O. Henry March 2019

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RHIANNON GIDDENS, 41 MUSICIAN She’s a multi-talented artist. A singer, banjo player, violinist, flat foot dancer, and actor who has used her talents to tell untold stories of the African American experience. Rhiannon was born in Julian and moved to Greensboro when she was about seven years old. Growing up, music was always a part of her life. Her family was always singing. “I was in the Greensboro Youth Chorus. It was a great beginning for me to organized music,” Rhiannon says of the local children’s choir. “It was a big influence on me and a big part of my upbringing.” She studied music at the Governor’s School of North Carolina, an experience that prompted her to attend Oberlin Conservatory. She studied classical voice. After undergrad, she started a master’s at the UNC Greensboro School of Music. “I had a full lyrical voice and was going to go out and conquer the operatic world. But I kind of realized it was not really jiving with who I was as a person.” she says. “What lead me away from opera was wondering, ‘What can I offer this art form that nobody else is offering?…I want to be somewhere I can make a difference. I found

string band music and the history of black string band music. I thought, this is where I can absolutely offer up something different.” She came into her own as a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African American string band playing Piedmont blues. The group’s 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig earned them a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. She’s gone on to record solo albums and work with other recording artists, play a recurring role on the CMT television show Nashville, perform at folk festivals around the world, and earn the prestigious Steven Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. And acknowledging and celebrating African American stories and history has remained an important part of Rhiannon’s work. “As artists, we are responsible to help push society toward a better place. That is what art can do is to create that emotional awareness for people,” she says. “That is what we can do that dry facts can’t do. I think every artist of every era has a hand to play in that. I think it is part of our job.”

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a new perspective.




March 2019 FEATURES

49 Tilt Toward Spring

Poetry by Patricia Bergan Coe

50 10 Things You Never Knew about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse By Jim Dodson

54 The Art of Reinvention

By Nancy Oakley Agnes Preston-Brame’s take on Abstract Expressionism

60 Resonant Dwelling

By Cynthia Adams Architect Michael Clapp’s poetic barn conversion in Whitsett

69 Heaven in a Wildflower

By Cheryl Capaldo Traylor Finding infinity in the mottled leaves of a trout lily

71 Almanac

By Ash Alder

DEPARTMENTS 11 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 14 Short Stories 17 Doodad By Nancy Oakley 19 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 21 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 25 Scuppernong Bookshelf 27 Gate City Journal By Maria Johnson

35 Drinking with Writers By Wiley Cash

41 True South By Susan Kelly 43 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 45 Wandering Billy By Billy Eye 76 Arts Calendar 88 GreenScene 95 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Charles A. Jones

6 O.Henry

March 2019

Cover Art by Lynn Donovan The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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What matters to you, matters to us

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March 2019

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Simple Life

Confessions of a Happy Old Guy And the joys of life in the slow lane

By Jim Dodson

A close colleague needed to speak in

confidence the other day. She looked so serious.

“I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said, “but I have to tell you something important.” I feared she might be quitting her job to join a kazoo band or something even worse, appear on a reality show. So I braced for impact. “I was behind you in traffic yesterday. You drive like an old man!” She burst out laughing. I laughed, too — and agreed with her. She wasn’t the first to point out my maddening old-fashioned driving habits, or as I prefer to simply call them, careful. For the record I haven’t had a moving violation in 40 years, something one can accomplish only by moving slowly through the busy intersections of life. Knock wood. A year ago, however, I turned 65. In the eyes of my government, my insurance agent and my beloved colleague, this apparently means I’ve achieved official Old Man status. So essentially, my driving habits are finally catching up to my age. Over this year, in fact, since word has spread like kudzu on a redneck barn, I’ve received several “special dinner” invitations from companies eager to tell me all about their exciting products and services designed to “make your senior years happier, safer and more fulfilling.” One was from a lawyer pointing out the dangers of failing to update my final will and testament, presumably so craven heirs don’t rob me blind. Another was from a financial firm eager to feed me at the Olive Garden in order to convince me that I should try a reverse mortgage that would allow me to sell my house piece-by-piece in order to finance a speedboat or buy a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas. Not long after that, two dinner invites from local funeral homes offered a fancy last supper with small talk of coffins over coffee. The truth is, I’m perfectly fine officially being an Old Guy. I’ve never felt happier or more fulfilled than at this very moment, even without a speedboat. My health is good, the important parts all seem to work, I love what I do every day and look forward to many years of doing it as I chug along in the slow lane of life. I never plan to retire or even slow down because I’ve always moved at more or less the same modest speed. Slow and steady wins the race, as the moral goes, assuming you even care about winning the rat race. Never hurry, never worry was the personal motto of the late great Walter Hagen, a dapper fellow who walked slow and lived large while winning 45 golf tournaments, a total The Art & Soul of Greensboro

that included 11 major championships and four British Opens. Successful living, said the late great Leroy Robert Paige, a.k.a. “Satchel,” — hall-of-fame Major League pitcher who played his last game for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League at age 60 in 1966 — is really a question of mind over matter. “If you don’t mind,” he counseled, “it don’t matter.” Besides, the evidence is pretty compelling that I’ve been an old man since the day I was born. A small chronological sampling: It’s February, 1953, and I am born. My mother thinks I’m the cutest baby ever. My father jokes that I look like Dwight D. Eisenhower. My mother doesn’t think this is funny, doesn’t speak to my father for a week. Years later, whenever she’s annoyed with me, she’ll sigh and say, “I guess you were just born an old man, Sugar Pie.” It’s 12 years later, 1965. My favorite Beatle is George Harrison, the “quiet one” whose guitar gently weeps. I teach myself guitar and spend endless solitary hours learning to play like George. Paul McCartney tells the Associated Press that “George is the old man of the group.” In tribute, I try growing a beard like George. It goes nowhere. Then again, I’m only in fifth grade. Now we’re in the early avocado-colored ’70s. The music, the cars, the groovy way college girls look — it’s all quite wonderful. I grow my hair long and spend an entire summer at college smoking pot, which only puts me to sleep. So I quit smoking pot, buy a Dr. Grabow pipe and a corduroy sports coat with leather elbow patches. My hippie girlfriend jokes that she’s dating William F. Buckley and is shocked when I admit digging the music of Burt Bacharach. I am the only guy in my dorm who watches the Watergate Hearings from beginning to end — and enjoys it. Now it’s the 1980s and I’m an investigative reporter for a magazine in Atlanta, engaged to a beautiful TV anchorwoman who works late on weekends. Way past my normal bedtime, she likes to unwind from her job by dragging me to glamorous late-night parties where everyone is buzzing from funny white powder inhaled off the bathroom counter. More than once I sneak off to a stranger’s bedroom to grab a quick nap or watch reruns of Hee Haw with a Falstaff beer. The engagement is predictably short. In the late 1990s, I become a father of two, the happiest thing that’s ever happened to me. I build my own house and a faux English garden deep in a beech forest near the coast of Maine. I love reading books to our little ones March 2019

O.Henry 11

Simple Life

and normally fall asleep before they do. We like the same G-rated movies and yellow food group. They grow way too soon. Apparently I never did. But at least I am fully trained for grandparenthood. Two summers ago, while driving my vintage Buick Roadmaster in crazy rush hour traffic outside Philadelphia, a snarky young dude in a BMW opened his window and yelled, “Hey, Chevy, wanna drag race me to Wallyworld?” He howled at his own wit. I smiled politely back. When the light changed, however, I opened up my Roadmaster’s massive 350-hp, eight-cylinder Corvette engine and taught that little twerp never to mess with an old man driving his old man’s Buick. For the record, old guys like shirts with roomy pockets. This is a known fact and I’m no different. I want a shirt with pockets large enough for car keys, screwdrivers, grocery store lists, directions to the party, a sandwich for later, a tape measure, various auto parts, mysterious things you find in the yard and so forth. Pocket protectors, however, are ridiculous. What do you take me for, a complete old geek? Also, long ago, I decided that certain essentials in life should primarily be basic white. This includes, but is not limited to, golf balls, toilet paper, underwear, snow, vanilla ice cream, dress shirts, and the look on any idiot BWM owner’s face who thinks he can beat my Buick to Wallyworld. (By the way, genius, Chevy’s wagon was a Ford). If you’re going to jabber during the movie, please do us both a big favor and sit elsewhere, preferably in another county. I have a hard enough time hearing what’s going on in the movie without having to listen to your witless commentary. And if you speak to me in a crowded party, don’t be surprised if I just smile at you like a drooling village idiot because I can’t understand a blessed word anyone says to me in noisy, crowded places.

Ditto if I forget your name. Please don’t take it personally. Next time just wear your name tag — preferably written in LARGE EASILY DISCERNABLE LETTERS. For the record, I forget lots of names of things these days, including those of movie stars, old flames, neighbors, song titles, state capitals, sports stars, candidates I voted for, candidates I wish I voted for and so on. On the other hand, I can name every dog I ever owned, just one of many reasons a dog really is an old man’s best friend. You never forget them. Finally, I love going to the grocery store without a shopping list. Talk about free-range fun for Old Guys! Roaming the aisles like a man on a mission who can’t remember what he’s looking for, I just grab whatever catches my fancy on the oft chance it might include whatever item my wife specifically asked me to bring home. True, this often means a quick return to the store to get the correct item but, hey, that just means you can repeat the process and double your fun, taking home other great stuff that captures your fancy. Frankly, I could rattle on forever about the simple pleasures of finally being a certified Old Guy — going to bed early and rising before the chickens, reading poetry, biographies and histories in my tree house office, long walks with the dogs and road trips with my bride, small suppers with friends, stargazing, classical music, lonely back roads, rainy Sundays, weekend gardening, watching birds, early church, late afternoon naps, Kate Hepburn movies, historic battlegrounds, old houses, Scottish golf courses, expensive bourbon, bumping into old friends I actually remember, and other stuff I invariably forget how much I enjoy. Whew, just the thought of all that activity exhausts me. I’d better go grab a quick nap before I run to the store to fetch supper items I probably won’t remember to get. OH Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

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12 O.Henry

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Thrive L E A D IN G F OR WA R D

20 19 G AL A

Mark your calendars March 23rd, 2019

Sarah McBride

The 2019 Guilford Green Gala and Green Party is March 23, 2019. A sit-down dinner at Starmount Forest Country Club will be followed by the Green Party hosted by Jessica Mashburn and Evan Olson. Dinner will feature guest speaker Sarah McBride, a progressive activist and the National Press Secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Tickets Available For $175 at https://guilfordgreenfoundation.org/gala-tickets Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor Dawn S. Chaney Foundation

Branching Out

Help the Gate City keep another moniker, Tree City USA, as designated by the National Arbor Day Foundation. And you don’t have to, er, go out on a limb. Just join Greensboro Beautiful on March 16 — Arbor Day — at 10 a.m. for a tree planting at Kings Forest Park (1501 Larchmont Drive). The event will also launch the local nonprofit’s NeigbhorWoods Community Tree Planting Program, which helps provide canopy for hardwoods and evergreens lost in storm damage — as we all witnessed during Hurricanes Florence and Michael last fall — or for utility work. Info: greensborobeautiful.org. .

Pickled and Preserved

Not that we’re suggesting you tie one on, but you can order a bowl of pickled veggies and yes, hoist a brew or two — or even a few — while helping out Preservation Greensboro. Just head to Natty Greene’s Brewpub in the historic Jones Building (345 South Elm Street) on March 20, aka “Good Work Wednesday” between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and order your favorite frostie, be it a Buckshot Amber, a Southern Session IPA or an Old Town Brown. While you’re at it, place an order of Cajun fries to go with those pickles, knowing that when you pay your tab, 10 percent of it — along with 10 percent of other bar patrons’ tabs — will go directly to the nonprofit dedicated to saving revered places and vital links to the Gate City’s past. Info: preservationgreensboro.org.

14 O.Henry

March 2019

As in, eclectic ways artists have used to portray the human figure, as seen in Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form, opening March 9 at Weatherspoon Art Museum (500 Tate Street). Drawing from Modern and contemporary works from the museum’s collection, the exhibit consists of self-portraits, celebrity portraits or renderings of body fragments, to show that our mortal coils are a means to express identity, societal trends and fragility. So show a little esprit de corporeal, and catch the installation, which will be on view through October 20. Info: weatherspoon.uncg.edu.


Short Stories

The Body Eclectic

Marvelous Maguy

It was a book reading. But the writer, Greensboro’s Maguy (pronounced Maggie) Thomson, who is 75 and bent by rheumatoid arthritis, could not speak above a whisper, so her husband, Tim, introduced her work, Marguerite de Bourgogne, a self-published memoir via LifeRich Publishing, an imprint of Readers Digest. Reading from a copy bookmarked with sticky notes, Brenda Schleunes, founder of the Touring Theatre of North Carolina, freed Maguy’s stories: Of her father as a young Jewish man in Austria, fleeing Hitler’s police in 1936. Of her mother, who was from the Burgundy region of France and who lived, as young woman, in Paris, where she and Maguy’s father met. Of Maguy’s childhood, which included an 8-year-old boy who wrapped her 4-year-old finger with a blade of grass and announced to Maguy’s grandfather, “We are married whether you like it or not.” At this, Marguerite of Burgundy — and later of Paris, of Chicago and four more U.S. cities before she landed, five years ago, in Greensboro — closed her eyes in the den-like coziness of Scuppernong Books and smiled. So did everyone else. Info: maguey.org or scuppernong.com —M.J. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Step to it, get into the groove, drag your heels, toe the line and give it a whirl. Dance Project’s Dance Marathon, that is. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 30, Dance Project will set up in LeBauer Park and Van Dyke Performance Center (200 North Davie Street) for a day of classes, performances, dance relays, prizes and then some. The point is not only to have a great time but also to raise money for the programs and activities at Dance Project’s School at City Arts. So grab those dancing shoes and get ready to cut a rug. Info: (336) 373-2727 or danceproject.org.

Spring Forward

To Springfest! OK, so we’re brazen enough to toot our own horn, but we strongly feel you won’t want to miss this year’s event, hosted by our sister publication Seasons Style & Design, a quarterly devoted to all things home and garden in the Triad. Now in its second year, Springfest will be held on Saturday March 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Grandover Resort (1000 Club Road). With the theme, “How Does Your Garden Grow,” it will feature — if you’ll pardon our alliteration — garden gab from hort luminaries Tony Avent and Chip Calloway. In between talks you can enjoy a splendid tea, replete with nibbles, and meander among vendors’ displays, and home and garden demos. Rumor has it that flower guru Randy McManus may even make an appearance. Find out for yourself! Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

Couture de Coeur

You don’t have to be a fashionista to appreciate Restoration Runway, the fashion show and silent auction benefiting Restoration Place Counseling, which offers affordable, faith-based services to women suffering trauma, depression or dependence. On March 28 Restoration Runway will celebrate its 10th year at Greensboro Country Club (410 Sunset Drive) with a reception, runway show and silent auction, but under the theme, “Joy,” it celebrates something more important: inner beauty. Tickets: one.bidpal.net/ joyfuljoyful/ticketing.

Irish Trad

Long before Celtic Woman or other renowned folk bands from the Emerald Isle — De Dannan, Planxty, even The Irish Rovers of “The Unicorn” fame — The Chieftains set the bar for traditional Irish music. Established in 1962 by front man Paddy Moloney, the group boasts a staggering discography of 40-some albums, six Grammy awards and numerous collaborations with musicians of various genres, from rocker Mick Jagger to late opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti. As cultural ambassadors, The Chieftains have performed for monarchs, heads of state, Pope John Paul II and, at the invitation of the Chinese government, on the Great Wall of China, the first western group to do so. In its 57 years, the band has expanded and contracted with various members’ passing or leaving, but Moloney still leads, playing the tin whistle and uilleann pipes. With Kevin Conneff on vocals and bodhrán (drum) and Matt Malloy on flute they continue to delight and mesmerize audiences with their enticing blend of Celtic airs, ballads and reels, along with classical compositions. Be similarly mesmerized on March 7 at 8 p.m. the Carolina Theatre (301 S. Greene Street). Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

If you love variety, March is your month. It’s one of those transitional months — not quite winter but not yet spring. Between its in-like-a-lion and out-like-a-lamb parts, one may be snow skiing Tuesday and water skiing by Friday. Likewise, this month’s musical offerings are equally varied — a little something for everybody. So take your pick and enjoy the fun.

• March 5, Lucky 32: Since the bar area of this

popular restaurant features live music on Tuesdays, it makes sense to celebrate Mardi Gras on — what else? — Fat Tuesday. And who better to bring the NOLA funk than the Meldavians? Melissa Reeves (vocals), Dave Fox (keys) and Scott Sawyer (guitar) are the cream of the crop. Beads will be provided but flashing is optional.

