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M A G A Z I N E Volume 5, No. 1 “I have a fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090 1848 Banking Street Greensboro, NC 27408 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com David Claude Bailey, Senior Editor dbailey@ohenrymag.com Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors Cynthia Adams, Maria Johnson Contributing Photographers Kevin Banker, Lynn Donovan, Sam Froelich, John Gessner, Debra Regula, Mark Wagoner

Matthew D. Olin, MD

is a fellowship trained hip surgeon with extensive experience performing direct anterior total hip replacement surgery. To schedule an appointment with Matthew D. Olin, MD to determine if this surgery is for you. Call: 336.545.5030

Contributors Harry Blair, Jane Borden, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Jim Clark, Billy Ingram, Brian Lampkin, Meridith Martens, Ruth Moose, Nancy Oakley, Ogi Overman, Sandra Redding, Noah Salt, Stephen E. Smith, Astrid Stellanova

O.H

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Director 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt, 336.601.1188 hattie@ohenrymag.com Amy Grove, 336.456.0827 amy@ohenrymag.com Circulation Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 Advertising Graphic Design Dana Martin, Sales Assistant 336.617.0090 Lauren Shumaker, Judi Hewett 910.693.2469

For more information about Dr. Olin and surgery visit www.greensborohipandkneesurgeon.com

4 O.Henry

January 2015

Subscriptions 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2015. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Best Wishes for a Great 2015!

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O.Henry 5


January 2015 Features

47 Three Years After Your Death Poetry by Ruth Moose

48 Guilty Pleasures

Cigars, cheesecake, good beer and burgers? Bring ’em on! By Maria Johnson

52 A Dozen Things You Didn’t Know About Greensboro

Pat yourself on the back if you knew more than two of these. By Billy Ingram

54 The Amazing Odyssey of Citizen Bird

How T. Gilbert Pearson became the eggman of Guilford College — and a major force in the preservation of American wildlife. By Jim Clark

58 Story of a House

The Enchanted Cottage The late Harvey West’s cottage is like something out of a storybook. By David Claude Bailey

69 January Almanac By Noah Salt

Departments 9 Simple Life By Jim Dodson 12 Short Stories 15 Doodad By Ogi Overman 17 O.Harry By Harry Blair 19 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 21 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith 25 Scuppernong Bookshelf By Brian Lampkin 28 The Home Gourmet By David Claude Bailey 33 Good Health By Asrtid Stellanova 37 Chasing Hornets By Wiley Cash 39 Game On By Ogi Overman 41 Birdwatch By Susan Campbell 43 Life of Jane By Jane Borden 70 Arts & Entertainment January Calendar 80 Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem 81 Worth the Drive to High Point 87 GreenScene 85 N.C. Writer’s Notebook By Sandra Redding 95 Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova 96 O.Henry Ending By Sandra Redding Cover Photograph and Photograph this page by Mark Wagoner

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January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Art for Eyes | Eye for Arts Fine Eyewear, Artwork and Jewelry 327 South Elm | Greensboro 336.274.1278 | TheViewOnElm.com Becky Causey, Licensed Optician Find us on Facebook


8 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Simple Life

The Wee Small Hours By Jim Dodson

For better or worse, I fancy

Illustration by Kira schoenfelder

early morning darkness and do some of my best work in it, especially at this time of the year, an affection for midwinter cold and darkness I share with the likes of professional snowplow operators, warmly dressed burglars and New York cabbies.

Even if I were constitutionally capable of sleeping past 4 a.m., which I am not, regardless of whatever time zone I happen to be in at that moment, I would find the still, quiet and not unimportantly dark hours before dawn the most valuable and productive hours of my day, the time when I can think, read, write and sort through any problems I took to bed with a remarkable clarity. For what it’s worth, it’s also the time I light a candle and say thanks to whatever kind force of the universe put me here, allowing me to see things a little clearer in the darkness. No less than Jesus himself advised one to slip into a darkened place when you pray. Because winter is my prime writing season, I joke that eleven books have been written in the dark. Except, I’m not really joking. Sometimes I think this affection for the wee small hours, as my father used to call them, is merely the influence of having a father who was an inveterate early riser and the fact that I, like him, cut my professional teeth on an afternoon newspaper that required me to report for duty before the Eastern horizon turned pink. From an early age I began writing my stories before most civilized folk even thought of getting out of bed, and it’s been that way ever since. Who can say for sure why the hours of our busy lives are silently ruled by such unassailable circadian rhythms? The answer to this puzzle seems as elusive and beautifully tantalizing as the clear and serenely shining stars and moon that span the pre-dawn firmament on any given clear cold January morning, making a body and soul shiver and feel deliciously puny in the star-shine of a newly birthing day. Though she never came out and said as much during the many years we lived on a forested hill near the coast of Maine, I always had the feeling my sleepy ladywife found it amusing the way I would suddenly pop awake and slip out of bed with such urgency to put on the coffee and my funky red plaid wool Elmer Fudd coat, shoulder a hundred pound bag of sorghum and wade through the waist-deep January snow to a designated feeding spot at the back of our property where we — well, I — fed a family of white-tail deer and a lonely bachelor moose through the forbidding nights of Yankee winter. Something about this modest and solitary act of caretaking creatures who shared our forested keep in the arctic starlight deeply pleased me in ways I still can’t fully explain. It was enough to sometimes see their silhouThe Art & Soul of Greensboro

ettes waiting patiently in the moonlight at the edge of the forest, a thousand cloven hoof marks in the trampled snow where they assembled to feed on such nights, a circle of life etched in ice. Back home here in Carolina, where the winters are far gentler and our own circle of life is being drawn ever closer, my Yankee wife is much happier with dark midwinter nights and still amused by my occasional pining for those dark pre-dawn rituals. Not long ago we watched a documentary about life in a quaint Scandinavian village up near the Arctic Circle that has resisted most of the conveniences and problems of modern urban life. It was a beautiful blue place by the sea, like something from a fairy tale, a village framed by snow-peaked mountains and dense evergreen forests. Reindeer sometimes wander the village streets. “I could absolutely live there,” I heard myself mutter as we watched. She patted my hand. “I know. But I’d miss you.” Here in the Northern Hemisphere, meteorological scientists call the three-month period from November 5 to February 5 “solar winter” because these are the coldest and darkest days of the year. Early January is the statistical darkest and coldest time of the year. For many folks this poses a serious psychological burden. Shorter days and absence of sunlight do a number on their embattled psyches, a very real ailment caused by deprivation of the sun called seasonal affective disorder, a syndrome that can cause depression, acute fatigue and decreased libido, affecting women more than men. My wife feels their pain, probably because she’s a true child of midsummer, a July baby who craves heat and sunlight, one reason I suppose she says she’d miss me if I ventured off to live in a blue Norwegian village by the sea. Her idea of the perfect day is a sunny summer afternoon here in Old Catawba, a place where winter snow is mostly for show and rarely worth breaking out the Elmer Fudd coat for. I, on the other hand, am a proud son of early February, a scion of midwinter who loves the kind of cold and darkness that makes a crackling wood fire or burning candle seem like an invitation to one’s ancestors or personal muse (or even a lonely bachelor moose) to come close for a story or meal in the moonlight. Somehow this dichotomy seems to nicely balance in our marriage, classic seasonal yin and yang, drawing us even closer if only because I keep my summer girl’s feet warm in winter and she seems to take genuine pleasure in seeing how this time of year delights and enriches my life. Besides, I simply fancy a different kind of light — Christmas lights, a good reading lamp, flickering votives in an ancient cathedral, or simply the wash of a full moon casting milky shadows on the lawn. During our years in Maine, in strict violation of town burning ordinances, we always had a roaring midnight New Year bonfire in our side yard, a tribute to some ancient instinct to press back the winter darkness, I suppose — inviting friends to January 2015

O.Henry 9


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Simple Life

toss items they were eager to be free of (broken toys, old love letters, more than one first bad novel) onto the flames, sending up a swirling of glowing sparks of fire to a frozen heaven. Once we even got a brief glimpse of the fabled Northern lights on such a deep winter’s night, as eerie and beautiful as a light in the darkness can get. In her thought-provoking recent book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, veteran preacher Barbara Brown Taylor points out how darkness gets a bum rap from ancient Scripture and modern culture. Holy Scripture paints darkness as metaphorical evil, she notes, while light is seen a symbol of goodness and salvation. To “see the light” is to be saved, whereas to be “lost in the dark” is to be confused or doomed. The fever is always worse at night — and so are the bogeymen inside our over stimulated imaginations. Some of us grew up in America where it was safe to stay out playing after dark, chasing fireflies or kicking the can — but, alas, no more. Owing to 24hour cable news and the evening newscast — little more than police blotters of the air — we collectively fear the unknown terrors that lurk out yonder in the darkness, murderous thieves who would steal anything from your precious children to your flat-screen TV. In one way or another, we’re all afraid to peek beneath the bed. But Barbara Taylor argues persuasively that darkness is not only essential to our physical and spiritual well-being — the place where our weary bones may rest up and heal while our minds make sense of the day’s events — but important time off from the world’s clock when genuine insights and solutions are free to come unbidden in dreams or waking revelation. Jesus ascended from a dark tomb, she points out, wild herds almost always give birth before the wee small hours, and “dark nights of the soul” often lead to life-changing breakthroughs and personal epiphanies. “Darkness,’ she writes, “turns out to be as essential to our physical wellbeing as light. We not only need plenty of darkness to sleep well; we also need it to be well. The circadian rhythm of waking and sleeping matches the natural cycle of day and night, which affects everything from our body rhythms to our relationships.” Over the years I’ve trained myself — almost — to ignore the common wraiths of worry and that whisper like Shakespeare’s Iago in one’s inner ear long before dawn: Do I have enough saved for retirement? So what’s really enough? Why the hell do I sound like some dude on those insipid investment commercials designed to make us all feel guilty? And what about that funny noise coming from beneath the car . . . The cure for me is to slide out of the sack and leave my bride to her own cozy winter dreams, put on the coffee, let old Rufus the cat in from his nighttime travels, light a candle and happily receive whatever unexpected gifts my journey through the winter night has provided. More than once it’s been a great first line of a book or an answer to a problem that last night seemed just out of reach. As summer’s lease expired early one morning last fall, I was sitting on my wooden garden bench enjoying the sight of a spectacular lunar eclipse when the back door opened and my summer girl stepped outside bundled in her downy hotel robe, bearing cups of coffee to also take in the rare celestial show. A few minutes later we impulsively hopped in the car — Ma in her robe, Pa in his ratty slippers — and gave chase to the vanishing moon all the way to the edge of the Uwharrie hills, returning home in the brilliant golden light of a glorious sunrise. “That was so wonderful,” she said, taking my hand. “Maybe I should always get up in the darkness.” Then she thought about it and laughed. “On second thought, that’s your thing — not mine.” OH Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com.

10 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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11


Short Stories

Our picks for what’s happening in Greensboro this month.

Best of the East

O.Henry contributor Lee Rogers, who abandoned her Dartmouth training in Greek and Roman archaeology to dig around in (and landscape) people’s lawns and gardens, plans to brief the Ingleside Garden Club on “Great American Gardens of the Eastern Seaboard” on Wednesday, January 21, at 10 a.m. Rogers will be sharing slides and highlights from her jaunts to Thomas Jefferson’s Pavillion Gardens at the University of Virgina; the gardens at Chanticleer Estate in Pennsylvannia; and Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Info: (336) 282-4940. or www. greensborogardenclubs.com.

Eat like an Egyptian

Photograph Far left by Carolyn de Berry courtesy of Ethnosh

“Koshary is the national dish of Egypt,” says The Daring Gourmet website. “It’s served in virtually every Egyptian restaurant, in every Egyptian home and on every Egyptian street corner.” Now you can get it on South Elm Street as the signature dish of Koshary (www.koshary. com or 336-0963-0944), a festively decorated new eatery featuring Middle Eastern fare with an Egyptian twist. When the culinary adventure seekers from Ethnosh (ethnosh.com) gathered recently to sample Koshary’s kabobs, eggplant, falafel and other southern Mediterranean delights, the savory peasant dish was what everyone raved about. It is distinctively different — a blend of double starch (rice and pasta), legumes twice (lentils and chickpeas) topped with chili-spiked tomatosauce and caramelized onions. Ask for owners Sam and Samah Helmi’s homemade hot sauce to kick it up a notch.

Paint the Halls

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January 2015

Future Champion on Ice

See the figure skating stars of tomorrow on the ice this month at the 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships — “for as little as $10,” recommends Bob Dunlop, senior director of events for U.S. Figure Skating. Beginning Saturday, January 17, at 9:30 a.m., young, would-be champions will hit the ice for the initial six days of the nine-day event. During the first week, front-row seats can be had for as little as $25–30. For future star potential, watch for novice and junior events, Dunlop suggests. Plan to go to multiple events? “Take advantage of weekend or all-event packages, including competition on two rinks and FanFest, all under one roof,” he says. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or northcarolina2015.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Jay Adeff/U.S. Figure Skating

January can be a bleak and colorless gray, so the Greensboro Symphony is painting its halls with the rich orchestral hues of virtuoso colorist Maurice Ravel on Friday, January 23, and Saturday, January 24. The French impressionist’s orchestral transcription of Modest Mussorgsky’s whimsical Pictures at an Exhibition is one of the brightest, most intense pieces of music in the repertoire. It will be paired with Ravel’s luxurious Pavane for a Dead Princess and Shostakovich’s daunting Violin Concerto No. 1. More intimate will be a chamber performance at UNCG on Sunday, January 25,with Dmitry Sitkovetsky on the violin and Imara Zandmane on the piano playing Richard Strauss and Dvorák. Time and venues vary: greensborosymphony.org.


Ogi Sez Ogi Overman

Who’s Her Daddy

Marie, a feisty young girl raised by a regiment of French soldiers, loves Tonie. And Tonie loves Marie. However, high notes ensue during Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment when Marie’s new-found aunt arrives, which poses a pertinent question, “Who’s your daddy?” Greensboro Opera will answer that question in Aycock Auditorium on Friday, January 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 11, at 2 p.m. Spoiler Alert: Marie, played by Metropolitan Opera soprano Ashley Emerson, finds true love in the end. Tickets: www.greensboroopera.org

Getting Sauced

Longtime foodies will remember Greensboro’s first Vietnamese restaurant, Ly’s, which packed them in on South Elm for twenty-five years before moving to a new location on High Point Road. Both suffered what Kenny Lim calls “kitchen disasters.” Now Lim, who came to the U.S. from Malaysia in 1984, and his wife, Lynn Lim, daughter of the owners of Ly’s, run Tokyo Express Japanese Restaurant, 3722 Battleground Avenue. Their Tokyo Express Ginger Sauce was so good that customers asked them to put it in a bottle. This tangy, not-too-sweet, soy-based sauce is onion-intensive and bristling with ginger. Accents come from lemon, orange juice and citrus peel. Marinate meat in it or sprinkle it on top of stir fries — or French fries. Available in the restaurant or at select stores. Info: www.tokyoexpressrestaurant.

Why We’re Thirsty

The Guilty Party, Blind Man’s Holiday, Cherchez La Femme — all titles of William Sydney Porter short stories — and all the names of beers and ales finally featured at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company (www.facebook.com/gibbshundred). Never mind how long it took them to open. I’ve already abandoned my true love, Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, for GHBC’s Cherchez La Femme, a raven-dark, smooth and rich temptress. With comehither notes of coffee and chocolate and a roasty-toasty blend of malts, j’ai trouvé une Femme Divine.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Where We’re Headed

A scratch-and-dent sale at a winery? “Last year we had more than 300 people come through in two days,” says Max Lloyd, winemaker of Grove Winery at 7360 Brooks Bridge Road seven miles northeast of Greensboro. “Forty were waiting when we opened the doors.” Granted, wine doesn’t get dented, but with an automated bottler, “we can get several dozen bottles with label issues before we can hit the stop switch,” he says. Wine starts at $3.99 a bottle and everything else in the store is discounted — corkscrews, decanters, wine racks, even a gadget for removing sticky labels so you can paste them into your scrapbook. “We’d rather sell it than count it,” Lloyd says. Info: grovewinery.com

So, have you broken all your New Year’s resolutions yet? I made it easy for myself this year, vowing to see even more live music events than last year. Typically, January slows down a bit, but, luckily, you have the Ogster out there beatin’ the bushes for you. Here are a few that kick off 2015 in style: • January 22, Blind Tiger: Of Montreal, formed in 1996 in the hotbed of Athens, Georgia, has developed a cult following like few others. As their experimental pop sound continues to evolve, their fan base continues to grow. • January 24, High Point Theatre: What’s Black Violin? Two classically trained musicians, on violin and viola, who were voted one of the top five bands at South by Southwest in 2013. Combining classical, hip hop, R&B and pop, they are as entertaining as they are talented (see Page 81). • January 28, Greensboro Coliseum: For almost two decades, Linkin Park has been doing the impossible — combining rock, rap and metal into a sound that is appealing to the masses. Two Grammys and 60 million records later, they’re still kickin’ it as hard as ever. • January 28, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: You know you’ve been wanting to find out what the buzz is all about at this new venue. Well, now’s your chance, as those seminal Southern rockers, the Marshall Tucker Band, roll into downtown Greensboro. • January 30, Mack and Mack: Montana-bred acoustic duo Storyhill is the perfect act for this intimate downtown venue. Their intelligent lyrics and precision harmonies have earned them top honors in the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest and Indie Acoustic Project. OO

January 2015

O.Henry 13


Meet

Drewhe’s Clukey...

Greensboro

Soccer player, honors student, business and accounting double major, future entrepreneur ... whether he is on or off the field, Drew is making his time count at Greensboro College. When Drew traveled from St. Augustine, Florida, he found a small college with big-city advantages, all four seasons, and a chance to play soccer at a school with a great academic reputation. It was important to Drew to excel both on and off the field. Now, as a junior, Drew is working on his honors thesis, taking classes in coaching youth soccer, and playing disc golf with his friends. Drew’s parents taught him to take pride in the things he does and to make the most of his opportunities. Upon reflection, Drew realizes that this all started when he first set foot on Pride Field. And now? He is uniquely prepared for life beyond the winning goal.

Greensboro.edu 14 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Doodad Postcards from Swampland Molly McGinn wades in deep

A Step in the

Right Direction

By Ogi Overman

M

olly McGinn figured out early on what she wanted to do with her life. But she was almost 40 before she figured out exactly how to do it. Or, to be more precise, to do it to perfection. The statuesque songstress with the smoky, sultry voice always knew that music and writing were her passions, that somehow they would be her dual career path. She began proving the point by majoring in communications at Elon University and playing in the rock band Jostle Lee. After college she worked as a general assignment reporter for both The News & Observer and the News & Record, while also playing music, both as a solo artist and member of Thacker Dairy Road, among others. She was also an instructor at Kindermusik, continuing to hone her songwriting chops all the while. She then teamed up with fellow singer-songwriter-guitarist Molly Miller and violinist Kasey Horton to form Amelia’s Mechanics, which enjoyed a wildly successful, albeit brief, run on the Americana circuit, opening for the likes of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. These days she still has one foot in the journalistic world and the other in the musical, as a digital editor at Pace Communications and member of the popular country-rock outfit Wurlitzer Prize. Amelia’s Mechanics has also reunited and is playing sporadically. But the component that has brought her career into focus and her into the limelight is her recent project, “Postcards from the Swamp.” A couple of years ago she became intrigued with the Great Dismal Swamp and after researching it thoroughly, made several pilgrimages there. During that span she also discovered a digital publishing platform, called The Atavist, that enables the creator to customize content almost any way imaginable, using text, images, music clips, graphics, maps, etc. It can then be downloaded via Kindle, iPad, Nook, et alia for a nominal, one-time fee or a yearly subscription fee for the whole catalogue. She wrote six songs for the project, all accompanied by a story, and debuted it, both as a CD and ebook at a sold-out concert at Triad Stage August 8. “This project came from asking myself what I would do if I never played music in public again,” she explains. “How would I live my life? It’s such an obvious display of what it is I love, but I never realized how to do it before.” Now she does. Next she hopes to perform “Postcards ” somewhere in the Great Dismal, probably in Elizabeth City, and also to adapt it into a full-length play (mollymcginn.com). Then, her plan is to reprise the theme in the form of a coastal folk song project. Closer to home Molly will be performing at Lucky 32 during January (www.lucky32.com). “Chasing stories and writing songs, that’s what I’ve always loved,” she smiles. “This is the way I want to live.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

From left to right: Rob Mitchell Senior Vice President/Investments Portfolio Manager – Solutions Program Gregory E. Gonzales Senior Vice President/Investments Jacqueline T. Wieland First Vice President/Investments Paul A. Vidovich, AAMS® Branch Manager First Vice President/Investments Phillip H. Joyce Vice President/Investments

(336) 478-3700 | (844) 233-8608 629 Green Valley Road, Suite 211 | Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC & NYSE | www.stifel.com

January 2015

O.Henry 15


6,000 Enjoyable Acres 1,000s of Programs for All Ages 600 Parks, Gardens and Facilities 98 Tennis Courts 90 Miles of Trails and Greenways 11 Community Recreation Centers 4 Outdoor Swimming Pools 3 Lakes - Higgins, Brandt & Townsend 3 Golf Courses 1 Boxing Club Endless Benefits

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16 O.Henry

January 2015

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O.Harry

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O.Henry 17


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January 2015

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Veggetti Magic

Life’s Funny

Good & Healthy. Well, healthy at least

By Maria Johnson

Like most people, I approach a new

year feeling obligated to nudge my habits in a healthier direction. Which is one reason the Veggetti caught my eye.

