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There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. C. S. Lewis Here is to a Brilliant New Year with grateful thanks for New Beginnings, New Location and all the hopes and wishes for a healthy, wealthy & wise New Year. Katie
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January 2019 FEATURES 47 Warmth
Poetry by Raymond Whitaker
48 Greeensboro’s Next Wave They’re young, they’re talented and shaping tomorrow
By Nancy Oakley For landscape painter John Beerman, beauty is everywhere
64 To D.I.Y. For
By Cynthia Adams Betsy Brodeur applies ingenuity to her Sunset Hills home
By Ash Alder
DEPARTMENTS 9 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 12 Short Stories 15 Doodad By Ogi Overman 17 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 19 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 23 Scuppernong Bookshelf 24 Book Excerpt By Lee Zacharias 29 Papadaddy’s Mindfield By Clyde Edgerton 31 Drinking with Writers By Wiley Cash 35 True South By Susan Kelly 37 Food for Thought By Jane Lear 41 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 43 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 74 Arts Calendar 88 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Nancy Oakley Cover Art by John Beerman Photograph this page by Amy Freeman
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Volume 9, No. 1 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.”
What matters to you, matters to us
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Kid Up a Tree
Because of a father who loved the Old North State
By Jim Dodson
Half a century ago, my dad was
on a creative team from a High Point–based ad agency that produced perhaps the state of North Carolina’s most iconic travel and tourism campaign.
It declared the Old North State to be “Variety Vacationland” and featured beauty shots of our blessed land from the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with a catchy theme song that sounded like a college fight song sung by the Fred Waring Singers. It was called the “North Carolina Vacation Song.” North Car-o-lina, friendly mountain breezes, North Car-o-lina, with its sandy beaches, Wonderland of Variety . . . Coast to mountains it’s great to be Right here in North Car-o-lina Love the pines around in North Car-o-lina, Get your cares behind you Livin’ is right in ho-li-day bright NORTH CARO-O-LINA! If you’ve reached a certain threshold of age, you probably know this classic and clever jingle word for word. In fact, you probably can’t get the dang thing out of your head six decades later. It’s stuck in there playing on an endless loop with Speedy Alka-Seltzer (“Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, Oh what a relief it is . . .”) and Mighty Mouse pitching Colgate toothpaste as he battles Mr. Tooth Decay. My old man couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he was a whiz at writing The Art & Soul of Greensboro
witty light verse, clever limericks and jingles in the style of Ogden Nash, the poet laureate of Light Verse, one of his literary heroes, the author of such timeless gems as: My garden will never make me famous, I’m a horticultural ignoramus, I can’t tell a string bean from a soybean, Or even a girl bean from a boy bean. Or for you First Amendment Fans: Senator Smoot is an institute Not to be bribed with pelf; He guards our homes from erotic tomes By reading them all himself. And lastly, a reassuring post-holiday ditty for those anxious about the postnuclear age in which we reside: At Christmas in olden times, The sky was full of happy chimes. But now the skies above us whistle, With supersonic guided missiles. This Christmas I’ll be modern, so Here comes my guided mistletoe. I suspect my clever papa had something to do with the lyrics of North Carolina’s wickedly infectious “Vacation Song” because he wrote lots of other memorable copy and commercials — print and television — that prompted large agencies in Chicago and Atlanta to try to lure him their way. He always politely listened to their pitches, but in the end stayed at home, his home, in North Carolina. Some of his favorite subjects, in fact, were rural counties he promoted with spots that illustrated their timeless qualities of life. January 2019
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My brother and I both wound up being models for a couple of these promotions. Brother Richard, circa 1964, is shown bird hunting with his “father” in a harvested cornfield on a beautiful autumn afternoon, revealing the rustic charms of Stanly County. Yours truly, roundabout age 10, wearing jeans, sneakers and a buzz worthy of a Parris Island recruit, is shown sitting on a large tree limb staring dreamily off into the firmament over the green hills of Old Catawba, an ad for Olin Paper Company that found its way into several national magazines. I worked cheap; the sneakers were brand new, though I’m still waiting for my residuals. Most of all, our ditty-loving daddy, a product of the Great Depression who never finished college but went off to war and steeped himself in poetry and literature and history for the rest of his days, believed that effective advertising had to be both honest and true, which are not always the same thing. He worked on Terry Sanford’s gubernatorial campaign, for example, largely because of Sanford’s strong commitment to higher education, but turned down several other politicians he sensed were “too smooth to be believable,” as he liked to say. I spent much of this past year thinking about (and sorely missing) my old man’s infectious good humor and belief in the power of humility, honest words and decent language — something that seems quaintly out of fashion in the time of a President who tweets insults on the hour, grades himself superior to Abe Lincoln and seems to have only a passing acquaintance with the truth. As a new and hopeful year dawns, and I wish my dad were still around to pick me up with one of his funny verses about the worrisome state of affairs, perhaps his muse Ogden Nash will have to suffice:
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The American people, With grins jocose, Always survive the fatal dose. And though our systems are slightly wobbly, We’ll fool the doctor this time, probly. But wait — stop the presses! On an even brighter note, my daughter Maggie, who turns 30 this month and actually works as a senior copywriter for one of those large ad agencies that tried to lure her grandfather to the big city half a century ago, just sent her old man the pick-me-up he needed — three clever video spots she wrote for, of all things, Keebler Crackers. Her “other” life is writing beautiful short stories, screenplays and a witty newsletter for her Book Drunk Book Club. But as her cracker videos clearly prove, genius skips a generation. Judge for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jupoZctbUJs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w_gQsiXevA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUs2437pRS4 Somewhere off in the firmament over the state he dearly loved, I’m guessing my old man might be grinning. Maybe his friend Ogden Nash is, too. In any case, so you’ll never get it out of your head, I shall leave you with the rest of the famous vacation song. You can Google it, too. North Car-o-lina, would you like to roll along scenic highways? Let your travels bring you, Face to face with history, For new excitement . . . you’ll agree! It’s all in North Car-o-lina Bigger land of pleasure, Life can be fine-er, You’ll discover treasure Where the moon shines through tall green pines in . . . NORTH-CAR-O-LINA! OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Short Stories Murder Most Foul
Who’s the culprit? No, not Col. Mustard or Miss Scarlett of Clue fame, but the fitness instructor, perhaps? Or the barmaid or used car salesman? Don your deerstalker’s cap and grab a magnifying glass for Community Theatre Greensboro’s Whodunit Mystery Party at 7 p.m. on January 25 at O.Henry Hotel (622 Green Valley Road). Start with a cocktail and then roam through the hotel, partaking of tasty eats courtesy of Chef Leigh Hesling, as you try to solve the case of the guest who was, er, iced at the hotel bar. For info call Community Theatre Greensboro at (336) 333-7470, ext. 205. Tickets: eventbrite.com.
Wheelin’ and Dealin’
What happens when a veteran with a questionable past gets ahold of a ’39 Ford — in postwar Alabama? Why, White Lightning, of course. The play by Elyzabeth Gregory Walker, is an homage to the roots of NASCAR. Its protagonist is Avery McAllister, a World War II vet determined to put his past behind him, which he does by ripping down Alabama’s road unblushingly running moonshine — until he meets Dixie. So buckle up and enjoy the ride from January 27 through February 17 at Triad Stage (232 S. Elm Street). Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.
Just say “I do,” to the Wedding Fair, which acts as a matchmaker on January 6 at Embassy Suites/Greensboro (204 Centreport Drive). The one-stop shop — or browse — helps brides and grooms plan ahead and avoid breaking the bank, thanks to the on-site gurus who will give the 411 on wedding gowns and tuxedos, venues, florists, music, photographers and more. Can’t make this show? Not to worry: You can catch it on January 6 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds (300 Deacon Boulevard) or February 2 at Greensboro Coliseum (1921 W. Gate City Boulevard.). Tickets and info: www.33bride.com.
Passing the Mantle
Or rather, manteau. As the mercury goes down, it’s time to bundle up . . . but what about those who haven’t any coldweather gear? Time to dig through your closets for outerwear to donate to the Give a Kid a Coat campaign, which kicks off January 4 at A Cleaner World in High Point (2527 Eastchester Drive) with food and fun. If you miss the big event, you can still drop off a gently used coat until February 9 at any of Cleaner World’s locations, which will mend and clean the garments before handing them over to the Salvation Army for distribution. What better way to start the new year than by keeping a child warm outside . . . a gesture that will make you feel warm on the inside. Info: acleanerworld.com.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Go hog wild on January 26 for an early Lunar New Year’s party celebrating the Year of the Earth Pig. From 1 until 4 p.m., the Greensboro History Museum (130 Summit Avenue) will offer snacks, crafts and other family-friendly activities to give a nod to the community’s Asian heritage showcased in its exhibit, Second Generation: AsianAmerican, which closes February 3. Info: greensborohistory.org.
Ever have any trouble reading old handwriting with its elaborate loops and flourishes (think: John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence)? Well, on January 14 at 6:30 p.m. just drop by the Morgan Room at High Point Public Library (901 N. Main Street, High Point), where historian Larry Cates will help you decipher slants, serifs, sans-serifs of handwriting styles from bygone eras. You’ll be better equipped to read historical and genealogical documents — and mind your p’s and q’s. Info: highpointmuseum.org.
Calling all Mozart fans! Since its inception in 1978 the Mozart Birthday Concert has become one of the most popular events on UNC-School of the Arts’ calendar. Come wish Amadeus many happy returns at this year’s faculty performance, which goes onstage on January 27 at 2 p.m. at Watson Hall on UNCSA’s campus (1533 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem). Tickets: uncsa.edu.
Meaning, Frank Harmon, architect, faculty member of the NCSU College of Design and author of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See. A collection of thoughts, hand-drawn sketches and watercolors, the book explores the importance of examining places and buildings. Harmon will be on hand at Scuppernong Books (304 S. Elm Street) at 7 p.m. January 27 to discuss the tome and his life’s work. Info: scuppernongbooks.com.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago. Actually, there’s nothing to resolve, since I’ve already gotten rid of all my vices, bad habits and character defects. Well, except for lying. So, I’m left with my one perpetual resolution: to track down and attend even more live concerts. Beats the heck out of trying to lose weight.
• January 5, Cat’s Cradle: I can’t tell you how much I love Lake Street Dive, especially lead vocalist Rachael Price. I don’t know how the CC is going to cram everyone in there, so if you haven’t gotten your tix already, you may be standing out in the parking lot. Go anyway.
Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem
• January 11, Ramkat: There are but a handful of bluegrass bands out there who’ve earned the community’s universal respect like the Lonesome River Band. Like most everyone, they’ve had personnel changes over the years, but banjo legend Sammy Shelor has been the glue that holds things together. The current incarnation may be their best ever. • January 12, Carolina Theatre: There is a timeless quality to big band music, and no ensemble exemplifies it more than the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Just as my WW II vet daddy passed it along to his baby boomer son, the torch continues to get passed from generation to generation. In more ways than one, they truly were The Greatest Generation. • January 17, Muddy Creek Music Hall:
OK, there are several elite guitarists who are masters of the Telecaster. But if Albert Lee is not at or near the top of that list, forget about it. He’s been one of my true heroes since the mid-’70s with Emmylou’s Hot Band (before he left to go with Clapton), but his litany of collaborators and accolades is endless.
• January 18, Brad & Tammy’s Listening
Loft: One of the best trends lately is the proliferation of house concerts. And one of the best around is this gorgeous venue in Reidsville. Brad continually finds these under-the-radar touring acts that leave you wondering, “Why aren’t these guys major stars?” Arc Iris, an indie rock band from Providence, Rhode Island, is one such act. You’ll be stunned — at the room and the band.
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Waiting for the Muse
Hansel and Gretel
The near-perfection of Dave Ray Cecil’s songs
Outlaw country singer David Allan
Coe wrote the perfect country song. That, according to the late, great folk-music singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. While Goodman’s proclamation may be open to debate, his prowess as a superb tunesmith is not.
Likewise, there are more than a few judges of talent on a national scale who contend that Dave Ray Cecil may have written the perfect Americana song, or something close to it. Again, that is open to debate, but only because musicologists cannot agree on which Cecil composition is the closest to being perfect. There are at least four contenders so far — and likely several more that the public is not yet privy to. Add to that the very real possibility that he may not have written it yet. “But I’m working on it,” says the soft-spoken songcrafter. “I’m always looking for the record. Sometimes I think I’ve got it, but then another one comes along.” Unlike Nashville’s finest, Cecil does not crank out formulaic three-minute ditties on demand. There is a spiritual, ethereal quality to both his music and the process by which he creates it. Trite though it may sound, The Muse, he insists, descends only of its own volition: “You can’t force it,” he maintains. “The song is going to have its way with you, you can’t navigate it. It’s not something I can control.” While the 48-year-old Greensboro native and Grimsley grad has been writing songs since childhood, only recently have the accolades begun coming his way. In the past year he has been a finalist for two of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country: NewSong Music Showcase and Competition and Kerrville New Folk Songwriters Competition. He was one of eight finalists (from over 5,000 entries) invited to perform in the Lincoln Center in New York in the NewSong Competition, and one of 16 finalists from 800 entrants in the Kerrville Competition, appearing at the Grassy Hill Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival. “I don’t worry about results; I just need to know that I swung at the ball,” Cecil explains. “I’d never done this before and was actually pushed into it, but I must say there’s a sense of validation. It’s really been an enjoyable experience.” In December Cecil was interviewed nationally on Sirius Radio in Kingsport, Tennessee, and made a nearby club appearance that night. Buoyed by his recent success, he also entered the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest. This month he will appear locally at Doodad Farm on January 13. He performs solo, as a duo with guitar whiz Jack King, and as a trio with King and drummer Wiley Sykes. He is putting the finishing touches on his fourth album, recorded at Eastwood Studios in Mount Airy. “We’ve got 23 songs tracked, so now I’m trying to winnow it down, and maybe add a mandolin and female vocalist to some of them,” he notes. Dave Ray Cecil is still flying a bit under the radar as both a singer and songwriter, but with the body of work he continues to amass, it seems inevitable that a bigger stage awaits. After all, the Lincoln Center and Kerrville are two of the biggest. — Ogi Overman OH
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
March 8 - 10, 2019 The Theatre at Well-Spring GreensboroOpera.org (336) 273-9472
Join the Fight for Children with Give a Kid a Coat! The 32nd annual Give a Kid a Coat campaign is now underway! Each year The Salvation Army partners with A Cleaner World, FOX 8, 1075KZL , and Rock 92 to collect new and gently used coats for distribution to children in our community whose families cannot afford to outfit them during the cold winter months.
It’s easy to participate! Now through Saturday, February 9, drop off coats at A Cleaner World location nearest you. You may also donate gloves, scarves, and hats. A Cleaner World will clean and make minor repairs (if necessary) to the donated coats. Monetary donations can be made at www.salvationarmyofgreensboro.org
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Gate City Synchronicity The cafe and the coffee shop
By Maria Johnson
The name of this column
allows a lot of flexibility, which is good because sometimes life is ha-ha funny, and sometimes it’s hmmm funny . . . like this story.
A few months ago, Greensboro saw a first: the simultaneous birth of two open-to-the-public businesses staffed mostly by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Here’s the kicker: The local women who spearheaded these enterprises — a downtown cafe named Chez Genèse and a coffee shop called A Special Blend on West Market Street — didn’t know each other until their plans were well underway. Hmm. Was that just a nifty bit of synchronicity —two seemingly unrelated things happening in different places at the same time — or a sign of larger societal change bubbling up right here in the ’Boro? You can read about Kathryn Hubert, the spark of Cafe Genèse, on page 48. For Deedee Ungetheim, who chairs the board that oversees A Special Blend, the inspiration is her son Bryce, born 21 years ago with a rare condition called Charge Syndrome. Bryce had about 25 surgeries in his first five years. Deedee homeschooled him, and she worried as high school graduation approached; 80 percent of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed. “You want them to have a place where they can get hope and live happy, thriving lives,” Deedee says. Then, in May 2016, while in Wilmington, Deedee and her husband, Jeff went to Bitty & Beau’s, a coffee shop that was swimming in national publicity for hiring lots of disabled people. “There was this wonderful interaction between the customers and the employees,” Deedee says. “I’ve never been any place that had such a fun atmosphere.” She left caffeinated and bent on replicating the idea. “I’m glad nobody told me how much work it was going to be,” she says. She spent the next year presenting the project not as a question, but as a fact: She was going to open a self-sustaining, nonprofit coffee shop focused on employing adults with disabilities arising from autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and a slew of other conditions. There would be lots of training and support. There would be volunteer slots, too, for people with significant challenges, people such as her son Bryce, who communicates with American Sign Language.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Deedee, a marriage and family therapist, was stunned by the number of people who wanted to help. Many of them had disabled family members or friends, which is not surprising because 13,000 folks in Guilford County have intellectual or developmental challenges. Powered by 150 supporters, Deedee and company raised $250,000 in less than two years, a staggering feat for a team with no fundraising experience. VF Corp. gave a chunk of money. Their Wrangler brand donated uniforms and embroidered aprons, lending an air of professionalism to the staff of 44 — 21 disabled employees, 19 disabled volunteers, and four paid managers who are NT, or neuro-typical. A volunteer committee with serious design chops handled the metal-and-wood decor, hence the live-edge wood counters in the front windows and a private meeting room with barn doors that roll on heavy rails. “People say, ‘We expected it to be a nice coffee shop, but this is a really nice coffee shop,’” says Deedee. Both A Special Blend and Chez Genèse boast beautiful settings and top-flight food and drink. Deedee and Kathryn — who stay in touch via text and cross promote on Facebook — don’t want your pity; they want your repeat business. Along the way, you’ll interact with folks who are different, which is key. Deedee says most people feel awkward interacting with disabled individuals: “People say, ‘Hello,’ and they move on.” “The cafe and the coffee shop require us to swap more than a hello, and allow us to see people’s abilities, not just their disabilities.” Deedee downplays the significance of the two businesses opening at the same time. Honestly, she says, she hasn’t seen much movement in attitudes about disabled people in Bryce’s lifetime. She’s old enough, at 59, to know that real change comes at the pace of barely perceptible tectonic shifts, such as the slow inclusion of disabled workers at restaurants, discount stores and grocery stores. Still, she’s fielding inquiries — one from Colorado — from people who want to open disabled-dominant businesses. At the same time, a steady parade of parents bring disabled children into the Greensboro shop to see what’s possible for people like them. So maybe Greensboro’s twinning moment is not a quake but a tremor, one that gives 56-year-old Grey Cockerham, a barista at A Special Blend, the confidence to invite Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan for a visit. “Do you think come?” he says. Betcha a cup of coffee she will. OH Also on Maria Johnson’s recommended reading list: Top 25 Reasons Your Dog Follows You to the Bathroom. January 2019
Join the conversation. Facebook.com/CityofGreensboro
W W W. G R E E N S B O R O - N C . G O V
The Omnivorous Reader
Facing Fate When the law of averages strikes
By Stephen E. Smith
Your risk for
developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 65. The odds of your dying in a car crash are 1 in 100. If you’re about to undergo a hospital procedure, you have a 3 percent chance of experiencing a mishap. But, then, if you consider all the odds for all the possibilities, your chances of avoiding every disease, every mishap, is zilch. This law of averages spares no one.
