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July 2015 Features 51 Leashed
Poetry by Michael Gaspeny
52 The Smelliest Farm Around At Cornerstone Garlic Farm, that’s the sweet smell of success By Maria Johnson
56 Berry Berry Good
Mary James Lawrence says it’s strawberry time again By David Claude Bailey
58 The Perfect Summer Sandwich (and eleven more you’ve just got to try) By David Claude Bailey
62 How the Good Doctor Bought the Farm A 19th Century Inn welcomes another generation of family, friends, and wayfaring travellers By Cynthia Adams
Departments 9 12 15 17 19
Simple Life By Jim Dodson Short Stories Doodad O.Harry By Harry Blair Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson
21 Omnivorous Reader By Brian Lampkin 25 Scuppernong Bookshelf 29 Scene and Heard By Grant Britt 35 Lunch with a Friend By Kyra Gemberling
By Susan Campbell
Life of Jane
Arts & Entertainment July Calendar Worth the Drive to High Point
By Jane Borden
By Nancy Oakley
88 GreenScene 95 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova
96 O.Henry Ending By Cynthia Adams
41 Pappadaddy’s Mindfield By Clyde Edgerton
43 A Novel Year By Wiley Cash
71 July Almanac
Peppers, hummingbird and the perfect summer cooler By Rosetta Fawley
Cover Art by Jan Leitschuh Photograph this page by Amy Freeman
44 O.Henry O.Henry
July June2015 2015
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M A G A Z I N E Volume 5, No. 7 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor email@example.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org David Claude Bailey, Senior Editor email@example.com Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, Harry Blair, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Lynn Donovan, Amy Freeman, Sam Froelich Contributors Jane Borden, Grant Britt, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Clyde Edgerton, Rosetta Fawley, Pat Fitzgerald, Michael Gaspeny, Kyra Gemberling, Sara King, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, Nancy Oakley, Ogi Overman, Astrid Stellanova
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By Jim Dodson
These midsummer mornings
are the ones I like best, the last cool, wet mornings in my garden before dawn, when plants are at their peak and months of toil pay off with blooms and foliage that will surrender soon enough to the heat and drought of August.
Even if I didn’t rise unnaturally early by most of the world’s clock, I would be out poking and spading, weeding and watering plants before anyone groggily rises — all under the steady gaze of the garden’s most vigilant creature. No one knows exactly how old Old Rufus really is. Or even where he came from. He showed up one day many years ago at the college where my wife works, politely cadging food off the staff. “He was well-fed and very friendly, clearly belonged somewhere and to someone,” Wendy explained after finding no takers over the course of a week and finally hauling him home. “I think someone must have dumped him.” None of our three dogs was initially impressed. Come to think of it, neither was I. The first time I tried to give the newcomer a friendly scratch on his rump, he spat at me and nearly took off my hand. I suggested we dump him at the college. “Funny who he looks like,” my wife added with a wry smile. The resemblance to a mellow old barn cat we had in Maine named Rufus was uncanny. He was a fluffy orange tabby with a pinch of Maine coon cat in him, a gentle disposition and face like a miniature lion, born in the rafters of a 200-year-old barn with a rambunctious twin we named Wexel. Both cats lived with us — or the other way around — for two decades becoming my constant companions whenever I cut grass or worked in the flowerbeds. Rufus was particularly loyal in the garden. His favorite places to snooze on a summer day were either my prized Italian coneflowers which came indirectly from Katharine White’s Blue Hill garden or a patch of wild ferns by the edge of the woods. I nicknamed Rufus the Guardian of the Garden, even if he was no good at catching slugs and slept on the job much of the time. Others eventually called him the miracle cat. One day Rufus the First disappeared and didn’t return for almost a week. I found him lying beneath a hydrangea bush by the side porch steps filthy and panting, barely alive. He’d been split open from throat to gut by some critter of the north woods, probably a coyote he mistook for a friendly dog. You could actually see his heart beating beneath his exposed ribs. Our vet gasped when she saw him, pointing out it would be a miracle if Rufus lasted the night. “But The Art & Soul of Greensboro
we can clean and sew him up and see what happens.” Two days later, Sue phoned with an update. “You won’t believe it but I think he’s going to pull through. Cats will always surprise you.” Ten days later, Rufus came home again, happy as ever, stitched up like a second-hand football — and lived another five years happily following me about the yard and garden before I simply found him on another late summer afternoon stretched out peacefully beneath the same hydrangea bush, having serenely departed on his own gentle terms. I buried him in the wild ferns where he loved to nap, marked by a simple granite stone. We decided to name the newcomer Rufus the Second. He gradually warmed up to me, though anytime I touched his back he turned into Psycho Cat. We decided someone must have abused him, perhaps explaining why he turned up as a refugee at the college. Within days of his arrival, though, he was following me around the house and soon outside where I was restoring a neglected terrace garden. One evening as I was transplanting hostas I saw him hop the fence and disappear into our neighbor’s vast overgrown yard. Rufus the Second was obviously a born traveler, perhaps happy to have a meal and keep moving. But the next morning he was back, calmly waiting outside the terrace doors for his breakfast. I fed him outside and went to water my new rose plantings. Rufus Two followed and began licking the hose water off the leaves of the freshly watered plants. This quickly became our morning and evening routines. By the light of dawn or dusk, I would spade and mulch and water; Rufus would follow closely behind, drinking from the leaves, monitoring my progress. Like his remarkable namesake, he clearly preferred to eat and sleep outdoors, coming inside only on the coldest nights or anytime there were houseguests or a dinner party going on, saving his rock star charm for strangers. Many mornings he even left a token from his nighttime travels, a small mouse or mole at the back door. Unlike his gentle namesake, this Rufus was a killer, a true guardian of the grounds. “Earning his keep,” suggested my wife, his savior. People who like cats tend to love cats. Generally speaking, I’m not one of them, decidedly a dog-loving human, though beginning with our barn cat brothers in Maine I’ve developed a grudging affection for a handful of cats. A spiritual writer I admire insists that every philosopher needs a cat, a non-judging set of eyes to monitor your progress through this beautiful but challenging world. July 2015
Simple Life For what it’s worth, I’ve learned — decided — every gardener could use a cat in the garden, too — a living companion who observes what you do without particular judgment and the calm detachment of a Buddhist elder. A couple years after Rufus the Second arrived on the scene, we downsized to an arboreal cottage that felt like the first true home we’d had since leaving Maine. I wasn’t entirely sure if Rufus the Second would — or could — translate. The new place was truly an overgrown arboretum of ancient pond pines and gorgeous mature gardenias and camellias, dogwoods and Japanese maples and wisteria vines run amok, a garden that had been allowed to grow on its own for almost a decade. More than anything else, it needed love and the attention of a full-time gardener, a task that gave me incalculable pleasure. The new property was also home to a spectacular variety of birds, not exactly the place you want to introduce a known killer like Rufus the Second. To be on the safe side, we put a bell on him, which he promptly ditched somewhere and — a day or so later — vanished. He was gone for several days, prompting me to think maybe his wandering blood had just kicked in again. By then I was busy constructing gates and fences and starting a new stone walkway framed by Russian sage, hydrangeas and Italian coneflowers, quietly hoping the guardian of the garden might eventually return. I discovered he was spending time with the nice widow lady next door and charming an elderly couple who lived through the trees behind our saltwater swimming pool, perhaps auditioning for potential new owners. “What a wonderful cat, so beautiful and friendly,” cooed my neighbor, the widow lady. “I call him Simba because he looks like a little lion.” The next morning Rufus was back, reporting for duty in the garden. With the help of a talented gardener named José, we dug out ancient dying
shrubs and created new perennial beds and recovered a beautiful serpentine brick wall which I spent much of the late winter and early spring re-planting. As José went after banks of azaleas and camellias-gone-wild, I landscaped the pool area and hacked away at the murderous wisteria vines that make parts of the property still resemble Jurassic Park. Throughout this ambitious process of restoration, the new Old Rufus settled into his familiar routine, never venturing farther than the pool (when people are in it) or the nice widow lady next door (when he needs a second meal), presumably having decided to call my garden his permanent home. Better yet, he’s grown too old to chase the birds — seems content to simply lie and merely watch them at the feeder. There he presides to this day, faithfully waiting at the back door in the cool dawns of our second summer for his breakfast, or curled up in the heat of the summer afternoons in the cool thick tufts of liriope muscari near a stone Buddha head beneath the young Japanese maple, waiting for me to begin my evening weeding and watering. Before we start work, I always give him a nice scratch — on the head, mind you — to thank him for his faithful companionship. He’s grown visibly thinner. Someday, I’m guessing, I’ll find him stretched out peacefully beneath a handsome garden plant, having finished his work and set off on a different kind of journey. I plan to put him someplace nice in the garden — hoping someone will someday do the same thing for me — not discounting the possibility that all living things, including gardens and their guardians, have a lovely way of always returning. OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at email@example.com.
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6/1/15 5:56 PM The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Our picks for what’s happening in Greensboro this month
Hungry for plump, sweet tomatoes? Zucchini squash? Lush blackberries? Then click on N.C.’s Ag’s farmers’ market finder (www.ncfarmfresh.com/ farmmarkets.asp) and zero in on the four markets in Alamance County, three in Rockingham, and eight in Guilford County, including the new ones on Gibsonville’s Green between Burke and East Main Street and another in Jamestown’s Little Blue House. Closer to home, get your thrill at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market’s blueberry hill on Saturday, July 18 with blueberry pancakes flipped by Alex Amoroso, as in Cheesecakes by Alex. On July 10, prepare yourself for another Blueberry extravaganza at the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market in Colfax beginning at 11 a.m. A peach recipe contest comes on Friday, July 17, followed by a Watermelon Day on Friday, July 31. (www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/triad/). Then there’s Greensboro’s smallest and most intimate farmers’ market, The Corner Market, in the parking lot of Stix and Stone at Walker and Elam.
What I’m Drinking
Ever wondered why July isn’t N.C. beer month? Because it doesn’t need to be with Fun Fourth festivities, Grasshopper games and five hometown breweries pumping out suds. Count ’em: Red Oak, Natty Greene, Gibb’s Hundred, Pig Pounder and newcomer Preyer Brewing. Fun will flow at 7 p.m. on July 3 at downtown’s Fun Fourth Festival’s Kickoff Block Party (funfourthfestival.org), where good old Budweiser, Natty Greene and Gibb’s will be on tap. Later in the month — celebrating how outdoor activities and beer are made for each other — Great Outdoor Provision Co. will show up at Natty Greene’s Bunker tasting room after 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10, to show off the latest and greatest stand-up paddle boards. Note that this activity does require standing up. On Saturday, July 18, sample (up to) 400-plus lagers, ales, IPAs, stouts, bitters, tripels, sours and ciders at the Summertime Brews Festival — VIP’s at 2:30 and the rest of us great unwashed at 4 p.m. (www.summertimebrews.com). And during July, the hometown Hoppers have fifteen games in Greensboro. What you may not know is that you can buy a beer for a buck at NewBridge Bank Park not just on Thirsty Thursdays, but also on Malted Mondays. Are you sure the Hoppers weren’t named after hops?
“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy,” sings Clara in Porgy and Bess. And when you live in Greensboro during the Eastern Music Festival, some of the best music in town is free — and oh-so easy. If you like your tunes light and bright, try the Music for Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series on Guilford College’s Founders Lawn on Sunday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m., featuring young EMF artists playing Pop faves, from Aaron Copland to Charles Ives, from Phantom of the Opera to Sempre Fidelis. And some stuff for the kids too! For more serious fare click on easternmusicfestival.org/festival/special for a complete schedule of free — or nearly free — events: open rehearsals, for instance, or piano and chamber recitals, or String Scholar quartet sessions at eight different libraries, each designed to get students excited about music. But the festival’s grandest gift to Greensboro begins at noon on Sunday, July 26, an Open House that features an entire afternoon of music at Guilford College. At noon, the conducting fellows get things going with a series of old chestnuts including Beethoven’s rousing Egmont, Berlioz’s lyrical Roman Carnival and Brahms’ classic Academic Festival overture. The evening will close with Dr. Drave and the Meldavian’s alien invasion (see Page 29) in another MUSEP lawn concert beginning at 6 p.m. at the corner of Friendly Avenue and Easy Street.
Flicks Us R
In Greensboro, summer is all about moviegoers — and moviemakers. Beginning Monday, July 6, Carolina Theatre’s annual Summer Film Festival (www.carolinatheatre.com) kicks off with Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. After that, King Kong is coming to town, followed by Superman, Pretty Woman and The Planet of the Apes. The cast of classics will be interrupted July 15 and 16 by Greensboro’s 48-Hour Film Project. That’s when the city’s emerging filmmakers will premier the movies that they just made within a forty-eight-hour period three days earlier. Winning entries, which will go on to compete with other 48-Hour flicks from around the world, will be screened at the Carolina on Friday, August 7. Meanwhile, bring lawn chairs and blankets to the Great Lawn at Center City Park, where the stars will be both overhead —and on the screen — during an ongoing summer series of PG-13 free movies, with Empire Records at dark (around 8:30 p.m.) on Friday, July 10 and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island on Friday, July 24 (www.centercitypark.org/events/index.php). The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Photographs Courtesy of Rock 92
Free and Easy
“My mind immediately began somersaulting,” wrote Raleigh artist Jonathan Brilliant after he heard his exhibition at Greenhill — made using 300,000-500,000 coffee stirrers — would be named Jonathan Brilliant: On-Site. “To Sight. To Site. To Cite,” Brilliant homophoned. “I realized these three words are the three main things I try to do with my current work.” He explains that while “flying by sight,” he “sites his work” in the gallery, “front loading my work with ‘citations’ of other’s works.” The result is a sight to see — a laborious, painstaking and monumental sculpture made from a flurry of repurposed, coffee-shop products — stirrers, lids, cups, sleeves —fashioned into a nest-like structure that snakes throughout the gallery. But Greenhill wants to make sure that museumgoers do a lot more than just look. For instance, there’s a separate visitor-experimentation activity station in a corner of the gallery where Brilliant invites viewers to help him assemble a smaller version of his sculpture. Then each week, Greenhill will host a family-oriented ArtQuest Hands-on Studio Exploration that allows parents and children to co-create art from the same sort of coffee shop products as in the exhibit. For details, see www. greenhillnc.org. And looking toward August, what could be more participatory than the closing party on Wednesday, August 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m? That’s when partiers will pitch in to disassemble what Brilliant so carefully created. As any museum curator knows, what goes up, must come down.
If You Love Decapods . . .
The state’s most delicious ten-legged creatures — shrimp — will be most abundant in July and August. That, according to N.C. Catch, a nonprofit eat-local-seafood advocate. Jay Pierce, the former Lucky 32 chef who’s moved on to Rocksalt in Charlotte, says “when eaten with bare hands in sun-drenched locales, shrimp may very well be the perfect food.” But that doesn’t keep him from telling you how to wrap them in bacon, pickle them, fry them with a coconut crust or incorporate them into gumbo, jambalaya and étouffée. All that in his contribution to the Savor the South cookbook series, Shrimp (uncpress.unc.edu, $18). However, there’s one thing Pierce says he wants to emphasize more than anything else in the book: “Consumers should demand to know more about the provenance of their food and, especially their seafood.” With such a rich supply of fish and shellfish up and down the United States East Coast — and so many jobs depending on them — ask where your shrimp were caught, Pierce says. “That was a cornerstone of my time at Lucky 32 and it continues to this day under chef Felicia McMillan’s very capable guidance.”
The Bee’s Knees
They may look like archivists, historians and pointy-headed intellectuals, but staff members at the Greensboro Historical Museum are actually party animals of the first order, always eager for a celebration. “While the Historical Museum was founded in November 1924,” says the museum’s community historian Linda Evans, “it opened as a museum for the first time on November 11, 1925, so we’re still happily celebrating our founding decade.” July’s party begins on Saturday the 11th beginning at 11 a.m. with a Roaring 20s Flashback celebration. The razzle-dazzle will feature storytelling, 1920s era cars from the Piedmont Car Club, Wally West and the Gate City Hot 5 Jazz Band, plus free Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Mack Sennett silent films and a make-up station so you can get your pencil-thin mustache or flapper headband on. Have a ducky day. And no lollygagging. Maybe you’ll find your inner flapper Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Ogi Sez Ogi Overman Yes, the Fourth of July brings fireworks, but that is hardly the only day of the month to celebrate. From Fun Fourth to the sizzling 31st, the music scene is absolutely pyrotechnic. So let’s light the fuse. • July 12, Carolina Theatre: Don’t sit around helplessly hoping. Head downtown to the Carolina Theatre to see the legendary Stephen Stills, and let your freak flag fly. • July 12, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park: Arguably the best pairing of the Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series, pack a picnic and a blanket and catch two of our favorite country-pop-Americana acts. Lisa Dames and the Radials get the afternoon started, followed by Carolina Coalmine. Both bring it. • July 17, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: If you’re not familiar with the term “sacred steel,” you seriously need to find out from its most revered practitioner, Robert Randolph. He and his Family Band will have you shouting “hallelujah” before the night’s over. • July 22, Blind Tiger: This is about as big an act as the ever-popular B.T. can handle. Tonic’s creds include Platinum sales and Grammy nominations. They’ll cure what ails you. • July 31, Greensboro Coliseum: Saving the best for last, James Taylor, aka Sweet Baby James himself, rolls into town. He may bring the month to a close, but his music is timeless. Sing along with me, “In my mind I’m going to Carolina . . .” July 2015
Certain hand-me-downs should never look second hand.
