October O.Henry 2019

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3215 N Rockingham Road $2,900,000

815 Woodland Drive $1,700,000

2108 Berkshire Lane $1,600,000

701 Sunset Drive $1,495,000

2800 Lake Forest Drive $1,279,000

5807 Harriet Court $1,225,000

1907 Rosecrest Drive $715,000

8615 Robert Jessup Drive $689,000

108 Elmwood Terrace $685,000

306 Woodbine Court $660,000

1803 Madison Avenue $639,000

7002 Mustang Court $625,000

201 N Elm Street #1003 $574,890

211 Bessemer Avenue $569,000

7070 Toscana Trace $565,000

7704 Northern Estates Point $559,000

201 N Elm Street #1201 $552,270

7702 Northern Estates Point $552,000

810 Nottingham Road $439,000

2902 Cabarrus Drive $439,000

7 Ashton Square $435,000

2602 Turner Grove Drive South $435,000

7732 US Highway 158 $420,000

3308 Timberview Circle $415,000

201 N Elm Street #508 $291,900

432 Lockland Avenue $275,000

2104 Berkshire Lane $265,000

201 N Elm Street #704 $263,390

1508 Liberty Drive $239,900

1105 Briarcliff Road $210,000

7101 Chaftain Place $205,000

5305 Thorncliff Drive $199,900

1325 Winstead Place $155,000

20 Brownstone Lane $138,000

1700 Elm Street #B7 $125,000

1700 Elm Street #P3 $119,500

7748 Chesterbrooke Drive $90,000

2525 Rivers Edge Road $85,000

19 Carlson Terrace $80,000

21 Carlson Terrace $80,000

000 Woodrow Road $68,000

0000 Wheeler Road $18,000

1604 Saint Andrews Road $1,185,000

10 Clubview Court $995,000

5 Flagship Cove $969,000

2202 Lafayette Ave $899,000

1506 Cedar Ridge Farm Road $775,000

207 W Greenway Drive N $734,000

3520 Primrose Avenue $589,900

6606 Horseshoe Bend Court $589,000

201 N Elm Street #507 $581,280

201 N Elm Street #407 $580,280

24 Elm Ridge Lane $579,000

7709 Chesterbrooke Drive $575,000

1 Hatteras Court $550,000

5 Hatteras Court $499,000

2504 Rivers Edge Road $491,000

1222 Westridge Road $478,000

37 Lands End Drive $442,400

2506 Rivers Edge Road $440,000

1 Greenbrook Court $400,000

1811 Crossroads Drive $385,000

53 Kinglet Circle $370,000

65 Kinglet Circle $369,900

802 Pebble Drive $349,900

1815 Beechtree Road $339,500

SEE ONE YOU LIKE? To arrange a showing or get more information on one of these charming homes, call one of our agents or visit trmhomes.com today.

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Frank Slate Brooks Maggie Marston 336.253.2467 336.708.0479

Katie Redhead 336.430.0219

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Hilburn Michel 336.207.7100

Leslie Stainback 336.508.5634

Alec McAlister 336.707.0463

Jessica Haverland 336.312.8491

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Meredith Uber 336.451.4839

Mary Ed Banner 336.314.1815

Rodney Hazel 336.254.8946

Shane Morris 336.416.3922

Lindsey Whitlatch 336.708.2711

Susan Boydoh 336.402.0278

Kristen Haynes 336.209.3382

Stacey U. Ofsanko Preston Young 336.404.6342 336.420.1478

Liz Burns 336.447.5516

Wendi Huffman 336.254.4122

Meredith Parsons Patty Yow 336.202.7070 336.255.9369

Karen Otey 336.430.6552

Kelli Kupiec 336.541.0832

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October 2019

FEATURES 63 Butterfly Effect

By Patricia Bergan Coe

64 The Gardens of Westerwood By Lynn Donovan Earthly delights proliferate in this century-old neighborhood

70 Extreme Close-up

By Nancy Oakley For photographer and painter David Wasserboehr, God is in the details

76 Sylvan In The City

By Maria Johnson A Greensboro woman branches out by building an eco-friendly Airbnb, the area’s top wish-listed space

80 Fresh Start

By Jim Dodson Gardening guru Ellen Ashley creates her very own spot in Paradise

89 Almanac

By Ash Alder

DEPARTMENTS 19 Simple Life By Jim Dodson

22 Short Stories 25 Doodad By Billy Ingram

27 Life’s Funny

By Maria Johnson

31 Omnivorous Reader By D.G. Martin

35 Scuppernong Bookshelf

37 Drinking with Writers

59 Birdwatch

41 Gate City Journal

60 Wandering Billy

47 PapaDaddy By Clyde Edgerton 49 True South

91 Arts Calendar 113 GreenScene

By Wiley Cash

By Cynthia Adams

By Susan S. Kelly

51 Food For Thought By Jane Lear

55 Life of Jane

By Susan Campbell By Billy Eye

119 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

120 O.Henry Ending By Lynne Brandon

By Jane Borden

Cover photograph by Lynn Donovan

10 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Volume 9, No. 10 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street, Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com PUBLISHER

David Woronoff Jim Dodson, Editor • jim@thepilot.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director • andie@thepilot.com Nancy Oakley, Senior Editor • nancy@ohenrymag.com Lauren M. Coffey, Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Cynthia Adams, David Claude Bailey, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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

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Steve Anderson, Finance Director 910.693.2497 Darlene Stark, Circulation Director • 910.693.2488

Private Client Group Alex Sigmon Branch Manager 806 Green Valley Rd. Greensboro, NC 27408 Phone: 336-545-7100 www.wellsfargoadvisors.com Investment and Insurance Products:


Wealth Brokerage Services Greg Costello Regional Brokerage Manager 100 N. Main St. Winston-Salem, NC 27150 Phone: 336-842-7309 www.wellsfargoadvisors.com NOT FDIC Insured

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Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff ©Copyright 2019. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

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14 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Simple Life

Smoke and Memory Both are easily gone in a puff

By Jim Dodson

On a cool and misty autumn afternoon not long ago, I found myself taking up a secret pleasure I’d abandoned years ago.

While doing book research for the day in Staunton, Virginia, the lovely Shenandoah Valley town just off the Great Wagon Road that brought thousands of Scots-Irish to the American South, I turned up my coat’s collar and took a stroll though downtown in search of a cup of tea and a bookshop before hitting the road for home. On the corner, I spotted an old-fashioned tobacco shop. Its window display featured a selection of gorgeous, hand-carved pipes with names such as Mastro Geppetto and Savinelli Estate. Beyond them, two gents sat in comfortable wing chairs, smoking pipes and having a quiet rainy day conversation. On a lark, I stepped inside. If Marcel Proust’s main character in Swann’s Way associated the taste of a simple madeleine with childhood, my version might well be a whiff of pipe smoke. The scent of aromatic pipe smoke, you see, has a similar effect on me, conjuring up nice family memories and not a little amusement at my own youthful vanity. Walter Dodson, my paternal grandfather, a cabinetmaker whose name I bear, smoked a Dr. Grabow pipe, the inexpensive brand once manufactured in the pretty Carolina mountain town of Sparta. Walter was a man of few words but a rural polymath who could make anything with his hands. He taught me to fish and how to cut a straight line with a handsaw. Some of my fondest memories of him are of fishing together in a Florida bayou or watching my grandfather work in his carpenter’s shop, his Grabow pipe clenched in his teeth, fragrant smoke drifting all around us. Walter was the age I am today — mid 60s — but looked positively ancient to me, and a bit like an old Indian chief. In fact, family lore holds that his mother was a woman of Native American heritage. I was 10 or 12 years old at the time of these encounters, a bookish kid under the influence of adventure tales in which wise forest wizards and noble Indian chiefs smoked pipes. So it all seemed perfectly natural and wildly romantic to me. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I never worked up the courage to ask my grandfather if I could try a puff of his Grabow pipe, and he never offered. Ironically, about this same time, heeding the new surgeon general’s warnings about the health hazards of smoking, both my parents ditched their cigarettes, hoping my older brother and I wouldn’t take up the habit. They needn’t have worried. Following the prescribed formula for pulling an “all-nighter” for a geology exam my freshman year at college, like an idiot I drank an entire pot of black coffee and smoked half a pack of Camels, my first cigarettes ever. Somewhere around midnight, after throwing up and peeing myself silly, I fell asleep and managed to miss my 8 a.m. exam. I’ve never touched another cigarette. That same autumn, however, I drove home on a beautiful October afternoon to surprise my father at his office, hoping we might slip out for nine holes of golf before dark. I found him sitting in his office reading Markings, a spiritual classic by Dag Hammarskjöld, the Scandinavian diplomat who’d served as the secretarygeneral of the United Nations. He was also smoking a handsome wooden pipe. “Oh no! You’ve discovered my secret pleasure,” he said with a sheepish grin. Given my recent unhappy run-in with cigarettes, not to mention his own abandoned habit, I was surprised to see him smoking anything. He explained that pipes were different from cigarettes. For one thing, you didn’t inhale pipe smoke into your lungs but allowed it to circulate in the air around you, “pleasing both the nose and the soul” — one reason, he reckoned, so many writers, poets and philosophers chose to smoke a pipe. “It was either Charles Darwin or James Barrie who said a pipe stimulates noble thoughts” he said. “Maybe it was either Santa Claus or Hugh Hefner,” I suggested. “They smoke pipes, too.” I learned that he’d bought his first pipe in London during the Blitz and brought the habit home with him. “I thought it made me look like an intellectual,” he added with a chuckle. “Truth is, it reminded me of home. Your granddad smoked a pipe. It was pure comfort, a pacifier with smoke and memory.” I wondered how frequently he smoked his pipes. There were three on his desk. Two looked new, one looked very old. “Not very often. A dozen times a year, tops. It’s not a habit — more a simple pleasure.” October 2019

O.Henry 19


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Simple Life He laughed, handing me his oldest-looking pipe. It had a cracked stem. “This one belonged to your grandfather. You can have it, if you wish.” “Can I smoke it?” “Better try this one instead. Fits the hand nicely. Not much bite.” It was a handsome thing, burled briarwood, a simple Italian affair with an elegant long stem. He showed me how to pack and light it and watched me puff away, reminding me not to inhale. “So what do you think, college boy?” He asked. I liked it. He smiled. “We won’t tell your mother.” That Christmas, though, he gave me a copy of Markings and a gorgeous handmade-Italian pipe that looked like it had been carved from a knot of mahogany. I loved my new pipe even if my new college girlfriend didn’t. She was a fellow English lit major, a self-described Marxist who had expensive tastes in footwear. She laughed out loud when she saw me pull out my fancy new Italian pipe and fire it up at a party where the guests were smoking a different kind of pipe and something that smelled like burning shag carpet. “My God,” she hooted. “You look like an idiot! Next thing you’ll be wearing a corduroy jacket with elbow patches and calling yourself a Republican.” Had I been quicker on my feet, I might have told her that Che Guevara and her personal hero Virginia Woolf both smoked pipes, and that William Wordsworth carried his favorite pipe with him during his famous Lake District rambles. I could just picture the bard sitting on the crumbling

336.379.069 9 | P RIN T WO RKSBIST RO . C O M

wall at Tintern Abbey, dreaming of his lost Lucy as he sent perfect smoke rings into the still summer air. We broke up a short time later — irreconcilable differences over politics and pipes — at which point I went straight out and bought a second-hand corduroy jacket with elbow patches, hoping I might look like John le Carré on the back cover of his latest espionage thriller. By the time I was a married father living in a forest of birch and beech trees near the coast of Maine, I owned several handmade pipes, which I typically only smoked when summer vanished and the weather turned. Our kids, however, always loved watching me smoke my pipe, probably because I could blow smoke rings prettier than either Bilbo Baggins or Gandalf the wizard. Which may explain why, on that recent misty afternoon in western Virginia, realizing it had been many years since I even held a pipe in my hand, I impulsively bought a cheap Missouri Meerschaum pipe and an ounce of mild tobacco and had a fine time making smoke rings as I hoofed around town. Back home, I went searching for a box in the basement that contained items from my office desk in Maine and found a few of my favorite pipes from those days, but not my grandfather’s Grabow or even the handsome Italian number my father gave me once upon a time. They may be waiting somewhere in an unopened box, like artifacts from a carpenter’s workshop or a spy novelist’s corduroy jacket. Or maybe they simply vanished, like smoke and memory. OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

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Here are our top to do’s! Join us! • O.Henry Downton Tea: Oct. 5 Tickets: ohenryhotel.com • O.Henry Jazz & Package: Every Thursday from 6-9 PM and Saturday’s from 7-10 PM. See the schedule and book your overnight package at ohenryhotel.com. • Happy Birthday L32—30 Years: Reservations: lucky32.com • Greensboro Symphony Guild: A Notable Night in Venice Fundraiser: Nov. 2, Proximity Hotel Learn more: gsoguild.org • PWB Pop-Up Dance Club: Oct. 4, Nov. 1 printworksbistro.com • Hotel Offers & Packages: Book your romantic fall weekend getaway at ohenryhotel.com or proximityhotel.com. • Dine Al Fresco! Enjoy cooler evenings and weekends. • Songs from a Southern Kitchen: Schedule: lucky32.com • Fall Menus: Favorite local ingredients; acorn squash, beets, apples, persimmons and more...

336.379.820 0 | P RO X IMIT Y H O T E L . C O M

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

3 3 6 . 8 5 4 . 2 0 0 0 | O H E NR Y H O T E L . C O M

Unwind and Dine Giveaway! Get the details and enter at printworksbistro.com/giveaway

October 2019

O.Henry 21

Short Stories Fright Night

So, a ghost walks into a bar and says, “Gimme some booooooze,” and the bartender says, “Sorry but it’s past last boo-ty call.” OK, well maybe this isn’t your idea of a ghost story, but there will be plenty of tales of terror, sagas of spectres and regalings of goblins and witches’ brew ha-ha’s as told by professional storyteller Cynthia Brown at High Point Museum’s Ghost Stories in the Park (1859 East Lexington Ave., High Point). Just drop by the historical park on October 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. for some preliminary fun: pumpkin decorating, face-painting and s’mores, before the spine-tingling yarn-spinning begins at 7 p.m. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

Haunts and Hops

A summer camper’s horrifying realization . . . a farm boy’s coming of age . . . a meet-cute in a bar . . . a high school romance gone awry . . . senior semester pranks and other tales of revelation, lost innocence, deception and downright debauchery. And all good fun at the last two Story Slams, hosted by O.Henry and its digital cousin, O.Hey. Find out what you’ve been missing — great beer and laughs — by coming out to the next Story Slam on October 17, 7 to 9 p.m. at Red Oak Brewery’s Lager Haus & Biergarten (6905 Konica Drive, Whitsett). This month’s theme, inspired by the ambiance and the season: Stories with Spirit(s). Tickets: ticketmetriad.com

The Unkindest Cut of All

Betrayal, murder, intrigue, power struggles between two women . . . And you thought Game of Thrones and 1980s soaps Dallas and Dynasty were rife with catfights and backstabbing! For a, heh, cut above, check out the N.C. premiere of Mary Queen of Scots, presented by Piedmont Opera. Donizetti’s tragedy (titled in Italian, Maria Stuarda), centers around the Scots queen’s relationship with her cousin Elizabeth I, whom she has plotted against. Imprisoned for her actions, Mary is released for a meeting with Elizabeth and hopes for freedom . . . until the axe falls. Performances take place October 18th, 20th and 22nd at Winston-Salem’s Stevens Center (405 West Fourth Street NW). For tickets and information: (336) 721-7101 or piedmontopera.org.


Here’s a story you can sink your teeth into: A pale, caped stranger terrorizes the citizens of London by night (though admittedly, one would be hard-pressed to distinguish him from other pale denizens of the Big Smoke), and only the arrival of dawn — or a clove of garlic or a silver stake can save them. You guessed it! Chills and thrills are yours for the taking — if you dare — at Triad Stage’s production of Dracula. Performances run October 20 through November 10 at the Pyrle Theater (232 South Elm St.). Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

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October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Dig It!

More specifically, “dig up.” The members of the Davidson County Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers Association unselfishly uprooted shrubs and perennials from their own yards as donations to the organization’s annual plant sale. On Saturday, October 5, from 8 a.m. to noon, the wide variety of shrubs, perennials, N.C. natives and more will be on sale at DCEMGVA’s annual plant sale at the Depot in downtown Lexington (129 South Railroad Street). Have any questions? No worries! The Master Gardeners will be on hand offering advice, as generously as they offered their own green and growing things. Info: (336) 407- 2853.

Small Is All

Now that downsizing is all the rage, see how families are living comfortably by finding innovative ways of maximizing small spaces. Or as the organizers of the first annual Kirkwood Tour of Homes assert, “Less House, More Life.” From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 5, you can wander — free of charge — through six modest but oh-so-charming abodes scattered along Colonial Avenue, Independence Road, Lafayette Avenue and Liberty Drive, if not for inspiration for your own home, then for the lovely fall weather. Info: kirkwoodtour.com.

