO. Noon. Cone Health CEO • Tim Rice is the keynote speaker for the National

Philanthropy Day Luncheon, honoring various Triad philanthropists. Grandover Resort, 1000 Club Road, Greensboro. Tickets: afptriadchapter.com.

LE ROUGE ET LE NOIR. 6:30 p.m. Learn about • interactions between Indian tribes in North Carolina

and Virginia and African-American communities at Black Indians, a presentation by Lamar DeLoatch, President of the Piedmont Triad Chapter of the AfroAmerican Historical and Genealogical Society. Morgan Room, High Point Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3637 ncroom@highpointnc. gov or highpointmuseum.org.

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

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94 O.Henry

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November Arts Calendar or ticketmaster.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Ed Williams, author of Liberating Dixie: An Editor’s Life from Ole Miss to Obama. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2795.

CHOP(IN) STICKS. 7:30 p.m. Pianist Ang Li kills it on • the keyboard playing China to Chopin With Love, a concert combining Chopin favorites with Chinese Folk songs. High Point Theatre, 220 East Commerce Avenue, High Point. Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointtheatre.com.

November 11

FOR STARTERS. 6 p.m. H’ors d’oeuvres can be • simple — and impressive. Learn how to make ’em at

November 11–16

“Easy Appetizers: Adult Cooking Class.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898, ext. 317, or gcmuseum.com.

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AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Hear author Janice • Fuller. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street,

Heritage: The Politics of Multiculturalism in New Mexico. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

TOP BILL-ING. 7:30 p.m. Take a walk in the • woods with travel writer Bill Bryson, at a Bryan

Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

November 13

HISTORY-ONICS. 6:30 p.m. The Greensboro • Historical Museum Annual Dinner presents the 2014

Series lecture. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

“I

Performing arts

West Lee Street, Greensboro. Performance times vary. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 12

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6:30 p.m. Meet his• torian Thomas Guthrie, author of Recognizing

China to Chopin - Ang Li

BIG TOP. Catch the high energy on the high wire • at UniverSoul Circus. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921

"Voices of the City Local History Award and a lecture, "The Greatest Great of the Great 1920s,” by Elliot Engel, Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Drive,

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

RAISED MY HAND,

AND FOUND

MY VOICE.” Grayson R., 12th grade

It takes courage to ask questions. Grayson conquered her fears and discovered new perspectives. At Saint Mary’s, we encourage you to challenge your boundaries, explore new ideas and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

WHERE WILL YOU FIND YOUR COURAGE? ADMISSION OVERNIGHT/VISITATION DAYS November 10 - 11 January 11 - 12 To register for one of these events or to schedule a campus visit, call the Admission Office at 919.424.4100.

Serving girls, grades 9-12, boarding and day in Raleigh, NC. www.sms.edu | 919.424.4100 | admission@sms.edu SMS1415_Ad_7x4625_Grayson_OHENRY_NOV.indd 1

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

8/18/2014 1:45:10 PM

O.Henry 95


November Arts Calendar

Greensboro. Reservations: Call Mary Allen at (336) 373-2043.

Info: Info: (336) 883-3660 or highpointpubliclibrary. com.

LOCAL GUITAR HERO. 10 p.m. (doors • open at 8 p.m.). Dillon Fence and Hobex frontman

HARVEST HOME. 5 p.m. Practice your carving • skills on your creations of honey mustard pork tenderloin,

November 13–23

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet musician • and writer Tom Maxwell, author of Hell: My Life in the

Greg Humphreys return to the stage with the Greg Humphreys Electric Trio. The Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

A BUNNY KIND OF LOVE. The story of a • boy and his favorite toy is the focus of The Velveteen

Rabbit, a UNCG Theatre Production. Taylor Theatre, UNCG, 406 Tate Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4392 or performingarts.uncg.edu/theatre.

Jam Session with Dave Mason

15

11/

BEAR FEAT. 4 p.m. Bring your Winnie the • Pooh, Paddington, Teddy Ruxpin — your choice — to a celebration of Teddy Bear Day, which includes a teddy bear story and craft-making. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point.

• •

mcmanus2@bellsouth.net www.randymcmanusdesigns.com November 2014

Music/Concerts

Dover Square Dover Square

1616 Battleground Avenue, Suite D-1 Greensboro, NC 27408 336.691.0051

96 O.Henry

Art

Squirrel Nut Zippers. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

SPRINGING ETERNAL. 7:30 p.m. Pastors Joel • and Victoria Osteen bring all manner of folk together

November 14

Key:

accompanied by roasted seasonal vegetables and apple crisp at “Teen Cooking Class.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898, ext. 317, or gcmuseum.com.

Performing arts

for “A Night of Hope.” Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

SOAK IT TO ME! 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 • p.m.) Platinum-selling rockers Sponge deliver some • • • • • Film

Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

Sports

Dolce Dimora

Matouk | Pine Cone Hill | Bella Notte Linens | Peacock Alley | Yves DeLorme | Sferra Linens Dash & Albert Rugs | Simon Pearce | Juliska | PJ Harlow Sleepwear | Beaufort Bonnet Company

1616-H Battleground Ave. | 336.282.9572 | Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm | Saturday: 10am-5pm

www.dolcedimora.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


November Arts Calendar

heavy-hitting tunes. The Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

DEADLY DUO The Drama Center’s Livestock • Players revisit the rowdy 1930s with the musical Bonnie

and Clyde from childhood through their lives of crime to their untimely deaths. Dates and times vary. Drama Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or www.thedramacenter.com

RAISING MCCAIN. 9 p.m. You could not ask for • more than the folk/rock tunes of Edwin McCain. Cone

Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 15

GATE CITY GIFTS. 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Get a • leg up on Christmas shopping with some one-of-a-

November 14–16

kind fare, such as local artisans’ creations, gift baskets and Greensboro-specific gifts. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2949 or shop.greensborohistory.org.

KNOCK, KNOCK! Who’s there? Find out at • UNCG Opera Theatre’s production of Amahl and

the Night Visitors, a Christmas classic by Gian Carlo Menotti. Performance times vary. Aycock Auditorium, UNCG, 408 Tate Street, Greensbor. Tickets: (336) 3345126 or opera.uncg.edu.

JAM SESSION. 8 p.m. Throw down with Dave • Mason, founding member of Traffic and Rock ’n’ Roll

Hall of Famer, who brings his Traffic Jam tour to town. High Point Theatre, 220 East Commerce Avenue, High Point. Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointtheatre.com.