It beckoned from an “As Seen on TV” display at Walmart, a section that holds a car-wreck fascination for me. I just can’t help gawking at inventions like Hot Buns (a hair styling device) or Dump Cakes (just dump and bake!), or the Perfect Bacon Bowl (a mold that turns strips of bacon into edible bowls for those who need to find ways to sneak fat into their diets). Somehow, I had always resisted buying these products. Until I saw the Veggetti. Hmm, I thought. Catchy name. Playful. Vaguely gynecological. Maybe this was something I needed to know about. The package showed an appetizing picture of “veggie spaghetti” covered with marinara sauce. Another picture showed a pair of female hands feeding a cucumber into the Veggetti. “Just Twist!” the package said. “Makes Veggie Spaghetti, Stir-Fries, Juliennes & More!” “Quick & Easy to Use!” As a writer, I should have been skeptical of so many ampersands and exclamation points. But I was caught & delighted! Maybe the Veggetti — at only $14.99 — was just what we needed to work in a few more vegetable-rich meals at home. I tossed the Veggetti into the cart and rolled to the checkout lane. The cashier scanned my items. Protein bars. Beep. Tennis balls. Beep. Half and half. Beep. Veggetti . . . She paused and lifted the package to read it. She looked at me. Then back at the Veggetti. Then she wordlessly scanned and bagged the Veggetti. In hindsight, I can say that whenever a Walmart cashier stops to look at what you are buying, then looks at you, then looks back at the item, then wordlessly scans and bags the item, you might want to reconsider your purchase But at the time, I was living in a Veggetti dream, a dream that promised delicious, tasty, low-carb meals that would usher my family onto a new plane of healthy living. A few days later, as dinnertime loomed, I ripped open the package and inspected the Veggetti unit itself. Technically speaking, the Veggetti is two plastic cones joined at the pointy ends. Each half contains a serrated blade. Each unit also includes a “safety holder,” or plastic cap with little daggers protruding from one side, presumably to stab and push any unwilling vegetables through the Veggetti unit. I briefly questioned the sense of having a “safety holder” that looked as if it could be used in a street fight, but I let it slide. The guide said you could make the Veggetti pasta from peeled or unpeeled The Art & Soul of Greensboro

squash, carrots, potatoes or cucumbers. I peeled a cucumber and commenced twisting, but the “safety holder” kept mangling the cuke, so I tried an unpeeled one. Long ribbons of Veggetti pasta issued forth. Ha! Take that carbohydrates! Next, I had to choose whether to boil, sauté or microwave the pasta. A purist, I slid it into a pot of boiling water and set the timer for the prescribed five minutes. Here, you might ask: Why would you boil something that’s approximately 99 percent water to begin with? And I would answer with another question: If the inventor of the Veggetti had listened to negative comments like that, where would vegetable spaghetti technology be today? Anyway, about this time my younger son wandered into the kitchen and asked, “What’s for dinner?” To which I said, “Veggetti pasta!” To which he said, “Oh, God.” He peered into the pot, which had worked up a nice green foam, and made an open-mouthed face usually associated with a dislocated shoulder. That’s when my husband walked in. “What’s cooking?” he asked. “Ve-ggggggggggetti pasta,” Tom winced. “Oh, God,” Jeff said. I stood firm and cheerful. “You’re gonna love it! It has fewer carbs & calories than regular pasta!” The timer buzzed. The Veggetti pasta was ready. I drained it and set it on the stove, next to my own tried and true, homemade marinara sauce. “Get your plates & let’s eat!” They spooned up the pasta and sauce and walked to the table like dogs to a bath. “Here, have some Parmesan cheese,” I said. They took more than usual. A heavy silence fell as we dug in. Tom was the first to speak. “Well,” he said. “It’s not bad . . . But it’s not good either.” “It’s better than I thought it would be,” Jeff offered. “Should we have it again?” I asked. Another long silence. “That would be OK,” Jeff finally said. “Maybe you could mix it with real pasta.” Tom made his dislocated shoulder face again. “Well, can you think of another dish you’d like Veggetti pasta in?” I challenged him. “Yeah,” Tom said. “A salad. You know. Vegetables in a salad?” Yes, I do know. The Veggetti cookbook contains two recipes for salad. And, yes, if you were stranded on a desert island with only elongated vegetables, fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and toasted walnuts, I suppose you could make the salads without a Veggetti. But what fun would that be? OH Maria Johnson was last seen wandering the streets with her Veggetti “safety holder.” She is considered armed & dangerous! Try reaching her from a distance at maria@ ohenrymag.com. January 2015

O.Henry 19


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The Omnivorous Reader

Not Quite Gone Girl

In the latest offering from veteran North Carolina writer Diane Chamberlain, a voice that never disappoints, there’s no mystery why she’s beloved by her fans

By Stephen E. Smith

“Why don’t you

review one of Diane Chamberlain’s mysteries?” someone wrote in an October email. “She lives right here in North Carolina.”

Good question. I’m always on the lookout for new work by interesting writers — discovery is the best part of writing reviews — and a North Carolina connection is always an enticement. Moreover, I hadn’t read any of Chamberlain’s novels (there are twenty-three of them), so I went online to track down her latest offering and came upon The Silent Sister, which was published by St. Martin’s Press in October. I’ll admit I was something of a mystery aficionado when I was in high school. I still smile when I recall Sherlock Holmes telling Watson, “You have been to Afghanistan, I perceive,” or how my eleventh-grade English teacher caught me concealing Mickey Spillane’s The Girl Hunters in my lap when I should have been reading Spoon River Anthology. But since that time my interests have drifted elsewhere. Maybe it was time to revisit the genre. I purchased The Silent Sister and dove in head first. What I discovered is that Chamberlain’s latest novel isn’t a mystery, not in the strict sense. There’s no Sherlock Holmes or Mike Hammer, no startling perceptions or gratuitous violence. Rather, Riley MacPherson, a 20-something counselor who grew up in New Bern and now lives and works in Durham, returns to her childhood home on the North Carolina coast to settle her widowed father’s estate. She’s already grieving over a failed relationship with a married man, and the loss of her father only amplifies her concern for the mental well-being of her reclusive older brother Danny, who was wounded in Iraq. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

To further complicate Riley’s life, she’d had an older sister, Lisa, who was an aspiring concert violinist, and who, for reason unknown, committed suicide by drowning herself in the Potomac River when Riley was a toddler and the family lived in Northern Virginia. The details surrounding Lisa’s suicide are vague enough to set this heavily plotted page turner off on a mind-tripping passage of discovery and reconciliation. Chamberlain employs two points of view. Riley narrates in the first person, and Lisa’s story is told in the third person. It’s happenstance and Riley’s casual curiosity that transform her into an accidental Sherlock Holmes. She is fed bits and pieces of the truth by old friends and acquaintances, and her late father had stashed away evidence of the family’s former life, all of which drags the reader down the occasional blind alley while continually heightening the narrative tension. You’ve probably already figured out that Lisa isn’t dead. She is in fact living a full and rewarding life on the West Coast. After the teenage Lisa murdered her violin teacher, her father meticulously faked her suicide. And it’s her disappearance that’s the most intriguing aspect of the novel — the notion that it’s possible to disappear into a world where technological intrusion seems to track our every movement, that it’s possible to stumble upon a moment when we seriously consider a life vastly different from the one we’ve chosen, and that it’s never too late to start over again, our mistakes behind us and our new life a clear but unknown path into a future unencumbered by recrimination. Riley’s brother Danny has already made such a transition by cutting himself off from the community in which he came of age, and as a character he emerges occasionally to nudge the plot forward or to present himself as a catalyst for a couple of simple truths — there are no secrets, ever, January 2015

O.Henry 21


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January 2015

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Reader

and justice isn’t always served. Chamberlain’s timing is impeccable, and the reader is never left dangling on a plotless page. Her prose style is conversational, which is attributable to the fact that she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and employs voice reorganization software to compose her novels, a technique which is, I can attest, more difficult than it sounds. Her sentences roll easily off the page: “What had she expected? She had to stop thinking about herself and start thinking about what was best for Riley and Danny and her parents. She’d turned their lies inside out. A move would definitely be the right thing for Danny. He could start fresh at a new school where no one knew about her. And Riley, barely two years old now, would never have to know about her murderous, suicidal sister at all.” If you’re seeking a prose stylist, look elsewhere. You’ll find no poetic, hydra-headed Faulknerian syntax lurking in the 353 pages of this snappy novel. It’s all straightahead storytelling. There are, however, a couple of caveats. First, if you’re the truck-driving-beer-swilling Marlboro man, you aren’t going to find your groove in The Silent Sister. It’s soapier than Ivory Snow, pure melodrama at its cloying best, a downsized, mainstream Gone Girl carefully crafted for Chamberlain’s devoted fans, who are, if the publisher’s puffery is correct, multitudinous. Second, as with many intricately plotted novels, there’s little resonance. When you close the book, it’s over. You won’t be lying awake at night plagued by thematic implications that might apply directly to your life. If Chamberlain has something ethereal to impart, it’s that there’s a relationship between the past and the present, which should be obvious enough to any reader, and that life doesn’t necessarily add up in the final accounting. I suspect, too, that some readers will find the novel’s conclusion somewhat predictable. In writing melodrama, the writer’s chief enemy is stereotypical characters, and Chamberlain avoids that pitfall. But surprise is as important as suspense in novels of this ilk. By the time the reader is in the final chapters, the conclusion, with the exception of a few loose ends, confirms the reader’s certainties and assumptions and moves too quickly to close out the narrative. It’s this simple. If you’re a Chamberlain fan, The Silent Sister is a good read. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re into rat rods, tune in Misfit Garage on cable and crack a cold brew. You’ll be happier. OH Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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January 2015

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Scuppernong Bookshelf

A New Year’s Revolution Scuppernong Books Reviews for January 2015

By Brian Lampkin

It’s that time of year again when we all

make our New Year’s Revolutions. Whether your revolution is personal, national, global or interstellar, we wish you success and a nonviolent counter-revolution, whenever that happens. To guide you along your revolutionary path, Scuppernong Books offers some recently published books to use as cautionary tales or inspirational tomes. Now go out there and change the world!

But let’s have fun doing so. To paraphrase anarchist revolutionary Emma Goldman, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.” John Beckman’s new book American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt (Vintage, 2014. $16.95) examines the spirited and prankish thumbing of noses at authority that has enlivened American history. From the revelry of the Boston Tea Party to the giant sleepover of Occupy Wall Street, Beckman reminds us that “rebellion is just the best reason to party.” So at your New Year’s Eve soirée, remember: “You’ve got to fight for your right to party!” And speaking of revolutionary music, there’s a sense in which everything became music in the 20th century, all manner of sounds and instruments that had never been considered music before: industrial sound via Musique Concréte, assembled environmental noise including radios and contact mics via Karlheinz Stockhausen, and silence via John Cage. (As far as Cage was concerned, music was an intention of the composer or the audience, nothing more. What was it about the 20th century that meant all bets were off? Alex Ross explores the entire century in The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Picador, 2008. $20). From the “vulgarity” of Stravinsky’s The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Rite of Spring and the skewed dance hall ditties of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht to eccentrics like Harry Partch and the minimalism of Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Ross takes us on a whirlwind tour of concert halls, basements and computer labs. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Ross has the ability to describe even the most impenetrable music clearly with joy and passion. In an era of colon-infused titles, sometimes it’s a great relief to find a simple one-word title. Even better when that simple one word is “Revolution.” To wit: British Comedian and actor Russell Brand also wants to change the world. His new book Revolution (Ballantine Books, 2014. $26) reads much like his improv: captivating, playful and bizarre. Quick to critique the inadequacies of the skewed mechanics on which our world runs, Brand has by no means developed a twelve-step program to facilitate his Utopian revolution. However, his infectious zeal is entertaining, likely offensive, and motivating. In her follow-up novel to the acclaimed Countdown, Deborah Wiles has crafted another documentary novel with the second book in The Sixties trilogy, Revolution (Scholastic Press, 2014. $19.99), which at the writing of this article was awaiting the results of being shortlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Revolution tells the story of Sunny, a young girl from Mississippi, who in 1964 is watching her town fill with people coming down South to organize for the Freedom Summer. In the midst of national turmoil, her home life experiences some trials as well. Poignant and beautifully expressed, Wiles is able to draw the reader into a time and place in a unique way through the use of text and images from the era. Revolution is bound to be one of the most important and referenced historical fiction works for young readers for years to come. We all look forward to the final novel in the series and wherever it takes us! Looking for the feminist revolution, sexual revolution and cultural revolution all wrapped up in one little pill? Jonathan Eig’s The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution January 2015

O.Henry 25


Bookshelf

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26 O.Henry

January 2015

(Norton, 2014. $27.95) is a suspenseful and fascinating look at the genesis of what has been called the greatest scientific innovation of the 20th century: the invention of the birth control pill, Enovid. In today’s society where birth control is something of a relative norm, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always that way. Training his lens on a free-loving crusader, a millionaire activist, a Catholic gynecologist from Boston and a quasi-radical scientist, Eig has weaved a terrific narrative with great pathos and an absorbingly human cast of principal players. The history of birth control is a history we would be wise not to take for granted. In her fiercely opinionated and cogently argued new book, This Changes Everything (Simon & Schuster, 2014. $30), Naomi Klein suggests that the ideology of capitalism, with its addiction to ever-expanding profit and growth, is both a primary cause of climate change and the ultimate barrier to doing anything about it. For her, capitalism as an economic system isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s the extreme ideology of the “free market” and the “invisible hand” as the final arbiters of value. This is a thought-provoking book written in the hope that the next global revolution will be social because by the time it becomes profitable to save the world from climate change, there may not be a world to save. “The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.” Poet, musician, revolutionary, performer, activist, Gil Scott-Heron was difficult to pin down. Referred to occasionally as both the “godfather of Hip-Hop” and the “black Bob Dylan,” he was a polarizing figure and a creative genius who established himself as a primary figure in the fringe literary and musical scenes of the ’70s and ’80s. Best known for his polemic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” ScottHeron’s tumultuous life is recounted in gripping and honest detail in the new biography of his life, Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man (St. Martins, 2014. $26.99) by Marcus Baram. This book is an absolutely necessary and intense insight into the life of the man who revolutionized an entire genre of music. “I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical,” is what Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison in 1780. In 2015, I suppose it still holds true. We hope these books will help you find what needs rebelling against in your own lives. And as you stumble blurry-eyed and heavy-headed into the new year, pay attention to the stirrings in your soul that might startle you awake and singing: vive la revolution! OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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January 2015

O.Henry 27


The Home Gourmet

Perfectly Appetizing Our cooking guru, Mary James Lawrence, presides over a swirl of great starters for the New Year table

By David Claude Bailey

It’s 5 o’clock and the usually calm and

And wouldn’t you? Lawrence — whose TV segments on WFMY-TV and cooking classes at Rooster’s Gourmet Market emboldened several generations of Greensboro cooks to don aprons and create dishes that are easy, impressive and delicious — had tantalized invitees with the news that she had brought back from Paris a party concept so new it didn’t have a name. “It was Valentine’s Day in Paris and a group of friends invited me to a party where the idea was that each guest would bring a tray of appetizers dished up in a series of single-serving-sized dishes, each with a distinct geometric shape — some triangles, some squares, some circular,” she says as she portions green beans into teeny martini glasses and tops them with bacon. “Each person walks in the door with a beautifully completed tray,” she says. And on each tray, the shapes are different, the colors are different, the tastes and aromas are different, and the trays and garnishes are different. The appetizers are then served at 15-minute intervals — each one a surprise to guests. “The beauty of it is you never know what’s coming next,” she says. “It’s fun and no one individual has to work that hard.” Plus when you are responsible for only one thing, it is so much easier to make it special. As for the hostess, “She only has to send out the invitations and pour the wine.” So why is Lawrence just a tad bit rattled? Instead of asking guests to bring the various dishes, she prepared seven different appetizers so her guests could vote on the best for inclusion in O.Henry. The stainless steel fridge is wide open as she madly searches for truffles amid containers of walnut oil, capers, olives of every ilk, mustards of the world, pomegranate molasses, Thai fish sauce …“I know it’s in here,” she frets. “The concept is flavor profiles, things that go together, but with a bit of a twist” she says. Beets, salt-roasted and served cold with feta and herbs. Panna Cotta, not sweet but savory with mushrooms and truffle oil. Salmon, smoked and topped with wasabi and chives. The appetizers at the party in Paris were pretty sophisticated — steak tartare, lobster with truffles, seafood and rice layered like sushi. By contrast, Lawrence’s dishes are a snap. In fact, she says, “These appetizers can be made with prepared items from the grocery store. It’s about how you put them together”

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January 2015

When the first guests begin to arrive, Mary James is plating celeriac graced with homemade mayonnaise into tiny little plastic containers that she found at Party City. She exchanges hurried hugs and greetings as she’s portioning out another choice, chickpeas and tahini. “What do you want us to do?” asks one of the half dozen guests who predictably crowd into her kitchen. Lawrence resists saying, “Get out of the kitchen,” and, instead, explains, “Y’all have work to do. No free lunch here.” As the first tray makes it into the living room, ooohs and aaahs follow. The mushroom panna cotta is a big hit, topped with tiny crispy shallot rings. As the red wine flows (“the French served champagne,” Lawrence says) the volume revs up and Lawrence’s house becomes a swirl of noshers. Looking at her white carpet she confides to a friend, “I must have been crazy to make beets. They’re staying in the fridge. They will become a side dish for tomorrow night’s dinner.” After Lawrence’s guests have voted on the top appetizers, she invites them to put a name on the concept of serving one “amuse bouche” after another in distinctive little containers. “Euclidian gastronomy?” someone suggests. “Shape-shifting appetizers?” someone else says. “Culinary cubism?” another says. “The French would call these verrines, a sweet or savory dish served in a verrine — a small glass meant to tickle the appetite.” Whatever it is, it’s fun, they all decide. Unless you end up cooking all the food yourself. Don’t try this at home, we conclude — unless you’re Mary James Lawrence.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photographs by Sam Froelich

collected Mary James Lawrence is getting just a little edgy. The hostess with the mostest has invited twentyfour guests for the equivalent of a seven-course meal at the last minute, thinking that maybe ten would accept. All but two instantly said, “Yes!”


The Home Gourmet Bacon, Blue Cheese & Tomato Green Beans 10 slices cold applewood smoked bacon 1 pound green beans cut into 1-inch pieces 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 4–5 ounce blue cheese, cubed 2 tablespoon fresh basil, shredded 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 3 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt freshly ground pepper

Smoked Salmon Verrine with Wasabi and Capers Wasabi sauce: 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon wasabi paste, or to taste 2 tablespoon tamari 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Cream cheese with capers and chives: 1 8-ounce carton whipped Philadelphia cream cheese 2 tablespoon capers, chopped (plus extra for garnish) 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely snipped cream or milk arugula, shredded 1 12-ounce package smoked salmon (hot smoked, flaky variety) Whisk together wasabi sauce ingredients. Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside. Whisk together all ingredients for cream-cheese mixture. Thin, if necessary, with cream or milk to achieve a piping consistency. Transfer creamcheese mixture into a pastry bag with No. 6 plain tip (or a plastic bag and cut the corner). Assembly: I like to use a martini glass or plastic mini martini glasses are fun too, available at Party City. Begin with a few shreds of arugula, top with flaked salmon. Add a small swirl of wasabi sauce. Don’t cover the edges. Pipe a swirl of the cream cheese mixture on the top and garnish with extra capers. Serve.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Cut cold bacon crosswise into 1/8- to 1/4-inch pieces. Place in skillet and cook over low heat until crisp. Drain and set aside. Cook green beans in salted water until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking and preserve color. Pat dry. Add tomatoes, blue cheese, basil and half of the cooked bacon. Toss. Whisk together ingredients for dressing and toss with bean mixture. Serve topped with remaining crispy bacon.