Tutus de Sweet

Greensboro Ballet is getting a head start on sugar plum season. On October 26 at Van Dyke Performance Space (200 North Davie Street) the dance company stages a production of Hansel & Gretel, designed for families. Two performances, at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., bring to life the popular fairy tale we all know so well: Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods, come upon a gingerbread house and start eating it, only to discover it belongs to a witch who has a taste for something else entirely. There are a number of ways to interpret the story but the bottom line? If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. And yet, this visual and musical treat will certainly be good for your senses. Bring the kiddoes and be sure to stay afterward for a guaranteed safe gingerbread activity, costume contest and a meet-and-greet with the cast. Tickets: (336) 333-7480 or greensboroballet.org.


Fill up on caffeine, grab an extra-large box of popcorn — or, tea and lembas bread if you prefer — and lose yourself in the epic struggle between hobbits, wizards, elves, talking trees, knights, kings and the evil eye of Sauron. Yep, it’s the battle for Middle Earth all over again, at a Lord of the Rings marathon, courtesy of Carolina Theatre (310 South Greene St.). On Thursday, October 3, at 7 p.m., the series of screenings begins with Fellowship of the Ring, followed by the second installment on October 4, also at 7 p.m., with The Two Towers. Want to watch all three movies in succession — replete with a Hobbit’s “second breakfast”? Then show up 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 5 until the credits roll on the last movie in the trilogy, The Return of the King. As for tickets, sorry but “YOU SHALL NOT MoviePass!” But they are a reasonable $7 for each movie, or $16 for the Saturday marathon; to purchase: (336) 333-3605 or carolinatheatre.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

For us balmy weather types, October and April are the two best months of the year. The moderate temps are ideal for outdoor events, such as Shakori Hills (October 3–6) and the Dixie Classic Fair (October 4–13). But with indoor shows in full swing, it’s difficult to narrow down concert choices, as at least three dates have conflicting top-shelf events. Still, you gotta give it your best shot.

• October 6, Pittsboro Roadhouse: I don’t

know much about this venue, but I do know about Atlanta Rhythm Section, and that it’s worth a 50-mile trip to see them. “Imaginary Lover” and “So Into You” are two of the best groove songs ever recorded.

• October 11, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: Between tours with The Boss, Little Steven hits the road with his own band, the Disciples of Soul. In March he released his first album of original material in 20 years, all written, arranged and produced by him at his Renegade Studios. This should be interesting. • October 18, Carolina Theatre: Honestly, I don’t know whether or not Jerry Douglas intended for the Earls of Leicester to be more than a one-off tribute to Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. But the band has become such a phenomenon that it would be foolish not to keep it going. And that makes me very, very happy. • October 19, Greensboro Coliseum: When

Chris Stapleton broke away from the SteelDrivers in 2010, he became a breath of fresh air in an often-formulaic country music industry. But did you know he has also written or co-written close to 200 songs, including six No. 1’s? No wonder he’s won five Grammys, seven ACMAs and 10 CMA awards.

• October 25, The Ramkat: I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing Winston-Salem native Ben Folds can’t do. Obviously best-known as a pianist, vocalist and songwriter, he also plays bass and drums, is an actor, is a published author, was a judge on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” is a political activist, and plays and collaborates with everybody from full orchestras to his audiences. A true Renaissance Man, this should be quite a homecoming. October 2019

O.Henry 23

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Revved Up

Artist Jan Lukens heads up an exhibit for Revolution Mill’s revitalized gallery



an three guys in their 60s revolutionize the local art scene? Discover for yourself on October 11th at Revolution Mill’s newly christened Gallery 1250 (1250 Revolution Mill Drive.) I had first seen the spectacular 2,800-squarefoot, glass-enclosed open space three years ago, when it was designated a satellite exhibition space for UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum. But like every good intention, the vision never came to fruition beyond its initial splash: Raleigh Street artist James Marshall’s floor-to-ceiling mural in variegated shades of green. From his studio across the hall from the unrealized gallery, artist Jan Lukens grew increasingly frustrated “I complained,” Lukens says. But he also banged out a business plan, which Revolution Mill’s general manager, Nick Piornack, liked. “It’s yours,” he said But what to do for the inaugural installation? “Since I’ve never been a gallery director before,” Lukens says, “I thought I’d get my feet wet by being in the show so I invited two close friends to join me for a show called Triple Vision.” The Greensboro native hopped from advertising illustration to full-time painting in 1992, making a name for himself with majestically realistic portraits of thoroughbreds and Olympic jumpers. “A lot of people think that’s all I do because that’s all they ever see from me. So I’ve only got one horse painting in this show.” His fellow exhibitors are Roy Nydorf, recently retired head of the art department at Guilford College with an M.F.A. from Yale, and Michael Northuis, who has an M.F.A. in painting from UNCG and was a visiting lecturer there and at Guilford College for years. Some may remember GreenHill’s respective of Nydorf’s work in 2012. While Lukens’ animal portraits are realistic, Nydorf’s and Northuis’ multimedia creations might best be described as highly imaginative figurative paintings, rich with art historical references and social comment. “My intention for Gallery 1250,” Lukens explains, “is to show large-format art, in an alternative exhibition space, by the best artists in the area and beyond, focusing on painting, photography and sculpture.” And how does he find setting down his paintbrush long enough to take the, uh, reins of Gallery 1250? “I still do commissioned work but when I do work for myself, I get to make all the decisions and that’s so much fun.” — Billy Ingram The Art & Soul of Greensboro




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Life’s Funny

Keep on Truckin’ How to Pick-Up Artistic Inspiration Along the Way

I first heard about the truck called Mazy Mae this time last year.

I was meandering the aisles of a pottery show when I was snared by the playful animal designs of Oak Ridge artist Leanne Pizio, who was minding the menagerie. We started chatting, and soon Leanne, who looked positively girlish in her blonde bangs, flowered skirt and western boots, was telling me now she spray-painted her Chevy S-10 pick-up truck with a different whimsical design every year. Her themes were never offensive, but sometimes she caught guff for her mobile expressions. Once, at a gas station in Statesville, a stranger scolded her for ruining a perfectly good truck. I asked Leanne how she handled the service-station critic. “I tried to be nice,” she said, smiling and shrugging. Then she invited me to witness the next painting of Mazy Mae, which is how I found myself driving to Oak Ridge late one September afternoon as the dipping sun cast a glow on fields brush-stroked with grass gone to seed. Leanne calls it a fairyland, the undulating property that she and her husband Will Pizio have called home for the last 10 years. The centerpiece is a 1950s split-log cabin chinked with cement and shored up by stone, ringed by boxwood hedges, low stone walls and five gigantic holly trees. Enchanted indeed, and the perfect dwelling for two free spirits. As Will puttered around the yard, Leanne invited me inside the cabin, where I was greeted, all at once, by the smell of wood smoke that has smudged the upper lip of the fireplace and by three rescue dogs that hover around Leanne like a force field of gratitude. The dogs settled into observation mode as Leanne poured iced tea into a couple of her animal-face mugs (I got a zebra!) and arranged a plate of butter cookies dimpled with homemade preserves. Here’s a person who can’t help but take what life provides and create something new from it. In other words, a born artist. She was that way, she says, even as a child growing up in Burlington. “I was the fourth of four girls, so there aren’t a lot of pictures of me, but The Art & Soul of Greensboro

there’s one picture. I was about 3 or 4, and I’m on the patio in my painting smock, with my little easel and my paints.” It was no surprise, then, that when she went to UNC Chapel Hill, intending to follow in the footsteps of her psychiatrist father, she was sharply diverted by an art class. “I was hooked,” she says. She graduated with a degree in psychology and minor in art, then tacked on a master of fine art degree from UNCG, where she grew to love painting and luvvvvv throwing and decorating pottery. She honed a technique known as sgraffito (Italian for “scratching off”), in which the potter scrapes away a slip, or thin coating of colored clay, to reveal a contrasting color below. The practice — which often yields dark-on-light designs — lends itself to Leanne’s drawing ability. Many of her pieces reflect a love of animals, a fondness you’d expect from someone who has kept chickens and donkeys — and who has logged brief stints with dairy cows and goats. No kidding; she once worked as a kidding apprentice — basically a baby goat sitter — at Goat Lady Dairy in Climax outside Greensboro. “Farmers are the hardest working people in the world,” she says. Over the years, in her own farm-to-table way, Leanne cobbled together a life funded by waitressing and selling her fanciful creations. In 1997, she was living in Statesville and teaching art at a community college when she decided to paint Mazy Mae for the first time. It was a difficult decision. She didn’t want to disrespect her parents; she’d asked them for a truck and they’d given her one as a present for graduating from Carolina. The ’91 Chevy was roomy enough for all of her art supplies. It was reliable. And it was white. Like a canvas. Leanne mulled the idea for about a year before taking the plunge. The first paint job was flying women with pretty dresses and large feet. “I’ve always loved feet,” Leanne explains. That’s the design that prompted the jab from the guy at the gas station. Leanne warned her parents, by phone, about the truck’s new look; when they finally saw it, their reaction was accepting. Tepid, but accepting. Her sisters were tolerant, too. October 2019

O.Henry 27

Life’s Funny

“I think it might have been a little bit embarrassing for me to drive up to other homes in my crazy painted truck,” Leanne says. “But over years they got used to it and looked forward to seeing what was going on with it.” In a way, Leanne’s experience with Mazy Mae symbolized what it’s like to be an artist; living between the call of your muse and the chance — nay, the certainty — that following the call will tick off somebody, somewhere, for some reason. “You get to these places where you’re doing something that might be stepping on somebody’s toes, and, yes, you have to decide if you’re going to do that. I think all artists are in that position quite a bit,” Leanne says. She’s not claiming to be a hero. There are times, she says, when she has rightly reined herself in. But embellishing her own truck was low-stakes, so she continued covering it, at least once a year, with anything that inspired her: witches, ghosts, bunnies, bats, owls, American flags (after 9/11), llamas and sugar skulls to name a few. She still raised eyebrows and drew snarks, but she also got a lot of smiles, honks and questions from people genuinely interested in Mazy Mae’s everchanging wardrobe. After her career took off, thanks largely to the encouragement of her husband and an agent who sold her works as interior decorating accessories, Leanne used the truck as a promotional tool. When she created clay aliens for a gallery installment, she plastered the truck with funky extraterrestrials. She also started parking the truck, festooned with balloons, on N.C. 150 as a flag for people who wondered which driveway led to her home, site of the annual Keep it Local Art Show. Since its beginning in 1999, the show has grown from Leanne and one other artist, jewelry maker Lisa Skeen, to almost 25 local artists working in a variety of media.

Scheduled for October 26 this year, the event features live music, a food truck and a scavenger hunt of easy-to-find art pieces hidden on the grounds. With tea drained and cookies crumbled, Leanne and I walked out to the yard where she had just started painting Mazy Mae with this year’s motif: crows flapping through a cornfield. She held stencils cut from paper grocery bags against the truck’s skin, alligatored from more than 50 paint jobs over the years, and pointed cans of Krylon at the holes in the bags. Psssst, psssst, psssst. Orange oblongs = ears of corn. Psssst, psssst, psssst. Green stalks sprout to life underneath them. Leanne hasn’t driven Mazy on the road in a couple of years; at nearly 30 years old , Mazy’s ticker is weak. If Will can start her, they’ll drive her to the top of the driveway to advertise this year’s show. If she won’t crank, maybe they’ll tow her up there. Or maybe they’ll leave her in the yard, next to the wood shed, and do something fun with her. Remove her tires and windshield and make her cab a flower bed? “I’ll never let go of her,” Leanne says, standing by the vehicle that’s carried her down the long and winding road known well by artists. “We’ll figure out where she needs to be.” OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at ohenrymaria@gmail.com. For details on the Keep It Local Art Show, go to: https://www.facebook.com/ events/keep-it-local-art-and-pottery-show/keep-it-local/405657170156079/

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October 2019

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The Omnivorous Reader

Making of a Marsh Girl Praise for a North Carolina tale

By D.G. Martin

For almost a year now,

Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing has been at the top of The New York Times best-seller list, usually at No. 1.

North Carolina likes to be first at everything. Freedom. Flight. Basketball. Books. So, some of us have been bragging because Crawdads is set in North Carolina. Most of the action takes place in the fictional coastal town of Barkley Cove and the surrounding marshes, coves and ocean waters. There are side trips to real places such as Greenville and Asheville. Others complain that the book’s geography is confusing, that the main character is unbelievable, that the framing of the African-American characters and their dialect is faulty, and that the storyline is broken and contrived. However, the book’s many fans argue that Crawdads is genuine literary fiction in light of its strong and lovely descriptions of nature’s plants and creatures. They continue with praise about the book’s compelling murder mystery that has an unexpected ending and gives readers a superior entertainment experience. They applaud the coming-of-age story of the book’s central character, Catherine Clark, or “Kya.” Kya was abandoned by her family as a child and lived alone in a shack in the marshes miles away from town. People in Barkley Cove think she is weird, keep their distance, and call her “the Marsh Girl.” She spent only one day in school and cannot read or write. However, because she is smart and diligent, she learns about the nature of the marshes. When Kya meets Tate Walker, a young man from Barkley Cove, he senses her strengths and shares her love of plants and animals. He teaches her to read and write. They fall in love. When Tate leaves Kya behind to study science at UNC Chapel Hill, she is devastated. Later, she rebounds to the seductive charms of Chase Andrews, a town football hero and big shot. Their secret affair is interrupted by Chase’s marriage to another woman, and Kya is again distraught. Overcoming these disappointments, Kya leverages her reading, writing and self-taught artistic talents to record the natural world that surrounds

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

her. When Tate, now a scientist, returns to her life, he persuades her to submit her work for publication. The book is a great success, and she writes and illustrates several more. All this is background for the story that begins when Kya is grown and her former lover, Chase Andrews, is found dead at the bottom of an old fire tower. Kya is a suspect and is ultimately charged, arrested, put in prison and tried for Chase’s murder. The evidence against her seems flimsy at first. But incriminating facts pile up, including her angry response to the married Chase’s attempts to seduce her. But she has a strong alibi. The author’s deftness in setting up this situation, and resolving it smoothly, has helped make it a best-seller. A remaining mystery is how and why Owens, the author of two successful non-fiction books about the African natural world, came to write Crawdads. After studying and writing about animal behavior, as she explained on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch in September, “I wanted to write a novel about how much we know about how animal behavior is like ours. It can help us learn about ourselves. So I came up with this idea of writing this novel about a young girl who is forced to live outside of a social group. She’s abandoned. She’s never totally alone, but she has to spend a lot of time alone, and how does that affect her behavior? That is the question of my novel. Because Kya doesn’t have any girlfriends, she is missing something. She’s lonely, she’s isolated, and when people are forced to live in that sort of situation they behave differently. “Kya was raised in the wild coastal marsh of North Carolina. She was born in the 1940s and lived through the 1950s and on, and so I chose the marsh because she is mostly abandoned by her family. She has to live most of the time by herself. I wanted the story to be believable, and the marsh is a temperate climate so she could live, she didn’t have to worry about snow or freezing, and she had a shack. She could survive because you can truly walk around and pick up mussels and oysters. I know it’s not easy, but you can learn to do it. It was possible for her to survive in that environment. That’s the reason I chose it.” Owens, who spent much of her life in the wilds of Africa, far from any other human, explained, “There’s a lot of me in Kya: girl, love of nature, live October 2019

O.Henry 31

Omnivorous Reader in the wilderness for years, feeling like I don’t belong anywhere. There’s a lot of me in Kya, but there’s a lot of Kya in all of us.” She says that being totally alone changes a person. “When I was isolated in Africa all those years, I wanted to have social groups. I wanted to have more contact with people. But when I came back, I found out it’s not so easy just to do it. And that’s what happens to someone who’s isolated like Kya. She longed to be with people, but every time she had an opportunity she was shy and didn’t feel socially confident. “One of the points of the book is that you do not have to live in a marsh to be lonely. A lot of people in cities are lonely. A lot of people in small towns, even though they have friends, are lonely because we don’t have the strong, longlived groups that we used to have. And when we get away from that, not only do we feel less confident and lonely, but we also behave differently toward others.” How does Owens make a story out of an isolated young woman who lives in a shack in the marsh? “I came with the theme first. I wanted to write a story of a young girl growing up alone and how isolation would affect her, but I knew I couldn’t just write that story. It had to have a love story, and it’s a very intense love story. It’s a very compelling, I hope, murder mystery. Of course when Kya reached adolescence, she reached the time that she wanted to be with other people, she wanted to be loved. So she started in her way reaching out, at least watching, and there is sort of a love triangle that follows that is very intense.” Will there be a movie? Crawdads gained the attention of actress Reese Witherspoon. Fox 2000 has acquired film rights and plans for Witherspoon to be the producer. We can hope that the movie will be shot in North Carolina. But here the book’s problem jumps up. The geography described in the book, with palmettos and deep marshes adjoining ocean coves, seems to fit South Carolina or Georgia coastal landscapes better than North Carolina’s coastlands. Nevertheless, whatever the moviemakers decide, North Carolinians can bask in the reflected glory of a No. 1 best-seller that claims our state for its setting. OH D.G. Martin hosts North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 5 p.m. on UNCTV. The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel Tuesday at 8 p.m. To View prior programs go to http://video.unctv.org/show/nc-bookwatch/ episodes/

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O.Henry 33

Have you really not signed up yet?