November 14–23

OZ-MOSIS. If you have a heart and a brain, you’ll • catch Community Theatre of Greensboro’s 20th an-

niversary production of The Wizard of Oz. Dates and times vary. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7469 or carolinatheatre. com or ctgso.org. Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

The Drowsy Chaperone

November 16

MARKET MEDLEY. 11 a.m. Stockpile Christmas • presents early at Made 4 the Holidays, featuring artisan

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

Now Open

• • Fun

History

Sports

20

11/

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November 2014

O.Henry 97


106 E. Railroad Ave. Gibsonville, NC Downtown Gibsonville behind the Red Caboose Just minutes from Greensboro

The North Carolina Theatre for Young People at

UNCG presents

November 13 - 23, 2014

Store-Wide Sale On Sat., November 29th, 10-6pm Fri, November 21st Gibsonville Lighting of the Greens 6-8:00pm

Christmas Open House

December 6, Sunday 1-5pm

GibsonvilleAntiques.com

336-446-0234 Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 1-5

Call us for furniture restoration!

Farm to Fork

The Great American Steakhouse 201 N. Elm St. Greensboro 336.274.5900

Mon-Sat Dinner 5-10pm Bar 5-2am

The Velveteen Rabbit chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner.

Adapted by Janet Allard From the novel by Margery Williams Directed by Rachel Briley

Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for children/seniors/groups of 10 + on weekend performance dates and $8 for UNCG Students and Groups of 10+ on weekday morning/noon matinees 336-272-0160 or http://theatre.uncg.edu Taylor Theatre, UNCG, 406 Tate Street

Nov 13, Pay What You Can Night at 7:30 pm, Nov 14 at 7:30 pm, Nov 15 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm, Nov 16 at 2 pm, Nov 18-21 at 9:30 am & 12 noon, also Nov 21 at 7:30 pm, Nov 22 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm, Nov 23 at 2 pm Theatre

98 O.Henry

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October Arts Calendar

% 50OFF EYEGLASS FRAMES with the purchase of a complete pair of glasses* Mark T. Shapiro, M.D., F.A.A.O. Arun Subramanian, O.D., F.A.A.O. 1311 North Elm Street Greensboro, NC

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goods such as candles and hand-milled soaps, garden tchotchkes, blown glass, packaged delicacies and more. Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2402 or gsofarmersmarket.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Artency M. • Stallworth, author of In His Presence. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble. com/store/2795.

9 Claridge Court

Private Oasis in Grandover

November 17

MARINER’S MEMORIES. 10 a.m. Learn • about adventure on the high seas from former

Coast Guard Captain Royce Garrett at a Historical Guild Meeting. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3781531 or greensborohistory.org.

November 18

GRATEFUL ED(IBLES). 3:30 p.m. Decorate Thanksgiving cookies, and learn how to make table decorations with gourds and corn husks at “Tween Cooking Class.” Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898, ext. 317 or gcmuseum.com.

Key:

•• •

•• •

••

Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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November 2014

O.Henry 99


October Arts Calendar •

AUTHOR, AUTHOR, 7 p.m. Meet Lynn Chandler Willis, author of Wink of an Eye: A Mystery. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/ store/2795.

try superstar’s classics. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 20

ASLEEP ON THE JOB. 2 p.m. A play-within-a • play is the highlight of The Drowsy Chaperone,

DUDE WITH A’TUDE. 7 p.m. A case of mis• taken identity drives the plot of the Coen brothers’

presented by HPU Theatre. Pauline Theater, Hayworth Fine Arts Center, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. Tickets: (336) 8414673 or highpoint.edu.

1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

CHARITY CHOW. 5 p.m.–7 p.m. Kick off • Greensboro Urban Ministry’s annual fundraising

November 19

• Jolie Laide - Maleficent

29

11/

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Billy Cone, who will lecture on portrait photography and sign copies of his book, Femme. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

November 19–23

COUNTRY COLOSSUS. 7:30 p.m. He may AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 5:30 p.m. Meet children’s • • have friends in low places, but he sure can hit author Ellen Fischer who penned If an Armadillo Went the high notes. Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood guarantees a lineup of the counKey:

• • Art

CAROLYN TODD’S fine gifts & clothing

Now decorated for the Holiday Season

Christmas Open House Sunday, November 2 1:00 - 4:00pm Browse among our Christmas Treasures and sample our Gourmet Delights. 1826 Pembroke Road, Greensboro, NC 336-274-3307 (Behind Irving Park Plaza)

Monday thru Friday 10:00–5:00, Saturday 10:00–4:00 100 O.Henry

November 2014

campaign with a bowl of soup and bread at the Feast of Caring. For $25 you can take home a pottery bowl, or five of artist William Mangum’s Honor Cards. First Baptist Church, 1000 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 271-5959 or greensborourbanministry.org.

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

to a Restaurant. Barnes & Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

Q Come Visit

Irving Park

m

s

FOR

m

• Shopping • Food • Art • Entertainment

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

The Pack-N-Post Pastabilities Polliwogs Randy McManus Designs Serendipity by Celeste William Mangum Fine Art Gallery

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


IN-STORE SILHOUETTE SESSIONS Saturday, December 6th. Perfect for Holiday Gifts! Call Today to Book Your Spot.

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Gifts for home, ladies, men, and children Complete baby clothing and gift section and our freezer stocked with fabulous goodies to take home 1738 Battleground Ave | Greensboro, NC (Formerly The Lollipop Shop) The Art & Soul of Greensboro

www.cheveuxgreensboro.com Gift certificates available

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Tues. - Fri. 11-6pm & Sat. 11-4pm • 336.708.3048 1832 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 www.facebook.com/Serendipity by Celeste November 2014

O.Henry 101


Great Things Are Happening

Area Schools

at...

Challenging the Mind. Nourishing the Spirit.