Mushroom Truffle Panna Cotta with Crispy Shallots 3 tablespoon butter 1/3 cup shallots, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms (about 3 cups), coarsely chopped 4 ounces of fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 2 cups), coarsely chopped 1/4 cup rosé or white wine 1/4–1/2 teaspoon dried savory salt and freshly ground white pepper 1 cup cream 1 cup buttermilk 3/4 cup milk 1 package gelatin 1/2–3/4 teaspoon truffle oil crispy shallots: 2 large shallots vegetable oil In a deep sauté pan, melt butter. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté to soften, then add coarsely chopped mushrooms. Sauté until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Deglaze with wine of choice. Add seasoning and reduce gently until liquid has evaporated. Add cream and buttermilk. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5–10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until completely cool. January 2015

O.Henry 29


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January 2015

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The Home Gourmet Soften gelatin in milk and set aside. Add cooled mushroom mixture to blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Add gelatin/milk mixture and truffle oil. Blend. Taste for seasoning and adjust. (Don’t overdo the truffle oil.) Pour into mini cube or mini bowl. Refrigerate for several hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Garnish with crispy shallots as prepared below. Yield: 18 minis Crispy shallots: Peel and thinly slice shallots. Separate into rings. Put enough vegetable oil in your pan (I use small cast-iron skillet) so rings will float. Heat oil to 250 degrees or so and add shallot rings. Working on low heat, cook gently, using a fork to keep them separated. Do not crowd pan. Remove rings as they become light golden brown — 2–3 minutes. Do not be tempted to turn up the heat. In fact, I sometimes turn off the heat and continue cooking so it doesn’t brown too fast. If they become too dark, they are bitter. Work in small batches. Top room temperature panna cottas with a couple of drops of truffle oil followed by a sprinkling of crispy shallots

Celery Root Salad

1 celery (celeriac) root bulb, (about 8 cups) 1 cup chopped parsley Homemade mayonnaise: 2 egg yolks 1/4 cup strong Dijon mustard 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 8-10 grinds of white pepper 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups olive oil Peel and trim celery root. Slice vertically into 1/2-inch slices. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, shred celery root. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Rinse and dry the food processor bowl. To make the mayonnaise: Fit food processor with the steel blade. Add egg yolks, mustard, salt and pepper. With the machine running, very slowly drizzle in olive oil. As it begins to thicken and build up, you can add in a steady stream. Taste for seasoning. Assembly: Using two forks, toss shredded celery root and parsley together. Add 2/3s of the mayonnaise and toss to combine. Add more if needed. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate. Serve cold. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2015

O.Henry 31


The

Crooked Road Franklin County, VA

Love American roots music? Tune your ears to Franklin County – the Eastern Gateway to The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. With a chorus of seasonal hometown festivals and country store jams nearly every day of the week, Franklin County soulfully combines the charm of casual venues, musicians by the dozens, and the authentic soundtrack of the Blue Ridge Mountains for an unrivaled, toe-tapping experience. Between jams, take an intermission in heritage at the Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum at Ferrum College. Just a short drive from downtown Rocky Mount, it’s the first of eight major venues along The Crooked Road, home of the annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival and also recognized as Virginia’s Center for Blue Ridge Folklore. Plan your tour today at www.CrookeRoadFC.com!

Franklin County Tourism | 540-483-3040 32 O.Henry January 2015 www.VisitFranklinCountyVA.org

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Good Health

Kneading the New Year Our intrepid Astrologist meets a Reiki Master

By Astrid Stellanova

This assignment

turned out to be right on time, boys and girls. Try something new and healthful and write about it for the New Year, the editor asked me. OK, I say. Astrid Stellanova is no stranger to new. So I knew the Universal Life Force would show me what I ought to do. Here’s what happened next. Beau called and said he might have to be out of town on important business on Saturday night for a spell. But he’d be back Sunday. Well, what good is a boyfriend if he ain’t there for you on Saturday night? And who needs him on Sunday?

When Beau and I get ticked off with each other, I get the migraine. Then, about all I can do is go to bed. Alone. I saw that aura that tells me it’s coming on and just then bumped into Marie Cagell at the P.O. She cocked her head funny when I asked if she had a B.C. Powder and didn’t even look in her pocketbook. “Ain’t you tried Ray Key?” I thought she said. At first, I thought, Huh? Jimmy Key was in our grade in high school, but who the heck was Ray? The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Well, I blowed up at Marie then because she already knew I was seeing Beau. And I started giving her a piece of my mind right there at the P.O., telling her I am a one-man kind of woman. Not that I exactly felt like defending Beau. Marie blowed up right back. “I said RAY-KEE,” she repeated, slowly like I was plain stupid. She rolls that way. Then Marie spelled it: R-E-I-K-I. After the migraine eased off, I went straight to the Internet. Reiki is something I ought to have heard of because it’s all about spiritual energy, life force and healing. I read about that cute-as-a-bug TV doctor, Dr. Oz, being married to a Reiki master. Oprah believes in energy medicine. Who am I, Astrid Stellanova, to argue with the Big O? So I booked myself for a Reiki session at Kneaded Energy on Wendover Avenue. They recommended Jami Craver-Jenkins. She is a fourth level master. Now Jami is my kind of gal; liked her from the get-go, but Astrid would sure like to get ahold of her hair. Had that nice black hair just knotted up on top of her head. But, she’s one of them type of girls that would even look good bald headed. Unlike me, Jami wears all black — even her glasses frames. But she did have an interesting tattoo inside her arm, like that Angelina Jolie, which was black too, BTW. And some piercings. On her nose and ears. Real pretty like, not scary. She takes me into a massage room and says I don’t need to take my clothes off, so I asked what do I need to do. Relax and lay down, Jami suggests. Says she’ll be right back. OK, I say and take off my shoes and rest my dogs. When I get on that table, sure enough I get to thinking about Beau and my temples start pounding. My head is about to bust open like an over January 2015

O.Henry 33


Good Health

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ripe canteloupe again. I try my best to think about the water-trickling music and get in a happy place. Me in my Caddy on the open road. Jami comes back in and stands behind me. She puts her hands right at my head, which is throbbing. She calls this the crown chakra. Just so you know, we got all kinds of chakras. That is how our spiritual energy travels. Jami says she asks for the means to help her client heal themselves. She keeps her hands a’hovering round my head. I ask her what she’s feeling. “You got lots going on in your mind,” Jami says. I say, “you better believe it.” Jami moves beside me. She says she’s going to go to my third eye. Huh. That turns out to be on my forehead. What I really need is one on the back of my head. She keeps a’going along my body like that, holding her hands about an inch below my ears, then over my throat, sometimes touching. Jami’s eyes are plumb shut, like she’s really concentrating. She has a light touch, and I can feel her hands are warm. I think of Grandma and the Primitive Baptists and what the old folks used to call “laying on of hands.” That’s when she starts moving on down to my heart, solar plexus, navel, legs and finally down to my feet. That’s where the ground chakra is. Jami says everybody’s got seven major chakras. She gets theories when she works with people, drawing her to areas that need healing. I ask her when she gets all done how she feels because I am naturally a curious person. “You are the conduit,” Jami says, and tells me she is usually relaxed. She tells me there are all kinds of healing: Reiki, healing touch, polarity and reflexology. Maybe I look funny because Jami asks me if her explanation about her being the conduit is a little too woo-woo. She didn’t know old Astrid. Ain’t nothing too woo-woo for me. And don’t much in life make a whole lot of sense one bit, not even the fact that my head isn’t busting after she gets done. Hand to my heart. OH Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon for years in Climax, but now works out of her doublewide. You can contact her by hanging out at the Climax P.O. until you see her pink Caddy pull up unless she’s riding with Beau. Want to try Reiki? Jami Craver-Jenkins is a masseuse and Reiki master at Kneaded Energy, 321 West Wendover Avenue, Greensboro. Jami offers appointments for Reiki sessions (30 minutes to an hour) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Info: (336) 273-1260 or www. kneadedenergy.com.

34 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2015

O.Henry 35


— Please Join Us For —

O.Henry Magazine’S

Night of Literary Stars The Literary Event of the Year to Benefit Greensboro Ballet

& the Second Annual O.Henry Book Fair

February 21-22, O.Henry HOtel 2nd Annual

Night of Literary Stars

O.Henry

Saturday, February 21

Join five Nationally bestselling authors for a sumptuous fourcourse dinner and an evening of incomparable conversation, readings and storytelling followed by a book-signing after-party. $150 per person. In addition, the O.Henry Hotel is offering one night’s gracious accommodations on February 21 and all events for $265 per person plus tax and gratuities, based on double occupancy. (Includes a special Sunday Breakfast with the authors.)

Jim Dodson is the Founding Editor of O.Henry Magazine and the award-winning author of twelve books including Final Rounds, Faithful Travelers, The Road to Somewhere, Beautiful Madness, A Golfer’s Life (with Arnold Palmer), Ben Hogan — An American Life, and American Triumvirate. He has served as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Hollins University and is the recipient of numerous writing awards including two Herbert Warren Wind Awards for the Book of the Year from the United States Golf Association.

Jill McCorkle has the distinction of having her first two novels published on the same day in 1984 – The Cheer Leader and July 7th. Since then she has published three other novels – her latest, Life After Life and four collections of short stories. McCorkle has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts and Brandeis. She was a BriggsCopeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard for five years. She currently teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at N.C. State University and is a core faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars.

Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, short stories and essays. His most recent is Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

Book Fair

Saturday, Feb. 2 1 Browse books an d rub elbows with thirty local and Southern authors at our Second Ann ual

Frances Mayes, published poet and essayist, has written numerous books of poetry, including Sunday in Another Country, After Such Pleasures, The Arts of Fire, Hours, The Book of Summer and Ex Voto. The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems is used in college poetry classes. A food-and-travel writer, Mayes is best known for Under the Tuscan Sun. A memoir Under Magnolia, has just been published. She and her poet husband divide their time between Hillsborough and Cortona, Italy.

Book Fair, 1-3 pm . This event is ope n to the public and free of charge.

Wiley Cash is The New York Times best-selling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road To Mercy. Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Wiley teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. A native of North Carolina, he and his wife live in Wilmington.

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Chasing Hornets

Dressed to Win

How designer Alexander Julian helped the Hornets get their colour groove on By Wiley Cash

During my lifetime,

my mother has gotten the jump on me only once when it comes to sports stories: In 1988 the Charlotte Hornets unveiled their new uniforms in a live press conference. That day, my mother called me down to our kitchen in Gastonia, North Carolina, where she stood staring at the tiny color television she always kept on the counter. The picture was small and the color wasn’t great, but neither of us had any problem taking in the scene at the press conference as it unfolded just a few miles away in Charlotte. A welldressed man in a dark pinstriped suit and round spectacles stood beside a tall man who appeared to be a model cut from the pages of the inches-thick merchandise catalogs that cluttered every coffee table and bathroom cabinet in the 1980s. The model wore a teal warm-up jacket and pants, and after tearing away the pants and removing the jacket he stood in a white Hornets’ home uniform with fine pinstripes on the jersey and accents of purple and teal on the shorts. The model left the stage and returned moments later in what would be the Hornets’ away uniform: a teal jersey with purple pinstripes and teal shorts with white trim.

The model was a seven-year NBA veteran named Kelly Tripucka. He’d played first with the Detroit Pistons and then with the Utah Jazz before being selected by the Hornets in the supplemental draft that would comprise the team’s first roster. He’d go on to lead the team in scoring that season, and in 1991 he’d retire from the NBA as a Hornet. Alexander Julian was the name of the well-dressed man in the dark suit and round spectacles who shared the stage with Tripucka. At the time, Julian was more famous than any of the Hornets who would wear his uniform design during the team’s inaugural season. A native Tarheel, Alexander Julian was raised in Chapel Hill, where his father had owned and operated a men’s clothing store called Julian’s since 1942. In 1969, at the age of 19, Alexander opened his own store in Chapel Hill, and by the The Art & Soul of Greensboro

mid-70s he would move to New York and find himself on the cusp of becoming one of the most influential fashion designers in the world. But it wasn’t until 1981, when he introduced a line of menswear called Colours by Alexander Julian, that he became both a fashion icon and a household name. “You can’t dictate fashion,” Julian told me during a phone interview over homecoming weekend in Chapel Hill. “But I knew a lot of men had never worn bright colors before, so I was hoping it would be cathartic for them.” While men interested in wearing well-cut suits and bold ties were the first to embrace Julian’s injection of color, it was soon embraced by everyone from marketing departments to teenyboppers. Coca-Cola found a way to sell merchandise emblazoned with its name and insignia by simply churning out everything from sweatshirts to baseball hats in colors reminiscent of those Julian had first employed. The Swiss watch company Swatch successfully battled the rising fad of digital watches by incorporating outlandish colors in the designs of their otherwise traditional mechanical watches. Jams, a brand of wildly patterned, knee-length shorts that was founded in the 1960s, suddenly exploded in popularity in the mid-80s. And of course we all remember Kirk Cameron’s DayGlo T-shirts, colorful Chuck Taylors, and neon button-downs when he starred in the sitcom Growing Pains from 1985 to 1992. As Julian told me, perhaps you can’t dictate fashion, but fashion can dictate many things. The Hornets’ uniforms, which combined purple with Julian’s signature teal, revolutionized sportswear in the 1990s much in the same way Julian had already revolutionized clothing during the previous decade, and the effects were profound. Hornets’ sportswear and team jerseys led the NBA in sales for a number of years, and by 1993 two of Major League Baseball’s expansion teams — the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins — had co-opted the Hornets’ purple and teal. In 1995, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars would use teal in their uniforms while the hometown Carolina Panthers would employ a slightly different shade of blue. Julian’s teal found its way into the NBA again in 1996 when the Detroit Pistons altered their long-used team colors by using the teal that had made the Charlotte Hornets’ uniforms and team merchandise so popular. “I chose purple and teal because they look good with all skin tones,” Julian told me. “I knew those colors would look good on everyone who wore them.” Americans — both fans of sport and fans of fashion — felt the same way. At the close of that 1988 press conference during which Julian introduced the Hornets’ uniforms, Tripucka stepped down from the stage, where he was interviewed by a group of local reporters. “I’m into light blues like this,” Tripucka said, looking down at his uniform and smiling. “Teal, and I like the purple, the mauve. I like spring and summer colors.” He thought for a moment about the man with whom he’d just shared the stage. “He’s headed in the right direction.” Tripucka was correct; Julian was headed in the right direction, and the fashion and sports world followed. OH Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released in January 2014. He lives in Wilmington. January 2015

O.Henry 37


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Game On

A Beautiful Friendship The man in charge of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships explains why he brought it to Greensboro — twice.

By Ogi Overman

Hill Carrow and Tom

Photograph by Jay Adeff/U.S. Figure Skating

Ward could have been Rick and Louis walking into the fog-shrouded evening in the final scene of Casablanca, one of them uttering, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

The year was 1986. Ward had recently created the Greensboro Sports Commission and Carrow was organizing the U.S. Olympic Festival for 1987. Ward’s mission was to make Greensboro a much more attractive destination for sporting events, while Carrow’s, at least in the narrow sense, was to find a facility capable of hosting the festival’s three ice events. Carrow’s organization, N.C. Amateur Sports, based in Cary, had looked at Raleigh’s Dorton Arena, but some worried it would be unable to keep a temporary ice sheet frozen in mid-summer. Greensboro, however, had a long history of ice hockey, with the Generals and Monarchs, and knew how to lay pipes and maintain a rink. Plus, it had, at that time, a 16,000-seat arena. Bingo! “Tom saw the potential right away,” says Carrow. “He got the whole vision, not just for our event, but for the concept of sports tourism, which wasn’t even a phrase back then.” So successful was the arrangement that the festival set attendance records that are still on the books today. The finals sold out the coliseum and launched the careers of relatively unknowns Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wiley and Rudy Galindo. And it also launched a friendship between Carrow and Ward that endured until Ward’s death in 2002. Carrow went on to found the National Association of Sports Commissions in 1990, using Greensboro as a model. At that time there were fewer than fifty, today there are more than 600. “I took Tom with me to many cities who were trying to get organized,” recalls Carrow. “He was a great spokesman not only for Greensboro but for how sports events tie in with economic development and branding and job creation and entertainment and all the positive aspects they create for a city. He got it.” Ward was not the only Greensborean who “got it.” Carrow mentioned Jim Melvin, mayor at the time, and Jim Oshust, then-coliseum director, and Mike Bumpass, head of the Merchants Association. They and many others understood the role facilities and hospitality and support from the public as well as the civic and business communities play in luring large events to one’s city. Now, fast forward to 2009. Marc Bush has succeeded Ward at the Sports Commission, Matt Brown served as the coliseum’s executive director, and Carrow, by now a national heavyweight in the sports marketing business, is looking to bring a much larger event to North Carolina — the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In a perfect déjà vu scenario, his Cary-based company, The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sports & Properties Inc., was trying to negotiate a deal with the RBC Center (now PNC Center) in Raleigh to host the event. One of its two tenants, the Carolina Hurricanes, agreed to alter its schedule to accommodate the nine-day event, but the other, N.C. State University, wouldn’t change its basketball schedule. So, once again, Carrow turns to Greensboro. And once again he finds a most receptive team willing and able to host the event. And, says Carrow, that was the best thing that could have happened. “I don’t think I had a full appreciation of the capabilities the expanded complex had as a result of the Special Events Center being connected,” he admits. “We realized we could do the whole event in one facility, whereas others had it spread out among two or three.” Apparently, the sports’ governing body realized the advantages as well, as they awarded their 2011 national competition to Greensboro. Once again the public responded, as over 110,000 attended the competition and another 51,000 the practice rink and FanFest. “Oh, it was a great success,” smiles Carrow. “We could not have been more pleased with everything. Bringing it here turned out to be the best thing we could’ve ever done.” Yet again, U.S. Figure Skating agreed and, in an almost unprecedented move, awarded the 2015 event to the Gate City. The last time that happened in such a short span for an East Coast city was in the 1940s in New York. “The convenience of the setup here was one of, if not the, major factor in the event’s returning here in four years,” notes Carrow. “The skaters, coaches and fans loved being able to walk from the arena to the practice rink to the FanFest without getting out in the cold weather of January.” Carrow also stressed the “team effort” attitude as another factor, saying, “We want everybody to know that it’s a collaborative effort among us and the Coliseum Complex, the Sports Commission, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the figure skating clubs of North and South Carolina.” Indeed, one could trace a thread through all those organizations and institutions, all of which have played a part in Greensboro’s designation as “Tournament Town.” Literally hundreds of folks over the years deserve a share of the credit. But, says Carrow himself, “Tom’s the one who got it all started.” OH Ogi Overman, a reporter, columnist and editor for a number of Triad publications, specializes in skating on thin ice. The 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will be held January 17–25 in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. See page 12 for tickets, schedules and other information go to www.northcarolina2015.com. January 2015

O.Henry 39


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Birdwatch

Winter Finches Snowbirds at your feeder

By Susan Campbell

For bird lovers all

Photograph by debra Regula

over the country, midwinter brings the promise of an invasion of avian visitors from the far north — purple finches, pine siskins and red-breasted nuthatches. All these species may, if the conditions are right, wing their way to North Carolina. And sometimes they come, quite literally, in flocks, which may hang around the entire season, taking advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer here, as well as the free lunch that we feeder-watchers are wont to provide.

Every fall experts try to predict the extent to which irruptions of these species and others may occur. Such prognostications are based on the abundance of mast (the fruit, nuts and seeds of forest trees) both in Southern Canada as well as in the northern United States. Winters with low densities of spruce, birch and mountain ash seeds result in significant movement farther south. The birds head our way in search of similar types of food in order to make it through to the spring. If they find a ready supply at feeders, they may well settle in for the duration. This winter is lining up to be one of those winters. The mast crop in New England and the Upper Midwest is sparse — as it was two years ago. In 2012 the invasion was widespread. Red-breasted nuthatches and pine siskins were everywhere in North Carolina. Purple finches were not uncommon; and even rare visitors such as the common redpoll and crossbills showed up. This year, if the predictions are correct, it may not be quite so dramatic, but bird-watchers can look for a more colorful winter than usual. These often subtly-hued birds from the far north are looking for an oily, high protein food source. One of their favorites is black-oil sunflower. As

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

opposed to the larger striped sunflower, black-oil seeds pack a lot more bang for the buck. The finches, along with smaller bills like the pine siskins and even our familiar American goldfinches, also like Nyjer, which is often called thistle. This tiny, trademarked seed is black and thin. Developed from an Old World plant that’s quite different from the thistles we know here in North Carolina, it absolutely will not sprout or turn into a thorny nuisance. Once you’ve got these periodic “snowbirds” from the north coming to your feeder, it can be a little tricky identifying them. All three species resemble birds we are familiar with. Redbreasted nuthatches are the same size as our resident brown-headed nuthatches. However, they have a color pattern that more closely resembles a white-breasted nuthatch. Look for their distinctive white “eye brows” and their rusty chests, as their name implies. Purple finches are very similar to the ubiquitous house finch but are just a tad bit larger with heavier bills. The males take on an unmistakable raspberry hue with less brown streaking on the flanks. Females are a cryptic combination of brown and white and also sport a distinct white “eye brow.” Pine siskins are even less distinctive, also having brown-and-white streaked plumage. Plus, they are only about the size of our goldfinches. Their smaller, conical bills and the yellow at the bend of the wing are just about the only clues that will enable determined birders to make a positive identification. Sound can be the best give away that these birds are in the area. The redbreasted nuthatch call-notes are tinny — as if coming from a toy horn. Pine siskins have an up slurred wheezy song and are often heard in a chorus since they tend to travel in flocks. Should you think you may have spotted any of these birds, I would love to hear about it. Documenting winter irruptions is yet another facet of the study of bird distributions across North Carolina. OH Send your wildlife sightings and photos to Susan Campbell, who can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com, by phone (910) 949-3207 or by mail at 144 Pine Ridge Drive, Whispering Pines, N.C. 28327. January 2015

O.Henry 41


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Life of Jane

The Full Treatment

Our intrepid correspondent’s adventures in the world of personal wellness

By Jane Borden

In 2005, my

Illustration by Meridith Martens

editor-in-chief at Time Out New York promoted me from assistant in the eventsaround-town section to editor of the Wellness section. He chose me because I was cynical. The beats covered in the wellness section included fitness, nutrition, spas, beauty, alternative healing and spirituality. Hiding within each of those industries is a lot of snake oil, and he wanted the person covering them for his magazine to have a healthy dose of I-don’t-think-so.

