August PineStraw 2011

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Live the Lifeyou want

Enjoy golf privileges at 7 premier courses!

Call today and reserve your private tour of our spacious homes, quaint cottages and beautiful apartments. Discover all Belle Meade and Pine Knoll have to offer as two

Nationally Accredited Continuing Care Retirement Communities.


910-246-1008 today for lunch and a tour!

St. Joseph of the Pines is the leading provider of senior living and healthcare serving the Sandhills region since 1948.


Wonderful golf course views! Over 2,400sf in this 3BR/3BA villa. Screened Porch. $349,000

National Golf Club

Fabulous kitchen & lovely updates! 4BR, 3.5BA, 2,230 sq.ft., a seren wooded location. $389,000

Pinewild Country Club

Well appointed home on over 1 acre lot. Hardwood floors, Master w/Sitting Area. 3BR/3BA. $425,000

Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

Mav Hankey 910.603.3589

Mary Joe Worth 910.695.5430

Gracious, comfortable elegance with 4bedrooms, 3.5baths and lots of curb appeal. $487,500

Pine Grove Village

When only the best will do! Italian marble countertops; wormy maple floors. Stunning home! $559,000


Beautiful custom home on almost an acre. 5BR, 4BA. Inground pool. PCC Membership. $585,000

Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

Carol Haney 910.315.5013

Donna Chapman 910.783.6061

Custom designed for enjoyment of Pond & Golf Course views throughout the house. $595,000


Lakefront executive home designed to take advantage of the lake views. Elegance at its finest. $950,000

Pinewild Country Club

Edgewood Cottage Vintage Dutch Colonial, circa 1928 - Restored. Olympic pool. 4BR/4.5BA. $1,150,000

Joel Rich 910.315.4009

Kay Beran 910.315.3322

Eva Toney 910.638.0972

Wisteria Cottage- Circa 1896, Restored. 4Bedrooms, 5Baths. 1 Block to Village. $1,250,000

Old Town Pinehurst

Spectacular custom built golf front home. Almost 180° view of golf course. 4BR, 4.5BA. $1,250,000

Fairwoods on 7

Masterful renovation of the former Rectory House. Stunning architectural features inside & out. $1,485,000

Eva Toney 910.638.0972

Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Emily Hewson 910.315.3324









Donald Ross Area PRU3W2Q5

Donald Ross Area PRU5D7B5

Old Town Pinehurst PRU2Q6N7

Old Town Pinehurst




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August 2011


Volume 6, No. 8


54 Monsters of the Mighty Pee Dee The ultimate Big Fish tale

58 Writers in Bloom

Doug Elliott

Anne Aldridge Webb

62 Winged Wonders

The latest winners from the Sandhills Photo Club take flight

66 The Elusive Sea Biscuit

68 Living Aloft

Teresa Rickard

Treasures of the sea, found at one’s feet Deborah Salomon

A retired pathologist finds new life in the Sandhills — and one great view

74 The Constant Gardener

Seven accomplished novelists find welcome retreat and inspiration

Claudia Watson

One man’s love of a garden shows in the smallest of ways

7 10 15 17 21 25 27 29 33 35 37 39 41 42 45 49 78 87 91 93 95 96

Sweet Tea Chronicles Jim Dodson PinePitch Cos and Effect Cos Barnes The Omnivorous Reader Stephen E. Smith Bookshelf PineBuzz Maggie Dodson Hitting Home Dale Nixon The Kitchen Garden Jan Leitschuh Vine Wisdom Robyn James Spirits Frank Daniels III Southern Life Florence Gilkeson The Evolving Species Tom Allen Birdwatch Susan Campbell The Sporting Life Tom Bryant Golftown Journal Lee Pace Letters from the Sandhills Meaghan Kelly Calendar SandhillSeen Thoughts from the Manshed Geoff Cutler The Accidental Astrologer Astrid Stellanova PineNeedler Mart Dickerson SouthWords Tom Stewart

Cover Photograph by Dave Verchick Photograph this page by Hannah Sharpe 2

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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DUXIANA at The Mews Downtown Southern Pines 910.725.1577

PineStraw M A G A Z I N E Jim Dodson, Editor

910.693.2506 •

Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director 910.693.2467 •

Kathryn Galloway, Graphic Designer Ashley Wahl, Editorial Assistant Editorial

Deborah Salomon, Staff Writer Noah Salt, Staff Writer Stephen E. Smith, Staff Writer Sara King, Proofreader Mary Novitsky, Proofreader Photographers

John Gessner Laura L. Gingerich Tim Sayer Hannah Sharpe


APPAREL CoolSweats Gentlemen's Corner The Faded Rose Dazzle The Village Fox Boutique

BOUTIQUES Eye Max Optical Boutique Green Gate Olive Oils The Potpourri Old Sport & Gallery

SALONS & SPAS Elaine's Hairdressers Glam Salon & Spa Taylor David Salon

RESTAURANTS & INNS Lady Bedford's Tea Parlour & Gift Shoppe Pine Crest Inn Restaurant & Pub The Bunker Bar & Grill Tenya Japanese Cuisine and Sushi

SERVICES Brenner Real Estate Village of Pinehurst Rentals & Golf


Tom Allen, Cos Barnes, Tom Bryant, Cassie Butler, Susan Campbell, Geoff Cutler, Kimberly Daniels, Frank Daniels III, Mart Dickerson, Maggie Dodson, Doug Elliott, Florence Gilkeson, Robyn James, Meaghan Kelly, Pamela Powers January, Jan Leitschuh, Dale Nixon, Lee Pace, Jeanne Paine, Teresa Rickard, Vickie Rounds, Natalie Ross, Astrid Stellanova, Tom Stewart, Angie Tally, Dave Verchick, Claudia Watson, Anne Aldridge Webb

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales

Ginny Kelly, 910.693.2481 • Terry Hartsell, 910.693.2513 Marty Hefner, 910.693.2508 Peggy Marsh, 910.693.2516 Darlene McNeil-Smith, 910.693.2519 Johnsie Tipton, 910.693.2515 Karen Triplett, 910.693.2510 Perry Loflin, 910.693.2514 Pat Taylor, Advertising Director 910.693.2505 • Advertising Graphic Design

Kathryn Galloway, B.J. Hill Mechelle Wood, Scott Yancey, Kristen Clark Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488 • PineStraw Magazine 910.693.2467 173 W. Pennsylvania Avenue Southern Pines, NC 28387 • ©Copyright 2011. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. PineStraw magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Cambria Estate Winery • Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte • Villa Maria Estate • Moreau Naudet • De Morgenzon • Belasco de Baquedano • Russian Hill Vineyards Santa Julia Winery • Paul Hobbs Winery • Vintage 59 Imports • Mulderbosch Vineyards • Rustenburg • Kanu Vineyards • Starlite Vineyards • Chateau Desqueyroux

The 23rd Annual Food and Wine Festival s Sept. 2nd-4th • Daily Wine Seminars and Tastings • Culinary Demonstrations • Luncheons and Festive Dining Events Purchase tickets to individual seminars at For more information about our overnight package, visit

Village of Pinehurst, NC s 800.487.4653 s

Kim Crawford • Robert Mondavi Winery • Diseno • Wild Horse • Clos du Bois • Inniskillin • Estancia • Biltmore Estate Winery • Childress Vineyards • J. Lohr Winery Castello Di Fonterutoli • Benzinger Family Winery • Chateau Gabaron • Laurent Miquel • La Playa • Gerard Fiou • Thelema Mountain Vineyards • Terra Andina

> Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards • Nugan Estate • Sella & Mosca • Feudi di San Gregorio • Planeta • Stewart Cellars >

> Ravenswood • Franciscan • Shelton Vineyards • Trimbach Estate • Hess Collection Wines • Authentique Vin • Cakebread Cellars >


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

sweet tea chronicles

By Jim Dodson

As you read this, I’m probably not

here. And chances are, you’re probably not here, either.

August has arrived, or as I think of it: Vanishing Month. Every time you turn around, someone else has disappeared. It’s a little bit eerie, somewhat like a sci-fi movie. You’re pleasantly chatting with a neighbor on Broad Street and turn away for only an instant and ... she’s gone. Could be the Rapture. Could just be the siren call of summer. Anyway, I invariably feel like one of the vacation-challenged Left Behind. If I’ve learned anything from five years in the Sandhills, it’s that virtually everyone I know at some point decamps for someplace else during the month of August. Sometimes that quickly, too. Soon friendly postcards begin showing up from the Blue Ridge mountains or the Outer Banks or the hot springs of Iceland, the castles of the outer Hebrides, Santorini or Lake Como, anywhere but here in the blast furnace of North Carolina. “Having a great time! The water’s perfect. We found the most adorable secluded beach only the locals know about. Yesterday Bill and the boys swear they saw Brooke Shields going topless!” How very European we’ve become. If you’ve ever traveled through France, Spain or Italy during August, you’re familiar with bolted-up shops and signs that advise their owners won’t be returning until September. In its early days, of course, Pinehurst was like that. It shut down entirely, rendering the streets of the village something of a ghost town. An older friend who grew up here recalls riding her bicycle through the village on hot August afternoons without seeing a single living creature except for the odd bird sitting on a limb fanning itself. The ice house in town was known to attract elderly raconteurs in straw hats and village dogs, both with their tongues hanging out, and though a few of the

better-known resort hotels in Southern Pines stayed open for business with reduced staffs — cooled by electric fans — I’m reliably informed that others in nearby Aberdeen and Pinebluff shut down completely. The advent of air conditioning in the 1960s began to dramatically alter that scenario, allowing Pinehurst in particular to become a year-round, fullservice resort rather than an exclusive winter getaway spot. Though businesses here today don’t seem to suffer too greatly from the seasonal vanishing act of locals, proving what a destination this has become for families and golfers impervious to heat stroke, I’m always a bit astounded to reach August and find every other soul I reach by phone either at the beach or up in the mountains. This year a neighbor has taken a long Alaskan cruise with her beau, while another friend on our block shut up her house and retreated to her family’s place in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain for the month. She putters in her “alpine” garden in the cool of mornings, and naps and reads on her porch after lunch. Nice work if you can get it. A buddy of mine is back in his hometown on Lake Michigan for the summer, savoring life in a place he left almost fifty years ago. He called me on a recent afternoon just to let me know he was hiking along the shore of the lake where the temperature was a bracing 59 degrees. Outside my office window the temperature on the street in Southern Pines had just reached 97. “How’re things in the Sandhills?” he asked, knowing full well. “Kind of slow,” I told him. “A tad warm, too.” “Yeah, I hear it’s brutal. Will you get away anywhere interesting and cooler?” “Only in my dreams, I’m afraid.” Growing up in this state, I had an undeniable love-hate relationship with the month of August. After June’s graduations and July’s national holiday and family reunions, summer suddenly seemed to slow down, and the afternoons grew hotter, longer, slower as they edged toward the start of school. My interest in golf mysteriously atrophied around mid-August, and most of my friends went away to the mountains or

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



22 Cedar Lane – 4 BR / 3 BA / Cul-De-Sac


105 Brown Bark Road – 2 BR / 2.5 BA / Water Front


171 Starland Lane – 3 BR / 3 BA / Townhome

This home has it all. Very spacious and elegant with a gracefully flowing floor plan. The main level is home to a formal dining room, a living room with fireplace, kitchen with a nook, laundry room, 2 guest bedrooms, full bath and a master suite with private bath. The upper level is home to another bedroom, bonus room, sitting area, and full bath! Plenty of room for everyone! $329,900 Code 652

Located on Lake Sequoia, this home offers 119 feet of water frontage and the best views of the lake. The floor plan features large wood beams, Pine board walls, an inviting kitchen, large stone fireplace, tile and heart pine floors to give a comfortable rustic feel. Be sure to take in the view from the 2 tier deck and enjoy the stacked stone planting beds! $349,995 Code 628




802 Robinwood Road – 4 BR / 3.5 BA / Custom Built

120 Safford Drive – 2 BR / 2 BA / Golf Front

This welcoming townhome has many desirable features. The main level features a great kitchen with granite counters, a living room with clerestory windows for maximum light, an office, formal dining space, laundry room and a luxurious master suite with private bath. The upper level has more living area including a large loft, a walk-in hall closet, a 2nd full bath and 2 guest bedrooms. This townhome is a must see to appreciate! $249,000 Code 704

103 Vanore Road – 4 BR / 3 BA / Water Front

This custom built home overlooks a small private lake in a great neighborhood. The formal dining room and spacious living room are ideal for entertaining. The split bedroom plan allows privacy for overnight guests. Whipping up family recipes in the kitchen will be a favorite pastime. The master suite is generous in size and features a private bath. Relax on the large deck while looking at the lake! $298,000 Code 736

This golf front in Midland CC offers elegant living at its best! The spacious living room features a floor to ceiling brick fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and wall of windows with relaxing golf views. The Carolina room has a vaulted ceiling, built-in shelving and access to the patio. The inviting kitchen has lots of room to cook. The master bedroom features a private bath. This home also offers golf views and a nicely landscaped lot! $199,000 Code 681




122 Seminole Court – 3 BR / 2 BA / Cul-de-sac

This affordable home is located in a gated community. The kitchen is bright and airy and adjacent to the living room with it’s unique built-ins next to the gas log fireplace. The home also features hardwood and tile floors, chair rails with wainscoting, chandelier lighting and vaulted ceiling. Outside you’ll find a deck and screened porch along with paver edged planting beds! $155,000 Code 533


121 St. Mellions Drive – 4 BR / 3.5 BA / Golf Front

This gorgeous custom home overlooks the 1st green with a view of the 2nd green and Doon Pond. Professionally landscaped and decorated, this home is a must see. Custom features include crown molding, a gourmet kitchen with Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances, built-in entertainment center, Hurd casement windows and much more! $649,000 Code 719

325 Magnolia Circle – 3 BR / 2 BA / Golf Front

This home has a bright & airy feel with its vaulted ceilings and water views. This home offers a private master suite with private bath, a well planned kitchen with Cherry cabinets and a lower level ideal for family gatherings. You’ll want to take pictures of everyone splashing in the lake with your own private beach area! $529,000 Code 493

3 Lake Shore Court – 3 BR / 2.5 BA / Water Front

Beauty, style and elegance are carefully brought together in this golf front home overlooking the 1st green of the Longleaf CC. You’ll love the living room with its soaring ceiling & built-ins, the Carolina room with its walls of windows and the welcoming kitchen. The split bedroom plan allows for maximum privacy. The gardener will love to spend time in the beautifully landscaped yard and everyone will want to watch the golfers! $379,000 Code 713

A designers home on Kings Point, Lake Pinehurst. East exposure with lake views from every room and distinctive features. The main level features a living room with vaulted ceiling and stone fireplace, a charming kitchen and a master suite with spa like bath. The lower level has 2 guest bedrooms, workshop, studio and office area. Additional features: large deck, screened porch, dock, private beach area and more! $549,000 Code 715



45 Brook Hollow Drive – 3 BR / 3 BA / Brick Home

42 Woodland Circle – 5 BR / 4.5 BA / Golf Front

Hardwood flooring and an open floor plan are featured in this lovely all brick ranch in CCNC. This home features a split bedroom plan that includes a 3rd bedroom that can be used as an in-law suite. The kitchen offers loads of counter space, a pass through to the dining room and a separate breakfast nook. This home also features a spacious two car garage, patio with access from both the dining and family rooms, gardening/storage sheds, irrigation system and much more! $350,000 Code 700

Gorgeous golf front brick home with great curb appeal, super floor plan and beautiful long golf views. The well designed kitchen offers a pretty workspace with granite counters, tile backsplash, pantry, breakfast bar and sunny breakfast nook. The split bedroom floor plan offers privacy for the master suite which has a spa like bath. The lower level is sure to please with the spacious family room which features a sliding glass door to the patio and backyard! $399,000 Code 688

View Floor Plans and Virtual Tours of Our Listings and See ALL Moore County Listings and Community Information at 8

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

sweet tea chronicles

the beach. Our family normally went the beach, too, but only days before the start of school, which made our vacation time feel a trifle anti-climactic. Besides, by then I was almost giddy to return to the classroom. During the twenty years we lived in Maine, August was (and is) the mirror opposite of the Sandhills. It’s an occupation month, the height of what I used to call Luggage Rack season, when half the East Coast straps half of whatever it owns on top of the family van and heads for Maine. The population of our quiet Midcoast village more or less tripled after July Fourth and stayed at maximum occupation level clear to the Tuesday after Labor Day. Feeding off the tourist frenzy, restaurants doubled the price of a shore dinner and were basically avoided by locals. We also avoided Main Street at noon like the plague, owing to backed-up traffic and hordes walking the streets. If you dared to go to the beach — ours was a truly magnificent one, by the way, two miles of pristine sand with a rock island you could wade out to at low tide, ironically the beach used in the filming of “Message in a Bottle,” laughably purporting to be North Carolina — you went before sunrise and claimed a parking spot in the small state parking lot. We locals got two whole bucks off the fifteen-dollar-a-day parking fee. By noon, cars from forty different states would be parked out on the salt marsh road leading to Popham Beach, and town cops would be writing parking tickets like party invitations. Most of the time, we avoided our favorite beach until after Luggage Rack season’s abrupt end. On Labor Day Monday, traffic headed south on the

Maine Turnpike, and I-95 sometimes came to a dead stop for thirty miles. A governor of Maine once told me that fifty percent of the state’s income was generated by tourism in August, and I believed him. Up there, my August routine was to stay on my forested hill just outside town and putter around my own “alpine” garden with a weekly afternoon foray out to meet my three best pals for afternoon golf at our club. August normally brings a week or so of insanely hot temperatures in Maine, too — which feel doubly uncomfortable since many natives don’t fool with air conditioning. Curiously, down here in Vanishing Month, I follow a strangely similar August routine, minus the golf. I often walk to work early before the devastating heat of the day grips the world, and I spend my evenings on our house’s cozy back terrace, shadowed most of the day by a pair of huge Savannah hollies, keeping an eye out for those fabulous thunderstorms that bring astonishing bolts of lightning and Biblical downpours that mercifully drop the temperature twenty degrees in minutes. That’s how I spend my time waiting for August to pass, left behind but surrounded by the last Asian lilies and heat-stunned hydrangeas and my beloved blue hostas carried south from my old garden in Maine. I read books I’ve meant to read, I watch evening birds, I often doze off and dream I’m somewhere on a linksland golf course in Scotland, preparing to hit a wedge in a cool drizzle to a beautiful green set against the Irish Sea, when suddenly out of the blue Brooke Shields appears. Then I wake up and remember to water the plants before I go inside and try to fall asleep in the air conditioning. PS

I read books I’ve meant to read, I watch evening birds, I often doze off and dream I’m somewhere on a linksland golf course in Scotland...



Live Resiliently

Are steaming hot summer days causing you to skip your social engagements, miss luncheons and cancel meetings in order to stay home in air conditioned comfort? You can continue your active schedule despite the heat when you choose resilient retirement living at The Village at Brookwood. Enjoy luncheons with friends, book clubs and even exercise classes — all located right outside your door or down a comfortably cool hallway. Don’t wait for the temperature to drop. Come explore The Village at Brookwood today.


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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


Just Dewitt

read Between the wines

Two wine-tasting benefits and a golf raffle will, with the help of a few good oenophiles and literacy advocates, raise money for the Moore County Literacy Council. On August 9, taste a variety of great wines at the Wine Cellar and Tasting Room of Southern Pines, 6 to 8 p.m.; on August 17, rinse and repeat at Sandhills Winery in Seven Lakes, same time. Wine-tasting tickets: $10 (covers the cost of a student workbook). Participants in wine tastings will also be entered for a chance to win a gift basket from Starbucks or a best-seller from The Country Bookshop. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Golf raffle tickets: $10 (prize includes golf for four at three prime area clubs). Information: Susan at (910) 692-5954 or

On the evening of August 5, Howie DeWitt is bringing the funk to downtown Southern Pines from 5 to 8:30 p.m. as part of First Friday festivities. Raleighbased, this trio of seasoned musicians — Ben Hite (keys, vocals), David Thornton (bass, vocals) and Russell Harper (drums, vocals) — has an East Coast following and a flair for making that sweet, funkadelic sound. Food provided by Dog Nation Grill; beverages provided by Carolina Brewing Company. Admission: Free with food donation. Location: Grassy knoll adjacent to the Sunrise Theater, Broad Street. Information:

caught red-handed

For old Time’s Sake

Named for its location on a horseshoe bend, the House in the Horseshoe (ca.1770) was first owned by Philip Alston, whose band of Whigs was attacked by the Tories in 1781 under the leadership of David Fanning in said location. See the 32nd annual re-enactment, re-enactment encampment of soldiers and families, artillery and small arms demonstrations and craft demonstrations, same scene on August 6 at 4 p.m.; August 7 at 2 p.m. Alston House, 324 Alston Road, Sanford. Information: (910) 947-2051.