“Quenching the thirst of students who learn differently”

Canterbury School is a PreK-8 Episcopal day school. Call for a tour or join us for an open house:

Open House

PreK - 4th presentation and in-depth tour, Nov. 18, 9:30-11:30 am

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

Thursday November 13th 9:00-11:00 a.m. 336-883-0992 www.thepiedmontschool.com

Now Enrolling for Pre-School! Fall 2014-15 Guilford Park Preschool (a small school with a big heart)

Located in Kirkwood: 2100 Fernwood Drive Greensboro, NC (Across from Southern Lights) A loving discovery and literacy enriched environment Crib – Pre-K

Monday – Friday • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Small class sizes • Enrichment programs • Summer camps Sibling discounts • Weekly Spanish classes for 2-PreK On the web at http://www.guilfordpark.org/education/preschool.html On Facebook at Guilford Park Preschool, Education Contact us: dhuneycutt@guilfordpark.org

(336)282-6697

OPEN HOUSE

NOVEMBER 9Th 1-3 102 O.Henry

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October Arts Calendar 4200 or store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2795. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet essayist Peter • Turchi, author of A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery and Magic. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

celebrate their 10th birthday, 390 South Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, (336) 723-9111, ext. 214, or www. childrensmuseumofws.org

November 21

STRIKE UP THE BANDS. 9 p.m. Hear live bands • Ascentia, with help from Dumpster and Cytokine Storm. Crown at the Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

SWING YOUR PARTNER. 7:30 p.m. Learn some • swing dance basics and then try them out to the live music of the Penn Family. Greensboro Shrine Club, 5010 High Point Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 5089998 or piedmontswingdance.org.

November 22–23

HANDCRAFTED. 10 a.m.; noon. Pottery, • textiles, jewelry, prints, woodworking . . . get ready to

TROUBADOUR. 7 p.m. Grammy-award winner LeCrae entertains with his hiphop spin Christian tunes. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 22

browse and buy from the Southeast’s finest artisans at the Piedmont Craftsmen annual Crafts Fair. M.C. Benton Convention Center, 301 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem. Info: piedmondcraftsmen.org.

••

stration. Hoggatt House, Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

BABE IN TOYLAND. 9 a.m.; 10 a.m. That would • be Babe Ruth. Try to find his image on sportscards, one

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Nathaniel Mackey, poet, novelist, critic, jazz aficionado and National Book Award winner headlining HPU’s literary Phoenix Festival alongside the HPU Jazz Ensemble. Greek Village, Conference Center, Ballroom, High Point University, 833 Montlieu Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 841-4673 or highpoint.edu.

BIRTHDAY BASH 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Music from • Big Bang Boom!; a performance by Captain Jim the ma-

OPEN FLAME. 10 a.m. Whet your appetite for • Thanksgiving eats at an open hearth cooking demon-

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 3 p.m. Meet two ac• claimed authors with new books, Lee Smith (Guests On

Earth) and Hal Crowther (An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken). Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

of the featured attractions with toys and antiques at the Triad Antique & Collectible Toy, Hobby & Sportscard Show. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Info: greensborocoliseum.com.

• • • • • Area Schools Area Schools

gician at 6 p.m.; and lots of Krispy Kreme doughnuts will help the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem

Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

It’s amazing how much kids learn when they love going to school. And at NGFS, we do all we can to make each day challenging, fascinating and fun. Our curriculum offers an ideal balance of academics, arts and athletics. Classes are interactive and engaging. Trips and special projects teach the value of community service. And our Quaker–guided culture of respect builds confidence and character. Ready for an education your kids will love? Call today for details and a campus tour. 1128 New Garden Road

The Art & Soul of Greensboro NGFS.OHenry.Cant Wait.paths.indd 1

Greensboro, NC 27410

(336) 299-0964

www.ngfs.org

Preschool through Grade 12

November 2014

O.Henry 103 9/5/14 12:00 PM


Dr. Steve Lucey, M.D. Orthopaedic Surgeon

SHOPS AT

KIRKWOOD 2415 Lawndale Drive Greensboro, NC

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Announcing Our New Location 200 W. Wendover Avenue (Beside Ward Black Law)

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104 O.Henry

November 2014

LoveYour Lips! Now Available at

Sheree’s Natural Cosmetics Located at friendly center next door to Barnes and Noble

Mon-Fri 10-8 | Sat 10-6 | Sun 1-6 • 336-294-3223 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October Arts Calendar November 22–January 1, 2015

November 24

Tanglewood Festival of Lights, one of the Southeast’s Top 20 events. Admission for cars is $15 (more for larger vehicles). Tanglewood Park, 4061 Clemmons Road, Clemmons. Info: (336) 703-6400 or forsyth. cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol.

Misadventures of the Family Fletcher. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

TWINKLE, TWINKLE. The future’s so • bright, ya gotta wear shades. Yup, it’s time for the

November 23

GET FRESH. Noon until 5 p.m. Take a bough — • or two at Greensboro Beautiful’s Holiday Greenery

Festival that also includes artisans’ wares, food, crafts and live music. Lewis Recreation Center, 1115 Forest Lawn Drive, Greensboro. Info: Info: (336) 371-2199 or greensborobeautiful.org.

COMMUNITY GATHERING. 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Celebrate the launch of the exhibit, Warnersville: Our Neighborhood, Our Stories. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

KEM ONE, KEM ALL. 7:30 p.m. R&B artist • and Grammy nominee Kem brings his Promises to

Love Tour, Part 1, to town. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Dana • Alison Levy, children’s author who penned The

November 26

OPERA BOUFFANTS. 4 p.m.; again at 8 p.m. Light • shows, pyrotechnics, smoke machines, wailin’ guitars,

big hair and, oh yeah, music, can only mean one thing: Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rock opera, The Christmas Attic. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 28­–30

SEASONAL STUFF. It wouldn’t be the holidays without the Craftsmen Christmas Classic Art & Craft Show. Check out handiwork, high-end and low, by woodworkers, glass artists, jewelry makers and more. Entrance times vary. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Info: greensborocoliseum.com.

November 28–December 21

Appalachian Mountains. Performance times vary. Triad Stage, Pyrle Theater, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

November 29

JOLIE LAIDE. 2 p.m. Angelina Jolie sports • some serious horns in Disney’s Maleficent, a twist on

Sleeping Beauty, told from the point of view of the evil, curse-slinging faerie. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3660 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. 9 p.m. See • Who’s Bad?, a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 7453000 or ticketmaster.com.

November 30

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Lynn • Chandler Willis — again — author of Wink of an Eye: A

Mystery. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. [She’s also at Barnes & Noble on the 18th.]

