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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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November 2012

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M A G A Z I N E VOlUMe 2, NO. 7

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

227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com

Tom Chitty has long been the Triad’s go-to guy in real estate. With 29 years of experience, this southern gentleman is known for his integrity, honesty and professionalism. Tom and his highly qualified team take no client for granted. When you are ready to work with a realtor who genuinely cares about you, work with Tom. It’s like having an old friend welcome you home.

Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com Ashley Wahl, Associate Editor 336.617.0090 • ashley@ohenrymag.com Cassie Butler, Photographer/Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David C. Bailey, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Froelich, Cassie Butler CONTRIBUTORS Jane Borden, Tom Bryant, Fred Chappell, TC Frazier, Terry Kennedy, Sara King, Meridith Martens, Dale Nixon, Mary Novitsky, Lee Rogers, Deborah Salomon, Noah Salt, Stephen E. Smith, Stan Swafford Stacey Van Berkel

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David Woronoff, Publisher Tom Chitty & Associates was the top producing sales team for Prudential Yost & Little in 2011.

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ADVERTISING SALES Marty Hefner, Sales & Circulation Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 Kathy Murphy, 540.525.0975 ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGN Stacey Yongue, 910.693.2509 stacey@thepilot.com ©Copyright 2012. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

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November 2012 9

HOMETOWN

How Collards Saved the South By Jim Dodson

SHORT STORIES 12 Your Guide to the Good Life MOST REQUESTED RECIPE 17 Grilled Turkey, Anyone?

By David C. Bailey

THE CITY MUSE 21 You and Me, Unclothed

By Ashley Wahl

THE OMNIVOROUS READER 23 Captains Courageous

By Stephen E. Smith

OUT OF THE BLUE 27 Kitchen Table Economics

By Deborah Salomon

29

GATE CITY ICONS

K&W for the Holidays By Stan Swofford

33

THE WINE GUY

The Pleasure of Pinot Noir By TC Frazier

35

SERIAL EATER

Inside the South’s Most Beloved Sausage Company By David C. Bailey

43

STREET LEVEL

The World’s Premier Wine Company Started Here By Jim Schlosser

47

HITTING HOME

One Words Says it All By Dale Nixon

49

THE SPORTING LIFE

The Soule of a Decoy

By Tom Bryant

53

LIFE OF JANE

How I Learned to Flush a Toilet With my Toes

By Jane Borden

90 Arts Calendar 100 GreenScene LIFE’S FUNNY 111 Two Maria Johnsons?

FEATURES

59 Thanksgiving Pantoum Poem By Terry Kennedy

60 The New Pilgrims

By David C. Bailey and Maria Johnson

Eight Stories of Homecoming

70 Lost Vegas

Fiction by Fred Chappell

75 Modern Family By Ashley Wahl

Meet the Supples, Who Live in the Cottage on the Hill

84 Growing Sprouts By Lee Rogers

Oh, to be a Kid Again

86 November Almanac By Noah Salt

Vita Speak, Saying Grace and the Birth of Autumn

Impossible.

By Maria Johnson

112

O.HENRY ENDING

Thanking Papa By Ashley Wahl

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HomeTown

How Collards Saved the South – and Yankee Thanksgiving

By JIM DODsON

M

y neighbor Max, the finest gardener I know, reports that he expects to have a bumper crop of collards this autumn. Nearing the end of a year that has provided the drama of a presidential slugfest and an exploding Middle East, not to mention the early exit of my Baltimore Orioles from the playoffs — word that my neighbor’s collard patch is thriving might seem a shade on the trivial side. But in my book, brothers and sisters, there’s nothing trivial about collard greens. Cooking collards for Thanksgiving is one of the few things I manage to do well. And I have the history to prove it. Every son or daughter of the South knows (or durn well should) how collard greens supposedly saved the South from starvation following the Civil War. Because collards are primarily a cold weather biennial plant that thrives wherever there is winter frost, the story goes, weary soldiers returning to their ravaged farms in the spring of 1865 found little or nothing edible growing save for their collard patches. The lowly collard, a staple of the American soul food diet, is loaded with vitamin C and soluble fiber and antioxidants, a potent immune system booster and a serious anti-cancer fighter. One reason eating collards and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day in the South were considered “good luck” in the coming year was that few foods cost so little yet provided so much basic nourishment as peas and collard greens. They were regarded as a poor man’s bounty. I learned to cook my Thanksgiving collards directly from my mother, who learned to make them from a remarkable black woman named Jesse May Richardson, who took care of my family during a particularly fragile period of time. After my father lost his job and life savings in a weekly newspaper that went belly-up in 1959, we moved in a hurry to a small town in South Carolina, where my dad became the advertising director of the daily newspaper for a year and I started first grade. Miss Jesse came every day to cook us meals and help my mother — who suffered a late-term miscarriage mere days before we moved back East — to get back on her feet. My mom knew little or nothing about Southern-style cooking. She was a West Virginian by birth, the youngest of eleven children who’d grown up in a close-knit family in western Maryland, with eight older sisters who believed cleanliness and German cooking were the keys to salvation. My mom, the baby of the family, grew up to become Miss Western Maryland of 1939 and — owing

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

to an unexpected “family situation” — wound up filling in for Miss Maryland at the Miss America Pageant in 1939, where she was picked as “Miss Congeniality” and offered a Hollywood screen test and recording contract. My mom had a fine singing voice. But, by her own admission, she couldn’t have successfully boiled water during the first few years she was married to my dad. In just one year’s time in 1959, however, following the biggest upheaval in my family’s life, Miss Jesse May eased my mom back to the pink of health by teaching her the secrets of a Southern soul food kitchen. She taught her how to fry chicken and bake biscuits that would make you close your eyes out of simple reverence. She showed her how to season root vegetables and make collard greens that would melt in your mouth with an earthy sweetness that made your tongue dance with delight. Speaking of dancing, Miss Jesse May — who had complete operational authority over my life and, it must be said, could be as tough and unyielding as any farm boss — also taught me how to “foot dance.” I was 6 years old that year, skinny as a porch cat. While cooking supper, Miss Jesse May, who played piano for the Free Will Baptist Church and once upon a time had been a jazz club singer, often switched on the radio and invited me to stand on her feet while she showed me how to “skitterbug” dance. It’s not stretching things in the least to say Miss Jesse and her Southern cooking got my family back on its feet. You might say collard greens saved both the South and my family. Here’s how I managed to save a Thanksgiving meal way up North with Miss Jesse’s collard green recipe. In November 1983, I accepted the job as the senior writer of Yankee Magazine, the legendary little magazine of New England. During the second week of that month 25 years ago, my brother Dick helped me load everything I owned into a rental truck and drive to Brattleboro, Vermont, where I’d rented a small woodheated cottage on the Green River just outside town. The first thing I did was get myself a decent fly rod and a retriever pup from the local animal shelter. The second thing — days before Thanksgiving — was to phone my mom back home in Greensboro and ask her to send me some fresh collard greens. This was my first Thanksgiving away from home, and I had November 2012

O.Henry 9


HomeTown two invitations 50 miles apart that year. One was a noon event with a journalism pal and his friends in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the other a Thanksgiving supper with my new neighbors — a group of aging counterculture types who’d fled to the land in the late 1960s and now owned everything from the most popular vegetarian restaurant in town to the goat cheese farm just up the road from my cottage. After discovering there were no collards anywhere to be had in the state of Vermont — or at least the ultra-hip People’s Republic of Brattleboro — I phoned my mom and asked if it might be possible for her to FedEx me a box of fresh collards ASAP. I knew she would come through. She promptly phoned her chief collard source, Henry Tucker, my dad’s childhood chum who owned a huge vegetable farm out in western Guilford County, and within a day I saw a FedEx truck coming by along the River Road in Vermont. The box contained three voluptuous clusters of collard greens — and a pair of smoked ham hocks to boot. I did a little skitterbug dance of joy. With one day to spare, I put on a B.B. King album and got down to cooking. I divided the bounty into two pots — one for the Cambridge lunch, the other for supper in Vermont. A sleeting rain was falling in Cambridge when I reached my friend’s sister’s restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue. A dozen people were already there, drinking wine and arguing about politics. The host took my pot, glanced neutrally inside and carried it back to the kitchen as if it contained stewed roadkill. Those delicious collards never appeared for that Thanksgiving lunch. For that matter, neither did the Thanksgiving. The host merely put out a bunch of sandwiches, fish tacos and guacamole dip, and everyone continued getting plowed on cheap wine. There was no suggestion of saying grace. I remember sitting there wondering how things were going back home on Dogwood Drive in Greensboro. My mom’s homemade biscuits would be browning up just about at that moment, the house smelling richly of baking turkey and cooked collards. Football would be on TV in the den. I’d never felt so homesick. I sat next to a Harvard professor wearing a green beret who informed me that America had become a “complete totalitarian state.” When his girlfriend discovered I hailed from North Carolina and had grown up living all over the rural South, she wondered with a nervous twitch of the eye if any of my family members had been, or possibly still were, in the Ku Klux Klan. I hated to disappoint her. “Only my daddy,” I cheerfully replied. “But he quit ’em after they switched to using perma-press sheets. Daddy preferred the all-cotton fitted outfits. He’s a real traditionalist that way. ”

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November 2012

She glanced at her boyfriend, gave a curt smile and never spoke to me again. A little while later, I slipped out the backdoor of the restaurant, taking my pot of unserved collards with me. I don’t think either of us was particularly missed. By the time I reached Vermont, the rain had turned to snow, and there were welcome lights in the house where all my aging hippie neighbors had gathered for their vegetarian Thanksgiving. They received me warmly. They even said grace — well, a kind of warm and fuzzy “thank you to the Universal Unifying Spirit of Love and Peace.” Under the circumstances, that sufficed very nicely. Truthfully, I’d never had turkey made from tofu or goat cheese lasagne. But it was very broadening to eat my first all-natural, dairy-free vegan Thanksgiving meal, even if most of the dishes did taste like baked boxwood. When my collards went around the table, several guests took a polite sniff and tried a dab of the limp green dish, lest they give offense to the newcomer in their midst. “Oh my gosh,” whispered the woman seated to my left, tasting her dab of greens. “This is maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” She ate two large helpings. Others did, too. In fact, both pots of my collards vanished even before the all-natural apple cobbler and egg-free angel cake were served. I later gave several locals Miss Jesse May’s famous collards recipe. Over the next two decades up North, my homemade collards became an annual Thanksgiving hit with friends and neighbors, and I even experimented with Miss Jesse May’s famous recipe and perhaps improved it a bit by adding a distinctive sweetening element that brings out the best of the South’s most celebrated greens. No one ever seems to guess my “secret ingredient.” I think of it as the ultimate expression of good will between North and South. Since my neighbor Max will have a bountiful collard patch this year, and I’m feeling especially thankful for many things besides a slowly recovering economy, I’ll pass it along to you. As my seasoned collards simmer, I always add half a cup of pure Maine-made Yankee maple syrup. That puts them over the top. Please don’t tell too many folks my big secret, though. I’d hate for my collards to show up on Paula Deen’s show with her claiming she thought of it first. Come to my house on Thanksgiving Day, and I’ll give you a taste. If you like them, I may even show you how to skitterbug. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry Handy and Dandy

Short Stories Your Guide to the Good Life in the Triad

Christmas decorations, jewelry, soaps, wood works, pottery, crafts and confections — all of them handmade — will be on display to make your holiday gift-giving easier on Saturday, December 1, at the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 800 Westridge Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meanwhile, the women of the church will sell pastries suitable for immediate inhalation. For more information about the event or selling your crafts, call Gwen Varsamis at (336) 852-5655. MJ

Child’s Play Will Read for Food

You’ll want to savor every word at the annual “Will Read for Food” benefit on Thursday, November 15, at which a prolific crop of past and current faculty of the MFA Writing Program at UNCG will read short stories, poems and excerpts from their latest works. Readings begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Weatherspoon Art Museum (500 Tate Street), but you might want to come at 6:30 p.m. for performances by student musicians and tours of the museum’s newest exhibit, The Cone Sisters Collect. Participating authors include Rebecca Black, Stuart Dischell, Terry Kennedy, Michael Parker, David Roderick, Mark SmithSoto and Lee Zacharias. Yes, there will be food. But the MFA Writing Program and its copartners, the UNCG Alumni Association and the Weatherspoon, want to make sure area food banks have food, too. Suggested donation: $10; $5 for students. Information: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. AW

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November 2012

UNCG’s North Carolina Theatre for Young People has entertained more than 2 million children since 1962. To mark its 50th anniversary, NCTYP will throw a party on November 10 at Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate Street. The company’s founders will be honored, and NCTYP will receive the prestigious Constance Welsh Theatre for Youth Award, an honor bestowed by the N.C. Theatre Conference. Light refreshments will be served. The celebration is free and open to the public, but reservations must be made by calling (336) 334-4015. The shindig starts at 3:15 p.m., following the 2 p.m. opening of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!, a show based on the children’s literature character Junie B. Jones. Show tickets can be purchased by calling (336) 334-4849 or going to boxoffice.uncg.edu. MJ

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Short Stories Sauce of the Month Foreign Affairs

On Thursday, November 15, three European artists will paint en plein air along the historic district of downtown Greensboro on South Elm Street. And they’ll have literally stepped straight off the plane to do it. Romantic Impressionist painters Michael and Inessa Garmash, a Russian husband and wife duo known worldwide for their mastery of the human figure, are no strangers to the Triad. They’ve come here three times before, and have painted scenes from Old Salem and the Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. Dmitri Danish, who hails from the Ukraine and specializes in cityscapes, is a first-time visitor. Observers are welcome. And you can meet the artists — and see their downtown renderings — at an opening reception for an exhibit at The Art Shop (3900 West Market Street) called From Russia with Love on Friday, November 16, from 7–9 p.m. A portion of the proceeds made from original artwork created by Dmitri and the Garmashes will benefit Downtown Greensboro Inc. For more information about when and where the artists will locate their easels, and to RSVP to the private reception, call (336) 855-8500 or visit www.artshopnc.com. AW

As you’ll see beginning on page 60, O.Henry magazine celebrates the Triad’s richly diverse ethnic population this month, highlighting, among other things, what your neighbors from Bhutan, Vietnam, El Salvador and India will be eating on Thanksgiving Day. From curry to smoked turkey, they can’t go wrong sassing things up with a little Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce from Mebane. Zing was introduced to the area in 1979 by a Malaysian couple, Cheng and Weng Ng, after they found sauces in the United States “totally unimaginative, unappealing, and unappetizing.” Encouraged by her husband, Cheng, to build a better sauce, Weng Ng says that “after three long years of failure, disappointment, and discouragement, I came up with the winning combination.” Zing is fiery — thick with hot and chunky red peppers — and yet tempered by a faint sweet note of raisins in the background. Let’s face it: Turkey is b-o-r-i-n-g. Give it some Zing. Widely available in area grocery stores or see www. gourmetzingsauce.com for where to buy it. DCB

Ice, Ice, Baby

Piedmont Winterfest, Greensboro’s outdoor ice skating rink, will open Wednesday, November 14, for its third season. This year, organizers have enlarged the rink to a 65-by-85-foot oval and added a 100-foot-long ice slide (think of it as a water slide — but below 32 degrees Fahrenheit). Tickets cost $9 and cover skates, a saucer for the slide and two hours of slip-sliding away. Special attractions include disco Friday nights with flashing LED lights — a popular draw for young professionals gliding into the weekend — and a Chick-fil-A Day with free food (January 12, chow time to be announced). The rink is located downtown at Festival Park, 200 North Davie Street. For hours of operation, visit piedmontwinterfest.com, where you will also find details about ticket deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays courtesy of Cone Health and WFMY News 2. Winterfest will be open every day but Christmas through January 27. MJ

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 13


Short Stories Please Don’t Spill the Beans

With the practiced poise befitting her august age, the grand dame sitting to my left lifts her wine glass, raises her right eyebrow and fixes me with a supercilious gaze. “If you write about this, we’ll burn your house down,” she says in a voice loud enough to be overheard at surrounding tables where diners raise their wine glasses in a toast of solidarity. Bathed in candlelight on the front porch of 604 Summit Avenue — once a stately mansion built for Cone Mill managers, now recovering from decades as a boarding house — my five tablemates and I had just finished licking both sides of our spoons, making sure we got the very last morsels of a decadent chocolate-andsalted-caramel ganache we’d been served as a sixth course. Call us secret sharers. Our supper had been organized and prepared by Greensboro’s oldest underground dining collective, The Next Supper. Our hostess, Sally Pagliai, a Berkeley-trained architectural landscape designer whose office was upstairs, had opened up her house to a select group of dedicated foodies, all of whom had responded to a short email about a week earlier, announcing only the time and place of the Next Supper. No clue as to what might be on the menu. “I saw it fifteen minutes after the email came out and I was surprised I got a spot,” says the sated tablemate sitting across from me, wiping her lips and tipping the last drop of the BYOB Burgundy she and her husband had brought. We were wondering if our two chefs, John S. Jones — a founding partner of Southern Lights whose day job is at Bin 33 — and Kerrie Thomas — a wine rep who was a partner in the original Undercurrent and worked as general manager of Bistro Sophia — had intentionally designed the menu so each dish was just a little bit better than the last one. Which is saying something when you start with a velvety smooth end-of-the-harvest-tomato-sweet gazpacho, kicked up a notch with bacon bits and chopped eggs. Was the fourth course, the money manager

at the table wonders, better than the fifth? He had a point. The roasted-tomatoand-feta tarte, carpet-bombed with arugula and hazelnuts, had been intriguing with its layers of flavor. But the deeply satisfying risotto, studded with butternut squash and goat cheese, was nothing short of elegant. “We wanted to do something that we weren’t experiencing in Greensboro: interesting, flavorful, vegetarian-centric cuisine,” says Thomas. “I want food that wows me, that I can’t get anywhere else,” says the money manager, who had already let the table know he was a connoisseur who’d dined the world over and had been disappointed with Greensboro’s restaurant scene after moving here a few years ago. “This is as good as it gets here.” I’d drop the “here.” For more information, visit www.thenextsupper.com. To sign up for alerts to upcoming events, send an email to thenextsupper@triad.rr.com. DCB

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November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Short Stories Bagels with Berry

A man who has been called “surely among the noblest of men” will be remembered in a documentary that will be shown November 9 at the Greensboro Historical Museum. Father Thomas Berry, who died in 2009 at 94, returned to Greensboro after his retirement from teaching at Fordham University. Over the years, he had written a number of books and scores of papers, while leading various spiritual and ecological institutions. The Catholic priest was noted as both a theologian and an environmentalist, though he preferred to think of himself in terms of “Earth scholar,” “cosmologist” and “geologist.” Berry was talking about “sustainability” long before the word became a fixture in the ecological vocabulary. His goal was achieving something he termed the “Ecozoic Era.” It would be a world where all living things, according to one newspaper story about him, “would live in a suitable and mutually beneficial manner.” Toward that goal, the Center for Ecozoic Studies was founded in Chapel Hill. The Thomas Berry Foundation also raises money to carry on his philosophy. After he moved back to Greensboro, he became a lunchtime regular at Lox, Stock & Bagel, where he routinely held forth on environmental topics and other issues. He was the third of 13 children in a prominent Catholic family in Greensboro. He earned his Ph.D. from Catholic University of America. His last book, published in 2009, was The Christian Future and the Fate of the Earth, a collection of his essays. His papers are housed at Harvard University. The documentary was produced by Nancy Stetson and Penny Morrell. The program, from 7–9 p.m., will include the awarding of the annual Thomas Berry Award. A reception in the museum lobby follows. Berry also was a poet. His poem “Child” is inscribed in the mural of the rotunda at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library at 1420 Price Park Road. The branch is devoted to ecological preservation. Berry is buried in Greensboro, just not this one. His remains are in Greensboro, Vermont. JS

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A Few Questions for a Cougar Mom

Though her name doesn’t appear in the annals of Gate City sports life, Margaret Hoy, 73, has been an important behind-the-scenes figure in Greensboro sports for more than half a century. During the 1960s she worked as the secretary for the Greensboro Yankees, and in 1972 (mother of a precocious 6-year-old), she donned the uniform for the upstart Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association — their first and only team mascot. Today, at 73, she works as a caregiver who loves to water ski. We recently caught up to Margaret with a few feline questions. So, Margaret, how did you become the Cougar mascot? Funny story. I was working on the Old Rebel Show as Happy the dancy bear — that was the black one; there was also a white polar bear — and got a call from Carl Scheer, the Cougar’s general manager, asking me if I might be interested in being the team mascot. They had a live cougar but it was scaring all the little kids they hoped to draw. So I sent off the team logo to a lady I knew who made costumes and she made an identical costume for me — with the flat head and an extra long tail I could twirl when I danced on the court. The kids loved it from the start, especially after the public came up with a name — Shuffles.