I Greensboro I Winston Salem
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Jonesing for Aquaponics Billy Jones and John Ivey
By Maria Johnson
Photograph by Lynn Donovan
he notice advised that the meeting would be at 7 p.m. “in the empty field due west of the Guilford County Agricultural Extension Office.” Eight people — six adults and two kids — bled long shadows as they stood on chickweed, clover and broken asphalt, once a driveway to the county polio hospital at the confluence of Bessemer Avenue and Burlington Road. Billy Jones, who called the meeting, sees something big here again: aquaponics, which uses fish-filled tanks to grow plants — and fish. Although Jones sees a small operation at first — a nonprofit incubator where people would come to learn the basics to do it themselves — in time, he thinks, the operation could cover the twenty-acre field, provide jobs, support a school of aquaponics, provide fresh fish and vegetables in an area with the sad distinction, by one measure, of leading the nation in food insecurity. And east Greensboro is one of the poorest parts of town — and the lifelong home of Jones, a bearded, pony-tailed blogger, poet, gadfly, crazy-like-a-fox inventor. He used to zoom around town on a bicycle-moped rigged up to look like an airplane to call attention to the need for fuel-efficient transportation. Now, he has bitten off aquaponics as a way to help his boyhood stomping ground, an area he calls Bessemer. He and the others stood at the edge of the field and charted a course as the night birds warmed up. Karen Neill, interim director of the county’s Cooperative Extension Service, and fellow extension agent John Ivey walked over from their office next door and promised to help. They would print a flyer about aquaponics and book an expert to talk. If Jones and others drum up enough interest, Neill and Ivey will help them draft a plan to take to the county commissioners asking to lease the countyowned land for cheap. The key, everyone agreed, was to get enough support, or else the commissioners would yawn. “They tend to be noncommittal until people get behind it,” said Jones. “Chiggers!” the children squealed. They swatted at bugs on their legs. “They’re not chiggers,” Neill said calmly. “They’re clover mites.” The adults shook hands, jotted down their contact information, trickled away. Shadows dissolved into dusk. The night birds took the stage. This is how things get started. OH To find out more about Bessemer Aquaponics, check out bessemeraquaponics.blogspot. com or contact Billy Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Honest Abe Feel free to gaze upon him
By Maria Johnson
It started with birdbath failure.
The terra-cotta dish cracked, leaving a gaping hole in the center, and the immediate question — aside from what kind of terror must a splashing robin have felt when the plug was suddenly pulled from his tub and a vortex whirled underneath — was what to do about the dish. Repair it? The damage was too extensive. Replace it? With what? The birdbath had been a birthday gift. The hollow base was stamped with figures of dogs. Any attempt to match the biscuit-colored base would be futile. Replacing it with the same dish — assuming I could find it — would invite the same cataclysm induced, I suspected, by a freezing night. This called for thinking outside the dish. What else would look at home atop a pedestal stamped with dogs? A dog food dish? Too small. A live cat? Cute and ironic. But too fleeting. A potted fern? A red fern? Too much of a reach. A gazing ball? Hmm. I drove to a garden store to check out gazing balls. I found a nice one. It was iridescent blue with swirls of silver and copper. It was also $56. At times like this, I hear the voice of my beloved, long-gone grandmother, whom I once told that I had paid $3-and-some for a slice of cake at a bakery. “Do you know what’s in a cake?” she said. “What?” I said, for I was in my 20s and had very little knowledge of this thing called baking. “Flour and sugar and eggs,” she said with the tone of someone who’d survived the Great Depression. She spoke to me again at the garden store. “Do you know what a glass ball is made of?” she said. “What?” I said, for I was in my 50s now and could make a decent stab at it, but I was also happy to hear her voice in my ear. “Glass,” she said. We both laughed. I drove home and Googled “How to make a gazing ball.” A Pintrest link popped up. I opened it and saw all sorts of whimsical gazing balls made from old bowling balls covered with marbles, metal washers and, most intriguing to me because of their brownish hue, pennies. Didn’t we have an old bowling ball in a storage closet? Later that day, I asked my husband. “You mean Earl?” he said. Great. The bowling ball had a name. “Earl?” I said. “Earl the Pearl,” he said. “When was the last time you used Earl?” I said, knowing the answer and sliding right into how I could make a really cool gazing ball for a fraction of what a new one would cost if only I rounded up 500 pennies and an old bowling ball. He was silent. I’d appealed to his Scottish nature with the savings, though I The Art & Soul of Greensboro
could tell the part about gluing 500 perfectly good pennies to a bowling ball was a concern. The following Saturday, he asked me to come to the front yard. “Is this what you want?” he said, pointing to the birdbath pedestal. Earl the Pearl perched there in all of his ebony glory. “Yeah, that looks about right . . .” I said, keeping it chill. Just then, our younger son drove up and loped across the driveway with a Bojangles’ bag in hand, as teenage boys will do whenever they can get their hands on 500 pennies. “What’re you doin’?” he said. “I’m gonna make a gazing ball out of dad’s old bowling ball,” I said. He stopped his hairy-legged strivde and stared at me. “You can’t do that to a man’s bowling ball!” he said. “But he hasn’t used it in more than fifteen years!” I said. “Maybe he’ll take it up again!” said the boy, who should have eaten in. “Yeah,” said my husband, suddenly interested. “Maybe I’ll take it up again.” Ladies, can we have a sidebar conversation here and agree that this is the kind of thing that drives us underground, forcing us to throw away and repurpose while other family members are out of the house? And that, in hindsight, I should have sniffed out the bowling ball on my own, and plastered it with pennies, and set it on the pedestal, then listened to all of the compliments that would have flowed from the very people who conjured up Jeff’s Greatest Hits: The Zebra Lanes Years. “Fine,” I said. “I’ll get my own bowling ball.” And I did. I went to a used sporting goods store and paid $10 for blue Galaxie 300. Then I stopped at Lowe’s and bought a $5 tube of waterproof glue. Then I went home and dumped my change jar. Well, five hundred pennies is a lot more than it sounds like, which is why I became the first person in history to go to the bank and exchange paper money for pennies. They came in clear plastic tubes. On the way out, I noticed that all of them were brand new. I got back in line. “I need older pennies,” I told the teller. “For a variegated look ... for a project.” FYI, if you want bankers to stop asking if there’s anything else they can do for you, this is how. Back home, I finished gluing. Then I set the ball — I call him Honest Abe because he never will betray his avian friends — on the pedestal. He looks great. And durable. I expect he will last forever. Or until teenage boy needs 500 pennies for a spicy chicken biscuit. OH Maria Johnson thinks Abe will catch a lot of eyes, and ears, rolling down the hardwood if she decides to join her husband in his bowling comeback. Email her at email@example.com to invite her to your lanes. July 2015
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The Omnivorous Reader
America’s Long Narrative
A poet examines our complicated natural story, laying bare the questions hidden by our answers
By Brian Lampkin
We are 239 years into the Ameri-
can experiment this July. Our time is brief compared to many other nations, but we have developed a story, a narrative, that adds chapters as each day unravels into the next. Poet Claudia Rankine’s book, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014, $20), is concerned with how this narrative is both remembered and forgotten; she is particularly curious about the ways in which the stories we tell about race create private drama and national trauma.
The recent unravelings in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York, and Sanford, Florida (Citizen’s cover image of a detached hoodie is a reference to Trayvon Martin), have roots in how we view history — or at least in what histories we choose to emphasize. “Every look, every caomment . . . blossoms out of history,” Rankine writes. But she writes with full knowledge of the erasures and misinterpretations of history that complicate a national (or personal) discourse. In this month of Independence, I can think of no recent book that better addresses what it means to be American in this moment. Citizen was a 2014 finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, but much of the book reads more like an essay that refuses the usual rules of composition. I tend to get a little sleepy around poems that know exactly how they want to be poems, so Rankine’s paragraph forms and sentence structures The Art & Soul of Greensboro
are refreshing. The first part of the book uses, remarkably, tennis star Serena Williams as a way to look at how history impinges upon personal behavior, and how a response to Serena Williams’s behavior depends upon an individual’s “reading” of history. If there is no historical context of race in America, if you believe in the notion of a “post-racial America,” then Serena’s anger is judged one way, but if you know that we are all informed by a 300-year long narrative that includes slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and ongoing police violence, then Serena’s response to a white umpire making bad calls is placed into a different context. Often Rankine focuses on the slips — the wardrobe malfunctions of polite conversation and behavior — slips that reveal the unspoken role of race. Over and over she shows us simple interactions that might — or might not — have a racial subtext. So much depends upon how a situation “feels.” What is the intent behind a white child’s refusal to sit next to a black woman on a plane? Has she been taught to mistrust and fear black people or is she simply uncomfortable around strangers? There are always a thousand different ways to read any situation, but the questions Rankine raises (and they are typically questions and rarely answers) become the central questions of black life in America. How much racism informs the white person’s pronouncement upon a first time meeting, “I didn’t know you were black”? If ever you were curious about what the overused phrase “white privilege” might mean, I think Rankine’s constant questioning exposes a possible meaning: white people are free from the constant need to read every interaction for the simmering role that race and racism might be playing. Serena Williams’ perceived “irrational” anger (this kind of anger also plays out in Rankine’s poetic examination of soccer star Zinedine Zidane’s infamous World Cup head-butt) becomes an entirely understandable boiling to the surface of a lifetime of paranoia, suppressed rage, uncertainty or certainty that is denied a July 2015
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public acknowledgement. In a section of the book on the police killing of 29-year-old black Englishman Mark Duggan and the subsequent riots in 2011, Rankine quotes James Baldwin: “The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions hidden by the answers.” As a reader of Citizen, you need to be comfortable with an absence of answers. Rankine tries to expose the internalized question that a lifetime lived with racism, however subtle, forces upon black Americans, “What is wrong with me?” The subsequent rage that comes with the realization that what’s wrong has little to do with “me” and a lot to do with the culture that fuels uprisings both personal and on the streets. Sometimes, rarely, literature and art can effectively comment on the immediate now with prescience and even usefulness. The television series The Wire certainly laid bare the realities of life in Baltimore that made the response to the death of Freddie Gray unsurprising. Similarly, Citizen (released a year before Gray’s death), gives insight into why America — and not just black America — has responded so vehemently to the deaths of unarmed black men. When Rankine writes, “Because white men can’t / police their imaginations / black men are dying” she addresses the other side of paranoia and fear that allows for externalized violence and not paralyzing internalized doubt. One response to this long narrative of racial dis-ease is to say things are so much better now than they were in 1860 Charleston or 1967 Detroit or 1991 Los Angeles. It’s undoubtedly true. Thankfully true. Rankine is aware of this, but has no patience for those who insist that the best way for her to be a citizen in 2015 America is to “Come on. Let it go. Move on.” Letting go of history is the exact wrong approach for Rankine. A visual poem that begins with a list of young black men shot to death (“In Memory of Jordan Russell Davis / In Memory of Eric Garner…”) ends with “In Memory” slowly fading away into emptiness. This is not the answer. We can all be citizens of the same country only if we can agree on the same facts of history. Otherwise we’re effectively citizens of different countries. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric is an attempt to get us all on the same page of history. If there is a “One Nation, One Book” program out there somewhere, then for this Independence Day I recommend that we all read Rankine’s book. It’ll make for a great conversation and in great conversation begins good citizenship. The books ends with a detail of a Turner painting that’s not to be missed! OH Brian Lampkin is one of the owners of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro.
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In a water - challenged world, books to ponder
Without water there is no food. So
we feel that this entire food issue of O.Henry is dependent upon our column on books about water. (Then again, we think everything depends upon books.) Happily, North Carolina is not California, but drought conditions are not uncommon in our climes, and we know a great deal about the ways coal ash and water don’t mix. We tend to assume clean water will always be readily available, but in this column we’ll take disappearing water seriously. It’s either that or simply outlaw the words “water crisis” and “drought” from the American lexicon. That should solve the problem.
Let’s begin with spiritual drought: “If there were water / And no rock / If there were rock / And also water / Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop / But there is no water.” English students the world over have been footing it through the barren desert of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (Penguin, $11) since it was first published 1922. Despite its well-earned reputation of overwhelming difficulty and allusiveness, The Waste Land is a surprisingly tender poem of intense feeling and desperate longing. It is an elegy for human intimacy and connection; it is not a poem that’s likely to give you any warm fuzzies. It may or may not ever rain again, but come in under the shadow of this red rock and let T.S. Eliot show you why The Waste Land is a poem that deserves to be read, re-read, and at the very least respected. When the Rivers Run Dry: Water —The Defining Crisis of the 21st Century, by Fred Pearce (Beacon Press, 2007, $16) Through examples of watershed mismanagement around the globe, Pearce’s sharp prose details the consequences of misusing our most valu-
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able resource. From collapsed ecosystems, increased flooding and droughts to worldwide crop failure and loss of potable drinking water, he makes a compelling case for changing how we use the water we take for granted, and how that change is possible. Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, by Cynthia Barnett (Beacon Press, 2012, $16) Hailed by the The Boston Globe as the most important science book of 2011, Blue Revolution details why we are the first generation to recognize the scope of our water crisis, and the last that can do something about it. The situation is dire, but the writing is far from hopeless. Barnett shows how we can save ourselves by redefining America’s water ethic, from industries and policy decisions to our own (mis)use at home. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey (Anchor, 2011, $15.95) From ocean rescue teams who brave the fury of giant waves to insurance companies footing the bill for their damage, and from geophysicists puzzling out their mechanics to surfers chasing the biggest thrill on planet Earth, Casey presents “freak waves” from every angle: where these physically improbable giants come from, the devastation they can wreak and why they are increasing as our oceans warm. This science book reads more like a memoir, entertaining from beginning to end. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, by John M. Barry (Simon & Schuster, 1998, $18) Mississippi: The Algonquian word means simply “big river.” And the river was never bigger than during the 1927 flood that John Barry chronicles in Rising Tide. It’s a compelling story of a natural disaster and its lasting impact on American race relations and politics. Similarly, the main character of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is, of course, the Mississippi River. The aorta to America’s circulatory system, Huck travels to some five states on the River — troubled as its waters are. Above all, to a boy and slave on the run from “civilized” society, the Mississippi River was a temporary freedom. At the Water’s Edge by Sarah Gruen (Speigel & Grau, 2015, $28) This new novel by Sarah Gruen is set in the shadow of WWII Scotland. July 2015
Bookshelf Maddie, Ellis and Hank, a trio of young Philadelphia socialites, are on an ill-timed expedition to the shores of Loch Ness in search of the elusive monster. While the privileged interlopers are on a lark to film Nessie, Hitler — a very real monster — is ravaging Europe. The sharp contrast between the lives of the war weary Highlanders and the frivolous Americans sparks Maddie’s eye-opening awareness of the wider world and her place in it. I Refuse, by Per Patterson (Graywolf Press, 2015, $25) A frozen lake plays a pivotal role in Per Petterson’s new novel. It’s the middle of the night. Jim and Tommy skate on its glassy, black surface. There’s a shattering crack in the ice. Both boys survive. In fact, nothing much happens that night but something changes between them, something they never quite come to grips with. In Petterson’s world, we are shaped as much by the mundane as the dramatic; it’s the gradual wear of the river upon the rock that creates the carved face, the faces which, in I Refuse are sometimes too open or terrifyingly closed. Petterson’s prose is precise, sometimes stark, sometimes glinting many colors at once like ice crystals in the sun. Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, by Philip K. Dick (Mariner, $13.95) In Philip K. Dick’s world, identity is fluid, only occasionally freezing into place, but always carrying the question, “What makes me who I am?” or, better yet, “How do I know I am me?” In Flow My Tears, world famous talk show host Jason Tavener wakes up one morning to find no one knows who he is; not his friends, or his adoring public, not even the police. He sets off on a quest to find out how he could have disappeared. While many science fiction writers explore the value and ethics of technology in modern life, Dick uses science fiction as a way to tease out the assumptions in our perception of reality. Here’s a world where people’s realities are constantly leaking into each other’s. It’s a world in which your perception can trickle into my reality, changing it irreparably, and it’s fascinating. Thirsty: William Mulholland, California Water and the Real Chinatown, by Marc Weingarten (Rare Bird Books, $23.95) Coming in October of 2015, look for a history of California water politics that goes a long way toward explaining the current crisis. Marc Weingarten’s historical narrative explores the man-made roots of natural disaster. OH The Scuppernong Books Staff: Shannon Jones, Rachel York, Jonas Procton, David White, Steve Mitchell, Brian Lampkin and Brian Etling.