Judy Goldman’s first memoir, Losing My Sister, a finalist for Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance for Memoir of the Year, worked, in part, from the above premise, and her latest memoir, Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, is also the product of grim statistics, detailing a medical accident and the accompanying physical and emotional consequences that tested a marriage. Life-altering calamities can begin with the best of intentions. Goldman’s husband, Henry, happened upon a newspaper ad for an outpatient procedure that would alleviate the persistent back pain he’d suffered for years. It all sounded reassuringly straightforward: a simple injection or two and an immediate resumption of a normal life. The doctor would use a fluoroscope to guide his injection of steroids and an anesthetic into the epidural space between the spine and the spinal cord. But when Henry was wheeled out from the procedure, his expression was “flat and abstracted.” He was paralyzed from the waist down. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The doctor assured Goldman that Henry’s reaction to the procedure was normal: “Your husband is going to be all right. It’ll just be a matter of time,” he said, reassuringly. But he was mistaken, and the consequences of the botched treatment unleashed in Goldman a desperate avalanche of emotions — depression, guilt, hopelessness, anger, fear, despair. Adding to her anguish, there was no explanation for Henry’s sudden physical disability. With the exception of the doctor who had administered the treatment — and he was not forthcoming — a faceless medical community offered few plausible answers. After the struggle and joy of four decades of marriage, after raising children and pursuing successful careers, after leading a responsible life together, the Goldmans had suffered a mind-numbing and perhaps irreversible catastrophe that would test their relationship to its core — a predicament in which Goldman had to assume the role of patient advocate in the complex medical morass America has created for itself. Interspersed with the chapters detailing Goldman’s struggles with her husband’s sudden disability, she weaves the story of her early life, her marriage to Henry, their years together, all of which lend perspective and poignancy to their predicament. When she’d said yes to Henry’s marriage proposal, Goldman had already mapped out the path their lives would follow. “I was not only in love with him, I was in love with the idea of a husband and wife moving through life together, youth falling away, both growing slightly stooped, hard of hearing, Henry carrying my purse for me the way old men do, our soft, imperfect last years together.” A second misadventure produced a catharsis. Two years after Henry’s debilitating procedure, Goldman was confronted by a ski-masked man pointing a pistol at her abdomen. She made a quick getaway. Henry, who was recovering from a shoulder operation precipitated by his back injury, was sitting beside her in the car’s passenger seat. “All of a sudden, I get it. January 2019
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Because somebody threatened me with a gun, I can finally cry — really cry — over what threatened Henry in that outpatient clinic two years ago. As though the holdup and the epidural are one thing. One single reminder that we’re all in danger every second. The world is waiting to trip us up.” And there you have it: The world is waiting to trip us up. All that’s left is the long way back and the truths that such struggles reveal about relationships and the limits of human determination. After intense rehab, Henry recovers much of his ability to walk, albeit with a cane and the constant attention of his faithful advocate. But Goldman was left to ponder an inescapable list of “if-onlys” — if only her husband hadn’t seen the ad in the newspaper; if only they’d tried other remedies; if only he’d decided to live with the pain; if only she’d waited with him before he received the epidural; if only she hadn’t made things worse by over-reacting. Mostly she had to question the very beliefs that formed the foundation of their marriage — the possibility of losing Henry and the notions she had early on about how they would grow old together. She became irritable, naggy and intensely introspective: “Maybe I’m really angry with Henry for threatening to fail physically. For even obliquely threatening to die. As though he has to earn my forgiveness for what happened to him. As though his medical condition is a betrayal.” Finally it all comes down to forgiveness — forgiving her husband, forgiving herself, forgiving the doctor responsible for administering the crippling epidural. Forgiving the world for tripping her up. What we have in Together is a blueprint for coping with “mishaps.” Goldman skillfully articulates the communality of human experience, and she’s startlingly frank when relating the difficulties a patient advocate encounters. Finally, Together is about being married, about becoming a part of another person and building on the long-term relationship we enter into when we take our marriage vows. If Goldman doesn’t offer easy answers to the vexing questions of life, she does outline a process by which we can puzzle our way into the moment and make the best of what fate offers us: “We must scrap the illusion that marrying that one perfect person will end our suffering, bring endless bliss, fix everything.” What could be more honest than that? OH Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He’s the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press awards.
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Mark Your Calendars! 2019 is a banner year for good reads
Compiled by Brian Lampkin
It’s difficult to plan. The future is
uncertain. Things change, fall apart, reassemble in strange configurations. But over the next six months we can count on these great books finding the light of day. The following recommendations come with an understanding: I’m wrong about many things, but I’m typically less wrong about books than I am about the future of the stock market. Go ahead, plan your reading for the first half of 2019 and include these gems. You can thank/curse me later. January 15: The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay. Last year the American Booksellers Association asked a handful of independent bookstores across the country to read a long list of books by first-time authors to be published in 2019. Collectively we chose a top 10, which included The Far Field, but this novel was No. 1 with a bullet on my list. Vijay provides that alchemical mix of political examination with personal journey that deepens many great novels. The Far Field plays out along the India/Kashmir border and follows a young woman’s awakening into the dark realities of her family and her country. As a bonus, her mother is one of the most memorable characters in contemporary literature. At times brutal, but always tuned to the desperately sweet longing for human connection. February 5: Black Leopard, Red Wolf: Dark Star Trilogy Book 1. by Marlon James. Perhaps the most anticipated book of the new year, Black Leopard, Red Wolf has the entire literary world on edge. James won the Man Booker for his previous novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and he describes his new work as an “African Game of Thrones.” March 19: What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance, by Carolyn Forché. This one’s personal. Forché’s early book of poems, The Country Between Us, helped me fall in love with poetry and
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exposed me to the brutality of the powerful. Writer Garth Greenwell says, “This luminous book stands beside the memoirs of Pablo Neruda and Czeslaw Milłosz in its account of a poet’s education, the struggle of a great artist to be worthy of her gifts. Carolyn Forché’s prose is shamanic: It sees both the surface of things and their inner workings, it animates the inanimate world.” April 30: Cape May, by Chip Cheek. Another novel from our list of the best first books, Cape May exposes the unsettling power of sexual discovery. Painful chaos ensues as sexual desire leads people in unplanned directions. Cheek’s writing about sex is so powerful and thrilling that the chaos and pain all seem worth it. This is a novel that might make you think uncomfortably about your own life. Be careful! May 14: Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir, by Jayson Greene. I don’t suppose any of us need to be reminded that the world can be brutally unfair. Nevertheless, Jayson Greene’s exquisitely moving memoir of his 2-year-old daughter’s shocking death brings us freshly face-to-face with unimaginable loss and grief. Sometimes books can bring us so close to pain that the books themselves seem to tremble in your hand until you realize it’s your own sobbing causing the sensation. Once More We Saw Stars is an emotionally raw work that finds its way through grief to remodel something like a life worth living again. June 4: The Dishwasher, by Stéphane Larue. An argument I lost, The Dishwasher was left off the top 10, but I’m putting it here because I love it. Translated from the French, this novel of Montreal back-of-house restaurant life is raw and filled with a kind of back alley energy that propels you constantly into the steamy abyss of the dishwasher’s life. It’s a little bit of the pieces Anthony Bourdain couldn’t show you (which is saying something) and a lot of high octane heavy metal power. A Bonus Recommendation: On February 5, the paperback of Zadie Smith’s collection of essays, Feel Free, will be published. Smith is the author of Michelle Obama’s favorite novel, White Teeth, and the recent novel, Swing Time. The essays display Smith’s wide-range interests and literary enthusiasms. I can’t yet tell you why it’s such a good idea to read Zadie Smith right now, but you’ll be glad you did! OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. January 2019
In Deep Water
Huck Finn meets Moby Dick in Lee Zacharias’ delightful new novel
For a good wintertime read, lose yourself in the nautical-themed novel, Across the Great Lake by Lee Zacharias prize-winning author, longtime editor of The Greensboro Review and emerita professor at UNCG.
It’s the kind of book that immediately seizes the imagination. Part adventure in the vein of Moby Dick or Huckleberry Finn, part ghost story, part tragedy filled with a motley assortment of characters, Across the Great Lake (University of Wisconsin Press) tells the remarkable odyssey of 5-year-old Fern Halvorsen. Told in first-person by an aging Fern, the book recounts the single most defining experience of her life: a trip in 1936 aboard The Manitou, a freighter ferrying railroad cars across the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Fern’s father is the boat’s captain, who has brought his daughter with him, as her mother lies dying back in their home in Frankfort, on Michigan’s northwest Lower Peninsula (distinct from the state’s Upper Peninsula, or UP, as Fern learns). With no one but her teddy bear, also named Manitou, for company, the plucky child protagonist explores the ship’s nooks and crannies, befriending a gentle deckhand named Alv and fraternizing with the crew along the way. In the following excerpt, young Fern sits in on a poker game among the raucous “black gang” who stoke the coal fires of the boat’s engine room, among other characters — and learns first-hand that The Manitou is haunted.
k Like Dick Butler, Nils was an oiler, one step above fireman, but I was confused because I didn’t know what a Yooper did on a ship, and Amund had to explain that he was a water tender, that was his job, but he was also a Yooper because he was from the UP. Supposedly the term is new, but sailors used it even before the Mackinac Bridge was built and the Yoopers started calling everyone who lived below the bridge, on the Lower Peninsula, trolls. Sitting at a table in the flicker playing cards the men called each other a lot of names, though no one seemed to mind. Nils picked me up and set me on his lap even though I was all sooty, but no one in the black gang cared about that, not as long as you washed your hands at one of the sinks along the bulwark between the flicker and the hold before you picked up your cards, because even after they washed up there was coal dust ground into the creases around their eyes and in the back of their necks and their wrists and knuckles. Nils showed me his cards and even let me hold them, making sure I pointed them straight up so no one else could see, and that’s how I learned to play poker. One of his fingernails was black and sort of bubbled up, but it wasn’t from the coal dust, it was from catching his hand in a hatch. Malley, the other water tender, was at the end of the table playing a sad song on his harmonica instead of cards. That was because his girlfriend wouldn’t marry him, Amund said, she didn’t want to marry a man who was at sea all the time. Nils, Malley, and Amund, all of the men in fact except Bosun and The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Book Excerpt Twitches, would explain a lot of things and tell all kinds of stories as we crossed the lake. They seemed so eager to explain how things worked it was like a contest, who got to tell me most, probably because there wasn’t anyone else to tell what they knew because the other men knew the same things and when they came home the people who hadn’t been to sea didn’t care. Or maybe it was just because I listened so hard. I wanted to learn everything so that I could grow up to work on a ship too. Amund and Dick Butler each threw another penny in the middle of the table, but Nils took his cards back and laid them facedown. “I’m out.” “I want to keep playing,” I protested, so Dick explained that when you folded it meant you knew you couldn’t win and if you couldn’t win and you were smart you got out of the game. He said it so nice I wondered if he knew I’d seem him smoking on the car deck. Not that I’d tell. Because that was the second rule on a ship. Though they might quarrel among themselves, sailors didn’t rat each other out. But one thing no one explained was the shower. It was like I thought it would be, but in the shower you had to turn the faucets just right or else the water was ice cold, and then it was so hot I jumped back and fell, with scalding water pouring down all over my backside. I wanted someone to come, but my father didn’t know I needed help because at home the person who always helped me was my mother. So I had to get up by myself and reach around to the faucets, but finally I found the place that was like a warm summer rain, and after that I cheered up and sang a song because I had heard about singing in the shower. Later I would wonder if the ghost knew about the faucets, because if it did it could have helped me, though I guessed ghosts didn’t care to go around assisting people. What they wanted was some kind of help themselves, but ghosts can’t say what they want, and that’s why people are so afraid of them, though all that was something I thought about later, after I was used to it. That first night I wasn’t used to it at all. When it came, it was after the rudder pin broke and the engineer began his walk across the ice, after the bowling alley closed and I could no longer hear the crack of the ball and explosions of the pins, and I began to hear the ship speak in a way you don’t hear it in the daytime, maybe because the way you listen in the dark is different. There was still the grinding of ice against the hull, though not as loud because we weren’t trying to push through it anymore. Instead the ship itself was groaning and creaking, moaning and carrying on like it was a ghost, or like you think a ghost might do, but it wasn’t the ghost, it was The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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just the night air making the steel hull contract. A ship is built to flex or else the hull will break apart, so I knew what I heard was the ship and not a ghost, but even so I clutched Manitou tight against my neck and kept my eyes open. The snow had stopped hours before, and the air outside was colder now not just because it was night but because the sky had cleared, and before I went to bed I knelt in one of the hemp chairs in the observation room and saw all the stars like a sky full up with diamonds, the way you only ever see them from the beach on a winter night because up on Leelanau Avenue there were too many trees, and so I tipped my head up and looked until I was dizzy, and then I went back to my cabin and closed the door and got in bed and the ship started making all that night noise. But even though my eyes were open I never saw the ghost, because no matter what some people say about glimpsing apparitions, figures you can see through or shadows without anyone to cast them, the main thing about ghosts is not what you see. Holgar, who was one of the deckhands, the one who didn’t like Finns and was always taking pictures with his Brownie camera, was forever asking to see the special compartment because he’d heard you could see the ghost’s face in the wood paneling, and he said that sometimes ghosts will show in pictures even when you can’t see them in real life, but the crew wasn’t allowed to hang around the passenger quarters, except Alv, who came and got my clothes and washed them and hung them to dry on the line strung across the flicker, so I don’t know whether this ghost would have showed in a picture or not. Also when the ghost came it was dark. Outside, all around the deckhouse and the aft pilothouse there are lights. On a platform on the forward spar below the crow’s nest, red and green port and starboard lights keep ships from running into each other in the fog or at night, and from the passenger lounge you can see the light that’s kept on all night in the galley, but inside my cabin with the door and shutters closed up tight it was what they call pitch black. And what happened when it came, it wasn’t the way you would think, because it didn’t make any noise at all, and the way I knew it was there was how quiet the ship got. All of a sudden you couldn’t hear the ice or the flexing steel plates on the hull, all the moaning and groaning and shrieking just stopped. Some ghosts are supposed to weep, and the ghosts of the cholera victims buried alive on South Manitou Island cry out for help, their voices echoing over the water, trying to hail the passing ships. People hear footsteps on the stairs, the thump of an
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Book Excerpt empty chair set to rocking, or the slamming of a door, though the only reason a ghost could have to slam a door would be to get your attention, because they don’t need doors or windows to go from room to room, not that they travel much—they don’t wander the earth like some people say, only a very little part of it where something terrible happened. I didn’t know what happened to the ghost on the Manitou or even who it was, nobody seemed to, only that in the daytime it lived in the special room the managers used when they crossed the lake. I’m not sure the men even knew that it came out at night and moved around the passenger quarters because it never went anywhere else on the ship, not down to the flicker, where the black gang bunked, or up to the pilothouse, not even to the galley or messes nearby, because if it had, the men would have talked about it, but they never did, not even the bosun, and he was not one to keep a ghost to himself. So that was how I knew it was there, because everything got so quiet, and at the same time I felt it, because you don’t have to see or hear a ghost to know one’s there. You feel it the same way you feel a storm is coming, there’s a change in pressure, a heaviness in the air, you can’t breathe, and what you hear isn’t the ghost but your own blood pounding inside your ears and what you feel is that same blood beating in your throat, but a ghost doesn’t warn you like a storm will, it just comes all of a sudden and then it’s there. And what this ghost did, it reached down and took hold of my big toe. I can’t say whether it lifted the scratchy wool blanket, reached through it, or what, because I couldn’t feel anything but the pressure of its hand on my foot, not the nib of a fingernail or warmth of a palm, because the ghost didn’t have surface, only weight, a heaviness that was not like anything else, and all night long it gripped my toe and never said what it wanted or why it was there, and I wanted to be the girl I bragged I was, but I wasn’t, because that first night when the ghost came into my compartment and clasped my foot in its hand I was so scared I couldn’t even scream, and in the morning when I woke and the ghost was gone, my eyes were all crusty in the corners, and both Manitou and my pillowcase were wet, and I realized that I had cried all night long without ever making so much sound as a sniffle. OH Excerpted from Across the Great Lake by Lee Zacharias. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. ©2018 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.
