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S

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Are you a candidate for a partial knee replacement? Not every arthritic knee needs a total knee replacement

Matthew D. Olin, MD

has been certified & master course trained for the BioMet Oxford Partial Knee Replacement since its introduction to the US in 2004.

M A G A Z I N E Volume 5, No. 5 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director andie@ohenrymag.com David Claude Bailey, Senior Editor dbailey@ohenrymag.com Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer

To schedule an appointment with Matthew D. Olin, MD to determine if this surgery is for you. Call: 336.545.5030

Dr. Olin specializes in anterior hip replacement surgery, partial & total knee replacement surgery, in addition to revision hip & knee replacement surgery.

Scan to watch an interactive video of a partial knee replacement.

Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, Hannah Sharpe, Contributors Jane Borden, Virginia Brooks, Wiley Cash, Susan Campbell, Jenny Drabble , Clyde Edgerton, Rosetta Fawley, Pat Fitzgerald, Sara King, Phil Koch, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, Zithobile Nxumalo, Nancy Oakley, Ogi Overman, Debra Regula, Sandra Redding, Hannah Sharpe, Astrid Stellanova

O.H

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 hattie@ohenrymag.com Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 amy@ohenrymag.com Circulation Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Advertising Graphic Design Dana Martin, 336.617.0090

For more information about Dr. Olin and surgery visit www.GreensboroOrthopaedics.com

4 O.Henry

May 2015

Subscriptions 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2015. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Welcome Home!

With more than 30 highly successful years of experience as a Realtor, Tom Chitty is consistently ranked in the top 1% of Realtors nationwide. You can trust Tom Chitty & Associates to help you buy or sell the most important home in the Triad ... Yours!

Tom Chitty & Associates was the top producing sales team for Berkshire Hathaway in 2013.

©2014 An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Tom Chitty & Associates Direct Line: 336-420-2836 Email: tomchitty@tomchitty.com Website: www.tomchitty.com

May 2015

O.Henry 5


May 2015

Features

72 Greensboro’s Happiest Man

Why New Yorker Bill Johnson loves the Gate City By Cynthia Adams

63 Onward Temperate Days Poetry by Zithobile Nxumalo

78 Best in Show

64 Mad about Madcap

The sunny side of Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke By Cynthia Adams

68 It’s a Bethany Thing

An ancient rite of spring is alive and well just down the road By Hannah Sharpe

The High Point Junior League’s million-dollar “doghouse” By Nancy Oakley

88 Seeds of Learning

How Cove Creek Garden is making Greensboro greener By Jenny Drabble

93 May Almanac

Mint Juleps, May Day and Mae West By Rosetta Fawley

Departments 11 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 14 Short Stories 17 O.Harry By Harry Blair 19 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 21 Omnivorous Reader By Brian Lampkin 25 Scuppernong Bookshelf 29 Game On By Ogi Overman 35 The Art of Soul By Maria Johnson 39 Papadaddy By Clyde Edgerton 41 Looking at the City Project By Maria Johnson

51 The Pleasures of Life Dept. By Virginia Brooks 53 Seen & Unseen By Cynthia Adams 55 A Novel Year By Wiley Cash 57 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 59 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 96 Arts & Entertainment May Calendar 113 N.C. Writer’s Notebook By Sandra Redding 1 15 Worth the Drive to High Point 117 GreenScene 127 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 1 28 O.Henry Ending By Phil Koch

Cover Photograph and Photograph this page by Amy Freeman

6 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Art for Eyes | Eye for Arts Fine Eyewear, Artwork and Jewelry 327 South Elm | Greensboro 336.274.1278 | TheViewOnElm.com Becky Causey, Licensed Optician Find us on Facebook


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101 Country Club Dr $399,900

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124 R1 Wade St $299,000

300 Elmwood Dr $299,000

11 Devonshire Dr. $269,999

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3801 Waldenbrook Rd

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Simple Life

Andie’s Attic By Jim Dodson

On a warm afternoon

Illustration by Kira schoenfelder

in May of 2007, I climbed a set of stairs in an old mansion on Bennett Street in Southern Pines and knocked softly on the door of a cramped attic office.

A pretty blonde woman named Andie Rose opened the door and welcomed me to her creative aerie. Andie was a founder and co-owner of PineStraw magazine, an attractive monthly arts tabloid with a loyal readership in the Sandhills. I was The Pilot newspaper’s Writer-in-Residence who’d just come off his latest book tour and was weighing an offer to either teach writing at a college or accept a job as an editor-at-large for a national magazine. We were brought together by The Pilot’s publisher, David Woronoff, who’d recently purchased PineStraw by paying off one of Andie’s partners for the price of a new set of golf clubs. David had always dreamed of adding a magazine to The Pilot’s portfolio, and thus proposed that she and I simply meet and talk just to see if we had the kind of chemistry that could produce a good editorial partnership. Behind her was a lengthy career in graphic design that included stops at major publications including Texas Home, American Way (American Airlines’ in-flight magazine), and legendary luxury goods catalog Horchow. Behind me was an even lengthier journalism career and book-writing life that included editorial positions on a trio of iconic magazines — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sunday Magazine, Yankee and Golf magazines. At best, I hoped we might spend a pleasant half-hour getting to know each other and bat around a few ideas that had percolated in my skull since 1989, when Yankee asked me to develop a distinctive Southern magazine that captured the soul and breadth of the South the way Yankee did New England. Just as we finished the prototype, alas, the deepest recession in years stalled the project and I soon moved on to work as a columnist for Golf and originate the golf column for American Express’ flagship travel magazine, Departures. The magazine I always envisioned was my unfinished business and one reason I eventually came home to North Carolina. At worst I figured we would spend a few minutes chatting about our favorite magazines, and I’d finish up my work at The Pilot and be on my way to my old hometown of Greensboro to teach and write my books. More than two hours later, however, we shook hands and agreed that the encounter felt, well, almost providential — or at least like the start of something special. Our shared ideas flew like confetti at a parade. David’s instincts were accurate — Andie felt like someone I’d known The Art & Soul of Greensboro

forever — the creative partner I’d always dreamed of having. Best of all, David, Andie and I shared a distinctly old school notion of what a great magazine should be, displaying the traits great magazines have in common: wit, beauty, journalistic integrity and cultural relevance, a powerful sense of themselves and a clear editorial objective. Simply stated, we would aspire to be a reader’s magazine that equally engaged the mind and the eye with brilliant storytelling and thoughtful design. Not to put too sharp a point on this lively discussion, but as veterans of the national magazine wars who hailed from strong traditions of art and journalism, it bothered us both to see what passed for local magazines almost everywhere in America these days — shallow, vanity-driven, payto-play city periodicals (often produced by people from other places) that exploited their advertisers and specialized in flattering profiles of local movers and shakers, power couples and favorite burger joints. Conversely, our excited conversation in Andie’s upper office — her attic, as I like to fondly think of it, a place where we shared dozens of ideas we’d both “stored up” for years — amounted to a mission statement of what we might create together, her brilliant design ideas married to my love of meaningful storytelling using the best writers. Evolution is a beautiful thing. I even eventually took to calling Andie my “day wife” because our heads were always together plotting and developing ideas that would hopefully surprise and engage our readers and advertisers alike, stories with both art and soul, concepts we would soon try out and begin refining into the unique DNA that became the new PineStraw. But like any young “marriage,” our beginnings were pretty humble. We started by sharing desks near the main bathrooms in The Pilot’s advertising department, which took on the task of selling our magazine space and quickly made a positive mark growing our pages. Andie and I joked that we were the magazine’s staff of two and the company’s de facto bathroom monitors. With the advertising staff of The Pilot fully engaged and as revenue increased, though, we soon moved to the rear of the building next door where The Pilot’s telephone directory operation was, a spot I liked because it was so quiet I could write early and late in absolute solitude. In those early days, I will confess, I obsessively wrote and rewrote much of the main content of the magazine even as I sought out local writers and encouraged them to use us as a platform for polishing their writing craft. It was exactly what I would have done with The Southerner had it ever materialized, or in a college classroom with budding young writers. Roughly after a year we moved to a glossy format. Next we were able to hire a recent UNCG grad named Ashley Wahl, a delightful young poet whose enthusiasm to learn and be part of the growing pains and process of making a fine magazine was obvious from the moment we met her. Not long after this, reflecting the public’s growing support of PineStraw, we expanded May 2015 O.Henry 11


Location, Lifestyle, and the Lakes

From the mid $300’s - $500’s Nestled between Lake Jeanette and Lake Townsend, and convenient to downtown Greensboro, McNairy Pointe offers new homes on spacious, wooded homesites. Enjoy the nearby amenities of the Lake Jeanette Swim & Tennis club, or boating and fishing on Lake Townsend.

Our homes include four-sides brick exteriors, side entry garages, & granite counters in the kitchen and all full bathrooms. 1.5 story & first floor Owner’s suites are available. Homes range from 3,400 5,000+ square feet, with limited basement homesites available. Model Open Daily: Mon - Sat: 11-6; Sun: 1-6 6001 New Bailey Trail Greensboro 27455 336.482.3842 sheahomes.com/greensboro Opening in June! New Homes from the mid $200’s On Air Harbor Rd across from McNairy Pointe Neighborhood Pool Visit SheaHomes.com/ Greensboro for details.

Simple Life

to a larger format that quickly became a hallmark of its appeal to readers and advertisers alike. The following year, with PineStraw thriving, David and his four financial partners agreed to finance my vision of starting a magazine in my hometown. Ashley was the perfect staffer to send off to Greensboro to help launch O.Henry magazine in the summer of 2011. Given my deep connections to the Gate City, I knew exactly who I wanted on our staff. With veteran journalists Jim Schlosser, David Bailey and Maria Johnson onboard, the combination of our unique, home-grown editorial DNA and the Gate City’s hunger for something wholly original helped the magazine quickly establish itself as the “Voice of a City,” to paraphrase the magazine’s famous namesake, William Sydney Porter. Our advertisers grasped this special magazine’s appeal right from the beginning, too, I’m happy to report. They were eager to be part of something that celebrated the old city like nothing before it. The most common tribute I hear from the loyal readers of both PineStraw and O.Henry is that they “read the magazine from cover to cover.” Speaking of wonderful old cities, it was perhaps also providential that the third sister publication, Salt, would be based in Wilmington. David Woronoff’s family has long called Wrightsville Beach a summer home and my father worked at the Star newspaper for a time in my early school years. It was in Wilmington where I learned to ride a bike and swim in the lagoon off the causeway to the beach, spending almost every summer of my youth there, getting to know and love North Carolina’s coastal capital. The Port City’s rich history, vibrant colleges and arts community, youthful music scene, stunning architecture, great families and unique outdoor life made Wilmington a natural place for Salt to thrive. Not surprisingly, I asked now-seasoned Ashley Wahl if she would consider relocating there to help launch the magazine, which she enthusiastically did two years ago. These days, with PineStraw’s tenth anniversary upon us, I simply ride between our three outstanding home-grown publications like my greatgreat-grandfather George Washington Tate did more than a century ago. He was the polymath land surveyor who laid out the boundaries of North Carolina’s central counties following the Civil War, reportedly made the bell in Hillsborough’s courthouse and served as a circuit-riding Methodist preacher who established several churches flung across the northern tier of the Old North State. I often think of old G.W. as I’m driving the beautiful back roads of Carolina, usually with my car windows cranked down and new ideas churning in my brain, triangulating between my three boyhood stomping grounds, often reminding me of the remarkable things that came from that late spring afternoon in Andie’s Attic. Recently, another good thing came our way with The Pilot’s acquisition of Business North Carolina magazine, the state’s leading business publication. With their strong legacy and our core beliefs about creativity and vision, we happen to believe BNC is going to be a very good marriage, prosperous for all concerned, especially the magazine’s present and future readers and advertisers — a voice that will expand to exciting new horizons in the months and years ahead. Finally, when I look back on that fateful meeting in Andie’s office on Bennett Street, I’m moved and deeply gratified to see how our magazine family has grown so rapidly, a true measure of our aesthetic uniqueness — crafted by gifted writers and editors, talented designers and photographers at the top of their game – and even more excited to see where things go from here. PineStraw is where it all began. I can promise you, this grateful circuit-riding editor will never forget that fact. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com.

12 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 13


Short Stories Our picks for what’s happening in Greensboro this month

Know Cho?

Like symphony orchestras everywhere, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s future depends on attracting younger audiences. If internationally acclaimed Korean violinist Jinjoo Cho doesn’t do it, all hope is lost. Cho, 26, is, in a word younger audiences appreciate, awesome. In addition to performing with symphonies in Montreal, Quebec and Louisville, Cho has played outreach concerts in inner-city schools, hospices, homes for mentally handicapped and even on an isolated island for leprosy patients. One reviewer says she has “an undeniable charisma and depth . . . a heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.” Pairing Cho with violin virtuoso and GSO conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a stroke of brillance. On May 14 and 16, Cho will join the symphony in Sibelius’ impassioned violin concerto. On May 15, she’ll join Sitkovetsy and UNCG pianist Inara Zandmane for a more intimate chamber performance of Mozart and Brahms. For venues and times, see: greensborosymphony.org

Acquisitive

When your spouse or friends get back from a shopping spree, it’s always fun to see what they’ve accumulated. Weatherspoon is no exception. “Over the past five years, the staff has been acquiring works by mid-20th century masters and rising 21st-century practitioners of photography,” says the exhibit’s curator, Elaine Gustafson, “as a way of strengthening its collection and staying current with contemporary art practices and issues.” Observed/Examined/Fabricated: Recent Acquisitions in Photography features two complete galleries of prints, none of which are vanilla. Kate Gilmore, for example, explores the identity and stereotypes thrust upon females with a startling shot of six women dressed in bubblegum pink. British photographer John Coplans tackles issues of aging and the cult of youth with black-and-white self-portraits of his own corpulence. Marilyn Minter creates hyper-realistic, erotic images of seemingly glamorous scenes that are somehow sullied. Every bit as stimulating are the fresh works of four UNCG graduate students — Marlowe Lowe, Brittany Søndberg, Stephanie Woods, and Lu Xu — featured in the current Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition through May 31. Info: weatherspoon.uncg.edu

14 O.Henry

May 2015

Join Jim . . .

as in Jim Dodson, O.Henry’s founding editor and four-time New York Times’ bestselling author, on Monday, May 4, for golf, tennis, lunch and more at the Greensboro Symphony Guild’s Strings & Swings Golf Classic at Starmount Forest Country Club. Tennis players can get the day going with an 8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast, followed first by doubles round-robin play from 9–11:30 a.m. and a luncheon/tennis apparel fashion show in the Starmount Clubhouse. Golfers can register at 11:30 a.m., attend a golf clinic with a Starmount pro at 12:15, then grab a boxed lunch and play away. Pop in for the awards ceremony and a post-round restorative with Dodson at 5:30 p.m. Info: 336-632-1812 or www.gsoguild.org

Like Father

With a command of classical, jazz, blues, folk, funk and pop, Chris Brubeck will bring his French connection to Greensboro on Tuesday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate Music for a Great Space’s 25th anniversary. Dubbed “a 21st century Lenny Bernstein” by The Chicago Tribune, Dave Brubeck’s son will perform with his friend, UNCG pianist John Salmon, kicking off the 2015 Eastern Music Festival’s Fringe Series. Three French musicians will join them to form a jazz combo that will riff on some Brubeck classics before playing excerpts from Brothers in Arts, a piece commissioned for France’s D-Day celebration last year. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival. org/festival/fringe

Saucier of the Month

Although mint juleps will be the order of the day for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Classic at High Caliber Stables on May 2 beginning at 4 p.m., Thomas Gourmet Foods’ own Dwight Thomas will also be there serving Papa Thomas Bloody Mary Mix, spiked with something decidedly spiritous. Chunky with celery bits and tart from lemon juice, Thomas’ Bloody Marys are bristling with Worcestershire, hot sauce and beef bouillon. The Kentucky Derby Classic benefits MakeA-Wish of Central & Western North Carolina. Expect a horse show, a hat contest, auctions, food, and, of course, a live feed from Churchill Downs in Louisville. Info: (339) 778-2523 or kentuckyderbyclassic.org (Papa Thomas Bloody Mary Mix available by the sample or by the bottle at the Extra Ingredient — www.extraingredient.com — or www.thomasgourmetfoods.com) The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Book it

Magic cakes won’t be served. Nor will there be any rabbit holes or secret doors. But Mad Hatters and book lovers will be welcome at the Friends of the Greensboro Public Library’s birthday party to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. New York Times bestselling author and book lover extraordinare Charlie Lovett — who splits his time between Winston and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England — will be there to take tea and talk about his new mystery novel, First Impressions, involving love, an antiquarian bookshop, rival suitors and Jane Austen. Writer-in-residence at Summit School in Winston-Salem, Lovett is the former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and has written five books about Carroll, aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Who better to draw a crowd of other book lovers — to The Terrace at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday, May 21, at noon — to benefit the library’s Summer Reading Programs? Tickets: www.greensborolibrary.org

PhotoGraphs By Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Hayes. Art By Kate Gilmore, Wall Bearer, 2011, digital print, Gift of the artist, 2012. House Courtesy of Preservation Greensboro

What’s not to Lake?

The Roaring Twenties produced a number of houses in Greensboro’s Hamilton Lakes neighborhood that are beyond stunning — Tar Haven (1925) the home of Rear Admiral Archibald Henderson Scales; the Alfred M. Scales III house (1926, designed by architect C. Gadsen Sayre); and the Harry Barton House (1927, designed by architect Harry Barton). Then, in the 1950s, Hamilton Lakes got a second wind with Dori and Paul Jalazo’s House (1951), and the Diane and Will Howard House (1955, designed by architect Thomas Thurman “Tommy” Hayes, Jr. See them all on Preservation Greensboro’s spring tour of historic homes and gardens on the weekend of May 16 –17. Details: www.blandwood.org/events.html#tour.

East Meets West

. . . when the “clay stones” of Japanese-born Wilmington artist Hiroshi Sueyoshi join the monumental stoneware jars of Seagrove potter Daniel Johnston at Greenhill beginning May 1. Sueyoshi is artist in residence at the Cameron Art Museum, and his clay stone works reference the dry-stone landscapes of 14th century formal Japanese Zen gardens. By contrast, Johnston’s wood-fired, wheel-thrown pots spring from Seagrove’s functional vessels dating back to 18th century North Carolina. Meanwhile, looking toward 21st century art, Greenhill is premiering an innovative Pop-Up-Artist-in-Residence program May 27. The artists, juried by the Greenhill, will share techniques with would-be artists during family nights and also open-studio hours during ArtQuest. Info: www.greenhillnc.org

Shagadelic

While its former home is being transformed into LaBauer Park, Greensboro’s after-work shag fest is moving a few blocks south this spring and getting a new name: the 2015 Bill Black Music Blast. Rock your Thursday nights away, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at Commerce Place between Green and Eugene streets starting with the wildly popular Sleeping Booty on May 21, The Embers on May 28 and The Entertainers on June 4 — plus beer, wine and chow from food trucks. Proceeds go to the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. Info: www.chsnc.org/GetInvolved/Events.aspx The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman May means “cool misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.” (Damn, I wish I’d written that.) It also means festival season has begun, big acts are on tour, clubs are booking cool bands and folks are in a celebratory mood. In other words, May means music — and lots of it. (I wrote that.) • May 9, Blind Tiger: He calls himself Unknown Hinson, but to the diehard cult following he has amassed over the past quarter century, Stuart Daniel Baker (yes, he has a real name) is anything but unknown. Comedic classic country in a way you’ve never heard or seen it before. Hint: Don’t bring the kiddies. • May 14, White Oak Amphitheatre: This is what spring evenings are made for: Boston, in concert, under the stars, an easy drive from home. Yes, the Boston, beaming down from their UFO to the coliseum’s lovely outdoor venue. • May 15, The Crown: This soon-to-be Americana supergroup used to be called the Boston Boys, but are now a slightly reformatted quartet known as The Rigs. All Berklee (Mass.) grads, they are fronted by Greensboro native, mandolinist Eric Robertson. • May 19, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: Hello, it’s me. My name is Todd Rundgren. I’ll come around to see you once in a while — this month, in fact — and unless you just want to bang on your drum all day, you should come see me. Or at least, think of me. May 2015

O.Henry 15


6,000 Enjoyable Acres 1,000s of Programs for All Ages 600 Parks, Gardens and Facilities 98 Tennis Courts 90 Miles of Trails and Greenways 11 Community Recreation Centers 4 Outdoor Swimming Pools 3 Lakes - Higgins, Brandt & Townsend 3 Golf Courses 1 Boxing Club Endless Benefits

Improving health and wellness in our community since 1933.

www.gsoparksandrec.org

Peda l.

May is National Bike Month


O.Harry

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 17


FINE ART • HOME COLLECTION • FRAMING

Celebrating Life is an Art! FORTY YEARS

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SPRING OPEN HOUSE Saturday, May 9th

10am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm Motherly Love

Meet Bill and receive a complimentary autographed copy of “Motherly Love.”


Life’s Funny

Bed Bugged

The search for the perfect mattress has us flat-out confused. We’re taking this lying down By Maria Johnson

My husband and I have been mattress

shopping because we’re excited about updating our master bedroom.