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Scene and Heard
Science Fiction Blues Stop yourself in for a little interplanetary improvisation, courtesy of the talented folks from Meldavia
By Grant Britt
They walk among us, extrater-
Photographs by Grant Britt
restrial pod people who have been lounging off the coast of Chile for centuries, waiting for suitable human husks to invade and conquer. Musical emanations wafting through the air vanes over North Carolina caught their fancy a couple of decades ago, enticing these aliens to inhabit the bodies of a trio of local artists, teaching them to be representatives of their planet, Teronus, and ambassadors of their country of Meldavia’s musical culture. It’s all chronicled in The Illustrated Tales of Meldavia, Volume 1, authored by one of the former Meldavian pod dwellers now inhabiting the husk of the human previously known as Dr. Dave Fox. In his human guise, Fox is a professor of music at Greensboro College by day. By night, his Meldavian manipulator often takes control under the nom de plume of Dr. Drave, joining fellow Meldavian tunemasters Scott Sawyer and Melissa Reaves for some interplanetary improvisation. Strap yourselves in tight — this bunch aims for deep space. “When we first said the name ‘Meldavia,’ it sounded like a country behind the Iron Curtain,” Fox recalls. Originally a melding of the first few letters of Fox’s and Reaves’ first names, the Meldavian concept gained velocity during the year it took to put together the band’s 2012 debut, Farewell Arigemon. “I kept thinking about the music that was on it, and I started thinking I was
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gonna write something, a comic book or a story to go with the music, so I decided to make Meldavia a country on another planet in another galaxy,” Fox says. “That way, I can pretty much say what I want to and nobody can claim I’m not being authentic. I made up the story, there’s lot of strands to it.” As anybody who has ever seen Reaves perform can attest, the otherworldly aspect is not that much of a reach. Fox’s first encounter with her was an extraterrestrial experience as well as a career changer. “At the end of her last song, she just started improvising for about 5–10 minutes on her guitar — and with her voice — in a way that most rock musicians can’t,” Fox says of the first time he heard her at a festival in her Boone hometown seven years ago when he was playing there with a Dixieland band. Seeing the kind of freedom she was exhibiting is unusual, impressive and difficult to pull off. “You get together and you have an idea or you don’t, and you just start playing off each other and see where it can go,” Fox explains. “It’s kind of scary, out of the norm, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. But the people who like it, like it for that very reason, ’cause you don’t know what’s gonna happen. Relish the unexpected.” But Fox was worried about the first impression he might have made.“I went up to her afterwards, I musta looked like an idiot, ’cause I had a bow tie on, the old cardboard hat and the red vests that a Dixieland Band wears, and I gave her my card and said ‘If you ever need a keyboard player, let me know.’” Reaves took his card, but didn’t call for a year. When she did hire him for a gig, she was as impressed with his improvisational skills as he had been with hers. “You can call it improvisation with me,” Reaves says of her otherworldly musical jaunts. “I always call it crazy, but we just kinda got turned on to that other side of our music with each other. That’s really the real connection, that we both are way into improvisation and avant-garde stuff. You meet a lot of great players, but you don’t meet a lot of people willing to take it out like that.” July 2015
Photography by Evin Torney
Scene and Heard
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But Reaves really blasts off, aiming for the stratosphere when it’s her turn to do some outer space exploring. Even long-time accompanist Scott Sawyer has to get a rocket fuel booster shot before he goes on stage with her. At their Christmas show at Mack and Mack, Sawyer and Reaves were seen headed away from the gig up the street minutes before showtime. “I hadda get a shot of bourbon, just one, before I played with Melissa,” Sawyer, a virtuoso improvisational jazz guitarist himself, explained after the show. “She tends to go way out there.” Sawyer is also able to stretch out improvisationally. “The nice thing about Scott,” Fox says, “is that he can play traditional rock grooves and sounds, traditional jazz grooves and sounds, but he still looks for his own way to play it. I like working with people who are creative in what they do and not satisfied.” In orbit during a December show, Reaves seemed to get lost in the ozone, darting around with her voice and a guitar loop. A single note was bent, overlapped and fattened, becoming an extraterrestrial choir that Reaves soared above, scatting stratospherically as she wafted through time and space. Even though a lot of the show was scripted, Fox has always given Melissa her head. A copy of the show script reveals that at one point Fox had written: “Melissa speaks about whatever she wants.” “I’m usually that person doing that to other people,” Reaves says, laughing. “We were doing a Meldavian show at the Blind Tiger and Dave looks over at me when it was getting ready to be my turn to, let’s say, scat or whatever, and he looks over and says, ‘Speak in Meldavian.’ And I looked at him and my eyes got so big, and I looked like ‘Whaaaa???’ and I was like, ‘OK. Well, I think he knows I’m gonna walk forward, and I have no time to back out.’” It’s a scary platform, but Reaves has no problem jumping off with Fox. “He definitely gives you a lot of rope to swing off of. However you’re hanging, whether your hanging or swinging, I don’t know. But I love it, you need that platform, a lot of times you need that push.” But when he first broached the subject of the alien pod people, Reaves wasn’t sure what she had gotten herself involved with. “I thought it was funny, and I was like, ‘Man, he is crazy!’” she says, laughing at the memory. “But I didn’t stay hung-up on that by any means.” As things have evolved, she now realizes that she and Fox are in it for the long haul. “He’s really stuck with it, he’s written the book, wasn’t just a one-off thing, he’s really evolved this. I’m just wondering if there might be a planet called Teronus out there at this point,” she says. “These things start as crazy ideas, it’s just how willing you are to craft it without squelching that improv energy. He The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Scene and Heard
really fleshes it out. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, to be really really honest, not to be cheesy or anything, but it’s really inspiring.” The concept and context might be alien, but the music is familiar and basic. It’s mostly blues, sprinkled with some jazzy shattered glass fragments from Drave’s keys, bolstered by Reaves’ gut-bucket, hard-rocking delivery, Sawyer prettying things up with his bluesy jazzy touches. Back on Earth, Fox has another blues venture with an entirely humanitarian agenda. He’s a central figure in the Healing Blues project. It benefits the Interactive Resource Center of Greensboro, which offers the homeless fundamental services and seeks to ameliorate their lot in life. In December, fifteen folks availing themselves of the Center’s services, called storytellers for this project, got to tell their stories to local musicians who then wrote songs based on their conversations. Ultimately, they compiled a CD and held concerts with the proceeds benefiting the Center. The project is ongoing, the CD is still for sale and concerts scheduled whenever possible. The process was difficult to navigate for most of the songwriters, including Fox. He had trouble at first getting the proper perspective on what he was being told by his storyteller. “‘If Only My Mother Had Told Me.’ That’s one of the first things he said when I was first interviewing him,” Fox says of his story/song. “When he first said that, I thought, ‘Man, that’s a pretty lowdown thing to say, all these years later you’re looking back and you blame your mom.’” But the more he thought about it, the more he understood:“That is an expression of regret, and everybody has regrets about things and it’s kinda good to be aware of them,” he says. “So you use what the storyteller gave you as, at least in my case, a jumping-off spot, an inspiration.” Fox made it into a bittersweet ballad, a wistful look back at what might have been: “I could have gone so far, if only my mother had told me.” And when the pod people are through with their human husks, Fox says he wants to be remembered not for his flights of fancy, but for his humanity: “as a creator of interesting music — producer, songwriter, and performer of music that makes people smile, makes people think, maybe even makes ’em cry,” he says. “It does all that for me.” OH Catch the Meldavians as they invade Founders Lawn at Guilford College at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 26, at a Fringe/Music for Sunday Evening in the Park event, part of the Eastern Music Festival (easternmusicfestival.org/festival/special). Grant Britt scratches out tales of musical mystery and wonder for No Depression, American Songwriter, Blues Music Magazine, the Independent Weekly, and, of course, O.Henry The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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Lunch with a Friend
The Road to Acceptance A reality TV star serves up a healthy dose of self-love at Green Valley Grill
By Kyra Gemberling
Most of the lunchtime crowd
Photographs by Lynn Donovan
at Green Valley Grill is unaware that they are in the presence of Greensboro’s newest celebrity.
After all, Whitney Way Thore isn’t particularly dressed for a formal luncheon. The star of TLC’s reality television show My Big Fat Fabulous Life and founder of No Body Shame Campaign just came from a physical therapy appointment and hadn’t heard that a photographer would be showing up. But in her informal, low-key attire — a stretchy purple tank top, black leggings and sneakers — she looks comfy and self-assured. She’s not wearing any makeup either, but her lively blue eyes, signature nose ring and glittery fingernails are all the accessories she’ll ever need. Twelve years ago, Thore probably wouldn’t be out in public, much less be seen eating in public. A drastic weight gain of 100 pounds in her first year at Appalachian State University left her depressed, embarrassed and terrified of the outside world. She stopped attending classes and nearly dropped out of school. Today, after more ups and downs than many people know in a lifetime, the 31-year-old Greensboro native is finally on the path of self-love. Her bubbly, enthusiastic demeanor that fans know well is inspiring. “Openness is not a problem for me,” she tells me upfront, a no-brainer considering she makes her living letting the world know the details of her health and personal life for the sake of promoting universal body acceptance. By the time Thore places her order — the Green Valley’s grilled chicken salad on a bed of arugula, with roasted red peppers, walnuts and feta — the dining room inevitably starts to take notice of her. An elderly woman bounces toward our table: “Aren’t you from TLC? I knew it from your smile — you have the prettiest smile!” she says. Later, a young lady appears seemingly out of nowhere and speaks to Thore in a hushed, intense whisper. I make a point of giving them some privacy but I do hear “never would’ve thought” and “just had to let you know” before she thanks her and walks away. The woman returns minutes later, but this time says nothing — she simply bends down and wraps Thore in a long-lasting, heartfelt embrace. This doesn’t make Thore nervous or even mildly uncomfortable — she returns the hug just as compassionately. She smiles and wipes tears from her eyes as the woman walks away. “I have chills,” she says. “When people react that way, it just really affects you, you know?” The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Since she was young, Thore has longed to make a positive impact on the world around her — she just never knew it would be quite like this. She had always been thin before college, but never “skinny,” she says. Going to Page High School and growing up as a dancer, the pressure to be thin was overwhelming, and Thore suffered from eating disorders throughout much of her childhood. But she learned to hide her pain — on the outside, she was popular and confident. She was even named prom queen. So when she began putting on weight during her freshman year of college — fifty pounds by the time she went home for Christmas break, and another fifty by the end of spring semester — Thore was devastated. Many of her friends turned their backs on her, some not even acknowledging her anymore. “Everything in my world changed that year,” she says. She says she began thinking of herself as being “just lazy and disgusting, and I started living how we expect fat people to live. I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t taking care of myself.” By the end of college, Thore had reached nearly 300 pounds. She visited a doctor to get answers, and it was then that she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common hormonal disorder. Insulin resistance is often a symptom of PCOS, making it easy to gain weight but incredibly hard to lose it. Thore was relieved to know that her dramatic weight gain wasn’t entirely her fault, but her negative view of her body remained unchanged. After a four-year stint working in South Korea, Thore returned to Greensboro determined to lose the weight she had gained. She started going to the gym for four hours and running five miles at a time, eating maybe 500–1,000 calories each day. She ended up losing 100 pounds in eight months, but it wasn’t enough — she told herself she couldn’t really start her life until she was no longer fat. One day as she was leaving the gym, a group of men yelled insults at her through their car window. That’s when Thore hit her breaking point. “I remember thinking, ‘What do I have to do to escape this? I’m trying to be healthy and active, but to you, I’m still a fat ass.’” She ended up gaining back all of the weight she lost and then some, feeling a sense of defeat that threatened to derail everything she had worked for. As Thore pauses in recounting her story, our plates arrive. This is only the second time she has dined at Green Valley Grill — the first time was with her parents, her manager and his wife. She’s excited to be returning, though more for the welcoming, elegant setting than for the food that so many people rave about. “I don’t get that excited about food, which is funny July 2015
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because people assume that all fat people are obsessed with food,” she says, laughing. “I’m not very picky at all. I would never watch a cooking show — I can’t think of anything more boring.” As a self-ordained foodie, I, however, am thrilled to be dining at one of the city’s temples of fine dining. I order the Moroccan-style sea scallops, sautéed in olive oil and served over warm couscous. It’s a perfect Mediterranean lunch, flanked by a roasted piquillo pepper salad with a cilantro-yogurt cream dressing over wilted greens. Thore picks up where she left off, telling me how just when she thought she’d hit rock bottom, a much-needed attitude shift and a series of major breakthroughs transformed her life. She eventually began working as a radio producer at 107.5 KZL, and she talked candidly on air about her weight struggle for the first time ever. To her surprise, listeners started calling in to share similar experiences, expressing messages of support and love to Thore. After so many years of misery, she felt empowered, happy and even confident. She realized she didn’t care about being thin anymore; she just wanted to feel healthy and comfortable in her body. That’s how No Body Shame Campaign came about, originally just as a blog written by Thore to encourage others to love and accept themselves for who they are and to rise above the negative expectations of society. Around the same time, she filmed a series of videos for 107.5’s YouTube channel called “Fat Girl Dancing.” “It was really just to show that I’m a good dancer and not so much about body positivity,” she says. But the world took notice — one of the videos went viral in January 2014. After that, the Web community started making the connection be-
Lunch with a Friend
tween her blog and the videos, and Thore received an overwhelming out pouring of messages. “It was literally overnight, in an instant,” she says. “I decided to make No Body Shame a viable campaign, and then in weeks I was on The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN talking about it. It just exploded.” Just two months later, producers from TLC called, and the show My Big Fat Fabulous Life was born. It chronicles Thore’s daily life as she attempts to change the way society perceives appearance. After a successful first season, the show is being picked up around the world, including Sweden, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, to name a few. The second season is set to premiere this summer. Despite having initial reservations, Thore said she is more than pleased with how the show has turned out. She sees it as revolutionary because it gives a voice to a fat woman in a way that has never been done before. But Thore emphasizes that it’s not just a “fat issue” — “It’s a female issue,” she says. “I’m getting women to recognize their value beyond their physical appearance, and that affects all women of all sizes. I lost a lot of years subscribing to the idea that I’m not good enough because of how I look, but I’m not doing it anymore. I’m back now.” Filming the show and making personal appearances all over the world keeps her busy seven days a week. In her spare time, Thore is a licensed Zumba instructor and teaches community dance classes in Greensboro, allowing her to return to her roots and help others feel good about themselves at the same time. Thore is about halfway through her grilled chicken salad, and my Moroccan sea scallops are long gone. I notice that she elected not to have any bread with her
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Lunch with a Friend
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meal, so I’m compelled to ask how she regards food after all she’s gone through. As she pushes the food around on her plate, picking around the walnuts and feta, Thore admits she’s never had healthy eating habits, even after recovering from her eating disorders. These days, she’ll sometimes accidentally go without eating until 6 p.m. or later. She’s good about staying away from sugar, but she loves carbs. She hopes to find a healthy, stable diet as she moves forward with her latest weight loss initiative. Fans of the show know Thore was diagnosed as pre-diabetic last season, so she wants to lose enough weight to be active and healthy, but she accepts that she’ll likely never be thin again. This is where being a leader in the body positivity community can get sticky. Thore says many people don’t understand why she wants to change her body if she claims to love it. “I live every day in my body, and if I want to lose some weight so I don’t have to worry about sitting in a booth or wearing a seatbelt, that’s my prerogative,” she says. In the meantime, we chat about the other ups and downs of her newfound fame. She loves when people recognize her and come up to her on the street, but she hates when fans come unannounced to her parents’ house or call their phone. She says she probably has 10,000 unread messages on Facebook because she’s terrible at social media. She reminds herself that she has to respond to a direct message on Twitter that Rosie O’Donnell sent her after she appeared on The View in February. Since Thore didn’t respond to the initial messages, the latest from Rosie simply reads, “Hellooooooo?” Thore reveals she has signed a contract with TLC that will last a while — “as long as they’ll have me” — but she’s already started thinking of other pursuits to take on in her spare time. She wants to write a book — she’s come up with a title, and has written a prologue and two chapters already. She’s thinking of creating an active-wear line for women, and she may start doing YouTube dance tutorials. The opportunities are endless, and she intends on exploring every avenue for sharing her story. But the ability to highly publicize her message does not come without drawbacks. Each positive response she receives is met with at least one full of hate, and it will be a long time before this changes. I suddenly wonder if Thore is ever disheartened from the unavoidable criticisms of her show, her body, her message, her happiness. “What do you do when you have a bad day?” I ask. She looks at me and smiles. “I rarely have them anymore.” OH Kyra Gemberling is a reality TV junkie who religiously watches TLC, Bravo and E!. She is a Charlotte native who lives in High Point and works in Greensboro as an editor for Progressive Business Media. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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To Change a Light Bulb How many tech-challenged, frugal fathers does it take?
By Clyde Edgerton
I just finished
putting a light bulb in my children’s bathroom. It took about thirty minutes — a teeny-tiny screw-in light bulb not much bigger than the head of a cotton swab. Before 1985 or so you could walk into a grocery store and buy a 40, 60, 75, or 100 watt light bulb, each about the size of a small baseball, with standard sized screw-in threads. No thinking involved.
You can do that now, but if your house was built in the last twenty years or so — or remodeled — you will have to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and stand in front of a wall of many types of light bulbs. The wall is the size of a gym floor. Our remodeled bathroom has two hanging lamps. They each hang on a cord from the ceiling. The so-called bulb that goes with each is about the size of the one for my children’s bathroom, but rather than screw-in threads it has two pins sticking out of it. The pins are side by side and maybe three-quarters of an inch long. You stick the pins up into the receptacle that is under the little conical shade. Mine kept burning out until somebody told me you are not supposed to touch the glass part. By that time, in frustration, I’d torn off some of my shirts. I read the packaging that cannot be removed without a two-ton log splitter, and sure enough the warning was there in ultra-fine print: Don’t touch the contents of this
Illustration by harry Blair
package with your skin.