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Give Me That Old-Time Music The comfort of familiar hymns
By Clyde Edgerton
After New Year’s Eve is a
ILLUSTRATION BY HARRY BLAIR
good time to think over the past year — or maybe the past 75, especially if something pops up that gives birth to memories that emerge from behind stacks of present-day urgencies and conflicts.
I’ve recently been looking through the hymn book I grew up with in a Southern Baptist church — the Broadman Hymnal: a staple for many denominations back in the day. My looking through this book gave fresh birth to old memories. Most people, as children, sang songs. For me, it was religious songs. And many children, because they sing songs written by adults, mess up the meanings of words. In Sunday School at my church long ago, we children sang “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” I always heard and thus sang “Jesus wants me for a sunbean.” In my mind’s eye, a sunbean was shaped like a butter bean (translation: lima bean) and had a silvery, bright sheen. I wasn’t sure why Jesus wanted me to be one. Who was Jesus anyway? I’d not quite figured that out by age 4. In my church, after Sunday School on a Sunday morning, we kids went into the big people’s church and sat still or squirmed for an hour or so — usually with parents, a parent, or someone else’s parents — while things happened around us, and in the choir, and up in the pulpit. We didn’t get the big picture until about the age 12, when we finally clearly understood the nature of the universe and our place in it. Early on, well before the age of 12, all the hymns seemed benevolent and kind and good, in spite of my recognizing in those songs images of war — as well as of peace — of fear and hope, of the wild and the tame, the obedient and disobedient. But because of my place in my community and church, because of my beliefs, I felt very safe, unthreatened. Approaching the teenage years, sitting or standing in the big church, we still didn’t always comprehend clearly. There’s that famous example: the hymn “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear.” As: “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear.” A song like “Standing on the Promises” was hard for me to grasp. I was unable to sustain a meaning for a participial phrase, “standing on,” along with the abstract noun “promises,” in the same sentence. I visualized “promises” as bridge trusses made of human arms. People in a far-off country stood on them. Therefore, the meaning of the song, though I’d sing the printed words, was mangled. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
“When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” brought visions of a bread roll with ears and legs — ambling doglike across a green meadow, having been called: “Come, Fluffy. Come, girl.” I was there watching because the hymn said, “When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.” Then, yo, and verily, verily, we became teenagers. Teenage friends were allowed to sit together, sometimes all the way back on the back row. We’d play “Between the Sheets.” Teenager A would open the hymnbook to a random page and whisper the hymn title to Teenager B. B would say: “Between the Sheets.” I’m sitting here with the Broadman Hymnal now, as I write. I’m about to open to some random pages. “Dare to Be Brave, Dare to Be True” . . . “Onward, Christian Soldiers” . . . “Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow” . . . “I Surrender All” . . . You get the idea (and probably did before the examples). Now, as an adult, I enjoy singing the old hymns in church. I haven’t yet been able to enjoy contemporary religious music. I like what I heard as a child. Probably not so much because I did or didn’t understand meanings, but because back then I felt at peace. I felt very safe; meanings about life and the universe were absolutely true. Though my outlook has changed, it’s comforting to sing the old hymns, to reconnect with those feelings of security and peace. 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. Keenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. January 2019
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Drinking with Writers
Pulling the Thread In Asheville, learning the untold story with Denise Kiernan
By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash
My friendships with writers are
unlike other friendships I have. Most solid, enduring relationships take years to build. This is true of my longest friendships, but it is not true of my friendships with writers; these relationships are intense and honest from the moment of inception. I have often wondered what sets writer friendships apart, and I have decided that it is a combination of our solitary work and our inclination toward inquiry. People who spend so much time alone have a lot to share when they get together. All of this is true of my friendship with New York Times best-selling author Denise Kiernan.
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I first met Denise in Asheville, North Carolina, at a literary festival in the summer of 2014. Her book The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win WWII had been released the previous year, and at the literary festival in Asheville she was easily the best known writer in the lineup. You could not mention her name without someone exclaiming, “Oh, she was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart!” Denise’s fame and success appeared instantaneous, but like nearly every other writer I have befriended over the years, her journey has been long, circuitous and interesting. On a chilly day in early December, Denise and I sat down at Little Jumbo, a cocktail bar on Lexington Avenue in Asheville’s Five Points district. The bar is housed in a building that has served a number of purposes since its construction in the 1920s: general store, office space and delivery service, among them. Regardless of what has come before Little Jumbo, co-owners Chall Gray and Jay Sanders have managed to marry the feel of the Prohibition speakeasy to a flair for Gilded Age indulgence. The ceiling is composed of original tin tiles, which reflect the soft light of sconces and chandeliers. The glass-paned front door is set between two huge display windows that house wood-topped tables and leather-wrapped benches. Past the imposing bar, where dozens of bottles hover above dark-stained wood countertops, elegantly appointed sitting areas featurJanuary 2019
Drinking with Writers
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ing period appropriate armchairs and sofas await patrons. Little Jumbo has a sophisticated, mysterious feel that is also welcoming and warm. Chall Gray was behind the bar during our visit, and after Denise and I ordered and received our drinks — an old-fashioned martini for her and a whiskey for me — we found seats by one of the display windows. “Something just dawned on me,” I said. “I know you as the friend who published The Girls of Atomic City and The Last Castle (the story of the Biltmore House), but I don’t know much about your life and work before those books.” Denise looked out the window as if she were opening and closing the drawers and cabinets of her memory while searching for a way to respond. The weather had turned dreary. It was raining. Cars rolled by, and people on foot passed our window with their collars upturned. Denise smiled and looked back at me, whatever she had been looking for apparently found. “That’s a long story,” she said. “But it all started with me playing the flute right down the road in Brevard. I was a rising high school junior, and I was at a summer camp at the Brevard Music Center. Someone there suggested I attend the North Carolina School for the Arts. I did, and it changed my life.” From there, a story I had never heard and never could have imagined unfolded over the course of the afternoon. After high school, Denise moved to New York City to pursue a pre-med degree from NYU. While there she fell in love with the city, especially its arts scene. “All of my friends were artists,” she said, “but something was telling me to pursue a practical career. I had decided to apply to medical school, but I wanted to spend the summer in Europe before studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).” That summer in Europe extended to more than a year abroad. “When I came back to the States I wasn’t interested in medical school anymore,” she said. “I was interested in environmental education, so The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Drinking with Writers I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Washington.” It was there that a flier for the university’s student newspaper caught her eye. “I had no journalism experience,” she said, “but I had always written, and I wanted to do something with my writing. That was enough for the editor to give me a chance.” After graduate school, her love for journalism won out over her love for environmental education. “I pursued an internship with The Village Voice,” she said. “And I mean I really pursued it. I called and learned there were no internships available, so I traveled across the country and showed up at The Village Voice’s New York office and asked them in person.” What happened next changed her life. “I worked under a legendary investigative reporter named Wayne Barrett,” she said, her eyes growing misty. “He passed away a few years ago. He was one of the last great investigative journalists. He didn’t care who you were; if there was a story to be uncovered, he was coming after you.” Denise, a doggedly determined young person with a nose for news, had met her match: a similarly dogged, seasoned journalist who, like her, did not take well to being told no. Over the next several years as an intern and then as a freelance reporter who regularly published investigative stories in The New York Times, The Village Voice and Ms. Magazine, Denise found herself covering the 1995 United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing, shooting pool with The Cure, writing about the Beastie Boys, and organizing her own crew as a field producer covering European soccer for ESPN. “All of those experiences taught me how to chase down leads, to pull at the thread of a story, to organize and focus my work.” These skills clearly served her well in writing her two best-known books, the aforementioned The Girls of Atomic City and The Last Castle, both of which dig into the backstories of American history that most of us never learn. Girls explains the largely unknown role of the women in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who helped develop the atomic bomb. Castle plumbs the lives of George and Edith Vanderbilt in the years before and after they built America’s largest private home. During our conversation, Chall had left the bar and delivered a setup known as the Jumbo Service. Ours was a special chilled Manhattan accompanied by elegant stemware and a side of maraschino cherries, all literally served on a silver platter. Denise and I poured another round of drinks and toasted to stories, both the stories we have written and the stories that have made us writers. OH
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Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Make a Note of It A catalog of the oddities
By Susan S. Kelly
For a certain kind of writer — OK, this
kind of writer — what’s in your Costco cart, and what you do at night to get ready for bed, is invaluable and fascinating. Unfortunately, this sort of ephemera, discussed offhand in a grocery store parking lot, or city park, or next door on the treadmill, or at the office water cooler, tends to get lost, forgotten or ignored while you’re bringing in the trash cans, refilling the copier paper tray, or debating shredded or chunk parm.
So I make a practice of writing everything down, copying it to the computer, printing it out, punching holes in it, and filing it in notebooks under tabs, just like you did in fourth grade. A new year seems like a good time to revisit these collected works, and reconfirms my opinion that people will tell you anything. What you may classify, in today’s parlance, as oversharing or TMI is pure gold for a writer. You never know when you’ll need an offhand comment like, “My grandchildren all sound like outlaws or whaling ships: Sophie Morgan. Casey Jackson. Wyatt James,” to punch up a scene. Or my friend’s house cleaners, a gay couple that comes while she’s at work, and routinely leaves complaint notes in the fridge saying, “Why don’t you get something decent to eat?” And while we’re on the subject of fridges, there’s my friend who told me she looked so terrible one day that she couldn’t go out in public. Instead, she went to the drivethrough window at Krispy Kreme and bought four bottles of milk. Because she remembered that, as a child, Krispy Kreme had the best milk. It pains me that I will likely never find a place to use this email: “Remind me to tell you the story some time about the husband of our class valedictorian (who herself picked her nose and ate it in class) who came to a hometown funeral and his tooth moved when he talked. I didn’t see it, but it was well reported by another friend.” Still, I’m comforted that, sooner or later, I’ll probably be able to fit in my Charleston friend’s road trip with her history-buff father to visit all the Civil War battlefields. But only the ones that the Confederacy won. So much for The Art & Soul of Greensboro
revisionist history. And Gettysburg. Next time you make a move, stay focused on what’s really important and do what one friend did: While everything’s being wrapped, packed and stacked, draw a big smiley face on the box that has all the liquor in it. Embarrassment tales are a dime a dozen, but here’s one I bet you won’t find in that long-gone “Was My Face Red” page in Reader’s Digest. The day after giving birth, a friend was immensely relieved when the doc came into her hospital room. She opened her gown, showed him her breasts and said, “I am sooo glad you’re here. My milk has come in and they hurt so badly and can you look at them and tell me if they’re normal and give me something for them?” The doctor looked at the floor for a long minute, then said, “I’m the pediatrician.” But seriously, what is it about underwear? Stories tend from the mild — the friend who stained (OK, steeped) — all her heirloom linens in tea for the perfect antique shade, which was inspired by the memory of her mother boiling her bras when she came home from boarding school, to the lawyer who took off his blazer at work, not realizing a pair of underwear was stuck to the back of his shirt. Let that be a lesson to check your lint traps. Tricot has a natural affinity for non-iron Brooks Brothers shirts. Underwear-related and completely unedited from the notebook original, this gem of a tail, I mean tale: I know airport toilets are all about efficiency, but they are over-zealous. The best news is that every toilet I visited had seat covers plentiful, and I visited plenty between RDU, Dallas and Denver. So, I head for the toilet with 90 coats, backpack, luggage. As you disrobe, the toilet flushes because you’re moving. Then, I get the toilet cover assembled, and another auto-flush because you’re moving. Which creates the problem, because you’ve set the cover on the seat and it flushes the cover down, so you have to get another cover assembled. Of course it flushes again as you turn around to take off pants to sit down, but this time you’re holding the cover, but it keeps flushing forever and your cover is fairly mangled, so by that time you are holding it, trying to undo your pants and sit on it while it’s flushing, but still maintain sanitary integrity holding the seat cover and you sit down in a hurry still holding the seat cover that is trying to go down the toilet. It was exhausting and a complete waste of water. And it’s only January. OH Susan Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and proud grandmother. January 2019
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Food for Thought
Winter Salads Eat well — and wild
By Jane Lear
Salad in the cold months can be
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES STEFIUK
tricky. The mild, tender lettuces available at any supermarket are all well and good, but most other salad staples — tomatoes are an obvious example — are disappointing out of season.
More important, though, a typical garden-variety salad doesn’t suit the heartier, richer food we crave at this time of year. Serving a plate of nicely dressed hothouse lettuces after braised short ribs or cassoulet, for instance, can seem tacked on and curiously unsatisfying. Dinner guests tend to pick at it and wonder what’s for dessert rather than appreciate the punctuation in the meal, so to speak, and feel revitalized. For the sort of bracing counterpoint I’m talking about, look to bolder greens such as endive, watercress, arugula, the pale inner leaves of escarole, or springy, spiky frisée. Slivers of sweet, earthy celery root, tangy green apple or aromatic fennel will help matters along. One of my favorite winter salads always puts me in mind of the Mediterranean — in particular, Provence and Sicily. The recipe stars fresh fennel and any members of the mandarin citrus family, which includes satsumas, tangerines and clementines. The large, relatively new hybrid marketed as “Sumo” (easily recognized by its prominent topknot) has a superb balance of sweetness and acidity, and the fruit segments, which can be neatly slipped out of their ultra-thin membranes, keep their shape on the plate. Dandelion greens — which have become more readily available — have a clean, sharp flavor that also reminds me of the Mediterranean. That’s where their use in the kitchen was developed, and you can trace the word “dandelion” from the Latin down through the French dent-de-lion, or “lion’s tooth.” This is no big surprise, given the jagged shape of the leaves, but personally I have a fondness for the common French name, pissenlit, which reflects their purported diuretic properties. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Wild dandelion greens have intense flavor, but these days, I prefer them cultivated unless I know that the grass they’ve been plucked from is pesticide-free. Wild or cultivated, they have a great affinity for a hot skillet dressing. It won’t necessarily wilt the greens, but it mellows them and softens their rawness. Toasted nuts give the vinaigrette a suave sweetness. The evolution of salad from a side dish or separate course into the main focus of a meal has come into its own, and this makes scratching together a nourishing, delicious weeknight supper — one of life’s greatest challenges — just a bit simpler. Two staples that I swear by are lentils and sausage, especially the smoked Polish variety called kielbasa. Lentils are a great gateway legume. Unlike most dried beans, there’s no need to soak them beforehand, they cook quickly, and slide from homey to haute with aplomb. I suppose you could say they’ve been around the block and know a thing or two: After all, they were there in the beginning — er, Beginning — as the pottage for which Esau gave up his birthright in Genesis 25:34. Although I’ve never met a lentil I didn’t like, I’m a sucker for the pretty green French ones called lentilles du Puy. Yep, I know they’re more expensive than other lentils varieties, but they’re worth it. Their characteristic flavor — peppery and minerally yet delicate — comes from the good volcanic soil and dry, sunny climate in which they’re grown. And because they contain less starch than other varieties, they exhibit a lovely firm-tender texture when cooked. In fact, if your opinion of lentils was formed by one too many mushy stews at indifferent vegetarian restaurants, then these will be a revelation. French green lentils are delicious in soup, of course, or scooped into the hollow of a baked winter squash, or tossed with small pasta shells and crumbles of fresh goat cheese. What I do most often, though, is serve them in a bistro-style warm salad with kielbasa. Add some crusty bread, good butter, and a glass or two of red, and life will feel very civilized. All three of the salads described above are incredibly versatile. As you’ll see in the recipes — think of them more as guidelines — one ingredient can often be switched for another, and as you go along, don’t be afraid to improvise, based on the contents of your refrigerator. Odds are, it will taste wonderful. January 2019
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Food for Thought Mandarin-Fennel Salad Serves 4 Add some cress or arugula sprigs if you like; substitute green olives for the black. Ruby-red pomegranate seeds would add sparkle and texture, and parsley leaves, an herbal punch. 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed of its feathery stalk and some fronds reserved 3 mandarins, peeled 1/4 cup brine-cured black olives Your favorite best-quality extra-virgin olive oil Fresh lemon juice Coarse flaky salt (Maldon adds a wonderful crunch) and freshly ground black pepper 1. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise and discard the tough outer layer or two to expose the cream-colored heart. Then cut the bulb into very thin slices with a handheld slicer or a very sharp knife. Put them in a salad bowl. 2. Remove the weblike pith from the peeled mandarins (children love doing this and are very good at it). Separate the segments and, depending on the thickness and tightness of the membranes that enclose each one, remove those or not; it’s entirely up to you. Cut the fruit in half crosswise and add it, along with the olives, to the fennel. 3. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and lemon juice to taste and gently combine. Scatter with salt and a few chopped fennel fronds. Season with a few grinds of pepper. Dandelion Salad with Toasted Pine Nut Vinaigrette Serves 6 I’ve called for sherry vinegar below, but balsamic or red wine vinegar would be fine. If you don’t have pine nuts, use pecans, hazelnuts or homemade croutons. Dried cranberries or cherries would be a nice embellishment, too. 6 handfuls tender dandelion greens, washed, spun dry, and tough stems removed 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3 tablespoons pine nuts 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or to taste Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper Shaved or very coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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1. Tear the greens into generous bite-size pieces and mound them in a large heatproof bowl. 2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over moderate heat until hot. Add the garlic and pine nuts, cook, stirring them often, until the garlic is golden. Stir in the vinegar, then pour over the greens. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss once more. Serve right away. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Food for Thought Warm Lentil Salad with Kielbasa Serves 4 This salad, a staff favorite at Gourmet, varies according to my time and inclination. It’s perfectly delicious with nothing more than onion and garlic, or carrot and garlic. As for the kielbasa, feel free to substitute another smoked sausage, country ham, pancetta or lardons — thick-cut strips of bacon sliced into matchsticks and cooked until crisp. Serve it on a bed of watercress or tender leaves of a Boston or Bibb lettuce. If desired, gild the lily by topping each serving with a fried egg. 2 cups French green lentils (lentilles du Puy), picked over and rinsed 6 cups water 1 bay leaf A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme or, if you can find it, winter savory Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 cup diced carrot 1 cup diced celery, plus chopped celery leaves for garnish 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic 1/4 cup redwine or sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 smoked kielbasa sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4inch slices 1. Bring the lentils, water, bay leaf and thyme sprigs to a boil in a 3-quart pot. Reduce the heat and simmer the lentils, covered, until they are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and keep simmering until tender but still firm, about another 5 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring every so often, until the vegetables are just softened and smell delicious, 8 to 10 minutes. 3. While the lentils and aromatics are both working, make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and then whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Drain the lentils in a colander, discarding the herbs. Return the lentils to the pot and stir in the vegetables and vinaigrette. Cook over low heat a few minutes until hot, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet and brown the kielbasa on both sides. Stir into the lentils and garnish with celery leaves. OH Jane Lear was the senior articles editor at Gourmet and features director at Martha Stewart Living.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Wheezy Does It Listen for the distinctive call of the pine siskin this winter
By Susan Campbell
Each winter I hear from folks who
encounter small brown birds they cannot identify, sometimes visiting their feeders, other times pecking around on the forest floor. Some are American goldfinches in their dull, nonbreeding plumage. Others end up being identified as female house finches through their gray-brown coloration and their distinctive streaked breasts and bellies. But there are other possibilities — especially this season: That finchlike, striped visitor just might be a pine siskin.