Do you remember your first performance? Sure do. It was over at NC State, an exhibition game against some other ABA team. The place was full of students and the referee seemed terribly biased against the Cougars. So when I went out to dance at halftime with the Cougarettes — those were the cheerleaders, you know, cute young gals — I sort of danced around that referee making fun of him. I guess you could say I got a technical foul for that. The referee was really unhappy and the Cougars got fined. The fans loved it though, stamping their feet like crazy. What a wild start. Anything else exciting happen that night? Actually, a student came up to me after the game and asked me for my phone number. He asked me out without knowing whether I was a girl or a boy. All I could do was just shake my Cougar head and say no. I thought, ‘Lord, a’mighty. If that boy just knew who was in this costume — a five-foot-two-inch mother! But nobody outside of the Cougar office or the players and cheerleaders ever knew who I was.” Do you have a favorite memory? Oh, yes. One night during a nationally televised game in Greensboro I went out to dance at center court and this little boy about 5 or 6 ran out and started dancing with me. He grabbed my tail and it came off — it was a snap-on tail, by the way. The look on his face was horrified but precious. I slapped my backside as if I was embarrassed and took his hand and we just danced! The crowd loved it, jumped to its feet whistling and carrying on. Pure pandemonium. Any nights you’d like to forget? Only the night during the playoffs against the Kentucky Colonels at Freedom Hall in Louisville. I went out to dance at halftime and hundreds of beer cans rained down on me. It was pretty scary. Those were the meanest fans I ever saw. Do you still follow basketball? Absolutely. But not the pros anymore. We had such nice young men here — Billy Cunningham and Doug Moe and Gene Littles and his wonderful wife, Rita. After the Cougars moved to St. Louis and then Denver, I just lost interest in the pros. I’m still a big fan of the Tar Heels, though. I try not to miss a game. Any advice for budding team mascots — or Cougar moms — out there? Just have fun and make people laugh. And don’t get embarrassed if somebody pulls off your tail! JD November 2012

O.Henry 15


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16 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Most Requested Recipe

The Well Grilled Holidays Deck the halls, fire up the smoker

By DAVID C. BAIley

F

ormer Greensboroite-turnedNew-York-barbecue-guru Elizabeth Karmel knows a thing or two about cooking turkeys. Her very first job after college was managing and promoting the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,” she says. “It’s the only holiday in the U.S.A. that revolves solely around food. “My mother and grandmother always cooked the holiday meal,” she recalls. “To this day, my mother contends that it is the easiest meal of the year.” She comes from a family of foodies: “Food was always a big part of our family story.” So at Thanksgiving, they pulled out all the stops. There was turkey, of course, Waldorf salad, candied yams, fresh green beans, homemade cranberry sauce, Parker House rolls, no less than two pies (pumpkin and pecan) and her mother’s sausage dressing (always made with Neese’s sausage). “My sister and I really only wanted to eat the dressing and the pies, but we ate a little of everything else to be polite,” she says. You may have seen Karmel on The Cooking Channel or on The Food Network. Or seen her byline in Better Homes & Gardens or in Saveur. Or read her bi-monthly AP column, The American Table. Just call her “Queen of the Grill.” Once in the North, though, she severely missed the Carolina barbecue she grew up on at Stamey’s. She also remembers she and her dad making a pilgrimage each Christmas Eve to Lexington No. 1 (aka Honey Monk’s) to get a huge take-out order for the family. Pining for true cue, the Page High School graduate first learned to smoke and grill and then began competing in Memphis in May, the world’s largest barbecue competition. “I fell in love with the culture, the community and the food of competition barbecue,” she says. “I competed for the sport and love of barbecue, not as a serious competitor.” In 2001, she launched what was then a gender-bending website, GirlsattheGrill. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

com, to convince women that the barbecue grill need not be solely a man’s domain and to get people to think of the grill as an everyday appliance. She’s the founding chef at Hill Country Hospitality and is responsible for developing recipes for all the food at three Hill Country restaurants, two in New York and one in Washington, D.C. “I create food that makes you feel like someone you love is giving you a hug when you take a bite,” she says. Her first cookbook, Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grill and Low-and-Slow BBQ, BBQ won a gold medal from the National Barbecue Association. “North Carolina is my emotional touch point. Although I moved away, it is the heart and soul of my cooking and my culinary style,” she says, breaking into, “In my mind, I’m going to Carolina . . .” with apologies to Mr. James Taylor for being slightly off-key. Her advice for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast? “Use the grill and free up valuable oven space for dressing and pies.” Some chefs make cooking a turkey to perfection sound daunting. Not Karmel. “People need to think of it as a big chicken. The only thing hard about it is waiting for it to cook.” And Karmel swears that cooking a turkey on the grill is even easier than cooking it in the oven. And there’s nothing to clean up. “All you need is a light coat of oil — I use olive oil — and a flavor brine.” Brining your turkey by soaking it in salt water for hours is essential, she says. “Brining is insurance for a picture-perfect turkey that tastes as good as it looks.” It enhances the flavor and makes for a beautifully burnished brown skin. “Don’t be afraid,” she says. “It’s 10 percent skill and 90 percent the will.” And while you’ve got the grill going, she encourages you to grill squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes or other root vegetables, recipes at her website, elizabethkarmel.com. That will make more room in the oven for pies. Here’s her step-by-step recipe for grilling turkey using indirect heat over a charcoal or gas grill. Serves eight to ten. November 2012

O.Henry 17


Most Requested Recipe Grilled Turkey

One 14-pound turkey, defrosted and preferably brined (see instructions below) 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if the turkey is not brined Remove the neck and giblets; reserve for other uses. Remove and discard excess fat. Pat dry. Season the body cavity with salt and pepper if not brined. If necessary, tie legs together and twist wing tips under back to hold neck skin and level turkey. Brush turkey with oil and, if the turkey is not brined, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you want the dripping for gravy, place turkey breast side-up in a heavyduty aluminum roasting pan and place in the center of the cooking grate. Grill over medium heat. Cook 11-13 minutes per pound or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 180 F degrees and the juices run clear. I strongly recommend using a meat thermometer with a turkey, otherwise it is too difficult to tell if it is truly done — even for a seasoned grill girl. About 30 minutes before the bird is done, remove the foil drip pan, reserve the drippings and place the bird in the center of the cooking grate. This allows the bot-

tom of the bird to brown. If you choose not to use a roasting pan, turn the turkey halfway through the cooking time. Transfer turkey to a platter and let sit for 15 minutes before carving.

Orange Brine for Grill-Roasted Turkey 6 cups water 1 cup sugar 2 cups kosher salt (if using iodized table salt use only 1 cup) 2 oranges, quartered 3 tablespoons whole cloves 3 bay leaves 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water, sugar and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let cool to room temperature. In a Grill Friends Brining Bag or a 3-gallon plastic bucket or other food-safe container large enough to hold the turkey, combine one gallon of water, the oranges, cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add the sugar-salt solution and stir. Submerge the turkey in the brine. If necessary, add more water to cover turkey and top with a weight to make sure it is completely covered with the liquid. Refrigerate for 12–24 hours. OH

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18 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Adult Degree Programs

Your Degree Is Within Reach!

Join us for an

Adult Degree Open House

Friday • December 7 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Hendricks Hall

No Reservation Required • Drop in Anytime

273-3487 guilford.edu/adults The Art & Soul of Greensboro

OHenry_OpenHouse_November2012v2.indd 1

10/8/2012 11:31:51 AM

November 2012

O.Henry 19


We’re teaming up with a few of Santa’s helpers... the few, the proud. Help us support the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign. Bring a new, unwrapped toy or monetary donation to our offices to help make this is a Merry Christmas for underprivileged children in the Triad.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Gift Drop-Off: November 29 to December 19, during regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Location: Ward Black Law offices at 208 W. Wendover Ave., Greensboro Kick-Off Event: Join us at our annual Toys for Tots kick-off

event on Thursday, November 29, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drop off a toy, thank a Marine and enjoy the festivities!

Final Drop-Off Date: December 19, 2012 20 O.Henry November 2012

800.531.9191 wardblacklaw.com 208 W. Wendover Avenue | Greensboro, NC 27401 The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The City Muse

You and Me, Unclothed By Ashley Wahl

T

here are fifteen total. All naked and chained to a wooden shipping pallet onto which the artist hand-carved the Great Seal of the United States. Go ahead. Weave through the configuration of human cargo. Study their faces. Shudder at the haunting tranquillity of their closed eyes and hushed lips. That was the artist’s intent. “I have actually seen people stumble over the steel chains,” says artist Stephen Hayes of his multimedia installation, Cash Crop, which features fifteen life-size, cement-cast sculptures on display in the main art gallery at Guilford College until December 16. “Are we still stumbling over our past?”

i A varied and overflowing crowd has gathered in the Hege Library atrium to hear Stephen Hayes speak about his stirring exhibit, Cash Crop, which confronts the trans-Atlantic slave trade and suggests disturbing parallels between history and present day. The free food is a perk for some. Before taking his time finding a seat, for instance, an old man shovels enough cubed cheese onto his plate to construct an art installation of his own. Chairs filled, Guilford students sprawl out on the carpeted floor as if it were a grassy meadow. And against the back wall: Lennon incarnate. A young man wears round wire-rim glasses, his dark hair a wild, whirling mess. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together . . . Seriously. Look around. The faces in the crowd are not unlike the faces in the installation. In fact, the artist tells us, his own friends and family are the men, women and children that make Cash Crop so — pardon the pun — concrete. Inspired by a diagram of the Brookes slave ship, which portrays upward of 500 humans beings arranged like pawns on the lower planking and poop deck, Hayes asked those near and dear to him to serve as models for this The Art & Soul of Greensboro

painfully moving artistic rendering. But rather than packing the figures elbowto-elbow, as the diagram shows, Hayes offers space for the viewer to interact with the installation. “This is something they don’t tell you about in grade school,” says Hayes, 28, who grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and recently completed his M.F.A. at Savannah College of Art and Design. This was his thesis exhibition. One of the sculptures, in fact, was modeled after the artist himself. A fair-skinned girl with tousled blonde hair asks what it is like for Hayes, emotionally, to see himself unclothed and vulnerable, with shackles heavy as sorrow around his ankles and wrists. “I just want to make artwork that captures people’s attention,” he responds.

i Other pieces in Hayes’ exhibit suggest a link between slavery and cheap labor in Third World nations. He even created one installation, Gluttony, as if working in a sweatshop himself, pumping out over a hundred crude renderings of the same mold — a slave ship diagram — in a matter of days. Look closely and see the sails of a wooden ship are a patchwork of labels: Made in Thailand. Made in Korea. Made in Bangladesh. Hayes’ next exhibit, he says, will focus on the human psyche, specifically on why kids think they need to wear name-brand clothes. A college girl wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt asks Hayes where his clothes come from. “To tell you the truth, I don’t shop much,” he says.

i I check the label on my own sweater: Made in China. My shoes: Made in Vietnam. I want to take them off, but would be as naked as the sculptures in Hayes’ exhibit. OH Our muse, O.Henry associate editor Ashley Wahl, is a born wanderer.

November 2012

O.Henry 21


Visit Southern Pines

Nov. 19 - Dec. 31

Saturday, Nov. 24

Parade of Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree Lighting

Decorated Christmas trees light up downtown Broad Street for a festive ambience for the holiday season.

4:30 p.m., Southern Pines Train Station The annual lighting of the Holly tree with holiday musical performances.

Saturday, Dec. 1

Monday, Dec. 31

Annual Christmas Parade

Southern Pines First Eve

10 a.m. Downtown Southern Pines Six marching bands, loads of floats, Santa, street musicians & more!

5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Broad St. Family-friendly festival with the dropping of the Pine Cone at 8 p.m.

For shopping specials, visit the Southern Pines Business Association at:

www.southernpines.biz

The mission of the Southern Pines Business Association is to encourage and enhance the commercial well-being of Southern Pines and improve the quality of its common life.


The Omnivorous Reader

Captains Courageous

In Bland Simpson’s latest coastal epic, the lives of two remarkable men shaped by the Civil War are lyrically revealed

By STePhen e. SmiTh

“I

don’t worry about the sales of Civil War books,” the editor of a university press told me. “Civil War buffs will buy anything written

on the subject.” That was fifteen years ago, and I have no idea if the editor’s statement is still true. The world of publishing has been transformed in ways we could never have suspected when the editor made his assertion regarding book sales. What I do know is that Bland Simpson’s latest offering, Two Captains from Carolina: Moses Grandy, John Newland Maffitt, and the Coming of the Civil War, is deserving of a wider audience. Born in Elizabeth City, Simpson has published a shelf of books set in coastal North Carolina — The Great Dismal; The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey; Into the Sound Country; Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals, The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering; The Inner Islands: A Carolinian’s Sound Country Chronicle; and The Coasts of Carolina: Seaside to Sound Country. He’s written, or had a hand in writing, umpteen critically acclaimed musicals that have been performed off Broadway and at regional theaters. He’s the Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he served for a time as head of the university’s creative writing program. He’s also a longtime member of the Tony Award-winning string band the Red Clay Ramblers and has toured with them throughout the United States and Europe. And he’s accomplished all this with seeming ease. If Simpson has scattered his shot, there’s no detecting it in the quality of the work he’s produced. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Two Captains is, simply stated, the best writing Simpson has produced, a lyrical narrative that’s truly a joy to read. And he couldn’t have chosen two more remarkable personages about whom to write. Born in 1789, Moses Grandy’s early life was spent in slavery. Ill-clothed and physically abused, he was hired out as a freight boatman working in the Great Dismal Swamp. Still he managed to save enough of his earnings to twice purchase his freedom, only to have his money confiscated by his owners and his freedom denied. On the third attempt, he was freed and traveled to Boston, where he became involved with the anti-slavery movement. In 1843, he published Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy; Late a Slave in the United States of America to raise money to purchase his wife out of slavery, thus establishing himself as a spokesman for the millions of slaves whose miseries went unrecorded. John Newland Maffitt was born at sea on a ship bound from Ireland to New York and was adopted by an uncle who lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Entering the Navy as a midshipman at age 13, he served aboard the USS Constitution. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1843, and spent 14 years conducting hydrographic surveys near Wilmington, North Carolina, and in the Charleston and Savannah areas. Disillusioned when he narrowly avoided dismissal from service during a pre-Civil War purge of the officer corps, Maffitt resigned his commission in 1861 to join the Confederacy, where he served as captain of the blockade runners CSS Florida and CSS Owl. After the war, he settled in the Wilmington area. Both men have been the subject of previous biographies. In 1906, Maffitt’s widow published The Life and Services of John Newland Maffitt, and more recent biographies include High Seas Confederate, Sea Devil of November 2012

O.Henry 23


Fun doesn’t stop after retirement. Why should you?

Reader the Confederacy, and The Life and Times of John Newland Maffitt. In addition to Grandy’s personal narrative, there are at least two biographies, . . . and Remember that I Am a Man and Boy in Chains. What Simpson brings to his readers is an intimate knowledge of North Carolina’s coastal region and the ability, based on solid research, to imagine pivotal moments in Maffitt’s and Grandy’s lives, as when Grandy’s wife is sold to a slave owner from a distant plantation: “Captain Grandy walked out into the road and stared after his wife and all the rest as they drifted away up the long straight canalbank trace toward its vanishing point, till after a few minutes he could no

. . . Simpson has produced, a lyrical narrative that’s truly a joy to read. longer tell whether they were still moving, or if they were just some sculpted misery in the long lane ahead of him.” Or this contrasting passage describing the moment Maffitt falls in love: “Perhaps they knew the moment was upon them even then, perhaps not — but they would know it in a trice. Who could ever say what kind of word or motion in the sensual life of talk and gestures suddenly separate a pair of people from the horde and turn them loose as lovers, each to each only? This one instant, Captain Maffitt’s placing the cape around Emma’s shoulders, was, finally, for them all that it would take.” This use of the “nonfiction novel” format enlivens the narrative and breathes life into the characters. But Simpson doesn’t compare and contrast the lives of Grandy and Maffitt. He leaves those judgments to the reader, who will find these compelling portraits of two North Carolinians possessed of courage and dedication lifted into the realm of poetry. OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com.

24 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Out of the Blue

Kitchen Table Economics Why modern singles don’t swing

By Deborah Salomon

O

ur new president and Congress need ponder so many weighty matters that this concerned citizen has decided to help however she can. The economy, stupid, is Job 1. The economy starts at home. The kitchen is the heart of most homes. I would hope so, considering how much is spent on its equipment. A water faucet arching over the range (sporting six 28,000 BTU burners) to facilitate filling the kettle in case the boiling-water dispenser over the sink breaks down? Interesting. What brainwashed consumers bring into that kitchen constitutes a big chunk of the economic equation, since groceries constitute a big chunk of expenditures — and reflect socioeconomics, the energy crunch, health issues and shoppers’ vulnerability. Let’s begin at the beginning. In the beginning restaurants advertised “Home Cooking” because home cooking was the gold standard. Commercial pies were compared to Mama’s and lasagna to Nonna’s, not Stouffer’s. Howard Johnson astounded customers with 28 flavors never dreaming that Yoplait would dream up 40 — or Oreo, hundreds. Stuff came in small, medium and large containers and, except for drinks, potato chips, chicken pot pies, Dixie cups and a few others, single serving sizes didn’t exist. Remember when Kellogg put out the variety pack: six little boxes that doubled as bowls? Except every kid wanted the Apple Jacks so the Shredded Wheat went begging. Then dawned cuisine’s Golden Age when everything had to be beautiful and nouvelle and ethnic and scrumptious because that’s how restaurants enticed people (OK, women) who didn’t have time to cook because they were working, working, working. Soon home-cooked lost out to take-out. What spoiled palate wants fish sticks when sushi is everywhere? Worming its way into this vicious circle was the single serving, from cookie packs to soup, burgers, frozen veggies. A molded plastic thingy with two tablespoons of processed cheese or peanut butter, four crackers and a spreader — insane. A wrap kit containing tortilla, meat, cheese, condiment — ridiculous. A shelf-stable bowl of pasta and sauce to cook separately in the office microwave, a frozen pb&j sandwich and cottage cheese with a dab of fruit to mix in — gimme a break. Furthermore, these multi-ingredient cuties fly under the unit price radar so you don’t notice that you’re paying double or triple compared with standard sizes. Take Jell-O, in adorable, refrigerated single-serving containers. A box of Jell-O that makes four 4-oz. servings costs about 95 cents, less for store-brand. Four 3.5 oz. refrigerated Jell-O cuplets start at $2. Do the math. Pudding and tiny fruit

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

bowls — save them for astronauts. If you must have a single-serving dessert peel a banana. I haven’t the room to deconstruct the wildly popular single-brew coffee craze, beginning with machines costing in the hundreds. Sure, the coffee’s better — but not that much better. It’s partly packaging, partly convenience, mostly marketing. But we need stuff for brown-bag lunches. Our poor children! Our poor children survived just fine, thank you, when Mom or Dad spooned the applesauce from a quart jar into a plastic container with tight-fitting lid (reusable, four for a dollar) and threatened no ice cream if you didn’t bring it home. But that was ages ago, when 33 percent of schoolchildren weren’t obese and lunches didn’t have to be cool. Now I see hard boiled eggs. Sliced apple. Pre-cut carrot and celery sticks. Bagged salad for one — 10 cents worth of lettuce for only a dollar. A small refrigerated container of chopped raw onions, $2.59, more than a three-pound bag. What next . . . pre-masticated? Sorry, but in my book any able-bodied person who can’t boil an egg doesn’t deserve to eat one. It’s not just children. As a food writer, I’m asked by single people for “recipes for one.” Why? I answer. Takes the same gas or electricity to roast a whole chicken as one leg. Why would anybody make a single serving of rice, or boil a handful of green beans or bake the solo potato? Leftovers are golden. A pot of stew, another of soup, a big bag of spinach (45 seconds in the microwave), a container of fruit salad, a simple cake assembled on Sunday evening vanquishes prepared entrées/desserts for a week. Here’s a compromise: Ban the consumption of single serving packages at home, especially juice boxes, soda cans, water, yogurt. Instead, buy a tub of plain or vanilla yogurt, jars of strawberry jam and honey, a can of crushed pineapple, even sundae syrups. Apple butter is divine. Spoon yogurt into a bowl, swirl in the flavoring — you won’t need much. Or, wash the six-ounce yogurt cups and reuse in-house without lids. If I sound like a cranky left-leaning backward-looking wing-nut remember that common sense is oft mistaken for radicalism. The World Bank recently announced that food prices will rise 10 percent this year because of climate and energy conditions. We’re seeing it already. Fight back with the single serving solution. Just say no. Deborah Salomon is a staff writer for O.Henry Magazine. She may be reached at debsalomon@nc.rr.com.

