O.Henry May 2016

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4052 Dover Park Road, Greensboro

220 Leeward Drive, Stokesdale

5402 Westfield Drive, Greensboro

JA R E E TO D D 336 - 601 -4892

MELISSA GREER 3 3 6 -3 3 7- 5 2 3 3

ANN HARDEE 3 3 6 -3 27- 8 4 4 0







104 Meadowbrook Terrace, Greensboro

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804 Sunset Drive, Greensboro

E D D I E YO S T 3 3 6 -2 1 0 - 8762

TO M C H I T T Y 3 3 6 - 42 0 -2 8 3 6

B A R B A R A WA L E S 3 3 6 -3 1 4 - 0 1 41







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25 Flagship Cove, Greensboro

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TO M C H I T T Y 3 3 6 - 42 0 -2 8 3 6

B A R B A R A WA L E S 3 3 6 -3 1 4 - 0 1 41

S A L LY M I L L I K I N 3 3 6 -3 3 7-7 2 3 0




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3215 N Rockingham Rd $2,900,000

415 Sunset Dr $1,975,000

14 Loch Ridge Dr $1,500,000

2800 Lake Forest Dr $1,389,000

2319 Princess Ann St $850,000

340 Air Harbor Rd $800,000

1704 Saint Andrews Rd $775,000

6 Oak Glen Ct $759,000

1 Chesterfield Ct $729,000

3309-3311 Gaston Rd $719,000




300 W Cornwallis Dr $600,000

7714 Northern Estates $599,900

1216 Hill St $598,000

17 Independence Ct $445,000

4 Perch Pl $439,900

1713 Madison Ave $425,000

1000 Oakhurst Ave $359,000

802 W Cornwallis Dr $339,000

907 Greenwood Dr $335,000


201 N. Elm St $584K-$233K

3 Lake Breeze Ct $574,000

603 Blair St $529,000

2207 Carlisle Rd $415,000

3601 Timberoak Dr $ 415,000

7711 Whitaker Rd $410,000

6 Highgate Ct $299,900

4921 Bluff Run Dr $299,000

11 Orchard Grass Ct $279,900


1803 Independence Rd $218,000

1004 Yanceyville St $215,000

2629 White Fence Way $199,900

200 N Elam Ave $189,900

504 Ashland Dr $174,900

31 Fountain Manor Dr #C $172,500

3819 Rolling Rd $131,500

805 5th Ave $129,900

1700 N Elm St $128K - $110

3005 Collier Dr $119,000

156 Flint Ridge Tr $69,900

3816 Clair Pl $65,000


1806 Carlisle Rd $1,175,000

5 Wynnewood Ct $899,800

1400 Briarcliff Rd $899,000

14 Provincetown Ct $890,000

1907 Lafayette Ave $885,000

1804 Worsham Pl $875,000


4900-4902 E NC Hwy 150 $695,000

4426 Johnson St $690,000

702 Northern Shores Ln $675,000


301 Kimberly Dr $515,000

201 Lake Dr $649,900

7007 Cross Hook Ct $631,000

1007 Nothern Shores Ln $629,900


708 Dover Rd $505,000

5691 Pepper Rd $500,000

601 Rockford Rd $499,000

4520 Vickrey Chapel Rd N $449,000

2900 Saint Regis Rd $448,000

2300 Princess Ann St $389,900

29 Creswell Ct $387,000

1108 Dover Rd #G $379,900

3923 Fox Grove Tr $379,900

48 Creswell Ct $367,000

605 5th Ave $234,900

2111 Sprucewood Dr $234,000

1614 Colonial Ave $230,000

306 Turnstone Cir $219,000


2416 North Beech Ln $399,800

400 Fisher Park Cir #A $269,000

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O.Henry 7 1/26/16 7:01 AM

May 2016 Features 71 Blue Jays

Poetry by Terri Kirby Erickson

72 Welcome to Bedlam!

By Jason Oliver Nixon with John Loecke From their new, albeit historic, home — and style laboratory — in the heart of downtown High Point, the Madcap Cottage duo has their eyes firmly set on design world domination

80 Bluebell Apocalypse

By Ross Howell Jr. A writer confronts entropy in the garden

82 Green Thoughts and Green Shades By Maria Johnson The organic world of Charlie and Lois Brummitt

88 A Tale of Two Houses

By Billy Ingram A gifted Greensboro writer is sweetly haunted by the two places he called home

93 Almanac

By Rosetta Fawley Strawberry fields and garden turtles


41 The Voice of a City

65 Pappadaddy

15 Simple Life By Jim Dodson

42 Hunt & Gather

67 Birdwatch

44 Art of Design

69 A Novel Year

47 Studio Life

98 Arts Calendar 117 Worth the Drive to High Point

18 Short Stories 21 Doodad By Grant Britt 23 O.Harry By Harry Blair 25 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 27 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen Smith 31 Scuppernong Bookshelf 35 NC Gallery By Nancy Oakley

By Benjamin Briggs By Noah Salt

By Annie Ferguson By Robin Sutton Anders

51 Gate City Journal By Billy Ingram

57 Threads

By Waynette Goodson


Life of Jane By Jane Borden

63 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye

By Clyde Edgerton By Susan Campbell By Wiley Cash

By Nancy Oakley

119 GreenScene 127 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

128 O.Henry Ending By Deanna Thompson

Cover Photograph by Bert VanderVeen

8 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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M A G A Z I N E Volume 6, 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@thepilot.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • andie@thepilot.com Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • nancy@ohenrymag.com Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich, Debra Regula, Bert VanderVeen Contributors Robin Sutton Anders, Benjamin Briggs, Grant Britt, Serena Brown, Jane Borden, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Clyde Edgerton, Terri Kirby Erickson, Billy Eye, Rosetta Fawley, Annie Ferguson, Waynette Goodson, Ross Howell, Jr., Billy Ingram, Sarah King, John Loecke, Meridith Martens, Jason Oliver Nixon, Ogi Overman, Stephen Smith, Astrid Stellanova, Deanna Thompson David Claude Bailey, Editor at Large


David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Director 336.707.6893, marty@ohenrymag.com Lisa Bobbitt, Sales Assistant 336.617.0090, ohenryadvertising@thepilot.com Brad Beard, Graphic Designer

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Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 • hattie@ohenrymag.com Lisa Allen, 336.210.6921 • lisa@ohenrymag.com Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 • amy@ohenrymag.com Circulation Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Subscriptions 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2016. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

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12 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Š2015 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.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity.

Simple Life

A Gardener’s Blessing By Jim Dodson

It’s raining this morning, a Sunday in April.

Few things, meteorologically speaking, make me happier. Sunday is my favorite day, soft rain a gardener’s blessing. Together, rainy Sundays make the world a smaller, quieter place, encouraging some hardworking folks — my beautiful wife, let’s say — to burrow a bit longer under covers before she’s roused by the muddy-pawed dogs to mount one of her famous Sabbathday breakfasts, with time allowed for good behavior to read the morning paper front to back, to talk of small things and savor a peace that passeth weekday understanding. For me, rainy Sundays stir involuntary memories, much the way an ovenwarm madeleine did the poet Proust. The steady drip of my very green terrace garden reminds me of solitary days of childhood living in a succession of the small sleepy Southern towns where my father worked at the newspaper and my brother and I were pretty much left to roam the surrounding world untethered. We were rarely inside the house, boxcar children growing wild. First there was Gulfport, where my mother and I would walk the broad flat beach in the evening collecting interesting shells and looking out for approaching storms over the vast Gulf of Mexico, a body of water that was often as still as bathw water but reportedly coughed up more diverse kinds of shells than any other ocean. A mountainous press foreman named Tiny Earl, who worked at the small newspaper my father owned with a silent partner, informed me that we lived in “Hurricane Alley” and predicted that any day now a “killer” hurricane could churn up out of the Gulf to wreak incredible devastation. I was thrilled at this prospect and soon wrote off to the National Geographic Society for an official Hurricane Watch kit that included a special map of hurricane patterns and a preparation guide, plus membership card and a pair of special yellow binoculars bearing the logo of the NGS. A few impressive storms did boil out of the Gulf during the three years we lived across the street from the state beach, bringing curtains of rain and wind and lightning but disappointingly no named hurricanes that I could later declare that I not only witnessed but somehow survived. That distinction would come half a century later when Hurricane Katrina wiped away that whole section of the coast and probably our old house with it. Still, my earliest memory of life save for those evening shell hunts with

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

my pregnant mother was the sound of quiet Sunday morning rain dripping from the eaves of our house as I sat in a cardboard moving box on its broad front porch leafing through illustrated adventure books I could almost read. My mother lost her baby the same week my father lost his newspaper owing to a partner who favored fancy linen suits and cleaned out the paper’s bank accounts before running off to Mexico or Cuba after his Kiwanis luncheon with the shapely cigarette girl from a downtown hotel. We wound up for eighteen months living by Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, where the weather either seemed blazingly hot and sunny or moodily cool and rainy. I learned to swim in the little lagoon by the bridge to Wrightsville Beach on a rainy Sunday after church, dog paddling about while a sudden shower freckled the still surface of the water. I also learned to ride a bicycle that year, 1958, pedaling shakily along the oyster-shelled foot paths of Airlie Gardens and the paved sidewalks around Greenfield Lake, my tires singing on the wet pavement. After my mother’s second miscarriage, we spent a strangely wonderful year living in Florence, South Carolina, where my father worked at the newspaper and my mother was nursed back to health by a kind and wonderful black woman named Jesse May Richardson, who looked after my brother and me during the week and always checked in on us after her own church services on Sunday. Jesse May taught my mother about garden plants and how to cook “real” Southern food, and me to feet dance by lifting me up by my skinny whiteboy arms and lowering me onto her own sensible shoes, shimmying us around the floor while dinner cooked on the stove and gospel music played from her transistor radio sitting in the kitchen window. It was Miss Jesse May who first informed me that rain is holy, the Lord’s way of making the world grow and prosper, so never complain about a rainy day, one of many things she told me — often quite bossily at times — including that no civilized child ever removes his shoes in a public place, certainly not a grocery store, no matter how hot the day outside happens to be or how cool the tiled floor underfoot. It rained the Sunday we went to see Miss Jesse May in the colored wing of the Florence Memorial Hospital. My parents refused to tell my brother and me what was wrong with her. We came straight from church. It was midwinter, gray and misty. My mother took her bright spring flowers from the florist shop near the newspaper, and she seemed pleased we’d come. Her funeral a week later was held at a Baptist Church, on a bright sunny May 2016

O.Henry 15

Simple Life

day. I believe that was Saturday. On Sunday it rained. My mother said that was just Miss Jesse May watering our garden. Within weeks, we moved home to Greensboro, where I joined Miss Chamberlain’s second grade class at Braxton Craven Elementary. That week we were asked to bring a poem to class and read it aloud. I chose Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Rain,” a simple ditty lodged in my head to this day. The rain is raining all around, It falls on field and trees, It rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea. Artist’s Rendering

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May 2016

His message seems clear. Rain feeds the Earth and oceans and connects us all to each other. But Miss Jesse May was right, too. Rain is holy, perhaps the holiest of waters, blessed by a much higher authority than a mere priest in robes, the farmer’s best friend, the poet’s perfect metaphor. Why else is water mentioned just thirty-nine words into the Book of Genesis, even before the Almighty made light to separate the day from night, even before He made land and stars, the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and man. We bathe in water, we baptize new life with it; rainwater washes away dust, cleanses city windows and the windows of the soul; makes the world green and forever new. In Judaic, Moslem and even some Christian beliefs, Sunday is considered the first day of the week. In broader Christianity, however, it is the Lord’s Day of rest, a final day of the week, Sabbathday: meant to be honored by doing little more than resting and making prayers of Thanksgiving. The name “Sunday” derives from pre-Christian Hellenic astrology and was considered to be the “Day of the Sun” celebrated by ancient Romans, a pagan symbol of light eventually adopted by emerging Christian culture. For this reason, many early Christian churches were constructed so worshippers faced East, the direction of the rising sun. In 312, after Christ reportedly appeared to him in a dream the night before a battle against his leading rival, Rome’s Emperor Constantine officially legalized Christianity and, legend holds, converted to the new religion himself. Nine years later he decreed the Day of the Sun to be a day of rest for everyone, extending a lone exemption to gardening types. “Persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.” Seventeen centuries later, any self-respecting weekend gardener fully grasps the Emperor’s logic on the matter, which explains why on rainy Sunday mornings, lest the bounty of heaven be lost, I’m prone to skip church in favor of getting gloriously wet and dirty in my garden. Besides, as the Dorothy Frances Gurney ditty that stood on a standard in my mother’s voluptuous peonies for decades sagely reminded, one is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on the Earth. I take that fully to heart, aiming to wring every earthly pleasure possible out of a long rainy Sunday. Following garden work and a nice hot shower comes a guilt-free nap, time with a good book or an old movie, an evening walk with wife and dogs and an early supper — in short, the perfect way to start, or conclude, a busy week. If one happens to drift off to sleep with the sound of soft rain purling in the gutters the way it did in those far-away years on a porch, with the faintest rumble of distant thunder hinting at hurricanes that never quite arrive, all the better. Such is a true bounty of Heaven. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Short Stories

Scotch Guardians

By the yon bonnie banks of Bryan Park on May 6, the whine of bagpipes will fill the air and rattle the earth for the calling of the clans to the Triad Highland Games. Watch the parade of kilts and sporrans, and stick around for some lively tunes from Barleyjuice and Syr. The following day enjoy more piping and drumming, heavy athletics, such as tossing the caber and — new this year — a longbow archery competition. There’ll be Irish and Scottish dancing, a jam tent for players and fans of gaelic music and herding exercises by border collies. If, after all is said and done, you’re still Scot to Trot, then head over to yon bonnie braes of Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem for what else? The Bethabara Highland Games on May 13 and 14 for more Highland Hijinks. Info: triadhighlandgames.org; cityofws.org.

Food Fight

Musique and Ye Shall Find

Or trouver, as the French would say. And you’ll find plenty to discover as Greensboro Symphony winds up its 2015–16 season at Dana Auditorium (5800 West Friendly Avenue) with the romantic, springlike sounds of French composers. On May 12 and 14, the Tanger Outlets Masterworks series presents “French Masterworks,” an evening in which Ukranian pianist Inna Faliks tackles Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (not technically français, but still amour-inspiring). The evening’s French favorites include Ravel’s lively Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Debussy’s ethereal La Mer and yet more Ravel, the Daphnis and Chloé Suite No. 2. Allez-y! Tickets: (336) 335-5456, ext. 224 or ticketmaster.com.

Market Streets

Brewers, bakers, candlestick makers launch the unofficial start of summer with the open air City Market on May 19 in downtown’s South End district. From 6–9 p.m. on every third Thursday through August, shake your groove thing to live music while munching on fresh eats served up from food trucks, sipping frosties on tap from local brewers and perusing the embarrassment of riches for sale from artisans showcasing pottery, jewelry, textiles and more. The point, of course, is to strengthen the bonds of community. Come together, right now! Info: gsocitymarket.com.

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May 2016

Knives are drawn. Grills are fired. The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a statewide contest showcasing the best food, produce and culinary masters, got underway last month in Durham and comes to the Triad this month in Winston-Salem (May 22, 23 and 25). The action moves to Greensboro next month (June 20, 21 and 23). See your favorite chefs go toque-to-toque — and in an all new format that allows, for the first time, chefs from different restaurants to partner together to create a combined All-Star Dream Team, where the creative whole might just be better than the sum of its parts. The winner? You, who get to sample a total of twelve courses. Still not sated? Follow the competition to Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington before the Battle of Champions at year’s end. Info and tickets: competitiondining.com.


It’s Historic Preservation Month, and to commemorate it, the High Point Museum is offering a series of lectures. This year’s theme is the preservation of family heirlooms and memories, with sessions every Tuesday in May at 3 p.m. at the museum (1859 East Lexington Avenue) and 6 p.m. at the High Point Library’s Morgan Room (901 North Main Street). Start with the essentials — protecting paper objects such as birth and death certificates, journals and photographs (5/3) and graduate to preserving textiles, from needlepoint samplers to children’s clothing (5/10). Winding up the series are talks on how to take care of woods and metals (5/17) and restoring your precious items from wind, fire or water damage (5/24) — all useful tools for keeping the past present and presentable. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

Neighborhood Watch

. . . and walk. As if the Tour of Historic Homes & Gardens in Old Irving Park weren’t enough (see page 41), Preservation Greensboro is pulling out the stops for its fiftieth anniversary with glimpses of several neighborhoods throughout the Gate City. Don your walking dogs on May 4 for the Fisher Park Walking Tour, in which you’ll learn how the area became one of N.C.’s principal streetcar suburbs and see the works of stonemason Andrew Leopold Schlosser (yep, the same Schlosser whose great-grandson — Jim — is an editor emeritus of this publication). You’ll be inspired to rack up miles on your pedometer for treks through Sunset Hills (5/11), Old Greensborough (5/18), Lindley Park (5/25), Westerwood (6/1), Downtown (6/8 and 6/29), College Hill (6/15) and Summit Avenue (6/22). All tours are free and begin at 7 p.m. rain or shine. Info: preservationgreensboro.org.

Photograph by Lynn Donovan, photographs courtesy of preservation greensboro. Bill Traylor, “Blue Rabbit Running”, The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation.

The Naturals

One shined shoes in a barbershop, another lived on a farm. They used cardboard, charcoal, pastels or even soot to create. Self-taught artists are becoming more widely accepted as Weatherspoon’s new exhibit, Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation reveals. Exploring the works of James Castle, Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Bill Traylor and Willie Young, the exhibit reveals five distinctive styles among the autodidacts. Though lacking in formal training, each possessed distinctive visions that have secured their reputations as contemporary artists . . . who stir the souls of anyone lucky enough to see their creations. Info: weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Comic-con GSO

Free lunch? Who needs it? Free comics? Can’t live without ’em! At 10 a.m. on May 7 Acme Comics (2150 Lawndale Drive) opens its doors for Free Comic Book Day. Queue up to receive a bag of books, grouped according to age appropriateness, and please be specific whether you’d like volumes for all ages, teens or mature readers. The first fifty patrons will receive an official Free Comic Book Day 2016 book. Then, queue up again to receive a free sketch from the artist of your choice, whether Thomas Boatwright (Cemetery Blues), Erica Henderson (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) or Tradd Moore (Strange Talent), among others. Can’t make “Comic-con GSO”? No worries, O.Henry is here to fill the void with a POW-erful story about local talent and Marvel artist Randy Green. Just turn to page 51. Info: acmecomics.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A case could be made that May is the sweetest month of the year. The flowers are in full bloom, the weather is past cool but not yet sweltering, and love is in the air. And so is music, plenty of it, indoors and out. So feel the love and get yourself to a show. Don’t ask, “May I,” just do it.

• May 5, Carolina Theatre: Back before the word “Americana” was even coined, Leftover Salmon was its premier practitioner. They were that rarest of bands that could unite Deadheads, yuppies, grassers, boomers, and good ol’ boys wearing CAT hats and bib overalls. Still can. • May 7, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: Close your eyes and you’ll swear that’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, et al. onstage. California quartet Zoso is the closest you’ll come to Led Zep. As tribute acts go, these guys are the cream of the crop, giving out a whole lotta love every night. • May 14, High Point Theatre: If a cappella gospel harmony is your thing, prepare for chill bumps on top of chill bumps. Grammy-winning and many-times-nominated Sweet Honey in the Rock carry the message in both five-part harmony and sign language. Preach, ladies, preach. • May 21, Barber Park: OK, I know he fooled around and fell in love, but Elvin Bishop is a bluesman at his core and in his heart. And he’ll prove it by headlining the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s 30thirtieth annual Carolina Blues Festival.

May 2016

O.Henry 19


Music in the Air The Levitt AMP Series Livens Up Barber Park

By Grant Britt

If the dearth

of cutting-edge musical events in the Gate City over the last couple of decades has been giving you fits, you can stop thrashing around and foaming at the mouth; there is hope for a cure. In the past year, Greensboro has been undergoing a much-needed musical Renaissance. The three-year annual residency of the National Folk Festival has transformed the city’s musical and cultural landscape, and innovative booking from the Cone Denim Entertainment Center and Triad Acoustic Stage is bringing top-notch talent to town on a regular basis.

Now a new player has joined the mix. Starting in May, the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series brings an eclectic (and multi-ethnic) mix of local, regional and national talent to the amphitheater at what was once Southeast Park. Renamed in 1989 after black Greensboro city councilman Jimmie I. Barber, the park is on eastern Gate City Boulevard near interstate 40/85 and features a popular children’s sprayground and garden, an indoor sports pavilon and disc golf. The lineup of concerts has been created by a grant from the Levitt Foundation, curated by ArtsGreensboro. The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation was initiated in 1963 by Mortimer and Mimi Levitt to support the arts, culture and education. Mortimer Levitt founded Levitt’s Custom Shop in Brooklyn, specializing in custom-tailored shirts for gentlemen. After becoming a millionaire, he and his wife became philanthropists, building permanent outdoor pavilions to host free concerts in nine cites. “They realized there was a huge demand for more free concert programing in smaller communities where it wouldn’t make sense for them to build a whole pavilion,” says Spencer Conover, ArtsGreensboro’s special assistant to the president. Creating the Levitt AMP (Amplify Music and Places) Grant Awards, they pioneered the idea of free live music to bring people together in common spaces in cities to reinvigorate neglected or underused spaces. “ArtsGreensboro thought the amphitheater at Barber Park was a perfect fit,” Conover continues. The foundation agreed. “We were one of fifteen cities to receive a $25 thousand matching grant to produce a free, 10-week outdoor music series,” he says. The Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Series kicks off May 1 with the Greensboro United House of Prayer For All People Trombone Shout Band, (a.k.a. The Bailey Heavenly Sounds) supported by an appearance from the Gate City Divas (Shiela Klinefelter, Kristy Jackson, Melva Houston, Lauren Myers, Allison King, Virginia Masius, Julie Bean and Robin Doby). Sunday May 8 features the Greensboro-based Africa Unplugged, led by multiinstrumentalist Atiba Rorie. Conover describes the group as “a highly percussive

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

band that does West African pop and contemporary American pop with a West African tilt.” Richmond, Virginia’s nine-piece, punky, Afro-Cuban Salsa servers Bio Ritmo is also on the bill. The May 15 show heats up with the scalding blues guitar of Tom Principato, as a part of the Healing Blues Project . The Carolina Blues Festival occupies the next Barber Park slot, but the following week, May 28, is a spoken word and hip-hop night, showcasing The Poetry Cafe featuring Abyss and the UpRite Lions. The Poetry Cafe, led by ArtsGreensboro board member Josephus Thompson III, is a monthly open mic night at various locations that welcomes spoken word, dance and singing participants. On May 29, N.C. composer, arranger and percussionist Larry Q. Vaughn and R&B songstress Carolyn Malachi serve up some smooth grooves, while Logie Meachum pays musical homage to the impact of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, pulling musicians from around the city and state (June 4). June 12 pairs up with Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park series for the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra with Nishah DiMeo on vocals. June 19 is another MUSEP co-presenting night, with Winston-Salem–based country artist Caleb Caudle, who got nationwide attention with last year’s music video “Trade All The Lights,” featuring Lydia Loveless. Caudle opens for the Houston-based, ten-piece soul band The Suffers, presenting a unique take on soul music they call Gulf Coast Soul. Thursday, June 30, brings a West Africa pop/West African dance night featuring Super Yamba Band, Greensboro natives who have become successful, full-time musicians in Brooklyn. “People in Greensboro may remember them as The Brand New Life featuring at least four musicians who learned music through Grimsley High School Music/Kaiser Middle School Band Program,” Conover says. They’ll play a set of what he describes as a “more retro’70s” in the tradition of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, “an original Afrobeat sound, very jazzy, kinda funky, psychedelic,” Conover says. Then, Senegal’s Diali Cissokho and his band Kaira Ba will take the stage. “Diali plays the kora [lute-bridge-harp with twentyone strings] and sings,” says Conover. “Diali is very poppy Senegal, West African kora-led. His music is very melodic, beautiful voice, great rhythms.” At press time, the remaining date, July 9, was an unconfirmed Americana/folk act. Conover describes the casting process as “a lot of asking around for recommendations, looking at lineups of different festivals, thinking about genres we wanted to feature.” He also approached local artists with a proactive pitch. “‘We got an idea. Are you interested? Can you run with this?’” he remembers asking them, explaining, “Those are some good ways that we wanted to engage the community.” The Levitt/AMP series will be a great tonic for the Gate City doldrums, and the timing is perfect. Now when somebody asks what you did on your summer vacation, you can say, “I stayed home, and loved it.” OH Info: artsgreensboro.org May 2016

O.Henry 21

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 23

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Life’s Funny

Stuck on Glue Smile when you say that, mister

By Maria Johnson

Recently, I bought a gun.