OK, full disclosure. We are not excited. I am excited because I see an opportunity to ditch the straw tick that we’ve been sleeping on for more than twenty-five years. OK, fuller disclosure. It isn’t really a straw tick. But it ain’t far off. It does contain springs. I think. We’ve kept it this long because it doesn’t wreck my husband’s back, which a lot of mattresses do, and because replacing it has never been high on my list. Until now. Which is why we spent a recent Saturday afternoon lying side by side in front of strangers, answering questions about our pressure points and our lumbar regions, and rolling onto our sides so salespeople could check our spinal alignments. I felt like I should have signed a HIPAA form somewhere along the way. Naturally, I did some homework before we started. I read consumer guides and printed out the recommended models. Then off we went to tour the four mattress stores that are within a few miles of our house. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Greensboro has become World Mattress Headquarters in the last year or so. It’s as if God said, “You know what would be fun? If I switched the unreasonable number of frozen yogurt stores in Greensboro to mattress stores.” Suddenly, you can’t swing a pillow without hitting an individually wrapped coil. Which brings me to the first place we stopped. The salesman was a lovely gent. He informed us that a mattress doubles in weight every ten years from the accumulation of dead skin cells and dust mites and minerals from sweat. I believe the technical term he used was “crud.” I casually asked if his prices included the removal of old mattresses. He said yes. I think he wondered why I started laughing. I laughed a lot that day, but more on that later. We flopped down on several mattresses. According to various consumer guides, you’re supposed to lie on a mattress for fifteen minutes before you decide if you like it. But that would be too weird — plus it would take freakin’ forever — so we bed-hopped, which sounds a lot worse than it was, now that I read those words again. Anyway, between us, we sounded like Goldilocks. Jeff thought the mattresses I liked were too soft. I thought the ones he liked were too hard. We tried a so-called memory foam mattress, which has no inner springs. I felt like I was sinking in quick sand. “Now get up,” the salesman said playfully.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I couldn’t. I wanted to. But I couldn’t. Like a boot in the mud, I was stuck in my own impression. The salesman laughed. Then he helped us out. Ah, mattress-store humor. Finally, we found a model that felt just right: an innerspring, mediumfirm, topped with a slice of gel-infused foam, hold the pillow top. Ditto at the second store. Same at the third store, where we started with a computerized mattress that would calculate the best models for both of us. First, we punched in age, height and whether we had any infirmities. Then we lay down, and the smart mattress gathered data on us while we watched an overhead video about how the smart mattress was gathering data on us. A printer spat out the scientific result: Jeff needed a firmer mattress; I needed a softer mattress; we should get something in between. Oh, the wonders of technology. Again, we narrowed the field to one mattress. Then the salesman looked at me and said these words: “Are you a hot sleeper?” Seriously, how is a woman my age supposed to answer that without embarrassing everyone involved? Yes? No? Back in the day? Only in flashes? I had to leave. So did Jeff. His back was hurting from all of the support. Our heads were swimming and, strangely, we were getting sleepy. All of this lying down was exhausting. We soldiered on to one more store, where an affable chap asked us to lie down on three mattresses — firm, medium and soft — to gauge which kind we liked the best. I think you know how that ended. He showed us the choices. We settled on the same brand, and more or less the same model, that we had a picked at three of the four stores. I say “more or less the same model” because apparently the sleep industry thinks it’s hilarious when the mattress you like in one store doesn’t exactly match any of the mattresses in other stores, making comparison impossible. “What’s that? You like the Beautysnooze, Reviver Series, Casa Blanca, Plush? I’m sorrrrrry. We don’t have that. But we do have the Beautydrool, Rejuventor Series, Casa Rojo, Semi-Plush.” We did notice a constant, however: the spring count. We always liked the mattresses with 1,000 springs. I asked the salesman why that was. “I use this example,” he said. “If you were sleeping on a bed of nails, what would feel better — more nails? Or less nails?” Was I dreaming? Did Jeff and I look like a circus couple? Were there nails in this mattress? Gel-infused nails? Was that a thing? “No nails,” I finally said. “No nails would be best.” The straw tick was looking better and better. OH Maria Johnson cannot sleep at night for thinking of all of the mattress stores in Greensboro. You can reach her at maria@ohenrymag.com May 2015

O.Henry 19


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The Omnivorous Reader

Why John Green Matters Go ask your pre-teen children

By Brian Lampkin

Perhaps you’ve never heard

of the writer John Green. If you don’t have children in the preteen through 18-year-old range, then chances are good that John Green is entirely off your radar. You’re speeding through your adult life without a backward glance and missing out on someone who may very well be changing the future. He’s certainly affecting your sons’ and daughters’ (or grandsons’ and granddaughters’) present in dramatic and powerful ways. It’s time to pay attention.

Looking for Alaska was Green’s first book. Like most first books, at first no one noticed. Green tells the story of his initial book tour on which he sometimes found himself reading to an audience of two. Looking for Alaska was, however, an immediate success with critics. (It won the Printz Award from the American Library Association for best Young Adult novel.) And it eventually found its audience. Ten years later, he’s the most popular young adult writer in America and thousands attend readings and literally millions watch his YouTube videos. What is so special about John Green, and about Looking for Alaska in particular? I asked my preteen twin daughters that question. Their answers are stunning, but first let me give you a rough outline of the novel. Alaska is a junior at a boarding school in Alabama who has faced significant tragedy in her life. She is vibrant and alive in ways that are frankly too much for the high school boys around her. The book centers on her relationship with her two best friends, Pudge (a fictional stand-in for Green) and the Colonel, who The Art & Soul of Greensboro

both love her as best they can (“love” for Green is multidimensional and not just the romantic love of so much teen fiction), but feel they have failed her in the end. The novel, through Alaska, asks this question: “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?” And there’s no small amount of suffering in the book. And there’s sex. And a lot of cigarette smoking and underage drinking. The novel is a censor’s dream, and many a school librarian has faced difficult questions from outraged parents or, more often, outraged organizations offended by the idea of the book. But Green has always had a deep respect for the real lives of teenagers. He knows that sex and death and all the things in between are central concerns of teenagers and there’s no use in pretending otherwise. And my young daughters are grateful: “He makes me feel like I can handle things. I know bad things happen in the world, but now I know I can get through them,” says one daughter. To this parent, that sounds like a gift John Green has handed her. And her language is revealing. She knows bad things happen. Green isn’t telling her anything new; like most children, she is acutely aware of the fact of bad things happening in the world. Grandparents die, parents die, siblings die, abductions, wars, bullying, stress: the world is full of suffering and no teenager is immune from it. Like most parents I want to protect my children from all of it and am tempted to avoid talking about any of it with them, but John Green won’t let me. While in the middle of reading his most recent novel, The Fault In Our Stars, my other preteen daughter said to me, “Dad, you know I’m going to die.” That’s a heart-stopping moment for any parent and my immediate response was to push the idea aside — to get the idea out of her head by insisting otherwise: “That’s silly, honey, you’re not going to die . . .” Except, of course she’s right. It wasn’t an existential crisis for her or an immediate concern for her safety; it was an acknowledgment of the fact of life and a desire to talk about it with her father. My gratitude to Green is immense. He is giving language and public space to a topic we want to wall off because it’s May 2015

O.Henry 21


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too difficult to address, but we do our wise and wonderful children a disservice by denying what they desperately want to talk about. “I read him and I feel like I’ve accomplished something important,” my daughter added. And that sense of self-worth — “I’ve accomplished something important” — is also priceless. Readers of Green feel respected; they feel like they’re being treated like competent, thinking people who are capable of dealing with life and all its joys and sorrows. It is wrong to think that Green’s books are primarily about suffering. There is so much authentic love — often between teens, but just as often between parents and their children — and also a great deal of “radical hope.” There are many big ideas in Looking for Alaska. Green includes Rabelais’ search for “the Great Perhaps” as a central motif and Alaska is an astute reader of Gabriel García Márquez and other serious writers. Don’t get me wrong: video games, fried burritos, McDonald’s, hair gel and other preoccupations of teenage life are also well represented, but Green is really trying to write about this idea of radical hope. In his introduction to the 10th anniversary edition, Green writes: “I wanted to write a novel about love and suffering and forgiveness, a novel of what in the study of religion is called ‘radical hope,’ the idea that hope is available to all of us at all times, even unto — and after — death.” And my children, like so many others, are tuned to that hope in Green’s books. The Fault In Our Stars is about children dying from cancer, true, but it is also a guide to how to live with deep love and grace and conviction and, yes, hope. I would be unaware of John Green if it weren’t for my children. In fact, my daughter insisted I read The Fault In Our Stars and I resisted and resisted until I finally saw just how important it was to her. So, I recommend it for you and your children, but whatever you do, don’t tell your children to read John Green. You’ll ruin it for them. They have to find him on their own. If anything, tell them they cannot, under any circumstances, ever read that offensive and vulgar book Looking for Alaska. Then leave it lying around the house. Green’s other novels include An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns (soon to be a movie) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His video blog (www. youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers), with his brother Hank Green, is the best reason to venture into the netherworld of YouTube. The Green brothers make passionate pleas for intellectualism for teenagers, embrace “Nerd Fighters” (people who fight for the respect and dignity of nerds, socalled) and remind everyone to DFTBA. Look it up. OH Brian Lampkin is an owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro.

22 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Scuppernong Bookshelf

May Books

A bouquet of blooming books to suit every taste

We’re desperate for flowers. Buds,

blossoms, color, aromas, beauty. As we write this, winter refuses to end, and a colorless sky merges with a drab landscape to form a monotone horizon. But as you read this, it’s May and everything has changed — the explosion of sights and scents has turned North Carolina into a photographer’s technicolor dream and has spun spores into an allergist’s gold mine. So we focus on flowers, but our spray is unique: a bouquet of books with blooms in their name, yes, but a flowery title does not necessarily coincide with comforting content. Some of these books sting as if a bee were hidden inside, and just as your nose is pointed into the blossom to breath deep the great aromatic pleasure: pain.

The simple name of Dave Cullen’s nonfiction book still fills America with sadness — Columbine (Twelve, 2010, $17). And even the small comforts we took from the tragedy — myths we told ourselves about a dying girl’s religious conviction and about the role of bullying in the killers’ lives — Cullen removes from the story with clear-eyed research and exposé. But truth is beauty, or so the poets tell us, and Cullen’s kind of truth-telling is absolutely necessary, especially around events so important to our nation’s history. In her newest collection of short stories, Honeydew (Little Brown, 2015, $25), Edith Pearlman offers glimpses of achingly real characters whose diverse professions revolve around the commonality of offering themselves daily to the public light while hiding that most private inner seed in darkness. The stories’ perspectives float seamlessly between the characters that populate them, bestowing readers with the inescapable hunch that despite our differences, we all walk the same flowered lane of crowded estrangement.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Where a normal poet might be content with comparing his lover to a bundle of hyacinths or a perfumed rose, Charles Baudelaire won’t rest until his reader is seeing his lover in rotting pieces of meat — or in another quintessentially Baudelairean moment, in the image of a snake slithering around an open grave. His book The Flowers of Evil (New Directions, $15.95) was banned on charges of lewdness and obscenity for most of the polarizing French poet’s life. Full of unexpected metaphor and uncompromising grotesqueness, Baudelaire asks his reader to stop a moment and smell the corpses — I mean, the daisies. A cactus is not everyone’s idea of beauty — and there’s no denying its propensity for pain — but in Sylvia Wilkinson’s new novel Big Cactus (Owl Canyon Press, 2014, $24.95), the giant saguaro is a metaphor for an 84-year-old North Carolina woman’s romantic vision of the American West. Wilkinson grew up in Durham, and this unlikely road novel ends with the realization that being driven out West to see the big cactus “was the nicest thing anybody ever did for her.” Prickly sweet. Shawn Sheehy’s pop-up book Welcome to the Neighborwood (Candlewick Press, 2015, $29.99) is a nonfiction work of engineering and art. The book describes seven different animals, starting with a land snail and ending with the stickleback fish — all inhabiting the same area of a forest. The animals featured range from the common to the obscure with each having a short, easily accessible description and list of facts about how the animal makes its home (often in flowers). But the most interesting thing about this book is the amazing amount of work that went into the stunning pop-up creations on each page. Using intricate paper cutouts and some string, both kids and parents will be fascinated, turning to the beginning again and again.  “When I was a young monk, I believed that the Buddha didn’t suffer once he had become enlightened. Naively I asked myself ‘What’s the use of becoming the Buddha if you continue to suffer?’” Thich Nhat Hanh tells this story early in No Mud, No Lotus (Parallax Press, 2014, $14.95), a book about coming to terms with your own suffering as well as the suffering of others. Through simple stories and exercises, he hopes to teach us to recognize and embrace suffering, believing that resistance to and anger about suffering actually compounds it. “The Buddha did suffer, because he had May 2015

O.Henry 25


Bookshelf

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

a body, feelings and perceptions, like all of us. When one of his beloved students died, he suffered. How can you not suffer when a dear friend has just died?” For Thich Nhat Hanh developing our own inner peace is a concise way to change the world around us. George Comstock is a miserable human being, a failed poet, condescending bookstore clerk, “aged 29 and rather moth-eaten already,” yet he’s strangely likeable in a bedraggled sort of way. George is the hero, so to speak, of George Orwell’s Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Mariner Books, $14.95), a novel set after WWII in the seedy part of London where George mopes and fumes and tries to “write” (always in quotation marks). Funny in ways that might surprise those familiar only with 1984 and Animal Farm, Aspidistra is a satire of class and the pretentions of poverty for art, as well as a dead-on portrayal of a “writer” — who wants to write, but can only find a way to “write” — and the poor souls bobbing in his wake. The poet Robert Creeley once wrote that “Each wound is perfect, / encloses itself in a tiny / imperceptible blossom, / making pain. / Pain is a flower.” From his dingy apartment, full of beer bottles and cigarette ash, wedged deep in an anonymous Los Angeles slum, another poet by the name of Charles Bukowski would echo a similar sentiment in his poem called “My Garden.” For Bukowski pain was also a flower; in fact, pain was “flowers blooming all the time.” The poem is part of Bukowski’s collection The People Look Like Flowers At Last (Ecco, 2008, $14.99). And so they do, beautiful all of them, and all of them in pain. But let’s end on a happier note: “dandelions, green apple trees, mowed lawns and new sneakers . . . this was the first morning of summer.” I still recall getting goose bumps the first time I read those words at the start of Ray Bradbury’s enchanting coming-of-age classic Dandelion Wine (Bantam, 1957, $7.99). If you only know Bradbury for his bestselling horror/ fantasy/sci-fi stories, May is the month to put this little gem on your reading list. Described as a love letter to his childhood, Dandelion Wine was among Bradbury’s earliest full-length works. Bucolic isn’t for everyone, but that’s what this semi-autobiographical novel delivers — a magical bit of unabashed romantic reverie. Fifty years later, near the end of a long life, Bradbury penned Farewell Summer (2006), a sequel to Dandelion Wine. Looking for a darker side of youth in the Bradbury canon? Check out the chilling classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962). OH Scuppernong Staff: Brian Etling, Brian Lampkin, David White, Deb White, Kira Larson, Rachel York, Shannon Jones and Steve Mitchell.

26 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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Game On

Greensboro’s Diamond Dream Team Our All-time, All-Star Hometown professional baseball team

By Kevin Reid

Greensboro baseball fans have had the

fortune of being able to witness a wealth of talent over the years, at Cone Park, War Memorial Stadium and NewBridge Bank Park. Our local minor league teams have included the Greensboro Patriots, Red Sox, Yankees, Hornets, Bats and Grasshoppers spanning the Piedmont League, Carolina League and South Atlantic League. An all-time, All-Star team of Greensboro professionals on the diamond would be a team to behold. Heinie Manush: Manager, Greensboro Red Sox, 1941­–42 This exclusive squad would be managed by Heinie Manush, one of only two former Greensboro minor leaguers currently enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Working for Boston, Manush managed the Greensboro Red Sox in 1941 and ’42, getting his team in the playoffs the first year and winning the Piedmont League championship the next. Manush, a native of Alabama, who lived at the old O.Henry Hotel during his Greensboro tenure, earned his credentials for Cooperstown from his hitting as an outfielder. He played with the Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Red Sox in a big league career that lasted from 1923 through 1939. After managing Greensboro and four other minor-league clubs, Manush was a scout for several years before returning to the majors as a coach for Washington in 1953 and ’54. The Veteran’s Committee voted him into the Hall in 1964.

Johnny Mize: First Base, Greensboro Patriots, 1930, ’31, ’33 The other Hall-of-Famer would be the first baseman, Johnny Mize, elected by the Veterans Committee in 1981. Mize, as a St. Louis Cardinals farmhand, played for the Greensboro Patriots at relatively-new War Memorial Stadium in 1930, ’31 and ’33. He began his career with the Patriots as an outfielder The Art & Soul of Greensboro

and, continuing at that position, batted a solid .337 the next season. After a year in the New York-Penn League, the Demorest, Georgia, native returned to the Gate City as a first baseman and showed his initial flash of power with twenty-two home runs to go with his .360 average. The Big Cat, as he became known, played in the majors from 1936 through 1953 with the Cardinals, New York Giants and New York Yankees in a career, interrupted by World War II, which saw 359 big-league homers and a .312 batting average. Robinson Cano: Second Base, Greensboro Bats, 2005 Our second baseman, Robinson Cano, currently plays with the Seattle Mariners. Like Mize, Cano is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed and initially revealed his power here. In 2002, as a Yankee farmhand, the Dominican knocked fourteen home runs while playing for the South Atlantic League’s Greensboro Bats at Memorial Stadium. Joining the Yankees in 2005 he popped 204 long-balls for them and hit .309 in nine productive seasons. After the 2013 season, Cano signed with the M’s for $240 million over ten years. Last year the star, named after fellow second baseman Jackie Robinson, whacked fourteen more homers while batting .314. Mike Pagliarulo: Third Base, Greensboro Hornets, 1982 A fellow named Jeff Reynolds was co-MVP of the South Atlantic League while playing for the Hornets in 1981, but he never made The Show. Therefore, the honor of being on this All-Star team goes to Mike Pagliarulo, a Massachusetts native who played college ball at Miami and took Reynolds’ spot the next season, smacking twenty-two homers and batting .280 for the Hornets. By 1984 Pagliarulo, who also hit from the left side and threw righthanded, reached New York, where he hit twenty-eight homers for the Yankees in 1986 and thirty-two in ’87. Pagliarulo also played for the San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, with whom he finished his big league career in 1995 with 134 home runs. Derek Jeter: Shortstop, Greensboro Hornets, 1992–93 Derek Jeter is obviously the shortstop. The right-hander from Kalamazoo, Michigan, started with the Hornets in late 1992 and spent the entire ’93 season with the local South Atlantic League club, when he batted .295, hit May 2015

O.Henry 29


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Game On five homers and stole eighteen bases. As much as his hype was then, few fans realized that he would collect an all-time Yankees record of 3,465 hits, as well as 2,747 games, 358 stolen bases among other accomplishments. Playing with the Bronx Bombers from 1995 through last season, most of them as the team captain, Jeter batted .310 with 260 homers and 1,311 RBIs — winning five Gold Gloves at short and playing in fourteen All-Star games. As great as those stats are, his post-season records are even more impressive. Among the categories he is the all-time postseason leader in hits (200), doubles (32), runs (111) and total bases (302). Don Mattingly: Left Field, Greensboro Hornets, 1981

I’m going to place Don Mattingly in left field. He actually played right field with the Greensboro Hornets in 1981 when he was South Atlantic League

batting champion with a .358 average. Mattingly, who also led the league with 177 hits, was the Sally League MVP that year. Because of his lack of power (only nine home runs for Greensboro), there was talk of switching the ambidextrous Mattingly to second, but his power arrived after his debut in New York. Always a Yankee in the majors — and quickly shifted to first base (where he won nine Gold-Gloves) —Donnie Ballgame batted .307 with 222 homers for the Bronx Bombers from 1982 through 1995. He was the A.L. MVP in 1985 when he hit thirty-five homers. He was also the batting champ the year before at .343 and led the league in doubles for three consecutive seasons. Back problems, which forced his retirement as a player, have kept him out of the Hall, so far, but his legacy as a manager is now building. For the last two seasons, the former slugger has piloted the Los Angeles Dodgers to the N.L. West championship.

Roberto Kelly: Center Field, Greensboro Hornets, 1983–84 The center fielder on this fantasy team would be Roberto Kelly, a right-handed Panamanian, who played that position for the Hornets in 1983 and ’84. He stole forty-five bases for the Hornets, and swiped 235 in The Show, where he performed from 1987 until 2000 with the Yankees and seven other big-league clubs, while batting .290 with 124 home runs. Kelly is now first-base coach for the San Francisco Giants. Giancarlo Stanton: Right Field, Greensboro Grasshoppers, 2008 The right-field spot goes to Giancarlo Stanton, who played as Mike Stanton for the Grasshoppers in 2008, when he smacked thirty-nine home runs and hit .293 as a Florida (now Miami) Marlins farmhand in the Sally League. Last year, his fifth with the Marlins and his second with thirty-seven homers and several weeks on the disabled list, the California native finished second in N.L. MVP voting and first among position players. In the offseason, with 154 big-league homers and 399 RBIs under his belt, the right-handed Stanton signed the largest baseball contract in history: 13 years for $325 million. Jorge Posada: Catcher, Greensboro Hornets, 1992 The catcher’s got to be Jorge Posada, who batted .276 with twelve homers for the Hornets in 1992. Before playing in Greensboro, Posada had been a second baseman. The Puerto Rican was announced as “George” over the Memorial Stadium loudspeaker as he came to bat, but by the time he reached the Yankees in 1996, the legendary announcer Bob Sheppard called him by the name he used in Puerto Rico. With the Yankees, Posada, who played from 1995 through 2011, was a five-time All-Star, four-time World’s Champion and hit 275 home runs.