Otherwise, however, I was totally unqualified for this job. I was not, quote-unquote, “well.” I hadn’t exercised consistently since high school, my diet regularly featured too much wine and late-night pizza. I’d done yoga once and Pilates never. I knew little about alternative medicines, and less about the musculoskeletal system. Now I had to pretend to be an expert, which would be difficult to pull off as I also know little about acting. One of my first stories was a profile of an old-school trainer, a Romanian former gymnastics coach — so, you know, not at all intimidating. He owned a gym and had become a stalwart of New York’s fitness scene. I was to report on his method.  He was still training and thriving in his 60s. I lasted seven minutes in his gym. We did five minutes on the treadmill to warm up and then started tossing a medicine ball, when I grew woozy and had to sit. He laughed at me. There is a specific point on the shame spectrum reserved for being laughed at in a Romanian accent.  Eventually I got the hang of it and was meeting with trainers and instructors once or twice a week: boxing, yoga, Pilates, something called The Super

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Slow Method that made me ripped and strong but also nearly damaged my knee permanently. I took a class at an Equinox gym titled IntenSati, wherein one pairs affirmational mantras with specific moves, turning a workout into a choreographed selfhelp session. So you’re squatting up-and-down saying, “All I need is within me now.” And then you’re punching the air, saying, “I choose my future.” I giggled silently, in my head, during the first half of class. And then I started to think it was really cool. Even if it’s quackery, what can it possibly hurt to say positive things out loud at any time while doing anything, especially if that thing is exercising? This was the pattern with which I approached most of my subjects: suspicion and judgment turning into understanding and appreciation, or at least acceptance. I was living out a classic bigotry morality tale on the Hallmark channel. I did a raw-food diet for a week, and felt better than I’ve ever felt in my life. I didn’t stick with it afterward, of course; I like baked goods. But can I appreciate its benefits? Absolutely. I studied the macrobiotic diet for a profile of a chef. Do I believe, as some people claim, that it can cure cancer? No. Do I believe that if you abide by a macrobiotic regimen, will you be healthier than if you didn’t? Absolutely.  That year, I was the healthiest and most enlightened I’ve ever been. I interviewed an ashram leader about meditating in New York. Her suggestion: instead of trying to shut out the city’s manic energy, tap into it and ride it. I profiled a baba and supposed reincarnation of an ancient deity who performs miracles. I interviewed the leader of the New York City Atheists (I learned, by the way, that atheism is usually concerned with free speech, not God; but that’s a different essay).  I studied acupuncture (believe the hype), aromatherapy (total bunk) and rolfing — which is either a very deep form of massage designed to loosen the fascia between your muscle pairs or an expensive form of torture.  I’m still proselytizing about a form of alternative healing called Walking Therapy. Problems with your hips, back, knees, neck or shoulders? This guy will cure them all by teaching you to walk differently. If I’d heard this pitch before starting the job, I would have laughed in his face. But think about it: January 2015

O.Henry 43


Life of Jane

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January 2015

skeletal misalignment is often the source of these problems, and when you walk with poor alignment, you add impact to the mix. Every step you take manifests in the littlest bit of strain on whichever part of your body is carrying more weight or lined up improperly until, twenty years later, you have pain. Wouldn’t you at least rather try realignment than have surgery? I even had an eerie, healing experience with Reiki, otherwise known as the laying on of hands and sometimes called a crock of bull. Basically, a practitioner places his or her hands on certain points of the body, or sometimes only hovers over them, and . . . that’s it. Their energy travels to you and vice versa, and removes energy blockages. I believe human touch is powerful, but come on, just hug a friend.  At the time I was investigating local Reiki workshops, I was in the waning days of a relationship. I knew it was over, and figured he probably did too, but I couldn’t bring it up. I couldn’t speak it. We’d been ignoring the end for a month. So I’m sitting in this empty theater room that the Reiki workshop rented so they can hover over each other and pretend they’re curing cancer, when this wiry fellow pauses, his palms an inch above my throat, and says, “You’re cold here. There’s a bottleneck of energy. Something is blocking flow. Have you been trying to express something but can’t?” Coincidence or insight, I don’t know, but I’ll never forget it. The breakup happened that night.  There are many things I now believe that I didn’t believe before. 1. Massage should be covered by insurance and everyone should have it once a month. The benefits are incredible. The problems it keeps at bay are terrifying. And all of this has been proven in scientific studies. 2. The body is able to heal itself of most minor maladies and some major ones if we can just stop putting impediments in its way (unhealthy diets, poor posture, stress). 3. Our best shot at world peace is tai chi. (Don’t laugh. I know I’m a comedian, but that is not a joke.) The major exceptions to my Saul-to-Paul conversion fever were beauty products. Tonics, lotions and potions are considered mainstream, and yet their claims are no less outlandish than alternative medicines’. The dermatologists I interviewed believe the only face creams you need can be found in a drugstore, explaining that, although hydration is important, the added scientific-super-ingredients usually don’t do much, and, sometimes can’t even be absorbed into the skin. Still, I don’t use lotions from CVS. There are some snake oils I’ve chosen to swallow. And anyway, nine years later, I still have freebie creams from work. I’ve been using them in order of their The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Life of Jane

expiration dates, because I’m classy. Now I’d to like to share the two most shameful beauty products I received. First, from a company that claims to have isolated which vitamins are most beneficial to skin. So far so good, or at least not bad. But then the company put the vitamins in gummy bears. A fun idea, I suppose, except this led them to proclaim that gummy bears were good for you and to charge more than five times the amount of either Haribo or Flintstones chewables. I am still laughing today. I was not laughing the day they landed on my desk, though, as the suggested dose is 2-3 bears which I only discovered after finishing the bag and having to lie down on the fashion-section’s closet floor with nausea.  The other product gaining entry into the rogue’s gallery is a cream one applies before showering in order to protect the delicate face and neck from New York City water. This one is for women who only wash their faces with bottled water, and, one presumes, take forever while ordering at restaurants.  Still, the products were nice. Though not as nice as the spa treatments. Not the medispa treatments, mind you — I had just about every part of my body zapped with one type of laser or another and am happy to leave that behind — but the white-robe, sauna-room, fancy spas where no one speaks louder than a whisper and the water always contains sliced fruit. I frequented the best New York City has to offer. Massage, body wraps, facials, scalp massages, please arrive an hour early to enjoy our hot tub and steam room. I had so many massages, I could tell from a therapist’s strokes where she did her schooling.  The body scrub at the Four Seasons, with a full-body Vichy shower, is especially lovely, although the $40 variety in Koreatown is more effective, assuming you’re okay being nude in front of every other female customer.  The treatments I never did were pedicures. People thought I was crazy when I said I didn’t want them. I think that’s because, being among the least-expensive items on the spa menu, pedicures are the indulgence people most often allow. But when you’re getting a few big-ticket treatments each month already, who has time for a nail salon? Inevitably, I preferred to spend that time having a drink with a friend or reading. I sometimes even bemoaned dedicating an entire Saturday to a day of pampering on Park Avenue. I guess the biggest lesson I learned during my tenure as wellness editor is that anything can become a job. OH Jane Borden, whose new year’s resolution is to switch to whole-wheat late-night pizza, is the author of the much acclaimed memoir I Totally Meant to Do That. Follow her at twitter.com/JaneBorden. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


January 2015 Three Years After Your Death I find your gold cufflinks in a drawer, try to remember the last time you wore them, why they are here, how they landed in my catch-all drawer with buttons and safety pins. I roll them in my palm, feel the weight, the coolness, trace the monogram your graduation present can almost hear you say, “Guy Moose gave me those.” I remember you holding your arms for me to thread through the small nub, turn and lock it, then admire the finished cuff, all fastened, secure in place. I loved every cuff link occasion you hated. Yet, you could find those favorite cuff links in an instant, hold out your sleeves, pride those crisp cuffs, all formal and knowing where to go, how to wear. — Ruth Moose

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2015

O.Henry 47


Guilty Pleasures We all have them.

W

We all love them. (Some more than others)

By Maria Johnson • Photographs by Mark Wagoner

e know the drill this time of year. We make resolutions. But give it until St. Patrick’s Day, and chances are we’ll have forgotten those New Year’s promises to ourselves. Either that, or we’ll be beating ourselves up over a few missteps. That’s why we’re happy to bring you the guilty pleasures of health, fitness and beauty professionals. That’s right, we asked the folks who should know better to admit to their mildly sinful ways. Actually, their pleasures aren’t as sinful as they are unexpected. Maybe we should call them ironic pleasures. Consider the yoga teachers who find inner peace in the burger joint across the street from their studio. The hair and makeup stylist who uses dry shampoo more than regular shampoo. The personal trainer who devours peanut butter and gourmet chocolate bars. The dietitian who’s addicted to Maxie B’s fresh strawberry cake. The nutritionist who loves craft beer. The candy-loving dentist. The physician who smokes cigars. In almost all cases, the pros seem to enjoy themselves in moderation and take measure to minimize the potential negatives. The thing is they don’t really seem to feel bad about their wee transgressions or even their once-in-a-while overindulgences. They forgive themselves easily. If they can, certainly we can, too.

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January 2015

Let ’em Eat Cake

Laura Reavis l Clinical Dietitian, Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center Registered dietitian Laura Reavis traces her guilty pleasure to a wedding. Her own. A little more than two years ago when she was planning the nuptials, her now-husband Brandon requested that they serve pies instead of cake at their reception. (Pieheads insert cheers here). Fine, Laura said. But as she continued planning the wedding, she kept running into the name Maxie B’s, a Greensboro bakery. A longtime sweet tooth and baker, Laura thought maybe she should check out this Maxie B’s. So one day, she bought a slice of their fresh strawberry cake with buttercream frosting. (Cakeheads insert swoons here). Well, the cake wasn’t enough to derail the pie-based reception — Laura and Brandon served strawberry, pecan, pumpkin and chocolate pies, if you must know — but it was enough for Laura to declare that every year, on their anniversary, they would celebrate with a Maxie B’s cake. And so it is. But noooo. That’s not enough for Laura. Every other month or so, she has to have her Maxie B’s fix, sometimes strawberry cake, sometimes a slice of apple cake that she buys as a takeout. “This cake has fresh apples in between the layers with a cinnamon butter cream frosting. Oh . . . My . . . God. It’s what apple pies go to bed and dream of becoming,” she says. Once home, Laura pours a glass of milk and sits down to slowly savor half of the slice. She closes the cardboard box and sets it on the counter, determined to save the other half for later. It never sees morning. “By golly if, by the end of the night, I haven’t eaten the whole piece of cake,” says Lauren. The thing that induces her guilt is not that she allows herself a dietary treat — she counsels her patients to allow themselves small treats because self-denial is a sure path to bingeing — but that her treat is more than a single serving by any dietary standard. “It’s huge,” says Lauren. Still, she figures, her wee transgression is tempered by the fact that she indulges only every other month and by the fact that she doesn’t beat herself up about it. “I don’t try to make up for it at all. Every once in a while, these things are going to happen, but we shouldn’t feel bad about it,” she says. “Just go to bed with a belly ache, and start fresh the next day.”

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


So M&M Good

Reid Clark l Retired dentist

Reid Clark is a model of dental health. He brushes three times a day, flosses and uses a water jet to keep his pearlywhites strong and gleaming. He knows well the effect of sugar on teeth once your mouth’s bacteria break the sugar down into acids. And yet. He just . . . can’t . . . say . . . no . . . to . . . Peanut M&Ms. It’s a love that was kindled in dental school, when he’d fill a bowl with M&Ms while studying for exams. A handful of the brightly colored candy gave him enough of a kick to keep him going. “They’re just coated in sugar,” he says, dissecting the anatomy of the Peanut M&M. “The outer coating is artificial color and sugar.” He carried his fondness for the chocolate-and-peanut pearls into his dental practice. For thirty-eight years, until he retired a few months ago, he was one of the smiling faces at Greensboro’s Friendly Dentistry. His staffers knew all about his confectionery weakness and his willingness to laugh at it. They once laid a trail of Peanut M&Ms from the parking lot to his office, much as Elliot laid a trail of Reese’s Pieces for E.T., the extraterrestrial in the movie of the same name. Another time, they painted a flat wooden box yellow to resemble a movie-theater box of Peanut M&Ms, and they stuffed the box with giant bags of the candy. It would have been, well, un-dentistlike to keep the candy in the waiting room— and against OSHA regula-

tions to have food in the clinical area, Reid is quick to note — but he sometimes kept a stash of the sweet orbs in his desk. And now that he’s retired? Well, if his wife Betsy has some Peanut M&Ms left over from bridge club, Reid makes sure they don’t go stale in the pantry. An ardent tennis player, golfer and dog-walker, he worries not about the extra calories. And he really doesn’t fret about his teeth. If you’re thinking that he chases his M&Ms with toothpaste and a brush, you’d be wrong. He just savors the flavor and maintains his normal schedule of dental care. A sweet that you chew and swallow isn’t nearly as bad for your teeth as hard candy, which makes the sugar linger in your mouth, he says. So something that you polish off quickly, like M&Ms or, say, a hot fudge sundae made with Baskin Robbins pralinesand-cream ice cream — the kind that he and his seventh grade daughter Sterling get in the summer when they can sit outside and chill — is all right now and then. “Sometimes, you just kind of want to treat yourself to something like that,” he says.

Good Hair in a Can

Carla White l Independent makeup artist and hairstylist

You could call Carla White’s beauty secret a guilty pleasure, except she doesn’t feel particularly guilty about it. She does, however, acknowledge it’s not what people expect of her. She uses dry shampoo. A lot. In fact, she washes her long, dark hair only every five or six days. “It takes so long,” she says, adding up the minutes it takes to wash and dry her hair, shape it with a round brush and use a curling iron. “It’s well over an hour. I don’t have time for that . . . People are all the time like, ‘Your hair is so pretty.’ I’m like, ‘Girl, I’m five days nasty.’” White stays on the go with styling sessions for bridal parties, models, professional speakers and on-air talent. CBS and NBC

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

have called her to do makeup for broadcasts from Greensboro. CBS hired her to spruce up a local politician who appeared on Meet the Press, and NBC rang her up for retired gymnast and commentator Nastia Liukin, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who came to town last year for competitions at the Greensboro Coliseum. Because hair and makeup are her business, White says she feels pressure to look good whenever she goes out. But she doesn’t have time for the full-scale beauty routine every day, so she takes shortcuts as needed. She sometimes does her lashes and eye makeup the night before an early gig. She also leans on dry shampoo, which absorbs natural oils and bulks up the hair. White prefers the spray variety to the powdered version because it doesn’t look chalky in her dark hair. The sprays are sometimes labeled as “texturing,” “volumizing” or “makeover” products. She particularly likes KMS California’s HairPlay Makeover Spray. White says that, in addition to saving time, using dry shampoo is better for your hair. Daily washing strips away too much moisture and causes your scalp to ramp up oil production. If you give the soap a rest, your body will adjust. So spray away, and try washing your hair every other day. A bona fide pro gives you the go a-head. “You can cheat and not feel bad,” White says. January 2015

O.Henry 49


Hitting the Hot Spot

Rebecca Jordan-Turner l Co-owner and studio director of Revolution Hot Yoga. They say love is born of proximity. The same can be said of guilty pleasures. Rebecca Jordan-Turner will attest to that. Her studio is right across Battleground Avenue from the highly-acclaimed Big Burger Spot restaurant. And when the wind is right, the aroma of burgers on the grill is irresistible. “Everyone who comes through the door says, ‘How can you stand it?’” The answer is, she doesn’t. She caves. After class. “You have to do class on an empty stomach, otherwise that first forward bend is ‘Oh, my God! Why did I do that?’” It doesn’t help that the temperature of a hot yoga studio is between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat provides enough of a workout for the heart without adding the job of digestion. But after everyone cools down, the yoga teachers often beat a path across the street. Rebecca, a vegetarian, usually orders a burger made of black beans, chickpeas or portabella mushrooms. All of her teachers eat meat, so they do the moo. They also enjoy the salads prepared by Big Burger owner Guy Bradley and his crew. Often, the yoga teachers bump into their students at the restaurant. “Usually the first words out of their mouths are, ‘I don’t do this all the time!’ or ‘You caught me!’ and we’re like, ‘Hey, we’re here, too!’” Rebecca says. She atones for her char-grilled transgressions by doing the hot flow yoga class, a very athletic series that burns about 1,000 calories in an hour and a half. “It’ll let you get some fries,” she says.

Physician, Puff Thyself

Dr. C. Garr l M.D. with experience in ’baccyology

We know he’s out there — the doctor who enjoys an occasional good cigar, even though he knows well the dangers of tobacco and probably counsels his patients to keep off the stuff. Local stogie sellers Larry Christopher of The Pint and Pipe, and Phil Segal III of Havana Phil’s, report that there are actually several Dr. C. Garrs puffing and practicing around Greensboro. “I have plenty of them,” says Christopher. But getting docs to go on the record and fess up to burning a Davidoff now and then is another story. It seems that many of them have a severe allergy to ink. Or maybe to insurance companies that lack a sense of humor. Anyway, we’ll just speak for the good doctors by saying: “Yes, I enjoy the hell out of a good cigar. Yes, I feel a twinge of guilt when I smoke it. OK. I’m lying. I really don’t feel bad about it. But I rarely indulge, and I plan to atone by skipping that conference in Los Angeles where the air quality is so bad. All right, I’m making up the thing about L.A., too.”

50 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Good For What Ales You

Kevin Mellendick l Registered dietitian, UNCG doctoral candidate in nutrition Kevan Mellendick knows food science. He’s working on a Ph.D. in nutrition and can break down the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates with ease. He’s also a “bit of a fitness freak” who swims, runs, lifts weights and rides his mountain bike regularly. He serves as the command fitness leader of his Naval Reserve unit in Greensboro. He clearly knows what’s good for a body. He also knows that one of his greatest pleasures will never show up on a list of fitness and nutrition must-haves. “I’m a total hophead,” he says, confess-

ing his love of beer. Kevan traces his affinity for beer to his father, John, who is known in the family as “the beer professor.” “He knows over 200 styles of glassware for beer and exactly what style of glass you should put your beer in,” says Kevan. Schooled in the finer points of suds, Kevan has a weakness for craft beers — especially potent ales — saisons, stouts and India pale ales. Some of his favorites are made by the renowned Stone Brewing Co.; Heavy Seas Beer out of Baltimore; and Stillwater Artisanal Ales, also in Kevan’s hometown of Baltimore. Almost every night, Kevan enjoys an ale or beer with dinner and sometimes one afterward. “I try to limit myself to two beers a day for liver-health reasons,” he says. One of the reasons he enjoys beer, he says, is that hops-heavy brew contains natural muscle relaxants, including estrogen, which makes a beer very relaxing after strenuous exercise or a long day in front of a computer screen. “It’s not even that much of a guilty pleasure,” he insists. “It’s just a pleasure.” But don’t look for a beer gut here. Kevan’s says his physical activity (along with his avoidance of refined sugar) offsets the calories delivered by the alcohol in beer. If he feels any guilt, he says, it’s from the money he spends on his hoppy habit, $50 to $100 a month at the wine store near his home. “Good beer costs a little more,” he says. His wife, Amanda, does not share his love of beer, but she trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and they share a love of fine food. “I treat beer very similarly,” Kevan says.