Join potter Ben Owen III and his family on August 21 from 3 - 5 p.m. to try your hand at the potters wheel, paint a pot or see what other kinds of creative ideas the clay inspires during an Afternoon In Clay with Ben Owen, part of the 2011 Appetite for Art Fundraiser series to benefit the programs and services of the Arts Council of Moore County. Cost: $50. Activities and play for kids and a tour of the Owen pottery and art collection also included. Information: (910) 692ARTS or

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

The Gospel Truth

Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink

Birdhouses. Jewelry. Antiques. Handbags. Comic books. Coins. Collectibles. Baby items. Kitchen sinks... The annual Moore County Community Flea Market comes to the Pinehurst Fair Barn from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 13th. Seventy dealers; yard sale items of every sort. Can you stand it? Food for sale from The Lunch Box. Information: (910) 692-7271.

Together, husband and wife duo Claude and Connie Hopper, their sons Dean and Michael, and Dean’s wife, Kim, make up The Hoppers Gospel Group, one of the most talented and beloved groups in the gospel music scene. Radio success plus an extensive tour have birthed recent fan favorites, including “Shoutin’ Time” and “Blame it on Love.” The Hoppers will perform at Southern Pines Methodist Church on Friday, August 26, 7 p.m. (Amen!) Tickets: $20. Information: (910) 692-3518 or

Love Like the Movies

From August 11 - 15, the Sunrise Theater presents Beginners — a comedy/drama that explores the hilarity, confusion and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Ewan McGregor). (Not your average chick flick.) When Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent), memories of his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) — who came out of the closet at age 75 following 44 years of marriage — come flooding back. Weekdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Information: (910) 6928501 or

Sister, Sister

On August 7, Denise Baker, Sandhills Community College Art Department chairman and founder of Southern Pines Sister Cities, will be joined by thirteen (a baker’s dozen!) talented local performers to present “The Bleeding Pines of Turpentine” at the 22nd Annual Maiden of the Mournes International Festival in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. “Bleeding Pines of Turpentine,” a cultural theater performance featured during the 2011 Palustris Festival, was inspired by an ageold tale of a heroine who saved the greatest surviving remnant of virgin longleaf pines. Slán go fóill!

Toss Like an Egyptian

Throwing balls toward a target is no new concept. Bocce’s been around. (The Egyptians even played with polished rocks.) On Saturday, August 20, the games begin at 8 a.m. at the Pinehurst Harness Track for the Sandhills Children’s Center’s annual Backyard Bocce Bash. VIP Team of Four: $350 (includes courtside tent); General Team of Four: $100. Proceeds benefit children with disabilities. Information: (910) 692-3323 or www.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


our Girl in the wild



y Nicaraguan adventure is still fresh in the making, but this does not mean that I am at a loss for rare experiences. On the contrary, I feel as though I haven’t stood still for a moment, mainly because I haven’t. Though I have been here for more than a month, I am still homeless, living out of a suitcase and packing every few days to take off again; but don’t take that as a complaint, because it certainly is not. When I’m off the clock, I travel and take pictures of volcanoes and spider monkeys. When I’m on the clock, I travel and take pictures and video for AMOS Health and Hope, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of poor and marginalized rural populations. Often these communities are extremely remote, which means hiking through coffee plantations, over bean fields and in the shade of banana trees, or driving eight hours until you can drive no more and then riding a mule for five and a half hours through rivers and deep mud. Fortunately, AMOS trains lay health workers to manage and run their own community clinics, to prevent and treat illnesses and to address root causes of poor health, like contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation practices. These trained health promoters are continually helping their communities while freeing AMOS to travel between communities to facilitate health stations, supervise, educate, and replenish medical supplies. Here’s a prime example of what they are up against. After a five-hour mule ride to El Cedro, the most rural community where AMOS works, I experienced what it’s like to not have clean drinking water. Since I couldn’t stomach the “Campfire in a Bottle” (boiled well water), I had to survive this rural trip on a single bottle of water. Over those three days of baby sips, I realized two things: 1) water is life and life is water and 2) despite my Haiti experiences, I still take water for granted. AMOS brings both the supplies for biosand water filters as well as the experts on how to use them. Interested families attend three training sessions to learn about proper sanitation as well as how to care for and install their long-lasting water filters. Suddenly, with clean water, good health is possible. It doesn’t matter what project AMOS is working on, I always see the same things: beautiful 360-degree panoramas of grassy hills and cattle, stunning faces that don’t seem to fade in my memory, and smiles, so many smiles. Not to mention, change that I believe will be long lasting. PS Cassie Butler was recently PineStraw’s intern. Please don’t wake her.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


CoS AND effeCT

A Sense of Place

Postcard from 1971 of the Holiday Inn that was located in the now vacant lot on US #1 between Ledo’s Pizza and Grace Church. By Cos BaRnes


t a Palustris lecture, dr. ron layne, dean of instruction at Sandhills Community College, used the films Cold Mountain and Nights in Rodanthe to illustrate the use of landscape as a backdrop for film and as a visual metaphor. he emphasized the importance of a sense of place. I often tell my children how fortunate I am to live where I live.the things I love are readily available — church, bookstore, theater, arts centers. I do not have to drive far to enjoy their wonderful offerings. the weather is good, the size of the town is comfortable, and traffic is bearable. When I moved here in 1970 there was not much happening. a limping civic music association was about all there was. I give the arts council a lot of credit for the change, for I remember its early beginnings when we met above Storey’s, a department store in the town and Country Shopping Center. yes, we have grown, but we still retain an intimate, homey atmosphere. the networking is splendid. olive Johnson told me recently of the damage beavers were doing to her place. She called Weymouth Woods, and voilá, the answer to her problem was instantly supplied. Kathy Byron, who is responsible for the school gardens the Communities in Schools group has developed, shared this delightful tidbit with me: a student grabbed his first budding carrot from the ground and ran with it up the steps of the school holding it aloft like it was the olympic torch. Kathy said she tells the students, “When you can actually feed yourself, it is yours. Putting your hands in the dirt is the supreme equalizer,” likening her age to theirs. “digging in the dirt, we are one.” gardening also teaches patience, she said; the children have to learn about time and seasons. “there are no tomatoes in January,” she assures them.

a sense of place doesn’t get any more basic than that. While roaming through my files, I found a letter from Charlotte gantz, the beloved dean of horticulture at Weymouth, in which she sent me a list of plant sources in the area. It was dated 1996. after we met and talked it was obvious she wanted me to appreciate what grows here and how well it does. She wanted me to share her love of the soil, her sense of place. I have taken great delight in devouring the photograph albums of Jackson Boyd’s wife, harriet, which Weymouth recently inherited. Carefully glued and annotated, her pictures depict the Boyd property as early as 1926: her sons in matching wool belted coats and hats, and in each picture their height and weight noted in her handwriting; horse shows, and the running of the hounds; golf tournaments in which the spectators are dressed in church clothes; their horses who bore the colorful names of rufus, Clover, Persimmon, engineer, drummer Boy and trouble Maker. She notes on october 9, 1926: “No rain since august, but a heavy snow on January 10, 1927; a northbound freight train ran off the track in Niagara with grapes, oranges, eggplants scattered all over the county; taking the children rowing on Watson’s and aberdeen lakes; picnics near ellerbe, shots taken posed with the Mammie at the Woman’s exchange; walking Moore hounds in downtown Southern Pines, and judging hunter trials.” as I look, I feel the kinship of the valued place Weymouth holds in our hearts. Call it history, call it legacy, call it a sense of place. My church choir sings a spiritual, “No more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.” PS

Passionate and knowledgeable. These two words best describe the service staff at The Sly Fox. Our staff dedicate themselves to educating our guests about our menus, making themselves available to answer questions and make recommendations, and to being an integral yet unobtrusive part of The Sly Fox Experience. Members of our service staff are truly gratified to guide you through all things Gastropub, but don’t take our word for it; please allow them to show you!

Cos Barnes, we’re thrilled to say, lives and writes in Southern Pines. She is a longtime contributor to PineStraw magazine.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


The oMNiVoRouS ReADeR

The Philosophical Anarchist impassioned as he was contradictory, defense icon Clarence Darrow comes alive in a new biography

By sTePHen e. sMiTH

“When i was a boy

in the country, one of the standard occupations was whittling,” wrote the great american jurist Clarence darrow. “It became as mechanical as breathing. Since then I have decided that this is as good a way to live as any other. life depends on the automatic taking in and letting out of breath, but in no way is it lengthened or made happier by deep thinking or wise acting. the one big word that stands over courts and other human activities is futility.”

darrow’s notions concerning the futility of life are at the heart of his article “attorney for the defense,” published in Esquire in 1936, two years before the author’s death. But the essay is at least an oversimplification of darrow’s philosophical beliefs. how could the attorney who passionately defended leopold and loeb and John Scopes in the “Monkey trial” — court cases that established his reputation as the 20th century’s greatest attorney — believe that life is meaningless? he didn’t. darrow was a man of complex contradictions — an idealistic pragmatist, a stoic who manipulated juries using sentimentality, an agnostic existentialist, a self-professed “philosophical anarchist,” a muckraker, and a hedonist who happened to have a talent for crafting language and logic. he also possessed a keen understanding of human nature, and he had the courage to take on sensational cases that generated national attention, even if he professed to believe that all human activity was pointless. for readers who have an interest in american jurisprudence, James a. farrell’s Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned is the hot new biography of the summer. lord knows the book couldn’t have been published at a more propitious moment. With cable news screaming the details of the Casey anthony case (last month’s trial of the Century) in our faces 24 hours a day and crowds fighting over seating in the courtroom, we’ve demonstrated again our morbid fascination with the latest criminal outrage. darrow, who defended many clients as infamous as anthony, appreciated his fellow americans’ fascination with the ghoulish. he wrote: “the audience that storms the box-

office of the theater to gain entrance to a sensational show is small and sleepy compared with the throng that crashes the courthouse door when something concerning real life and death is to be laid bare to the public.” darrow wasn’t complaining; after all, it was the public’s obsession with the lurid that brought him fame and fortune. darrow has long been a favorite among popular biographers, and the high points of his career are known to most enlightened americans. the specifics of his life, however, are less well understood. Born into a middle class family in Kinsman, ohio, in 1857, darrow was admitted to the ohio bar in 1878 and worked as a government and railroad lawyer early in his career. he left the employment of the railroads to defend eugene debs during the Pullman strike in 1894 and also spoke at a hearing for Patrick Prendergast, who had been convicted of murdering the mayor of Chicago. Prendergast, a “mentally deranged drifter,” was hanged after darrow’s insanity strategy failed and was the only one of his clients ever executed. In the Scopes “Monkey trial,” a homegrown publicity stunt and the first legal proceeding broadcast into america’s living rooms via radio, darrow faced down the formidable William Jennings Bryan. “We have the purpose,” darrow proclaimed during the trial, “of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.” the trial inspired the much embroidered hollywood production of Inherit the Wind, from which most americans draw their impressions of the man. In addition to defending unsympathetic characters such as leopold and loeb, darrow was also an enlightened political activist. In the early years of the 20th century, he railed against almost every popular conservative cause being debated today. he represented leaders of the labor movement, immigrants, the unschooled, child laborers, the impoverished — clients who had the more privileged masses against them. and he was successful in winning most of the cases he took on. But there was more to darrow’s psychological makeup than an unsatisfied yearning for notoriety in the courtroom. given the right cause, he could be an impassioned advocate. he was a lifelong opponent of the death penalty. addressing the United Irish Societies of Chicago, he summed up the belief that would guide him all his life: “Civilization means something more than producing wealth, something besides inventing new ways to make buildings higher and killing hogs faster. all the wealth of a great city cannot weigh against the barbarism of hanging a lunatic in Chicago or burning one Negro in texas.”

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


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The oMNiVoRouS ReADeR

darrow was also a proponent of the free love movement and a crusader for women’s rights. he defended dr. alice Stockham, who was prosecuted for publishing an informational booklet titled “the Wedding Night.” and he hired Nellie Carlin, one of the first female attorneys, to work in his law firm. “Man has always trampled on her [women’s] rights,” he wrote. “out of this desire to control one woman absolutely grew the institution of marriage … and not from any thought of fair or equal contract.” farrell doesn’t understate darrow’s imperfections, which were many. as a believer in free love, he was surely an avid practitioner at a time when

As a believer in free love, he was surely an avid practitioner at a time when such activity was considered sinful . . . such activity was considered sinful, and although he was america’s most respected jurist, rumors of jury tampering dogged him most of his professional life. a defender of the dispossessed, darrow took on cases representing giant corporations and the wealthy, rationalizing that he needed the money to defend his less fortunate clients when, in fact, he aspired to wealth. When working as a partner in a law firm, he frequently pocketed fees, thus defrauding the partnership. Married twice, he was a persistent philanderer. editor and philosopher elbert hubbard wrote of his friend: “I love darrow because his is such a blessed crook. he affects to be a brave man, but admits that he’s an errant coward; he poses as an altruist, but is really a pin-headed pilferer…. he eloquently addresses the bar, bench and jury in public, and then admits the whole thing is a fraud.” farrell’s writing is fluid and direct, and his research is thorough, drawing on many primary sources that have recently become available. Whenever possible, he has darrow speak for himself, quoting at length passages from summations, lectures, essays, and books, allowing one of america’s most complex and influential attorneys to come alive within the context of his time and ours. PS Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry, A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths, is available at The Country Bookshop. Contact him at PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


New Releases For August Fiction Hard Cover the Watery Part of the World, Michael Parker. What happened to arguably the best-educated woman in the United States when her boat was attacked by pirates off the North Carolina coast? Perhaps she was shipwrecked on an island of runaways and forced to survive on tenacity and the will to avenge the name of Aaron Burr, her father, vice president of the United States and winner of the infamous duel with rival Alexander Hamilton in 1804. The Language of Flowers: A Novel, Vanessa Diffenbaugh. A girl who came from nothing but hard circumstances — she grew up a foster child — finds love and purpose through her talent of arranging flowers. She discovers that people are changed by her flower arrangements and begins to craft special compilations of consequence. Vanessa, the beautiful young author, is wildly interesting and was inspired to write the fascinating novel from her experiences as a foster parent. Next to Love, Ellen Feldman. Inspired by a town, population 3,000, that lost 19 young men on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Feldman creates characters that span multiple generations whose lives are defined by that day. The very readable novel encompasses heartfelt correspondence, births, love, marriage, breakdowns, gossip and death before and after that fateful day. The Twelfth Enchantment: A Novel, David Liss. Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances in the industrializing mill towns of Regency England. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity until the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron shows up with a message causing events of conspiracy, alchemical magic, and the precarious fight for the country’s future, and mortal souls all swill in Lucy’s capable grasp. The Lantern: A Novel, Deborah Lawrenson. A Gothic love story set among the lavender fields of Provence, France. Eve marries an older man who becomes secretive about his past. Happy curiosities and discoveries of their home lead to a search for the history he is hiding from his new bride. This book places you squarely in the sights and smells of Provence and has been compared to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Fiction Paperback Becoming Marie Antoinette: A Novel, Juliette Grey. The first novel of a trilogy that follows the woman who became Marie Antoinette. This book begins with the 10-year-old future queen and focuses on her mother’s political agenda. Court intrigue, gossip, jewels and a young girl struggling to capture a teenaged future Louis XIV. Great for book clubs, history or fiction lovers. The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, Ann Weisgarber. Similar to Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, Weisgarber is a white

author who is telling the story of a black woman’s experience. In this case the story follows Rachel, a black settler of the badlands through her eight pregnancies, a drought, a challenging marriage, and racial tension between Indians, blacks, and whites. The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay, Beverly Jensen. Published posthumously through the efforts of Beverly Jensen’s many supporters, this widely acclaimed novel-in-stories offers a richly textured portrait of a bygone era. In 1916, Idella and Avis Hillock live on the edge of a chilly bluff in New Brunswick — a barren world of potato farms and lobster traps, rough men, hard work, and baffling beauty. Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Louise Penny. In this latest novel, three story lines intertwine at Winter Carnival in Quebec City. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is there at the Literary and Historical Society, where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Vacation turns into investigation, and the stakes of the case begin to rise.

NonFiction Hardcover An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life, Mary Johnson. Mary Johnson’s memoir takes the reader on a spiritual journey. Inspired by Mother Teresa, Johnson took the name Sister Donata and became a nun for 20 years. Her memoir provides the reader with intimate insights into Mother Teresa, with whom she worked and became close. More poignantly, the book chronicles personal religious struggle, dedication, and inspires the reader to live and love completely. Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and win the Battle for our Children’s Health, Amy Kalafa. On average, children will eat 4,000 lunches at school before they graduate high school. What are they eating? Where does it come from? What can we do about it? Kalafa wrote this book to further explore these issues and others that she began researching for her documentary Two Angry Moms. This book shows how to help start a food revolution in your community. Seeing Trees, Nancy Ross Hugo, Photographs by Robert Llewellyn. This is a beautiful book that should grace coffee tables all over the Land of the Pines. In Seeing Trees, Hugo teaches us a whole new way of watching a tree, and in detailed, breathtaking, and striking photographs, Llewellyn shows us why it’s worth it. Featuring an up close look at ten classic trees: American beech and sycamore, black walnut, eastern red cedar, ginko, red maple, magnolia, tulip poplar, white oak, and white pine. Slow Love: How I Lost my job, put on my Pajamas and found Happiness, Dominique Browning. Thirteen years after Browning

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



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became editor-in-chief of House and Garden magazine, it folded. Many years divorced, she had two grown sons, a beautiful house, a fantastic garden, and time. This novel of transcendence is pleasing and fresh as Dominique learns to write, loses track of days, and rediscovers the joys of nature and love.

NonFiction Paperback Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship, Gail Caldwell. This is Pulitzer prize-winner Gail Caldwell’s memoir of “an old old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too.� This book covers some of the best moments friendship and life can offer, including a strong connection with dogs and what role canines play in the healing process. Planting the Dry Shade Garden: The Best Plants for the Toughest Spot in your Garden, Graham Rice. Dry Shade — otherwise known as that spot of no sunshine, no moisture, maybe under the deck or a tree where nothing will grow — is no longer a problem. Rice lists 130 plants that can thrive in reduced light and moisture levels and describes helpful tips on how to turn dry shade into lush landscape. Zen Mind, Zen Horse, Allan J. Hamilton, MD. A Harvardtrained neurosurgeon, Dr. Hamilton studies the acute right-brain survival skills (like leadership, awareness, empathy and cooperation), particularly those skills that the horse has to lead, communicate, and connect — not with words — but with the vital emotional energy described in the Buddhist tradition as chi. Examining how the equine and human brains function, Dr. Hamilton also studies great ancient horse cultures to share both spiritual principles and practical applications of horse-human communication. What Color is your Parachute? 1212: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, Richard N. Bolles. The 40th anniversary edition of this classic resource is rewritten for modern times. The core of the book, which has been labeled by Fortune as “the gold standard of career

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


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cHiLdren’S artSy BaBIeS Wear PaINt, Michelle Colman. the 11th book in the series (including fun titles like: Urban Babies Wear Black, Country Babies Wear Plaid and Foodie Babies Wear Bibs), this artsy new title features the babies throwing clay (at the floor), amassing a collection (of stuffed animals), enjoying a still life (by eating it), and posing (au naturel). everythINg I Need to KNoW Before I’M fIve, valorie fischer. Can you count to 20? do you know your alphabet? vivid real-life photographs make learning fun in this getting-ready-for-school title with spreads featuring the alphabet, counting, opposites, shapes, colors, and seasons.