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Game On Curt Schilling: Right-Handed Starter, Greensboro Hornets, 1987 Curt Schilling would be the right-handed starter on this dream team. Pitching for the Greensboro Hornets in 1987, when they were a Boston Red Sox farm club, Schilling went 8–15, leading the league in losses, but also leading it in strikeouts with 189. Traded from the Red Sox before reaching the majors, Schilling reached The Show with the Baltimore Orioles in 1988 and remained there with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks, before he returned to the Red Sox as a big leaguer for the final four years of his career. He led his league in victories twice and did the same a couple of time in strikeouts. Schilling’s big league record was 216–146, 3.46, with 3,116 strikeouts, 15th on the All-Time list. Andy Pettitte: Left-Handed Starter, Greensboro Hornets, 1992 The left-handed starter would be Andy Pettitte. The southpaw went 10–4, 2.20, for the Hornets in 1992 and 256–153, 3.85, from 1995 through 2013 with the Yankees except for three years with the Astros. If the rotation were stretched out to four starters, it would also include two more right-handers, Mel Stottlemyer (17-9, 2.50, for the Greensboro Yankees in 1962; 164-139, 2.97, for the New York Yankees from 1964 through 1974), and Jose Fernandez (7-0, 1.59, with the Grasshoppers in 2012; 16-8, 2.25, with the Marlins the last two years). The young Fernandez who was the Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012 and N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2013, before his career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) last May, has a chance to be the best big league pitcher who ever hurled in Greensboro. Mariano Rivera: Closer, Greensboro Hornets, 1991, ’93 There is no doubt who the closer would be, Mariano Rivera, who is now considered the best relief pitcher of all time. Rivera was primarily a starter for the Hornets in 1991 and 1993, when he went 4–9, 2.75, and 1–0, 2.06, respectively. The right-hander struck out 155 Sally League batters in 155 innings with Greensboro. The Panamanian’s big-league career spanned from 1995 through 2013, all with the Yankees, for whom he went 82–60, 2.21 in 1,115 appearances. He holds the all-time record for saves with 620. That’s not counting his forty-two post-season saves, tops in that category. Even more amazing is his post season ERA: 0.32 in thirty-nine Division Series games, 0.92 in thirty-three Championship Series contests, and 0.99 in twenty-four World Series appearances. Players on the bench would include shortstops in Greensboro who played outfield in the majors. Bobby Murcer was the Carolina League’s MVP in 1965 (.322 with sixteen homers for the Greensboro Yankees) and may have been the best offensively of the big league center fielders (252 homers with the Yankees, Giants and Chicago Cubs from 1965-83), but did not play the outfield around here. Ditto Reggie Sanders (.289 with nine home runs and twenty-one steals for the Greensboro Hornets as a Cincinnati farmhand in 1989), who hit 305 homers and stole 304 bases for the Reds and seven other big league teams from 1991 through 2007. And Otis Nixon — who led the SAL in runs (124) and steals (67) with the Hornets in 1980 before stealing 620 bases with the Atlanta Braves and eight other big league clubs from 1983 through 1999 — would certainly be worth a spot on the bench due to his speed. Rivera is expected to be called to the Hall of Fame, upon his eligibility, four years from now. Jeter will probably join him in Cooperstown when he becomes eligible the following year. With four Hall-of-Famers, and counting, an all-Greensboro team would fill the seats in any ballpark. OH Kevin Reid became attached to baseball when his parents gave him a pack of cards that contained Ernie Banks, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson. His passion for baseball led to his career in writing. He collaborated with Hall-of-Fame outfielder Enos Slaughter on his autobiography. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 33


JUNE 6, 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Soul of Art

The Milstein Touch With stunning portraits of Supreme Court Justice Henry Frye and Rep. Howard Coble now completed, gifted painter Victoria Carlin Milstein turns her attention to Old Greensboro and new students By Maria Johnson

He stands at the bottom of the stairs, pausing

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

on his way up.

His left hand rests on the newel post. His right hand holds a paper. His judicial robe falls in folds. He fixes the viewer with kind eyes and a slight smile. This is how Victoria Milstein is painting Greensboro’s Henry Frye, the first African-American to serve as chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. She is almost finished with the portrait, and she’s happy with it. A tiny, green-eyed dynamo, she practically levitates out of her size 5 1/2 boots as she talks about Frye. “He didn’t have a lot to say about how I was going to portray him, so I decided I wanted to portray him going up steps, like Martin Luther King, going up the mountain. The idea is that there’s work to be done. It’s not over.” Milstein (pronounced MILL-steen) stands in the middle of her about-to-becompleted studio at 517 South Elm Street. She has brought in a few pieces of art and display panels, but in general, the studio is in the relaxed disarray that goes with being weeks away from a soft opening. At the moment, Milstein’s energy is focused on Frye, who was appointed in 1999, by then-Governor Jim Hunt, to fill the unexpired term of the retiring chief justice. The following year, Frye lost the election to the post and returned to Greensboro to practice law. When Frye retires, Milstein’s portrait will hang at the state supreme court building, alongside portraits of other past chief justices. Her work will join two portraits by accomplished artist Everitt Raymond Kinstler, with whom she has studied. She gestures at the painting of Frye and talks about how she wove in his wife Shirley, who has achieved as much behind the scenes as her husband has on a bigger stage. Shirley Frye is not depicted directly, but Henry Frye’s left hand rests on the newel post, which stands for Shirley as a pillar of his life. Henry Frye also wears a wedding ring in the portrait; he usually doesn’t wear one, but the painting includes one as an homage to Shirley. There’s more subtlety: Milstein painted Frye from a vantage point that

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

implies respect. “You’re looking up at him,” she says. “But you still have his kind eyes and smile.” The painting’s secret? “It’s simple. In art, some of the most beautiful portraits are simple. Strong and simple.” Milstein met with Frye two times, posed him on the stairs at her home, took hundreds of photos and picked out a couple. Not to trace. To remind her of his stance and his spirit. “There are thousands of portrait artists who are not good,” she says. “Why are they not good? They’re copying something!” Milstein, who paints in a realistic style tinged with Impressionism, is not a copycat. In art or in life. Who could copy this: A good Jewish girl, born to an artist-mother and a businessman-father on Long Island, spends her teenage years falling in love with painting and with a good Jewish boy named Ron. She breaks up with the boyfriend to make aliyah (a pilgrimage to Jerusalem), where she meets and marries another man, and learns painting from New Yorker, Susan Donner-Cohen. The young artist stays in Israel for nine years. She has children. Her family moves back to Long Island, where she starts painting portraits as a business. Children on beaches —that’s what people want. She paints plenty of them. And other portraits, too, of women who want their hair color changed or the diamonds on their hands made larger. Working under her married name, Victoria Carlin, she does well. She paints. She raises a daughter, a son and a stepson. She divorces. Her sister mentions to Ron Milstein, Victoria’s old high school boyfriend — who went on to become the top lawyer for Lorillard Inc. in Greensboro, and who is freshly divorced himself — that he should call Vickie. He does. The flame is rekindled. She moves to Greensboro. They get married. She doesn’t paint much for the next few years. She networks, joins boards, wades into women’s groups. Shirley Frye goes to her house for a gathering one night and sees the portrait of Ron that Victoria has done as a wedding gift for him. “Will you paint Henry?” Frye asks. And that’s how Henry Frye came to be tilted on an easel in a not-quite-finished studio on South Elm Street. May 2015

O.Henry 35


The Soul of Art

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Similar connections led Milstein to paint Howard Coble, Greensboro’s longtime, just-retired congressman. Private donors in Greensboro and Washington commissioned Milstein to do a portrait, which was unveiled in the nation’s capital last summer, then moved to Greensboro, where it resides on the third floor of UNCG’s library, along with Coble’s papers. In the portrait, Coble wears his trademark madras jacket, his lapel studded with honorary pins. He sits in his office on The Hill. The Capitol dome is visible through a window. Coble props one elbow on his desk. The other elbow rests on the arm of the chair. His jacket is open. His eyebrows are lifted. He looks ready to talk, which is how Milstein found him when she lobbied him in Washington once, on behalf of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “I tried to paint him like he was going to jump out at you,” she says. Milstein is considering doing different versions of the Frye and Coble portraits to donate to the Greensboro Historical Museum. “We have two figures who have fundamentally changed Greensboro and North Carolina,” she says. Milstein has preserved history in another way, with the renovation of her studio in the Downtown Greensboro Historic District. Before she found this building on South Elm Street, she painted in her Irving Park home and in her Manhattan apartment. She wanted a bigger place. She looked at rental spaces, but none suited her. Then she found the Dixon Building for sale. The Italianate storefront, circa 1904, originally housed Dixon’s Barber Shop and later the Art Barber Shop. Most recently, the building — notable for the band of lavender-and-clear leaded glass over the front door — was home to a bead shop. Milstein and her husband bought the building last year. With the help of Iris Ben-Gal of the Greensboro firm ESPA Architects & Planners, and Joe Thompson of New Age Builders Inc., the Milsteins have transformed the space into an airy hall with a lofted office and storage room in the back. “You don’t have to go to some big city to have a beautiful studio,” says Milstein. She plans to work, teach and exhibit in the space, which is called VCM Studio, for Victoria Carlin Milstein. She will conduct painting classes with live models. Once a month, she will offer free portfolio evaluations to aspiring artists. She’s especially interested in helping high school students understand both the art and the business sides of the art business. “You don’t have to be a starving artist,” she says. “It’s about having a good product and marketing it.” In addition to carrying her own work – both originals and prints – Milstein plans to sell the The Art & Soul of Greensboro


sculpture of her son Adam Carlin. His work will occupy a Zen-like garden in the courtyard behind the building Milstein hired Steve Williams of Plantation North Landscape Management to create the garden, which she plans to use for social functions, including a party during the National Folk Festival, which starts its three-year stay in Greensboro in September. Her business-owning neighbors on South Elm Street — she calls it “the SoHo of Greensboro” — have welcomed her warmly. Milstein wishes more enterprising folks would join them. “People need to invest; there’s more for sale,” she says. “I’m grateful to be in Greensboro at a time when it’s changing.” Milstein is changing, too. She’ll continue to paint portraits, but she wants to do more noncommissioned work. She’s working on a series of paintings of African women whom she met in 2011 while visiting her daughter Dina, then a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country of Mali. Milstein’s studio contains a few of the paintings: a woman with a child at her breast; a longboat filled with dozens of villagers; a woman descending stairs with a tin tub balanced on her head and a baby strapped to her back. Milstein says she was overwhelmed by the women’s strength in the face of their daily struggle to survive. She was heartbroken to see that girls grew up with low expectations. When Milstein took crayons into the village school, the boys grabbed them

The Soul of Art

and started drawing. The girls stood back. “They didn’t even have the initiative to say, ‘I can color, too,’” she says. “They didn’t even think they could be a part of that.” Radical Islamists took over the village of Bougaribaya after Milstein’s daughter left in 2011. Back in the U.S., Milstein felt compelled to paint the women she’d met. “I’m trying to talk about them and their lives with as much grace and honor and respect as I can,” she says. She hopes to exhibit a couple of the Mali pieces at Greenhill’s upcoming Winter Show. After that, some of the series will go to the African-American Atelier, also in the Greensboro Cultural Center. Milstein envisions at least a dozen paintings in the Mali series. She wants to do more landscapes like the Impressionistic piece in one window of her storefront. The painting is a view of French Hill, near where she lived in Jerusalem. A portrait of her dashing yellow Labrador retriever, Toby, is in the other window. Milstein relishes the thought of painting to please herself first. “This will be the first time that I can focus on what I want to say and how I want to do it, the craft of painting,” she says. Running the studio will be the latest phase in her creative life. “I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but sort of everything has been about art and community,” she says. “That’s what art is all about. It’s about being that bridge.” OH VCM Studio will host an open house on May 29, 6–10 p.m. The studio’s website is vcmstudio.com, Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine.

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O.Henry 37


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Pappadaddy’s Mindfield

Papadaddy Visits Heaven Please pass the crumin

By Clyde Edgerton

Recently, as a consequence of a botched

anesthesia procedure from which he recovered, Papadaddy briefly visited Heaven, then returned to Earth. In Heaven, he wandered along streets of gold, and among gatherings of family members sitting on shaded porches eating meals and talking: grandparents, parents, children, and great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, all together at once. Papadaddy had a meal with one extended family and reports:

Illustration by harry Blair

The people at this particular noontime meal were members of the Harris-Williams-Johnson-Stark-Clements, etc. family from Arkansas, Ohio, and Ontario: • HORACE, an 84-year-old man who died in 1705 • BEATRICE, a 93-year-old woman who died in 1865 • GRANT, a 77-year-old man who died in 1943 • TODDIE, a 59-year-old woman who died in 1990 • SHAWN, 9-year-old boy who died in 2015 • PAPADADDY HORACE (1705): Can somebody pass the crumin? SHAWN (2015): What’s crumin? HORACE (1705): That boy shouldn’t be speaking at the table — take him outside and flog him. SHAWN (2015): What’s flog? PAPADADDY (2015): Spank . . . whip, actually. I think you shouldn’t be The Art & Soul of Greensboro

talking, son. I think crumin must be some kind of cornbread. Right over there. SHAWN (2015): What did I do? BEATRICE (1865): You broke a custom, child. Hold your tongue. TODDIE (1990): No. . . not literally, son. Take your hand out of your mouth. It’s just an expression. BEATRICE (1865): We had over fifteen kinds of cornbread when I was coming along. The Indians was good about coming up with all kinds. SHAWN: (2015) I didn’t do anything. I don’t want to be quiet. I just got here. PAPADADDY (2015): I’m sorry. GRANT (1943): Why are you sorry? PAPADADDY (2015): Oh, I don’t mean I’m sorry about him getting to Heaven. I mean I’m sorry for any suffering of his on Earth. HORACE (1705): Take him outside and flog him. That’ll teach him to talk at a meal. TODDIE (1990): I don’t think that would be kosher — not in Heaven. HORACE (1705): What’s kosher mean? TODDIE (1990): It means kosher. PAPADADDY (2015): It means, you know, appropriate. HORACE (1705): Children do not speak at meals — I don’t care where we are. Standards are not temporary habits. TODDIE (1990): Pretty day, isn’t it? GRANT (1943): I wish it would rain sometimes. HORACE (1705): Why? We don’t need it. PAPADADDY (2015): How do you keep up these pretty gardens without rain? BEATRICE (1865): It all happens without weather . . . and then too, we have especially good reading about homes and gardens. Pass the salt, please. HORACE (1705): And pass the crumin. And why did they take away the servants? BEATRICE (1865): Because we’re in Heaven. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a memoir and a new work, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. May 2015

O.Henry 39


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Looking at the City Project

Legacy of a self-made man From a sign painter to a pioneering architect, Raleigh James Hughes shaped the face of modern Greensboro, a story of triumph over adversity revealed in the stunning restoration of his most enduring design

By Maria Johnson

Every time Margie Bowman’s son Jim drives Photographs By Sam Froelich

her to a doctor appointment in Greensboro, she asks him to swing by the historic Southeastern Building in the heart of downtown, at the corner of Elm and Market streets.

“I’m very interested in it,” the 86-year-old Bowman says of the landmark building, which opened last after a two-year, top-to-bottom overhaul. Bowman’s interest comes from more than a passing fancy for architecture and history. Her father, the late architect Raleigh James Hughes, designed the original building, which was known as the American Exchange National Bank Building when it opened in 1919. At nine stories, it was the city’s tallest building. Like a professional basketball player of old, the limestone tower looks small compared to the players of today, but it stands as a prime example of Neoclassical Revival architecture. “It’s a doozie,” says Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro Inc. “It’s incredibly well-designed for any city. It looks like it belongs The Art & Soul of Greensboro

in Philadelphia or New York or Washington, D.C.” The first time the building opened, Raleigh James Hughes, then in his mid-40s, was a star on the local building scene. He had already designed several standout homes in Fisher Park and Irving Park, the latter being a new neighborhood that promised “no billboards, no pigs, no nuisances and no front fences.” More commissions from well-to-do clients lay just ahead of Hughes. But over the next ten years, his fortunes would change dramatically. The stock market would crash and sweep the financial footing out from under Hughes and millions of other Americans. One of Margie Bowman’s earliest childhood memories is of her father holding her in his arms, standing outside a bank; she’s not sure which one. He and a crowd of men had gathered to demand their money. Bowman says her family had gold pieces in a safe deposit box. “They wouldn’t let us in,” recalls Bowman. Raleigh James Hughes — whose life was full of bad breaks — never fully recovered from the setback dealt by the Great Depression, but he already had left his stamp as one of the city’s most important architects of the early 20th century. If he’s not remembered as well as his contemporaries Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton, it’s probably because Hughes was not the lead architect on as many high-profile projects. The only big, local structure that Hughes gets top billing for is the Southeastern Building. May 2015

O.Henry 41


Looking at the City Project

Most of his work was residential. Greensboro neighborhoods are salted with at least two dozen of his homes, and his signature touches — Neoclassical cornices and columns, handsome shingle work, picturesque trellises and walls of dormer windows — are largely responsible for giving local architecture a flavor that’s unique in the state. “He definitely raised the standard of architecture during a time of rapid growth,” says Briggs of Preservation Greensboro. Hughes’ homes include: • Pennybyrn, 109 Penny Road, High Point. The yellow-brick Italian Rennaisance mansion was built in 1927 for auctioneer and state Sen. George Penny and his wife, Lena. Twenty years later, it became Maryfield, a nursing home run by nuns, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. The home is now part of Pennybyrn at Maryfield, a retirement community that’s still run by the sisters. Hughes says that Pennybyrn wasn’t her father’s favorite commission because it wasn’t his typical style. “When he finished it, he wasn’t too proud of it, but he got more comments and more historical value from that than anything else he’s done, other than the Southeastern Building,” says Bowman. • The Dr. Parren Jarboe House, 206 Sunset Drive, Greensboro. Built in 1915, this Mediterranean Revival house now wears its original hue of pale coral. It features a portico supported by Ionic columns and topped by a Chinese Chippendale balustrade. A sunroom flanks one side, a screened porch the other. The Irving Park home is currently for sale. • The F.P. Hobgood Jr. House, 115 North Park Circle, Greensboro. Hughes called this “The Hobgoodery.” The Colonial Revival home incorporates Cape Cod elements such as wood-shingle siding. It’s a favorite of local architecture buffs because of its deep front porch, thick masonry columns and trellis-trimmed roof. The home, built circa 1915 at the corner of North Park Drive and Magnolia Street in Fisher Park, is also Bowman’s favorite. “It’s just full of character,” she says. “Just homey, not splashy or anything.” Bowman says she remembers going with her father to visit the home’s owners years after it was built. “I remember sitting on that porch, playing marbles while Daddy talked,” she says. These days, the little girl who played marbles on the porch in Fisher Park wears her silver hair in a tasteful French twist and gets around with a walker. She lives in a retirement home on Skeet Club Road in High Point. She moved here in 2013, a baker’s dozen years after she retired from running Mother Goose Shop, a children’s store in Friendly Center. Her son Jim is the retired owner of J.H. Bowman Electric Co. in Greensboro. Her three other children live elsewhere. She meets visitors in a small conference room of the retirement home and sifts through the paper traces of her father’s life. Most of his drawings are gone, destroyed by a basement flood in the family’s home on Florence Street years ago. But Bowman has a photo of him, some newspaper clippings and letters, and a hand-written list of his projects that she and her mother compiled. Bowman treasures a sales booklet, covered in heavy brown textured paper, advertising the bank building. The booklet touts the building’s facade, a base of Mount Airy granite and a facing of buff-colored Indiana limestone, the finest limestone available. The cornices, intricate moldings and two-story fluted Doric columns along Elm and Market streets were carved from limestone as well. Awnings sprouted from the upper story windows facing Elm and Market, the central crossroads of Greensboro. Inside, the building was just as fancy. “Two of the newest type Otis traction passenger elevators, equipped with all of the latest safety devices, will furnish continuous service to the offices from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” the booklet says. “Elevator boys wear neat uniforms and are provided with dressing room and shower bath in the basement.” A visitor would have entered the building through a revolving door on North Elm Street and found herself in a marble-lined vestibule. To her left, she would have seen an alcove with a circular marble staircase and elevators. If she’d kept

42 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Looking at the City Project 1935

Present day

going, she’d have been in the bank’s sumptuous two-story lobby. Dead ahead lay the vault and safe deposit boxes. Above the safe, in mezzanine offices, accountants kept the books. Bank officers peered down from mezzanine offices above the vestibule. The coffered ceiling, with its inset panels, cast shadows 28 feet above the banking floor. Tellers worked on the ground floor, to the right. The windows behind them opened to Market Street. Professionals rented offices on the floors above the bank. The corridors leading to their offices were terrazzo. Their doors were oak with transom windows and brass hardware. A course of handsome oak molding ran through the halls at transom level. Attention to detail was a hallmark of Hughes, says Benjamin Briggs, of Preservation Greensboro. And Hughes’ details weren’t rote. He harmonized notes of different architectural styles. In the hands of a lesser architect, that approach would have produced hodge-podges. But Hughes made it work. Witness the tapered Craftsman-style columns with Ionic capitals on a Hughes bungalow at 204 South Tate Street. “He had a command of architectural styles, and he seemed to have fun with it,” says Briggs. Hughes took a roundabout path to Greensboro. His childhood family moved to Graham, outside Greensboro, shortly after Hughes was born near Elmira, New York, in 1874. Hughes’ father, Solomon, had been a Confederate prisoner in New York during the Civil War, and evidently he had found work there when the war ended. His mother, Margaret, had joined Solomon up north after the war, but she missed the South, hence the move to Graham. Solomon worked at the nearby Company Shops, a massive repair hub for the North Carolina Railroad. Margaret died soon after the move. Solomon remarried and had more children, but young Raleigh Hughes did not fit well in the blended family. Bowman says her father left home at age 12 to live with relatives in Burlington. As a teenager, he learned sign painting from J.G. Körner, an artist who painted Bull Durham Tobacco advertisements and built the home known as Körner’s Folly in Kernersville, which was named for his family. Hughes lived in Goldsboro and Raleigh, painting signs as he went. At some point, he decided he’d rather make buildings than signs. He took a correspondence course in architecture and became licensed while in Raleigh. He was working for a firm in Lynchburg, Virginia, when friends recruited him to become one of Greensboro’s first professional architects. Bowman says those friends included R.C. Hood, a real estate agent who was selling lots in Irving Park, and J.E. Latham, a developer for whom Latham Park is named. Hughes started working in Greensboro in 1910, Bowman says. It was a good time to land here. The city was flush with textile, tobacco and insurance money, and the well-to-do were pushing the city limits north and west with their new homes. When they wanted a custom-designed house, they often The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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May 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Looking at the City Project

turned to Hughes, Hartmann, Barton or one of a handful of other local architects to delineate their dreams. Hughes flourished in the teens and twenties of the young century. In addition to designing homes, he served on a local committee of architects that oversaw public projects. He won the American Exchange bank job, and he dabbled in judicial buildings out of town, going solo on the imposing Davie County courthouse and teaming with Barton on the monumental courthouse in Surry County. He was well established when he married Bowman’s mother, Grace Betts. It was the first marriage for both. He was 53. She was 28 and had come to Greensboro — probably from South Carolina where her father was a Methodist minister — to attend Greensboro College’s prep school for girls. They married in 1927. Bowman, their only child, was born a year later. The family lived in a home that Hughes had designed on Lake Jeanette Road, where he owned 190 acres. The family tended an orchard, garden, beehives and chickens. On the day Bowman was born, Hughes planted a wisteria vine at the gate. He planned to build a larger home on the property and use the family’s first nest as a gatehouse. He never got the chance. The stock market crashed. Hughes was 55. He was devastated. In late 1929, he wrote to the AIA to explain why his dues were late. “I am starting the new year with more than a year’s unpaid office rent, part of last year’s coal bill unpaid, and several months behind with my Grocer, and this after having borrowed all of the cash value of my life insurance and raised all that is practical without sacrificing any of my property,” he wrote. By the end of 1930, his AIA membership was no longer active. The family lost the home, which still exists at 4202 Lake Jeanette Road, to foreclosure and lived in a couple of apartments before buying a home on Florence Street in Fisher Park. Bowman remembers her father wearing a green eyeshade and sitting, tilted back in a Windsor chair in their den, reading the Bible. Most Sundays, Hughes, a tall, lean health enthusiast who enjoyed ballroom dancing, took his daughter on long walks in the brand new Country Park. “He felt closer to God there than anywhere,” she says. Throughout the Depression, Hughes’ father kept offices downtown, and he rustled up enough work to get by. Later in Hughes’ life, Julian Price, the president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., gave him an office in the company’s building, right across the street from Hughes’ bank building. Designed by Charles Hartmann, the Jefferson Standard Building had surpassed Hughes’ building as Greensboro’s tallest when it topped out at seventeen stories in 1923. Price had selected Hartmann to do the building, as well as his Tudor Revival home in Fisher Park, but he still had high regard for Hughes. “He was so good to Daddy in those last years,” says Bowman. Price wanted Hughes to design a company lodge in Blowing Rock, and he promised Hughes, a believer in the benefits of drinking goats’ milk, that he could keep goats on the grounds. Hughes began a correspondence with the family of famed poet Carl Sandburg about acquiring goats from the family’s well-known herd at Connemara Farms in Flat Rock. “Dear Mr. Hughes,” begins a typed reply from Helga Sandburg Toman, the poet’s daughter, on April 13, 1946, “We have no does for sale . . . However we have some outstanding bucks to offer, and if you would be interested I would be glad to send you our sales sheet.” Hughes was an avid letter writer. He sent a birthday card to Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1947, he typed a letter to Henry Ford congratulating him on ending a strike in his car plants. He penned letters to the editor of the local newspaper, usually on the subject of health or politics. Devout Republicans, the Hugheses were no fans of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Once, Bowman says, her mother refused a friend’s invitation to attend a Greensboro luncheon at which Eleanor Roosevelt was scheduled to speak. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 45


