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January 2021

DEPARTMENTS 9 The Nature of Things

By Ashley Wahl

13 Simple Life

By Jim Dodson

16 Short Stories 17 Doodad 18 Life’s Funny

By Maria Johnson

FEATURES

20 The Creators of N.C.

41 What It Was about that First Marriage

24 The Omnivorous Reader

42 The Blank Canvas

By Wiley Cash

By Stephen E. Smith

26 Scuppernong Bookshelf 29 Home by Design

By Cynthia Adams

33 Weekend Away

By Jason Oliver Nixon

37 Birdwatch

By Susan Campbell

38 Wandering Billy

By Billy Eye

80 Events Calendar 88 O.Henry Ending

By Cynthia Adams

Poetry by Dannye Romine Powell By Ashley Wahl Three local artists share their radiant visions of hope for the New Year

50 The Memory Keeper

By Mark Wagoner A photographer’s journey through cameras

58 What We’re Made Of

By Virginia Holman While researching her own family narrative, author Shonda Buchanan uncovers pieces of a story that belong to all of us

60 Progressively Fresh

By Maria Johnson How one Greensboro couple went room to room with interior improvements

69 Almanac

By Ashley Wahl

4 O.Henry

Photograph this page by Bert VanderVeen Mural by Beka Butts The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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M A G A Z I N E

Volume 11, No. 1 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com PUBLISHER

David Woronoff Andie Rose, Creative Director andie@thepilot.com Ashley Wahl, Editor awahl@ohenrymag.com Lauren M. Coffey, Associate Art Director Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Jim Dodson, Founding Editor Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Mallory Cash, Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, John Gessner, Bert VanderVeen, Mark Wagoner CONTRIBUTORS

Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Billy Eye, Virginia Holman, Ross Howell Jr., Billy Ingram, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, D.G. Martin, Jason Oliver Nixon, Ogi Overman, Corrinne Rosquillo, Stephen E. Smith

Here for you In these unprecedented times, it is important that you know we’re committed to providing you the financial access, guidance, and support you need during this rapidly evolving situation. Through digital, mobile, and by phone, Wells Fargo Advisors is here, and we continue to serve you and support our communities so that you can focus on what matters most — caring for your family’s health and safety.

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6 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Nature of Things

The Chair

How Greg Farrand found deep gladness — and Second Breath

By Ashley Wahl

Years ago, a dear friend

gifted me a small book by travel writer Pico Iyer. I read the intro, a compelling scene in which the writer visits his boyhood hero, Leonard Cohen, at a monastery high up in the San Gabriel Mountains. Cohen tells him that sitting still is the most “profound and voluptuous” entertainment he has found in his 61 years on the planet.

Intrigued, I couldn’t wait to read more. And yet, I didn’t. I must have been too busy. Flash forward to a bright December afternoon a few weeks back. I am sitting outside of Holy Trinity Church with associate rector Greg Farrand, leaning in as he tells me how, by sitting still, he found his deepest gladness. It reminded me of that book. Farrand has been exploring what he calls the “divine mystery” for over 30 years. By the time you read this, he’ll have left the clergy and will be fully immersed in growing a self-discovery movement called Second Breath. Rooted in ancient Christian wisdom, Second Breath invites people from all walks on a transformative journey inward. He is utterly giddy talking about the impact its spiritual practices and teachings have had on his own life. And then he reels back to a time when he was not so giddy — a time when he was actually quite lost. A decade ago, Farrand, pronounced Fair-und, had reached total burnout. He was the pastor of a booming Presbyterian church he had founded, and yet his faith was evolving in a different direction. “I knew if I was open about where I was growing spiritually, I would lose my job, my friends, my pension — everything,” says Greg. He didn’t know what do to. And so, he shut down. One night, his wife, Beth, confronted him. “It’s like the light’s on but nobody’s home,” she managed through tears. It was affecting their marriage, she said, and their three young boys.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

When he shrugged her off, the light drained from Beth’s face. Then, the phone rang. It was a friend who worked in the High Point furniture industry, says Farrand. He was calling about a shipment of luxury chairs. There were extras. Did they want one at cost? “I thought, that’s the weirdest call,” says Greg. “I don’t need or want a chair.” But Beth did. She put it upstairs in their bedroom, then, day after day, for weeks and then months, she sat in her chair — sometimes for hours on end. “I remember thinking she was losing it,” he tells me. And then something magical happened. Beth began to transform. First, Greg noticed that her hugs were different — tender and melting and new. Then, one day, she let out a rapturous belly laugh — a sound that had become, to Greg, rare as a passing comet. “What is going on with you?” Greg asked. The chair, Beth said. For the first time in her life, she told him, she had gifted herself space to find deep peace. Greg wanted in on the magic. He bought a chair that very day. And the next morning, like Beth, he sat. “Two minutes of sitting still felt like torture,” he says. But he made himself sit for 20 minutes. Day after day. Week after week. Twenty minutes turned into forty minutes turned into an hour, and soon it became Greg’s favorite time of day. “My wife and I had this secret little gift to ourselves,” says Greg, who refers to Beth as the bodhisattva (enlightened one). Better yet, sitting still awakened Greg to a radical possibility: What if his entire life could feel as sacred and scrumptious as his chair time? And, guess what? Now it does. Greg lets out a belly laugh, overjoyed that his life’s calling allows him to help others find stillness. By going inward, he says, the outward journey becomes clear. Tomorrow morning, I tell myself, I’m going to sit still. And maybe I’ll finish that book. OH To learn more about Second Breath, visitsecondbreathcenter.com. Contact editor Ashley Wahl at awahl@ohenrymag.com O.Henry 9


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Simple Life

The Winter Woods Among the bare-branched trees, nature speaks my favorite language

By Jim Dodson

Half a century ago, a beautiful,

50-acre woodland lay just beyond the backyard of the house where I presently live, which happens to be two doors from the one in which I grew up. That patch of suburban woods was full of wildlife — birds, deer, skunks, foxes, rabbits — and a winding creek where a small universe of aquatic life thrived. As a kid, those woods were my enchanted kingdom.

The eccentric millionaire who owned those woods vowed he would never allow them to be developed. But his body was barely in the ground before his heirs sold it off to a residential developer. The forest fell, and a new subdivision quickly rose, a story repeated endlessly across 1970s America. Fortunately, I was off to college by then and spared the sadness of watching my boyhood woods systematically plowed under. That vanished woodland was neither the first nor last magical forest that shaped my sensibilities, however. During the first seven years of my life, during my old man’s career as a newspaper executive, our family lived in a succession of small towns across the Deep South, places where fields and woods were always a short walk away. I was drawn to them like a child from a Yeats poem. In summer, the woods teemed with life. But curiously, it was the winter woods that fascinated me most. The quiet of the forest and the bareness of leafless trees amplified natural sounds and made seeing birds and movement easier. Even before I came to understand that life underfoot was actually busier than ever, I was drawn to the stark beauty and solitude of winter. Scarce wonder after seven years of unceasing work as an investigative journalist in Atlanta, I took an arts fellowship in the Blue Ridge The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Mountains and subsequently fled to a bend of the Green River in Vermont, where I lived in a small house heated by a wood stove and fell even deeper under the spell of winter in the Great North Woods. It was there I walked snow-covered dirt roads in blue Arctic dusks with my young dog, Amos, and snow-shoed through the forest for the first time. During that quietest of all winters, I studied trees, read the complete works of a dozen poets, plus most of my favorite childhood books for the umpteenth time. Within five years, I’d built a post-and-beam house for my young family in a vast woodland of beech and hemlock on a coastal hill in Maine. Our closest neighbor was one-quarter mile distant. Winter nights were dark, cold and full of stars so crisp and vibrant you could almost reach up and touch them. Come the sub-zero nights of January, when a step on a wooden porch could sound like a pistol shot, I often donned a red, wool coat and toted bags of sorghum meal through knee-deep snow to where a family of whitetail deer (and the occasional moose) waited patiently in the silver cast of the moon for a midnight feeding. In the morning, we would find thousands of hoof prints where it appeared the deer stood on hind legs and danced in the woods, or so I told our two babes with a nearly straight face. Now on the cusp of their 30s, working in faraway Los Angeles and the Middle East, respectively, they still claim to believe the deer danced in winter moonlight. First frost was always the herald of my favorite season on the doorstep, beginning with the autumn stillness that was like that of an empty church, a cue to get my woodpile finished up and properly stacked. Ring-neck pheasants and flocks of wild turkey appeared in the yard, feeding on the last seeds of summer, seemingly unmoved by our presence in their woodland world. Once, late for his winter nap, a medium-sized black bear crossed the ancient road directly in front of us, pausing only to glance indifferently at the dude in the goofy red coat with his small, astonished children before going on about his business. I turned that bear into a bedtime story, with a character named O.Henry 13


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Simple Life Pete the Bear, who along with his bumbling partner-in-crime, dimwitted but good-hearted Charlie the Cub, often broke into our house whenever we were away in order to help themselves to snacks, play board games and get warm by the fire. Pete and Charlie still reside somewhere in the forested memories of my far-flung children, not to mention their winter-loving old man.

* * *

And so it was a nice surprise when, earlier this year, our friends Joe and Liz invited my wife, Wendy, and me to take a Sunday afternoon walk through the Hamilton Lakes Forest, a slim patch of urban parkland less than a mile from our house. Joe and Liz are trained foresters and ardent naturalists. Liz knows about every native plant in the wild and Joe can tell you all sorts of wondrous things about the life of trees. Late last winter, with traces of early spring appearing, we hiked with them up a small mountain near Asheboro, topped by giant stone monoliths that looked like columns from lost temples or bowling pins left by the gods. Joe explained that the unusual stones were visible for miles, navigational landmarks used by migratory birds and ancient native people in their annual seasonal movements from highland meadows to winter quarters in the flatlands, sacred grounds used for their spiritual observances. There were even traces of a vanished farmstead, not unlike the hilltop where I built my house in Maine, evidenced by wild narcissus

that grew in patches around a crumbling stone foundation. Daffodils reportedly found their way to the Americas via Holland about 1800, though how they found their way to that ancient hilltop in Randolph County will probably forever remain a mystery. “Humans come and go,” Joe summed up the moment. “But the earth and forest keep their own secrets.” Our Sunday afternoon walk through the Hamilton Forest wasn’t quite so wild, though it was revelatory in its own ways. Joe and I talked about our grown children and how to identify trees by their bark, old maples and beeches in particular, while Liz and Wendy walked ahead of us chatting about grandchildren and, well, whatever else a pair of wise and worldly female friends talk about on a winter Sunday afternoon with their husbands lagging well behind. At one point, Joe stopped dead and tilted his head to the bare limbs above us. “Listen. Hear that?” I did. He explained it was the perfect, three-note call of a white-throated sparrow, a bird famous for its melodic winter song. That seemed the perfect coda. On that tri-note, we shared a nip of good Kentucky bourbon. We rounded a lake and started back as the light grew thinner and longer. As the temperature dropped, we listened to woodpeckers patiently at work, spotted squirrel nests high in the leafless forest and greeted walkers with leashed dogs hurrying the opposite way through the woods, eager to reach home and warmth. OH Jim Dodson is the founding editor of O.Henry magazine.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 15


All About That Spoon

Following a long and dark December, Weatherspoon Art Museum reopens its doors on Saturday, Jan. 2, with a new exhibition. In fact, look for three openings this month. As the title suggests, Markmaking (on display through April 3) explores the application and effect of the various lines, scratches, smudges, patterns, dots and textures emerging from a selection of expressive works from the WAM collection. Next, Slow Looking/Deep Seeing (on display Jan. 16 through June 19) invites its viewers to get intimate. Inspired by findings that the average patron spends just eight seconds looking at a work of art, the exhibit was created to facilitate immersive viewing. Dive deeper on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 4 p.m. with “Teaching & Learning about Slow Looking,” a virtual event led by Shari Tishman, author and lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Exhibit No. 3 opens on January 23. In a dance between abstraction and archival research, Falk Visiting Artist Xaviera Simmons explores lesser-known stories and experiences of Indigenous and Black Americans through a stunning collection of artworks on display through May 29. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: weatherspoonart.org

Capricorn: We’ve Got Your Goat

If ever you’ve loved a Capricorn, then you have mastered the art of being wrong. Because everyone knows that Capricorns know everything. They really do. And they’re unbudgeable. Should you disagree with one, think twice before engaging in debate. After all, you’re dealing with a star sign represented as a horned sea-goat — stubborn and able to breathe underwater. But Capricorns mean well. Don’t you? And this month, with Venus in your sign, there’s a certain glow about you that people are starting to notice. Looking at the year ahead, with Mars acting like some sort of cosmic wingman, you’re going to see a lot of green lights. Your New Year in three words: Dance through it. In the spirit of generosity, here’s 2021, stripped down for all of you. Deal with it or claim a new destiny. Aquarius (January 20 – February 18): Trust your heart. Pisces (February 19 – March 20): Keep it simple. Aries (March 21 – April 19): Use your words. Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Less is more. Gemini (May 21 – June 20): Believe in magic. Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Take deep breaths. Leo (July 23 – August 22): Prepare for takeoff.  Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Buy the shoes.  Libra (September 23 – October 22): Raise your standards. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Lather. Rinse. Repeat.  Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Watch your tongue.