People. You are not supposed to touch them? Oh, did I say that these bulbs cost eight to twelve dollars each? I now close my eyes in front of the great wall in Lowe’s when looking for a bulb, and just pick one and keep my eyes closed at the cash register when I buy them so I can’t know how much I’m paying. I often get the wrong bulb, same as when I was keeping my eyes open. And I stumble into people and displays here and there. Given what I’ve spent for light bulbs in the last year, if my father were alive he would die. Those two pin-like prongs can go in several ways, but only one way makes the light work. Back when I was foolishly touching the bulb several months ago, sometimes the light came on; sometimes it didn’t. I started hitting the shades and they’d come on, but less and less often. Now they won’t work at all. We have a lamp found in the attic placed by the bathroom sink now. It has the new kind of lamp
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bulb that replaced the older ones, of course. Lithium, or whatever it is. For some reason it lights at half power for a half hour before it comes on all the way. The one that stopped working in the children’s bathroom tonight was, as mentioned, a tiny screwin bulb, vaguely similar to the ones with the pin-like prongs, and I found another just like it in a plastic bag in the tool drawer, without instructions, so I didn’t know if I could touch it or not. I held it in a paper towel and stood on a stool that was too short for me to see down into the open-at-the-top, globe-like light container. I couldn’t find the receptacle, though I was searching for it with my finger when my 10-year-old son came in and said, “You want me to turn off this light switch?” “Yeah, sure. Thanks.” He turned it off and said, “You are doing that and you forgot to turn off the light switch?” “Go do your homework.” I got a tall stool from the kitchen so I could see down into the opentopped globe and find the receptacle to screw the tiny bulb into. Climbing up onto the kitchen stool by way of the short stool, I bumped my head on the ceiling. In our laundry room, three of four light bulbs have been burned out for a month or so. I’m maybe not supposed to touch them either. They are one of two sizes that are used in our ceilings. I always get the wrong size — just recently started bringing home both sizes. Except I think I’ve run out of one size, but can’t remember which. Let me tell you a true story. The first time my father and uncle stayed in a hotel room, probably in the 1920s, they found a light bulb hanging from a cord in the middle of the room. They’d never seen one. When it got dark outside they didn’t realize you could turn it off. They were probably a little afraid of it. They moved a dresser to the middle of the room, under the light, and placed a bedside table on the dresser. The bedside table reached just above the light bulb. They opened the drawer to the table, placed the hanging lighted bulb inside, and closed the drawer. They didn’t know how lucky they were. OH Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a memoir and a new work, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. July 2015
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A Novel Year
Counting the Days and Weeks Whatever her true age, every moment with a daughter is a gift
By Wiley Cash
We were at the O.Henry
Hotel, when my wife and I first realized that we had no idea how old our infant daughter was. How is this possible? you might be asking. How can someone not know his child’s age, especially when said child has accumulated so little of it? I wish our confusion could be blamed on sleepless nights, but our daughter has always slept well from the day she was born. How incredible it would be to explain the mix-up by revealing a tale of intrigue: a lost birth certificate, amnesia, the mysterious changeling we discovered one morning in our child’s crib. But the truth is much less interesting. My wife and I are simply bad at math.
It was a Friday night in late February, and we’d checked into the hotel for an event I’d be attending the following evening. Our daughter, who’d been born in late September and was therefore somewhere around 5 months old, hadn’t slept in the same room as us since her first few weeks home from the hospital. Her naps and 7 p.m. bedtime are sacred, and we do everything we can to honor both her need for quality sleep and the quiet, dark space necessary to achieve it, so we were wary of staying two nights in a hotel room with her sleeping in a travel crib just feet from our bed. With that in mind we decided that 7 p.m. would mean “lights out” for everyone. We ordered room service. We got ready for bed. We fed our daughter and put her down to sleep. We then climbed into bed with our novels and new reading lamps that had been purchased specifically for these close quarters. I clipped my reading lamp onto the novel I’d brought with me — Gail Godwin’s A Mother and Two Daughters — and I soon realized that reading in this manner would require both perfect balance and precise timing. Each time I turned the page the lamp’s neck would swing like a pendulum and bathe the room in light as if a lighthouse were strafing the ocean in search of lost ships. The same thing happened if I moved or resettled myself. I spent more time trying to refocus the beam of the reading lamp than I spent reading. My wife, a lapsed Catholic who isn’t lapsed enough to forgo her nightly prayers, opened her eyes and looked at me, my reading lamp swiveling like a siren every time I turned the page. “I feel like I’m in a disco,” she whispered, averting her eyes as the light careened toward her. We decided that one reading lamp would be enough for the two of us, so
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we placed it on the bed between our heads and aimed it in the direction of our pages. It was cozy: the two of us reading in bed after a wonderful dinner, the lights extinguished not long after sunset, the knowledge that a long, comfortable night of sleep was ahead of us. But it wasn’t to be. At some point in the night I realized my wife had gotten out of bed, and when she returned I asked if everything was OK. She sighed and said, “Let’s talk about it in the morning.” She tossed and turned for a few more minutes, and then, after a little more prodding, she broke the news. “She’s not 5 months old,” she whispered. “What do you mean?” I asked. “This past Monday marks twenty weeks since the day she was born.” “But twenty weeks aren’t five months.” “There are four weeks in a month,” I said. “But there are more than twenty-eight days in a month.” “Then why do people count weeks after babies are born?” I asked. “Why not count months?” “I don’t know,” she said. “She won’t be 5 months old until the twenty-ninth of this month. That’s not for eight more days. We’ve made her older than she actually is.” “There are only twenty-eight days in February,” I said. Our confusion only grew. While my wife sank into a momentary despair caused by both the confusion over our daughter’s age and the fact that we had actually aged her, I pondered the novel I’d been reading just a few hours earlier. In it, the recently widowed Nell Strickland welcomes home her two 30-something-year-old daughters, both of whom are reeling from the challenges, successes and disappointments of adulthood. With the wisdom that comes from both age and parenting, Nell perceives her daughters’ fears and desires in the same ways she perceived them when they were little girls under her wing. Although so much about her daughters has changed, much more has stayed the same. “We were only off by a week,” I whispered. “That’s not bad for firsttime parents.” To my surprise, my wife’s stifled laughter lifted from the darkness beside me. “We could look at it like we’re getting a week back,” she said. “An extra eight days we get to spend with her.” “And she’s still the same baby,” I said. “The same girl, no matter whether she’s 5 months old or 4 months and 3 weeks.” “That’s true,” she said. “She’s the same little girl.” Beside me, I felt my wife’s body relax and her breathing slowed as she edged toward sleep. In the corner of the room, our 5-month-old baby girl who suddenly wasn’t quite 5 months old stirred almost soundlessly in her crib, and then, just as she always had, slept calmly and peacefully through the night. OH Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released last year. He lives in Wilmington. July 2015
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Pileated Woodpecker The big, beautiful sovereigns of the forest are doing well in North Carolina
By Susan Campbell
One of the largest and most distinctive
birds of the forest, the pileated woodpecker is unmistakable. Its dark body, white wing patches and red crest make it seem almost regal, and it wouldn’t be wrong to call it the king or queen of the forest.
As with most of our woodpecker species, they are nonmigratory. In search of food, however, they do roam widely, sometimes in a footprint several square miles in size. Pileateds can be found across our state, anywhere there are large, old trees. Whether you pronounce their name PIE-lee-ated or PILL-ee-ated may depend on what part of the state you come from. Webster’s says either is correct, with PIE-lee-ated being more common. However you say it, such a sizable bird is bound to make a loud noise. Indeed pileateds do get your attention. You’ll most likely hear them foraging or calling. But you’ll also hear the distinctive booming echo that comes when they work on a hollow tree or the thudding that comes as they pound their way through thick bark. Although pileateds do not sing, they make a distinctive piping sound, similar to a flicker, which tends to end in a crescendo. They may also employ a sort of “wuk” call as a way of staying in contact with one another as they move about the forest. Although males are the ones that typically make the most racket, both sexes let intruders know when their territory has been compromised. Pairs are monogamous and raise a set of up to five young in a season. When nesting, pileateds create oblong cavity openings in trees that are quite distinctive. Males choose the dead or dying tree in late winter and do most of the excavation. Females will help especially toward the end of
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the process. The nest is unlined: consisting simply of a layer of wood chips at the bottom of the cavity. Deep holes that pileateds create are not reused once the young fledge. So these openings into dead or dying trees provide key habitat for not only other species of woodpeckers but also for snakes, lizards and mammals that require holes for some part of their life history. Pileateds, of course, are happiest when feeding on insects and other invertebrates in dead and dying wood. But they are opportunistic, taking fruits and nuts as well. In the fall, it’s not uncommon to catch a pileated hanging upside down on a dogwood branch, stripping it of berries. Given their large appetites, adults may divide the fledglings for the first several months as they teach the youngsters to forage. It may take six months or more before the young birds are on their own. If your bird feeder is within a pileated pair’s territory, you may be lucky enough to attract one or more to a sunflower seed or (more likely) to a suet feeder or mealworms. As long as they have room to perch or have something to cling onto, they may not be shy about becoming a regular visitor, especially during the late winter or early spring as breeding season gets under way and insects are less abundant. These big, beautiful birds are, from what we can tell, doing well here in North Carolina. Sadly their extinct cousins, the ivory-billeds, who were more specialized and inhabited only bottomland forest, suffered a sad fate. They did not fare so well with the arrival of Europeans and the associated clearcutting of their habitat early in the last century. But that is a different story for another month . . . OH Susan would love to hear from you. Feel free to send questions or wildlife observations to email@example.com (or 910-585-0574).
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Life of Jane
Managing The Heat Remembering a ‘hot’ Manhattan restaurant where a young woman became a friend, employee and casualty
By Jane Borden
Elisa attributed her outbursts
Illustration by Meridith Martens
to having “hot, Puerto Rican blood.” She casually dismissed expressions of rage as if they were determined by her veins and not her will power, as if there are some white blood cells that fight both infection and people. I should remember this during interviews — “I write quickly because I spent years at a weekly publication. And I’m tenacious with a lead because I recently received a blood transfusion from a Puerto Rican.”
Fortunately, this ancestral blood heat ran warm too. She also cited it as the source of her capacity for love. She’d shower you with charm and adoration, pulling you close to confide a secret, or share a laugh, sometimes moments after she’d stood as close, red in the face and spitting. She could flip between these heats — one, a camp fire, the other, a habanero mickey — quickly, easily and seamlessly. I have since read research suggesting that this kind of seesaw behavior in a caregiver can lead to the development of schizophrenia in a child. However, scientists are still ultimately unsure of the causes of schizophrenia, so let’s not put it on the Puerto Ricans yet. I met Elisa when I made a sales call, as a rep for a dotcom that created online reservation systems for restaurants. Elisa and her co-owner, chef Thomas, did not purchase the system. But I went by a few more times with coworkers, happy-hour style, to keep the relationship friendly and the opportunity open. Then my employer went out of business — a casualty of the bursting dotcom bubble and also of our competitor, OpenTable. About a week later, I received a call from Elisa. She needed a new manager. She’d heard we went under. She offered me the job. In retrospect, I’m guessing the number of red flags were visible from space. But at the time, everything I’d ever done had come easily. So I didn’t question why a sane and successful business person would hire a 23-year-old with no experience to run a four-star fine-dining restaurant in Manhattan. (Answer: she was neither sane nor successful.) Neither did I ask myself if I could work in an industry full of cocaine-addicted children with oversized egos, who take no responsibility for their actions. (Answer: because I was also an irresponsible child.) Instead, I simply assumed that, in spite of my age and lack of experience, Elisa saw something in me. Perhaps I was a natural and this was my calling. Maybe it was in my blood. Such was the effect of her boundless confidence. You believed everything she The Art & Soul of Greensboro
said. She believed it too. It was a con game she played on herself. Elisa was equally as sure of her appearance. A bystander would deem her attractive. She considered herself a supermodel. She wore tight leather pants to showcase her pride, her ample Latin ass. And she spoke of things in terms of how sexy they were. A set of gauzy fuchsia curtains were considered for a makeover of the main room because, “Don’t you think they’re hot?” She also instructed me to “smile and touch people right when they walk in the door — they want to feel hot.” And she told her bartenders, “I like how Jane puts a little orange juice in my margaritas, mmm, it makes them hot.” This was years before Paris Hilton. I picked up the business side of the job quickly: computing a night’s income and overhead, tracking invoices, and preparing checks for vendors and payroll. Managing the staff was harder, mostly because no one respects a 23-year-old without experience who materialized from nowhere. The ponytail and Southern accent didn’t help. Elisa told me to make them respect me, to intimidate, rule with fear. She yelled at me for not yelling at them. Before long, she yelled at me for everything. But I reminded myself that she’d seen something in me, and then I trusted I could pull it off. At first I thought her constant corrections were the effect of micromanaging, that she wanted someone to mold in her image. But I couldn’t determine whether the changes I made were improvements because her criticisms weren’t consistent. She seemed to yell depending solely on whether or not she was in the mood to. Then ten minutes later she’d behave as if she hadn’t just sent me crying to the bathroom. My next tactic was to do everything her way. This made her yell at me for not defending my methods. I couldn’t win, so I’d sit silent through the screams, at which point she’d scream at me for not speaking. Eventually I realized what she wanted: someone to scream at. The job would have been more bearable if I’d also had a problem with cocaine. Elisa loved to fire people. It was something you couldn’t anticipate. A seemingly regular scolding would suddenly escalate, and then the bus boy or server was tossing his apron on a counter and sulking out. The benefit Elisa derived from these situations, as far as I could tell, was the injection of fresh drama. Now we were short staffed! What would we do? Usually, I was instructed to call the last person she’d fired and ask him to return for the night. But always, after that, he’d be back on the schedule for good, and so would the guy she’d axed that day, eventually, whenever she needed him again on account of terminating someone new. She saw no problem with this pattern. She was never embarrassed to receive them after so finally dismissing them. She behaved as if the firing hadn’t happened at all. She said the guys returned out of loyalty to her. But I suspected that whenever the busboys scored green cards or the servers won acting roles, their loyalties would shift. Elisa’s personal life had no less drama. I learned that there was a third owner, July 2015
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Life of Jane
her fiancé, a well known and respected New York chef who, rumor had it, was working out a nervous breakdown through the painting of canvases on the Jersey Shore. They’d been engaged for eight or nine years; two years prior to my employment, she’d learned he had a 3-year-old. Naturally, this news led her to call off the wedding, but, as I would come to learn, that was something else she did with frequency. The couple always reunited. Once, they fought with such hostility — over the phone, while she was in the dining room with me — that she took off her engagement ring and threw it across the room. She never found the ring. How can you not find an item, when it is known to be inside one room, you recall in which direction it was flung, and said room neither has holes, nor a carpet monster that sucks things into its belly? Particularly when said item costs tens of thousands of dollars? I have often wondered if she only wanted to punish him. My last couple of months on the job are a blur because she started making me drink with her. There had previously been only one night per month when I was forced to perform my duties a couple of sheets to the wind. These were the days our wine rep came, because Elisa forbade us to spit during a tasting. But, toward the end of my tenure, there were many nights. She took to drinking one or two of those OJ margaritas every afternoon, and always strong-armed me to keep up with her. Then I’d move through service as if through water. She was an outdoor cat, and I was her plaything rodent. Her behavior had no rhyme, reason or logic. She never saw anything in me. She is simply a person who makes rash decisions, and I was one of them. Managing restaurants is not in my blood. After a year, my head came under the axe too. I can’t remember why she did it, if there even was a reason, although there were several, I suppose. I only remember having a conversation that grew more and more heated until she eventually said, “I’m giving you the opportunity to quit.” I did. A week later, she called me back, begging me to bartend. I did. A few months later, the restaurant closed. To my surprise, she invited me to the wedding. To my shock, no one ran away at the altar. It was an intimate affair. Whatever I was — plaything, confidant, friend, employee, tool — I was in the inner circle, which flattered me. We come to love our abusers. Three or four years later, I passed chef Thomas on Eighth Avenue. But I pretended not to see him. About ten paces later, I glanced back and found that he was doing the same — both of us busted, still immature, still avoiding accountability. We shared an awkward wave and kept walking. OH Greensboro native and I Totally Meant to Do That author Jane Borden now lives in Los Angeles. You can see what’s cooking at twitter.com/JaneBorden. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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July 2015 Leashed We find a sweet, russet-colored hound on our morning walk. You give her that loving black Lab nuzzle while I examine her tags. Name: Penny, no address. We press the bells on Wentworth Way until Penny’s recognized by a brisk woman with a cell. She makes a call. Her yapping terrier rakes the screen. You’re stunned anew by the hostility of your fellows. Behind your back, across the street, Penny slips inside a door. You turn to bewildering absence, tug sniffing up three walkways before Penny’s image dissolves, I’d like to think, in a shower of copper dust beneath a cartoon magician’s wand — Plink! — and her smell slides into your bank of scents. You pick up the pace. If only I could learn the same. — Michael Gaspeny
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Smelliest Farm At Cornerstone Garlic Farm, that’s the sweet smell of success
By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Sam Froelich
ou go there ready to joke. “Guess most reporters want to interview you over the phone, huh?” You see the headline in your head: “The Smelliest Farm in the Land.” After all, this is a garlic farm. Where they grow garlic.
In the ground. Yeah. That’s where it grows. Not in jars in grocery stores. Not around the necks of people trying to fend off vampires. Not in braids hanging from window frames in steamy Italian kitchens. It grows in the ground, in bulbs, with tall, spindly greens. In the field, it looks like big onions. You don’t see much of it around here. This is strawberry territory. Tobacco land. Corn-o-plenty. California. Nevada. Oregon. Those are your big garlic-producing areas. That and China. Don’t act surprised. Oh, once in a while you’ll see some elephant garlic growing around here at an old homestead. But that’s not true garlic. That’s a cousin, a type of leek. True garlic, Allium sativum, is what they grow at Cornerstone Garlic Farm east of Reidsville, just shy of Caswell County. Want to go there? Drive to the Middle of Nowhere. Take a left. Proceed to Other Side of Nowhere. Take a right. Keep going until the lady in your GPS says, “You are kidding me?” On the way, you wonder if you can smell the garlic from the road.