Looking at the City Project

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The friend went anyway and relayed to the First Lady what young Margie Bowman had told her: “The Depression hit us.” Roosevelt responded by removing her corsage. “Take this to that little girl,” she told the family friend. The Hughes family kept the corsage pressed for years, politics aside. They also kept a piece of correspondence from Lorenzo Winslow, who once was a draftsman for Hughes in Greensboro. Winslow, who designed Winburn Court on Tate Street and the imposing Irving Park Manor Apartments in Irving Park, went on to become the architect for the renovation of the White House during the administration of President Harry Truman. Winslow used a White House envelope to send Hughes a Washington Post clipping about himself and the renovation. Nothing else was included. No love was lost between the two men, Bowman says, but her father must have found some humor in the mailing or he wouldn’t have kept it. She knows her father wasn’t easy to work for. His temper flared when things weren’t done his way, but his high standards made for lasting buildings. “He was known for building a well-built house,” she says. “You knew the best work had gone into it when he did it.” That’s probably why Julian Price had Hughes design a gray stone mountain lodge for the insurance company. The plans were done and construction was about to begin when Price was killed in a car wreck on the way to Blowing Rock in 1946. Hughes, then 72, was supposed to have accompanied Price on the trip. “Daddy had the flu,” says Bowman. Hughes’ life as an architect was over. He died eight years later at age 80. He suffered from dementia. He is buried in Westminster Gardens in Greensboro. Briggs of Preservation Greensboro says Hughes’ story is one of triumph over adversity: of a mother lost too early; of a crushing economic setback; of the death of a patron; and of the heavy hand of dementia. Despite all of that, he left a beautiful body of work, including the classy tower at Market and Elm. Greensboro developer Barry Siegal remembers the day that commercial real estate broker Fred Preyer came to see him about the Southeastern Building, which was about to be auctioned in a bankruptcy sale. “You need to buy that building,” Preyer told Siegal and his business partner Willard Tucker. “You gotta be nuts,” said Siegal. “We’ve seen that ugly duckling. What would anyone want with that?” Preyer showed them a photograph of the building in the 1930s. “My God,” Seigal said. “If we could take the building back to that character that would be magnificent.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Looking at the City Project Seigal and Tucker bought the building — including a 1927 addition designed by Hughes’ peer Harry Barton — for a little more than $2.2 million in 2005. The structure bore little resemblance to the building in the photograph. Around 1940, the six street-level columns and entablature over the columns had been ripped out. The first two floors had been bumped out to be flush with the rest of the building. Inside, the marble staircase was gone. The mezzanine level had been spanned to create a second floor. It has taken Siegal and Tucker ten years — with much of that time spent getting historic designations, tax credits and a HUD-backed loan — to restore the building, as much as possible, to its former glory. Price tag: $14 million and climbing. “We haven’t done the final numbers, and I don’t know that we should,” says Barry Siegal’s daughter Amanda Siegal Williams, who has been involved in the project. “We’ll never see a return during my lifetime,” says Barry Siegal. “But it’s a beautiful building.” The street-level columns and entablature — pre-cast concrete reproductions of the originals — have returned, and so have the recessed first two floors. Above that, pressure washing has brightened the original limestone facing and bands of molding: Greek key, dentil, and eggand-dart among them. With the help of architects at Greensboro-based Teague, Freyaldenhoven & Freyaldenhoven, the Siegals have transformed the offices on floors four through nine into apartments. Those levels retain their historic terrazzo hallways and wooden doors, some original, some reproduced. The Siegals also restored the molding at transom level. The second and third floors are reserved for office space. They hope a restaurant will occupy the ground floor and spill into a tree-filled cafe space on the Market Street side. The city will narrow the street there, the first step of a larger plan to add more landscaping to downtown streets. If a restaurant opens there, Margie Bowman will be one of the first customers. She’d love to sit in the rejuvenated building and toast her father’s memory. “My daddy was a self-made man who accomplished a lot without any family backing or formal education,” she says. “He contributed a great deal of beauty to Greensboro. I was always proud to be his daughter.” OH

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Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. Former O.Henry writer Jim Schlosser added to this story. Contact Maria Johnson at maria@ohenrymag.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 47


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48 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Looking at the City Project Greensboro Homes Designed by Raleigh James Hughes FISHER PARK F.P. Hobgood Jr. House, 115 North Park Drive Edmonds House, 318 West Bessemer Avenue Archie Wells House, 707 Simpson Street Bob Deal House, North Eugene Street 216 Florence Street and 201 East Hendrix Street (from a plan sold to Brooks Lumber Co.) IRVING PARK Broadhurst House, 310 Country Club Drive Mrs. George Mebane House, 805 Sunset Drive J.A. Matheson House, 701 Sunset Drive Charles Walcott House, 1919 Granville Road (torn down) Dr. Parren Jarboe House, 206 Sunset Drive Marion Follin Jr. House, 307 Wentworth Drive Arthur Watt House, 315 Meadowbrook Terrace A.L. Woods House, Meadowbrook Terrace Charles A. Bank Jr. House, Country Club Drive Mrs. William Nelson Mebane House, Meadowbrook Terrace COLLEGE HILL/WEST MARKET STREET/SUNSET HILLS James W. Brawley House, 204 Tate Street Thomas A. Armstrong House, 841 West Market Street, now used by Greensboro College as an admissions welcome center. Carter House, West Market Street Irvin Smith House, West Market Street Judge Koonts House, 328 East Greenway Drive ELSEWHERE IN GREENSBORO Cornelia Stevens apartment house on Adams Street, Westerwood Raleigh James Hughes House, 4202 Lake Jeanette Road OUTSIDE OF GREENSBORO George Penny House, “Pennybyrn,” High Point Vade Mecum, Hughes’ hunting lodge, Stokes County Country Home of S. Clay Williams, Winston-Salem Sidney Paine Jr. House near Haw River Two homes for Hughes’ half-sister Nora, one in Elon College., one on Church Street in Burlington. Norborne M. Schaum House, 904 West Nash Street, Wilson Sources: Margie Hughes Bowman; Preservation Greensboro Inc.; O.Henry research. To contribute additional information about Hughes’ work, contact Benjamin Briggs at bbriggs@blandwood.org or call (336) 272-5003.

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O.Henry 49


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50 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Pleasures of Life Dept.

Twin Partners in Crime Sometimes trouble comes in identical pairs

By Virginia Brooks

Although I have not

Photographs Courtesy of Virginia Brooks

exactly lived a very long life, I must say it has been eventful. I did not come into the world alone, but with a partner in crime, Caroline. We were born eleven weeks early, around two pounds each, but to everyone’s surprise we grew to be perfectly strong and healthy. I will let you in on a little secret. The reason we may have been born so early was all Baby A’s fault; she claims she got too crowded. I won’t name who Baby A is, but it wasn’t me . . . They say we looked like two hairless squirrels; my father still calls us squirrels.

Just like the way I entered into this world, I’ve always done things with style. For starters, I was unable to speak using “people words” until after the age of 2. My mother says both of us had our own secret language and apparently one of the few words we did master correctly was “boobs.” Caroline and I would look forward to grocery store visits where we would point out all the ladies and even some men with big “boobs.” Now that I am older I’d like to apologize to you if we ever pointed out your boobs in the grocery aisles. Growing up as an identical twin, there was always unspoken competition between us, so I did not like it when Caroline was better than I was at crawling. My first attempt at crawling was using my arms and pulling myself forward while dragging my legs behind me. My parents were unable to understand how I taught Caroline how to break out of our crib since I couldn’t walk. Though they never could catch us in the act, we maneuvered ourselves over toward the dresser, emptying the drawers and replacing the contents with our sleeping bodies. I know I am only 22 as of now, but I already have so many great memories. I must say some of the best years from my childhood were preschool. Caroline and I were in the same class and the weirdest part was that our teachers were also identical twins. I have never been the most graceful of the pair, for instance, running into The Art & Soul of Greensboro

metal poles. Everyone always told me, “When you were a little girl you were not afraid of anything.” The fire department came to visit in preschool and after class we got to tour the truck. Later they asked the teachers if any students would like to go up on the extension ladder. While I was the only kid who agreed to do so, Caroline sat there crying in fear that I would never come back down. Having a twin comes in handy; you don’t have to be alone when you get in trouble for doing something wrong. We would probably not have started all those food fights in preschool or kept everyone up at naptime if we hadn’t had each other to get into trouble with. It’s a good thing we were cute! To all the babysitters Caroline and I successfully scared away, I would really like to apologize as well. We never had the same one twice. There is one babysitter I would especially like to thank for providing me with wonderful memories of what it was like to be a “bad” kid. Not even thirty minutes after our parents had left us with her, Caroline and I decided on a master plan to ruin this babysitter’s entire weekend. Once it was time for bed, we got everything we could find and began to flush it down the upstairs toilet. Soon enough water was leaking through the kitchen ceiling while an additional flood made its way down the wooden staircase. Our poor babysitter basically ran out of the house meeting my parents in the driveway. Caroline was so scared she peed her pants when our parents got home. People are always curious about what it’s like to be an identical twin. It is a little like having a best friend who always understands you. There are times when all we have to do is look at the other and one hundred words can be spoken with our eyes, similar to when we had our own made-up language. One of the most difficult decisions was deciding on which college to attend. Caroline, the complete opposite of me, loves the beach and wanted to go to UNCW. I, on the other hand, love the mountains and would have given my left leg to get into ASU. Though we were sure of what we wanted individually, making the decision to split apart for the first time in our lives was very difficult. In the end we both agreed on attending East Carolina University and will be graduating this May. I’ll have a degree in interpersonal organizational communications and Caroline will have a degree in rehabilitation services. Though we are facing a future apart, we are now old enough to realize nothing can really separate us . . . not even miles. OH After graduating from ECU, Virginia Brooks plans to explore future opportunities in Greensboro, where both of her parents reside. May 2015

O.Henry 51


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52 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Blue Willow

Seen & Unseen

What is gone is never really lost — slow Sunday suppers and a child who can chew a butter bean forever

By Cynthia Adams

I plate the

broiled sole and look intensely down at the old blue porcelain webbed with brown cracks. In that moment I am 4-years-old again. On the plate is standard Sunday fare: a fried chicken wing, a scoop of macaroni and butter beans cooked to a pale celadon color.

Laura is slightly stooped; her white hair is caught in a bun. Unruly hairs are beautifully loosened around her face, but otherwise she is in tight control of herself and us. She hovers with Blue Willow platters of chicken or bowls filled with vegetables. Laura carries biscuits and cornbread to the table; her daughters hurry around with her. Each Sunday, it is the same. The menu does not vary. Laura seldom wears color, still mourning the slow death of her husband. Her apron is frilly and starched, cinched at her small waist. When she pulls me into her, I breathe the sweet essence of her. Laura is the most beautiful woman in the world; I love her but I do not love to eat her food. Grownup food bewilders me. I push food around the blue-and-white plate until a grownup notices. Uncle Clyde elbows me in warning. “Better eat, young lady, or she will get Ella to give you a whipping.” He holds a golden wing in the air and smacks his lips. Uncle Clyde has a packet of M&M’s in his suit pocket, which I know to anticipate later; I would swap a thousand chicken parts for one M&M, even an ill-favored brown one. As his brow raises, I select and chew a single butter bean, smugly certain that Laura won’t whip me, nor will Ella. Ella has Sundays off. Whenever I The Art & Soul of Greensboro

get the chance, I run outside. My shiny, black Mary Janes pound the red dirt past the well house to the tidy cabin, where Ella and Tom welcome me. I relish my role as entertainer, so take my new hula hoop and swing my hips hard, until Tom cries with laughter and pounds his thighs for me to stop. Ella teaches me to use the straw broom to keep her yard swept clean; the bare dirt compacted, outlined with stones. Ella only whips me once, when I am 5. The power of this makes me leave the sole on the plate — to stiffen outside its buttery bath. There is only Laura’s still face, resting upon pink satin. I kick my Sunday shoes when they hold me up to the casket, and screaming, announce they are all fat liars. Ella, sweet Ella, rushes to me, hoists me in her arms, and marches with me to the backyard. But she has not come to rescue me. “You disrespect Miz McClellan,” Ella mutters, her face tight. “You disrespect the dead.” She uses a hickory switch to strike my flailing legs. This memory does not leave. During a recent visit, my cousin Eden tells a different version — in her version I smile when I am hoisted up to see Laura (by whom? Uncle Clyde?) and, inhaling her declare, “Grandmother smells just like peaches!” Eden recoils in disbelief when I tell her Ella whipped me with a green, skinny branch. When Laura dies, it all dies with her — the Sunday suppers, the family at the table. The grownups animated, forgetting children who can chew a butterbean forever. Soon, Ella follows, and then Tom. The cabin falls into disrepair. No one sweeps the cabin’s yard smooth. The sky cracks open, but the sun does not shine through at Laura’s house; not then, not for a long, long time. OH Cynthia Adams was born in Monroe, where Laura’s house still stands. She has been obsessed with Blue Willow and M&M’s since early days at Laura’s table. May 2015

O.Henry 53


Meet

Jessica Quah,

she’s

Greensboro

When Jessica Quah was looking for a small college with a strong music program, she traveled 9,317 miles to find the right fit. Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, Jessica was seeking a college that offered her the chance to study music and music performance with professors who were genuinely interested in her future.

James S. Barrett Scholarship, the highest level of scholarship offered by Greensboro College. She’s a member of the George Center for Honors Studies, has written for the college newspaper, has served as editor of the award-winning Lyre literary magazine and is a member of the Alpha Chi and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies.

“Other colleges were nice, but the people at Greensboro College made me feel connected, and that’s important,” she says.

Now, as a senior, Jessica is setting her sights on a future filled with graduate school, where she wants to study musicology and pursue a career as a music journalist....endeavors that all began when she decided to strike a chord with Greensboro College.

In addition to her charisma on the keys, she is also a top scholar. Jessica is one of the college’s first two recipients of the 54 O.Henry May 2015

Greensboro.edu

Uniquely Located, Uniquely Greensboro, Uniquely You! The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A Novel Year

Modern(ist)t Family A hand reaches, a baby moves, and something is formed By Wiley Cash

. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound

door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And all of the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. — Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

I am in bed with my wife, reading aloud from the opening pages of Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe’s 1929 autobiographical novel about a boy named Eugene Gant who struggles to understand the great mystery of life in a small mountain town. Although my wife is listening, I’m actually reading aloud so that our unborn child can learn the sound of my voice. We’ve been told it’s important for our child to know our voices as soon as possible. As I read, my wife flips through her iPad, investigating chairs for the nursery, trying to decide whether we should purchase one that glides and rocks and reclines. There is also the creeping fear that a new, better, safer option may be created by the time our child is born. While I read, my eyes wander toward my wife’s iPad where patterns and colors and different kinds of chairs fly by until her finger stops sliding, and I see what may be the ideal chair provided it glides or rocks and/or reclines. It’s tan. “I like that one,” I say. What I mean is, Can we buy it, and if we don’t like it, can we burn it in the backyard as an offering to whatever awful gods control one’s fate when searching baby furniture? “I like it too,” my wife says. “Do you think it will match the paint?” Oh, God, the paint. We still haven’t chosen a color for the nursery, but I keep telling myself (and my wife) that everything — anything — looks great with tan, gray, pale blue and off-white. The nursery has become my struggle. Each day, when she walks in the door from work, my wife must witness another of my failed attempts to make some kind of progress in the 12-by-15foot bedroom. Last week I broke down the double bed reserved for guests and moved it to the attic before carrying the mattress down the stairs to the garage, which means I oversaw its controlled fall down the stairs, where it came to a rest against the front door. Once the room was empty of the bed I had a better idea of what we were working with, and I could finally give paint colors my full consideration. The pieces of a dark gray crib were collapsed in one corner like the bones of a tiny dinosaur. Scattered about were gender-neutral paint swatches and bags of baby clothes we’d somehow begun to accumulate. Also present were two boxes containing two sets of curtains we ordered online but haven’t yet returned; we’ve somehow decided they don’t match the paint we haven’t yet selected. I got to work and moved everything from the baby’s room to the other guest The Art & Soul of Greensboro

room, and then I used painter’s tape to stick the paint swatches to the walls. My wife came home from work and found me in the baby’s empty room, beaming with pride at my day’s work. “This looks great,” she said, offering me a genuine smile that may or may not have been tinged with pity. “Where’s all the stuff that was in here?” I told her that I’d moved it all to the guest room, and then she informed me that her sister and brother-in-law were coming to visit. I took one long look around the baby’s empty room and imagined the walls painted a brilliant tan, gray, pale blue or off-white. And then I moved everything back. But I left the swatches taped to the walls. Progress had been made. The tan glider that probably rocks and may or may not recline has been saved in my wife’s favorites, and I’ve gone back to reading aloud from Look Homeward, Angel. This is when I read the following line about Eugene’s father, W.O., a stonecutter by trade: “He wanted to wreak something dark and unspeakable in him into cold stone.” I know how W.O. feels. There’s a dark thing inside me called fear, and with it is an unspeakable thing called uncertainty. I’m afraid of becoming a father, and I’m uncertain of what to do once I become one. I think my wife feels some version of these emotions as well. These feelings find outlet in the “cold stone” of the nursery, where we’ve begun to accumulate objects in an attempt to “wreak” this dark and unspeakable thing we’re feeling into some kind of manifestation of preparedness. And then it dawns on me that this is what Thomas Wolfe was trying to do in writing Look Homeward, Angel; he was starting with the abstract emotion, which literary critics have referred to as the novel’s sense of “lostness,” and attempting to wreak it into a thing: a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. This is what made Wolfe such a terrible Modernist. He was simply too abstract when attempting to distill emotion down to a thing. The Modernists’ mantra was, “There are no ideas but in things,” but Wolfe always preferred the idea over the thing. He begins with the abstract — lostness, loneliness, isolation — then casts about for something to which he can attach it. Perhaps that thing could be a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Or maybe it could be a tan glider, a dark gray crib, or dozens of paint swatches into which we hope to distill the mystery of what it is we’re feeling while we wait for our child to be born. This is what I’m thinking about when my wife suddenly sits up in bed. Her hands go to her stomach, and she spreads her fingers across her belly. Her quick movements scare me, and the dark, unspeakable thing inside me beats against my chest like a fist. But when I look at her I see that she’s smiling. “Are you OK?” “Yes,” she says. “I just felt the baby move.” I close Wolfe’s novel, set it on the nightstand, and reach for my wife. She moves her hands apart and I place my open hand between hers, my fingers spread wide across her belly as if I’m trying to grasp something ungraspable. This is the first time she’s felt the baby move. “What did it feel like?” “I don’t know,” she says. “I can’t explain it.” But that’s OK. I know exactly how she feels. Thomas Wolfe does too. OH Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released last year. He lives in Wilmington. May 2015

O.Henry 55


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Blue Bunting

Birdwatch

The many charms of the “other” bluebird

By Susan Campbell

“What, what? See it, see it! Here,

Photograph by debra Regula

here!!” So goes the incessant song, day after day, summer after summer of the male indigo bunting, loudly advertising his territory. Where? Often high up on a power line or in the tiptop of a tree. He will continue to call out his challenge to everyone, anyone or anything that will listen. His two-syllable, repeated vocalization is unmistakable.