Calling all born storytellers, shaggy dog fans and fearless yarn-spinners!

Outstanding! I’m blown away every week. VERY impressive!



I really love this adaption of the O.Henry Magazine. Thanks for putting this together.


Thursday, october 17

7 to 9PM at Red Oak Brewery in Whitsett Join us for the third O.Henry Magazine Story Slam, an evening of competitive improv storytelling, homegrown humor, and fabulous Red Oak beer in an authentic Munich Bierhaus!

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October 2019

Offer up a memorable 6-minute story about this month’s theme — “Stories with Spirit(s).” — and you could win one of three prize packs featuring Red Oak swag!

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

Be the best-read with every literary genre’s cream of the crop for 2019 Compiled by Brian Lampkin

It’s good to be

reminded each October that the best of America can still be a thrilling, intellectually stimulating, factfilled engagement with our most intriguing, diverse and serious ideas. On October 1, Houghton-Mifflin again brings us its finely edited collection of “Best Of” books in all genres. They’re priced to move at $15.99, and each book contains about 20 essays that have been culled from thousands of entries. The editors themselves constitute a best of American letters: Jonathan Lethem, Anthony Doerr, Rebecca Solnit and Samin Nosrat, among many others. These books are the best way to catch up on what mattered in 2019. The Best American Short Stories 2019, edited by Anthony Doerr. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) brings his “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) to selecting The Best American Short Stories 2019. Doerr and the series editor, Heidi Pitlor, culled from The New Yorker end of the literary world, but also from the small presses that give underground life to the mainstream. The Best American Essays 2019, edited by Rebecca Solnit. Writer, historian, and activist Solnit is the author of twenty books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Edward Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A columnist at Harper’s and a regular contributor to the Guardian, she knows a thing or two about writing essays. The Best American Mystery Stories 2019, edited by Jonathan Lethem. One of my favorite American novelists, Lethem’s most recent book, The Feral Detective, understands that the urge to disappear is strong — especially in times ruled by The Beast. But Lethem also knows there are consequences — especially as imagined utopian communities turn dark themselves. Can’t wait to see his choices in the Mystery genre. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, edited by Edan Lepucki. Over the past year, fifteen Bay Area high school students have gathered each week in the basement of an independent publishing house (826 National) to pore over online and print literary journals, magazines, books, plays and graphic novels. They read things they couldn’t shake and engaged in deep conversaThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

tions about how good writing brings people together, no matter what else is happening around the world. With the help of New York Times best-selling author Edan Lepucki they have compiled The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019, edited by John Joseph Adama and Carmen Maria Machado. The stories selected by guest editor Machado for this acclaimed annual anthology reflect her commitment to exploring the boundaries between literary and genre fiction, asking “what sort of pleasures does this story bring me” instead of “what category is this?” Among the many and varied pleasures of the collection are stories that share Machado’s love of formal experimentation . . . this brilliant and beautiful collection is a must-read for those looking to enjoy the fullest range of narrative pleasure. Machado was in Greensboro for the inaugural Greensboro Bound Literary Festival in 2018. The Best American Travel Writing 2019, edited by Alexandra Fuller. Fuller is the author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Scribbling the Cat. She was born in England and grew up in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia. The Best American Sports Writing 2019, edited by Charles Pierce. Pierce is a sportswriter, political blogger, and author of four books, including Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Esquire, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and ESPN’s Grantland. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019, edited by Sy Montgomery. Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus is one of my favorite nature books. Montgomery selects the year’s top science and nature writing from writers who balance research with humanity, and, in the process, uncovers riveting stories of discovery across the disciplines. The Best American Food Writing 2019, edited by Samin Nosrat. Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, is the hottest chef in the business. She has been called “a go-to resource for matching the correct techniques with the best ingredients” by The New York Times, and “the next Julia Child” by NPR’s All Things Considered. Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. OH

October 2019

O.Henry 35

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After 18 years of being held prisoner by Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots breathes fresh air. Believing herself to be the true heir to the throne, Mary has been imprisoned first for plotting against her cousin, and ultimately for attempting to murder her. This day of freedom turns to condemnation as these empowered women have a momentous meeting.

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36 O.Henry

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October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinking with Writers

The Third Person Project In search of Wilmington’s buried and forgotten past

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

As his 2011 essay collection

Pulphead makes clear, John Jeremiah Sullivan possesses the inestimable skill of sifting through American popular culture to separate the bright, shiny things from the timeless ones. The seemingly divergent essays in the collection ricochet between a hilarious yet stirring portrait of the Tea Party movement circa 2009, a deep dive into the origin myths surrounding Guns N’ Ros-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

es’ frontman Axl Rose, and meditations on loneliness, identity, and what is perhaps the most American trait of all: our Protean ability to recast ourselves in different renditions throughout our lifetimes. With this in mind, Wilmington, a city that is always revising and reinventing itself, is the perfect place for John Jeremiah Sullivan to live and work.

On Labor Day, John and I spent a few hours on his back porch, and, over a couple of appropriately named Long Weekend IPAs from Kinston’s Mother Earth Brewing, we discussed Wilmington’s frustrating history of October 2019

O.Henry 37

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October 2019

Drinking with Writers not only shedding the past, but also burying it. Of course our conversation began with the most violent and shameful event in the city’s history: the race massacre of 1898, which is, to this day, the only successful coup d’état in American history, and something the city largely ignored for over a century. As John puts it, here in Wilmington “our identity is based on something we can’t talk about.” But John has joined a legacy of writers and thinkers who are willing to research and talk about 1898. From these various investigations and discussions has sprung the Third Person Project, a group of citizens, scholars, students and researchers who are dedicated to scouring the past to uncover Wilmington’s missing and buried moments. I ask John how the Third Person Project got started. He takes a moment to consider the question, and I imagine his mind cycling back through reams of microfiche and dusty pages of reference books and telephone directories that had been left hidden in basements and tucked away on bookshelves across the city. “It grew out of the projects that make it up,” he finally says, the first of those projects being The Daily Record project, in which a group of scholars and local eighth-graders searched for editions of The Daily Record, an African-American newspaper that was thought lost to time after white marauders destroyed the printing press in 1898. The group found seven copies of the newspaper, and they scanned them and published them on their website. “The experience of finding those newspapers and studying them gave us a sense of how thick the wood is here, how much there is to drill,” John says. “Wilmington has an unusual amount of lost history.” Nowhere is this lost history more apparent than in Wilmington’s African- American life and culture. Take jazz musician Percy Heath, for example. Born in Wilmington in 1923, Heath was a bassist who played alongside icons like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, and was a member of the iconic Modern Jazz Quartet. While it is popularly believed that Heath grew up in Philadelphia, John informs me that Heath did not permanently leave Wilmington behind after the move north. He would return to Wilmington throughout his young life, a fact either glossed over or altogether absent from jazz history. “Percy Heath played in the marching band at Williston,” John says, his voice edging toward an exasperated laugh. “And he was the class president! Every rock you turn over in Wilmington has a story like that.” Another story is that of Charles W. Chesnutt, an author who was born in Cleveland and raised The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinking with Writers in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and who, by the turn of the 20th century, was the most celebrated African-American writer in the country. His seminal work, The Marrow of Tradition (1901), is probably the best-known fictional portrayal of 1898, even though its portrait of white terrorism effectively ended Chesnutt’s career. Because Chesnutt spent his adult life in Cleveland, scholars have long wondered why he chose to fictionalize the events of 1898, especially because doing so exposed him to critical peril. It has been assumed that Chesnutt’s childhood in Fayetteville and his ties in eastern North Carolina are what made the events of 1898 so important to him, but John has found a more direct connection: Chesnutt’s uncle was a man named Dallas Chesnutt, who left Fayetteville and settled in Wilmington in 1876. Dallas Chesnutt forged a career as a postal worker, but he also had a second career as a printer. What did he print? It turns out he was the printer of The Daily Record, the newspaper the white mob set out to destroy by burning Dallas Chesnutt’s printing press in 1898. John argues that Charles Chesnutt’s interest in Wilmington’s coup d’état was not simply historical, cultural or political; it was deeply personal. John points out that the 1898 race massacre was not the beginning of Wilmington’s attempt to unwind the positive changes brought about by Reconstruction. He recently discovered that the Confederate memorial statue in Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery is one of the very first, if not the first, Confederate statues in America, erected only a few years after the end of the Civil War. Considering the milestones in Wilmington’s racial history — the erecting of what could be the nation’s first Confederate monument, the 1898 race massacre, the battles over integration, and the Wilmington Ten — John argues, “If it’s possible to be the anti-conscience of the South, Wilmington is, but we can reverse the polarity of that.” He smiles and looks into his backyard, the weight of what he has just said seeming to settle over him, the clouds that presage Hurricane Dorian not yet on the horizon. “But that may be the thing I love most about Wilmington,” he says. “People who live here now can take a hand in it. I have a funny feeling that what happens in Wilmington — when it comes to the political destiny of the South and this country’s struggle with racial equality — somehow it matters what we do here.” OH Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.

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Gate City Journal

The Secret Lives of Beekeepers Once they catch “bee fever,” sweet fulfillment is theirs

By Cynthia Adams

Ah, hive sweet hive! Nobody


runs a tighter ship, nor a more orderly home, than a hive of bees.

Bees are terrific housekeepers. Fiends for organization and hygiene, too. They even take out the trash (which may include the corpses of redundant queens or drones after killing them off). Hives are a famous symbol of mathematical symmetry and order. Beekeepers cannot say enough about this. But I digress. Beekeeping is not easy. Easy is not the real reason people are drawn to the singular work, either. Greensboro beekeeper Robert Jacobs stood demonstrating a glass-encased beehive at Bee Friendly to Pollinators Day at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center on Burlington Road. Children seemed completely fascinated. He patiently introduced all comers into the secret world of beekeepers, explaining what drew him there. “I am a retired attorney,” says Jacobs, who only recently hung up his law license. It is safe to call beekeeping his passion. He teaches beekeeping for the Guilford County Beekeepers Association. Jacobs has been intrigued by bees since he can remember. He grew up in Greensboro when he said the “town was quite different.” Through his reminiscence, Greensboro was a storied place where kids didn’t suffer from a nature deficit disorder — which is an actual thing for kids deprived of nature. No siree. Jacobs was experiencing nature firsthand, playing and exulting The Art & Soul of Greensboro

in the natural world. He chose the Walt Whitman way versus the Walt Disney way. “Even as a kid, friends and all, would look for hornets’ nests,” Jacobs recalls fondly. “A friend at the back, had a fence and one of his neighbors had bees. We would sit and watch the honeybees.” In 2007, Jacobs took the beginner beekeeping course offered at the Guilford Center. He began buying local honey from a Guilford beekeeper. Then he got his own bees. By the way, most of them come from Georgia, arriving by mail. Let us bee mindful. The ancients immortalized the embattled Apis mellifera, otherwise known as the honeybee, on coins, crests and jewelry. Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein and Winnie the Pooh were big fans. Bonaparte’s crest was embellished with a bee. Einstein predicted disaster if the bee were lost. Pooh’s very first story pondered the “wrong sort of bees.” We massage beeswax onto our nail cuticles and buff it onto our furniture. Slip an elegant beeswax candle onto the table. Slather honey onto our morning toast. Bees pollinate more than one third of all food sold, including more than 100 crops in the United States. Singly responsible for billions of dollars in American food production, the honeybee’s industriousness is worth over $20 billion annually. They transfer the pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same or different flower. The process must occur during a fixed period known as “receptivity.” Seedless watermelon flowers, for example, are receptive for only one day. While bees once showed up as a matter of course, desperate farmers now October 2019

O.Henry 41

Gate City Journal


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October 2019

resort to renting bees for pollination. They truck in colonies to pollinate flowering trees, vineyards and crops lacking sufficient indigenous bees. In the United States, 80 percent of the wild honeybees have been lost. The reasons include colony collapse disorder, mites, insecticides and fungicides. Fortunately, there are beekeepers at work, battling to save the honeybee. . “The more beekeeping I did, the less practicing law I did,” admits Jacobs. “My clients knew if the front door was closed, a swarm was on. I call-forwarded my office phone to my cell as I was winding down the practice.” Sure, he found the law interesting, Jacobs says. But there was something about beekeeping that was endlessly fascinating. “I’ve seen in bee publications in the late 1800s, an affliction referred to as ‘bee fever.’ That’s what I’ve got.” Bee fever is real. Something frets him, Jacob says, but now it isn’t a pending trial or court date for a client. What concerns him is his clean windshield. “When was the last time you drove your car out of the city and had to clean your windshield from insects?” he asks. “Over the last several years, I haven’t had to do that.” Jacobs is a reader, but if you ask the title of his favorite book there is no hesitation: A Practical Treatise on the Hive and the Honey Bee by Lorenzo Langstroth, who “realized the significance of bee space” and developed the concept of movable frames that are so common today. There is a considerable body of literature concerning bee behavior. Jacob knows only too well and has been working his way through it as fast as possible. “You can never know everything,” Jacob sighs. “And I am constantly making adjustments in what I’m doing and trying to figure out what the bees will do. The late Dr. Ambrose at N.C. State said something like, ‘If we think one thing, and the bees think something else, they are right.’” He adds wryly, “Bees may do things this way because this is what bees do . . . or, the opposite” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gate City Journal Not everybody is cut out to be a beekeeper, Jacobs mentions. You will know within a couple of years, he inserts. Minta Phillips, a retired radiologist, keeps hives on her Julian farm. “What interests me about beekeeping is that I love the bees, and it comes from so many influences.” Like Jacobs, she harks back to her childhood, when her maternal grandmother and mother “didn’t want to squish a bug.” They imparted a sense of connection with the natural world, and a reverence. She was never instilled with a fear of insects or bees. “There was a misunderstanding in remote times about bees,” she reflects, “And an interest to steal their honey. So ancient coins bore the sign of the bee, as things important to early man. “If we focus on what’s really challenging pollinators now,” she continues, “it’s often taught at the Guilford County Beekeeping Association that the No. 1 detriment is the beekeeper! We can kill them out of misinformation.” What led her to keep hives? “My parents were at end of life. And a social worker, Camille, at Well-Spring [Retirement Community], was a beekeeper. I found it interesting to talk with her. She told me about the January beginner’s event [for beginning beekeepers].” Phillips took the beginner’s course to satisfy her intellectual curiosity. She also made friends. “Beekeepers in Guilford county are a varied type of people.”

Phillips ordered two packages of bees as starter hives and became a new beekeeper. A starter hive costs roughly $200. “They weigh out a package of three pounds of bees — containing 15,00020,000 bees. And a queen in a separate chamber.” She describes the particulars; how the bees gather pollen and make “bee bread which is packed inside the comb.” The queen is in the center, laying eggs. The worker bees feed the eggs and cap the “cells.” The outside of the frame is capped honey. She also mentions the queen’s pheromones, having a pleasant scent she likens to lemongrass. Her mentor is fellow beekeeper Curt Bower. She also relies heavily upon Charles Black, a retired electrician who grew up on a dairy farm in Guilford County. “He has a reverence for bees. Charles is just amazing. Again, he’s not afraid, loves bees and marvels at this little creature,” she says. “I’m more interested in the bees than honey,” Phillips admits. “In my fifth year, I have not extracted honey. I’ve kept it for the bees.” Like others, she experienced colony collapse from bee mites. She looks forward to the development of a genetically “hygienic bee” that can resist mite infestation, which has decimated so many hives. Phillips is also an artist who earned a degree in art at Yale before attending medical school at Harvard. She has painted bee-related pieces shown in art shows. One show benefitted the Friends School.

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October 2019

O.Henry 43

Gate City Journal

“The symmetry of the cells is a biologic efficient, an evolved (form of) wisdom.” Raising bees requires constant vigilance, but she finds that spring is really fraught with concerns. There is the persistent worry of a swarm. “In the spring, I reorder frames. If they are going to swarm, the beekeeper can lose half their bees.” Her goal is to “fool the bees and make them think they have more space so they won’t swarm.” Even so, it has happened. But in April, she added a colony after putting up a bee box with a tiny wooden hive and a “lure treated with bees wax and essential oil.” Phillips plants wildflowers and pollinator friendly plants on her bucolic farm and is on an alert list when nearby farmers spray chemicals. She worries about drenching “rain bombs” which can wash out bees and kill them. In late winter, she lost two hives to early warmth that reverted to severe cold. Overall, there is only a 50 percent survival rate. Last year alone, bee keepers lost 40 percent of their colonies, according to a survery from the Bee Informed Partnership Two years ago, Phillips noticed an ad in the American Bee Journal for the American Congress for beekeepers in Cuba. She made the trip, visiting bee yards and watching oxen-drawn carts. However disadvantaged, the

Cubans united with their global visitors in saving the honeybee. “We looked at the survival of bees and how to do it” she says. “For example, the propolis, an antimicrobial made from the resin in pine is used to caulk everything in the hive. Vets and human medics looked at propolis as an antimicrobial salve.” Since Cuba, Phillips has attended the N.C. Bee Conference and meeting in Hendersonville last year to hear Cornell’s beekeeper Tom Sealy. She worries about the vicissitudes of climate change. “That’s kind of the plight of the honeybee.” Phillips adds sadly, “Maybe they’re the canary in the coal mine.” OH Cynthia Adams reported on colony collapse disorder a decade ago. She has the distinction of having a bee fly into her mouth and sting her tongue while eating outdoors. Despite that, she values bees and beekeepers. According to the USDA, “a honey bee colony is worth 100 times more to the community than to the beekeeper—meaning the value they deliver extends well beyond their actual price.” The Guilford County Beekeepers Association meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the barn kitchen meeting room at 3309 Burlington Road. Contact Rob Jacobs at (336) 740-1703 or robertjjacobs@aol.com for information. The course cost for beginner beekeeping is $25 for individuals or $35 per family, which includes membership in the Guilford Beekeepers Association.