HER FROZEN HIGHNESS. Hans Christian • Andersen’s Snow Queen gets a new setting in the • • • • • Key:

Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

Commission Portraits

Graphite starting at $450 Oil starting at $950 Prices vary with size

Unique Gifts for Everyone on Your List All sales of our beautiful fair trade crafts benefit artisans in developing countries-shop where your purchase makes a difference! 910.692.9448 • www.meridithmartens.com MeridithMartens.Artist The Art & Soul of Greensboro

1564-A Highwoods Blvd., Greensboro NC 27410 (Target Shopping Center off New Garden Rd.) 336-834-4606 | greensboro.tenthousandvillages.com November 2014

O.Henry 105


October Arts Calendar WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays

BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage • in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music,

movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

Tuesdays

NOTE-ABLE. See if your little one is a musical • prodigy by signing him or her up for “ABC Music & Me,” the first session of Kindermusik instruction. Classes for 2- to 3-year-olds is at 4:30; classes for 4- to 6-year olds is at 3:30. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 209-1152 or gcmuseum.com.

Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.

4- to 8-year olds. (11/7, 11/14/ 11/21) Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or timecenter. com/katiepage.

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Preschool • Storytime I convenes for children ages 3­–5.

Fridays & Saturdays

Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

Thursdays

INNER ARTISTS. 10 a.m. Learn about great • masters and mimic their styles at “Messes &

READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to • storytimes: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at

10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Y’all come for Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs from a Southern Kitchen. Tuck into Chef Jay’s signature fried chicken and gravy, along with select beverage specials. Live music by Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring on the 4th and 18th; Molly McGinn on the 11th; Martha Bassett, Sam Frazier and Pat Lawrence on the 25th — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32. com/fried_chicken.htm.

Wednesdays

Fridays

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 • BREATHE! 3:30 p.m.­See how well Junior p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from • does Downward Dog at Little Yogis, yoga classes for $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Get fresh with locally grown produce, cakes, pies and cut fleurs for a pretty table. Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

Masterpieces Art Series” (11/6: Jackson Pollack; 11/13: Michelangelo; 11/21: Piet Mondrian). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898, ext. 316 or gcmuseum.com.

ONCE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool • Storytime II convenes for children ages 3­–5.

Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

106 O.Henry

November 2014

Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.

Saturdays

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. • The greens are still fresh, the pies still still yummy and the fleurs still belles — and yours if you grab ’em early. Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus • an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The

Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.ibcomedy.com.

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

OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros • and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.idiotboxers.com.

Key:

Managing Townhome, Condominium & Single Family Homeowner Associations Throughout the Triad area.

NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A • 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

www.slatterinc.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Shop. Dine. Play. Explore. #DGSO downtowngreensboro.net

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

O.Henry 107


Shop. Dine. Play. Explore. #DGSO downtowngreensboro.net

Join us for our holiday classic

featuring the Greensboro Symphony The magical Christmas favorite of children and adults alike.

Saturday, December 6th • 3 pm & 7:30 pm Sunday, December 7th • 3 pm* Friday, December 12th • 7:30 pm Saturday, December 13th • 3 pm* Sunday, December 14th • 3 pm**

Tickets (including tax) from $16-48 (Plus $2.50 theatre restoration fee added to price of each ticket), on sale now at The Carolina Theatre box office, www.carolinatheatre.com

*Come early for “Tea with Clara” at 1:45 pm; tickets $21 **Greensboro Symphony is not performing at this show. Ticket prices will be reduced for this performance.

For more information go to www.greensboroballet.org or call 336.333.7480

MAGAZINE

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Shop. Dine. Play. Explore. #DGSO downtowngreensboro.net

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Sunday-Monday 11AM-3PM Tuesday-Sunday 11AM-10PM

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

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Shop. Dine. Play. Explore. #DGSO downtowngreensboro.net

Thank You Greensboro for 10 Great Years! 11,000 sq. ft. of indoor & outdoor space

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Exquisite Frames Museum Quality Framing Photo Framing

Featuring Artist

Bill Walsh “The Widow Smalls” is one of the stories in the new short story collection by the WILLA Award winning author of Unbroken, Jamie Lisa Forbes, who writes about the hardships of making a living from the land with an understanding that comes from first-hand experience. Her deftly drawn characters include star-crossed lovers, a young rancher facing his first test of moral courage, an inscrutable ranch hand claiming an impressive relative, a father making one last grasp for his daughter’s love and a child’s struggle to make sense of the world around her. Each will pull you into the middle of their stories and keep you turning the pages.

251 N. Greene Street 336.274.2426 MartinsFrameandArt.com

Come. Sit. Heal.

The Widow Smalls And Other Stories and Unbroken

Dr. John Wehe 336-338-1840

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are available at Scuppernong Books, by order at any bookstore and at Amazon. Available in Kindle and Nook formats. Autographed softcover editions may be purchased at the author’s website: www.jamielisaforbes.com.

Unbroken won the 2011 WILLA award for Outstanding Literary Fiction. The award, named after Author Willa Cather, is given to recognize literature that features women in the West.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Shop. Dine. Play. Explore. #DGSO downtowngreensboro.net

226 S. ELM STREET GREENSBORO, NC 336 333 2993 OscarOglethorpe.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

O.Henry 111


Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem Made for Each Other

The New Winston Museum (NWM) is a fairly recent addition to WinstonSalem and a small gem of a place — so small that it’s easy to miss its location on South Marshall Street. But it addresses big themes in the city’s history from 1849 to the present, and there’s none bigger than This School This City: 50 Years of UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, which will be on view through June 2015. “We wanted it to be a collaboration with the school,” says Chris Jordan, executive director of education and programming. “Not fifty years of chancellors.” So he and co-curator Mike Wakeford sought to tell the story of how Winston, in the early 1960s, was ripe for the South’s first public arts conservatory. And it seemed only fitting that UNCSA design and set up the exhibition in NWM’s compact space. Enter Michael Harbeck, a third-year student in the design and production department, who came up with the idea of a honeycomblike structure, “The Climber,” constructed of 30,000 white paper cups fastened with 90,000 staples and attached to a wooden frame. Set within the structure are placards explaining the genesis of UNCSA, whose establishment had been approved by the state legislature and which many felt belonged in Chapel Hill. You’ll learn about the fierce battle among North Carolina cities to acquire the school, with Raleigh and Charlotte being the top contenders (Winston was lower on the legislature’s list, alongside Pinehurst). But thanks to novelist and UNC professor John Ehle, and R. Philip “Phil” Hanes, then president of Hanes Dye & Finishing and champion of the arts, who pleaded with Gov. Terry Sanford “to make Winston-Salem the Strasbourg of the South,” the Twin City came more into focus. Thanks to a perfect storm of other interested arts patrons, such as the Ford Foundation, and the state representatives’ visit to Winston during a Dial for Dollars fundraising campaign that garnered $1 million in 48 hours, the Twin City won the bid. You’ll see video installations of Aaron Copland coaching the school’s orchestra and short films by a recent graduate of UNCSA’s filmmaking school. There are audio memories of alumni, such as the lawyer who astounded her colleagues with her skill in front of a jury, thanks to UNCSA’s theatrical training. And most touching, a projection of a colorful mural by Nick Bragg, a local artist and the first executive director of Reynolda House Museum of Art that serves as a fundraising tool for UNCSA’s programs and will ultimately occupy space in its new library. Walking through the honeycomb structure, reading about the efforts to acquire the school, seeing the works of UNCSA students and faculty, you come to appreciate what so many here do: Art is worth fighting for. OH