Upon closer inspection, this fella is the “other” bluebird, slimmer but shimmering indigo blue all over. Indigo buntings are an iridescent, darker blue than the familiar Eastern bluebird. And, as with all blue birds, their feathers are actually brown. The color we see in the males is not due to pigmentation but from specialized microscopic structures that reflect and refract in the blue wavelength. And, as with other buntings, this bird has a strong, conical bill, capable of cracking hard-shelled food items. Female indigo buntings, however, are happily camouflaged; wearing dull feathers that blend in with the habitat. They are brown with a pale throat, a lightly streaked breast and some hints of blue on the back. During the winter, males molt into drab plumage: not unlike our goldfinches. Immature males are often blotchy blue and brown their first spring and, as a result, will not likely breed. Here in North Carolina, we also have the garishly plumaged painted bunting, which breeds along our southern coastline. The males sport some blue but also have red and green patches of feathers. Females of this species are simply a pea green all over and, thus, blend in with the dense maritime The Art & Soul of Greensboro

greenery. Painted buntings have experienced a dramatic population decline, not only as a result of development of their habitat, but also due to the caged-bird trade in its wintering grounds: primarily in Mexico. Male indigo buntings are also trapped and sold to some degree south of the border as well. But they are not nearly as irresistible as their more colorful cousins. Indigo buntings are found in a variety of habitats throughout the Piedmont and Sandhills. They tend to favor forest edges. But birds may be found in brushy fields or clearings where weedy seed plants and insects are abundant. Associated dense woody growth provides good nesting substrate. Buntings may even be seen at feeders where they prefer small oily seeds such as nyjer thistle. These birds, however, have a broad, opportunistic diet. In early spring when seeds and insects are in short supply, they feed on buds, flowers and even young leaves. Indigo buntings eat mainly insects in the summer, not only feasting on a variety of caterpillars but large, hard-bodied beetles, grasshoppers and cicadas. It should, then, come as no surprise that this species will abandon areas where scrubby borders have been cut and grass is regularly mowed. “Tidying up” of our subdivisions and parks displaces indigo buntings as well as other migrant songbirds that require low, dense cover. This is one reason why it is important to maintain as much green space and native vegetation as possible in our communities. But indigo buntings do not stick around all year. As fall approaches, these little bits of the sky will flock up and head south to Central America and the Caribbean. They will fly great distances at night, using the stars to guide them. In fact, indigo buntings were the subjects of early migration research in the 1960s. But, come the following April, they will be back in their favorite haunts, singing their familiar song once again. OH Susan would love to hear from you. Feel free to send questions or wildlife observations to susan@ncaves.com May 2015

O.Henry 57


The

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58 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Aphids Attack

Life of Jane

I’m not out to save the planet, just Fat Albert, Marcel and Elephant Food

By Jane Borden

I remind myself that killing the

Illustration by Meridith Martens

aphids is necessary to save the life of the plant. Then I imagine that people in the business of ethnic cleansing believe the same thing but about their countries. I do not like this work.

But they’re everywhere, these plump blobs twitching on the stalks of one of my most robust succulents, the one I judiciously named Fat Albert, on account of its corpulent leaves and also on account of my inability to remember its biological name. Do I sacrifice Fat Albert to these uninvited colonizers? When all he’s ever done is spread his chubby arms to embrace me? I’m feeling maternal when I purchase a bottle of neem oil and spray without discretion, smothering all I see in a blanket of totally organic suffocation.  Two days later, I visit Albert and find a field of rotting soldiers on his leaves and buds, deflated black corpses resembling tiny currants. But then, underneath the topmost chunky blades on one of Albert’s stems: a new camp harboring a dozen more aphids, pale gray, hydrated and very much alive, hanging out at their stupid aphid party. Where do they come from?! Oh, I see: a single female can lay thousands of descendants — without a male — and in spite of only living 20–40 days. This is what one can achieve in life without television.  I imagine the aphids’ cocktail-party chitchat. We’re just doing this to annoy her, right?  Hold on, I’m birthing nymphs . . . Okay, what did you ask? Whup, more babies coming out.  I feel like the old woman who lives by the park and keeps calling cops on the teenagers who have parked there and are only trying to share two beers someone stole from his parents. I’ve been forced to be a marm. I do not like being her. I do not like this work.  And yes, of course I next try a more exhaustive spraying, sending the oil into every nook and cranny. And yet, a few mornings later, there are more

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

drunk teenagers. Perhaps it would be more efficient to find and delete their Facebook invite. Plus, I’m now even more conflicted in my mission because, of course, that’s what happens when you gain respect for your enemy, which was the result of my Google searches. Aphids are incredibly successful organisms, making us laughable in comparison. They’re 280 million years old. We’ve only been around for 200,000. There are 4,400 known species of aphids. We only have one, presumably because, I now assume, we killed off any other deviations through the years. Actually, instead of the lame mom, I now feel like the new young hire at the office, arrogantly trying to oust his predecessors, the guy everyone hates because he thinks he knows everything, when in truth he has much to learn from the old guys. Then again, he can’t be killed with a spray of organic oil.  How does she know so much about us?  Wikipedia.  What’s Wikipedia?  Can’t hear you anymore — completely covered in nymphs — it’s a baby piledriver.  I also learn they’re called plant lice, which makes them easier to hate. And, apparently, they’re to blame in part for the potato famine because they accelerated the spread of blight to the plants. So maybe my war is some kind of retroactive justice — even if, since aphids make forty-two generations a season, the bugs on my terrace are 7,140 generations removed from the ones who killed the Irish.  But I’m in need of inspiration, so I grab a paper towel, give myself a Braveheart speech, recall that that’s the wrong country, and get to work anyway, rooting out the aphids personally, one by one. My fingers are too fat to fit between the succulent’s bulbous leaves, so I employ a pair of tiny scissors otherwise used to trim my nose hairs. I need a new method for trimming my nose hairs.  My first tactic is to scrape up an aphid with a scissor tip, and smudge it against the paper towel. This is gory, but it works. It is also time-consuming, though, and there are hundreds of aphids. I try to scoop up multiples, but each time, one or more falls off into the depths of the plant, unfortunate escapes. So I start smashing them directly onto the plant, dotting its stalks May 2015

O.Henry 59


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Life of Jane and leaves with gooey black splotches, exercising no mercy. I quickly learn they’re easier to massacre if I can first draw them out of their crannies. My work becomes steady and swift, my fingers stained with aphid guts and former aphid dreams. Some of the newer stalks of plant growth were so overrun I hack them off completely, sacrifice them for the health of the whole, and send their fledgling outpost careering into the trash can. I am an efficient warrior.  But then I grow reckless, so desperate to exterminate a clump at once that I jam my dumb fingers into a bud, knocking it off and taking out a few healthy leaf pods on the way. You made me do that, aphids. This is your fault. Your life is your fault.  I see my hands, sticky with innards, disgusting. I am not an efficient warrior; I am a capricious goombah assassin. But Albert will live, I tell myself. His fatty fat Fat Albert fronds will be plump with sap and virus free.  The conflicted conflict continues for a week or two and I am slowly winning. The aphid armies diminish. I feel sad, but relieved: If they’re all dead, I won’t have to kill anymore. Then I see a few on a different plant, beside Fat Albert, the one I’ve named Elephant Food. How? These are not the kind of aphids with wings. Can they jump? Did they climb all the way down one stalk, across the soil, up the lip of the pot, down the pot, and across, over and down the plate, before traversing four inches of patio railing and reversing the entire process up the other plant? Sure, I would’ve gone to such lengths in high school in order to get to a trash-can punch party. But I still doubt this scenario because I’ve never seen them move more than a couple of millimeters. The most I’ve ever seen them do is die.  Help! Too many nymphs! I’m being crushed under the weight of my own reproduction. Try shooting them out so hard they land on the plant next-door. I check Kaley, the succulent located on the other side of Fat Albert; it’s been colonized by aphids too. And the one on the other side of that, Marcel, is also full of them, the tiny intruders hiding under cover of leaves, manifesting their destiny down my terrace wall. I begin to wonder how any plant life remains on the planet whatsoever, if 4,400 species of hearty aphids have been doing what they do for varying portions of 280 million years. It seems as if they should be running the earth, should have conquered all other species by now and gained domain of the planet, as if they’re the ones who are supposed to win. And I see I’ve met my match. OH

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O.Henry 61


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Onward Temperate Days

May 2015

While shifting of seasons don’t cease to amaze I’m partial to springtime and temperate days Let’s marvel at nature’s impeccable dance Let’s welcome the warmth of the season’s advance The brilliance of sunlight across a flushed face The breath and the billow, our wind’s blissful pace Let’s welcome abundance as gardens shall sprout Collecting the harvest we’ve since lived without The cucumber’s crisp meets the tastiest plight The slippery sweet of tomatoes red, bright The delicate layer of each lettuce leaf The faint smell of florals, the springtime’s relief Let’s summon the birds from their southern migration Engulfed in delight at the spring’s invitation The fireplace dusted, no longer ablaze Let’s all bid farewell to the winter’s malaise — Zithobile Nxumalo

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 63


Mad for Madcap

The life-styled, tradition-loving Sunny Side of Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke By Cynthia Adams • Photographs By Amy Freeman

M

ad for the beauty and style genius of the Brits but cannot swing a junket to the U.K.? Then get thee to Madcap Cottage in High Point, M’Lord or M’Lady. It’s the next best thing to a visit to Bloomsbury and the only thing missing is a hackney carriage to whisk you there. (You won’t need a brolly or a bromide, by the way, because the sun never shone more brightly than on this Church Street design shop that occupies a former downtown pharmacy.) Decamp, and if you are especially lucky, you may be met at the door by rescue pooches Amy Petunia or Weenie, or the resident designers, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke. Neither is British — both were born in the States in Florida and the Midwest, respectively. And, certainly, design lab partner’s Nixon and Loecke are much too young to have known the Bloomsbury set, yet their colorful aesthetic seems to have seeded and blossomed right inside this retail address. The effusive design and color of the art and literary Bloomsbury Group — or Bloomsbury Set — had a madly colorful aesthetic that seems to be directly channeled by the mad-genius design behind High Point’s Madcap Cottage Design Laboratory. If the plate-sized paper flowers in the window display (which change every

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


three months) drowning in the honeyed afternoon sun don’t make you smile, Nixon and Loecke’s nonstop design enthusiasms surely will. The pair blog, write, acquire, source, sell, refurbish, upcycle and market their linens and home designs online and also via television’s Home Shopping Network — and basically take no prisoners when it comes to their mutual design enthusiasms and ambitions. In mid-April, Madcap Cottage announced a new licensing deal with Robert Allen Design, a retail chain also in High Point offering home decorating soft furnishings and designer services. Meanwhile, the design duo is working on Prints Charming, a design book. They are also planning on pop-up design shops and more trunk shows and collaboration with retailer Calico Corners. In process at the moment are commissions for home designs in London and New York. “My Mom always said, ‘Today’s peacock — tomorrow’s feather duster,’” jokes Nixon. And then, a brilliant smile follows. He pauses for just a beat, sipping iced tea, while perched at a work table across from his partner. “We get up in the morning and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to make or try . . .’” (Fill in the blank.) The pair’s creative energies are fueled by . . . Actually, what are they fueled by? “Fueled by liquor,” quips the irreverent Nixon. “The secret to a happy life is a good dance party,” he adds with a smile. (Nixon actually participated in a recent fundraising event styled after television’s Dancing with the Stars.) “Add a glitter ball to life!” he advises. The Madcap duo is dancing as fast as they can, but still have the energy to drive their Subaru to New York to attend DIFFA the next week — the design organization dedicated to fighting AIDS.

T

he handsome pair, slim, fashionable, and engaging, are their own best invention. Even their staff dotes upon them, saying it is fun to come to work. Both men sport touches of the au courant color tangerine. Nixon wears a cheery scarf and horn rimmed glasses and is thinking of bleaching his brown hair platinum. (“Why not?” he grins.) Loecke’s look is more subdued — an artful counterpoint. But the interior of the shop is indeed a madcap riot — trembling with just barely restrained explosions of color, design and ideas. Candies, candles and even dog biscuits are custom-selected and custom-packaged to offer clients an open buffet of locally sourced treats and treasures. “Bespoke” is their watchword. Handmade, pushing back against the techno-driven world is their design imperative. “Traditional is coming back,” they both say in unison. They feel there is a return to the Arts and Crafts movement. “With more florals, more bright pastels and a little more relaxed,” amends Nixon. Unlike so many ultrachic, appealing venues in High Point, Madcap Cottage throws the doors wide open to all lookers — this is not a market-only, trade-exclusive retailer. Last month, for example, the store offered a public seminar on Wallpaper A-Z. “It’s the old-school, Dorothy Draper wallpaper shop,” quips Nixon, who is a lifestyle

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

blogger for Delta Air Lines’ Sky magazine. And boy-oh-boy: this is life styled. “We would never do a room that didn’t have vintage or antique pieces,” he adds. Antiques are chosen for their eye-candy appeal. A refurbished antique chair is cheekily recovered in sorbet pops of colors — and rather than dowdy, it becomes mod, fresh and fun. The pair of designers describes their shop and design lab as a carefully curated, eclectic mix. “Life is about keeping your eye open,” adds Nixon. And this is in High Point, mind you. Nixon says they lived in New York for twenty-five years, selling antiques and vintage goods through online sites 1stdibs.com and www.onekingslane.com. Their Brooklyn home — which they sold to a Vogue magazine staffer — doubled as warehouse space. “It was a very chic warehouse,” he adds. Loecke says he began thinking of moving beyond New York after twenty-three years. Nixon observes, “you need a storefront.” After looking at Los Angeles, the pair decided that High Point was a great base. “We have been coming here for twenty-plus years,” says Nixon. “It has great things going on.” The designers mulled it over: “Wouldn’t it be nice to be here?” they asked themselves. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of that dinner party?” Nixon asked Loecke. Now they have a shopfront and also are refurbishing a nearby house — a handsome two-story house they have dubbed the House of Bedlam. “Think big, but act small,” says Nixon, who means, small things matter. He and Loecke have begun a community watch, and a community garden is in the works. They kill weeds along their entire block with an environmentally friendly mix of salt and vinegar. They plant flowers in the neighborhood. And they intend to restore their new home, which is only an easy walk away, with colorful panache. As relatively new High Point residents (they moved here approximately a year ago) Nixon and Loecke say they intend to brighten the corner where they are, wishing to be part of the town’s urban renewal movement. The Madcap Duo has big plans for High Point to shed its stodgy image. When clients visit, they proffer a handout, titled “Madcap Cottage Selects.” The handout names a few of their favorite High Point shops and “hidden gems” like The Dog House, a wiener emporium, or 98 Asian Bistro, a hipster haunt. They offer up their favorites as an insider’s guide for coffees, lunches, cocktails, culture and shopping. Madcap Cottage may just take this small-made-large initiative far; High Point may wind up cheerier, brighter, with a splash of flower power brightening its streets. Movements have to start somewhere, after all. The Bloomsbury movement lives on — although it officially ended in middle of the 20th century. The members — which included philosophers and writers as well as artists — concerned themselves with the deep value of the arts in everyday life. And Madcap Cottage has only just begun. OH Greensboro writer Cindy Adams occasionally wears a cap, but she is definitely not mad. Madcap Cottage Design Laboratory, 128 Church Avenue, High Point, North Carolina 27262 Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11a.m. – 6p.m. May 2015

O.Henry 67


It’s a Bethany Thing Just down the road, an ancient rite of spring is alive and well — round and round the maypole

I

f you happen to be driving down Bethany Road with the windows down on the first Friday in May, you might wonder why Pachelbel’s mellifluous Canon in D is echoing across the lawn of Bethany Elementary School. But the thing is, few drive by and wonder. The whole community is out back on the school’s expansive grass field watching a May court procession kick off its annual May Day celebration, a tradition that dates back more than ninety years. There, a May king and queen, newly coroneted with festive greenery, preside over their court, while their subjects from each grade present choreographed dances to the crowd. Generations of proud parents have stood out in the glaring afternoon sun, watching their little ones come of age in a celebration that everyone can feel good about. May Day dates back to pre-Christian agricultural rituals, originally intended to ensure the fertility of crops. Over the years, it has become more a celebration of the joy that spring brings and is mostly focused on kids. Year after year students look forward to gathering on the school’s lawn to celebrate spring’s return in a faint nod to old European tradition of dancing around a maypole and electing a May court. Across the United States, those celebrations have mostly faded, but in Bethany, a farming community located on the outskirts of Reidsville, where the tobacco barns and churches that pepper landscapes recall an earlier era, May Day remains a cherished event. Preparation for the ritual always begins in April. Students learn dances based on a theme, and classes elect representatives for the May court, while fifth graders drag out metal poles, grounded by tires and topped with colorful, streaming ribbons. Teachers partner off eager girls and shy boys, some of whom are obviously grossed out at having to hold hands and skip, others secretly amused, as they learn that same ribbon braiding routine their siblings, parents, grandparents, and even this writer, learned. Over and under, around the maypole they go until the day of the celebration arrives. The morning of May Day is warm with a slight breeze as parents drag lawn chairs and blankets from the parking lot to the field, determined to

68 O.Henry

May 2015

stake out a good spot. In classrooms, girls smooth the skirts on their spring dresses and primp their hair. Their male counterparts preen, tamping down cowlicks, buttoning their shirts, straightening ties. By 1 p.m., the sun is high and hot over a crowd of observers slinging cameras and camcorders, looking to capture their children’s May Day moments. Others are happy to simply observe the spectacle and grin at the nostalgia, while shielding the sun from their eyes. Volunteers at the Bethany Historical Museum, housed in the original campus, have traced the celebration back to the school’s opening in 1924 through oral histories. The 1938 Bethany Pine Burr, the school’s first published yearbook, includes a May Day page, listing the May court and the maypole dance participants. Miss Mary Miller Knox is the teacher credited with beginning the tradition and directing the celebration during her tenure. Community members say the tradition lapsed at some point after 1945. But another teacher, Miss Brenda Knox (now married as Brenda Shadrick), revived May Day at Bethany in the 1970s after reading about the celebration in an old newspaper article. Some forty years later, thousands of students have matriculated, a new campus has been built down the road and many traditions have passed, but for some reason, May Day remains. A few former and current teachers admit privately they wouldn’t mind seeing the celebration end. Some would even relish the idea. Others say tradition trumps because May Day is a testament of support from a tight-knit community whose roots run as deep as those of the venerable pines that shade the school’s original campus. “It’s just a Bethany thing,” they say. One mother, overheard lecturing her son as he lamented having to perform the maypole dance, may have summed it up best: “Your brother did it. I did it, and by golly, you’re gonna do it, too.” Bethany’s own rite of Spring. OH Summerfield photographer Hannah Sharpe is a Bethany native and knows a thing or two about a proper maypole dance. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs courtesy of the Bethany Historical Museum

Story and Photographs by Hannah Sharpe


(Clockwise from top left) Leonardo Tamayo and his partner, Ellie Vu, will begin the procession. Elijah Farmer and Ally Scott lead the procession as the May king and queen. Emma Mendenhall gives the herald’s horn a try before the ceremony. Karrington Smith is ready to lead her partner, Jaedon Cain, across the field. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Clockwise, fifth-grade teacher Dawn Schmucker untangles ribbons on the maypoles before the performance. During the maypole dance, students weave ribbons over and under around the pole until the braid is complete. Younger classmates watch the performance, knowing that one day, they will eventually perform the same rite as fifth-graders.

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“The Beginnings of Rock ’n’ Roll” has been a popular May Day theme over the years as classes perform popular songs from the 1950s and ’60s, channeling Elvis in kindergarten with “Jail House Rock”, shaking it off to “The Twist” and swinging in poodle skirts fit for “Barbara Ann.” The ceremony’s main event begins as fifth-graders skip onto the field to perform the annual maypole dance. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Story of a House

The Happiest Man in Greensboro

Meet Bill Johnson, a visionary designer who loves the slower pace of life here and advocates passionately on behalf of locally made furniture By Cynthia Adams • Photographs By Amy Freeman

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t least once each month for the past two years, New Yorker Bill Johnson rises before dawn for a very long commute to North Carolina with a defined routine. Arriving at Piedmont Triad International, Johnson is met by his favorite driver at the wheel of a Lincoln Town Car. The driver whisks him to Friendly Center’s Harris Teeter “for provisions.” Next, he drops Johnson at the door of The Hampshire, a high rise condominium building with a mid-century vibe on North Elm Street. Johnson sweeps through the condo lobby, which he jokes is “as secure as entering Fort Knox.” Naturally, security knows him as Bill Johnson, happiest man in Greensboro. Bill Johnson, Triad’s Ambassador from New York, has reported for duty. Elevated to his eleventh floor unit, he drops his bags. Sweeping into the chocolate-brown foyer past a hand-painted screen and imposing sterling silver sculpture, he sighs with sheer pleasure and says, “I feel at home.” Johnson feels cosseted, even delighted, by his new-found home and Greensboro, which he often refers to as a town. It is his favorite getaway (even better than Mexico or the Dominican Republic he once frequented). From his living area and bedrooms, he has an expansive view of tree-filled Latham Park. (“It’s green! There are trees!”) If he squints, he can spot Buffalo Creek wending away from Wendover Avenue. Come cocktail hour,