In the Sandhills, these feisty little birds frequent evergreens with, as their name implies, pines being their favorite. They can often be seen clinging to the cones, determined to pry out the energy-rich seeds from within. However, they will not hesitate to search far and wide for other abundant seed sources. During the summer months, pine siskins usually are found breeding in the open, coniferous forests of the boreal region throughout northern states of the United States. They also range into southern Canada, as well as higher elevations of the Rockies and western mountain regions. Nondescript, with brown streaks and splashes of yellow on the wings and tail, these small birds are easy to miss. But the wheezy call coming from their little delicate bills is quite distinctive and hard to miss once you’ve
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
heard it. Another tip for spotting them is to remember that pine siskins associate closely when breeding as well as foraging. This winter we just may have an abundance of pine siskins here. That is because siskins are a species that ornithologists term “irruptive.” Like red-breasted nuthatches, cedar waxwings and purple finches, pine siskins are nomadic and move farther southward in winters when certain seed crops are in short supply across the northern forests. When these gregarious invaders find feeders offering sunflower or thistle seed, they will take up residence by the dozens. Most people maintaining a feeding station, at least in the Sandhills, have almost certainly hosted at least a few of these little Northerners during the last big irruption, which was five years ago. As numerous as they may become in the weeks ahead, it is unlikely siskins will attempt to breed here. We have actually documented them staying through April in the past. But remaining individuals have always vanished with the early summer warm-up. Southern forests that mimic the usual northern habitat, such as our tracts of longleaf pine, certainly do have the necessary components for the birds to successfully breed, and attempts to be successful by other irruptive species have been documented in our area previously. The most remarkable of these were a few red crossbill pairs that bred in the area back in the mid-1970s. The numbers of feathered winter visitors is surely on the rise now that natural food sources are becoming scarcer. After a summer that produced a bounty for wildlife, the inevitable depletion of seeds and berries is occurring. So definitely keep an eye (and an ear) out and keep your feeders full — a siskin or two just may drop by! OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. January 2019
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Partying Pilgrims and “Progress” Two ships in the night, a lost garden and pork paradise
By Billy Eye
It’s not my place to run the train, the whistle I can’t blow, It’s not my place to say how far the train’s allowed to go. It’s not my place to shoot off steam nor even clang the bell, But let the damn thing jump the track and see who catches hell! — Author Unknown
Our parents and grandparents partied in
different ways than we do today. In an era before anyone could buy a mixed drink in a bar or restaurant, like-minded tipplers generally congregated in smoky alcoves, like the M&M (Merchants & Manufacturers) Club, a private bar and grill tucked inside the confines of the O.Henry Hotel. The party got kicked up a notch after WBIG Radio’s morning sensation Bob Poole relocated from New York City to Sunset Hills in 1952 (later to Irving Park), by way of New Orleans. In an act of conspicuous consumption, Bob, his wife Gloria, and my parents took to motoring from one neighborhood to another in a custom outfitted school bus converted into a rolling
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
speakeasy. (A sordid story told in last February’s O.Henry.) Around that same period, in November of 1955, WBIG sponsored a weeklong cruise aboard the luxury liner NS Stockholm. Destination — the isle of Bermuda. Young folks from some of Greensboro’s most prominent families were on deck that fall: Nancy Bryan, Betty Jane Bledsoe, Elizabeth Day, Margaret Anne Cowan, Robert Taylor and “Brother” Bill Taylor to name a few. Once outside of American waters, the booze flowed freely. After that first night of over-imbibing, many folks who were supposed to be enjoying their breakfast were still struggling with last night’s excesses. Bob was noticeably hungover on that first morning’s ship-to-shore call back to WBIG studios. Turns out, Bob and company tossing their cookies over the side of the ship wasn’t the worst calamity that befell the Stockholm over its illustrious career. That came a mere eight months later. On July 26, 1956, following the same course as the WBIG tour, the Stockholm set sail for Bermuda under fog so thick revelers couldn’t see a few feet past their noses. By the time crewmembers detected the shadowy silhouette of a larger ship dead ahead, it was far too late for evasive maneuvers. The Stockholm’s icebreaking bow hot-knifed into the side of a floating masterpiece of Art Deco-dence, tearing an 80-foot diameter gash into one of the last of the ultra-opulent European cruise ships of yore, a wound that spread open, in the words of one observer, “like a ripe watermelon.” Within minutes, dozens of panicking vacationers were plunged into an oceanic grave 200 feet deep under the frigid, murky waters of the North Atlantic. January 2019
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Wandering Billy It was one of the most catastrophic maritime disasters of the 20th century. The name of that world-famous cruiseliner the NS Stockholm sank under foggy conditions in 1956. None other than the Andrea Doria. And now you know (borrowing from Paul Harvey) . . . the rest of the story.
You may remember, back in April of 2017, I profiled the last elegant house and grounds remaining on West Market Street west of Starmount Forest. Situated on 4 acres, it may as well have been the land of Wakanda. No one ever seemed to notice or could recall it being there, sandwiched as it was between garishly lit fast food franchises, grocery stores, a postal distribution center and a troublesome 1970s era apartment complex. It was a decorative Craftsman-style farmhouse not unlike that place Dorothy Gale longed to return to, built more than a century ago when that parcel of land was far outside city limits on what was then called Winston-Salem Road. By the time I stumbled across this hiddenin-plain-sight homestead, its life-long resident, Rosemary Barker, had just passed way at the age of 85. Miss Barker, as she was known to generations of school kids, taught fifth grade at Allen Jay in the ’50s before transferring to Bessemer and Erwin Elementary in the ’60s, then Lindley Junior High in the ’70s. Her parents were pioneers in organic gardening techniques. It’s been said the Barkers’ garden was one of the most exquisite and luxuriant this city had ever known, populated with just about every species of flora known to thrive in this region. From the 1930s on, spinsters could be spotted toddling across the property trimming boxwoods, tending to flowerbeds and hedgerows under shade trees grown to mammoth proportions, shielding the spinsters’ corner lot on West Market from view. An island of antiquitous gentility inexplicably flourishing long after being enveloped on all sides by what we laughably refer to as “progress.” In last year’s column on this house I closed with, “It’s perhaps inevitable that this verdant locale where breezes whistled softly through the pines, air honeyed in wisteria and flowering pears, will one day reverberate with the words: “Welcome to Sonic.” I was wrong, but only slightly. Instead, what you’ll hear at that location this morning, through a tinny speaker, will be, “Welcome to Biscuitville, may I take your order?” Bet you’ll take notice of that corner now! OH Billy Eye is unapologetically O.G. — Original Greensboro. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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OTEYC ON S T R UCT I O N . CO M
KAREN JOBE 3 3 6 . 43 0. 6 552 Ka ren . Jo b e @t r m ho m e s .c o m TR M R EA L E S TAT E . CO M
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The moon was particularly beautiful tonight standing there looking almost spellbound the artist in me creative juices starting to rise. I thought about getting my camera set up to capture the narrow, slivermoon just over the mountaintop ridge, treetops shimmering with the steady wind . . . just enough light left to make a great shot. Then the 24Âş windchill reminded me of how beautiful it is to be warm. Now the creative juices are cooling down my socksfeet warming beside the fire. That moon will have to reside in my memory as well as all those stars.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
â€” Raymond Whitaker
One simply needs to look around town to realize that Greensboro is on the move — the Next Wave of young and creative people are already shaping the Gate City’s future. We thought you’d like to meet a few of them Photographs by Mark Wagoner
Table Seven needs a birthday dessert, a pavlova. On the hot side of the counter that divides the cooks from the customers at Chez Genèse (pronounced zhuNEZ), owner-chef Kathryn Hubert centers a beige cake made from meringue on a small white plate — its magnificent foamy peaks and furrows baked into place by a brief encounter with a furious oven. She slaps the creation with a heavy spoonful of homemade whipped cream. Her gloved hands rain blueberries and blackberries over the gleaming pond. The inky berries land with soft plops. She rocks a chef’s knife on cutting board to yield juicy geodes of strawberries, then she upends a tin canister of powdered sugar and makes it snow over crags of red and blue. “Runner!” Server Ben Lugo, who describes himself as autistic, carefully lifts the plate from the counter and takes a few steps to present it to the honoree. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, I forget the rest of the song, buhhhhhhht . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!” What Lugo lacks in words, he makes up for with enthusiasm. Laughter bathes the moment. Lugo, 22, laughs, too. Behind the counter, the oval-faced owner Hubert, who traps her long brown hair under a trucker cap, frees a giggle. She is prematurely calm at 30. “That’s great,” she says of Lugo’s improvisation. “I’ve never seen him do that before.” Ten years ago, when she was chipping away at a degree in hospitality management at UNCG, Hubert imagined her future. She could see herself leaving Greensboro for Oregon. Maybe Portland. Someplace awash in young people who wanted to make the world a better place. Sustainable. Fair. Inclusive. Those were her values.
But another thought tapped at her mind as she pondered what might be elsewhere: There was plenty of work to be done here. “There were people walking by me every day that needed help,” she says. Living on the cusp of campus and downtown, she saw homeless people frequently. She worked in a community garden in the Glenwood neighborhood, where families prized the vegetables that sprang from the dirt. She tutored children in an after-school program run by the nonprofit Hope Academy and, later, in a similar one operated by the Autism Society of North Carolina. That’s where she met Joey, a profoundly autistic boy whom she describes as “very sweet, very in tune.” Hubert was on familiar ground. She’d grown up with three male cousins with autism, a wide-ranging condition marked by difficulty in making social connections. Portland would have to wait. After graduating from UNCG, she stuck around for Joey. She became his fulltime assistant at his elementary school, a paid position in the school system. The job with Joey was rewarding — for him, and for her — but when Hubert looked ahead, as she is prone to do, she saw a sad truth: The Earth is, indeed, flat for people like Joey, who often fall off the edge once they leave high school and find that job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are practically nil. Once again, she pitched herself into the future and saw a solution: a French cafe that would employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — folks like Joey and her cousins. Hubert was a foodie from way back. Coming of age in the mountain college town of Boone, she cooked at The Inn at Crestwood and Hound Ears Club. She bagged a degree in culinary arts from Caldwell Community College and spent a year volunteering in a resort kitchen in the Burgundy region of France. The experience left a lasting impression. “I fell in love with French food and culture, and how generous French people are with their time. They’re very relational,” she says. “When they invite you into their The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
homes, there’s no time limit on it.” Her experience propelled her to study hospitality at UNCG, which led her, in turn, to meet Joey, which led her to understand that she could whisk together everything she had learned — about food, about people with disabilities, about being the change she wished for — to create an inclusive workplace. “This has been a dream a long time in the making,” she says. She toned her restaurant chops by working in catering at the Iron Hen and, later, by helping to get the now-shuttered Morehead Foundry complex off the ground. She cultivated a coterie of advisers: an attorney, an interior decorator, small business owners and fellow chefs. The stove jockeys devised a menu rooted in Gallic ethos. “The French don’t cram a lot of ingredients into their food,” she says. “They pick a few and let them shine.” The breakfast-and-lunch offerings would glow with fresh baguettes, croissants and brioche from Camino Bakery in Winston-Salem. House-made egg dishes would wear simple accessories: asparagus and chèvre; smoked salmon and dill crème fraîche; spinach, roasted red potatoes and Camembert. Strawberry crepes would travel with crème fraîche or Nutella. Ham and butter on a chewy baguette would equal a sandwich. A fancy sandwich might combine olive tapenade, fresh tomatoes, goat cheese, sliced chicken, pepperoncini and arugula on a baguette. A tart might require just potatoes, thyme and red onions. Chocolate mousse would leave tiny air pockets in a small mason jar and wear a fluffy hat of whipped cream. Hubert stitched together financial backing from various sources: family and friends; online crowdfunding campaigns; grants from downtown development advocates; and a personal loan of $30,000. She secured a location on the southern hem of downtown — an airy space which last held PB&Java, a sandwich and coffee shop near the corner of South Elm and Bain streets, a block removed from Gate City Boulevard. She didn’t have to advertise for applicants. After local media announced her plans, emails rolled in from people who wanted a job. If parents contacted her on their children’s behalf, Hubert asked them to have their children contact her directly. Applicants had to want it for themselves. She wasn’t in the business of handing out jobs. She was in the business of hiring people who could do the job, never mind their disabilities. She conducted interviews, culled the best candidates, and arranged for job training with lots of role-playing and explicit instructions on how to read and react to social cues, a common deficit among people with developmental issues. Among the lessons: Do not interrupt when customers are deep in conversation; and when diners set their plates aside or their silverware on their plates, assume they’re probably be finished. There were moments of levity. Once, when Hubert played the role of a diner, a would-be server asked if she wanted dessert. Sure, she said. What are your favorites? Impulsively, he proceeded to tick off a litany of sweets that weren’t on the menu. She then diplomatically reminded him that the context called for a list of confections that were available to diners. One of her cousins helped with the training. “He said, ‘Hey, I’m Zachary. I’m autistic, and I’m not ashamed of it,’” she says. “There was an immediate connection between him and the staff because they thought, ‘He understands.’” Hubert mobilized an army of volunteers to blanche the restaurant’s interior to simple chic. They painted the walls white, wrapped support columns in rope, hung sail cloth drapes in the many windows, and striped the walls with shiplap siding and floating shelves that breathed with terra cotta pots, feathery ferns and trailing tendrils. A friend hung a banner of brown butcher paper near the front door. In wispy script, she translated the cafe’s French name:
“Chez Genèse, A Place of New Beginnings.” Hubert’s mom and dad, Lori and Barry, came from Boone and camped in the construction zone, lending muscle and experience. Convinced that she could never pay back, only pay forward, their love, Hubert planted one white chair in a sea of black bistro seats. The first person to occupy that seat every day gets a meal on the house, along with a brief history of the reason behind the largesse. “It seemed like a good way to share the story, in a practical way,” says Hubert. She opened her breakfast-lunch cafe in late-October, the same week that A Special Blend, a coffee shop that also employs adults with cognitive disabilities, opened on West Market Street near Starmount Forest (see this month’s Life’s Funny, page 17). It was a coincidence. But Hubert believes the events are rooted in the same time and place. It’s a time, she says, when people who are inclined to quash employment barriers for those with disabilities have successful role models like Wilmington coffee shop-turned-franchise Bitty and Beau’s. Greensboro, she says, is fertile ground for people like that. “There is, I think, a sense of community in Greensboro that isn’t in other places,” she says. “I think there are a lot of businesses and individuals here who care about making an impact, and I’m honored to be a part of that.”