Info: newwinston.org. —Nancy Oakley

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ust

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Worth the Drive to High Point

Hit Parade

Marching bands, baton twirlers, elaborate floats, smiling beauty queens . . .’tis the season for Christmas parades, and the Mac Daddy of ’em all is the High Point Holiday Festival Parade and Tree Lighting on November 23. Why is it so distinctive? For one, the parade’s origins date as far back as 1925. “The High Point Merchants started it then,” says Sharon Smith, who, since 1981 has managed the event, now under the auspices of the Guilford Merchants Association. With the exception of a hiatus during World War II, the parade hasn’t missed a, well, beat, and up until four years ago, it was held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving — at night. “People from all over North Carolina came to participate,” says Smith. “As many as 25,000.” Some came from farther afield: Amanda Blake, “Miss Kitty” of Gunsmoke fame, appeared in the 1958–59 parade, and the Old Rebel can be seen mugging for a home movie camera in 1968. David Wall, owner of Jarrett Stationery and chairman of the Parade and Decorations Committee, is likely one of the faces in that movie. “I was in the High Point Central band,” he recalls, “playing the trombone.” He remembers the lights on the various floats twinkling against the night sky, and the electricity among the spectators and the performers, which persists today. Wall’s job behind the scenes is to ensure that the parade entries are lined up in order and that they move quickly. “It’s a really exciting place to be,” he says. “And everybody is happy.” As are the crowds, which are smaller than during the parade’s heyday, but still impressive: Last year, Smith counted 5,000 people who came out for the spectacle. She contends the hometown flavor is part of its appeal, noting, “We have a wide Main Street. The bands really love it, because they can perform.” They’ll be back this year, alongside floats, Shriners and youth groups, all given a boost by local companies, such as Crescent Ford, the presenting sponsor, High Point Regional Hospital and Internet-provider North State. This year’s grand marshal is native son and NBC sportscaster Marty Snider, who got his start at WGHP. And don’t forget about Santa Claus — another Snider named Cliff (though he prefers the handle “Cliff Kringle”). The only North Carolinian to be inducted in the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, he has been assuming parade duties since 2001 and sometimes gives shout-outs to familiar faces in the crowd. At press time, Smith was finalizing all of the entries, numbering anywhere from 160 to 200. “We like to reinvent ourselves,” she says coyly. So if you thought last year’s festivities were a hit, just come out to Main Street on the 23rd . . . before the parade passes by. OH

Great prices and items arriving daily!

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Chanel w HOBO w Eric Javits ECHO Designs w Simon Sebbag

Info: highpointparade.com. —Nancy Oakley just filling space space space sp The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

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114 O.Henry

November 2014

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www.PlasticSurgeryChoices.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Yamamori Ltd.

State Street

501 State Street, Greensboro, NC 336.274.4533 YamamoriLtd.com

Premiere Custom Design & Retail Jewelry Since 1969

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

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

Hop on over to our

Annual Holiday Art Show & Party! Tyler WhiTe O’Brien Gallery

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Ladies Night

EVERY 3Rd ThuRsdaY (opEn Till 7pm WINE • FINGER FOOD • GOOD CONVERSATION) The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Art of Cloth Parsley & Sage Fenini Comfy USA Lee Anderson Chalet Amma

Fine Art & one of a kind gifts for all your holiday shopping! Tyler White O’Brien Gallery | 307 State Street, Greensboro | 279-1124 www.tylerwhitegallery.com November 2014

O.Henry 115


Paintings B y

C.P. Logan

Autumn’s Glory 48x48

Arts

original oil

Original oils, commissions, workshops studio classes, online classes, painting parties

& CULTURE

1206 W. Cornwallis Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408

www.cplogan.com

Give The GifT of Greensboro Day saTurDay, november 15 • 1 - 4 pm

Create distinctive gift baskets and meet local vendors including renowned tinsmith Peter Blum who will demonstrate his craft. Children are invited to create their own tin ornaments. Enjoy 90 Years of Song in honor of our 90th Anniversary. From 2 - 3 pm.

FREE Admission • Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday from 2 - 5 pm www.GreensboroHistory.org • 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro • 336-373-2043 116 O.Henry

November 2014

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


18th Annual

Festival ofTrees

A B e n e f i t f o r S a n d h i l l s C h i l d r e n ’ s Ce n t e r

Arts & Culture Wednesday, November 19 through Sunday, November 23 The Carolina Hotel 80 Carolina Vista Drive  Pinehurst, NC

Enjoy a showcase of over 200 decorated holiday trees, wreaths, gift baskets and gingerbread houses displayed throughout a winter wonderland. The festival includes a silent auction, live entertainment, Festival Marketplace, Candy Cane Lane with Santa & Mrs. Claus and more. All proceeds benefit Sandhills Children’s Center. Pre-register for the Silent Auction www.FestivalofTrees.org

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

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Catch Studio 360 • Sundays @ 3pm It’s public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts.