You can’t. Not even when you walk through the yard, past the chicken pen, and meet Natalie Foster by the swing set. Not even when you amble past the shed, where 11-year-old Lennie is messing with bundles of tomato stakes, and out to the field where farm kitties swat at butterflies. It’s not until Natalie Foster leans over one of the blue-green rows, yanks a bulb from the ground, crushes the greens in her hands and thumbs off the paper-thin leaves around the bulb can you finally smell the garlic. Earthy. Savory. Elemental. Crying out for chewy pasta and warm bread and a glass of red wine the temperature of creek-side shade. Oh, lawd. The jokes can wait. First, you’ll hear Natalie’s story: How she grew up in Winston-Salem, the daughter of a city girl and a 1950sera cook, which meant, “Pass the can opener. Ain’t convenience great?” Natalie doubts she ever tasted garlic until she went off to Lenoir Rhyne College to study education. In the years that followed, she taught just about every primary grade, plus P.E., at private Christian Schools. Her husband, Steve, worked for Carolina Steel, first as a welder and later as a salesman. If you doubt that he could do both, shake his vise-grip hand and try not to sharply inhale a prayer for your typing fingers. Somewhere in the ’90s, Natalie’s sister Patty started growing garlic in Lexington. Natalie was fascinated. She and Steve tagged along — and her husband nosed around garlic farms and attended the Virginia Wine and Garlic Festival. A stinky time was had by all. Natalie wondered. What if she started growing and selling garlic to plug The Art & Soul of Greensboro
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
the summertime hole in her teacher’s income? She and Steve tilled up some of his family’s land, worked in some horse manure to enrich the sandy-clay soil and planted some seed bulbs. Mama mia. Natalie took the mature bulbs to a farmers’ market in Reidsville. It was a hard sell. “GAR-lic?,” people barked. Natalie’s teaching days were only beginning. She jumped on the Internet, joined gardening forums, dubbed herself “garliclady” and started asking questions. She learned about different varieties of garlic — the mild ones, the strong ones, the spicy ones — and how to cook with them. She tried recipes, gave out sheets with kitchen-tested ideas, answered customers’ questions about which garlics went best with certain foods. She carted her wares to the big farmers’ market on Sandy Ridge Road in Greensboro, then finally to the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market on Yanceyville Street, where she found a more ethnically diverse audience that was comfortable with cooking with garlic. In time, she added more than raw garlic. She sold cured garlic Braided garlic. Seasonings made with dehydrated, powdered garlic. Garlic infused vinegars. Garlic rubs. Garlic jellies. Yep. Don’t laugh. The garlic-wine jelly made with Childress Vineyards’ muscadine is to die for. Never mind that no one will give you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Oh yes, she also makes a garlic-herb dog biscuit. “It’s better than dog breath,” Natalie says, proving that with garlicfolk —
as with other maligned groups — it’s better if they make fun of themselves. What’s the best way to remove the smell of garlic from your breath? you ask. “Get everyone around you to eat it,” says Natalie. Truth be told, Natalie trades on the curiosity, humor and Internet traffic that garlic arouses. She launched a Facebook page and squeezed the word “garlic” into the farm’s official name after realizing that there were 1.5 million Cornerstone Farms, and that the mere addition of garlic moved her farm ahead in the Google line. At the Greensboro farmers’ market, in the swirls and eddies of customers flowing between rows, the words “garlic farm” serve a similar purpose. They hook the eyes. Inquisitive noses follow the smells emanating from Natalie’s electric skillet. She might be demonstrating how to cook with scapes, the curly, spicy leaves of hardneck garlic. Used to be, at harvest time, the Fosters clipped and tossed the scapes. Then Natalie found some recipes online. She experimented, pronounced them good, and added yet another branch to the family business. Now, at market, the scapes appear a few weeks before the bulbs. The novelty draws some customers. Nostalgia pulls others. One day, a Korean woman stood crying before the scapes. “She said she hadn’t seen them since she was a girl,” says Natalie. There’s always something new at the Fosters’ table. Though garlic is by far the biggest seller — they move about a ton of garlic, in one form or another, every year — the Fosters grow and sell all sorts of vegetables. Greens. Cherry tomatoes. Herbs. Mushrooms. Asparagus. Radishes. Peppers. Sweet corn. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
If you can make a salad or an omelet with it, they probably sell it. The Fosters keep two flocks of chickens that lay twenty-five dozen eggs a week. On Saturday mornings at the curb market, it’s hard to tell which comes first, the line or the eggs. The market opens at 7. Natalie sells out by 8:30. As you might have guessed by now, she no longer teaches school. When the kids came along, she decided that garlic farming, oddly enough, was the best way to keep her family close. After a lay off in 2008, Steve joined the operation full-time. “When the layoff came, there were no jobs to be had, so we decided to look to increase the amount of farming,” he says. “We’re not making gangbusters money, but we make enough to live on.” At some point, Steve says, he might go back to working for a company that someone else owns, but for now the benefits of working in a family business are worth the cut in pay. “The kids like it when I’m home,” he says. If you’ve ever wondered what a family farm looks like, this is it. Sunup to sundown, everyone works. Steve handles the tractor and equipment maintenance. The kids — Lennie and 13-year-old Caleb — are home-schooled, so they tend chickens, stake tomatoes, cut scapes and pull garlic in the cool of the morning and evening. They study when the sun is high. The family lives simply, frugally. They eat pasta, potatoes and, of course, eggs spiked with garlic and vegetables. They shop at Goodwill. They pay their occasional helpers/customers in garlic. Sometimes, other kids crack on Lennie or Caleb for living on a garlic farm. It isn’t easy being a teenager, much less a teenager on a garlic farm. But the same kids who poke fun also vacuum up Natalie’s garlic-laced pasta and are healthier for it. The sulfuric compound that haunts the breath also acts as an antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer agent. Long ago considered the food of The Art & Soul of Greensboro
peasants, garlic, along with other root vegetables, actually fortified those who ate it. Every year, the Fosters’ business gets bigger and stronger. A new curing shed produces the dried garlic that will keep for months at room temperature. A dehydrator and industrial-strength blender makes possible the pulverized seasonings, rubs and spices that make great gifts at $3 to $7 each. At market and on the farm, Natalie works all of the angles. She brackets the vagaries of the weather by planting varieties that love the heat, as well as those that favor the cold. When she realized that planting rows of garlic close together still allowed weeds to shade out the garlic, she spaced the rows farther apart and planted low-growing greens between them. When the greens played out with summer heat, the kids moved the flexible chicken-yard fences between the rows. The chickens ate what was left of the greens, resulting in free organic fertilizer and better tasting eggs. Now, the family is considering a Community Supported Agriculture venture in which people would subscribe in advance for a fee to get a bag of fresh produce every week during certain months. Is the bulb going on in your head? It should be. Because you can joke about a garlic farm all you want — and God knows you want to — but here’s the down and dirty truth: The Fosters might be the sharpest tools in the shed. OH Find the Cornerstone Garlic Farm (cornerstonegarlicfarm.com ) table at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market (gsofarmersmarket.org), 501 Yanceyville Street, 7 a.m. until noon on Saturdays (year round) and 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesdays (late April through December). July 2015
Berry Berry Good It’s strawberry time again
By David Claude Bailey
oubtless God could have made a better berry,” a 17th century English writer once said of the strawberry, “but doubtless God never did.” Anyone who has ever popped a perfectly ripe, wild strawberry into his or her mouth surely agrees. “But most people think strawberries are only for dessert,” says Mary James Lawrence, whose TV segments on WFMY-TV and cooking classes at Rooster’s Gourmet Market encouraged generations of Greensboro cooks to create dishes that are easy, impressive and delicious. “Strawberries can be so good in savory dishes.” Like the strawberry soup Lawrence serves as an appetizer or first course whenever the season floods the Piedmont with lush berries so ripe they stain the fingers preparing them. “Some years ago, I was doing the food styling nationally for Macy’s for their bridal registry magazine,” she recalls, snipping the caps from a bowl of berries and popping the occasional stray berry into her mouth. “They wanted soup and specifically wanted the bright red color of strawberries.” Most strawberry soup recipes tend to be too sweet and are finished with sour cream or heavy cream, she says. “I wanted something vibrant and red with no dairy.”
Experimenting, Lawrence splashed in some red table wine, Rose’s grenadine (pomegranate-flavored syrup) and a cinnamon stick, and, voila, a savory and piquant soup emerged. “I serve it with a scoop of my basil sorbet and the combination is heavenly. If you’re serving it for dessert, add some chocolate curls. If as an appetizer, add lime zest or a sprig of mint.” On the side she serves upscale biscuits, which she calls savory Parmesan shortbread with fennel dust. “This is the one time it’s fine to use the Parmesan that comes in the big green can from Kraft because you want it grated very fine.” Lawrence, who also conducts periodic culinary tours of France and Provence (www.maryjames.net/provence.html), opens a chilled bottle of rosé. Suddenly, the photographer’s flash stops blinking and the writer’s pen stands still as slurps and moans of appreciation fill the kitchen. Lawrence says that a bottle of Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rosé 2014 from her friends at Zeto’s would also make a delightful pairing. And for goodness sakes, she says, buy your berries from the farmers’ market.“The huge hybridized berries you sometimes see in the supermarkets that come from Florida and California don’t hold a candle to some of the smaller and fresher berries you can find here in farmers’ markets.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro
2 tablespoons fennel seed 2 teaspoon coarse salt (grey, Maldon or kosher) Fennel seeds need to be very fresh. The Savory Spice store at Friendly Center fills the bill. Using a mini-mincer or food processor, grind fennel seed to a powder then add salt and pulse just to combine. Set aside. Mary James dishes it out: To achieve an even thickness with the dough, place two paint stirring sticks (free from the paint store) on the floured counter and roll the dough between them using an untapered rolling pin. Mary James dishes it out: To measure flour accurately, pour more than is required into a mixing bowl. Stir. Spoon into measuring cup. Mound, then level with the back of a knife. No tapping on the table, no scooping from the bag.
Basil Lime Sorbet
Mary James dishes it out: Turn those extra strawberries into soup and freeze it for a wintertime treat. It also makes a fun summertime pass around at outdoor parties. Serve in mini plastic cups with straws.
2 pounds of fresh strawberries 1 cup red wine 1 cup grenadine syrup 1 cinnamon stick Stem the strawberries and cut them into pieces. In a medium saucepan, combine with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Purée using an immersion blender. Or cool to warm and use a traditional blender or food processor. Chill. Serve with a mint leaf garnish or with a petite scoop of Basil Lime Sorbet. Yield: 4 1/2 to 5 cups.
36 medium to large leaves of fresh basil 2 1/2 cups water 1 1/2 cups sugar pinch of salt zest of 1 lime 1/2 cup lime juice Combine basil leaves, water, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm. Remove basil leaves. Add lime zest and lime juice. Chill. Transfer to ice cream machine and freeze following manufacturer’s directions. OH
Savory Parmesan Shortbread with Fennel Dust
Photographs by Sam Froelich
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon fennel dust (see below) 2 cups flour 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese Using the food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine butter, powdered sugar, pepper, salt and fennel dust (see below) until smooth. Scrape down sides a couple of times. Add flour and cheese and process just until it begins to come together as a dough Turn out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to press it together into a ball. Divide in half . Place each half on a clean piece of plastic wrap and press into a flat disk. Wrap and refrigerate for several hours or up to two days. Or you can freeze the mixture at this point. To roll and bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove disks from refrigerator about 30 minutes so they warm up a little. Flour counter lightly and roll out to about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick . Cut as desired and place on baking sheet lined with pan liner or parchment. Sprinkle with fennel dust. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until just lightly brown on the edges. Cool. Store in tins. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Perfect A Summer The
Sandwich By David Claude Bailey Photographs by Mark Wagoner
ccording to The Dallas Morning News’ resident foodie, “grilled cheese sandwiches are in vogue.” In fact, the paper says, “They might just be the newest Big Thing.” Here in the Gate City, it’s not just grilled cheese that’s in the limelight. Check out the menus of some of Greensboro’s hottest boites and you’ll see that the lowly sandwich — which once upon a time might have drawn a sneer from supercilious servers when ordered — is now enjoying quite a revival. A convergence of factors brought on the sandwich’s elevation to an art form: the popularity of artisanal bread, the seasonal availabilty of local ingredients such as local cold cuts, ripe tomatoes and boutique lettuces, the trend to crave what’s retro, and, finally, the ingenuity of chefs vying to cook up the city’s most novel combination of this and that. We’ve been watching this trend and taking notes and here are the results, twelve sandwiches, each with a real measure of difference, from six eateries, some new, some familiar but all great spots to kick back and enjoy the simple pleasure of discovering how a sliver of heaven can be sandwiched between two slices of glorious bread.
Melt Kitchen and Bar The Sandwich — It’s dubbed the Granny, but my grandmother never made a sandwich as sizzlingly crunchy as the griddle-patterned panini at Melt, where the brie cheese is almost fried amidst layers of sliced turkey and chunks of crisp Granny Smith apples. What takes this sandwich over the top, though, is the bacon-onion marmalade and, yes, fresh spinach. And just in case things weren’t interesting enough, it comes with a maple Dijon dipping sauce ($12). The Side: If you go to Melt and don’t order the hand-cut duck-fat fries that come to the table with an aroma that will make you quack and waddle, you should have your head examined. Plan B: Foodies rave about the Duck Club ($14), which goes into the panini press stuffed full of Italian prosciutto, gouda, caramelized onions, arugula and duck confit. It’s a good sandwich, but I found the confit a bit understated, though the accompanying apricot-thyme jam rocks. The Spot: Casually elegant is overused, but it’s an apt description of Melt Kitchen and Bar’s spare, clean, modern vibe, warmed with the wooden surfaces of the tabletops and bar and accented with hanging globular, Copernican lamps. The wines and craft beers are also especially well chosen. Melt Kitchen and Bar, Golden Gate Shopping Center, (336) 617-4664 or www.meltkitchenandbar.com.