November 2012

O.Henry 27


Gate City Icons

K&W for the Holidays (and almost every other day)

By STan SWoFForD

PhotograPhs by saM FroeliCh

I

know it’s a little late, after more than forty years of practicing and teaching journalism, to start thinking about a new career — but I really, really want to be a K&W Cafeteria food taster. I have excellent credentials. I estimate conservatively that I’ve eaten at K&W cafeterias in Greensboro more than 2,080 times since 1980. I have consumed vast quantities of salmon patties, chicken pan pie, chicken fingers, beef pan pie, roast beef, country-style steak and gravy, chop steak, and myriad casseroles, salads, vegetables and marvelous desserts. I have enjoyed this ongoing feast while experiencing camaraderie that patrons compare to a never-ending family reunion. I accumulated most of my culinary-tasting experience at the K&W at Signature Place in Friendly Center, not far from my home in the Westerwood neighborhood near UNCG, although I eat occasionally at the K&W off South Holden Road. The K&Ws in Greensboro are two of thirty-three offering down-home cooking with a “Howdy-neighbor” atmosphere in four states — twenty-three in North Carolina; five in South Carolina; four in Virginia; and one in West Virginia. Corporate headquarters are in Winston-Salem, adjacent, of course, to a K&W cafeteria. K&W lunches over the years have done much to develop and hone my culinary-tasting mettle, on holidays and most other days ending in “y”, though admittedly my dining obsession has often challenged my luncheon companions. My lunch partners were, and continue to be, newspaper reporters — people prone to rowdiness, and who at times make strange and sudden noises while eating. This can make it difficult for sensitive and talented taste buds such as mine to concentrate. But respond they do! If taste buds could sing, mine would burst into the “Hallelujah Chorus” 99.9 percent of the time I eat at the K&W. If they didn’t sing the other one-tenth percent, I most likely could blame it on a cold. It was only natural, then, that now, on K&W’s 75th anniversary, I should subtly broach the idea of my becoming a K&W food taster with Dax Allred, president of K&W Cafeterias Inc., and his brother, Bill Allred, the company’s purchasing agent. Dax, 34, and brother Bill, 30, along with K&W corporate chef Robert Walker, are the official tasters now. No dish is introduced to a K&W line until the brothers and Walker approve it, and they might very well show up unannounced in any line at any K&W on any day. “Wow! I’d like to do that,” I said. “I’d consider that a dream job.” The brothers, if they heard me, politely ignored the comment and continued telling me how K&W Cafeterias evolved into a Triad icon, and beyond. They are grandsons of

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Grady Allred, founder of the K&W — and its original taster — 75 years ago. With a one-third interest in the business, Grady Allred started work at The Carolinian Coffee Shop in downtown Winston-Salem on Thanksgiving Day in 1935. In 1937, the shop’s original owners, whose names were Knight and Wilson, understandably changed their eatery’s name to the K&W Restaurant. Business increased and, little by little, so did Grady Allred’s share of the restaurant. In 1941 he became sole owner, and began expanding. His picture and a 1937 menu of the K&W Restaurant are displayed in the lobby of every K&W cafeteria. A hamburger steak with onions cost 40 cents. Roast prime rib of beef was 50 cents. Those prices sound cheap, and they were, but when adjusted for inflation, what customers are paying today is an incredible bargain. That hamburger steak with onions that cost 40 cents in 1937 would cost $6.01 in 2012 dollars; the prime rib for 50 cents would run $7.51. Today, hamburger steak with a side of grilled onions will only set you back $3.74 and roast beef with gravy runs $4.19. So you can leave a K&W today feeling satiated both in belly and wallet. How does a nice, fat salmon patty (with free slaw or tartar sauce), two vegetables and a drink for under six bucks sound? K&W restaurants in Winston-Salem and High Point flourished until December of 1951 when a fire forced the downtown Winston-Salem location to close for extensive repairs. When it reopened in 1952, it was part restaurant and part cafeteria. Customers flocked to the cafeteria section. The rest, says Dax Allred, is history. Grandpa Allred converted the Winston-Salem and High Point locations to full cafeterias, and he and his children and grandchildren continued expanding. Grady Allred immediately recognized that people loved the speed and convenience of the cafeteria, but with one major caveat — the food had to be good and the K&W people who prepared and served it had to genuinely like their customers. “Our grandfather had a passion for food and community,” he says. Gramps also had a passion for pretty young women. In 1945 Grady Allred married Vivian Coffey, 19 years his junior, whom he met three years earlier on her first day in Winston-Salem after she arrived from Roanoke, Virginia, to take a job at the bus station next door to the K&W Restaurant on Cherry Street. Her wedding picture shows a strikingly attractive young woman with full lips, expressive eyes and a demeanor indicating that she considered herself every bit the equal of her husband. And that she was. Vivian, now 89, was a firecracker. She joined her husband at the helm of the growing business, focusing on cafeteria inspections, including food tasting, and hiring decisions (“She didn’t want Grady to hire anyone too good-looking,” Dax Allred says.). “She took charge from the beginning, and she demanded respect,” November 2012

O.Henry 29


Gate City Icons Bill Allred says. In fact, says Dax, should Vivian sample something she thought did not meet K&W’s standards, “It was not unheard of for her to take the entire container full of food and sling it across the kitchen.” The Allred brothers don’t go to that extreme, but they do demand the same high quality that their grandfather and grandmother demanded. “We always ask ourselves this question,” Bill says: “Would our grandfather be proud?” As I listened to the Allred boys, I became pretty sure that their grandfather, who died in 1983 at the age of 79, would be proud. His grandsons check everything: cleanliness, bathrooms, appearance of the staff, line movement, food quality, everything — but especially food quality. “That’s what it’s all about, more than anything else,” says Bill Allred. “That’s K&W tradition. Everything is made from scratch.” As the Allred brothers talked about their made-from-scratch food, I thought I received a whiff of chicken pan pie wafting from the K&W next door, and I realized it was lunch time and I needed to check out the K&Ws in Greensboro. Bobby Eaton is manager of the K&W at Friendly Center and, like me, he looks like he might have sampled more than a few batches of chicken pan pie and country-style steak with gravy during his fifteen years with the company. Eaton has twelve cooks, each specializing in meats, vegetables, baked goods or salads, who prepare food every day for anywhere from 1,700 to 3,000 people, depending on the day of the week. Sunday after church draws the biggest crowd, but the biggest day of the year is Thanksgiving. “We try to make it as much like home as possible,” Eaton says. “We know all the regular customers, and they know us.” It seems like Alma Clark, who’s worked at K&W since 1977, knows just about every person in the lunch line. She baked pies for twenty years, but now works the line. “I love it,” she says. “People come around the corner and they see me and say, ‘You’re here. Everything’s good.’”

30 O.Henry

November 2012

That’s what thousands of K&W customers said during the thirteen years that former Greensboro Mayor Boyd Morris came out of retirement to work as K&W’s greeter in Greensboro. Morris, flower in his lapel and eyes twinkling, handed out rose stickers to thank people for eating at the K&W. He retired for good in 1995 and died shortly afterward. Long-time customers still remember him. Evaline Wright has been eating at the K&W for forty-five years. “I’ve met some good friends here,” she says, waving to Stan and Brenda Balinger and Lou and Ed Roberts at nearby tables. “It’s a good place to socialize and meet people, and it keeps your mind alert.” Karen and Young Sheffield eat often at the K&W off South Holden Road, sometimes twice a day. The couple practice a ministry and teach music, including piano, guitar, violin, harp and dulcimer. “It’s the closest thing to a homecooked meal you can find,” says Karen. “You can have great fellowship here,” Young says. “We consider this an extension of our ministry. It’s a wonderful thing.” Bill Cockerham, manager of the South Holden Road K&W, stroked his mustache as he opened the door for a family of four and greeted them by name. “It’s about family,” he says. “Family, food, fellowship. It’s like Thanksgiving every day at the K&W.” Cockerham reminded me that the K&W is offering a 75-cent special every Wednesday in recognition of the company’s 75th year. The special in November is pumpkin pie, he says. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites, and my mouth began to water. Then he told me the special in December would be chicken and dumplings — my all-time favorite. My taste buds erupted into the “Hallelujah Chorus.” OH Stan Swofford is a retired News & Record reporter who teaches journalism at UNCG and continues to wrestle with a novel that is mostly in his head.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 31


Opus 2012-2013

Brought to you, FREE of charge!

by The Music Center, City Arts of the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department For details about the concert programs, please visit our website at www.city-arts.org • 336-373-2549 • music@greensboro-nc.gov

CONCERT SERIES

GROUP Greensboro Percussion Ensemble Mike Lasley, Conductor

Greensboro Tarheel Chorus Greg Zinke, Conductor

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

Philharmonia of Greensboro Choral Society of Greensboro Jon Brotherton, Conductor

Greensboro Percussion Ensembles Mike Lasley, Conductor New, unwrapped toys are being collected for FOX8 Gifts for Kids.

Greensboro Oratorio Singers Jay O. Lambeth, Conductor

Greensboro Youth Chorus Ann Doyle and Nana Wolfe-Hill, Conductors New, unwrapped toys are being collected for FOX8 Gifts for Kids.

Philharmonia of Greensboro, Pillow Pops Concert Dancers from the Dance Project: the School at City Arts

Greensboro Big Band, Sweet Sounds Mike Day, Conductor

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

CONCERT DATE

TIME

LOCATION

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Saturday, October 13, 2012

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Friday, November 2, 2012

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Saturday, November 3, 2012

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Saturday, November 17, 2012

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Thursday, December 6, 2012

7 PM

War Memorial Auditorium 1921 West Lee Street

Saturday, December 15, 2012

7:30 PM

First Presbyterian Church 617 North Elm Street

Sunday, February 3, 2013

3 PM

Bur-Mil Clubhouse 5834 Bur-Mil Club Road

Thursday, February 14, 2013

6:30 PM

Bur-Mil Clubhouse 5834 Bur-Mil Club Road

Saturday, March 9, 2013

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2013

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Saturday, April 20, 2013

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Saturday, May 4, 2013

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

7:30 PM

Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100 200 North Davie Street

Friday, May 10, 2013

7:30 PM

Dana Auditorium, Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue

Friday, May 17, 2013

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Saturday, May 18, 2013

7:30 PM

Christ United Methodist Church 410 North Holden Road

Stepping Tones The Music Center will present an afternoon of music in the beautiful Greensboro Arboretum. Drop by anytime during 2-4 pm to hear talented ensembles from The Music Center.

Philharmonia of Greensboro Triad Pride Men’s Chorus Woodson E. Faulkner III, Conductor

Choral Society of Greensboro Jon Brotherton, Conductor

Greensboro Percussion Ensembles Mike Lasley, Conductor

Greensboro Concert Band Evan Feldman, Conductor

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

Greensboro Arboretum 401 Ashland Drive


The Wine Guy

Black Pine For Thanksgiving The seasonal pleasure of pinot noir

By TC Frazier

M

ore than any other beverage, wine is associated to the harvest, the bounty, and the very core of what we are thankful for. If there is a holiday that begs for wine, it is Thanksgiving. However, deciding on what wine to serve can be a challenge due to the variety of dishes and flavors. Grandma’s sweet potatoes glazed with maple syrup and topped with mini marshmallows. Aunt Peg’s experimental fruit salad, plus the always present yet rather ambiguous “stuffing.” There is a wine that goes fantastically with any of those dishes plus an array of others that may adorn the dinner table this holiday. The succulent, breathtaking, and sometimes poetic pinot noir. “Black pine,” as its known in French, or pinot noir, is among the hardest, most expensive, and lowest-yielding grape varietals to produce wine. Due to its thin skin, pinot noir cannot grow just anywhere. It requires a special piece of land with that magic formula of sun-drenched hills, but not stagnant heat and humidity, and cool, rolling fog, not sever, cold winds. This is not to say grapes such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah or sangiovese, for example, do not need great terrior; they do. Nevertheless, pinot noir is special. For years many people believed, and some still today, that the truly best pinots come from those produced in Burgundy. Being the motherland of pinot noir, Burgundy is one of those few exceptions of wine regions in the world, a place solely dedicated to the production of one varietal. Be that as it may, I have often found that people are confused about what Burgundy really is, because the name is and has been borrowed so freely. Burgundy is not a synonym for red wine, even though the color burgundy is obviously red. Burgundy is a region located in central eastern France that consists of five to six main regions, with smaller towns and villages that are divided, smilingly to infinity, into “crus” and “premier crus” and so forth. Just about every small town makes pinot, with the exception of its largest city, Dijon, which is known for something else, I’ll let you guess what. California, with some 35,000 acres planted, is by no means a small player when it comes to the world of pinot. Cool pockets of land such as Carneros, Russian River, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Barbara all make worldclass wine from this varietal. On the other hand, one might argue that Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, is our little slice of Burgundy. Visionaries like David Lett (Erie winery), Dick Ponzi (Ponzi winery) and Dick Erath (Erath winery) saw the potential for great pinot in Oregon. That vision was validated when Oregon wines starting betting some of the most

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

sought after of Burgundies in various blind tastings in the late 1970s. So convinced where people like Robert Drouhin, a leading Burdundy vinter, that they starting buying land throughout the Willamette Valley, and starting up French-owned American wineries such as Domaine Drouhin. Sure, California pinot noir is different from Oregon’s. When both are at their best, it’s like splitting hairs, and becomes more a matter of preference. A winemaker once told me the quickest way to make a million dollars on pinot noir is to spend three. So when sitting around the table this holiday, and looking around at the spoils of a hard year’s worth of work, remember, no other grape represents the mantra “from struggle and hardship comes wisdom and enlightenment” than pinot noir. As fickle as the grape is to grow, the finished product can be the stuff of legends. When it’s hitting on all cylinders, it is hard for any other varietal in the world to come close to the finesse, elegance and sophistication of pinot noir. Enjoy the bounty. Enjoy the pinot. Cheers!

A few recommendations: DuMOL-Pinot Noir-Russian River Valley, California

Bright ruby red. Warm, inviting aromas draw you in: bright and lively, then dark and complex. Wild cherry, fresh raspberry, sassafras and grilled meat. Complex tobacco and cocoa notes. Juicy palate entry then a fine interplay between red and black fruits. Black tea, cranberry and apple skin tartness. Darker woodsy-truffle notes. Broad silky texture develops with air but always framed by muscular enveloping tannins.

Patriarche-Pinot Noir-Beaune, Burgundgy, France

On the nose, aromas of bright red cherry and lush raspberry mix with lingering notes of cola and cigar. The soft spiciness of sage lends to a long, elegant finish. With hints of allspice and persimmon, this round, full-bodied wine shows great acidity that would pair beautifully with seared duck breast and a cherry glaze.

Alexana-Pinot Noir-Willamette Valley, Oregon

Bright, forward aromas of black cherry, dried herbal and floral notes are lifted by molasses and anise blossom. Massive black cherry flavors are decadent and integrate well with spice, cola and cocoa tones. The texture is lush and rich, finishing with round soft tannins that provide perfect structure for cellaring. 1654 cases produced. OH TC Frazier lives in Greensboro and has been in the hospitality business since he was 14. He currently is employed with Dionysus Wine Distributors. November 2012

O.Henry 33


We don’t begrudge the men their days on our championship courses. But, for women, golf is only the beginning of what awaits in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina.

WHY SHOULD THE BOYS HAVE ALL THE FUN? So, leave the men on the back nine or leave them at home all together. Our cozy towns and friendly villages are filled with galleries and potteries showcasing the work of local artists. Among our dozens of shops and restaurants, you’ll be hardpressed to find the name of a national chain, making a day of shopping, a day of unique finds and surprising discoveries. And the spas, ah yes, the spas. There are almost as many ways to relax as there are to excite the senses. Clearly, a woman’s place is in the Home of American Golf®.

GET AWAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS TO THE HOME OF AMERICAN GOLF®. VISIT WWW.PLAYMOOREGOLF.COM/OURSTATE TO PLAN YOUR STAY.

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST

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

34 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


So Very Neese

Serial Eater

At the South’s legendary sausage company, love of family and old-fashioned values still rule

Neese’s sausage is a five-generation family affair. Currently, three generations of Neese’s run the family business: Tom, daughter Andrea, grandson Thomas and son Tommy.

A

Photographs by Cassie Butler

By David C. Bailey

ndrea Neese never meant to become the Sausage Lady, as she’s affectionately called by some in Greensboro. “For thirty years, I had worn a suit and high heels to work and painted my nails,” says the ebullient and girlish fourth-generation co-president of Neese Country Sausage Inc. “I was all frou-frou then.” That was before she used a stun gun to lay low a 550-pound sow in the company’s Burlington slaughter facility — which she quickly points out she should really politely call a harvest plant. It was 1987, and just a year earlier, Neese had been working for the upscale Macy’s chain in no less a city than San Francisco. But after the birth of her son, she and her ex-husband, a former Marine, decided to move back to North Carolina so Thomas could attend school in Greensboro. But back to that fatal (at least for the sow) day. Never mind, she says, that “there were twenty men with their heads stuck above the wall looking at me, and they were all laughing,” she recalls. “I knew if I could not do this job, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

there was no reason they should do it.” In the course of a year, she learned every job at the plant, including cleaning chitterlings. In the process, she bonded with the all-male work force. “I laughed so hard my sides hurt. I knew that if I didn’t laugh, I was going to cry,” she says. “It just got to be a love affair with that plant.” “She liked it,” her white-haired, patrician-featured father, Thomas “Tom” Rice Neese Jr., confirms. “In that place, in essence, she was her own person, her own man . . . She’s feisty. She’s fiery.” Just like Neese’s recently introduced extra-hot sausage. To understand the Neeses and their sausage’s iconic place in the canon of Southern food, you need to know a thing or two about sausage. While most sausage languishes in the grocer’s freezer until it’s needed, Neese’s is always fresh from the grinder, just like country sausage you’d get from a farmer. That’s why the company needs a fleet of “little green trucks” to make timely deliveries to each and every store that carries it. And that’s why it’s only available (except via mail order) in North Carolina and parts of Virginia and South Carolina. “Pork, salt, spices, sugar,” says the label. No msg, nitrates, nitrites or other preservatives. But what’s in Neese’s whole hog sausage is more important November 2012

O.Henry 35


Holidays

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

november 1–december 31

November 10 shops at old salem holiday open house – music, food, shopping, and more Beginning November 16 candlelight tours – with music, games, food and drink November 24 – December 22 saturdays with st. nicholas – family activities and a visit with St. Nicholas! December 8 salem christmas – hands-on activities celebrating Moravian Christmas For a full list of events, classes & concerts, visit oldsalem.org or call 336-721-735o 36 O.Henry November 2012 old salem museums & gardens, winston-salem, north carolina

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Serial Eater than what’s not. “I only know of two companies, maybe three, that put all five prime cuts [Boston butts, hams, shoulders, loins and tenderloins] into their sausage, and we’ve never varied from that,” says Tom Neese. Lower-priced sausage is not bad, he says. It runs the risk, however, of being inconsistent. When, for instance, hams are in demand, say around Easter, some sausage makers will hold the ham. Or hold the loin when the price of loins skyrockets. “We don’t do that,” Tom Neese says. That goes back to George Neese, who took the great wagon road through Shenandoah from Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1769 to settle in Greensboro. (The Neeses are of German origin and their name can also be spelled Niss, Neas and Nees.) Generations of Neeses worked as Carolina farmers, blacksmiths and horse traders, making sausage each year when the weather turned cold in “a little old shack with a creek running through it,” Tom Neese says. The recipe came from Tom Neese’s grandfather, James Theodore Neese, also known as Mr. Thede. He began selling hand-ground sausage, spiced with salt, pepper and a hint of sage, to neighbors as early as 1917. Ultimately, he built up a trade in town, making his deliveries in a covered wagon. Tom Neese’s father, Thomas Rice Neese Sr., marked the second generation of Neeses who made their living off sausage. “My father grew tomatoes three summers in a row when he was in high school,” Tom Neese says, making enough money to begin college. “But my grandfather J.T. told him under no circumstances was he going to college because college was a waste of time.” Invest your money in the sausage business, his father told him. Which is sort of what he did when the young man went out and bought himself a shiny new 1925 Dodge screen-side truck. By 1936, he was selling enough sausage to start a processing plant, meaning sausage could be made

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Tuesday-Friday: 10am to 6pm Saturday: 11am to 4pm November 2012

O.Henry 37


Serial Eater year-around instead of seasonally. Like her grandfather, Andrea Neese, 54, entered the business via her father’s machinations. Her original plan when she moved back to Greensboro from the Bay City had been to buy a small department store in an up-andcoming town near Greensboro. Her dad introduced her to a business broker who showed her store after store, every one of them seedy and run-down. “All along my dad was putting me to work, giving me more to do, sending me to trade shows,” Andrea Neese recalls. “He was sucking me in.” She worked every job in the processing plant, including the highly skilled task of removing the meat from the bones. “It’s an art. You don’t want to leave too much meat on the bones, and you don’t want to cut your fingers off. Uncle Ernest had cut the ends of his fingers off and we didn’t want to be like him.” But what got Andrea Neese totally hooked on the company was when she began interacting with workers, following their ups and downs, learning their first names, who their children were and their family histories. One day, her father called her into his office and “said, ‘Well, why don’t you think about coming to work for us,’ which is what he wanted all along. I never saw it until the very end.” Frustrated by not being able to find a decent location to start a store, she accepted. “So Tom got what he wanted, and the business broker lost a little time, and Mom got what she wanted, because she got to keep Thomas [her son] because I had no money for day care.” She was soon full of new ideas for the company, including a two-storyhigh pig skinner that she saw at a competitor’s new plant. “At that time, we were just throwing the hides away, and I thought we could do skirts and jackets and footballs and briefcases and shoes. He pooh-poohed the idea,”

she says, looking across the desk at her father. “There were people out there already established who were doing that,” he counters sternly. Guided by the principles of his father and his father’s father, Tom Neese says Neese’s strength has been staying the course and sticking to its core business. “We stayed doing what we thought we knew a little about,” he says. Change has been glacial. In the 1920s, liver pudding was added to the mix. Over the years, other porcine delights, ultimately of German origin, were added: liver mush for those down East, scrapple and souse for those from the North, c-loaf for chitlin fans, hot and even hotter variations of sausage, including a sage-intensive variety to compete with Jimmy Dean Sausage — and, most recently, bacon. “I was in the hospital,” says Tom Neese. By the time he came back to work, Andrea and her brother, Tommy, who joined the company in 1986, had added bacon to the lineup. Tommy Neese — Thomas Rice III — signed up with the company one day while grocery shopping in Charlotte. Lewis Cox, Neese’s Charlotte supervisor, recognized him and wondered if he’d like to come to work for him. “I said I didn’t want to work for my dad, and he said, ‘You’re not going to be working for your dad. You’ll be working for me.’” Both Tom Neese and his son say Cox was the toughest taskmaster the company had. “And he was harder on me than anyone else,” Tommy Neese says. “Looking back, I understand what he was doing.” Says Tom Neese, “He made a man out of him.” Tommy is now co-president, handling sales and the company’s fleet of trucks. Most people will recognize Andrea from her TV commercials, in which she preaches the gospel of whole-hog, farm-fresh sausage. How she came to do those commercials is another family story: “My brother had cancer and

T

he packages of Neese’s Country Sausage running around the bases between innings at Greensboro Grasshoppers’ games might have been the company’s cutest advertising strategy, but there’s little doubt which one is the most effective: Neese’s little green trucks. “They are mobile billboards,” co-president Tommy Neese says. “Everybody sees them. Everybody knows them.” What the public might not have seen is the 95-year-old company’s collection of delivery vehicles, starting with a Conestoga wagon that Tommy’s great grandfather, James Theodore Neese, hitched up to a pair of mules in the early 1900s so he could peddle freshly ground sausage to his neighbors. Tommy, aka Thomas Rice Neese III, says his dad, Tom Neese Jr., was the one who got things going by buying a 1929½ sedan delivery Model A from the Byrd Grocery family in Burlington. “It reminds me of the cars Bonnie and Clyde used to drive with the exception of not having a backside glass.” A 1927 Dodge screen-side delivery truck, almost identical to the one Tommy’s grandfather bought new in 1925, was acquired in Rural Retreat,

38 O.Henry

November 2012

Virginia, and added to the collection. “It’s actually a Dodge Brothers’ truck, so it’s not a true Dodge,” Neese says. The family also has restored two Chevy trucks put out to pasture after carrying tons of sausage, liver mush and souse, a 1966 and a 1972. Neese loves the old-style vent windows: “It’s all the air-conditioning you need,” he says. Neese says there are some significant gaps in the collection: “We’d love to find a 1925 out there,” he says, “or maybe a 1940s panel truck.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 39


Serial Eater was finishing up with his chemo treatment and was coming back to work and he was bald,” she recalls. In solidarity, she decided to shave her head. Her father and brother “pitched a fit,” and insisted she do some TV commercials that they’d all been talking about, hair intact: “And that is how I got into TV commercials,” she says, daring her dad to contradict her — “exactly how.” She also adds that her brother has been cancer-free for years. Tommy Neese, 49, describes his sister as determined, and then adds, “and very opinionated.” Her strength, he says, is “she worked her way through every position. That’s what we both have done. It’s made us more rounded.” Their father didn’t exactly fall off the cabbage truck into the CEO position. Tom Neese graduated from Duke in accounting and went straight to work for Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery in New York City, “as a flunky, just like all new accountants, doing whatever you were told to do.” In 1956, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and ended up at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where his boyhood friend, Jim Melvin, steered him into working for the Military Personnel Division. Then, after Tom Neese got out of the service, Melvin talked him into getting an MBA from Carolina. After six-and-a-half years with Burlington Industries, he got a call from his

uncle, Robert Ford Neese, who talked him into giving up textiles for sausage. Tom Neese says the younger generation needs to take over the company: “I’ll be 79 years old this year. I cannot do this. They have to take it away from me.” Twenty-six-year-old Thomas Leonard McGarity — Andrea’s son, who’s called Thomas to distinguish him from Tom and Tommy III — works at the plant and is one of eleven fifth-generation Neese grandchildren. “We don’t know who we will hook,” Andrea Neese says. But it’s not the Neeses who make Neese’s sausage what it is, insists Tommy Neese. “Andrea and I have been here a quarter of a century. We have several employees who have been with us for more than half a century. It’s the employees who make this company what it is today.” And sausage that’s made the old-fashioned way. “Our goal is to make sausage the same way our great grandfather made it,” Andrea Neese says. Adds Tom Neese from the other side of the desk, “with tender loving care.” David Bailey is a regular contributing editor of O.Henry magazine.