That’s how many of Hubert’s 22 employees deal with evident disabilities: autism, Down syndrome, lower-than-average IQs, and other conditions that make processing information a challenge. Brianna Oliver, 21, says she deals with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression. She graduated from high school, tried college for a while, and lost a job as a preschool assistant before coming to Chez Genèse. “I’m either all too much at once, or not engaging enough. It’s hard to be myself with people because I feel like they won’t want to be friends with me,” she says. At Chez Genèse, she says, she can be herself, knowing that her bosses — Hubert and her neuro-typical lieutenants — understand and can help if needed. As a result, Oliver has relaxed into her job as server, a job she wanted so she could improve her social skills. Katya Hedrick, 25, a prep cook, left her parents and a job helping with horseback tours in Boone to see if she would like living on her own. “I already knew I wasn’t good at talking to people, so I’m learning to communicate better. When I came to Greensboro, I had to talk more,” she says deliberately. The change was scary, she admits, but chocolate croissants and supportive co-workers have made it easier. Also, they have helped her refine one of her best skills: hugging. “This is like a big family that tries to help one another,” she says. Lugo, the birthday crooner, also tried college. It didn’t work out, he says, so he now works four jobs, three in food service. Ask him what’s good about working at Chez Genèse, and he shifts to the hypothetical second-person to answer. “If you were a jerk, or pardon my French, an asshole, you would say the pay and no tips,” he says, referring to the slightly-better-than-minimum-wage pay and no tipping in the French tradition. But because Lugo is not a sarcastic asshole, he will say no such thing. Instead, he will say that Chez Genèse has allowed him to see a future job that might involve his passion: games. Online games, board games, trading card games. He’s good at memorization. Show him the rules, and watch him go. “It got me thinking, maybe I’ll open a store and help people,” he says. — Maria Johnson The Art & Soul of Greensboro
A tireless purveyor of everything local, Greensboro gadfly Katei Cranford wears a lot of hats, none of them boring: Event organizer. Historic preservationist. City council candidate. Yes! Weekly columnist. Radio DJ. Social media flamethrower. Where does the 34-year-old get all her energy? “There’s a certain inspiration that comes with the frustration of not necessarily being a city that has a lot going on.” Many will know her best from her long-running Tuesday afternoon radio program on WUAG that spotlights musical groups playing around North Carolina. Instant Regrets and Basement Life are local faves but Katei confesses, “A lot of the bands I’m most excited about are coming out of Raleigh right now.” That’s because a viable music scene is predicated on a platform of appropriate entertainment venues, so she’s often engaged in nudging developers into expanding creative outlets and performance spaces. “It can be really fun here and I want to share that. And everybody else I talk to does too,” she says. Things are looking up on the music scene, Cranford says: “When you get solid touring bands coming here there’s an extra element of passion and enthusiasm. We don’t take them for granted.” Like they say: Right what you know. — Billy Ingram
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Lights! Cameras! Music! Yes, Greensboro Fashion Week has all the glamour and excitement one would expect from a runway show, but for founders Witneigh Davis and Giovanni Ramadani, it has always been as much about substance as style, starting with their initial vision in the fall of 2014. New York Fashion Week, says Giovanni, a former model, had become “watered down” and rife with pay-to-play participants.” Gotham “got outside the major designers they’re showcasing.” Talent was secondary. Greensboro, on the other hand, boasted “textiles driving industry back in the ’60s,” says Witneigh, a former stylist with marketing chops. “Knowing that the history and roots were here in the fashion world, we just kind of resurfaced in a modern way.” The two entrepreneurs saw an opening to fill the fashion gap in the Southeast, between New York and Miami, by showcasing local designers with the help of sponsors, such as Greensboro’s Foreign Cars Italia and no less than Bentley, among others. After all, as Witneigh points out, clothes and cars are “a natural fit.” She and Giovanni also noticed that Greensbororians sported their own polished and casual, if a bit subdued style, and could be encouraged to take more daring sartorial steps. Fast-forward five years, and the two entrepreneurs, both of whom who will be 32 this year, will tell you GFW has morphed beyond expectations, becoming a true platform for fashion. Designers — from all over the world — are vying for the opportunity they’ve provided. “We had over 100 applicants last year and we only had room for eight,” says Giovanni. “We wanted to pick the best ones.” And they are hands-on. Witneigh says the two constantly communicate with the designers by Skype, every step of the way before the razzmatazz in fall that includes multiple shows at various hip locations around town. (Last year they snagged a hangar at Honda Jet for one of their shows.) But Witneigh and Giovanni haven’t stopped there: They started a modeling camp for kids in the summer, the first, Giovanni believes, in North Carolina, to teach aspiring models the ins and outs of the industry and how to comport themselves professionally so as to be agency-ready. (Some were signed on at last year’s Fashion Week.) The dynamic duo are also putting their energies behind Twin City Fashion Week in WinstonSalem this spring and a daylong Summer Show before the GFW revs up again in October. They’re excited that the event is becoming a destination. “That’s the thing,” says Giovanni. “We want to make Greensboro cool. We want to make Greensboro fashionable. We want to make Greensboro fun.” — Nancy Oakley
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
It takes a visionary to see life’s big picture, then project it on the big screen. Just months ago, UNCG film grad Maurice Hicks, 32, completed a feature film he wrote and directed, Rap and Rhyme, an underbelly exam of the music biz, which he says is “an accurate reflection of who I am as a person, an artist, and what I’m capable of.” As a financial and artistic roll of the dice, “it was absolutely terrifying but we did it.” Timing seems right. His highly acclaimed short from a few years ago was recently picked up by an entertainment channel, a circumstance so rare as to be almost unheard of. An unflinching commentary on American racial injustice, A Letter To My Son stars Cranston Johnson (Hap and Leonard), who’ll be seen in two new series on ABC and Netflix this year. It takes a creative fervor to be constantly producing in spite of overwhelming uncertainty, but it’s paying off. “I like Hip Hop, I like urban characters,” Maurice says. “I grew up in an urban environment so I like to think I write them pretty authentically.” Hollywood agrees. Maurice currently has a major motion picture being shopped around with Outkast’s Big Boi attached. Meanwhile, his latest movie treatment, about romance in the digital age, is a finalist for Best Screenplay at the South Carolina Underground Film Festival. “I’ve never been to Charleston,” the filmmaker confesses. “It should be fun.” — Billy Ingram
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The next time you see her, you might be forgiven if you fail to recognize Jessica Mashburn, the gifted chanteuse whose physical appearance seems to change like the weather. Long a favorite among patrons of Proximity Hotel’s Print Works Bistro, which hosts the popular Wednesday night jazz gigs, the 36-year-old Mashburn performs with partner Evan Olson, not to mention countless events ranging from private parties to splashy weddings. The colorful and chameleon-like songwriter-songstress might be the closest thing in the Triad to a musical theater Renaissance woman. One minute she’s a sultry Berlin cabaret singer from the 1930s, the next a blonde bombshell à la Some like it Hot. “I love to adapt to whatever is needed the more dramatic the better,” she says. “If someone needs a flapper from the ’20s to greet people and sing them through the door, hey, I’m just the person.” That’s because she sees herself primarily as an entertainer: “My job is to leave folks happy and maybe even inspired.” Born the daughter of bluegrass musicians from Southern Pines who relocated to Greensboro in 1984 to give their precious daughter “a better exposure to the arts,” Jessica thrived in theater and music at Southeast Guilford before enrolling at UNCG to study music. The large classes prompted her to switch to her hometown, Sandhills Community College, where she sang with the jazz band, taught herself piano and guitar, and earned a degree in music before moving for a brief time to Raleigh to work for Quaintance-Weaver’s Lucky 32 Restaurant, having been a server at the Green Valley Grill during her time at UNCG. The divine Miss Mashburn’s versatile talents led to a post at the O.Henry Hotel as events manager in 2005, a job she performed until 2007 (singing on weekends with pianist Dave Fox), when Dennis Quaintance recruited her for the design team of the sister Proximity Hotel. In 2011, this musical polymath who makes her own outrageous hats, “demoted” herself back to server in order to free up weekends for performing — and never looked back. Though she still works as the hotel’s music coordinator, her career has soared like a bird. “Funny you should say that,” she quipped on a recent afternoon wearing a hairdo done to look like a maple tree in autumn splendor. “My favorite song with Dave is ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins. That was Walt Disney’s favorite song. I love to sing it because Greensboro is such a special place and feeds me in a spiritual way.” She went on to say that the Gate City is “a place where artists are welcomed and encouraged. I feel so lucky to be here.” So do we, dear Jessica. — Jim Dodson
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Savio Nazareth was 7 when he first played golf in his native Tanzania. “I hated golf. I was much more into soccer as a kid,” he says with a laugh. “Funny how golf took me to places I could never have imagined.” It was indeed a long and winding road to venerable Starmount Forest Country Club, where Savio, 39, is completing his first year club’s eighth head professional in 2018.
His story is one of an East Indian family and great faith — plus times that are a’ changing. In his teens, Savio began winning golf tournaments in Africa and started to think seriously that golf might be his ticket out of Tanzania. His parents arranged for him to attend school and live with his older brother Andrew in Orlando, Florida, where he found a spot on the school golf team. After a stint at junior college, he was recruited by Guilford College’s late beloved coach Jack Jensen, who found scholarship money, guided him through some tough academic transitions and helped him land a sports internship at Southeast Guilford High. “Jack got me through some difficult times. He was more than a mentor to me,” Savio says with emotion. “He was like a father figure.” In 2002, Savio helped guide Guilford College to the National Collegiate championship. After college he played two years on the Hooters Tour and enjoyed some success, but was soon married and looking for something more stable than the vagabond life of a touring pro. In the spring of 2005, he found a gig as assistant to Starmount Forest’s head man Eric Gaskell, a post he held for the next decade. Popular with the club’s golfing members, Savio qualified for his first Wyndham Championship in 2008 and started seriously thinking about earning his class-A PGA credentials. The critical moment came in 2016 when he lost his mother, Sabina, and brother Andrew, just five months apart — and almost his desire to play golf. “I spoke to my mother almost every day, and I owed my brother so much for his support. Losing them was devastating. I felt lost.” The one thing that kept him going, he says, was wife, Lisa, and their two children, Hillary and Trent, along with guidance from his minister at Shady Grove Wesleyan Church in Colfax. “They helped me see that everything has a purpose and you simply have to keep going and keep the faith that you’re on the right path.” That faith was redeemed at the PGA Sectional Championship in Wilmington when Savio — thinking of his late brother — rolled in a 4-foot putt to claim the title and went on to win Sectional Player of the Year Honors, earning his exemptions in several major professional tournaments. “I cried like a baby,” he allows. Maybe the biggest prize came last year, however, when Starmount Forest’s head man Bill Hall retired and Savio Nazareth was rewarded with the top job. “It’s 13 years and been an amazing journey here, and I’m still learning more every day. This place is really a big family to me. The club has enjoyed a great revival of young families and I’m just honored to be part of that new phase of life.” — Jim Dodson The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Flotation Therapy, something Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen practice, offers the extraordinary opportunity to experience weightlessness without entering outer space, thanks to 1,000 pounds of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) added to a pod containing warm H2O. (The pod contains the same amount of magnesium sulfate as the Dead Sea.) My friend Stephanie Bolton, who calls herself a floater, finds that it takes you to inner space. But to get there you’ll have to venture to Sonder Mind and Body on South Elm Street. The wellness center offers flotation along with infrared sauna, massage, hypnosis, yoga and an organic café. Identical twins Jessika and Veronika Olsen, 33, believe their health spa and café is one of only two nationwide (the other opening in hipster capital, Austin, Texas). Both sisters battle autoimmune disease. Veronika previously operated a wellness clinic in Hawaii. Jessika owned a bakery business. Since age 19, they have been entrepreneurial with a focus upon wellness. Their mother, a nurse, promoted flotation, having experienced it. “Flotation is not like anything most have tried,” explains Jessika. “It takes you away from all external things.” I had to give this a try. Following infrared sauna, I showered in a private room and with a twinge of trepidation entered the pod after a tutorial from Veronika. Initially I kept the lid open, but as soon as the lights dimmed, I closed it so that I was in a completely dark environment. If the womb was this exhilarating, how did Mother Nature coax me out? Sixty minutes passed in luxurious slow-mo. My skin felt silken, limbs wondrously weightless, and I was suspended in honeyed, liquid quiet. Floating reduces anxiety in veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress, and gives others relief from pain. It offered me meditative calm; utterly, peacefully transporting. “We don’t want anyone to stress about relaxing,” smiles Jessika. The original Olsen twins are Greensboro’s newfound treasure. And I’m now a floater, too. — Cynthia Adams Sonder Mind and Body, 515 S. Elm St., (336) 663-7562 www. SonderMindandBody.com
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Once upon a time, Joe Rotondi’s great ambition in life was to work as a bartender all across America, meeting the locals. “Bartending is a great way to take the pulse of a community and really learn what’s going on,” says the friendly 33-year-old. It was his love of people that led him to volunteerism and community development for nonprofits — and eventually studies in social entrepreneurship at UNCG, where he’ll pick up a degree this spring. Several years back, Joe’s interest in making a bench for City Market led him to Forge Greensboro, an innovative makerspace. At the time it was just off West Lewis Street in a former turn-of-the-century blacksmith shop — hence the name — in a once forgotten part of downtown. What he found there spoke powerfully to his inner community developer — a shared place. There, budding inventors, artisans, trade professionals, tinkerers, entrepreneurs or simple hobbyists could create, learn, collaborate and produce just about anything they could imagine for a simple monthly fee that provides access to proper workspace, advanced tools, and the collective wisdom of a hands-on creative community. Joe Rotondi came aboard as facility manager in late 2014 not long before robust membership growth prompted a move to a building on Lewis Street that once served as an auxiliary livery stable and more than doubled the Forge’s usable space, becoming an anchor of the area’s spectacular transformation. Now as executive director, he oversees a grass-roots powerhouse that boasts 195 members and has launched at least 30 different businesses in just five years of existence. On any given day, at any hour, you’re likely to find an inventor of an electric car hard at work on a hightech 3-D laser machine or a class underway in the brilliantly equipped woodshop. Since opening, the Forge has taught more than 700 diverse classes and skills to nearly 2,000 students of all ages and backgrounds. “The real beauty of this place is its diversity and the people,” says Joe, who points out that a recently completed capital campaign raised $200,000, funds that will go in part for teaching grants and more advanced equipment for budding engineers, welders, furniture makers, or, who knows, maybe the next Elon Musk. “The Forge’s diversity is its strength, a place designed to teach, share and grow a community by hand,” Joe allows as he leads a visitor through the various workspaces where members are making their dreams take shape, followed by his “shop dog” Mira, a friendly cattle dog he saved from an Alabama kill shelter last August. “She’s found a home here,” Joe reports. “And so have a lot of very talented people.” — Jim Dodson OH
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Summer Twilight, South Field, oil on linen
Lightcatcher For landscape painter John Beerman, beauty is everywhere By Nancy Oakley
sweeping lawn on a sunny day glistens in shades of greens and yellows, then blues and grays where trees have cast their shadows. You can fairly catch the scent of freshly cut grass, feel a faint breeze skip across your brow. Just as you might absently mop your brow from the scorching heat of a late summer day, while gazing at a dry and dusty country road that curves endlessly toward the unknown. Never mind that the scenes before you are of North Carolina and Texas, respectively. Or that you might never have visited either one of them. “It doesn’t have to be the actual place,” says John Beerman, painter of the two landscapes. He smiles, recalling traveling down a similar dirt road in the flatbed of a pickup truck, with his paints and easel in hand. “It’s not so much about the image as how it’s put together,” he says. And, of course, how the image makes the viewer feel. At some point, we’ve all experienced the elation of being alive on a sunny summer day, or weariness from its oppressive heat. Eliciting such emotional responses hinges on the play of light in nature, a fascination for the artist and Greensboro native, who stands before the canvas of the summery lawn in his Hillsborough home that he shares with poet Tori Reynolds. “When you look at grass, it has all these things going on. At first you think it’s just a green stripe or a yellow stripe. There’s all this richness.” But capturing that richness in a painting is not about “flash” or a “horn blast,”
Beerman insists. “Rich color is not the most brilliant blue you can get out of a tube.” Rather, it’s a matter of, “How do you enrich a gray to make it a full gray? How do you make these subtle nuances glow?” In another painting of a cottage in New Mexico lit from within at dusk, Beerman has carefully applied several shades of blue, blue-gray, violet and aqua to replicate the building’s corrugated metal roof. He points out the telephone pole and wire in the scene, a feature he once included in a series of paintings of churches. “I’ve had several people come up to me and ask: ‘Why did you mess it up with the telephone wires?’” he laughs. “I just think it’s kind of fascinating the way it curves.” He was similarly taken with, of all things, a Rhode Island trailer park. “The light as it’s falling on the dreary old trailer in a certain way, that speaks to me as much as a beautiful mountainside,” Beerman says. “I’m not really concerned with the ‘beautiful.’ Anything can be beautiful.” He couldn’t help but be struck by the beauty of the North Carolina mountains during his childhood. It was then that his artistic journey began. His mother had always encouraged art as a pursuit, buying her youngest son chalks and pastels, and enrolling him in private lessons. “I was taking art classes before first and second grade,” he recalls of the sessions with a family friend, Barbara Covington. “She lived on Princess Anne and taught out of the back of her house.” Beerman reels off other memories of the Gate City from those early years: Fisher Park and attending Irving Park elementary school. “I The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Dawn, Cypress Trees for Fallen Soldiers, egg tempera on linen The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Mountain, New Moon, oil on linen