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O.Henry 45

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October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Humor Me

These are difficult times. More reason than ever to ease up and have a good laugh

By Clyde Edgerton

In a small town stands a stucco


building with two signs out front, one large, one small.

The large sign: Juanita’s Veterinary and Taxidermy Shop. The small sign: Either Way You Get Your Cat Back. Humor sometimes is forced to the backseat during this age of monster hurricanes, deadly drugs, poverty, wasteful wealth, anxiety, senseless car deaths, gun deaths, higher suicide rates, declining lifespans … WHOA! STOP! Are the times really that bad? Or are the times being covered in such depth with penetrating media platforms, social and otherwise, that we just think times are worse than ever? I mean, we at least got past the Middle Ages. Answer: The times really are that bad . . . and there may be small, smooth ways to move, in your head, against bad times. To find a kind of comfort, a kind of distance from the noise. Humor lightens the load. In some cases, humor close to home, maybe in the neighborhood. A man who happens to be blind stands on the corner at Market and Third. His Seeing Eye dog is peeing on his leg. The man is trying to feed his dog a Fig Newton. A woman across the street sees what’s happening, checks for traffic, walks over and says, “Excuse me, sir, did you know your dog was peeing on your leg?” “Yep,” says the man. “Well,” says the woman, “why are you trying to feed your dog a Fig Newton?” The man says, “When I find his head, I’m gonna kick his ass.” A small funny story (except to the dog, perhaps). A different kind of entertainment tends to come from other places, from big obscene movie stories, for example — stories with blazing killer weapons and blatant blasts of blood. These movies seem to compete with our big crazy times, and maybe that’s why fans flock to them. These movies seem

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

to say, “The world is getting crazier and uglier and more violent, and thus citizens deserve crazier and uglier and more violent movies. We are keeping up with the times.” But crazy times also create the need for us to find more little stories from our own neighborhoods and communities. Sit on your front porch for a while. Watch. Listen. Talk to a neighbor. Go buy some honey, see what happens. Recently, a friend said he’d take me to a home where I could buy some good honey. He was a regular visitor. He knocks on the door to a sun porch. Somebody says, “Come in.” Inside, an elderly woman (about my age) is sitting at a small table, putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. Her husband is sitting on a couch across the room. I and the couple are introduced, we shake hands. My friend and I take seats, and I ask about the puzzle — something to talk about before I buy some honey. “Oh, yeah,” says the woman, “I do a lot of puzzles. I’ve probably done a hundred this year.” I look at her husband, sitting quietly on the couch, and ask him, “Do you do puzzles, too?” “Oh, yeah,” he says, slowly. “If we didn’t have puzzles, we wouldn’t have nothing to do.” That was not an answer I could make up or find in a joke book, but for me (as a writer) it was golden — a little local story I’ve been telling my friends and have now written down. Put the news aside. Talk to a neighbor. Discover a joke, a little story. Fight the bad times that way. Dismiss the cellphone and computer and TV for hours at a time. Hang on to the humor. Put some peanut butter on a piece of toast, add a little honey, go sit on the porch. Watch, listen. Find a story. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW.

October 2019

O.Henry 47




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October 2019

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The Child Files

True South

Kids say, well, whatever pops into their blessedly sweet heads

By Susan S. Kelly

Whenever “the world is too much with us,”

as William Wordsworth so prettily put it, or current events and crises and confusion threaten to crumple me, I first read Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things,” taped to my computer monitor. Then I pull up YouTube, and Hugh Grant’s voiceover opening lines of Love, Actually. “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport . . .”

Then, naturally, I head for my Child Files. Next to my Miscellaneous File (because where else do you stash something like “Mules and mushrooms have no gender,” and “New wallpaper smells like Band-Aids”?), my Child File is the thickest. Sure, I dutifully listed all minutiae in their baby albums — first word, first tooth, first haircut — but the Child File contains far more pertinent information. It’s a kind of record, repository, evidence of, the skills my children came by, created, and/or appropriated for survival as adults. Darwin’s theories had nothing on my three kiddoes (and what you told me about yours). On avoidance: When I lecture my oldest, he clips a pen to his leg hair. On socialization: “If you miss lunch, you miss everything,” my daughter complained if I scheduled her doctor’s appointment late morning. She also whined if the carpool came too early, thus denying her another op for elementary school drama. In addition, the all-day sulk because she’d forgotten it was a dress-down day and she’d worn dress code to school. On negotiation/the art of the deal: My son receives a $10 gift certificate at Harris Teeter for a tip, and then tries to sell it to me for $9. Why nine and not 10? I ask. “I’m trying to sweeten the deal,” he says. My 16-year-old is cleaning out his collection of . . . liquor bottles. His 8-year-old sister wants the cool Absolut vodka bottle, for which he makes her pay him $2 and smell his feet. The amazing aspect to this sibling transaction is that it takes place without my ever being aware. No one pleads; no one fights. Both think they got a good deal. Later, my daughter shows me the newly acquired bottle with pride, and tells me how she came to possess it. With no trace of humiliation. On growing up: My son and his post-college roommates bickering in a Costco aisle, then resorting to rock-paper-scissors to determine what they’ll buy. As far as

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I can tell, rock-paper-scissors informed 90% of his decisions at that age. Other son eating pancake batter because it was the only thing he could afford at that age. Daughter asking, “How do you know when you’re grown up?” Oldest child immediately answers, “When no one writes your name in your clothes anymore.” Nephew who composed an outline before he wrote the thank-you note to his girlfriend’s mother. On higher education: My son’s announcement that his teacher told the class that every Emily Dickinson poem can be sung to the Gilligan’s Island theme song. Other son’s announcement that he has dropped Statistics 11 for the History of Rock ’n’ Roll. Son’s wholly serious question the night before second grade begins: “Mom, do I have to take math this year?” Nephew’s entire essay content on What I Like About People: I like their houses and toys and that’s about it. On ownership rights: The handwritten note left in the dried-up, sugar-stiffened, flake-crusted Krispy Kreme box containing a lone doughnut: DO NOT EAT THIS IT IS MINE. On illness: “I blew my nose so hard that air came out of my eyes,” my son informed me. On coping with ennui, from my daughter: “When I get bored, I either like to organize things or try on clothes.” From my son, who is tired of me reading all the time: “Watch. I can predict what Mom is reading right now, I’m psychic. She’s reading ‘the.’” Same son, leaning over lawn mower and breathing in the gasoline fumes: “Watch, Mom. I’m getting dumber.” The 9-year-old daughter and her friend are playing a game called Make Me Laugh, which involves putting on some music and dancing. How nice, I think; how cute. When I come downstairs, the Make Me Laugh laughter abruptly ceases. Slow dawning of humiliation: The pair are dancing and laughing to my music, finding it all just too, too hilarious. Older, non-eyeglass-wearing brother to younger brother, who’s finally, gleefully, getting contact lenses: “The first thing the doctor does when they measure you for contacts is give you a shot in your eyeball.” (Actually, that entry might go hand-in-hand with the sibling argument it interrupted, wherein the two combatants were arguing over who had peed last and therefore had to go back upstairs and flush the toilet.) Bless the child, then, unwitting antidote for adult existential angst. OH Susan S. Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and a proud grandmother. October 2019

O.Henry 49

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Food For Thought

The Tomato’s Last Hurrah

Summer’s carefree days have drawn to a close, but much of the bounty is still with us. Now’s the time to use up every bit of the tomato’s goodness

By Jane Lear

When I was a child, no one I


knew cooked pasta (what we called noodles) with tomato sauce at home. In our part of the South, that sort of food was considered not just ethnic, but positively exotic, enjoyed as a special treat at the lone Italian restaurant in town. So although a college roommate introduced me to Ragú — we both thought it was pretty good — I didn’t have what you might call a relationship with tomato sauce until I moved to New York City in the late 1970s.

By sheer good fortune, I landed a job at Alfred A. Knopf, the legendary publishing house, and among the luminaries who graced the halls was Marcella Hazan, author of the instant classics The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking. (Both books are combined in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, published by Knopf almost 20 years later.) Mrs. Hazan’s recipe for Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, from the first book, is at once devastatingly simple and life-changing. Aside from pasta and cheese, it lists just four ingredients: tomatoes (fresh or canned), one onion, five tablespoons of butter, and salt. That recipe, which is easily available online, has long been famous for being a gift to home cooks everywhere; periodically, it is rediscovered and wins a whole new fan base. I made tomato sauce the Marcella way for years. Eventually, though, I The Art & Soul of Greensboro

branched out, impelled by curiosity and the fact that during the end of tomato season, God will strike me dead if I let a single soft-ripe heirloom go to waste. That’s how I found out that a sauce gets complexity and a good balance of acidity and fruity sweetness from a mixture of varieties, and those juicy heirlooms were more interesting to play with than the pulpier plum (Roma) types. The basic sauce below is extremely versatile — it’s what my husband and I reach for when making pasta and pizza. It’s wonderful drizzled over flat fresh romano beans, a slab of meatloaf, or polenta. And it seems to taste even better when made with the last of the year’s tomatoes. I freeze as much of it as I can because the jar in the fridge will be gone in no time flat. By the way, the key to a great tomato sauce is the right pot. You want something heavy-bottomed, to discourage scorching, and with a wide surface area, to aid evaporation. The less time the tomatoes spend reducing, the fresher and more immediate the flavor will be. A few personal asides on tomato prep: Some people like to peel and seed tomatoes before making sauce; others feel it’s more efficient to toss everything into the pot, then pass the cooked sauce through a food mill to get rid of the gnarly bits. I generally prefer doing the work on the front end, but unlike many folks, I don’t blanch the tomatoes in boiling water first. Instead, I plunk them in a bowl, pour a kettle of boiling water over them and make myself a cup of tea while I’m at it. By the time I’ve gotten a sieve organized over another bowl, the tomatoes can be eased out of the hot water one by one; with a little help from a paring knife, the skins slip right off. When seeding tomatoes, first cut them in half crosswise — around the equator — exposing the seed pockets. Use a finger to loosen the seeds in each pocket, then empty the tomato halves over the sieve. October 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Food For Thought

To save every drop of the juices, I don’t chop the tomatoes on a cutting board, but instead in my hand, over the sieve. My tool of choice is a Dexter Russell oyster knife; the straight-edged blade is dull yet can still get the job done, the rubber handle is grippy in a wet hand, and the curved, rounded tip is ideal for flicking errant seeds out of the way. The chopped tomatoes go in the bowl underneath, and once you’ve pressed hard on the solids in the sieve, you can toss them into the compost pail knowing they’ve given their all.

Late-Season Tomato Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts I’ve never found my finished sauce to be overly acidic, so it never occurs to me to add any sugar, but I’m no purist: It all depends on the tomatoes. If your sauce tastes harsh, add a little brown sugar to taste. Lastly, inspiration here comes from Marcella Hazan, but also the late Giuliano Bugialli, who taught me that basil isn’t used in a tomato sauce for its own flavor, but to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes themselves. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 3 fat cloves of garlic, minced Several sprigs of fresh thyme, marjoram or winter savory, tied together with kitchen string 5 to 6 pounds soft-ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped, plus their juices Coarse salt 1 or 2 fresh basil sprigs A little unsalted butter, if desired 1. Heat the oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over moderately high heat until it’s hot. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, then add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are thoroughly softened (don’t let them brown). 2. Add the tied herb sprigs, the tomatoes and their juices, and a generous pinch or two of salt. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it thickens nicely, about 1 hour. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Remove the herb sprigs. 3. After the sauce is done, add the basil sprigs, simmer the sauce an additional 2 minutes, then remove the basil. 4. Stirring in a little butter at this point will round out the flavors in the sauce and give it finesse, but it’s by no means necessary. I like a fairly chunky sauce, but if you prefer something smoother, purée it in a blender. Let the sauce cool completely, uncovered, before refrigerating or freezing. OH

Jane Lear, formerly of Gourmet magazine and Martha Stewart Living, is the editor of Feed Me, a quarterly magazine for Long Island food lovers. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

Striking The Right Note But the question remiains, where’s the feeling?

By Jane Borden

“Technically, it’s


perfect,“ my piano teacher said when I finished playing. “But where is the feeling?“ For decades afterward, I never thought of this question. Now, I can’t get it out of my brain.

I’d studied with her for years and in that time had conquered several complicated classical works and nailed every recital, but never considered that true musicians don’t approach their work as conquering or nailing. However, neither did I harbor professional-musician dreams. I was old enough to start choosing paths. When my teacher charitably suggested she’d done all she could, I took the hint. I’m not a musician: big-deal-so-what? Recently, though, the memory popped into my head as a specter of something else. “Where is the feeling?” The implications are terrifying. Do I move through life hitting all the right notes, always at the right times, but never connecting with any of it? I worry that I live a cold and surface-level life. I worry that my piano teacher was sussing whether I’m sentient or AI. Adulthood is a thawing. Once the distractions of growing are gone, one’s focus turns unbidden to the self, to layers of uninvestigated life. Daily, I am visited by some past shame — either exacted upon me or by me — that didn’t upset me at the time, and so waited until age and experience revealed why it should have. They bubble into my prefrontal cortex, like dormant strains of bacteria buried in the now melting arctic tundra that are coming to ravage us all. Perhaps this bubbling is the cause of midlife crises. We buy sports cars to drive away from ourselves. Mine isn’t a midlife crisis, thankfully, because I can’t afford a car. But my husband and I did inherit a piano. So I’m trying to play, once more with feeling. In July, Nathan and his father drove the piano across the country, stopping occasionally at canyons, in between long stories about their deep history and long silences about the road. Four days later, the piano arrived, hulking and haughty, like a Broadway star. Pianos are intimidating, as instruments go. They don’t fit in your pocket or over your back. You can’t hold or handle one. There’s no curve to cup or angle to grasp. Male musicians don’t wax about making love to a piano — the instrument wouldn’t submit itself to that condescension. A piano commands your attention, constantly reminds you of its presence. But it doesn’t invite you to play. Rather, it tilts its head, peers down its aristocratic nose, and sighs, “If you must.” Bitch, I will! I played a piece three times through before realizing my left hand was in the wrong key.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The piece is “Coming Around Again” by Carly Simon. The album of the same name had been a sensation in my family. It lived in the tape deck in my mother’s Audi. On long drives to the coast we’d finish side B and start side A anew. I remain an enormous fan of Carly. She makes me feel stuff. Plus, the song’s title is a nice pun on my experiment. It is plodding to read music, an emotionless effort by nature, all inelegant math and uncoordinated fingers. After an hour and a half, I am able to play the right hand all the way through, though not without frequent pauses. It is a collection of notes, not music. In 1987, “Coming Around Again” was considered a comeback album, giving the title track a double meaning. The song appeared in the film, Heartburn, about the breakup of a marriage and family. The lyrics also seem to represent the breakup of a marriage and family, but ultimately, the song is hopeful. Simon wrote it herself. She remarried the year it was released, three years after her divorce from James Taylor. It’s tempting to connect to the dots. As a child, I understood all of this, but not really. Children can’t fully comprehend the horrors of human existence. I believe this to be by design, a kind of defense mechanism. Otherwise, we’d never make it through adolescence. We’d kill ourselves instead, and the animals would be like, “Where did the people go? Oh, they figured it out. What a bunch of wimps.” Perhaps, then, youth was the attribution for my inability to feel music as a student, except of course that many of my teacher’s students did feel music, or I wouldn’t have been an exception. Still, when I hear the song now, as a wife and mother, I am overcome with grief. Simon was my age when she released it. I wonder if past shames bubbled in her brain too. The piece slowly comes together in my hands. I am reminded of that magical transition when notes no longer exist on the page or in the head, but literally in the hands. As a writer, I experienced this sensation while typing or handwriting. But for more than a decade, I’ve dictated my work, an accommodation required by chronic shoulder tendinitis. Creativity lives in my throat now. Feeling it in my hands is like hugging an old friend. Our 4-year-old, Louisa, fiddles around on the piano constantly, as we hoped she would. She and the piano’s previous owner, my husband’s recently deceased grandmother, share a birthday. Sometimes when Louisa plays, a melody calls out from the chaos. Occasionally, she repeats it. I wonder if true connection to music exists only when one has written a tune oneself. Reading sheet music is akin to acting, another skill I don’t possess. I reach a point where the repetition is comfortable and my hands move somewhat automatically, allowing a small freedom to think or feel anything else. There’s a reverie in repetition, like participating in Gregorian chants. Then I hit a transition and play the wrong chord, and what I’m feeling is frustration. I’m not October 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Life of Jane