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



Sweat, Dust and Music Galore A rookie’s first Bonnaroo turned out

By Maggie Dodson

As summer dusk fell on a 700-acre farm

outside tiny Manchester, Tennessee, a hillside dotted with thousands of tents suddenly came into view as we approached the entrance gates to Bonnaroo. The sound of car engines humming and beer cans opening set the tone for a dusty makeshift city that sprawled beyond the gates.

This was the highlight of my summer vacation — coming days after college graduation, no less — a trip to an event that has grown to almost legendary proportions, a four-day music and arts festival that features multiple stages of live performances and a diverse array of musical acts including indie rock, jazz, hip-hop, bluegrass, folk, country, blues and reggae. The first Bonnaroo gathering took place in 2002 with no traditional advertising, and sold out in just two weeks, never glancing back. Notable acts have included Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Phish and Radiohead. The festival name itself derives from New Orleans street slang that means “a good time.” I was all in favor of that. Having only heard about the gritty magic of Bonnaroo from friends and a younger brother who attended, I was eager to check out the festival for myself, especially on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, boasting a list of bands that included many of my favorites. I’d come to Bonnaroo with a keen desire to see Sleigh Bells, a girl-boy duo I’d been smitten with for some time. But I was told by several veteran festival-goers beforehand that if I went to the trouble to attend Bonnaroo (which in my case involved a series of delayed flights from Vermont to North Carolina, a long drive through the mountains to Tennessee, and much car sickness) and failed to see Arcade Fire, I would never forgive myself. To many, Bonnaroo acts as a counterpoint to the vast musical landscape of the Internet, a place to interact with the living roots of modern music with a strong focus on environmentalism. That pretty well describes my best hopes for the festival when my boyfriend and I arrived late on Thursday, claiming our tent site in a sea of people. Suddenly, in a cloud of dust and excitement, the hellish trip down and car sickness were things of the past, and with a press pass that permitted me to go just about anywhere there was something happening, this festival rookie set off to get initiated. Thursday acts as an opportunity to hear upcoming talent, lesser known bands that have just begun to surface. Acts such as J. Cole (a North


Carolina native), Best Coast, Freelance Whales and Sleigh Bells were scheduled, and I couldn’t have been more eager to hear them perform live — which is, after all, why 30,000 folks show up here every summer. Between acts at five different stages, fans invariably drift into CenterRoo, the sprawling main hub of attractions that features stalls and food carts of every stripe, watering stations, sports bars, salons, shops — even a Ferris wheel. Arranged like a vast tented bazaar, the variety of places to sit, drink, eat and shop seems, well, endless, not to mention premium-priced. Your daddy’s rock festival this ain’t. But since most acts don’t even take the stage before noon each day, fans need a place to unwind, cool off, and in many cases recover from a hangover of cold beer and great music. I found weaving through the tides of festival-goers a charming experience. It was like walking through a human kaleidoscope, with colors, smells, and plenty of dusty characters. Many audience members toted umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun while others wore costumes, fairy wings and face paint. I put a bow in my hair in an attempt to channel some of their happiness and excitement. It seemed to work, too. My first concert on Thursday was Best Coast, an impromptu decision based on how great they sounded when I just happened to walk by as they were warming up. I watch as they performed “Boyfriend” and “I Want To” and I was enticed by a wave of cheering to stay, and listen. The sun setting over the distant hills and the cold beer in my hand and the rowdy camaraderie of my fellow concert-goers worked their magic on me. Best Coast sounded like a band I might have adored in high school, a mixture of surf-pop and retro, and hearing them live was a pleasure. My feet and legs were caked with dust, my brow sweaty. Much to my own surprise, being a girl who prefers the mud of a spa to the mud of a field, I hardly seemed to notice. Dirty and unwashed, I felt an amazing connection to the bands and their music, the inherent link between artist and fan. Best of all this first night — when so many of my impressions were formed — the crowd at Sleigh Bells was by far the largest of the Thursday concerts, swelling far beyond the boundaries of the tent. I walked home to my own humble tent after the show and realized that I’d actually forgotten to set it up. But after an evening like that, who cared? Friday arrived with a wave of heat and more dust. The line to take a shower was much longer, people willing to spend $7 for a blast of cold water. In the crowds at Centeroo, apples and peanuts and smoothies for breakfast ended up being a smart choice for this rookie, as the temperature climbed and the desire to chow down on the various gourmet meals on offer was surprisingly low.

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Photographs by David Burnett-Manard

to be a trip to rock ’n roll Heaven


I took myself off to press conferences that included some of the headliners: Stephen Stills from Buffalo Springfield, Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jerry from Ben and Jerry’s and even Kareem Abdul Jabar. The conferences focused on the importance of Bonnaroo and its stated objectives of the festival — to foster a love of original music and promote environmental stewardship. In reference to the spiritual side of things, one of the organizers described it “as close to church as a lot of us are going to get.” Despite soaring temperatures, long lines and steep prices ($6 for a beer, $4 for a bottle of water), the citizens of Bonnaroo seemed happy and perfectly content to be covered head to toe with sweat and dust. For all the dense crowds and constant shuffle of people from one place to another, a remarkable civility prevails at Bonnaroo. I was fully prepared to punch someone who trampled my toes or shoved me out of the way to get a glimpse of their favorite singer. But it just never happened. People behaved beautifully for the most part, conveying a genuine spirit of open-air fellowship. So if you’re worried about your children growing up and going off to Bonnaroo, to paraphrase an old Crosby, Stills and Nash song, treat them well, and let them go. There were two deaths, I later read, but in a city of 30,000 that would be fairly normal. Overall, it was my impression that you couldn’t have found a better behaved sea of people — and serious music fans — anywhere else. Of course, everyone was right about Arcade Fire. Famous for their live performances, characterized by high-energy and enthusiasm, the 7-person Canadian band really do represent the soul of Bonnaroo: kind, talented, and surprisingly humble. They play their music as if it really is their religion. Unable to find a spot among the sea of fans, I found a spot in the bleachers off to the right of the main stage, and almost by accident had one of the best views of the show — maybe the festival itself. As others have claimed, Bonnaroo isn’t simply about the music. It’s about the relationships that form serendipitously, the wonderful feeling that comes over you upon hearing a song you love played live on a summer night beneath the stars. Watching hands rise into the night and people sway to the songs of Arcade Fire — the highlight of my first Bonnaroo experience ‚— as they played their beautiful anthem “Wake Up,” seemed like the perfect way to finish my first trip to the hottest music festival in America. But if the way those four days of heat and dust and music have stayed with me, it probably won’t be my last. PS Maggie Dodson, a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, is currently a summer wine intern at the historic Shelburne Inn in Vermont. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


Deconstructing the Face (drawing). JJ Love

September 6-9, 9:00-1:00. $105 member/ $135 non-member. min.6/max.12

Post-Impressionist Small Works and Miniatures. Jean Brylowe

September 15, 9:00-4:00. $40 member/ $50 non-member. min.6/max.14

Follow the Leader (oils). Joan Williams September 19, 10:00-3:00 $70. max.15

Painting Local Scenes (oil or acrylic). Harry Neely. A Step-by-Step class September 20-22, 9:30-4:00. $100 member/ $130 non-member. min.6/max.16

In The Studio With June (watercolor). June Rollins

Introduction to Chinese Brush Painting. Loretta Moskal

Shadow and Light (oils). Diane Kraudelt.

Drawing the Figure. Betty DiBartolomeo. A Step-by-Step class

September 23, 9:00-4:00. $40 member/ $50 non-member. min.6/max.14

October 4, 11, 9:00-4:00. $80 member/ $100 non-member. min.6/max.12

Abstract Intuition (acrylics). JJ Love October 5, 12, 19, 9:00-2:00. $80 member/ $100 non-member. min.6/max.12

Watercolor and Charcoal Portraits. Irene Dobson

October 20, 10:00-4:00. $35 member/ $45 non-member. min.6/max.10

In The Studio With June (watercolor). June Rollins

October 21, 9:00-4:00. $40 member/ $50 non-member. min.6/max.14


October 22, 9:00-4:00. $55 member $75 non-member (includes supply fee) min.6/max.12

October 24 - 26 1:00-4:00. $90 member/ $110 non-member (includes supplies and model fees). min.6/max.12

Exchange Street Gallery

“Jewels in the Saowndhrunillss �

Sh July 31st through August 31st

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

h i tt i n g h o m e

The Vacationer’s Prayer I sure need the break. Fortunately, God doesn’t

By Dale Nixon

Dear Lord,

I’m ashamed to admit it, but it has been some time now since I have talked to you. Oh, I know we’ve shared a word or two in passing. I’ve mumbled to you several times as I drove down the road, stirred the soup, or just before I closed my eyes at night, but this conversation needs to be more than that. Since I’m more comfortable writing than I am talking, please lean over my shoulder and read this letter as I type. Lord, I want to apologize for neglecting You over this long, hot summer. The steamy weather and the break in a busy schedule were the perfect excuses for taking a vacation from You. Each Sunday I announced to family and friends it was just too hot to get all dressed up to sit through Sunday morning worship services. Struggling with pantyhose, tight clothes and uncomfortable shoes could wait until fall. Sunday school lesson books were put on the shelf, and the offering envelopes bearing our names were stashed in a drawer. I’d pull them out in September. Sundays with silent alarm clocks and a pause in the routine — that’s what a summer should be. I remained uncommitted and exercised my right to say, “No.” Teaching vacation Bible school was no vacation to me, and anyway, that was probably the same week we’d be at the beach. Join a circle? Hold an office? Well, I’d just have to wait and see. There were those times I should have baked a cake or fixed a casserole for the sick or bereaved. But, Lord, as You planned it, the fresh vegetables of the season came in, and I was too busy shelling, shucking, stringing

and cooking for my own family. And I gave my family top priority this summer. We went to the mountains, picnicked in the mountains, swam in the ocean and took long rides through the country. We ate well, and we played hard. We were on VACATION for several glorious months. So, if we’ve had so much fun this summer, why am I offering my apologies to You? It’s because I suddenly realized that I have taken a vacation from You, but You haven’t taken one from me. I have seen and heard You every day of this season. The sun has continued to shine and the rain has continued to fall. The ocean waves wash in and out with the tide as they always have done. The mountains remain majestic, and flowers and vegetables continue to grow. The grass is still green, the sky is still blue, and rainbows awe us with their colorful show. One day has followed the other without a break in the routine. I have yet to read that a miracle was postponed due to the holidays or because of the extreme heat. There is comfort in knowing You never take a vacation, and remorse in thinking of my extended leave. So, Lord, if You’ll accept my humble apologies, next year I’ll just block out a week. Love and thanks, Dale PS Columnist Dale Nixon resides in Concord but enjoys a slice of heaven (disguised as a condominium) in the village of Pinehurst. You may contact her by e-mail at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


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August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

The kitchen garden

Sandhills Melons Our lighter soil produces varieties that are divine

By Jan Leitschuh

It’s been years since

a melon vine snaked across the property here, or over a fence (requiring ridiculous slings for the dangling, ripening fruits). Personally, I found the vines beset with pests and powdery mildew, which I could live with. Their greatest home-garden sin, it turns out, was actually ripening all the large fruits at once. Despite heroic efforts, it must be said that a tiny mountain of melons cannot be wholly consumed before over-ripeness sets in.

But since area farm stands, farmers markets and the local Co-op have been pumping out old favorites and new boutique varieties since July, melon lovers can pick and choose their quantities and varieties. Which is a gift because local Sandhills melons are on par with, as the song goes, “true love and homegrown tomatoes.” “If you live in the Sandhills, you ought to like melons,” says Eagle Springs, NC, farmer Billy Carter, who has buyers from as far away as south Virginia seeking his cantaloupes, watermelons, honeydews, Crenshaw and Sprite melons. “They’re traditionally grown here, and they taste better. I can guarantee you, there is a difference between a melon grown on heavy (clay) land, and one on lighter land. That’s what they (the distant buyers) tell me anyway.” Atop regional pride of product, shopping “local” — or growing your own — is about the very best way to get a truly ambrosial melon. To get a ripe melon, one must pick a ripe melon. And yet, due to the nature of long-distance shipping of produce to market, melons found in stores often must be picked somewhat before their optimum sweetness and maturity in order to transport well and not spoil on the shelves. Melons get softer once off the vine, but not really sweeter, so knowing how to pick one can make the difference between enjoying them and indifference. A ripe melon has a seductive fragrance, a true come-hither fruit perfume, and will depress very slightly around the blossom end. That’s where the “local” comes in. Good melon farmers understand the vagaries of the various melons grown. Ask them to show you, every chance you get. A true melon artist, with a waiting market salivating for truly ripe cantaloupe, will try to time things so the melons with netted skin (like the Galias, cantaloupe and other musk melons) are harvested at “full slip,” a time when the maturing stem turns corky at the fruit juncture, allowing the ripe fruit to “slip” free of the vine. Avoid specimens with stems or tears near the stem, as they may have been picked unripe. A short “mellowing” time on the kitchen counter does seem to consolidate the sweet fragrance. Eating ought to commence from between one to

three days after picking. Try not to slurp, dear. Other melons such as the green — and sometimes orange — fleshed honeydew take more guessing, and are cut rather than “slipped” from the vine. The sniff test is useful — that sweet fruity fragrance ought to induce salivation. Sometimes shaking a honeydew tells a tale, as when ripe the seeds can rattle, or when shallow brown “sugar cracks” or lines form on the pale exterior. Watermelons can be tricky too. I like to look at the pale spot where the melon lay on the ground. When ripe, that green or white spot turns kind of creamy yellow. Of course, give it a good thump for form’s sake. But above all, inhale deeply. A good melon siren-songs you, and although to me a watermelon does not get the perfume of the muskmelons, there’s a fresh smell of summer about. There are some 50-plus watermelon varieties, and not only pink and red flesh but orange, white and yellow as well. Size varies from “icebox” size to 40-lb whoppers, shape from round to oval, with seeds or seedless options, so select to fit your picnic. Lucky for us, area farmers are experimenting with a variety of specialty melons. Looks for these at farm stands and farmers markets, or grow them yourself. I once tried to grow the small Charentais melon. One cold, snowy January I fell in love with the seed catalogue picture of these exquisite grapefruit-sized minimelons. Also called French or French breakfast melons, “these are considered by many to be the most divine and flavorful melons in the world,” bleated the ad copy, or words to that effect. And that may well have been the case. But I dithered over my growing little crop, unsure when to actually harvest them. The skin was a grayish yellow-green color, and I missed it. By the time I decided to go ahead and try one, their time was past, the skin turned yellowish, and the pale orange flesh was beyond sweet — it had turned, and some had cracked. The melons were aromatic, though, flowery and rich. Should have followed my nose, not my head. Another little cutie showing up from time to time in area markets and stands is the North Carolina specialty melon “Sprite.” I first tasted one purchased from the Highlander Farms stand near Carthage. You could call it a personal melon. I really like tiny melons. Hardly bigger than a softball, the flavor (to me) is exquisite and unusual — a flesh crisp like an apple or Asian pear, with a melon-y and pear-y sweet taste. Split one and have breakfast for two, especially with berries or yogurt plopped in the center. Ripe melons have a mottled yellow skin with the sugars sometimes leaking through the skin, while unripe melons are a pale cream color. If you track some down locally, consider yourself lucky. “Moon and Stars” heirloom watermelon is another interesting specimen you can track down at some farm stands or markets. Again, Highlander was the source. Visually stunning, the attractive dark green skin of the round melon is splashed with a bright yellow “moon” and several “stars,” the interior seamed with motherlode of excellent “spittin’ seeds” — which, if saved, will breed true. The red flesh is sweet and excellent. Yet another Highlander Farm discovery for me was the bright yellow Juan Canary melon. Patty Burke was minding the market that day, and handed me a juicy slice of dripping, white-fleshed, absolutely dead ripe, ever-so-slightly lemony,

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


The kitchen garden

yellow-rinded melon on a very hot and dehydrating afternoon. This was perhaps my peak melon experience, one which I’ve sought to recreate in every melon since. The experts say that good-quality Canary melons will be firm with a small amount of softness at the stem end. The coloring will be bright crayon yellow with no green on the skin. The skin will have a slightly waxy feel when truly ripe. I got a quick taste of the tiny “Sun Jewel” melon last year, and was so favorably impressed I look forward to re-testing my impressions. A refreshing Korean melon about the size of a very fat, oblong pickling cuke, you can hold it in your hand. The very attractive exterior is that same bright yellow as Juan Canary, but shot lengthwise with white stripes. I found the pale flesh juicy but not drippy, mildly sweet with a clean, pear-like taste. Apparently, the smaller ones are the sweetest, with the seeds being edible and actually intensifying the sweetness — though I scooped them out of mine, not knowing this tip. The larger melons should be scooped. It’s said to bruise easily. This pretty melon also came from Highlander Farms’ stand, and I look forward to tracking it down again this summer before the heat of August beats everything down. I could go on, as there are many more varieties of melon. Try everything you can find. Local farmers are experimenting too, and if you like one, let them know. As for preparation, simply know melons go well sliced, lightly salted, at room temp or chilled, with a drizzle of yogurt or your favorite citrus liqueur, raw, in fruit platters, with prosciutto, cut with a melon baller and tossed into your favorite fruit salad, used as a fruit bowl, carved, gingered or juiced. But my favorite way to handle an overwhelmingly large melon is to either juice it and drink it, or juice it and turn it into a marvelous frozen granita for desserts. Cut melon in half, then scoop out seeds, as usual, then chunk it and blend in a food processor or blender. Add a splash of liqueur, tequila or brandy if you like, squeeze in the juice of a couple of limes or lemons, toss in the zest too while you’re at it. Some folks will add extra sugar or stevia to offset the citrus, and a pinch of sea salt. Depending on the actual melon, some useful additions to blend in might be mint (nice with a honeydew), ginger (good with cantaloupe), orange juice, a few ripe peaches, even hotter spices like basil, cinnamon or cayenne to liven up the summer. Freeze in a metal bowl or glass dish, and starting at two hours, stir every 30 minutes or so until crumbly and friable. I’ve been not so vigilant, and chopped up frozen chunks in a food processor before serving. Serve in a glass or clear bowl and kick back for a brain-freezing summer fruit treat. PS Jan Leitschuh is a local gardener, avid eater of fresh produce and co-founder of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative.


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Sanford 

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

V i n e W i sd o m

The Bloom of Rosé Once scorned, this accidental discovery is now a blushing sucess

By Robyn James

It is always in the heat of the summer that my cravings for dry rosé kick in.

Europeans have relished dry rosé for centuries, but until a few years ago, it was a tough sale to American consumers, who are prejudiced against the pink color. We have White Zinfandel to thank for that. In 1975, Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel experienced a “stuck fermentation,” a problem that occurs when the yeast dies out before consuming all of the sugar. This problem juice was set aside. Some weeks later the winemaker tasted it, and preferred this accidental result, which was a sweet pink wine. This is the style that became popular and today is known as White Zinfandel. Sutter Home realized they could sell far more White Zinfandel than anything they had produced to date, and gradually became a successful producer of inexpensive wines. They remain one of the biggest producers of the wine, with annual shipments of over four million cases. Their success resulted in confusion and plummeting sales of European dry rosés, but time has changed that. I have found that consumers traveling to Europe and other continents discovered the fabulous rosés being offered in the neighborhood cafés. Today, rosé sales have surpassed white wine sales in France. A winemaker can make a rosé from any type of red wine grape. The juice must remain in contact with the skins of the grapes in order for the color to turn from white to pink to red. If the primary purpose of the winemaker is to make a rosé, the skins are removed from the vat as soon as the wine turns pink. In some cases, the winemaker’s primary purpose is to produce a more intense red wine through the Saigneé method. This is the process of “bleeding off” some of the pink juice to ideally obtain a more tannic, complex red with the remaining juice. Purists of rosé do not believe in blending red and white grapes together to achieve the blush color. This is an awkward and unfriendly effort, except in Champagne, where typically Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are blended together. Along with the acceptance of dry rosés in the market, winemakers from

California and Oregon are turning out some awesome rosés to rival their imported peers. Particularly, the rosé of Pinot Noirs are delicious. Look for Adelsheim, Belle Glos and Sean Minor. From Europe, the rosés from Rhone are typically blends of Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache. The Mercedes of all French rosé, I believe, are those from the tony resort town of Bandol. Here, the gorgeously coppered colored rosé is from 100 percent Mourvedre grape and has an earthy depth and complexity that is unique. Here are some of my favorites: DOMAINE GROS NORE BANDOL ROSé, Approx., $30 “Full, ripe and creamy, displaying lush and alluring fruit flavors of raspberry, cherry and plum. The long finish of white chocolate and spice features hints of pepper.” RATED 91 POINTS, THE WINE SPECTATOR LA VIEILLE FERME COTES DU VENTOUX ROSé, FRANCE, Approx., $9 “This has a nice dark cherry color, with tasty cherry, ripe strawberry and mineral notes that all weave through the fresh finish. Lively and tasty.” RATED BEST VALUE, 87 POINTS, THE WINE SPECTATOR MULDERBOSCH ROSé OF CABERNET SAUVIGNON, SOUTH AFRICA, Approx., $13 “Light and fresh, with firm cherry and watermelon rind notes. Drink now.” RATED 85 POINTS, THE WINE SPECTATOR ETUDE ROSé OF PINOT NOIR, CARNEROS, Approx., $20 “A delicate and fragrant rosé, displaying a light pink hue and notes of cherry blossom, vanilla and herbs.” RATED 86 POINTS, THE WINE SPECTATOR PS Robyn James is proprietor of The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room in Southern Pines. Contact her at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

S p i r i ts

Have You Seen Tom Collins?