• March 8, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: There are cult bands, and then there are Here Come the Mummies. No one knows exactly who they are, because they’re dressed as mummies, but what is known is that they’re an eight-piece, funk-rock-blues-ska band based in Nashville, and all its members are under contract to various record labels. So, to prevent contract disputes, they perform “under wraps.” A novelty act, perhaps, but their musicianship is certainly no novelty. • March 13, Carolina Theatre: Hard to believe the Mavericks have been around for 30 years. And Raul Malo’s voice is still as pristinely perfect as it ever was. And the Tex-Mex/rockabilly niche they carved for themselves back then is still as vibrant as ever. I seriously can’t wait. • March 15 & 16, Greensboro Coliseum: While researching this month’s picks, I came across conflicting dates for Eric Church. I had to call the Coliseum to find out which one was correct, and it turns out they both are. The country superstar is really playing two back-to-back dates! Who does that? No, I’m asking, who else is big enough to do that? Maybe I’ll call back to make sure I’m not dreaming. • March 22, Durham Performing Arts

Center: Until we get our own PAC built, we’ll have to travel to Durham to see acts such as Jackson Browne. Still, it’s worth the trip to see my favorite songwriter of all time. I’ve seen him with a full band and as a solo acoustic show; this will be a hybrid acoustic show with three other folks. I’ll take him any way I can get him. March 2019

O.Henry 15

A Fresh & Fun Restoration of a Historic Island Resort Read all about it in Salt’s June issue

SAVE THE DATE — MAY 30TH Join us there and see for yourself !


Hum-dinger Greensboro Opera launches a new production in a new performance space




We all know the story: A brother and

sister lose their way in a forest and come upon a gingerbread house laden with sweets; weak with hunger, they start nibbling at the confection . . . only to discover it is the property of a witch who uses the sugary structure to lure young children for her own consumption. Grim and grisly stuff, as written by the Brothers Grimm. Though the story is well-worn, the operatic adaptation of Hansel and Gretel by 19th-century German composter Engelbert Humperdinck “has some of the most beautiful music,” says David Holley, director of Greensboro Opera.

He has equal praise for the new venue where the production will be performed March 8, 9 and 10: Well-Spring Theatre, situated on the campus of Well-Spring retirement community. “It’s just a gem,” Holley affirms. “It’s got great acoustics, great sightlines and there’s not a bad seat in the house.” Accommodating 330, the performance space consists of a traditional proscenium theater, but as Holley observes, it’s designed in such a way to serve multiple purposes. “It’s intimate, inviting, yet spacious.” He should know, having watched the theater’s construction from the time it was “a concrete slab.” About four years ago, Holley’s colleague on the UNCG music faculty and Well-Spring’s director of programs Garrett Saake made an attractive offer: “He said, ‘We want to get professional arts organizations booked in the new performance space,’” Holley recalls. “I immediately said, ‘yes!’” (As did Five By O.Henry, Greensboro Symphony and Bel Canto Company). Ever since, the opera company has used Well-Spring for rehearsals of Daughter of the Regiment, Madame Butterfly, Carmen and Cinderella. “It’s great, because the residents can come and go,” Holley says. Now it’s the general public’s turn to get in on the act. Or more specifically, the three acts of Hansel and Gretel, which was chosen for its popularity among opera buffs and novices alike. In addition to the familiar plot, “it’s an hour-and-a-half and in English,” Holley notes. But just as that gingerbread house in the forest enchants the opera’s protagonists, it’s the music that enchants audiences. Holley waxes poetic about the sublime “Evening Prayer,” and the, well, sweet sounds of Greensboro Youth Chorus filling cast as the other child victims of the witch’s evil spells. “A lot of it is folk-based, simple, accessible,” he says of the score. “It is one opera where people will leave humming a tune.” — Nancy Oakley OH

855.416.9086 //


Tickets: ticketmetriad.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 17

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Life’s Funny

The art of pre-infant bonding By Maria Johnson

Dear Future Grandchild,

I realize it’s brazen of me to write this directly to you because — as far as I know from both of my unmarried sons — you don’t exist yet. I say “as far as I know “ because I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if one of them walked in with a small child, and I said, “Who’s this?” and he said, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? This is your grandchild. My bad. I thought I texted you.” So let’s just assume you’re an unborn angel — and able to read (It’s a big ask, but humor me.) Here’s what I want you to know: I want to hold you, gush over you, coo in a whispery voice to you. But there’s something going around that might make that difficult for a while: bonding. Feel free to spit up in heaven. Here, according to several of my friends, is how it works: 1. Your parents tell us, your grandparents-to-be, that you are on the way. 2. We, your grandparents-to-be, are beside ourselves with joy because, let’s face it, this is why we had your parents: to be able to spend time with you, our grandchild, without the responsibility of parenting. It’s like winning the Powerball of Procreation. You’ll understand one day. 3. We, the grandparents-to-be, start buying toys, clothes and other accessories for you. We marvel at the advances in baby technology. For example, back in our day, we had radio-based nursery monitors. Now, cameras allow parents to watch you on their phones, which is . . . an improvement? We recall the story of a father of our generation who went golfing while his wife was away. He took the radio monitor (range: oh, 500 feet), finished his round, and heard no sign of trouble. Until that night. This story could be apocryphal. But it’s probably not. 4. The time of your arrival nears. 5. Bing! The email arrives. 6. We, your grandparents-to-be, say: “WHAT THE **** IS A POSTPARTUM PLAN?” 7. Sorry, we promised we wouldn’t curse around you. 8. Yes, it’s a detailed plan. For the first days, weeks, or even months of your life. It spells out who’s allowed to visit, when, and for how long. It lists permissible behaviors. Taking out the trash, washing dishes and doing laundry are highly encouraged. Pets, perfumes and pathogens are out. Holding you is negotiable. Kissing you is highly unlikely. Forget pushing your stroller (which probably carries a “No Touching” sign, no joke). Like high-schoolers after tryouts, we read the list hoping to make the varsity squad: Those allowed to see you at the hospital.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

9. If we don’t make the team, we’ll say what we swore we’d never say because it makes us sound too much like our own parents: “This world is going to hell.” 10. See Number 7. 11. Distraught, we, your grandparents — OK, just me, your grandmother — turns to friends to see if any of them have experienced this phenomenon. 12. “Yes,” they say, “This world is going to hell.” Then they tell stories about “smash cakes,” which are first-birthday cakes designed to be smashed by babies for video purposes, then thrown away. Fair warning: If your parents throw away a birthday cake that’s perfectly good — save a few claw marks — the videos will show this grandmother diving into the trash after it. Hahaha, my ass. Oops. See Number 7. Back to bonding. According to my sources, the goal of bonding is that your parents will feel (air quote) connected enough to meet your needs and so that you will not grow up to scream “IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEYOU,” which, newsflash, you’re going to do anyway, but your parents don’t know this yet, so let’s not ruin the party. The point here is that baby ducks imprint on their parents in a few days, but you’re a human, so this whole step-away-from-the-child thing seems like a bit much. Understand, I get the drive to attach to your newborn. On the nights my boys were born, I held them in my hospital bed and studied them fiercely, memorizing their eyes, noses, hair, ears, fingers — everything, lest we take home a stuffed animal by mistake. Such cementing is largely due to hormones, which also usher in postpartum crying jags. Been there, too. I get how visitors at this point can grate. I get how new parents want to do everything right. I get that every generation changes how they do things. I also understand that it’s nice to have a pair of loving, experienced hands take a squalling baby so you can get a nap, or a shower, or escape to Walmart, which can seem like a dream vacation, especially if your child has colic, a condition that causes babies to cry pretty much nonstop for the first three months of their lives, for no discernible reason. Oh, didn’t I tell you? My bad. Colic runs in our family. Seeya soon. Granny OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry magazine. Contact her at ohenrymaria@gmail.com. March 2019

O.Henry 19

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The Omnivorous Reader

The Definitive Douglass Revealing a multifaceted American icon

By Stephen E. Smith

Readers who’ve

been inspired by Frederick Douglass’ eloquent autobiographies will likely find David Blight’s 900-page Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom — touted by its publisher as “the definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African American of the nineteenth century” — a demanding read. The complexities of race relations in America make it so, and the fact that Frederick Douglass, our first nationally recognized black civil rights leader, is one of the most multifaceted and controversial Americans to have shaped 19th-century thought, only amplifies the challenge. But Blight’s insights into Douglass’ radical evolution and the obvious correlation with the state of race relations in contemporary America make this meticulously researched and beautifully written biography well worth the time and effort.

Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey around 1818 and lived his early years on the Delmarva Peninsula, a few miles from the small town where this reviewer was born and raised. At age 13, he was sent to Baltimore, where he was taught to read by his owner’s wife, Lucretia Auld. He was eventually hired out to a “slaver breaker” in St. Michaels, a bayside village 10 miles west of my hometown of Easton, and after an attempted escape in 1836, he was briefly incarcerated in the Talbot County jail, an ominous stone structure adja-

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

cent to the courthouse I passed daily. During my school years, I never once heard the name Frederick Douglass. There was no historical marker identifying the Sage of Anacostia as a local luminary (the only public monument in town, a bronze figure of a Confederate soldier cloaked in the stars and bars, was dedicated “To the Talbot Boys/1861-1865/C.S.A.”). No school or municipal building was named for the great man, and he wasn’t discussed in the Maryland history book we studied in the fifth grade. None of my childhood friends can recall any reference to Douglass. I was a college student before I learned of his extraordinary accomplishments and was compelled by curiosity to read his three autobiographies. Only then did it occur to me that growing up in Frederick Douglass’ backyard without learning about him was tantamount to being raised in Springfield, Illinois, without hearing the name Abraham Lincoln. I mention this lapse in my education, occurring about the time the Supreme Court ruled against segregation and Jim Crow laws, because it’s an example of what Douglass struggled with all his adult life: the notion that a black man couldn’t possibly demonstrate a profound philosophical wisdom and achieve worldwide fame. Perhaps the good citizens of Talbot County thought it best not to mention Douglass. Other than the accident of birth, they couldn’t claim credit for his success. And who, after all, is a prophet in his own land? Blight’s biography adds little new information concerning Douglass’ prewar years as a social reformer and abolitionist, other than to note that a self-reliant Frederick Bailey transformed himself by force of will into Frederick Douglass, one of the great thinkers of his time, a writer and public speaker whose talents were equal to those of Lincoln and whose determination to end the “peculiar institution” that was the economic lifeblood of the South surpassed that of the martyred president. “Douglass offered an original American to those who sought such images,” Blight writes, “he was the sui generis former slave who found books, the boy beaten into a benumbed field hand who fought back and mastered language and wielded a King James – inspired prose at the world’s oppressions with a genius to behold.” Douglass biographies are numerous and range in quality from Benjamin March 2019

O.Henry 21

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Omnivorous Reader Quarles’ excellent Frederick Douglass to Leigh Fought’s Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, a misguided effort that occasionally borders on fiction. Blight’s biography is exceptional because he had access to untapped primary sources contained in the collection of Walter Evans of Savannah. He’s made good use of these sources to explicate Douglass’ postwar struggles to secure the rights of freed slaves and to banish the scourge of lynching from the South. Blight also thoroughly examines Douglass’ varied causes and obsessions. He backed John Brown’s violent anti-slavery activities and was a staunch supporter of women’s rights. He carried on a long-term relationship with Ottilie Assing, a German feminist, freethinker and abolitionist, who sheltered him when he was charged with conspiracy in connection with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. He served as minister to Haiti from 1889 to 1891 and was deeply involved with the 1893 Haitian pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In 1884, Douglass married Helen Pitts, a white abolitionist from a prominent New York family, thus crossing the color line. All the while, Douglass continued to speak out against racial injustice, Jim Crow and peonage laws that in effect locked freedmen in a state of perpetual servitude. Late in his life, he was still railing on the effects of the pernicious color line: “(It) hurts us at midnight, it denies us accommodations in hotels and justice in the courts, excludes our children from schools, refuses our sons the right to learn trades and compels us to pursue only such labor that will bring the least reward.” The South won that war of attrition. Blight’s biography is, for the moment, the definitive work on Frederick Douglass, although there is a need for a more insightful inquiry into the great orator’s religious, political and philosophical beliefs. After 900 pages of text, Douglass remains something of an enigma, a man whose intelligence, eloquence and determination almost changed America for the better On the courthouse lawn in my hometown of Easton, Maryland there are now two statues, one celebrating the “The Talbot Boys” and another bronze that depicts Douglass, one hand on a lectern, the other raised beseechingly skyward. The town celebrates their most famous son “throughout the year, including Frederick Douglass Day in September and the annual Juneteenth celebration of abolition.” It’s about time. OH Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He’s the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press awards.

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

Blair Fare

Thanks to Carolina Wren Press, veteran N.C. publisher John F. Blair finds an owner, adopts a new name and offers up several new releases

Compiled by Brian Lampkin

Some big-name writers from big-

name publishers have books arriving in March: Oprah Winfrey (Flatiron Books) Dave Eggers (Knopf), Peter Wohlleben (Greystone), Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead), Preet Bharara (Knopf) and Amy Hempel (Scribner), to name a few. Advertising budgets for all of those books will be significant (To be sure, no Super Bowl ads, but maybe a 1/2-page ad in Mother Jones!). Instead, let’s use our own meagre “advertising budget” to highlight a North Carolina publisher that’s bringing superb books to us in 2019.

Blair is a publishing house located in Durham, North Carolina, recently created by the purchase of Winston-Salem’s John F. Blair Publisher by Carolina Wren Press. Publisher Lynn York says that for several years, he had been trying to find a way to expand Carolina Wren Press, founded in 1976. “When we heard that the folks at John F. Blair were ready to retire, it seemed like a natural fit,” he says. “We were really happy to be able to purchase their titles and pull them into our nonprofit.” Along with senior editor Robin Miura, York has embarked on an ambitious path. They recently announced that poet Ada Limón is their new poetry editor. Limón has credibility of the highest order in the poetry world. With all these changes, York still believes that their “mission remains the same: to publish new and underrepresented writers. With the addition of the John F. Blair titles, this also means that we publish lots of books that relate to the South, and especially to North Carolina.” Here are forthcoming titles from Blair: April 2: The Little Turkle, by Deborah Van Dyken ($16.95). The Little Turkle hatches into a world full of wonder on a barrier island off the Atlantic Coast where some people still call turtles “turkles.” Van Dyken lives in Beaufort, N.C., where she practices family law and watches sea turtles and their nests at the Cape Lookout National Seashore. April 23: Any Other Place: Stories, by Michael Croley ($16.95) In his debut The Art & Soul of Greensboro

collection, Michael Croley takes us from the Appalachian region of rural Kentucky and Ohio to a village in South Korea in 13 engaging stories in which characters find themselves, wherever they are, in states of displacement. Croley uses his absorbing prose and relentless intent to uncover his characters’ hidden disquiet and to bring us a remarkable and unique collection that expands the scope of modern American literature. Croley will also be featured at the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, May 16–19, 2019. May 7: Cape Fear Rising, by Philip Gerard ($18.95). Based on actual events, Cape Fear Rising tells a story of one city’s racial nightmare — a scenario that was repeated throughout the South at the turn of the century. Although told as fiction, the core of this novel strikes at the heart of racial strife in America. May 7: North Carolina Ghost Lights and Legends, by Charles F. Gritzner ($15.95). North Carolina is considered one of the U.S. headquarters for ghost lights — that is, for spooky and unexplained luminous phenomena. Nearly half of all reported ghost lights shine, blink, burn, dance or float somewhere in the state. These ghost lights are well-known in their localities. There are scary and fascinating stories associated with them, and they attract many visitors, each hoping to see a ball of fire floating over a cemetery or a jack-o’-lantern illuminating a corner of the Great Dismal Swamp or, better yet, a long-dead railroad man swinging his lantern in search of his severed head. Author Charles “Fritz” Gritzner has been chasing ghost lights for many years. A geography professor and luminous phenomenon buff, he has visited the sites, researched possible scientific explanations for the lights and recorded the legends surrounding them. In this charming and fascinating book, he does not seek to debunk these phenomena, but to illuminate them as a part of the folk culture of North Carolina. August 13: Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge, by Thomas C. Barnwell, Emily Shaw Campbell and Carolyn Grant ($21.95). The Gullah culture, though borne of isolation and slavery, thrived on the U.S. East Coast sea islands from pre–Civil War times until today, and nowhere more prominently than on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. On this small barrier island, descendants of the first generations of Gullah people continue to preserve Gullah language, customs, arts and cuisine. The three authors of Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge are among those descendants, and in this book, they chronicle the amazing history of their secluded community from the Civil War through the 1950s, when real estate development connected Hilton Head Island to the mainland with a bridge. OH Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books. March 2019

O.Henry 25

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Deep Dish

Gate City Journal

Free Pizza, a Greensboro podcast that celebrates up-and-coming creatives, bites into its third year

By Maria Johnson

Welcome to the Free Pizza studio.