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the hibiscus-red sunset blurring the horizon looks like a very large grenadine-infused drink. But before discussing Johnson’s favorite downtown restaurants (Undercurrents, Liberty Oak, Table 16, Café Europa); his love for such a walkable city (a ball stadium, wine store, art galleries!); his excitement about a new performance arts center downtown; or any of a number of topics that make him seem more Chamber of Commerce recruiter than designer; Johnson snuggles into his down-filled, brushed-silk, custom-made sofa (Hancock and Moore), which is upholstered in a stone-colored fabric, before making a pronouncement: “Made in America.” Then Johnson, the designer, points to a nearby table. “Americanmade,” he says. And in case his guest missed that, he points to the surrounding chairs, artwork and all the accoutrements of his well-feathered nest, saying again, “American-made.” Indicating a large piece of original art by California artist K. Ross, Johnson repeats, “American-made — by an American artist.” Ditto for a large water feature on the wall, which gently trickles, imbuing the room with a spa-like sense of calm. The American-made notion is Johnson’s mantra. His cause. His second cause is promoting Greensboro. Professionally speaking, Johnson is a partner in a 23-year-old, to-thetrade-only firm, East End Interiors in St. James, New York. East End, which features a showroom and an expansive accessories gallery, caters to the chic The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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and uber-affluent clientele of the Hamptons. From its bustling design studio, Johnson and staff sometimes work with as many as six designers at a time on a typical day. “Sales reps come to our showroom. Principals (from other design firms) come. We even host educational seminars.” Whenever he can, he preaches the doctrine of American-made to fellow designers. And when he gets the rare day off, he hops a plane, lickety-split, for his favorite destination: Greensboro. Johnson gets to Greensboro just as fast and as frequently as he can. Not because he must for the bi-annual High Point furniture markets (which is how he first discovered his adopted city), but as he tells his friends in New York and at the market, he’s head-over-heels in love with Greensboro. When in Greensboro, Johnson walks the breadth of the town, admiring the cozy home interiors. “It’s such a great walking city. So safe.” Along the way, he pops into shops and restaurants, taking in the open-hearted dynamic of a small Southern town. On a recent walk, he says the owners of The Farmer’s Wife downtown invited him to return for cocktails. He did — and spent hours on their outdoor patio. He discusses an art opening at Table 16 on a subsequent visit downtown. They promptly plied Johnson with champagne and food, making him part of the event. It leaves Johnson incredibly touched and grateful — and embraced by his second home. Here, he doesn’t need to keep a car as he does in New York. He walks. And as he walks, the people he encounters are welcoming and make him yearn to return when he is back North. “The people in this city are so wonderful,” Johnson says, grinning widely despite the fact that he rose at 3 a.m. that morning in order to make a Triad-bound flight and is weary. “The restaurants are phenomenal. I tell my New York The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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friends that I have never had a bad meal in Greensboro!” At home in the Hamptons, he describes his sleekly contemporary, minimalistic style. But in The Hampshire, Johnson has created something quite different. He wanted his Greensboro address to be less of a showplace and more of a home. “It’s a more traditional feel.” He wanted the condo to fit the place, which he learned about on foot. “At night, when I walk in Fisher Park, I can glimpse some of the interiors and those homes are more traditional. I like that it’s homey.” During a recent respite from piles of snow blanketing Long Island, Johnson escaped to his condo for a long weekend and chatted about his hand-craftedin-America philosophy. How did he come to be a near fetishist concerning American-made goods? “I believe in American-made products,” says the designer, his friendly green eyes sparkling, tucking longish white hair behind his ears. “Because it gives you a lot of (design) options.” Indeed, Johnson says, he designed and specified the exact dimensions for nearly all the pieces in his condo, including the beds. “The Swaim sofa, the Swaim bed, the tables, et cetera, everything is custom. The headboard of the bed is signed by the artist.” So is customization the raison d’etre for Johnson’s home-made crusade? “No,” he says firmly. It is not only aesthetic reasons that drive him. He’s motivated by a moral imperative that comes from several decades of working with North Carolina’s furniture trade as a designer. Johnson swivels toward his dining room table. “This was North Carolina’s main industry, right? To make that table, for instance, gave five people a job.” He shifts on the downy cushion and indicates the sofa below him. “This

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sofa went through seven different people. We feel American-made is the best-selling tool.” By “we” Johnson means his business partner of over twenty years, Rosalba Campitiello. They seek to educate both designers and customers, steering them toward many familiar North Carolina-specific brands: e.g., Swaim, Century Furniture, Hickory Chair, Hickory White, Taylor King, Hancock and Moore, and a portfolio of North Carolina-based companies, explaining why these brands are investment-worthy. “We feel this country needs to invest in itself.” Furthermore, he stresses to customers how imports are problematic. Wrinkling his nose, he calls some imported furniture “disposable furniture.” For decades, Johnson has travelled to the Triad for furniture markets. He says he spent hours on factory tours operated by some of the furniture makers, learning the inner workings, meeting the craftspeople and furniture makers. Along the way, he became well-educated to the process and the very artisanship of the products made. It matters to him. It would appear that East End’s customers are listening, too. “I’m ecstatic we are getting the word out to designers.” Cheaper is not cheap, Johnson explains. He describes some of the problematic “disposable furniture” that he avoids. “Wood warps; the upholstery is not good. There is always a problem.” When a designer interrupts him with a phone call, Johnson encourages her to show their client a $20,000 leather sofa with exposed wood details made in North Carolina. But $20,000? “It is worth it,” Johnson says firmly. There are other price points for a sofa from the company, of course — and many options that do not come with cheaper imports. “The designers love all the options.” Yet the sofa he recommends is a true investment piece. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In a sense, Greensboro and the Triad have become living emblems of madein-America for Johnson as well. Here, even his life is custom-tailored. Becoming so much closer to an economy where people are directly affected by keeping jobs in America enables him to see the outcomes of consumer choices. Johnson says he plans to become more involved with Greensboro life. He is happy to witness the building taking place downtown and emphasizes that the Tanger family “must feel positive about Greensboro’s future to be investing in the new arts center.” His twin brother, Michael, is co-owner of the condo; his brother works with Hospice back in New York and finds coming south offers him respite from his difficult work. “I feel energized by this city,” Johnson says, returning to his second-favorite topic. There is a sense of community here, and opportunity. Although Johnson is a fast-talking, fast-thinking Northerner with the accent to prove it, he admires the slower pace, the Southern grace, he has found. He describes hosting a cocktail party for fellow resident Porter Aichele, and receiving a hand written thank you note afterwards. “A thank you note,” Johnson repeats incredulously. “Hand written and mailed! Do you know how rare that is? How much that mattered to me? I put it out on display. Nobody does that anymore! They email you!” In the compact galley kitchen, Johnson pours a cup of tea. The galley kitchen is not quite to his liking yet. Johnson plans to further remodel it in a couple of years. “With Habersham Furniture cabinets,” he adds. A Welsh-style cupboard will go on one wall — one he admired in a High Point showroom. “Habersham started in Georgia,” he adds seriously. “Of course, it is Americanmade.” OH Greensboro freelancer Cindy Adams points out that she is not only American-made. She was made in North Carolina. May 2015

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Story of a House

Best in Show

In High Point’s million-dollar doghouse, today’s finest designers show their stuff for a very good cause

Calling Don Draper! Alan Ferguson Interiors (High Point) goes Mid-Century modern with pieces from Thayer Coggin and Fabulous Lamps.

A

t the Designer ShowHouse, it’s all about puttin’ on the dog. In fact, some High Point residents refer to the Tudor Revival manse on West Farriss Avenue in Emerywood as the “milliondollar doghouse.” Early this month, it winds up its run as the star of the Designer ShowHouse, sponsored by the Junior League of High Point (JLHP) and Traditional Home magazine. The house acquired the moniker because most of its residents were, in fact, dogs — seven golden retrievers, each named after figures from Greek mythology: Achilles, Ajax, Athena, Diana, Nike, Rumor, Venus and Zeus. They belonged to Randall B. Terry Jr., a local businessman, publisher of The High Point Enterprise and philanthropist, whose parents, Randall B. and

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Nancy Terry, had built the house in 1912. The younger Terry had no children and cherished the company of his canines. “He lived a few doors down, a very nice man and a bit of a recluse,” recalls JLHP President Mary Powell DeLille. “They were very pretty dogs with a big backyard to run around in [The house stands on a double lot]; they spent a lot of time in the carriage house, which was Mr. Terry’s office.” It just so happens that DeLille’s late father, Dr. James Young, was Terry’s veterinarian, who, in 1998, referred Terry to North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It seems that Dr. Young decided that one of the dogs, Nike, was too ill to be treated locally. “The story goes, N.C. State needed some kind of machine to help the dog,” DeLille explains, “so Mr. Terry The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph assistance by Kyle Duncan

By Nancy Oakley • Photographs by Amy Freeman


bought the machine for them.” It was the start of a beautiful friendship between N.C. State and the dog-lover. Not only did Terry serve two terms as president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation, a fundraising arm of the college, he also advocated for an upgraded, state-of-the-art facility for it. “Animals give so much to mankind,” Terry once said. “It’s only fitting that we give something back to them.” When he died in 2004 — following the terms of his will — the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation Inc., one of the five largest in the Triad, awarded $20 million for the establishment of the Terry Center, which continues to benefit annually from the foundation’s support. As for the million-dollar doghouse, Terry had set up a trust fund that stipulated, upon his death, that his dogs would remain there until their demise. The last dog, Diana, died in the summer of 2014. “The caretakers hired to take care of the animals moved back to their own house and the Terry Foundation put the house on the market,” DeLille says. If you’ve got a lot of dogs — or a lot of money, it’s still for sale. A local designer connected JLHP with Traditional Home magazine with the idea of sponsoring a ShowHouse — which High Point hadn’t seen since 1980. To take on such an endeavor required an empty house; what could be better than a house with fifteen rooms? As one of the earliest examples of the Tudor Revival style to appear in High Point, the house looks as if it leapt from the pages of the Brothers Grimm, with its cantilevered attic gable, false half-timbering, imposing chimneys, carriage house — and, of course, a pool in that sprawling backyard. Not to mention location, location, location — its Farriss Avenue address is just off North Main Street, a half block from JLHP’s headquarters and a stone’s throw from the High Point Market. “It was meant to be,” DeLille asserts. So twenty-three designers, including the likes of local favorites Christi Barbour, Kara Cox and Allen & James Interior Design, as well as others from farther afield, have converted a dogs’ retreat into a dazzling abode worthy of, well, Mt. Olympus. Even worthier are the JLHP initiatives that will benefit from the ticket sales, such as the Teacher Mini Grants that supplement classrooms in the High Point and Guilford County Schools. “We’ve had the grant program forever,” DeLille notes, “but not for the last five years or so, because we didn’t have the money.” Another recipient is Kids in the Kitchen that teaches children about nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Which proves Randall B. Terry Jr.’s point: Animals do give so much to benefit mankind, and in the case of the doghouse-turned-showhouse, the gift keeps on giving. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Green Earth Landscaping (High Point) complements a dog-themed terrace by Eric Ross Interiors (Franklin, Tenn.).

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Jack Fhillips of Jack Fhillips Design (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Sally Altizer of Design Connection (High Point) create a calm and comfortable living room with furniture from Fhillips Design and fabric by Al Fresco, paint by Pratt & Lambert

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The carriage house gets a boho chic look upstairs (top) from Holly Phillips of The English Room (Charlotte), while the downstairs (bottom) exudes an urban loft/man cave vibe from Aida Interiors (Charlotte).

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A dining room fit for a Mad Hatter’s tea party — by Madcap Cottage (High Point).

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A high-gloss subway tile backsplash and brass fixtures brighten Lisa Mende Designs’ (Charlotte) Titanic-inspired kitchen. Jennifer Hutton and Mickey Sharpe step it up a notch with original artwork. Mickey Sharpe Design (Lexington, N.C.).

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Libby Langdon’s black-and-white master bedroom channels Old Hollywood alongside personal photos that acknowledge her High Point roots. Libby Interiors, Inc. (New York City).

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You’d think you were in Malibu, California, in the crisp, clean guest bedroom, designed by Lisa Sherry. Lisa Sherry Interieurs (High Point).

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Philip Jeffries wallpaper provides a sunny backdrop for original paintings from Tyler White O’Brien Gallery in the upstairs atelier. L. Moore Designs (High Point). Come sit a spell on a Tommy Bahama curved sectional from Lexington Furniture, which adds to the patio’s Carribean vibe via Allen & James Interior Design (High Point).

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Parker Kennedy Living (Marietta, Ga.) goes for Chinoiserie in an upstairs bedroom of the carriage house (top). Catherine Austin draws inspiration from India for a girl’s bedroom, with a paisley covering for her headboard. Catherine M. Austin Interior Design (Charlotte).

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Seeds of Learning How the founders of Cove Creek Garden, Julia Blizin and Nancy Cavanaugh, are making Greensboro a greener city — one student at a time By Jenny Drabble • Photograph By Hannah Sharpe


J

ulia Blizin’s grandmother was a water witch. Not a witch, like pointed hats and green skin and the whole hoorah, but more of a spirit of nature, closely linked with the energies of the natural world. Descended from a long line of Cherokees, she possessed the unique ability to practice water witching, in which she could use sticks to detect water deep underground. It was an art she taught to her granddaughter, Blizin, co-founder of Cove Creek Garden on Summit Avenue. “Be one with nature,” she was always told. “Everything in the natural world is connected.” These were lessons that Blizin took to heart. At 9 years old, she built her first garden of perennial flowers in a small section of her family’s backyard, meticulously experimenting with the untapped excitement of the natural world, a fiery glow gleaming in her eyes. Her love for nature only grew from then on. In fourth grade, her teacher, a lover of wild plants, made the class the school’s designated groundskeepers, taking them outside each day, rain or shine, to care for the land. From that day on, Blizin was hooked. She knew that whatever she did with her life, she too would be one with nature. That’s where Cove Creek Gardens comes in. Blizin met Nancy Cavanaugh forty years ago when both of them were students at Guilford College. Blizin was studying creative writing and Cavanaugh, women’s studies — a far cry from horticulture, yet it was something to which they had both always gravitated. After graduating, they decided to abandon an office life and become garden designers. After all, why not? Age 20 and recently pushed out of the nest and into the real world, the two decided to start a private garden design firm together, which they named Cove Creek Gardens. Blizin and Cavanaugh, the sole two employees of Cove Creek Gardens, spent about twenty years designing gardens all over the greater Greensboro area. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

As the years went by, the Greensboro firm took on a life of its own, evolving into a nonprofit teaching garden to help future garden designers and save the planet one student at a time. But through it all, Blizin and Cavanaugh, now retired, have remained at the heart of the garden. “Julia and Nancy are really cool and really passionate about what they do,” says Attiyya Akinwole, one of Cove Creek’s student interns. “They welcome you into the family like long-lost aunts you never knew you had. They’re the life of the garden.” For Blizin and Cavanaugh, Cove Creek Gardens is more than just a garden. It’s their life and their home. The two fell in love with the property buying it within days of first seeing it. They moved into the property’s 1930s cabin, which had long since been swallowed by the wrath of the English ivy. Once upon a time, the land was part of a dairy farm and the cabin was built in the early 1930s to house the farming family. But as the property changed hands multiple times over the next few decades, fields and pasture deteriorated into overgrowth, hijacked by weeds and swathed with abandoned barbed wire — unrecognizable to the vision it is today. Enthralled by the land’s potential, Blizin and Cavanaugh bought the property — a thicket of growth, but a bargain nonetheless — and spent the next few decades grooming the land in their spare time, calling on their gardening expertise. While reviving the land, the two decided to convert their home garden into a place of learning. They wanted it to become somewhere rookie garden designers and students could get experience at the hands of veteran gardeners, and a place that the community could enjoy. It was a long process, but over the years, the pieces of the puzzle began to come together. They introduced free lectures for students and the community on all-things gardening, eventually opening as a nonprofit teaching garden in 2004, funded through donations and grants. “We recognized a need in Greensboro for a place where people could come May 2015

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ask questions and learn about more sustainable gardening practices and voila,” Blizin says. “It turned out better than we ever could’ve hoped.”

N

estled in the northeast corner of Greensboro, Cove Creek Gardens sits on 12 acres of land, functioning as both a place of learning and a captivating nature sanctuary. A labyrinth of winding trails, wide enough for only one, it’s easy to lose your way under the canopy of the greenery, but there could be worse places to be lost. Lanky tendrils of Boston ivy mischievously snake into the path, tripping any unsuspecting observer too preoccupied with the lush oak trees above, their leaves radiating behind the spotlight of the sun. Meticulously pruned hedges of sparkleberry rim a placid pond in an orderly jungle of blossoming Appalachian phlox. Walking through the arched entrance of the garden, the chaos of the residential road fades away, relenting to Mother Nature, as the brilliant foliage shields the garden from the residential neighborhoods all around. Despite being only a few hundred feet from Summit Avenue, the place is quiet and tranquil, punctuated only by the occasional cry of a bullfrog. “A huge motivation for me working here is that I would very much like in 100 years for the Earth to look how it does today,” Blizin says, motioning

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to the garden all around her. “But that’s not going to happen if people don’t work to conserve it. We try to show people the value of the Earth and that it’s worth saving.” Both ladies have roots in gardening as deep as some of the plants, working in the field for more than forty-five years. Even in retirement, they devote about thirty-five hours a week to the upkeep of their property and the education of the community. And they’re doing so by planting the seeds for change in the younger members of the community through the garden’s student internship program. The program gives high school through post-doctoral students the opportunity to augment the traditional classroom learning with hands-on experience, what Blizin affectionately terms the “Living Laboratory.” The students learn all about horticulture and environmental sustainability, while assisting with the upkeep of the garden. Blizin and Cavanaugh also counsel the students on their career choices. Caroline Wall, a rising high school senior at Milton Academy, has always been interested in plant biology, so the garden internship was a good fit. “Working here gives me more of a sense of the domain and is helping me figure out if this is something I would be happy doing forever,” Wall, 17, says. “We’re not just here digging in the dirt, we get to do a lot of really neat stuff.” About 200 students a month filter through the gardens as part of the program, where they can gain academic credit or service hours through the The Art & Soul of Greensboro


hands-on learning activities like landscaping an area of the garden or learning proper pruning techniques And that, in turn, helps Blizin and Cavanaugh maintain the garden’s countless plant species and keep the garden in check. A classroom is emerging on the garden property — the fruit of several years of scrounging for grants and donations. When the classes begin, they will be able to offer more lectures, furthering their educational programs. Attiyya Akinwole, a student at North Carolina A&T University, has been interning at the gardens for more than two years. It started out as a way for her to get her required volunteer hours, but grew into something so much more. “It became something I looked forward to and a nice break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” Akinwole, 23, says. “Now not only do I know how to start a garden, but I’ve learned about sustainability and other skills I can take with me in the future.” Akinwole used to skateboard to the gardens every day from her school — she didn’t have a car, plus it’s more environmentally friendly. She has learned a lot about horticulture, taking advantage of the garden’s vast library bursting with books on all-things plants. As the teaching aspect took off, the pair decided to branch out, so to speak, and work on becoming more involved in the community with the help of their interns. Recognizing a need for better nutrition in the poor, food-insecure surrounding area, they opened up a 2,500-square-foot community edible garden where they grow food for the community. Tomatoes, squash, green peppers, corn, okra, cucumbers. Whatever they can salvage from the thieving herd of deer that raid their edible garden. And their efforts incited great response from the community, who asked for help on how to plant their own gardens. And thus a separate “gardens-in-a-tray” program was born. The student interns sprout a variety of vegetables in trays that are dispersed to the community. Each tray has thirty-two fully-sprouted plants, in addition to packages of seeds that are easy to grow. Other community programs offered by the garden include therapeutic gardening for people with AIDS and workshops for the homeless. It’s Blizin’s goal to give help to those who need it and a voice to the voiceless. “If you’re not in the business of living, you’re in the business of dying,” she says. “It’s all about sharing and giving, and leaving the world better than it was.” Returning to her Cherokee roots and environmental mindset, Blizin has sought to leave her corner of the world a little bit better than she found it through water conservation and preservation of native species. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Hoary skullcaps, a delicate sky-blue flower and bottlebrush buckeye, a mound-like shrub, are some of the unique spectacles in the garden. The seeds of these native plants are harvested and stored to aid in their longevity as a species. In planting native plants — meaning those indigenous to the state or the Southeast United States — they are able to forego an irrigation system and let Mother Nature do the watering. Instead of using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, they use mulch made from decomposing leaves collected from the garden and purchased from the city, which further helps to conserve water. Sixty percent of the city’s water is diverted for irrigation use, Blizin says, but she hopes their efforts at Cove Creek to save water will help make Greensboro a greener place. The gardens also house two energy-efficient greenhouses and a tree preserve, where they plant six hardwood trees each growing season to combat the loss of natural tree canopy caused by development. The nearby Brightwood Neighborhood has recently been targeted for residential development and hundreds of houses have sprouted up in the past few years, thus prompting the need for more green space. The gardens, open to the public April through October, offer a quick naturefix and a break from daily life. Community members are invited to take a much-needed stroll through the serene trails, or come get advice on any gardening qualms they may have, such as broadening the scope of their gardens. “We know that the way to get around that cookie-cutter residential garden is for people to know more about plant material and which plants are best suited for the land,” Blizin says. “That’s where we come in.” She takes pride in the garden being a place that people can come to for anything. Their sole mission is to teach. “One huge difference between this garden and, say, Tanger is that there you have no expectations of being a part of the garden, you just walk around with hands stuffed in your pockets,” Blizin says. “Here we promote hands-on learning. The garden is as much yours as it is ours.” OH Jenny Drabble is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studies journalism and runs cross country. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada and can be reached at drabble@live.unc.edu. Cove Creek Gardens, 4505 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, (336) 621-0611 or www.covecreekgardens.org May 2015

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“Too much of a good thing . . . can be wonderful.” — Mae West By Rosetta Fawley

A Sprig in Your Step

It’s Kentucky Derby month. The aptly named “Kentucky Colonel” is a favorite mint cultivar for Derby refreshment. Early spring or fall is best for planting mint, but if you haven’t got around to it yet, don’t worry — grows like a weed. Borrow some from your neighbor’s garden (they’ll be grateful). Or plant some now, using a container, and enjoy a refreshing julep all through the summer. Mint likes afternoon shade; most types prefer a damp part of the garden. The word “julep” is of Persian origin, from “gulab,” meaning rose water. Mint julep recipes abound in the South. Spearmint trumps peppermint. Opinion is divided over whether to muddle the mint with sugar or simply enjoy the aroma of the mint in a garnish. The Almanac suggests trying both to find your preference. Try different types of mint too. After a few samplings, the finer details won’t matter very much, but do try to remember this: The only vessel for the mint julep is a sterling silver cup.

Mint Julep

1 sprig spearmint leaves 1 tbsp simple syrup Crushed ice 2 oz favorite Bourbon Pull three or four mint leaves from the bottom of the sprig and place them in a julep cup with the syrup. Gently press the mint against the inside of the cup with a teaspoon to release the leaves’ flavor. Fill the cup with crushed ice and pour the Bourbon over the top. Put the remaining mint sprig in the ice with a flourish. Stir if desired. Follow the advice of bon vivant Eugene Walter, who said of a 1912 receipt for a Bluegrass Julep, “Sip slowly, don’t use a straw. Between sips, think of someone you love.”