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“My favorite sausage is the bulk Neese’s brand,” says Elizabeth Karmel, a New York chef and media personality whose parents live in Greensboro. Andrea Neese likes Karmel’s recipe so well she asked O.Henry to reprint it. Says Karmel, “I love the contrast of the crispy, crunchy top and the moist interior. It also cuts about an hour off the cooking time if you roast an unstuffed bird.” Serves eight 1 large package Pepperidge Farm herb‐seasoned stuffing (blue bag) Half a loaf of your favorite bread, crumbled 1 pound of bulk hot sage sausage (preferably Neese’s brand) Olive oil or butter for sautéing 1 bunch celery, chopped 2 large yellow onions, chopped 1 stick butter, melted One 15‐ounce can low‐salt, no‐fat chicken broth or up to 2 cups of homemade stock, plus more to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix package of stuffing mix and fresh bread crumbs and set aside, tossing occasionally so all crumbs dry out. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a skillet until completely cooked through and drain on paper towels. Remove excess grease. Add a little butter or olive oil to sauté vegetables and allow it to melt before adding vegetables. In the same skillet, sauté celery and onions until soft and onions begin to caramelize. Mix vegetables, sausage and melted butter in with the breadcrumbs until well combined. Moisten with chicken broth until stuffing holds together but is not too wet. Place in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35­-40 minutes or until top is browned. [Alternately you can stuff the turkey just before cooking, but this will make it stuffing. If you stuff your turkey, place the stuffing in the turkey immediately before placing in the oven and make sure that the stuffing reaches 165 degrees before serving it. If the turkey cooks faster than the stuffing, remove the turkey and as it rests, bring the stuffing up to temperature in a casserole dish.] OH

© 2012 Chamilia, LLC. All rights reserved. MADE WITH SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS SWAROVSKI® is a registered trademark. 10-0000-06

40 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Inspirations

Showroom #10

Random Paws

M & M Engravables Showroom #42

Toy’s For Tots

Showroom #44

Drop Off Location

Accents

Busy Day Studio

Showroom #7

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Showroom #5

C What’s New

The 2013 C-Class. Starting at $35,350

Mercedes-Benz of Greensboro • 819 Norwalk Street • 336-856-1552 • MBGreensboro.com 2013 C350 shown with optional equipment. © Authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 41


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42 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Street Level

The Lost Constellation Unknown to most, the world’s premium wine producer began here in the Gate City

By Jim Schlosser

Photograph By Cassie Butler

O

h, what might have been, as the saying goes, if a legendary wine company hadn’t taken its bottle and gone elsewhere. At the time, 1948, probably few in Greensboro noticed when Mack Sands relocated to upstate New York and took his Greensborobased business, Car-Cal Winery (short for Carolina-California) with him. He had founded it in 1936 at 321 South Davie Street and later, as it prospered, moved it to a building that once stood at the corner of Spring Garden and Ashe streets. He imported wine from California and bottled and distributed it from here under various brand names, including Old Maude. Then, Mack Sands moved Car-Cal to Canandaigua, New York, where a few years earlier he had bought a winery, which his son, Marvin, just out of the Navy, was running. Mack combined Car-Cal with the acquired winery and called it Canandaigua Wine Company. Maybe you’re beginning to understand the extent of Greensboro’s loss. Over the years, Canandaigua Wine Company — which since 2000 has operated under the name Constellation Brands and is still controlled by the Sands family — has emerged as the world’s largest premium wine producer. It has grown mainly through acquisition of wineries, including large ones such as Robert Mondavi. It also owns such well-known booze brands as Black Velvet, a Canadian whiskey, and it’s the national importer of the highly popular, Mexican-brewed Corona beer. In the city of Canandaigua, the company has been a sugar daddy. The YMCA has been a recipient of the Sands family largesse. Also, there’s the Marvin Sands Cancer Center. There’s also the, gulp, Constellation BrandsMarvin Sands Performing Arts Center. Would that Greensboro had such a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

generous benefactor for its hoped-for downtown performing arts center. Constellation owns more than 100 brands of wine, including the highly acclaimed Ravenswood. Constellation does business worldwide, employs 4,300 people, and has annual sales of $2.6 billion. The company’s main office is now in Victor, New York, a Rochester suburb, which is only 20 miles from Canandaigua, where it also has offices and a large winery. Among its inexpensive wines, the company makes the long-time favorite of street people, Richard’s Wild Irish Rose. Some people call it a “bum wine.” Empty bottles are found propped in alleys and against curbs. The Sands didn’t intend this fate for Richard’s Wild Irish Rose. It was meant as a dessert wine. In those early years, Canandaigua specialized in inexpensive wines. But that has changed through an aggressive acquisition program. Constellation now makes more expensive wines suitable for the best dinner parties. Marvin Sands, son of Mack, died in 1999 at 75. His son, Robert, is Constellation’s CEO and another son, Richard, is chairman of the board. Richard, by the way, is the namesake for Richard’s Wild Irish Rose. It was first produced in 1954 right after his birth. Greensboro gets no material benefit from Constellation, but links remain more than sixty years after Mack and his, wife, Sally Sands, and their son, Marvin, departed. Marvin was an alumnus of what’s now Grimsley High School. He also graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and met his wife, Mickey, who had been a student at Woman’s College, now UNCG. Their son, Richard, also is a UNC alumnus, having earned a Ph.D. in social psychology at Chapel Hill. In Greensboro, the Sands family lived in a fine house that still stands at 3300 Starmount Drive. The family golfed regularly at Starmount Country Club. They also used a local accounting firm, Bernard Robinson & November 2012

O.Henry 43


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Company, to do the company’s books. The late Bernard Robinson started the firm in 1947 and Car-Cal is believed to have been his first client. The Robinson firm continued doing the company’s books long after it left Greensboro, until Canandaigua became a publicly traded company. However, Bernard Robinson & Company still does business with the Sands family. “We represent the family in all its tax and accounting needs,” says Freddie Robinson, son of

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Bernard and a partner in the venerable accounting firm. “We are dealing with the fifth generation.” What if Car-Cal had remained here? The company was no small operation in Greensboro. It outgrew the Davie Street building (now a parking lot) and moved to a larger structure where the Gateway Plaza high-rise for the elderly now stands, between Spring Garden and McGee streets. Could the company have grown into a giant without leaving Greensboro? Freddie Robinson believes it is possible. “They have grown through acquisitions,” he says. “Conceivably, these acquisitions could have been done from anywhere.” For sure, you win some and you lose some. Greensboro has benefited by the relocation of at least one New York company. Lorillard Inc. moved here a decade or so ago from New York City. But the company keeps a rather low civic profile, perhaps because of the nature of its product, cigarettes. Car-Cal, Canandaigua, Constellation or whatever you choose to call it probably would have been a more, pardon the expression, “spirited” corporate citizen of Greensboro. Yes, it makes and markets alcohol, but wine has become an economical and socially important product in Bible-belted North Carolina. Wineries have multiplied in recent decades. To think what might have been had Car-Cal stayed and grown into what’s now Constellation Brands. It’s a sobering thought. OH Jim Schlosser is a regular contributing editor of O.Henry magazine.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 45


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46 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Hitting Home

Thankful One word says it all

By Dale niXon

I

am thankful that I wake up every morning thinking that something wonderful is going to happen to me. It usually doesn’t, but I am thankful that I think this way. I am thankful that I am of good health and sound mind. (Some may argue about the mind.) I am thankful that I have a loving family. I could brag, but I won’t. I am thankful for my friends, both old and new. I am thankful for every pine tree, every flower, and every blade of green grass no matter how hard it kicks my sinuses. I am thankful for each season and each holiday that gives me a reason to celebrate. I am thankful for every wine maker in the world. I am thankful for books and libraries and hometown book stores. They offer me adventure, romance and places I have never or will never see. I am thankful for Kindles and Nooks, but not as thankful as I am for books, libraries and hometown book stores. I am thankful for my smartphone. Now that I can use it, I never want to lose it. I am thankful for artists, musicians, and yes, even athletes who do what I could never do. I am thankful for writers who have mastered their craft. I am thankful for our Carolina beaches with their rolling waves and white sand. I am thankful for our Blue Ridge Mountains and their panoramic view. I am thankful to be living in a country where I have a vote. And as bad as times seem, I still have a vote. I am thankful I was born in this country because it is still the best place in the world to live. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I am thankful to be born Southern, to talk Southern and to live the Southern way. I am thankful for my Northern friends because they are fearless and you always know where you stand. I am thankful for sweet tea, pinto beans, turnip greens, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, pound cake and pecan pie. I am thankful for greasy hamburger joints and hot dog stands. I am thankful for the nighttime and all of the mysteries that it evokes in my mind. I am thankful for the daytime when I really feel alive. I am thankful for Motown, Mozart and Hank Williams, Sr. I am thankful that my husband loves to dance with me. I am thankful for the people who protect us and the educators who teach our children. I am thankful for makeup and hair color and contact lenses. I am thankful for ½3/4 sleeve shirts and body-shaping underwear. I am thankful for T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress for Less and Marshall’s discount stores. I am thankful for red dot clearance sales. I am thankful I have been given the opportunity to write this column for you. I am thankful for the best editors I have ever worked with. I am thankful for the readers’ emails, letters and notes. But I am especially thankful that I wake up every morning thinking that something wonderful is going to happen to me. It could be today . . . Happy Thanksgiving. OH Columnist Dale Nixon may be contacted at dalenixon@carolina.rr.com.

November 2012

O.Henry 47


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The Sporting Life

The Soule of a Decoy Or, how one man’s loss is another hunter’s gain

By Tom BryanT

illustration by linda bryant

T

he folks on the Weather Channel were all aglow with the idea that the front that was to roar through the Mid-Atlantic would probably blow at least half a dozen states out to sea. I’ve noticed, especially since they were sold to NBC, that their weather prognosticators spend more and more time, almost gleefully, predicting one catastrophe after another. And, when the disaster doesn’t occur, they say something like, “Well, Jen, we sure were lucky that the people in Des Moines weren’t blown over to Wichita; but they’d better get ready because that low pressure up in British Columbia will be here in a week or so, and that one’s gonna get ’em.” Meanwhile, “Cacciatore” is at the beach looking for some rain to wade in. The Weather Channel, like my old wet dog, Mackie, is beginning to smell. I wasn’t going to be outdone, though. Thanksgiving was a few short weeks away along with early duck season, and I had a bunch of decoys to rig. Linda was at Sunset Beach for a week with her nieces so I was on my own. Let it blow. I was determined to get some work done. I backed the old Bronco out of my garage to give myself more room, set up a folding table, and began gathering the decoys off the shelves where I had placed them at the end of last season. Boy, I thought to myself, I’ve got a pile of these things to repair. In addition to several dozen of my own, I also had John Vernon’s mallards that I had brought home from our duck impoundments. Some of the deeks had holes in them from errant shots made by our group. I refuse to point fingers, but Tom Bobo, excellent shot that he is, has been known to sink a decoy every now and then.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wind was blowing pretty hard around the corner of the garage door, but no rain yet. One of the weather girls had said earlier that after this magnificent cold front, our temperature would be about ten degrees below normal. A little cool weather will be appreciated, I thought, after this smoking white-hot summer bled over into fall. I picked up an especially rough decoy and put it in the garage sink to patch with the miracle glue I keep around for beat-up fishing and hunting equipment. More and more of my stuff is beginning to look a little worn, but I’ve been able to handle it with glue or duct tape. I’m gonna have to do something about my old Barbour coat, though. The duct tape I used to patch it after our grouse hunt to Michigan doesn’t match the color. That’s an idea; wonder if they make duct tape in different colors? That’s something for me to check on later. As it began to rain, I got up to shut the side door and then made room to back the Bronco into the garage. The ancient truck had just turned thirtyfive. I’m no longer required to have her inspected, unlike myself, who needs to be looked over at least once a year. I opened the back gate on the truck to use as another table and thought back to the days when we were both a little younger. There’s a photo I have somewhere of Tommy, my son, and Paddle, my first yellow Lab puppy, sitting on the back gate. We were at the Alamance Wildlife Club fishing, and Tom caught his first big fish, a monster bream. We had it mounted and it still hangs in our sunroom. I started rolling out line to attach to the decoys. It looked like I would have just enough. My assortment of weights, though, left something to be desired. Some I had found in my tackle box, and I had intended to use them in surf fishing rigs but never had. Fortunately, our duck impoundments at Mattamuskeet are relatively shallow and really don’t require a lot of weight to hold the decoys in place. November 2012

O.Henry 49


The Sporting Life In short order, I had most of Vernon’s redone, then I looked over my Greenhead brand. All of them were in good shape, so I moved on to the cork decoys that I had acquired years earlier. They are Bean decoys made by George Soule, and I found them through a classified ad that ran in the Greensboro paper back around 1977. The ad was an original and read: I have to sell all my duck hunting gear. It’s the ducks or my beloved Betsy Sue. It looked as if the fellow was in a real pickle, either the ducks or his marriage. I was fascinated by the ad and always wanted to own decoys made by the famous L.L. Bean carver, so that Saturday I rode over to Greensboro to see the unfortunate duck hunter’s decoys and also to commiserate with him about his decision to bail out of the noble sport of duck hunting. When I drove up to his house, he had all the decoys strung out in the front yard. There were an even dozen mallards, a couple of black ducks, and a dozen blue bills, drakes and hens. There was also a small johnboat painted marsh brown and some camouflaged cloth that he had used to cover the craft for an improvised blind. A decoy bag, hunting pack, hip boots and waders closed out the ensemble. The fella’s yard looked like an early version of a Herter’s store. I was in duck hunter’s heaven. I stepped out of my Bronco and headed right to the decoys. The owner of the gear met me halfway and started right in with his sales pitch. “As you can see these decoys are top of the line and have been used very little.” The guy looked at me dejectedly. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “I bought them last year right at the end of the season and only put them in the water a couple of times. That was before I decided to give up duck hunting.” I noticed that the unfortunate fellow kept looking apprehensively toward his house, wringing his hands. “What do you think? I can let you have them for a steal. I need to get ’em on out o’ here.”

50 O.Henry

November 2012

“Well,” I replied in my I-don’t-really-need-them voice. “I don’t know if I can swing it or not. I’m a pretty poor duck hunter, really just getting started.” And I was right. Linda, my bride, and I had been saving up for a new refrigerator; plus I had just started a newspaper in Alamance County and had very little discretionary income. Jimmy Carter was in office and times were tight. The garage door opened and a little sports car eased down the driveway. The car stopped right at the street and a pretty little blonde girl with her head wrapped in a scarf leaned over and spoke to us. ‘Why, hey there,” she said in a beautiful Southern accent. “I hope you can buy Sonny’s duck stuff. I’m sure he’ll give you a deal. Won’t you, honey pie?” She then roared off down the street. “Come on, fella,” he said to me. “Make me an offer. I’ll treat you right.” I did and he did. On the way home that afternoon with a Bronco full of decoys, I started thinking about Sonny and his wife Betsy Sue and the trouble it looked like they were having. I never found out what the problem was as I didn’t want to pry. But when I agreed to purchase the decoys, I could see relief flood his face. I stopped at a light on Wendover and looked back at my new purchase. I sure hope that Linda can see the benefit of buying these now and putting off getting the refrigerator. I mean you can buy a refrigerator anytime, but it’s not everyday you can acquire two dozen, top of the line, George Soule decoys. I noticed as the light turned green that I was wringing my hands apprehensively and perspiring freely. Just the excitement, I thought. OH Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 51


52 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Still Life

Life of Jane

Or, how I learned to flush a toilet with my toes

By Jane Borden

Illustration By Meridith martens

A

couple of years ago, I was a real jerk. I’d sit idly while my boyfriend did everything: cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry. I wouldn’t enter a room or vehicle unless he opened the door first. He even had to tip glasses to my lips for me to drink. Sometimes I made my friends and family perform these functions too — and after all they did, I never wrote a single thank-you note. But when I say “jerk,” I don’t mean rude or selfish. I mean the other definition of “jerk.” I was a fool. My boyfriend was acting out of necessity, not chivalry. I’d contracted acute bilateral tendinitis, aka matchsticks combusting in both shoulders whenever I used my hands. Fortunately, I could flush toilets with my toes, or Nathan would’ve had to follow me in there too. After six years as a magazine editor, squeezing seven days of work into five, I’d become keyboard proficient. Unfortunately, I wasn’t keyboard correct. Eventually, my arm muscles, along with the tendons connecting them to my shoulder joints, long abused by millions of ergonomically unsound strokes, went on strike. If only we could have sat down for talks first! But, then, I probably would’ve just made them transcribe it all. I had no idea how self-sufficient I was, how much I did for myself, until suddenly I was useless. I couldn’t carry or bear weight, or apply any pressure. I couldn’t use silverware. I subsisted on baby carrots, hummus and sliced whole wheat bread — all of which had to be procured and carried home by someone else. Once, a pal came over for the express purpose of opening my mail. The orthopedist ordered me to rest the muscles and tendons, use them as little as possible, which was like, no, duh: every time I did, tiny hillbillies lit bonfires in my rotator cuffs. So there I was, even if by accident, adhering to an archaic code of chivalry. I used to be the girl by the elevator, emphatically replying to the men, “No, no, after you.” Now I was the girl sitting across the restaurant table from the other girl, who nudged her boyfriend, saying, “You never cut my food for me!” I hated it: waiting in front of a heavy door until someone passed, obliged to ask for help. So badly, I wanted to grab the handle and pull. It’s such a small and simple action. And, after about a week of resting, I knew that I could open doors. But it would come at the cost of other actions, like brushing my teeth. The more I healed, the more motions I could perform The Art & Soul of Greensboro

in a day without overexerting myself. But if I exceeded my allotment, the next day’s batch would be smaller, and also full of hillbillies with torches. Since the pain was not always immediate, took time to develop, I had to guesstimate how much I could safely use my arms without setting back my recovery. I began to see tickets attached to the actions of daily life, each bearing a different number: A number 3 to cut a piece of paper, 22 to chop a tomato, and 2,009 to slice a ball with a tennis racket. But, of course, I’ve never really played tennis. At least now I have an excuse. Still, the plan was working. I focused on incremental gains, and began to heal. That is, until I re-injured myself. A doctor in Brighton Beach, whom my insurance made me see, told me to return to work full time. I did and the next day my tendinitis was worse than at first. But slowly — this time it took about a month — I began to recover again. Until the re-re-injury: My physical therapist pushed me too hard with the elastic bands, or as I now call them, elastic assholes. Two weeks of total incapacitation grew into almost a year. Back and forth, up and down, strong and weak: My physical ability, or lack thereof, led to wild fluctuations in my mental health. My psychological well-being was solely determined by my shoulders and upper arms. When I waked without pain, I felt elated, invincible, as if I could move mountains, or, you know, a small folding chair. But when every little action roused the fireworks, I grew hopeless. And no one seemed to know what was actually wrong. The tendinitis diagnosis was clear, but the MRI showed only a small amount, nothing that could be causing the problems I experienced. “I don’t understand,” said the orthopedist, “it’s just a little tendinitis.” I started seeing other specialists: a neurologist, an allergist/immunologist, an acupuncturist, two more orthopedists. My case made sense to no one. I felt helpless, out of control — because that’s what happens when you lose agency. You’re rendered passive. And then it’s easy for inertia to keep you still. This is why women started riding bicycles! All but me, of course — too much weight bearing on the shoulders. My low point arrived with summer. It was during a time when the hillbillies had set up camp in my shoulders without sign of moving on. I woke up, put on flats because I couldn’t tie shoelaces, and then reached for the doorknob to leave. But the sudden rise in humidity had swollen the door shut. I knew that yanking it would set me back at least a day, maybe two — and that, November 2012

O.Henry 53


Life of Jane as is the nature of doors, it would only need to be opened again. I saw a cycle without escape. I was trapped in my apartment. So I collapsed to the floor and started bawling. If I’d thought clearly, I could’ve looped a belt around the knob and yanked it with my teeth. But all I could think were Nevers: I’ll never pilot a sailboat again; I’ll never paint a room in a future home; I may as well throw away my lacrosse stick; I’ll never be able to travel alone. All of my fears vomited out of me, including the two I’d worked the hardest to ignore: I’ll never write again; I’ll never be able to carry my own child. As a teenager, I promised myself that if I were ever paralyzed, told I’d never walk again, that I’d be the case you read about in newspapers, the patient who proved everyone wrong through willpower. Yet it hadn’t taken much, just “a little tendinitis,” for me to completely give up. I was so focused on the pain, I hadn’t seen the more dangerous development: I’d totally abdicated control. I’d put my fate in the hands of doctors and therapists, when none could even pinpoint the problem. They never told me anything new, yet I kept making appointments. I’d shifted the power to heal me onto everyone but me. Dependence breeds despondence. So I declared: If no one knows what’s wrong, then only I can know what’s right. I mean, that Brighton Beach doctor hadn’t forced me to type; the physical therapist hadn’t held a gun next to those elastic assholes. Next, I decided that if it was going to take years for me to heal, then I’d have to forget I was injured. And in order to do that, I had to become self-sufficient. Nathan never complained about helping me — he is now my husband; I wouldn’t let a guy like that go — but I no longer wanted his help. So we found a messenger bag I could strap around my waist. I wore it to the grocery store, slid items off of shelves until they fell into the open bag, waddled up to the checkout lane, hip-flipped the bag onto the counter, rolled the items out and then let the cashier put everything back in.