Actually, it’s a sunroom on the back of a 1948 rental house that has sheltered roughly 1,948 students and others who orbit in the gravitational field of UNCG. That’s an exaggeration, of course. Two thousand people have not lived here. It just looks like it. But back to the studio, which is adorned with — among other things — strings of bistro lights, anime posters, a photo of the Washington Monument, speakers, a turntable, a guitar, chess pieces, an empty water bottle, a container of ibuprofen, and a covey of furniture thrifted from yard sales and estate auctions. One of the finer pieces, a marshmallow of a black recliner in the corner, absorbs the frame of Kenrick Jobe, an affable 23-year-old portrait painter who grew up in Lexington, graduated from ECU and now lives in Durham. A few feet and a couple of microphones away, on another puffy recliner, perches his interviewer, Daniel White, an effusive fellow who wears a wide smile, beard and watch cap as a seemingly inseparable unit. He consults an extra large iPad that’s propped in front of him on someone’s grandmother’s side table, complete with water rings. “You guys ready?” says Jacob Beeson, whose back is turned to the duo. He’s earplugged to a laptop that’s running an audio recording app. Nods and yeps all around. “Today, we have the wonderful Kenrick here,” says White. “You are an amazing painter and graphic designer . . .” Thus begins another episode of Free Pizza, a weekly podcast featuring interviews with artists you’ve probably never heard of. Podcasts, for the untuned, are basically radio shows on the internet. They cover scads of topics including politics, art, science, travel and all manner of exotica. Some podcasts spring from slick studios affiliated with major media outlets, like NPR. Others — most, in fact — come from grassroots creators who record in basements, garages and, ta-da, sunrooms.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Worldwide, more than half a million podcasts are zipping around the cybersphere. According to a recent survey, in this country alone, an estimated 44 percent of people older than 12 have listened to a podcast. Which brings us back to Greensboro’s own Daniel White and Jacob Beeson, who are 28 and 26 respectively. This month, they celebrate, with a smidgeon of surprise, Free Pizza’s second anniversary. “Obviously, we were hoping for the best, but I definitely didn’t think we’d still be going with this much momentum and steam,” says Beeson. “We’ve been overwhelmed by support.” Listeners tap into the show on several platforms. Earlier this year, Free Pizza started uploading episodes onto Spotify, a major audio streaming service. Apple iTunes and SoundCloud also distribute the show, and there’s always the show’s website, freepizzapodcast.com. All told, Free Pizza gets 100 to 300 downloads per episode from all sources combined, according to Beeson. Since they started, they’ve racked up north of 20,000 downloads on about 80 episodes. Their traffic resembles that of other locally produced podcasts, including the city government’s Gate City Chatter, which is recorded in a community podcasting studio in the Greensboro Cultural Center, and a podcast called The Open Micers, which is run by comedians J.D. Etheridge and Micah Hanner. Another area podcast, Name Redacted, is recorded in Colfax and leans toward comics and gaming. Alexander Folmar, who created Name Redacted with his friend Chris Nielsen six years ago, says Free Pizza fills a niche — showcasing grassroots artists — with easy style. “Those dudes crush, and the reason they crush is Daniel has been a Greensboro staple for so long. He’s so personable, and his personality is not over-the-top. He does a really, really good job of asking the question and stepping away,” says Folmar. Nielsen concurs: “In terms of local artists and creatives, they really have their finger on the beat like nobody else.” All of this because of cars and music — with a 21st-century twist. In the late aughts, White and Beeson, both from High Point, were teenagMarch 2019

O.Henry 27

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Beyond the Casserole

ers swimming in the hardcore punk music scene around Greensboro. Beeson played bass in a band called Barrow. White was a fan and budding photographer who snapped pics at concerts. They had lots of mutual friends and contacts on social media. Then, around 2011, White, who graduated with a degree in information systems at UNCG, was cruising Facebook for a job, and Beeson — who’d dallied in business studies at High Point University and Gardner-Webb University before surrendering to music — responded that there were vacancies at CarMax, where he worked. White jumped on board as a photographer for the used-car dealer, and a friendship was born. Both guys were big fans of podcasts, then in their infancy. White was hooked on No Jumper, a Los Angeles–based program heavy on underground rappers. Jacob was tuned into Serial, an early NPR podcast. A few DIYers were streaming around Greensboro. White and Beeson were drawn by the close-tothe-ground nature of the medium. “I wanted to do that here, with artists and people who were not super on-the-radar,” says White. “It’s mind-blowing how many artists are around here.” He was determined to avoid musicians because he felt they had enough exposure in zines, or small special-interest magazines. “I think his first text said, ‘I want to do a podcast for everybody but musicians,’” Beeson remembers. “He was like, ‘How many podcasts have you ever seen where they interview painters?’” Beeson — a sound geek who already had most of the recording equipment they would need — would be the audio engineer. White would do most of the interviewing. He wanted to catch creatives early in their careers before their struggles and mistakes faded from memory. He wanted other artists to take heart and know that they weren’t alone. Beeson was in. They would record several episodes on the weekends, and they would post one interview — lasting an average 30 to 45 minutes — every week. They had no journalistic experience — they’d been interviewed by small publications about their photography and music, but that was it — so they prepared by listening to podcasts and by sharing links and notes on their phones. They dissected interviews, figuring out how to ask questions so the session flowed naturally, as a conversation rather than an inquisition. White came up with the name Free Pizza because . . . who isn’t attracted by free pizza? Not that they would serve free pizza because, hey, no money. But still, it had a nice ring. After three months of preparation, Beeson opened a recording app, Apple’s Logic Pro X, on his laptop, and White sat across from his subjects, pen

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Gate City Journal and pad in hand. “I was terrified,” says White. “The first episodes were pretty bad,” says Beeson laughing. “It was mostly us interviewing our friends. It’s the easiest thing to do when you have no credentials.” They invited interviewees to the basement of the home where Beeson was living at the time. “It was kinda sketchy,” admits Beeson. “It was a little damp, very cold, overwhelming concrete.” Their first guest was their friend Savannah Patterson, an illustrator and graphic designer from Greensboro. Another early interview: Winston-Salem videographer Justin Reich, who has worked with musicians including Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde. Beeson was shocked by how quickly people agreed to be interviewed. He and White started reaching out to artists who lived beyond the Triad; if their audience could be anywhere, via the internet, so could their subjects. Example: a May 2018 interview with Jessamyn Stanley, a Durham yoga instructor who has been featured in Forbes and People magazines and on BuzzFeed. “Her story touched me on an emotional level,” says White.

At first, episodes of Free Pizza appeared only as a tab on Amplifier, a now defunct Greensboro arts and entertainment website. Free Pizza had no website of its own. But White and Beeson had lots of friends who told other friends, on social media, about Free Pizza. A year into the project, the podcast caught the ear of Jeremy Hyler, creative director at PhotoBiz and its sister firm Zibster, website design companies in Greensboro. Hyler was intrigued by the show’s emphasis on up-and-coming artists. Growing up in Eden, N.C., Hyler had felt the isolation of being a creative kid who knew very few kindred spirits. Free Pizza was full of those souls. “Their stories really captured me,” he says. “We’re all kind of cut from the same fabric.” Hyler offered White and Beeson a sponsorship agreement — a website in exchange for shout-outs during the interviews. Every couple of months, the trio huddles to map out their next steps. They’re The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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talking about adding video and other website content for a nominal fee. White and Beeson plan other activities for the coming year. They hope to dish up real free pizza — as in slices — at a public party and podcast with a new partner, Greensboro’s Center for Visual Artists, a nonprofit gallery that also focuses on emerging artists. Half of Free Pizza’s subjects live in the Greensboro area, and three-quarters call North Carolina home, but the duo plan to keep expanding their geographic reach. Last year, they interviewed people — whom they knew personally or through Instagram — in Scotland and England. “I think it’s important to know what’s going on in other places,” says White. They also plan a road trip, maybe to Wilmington. Last spring, they did a three-day swing through Winston-Salem and the Triangle. They recorded almost 20 episodes, enough to last several months. The pair haven’t quit their day jobs yet — White still works at CarMax, though he’s moved into doing appraisals, and Beeson works at an insurance company in Burlington. They cling to their own creative dreams: White nurtures his photography business (www.danielwhitephoto.com) and Beeson refines his audio skills. “Please hire me to make your record,” he says unabashedly to the universe. Meanwhile, they’ll serve Free Pizza as long as they’re able. Financially, there’s no incentive — not yet, anyway. “I don’t think either one of us has even gotten a dollar from it,” says Beeson. “It’s a passion,” says White. “That’s what you see here.” Back in the studio/sunroom, White prompts Jobe to share his story — how he started calling himself an artist at age 17 because a career aptitude test said that’s what he was; how he began by doing portraits of TV personalities like Miley Cyrus and Raven Symoné; how he carries a sketchbook and pencil at all times, but he paints in a program called Procreate on his iPad Pro; how his parents worry about him putting his work on Instagram where people could rip it off (“I’m like, ‘Mom and Dad, I gotta get it out there.’”); and how his Instagram account, @KenrickJobe, is probably his biggest marketing tool. Among his followers: Actor Caleb McLaughlin of the Netflix series Stranger Things. “I know if the right person sees it, that’s all it takes,” says Jobe. “I just want to be able to do this for a living while providing for a family. If I’ve done that, I’ve made it, in my opinion.” “I feel like so many people are just one break away,” says White. OH Maria Johnson is a contributing editor of O.Henry. She can be reached at ohenrymaria@gmail.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 33

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34 O.Henry

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinking with Writers

The Art of Civil Discourse A little healthy organic juicing with Rachel Lewis Hilburn

By Wiley Cash • Photographs by Mallory Cash

Last year I attended a literary event with

some of the best known writers in the country, but as soon as the event began it became clear that the crowd was more interested in seeing emcee Rachel Lewis Hilburn, a woman whose disembodied voice had been speaking to them for years from the studios of WHQR Public Media. She joined the station in 2011, and she was named news director in 2012. A year later she anchored the pilot episode of CoastLine, a show that focuses primarily on local and statewide issues and the people they affect. Over the past six years, Rachel and her guests have discussed issues as diverse as gun control, water quality, film incentives and Thanksgiving recipes. No matter what the topic, Rachel always finds a fascinating angle. I will admit that I once sat in my driveway for 15 minutes and listened as Rachel and a county official discussed recycling. Like her voice, Rachel’s questions are direct and smooth. Her interactions with people are civil and genuine, and she gives her The Art & Soul of Greensboro

guests an opportunity to tell their stories as well as the expectation that they will be held accountable for the stories they tell.

This is not to say that Rachel does not ask hard questions. I sat for a CoastLine interview when my last novel was released, and at one point Rachel read a quote from a terrible review I had received in a major newspaper. Then she asked, “How do you keep that dagger from staying inside you?” Ouch! No one had ever asked me how I recover from bad reviews, and that question forced me to be honest about the vulnerability of artists. I look back on that hour I spent on-air with Rachel as perhaps the best interview experience I have ever had. I took an opportunity to ask Rachel a few questions of my own one chilly morning in late January. We met at Clean Juice in downtown Wilmington on the corner of Grace and North Front Street. I ordered the Immunity One, an organic blend of carrots, lemons, oranges, pineapples and turmeric. Rachel ordered the Glow One, a mix of organic apples, cucumbers, kale and spinach. We found seats by the huge windows that look out on Grace Street. While I serve on the board of directors at WHQR and have known Rachel for several years, there was one question I had never asked her. “What was your path to public radio?” “I started life thinking I would be an actor,” Rachel said. “And I went to the North Carolina School of the Arts, and then I moved to New York and L.A. and did some theater.” “Acting?” “Yes,” she said. “At one point, when I was in L.A., I decided I wanted to have a steady income and see what other things I could do.” She laughed and took a sip of her juice. “So I became a financial adviser, but only for about two years.” March 2019

O.Henry 35

Drinking with Writers

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March 2019

“How did you get to Wilmington?” “I knew people in Wilmington, and I loved the East Coast,” she said. “I was tired of the desert in Los Angeles, and I just loved the texture of the weather here. I came to Wilmington and embarked on a process of finding the next version of myself.” During that process Rachel wrote and produced television news broadcasts for WWAY; she wrote and produced a documentary about the 1898 Wilmington race massacre; and she served as the executive director of the homeowners association at Bald Head Island.

When you stack all these jobs together — financial adviser, news writer, producer, documentarian and executive director of a homeowners association — it becomes clear that Rachel has been perfectly prepared for a career in public radio. Over the course of her diverse work history she has managed personalities, produced content, sought facts, and listened closely to people’s concerns and this is exactly what she is doing with an exciting new serialized program called CoastLine: Beneath the Surface. According to the description on the program’s website, the community members who will participate in Beneath the Surface are “thoughtful and engaged listeners who’ve agreed to be part of a yearlong conversation. They are black and white, youngish and older. Their politics cover the spectrum left, right and center.” In this politically charged environment, what happens when you put a group of diverse strangThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Drinking with Writers ers in a room? Rachel has the answer: She assembled the group for a meet and greet a few days before their first on-air discussion. “I thought I would have to do some goofy icebreaker,” Rachel said. “But no icebreaker was needed. People freely went around the room introducing themselves. They seemed really enthusiastic about being there, and they didn’t want to leave!”

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Rachel said that, at least initially, conversations on Beneath the Surface will focus on local issues because she believes that is the place where people who are sitting together in the same room can achieve some level of civil discourse. Hopefully, that civility will trickle up. “I happen to think the political dynamic, that super division and vitriol on Capitol Hill, and even at the state level, isn’t going to change until regular folks change,” Rachel said. “Public radio can pull back the curtain and introduce you to a situation in its context. It can introduce these whole human beings, and it makes it hard to put them in a box.” In keeping with Rachel’s history of discussing timely topics and asking hard questions, the first topic broached on Beneath the Surface was the issue of Wilmington’s Confederate monuments. I listened to the show, and I could hear the strain in people’s voices, their discomfort in defending positions that may not be popular. But I could also hear other things: the click of boxes opening as people grew comfortable with one another; the sound of voices speaking calmly while sharing ideas and experiences. These were the sounds of whole human beings coming together and being civil. OH Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 39



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March 2019

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True South

Regrets, I’ve Got a Few The penitence of parents

By Susan S. Kelly

Lent looms

and then — BOOM — the season of gloom is upon us, those 40 days and 40 nights during which one is meant to repent. But if you’re a parent, guilt knows no season. It’s just always around, or in literary lingo, omnipresent.

Take my 38-year-old son, who not long ago revealed to me that as a child, he used to stand over the trash can while eating cookies so he wouldn’t drop crumbs on the floor. Oh, what this casual confession says. I never told him to do this; he just wanted to avoid the problem, or hearing about it. That he was so amenable pains me, the way he was when I just took him out of one school and sent him to a magnet that required a 45-minute bus ride. This would be the same son who, as a 2-year-old, kept waking at 3 a.m. for so many consecutive nights that I finally took him out of the crib, set him on the floor with a cut-up orange, and said, “Fine. Have fun. See you in the morning,” and went back to bed. No wonder that, later, when he woke up sick in the middle of the night, he always walked around my side of the bed to wake his father instead. Can I catch a little slack here? I remember when I was answering so many children’s questions and child-related telephone calls that I couldn’t take my own temperature because I couldn’t keep my mouth closed around a thermometer for three consecutive minutes. At least I managed to rescue his brother, whom I happened upon in his room with the mini-blind cords wrapped around his neck because he’d been playing “Pirates.” The same child who, because I told him to visit the dermatologist, wouldn’t do anything about his warts except wrap three fingers on one hand in duct tape for six weeks because he’d heard it would make them go away. Confession may be good for the soul, but on the whole, I think I prefer yesteryear’s Lenten mite boxes, where all you had to do was part with some of your allowance. Though I probably failed in that department too, since I once discovered a child trying to extract a nickel from between the car seats with tweezers. Those kinds of memories can be assuaged with this one: How short a space in time elapsed between my daughter telling me tearfully that she didn’t want me to die (“Don’t worry, honey. It will be a long time before I die.”) to telling me that she wished I was dead. That was probably about the same era that her phone’s voicemail message was “My give-a-damn’s busted.” At least I escaped another friend’s fate, who discovered a pamphlet titled “How to Take Care of your new Tattoo” in her daughter’s Kate Spade pocketbook.

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Oh, the countless little deaths I delivered, including, say, the April Fool’s morning that my daughter danced into the kitchen and merrily, mischievously, announced that she hadn’t done her homework. I barely looked up from the bagged lunch I was fixing in order to comply with her school’s eye-rolling rule of packing no disposables, only recyclables. Would it have cost me anything to play along, to acknowledge her 7-year-old April Fool’s effort? Two decades later, I still cringe at the memory. Thank heaven that friends’ stories go a long way in the “I’m Not the Only Mean Mother” department. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty, but one friend who’d reached the end of her parenting rope with her tantrumthrowing 5-year-old picked up the phone, mimicked dialing as he writhed on the floor, and said, “Hello? Yes, is this the adoption agency? I have a child available . . . ” And this from another mother’s shame vault: The afternoon she took the car keys and got in the car and began backing out of the driveway, all the while calling, “OK, I’m leaving now, hope you can take care of yourself,” while her child wailed with despair. One acquaintance told me that when her son was disconsolate about a terrible grade he’d made on a test in fourth grade, she’d taken him in her room, sat him down, and said, “Listen. You were planned, and I know a lot of people in your class who were accidents.” Still, surely for every painful-to-recollect instance, there’s a corresponding instance of sweetness, and I offer these up not as defenses, but to keep myself from weeping. Such as the child calling during his first week at boarding school, desperate with fear, panicked and frantic because he was washing clothes for the first time and “the washing machine in the basement is stuck and I’m required to wear a collared shirt to dinner and they’re all in there wet” — and my assurance, four hours away, that the machine was simply between cycles, wait a few minutes and it would begin chugging again. The same child I sang “My Best Beau” to, from Mame, when I was rocking him to sleep as a baby. I sang “Baby Mine” from Dumbo to his sister in the same rocking chair. The three children whose old-boyfriend box of letters and memorabilia, whose Jack Daniel’s bottle filled with sand from the summer job at the beach, and whose slab of crudely painted wood commemorated a summer camp mountain bike competition, are all still in their bedrooms somewhere, though the three themselves are long gone. You take comfort where you find it, in the baby album entries you made so as not to forget the child who said, “I did that later ago,” meaning already, or “I won, now you try to win me.” And when that doesn’t work, there’s always the adult child to give an old scenario a new spin. “Relax, Mom,” the tweezer-wielding son reminds me. “It was a double-headed nickel.” Terrific. Allowance issue absolved. Back to atoning. OH Susan S. Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and proud grandmother. March 2019

O.Henry 41

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March 2019

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Babes in the Woods Early spring is nesting time for wood ducks By Susan Campbell

Love is in the air for the most

beautiful of all the waterfowl: the wood duck. These lovely creatures begin courtship in January, and by the end of the month seek out suitable nesting sites. They are busy raising what is usually a very large family by early spring.