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Pastabilities The Sandwich — Ask a server what Pastabilities’ signature sandwich is and without a second’s hesitation, The Hummin’ Bird ($8.39) will be recommended — and rightly so. This is a combination made in sandwich heaven: juicy chunks of chicken, a little spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes and wheat bread heated in the sandwich press until the Mozzarella turns into a molten, ooey/gooey, ropy binder. But what makes this bird reallly hum is the roasted red pepper hummus — every bit as good as any pimiento cheese that ever graced a sandwich. The Side: I don’t know whether it’s sour cream or ranch dressing, chives, spring onions or all of the above, but whatever they put in their skin-on potato salad is inspired. It lets you pretend that you’re eating a really healthful salad instead of a rich, stuffed baked potato. Plan B: Listed on the restaurant’s punny menu as a Turks ’n’ Cukos ($6.99), don’t miss this unusual blend of cool slices of cucumbers, havarti cheese and a sassy dill aioli, paired with turkey on wheat bread, and turned into a melted mass in the sandwich press. The Spot: Pastabilities’ warm and atmospheric space would make an ideal movie set for a friendly, neighborhood Italian restaurant, which is exactly what it is. Dozens of dramatically painted canvases by local artists grace one wall. The other wall beckons with hundreds of bottles of wine flowing toward an elegant, full bar, where locals sit and sip. The result is a warm, highly individualistic, one-of-kind space — airy, fun and inviting. Pastabilities, 1726 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro, (336) 272-7823 or www.pastabilitiesgreensboro.com
Báhn Mì Saigon Sandwich & Bakery The Sandwich — The “special” Báhn Mì ($4) at Saigon Sandwich is a classic Báhn Mì sandwich, which is a masterful blend of French and Vietnamese cultures. Its base is a fresh-baked, crunchy French-style baguette that will remind you of Paris. It is slathered with pâté and then stuffed with slices of ham, pork roll and Asian salami. That, by itself, would be a great sandwich. Credit Saigon street vendors for adding what makes Southeast Asian dishes so refreshingly vibrant — crisp, raw veggies — fiery sliced jalapenos, savory slivers of onions, piquant radishes, cilantro and the sweet note of grated carrots. Ask for extra hot sauce if you dare. The Side — If you haven’t had one, Vietnamese fresh rolls are basically little bitty salads wrapped in a paper-thin rice wrappers, amped up with a little pork and shrimp. What makes Saigon’s Sandwich’s fresh rolls so good is that they are, in fact, made fresh each meal, waiting to be dipped into peanut sauce that you’ll want to eat by the spoonful. Plan B — Only for the bravest of palates, it’s called a “barbecue” Báhn Mì ($4) on the sandwich board, but don’t expect barbecue. The literal translation is “griddled.” Available in beef, chicken or pork, the browning of the meat certainly adds flavor, but the dominant note comes from lots of fish sauce. The equivalent of ketchup in Southeast Asia, you either love fish sauce or think it tastes too much like the fermented seafood it is made from. The Spot — Counter service is the order of the day, with a staff that’s eager to take the time to explain the various offerings. Look for a bright, highly casual, family-friendly storefront with walls painted a cheerful shade of mango. Eight café tables face a glass-fronted cooler full of colorful bubble-tea drinks and desserts. Báhn Mì Saigon Sandwich & Bakery, 3308 High Point Road, Greensboro, (336) 856-7667 The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Nazareth Bread Company and Restaurant The Sandwich: Dubbed the Naples ($6.99) — and stuffed with red peppers and pesto — you might be tempted to think this is not a Middle Eastern sandwich, but you’d be wrong. Begin with Nazareth Bread Company’s greatest gift to its customers — marvelous fresh baked bread. Add savory, grilled chicken, steeped in a garlicky marinade with a distinct Nazarene accent. Top it all with roasted red peppers and a pesto made not just with basil but also with refreshing mint. Suddenly you’ve moved east of Naples by more than a dozen degrees of longitude. Ask for a side of tatziki (at no extra charge) and a little hummus, and the result is the best chicken sandwich I’ve had this side of Beirut. The Side: Stuffed vine leaves, Greek salad, baba ghanouj . . . all the regular Middle Eastern sides, but do yourself a favor and order the pita chips with your sandwich. Slathered with olive oil and then baked until they’re crisply golden, they’re better than fries, especially double-dipped into a requested side order of hummus or cucumber tatziki. Plan B: The schwarma ($6.99) is a fistful of magic. Let’s start with the wrapper — pita so fresh it’s still fragrant and pillowy from the oven. Then they pile on a huge serving of the rotisseried beef and lamb that’s been cooked until it’s brown and crispy. Tomatoes, lettuce and hummus make this a quadruple napkin treat. The Spot: The size of a school cafeteria, this storefront is a tad cavernous. The owners, however, have attacked it with gusto. Across the back is a long counter, where you place your order and watch sandwiches being assembled at the speed of blur. To your right is a coffee and tea room where I can imagine families having intimate gatherings. The left side is more open, dominated with rafts of red and green upholstered banquettes. In the middle of the room is a long central table flanked with dozens of brightly painted yellow and orange chairs. It sounds a little random but this place is typically crowded with regulars, ranging from plumbers to tattooed 20-somethings, from whiteshirted business types to EMT technicians. Nazareth Bread Company and Restaurant, 4507 West Market Street, Greensboro, (336) 285-6096 or www.nazarethbread.com
Riojah Wine Bar The Sandwich: Call me a contrarian, but I’m not a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches. Too same old. In fact, I didn’t even order Riojah’s Traditional Gourmet Grilled Cheese panini ($7). My wife did. But the Mmmm-mmm noises coming from across the table spurred me to snatch up one of the neatly grilled quarters before she scarfed it all down. Oozing Manchego vied with a very sturdy Cheddar for dominance. Neither won — and that’s the point. The two cheeses melted together to create a bold and unexpected blend that’s better than either of the two alone. And the grilled ham and cheese is not shabby. The Side: Riohjah keeps it simple with potato chips, a salad or fruit. After all, it’s a wine bar. Not a restaurant. Me? My favorite side is a glass of Gran Bach Spanish Penendes Cava — with potato chips, of course. Plan B: Described on the menu as a chicken salad bocadillo (Spanish for sandwich, $7), I expected the bread to be a baguette. Instead the four dainty wedges were made from loaf bread, neatly cut into quarters just like the sandwiches at Mom’s bridge club. The crunchy toasted bread on the exterior was contrasted by creamy chicken salad within, accented with celery and pecans with sweet notes of added honey and dried cranberries. Can you say chick sandwich? The Spot: What better way to decorate a shrine to wine than to line its walls with shelves forming a veritable library of enticing offerings from wineries all over the globe. The overall look is casually eclectic, with wood-grained cafe tables dominating the front half of the narrow, compact space. Pools of light from overhead warm the terra-cotta painted interior. To the rear, a communal table and sleek bar invite solo customers to pull up stools and sample flights. Riojah provides just what you’d expect from a wine bar — a comfy, inviting and totally unintimidating vibe. Rioja Wine Bar, 1603-D Battleground Avenue, Greensboro, (336) 412-0011 or www.riojawinebar.com
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Freeman’s Grub and Pub The Sandwich — Like Jake’s Billiards, its sister restaurant two blocks up Spring Garden, Freeman’s features the heartiest of pub fare, but with a real twist. For instance, the filet on their fried chicken sandwich ($9) is encased in a crispy crust bristling with shallots and savory herbs — and is better than Chik-fil-A’s, which, in my book, is really saying something. And when’s the last time your sandwich at Chik-fil-A came with “smashed” red potatoes and braised collard greens? Eat your veggies, Mom said. It’s never been easier. The Side: Poutine ($7) hails from Quebec and the dish is sometimes described as French fries drowned in gravy and cheese. One of my favorite dishes at the old Anton’s on Battleground was their fries with gravy. Kicking that up a notch, Freeman’s adds cheese curds, essentially squeaky cheese. O Canada! Plan B: Freeman’s serves one of the most interesting Cuban sandwiches I’ve ever had: smoky, pulled pork ($9), embued with mojo marinade, paired with melted Swiss cheese and good old Southern country ham. A sliced kosher dill and garden variety yellow mustard add a welcome twang to this rich meat-and-cheese bomb. The Spot: Serving cutting-edge cocktails, Belgian and specialty microbrews and an interesting selection of wines, the bar dominates Freeman’s space and is jammed with thirsty customers, many of them intently conferring with the bartender while sitting atop any one of the eclectic collection of bar stools. The décor is more café than pub, with two- and four-top tables, light sage walls, exposed bricks and cheery avocado trim. “We fill you up,” reads the motto. Amen. Freeman’s Grub and Pub, 1820 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, (336) 333-3399 OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro
How the Good Doctor Bought the Farm By Cynthia Adams â&#x20AC;˘ Photographs by Amy Freeman
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Story of a House
The William W. Mebane House, as it is known to the historic preservation community, had a powerful legacy as a stop for wayfarers who found respite here. Today, the Julian house and property have been nipped, tucked, buffed and polished. The fine old farmhouse and farm gamely welcome another generation of family, friends and wayfaring travelers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two centuries old, but not looking a day over 100
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
ot too long ago, every time Minta Phillips stepped through the front door of her 19th century house near Julian, the storm door latch didn’t work properly. She mentally added it to a list of things giving her pause. Her sweet home of twenty years was showing its considerable age. The living room floor felt a bit spongy near the fireplace with its fine mantle — an overt architectural detail in a house of additions and revisions. Newly retired after thirty-one years as a doctor, Phillips could finally address the things she dismissed of necessity while rotating among various hospitals. But the former radiologist didn’t need to order an MRI to see other signs of problems — the roof and air-conditioning systems and even the well (five new wells and counting!) needed attention. When contractor Donny Kirkman biopsied the wide pine floor near the fireplace, he extracted a chunk of flooring to discover rot. The rectangular hole in the living room floor resembled nothing insomuch as a gaping wound, revealing the ancient beams undergirding the house. Due to condensation within the narrow and inaccessible crawl space, moisture from an air-conditioning duct had taken its toll. The beautifully aged pine had borne hundreds, if not thousands, of wayfaring feet. “Fortunately,” Phillips says, “the floor joists were petrified large timbers only planed on the floor side, and much bark left to the ground.” The good doctor conducted a clear-eyed diagnosis. Largely, the problems were only the maladies of age. It needed a cure — not just a patch up. They would install moisture barriers and find aged boards to match the existing ones (which took some doing, but the contrac-
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tor discovered some matching aged boards in a barn). But, if the Grand Dame had to go under the knife, it could use a bit of a makeover, too. Why not just go for a full-on face lift? Phillips’ fiancé, Ralph Emerson Greene, a nurse anesthetist and a neatnik, was ready and willing to assist if surgery was needed. (Even her fiancé has historic provenance; he is descended of General Nathanael Greene.) “My mindset was old Texas roots ‘Gidder done’ and one thing led to another.” Phillips decided to paint the interior and repurpose rooms now that she was an empty-nester. The bathrooms were due to be updated and upstairs carpet could also use her ministrations. While Phillips was orderly, Emerson was fastidious. Knowing she was an artist before she became a doctor, he helped her weed out which art and medical books she could do without. He urged her to sort and toss. (“In his hard working, orderly way, he kept me on task,” she recalls.) Her life went into corrugated boxes, and she rented storage space as she tackled her professional and art creep. She curated her own artwork — and the many pieces she had acquired from fellow artists. Phillips assembled a triage team including landscape architect Marguerite Suggs, contractors Ed Reece and Keith Smith, workmen, painters and friends, who began operating as she prepared an IV infusion of cash, time and attention. Neither love nor elbow grease could properly restore the fine old house to health absent those. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Finding Home in an Historic House Inside, the house is as green and cool as the outdoors, with an interior color palate emulating Mother Nature — by turns radiantly intense, and then, calmingly soothing. The entry sets the tone and even here the walls are devoted to art; artwork defines each of the rooms. Sounds easy, changing a home’s color palate, Phillips jokes. But . . . nooooo. That was one of the hardest parts, because she loves, loves, loves color. Before she was a doctor, Phillips had left Texas to become a New Englander at Yale, training to become a painter. The practicalities of making art her livelihood gave her pause. So when Phillips finished an art degree, she applied to medical school and was accepted into Harvard. She had a lot to catch up on to make the transition from artist to doctor, and described how medical school and subsequent training forced “extremes of fatigue, stress, insult.” She became a resident in radiology at the New York Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center. She and her (former) husband, architect Frank Cheney married in 1983, and their wedding made the pages of The New York Times. But she sought a more balanced work and personal life, and they moved to Greensboro. Cheney designed and built a Charleston-style family home in Old Irving Park. In 1996, I met Phillips while she was a mother of two children working in the July 2015
radiology department at Wesley Long Hospital. I interviewed her for a TriadStyle article titled, “Running from the Rat Race.” Phillips had recently taken a lifestyle simplification workshop taught by UNCG professor Charlie Headington. She was determined to heal her own overstressed, overworked self. Then 42, Phillips began earnestly overhauling her life. The Irving Park house went on the market. That year, realtor Carol Pearce showed the couple a peaceful farmhouse in Julian that was being sold by an estate. According to the executor, Nina Freeze, the house was owned by the Mebane family and dated to the 1800s, having once operated as an inn primarily for Quakers. Freeze produced an old invoice and papers dating to that period, but the calligraphic flourishes of the written date are difficult reading. Yet according to other historic records, the house is potentially much older. How much older is up for debate. “David Wagoner bought the house from someone in the Frazier family,” Phillips says. “Nina Freeze was David Wagoner’s niece and executor of his estate after he died at age 50. She was a nurse and historian of sorts from Virginia — I think the Danville area,” she says. “I got an oral history from her when I put a bid on the house and lost.” But the story obviously does not end there: “My bid was accepted after the initial offer’s wife could not abide living in a house where a 6-foot snake skin was found in the attic by the home inspector,” Phillips says. (She also discovered evidence of primitive trompe l’oeil in the attic, which she quips “might be wayfarer’s graffiti.”) “After two months of my ‘forgetting’ about the house and feeling the disappointment, the house was mine and the rest is history!” The William W. Mebane House sits on an undulating state road extending between Chapel Hill and what was once called “New Garden.” In its former incarnation, the house is believed to have been an inn in the early 1800s, provid-
ing temporary shelter to travelers who arrived by horseback or carriage. And right now, spring has arrived. The Julian farm explodes in living color, largely the result of the present day owner, for historic photos show only a few mature trees. Nowadays, dogwoods unfurl fans of lacy white and pink like blushing Geishas. Tulip trees, redbuds and acid-green oak leaves unfurl in a mad race to upstage their neighbors. This deeply pleases the artist in Phillips, who again jokes that she never met a color she didn’t like. Glorious pops of color scatter confetti-like across the acreage surrounding a fine country house that has provenance minus pretention. What Phillips does not like is pretentiousness. While still practicing as a radiologist, on Monday mornings Phillips also became a “radio-ologist”. “I was a volunteer ‘old school’ DJ [on WQFS, 90.9 FM] Guilford College Radio for seven and a half years, from 2006–2013,” she says. “At the behest of our student manager, in 2009 I entered a sample of the show to New York Festivals and the show was recognized as ‘Best Alternative Format’ and ‘Best Innovative Show’ that year.” Phillips remembers sitting in a cramped studio presiding over the program she called “Carpe Diem.” “You never know what the day will bring,” Phillips would tell loyal listeners. “Seize the day and don’t let it seize you.” Two decades ago, the historic Mebane farm seized her and Phillips is a contented steward of the property. She steps onto a generous porch that spans the front of the house just as it always has, with the exception of new porch columns. (And now, the door lock works perfectly, thanks to Greene.) She waves and greets another wayfarer. The present-day house is a combination log-and-frame construction with
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plain white siding. Before Phillips bought the house, there were at least two additions to the original footprint. A detached kitchen once existed, but the kitchen was attached to the main house in later years. The first addition to the house was completed after the Civil War. According to an architectural register, the house is historically significant. It is further described by the architectural survey as a “typically Federal period house with center-hall plan and chimneys laid in common bond.” Phillips was also told that Mebane spent two years building it. But she cared less about making the house an historic showcase than about being sympathetic to its past. Yet the Mebane family figures into the region’s early history, and Phillips intends to spend time researching the deeds. “At one time there was a Mebane Road in Greensboro that eventually joined up with Lee Street,” says Mike Cowhig, a Greensboro city planner who works with the Greensboro Historic Preservation Commission. Local historians are just not sure how to precisely date the property. Some records indicate Mebane acquired the lands in 1818. According to one written account, a Presbyterian missionary named Reverend Hugh McAden was dispatched to Guilford County in 1775 by the Synod of Philadelphia. McAden was considered “the father of Presbyterianism in the colony.” While en route to deliver Guilford County’s first Presbyterian sermon near the site of the present-day Buffalo Church, McAden sought lodging at the home of William Mebane. After a four-night stay, he delivered his Sunday sermon in Greensboro. Whether that’s the house Phillips bought or another one is anyone’s guess until more research is done. And whether 200 or 260 years old, the Mebane house has probably never been lovelier than now and fairly shimmers in a spring rain. The house has been gussied up, but retains its original simplicity. The owner points out the green metal roof (replete with gleaming new snow catchers) and freshly paved brick-lined driveways, stone walls, beds and plantings, giving credit to the contractors, landscape architect and helping hands she names. Every aspect of the property appears spring green — and renewed. The refreshment of this place, Phillips laughingly reminds, really began with that dodgy lock on the storm door. “It started with a storm door that wouldn’t latch,” Phillips says with a shake The Art & Soul of Greensboro
of her head. “It started the whole thing.” Greene repaired it, then, somehow the project just kept growing. The whole thing wound up entailing scraping and repainting, replacing the ruined portion of the original pine floor with equally old boards, refurbishing the kitchen, paving the drive, adding walkways, re-landscaping around the house, outbuildings, and ponds, building stone walls, a fire pit and then installing a folly at the pond’s edge that echoed another structure on the property. She enlisted her former husband, Cheney, who designed a floating dock and also a pergola. And many others joined in with insulating, painting, and renovations to the baths and kitchen. Inside, she has repurposed rooms, switching the parlor with the dining room to make room for her many friends and expansive family. Friends Sharon James and Carolyn Duncan weighed in with ideas. Phillips isn’t only a proud caretaker, but fully inhabits this place, and likes to entertain — ideally, cooking for a crowd of friends including family, artists and fellow physicians. She is known for sumptuous, expansive dinners that can go for hours. “Lunch is ready,” she announces. “But do you want a little tour first?” Of course. Even her dogs seem ready for a tour, eagerly wagging tails. One of the dogs quickly opts out and slumps lazily onto a cozy dog bed at the barn. Phillips heads behind the house where the sloping lawn leads to the pond, which is also somehow prettier in the dappling, fine rain. At the pond’s edge is a new folly and floating dock, outfitted with handsome teak deck chairs and table. Maggie, the more energetic dog, splashes into the 3.5 acre pond, which was built by the Wagoners in the 1970s. (Phillips is only the fourth owner of the property.) Also, there is a new stone pit with comfy teak seating, built to suit the owner’s fondness for entertaining around night fires, indoors and out. The house has three fireplaces — two downstairs and one upstairs in the media room. Another flower bed is appointed with stone walls, dominated by a sculpture by David Schlosser. Beyond that, on the far side of the house, a new apiary awaits the imminent delivery of honey bees — Phillips says becoming a beekeeper is her newest endeavor. (By the next day, she has six bee stings to prove it when the bees arrive July 2015
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
and she has to hurriedly settle them into their hives during another rainstorm.) On the surface, Phillips has maintained a delicate balance, preserving all the simple lines and aspects she liked best about the place. The entire acreage and property got the honest equivalent of an exceptionally artful facelift. After the quick walk, lunch awaits the invited wayfarer. It’s a spread — when Phillips cooks it’s a feast and a love offering that calls to mind Ruth Reichel (the sensual writer of works like Tender at the Bone). Or, maybe, Phillips is more like the young Julia Child. Like Child, she is a tall, well-travelled woman, who loves to live simply yet well; one possessing an exuberant nature, and a fine sensibility that is never, ever stuffy. “You know, I’m a Texan,” Phillips almost always says with a smile as large as Texas whenever guests come to her table. “There’s always going to be plenty to eat.” Lunch includes shrimp sautéed with asparagus — both so tenderly fresh they are nearly translucent. The table is set with hearty breads, rice pilaf, crab bisque soup and a lightly dressed green salad brimming with cheese, artichoke and walnut. Phillips pours a white organic wine by Bonterra, dry and crisp, which is splendid with the meal. Atop new quartz kitchen counter tops, Phillips has composed a still life of three perfect green apples resting on a narrow wooden tray. She also installed new lighting and appliances, with a generously sized farm sink equipped with a restaurant-style detachable spray tap that makes cleanup for her large dinners much simpler. But she has kept most of the kitchen (redone in 1997) intact, including a linoleum tile floor laid in a crazy-quilt pattern. Artwork is everywhere — exuberant, colorful, punctuating the walls of the large kitchen and every wall in the house. The original walls in the oldest section of the house are half log and plank-laid ship-lap style. Phillips has relied upon original art to take advantage of the ample wall space. She took stock of her considerable collection of art, editing and moving pieces around the rooms. Her collection includes the work of her grandmother (pastels predominantly) and her own works. One of her daughter’s favorite is a playful work Phillips painted for a 2005 show titled, Venus as a Classical Redhead. Collected artists include, among others, David Bass, Henry Brown, Missy Dickens, Ann Hill, David Spears and Jean Drake. And just outside the kitchen windows, which rim the room and provide 180 degree views of the pond, there are more flowering trees, grape vines and ample room for expansion, literally and metaphorically. French doors off the kitchen lead to a screen porch, which is also set up (“Like a summer camp,” Phillips jokes) for pond viewing and porch sitting. Inside the classic center hall, repainted deep green, Phillips discusses artists The Art & Soul of Greensboro
she admires and pauses. The artist in her speaks when she says, “I have trouble choosing colors. I like them all!” She incorporates a wide-ranging palate, but integrates it with artwork. Green, the color of growth according to a study at the University of Munich in Germany, also indicates creativity. The researchers determined that green in surroundings inspired more imaginative thought. Red, on the other hand, leads to more analytical thinking. It is hardly surprising that Phillips has both in her house — from pops of green on walls in gradations from gray to saturated, fullon, green — to a dramatic red in another room. The two front rooms feature very different, yet eye-catching, mantles. Phillips says the massive, elaborate one in the dining/sitting room isn’t original, believing its age is “going from Federalist to Victorian periods.” Neither is the simpler one in the combination living and music room original. A friend salvaged it from a nearby tear-down, and brought it to her years ago while an earlier redo was underway. When Phillips (including her former husband and children, Catherine and Ben) acquired the house, they spent the first year in a single-wide trailer while working on making the house more livable via a third, substantial addition off the back. The house desperately needed to be rescued from an earlier redo that had gone very wrong. In the course of the renovation, her marriage to Cheney, who designed the addition, also ended. “An interesting story of naiveté,” she says quietly, “of taking on an old home.” Yes, the house was a money pit, Phillips laughingly agrees. But if the Mebane house was a jealous mistress, it also was a generous one. From the ample kitchen, the place she spends a good deal of time reading, and cooking often and exuberantly, she enjoys the unfolding scene. She watches with a sense of gratitude. “There is not a day, looking out at the pond, or at the changing light of day, that I’ve regretted it.” After years spent analyzing X-rays and scans in darkened rooms, Phillips revels in the openness and light of the place that seized her from the first. With the Mebane farm’s health fully restored, the good doctor has wound up reinvigorating her own. Among other things, she has her beekeeping. “No more stings since too rushed in the downpour of Thursday eve,” she emails later. “I have fed them more of my syrup and checked that Queen Elizabeth and Queen Isabella were accepted and ready to lay 1,500+ eggs/day. Comb with syrup and pollen capped already . . . yes, busy as bees can be.” She dubbed the queen bees Elizabeth and Isabelle; they are contentedly settling, like the proprietress of the Mebane House. “Bee well and bee mused,” she quips, before attending to the new hives. OH Cynthia Adams lives and works in Greensboro, and dreams of a bee hive of her own. July 2015
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A L M A N A C
By Rosetta Fawley
Pick your peppers now
How does your garden grow? Are your hot peppers as fiery as a late July afternoon? If you’ve left them to ripen, then they should be turning color by now. Harvest them with scissors or shears; they can break if you pull them off. If you have a glut they freeze very well.