I’d been thinking about it for a long time. The thing that pushed me over the edge was jewelry. I figured I would need a hot-glue gun to make a flowerpot decorated with old costume jewelry. This is probably a good time to say that, historically speaking, I’m not The Craftiest One. A friend once told me this story: Another woman admired a fabric gift bag that my friend had bought at a neighborhood crafts fair. The woman said, “Who made that?” And my friend said, “Maria.” And the woman said, “Maria?” And my friend said, “Yeah.” And the woman said, “Ma-REE-ah?” And my friend said, “Yeah.” And the woman said, “Maria Johnson?” And my friend said, “Oh God, no. The other Maria.” Like I said, not The Craftiest One. But I’m always trying to stretch myself, so when I came across some old costume jewelry, my first thought was, “What if I hot-glued some of that to a terra cotta pot and put a plant in it?” It was a real Etsy moment, and I honestly can’t explain it, especially considering that I didn’t own a hot-glue gun at the time. So off I went to a craft superstore to find one. To be honest with you, I usually avoid craft superstores because 1) the smell of potpourri gives me a headache and 2) the overwhelming array of stuff gives me the spooky feeling that someone has gathered every single item I’ve ever purged from a junk drawer and repackaged it with the goal of selling it back to me. Shells, screws, marbles, buttons, wires, corks, keys, colored pencils — they’re all there, gleaming in cellophane packets and ready for re-introduction to society. Still, these stores have huge selections. Sure enough, I found myself standing before the biggest hot-glue arsenal you’ve ever seen. I mean, you have no idea how much adhesion is out there, readily available. For anyone who doesn’t know, a hot-glue gun is an electric gun that shoots hot glue. Actually, oozes hot glue would be a better description. Basically, you put bullets of solid glue into the chamber, and the gun heats up the slugs, liquefying the glue, and making it possible for people like me to create things that will land in a junk drawer until they disintegrate, at which time we will throw them away, only to purchase them later, re-packaged, in a craft superstore. Now, a cynic might say, “Why do you need a hot-glue gun in the first place? Back in my day, we addressed these things with Elmer’s in our fists.” And I would say, “Look, if something comes loose in my house the middle of the night, I want to be able to fix it — permanently.” And a cynic might say, “How often does that happen?” And I would say, “Listen, when only serious crafters have hot-glue guns, the rest of us will be stuck” — or something equally clever. No, I was gonna get a hot-glue gun. But which one?

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Would it be the sleek model with a “stable stand-up base” and “two-finger trigger for easy control”? Or the “easy-to-share hybrid cordless model” with rechargeable batteries? Or perhaps the “ultimate cordless dual-temperature model . . . for the crafter who wants the unique feel and size of a higher performance glue gun.” I picked up the top-of-the-line model. I liked the heft of it. Nothing would come unglued with this baby was around. Then I saw the price, which was ten times the cost of the smaller models at the bottom of the rack. I decided a Saturday-afternoon special would do. But what about the ammo? Should I get the standard 4-inch glue slugs? Or the 10-inch slugs, which are pretty impressive, considering that they’re longer than the guns themselves? I was pondering this when another woman joined me at the ammo counter. She looked crafty enough, so I said, “Excuse me. Can you tell me the advantage of the 10-inch slugs?” And she said these exact words to me: “You don’t have to stop to reload as much.” And I said, “OK . . . Well, where do you put them? Do they just hang off the back of the gun?” She stared at me. “I’ve never owned a hot-glue gun before,” I said. “Oh,” she said. Not to mince this too finely, but it wasn’t a chipper “Oh,” as in “Oh! OK!” It was more of an “Oh,” as in “Ohhhhhhh, I seeeeeeee.” She was silent for a few seconds, then she said, “The 4-inch ones will be good enough. The worst thing that can happen is you burn yourself. The glue gets really, really hot and kind of stringy. It’ll stick to your skin, and it’s hard to get off. They used to sell finger protectors, but I don’t see them. Someone told me that mustard helps the burns. You might try that if you need to.” She started to leave, then stopped and turned around. Clearly the prospect of me wielding a hot-glue gun was weighing on her. “Maybe you can wear garden gloves,” she said kindly. Back home, I was feeling powerfully sticky. Glue gun in hand, I swaggered around looking for unsecured targets to practice on. “What’s that thing?” Jeff said. “It’s my new hot-glue gun,” I said. “God help us,” he said. “You got anything loose?” I said. “Golf club grip? Shoe sole? Briefcase handle? Radiator hose?” “No!” he said quickly. “Suit yourself, mister. But if anything gives you trouble, starts flappin’ around, call me,” I said. “I’ll remember that,” he said. I assembled some costume jewelry and went to work on my flowerpot project. I must say, it turned out pretty well. Now, if only I can get the earrings off my garden gloves. OH Maria Johnson is allowed one crafting column a year, which works out well because that’s about how often she undertakes a project. Suggest a project for 2017 by contacting her at maria@ohenrymag.com May 2016

O.Henry 25



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The Omnivorous Reader

Our Greatest Story A classic is reborn

By Stephen E. Smith

When novelist/historian

Shelby Foote neared the conclusion of his epic threevolume The Civil War: A Narrative, he was faced with the necessity of transporting his readers as well as the subjects of his history, the Civil War veterans, from Reconstruction into the mid-twentieth century. He’d already produced nearly 1.4 million words (all of them written with a dip pen on unruled paper) so it was imperative that he create a transitional passage that was factual, succinct and visual. What he wrote was one of the finest sentences in American English: “Once a year at least — aside, that is, from regimental banquets and mass reunions, attended more and more sparsely by middle-aged, then old, then incredibly ancient men who dwindled finally to a handful of octogenarian drummer boys, still whiskered for the most part in a cleanshaven world that had long since passed them by — these survivors got together to honor their dead.” What’s remarkable about the above sentence is it’s not remarkable in the

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

context of the narrative. It doesn’t draw particular attention to its epigrammatic, informational, and transitional excellence. What it does is emphasize a simple truth: Shelby Foote was incapable of writing a bad sentence. The final volume of The Civil War was published in 1974, and the trilogy has sold briskly ever since, with a surge in sales during the airing of Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary The Civil War, in which Foote made ninety appearances. The resulting book sales made Foote a millionaire. So what’s new with a publication that’s been sitting on bookstore shelves for over forty years? The Modern Library has made available a new hardback edition, a boxed set, of Foote’s masterwork that includes a ninety-page booklet of criticism and biography, American Homer: Reflections on Shelby Foote, and his classic The Civil War: A Narrative, edited by Jon Meacham. The small book focuses on Foote’s life as a writer and on the strengths and weaknesses of the trilogy, with a smattering of the correspondence between Foote and his lifelong friend novelist Walker Percy thrown in for good measure (the entirety of their surviving letters is collected in The Correspondence of Shelby Foote & Walker Percy, edited by Jay Tolson). Reading the ten essays in American Homer requires that readers take a fresh look at Foote’s masterwork, its origins, literary idiosyncrasy, and compositional strategies. Since Foote considered himself first and foremost a novelist who just happened to be writing a definitive history of the central event in the American experience, there has always existed a tinge of envy on the part of academically trained historians. Foote did not include footnotes or an index with his work, thus thumbing his nose at academics, and in “History and Memory,” GordonReed quotes historian Gary Gallagher’s payback: “his [Foote’s] research did not approach what would be considered an acceptable standard among contemporary scholars, who typically spend a great deal of time combing through unpublished manuscripts.” Annette Gordon-Reed concludes that The Civil War May 2016

O.Henry 27

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is a good account “of the politics of war, but not at all a good account of the social and cultural forces surrounding the conflagration . . .” Foote is also taken to task for his admiration for Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was no doubt complicit in the massacre of black troops at Fort Pillow and would later serve as Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Moreover, Gordon-Reed maintains that Foote failed to demonstrate a humane understanding of the plight of freed blacks after Appomattox, implying that they weren’t ready for emancipation and that the former slaves themselves were the problem. In “Foote and the Problem of Race,” Michael Eric Dyson notes that Foote overcame his “ignorance” of black culture but “forgave himself his aversion to the black bourgeoisie because they did little more than imitate white folk.” These well-worn criticisms notwithstanding, readers who read the trilogy years ago might want to reread Foote’s masterpiece with an eye to appreciating anew the depth and breadth of his achievement. Not only did Foote produce a history that has remained pivotal to our popular understanding of the war, he achieved a level of excellence in storytelling that has remained unsurpassed, setting the bar high for most of the popular histories that were to follow. Stephen Ambrose, Dee Brown, Barbara Tuchman, Bernard Bailyn, David McCullough, James M. McPherson, David Hackett Fischer, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and many other historians and writers of popular histories are, in varying degrees, indebted to Foote. If revisiting The Civil War strikes readers as a guilty pleasure that distracts from the avalanche of fresh literary enticements that descend upon us daily, consult Christopher B. Nelson’s essay “Hello, Old Friend, Time to Read You Again,” which was published in The Wall Street Journal on December 15, 2015 (the essay is available online). Nelson notes that “familiar books reveal more about themselves when we attend to them anew . . . Indeed, a good book is very much like a mirror: The glass is the same year after year, but the reflection in it changes over time.” Serious readers who are approaching The Civil War for the first time are likely to find themselves enthralled by Foote’s narrative powers and enchanted by his meticulous prose. As Don Graham, chairman of the board of The Washington Post, observes in American Homer: “Enter this book at your peril. Foote took twenty years writing it. To read it takes weeks or months; bestsellers will pile up on your table as you toil through obscure battlefields in Arkansas or Florida. But you may finish it feeling that for all its obvious faults, this is the greatest telling of our greatest story, perhaps the single best work of American history. OH Stephen Smith is a poet and fiction writer who is a longtime contributor to the magazine.

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May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Scuppernong Bookshelf

Mayo-pia Mexican letters at a glance

It’s true that the most celebrated of Mexican

holidays, Cinco de Mayo is the most Americanized of Mexican holidays. In fact it is not even a national holiday in Mexico, but we celebrate this relatively minor victory by the Mexican army over French forces in 1862 with much tequila-fueled enthusiasm. This month, before the ginormous wall separates us permanently, we’ll try to review books that reflect real Mexican culture.

But let’s start with a Chilean-born writer. Roberto Bolano has written what many consider the greatest novels of the late-20th Century. The Savage Detectives (Picador, 2008. $19), first published in 1998, is an exuberant look at literary movements and political activism in and around Mexico City. Bolano’s posthumously-published 2666 (Picador, 2009. $23) is an apocalyptic take on the collapse of the 20th Century. Together, they are must reads for anyone interested in a well-rounded understanding of Mexican, and world, literature. It’s virtually impossible to speak about Mexican literature without mentioning Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo (Grove Press, 1994. $14). Referred to by Susan Sontag as “one of the masterpieces of 20th-century literature,” the novel tells the story of a man returning to his recently deceased mother’s hometown in search of his long-lost father, only to find that the city is peopled by ghosts both literal and figurative. The novel is fantastic for a host of reasons, but primarily for its structure, which is that of silences, hanging threads, truncated scenes, and even non-time. If you read only one Mexican novel, let it be this one. And then go read another. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

For all the citizenry of the United States might not know about Mexican history and literature, we can claim an intimate knowledge of Mexican cuisine. Sure, we’ve Americanized much of it, but great authentic Mexican food is readily available in most cities, and if not, The Mexico Cookbook, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (Phaidon, 2014. $49.95), will encourage you to turn your own kitchen into a restaurante. It’s a beautifully designed cookbook with dozens of full-page, full-color photos (the queso corazon en salsa verde photo is literally mouth-watering), and at 700 pages it’s well-worth the price. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel (Anchor, 1995. $15) is set during the tumult of the Mexican Revolution but remains intimate in scope. It is a tale of forbidden love worthy of any soap opera, yet written in gorgeous, inventive prose that will leave you wanting more. The novel is the story of Tita, who is doomed to remain unmarried, watching as her lover marries her sister. Trapped by her family, she can only express her true feelings for him through her unique ability to pour her emotions into the food she prepares. There’s nothing inherently Mexican about the plot of Guadalupe Nettel’s slim new novel The Body Where I Was Born (Seven Stories Press, 2015. $22.95). Over the course of 130 or so pages, an unnamed narrator with an ocular deformity and a troubling fascination with insects recounts the events of her troubled life to a silent psychoanalyst. Readers of César Aira who enjoy the writer’s subtle, disorienting blending of the factual and the fantastical will find themselves right at home with Nettel’s work. For a good analysis of recent Mexican political history, we recommend Jo Tuckman’s Mexico: Democracy Interrupted (Yale, 2012. $38). Tuckman argues that an opportunity for real change was lost after the 2000 election of Vincente Fox overthrew the long-standing corruption of the PRI government. Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, Elena Poniatowska . . . the list goes on. Spend the month in literary Mexico and call it a vacation without the irritation of sunscreen. May 2016

O.Henry 31

Take Yourself-ie Downtown. SEE AND BE SEEN WITH # DGSOSelfie

Kathy & Daniel Craft Greensboro, NC

Get the lowdown on Downtown Greensboro and share your favorite downtown moments by posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #DGSOSelfie (or you can email them to Selfies@downtowngreensboro.net). Your posts may get you featured in our upcoming ads and social media feeds! By sharing your photos, you allow Downtown Greensboro Inc (DGI) to use them for the purpose of advertising. Photos will only be used by DGI and the City of Greensboro. 2016 DOWNTOWN GREENSBORO INCORPORATED

32 O.Henry

May 2016


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Bookshelf EXCITING NEW BOOKS FOR MAY 2016: MAY 3: Zero K, by Don DeLillo (Scribner. $26). One of America’s great novelists weighs the darkness of world terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague against the beauty and humanity of everyday life. MAY 10: The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes (Knopf. $25.95). Julian Barnes’ s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize winning The Sense of an Ending explores the life of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. MAY 17: Joe Gould’s Teeth, by Jill Lepore (Knopf. $24.95). Lepore tries to solve one of the great literary mysteries: what happened to the lost manuscript of The Oral History of Our Time (assuming it ever existed). MAY 31: Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub (Riverhead. $26) From the author of The Vacationers comes the story of friends aged by having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. OH The Scuppernong Bookshelf was written by Brian Etling, Shannon Jones and Brian Lampkin.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 33

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34 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Little Shop that Could

NC Gallery

How Greensboro’s Iconic The Art Shop has preserved the city’s visual past and expanded its footprint with a new North Carolina Collection

By Nancy Oakley

Art is long and life is short, goes the old max-

im, and The Art Shop is lucky to have both. Established in 1899, the large brick structure dominating a strip mall near the intersection of Market Street and Holden Road touts itself as the second oldest business in Greensboro (after Schiffman’s, founded in 1893). “We made it through a couple of wars and a Depression and everything else,” says Andy McAfee, the gallery’s proud co-owner.

He and his former wife April bought the store a little over a year ago when longtime owners Lenny and Arlene Dolin were ready to retire. With a background in art marketing, McAfee had come to the Art Shop in 1997 after a fiveyear stint with William Mangum and ushered the enterprise into the digital age in 1998 by establishing its first website. In the ensuing eighteen years, he tipped the balance of the gallery’s primary function as a framing service to selling the works of internationally renowned artists such as Pino Daeni, Thomas Arvid, known for his canvases of wine bottles, even Dr. Seuss. McAfee says he ships about 75 percent of the gallery’s artworks out of state, or out of the country. But these days, his focus is directed closer to home. Standing on newly installed hardwood floors in a sunny annex, McAfee pauses before a painting titled New Horizons, a rendering of NewBridge Bank Park when it opened as First Horizons Park about ten years ago. The artist is Mike Helsabeck, a fellow alum The Art & Soul of Greensboro

from McAfee’s alma mater of App State, and just one of several artists across the Old North State whose works will fill the Art Shop’s new North Carolina Gallery, opening this month. McAfee notes another large canvas by Phillip Philbeck, a Western N.C. painter whose Greensboro cityscapes will anchor the new space. Moments later, he produces a small watercolor by Gate City resident Ken Hobson, one of a number of artists “who are doing little vignettes of Greensboro,” McAfee says. Moving through nooks and alcoves, he points to mountain scenes, coastal tableaus, even a painting of an Italian courtyard, explaining that the new gallery’s offerings don’t necessarily depict scenes from around the state, as long as the artists have N.C. ties. He talks of one day hosting juried shows and, reflecting on the gallery’s trajectory, McAfee seems incredulous. “It’s kind of amazing we’ve been doing this over a hundred years as a small retail gallery,” he muses. Amazing when one stops to consider that The Art Shop began life 117 years ago farther down West Market Street downtown, as Andrews Art Store. According to McAfee, who has meticulously researched the history of his operation, the store went through a couple of subsequent owners and around 1910 it became known by its current name. “I think there was one in Charlotte, so we’re probably the only Art Shop left,” he says, explaining that generic-sounding monikers for commercial enterprises were common at the turn of the 20th century, and that The Art Shop (which, for a short period was combined with The Book Shop), “was synonymous with anything to do with art and photography and framing.” As a mounted advertisement from 1916 suggests: “Better prepared and more determined than ever to give you the best possible effects in picture framing. Try us,” it reads. By 1930, The Art Shop’s most famous owner took the helm. Charles Farrell, May 2016

O.Henry 35

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36 O.Henry

May 2016

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a Yadkin County native, had started out in commercial photography in Winston-Salem, and after working for the Reynolds family and later EastmanKodak, came to the Greensboro Daily News as the paper’s first staff photographer. He documented practically everything in the burgeoning Gate City: aerial views, the construction of War Memorial Stadium and other downtown buildings, plays, local sports teams, graduating high school classes, and of course, his new studio. In one black-and-white shot, its awning waves amid bustling downtown foot traffic; in another, its storefront window advertises the store’s stock of art supplies (which The Art Shop stopped selling in the late 1980s) with rows of painted trays and dishes, and tooled leather wallets. But perhaps


NC Gallery


Farrell is best known for his work for the University of North Carolina Press, in particular, the popular children’s book Tobe (see sidebar). The Art Shop had various downtown addresses until 1973, when it moved to its current location, though the building that housed it was torn down and replaced by the more recent, but still iconic storefront. In addition to acquiring and selling art, the gallery is still a go-to source for framing (it has the largest mounting press in the state) art installations for clients such as the Rizzo Conference Center in Chapel Hill (180 rooms’ worth, according to McAfee) and restoring damaged paintings and photographs. “It’s important to us,” says McAfee, referring to his team of longtime colleagues that include April, gallery manger Janelle Di Lizio and Chris Taylor, who heads up the production department. McAfee frequently talks to garden clubs, Kiwanis clubs and other civic organizations to counsel the public on how to care for their treasures and often brings back to life paintings and photographs damaged in fires, floods or simply worn from the march of time. “We rehung the elders at First Presbyterian,” he says of a collection of portraits of the church’s pastors that had deteriorated. “All 220 of them.” It’s a continuation of the legacy that Charles The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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O.Henry 37

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38 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

NC Gallery Farrell started with his myriad photographs that preserve moments in Greensboro’s rise during the 20th century. Through restoration work McAfee and his team are preserving the city’s past while expanding the Art Shop’s footprint with its new North Carolina collection. He stops at the central foyer across from the shop’s main entrance, where a piece from Randleman potter Joseph Sand — a feature with running water — will stand and eagerly looks forward to acquiring another Philbeck painting of the Nathanael Greene statue that stands in the traffic circle at Greene and McGee Streets. In it, the sculpture of the city’s namesake is seen from behind, the Lincoln Financial building stands to the right, both set against the background of a sherbet-colored sunset. What better illustration for Greensboro’s transformation in the 21st century, for a gallery with new plans — and the enduring power of art? Timeless Tobe Inscribed to Ann Young — a reminder of the South she has just left. Chas. Farrell June 29, 1939 So reads the neatly written inscription on the now-worn inside cover of the children’s book Tobe, first published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1939. It was a gift to my mother, Ann Young, who, owing to my grandfather’s job transfer, had moved from Greensboro to the New Jersey the year of the book’s first printing. Written by a Hillsborough schoolteacher, Stella Gentry Sharpe, it tells the story of an African-American child, Tobe, who lives on a small farm with his family. The illustrations are striking black-and-white photographs taken by Art Shop owner and Greensboro Daily News photographer Charles Farrell. Their appeal, like the story, is timeless. During our childhood in postwar Greensboro, my sisters and I spent many an

hour poring over the book’s 121 pages. True, Tobe’s rural world of 1930s segregated South was a far cry from our middle-class suburban life — we didn’t feed chickens or ride a mule (though both sounded exciting) — but something about the story reached across the decades. Like Tobe, we, went to school and to church, considered our dog a “playmate,” (who, incidentally chewed part of the book’s spine), and found we had more similarities than differences with the book’s titular character. We shared his fear of snakes, dressed up for Halloween, made ice cream in the summers and looked forward to “candy and nuts and oranges and toys” at Christmastime. Obviously, legions of other young readers felt similarly: Tobe, says current Art Shop owner Andy McAfee, has sold about half a million copies and continues to be a best-seller. The current paperback edition with a generic cover, alongside maps and other souvenir books about N.C., will be on the shelves in The Art Shop’s North Carolina Gallery gallery, which opens on May 7.— N.O. OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry.

SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2016 8 a.m. Benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank, Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministries of High Point THE PIEDMONT TRIAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT will host its seventh annual 5K/10K ON THE RUNWAY• SATURDAY, JUNE 4, at 8:00 a.m. on the airport’s 5L/23R 9,000-foot runway. This certified run is being held to fight hunger in the Triad. For more information and registration, please visit www.ptirun.com


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 39





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40 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Voice of a City

Saving Graces Preservation Greensboro turns 50

By Benjamin Briggs

May is National Historic Preservation Month,

Photograph by John Gessner, photograph courtesy of benjamin briggs

and with an architectural legacy as rich as that enjoyed by Guilford County, it is no wonder that the historic preservation movement is stronger and more vibrant today than it was fifty years ago when Preservation Greensboro was founded. Preservation has become part and parcel of our community’s soul.

Home-grown historians such as Reverend Eli Carruthers and Sallie Stockard long ago planted the seed among our citizenry that “Old Guilford” was one of the premier sites of Carolina back-country settlers. A reader of their essays quickly realizes that we’re living somewhere steeped in a rich historical legacy. Our first local preservationist was Letitia Morehead Walker, daughter of Governor Morehead, who joined with other capable women to serve as the vice regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Formed in 1856, the association saved George Washington’s home in what is often celebrated as America’s first preservation initiative. Perhaps following her lead, citizens rallied alongside Judge David Schenck to save the Revolutionary War battleground at Guilford Courthouse in 1887. Encouraged by a growing awareness of the importance of preserving sites and places close to our community’s heart, early 20th-century initiatives included innovative reuse projects such as the preservation of the Weir-Jordan House on Edgeworth Street that found new life as headquarters for the Greensboro Woman’s Club in 1921, and turning the old First Presbyterian Church complex on Summit Avenue into a civic center (today’s Greensboro Historical Museum) in 1938. Greensboro’s own mother-daughter team Maude Moore Latham and May Gordon Latham Kellenberger led efforts to reconstruct Tryon Palace in New Bern from 1952–59. But it was 1966 that proved to be the pivotal year in Greensboro’s preservation history, as citizens cultivated one of the state’s first citywide networks of likeminded preservationists by establishing the Greensboro Preservation Society, now known as Preservation Greensboro. Citizens sought to promote a constant, authoritative — and what’s so very important, a mainstream — voice for saving our community’s historic and architectural treasures. Our crowning and enduring achievement is the grassroots effort to preserve and maintain Blandwood, the

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

home place of Governor John Motley Morehead. As the only historic building recognized as a National Historic Landmark in Guilford County, it stands as the oldest extant example of a towered Tuscan Villa in the United States. It was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York, and the original plans for Blandwood are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. Little by little over the years, a climate of introspection has developed so that it has become part of the community conscience to understand, celebrate and preserve Greensboro’s built environment. Early initiatives revolved around single properties, such as the Jefferson Standard Building, listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and the Bumpass-Troy House in College Hill, listed in 1977. Within a few years, residents developed an appetite for less traditional historic sites, including Wafco Mills, an industrial roller mill near College Hill, listed to the National Register in 1979, and the central Fire Station on North Davie Street, listed in 1980. Citizens also developed an interest for designation of locally administered historic districts that provided design review. Beginning with the College Hill Historic District in 1980 and followed by the designation of Fisher Park in 1982 and the Summit Avenue/Aycock neighborhood in 1984, the city began to temper new construction that threatened the graceful scale of our oldest neighborhoods. In 1988, an important instrument was established to facilitate reinvestment in historic properties. The Revolving Fund (today known as the Development Fund) was established as a mechanism to address preservation of key properties that might not be saved by the open market. Among its earliest initiatives was the purchase of the circa 1845 Bumpass-Troy House in College Hill. Slated for demolition, this antebellum gem was sold, with preservation easements, at a reduced cost to a couple who converted it to a bed and breakfast (euphoniously renamed the Troy-Bumpas Inn) using conventional financing. This process of acquisition and resale has been replicated in Glenwood, Fisher Park, South Greensboro, and College Hill over the past twenty-five years. Preservation Greensboro began an initiative in 1993 to recycle vintage building materials through Architectural Salvage. Tons of materials in the form of historic mantels, wavy glass windows, heart pine flooring, brass chandeliers, and unique knobs, locks, and hinges have not only been kept out of the city landfill, but have found a second life across our city’s preserved landscape. From our Huffman Street showroom, a veritable museum of yesterday’s glorious craftsmanship, our salvage operation is one of the few such nonprofit facilities in the state. OH Benjamin Briggs is executive director of Preservation Greensboro. May 2016

O.Henry 41

Hunt & Gather

Mama’s Girl

By Noah Salt

Trisha Costello has a thing for the past — and her mom.

“I grew up with a mother who could spot beautiful things made by the best craftsmen and manufacturers. She had an artist’s eye for quality and workmanship that was unbelievable. She was a true renaissance woman.” Her mom was Marie Costello, a mother of six who took up the art of decoupaging as a hobby not long after she and husband Leo moved to Greensboro in the early 1940s, eventually turning her talent for transforming everything from pocketbooks to lamps and works of domestic art into a thriving design business. For decades Marie Costello worked with legendary Greensboro designer Otto Zenke before she and partner Marjorie Tankersly branched off to open a “small factory” on Blandwood Avenue that produced and sold their fauxfinished lamps, trays, tables and other fine pieces of painted furniture up and down the East Coast under the name Southern Accents.

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May 2016

“It turned out to be a real education for me,” says Trisha, who as the youngest of her siblings, grew up in her mother’s working world, cutting and lacquering, learning the secrets of a Renaissance mom. “I spent every Saturday as a kid in Otto Zenke’s office and even after she opened her own company my mother took me everywhere with her to flea markets, auctions, estate sales on her hunts for great pieces. She had such a glorious eye for detail and period design. “Funny thing about that,” adds Trisha with a laugh. “Their business, Southern Accents, was doing very well indeed — they had reps from New York to Atlanta — when a fine home magazine came along and took the same name. My mother was shocked, but such a proper lady she wrote them a very nice letter explaining that Southern Accents was a name that belonged to her company. The wrote back, in effect, ‘How very sweet. We really don’t care!” Not surprisingly, Trisha went on to study art history and enjoy a long career in the fashion and literary worlds of Manhattan — first in the buying office of Montaldo’s followed by fifteen years as a top independent publishing rep — before she came home to Greensboro to look after her aging mom and renew her connections to the old hometown, even moving back into her childhood neighborhood in Brown Town. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs by sam froelich

At Carriage House Antiques, the past is very much alive — and a bargain

Hunt & Gather Two years ago, she agreed to help a friend open and manage Carriage House Antiques, joining firms like Red Collection, Shops on Patterson and Aubrey Home that have transformed the Gate City into a destination for treasure hunting consignment furniture and high-end home accessories. Today, Trisha owns Carriage House outright, has elevated the quality of merchandise and boasts thirty-five individual retail booths run by some of the region’s leading designers, collectors and

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antique dealers. Popularity recently prompted the firm to expand into an additional space, with plans to soon open a studio for teaching customers how to paint furniture. Trisha’s mom passed away a decade ago. “But I think she would be so thrilled to see the kind of things that pass through the store,” she noted on a recent spring afternoon when we dropped in to see what might catch our fancy. A towering 19th century clock and a pair of Monkey Men candle sticks quickly accomplished that task. “We average fifty to seventy-five people a day who come here just to walk through and look at objects and furniture. Some actually cry, seeing things that remind them of their childhoods or families. My mother liked to say there is somebody for everything. You just have to look — and let it find you.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Art of Design

Gate City Renaissance Man

By Annie Ferguson

One might

say hotels are in Bradshaw Orrell’s blood. You see, the “outgoing and witty” Greensboro native has spent a lifetime romancing them in one way or another, and it all started when his grandparents met at a Greensboro club owned by Fred Koury.

“My grandfather was an Italian guy from Long Island who was coming through town with his Big Band orchestra to play at the Plantation Supper Club. My grandmother, recently divorced, took her shoes off to dance. At the end of the night, she discovered that her shoes were missing,” says Orrell, who obviously relishes retelling the story from a bygone era about how his grandparents met. “She went backstage to ask about them. My grandfather told her to just pick a pair from the singer’s wardrobe, they got married, and the rest is history.” Fast-forward to when Orrell was around 12. He spent summers traveling to gigs with his grandparents (and his younger sister, Kerrie, who owns Orrell Design, an upscale hair salon in downtown Greensboro). They’d take jobs from Virginia Beach to Palm Beach, and everywhere in between. “My grandparents were from the Lawrence Welk generation. We’d spend a summer at the Breakers or the Cavalier Hotel,” Orrell says. “I had a tux and a bathing suit, and that was it. Kerrie had a couple dresses and a swimsuit.” He says all this with a smile that somehow lets you know he’s not making this all up and that these times were as fun as they were formative. From then on, Orrell has always loved hotels, and that’s a good thing because he was going to spend a lot of time with them in the future. After graduating from Grimsley High School and studying art history at UNCG, where he met

44 O.Henry

May 2016

his longtime partner Douglas Freeman in 1990, he went on to earn his Master’s in furniture design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. At this juncture, he truly felt himself coming into his own. “It was one of the best experiences of my life. Those were my people. I was in the first group of the furniture program,” Orrell recalls. “There were twelve students from all over the country and the world. The program was really intense. We’d sketch, design and build furniture. It’s much easier to draw furniture than to make it.” Orrell went on to design furniture in Maryland at Niermann Weeks and later moved back to North Carolina to become creative director at industry leader Baker Furniture. While at Baker, he heard through the grapevine that O.Henry Hotel owner Dennis Quaintance was interested in working with him. He wanted Orrell to do the interior design for his new hotel and restaurant, Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro, both named after Greensboro cotton mills founded by the Cone brothers, Moses and Ceasar. Orrell and Quaintance met twice a week for some time before the designer branched out in 2007 to hang his own shingle — Bradshaw Orrell Interiors — a stylish, modern and pet-friendly studio in downtown Greensboro that Orrell shares with his team members Elizabeth Wicker, his partner Douglas Freeman, and their two English cocker spaniels, Trudy and Gardener. They also share the space with another friend and business owner, Beth Boulton of Boulton Creative (and her team as well as their dogs). Landing the design job for Proximity was a huge break for Orrell, and it took two years to complete. “We did it all, from the ground up. We started with the plans and went from there. It was the first platinum green hotel in the country, and there was a big learning curve for everyone.” Orrell is referring to the U.S. Green Building Council’s rigorous LEED rating system. The Proximity was the first hotel anywhere to earn the council’s highest rating, platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. “It wasn’t a The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph by Sam Froelich

With a nod to tradition and ‘wink of gentle insanity,’homegrown designer Bradshaw Orrell is flying high

Art of Design normal job,” Orrell explains. “We had to meet a certain standard with every choice, from the fabric and carpet to the walls and paint, and we never got it right the first time.” He describes the inspiration behind the look of the hotel’s interior as an imagined factory repurposing the aesthetic of Charles Eames and David Hicks for a loft-like experience. Orrell designed almost everything in the hotel and used local fabric and upholstery. The hotel is constantly getting a refreshed look, this time around with some “funky new antique mirrors and new carpet we had designed.” Orrell and Quaintance still meet once a week to go over updates to all of Quaintance’s properties, including the O.Henry Hotel, and restaurants — Print Works Bistro, Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen and Green Valley Grill. It’s jobs like Proximity and Biscuitville, the ones that start at the ground level, that really energize the designer. “Something I didn’t expect to enjoy was working on fast-food restaurants. It’s a challenge to keep them all on brand, and the building is different every time,” Orrell says. “I work with big committees — they are some of the best people to work with.” One of Orrell’s team members helps explain the designer’s ownership over such comprehensive projects. “I’ve learned a lot from Bradshaw, he’s got an amazing eye,” says Wicker, the studio director and head buyer who started working with Orrell nearly seven years ago when she left her fashion job in New York. “He can walk into a stripped-down house down to the studs and know what it’s supposed to look like. I enjoy being able to bring it to fruition.” From all accounts, Orrell makes HGTV programming look like child’s play. “He’s very interested in new things as well as tradition, he enjoys the thrill of the hunt when it comes to artwork and furniture and new design trends,” says Freeman, who completed the same furniture design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “He doesn’t go too far and become abstract,” Freeman says. And he’s versatile, with expertise in furniture, architecture and even landscape design. Orrell’s personal home demonstrates that range, but is still very much in keeping with his impeccable taste and self-deprecating sense of humor. He and Freeman bought the house in Old Irving Park a couple years ago, and it features a stunning arched glass entryway, beautifully designed furniture and light fixtures with blues and beiges in the interior. “It’s the ‘mother-in-law’ cottage of a larger compound on which the main house is the second- or third-oldest in the neighborhood,” Orrell says. “It’s a work in progress.” Orrell likes to get to know his clients on a personal level to see how they use their houses and possessions, and to gauge their taste levels. He custom designs almost everything. For years he’s been working on an interior design project for joint homeowners of a grand home in Old Irving Park. He’s also heading up the design for Weatherspoon Art Museum’s 75th Anniversary Gala this fall. He has branched out to kitchen and bath fixture design and also has done showroom design for the likes of Wrangler, Kindel Furniture Company, and Zagaroli Classics. Orrell’s partnership with Chelsea House also keeps him on the run throughout the year as he designs forty to fifty new pieces, from lighting and furniture to ceramics and porcelain, for each High Point Market. Oh, and he also designed a restaurant called MIX at the International Home Furnishings Center’s InterHall — in just four months. The breadth of Orrell’s reach would inspire anyone to deem him a Renaissance man of the design world. But how does he describe himself? “A minimal traditionalist with a touch of insanity,” he quips. “My work is very clean and edited, but I’ve gotta have some crazy stuff in there — gotta have a little wink.” Traditional Home magazine matched Orrell’s wink with a nod recently when one of his residential interiors was featured on the publication’s cover. Despite consistent high- profile coverage like this, Orrell keeps it all in perspective. “Every time it happens, I’m like ‘Wow, how did I get in this club?’” OH The furniture and textile industries brought Annie Ferguson’s family to North Carolina more than thirty years ago. As a new writer for O.Henry magazine, she, too, wonders how she got into such a rarified club. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 45

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Studio Life

Function by Design The art and craft of furniture maker Chris Horney

By Robin Sutton Anders

Greensboro furni-

Photograph by Sam Froelich

ture craftsman Chris Horney hates to talk shop. But you wouldn’t know it from a look at one of his end tables. Flawless craftsmanship bears silk-like finishes and intricate, hand-carved inlays. Mahogany and bird’s eye maple meet seamlessly with sharp tonal contrasts.

Surely this master of the trade: one of just two or three Triad furniture artisans whose work is on display in the Furniture Capital of the World. No. For Horney, the beauty lies in the design. “It’s that tiny spark of an idea,” he says. Sometimes ignited by chestnuts found on a walk, other times by bedtime stories read to his daughter, that initial impression comes to life in his sketchbook as it transforms from concept to a functional design for a wine cabinet, bookshelf or chest. But it’s his deep background as a visual artist, successful painter and student of art history that truly informs his work: “I’ll start sketching and immediately something shows up,” he says. “There it is on the paper, and it looks beautiful and finished and I can see it instantly. I appreciate the methodology of what comes next, but boy, if I could wave a magic wand and skip over the woodworking part, I would.” Horney slides a drawer from one of his custom cabinets and takes out an iridescent-black, bumpy piece of oval-shaped material, about 10 inches by 5 inches. Two circles are cut from one end and a small square is missing from the other end. A brilliant, icy-white, raised eye shape gleams from the material’s middle. “Can you guess what this is?” he asks, pausing. “It’s the skin of a stingray that’s been dyed black. That’s where the eyes were cut,” he says, pointing to the two missing circles. “And that center piece is the center of its spine; there’s always a big bump there.” Horney inset the square cutout as a textured accent on a bloodwood tabletop. “You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to cut through these The Art & Soul of Greensboro

tiny shells,” he says, running his hand along the ray’s bumpy skin. “It’s hard as a rock.” He then points to the drawer he just opened. Its handle looks like a rectangular metal pull from a library card catalog — but it’s not. Every edge was carefully cut in a graceful, curved pattern, sanded and pieced together around a flat center piece with an exotic woodgrain pattern. “You would think the pulls are metal because their edges are so hard and crisp, but the edges are actually ebony,” Horney says. “The center is carved from black palm, a southeast Asian species.” Horney handcrafted each pull’s edge and center with files, rasps and small hand tools, then built the front panel of the cabinet around the pull so that it’s embedded in the cabinet rather than being glued on the front. Every piece of Horney’s furniture boasts this meticulous attention to detail — plus an element of surprise. Take his explanation for the woodgrain pattern on a nearby tabletop, for example. Dark wood tones form a Rorschach-like pattern that repeats in every quadrant. The wood is obviously real, but it’s unthinkable that a single cut would display such an exquisite pattern. “You know, people have a bad attitude about veneers,” Horney says. “And it’s understandable because some manufacturing companies use wafer-thin, cheap veneer that is held on with contact cement, which isn’t permanent.” He explains that, if properly integrated, veneers can yield a breathtaking — and lasting — result. “Some of the most beautiful furniture was made in the 1700s in Paris during the time of our Revolution. It’s lasted because they did it right,” he says. “When you buy veneer woods, you buy them by the sheet, and they’re kept in sequence as they’re sliced off the log. On this tabletop, I kept them in sequence but flipped them to take advantage of the flaws running throughout the tree.” Form before function, function before form. Which comes first is debatable, says Horney. “But if the function part isn’t there, people figure that out pretty quickly.” A member of the prestigious Piedmont Craftsmen, Horney participates in May 2016

O.Henry 47


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May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Studio Life a handful of juried craft shows throughout the year, where high-end furniture buyers browse the booths of select artisans. Frequently, buyers ask whether one of Horney’s pieces is meant to be a cabinet for musicians to store their sheet music. “I tell them no, that that wasn’t my intent, but that I’d be happy to commission a piece for them that meets their needs,” he says. After having the same conversation on multiple occasions, Horney set out to design the perfect sheet music cabinet — emphasis on the word “design.” He started by looking around online at how music cabinets are used and found a blog post by a music professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. “This guy was complaining about old Victorian music cabinets that don’t work for modern musicians, and he was describing what he thought would make the perfect cabinet,” Horney says. “So I sketched something and sent it to him in an email. I asked him for his feedback — and asked if he thought his opinion was representative of musicians in general.” The professor liked the idea, so Horney sent a more detailed drawing to many of the instructors and students at UNCG and Wake Forest’s schools of music. He posed the same question. “What I learned was that no two people store their music the same way. Several of them said they’re throwing out their sheet music and going electronic. Others said they keep their music in binders on bookshelves.” Horney abandoned the idea but it underlines his commitment to functionality with each new design. In the last couple of years, a market has emerged for custom wine and mixed drink cabinets, and he describes his customers’ needs with the same finesse and enthusiasm as he talks about his wood choice. “If it only holds a case-worth, it’s too small. People who are serious about wine have a cellar or go the refrigeration route with a constant chilled temperature,” he explains. “But there’s an in-between market for people who have twelve to thirty bottles of wine on hand at any given time. They have a certain amount of space in their dining room and don’t mind showing their collection off to guests.” Creating functional furniture is one of the most rewarding steps in the design challenge, he says. “It focuses the mind.” Artfulhome.com, a print and online catalog representing independent North American studio artists, offers a collection of Horney’s pieces. “The tables they were selling the most of were delicate, and I quickly realized there was no way they would ship,” he says. “So I redesigned them to be assembled with eight to ten screws. Now, I package and ship them in a little golf bag box.” Juried art shows require participants to submit their “statement,” a brief description of the artist’s style/aesthetic to display for buyers. For Horney, a designer whose collection encompasses multiple eras and influences, the request is unrealistic. “Maud Gatewood [Woman’s College alum and renowned N.C. painter] famously refused to write anything more than, ‘My work is my statement,’” he says. “Instead, I composed a collage of images, objects from nature, and simple constructions to hang in my booth,” Horney describes. “It’s sparked many conversations and a lot of smiles over the years, and occasionally helps with discussions over a custom project. Among the collection of snapshots, a small Winnie the Pooh sketch shares space with a striking photo of actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn. “I’m inspired by literature and musicians and visuals. I can’t draw a direct parallel to furniture, necessarily, but every time I see or hear certain work, I’m flooded with visuals and I have to get out a sketchbook because something is swirling from it,” he says. One of his tables reminds him of Hepburn. “If she were a table, that’s what she’d be,” Horney laughs. “Elegant, graceful, poised. Not overdone.” OH Robin Sutton Anders is a freelance writer living in Greensboro. She’s found the perfect spot in her dining room for a wine and beverage cabinet. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal

Com Artist

From NC to DC: Randy Green’s life in comics

By Billy Ingram

One of the comic book indus-

try’s hottest talents, delineator of X-Men, Star Wars, Lara Croft and Teen Titans, might have gone undiscovered had Randy Green not needed a way to avoid attention. “I grew up on a tobacco farm and learned pretty quick that, if you do something quiet and don’t draw attention to yourself, then you can be OK for awhile. But if you start making a lot of noise, shooting cap guns and stuff, then you’re gonna get taken out to the tobacco field and they’ll find something to keep you busy. So I liked drawing,” he says, adding that in the days before video games, he could easily entertain himself with a pencil and paper. “You The Art & Soul of Greensboro

can let your imagination loose and draw. I’d draw cowboys and Indians, a lot of cars, I was a big fan of stock car racing and funny cars. I loved drawing monsters and I’d read comics too.”