remember the old Lawndale Shopping Center. I’d go to the GI 1200, down from Roses. It was called GI 1200, because it was Government Issue. They had Army knapsacks and such.” But it was those visits in the early 1960s to his grandparents’ cottage in the mountains that left an indelible impression. In those days, Beerman says the place had no TV, and with few children his own age in the area, he had a lot of time on his hands. He spent it in the company of a distant relation whom Beerman describes as “an amateur kind of a Sunday painter.” The young child was mesmerized. “I’d watch him paint on the deck overlooking this beautiful lake. I think watching him showed me: How do you make use of your time? Nobody wants to sit around. I like to do something. It seemed like a pleasant thing to do. It got me going.” He pauses for a moment, “Plus it was in this beautiful setting . . . maybe that’s what sent me to Vermont.” The Green Mountain state is a long way from Greensboro, but it beckoned the budding artist as he was starting 10th grade at Page High School. Six weeks into the fall semester, he was working on an assignment in an art class. “At that time it was [called] commercial art,” Beerman remembers. “The first assignment was to go through a stack of magazines and make an ad for GM,” he laughs. But it was an advertisement of a different sort that would transform his life as he dutifully went through the periodicals, choosing one titled New York Times Magazine. “I’d never heard of it, at that point in my life,” says Beerman (ironically, now a loyal subscriber to the Times). “I started to cut stuff up in it, and I noticed in the back, they used to have these little ads for schools,” he
continues. One of them, for Woodstock Country School, on a 300-acre farm in Vermont, caught his eye. As did its small size — only 60 people in the student body — and the curriculum. “That little ad said, ‘stresses the arts and humanities,’” Beerman recalls. “And that’s what really stood out to me. I’m not much of a science guy.” The school’s fall term started in early October, so Beerman figured there was still time to enroll; with money set aside from his grandparents, he could cover the cost of tuition. He was ready to embrace change. His parents had divorced years earlier, his older siblings had all left home for college, and Greensboro in the mid-1970s held little appeal for the 15-year-old. “Downtown was dead; the big thing was Four Seasons Mall; that’s where everybody went. And for whatever reason, I never felt a part of that scene,” Beerman says. “There was not much to keep me around.” So, he packed his bags and headed north, and for the next three years, he blossomed. “There were kids from all over the place, from out in the country. It was beautiful, Vermont.” Though not particularly outdoorsy, Beerman says he has always loved being outside. “I felt solace in nature,” he reflects. “It’s ever-changing, it kind of feeds my soul . . . and I love light.” Particularly how it changes. He had ready inspiration in his rural surroundings, where he continued drawing and became involved with photography. So much so, that when it came time to apply to art school — in Beerman’s case, the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) — he submitted a portfolio in photography and film. But once again, his trajectory took a detour. “My first figure drawing class at The Art & Soul of Greensboro
RISD was just charcoal and newsprint. I loved the immediacy of it. I loved — I guess it was the hand quality,” Beerman says. In addition to requiring long, solitary hours in a darkroom, photography, he emphasizes, was “not a hand-tohand tactile thing, and I loved the tactile thing.” Beerman quickly changed his major to painting, which provided him with the opportunity of “actually building something. You’re making something with your hands, and I like that. I liked it a lot. Still, to this day, I try all these different papers and linens and supports,” he says. In another landscape, featured in a recent exhibit at Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte, olive and cypress trees on a Tuscan hillside glow in tones of green, yellow and silver, and appear to sway. “This is an egg tempera painting,” Beerman explains, adding that the simple mixture of egg yolk and pigment produces a translucent effect. “It adds a complexity to the color,” he says — as opposed to some of his oil paintings that create what he calls a “mushy” effect. Beerman discovered egg tempera during his training at RISD. “Craft,” he says, “was really important to me.” At a time when Abstract Expressionism was de rigueur, he felt he had to explore other avenues to inform his painting. “I had to go into the illustration department and take egg tempera classes,” he recalls, “because in painting it’s really frowned on; craft was academic.” He likes the medium because it dries quickly once it’s applied to a surface primed with gesso [pronounced “Jess-OH”] that he makes himself, with rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate. “Same thing they used back in the old days before oils came in,” Beerman says of the Italian Renaissance painters. And indeed, another of his Tuscan landscapes is reminiscent of the stylized backgrounds one might see in Piero della Francesca painting. Or perhaps 17thcentury French master Nicolas Poussin. “I’ve been all over the place,” Beerman allows. “I had evolved through influences, from Modern to Ancient, and somehow it filtered through me. It’s kind of a mystery because you don’t know it till you see it.” He saw it clearly in the East Hampton Library while he was living in an artists’ enclave of Springs, on the south fork of New York’s Long Island, following his tenure at RISD and Maine’s Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. “I discovered the Luminist School, which I’d never known about, had a lot of influence on me.” Considered among art historians an offshoot of the Hudson River School, the Luminists came later, in the mid-19th century, directing their attention to the effects of light on landscapes. Unlike the Impressionists, who followed a Still Growing, egg tempera on canvas
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
similar quest with diffuse brushstrokes, the Luminists tended toward more precise renderings, their works more muted and reflective. Or as Beerman observes, “The Hudson River School was more dramatic — drama with a big ‘D’ — whereas the Luminists were not melodramatic.” Their subdued paintings, particularly those of Fitz Hugh Lane and John F. Kensett resonated with him. “That’s when I really got married to the landscape,” he says. Borrowing his father’s VW camper, he retraced Fitz Hugh Lane’s travels through Maine and produced works for his first show in Manhattan — at a time when landscape painting was not in vogue among the intelligentsia. “It was not considered cutting-edge,” Beerman acknowledges. “I don’t like it when art becomes like an echo chamber of a very small group of people. I don’t want art cut off from most people.” Just as he forged his own path in his youth, leaving Greensboro for Vermont, or exploring those illustration techniques at RISD, Beerman made his singular mark on the art world, his works ultimately finding places in the permanent collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Based in Nyack in the Empire State’s Hudson River Valley, he relished being only 30 minutes from Gotham’s museums. “Frederic Church did oil sketches when he was traveling. I got to go to Cooper-Hewitt and pick them up — put white gloves on my hand and look at these paintings,” Beerman remembers. “I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ It was great!” He maintained close ties with his professors at RISD, where he also taught, and painted his environs, such as a large horizontal of the Hudson River, its imposing cliffs rendered in shades of violet and dwarfing the town of Yonkers in the distance. “Yonkers is an industrial town, factories and all that stuff,” Beerman explains. “And right across are the Palisades — basically the same thing Henry Hudson saw 400 years ago, which is really cool.” The painting hangs in the hallway of Beerman’s home in Hillsborough. He had heard about the small burg after returning to North Carolina in 2009 when his marriage ended and rented a place there. It was a challenging period, but Beerman reconnected with his roots. His brother Bob, who with his wife, Teresa had established the Bass Violin Shop near downtown, and as Beerman concedes, “The silver lining was, my father was in Well-Spring [retirement community] and dying, and I got to spend the last three months with him.” There have been other silver linings, as well. After his 40-odd-year absence,
October Dusk, Barn and Field #2, water color and oil on linen
North Carolina proved a revelation to the artist. “It’s a wonderful place!” he says enthusiastically. In the 10 years since his return, he’s rediscovered his old hometown, serving on the board at GreenHill for a time, and getting to know a revived downtown with new places, such as Scuppernong Books, which has become a favorite, along with the Greensboro History Museum and, as one would expect, Weatherspoon. Most important: “We’re surrounded by this beautiful landscape.” A landscape that has been a prolific muse. A frequent subject is Chatwood, the Hillsborough estate of friend and writer Frances Mayes, and where Beerman painted that large expanse of grass in summer. (Mayes also lent him the use of her property in Cortona, Italy, where he painted the Tuscan landscapes.) Beerman likes to revisit the same locations on Chatwood’s grounds season after season: the barn in summer, snowcovered in winter; a pasture bristling with greens in one panel or in somber gray and brown hues of a November day in another. He’ll often make oil sketches, or notes or drawings in a sketchbook and then refine them in the larger paintings in his studio, sometimes working on multiple paintings at different times throughout a given year. Until such time as a proper studio is completed in his house, he uses his garage, where among several neatly labeled crates full of paints, brushes, rags and other materials, he produces a small sketchbook. Its pages contain blocks of color and drawings of trees, studies for a larger painting, commissioned by Rex Hospital in Raleigh. The artist has also conducted painting workshops at Chatwood, and in other locations around Hillsborough, as one former student recalls. Greensboro painter and interior designer Bill Crowder says he learned to “look at things and see things better” under Beerman’s tutelage. “How blue wasn’t just blue, but many colors,” Crowder explains. “The main thing I learned: How things aren’t what they seem necessarily, and seeing what we don’t perceive as being there.” Beerman uses the example of the tufted titmouse to make the same point. “It’s the most gorgeous bird. It’s just subtle grays, that’s all it is. Most beautiful color ever. But you’d be hard-pressed to say, ‘What color is it?’ That’s
what’s so fascinating to me about color.” He’s constantly experimented with color in a number of projects since his return home: still lifes of Jugtown pottery, the shadows of a clapboard yellow house next to his old studio in downtown Durham, studies of Reynolds, one of the few figure paintings he’s done. The two have collaborated on a poetry project, a volume of broadside verse, one of which Beerman illustrated with a brilliant red Tuscan poppy that seems suspended in time. Another depicts a shaded garden where, in a touch of whimsy, a black cat is stretched out on a patch of grass. “My dealer in New York said, ‘Love the painting, but can’t do the cat.’ That’s the problem with New York,” Beerman says, shaking his head. “Why do you have these rules and stuff? Cats are like, soft and cuddly and not cutting-edge, I guess. But, no way I’m getting rid of that cat!” And, of course, Beerman revisited the place where it all began, the mountains. There, for an entire month, he created “a whole mess of paintings from one spot” — the porch of a house that a collector had made available to him. The experience proved challenging. “I’d get it just right, go away. And then that moment would not just come back the next day, or the next day. That’s the trick, as a landscape painter: It’s never the same twice, and how do you work on a painting for a long time and somehow keep focus for that moment you originally set out to do?” Beerman posits. One solution is to go the mythic route, as in Mountain, New Moon, a standout in the recent exhibit at Charlotte’s Anne Neilson gallery. In it, an oversized orb dominates a shadowy peak of the Blue Ridge. “I sometimes fool with nature,” says Beerman. “The moon was not that big, but I felt I should go ahead and make it that big. It’s not always literal.” It’s a testament to a master in full command of his art, this North Carolina native son with the light of his native sun — and moon — at his fingertips . . . that shines from within. OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry.
Six-Acre Parcel Looking East, Summer Evening #2, water color and oil on linen
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Yellow House, oil on canvas The Art & Soul of Greensboro
To D.I.Y. For Betsy Brodeur applies ingenuity to her Sunset Hills home By Cynthia Adams • Photographs by Amy Freeman
h-so-desirable Sunset Hills was developed in the mid1920s, featuring woodsy green swaths and homes with distinct personalities. According to historians, deed restrictions ensured a “quiet, park-like setting,” requiring that houses be built farther than 45 feet from the street. Homes here are snapped up quickly by eager buyers, often before a “for sale” sign goes up. When Betsy Brodeur and her husband, Lee, heard the house they’d eyed in Sunset Hills was on the market one February day five years ago, Betsy had to do a look-see. When she did, it was a case of instant, physical attraction.
“The hair on my arms stood up when I first saw it,” she says, recalling stopping for an open house. “When I saw the house, I felt love, and healing.” As a family, the Brodeurs needed more room for their three daughters, something more spacious and soulful. “We had been looking for so long,” Betsy says. “That same night, somebody broke into our garage and stole all of our lawn equipment.” The urge to move grew more urgent after the burglary. When the Brodeurs did a subsequent drive-by, the six-bedroom home with style to spare was already sold. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
They were crestfallen, but they discussed paying off their house in Lindley Park and buying a beach house. Fortunately, they discovered the sale had fallen through from Melissa Greer, the Realtor who is now their neighbor. They moved swiftly and decisively There was even a downstairs bedroom and bath, rare in a home of its vintage. Here, the Brodeurs could age in place. Almost all of the original footprint of the house was left intact with only one major addition on the rear. They just knew — the ways in which the home wasn’t exactly to their liking were just matters of cosmetics. “It was a spiritual, emotional decision,” says Betsy Brodeur as she stands in the Arts and Craft–style game room, the newest portion of the house overlooking an outdoor kitchen and fountain. “We should be downsizing at this point in our life,” Betsy says cheerfully, and chortles. But the couple did the opposite of what their friends were doing in anticipation of retirement. The Brodeurs went bigger. They upsized from that “cute little Lindley Park bungalow” to a 4,500-plus square foot home. “Lee said, ‘I’m buying the house. But any updates are on you.’” Fine, Betsy thought without hesitation. She immediately thought of her clever mother, who had done far more with far less when it came to fixing up houses, and knew she could The Art & Soul of Greensboro
handle it. The Brodeurs moved in by April 2013. The 1929 house was gorgeous, yet the interiors were serious, featuring darker jewel tones. The Brodeurs preferred the colors of the sand and sea. “I grew up on the coast; my influences are teals and blues.” Betsy says of their tastes, which were lighter, airier and coastal. What she wanted was to recreate the light-filled vibe she had always loved as a Floridian from Siesta Key near Sarasota. Betsy left Florida in 1996 and moved to Charlotte. “My mother died, and that rocked my world. Eventually, she met Lee while at the beach. “A girl from Florida meets a guy from North Dakota in Myrtle Beach!” she laughs. Their golden retriever is named Myrtle to honor where the couple met. In some ways, their home is another homage to her mother. Betsy began doing what her mother had done repeatedly as a minister’s wife, polishing up drab parsonages. She showed Betsy that ingenuity could transform a space. Time and again, her mother did the impossible with spaces that were anything but beautiful. “She was artistic. She made things look fantastic, and also made it great for the next couple coming in,” Betsy recalls. January 2019
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
“New minister, new minister’s wife, and they go to this crappy house. It became her gift to the next family.” The lesson stuck. Betsy followed in her mom’s footsteps, becoming the consummate do-it-yourselfer. She set out with neutralizing things, deleting Mediterranean and French influences. She gave it the feel that she loves — “beachy,” she repeats. But appropriately so. “I had a wonderful teacher in my mother,” Betsy reiterates, using one of her mom’s oft-repeated expressions, “tending the hearth.” “I’ve always liked making my homes comfortable,” she adds, “but this one meant even more. I was almost channeling my Mom and didn’t realize it.” A year into the move, Betsy had officially made best friends with Benjamin Moore. She began painting and switching a more formal interior to a decidedly beachy one, with wood and wicker furniture and accents. She created a tight color palette, using natural finishes, creamy white and even robin’s egg blue. Paint was going to be the biggest ally in making an already gorgeous home the Brodeurs’ own. She went at the project after-hours even when exhausted from her workday. Lee eventually suggested Betsy might want to retire and “tend the hearth” full time. Four years ago, she did. “I’ve always worked with nonprofits, most recently with the Women’s Resource Center,” says Betsy. Retirement would mean she could devote herself completely to updating the home. Betsy, now retired, grabbed even more gallons of creamy greige, white and blue Benjamin Moore paints, and rolled up her sleeves to finish the job. Although Betsy insists “we did things on the cheap,” their refreshed The Art & Soul of Greensboro
home reads casually refined. “Paint mostly,” she insists modestly. “I learned so much about color. I guess you could say I did it myself,” she says with a throaty laugh. She particularly wanted the house to be a haven for her three stepdaughters, even though the eldest is now 25 and will soon marry. She felt the need for the house’s colors to reflect her stepdaughters’ tastes and preferences, too. “Subtly, I can make their spaces comfortable and mirror them,” she says. The space gained by the move from a smaller home was more comfortable for the entire family. “With a limited fix-up budget, I had to be even more resourceful,” says Betsy. Out went beautiful red velvet drapes and formality. The house seems to relax into the new owners’ style. The kitchen spiff-up was her second major task after painting. Flooring was replaced with new hardwoods and countertops and backsplash were replaced. She kept with period-specific updates. Betsy stuck with marble for the kitchen counters, a material that could look as if it had been there for 90 years. The Brodeurs retained the Wolfe professional range, and also kept a pantry with ample shelving and wine fridge, but opted to remove the pantry doors to open the space more. Betsy, who loved all things color-related, would work alongside the painter hired to work on the kitchen’s cosmetic changes. And she loved having done that, giving herself over to whatever work needed to be done, even the tedium of cabinet painting. “To redo the kitchen would have cost us a fortune. But I enjoy seeing the January 2019
brush strokes.” She learned new skills by supervising the kitchen work. “I did the whole house,” Betsy says with no small pride, doing a walkthrough of the sunny downstairs living room, sunroom, dining room, kitchen and added playroom with a secret powder room. Spacious for its vintage, it has, in addition to the six bedrooms, a seventh upstairs was converted into a laundry room. “It could be seven bedrooms,” says Betsy. There is room for a workout room and a cozy den upstairs, as well. The floors were refinished; surfaces were made more neutral. Furnishings were kept airy and bright. As with most homes, the heart is the kitchen, where the marble countertops complement the crisp, white subway tile (versus the previous French hand-painted tiles and darker colors). Betsy stops in what they now call the keeping room. Betsy admits she never heard of it, the one space that had perplexed her.