Happy birthday to Grace Jones, who played May Day in the James Bond film A View To a Kill. Miss Jones’ birthday is May 19. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Flowers for Mum

“Ne’er cast a clout till May be out.” The old English proverb means don’t remove any rags, or layers of clothing, for the lucky ones among us, until the month of May is over. Some say it means until the hawthorn, also known as may, is blooming. Either way it’s a pretty saying, but don’t follow it in Zone 8 — it would be hazardous to be wrapped in fleece and furs in the balmy weather of this month. “Here we go gathering nuts in May,” runs the refrain from the old children’s game. Spot the deliberate mistake — what nuts could be gathered in May? None, not in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. It seems the words are most likely an adulteration of “knots of may” from the tradition of gathering hawthorn flowers to celebrate May Day. In the language of flowers, hawthorn represents hope. For Mother’s Day on May 10, make up an arrangement of deep pink roses (appreciation), gladioli (admiration), stocks and honeysuckle (bonds of affection, love and generous and devoted affection). Or, fashion a garden of moss (maternal love).

And this was on the sixth morning of May, Which May had painted with his soft showers This garden full of leaves and of flowers; And craft of man’s hand so curiously Had arrayed this garden, truly, That never was there garden of such price, But if it were the very Paradise. — From The Franklin’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400)

Did Someone Say BLT?

Historians differ over the origin of the word mayonnaise, but the Almanac thinks it could have been invented for the month that shares its name. What better accompaniment for a long al fresco lunch in the shade of the magnolia trees? Salad, cold chicken, charcuterie, cheese, fresh crusty bread and a crisp white wine. For the best mayonnaise of all, make your own: egg yolks, olive oil, vinegar and whisking. Go Dutch — or Belgian — and try it with French fries. Sublime.

May 2015

O.Henry 93


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May 2015

O.Henry 95


May 2015 9

1-15

5/

May 1

Ron White

Bill Mangum 5/

10

5/

Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2026 or thedramacenter.com.

May 1, 2, 8 &9

BERRIMENT. 5–7 p.m. Smoothies, salad, shortcake . . . there’s no end to what you can make with strawberries. The Teen Cooking Class (ages 11–15) demonstrates. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898, ext. 317 or gcmuseum.org.

THE PRODUCE-RS. 7:30 p.m. Tangerines, strawberries and the children’s book Goodnight Moon figure into the plot of Local Produce, performed by Touring Theatre of North Carolina. Crown at the Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

May 1–3

HEADY. 6 p.m. It’s First Friday, which means new selections are on tap at Beer Co., Greensboro’s downtown “drink-in” beer store. 121-D McGee Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-2204.

FAMILY REUNION. 10 p.m. (Doors open at 8 p.m.). The band that was on the cover of O.Henry, the Collection, gathers on stage. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

May 1–2

GAME TIME. Lads and Lassies sporting kilts, sporrans, balmorals and brogues will dance, prance, sing, pipe and throw heavy objects that resemble telephone poles at The Triad Highland Games. Info: www.triadhighlandgames.org.

K-ROUSING IN K-VILLE. Three music stages, arts and crafts, good eats, classic cars. Celebrate spring at the 23rd annual Spring Folly. Main and Mountain Streets, Kernersville. Info: (336) 993-4521 or kernersvillespringfolly. com.

HOOFIN’ IT. Last chance to catch George Catlin’s American Buffalo. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (888) 6631194 or reynoldahouse.org.

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE. 7 p.m. Youthspeare in the Park converts the Tanger Bicentennial Gardens into the Forest of Arden for its plein air production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. 1105 Hobbs Road, Key:

96 O.Henry

May 2015

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

May 1–4

HOPPERS HERE. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255

May 1–15

STUDENTS’ STUDIES. Catch college seniors’ art theses in the exhibition PITH. Baumann Galleries, Founders Hall, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue. Info: (336) 316-2438 or guilford.edu.

May 1–17

UP ON THE HOUSETOP. You don’t have to be a rich man to see the story of Tevye and his five daughters in Fiddler on the Roof, a production of Community Theatre of Greensboro. Performance days and times vary. Starr Theatre, 520 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7469 or ctgso.org. 

May 1–June 11

CLAY DAYS. See the works of two prominent potters in North Carolina at Daniel Johnston/Hiroshi Sueyoshi Sculptural Clay. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Courtesy of Samantha Saatzer, Bill Mangum Fine art Gallery

Student Art


May Arts Calendar May 1–June 14

May 1–July 15

THE SHOOTISTS. Observed/Examined/Fabricated: Recent Acquisitions in Photography focuses on innovative techniques among mid-20th-century photographers at Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

SPOCK PHOTOS. He lived long and prospered — and created photographs of travel destinations, people and landscapes. See forty works at On the Other Side of the Lens: The Photography of Leonard Nimoy. Alamance County Arts Council, 213 South Main Street, Graham. Info: (336) 2264495 or alamancearts.org.

May 2

DOCTORS OF LETTERS. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Words may never hurt you, but they can heal — at Writing to Heal Poetry and Medicine Festival, featuring readings and workshops from N.C. poets, hospital staff and patients. Cone Hospital, 1900 North Elm Street, Greensboro. To register via email: poetry@conehealth.com.

STRUNG UP. 7:15 p.m. Join the Piedmont Old Time Society for some pickin’ and grinnin’. Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, 117 West Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-7087 or gibbshundred.com.

JOHNNY REBS. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Watch Civil War re-enactors mark the disbandment of their unit. Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

LOTSA LAFFS. 10 a.m. Get a free comic book while they last, with regular admission. Then stick around for festivities celebrating Día de los niños/Día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.org.

DADDY-O PATIO. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Celebrate Southern Exposure Landscape Management’s 20th anniversary with food, drink, raffles and demos. 1000 N.C. Hwy 150 West, Summerfield. Info: (336) 451-4969 or wemakedirtlookgood. com.

AND THEY’RE OFF! 4 p.m. Enter a hat contest and sip a mint julep as the sun shines bright on our old Greensboro home, Blandwood, which will stream the 140th Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby. Blandwood, 447 West Washington Street, Greensboro. Tickets: blandwood.org

JULEPS FOR A CAUSE. 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Or, don your Kentucky Derby attire and watch the race at Ribbons and Roses, a fundraiser for the Triad Health Project. 1103 North Main Street, High Point. Tickets: ribbonsandrosesforthp. com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 4–9

GRAPES AND GROOVES. 6 p.m. Kick back with a glass of award-winning wine and some cool tunes at the Grove Jazz Festival. Grove Winery, 7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville. Tickets: grovewinery.com. SOUTHERN BITES. 6:30 p.m. Enjoy some tasty but healthful eats cooked up by Virginia Willis, author of Lighten Up, Y’all. O. Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Drive, Greensboro. Reservations: (336) 544-9605; info: ohenryhotel.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Greensboro poet Ansel Elkins, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize for Blue Yodel. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

ONE IN ONE THOUSAND AND ONE. 7:30 p.m. Conductor Peter Perret leads the Philharmonia of Greensboro in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade, at City Arts Music Center. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Road, Greensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

May 2–4

KIDDIE LIT-TERS. Celebrate Children’s Book Week with storytime and readings from childrens’ book authors. Times vary. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. com.

May 5

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet R. Flowers Rivera, author of Heathen. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 6

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Krista Bremer, author of A Tender Struggle. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

FOREVER YOUNG. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Hear keynote speaker, playwright Garrett Davis, among others or take a workshop in collage, dance or music therapy at the Creative Aging Symposium: Aging in a Diverse World. Lusk Center, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, 2501 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. To register: can-nc.org

LAY OF THE LANDSCAPE. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Bring out your inner Cézanne at “Painting Luminous Landscapes,” a workshop by artist Eric McRay. Tyler White O’Brien Gallery, 307 State Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 279-1124 or email kathylovesart@aol.com.

May 2–31

May 6–24

FAB FOUR. What do Marlowe Lowe, Brittany Søndberg, Stephanie Woods and Lu Xu have in common? All are grad students whose works are on view at the 2015 UNCG Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

BESTIE WESTERN. If you enjoyed Triad Stage’s production of Crimes of the Heart, don’t miss Abundance, another Beth Henley comedy about mail-order brides in 1860s Wyoming. Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 North Spruce Street, Winston-Salem. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

May 3

WALLY WORLD. 3 p.m. The Opus Concert series continues with the Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Wally West. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greeensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 3 p.m. Meet poets Gary Dop, Rhett Trull and Jennifer Whitaker. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

FOLLOW THE BLISS. 9 p.m. That would be singer/ songwriter Carmen Bliss. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

May 7

ANGELS HEARD ON HIGH. 7 p.m. Hear sweet sounds at the Alumnae Choir Concert. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel, Bennett College, 900 East Washington Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 517-2267 or bennett.edu.

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet pet Steve Cushman, author Mary Kratt, poet Miriam Herin and O. Henry’s own Sandra Redding. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 4

May 8

SHOE-BE-DO-BE-DON’T. 8 p.m. The Barefoot Movement brings some Nashville twang to the Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-3605 or carolinatheatre.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Kristy Woodson Harvey, author of Dear Carolina. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

May 2015

History

Sports

O.Henry 97


SM

Irving Park

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98 O.Henry

May 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


A HANDELFUL. 7:30 p.m. The Choral Society performs another in the Opus Concert series: Handel’s Judas Maccabeas. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Road, Greensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

May 8–9

ROOTS AND VEGGIES. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, shrubs, trees . . . at the Passalong Plant Sale, hosted by Master Gardeners. Guilford County Agricultural Center, 3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 6412400 or guilford.ces.ncsu.edu.

May 8–17

L’ÉTRANGER. What happens when shy traveler checks into a Southern lodge and pretends not to speak English? Comedy, of course, in theLivestock Players’ The Foreigner. Performance times vary. Stephen D. Hyers Theatre, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 373-2026 or thedramacenter.com.

May 9

MOTHERLY LOVE. 10 a.m. Every visitor who comes to William Mangum’s open house Saturday celebrating the 40th anniversary of his art career (and Mother’s Day weekend) will receive a print entitled Motherly Love. The show, which continues until June 20, features seventy original works of art, Mangum’s new line of furniture and a tour of his revamped gallery. William Mangum Fine Art,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

2146 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro Info: (336) 379-9200 or williammangum.com

May Arts Calendar

here to stay! Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.org

May 9, 30

May 10

TYKES’ TUNES. 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. The Greensboro Symphony brings its OrKIDStra program to teach youngsters storytelling through music. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.org AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Nancie McDermott, author of Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

FER TRADE. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. He’s at it again. The Blacksmith. Yeah. Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR, 3 p.m. Meet Scott Ellsworth, author of The Secret Game. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

HALLELUIAH! 6 p.m. The spirit moves at the SonRise Festival, featuring Christian music. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800)745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

May 11

WE’RE WITH THE BAND. 7:15 p.m. Meaning, the Greensboro Concert Band. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

May 9 & 10

KITTY LIDDER. 1–4 p.m. If the sun does not shine, and it’s too wet to play, fear not, for the Cat in the Hat’s

RON COM. 6 p.m and 9 p.m. Comedian Ron White elicits laughs with his “Nutcracker” tour. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3333605 or carolinatheatre.com.

VOCAL YOKELS. 7 p.m. Greensboro Youth Chorus presents Music From Around the World: Celebrating Culture and Song. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Road, Greensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

Key:

•• •

•• •

••

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

May 2015

O.Henry 99


May Arts Calendar •

TA-RA-RA BOOM DE-AY. 7:30 p.m. Greensboro Percussion Ensemble brings it, under the direction of Mike Lasley. Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: city-arts.org.

May 14

TALL TAILS. 4:30–5:30 p.m. If your child is struggling with reading, let him or her read aloud to a therapy dog at Paws for Reading. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Registration: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

MORE THAN A FEELING. 7:30 p.m. Go ahead and look back — and listen to the sounds of Boston. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

May 14, 16

BELLE OF THE BOW. May 14th at 7:30 p.m. and May 16th at 8 p.m. Violinist Jinjoo Cho, winner of the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, joins the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra to perform Debussy, Sibelius and Stravinsky. Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456, ext. 224 or greensborosymphony.org.

May 14–17

The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255

May 15

BLOW RE MI. 7:30 p.m. The Greensboro Brass Ensemble, guided by Kiyoshi Carter, brings it. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 North Greene Street, Greensboro. Info: cityarts.org.

STRINGS OF GOOD LUCK. 8 p.m. Violinst Jinjoo Cho and the Greensboro Symphony orchestra perform Mozart and Brahms for the Chamber music series. UNCG School of Music, Theatre & Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456, ext. 224 or greensborosymphony.org.

May 15–July 1

ART MAKERS’ MARK. See the professional journey of three artists, Kelley Brugh, Debbi Kleisch and Kristen Stacey, at Making YOUR Mark in Art. Tyler White O’Brien Gallery, 307 State Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or tylerwhitegallery.com.

May 16

TICKER PARADE. 8:30 a.m. Don your sneakers and get moving for good health at the Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk. Kaplan Commons, Forest Street, UNCG, Greensboro. To register: guilfordheartwalk.org.

STRUNG UP. 7:15 p.m. Join the Piedmont Old Time Society for some pickin’ and grinnin’. Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, 117 West Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-7087 or gibbshundred.com.

LITTLE BIG MAN. 9 a.m.– until noon. That would be Bryce Lane, TV host of In the Garden, who counsels gardeners with “Landscaping in Small Spaces: Big Ideas for the Little Garden.” Paul Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

• • •

GREENBACKS FOR GREENERY. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Trees, shrubs, heirloom vegetables and more are available at the Plant Sale. Paul Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main

Key:

100 O.Henry

May 2015

Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

• • • Film

••

Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 101


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102 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Street, Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

at the Green Acres Gala. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 5742898 or gcmuseum.org.

May 16–17

TANGLED UP IN BLUES. 1–10 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and kick back to the sounds of Shemekia Copeland, Devon Allman and Peter May, among others at the 29th annual Carolina Blues Festival. Barber Park, 1500 Dans Road, Greensboro. Tickets: fest.piedmontblues.org.

’TOONS FOR TOTS. 2 p.m. Catch Academy Award– winning animated feature Big Hero Six. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

HOEDOWN. 7–11 p.m. Don your blue jeans and black tie — or not — and listen to Chapel Hill string band Mipso

3900 West Market Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 855-8500 or artshopnc.com.

May 17

QUAKER HAUTE QUISINE. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Learn how early Quakers prepared strawberries and make your own lavender sachet ($1) with “Historic Herbs.” Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Tim O’Lenic, cookbook author of Breakfast at Timothy’s. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May Arts Calendar

CROONIN’ CALEB. 8 p.m. Singer and American Idol winner Caleb Johnson takes the mic. Cone Denim Entertainment Center. 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: cdecgreensboro.com.

UNDER THE GUNS. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Get a taste of the Revolutionary War period at a re-enactment of the 1771 Battle of Alamance. Alamance Battleground State Historic Site, 5803 South NC 62, Burlington. Info: (336) 227-4785 or nchistoricsites.org.

HAW AND JAW. 3 p.m. Take to the waters of the Upper Haw River and then enjoy a slice or two of pizza — with award-winning wine. Grove Winery, 7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville. Reservations: Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company, (336) 260-6465 or grovewinery.com.

May 18

BACKSTORY. 11 a.m. Retired museum director Bill Moore shares 40 years’ worth of behind-the-scenes stories at a Guild Meeting. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

THIS OLD HOUSE. Admire 1920s (and later) architecture of Hamilton Lakes on Preservation Greensboro’s selfguided Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens. On Saturday, check out the Village Fayre, with music, food, crafts and fun. Lakewood Drive, Henderson Road, Kemp Roads East and West, Greensboro. blandwood.org.

May 19

May 16–June 16

SHOW AND PASTEL. Colors soft and bold define the North Carolina Statewide Juried Pastel Exhibition. Meet the artists at a reception (5/16) at 6 p.m. The Art Shop, Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

FRANKLY, MY DEAR . . . 7 p.m. Yep. It’s the epic story of Rhett and Scarlett, and “the Troubles” — the 1939 classic, Gone With the Wind. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-3605 or carolinatheatre.com. HELLO, IT’S HIM. 7 p.m. Or to be grammatically correct, “he,” meaning 1970s pop star Todd Rundgren. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: cdecgreensboro.com.

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

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O.Henry 103


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May Arts Calendar May 20

May 25

MY GRANDMOTHER’S TRUNK. George Ellis of Ellis Auction Co. will discuss evaluating your historical possessions at a Guild Meeting. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

May 21

GO ASK ALICE. Noon. Or better yet, Lewis Carroll scholar and best-selling novelist Charlie Lovett, who will discuss the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Friends of the Greensboro Public Library. The Terrace, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: greensborolibrary.org.

VEHICLES FOR VETS. 8:30 a.m. Wheels4Hope donates cars to veterans in need of transportation at the 2nd Annual Memorial Day Bike Ride. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4747 Lake Brandt Road, Greensboro. To register: wheels4hope.org/bikeride. To sponsor or volunteer, call Deborah Bryant at (336) 355-9130 or email at deborah@wheels4hope.org.

May 25–31

HOPPERS HERE. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255

May 27

FAMISHED. 8:30 p.m. Cheer for Katniss Everdeen, arch(er) rival to the Capitol in The Hunger Games. City Center Park, 200 North Elm Street, Greensboro. Info:

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet J. Phillips Johnston, author of True South: Leadership Lessons from Polar Extremes. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. com.

May 24

May 28

STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER. Honor the troops at a concert of patriotic music from the North Carolina Brass Band. First Baptist Church, 1000 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 340-6764 or ncbrassband.org.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet anthropologist Pat Shipman, author of True Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 22

• •

RUSH HOUR. 7:30 p.m. Canadian superband, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and 2012 Album of the Year winner, Rush, celebrates forty years with its R40 Live Tour. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com or livenation. com.

May 29–31

URSA MAJOR. The gang’s all here: Piglet, Eyeore, Tigger and their favorite bear, in Winnie the Pooh, A Birthday Tale. Stephen D. Hyers Theatre, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2026 or thedramacenter.com.

May 30

LORDS OF THE RING. 7:30 p.m. It’s a lock! Superstars John Cena, Rusev, Bad News Barrett and more rev up the action at WWE Live. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

May 30–31

PELOTON PARTY. 8 a.m. Bikes, beer, food and music from the Wailers, Rusted Root and Better Than Ezra. Watch cyclists put mettle to their pedals at the WinstonSalem Cycling Classic. Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, downtown Winston-Salem. Info: winstonsalemcycling. com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 105


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May Arts Calendar WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays

BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum. com.

• Tam de St. Aubin, Jan Metcalf, Denis de St. Aubin, Susan Beard & Shea Abernethy

Tuesdays

• Trust and Estate Administration

• Investment Management • Financial Planning • Elder Care Planning • Record-keeping Services for Non-profits

TALK IS CHEAP. Noon. Apprenez l’art de la conversation française. Pardon our French and join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

125 S. Elm Street, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27401 336.272.9944 www.oldnorthstatetrust.com

READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to storytimes: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

STORY CORPS. 11 a.m. Book a slot in your schedule for Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6–9 p.m. Y’all come for Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs from a Southern Kitchen. Tuck into Chef Felicia’s signature fried chicken and gravy, select beverage specials, including buttermilk with cornbread crumbled in it, and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring (5/5 & 5/12); Martha Bassett and friends (5/19); and Molly McGinn and Wurlitzer Prize (5/26) — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/ fried_chicken.htm.

Wednesdays

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

DOWNTOWN SOUNDS. Noon. Unwind with some live music during your lunch hour. Tunes at Noon features Bruce Piephoff (5/6), Carrie Marshall (5/13), Steve & Chuck (5/22), Dana and Susan Robinson (5/27). City Center Park, 200 North Elm Street. Info: (336) 272-1222 or citycenterpark.org.

CAFFEINE CREATIONS. 1:30–3:30 p.m. Knit a scarf, make papier mâché letters or bowls, beads and picture frames from polymer clay at CoffeeTime at Art Quest. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greenboro.

• •••

Art Music/Concerts Key: Film Literature/Speakers

106 O.Henry

May 2015

• • • •

Performing arts Fun History Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music. htm.

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Preschool Storytime I convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

featuring Neill Clegg and special guests in the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.greenvalleygrill. com/jazz.htm

The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.ibcomedy.com.

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

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

Fridays

Thursdays

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

VERSE-A-TILE. 3 p.m.–5 p.m. There’s plenty of rhyme and reason at Third Sunday at Three Open Poetry Reading and Open Mic, courtesy of Writers Group of the Triad. Common Grounds Coffeehouse, 602 South Elam Avenue, Greensboro. Info: triadwriters.org or email rmarhatta@ yahoo.com.

ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30–8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz

May Arts Calendar

THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $4 Fun Fridays. On First Friday (5/1), admission is only $2. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

Fridays & Saturdays

NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.

Saturdays

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon.

Sundays

MUNCH FEST. Noon–4 p.m. Round up the family and bring your appetite to the N.C. Food Rodeo, with the state’s best food trucks, craft beers and award-winning wine. Grove Winery, 7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville. Info: grovewinery.com.

HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $4 admission, as opposed to the usual $8, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

To add an event, email us at henrymagcalendar@gmail. com by the first of the month prior to the event Key:

•• •

•• •

••

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

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May 2015

O.Henry 107


Making Your Mark in Art Tyler White O’Brien Art Show:

Arts & Culture

with Kelley Brugh & Introducing Debbi Kleisch & Kristen Stacey

Kelley Brugh

Debbie Kleisch

Kristen Stacey

Friday, May 15, 2015 Artist Reception: 6-8pm Lunch & Learn with Kelley Brugh, Friday May 15, 11:30am-1pm Tyler White O’Brien Gallery 307 State Street, Greensboro (336) 279-1124 www.tylerwhitegallery.com

Paintings By C.P. Logan

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108 O.Henry

May 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Arts & Culture

SALEM COLLEGE

DANCE COMPANY 2015 SPRING STUDENT CONCERT

A celebration of dance and student choreography

Thursday and Friday, May 7–8 | 7:30 pm Saturday, May 9 | 2:00 pm Drama Workshop Elberson Fine Arts Center

TICKETS Children, Students, $5 General admission, $10

WWW.SALEM.EDU/CULTURALEVENTS | (336) 917-5493 500 East Salem Avenue, Winston-Salem, North Carolina The Art & Soul of Greensboro

FINReynolda Ohenry 4.25x10.75.indd 1

May 2015

4/14/15 12:11 PM O.Henry 109


p r e s e nts

Arts & Culture

On the Other Side

Of the LenS The PhoTograPhy of Leonard nimoy

M ay 1 – Ju ly 1 5, 20 15

Free and open to the public Please note, this exhibit contains nudity

ALAMANCEaRTS.ORG 213 S. Main Street Graham, NC 27253 336. 226. 4495 Open: Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm Made possible by generous community gifts and: The Wooten Family Fund of Alamance Arts R. Michelson Galleries The Bonnie Moss Collection

Monday - Friday: 9:30 - 5:30 Saturday: 10:00 - 4:00 Available at other times by appointment.