a natural. The chords will never be second nature. Always thinking about where my fingers are, I’ll remain moored to the machination and never be lost. It’s hard to enjoy the scenery when you’re the one driving the car. Also, I hate driving. Does my daughter feel anything when she fiddles on the keys? I ask. “No fear!” she shouts. This is unexpected and would strike me as profound except she’s 4 and also believes that she has a brother and sister in Alaska, and that her body paints her poo brown. Still, this isn’t a phrase she’s said about other activities. I ask what she feels when we listen or dance to music. “No fear!,” she shouts again, like a skateboarding ad from the ’90s. The more I play, patterns emerge. It becomes easier to remember the notes as I see how they all fit together. Still, this is closer to art appreciation than art. I take a cue from my child and improvise. In little time, I’ve composed a brief and strange tune. No need to alert Sony Music, but it was fun. When experimenting, you don’t beat yourself up for hitting a wrong note. There isn’t right or wrong. Then I look at my phone and realize it wasn’t a “little” time, but quite some amount of it. Where did I go? I’ve noticed before that I am only a good dancer when I don’t pay attention. Occasionally, I’ll notice my moves and think, That was cool, and try to repeat it. Immediately, I misstep. It’s like when you realize you’re dreaming and therefore wake up. In an instant, I go from queen of the dance floor to literally tripping, losing the rhythm so completely that I have to start over by gently swaying from side to side. Blame it on pride. Pride is why we turn melodies into symbols on sheets of paper. We think we’ve created something good. We want to tell the world. I’m putting symbols on paper now. My tendinitis was caused by typing excessive amounts of symbols — a prideful act that literally handicapped me. More recently, I’ve begun developing back problems from spending too much time driving a car. The babysitter showed Louisa how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Now it’s all she wants to do. But she’s too young to understand or memorize the sequence. With each mistake, she cries harder, banging the piano in frustration, until eventually she refuses to try and demands I play instead. She and Nathan leave me at home on a Saturday with a half-day to practice. After a couple of hours, I’m finally hitting all the right notes at all the right times. I nail the transitions. I conquer the bridge. The verses are in my hands. We are rollicking, the piano and I, and for a moment, I am not driving. I ride the crescendo to the chorus. But before I reach the resolution, my shoulders begin to ache. I misstep, lose my rhythm and take a break. OH Jane Borden is a Greensboro native living in Los Angeles. She knows nothing stays the same, but if you’re willing to play the game, it’s coming around again. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Flying High and Fast Listen for the “killy, killy, killy” of the American Kestrel this fall

By Susan Campbell

If you happen to see, high

up on an electric wire, a brightly colored, sleek raptor surveying its territory, it just might be an American kestrel.

It’s not uncommon to spot kestrels in either the Piedmont or Sandhills year round. Southern populations are not migratory, so pairs remain in the same area throughout their lifetime. In fall, numbers swell as northern individuals arrive for the winter months. The smallest members of the falcon family, these handsome predators have an affinity for open habitat. Also known as “sparrow hawks,” they are fast, maneuverable fliers, quick to dive after prey. But you’ll also see them hovering. Although kestrels are easiest to spot in large, grassy fields, they can also be found in wooded areas. They feed on a variety of prey: from grasshoppers to small snakes and songbirds. These fast-flying falcons are easy to recognize given their distinctive head pattern and bright plumage. Also listen for their distinctive call, a repeated sharp “killy, killy, killy.” American kestrels are unique among the hawks found here in that the male and female are quite different in appearance. Both sexes have a dark, helmeted head and a handsome mustache. Males have slate-gray wings that contrast with the rufous upper parts. Females, on the other hand, which are larger than males, are more of a solid red-brown with black wingtips. The sexes also have distinct habits when it comes to defending territory. Males are typically excluded by females from more open areas, which means you can find them in brushier habitat featuring smaller but more abundant prey. Like most hawks, kestrels are monogamous. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The American kestrel can be found across most of the United States in the right habitat. Birds that breed in Canada and the Upper Midwest are migratory. Northern individuals may move as far south as southern Central America for the winter. Declines in kestrels in the middle of the last century are blamed on the use of DDT. However, as pesticide use changed and nest boxes were added to the landscape in many areas, the species rebounded well and now is a common sight along roadways and the borders of agricultural areas across its range. American kestrels use open woodlands for breeding. In the Sandhills the open pine savannahs found on Ft. Bragg and the area’s game lands are ideal habitat to look for kestrels from March through July. These birds are also unique among area hawks in using cavities for nesting. They take over holes created by other animals, usually pileated woodpeckers, in early spring. Although they will switch locations from year to year, they may re-use the same cavity within the season. Often kestrels will raise two broods in years when rodents are plentiful. The nest hole needs to be large and deep enough to protect as many as four or five young for about a month until fledging. Given their handsome appearance and small size, kestrels are popular among falconers. With proper permits, juveniles can be tamed and trained to hunt. Believe it or not, the ancient sport of falconry is alive and well across the United States — even here in North Carolina. But that will have to be a story for another time. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com October 2019

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Wandering Billy

Sharps and the Flat

By Billy Eye “Every artist has a tendency to throw himself into the world. To see if he floats.” — Arthur Miller

Enjoyed an outstanding evening of music at

the Double Oaks bed and breakfast recently, there to catch singer songwriter Matty Sheets who has a new album out. Built in 1909 at 204 North Mendenhall Street for Harden Thomas Martin, Double Oaks is one of the most beautiful homes in Greensboro, a Colonial Revival mansion with front columns reminiscent of the White House.

After Matty’s set, one of those freak thunderstorms plunged the neighborhood into darkness midway through Katharine Whalen’s set. But the former Squirrel Nut Zippers vocalist was unfazed: She merely switched out her electric for an acoustic guitar and kept right on singing. This was followed by Megan Jean, a self-described “hard-touring, foot-stompin’, guitar-beatin’, upright-lickin’, washboard- scratchin’, banjo-pickin’ madness with a voice like the devil herself.” She was a true revelation, reminding me of Bette Midler as she was emerging in the 1970s. Powerful vocals, emotionally rich songs with a rapier wit Jean described her unsuccessful struggles at getting a record deal between tunes. One of the grave injustices of modern times. I caught up with Matty Sheets over black coffee and fried-green-tomato sandwiches at Freeman’s Grub & Pub, where I asked about his new recording, Anxiety: The Lay Dog Sessions. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago, Matty recalls how once, “I hated playing shows because I hated people looking at me and seeing that my left arm won’t stop shaking and, you know, I’m missing chords.” That was then. Now he says he, “wants to say yes to anything to do with music,”

60 O.Henry

October 2019

Produced by Jeff Wysosky, Anxiety: The Lay Dog Sessions features a lineup of supporting players that reads like a who’s who of the Greensboro music scene. Laura Jane Vincent, Emily Stewart, Erin Hayes and Ali Fox contributed background vocals and play various instruments. Kelly Frick can be heard on violin while Ben Singer and Jerrod Smith banged out some drum tracks. “And Taylor Bays came over to play synth on a recording,” Matty adds about our recently departed, beloved musical Puck. “Specifically he had this old, POS synthesizer. Some of the keys are actually broken off. He also brought over a really nice keyboard because he had a bunch of gear but I was like, ‘Play the pieceof-crap one, I love it.’ And Jeff made it sound nasty and distorted. While he was there I got Taylor to sing lead with me on a couple of songs. We had fun.” This is only one of the recording projects Matty’s involved with currently. “I went from, ‘I don’t know if I can be a musician anymore’ to recording three records this year,” he says. “Myself, Laura Jane Vincent, and Ben Singer have been playing at Common Grounds every Wednesday for the last year. We love it. We said, ‘We’ve got to record this.’ So we just went over to Ben Singer’s where he’s got a bunch of cool recording equipment. It has a very live feeling.” Longtime collaborator Laura Jane Vincent, who has her own solo musical forays, describes Matty’s style as, “Post-folk if you will. It’s not really your traditional love stories or even character stories. I like when I can’t predict where someone’s lyrics are going to go and I feel like Matty is like that. He’s a great writer and very comfortable performing in front of people.” That ease in front of an audience may be because Matty has been hosting a Tuesday night Open Mic Night weekly for the last 17 years, currently at Westerwood Tavern. “I really love meeting people at Open Mic,” he says. “I feel like we’re instant friends. Like meeting another band on tour. It’s the best.” Megan Jean and Vern Kly are producing Matty’s next release, engineered by Tom Troyer at Black Rabbit Audio. “They have some really cool ideas,” Matty says. “They say it’s going to be an Indy pop dance record. So I’m really excited about that.” Anxiety: The Lazy Dog Sessions is available on all the usual digital platforms like Spotify and Amazon. Meanwhile, Matty’s taken up the ukulele, partly for therapeutic reasons, “It’s good for your brain to learn new instruments.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sheets music and other fine musical notes

Wandering Billy


The Tate Street Festival, the city’s longest running street fest, will be held on October 19th from 1 to 7 p.m. Jaime Coggins, who accompanied me for that Double Oaks concert, has been organizing this celebration of local music, arts and crafts since 2001. She tells me it originally got underway in the 1970s, billed as the Noon To Moon Festival, put together by the late Jim Clark. After a hiatus in the 1980s, it’s been a yearly tradition since at least the late-1990s. See you there, Eye never miss it.



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What was once proudly a dive bar is now a live bar, risen like the proverbial phoenix, soaring higher than ever. Dusty Keene, proprietor of the aforementioned Common Grounds, has resuscitated the Flat Iron on Summit downtown. Opening in 1993, for the next two decades the Flat, as it’s affectionately known, was one of the city’s preeminent watering holes. A dearth of medium-sized music venues prompted Keene to pry open the doors to this venerable institution, giving the place a concretely solid facelift. “When I was growing up in Greensboro, I discovered the music scene here when I was like 14 years old,” Keene tells me about the Flat. “I couldn’t believe how many great bands there were. Then this sort of odd, strange drought happened where there was not really a place for local bands to come up and get their start.” The Flat Iron has a well-deserved reputation as a musical Valhalla: “When you walk in, you can kind of feel the history,” Keene says, and he’s right. “The idea is to attract national and regional acts then pair them with local talent. Bands here get more exposure, the other acts get more exposure . . .” After a month to work out any kinks, grand opening was just a few weeks ago. Step back in time to see the future.

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Finally, you have the opportunity to enjoy the dulcet tones of Em and Ty on Sunday, October 13th, staged on the back lawn at Double Oaks. See for yourself what a magnificent corner of the world this is. Based in Greensboro, along with their solo efforts, this married folk/rock duo have been performing together for the last five years. Reserve tickets at double-oaks.com. Beer, wine, and homemade brick-oven pizzas are available for purchase. OH

Billy Eye is O.G. — Original Greensboro. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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62 O.Henry

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October 2019 Butterfly Effect Chaos Theory revisited A flash of yellow flits across my window Then another and another Cloudless sulphur butterflies winging their way once again to southern warmth. Do they know they are fleeing for their lives? Do they know a single wing flutter has the power to create or destroy a tornado far from the wing. Unknowing unaware as their instincts propel them on. As I watch from my window I wonder how each breath I take or don’t take how each word I say or don’t say affects someone or something somewhere in my world or the next. — Patricia Bergan Coe

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

– The Neighborhood Where You Live –

The Gardens of

Westerwood Earthly delights proliferate in this century-old neighborhood Story and Photographs by Lynn Donovan


n October 1919 an ad appeared in a Greensboro newspaper introducing Westerwood and its newly named streets — Crestland, Woodlawn, Hillside, Courtland. A.K. Moore of Guilford Insurance and Real Estate Company proudly announced the winners of a contest held to rename the area streets of the neighborhood formerly known as The Cedars and Oakland Park. By the summer of 1920 Westerwood boasted 23 houses that were either finished or under construction — Craftsman bungalows, Tudor cottages and Colonial Revival dwellings, with a few unusual designs added to the mix. One hundred years later, the neighborhood is thriving. To celebrate its history and longevity, residents recently opened their gardens to the public. We happily joined the walking tour.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Maria Fangman 210 North Mendenhall The creation of one of Greensboro’s best chefs, the shady, backyard, cottage-style, garden is filled with perennials. The front yard has loads of sun and herbs, roses and a constantly changing bed of perennials that bloom throughout the entire year.

Patti Midgett & Dan Nicholson 310 Hillside Drive This backyard encompasses a beautiful, terraced hillside featuring beds of perennials that overlook the future Greenway. The terraces tame the slope by incorporating found and repurposed materials. The front yard is a colorful mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables chosen to attract bees and other pollinators.

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Charlie Heddington & Debbi Seabrooke 515 North Mendenhall This permaculture garden is arguably the most unusual garden in Westerwood. By definition, a permaculture garden is a diverse, low-maintenance perennial food garden that imitates natural ecologies. The Heddingtons’ patch of earth produces 15 kinds of fruit, a wealth of herbs and flowers, as well as row upon row of annual vegetables. It captures and stores rainwater through bamboo pipes and carpet ponds.

Diane & Tracy Peck 512 Woodlawn Avenue This Zen garden is loosely inspired by a traditional Japanese garden and features a tranquil koi pond. Shade-loving plants found here include Japanese maples, hydrangeas, hellebores and ferns. In early spring the sunny front garden is brimming with tulips and irises.

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Chris & Robyn Musselwhite 415 Woodlawn Avenue This backyard garden is a multipurpose urban space with flowering trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Perennials and annuals share the part sun/part shade yard. A fountain, stone terraced kitchen garden, whimsical birdhouses and an outdoor living space complete this inviting green space.

Victoria Clegg 306 Crestland

This English cottage garden is one of the most charming gathering spots in all of Westerwood. The front and back yards are full of perennials, herbs, bulbs, ground covers and more. An old chicken coop and decrepit garage have been transformed into a spellbinding space that is used almost year round. With the addition of a magical garden shed and touches of whimsy, this garden is hard to leave.

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Susan Foust 1005 Fairmont Street Taking up the entire backyard, a hand-dug pool under a canopy of shade trees is bordered by a brick walkway flanked by beds of Japanese maple and star magnolias. The terraced front yard features beautiful blooms provided by annuals surrounding hand-laid brickwork. Hidden in the back corner is a petite dwelling complete with chickens living in a small coop.

David Barnard 1405 Northfield Street This low-maintenance, mixed-use backyard garden is geared for entertaining. A stonework patio and fire pit are the center pieces that are surrounded by dogwoods, Japanese maple, hydrangea, ferns and hosta to create texture. Stepping stones imprinted with the Barnards’ children’s hand and feet prints add whimsy to a functional space.

One Thing More

Fall under the spell of one of Greensboro’s oldest neighborhoods at the 10th annual Westerwood Art & Sole celebration. On October 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can stroll the leafy environs, visit artists’ studios, peruse locally made art and listen to front porch music. Info: facebook. com/westerwoodartandsole. OH Lynn Donovan is a contributing photogapher for O.Henry magazine and Seasons Style & Design.