I memorized which doors to which entrances were push instead of pull. I discovered the amazing tool God has given us in teeth: They unscrew plastic soda-bottle caps, flip stubborn light switches, turn deadbolt locks. And, here’s a tip: If your sink fixtures are as difficult to twist as mine were, try turning on the bath faucet with your foot, and then, while it’s on, filling every glass in the apartment with water; they’ll be too heavy for you to carry, but that’s why you keep straws around. Even when the pain didn’t ease, the depression did. And once that happened, I began to forget. Slowly, I stopped thinking of myself as handicapped. A year and a half later, I’m happy to say that I no longer use my feet for any non-foot function — except to flush toilets (you really shouldn’t touch those handles, especially not after my feet have). But I do still carry bags around my waist. I no longer think of it as a strange and onerous adjustment, though. It’s just how I live. Somewhere along the way, I even came to terms with the fact that I probably won’t ever type again. I produced this article the way I do all of my writing (including most of my first book): with dictation software. It takes longer and the results are spotty, but, again, it’s just the way I write now. It’s just the way it is. My life doesn’t always look like it used to, but at least I’m in control of it. Which leads me to believe that I have found the key to happiness: self-sufficiency. Really, it’s so simple that a 2-year-old can tell you: “I want to do it myself.” I hear my niece say it all the time. Sometimes, it’s while I’m carrying her. OH Jane Borden is a native of Greensboro and the author of the highly acclaimed memoir I Totally Meant To Do That.

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54 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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November 2012 Thanksgiving Pantoum We avoided some tragedies simply through repetition without end; And to the youngest of us, with no apparent meaning. Oh, there was rain and, sometimes, it was cold. Simply through repetition, we refilled our plates. No need for the exotic. Oh, there was rain and sometimes cold — even the oldest have forgotten the particulars. We refilled our plates, no need for the exotic: there were the usual dishes, the usual indulgences — even the oldest have forgotten the particulars. Across the state, our family was our guide. There were the usual dishes, the usual indulgences — thank God we were never poisoned. Our family was our guide — and if we disappointed, they kept it to themselves. Thank God we were never poisoned: it was only the day, the moment, that consumed us; and if we were disappointed, we kept it to ourselves — trusted in the oldest to tell our story. It was only the day, the moment that consumed us: we gathered at card tables; the oysters steamed; who could be poor with the oldest telling stories? Mock-heroics & proclamations filling our bellies like knots of bread — we gathered at picnic tables; the oysters steamed; who could be poor? Winter passed, slowly pushed by late November — mock-heroics & proclamations filled our bellies like knots of bread. School started, summer came, our babies had babies of their own. And winter passed, slowly pushed by late November — sometimes we survived simply through repetition: summer ended, school started, our babies had babies of their own . . .To be sure, we were flawed, despite our virtues. We survive simply through repetition because somewhere, beyond our imagination, we will not be together. To be sure, we are flawed, despite our virtues; but it’s only by chance that we’re together to start with — and there’s no market for that. It’s impossible to value.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

– terry kennedy

November 2012

O.Henry 59


The New Pilgrims by daVid c. bailey and Maria Johnson • photographs by cassie butler

As the numbers bear witness, owing to its heritage of Quaker tolerance and the influence of enlightened visionaries of industry, not to mention the civilizing influence of six colleges and universities, Greensboro is indisputably the most socially diverse city in North Carolina, arguably the entire American South. This racial and cultural diversity is our greatest strength — the soul of what it means to be a true Gate City — and for that, dear neighbors, especially as new generations of pilgrims continue to find their way to our midst, may we be ever thankful. — Jim Dodson

.

There were 102 of them. Seventy-four men. Twenty-eight women. They came from England and Holland. Some wanted to worship without harassment. Some wanted adventure. They bobbed and pitched at sea for two months. They dropped anchor in November. They boarded small boats, waded in the cold Atlantic, beheld their new home. A rocky beach. Trees. Freedom. A year later, half of them were standing. Some held babies. They picked corn, shot deer, plucked turkeys, hulled beans, shucked oysters. They ate and celebrated. We are alive. We are free. That was 1621. Almost four hundred years ago. The first Thanksgiving. How little has changed. People come here every day seeking freedom. Of, from, to.

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November 2012

They come by plane, train, bus, car. Some step off in Greensboro. The Gate City. Truly. The numbers say it. We see it. Walking around in huaraches, sarongs, hijabs and boots. And Nikes. Always Nikes. New blood standing in line at Walmart with old blood, here for a generation. Or two. Or ten. Reaching back to when everyone was “them.” Many times since the Rift Valley. Right up to four hundred years ago. Or last month. Whenever your family — families — landed here. How little has changed. Turkey and corn and oysters. And borscht and baguettes and baklava. And biryani and bok choy and buñuelos. And thank you. We are alive. We are free. — Maria Johnson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Lamar E. DeLoatch Age: 64 Work/School: Director of evaluations and career development at Greensboro’s Goodwill Industries; also co-founder and president of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society of North Carolina Family: I have been married to my wife, Cheryl A. Wheeler, for 30 years and have one daughter and a grandson. Where did you or your family originally come from? My main line is Africa. Most of my genes can be traced back to Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau. That’s my dad’s side. On my mother’s side, it’s pretty much native American — Cherokee, Creek, Nansemond, Saponi and Tuscarora. The Tuscarora came from the Roanoke River area. And there’s some Irish in there. Also some French. How did you become interested in your ethnic origins? What got me into this was Alex Haley’s Roots. I’ve been doing genealogical research now for 33 years since 1969. It becomes very addictive when you get into it, and you can’t put it down. What else have you learned? The biggest myth out here is that because you are African-American, you cannot get past the slavery era. That’s a bunch of baloney. I tell people who are African-American, you’ve got 16 tribes to get back to in Africa using a paper trail. There are records of your ancestry. They may not be the traditional records that European researchers look into, and they may be owned by the slave owners or the plantation owners, but there are records, believe me. Slave ship records, plantation records, wills, diaries, even agricultural records. You are there somewhere. You just have to find it. It can be done. What do you like most about living in America? Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. I tell young people, go visit other countries and see what they have and don’t have. And when they come back, they’ll say, “God Bless America.” What is your least favorite thing about living here? We take the word race to a whole new level. If we take our time and look at each one of our backgrounds, you’ll find a little bit of all of us in each other. My dad used to say we all have a little mutt in us. What will be on your Thanksgiving table? A smoked turkey and oyster dressing. What could others learn from your research? I have eight greatgrandparents. Half of them were slaves and the other half were not slaves. Everyone of African descent was not necessarily a slave. Most on my mom’s side were free people of color. Everyone wasn’t a slave in the beginning.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 61


Nhi “Vivian” Tran Age: 38 Work/School: Owner, Friendly Nails salon. Family: Husband, two children. Mother and sister live nearby. Which country did you come from? I original from Vietnam. The town is called Da Nang. I went to university there. When I came here, hard from beginning. I have to make money right away. I want independence right away. Don’t want to lean on somebody to take care of me. I was 23 when I came here. I did not know any word of English. I start from scratch. Why did you come here? My dad left Vietnam after the war ended in 1975. His family paid a fisherman to let him hide in his boat, and they went out to the sea in the middle of the night. When he was at sea, his boat was attacked by pirates and then was hit by hurricane. No food, no water. When it rain, they open mouth to get water. One man die. Chinese fisherman help them get back on course to Hong Kong. My dad was there one year in refugee camp and then was transport to Seattle to join up his brother and sister who already left the country before him. He went to school and got a good job and became a U.S. citizen. Soon after that, he apply to sponsor me to U.S. My mom did not think we would be united. But now my mom and my sister here. My dad still in Seattle. He with a good company, Boeing. He almost retired so he no want to move. Why did you come to Greensboro? There was a friend of mine who lived here so I flew here to visit. Beautiful town, beautiful weather, not too far from the beach, not too far from mountains, nice quiet town. Did you have a salon before? I had a salon in Seattle, but when I come here I have to sell that. You see a lot of Vietnamese people do this job, very popular, because my country is tropical. A lot of beaches in my country, so a lot of people go barefoot, wear flip flop. Women do manicure-pedicure to show off their feet. What’s your favorite thing about living here? Freedom and the opportunity to make a better life for me and my family. I tell my girls, you can do anything if you are willing to work hard in this country. What’s your least favorite thing about living here? Get up on time! Get the kids to school on time! Get to work on time! Even go to church on time! Clocks are nowhere as important in Vietnam. What are you most thankful for? I am most thankful for having a wonderful family and many close friends. What will be on your table this Thanksgiving? Our family has two times a year to eat American tradition food like you do — Thanksgiving and Christmas. Eat turkey and ham. My children were born here. Of course, I want to keep our (Vietnamese) culture, but I cannot shelter. I have to teach them to be good American people.

. 62 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Utkarsh Pansuriya

What are you thankful for? That the government here helps poor people. And in this economy, we are very lucky we both have jobs.

Age: 32

What will be on your Thanksgiving table? Chapati [flatbread] with red curry and vegetables for the first course; rice and dhal [lentils] for the second course; and fruit salad for dessert.

Work/School: I work from home as a software consultant with Canadianbased CGI and am an advanced ESOL student at Guilford Tech. Where did your family originally come from? I was born in Ahmedabad, which is in the state of Gujarat in Western India and earned my degree there from L.D. College of Engineering.

What do you miss most about India? Festivals. There are so many celebrations. I like the kite-flying festival on January 14. Everybody goes to their terrace and flies a kite. And our families. In India, we have eight family members living in one small house, but here we have a big house and just the two of us.

How did you come to the United States? My wife came to UNCG from Boston as a lecturer and since I work from home, I moved with her. We like it here. I don’t like the cold [in Boston] so much. I worked in India in Bombay writing accounting software programs for three years.

What would you change about the United States if you could? We both miss our families, and my father is 70 years old and retired. Last month we applied for my parents’ visa, and they were denied. The United States should make getting tourist visas easier.

Why did you come to the United States? I came five years back, around 2006, honestly to get a better life financially.

What do you wish Americans understood about you or your country? Sometimes I can see racism. People make unfair assumption about you.

Family: I live with my wife, who is a lecturer in nutrition science at UNCG.

What do you like most about the U.S.? People are more honest here. They say “yes” or “no” without thinking too much about it. And they have a good work ethic. Businesses are also customer friendly. If you buy something and you don’t like it, you can just take it back. What do you like the least? We are both vegetarian and we have a hard time finding vegetarian food in restaurants.

What could America learn from India? To eat healthier food. I go to restaurants and people are always drinking soda, soda, soda.

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Mohamed Hussein Age: 44 Family: Lives with three other Sudanese refugees. His two teenage sons live in Sudan. Work/School: Student and volunteer interpreter at New Arrivals Institute, Greensboro. Looking for a full-time job. How did you come to the United States: I am from Sudan. In 2003, in my region, Darfur, we have problem. My tribe, we are against the government. They are Islamic government. My tribe, we are Islamic, but we have freedom. If you believe, OK. If you didn’t believe, OK. The government imprison me. I get sick. From the hospital, I escape to Libya. My mom, my sister, my wife — some people shoot them in the street after I leave. I stay in Libya five years. I work as accountant. When the crisis happened in Libya one year ago, I am not able to reach my house. I have one dollar in my pocket. I lost my cell. I am stabbed in hip. The Libyans, they didn’t like black people. I go to the hospital. They said, “Thank your God that you are alive. Go!” I go to Tunisia on bus. I go to U.N.H.C.R. [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] and talk to them. I stay in the camp for one year, three months. I teach my people the English language, and I work to help refugees forget their sadness. I am grateful that in just one year I find myself in America. How did that happened? (chuckles) Miracle. What kind of job are you looking for? Any kind of job, just to save my face. My sons, they are not in school, because in Sudan if you cannot pay, you cannot enter the school. Sometimes I am ashamed to talk to them. What’s the best thing about being here? There is freedom. You can build yourself. You can study. I want to graduate with accounting or computer. I study two years in university in Sudan. How are you living? I get assistance from the state, each month. From that money, I will pay my food, $42. I will send to my sons $50. Sometimes I will buy calling card to talk to them. With the rest of the money I will buy what I need: soap, shampoo. Will you celebrate Thanksgiving? I think so. In our class every Friday, we have food. Every student bring food. We share. Thank God it’s Friday! What are you most thankful for? I get friends here. I get neighbors. I get my freedom. I will not fear. Tell us about your art: I write. Sometimes letters. Sometimes loving stories. Sometimes a children’s story just to give them light, you know? I draw nature. When I was in camp, I make Africa map from empty water bottles close to my tent. Inside the map, I put seeds. Carrot, onion. I write three words to grow. Peace. Love. Hope.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Ann Cope Mueller Age: 58 Job/Work: Area manager, telecommunications & IT hardware supply chains, U.S. Postal Service; regent, Guilford Battle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Family: Husband, Steve. Two adult children. What’s your family’s background? My mother’s family has lived in North Carolina for ten generations. They came from England. The ones that came to North Carolina were George Durant and Ann Marwood. George filed the first recorded land deed in North Carolina. It was near Edenton in 1660. George, being a mariner, was gone quite often. Ann ran an inn, sewed, raised nine children and served as an undertaker. In 1673, she argued before the state court on behalf of a sailor who had some sort of pay dispute, so she became the first woman attorney in the state. What about your father’s side? His ancestors also primarily came from England or Scotland and landed on the East Coast about the same time. What can longstanding American families learn from recent immigrants? We take so much for granted. Every year, the DAR does a reception at the immigration and naturalization ceremony. Last year there were 47 people being naturalized from 28 different countries, and they all expressed such enthusiasm and such joy at being here. What could recent arrivals learn from families like yours? Every family has experienced difficulty in getting here. What’s the best thing about knowing your family history? Finding all of the coincidences and similarities. I’m a career postal service executive, and I’ve had ancestors who were postmasters. What’s the worst thing about knowing your family history? You learn about their struggles and their heartbreaks. My second great-grandmother, she and her sister married two men from eastern North Carolina, so they moved down from Norfolk, Virginia. The rest of their family decided to move to Memphis, Tennessee, and within three or four years they had all died. There were outbreaks of cholera and yellow fever. Do you take heart from knowing that your ancestors faced severe hardships and survived? Yes. And that’s true of everybody walking the streets. Everybody is here because someone before them survived and had children. Out of all of the women on the Mayflower, only ten survived the first year in this country, and I’m descended from two of them. This is what I tell my daughter and her cousins: You guys are descended from some pretty tough stock. What are you most thankful for? The opportunity to see my children grow up safely and realize their dreams. What will be on your table this Thanksgiving? Our Thanksgiving isn’t complete without Granny’s watermelon rind pickles.

. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

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H’dera Nay Age: 29 Residence: Kernersville. Lives with husband and 1-year-old daughter. Work/School: Part-time AmeriCorps worker for the Center for New North Carolinians in Greensboro.

about three years — when I am driving my own car. That’s when I start feeling like maybe I can make my life here. You attended college? I went to Central Piedmont Community College. I graduated there with associate degree in science. Then I got married and moved here. When I came here, I thought I’d go to UNCG, study nutrition. Unfortunately, it’s not working out. I went before my daughter was born. I had to withdraw, I was so sick with her. I tried to go back this fall, and I could not find babysitter. So I have to be patient, see God’s will. Now, I might want to change [my major]. I’m more into ministry.

What is your background? I’m Montagnard, born in the jungles of Cambodia. When I was 6 years old, we were captured by Viet Cong soldiers, me, my mom and my sisters. My dad was out hunting. My mom was seven months pregnant. They brought us home to our village. We had to go through interrogation. I remember being in a cell. It was very dark, smell nasty. Then my mom give birth. They didn’t want my mom to deliver baby in a cell, so she under house arrest.

Do you keep anything to remind you of Montagnard culture? I have this long house, like a model. It’s above the fireplace. My dad made it. Years ago, we had a long house where we lived with family.

How did you get to the United States? My dad came to U.S. first. He came to Charlotte in 1992. A year or two later, he tried to sponsor us. For almost ten years, the papers never reached my mom. One time, he sent papers to his friend, and his friend got it. We came here in 1999. I was 16.

What will be on your table this Thanksgiving? We just can’t keep it pure American, like turkey and potatoes! We add rice, of course, and we would have eggplant and peppers.

Did you speak English? No, not even a word. It was very hard my first day of school. It was like I’m in another world. I feel like I don’t belong here. When did you start to feel you could make it? God is great. He answered my prayer. I had ESL classes and the teacher work with me. It take

What’s the best thing about living here? Not worrying that someone will get you when you say stuff that offends the government.

What are you most thankful for? I’m thankful for the environment I’m living in, the family I have, the health I have. It makes my life more meaningful. I have hope for the future.

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Birendra Chhetri Age: 25 Work/school: I am preparing for my college studies. Family: I live with my parents and sister, who’s 18. Where did your family originally come from? Generations ago, the Bhutanese government brought my ancestors from Nepal to Bhutan. The village we lived in was Bara in the south of Bhutan. Why did you come to the United States? In the late ’80s, the government started bringing in strict rules and regulations, like not wearing Nepalese dress or speaking our language. My father was in college, and the army was coming to our house and inquiring about my father. There was always a fear because every day someone was being killed or raped, or taken to prison, or a house would be burned. For the last 20 years we were staying in Nepal in a refugee camp. Living in a refugee camp, you cannot plan for the future. You have no country, no identity besides just being a refugee. It’s pathetic. How did you come to the United States? We started to apply for resettlement in 2010 when I was 23. We came to the U.S. on January 11, 2012. What do you like most about the U.S.? I’m happy and I’m free and I can work, which I couldn’t in the camp. I can have my own dream here for a better tomorrow. What do you like the least? Getting adjusted to a new environment and way of life is difficult. What are you thankful for? I’m thankful to the U.S. government for deciding to resettle thousands of refugees to the U.S. of A. In the camp we had a thatched roof and bamboo walls and when it rained it leaked a lot, and in the summer it was hot. What will be on your Thanksgiving table? Every day is Thanksgiving Day here for us. We’ll have a common Nepalese dish: rice, mutton, potatoes and curry as usual. What do you miss? No matter how much you have or how much freedom or opportunities you are provided, at the end of the day when you were born in one country and brought up in another, you miss your homeland. What do you wish Americans understood about you or your country? Until you stay in a refugee camp and experience the horrific lifestyle and the pain, you cannot understand what it is to be a refugee. What do you think the future holds for you? I’m hoping to attend college and afterward studying law if that works out. I hope to become a U.S. citizen. That will give me an identity. Then I can say I am a citizen of a country, something I couldn’t do for years and years.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

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Alicia Wilfrida Orellana Age: 59 Job/school: I own my own company, Service Gold Cleaning. Family: I live with my husband, two daughters, 12 and 15, and my mother. She’s been here 20 years. I sponsored her. I promised her I would take care of her all my life and I do. I have a son, 35, who lives in Puerto Rico. My two girls, I adopted. They needed someone to take care of them and I wanted to help them. I do what my heart said. Where did your family originally come from? San Jose Potrerillos, El Salvador. Why did you come to the United States? Where I was born, there were no roads, no lights, no water. My parents worked in the dirt. I came here because I wanted to help my family have a better life. How did you come to the United States? I came by myself from El Salvador to Mexico by bus. Then, I paid $200 to get across the border from Tijuana to L.A. At that time it was easy. I find a job [in L.A.] to sell door-to-door coupons for [Hispanic] people to get [family] portraits. I made only a little money. Whatever they gave me I was so happy. What do you like most about the United States? I love the opportunities this country gives you to grow. I went to Miami High School and learned English, and I went to school to learn to become a beautician, and then I studied nursing, while working nights in a printing plant. And then I became a nurse’s assistant. In 1990, I became an American citizen. I wanted to vote. This is my country. What do you like least about the United States? I like everything, but I miss fresh coconuts. How did you come to be a business owner? In 1992, July, my husband and I moved to Greensboro, and I divorced him. I went to GTCC [Guilford Technical Community College] to learn English, and there I met a friend who was cleaning houses. She asked, can I help her, and I liked it. I was doing a good job and people liked it. To me, I am not a maid. I perform a service. Would you change anything about the United States? Many people come here to work and grow. I think we should be more helpful and accepting of them. What are you thankful for? I’m thankful I have a better life and a family and a good living here. What will be on your Thanksgiving table? Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad. No coconut.