“Woodies” as they are affectionately known by waterfowl lovers, are found commonly in marshes, beaver swamps and along streams throughout most of North Carolina. Here in the middle of the state they are year-round residents, although the population swells in the winter to include birds from farther north. Nonresident birds tend to be very skittish and flush very quickly upon approach. Our local wood ducks can become very tame, especially in locations where they are being fed by people. On more than one occasion, I have approached individuals at Reservoir Park in Southern Pines, where they were feeding on corn with a variety of other ducks and geese. Wood ducks are smaller and more slender than our familiar mallards. The hen is nondescript — grayish with white spotted flanks and white around the eye. The drake, on the other hand, is a patchwork of red, brown, yellow and green. He sports a drooping green crest and a bright red bill and eye. Don’t expect quacking. Wood ducks’ vocalizations are a series of squeals and whistles. In the air these ducks are fast fliers and remarkably maneuverable, threading their way through forested bottomlands, their preferred habitat. This species of waterfowl spends most of its time foraging on aquatic

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

vegetation and insects found in shallow bodies of water. But when it comes time to breed, they may be found up to a mile from water, searching for a suitable nesting site. They are unique in that they are the only ducks that nest in trees in our area. Hens will typically look for holes in dead or dying trees in which to lay their eggs. It is not unusual for them to lay a clutch of 20 eggs in a cavity over a hundred feet up in an old tree. At Weymouth Woods, wood ducks frequently use old pileated woodpecker holes that were, in turn, created initially by red-cockaded woodpeckers. As uncanny as it sounds, the ducklings have no trouble whatsoever dropping to the ground when they are called by their mother soon after hatching. They will all then quickly walk downhill to the nearest body of water. Unsurprisingly, this is when they are most vulnerable, not only to ground predators such as foxes but also to being separated from their mother as they make their way around obstacles. Of course, with natural snags being less common on the landscape, wood ducks have taken to using man-made housing. Many folks in the Sandhills and Piedmont have been successful at attracting woodies to their property with wood duck houses adjacent to wetlands. A box should be mounted on a pole and fitted with a baffle to keep predators such as raccoons and opposums from getting to the nest. It is also important to be aware that these ducks regularly produce two sets of young each year, so a box may contain a female on eggs any time from February through May. In addition, do not be surprised if the box is used by other birds during the course of the year. Screech-owls, great crested flycatchers and even bluebirds may take advantage of a duck box as well. OH Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com. March 2019

O.Henry 43

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44 O.Henry

March 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy

Caps ’n’ Taps

A different kind of brewing company serves up a sip of the past alongside current faves

By Billy Eye

“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” — W.C. Fields

I had the pleasure one afternoon

of meeting with Jan Odem at the site of one of the most exciting resurrections of architectural relics since the Revolution Mill project. Jan and her husband, Bill, are forging a brewery, beer garden and entertainment complex at the southern edge of the College Hill neighborhood, crafted out of a handsome two-story brick manufacturing plant flanked on both sides by four Craftsman-style bungalows built around the turn of the last century. The imposing rustic building at the center of this facility, most recently a metal finishing business, was erected in 1940 for the Good Luck Bottling Company. Greensboro is known for many things. Dolley Madison’s stitches, Wrangler britches, Vaporub for itches, the South’s sassiest (that next word didn’t get past my editor). It may surprise you to know our fair city was also a soda pop fountainhead for the Southeast. North Carolina’s very first Coca-Cola bottler began filling 5-cent bottles

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

on South Elm in 1902. Soon after, Pepsi-Cola was brewing on nearby Lewis Street. By the 1940s, Nehi was bubbling up on Battleground, 7up over on Walker, Orange Crush on Westover Terrace, Canada Dry Ginger Ale on West Market, and Dr Pepper (“Drink a Bite to Eat at 10, 2, and 4 o’clock”) on Lee Street. At one time or another, we’ve been home to Chero-Cola, Lime-Cola, Gin-Gera (“It Gingers You Up”), Pal Ade, Nesbitt’s Orange, Mint Cola, Big Frosty, Necto, and Tru-Ade. Greensboro was selected for the world’s most modern Pepsi bottling plant in 1957 where no less a superstar than motion picture dominatrix Joan Crawford herself stilettoed into position on Spring Garden near Holden to cut the ribbon, flanked on either side by WWII ack-ack guns and the combined Army, Navy and Marine Corps Color Guards. Lesser known but just as effervescent was Greensboro’s own Good Luck Bottling from the mid-1930s into the 1950s. Founded by William Lafayette Oden, more informally known as “Fate” (if you saw his portrait you might imagine why), Good Luck began operations on Davie Street with 3 Centa cola. With every other bottle of pop selling for a nickel, 3 Centa had a 40 percent price advantage. In 1940, Oden expanded his operations to include a spicy ginger ale originating out of Birmingham. It wasn’t happenstance that he chose to build his larger plant on Lee Street (now Gate City Boulevard) near Tate. “He did some research,” Jan says of her great-grandfather. “And found this spot had the best water possible, so he had a deep well dug.” The water was so pure, Oden was bottling spring water here with the slogan, “Feel better, live longer.” March 2019

O.Henry 45

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46 O.Henry

March 2019




©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Wandering Billy Around the same time, that spicy ’Bama ginger ale was renamed Buffalo Rock. Was it because of our own Buffalo Creek? “That’s one of the things I’m trying to figure out,” Jan tells me. “Exactly what my great-grandfather’s involvement was.” Jan is so dedicated to this exciting endeavor she relocated her family here from Wilmington in the fall of 2017. As we tour one of the charming houses serving as her makeshift office, filled with shabby chic antiquities, she tells me of her commitment to preserving these historic properties: “We want to keep everything close to the way they are built. The Avett Brothers’ ‘Salvation Song,’ that’s our theme song.” For years serving as college student rentals, these four homes will be integrated into the overall complex, each remarkably intact, cozy and true to its roots. “We could have a restaurant in here with seating inside,” Jan remarks about her office. “While food could be served out of the back window to the beer garden.” When I visited, one of the homes had just been moved to the side, opening up the rear of the property for parking and an expansive open-air patio with a stage for local bands. As someone residing in the area, known to tip a glass or 10, I for one can’t wait to see — and taste — the results when this ambitious undertaking is completed in late summer. The brewmaster for what will be christened Oden Brewing Company, Brian Carter, late of Natty Greene’s, will have 15 taps flowing. “There are a lot of places taking ‘creative’ way beyond where I think it needs to be,” he says. “We’ll have a good variety, so that there is something for the beer nerds who want that new crazy thing, but if somebody just wants a damn beer, they’ll have something to drink too. The whole first year will be figuring out what people are clamoring for.” There’ll be more than brewskis on draft. The plan is to make kombucha in-house and, Brian promises, “Once we figure out how to carbonate the water, some craft sodas,” A spicy ginger ale, natch, along with other flavors. “Just like the beer rotation,” he says. “When that batch runs out, we’ll replace it with something else.” This area was undisturbed for so long it remains encircled by towering oaks and leafy shrubs, an idyllic environment for a friendly neighborhood brewpub filling the gap between coffeehouses and corner bars. “There’s nothing else like it here,” Jan points out. “People want that walking distance spot, a place where the family can eat and hang out and bring the kids.” OH Billy Eye is O.G. — Original Greensboro.

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March 2019 Tilt Toward Spring Night’s frozen mantle sparks in early morning rays, luminous as a bride’s new diamonds. Tree’s crystalline coatings slip soundlessly from drooping branches, twinkling fairy lights pirouetting to the ground. Ice sheets slide from the eaves dropping iridescence on unsuspecting tender daffodils waking from winter slumber. Air comes alive with birdsong and fluttering wings. Lawn strewn with early robins, pecking for sustenance, puffing their breasts for warmth. Signaling Earth’s inevitable tilt toward spring. — Patricia Bergan Coe

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 49


Things You Never Knew about

the Battle of

Guilford Courthouse


By Jim Dodson • Photograph by Lynn Donovan

any of us had the great fortune to grow up with the historic Guilford Battleground in our backyard, the place where the city’s namesake General Nathanael Greene met British General Cornwallis’ army. The fateful showdown on March 15, 1781, helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War in favor of the Patriot struggle for independence from Great Britain. Today, when you are driving over streets named New Garden and Battleground or through neighborhoods called Kirkwood and British Woods, you are covering bloody ground where arguably the pivotal battle for American independence took place. One local story holds that the name “Brassfield” derives from brass military ornaments recovered in the vicinity of Horse Pen Creek where the shopping center exists today. If you’ve never witnessed the battle’s annual series of re-enactments live, an event that attracts hundreds of “Rev War” re-enactors and battlefield buffs from across the nation to what is now officially called Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, you are in for a real treat. It’s the perfect mix of history and military pageantry on an early spring day. Jay Callaham not only happens to be an expert on military history and a veteran re-enactor of more than 50 years, but also the narrator of the action at Guilford Courthouse for approaching 20 years. Among other things, he also served as an advisor on the film The Patriot. Callaham portrays an officer of the Coldstream Guards, and for many years acted as a British field commander, and has performed the role of Lord Cornwallis. During his nearly 20 years of narrating the battle presentations, he is typically uniformed as a British Officer. We caught up to the retired communications executive and former Army major on a recent afternoon at the Greensboro Masonic Temple on Market Street, wondering if there might be 10 curious and lesser-known facts about the famous battle. Lord Callaham happily obliged.

1. The Super Bowl of the Revolutionary War By the time Cornwallis marched his troops to Deep River Friends, where he camped prior to the battle, having unsuccessfully engaged General Greene’s army for six weeks across the Carolinas to the Dan River and back, both armies were showing serious wear and tear. “Both were in pretty terrible shape. Cornwallis halted his march in Salisbury, for example, just to find shoes for his troops. As they came through Old Salem,” notes Callaham, “the British and their camp followers stole clothes off lines. Despite their worn appearance, Cornwallis’ 33rd Regiment was among the best in the world.

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His force included the renowned Royal Welch Fusiliers, and veteran 71st Highland Regiment, as well as the battle-hardened Brigade of Guards and Hessian Regiment von Bose (pronounced bose-a), all led by seasoned commanders. Not to mention American Loyalist or Tory troops. Greene’s force was a mix of militia troops from the Carolinas and Virginia, many of whom had prior experience and training in the Continental Army, as well as the 1st and 2nd Maryland Continental Regiments and Kirkwood’s Delaware Continentals. One army was led by a British General who’d never lost a fight in the field, the other by a Colonial general who’d never won a fight in the field — and wouldn’t win this one. In many respects, despite their tattered condition, this was the Super Bowl of the American Revolution, the battle that changed the whole complexion of the war and brought it to a close.

2. The Myth that the North Carolina Militia failed to hold its ground.

In his report following the battle, General Greene asserted that the front line of the deployed Americans — manned by the North Carolina Militia — failed to hold its ground during the first assault by the British. “He wrote that the Carolina militia broke and ran at the start of the action. It’s simply not true,” says Callaham. “They weren’t even a true militia, rather a mix of local farmers and tradesmen and highly seasoned Continental troops that had proven themselves in plenty of action. They were deployed behind split rail fences overlooking Horse Pen Creek. The next line up was the Virginia militia followed by the 1st and 2nd Maryland. The commander of the 71st Highland Regiment — one of the finest units in the British army — reported that the lost half his company in the first volley. The North Carolina Militia troops did their job splendidly, in fact, enduring a 30-minute cannonade from three-pounder Royal Artillery cannons. Greene was simply trying to cover his rear end for losing the battle, which broke out everywhere and was mostly one of complete chaos. Fighting was brutal and bloody, hand-to-hand at times.”

3. The Scope of the Battlefield

The scope of the battlefield was huge, stretching from New Garden Friends — where Kirkwood’s Delaware troops engaged along New Garden Road — to the Guilford Courthouse site, a distance of about four miles. Cornwallis’s 2,000 troops were deployed along what is now Battleground Avenue, roughly from where Lowe’s Home Improvement is today all the way to Walmart. Artifacts from the battle have been found around both big box stores and along Battleground. The national battlefield encompasses only about a third The Art & Soul of Greensboro

of the actual battleground, and does not include skirmish sites along New Garden Road. Other parts of the battlefield are under Forest Lawn Cemetery and Greensboro Jaycee Park, both places where many artifacts have been found.

4. Rifles vs. Muskets

Soldiers in both armies used similar weapons, mostly muskets made in France or the venerable British Brown Bess muskets commonly used by infantrymen on both sides. Muskets fired a ball about threequarters of an inch in diameter, loaded from paper cartridges containing powder and bullet or buckshot, rammed down the unrifled, smooth-bore barrel to the breech. A skilled fighter with a musket could load and fire his musket three times within a minute. The musket had an auxiliary weapon as well — a fixed bayonet — used effectively by the tenacious 1st Maryland at the Battle of Guilford (though by the 18th century, deaths in battle from bayonets were becoming less common). Rifles were a more specialized weapon, defined by a barrel with twisted grooves along its interior that allowed for a more accurate shot. The problem was a slower loading process that could be problematic in close-quarter fighting. On the other hand, rifles had extended ranges of accuracy — up to 300 yards — and were used effectively by both sides during Britain’s failed Southern Campaign, whose objective was to sever the South from the North, destroying the “bread basket” of the

Colonial Army and ending the war in Britain’s favor. Rifles affected the outcome of at least three major Southern battles — at Kings Mountain, Cowpens in South Carolina and to some extent Guilford Courthouse, where the British used Jäger riflemen from Germany to great effect. These were skilled hunters dressed in green, whose deadly accuracy and discipline made them formidable foes. “The Jägers were professional huntsmen and were crack shots. The problem was every rifle had its own caliber, which often meant a rifleman had to make his own ammunition. Rifles played a significant role but muskets and bayonets won the war,” says Callaham.

5. Question: Which Side was dressed in Blue? Answer: Both sides

A key regiment of the British force at Guilford that saw intense action was the von Bose regiment composed of well-drilled German soldiers who wore dark blue uniforms that resembled the uniforms worn by both the Colonial Army, and both British and Continental artillery units — producing confusion in the fog of battle. The British army’s uniforms were bright red so they would stand out in the smoke of battle. The proud von Bose unit was composed of Hessians who came from a number of places across Germany, leased to the British army by King George III’s German allies. Fighting on the right flank of the advancing British force, the von Bose unit was savagely attacked both front and back by the Americans, distinguishing themselves and affecting the outcome of the battle. “Contrary to the myth, these troops were not mercenaries. They belonged to the lord of their home principality. An interesting postscript: Most Hessians who were captured were sent as prisoners to Pennsylvania where German farmers employed them. Many were encouraged to stay in America and were even given land. Many became American citizens.”

6. Did Cornwallis really fire upon his own troops?

Not intentionally, insists Callaham. “That’s one of the biggest myths about the battle. At one point in the battle, he came upon a melee in close combat between the 2nd Battalion of the Guards and 1st Maryland and ordered his soldiers to use a 3-pounder [cannon] to fire on Lt. Col William Washington’s light dragoons [calvary] that had attacked the Guards and in so doing had come between Cornwallis and his troops. Cannon doesn’t discriminate between red and blue. But the decision halted the Dragoons, separated the Guards from the 1st Maryland, prompting Greene to leave the field to preserve his Continental troops — and allowed Cornwallis to escape. It would have been very bad for the British if he’d been killed or taken prisoner. General Cornwallis also had at least one horse shot out from under him and was almost captured during the confused fighting in the woods. The fighting was that intense, neither side yielding, convincing General Greene to leave the field, in good order, to preserve his Continental troops.

7. Light Horse Harry Lee vs. Banastre Tarleton

Both were legendary cavalrymen. Tarleton was commander of the green-clad British Legion and the subject of a rebel American

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

that the British general lost a quarter of his troops. They were never quite the same after that. After withdrawing to Wilmington to rest and refit, Cornwallis abandoned the Carolinas, and moved into Virginia, joining his troops to another British force. Before marching into Virginia. Weeks later, Cornwallis surrendered 7,000 troops at Yorktown, ending the war.