Here alone did she rely upon the advice of a pro, Greensboro designer Maria Adams, regarding one thorny problem at the kitchen entry. “I never had gotten used to the area, with its beams,” says Betsy. It was walled off and awkward. “We never used it. My husband started saying, should we discuss creating an open floor plan? Should we move?” They didn’t want to take down any walls. How to make it work, she wondered? “Lee bought me an hour’s consultation with Maria, and the designer suggested it be switched out from kitchen eating area to keeping room,” says Betsy. In the meantime, Adams admired how Betsy had taken an already lovely house and made it even more so. “She walked in and said, ‘You don’t need me, this is beautiful.’” Betsy had noticed the designer’s style and was a fan. “I’d seen Maria’s work, I liked her style. I told her we weren’t using the space correctly. It felt very uncomfortable.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro
But when the designer explained it should be a keeping room, a throwback to colonial days when families would sleep in a room adjacent to the hearth for warmth. “She said it very well could have been built for that purpose.” The designer sent pictures of suggestions and furnishings. Adams recommended a small sofa and chairs to create a sitting area. At first, Betsy balked at the designer’s notion, but once the concept of a keeping room took shape, she discovered it was a successful and creative idea. It also honored the house’s history. Betsy dislikes when history is stripped away. She didn’t want the original beauty of the house to be lost or compromised, which can happen with big-budget remodels. “When I was in such a hurry, I had to redo things. I couldn’t really rest if the paint color wasn’t quite right,” she recalls. “When you live with it long enough, it will tell you what is needed. It reaffirms I didn’t The Art & Soul of Greensboro
hire out all the things I wanted to do, “she says. Today the imprint of Betsy’s coastal theme is complete. The sea is imprinted here, too; starfish motifs abound. Betsy admires the starfish because it can regenerate its legs and keep on going. “I felt the house going ‘thank you,’” she says, relaxed in a wicker chair by the living room fireplace. “I called my husband and said thank you, because I felt the house saying it to me.” Nonetheless, there is always a project calling to the do-it-yourselfer. She says a 2008 remodel to the upstairs master suite is perfectly serviceable, yet . . . she hopes to eventually make it completely her own. It is spacious and pleasant, “but I’ve had five different paint colors trying to make it work,” she says. “But I have to wait until we win the lottery.” OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry.
B’nai Shalom Day School
Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School 1725 NC Highway 66 South Kernersville, NC 27284, (336) 564-1010, www.bmhs.us
2900 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410, (336) 665-1161, www.caldwellacademy.org
Focus: B’nai Shalom Day School is the Triad’s only infant – 8th grade Jewish independent school. We foster academic excellence, maximize individual student’s potential, and develop leadership skills in a dual curriculum (English and Hebrew). Aftercare and full day option available (7:30 am to 6:00 pm) as well as generous financial aid opportunities. Grades: 8 wks - 8th grade • Enrollment: 135 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: On a rolling basis. Meet with Director of Admissions, classroom visit, academic assessment (Pre-K and older), transcripts from current school. Tuition: $4,040-$12,000 (preschool), $2,388-$16,990 (K-8)
Focus: The largest private high school in the Triad. Outstanding high school experience with exceptional academics, extracurricular activities and athletic opportunities. All faiths welcome and financial aid available. Located minutes from downtown Greensboro. Grades: 9-12th • Enrollment: 405 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Admission is on a rolling basis. Please visit www.bmhs.us for an application or call the admissions office at 564-1011 to schedule a campus tour. Tuition: $10,226-$13,826
Focus: A classical Christian school founded in 1994 by a group of parents who envisioned a school that would cultivate their children’s growth in the knowledge and love of God without sacrificing academic excellence. A time-tested process for educating a child at all stages of development, a classical Christian education teaches students how to think, not what to think. Extended day and tuition assistance available. Grades: PreSchool-12th • Enrollment: 720 • Student/Faculty: 9/1 Admission Requirement: Priority application deadline is February 1st. Applications received after this date will be processed and considered as they are received. Tuition: $2,385 - $11,478
804-A Winview Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 855-5091, www.bnai-shalom.org
Greensboro Day School
Greensboro Montessori School
5400 Old Lake Jeanette Road, Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-2007, www.canterburygso.org
5401 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-8590, www.greensboroday.org
2856 Horse Pen Creek Road, Greensboro, NC 27410, (336) 668-0119, www.gms.org
Focus: A PreK-8 Episcopal School that develops the whole child by challenging the mind and nourishing the spirit in a diverse community. We offer strong academics and small class sizes, and our indexed tuition program makes a Canterbury education affordable for everyone.
Focus: The most dynamic, comprehensive PreK-12th grade academic environment in the Triad. With a focus on friendship, scholarship, and sportsmanship, our mission is to develop the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to be constructive contributors to the world.
Grades: PreK - 8th grade • Enrollment: 350 Student/Faculty: 6/1 Admission Requirement: Families are encouraged to visit and learn more. To apply, families must complete an application, teacher recommendation form, and schedule a child visit. Tuition: $5,950-$8,350 (PreK), $3,443 - $17,215 (K-8)
Focus: Greensboro’s only accredited Montessori school where toddlers to teens achieve academic excellence through project-based, experiential learning. Additionally, students organically develop real-world skills in creativity, leadership, problem solving, and social responsibility so they’re prepared for a lifetime of achievement.
Grades: Preschool - 12th grade • Enrollment: 750 • Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Admission on a rolling basis. Begin accepting applications in the fall for admission to the following school year. For complete details, please visit www.greensboroday.org Tuition: $7,200-$23,100
Grades: Toddler (18 mo) - 9th grade • Enrollment: 240 Student/Faculty: Under 3 years, 6:1; 4 years and above, 12:1 Admission Requirement: Requirements vary per grade level but include meeting with the director of admission, completing an application, submitting teacher recommendation forms, and visiting a classroom. Tuition: $9,036-$17,448
High Point Christian Academy
Our Lady of Grace Catholic School
800 Phillips Avenue High Point, NC 27262 (336) 841-8702, www.hpcacougars.org
3310 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 282-7044, www.nobleknights.org
201 S. Chapman Street Greensboro, NC 27403 (336) 275-1522, www.olgsch.org
Focus: HPCA provides an academically rigorous environment rooted in a Biblical worldview. We are committed to Christ-centered, quality education and academic excellence in partnership with family and church within a loving, caring atmosphere. Grades: Preschool - 12th grade • Enrollment: 670 Student/Faculty: 16/1 Admission Requirement: Admissions is on a rolling basis; inquiries, tours and interviews are on-going. For specific requirements please visit hpcacougars.org. Tuition: $6,550-$9,650
Focus: A grades 2-12 independent school that specializes in empowering students with learning differences to pursue their highest potential within a comprehensive, supportive educational environment. Strong academics along with athletics, music, art, drama, and IDEApath are offered. Grades: 2 - 12 • Enrollment: 150 Student/Faculty: 8/1 Admission Requirement: Students need to have an average to above average IQ score and a diagnosis of ADHD and/or learning difference (we recognize CAPD) and a current psych-ed evaluation. Admission on a rolling basis. Tuition: $20,550 - $21,450
Focus: Catholic education with on-level and accelerated academics and character development. Inclusive Special Education programs for students with AU and LD diagnoses. Educating the whole child to serve and to lead with love, respect, dignity, and integrity. Visit www.olgsch.org for more information.
St. Pius X Catholic School
Grades: 3 years old - 8th grade • Enrollment: 245 • Student/Faculty: 12/1 Admission Requirement: Application form, school transcript, current preschool teacher assessment, immunization form and admissions screening test. Tuition: $3,653-$11,740 (see website for special programs)
2200 N. Elm Street Greensboro, NC 27408 (336) 273-9865, www.spxschool.com
The Piedmont School /John Yowell Academy
815 Old Mill Road High Point, NC 27265 (336) 883-0992, www.thepiedmontschool.com
Westchester Country Day School 2045 N. Old Greensboro Road High Point, NC 27265, (336) 869-2128, www.westchestercds.org
Focus: Catholic elementary school serving Pre-K through 8th grade, emphasizing Christian values and academic excellence in a nurturing environment. Grades: PK - 8th grade • Enrollment: 450 Student/Faculty: 15:1 Admission Requirement: K-8 applicants must participate in a standardized assessment conducted by ABC Educational Services, Inc. Please visit www.spxschool.com for more information or contact the admissions office at 336-273-9865 to schedule a campus tour. Tuition: $6,276 - $9,144
Focus: A wonderful K-12 independent school dedicated to providing an outstanding educational environment for students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics enhanced by music, art, drama, and athletics. Grades: K - 12th grade • Enrollment: 100 Student/Faculty: 6:1 word study, language arts, math. 12:1 all other subjects. Admission Requirement: Enrollment is on a rolling basis. Requirements include an average to above average IQ, and either an ADHD diagnosis or another diagnosed learning disorder. Tuition: K-2 $18,025 • 3-8 $19,136 • 9-12 $19,754.
Focus: Westchester Country Day is a college preparatory school teaching and guiding students in grades PK-12 to strive for excellence in moral and ethical conduct, academics, the arts, and athletics. Grades: PK - 12th grade • Enrollment: 426 Student/Faculty: 18:1 Admission Requirement: Admissions is on a rolling basis. Please visit www.westchestercds.org for more details or call the admissions office at (336) 822-4005 to schedule a tour. Tuition: $2,750 - $18,710
NC grants available.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
A L M A N A C
By Ash Alder
January is a masterpiece unfurling. In the garden, everything feels like a tiny miracle. Each ice crystal. Each smiling pansy. Each tender bud on the heirloom camellia. Notice how the curling bark of the river birch looks like downy feathers. Even the sunlight looks softer than you’ve ever seen it. Folk singer Cat Stevens made popular the Christian hymn that says as much: Morning has broken, like the first morning Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird Praise for the singing, praise for the morning Praise for them springing fresh from the world . . . In January, the sweetness of infinite possibility appears in many forms, and in every direction. You clean the birdbath, add fresh water, return to the kitchen for the whistling kettle. As your sachet of tea pirouettes in hot water, the aroma of citrus, clove and cinnamon permeates the air, and there is movement in the periphery. Flashes of red. Through the window, you watch a pair of cardinals splash round in the clean water, preening each feather — each tiny miracle. January is a threshold to wonders yet unknown. You enter bright-eyed, as if your very breath brings to life each miracle. As if you can taste the sweetness of the first morning with every cell.
The New Year, like an Infant Heir to the whole world, was waited for, with welcomes, presents, and rejoicings. — Charles Dickens, The Chimes
What’s a Twelfth Night Feast without the possibility of being crowned king or queen for the evening? In ancient Roman times, a single bean was baked into a fruit-laden pastry, the recipient of which appointed “Lord of Misrule” for the night. Also called “King of the Bean,” whoever received the loaded slice of cake was decked in full regalia. And don’t forget to celebrate the “Queen of the Pea.” Twelfth Night falls on January 5, Eve of Epiphany and the new moon, a good time to set intentions (and drink wassail). What magic are you calling in this new year? Crown yourself King or Queen for the night, fill your chalice, and dream bigger.
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Sweet Herbal Magic
While the soil is cool, plant spring bulbs and fruit trees, harvest edible weeds and winter greens, and when the work is done, create sacred space to enjoy this winter season . . . and tea. January is National Hot Tea Month. Loose leaf is best. Indulge. Add honey, lemon, spices, sticks of cinnamon. Cook with it. Chai and matcha shortbread cookies. Roasted oolong ice cream. Tea-smoked quail, turkey or duck. Detoxing? Dandelion root has long been used to help cleanse the liver and gallbladder. Sore throat? Try peppermint, echinacea, ginger root or slippery elm. And if you’re dreaming of summer: sweet rose.
Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. — Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Happy New Year
Although the ancient Roman farmers’ almanac dubs Juno the tutelary of the month, conventional wisdom claims that January is named for Janus, two-headed god of beginnings, endings, and everything in between: gates, transitions, passages, and doorways. Speaking of doors . . . Know how Denmark celebrates New Year’s Eve? Breaking dishes on the doorsteps of those nearest and dearest, a strange yet endearing way of expressing love and best wishes. The bigger the pile of shattered dishes you discover at your front door on January 1, the bigger the fortune you will receive in the coming year. You might try an alternate gesture of kindness here: a gift from the garden; a letter; sachets of spicy loose-leaf tea. OH January 2019
Open Mic 1/
January 1–February 3 WARHOL ZONE. See Andy Warhol: Prints, Photographs and Polaroids from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
January 1–February 17 AND NOW, BACK TO ME. As in, the Me Generation. The exhibition, 1960s: Survey of a Decade is still hanging around. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
January 4, 5, 10, 17 & 21 SWARM UP. What’s the buzz? Find out, by watching the Greensboro Swarm. Game times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL. 10 p.m. Pop-Up Dance Club, with DJ Jessica Mashburn, returning. Print Works Bistro, Proximity Hotel, 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-8200 or proximityhotel.com.
January 7 DRAFT-Y. 7 p.m. As in, an author’s first draft, the theme of Greensboro Bound’s curated open mic event.
Meet Mesha Maren 1/
Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 8 GRUB ’N’ GROOVE. 11:45 a.m. Or rather, Lunch and Jazz. Brown bag it to a streaming of Jazz from Lincoln Center, with a 15-minute intro from a Jazz Ambassador. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.
January 8 & 9
January 10 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Mesha Maren, author of Sugar Run. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 11 WELL-VERSED. 6 p.m. Hear budding poets at a Greensboro Day High School Poetry Reading. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
HEALTHY HELPINGS. 6 p.m. Which is not to say, oversized portions, but good-for-you dishes, such as fish en papillote, stir-fry and sautéed vegetables, the basis of “Easy Healthy Cooking for the New Year,” courtesy of Chef Reto. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.
YOUNG VOICES. 7:30 p.m. Listen to the sweet sounds of soprano Bonnie Blackwell, pianist Morgan Hunkele and mezzo-soprano Catherine Pate Young at Music for a Great Space’s Young Artist Concert, Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N.Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.
GREEN SCENE. 6 p.m. Meaning, The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans in the Jim Crow era, subject of a recent major motion picture and topic for discussion. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.
ALTERED STATE. 8 p.m. & 4 p.m. You are getting ve-e-e-ry sle-e-e-epy. Catch comedian/hypnotist Richard Barker. Odeon Theatre, Greensboro Coliseum Complex. 1921 W. Gate City Blvd. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. BOOK TALK. 2 p.m. Join WFDD Book Club’s The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Beach Music 1/
discussion of Cloud Diary, by its author and Scuppernong co-owner Steve Mitchell. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com. MILLER TIME. 7 p.m. As in the Glen Miller orchestra, which will serenade audiences with “Moonlight Serenade,” among other Big Band–era classics. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
January 12 & 26 IRONCLAD. 10 a.m. Move over, Thor. You ain’t got nuthin’ on . . . The Blacksmith. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: (336) 8851859 or highpointmusuem.org.
January 14 CLEAN EATING. Noon. Keep those New Year’s resolutions with a healthy diet, the focus of lunch-and-learn for adults, “Think, Eat Grow,” led by Terri Maultsby. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com.
January 15 EDGY. 5:30 p.m. Sharpen your knife skills at an adult cooking class, in which you’ll slice, dice and julienne vegetables for a hearty soup. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Videri Vittels 1/
AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. N.C. literary light Hal Crowther (Freedom Fighters & Hell Raisers) chats with UNCG M.F.A. author Michael Parker (Everything, Then and Since). Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 16 POT LUCK. 6 p.m. Instant Pot, that is. Learn the basics of this technique by making hummus, beans and risotto at an adult cooking class. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: ticketmetriad.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Tommy Tomlinson, author of The Elephant in the Room. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 17 BOOK TALK. 7 p.m. Join the Bryan Series Book Club for a discussion of Mountains Beyond Mountains. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 17–20 RISING STAR. New Play Project winner Sean David Robinson mixes grief and astronomy in his drama Starbright, which kicks off the Greensboro
Fringe Festival. Performance times vary. Caldcleugh Multicultural Center, 1700 Orchard St., Greensboro. Info: greensboro-nc.gov.
January 18 THE BREAKFAST CLUB. 5 p.m. Pancakes and eggs for dinner? Why not? Kids ages 11–14 can learn how to rustle ’em up at a tween cooking class. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com. AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet Siobhan Murray and Amy Parkes, UNCG students who will read from their M.F.A. theses. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 18–19 DRIVEN. 7 p.m. Big wheels keep on turnin’ at Monster Jam. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
January 19 WAR AND PEACE. 2 p.m. Learn about the hopes and expectations following a global conflict at the discussion, “The Great Peace After the Great War.” Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org. January 2019
Arts Calendar AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Ailey O’Toole, author of Grief and What Comes After. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com. STRING FLING. 7 p.m. Get more twang for your pluck with bluegrass powerhouses NuBlu and Sideline. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
January 20 SCRIBES’ SUPPORT. 2 p.m. Need a little encouragement for that tome you’re writing? The Triad Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Murder We Write, can help. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: murderwewrite.org. BEACHED. 4:30 p.m. & 7 p.m. Channel the sounds of summertime with some beach music by the The Drifters, The Platters and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
learn how to make that campfire favorite, s’mores. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com.
teen cooking class on cooking with rainbow pasta. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Michael Roberto, author of The Coming of the American Behemoth. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet UNCG M.F.A. students Jabar Boykin, Rose Himber Howse and Emily Morris, who will read from their theses. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
BLAST FROM THE PAST. 8 p.m. Mix vintage musical hits with storytelling and you’ve got Postmodern Jukebox. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
January 23 YUMMUS. 6 p.m. Rhymes with “hummus.” Learn how to make it, chicken kababs, Fattoush salad and more at “Y’alla! Middle East Eating 101.” Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.