Despite uncertain origins and overuse, this classic is a summertime keeper By Frank Daniels III

We invited some new friends over for din-

ner the other evening and my wife mentioned that we would start the evening with a Tom Collins. Yes, that absurd leftover from the Eisenhower years.

John, perhaps thinking of the Tom Collins’ unfortunate recent history, maybe even thinking of heinous suburban activities that occurred with the consumption of such an unsavory cocktail, apparently told his wife that there was no way in hell he was having a Tom Collins. He was late arriving to the backyard, and Laurie quickly said, “John, this is great!” in an exaggerated voice. John tasted his Tom Collins, and as he made his way down to the cherry, they told us about his reaction to the thought of a Tom Collins. “But this can’t be a Tom Collins,” he sputtered as he asked for another. Like so many classic cocktails, the Tom Collins has suffered the fate of too much popularity and distorted production. Most of us have only had a shadow of the original, and like all shadows, it’s nothing like the real thing. Collins mix should receive one of the new graphic warning labels to prevent self-abuse. The Tom Collins is simple, fresh, unappreciated and fabulous. It is particularly good with the hard to find Hayman’s Old Tom Gin and made according to the 19th century original recipe, but it is just as good with modern dry gins. You know what a difference fresh-squeezed juice makes in a cocktail, and the gin and fresh juice are what make this cocktail so refreshing. A small dash of sugar, a bit of club soda and garnishes finish it. It is worth resurrecting this classic gin cocktail. There are a couple of legends around the origination of the Tom Collins; depending on whether you like an American version or an English one — choose your own. One version holds that an English bartender created the Tom Collins in the mid19th century as a variation of the John Collins, a warm-weather drink made with Holland Gin, lemon juice and carbonated water. The Tom Collins substituted the very popular, slightly sweet Old Tom Gin that was the standard gin of the day for the heavily flavored and aromatic Holland-style gin. American lore says that the cocktail is named in honor of the “Great Tom Collins Hoax.” This was a wonderfully silly urban flummox where someone would ask, “Have you seen Tom Collins?” To which the reply was, “No. Who?” And the response was, “He was just saying these things about you. He’s right around the corner.” And on and on the game would go. Newspapers picked up the trend, and Tom Collins sightings from around the city were reported diligently. For reasons that might elude the modern city dweller, this was all the rage in New York during the summer of 1874. As these fads do, it died out, and in 1876 an enterprising barkeep, Jerry Thomas, honored it with the Tom Collins. Regardless, the Tom Collins is a summer cocktail that should not be relegated to history, but enjoyed for the refreshing drink that it is. Enjoy.

Tom Collins

2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin (or a dry gin like Plymouth) 1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/2½ tsp Simple syrup (or sugar) ozs Club soda Orange slice Maraschino cherry

Stir the gin, lemon juice and sugar in a cocktail pitcher until frosty. Pour into an ice-filled Collins glass (12 oz. straightsided glass) and top slowly with soda. Stir gently to mix and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. PS Frank Daniels III is an editor and writer living in Nashville, Tenn. His cocktail book, Frank’s Little Black Bar

Book, Wakestone Press, is available at The Country Bookshop.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

southern life

Kitty Gray and the Lawn Party She was a member of the family — and behaved that way

By Florence Gilkeson

Kitty Gray was a gift. I

don’t remember my benefactor’s name, but he was visiting my father and observed that my kitten, Puff, was ailing and obviously soon destined for the pet hereafter.

To be honest, Kitty Gray was my only childhood pet, other than a canary and a goldfish, that was not a stray animal, stranded at roadside by city people ridding themselves of excess kittens and puppies. I was about seven years old. The gray Maltese soon worked her way into everybody’s hearts. She was a gentle cat, always patiently waiting on the fence when I came home from school. Gentle, true, but she was, foremost, a cat. Mother enjoyed entertaining friends, especially in the summer, when our home in the country was about as cool a location as could be found in those pre-air conditioning days. Although Mother’s entertaining style was highly successful, I cannot honestly admit that it gave anyone else in the household much pleasure. She insisted on a thorough housecleaning. That meant washing curtains as well as the traditional cleaning of floors and windows, silver polishing, and dusting. Washing curtains in those days was a tedious process in which the sheers were stretched on wire-like gadgets resembling small scaffoldings before they were ironed and readied for hanging. I still hate hanging curtains. So, by the time entertainment day arrived, we were all pretty well exhausted. On one occasion Mother decided to serve refreshments outdoors, where the breeze would be cooler under the huge shade trees surrounding our home. My father had patiently hauled a table into the yard. That’s where the iced tea was to be served with ham biscuits, cookies and other homemade goodies from our kitchen. The table was covered with her finest lace cloth. Out came the freshly washed glasses from a crystal collection reserved for special occasions. She placed the large pitcher beside the glasses and left space for serving.

Then she made a mistake. She went indoors to freshen her makeup and left me in charge of the table. My assignment: to make sure the table was free of flies, gnats, yellow jackets and the like. Mother didn’t mention the family cat. I kept an eye out for pesky insects, I really did. Then I was distracted when Daddy walked up and engaged me in banter, his last remarks before disappearing with the arrival of the gussied-up ladies. He never did have much sympathy for such social occasions. In just a split second, Kitty Gray had joined us. As graceful as is the flight of cats, it’s not surprising that she did not topple the table, snag the cloth or send the delicate crystal crashing to the ground when she landed. At first, she just stood there and rested her sensitive nose on the edge of the pitcher, then sniffed around the edges of the glasses, her little pink tongue darting out occasionally in an experimental test for the flavor of the day. Sadly, there was nothing there to tempt a cat. By the time we realized that Kitty Gray was inspecting, at such very close quarters, the refreshment table, it was too late. Once she understood that the table offered nothing of interest, she settled into typical cat behavior. She sat up, placed front feet close together, curled her tail in a delicate circle about her body and relaxed. No doubt she was reflecting on nature and human frailty. Daddy looked at me, and I looked at Daddy. We knew Mother’s reaction. It was too late to wash the crystal and redo the table to her satisfaction. At first, no words were uttered. Then we made a bargain — after I had carefully removed the feline party crasher.“I won’t say anything if you won’t,” said Daddy. I nodded. After all, we regarded Kitty Gray as a member of the family. Now Daddy was a farmer and a Southern gentleman of the old school, and his word was his bond. I would not have dreamed of violating that trust. Until now. Please forgive me if you think I’m breaking a promise, but neither my parents nor the guests on that sunny afternoon seventy years ago are still living. I rather think that my father would be chuckling at the memory. PS Florence is a senior staff writer at The Pilot.

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August 2011


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August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

t h e e v o lv i n g sp e c i e s

Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Olives How can something so good be so bad?

By Tom Allen

Not long ago I was eating dinner at a local

restaurant with friends. One of them ordered a Greek salad. When it came, it was covered with black olives. “I simply do not understand why folks ruin a perfectly delectable-looking salad by covering it with olives,” I whined. My friend replied that he loved olives about as much as he loved his Harley. How sad for my friend, I thought.

Growing up, “hate” was a four-letter word in our house, not quite in the same category as those that might cause some poor kid to get a good mouthwashing, but nonetheless, requested by my mother to be omitted from our family’s vocabulary. Mom would chide, “Don’t say hate, say, ‘I don’t like ….’” Well, with all due respect to my mother, I absolutely hate olives. That’s right, I cannot stand an olive, green or black, whole or chopped. Kalamatas? Back to Greece from whence you came and may the gods curse the trees that bore such fruit. Niçoise? Take that pretentious little cedilla from under your letter “c” and jet back to Paris. And you, the “Spanish olive,” as you’re called, stuffed with that feisty red pimiento. Stay right there in your martini, sweetie. That way you’re sure to stay pickled, drowning in a sea of gin and vermouth. I owe my dislike of olives to my grandmother, my mom’s mother. She gave me my first olive at a family gathering — a green one, stuffed with a little pimiento, red and deceitful, just like the devil. I couldn’t have been more than five or six. “Go ahead, try it,” she encouraged. “You’ll like it. Mum loves olives. You will too.” So I put the whole thing in my mouth, bit the sucker in half, then spit, gagged, coughed and cried my way out of ever eating another one. My grandmother laughed. She thought my reaction was a charade, a cute little childhood tantrum that made for a memorable family story. I suspect this because for years after the incident, at family gatherings, my aunts and cousins would slide the relish tray filled with chow-chow,

sweet gerkins, stuffed celery, and yes, olives, in front of my plate, each time with a slyly sinister smile on their faces. My mother said I was imagining things, but I knew better. They wanted to watch it all happen again. I know there are lots of you out there who love olives, just like you love your tomato sandwiches or your pickled okra, but before you put another olive in your mouth, please hear me out. Did you know the only difference between green olives and black olives is the ripeness? Unripe olives are green; ripe olives are black, and I think green olives are the worst. Now tell me, would you pay for, much less consume, something that isn’t ripe? Would you pay five bucks for a slightly pink watermelon with translucent white seeds? Wanna eat a rock-hard pear? How about an orange that’s not turned orange? And would you slice a pretty green banana in your bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes? I didn’t think so. Here’s another fact — were you aware that unripened green olives are soaked in lye to remove, of all things, the bitterness? That’s right, lye. Also known as “caustic soda,” the stuff our grandmothers used to get grease and grime out of clothes. Do you really want to eat something that’s been soaked in a chemical that could take the hide off a horse? Think about it, folks. And here’s another question — why do those nasty little green olives have a pimiento in the middle? Supposedly, I’ve read, the sweetness of the pepper complements the bitterness of the olive. A marriage made in heaven? I think not. And how do they get the pickled pepper inside the olive? Some poor soul doing penance? Please don’t tell me someone invented a machine for that purpose. Aren’t there other causes to take on in this world? I realize I’m treading on thin ice. While some of you are nodding your head, some of you are sitting with your mouth wide open, not quite believing what you’re reading. But it’s a free country, as the cliché goes. Pop all the olives you want. Consume all the tapenade you desire. Sprinkle them on your pizza, feed them to your toddler, serve them with your pickles. Just leave me to my Greek salad, light on the dressing, heavy on the feta, and please, hold the olives. PS Tom Allen is minister of education at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines, and a frequent contributor to PineStraw. Along with olives, he doesn’t care for oysters.

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August 2011


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Barn Swallows These acrobatic fliers benefit from close proximity to man-made structures.

By Susan Campbell

The barn swallow is unquestionably the showiest of the swallows found in North Carolina. These acrobatic fliers are quite common in open areas where they actively feed on flying insects during the summer months. Barn swallows are the most widespread species of swallow in the world. In the eastern hemisphere, they breed across much of the United States and winter from southern Mexico, throughout Central and South America.

Male and female barn swallows are similar in appearance. They have a dark iridescent blue head, back and wings. The belly is creamy, but the rest of the under parts, neck, throat and forehead are chestnut-colored. The black tail is long and forked, with white spots on the inner webs. Males have longer tail streamers and tend to have darker brown faces than females. The male barn swallows with the longest tails in a population will breed sooner and perhaps have more than one mate in a season. Although they historically nested in caves, barn swallows almost exclusively use man-made buildings today. Their thick, cup-shaped nest is built by both the male and female and is composed primarily of mud pellets with some grass stems mixed in. It will be attached directly to a vertical wall or object protruding from a wall (bolt, wire, wasp nest, etc.). A lining of soft

grasses and feathers is added as the three to five eggs are laid. Both parents incubate and then tend to the nestlings. Frequently barn swallows are communal breeders, not only in old buildings but under bridges and porch overhangs. They are a species that will reuse nests from prior seasons as well. It is interesting to note that in Whispering Pines, a few pairs have been observed nesting under large pontoon boats in recent years. The increase in suitable nesting substrates as a result of human activity has definitely had a positive effect on barn swallows. Although they do not come to feeders or bird baths, barn swallows may congregate in large numbers when they find an abundant source of large insects. This is frequently over water but may also include ball fields, golf courses and, certainly, agricultural areas. Adjacent to such habitat, they may perch together in a dead tree or along a powerline. During migration, barns are often found mixed in with other species of swallows, and flocks easily number in the hundreds on their way south in the fall. Swallows as a group are not well-known songsters; however, they still use various sounds to communicate. Barn swallows especially are capable of a unique array of noises: from chirps and whistles to twitters and long warbles. They may sing virtually anywhere and at any time. The species can be commonly heard overhead during the breeding season as well as in migration if one knows what to listen for. Check out the Sandhills Community College Fall catalog for a new course that Susan will be teaching titled “Introduction to the Natural History of the Sandhills�. PS Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at, by phone at (910) 949-3207 or by mail at 144 Pine Ridge Drive, Whispering Pines, NC 28327.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


T h e sp o r t i n g l i f e

Woman of the Wild Place

By Tom Bryant

“We’ve got to protect our habitat,

where we live. If we don’t, anything else we do to save our future is just a Band-Aid.”

I was in Candace Williams’ office at the Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT). We had met a couple of days earlier for lunch with Bun Perkinson, the development associate of SALT, and Harry Huberth, the president of the board of the organization. I arranged this follow-up for more specific information from Candace. She had just responded to my question as to what her major concern is for the current environmental state of the Sandhills. Candace is a remarkable person. Her qualifications to be the director of the Sandhills Area Land Trust read like a Who’s Who in conservation work. A strikingly pretty lady, she looks as if she would be more at home designing interiors or modeling high fashion than chasing birds on the Peruvian Amazon. And by the way, she actually was, at one time, a designer for CroninStempler in New York, one of the top design firms in the world. When I asked about her most satisfying accomplishment in conservation she replied, “Tom, I think it was when I was working on the Sea Turtle Project for The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. It was probably one of the hardest, most grueling jobs I’ve had; but ultimately, we were successful in discovering what caused more than a thousand sea turtle deaths. We then were able to put in force measures to make sure that they didn’t happen again. During our research, which included autopsies of dead turtles, we found that the cause of deaths of these turtles were the commercial gill nets used to catch monkfish. But you know my real love in conservation is the study I’ve done over the years as an avian researcher.”


She’s right, I thought, as I remembered some of the research I had done about Candace prior to our visit. She has studied birds in Trinidad and Tobago, in Nome, Alaska, on the arctic tundra, floating down the Amazon River in Peru, and trekking across Kenya, Africa. She also did avian studies in Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego in Chile and conducted an endemic species survey in Cuba. An example of one of her jobs that shows the versatility of this amazing lady is when she was with the Manomet Observatory for Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts. She was part of a team at one of the nation’s oldest banding stations. Her team was responsible for the removal of passerines from fifty mist nets, the identification of the species, and the recording of pertinent data such as weight, age and sex. “I loved my early years, but especially those days in Alaska. What a wild, beautiful place. And the Amazon River in Peru. We would fish for piranha for breakfast. I have been blessed, Tom, in all my adventures across the world.” Her dog, Stagger, a stag red mini-pincer, was taking a snooze in the corner with one ear tuned to our conversation. “I’m surprised after all your bird studies that you don’t have a bird of some kind as well as this little dog.” “I did have a little parrot,” she laughed. “When I was a student at Antioch New England Graduate School, the little bird would attend class with me. It was not unusual for her to fly about the halls while I was in class. She would perch on students’ shoulders and wander about with them until I was ready to go. That little parrot lived fifteen years.” Our conversation drifted to SALT and her current job as executive director. “I love this organization and the people I work with. We have over 10,000 acres of land conserved in the Sandhills region. This is a significant legacy for future generations. And you know, Tom, SALT helps the small landowner conserve his property in the way he wants while providing tax incentives to help in his decision to do this. It’s a good thing for the landowner as well as future generations. Our mission

Photograph courtesy of the Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT)

Why Candace Williams of the Sandhills Area Land Trust is a natural treasure

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

The SPorTing LiFe

statement says it well. I hope you’ve read it.” I did read it and, in a nutshell, it explains what these dedicated people at SALT are all about. A noble undertaking for sure, “SALT works with local citizens, businesses and governments to preserve large and small tracts of land and is passionately committed to saving the local places that its citizens love: forests, streams, wetlands, farmlands, and open spaces.” In 2006 Candace accepted the state’s highest natural resource honor, North Carolina Land Conservationist of the Year. At the award ceremony, she was recognized for her many accomplishments in preserving and protecting the state’s natural resources. Part of Candace’s comments in receiving this award explain why this woman is so special and dear

“ . . .SALT helps the small landowner conserve his property in the way he wants while providing tax incentives to help in his decision to do this .” to our corner of North Carolina: “I have seen forests, once teeming with wildlife, become subdivisions and strip malls; a coastline home to beach-nesting birds, sea turtles and dune systems dramatically altered by irresponsible development; and beautiful farmland paved over in the name of progress, leaving only the obituary of its former history in the subdivision’s name. It is incumbent on us all to preserve our God-given natural inheritance, and to this end I dedicate my life’s work.” The Sandhills Area Land Trust is indeed fortunate to have Candace Williams as its executive director. As our unbelievably beautiful area rides the crest of a development wave, we citizens should take note of what this wonderful woman of the wild and her organization are trying to do, and help them if we can. PS Tom Bryant, a Southern Pines resident, is a lifelong outdoorsman and PineStraw’s Sporting Life columnist.

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August 2011


G o lft o w n J o u r n al

Life at the Top Taking your dear sweet time can save you strokes — and heartaches

Painting by Vivien Weller By Lee Pace “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” — Winnie The Pooh

In a golf world rife with kryptonite-

laced golf balls and nuclear-tipped driver heads, where college players get home in two with driver-6 iron, where swing speeds are measured on Ferrari dashboards, there remains one corner of the world for calm and quiet.