9. A Dark Legacy

campaign, which claimed that his men terrorized the countryside and massacred surrendering Continental Army troops at the Battle of Waxhaws, South Carolina, in 1780. The alleged outrage earned him the nickname “Bloody Ban.” As leader of the highly mobile Continental Light Dragoons, cavalry and infantry, Lee won fame for his hit-and-run guerilla-style harassment that helped stymie the British army during General Greene’s “Race to the Dan.” Both men saw action at Guilford Courthouse. Both men presided over the massacre of unarmed soldiers — Tarleton at Waxhaws, Lee in Alamance County, whose Legions cut down a large group of royalist volunteers marching to join up with Cornwallis, camped in Hillsborough, N.C. before returning to Guilford County. “Light Horse Harry’s Legion basically slaughtered them, hacked them to pieces,” Calaham says. Adding insult to injury, the survivors were fired upon by British sentries when they sought shelter with Cornwallis. Harry Lee went on to become governor of Virginia and father to Robert E. Lee. Tarleton lost two fingers on his right hand in the battle at Guilford Courthouse and back home was elected to Parliament. “The truth of the matter is, Harry Lee wasn’t as great as he’s made out to be and Tarleton wasn’t as bad,” Callaham allows. Lee, he notes, was a terrible businessman who went bankrupt and nearly lost the Lee family estate, Stratford Hall — placed in trust, allowing Henry Lee IV to inherit it. “Tarleton had taken the town of Charlottesville, Virginia on a raid prior to the investment of the army at Yorktown. He had also taken Monticello, and could have destroyed it, but didn’t. There were good and bad men on both sides of the fight. The war brought out both aspects in them.”

8. The Numbers Game

No one knows for sure how many men were involved in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, but the accepted number includes 4,000 Patriots and 1,700 men fighting for the Crown. “They were the best troops in both armies,” says Callaham, “the most elite troops with the best leaders. One of the most fascinating aspects is the disparity in their numbers.” The Brigade of Guards went into the battle with about 700 men and lost almost 50 percent of them — their worst day in the war, in part because the Americans had roughly a 2-to-1 advantage in numbers. “Traditional battlefield strategy holds that, if you’re going to attack an enemy, you should have at least a 3-to-1 superiority. Cornwallis had almost a 50 percent inferiority in numbers and still won the battle.” That was good news for the visitors. The bad news is

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Col. Charles Lynch was also present at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, commander of a rifle unit for the Virginia militia, a planter-class judge who was infamous for the harsh brand of frontier justice he meted out to British spies and Tories during and after the war. Lynch coined the phrase “Lynch’s Law” to describe the hasty trials and punishment he meted out, particularly if the sympathizer happened to be a loyalist. Legend holds that his worst offenders were tied by their thumbs to branches of a black walnut tree and given 39 lashes with a whip known as the cat o’nine tails. If the convicted individual hollered “Liberty forever!”, so the story went, he would be spared the remaining lashes and forced to enter American military service for one year. “Basically,” says Jay Callaham, “he loved to hang Tories.” The term “Lynching” is commonly believed to have derived from his name and dark legacy. A young Sam Houston — who later avenged the Alamo and gave his name to the largest city in Texas, saw his first action as a sharpshooter serving in the Virginia Rifles at Guilford. Supposedly, he walked home to western Virginia after the battle.

10. On and a brighter note, Spring is back — Let’s Play Ball!

After you’ve checked out this year’s re-enactment scheduled on Saturday, March 16 and, Sunday, March 17, weather permitting, why not be a super patriot and show up for opening day of our beloved Greensboro Grasshoppers on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m.? The Hoppers, at least in part, take their name for the highly mobile and effective 3-pounder cannon used so effectively by the Americans at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Look sharp and you’ll find the replica of the famous cannon owner Donald Moore acquired for the occasion. “Our park, after all, sits only five or six miles from the scene of the battle,” says Moore with a laugh. “You probably could have heard the cannon fire from home plate — if there’d been one in those days.” OH O.Henry Editor Jim Dodson has attended two re-enactments — one almost two decades ago and again in 2018. He plans to be there this year with his camera and tricorn hat.

March 2019

O.Henry 53

In Another World

The Art of Reinvention Agnes Preston-Brame’s take on Abstract Expressionism


By Nancy Oakley

’m reinventing myself, as I always say,” Agnes Preston-Brame chuckles from her perch on her living room sofa, which just so happens to be upholstered in an elegant fleur-de-lys pattern that she designed. Behind her hang two large paintings, one of a group of faceless figures swathed in broad strokes of blue and green paint, another of a single ghostlike figure, entirely in white, save for a red splotch where its heart might be. “Well, I had breast cancer on that side. Because of that, it will never be sold,” Agnes allows, with just a trace of her native Hungarian accenting her words. The two canvases are among several adorning the walls of the Southside Greensboro home that the prolific painter and self-described Abstract Expressionist shares with her husband, Gary Brame. In an earlier painting, two white, feathery figures spring in opposite directions from a blue-gray background, as if rising from an ocean’s depth to its surface. “It’s called Separating,” Agnes says, explaining that at one point she held a fascination for trees, the inspiration for the unusually elongated lines of the human forms. She has always been attracted to figures, since her childhood in Budapest, Hungary, when, “I started doodling, like most kids.” For an only child of divorced parents, art was an escape. Agnes also recalls a talented classmate from that period: “She was always drawing models. I admired her doing it. I think maybe she poked something in me early, because I always went right to figures.” In time, Agnes would attend the Desi Huber School of Art and later the Academy of Fine Art (no mean feat, as husband Gary points out: “It was the Soviet system; you did not get into an advanced school unless you were a straight-A student.”) But the curriculum was rigid. “You start out in art school doing shapes, you know, balls and squares and then you get into the figure from models, for portraits,” Agnes recalls. She didn’t realize just how stifling her education was until she was allowed to visit her mother, who had remarried and escaped Hungary’s revolution in 1956, and had become an American citizen. After several appeals to Hungarian authorities, Agnes, then 19, was at last granted a passport and flew to Montreal, where her mother was then living. It was to be a three-month visit. Or so the young artist thought. “My mom, obviously, insisted that I stay and wanted me to stay. But she did a very tricky thing.” She drove the impressionable teenager down to New York City and took her to all the museums and all the galleries. “I was blown away by the different styles — Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism — that we were censored from in Hungary.” The ruse worked, as Agnes realized, “I probably couldn’t have achieved what I really wanted to achieve to become a professional artist, because it was still very difficult under communism, under Russians.” She defected, much to her father’s ire. Years later, after his death and the fall of communism, Agnes and Gary traveled to her father’s flat in Budapest, which they’d inherited. There, hidden in the back of what Gary describes as a “primitive storage unit,” was a box of sketches. “Wonderful little sketches of her grandfather,” Gary remembers. “They were not childish in any way. Very professional.” But for Agnes, a truly professional artist’s path would take many twists and turns. Because of her mother’s status as an American citizen, Agnes, who spoke no English, had to live in America, not Montreal. So her mother deposited her daughter at the YWCA in New York, and appealed to some wealthy restaurateur friends to secure for her daughter a hat-checking job. Agnes had The Art & Soul of Greensboro

created a portfolio while living with her mother in Canada, but the language barrier foiled her chances of attending Cooper Union, as she had hoped. She enrolled in the prestigious Art Student’s League of New York, whose alums include the likes of Thomas Eakins, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Caldwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning and others in recent years, including Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. Though the institution offered instruction without academic credit, Agnes benefited from the tutelage of Modernist painter Vaclav Vytlacil, who preached the gospel of Hans Hoffmann, which is to say Abstract Expressionism, the style that had so captivated her. But she never abandoned her love of painting figures and ultimately blended the two passions, a signature style that underpin her work today: fluid, faceless figures whose poses or gestures convey multiple possible meanings. “To me, the body expresses a tremendous amount,” says Agnes. In a recent painting titled In Another World, a seated figure in a bright yellow background wears a pair of headphones while staring at a hazy object, presumably an iPhone. Is he or she engaged? Bored? It’s up to the viewer to decide. In another called Wish You Hadn’t Told Me, a seated woman carries herself in such a way as to appear concerned, while another woman — the messenger implied in the painting’s title — walks away in the background. Has she delivered devastating news? Or merely conveyed something annoying and trivial? Again, it depends on the viewer’s imagination. “I often call my work ‘situational,’ because they are stories,” Agnes explains. March 2019

O.Henry 55

Bird On A Horse

She continued her studies, thanks to a scholarship to the League’s summer campus in Woodstock, New York, where again, she flourished under the instruction of mentors like Arnold Blanch and painter Philip Guston, and garnered yet another — and full — scholarship to New York University at New Paltz. Here, she obtained a fine arts degree, graduating summa cum laude, and met her first husband, Steve Preston. “My maiden name, nobody could pronounce. So I was happy when I married my first husband because his last name was easy enough to pronounce!” Agnes jokes. But his fellowship at Columbia University landed the couple back in New York City — where Agnes’ fine arts degree held little, if any cachet among prospective employers. “They were like, ‘You don’t know how to type,’” Agnes recalls. She had to reinvent herself again. After seeing an advertisement for a textile designer at a Broadway address, Agnes armed herself with her portfolio and went to apply. She discovered that the entire building was filled entirely with textile companies. “So, I decided, ‘to heck with the one I looked up.’ So I went up to the 24th floor and started. And on the second floor they hired me,” Agnes says with a laugh. It marked the beginning of her career as a textile designer. As a trainee, she learned the trade from the ground up, visiting various mills and learning the entire fabrication process. In less than two years, Agnes

56 O.Henry

March 2019

left the job to her own business designing for high-end companies, such as Brunschwig & Fils, Schumacher, among others — including the one that employed Gary Brame. He and Agnes met almost immediately after his arrival in New York in the mid-1970s. At the time, he recalls proudly, “She was one of the most pre-eminent designers.” The two married (“She accepted me when she learned I could dance,” Gary quips), and lived the good life in the Big Apple. Agnes’ business flourished while she put her painting on hold, but another revolution would affect her life’s course: “Computers started to come into being,” Agnes says. “Some of my good buddies who were designing, we had good jobs, we were out of jobs because the computers started making the designs, copying what we tried to do.” It was time to move on — literally, for Gary had gotten a job offer in Greensboro. “It worked perfectly, because I could still do some design work,” Agnes says (at one point she scored a freelance gig with a High Point manufacturer resulting in many years of travel to China.) “But I really started painting.” She began exhibiting across the country, and became a stalwart of the local art scene, involving herself with United Arts Council, serving for nine years as president of Center for Visual Artists, exhibiting in GreenHill’s Winter Show for several years, and as Gary, her most ardent champion likes to point out, “winning” a certificate for a piece, Beach Scene exhibited in Weatherspoon’s Art on Paper juried show. It is a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of midlife ennui in which a paunchy, vacationing couple stand at water’s edge, she gazing out to sea, he turned toward the viewer, but too preoccupied to return the viewer’s gaze. The work is one of several in Gary’s office, which also contains the painting that garnered Agnes the scholarship and a splashy still life of colorful flowers. “To some extent, I call myself a colorist. Partly because of the textiles I designed, and because I like color. But I like black and white, too,” Agnes says. In another “airport” series, figures rendered in black and white and tones of gray express the frustrations of air travel — cancelled flights, the boredom of waiting in line, checking luggage and so forth. The series came about after Agnes and Gary were stranded in the Brussels airport during a snowstorm last winter. “It was a miserable experience,” Agnes concedes. “Shoulder-to-shoulder,” Gary adds, “You couldn’t even find which line you were supposed to be in.” By the time they got to their destination, Budapest, the memories stayed with Agnes and ultimately filled her canvases. Always painting from memory, she prefers to “give in to my intuitions and emotions. I don’t really have a preconceived idea when I start working. I just kind of start with colors and lines on canvas or paper, and so it’s very spontaneous. And then some image starts coming. And the painting goes through a metamorphosis.” Like the one of the cat on a red background in her studio. Or the small pen-and-ink doodles or “diaries” that she does every day. Or perhaps she’ll infuse a painting with memories, such as the series of chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture, inspired by the antiques business that she and Gary owned for about 10 years. On a whim in 2006 the Brames, both antiques buffs, bought Jules Antiques & Fine Art in the old Curran Bank Building on South Elm (now occupied by the consignment boutique, Vintage to Vogue), where Agnes had an office on the second floor. By then, she had also gotten into interior design under the aptly chosen handle, Metamorphosis. “We had famous First Fridays,” Agnes says of the antique store’s wine-fueled openings. “Hundreds of people came through. It was a very nice store.” The two especially loved The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Azure Sky Centerpiece

Victoria Chandelier The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 57

October Memories

getting to know the clientele and learning the backstories and provenance of their inventory. “I thought of layering the people and the objects. Some of the stories people brought in with their things — it gives me chills,” Agnes reflects. And it’s impossible not to feel a frisson, looking at the large rectangular painting, Chippendale, featuring the outlines of a chair in the foreground, while muted figures hover in the background. Are they admiring the chair? Will it remain empty and unsold? There is an air of melancholy to the painting. All the more so, when one considers how the Great Recession, not to mention grueling hours for Gary, prompted the Brames to shutter Jules Antiques a couple of years ago. In contrast, a lively profusion of musical notes and instruments fairly blasts from another nearby canvas in Agnes’ tidy studio, a playbill that she designed for the Greensboro Symphony. “Over the years I did a lot of musical themes,” she explains. Birds also appear frequently in her work, though the artist is at a loss to explain why. She is more prolific than ever, with her design business moving at a slower pace since the Recession, and a few solo shows under her belt and another at Ambleside Gallery this month. Meantime, Agnes and Gary “are on the road again,” seeking out galleries for representation. One, the Present Thyme in Roanoke, Virginia, has accepted seven paintings, much to the artist’s relief. “I love to paint big,” she says, laughing about the freed-up space in her garage. No doubt she’ll fill it right back again, as suggested by several works in progress scattered near her worktable filled with accoutrements of her avocation — oil and acrylic paint, brushes, frames (made by Gary, who also does personal property appraisals on the side). One painting is a commission that requires her painting a car — a first. But firsts are part and parcel of the reinvention game. “I don’t even remember wanting to be anything else but an artist,” Agnes muses. “Even though I’ve changed course from time to time: I have been doing what I like and what I was trained for, you know? . . . And I didn’t have to waitress all my life!” OH Nancy Oakley is the senior editor of O.Henry. For more information about Agnes Preston-Brame and her paintings, visit paintingsbyapb.com. Ambleside Gallery: amblesidearts.com.

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They, Too, Have Their Story The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 59

Resonant Dwelling Architect Michael Clapp’s poetic barn conversion in Whitsett By Cynthia Adams • Photographs by Amy Freeman

60 O.Henry

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


ichael Clapp is living what he calls “the poetics of architecture.” His vision, expressed in a family barn in the countryside that is his new home, reveals what is extraordinary in the ordinary. Clapp, a practicing architect and a lecturer in the School of Architecture at UNC-Charlotte, is wiry and slim, dressed in monotones of gray: jeans, sweater, shirt and scarf. Only his tan-colored shoes differ; they are neatly polished and laced. In describing the project located on a Whitsett farm, he compares his architecture to poetry. As poetry lovers understand, taut writing must reveal, not conceal, essences. Much like poetry, effective architecture must also be deliberately devised, revised and constructed. Nothing extraneous, nothing left to chance. Multiple interpretations, however, are both expected and welcome. Now on rural land that has long been in his family, Clapp grew up in the Adams Farm community in southwest Greensboro. He and his partner, Méric Ozgen, moved into their barn conversion in December last year. The barn always spoke to him. “For years, I saw it and thought there was potential to create a really wonderful space.” Work on the structure began in 2017, the year Clapp launched his practice, Schemata Studio, after finishing graduate school. The barn functions as both home and studio with 940 square feet of heated space — there is additional unheated footage on the ground level, which features a laundry room, outdoor shower, storage and a garage. It has been reinvented yet not. It still possesses its barn essence, honest and rough-hewn. As Clapp knew it must: “It retains vestiges of the past.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

“My grandparents lived next door,” he explains, gray gravel crunching beneath the impeccable shoes. The barn is adjacent to his grandparents’ traditional clapboard farmhouse. And while the farmhouse is a rental now, Clapp’s older sister may consider returning to what could grow into a small family compound. At this, he smiles. A cabin across the road from the barn was restored to his father’s specifications — another story altogether — Clapp says as he circles the barn’s exterior. He points out the outdoor shower and space where animals and farm equipment were once kept; they reveal the history and yes, even the granular poetics of the place. The barn does a curious thing. It disappears. UPS drivers miss it constantly, Clapp explains. Brown trucks whizz past the gravel drive, which wends by a bisected felled tree, a pine lost in a winter storm, which he laughingly calls “the gate.” The barn hides in plain sight, with charred board siding, metal roof and a separate shed, so organically conceived it blends into the winter’s landscape. The exterior form is a combination, Clapp says, of the original tin panels and oak plank. The rain screen, an architectural modification to the original barn, is made of charred slat siding, a Japanese technique, not stained, he qualifies. The charring technique is redolent, too, recalling a family home that was lost in a fire. So, altered, the barn echoes the past but it is changed. It is of the place, yet not. Clapp will explain later; this, too, concerns resonance. There are small innovations to be seen from the very first glimpse. The large front door, wood and metal-edged, has a load-bearing wheel on the inside that is both quirky and industrial-chic. Stairs lead up from the entry, through a grid-like exposure of rough beams. March 2019

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Clapp says code modifications were made to the stair treads, in order to retain the original wood yet make them compliant. The original treads, he says, “are articulated with new rough cut oak.” There is the undeniable romance of hefty timber beams, raw edges and decades-old wood. Where once there was a hayloft, there is now work and living space. Overhead, the gambrel roof is a show-stopper, a humbler version of a vaulted ceiling in a European cathedral. The beams were cleaned, faced with plywood, and serve as the most impressive feature, the one that no doubt inspired everything. Windows artfully sliced into the upper walls provide light yet recede, more generous than traditional barns allow. Clapp discusses the way “the new space was grafted” onto the old. He mentions palimpsest, usually defined as discernible traces of writing, as on a pad, or it can mean something that has been altered yet bears the traces of its earlier form. “We are standing on the original floor and under the gambrel roof structure,” Clapp says, his blue eyes narrowing in emphasis. “All original,” he adds, right down to the insects they had to shoo away. “We had to vacuum off the cobwebs and dirt dauber nests. We seemed to find new ones every day.” Clapp points out that the revealed oak rafters are 24 inches on center. “It gives a harmonious feel. The vernacular resonates towards that end.” He also mentions pondering the finer points of a baseboard finish only feet from where his desk is, neatly stacked with multidimensional studies. Clapp anticipates growing the business, and requiring another, separate location. Then he and Ozgen will claim the nearly 1,000 square feet of the barn as their living space only.