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– Gallery –

Extreme Close-Up For photographer and painter David Wasserboehr, God is in the details By Nancy Oakley


patch of blue becomes a patchwork of aqua, white, violet and a subtle trace of pink. And red isn’t merely red, so much as a series of streaks in white and crimson and orange. You don’t realize that you’re looking at the lip of a glass vase and the base of a flower petal set inside it — until you cast a glance at David Wasserboehr’s companion photographs of entire blooms and stems. But these, too, reveal the meticulous wonders of Nature’s construction — the fuzz on the anthers of stamen, the tiny yellow ruffles dancing around the edges of a variegated red tulip, the fine ribs of a lily’s white petal. “I’ve always loved detail,” says Wasserboehr, a classically trained painter who seized on digital illustration when the genre was in its infancy. Having learned from “really cool, old painters” when he was earning his B.F.A. at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Southeastern Massachusetts University in his day), Wasserboehr worked in traditional media, such as oils and watercolors, parlaying his skills to ad agency gigs. “I did everything by hand,” the artist recalls of the early days in his career. But the tools of his trade were changing, as the advertising world embraced digital technology. And Wasserboehr would also make the great digital leap forward, particularly in the mid-1980s, when he moved to Greensboro. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

He had been living in New Jersey when his sister, Pat, a UNCG art professor, called and invited him for a visit, adding, “I have someone I’d like you to meet.” That someone was to become the artist’s future wife, Bonnie Burkett. She had no interest in living in New Jersey, so Wasserboehr relocated to the Gate City, picking up a freelance assignment at the News & Record. The newspaper, he explains, “was one of the first to get a bank of Mac computers. I began setting type on the computer.” He was an immediate convert to Apple Macintosh systems and invested a whopping sum of $17,000 for one of its initial rigs (computer, color monitor, scanner and black-and-white laser printer); by the early ’90s he had learned digital illustration on Adobe’s first graphics programs. As one of only a few folks in town at the time who had such skills and the proper equipment, Wasserboehr carved out a lucrative freelancing career making digital illustrations for various clients, Pace Communications among them. “Now everybody does it,” he says. But the experience led to an epiphany: “I saw the future and it was filled with digital tools combined with classical training.” These days Wasserboehr “bounces back and forth” between the old and the new, painting miniatures as small as 2 inches or 54 millimeters, and creating digital paintings (using a software program called ArtRage). The artist also combines his craft with his love of history. He was once asked to restore an October 2019 O.Henry 71

“old, damaged and faded photograph.” After scanning it and “drawing out the old information in the pixels still hiding in the scan,” Wasserboehr brought to life a portrait of his client’s grandmother; it revealed a cameo brooch — the very one his client kept in her jewelry case, never knowing until that moment it had belonged to her grandmother. Helping clients, Wasserboehr says, adds meaning to his life. So much so that he lends a hand to the Greensboro History Museum restoring documents (“a lot of Dolley Madison stuff,” the artist clarifies). Working from scans of old, worn documents, some from the 1700s, Wasserboher creates facsimiles that can be exhibited, giving the originals a break from unrelenting light and humidity, and general wear and tear. “I’m restricted,” he says, explaining that his work “must include tears and dirt on the documents.” So realistic are his reproductions that one of the archivists had to check to see which documents were the originals; Wasserboehr’s boss had other ideas, jokingly suggesting, “If you need another line of work, you could probably be a counterfeiter!” But his wife, Bonnie’s “insane” passion for gardening led him to macro photography. “We go to Walmart to look for housewares and the next thing you know, we’ve got $50 to $60 worth of plants,” Wasserboehr says. “I go out in the yard and dig holes.” A few years ago they fashioned two beds in their backyard, “where we could plant roses, lilies, mums, cornflowers and other beauties,” Wasserboehr recalls. As the plants grew, he noticed some daylilies occluded by some shade. Their pale color caught his eye and prompted him to reach for his camera. “I had always loved photography,” says Wasserboehr, who had owned a film camera, and as a tech enthusiast was turning his attention to the high quality of digital photographs. He had been captivated by an online tutorial by Long Island-based photographer Melanie Kern-Favilla, whose work features striking macro photos of flowers set against a black background (a box with a black interior). “So I built a rectangular box and raided my wife’s garden for daylilies,” Wasserboehr explains. He positioned the box on the table in his

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dining room, which doubles as a studio, and which catches the morning light on one side. Placing the flowers inside the black box, Wasserbohr learned to manipulate where the light falls by placing shades — trays, a piece of cardboard, gauze — on top of the box or on its sides. Using his two favorite macro lenses (A Tamron 18-270mm 1:3.5-6.3 lens and a Canon macro EF 100mm 1:2.8 USM lens), he adjusted the setting on his Canon T6i to “manual” and began snapping away. “On the second or third try, it just popped!” the artist recalls. “You know when you go ‘Whoa! This is cool!’ I knew I was on the right track.” He continued nabbing “perfect specimens” from his wife’s garden (“she’s been a really good sport about it, he adds), favoring taller, vertical flowers — such as the daylilies and tulips, that are sculptural in appearance. “They’re more in-your-face,” Wasserboehr concedes. His painterly eye prompted him to experiment with composition, zooming in on just the lip of that vase, or the base of a petal, for example, to create a surreal effect reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. Wasserboehr says he might shoot from unusual angles — lying on the floor, standing on top of a stool — to achieve just the right composition. But his photographs aren’t merely exercises in technique. Wasserboehr tries to avoid any kind of color correction, using Photoshop and Lightroom as little as possible. Otherwise, he says, the flowers “lose their innocence.” His primary aim? “I want to tell a story with these plants.” Such as the peace lily that a friend had given him and his wife some 25 years ago. One day, Wasserboehr happened to notice three leaves on it, each at a different stage: one with a newly unfurled white blossom, another fading to greenish-gray, and a third, shriveled and brown. He plucked all three, placed them into his rectangular black box and started shooting. The result is a poignant statement of the fleeting nature of life. “I am fascinated by the beauty of the full life cycle of the flowers, including their final, wilting moments,” Wasserboehr says. “As I get older I’ve discovered the aging process is very similar to a human being’s . . . all elegant and beautiful!” OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry. For more examples of David Wasserboehr’s work, please visit fwgraphics.myportfolio.com/work.

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Sylvan In The City

A Greensboro woman branches out by building an eco-friendly Airbnb, the area’s top wish-listed space By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Amy Freeman


hough it’s billed as a tree house, The Roost doesn’t qualify in the traditional sense. It’s not tacked onto, leaning against or held aloft by a tree. But the second-story apartment — Guilford County’s most wish-listed Airbnb lodging — is indisputably a house of the trees. First, it’s bracketed on three sides by pines and maples, so guests get a squirrel’seye-view of the world. Second, most of the building materials that Amanda Jane Albert and her crew used come from trees — hence the warm, resin-rich smell that greets you when you walk in. Then there’s the gnarly tree branch that seems to sprout from one corner of the living room. The branch came from a dogwood that Amanda Jane and friends cut down when they started on the two-story building in 2015. “We gave it a prominent place inside,” she says of the tree. Last but not least, there’s a potted ficus happily photosynthesizing in the living area. So the pad is about as tree-ish as a space can get without inviting woodpeckers and errant kites to take up residence. The Roost does, however, host humans, lots of them, who book the one bed/one bath, $85-a-night property nearly every weekend and often during the week. Being Airbnb’s top wish-listed property in a county doesn’t necessarily mean the lodging receives the most bookings, a statistic Airbnb won’t release. But it does mean Airbnb users have tagged the property as the place they’d most like to stay, should they come to the area, another measure of popularity. The wanna-stay status squares with what guests have told Amanda Jane. “People just really appreciate its uniqueness. They’re not surrounded by drywall and paint,” she says. “They love being up in the trees. They feel like they’re in a retreat, this place for solitude and quiet. And that’s what I wanted it to be . . . a place for relaxation.” In the beginning, Amanda Jane — a native of Louisiana who moved to North Carolina to build homes for Habitat for Humanity — wasn’t sure what the place would look like. Her thenboyfriend, also a builder, had constructed homes in colder climates. Together, they wanted to experiment with making an Earth-friendly, energy efficient home suited to Greensboro’s weather, and they wanted to pay for it by listing the space via Airbnb, an online marketplace for hosts who have homes or rooms to rent, typically for short-term stays. After casting around for a site, her boyfriend said, “Why don’t we build in your yard?” Amanda Jane’s 1952 home — in a modest neighborhood near State Street in north central Greensboro — was within walking distance of a grocery store, coffee shop, restaurants and other amenities. The Revolution Mill complex will be an easy walk or bicycle trip away once a greenway is built from Elm Street to Yanceyville Street and beyond, as city planners propose. So Amanda Jane’s location was prime. The building site was another matter. Her backyard held a one-car garage and attached lean-to. If she and her crew razed those outbuildings, they could build a one-story apartment on the spot, but the slope would require considerable foundation work. That’s when Amanda Jane hit on the idea of lofting the structure on stilts. That way, leveling it wouldn’t be such a chore, insulating it from underneath would be easier, and space below the

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apartment could be used a workshop and storage room. Amanda Jane drew the plans, literally, with a pencil. Tapping her Habitat experience and her interest in nature — she holds a degree in forestry management and ecology from Texas A&M University — she sketched at least 20 iterations before hitting on a compact, functional and aesthetically pleasing design. Next, she secured a loan from her mom and recruited friends to help with the project. She also spent hours tracking down building materials that were nontoxic, energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable. She ended up with a list of suppliers that included local and overseas businesses. Her crew started construction in October 2015, and they finished in March 2016. The result was a 426-square-foot apartment done in a style that could be described as “industrial-cottage” — lots of timber, metal and natural fibers woven together to create a warm and efficient space. Forethought oozes from every feature. The exterior is sheathed in cork, which is harvested sustainably, without felling the trees that produce it. The material is naturally insulating and insect resistant. Inside the apartment, more natural material awaits. The floors are tonguein-groove pine topped with a nontoxic, whey-based sealant. The walls are shiplap pine, whitewashed with a plant-based pigment. The ceilings are unfinished poplar. The windows and doors, ordered from a German company, are highly

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efficient with triple panes and all-wood frames. The space is heated and cooled by an electric split unit, and two HRVs, or heat recovery ventilators, that keep fresh air circulating. “Because we made such an air-tight building, we needed a fresh-air supply,” says Amanda Jane. Guests who crave more air can enjoy a covered deck that’s almost as wide as the enclosed space. “That’s a trick when you have small house,” says Amanda Jane. “With a large outside space, you can double the living space.” The television show He Shed She Shed, a production of the FYI Network, taped The Roost while it was under construction. The show’s staff donated the stainless steel cable railings that corral the deck. They also contributed some building materials and decorating accessories. The apartment contains little freestanding furniture — the sofa, shelves, bed and nightstand are built in — but the interior is still visually interesting. Standouts include the kitchen counter, which is made from old slate roof tiles, complete with nail holes. Kitchen shelves are planks of salvaged barn wood resting on steel pipes that jut from the walls. The base cabinets are made from formaldehyde-free plywood manufactured with natural glues and stained with a homemade concoction of vinegar, coffee grounds and tufts of steel wool that oxidized to darken the mixture. In the living room, a hefty slab of live-edge timber rolls on an iron track to conceal a utility closet. Amanda Jane created an accent wall by troweling lime plaster over laths, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the old-fashioned way. “Plastering is a lost art,” she says, noting that the lime also absorbs moisture in the air. In the bathroom, three walls are cloaked with galvanized — and therefore rust-proof — corrugated metal salvaged from Peacehaven Farm in Whitsett. Perhaps the sweetest touch of recycling is found next to the bed. Amanda Jane clipped a lace remnant to a rope that hangs, like a hammock, inside the window. “The lace is from my great aunt. It was just lying around. I thought, ‘This is pretty.’ The rope was just lying around, too,” she says. Amanda Jane has a talent for sniffing out reusable materials, whether in stores, on curbs or in construction-site dumpsters, says her friend Tay Halas. “You’ll be driving down the road, and she’ll go, “Oh! Look at that!’” says Tay, who helped to frame The Roost. Amanda Jane says her keen eye is fed by an open mind on the subject of what constitutes a building material. For three years, she spent several weeks in Utah building straw-bale homes for low-income people. She pulls what she has learned in different climates and cultures into every project. “I like the problem-solving and creativity of it, of saying, ‘I know I need something to function in this space. Now let’s look in different places to see what might work,’ “ she offers. She launched her own business, Inhabit Living Solutions, about the time she finished The Roost; the apartment has been a good marketing tool for her skills. So far, she has completed three projects: two garage adaptations for friends The Art & Soul of Greensboro

who created Airbnb rentals; and another garage upfit for a couple who moved, with their young child, into the smaller space in order to rent out the property’s main home, which they’d been living in. Amanda Jane gets building permits for all of her projects like any other builder. She’s had no problem dealing with the city, she says, but she believes local government could do more to encourage affordable housing; reduce sprawl; help families accommodate loved ones; and create new income streams for people. Updating codes on accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, in residential areas would be a good start, she says. “I know there’s flexibility within Greensboro’s vision, but I don’t think anyone has advocated strongly for it.” She points to cities like Portland, Oregon, where government encourages denser development to take advantage of existing city services. “You gotta use what you got,” she says. The total cost of The Roost was $65,000, slightly more than it would have been with conventional building methods, Amanda Jane says, but the payback has been a steady stream of Airbnb customers who’ve rated the property 4.99 out of five stars. The monthly income covers utilities for both the apartment and Amanda Jane’s home, as well as the loan repayment to her mother — all while stepping lightly on the planet. “I do see it as a good investment,” Amanda Jane says. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at mailto:ohenrymaria@gmail.com” October 2019

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Fresh Start

Gardening guru Ellen Ashley creates her very own spot in Paradise By Jim Dodson • Photographs by Amy Freeman


his house,” declares Ellen Ashley with an emphatic grin, “is really perfect for me, including what it doesn’t have.” Sunlight streams through the 13-foot windows of her spacious open-concept kitchen and great room, flooding the gallery-white walls and the two adjoining sections of the gorgeous brick-and-glass contemporary house with afternoon light. With a grin, Ashley ticks off a list: “There’s no basement, no attic, no creepy places I might have to crawl into if the power goes out and, best of all, no steps — oh, wait!” She laughs, glancing around as if to check. “OK . . . just one small step to the front porch and two steps to the pool! It’s the perfect house to age well and grow old in!” Her afternoon visitor, an old friend, is impressed — both with the clean lines and economical beauty of her spectacular new house off a winding road in Summerfield and Ellen Ashley’s usual brio for life, home and garden. Before he can ask what the Triad’s beloved gardening guru loves most about her elegant new country digs, she volunteers: “It’s actually what this house has that makes it really so special and wonderfully livable, beginning with tons of light and air.” She mentions the simplicity factor of her sleekly modern kitchen (“I’m in love with my induction stove!”) and airy great room, both of which are equally ideal for entertaining students from her gardening seminars or an intimate dinner gathering with friends. An equally efficient space is the customized pantry/laundry room combo where her collection of antique vases is displayed on glass shelves. Then there’s the dramatic black tile fireplace in the wall that produces several different flames and lighting effects depending on the desired mood, and the handy remotes that control virtually everything from door locks to lighting. By design — her design — the walking tour is brief. One end of the house features a two-car garage, (“Look, no steps! Perfect for my mom when she comes to visit!”), and a guest bedroom rendered in the dreamy hues of a summer sky, with 10-foot tall windows that open to the breeze and an elegant guest bathroom that leads to a high-roofed screened porch with a slowly turning Big Ass Fan, overlooking her heated saltwater swimming pool. The other end of the house boasts the indefatigable gardener’s purple-and-celery-colored bedroom, (“my happy colors!”), a simple spa-like bath area, massive walk-in closet with an colorful wardrobe, a workout room with an elliptical machine in its nook and a cozy office with cool northern light filtered through a pine forest. Whatever else may be said for a native Virginian who two The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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decades ago gave up a busy career in sales in Dallas in order to move to Greensboro and immerse herself in the life botanic, this 2,600-square-foot marvel of glass and brick seems intimately connected to its surroundings, perfectly at home in nature. Out back, beyond the shimmer of her saltwater pool, is a gated garden where late-summer zinnias, hibiscus and canna lilies linger on with a few valedictory blooms. Beyond this is is a wide natural meadow teems with wildflowers, asters, black-eyed Susan, broom sedge and Joe Pie weed humming with hundreds of bees and butterflies gathering up the final sips of summer’s sweetness.


hat’s remarkable to discover is that, three years ago, none of this was here. Only a thick pine forest and the remains of an abandoned tobacco field occupied this remote spot in the country. This splendid transformation came about because Ellen

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Ashley herself was in transition, amicably ending a 26-year marriage to husband Jim and seeking a “fresh start” somewhere near the pretty house and property where she grew a glorious garden and conducted her popular Learn-to-Garden classes for almost a decade. She explains that the couple’s original plan was to buy local acreage and build a more efficient house that suited both of their lifestyles. Ashley’s passion is gardening and teaching; Jim’s is financial planning and flying his airplane. “After a lengthy search, the property we found turned out to be just five driveways or so away,” she explains. “When the four-and-a-quarter acres came on the market, we jumped on it before even selling the other place.” In the process, the couple realized that what they also desired was to go separate ways. “It was one of those situations…” she explains. “It was one of those situations many couple find themselves in where each one has grown in different ways over The Art & Soul of Greensboro

the years. In many ways, Jim and I are closer and better friends than ever.” Evidence of this, she notes, is that her ex graciously insisted that she take his half of the new property to build a house that suited her tastes and needs. Jim moved to a townhouse in the city. “So what began as a project for both of us became, in essence, a fresh start for us both.” She began this process by drawing up her own custom house plans. “There were things I definitely wanted — lots of light and open spaces, a one-story house with a pool and screened porch that could see each other, huge windows, low maintenance, no wooden decks, a central vacuum system and a garden you could see from almost every window.” To bring her vision to life, she hired Gary Jobe Builders and found the ideal site contractor/advisor in Todd Powley. “He was fantastic. I tried to think of everything I could possibly ever want The Art & Soul of Greensboro

or need in a house. When I asked for changes, he always found a way for them to work. He’s the kind of thoughtful builder who helps you bring your dream alive.”


y the time house’s foundation was laid in the late summer of 2018, Ashley was busy laying out the garden spaces and planting the four acre domain with screening plants — Chindo viburnums, junipers, nandina and Japenese maples — along her driveway and the property’s perimeter. Not surprisingly, she also dug up and imported lots of plants from her original garden just down the road and transformed an old tobacco barn at the back of the property into a storage shed for her gardening classes. Invariably there were a few minor hitches along the way, including delays over moving power lines and a new well that periodically produced brown water for more than three months. “The October 2019

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plants could live with brown water but I couldn’t,” she quips. “Try filling a pool with brown water or a nice white soaking tub!”


oday, barely one year on, Ellen Ashley’s “fresh start” is rapidly growing into the kind of elegant destination where guests and students alike feel drawn to just sit on the porch and contemplate the view, or set off to wander the gardens and natural meadow out back in search of natural treasures. “Yesterday,” she explains as the walking tour pauses near a veggie garden that is overflowing with several varieties of figs, tomatoes and peppers, “I had a class of 10 students who gathered seeds from the various sunflower annuals. I think they enjoyed being here.” Who wouldn’t? one wonders.