Writing Contest: 10 for 10

In honor of our namesake, William Sydney Porter, O.Henry is launching a short story contest for our 10-year anniversary. And that’s an emphasis on short. Tell us a story in 10 words. For inspiration, here’s a 6-word novel attributed to Hemingway: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Guidelines are simple. Using the subject line “O.Henry’s 10 for 10” submit your short story — one per entrant, please! — by email to ohenryturns10@gmail.com. Deadline: May 1, 2021. Winning entries will be published in our anniversary issue. Bonus points for pulling off an O. Henry twist.

16 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

TOP LEFT PHOTO: ELLIOTT HUNDLEY, "THE BODY OF POLYDOROS", 2008. WEATHERSPOON ART MUSEUM. PURCHASED WITH FUNDS FROM THE DILLARD FUND AND A PARTIAL GIFT OF THE ARTIST AND ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY FOR THE DILLARD COLLECTION, 2008.15 © ELLIOTT HUNDLEY, COURTESY REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES AND ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY, NEW YORK

Short Stories


Doodad

Chess in the City Look what’s taking the world — and Greensboro — by silent, calculated storm

T

hough The Queen’s Gambit suggests historical drama, the Netflix miniseries is a Walter Tevis title. The subject? Chess. Tevis built a taut masterpiece around chess, just as he did with pool in The Hustler and The Color of Money. When comedienne Ellen DeGeneres recently greeted Gambit’s star, Anya Taylor-Joy, she admitted she knew nothing about chess. Is smart back in vogue? Within weeks of Gambit’s late October release, chess sets began selling out in Greensboro. By December, The New York Times published make-your-own chess set tutorials — in paper for beginners, cardboard for intermediate players and origami for advanced players. Chess aficionado Scott McInnis, who began playing at age 3, founded the Greensboro Chess Club in 2013. Chess is his first and last daily thought, he admits, but he stepped down as president in 2017 when his first child, Elijah, was born. Of course, Elijah is learning the game. His name, and his infant sister, Eleanor’s name, both contain chess references. (Brian Miller is the current club president.) Greensboro Chess Club members may not excel at origami, but they do know the board’s 64 squares. Pre-COVID, they met on Wednesdays at the Lewis Recreation Center. Now they meet online (chess.com). Ages 4–104 are welcome, says McInnis. And although the game is male dominated, he expressed his excitement that The Queen’s Gambit stars a woman. Greensboro player Mac Moss began learning chess at age 8. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“Now I’m 72 and still making progress,” he shares, adding that he also enjoys playing internationally with the Internet Chess Club. Though Moss took exception to drugging and chatting during a tournament in The Queen’s Gambit, he says it was excellent. “One of the most interesting things about chess is that it is about combat, beauty and science. Each player tends to be more attracted to one of those elements; in my case, it’s the beauty.” From his home in Germany, former Greensboro resident Peter Braun emails about how he bought one of the first computerized chess boards as a college student and tried to beat the program. He managed, but only at the lower levels. Only a Grandmaster could beat it, he says. “When I was staying in Greensboro,” he adds, “I saw the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer on HBO . . . He was a cool American hero during the Cold War.” McInnis has personally rubbed elbows with some high-level Grandmasters. “The vast, vast majority [of chess players] are overachievers, nerds. But they are bound for engineering, law school, et cetera.” He recommends the website chesskid.com, and also “dinosaur chess.” “Chess is not just a game,” he says. “It is the fusion of science, math, art and competition.” And it sure is beautiful. OH - Cynthia Adams O.Henry 17


Life's Funny

The Long View Seeing the New Year through Old Eyes

By Maria Johnson

We had a running joke.

Every year, for 30-plus years, I would make a layered, Mexican dip in a ceramic dish, tote it to my friend’s Christmas party and “forget” to take home the crockery. The following December, a few days before the next party, my elderly host would rumble into my driveway — usually in a heavybreathing Camaro — hop out and leave the empty (and clean) plate on my doorstep. The message: Fill ’er up. Your deadline looms. That stopped last month. My 94-year-old pal, Irwin Smallwood, and his wife, Judy, reluctantly called off their annual gathering, concluding that COVID made it too risky. No one protested. The guest list skews older, not dumber. Most partygoers are newspaper vets who worked with Irwin during his 42-year hitch at the News & Record, a tour that routed him through the jobs of sports reporter, sports editor and managing editor. He was a cracking good writer and editor; the media tent at The Wyndham Championship, Greensboro’s PGA tournament, is named for him. But that’s not what pulled, and continues to pull, people to Irwin. Packaged in an elfin body and punctuated with wise eyes, a silver monk’s fringe and a soft voice, the main draw is his unfailing love, compassion and big-picture perspective, all rooted in a deep faith that he has passed on to his daughter, Bryn, a United Church of Christ minister. “Occasionally my preacher-daughter will tell me, ‘Daddy, you’re not in charge.’ You know, the first time she said it, it sorta startled me,” he says with a twinkle in his voice. Did I mention his sense of humor?

18 O.Henry

So party or no party, I was hungry to get Irwin’s take on one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes. After all, who’s better to ask for the long view than a man who sometimes refers to himself as “the oldest rat in the barn”? I rang him up one chilly afternoon and asked him to compare COVID, in terms of historical heft, with other calamities that he has lived through: the Great Depression; World War II; and the polio epidemics that flared across the country in the late 1940s and the early ’50s, pinning people to their hearths before “safer at home” was a thing. In some ways, Irwin says gently, COVID resembles each of these trials, which shaped daily life for most Americans. It carries the invisible-enemy quality of polio. It packs an economic devastation — hunger, joblessness, homelessness — that’s reminiscent of the Great Depression for those without financial cushions. It claims an American death toll that might, at the rate it’s soaring, match World War II’s. At this writing, COVID has ended more than 300,000 lives in this country. The second world war reaped 475,000 American lives. In other words, Irwin says, COVID is unique, and when all of the fallout is calculated, it could be the most shattering punch this country has taken in his lifetime. “I’d say it’s tied for first with World War II. It has the potential to be number one,” he says rather calmly. “I think there are a lot of people who think it’s an annoyance. It’s not an annoyance. It’s a serious threat.” I suppose that is why I’ve called him: to hear the news straight-up, from someone with experience. I also called to hear some hope, and my favorite Love Gnome didn’t disappoint. He described responses to hardships of the past. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life's Funny

He saw his mother hand sandwiches to men who came to their back door begging for food during the Depression. They lived in the Eastern Kentucky town of Middlesboro at the time. After his family followed his father’s textile job to Greensboro, and World War II broke out, Irwin watched Army-green trucks stream down U.S. 421, moving military supplies in seemingly endless lines. “Sometimes, it would take a convoy eight hours to go by,” he says. A month after he graduated from Greensboro Senior High, Irwin wore a Navy uniform. Across all social strata, folks suited up and sacrificed for the common good. Gas rationing, meat rationing, coastal blackouts. Everyone was on board with the tough stuff. He likens the challenge, of course, to sports. “It’s like going to practice,” he says. “Sometimes you have to work harder and go through a lot of punishment to get better.” Victory takes many forms. Irwin ticks off the unforeseen fruits of World War II: Racial integration of the military; the infusion of women into the workplace; and the GI Bill, which paid for Irwin and legions of other vets, who couldn’t have afforded it otherwise, to go to college. Already new advances, like vaccines, glimmer in the dust of COVID, he says. “I have faith in my fellow human beings. We’ll come out of this stronger and better than ever,” he says. “But who knows how and who knows when. You don’t know what life is gonna bring.” And with that, Irwin, who turns 95 next month, excuses himself to watch the young Tar Heel team play basketball in a holiday tournament that’s been relocated, because of COVID, from Hawaii to Asheville. Different? Yes. But then, as Irwin points out, so was the 1942 Rose Bowl, which was moved from Pasadena, Ca., to Durham, N.C., after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The old sportswriter has seen this play before. OH

Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She’s still waiting on her damned dish.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 19


The Creators of N.C.

Bottling the Past In Robeson County, where the grapes grow sweet, a Lumbee-owned winery thrives

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

Two legends persist in North Caro-

lina, both of which have spread like twining vines from Roanoke Island westward across the state. One legend is about grapes, the other is about the Lost Colony, and both converge in Robeson County.

First, the legend of grapes: It is believed that when British explorers sent by Sir Walter Raleigh arrived on Roanoke Island in 1584, they were greeted by the sweet aroma of muscadine grapes hanging ripe on the vines. Centuries later, the “Mother Vine,” which is believed to be the oldest known grapevine in the United States at 400 years old, is still thriving on the Outer Banks, roughly two feet thick at its base and covering nearly a half-acre. The second legend is the legend of the Lost Colony. Most North Carolinians know that Raleigh’s 1587 expedition, led by John White, disappeared while White was making a return trip to England for supplies. Three years later, when White came back to the colony, he discovered that nothing had been left behind aside from the word CROATOAN, which was etched into a gate, and the letters CRO that

20 O.Henry

had been carved into a tree. What happened to these British colonists? Among the many theories, one is that the settlers moved inland and befriended Native American tribes, eventually intermarrying and joining the vast network of Native people who had been living in the region for centuries before White settlers arrived. Many believe that descendants of the Lost Colony moved as far inland as present day Robeson County, eventually calling themselves Lumbee in honor of the Lumber (or Lumbee) River. Perhaps that would explain why the Lumbee Indians, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River with a population of over 70,000, have always spoken English as their common language. Not so, writes Malinda Maynor Lowery, associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC-Chapel Hill, who is herself a Lumbee Indian who was born in Robeson County. In her book, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, Lowery writes, “The Lumbees are descendants of the dozens of tribes in that territory, as well as of free European and enslaved African settlers who lived in what became their core homeland.” According to Lowery, the Lumbee’s use of English as their common language is not due to their being founded by the members of the Lost Colony, but was more a matter of convenience as a mixture of tribal communities began to coalesce in the area after migrating to escape disease, warfare and slavery. Native people have lived in what is now The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Creators of N.C.

Robeson County for 13,000 years, long before Sir Walter Raleigh had his earliest notions of empire. If the Lost Colony cannot explain the existence of the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County, it probably cannot explain the westward expansion of the muscadine grape either. According to the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association, “in the early 1800s, North Carolina was a national leader in wine production and in 1840 was the nation’s top wine producer, with an industry built entirely on muscadine grapes.” There are currently 200 licensed wineries in North Carolina, generating $375 million each year in wages and $89 million in state taxes. One of the 200 licensed wineries is Locklear Vineyard and Winery in Maxton, N.C. For the past 15 years, Charlie Locklear and his two sons, Charlie Jr. and Daryl, proud members of the Lumbee tribe, have been growing muscadine grapes and making a plethora of wines on the land that has belonged to the family for generations. The elder Charlie, who was born in 1942 and grew up farming tobacco, corn, cotton and “a little bit of hay” with his family, started making wine as a hobby. “I just loved to do it,” he says on one bright day in early fall, only a few weeks after the vines have been harvested. The operation is tightly run, primarily by family and close family friends, with everything from the growing to the harvesting to the bottling happening on the Locklears’ property, where an old barn The Art & Soul of Greensboro

has been converted into a winery that features a tasting room and retail space. Outside, the land stretches for miles. Charlie, whose likeness appears on all of Locklear Winery’s bottles, remembers a time when the family was no less tied to the land, but simply had more land to tie themselves to. His great-grandfather owned 3,000 acres, and his grandfather came to own and farm roughly 300. “If you’re not farming the big way now, you just can’t make it,” Charlie says, referring to the boom and bust of the agribusiness cycle that often finds farmers relying on huge yields to pay down debts for machinery and land. Now, the Locklears own 70 acres of land, considerably less than in the past, but the land is put to good use, much of it comprised of the vineyard where two variations of muscadine grapes — Noble and Carlos — are grown. The Noble muscadine is red, the wine sweet yet crisp. The Carlos is a white grape, resulting in wine with a sweeter, smoother finish. “I like to experiment with different ways to make wine,” Charlie says. “If you make a good product that tastes good, people are going to buy it.” And people have bought it, and word of the sweet wine from Robeson County continues to spread. While their sales are highest in the local market, Locklear wines are sold throughout Eastern North Carolina, across the Piedmont and into the western part of the state. The winery now employs more people than ever before. Robeson County can be a conservative place, and one has to wonO.Henry 21


The Creators of N.C.

der what the locals thought when Charlie Locklear decided to turn his wine-making hobby into a family business. “Most people embraced it,” he says. “Probably 90 percent of them. You’re never going to get 100 percent on nothing.” But folks will go easy on a local boy, especially when the family name is nearly as old as the land itself. Along with other surnames — Oxendine, Chavis, Dial, Lowery or Lowry or Lowrie among them — Locklears have a long history in the region, and Charlie has the roots to prove it. “I was born here,” he says, “and in 1948 we went straight across the road and built a house. And when I got married in 1964, we remodeled this house, which was my grandfather’s house, and we’ve been here ever since.” Locklear is a prominent name, he continues, and there are a lot of them. “Our ancestors were here, and we were people with high education and businesses. We’re just continuing to promote the family tree, businesswise.” And what does it mean to Charlie Locklear to work this land and create a family business from it? “Well, I hope it’s an encouragement to Lumbees,” he says. “And I hope it’s an encouragement to Whites and Blacks too: If you want to achieve something, you can achieve it. Don’t let other people tell you what to do. It’s like target practice: If you shoot at it long enough, you’ll hit it.” After centuries of his people being on this land, it’s clear that Charlie’s aim is pretty good. OH Wiley Cash and his photographer wife, Mallory, live in Wilmington, N.C. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.