The budding artist was especially captivated by the 1970s wave of Filipino comic artists like Alex Niño and that decade’s young usurpers Bernie Wrightson, Jim Starlin, Walter Simonson and Mark Schultz. “Xenozoic Tales was always my most anticipated comic once every few months. Manhunter was one of my all-time favorite series. I did also really like Will Eisner and The Spirit growing up, alongside my Creepys and Eeries. It didn’t even register when I was a kid that I liked to draw and I like comics so I’m going to do that one day,” he muses. “It just seemed like people who did comics were in a kingdom somewhere and that’s what they got to do.” Randy’s uncle George owned Green’s Supper Club, and Randy’s father, Frank, took over the fabled eatery after George died. He remembers going as a youngster, “My mom and dad used to take us. It was always fun to watch people dance. He remembers the tables, darkly lit with candles and the couples dressed to the nines. “They had a Big Band playing so it was something you didn’t get May 2016

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Gate City Journal anywhere else when you went out. I think it was one of the last [supper clubs].” Before it closed in 2012 sixty years after it opened, Randy recalls going there and taking his kids to the oyster bar: “They had some great Prime Rib.” After receiving a B.F.A. in art from UNCG, Randy began a successful career in advertising knocking out illustrations for Belk ads, “I worked at Trone Advertising for a couple of years. Then I went to work for Kayser-Roth, their in-house advertising, and that was great. That’s where I got to learn to be

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an art director, do photo shoots and all kinds of fun things. After about five years I had a great job but what I really wanted to do was comics. “I went out to San Diego Comic-Con, which is the biggest comic book convention in the world. There was a studio of comic book artists out of Hillsborough. There were about eight or ten of those guys, all working in comic books at the time.” It was in the early ’90s, when comic books were experiencing a revival. “Those guys had given me a few jobs here and there and I was able to pick up a couple issues of Justice League.” Justice League of America is a coveted title, a real coup for a newbie, but it’s the most daunting with dozens of costumed members each with their own unique abilities. Especially difficult were the issues Randy was assigned, “The Justice League had a handler and he died so most of the first issue was his funeral.” In that issue, all the DC superheroes showed up: “I did a splash page of a scene at the graveyard with thirty or forty characters in it.” Despite his day The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal

Brad Sherrill, MD

Medical Oncologist, Cone Health

Dr. Brad Sherrill, MD, a Medical Oncologist at the Cone Health Cancer Center knows all too well that cancer does not discriminate.

job at Kayser-Roth, Randy managed to meet his DC deadlines, “which was really, really hard because I was expected to do a page at night after my job and stay up until 2 in the morning for two months in a row. I got burnt out real quick.” Asked to try out for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic book, “I drew some sketches of Sarah Geller and to my surprise they said, ‘Sure, yeah, we like this guy.’ I knew what the TV show was but I didn’t know how big Joss Whedon was going to be in the filmmaking industry.” That was followed by Ascension, Witchblade, Star Wars, New X-Men, Teen Titans and Superman - Sole Survivor “I’m always looking for new things,” says Randy. “I get bored real quickly.” Before he knew it, he was knocking out issues of Tomb Raider. “At the same time I was doing stuff for Marvel and DC. I did Cable, [and] Legends of the DC Universe: Green Lantern. At one time I had more covers than I did interior work. It’s great, a lot of exposure.” Randy stepped aside from comics around 2011 to engage in another crucial aspect of the industry — merchandising. “It got harder and harder because I’m the stay-at-home dad. I can’t stay up all night doing comics or hang out at the studio all day with my friends. I have to pick the kids up at school, take them to athletics, haircuts, doctor The Art & Soul of Greensboro

appointments.” Providing illustrations for Marvel video games for Activision, Disney and DC Licensing “was kind of like going back to doing comp art. That’s where my advertising background really helped out. I knew what they were looking for. So it’s an easier thing for me.” Randy and his wife Amy, work in Kernersville as an accountant for TK Holdings Inc., have two superheroes of their own. Daughter, Haley, (19) is attending Guilford and is on the softball team. Son, Max, (13) attends Cornerstone Charter Academy and is on their baseball team. Now that the kids are older, Randy is back with a renewed intensity drawing comics. In 2015 he returned to Witchblade for a series finale, penciled the final two issues of a Conan and Red Sonja team-up before picking up Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen. “This last year reinvigorated my desire to do more comic books. I’m definitely looking to do more creator-owned stuff. After the restraints of my deadlines, I’d like to work on my own comic books and let the Disney work pay the bills,” he reflects. Amazing what a pencil, a piece of paper and a lot of imagination can do. Billy Ingram is the creator of TVparty.com and has written and/or produced 7 books under the TVparty! Books imprint.

When treating Chris Ganser, Dr. Sherrill saw in his surprisingly young colon cancer patient a mental and spiritual strength as important in battling the disease as chemotherapy. And now Chris, with the encouragement of Dr. Sherrill and other Cone Health caregivers, lends his support to help other cancer patients. Learn more about never giving up at ExceptionalCare.com.

Exceptional Care. Every Day.

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Gate City Journal Confessions of an Incorrigible Comic Book Collector


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Your favorite Crafted fare served anywhere! Customized catering. 54 O.Henry

May 2016

It’s astonishing to longtime collectors that comic books have taken on a whiff of respectability. Frequent news stories of a single ten-cent issue selling at auction for multiple millions of dollars could be one reason. When a Minnesota contractor dug the first appearance of Superman out of the insulation of his home in 2013, he scored a $175,000 windfall, more than fifteen times what that fixer-upper cost him. His copy of Action Comics No.1 would have gone for a lot more if one of his grabby in-laws hadn’t torn the back cover, downgrading it from Fair to Poor condition. The debut of Ant-Man from 1962 recently sold for $200,000. Ant-Man! In 1965 I plucked my first comic book from a spinning rack in the curved corner window of Edmonds Drug Store in the Plaza Shopping Center (Pastabilities is there now). It was 80 Page Giant No. 10, a collection of darkly disturbing stories with Superman as a youngster about my age being menaced by an evil doppelganger. He had been emasculated by a criminal from the future, hunted like an animal and sadistically tortured by the Kryptonite Kid and his rabid green glowing mutt. This 8-year old was hooked, couldn’t wait to mail a dollar off to DC for a year’s subscription to Superman, even as my parents assured me I’d never see that money again or ever receive anything for it. An early indication they were as full-ofit as I suspected. After a few weeks those four-color adventures began arriving monthly, folded in a brown paper sleeve. I read breathlessly as The Man of Steel was forced to reveal his secret identity to the world, robbed Fort Knox, was exorcised as a demon, then bested in combat by a female. (“Great Krypton! I never dreamed it could happen!”) A contrived twist ending assured readers the status quo had never seriously been threatened, nor would it ever be. In the ’60s and ’70s collecting comics, mostly a guy thing, was just about the most deplorable activity a teenager could get involved with. There were parents, no doubt, who would rather have discovered their son had joined a gang or was caught torturing small animals. At best, comic books were regarded as an easy way to keep children quiet while they’re down with the flu or on a road trip. In many homes they were expressly forbidden by parents who were unwitting victims of a political disinformation campaign in the 1950s that convinced a large swath of the public that those cheap pulp fantasies were depraved, mind-rotting filth responsible for a generation of juvenile delinquents, the kind you mostly only saw on TV. If comics had the advertiser base television had in the ’50s, they would have been required reading. For whatever reason, in Greensboro comic The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal every single publication in the nation, from Better Homes & Gardens and Popular books were distributed a month later than they were anywhere else, and spottily Mechanics to Daddy Spanks His Bad Little Girl. so. Being a completist meant considerable legwork if you didn’t want to miss an As a pre-teen in the late-’60s, an age when one would be expected to put away issue or needed to find copies that weren’t bent at the spine after kids had flipped the funny books and pick up some real ones, a flood of young writers and artists through a racked stack. emerged, re-imagining the art form just as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were parting New releases hit the stands on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After Irving Park ways at Marvel Comics. Newcomers and old pros alike went about reinventing Elementary let out, I’d walk to Crutchfield-Browning Drug Store in the Lawndale (perhaps more accurately, inventing) the very notion of Shopping Center. If I arrived before Doris Collins had graphic storytelling. Comics were maturing in lockstep time to do it, I’d untwist the metal bands that bundled that day’s periodicals — magazines, newspapers, comics In the ’60s and ’70s collecting with baby boomers, providing the scaffolding for today’s — then check them off against a list of what the store comics, mostly a guy thing, multibillion-dollar superhero movies built around characters, storylines, even specific images from that era. was expecting that day. A few doors down Franklin was just about the most That groundswell of creativity continued in the Drug Store had two spinner racks with rows of magacomics industry well into the late-’70s. The next decade zines and paperbacks buttressed along the downstairs deplorable activity a teenager brought forth another fresh crop of innovators, led by stairway to their toy department. Frank Miller and Alan Moore, who lifted the medium to On weekends my journey to find missing issues could get involved with. even greater heights. The excitement continues. began at the drug store on the Bishop Block on Elm The cover wore off eons ago but I still have that first and continued south to an alcove left of the O.Henry double-sized comic book I brought home in 1965, when Superman was a blueHotel’s front door, inside the farthest back window at Woolworth, then West haired guy in his 40s with little appetite for settling down and a wandering X-ray Market Street Newsstand (next to Stumble Stiltskins) where you could find ileye, whose greatest flaw was an unhealthy desire to be the smartest, strongest guy lustrated magazines like Vampirella and Web of Horror. in the room. If that’s not a metaphor for the American experience I don’t know A breakthrough came in eighth grade when a classmate who worked what is.—B.I. OH Saturdays at Sam & Mack’s Newsstand (319 South Elm) told us we could buy our comics there in spite of the strict “No One Under 18” policy mandated by Billy Ingram would love for his next project to be an exhaustive look at ORD and our an enormous collection of porn magazines they traded in, waist-high piles of the city’s critical role in winning World War II, if only a kind benefactor would step forward most explicit smut imaginable, to say nothing of the peep shows in the back. and fund it. Instead it will likely be a book of anecdotes about working in HollyBut Sam & Mack’s had all the comic titles anyone could possibly want without wood, like we need more crass nonsense but that’s the world we live in. fail; getting away with selling all those dirty magazines, presumably, by stocking

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A Fine Bow-mance


The bow tie as local fashion staple — and cultural force

By Waynette Goodson

The Spring 2016 menswear fashions

are head-scratchers, to say the least: gender-bending lacey shirts, floral prints and silky fabrics and —horrors! — socks with sandals! But designers from Gucci to Watanabe brought back to the runway a trend we can all be happy about, the venerable bow tie. Bow ties never left the local fashion scene, according to Gordon Turner of Gordon’s Menswear. “We’ve always sold a lot of bow ties,” Turner says. “We could have 200 to 500 of them in the store at any given time.” Think: polka-dot dandies by Vineyard Vines or red, white-and-blue motifs by Phil’s Ties — even a wooden variety from an artist in Utah. Bow ties in school colors or themed by profession are also very popular. And the store stocks some unique styles by N.C. designer Blake Ashland of Chapel Hill (founder Blake Zanardi used to work in the store). Turner credits Edward B. Fort, chancellor of A&T University from 1981 to 1999, for helping start the local bow-tie trend. “Then, students at private schools started wearing them because on Fridays they had to wear a tie,” Turner says. “Will Brooks [of the Brooks Group] started the trend at Greensboro Day School. He always wore a bow tie because he was the president of the class.” What kind of man wears them? “The more fashion-conscious,” Turner says. “And it’s an occasion type of thing.” What better occasion than Restoration Runway 2016 for the emcee to tout his, er, bow-na fides? Dr. Chris Hardy, associate pastor of Westover Church, manned the mic at the annual charitable event at Greensboro Country Club, clad in an Andrew Fezza jacket paired with a Ralph Lauren bow tie and shirt. We like to think his oh-so-dashing ensemble factored into the success of the fashion show, which raised about $177,000 for Restoration Place Counseling, a faith-based counseling service. “I think bow ties are classic and smart,” says Hardy, who started wearing them four years ago. “They allow me to express my individualism and personal style. Now that I’m older, I’ve finally become comfortable in my own skin, and bow ties no longer make me feel awkward. “Rather, I feel more self-confident and unique,” he continues. “Everyone remembers the guy in the bow tie, and while I don’t wear them so others might remember me, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy how they catch the eye.” Longtime Greensboro resident Wes Isley grew up wearing bow ties. They’ve always been a wardrobe staple for the former editor at Pace Communications

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

who now balances freelancing with working on a post-graduate degree. “I was in my late 20s, and I was going to a special event, and I thought bow ties were a little different,” Isley recalls. “It looked dressier and more stylish. Then I saw pictures of me as a toddler, and my mom had put me in a clip-on bow tie, and I thought maybe this was all my mom’s doing. From a business angle, Isley points out that wearing bow ties always helped him break the ice and stand out in the boardroom. “When I wore them to corporate meetings or presentations, clients were always very complimentary,” he says. “Bow ties helped me to be remembered and not just blend into the crowd.” All three gentlemen agree on one aspect: Clip-ons are a huge fashion faux pas. Even pre-formed ones with bands that hook at the neck score low points. And getting someone else to tie it is nearly as bad. “If you can’t tie the tie, don’t wear it,” Hardy says. “I tie them myself, and I would never think of having someone tie it for me . . . and don’t even ask me about clip-ons — an absolute no-no.” In fact, self-tying adds to the individual appeal. “Every bow tie has its own personality because of the way you tie it,” Turner says. Luckily for modern-day gents, YouTube is full of how-to-tie videos. But can YouTube save men from wearing socks with sandals? One can only hope.

Tie One On According to Alan Flusser’s Dressing the Man, in the United States, bow ties peaked in the mid-1930s, when college men “wore a plaid butterfly for his single-breasted gabardine suits and maybe a batwing with his Shetland jacket and gray flannels.” To release your inner Bow Brummell, here are some handy how-to-wear tips: The two most popular styles are the batwing, or slim version, and the butterfly, or standard variety. The latter is the most wearable. When you look in the mirror, the blades should never go beyond your jaw line and certainly not beyond your collar. The fabric makes all the difference with ease of tying. Cotton works best for summer, and silk can be the easiest to work with. Intimidated by the thoughts of wearing one? Then go to a local menswear store and let the experts help you put together your entire look. Bow ties don’t have to be tied perfectly when you wear them. Just have fun! – W.G. OH Waynette Goodson is the managing editor of Four Seasons magazine, but she’s been accused of being a fashion stylist who only thinks she’s a journalist. In her “spare” time she teaches magazine writing at Wake Forest University. One of her prized possessions is a pearl bow-tie choker from the 1920s. May 2016

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Waban Carter

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

Tour de Jane

How a writer’s domicile is quite literally, home away from home

By Jane Borden

Ah, spring, the season of home-and-


garden tours, when we walk into fancy people’s houses, finger their stuff, and creep through their bedrooms without risking arrest. The Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs began hosting tours in 1950. But the organization’s last was in 2014.

“We can’t find anyone willing to open their homes anymore,” explains Nancy Halloran, publicity chairperson for the GCGC. She suspects the shift is another effect of the state’s loss of manufacturing business. The owners of the most magnificent homes “were from Burlington Industries, Cone Mills or the furniture industry, and all those people are gone,” Halloran adds. As someone who has also left the state, I feel it is my duty to take you, dear reader, on a virtual tour of my apartment in South Pasadena, California. It may not have the splendor of Starmount, Irving Park or Lake Jeanette, but it does offer spectacular views of Compton to the south and of a Department of Water and Power plant to the north. You may think you would prefer embarking on a virtual tour of one of Los Angeles’ more traditional home-and-garden tours, those that highlight craftsman architecture, mid-century furniture and desert-succulent gardens. But that would jar you with unfamiliarity. Imagine if an Angeleno found himself in a Greensboro home surrounded by fringe and ruffles; and portraits of children, old men and Labrador retrievers. He or she would probably assume they’d instead wandered onto the set of a Wes Anderson movie about pillows. My home, however, will be recognizable. It was furnished in large part by the Greensboro stores CoCo LaRose and Carolyn Todd’s, courtesy of my mother. And the apartment is inhabited by someone who knows the difference between Eastern-style and Lexington-style, and also whether you’d serve said

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

styles in a tureen or in a cachepot. (Virginia answer: “Neither.” Eastern N.C. counters: “Who cares?”). So there is in fact a bit of South in Southern California. Come on in. First, Architecture. The humble six-unit building, lovingly known as Tract No 12691 Lot 66, was built in 1953 during the post-war housing boom. One of its special architectural features is a hanging front room, or whatever you call it when half of your apartment is directly above the building’s carport. Another visionary feature is the set of Floor Constellations, which is definitely not a real thing, but rather a term I invented in order to feel fancier about the tiny gaps in the floorboards that allow light to shine through from said carport at night. Next, History. I live on Raymond Hill, so dubbed in 1886 when Walter Raymond opened the palatial, 200-room Raymond Hotel, inviting rich and famous East Coasters to indulge in warm SoCal winters. (Before that, the area was called Bacon Hill, which is much more befitting of a Borden.) At the site of my apartment building 130 years ago, hotel guests watched golf games while eating international fare, surrounded by orange groves and poppy fields. Today, residents watch DVRed episodes of The Good Wife while dining on frozen Trader Joe’s lasagna surrounded on two sides by the 110 Freeway. Now, onto the Garden. In the comfortable indirect light of the mornings, I used to tote my laptop onto our small terrace to work among the pots of succulents and our one small, struggling lemon tree. Now it is where I take my infant daughter when she is fussy, to channel her discomfort through the destruction of any vegetation unlucky enough to land inside her claws. In retrospect, it’s good we didn’t get her a dog. Finally, the Big Tour. Let’s start with the foyer-den-living-room-dining-room-bar. (They are the same room.) Here, in the foyer, by the front door, is my grandmother’s plant May 2016

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Life of Jane

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

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stand. She always kept a maidenhair fern on it, when she lived on Newlyn Street. Now it’s where we keep this bone-dry orchid that died seven months ago, because my husband believes it will come back. (It won’t.) And over there is the coat closet, which people frequently open when looking for the front door. We never stop them, because it’s always funny. OK, spin around and voilà! It’s the den. When Nathan and I moved in together, after the wedding, Mom picked up this sofa for us at CoCo LaRose consignment on Battleground. I found the throw-pillow cases when I visited Jerusalem, during the Arab Spring. My tour group didn’t know I’d stopped, and I lost them. Then I thought, “They’ll find my body with beautiful pillowcases.” Spoiler alert: I was fine. And here, behind you, is the Shakespeare shrine. It’s just a bookshelf filled with his collected works and topped with a framed print of the man himself. But, when your husband has a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature, it feels more like a shrine. On the adjacent wall is my grandmother’s hanging shelf. And on it you will notice a remote control to a TV from the ’80s. Three Christmases ago, my nephews found it under the cushions of a sofa in my parents’ den, where it had quietly waited for thirty years. I put it in my suitcase that night because I have a potentially problematic tendency to animate my nostalgia. If my nephews had found the empty Doritos bags I routinely hid under the couch as a child sneaking food before dinner, I probably would have saved those too. OK, beyond the coffee table is the living room, populated by two wingback chairs, also from CoCo LaRose. Shortly after my mother scored that sofa, I received a voicemail from her, saying she had found the most beautiful tall, tan wingback chair earlier that morning. It reminded her of her father’s in Danville, and she wondered if we would want it for our new home. Two minutes later, I received a second voicemail from her, in which she confessed that the chair was already purchased and in her garage. Across from the chairs, underneath this white bench, is a makeshift bookshelf designated exclusively for our collection of graphic novels (you know: literary comic books). Most of them are mine. Nathan’s collection is small, in part because when he requested several for Christmas, years ago, his parents gave him none. They thought he had asked them for porn. On the opposite wall is Nathan’s Oxford English Dictionary and the bookstand his sister commissioned for it, as our wedding present. Underneath it is our wedding album (from Greensboro’s Aesthetic Images Photography), which weighs almost as much as the OED and contains as many definitions of the word party. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane OK, now pivot 25 degrees to your right, and we’re in the dining room. The floor-to-ceiling hutch was also my grandmother’s. We keep it by the kitchen, just as she did on Newlyn Street. (It definitely weighs more than the OED.) And here’s our dining room table — guess where mom found it? Moving on: Against the far wall is our lovely bar. Or it’s a small folding table. It’s too small, in fact, because I’m an amateur mixologist and have acquired an unnecessary number of tinctures, liqueurs and craft bitters, many of which are placed as decorously as possible on the floor. One morning I found Louisa over here investigating said floor booze. I can only hope she will always approach liquor bottles by swatting them and knocking them over. This is doubtful, though, as she is a Borden. The kitchen is boring, let’s skip it — unless you would like to do a round of dishes? In that case, allow me to direct you to the bedrooms. Walk back through the dining and living rooms, and take your first right — just kidding, it’s the only right. It’s also the only doorway. Unless you want to enter that door by the plant stand. Huh? I’m telling you, it’s really funny. Fine. Here is Louisa’s room. Her future big-girl bed, which previously belonged to my grandmother, predates the Civil War. It’s made of acorn. And that’s all we know about it. Everything else here is a hand-me-down from my sisters. We drove a crib, changing table, bassinet and highchair across the country a year and three months before I even got pregnant. I hope Louisa also inherits the Borden gene for frugality. She’ll need it to fund that liquor habit. Moving on: Here is the powder-room-our-bathroom-Louisa’s-bathroom. Before Louisa was born, I always had fresh-cut flowers in here. Now, you are lucky it’s clean. As for our room, it certainly contains a few points of interest, but if I brought you all inside, my mother may never give me anything from CoCo LaRose again. And so concludes our tour. This apartment may not be a palace, but it is definitely a home. I remember the night we found the listing and picked up a key from the management company. We sat in the dark, on the empty floor of what would be our dining room, and laughed at the light peeking through the gaps in the floor. Of all the apartments we’d seen, we wondered if this was the one. “Can you imagine bringing a baby back here one day?” Nathan asked. I smiled and said yes. Then we walked into the coat closet. OH Jane Borden was reared in Greensboro and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and succulents. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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62 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy

A Haunted Train Trellis and a Round of Irish Bowling “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” — Kierkegaard

By Billy Eye

My pal Nathan and I unexpectedly

detoured into Downtown’s backyard the other day, following a pair of forgotten railroad spurs running parallel to Gate City Boulevard. Past the brick ruins of a mid-1930s Greyhound Service Station (later Greeson & White) there’s a desolate valley where dried weeds weave a thick carpet covering everything underfoot. Spongy Mullein plants bloom around the decommissioned tracks alongside piles of heavy metal spikes and couplers with just a patina of rust. Towering above in silent testimony is a 60-year-old elevated trellis ending in mid-air, suspended on supports likely manufactured at the end of this line, Lewis & Son Concrete at 348 West Lee (sorry, old habits die hard). This no man’s land was recently purchased, plans are underway to develop it, hopefully with that train trellis intact.

Double-deckers in Greensboro? When I left London in ’02 these classic older model Routemasters were still in service but being phased out. I was always happy to see one coming. You could hop on the back and an attendant would sell you a ticket, like in the ’60s. Some of these tired dinosaurs have been relocated behind Honest-1 Auto Care on Spring Garden. I may have actually ridden one of them during my time in The Big Smoke, on my weekly visits to the Green Grocer in Clapham Commons, where buying a cola in the front gave you entrée to what they were really selling out of back. Liam Cowan is the proprietor of two of my fave casual dining spots, both inside the historic Piedmont Building at 114 North Elm. Buon Apetito (I’m craving their Italian Beef sandwich) and Piedmont 5 Café where country style luncheons are prepared by Paulette Robinson. Many of you know her from

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Cellar Anton’s in the 1970s and later Greensboro Country Club. Her B-B-Q sandwich with a side of Spicy Cabbage is wonderful and I never, ever cared for cabbage. Collard greens . . . mac and cheese . . . chicken salad . . . Paulette’s specialties always sell out during the lunch rush. Liam owned top-rated restaurants in Southern California before moving here to be closer to his grandchildren. I spent many years in SoCal as well, so we swapped stories about celebrities. He had me beat. Liam was Phil Spector’s limo driver for a brief period. Fifteen years ago newlyweds Chris Nicely, Michael Scott and Brian Simpson, along with several others, began celebrating Boys’ Night Out every week on Thursdays at different venues. The list of possible attendees is around twenty now, and you never know who’ll show up but lo and behold, all remain happily married. Coincidence? Last week they gathered at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company. That’s where Chris told me about how some of the guys have taken up Irish Road Bowling on Sundays, a sport they learned while vacationing in West Virginia. Sporting wools and tweeds, two-man teams pitch an iron cannonball as hard as they can down a roadway toward predetermined goals. The least number of strokes wins, not unlike a game of golf except a Titleist NXT doesn’t weigh 2 pounds or hold the potential to shatter an ankle. There’s also drinking involved with the scorekeeping but you guessed that, right? Problem comes in finding a street without much traffic. They thought Guilford Battleground Park would be suitable. Historically apropos sure, but too many pedestrians. A more ideal location was found, “I’m sure people have seen the chalk marks, little numbers on the Greenway. Several people have asked us what’s going on as they jog by, or ride by, or as we almost hit their dogs.” That’s a wrap. Six filmmakers from London and Barcelona are converging on my home in a few days to grill me for a documentary about Steven Spielberg’s first motion picture, Duel. I’m really looking forward to meeting those hip young artists in person. Wait . . . did I tell them they could crash here? Hope they’re able to rough it. Marine Corps veteran Shaun O’Connor tells me it’s easier to get ice in the middle of the Iraqi desert than it is out of my freezer. I’ll let you know how that impending train wreck plays out next month, sooner if I run into you while I’m out wandering. OH Professional James Dean impersonator Billy Eye will be touring this fall in his acclaimed, one-man musical portraying Gen. George Patton in The Ghost of Lindberg’s Baby. May 2016

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Pappadaddy Birdwatch

Memories You Can Taste Remembering the garden foods of boyhood

By Clyde Edgerton

Speaking of

O.Henry magazine’s theme for this month . . .