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“It’s even great in winter,” she says, picking peppers and cherry tomatoes for her afternoon guest to take home. “Because the pool is heated, I can look out my windows on the snowiest days and see turquoise water.” The pool’s water, she explains, is heated by a natural solar system that circulates the pool water through black pipes located on the roof of the house. “I come out here almost every night for a swim,” she explains. “The water is always warm and soothing. It’s the perfect way to end a day.” “No brown water?” She laughs. “Not anymore. It’s like paradise.” OH To find out more about Ellen Ashley’s popular Learn-to-Garden classes, contact her at: Ellen@Learntogarden.net The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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shop@randymcmanusdesigns.com w w w. r a n d y m c m a n u s d e s i g n s . c o m The Art & Soul of Greensboro


October n

October sunlight bathed the park with such a melting light that it had the dimmed impressive look of a landscape by an old master. Leaves, one, two at time, sidled down through the windless air.

By Ash Alder

On mornings such as this — brisk, charged — the mourning doves that line the city wires suddenly take to the air, 50 or more of them in pastel twilight, swirling in wide, graceful circles as if stirred by some unseen hand, the sky some vast, invisible cauldron. The sight is both delightful and haunting, and you feel as though you are witnessing some kind of living spell, a sacred ritual performed by Earth and her sentient beings. This spell is called October. Perhaps you know it well?

Red and golden apples Red and golden leaves Ashes from the burn pile Honey from the bees Three caws from the raven An acorn from the squirrel A whisker from the black cat Aster from a girl Pansies from the garden Barley, wheat, and rye and what’s an incantation without Grandma’s pumpkin pie

Bats in the Eaves

Spiders spin their webs in the rafters year-round, yet as Halloween approaches, neighbors deck their yards and porches with fake webs and creepy-crawlers, and supernatural beings sure to scare the trick-or-treaters. But a word on the plastic bats: Why not welcome the real deal instead? Aside from being adorable — they’re like winged squirrels with tiny fox-meets-bear-meets-pig-like faces — bats play a key role in natural pest control. Consider installing a bat box in the eaves of your house and witness the mosquito population decline come next summer. If you build it, they will (hopefully) come. Especially if you plant night-scented flowers that attract moths and other night-flyers. Best if there’s a nearby water source. And please, for the sake of the bats, no fake webs. Check out the Bat Conservation International website for information and resources: www.batcon.org/resources/getting-involved/bat-houses. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

— Elizabeth Enright, Apple Seed and Apple Thorn, 1953

Before the Frost . . .

Dig up summer bulbs and the last sweet potatoes, compost fallen leaves, and in this transient season of light and shadow, plant, plant, plant for spring. Daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths. Radishes, carrots and leafy greens. And to color your autumn garden spectacular, blanket the earth with pansies.

But in October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present! The whole body of the air seems enriched by their calm, slow radiance. They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer. — John Burroughs, Under the Maples

Battle of the Pies

Let’s get right to it: pumpkin or sweet potato? Since my mother never baked either one (or any pie, come to think of it), naturally I love them both. (Yes, I’ll have another slice of that orange whatchamacallit.) But ask me to choose one pie over the other and watch my eyebrows do a funny dance. I couldn’t begin to describe the differences. Turns out there are many, and that this infamous Battle of the Pies has caused many a great divide at many a Thanksgiving table. It’s pie, folks. But I did a little sleuthing: Pumpkin pie is spicier, denser, less caloric, decidedly Northern. True Southerners cry for sweet potato, the sweeter, airier, more nutritious of the pies. Except, apparently, for my maternal great-grandmother, who reportedly baked two pies at a time, both pumpkin — one for the table, one for my uncle. “Tommy could eat an entire pie in one sitting,” says my mom of her younger brother. “Nothing made my Grandmother Barlowe happier than the joy in his eyes when he saw her pumpkin pies.” “Unfortunately,” Mom added, “I just don’t care for them.” The long and the short of it, in this season of pumpkin-spiced everything, I can’t help but wonder why sweet potato latte isn’t such a buzzword.

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10/1 & 2

New Orleans: a Krewe of Cooks Cooking Class - Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm


First Friday Dinner Seated dinner - Chez Genese 5:30 pm


Grandover Whiskey Society Welcome Social - Grandover 19 & Timber Bar 6:30 pm





Mitzie.Weatherly@allentate.com | 336.314.5500

Men Can Cook Fundraiser for Women’s Resource Center - Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center 5:30 pm


American Steakhouse Classics Cooking Class - Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm


MGS presents Jason Vieaux

Paul J. Ciener

Botanical Garden

Guitar Concert- Christ United Methodist Church 7:30 pm


French Dinner Cooking Workshop Cooking Class - Chez Genese 5:00 pm



Eastern Mediterranea! Cooking Class - Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm


Cheese Making Workshop Cooking Class - Chez Genese 6:00 pm


Reto’s Famous Knife Skills Class! Class - Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm


Halloween Whisk(E)y Dinner Whiskey dinner - 1618 Midtown 6:30 pm

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Paul J. Ciener BotaniCal Garden 336.617.0090

90 O.Henry

October 2019

215 S. Main Street, Kernersville 336-996-7888 www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October 2019 Skeleton Crew

Yardarm, Yarns?



1-6 October 2

SKELETON CREW. Sugar skulls, ofrendas, flowers and more comprise the annual exhibit, Life After Death: Day of the Dead in Mexico. Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, Wingate Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 758-5282 or moa.wfu.edu.

CLUB FED. 6 p.m. Stuffed grape leaves, hummus and more. Lina Fleihan Urmos presides over Adult Cooking: Mediterranean Eats with Ghassan’s. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

October 1–20

FUNNY LADY. 7 p.m. That would be polymath Colleen Ballinger, writer, comedienne, vocalist and producer, and creator of Miranda Sings — Who Wants My Kid? Catch it at Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

October 1–November 15 THE ART OF WAR. Personal and collective histories are interwoven in Gesche Würfel’s haunting photographs on view at What Remains of the Day: Memories of World War II. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3337460 or greenhillnc.org.

October 1–December 8 ARTIST’S STATEMENT. Art mixes with politics in the exhibit, Mary Kelly: Selected Works. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org.

October 1–December 22 INTO THE FOLD. Or Un/Folding, featuring the works of Alyson Shotz, who explores the act of folding through various artistic media. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro



October 1–6

BODY LANGUAGE. Last chance to see Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org.


October 3 GRAPE AND GAB. 6 p.m. Celebrate One City, One Book with vintages from South Africa’s Frankschoek Valley, courtesy of Rickety Bridge wines. Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, 204 N. Mendenhall St., Greensboro. Info: send an email to beth.sheffield@greensboro-nc.gov.

October 3–5 RING CYCLE. Meaning, Lord of the Rings. Watch all three films in an LOTR marathon. Performance times vary. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

October 4 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 5:30 p.m. Meet poet Dawn Rozzo, author of Chicken Haiku. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. ARISTO(JAZZ)CAT. 7:30 p.m. UNCG Jazz Ensemble I & II perform “Translucency: The Music of Duke Ellington.” The


Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. DANCE THIS MESS AROUND! 10 p.m. At Pop-Up Dance Club with DJ Jessica Mashburn. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com.

October 5 YARD SALE. 8 a.m. Literally! Members of the Davidson County Master Gardener Volunteers Association are donating plants from their own yards for the organization’s annual plant sale. Lexington Farmers Market, The Depot, 129 S. Railroad St., Lexington. Info: (336) 407-2853. CORE VALUES. 10 a.m. Demonstrations and crafts will teach you about a Malus domestica,in Early America at “An Apple A Day.” High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org. WELL-HEELED. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take a walking tour of artists’ studios while listening to live music at Westerwood Art & Sole (see page 64). Westerwood neighborhood (between Benjamin Parkway and Aycock Street), Info: facebook.com/westerwoodartandsole. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Tommy Goldsmith, author of Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. SEEING DOUBLE. 4 p.m. “One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons.” Enjoy Shared Radiance Theatre’s classic drama about twins separated in a shipwreck, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S.Main October 2019

O.Henry 91

Arts Calendar St., Kernersville. Tickets: (336) 601-1768 or sharedradiance.org/tickets.

October 6

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 4 p.m. Meet poet Jacinta White, author of Resurrecting the Bones: Born from a Journey through African American Churches & Cemeteries in the Rural South. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. FOOD NETWORK. 5:30 p.m. Toques alive! Bring your appetite to Men Can Cook, featuring the delicacies prepared by 50 local fellas to support the Women’s Resource Center. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. VIVA EL ARTE! 6 p.m. Come to Art Lives Here, a fundraiser supporting Hirsch Wellness Center’s art and wellness programs for those afflicted with or in some way affected by cancer. Revolution Mill, 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: hirschwellnessnetwork.org. FUNDRAISING FEAST. 6 p.m. Support the Edible Schoolyard a multi-course dinner prepared by GIA’s Anders Benton. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. HARDWOOD HOOPLA. 7:30 p.m. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting: The Charlotte Hornets play the Philadelphia 76ers in a preseason game. LJVM Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway, Winston-Salem. Tickets: hornets. com or ticketmaster.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Kim Beall, author of Moonlight and Moss. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. JEWEL TONES. 7:30 p.m. Amythyst Kiah, with Alexa Rose, delivers a mix of old time music, alt rock, folk, country and blues. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. BONNIE PRINCESS CHARLIE. 4 p.m. As in, Charleston “Charlie” Trippodo, granddaughter of the late Jim Clark, muse and avid supporter of this magazine. Help her and her family combat the rigors and expenses of Rett Syndrome at a silent auction and charity event, Charlie’s Angels. Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, 204 N. Mendenhall St., Greensboro. Info: faceboo.com/charleston.trippodo.

October 7 PHOTO OPP. 6:30 p.m. Marian Inabinett, curator of collections explains how to store, scan, preserve and restore old photographs. Morgan Room, High Point Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

October 8 SPELL-BOUND. 7 p.m. This month’s Carolina Classic movie? Hocus Pocus, a comedy about three 17th-century Salem witches reclaiming their lost youth. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Authors Mesha Maren (Sugar Run) and Randal O’Wain (Meander Belt) converse. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

October 9 CARNIVORE’S DELIGHT. 6 p.m. Learn how to prepare steak au poivre, baked Alaska and more at “American Steakhouse Classics.” Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

October 10 L&O. 6:30 p.m. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara regales with tales of prosecution. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet David Gewanter, author of Fort Necessity. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

October 10 & 17 REEL TALK. 6 p.m. See and discuss WWII-related films, Remembering the Holocaust (10/10) and Denial (10/17) presented by Greensboro Public Library and GreenHill. Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

October 11 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Carol Roan, author of A Change in the Air. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. COME WHAT MAE. 7:30 p.m. As in, Heather Mae, performing songs from her newly released album, Glimmer. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. AXE MAN. 7:30 p.m. Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux lights up Music for a Great Space. 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. EARTH-SHATTERING. 8 p.m. Clap and toe-tap to Balsam Range and Chatham County Line performing at Piedmont Conservancy’s Land Jam. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

October 11–13

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92 O.Henry

October 2019

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT. A princess conquers her fears by confronting a band of goblins in Drama Center’s performance of, what else? The Princess and the Goblin. Performance times vary. Odell Auditorium, Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro. Tickets are $8. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.

October 12 HOOFIN’ THROUGH HISTORY. 8 a.m. Historian Glenn Chavis leads a guided tour of the historic Washington Street District. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 813 Washington St., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859. PUNK’D. 8 a.m. Line up early for Pumpkin Pancake and Celebration Day. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2042 or gsofarmersmarket.org.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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October 2019

O.Henry 93

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Arts Calendar

WHAT’S THE SCORE? 10 a.m. As in, musical score. Join a free workshop on musical composition led by composer Dan Forrest. Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2229 or belcantocompany.com. STRETCH AND STIR. 10 a.m. Bring the kiddos, ages 3 and up for a session with Full Moon yoga, followed by food prep with ingredients from the garden. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

October 12 & 13 TAKE STOCK. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. And stock up on art at the Artstock Artists Studio Tour, Greensboro. Each site is marked by a red balloon. For a list of sites: artstocktour.com.

October 12 & 14 INHALE, EXHALE. 8 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Bel Canto opens its season with the premiere of composer Dan Forrest’s The Breath of Life, commissioned in memory of Bel Canto supporter Suzanne Goddard, as well as his Jubilate Deo. First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2229 or belcantocompany.com.

October 12 & 26 BEAT DOWN. 10 a.m. The coals are smokin’ and his hammer’s strokin’ . . . The Blacksmith returns. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 8851859 or highpointmuseum.org.

October 12–January 5 MINI SPLENDORED THINGS. Shahzia Sikander puts a twist on Indo-Persian miniature painting in Disruption as Rapture. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org.

October 13 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet poet Ellenor Shepherd, author of Lost and Found. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

October 14 BUDGET BITES. 6:30 p.m. Adult Cooking: Good and Cheap offers tips on healthful eating that doesn’t break the bank. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

October 15 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Mitchell Bloom, author of The Ho-Ho-Holiest Medicine. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

October 16 BIZ BYGONES. 10 a.m. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the High Point Chamber of Commerce at Celebrating a Century of Commerce. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpoint.org.

CHOWDAH HEADS! 6:30 p.m. Which is better: New England Clam chowder or its Pacific Northwest counterpart with salmon? Find out at Adult Cooking: Chowder Throwdown. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. MONK MUSIC. 7:30 p.m. No, not Gregorian chants but the tunes of jazz great Thelonious Monk, played by Ernest Turner Trio. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

October 17 GOOD NIGHT, ’SPOON! 6:30 p.m. Get an overview of Weatherspoon at an evening public tour. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Dale Neal, author of Appalachian Book of the Dead, engages in a discussion with author Evan Williams. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. NAKED AMBITION. 7:30 p.m. Dress in corduroy and hear humorist David Sedaris talk not pretty so much as wryly. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. YARDARM YARNS. 7 p.m. For O.Henry’s and O.Hey’s third Story Slam, come armed with a tale centered around the theme: “Stories with Spirit(s)”. Red Oak Brewery, Lager Haus & Biergarten, 6905 Konica Drive, Whitsett. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com

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94 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Join the effort. Visit www.triadlocalfirst.com.

Arts Calendar October 17 & 19

October 18-22

SPRING IN THE FALL? 8 p.m. That would be Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, one of Greensboro Symphony’s program selections along with pieces by Bach and Vivaldi and Shostakovich. Pianist Julia Zilberquit joins in. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: 336-335-5456 x 224 or greensborosymphony.org.

HEAD’S UP Donizetti imagines what went down when, Mary, Queen of Scots, has a tête-á-tête with her cousin Queen Elizabeth after 18 years of being held prisoner. Times and dates vary. Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., Winston Salem. Tickets: (336) 721-1945 or piedmontopera.org/ event/119121/.

October 18

October 19

RAV RAVE. 5 p.m. Forget Chef Boyardee: Tweens (age 11–14) learn to make ravioli pasta and sauce using ingredients from the Edible Schoolyard. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 3 p.m. Meet Janet Bentley, author of Don’t Expect Me to Cry: Refusing to Let Childhood Sexual Abuse Steal My Life. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Emily Herring Wilson, author of I Went Back to My Home Country: A Remembrance of Archie Ammons. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

GHOST WRITING. 6 p.m. Listen to some hair-raising tales, decorate pumpkins, wolf down s’mores and have a good time at Ghost Stories in the Park. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

STRUM MAJORS. 8 p.m. Meaning, the Earls of Leicester. Hear ’em at the Ben and Betty Cone Auditorium. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St. Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com. THE NAME’S SMITH. 8 p.m. Grant Maloy Smith plays and sings his brand of Americana music. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet poets Nicole Stockburger and Julie Swarstad. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. WOOD WINDS. 8 p.m. And strings. The Wood Brothers crank out yet more Americana tunes. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets:(336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

NIMBUS NO MORE. 7 p.m. Country sensation Chris Stapleton of “Broken Halo” fame brings his “All-American Road Show” to town. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or livenation.com.