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By the Numbers: A modest proposal: Because a cruise down High Point Road feels more like a trip around the world, with all of its ethnic markets, restaurants and diverse neighborhoods hugging its edges, let’s rename the street Multinational Boulevard to recognize and celebrate our city’s robust international population. One hundred twenty languages can now be heard inside Guilford County. Children from one hundred forty countries attend our schools. The six most commonly spoken languages among school children, in descending order, are English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Jarai (Montagnard) and Urdu, which is related to Hindi and spoken in Pakistan and India. All of that comes from UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians. The Center, established in 2001 to build cultural bridges from existing communities throughout the state to new immigrant populations (cnnc. uncg.edu), has been keeping statistics on the county’s immigrant population for more than a decade. Through the center, we know that about 60,000 recent arrivals have landed in Guilford County in the 21st century, with the lion’s share coming Mexico, Central America and South America. The numbers are merely estimates, since neither the U.S. Census Bureau nor anyone else maintains a breakdown of immigrant communities by country of origin. The numbers may be best guesses, but they reveal a growing segment that makes our community one of the most diverse and multinational in the state

. Guilford County’s most prominent immigrant communities by country of origin Mexican . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,000 Central and South America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,000 Montagnard population from Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,000 Sudan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,500 Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,000 Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,000 Korea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,000

Pick up your copy of

at Greensboro & High Point Harris Teeter Stores, and from our blue boxes at the following distribution points: Café Europa/Cultural Arts Cent. — 200 N. Davie St. Junior League Bargain Box — Friendly & Elm Natty Greene’s — 345 S. Elm St. Across from the Carolina Theatre — 315 S. Greene St. Triad Stage — 232 S. Elm St. Across from Civil Rights Museum — 134 S. Elm St. Smith Street Diner — 438 Battleground Ave. Corner of Elm & Bellemeade UPS/FED EX — 102 N. Elm St. Guilford County Courthouse — 201 S. Eugene St. Old Town Draught House —1205 Spring Garden St. Fish Bones — 2119 Walker Ave. J’s Deli — 4925 W. Market St. NC Farmers Market (Colfax) — 2914 Sandy Ridge Rd. Lox Stock & Bagel — 2439 Battleground Ave. Mark Holder Jeweller — 211 State St. Sister’s Jewelry — 330 Tate St. US Post Office — 4615 High Point Rd. Greensboro College Admin. Office — 815 W. Market St.

Former Yugoslavia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,000 India. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,000 Laos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,000 Pakistan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,000 Palestine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,000 Liberia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800 Sierra Leone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 700 Cambodia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .600 Niger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500 Ghana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500

For a complete list of distribution points, please visit our website at www.ohenrymag.com and click on the “Where’s O.Henry” tab.

Source: UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 69


Lost Vegas Fiction by Fred Chappell

It

was a sunny March day of breezes headstrong and rebellious when Mary Ellen requested that her parents buy her a horse. They replied that they would do so on two conditions: She must bring home all A’s on her ninth-grade report card and she must name the horse Lost Vegas to remind her parents never again to bound rashly off the narrow path of prudence like beagles pursuing the elusive Bunny of Joy. Mary Ellen promised to fulfill her part of the bargain, but she was uncertain her parents would keep theirs. She had not found them to be entirely reliable in business matters. The Ackermans were not yet poor, but they stood pretty close to the brink of that miserable ravine and it would be difficult for them to afford a horse, even one called Lost Vegas. Upkeep would be a tricky problem. The family had recently relocated into a housing development, familiarly called Diaper Hill, in Oakdale, a town of forty thousand dazed souls in the North Carolina Piedmont. Here there was hardly room on the common grounds for even a large dog, with so many children about, running, skipping, hopscotching, and fighting with knives. So Mary Ellen resorted to legalism and drew up contracts and made sure that both parents signed the papers. “I, Eric Ackerman, do solemnly promise Mary Ellen Ackerman that when she reports all A’s, I will buy her a horse to be named Lost Vegas.” And a separate document: “I, Laura Williams Ackerman, do solemnly promise . . .” When these pages were completed to her satisfaction, Mary Ellen initialed them and slid them into a cardboard folder, announcing that she would keep them in her possession to make sure they did not get lost or destroyed. “Oh, Mary Ellen,” said her mother, “don’t you think you can trust us?” “It pays to be careful. You told me so.” “We’ve tried to do our best by you.” “Not always. Anyway, you don’t think it matters because you don’t believe I will make the grades.” “We’ll be very proud if you do,” her father said. “We know you’re capable and only need to apply yourself.” “But you don’t really believe.” “Let’s wait and see,” he said. “Mostly you have brought home C’s and B’s. But maybe now you have an incentive.” “I do,” she said.

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Illustration by Harry Blair


Actually, the Bs were not numerous, shining as lonely on her report card as fireflies in a fog of C’s. It was the old, old story. Mary Ellen was bright, school dull. It had sometimes seemed to her parents that she felt she would demean herself if she stooped to gather A’s. Mary Ellen’s motives were not always easily discernible, but it was clear that she did not hold herself in low esteem. “Someone has to take hold of things around here,” she said, carefully not looking at her parents.

g Yet it was only the subject called Language Skills that defeated her. It depressed her so heavily that her other work was affected and she began to feel indifference toward school creep over her like kudzu over a stately pine. She was good at math and geography and even history; her occasional B’s lit upon those subjects lightly and lazily. What was the point, though, of language skills? She spoke English fluently; rarely was she misapprehended. In fact, she was so plainly spoken that some listeners pretended not to understand. Her Aunt Penny misquoted her on purpose merely out of prissiness when she said that Mary Ellen had called her cousin Tommy a hula-hoop. She actually had said that her cousin the bully was “full of poop.” Aunt Penny lacked proper courage. So she applied or demeaned herself and followed dutifully through the routines, sometimes gnashing her tusks. When the exercise book required her to fill out the phrase “as quiet as a _____,” she forced herself to pencil in the rodent. Mouse, oh donkey flop, she thought. Mice make noises, squeaking and skittering. But she stopped herself from naming that much less audible creature — as quiet as a louse — and set down the expected cliché. Well, maybe it was not so bad a bargain, to trade a mouse for a horse. The larger problems offered more troublesome obstacles. Where was she to keep Lost Vegas once the animal came into her possession? Nowhere on Diaper Hill. Cats visited the site at peril of their many lives; the dogs that survived had to be even more savage than the teenagers that tormented them. A horse would have to be equipped with a grenade launcher to achieve personal security. She had a friend, Merla, at Eastland Middle School, who claimed an uncle who lived on a farm. This farm might actually exist, Mary Ellen thought, because Merla had purveyed the information incidentally while talking about something else. If Mary Ellen had asked and Merla had described her uncle and his acres, they probably would not exist. Mary Ellen trusted people completely; she never expected them to tell anything but the complete and unadulterated falsehood. This attitude made her life both less and more complicated than otherwise. When she asked Merla if her Uncle Haskin would allow Lost Vegas to stable on his farm, Merla lied and said No. She did not say, as a truthful person would, “You don’t own a horse and you never will.” Merla was not a truth-purveyor, so her uncle might allow the stabling. She differed from Mary Ellen in other respects as well. Mary Ellen was red-haired with curls as tight as the weave of a Brillo pad; freckles dotted her nose and the back of her neck; she had the habit of looking directly into the eyes, even when talking to the most scowlish of teachers. Merla was a slight, dark-complexioned girl with ferret-like facial features. Her movements were quick and nervous and she avoided the direct gaze. She mumbled her secrets — such as they were — to the ground beneath her ratty sneakers.

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When Mary Ellen remarked that one day she would own a horse and was concerned about where to keep it, Merla muttered to the gravel of the school playground that her Uncle Haskin lived on a farm. “Big enough for a horse?” Mary Ellen asked. Merla gave her a shy, surprised glance. “Real big. Big enough for an elephant.” She studied the gravel again. Mary Ellen did not ask if her Uncle Haskin owned an elephant because Merla would say Yes he does and she would reply that she didn’t believe her and then Merla would fall grumpily silent. So she only asked where the farm was located and was gratified to learn that it was not far away. Merla’s family visited sometimes on weekends and ate tomatoes from the garden. Mary Ellen credited the existence of the tomatoes because they were utterly irrelevant. “When I get my horse, will your uncle let me keep it on his place?” “No. It might get loose and eat the rhubarb.” “I promise not to let it get loose and I don’t think it would like rhubarb,” Mary Ellen said. Merla considered the point, then nodded gravely and another bargain had been struck. So far, her plans were working out neatly. In Language Skills she continued to apply herself, writing in her exercise book the words cotton and thunder instead of “as soft as maple syrup” and “as loud as a rent party.” There were lots of rent parties on Diaper Hill. Sometimes they woke her up late at night with loud music and police sirens.

g And then the fateful day arrived and Mary Ellen marched into the living room where her father sat on the sofa before the television set, studying the want ads in last Tuesday’s Oakdale Clarion. He was unshaven and his plaid shirt was open over an unclean T-shirt. “Here,” she said. She thrust her report card at his nose. “All A’s.” “That’s wonderful,” he said. He opened the card slowly and read the letters off. “All A’s,” he said. “Wonderful.” Then he called out, “Laura, honey, come and see.” Her mother entered and agreed with her husband. “Wonderful. We’re proud of you.” She was wearing a pink apron that was supposed to read Kiss The Cook across the chest. But a dark, mysterious stain blotted out the C. Kiss the ook. “Now I get to have Lost Vegas,” Mary Ellen said. Her parents looked at each other with soulful, sorrowful expressions. Her father shook his head. Her mother said, “Honey, this is not a good time for a horse. Where would you put it?” “On Merla’s uncle’s farm. It’s not far.” “Have you talked to this farmer?” “Merla said he would let me keep him there, so he will.” “Mary Ellen,” her father said, “we always knew you were really smart and just needed to apply yourself. You’ve made us very proud.” “Lost Vegas,” Mary Ellen replied. “Things are real tight just now. We don’t have much money.” “I know all about that,” she said. “I was there.” She had been with her parents in Las Vegas. She had stretched out on

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a big olive-green towel by the hotel pool, reading A Wizard of Earthsea and watching showgirls tone their tans while her father played poker in the casino with men in cowboy hats who knew how to play the game and her mother fed slot machines until she collapsed and had to be returned to their room in a wheelchair. “Yes,” said her father, “that was a dumb thing for us to do. Really dumb. But it is in the past and we have to move forward. We’re trying to get back on our feet.” “You will have to try harder. We made a deal.” “How can we try harder?” “For one thing, you could look for a job in today’s newspaper. It would be more up-to-date.” To her mother she said, “And you could start by washing your apron.” “It sounds like somebody is getting a little too big for their britches,” her father said. “Somebody has to,” Mary Ellen said. “Somebody has to take hold.” “All right,” he said, “I will go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a newspaper. The walk will do me good. The air is getting kind of bossy in here.” “I kept my part of the bargain.” “Yes, you did. Yes. I’ll be back in a little while.” He went to the closet and got his tan windbreaker and slipped it on. Her mother was silent. Her eyes had filled with tears and she could not speak. She walked toward the bathroom, untying her apron as she went.

g Three hours passed before her father returned, perhaps not one hundred per cent sober, to announce: “I have a job. It’s not much and it certainly doesn’t pay very well, but at least it’s a job. I will be clerking at the bookstore.” “Oh honey!” said his wife. “What happened?” “They had sold all their local papers,” he said, “so I asked if they had any left from yesterday since I only wanted to look at the want ads. So the man I was talking to, Bert Sellers, asked if I was looking for a position and I said Yes. One of the employees had walked off the job hardly twenty minutes before. He was a poet, Bert told me, and unpacking innumerable cartons of James Patterson novels had brought on clinical depression. He said he was running away to join the circus.” “That’s a good idea,” Mary Ellen said. “The circus has lots of horses.” “As I say, it doesn’t pay well, but it’s a start and there’s a possibility I could move up to a management position.” He named a salary figure that seemed an immense fortune to Mary Ellen, but she could see that her mother’s expression was less than joyful. “I’ll make a light supper,” Laura said. “We have some meatloaf left over and some fish sticks.” “That sounds tasty,” he said, “but first I want to take a shower and freshen up. This is a new start.” “Tomorrow morning would be better,” she said. “I am soaking my apron in the bathtub.” “That is a good idea,” Mary Ellen said. “That means I’ll have to get up pretty early,” he said. Then he smiled. “But I can handle that.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

g Her mother whispered when she set out breakfast for Mary Ellen. “Your father is still asleep,” she said, “but he’ll be up soon. He has to work long hours now and we won’t have dinner till about seven. I’ll fix a snack for you for after school.” She saw Mary Ellen gazing upon her apron. Kiss the ook. “This stain just won’t come out,” she said. “I don’t know what it is.” “Pour a powerful acid on it,” Mary Ellen said. “A bleach, you mean? I’m afraid I’ll spoil it. Your Aunt Penny gave me this apron. She might have meant it as a joke. Sometimes I don’t understand my own sister.” “I bet she got it at a yard sale.” “Yes, I expect so. Isn’t she clever, your Aunt Penny? Go on and eat your eggs. You don’t want to be late for school, now that you’re doing so well.” “I’m never late,” Mary Ellen said, “but I hate school. As quiet as a mouse. It ought to be as quiet as a guitar locked in a bank vault with the strings off.” “I don’t understand.” “That’s okay. I’ll get my book bag.” “Yes,” her mother said. “Don’t forget your book bag.”

g The following Saturday her father received the first paycheck. On Monday her mother carried it to the bank and changed it to cash. After dinner that evening, they asked Mary Ellen to follow them into the living room. On the coffee table lay a large brown envelope with two words printed emphatically in black magic marker: LOST VEGAS. “Now watch this,” her father said. From a business envelope filled with money he withdrew a five-dollar bill and slipped it into the Vegas envelope where it failed to add significant bulk. “We’ll do this every week without exception,” he said, “and one of these days there will be enough money in this packet to buy the horse.” “Five dollars? It will take a thousand years.” “It adds up. Little by little.” “Ten thousand years.” “It may be that you will change your mind and decide to do something else with the money,” her mother said. “What else?” “Maybe you’ll decide you want to go to college.” “More school? As cool as a cucumber? It should be, As cool as an ice cream parlor.” “What are you talking about?” her father said. “I’ve made up my mind what to do,” she said. “And what is that?” he asked. She did not answer because if she unveiled her plan it would not work. She was going to take hold of things, making sure that her father got to work on time and got a raise for good salesmanship and that her mother learned to cook vegetables and wash clothes and that Cousin Tommy and Aunt Penny never visited again. It would take a lot of doing and she might have to resort to violence to make it all happen. If they didn’t like that, too bad. They could just kiss her ook, every last one of them. OH

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For the Supple family, this colonial cottage The Art & Soul of Greensboro in old Irving Park is home sweet home.


Story of a House

Modern Family Meet the Supples, whose cottage on the hill is the perfect backdrop for their busy lives By Ashley Wahl Photographs by Stacey Van Berkel

O

nce upon a time, there was a charming colonial cottage perched on the summit of a gently sloping lot in old Irving Park. The house was of storybook caliber. It had a cross-gabled roofline, a sweeping bay window with window boxes, and evergreen vines that made the front porch look like a garden arbor. If Hansel and Gretel were to see the whitewashed brick exterior, they might suspect the house was made of sugar, grab hands and race up the meandering walkway together. One day, one of the towheaded children who lived in the cottage on the hill ordered a snowmaking machine from eBay and transformed the front lawn into a suburban ski slope, which remained frozen for days. The neighborhood kids remember the occasion fondly. And they still talk about the gnarly half-pipe that Grandpa Supple built ’round back. Christina Supple, who goes by Chris, has many more stories like this, most of which cause her to laugh, or to miss her free-spirited son, who is now in his freshman year of college in Boulder, Colorado. And while she and husband, Kevin, may have found a storybook love, for the past ten years, their children have helped them spin a modern-day narrative for which their house on the hill has proved to be the perfect setting. “We’ve had a lot of history here,” says Chris, filling a porcelain dog bowl with tap water before a flood of memories pour forth. This story starts in 2002. Kyle, age 8, and Kelsey, 6, were growing like crabgrass, so Chris and Kevin began looking for a house that could evolve with the family. What about this one? An open floor plan that reminded Chris of her grandparents’ home in Montclair, New Jersey, plus four bedrooms — three upstairs? Yes, please. It was not too big, nor was it too small. For a family of four, it was just right. Chris was smitten with the charming idiosyncrasies of a house constructed in 1926 — the ample built-in shelving, antique glass door

Chris Supple is drawn to subtle, sophisticated décor. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Green walls and throw pillows make a bold statement in the living room. But Chris’ favorite features are the sliding pocket doors. Guess what the dogs like best?

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


knobs and glass-paneled pocket doors. Still, renovations were in order. And right away. They finished the basement, added a mudroom and restored the garage — most recently a rumpus room for the previous owners’ teenage son — back to its original purpose. Not long after they moved in, Kelsey, then 6, thought the family needed a puppy. Mom and Dad caved post-renovations, and when Chris was out shopping for a new dog bed for their rat terrier, Penny, she wound up putting a nonrefundable deposit down on doggie number two. “I just fell in love with her,” Chris says of Ellie, the Italian greyhound now cozying up against Penny, not in a dog bed, but on the family room sofa. “I called Kevin from the pet store and asked him if he’d like to come see her, then had to tell him what I’d already done.” And so the family grew. Changes ensued. The little pedestal sink in the upstairs bathroom, for instance, was impractical when the kids suddenly became teenagers. Enter and find a modern vanity with cabinet space, plus a shower curtain teeming with SAT words. Chris is shy about taking credit for the showroom quality of the home’s interior. “That was Leslie,” Chris says of the gallery-like display of antique bird egg prints in the foyer. “Leslie,” she says of the crystal-embellished chandeliers found from room to room throughout the house. “Definitely Leslie,” she says of the turquoise sectional in the tiny sitting room adjacent to the first-floor guestroom. Although Chris’ former home was done in white and gray, she knew when she moved here that she was ready for color — and needed some help. “But nothing crazy,” Chris told interior decorator Leslie Moore. “I need subtle and sophisticated.” “The living room wasn’t the right shade of green,” says Leslie of the paint chosen by the home’s former owners. So she picked a key lime green to replace it, chose a muted version of the hue for the dining room, and a lucent yellow for the family room and kitchen to complement the maple-stained cabinetry. “It’s a soft transition,” says Leslie, which is critical for the open floor plan. Leslie has been working with the Supples for years, long enough to see the basement evolve from Play-Doh central to an Xbox gamer’s dream. A leak inspired a His & Her bathroom renovation in the master suite. “I highly recommend it,” says the lady of the house. The His & Her office, in the sunroom, is next on the agenda. Antique furniture fits the era of the house, although Chris admits that the interior is still a work in progress. For instance, she’s not particularly attached to the accent tables . . . or the dinette. Ditto the wing chairs and the patterned throw pillows that match her key lime walls. “I love it all,” she says, “but those things are replaceable.”

This house has good flow. Interior decorator Leslie Moore helped Chris create a soft transition from room to room. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Master bedroom with his & her bathrooms is an absolute dream.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A statuette in the living room, however, she couldn’t do without. The male gymnast is a small-scale replica of a bronze statue created for the 1996 Olympic Games, which were held in Atlanta. “Kevin was an All-American gymnast at UC Davis,” says Chris of her husband, who now reserves round-offs for party tricks. In fact, says Chris, Kevin’s experience as a gymnast is what caused the California boy to pursue a career in medicine in the first place, and inevitably played a role in his being asked to work with the U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in Atlanta. Kevin left the West Coast to fulfill his orthopedic surgery residency in Miami, where Chris was a practicing attorney. “We were set up on a blind date and engaged three months later,” Chris says. “When you know, you know.” When Chris became pregnant with Kyle, they packed up their beach cruisers and headed for Greensboro. “Around here, kids sell lemonade out on the street corner,” says Chris. “This seemed like the perfect place to raise our future children.” Indeed it was. From the time they were old enough to make lemonade, the kids have walked themselves over to the neighborhood pool, where Kelsey, a certified rescue diver, now spends summers as a lifeguard. Kyle toured the neighborhood by skateboard until he was old enough to drive. Their rooms, filled with mementos from Switzerland, where each child had the opportunity to study abroad for one semester, have evolved as dramatically as the basement. Don’t let the glamorous high-gloss pink ceiling fool you. Kelsey’s no girlie girl. A collection of plaques and trophies reveal the junior is a soccer star at nearby Greensboro Day School. Peek into the storage bay adjacent to the garage — former site of the legendary half-pipe — and discover that the Supples spend their spare time mountain biking. Minus Chris. “I prefer my beach cruiser,” she says. And weightlifting at the gym. Or watching Kelsey play soccer. “The children next door sometimes remind me of my kids when they were little,” says Chris. Nostalgia kicks in. But the nest’s not empty yet. “This house has evolved with the family,” she says. “We’ll see how it continues to evolve when the kids are gone.” OH

Left: Although her bedroom was decorated years ago, Kelsey’s high-gloss pink ceiling never gets old. Right: For the kids, a blue and turquoise sitting room is second only to the basement as the coolest hangout ever. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Growing Sprouts As the pioneering School Garden Network expands, Greensboro’s school children discover the joy — and value — of growing good food With okra on the left and an herb teepee to the back right, Cynthia Nielsen, stands in the magnificent garden at Peeler Open School

he K-1 class at Peeler Open School sits on the sidewalk attentively listening to their teacher explain about tools. “Does anyone remember what we call this?” asks Mr. M.J. “A trouser?” says one. “Not a trouser. That’s something else and I’ll tell you that in a minute.” He gives them a hint. “It starts with a C. C-C-C . . . I’m going to keep saying the sounds.” “Claw?” “Looks like a claw, yes. C-C-Cultivator. Say it after me. Cul-ti-va-tor. It’s a mini rake. And we use it to loosen up the soil.” “It looks like bear fingers,” adds a little girl with pigtails and snaggle teeth. “Yes. Everyone make a bear paw with three fingers. Count ’em with me, one, two, three.” The class continues with each child getting a cultivator or trouser (Oops! trowel) to dig up the sweet potato crop. There are plenty of other things to unearth and much lively discussion about important topics like worm poop. By no means are the first-grade veterans grossed out, and one even remembers that worm poop makes compost. Such are the lessons of gardening. On to the second part of the class, which is the planting of the fall lettuce crop. Martinek-Jenne, aka Mr. M.J., has written a song to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.” The kids make up hand gestures to accompany the words: Dig a hole Plant a seed Cover it with so-yul.