Peanut Buddies

Amanda Barthel l Personal trainer and fitness instructor

You know the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial that shows someone walking around eating chocolate until she collides with someone walking around eating peanut butter? Amanda Barthel could be either one of those people. “I really have a problem with chocolate — and with peanut butter,” says Amanda, a personal trainer and fitness class instructor at the Bryan Family YMCA and Starmount Forest Country Club. She usually goes for the protein-packed peanut butter after expending a lot of calories. “I’m like, ‘I’ve had three classes today, so I’m OK to go

The

Art & Soul of Greensboro

a little over the top,’” she says. “I don’t think I’ve eaten more than a quarter cup in a single sitting.” Pause. “That’s not true. I’ve probably eaten a half cup at single sitting. Peanut butter is a good time.” She justifies her somewhat guilty pleasure by a) eating natural peanut butter and b) by putting it on celery or banana chips. She also eases her guilt by reminding herself that she’s creating treats for her dog Coconut, who licks the jars before they go into the recycling bin. Chocolate is a slightly different story. Occasionally, Amanda will go on the chocolate wagon just to prove she can. Then she’ll resolve to have just a little. “I can be like, ‘I’m going to have two little squares of chocolate, but then, ‘Houston we have a problem’ . . . There goes the whole bar.” Sure, she knows all about how dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke, fights off depression and is loaded with antioxidants. But she also knows it’s loaded with sugar. It lessens her pain — or increases her pleasure — to eat high-quality dark chocolate spiked with organically grown lemons, ginger and black pepper. At times, she has been known to throw caution to the wind and dip her chocolate in peanut butter. One more confession: Amanda actually likes some of the pop music that she uses in her classes. “I find myself disliking the lyrics, but it’s just so darn catchy.” OH

January 2015

O.Henry 51


The 2014 G-List

A Dozen Things You Never Knew About Greensboro By Billy Ingram t the risk of seeming a tad full of ourselves, some of us at O.Henry who grew up in these parts fancy ourselves to be walking authorities of all things related to Gate City life, especially Greensboro’s colorful lore and social history. So imagine our pleasant surprise when we sent our intrepid cultural sleuth Billy Ingram out to see what he could dig up only to have him return with at dozen fascinating things we never knew about our favorite city. Who knew a simple bump on the knee here probably helped put John F. Kennedy in the White House or that Moses of Biblical fame got hitched at United Methodist Church? It’s all in this year’s G-List . . .

A

1.

Home Sweet Home on the Piedmont

Centuries ago wild herds of Eastern buffalo, not unlike their famous bison cousin out west and on the nickel, foraged this region, a lush habitat with gushing tributaries running alongside prairies tailor-made for the massive, shaggy beasts. That, of course, was before Europeans made their way inland. The Native Americans referred to the fertile hunting grounds that eventually became Greensboro simply as “Buffalo.” The creek that runs southwest to northeast through Greensboro still bears that name.

2.

National Frenzy

Previously relegated to performing in high school auditoriums and community centers, a 21-year-old Elvis Presley rolled into downtown Greensboro one month after his first recording date for RCA. The Gate City was only the second stop on a Southern tour that established Elvis as the King of Rock’n’Roll. Days earlier, he had scandalized America with a hip-shakin’, lip-quakin’ performance on network TV. “Heartbreak Hotel” was No. 1 with a bullet. Beginning on Monday, February 6, 1956, Greensboro audiences drank in four electrifying performances at the National Theater.

Truly Special Delivery

3.

According to a letter written by Postal Inspector T.M. Reddy to his buddy, Greensboro Postmaster Robert D. Douglas, the first official air mail correspondence was delivered from New York to Greensboro on September 29, 1911. Reddy’s letter said, “This is the first piece of mail ever dispatched by aeroplane in the United States. Best wishes for your welfare and prosperity.” Another account, however, credits an “air drop” of mail six days earlier to Minneola, New York. 52 O.Henry

January 2015

Moses Takes a Bride

4.

Twenty-year-old Charlton Heston enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1944 and was scheduled to deploy overseas out of the Overseas Replacement Depot, near where KFC now fries Extra Crispy chicken on Bessemer Avenue. Before shipping out to the Aleutian Islands, he proposed one last time to Lydia Clarke, an undergrad at Northwestern University — this despite her repeated rejections. He was surprised to read in a return telegram, “Have decided to accept your proposal.” Clarke joined her fiancé here, on March 17, and they were hitched at Grace United Methodist Church. Lydia recalled, “We went for a stroll amid the blooming spring. We passed a small white church with a flowering cherry tree. We tiptoed inside and an hour later we were Sergeant and Mrs. Charlton Heston.” They remained husband and wife until his death in 2008.

5.

Somewhere Over on Lee Street

When Judy Garland brought her bombastic musical review ‘That’s Entertainment’ to War Memorial Auditorium on April 17, 1961, there was no way of knowing a week later she’d be making the biggest comeback ever by staging what was dubbed “the greatest night in show business history.” Greensboro was her last stop before playing Carnegie Hall on April 23rd to the grandest ovation and display of adulation a star has ever known. Up to that point the 38-year old had been considered washed up by Hollywood and the music industry. Her performance in New York was so electrifying it became a bellwether against which every other entertainer is measured. The soundtrack album won 4 Grammy Awards, the first double LP to go Gold after thirteen weeks at No. 1. The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Great R.E.M Sleepover

R.E.M. was just another unknown garage band in May of 1981 when they jammed to “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” in a local pizza pub at 407 Tate Street. Peter Buck told Rolling Stone magazine, “There was a place in Greensboro, North Carolina, called Friday’s. It was a pizza parlor and the guy had bands play.” The L-shaped room was an unlikely music venue: “You could see through the bar to the ovens,” he recalls. The audience could watch “the guy with the long stick with pizzas on it, and see us, too.” Their accomodations? “ People would let us sleep on the floor.” Admission was one dollar. “We’d get 150 people in there and we’d get the door.” $150 a night? If everyone who claimed to have seen R.E.M. during their four shows on Tate Street actually had, the band would have started out as millionaires.

The Hero Who Should Have Stuck Around Here

7.

Five years after he routed the British Army at Guilford Courthouse and then chased the limey scoundrels from the state entirely, General Nathanael Greene died deeply in debt of a sunstroke at age 43. Truth told, Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection the General never cared much for the South — the mud, the humidity, the heat. Greene much preferred life up north but couldn’t afford to pass up an estate outside Savannah, purchased for him by the grateful state of Georgia — where he was eventually done under by the mud, humidity and heat.

Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection

8.

We Thank You, Joe

In the last gasp of the War of Northern Aggression, also called the American Civil War by some — Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his scalawags were being fêted at the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh while Confederate General Joseph Johnston and his ragtag outfit holed up in tattered tents along the tree line that would one day define UNCG. With an overwhelming force of Blue Coats rapidly approaching from the east, Johnston faced a dire dilemma — continue fighting on as ordered by Jefferson Davis moments before he fled Greensborough on horseback, or spare the town from being ripped asunder by presiding over the surrender of some 89,000 soldiers, effectively ending the bloody conflict. Had Johnston gone another way, Guilford County would likely have been plowed under rather than protected, left to fallow without the railroad hub critical to our future prosperity. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

9.

The Rain Man Cometh

Suffering through months without significant precipitation and with rationing having little effect on Greensboro’s three reservoirs crisping in the summer sun, a desperate city council engaged the services of a professional rainmaker on September 12, 1954. The weather wizard optimistically promised up to 400 million gallons of rain within sixty days. In half that time the drought was over . . . after category 3 Hurricane Hazel tore through the state. The hurricane deluged the Gate City with 6.24 inches of rain in one day, causing nineteen deaths and 200 injuries statewide and leaving half a billion dollars in property loss measured in today’s dollars. There’s no record as to whether the diviner got paid or was washed away in the flood.

Light, Camera. . . Goodbye Hollywood

10.

The movie biz got underway in New Jersey in the 1890s but, because Thomas Edison owned the patent to the entire motion picture process, rival filmmakers tended to work under the radar, outside the law. North Carolina — and Greensboro in particular — was under consideration as a possible outpost for the independents who eventually formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Proximity to the ocean and mountains, a dependable rail system, cheap labor and wide open spaces made our terrain particularly attractive for the Westerns that were so popular in the early days of film. Ultimately the decision came down to natural sunlight being the best illumination for early films . . . and L.A. was as far from Edison as those guerilla movie moguls could get.

11. Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection

6.

Malcolm X U

Tricky Dick Knee On August 17, 1960, with less than three months to go in one of the most hotly contested elections in U.S. history, Republican candidate Vice President Richard Nixon made a stop in Greensboro that likely cost him the presidency. Bumping his left knee getting into the limo, he developed a massive infection, forcing him off the campaign trail for two weeks. Re-injuring that knee shortly before his disastrous televised debate performance was one reason the candidate came off so poorly with viewers of the debate, which many historians agree swung the race to John F. Kennedy.

12.

After a year in Durham, Malcolm X Liberation University relocated its main campus to 708 Asheboro Street (now MLK Drive) in Greensboro. The start of classes for around sixty students was October 5, 1970. Operating in secrecy, the school’s intent was to create a class of highly trained professionals who would then take their skills and apply them in black communities. The effort collapsed due to lack of funds and the divide over what direction the civil rights movement should take, in part because university guidelines precluded “any sort of ‘intimate’ relationship — romantic or Platonic— with whites.” The beleaguered institute disbanded in 1973 but a lasting legacy of MXLU was the adoption of African-American studies programs in colleges and high schools around the country. OH January 2015

O.Henry 53


Friends Historical Collection

— The Amazing Odyssey of —

Citizen Bird

T. Gilbert Pearson began as a boy who loved to shoot birds and wound up becoming a major force in the preservation of American wildlife By Jim Clark

T

hese days with the escalating cost of a higher education and ballooning student debt, students and their parents are increasingly aware of the need to put aside a nest egg for college. But one Quaker farm boy knew this well over a hundred years ago, and he took it literally to heart. And instead of putting by a nest egg, oologist T. Gilbert Pearson put by hundreds, trading his collection and bird expertise for tuition and board at Guilford College, where he ultimately amassed the largest collection of eggs in the South. After a rough start at the college, he fell in love with Greensboro, teaching at what became UNCG. There he founded the state’s first Audubon Society, which led to his mounting a national and ultimately international crusade for bird and animal protection. But in 1882 at age 9, Pearson had just moved with his family from Indiana to the wilds of central Florida, where the family at first lived in an old log cabin while their land was cleared for a new house and an orange grove. In a lifestyle worthy of Swamp People scripts, they hunted deer, bears and alligators along the Suwannee River for food and income. Pearson immediately fell in love with this strange new world, including, as he put it, his neighboring “piney woods crackers.” Little by little he got used to their rustic speech and ways and even given names like Pot-likker. Although he was enrolled in the neighborhood school (held in a buggy shed), he much preferred being out in nature where, usually with his best friend, Altus Lacy Quaintance, his favorite pursuit was seeking out bird eggs. Coming back late from recess one day after spotting a nest, they were whipped in front of the class. The duo promptly decided to skip school to go on a three-day hunt.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


University Libraries UNC Greensboro

To be a successful bird-egg collector, one needs swamp smarts. And it can be dangerous. Especially treacherous was climbing dead trees, often more than one hundred feet tall. On one occasion, he reported in his autobiography, Adventures in Bird Protection, he was trying to reach the eggs of a turkey vulture in the hollow bottom of a towering tree in which he had placed an improvised ladder. When it broke and he fell, he couldn’t get out. He said it would have been the end if Quaintance had not come to the rescue after hearing his tiny tin whistle. Another time, he was severely bitten by an alligator, later writing, “I now have him mounted and placed in my museum, and as I enter the room, his glass eyes glare at me as though he would like to fasten on me again.” For the serious collector and student of bird eggs there were expenses: treeclimbing spurs, guide books to identify the eggs, calipers to measure them, drills to make holes and blowpipes to expel the yolks. The oologist needed storage cabinets and proper labels on which to write the scientific names. At first, young Pearson tried to support his obsession by picking and selling blackberries. But before long, and not surprisingly, his interest in birds began to suggest ways to make money. At first, he bought quail that had been trapped, dressed them, and sold them to markets. Then, his father paid him to kill some woodpeckers that were after his fruit trees. Soon, he bought a gun. The first bird he shot was a grackle, and he was so proud of it he took it to bed with him that night, awakening the next day covered with parasites. He toyed with the idea of doing something he would later consider unthinkable — shooting egrets to sell to the millinery industry. Instead, he taught himself taxidermy and began to mount birds and other animals. Although the modern reader may find it paradoxical for a bird lover to be killing birds, as with Audubon, the accepted way to study birds was to kill them since an ornithologist needed several bird skins to study variations in each species. And modern readers might also want to keep in mind that Pearson lived in an era when the prevailing attitude was that North America had limitless natural resources and that man couldn’t possibly deplete the supply. In 1891 he had letterhead printed up proclaiming, “T. G. Pearson. Field The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ornithologist and Oologist. Birds Mounted in First Class Order. Nests & Eggs Collected and Exchanged.” That same summer, he decided he had avoided schooling long enough if he was going to evolve into a serious naturalist. His friend Quaintance had already left for college. But Pearson’s father said he could not afford to pay his son’s way. And while young Pearson had little money saved, he did have one thing — his expanding collection of bird eggs, skins and mounts. He wrote letters to numerous schools, many of them Quaker, offering what he called “his museum” in exchange for tuition and board. One day a letter arrived from Lewis Lyndon Hobbs, president of Guilford College, offering Pearson two years of support in the college’s preparatory program in exchange for his collection and his services as curator of the college’s small natural history cabinet. At that time, his collection of nearly 1,200 eggs represented more than 200 species of birds and was considered the largest scientific collection of bird eggs in the South. Eggs of ten species from his collection were even displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The transition from egg hunter to student was not an especially easy one. Used to walking in Florida sand, when he got off the train at Guilford Station, he had to walk to the college in the rain, complaining that the then unpaved road was “one continuous, sticky mass of the reddest mud that I had ever seen.” He fell several times on that day and on subsequent ones. He might have been a bit clumsy by nature. One fellow student quipped, “Our good-natured curator fell down ten times one day last week. Quite an improvement.” Nor did he instantly take to the other students. They were not at all like the piney characters back home, and he wrote he had never seen such “a plain, uninteresting lot of people.” The girls especially seemed to have what he called “an unfair share of homeliness.” But then at First Day meeting, when he saw them in their Sunday dresses, he realized he had been mistaken and immediately tried to impress them with tales of brave encounters with water moccasins, bears and swamp desperadoes, while proudly showing off his scars from the alligator bite. His teachers weren’t especially taken with him either. Once President Hobbs grew a tad impatient with Pearson’s clumsy Latin. Correcting him sternly, Hobbs condescendingly asked, “Gilbert, does thee think thee can remember that?” Required to give speeches on campus like all other students, Pearson began his with an opening sentence so long and ponderous that some January 2015

O.Henry 55


Friends Historical Collection

in the audience laughed at him. Afterwards, he would go alone deep into the Guilford College Woods where he practiced delivering his speeches to an audience of oaks. However, in May 1892 the oration he delivered was quite the success. Titled “The Destruction of Our American Birds,” he pointed out that “thousands upon thousands” of birds were needlessly destroyed each year, not by the collecting naturalist but by “the murderous work of the plume hunters,” spending their lives, he added, killing for no other reason than women wanting to beautify themselves. He ended his speech by stepping forward with outstretched arms and uplifted eyes and cried, “O Fashion, O women of America, how many crimes are committed in your name!” Perhaps his words hit his own heart. One Saturday morning he went into the woods with the intent of collecting a pair of blue-gray gnatcatchers for the museum when he heard a bird singing in its lichen-covered nest. “With head thrown back he poured forth one burst of music after another,” wrote Pearson. “The little fellow undoubtedly was exquisitely happy. He seemed to love all the world and sang with a charming abandon as if he could not dream that any creature would want to harm him or his precious nest.” Or collect the eggs in it, he might also have thought. For the first time in his life, he could not raise his gun at a bird, and he walked back to his museum empty-handed, marking the beginning of his conversion from bird collector to bird photographer. While many women loved their feathered hats, others opposed them. In fact, the Audubon movement itself had its roots in women’s tea parties in Boston

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as early as 1896. Pearson himself collaborated with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in North Carolina in the publication of a leaflet, Echoes From Bird Land: An Appeal to Women, in which he described the horrors in the cypress swamps of Florida after a visit by the plume hunters: “The air was filled with the screams of young birds pleading for food which their dead mothers could never bring.” He appealed to women to stop wearing hats festooned with feathers, some of them even featuring entire stuffed bodies.

A

fter graduating from Guilford College in 1897, Pearson earned a second bachelor’s degree at UNC, returning in 1899 to teach. Then in 1901, he joined the faculty of the State Normal and Industrial School for women (now UNCG), which made him especially happy. When he was a student at Guilford, he met a girl, Elsie Weatherly, who was a student there. Soon she became his long-time girlfriend. He was in Florida when he got the telegraphed job offer. The whole way back to the rhythm of the train, he kept saying to himself, “Now I can marry her. Now I can marry her.” And the next year, he did just that, at her parents’ house on Smith Street. He was by no means a conventional, follow-the-rules professor. One pleasant day on his new campus he opened the windows of his biology classroom while his students peered into microscopes, and he asked them to look out the window and name the nearest trees. Not a girl could name even one. Nor could they name the birds whose notes drifted in. He met with the president of the college, The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

his adopted home. In 1910, he fought “as field marshal” in the Great Millinery Battle in New York City, the center of the hat industry, and where two year later he moved his family so he could work full time with the National Association of Audubon Societies.

O

liver H. Orr’s exhaustive biography of Pearson’s years in North Carolina, Saving American Birds: T. Gilbert Pearson and the Founding of the Audubon Movement, ends at this point. But there was much more to Pearson’s journey. He loved Kipling’s poetry and often quoted these lines from “The Feet of the Young Men” — “They must go — go — go away from here! / On the other side the world they’re overdue.” For the next thirty years, Pearson would visit and fight for bird and wildlife protection, leading the International Committee for Bird Preservation until 1938. The boy from the Florida swamps would go on to rub shoulders with royalty and presidents. (He once even took President Coolidge to task for shooting a great blue heron in 1928, an act punishable by a $500 fine or six months in prison.) The young student who could not walk across the Guilford College campus without falling down, who could hardly finish his first speech, would eventually carry his message to five continents, giving more than 3,000 speeches before he was done. In 1943, Pearson died at age 70 in New York City and was cremated, eventually making the journey back home to be buried in our Green Hill Cemetery. His beloved Elsie joined him there in 1962. His legacy is carried on in Greensboro with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society, founded in 1971 by a group including professors from his old school, UNCG. And while the group has nature preservation projects as far away as the Deep and Haw rivers, most of their effort focuses on Greensboro, such as maintaining the littleknown 11-acre T. Gilbert Pearson Natural Area on Tankersly Drive, just north of Moses Cone Hospital. Some of their most important work has taken place just a few blocks north of Pearson’s outdoor classroom, Peabody Park. In 1990, partnering with the Westerwood neighborhood, the group began the award-winning StreamGreen/StreamLife project to let the buffer grow up along North Buffalo Creek where it flows along Benjamin Parkway and through Lake Daniel Park. There they have planted hundreds of native trees and shrubs. The result has been a marked increase in wildlife, including so many bluebirds that they installed a Bluebird Trail along the buffer. At the end of the trail at the north end of Woodlawn Avenue, the group has installed a bench in honor of one of their early presidents, the environmentalist and political firebrand Ben Matkins, who lived down the street until his untimely death in 1996. This StreamGreen project has resulted in such buffer practices being adopted for streams on all Greensboro public land. One evening this past August, the group took a walking tour of the Green Hill Cemetery where, of course, they stopped at Pearson’s grave to reflect on his long odyssey from oologist to ornithologist to fighter for the rights of, as he once put it, “Citizen Bird.” They laughed a little about what a “curmudgeon” he became over the years, but he was a compassionate one . . . at least to the birds of the air and the beasts of the wild. True to his Quaker heritage, his grave marker is a surprisingly small, simple one for a man who made such a monumental contribution to the preservation of the natural world. OH Friends Historical Collection