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As he makes an espresso on the stovetop in the L-shaped (surprisingly spacious and workable) kitchen, he sets cups and cream onto a dark-stained butcher block counter. Both Clapp and Ozgen are avid cooks who did not want to scrimp on the kitchen, which he admits appeared smaller on paper before being built. So the fridge was carefully deliberated — they eschewed French-style doors to maximize space. There are three levels, the third comprising a sleeping loft. The loft contains a bathroom, with exposed copper pipes in the industrial-styled tiled shower. The bedroom features a Juliet balcony across from the bed, providing a tree-filled view. There are evergreens and deciduous trees, whose stark branches will soon leaf out, filling the frame in a profusion of green like an animated painting. The interior is largely complete with some finishing touches still in process. Clapp points out that furniture is on order but not yet arrived. Two camp chairs provide seating near the office where the couple are still testing various details within the space and revising ideas. There is the baseboard, for example. He points to a raised metal lip along the baseboard behind one of the camp chairs. The original idea, he explains, for the entire floor. The more practical option, he says, is one being tested on another wall called a shadow line — which appears to delineate the base of the wall without complicating construction and housekeeping. The couple, both in their 30s, are the occupants and also the makers. They are doing the work largely themselves. Clapp sprinkles conversation with ideas about living minimally, of craft, of intention. There is discovery, tweaking and refinement all ongoing as the makers explore, as they have been, since taking occupancy last December. He discusses conservation versus preservation, saying conservation focuses on retaining the past, preserving the flavor of the place. “Done in a way that can be sensible.” Clapp uses a professorial term: “resonant dwelling.” He has dubbed the barn project that. “Farm architecture is what you build when you can’t afford to get it The Art & Soul of Greensboro

wrong,” N.C. architect Frank Harmon once commented. It is a quote found on Clapp’s website, though Clapp received his architectural training at the University of Tennessee and Harvard, where he also met Ozgen. So what if the barn was once a humble outbuilding on a farm? In the architectural context, Clapp says, good design can lend identity and a sense of place. Only briefly did he doubt his vision. As he recalls, there was a particular memory before the project began. It occurred after they cleared out all the detritus and items stored in the barn. For the first time, he could see the barn he had long admired emptied out. “There was a weird moment,” Clapp confesses. “The essence of the space was exposed.” It seemed larger. And he recalls feeling sudden reservation about altering it at all, thinking, “Oh, no, we’re going to start breaking this space down and compartmentalizing it. But once fully realized, the vision enhanced the existing space. We retained certain aspects of the original structure, so you could tell the story.” Later, Clapp shows some of his elaborate sketches. Three days a week he travels to UNC-Charlotte, where he lectures on architecture. The remaining days, he works here in Whitsett, occupying the project nearest to his heart. The family dog, Kar, snuggles into a bed near his desk, also reporting for work. “Kar,” he explains, “is the Turkish word for snow.” Ozgen is Turkish. She works with Gensler, a Raleigh architectural firm but also is involved with Schemata, something Clapp long contemplated opening. “A schema is an organizational tool that our minds use to understand certain situations. Schemata, as its plural form in Greek, help bridge between images and concepts to facilitate that understanding. We seek to challenge traditional ways of thinking about architecture and space to create pleasing new forms of occupations and residences.” Standing on the ground level, which still has relics of its farm-past, Clapp says they are still pondering how the unfinished footage may one day be used. But he very much likes the fact that the old feed bins and stalls where his grandparents kept a pony and other animals are visible. Palimpsest personified. “I think architects are uniquely positioned to help expose hidden value through thoughtful design,” Clapp reflects. He adds that the “Amazon-ized society and culture have come to equate the lowest price with the best value but this couldn’t be further from the truth . . . “I like to ask: ‘When’s the last time you were truly delighted by something?’ Architecture and the space that is designed within and around it has the ability to present that.” The grounds will change, too. Come spring, the couple envisions there March 2019

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will be planting in the field outside, just as there once was. Clapp says they are discussing planting pecans and mulberries. “A true Turkish breakfast will have mulberry jam,” something that he says Ozgen anticipates. The delicate mulberries are shaken from the branches, then caught in linen sheets before they hit the ground and are bruised, he explains. Part of the poetics of architecture concern how man relates to the land. Clapp honors the place where his father and uncle came of age, and where his grandparents farmed. “Christmas Day, we opened one of the few remaining canned jars of green beans from my grandmother,” he recalls. “She also made fresh apple pies,” he adds. So inasmuch as Clapp is a philosopher, he too, is also a “maker,” just as he says. OH Cynthia Adams is a contributing editor to O.Henry. Many of her happiest childhood moments were spent playing inside a Cabarrus County barn, observing life from the hayloft. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

From Here to Ubiquity

Barn conversions are not uncommon in New England and certainly the U.K. But in the South, like the barn of my childhood, many have been lost, erased from the landscape by the ravages of time or a developer’s bulldozer. Ours fell to the latter. Mike Cowhig is a longtime community planner with the City of Greensboro who works historic districts and guides the Historic Preservation Commission. He and Benjamin Briggs, the head of Preservation Greensboro, pondered how many barn conversions exist in Greensboro. Neither possesses an inventory of the county’s barns. In an email, they mention the Carlson Farms barn conversion (part of the Greensboro Country Club), Stancil Farm, and Starlight Meadow, which is also near Whitsett. Then Briggs’ emails a quip about how such facilities often pop up and disappear, joking that anyone with a cow, a barn, and a golf cart is suddenly a wedding venue. There is something egalitarian about a barn, after all. — C.A.

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Ingram Memorial Dinner

Hansel & Gretel

Adult Cooking: Gluten Free Baking

Fundraiser Christ United Methodist Church 5:30 pm

Opera The Theatre at WellSpring various times

Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 6:00 pm




Adult Cooking: Kombucha 101

Adult Cooking: Sourdough Demystified Music for a Great Space presents

Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 6:00 pm

Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 2:00 pm

Concert Kimberly Marshall, organ Christ United Methodist Church 7:30 pm



Music for a Great Space presents


Adult Cooking: Mexican Food with Joe Springfest at Grandover

Concert with Richard Valitutto, piano Christ United Methodist Church 7:30 pm

Cooking class Greensboro Children’s Museum 6:00 pm



Mardi Gras at the Market with Chef Jay Pierce

St. Paddy’s Day Griffin Club Tournament

Gourmet Jambalaya sale Greensboro Farmers Curb Market 9:00 am

Golf Tournament Grandover Golf 10:00 am



An evening in Napa with Ehlers Winery

Wine Warrior Challenge

Wine dinner 1618 Downtown 5:30 pm

Wine dinner DiValletta Restaurant at Grandover 6:30 pm



Wine Pairing 101

Southern Comfort

Wine class Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm

Cooking class Reto’s Kitchen 6:00 pm

3/6 Pahlmeyer Wine Pairing Wine dinner 1618 Seafood 6:30 pm

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Gardening Symposium Grandover Resort and Spa 1:00 pm


Heaven in a Wildflower


Finding infinity in the mottled leaves of a trout lily

n late winter I watch in anticipation for the pointy maroon tips of our native Erythronium umbilicatum leaves to push up through the hard winter soil. I run outside to my garden several times a day — looking, feeling, hoping. After the leaves emerge and unfurl, you can see the reason this plant’s common name is trout lily. The brown-and-green mottled leaves look similar to the markings on a brook trout. Not only is this a sweet little North Carolina wildflower, but it is also a tangible, seasonal reminder for me to slow down, take one day at a time and try not to rush through my life to the next big thing. Let me explain. One sunny, but chilly, March afternoon many years ago, I stopped by my sister, Reco’s, house on the way back from visiting my mother in West Virginia. The precarious horseshoe curves of the narrow country roads were the only thing keeping me awake. Look away for one minute, and I might end up on the wrong side of the road, or worse, on the wrong side of the battered, flimsylooking guardrail. I was tired from the drive, and from the last few days shuffling Mom to doctor’s appointments. As often happens, if we are lucky enough to have our parents with us as they phase into their silver years, the tables had turned. It was now my responsibility to carpool Mom wherever she needed to go. Even if that meant driving in from North Carolina — two states away. Reco met me in the driveway, and we greeted each other with big hugs and kisses. My family has always unabashedly engaged in public displays of affection. We were a big, loud Italian tribe who argued and loved with equal intensity, always knowing the love was so much stronger than anything we could ever argue about. After catching up inside over a cup of coffee and relaying all of the news from home, I got up, stretched my legs, and said I’d better be hitting the road. I still had a little over three hours to go. “Just one more thing before you go,” Reco insisted. She wanted to walk in the woods behind her house so she could show me the carpet of yellow wildflowers. “You will not believe their funky, spotted leaves,” she said in wonder. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, but I knew just the plant she was referring to. It was one of my favorites that crept throughout the woodlands on the private estate in Hillsborough where I tended the gardens. I was eager to get back on the road and ready to get home, but we trudged over the hills covered in apples trees and invasive trumpet vine seedlings.

By Cheryl Capaldo Traylor

We walked through her woods, and talked about my upcoming plans to go back to school. She confided she hadn’t been feeling well, and the doctor was trying a new medication to quell the worsening symptoms of Crohn’s Disease “There,” she emphasized as she stopped and pointed. “There. Do you see it?” Yes, there they were, their telltale fishy leaves carpeting the forest floor. Reco bent down and took a large kitchen spoon out of her back pocket — she wasn’t a gardener, I guess only I had inherited that gene from our maternal grandmother — and dug several of these yellow-belled beauties for me. She pressed them into a Ziploc baggie and said, “I wanted you to have these in your garden.” Walking out of the thick underbrush and trees toward her house, we caught a glimpse of the sun reflecting off the bright white church next door. Stopping and pausing, as if on cue, we took in the sunbeam bouncing off of the steeple and into the woods. But, I was tired and ready to go. “Better get going,” my words pierced the moment. I drove home to North Carolina, gas pedal pressed to the floor, as usual, thinking of all the busyness that awaited me in Cary. Work, family, church, volunteer commitments, school preparations, an upcoming daughter’s high school graduation: My life was an endless merry-go-round of activity. This is where I say, even though it sounds like a cliché life is precious, life is short, and I need to savor each day, even each moment, with those I love. Because today could possibly be my last day with them. And, although this was not my last day with Reco, it was one of the last days. Had I known, had I any inkling of foresight, I wouldn’t have rushed that day. I would’ve watched that little country church beam a luminous miracle into the woods. I wouldn’t have insisted on leaving so soon. I would have stayed and had supper with her, maybe even stayed the night. But, I was too busy. I miss her sense of wonder. I miss her slow country pace. I miss her. Now, I don’t take anything for granted — my family, my friends, my health, my sanity, my breath. Not even a tiny yellow flower with mottled leaves. Life is too brief. Like trout lilies, our time here is over so quickly. This spring, won’t you join me near some trout lilies or bloodroot or bluebells and pause in their presence? They’re just little things, but what you’ll grow to understand is the little things in life are truly the big things. Actually, they’re the only things. And they, like trout lilies, pass away too soon. OH Cheryl Capaldo Traylor writes about nature, local happenings, and the unsung brilliance of everyday people. She finds inspiration in gardening, hiking, and reading. She blogs at Giving Voice to My Astonishment at http:// www.cherylcapaldotraylor.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

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March n

By Ash Alder

Nature’s Bard

In honor of the beloved and recently departed best-selling poet Mary Oliver, who made tangible the heart-breaking beauty of the natural world, and World Poetry Day on March 21, below is an excerpt from “When Death Comes,” in which the poet “considers eternity as another possibility.” When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Thank you, dear poet, for taking such transient beauty into your arms. And for those considering eternity: Oliver’s “Such Singing in the Wild Branches” is good medicine. “And here is the serpent again,” wrote the late poet Mary Oliver, “dragging himself out from his nest of darkness . . . looking for the sun.” Three decades after she wrote it, Oliver’s “Spring” slides into consciousness. Oh, how you’ve missed these sunny mornings. As soft light filters through the kitchen window, you think of the snake, moving “like oil” over pine needles, tasting the air with its tongue. March is here, and as an owl cries out from its distant nest, you taste the glorious poetry of spring. Pink blossoms against leafless branches on the saucer magnolia. Pink squirrel babes, blind and wriggling in their drey. Pink rain jacket left hanging on the porch, pocket full of pine straw, blue bird flitting in and out of periphery. This year, the spring equinox arrives on March 20, in tandem with World Poetry Day on March 21. Fitting. And as you gently scoop the contents from your jacket pocket — a beautiful tapestry of needles and grasses — you think again of Mary Oliver, and of the delicate treasures she wove with nature and light. Thank you, blue bird, for starting over. Thank you, black snake, winding round the rising grass. Thank you, poet within each of us, for acknowledging the beauty that is always waiting for us, like sunlight after a long, dark winter.

Amethyst Falls

I once heard someone dub wisteria the “evil overlord of the plant kingdom” and, for better or worse, have never been able to shake it. If ever you’ve battled with wisteria in your backyard, perhaps you’ve given it a comparable name. But if you’re still reading this . . . if ever you’ve wished to make friends with this intoxicatingly fragrant vine, consider introducing a native cultivar, amethyst falls. Less aggressive than its exotic Asian relatives known for choking out trees and, yep, swallowing houses, amethyst falls blooms on new growth, making the vines easier to prune back and train. Although the leaves and cascading purple flowers are smaller than the common wisteria you may have given a less-thankind name, an established amethyst falls plant can climb 15–20 feet per season. Bonus points: It’s drought tolerant and deer resistant.

Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields . . . Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness. — Mary Oliver The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March Garden To-Do

Replace winter mulch Sharpen dull mower blades Sow seeds for spinach, radishes, turnips, and kale Stop and smell the flowering redbud and dogwood.

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Paul J. Ciener

Botanical Garden


Mark Your Calendars for April 13, 2019 Saturday, April 13, 2019 8:00 am-1:00 pm (PJCBG Members Only Pre-Sale Thursday, April 11, 2019, 5:00-7:00 pm) Plants for sun and shade, selected trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and more will be on sale. A list of plants will be posted on our website, www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org prior to the sale. Proceeds benefit the future development of the Garden. Come find something perfect for your garden!

Spectacular Spring Tulip Bloom Saturday, April 13, 2019, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm The Garden’s Spectacular Spring Tulip Bloom will be held later on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Come and enjoy the over 20,000 bulbs that will be blooming in a glorious celebration of Spring (open and free to the public). Refreshments

“The Layered Garden” by David L. Culp

Sponsored by the NC Unit of the Herb Society of America

Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm ”The Layered Garden” shows you how to recreate David Culp’s majestic display. It starts with a basic lesson in layering – how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it. Take a personal tour through each part of his celebrated garden: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. David Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. David has been lecturing about gardens nationwide for more than 15 years. His articles have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene, and many other publications. He is a former contributing editor to Horticulture magazine and served as chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hardy Plant Society. David is Vice President for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut. He is author of the book The Layered Garden published by Timber Press. An expert on herbaceous perennials, David is an instructor at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. In 2013 The Layered Garden won the coveted Best Overall Book by the Garden Writers Association. He has developed the Brandywine Hybrid strain of hellebores, and was recently cited in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on snowdrops. His garden has been featured several times in Martha Stewart Living and on HGTV. Brandywine Cottage is listed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Gardens. (See video of David’s appearance on the Martha Stewart Show). He is a recipient of the Distinguished Garden Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He has also been awarded the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Award of Merit. He serves on the Pennsylvania Horticultural Societies Gold Medal Plant Selection Committee.