I can talk about my gardening experiences. Like cutting grass (maybe a bit of a stretch for “gardening”) when I was 14: Shirtless, I walk backward into a lawn hedge and am blanketed with fourteen sudden wasp stings on my back within about five seconds. (I remember those numbers.) That was not funny then, not funny now — to me, anyway. Funny is remembering the neighbor who came driving up in her car a while later. She lived, oh, I don’t know, maybe a half-mile to a mile from us, across some fields. She sticks her head out of the car window and says, “What happened? I heard somebody screaming up here — all the way from my house.” Then, maybe twenty years ago, I decided to grow some tomato plants in my backyard. I planted two; I strolled out to water them every morning. I remember the dew on the vines, the freshness of a new day, my feelings of accomplishment. At about the start of the second week, I noticed that a leaf was looking a little yellow. Something didn’t seem right. Both plants were looking weak. So I put some fertilizer on and around them. They looked no better the next day, so I added more fertilizer. This went on day after day. Surely the fertilizer would get them up and running! If you’re a person who picks up and reads the Home and Garden issue of O.Henry, no further explanation is necessary. Even more recently, ten years ago perhaps, I decided to grow a patch of corn in the backyard. At this moment, as I write, while remembering that planting, I have a sudden deeper memory, one taking me back to my childhood, before the age of 6 (my age when my mother, father and I moved away from the house with the large garden plot out back). In those early days of childhood, my father would allow me to help him plant our large garden in the spring, and I distinctly remember bending over a row of freshly plowed earth, a paper sack of corn kernels in one hand, and in the other hand three individual kernels. My father would stick the top end of a hoe in the garden row, making a hole twice or three times the size of your big toe. I would drop in the three kernels,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

pull three more kernels from the sack, and move on down the row. He would cover the kernels with the hoe end of the hoe, then he’d catch up with me and punch a new hole in the row. And on and on. I remember my grandfather’s garden. He specialized in strawberries, and he plowed with a mule. My father borrowed the mule to plow our garden. One trick my grandfather didn’t know about strawberries is practiced by my friend June White, who lives in Thomasville, Georgia. Some of you know her as the woman who reads a Thanksgiving story on NPR every Thanksgiving — Bailey White is her radio and author name. She has a big garden every year, and when the strawberries start coming in but are still green, she spreads small red painted rocks among the strawberry plants. And then . . . you guessed it: The birds come. Problem solved: The birds stop coming. One of the most spiritual aspects of gardening, of course, is sitting at the table with a tall glass of iced tea, eating fresh vegetables: string beans, corn — on or off the cob, with butter and salt — mashed potatoes not quite mashed all the way so little bits of unmashed pieces are left, butter beans, especially if they are young, cucumber — perhaps in a little white vinegar — black-eyed peas, and very slightly bitter turnip salat. (I once had “turnip salat” written in a novel manuscript. A New York editor wrote: “You have misspelled ‘salad.’ I replied that I hadn’t. She said, “Well, what word were you trying to spell?” I said, “Salat.” I can’t separate those foods from my childhood, and those foods allow a memory that is precious, a collective memory of rural people in the South. All of us. (If you grew up elsewhere, you perhaps have it for yourself and your culture/community/place.) A group of writers and others are remembering all this, and they show how this connection between food and culture is important. They are called the Southern Foodways Alliance (southernfoodways. org). Check them out if you experienced a little nostalgia about the food of your youth — regardless of whether or not yours resembled mine. And besides all that, here you are in the South for some reason. Oh, and that patch of corn I planted about ten years ago? Too much shade — shouldn’t have been any shade, of course. I averaged about nine kernels per ear. Three ears per stalk. Total: about 270 kernels of corn for the season. 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 2016

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Blue Grosbeak Or in Carolina parlance, a bit of blue heaven

By Susan Campbell

’Tis the season for the return of blue

photograph by debra regula

grosbeaks! This medium-sized songbird can most easily be seen along fencerows or on electric wires in rural areas throughout the Piedmont. Reappearing after long winter stays in Central America and the Caribbean, blue grosbeaks breed across much of the United States, ranging from Virginia into the Plains states and all the way across the country to central California.

Although this bird is common throughout the Piedmont of North Carolina during its breeding season, it is often missed by casual observers. It is a bird most at home in dense pine and mixed forest, but can often be encountered along edges associated with agricultural land use. Blue grosbeaks’ large silvery bill is unmistakable. The sexes are quite distinct. Males are a dark blue with a small black mask that runs from the eyes across the bill. Also look for chestnut wing bars. Females are a cinnamon hue with rusty wing bars and a bit of blue on the rump and in the tail. Immature birds have plumage similar to their mothers. When the breeding season rolls around, coloration means everything. Some immature males who lack the extensive blue of fully mature males are not able to attract mates. However this admittedly frustrating year of singing, fighting and extensive experience at foraging will make them very good prospects come their second spring as long as they survive the winter.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The blue grosbeak’s song is a rich warble and their call a loud, metallic “chip.” Hearing these vocalizations is the best way to find them, given their propensity for spending a lot of time in thick vegetation. Nests are placed low in the midst of brambles and viney tangles. They prefer shrubbery to trees, even though they breed in trees. The nest is a compact cup-shaped affair comprised of twigs, grasses, leaves and rootlets often. It’s not unusual to see paper, string or other litter mixed in. Blue grosbeaks are one of only a few migrant species that raise not just one but two broods of between three and five young in a season. Unfortunately blue grosbeaks all too often end up, unwittingly, raising the young of parasitic brown-headed cowbirds. Cowbird females lay eggs in the nests of other species found in open or semiopen habitat. The eggs, which are larger, manage to hatch ahead of the hosts’ clutch. They produce young that then grow larger and faster, out-competing the nestling grosbeaks. Like most of our songbirds, this species feeds heavily on insects in the summer months. Caterpillars make up a significant portion of the diet. But blue grosbeaks also will hunt for food at or near ground level, collecting adult grasshoppers and crickets as well as other large insects. Their bills are effective at breaking up prey items. They also can crack open as well large seeds, such as sunflower kernels. So individual blue grosbeaks will show up at feeding stations that are properly provisioned, but they do not congregate the way other finches do. So keep an eye out if you live on the edge of town or in a more rural location. Spotting one of these distinctive birds is a little bit of blue heaven. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com or by phone at (910-695-0651). May 2016

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May 2016

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A Novel Year

How to Tell a Story The sweet circularity — and simple wisdoms — of a child’s favorite book hold a valuable lesson for any storyteller

By Wiley Cash


my reading life has been comprised of two distinct genres: literary fiction and children’s books. I’m honored to be serving as one of the judges for a prestigious fiction prize that results in dozens of books arriving at my door every few weeks. By the time my fellow judges and I select a winner, I expect to have read somewhere around fifty books. This high dose of heady literature is balanced each evening when I read to our 18-month-old daughter before she goes to bed. She’s always loved books and she’s had many favorites over the course of her short life, but she hasn’t loved any of them as much as she loves Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann.

Each day I spend several hours working on my bloated, overdue novel, and each night I spend a few hours reading the best of contemporary fiction. Sandwiched between these literary pursuits, I read Good Night, Gorilla. Whether I’m reading or writing, I always step away from the text and ask questions like: What am I learning about fiction writing? What makes these characters interesting? What makes this story move forward? Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it, but I’ve learned more about how to tell a story from Good Night, Gorilla than I have from my own novel or any of those contest entries. When your own novel has swelled to over 450 pages and you’re appraising hundreds of pages of fiction each week, to discover that an illustrated children’s book has nailed the art of narrative with a simple story that stars a gorilla and a zookeeper can be a sobering realization. The book opens as a zookeeper stops by the gorilla’s cage to say, “Good night, gorilla.” When the zookeeper passes by, the gorilla swipes the keys from his belt and unlocks his own cage and frees himself, a balloon, and the gorilla’s friend, a tiny mouse that drags a banana along behind him. As the zookeeper says “good night” to more animals — an elephant, a lion, a hyena, a giraffe and an armadillo — the gorilla and mouse trail behind and unlock their cages. All of the animals follow the oblivious zookeeper home to his bed, where his wife discovers the interlopers and marches them back to the zoo. The closing pages show the sneaky gorilla following the zookeeper’s wife back home and climbing into bed with the couple. The last scene is his friend the mouse saying, “Good night, gorilla.” I’ve literally spent hours considering why the story in Good Night, Gorilla works so well. Perhaps the primary reason is the gorilla, a character with which readers have grown familiar over the centuries. The gorilla follows the trickster

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

archetype, a figure that uses his or her intelligence to outsmart authority. The trickster is often portrayed as a rabbit, and we’ve seen him many times in folk tales about Br’er Rabbit and cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny. Even Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer borrows from the trickster. These are characters you can’t help but root for. There’s something delicious about a powerless individual using his or her cunning to get one over on those in charge. Finding this centuries-old archetype in a contemporary children’s book reminds me that there are no new stories to be told. A character’s rise from powerless to powerful will always interest readers. There’s also a circular nature to the story that both my daughter and I find satisfying. The book opens with the zookeeper telling the caged gorilla good night, and it closes with the gorilla’s friend the mouse telling him good night from the zookeeper’s bed. This circularity reminds me of what you may find in a performance by a talented comedian. My brother Cliff is a professional comedian, and he explained to me how some comedians use a “call back” to close their shows. The comedian will open with a solid joke, move on, and then close his or her set by referring to the initial joke. The audience feels as if they’ve joined the comedian on a journey that closes with recognition of their shared experience, a wink and a nod that we’re back where we started although we’ve covered so much ground. When I think of this I think of the books I’ve read that end by revisiting the opening pages with the knowledge that the characters have grown and developed. As the story of the gorilla’s night folds back on itself, you’re able to see how many of the story’s threads have continued since being introduced: the balloon that escapes the gorilla’s cage appears higher and farther away on each page. For my daughter, it’s fun to find the balloon on each page. For me as a writer, it’s a reminder to keep track of even the most minor characters, regardless of how far they float away from the central story. The tiny mouse that drags the banana is also something my daughter looks for throughout the book, and I can’t help but see him as a character that struggles with something he can’t let go. The cast of characters themselves (a hyena and an armadillo are friends?) serves as an example of how good stories start: Put a bunch of distinct people together and something interesting is bound to happen. This fall I’m teaching a course in fiction writing at UNC Asheville, and I’ve been considering which novels and story collections my students should read as we attempt to write stories and novels of our own. For college students, one of the main financial burdens is the high cost of textbooks. Perhaps I’ll give them a break and ask that they purchase only one book, Good Night, Gorilla. They may even own it already. It may be tucked away on a forgotten bookshelf or boxed up in their parents’ attic. Perhaps they’ve forgotten how much they loved it, and perhaps they’ll find literary value in it all these years later. 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 2016

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May 2016 Blue Jays

Bullies of the bird feeder, blue jays blast their displeasure at smaller birds, though most of them bolt as soon as they see a flash of blue feathers. They wait patiently on the limbs of a dogwood tree — yellow finches, titmice, and Carolina wrens — for the blue threat to pass, to take their long, sharp beaks and petulant squawks to another location, preferably miles away, leaving scattered seed and empty husks behind them, the same way an inconsiderate guest eats more than his share of hors d’oeuvres, grinding crumbs into the carpet on his way out. – Terri Kirby Erickson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

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The Madcap Cottage gents’ 1930s-era, Regencystyle home, House of Bedlam, in High Point was designed by noted local architect Louis Voorhees.

Welcome to Bedlam! From their new, albeit historic, home — and style laboratory — in the heart of downtown High Point, the Madcap Cottage duo has their eyes firmly set on design world domination


By Jason Oliver Nixon with John Loecke • Photographs by Bert VanderVeen

wo years ago, my partner, John, and I moved from Brooklyn, New York, to High Point. By choice. Just in case you are wondering. In the Triad, it seems, High Point is often regarded as bottom-of-the-food-chain fodder. We sold our brownstone to the head of communications and PR at Vogue magazine. (Vogue — cool, right?! We envision Anna Wintour yukking it up in our former wallpaper-wrapped dining room.) We packed up two truckloads of furniture and gave numerous heavy winter coats to charity. With our three pound-rescue pups in tow and The Beautiful South playing on the Subaru sound system, the Madcaps hit the highway. After twenty-five-plus years in New York City — from high-flying West Village co-ops in Manhattan to early adopting in an up-andcoming Brooklyn neighborhood — John and I were ready for something new. We were magazine editors in our 20s and early 30s (I was

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May 2016

the editor in chief of Gotham, Hamptons and Los Angeles Confidential magazines, among other glossy publications), but as our 40-something venture of interior-design-work-cum-selling-antiques took center stage and required various warehouses and endless shelving, we felt cramped. We wanted somewhere slower, calmer, more gracious — a yard, and no more rush-hour subway commutes. And so we started seeking new turf. Los Angeles, no. Too far and too expensive. Chicago, no. Too cold and too middle of the country. My native state of Florida was highly appealing if only for the lack of taxes. But John and I live, eat and breathe interior design. We craft furniture, we reupholster, we lacquer, paint, and primp and prop. And Tampa, F-L-A just didn’t have the manufacturing capabilities or the sensibility that we craved. We had been coming to High Point for fifteen years to attend Market, and we had always found HP curiously appealing. Every Market, John and I would tack on a few days to explore. We watched Winston-Salem’s downtown explode with restaurants The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Above: Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke. Below: The hand painted mural on the Great Hall stairs nods to famed British muralist Rex Whistler and incorporates favorite Madcap motifs, including croquet, pound-rescue pups, tents, and pagodas.

Above: The House of Bedlam’s Great Hall, or foyer, is a hand painted, tented wonderland. Jasper, the pound rescue Boston/Boxer, takes in the scene. Below: A detail of the Great Hall ceiling with its hand painted custom plaster medallion and Chinoiserie lantern.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

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and cultural venues after years of shacking up at the Adam’s Mark and being told to “be careful” when walking outside of the hotel. Greensboro bloomed, too, with craft breweries, a happening bar scene and Proximity, its LEED-certified hotel. High Point was sleepy — a.k.a. DEAD — once Market wound down, but we met furniture craftsmen, carvers, upholsterers, painters and wallpaper hangers. We explored the stunning, historic Emerywood neighborhood, visited the Bienenstock Furniture Library, the world’s largest design library situated smack on North Main Street and open to all, and explored the curiously boarded-up downtown with its fully rented spaces that only open at Market — and only to the trade. We drove through the glittering High Point University campus and ogled the Silicon Valley — worthy, ever-mushrooming classrooms and dormitories.

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We had been told that renowned city planner Andrés Duany had been hired to advise on revitalizing downtown High Point, so we stayed up one night and watched the hours-long videos of his suggestions and ideas on YouTube. As it turned out, High Point adopted not a single one of Duany’s suggestions after almost a half million in cash was shelled out to explore his inspired charettes, but we wouldn’t learn that until we had plunked down into town with dreams of pedestrian-friendly streets and buried power lines. Still. We made an offer on the perfect house, opened a design laboratory in a former pharmacy in downtown — which is open to all and is decidedly retail and inviting in a city that is basically closed to the public The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Above: A detail of the living room ceiling with its custom Chinoiserie chandeliers and custom, hand-painted plaster ceiling medallion. Below: The living room mantel with its chinoiserie mirror and vintage accessories, culled from antiques outposts and flea markets. The Greek key motif also appears on the House of Bedlam’s exterior.

The House of Bedlam living room with its fabrics from the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home fabrics (all available at the Madcap laboratory in downtown High Point, open year round). The early 19th-century portraits pairs swimmingly with more contemporary artwork and the vintage red lacquered secretary. Below: The Madcap gents’ stripped several layers of living room wallpaper and unearthed this “ghosted” paper that they had varnished.

The House of Bedlam dining room was inspired by visits to the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice and mixes pale pinks and blues with vintage floral wallpaper. The Murano chandelier was found in Minneapolis and shipped back to High Point; the custom ceiling medallion was painted by a local artist; and the monkey sconces are vintage with shades from Lamps Plus.

— and started flying the HP flag at conferences and seminars, in magazine articles, and in conversations with alphas, bloggers and tastemakers. The Madcaps envision antiques fairs, art shows and showrooms that open for targeted design seminars. We see restaurants downtown and a museum devoted to the decorative arts. And that’s just a start. John and I have enjoyed the adventures of the past two years. We have found the journey fabulously flummoxing, too. There’s endless red tape. Zoning from hell. There’s a heroin problem. Our car was stolen (luckily, soon returned, but the perps were never found). It’s sort of like certain parts of Brooklyn, in fact. With that said, High Point is home, and every community comes with its ups and downs. It’s the perfect base for our design business; we have made good friends; we have a smart team that assists us; and we get out of town frequently — (Thank you, lord, for the amazing PTI airport.) — just as we did when we lived in New York.


ur new pad is perfection, and there is no way we could have afforded a circa-1936 Regency-style, five-bedroom pile in Los Angeles, let alone Irving Park in Greensboro. John and I spend several weeks a year in England (I grew up spending every summer in Oxford where my mom earned her M.Litt. at Lincoln College), so the Anglophile bones of this Louis Voorhees–designed white brick home in the heart of Emerywood truly spoke to us. The gracious layout was terrific, but John and I wanted to return the home back to its ’30s-era origins. As interior designers with roots as editors, we craft a mission statement for each home that we renovate. For what would become known as the House of Bedlam, the goal was to create a sophisticated English country house where Sunday lunches would be commonplace and a spirit of relaxed fun, what we term “luxe, calme et volupté,” would pervade. The living room would be a tad formal, but there would be heaps of Aperol liquor in the bar for Venetian “spritz” cocktails, and the finished basement would house a hopping disco called Chez Bambou. A meandering stream winds through the 2.5-acre property and we have striped cabana umbrellas queued up for our sandy “HP plage,” and we have picked the perfect spot for a croquet lawn and the Rex Whistler terrace. We hired a friend, an inveterate HP house flipper, to oversee the House of Bedlam renovation. Our pal was up for the challenge and gathered together a dream team of subcontractors — from plumbers to painters, from electricians to HVAC gurus. Soon, the drop ceilings bit the dust, as did the endless fluorescent lighting in the kitchen, the almond-hued range and oven, and the ’90s-era bathroom fittings. We ripped out a few closets to open up the foyer, a.k.a. the Grand Hall, and the master bedroom. Dumpsters came, and dumpsters went. Donations went to Habitat, and our dog sitter snapped up the kitchen cabinetry. John and I lived over the garage during the renovation with Jasper, Weenie and Amy Petunia, the pound pups, and we spent a year lightly dusted in detritus, literally. Fast forward, and the home is now complete — at least the interior. Our renovation guru did an amazing job and came in on budget, and we are all still good friends and that’s perhaps the ultimate testament to a renovation gone right. The kitchen nods to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton with its vibrant green tile, whimsical lanterns that dangle overhead and 18th-century fretwork table that has been repurposed as a kitchen island. The dining room references the bar at the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice, a favorite spot, and sparkles

The House of Bedlam kitchen boasts a range by BlueStar, a pale yellow refrigerator from Big Chill, and countertops from Silestone. Amy Petunia, a pound-rescue pug, relaxes in her custom Madcap dog bed, crafted by women’s cooperatives in Africa. The sink is from Michael Smith for Kallista, and the antique library cabinet was found at auction and its interior painted a kicky teal Benjamin Moore hue. The tiles are from Ann Sacks, and the ceiling wallpaper is from Thibaut.

The sun room with its fabrics from the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home debut collection, Into the Garden. with pieces culled from antiques stores in Minneapolis (the vintage Murano chandelier) to eBay (Venetian-style dining chairs). A living room in Beverly Hills once crafted by iconic designer Elsie de Wolf was our stepping-off point for what we call the Sitting Room and pairs a custom Gracie scenic wallpaper with bespoke faux bamboo molding, mirrors and painted furniture. There’s the India Bar, a former pantry, with its antique portraits and photographs of maharajahs culled from various trips to Rajasthan who stare down onto sparkling martinis and Negronis, served neat. The House of Bedlam is also a showcase for the various Madcap product lines, and all of the home’s fabrics — minus those that are vintage — hail from our just-launched, debut Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home collection, Into the Garden. As we were designing the House of Bedlam, John and I were also creating our fabric collection in collaboration with the super-talented Robert Allen team. Our bedding and pillows collections for HSN (Home Shopping Network) can be found in the bedrooms, and the vintage furnishings that we sell on 1st Dibs and One Kings Lane come and go at the house as it ever evolves. Whew! There’s still the exterior to overhaul and our English garden plan to implement, but that’s Version 2.0. Sunday lunches have kicked off, and the disco will soon have its debut. It’s a very happy house, exceptionally livable, and there’s nothing off limits for the dogs. And what about life in High Point? Our design laboratory is flourishing downtown. We have an amazing go-to team of upholsterers and furniture maestros; we have a terrific part-time staff; and the dogs love long walks. Still, we loathe the crazy speeders who seemingly have the run of the roadways, and the city needs to get up and get a vision.