22 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 23


Omnivorous Reader

We Got the Beat The richness of North Carolina’s music

By Stephen E. Smith

In his latest book,

Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, music critic David Menconi lays it out in the prologue: “Music is North Carolina’s tuning fork — not tobacco, basketball, NASCAR, or even barbecue — because it’s not just in the air here, but also the soul.”

Barbecue gobbling, nicotine-addicted NASCAR/Carolina fans might take exception to Menconi’s premise, but for North Carolinians who have wandered through life with their ears pricked forward, there’s no denying that the state’s popular music scene has played a significant role in defining their identity. Charlie Poole, Blind Boy Fuller, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Nina Simone, James Taylor, the Red Clay Ramblers, Ben Folds, Mandolin Orange, and hundreds of other talented musicians, have, at one time or another, called the state home, and although a self-serving parochialism is at work here, there’s good reason to take pride in the music North Carolina has contributed to the world. We can’t claim a Nashville or an Austin or a New Orleans, but popular music would be a lot less interesting without us. And although the state’s boundaries are an arbitrary and artificial device for identifying musical movements and influences, there’s nothing new in employing “sense of place” as an organizing element. The Oxford American, for example, publishes an annual state music edition, with North Carolina featured in their winter 2018 issue. If sex — oh, all right, true love — is the primary inspiration for most pop tunes, race has been a troubling subtext in much of the music North Carolina artists have created. What could be a more revealing example than the “beach music” craze of the 1950s and ’60s where

24 O.Henry

crowds of privileged white guys, decked out in patch-madras britches and alligator wing-tipped tasseled Nettletons, shuffled to sexually implicit dance candy produced almost exclusively by Black artists who wouldn’t have been allowed admission to the venues where they were performing? Menconi’s compendium is generally arranged chronologically, with scant attention paid to music as folklore (we’re talking “popular” music here), and Bascom Lamar Lunsford is as close as Menconi comes to crediting traditional influences. The rough and tumble antics of Charlie Poole and his North Carolina Ramblers is his starting point in “Linthead Pop.” Poole, who was born and raised in Randolph County and spent much of his life working in cotton mills, thrived musically in and around North Carolina in the 1920s and ’30s, and his influence on popular music has waxed and waned with changing tastes. Nevertheless, he remains an essential, almost mythical figure in the history of the state’s music. Piedmont blues artists who worked the Bull City tobacco markets receive their due in chapter two: Blind Boy Fuller, the Rev. Gary Davis, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Elizabeth Cotton and Etta Baker are credited with influencing popular artists well into the 21st century. “Through the Airwaves” is a much-deserved tribute to Charlottebased Arthur Smith, whose superb musicianship and entrepreneurial savvy brought North Carolina music into the mid- to late-20th century. Menconi writes: “Smith didn’t just figure out syndication and diversification but vertical integration, controlling the means of production” by establishing a studio in Charlotte that catered to “the likes of Statler Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, James Brown, and Johnny Cash.” Smith’s copyright infringement suit over “Dueling Banjos,” a 1972 hit from the movie Deliverance, is explicated in detail, correcting lingering misconceptions concerning the tune’s authorship and Smith’s strategic lawsuit against industry giant Warner Brothers. Greensboro readers will appreciate Menconi’s focus on The 5 Royales, a Triad-based gospel-inspired group who enjoyed nationwide The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Omnivorous Reader popularity in the ’50s and early ’60s. Best known for having written and recorded “Dedicated to the One I Love” — later covered by the Shirelles and the Mamas and the Papas — the Royales’ story is one of hard work and little pay. What should have amounted to considerable income from record royalties never materialized. After the Royales’ singer-songwriter Lowman Pauling’s death, his wife received a check for $6. “I hate to say it,” Pauling’s son observes, “but in the Jim Crow South, black people got the shaft.” Doc Watson, the Appalachian flat picker who’s an institution for North Carolinians, is the subject of a thoroughly researched chapter that will enlighten even longtime Watson fans, and the benighted beach music craze is given more than adequate attention in a chapter ironically titled “Breaking the Color Lines at the Beach.” The hit-andmiss career of Eastern North Carolina’s Nantucket is detailed in “The Eight-Track Era of Rock and Roll,” and Chapel Hill is dubbed the “Next Seattle” in an essay that celebrates Ben Folds and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Menconi examines the rise of North Carolina record labels, including Colonial, Sugar Hill and Merge records, and the popularity of Americana, Alternative, and Hip-Hop is explored through the music of the Avett Brothers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Kruger Brothers, Mandolin Orange, the Backsliders, and 9th Wonder and Little Brother. Of particular interest is Menconi’s appreciation of the great Nina

Simone, a Tryon native whose immense talent was shaded by her railings against racial injustice. She and other Black artists fled the state. “That’s especially the case with jazz,” Menconi writes, “starting with Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Max Roach. . . . And after Blind Boy Fuller died in 1941, his Durham blues peers Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Rev. Gary Davis all decamped to the North.” Sprinkled throughout the text are sidebars that recognize artists of particular merit — the Steep Canyon Rangers, Chatham County Line, Shirley Caesar, Tift Merritt, the Embers, James Taylor, John D. Loudermilk, Link Wray, Rhiannon Giddens and many others. Still, it’s impossible to get it all in. There’s just too much good stuff to fit into 300 pages, and many fans will be mildly disappointed to find their favorite musician omitted. Still, Menconi provides a valuable service to North Carolina music lovers, a well-researched and beautifully written primer that’s essential in understanding the state’s contribution to popular music. Moreover, he establishes a jumping-off point from which yet-to-be-written books might explore with more specificity the state’s musical diversity by region and genre. OH Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He is the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press Awards.

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O.Henry 25


Scuppernong Bookshelf

Make It New

January releases to inspire change, sweet change

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

January in the book world is no different

than January in all the other worlds. The promise of rebirth, new growth and new selves is met by the equal forces of self-doubt, resistance and inertia. Here we’ll try to break through the standoff and offer you plausible, possible and even pleasurable ways to enact change. And we all need plenty of change after the traumas of 2020.

Jan. 5: What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance, and Life’s “What-ifs,” by Chanel Reynolds (Harper Wave, PB: $17.99). On July 17, 2009, Chanel Reynolds’ husband, José, was struck by a van while cycling near their home in Seattle and died one week later. Just hours after the accident, Reynolds realized that she was completely unprepared for what came next: What was the password to her husband’s phone? Were their wills legally binding? How much insurance did they have? Could she afford the house? And what the hell was probate anyway? Simply put, she didn’t have her shit together. As it turns out, neither do most of us. We’re too busy and too overwhelmed, or we don’t know where to start. But here’s the thing: You can’t half-ass the important stuff, and hoping for the best is not a plan. Reynolds learned that lesson the hard way so you don’t have to. Jan. 5: Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, by Sanjay Gupta (Simon & Schuster, $28). The longtime CNN medical heartthrob continues to help us through the pandemic, performs brain surgeries routinely and writes books? Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there’s a “best”

26 O.Henry

diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their 80s and 90s with no signs of slowing down — and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise offers a personalized 12-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day. Jan. 5: Every Body: An Honest and Open Look at Sex from Every Angle, by Julia Rothman & Shaina Feinberg (Voracious, $28). Have you ever had a question about sex — whether out of curiosity, desire or the sneaking suspicion that you’re, somehow, different? Every Body will help you feel less alone. It’s a huge collection of anonymous stories, essays, artwork and expert tell-alls on myriad subjects, all rolled into one. Really, they’re the conversations most of us are too scared to start. Framed by dozens of artists’ illustrations, deeply personal interviews and expert essays that address stigmas and clichés, this book is an informative, welcoming and inclusive user’s guide to your body, no matter its shape, size or preferences. Jan. 12: Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing, by Olga Mecking (Houghton Mifflin, $19.99). Don’t just do something, sit there. Backed with advice from the world’s leading experts on happiness and productivity, this book examines the underlying science behind niksen (that’s Dutch for “doing nothing”) and how doing less can often yield so much more. Perfect for anyone who feels overwhelmed, burnt out or exhausted, Niksen does not tell you to work harder. Instead, it shows you how to take a break from all the busyness while giving you sincere, heartfelt permission to do nothing. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


%

-6

5%

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

40

Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books

R E E EA R C W O AN R OW ST R TE N EA U O AR CL E D N W A , R OW FU N FF UY B

Jan 12: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders (Random House, $28). Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he’s been teaching for 20 years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University MFA creative writing program. Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders approaches each of these stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes. Funny, frank and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person’s life and become a benchmark of one’s moral and ethical beliefs. Jan. 26: The Dance Cure: The Surprising Science to Being Smarter, Stronger, Happier, by Peter Lovatt (HarperOne, $22.99). Dancing isn’t just good exercise. Surrendering yourself to the beat can have a far-reaching impact on all areas of your life — it can help you communicate better, think more creatively, and can be a powerful catalyst for change. Losing yourself in the moment to a song or piece of music can also alleviate anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation, Dr. Peter Lovatt has found. Drawing on great stories from dance history as well as fascinating case studies from his Dance Psychology Lab and his own life, Dr. Lovatt shares his best steps and routines, as well as top dance anthems to inspire everyone — even those who believe they “can’t dance” — to turn the music on, stand up and dance themselves happy. There you have it: Dancing, reading, thinking, sex and a healthy dose of nothing. I can live with these changes in my life. Perhaps 2021 might be bearable after all. OH

O

Scuppernong Bookshelf

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O.Henry 27


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Home by Design

In the Hotseat at Aunt Ruth’s

I served my time and, frankly, would have preferred the aliens By Cynthia Adams

Truvy’s Beauty Spot in Steel

Magnolias equipped its Natchitoches, La., patrons to meet life with sky-high hair. But the Franklin Beauty Shop in Monroe, N.C., where my aunt delivered hard truths and even harder hair, was a very different place.

My Aunt Ruth’s shop, which opened in the 1950s, was an assault upon all the senses. It possessed the stark ambiance of a morgue. And it taught me this: Beauty is in the eyes, ears and nose of the beholder. It was as utilitarian as my father’s barber shop: stark, fluorescent lights, pea green walls, Army green vinyl floor, three mirrors, three stations, three chairs outfitted with massive dryers and two manicure tables. Large windows with open metal Venetian blinds (why was something so hideous called Venetian?) overlooked Franklin Street. Passersby could peer directly into her place, which, unlike the barber shop, emanated noxious chemical smells. Incredulously, my aunt made a decent income and won devoted friends. It was ideally situated near the Oasis Sandwich Shop, which served fab sodas, floats, fries and burgers. There, I would idle while my mother got her “do.” Even as a child, I understood that my mother was not improved by the ministrations of my aunt. Her hairdos might just as well have been created with tongs and barbecue tools. Any fool could see she looked better going into the Franklin, as we called it, than she did leaving it. The drive home was confirmation as my mother dusted ditches raking a brush through her shellacked hair, “trying to fix this before we get home,” she’d scoff, as the green Olds swayed across lanes. Mama was never, ever pleased by her sister’s work. Ruth, a natural beauty, loved the natural world and could have The Art & Soul of Greensboro

been a botanist. But her school principal father stubbornly steered her into cosmetology, where she studied the darker arts of beauty. Why oh why? He died before I was born or I would have asked. Her customers’ hair was more often than not dyed or bleached an unnatural shade of blue-black, red or yellow, curled tight, then baked into place beneath oversized dryers suitable for flood recovery operations. Clients emerged pink faced from the blasting heat of the silvery green stationary dryers and then submitted to the next step: a comb out. This involved teasing with a rat-tail comb before the requisite (lethal) final step: Spray Net. Hair sprays of this era contained vinyl chloride, a propellant later proven to be carcinogenic. Hard fact. Another hard fact: My aunt’s clients looked uniformly alike once they climbed out of the sturdy swivel chair. By Ruth’s hands, my grandmother’s hair became a blue-black hue I rarely observed in nature, apart from a rare beetle specimen at the Natural Science Center. It puzzled me why anyone paid Aunt Ruth at all. Speaking of payment, I privately yearned to operate the large green cash register that stood at the entry with the appointments book, watching as customers wrote out checks and waved goodbye “till the next time.” Instead, I thumbed through worn Photoplay and McCall’s magazines in the waiting area. At age 10, when many of my friends were getting a Toni perm in their kitchen, it was decreed: my straight ponytail was inadequate. Aunt Ruth would give me a professional do before my new school year. She washed my long straight hair, then mixed toxic chemicals in a glass bowl. As they stewed, she clipped and chopped. Once the carnage was over, the remaining hair was tightly wound around bright pink perm “rods,” a term co-opted from nuclear physicists. Perm rods are to perms what uranium rods are to nuclear reactors. Either way, they’re volatile. She applied chemicals to the perm rods. A black hair net held it in O.Henry 29