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Sprinkle water Watch it grow from seed to plant Enjoy it!

gh

More and more Guilford County students are developing a fascination with gardening, says Karen Neill, Guilford County Cooperative Extension Service’s horticulture agent. Neill has seen the number of public school gardening programs grow almost ten-fold in the last three years — from four to thirty-five. “We were getting in the spring five calls a week from schools wanting us to come out and look at their sites and talk with their teachers,” says Neill. In fact, there is so much enthusiasm for food gardening here in Greensboro that educational initiatives have been springing up everywhere. It got so crazy that Neill and a few enthusiastic parents and educators got together a few years ago and formed the School Garden Network just to keep track of them all and provide an umbrella organization. They also built a remarkable website chockfull of useful information about food gardening and preparation and how to teach kids. It includes a section with lesson plans for teachers K through 8, an events calendar, a blog site, and a page about the benefits of school gardening. The most important page tells how to start your own school garden and gives seven clearly defined steps. The Resources page lists twenty-two programs in Guilford County having to do with youth-related gardening, including such diverse organizations as National Geographic and Edible Schoolyard. And, yes, it’s the Children’s Museum’s Edible Schoolyard that’s been getting all the publicity, not that it’s undeserved.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CASSIE BUTLER

T by lee rogers


Greensboro’s is one of seven programs nationwide accredited by Alice Waters, founder of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, who has championed local, organic farms for over four decades. Waters is predicting a revolution — the Delicious Revolution. “When children are engaged in the growing, harvesting and preparing of food,” she proclaims, “they are far more likely to eat it.” But getting students to eat what they grow is sometimes a huge challenge. Some schools, like Peeler, have the luxury of kitchen classrooms, but they are few and far between. And a school lunch curriculum! How many of us recall the sheer tedium of middle school home ec back in the day when girls took that class while boys took shop? Probably we learned how to make brownies or something unhealthy like that. Nowadays, surely you would learn how to roast root vegetables with a little fresh rosemary and garlic, drizzled with extra virgin first cold-pressed olive oil and also why you should eat it instead of, say, mac and cheese from a box. This is obviously the better way, thank you, Mrs. Obama. I certainly didn’t learn that. My family used to say “a green vegetable never passed the lips of Lee Harris.” I sat through many luncheons at my grandmother’s elegant dining table, squirming under her reproachful but loving gaze until I was excused. During my visits, the table always featured copious quantities of fresh Georgia fruits and veggies — sliced tomatoes, lady peas, corn on the cob, okra, squash, etc. Much to my grandmother’s dismay, I would fix myself a cracker sandwich, an invention that consisted of two buttered slices of Pepperidge Farm white bread with saltines in the middle. This is my only contribution to culinary history. Fortunately, my father introduced me to gardening at age 6 or 7. It slowly improved my attitude toward vegetables. I still didn’t like tomatoes but was insanely proud of the first cucumber I grew, which was GINORMOUS and probably tasted like cardboard. I ate it anyway and loved it. Together with a bumper crop of cosmos that were so beautiful they made me swoon, that summer’s garden was a huge success. But what really lured me into gardening were those brightly colored Burpee flower seed packets that we sold to raise money for Oakton Elementary. I never won the giant chocolate Easter bunny, and I fault my mother, Edith, who would never buy more than a couple of packages of zinnias and nasturtiums. Other kids’ families would buy whole boxes of seed packages, sometimes more than one. I just loved those seed packages. I almost didn’t want to sell them. They came in this cunning little pasteboard box kind of like the Herbal Essence tea boxes. And I was allowed to ride my bike all alone around the rural Virginia countryside and knock on people’s doors. One time, I knocked on a door, and it happened to be the home of Mrs. Ruby G. Buser, awesome and ferocious sixth-grade teacher at Oakton Elementary. She turned out to be very nice and even bought some seeds, I think. I was flabbergasted, you know the way you are when you’re a little kid and you see a teacher in an out-of-the-school context and you just can’t believe they really exist elsewhere.

gh Back at Peeler under Carolina blue skies and not a cloud in sight, it’s clear that the children enjoy being outside. But do they really like eating the vegetables? I ask the first-grade veterans at Peeler about the crops they grew last year. Lettuce, one sprout cheerfully volunteered, quick to add she prefers it with ranch dressing. “We grew radishes,” another pipes up. “The white one was too spicy, the

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pink one was just right and the red one was just medium. We ate it plain, but the white one was so spicy I couldn’t ew . . .” And to be truthful, not all vegetables taste delicious. My grandmother’s cook Mariah once remarked about okra, “Mrs. Turpin, I don’t like nothin’ in my mouth I can’t control.” Too true. I have since learned that there are tasty methods of preparing okra, and now I am fond of almost all fresh vegetables. Lindley Elementary is another school that has started a robust gardening program. “The advice is to start small, but we didn’t do that,” says parent volunteer leader Palmer McIntyre. Instead, they jumped right in with sixteen raised beds, four compost bins, a nice wooden shelter for tools and equipment, and an outdoor classroom complete with tree stump seating. At the center of the garden rises a teepee covered with pole beans in summer and sweet peas in spring. It’s surrounded by lush plantings of rosemary, thyme, basil, and one enormous purple amaranth and has a little empty space in the middle where you can crawl inside and rest. Fabulous! All sixteen beds are in some phase of planting or harvesting. The fourthgraders have even made a corn maze in one of them for the kindergarteners. Granted, the L-shaped space is only 4-by-12, but it’s enough for a small person to get lost in. “They squealed with delight,” says McIntyre. “You know kids. They taste things out here they’ve never tasted before and they love it. They are excited,” says McIntyre. “It’s a community garden too. People in the neighborhood are always coming through and they enjoy it.” But she adds, “People are very intimidated by gardening. The teachers who don’t already know how to garden are very intimidated by coming down here. They don’t know what to do. They’re scared they’re going to kill something. I would love to see the teachers take it and run with it.” This is where the School Garden Network can help teachers and administrators understand the value and practical application of a school gardening program. With $15,000 in grant money, they have hired a teacher — Cynthia Nielsen — to go to all the schools and coordinate the network. But, says Neill, “until we can get the city, the county and the school system to support this as a paid position, it’s operating under the auspices of the extension service, and the extension service has been writing the grants for it. The Network welcomes donations to help maintain and expand this valuable program. Even though I’m a recovering cracker-sandwich addict, I constantly urge people to take on food gardening as a hobby. My own vegetable patch is in disarray, not to mention that more and more flowers have crept into the design. And since I ordered 5 million tulip bulbs for my spring display, I fear the space for vegetables will shrink to nothing. Still, I can’t live without my basil and dill farm, and I’m not about to give up my cherry tomatoes, which are truly stupendous. This fall I am planting Brussels sprouts because they resemble alien pod babies on stalks and are totally cool. I might make a table arrangement with them instead of cooking them up! But listen, you youngsters, I promise you that they’re absolutely delicious. Sometimes it takes a while for a seed or a passion to germinate, so I’m in total agreement with Alice Waters’s philosophy of starting the edible education as young as possible. Because unless they have a grandmother to make them feel guilty or a daddy who loves gardening, they may end up stuck on the cracker sandwich for life. OH Lee Rogers, a landscape designer in Greensboro, last wrote about all season wonders for O.Henry magazine. Contact her at lee@leerogersdesign.com.

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Saying Grace

by noah salt

Our father, fill our hearts, we pray With gratitude Thanksgiving Day; For food and raiment Thou dost give, That we in comfort here may live. � — Luther Cross, Thanksgiving Day Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree that stands by itself Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here. Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go. Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you — traditional Pueblo Indian blessing

Dame Vita Speaks

“If it is true that one of the greatest pleasures of gardening lies in looking forward, then the planning of next year’s beds and borders must be one of the most agreeable occupations in the gardener’s calendar. This should make October and November particularly pleasant months, for then we may begin to clear our borders, to cut down those sodden and untidy stalks, to dig up and increase our plants, and to move them to other positions where they will show up to greater effect. People who are not gardeners always say that the bare beds of winter are uninteresting; gardeners know better, and take even a certain pleasure in the neatness of the newly dug, bare, brown earth.” — Vita Sackville-West

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The Birth of Autumn

One of our favorite garden stories growing up was the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, the ancient explanation for the seasons. The goddess Demeter, Zeus’ sister, was the deity in charge of fertility and the growing season, and whenever she was happy crops were bountiful. Her beautiful daughter, Persephone, was the source of her greatest happiness until the day Hades — god of the Underworld — caught a glimpse of the beautiful young maiden picking wildflowers in a field and snatched her away to his dark kingdom. A grief-addled Demeter was the last thing this world needed, for when she subsequently lost all desire to see things bloom, crops began to fail and the harvest was threatened, frightening mortals and gods alike. In her cell in the Underworld, Persephone wept and refused to eat or even speak to her abductor — who hoped she might agree to marry him. Legend said that anyone who ate anything in Hades would never leave. On the threshold of starvation, Persephone resorted to eating a handful of pomegranate seeds. As the Earth withered, Zeus dispatched his youngest son, Hermes, a skillful negotiator, to strike a bargain with the King of the Underworld. By agreeing to marry Hades, Persephone was permitted to return to Earth six months each year, then return to the Underworld where she ruled a similar time as Queen of the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, was so overjoyed to have her daughter back, she caused the Earth to warm and bloom and crops to prosper. When Persephone returned to the Underworld, however, she wept bitterly and the world cooled and darkened and plants withered and died. Thus was born autumn — and the other seasons of a garden.

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A Fine Garden Read

As garden days fade, November is a great time to make yourself a cup of tea and settle in with a good gardening book. Plenty of them cross our desk, but the one that recently caught our fancy is a small but delightfully intimate and useful book called Gardening with Confidence: 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity by Raleigh author and gardener Helen Yoest. Most garden books simply focus on conveying how-to information at the expense of why one chooses to make a garden in the first place, and what kind of thinking should go into making it a personal expression of your passion for growing things. A longtime contributor to numerous national and regional gardening publications, Yoest offers 50 highly practical insights that anyone from a rank beginner to a grizzled garden veteran will find helpful and even inspiring. With a deft command of language and a clear eye from years of experience, Yoest provides valuable insight into determining your garden style and covers pragmatic subjects like design and sustainability, bulbs, herb gardens and foundation plantings, all aimed at building confidence in your gardening efforts. Even better, she launches gentle meditations on such esoterica as the importance of understanding sound, movement, light, balance and privacy — and even the challenge of waiting on things to grow — all in quest of forging one’s own style and proper place in nature, musings covering everything from covered porches to mailbox gardens, curb appeal to (my favorite) the beauty of a moss garden. As winter descends, do yourself a favor and pick up Yoest’s delightful book. For an extra treat, drop in to her “Friends of the Arboretum” lecture at J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, on November 1 at 7:30 p.m.

The Language of Flowers

Emily Dickinson called November the Norway of months, cold and gray. Yet, as months go, the eleventh month typically has more festivals and public events than any other month of the year. And stargazers will tell you the month is one of the finest times of the year for looking at the nighttime sky. It’s a month of transition as the summer constellations give way to the winter constellations, dominated by three popular star groups easily visible in the Northern Hemisphere — Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Pisces. Saturn and Venus — the Morning Star — shine brightly just before dawn. Out in the garden, of course, everything is swept clean and bare, awaiting winter’s descent. But that doesn’t mean an end to the power of the bloom. Some of the brightest flowers of the year will end up in flower arrangements in your Thanksgiving centerpiece, highlighted by sunflowers, roses, Gerbera daisies, carnations, marigolds and mums. In Victorian times, message and meaning were associated with the flowers one chose to send. What message will your arrangement send? Here are a few traditional meanings: Gerbera daisies: Innocence and purity Yellow roses: Friendship and devotion White chrysanthemums: Noble truth Sunflowers: Respect, pure and lofty thoughts Scarlet lily: High-souled aspiration Anemone: Unfading love A strand of ivy: Strength and fidelity A sprig of rosemary: Remembrance

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State Street Shops


November 2012

Arts Calendar and Mr. Hyde. Greensboro College, Huggins Performance Center, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info/Tickets: (336) 217-7220 or finearts.greensboro.edu/?p=1.

November 1

SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION. 6 – 9 p.m. Thirteen local chefs and caterers present their signature dishes during a cocktail reception to benefit March of Dimes. Premiere dining packages available for bid during live auction. The Empire Room, 203 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 723-4386 or www.skgarrett@ marchofdimes.com.

November 1–11

TRIAD STAGE MAINSTAGE. 7:30 p.m. (Sun., Tues. – Thurs.); 8 p.m. (Fri. – Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sunday matinee). Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself). Tickets start at $10. Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 272-0160 or www.triadstage.org.

SUSTAINABILITY FILM. 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Island President. The story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting the literal survival of his country and its citizens. Free. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

November 2

POETRY READING & BOOK TALK. 7 – 8 p.m. Dr. Laura Tohe will read from her award-winning poetry and discuss her current book project, an oral history collection of World War II Navajo Code Talkers. No tickets required. High Point University, Phillips Hall, 833 Montlieu Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 841-9209.

ARTISTS TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. Visiting and resident artists share concepts, culture and art through this salon-style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 303-1596 or www.goelsewhere.org.

November 1 – 4

GREENSBORO COLLEGE THEATRE. 7 p.m. (Nov. 1); 7:30 p.m. (Nov. 2 &3); 2 p.m. (Nov. 4). Chemical Imbalance. A highly comical spoof of the classic Dr. Jekyll

90 O.Henry

November 2012

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

FIRST FRIDAY. 6 – 9 p.m. Free self-guided walking tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, and alternative art venues. Downtown Greensboro. Info: www.downtownfridays.com.

ELSEWHERE’S FIRST FRIDAY. 6 – 10 p.m. Experience installations, performances and works in progress by resident artists. Elsewhere, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 303-1596 or www.goelsewhere.org.

FIRST FRIDAY AT GREEN HILL. 7 – 8 p.m. Musical perfor-

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• •

Fun History Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro


mance by Banana Lazuli, a Canadian-Peruvian performer from Montreal, Quebec, who now lives in Greensboro. Green Hill Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

Feldman, conductor. Admission is free; donations welcome. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www. city-arts.org.

MASQUERADE PARTY. 7 – 10 p.m. A festive night at the Museum. Evening includes beer and wine bar, desserts and snacks, music, body painting by the 2012 Body Painting World Champions, and a costume contest. Admission: $5. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET. 8 p.m. Tony Baxwhill, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s Soloist. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

• DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION. 7 – 10 p.m.

A night of festive fun that includes a special showing of a “Fright Light” laser show, a ticket to the Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato exhibit, holiday crafts, and access to the museum’s indoor exhibits. Admission: $12. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

GREENSBORO CONCERT BAND. 7:30 p.m. Featuring Evan

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2–3

MEET THE ARTIST OPEN HOUSE. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 – 5 p.m. Meet local artist William Mangum and receive a personalized autographed print. Gallery will showcase new holiday products, including designer collection of mugs, 2013 calendar, puzzles, ornaments, magnets and bookmarks. William Mangum Fine Art, 2166 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3799200 or www.williammangum.com.

NC DANCE FESTIVAL. 8 p.m. Dynamic and compelling contemporary dance performances featuring eight North Carolina choreographers and local artists. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 334-4849. Info: www.danceproject.org.

November 3

MEET THE AUTHOR. 11 a.m. Kernersville resident Clay Howard will discuss his new children’s book, The Energy Thief. Barnhill’s, 811 Burke St. NW, Winston-Salem, Info: theenergythief.com.

ART EXHIBIT & OPENING RECEPTION. 1 – 5 p.m. The Cone Sisters Collect. Exhibit continues through February 17. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. ADVENTURE TOUR. • ELSEWHERE 4 – 4:30 p.m. Join Elsewherians on

a tour through the living museum. Cost: $5. Elsewhere, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 303-1596 or www.goelsewhere.org. GREENSBORO ZOMBIE • RUN. 4:30 – 11 p.m. Two miles;

100 zombies. Each runner receives T-shirt, beer/root beer and a medal. Live music and after party follow. Proceeds benefit Ignite the Spirit, which supports local firefighters. Hamburger Square Park, 361 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info/Register: (336) 2092396 or www.greensborozombierun.com.

November 2012

O.Henry 91


N ovember Arts Calendar •

PHILHARMONIA OF GREENSBORO. 7:30 p.m. Admission is free; donations welcome. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.city-arts.org.

LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET. 8 p.m. Astanza Project. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

November 7–11

UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS. A global experience featuring Shaolin Kung Fu acrobats from China, contortionists from Guinea, and acrobatic comedy from South Africa. Tickets: $12–$26.50. Greensboro Coliseum Parking Lot, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www. greensborocoliseum.com or www.universoulcircus.com.

November 8

• ARTIST GALLERY TALK. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Featuring BRIDAL SHOW. 1 – 5 p.m. Meet local vendors to Catherine Murphy, 2012 Falk Visiting Artist at UNCG. • help make your wedding perfect. Event offers thousands of Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. November 4

dollars in giveaways, and one lucky bride-to-be will win a free romantic honeymoon. Elm Street Center, 203 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Pre-register: www.bridalshownc.com.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD IN CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. The Blown Away Tour with special guest Hunter Hayes. Tickets: $43.50; $53.50 & $63.50. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www. greensborocoliseum.com or www.carrieunderwood.fm.

November 6

LIVE MUSIC AT SOUTHERN LIGHTS BISTRO. 7 – 9 p.m. Bruce Piephoff, folk singer. Southern Lights Bistro, 2415-A Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3799414 or www.brucepiephoff.net.

November 6–10

Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

GREENSBORO SYMPHONY MASTERWORKS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. “Romantic Soul-mates.” Featuring Mayuko Kamio, violin, and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor. War Memorial Auditorium, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 335-5456 x 224 or www. greensborosymphony.org.

November 8–18

• OPEN SPACE CAFÉ THEATRE. 8 p.m. (Nov. 8-10, ARTQUEST STUDIO PROJECTS. 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. 16 &17); 2 p.m. (Nov. 18). Neil Simon’s Rumors. A farce • Self-portraits and wood collages for children and families. about high society, high crime and high comedy. Tickets: ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

$20/adults; $17/seniors and students. Open Space Café Theatre, 4094 Battleground Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2285 or www.osctheatre.com.

Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 297-9440.

November 9

THE MET IN HD. 6:30 p.m. Encore: L’Elisir d’Amore. • Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline

Friends. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or www.gcmuseum.com.

COOKING TOGETHER: WINTER SQUASH. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pumpkins aren’t just for carving. Meet at the edible schoolyard kitchen to learn how to make wonderful dishes with winter squash. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or www.gcmuseum.com

• • THOMAS BERRY TRIBUTE. 7 – 9 p.m. A film about the life and work of Greensboro native Thomas

OPEN MIC NIGHT AT TATE STREET. 7 p.m. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754. Berry, a pioneer in the field of spirituality and ecology. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org.

THE WHO IN CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Legendary rock band performs its iconic 1973 double album, Quadrophenia. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com or www. thewho.com.

GREENSBORO SYMPHONY CHAMBER CONCERT. 8 p.m. Featuring Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata. Tickets: $30. UNCG School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 335-5456 x 224 or www.greensborosymphony.org.

November 10

LUNG CANCER 5K RUN/WALK. 8 a.m. – 12 • p.m. Raise awareness and support in the movement to

defeat lung cancer. Proceeds benefit the North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership’s research, education and awareness programs. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade St., Greensboro. Info: (919) 784-0410 or www.freetobreathe.com/ greensboro. ADOPTION DAY CARNIVAL. 10 a.m. – 3 • p.m. Celebrate family and togetherness, try your

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself). November 1—11.

Carrie Underwood in Concert November 4.

DINNER IN THE GARDEN: A MOROCCAN FEAST. 6 – 8 p.m. Join local chef and restaurateur Beth Kizhnerman for cooking demonstrations and a meal together in the garden. Cost: $50. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 5742898 or www.gcmuseum.com.

hand at a variety of carnival games and activities, and learn about Carolina Adoption and Foster

•• •

LUNCH WITH DOROTHY. 12 p.m. Have lunch with Dorothy and the gang before the Community Theatre of Greensboro’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Tickets: $12. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

FALL FAMILY SAMPLER. 1 – 4 p.m. Families are invited to make art together and enjoy informal tours of the 2012 Art on Paper exhibit with the Museum’s Teen Art Guides. Free. Drop in. Weatherspoon Art Museum,

500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

• •• • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Literature/Speakers Fun

Performing arts Film History Sports


N ovember Arts Calendar

NORTH CAROLINA THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE’S 50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. 3:15 p.m. Birthday celebration, free and open to the public, to follow the opening performance of Junie B. In Jingle Bells, Batman Smells ($18). Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate St., Greensboro. RSVP: (336) 334-4015. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

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

• • GREENSBORO SYMPHONY MASTERWORKS CONCERT. 8 p.m. “Romantic Soul-mates.” Featuring THE MET IN HD. The Tempest. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 297-9440.

Mayuko Kamio, violin, and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets/Info: (336) 335-5456 x 224 or www. greensborosymphony.org.

November 10–18

THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE PERFORMANCE. Junie B. In Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. Tickets: $18. Taylor Theatre, 406 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

November 13

NOON AT THE ’SPOON. 12 p.m. A 20-minute docent-led tour of new exhibit, Juan Logan: Without Stopping. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

November 11

HOLIDAY ARTS & CRAFTS AT THE MARKET. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Find unique holiday gifts and home décor, handcrafted by local artisans. Free admission. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2402 or www. gsofarmersmarket.org.

SISTERS IN CRIME. 2 – 4 p.m. “Mysteries to Give for the Holidays.” A lively discussion about mystery books and authors with the Triad Chapter of Sisters in Crime. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: www.MurderWeWrite.com.

HOLIDAY WORKSHOP. 4 – 6 p.m. Local display artist Addie Brown will illustrate how everyday objects can be used to create one-of-a-kind decorations for your Thanksgiving and Christmas events. Create a display piece to take home. Space is limited. Just Be, 352 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info/RSVP: (336) 274-2212 or www.onlyjustbe.com.

November 12

• COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO. 7 • EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD CAMP. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. p.m. (Nov. 10, 16 & 17); 2 p.m. (Nov. 10, 11, 17 &18). The Kindergarten through fifth-graders can celebrate autumn Wizard of Oz. Tickets: $10–$30. The Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.ctgso.org.