January 24 & 26
BE WELL. 9 a.m. Kids age 8–11 can learn the finer points of wellness at an all-day retreat, featuring crafts, food, including recipes from the Edible School yard and much more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com.
TWOSOMES. 8 p.m. Couple up with “Favorite Love Stories,” Greensboro Symphony’s program of musical duets, including Prokoviev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, performed by husband-and-wife musicians, Jaime Laredo (violin) and Sharon Robinson (cello). Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456 or greensborosymphony.org.
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January 26 OINK! OINK! 1 p.m. Ring in the Year of the Pig a little early at a family-friendly celebration. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org. NOT-SO-SKINNY DIP. 11 a.m. The whole family can learn how to make dips and snacks for game day. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.com. VIDERI VITTELS. 8 p.m. Chef Leigh Hesling pairs handpicked Videri chocolates with a to-die-for meal and choice wines. Proximity Hotel, 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Tickets: 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-8200 or proximityhotel.com.
January 27 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Frank Harmon, author of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
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Arts Calendar CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
January 27–February 17 ROAD SHOW. Fast cars and moonshine . . . now that’s the stuff of theater. See for yourself at White Lightning. Performance times vary. Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.
January 29 & 30 MANGIA! 6 p.m. Learn how to make risotto at “Let’s Go to Northern Italy,” with Chef Reto as your guide. Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.
January 31 BONE UP. 6:30 p.m. On the basics of bone broth, the subject of an adult cooking class. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To reserve: gcmuseum.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. Preregistration: (336) 5742898 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. ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, 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. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm. CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 greenhillnc.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 TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio. 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. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.
Friday 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.
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JANUARY 1/8 Easy, Healthy Cooking for the New Year
1/16 Soter Vineyards Wine Dinner Wine Dinner
1618 Seafood Grille 6:30 pm
1/23 Y’alla! Middle East Eating 101
Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm
1/9 Easy, Healthy Cooking for the New Year
Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm
1/29 Northern Italy
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1/11 Music for a Great Space presents the Young Artist Concert Concert
Christ United Methodist Church 7:30 pm
1/26 17th Annual Griffin Cup Championship Grandover Resort 10:00 am
1/30 Northern Italy
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Arts Calendar Fridays & Saturdays NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.
Saturdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. 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. GENIUS AND JAVA. 11:15 a.m. With a cup of Joe as inspiration, create that masterpiece at Coffee and Canvas, which pairs painting and sipping. Cost is $5 and includes art supplies and bean. Griffin Recreation Center, 5301 Hilltop Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732928 or email Latrisha.Carmon@greensboro-nc.gov. 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. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz
cats, 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-ofa-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, 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 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: email@example.com.
442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 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 Chef Felicia’s 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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Sundays FOOD OF LOVE. 11 a.m. Chow down on mouthwatering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams, while students from the Miles David Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House,
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Phone: 336.285.9107 Fax: 336.285.9109
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Everyday is a beautiful day at Dirty Dogs!
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on your 1st 60 or 90 Minute Custom Massage w/any therapist New Clients only. Not valid with any other specials or discounts
Welcome Caitlyn Overby, LMBT & Rebecca Benson, LMBT to A to Zen
523 State St, Greensboro, NC
www.AtoZenMassage.com Massage services provided by NC Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists.
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
JAN. 27 - FEB. 17 Race down red dirt roads through an Alabama night of fast cars and moonshine. A young veteran with a checkered past and ’39 Ford makes a name for himself outrunning the law. But love and NASCAR show him another road. Strap in, put the pedal to the metal and head straight into adventure and romance.
BUY TICKETS TODAY! 232 SOUTH ELM STREET | GREENSBORO | 336.272.0160 | TRIADSTAGE.ORG
state of the ART • north carolina
Dead and Gone • Original Artwork Oil on Linen Canvas • 36” x 48” • $3,500
f MeridithMartens.Artist • 910.692.9448
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
C.P. LOGAN “COLORADO RED” • 42”X54” • ORIGINAL OIL CONNIE P. LOGAN - ARTIST/TEACHER
www. CPLogan.com January 2019
tickets | ucls.uncg.edu
Arts & Culture
CARRIE MAE WEEMS 02.07.19
HERBIE HANCOCK 02.12.19
Photo credit: Douglas Kirkland
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP 02.27.19
AUDRA MCDONALD 03.09.19
Photo credit: Allison Michael Orenstein
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
THE COMMUNITY THEATRE OF GREENSBORO, THE O.HENRY HOTEL & 88.5 WFDD PRESENT
Service to Die For A WHODUNIT EVENT AT THE O.HENRY HOTEL
proceeds as a benefit the Shepherd’s Center of Greensboro
TRIO VALTORNA CONCERT
YOUNG ARTIST CONCERT
Christ United Methodist Church
Christ United Methodist Church
FEBRUARY 1, 7:30PM
JANUARY 11 7:30PM
For tickets or call 336-638-7624 or visit ticketmetriad.com
Your wish is my Brush’s Command
GUNTER HAUS Art Studio (336) 350 - 3741 Angie Gunter G336.350.3741 UNTERHAUS.COM
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
JANUARY 25, 2019 @ 7 PM COCKTAILS, DINNER & SLEUTHING $125 PER PERSON
Arts & Culture
Enjoy drinks and culinary delights as you explore all areas of the O.Henry Hotel to determine exactly
Tickets available online at www.eventbrite.com (search “Service to Die For”) or call 336-333-7469. Service to Die For is a Fundraiser benefiting the Community Theatre of Greensboro
GreenScene Celebrating Greensboro Beautifulâ€™s 50th Anniversary Original Art Show by William Mangum
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
Debbie Smith, Molly Ann Wymer, Angela McAfee, Karen & Mike Stipinov, Denise & Ted Berger
Bill Mangum, Gabriella Trevino, Cynthia Mangum Vanessa & Roy Carroll, Nancy Vaughan Nancy Seay, Kathy Cates, Randal & Kimberly Romie
Jason, Susan, Beatrice & Faith Sweeney Phil Anderson, Donna & Jeff Thiel
Beverly Cooper, Kitty Heath, Lorraine Neill, Linda Taft Laurie Tesh, Cynthia Mangum, Billy Tesh
Sally, Sarah & Mark Schott Liza & Steve Joyce
Arlene Dolin, Troy Singley
Troy Singley, Beverly Gass, Anthony Barthalomew Bob Plummer, Jim Corkhill
Carina Cole, Preston Mangum
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
THE NEW YEAR STANDS BEFORE US, LIKE A CHAPTER IN A BOOK, WAITING TO BE WRITTEN. WE CAN HELP WRITE THAT STORY BY SETTING GOALS AND OPENING DOORS. STUNNING new home nestled on a cul-de-sac in Irving Park convenient to the Greensboro Country Club! Perfect for the families that love entertaining and fine living. Relax at home in upscale casual surroundings. Main level master, gourmet kitchen and eat in kitchen opens to alfresco dining. Generous living spaces in this 6 bedroom en suite house. This home gives you more than you ever knew you wanted.
Chesnutt - Tisdale Team Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337
Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687
Xan.Tisdale@bhhsyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@bhhsyostandlittle.com Lea.Beuchler@bhhsyostandlittle.com
Lea Beuchler 336-207-4859
©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.
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or email firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 58 • Southern Pines, NC 28388
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Bill & Jackie Brennan, Donna & Keith Carroll
Mark & Beth Skains
Cone Health Heart & Vascular Fund Caring for the Hearts of Our Community
Friday, November 9, 2018
Photographs by Lynn Donovan Rhonda & Xavier Barrett, Brittany & Joseph Strader, Jay & Suja Ganji
Ray & Monette Mabolo, Philip Craft
Linda Gifford, Larry Jerome
Karen & Craig Bartles, Mark & Mary Godley
Steve Arrington, Evelyn & David Hobbs, Jennifer Knapp Beth & Dalto McLean, J.J. Thompson
Megan & Cory Bradley
Traci & Rich Lundy
Kimberly Perkins, Jennifer Markle
Andy & Elizabeth Tillery
Andy & Maggie Chrismon
Jessica & Ryan Carney
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Kevin & Phyllis Carter
Saturday Stroll on State Street Triad Local First â€” Buy Local
Saturday, November 17, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
Michael, Caleb, Isaac, Cora (in carrier) & Amanda Wilson
Adam Alzahrrain, Alison Welch John David, Claire Denson Kate, Parker, Emma & Chris Hays
Luis Bastidas, Luck Davidson
Courtenay Fields, Mary Lou Williams
Liam Brown, Page Scott
Lizzie Schwarz, Madge Megliola, Roberta Gottlieb
Deanna Watson, Randy Barnes, Jasmine Comer Ryan Forrest, Kelly Adams
Yosuke & Kathie Yamamori
Tom Browde, Linda Latham
Natalie, Harrison & Laura Lovelady
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Shelley, Bill, Andrew & Emily Norman
Leatrice & Jason Caldwell
Greensboro Downtown Parks
Sunday, November 11, 2018 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
Teri Maultsby, Justin Outling Laurie Cole, Ashley Wigglesworth, Stacy & Bobby Calfo, Liz Rights, Emily Hinton Rosemary Kenerly, Alexa Aycock, Stacy Calfo, Terri Maultsby
Chris Wilson, Cecelia Thompson Tim & Dawn Weatherspoon, Mary Swantek
Emily & Andrew Norman
Bob Knox, Byron Loflin, Rob Overman Scott Fleming, Linh Calhoun, Lisa Conklin
Vanessa & Josh McCutchen
Rosemary & Jay Kenerly
Jenna Lacey, Amanda Loflin
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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support locally owned businesses
when you own your own business, it’s lonely at the top. Join triad local first and connect with your community. visit www.triadlocalfirst.com to become a member
“I couldn’t be happier with my renters, or my rental income” Brantley White
Burkely Rental Homes client
There are times when it’s smarter to lease than to sell your home. Call me when you think you’re there! I’ll be pleased to discuss how Burkely Rental Homes can help you.
PLEASE ADOPT • Check your car before starting. Cats often seek warmth under the hood. Tap your hood or honk your horn to make sure your car is clear. • Consider using booties to protect your dog’s paws and a sweater to stay warm. • Use a non-toxic, animal friendly de-iceing solution.
We hope you and your pets stay warm and safe this winter
1052 GRECADE ST. | GREENSBORO, NC 27408 Conveniently located in Midtown
336.897.1505 | www.BAHpetcare.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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shops • service • food • farms
r a e ru y
e h t e v o ab
support locally owned businesses
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Wüsthof Classic Ikon (Not pictured) 6”Cook’s Knife MSRP: $187.00 Our Price: $89.99
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Triad Local Think Local • Buy Local • Be Local
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The Accidental Astrologer
The Happiness Project
With a little effort, the world’s a better place in 2019 By Astrid Stellanova
Buh-bye, 2018! It’s all in the rearview mirror now, right? Not quite, Star
Children. We tripped right on out of trippy December, barreling straight for the yellow brick road of the New Year, but first a check-in question for the New Age: Were you really good for goodness sake or was it to look good in your selfies? Think about it. In the cosmic sense, all those clicks, likes and dislikes, will be relegated to the basement of history faster than a smiley face. No matter, there are 365 days to get things right or just a little righter. Aim to do something to make this ole world twirl with happiness. — Ad Astra, Astrid Capricorn (December 22– January 19) It may have burned your biscuits that you didn’t get something promised to you, and you can blame it on that ole buzzkill buzzard Saturn, who’s been making you toe the line since last year. But take heart, little Goat, because the stars sure do point to a better twist in the tale. Hang onto your shorts, Love Bug. Things are resolving faster than you can say stink on a stick. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) New year, new you — which is saying something for Aquarians. You have a new sense of resolve, and Birthday Guys and Gals, I’m picking up what you’re laying down. Don’t let anybody trap you in just old ways of thinking or acting. You know what you want, you have resolved to pursue change, and don’t let your critics get in your head and change your mind. If there’s a bigger birthday wish you’re dreaming of than that one, just pucker up and blow! Pisces (February 19–March 20) Well, Honey Bun, you’ve been up since the crack of noon saying you have a whole new brand to build. Who are you kidding? You are not a Kardashian. Honey, you are you — the you that everybody knows and loves doesn’t have to follow trends or trolls to roll with fabulousness. Aries (March 21–April 19) Oh, yeah. You want everybody but you to tend to their own knitting, but just look at what a tangled-up skein of yarn you have made. Now get it straightened out and don’t Tom Sawyer one of your many friends into fixing your mess. Word is you have a nice surprise soon after if you take care of business. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Stranger danger, Sugar, but only from burnout. It’s too people-y out there to venture forth. Stay in a little more, read a book, snuggle on the sofa and keep your own counsel. You have been struttin’ your stuff day and night; it wouldn’t hurt one iota to spend a night or two being a couch potato with a bag of Cheetos. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Make sure your brain is as sharp as your tongue this month, when you get to feeling a little challenged by those near and dear. It is possible you are over-reacting, Honey, or just plain acting for the love of drama. It is a good month for holding back a tee-ninesy bit. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Cancer (June 21– July 22) You had a hissy fit with a tail on it, and what did it get you? You got to eat a slice of hypocrite pie, because the very thing you got so riled up about is something you have done to yourself. While all this played out, you didn’t notice something worth noting. Open your eyeballs. Leo (July 23–August 22) You know horse hockey when you step in it. And you stepped in it. But here we are with a new year, new view and an open path around all the traps you fell into last year. Step high, keep your eyes wide open and watch the horizon. Tall, dark and handsome (or be-yoo-tiful) is heading your way. Virgo (August 23–September 22) You felt out of whack. You were stressed. And it was a lot of piddlin’ things keeping you off your game. The things that kept you upside down were not of your own making. Clouds are clearing. Pretend you are already feeling better, Sweet Thing. Libra (September 23– October 22) Skedaddle and make sure you leave before you get invited out the door. You were innocent but ignored the signs that a sometimes friend wasn’t so friendly. They take some warming up to, and the heater went cold, so find new friends and move along as if it never even happened. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) You have big plans but your own stomping grounds aren’t so bad. Dollywood is fun, but right under your nose there are all kinds of possibilities, Sugar Foot. Many are fond of your wit and wisdom. Don’t let the familiar turn you away or off. Sagittarius (November 22– December 21) This year could be a wing dinger, Sugar. It happens to be one of your better ones. You’ve been busy taking up with all kinds of unusual occupations and friends, and that is a good thing. You will broaden your view, and have a whatchamadoodle of a time doing it. OH
For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. January 2019
Mama Patty’s Scar By Cynthia Adams
Right where Mama Patty’s soft pink nightgown flares slightly open at the armhole. I stare furtively at the depression, the angry network of scars, as she reads, cat-eye reading glasses in place, blue-black curls propped against a lace-edged pillow. She’s gripped by one of her Zane Grey novels.
Beneath the gown she wears a white cotton bra. A form pinned into the left empty cup is held by two gold safety pins. At age 6, I am dying to ask her about this, but something stops me. She says I ask too many questions, which vexes her. Questions about my grandfather, Lewis Clive Tucker, and their baby Roy vex her, too. Both dead. My friend Tony died when he ran in front of an Oldsmobile. Baby Roy died, too, writhing on the kitchen table. Spinal meningitis, misdiagnosed. Mama Patty walked outside, frantic for the doctor’s arrival, and had a vision of a small white coffin. Little Roy was buried in such a coffin, the color of pearls. Yet she lies beside me, reading her western like nothing in the world is wrong apart from the worry that I might interrupt with another question. Until she reaches up and turns the knob on the bed light, I watch that
angry pink place on her left side until it becomes my scar, too. The sheets smell of the sun. The Martha Washington bedspread is carefully folded. The mourning dove sings its mournful song. This all fills my head, imprinting something in me in the darkest of darkness. Mama Patty breathes deeply. I try to sleep, thinking of the morning to come, dreading that she may want to fish. Snapping turtles and water moccasins sometimes appear at the wild old pond. The fish, once hooked, wrenches and arcs until it is placed, flapping, into the tin bucket. When she cuts off its head and strips out its guts, the gore splashes onto her apron. The next day, although I do not know this as I drift to sleep, she will fill a large washtub and let me splash to my heart’s content. Mama Patty will give me a baloney-and-mustard sandwich to eat, and take me to check the rabbit boxes. We will walk to the mailbox, wearing red flip-flops and sucking the juice from a honeysuckle. The questions that come in daylight are easier than questions that come in darkness. I do not think of the scar all day, forgetting completely that a part of her has already been cut away. Her beloved Pearl Grey Zane (Pearl was his first name) was a sensation in his time. He was untamed. He feared man would destroy all that was untamed in the natural world. I need this wild life, this freedom, he wrote. The next night, as Mama Patty turns a page and the gown gapes again, it is impossible to look away from the depression where a breast should be. I do not want them to cut one more thing away. Mama Patty is just right as she is. Perhaps perfect. OH Cindy Adams is a contributing editor of O.Henry. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
ILLUSTRATION BY HARRY BLAIR
And the perfection of a soul
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