Dr. Charles D. McIver, and said he wanted to make a radical change in the way he taught biology. He wanted to take his students into nature in the College Park woods and on long walks in the wilds of the newly founded Peabody Park, the site of Civil War encampments just a few decades earlier. This same year he published the first of many books, Stories of Bird Life. After the chairman for bird protection of the American Ornithologists’ Union picked up a copy, he was so taken by it, he asked Pearson to organize an Audubon Society in North Carolina. The following March, Pearson found himself standing before a crowd of nearly two hundred people gathered in the college chapel in the Administration Building (now Foust Building). By the end of his speech on the destruction of birds, the Audubon Society of North Carolina was formed with 148 paying members and Pearson elected secretary. He proposed a bill for the protection of nongame birds and the enforcement of game laws, lobbying Governor Charles B. Aycock, who gave Pearson the support he needed. In 1903, the state Audubon Society became the first game commission in the South with Pearson, at age 29, the first commissioner, charged with enforcing the bird and game laws of North Carolina and setting up a state game-warden system. From the members of his senior zoology class he received a telegram: “We join the birds in singing your praises.” He returned to campus and asked President McIver for permission to resign his teaching position. McIver agreed, saying, “A man’s feet should follow his heart.” The first arrests were made in Greensboro and the Railroad Station was the focus of his early enforcement efforts with hunters shipping game birds hidden in shipments of other items. Once, tipped off to be on the lookout for such a package coming through the Greensboro station, Pearson and a warden found a large shipment of dead quail hidden below layers of chicken eggs. The warden’s dog had pointed out the box, and word went out all over the state: it was dangerous to ship quail through Greensboro because they had a bird-sniffing dog “of unusual powers and sagacity.” Enforcing the new laws and acting as game wardens could be dangerous — one infamous example was the murder of game warden Guy Bradley, killed in 1905 in the Everglades during its Plume Wars. Pearson would help Bradley’s widow find a house in Key West with funds raised by the national Audubon Society, and later he helped establish Everglades National Park. It was the wholesale slaughter of birds, he wrote, that “always makes my blood boil.” For instance, later that year an estimated 100,000 purple martins set up their roosts in trees surrounding a resort at Wrightsville Sound. The owner of the hotel feared they were annoying his tourists, so one night he assembled a group of men to shoot the birds. As many as 12,000 were killed and many thousands more were wounded, fluttering about the fields for days. Twelve men were charged and convicted, with most claiming they did not know they were violating any laws. This passionate pursuit of the lawbreakers had one inevitable consequence: “He was hated,” reported his former student assistant. One letter to the editor in the Raleigh News and Observer attacked Pearson and “his legion of women” for having a wealthy citizen arrested for killing chimney swifts. But another letter writer to the Greensboro Record praised Pearson’s courageous efforts and successes, suggesting a monument be erected in his honor — but Pearson wanted no such thing. Besides, a huge setback was just around the corner: in 1909 the state legislature, after much lobbying by those opposed to the Audubon Society, exempted fifty-two counties from the Audubon Act. It would be another quarter century before most counties were back under state control. Now his feet were taking him away from Greensboro, the town he called

Jim Clark is director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at UNCG and editor of The Greensboro Review. January 2015

O.Henry 57


Story of a House

Enchanted Cottage

The

Harvey West’s eccentric house needed only the perfect love birds — and repurposing — to find its Fairy Tale ending By David Claude Bailey Photographs by Kevin Banker

O

nce upon a time — because this is a story that has all the elements of a fairy tale — there lived a musician and an artist in an enchanted cottage in Westerwood. Like a lot of fairy tales, this is a story about a couple of love birds, Victoria and Neill Clegg, who find one another and fall deeply in love. It’s also a story about how their quaint little cottage was assembled from the ruins of a building that once rang with countless stories and brought magic to many — the old Greensboro Public library. But most of all it’s a story about how fate placed a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in the path of true love — and how Neill, 66, and Victoria, 59, overcame adversity, rediscovered happiness and opened up their cozy little cottage to the whole village. Neill and Victoria’s story starts with a funeral. But first they need to meet one another. Neill Clegg is, above all else, a jazz clarinetist and saxophone player. “I met Victoria on October 17, 1992,” he says, pausing halfway through a croissant at the counter of their cozy kitchen. Stroking his white beard and smiling at Victoria, he continues, “I was playing in a band called Time Piece.” The keyboardist was close friends with Victoria, and the two exchanged greetings between sets. Neill: “At the first break, I hurried over to meet her because I thought she was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.” Victoria: “I just love that,” blushing. Neill: “I tried to finagle a way to get myself invited to her home.” Instead, they met at the keyboardist’s house at a party, “and we never shut up. We talked to each other the whole night,” he says. The next day, Neill says, “Victoria called and said, ‘I’m going to a hockey game, do you want to go?’ I didn’t know jack shit about hockey, but I said, ‘Yes, I love hockey.’” This despite a visual impairment that renders Neill Clegg legally blind. The very next day, Neill’s grandmother died and he went to her funeral. Neill: “Her husband had died in 1933 in Roland, North

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Neill and Victoria Clegg insist that fairies inhabit the grounds of their enchanted cottage, from the patio where they sip wine in Adirondack chairs to the lush garden that fronts their wee little house to the garage/chicken house in the backyard that’s been converted into a combination studio/screen porch. Carolina. She told people at the time, ‘I am waiting to be laid beside my husband.’ Sixty years later she was, and I realized that’s what I wanted. And I thought that’s what Victoria and I can have.” Victoria: “He comes back home and we start dating and before the end of January, he asks me to marry him.” Neill: “Miracle of miracles, she says, ‘yes.’” Victoria: “And that’s where the house comes into play.” The English-style cottage, designed by Greensboro architect Alfred C. Woodruff, was built in the late 1930s from salvaged stone and brick rubble — some from Greensboro’s City Public Library, the rest from a stone building demolished on N.C. A&T’s campus. The result is one of the city’s most whimsical and enchanting abodes. “That first day we drove up in the driveway to look at it, it was like a little magical fairy house to me,” Victoria recalls. Standing high on an elevated lot, its two stories are capped with a half-timbered gable, playfully decorated with herringbone and basket-weave brickwork. James W. Brown, a Scotsman who helped build Duke’s Memorial Chapel, is the impish stonemason who, while giving the house the imposing and substantial permanence that only stone can convey, went wonky fitting in the various and oddly shaped stones he had to work with — while slipping in an occasional brick here and there — into what can only be described as a crazy quilt of a design. In the dim twilight, as the sunset warms the burnt orange, sienna and ochre colors of the stones, the Harvey West cottage does look as if seven whistling dwarfs might come trundling out of the doorway as Snow White watches from the upstairs window. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2015

O.Henry 59


This is the house that music built. The original owner, Harvey West, owned Greensboro’s iconic Harvey West Music store. The current owners are Neill Clegg, a jazz musician, and “his inspiration,” Victoria. In fact, Victoria remembers going to a party next door where she overheard a new-comer talking about how much she loved Westerwood and the stone house next door. “I’ve got this vision of these two old trolls who must live there,” the woman said. Victoria recalls, “I kept drinking and drinking and finally said, ‘By the way, I’m one of those old trolls.’”

H

arvey Alexander West and his wife, Mary Kate, built the cottage and lived in it more than fifty years. If Harvey West sounds familiar, it’s because the Wests founded West-Sloan Music, which morphed into the iconic Harvey West Music on West Market Street. Which is where Neill Clegg enters the story. After graduating from Grimsley in 1966, Clegg tried UNCG for a year, “and decided I knew more than everyone else and dropped out.” With 205,000 troops in Vietnam and more on the way, by 1967 he preemptively decided to join the Army. “I enlisted because it allowed me to choose what I wanted to, so I didn’t become 11 Bravo as an infantryman.” Cross-trained in biological and chemical warfare, Neill spent a relatively pleasant year and a half in Germany playing saxophone with the 8th Infantry Division’s band. While in Germany, he’d sent a job application to Harvey West Music, hoping to work for them when he got out. He, in fact, landed a job in charge of what was at the time Greensboro’s most serious classical record department. “They thought that would bring in a certain kind of clientele,” he says. “They catered to the pros and it was a place that people who were serious about playing went.” Clegg himself was very serious about playing music, especially jazz, and basked in the glow of the musicians who frequented the store. One day, a saxophonist who’d come from New York to play with Nat King Cole dropped in the store to buy reeds. Clegg ambushed him to ask for some sage advice: “He was sort of ‘Get

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away, kid, you’re driving me nuts.’ But when I asked him what’s the most important thing you can tell me about playing professionally, he looked at me and said, ‘If you can’t read music, you can’t eat.’” In 1972, Clegg took the advice to heart and went back to school, studying under Ray Gariglio, Chicago’s premier clarinetist who had played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony before joining the UNCG faculty. While collecting a bachelor’s in classical performance and a master’s in music, Clegg played in a number of bands around town — Mixed Company, Cutglass and the Burt Massengale Orchestra. In 1977, Clegg moved to New York City to see, like so many others, if he had the chops to be a real player. While working on a doctorate at the City University of New York, he had his debut in Carnegie Hall in 1981, but he also discovered how hard it is to become a top soloist. “I found out that . . . to get to the top requires extraordinary gifts and extraordinary luck and extraordinary assistance from many, many people,” he recalls. Over the years, he toured with some big names — the Platters, Bob Hope, Brenda Lee and Jim Nabors — along with other bands that paid the bills, such as Holiday on Ice and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. “And I also found out that I really liked teaching.” In 1983, he came back to Greensboro and began teaching in earnest, as director of the jazz program at UNCG until 1985. He also taught jazz and classical woodwind at the Greensboro Musical Academy for nearly a decade. In 1989, he joined Greensboro College’s music department, where he teaches saxophone and clarinet; music history and literature; and orchestration. He is also director of the George Center for Honors Studies. He and Victoria, both previously married, tied the knot in 1992. Victoria picks up the story, “Mart [Martha Cameron West], the daughter of Harvey West, hears by the musical grapevine that Neill is getting married, and she calls Neill up and The Art & Soul of Greensboro


The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Victoria Clegg re-imagined an unused niche into a tiny library, flanked by Doric January 2015 O.Henry 61 columns, and then filled it with their most treasured volumes.


Enamored with cooking, eating and drinking, Victoria and Neill Clegg’s kitchen is the heart of their house. Their favorite, double-wide chair, is large enough to accommodate, on occasion, the two of them. says, ‘Do you want to buy Momma and Daddy’s house?’” After Harvey West died in 1988 at age 90, his wife, Kate, continued to live in the house until her death in 1992. Victoria says that Mart West “left the power and the water on and just shut the door because she couldn’t stand to break up her mom and dad’s house.” At first, the Cleggs couldn’t figure out a way to swing the financing. Then Neill Clegg Sr., an accountant for three decades, got involved. “I talked to my daddy,” Neill recalls, “and he said, ‘Here’s how to do it: Boop, boop, boop, boop, boop.’ I put it on paper and presented it to Mart and she said, ‘Sure, that sounds great. Draw up a contract.’” Neill remembers the day Victoria first saw the house. Neill: “We drove up in the driveway and Victoria took one look at the outside.” Victoria: “Didn’t have an inspection.” Neill: “Victoria said, ‘We’ll take it.’” Victoria: “What I said is ‘I can do something with it.’” What they did with it, little by little, is completely overhaul the house while preserving its historical integrity. New plaster, two new baths, new furnace, new ceilings, new plumbing, new wiring, new kitchen. But what they discovered is that the genies of Harvey and Kate West pervaded every inch of the house and garden. “Our home has an amazing positive energy and we have always attributed that to Harvey and Mama Kate,” Victoria says. “I can feel them when I’m working in the yard.” For instance, the garlic the Harveys had planted over the years is still popping up. The character of the house’s exterior and interior, they learned, sprang from Harvey’s time overseas during World War I: “The surprising part about this little house is it is like a little bitty European cottage,” Victoria says. But most of all, Harvey’s parsimonious penny-pinching personality reared its head. Sitting in what became the kitchen, Victoria looks up and remember how, one day, she couldn’t stand seeing the flimsy, laminate paneling another minute and

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attacked it with a hammer and crowbar. (“I’d only had one drink.”) Her deconstruction revealed a lot about Harvey: “When he put the roof on this addition in 1968 or ’69, he didn’t want to pay enough to have it really screwed in place. So he just sort of let it rest on the paneling.” The roof quite literally collapsed, “and you’ve got the room open to the sky so to speak.” And as they uncovered the house’s history and bare bones, Harvey’s frugality became legendary. To begin with, West bought two lots, side by side, from the city for their tax value. He first built a garage on one of them, and then moved into it while the cottage was being built. But after their dream cottage had been completed, instead of moving in, he rented it out to a doctor. Years went by, Victoria says, “and finally his wife said, ‘Am I ever going to get to live in my house?’ and they moved in.” Then, there’s the architect’s fee. West was working for the city fire department when a new-comer to Greensboro walked up. “At that time, if you were new in town,” Neill says, “and wanted to know what was going on, you went to either the police department or the fire department. The fellow says, ‘I’m an architect and I’d like to get my name known around town. Do you know of anybody who’s building a house or wants to build a house?’” Harvey West had the right person and just the right house in mind. The Cleggs figure Harvey got a real deal on the house plans, just like he probably got an incredible deal on the stones — and the bricks — and on other things that seem sort of out of place, like the black marble fireplace that is way too elegant and refined for a little cottage, or some of the antique plumbing fixtures that predate the house and were probably salvaged from houses that had burnt down. Neill: “Harvey was an interesting study. He was as cheap as anyone I’ve ever known.” Victoria: “He was not cheap. He was the original innovator of reuse and repurposing.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Jettisoning a table that seated eight from their dining room, the Cleggs decided they preferred the intimacy of small gatherings and dinner parties of no more than four.

V

ictoria herself is a classic serial entrepreneur. After her parents moved to Greensboro from the Pilot Mountain area when she was 2, they lived on Immanuel Road in the Hunter Hills neighborhood. Her dad drove a truck. Her mom, by the way, played the piano — one they’d bought from Harvey West. She graduated from Smith and, while attending UNCG, went to work for the Greensboro Daily News & Record from 1972 until 1982, first in the layout department and then selling ad space. In 1982, she began selling open-office furniture for Kester Business Systems. Meanwhile, she started her own women’s clothing boutique, Jorges Exceptional Womenwear, on State Street. In 1986, she left Kester to represent several major ladies’ clothing lines from Miami to D.C. She closed Jorges in 1992 and invested in a tanning salon at Adams Farm Shopping Center. Neill: “Victoria has an amazing capacity for promotion and sales.” Victoria: “But you burn out. And if you’re really a high producer, as I was, you really burn out.” In 1994, Peggy Clodfelter, a friend, talked her into becoming a verbatim court reporter, specialists who prepare word-for-word transcriptions at trials and depositions. It was steady work and paid well, but the entrepreneur in Clegg soon formed her own court-reporting company. The job, however, was not without stress. What’s more, Neill says, he remembers Victoria once saying, “where I go to work, everybody is always pissed off.” Says Victoria, “I’m a highly emotional person, and I’d hear these heart-wrenching stories and I would come home and be in knots.” After getting a completely clean bill of health at a doctor’s exam in February of 2002, two weeks later Victoria was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer. “When that happens,” Neill says, “everything that used to be a problem becomes number twelve or thirteen and your health becomes first.” The Cleggs

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

completely reviewed their lives and how they had been living them: “Victoria basically relinquished anything in her life that she considered toxic.” During chemo and radiation therapy, she turned her attention to the house and found the dormant artist in her began asserting itself. “The artist was really starting to awaken,” Neill says. “At one point, I had twenty colors on the living room wall, trying to pick out colors . . . As I got better and better, I wanted to take the house to the next level.” She stops, looks around her and says, “I felt the goodness in this house.” Over the years, Victoria and Neill have taken a tired cottage and, bit by bit, turned it into a comfy little safe haven: “I’m about comfort. I want my home to be a sanctuary,” she says, while conducting a tour of the upstairs. In the guest bedroom overlooking the front yard is an oversized, overstuffed chair covered in thick-wale corduroy that beckons those who like cuddling up with a good book and blanket beneath the warm glow of a lamp. “Neill and I can get in that chair together,” she says. She points to a tiny bed that belonged to Neill’s grandmother. She says whenever visitors see it and its surrounding, “they come downstairs and go, ‘When the world starts caving in on me, can I come and stay in that little room upstairs? I just want to get in that little bed.’” The upstairs rooms are circumscribed by intruding exterior features such as the roofline, giving them charming, eccentric shapes and boosting their coziness. Victoria likens the upstairs to “a tree house.” The windows that frame the surrounding boughs of maples and magnolias look almost like paintings hanging on the wall. “Those are the trees I fought for,” Victoria says, referring to the Cleggs’ losing battle against contractors from Duke Power, who in their view, butchered their trees and heedlessly trampled their plants — even though the Cleggs had hired a private arborist to avoid a tense situation that ended with police coming to calm both sides down. January 2015

O.Henry 63


A craftsman’s conceit of joining two chimneys with an arch was uncovered during renovations — and became a permanent architectural feature in their bath. The antique washstand and the four-poster bed in the master bedroom are both family heirlooms.

64 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


When visitors enter the guest bedroom, they sometimes ask Victoria Clegg, “When the world starts caving in on me, can I come and stay in that little room upstairs? I just want to get in that little bed.” The limb loppers couldn’t have come at a worse time — the same week that the Cleggs’ house was on a Preservation Greensboro tour of homes in Westerwood. Deciding to put their house on the tour was, in its own right, a transformative event for the Cleggs. “When Preservation Greensboro called, the living room was stacked all the way to the ceiling with furniture we’d inherited,” Victoria says. At first, she says, “I burst out laughing because obviously they had no idea of what I was looking at.” Over the years, she says, the house had become more a museum of all the eclectic and interesting stuff that two artistically inclined people amass. As Victoria took art classes and became obsessed with felting wool, projects sprawled from room to room. “We had books floor-to-ceiling,” she recalls. “I stood there looking at all that furniture in the living room and said, ‘Oh boy.’ Then I said, ‘You know what, this is the very catalyst to get me started.’” A number of long postponed repairs loomed. Plaster was falling from the ceiling and cracks spidered across the walls. After some contractors flat out turned the job down as too challenging, Jeff Welker, owner of Renovations by Jeffrey, entered their lives. “He’s amazing,” Victoria says. “This is what sold me on him. He said it is a lot of work, but what a privilege to get to work on a house of this craftsmanship.” But the real heavy lifting came from winnowing down their possessions so those on the tour would have enough space to walk from room to room. Using her artist’s eye, Victoria began picking out what were absolutely the most classic pieces. And then, using her heart, Victoria made a second cull. “I made sure that what remained was important to us. I was determined that everything that was left would have family significance.” Out went the cute and quaint pieces picked up at tag sales — to the tune of $4,000 worth of furniture sold at the Red Collection. Neill: “We took carloads of books to Ed McKay.” Victoria: “At the end of the day if I were dead and my nieces and nephews had to clean up the crap, would it tell them anything about me?” Neill: “We emptied it out.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

But the most important discovery Victoria Clegg made came from a personal inventory: “When you think you may not make it, that’s when you give yourself permission to do stuff. That’s when my art came out and it was not about making money then, it was about exploring myself.” She now has a separate studio where she’s begun concentrating on a media called felting. “Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together,” she explains. “I incorporate its magic into hats, bags, wearables, 3-D sculpture and I even paint with wool.” Victoria reflects that “creative activities allowed me to focus in the moment and step away from the worries we all share. I’m not able to stay in that positive and beautiful place all the time, but my art always takes me back there. Art is healing.” And their house, now that they both have studios, has become a place of refuge once again. Victoria:” It’s a sweet home.” Neill: “You don’t realize it when stasis has set in.” Victoria: “The energy is totally blocked.” Neill: “I remember that I got a book in the library on feng shui and lost it in the clutter. And I not only lost it, but we took every damn book out of this house and it wasn’t here.” Victoria: “It’s in my studio. I found it.” Neill: “No kidding.” So Neill’s feng shui book relocated, the Harveys’ house restored, nonessential possessions jettisoned, health regained, their trees brutally but finally trimmed, and the tour of their home over, the Cleggs are, once again, living together happily, like two old trolls, just like in a fairy tale. Granted, it may not be happily ever after, but isn’t that, in fact, something that only happens in fairy tales? OH David Claude Bailey, O.Henry’s senior editor, and his wife, Anne, need to jettison thousands of books, hundred of LPs and a lot of letters that would embarrass anyone who finds them. January 2015

O.Henry 65


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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”

— Jean Paul Sartre, existentialist philosopher and guy-among-guys

By Noah Salt

Seeds for a Great Garden

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, an outstanding and amazingly comprehensive catalog of great bulbs. www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com

As sure as the January snow flies in the upper 48, seed catalogs descend on America’s mailboxes like a blizzard beginning in January. Ever anxious to be helpful, here’s six of the of old Almanac Gardener’s favorite — free — catalogs, which can be seen online but are always more fun to browse with a warm cup of something on a bleak midwinter day:

Bluestone Perennials, 1,200 fine quality perennials, shrubs and bulbs, a great planning resource. www.bluestoneperennials.com

Plant Delights Nursery, plantsman extraordinaire Tony Avent’s famously illustrated catalog of outstanding and unusual plants and hard to find seedlings, ideal for North Carolina’s weather zones. www.plantdelights.com

The Cook’s Garden, a great variety of seeds, plants, herbs, fruits, flowers and culinary supplies for the well-planted gourmet who loves to garden and vice versa. www.cooksgarden.com

Annie’s Annuals & Perennials. Specializing in rare and unusual annual and perennial seeds. www.anniesannuals.com Beauty Beyond Belief Heirloom Vegetables. Rare and unusual heirloom veggies your grandmother would have loved. Also regional wildflower mixes and native grasses. www. BBBseed.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Outstanding organic and heirloom seeds and fine garden tools from one of our favorite suppliers. www.johnnyseeds.com

Guide to a Bubbly New Year

“Like two lovers who have become lost in a winter blizzard and find a cozy warm hut in the forest; I now huddle everywhere with a friend. God and I have built an immense fire together; We keep each other happy, And warm.” — From The Subject Tonight is Love, Sixty Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A dear old chum of the Almanac Gardener named Edith Hazard and her co-writer Wallace Pinfold published a dandy and dang near indispensable little book twenty years ago called Rising to the Occasion (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) that’s admirably still available via Amazon and other outlets. This charmingly practical guide book to the socially perplexed and occasionally confused proved especially popular as a Christmas or graduation gift to the younger socially delayed set, providing no-nonsense info on how to do everything from change a fuse to dance a waltz; make a great toast to build a good fire. Herewith, a timely New Year sampling on how to open a good bottle of champagne: “Angle the bottle away from you (and any onlookers), grip the cork firmly with the towel or napkin, and begin to twist the cork. It should be a bit stiff. If the bottle has just come from the ice bath or fridge, it may be slippery. Again, the towel will help you get a grip. Twist the cork some more or turn the base of the bottle while holding on to the cork. Ease the cork out — not the cannon shot willfully produced by revelers less skilled than yourself — and then see a puff of carbonated white smoke, followed in even shorter order, once you tilt the bottle, by a mass of delicious golden foam.” Bottoms up, Almanackers! To a prosperous New Year.