The top of the backswing. That’s right. After all, if you’re going one way and then want to go reverse 180 degrees, you have to stop. What’s your hurry? Renowned instructor Bob Toski tells his students to use the “Coca-Cola Swing,” employing a “pause that refreshes” at the top of the backswing. “There should be no flash of speed at the top of your swing,” Toski told Golf Digest not long ago. “The club should be quiet and not bouncing. This gives you a chance to move the lower body down into the swing. You want to feel that you push the club back and pull it through. Think push, pause, pull.’” Sean Foley, the teacher du jour for Eldrick Woods and other top pros, coun-

sels his pupils to be patient with the downswing. He uses the word “collect” in talking of the process of moving from backswing to downswing, particularly as it applies to the Englishman Justin Rose. “Too often, Justin gets a little tense at the top, and his transition back down to the ball is rushed,” Foley says. “Your arms should just fall from the top, rather than jerking the club down.” Pat McGowan, a PGA Tour regular from 1980 through the early 1990s, was struggling when the Tour arrived in New Orleans for the USF&G Classic in late March 1989. He was miserable throughout a practice round on the difficult Jack Nicklaus-designed English Turn Golf Club, all the penal water and sand accentuated by brisk winds. “I’d have been lucky to shoot 75,” McGowan says. His buddy and playing companion, Phil Blackmar, asked him a common question after they finished. “Where do you want to be at the top of your backswing?” Blackmar wondered. McGowan took the club back with a full turn and good extension, paused for a minute, then looked at Blackmar. “Right here,” he said. Blackmar shook his head. “You’re nowhere close to that,” Blackmar said. “You’re cutting your backswing off. You’re not completing your backswing.” Blackmar suggested that before every full swing the next day, McGowan take a practice swing to that perfect position at the top and hold his club for

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


G o lft o w n J o u r n al

five full seconds. “You’ll look like an idiot, but so what?” Blackmar said, plunging the gallows humor knife as only good golf buddies can do. “You’ll look bad shooting 78. You might as well try it.” McGowan did as suggested, shot a 68 to open the tournament, followed with a 70 and a pair of 71s for a ninth-place finish, his best of the year. You might get that story today from McGowan if you get rushed at the top on the practice tee at Pine Needles, where McGowan is the lead instructor. “Some people act like the ball’s moving, that you’ve got to hit it before it runs away,” McGowan says. “The ball’s not going anywhere. Finish your backswing first. That exaggerated pause at the top

A friend and fellow competitor from the mid-20th century pro tour, Tommy Bolt, says Hogan’s secret was actually a trigger he found at the top of his backswing. during the practice swing carries over to the full swing and slows you down.” The famous “secret” espoused by Hall of Famer Ben Hogan has been parsed to a fare-thee-well by golfers, instructors, commentators and biographers. One theory is that the secret was a cupping motion of the left wrist at the top. Another school of thought has that Hogan’s key to the golf kingdom was the way he braced his right knee to initiate the swing, followed by his inward push toward the ball of his knee on the downswing. A friend and fellow competitor from the mid20th century pro tour, Tommy Bolt, says Hogan’s secret was actually a trigger he found at the top of his backswing. Bolt went through a period in the late 1950s of hitting everything with a pronounced right-toleft pattern and Hogan, who battled an incessant hook himself for many years, told him, “Tommy, you’re not going to last long fighting that hook.” Hogan invited Bolt to visit him at his home in Fort Worth and promised to help Bolt work the hook out of his game. First Hogan weakened Bolt’s grip to take the left side out of play. The second instruction Hogan gave him was to feel both hands


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

g o L F T oW n J o u r nA L

secure on the club at the top of the swing. “It will put your club in great position at the top of the swing,” Hogan said. “It will shorten your swing and allow you to have an accelerated motion coming into the ball.” After several days of hitting balls and playing the course at Shady Oaks Country Club, Bolt felt he had made progress and prepared to go back out on tour. “Ben, what do I owe you?” Bolt asked. “Nothing,” Hogan said. “Well, you owe me one thing. “If someone asks you what we worked on, you can tell them I weakened your grip. But as a favor, don’t tell them about keeping both your hands on the club at the top. Tommy, that’s the ‘secret.’ That stays between us.” Bolt’s face would brighten as he told the story many years later. “So when they talk about Ben Hogan’s secret,” Bolt said, “I’m the only one who knows what that secret is. At the top of the swing, you make sure you feel both hands secure on that golf club.” Not long after, Bolt and Hogan were competing with Gene Littler in an eighteen-hole playoff in the Memphis Open, and Hogan and Bolt were tied for the lead when they came to the par-three 17th hole at Colonial Country Club. Hogan had the honor, and Bolt knew that Hogan hit a 3-iron because a piece of lead tape identified that particular club. The shot was dead on the flagstick but came up short. So Bolt took a 2-iron, made sure he felt both hands on the club at the top, and nailed the shot to seven feet of the hole. He made the birdie, edged in front of Hogan, and won the tournament for his first victory in two years. The next week, Hogan saw Bolt on the practice range and congratulated him on the victory in Memphis. “And Tommy,” Hogan said, “I’ve taken the tape off my 3-iron.” All of these collected perspectives on the transition from backswing to downswing came to mind recently after I’d turned a 1-over through eight holes start into hash with a succession of pullhooks I instinctively knew had occurred because I didn’t finish my backswing and was rushing to hit the confounded ball. I took a deep breath, hitting three from the fairway on the 15th hole after jacking my tee shot into a lake. Exaggerate your pause at the top on your practice swing. Feel your hands on the club at the top. Push, pause, pull. Collect yourself at the top. I played the last three holes even par and took my dear sweet time along the way.PS

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Lee Pace will write about hickory golf and other vintage topics in his forthcoming book, “The Golden Age of Pinehurst,” due out in spring 2012. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

pl e as u r e s o f l i f e

Confessions of a Born-again Benchwarmer

Oh, how I loved church league softball — except when I actually had to play

By Meaghan Kelly

Growing up in Newport,

Rhode Island, I never had much of a flair for anything athletic. My parents tried here and there, but it became clear pretty quickly that I was a kid better suited for the drama club. At gymnastics one year I was fine on the beam until they wanted me to do a somersault, fine on the bars until they wanted me to go to the high bar, and never really fine on the vault. The culmination of my time in the class was a silly little skip toward the audience — something one might call a “floor routine” only without much of a routine.

My experience playing fifth-grade basketball was also a flop. I played for my school team, where every point of the entire season was scored by the very-tall-forfifth-grade Christine Glover (who, as a side note, decided to quit playing during the championship game against the other school with a very tall girl — we lost). After one game I exclaimed to my mother, “Mom! Did you see how fast I was running up and down the court?” She looked back at me and with her kindest voice said, “Yes, honey, you were very fast. But next time you might want to try to stay near where the ball is in play.” Girls’ softball, for those of us between the ages of 9 and 12, was the third and final attempt at my sports career, and finally proved that I had no future in athletics. I was terrified of the ball, and not particularly capable of throwing or catching it. Our coach made me the catcher, a position that shook me to the core. I didn’t make up for my inability behind the plate when I was up at bat. My bat didn’t make contact with the ball the entire season. Hand-eye coordination has never been one of my strong suits, and I struck out almost every time. There was this one game, however, when a totally exciting thing happened. I was walked to first base (somewhat common), when one of our decent players hit a double (very common), and suddenly I was on third base (completely unheard of). Ready to put my basketball-running skills to work I leaned in, ready to run at the sound of the bat connecting with the ball. It did, and I dashed toward home plate, legs pumping, running for my life, so excited to make my way around all the

bases for the first and last time ever. In my excitement my strides got longer and I approached home plate like a gazelle, soaring toward the backstop. In my effort to get there quickly I sailed directly over home plate, the plate itself far below my long stride. Victoriously I looked to the fans, waiting for the applause and cheers to come. It took a moment or two for me to make out what they were yelling at me: “Touch the plate! You have to tag the plate! GO BACK!!!” I looked at them, baffled. Why on earth would I have to touch the plate? Everyone knows I passed by it! It would be ridiculous for them to call that anything but a run for our team. But the fans kept yelling. So I turned, resigned, and huffed my way to the plate to satisfy those who had an unnecessary attention to detail. But it was too late. As I made my way to the plate the other team threw the ball to the catcher (their team had one who could actually catch) and she beat me to the plate. Amazingly, I was called out. Our team still won the tournament at the end of the season, thanks in large part to players like Nicole Leber. And I took that little trophy home just as proud as if I had actually contributed to the wins myself. The trophy stayed in my mother’s house for years — it may still be in her attic, actually. I would look at it from time to time remembering my glory days in the sporting world, relieved that I would never have to re-enter that world where I clearly never belonged. Until now. In a turn of events I could never have expected, my career as a priest landed me back on the softball field earlier this summer. I still don’t know how this happened. I’m pretty sure up North we don’t even have anything called a Church Softball League. There are not even enough people who go to church, and when we do, we keep our coats on so we can bolt out the side door as soon as the service is over and get back to the other things we were doing. My hometown, with twice the number of people living in it as Southern Pines, could never have produced 12 WHOLE TEAMS of softball players. And if we had, they wouldn’t have been very good players. Which is maybe why I didn’t expect much as we prepared for our first game. I didn’t take my practice too seriously. My husband and I bought some gloves and a ball and practiced throwing and catching in our backyard. I was doing okay at first — my only potential problem was that I closed my eyes every time I caught the ball. But I caught it, and that was already a huge improvement from my childhood years. Then my husband decided to pick up the pace a little, and threw the ball with more force. Preservation instinct took over. As the ball hurled toward me I ducked to the left, throwing my arms up over my head and letting out a strangled yell. When I safely reached the bench in our yard, I opened my eyes

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011




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August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

pl e as u r e s o f l i f e

to see my husband, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, staring at me. I had tried to tell him, but he had to see it to believe it: At 32 years old, I am still very scared of a soft ball. Fortunately, I was lucky for most of this season. We had enough players at every game that I could sit safely in the dugout doing what I do best — chatting with anyone and everyone who sat next to me. I sometimes even got into watching the games. What a pleasure this turned out to be. Of course, our team was terrible, but we had a great time and the games were exciting. We realized the intensity of the league we had naively entered when we lost our first game 21-0 in just three innings, and I found myself thanking God for the Mercy Rule to prevent us from further humiliation. Our goal for the season went from winning a game to simply having a game end because of the one-hour time limit, and not because of the Mercy Rule, a goal I’m happy to say we achieved more than once, even against the Baptists, who are born to play softball like angels with dirty faces. There was one evening, however, when we had a shortage of players. Our coach was out of town, leaving me as the fill-in (ha! ha!) player and when at the start of the game we only had nine players instead of the allowed 10 it became clear I’d have to set foot on the field. Heart pounding, I stood in right field, praying that every ball would be hit to left field, where one of our better players was positioned. And do you know, God answered my prayers. One ball went close to me but was safely scooped up by our right-center fielder, and just as the inning was ending I saw another player jogging to the field, just a little late, and very willing to substitute for me in right field. Talk about God’s mercy. For the record, though, before my replacement appeared I did have to go up to bat. I approached the plate (which I dusted with my foot in a tribute to all those “fans”who long ago yelled at me to TOUCH THE PLATE) and prepared for my strikeouts. But the most amazing thing happened — I hit the ball. True, I never made it to first base — the shortstop caught my grounder and tossed it easily to the first basemen. But isn’t this the kind of stuff that heart-warming sports movies are made of? Truthfully, as I jogged back to the dugout, I couldn’t help but feel smugly satisfied. Twenty years after my my most embarrassing sports memory of all, in my unexpected return to the world of big time church team athletics, I might still be afraid of a soft ball, but I finally hit the sucker. Of course, I won’t jump at the chance to play again, but like my little plastic trophy that sat in my mother’s attic for all those years I will long remember the sound and feel of my bat making contact with the ball, and — at least in my mind — I will hear endless cheering and applause. PS PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


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August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

August 2011 P etic License Plate Really, Poetry’s a lazy art A fool confuses With highfalutin’ muses Poetry’s an easy out A way of telling With any spelling Any grammar, any pattern Doesn’t matter, All’s allowed.

Free form’s The norm. Punctuation? Open to interpretation, Manipulation, improvisation, excoriation. Eschewing sense And tense, The most obscure Of verse endures. Still, the art has rules The thought has schools That measure sonnets by the line A haiku dare not have a rhyme. A limerick Needs some dirty little kick. Poetry, thou ploy of lovers Tastes sweet, like cake. Gimme a break. Who’d want to marry Romeo — Or Edgar Allan Poe? Or Cyrano? But on an August day Too hot for prose Try poems. Anything goes. By Deborah Salomon

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


Monsters of the Mighty Pee Dee By Doug Elliott • Photographs By L aura L. Gingerich


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


ow crazy is that?” Neal declared. “Five guys stuffed into a pickup truck, driving three hours to go fishing, and nobody has a fishin’ rod!” This was exactly the situation. There were Neal Mills, his son, Brent, Mat Reese, the most adventurous MD in Rutherford County, myself, and my son, Todd. We had been invited to go “grabbling” by Richmond County residents Terry Sharpe and naturalist Lincoln Sadler. Grabbling is the fine art of reaching under submerged rocks and catching fish (especially catfish) by hand. Sharpe and Sadler are knowledgeable, well-rounded outdoorsmen who are versed in a variety of skills — everything from calling turkeys and managing game lands to identifying native grasses, trees, songbird calls, and edible wild plants. They also happen to be privy to the

knowledge of a few special rocks in the middle of an undisclosed section of the Pee Dee River. The more I lurk in the out-of-doors the more I learn that, like in the real estate business, the three most important considerations are location, location, location! If you are looking for a certain kind of plant or animal (or customer, for that matter) you’d best find a good location. On this warm, sunny summer morning these gentlemen certainly had some locations in mind — that is, certain submerged rocks. The rocks had names: Lost Rock, Blue Rock, Mills’ Rock, etc. We met Terry at a trailhead. “Lincoln and his gang will be along shortly,” he said, and before long we heard the sound of laughter and excited voices coming

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

down the trail. I had thought this was going to be sort of a rough, all-guy adventure, but what was approaching looked more like a jolly beach party — a dozen or more people, men and women of varying ages wearing bathing suits and floppy sun hats and carrying day packs, beach bags, and the foam flotation “noodles” so common in swimming pools. We made our introductions and soon were on our way for the mile-long hike to the river. We had been told to bring a boat cushion or some sort of floatation device to help us cross deep spots in the river (hence the noodles). We were also told to bring wading shoes, gloves, snacks, and a stick (to give stability when wading among the submerged rocks and mud on the river bottom). As soon as we got to the tree-lined riverbank, folks stashed their backpacks in the bushes and waded into the cool, murky waters. As a group, we moved downstream — some wading in the shallows, others in the deeper water, while others, more reluctant to make the plunge, bushwhacked along the bank. Lincoln, who was out a distance from shore, kept looking toward the bank saying, “Lost Rock ought to be around here somewhere. I can tell by that sycamore tree.” When I looked at the bank I could see it was lined with sycamores. Which sycamore? I wondered. “Yeah, I think this is it!” he suddenly hollered, and soon the group converged around him and his rock. Lost Rock was larger than a king-sized mattress. It was a couple of feet thick and it was about a foot or two under water. There were several holes around the edge of the rock that led to a large cavity underneath. “Feel with your feet for the holes and block them with your feet so the fish can’t escape,” Lincoln said. The two largest holes were across from each other on opposite sides of the rock. Soon people were diving down around the rock feeling in the holes for a fish.


he technique is like this: You have to dive down and reach deep into the hole while the person next to you puts his foot on your back to help hold you down while you reach as deep as you can into the dark, watery cavity hoping you might feel a fish. If you feel the tail, and you can get a grip, they say you can squeeze the tail tight and this will temporarily paralyze the fish so you can haul it out. But more likely the fish will be facing you. And most likely it will bite you. When it bites, your job is to grab it by the lower jaw, hang on, and haul it out. Catfish do not have long sharp teeth like garfish or pickerel. Catfish jaws are lined with rows of short, but very sharp, rasp-like teeth that leave your skin looking like it was attacked by a belt-sander. (So that’s why gloves are recommended.) “What about snakes?” someone asked. “Snakes don’t hang out in the middle of the river under four feet of water.” “What about snapping turtles?” “They don’t usually, either. If there is a turtle, try to get it by the tail.” “Thanks a lot!” After a few of the experienced practitioners had been down and confirmed that indeed there was a fish in the hole, they offered us “newbies” a chance to try our luck. “And I don’t want any of this ‘alligator arm’ business!” Lincoln admonished us good-naturedly while mimicking the folded-up front legs of an alligator. “You

gotta reach your whole arm in there. That critter’s in there deep!” Soon I too was experiencing full immersion with my neighbor’s foot in the small of my back, pushing me deeper as I felt my way down the side of the rock. I found the hole under the rock and reached in as far as I could. I felt all around in the hole but felt nothing, and the foot on my back yielded as soon as I made motions to come back up. “Try again,” they said as soon as I got a breath. This time my son Todd and I dove down on opposite sides of the rock at the same time and we both reached in. Yes! It was unmistakable. My fingertips grazed the slippery flanks of a fish! Just out of reach. There was something down there, all right, but how could we get to it? The problem was the rock and the cavity under it were so large that two or three people reaching under at the same time could not get to the fish. That’s where the walking sticks came in. We took turns diving down and poking around in the holes with the sticks. Still nothing. This went on for almost an hour, and I was starting to wonder why they didn’t give up and try another rock when Lincoln’s head popped up and he calmly announced, “I got it.” With both hands side by side in the lower jaw, he lifted up the front portion of a huge silent monster. The crowd gave out a collective gasp of astonishment and then a half dozen of them jumped onto the fish to keep it from struggling free while they put it on a rope. This was a huge flathead catfish, the likes of which I have never seen before — between 40 and 50 pounds, a mottled gray-brown brindle color, small expressionless eyes, and a huge mouth graced by whiskers almost six inches long. They tied it with a rope through the gills and then tied the other end of the rope around the waist of a spritely teenager named Nicole Lindamood. She was a “newbie” and towing this huge fish would be her initiation. She was an amazingly good sport about it. She quickly named the fish “Pepe” and accepted her role gracefully, even when they recalled the time that one of their buddies got bitten on the calf by a big catfish he was towing. “Yeah, he sported a pink half moonshaped abrasion from that catfish bite on his leg for about a week.” Could you call that a Pee Dee catfish tattoo? Catfish in tow, we moved on down the river toward Blue Rock. Soon we were in our familiar circle again around this new rock. Grabblers started going down. Soon Brent surfaced, exclaiming, “Wow! That’s got to be a blue catfish. I can tell by the way it bit me. Look, it tore my glove!” Soon a huge blue catfish was being hauled out of its lair and wrestled onto the stringer. I was amazed that these guys could identify the species of the fish by the quality of its bite. “What did that bite feel like?”someone asked. “Here put your hand down on that rock,” Brent said, “And I’ll hit it with this stick!” So with these two fish weighing collectively around eighty pounds, we decided this might be enough for a fish fry. They hauled the fish back up the trail and to the home of Lee Sadler, Lincoln’s brother, who is a locally famous catfish chef. Lee prepared the fish and invited everybody to a truly memorable feast. “That catfish belly meat is out of this world!” Lincoln reminisced dreamily. PS Doug Elliott is a naturalist and storyteller, and the author of a number of books and recordings of stories, songs, and lore celebrating the natural world, which are available through his website,

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Writers in Bloom An annual retreat to Weymouth helps these writers find their unique ideas and voices By annE alDriDgE WEBB • PhotograPh By nataliE ross


f you attend a book signing at The Country Bookshop or Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books, you are likely to see them, especially if one of their own is doing the signing. They are seven smart, funny, well-spoken women, and they also happen to be some of the most successful authors in the state. Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Trocheck), Diane Chamberlain, Margaret Maron, Katy Munger, Alexandra Sokoloff, Sarah Shaber and Brynn Bonner (Bren Witchger) can also regularly be found in Southern Pines’ beautiful Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, utilizing the writer-in-residence program, which allows them to come, live in, and create. Many of the stories and characters we treasure from these authors were likely born or developed on Weymouth’s graceful acres. The women get together at the mansion twice each year for intensive days of brainstorming, organizing, plotting, writing, editing, and only a little bit of procrastination. When novelist James Boyd and his family owned the home in the early twentieth century, they hosted many art- and literature-filled gatherings, welcoming guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. Now, as then, great stories are being developed inside these walls. If Virginia Woolf advocated for a room of one’s own, this group takes over an entire house. Imagine a week of sharing ideas with fellow professionals, writing all day in beautiful surroundings, and settling in with good company after the sun goes down. If this sounds ideal, keep in mind I’m leaving out the most important component of this writers’ retreat; the hard work of filling the blank pages. These diverse but like minded writers began getting together for lunches several years ago, sharing information as professionals and friends. The image of the writer as a solitary figure, hunched over a keyboard, is a common one, and, as Shaber points out, not totally off base. Their regular communication with each other, in person and via email, provides a sense of community in what is often a very solitary profession. The group credits Nancy Olson of Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books for understanding that need and for introducing them to each other. While each writer has her own distinct way of approaching the craft, they obviously benefit from the feedback, creative energy, and encouraging competition of the time spent together. They brainstorm and share ideas in the mornings, and break for intensive solitary writing during the day. They all point to Andrews (Trocheck) as the group taskmaster, outlining their goals for the week and issuing creative challenges. As a New York Times best-selling author and former journalist, she has plenty of experience writing on deadline. There is structure for evaluating their output. Word and page counts are shared and compared. As they all quickly point out, no one wants to be known as the group’s slacker. “Although our genres are technically different, we all know the value of plot. Point A leads to point B and ultimately to XYZ. If one of us is stuck, the others can almost always come up with something that works or helps us find the right solution on our own,” Maron says. For example, Chamberlain’s books are suspenseful, but they are most often categorized as women’s fiction. She thinks the collaboration with some of the more traditional mystery writers in the group helps her add twists and turns to her stories. Sokoloff, known for her spine-tingling action, brings her screenwriting expertise to her work as a novelist. She says, “Because I’m a mystery/thriller/horror writer, and could easily get lost in genre plotting, I find the group helps keep me grounded in character and true emotions. And I’m aware of wanting to write stories that everyone in the group would appreciate, no matter what their own genre is. That’s very satisfying to me.” Sokoloff also took direct inspiration from one of the retreats. The haunted house in her