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Home by Design lock down. I was walked to a dryer where this tragic concoction was to “set.” Under the dryer, my eyes stung from the putrid reaction. When my scalp and ears began burning from the blasting heat, I jumped out. But Aunt Ruth ordered me back, lowering the dryer temp to nearly tolerable. The timer pinged and I sprang free. As the rods were removed and my head cooled, I studied the clock: it was now half past my childhood. Ruth swiveled the chair toward the mirror. The shock caused me to bite my lip so hard it bled. I looked precisely like my grandmother. My mother was tense as she swung onto the highway. A stifling ammonia cloud filled the car. I cracked the window to cool my face, still hot and now overwhelmed with the enormity of my strangeness. “Don’t worry. My hair can’t move,” I said. Once home, my father took one look and moaned. “Dear Lord. The child’s ruined.” Devastated, I shuffled out of the house to the barn in search of Trigger, a gentle pony who cocked his head quizzically before accepting a hug. I climbed into the loft, where I did my best thinking, cried a little, then concocted a story owing much to Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. I was playing outside when a space ship landed in the pasture. Aliens zapped me. A lot of my hair burned off right there! I’m just lucky to be alive. It wasn’t exactly original or believable, but an improvement on the story I invented about how I needed a life-saving operation after peeing myself on the playground. Bus #15 swung down our road the next morning, where I waited in a plaid skirt and white blouse, holding a new book satchel, bracing myself. Johnny swung the bus door open; there it was — his open-mouthed surprise. But I turned away and searched the aisle for Martha or Kenneth. They would totally buy my story about my hair-today, gone-tomorrow alien abduction. OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Weekend Away

Not Your Average Farm Town The Madcap gents lap up the small-town pleasures of Farmville, Virginia

By Jason Oliver Nixon

When John and I think up ideas

for our weekends away, it’s easy to consider obvious road-trip destinations such as Charleston and Savannah (stay tuned . . . they’re on our list). But we also like to shake it up with locations that are off the beaten path.

Like Farmville in central Virginia. Situated 2 hours and 40 minutes north of High Point, Farmville, population 8,000, isn’t exactly your average farm town. In fact, it’s something of a design mecca. Truly. But that’s not all. It turns out that it’s a charming and supremely walkable college town with stately brick architecture, a handful of spot-on restaurants and heaps of green space, including the awe-inspiring High Bridge Trail with an entrance that sits smack on Main Street. Plus, the town serves as the perfect home base for visits to nearby historic sites such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and lesser-known Poplar Forest — without the crush, say, of bustling Charlottesville. John and I discovered Farmville’s recently overhauled, 1930sera Hotel Weyanoke while trawling possible road-trip destinations online. We were smitten with the images of the hotel’s sympathetic renovation that mixes period architecture with modern flourishes. But the hostelry is, in fact, far better than the online images suggest.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Weyanoke boasts 70 sleek, contemporary rooms and two restaurants — the Taproot Tavern and Effingham’s. Expect craft beer, cool cocktails and smart cooking (think coal-fired pizzas, crab cakes with creamy rémoulade and a terrific burger with homemade pickles atop a brioche bun). It’s also dog-friendly. The pound-rescue pups — Weenie, Cecil, Amy Petunia and George — accompanied us for the weekend, a frolicsome quartet that relished everything about the comfortable junior suite, including its sitting area, sprawling bathroom and Juliet balcony. And at just $150 per night, the room was a steal. The Weyanoke’s rooftop cocktail bar, the Catbird Rooftop Terrace, was closed for the season, but we plan to return in a more clement season for a little rosé with a view. We loved the hotel’s signature green bikes, perfect for exploring next door Longwood University with its pedestrian friendly, postcard-perfect campus. Hotel Weyanoke ticks off one Farmville design box. And then there’s Green Front Furniture, a sprawling discount furniture company that comprises 13 buildings over several blocks of downtown. Should you seek any type of furnishing, accessory, rug or patio set under the sun, Green Front is your nirvana. Its showrooms are housed within various storefronts up and down Farmville’s main street, including former department stores and dramatically lit tobacco warehouses that look as if they were plucked from the canals of Amsterdam. Traditional furniture brands such as Theodore Alexander make a big presence. As does Kindel. Gabby and Summer Classics. O.Henry 33


Weekend Away Hickory Chair. And on and on. Lest you feel overwhelmed, Green Front has a great map that will give you the lay of the land. We cross paths with the charismatic 20-something Den Crallé, a Farmville native and the force behind Green Front Furniture. “We love being an inherent part of the Farmville community,” Crallé tells us. “The town is super dynamic and only getting better and better. You can shop for furniture, dine, spend the weekend at a great hotel, wander the wonderful campuses and really enjoy a classic American small-town experience.” John and I walked. We hiked. We trotted the dogs up and down Weyanoke lobby Main Street. We browsed furniture at Green Front for clients. We visited nearby Hampden-Sydney College and brunched on BBQ at The Fishin’ Pig. We dined at Mex-centric one19, where we savored uber fresh scallop tacos paired with prickly pear margaritas and a mountain of chips and homemade salsa. Speaking of mountains, on Saturday morning, John and I

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6 7

10,237

Collegiate Hours of Service athletic for class of 2020 signees in 2019-2020 Wells Fargo Cup State Championships & 8 Conference Cups in the past 15 years

Leadership Initiative,

34 O.Henry

Happy New Years

Transportation available

Partnered with:

1-to-1

20

Performing and visual arts classes

20

Music classes

Aviation STEM courses

Applications are being accepted for the 2021-22 school year

Happy New Years Happy New Years

AP Honor Roll Distinction

Graduation rate

1

made the hour-long, bucolic drive to Monticello in Charlottesville. Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop masterpiece is stunning, of course, the iconic architecture paired with a gorgeous panorama. Visitors can learn about the plantation’s history, sip local wines, wander amidst the vegetable gardens and visit Jefferson’s grave. But be prepared for swarms of people, loads of guidelines and — should you miss your social distancing marks — a quantum dose of admonitions. “Don’t come any closer, stay away,” lectured a particularly Teutonic guide when I humbly asked for directions to the loo from behind my mask. Harumph. There went my warm and cozy feelings for Monticello. Sunday morning’s hour-long pilgrimage to Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s less-celebrated retreat near Lynchburg, Va., restored my optimism. There was nothing didactic or dictatorial about our visit to Jefferson’s folly-like pavilion. And there were no crowds. John and I were two of eight people on the property for a 12:30 p.m. guided tour. Surrounded by suburban sprawl, Poplar Forest has managed to cobble back 600 acres to its original 5,000

Technology: Each student is given an Apple Laptop

College counseling office

Please call the Admissions Office for your private tour 336-564-1011

WISHING YOU A HEALTHY AND JOYOUS 2021 THE WISHING YOU AFROM HEALTHY AND JOYOUS LETTERMAN TEAM! 2021 FROM THE LETTERMAN WISHING YOU A TEAM!

HEALTHY AND JOYOUS WISHING YOU A 2021 FROM THE HEALTHY AND JOYOUS LETTERMAN TEAM! Jake: (336)338-0136 Johnnye: (336) 601-6012

2021 FROM THE LETTERMAN TEAM! Mary: (336)508-2418

Jake: (336)338-0136 • Johnnye: (336) 601-6012 • Mary: (336)508-2418

Jake: (336)338-0136

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Johnnye: (336) 601-6012


Weekend Away and offers stunning views in certain sight lines (and, sadly, perspectives onto vinyl-clad ranch houses in others). The home itself is amazing — a cube surrounded by a Palladian-inspired symmetry that, lacking furniture, celebrates Jefferson’s architectural masterstrokes. Restoration work continues. Happily, there is a master plan for Poplar Forest that will help reduce the suburban vistas and celebrate the estate’s extant surrounding nature. Interesting factoid: Poplar Forest was rescued in the 1980s by a High Point doctor who saved the property from development before selling it to the nonprofit that currently runs the estate. Back in Farmville, John and I finished off our busy weekend with a languid dinner at the groovy North Street Press Club eatery, housed in a super-cool former printing plant next door to the hotel. We sipped kicky Paloma cocktails and noshed on Vietnamese street tacos with tangy nuoc cham sauce from a vast around-the-world menu. Our assessment of Farmville? Yes. Yes. And yes. Noted John, “I really like this town, who knew? What an unexpected, wonderful little gem.” OH The Madcap gents, John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, embrace the new reality of COVID-friendly travel — heaps of road trips.

Monticello

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OHenry-half-NewYear21.indd 1

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36 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Birdwatch

New Birds on the Block You never know. You could spot a western tanager

By Susan Campbell

The most exciting part of watching birds is that you never know who might show up — and when. After all, they have wings. They can and do show up, almost anytime, almost everywhere.

Here in the Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina, western wanderers suddenly show up, soaring overhead, perched in treetops or even at our feeders. Like the western tanager, for instance, which we’ll get to shortly. But a few words on the wanderers first. Some birds are more prone to vagrancy than others. Whether this behavior is aimlessness — getting lost or being blown off course — is hard to say. Not surprisingly, long-distance migrants are at highest risk for becoming confused en route. And while it’s been studied at great length, the truth is that we understand very little about migration. Here’s all we know: most birds are successful at migration, which allows their genes to be passed on to the next generation. This is not to say that those birds that end up off track are bound to stay lost forever or perish as a result of a wrong turn along the way. In fact, researchers believe that, in some cases, these out-ofplace individuals represent the beginning of a range expansion for their species. It’s documented: Bird populations move into new areas of the United States. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A species that has been observed well outside of its normal range in the winter more and more frequently is the western tanager. This small and colorful songbird is found in the warmer months throughout most of the Western United States in a variety of wooded habitats. Come fall, they traditionally head for Mexico and Central America. But in the early 1990s, one showed up at a feeder in Wilmington. It stayed for the winter and, amazingly, repeated its winter stay twice, happily feeding on suet, shelled seeds and fruit. Since that first visitor, more than two dozen western tanagers have been documented along the southern coast of our state. What does this mean? It’s probably too soon to tell. But bird lovers in our southeastern counties are keeping an eye out for westerns each year. This winter, a male western tanager has reportedly settled into a yard in Apex. The host is pleased. And more than likely, the handsome bird is one of two that were in residence there last season. All tanagers molt twice a year. Because they’re drab looking from early fall through early spring, western tanagers are sometimes hard to identify when they appear in the East. Unlike our more common summer and scarlet tanagers, westerns have noticeable barring on their wings and are a bit brighter yellow on their under parts. I would wager that very few people reading this column have ever seen a western tanager out of its seasonal range. But it pays to be prepared with binoculars and a good field guide should an unfamiliar visitor appear. Wherever you are, rarities are always possible, even in your own backyard. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos, especially if it’s a western tanager. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com. O.Henry 37


Wandering Billy

Rise of the Mill A glimpse of Greensboro’s past and present

By Billy Eye Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. — Joe Sparano

Following the vibrant reemer-

gence of Greensboro’s Mill District — the Cone family’s Revolution Mill and Printworks Mill now thriving as multiuse commercial and residential hubs — another dilapidated manufacturing plant is undergoing a multimillion-dollar reimagining for what promises to be a spectacular setting for 170 apartments and townhomes.