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John and I just hope that HP will continue to evolve. We have a fantastic city manager and assistant city manager who are do-ers and want to implement change and move the needle. We have a brand-new brewery and a knockout library that will soon become even more of a showcase, a city center of sorts. And it’s just these baby steps that are needed to implement change rather than instant-salvation, high-dollar “solutions” such as casinos and ballparks. Happily, we are surrounded by the treasures of the Triad. After all, High Point isn’t an island: The Madcaps love the trifecta. Every Thursday finds us at the a/perture in W-S for dinner and a movie, and we are so excited to treat the new Kimpton hotel as our dog-friendly home away from home. We are members at Reynolda and wander Elm Street in Greensboro and cannot live without weekly visits to the Red Collection outposts. We are crazy about Raleigh, too, but have yet to make it to the coast. And when HP becomes a tad stuck in the sand and we start to shake our heads, we hightail it to NYC and London and Palm Springs, California for client meetings. And a current goal is to have a retail presence in Tokyo, so stay tuned! Still, it’s always good to come home. And HP is home. Let’s see how this curious and mixed-up city moves itself forward. We have, ahem, high hopes. OH John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the dynamic duo behind the interior design firm Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, the Madcap gents — along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia — scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their unique The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

In the master bedroom, all fabrics are from the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home debut collection. The bed linens are from the Madcap Cottage for HSN collection, available at HSN.com. The bench was designed by Otto Zenke, a Madcap favorite, and the May bed was at auction. 2016 found O.Henry 79

Bluebell Apocalypse Fighting entropy in the garden By Ross Howell Jr.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


ntropy is a term that draws both fear and reverence from the greatest physicists and mathematicians,” notes a science blogger. Well, what about us gardeners? We sat in physics class, actually listening for once, as our teacher informed us that nature tends to the greatest state of disorder. I mean, who’d want to plant anything after that lesson, let alone set out a bed? Or design a landscape? Yet we do it. Photographs of our Fisher Park bungalow when my wife, Mary Leigh, and I moved in six years ago remind me of the process. Scraggly limbs overhung the eaves of the house. Azaleas clotted with morning glories obscured the windows. Chocolate vines were doing their level best to strangle some holly bushes by the drive. A climbing rose cluttered the front porch with confusion and thorns. In early spring of our first year in the house, I began to hack at the weeds and vines with a mattock. Through the undergrowth, I caught glimpses of shimmering green foliage in the bed. The leaves were smooth to the touch and lobular. I weeded more carefully, wanting to see what these plants might be. In time, stalks began to appear. They looked like stubby asparagus spears at first, then grew taller, showing flower heads atop trim stalks. Now that the azaleas in the bed were free of vines and could reach the light, they were shouting “Pink!” up and down Olive Street. Beneath the azaleas, and alongside the house, delicate bells began to open. Where weeds and vines had raged, exquisite bluebells nodded in the breeze. And so my education began. Sometimes called wild hyacinths, wood bells, or fairy flowers, English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) have been around for a long time. According to the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, bluebells are native to Western Europe, and they have been gracing gardens and wooded areas since 1600, if not earlier. Even today, the presence of bluebells helps confirm the location of ancient forests in Great Britain. Glue from the plants was used to fix feathers to the shafts of arrows and for binding books. English bluebells grow wild in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, and have been naturalized in other European countries as well. To say the English favor the bluebell in spring is an understatement. Kew estimates nearly half the bluebell population in the world is found in Great Britain. English bluebells feature a delicate violet-blue color, or rarely, pink or white. With all the blooms suspending from one side of the stem, the stem bends gracefully. The blooms are very fragrant and are a lovely element in any cut bouquet or arrangement. Flowering in late April or early May in deciduous woodlands, English bluebells make for a spectacular display. In the early twentieth century, tourists used to ride special “Bluebell Trains” on excursions to view the deciduous woodlands carpeted with blue blossoms across the Chiltern Hills in southeast England. Though these special trains no longer run, tourists at the right time of year can still see the bluebells in what has since been designated a natural conservation “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” in that part of England. The bluebells in my garden feature straight stalks with blossoms on all sides, so they are probably Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica. Featuring violet-blue blossoms very similar to those of their English cousins, Spanish bluebells enjoy blooming in open areas and are rarely found in woodlands. They, too, can have flowers of pink or white, but their fragrance is not as rich as English bluebells. They have flourished under my care. What I’ve learned is that Spanish bluebells can flourish with no care at all. They’ve multiplied so rapidly they shoulder each other for sunlight. Empty areas where last fall I transferred a handful of bulbs have exploded with green foliage and thrusting stalks. They’re growing against the stems of my hydrangeas, against the trunks of my gardenias and azaleas. I’m sure I didn’t plant bulbs in those places! Turns out, I didn’t. Bluebells propagate by bulb division and by seeds. The volunteers in my shrubs were probably sown by neighborhood birds, doing number two while perched in the limbs of the plants, or maybe the seeds were scattered by a summer breeze. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I’ve learned the hardy and prolific Spanish bluebell is a fierce agent of entropy. The British are well aware of the danger. Scientists at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland, are studying native and non-native bluebells in the wild. The scientists are concerned the Spanish and other cultivars that “have escaped from cultivation may pose a threat to British H. non-scripta populations.” OK, the Brits are justifiably concerned about protecting the integrity of the English bluebell in the wild. And maybe I’m exaggerating — Mary Leigh says I’m always exaggerating — the Spanish bluebells’ entropic danger for backyard gardeners like me. But hear me out. These little suckers reproduce like crazy! And they present a nexus of problems. As their foliage begins to die back, it turns bright yellow. It’s mushy and slippery, so you have to be careful about your footing. Then it browns and shrivels. Aesthetically, its presence bothered me not at all. I started sunflower and zinnia seeds in pots, then planted the young seedlings among the decaying bluebell leaves. As the seedlings grew and blossomed, the dead foliage was eventually hidden. And some hardwood mulch scattered about helped improve the unsightliness of the dying vegetation. There’s an abundance, mind you! As my lantana emerges and the old-fashioned roses bushed out, they helped hide it, too. But some of my neighbors found the period of rotting and unkempt beds to be too protracted. So this year I’ll speed things along, get the summer bloomers planted earlier, and scatter more mulch. Maybe that will keep the neighbors happy. But my problem is bigger than that. The bluebells in my beds are so thick I’ll have no choice but to do something about thinning them this fall. And I don’t want to just throw the surplus bulbs away. There are risks in offering bulbs to neighbors and friends, even if I warn them about the bluebells’ prolificacy. I gave bulbs to a neighbor last year, and this spring he’s already commented, “They certainly seem to spread.” He doesn’t know the half of it. What I’d like to do is gather a bunch of bulbs and plant them this fall among the trees in a sloping section of the park near our house. There’s little there now save for a few weeds festering in mulch and leaves. I’ll talk to the right neighborhood groups, the right city officials. Make sure everyone’s on board. To my mind the area is perfect, a dappled area of shade and light. In my daydreams, I can see the drift of bluebells nodding among the gray tree trunks next spring. I can hear the drone of bees in their blossoms. I can see birds fluttering among the stalks, pecking at seeds. But what about the spring after? What if bluebell volunteers began to erupt in city planters reserved for pansies or petunias? What if they started popping up in every crack in the asphalt on Elm Street? Or in office coffee pot filters in the Lincoln Financial Building? It could become a veritable Bluebell Apocalypse, spreading across Greensboro, citizens slashing at the vegetation with samurai swords and machetes. Wow! I concede my wife’s right about my tendency to exaggerate. But I better think this bluebells thing through. If the world’s greatest physicists and mathematicians approach entropy with “both fear and reverence,” maybe a gardener should, too.. OH Between battles with bluebells, writer and editor Ross Howell, Jr. found time to write his first novel Forsaken, published earlier this year by NewSouth Books May 2016

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Green Thoughts and Green Shades The organic world of Charlie and Lois Brummitt

By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Lynn Donovan and Amy Freeman


. The word conjures food grown naturally, guided by a caring hand. It’s also an apt word to describe Charlie and Lois Brummitt’s Greensboro home and garden, a thoughtful blend of man-made objects, flora and fauna. “It’s an accretion,” Charlie says, using a word that usually describes the slow accumulation of geological features. “It’s an evolution, and evolution is better than planning.” Their yard snares the most attention. It’s a certified wildlife habitat; so says a placard provided by the National Wildlife Federation. The most prominent fauna, in order of appearance, might be birds, squirrels, Lois and Henry the snow-white standard poodle. Charlie and Katmandu, a.k.a. Kat, the gray tabby, also populate the yard. “This is Lois’ garden,” Charlie says. “I love it and enjoy it and the people it brings here. My enjoyment is watching what we do grow. If that means digging and moving things, OK. I’m an operations person.” “You are,” Lois confirms gently. “You are.” Charlie’s operations include a three-bin composting center where red worms turn vegetable waste from the kitchen, coffee grounds and fallen leaves into the crumbly, chocolate-cake-like compost that gardeners covet. “He makes fantastic compost,” says Lois.

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She’s a mite of a woman, with red wire-rimmed specs, close-cropped graying hair, mischievous blue eyes and serious garden shears that she clutches close to her heart. A former kindergarten teacher, she is softspoken and hilarious without trying to be. “Charlie’s the Compost Man,” she goes on. “Your brother is the Compost Man,” says Charlie, a former banker who has swapped suits for jeans, flannel shirts and cotton caps. “He makes great compost.” “Yours is better,” Lois says softly. She ventures out in the cool of the morning, meandering over stone pathways, pulling weeds here and there, thinking about what is, what could be, what wants to be. “I spend as much time as I can out here. This is what I like to do. I have a lot of fun.” she says. For the past few years, she has been restoring their front yard to woodland, undergirding white oaks, black gums and red maples with layers of Japanese maples, vinca and daffodils. “The people before us took out about fifty pines and put down grass,” says Charlie. “And now,” Lois says sweetly, “I’m putting it all back. But not the pines.” The front yard is an arboretum of plants that lap up shade and partshade: False daphne, lungwort, fatsia Aucuba, poet’s laurel, euphorbia, sweetbox, hellebores, epimedium, rhododendron, false yew, blue cedar, columbine, Brigadoon St. John’s wort, and carex, a kind of sedge. “I love carex,” says Lois. “It’s a happy grass for the shade.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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A fieldstone walkway leads from street to door. A brick sidewalk runs parallel to the house, then flows like a stream through the concrete driveway; both paths are art in masonry by landscape architect Dennis Mullane. Mullane also carved out a bog garden in the sideyard. The Brummitts’ yard — in the north Greensboro neighborhood known as Browntown — is naturally moist, owing to springs and an impermeable layer a few feet below the surface, says Charlie. Lois has stocked the soggy corner with an encyclopedia of ferns and small, unusual trees such as a weeping redbud, a yellow-twigged dogwood, and a Persian parrotia. “I read it was the prettiest tree for fall color,” Lois says of the parrotia. Is it? “No,” she says. “It’s better up North. But it’s pretty, though.” Charlie and Lois met as youngsters in Granville County near Oxford. Her family bought his great uncle’s farm, next to Charlie’s childhood home, when she was an infant. Charlie was born a few months later. Their mothers were friends. Twelve years later, Lois’ father died and her family moved back to Florida. She and Charlie married different people, divorced and reconnected later. “My mother said Charlie always loved me,” says Lois. “I heard her tell her friends.” Charlie smiles. His job, with North Carolina National Bank, later Bank of America, took them all over the South: Raleigh, Columbia, South Carolina, Charlotte and Dallas.

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They bought the sand-colored Cape Cod on Elmwood Drive in 1992. Charlie retired in 2000. He ran the Piedmont Land Conservancy for a few years. He remains active in EarthShare NC. “Think of it as United Way for the environment,” says Charlie. He’s also on the board of the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, where he often lends a hand. Together, he and Lois participate in the state chapter of the Herb Society of America and the Guilford County Horticulture Society. Charlie attributes his love of the outdoors to his childhood on the farm and to time spent around Lois, a past president of the local Master Gardeners. “I’ve learned a lot from her, and from the horticulture society and their symposia,” he says. The Brummitts apply their collective knowledge to their property. The backyard is a shade-dappled playground of plants and hardscape. Sun catchers, bird feeders, garden sculpture and an array of blue pots harmonize with azaleas, rhododendron, mahonia, bloodroot, may apple and trillium, a perennial flower that is spread by ants; they carry the seeds home and eat the waxy protuberances. A sampler of uncommon trees dot the lot: weeping hackberry, a columnar peach tree, a Mexican buckeye, an umbrella tree with a ramrod straight green trunk; and a dove tree. “It has fabulous flowers that look like doves,” Lois says. “But they look like dirty handkerchiefs when they die.” Smilax climbs a trellis. “[Famed North Carolina plantsman] J.C. Raulston said you had to know an old family in Raleigh to get that,” Lois says. “I had a cousin The Art & Soul of Greensboro

there. That’s how I got it.” Like most ardent gardeners, she buys, swaps and cajoles and gratefully accepts gifts of cuttings from friends. She points out Graham’s Cracker, a hardy asparagus fern named for her friend, Greensboro gardener Graham Ray. He also gave her woodland poppies. “He’s given me a lot of plants. He’s given everyone a lot of plants,” she says. “I’ve often said, there needs to be a movie with a lot of women walking around saying, ‘Graham gave me that.’” Patches of phacelia, a spiky purple flower also known as purple tansy, remind her of the late Nell Lewis, who was a local garden writer. “I bought a hellebore from her,” Lois says. “I’m sure the seeds were on there.” She reaches down to touch a puff of phacelia flowers. “It has the nicest smell when it heats up,” she says. “It smells like marijuana.” She pays close attention to where plants thrive. Sometimes, she admits, she makes mistakes in placing them. Consider the Full Moon maple that she and Charlie saw on a trip to Seattle and just had to have. After fifteen years, the tree — which reaches twenty to thiry feet in other climes — is only four feet high. “It doesn’t want to be here,” Lois says. But mostly, her garden is a content place, streaked with flashes of Henry, a striking purebred, as he zips after squirrels. Meanwhile, Kat hunkers in the nandina to watch birds. Lois has stamped the garden with playful hardscape, some of which she has bought, some of which she has repurposed, and some of which she has literally dragged off the curb. A broken down Chippendale garden bench has become a plant stand engulfed in ivy. “It’s kind of fun to watch things deteriorate in the garden,” she says. Angular mirrors by Summerfield artist Carolyn Owen twinkle in the branches. Bird Man, Scooter Boy and Lawn Boy — three of Owen’s whimsical sculptures made from parts of tractors, plows, bicycles — camp in a shady corner. Lois pushes Lawn Boy’s hinged hindquarters to the ground. “He can sit,” she says. Nearby, a wavy mobile hangs in the understory. Lois rescued an old brass chandelier from the curb, took it apart, and rearranged the limbs. “Outside, it’s just Lois’ creativity and her figuring out how things can be different,” says Charlie. Lois tracks her creativity inside the house, which is sprinkled with antiques inherited from both sides of the family. “Furniture was so important to Mama. She sort of insinuated that you weren’t anybody in society unless you had a Pembroke table,” Lois says, referring to a small, drop-leaf table that The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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dates to the eighteenth century. Far from stuffy, though, the Brummitts’ home pairs fine antiques with light-hearted pieces that they have picked up since they married. Much of their art was made by friends. Witness the wren-shaped salt and pepper set from the hands of local potter Charlie Tefft; a watercolor study of clouds by Phyllis Sharpe; and a colorful landscape — done by Greensboro painter David Bass — that brings to mind the pines and water of Eastern North Carolina. “We don’t have anything expensive, just things that have caught our eye,” says Charlie. They both regret passing up a painting of a cow’s face with a big pink nose. They almost bought the piece when they lived in Charlotte. At the time, their mothers were aghast. “They said, ‘Don’t!’ and we didn’t,” says Charlie says. “But we should have.” Their guiding principle, Lois says, is to surround themselves with things that delight them. The morning room, which Charlie uses as an occasional office, is the perfect example. A tall, carved secretary anchors one corner. “My friend in Dallas married a person who didn’t like antiques, so she let me buy that,” says Lois. The secretary shares space with an antique rocker that was passed down from Lois’ mother’s family, the McLaurins who settled Laurinburg. A beefy chest of drawers came from Charlie’s great uncle Dennis G. Brummitt, who was the state’s attorney general and was eyeing the governor’s office when he died in 1935. Charlie’s aunt Mary salvaged a couple of slender brass reading lamps from the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel near the state capital. Lois bought a bent willow chair, painted red, from The Saltbox, an online folk art store that used to have a location off State Street. She beat the garbage trucks to a metal rack that resembles bamboo

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and to two cane-bottom chairs. Once curbside cast-offs, they’re now laden with books. She’s not afraid to add do-it-yourself projects to the decorating mix. When a recessed light in a hallway got on her last nerve, she snipped a lacy shade from paper and taped it to the box. “I like to create . . . and hide things that I don’t like,” she says. Behind one door, she hung a deceased relative’s portrait inside a larger, more decorative frame. “I was never fond of her,” says Lois, “so being behind a door is OK.” Upstairs, in a small ironing closet behind a dormer window, Lois has taken liberties with high school photographs of herself, gluing earrings, brooches and necklaces to the glass covering her 1960s faces. “It’s better than having to look at myself in the tenth grade,” she says. In the master bedroom, she leans on the resourcefulness of Greensboro floral designer Randy McManus. Lois bought paper lace panels that McManus used to decorate at a wedding, and she hung them in the windows. The panels allow privacy, diffused light and an airy motif all at the same time. Another clever solution dangles in the sunny addition that the Brummitts use as a dining room. The addition was not wired for electricity, so the couple hung a chandelier stripped of lights. In the place of lights, they put candles, which they light in the evenings. “We always eat by candlelight,” says Charlie. “It’s a wonderful light.” The room provides a great vantage point from which to study the yard. “I do a lot of gardening from the window,” says Lois, explaining how she studies a vista and tweaks it until it sings. “What I do, inside and out, is place things until they’re pleasing to the eye,” she says. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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A Tale of Two Houses A writer’s literal and literary haunt


n the fall of 1994 I turned off Pinecroft Road in Greensboro piloting my fully restored, 1970 Mustang with California plates up a pitted, narrow gravel driveway hugging a small body of water. Joining me on this journey was my friend since college, Susan Grant, who had soured on her prospects as a social worker for wayward girls in Pasadena. Idling up that rugged roadway, we both took note of a spectacular hilltop log cabin at the other end of the pond, a veritable Bavarian ski lodge. Ahead of us were old growth trees, dogwoods and shrubs so dense we could barely make out the house we had an appointment to see at 2700 Twin Lakes Drive. Only a few months earlier, while major movie studios were enjoying the biggest box office receipts of the century, I was in Hollywood, living large and working as a movie poster designer — thanks in large part to Elizabeth Bell’s art class at Page High School. To my complete surprise, I found myself doing the illustration for The Hunt for Red October, plus layouts and typography for Pretty Woman, Goodfellas, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, Dances with Wolves, Rocky V, Ghost, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Days of Thunder, Awakenings and Flatliners. I posed in a Nixon mask for Point Break; in a wig as Andy Warhol for Superstar; and even sang on a Christmas jingle for the sleeper hit Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Except for what Ms. Bell taught me, I had no formal training. But what I took away from her classes proved invaluable: an emphasis on being proficient across all media, being able to get by using only the materials at hand and being willing to embrace new tools. Most of all, she taught us there was a right and wrong to art, that it’s not all subjective. I first began working as a concept artist for “The Godfather of Modern Movie

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Advertising,” Tony Seiniger, in 1986. It had just become feasible to use photographs on posters, so dozens of illustrators were sidelined in an instant, replaced by a breed of artist, like myself, who hadn’t existed before, manipulating images using emerging color-copying technology, typesetting on desktop computers, painting, airbrushing, cutting out pretty prints of movie stars and pasting them against stark backgrounds to create meticulously refined collages that looked like a finished, printed poster at one-quarter size. Pre-Photoshop, we’d be asked to mimic Norman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Warhol, Botticelli, ’60s Madison Avenue, or whatever else anyone could dream up, for hundreds of variations on every single film. I was working in Beverly Hills, a member of a team that was later dubbed the “New York Yankees of the movie advertising world.” I had a beautiful home with a postcard view jutting from the hills above Sunset Boulevard. My 1970 Mustang droptop had been restored to showroom condition. I wore designer suits, $400 sunglasses and sported $200 haircuts. I dined on white tablecloths and partied at all the trendy places with the likes of Milburn Drysdale from the Commerce Bank. The realization hit me in 1994 . . . I had become a serious jerk. My last night in Los Angeles, an hour before a goodbye party was to commence at one of those aforementioned trendy spots, everyone everywhere was drawn as if possessed to the nearest television set, transfixed by live ’copter footage of Al Cowlings behind the wheel of a white Ford Bronco, O.J. in the back holding a gun to his own head. The Bronco was the lead float in a parade of police making their way across L.A. freeways with star-struck crowds cheering from the overpasses. City of Angels my ass. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs L-R courtesy of Twin Lakes Realty and Jason Bramblett Real Estate

By Billy Ingram


e entered the house at 2700 Twin Lakes Drive through a magnificent front porch framed in 1950s- era brushed steel with glass horizontal blinds over a dramatic blue slate-rock floor. Three enormous French doors opened into a Great Room with hardwood floors and walls, a spectacular ceiling of white pine crafted in Michigan Boat House style. The design couldn’t have been more deliberate. With light rippling off the lake, flickering faintly across the whitened walls, there was a distinct feeling of having set sail. A cavernous fireplace extended into a tremendous living area that looked to have been added in the 1970s with a 25-foot-high wood-beamed ceiling, wide and spacious with bay windows and a groovy built-in bar. Susan immediately took to the regal master bedroom featuring wall-spanning walk-in closets and three sides of windows with an 180-degree view of nothing but greenery. I felt an instant kinship to the smaller front bedroom. The dining room was in clear sight of the lake where I’d be perfectly positioned to write the great American novel about an innocent kid from a small Southern city who becomes embroiled in LA advertising only to become disillusioned with . . . I hadn’t gotten that far yet.