Latest Reads from the Weymouth Seven SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews Since Catholic grade school, Ellis, Julia and Dorie have been the best of friends. Now, in their mid-thirties, and each at a different crossroad in life and love, the women retreat to a beach house on the Outer Banks for one month to discover truth, the path to forgiveness and themselves. THE MIDWIFE’S CONFESSION by Diane Chamberlain When Noelle, a seemingly strong, happy and committed midwife, unexpectedly takes her life one beautiful autumn morning, her closest friends begin questioning the woman they thought they knew, and searching for the signs they missed along the way. CHRISTMAS MOURNING by Margaret Maron As Christmas approaches, county judge Deborah Knott and her husband, chief deputy Dwight Bryant, sift through the clues of a mysterious one-car accident and the murders of two trouble-making teenage brothers in this 16th Deborah Knott mystery. ANGEL INTERRUPTED by Katy Munger Writing as Chaz McGee, Munger tells the story of the troubled and wandering soul of Kevin Fahey. As Kevin, an alcohol-abusing detective in his former life on earth, finds clues to two cases, he must communicate them to the living in order to save a young boy’s life and innocence. THE SPACE BETWEEN by Alexandra Sokoloff Anna Sullivan and Tyler Marsh have two very different lives. But they’re having the same exact nightmare: a massacre at their high school. The Space Between tells the story of two teenagers trying to prevent a high school shooting by using the clues presented to them in their prophetic dreams. SHELL GAME by Sarah Shaber During the controversial investigation of a corpse that dates back fourteen thousand years, archeologist David Morgan is murdered. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and forensic historian Simon Shaw pursues the killer of his friend David, convinced his death was somehow linked to the struggle to claim possession of Uwharrie Man’s bones. JANGLE by Bren Witchger Writing as Brynn Bonner, Bren Witchger is an awardwinning mystery writer who has had numerous short stories published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine, among other publications. “Jangle” (May 2007), the story of a record-store owner who buys a coveted vinyl at a garage sale and discovers it belonged to a former convict, was released in an audio version in July 2011.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


novel, The Unseen, was based on Weymouth. The writers talk about the energy of the home, and the possible ghostly activity that goes on there. Certainly they are surrounded by the ghosts of writers past, as the beautiful library at Weymouth houses the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and showcases the amazing literary history of the state. As they gather there in the library, helping one of the group through a plot point, generating ideas about a particular character, and completely dissecting the art of the prologue, it’s clear that their collaboration greatly enchances the creative process. “Because we are familiar with each other’s writing style, strengths and interests, we can offer each other pertinent suggestions and advice in a stress-free setting that’s as much about mutual respect and friendship as it is about work,” Maron says. What makes the group such a good fit is the fact that they are all professionals, and well established in their careers. All of the hurdles for beginning writers have been surpassed, and they are clearly at the highest levels of their craft. In some ways, it is not unlike a conference for executives, where skilled practitioners inspire and learn from each other. One morning Sokoloff gave a brief seminar on the history and elements of drama, and how this structure is also useful in plotting a novel. Her fellow writers took notes.

business. The humor that emerges from their time together inevitably finds its way into the characters they create, as we laugh out loud at the hilarious dialogue in Andrews’ novels, or enjoy the wry wit of Maron’s Judge Knott. It’s clear that the bonds of the group are not just professional. The friendship and mutual support these writers give each other is critical to their success. Munger stopped writing for a while. With a busy family and work life, it seemed impossible to fit it all in. But this group wouldn’t let her stay away. They continued to encourage her, and she credits them for making sure she didn’t quit the writing life. Chamberlain speaks of the excitement of the drive into Weymouth and the ability to flip a switch away from the real world and into this cloister world of work and friendship. She notes, “We’ve become close friends, sharing the sorts of confidences that women share all around the globe, but that closeness is only a happy consequence of our main purpose in coming together. We’ve each worked during times of illness, loss, and other forms of chaos, and we’re always there to support each other, and also at times to push each other to keep going. The group dynamic can be a powerful thing.” Inspiration abounds at Weymouth, but most of the productivity can be credited to the dedication of the writers and the smart blend of their personalities and skills. They have a lot of fun together, but they also challenge each other, and thrive off the flowing creativity. Sokoloff sums it up well. “We all love what we do, we admire anyone who can do it well, and we enjoy each other as people and as artists.” PS

“We’re like the Junior League. Not just anyone could join us.”


aron jokes, “We’re like the Junior League. Not just anyone could join us.” Although they work hard, there is also time during the week to enjoy each other’s company. The women enjoy discussing politics, and sharing stories from the publishing world. In the evenings they generally have dinner together, and often settle in with wine and word games. Imagine playing Balderdash with some of the best wordsmiths in the

Anne Aldridge Webb is a children’s book author, and freelance writer from Alamance County.

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Tree Pruning • Removal Plant Site Consulting Stump Grinding • Shrub Care Tree Conservation for New Home Sites Free Estimates Geoffrey Cutler Fully Insured 910-692-7769 910-690-7657

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


Sandhills Photography Club Confined Birds Competition

The Sandhills Photography Club welcomes all who have an interest in improving their photography skills and gaining the technical knowledge that goes along with it. The club meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Christ Fellowship Church on Midland Road at Pee Dee. Regardless of skill or background, any prospective member is invited to attend. Website:

1st Place Kathy Green Beautiful Predator

2nd Place Dave Verchick Crowned Pigeon Portrait

3rd Place Gisela Danielson Watchful Eye


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Honorable Mention Gisela Danielson Back Off Baby

Honorable Mention Jeanmarie Schubach Hum

Sandhills Photography Club Wild Birds Competition

2nd Place 1st Place

Jill Margeson A Snowy Day

Dave Verchick Great Egret

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


3rd Place Chris Christiansen Long Tailed Sylph

Honorable Mention Chris Christiansen Chestnut-Breasted Coronet

Honorable Mention Matt Smith Huey, Dewey & Louie

Honorable Mention Pamela Wandrey Pelican


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Honorable Mention Len Barnard Building My Nest

Honorable Mention Bill Matthews White Ibis

Honorable Mention Diana McCall Make Sure You Get My Good Side

Honorable Mention June White Good Morning, World

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


SeaBiscuit The Elusive

By Teresa R ickard

I’ve always known

I wanted to live where the only shoes I’d ever have to put on my feet would be sandals. And as far back as I can remember, warm, salty ocean breezes have beckoned me toward the beach. Whispering from afar, I heard them, and I had to follow. As a little girl, I anticipated our annual family beach trip from the moment it was scheduled, marking it on my calendar and keeping track of the months and then the days. Back then, in the ’60s, Ocean Drive was our destination. And later, during the years my family lived in New York, the beaches of North Carolina called; no… insisted. There is just no substitute for a Southern beach, and by that I mean North Carolina and south. Clean, cool white sand, warm, temperate waters, soft lulling waves, and not too many people — that’s a Southern beach. So my family would pack up and travel the 500 miles or so to spend a week at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina. My father always hinted that maybe we could squeeze in another beach week before school started, but it never happened. I always held on firmly to those words, hoping I’d have another chance to see the ocean in all its magnificence and power against the horizon one more time in the same summer. In later years, my father finally made good on his second beach week offering; in fact, he went way beyond any expectation I could have imagined. After deciding to retire early, he and my mother built a place at Ocean Isle Beach, hoping to enjoy their retirement on a quiet stretch of sand and ocean. This became my safe haven, my shelter from the stresses of life, my place of peace and calm, a giver of gifts, unlike any other place I have ever known. To this day I cannot cross over the bridge onto the island without an overwhelming feeling of calm. It is that powerful. If you’ve never felt the presence of God, you need to visit the beach. As Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in her memoir, Gift From the Sea, “Patience is what the sea teaches. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea. The beach is not the place to work; to read, write, or think.” The beach is a place to surrender; surrender to the power of nature, to take in what has been given to us. Reading her words made me rejoice that another person felt as I did, that the sea, the beach, was the perfect place for meditation, a place where one completely


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lets go and time feels out of time. On the beach one can feel the brush of a preciation of its beauty and its extraordinary ability to withstand millions of warm summer breeze, the power and strength of the ocean, its undertow years of the tug and pull of the currents. The sea biscuit, I learned later, is a and currents, yet not be swept away. But instead opened up to embrace its variety of sand dollar, a sand dollar that looks pumped up on free weights. calmness, and forcefulness, its peacefulness, its sheer vastness. I too have Unlike its more common sister, the flat, also beautiful but delicate sand dolcarried many a book to its shores and over the years have found that the lar, these sea biscuits are the Cinderellas of the sea urchin family. They are book is diminished by the perfect beauty and tranquillity of the beach and among the crown jewels of the ocean. These rare magnificent fossils have ocean. Though I am a passionate reader, my books never seem to make it endured time, and if one is lucky, they present themselves for the taking. out of my beach bag ‌ there is so much else to absorb. I save the I have been one of the lucky ones. As I take my daily jog along the books for nighttime reading with the sound of the surf shoreline, I look for the gift of the sea biscuit. They are my sole through the screen; I save my soul and take in whatquest. With every beach trip I arrive with the hope of ever it offers, waiting for gifts from the sea. finding another. In the many years I have been going ...a rare As is so often the case, good things happen to Ocean Isle I have found only ten perfect sea bishappenchance of when we least expect them. And so it was for me cuits. I know they are out there. I am patient. Even one summer day years ago as I went for my daily good fortune placed me the biscuits that have been damaged throughout jog on the beach; always barefooted, always at the their journey to the shore are beautiful fragat the very spot the sea shoreline where the wet firm sand lies exposed ments. I never give up the fragments either. They as the water pulls back into the ocean, a rare are like seeing a part of a rainbow, beautiful withgave up one of its most out being complete. I have been told that one can happenchance of good fortune placed me at the very spot the sea gave up one of its most beautiful find giant versions of the sea biscuit in Caribbean beautiful creations. creations. At my feet lay one of the most magnificent waters. I am a frequent visitor to those warm aquamashells I had ever seen. rine blue waters and have never been fortune enough to Dome-shaped and sepia-toned with perfect five star radial find the elusive sea biscuit. For now, I feel lucky to find them, if but symmetry, it was simply stunning. I knew immediately that I had been occasionally, on the very shores of my home state. Like many perfect gifts from given a gift. As I reached down to pick it up I was amazed at its solidness nature they are a rare find, yet when they present themselves they are a reminder and heaviness, and its incredibly smooth texture. I realized that what I was that we have so much to be thankful and grateful for: the power of the beauty of holding was a fossil from millennia past, made heavy by the sand that had nature and for what is given to us, and to accept it graciously, without greed. filled its empty shell and hardened over time; a fossil we now refer to afI am reminded of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s view on the matter: “One canfectionately as a “sea biscuit.â€? I marveled at my good fortune; the couple just not collect all the beautiful shells on the beach, one can only collect a few, and ahead of me had walked blindly past this solitary gem in the sand. they are more beautiful if few.â€? If you are among the lucky and happen upon a At first I didn’t know what I had found, only possessing an innate apsea biscuit, be grateful. The sea has bequeathed one of its rarest gifts to you. PS






::: //$8&7,216 &20 PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


Above: Dr. Bob Andrews expresses a new self in a contemporary condo setting, characterized by white leather. Right: A loft within the loft condo affords a birds-eye view of exposed brick and Pennsylvania Avenue.


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Story of a house

Living Aloft A new pad signals a new lifestyle for a retired physician


By Deborah Salomon Photographs By John Gessner

athologist. Gemologist. Thespian. Master Gardener. Foodie. Presidential history buff. And now Dr. Bob Andrews pioneers living at the Lofts at Pinnacle Place — the downtown Southern Pines homage to SoHo, Tribeca, Back Bay and tobacco-warehouse, textile-mill-turned-condo developments where young professionals live la dolce vita. His furnishings: Sleek, minimalist, earth tones, Asian influence. His art: Wildly eclectic, from self-caricatures to a Sistine Chapel ceiling panorama. His Thanksgiving menu: Roast leg of goat. His age: 84. Yes, Bob owns a recliner — a streamlined gun-metal gray leather model. He leans back and looks out over West Pennsylvania Avenue after completing The New York Times crossword, online. “I’m a puzzle-solver, somewhat of a detective,” the cheery pathologist says. “I actually enjoyed doing autopsies.” Evenings, he may watch the sun set from a private rooftop veranda. Or else stroll to the Jefferson Hotel bar. He does not play golf or frequent Pinehurst watering holes. Then, on weekends, Bob returns to the home that he and wife, Mary Lou, built in Lumberton — a sprawling 1960-ish single level with sliding glass doors on three acres with a pool and flowered sofas. “Southern Living elegant,” Bob calls it. Life changed when Mary Lou died in 2008. They had owned a cottage on Ashe Street, purchased from friends. “This was Mary Lou’s project. She remodeled it with our son, who is an architect,” Bob says. After Mary Lou’s death he sold the cottage but still felt the need for a pied-a-terre in Southern Pines. “I saw this place (Lofts at Pinnacle Place) going up. I was hankering to live downtown where I could walk to the restaurants,” Bob says. By chance, he discovered an email about the property sent by Realtor Tammy Lyne two years ago. A three-story end unit was still available. “Climbing the stairs is good for me,” Bob concluded. Change is no stranger to this remarkable man’s life. The Kansas farmer’s son grew up in an ordinary two-story yellow house. One brother became a veterinarian, the other, an engineer. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 2011


Left: Two-plus levels (main floor and loft den) make space appear larger than 1,700 square feet. Above: Neutral shades provide a masculine setting for the 84-year-old gourmet cook. Above: “Uncle Guiseppe,” a relic from Andrews’ Lumberton garden, stands guard over the front door.

After college and medical school in Kansas, Bob completed pathology training in Virginia, then accepted a position at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. He arrived in 1957 with a wife, two children and no money. He went on to develop the pathology service and become medical examiner for Robeson County. Retirement signaled another change: “I turned the doctor thing off,” Bob says. He became interested in precious stones while purchasing a diamond ring for Mary Lou’s 65th birthday. “I was afraid of getting taken. If I could grade cancers, I figured I could grade diamonds.” Bob studied in Hong Kong and California to become a certified gemologist. The well-known physician/arts patron then sold jewelry at a store at the mall. Old Bob’s at it again, his medical colleagues laughed. Other “its” included playing feisty Felix (the Tony Randall role) in a community theater production of “The Odd Couple.” Change peaked when Mary Lou died. “I loved her very much but she’s gone, and I’m still here.” He decided against selling the Lumberton homestead. “I’m comfortable there. I’m connected to the medical and social communities. Being by myself isn’t a problem.” He gave up gardening but continues to cook healthy, well-planned meals, something he undertook during Mary Lou’s illness. As with other interests, Bob went at it scientifically, methodically. He bought pots, investigated shopping options and recipes. He uses their silver and crystal when entertaining. Bob, already past 80, was emerging a new man. This new Bob craved a radically different living environment. Lofts at Pinnacle Place on West Pennsylvania Ave. were designed to resemble an early 20th century brick commercial building. “We tried for a look that fit into the fabric of Southern Pines,” says Dean King, an architect at Pinnacle Development. Four 1,700-square-foot residential units above five commercial spaces completed in 2009 were aimed at empty-nesters and professionals. Each unit has a Juliet balcony, rooftop terrace, luxury kitchens and bathrooms, hardwood floors, recessed lighting and windows that frame the view. Prices ranged from $305,000 to $325,000. All units have sold.


didn’t want to bring Lumberton here,” Bob decided. With few exceptions furnishings are new. For this, Bob consulted interior designer Pam Hill, who calls her unique client awesome and terribly brave. “He wanted a contemporary look

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August 2011


Above: A spa bathroom with glassed-in shower clinched the sale for Andrews. The towel rack was wife Mary Lou’s hat tree. Below: A guest bedroom directly across from the front door is calm, restful and almost spartan. Andrews dislikes clutter.

Below: The roof-top garden — the perfect all-season sunset gathering place — overlooks downtown Southern Pines


that got to the edge but didn’t go over,” Hill says. They met once a week to look at catalogs. Bob took his time deciding but knew when he saw the right thing, Hill recalls. Some pieces had to be custom made apartmentscale; many come from North Carolina sources. The result is dramatic. Just inside the front door stands a weathered stone head on a pedestal channeling ancient Greece via Pier 1. “His name is Uncle Giuseppe; he came from the old Capital Department Store and was in our garden for twenty years,” Bob says. A jute rug against stained maple floors and a classic white leather sectional sofa center the living area. Bob likes the sofa’s practicality; spilled red wine wipes right off. Faux poodle fur accent pillows express his whimsy. A black coffee table has pagoda lines. He chose not to have a gas fireplace or wall-mount the TV. “Too commercial looking,” he says. The round dining table is glass-topped with woven black rattan base and chairs. Above them hangs an elongated photo of the Southern Pines train station, at dusk. Mary Lou’s parents arrived there during World War II, when her father was stationed at Knollwood Field. An étagère holds a carved stone fish from the Lumberton house and an inexpensive Asian clown doll from a friend. Bob admits that some books — a Georgia O’Keefe retrospective — are for show but an abstract painting by his grandson adds a personal touch, as do stark eight-foot bamboo stalks cut from a friend’s property which emphasize the soaring ceiling. Wall colors throughout are the palest sage and other neutrals. The open kitchen features a gas cooktop, stainless three-door refrigerator, pewter ceramic tile backsplash, and a curious low-mounted microwave. If Bob could change anything, it would be the granite countertops which he deems “too busy.” Although Bob eschews primaries and pastels, a splash of color peeks through a frosted glass cupboard door in the otherwise neutral kitchen. Bob scoured downtown bars for empty cobalt blue Skyy vodka bottles, which he lined up on a shelf. Fiery Mexican hues reappear in a portrait of Mary Lou as a young woman which dominates the stairwell. “She didn’t like that,” Bob says. “She’d turn over in her grave if she knew I brought it here.” But he did, along with photographs, a single decoupage box from her vast collection and her hat stand, which he uses as a towel tree in the spa bathroom. This bathroom, with its oversized glass-walled shower, sold Bob on the condo. Placid, restful, soothing: guest and master bedrooms border on Spartan, maybe Shaker, with functional furnishings of impeccable design — platform beds, soft headboards, simple coverlets, no case pieces and few accessories save a wood-framed leaning mirror made by Bob’s son. “Better than spending $400,” he chuckles. The aura is unmistakably masculine, sophisticated, understated — rather like the set of a George Clooney film. “Dr. Bob,” as he’s known around town, moved in last October. “I felt like a kid with a new toy.” He celebrated by having dinner at the Coach Light restaurant across the street: “I asked for a window table, ordered a martini and looked at my new place.” Now, from his balcony, he watches the readying of Elliott’s tapas bar at the same location. “This condo was an adventure, an expression of myself,” Bob concludes. “I like to explore things instead of sitting around becoming a sloth. I live differently here … I’m a different person.” He’s into events at the Sunrise Theater. He aspires to visit every presidential library: four down, nine to go. In the meantime, the distinguished white-haired gentleman descends from his loft and meanders down Broad Street. Will it be pine cone smoked salmon at Ashten’s or Berkshire pork chop with artichokes at Wolcott’s? Definitely, la dolce vita. PS

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August 2011


The Constant Gardener For this remarkable 81-year-old, caretaking a garden is all about love of nature and family