That explains the hive of activity in and around a former, venerable hosiery mill located on Howard Street. It’s close to the railroad tracks near the west end of UNCG’s campus — behind Hops Burger Bar and Bites & Pints Gastro Pub on Spring Garden. The property dates back to 1926 when three manufacturers from New York, Bernard Mock, Nathaniel Judson and John K. Voehringer, formed the Mock, Judson, Voehringer Company of North Carolina. It operated out of a 10,000-square-foot building adjacent to the rail lines on Oakland Avenue and originally hired 14 workers. Over time, the enterprise morphed into a leading producer of women’s silk stockings, Mojud Hosiery Company. Over the next decade, undeterred by the Great Depression, the company employed some 600 workers, the overwhelming majority of them female, and was producing more than 4 million pairs of nylon hosiery by 1928. In fact, Mock, Judson, Voehringer was one of the primary employers of the county’s working women — an alternative to rolling stogies for the El-Rees-So Cigar Company. The complex eventually expanded to 140,000 square feet. In 1938, a retail outlet was established at the mill to showcase the Mojud brand ladies’ lingerie produced on site, quite possibly making it the nation’s first outlet store. In those early days, customers took a number and lined up outside to gain admittance so as to

38 O.Henry

not crowd the store. No less than Charles C. Hartmann — the architect responsible for the Jefferson Standard Building and the Central Fire Station on Greene Street (as well as some of the city’s finest homes) — was called in to design some plant additions, a storefront and an attached Art Deco inspired office festooned with glass bricks. This was the largest such facility in the South by the 1940s, and the first in the South to manufacture elegant chiffon hosiery. The company’s advertising campaigns featured movie stars like Rita Hayworth, Virginia Mayo and Ginger Rogers, who famously danced 27 miles in Mojud’s “Magic Motion” sheer stockings. The company’s mascot, Mojud Man, was a Cupid-like character designed by Vic Herman, the illustrator who also created Elsie the Cow for Borden Dairy Company, Reddy Kilowatt and Harvey Comics’ Little Dot. During World War II, with all silk and nylon redirected for making parachutes, the plant switched over to making rayon hosiery. After the war ended, pent-up demand for the real thing reinvigorated the company with three shifts of 2,000 employees working nonstop to produce some 19 million pairs of nylons a year. Because temperature control was crucial to the process, when air conditioning was introduced in the late-1940s, all of the windows ringing the facility were bricked in. Today, they are being uncovered so that daylight can once again brighten the interior. In the 1950s, Mock, Judson, Voehringer officially rebranded itself as Mojud Hosiery. It took a (mill) village to make the Cone manufacturing plants successful. Like other textile giants, Cone built villages to house its employees (five in Greensboro), and added churches, schools, ballfields and company stores to lure workers. Mojud was the odd duck that didn’t cocoon its employees in a morning-to-night experience with company-provided housing and other amenities. Instead, their workers populated the up-and-coming Lindley Park and Highland Park neighborhoods and dined in the plant’s cafeteria between shifts. The company published its own monthly magazine, The Mojud Singer, which featured employee comings and goings, birth announcements and scoreboards for their championship winning men and women’s basketball teams. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Wandering Billy Around 1956, after the company was purchased by Burlingtonbased Kayser-Roth Corporation, the former Mojud store became a Rolane Factory Outlet, which remained open on the site long after the plant was shuttered in 1972. Rolane was a popular destination for back-to-school clothing, jeans, socks and an aromatic pink skin lotion sold at the checkout counter next to the Jordan Almonds. If I got a new car coat or windbreaker as a youngster, it likely came from Rolane. Eventually, Rolane expanded to more than 40 locations, including a storefront at Golden Gate Shopping Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, for over 30 years the property has been subject to the cruelties of the environment but has served as a sprawling brick canvas for graffiti artists of varying levels of talent. Mark Spangenberg of Durham-based Belk Architecture is spearheading the project following Belk’s very successful reinvention of the Revolution Mill, as well as Durham’s Brightleaf Square and American Tobacco Campus. Despite being largely abandoned for nearly half a century, the original masonry structure of the manufacturing plant remains fully intact — “good bones” as they call it — making this hulking structure an ideal candidate for a restoration estimated to cost in excess of $20 million. The same crew that brought Revolution Mill back to life, general contractor CT Wilson and their team, are in the early stages of construction with electricians restoring the old gal’s spark. Heavy machinery will clear away a forest of weeds grown thick and tall as trees on the

JANUARY

EVENTS

For more events, visit TicketMeTriad.com

south side of the property, where a pool and recreation center will be located. And craftsmen are busy refurbishing the signature wooden staircase and a heavy timber structure at the building’s east end. The extant two-story atrium in the common area of the complex will serve as a communal space, while the adjacent boiler house and smokestack will be integrated into the campus. Attorney and developer Mark Bouldin of St. Petersburg, Fla., purchased the 8.7-acre property three years ago from former owner Marty Kotis. Kotis had unveiled ambitious and preliminary plans for what is now being called the Judson Mock Project back in 2001. Objections came not from adjacent neighborhoods or UNCG, aka “the usual suspects,” but from the Sherwin-Williams paint distribution center across Howard Street. They were concerned about additional traffic impeding their operations, as well as escaping paint fumes bothering future tenants. Those issues were addressed, and Sherwin-Williams has since acquiesced, allowing the project to proceed without impediment. As our city embraces the future, increasingly it is our antiquated industrial infrastructure — which until very recently was considered a gargantuan eyesore — that lights the way, defining how we live and interact in a world that would have seemed unimaginable to those three businessmen from New York who dared to venture South so long ago. OH Billy Eye, a former Hollywood movie-poster designer who grew up in and currently resides in Greensboro, would love to wear his Rolane car coat if he still had it.

VIVID i n t e r i o r s

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910.693.2516 Before purchasing tickets, please consult with the event organizer to confirm the event. If an event is canceled, the organizer will communicate directly with ticket holders regarding future plans and/or possible refunds.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

interior design • art • furniture • vintage • textiles • home accessories

513 s elm st , greensboro 336.265.8628 www.vivid-interiors.com

O.Henry 39


A R E A IND EPEN D EN T

SCHOOLS Our area has a wonderful selection of independent schools with a variety of educational models. Look at what these schools have to offer and see what’s right for your child.


PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION

Excel to Serve! Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School’s primary mission is to develop students holistically to serve in a world in need of peace, love and justice. We encourage students through academic and co-curricular opportunities to excel personally, academically, spiritually, and to build their own unique mission in life. Bishop McGuinness is fully accredited and a college preparatory high school that is widely recognized for high academic standards and the excellence of their graduates. Students are guided by an exceptional faculty and college counseling team, not only as they work towards college goals, but in all aspects of their experience at Bishop. We offer a full AP program, aviation STEM courses, and a thriving arts program with over 40 courses. We are minutes from Greensboro and have financial assistance and transportation available. Please call the Admissions Office for your private tour. 336.564.1011 or kknox@bmhs.us

1725 NC Hwy 66 | Kernersville, NC 27284 | 336.564.1010 | www.bmhs.us


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B’nai Shalom Day School: Rooted and Growing Celebrating its 50th anniversary, B’nai Shalom Day School is one of the oldest private day schools in Greensboro and the Triad’s only infant - 8th-grade Jewish independent school. B’nai Shalom Day School fosters academic excellence while maximizing each individual student’s potential. We develop leaders who are strong and confident, empathetic and compassionate. BSDS is offering both in-person and virtual learning options via Zoom and Swivl so you can make the decision best suited for your family. Schedule a tour today to see why B’nai Shalom stands the test of time!

804-A Winview Dr. | Greensboro, NC 27410 | 336.422.3715 | bnai-shalom.org


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“From every corner of campus, a commitment to safety, boldness, innovation, grit, and humility define the spirit of Bengal Nation.” - Tracie Catlett, Head of School

Already thinking about the next school year? Are you searching for a school that provides a safe learning environment, the skills, knowledge, and understanding for your child to achieve their potential, character, and leadership development to prepare for college and beyond? You can stop looking. Please schedule a tour at greensboroday.org/visit to learn how Greensboro Day School is safely operating school in-person while providing families the flexibility to learn remotely. With added health and safety protocols, students age 2 through grade 12 continue to be challenged, encouraged, and cared for by dedicated and highly trained teachers. Teachers utilize all corners of the school’s 65-acre campus to provide learning opportunities in the classroom and outdoors, using the school’s learning pond, teaching gardens, and green space as outdoor classrooms.

5401 Lawndale Drive | Greensboro, NC 27455 | 336.288.8590 | greensboroday.org/visit | gdsadmission@greensboroday.org


PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION

Whether toddler or teen, your child is our curriculum. Your child is like no one else, and their educational journey should be about unleashing their full potential ... not about surviving hours of arbitrary homework or memorizing facts for the next test. At Greensboro Montessori School, we authentically engage each aspect of our students’ development — cognitive, social, emotional — and provide them with the skills and courage to grow into the people they’re intended to be. Our teachers personally know their students and intentionally prepare their curricula, classrooms, and community to meet each individual’s needs. Our alumni are a testament to our approach: 97% of our graduates say they are successful adults because of their Montessori education. Visit gms.org to learn more and register for an upcoming Virtual Open House.

2856 Horse Pen Creek Road | Greensboro, NC 27410 | 336.668.0119 | www.gms.org


PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION

Thinking about the 2021-22 School Year? At New Garden Friends School, we are a community of learners. From preschool through grade 12, NGFS offers an innovative journey that prepares boys and girls not just for the school years ahead, but for the rest of their lives. As a progressive, independent school, our curriculum is never stagnant. Accommodations are made to support and challenge students. We approach teaching and learning from a growth mindset. Our Upper School features a dual enrollment program with Guilford College, GTCC, and UNCG, allowing students to earn college credit beginning in their junior year. We are committed to serving the educational, social, and emotional needs of all of our students whether they are learning in our classrooms or off-campus. Visit us at ngfs.org to learn more!

1128 New Garden Road | Greensboro, NC 27410 | 336.299.0964 | www.NGFS.org | Preschool – Grade 12


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Now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 School Year online at nobleknights.org! Since its founding in 1987, Noble Academy has empowered students in grades 2-12 with learning differences and attention difficulties to pursue their highest potential within a comprehensive, supportive educational environment. Their students are gifted, intelligent, artistic, athletic, and are simply seeking a place where their learning differences do not impede their academic and social growth. They serve students with a highly accredited full-day program, including a specifically designed remote learning option for students on the East Coast. But the real measure of difference is a faculty that works collaboratively with each student to develop an individualized and targeted plan to meet their specific learning needs. Noble has the experience, tools and, most of all, highly trained faculty to meet each student’s unique needs. To learn more, visit nobleknights.org.

3310 Horse Pen Creek Rd | Greensboro NC, 27410 | 336.282.7044


PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION

A 21st Century Education, with 50 Years of Proven Excellence As Wesleyan Christian Academy celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we remain committed to providing a rigorous and comprehensive K-12 college preparatory experience coupled with a foundation rich in history, biblical truth, community, and servant leadership. Wesleyan’s programming is designed to engage our 1,200 students at every academic level via our traditional, resource, and enrichment programs. At Wesleyan, our students enjoy award-winning athletics (33 teams), fine arts (12 groups), and a state-of-the-art STEM program, in combination with robust dual-enrollment, advanced placement, and honors programs. Quick • 2020 Seniors Awarded $5.28 MM in Merit Scholarships Facts • 51 National AP Scholars (Classes of 2020/2021)

• 16 College Athlete Commits (Class of 2020)

• • • • •

99-Acre Dual Campus 39 Dual Enrollment Courses 13 AP & 27 Honors Courses Local & Global Missions Opportunities Admission Requirements: Rolling basis. Tours Encouraged.

1917 North Centennial Street | High Point, NC 27262 | 336.884.3333 | www.wesed.org


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Discover What’s Within the Triad’s First Independent School Westchester Country Day School whole-heartedly believes in its excellent academic program, characterized by challenging nurture, and what it makes possible for each child. Our PK-12 students gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue higher education and future goals while developing appreciation for learning as a lifetime joy. Each year, 100 percent of graduates are accepted into four-year universities. Arts, athletics and service are woven into the curriculum, created by experienced faculty who are lifelong learners themselves. It is never too late to try a new interest at Westchester. Our student body is intentionally small, and that provides all with the opportunity to participate in visual arts, music, drama, three seasons of sports, robotics and more. Visit our website and schedule a tour to #DiscoverWCDS.

2045 N. Old Greensboro Road | High Point, NC 27265 | 336.822.4005 | westchestercds.org


PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION

Challenging the Mind. Nourishing the Spirit. Canterbury School empowers young leaders with curiosity, compassion, and creativity. Since our founding in 1993, we have been guided by our motto: To Learn, To Love, To Serve: To Live. Our preschool-8th grade structure concentrates on the learning needs and social-emotional development of young children and middle school adolescents. Canterbury’s strong health protocols provide stability for students to be able to learn on campus, even during the pandemic, while maintaining joyful classrooms and a robust program. We encourage families to plan a campus visit and get to know us at an upcoming parent information session: Kindergarten Info Session - Thursday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m. Early Childhood (3s and PreK) Info Session - Wednesday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.

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

Now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 School Year online at nobleknights.org! Since its founding in 1987, Noble Academy has empowered students in gradesNow Accepting Applications 2-12 with learning differences and attention difficulties to pursue their highest potential within a comprehensive, supportive educational environment. For The 2021-2022 School Year Their students are gifted, intelligent, artistic, athletic, and are simply seeking over 65 years, St. Pius X Catholic School has welcomed children of all a place where their learning differences do not impede their academic andFor faiths from across the Triad. Our mission is to educate and nurture students social growth. They serve students with a highly accredited full-day program, to develop children of faith, compassion, and intellect who are committed to independent thinking and service to others. We provide a joyful learning including a specifically designed remote learning option for students on the East environment that allows each child to confidentially grow in grace and indiCoast. But the real measure of difference is a faculty that works collaboratively viduality. At St. Pius we believe in empowering children to reach both their with each student to develop an individualized and targeted plan to meet educational their and personal potential. specific learning needs. Noble has the experience, tools and, most of all, highly • Nationally Accredited With Exceptional Academics trained faculty to meet each student’s unique needs. • Outstanding Fine Arts, Athletics and Scholastic Extracurricular Opportunities To learn more, visit nobleknights.org. • Full and Half-day Pre-Kindergarten Program • Before and after school extended care program • Scholarships and Financial aid available • NC opportunity Scholarship Participant.

2200 N Elm Street | Greensboro, NC | 336.273.9865 | spxschool.com

3310 Horse Pen Creek Rd | Greensboro NC, 27410 | 336.282.7044


© 2021 Pinehurst, LLC

Gil Hanse thought of every angle. Now it’s your turn. Play Pinehurst No. 4.