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REALTOR®, BROKER, MBA, ABR, CSP, GRI, CRS, SFR, CPM • homes@michelleporter.com www.michelleporter.com ©2017 BHH Affiiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March 2019

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March 2019 Paper Pushers 3/

1-5 5/

March 1 KOM ONE, KOM ALL. 6 p.m. To Adult Cooking: Kombucha 101. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: ticketmetriad.com. SONGBOOK OF ELI. 6 p.m. Eli Wheeler performs at First Friday. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greenhillnc.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Ann Fitzmaurice launches her book, The 21-Day Yoga Challenge. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. VALITUTTO PER TUTTI. 7:30 p.m. Support Music for a Great Space by listening to pianist Richard Valitutto tickle the ivories at the series’ Ingram memorial concert. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

March 1–24 GLASS CHANCE. To catch Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painting with Glass. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org.

March 1–May 5 PAPER PUSHERS. It’s so versatile, whether as a surface or a medium. See Art On Paper: The 45th Exhibition. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.edu.

March 1–December 6 MANE ATTRACTION. Equine and human lives have been inextricably linked throughout time as revealed in Horses and the Human Experience. Wake Forest Museum of

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The Cookin’ O’ The Green

March 2019


Quakers ’N’ Makers


Anthropology, Wake Forest University, 1830 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 758-5282 or moa.wfu.edu.

March 2 FATTEN UP! 9 a.m. Celebrate Fat Tuesday a little early at Mardi Gras at the Market, featuring jambalaya prepared by Chef Jay Pierce of Mozelle’s in Winston. A large time, we guar-awn-tee! Greensboro Farmers Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. BOUNCERS. Gravity-defying leaps — ahem— abound at gymastics’ Triple Cup. Competition times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. JERSEY BOYS. 8 p.m. No, not the Broadway musical, but New Jersey rockers, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. DES NOT DIZ. 8 p.m. Desmond Jones fuses rock, punk and jazz at the Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 2, 5, 9, 21 & 23 SWARM UP. 7 p.m. What’s the buzz? Find out, by watching the Greensboro Swarm. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

March 3 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Meet Mickey Dubrow, author of American Judas. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.



OPUS CONCERT. 3 p.m. Peter Perret conducts Philharmonia of Greensboro, with guest Dance Project: School of City Arts for a Pillow Concert, featuring Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. Lindley Recreation Center, 207 Springwood Drive, Greensboro. Info: gsomusiccenter.com. WE SING. 2 p.m. “We,” meaning anyone who wants to warble songs by The Village People, Three Dog Night, Queen and more at the free singalong, featuring This Community Sings with warmup acts, the UNCG Spartones and Gate City Ramblers. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 5 TASTES AND TUNES. 11:45 a.m. Brown bag it to a streaming concert courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center. High Point Public Library, 902 N. Main St., High Point. Info: highpointmuseum.org. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Judy Goldman, author of Together: A Memoir of Marriage and Mishap. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

March 6 RISE FROM THE ASHES. Noon. At a Community Ash Wednesday service. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. Info: (336) 993-3411. VINTAGES AND VITTELS. 6:30 p.m. And not just any ole’ grape or chow, but a pairing of Napa Valley’s Pahlmeyer wines with the exquisite fare of 1618 Seafood Grille. 1618 Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 6 A LITTLE LIGHT MUSIC. 8 p.m. Gospel crooner Travis Greene brings his “See the Light” Tour to the stage. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 6–10 HOOPS SKIRTS, PART DEUX. Watch nuthin’ but net at the 2019 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Game times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

March 7 PLANT PALAVER. Noon. Josh Williams holds forth at the discussion, “History of Cultivation — Medieval Finesse.” Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. Info: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org. CELTIC KINGS. 8 p.m. The Chieftains, that is. Listen to traditional Irish music at its finest. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 8 SUN FUN. 5 p.m. Kids can learn how to make puff pastry at Tween Cooking: Tarte Soleil. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 6 p.m. Meet Stephanie Anderson, author of One Size Fits None, with guest Lee Zacharias. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. WE LIKE MIC. 7 p.m. Hear the latest from local talent at Open Mic Night. Centennial Station Arts Center, 121 S. Centennial St., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787, ext. 26 or highpointarts.org. PULL OUT THE STOPS. 7 p.m. Sample wines, locally crafted beers, nosh on tasty eats and bid in a silent auction at Corks for Kids Path, benefiting Kids Path program of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro. Cadillac Service Garage, 304 E. Market St., Greensboro. Tickets: corksforkidspath.org. BOO HOO HOOT! 8 p.m. Billed as the “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice,” Puddles the clown (really) peppers his “Pity Party” with rock anthems and sentimental ballads — with humor and a healthy dose of irony. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 8–10 SWEET MUSIC. Greensboro Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel opens at a new venue. Performance times vary. Theatre at Well-Spring, 4100 Wellspring Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com.

March 9 ABRACADABRA! 7 p.m. See some sleight of hand by illusionists Hawley Magic. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Jerry Bledsoe reads from his memoir, Do-Good Boy: An Unlikely Writer Confronts the ’60s and Other Indignities. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. OPUS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Greensboro Concert Band, under the baton of Kiyoshi Carter, performs a program of Holst, Mackey, Whitacre and more. Dana Auditorium, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Info: gsomusiccenter.org.

March 9–October 20 GO FIGURE. Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form starts its run. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.edu.

March 10 THE SAN FRANCISCO TREAT. 2 p.m. If you’re thinking Rice-ARoni, think again, and head to Adult Cooking: Sourdough Demystified. Greensboro Children’s Museum. 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: ticketmetriad.com.

March 11 CORN HUSKERS. 6 p.m. That would be you learning to make tamales at Adult Cooking Cooking with Joe. (What? Not “Jose?”). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., To register: ticketmetriad.com. GENE SCENE. 6:30 p.m. Historian Larry Cates discusses using DNA in genealogical research. Morgan Room, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: highpointmuseum.org.

March 12 GOON SQUAD. 7 p.m. Remember when Sean Astin was a cute little hobbit before LOTR? Catch the cult classic, The Goonies. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 12–March 20, 2020 ROAD WARE-Y. Admire ancient pottery from China’s current-day Hunan Province at Stoneware on the Silk Roads. Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, 1830 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem. Info: (336) 758-5282 or moa.wfu.edu.

March 13 GREAT DANE. 5:30 p.m. Sculptor Dane Wheeler discusses his installations using reclaimed lumber among other materials at an Artist Talk for Two Artists/One Space. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: greenhillnc.org. TO MAV OR MAV NOT. 8 p.m. Hear the influences of Elvis, Roy Orbison, Latin pop and more, as The Mavericks take the stage. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 14 MARTIN-VILLE. 7 p.m. Singer/songwriter Jeffrey Martin takes the stage. Centennial Station Arts Center, 121 S. Centennial St., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787, ext. 26 or highpointarts.org.

Arts Calendar

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet George Singleton, author of Staff Picks: Stories. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

March 14–17 SHORT CIRCUIT. Meaning, Evening of Short Plays #38. Performance time vary Stephen D. Hyers Theatre, Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 335-6426 or the dramacenter.com.

March 15 SMART ART. As in, Libby Smart, a local artist and daughter of Gate City painter Mary Lou Ward and Tommy Ward. O’Brien Gallery, 307 State St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 279-1124 or tylerwhitegallery.com. THE COOKIN’ O’ THE GREEN. 4:30 p.m. With greens from the garden, of course. Sign up your tyke for Kids Cooking: St. Paddy’s Day Party (ages 6–8). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N.Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Michael Mewshaw, author of The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

March 15 & 16 GET ME TO THE CHURCH ON TIME. 8 p.m. Country rocker Eric Church tunes up. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

March 16 MORE COOKIN’ O’ THE GREEN. 11 a.m. Green things from the garden, that is. Gather the entire clan for Family Cooking: Lucky Leprachaun (ages 3 and up). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com.

March 17 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet George Lakey, author of How We Win: A Guide to Direct Action Nonviolent Campaigning. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

March 18 CLASS ACTS. 10 a.m. Lee Murrill-Chapman leads a Museum Guild lecture, “Teachers in Guilford County.” Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2043 or greensborohistory.org. RH FACTOR. 2:30 p.m. Your participation will not be in vain but in vein at the Paul Ciener Blood Drive. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. Appointments: (336) 996-7888 or redcrossblood.org (use sponsor code “Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden.”

March 19 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Paul Crenshaw, author of This One Will Hurt You. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

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Arts Calendar

March 20 BEERS AND BUILDINGS. 5 p.m. Help Preservation Greensboro by tilting an elbow at Good Work Wednesday, which donates 10 percent of sales to the nonprofit. Natty Greene’s Brewpub, 345 S. Elm St., Info: preservationgreensboro.org/events. DROOLIN’ AND DRAWLIN’. 6 p.m. And a whole lotta “y’allin’”! Prepare chicken pie, biscuits and ’nana puddin’ at “Southern Comfort Food.” Reto’s Kitchen, 600 S. Elam Ave., Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. SHAW ’NUF. 8 p.m. Shaw Davis & The Black Ties, with a little help from Corey Luetjen & The Traveling Blues Band, bring some rockin’ roots tunes to the Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 21 Homecoming 3/


GARDEN GAB. 2 p.m. David L. Culp of N.C. Unit of the Herb Society of America dishes on “The Layered Garden.” Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. To register: send an email to carlila1st@ gmail.com. AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poet David Wojahn, author of From the Valley of Making. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

BANNA-RAMA. 7 p.m. Usher in Spring with some craic and self-described “kilt-kickin’ Celtic music” from Banna. Centennial Station Arts Center, 121 S. Centennial St., High Point. Info: (336) 889-2787, ext. 26 or highpointarts.org.

March 21–24 BOYS’ CLUB. As in, the blunt object favored by prehistoric males. See the battle of the sexes play out in the Broadway comedy, Defending the Caveman — and don’t let any accusations of toxic masculinity suppress your guffaws. Performance times vary. Odeon Theatre, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

March 22 WHEATLESS. 6 p.m. Go against the grain at Adult Cooking: GlutenFree Baking. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: ticketmetriad.com. PUMPED UP. 7:30 p.m. Organist Kimberly Marshall performs a program of Mendelssohn, Brahms Bach and N.C. composer Margaret Sandresky. Christ United Methodist Church, 410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. HOMECOMING. 8:30 p.m. Local punk rockers Kudzu Wish reunite at the Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.


Claim your spotlight CONNIE P. LOGAN - ARTIST/TEACHER

www. CPLogan.com 78 O.Henry

March 2019

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

FRITATTA-FOR-ALL. 11 a.m. Kids Cooking class teaches little ones to make fritattas from fresh eggs and goodies from the garden. Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: gcmuseum.com. BLUES MASTER. 8 p.m. That would be Jontavious Willis, on stage at The Crown. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. March 9 & 23 HOT! HOT! HOT! 10 a.m. His irons that is. The Blacksmith strikes — again and again. High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point. Info: highpointmuseum.org.

March 24 SPRINGFEST. 1 p.m. Just what it says: a festival celebrating spring, courtesy of our sister publication, Seasons Style & Design, with garden experts Chip Callaway and Tony Avent, and more. Grandover Resort, 1000 Club Road, Greensboro. Tickets: ticketmetriad.com. LAYUPS FOR LAFFS. 3 p.m. The Harlem Globetrotters elicit grins and giggles with their comedic sleight-of-hand on the basketball court. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. REALLY BIG SHOW. 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. Hear a wide variety of jazz from the past 50 years, courtesy of Piedmont Jazz

Orchestra — The Evolved Big Band. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

March 25 EASY BAKE. 6 p.m. Just say “no” to the microwave and sign up for Adult Cooking: Simple Weeknight Dinners. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register: ticketmetriad.com. QUAKERS ’N’ MAKERS. 6:30 p.m. Come to the lecture, “Friendly Furniture: The Quaker Cabinetmakers of Guilford County, 1725–1825, courtesy of Robert Leath, chief curator and and vice president of collections at Old Salem Museum and Gardens. Blandwood Carriage House, 400 W. McGee St., Greensboro. Info: preservationgreensboro.org/events.

March 26 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Kosoko Jackson, author of the young adult genre work, A Place for Wolves. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

March 28 LIVE STREAMING. 10 a.m. Don your clodhoppers for a “before” tour of future wetland and stream restoration. Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville. Info: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

March 29

A HELPING HAND. 8 a.m. Find out how you can champion those with intellectual and developmental challenges at The Arc of North Carolina’s “Rooted in Advocacy” conference. Benton Convention Center, 301 W. Fifth St., Winston-Salem. To register: arcnc.org/conference. FOLK FOR THE FOLKS. 8 p.m. Emily Scott Robinson strums and sings her travel-inspired folk tunes. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

MARCH 30 TOE THE LINE. 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Support School of City arts classes and programs at Dance Project’s Dance Marathon, featuring classes, performances, relays, prizes and a[?] big fun. Van Dyke Performance Space and LeBauer Park, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: danceproject.org. 23 SKIDOO. 6:30 p.m. And hotcha, Baby! Enjoy live jazz and a 1920s speakeasy vibe at “All That Jazz,” The Eastern Music Festival Scholarship Gala. Revolution Mill, 1100 Revolution Drive, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-7450, ext. 223 or eassternmusicfestival.org. HOMEGROWN TUNES. 7:30 p.m. With a name like Whiskey Foxtrot, you can’t go wrong. The Winston-Salem band, along with Jason Springs, perform a repertoire of pure Americana. The Crown, Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

Arts & Culture

March 23

Arts Calendar

MARCH 10-31 Stand up for what’s right and experience the genius of August Wilson. It’s 1969 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. The city plans big for what they call urban renewal but Memphis Lee’s diner stands in the way. He and his customers fight for survival on the precipice of enormous change. Discover what really matters in this slice of life masterpiece that digs deep into the heart of the American Dream.

BUY TICKETS TODAY! 232 SOUTH ELM STREET | GREENSBORO | 336.272.0160 | TRIADSTAGE.ORG The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 79

Arts & Culture Piedmont Opera presents Donizetti’s comedic opera


Elixir of Love

March 15, 17 & 19, 2019 The Stevens Center of the UNCSA Transportation from Greensboro provided for the 3/17 show.

Sometimes love needs a little liquid courage! Tickets on sale now at 336.725.7101 or PiedmontOpera.org OhenryHalf.indd 2

80 O.Henry

2/18/2019 9:40:26 AM

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

OLD HOME WEEK. Or rather Ideal Home, as in the Greensboro Ideal Home Show. See the latest for the domicile. Times vary. Special Events Center, Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Ticket info: greensborocoliseum.com.

March 30–April 1 HOOPS SKIRTS. The ladies hold court at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Greensboro Regional. Game times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Tickets: ncaa.com/ WBBTickets.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen. (Members only). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. PreTo register: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. CHAT-EAU. Noon. French leave? Au contraire! Join French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Tuesdays READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to story

times: BookWorms (ages 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom; Family Storytime for all ages meets at 6:30 p.m. High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

convenes for children ages 3–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com.

TASTE MAKERS. 6:30 p.m. Literally! Stop in at a monthlong Adult Cooking Class: Tasting Series, offering soupcons of chocolate (3/7), coffee (3/14), honey and salt (3/21) and cheese (3/28). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. To register (for individual sessions or the entire series): gcmuseum.com.

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Afterschool Storytime convenes for children of all ages. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 N. Main St., High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointpubliclibrary.com. PICKIN’ AND GRINNIN’ 6 until 9 p.m. Y’all come for Songs from a Southern Kitchen, featuring: The Meldavians (3/5), Sam Frazier & Eddie Walker (3/12), Casey Noel & Kevin Dollar (3/19) and Wes Collins, Heather Stryka & Nathan Evans Fox (3/26). Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

ALL THAT JAZZ. 5:30 until 8 p.m. Hear live, local jazz with Dave Fox, Neill Clegg and Matt Kendrick (aka the O.Henry Trio) and featured artists Carrie Marshall (3/7), Lydia Salett Dudley (3/14), Sarah Strable (3/21), and Diana Tuffin and special guest Turner Battle (3/28). All performances are at the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby Bar. No cover. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www. ohenryhotel.com/jazz.htm.

CREATIVE KIN. 5 to 7 p.m. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Enjoy a free evening of artistic expression at ArtQuest. GreenHill, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 greenhillnc.org.

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

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

OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.



THE HALF OF IT. 5 p.m. Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and activities for half the cost of admission at $5 Fun Fridays ($3

TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime

MERIDITH MARTENS, artist Large Scale Paintings Custom Residential & Corporate Design


Arts & Culture

March 29–31

Arts Calendar

MARCH 22 - 7:30PM

Christ United Methodist Church sponsored by an Anonymous Donor


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GUNTER HAUS GUNTERHAUS.COM STUDIOG COM ArtHA@GMAIL. Studio GUNTER HAUS ArtHA@GMAIL. StudioCOM STUDIOG Art (336)Studio 350-3741 (336) 350 - 3741 (336) 350 - 3741 Angie Gunter Angela L. Gunter (336) 350 - 3741 Angie Gunter GU N T E R H A U S.COM Angie Gunter GUNTERHAUS.COM


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Your wish is my Brush’s Command March 2019

O.Henry 81


Arts & Culture


ARTIST’S RECEPTION Friday March 15th, 6-8pm LUNCH & LEARN with Murray 11:30am-1pm ($20) 307 State Street, Greensboro (336) 279-1124 • www.tylerwhitegallery.com


Hansel and Gretel

March 8 - 10, 2019 Well-Spring Theatre Tickets: GreensboroOpera.org (336) 907-2107

82 O.Henry

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts Calendar on First Fridays). Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

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

Saturdays TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m. until noon. The produce is fresh and the cut fleurs belles. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org. THRICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Hear a good yarn at Children’s Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com. GENIUS AND JAVA. 11:15 a.m. With a cup of Joe as inspiration, create that masterpiece at Coffee and Canvas, which pairs painting and sipping. Cost is $5 and includes art supplies and bean. Griffin Recreation Center, 5301 Hilltop Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-2928 or email Latrisha. Carmon@greensboro-nc.gov. WRITE IS MIGHT. 3 p.m. Avoid writer’s block by joining a block of writers at Come Write In, a confab of scribes who discuss their literary projects. Scuppernong Books, 304 S.


Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.


JAZZ ENCORE. 6:30 p.m. Hear contemporary jazz cats, Roberto Orhihuela’s Band featuring Nishah DiMeo (3/2); Noah Powell & Amy Hancock (3/9); The Mac McLaughlin Group featuring George Stewart (3/16); Wally & Cathy West & Band (3/23) and Bronwen Bradshaw with Chad Eby & Band (3/30), while noshing on seasonal tapas at O.Henry Jazz series for Select Saturdays. O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com. IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or idiotboxers.com.

Saturdays & Sundays KIDS’ CRAFTS. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop — unless you enroll Junior in one of three structured activities at Greensboro Children’s Museum: Art Studio encourages making art in all kinds of media; at Music Makers kids can shake, rattle and roll with percussion instruments; while Get Moving! inspires physical activities. Times and dates vary. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or send an email mailto: marketing@gcmuseum.com.

GROOVE AND GRUB. 11 a.m. Chow down on mouthwatering Southern brunch fare (biscuits, anyone?), courtesy of Chef Irvin J. Williams, while students from the Miles David Jazz Program serenade you with smooth jazz. The Historic Magnolia House, 442 Gorrell St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 617-3382 or thehistoricmagnoliahouse.com. HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $5 admission, as opposed to the usual $10, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com. MISSING YOUR GRANDMA? 3 p.m. until it’s gone: Tuck into Chef Felicia’s skillet-fried chicken, and mop that cornbread in, your choice, giblet gravy or potlikker. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 W. Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

To add an event, email us at


by the first of the month


online @ www.ohenrymag.com

Enjoy life at your own pace

SEPTEMBER 15, 2018

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www.bipinc.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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March 2019

O.Henry 83

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March 2019

10/5/18 10:06 AM

O.Henry 85

Business & Services



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March 2019

Images are not representative of actual product and all designs shown may not be available. Come see us for more details.

1614-C West Friendly Avenue Greensboro, nC 27403 336-272-2032 stitchpoint@att.net MondAy-FridAy: 10:00-6:00 sAturdAy: 10:00-4:00

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Voted Best Menswear Store 2015, 2016, 2017, & 2018

Sherlock Roof Cleaning Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Exterior House Wash Driveway Cleaning Patios and Decks


Solving the crime of ugly www.sherlockroofcleaning.com dark roof stains sherlockroofcleaning@gmail.com





Since 1987


the HUB ltd 2921-D Battleground Ave. • Greensboro 336.545.6535 | TheHubLtd.com



• 30+ years as a major dealer of Gold, Silver, and Coins • Most respected local dealer for appraising and buying Coin Collections, Gold, Silver, Diamond Jewelry and Sterling Flatware • Investment Gold, Silver, & Platinum Bullion

Visit us: www.ashmore.com or call 336-617-7537 5725 W. Friendly Ave. Ste 112 • Greensboro, NC 27410 Across the street from the entrance to Guilford College

Business & Services


8408 Lillys Court Magnificent Setting in Popular Northern School District Tucked in Quiet Cul De Sac. Master with Additional Bedroom on Main Level can Be In-Law Suite (Handicap Accessible). Upstairs has Additional Unfinished Space for Bonus or Bedroom. Basement has Bedroom, Full Bath, Game Room and Wet Bar. Kitchen Features Custom Soapstone C’tops and Eat in Bar, Wolf Gas Cooktop, Convection Oven w/Warming Drawer Below. 3 Zone HVAC; Rinnai Tankless Water Heater; Central Vac. Four Spaces for Parking and Tons of Storage!

4 BED/4.5 BATH - OFFERED AT $589,000 1329 North Main Street High Point, NC . 27262 336-882-0636 @monkeesofhighpoint

ANGIE WILKIE Broker/Realtor® (336) 451-9519



Allen Tate Company’s Top 5% | 2018 Allen Tate Company’s Legends Club

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 87


Jayme Chikos, Jessica VanEtteen, Latreka Snipes

Matt Warrick, Celia Glenn

Kau • Restaurant • Butcher • Bar Grand Unveiling Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Don Elliott, Karen Little, Maggie Cummings, Meredyth Frye

Neal Crawford, Lisa Dames, Seth Moore

Anna Spencer, Grayson Fields, Kelliann Harden

Hannah Pomphrey, Megan Mabry

Linda Rowland, Jill Fisher, Katie Wyatt

Ross & Brooke Coley

Jill Clarey, Johnathan Enoch Lisa & John Merritt

Maricela Tovar, Ricky Evans

Susan McMullen & Bob Gingher

Neal Davis, Eric Chilton

88 O.Henry

March 2019

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

SPRING TRUNK SHOW Join us for an exclusive look at the newest spring styles. Cathy Bryan, from Johnston & Murphy, will also be present for style and fit advice.

Simply Meg’s

Friday, March 15th 10am – 6pm


1616-G Battleground Ave Dover Square 336.617.7941 10am-5:30pm-Mon.-Sat. www.bibsandkidsboutique.com

Dover Square -1616 Battleground Ave Greensboro 336.851.5025 mainandtaylorshoes.com

Photo: Aesthetic Images

1616-H Battleground Ave Dover Square 336.272.2555 10am-5:30pm-Mon.-Sat. www.simplymegsboutique.com

Dover Square

Floral Design Delivery Service Home Décor & Gifts Weddings & Special Events Come visit our retail shop! 1616 Battleground Avenue, Suite D-1 Greensboro, NC 27408


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

March 2019

O.Henry 89


Danielle Golinski, Rachael Rysz, Beth Mannella

Justin Outling, Candace Martin

synerG on Tap

Social networking event Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Eddison Wilkinson, Frankie Jones, Johnathan Enochs

Ainsley Johnston, Spencer Conover

Meghan Edwards, Dana White, Kara Hanen

Yubi Aranda-Sandoval, Julia Roach, Mary Lesa Pegg

ShantĂŠ Wilson, Sarah McGuire

Brandon Ferrer, Libby Schinnow

90 O.Henry

March 2019

Tanner Hayes, Hilda Tajalli, Kyle Webb

Shamira Azlan, Katie Smarr

Kateal Washington, Leo Ricketts, Jenny Norcross

Rebecca Dillon, Caroline Smith

Danielle Lamorte, Samantha Singer

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Lizz Sanders, George Lothian

Leadership Greensboro

2019 New Year Reception & Awards Thursday, January 10, 2019 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Katina Richmond, Lindy Fuller, Renee Fleeman

Manuel & Thelma Dudley, James Cox Kathy Clark, Kareem Coombs, Scotti Teschke

Charlene Jessup, Dave Leeper

Caroline Wilson, Mindy Oakley, Myron Pearman, Chad Oakley

Julia Thomas, Niketa Greene

Jay Christmas, Jennette Hutchinson

Randall Jenkins, Matthew Blake

Kathy Norcott, O’Brien Phillips, Heavenly Walker

Tracy Myers, Milli Herring

Allyson Clark & Michelle Kennedy

Ashlee Wagner, Julia Thomas

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

March 2019

O.Henry 91


Michaela Jamison, Rodney Milton, Shemyra Bailey

Jordan Mickles, Tonia & Samarie Mitchell

MLK Bust Dedication & Ribbon Cutting Downtown Greenway Monday, January 21, 2019

Photographs by Lynn Donovan Rob Overman, Tammi Thurm, Brent Christensen, Nancy Vaughan, Nancy Hoffmann

Krashanna Nelton, Kanijah Woods, Tatiana Terry

Kameron Jeffries, Carmen Ritter, Elijah Morrison

Sue Schwartz, Stan Wilson Kym Smith, Jim Gallucci

Irish Spencer, Marikay Abuzuaiter

92 O.Henry

March 2019

Lornea, Alicia & Marvin Willett

Brandon Hargrove & Ruby Hargrove-Monds

Joe Rotondi, Travis Laughlin, Isobella Moulton

Dawn Chaney, Taylor Butler

Melanee & Marli Bennett

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Old World Style & Modern Living

1816 SAINT ANDREWS ROAD, GREENSBORO, NC 27408 Irving Park home with European charm and floor plan for modern living . Master on main • 5BRs, 6.5 baths • Chefs Kitchen • Guest cottage and garages

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale 336-601-2337

Kay Chesnutt 336-202-9687

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

Lea Beuchler 336-207-4859

©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

Habitat • Alembika Cut Loose • Prairie Cotton Iguana • Parsley and Sage Luukaa • Grizas • Kleen Comfy USA • Chalet Cheyenne • Heartstring Et’ Lois • Oh My Gauze!

Sizes: 1X, 2X, & 3X


Vera’s Threads Sizes: S,M, L & XL


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

www.linneasboutique.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Golden Gate


Carriage House Antiques & Home Decor 336.373.6200

2214 Golden Gate Drive • Greensboro, NC Monday-Friday 10-5:30 • Saturday • 10-5 Sunday 1-5 Carriage_House@att.net

March 2019

O.Henry 93

Be your own kind of beautiful ...


Irving Park

Clothing, Accessories


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

94 O.Henry

March 2019

Gifts & More!

1804 Pembroke Rd. • Greensboro, NC 27408 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) • 336.763.7908 Mon. - Fri. 11:00am - 5:30pm • Sat. 11:00am - 4:00pm www.serendipitybyceleste.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Accidental Astrologer

The Originals Leave it to the March-born to break the mold

By Astrid Stellanova

March madness doesn’t just apply to basketball, boys and girls. It applies to the whole universe. We astrologers already knew the universe held all kinds of spooky entanglements before the physicists did. Happens that Fred Rogers and Albert Einstein were March-born Star Children. And so were Vincent Van Gogh and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Quincy Jones and Aretha Franklin, too. Creative, artistic, occasionally mystic, but almost always completely original — the birthright of those born this month.

Pisces (February 19–March 20) Making. It. Rain. Boo-ya! That’s rainmaker you this birthday and year. You roar right into the lead with one good idea after another and the energy to make them happen. If the rest of the pack cannot keep up, and not many can, then they have to eat your dust. It will be hard to dampen your enthusiasm and to contain your excitement as precious dreams are realized. Take a bow! Aries (March 21–April 19) You’ve had some hard knocks and rude shocks, most of them from thinking you could do the next to the impossible for the undermotivated. If you are feeling like the Mayor of Underachiever Town, just remember there’s no way to change others and most of your suffering is from that. Taurus (April 20–May 20) You’ve been generous, Star Child, especially when out on the town, but now you’re feeling hard-pressed. You act like I don’t know your moola from your hula lately. As fun as it was, visit the great state of Austerity for a serious timeout. Clip both coupons and your wings for a while. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Careless and reckless comes to mind, my twin. Yet you wonder why you feel like you’re Tito in the Jackson family? You were born with gifts and talent but you have not used them. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Be firm with somebody who knows how to play you. Make Midas let go of the greenbacks and be generous with you for a change. Visit places you haven’t been, like the province of Reality Checkville. Leo (July 23–August 22) You’ve been spinning it to win it, like a revitalized Vanna White at the wheel. Fun to watch, and fun to be you during this sun cycle. It will delight your friends and depress your enemies to see your sparkle. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Virgo (August 23–September 22) Darling, you’ve been a Jittery Joe. It is discombobulating to trade roles with a close alliance, but you have bravely experimented with self-discovery. Don’t give up now; it leads you to a whole new paradigm. Libra (September 23–October 22) Sneaky! Those who think they can predict everything about you are going to have to put a bell around your neck to find you. You have privately begun explorations they will find amazing. Amaze yourself, too! Scorpio (October 23–November 21) Sugar, don’t look back unless you plan to go that route. Now that a new endeavor is under way, all signs point to success. Keep your cool. Also, find one person who needs your mentoring. It will be a revelation. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Shake it. Bake it. But don’t just lie there and take it! You are at a key place, and you’ve invested a lot emotionally in a good outcome. Fight for what you want, and be as inclusive as you can if you want to lead. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Namaste doesn’t mean nah, may stay. You may want to stay put and not budge, but where you are now is all about finding peace in a time where you feel at war with yourself. Aquarius (January 20–February18) In another 364 days you will ask yourself if you made a dint or difference in the world. You already have. Someone is trying to express just how important you are, and what you have done, and honor you. 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. March 2019

O.Henry 95

O.Henry Ending

Nettleton Nightmare The nettlesome side of “Greensboro’s Shoe”

When I recently noticed

my accountant was wearing nonNettleton tassel loafers, I winced. In 2012, O.Henry magazine glorified Nettletons as “The Greensboro Shoe [in] the golden age of haberdashery.”

I frankly do not understand all this bootlicking heaped upon a brand of shoes that evokes, for some, painful memories of being bullied and mocked by the fashion police in junior and senior high schools. My time in hell was three years at Kiser from 1967–1970 and one year at Grimsley ’70–’71. The “uniform” of our generation’s equivalent of the Hitler Youth (aka “Brownshirts”) was a pair of Nettletons, black socks, and often an Izod shirt featuring, appropriately, a vicious alligator. Penny loafers were allowed as an alternative to Nettletons but never with pennies in the slots at the front of the loafers — unless you had a death wish. Such fashion deviations brought instant and brutal punishment by the Brownshirts. Another taboo: wearing “fake Nettletons” But not everyone who sported Nettletons was a bully. I remember a good guy from the Kiser years whom I will call John Brandt, who wore the prized loafers. When a bully stepped on the tip of his Nettleton and turned his foot to grind the shoe’s toe, John hit the guy in the face the very next day at his father’s suggestion and dragged the bleeding offender to the principal’s office. My parents for whatever reason would not let me buy Nettletons. My feet were also too big and too wide for the shiny penny loafers (which my parents did allow) flattening the inside edges of the shoes. Another fashion offense that put me in harm’s way was donning a pair of white or light colored socks, a lightning rod that drew instant fire. I remember a dangerous duo — let’s call them Lane Smith and Paul Downing, who were both Nettleton-wearers — seeing me commit just such a fashion offense. Rocking back and forth on their feet, they mocked me by sarcastically singing “We like those WHITE SOCKS!” Lane once expressed his disapproval of me by spitting on me through the gap in his front teeth. Once, when the bottoms of my feet were badly cut and I had to wear white socks, I covered them with a pair of dark ones so I would live another day.

96 O.Henry

March 2019

Nettletons or “Neds” as they were called, became meaningless after I left Greensboro’s public schools. At Oak Ridge Military Academy, Wake Forest University and Campbell College Law School, one’s academic performance and character were much more important than a shoe brand. In 1981 I joined the Marines and never had to worry about what to wear — and I didn’t have to go to Younts-DeBoe and spend a week’s pay on a pair of shoes. For field duty, the uniform was “boots and utes” — combat boots and a standard utility uniform (camouflage). I became elite based on merit, not on footwear. Ironically, shoe problems still haunted me during my initial Marine training. My wide, flat feet didn’t fit comfortably inside narrow combat boots with little support. What were benignly termed “conditioning hikes” were in fact long marches on gravel roads (a great way to see Virginia’s countryside while wearing a helmet and pack, and carrying a rifle). My feet began to look like bleeding hamburgers. I tried everything for relief, including wearing hose and — get this — white socks. The only relief came when I got wider boots. Civilian clothing was permitted after hours, but fellow Marines, despite their regimented training and esprit de corps, never ragged anyone for wearing faux Nettletons or white socks. I doubt they even knew what Nettletons were. I realized that high school was over and that mature adults do not really care what shoes or socks one wears as long as one is a competent, humane individual. Despite the very strong signal I got from the beautiful people and showoffs that I was CLEARLY not one of them, I have led a successful and fulfilling life to age 64. And I will never be nostalgic about a status symbol that symbolized, at least for me, the cruelty that insecure adolescents are capable of inflicting upon one another. Without fear I wear white socks as I write and edit this article, and I — who still have the fire of a Marine — look forward to meeting Lane Smith and Paul Downing one day to revisit the good old times and maybe even using the end of my fist to point their chins to their “Neds.” OH Charles A. Jones is a retired Marine Corps Reserve colonel, a lawyer and a writer. He changed the names of those mentioned in this article to protect the guilty. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


By Charles A. Jones


LUNCH & LEARN EVENT March 28th 12 – 1

Renaissance Community Room Light lunch provided

Call 1-855-294-BODY to register

Special Pricing Available at the Event!

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GREENSBORO Friendly Center • 336-294-4885 WINSTON-SALEM Stratford Village, 137 South Stratford Road • 336-725-1911 www.schiffmans.com