Each week, host Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy - so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. P. O. Box 8850 • Winston-Salem, NC 27109 • wfdd.org

Gift of the Magi 2014-2015 SEASON The Piedmont’s Premier Chorus

Poetic Imagination in Watercolor

“Soul Sparkles”

Exceptional, Innovative, and Engaging

Tickets On Sale Now

Group Tickets, Student Discounts and More:

(336) 333-2220 www.belcantocompany.com Solo Art Exhibit by Marjorie Kearns Smith Opening Reception Thursday, Nov. 6th | 6-9 PM Show runs through Wednesday, November 26th 2105 - A W. Cornwallis Drive Behind Finks Jewelers - Next to The Elks Club 336.274.6717 | www.IrvingParkArtandFrame.com

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November 2014

Friday, December 12, 8:00 PM Main St. United Methodist Church 306 S Main St, Kernersville Saturday, December 13, 8:00 PM Monday, December 15, 7:30 PM Christ United Methodist Church 410 N Holden Rd, Greensboro “One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas...” Celebrate the season with a concert of your favorite holiday melodies woven together by readings from O.Henry’s timeless story of selfless giving, The Gift of the Magi.

Arts &CULTURE The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene Flip the Switch - The Public Art Endowment Tagtool/OMAi: The Greensboro Sessions September 18, 2014 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh, Cheryl Stewart

Markus Dorninger, Josef Dorninger, Matthias Fritz, Johlynn Harrelson, Cheryl Stewart Louie Bouvier & Denny Kelly

Lynn Wooten, Frances Bullock

Brittney Isopropyl, Melissa Kammerer

Mona Edwards, Meredith & Gary Piatt

GreenScene Triad Dinner & Auction for Cancer Research Presented by Golfers Against Cancer Greensboro Country Club Sunday, September 21, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Heather & Kevin Mack, Missy & Jamie Hale Joe & Cindy Hughes Barbara & Randall Ross, Chan Cutler, Bryan Matthews, Danielle Jenner Rosemary Plybon, Jay & Katharine Kirkpatrick

Dena & Bob Price

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2014

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GreenScene Pat Cross, Nancy Routh

The Belle Ringer Luncheon Global Learning Center, Bennett College Thursday, September 25,2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Kelvin & Jackie Ford

Seated: Student Scholarship Recipients (L to R) Kiyara Brown, Adera Toya, Amra Marshall, Danielle Jeffries, Standing (L to R): President Deborah Love, Sybil Wilkes; Jacqueline Ford, LaVada Watson, President Rosalind Fuse-Hall, Eunice Dudley, Betty Cone, Synthia Saint James, Deborah Foster, Chair, Bennett College Board of Trustees

Amra Marshall, Synthia Saint James Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall

Bernadette G. Watts, Deborah Foster, Bernice I. Johnson Dr. Lisa Johnson, Brooke Walker, Deanna Wynn

Jenai Childress, Jocelyn Biggs

Lori Ann Harris, Lynn Massenburg

Shawn Guy, Benita Corbin, Shaunaray Otey

Sandra Johnson, Barbara Martin, Allyson Berry, Francena Brown, Teresa Lipscomb-Burney, Rosa Bowden

120 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Give someone the world.

We Make Greensboro Home Carlson Farms

5015 Carlson Dairy Road For centuries the love of an English Manor home placed on a perfect private spot is a timeless treasure. This is a treasure located on top of 21 acres of grounds and gardens with a views of Lake Higgins. A Town and Country Estate. Price upon request.

Old Irving Park

206 Sunset Drive Designed by Raleigh Hughes, Villa style home magnificently restored and updated – new kitchen, Master Bath. Study with pecky cypress walls, Sunroom with surround views. Overlooking GCC Golf Course, lives and entertains well inside and out. One-of-a-kind, magnificent Old Irving Park home. Price upon request.

Old Irving Park

623 Woodland Drive Classic Old Irving Park home updated and renovated throughout. Hardwood floors on both levels. Master Bath with separate shower, pedestal tub, large closet. Bedrooms with built-ins. Screened porch overlooks gardens & play area. 2-car garage with workshop. Lots of storage & much more! Price upon request.

Irving Park

204 Elmwood Drive Classic Irving Park brick home prime location, near park, within walking distance to GCC. 9 foot ceilings on main level, hardwood floors, custom moldings. Updated kitchen, den with new wet bar. 2-car garage. Master bedroom has separate shower, jetted tub plus “roomy” master closet! Price upon request.

Irving Park

1811 Tiffany Pl Totally updated Irving Park brick home with up to 6 Bedrooms. 4.5 Baths. Spacious rooms, hardwood floors - main level, custom moldings, 3 fireplaces. Finished Bonus Room. Great yard & street. Immaculate! Ready to move into!

Irving Park/Noles

2923 Wynnewood Prime location in Irving Park / Noles with lots of upgrades. High ceilings, custom moldings, Plantation shutters. Master Bedroom on main level. 5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths plus Bonus. Lots of storage. 3-car garage. Energy Star certified and much more!

Irving Park

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1810 Huntington Road Golf course lot with best backyard view. 3 bedrooms and 3 and one half baths. Updated Kitchen, hardwood, cork and tile floors throughout. Patio with fireplace overlooking golf course. Room to expand to second level. Price upon request.

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November 2014

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GreenScene

Debbie Lucenti, Susan Ball, Sue-Ellen Team

Wellness Academy Golf Classic Mental Health Association Greensboro Bryan Park Players Course Friday, October 10, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Steve Lambert, Jeff Cornelison Bill Ingold, Phyllis Calvert Casey Hodgin, Beth Hayes

Doug Brown, Dennis Newman Tracey, Scoggins, Starla Hughes

Mike Schlosser, Bob Lambeth

Eddie Godwin, Bruce McCoy

Mark Roberts, Lynn & Mark Guglielmo

122 O.Henry

November 2014

Delilah Stewart, Charlene Fischer, Kat Tuck

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Now carrying LEE INDUSTRIES

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124 O.Henry

November 2014

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By Sandra Redding

There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day . . . purely American. — O.Henry LITERARY EVENTS

November 3–7 (Monday–Friday) Writers Week 2014, UNCW. This annual gathering of writers, students and the general public includes workshops, author panels and readings. Info: uncw.edu/writers/writersweek.html November 7 (Friday, 7 p.m.) A Double Author Event! Pomegranate Books, Wilmington. New York’s John Searles, popular TV critic, will tout his latest spooky tale, Help for the Haunted. Wiley Cash, born and bred in North Carolina, will celebrate the release of his second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy. Info: www.pombooks.net November 9 (Sunday, 2 p.m.) Miracle Dog. The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, hosts Donna Smith Lawrence and her dog, co-signing their books, Susie’s Tale: Hand with Paw We Changed the Law and The Miracle of Susie: The Puppy that Changed the Law! After Lawrence rescued the beaten and burned Susie, N. C. legislators enacted tougher penalties for animal cruelty. Info: www.thecountrybookshop.biz November 16 (Sunday, 2–4 p.m.) What All Writers Must Know About Marketing to Reach and Retain Readers, a free program presented by the Triad Chapter of Sisters in Crime. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: murderwewrite.org November 30 (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.). Ellen Fischer, popular Greensboro author of eighteen children’s books, will read from her two 2014 books, If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant and Latke, the Lucky Dog (a Hanukkah story), Barnes & Noble, Greensboro. Info: store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2795