It’s time to test your mettle on this rugged masterpiece. Renowned course architect Gil Hanse transformed what Donald Ross first carved out of the sand a century ago into 18 dramatic holes you’ll want to play again and again. Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina | 844.770.9191 | Visit pinehurst.com


January 2021 What It Was about that First Marriage The floors were fine. Gorgeous,

in fact. Blond as sunshine, clean, polished, alive with the kind of promise we had dreamed. But oh those two mismatched tables. Same height, so we kept trying to line them up as if they were a unit. One was maple, right out of somebody’s 1950s Nebraska kitchen, with a scalloped leaf that folded down, though it was years before we saw it for what it was. The other, streamlined, sleek. Once we tried pushing them together and covering both with a patterned cloth, though dinner guests kept banging their knees. When I look back, I’m amazed we didn’t toss it, haul it to the curb. But, no, we struggled for years to make it work, painting, and painting again, turning it sideways.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

— Dannye Romine Powell

O.Henry 41


Three local artists share their radiant visions of hope for the New Year By Ashley Wahl • Photographs by Bert VanderVeen

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


ur thoughts create our reality. Mystics and writers have long explored this simple yet radical notion, borrowing wisdom from nearly every ancient culture. I’d like to think there’s some truth to it. From the late 1930s until his death in 1972, New Thought philosopher Neville Goddard taught that imagination and faith are the secrets of creation. “Be careful of your moods and feelings,” he wrote, “for there is an unbroken connection between your feelings and your visible world.” In the late ’70s, New Age author Shakti Gawain said as much in her bestselling book Creative Visualization, defining imagination as “the creative energy of the universe.” Oprah brought this metaphysical concept to the masses in 2006 when she plugged The Secret on her show, praising Rhonda Byrne’s “life-changing” book and documentary film for bringing to light the Law of Attraction, aka the spiritual principle that like attracts like. “Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought,” writes Byrne. Although critics have rejected this claim, arguing that “the secret” has no scientific foundation, it certainly has a following. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Perhaps it’s difficult to certify that our thoughts hold the power to change our world, but consider the studies conducted by Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto, who claimed that our consciousness could alter the molecular structure of water and had the photos to prove it. Human beings are largely made of water. Ditto Planet Earth. And so, if only for the sake of our own pleasure, let us imagine that this maxim holds true — that our thoughts and intentions can change us and therefore our reality. In this spirit of optimism and imagination, O.Henry’s editors began looking at 2021 as a literal blank canvas, asking ourselves how we might wish to see it — what colors and textures we might add, and what space we might leave for positive changes. Then, just for fun, we reached out to three wildly talented local artists — Krystal Hart, Jessica Yelverton and Beka Butts — to see if they might play along, sharing with us their very real, deeply heartfelt “visions of hope” for the new year. You might treat this as a dream board kind of rendering, we suggested. A vision you might create in a spacious morning. The artists floored us with three refreshing and exclusive visual responses, which they graciously agreed to share in the pages of O.Henry. We hope that their art might inspire you, dear reader. And if this new year looks or feels anything like their visions — soft, dreamy and full of hope — then things are looking up. O.Henry 43


44 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


rystal Hart is a North Carolina native whose work bridges cultures and communities by exploring our shared human condition. Her mission is to shift perspectives toward restoration and regeneration. Through abstraction, Hart navigates boundaries and space within the human experience. She communicates through painting, collage, audio and moving image. Inspired by Nihonga, an early 20th century style of traditional Japanese painting, Hart uses precious natural and synthetic materials that are subjected to trauma. These works of art express emotive color fields that balance tumult with delicacy. Artist’s Statement: The green and blue hues in my vision invoke feelings of new life and fresh perspectives. The dark shapes represent the recent past: systems and situations that we are still trying to make sense of. And the bright pops of color and geometric shapes remind me of a child’s building blocks — symbols of hope for a bold and playful reality that we are all invited to co-create. Imagine in 2021 not taking ourselves — or even our recent past — too seriously. Imagine assuming a jovial attitude, regardless of circumstances. Imagine our wonder for goodness and beauty restored. I see thoughtful, honest and careful steps forward. May our reflections looking back at 2020 lead us to surprising innovation and new ways of seeing and being. May we be more careful with ourselves and others — more kind. May we seek and discover the loveliness within each moment. And may we be confident, sober and courageous in our thoughts and actions.  Media: Natural minerals, pigments, white charcoal, graphite powder, sumi and walnut ink, silver leaf, tulle, cheese cloth, colored pencil, twine fibers and mitsumata paper on kumohadamashi paper mounted on wood panel, 30 x 40 inches Essentially, Child's Play. 2021 The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Read more about Krystal Hart in the Winter 2020 issue of Seasons Style + Design and at her website, www.krystalhart.com. O.Henry 45


Varied, Rooted & Whole, 2021


essica Yelverton, aka HighBrow Hippie, is a Greensboro artist who draws inspiration straight from nature and translates it into landscapes, seascapes and botanically-themed paintings, primarily in watercolor. Endlessly fascinated by the juxtaposition of control and chaos that watercolor allows, Yelverton describes the creative process of setting pigment free as one of her favorite phenomena on the planet. Watercolor, the artist says, demonstrates thoughtfulness, grace, graciousness and trust — all the traits she hopes to reflect through her life and artwork. Artist’s statement: Several months ago, I learned somewhere — probably on a podcast — that plants communicate with one another. They do this through intricate root systems underground; partially their own, partially with help from the threadlike roots of fungi. This seemed almost unbelievable to me — plants and mushrooms as conscious entities! But they do indeed talk, and not only to their own kind, but across species. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Plants communicate about everything from nutrients to water levels, from sunlight to pest protection. They also share resources with one another. If a tree in the forest is attacked by a predator, for example, information spreads beneath the forest floor. Defenses are put into place, and nutrients from surrounding trees flow to aid the one in need. What if we take our cue from plants as we enter 2021? What if we recognize that we don’t have to be homogenous in our thinking to successfully communicate and support one another? We are varied, yes, but what if we saw our differences as our collective strength? No one wants a forest or a garden with only one species. Variety is what makes life together beautiful. Communication is what makes it work. Media: Pencil and watercolor on paper, 12 x 12 inches Read more about Jessica Yelverton in the Winter 2020 issue of Seasons Style + Design and at her website, www.highbrowhippiestudio.com. O.Henry 47


We Take Care of Each Other, 2021

48 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


eka Butts is a Greensboro illustrator, artist and maker dedicated to contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the Triad’s art scene. Born on the Border in El Paso, Texas, Butts explores social issues through a lens of Hispanic folk art and defines her work as a mix of Chicano and Southern influences. Drawing inspiration from nature, the artist employs intricate patterns and detail while creating everything from large-scale murals to tiny works of wood-burned jewelry.

Artist’s Statement: What do I see — and hope for — in 2021? People taking care of each other. To me, this means supporting local restaurants, artists and makers who are struggling, tipping generously, buying handmade, wearing masks, being kind to others and ourselves, being as safe as The Art & Soul of Greensboro

possible, and being conscious of every healthcare worker who keeps showing up, day after day, throughout this pandemic. I want to see us taking care of our teachers and the parents who have become teachers, too. Let us take care of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable. Keep checking on our family and friends. Send the text message, the video, the letter, the gift — let’s remind each other that we’re not alone. Find Beka Butts’ handmade jewelry at the locally curated Hudson’s Hill in Greensboro and explore more of her artwork on social media @Bbutts_illustration or facebook.com/BekaButtsIllustrator. O.Henry 49


Brownie

This is the camera that belonged to my family when I was a child. I used to try and take “serious� photos with it, like portraits of my family and photographs of trees. Recently, while looking back at some of these old pictures, I could trace a fairly straight line from where I am now to who I was then as a photographer. One such photo is of a park sign on a snowy playground. Look closer and see that the sign has been pelted by snowballs. This glimpse into my younger self reveals my earliest exploration of visual jokes and play, which have long fascinated me.


The Memory Keeper A photographer’s journey through cameras Story & Photographs by Mark Wagoner

P

hotographer Mark Wagoner’s origin story is one of seduction. In the early 1960s, when Mark was 4 or 5 years old, his older brother kept a darkroom in the basement of their home in Reidsville. The mystery of what went on behind that door ignited a curiosity within him that developed into full-blown obsession. He wanted in on the secret, the alchemy, the magic. Hence, as soon as his father would let him hold the family’s Kodak Brownie, Wagoner began exploring life through the lens of a camera and never stopped. A career photographer for over four decades, Wagoner has maintained an assemblage of cameras that rivals a Kardashian shoe closet. And as he’s pared them down, the process has revealed a trove of sacred memories. Imagine rock legend Bob Weir handling his most precious guitars, recalling where he played them, who was with him, what he loves about their shapes and sounds. Wagoner blushes at the comparison but admits that the sentiment he feels is apt: “I feel an emotional attachment when I hold these cameras,” he says, “but whether it’s an external energy or an energy that the object inspires, I can’t say.” Here, in his own words, are the memories that each of his cameras evokes. - Ashley Wahl

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 51


Diana

I was 10 years old when my parents gave me my very first camera. We were driving to Elks Camp for Boys in Western North Carolina, so of course I brought it with me. During those two full weeks at camp, I probably shot one roll of film — that’s it. But when you put a bunch of 10-year-old boys in a cabin together, you end up learning lots of different things.

Kodak Brownie 8mm Movie Camera

Yep, this was the family camera I used to shoot my very first movies. Things like my brother on his mini bike, jumping over obstacles. I’m lying on the ground, of course, looking for the most dramatic camera angle I can find.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


C500

For years, this classic Hasselblad was the camera of choice for many professionals. I used one at multiple jobs throughout my career, including an 18-month assignment in Saudi Arabia in my 20s that opened up my world. I wound up with a digital version around 2010.


Yashica

When I was 18 years old, I bought this 1960s camera for $12 from Mr. Grogan at Reidsville Camera Shop. It got me through all of my basic photo classes at Randolph Community College, but I put a piece of black tape over the name to cover up that it was a Yashica, not the coveted Rolleiflex.


Chautauqua Seneca Uno

This antique wooden beauty belonged to my wife’s grandfather, Louis Spritzer. My mother-in-law gave it to me when he died in 1987. The lens needed some repairs. I had a bellows maker build a new bellows (the accordion-like tube used to position the lens). And it works. Hold it at waist level. Now, look here, into the optical finder. See how the image is upside down and backwards? This 4 x 5 field camera is like some kind of time machine. I’ve used it once professionally, on the morning of 9/11 while on assignment at the old Browsery Antiques bookshop downtown. I’d just heard the tragic news, and there I was, upstairs in the shop. There were stacks and stacks of books, nearly falling over. The photo I took became, to me, a metaphor for the falling towers. Sometime later, I brought the shop owner, Ben, a copy of the picture. As a way of saying thanks, he gifted me a book by Persian poet Omar Khayyam.

Canon F-1

When I was in college, most people had Nikons. But I was drawn to Canons. After taking basic photo classes with my $12 Yashica, my dad bought me this Canon in 1976 — my first professional camera. The F-1 was my main 35mm camera for probably 20 years. I’ve taken them all over the world, including the Great Wall of China.


Graphlex

When I was on the Yearbook staff at Reidsville Senior High from 1972 until 1975, we spent so much time in the darkroom that we had our own key to the school. This old press camera was given to me by my high school principal. It belonged to the school and had essentially been collecting dust since the 1950s. Since it shot a weird film size that wasn’t readily available — 3.25 x 4.25 — I would take 4 x 5 film into the darkroom and cut it down with a paper cutter. I used this Graphlex in high school and college until I had my own view camera, but I continued using this lens for years.

Polaroid SX-70

In the early 1980s, when I lived in Saudi Arabia on an assignment with The Parsons Company, an engineering firm from California, the photo department had access to what was essentially an unlimited supply of film for it, likely from some kind of restocking blunder. Everyone in the photo department bought one of these cameras. We must have taken thousands of photos with them. Imagine . . . a bunch of bored, fairly youngish guys with nothing to do. I mean, thousands of photos. I kept a collection of the best of the best: pictures from our scuba diving excursions, our drives through the desert, dudes in shorts smoking chicken on the patio.