January 2015

O.Henry 69


January 2015 Author, Author

Cool Art

2-11

7

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January 2

HY LIFE. 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Celebrate the life • of Greensboro Children’s Museum co-founder Jerry

January 2–February 15

January 2–11

DeKooning, Ralph Humphrey and Scott Ritche at Innovations in Painting: Selections from the Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Hyman by bringing canned food for Greensboro Urban Ministry. Admission is only $2. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum. com.

COOL ART. One-hundred-twenty N.C. artists • working in painting, photography, jewelry and more

help Greenhill celebrate its 40th anniversary and Winter Show. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

January 2–February 8

TASTEMAKER. Check out works by Jim Dine, • Sol DeWitt, Larry Rivers and more at Ahead of the Curve: Selections from the Virginia Dwan Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Key:

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Music/Concerts

70 O.Henry

Performing arts

January 2015

17-25

1/

1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

PIONEERS OF PAINT. Watch the evolution of • new painting techniques from the likes of Willem

January 9, 10

January 2–March 8

BWHAHAHAHAHA! — Monster Jam Trucks! Pit Party on 1/10 at 4:30; special pass required. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800)745-3000 or ticketmaster. com.

DRAW-SOME. See how various media — • charcoal, ink, crayon among others — produce

different effects in Line, Touch, Trace. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

January 7

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet writer and • theologian J. Dana Trent, author of Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-

• • Film

Blade Runners

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

BIG RIG-MAROLE. 7:30 p.m. Grave Digger! • Carolina Crusher! Storm Damage! It’s time for —

January 9, 11

SISTER SOLDIER. 8 p.m.; 2 p.m. A battlefield • orphan adopted by a military division grows up to

have daddy issues in Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment (La Fille du Régiment). Greensboro Opera, Aycock Auditorium, 408 Tate Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0169.

January 10

PADDLE-DEE-DEE. 7:30 a.m. Take a 1.5-mile • kayak tour on Belews Lake — warmed by Belews Creek Steam Station — and learn about winter wildlife, before tucking into a hearty, breakfast

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


January Arts Calendar

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Link’d In

West is Best

28

23-24 25-15

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shoreside. Piedmont Environmental Center, 1220 Penney Road, High Point. To register: (336) 8838531 or email dick.thomas@highpointnc.gov.

1/

a docent for “Noon at the ’Spoon,” a 20-minute tour. Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

TRICK OR TRITT. 8 p.m. Country star Travis • goes “Solo & Acoustic.” Carolina Theatre, 310

January 14

January 10, 24, 31

Shapiro. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com.

BOSS OF IRON. 10 a.m. It’s the return of . • . . the Blacksmith! Catch some old school soap-

making on 1/10, as well. High Point Museum, 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

January 11, 31

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet poets • David (“The Americans”) Roderick and Alan

January 15

A GOOD YARN. 6 p.m. Hightale it to the • monthly Triad Story Exchange. Greensboro City Arts, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 3732026 or greensboro-nc.gov.

HITCHING POST. Noon until 4 p.m. If nuptials • JAZZAMATAZZ 5:30 p.m.Come to the premier • are on your radar, then head to the Wedding Fair, of Thursday Night Jazz, a new, weekly soirée held in featuring professionals who counsel prospective brides and grooms on gowns, flowers, photography and more. Times and venues vary. Tickets: 33bride.com.

January 13

DWAN, TWO, THREE. Noon. Learn more • about Selections from the Virginia Dwan Collection from The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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2/

O.Henry Hotel’s Social Lobby Bar, featuring jazz clarinetist Neill Clegg (See The Enchanted Cottage, page 58). O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-2000 or www.ohenryhotel.com Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

January 16

IT’S MILLER TIME! 7 p.m. Enjoy a little moon• light serenade as the Glenn Miller Orchestra performs classics of the big band era. Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 3332605 or carolinatheatre.com.

GRANDE! 9:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). Catch North Carolina’s new rock phenomenon, The Big Something. The Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

January 17

HEE-HAW. 8 p.m. Homespun humor is comedian • James Gregory’s stock in trade. Come set a spell while he tickles your ribs. High Point Theatre, 220 East Commerce Street, High Point. Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointtheatre.com.

January 17–25

BLADE RUNNERS. The 2015 Prudential U.S. • Figure Skating Championships will put Greensboro in the world’s spotlight. You can see it live. Tickets

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

January 2015

History

Sports

O.Henry 71


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from $10 early in the week, with bargain-priced multiple-event packages available. Times vary. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800)745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.

January 21

DIG IT! 10 a.m. Designer Lee Rogers dishes the • dirt on renowned gardens of the American Eastern

Seaboard. Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs headquarters, 4301-A Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 282-4940 or greensborogardenclubs.com.

January Arts Calendar

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Heather • Cobham, author of Hungry Mother Creek.

Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Sarah • Addison Allen, author of First Frost. Barnes &

Noble, Friendly Center, 3102 Northline Avenue, Greensboro. Info: (336) 854-4200 or store-locator. barnesandnoble.com/store/2795.

January 22–February 8 AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Second Wind • STAGESTRUCK. See as many as twentywriters Susan Williamson, Sheila Englehart and Tony • five new, cutting-edge theatrical works, including Lindsey. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

January 22

BRUSHES AND LUSHES. 6:30 p.m. • Professionals can network over wine and easels at

“Merlot & Monet Wine & Design,” courtesy of the Creative Aging Network — NC. Take home your own masterpiece. Spring Arbor of Greensboro, 5125 Michaux Road, Greensboro. Reserve by January 12: (336) 286-6404 or gbad@hhhunt.com.

some by local artists. Yep, it’s the 12th annual Greensboro Fringe Festival. Info and tickets: (336) 549-7431 or greensborofringefestival.org.

January 23

COLD COMFORT. 6–8 p.m. Combat winter • doldrums at a Frozen party, consisting of hands-on

activities at the exhibit IceVenture: snowman decorating, ice fishing, skating on a sock rink and crafting snowflakes. Children’s Museum of WinstonSalem, 390 South Liberty Street, Winston-Salem. To register: conta.cc/1vcpExq.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Jeremy • Jones, author of Bearwallow: A Personal History

of Mountain Homeland. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

MARSHALL MUSIC. 9 p.m. Can’t you see? • If not, hearing is all you need to enjoy the twangy

tunes of the Marshall Tucker Band. Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800)745-3000 or ticketmaster. com or livenation.com.

January 23–24

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES. Hear how music • has evolved at Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s

“Transformation” concert, featuring works by Ravel, Shostakovich and Mussorgsky. Tickets: (336) 3355456 ext. 224 or ticketmaster.com.

January 24

SNOW JOB. 7:30 p.m. Join singer/songwriter • Philip J. Kearns for a tribute to his late wife, Phoebe Snow, of “Poetry Man” fame. Carolina Theatre, 310

Key:

•• •

•• •

••

Art Music/Concerts Performing arts Film Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

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January 2015

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro


South Greene Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or carolinatheatre.com. DEAD AGAIN. 10 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.) • Cosmic Charlie echoes the sounds of the Grateful

Dead. The Blind Tiger, 1819 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-9888 or theblindtiger.com.

January 25–February 15

WEST IS BEST. As in Mae West, the focus of • Triad Stage’s production of Dirty Blonde. Why don’t you come see it sometime? Performance times vary. Pyrle Theatre, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 272-0160 or triadstage.org.

January 25

SWEET SOUNDS. 3 p.m. Richard Strauss • and Dvorák get initmate with the audience at the

Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music concert. UNCG School of and Music, Theatre & Dance Recital Hall, 100 McIver Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (336) 335-5456 ext. 224 or ticketmaster.com.

January 26

use the N.C. State Archives? Find out from Larry Cates, in advance of the High Point Museum’s Heritage Research Center field trip to the Archives in May. High Point Public Libray, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3637 or ncroom@highpointnc.gov.

January Arts Calendar Nnenna Freelon and six dancers show how hanging laundry created community among African American domestics in Clothesline Muse. High Point Theatre, 220 East Commerce Avenue, High Point. Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointtheatre.com.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Tim • Johnston, author of Descent. Scuppernong Books,

January 30

WONTON AFFECTION. 5 p.m. The Teen • Cooking Class spotlights Chinese food. Greensboro

304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898 ext. 317 or gcmuseum.com.

January 28

AUTHOR, AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Meet Charla Muller, • author of Pretty Takes Practice: A Southern Woman’s Search

’ZINE SCENE. 7 p.m. Celebrate the launch of • The Lyre, Greensboro College’s literary. Scuppernong

for the Real Meaning of Beauty. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

LINK’D IN. 7 p.m. Hailed as the third-best band • of the millennium, Grammy award winner Linkin

January 31

GRAND STRANDS. 7 p.m. Bouffants and edgy • threads characterize the Big Hair Ball, a fashion show

Park brings its Hunting Party Tour to town, with Rise Against and Of Mice and Men. Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Lee Street, Greensboro. Tickets: (800)745-3000 or ticketmaster.com or livenation.com.

January 29

•PRESEARCH. 6:30 p.m. Want to know how to •IT’S A WASH. 7:30 p.m. Grammy nominee Irving Park

that benefits programs of Guild of Family Service of Greensboro and the Piedmont. Swill a cocktail for a worthy cause while admiring Old Hollywood–inspired creations from UNCG’s Consumer Apparel

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•• •

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O.Henry 75


Paintings By C.P. Logan

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February 26 & 28, 2015 Dana & Aycock Auditoriums

Presented by the Greensboro Symphony

From Darkness to Light April 18 & 20, 2015

Christ United Methodist Church

Tickets, Group and Student Discounts, and More:

(336) 333-2220 | www.belcantocompany.com

First Presbyterian Church 24x36

original oil

Original oils, commissions, workshops, studio classes, online classes, painting parties

www.cplogan.com

1206 W. Cornwallis Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408

(336) 272-0160

76 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Noble Academy Arts & Culture

A night of Wine, Art and Design

Friday, February 6 Art Opening from 5-8 pm, wine tasting fundraiser 6-8 PM, $25.00 PER TICKET RSVP for both events at fundraisers@nobleknights.org 3310 Horse Pen Creek Rd - Greensboro, NC www.nobleknights.org

wishing you

2105-A W. Cornwallis Drive • Greensboro

irvingparkartandframe.com

Exquisite Frames Museum Quality Framing Photo Framing 251 N. Greene Street

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Featuring Artist Bill Walsh

336.274.2426

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

MartinsFrameandArt.com

January 2015

O.Henry 77


January Arts Calendar SHOPS AT

KIRKWOOD

2415 Lawndale Drive Greensboro, NC

Retail Studies Program. Elm Street Center, 203 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Tickets: guildfsgso.org. WISHFULL. 7 p.m. Celebrate the “Power of a Wish” with live music, heavy • hors d’oeuvres presented by McConnell golf chefs from each property, complimen-

tary beer and wine with a silent and live auction at the Make-A-Wish gala. Tickets: Sedgefield Country Club, 3201 Forsyth Drive, Greensboro. Info: (336) 299-5324 or adminasst@sedgefieldcc.org. WEEKLY HAPPENINGS

Mondays

BUZZING. 10 a.m. Your busy little bees engage in a Busy Bees preschool • program focusing on music, movement, garden exploration and fun in the kitchen, at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Preregistration: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com.

TALK IS CHEAP. Noon. Apprenez l’art de la conversation française. Pardon • our French if you join us at French Table, a conversation group. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 763-1919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

Tuesdays

READ ALL ABOUT IT. Treat your little ones to storytimes: BookWorms (ages • 12–24 months) meets at 10 a.m.; Time for Twos meets at 11 a.m. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

Explore dark chocolate for your good health 2415-C Lawndale Drive • Greensboro • 336.333.0029 www.LocoForCocoChocolate.com

CHEFS’ D’OEUVRES. 10 a.m. Let your kiddies prepare dishes — applesauce, • cheese quesadillas, French fries — featured in their favorite storybooks. (Ages 3–5). Program starts 1/13. Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. To register: (336) 574-2898, ext. 317 or gcmuseum.com.

STORY CORPS. 11 a.m. Kira Lawson keeps the kiddies enthralled at Children’s • Storytime. Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 7631919 or scuppernongbooks.com.

CHICKEN’N’PICKIN’ 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Y’all come for Skillet Fried Chicken • & Songs from a Southern Kitchen. Tuck into executive chef Felicia McMillan’s sig-

Make Your Valentine’s Day Reservations Now!

nature fried chicken and gravy, select beverage specials, and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring; Molly McGinn; Martha Bassett and friends — at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace, Greensboro. Info: (336) 370-0707 or lucky32.com/fried_chicken.htm.

Wednesdays

CREATIVE CAFÉ. 1–3 p.m. Make art or simply visit over a cuppa Joe at • CoffeeTime. Greenhill, 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

MUSSELS, WINE & MUSIC. 7–10 p.m. Mussels with house-cut fries for $15, • wines from $10–15 a bottle and live music by Evan Olson and Jessica Mashburn —

at Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699 or printworksbistro.com/live_music.htm.

336.383.5917 Key:

78 O.Henry

January 2015

• • Art

Music/Concerts

Performing arts

•• •• Film Fun

Literature/Speakers History Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


January Arts Calendar

ONCE UPON A TIME. 2 p.m. Preschool Storytime I convenes for children • ages 3­–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

Thursdays

TWICE UPON A TIME. 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime II convenes for children • ages 3­–5. Storyroom, High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point. Info: (336) 883-3666 or highpointlibrary.com.

Saturday mornings and Irish music Sunday afternoons. Info: (336) 275-2754

OPEN MIC COMEDY. 8–9:35 p.m. Local pros and amateurs take the mic at • the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www. idiotboxers.com.

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Fridays

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

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Dover Square

JAZZ NIGHT. 7 p.m. Fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee is served with a side • of jazz at Tate Street Coffee House, 334 Tate Street, Greensboro. Also live jazz on

Matouk | Pine Cone Hill | Bella Notte Linens | Peacock Alley | Yves DeLorme | Sferra Linens Dash & Albert Rugs | Simon Pearce | Juliska | PJ Harlow Sleepwear | Beaufort Bonnet Company

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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 carolina-

www.dolcedimora.com

historyandhaunts.com/information.

Saturdays

TO MARKET, TO MARKET. 7 a.m.–Noon. Get fresh with locally grown • produce, cakes, pies and dried flowers for a pretty table. Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro. Info: gsofarmersmarket.org.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. on Saturday, plus an 8 p.m. show appropriate • for the whole family. The Idiot Boxers create scenes on the spot and build upon

the ideas of others, creating shows that are one-of-a-kind — at the Idiot Box, 348 South Elm Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699 or www.ibcomedy.com.

Sundays

HALF FOR HALF-PINTS. 1 p.m. And grown-ups, too. A $4 admission, as • opposed to the usual $8, will allow you entry to exhibits and more. Greensboro

Children’s Museum, 220 North Church Street, Greensboro. Info: (336) 574-2898 or gcmuseum.com OH

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

• ••• •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Fun History Sports The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Performing arts

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

1616 Battleground Avenue, Suite D-1 Greensboro, NC 27408 336.691.0051 mcmanus2@bellsouth.net www.randymcmanusdesigns.com January 2015

O.Henry 79


Worth the Drive to Winston-Salem Viva Vienna!

There must be something in the blue waters of the Danube that inspires music in the Austrian capital of Vienna. More composers have lived there than in any other city, which is also home to dozens of music organizations including the famed Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Boys’ Choir. It is only fitting that Winston-Salem, boasting its own proud musical heritage, should pay homage to Europe’s cultural center with three major events this month. Coming off the strains of The Blue Danube waltz at its annual New Year’s Eve concert, the Winston-Salem Symphony continues an Austrian theme with “A Night In Vienna” (January 10, 11 and 13), part of its Classics and Kicked-Back Classic Series. Under the baton of Conductor Robert Moody (celebrating his 10th season), the symphony and Vienna Philharmonic vio-

linist Christoph Koncz will perform favorites from Vienna’s favorite sons: Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 69 (Laudon); Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; and Der Rosenkavalier Suite by Richard Strauss. For those who want to explore the stories behind the music, Moody and Koncz will speak at a Music Lover’s Luncheon on the 9th at the Piedmont Club downtown (reservations required, and please, no jokes about Vienna sausages) and at informal Q&A sessions following the concerts on the 11th and 13th. And students, from kindergarteners to post-doctoral candidates, can attend an open rehearsal of the concert on the 9th for free (though an RSVP is requested by January 2). Tickets: wssymphony.org. If Der Rosenkavalier whets your appetite for more sweeping, melodic works, then head to UNC School of the Arts for “Richard Strauss at 150” (January 17), courtesy of renowned chamber ensemble, Zéphyros Winds. With UNCSA faculty member Dmitri Shteinberg assisting, the group will perform Til Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche — one of Strauss’ most playful pieces, celebrating the pranks and misadventures of a German peasant folk hero. Speaking of compelling, how about a little twinkle, twinkle to wind up the month? On the 31st, UNCSA faculty artists celebrate perhaps the greatest of Viennese composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (memorably portrayed by UNCSA alum Tom Hulce in the 1984 film Amadeus). Since 1978, the school’s annual Mozart Birthday Concert, consisting of chamber music, has been a popular feature in local musical offerings. Given that it caps off a month of all things Vienna, perhaps the city should consider a temporary name-change to . . . Wien-ston-Salem. OH — Nancy Oakley Tickets: uncsa.edu. Tickets: unaccused. Tickets: untaxed. Tickets: untaxed.vdd

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o W m d n a 80 O.Henry

January 2015

Happy New Year! UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, January 17th • 2-5:30pm Music in the Vines / Johnny Kelvin, One Man Band Saturday, January 31 • 2-5:30pm Pre-Super Bowl Party with Lauren Light

www.autumncreekvineyards.com Vineyards • Tasting Room • Getaway Cabins • Retreats Special Events • Weddings • Corporate Outings 364 Means Creek Road • Mayodan, NC 27027 • 336.548.WINE (9463) The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Worth the Drive to High Point

Bachbeats What does it take to play alongside the likes of Alicia Keyes and Linkin Park while performing in venues as varied as New York’s Apollo Theater, hipsterfest South by Southwest, the presidential inaugural ball, three Super Bowls and a TED talk? Why, pulling strings, of course — literally. That’s just what Black Violin has been doing for well over a decade, and this month,

brings its unique sound to the High Point Theatre. The duo of Wilner “Will B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev” Marcus Sylvester met in high school orchestra class in their native South Florida. Sylvester, a violinist, was first-chair, while Baptiste, who played viola, was second. After learning the works of Bach and Mozart and

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other titans in the classical pantheon, the two would leave class, donning their headphones and listening to the popular new sound of the 1990s, hip-hop. At the time, neither Baptiste nor Sylvester thought of blending the strains of their two musical worlds, but that would change after the friends graduated from college — Florida International University for Sylvester, Florida State for Baptiste — and found that orchestral jobs in post-9/11 America were scarce. Sylvester had, by then, been learning how to mix electronic beats, which he would create for area musicians. When he and Baptiste picked up their instruments and started playing classical tunes to the new grooves, their clients were nothing short of electrified. So, too, were audiences — including the hard-to-please crowds at the Apollo, which crowned Black Violin the Apollo Legends in 2005. And who could resist the pull of a Bach Brandenburg concerto overlaid with a steady, toetapping rhythm? Or a mashup of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Outta Heaven” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” interpreted on strings? Black Violin (whose name, by the way derives from an album by 1930s AfricanAmerican jazz violinist Stuff Smith) also composes original works, such as the rocking “Virtuoso,” and “Triumph,” a moving piece reflecting Sylvester’s and Baptiste’s own successful journey that they credit with thinking out of the box. Or rather, Bachs. Black Violin will perform at the High Point Theatre on Jaunary 24 at 8 pm. OH — Nancy Oakley Tickets: (336) 887-3001 or highpointheatre.com. 887-3001 or highpointhe

recover from the holidays, and treat yourself

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

January 2015

O.Henry 81


North Carolina Museum of History presents

Come Join the Party!