CONTESTS & WINNERS

Writing is a little like milking a cow: The milk is so rich and delicious and the cow’s so glad you did it. — Anne Lamott

Main Street Rag’s 2015 Poetry Book Award: includes publication for all finalists. Deadline January 31, 2015. Info: mainstreetrag.com The Press 53 2015 Award for Short Fiction: includes publication of the winning short story collection plus $1,000 cash advance. Deadline: The Art & Soul of Greensboro

December 31, 2014. Info: press53.com Randall Jarrell 2015 Poetry Competition: enter between January 15 and March 1, 2015. Alan Michael Parker of Davidson, first two-time winner of the contest, won in 2013 and 2014. Info: ncwriters.org Writers’ Workshop of Asheville. 24th Annual Memoirs Competition: postmark deadline November 30, 2014. Poetry Contest: deadline February 28, 2015. Info: twwoa.org Congratulations to Laura Herbst of Pittsboro, winner of first prizes in the 2014 Doris Betts Fiction contest and the 2014 Rose Post Nonfiction Competition. Recent book publications by North Carolina writers: The Universe Wept by Wayne Adams of Biscoe, The Tiger Whisperer by Belea Keeney of Apex, Play Music by Laura Lake White, originally from Greensboro, and Extinction by H. V. Purvis of Scotland County.

WRITING LESSON

There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are. – W. Somerset Maugham

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org). This annual Internet-based project challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a novel during one month. That’s just over 1,500 words a day if you start now. If you’re searching for inspiration, consider the following: Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains and Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina. Indispensable tools for literary hopefuls, these books beautifully convey the history of writing in our state and provide priceless bios and writing samples of stellar writers. Within these covers, you will also find vivid descriptions plus directions to bookstores and libraries from the mountains to the shore. Georgann Eubanks, author of the series, advises, “North Carolina is full of stories. You don’t have to look hard, just pay attention. In writing Literary Trails, I met so many fascinating people. I hope the series will inspire the next generation of N.C. wordsmiths.” And do keep me updated on literary events at sanredd@earthlink.net OH Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in a Quaker Community.

November 2014

O.Henry 125


Wine & More UPCOMING EVENTS

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364 Means Creek Road • Mayodan, NC 27027 • 336.548.WINE (9463)

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126 O.Henry

November 2014

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delivered to your home! $45 in-state • $55 out-of-state The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Accidental Astrologer

Trust Astrid, Time to Turn the Page November’s Forecast

By Astrid Stellanova Of all the star children, Scorpios may be the most private (make that downright secretive) public figures of all time. Scorpios include Johnny Carson, Kevin Kline and Bill Gates — see what I mean? Friendly on the face of things, but keep to the down low. Even all the November observations this month are in conflict. I mean, it’s National Pepper Month, but also National Sleep Comfort Month. Star Children, that’s November for you. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) At last, Honey! There’s definite harmony in your sign this month, when Venus and Mercury move through your sign. Your high ambitions and love life will hum along in synch, and you should have no complaints this birthday. With a full moon on the 6th, and a new moon on the 22nd, take advantage of this juncture and sell that old Dodge on Craigslist. Somebody will want whatever you are selling, as you possess big magic this month. If your life story was a perfume, it would be Opium — expensive and best in small doses. You’re a temptation, Sugar, and more than a little dangerous and addictive. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Venus is in your sign, and you are about to have a lot to twist and shout about. Just saying, Child, this is a good way to close out the year, with the stars shining on you with high favor. Given all that, this is no time to abandon your looks, Darlin’, when opportunity comes knocking. Get a new haircut and change things up. Strut your stuff, and enjoy this month, ’cause there will be money jangling in your pockets, opportunity calling, and your phone ringing. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Something that went wrong a long time ago is about to get right. There’s an old grudge that someone has held against you, and even though you didn’t want to own it, the fickle finger of fate points directly at you. It may seem like small stuff, but you ate the last Charlie chip in the can, and they still ain’t forgot it. Well, there’s a transit in your 12th house this month from November 16 through December 10, and finally, Honey, you get everything straight that ever went wrong. You’re going to have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Who licked the red off your candy, Child? You have not been your usual self, down in the dumps and ready to pour sugar in your ex-boyfriend’s gas tank. Listen here: You do not want to wind up on the next episode of Unsolved Mysteries. When Mercury enters your sign in December, you get a lot of assist from the universe, so cheer up and straighten up. But until then, hold on until November 27, when Venus changes signs. You’re gonna be alright; trust Astrid. Pisces (February 19–March 20) The full moon arrives and it is going to pack a wallop. This is like getting a life upgrade package to First Class, and don’t second-guess it, just say “thank you!” Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, Honey! It’s going to be powerful and cause you to rethink your life path, and all for the better, if you keep an attitude of gratitude. If Astrid didn’t know better, and I don’t, I’d say you are about to launch one of the best times of your life — so chew on that a little! Aries (March 21–April 19) Don’t make a leaky faucet a national disaster. Drama ain’t working for you this month. You’re just tired, my little old Ram, and no wonder. It ain’t like you have to reinvent the world every 30 days, but that’s what you try to do. This month, that old restlessness drops away and gives you some much-needed peace and quiet. You don’t much like peace, but you need it. Listen, fire sign: About the only change you need to make this month is your underwear. Chill, and that’s an order from Astrid. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Taurus (April 20–May 20) You’re a strange hybrid, like the love child of Gypsy Rose Lee and Bullwinkle. One half of you is all smooth sex appeal and talent, and the other half blunders and ricochets from one misstep to the next. That’s also your complicated charm. So, when Mercury heads into Scorpio, you get a break from walking into mud holes, and get serious action concerning love, house, and money. You’re in control — and your Bullwinkle side backs off. Let Gypsy take over and dance! Gemini (May 21–June 20) Your sign is in transit from November 8–27. It will bring the easy passage you got back in September; a nice start-up to the holiday season. Let your mind wander back to long ago, and you will remember something you buried that needs to finally get dealt with. If you do, your inner peace might just get restored. Don’t spend too much time on QVC; but DO seize opportunities that don’t involve credit cards. Or timeshares! Or burping Tupperware! Cancer (June 21–July 22) In the lottery of life, this month is a whamdoodle. It hasn’t been the easiest year for you, Darlin’, but you get a karmic break this month. It’s a good time for partnerships — business and romantic — and people are drawn to you and your ideas. Use this month’s strong woo-woo power for good — you’ve got social capital and you might as well spend it. That handsome stranger at the door ain’t an I.R.S. agent, either — he’s got love potential. Leo (July 23–August 22) You are like the hairdresser who doesn’t check the foils when she’s doing a bleach job — you rely way too much on instinct and don’t like abiding by the rules of nature. Honey, that just wreaks havoc. A full moon on the 6th will bring a powerful illumination for your work projects. Take this time to gauge yourself and your energies. Cutting corners ain’t helping you get more done. Virgo (August 23–September 22) Last month was a lulu, and you are glad to turn the page in your calendar. Between the 6th and the 22nd, the moon not only sheds new light on what has been a dark path, but Sweet Thing, you finally notice it! You are about to enjoy some good opportunities, especially if you are in publishing or an educator. When you hit the 22nd, you will have some nice travel options, so keep your Samsonite packed and your pantyhose washed. Libra (September 23–October 22) If you liked September, you get a re-do. This is going to be a fun and favorable time, with Venus moving through Sagittarius. It will be something like an astral party bus streaking right through your sign. You’re usually waaaaay too serious, and it’s time for you to bust out some Libra fun. You’ve had more home projects than you probably wanted — your Lowe’s card is almost tapped out — but the home front is looking good. Now invite the neighbors over and get a keg. Show off all them hard efforts! OH For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. November 2014