Dad’s Voightlander

This camera is particularly special to me and always has been. It was purchased by my father, Raymond Wagoner — in Italy, I think — during WWII. I still have a lot of the pictures he took with it when he was in Europe. Pictures of the guys clowning around in their uniforms; one image of them posing beside a bombed-out Jeep. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 57


What We’re

Made Of

While researching her own family narrative, author Shonda Buchanan uncovers pieces of a story that belong to all of us By Virginia Holman • Photograph by Nathalie Gordon

“W

here do you come from?” This was the question that professor Shonda Buchanan, author of the memoir Black Indian, was asked when she was a child. As she became an adult, the question grew larger. It’s the question she thinks about “when I look at the multitude of shades in my beautiful family, and in America.” Born in Michigan, Shonda Buchanan’s multiracial heritage was something she always knew about, but only partially. “I’m African American with Native American ancestry, and I identify as Black Indian,” though she also notes that some may use the term Afro-Native. “My mother often told me that the family was Native American, White and Black. Yet she could never tell me who those Native American members were; she didn’t know the tribes of our ancestors. That information was just gone.” As Buchanan became aware of the gaps and erasures in her family history, she decided to find out what and who had vanished from the family narrative. When she taught at Hampton University and the College of William & Mary, she began researching her heritage. Eventually, she was able to trace her ancestors’ journey from Eastern North Carolina (Sampson County) to Virginia, and then into Indiana and Michigan. Buchanan says that even though she did a lot of archival research, she doesn’t consider herself a historian. “I consider myself a storyteller,” she offers. “I’ve spent a lot of time not just in libraries but also talking with people and unearthing these stories.” Her goal as a storyteller has been to make sense of her family’s oral history, genealogy and DNA-based ancestry. Some of the family stories she recounts in her memoir are complicated and painful. There are accounts of violence, discrimination and self-loathing. But there are also stories of joy and awakening, of a girl who grows up and into an artist who is able to tell a complicated family history. “My family lost language, lost culture, lost ancestors’ names,” Buchanan says, some of which can never be recovered. Even so, what she did discover has led her to honor and celebrate traditions that lay outside of her upbringing, if not outside of her blood. And as Buchanan learned more about her ancestors, she began participating in Native American customs in order to more The Art & Soul of Greensboro

fully understand this part of her heritage. It’s been a challenging journey. Here she treads respectfully but never shies away from issues of origins, race and identity in America. In essence, she asks again and again, “Who am I? Who are you? Who are we?” As she dances in powwows and visits sweat lodges to connect to this part of her ancestry, she finds she always asks herself, “Am I doing it right?” Buchanan’s memoir also delves into some of the ugly policies that shaped how people were classified in the United States, in particular the legacy of Walter Plecker, whose views on race resulted in “onedrop” policies and antimiscegenation laws that outlawed interracial marriage. These policies, she writes, are part of the reason her family history vanished — even as she and her family flourished and grew. “I was a cartography lesson,” she writes. “I was the geography of the intersection of enslaved Africans, Eastern shore American Indians, indentured White servants; their journey was on my face. I was the seed of a memory my grandparents wanted to erase.” Buchanan’s story resonates because of her willingness to engage in historical reckoning, her struggle with her painful family history and her desire to claim her whole self publicly. At one of her first sweat lodge experiences, she sings a West African song and then a Native American song to honor both of those parts of her identity. This is the story’s strength — whether Buchanan is at a sweat lodge or powwow, at the “door of no return” in Senegal or on the doorstep of her relative’s home — it is the author’s openness and willingness to work and struggle toward a greater understanding of identity, of humanity. She says that her memoir’s true purpose is instructive. “I’m always asking myself: How can I talk to people about this? How can I educate?” Writing Black Indian has allowed her to uncover traditions and culture that her family lost. The book, like its author, defies easy categorization, which is to say that it achieves what the author envisioned, “to show that the stories I grew up with, the stories I uncovered, are part of the rich tapestry of America.” After all, she says, quoting the author James Baldwin, “We are trapped in history and history is trapped in us.” Learn more about Shonda Buchanan and Black Indian at shondabuchanan.com. OH Author and creative writing instructor Virginia Holman lives and writes in Carolina Beach. O.Henry 59


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Progressively Fresh How one Greensboro couple went room to room with interior improvements By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Joey Seawell

PHOTOGRAPHS CONTRIBUTED BY VIVID INTERIORS

R

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

ecent retirees Marnie and Jim Fenley wanted a designer’s help with upgrading the two upstairs bathrooms in their Sunset Hills home. Two bathrooms. That was it. LOL. Of course, it’s easy to guffaw now, a year and a half later, considering that most of the couple’s home has been redecorated and everyone is giddy about the outcome. It happened so naturally, and relatively painlessly, that no one seemed to mind the mission creep, which started, really, with a squirt of envy. It seems that Marnie’s dear friend, Catherine Harrill, who lives in a Fountain Manor condo (that was featured in this magazine in April 2019) had her digs transformed by the principals at VIVID Interiors, Gina Hicks and Laura Mensch. Marnie loved the result, and she wanted what Catherine had, only in her own home, with her own stuff and in her own style, which, truth be told, is pretty much Catherine’s style, too. To wit: Marnie and Jim bought a distinctive turquoise patio chair at The Red Collection consignment shop. Catherine came to visit. “That’s my chair!” Catherine exclaimed, as if she were laying claim to the curio. Marnie: “No, it’s not. It’s mine!” Catherine: “No, I mean I took it to The Red Collection.” You get the idea. So Marnie and Jim invited designers Hicks and Mensch — whose names cry out for a Netflix detective series — to their home, a very beige, very boxy, very buttoned-down 1950s residence that’s distinguished on the outside by a Mars-red front door and, come summer, fiery pots of matching geraniums that flare around the magnolia-studded yard inside an iron fence. Like a splashy tie and pocket square, it’s an exterior ensemble that says, “fun in socially acceptable ways.” But step inside the home, and whoa Nelly. You’re hit full force by a carnival of colors and styles, a place where funky dances with formal, and prim converses with primitive, and somehow all of those adjectives get along fine. The profusion of art, especially on the walls, is warm and welcoming to all stripes of expression. The message: Don’t take yourself so seriously. “See that deer?” says Jim, nodding to a paisley stag’s head over a kitchen door. “I shot it in a fabric store.” The couple’s playfulness is infectious. “The first time we went in, we were like, ‘Wow! We want to be like them when we grow O.Henry 61


up,’” says Gina Hicks. “They have great art and a great spirit, and they definitely have a Bohemian, eclectic style.” Marnie returns the compliment: “They got us. They completely got us, and they didn’t pressure us.” But back to “the project.” Each upstairs bathroom was mid-century small and situated on the main hallway. After the Fenleys’ daughters, Isabel and Jennifer, grewand-flew the nest, Jim and Marnie used the spaces as his-and-hers dressing rooms; the master bedroom had no en suite plumbing. By the time they hired VIVID, the Fenleys already had embarked on updating the facilities with new flooring, vanities and tiled showers enclosed by frameless glass. They wanted help with wallpaper, fixtures, cabinet hardware and lighting. Hicks and Mensch didn’t hold back. For Marnie’s bathroom, they prescribed bold botanical wallpaper (starring split leaf philodendron, a.k.a., Swiss cheese plant, for the flora-driven) and sleek brushed gold fixtures, hardware and lighting. Using computer-assisted design, they rolled the ceiling with avocado paint. The overall effect: clean and green.

62 O.Henry

They gave Jim’s space the geometric treatment, covering the walls with black-and-gold-foil hexagonal wallpaper. Lighting, hardware and accents repeated the color scheme. The Fenleys were thrilled with the fancy baths. “We felt like we were in a hotel,” says Marnie. Mission accomplished. Right? Ahem. “We decided we wanted something a little different in the bedroom,” says Marnie. Playing off a riotous batik-style bedspread that Marnie got at Anthropologie, Hicks and Mensch papered over the faux-painted walls with a peach-tinged material that resembles grasscloth but is actually woven from slender tubes of paper. To dress the bed, they added a tall headboard, covered with nubby, cream-colored fabric, and framed the space with white, teardrop lamps atop new mid-century style nightstands. Much to the Fenleys’ delight, the VIVID women incorporated many of the couple’s love-worn pieces: an Oriental rug, an old desk, some green leather chairs, a bureau and dresser, and a remarkable combo clinging to the wall over the dresser: an oval mirror with a The Art & Soul of Greensboro


frame resembling a white gear cog, and on each side of the looking glass, a white goose that appears to be coming in for a landing, webbed feet outstretched. “Gina and Laura said, ‘What the hell. They look good. Keep ‘em,’” recalls Marnie, who appreciated the pair’s conservation of furnishings for sentimental and monetary reasons. Everyone raved about the bedroom. The Fenleys were done. Yes? “Fortunately or unfortunately, once you start, it’s hard to stop when you’re trying to perk things up after 35 years,” Marnie explains. It was true; the upstairs office looked awfully office-y, despite an abbreviated yoga wall complete with metal plates and a padded belt that Marnie and Jim use to stretch their cranky backs. Marnie demonstrates, using the belt to flip upside down mid-sentence. “It just feels good,” narrates Jim. Team VIVID went with the hanging-fromthe-trees vibe, tipping the room more toward safari than spreadsheet. For the office walls, they pulled in the same avocado paint used on the ceiling of Marnie’s bathroom. They quite literally dragged down two leopard-print side chairs from the attic. Never mind that the Fenleys’ own tiger, their late orange tabby, a ruffian named Bob, had clawed the upholstery on the back of one chair. The shredded fabric would stay. This was a safari, dammit. The VIVID gals also brought down a brass and copper burro head that Marnie’’s mother, Isabel, had bought in Mexico when Marnie’s dad, Jack, went there on textiles business a half-century ago. The zebra-striped lamp on the computer desk would stay. The bookcases would continue to shelter a papier-mâché bear, as well as a crazy cat head crafted by Marnie’s former sister-in-law, Mitzi Fancourt, who gave it as a birthday gift. “It’s a lion. I’m a Leo,” says Marnie. Jim, who built the wall-mounted bookcases in the office, reprised another improvement; he repainted the wooden floor with a black checkerboard design he’d brushed on years ago. “You have to tape, and re-tape and tape again,” he says. “It’s not easy, but it looks good.” With that, the upstairs was finished. The End? “We were like, ‘Well, let’s walk down to the living room,’” says Marnie. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 63


The living room, the Fenleys agreed, needed some attention. But it had great anchors, chiefly a yellow leather sofa that came from Marnie’s mother’s home in Sedgefield. Her mom’s portrait, in profile, hangs across from the tufted sofa. Isabel is a knockout. So is her couch. Visually speaking. Practically speaking . . . “It’s the kind of couch you sit on and slide off,” says Marnie. “We really need to put Velcro on it,” says Jim. “People do sit on it. It’s just not a place you want to spend a lotta, lotta time,” Marnie explains. However, the seat makes a great gallery for pillows, one of Marnie’s weaknesses. A shopping trip to High Point’s furniture market netted a fuzzy, blue number that recalls the texture of the Fenleys’ beloved standard poodles. As counterpoint to the sofa, Jim picked a fuchsia rug, and the couple bagged a cherry-colored wall hanging populated by camels, horses and men in turbans. They also bought two new club chairs and had them covered with floral fabric in tempo with the room’s bouncy melody of fuchsia, blue

64 O.Henry

and amber. They calmed the ferment by hanging long, white drapery panels from high-mounted rods, by keeping the sea foam walls, and by extending the cool paint color to the fireplace mantle and surround. The mantle decorations are pure Fenley: a gilt-trimmed mirror; a bonsai-like vase and branches; and a frilly-framed, acrylic painting depicting a steer skull and owl figure. The painting was made by their New York-based niece, Anna Fancourt, who comes by her artistic chops honestly. Her mother, Mitzi, made the lion head in the upstairs office. Anna’s father, Walter Fancourt — who is Marnie’s brother — is an artist, as well as former co-owner of Liberty Oak restaurant and former chef at Maria’s gourmet deli and catering shop. “I buy everyone’s artwork in the family,” says Marnie, who expresses her genes in the arrangement of art and in her willingness to take visual chances. That’s why no one was surprised when she said OK to covering the ceiling of the dining room — did we mention that the VIVID crew moved on to the dining room next? — with a black and white wallpaper that Marnie describes as “Dalmatian spots.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Neither did it surprise anyone to know that Marnie and Jim — “I just shook my head ‘yes,’” Jim says — allowed the figurative Dalmatian to run off-leash, peppering the walls of the adjoining kitchen and keeping room, a compact living area clipped to the kitchen. The outbreak of spots seemed to have been pre-ordained, says VIVID’s Hicks. After the wallpaper was up, everyone noticed that the flecks matched the shirt of a woman depicted in a painting in the keeping room. Also, the inky dabs were the reverse image of white flakes in another painting the Fenleys owned: a dog in a snow storm. They brought the dog in from the cold, transplanting him from the home’s main stairwell to the sunny nook. And then, finally, the Fenleys stopped. Faked you out. They did one more room: the den. “The transformation in this room is probably the greatest,” says Jim. “It’s where we live,” says Marnie. The couple replaced their saggy thrones with contemporary swiveling winged chairs and ottomans — all done in plush periwinkle — along with fresh pillows. They ditched dingy grasscloth for walls the The Art & Soul of Greensboro

color of spicy mustard. The backdrop highlights treasures acquired over 36 years of marriage: an elaborately carved oak buffet that came from Jim’s great aunt Sally; an epoxy covered, Picasso-like painting that was bought at a Lindley Park art fair and later framed by blue window shutters; a novelty lamp with Japanese figures resembling Kewpie dolls, camped under a telescoping red metal shade. More unconventional light emanates from an oil painting of a clown looking wistfully toward a blue sky, a gift from the Fenleys’ friend, Dan Stoner. “Everybody says it’s scary, but I love the colors,” says Marnie. “He had a fear of clowns, and he was working through it,” says Jim, 72, who understands that healing is a process. In 2015, he retired as clinical director of Fellowship Hall, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Greensboro. Marnie, also 72, has a background in counseling. And catering. And creating a home from what started — in 1984, when they bought it— as a fairly bare stage on which their lives would play out. Over time, the Fenleys dressed the home with unique sets and props. O.Henry 65


“When I think about how it started out, it has morphed and morphed and morphed into something we really love. It’s like we’ve been able to fulfill it,” Marnie says. “When I look at old photographs, it’s pretty amazing how it’s grown and changed,” Jim adds. Marnie summarizes: “Jim says he’s dying here. We’re going to stay as long as we possibly can.” Refreshing their home in stages, expanding the scope and paying as they went — a typical experience, according to designers Hicks and Mensch — was much less daunting than plunging into a complete overhaul from the beginning. “I think that’s the only way I got it past Jim,” says Marnie, laughing. “Otherwise, it would have been a nonstarter.” Jim acknowledges this fact with a smile. Marnie says their daughters prefer more monotone interiors, but granddaughter Jacquelyn values their juicy aesthetic. “I told her, when your grandfather and grandmother die, you’d better get over here, and get what you want as fast as you can,” says Marnie. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at ohenrymaria@gmail.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 67


1502 HOBBS ROAD

Together, looking forward to a

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Safe At Home

You will love this 4 bed, 2 & Half bath home featuring a large 2 car garage with workshop and permanent stair attic storage, circular drive, sunroom, patio, deck, and hardwoods under the carpets.