NORTH CAROLINA! Your dog will love our boredom-free run, fetch, swim, slide, play space Through September 7, 2015

A major exhibit celebrating the state’s films and television shows.

See costumes and props from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games, and dozens more!

DAYCARE

LODGING

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TRAINING

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Triad Local Think Local • Buy Local • Be Local

For information, visit NCMOH-starring.com. Purchase tickets in the Museum Shop. Join the conversation: #starringnc Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mask: loan, courtesy of the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, Wilmington, N.C.

5 East Edenton Street • Raleigh 919-807-7900 • ncmuseumofhistory.org

82 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


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January 2015

O.Henry 83


Area Schools Directory School Name Caldwell Academy

2900 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 665-1161 www.caldwellacademy.org

Canterbury School

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Road Greensboro, NC 27455 (336) 288-2007 www.canterburygso.org

Greensboro Montessori School 2856 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 669-0119 www.thegms.org

High Point Friends School 800-A Quaker Lane High Point, NC 27262 (336) 886-5516 www.hpfs.org 

Noble Academy

3310 Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC 27410 (336) 282-7044 www.nobleknights.org

The Piedmont School

815 Old Mill Road High Point, NC 27265 (336) 883-0992 www.thepiedmontschool.com

St. Pius X Catholic School

Focus

Caldwell is a classical, Christian community school that provides Preschool students with the tools of education so -12 that they become lifelong learners.

PreK-8, Episcopal school focused on rigorous academics and service to others with an exceptional teaching staff and diverse student body.

PreK–8th

Authentic, accredited Montessori school using research-based curriculum, which Toddler includes a hands-on, multi-disciplinary (18 mo.) approach to learning. Students study –8th grade Environmental Education, Spanish, Art and Music year-round.

High Point Friends School instills academic excellence, self-confidence and leadership skills through experiential learning, extracurricular activities, and service learning opportunities for students in Preschool – 8th grade. A K-12 Independent School that specializes in working with students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics along with athletics, music, art, and drama are offered. A wonderful K-8 independent school dedicated to providing an outstanding educational environment for students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis. Strong academics enhanced by music, art, drama, and athletics.

2200 N. Elm Street Greensboro, NC 27408 (336) 273-9865 www.spxschool.com

Catholic elementary/middle school emphasizing Christian values and academic excellence in a nurturing environment.

Salem Academy

The Southeast’s premier day and boarding college preparatory school for girls, dedicated to fostering the intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical growth of young women and their future roles as global citizens since 1772.

500 E. Salem Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-721-2643 www.salemacademy.com

Grades

Preschool –8th

K–12th

Enrollment Students: Faculty

802

388

Tuition

8:1

Open to all qualified students and is based on academic records, admissions testing, personal interview, and teacher recommendations.

$1935$9260

8:1

Requirements vary per grade level but include: application, teacher evaluation forms, developmental assessment or classroom visit, transcripts from current school.

$14,450 (K-8) $4,700 (PreK)

260

Under 3 Meet with Admissions years 6:1; Director. Classroom visit Elementary and teacher assessment (for & Middle students age 3 and older.) School 10:1

150

Admission is based on academic records, placement testing, and teacher recommendations. A classroom visitation is also required prior to admittance.

$1,512-$5,000 (Preschool) $7,290-$8,190 (K-8)

Students need to have an average to above average IQ score and a diagnosis of ADHD or another diagnosed learning difference and a current psych-ed evaluation.

$17,840$18,620

175

K–9th

70

K–8th

450

9-12

Admission Requirements

172

14:1

8:1

$7,500$14,992

1:6 word Requirements include an study, average to above average IQ $16,040 grades language and either an ADHD diagnoarts, math 1-9, $13,260 sis or another diagnosed 1:12 all other kindergarten   learning difference. subjects

15:1

7:1

Must participate in a standardized assessment conducted by ABC Educational Services, Inc.

$5,268$7,668

Application, transcript, student Day $20,980; essay, SSAT, three recommendaBoarding $42,980, tion letters, personal interview. Salem Academy Applicants are given careful consideration without regard to race, Grant programs creed or ethnic background. online: available. believe.salemacademy.com

Special Advertising Directory


CONGRATULATIONS

Long, hard slog today writing the Great American Tweet. — Greg Tamblyn

By Sandra Redding

Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; ring out the false, ring in the true. — Alfred Lord Tennyson

LITERARY EVENTS

2014–2015 Visiting Writers Series, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory. January 19 (Monday, 7 p.m.). Jesmyn Ward. Her second novel received the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction. Her most recent book, Men We Reaped, is a memoir. February 12 (Thursday, 7 p.m.). Katherine Howe. This New York Times bestselling author hosted the National Geographic series, Salem: Unmasking the Devil. She teaches at Cornell. February 26 (Thursday, 7 p.m.) Paul Muldoon. A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and professor at Princeton University, he is poetry editor of The New Yorker. March 5 (Thursday, 7 p.m.) Nadia Bolz-Weber. The founding Lutheran pastor of House for all Sinners and Saints, she has published two “God-drenched and liberating books.” April 18 (Saturday, 7 p.m.) Joyce Hostetter writes historical fiction books for children. Her best known, Blue, received the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award. Info: visitingwriters.lr.edu Other noteable events January 26 (Monday, 7 p.m.). Tim Johnston will read from Descent, a literary crime novel “with a restrained tone and a constant aching dread.” Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Info: scuppernongbooks.com February 28 (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). Book ’Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, Robeson Community College, Lumberton. Headliners Terry Irving and Terri Reid join more than seventy other literary presenters. Browse books focused on seventeen different genres. All purchases benefit literacy. Info: bookemnc.org

John F. Blair Publishers of Winston-Salem recently celebrated sixty years of selling books about the South. Badass Civil War Beards, co-written by Anna Marie Hider and Julia Ann Hider, tops their new list. This side-splitter features “over 100 of the Civil War’s most stupidly awesome (and awesomely stupid) examples of facial hair” plus hirsute poems, puns and historical tidbits. Info: blairpub.com Rebecca Petruck’s children’s book, Steering Toward Normal, is an American Booksellers Association New Voices selection. Petruck, who now lives in North Carolina, holds an MFA from UNC Wilmington.

WRITING LESSON

On November 1, 2014, during a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Randall Jarrell’s birth held at UNCG, seven speakers shared memories of the brilliant poet, astute critic and brave World War II soldier. Heather Ross Miller, Sylvia Wilkinson and Emily Herring Wilson entertained guests by relating events of 1961, the first year Jarrell taught poetry. Jarrell called the campus Sleeping Beauty and his students, girls. He boosted their confidence by writing their poems on a blackboard and reading them aloud. Miller described him as “warm and kind.” Wilkinson spoke of his gallant manners, always thanking them for attending class. Wilson said he was “a cup of joy.” Challenging his students to think broadly, he suggested they try writing with pens, chalk, crayons, even sticks to form words in dirt. According to Miller, his objective was to convince students they could change themselves. In addition to writing classes, he taught poetry, once spending an entire semester on The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T. S. Eliot. How successful were his unique methods? Miller, who lives in Stanley County, has published over twenty books, including Celestial Navigator: Writing Poems with Randall Jarrell (2014). Wilkinson has published over twenty-six, and Wilson, who lives in Winston-Salem and is admired as a lecturer and activist, has also penned several poetry and nonfiction books. These three remarkable “girls,” like their master teacher, are a living legacy to his talents as a poet, teacher and person. OH Keep me updated on writer happenings. sanredd@earthlink.net Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in a Quaker Community.

Managing Townhome, Condominium & Single Family Homeowner Associations Throughout the Triad area. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

www.slatterinc.com January 2015

O.Henry 85


Area Schools

Middle School Open House Strong academics are at the core of our educational approach, but we know the best middle school education develops the mind, body, and spirit. You and your child are invited to a middle school open house Thursday, January 22, 6:30-8 pm, in Ketner Center

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Rd. Greensboro, NC 27455 336-288-2007 www.canterburygso.org

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAYTh

JANUARY 11 1-3 pm 86 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Gabe Ingram, Katie Fritts

GreenScene

Evelyn Maxwell, Tom Maxwell, Brooke Telarico

Tiny Houses Greensboro and Interactive Resource Center Celebration Scuppernong Books Friday, November 14, 2014 Photographs by John Gessner

Kevin Guthrie

Renee Perry, Carla Fried

Vance Arnold, Liz Seymour, Fahiym Hanna

Amanda Albert, Jada Tullos Anderson, Michelle Kennedy

John Neas

Hazel Landers, Charlotte Le Hecke

Extraordinary Homes for 2015

Carlson Farms

Old Irving Park

5015 Carlson Dairy Road

623 Woodland Drive

For centuries the love of an English Manor home placed on a perfect private spot is a timeless treasure. Located on top of 21 acres of grounds and gardens with a views of Lake Higgins. Computerized gas powered generator. A Town and Country Estate. Price upon request.

Classic Old Irving Park home updated and renovated. Hardwood floors on both levels. Master Bath with separate shower, pedestal tub, large closet. Bedrooms with built-ins. Screened porch overlooks gardens & play area. Lots of storage & much more! Price upon request.

Old Irving Park

Happy New Year!

Chesnutt - Tisdale Team

Xan Tisdale Kay Chesnutt 336-601-2337 336-202-9687 Xan.Tisdale@bhhsyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@bhhsyostandlittle.com

206 Sunset Drive

Grand one of a kind luxury home… golf course location… designed for the fullest enjoyment of each season and gracious family living. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths. Price upon request

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

©2014 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.

January 2015

O.Henry 87


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Alison Sheri

State Street

Elena Wang UbU Clothing El Naturalista Bed Stu Jon Josef Hobo International & More

Call 336.617.0900 OR . . .mail payment to: P.O. Box 58 • Southern Pines, NC 28388 $45 in-state • $55 out-of-state

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Art of Cloth Parsley & Sage Fenini Comfy USA Lee Anderson Chalet Amma

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January 2015

O.Henry 89


GreenScene COAACH-Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Open House Friday, November 21, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Willie Deese, Sandra Hughes

Jamal Fox, Andrew Coleman, Dr. Rosalyn Lang, Brittany Timmons

James & Marie Harris, Mary Smith

Senator Gladys Robinson

Downtown Greensboro interiors • furnishings • accessories • vintage

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Kickoff to Better Health

Saturday, January 10 – 11 am - 2 pm

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90 O.Henry

January 2015

The Art & Soul of Greensboro


Willie Deese, Nancy Hoffmann

Frankie Day, Regina Williams-Davis

Mia Brydie, Edwinna Kolio-Hicks, Jasmine McKoy, Cierra Reid Alexis Moore, Alesha Lyles

Dana Reynolds, Nailah Griffin, Mikayla Woolery

Provost Joe Whitehead, Dora Som-Pimpong

Cailisha Petty, Ceriese Blue, Kamry Stanford

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Edna Brooks, Dr. Goldie Byrd, Bishop George Brooks

January 2015

O.Henry 91


GreenScene Petty Family Foundation check presentation to P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation Proehlific Park Friday, December 5, 2014 Photographs by Lynn Donovan

Tyler Wilson, Kelly Proehl

Richard Petty, Ricky Proehl Grayson Holland, Nathan Alderson, Christian Beeker

Steve Hutchinson, Richard Petty, Karen Hutchinson

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Ricky Proehl, Jim Longworth

January 2015

Jill Mongelli, Pam Cook

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O.Henry 93


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The Accidental Astrologer

January’s Stars Time for a cosmic re-set, sugar

By Astrid Stellanova

Happy New Year, Star Children! Ruled by Saturn, our Capricorn dearies are truly destiny’s hard-working, hard-playing children. Elvis, Betty White, Kate Middleton Windsor, Jim Carrey, First Lady Michelle Obama — all born under the sign of Capricorn. Who wouldn’t want to share the playground with Cappies? Capricorn (December 22–January 19) The sun transits your sign from January 15 until February 14. Due to Mercury still being in your sign this month, your level of energy continues surging like you just sucked down two Red Bulls. I’m here to tell you that a package arrives — in a form I lack the powers to fully describe, but let’s just call it unexpected. Tear off the wrapper and just know that it is the first of several unexpected events still to come. Deep breaths. Go ahead and blow the candles, but don’t blow a wad this month when the celebrations begin. And they will begin, Sugar. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) If you followed through and started that creative venture last month, this is when you get a better understanding of what it will require. Trust close friends — you’ve got even more of them than hopes and wishes. They can see you more clearly than you know. And listen to Astrid: You get seduced very easily. You have a trusting nature, like my Aquarian cousin Luther. It should take more than a can of pork and beans to lure you to the picnic, you know what I mean? By sign you have so much mental ability, but Honey, you are either polite or unpredictable. Hold out for ham. Pisces (February 19–March 20) There is something fishy going on in your personal life; speak up and don’t let anybody treat you like a durned fool. When you get worked up, you can cuss the paint off a fire hydrant, so keep your cool. Mars is in your money sector next month. You will do fine with finances — and possibly even more than fine. You may be tempted to check something off your bucket list that involves Little Debbie products; why not, Honey? Life can be sweet. Aries (March 21–April 19) Venus may be in retrograde, but that don’t stop you from finding love if that is what you want. Especially a retread love, which is, IMHO, about as good a bargain as a retread tire. Don’t have much wear on it. But money will be in your wallet and a song in your heart. It’s a good year for you if you don’t mind having to work for it. Outside of a second job, try zipping up the wallet and resisting at least every other one of those irresistible things you find. An old power struggle rears up again; it is family-related, so a lot to handle. You’re a softer touch than anybody knows — but you know! Taurus (April 20–May 20) You may win a trip; maybe to some prize destination like Hershey, Pennsylvania. A Taurus has a special weakness for chocolate, and this could be a dream come true, Sweet Thing. With Saturn in your relationship sector, you might just find the one you would want to come along for a cocoa dip in the chocolate Jacuzzi. You will feel compelled to find love this year. If you are already in a relationship, it means you are going to be able to meet your full love potential. If you aren’t, hang onto your Hanes, Baby, because it is going to be hard to keep them on. Gemini (May 21–June 20) Last month, you thought your true love had a cheating heart. Now, you have gotten a fixation on the neighbor. It’s hard to get your traction this month, but blame it all on Jupiter. Jupiter has gotten you all shook up, Baby. Some of my psychic friends call it a curious situation, but that is like calling an eclipse a little shade. Honey, you have a lot more control over things than you believe. Keep your head down, and be sure you don’t spend too much time on trivial crap that really doesn’t matter. It’s all in your hands, truly, and if you keep them occupied, you will not get them caught creeping around in the wrong place.

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Cancer (June 21–July 22) The last cosmic cycle gave you a gigantic wedgie. Now, you get some astral relief. Thank your lucky Mars for coming to the rescue, Baby. And don’t forget to thank Pluto, who is going to transform your relationships all through 2015. Your indecisiveness has not helped one bit; finally you get some clarity but don’t second-guess your choices. Roll with it, and trust the universe is on your side. You have worked hard; try a little time on the playground. Leo (July 23–August 22) Your redneck charm could woo and win a duchess — at least the Duchess of York — when Mars is in your relationship sector. But put work ahead of love in the first quarter of 2015. You can work on your, um, courtly manners later. If you roll up your sleeves, you could have some very unexpected payoffs. Sweet Thing, love don’t pay the bills and you have champagne tastes. If you pay attention to finances, you will have good mojo with money and career options. Astrid don’t lie about money — seldom ever. Virgo (August 23––September 22) Taking advantage of a good deal too late is like restocking floor fans in the middle of a hurricane. So keep up with the stars, Child, and don’t let opportunities blow right on by you. This is a year to pay attention to your work life. Mercury will mess with you but be determined to work through your frustrations. Bait your hook — remember you have to show up first if you want to fish. If you do, there will be plenty of bites and you will snag a big fish on your hook; but give it a lot of play, loose the line, and you will reel it in. And don’t be afraid to go fishing with an old pal — or former employer. Libra (September 23–October 22) You like to explain yourself. A lot. Take it from Astrid. Don’t complain, and don’t explain, just like I used to say in the hair salon. Mars has big power over you by late winter; it will make you urgently wish to seek out new relationships and, as a result, you are a lot more reckless than normal. Move carefully, because your sign especially doesn’t like having to back up when you make a wrong turn, Honey. It is also difficult for you to focus on your work this month, so realize it is OK to gear down and regroup. You’re just a little tired, Baby. Maybe it’s from all that explaining; give it a rest. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) In the middle of January, Mars enters your love sector. You are going to enjoy flirting and fooling around, which surprises exactly nobody as you are a natural born flirt. You, my friend, are so secretive but at the same time so dad-blame transparent that anybody watching can probably figure you out. My Beau bought another Jon boat he didn’t need but tried to claim it just showed up in the driveway. Mercury is in retrograde, so you may find yourself just as frustrated as you make others. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Your fickle heart gets you in a pickle this year. You don’t exactly have the right wiring to commit; but you sure do know how to get yourself into some head-butting, nail-biting drama whenever you go after something or someone. Trouble is, you want something or someone else the next week. It’s hard for you to find your true North. Astrid gets it; so my advice to you is come to terms with yourself and let go of some old business you can’t really resolve. Forgive and forget; your compass will work again, Sugar. OH For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. January 2015

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O.Henry Ending

After I’m Gone

By Sandra Redding

Dear Dr. Oz,

Every afternoon, I pour myself a glass of green tea (oh well, sometimes wine) and pick up a can of almonds before heading to my recliner. Sitting down, I touch a button and there you are, the medical master of TV land.

Thanks for your tips on eliminating ingrown toenails. And as you advised, I now use a ceramic Neti Pot, so I no longer snort when I laugh. Still, Dr. Oz, despite doing down dog just the way you recommend and consuming ample vitamin D, everyone’s time on this crazy planet, including my own, is limited. That’s why I’m sending this letter. Two years ago, after my husband had a fall, I had a fall. Falls became our wake-up call. Neither of us feels absolutely certain about resurrection, but even if our eventual destiny is above or below, we realized something must be done with our dead bodies during the interim. We considered waiting, letting our two sons make that decision after we’re gone, but one is a Democrat, the other, a Republican. Any agreement between them wouldn’t have a chance in either heaven or hell. I considered being cremated and buried in the backyard near the azaleas, but I doubted that would benefit them. When our dog Hopeless passed, we placed his remains in the rose garden. The American Beauties lost all their petals. My husband, sweet guy that he is, thought we should do something philanthropic. Because he spends hours watching TV, cheering for the Tar Heels, he decided to donate himself to the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Every student there is required to have his or her own body (well, actually someone else’s) to fiddle with. I also filled out and signed a form. Last week, after cataract surgery, I reread the contract. Turns out the medical school, even after accepting our generous offer, could later nix our bodies if we developed certain diseases. Recently I was told I had goiter. Is

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January 2015

that an acceptable ailment? I don’t have a gall bladder or tonsils either. Heaven only knows what else I might lose before my departure. The agreement did note that the medical students treat dead bodies with respect. That was comforting until this occurred to me: some of those doctors-to-be are barely more than teenagers. I have grandsons in their twenties who still chuckle whenever I warn them the world’s going to hell in a hand basket. I seriously doubt, Dr. Oz, that the brains of young people are wired to respect elders. As I read on, I discovered the medical school option was not a free ride. The contract stated that my family would be responsible for getting my expired body to Chapel Hill pronto, at our own expense. They expected me to be delivered immediately by ambulance, not a rental car. And if my body wasn’t fresh enough, I’d be rejected like a pot roast past its sell-by date. Though my husband still intends to be sent to the University (as if that will help their basketball team), I, Dr. Oz, have opted to be sent to you. I’ve watched how you carefully put on rubber gloves before handling dead human remains. You even accept damaged livers and lungs, so you can demonstrate to viewers what happens if one abuses the body with food, alcohol — or worse. Last evening, I shared my final plans with my family. My son Joey, bless his heart, agreed to drive me in the bed of his pickup to Piedmont Triad Airport. Our journey will begin soon as the doctor pulls the plug. Joey did have two questions: “Mom, will you need to be packed in ice?” and “Who’s going to pay for your airfare to New York City?” We anxiously await your answers, Dr. Oz. If ice is needed, my refrigerator contains a nifty icemaker capable of providing a plentiful amount of cubes and chips. As for airfare? We believe you have deep pockets; I know you have a generous heart. So I look forward to seeing you. Well, I won’t actually be seeing, will I? And let’s hope not too soon. Your Faithful Fan OH Sandra Redding hopes you’ll read her novel, Naomi Wise, A Cautionary Tale, before her flight to New York City. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Illustration by Harry Blair

What is a body to do?


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O.Henry January 2015  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry January 2015  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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