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O.Henry Ending

Holiday Gone to the Dogs

By Stephen E. Smith

Jasper has some-

thing wrong with her paw. She’s limping — or pretending to limp. Is there anything more pathetic than an injured chocolate Lab?

“Ah, poor Jasper,” my daughter-in-law whines as the dog extends her wounded appendage, her liquid brown eyes pleading for sympathy. “She’s such a good girl. Yes, she is a good girl. Aren’t you a good girl, Jasper? Does your paw hurt? Such a good girl. Yes she is . . . .” It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and we all agree Jasper needs to see the vet, who, if I’m lucky, will keep her for observation until I’m safely out of town. At the vet’s office, Jasper’s butt is shaking like a belly dancer’s navel, her thick brown tail flailing the air. The waiting room is full up with two tabby cats in one carrier, a badly wrinkled bulldog, a puny, snarling Chihuahua, a caged hamster that bears a sickly resemblance to Mitch McConnell, and a snake wrapped in a beach towel that reads: “If you love something set it free . . . ” “Can I pet the doggy?” a little towheaded girl asks as we stand at the reception desk giving the vet tech the information concerning Jasper’s supposed injury. “She’s nervous around strangers,” my son explains to the girl, “but if you’re sweet, you can pet her.” As soon as the girl touches Jasper’s head, she urinates — I’m talking about Jasper now — on the office floor. Then she sits in the puddle, stands up and wags her soaked tail back and forth in a 180-degree arch, flinging the contents thereof over pets and humans alike and scattering the waiting room’s inhabitants in every direction. “I can’t find a thing wrong with her paw,” the vet says. “It’s probably just bruised. I’d keep her quiet for the weekend.” Yeah, good luck with that. The bill: $45. On Thanksgiving afternoon we drive to my sister’s house for dinner. She has two hyperkinetic Jack Russells, Ralphie and Needles, who hurl their chunky little bodies like wrecking balls against the storm door when we knock. Then they backflip and turn loop-the-loops like a couple of fat gnats gone bananas. “Get down! Get down!” my sister yells. “Get in your doggy beds! Get

128 O.Henry

November 2014

down! Get down!” She eases open the door, interposing her foot between Ralphie and Needles in an attempt to keep them from attacking Jasper. “Ralphie, Needles, get back or I’ll put you in your cage!” They pay no attention, so my sister grabs the squirming terriers by their collars and drags them choking into a doggy slammer she’s set up in the middle of the living room. Jasper isn’t the least intimidated. She’s four times the size of these silly Jack Russells, and she uses this opportunity to mark new territory. “I’ll clean it up,” my son yells above the yapping. “Don’t worry about it,” my sister says. “You can’t hurt anything around here.” She’s right about that. My cousin Laura, her husband and their two party cockers, Hobo and Floppy Girl, let themselves in. Without warning, Floppy Girl tears into Jasper, locking her jaws onto one of Jasper’s flaccid ears. Hobo attacks Jasper’s front right leg. “Get back! Get back!” my cousin screams at the party cockers. “Be good girls! Remember your manners!” She pries Floppy Girl’s jaws from Jasper’s ear. There’s blood all over my sister’s carpet. Safely in the living room, the Jack Russells snarling and barking in their cage, Jasper limping and whining, her tail between her legs, and Hobo and Floppy Girl restricted to the kitchen by a baby barrier, my sister prattles on and on in what seems one endless sentence: “Now Needles loves other dogs but Ralphie is the jealous type he was chasing a squirrel when he blew out his leg joint last summer that cost $2,500 and Needles loves to play with her tennis ball here Needles here’s your tennis ball watch this I’ll let you out if you play nice with Jasper and Floppy Girl and Hobo they’re company so you have to act like nice dogs or you’ll have to stay in the cage for the rest of the day while everyone else is having fun and eating turkey is that what you want to stay in your cage all day while the good doggies are eating Thanksgiving dinner and having a good time and this includes Hobo and Floppy Girl and Jasper, and poor Ralphie and Needles are locked in their cage and can’t get out to play with Jasper and Hobo and Floppy Girl are having fun is that what you want that doesn’t sound like fun to me . . . .” The cacophony subsides as we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, the dogs a tangle of curs as they wait expectantly to snatch any morsel that might fall from the table. I offer the blessing: “Lord, help me stomach all I can.” OH If Stephen E. Smith’s sister, cousin and other relatives see this story, he’s planning on eating crow for Thanksgiving dinner. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

This year, giving thanks and leaving them all home


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November O.Henry 2014  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November O.Henry 2014  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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