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1515 W Cornwallis Drive, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408

Sally Millikin

336.337.7230 Sally.millikin@trmhomes.com

Phone: 336.285.9107 Fax: 336.285.9109

email: info@1stChoiceHomeCareInc.com

WISHING YOU A

FROM MY HOME TO YOURS

MITZIE WEATHERLY

THE REALTOR™ FOR YOU

REALTOR™ & BROKER

HELPING BUYERS AND SELLERS FOR OVER 20 YEARS

Mitzie.Weatherly@allentate.com 336.314.5500

68 O.Henry

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUSAN CALKINS SUSANCALKINSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Happy New Year

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A L M A N A C

January n

By Ashley Wahl

J

anuary cold guides us inward. You find yourself studying your hands, quietly tracing the lines of your palms when, suddenly, there is movement in the periphery. A flash — and then nothing. The mouse is back. How he gets inside you’ll never know. And yet, the mystery keeps you smiling, keeps you guessing. You catch and release him into the yard again, and as he scurries off, heart pounding like a tiny hammer, you wait for him to turn around, maybe wink his beady eye as if to say see you ’round. Here we are again, January. By some miracle we’ve made it. And just like the mouse, we carry with us new stories, new wisdom from our journey. This is a time for planning and dreaming. You order seeds. Next month, when the first of the daffodils burst through the soil in rapturous glory, you’ll sow sugar snaps and snow peas, carrots and parsnips, lettuce and spinach, maybe mustard seeds. But for now, you’re back to quiet contemplation, thoughtfully observing the lines on the back of your hands. The etchings and wrinkles begin to resemble the rings of a tree. There are stories here, you think. Lessons in each tiny groove. And out of the blue, Aesop’s Fables pops into your mind. “The Ants & the Grasshopper”: There’s a time for work and a time for play. “The Crow & the Pitcher”: In a pinch a good use of our wits may help us out. “The Lion & the Mouse”: A kindness is never wasted. You think of that crafty house mouse, smiling at his persistence and how you’re not so different from him. Your needs are the same: food, shelter and warmth. No doubt you both dream of the tender kiss of spring. And like the mouse, you, too, rely on a kindly universe to smile upon you, to gently guide you along your journey, granting you stories and wisdom for your future travels. January is a year of lessons in the making. Notice the creatures, great and small, that remind us how to live. And remember: you are one of them. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Winter Blooms

Nature always gives us what we need. And in the dead of winter, when the bleakness of the landscape nearly becomes too much to bear, she gives us flowers. Prunus mume, commonly known as flowering apricot, blooms in January. Its delicate, fragrant flowers — pink, red or white — ornament naked branches much like the cherry blossoms of official spring. Amazingly, this small, ornamental fruit tree was virtually unknown in the United States prior to the spirited efforts of the late Dr. J.C. Raulston, beloved horticulturist and founder of the nationally acclaimed arboretum at N.C.S.U. Raulston devoted his life to growing and sharing rare and spectacular plants, P. mume among them. This month, when its vibrant flowers offer their spicy aroma and the promise of spring, surely, whisper, thank you.

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’ . . . — Alfred Lord Tennyson Looking Out, Looking Up How will your garden grow? Per Aesop’s “Ants & the Grasshopper” fable, now’s a good time to plan ahead. This month, order quality seeds and map out a planting calendar for year-round harvest. Sure, it will take a bit of work. The ants know something about that. But educating yourself on what to plant and when is a game changer. And when you’re harvesting fresh veggies from your backyard spring through winter, no doubt you’ll be singing like a grasshopper in June. But while you’re planning, don’t forget to look up. Although a waning gibbous moon will try to outshine it, the Quadrantid meteor shower will peak on Sunday, January 3, from 2 a.m. until dawn. The first new moon of the New Year lands on Wednesday, January 13. Consider this cosmic reset a good time to set intentions and launch into a new project. Through darkness comes light.

O.Henry 69


January 2021 1/

Get Lit

1/

1-3

Although conscientious effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information, all events are subject to change and errors can occur! Please call to verify times, costs, status and location before planning or attending an event.

January 1—3

GET LIT. “Winter Wonderlights,” an indoor/outdoor holiday light display, goes into hibernation on January 3. Last chance to see this dazzling color show. Tickets: $16/adult; $15 children and seniors. The Greensboro Science Center, 4301 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769 or greensboroscience.org.

January 1—31

DOWNTOWN SKATE-AWAY. Piedmont Winterfest and its outdoor skating rink add chill to the thrill of downtown. Closed most Tuesdays. South End, 123 W Lewis St., Greensboro. Info: piedmontwinterfest.com

January 2—February 7

HEAD FOR THE HILL. Greenhill’s 41st annual Winter Show features contemporary art from emerging artists from all corners of North Carolina. Explore in person or via digital catalog. Free to the public; tickets required. GreenHill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro.Info: (336) 937-3051 or greenhillnc.org.

January 2

TAKING CENTER STAGE. 7:30 p.m. Experience the first live performance of The Ghostlight Concerts in over six months with Clay Howard and the Silver Alerts. Tickets: $20; limited seating available. The Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

January 2, 16 & 23

ON YOUR MARK. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Three new art exhibitions will open up for patrons to peruse: Markmaking: Selections from the Collection (1/2), Slow Looking/ Deep Seeing (1/16) and Xaviera Simmons (1/23). Free. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org.

80 O.Henry

Revolutionary

FYI: MLK

4

January 4

REVOLUTIONARY. 6–7 p.m. National Park Ranger Jason Baum offers a free Zoom program entitled “10 Things You Might Not Know About the American Revolution.” Sponsored by the Greensboro Public Library and Greensboro History Museum. Register: library.greensboro-nc.gov.

January 5

GROWING IN CIRCLES. 7–8:30 p.m. A four-week program provided through the Greensboro Public Library challenges participants to spend 20 minutes per day learning about social justice and racial equity. Topics include: voting, education, criminal justice reform and public health. Free. Sign up: library. greensboro-nc.gov.

January 14

1/

18

Greensboro as a part of its 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour. Tickets: $60 and up. Steven Tanger Center for the Arts, 300 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-7575 or tangercenter.com.

January 30

REIGNITE THE MOVEMENT. 7 p.m. The International Civil Rights Center & Museum hosts its Annual Gala virtually this year to celebrate national and local activists. Tickets: $50/individual. Info: sitinmovement.org.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS

MONDAYS

PIECES OF HISTORY. 5:30–6:30 p.m. The Greensboro History Museum’s “Pieces of Now” program kicks off a New Year of virtual learning. Info: greensborohistory.org.

GO BINGO OR GO HOME. 7—9 p.m. This isn’t your Granny’s bingo. Free to play with various prizes up for grabs. Come for the fun, stay for the brews. Oden Brewing Co., 804 Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 285-8439 or info@odenbrewing.com.

January 18

TUESDAYS

FYI: MLK. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Take part in the annual festivities celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Greensboro’s Ole Asheboro neighborhood. The parade will start at the Benbow Professional Center and end on MLK Jr. Drive and Gorrell Street. For more information, contact Gwen Alston (336) 327-9148 or (336) 272-5779.

January 27

A LONG, SLOW LOOK. 4 p.m. Shari Tishman, lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of Slow Looking: The Art and Practice of Learning Through Observation, shares her thoughts on the role of careful observation and attentive listening in this virtual event. Info: weatherspoonart.org.

January 29—31

BID FAREWELL TO RENT. Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 2 and 8 p.m. & Sunday 1 and 6:30 p.m. For three days only, the world-renowned musical Rent comes to

FIVE ARE BETTER THAN ONE. 7—9:30 p.m. Test your knowledge on a variety of topics. Five rounds of trivia that become progressively more difficult give you a chance to win cold, hard cash. Joymongers Brewing Co., 576 N. Eugene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 7635255 or info@joymongers.com.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

NEW NATTY’S. 10 a.m.—2 p.m. A brand new brunch menu is now available on the weekends, with old favorites on standby. Try out the Mimosa Flight or Brunch Bloody Mary and sip awhile. Natty Greene’s Brewing Co., 345 Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-1373. To add an event, email us at ohenrymagcalendar@gmail.com by the first of the month ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE EVENT.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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We’re excited to announce the merger of

Business & Services

DR. GILL AND DR. NORMAN! Bobbie Maynard

Goodbye 2020 and Hello to Our New Partnership

Broker, Realtor ® , GRI, CRS, CSP, Green

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82 O.Henry

You won’t find them in ordinary kitchens. Or at ordinary stores.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Resolve to Start the New Year Right with a New Needlepoint Project!

928 Golf House Road West STONEY CREEK GOLF COURSE

Thank you to our customers for your support in 2020!

CALL ANGIE FOR DETAILS!

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry 83


FALL & HOLIDAY

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84 O.Henry

Irving

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O.Henry 85


shops • service • food • farms

support locally owned businesses

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86 O.Henry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Join the effort. Visit www.triadlocalfirst.com.


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Dream garden...done. Call today for a consultation.

“I couldn’t be happier with my renters, or my rental income” Brantley White Burkely Rental Homes client

There are times when it’s smarter to lease than to sell your home. Call me when you think you’re there! I’ll be pleased to discuss how Burkely Rental Homes can help you.

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O.Henry 87

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Join the effort. Visit www.triadlocalfirst.com.


O.Henry Ending

The Happy Hour

On the balcony, overlooking the water’s edge, hope and friendship grow By Cynthia Adams

On recent coastal trips, we’ve

Among first friends here, Chuck and Judy were our “balcony buddies.” We loved to sit on our adjacent balcony, batting away no-see-ums and hoping a dolphin might breach in the “Ditch,” — Chuck’s name for the Intracoastal Waterway. We chatted across the small distance, swapping stories and admiring the blooms that would spill from Chuck’s planters and pots. Chuck used to own a nursery. Whereas he was understated and reserved, Judy was spunky, joyful — a vivid petunia. Yet her memory was slipping. So Chuck had become her memory-keeper. Last year, as the plants on their balcony began to vanish, we realized we hadn’t seen the couple for months. We sent a message to their son, who told us that Judy was in a facility, and that Chuck was usually there with her. Not long after this, we witnessed Chuck total his sedan while parking, a lapse in judgment that shook him to the core. I kept an arm around his shoulder as we waited for the medics. Deeply embarrassed by the accident and his injuries, Chuck could barely speak. “Judy,” he whispered tremulously, “has dementia.” His body began to shake. “I don’t want to lose my license,” he added. “I go to visit Judy, you see.” Soon after his accident, Chuck suffered additional issues requiring long term care. We were thrilled to discover he was back home by summer, even riding out hurricane Isaias with a shrug. He made daily rounds at the condo, using a walker to tread the walkways, determined to regain his strength. And one day, he reappeared on his balcony with a glass of wine, silently staring at the water as a lonely sailboat clipped by.

88 O.Henry

I called over, suggesting we grab our wine glasses and share a COVID-era happy hour. Chuck shook himself out of a reverie and nodded. The wind whipped our voices. His, which had grown fainter, was sometimes indiscernible. No matter. We raised our glasses, and I managed an awkward toast: “To friends we will always remember and times we’d like to forget.” Chuck offered a wan smile, and we talked about sundry things as the sun dropped, the muddled corals on the horizon growing fantastical over the marshlands. A white egret grew visible in the transformative contrast of darkness and light. He talked about Judy and his intro to FaceTime. We commented on the new set of wheels in his parking space. “An old man’s car,” Chuck said with a grin. But at least he can drive to see Judy once a week. During the pandemic, he told us, they’re only allowed half-hour visits. As we chatted over the wind, dusk falling, the white egret grew nearly impossible to follow in the marsh grasses. Tomorrow again? At this, Chuck smiled broadly. The next afternoon, despite Chuck’s hardships, a single green plant appeared on his wrought iron table. Would more follow? I wondered, draining my glass. With flickering hopefulness, I scanned the water’s edge as the light dimmed, searching for a talisman in the darkening space. The egret, always alone, would no doubt reappear. OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

ILLUSTRATION BY HARRY BLAIR

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