By clauDia Watson e was on his knees in the hot mid-day sun. I couldn’t see his face under the straw hat, but I noticed the sweat mixed with dirt streaking the back of his neck. His thick hands moved methodically, pulling the mid-summer crop of weeds that dared grow in the midst of his summer’s beauty, a tidy row of red begonias. In all the years I’d come to this medical office park, I’d never seen a gardener or a landscape crew, so I stopped and lingered beside him. Unable to resist, I asked, “Are you the one who makes this such a beautiful place?” He glanced over his shoulder, surprised by my question, and then stood slowly, propping himself up on an old garden fork. Its wooden shaft was purposely wrapped with duct tape at three familiar handholds — no doubt to protect his hands from splinters. “Oh, thank you,” he said in a heavy Eastern European accent while wiping his brow. “Yes, but it’s just something I like to do. Not a big deal.” We talked for only a moment, but later I found Stefan Fasolak, 81, trimming shrubs in the late afternoon heat that would have made me wilt. I asked if he would tell me about his well-tended garden at the Southern Pines Women’s Health Center. “Sure, Lady, I’ll show you around,” he replied, and motioned for me to follow. As we went along, I learned that Stefan found his joy as a gardener for the purest of reasons — in order to appreciate nature’s beauty. He did not see himself as a creator of this splendid garden, merely its humble caretaker. “This is given to me from above. I am thankful for the work, it keeps me good,” he said as he picked up a bucket full of weeds to dump into a wheelbarrow. He developed a keen interest in nature and compassion for the wildlife that exists in the dense forests of Ukraine, his birthplace, he told me, while his father worked as a forestry manager there. As a young man, he served as a merchant


marine and later spent decades working as a ship’s engineer onboard oil tankers on South American assignments. Upon retirement, Stefan and his wife moved to the U.S. from Europe, settling in Pennsylvania and eventually moving to Pinehurst in 1992 to be near family. His son, one of their three children, is a physician in the medical complex where he gardens, and was the one who suggested that his father might like to take care of the grounds to give him something to do in his retirement. This suggestion set him off to learn all he could about landscaping. After a few courses in basic gardening and irrigation design at Sandhills Community College, he started a small landscaping service but eventually decided to concentrate on the grounds of the medical complex. By any measure, the job has been a big one, probably best suited for a much younger man. Stefan took what had been an unenhanced office site and transformed it with truckloads of soil and thousands of square feet of sod. Season after season he’s shoveled mulch, raked leaves and even cleared snow and ice from winter’s occasional storms. Now hollies, azaleas, gardenias, camellias, hibiscus, pyracanthia, and ornamental grasses — plants he’s carefully selected to thrive in the soil and weather conditions of the Sandhills — garnish the edges of the building. The parking area is shaded by trees he planted over a decade ago, pines and a graceful sweep of flowering Yoshinos, as well as Stefan’s favorite, a locust. “They live to be 100 years old, so a little older than me,” he says with a laugh. A typical workday begins around 5:00 a.m. with Stephan tidying up the threeacre property before visitors arrive. “There’s no one else. I’m the guy, I do it nice or not at all,” he says determinedly as he picks up twigs in his path. His routine is constant, he takes no days off. A devoutly Christian man, Stefan attends church on Sunday and then works at a relaxed pace handling things left undone from the day before. Later in the day, he visits with his

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family and grandchildren, his greatest joy, he is quick to explain. His handiwork also includes a pair of small ponds. “This took me about two months to build,� he said, pointing to a pond framed by a raised bed of gardenias, perennials and annuals bursting with summer color. “I’d work for a while and then go off and do something else and come back. One of the other doctors here, he helped me on the weekends, too.� One can only imagine the physical effort it took to lift and hand-stack the tons of rock that encircle the thirty by fifty foot kidney-shaped pond, but Stefan shrugs at the notion of it being too much. He unassumingly refers to the pond’s function: “It’s just the right height so the little kids can see all the fish, but not fall into it. “See all of them,� he says, pointing to hundreds of brightly colored koi and goldfish that move gracefully through the pond’s tea-colored water following him. “I feed them, so we are friends,� he laughs. “It’s just the way of things.� He also protects them from a natural adversary — blue herons that he calls Big Birds. The war with the Big Birds has had many battles; some have ended not so well. In one attempt to ward off the predatory bird, he bought a statue of a heron because he had heard that herons are solitary creatures and would not visit another’s feeding territory. “Well, that was not true,� he reveals. “That Big Bird, he came here for ten days, and he couldn’t get any fish because of the net that I had over the entire pond. He sat up there on the roof waiting to eat but just got so weak that he couldn’t fly,� he recalls with respectful compassion for his foe. “I wanted to catch him and take him to the lake, but I couldn’t. He went around there, and died,� pointing to the back of the property. “I felt sorry for him. But he does not eat just one or two fish, he wanted them all.� He shares many stories of past skirmishes with the Big Birds, but today he’s focused on a bird that arrives at daybreak flying reconnaissance missions, dipping down as he gets near the pond, testing the old gardener’s patience. “Now I’m trying something new to keep him from snatching my fish,� he says while showing me the effort — a mesh fortress that juts out four feet over the pond’s edge, instead of covering the pond. “You see, Big Bird won’t jump over it because he can’t swim and he can’t reach beyond the net to snatch my fish,� he says with a glint in his eye. “I think this might work.� Stefan turns quickly, leading me to a maze of pipes tucked behind a fence. “That’s my invention. It filters and pumps the well water for the pond.� Then, he points to a blue light shining from within the innards of the equipment, “See down there, that’s an ultraviolet light that kills the algae and bacteria that can harm the fish.� As we walk down a winding stone path, he plucks a fragrant gardenia bloom, takes a long sniff

and offers it to me. “Lady, that is beautiful, yes?� he asks as his eyes widen with his smile. “They can be finicky; you just need to know how to take care of them to keep them pretty,� he says while explaining how he dutifully sprays for whiteflies each season. “Oh, they are worth the time, the fragrance is, umm,� and lifts his fingers to his lips and makes a kissing sound. Windmill palms, India hawthorn and crepe myrtles frame a smaller pond tucked near a corner of the building. One of the medical practice’s waiting areas overlooks the setting so patients and their families can enjoy its peaceful beauty. It is a miniature wildlife habitat with brightly colored marigolds, hibiscus and tiger lilies attracting a variety of bees and butterflies as salamanders and frogs co-exist among the fish. “The little kids can watch from inside — everything here has a purpose; this keeps them busy while Mom’s busy,� he says. “There are lots of frogs in here,� Stefan says, pointing to one clinging to the side of a lily pad crowned by a lavender-colored blossom. “When there are too many frogs, I put them in a bucket and take them down the road and release them into a little stream.� Then, climbing behind his tiny pond, he points out two fig trees. “I cut them down with an ax and they grow so big every year. They like it in this spot,� he says with obvious enjoyment as he wanders off behind them. “We get a lot of fruit and they are pretty good, too — yum, yum.�

As we return to the large pond, I notice a wheelbarrow full of petunias and portulaca. “Will you plant these today?� I ask him. “I love to plant flowers, but I’ve run out of time,� he says, shrugging his shoulders. “I have to mow the lawn, trim, take care of things. This is a spare thing, so it waits for me,� he insists as he walks off to a task while giving me a subtle cue that our time together has ended. “But, I need to know one more thing,� I persist. “Why do you work so hard at this?� Pulling at the rim of his hat, he says brusquely, “Lady, I don’t like this, it’s very private.� Then, sensing my disappointment, he reconsiders and moves closer. “It is a matter of family,� he says, full of emotion while tapping both hands to his chest. “To help the kids and grandkids, it’s important to help myself, to stay healthy and live longer, so I can be with them, watch them grow.� At this point in our garden odyssey, I recall a verse from the Talmud, “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, Grow.’� To Stefan Fasolak, time is a premium and his garden is so much more than a collection of tasks: It is a labor of love for all things, great and small. It is what makes his life good. He stays here and works, as if an angel, to nurture and simply make things grow. Claudia Watson is a Pinehurst freelance writer and may be reached at

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1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 TARHEELS & TURPENTINE. 3 p.m. Visitor Center Auditorium, Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. (910) 692-2167.

SUMMER THEATRE CAMP. Weekdays, 10 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Open to ages 8 to 17. First Baptist Church, Southern Pines. (910) 692-ARTS or www.

ART CLASS. 10 a.m. - 4 CHILDREN’S STORY p.m. Enhanced Monoprint TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given with Sandy Stratil at Memorial Library. Pinehurst. Artists League of the (910) 295-6022. Sandhills. (910) 944-3979 PRESCHOOL or STORYTIME. 3:30 - 4 p.m. Southern Pines Public Library. (910) 692-8235 or

ROBBINS FARMERS DAY FESTIVAL. Middleton Street, downtown Robbins. (910) 464-1290 or

SCC JAZZ BAND OUTDOOR CONCERT. Concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Sandhills Community College. (910) 695-3829.

SENIOR ACTIVITY: Australian Gold Rush. Douglas Community Center. (910) 692-7376.

SUMMER READING BOOK CLUB: The Band of Bookies. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Southern Pines Public Library. (910)

POTTERY BENEFIT AUCTION. The North Carolina Pottery Center’s 12th annual Going, Going, Gone to Pots! Benefit auction to take place at Leland Little Auctions & Estates, Hillsborough, NC. Information:

RACES @ THE ROCK. Mirock Superbike Series and Schnitz Racing Summer Sizzler. Rockingham Dragway. Tickets and information: (910) 582-3400.

SENIOR ACTIVITY: National Watermelon Day. 12 p.m. Douglas Community Center. (910) 692-7376.

CLASSIC CAR & TRUCK CRUISE-IN. 5 - 8 p.m. Classic cars, door prizes, 50/50 drawing, music and more. In case of inclement weather, Cruise-In will be cancelled. Ledo Pizza, 1480 US Hwy 1 South, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 639-1494.

SANDHILLS PHOTO CLUB MEETING. 7 - 9 p.m. Christ Fellowship Church.

THE BEST OF NESTS. ART CLASS. 10 a.m.-3 3 p.m. Weymouth Woods p.m. Follow the Leader Nature Preserve. (910) with Joan Williams. Cost: 692-2167. $70. Artists League of the Sandhills. (910) 944-3979 INDUCTION or CEREMONY: Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame. 6:30 p.m. Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Resort. AFTERNOON IN CLAY: Appetite for Art Fundraiser. 3 - 5 p.m. (910) 692-ARTS or www.

BATS IN THE SANDHILLS. 3 p.m. Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. (910) 692-2167. FUN WITH FUNGUS. 3 p.m. Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. (910) 692-2167.

BENEFIT WINE TASTING. 6 - 8 p.m. Wine Cellar and Tasting Room. (910) 692-5954 or MEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT: 60th North and South Senior Men’s Championship. (910) 235-8140.

WOMEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT: 60th North and South Senior Women’s Championship. (910) 235-8140.

SANDHILLS NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY MEETING. 7 p.m. Weymouth Woods Auditorium. (910) 6922167 or

CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library. (910) 295-6022.

BENEFIT WINE TASTING. 6 - 8 p.m. Sandhills Winery, Seven Lakes. (910) 692-5954.

ONE-DAY TOURNAMENT. Tobacco Road Golf Club, Sanford. (910) 673-1000 or

CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library. 910) 295-6022.

U.S.KIDSGOLF WORLDCHAMPIONSHIP. (888) 387-5437 or www.

DRUMMING CIRCLE. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Southern Pines Public Library. (910) 692-8235 or

MEET THE AUTHOR. 4 p.m. Michael Parker with his novel, “The Watery Part of the World.” The Country Bookshop. (910) 692-3211 or www. FIRST FRIDAY. 5 - 8:30 p.m. Live music from Howie DeWitt. On the grassy knoll adjacent to the Sunrise Theater, Broad Street, Southern Pines. Free admission.

BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Dixie Youth World Series. 56th Annual Dixie Youth World Series (12 & under) and the 14th Annual Dixie Youth AAA World Series (10 & under). Hillcrest Park.

JAZZY FRIDAYS. 7 - 10 p.m. Live jazz music and hors d’oeuvres, rain or shine. Cypress Bend Vineyards & Winery, Riverton Road, Wagram. Information: (910) 369-0411. ART CLASS. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Less is More with June Rollins. Artists League of the Sandhills. (910) 944-3979 or SENIOR ACTIVIY: Birthdays and Bingo. 1 p.m. Douglas Community Center. (910) 692-7376. GOSPEL MUSIC. 7 p.m. The Hoppers Gospel Group to perform at Southern Pines Methodist Church. Tickets: $20. Information: (910) 692-3518 or

MEET THE AUTHOR. 4:30 p.m. Duke University Professor Cathy Davidson. The Country Bookshop. (910) 692-3211

SENIOR ACTIVITY: Field trip to Reed Gold Mine. Douglas Community Center. (910) 692-7376.

ART CLASS. 9 a.m. - 4 CHILDREN’S STORY p.m. Exploring Inks with TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Karen Walker. Artists League Memorial Library. (910) of the Sandhills. (910) 944295-6022. 3979 or


Arts & Entertainment Calendar

August 1-6


6 13 20 27

COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. Crock-Pot Barbecue. Elliotts Provision Company. (910) 2953663 or FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Chenin Blanc. Elliotts on Linden. (910) 295-3663 or REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLE REENACTMENT. Saturday at 4 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. House in the Horseshoe. (910) 947-2051. COMMUNITY FLEA MARKET. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Hosted by The Pilot Classified Department at the Fair Barn. (910) 692-7271 or FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Rhone Style Whites. Elliotts on Linden. (910) 295-3663 or MOORE PUNS COMEDY SERIES. 8 p.m. Jeff Jena. Sunrise Theater (910) 692-ARTS or BACKYARD BOCCE BASH. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Pinehurst Harness Track, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 692-3323 or MEET THE ARTIST. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jane Casnellie at Hollyhocks Art Gallery. (910) 255-0665. FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Torrontes. Elliotts on Linden. (910) 295-3663 or RIGSBY-CLARK CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT. 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. shotgun starts at Longleaf Golf & Country Club. Annual fundraiser for Moore Buddies. MEET THE ARTIST. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mary Frey at Hollyhocks Art Gallery. (910) 255-0665 or www. COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. End of Summer Salads. Elliotts Provision Company. (910) 295-3663 or

SUMMER THEATRE CAMP. Weekdays, 10 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Open to ages 8 to 17; directed by the East Carolina University Theatre Department. Camp performances: August 5-6. Cost: $175/camper; $25 off with registry of each additional sibling. Location: First Baptist Church, Southern Pines. Information and registration: (910) 692-ARTS or

August 2 ART CLASS. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Enhanced Monoprint with Sandy Stratil at Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Cost: $40/members; $50/nonmembers. Information: (910) 944-3979 or

August 3 CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-6022. PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 3:30 - 4 p.m. For infants and toddlers (ages birth through 5 years) and their parents. Stories, music and multicultural activities. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or

August 4 FINE ARTS FESTIVAL: Purchase Award Reception. 5-7 p.m. Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-ARTS or

August 4-6 ROBBINS FARMERS DAY FESTIVAL. Annual event includes music (country, bluegrass, gospel and beach), rodeo, fireworks, mule show, arts & crafts, antique tractor show and one of the largest horse parades on the East coast. Thursday from 6 - 9 p.m.; Friday from 6 p.m. - midnight; Saturday from 9 a.m. - midnight. Free festival, small fee for Rodeo, carnival rides and games. Food vendors on site. Middleton Street, downtown Robbins. Information: (910) 464-1290 or

August 4-7 U.S. KIDS GOLF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. One of the world’s largest junior golf championships for kids ages 6-12. To be played on Pinehurst courses No. 3, No. 4 and No. 8, as well as nearby Longleaf Golf & Country Club, Mid Pines, Southern Pines Golf Club, Talamore, Midland Country Club and Little River. Information: (888) 387-5437 or

August 5 SENIOR ACTIVITY: Lucille Ball’s Birthday. 12 p.m. Watch “I Love Lucy” and celebrate the life of one of the most popular and influential stars in American history, Lucille Ball. Bring your laughing cap and enjoy light refreshments. Cost: $2/residents; $4/nonresidents. Douglas Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-7376. MEET THE AUTHOR. 4 p.m. Michael Parker with his novel, The Watery Part of the World. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-3211 or FIRST FRIDAY. 5 - 8:30 p.m. A family friendly community event featuring live music from Howie DeWitt, food & beverages and more on the grassy knoll adjacent to the Sunrise Theater, Broad Street, Southern Pines. Free admission. Information: UNCORKED: Wine Tasting. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. French Chardonnay vs. American Chardonnay. Discover your Key: Art




flavor profile. Tapas included. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or www. FINE ARTS FESTIVAL: Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony. 6 - 8 p.m. Exhibit runs through August 26, weekdays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692ARTS or JAZZY FRIDAYS. 7 - 10 p.m. Live jazz music and hors d’oeuvres, rain or shine. Admission: $10. Cypress Bend Vineyards & Winery, Riverton Road, Wagram. Information: (910) 369-0411.

August 5-7 BEST OF OUR STATE. Celebrate North Carolina music, history, humor, art and food at Pinehurst Resort. Reservations: Christine McCullough; Group Reservations: (910) 235-8587. Information:

August 6 MEET THE ARTIST. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Diane Kraudelt at Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 255-0665 or COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. Crock-Pot Barbecue. A little preparation is all it takes. Free demonstration. Elliotts Provision Company, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Chenin Blanc. This chameleon grape can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. A perfect aperitif wine. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

August 6-7 REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLE REENACTMENT. 32nd Annual Reenactment of the 1781 skirmish between Loyalist and Rebel militias. Encampment of soldiers and families, artillery and small arms demonstrations, craft demonstrations. Saturday at 4 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. House in the Horseshoe, 324 Alston Road, Sanford. Information: (910) 947-2051.

August 7 TARHEELS & TURPENTINE. 3 p.m. In 1880, North Carolina was producing one-third of the world’s supply of turpentine. Discover the history of the industry, the products produced from pine resin, and the origin of our state’s nickname. Visitor Center Auditorium, Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve, 1024 Ft. Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-2167.

August 8 SCC JAZZ BAND OUTDOOR CONCERT. Concert begins at 6:30 p.m.; BBQ by Jordon’s ($7/plate) starts at 5 p.m. In the event of rain, concert moves to Owens Auditorium. Concert is free and open to the public. Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Rd., Pinehurst. Information: (910) 695-3829. SANDHILLS PHOTO CLUB MEETING. 7 - 9 p.m. Digital Competition: “Just Add Water,” for classes A & B. Appropriate images include those where water is necessary to complete the story. Sports competition winners will also be announced. Guests welcome. Christ Fellowship Church, Midland & Pee Dee Roads, Southern Pines. Information:

August 9 SUMMER READING BOOK CLUB: The Book Bunch. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Book discussion and fun activities for readers grades K-5. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or





PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


ca l e n da r SENIOR ACTIVITY: Australian Gold Rush. Light refreshments and discussion of the Californian and Australian Gold Rush, which began when a large gold nugget was discovered in New South Wales on this day in 1851. Sign up by August 2. Douglas Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-7376. BENEFIT WINE TASTING. 6 - 8 p.m. Sample a variety of great wines while covering the cost of a student workbook with a $10 donation to Moore County Literacy Council. Wine Cellar and Tasting Room, Southern Pines. Tickets and information: Susan at (910) 692-5954 or susanmclc@nc.rr. com. Tickets also available at the door.

August 9-10

Offering hand-drawn portraits of your pet(s) in either Graphite or Colored Pencil

ART CLASS. 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Draw It with Sandra Kinunnen. Cost: $40/members; $50/nonmembers. Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Information: (910) 944-3979 or

August 10 SUMMER READING BOOK CLUB: The Band of Bookies. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Book discussion and fun activities for readers grades 6-8. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-6022.

August 11

Pamela Powers January


POTTERY BENEFIT AUCTION. The North Carolina Pottery Center’s 12th annual Going, Going, Gone to Pots! Benefit auction to take place at Leland Little Auctions & Estates, Hillsborough, NC. Information: SUMMER READING BOOK CLUB: Reading Rabbits. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Book discussion and fun activities for readers grades K-5. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or ADULT SUMMER READING PROGRAM: Read the Book, See the Movie. 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Free screening of the movie Chocolat, based on the novel by Joanne Harris. Starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or

August 11-15 SUNRISE FILM. Beginners (Rated R). Comedy/Drama starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent. Weekdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692- 8501 or

August 12 UNTAPPED: Beer Tasting. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Stouts & Porters. Discover the virtues and history of these dark, remarkable beers. Tapas included. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

August 12-14 RACES @ THE ROCK. Mirock Superbike Series and Schnitz Racing Summer Sizzler. Rockingham Dragway, 2153 US Hwy 1 North, Rockingham. Tickets and information: (910) 582-3400.