•NORTH CAROLINA • • •

Key:

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Art

Music/Concerts

Disney on Ice November 15—18.

and the end of summer harvest on teacher workday. Cost: $45/members; $55/non-members. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 5742898 or www.gcmuseum.com. Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

November 2012

O.Henry 93


N ovember Arts Calendar arts and raising money for area food banks and shelters. Featuring a performance by UNCG student musicians and tours of The Cone Sisters Collect exhibit at 6:30 p.m., followed by readings by local authors at 7 p.m. Suggested donation: $5/students; $10/general public. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

CHORAL SOCIETY OF GREENSBORO. 7:30 p.m. Featuring Jon Brotherton, conductor. Admission is free; donations welcome. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.city-arts.org.

November 15–18

DISNEY ON ICE. Worlds of Fantasy. Tickets: • $12 and up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Lee St.,

November 18

GUEST LECTURE AT • WEATHERSPOON. 2 – 3 p.m. Dr. Porter

Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www. disneyonice.com.

Aichele presents “Etta Cone’s Displays of Comprehension.” Lecture offered in conjunction with The Cone Sisters Collect exhibit. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

November 16

ART EXHIBIT RECEPTION. 7 – 9 p.m. From • Russia with Love. Featuring Romantic Impressionist

artists Michael and Inessa Garmash, and Ukrainian painter Dmitri Danish. The Art Shop, 3900 W. Market St., Greensboro. Info/RSVP: (336) 8558500 or www.artshop.com.

November 19

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. • 7 – 9 p.m. Featured poet: Jacinta

MUSIC FOR A GREAT SPACE 7:30 p.m. • Denis Azabagic, guitar. Christ United Methodist

Victoria, author of Broken Rituals. Limited open mic session to follow. Central Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-3617 or www.greensboropubliclibrary.org.

Church, 410 Holden Rd., Greensboro. Tickets: Carolina Theatre Box Office at (336) 333-2605. Info: (336) 638-7624 or www.musicforagreatspace.org. GREENSBORO ASTRONOMY CLUB • MEETING. 7:30 p.m. Learn about the stars

and our universe. Free and open to the public. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org. LYLE LOVETT AND HIS ACOUSTIC • GROUP IN CONCERT. 8 p.m. Four-time

Lyle Lovett November 16.

TOP 100 FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. Count down the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films of All Time. Twelve Angry Men (#87). Tickets: $6/adults; $5/ students, seniors & military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET. 8 p.m. Zinc Kings. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

November 13–17

ARTQUEST STUDIO PROJECTS. 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Calligraphy and dream drawings for children and families. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

November 14

LIVE MUSIC AT SOUTHERN LIGHTS BISTRO. 7 – 9 p.m. Bruce Piephoff, folk singer. Southern Lights Bistro, 2415-A Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-9414 or www.brucepiephoff.net.

THE MET IN HD. 6:30 p.m. Encore: Otello. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 297-9440.

November 15

WILL READ FOR FOOD, ART & MUSIC. 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Weatherspoon joins the UNCG MFA Writing Program and UNCG Alumni Relations in celebrating the

94 O.Henry

November 2012

Grammy winning Texas singer-songwriter. Tickets: $34.50–$65. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com or www.lylelovett.com.

LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET. 8 p.m. Tony Low. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

November 17

OPEN HEARTH COOKING DEMO. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Watch costumed interpreters cook a traditional fall harvest meal over an open hearth in the Hoggatt House. Free. Drop-in. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or www.highpointmuseum.org.

November 20–24

ARTQUEST STUDIO PROJECTS. 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Basket weaving and family portraits for children and families. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

November 21

INTRO TO GENEALOGY. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Learn about one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of family history research in North Carolina. Central Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3355430 or www.greensborolibrary.org.

November 24

SWING DANCE. 7:30 - 11:30 p.m. Introductory jitterbug lesson starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by live swing dance music. No partner or experience necessary. Nonmembers: $10. Members: $8. Oriental Shrine Club, 5010 High Point Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 508-9998 or www.piedmontswingdance.org.

November 27 – December 1

ARTQUEST STUDIO PROJECTS. 3:15 – 4:15 GLOBAL LOCAL GIFT MARKET. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. • • p.m. Stencil prints and nature drawing for children and Local crafts and artists, farmer and food friends, and a variety of cultural gifts. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or www.gcmuseum.com.

families. ArtQuest, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

LUNCH WITH DOROTHY. 12 p.m. Have lunch with Dorothy and the gang before the Community Theatre of Greensboro’s annual production of The Wizard of Oz. Tickets: $12. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


N ovember Arts Calendar

November 28

November 29

GREENSBORO PERCUSSION ENSEMBLES. 7:30 p.m. Featuring Mike Lasley, conductor. Admission is free; donations welcome. New, unwrapped toys are being collected for FOX8 Gifts for Kids. Greensboro Cultural Center, Room 100, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2549 or www.city-arts.org.

ART EDUCATORS WORKSHOP. 6 – 8 p.m. Learn about the development of abstraction in Europe and the U.S., the historical influences that shaped it, and the lives of two important 20th century art collectors whose legacy lives on in our community. Cost: $5. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info/Register: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

•

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS

•

Tuesdays

•

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

•

•

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

THINK TANK THURSDAYS. 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Discover the connections between seemingly unrelated ideas in this new series that looks at contemporary culture by pairing scholars with community experts. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. LIVE MUSIC AT SOUTHERN LIGHTS • BISTRO. 7 – 9 p.m. Bruce Piephoff, folk singer.

Southern Lights Bistro, 2415-A Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-9414 or www.brucepiephoff. net.

•

DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER IN CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $22.50/adults; $20.50/ students, seniors and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

November 29 – December 2

• THE MET IN HD. 6:30 p.m. Encore: The Tempest. Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline

NC THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. Flannel • Shorts. Tickets: $5. Brown Building Theatre, 402 Tate St.,

Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 297-9440.

Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

•

Performing arts

Wednesdays

•

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 – 10 p.m. Mussels for $15, wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic music by AM rodeo. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699.

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

•

Sports

Treasures • Antiques • Consignments

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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November 2012

O.Henry 95


N ovember Arts Calendar Thursdays

Sundays

JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

Fridays & Saturdays

COMEDY. 10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.); 8 p.m. •(Sat.).IMPROV Actors create scenes on-the-spot and build upon

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

LIVE MUSIC AT TATE STREET COFFEE. NC Hot Club (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) Gavin & Friends (3 – 6 p.m.) Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754. To add an event, e-mail us at ohcal@ohenrymag.com by the first of the month prior to the event.

NIGHTMARES AROUND ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute historical candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Open Year-Round. Cost: $15/adults; $13/children 8-12. Children 7 and under are free. Group rates and online discounts available. Info: www.carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.

Saturdays

JAZZ IN THE A.M. 11 a.m. Featuring saxophonist Alex Smith and friends. Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

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November 2012

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Arts & CULTURE


GreenScene

Family Night at The Greensboro Children’s Museum Friday, October 12, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Logan Perez

Sara & Isla MacSween

Evan, Remy, & Kera Yanick

Jacob & Judy Hofberg

Andrew Kramer, Boone Redding, Fuller Stewart

100 O.Henry

November 2012

Kayla Stover, Crystal Sanders

Devon & Siena Lassiter

Evan, Sandra, & A.J. Dean

Jordan Courts, Berne’l Westbrook

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene C.R.O.P. Walk NewBridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro Sunday, October 14, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

2206 Hawthorne

Irving Park Estates, Greensboro

Lovely brick family home on a no-thru street. Master BR on main. 2story Family Room & entry, coffered ceiling. Great kitchen with center island & granite counter tops offers private views of gardens & patio. Bonus Room on upper level. Custom moldings & details throughout. Large custom wine closet in 3-car garage with glass doors. Must see! Price upon request.

803 Hood Place Old Irving Park, Greensboro

Jeff & Sarah Chowning with Amanda & Megan Chowning

4BR/5 Full Baths/3 Half Baths – This French Style home has been totally remodeled. It sits on a quiet street overlooking Greensboro Country Club’s Golf Course. It boasts large rooms with Master Retreat, Guest Quarters, 4 Car Garage and Spectacular Grounds. Price upon request.

14 Charleston Square Ascot Point, Greensboro

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

Kaitlyn White, Ally Hinson, Regan White as “Sneakers”

2412 North Beech Lane North Beech, Greensboro

Paula & Roberta Dent

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

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Yost and Little Realty

Xan.Tisdale@pruyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@pruyostandlittle.com November 2012

O.Henry 101


The 2012 Holly & Ivy Dinner PineStraw Magazine and Pinehurst Resort Present

at the Holly Inn Frank Sinatra Comes to Christmas Dinner Pinehurst, Circa 1960s Featuring

Singer John Love and members of the Count Basie Orchestra

the Holly inn

tuesday, December 4, 2012 Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. • Dinner at 7:30 p.m. $125 Per Person

A Special Benefit for the given Memorial Library & tufts archives tickets will be available October 9. Make your reservations at www.shoppinehurst.com. For more information, please call (910) 235-8415. 102 O.Henry

November 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


GreenScene

Olivia Henn, Mallory Parr

Annual Fall Festival St. Pius X Catholic Church Saturday, October 13, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Selina & Chase Newell

Julie & Isabella Trindel Michael Hunt, Katie Lahey

Olivia Griffith, Claire Register, Rebecca Hunt, Maddie Gentry, Anne E. Ford, Kalie Miller, Meghan Ealley

Angela Henn, Alana Hernendez, Angie Wells, Patricia Gillispie

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Rachel & Natalie Satterfield

Wesley & Stephen Picklesiemer

November 2012

O.Henry 103


Life and Home Style Linda Palmer Realtor®, Broker

Phone 336.458.8433 linda.palmer@pruyostandlittle.com www.lindapalmer.pruyostandlittle.com

Sharon A. Swift

Home Mortgage Consultant NMLSR ID 589217

Office 336.510.4444 Cell 336.215.3260 email sharon.swift@hsl-nc.com www.hslnc.com/sharon-swift 1103 N Elm St Ste 100 | Greensboro, NC 27401

Prudential Yost & Little Realty is an affiliate of HomeServices Lending. Please speak to your real estate agent for more information on this affiliation. All first mortgage products are provided by HomeServices Lending, LLC. HomeServices Lending, LLC may not be available in your area. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Georgia Residential Mortgage License Number: 32253. Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company, License Number: SL.0026321. 333 South 7th St. 27th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55402 (952)927-1154 ©2012 HomeServices Lending, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NMLSR ID 490683 964600 09/12-12/12

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GreenScene

Jahbril Cook, Annanoa Kaufmann

First Friday Downtown Greensboro Friday, October 5, 2012

Photographs by Sam Froelich

Kaitlyn & Robert McCance Brett McDonough

Stephen English, Dayle Stephens, Ashton Malvo

Ryan Brown, Katherine Ciccarelli Matt Brotherton, Jasmine Ismail, Nathan Carver

Kyla Garland, Kristin Wright

Mark Plott, Walter Fancourt

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 105


Triad Local First

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GreenScene Greensboro Symphony Endowment Dinner at Sedgefield Country Club Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Bill Fraser, David Nelson

Fabrice Dharamraj

Steve Hutchinson, Amy Conley, Cathy Rice (rear); Lillian Rauch (front)

Maestro Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Cathy & Garson Rice

Alice & Woody Pearce B.J. Williams, Ellen Taft

Melissa Yetter, Robert Green

Bob Kroupa, Phil Johnson Susan Sitkovetsky, Ann Kroupa, Libby Gabriel

Peggy Johnson, Joe Lebauer

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Anne Smith, Susan Fraser

Maestro Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Gary Taft

November 2012

O.Henry 107


Triad Local First

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O.Henry

73

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GreenScene O.Henry Magazine Short Story Contest Awards at the Downtown Library Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rebecca, Rachel & Stafford Henley: Rachel’s story “A Day Of Difference” won 1st Place in the Young Writer’s Category

Photographs by Sam Froelich

Dan & Kristin Hogan: Kristin’s story “The Spirit Saver” won 3rd Place in the Young Writer’s Category

Winners of the General Non-Student Category: Tim Dancy, “Deadline” 2nd Place; Miriam D. Heard, “The Stone Bull” 1st Place; Chip Bristol, “The Cabin” 3rd Place

General Non-Student Category 3rd Place winner Chip Bristol receives his award for his story “The Cabin”

O. Henry Magazine Editor and Greensboro native son Jim Dodson addresses the crowd at the 1st Annual O. Henry Magazine Short Story Contest Awards

Phyllis & Katie Hall, Jackie Coates, Frank Hall. Katie’s story “Music In The Streets” won 1st Place in the Student Category. She was inspired by Ms. Coates, her English teacher at Page High School

Ashley Atkins, 2nd Place winner in the Student Category for “I Call Him Runner” Hannah & Micah Turner: Hannah’s story “Little Artist” received Honorable Mention in the Student Category

Holly, Evan & Will Petty. Evan’s story “Isabel Mackensie” won 3rd Place in the Student Category

Jack, Cyndi, Tim & J.T. Dancy

Caroline Knisley, Julianne Jackson: Julianne’s story “The Evil Within” won Honorable Mention in the Student Category

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

November 2012

O.Henry 109


w Triad Local TriadFirst Local First

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Gordon’s Menswear

3712 Lawndale Dr., next to The Fresh Market 286.2620 • Monday-Saturday 10-6

February/March 2012

O.Henry

73

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Life’s Funny

The Other Maria

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, if you share it with a beautiful stranger By Maria Johnson

Photograph By Sam Froelich

I

’d heard about the other Maria Johnson for years. Back in the 1980s, we took our cars to the same garage, and the mechanics were forever calling up the wrong account when it was time to pay. People used to ask me when I got out of teaching — because I was such a wonderful Spanish teacher — and into writing. I explained that I never had taught. Once, at a party, I introduced myself to a guy who kept smiling at me. His eyebrows bounced. “Didn’t you model for art classes at UNCG in the ’60s?” I assured him that I was in elementary school in Kentucky at the time, so no. From him and other sources, I pieced together a few things about this other MJ: She was attractive. She was vivacious. She was a fabulous teacher. She was a little bit older than me. She drove a Honda. She lived near me. I figured we’d meet one day. We never did. Many times, I thought about tracking her down. But I didn’t. Until a few weeks ago, when I got an email from someone congratulating me on my new book about meditation. “Thanks,” I wrote back. “But unless I’ve been meditating so deeply that I don’t realize I wrote a book about meditation, that book belongs to another Maria Johnson.” I had to know. Was the other Greensboro MJ now a writer, too? I sniffed out a phone number and entered a house of mirrors. “Is this Maria Johnson?” “Yes, who’s this?” “Maria Johnson.” We chatted. Yes, she had gotten calls for me over the years. No, she had not written a book about meditation. There must be another Maria Johnson out there. We laughed. Most of us have Googled our names and learned that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people who have the same name, especially if we have a common last name. Sometimes, the association is not so keen. My dad, a stand-up guy, used to get calls for a man who had the same name and a much more liberal interpretation of the law. I doubt they were eager to meet, but I confess I was dying to meet this other Maria Johnson. We arranged to have dinner downtown. It didn’t take long for us — two dark-eyed Boomer chicks who like to laugh, wear colorful beads and talk with our hands — to find each other. We hit it off right away. We were amazed at the things we had in common. Our children practically grew up in Country Park and the adjacent National Military Park. Her son caught every fish in those lakes. My boys learned their ABCs by running their hands over the inscriptions at the base The Art & Soul of Greensboro

of the General Greene statue. Her daughter, Mariana C. Johnson, loved to write and won the O.Henry Award when she was at Page High School — also my children’s school. Before I landed at O.Henry magazine, I wrote under the byline Maria C. Johnson. Will someone answer the door? I think Rod Serling is knocking. We Marias also discovered that our last names somewhat mask our heritage. Maria was born in Cuba. Her maiden name is Hernandez. She married a Johnson. I kept my maiden name when I married, but my father’s family changed their name from Yiannacopoulos to Johnson when they came from Greece in 1929. My father stayed in this country and married a North Carolina lass. Maria’s father came to North Carolina in the 1930s to be educated at Warren Wilson College. He returned to Cuba, but in 1962, before the Cuban missile crisis, he and his wife feared for their children. They put Maria and her brother, then 13 and 10, on a plane to Miami. There, friends put the kids on a Greyhound bus bound for Greensboro, where their father’s sister lived. Maria and her brother ate doughnuts and drank Coke on the long ride. “It was an adventure,” says Maria. Three years later, Maria’s parents got out of Cuba by way of Mexico. Her father went to work as a machinist at Carolina Label Co. in Greensboro. Her mother taught Spanish in High Point schools. Maria went to Notre Dame Catholic School on Summit Avenue, then to UNCG. She wanted to be an artist. My dad wanted to be an artist. He opted for the steadiness of engineering. Maria opted for the steadiness of teaching. She worked at Oak Ridge Military Academy, Irving Park Elementary and Aycock Middle School. Along the way, she picked up a master’s degree and a love for the little ones. “If you look an elementary school child in the eyes and smile, they remember you,” she says. “They are such wonderful little beings.” For fifteen years, she was the beloved “Señora Johnson” at Jones Elementary, a Spanish immersion school in Greensboro. She retired in 2010 and went to Wilmington to take care of her granddaughter Maria — the one who calls her yia yia, which is what I called my Greek grandmother, who was also Maria. Is this starting to sound like My Big, Fat Greco-Cuban Wedding? At first blush, these coincidences seemed uncanny. But later I wondered: Were they really that unusual? Couldn’t either of us have sat down with lots of people and discovered more in common than we’d have guessed? Yeah, I think so. But I’m still freaked out. Did I mention that Maria’s daughter married a writer from Kentucky, from the same river city where my dad grew up? Cue The Twilight Zone music, and let’s drink a toast: To ties that bind and blow the mind. Yee-ha, yazou and salud, mi nueva amiga. OH November 2012

O.Henry 111


O.Henry Ending

Thanking Papa By Ashley Wahl

T

hree years ago, my parents became health freaks. They sat me down to break the news. “Basically, we’re cutting sugar from our diet,” Mom said. “But not all sugar,” Dad added. “We can eat as many organic fruits and vegetables as we like. Just no more processed foods or simple carbs.” “So basically, no more sweets?” I asked. “Or pasta,” said Mom. “Or bread,” Dad said, although I could tell this was going to be tough for him. Come November, my mother informed me that she’d signed the two of us up to prepare Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’ house. You can imagine my dismay. You just can’t find viable alternatives to good old mashed potatoes, corn bread or stuffing. Not on Thanksgiving. I mean seriously. What did the woman who had recently snipped starch from my childhood pantry consider to be a holiday feast? But I digress. Hoping to find a few sides to, at the very least, keep the oven-baked, free-range turkey from looking so lonely on the dining room table, I helped Mom search for recipes. Au revoir, comfort foods. Hello, glycemic index. The night before Thanksgiving Day, Mom and I cut and peeled vegetables until the wee hours of the morning. There were butternut squash to slice, carrots and parsnips to chop, and rutabaga to, er, whatever one does to tackle that resilient yellow root. I had no idea, before then, that avoiding one food group required so much work. But the preparation paid off. Besides the turkey, Thanksgiving dinner at Papa and Mimi’s house in Hope Mills took less than an hour to cook. And the presentation was stunning. Papa was sitting downstairs in his weathered blue recliner when I began describing to him the feast we’d soon be enjoying, unable to help myself from feeling a sense of pride in our healthful menu. The roasted vegetable medley, garlic greens, homemade cranberry-pear sauce, and mashed apple-cider sweet potatoes (better for you, they say, than regular potatoes), were as colorful as autumn foliage. His eyes widened. Surely there had been some mistake, he told me from his expression. “There’s no stuffing?” Papa asked incredulously. I tried to bring him comfort. After all, I, too, once believed that Thanksgiving wasn’t complete without that most beloved starchy staple. “Nope, no stuffing. But we’ve got plenty of food, Pop. And it looks beautiful, just wait until you see . . .” His lip quivered. “But . . . but we can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing,” he said. And we didn’t. Dad drove to a nearby deli and brought back a tub of the pre-made stuffing

112 O.Henry

November 2012

while dinner kept warm under aluminum foil. After a quick nuking in the microwave, the stuffing completed our feast. We held hands in the kitchen to say Grace and give thanks. Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts . . . As Mimi said an extra prayer for those who couldn’t be there, I thought about our last family reunion, that past summer, and how nice it must have been for Dad’s parents to have all six of their children under one roof, especially when such an occasion only happens once every couple of years. Too bad everyone can’t be here now, I thought. We prayed for family in Charlotte and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We prayed for family in Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin. We dug in. “Everything tastes great,” said Papa, “but boy, am I glad we have stuffing.” He laughed. We all laughed. “I couldn’t imagine Thanksgiving dinner without it.” I couldn’t have imagined that that Thanksgiving would be Papa’s last. In July, Mimi phoned to tell us he was sick. In a small hospital room at Cape Fear Valley, all six of Papa’s children, and nine of his twelve grandchildren, were able to hold his hands and pray with him, giving thanks for time shared and love and memories. Our Father, who art in Heaven . . . As prayers were said for those who could not be there, I realized that, in our hearts, they were. In the moments before my last conversation with my grandfather, I watched him sleep in his hospital bed for a while, wondering what I could possibly say to bring this retired colonel any comfort. I wanted to tell him everything I’d learned from him and how thankful I am to have known him. I wanted him to know that I admire the way he treated his wife of nearly 58 years, and his undying faith in his Lord. I wanted to tell him that I’m proud of everything he’s done for his country and family. Instead, I found myself talking about that last Thanksgiving, and how thankful I was that he’d delayed dinner so that we could have stuffing. His eyes began to water as he smiled. Mine did, too. I now know that Papa was suffering, but in my last moments with him, he never mentioned it. Instead, he tried to offer his family comfort and hope — to hold us together — up until his final breath. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without Papa. It never will be. But no matter where I am, or who surrounds me at the dinner table, Papa will be there, in the hearts of us all. And there will always be stuffing. OH Ashley Wahl is O.Henry Magazine’s Associate Editor. Illustration By Harry Blair The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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