Photographs courtesy of Billy Ingram


he spacious kitchen looked to have been remodeled in 1963 with knotty pine cabinets and paneling, wall mounted double ovens, fridge and dishwasher all glazed in butter yellow and Coppertone brown with chrome accents. That was a plus: Both Susan and I loved antique appliances, a huge relief for the landlord who expected 30-year old KitchenAids might be a tough sell. A cozy step-down breakfast nook had been constructed over a smaller slate porch with sleek glass shuttered windows that matched the front. On signing the lease that very afternoon, we were left alone. Thankfully the electricity hadn’t been turned on yet or we might have missed the sun’s last rays penetrating fall foliage, lit like a thousand candles, colors prisming off the glass slats on the patio. A red-and-yellow light show painted the walls around us. It slowly faded as a full moon reflecting off still water bathed the room in aquamarine. After Susan and I described the crazy place we’d just rented my mother stood right up, “Take me out there now!” Incredulous as we rolled up the gravel drive, she stared peculiarly at that monumental log chalet across the lake, as if unsure of something. As we came to a halt in front of our new home she remarked, “This is the place! Those books of North Carolina ghost stories I read to you when you were a young child were written by the man who lived in this house. John Harden.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


remembered well John Harden’s compendium of eerie mysteries. The Devil’s Tramping Ground and Other North Carolina Mysteries (1949) and Tarheel Ghosts (1954) remain the definitive tellings of our state’s most perplexing paranormalities: spirited sea captains, a headless brakeman, plundering poltergeists, ghostly gold prospectors, that spot in Chatham County where the Devil goes “to walk in circles as he thinks up new means of causing trouble for humanity. There, sometimes during the dark of night, the Majesty of the Underworld of Evil silently tramps around that bare circle — thinking, plotting, and planning against good, and in behalf of wrong.” (Is it any wonder Harden was hailed as a public relations genius who served three N.C. governors?) Those somewhat stilted stories were accompanied by unnecessarily crude pen-and-ink illustrations that only heightened the overall creepiness of Harden’s books.


ollowing the death of his first wife, John and Sarah Harden were married in 1953, settling in at 2700 East Lake Drive (now Twin Lakes) where they raised three boys, along with two sons from the previous marriage, in what must have been idyllic surroundings before the city’s awkward mid-’70s growth spurt led to Four Seasons Mall metastasizing two blocks away. Neighborhoods, a high school, office buildings, apartment complexes; they paved paradise for miles and miles of parking lots but somehow this bucolic lakeside hamlet remained unmolested, obscured from view inside acres of woods, a cluster of homes frozen in time. Like standing inside a living snapshot of the 1950s. An odd juxtaposition when you consider it was the place where I was busy creating one of the first online sensations at a time when most folks had never heard of the Internet. Coding and writing up to eighteen hours a day, I became so obsessed my dreams began with <HEAD> and ended in </BODY>. In the process TVparty.com became the first online presenter to offer features with text, pictures and streaming audio (a year later video), the experience everyone takes for granted today. The very first clips of TV shows ever broadcast on the net emanated from the Harden House. Exploring the grounds provided a nice distraction. It was obvious this 4-acre May 2016

O.Henry 89


hen my mother at Fountain Manor wanted to go someplace in 1995 she’d call and ask, “Are you coming into town today?” “Mom, I’m two blocks from Four Seasons Mall. I’m in town!” She’d never been to the mall. In her mind we were out in the neatly tamed wilderness of the mid-’50s that she remembered so vividly, living with her in-laws and a new baby in that imposing log mansion on the other side of the lake. Let me explain. 2712 Twin Lakes Drive was built in 1926, the flagship for a sparsely populated subdivision and resort spread across some 200 acres that splintered off the one paved road named for the rustic development, Pinecroft. Houses were constructed out of the trees cleared for them. How tall the trunks were determined the size of the home. “City living in the country,” miles outside town, out in the woods but with all the amenities — electricity, water, mail delivery, bus service, tennis courts, playgrounds, horse trails, abundant fishing from private ponds, dining and dancing at the Pinecroft Inn. A good number of those hearty log cabins exist today off Pinecroft Road but the palatial estate on Twin Lakes is the largest, most opulent. The outer entrance is an imposing stone-encrusted cathedral of massive, rough-hewn rock formations that greet you again inside the vestibule and along a wall of the screen porch. Stone work galore: two towering fireplaces, firepit in the back, wide rounded lounging stairs down by the lake. The same blue slate patios found at the Harden House are here also but much more expansive both in front and back. My grandparents Bill and Becky Ingram relocated here from Latham Park in 1946. Without having to raise the roof, they added a second floor for an addi-

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Susan and I moved on in 1997. Today, both homes at the end of Twin Lakes Drive are for sale. Tall Timbers remains a masterpiece, the original stonework preserved. There have been substantial changes for the better to the Harden House when it was transformed into Twin Lakes Lodge, a bed and breakfast. A large garage with an upper residence was added and the two-bedroom east wing turned into suites, as was the case with the mother-in-law cottage. The backyard has been trimmed and styled to create a sunny piazza The grounds are a great deal more refined now, open and friendly. And those boxwoods along the wooded pathway are still putting up a brave fight. Looking back, it’s the breeze and quiet I’ll recall, leaves rustling overhead, sunlight winking off ripples in the water, echoes of lives well-lived whispering around the pines. Twin Lakes will continue, one hopes, to lure future generations in search of lost gentility by offering a slice of country living deep inside the city. Past the stone columns, beyond a curtain of trees, at the end of a long dusty driveway, Greensboro’s Batcave awaits. OH Billy Ingram would love for his next project to be an exhaustive look at ORD and our city’s critical role in winning World War II, if only a kind benefactor would step forward and fund it. Instead it will likely be a book of anecdotes about working in Hollywood, like we need more crass nonsense but that’s the world we live in. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs courtesy of Billy Ingram

habitat had grown too difficult over the last decade to manage. John Harden died in 1985. Sarah had been ill for years but must have had quite a green thumb to have created such an oasis where the grounds were shaded most of the day, an avalanche of pine needles blanketing everything. A stoic line of 6-foot-high boxwoods, what was left of them, struggled for existence alongside a barely distinguishable pathway into the woods where a chimneyed grill was years ago leveled by fallen limbs. Neglected rose bushes extended along the western edge of the property. Skinny but defiant pink-and-white dogwoods flowered along the driveway. They also bloomed in a garden contained within the circular driveway, where shapeless azaleas bloomed and small trees took root — all buzzed and dragged away in a single week by a beaver whose sudden arrival and unwelcome nocturnal efforts decimated the property of color. At dawn every morning a gaggle of Canadian geese splashed down in formation, honking, fluttering about before waddling ashore to munch and poop. A blue heron’s spindly legs dragging across the surface of the lake as it attempted to get airborne stood in contrast to our hawk’s effortless command of the sky. As we entered the house one chilly evening we beheld the beady-eyed raptor perched on a branch not five feet away, loudly hissing, a talon pointed at someone who would soon do us wrong. John Harden wasn’t through telling ghost stories, I guess.

tional four bedrooms and three baths, for a total of 3,380 square feet. A barn and guest cottage share the architectural style of the stately manor that my grandmother christened “Tall Timbers.” Bill Ingram Jr. spent his last decade as a bachelor here, maximizing the time when his folks were out of town by throwing parties for his buddies and their dates. As guests arrived he’d be on the pier with a couple of fishing poles hoping to hook some entrees for the grill. After marrying my mother, who quickly got pregnant, they moved into the little log cottage behind Tall Timbers. Unknowingly, I’d rented the house next door to where I spent my first year of life, on Twin Lakes Drive. Perhaps that’s why a momentary whiff of water and wood could awaken some primordial recognition, a lingering fragrance of hidden remembrance. Before I was born my father built the bridge over the reservoir separating the Hardens and Ingrams, made precarious over the ensuing decades by missing and splintered beams. Stepping gingerly across on October 1, 1994, I chanced to look down. Scrawled into one of the concrete supports, in Dad’s handwriting, was the date it was poured — 10-1-54 — forty years earlier to the day. John Harden’s book Tarheel Ghosts was published on October 1, 1954. Was I calling out to the past, or it to me? No matter. We were destined to collide in an odd inversion of that Twilight Zone episode where two Southern kids dive past the bottom of their pool to emerge in a wooded wonderland, cared for by a kind grandmotherly type.

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Turtles in the Garden

By Rosetta Fawley

Box turtles are very fond of strawberries, and if you’re growing them in your garden you might want to let the turtles share the fruit with you — box turtles are also very fond of eating garden pests, particularly slugs. So make them welcome with a damp shady area of leaf litter, where they can take a siesta during the hotter part of the day. If your garden is particularly hospitable you may be lucky enough to have your herpetological friend lay her eggs there. If she does, keep an eye on the nest and be ready to cover it with a little chicken wire to keep out predators. Put away the herbicides and pesticides, and your own (slowly) mobile pesticide will return year after year.

Strawberries First and Last

Hurray, it’s strawberry season! The warm spring will have sprung the red fruit a little earlier this year. Don’t miss them. The strawberry is of great import in ancient Cherokee legend. The First Woman and the First Man of the Turtle Island lived at first in perfect harmony, but like most couples they soon fell to arguing. The First Woman stormed off in a fit of rage, and the First Man despaired of his ability to bring her home. He appealed to the Creator for help. Upon hearing of the First Man’s devotion, the Creator set plants growing in the First Woman’s path to slow her down. Blackberries grew up on one side of the path, huckleberries on the other, but she ignored them. The Creator sent gooseberries and serviceberries to line the First Woman’s way, but still she walked on. Finally, the Creator threw down a great handful of strawberry plants. The beauty of the plants and berries stopped the First Woman in her tracks. She was distracted from her anger and bent down to try a strawberry. It was so delicious she forgot how cross she was with the First Man and began to gather the strawberries. Wanting to share them with him, she returned to the First Man and led him back to their home, feeding him the fruit on the way. Aside from eating them straight from the plant, here’s the Almanac’s favorite way with strawberries: Wash and hull your strawberries — about a quart if you like a measurement, but really this recipe is highly elastic, it’s all to taste — and throw them into a blender. Squeeze half a lemon and half a lime over them, and, if you would like, add sugar to taste. Whizz up the mixture in the blender, pour it into a bowl and freeze overnight if you have the patience. If you can’t wait you can just drink it down as a sort of chilled dessert soup. Or pour in a good slosh of rum and some triple sec and you’ve got yourself a strawberry daiquiri. Happy spring.

A fair maid who, the first of May Goes to the fields at break of day And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree Will ever after handsome be. — Traditional English rhyme The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Let me take you down Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields Nothing is real And nothing to get hung about Strawberry Fields forever From “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Lennon-McCartney, 1967.

“By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the claims of the other months. All is at last in balance and all is serene. The gardener is usually dead, of course.” — Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, 1981 OH

May 2016

O.Henry 93

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May 2016 ¡Adios!



Undress for Success


Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

WALLY WORLD. 5 p.m. Wally West conducts an OPUS concert featuring aspiring hep cats, the Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

May 1–15

MADE IN N.C. 11 a.m. Check out arts, crafts, pottery, jewelry, food — even self-proclaimed Two Broke Authors, Laura S. Wharton and Mary Flinn —at Made 4 Market, featuring all made-in-N.C. wares. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2402 or gsofarmerskmarket.org. PLAYDAY. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Catch the final performances of August Wilson’s Fences, Triad Stage, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro.

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May 1

¡ADIOS! Bid farewell to Pan American Modernism: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the United States. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.


UNDRESS FOR SUCCESS. Everything’s coming up roses if you catch Community Theatre Greensboro’s production of Gypsy, a musical based on the life of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee. Starr Theatre, 520 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7470 or ctgso.org.

May 1–29 THE GRADUATES. See the works of M.F.A. students Ivana Beck, Inga Brown, Amanda Crary, Carmen Neely, Kate Robinson, Sheena Rose, Alex Soler and Richelle Soper at 2016 UNCG Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

May 1–June 12 TWOFER See a variety of mid-century styles at


De Kooning In Company and repurposed materials as art at Nexus: Found Objects. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. NATURE BOYS. Western N.C. artists Robert Johnson and Daniel Essig illustrate humans’ relationship to nature in Last Remaining Cathedral. Catch artists’ talks on 5/11 and 5/25. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

May 1–July 17 LIGHTEN UP. At Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. Tickets: (888) 663-1149 or reynoldahouse.org.

May 2 AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet poets Rachel Richardson (Hundred-Year Wave) and Jennifer Whitaker (The Blue Hour). The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Arts Calendar

Author. Author. Holding Demons in Small Jars

Dynamic Duo




Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. YOUNG PIPES. 7 p.m. Hear the sweet sounds of Greensboro Youth Chorus under the direction of Ann Doyle and Teresa Allred at a free OPUS concert. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Road, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

May 3 MEATHEADS. 8 p.m. Yuk it up with TruTV’s stars of Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins, as they bring their “Where’s Larry?” tour to town. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or livenation.com.

May 4 REGISTRATION DEADLINE. NC Unit — Herb Society of America presents Laura Wulff, auThe Art & Soul of Greensboro


thor of The Invention of Nature, May 19 at 11 a.m. Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Drive, Greensboro. To register: make checks payable to NC Unit Herb Society of America and mail to Elaine Campbell, 4608 Joseph Hoskins Road, Summerfield, NC 27358. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Jasmine Kumalah, author of Holding Demons in Small Jars. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 4–10 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or www.milb.com.

May 5 TERRA FIRMA. Noon. Keith Redding, executive director of Piedmont Land Conservancy, discusses conservation in the Piedmont at a Lunch and Learn. (Free to members, $2 donation from

Horse Race for for a good cause!



nonmembers). Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. To register: (336) 996-7888. ALL TOGETHER, NOW. 7 p.m. They’ve drawn megacrowds to their concerts worldwide. Aussie faith-based group Hillsong United comes to North America with its “Empires” tour. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. DYNAMIC DUO. 7:30 p.m. Anthony Hamilton and High Point’s own American Idol and Broadway star Fantasia Barrino bring their Grammy-award-winning chops to the stage. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. MUSICAL SCALES. 8 p.m. The hard-driving bluegrass sounds of Leftover Salmon, er, spawned a new genre called jamgrass. Hear ’em play. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. May 2016

O.Henry 99

May Arts Calendar

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May 6 GUEST STARS. 7 p.m. Queue up for a Year of Flannery O’Connor celebrity reading. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. BAND-IOSE. 7:30 p.m. Greensboro Concert Band strikes up another OPUS concert under the baton of Evan Feldman. Page High School Auditorium, 201 Alma Pinnix Drive, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

May 7 KINDERMARKT. 10 a.m. Yoga, beekeeping, seed planting, nutritional info . . . tykes can learn about fresh foods at Kids First Saturdays, a program held during regular market hours every first Saturday of the month from now through December. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. To register: gsofarmersmarket.org. BERRY-MENT. 10 a.m. How did early Quakers prepare strawberries? Find out from costumed interpreters in the 1801 Hoggatt House kitchen. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Arts Calendar LISTEN UP. 11 a.m. It’s Children’s Storytime with Ellen Fischer, author of If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Meet Lee Smith and discuss her collection of essays, Dimestore, at the WFDD book club meeting. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

experience fine dining from the comfort of your own home • Private dinner parties • Cocktail parties • Cooking classes • Personal chef service

ROSE RACE. 3:30 p.m. Don a lid and sip a julep while supporting a good cause, Make-a-Wish, Central and Western North Carolina, at the Kentucky Derby Classic. High Caliber Stables, 8506 Cedar Hollow Road, Greensboro. Tickets: kentuckyderbyclassic.kintera.org. WILL CAW. 6 p.m. Let ’em rock you like a wagon wheel! Boone’s Old Crow Medicine Show and Brandi Carlile are headin’ back to the land of the pines. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or livenation.com.

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PRECIOUS CHORAL. 7:30 p.m. Jon Brotherton leads Choral Society of Greensboro in yet another free OPUS concert. Christ United Methodist Church, Greensboro. Info: greensoro-nc.gov.

May 9 WORD UP. 7 p.m. Spread the words at North Carolina Writers’ Network open mic session. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 11 RATTA-TAT-TAT. 7:30 p.m. The free OPUS series continues with a concert from Greensboro Percussion Ensemble conducted by Mike Lasley. Trinity Church, 5200 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

May 12 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet novelist Elise Blackwell, author of The Lower Quarter. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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May Arts Calendar May 12 & 14 LES CHEFS D’OEUVRES FRANÇAIS. 8 p.m. Greensboro Symphony and pianist Inna Faliks serve up some Debussy and Ravel at “French Masterpieces.” UNCG Auditorium (formerly Aycock Auditorium), 408 Tate Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456, ext. 224 or greensborosymphony.org.

May 13 RE-SPOTIFIED. 7 p.m. Heavy metalheads Def Leppard promise they’ll play this time. Really. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or livenation.com. WAH-WAH-WAH! 7:30 p.m. Kyoshi Carter and Greensboro Brass Ensemble deliver some ta-rara-boom-de-ays. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov. INNA-VATOR. 8 p.m. Pianist Inna Faliks interprets Beethoven, Schubert and Ravel at a Sitkovetsky & Friends Chamber Series con-

cert. UNCG School of Music Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3355456, ext. 224 or greensborosymphony.org.

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

May 15

May 14 VEGETATION VENDOR. 9 a.m. Support the expansion of a Triad favorite by nabbing trees, bushes, perennials, heirloom vegetables and more, at the annual Spring Plant Sale. At 9:30, hear Paul Elsley’s discourse, “Gardens of the World.” Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville. Info/ Tickets (for lecture): (336) 9967888 or cienerbotanical.org. EARTHLY DELIGHTS. 7 p.m. Dig some tasty eats, brews and folk tunes courtesy of Look Homeward, plus a live auction at the Green Acres Gala fundraiser. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Tickets: gcmuseum.com.

May 14 & 21

JAZZ TREE-OH! Noon. Tunes and blooms are the name of the game at “Groovin’ in the Garden: Jazz at Gateway Gardens.” Gateway Gardens, 2924 East Gate City Boulevard. Info: (336) 373-2199 or greensborobeautiful.org. MYSTÈRE. 2 p.m. Sisters in Crime presents David Burnsworth and Julia McDermott discussing genres and subgenres of mystery writing. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3660 or highpointlibrary.com. PEN-AL COLONY. 3 p.m. The Scribe Tribe, aka Writers’ Group of the Triad meets. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

IRONIST. 10 a.m. But are his shoes laced with irony? There’s nothing arch about the Blacksmith; come see for yourself! High Point


FAMILIES Children’s Home Society believes in the importance of family, not only in the life of a child, but in the foundation of a community. Since 1902, we have worked with and through local communities to promote the right of every child to a permanent, safe, and loving family. Adoptive parents Elizabeth and Matthew Rankin with their family. Elizabeth is a CHS board member.


��������������������������������� thoughtful design + build 336.420.4205 Visit our website for information on family education, becoming a foster or adoptive parent, and supporting North Carolina children and families.

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1.800.632.1400 • www.chsnc.org

102 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Arts Calendar May 17 STEL-L-L-LA-A-A-A! 7 p.m. See the vehicle that launched Marlon Brando’s movie career, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-265 or carolinatheatre.com.

May 18 FLANN CLUB. 7 p.m. Hear “We Are Not Our Own Light,” a talk by Michael Gaspeny for the Year of Flannery O’Connor. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. YACHTA, YACHTA, YACHTA. 10 a.m. Tom Slane discusses the history of Hatteras Yachts and Slane Marine at a Museum Guild meeting. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

Our Passion for Service is Our Highest Mission At Old North State Trust, LLC, our primary commitment is to provide high level, local service tailored to the unique requirements of each individual client. Our passion for service is our highest mission. Give us a call today at 336-272-9944 to see how we can help you. • Trust & Financial Services • Estate Planning & Administration Michael Spohn President

Susan Beard Sr. Wealth Advisor

• Asset Management • Full Service Partner Jan Metcalf Trust Officer

Shea Abernethy Investment Strategist

May 19 BRASSANOVAS. 7 p.m. Catch the season’s final concert of North Carolina Brass Band, “All That Jazz.” First Presbyterian Church, 617 North Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 340-6764 or ncbrassband.org SWINGERS. 8 p.m. Country stalwart John Anderson (“Swingin’” and “Black Sheep”) joins Logan Brill to fire up the stage. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-265 or carolinatheatre.com

Rare, One-of-a-kind Art and Antiques for Every Price Range

MAY 19–25 HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255 or www.milb.com.

May 20 HOL-ISTIC. 6–8 p.m. As in Frank Holder and Hollis Gabriel, whose new works are the focus of Refining & Redefining Yourself. Tyler White O’Brien Gallery, 307 State Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or tylerwhitegallery.com.

May 21 BIRDWALK. 8 a.m. Get some exercise for the benefit of our fine-feathered friends at Tuxedo Trot, 5K Run for the Penguins. Families are encouraged to participate together. Greensboro The Art & Soul of Greensboro

For over 40 years, we have specialized in estate settlement. Don’t let your items sell for less than they are worth. Come see us today.

We Want your Estate or Fine Consignments 664. S. Stratford Road | Winston-Salem Less than 1 mile from Trader Joe’s! 336.765.5919 | www.LastersFineArt.com

May 2016

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Anue Ligne • Alison Sheri • Bel Kazan • Elena Wang Gretchen Scott Designs • JP Mattie & More

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104 O.Henry

May 2016

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Arts Calendar Science Center, 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 288-3769, ext. 1388 or tuxedotrot.com.

May 21–September 4 SELFIES. The D.I.Y. philosophy is central to Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William-Louis Foundation. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

WALK BACK. 8 a.m. In time, that is, on a guided tour of Washington Street with historian Glenn Chavis. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington Street, High Point. To reserve: (336) 885-1859.

May 21–29 AXES AND AXLES. Or, as it’s formally known, Gears & Guitars, a weeklong outdoor music festival held in conjunction with the Cycling Classic. Headline acts include The Band Perry, Drivn’ and Cryin’, Cracker and more. Various venues throughout downtown WinstonSalem. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

PANCAKE WALK. 8 a.m. And for those of you who’d rather not exert yourself on a Saturday, dive into a breakfast, courtesy of Alex Amoroso (Cheesecakes by Alex) at Strawberry Pancake Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732402 or gsofarmerskmarket.org. SCENT-ILLATING. 10 a.m. Enjoy the various fragrances of herbs and how early settlers used them in sachets, among other things. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859.

Swingers fire up th e stage

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

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

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

State Street

501 State Street, Greensboro, NC 336.274.4533 YamamoriLtd.com



WE HEART ART. 3–5 p.m. Especially if it’s Art From the Heart, an art sale that supports the emergency scholarship fund for Guilford Child Development Regional Child Care Resource and Referral. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: chelsearice@guilfordchilddev.org.

O.Henry 105

Gifts & More!

Clothing, Accessories

cool looks for

HOT DAYS www.polliwogs.com dressing childhood.

1804 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, NC 27408 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) • 336.763.7908 Tues. - Fri. 11-6pm & Sat. 11-4pm www.facebook.com/Serendipity by Celeste


1724 Battleground Ave. Suite 104 Greensboro, NC 27408

Monogramming Gifts • Jewelry • Baby Two Locations in Greensboro Irving Park - 1803 Pembroke Road Monday - Friday • 11am - 6pm Saturday • 11am - 4pm 410 Gallimore Dairy Road, Suite F Monday - Friday • 11am - 6pm

www.MillerMonograms.com Mention this Ad to Receive 10% OFF any in-store purchase; Excludes Customer/Sale/Clearance Items

106 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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

May 29–30

May 26 LISTEN UP. 7 p.m. High-“tale” it to a gathering of the Triad Storytelling Exchange. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

May 24 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Natasha Robinson, author of Mentor for Life. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street,


May 29

Inside the Outside

BE-SPOKE. Gear up for two days of road races and fun at the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. Downtown Winston-Salem. Info: winstonsalemcycling.com.

OLDIES. 11 a.m. Come out for antiques, vintage and repurposed items, a pie-eating contest, raffles and food trucks at the Greensboro edition of Pokez Vintage and Antique Fair (formerly Hoots Flea Market, started in the renovated Millworks in Winston-Salem). Homeland Avenue, across from Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2402 or gsofarmersmarket.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet novelist Fred Leebron, author of Welcome to Christiania. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

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. CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Your Mother’s Day Place to Shop!

Clothing u Lingerie Jewelry u Bath & Body Tabletop u Baby Home Accessories 1826 Pembroke Road, Greensboro, NC 336-274-3307 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) Monday thru Friday 10:00–5:00 Saturday 10:00–4:00

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

lAdIeS ClothIng, gIftS, BABy, jewelry, gIftS for the home, tABlewAre, delICIouS food

1738 Battleground Ave • Irving Park Plaza Shopping Center • (336) 273-3566

May 2016

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Wine and More!

Special Order and Hard-To-Find Wines | Craft Beer | Unique Gifts Weekly Wine Tastings | Private Wine Parties | Gift Baskets | Corporate Events 3326 W Friendly Avenue Suite 141 | Greensboro Phone: 336.299.4505 | www.WineStylesGreensboro.com

GroveWinery.com 7360 Brooks Bridge Road Guilford County NC 27249 336.584.4060


Upcoming Events May 8 May 13 May 22

A p pa la ch ia n F r e n ch Fu s i o n

NC Food Rodeo Wine & Song w/Big Something Haw River Paddle Trip

Visit Grove website for more information

Tasting Room Open Daily from Noon until 6pm

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W ine ry • R e s ta u r a n t


Never miss an issue! $45 in-state $55 out-of-state *per magazine

Call 910-693-2488 or or mail payment B R Pto P.O. Box 58, Southern Pines, NC 28388 LUE

delivered to your home! 108 O.Henry

May 2016



• F LOYD , VA • 5

The Art & Soul of Greensboro




SMALL BUSINESS IS BIG BUSINESS Business north Carolina Is LOOkINg TO fINd THe besT TAR HeeL smALL busINess.