October 20 WIND PIPERS. 8 p.m. Hear the otherworldly sounds of Alash, masters of Tuvan throat singing. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com. MANÁ FROM HEAVEN. 8 p.m. Or rather, Guadalajara, Mexico. The Latin rock powerhouse, Maná, energizes the stage. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or livenation.com. A BURIED LIFE. 10 a.m. Ann Stringfield presents “Plants and the Planted,” a talk about Green Hill Cemetery’s landscaping and prominent permanent residents. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

October 21 TECH TONIC. 6:30 p.m. Professionals offer pearls of wisdom at Proactive Parenting: Navigating Your Child’s Digital World. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October 2019

O.Henry 95

• service • food • farms Arts shops Calendar October 22

FOMENT FERMENT. 6:30 p.m. No, not grapes or hops. Get healthy with Adult Cooking: Make Your Own Kombucha. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet essayist Nicole Walker (Sustainability: A Love Story, A Survival Guide for Life in the Ruins) featured speaker of the Phoenix Reading Series. Ballroom, Webb Conference Center, HPU, One University Parkway, High Point. Info: highpoint.edu. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Tanya Zabinski, author of Peace, Love, Action: Everyday Acts of Goodness. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

October 23 MED ED. 6 p.m. Tabbouleh and other dishes from Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Israel fill the program at “Eastern Mediterranean.” Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. DU BON GOÛT. 6:30 p.m. Adult Cooking: A Taste of France. Say no more! Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

October 24 FAM TRIP 5:30 p.m. At Family Night, art and science blend, as artist Alyson Shotz explains the effect of force and gravity on materials. Explore for yourself with the museum’s new art

support locally owned businesses

cart. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoonart.org. FROMAGE FACTOR. 6 p.m. You’ll find that cheese-making is a brie-z at a cooking class. Chez Genèse, 615 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. BWA-HA-HA! 7:30 p.m. The cast of Whose Line Is It Anyway spreads some laughs with their improv act, Whose Live Anyway? Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

October 25 SPICE GIRLS AND BOYS. 5 p.m. Kids ages 8–11 learn to make three seasonal delicacies (a sweet, a savory and a drink) at Kids Cooking: Pumpkin Spice Everything. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. GIRL GROUP. 9 p.m. Groove to the jams of Grammy nominees SWV (Sisters With Voices) at a special after-hours show. Piedmont Hall, 2411 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmaster.com.

October 26 SWEET FEET. 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Greensboro Ballet performs Hansel & Gretel. Van Dyke Performance Space, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7480 or greensboroballet.org.

SPOOK CENTRAL. 2 p.m. Get your thrills and chills — along with good eats, crafts, games and live music — at Greensboro Youth Council’s Ghoulash Festival. Cultural Center, LeBauer Park and City Center Park, downtown Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov. MORE IS MORTON. 8 p.m. As in, PJ Morton, keyboardist for Maroon 5, who brings his R&B grooves to town. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmaster.com. DEF-YING LOGIC. 7:30 p.m. Def Jam Recordings’ rap sensation Logic brings his jams to the Special Events Center. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

October 27

TEA FOR TOTO. 2 p.m. Meet the cast of Community Theatre Greensboro’s Wizard of Oz over tea. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com. NEW TUNES. 3 p.m. Conductor Lorena Guillén and Triangle Jewish Chorale perform a short concert of traditional and contemporary Jewish works. Donations appreciated. Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org. AGGIE COME HOME! 6 p.m. Hear joyful noises at N.C. A&T’s homecoming gospel concert, Life of Praise, featuring Grammy Award winners John P. Kee and Donald Lawrence. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October 2019

Join the effort. Visit www.triadlocalfirst.com.

O.Henry 97

Arts Calendar

October 29

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6 p.m. Meet Matthew Johnson, author of Shadow Folk and Soul Songs. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP. 7 p.m. Deep within the Paris Opera. Catch Lon Chaney in the silent version of The Phantom of the Opera. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

Whiskey Dinner, 1618 Midtown, 1724–105 Battleground Ave., Greensboro.Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen (members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. PreTo register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Gavin Edwards, author of Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.


JAZZMATAZZ. 7:30 p.m. Swing out to Ellington, Basie, Miles Davis and more, courtesy of High Point University Jazz Ensemble. Empty Space Theatre, HPU, One Univerisy Parkway, High Point. Info: highpoint.edu.


October 30 CUTTING EDGE. 6 p.m. Look sharp at Reto’s Famous Knife Skills class, which will teach you proper use of cutlery while preparing a four-course meal. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

October 31 SPIRITS, ANYONE? 6:30 p.m. Knock back fine whiskey with fine food at a Halloween

Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. BIBLIO CHEFS. 3 p.m. What better combo than reading and food. Kiddos age 3–5 are immersed in both at Book and Cook, a six-week program (10/29 through 12/3). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2829 or gcmuseum.com. BOTS FOR TOTS. 3:45 p.m. Kids ages 6–8 learn about robots and apps (Dot and Dash, Cubelets, Ozobots) at the next Techie Kids series (10/29 through 12/3). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2829 or gcmuseum.com. READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story times: 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 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, curated by O.Henry’s own Ogi Overman and featuring live performances of roots and Americana music by Rob Massengale Trio (10/1), Stained Glass Canoe (10/8) Mystery Hillbillies (10/15), Windfall (10/22), and Warren, Bodle and Allen (10/29). Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

Wednesdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., 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 AM rOdeO — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.

Thursdays LOCAVORES. 3:45 p.m. Local Chefs teaches children ages 6–8 about local food systems, planting, harvesting and cooking ingredients from the Edible Schoolyard (9/19 through 10/24). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2829 or gcmuseum.com.

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98 O.Henry

October 2019

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October 2019

O.Henry 99

Arts Calendar

ALL THAT JAZZ. 6 p.m. Hear live, local jazz with the O.Henry Trio and selected guests Autumn Rainey (10/3), Charles Johnson (10/10), Jessica Mashburn (10/17), Diana Tuffin (10/24), Lydia Salett Dudley (10/31). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm. JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754 or www.tatestreetcoffeehouse.com. OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 503 N. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

Fridays THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($3 on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

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

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

MORE MARKET MANIA. 8:30 a.m. See what’s on tap at the High Point Farmers Market, with programs, “Apple Jubilee” (10/5); and “Spooktacular Soiree” (10/26). High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 8833011 or highpointnc.gov. THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. JAZZ ENCORE. 7 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats Andrew Sanchez and Friends (10/5), Sarah Strable (10/12), Matt Reid and Friends (10/19), and Dr. John Henry (10/26), while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com. 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, 503 N. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

Saturdays & Sundays KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can

207 W. Greenway Drive N. - Sunset Hills 336-420-1478

shake, rattle and roll with percussion instruments; while Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto: marketing@gcmuseum.com.


GROOVE AND GRUB. 11 a.m. Chow down on mouthwatering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams, while students from the Miles Davis Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 6173382 or thehistoricmagnoliahouse.com. HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $5 admission, as opposed to the usual $10, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into the quintessential comfort food: skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

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O.Henry 101

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104 O.Henry

October 2019


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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October 2019

O.Henry 105

Taste of the Villages Tuesday, October the 29th

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October 2019

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108 O.Henry

October 2019

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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Arts & Culture


DOTTIE LEATHERWOOD RECEPTION: OCTOBER 4 • 6-8PM • FREE LUNCH & LEARN: OCTOBER 4 • 11:30AM • $20 WORKSHOP: OCTOBER 5 • 11AM-4PM • $125 307 State Street, Greensboro (336) 279-1124 • www.tylerwhitegallery.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

October 2019

O.Henry 109

Arts & Culture



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110 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


state of the ART • north carolina

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O.Henry 111

Arts & Culture



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112 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Kisha Lee, Sol

The BLOC Awards

Community Choice Celebrating Arts Excellence Friday, August 23, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Courtland Price, Stephen W. Dennison, Ja Keisha

Ricky Brown, Frederick James, Rayo Brooks, Danny Brown

Kevante Tatum, LeDarius Parker, Jaleel Cheek

Willistine Lockhart, Freda Dunston, Phean Alston

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O.Henry 113


Roy Nydorf, Terry Hammond, Melanie Shores

Thekla & Jimmy Slade

One City, One Book Kickoff Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Daphne Roach, Valencia Abbott

Susannah Smith, Sandra Bartell

James Bennett, Gaynelle & Harold Nichols, Lynn Bennett

Everlena Diggs, Ginny Williamson, Valeria Edwards Tameshia & Cyretha Branch

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Jane Cranford, Tracy Schlosser Clare Johnson, Jennifer Poindexter

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114 O.Henry

October 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sandy & Wayne Young, Kim Mathis

N.C. Folk A’Fare Culinary Event North Carolina Folk Festival Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Linda Hiatt, Emily Reichard, Alex Paoloni

Amy & John Kelly, Sloane Moretz Cathy & Bailey Jordan Michaela & Hannah Reynolds

Andrew Shoffner, T.C. Frazier

Blair Wilburn, Jeff Yetter

Chris Breland, Angel Fulp

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Dennis & Nancy Quaintance

Aimee Rotruck, Tiffany Reed

Feras Alrish, Aqeel Hammood

Vicky Corrington, Susan Sassman

October 2019

O.Henry 115


Ariane &n Caleb Hunt

Janet & Bill Sommers

Story Slam

Legends & Lagers Thursday, August 15, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Jim Dodson, Annie Vorys Anne Russell, Elissa Fuchs

Terry Murphy, Amy Thompson

April & Dan Pilhorn

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116 O.Henry

October 2019

Mikal Reagan, Amy Fargo Kyli Lindow, James Golden

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Private Guest Cottage Opens New Possibilities 1816 SAINT ANDREWS ROAD, GREENSBORO, NC 27408 A rare Old Irving Park luxury home with a separate guest cottage creates unique living and entertaining opportunities. The Guest Cottage has everything for independent living just steps away from the gracious main house built by Wolfe Homes. Open floor plan includes main-level master suite, large open kitchen, library, old-world courtyard and patio with outdoor fireplace. Architectural details are everywhere to be enjoyed.


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O.Henry 117

State Street

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118 O.Henry

October 2019


Unique Shoes! Beautiful Clothes!! Artisan Jewelry!!! Shoes Sizes 6 - 11 • Clothes Sizes S - XXL

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The Accidental Astrologer

Long Live, Libra! And Scorpio, too

By Astrid Stellanova

In the mists of ancient time before pumpkin spice

lattes, Star Children, we only had golden pumpkins, autumn leaves, marigolds and Halloween to keep us happy in October. Ruled by Venus, those born in early October are balanced Libras, but the later October born, with powerful Pluto as their ruler, are passionate Scorpios. Long before old Astrid, we had Dr. Spock to tell us how special October babies are. Strong, long-lived — more months of sunshine means more vitamin D for these babies. Strong minds and even stronger opinions. More presidents — John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, to name a few — are born in October than in any other month. If they can’t rule over you, they’ll entertain you, like Simon Cowell, Julie Andrews, John Lennon, Katy Perry and Cardi B. Libra (September 23–October 22) There’s original you, and then there’s new you. There’s no shame in your game because that resilience makes you ever stronger. Sugar, you’ve had more comebacks than Sonny Bono after he split with Cher. Sonny bought a restaurant, added a whole new verse to “Bang Bang,” (for one of Cher’s later solo albums) and took up skiing. Wait — on second thought, don’t pull a Sonny. Don’t go to the big boy slope. Stay on the bunny slope and wear a helmet. Scorpio (October 23–November 21 Think about Sesame Street: One of these things doesn’t belong here. What might that be? Can you see the ways that you have wandered off into the weeds when you were looking for the ball? Eyes back on the ball, Darlin’. There ain’t nothing worth risking what you’re risking. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) If you don’t make a change, the one you’ve been stalling on, you will know it. Here’s how: Regret will start stinking up the place like a bag of stale pork rinds. Cha-cha-change will make you feel like a whole new person, even a real grownup. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Oh, what a flap dang doodle you got into. Is your legal advisor R. Kelly’s? Yes, you’ve won before, but this time you don’t want to test the limits. Throw it in reverse; rethink your situation. Lordamercy, you could use a better braking and thinking system. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Listen, Ringmaster. This ain’t your monkey, and it sure ain’t your circus, Bud. Try not to dominate when you know the plan is not yours to control. The temptation to take charge of all the circus rings is one of your biggest urges, but, uh, no. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Oh, Lordy. This drama you’re starring in is about as fun as taking a bubble bath with a hair dryer. You’ll get lots of reaction, but none that a normal person would want to experience. Something about this reeks of wrong place, wrong door.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Aries (March 21–April 19) In recent weeks, there’s been a surreal story line involving you and your closest friends. If it keeps up, you’ll have to fish your eyeballs out of the soup bowl. You know so much it is about to bust you wide open. But do your best to contain it, Baby. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Here’s what my Mama used to tell me at times like this: Keep things high and tight. And if at all possible, dry. Yes, the creek is rising and you really didn’t plan on buying a duck boat. Sugar, if you see this as adventure, it really will be a giggle. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Your nearest and dearest think they’re Rat Pack Royalty. If anything, you should be the front person swinging the mic. Stop traveling with rats if you don’t want to be mistaken for their entourage, Sugar Bean. It’s not your destiny to be a groupie. Cancer (June 21–July 22) An ounce of pretense is worth a pound of manure. That’s what you know in your heart of hearts, yet you allow one pretentious somebody to cause you a whole poopie storm of trouble. Windex won’t clean everything but at least it can clean your glasses and let you see things more clearly. Leo (July 23–August 22) You may be slick, but even you can’t slide on barbed wire. Take the opportunity to say no thank you to what looked like a great escape opportunity from what must feel like your personal Alcatraz. If you don’t, you might wind up getting important pieces of you rearranged. Virgo (August 23–September 22) If you stir in that hot mess, are you willing to lick the spoon? No, I didn’t think so, Darlin’. You were a fine instigator of a situation that tickled you silly, but now the fun is over. Try to make amends with a friend that didn’t find it funny. 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. OH October 2019

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O.Henry Ending

Leaving Home

By Lynne Brandon

“DO NOT ring the doorbell before 8 a.m,”

read our sign on the front door. Not being “morning people,” my family recoiled at the thought of being dressed and ready to wheel-and-deal before breakfast.

This estate sale, as we preferred to call it, was born of necessity, not desire. After moving back to Surry County from Florida, my 83-year-old mother could no longer live in the house my sisters and I grew up in — a simple structure built by one of my uncles with wood floors that squeaked, a leaky basement when it rained, and 50 years of memories, love and good times. Pickup trucks lined the country road as old timers in overalls, good ole boys, neighbors and “pickers” showed up ready to haggle over underpriced items — a house, full basement and three sheds’ worth. Tables were spread with rock ’n’ roll 45s, quilts our grandmothers made on a quilting frame, Bassett Furniture (when it was still locally made), clothes, tools, football films on reels (from dad’s coaching days), farm equipment including our beloved 1950 Ford tractor and a lifetime of treasures. Women gravitated to the house with glasses, dishes, books and kids’ toys. Men headed straight for the sheds so they could pick through tools and such. Over the course of the day, we slowly realized that no price could be placed on the stories and memories that people shared. We met two older sisters driving an old red Ford truck, and former students who laughed as they related times of being disciplined by my father, known as Coach. There was Kenny, who told us that dad had talked him into working on his old truck instead of going to class — unheard of in this day and age. Kenny was happy to keep the Blue Goose running instead of sitting in a classroom. A cousin I had never met shared stories of my long-deceased uncle known far and wide as the best horse trainer in the region — a horse whisperer who could break horses no one else could tame.

120 O.Henry

October 2019

Jackie Mears wiped tears from his eyes as he told me about how my uncle Wayne would plow a field of corn with the very same horse he would unhitch from the plow and then run in a race an hour later — and win. We have the horse ribbons to prove it. Jackie also told me how Uncle Wayne entered a race in Virginia dressed in jeans and riding Western amidst a field of other riders who wore jockey silks and rode English. The most colorful visitor to our sale was the 40-something-year-old lady named Christie. She roared up in a beat-up Jeep, bristling with energy. “I got some tax money to spend,” she announced. She reminded me of Erin Brokovich — slim, busty, with bra-straps showing through her tank top, tattoos swirling at her ankles. She couldn’t have weighed much over 100 pounds soaking wet. In short fashion she pointed to four old and bulky pieces of furniture. Although all of our brawny helpers had left for the day, she was determined. “I don’t need no man to help me,” she said. “Y’all remember that murder down the road about eight years ago?” she asked. “I shot and killed my ex-boyfriend,” she said matter-of-factly “He was drunk and tried to strangle me. It was self-defense.” Though the tangible pieces of our lives were sold off one by one, that old house was more than a home; it was a weekend getaway, a refuge as I healed from divorce, and later a retreat away from the city to the wide open spaces and clean air of the country. Time spent in the basement talking to mom while she sewed on her Singer sewing machine and Dad sitting in front of the cast-iron potbellied stove, smoking a pipe in his overalls, are a flicker in my memory, like one of his old football reels. Emptied of its contents, it is now waiting for new, young owners to fill it with the contents and memories of their own lives. This house was well-loved and it gave us lots of love in return. Now it stands ready to give again. OH Lynne Brandon is a Greensboro-based journalist. She travels the South and wherever the road takes her in search of inspiring tales of people and destinations worth checking out. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Sorting through a lifetime of memories at a family estate sale is no easy task

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