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May 2015

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Arts & Culture

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2015

O.Henry 111


Visit the MuseuM shop For unique Mother’s Day GiFts

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

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112 O.Henry

May 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


By Sandra Redding

Spring’s last-born darling, clear-eyed, sweet, pauses a moment with white twinkling feet and golden locks in breezy play, half teasing and half tender to repeat her song of “May.” — Susan Coolidge

Upcoming Events

May 7 (Thursday, 7 p.m.) Mary Kratt, prize-winning poet of Charlotte, will join poet Steve Cushman and local prose writers Miriam Herin and yours truly, Sandra Redding, to discuss “Writing a Memoir in Poetry or Prose” at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Kratt calls her latest publication, Watch Where You Walk: New and Selected Poems, a lyrical memoir. Info: www.scuppernongbooks.com. May 9 (Saturday, 11 a.m.). Robbin Gourley, author and illustrator of children’s books, will introduce her latest, Talkin’ Guitar: A Story of Young Doc Watson at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Her words and breathtaking illustrations pay tribute to the North Carolina musician who won seven Grammy Awards. After talking about the blind boy who loved music, Gourley will entertain with guitar tunes. Fun for all ages. Info: www.scuppernongbooks.com May 13 (Wednesday, 7 p.m.). International best-selling writer Jeffery Deaver, author of over thirty books, will introduce Solitude Creek, his latest mystery, at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill. This popular North Carolina speaker will talk, answer questions and autograph copies. Info: www.flyleafbooks.com May 17–21 (Friday through Tuesday). The 2015 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference will be held at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville. This annual event offers training and networking events for both seasoned and aspiring writers and speakers. Here participants interact with editors, agents and professional writers in outstanding workshops and classes. Be inspired by the quiet serenity; sharpen your writing skills. Some scholarships available. Info: ridgecrestconferencecenter.org/programs

Congratulations

Jennifer Whitaker of Greensboro won the 2015 Brittingham Prize in Poetry for her collection, The Blue Hour. She will receive $1,000 and her book will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press. The next deadline for entries: September 15, 2015. Joan S. McLean of Siler City won the 37th New Millennium Award for her

poem, Remember This. She received $1,000 and her work will be published in New Millennium Writings. James Tate of Greensboro won the third annual Dorothy and Wedel Nilsen Prize for his first novel, Academy Gothic. He received $1,000 and his book will be published by the National Book Foundation. A wide variety of books by North Carolinians debuted recently: John Prine: In Spite of Himself (University of Texas Press), by Eddie Huffman of Burlington, is the true story of an exceptional songwriter whose music sparked the careers of many, including Bette Midler and Bob Dylan; Night of the Hatchet (Lulu), by A. W. Hammock of Wilmington, is a real page turner involving a deadly terrorist cell and the hero who pursues them . . . The Niburian Sequence (Xlibris), by Gary Furnas of Lincolnton contains high adventure and scientific intrigue. . . Masters of the Weird Tale: Fred Chappell (Centipede Press) is the largest single collection of Chappell’s writing: twenty stories, one novel (Dagon) and numerous poems. Weirdly wonderful illustrations by David Ho and Fritz Janschka embellish this unique treasure.

Writing Lesson

O.Henry magazine recently hosted one of the most illustrious literary events in Greensboro’s history: an evening with five of the state’s top literary luminaries. Here, they share personal anecdotes and advice for aspiring writers. Jim Dodson, editor of O.Henry, PineStraw and Salt, remembers the advice his dad gave him: “Write a book that you would want to read.” It seems to have worked pretty well for the best-selling author. Wiley Cash of Wilmington finished writing his first novel, A Land More Kind than Home, in 2003. Though it was considered a good novel, Wiley continued to study, seek advice from other writers and spent hours rewriting for nine years. When finally published in 2012, reviewers declared it a great novel. Clyde Edgerton, author of fourteen books, most sprinkled with humor, teaches writing at UNC Wilmington, where he encourages students “to take no advice that does not make sense to them, to try to observe their world as if never seen, to cause the reader to SEE and to avoid adverbs when possible.” Frances Mayes of Hillsborough and Cortona, Italy, strives to create a strong sense of place for her books, whether she’s writing about Georgia or Italy. Grateful for her own success, she frequently praises the work of other writers. During the O.Henry event, she charmed fellow honorees by purchasing their books and asking for their autographs. Jill McCorkle, a patient wordsmith, confesses, “My writing process often involves a lot of note taking, every day jotting down thoughts and ideas and in the evening putting the scraps away for later perusal.” OH What’s your writing secret? Send it to sanredd@earthlink.net. Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in a Quaker community.

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www.slatterinc.com May 2015

O.Henry 113


MAGAZINE

MeridithMartens@nc.rr.com 910.692.9448

O.Henry magazine is a complimentary publication supported by our advertisers. Please consider patronizing these businesses, services and nonprofit organizations and tell them that you saw their ad in O.Henry magazine.

Index of Advertisers • May 2015 Abbotswood at Irving Park 56 About Face Cosmetics & Day Spa 115 Airlie Gardens 111 Alamance Co Arts Council 110 Alla Campanella Photography 102 American Heart Association 50 Angie Wilkie, Allen Tate 56 Area Modern Home 103 Art & Soul 104 Ashley Fitzsimmons, Allen Tate 100 Aubrey Home 104 Autumn Creek Vineyards 112 Barber Center for Plastic Surgery 17 Barnabas Network, The 44 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty IFC Bermuda Village 61 Bill Black Beach Music Blast 30 Bill Guill, Allen Tate 32 Blockade Runner 33 Blue Moon Estate Sales 92 Broad Strokes 114 Burkely Rental Homes 102 Careful with the China 124 Carolina Bank BC Carolina GroutWorks 107 Carolyn Todd’s Fine Gifts & Clothing 98 Carriage House 101 Chakras Spa 106 Charlotte Davidson, Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 92 City of Greensboro 16 Cone Health 48 CP Logan 108 Crafted, The Art of the Taco 46 Cunningham & Co. 38 Dog Days 121 Dolce Dimora 122 Downtown Animal Hospital 121 Downtown Greensboro, Inc. 28 Earlier.org 36 Earnhardt Optical 118 Eastern Music Festival Camps 126 Elements of Style Interiors, Inc. 22 Elizabeth Pell, Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 95 Extra Ingredient, The 104 Feathered Nest, The 99 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 62 First Baptist Church 60, 113 Franklin County, VA 58 Friends Homes West 37 Friends of the Greensboro Public Library 50 Furniture Medic by Jeff Hughes 92 Gibsonville Antiques 105 Graham Farless, DDS Family, Cosmetic & Implant Dentisty 49 Great Outdoor Provision Co. 103 Greensboro College 54 Greensboro Coliseum 24 Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 102 Greensboro Grasshoppers 13 Greensboro Historical Museum 112 Greensboro Orthopaedics, Dr. Matthew Olin 4 Guilford College Bryan Series 60 High Point Bank 20 Home Instead 124 Hospice & Palliative Care of Greensboro 47 House of Eyes 40 If It’s Paper 101 Imperial Koi 58 Irvin Orthodontics 36 Irving Park Art & Frame 110 Jeff Allen Landscape Architecture 52 Jeremiah Hawes, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 94 Jules Antiques 110 Katie Redhead, Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 2 Kay Chesnutt, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 117 Kay Rule, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 60 Kelly’s Golf 3

114 O.Henry

May 2015

Kelli Kupiec, Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 46 Kim Mathis, Allen Tate 124 Lake Jeanette Swim & Tennis Club 126 Laura Dotson Designs 44 Laura Redd Interiors 95 Lee Rogers Landscape Design 105 Libby Hill 101 Lillo Bella Boutique 118 Linnea’s Boutique & Vera’s Threads 116 Loco for Coco Gourmet Chocolates 122 Lora Howard 94 Lori Gordon 360 3 Los Gordos Mexican Cafe 104 Lu Lu Lemon IBC Marion Tile 94 Marsh Kitchens 22 Martin’s Frame & Art 121 Maureen Mallon 105 Mechelle’s 121 Melissa Greer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 95 Meridith Martens 114 Merle Norman 107 Michelle Porter, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 107 Mitzie Weatherly, Allen Tate 100 New Garden Landscaping & Nursery 58 NC Golf Academy 3 Oakcrest Restaurant 104 Old North State Trust, LLC 106 Oscar Oglethorpe Eyewear 26 Otey Construction 42, 43 Parisian Promenade by Greensboro Beautiful 111 Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden 56 Phil Barker’s Refinishing 36 Pest Management Systems, Inc. 92 Polliwogs Children’s Boutique 98 Preservation Greensboro 110 Priba Furniture 40 Printers Alley 30 PTI 34 Quaintance Weaver 10 Randy McManus Designs 122 Re Bath of Greensboro 34 Rennaissance Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Wellness 116 Reynolda House Museum of American Art 109 Ruff Housing 101 Salem College 109 Schiffman’s 1 Serendipity by Celeste 98 Shea Homes 12 Sheree’s Natural Cosmetics 32 Simply Meg’s 102 Slatter Management Services, Inc. 113 Smith Marketing, Allen Tate 27 Southern Exposure Landscape Management 32 Southern Lights Bistro 105 Stacy Ofsanko, Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 31 State St. Jewelers 116 Stifel Investment Services 45 Sweet Tea Studio 98 Taylor’s Discount Tire & Automotive 48 Ten Thousand Villages 124 Theodore Alexander 61 Tom Chitty, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Reaty 5 Tops & Trends 52 Tyler Redhead & McAlister Real Estate 8, 9 Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery 108 Vance Young, Intracoastal Realty 23 View on Elm, The 7 Vintage Thrift & Antiques 115 Vivid Interiors 121 Waban Carter, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty 94 Weatherspoon Art Gallery 108 • Well Spring Retirement Community 38 William Mangum Fine Art 18 Wine & Design 126 WineStyles 112 Yamamori, Ltd. 118

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Armchair Scholars’ Delight The historic granite house on High Point’s North Main Street near the aptly named Design Place isn’t just another gracious Southern home. The sculptures in the Pat Plaxico Gardens (named after local design star), a reproduction of a modern chair, an abstract piece called Jitterbug and a stack of books named Imagination all tell you that you’ve arrived at the Bienenstock Furniture Library. “We’re sort of a multi-use facility,” says Karla Webb, library director, explaining that the core of the 5,000 volumes inside, the largest of its kind in the world, were started by the organization’s namesake Sandy Bienenstock. A New York accountant by trade, he was hired by Furniture World magazine in the late 1920s and became so enamored of the publishing business that he bought the publication in the 1930s. For it to be a success, Bienenstock had to learn the furniture industry inside and out, so he started collecting books. “He traveled all over the world to create his library,” Webb explains. It grew to about 3,000–3,500 tomes, including rare ones, such as a full complement of the Diderot Encyclopedia, a volume dating back to 1543. By the time Bienenstock retired, the collection had outgrown its New York home. By happy coincidence the granite house on North Main, formerly owned by High Point physician and four-term mayor Dr. Charles Grayson and

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his wife, became available in 1968, and by 1970 the furniture library had a High Point home. Thanks to the master’s students at UNCG’s Library Science program, all the books are catalogued — and available online to anyone interested in doing research. “We get a lot of students,” Webb says, noting the library’s central location to High Point University, Appalachian State and UNCG among others. “Furniture designers, of course, use us on a continual basis,” Webb adds. As do interior designers working on historic houses, or law offices researching patent lawsuits within the furniture industry. UNC School of the Arts has used the facility to help create set designs, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art partnered with it for an event related to last year’s The Art of Seating exhibit. The library also has conference rooms for gatherings of industry professionals and a small bookstore. But what has held steady are the scholarships, totaling $400,000 since 1984, that the library awards to budding furniture, fabric and interior designers through design competitions. “Our main thing,” says Webb, “is being a resource of knowledge. We give out all these books and education. Just spreading the knowledge around.” OH For information on the library, research and tours call (336) 883-4011 or go to furniturelibrary.com. — Nancy Oakley

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GreenScene Restoration Runway: Redefined A Benefit for Restoration Place Counseling Thursday March 26, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

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O.Henry 119


GreenScene Guilford Green Foundation Gala Proximity Hotel Saturday March 28, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Mark File, Arlene Gutterman, Kate Panzer, David Soyars Alan & Ruthie Tutterow

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GreenScene American Heart Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Walking Day Crumley Roberts and Guilford Go Red For Women Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

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UUnique nique ttreasures reasures for for all all your your special special occasions. occasions. TThis his sspring, pring, give tthe give he ggift ift that ggives th that ives twice. tw twice.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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GreenScene The Friends of the UNCG Libraries 56th Annual Dinner Featuring Author and Forensic Anthropologist Kathy Reichs Wednesday April 8, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan Patrick Burger, Kathy Reichs, Rosann Bazirjian

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O.Henry 125


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The Accidental Astrologer

May Day, My Dearies No bull. Time to be your own person

By Astrid Stellanova

MAYbe you like this month’s gentle breezes, taking time for some porch sitting and iced tea. MAYbe you like easy living. And yes, my astral children, MAYbe you are also having a birthday. If you were born under the complicated sign Taurus, MAYbe you have already figured out you get to face some of life’s big questions. Not even Astrid can typecast you, Taurus, because you are your own person and face life your own way. Complicated. Smart. Prone to cause and hold grudges. But, make no mistake about it; nobody is more fun than the Taurus when the party gets started. For all of us, this month is all about subtle signs being revealed, and tuning in to them. Pay attention, Star Children.

Taurus (April 20—May 20) Don’t throw shade — go sit in it. Your birthday might be one of the best ones you have had since you were 5 years old. Soon after the candles are blown out on your cake (go on and buy one for yourself if nobody remembers to bake one for you), a series of fortunate events are set in motion by a friend. Behind the scenes, life is going to rapidly shift. When you finally see the outcome, you will be surprised — something that happens rarely to you, little shrewd one. Gemini (May 21—June 20) The lessons you faced last month may or may not have been completed. Go back to the blackboard and keep writing. You are in a cycle that will require extreme selfawareness, but not as in is there something stuck in my teeth? If you want to graduate from this psychic lesson, you have simply got to meet the test. But this is also an important transition period, and by the 21st, something key to your happiness shifts in your favor. Don’t fail to enter a contest — your luck takes a nice turn. Also, try something you have never done before even if you aren’t good at it — like being patient. Cancer (June 21—July 22) Use that tax return for at least one downright superficial and completely unnecessary thing. You deserve it, Honey. It was a difficult winter, and you are truly going to enjoy the warm months when a difficult relationship finally thaws out. Somebody close to you needs your friendship more than you do — can you give in and make that call? If you can’t do that much, at least quit your bitching about it. Nobody’s all wrong, all the time, right? Leo (July 23—August 22) Honeybun, your roar is significant but your bite ain’t got no force. What happened to your mojo? Go find it. You have moped around for way too long. Get over this pity party and get off the porch while you’re at it. By the time you read this, you will have already made at least one startling discovery. Be sure it concerns more than your underwear. Virgo (August 23—September 22) I wish I had a dollar for every time a Virgo does somebody a favor. You have been generous in a lot of ways, and now Lady Luck throws the dice your way. Get on your party clothes and show up — it’s that simple. Fortune smiles — it is a good time to speculate on real estate or the stock market. But it is a bad time to be hasty, so just read all the fine print. And don’t stick your finger in a light socket just to get cheap highlights. Libra (September 23—October 22) Whatever you do, stop rewinding the tape on recent events and watching the same old reruns. Move on. Something didn’t go to suit you, but you have an opportunity to recover all that was lost. If you keep whining, you might miss the boat while waiting at the airport. Also, try to find your childhood best friend. They have some information you might really enjoy knowing. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scorpio (October 23—November 21) Do yourself a favor. Stop calling attention to yourself. Get interested in your best friend, partner, or neighbor. It will really change the crazy dynamic that you got trapped in recently. Also, don’t worry about that health scare. You are much healthier than you realized, and get a green pass. It ain’t the end of the world if you ain’t regular, Honey. Sagittarius (November 22—December 21) Did you find something recently that you were delighted to discover? If not, you soon will. I can clearly sense something important is going to resurface; it might have been a childhood book, or your Lassie fan club membership card, or even a time capsule you buried in the back yard. Be thankful, Honey. Meantime, a person close to you is in crisis and could sure as heck use a shoulder to cry on. Capricorn (December 22—January 19) The reward for your patience last month is something pretty innocent looking on the surface, but something that will mean a whole lot to you. When this happens, try and pay it forward, Darling. Buy somebody behind you in line a cup of coffee. And practice this little prayer of gratitude to the God of Your Understanding: thank you. Also, if you find yourself with an itch you gotta scratch, just get yourself some Epsom salts and soak. Aquarius (January 20—February 18) You are the most complicated buttercup in the field. Never known a sweeter sign, but also never known a more navel-gazing one either. The answers to your loneliness won’t happen on Match.com. The answer will come in living your one, big old, glorious life right out loud. Eat more honey. Drink less vinegar. There is a convergence that is going to help lead you away from bewilderment and into green pastures. Pisces (February 19—March 20) Honey, you are attempting to live a chocolate croissant dream in a Moon Pie world. How is it that you are always the odd one out in life? Maybe it is because your dreams are bigger than your hopes. Let them loose, Child! A ticket to Paris ain’t out of the question! And if it is, then just buy yourself a café au lait, slap a beret on your head, and Walter Mitty your way into a little happiness until your bank account fattens up. Aries (March 21—April 19) The party ain’t over yet, Honey. An unexpected guest is about to darken your doorstep, and they will be a handful. You may finally meet your match in the mischief department. Enjoy having your life upended, and just go along for the ride. You know you always liked a pal riding shotgun, and this is a month to just hold onto your liver and your gizzard and your brand new teeth. Excitement coming soon. OH For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. May 2015

O.Henry 127


O.Henry Ending

By Phil Koch

April in Greensboro, 2014. Azaleas and dogwoods

blossomed on the campus. The semester was winding down. As I walked from the parking lot to the math class, I mentally rehearsed again my graduation speech. Never mind that it was two years off or that I hadn’t been asked to speak. I was sure that the head of the history department in 2016 would ask an 81-year-old graduate to say a few words. You see, at age 77, I had enrolled at UNCG as an undergraduate.

Retirement in Greensboro had been all it was cracked up to be . . . and then some. In 1994 I retired from Ciba-Geigy (now Syngenta.) The next eighteen years were great. After performing in over thirty-five local theater productions, playing 800-plus rounds of golf and taking six cruises, I wanted a new challenge. A new joint replacement every few years was not exciting enough. My previous college education ended with an Associate Degree in Agricultural Science in 1956. The U.S. Army draft, marriage, four children and career obligations made a bachelor’s degree beyond reach . . . until it reappeared on my bucket list. With transfer credits, I could graduate by 2016. Some friends thought I was crazy. “Why put yourself through all that work?” they asked. But most found it a noble adventure. I basked in the glow of their admiration. After 56 years, I was again, “Joe College.” History is the fascinating drama of people like us and how they confronted challenges. I loved the term papers — the research, the writing, the opportunity for creative expression. The “red-pencil” feedback critique by professors kept my ego grounded. Term papers on U.S. immigration history, modern China, 16th century Spain and World War II sit with pride in my computer files. In a social environment filled with 20-year-olds, I was a curiosity. No smart phone for me, no texting with my arthritic thumbs. Students, outside class, mistakenly addressed me as “Sir,” not realizing that professors my age had already retired. Once, I discovered a math error in class and whispered, (geriatrically louder than intended) “Oh . . . (expletive)!” The students and professor grinned sympathetically. Group projects were interesting. A highlight came in my making the closing argument for the defense team in the “Trial of Benedict Arnold.” (He

128 O.Henry

May 2015

was acquitted.) History became personal when I realized that I had been alive during half of the time period studied in U.S. History Since 1865. Another course, World War II, stirred memories of my civilian childhood, complete with air raid drills, rationing and relatives serving in the Armed Forces. One classmate asked if she could use me as a ‘primary source.’ While flattered, I cautioned her that oral history should be taken only in small doses from old geezers like me. Latest teaching tools are impressive. Interactive websites provide video, audio, practice quizzes and sometimes, graded tests. A political science course did not use a website, just 1,400 pages of heavy reading and subsequent written reports. But the classes offered stimulating discussion and the term paper, on Northern Ireland, was very rewarding. What’s not to like? Until my 2012 reentry into college, I typically spent three mornings a week at a workout center that includes a pool. Two other weekdays, I played golf. That routine was interrupted only when we travelled. By 2014, my second year as a student, I was getting no exercise. I increasingly felt the loss — in my physical well-being and on my mental state. Time management dictated my daily life. I didn’t have time to celebrate my youngest son’s 50th birthday in Charlotte. The self-imposed pressure gave me indigestion and sometimes made me an irritable husband. Was this mission really worth the cost? Or had I just waited too long in life to take it on? Most of my waking hours found me doing homework. If I didn’t have my nose in a book taking notes, I was writing at the computer or doing research. I see a cardiologist twice a year for a checkup. When the office called to set up an appointment in April, I was too busy. It would have to wait until May — after exams. Later, I admonished myself: “You’re 79 years old and postponing your cardiologist checkup? You got your priorities all screwed up!” At age 79, I don’t know how many years are left. My physical condition was being put at too great a risk. I’ve decided to stop here. I won’t attain my goal. Twenty-four credits short, with a GPA of 3.89, I will not graduate in 2016. But my appreciation for the demands put on my fellow students and the younger generation has grown substantially. The respect I have for their perseverance would have been verbalized in the graduation speech I will never make, to graduates who have earned their future. Fortunately for me, I can now relish the college experience and have good memories. Now. Let’s see! What’s the next item on my bucket list? OH Since ending his recent college experience, Phil Koch turned 80, has been on one cruise, spent two weeks in Florida and renewed his acquaintances with the Greensboro medical community. His wife, Anne, also thinks him more lovable. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

The Graduation Speech I Will Never Give


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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