We ask for your help to find the small businesses that best represent North Carolina. Please submit your nominations by June 22, 2016. QualifyiNg busiNesses must be: • Smaller than 100 employees • Based in North Carolina

• Independently owned with at least one active owner • In business for at least five years

Visit WWW.busiNessNC.Com/smallbusiNess

Questions, call Laura MacLean at (704) 927-6272 or email her at lmaclean@businessnc.com


Interior Design • Furniture • Art • Accessories 513 S. Elm Street • (336) 265-8628 • vivid-interiors.com

110 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May Arts Calendar Tuesdays 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; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’. 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen — live music featuring Laurelyn Dossett, Scott Manring and Alex McKinney (5/3); Martha Bassett, Sam Frazier and Pat Lawrence (5/10); , Sam Frazier and Pat Lawrence (5/17); Molly McGinn & Co. (5/24); and Alan Peterson and Alex McKinney (5/31) at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3700707 or lucky32.com/greensboro_music.htm.

Wednesdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs belles. They can be yours mid-week, through December. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market,

and special guests in the O. Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar: Chuck Johnson (5/5); Jessica Mashburn (5/12); Sheila Duell (5/19); Clinton Horton (5/26). No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm.

501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7 until 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. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

Thursdays TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox and Neill Clegg,

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

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 idiotboxers.com.


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

Come find out why we are where your dog wants to be! 11,000 square feet of indoor & outdoor space • Safe, clean & stimulating environment . . . always supervised • Doggie daycare and overnight boarding • Three separate playrooms based on size of dog • Full-service grooming available • Online webcam to watch your dog

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705 Battleground Ave.


! Sacred Threads - The Art of Clothing NewJewelry • Clothes • Shoes • Home Accessories

Everything a Girl Could Want... *Clothing *Jewelry *Shoes *Home Accessories

227 South Elm Street • 574.4496 Monday 12pm-4pm Tues. - Thurs. 11am-6pm Fri. - Sat. 11am-9pm Sunday 1pm-4pm

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 111

May Arts Calendar 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.

HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grownups, 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.

Saturdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is still fresh and the cut fleurs still belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

Golden Gate Shopping Center

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 idiotboxers.com.

MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone. Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

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

Open Mic Comedy

Sizes: 1X, 2X, & 3X


Vera’s Threads

Sizes: S, M, L & XL


Habitat • Oh My Gauze • Parsley & Sage • Art of Cloth Alembika • Kleen • Comfy USA • Chalet • Amma • Heartstring

112 O.Henry

Hours: M-F 11-6, Sat 11-5 2274 Golden Gate Drive - Golden Gate Shopping Center


May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Irving Park Fine Art and Frame and Kim Kesterson Trone

P resent

Arts & Culture

g n u r Sp Spring haS

Opening ReceptiOn

Friday, May 20th • 5:30-7:30pM

Irving Park Fine Art &Frame 2105-A West Cornwallis Drive • Greensboro, NC



Classes, Commissions, Party Classes online Classes

www. CPLogan.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 113

Yourself Arts & Culture

Refining & g Redefinin

Frank Holder, Hollis Gabriel & Suellen McCrary

RECEPTION: May 20, 6-8PM Join the Gallery Gals on May 20th as we explore new paintings & sculptural works by Frank Holder & Hollis Gabriel. LUNCH & LEARN: May 20th, 11:30am-1pm with Suellen McCrary

Tyler White O’Brien Gallery 307 State Street, Greensboro (336) 279-1124 www.tylerwhitegallery.com

FRIDAY, JULY 1 The Magic of Mozart | Orchestra Gala Dana Auditorium | 8:00 PM Three Orchestras | Three Soloists

Anna Kate Mackle, harp | Les Roettges, flute | Shannon Scott, clarinet


André Previn World Premiere Dana Auditorium | 8:00 PM James Ehnes, violin Strauss | Violin Concerto

THURSDAY, JULY 28 FRIDAY, JULY 29 Young Artists Orchestras Dana Auditorium | 8:00 PM Young Artist Concerto Competition Winners

Tickets on Sale NOW Box Office 336.272.0160

FOR MORE INFORMATION: EasternMusicFestival.org

114 O.Henry

May 2016


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Groovin’ in the

Garden A celebration of music 2924 E. GATE CITY BLVD.

Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden 1105 HOBBS ROAD

Sunday JUNE 5, 2016 12-5 pm

Live Music on 2 Stages Musical Activities for Kids Master Class with Electric Blues Guitarist, Tom Principato Garden Quest Family Games Food Vendors




free admission to both events GREENSBORO

Arts & Culture


www.greensborobeautiful.org 336-373-2957

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

May 2016

O.Henry 115


Admission is free. Hours Tues - Sat 10 - 5 Sun 2 - 5

130 Summit Avenue Greensboro NC 27401 336.373.2043 www.GreensboroHistory.org

116 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worth the Drive Tall Tales Who would have dreamed the Miss America Pageant, of all things, would be responsible for letting the genie — or Jeanne — out of the bottle? Standing at 6’ 2”, Jeanne Robertson, a.k.a. Miss North Carolina of 1963, was the pageant’s tallest contestant. Called on stage to entertain the audience while judges tallied the competition’s results, she had ’em rolling in the aisles with stories about growing up in her hometown of Graham. Robertson didn’t walk off with the Miss America crown atop her towering frame, but she did carry the title of Miss Congeniality, which she quite literally parlayed into a 51year career of public speaking. In recent years, YouTube has provided the comedienne with a new platform for her standup routines, and legions of new fans. They can set aside their iPhones for the real thing this month, as Robertson brings her singular brand of humor to the High Point Theatre. Her wit draws on the tradition of the, ahem, tall tale that Southerners, with a natural proclivity for exaggeration and the pregnant pause, have perfected. A cross between Andy Griffith —only edgier and wearing high heels — and Erma Bombeck, Robertson mines the everyday for nuggets of comedy, and the results are pure gold.

Where Nuturing

Really Makes a


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A frequent target of her barbs is her husband, “Left Brain,” an engineer whose literal mind produces comedies of errors, such as the time he cooks his own goose when he scrambles a shopping list of cake ingredients. On another occasion, his extreme frugality prompts him to eschew airline shipping fees to transport copies of his wife’s hardbound books for a signing. He forgoes a $20 cab ride from airport to hotel (and, Lord forbid, a tip) — for a $1 bus ride, which requires his staggering under the weight of the tome-filled luggage and a trunk. “Whatchoo gonna do with that $19 you saved — go to Europe?” Robertson quips. But, as always, the joke’s on her when Left Brain explains how much easier the return trip will be, with empty bags . . . and two people to carry them. Whether regaling audiences with stories of river rafting with Baptists, or explaining cursive to her grandson (who, “already knows curse words”), the comedienne with her height, a winning smile and that distinctive Eastern N.C. twang continues to leave audiences laughing in the aisles just as she did fifty-odd years ago. Miss America? Who needs her? Here’s to you, Mrs. Robertson. Info and tickets: highpointtheatre.com —Nancy Oakley

Practicing Commercial Real Estate by the Golden Rule Bill Strickland, CCIM Commercial Real Estate Broker/REALTOR 336.369.5974 | bstrickland@bipinc.com

1107 N. Main Street, High Point




Me 18,0 mo 00 S ries q F and eet Tre of asu res !

Gibsonville Antiques & ColleCtibles


Full of History, Antiques & Charm

106 E. Railroad Ave, Gibsonville, NC • (336) 446-0234 Downtown Gibsonville behind the Red Caboose

GibsonvilleAntiques.com • Mon-Sat 10-6 & Sun 1-5

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

5703-A HUNT CLUB ROAD GREENSBORO, NC 27410 336.294.2299

May 2016

O.Henry 117

336.209.0376 www.leerogersdesign.com



online @ www.ohenrymag.com 118 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene Corks for Kids Path

Hospice & Palliative Care of Greensboro presented by Green Valley Financial Friday, March 4, 2016 Christy Smith, David McLean, Lorri Yaskiewicz, David Clayton

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Stephanie Frazier, Ruth Heyd, Laurie Cole

Lisa & Sandy Duck

Tab & Pam Haigler, Mitzie & Joe Weatherly

Scottie Seaver, Jed Corman

Patrick & Stephanie Billings, Leslie & Len Conway

Paul Russ, Mary Pattlaaf

Dustin Howell, Taylor & Kim Mathis

Katie Gammon, Lindsey Goodstat, Julia Roach Vanessa Haygood, Stephanie Lawson

Jeff Williams, Chris & Ronda Holloway, Tanya Lomas, Jeff Fryer

Karlton Taylor, Deborah Hayes, Bill Brown, Mary Bilotta

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sarah & Ben Hintze

Holly Harmon, Sloan Bishop

May 2016

O.Henry 119

MERIDITH MARTENS, artist Fine Art Animal Portraits

www.meridithmartens.com 910.315.1214

Spring Selling Season into the

with a top Real estate team

Aggresive Marketing paired with Professional Service delivers Exceptional Results!! Kim Mathis

Kim Mathis REALTOR速, Broker

(336) 339-7757

Jeff Williams

120 O.Henry

Sterling Norins

May 2016

kimsmathis@gmail.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Lora Cubbage, Ivey Ghee

Gala Sponsor Party

Guilford Green Foundation Friday, March 18, 2016

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Patrick & Stephanie Billings

Nancy Vaughan, Jessica Mashburn, Ryan Butler

John Melton, Barbara Kretzer

David Fraccaro, Lina Urmos, Jeff Smith Nick Wilson, Cecelia Thompson, Rob Overman

Rebecca LaPlante, Dawn Chaney, Melissa Greer

Michelle Kennedy, Tom Campbell, Semarius Mann, Jody Clayton, Jehan Clark, Damian Clark

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Aaron Tyler, Tal Fish, Tim Smith

David & Rachel Wilson

Franklin Graves, Jim Bumgardner, Shane Burton, Todd McCain

Rosemary & Shauna Ireland

May 2016

O.Henry 121

Downtown Greensboro's Full Service Grocery

-Community Owned, Open to All -Expanded Product Selection -Local Products in All Departments -Cafe, Coffee & Patio Open Mon-Sat 7:30-9 Sun 8:30-8

deeprootsmarket.com Please Call 336-273-1318 for details Lunch Mon-Sun 11:30am-3pm Dinner Sun-Thurs 5pm-9:45pm & Fri-Sat 5pm-10:15pm

Westover Gallery of Shops 1500 Mill Street, Greensboro, NC tasteofthaigreensboro.com

600 N Eugene St GSO

Food –&– Dining

122 O.Henry

May 2016

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene Musical Moods Venetian Masquerade Ball to benefit Sanctuary House Saturday, March 19,2016

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Lisa Kellner, Katrina Lazar, Mattie Pierce, Jenny Beckett Keith & Cindy Holliday

Daniela & Dominic Mai

Jenny Beckett, Julie Luck (Emcee), Zoraida Crobett, Janna Grant

Mike Treadwell, Jenny Beckett

Wesley, Rochelle & Johnny Alston

Katrina & Gerald Carter

Sherry Smith, Madonna Green

Peggy McGinty, Kami Rowan, Christina Rama, Jenny Clark, Kelli Sheffield

Kathy & Randy Dixon, Ann & Phil Warrick, Chris & Leeanne Anton

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Lisa Kellner, Katrina Lazar, Mattie Pierce, Jenny Beckett

Micheline Chalhoub, Tom Clawson

Teresa Pearman, Diane Perrell, Dot Bell

Carmen Durham, Beth Ann Styron

May 2016

O.Henry 123


Louis Allen, Maggie Triplette

Legacy Society and Sponsors Reception Guilford College Bryan Series - George Takei Monday, March 21, 2016 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Julie Knight, George Takei Karrie Jo Manson, Julia Opaleski

Jim & Tamara Slaughter, Janie & Tom Slaughter

Sammie Kaufman, Donna Rasmussen

Nancy Quaintance, Kyle & Erin Dell

Suzanne Ingram, Brad Takei, Meredeth Summers

Sean & Jessica Fernandes

Ken & Trina Boggs Kathleen Whitmire, Herb Baum

Tommy & BooBoo Watkins, Bonnie & Jimmy Black

124 O.Henry

May 2016

Danita Morgan, Esther Hall

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Spring Into Your New Home! Irving Park

Old Irving Park

2 Waldron Court

This classic traditional home is in the heart of New Irving Park on a corner cul-de-sac lot is ready for family living. With spacious rooms, open floor pan 5 bdrms 3.5 baths . Bonus, sunroom and office. 2 car garage and fenced back yard. Come see - you won’t be disappointed

Irving Park

1101 Sunset Drive

Irving Park brick home overlooking the golf course. Great open floor plan with Master on main level, Great Room plus 4 additional BRs / 5 full & 2 half Bas. Open kitchen/breakfast/den. Open porches & attached garage. Price upon request.

Irving Park

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Irving Park


Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

2700 Lake Forest

2704 Lake Forest

Life on the Lake! Wonderful home on large lot with lake view! 4 or 5 BRs & great Kitchen! Daylight Bsmt w/Great Rm, BR, new BA, stg/ workshop. Price upon request

Xan.Tisdale@bhhsyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@bhhsyostandlittle.com

3518 Waldron

Classic and stately home has 3 stories that have been updated & re-done. High ceilings, hardwood floors on 2 level & large windows – perfect for entertaining. 5 BRs, 4.5 Bas, porches & patio.

©2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. 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.

Dover Square

Elegant & gracious Georgian classic home on large lake lot. 5 BRs, 4.5 BAs, tall ceilings & heavy crown moldings. Lower level in-law suite. Price upon request

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687

Dolce Dimora

Tablescapes,Bedding,Bath and More Matouk | Pine Cone Hill | Bella Notte Linens | Peacock Alley | Yves DeLorme | Sferra Linens Dash & Albert Rugs | Simon Pearce | Juliska | PJ Harlow Sleepwear

1616-H Battleground Ave. | 336.282.9572 | Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm | Saturday: 11am-4pm


The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Floral Design • Delivery Service Home Décor & Gifts Weddings & Special Events 1616 Battleground Avenue, Suite D-1 Greensboro, NC 27408




May 2016

O.Henry 125

Business & Services

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126 O.Henry

May 2016

2201 Patterson Street, Greensboro, NC (2 Blocks from the Coliseum) Mon. - Fri.: 9:30am - 5:30 pm Sat. 10 am - 2 pm • Closed Sunday

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

The Merry Month of Mayhem Whatever you do, don’t buy a broom

By Astrid Stellanova

May is beautiful, sure, but tricky if you happen to have a belief system like my kinfolk. According to my elders and their age-old list of Strange Warnings and Superstitions, you should never marry in May (“marry in May, rue the day”) or wash a blanket. Or buy a broom. But on the bright side, we have never had a U.S. president pass over to the Other Side during the merry month of May. Ad Astra. — Astrid

Taurus (April 20–May 20) It doesn’t take Astrid to know you are stubborn, Sugar. But it takes me to call you out. Maybe it’s time to take the high road, if only for a change of scenery. There are several good reasons to revel in the fact that nobody has sued you lately; maybe they were too broke to hire a lawyer. But let’s say maybe it’s because they care more about you than you cared about them. You bent the rules. Use your energy to further something powerful and positive (that can come to fruition if you re-channel your thoughts). You have incredible talents; maybe you can back down just a tee-nine-sy bit and abandon your plan to make your victim’s life hellish.

Scorpio (October 23–November 21) You don’t have to know how to calculate the square of a hypotenuse to be worthwhile. This is a significant time to rethink your painful self-doubts and kick them right onto the curb. A love of drama keeps you diverted from your soul’s journey. Look away, Sugar.

Gemini (May 21–June 20) You remind me of the prisoner who thinks he’s the warden. You are locked up in some ideas about the past that have nothing to do with the present, and those ideas have the power to sabotage your current serenity. You have been a slave to righteous anger that landed you in a box. If you are willing to relinquish it, you unlock the door of the prison cell.

Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Exoneration is not the cure and neither is revenge. A healthy distance will give you the psychic space and peace you seek. Someone you confide in can gently guide you back to your best self. The people that truly matter already believe you, so don’t worry another minute about something that has pained you overlong.

Cancer (June 21–July 22) There’s less to your new love than meets the eye, Honey. If you were willing to explore with a little more vigor, you would uncover some truths that aren’t buried that deep. Be like a dog with a Milk Bone — persist in getting what you are due and beg your friends to help save you from yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Leo (July 23–August 22) Somebody really stirred your grits — they took the spoon right out of your hand when you were standing at the stove. Don’t retaliate. Wait. They are going to get their comeuppance. No action required. Smile sweetly and just step back from that hot burner and let karma do its work. Virgo (August 23–September 22) You have a piece of the truth, and while it is not exactly true, it is truthy. What you believe, and what is objectively so, ain’t exactly the same, Honey. You have a golden opportunity for an adventurous getaway this month, and use this time to forget all about something that is making you stir crazy. Put your talents first. Nothing else matters. Libra (September 23–October 22) Your new love has just the right amount of wrong to keep you hooked. Let cute little what’shis-name or what’s-her-name do the work for a change and get your booty onto the dance floor. Maybe it takes this to keep you from reverting to your serious side too long. Let the sweet child in you out to play; don’t over-think it. Shake it, Honey Child. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) There is a toxic someone in your life who stinks like cheap deodorant. This relationship in your inner circle is about as needed as a stick in the eye. They serve you well as a bad example, though. Be the Star Child you were born to be and just shine more brightly whenever they start to throw water on your good spirits.

Aquarius (January 20–February 18) You honestly tried your best, but you burned the bread. It happens. But what is most appetizing about sitting at the table with you is that in your sweet company, a can of beans and a spoon is a treat. It’s a good time to be you, even when you have to scrape the burned bits off the toast. And it’s good to be loved by you. Pisces (February 19–March 20) It scares you to feel this happy, doesn’t it, Love? Well, let yourself go. Twist and shout and holler out loud if you feel like it. Your mojo came back, and you are going to tear it up on the dance floor of life! Aries (March 21–April 19) Chase after something you have been dreaming about like the sweet maniac you really are. You want it, you deserve it, and you can have it if you go flat out. There is big magic in self-belief. Child, it is fun to watch you from a distance: This is just what a dream pursued looks like. 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 2016

O.Henry 127

O.Henry Ending

Mom-morabilia in the Laundry Room By Deanna L. Thompson

Clomp. Clomp.

Clomp. That’s a familiar refrain from my childhood, the nightly percussion of my mother, in 1960s stacked heels, descending the basement stairs to pursue her favorite hobby: washing clothes. Mom, who grew up on a family farm during the Depression, dismissed TV as a waste of time. When my parents came across the street from a long day of work at the store they owned in tiny Duncan Falls, Ohio, my dad enjoyed stretching out on the sofa to watch My Three Sons or The Beverly Hillbillies. Mom washed clothes, even when the housekeeper had been there that day.

After I moved to Florida to work as a newspaper reporter, Mom called one day to say she was buying a gift for me. No surprises here. Soon a deliveryman was hand-trucking in a harvest gold washer and dryer, the top-of-the-line Maytag models. Over the next twenty years, that laundry duo moved with me through five changes of address, traversing the East Coast from Florida’s state capital in the South to New Hampshire’s state capital in the Northeast, and back south again to Greensboro. When my children began arriving, Mom made trips several times each year down the mountainous Interstate, across the mountains, from Ohio to North Carolina to visit. Well, to visit and to wash clothes. Using an arsenal of laundry detergents and specialty cleaners she had transported across three state lines, Mom would take aim at my piles of dirty clothes. Nary a spot — baby formula, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, ballpoint ink — would survive her attack. Within days, she would catch us up on laundry and then carry grateful hugs with her as she aimed her Oldsmobile back toward Ohio. Sometime between the arrivals of child No. 2 and child No. 3, my washer belched out its last load of clean clothes and I had to replace it, but that harvest gold dryer continued working as hard as ever. The same can’t be said for Mom.

128 O.Henry

May 2016

She stopped making the eight-hour drive to see us in the mid-1990s. In 2000, she underwent surgery for arterial problems and suffered a heart attack. By 2003, she was in a nursing home, suffering from congestive heart failure, diabetes and the beginnings of dementia. Each time I went back to Ohio, Mom had declined a little more. So when I got a call early one morning that Mom was found slumped in her wheelchair, I knew I needed to head north. But I’d just come through a series of work deadlines, and my washer was in need of . . . a visit from Mom. “Oh, no,” I told my sister Paula on the phone, “I have to do laundry before I can leave.” One quick load later, I was on the road to Ohio. Paula and I spent most of Mom’s last days with her in the hospice, recounting favorite memories at her bedside by day and sleeping steps away in recliners by night. When my family returned home to Greensboro, drained from her funeral, I found the same huge piles of clothes that I had left behind, spilling out of the baskets in our laundry room. I piled the new additions from our trip outside in the hallway, loaded up the washing machine and headed on to other tasks. When I finally remembered to check on the laundry, I realized the washer was quiet. Then I tried the dryer. It wouldn’t work either. The repairman found a part on the washer that needed replacing. But try as he might, he couldn’t find anything wrong with the dryer that Mom had bestowed on me more than two decades before. The only thing wrong with the dryer, he said, was that an outside breaker had tripped while we were gone to Mom’s funeral. Given her lifelong passion for laundry, the timing seemed both fitting and a little eerie. For another ten years after Mom died, the dryer kept spinning. But gradually, like Mom had, it slowed down. Where it had once taken an hour to dry a load of towels, it now required three hours. For a time, I resisted buying a replacement. Plain and simple, it was hard to part with this piece of Mommorabilia. But eventually exasperation trumped nostalgia, and I placed the order for a new, energy-efficient white dryer. I couldn’t help but turn my head and listen when the deliveryman began taking the old one away on a hand cart. As Mom’s harvest gold dryer slowly ascended the basement stairs, it made an unexpected but comforting sound. Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. OH Deanna L. Thompson has written for numerous newspapers and magazines. She can be reached at deanna@thompsononline.biz. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

The (spin) cycle of life

Make your


! e u r T

dreams come

7709 Northern Estates Point

1/2 mile from Northern High School This over 4600 heated sq ft custom home in Northern Guilford County features 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths with a bonus room on the second level and a 3 car side entry garage. Experience exceptional quality and wonderful outdoor spaces. Welcome the seasons with an abundance of natural light and a stone fireplace that is perfect for entertaining family and friends. A culinary dream kitchen completes this home, equipped with chef appliances, custom designer cabinets and beautiful granite countertops. Builder, Luisa Duran, has just broken ground on a beautiful deluxe home in Center Grove which will have 4 bedrooms & 3.5 baths. Call today for details.


Luisa Duran • Owner/Builder/Broker

336.369.2187 • duran@kickinclouds.com • www.kickinclouds.com


The average Triad home list price is $193,079. W H E N YO U R FA M I LY G R OW S , B E R E A DY W I T H A M O R T G AG E F R O M CA R O L I N A B A N K .

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