Summertime And the livin’ is easy Fish are jumpin’ And the cotton is high Oh, your daddy’s rich And your mama’s good-lookin’ Hush little baby, Don’t you cry.
(DuBose Heyward/Ira Gershwin/ Music by George Gershwin)
Can’t elope this summer
Plant cantaloupes in the first half of July for a fall crop. Plant the seeds about one inch into good soil, twenty-four inches apart. They like full sun. If the weather is dry, water them generously until the fruit is about the size of a tennis ball, after which time just water them when the leaves are wilting. Don’t let the soil get too wet or the fruit will be squashy and tasteless. Once the fruit start to rest on the ground, put them on a plank of wood to keep the insects from munching on them. They should be ready to harvest after about three months. They’ll be delicious. Don’t sweat it if they go wrong; they’ll make a nice change from all those pumpkins in fall decorations.
Hummingbird feeders get crowded this month. Those tiny avian jewels are about to fly south and across the Gulf, and most of them will make that crossing in one go. Prepare extra food for them before they set out on the long journey south. Consider it like mixing a cocktail: one part sugar to four parts water, i.e., a quarter cup (four tablespoons) of sugar to one cup of water. Ordinary white table sugar works just fine. Boil the water, dissolve the sugar in it and allow it to cool before filling the feeders. There’s no need to color the water, it’s the red flowers that the birds look for. Besides, studies suggest that food coloring may be harmful to hummingbirds. At this time of year the birds work through the food pretty rapidly; all the same it’s worth keeping an eye on the sugar solution in the hot weather. If it starts to ferment then it becomes poisonous. If all the water boiling and feeder cleaning start to get old, remember that you’re fueling your hummingbirds to catch their favorite insect food: mosquitoes, gnats and fruit flies.
The other good news about all this avian altruism is that sugar and summer cocktails go hand in hand. While you’re feeding the hummingbirds, make a batch of simple syrup on the side. This time it’s one part water to one part sugar. Boil them together in a small saucepan and then let the solution cool.
Now, what to create with your own syrup? It’s the height of peach season. Make a Bellini. Do it North Carolina style, using our own peaches instead of the traditional flat white ones. Whizz up a peach in the blender and strain it through a sieve. Pour the liquid into a champagne flute. Add a teaspoon of sugar syrup and a little squeeze of lemon. Then pour in Prosecco all the way to the top. Eat the leftovers in the sieve with a teaspoon later. How to refresh oneself as the peaches slow down and the weather gets truly stifling? A Bajan Rum Punch. This is what one drinks in Barbados. It’s heaven. How many cocktails are built by rhyme? One of sour Two of sweet Three of strong Four of weak. One measure of fresh lime juice, two of your sugar syrup, three of good dark rum, the older the better and preferably from Barbados, and four measures of water. Mix the lime and syrup, then add the rum and water. Pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with a dash of Angostura Bitters and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Now turn up the spouge, close your eyes and picture the Caribbean lapping at the white sands at your feet. Take long cooling sips of island life.
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AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet poets Richard Krawiec, Kevin Boyle, Deb Kaufman and Ralph Earle. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
JAVA MAN. See a work in progress in the evolving sculpture made from repurposed items from coffee houses at Jonathan Brilliant On-Site. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.
STRUNG UP. 7:30–10:30 p.m. Join the Piedmont Old Time Society for some pickin’ and grinnin’. Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, 117 West Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-7087 or gibbshundred.com.
July 1–October 4
WEATHER BANE. North Carolina’s own McDonald “Mackey” Bane explores linear relationships in McDonald Bane: 2 Parts Art 1 Part Science. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
FROSTY FRIDAY. 6 p.m. Sample Appalachian Mountain Brewery on draft and in cans at Beer Co., Greensboro’s downtown “drink-in” beer store. 121-D McGee Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-2204.
EMF. 8 p.m. The EMF, as in Eastern Music Festival continues with Don Giovanni, Macbeth and other spooky tales with Met baritone Sydney Outlaw’s “Phantoms of the Opera” program. Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
CULINARY COMBAT. Triad chefs are still going at it, spatula and tong, at the Got to Be NC Dining Competition Series. Benton Convention Center, 301 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem. Tickets: competitiondining.com/events/triad.
July 1–August 23
CANDID CANVAS. Subjects are caught in various acts in Interludes: Discovered Moments. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
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HOUSE OF CARDBOARD. See Tom Burkhardt’s fullscale installation made of cardboard, Full Stop. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
EMF. 8 p.m. Young Artists Orchestra and EMF faculty bring it with Beethoven. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2720160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
MARINE BAND. 10 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.). Step to it! The funky, jazzy sounds of Great Barrier Reefs come to town. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.
THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS. 7 p.m. & 9:30 a.m. The Fun Fourth Festival kicks with a block party and continues with a parade, bands, food, vendors and fireworks. Downtown Greensboro. Info: funfourthfestival.org.
Art Music/Concerts EMF Event
• • Film
• • Fun
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
sabel Bishop, "Double Date Delayed or Entry E", 1948, from the portfolio Eight Etchings I, published 1978, etching and aquatint on paper, edition 30/50, 5 x 3 1/2 in. Bequest of Maud F. Gatewood, 2004.
Eastern Music Festival 7/ 8/
July Arts Calendar
YEEEE-HAAAA! Let out your inner redneck with Southern rock bands, cars, mud wrestling and more at the 15th Heavy Rebel Weekender. Times vary. Millennium Center, 101 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem. Tickets: heavyrebel.net.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Oh, to be Fab and one of the Four. See the Beatles at the start of their success in A Hard Day’s Night (1964). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
VOLUMES OF VOLUMES. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Browse and buy for 50 percent off at the Giant Used Book Sale. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
SAM’S CLUB. 4:30 p.m. Food, music, crafts, fun and fireworks are staples of the Uncle Sam Jam. (Cost is $10 per car). Oak Hollow Festival Park, 1841 Eastchester Drive, High Point. Info: highpointnc.gov.
SATURDAY MUSIC IN THE PARK. 7:30 p.m. Cap off the Fun Fourth with classical and pop music from the Greensboro Concert Band punctuated by fireworks. White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www.facebook. com/musepgso.
EMF. 8 p.m. Violinist Stefan Jackiw takes a bow with Festival Orchestra. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. What will be will be, as James Stewart and Doris Day rock the casbah in Alfred Hitchock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Its Saint-Saens and Schubert at a Faculty Chamber Concert. UNCG School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Sreet, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. The things he’ll do for love will leave you ag-ape. See King Kong (1933) Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Mark Summer and George Enescu top the bill for another faculty chamber concert. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
PIANO MEN. 9 p.m. Sing along to pop classics at Face to Face, a Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: cdecgreensboro.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Keyboards are key at the Piedmont Music Center’s Piano Gala, featuring EMF faculty. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. 1–4 p.m. Get ready for primate time! Curious George is in town for stories and photo opps. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-28989 or gcmuseum.com.
July 11–October 18
PRESERVATION HALL. 6–8 p.m. Learn how to make spreadable edibles at Jam Session, an adult cooking class. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. From hook-up to happily ever after; Julia Roberts and Richard Gere star in 1989’s Pretty Woman. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Mozart and Mahler fill the Young Artists Orchestra’s bill. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet Cave Wall Press poets Sandra Beasley (Count the Waves) and Dan Albergotti (Millennial Teeth). Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. It’s Mozart and Mahler, part deux for another performance of the Young Artists Orchestra. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
OBJETS D’ART. Things are the thing in The Stilled Lives of Objects. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.
SUNDAY MUSIC IN THE PARK. 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Southern sounds rule with performances by the Radials with Lisa Dames and Carolina Coalmine. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 2332 New Garden Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www.facebook.com/musepgso.
MUNCH FEST. Noon–4 p.m. Round up the family and bring your appetite to the N.C. Food Rodeo, with the state’s best food trucks, craft beers, wine. Grove Winery, 7360 Brooks Bridge Road, Gibsonville. Info: grovewinery.com.
STILLS OF THE NIGHT. 8 p.m. First, Buffalo Springfield, then Crosby Stills and Nash (and later Young), then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stephen Stills steals the show. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Love and psychoanalysis, and a Miklós Rósa score . . . Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck will leave you rapt in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
THE QUILL OF WRITES. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Costumed interpreters show you how to write with a quill pen with homemade walnut ink. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Carolynn BennettSullivan, author of Get the F Out: Liberating Fear and Letting in Love. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
23 SKIDOO! 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Silent films, classic cars, Wally West and the Gate City Hot 5 Jazz Band . . . it’s the Roaring 20s Flashback. Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Festival Orchestra and cellist Lynn Harrell pull some strings. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
Key: The Art & Soul of Greensboro
• • Art
EMF. 8 p.m. Beethoven tops the program of a faculty chamber concert. UNCG School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Beware the dorsal fin in Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
• • Film
• • Fun
July Arts Calendar •
EMF 8 p.m. Let’s hear it for the faculty at a chamber concert, featuring works of Still and Hayden. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Eric G. Wilson, author of Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
7 p.m. AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet Deb and Dave White, who will present, “Travel to . . . London.” Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. It’s Corigliano, Diamond and Stravinsky for the Young Artists Orchestra. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
STRUNG UP. 7:30–10:30 p.m. Join the Piedmont Old Time Society for some pickin’ and grinnin’. Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, 117 West Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-7087 or gibbshundred.com. Key:
July 17 BOOKING IT 5:30–8 p.m. Winston-Salem’s BookMarks Festival of Books and Authors hosts a Preface Party, where celebrants can sample food from local restaurants, quaff Raffaldini wine and, best of all, get a sneak preview of the authors and events taking place at the state’s largest annual book festival, scheduled for the weekend after Labor Day. Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 251 Spruce Street North, Winston-Salem, bookmarksnc.org or rsvp@ bookmarksnc.org.
THEY ARE FAM-I-LY. 7 p.m. Get your groove on to the funk and soul sounds of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: cdecgreensboro.com.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Jennifer Byrd, author of Permission Granted. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. The Young Artists Orchestra performs Diamond, Mozart and Scriabin. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
• • •
thrills you’ll find at what else? A Blueberry Celebration and Pancake Picnic. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.
A WALK THROUGH TIME. 8 a.m. Join historian Glenn Chavis for a walking tour of Washington Street. Changing Tides Cultural Center, 613 Washington Street, High Point. To register: Call the High Point Museum at (336) 885-1859.
BREW HA HA. 2:30–8 p.m. Time for some, er, tap dancing as the Summertime Brews Festival serves up 400some craft beers and ciders from North Carolina and just about every where else on the planet. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 Gate City Boulevard., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmaster.com or various Triad locations (for a listing go to summertimebrews.com).
EMF. 8 p.m. Pianist André Watts and Festival Orchestra tackle Brahms. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
July 18 &19
BROWSE-A-RAMA. 9 a.m. & 10 a.m. Antiques, collectibles and memorabilia under one roof can mean only one thing: Super Flea Market. Pavilion, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 Gate City Boulevard., Greensboro. Info: greensborocoliseum.com.
BLUEBERRY HILL. 8–11:30 a.m. Blueberries, blueberry pancakes, blueberry-and-lemon scones are just some of the Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/Speakers
• • Fun
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro 9/5/14 12:19 PM
July Arts Calendar July 19
•SUNDAY MUSIC IN THE PARK. 6 p.m. EMF Young Artist Orchestras strut their stuff. Guilford College,
YOU WHO! 6–8 p.m. See works by students created at painting workshops and denizens of lunch-and-learn sessions at S.A.A.S.Y. (Spectacular Art Appreciation Show with You). Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery, 307 State Street, Greensboro. Info: (336)707-7476 or email kathylovesart@aol. com.
Founders Lawn, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www.facebook.com/musepgso.
EMF. 8 p.m. A faculty chamber concert delivers Dvořák, with Arensky to boot. UNCG School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. What’s with Uncle Charlie? Find out in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Young Artists Orchestra takes on Weber, Mozart and Strauss. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Primates rule in 1968’s Planet of the Apes. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Start the evening with Debussy at a faculty chamber music concert. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2720160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
EMF. 8 p.m. Bach and Poulenc top the program for a faculty chamber concert. UNCG School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Truth, justice and the American way. Christopher Reeves fights for ’em all in Superman: The Movie (1978). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Start with Shostakovich, end with Dvořák at a faculty chamber concert. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2720160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST 7 p.m. It takes twenty-four stars — including John Wayne, James Stewart and Gregory Peck — to show How the West Was Won (1962). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. It wouldn’t be summer without a strummer — or two. Hear the Classical Guitar Summit. Temple Emanuel, 1129 Jefferson Road, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
AXE MEN. 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Grammynominated rockers Tonic whale on their guitars. Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2729888 or theblindtiger.com.
HOPPERS HERE. The Greensboro Grasshoppers are home again. NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 268-2255.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. The hills are alive — again. Practice your doe-a-dears for The Sound of Music (1965) and sing-along. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Hear Copland, Elgar and Sibelius, courtesy of the Young Artists Orchestra. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
GAMERS. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Try some old-school fun with stilts, rolling hoops and more. Into heavy metal? Head to the blacksmith’s forge. Historical Park, High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.
DIXIE DISCUSSION. 10:30 a.m. Meet Michael Briggs author of Guilford Under the Stars and Bars, and Lee Sherrill, author of The 21st North Carolina Infantry: A Civil War History, With a Roster of Officers. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpoint.org.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS. 2–4 p.m. North Carolina artists are invited to present fifteen works to Greenhill’s director of curatorial and artistic programs, Edie Carpenter, at the Open N.C. Art Review. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. To register: greenhillnc.org/open-nc-art-review.
EMF. 8 p.m. Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers joins Festival Orchestra for some Prokoviev. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
ALIEN ATTRACTION. 6 p.m. The Meldavians [See page 29] invade the lawn of Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2489 or www. facebook.com/musepgso.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Now you see her, now you don’t in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1934). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet John Railey, editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal and author of Rage to Redemption in the Sterilization Age: A Confrontation With American Genocide. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. com.
JOYFUL NOISES. 7 p.m. Musicians and religious leaders join together to celebrate the role of local churches in the Outcry Tour 2015. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 Gate City Boulevard., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Yippie-kay-ay, mother — well, you know the rest — or if not, see Bruce Willis kick butt in Die Hard (1988). Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
EMF. 8 p.m. Hear the EMF Choral Institute Singers perform Mozart’s Requiem. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 2720160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
SUMMER FILM FEST. 7 p.m. Chicks dig Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! in Girls! Girls! Girls! Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre. com.
EMF. 8 p.m. The pressure’s on for the Young Artists Orchestra Concerto Competition Finals. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
BEATNIKS. 6 p.m. The Dance Project hosts its annual African Dance and Drumming Performance, featuring rhythms of West Africa. Cultural Arts Center, 200 North Davie Street, Studio 323, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2727 or danceproject.org.
AUTHORS, AUTHORS. 7 p.m. Meet North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson (Fiddledeedee) and poet John York (O, Beautiful Bug). Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. com.
TAYLOR MADE. 7:30 p.m. Fresh off his State Department “You’ve Got a Friend” Tour, James Taylor comes to Carolina, not just in his mind but for real. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports EMF Event
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station begin at 10am on 7/11 during the Annual Sidewalk Sale.
The Sunrise Preservation Group Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) tax deductable, non-profit organization.
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
July Arts Calendar
EMF. 8 p.m. Hear the winners of the Young Artists Orchestra Concerto Competition. Dana Auditorium, Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or easternmusicfestival.org.
STORY CORPS. 11 a.m. Book a slot in your sked for Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks. 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, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.
TALK IS CHEAP. Noon. Apprenez l’art de la conversation française. Pardon our French and join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.
PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’. 6– 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, live music by Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring; Molly McGinn; Martha Bassett and friends— at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Get fresh with locally grown produce, cakes, pies and cut fleurs for a pretty table at the Mid Week Market (starts 4/22). Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.
READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to storytimes: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.
G-RATED. 9:30 a.m. Carolina Kids Club screens family friendly movies: Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (7/8); Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (7/14); Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (7/22); and Rio 2 (7/29) Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.
MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn — at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.
ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Preschool Storytime I convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or highpointlibrary.com.
TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime II convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 8833666 or highpointlibrary.com.
VERSE-A-TILE. 3 p.m.–5 p.m. There’s plenty of rhyme and reason at Third Sunday at Three Open Poetry Reading and Open Mic, courtesy of Writers Group of the Triad. Common Grounds Coffeehouse, 602 South Elam Avenue, Greensboro. Info: triadwriters.org or email email@example.com.
DOWNTOWN SOUNDS. Noon. Unwind with some live music during your lunch hour. Tunes at Noon features Niblock & Gwynn (7/1), Falls (7/8), Dave Desmelik (7/22),
• • Art
Q Come Visit
Lacy Green (7/22), Kris Ferris (7/29). City Center Park, 200 North Elm Street. Info: (336) 272-1222 or citycenterpark.org.
• • Film
• • Fun
• Shopping • Food • Art • Entertainment
Pick up the current issue of O.Henry magazine at one of these locations when you are shopping or dining in the Irving Park Area: 1618 Wine Lounge Carolyn Todd’s Cheveux Dolce Dimora Easy Peasy Feathered Nest Irving Park Art & Frame Main & Taylor
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
O.Henry magazine’s office The Pack-N-Post Pastabilities Polliwogs Randy McManus Designs Serendipity by Celeste William Mangum Fine Art Gallery
July Arts Calendar •
ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30–8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz featuring Neill Clegg and special guests in the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000.
ART TALK. 6–7:30 p.m. Three duos of artists discuss their inspirations and artistic progress in Conversations on Creativity: Mariam Stephan and Ibrahim Said (7/9); Jack Stratton and Sarah Jane Mann (7/23); Harvey Robinson and Carolyn DeBerry. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg. edu.
JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 275-2754
OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www. idiotboxers.com.
THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $4 Fun Fridays. On First Friday (5/1), admission is only $2. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.
Fridays & Saturdays
NIGHTMARES ON ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute, historical, candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/information.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m.–12 p.m. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.
IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.ibcomedy.com.
HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grownups, too. A $4 admission, as opposed to the usual $8, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.
CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuck into Chef Felicia’s signature fried chicken and gravy, plus select beverage specials. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.
To add an event, email us at ohenrymagcalendar@ gmail.com by the first of the month prior to the event
NAMASTE. 10:45 a.m. Join Adelfa Hill, a certified yoga instructor, to destress and limber up your muscles, especially those involved in deep-elbow bends — so you can enjoy a post-practice malted beverage of your choice. Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, 117 West Lewis Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-7087 or gibbshundred.com.
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Worth the Drive to High Point The “Other” South As director of Mendenhall Homeplace (or Plantation, as it’s long been called), which stands in the heart of Jamestown across from City Lake Park, Shawn Rogers explains that he wants to show visitors “the South of nonslaveholding, peace-loving people” — the Quakers. “Duck thy head.” “Watch thy Step.” Even the cautionary signage harks back “the other South.” Operating under the aegis of the Historic Jamestown Society, the museum consists of a cluster of buildings and grounds dating from the 18th and 19th centuries that were the domain of the Mendenhall family. Jamestown, in fact, was named for James, the first Mendenhall to come to the area. “We have amazing historic architecture,” says Rogers of the main house that doubled as an inn. Belonging to Richard Mendenhall, James’ grandson, it was built around 1811. Adjacent is a former tanning meadow with a complete marble tanning table and the Madison Lindsay house, which was moved down Greensboro Road to the museum property in 1983. Originally a medical school, it contains medical books, bottles and accouterments, such as leech jars and lancets for bloodletting that will make you grateful for advances in modern medicine. “Whenever a grave was robbed, this was the first place people looked,” Rogers jokes. At every turn, Rogers has a different story — about the graffiti in the schoolhouse, or the buggy that belonged to Clarence Mackay, the belle époque millionaire who owned the Deep River hunting lodge near Guilford College, or the half-bottom wagon housed in the barn: “It’s only one of two that have been authenticated,” says Rogers of the vehicle designed with a hidden compartment
for transporting illicit “cargo” — runaway slaves. The Jamestown area was part of the Underground Railroad. Was the Mendenhall homestead a safe house? Rogers has his suspicions, based on a space under the eaves of the main house, large enough to store goods —or people — and some cryptic letters exchanged between Mendenhall family members. Rogers invites visitors to the Village Fair, July 18th, featuring arts, crafts, games, live music and food: “We’re shining a light on people who are trying to keep heritage-based trades alive,” he explains, pointing to Windsor chairmaker, a musket-maker and a familiar figure in the pages of O.Henry: the blacksmith. Having already attracted visitors from forty-seven states, Rogers is still reaching out with a revamped website and is contemplating a future walnut festival incorporating the ground’s eighteen walnut trees. “Usually, when people come, they’re drawn to the place, they come back, they bring more people,” Rogers notes. So y’all cometh. And when thou doth, be sure to duck thy head and watch thy step. Mendenhall Homeplace, 603 West Main Street, Jamestown, (336) 454-3819 or www.mendenhallplantation.org — Nancy Oakley
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Index of Advertisers • July 2015 1618 On Location
About Face Cosmetics & Day Spa
Laura Dotson Designs
Angie Wilkie, Allen Tate
Lillo Bella Boutique
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Lindsay Odom Menswear
Autumn Creek Vineyards
Linnea’s Boutique & Vera’s Threads
Barber Center for Plastic Surgery
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty
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Michelle Porter, Berkshire Hathaway
Carolyn Todd’s Fine Gifts & Clothing
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Smith Marketing, Allen Tate
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Greensboro Builders Association
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Presentation & Tasting of Champagne of J. de Telmont by Rickety Bridge Winery Saturday, April 18, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
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Greensboro’s Best Tex-Mex Cuisine Los Gordos serves only the finest mexican food. Catering for every event.
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The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Mary Jo & John Wilson, Tom Sears
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The Herb Society of America, NC Unit Herb Society Dinner Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Ellen Roethling, Linda Adornetto
Photographs by Lynn Donovan
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Green Acres Gala Benefiting the Greensboro Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum Saturday, May 16, 2015 Photographs by Lynn Donovan
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The Accidental Astrologer
Life in a Well-Fed Universe Wind up, honey pie, and heave that ripe tomato!
By Astrid Stellanova
Food fighters unite! Star Children, I love me a good old-
fashioned food fight. I once lobbed a heaping helping of marshmallow fluff right at Beau’s forehead. If you never heard of Beau, my sometimes boyfriend, then you ain’t been reading Astrid. In the scheme of things, a little fluff flung at a boyfriend (especially one who has a wandering eye) ain’t the worst thing. I say vent your humor, vent your spleen, but don’t carry angst around — that would be a big waste of a wonderful summer month and bad for the digestion!
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
You say you don’t much enjoy a fuss being made over your birthday. But you are sulky when the party doesn’t come off — so don’t pretend. Make a fuss over yourself. Eat more (expensive) chocolate this month. Seriously. You have quietly done a lot of nice things for others that may not be appreciated. Honey, that’s OK, because karma is swift. In your case, that is a good thing; your being a dependable friend is one of your best attributes. You may try very hard to pretend you have an aura of nothingness — just fitting in with the crowd — but that is so not true.
Leo (July 23–August 22)
It is comical when you get worked up and all self-righteous. And there you go, thinking somebody else is always trying to hog the high road. Life is a lot like a tapas restaurant — the best things come in small servings you can share with others. Do not spend another month of your life looking for congratulations and recognition, when all you did was sit down and order off the menu. Also, try cinnamon for your high blood pressure, Sweet Thing, and wiggle your tense little tootsies when you get up in the morning.
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
Face it, you are witty . . . but you ain’t going to wind up being no refrigerator magnet. So try distracting your best friend from their troubles. This is a good opportunity to take them to eat at a food truck. If you haven’t done that, it is high time. It ain’t like you are in the Hunger Games. While you are inhaling that second fish taco, don’t forget why you’re there: for your buddy. Really focus on them and lend an ear. They need your counsel and support more than they need air.
Libra (September 23–October 22)
Still saving up for a Thigh Master, Honey? (Beau bought me a knockoff, Big Mike’s Fitness Thigh Blaster. Matter of fact, I’m using it right now.) You are a person of substance, and that’s the way God made you. Always ready for the party, and the first one there. When you get in your Bermuda shorts, everybody appreciates you being you, and the fun you bring to the table. If you are still determined to lose weight, don’t get so serious you leave the whipped cream off the Jell-O. Order from the full menu of life and stop worrying.
Scorpio (October 23–November 21)
This is a good month to pay attention to eating better. Change is an inside job. Stock local produce and eat things that weren’t imported from thousands of miles away. Get your collard greens fix this month and throw in some hog jowl for good measure. Let things roll off your back and chill.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)
Don’t make fighting regret your main pastime. Sometimes you fight with your demons, and sometimes you just gotta cuddle up and make friends with them. And speaking of making friends with your demons, don’t fight your obsession with all things blueberry. I intend to change the world one gigantic blueberry muffin at a time; or was that one muffin top at a time? Either way, flash them blue teeth and smile more!
The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Capricorn (December 22–January 19)
When you repeated yourself all over again last month, and resisted accepting the one thing that would make you happy, well, Honey, all Astrid can say is that was just pants on the head stupid. Get your pants off your head, pull your big boy or big girl pants on one leg at a time, and undo that ridiculousness you set in motion. You know what it was and you know how to fix it. You can; you will. And by the way, you happen to be a born sous chef; enjoy some quality kitchen time.
Aquarius (January 20–February 18)
It is not a Burger King World, and, Darling, you cannot always have it your way. Except when you can. In July, you can. Let me simply say, this is a month that should leave you feeling full of your very fine self. Snap your fingers, and somebody jumps. Enjoy it. You have not had an easy year. Can you deal with everything going your way for a while? Others learn from watching you operate so smoothly in the kitchen of life. Tie those apron strings and enjoy just how fine it is going to be.
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
Eat your broccoli. Try juicing some green stuff. You’ve been looking a little peaked lately, and some of that is from ignoring what your body needs. You don’t have to wear garlic around your neck, but do be wary when your spirits register low, Baby. Rest up, because you have a visitor coming that will require more than a little psychic energy. What this friend needs most is to be recharged by time with someone they value — and that is you, Sweet Thing.
Aries (March 21–April 19)
You have got high-on-the-hog tastes, but when you are home alone you are more like Miss Piggy than Duchess Kate. That’s right, my Ram: You have a thing for peanut butter straight from the jar. There’s something about licking peanut butter right off the spoon that keeps you grounded and real; it is part of what makes you naturally lovable. Celebrate this month with an old friend who has had a run of bad luck. You will have enough good luck to go around, July Bug.
Taurus (April 20–May 20)
Your experimental side has taught you that goats can be good for Caribbean stew but bad as a role model. Your palate is pretty incredible; there are not many people that eat turtle, goat, squirrel and even gator, but you do, and that is why you are endlessly fascinating to an ever-growing circle. At least once in a while, try a turn in the kitchen. You are a creative cook, and this would delight your partner.
Gemini (May 21–June 20)
Your sweet tooth is legendary. Yes, Honey, you know your way around a dessert cart, and yet you don’t let yourself loose nearly enough. Indulgence is the word for this month, when you have the appetite and the opportunity to taste some truly sweet moments. Don’t pass them up. Order the sampler. If you wind up living a life of sad denial, you still won’t make it to sainthood, Sugar. 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. July 2015
The Short Cut By Cynthia Adams
In the flush of youth, Don loved having
his thick hair tugged and pulled whenever watching one of his educational TV programs. As the narrator droned on about the mating habits of sloths (sloth foreplay alone could fill an entire program), I admired his mane’s manly thickness. Mr. Burgess, his barber, actually thinned it.
Don was a regular, returning with a G.I. Joe haircut and tales of Mr. Burgess and his investments. The Burgess portfolio was a thing to marvel over when you are young and have only a full head of hair in the credit column. Then, Mr. Burgess hit 100 and closed shop. Don was accustomed to sitting in the company of unhurried men who let stories fall out of their mouths as clipped hair fell around their draped shoulders. He and his fine head of hair were adrift after Mr. Burgess hung up his clippers. The only thing to do was to patronize a walk-in shop. Don grew experimental, gradually letting his hair grow out when a persuasive female barber convinced him it was more stylish. Stylish was a new possibility! Then Don snagged an interview with a conservative firm. He purchased an interview suit, tie, shirt and wing-tips and returned to the single stylist he trusted. But she was vacationing. He shrugged, deciding to fly unshorn to the interview early Monday morning. As Don polished his CV, I fretted that he would look unpolished. I got to thinking. We had recently bought clippers and plunged into grooming our mutts. Admittedly, our dogs looked a bit off. Mottled skin shone through unfortunate places on their ears, rumps, tails and legs. Both had wriggled and protested throughout. But humans sat still. I eyed Don’s hair, deciding I could not allow him to go off on this job interview looking shaggy. He relented, and perched tensely on the bathroom toilet seat. “Just a little overall,” he cautioned, as I aimed the razor attachment on the clippers at Don’s forehead. The razor thrummed against my palm, ticklish and heavy. A two-bytwo-inch swatch revealed pinkish white skin behind the razor’s trajectory. A fat swatch of black hair fell to the floor before I jerked the razor back. “Hunh!” I said, my heart galloping. Don’s eyebrows flew up. “What did you do?!” he shouted, rising up. “Sit back down,” I reproached. “You would never jump up like that if Mr. Burgess was giving you a cut.” Don had the beginnings of a reverse Mohawk. “It’s just a little short. For you.” (It was short by anyone’s standards, unless, say, you were a skinhead.) “How short?!” “A little shorter than Mr. Burgess cuts it.” At that, Don vaulted off the toilet seat. “Oh. My. God,” he ut-
tered. My hand began shaking, but not from the vibrating razor. When something goes tragically wrong I am prone to laugh. He touched his scalp tentatively. “Wait, let me fix it! Something is wrong with this razor! It’s just the first baseline cut,” I protested. “This thing didn’t cut that close with the dogs,” I argued— the only true thing I said that Sunday afternoon. Don rounded on me, snatching the razor. “You turned it the wrong way! You turned it downward to shave and shaved a strip of hair in the very middle of my forehead!” The gash atop his forehead now matched the spreading pink of his face. “But I like it,” I lied instantly. What a fantastic lie this was. He scowled. “You could wear a hat!” “To a job interview? Seriously?” Don was apoplectic. We discussed barber options on a late Sunday afternoon. I sprinted to find the phone book. Only one salon was open. Cowardly and embarrassed, I waited in the car as Don went inside. He returned unrecognizable. His fine, thick hair was now a few centimeters long. What would the interviewer think? That Don had head lice? That he was sporting gansta chic? So I lied again. “I love it!” I exclaimed. Don glowered. On Monday morning, Don wore his new suit, crisp shirt and Windsor-knotted tie as he departed for the Big Deal Interview. But he looked twenty years older with no hair. His “I’m game!” gait was off. But when he returned on Tuesday, a smile wreathed his face as he dropped his bags. “No big deal,” Don said. “I don’t think I’m actually a very good fit for that place.” He did not say the obvious: I had undercut him. Short cut him. Could I ever make this up to him? Fifteen years passed. Don eventually developed his father’s receding hairline in the very place where I permanently scared his follicles to death. He isn’t bald, but his hair is no longer dark nor lush. Of late, though, he has been growing it a bit. Last Sunday, I eyed him as he shaved. “I could even that up, just a little,” I ventured, touching his graying sideburns. “No,” Don flatly replied. “Just with scissors,” I added. “Noooooooooooo. Nope. Never.” Don repeated. “Well, that was an unfortunate thing about the razor,” I mumbled; a final, stupefying lie. “You know,” Don added, kindly searching my face, “I was wrong for that job. I wouldn’t have liked it.” But we both understood, standing inside the sweet silence filling the bathroom, that sometimes half-truths are the only way to Super Glue a relationship back to the sticking place. And we smiled. OH Cynthia Adams, O.Henry’s contributing editor, is our local expert on short cuts. The Art & Soul of Greensboro
Illustration by Harry Blair
Shorn but not forgotten
John Reganess, CFP 速, CLU 速, ChFC 速 Senior Vice President - Investments Fundamental Choice Portfolio Manager 806 Green Valley Road, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408 (336) 545-7116 email@example.com https://home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/john.reganess
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