August 12-18 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Dixie Youth World Series. 56th Annual Dixie Youth World Series (12 & under) and the 14th Annual Dixie Youth AAA World Series (10 & under). Hillcrest Park, 155 Hillcrest Park Lane, Carthage. Information: Key: Art Music/Concerts Dance/Theater Literature/Speakers Fun History Sports

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

ca l e n da r Park, 2814 Montrose Rd., Raeford. Information: Kay Whitlock at (910) 692-8467 or

August 13 COMMUNITY FLEA MARKET. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Everything plus the kitchen sink. Hosted by The Pilot Classified Department at the Fair Barn, 395 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 692-7271 or

August 14 THE BEST OF NESTS. 3 p.m. Browse a collection of bird nests and discover the variety of shapes, sizes and materials used by different species of birds in the Sandhills. Visitor Center Auditorium, Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-2167.

GENEALOGY WORKSHOP. 8:30 a.m. “Gathering, Organizing and Sharing Your Family History” presented by prominent genealogist Pamela Boyer Sayer at the Hampton Inn, 200 Columbus Dr., Aberdeen. Cost: $70. Information and registration: (910) 369-2994, (910) 255-6203 or ART CLASS. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Watercolor with Sandy Scott. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information and reservations: (910) 255-0665 or COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. Summer Fiesta. Flavorful, spicy and simple. Free demonstration. Elliotts Provision Company, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Rhone Style Whites. Grenache blanc and roussanne make a delightful afternoon picnic wine laced with tropical fruit, white pepper, herbs and flowers. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or MOORE PUNS COMEDY SERIES. 8 p.m. Arts Council of Moore County and Dogwood Dental present Jeff Jena. Material appropriate for ages 14 and up. Cost: $10/adults; $5/ high school & college students. Tickets available at the door. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Information: 910-692-ARTS or

August 13-14 DRESSAGE. Early Morning Blues at Carolina Horse Key: Art




INDUCTION CEREMONY: Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame. Cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Inductees: Howard Ward, Golf Writer; Larry Boswell, Amateur Golfer; Scott Hoch, PGA Tour Professional. Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Resort. Registration: email Information:

August 15 ART CLASS. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Follow the Leader with Joan Williams. Cost: $70. Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Information: (910) 944-3979 or

August 16-18 MEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT: 60th North and South Senior Men’s Championship. Played on Pinehurst No. 2, 5, 8. Information: Pinehurst Tournament Office at (800) 795-4653, ext. 3, or (910) 235-8140. WOMEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT: 54th North and South Senior Women’s Championship. Played on Pinehurst No. 2, 5, 8. Information: Pinehurst Tournament Office at (800) 795-4653, ext. 3, or (910) 235-8140.




August 17 CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-6022. BENEFIT WINE TASTING. 6 - 8 p.m. Sample a variety of great wines while covering the cost of a student workbook with a $10 donation to Moore County Literacy Council. Sandhills Winery, Seven Lakes. Tickets and information: Susan at (910) 6925954 or Tickets also available at the door. ONE-DAY TOURNAMENT. Tobacco Road Golf Club, Sanford. Sponsored through the Carolinas Golf Association. Information: (910) 673-1000 or

August 18 SENIOR ACTIVITY: National Watermelon Day. 12 p.m. Enjoy home-grown watermelons, play games and learn about this large, delicious fruit. Cost: $2/ residents; $4/nonresidents. Sign up by August 11. Douglas Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-7376. DRUMMING CIRCLE. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Experience the culture of Africa and learn basic rhythms on djembe and dundun drums at Family Fun Night. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Information: (910) 692-8235 or

August 19 CLASSIC CAR & TRUCK CRUISE-IN. 5 - 8 p.m. Classic cars, door prizes, 50/50 drawing, music and more. In case of inclement weather, Cruise-In will be cancelled. Ledo Pizza, 1480 US Hwy 1 South, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 639-1494. JAZZY FRIDAYS. 7 - 10 p.m. Live jazz music and hors d’oeuvres, rain or shine. Admission: $10. Cypress Bend Vineyards & Winery, Riverton Road, Wagram. Information: (910) 369-0411.


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7/1/11 5:13:51 PM PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . HOO-11-2032 . . . . . . . .AugNew . . . . .Raleigh-PineStrawMag . . . . . . . . . . . . 6x5.25 . . . . 4cM . . .8-1.indd . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011 81


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New Expanded Menu!

Table on the Green Now pairing American Cuisine with the exotic tastes of Thailand

910-295-3240, 295-4118 Midland Country Club, Midland Road PUBLIC WELCOME

Live Music & Entertainment Please call for info

Sunday Brunch Menu 10-2pm Lunch 11:30 - 2:30 Tues. - Sat. Dinner 5 - 9 Tues. - Sat. Closed Monday Reservations Suggested | Banquet Room Available Elegant Dining with Family Friendly Atmosphere

Locally Grown and Operated 910.246.3510 140 E. New Hampshire Avenue Downtown Southern Pines Serving Dinner Tuesday-Sunday

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


ca l e n da r Club. Annual fundraiser for Moore Buddies. Information and registration:

August 20 BACKYARD BOCCE BASH. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. VIP Team of Four: $350, includes team of four and courtside tent. General Team of Four: $100. Pinehurst Harness Track, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 692-3323 or

MEET THE ARTIST. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mary Frey at Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 255-0665 or

MEET THE ARTIST. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jane Casnellie at Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 255-0665 or

COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. End of Summer Salads. Savor the fleeting fresh flavors of summer fruits and veggies. Free demonstration. Elliotts Provision Company, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

COOKING DEMO. 12 & 2 p.m. Gourmet Burgers. A few ways to kick your burgers up a notch just in time for Labor Day picnics. Free demonstration. Elliotts Provision Company, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

More than just green... We’ll take your thumb to the next level.

FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Gruner Veltliner. From the land of the Blue Danube, a crisp, clean white to savor as an aperitif or enjoy with fish and vegetables. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

FREE WINE TASTING. 12 - 4 p.m. Torrontes. A fashionable summer white from Argentina tantaliles with Southof-the-border fruits, hints of honey and jasmine. Elliotts on Linden, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-3663 or

August 28 FUN WITH FUNGUS. 3 p.m. Examine the structure and characteristics of different mushrooms; edible, poisonous and those that glow in the dark. Visitor Center Auditorium, Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-2167.

MEET THE AUTHOR. 2 p.m. Amy Lewis Faircloth and Joanne Lewis, authors of Wicked Good: A novel of Unconditional Love, a story of Archer Falcon and her 15-yearold son, Rory, who has aspergers syndrome. The authors are sisters of local Chef Warrens. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 6923211 or

August 30 MEET THE AUTHOR. 4:30 p.m. Duke University Professor Cathy Davidson, author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, presents the visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas will open the doors to new ways of working and learning. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-3211 or www.

August 21

500 US Highway #1 South Aberdeen, NC 28315 910.944.7469

AFTERNOON IN CLAY: Appetite for Art Fundraiser. 3 - 5 p.m. Join potter Ben Owen III and his family for an opportunity to try your hand at the potters wheel, paint on a pot, or other creative ideas in the clay. Activities and play for kids and a tour of the Owen pottery and art collection also included. Cost: $50 ($25 tax deductible/Limited to 50 people). Information: 910-692-ARTS or BATS IN THE SANDHILLS. 3 p.m. Discuss the myths and truths about bats, learn why we’re lucky to have them, as well as practical methods for removing them from your home. Visitor Center Auditorium, Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-2167.

August 22 SANDHILLS NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY MEETING. 7 p.m. Bob Ganis will discuss Sandhills geology and how it has shaped our plant and animal life. Visitors welcome. Weymouth Woods Auditorium, 1024 Ft. Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-2167 or

SENIOR ACTIVITY: Field trip to Reed Gold Mine. Visit the site of the first documented gold found in the United States. Cost: $13/residents; $26/nonresidents. Panning costs additional $1.50. Sign up by August 17. Douglas Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-7376.

CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-6022.

August 26 ART CLASS. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Less is More with June Rollins. Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Learn to simplify and use discretion in what to include and what to leave out of your painting. Cost: $40/members; $50/nonmembers. Information: (910) 944-3979 or

GOSPEL MUSIC. 7 p.m. The Hoppers Gospel Group to perform at Southern Pines Methodist Church. Tickets: $20. Information: (910) 692-3518 or

August 27 RIGSBY-CLARK CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT. 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. shotgun starts at Longleaf Golf & Country Key: Art




MEET THE AUTHOR. 7 p.m. Historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Beyond Blackface: African Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-3211 or

August 31

August 24

SENIOR ACTIVITY: Birthdays and Bingo. 1 p.m. A party for those whose birthdays fall between May and August. Bring a covered dish to share. Sign up by August 20. Douglas Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Information: (910) 692-7376.

ART CLASS. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Exploring Inks with Karen Walker. Explore the vibrant colors and unpredictable nature of alcohol-based inks and techniques for applying and controlling ink to create expressive and beautiful paintings. Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Cost: $40/members; $50/nonmembers. Information: (910) 944-3979 or

CHILDREN’S STORY TIME. 1:30 p.m. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Information: (910) 295-6022.

September 6 MOORE COUNTY CHORAL SOCIETY: Registration and Rehearsal. New season begins under the direction of Anne Dorsey. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.; rehearsal begins at 7:30 p.m. All voice parts needed, no auditions required. Registration for new members continues through September 13. Cost: $45 (includes music). Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, 330 S. May St., Southern Pines. Information: Mary Ann Young at (910) 692-8306.

Art Galleries Broadhurst Gallery, 2212 Midland Rd., Pinehurst, showcases works by nationally recognized artists such as Louis St. Lewis, Lula Smith, Shawn Morin, Rachel Clearfield, Judy Literature/Speakers

84 August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

ca l e n da r Cox and Jason Craighead. Meet-the-artist opportunities are available. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday, 1-4 p.m. (910) 295-4817, Art Gallery at the Market Place, 2160 Midland Road, Pinehurst, features original art by local artists Joan Williams, Deane Billings, Jeanette Sheehan, Mike D’Andrea, Janet Burdick, Nancy Yanchus, and Cele Bryant. Meet one of the artists Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (910) 215-5963.

Resale Retail

Artist Alley features juried art and fine crafts from local and regional artists, 167 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday. (910) 692-6077. Artists League of the Sandhills, located at 129 Exchange St. in historic Aberdeen. Exhibit hours are noon - 3 p.m., Monday-Saturday. (910) 944-3979. The Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines, is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and every third weekend of the month from 2-4 p.m. (910) 692-4356, The Gallery at Seven Lakes, a gallery dedicated to local artists. The Gallery is open on Wednesday and Thursday each week from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 1145 Seven Lakes Drive, The St. Mary Magdalen building. Just 9 miles from the Pinehurst Traffic Circle up 211. Hastings Gallery is located in the Katharine L. Boyd Library at Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst. Gallery hours are 7:45 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7:45 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday; and 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst, features original artwork by local artists Diane Kraudelt, Carol Rotter, Mary Frey, Jean Frost, Sandy Scott and artist/owner Jane Casnellie. Open Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. (910) 255-0665, The Old Silk Route, 113 West Main St., Aberdeen specializes in Asian original art, including silk paintings, tapestries, Buddhist Thangkas and Indian paper miniatures. Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. (910) 295-2055. Seagrove Candle Company, 116 N.W. Broad St., Southern Pines, showcases the arts and crafts of the Sandhills and Seagrove area. Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday-Saturday. (910) 695-0029. SKY Art Gallery, 602 Magnolia Dr., Aberdeen, is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. (910) 944-9440, Studio 590, located in a historic log cabin, is the working studio and gallery of artists Betty DiBartolomeo and Harry Neely. Studio 590 offers fine oil paintings, commissions and instruction. Studio 590 is located by the pond in the Dowd Cabin, 590 Dowd Circle in Pinehurst South. (910) 639-9404.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


ca l e n da r White Hill Gallery, 407 U.S. 15-501, Carthage, offers a variety of pottery. (910) 947-6100. The Downtown Gallery (inside Flynne’s Coffee Bar) is located at 115 NE Broad St. in downtown Southern Pines. Ever-changing array of local and regional art, pottery and other handmade items. (910) 693-1999. Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour, located at 25 Chinquapin Road in Pinehurst, is featuring local artist Nancy Campbell. Original oil and watercolor paintings are on display inside the tea shop. Open Tuesday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (910) 255-0100,

Nature Centers

House in the Horseshoe. Open year-round. Hours vary. 288 Alston House Road (10 miles north of Carthage), Sanford. (910) 947-2051. Malcolm Blue Farm and Museum. 1-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Group tours can be arranged by appointment. (910) 944-7558 or (910) 603-2739. North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. (910) 692-6261. Shaw House Property. Open 1-4 p.m. TuesdayFriday. (910) 692-2051.

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens (32 acres of gardens). The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens are handicapped-accessible. Daylight hours year-round. (910) 695-3882.

Tufts Archives. 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Saturday. (910) 295-3642.

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (898 acres). 1024 Ft. Bragg Road, Southern Pines. (910) 692-2167.

Sandhills Woman’s Exchange Log Cabin Open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (910) 295-4677

VILLAGE ABORETUM. 35 acres of land adjoining the Village Hall on Magnolia Road, Pinehurst. (910) 295-1900.

Historical Sites Bethesda Church and Cemetery. Guided tours for groups by appointment. 1020 Bethesda Road, Aberdeen. (910) 944-1319. Bryant House and McLendon Cabin. Tours by appointment. (910) 692-2051 or (910) 673-0908. Carthage Historical Museum. Sundays, 2-5 p.m. or by appointment. Located at Rockingham and Saunders streets, Carthage. (910) 947-2331.

Union Station. Open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Located in downtown Aberdeen. (910) 944-5902.

PineNeedler Answers

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To add an event, send us an e-mail at by the first of the month prior to the event.

Editor’s Correction: In the July issue on page 66, Katrina Denza’s profession was incorrectly noted as a writer with a published short story collection. Her stories have been published in fact, in literary journals, not in book form.

86 August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


The Rooster’s Wife - June 2011 Ladies’ Gun Club • David Earl and the Plowshares Loretta Jacobson, Paul Jacobson and Cynthia Pizzini

Photographs by Lisa Sauder

Sally Jaye, Eli, Sarah Roberts, and Janet Kenworthy

Gene Schoenfelder, Carolyn Belcher and Eddie Mack

Priscilla and Kathy David Earl and the Plowshares

Sally Jaye and Sarah Roberts, Ladies Gun Club

Octavia and Janet Kenworthy

Della Dennis and Dianna Dennis

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Mae and Renay Pratt

Southern Pines Farmers Market July 2, 2011 Photographs by Jeanne Paine

Vickie Bradley and Hinton & Olivia Brown Gail Monroe and Marianne Winkelman

Kate Rizzo, Matt Agle and Julia Rizzo

Doris Russell, Judy Page and Bill Russell

Kayla Jones and Katherine Arnold Sawyer Coates and Lucia Debruhl

Cameron Sadler, Amy MacDonald and Tayloe Compton


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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4th Annual

Culinary Showcase Culinary Masterpieces from Moore County’s Finest Chefs competing for the prized

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ST. JOSEPH of the PINES Tickets available online and at the Chamber PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


SandhillSeen East Southern Pines High School Class of 1961 - 50th Reunion Photographs by Vickie Rounds

Charlie Crawford, Jerry Tollison and Geraldine Crawford

Jeanne Paine and Shirley Ward

Class of 1961

Don Moore, Jeanne Paine and Carla & Al Butler

Al Butler and Don Thompson

W.C. Morgan, Adrienne Montesanti and Janet Parks

Bonnie & Jerry Tollison and Glenda Kirby

Jerry Tollison, Bobbie Dabbs, MaryAnn Weatherspoon, Shirley Ward, Don Thompson and Al Butler

Fresh fashion meets classic style at The Cupola.

The Carolina Hotel s Village of Pinehurst s 910. 235.8474 s


August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h o u g h ts f r o m T h e Ma n S h e d

Henry Day

The man who knew your name

By Geoff Cutler

Henry Day was slow. There’s

no other way to say it. Henry was slow, and so was his twin brother, Rob. But Henry was also one of the kindest men I’ve ever come across.

Freshmen arriving in the fall for their first year at school heard different stories. Henry’s father and mother were “related” and the boys were born up the mountain across the way. There was a still up there and the family made moonshine and the clan was always one step in front of the law … that type of thing. If anyone really knew who was kin to Henry, where he was from, and how Henry got the way he did, they never told us. So we believed the legends. But Henry was a weird type of slow. Call it a fast slow, if you will, because freshmen trying to match legend with reality would be surprised in their first days, maybe they were heading out to the athletic fields, to come upon Henry Day for the first time. Henry would look at them, his face all chubby and scrunched and clutching his giant size Coca-Cola and brown bag stuffed full of greasy popcorn, and he would look into the new boy’s eyes and say “Bob Jones” in a deep but garbled monotone. And Bob Jones looked back at Henry, an outsized giant of a man wearing a stained school windbreaker, and while Henry sure sounded a few wickets short of a croquet set, Bob wondered … how the hell did that guy know my name? Henry knew each and every one of us before we’d ever darkened the schoolroom door. I guess he spent the empty and quiet summer months memorizing the pictures we all sent of ourselves for admittance. The teachers didn’t know our names right off the bat, and the headmaster didn’t, but Henry Day did. Henry caught me in the hallway of the main building when I first came upon him. He was dressed for work in checked kitchen pants, white apron and big black patent leather shoes. He was so big, you felt like you wanted to arc around him so he’d have enough room to pass. “Geoff Cutler” he blurted, and I turned in amazement, watching him continue down the hall and into the dining room. I went in search of my brother to find out who the monster was in the hallway who knew my name. My brother was a senior that year and cocaptain of the football team. I should say undefeated football team. He and the other defensive linebacker represented a grizzly wall of wild hair and fury that offenses in our northeastern division simply could not penetrate. “That’s Henry Day,” he said when I found him. “Henry washes the dishes. He doesn’t say much else besides your name.”

Over time we all came to see that Henry was a fixture at the school, like the cupola on the main building, or the chapel. Some kids teased Henry like only kids can. Henry got mad at that and yelled at them. I didn’t like it when they teased him. Henry worked the dish line like a surgeon. He’d shove knives, forks and plates into their racks and send them through the machine like a possessed and frenzied robot. His hands flew like propellers and when we came through after a meal to put our tableware on the conveyor, we’d all yell out Henry’s name, only we’d cut it down to just his initials. “H.D.” we’d shout, and without turning his head away from the dishes, he’d yell back “G.C!” Like my brother said, that was about the extent of any conversation you’d be able to strike up with Henry. I saw a lot of Henry during those four years, more than most of the kids because I made friends of all the kitchen staff. This turned out to be a good move because one of the things about boarding school is, you’re starved half the time. By making friends of all the guys who fed us, I could go into the kitchen at almost any time and tell Frank or Tony or Henry I couldn’t go another minute without something to eat. They’d let me make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or maybe one of them would ladle out a plate of the noodles we were going to have for lunch. But the best thing about Henry Day, and what made him so special, was that he never missed our games. If our teams were home on game day, Henry would go back to his little apartment after lunch and pop his bag of popcorn (this wasn’t just any old bag; Henry popped a large brown grocery bag full to the brim and poured a pound of butter over it), and then he would rotate from game to game, sport to sport. Henry would try to catch a little of every game being played. He was our mascot, our number one fan. During warm-ups in hockey, we skated circles down on our end of the ice to get our legs loose, and there was Henry sitting up front and close to the boards. We saluted him, going by with an “H.D.,” and Henry saluted each of us with our initials in return. When we were away, Henry rode the bus. Right up front with the coaches and bus driver and clutching that greasy bag of popcorn and giant sized Coke. All schools have a Henry Day, or some kind of personality who helps anchor the place. A person who’s a fixture or a trademark. Henry was ours, and he was very special to us. He made being away from home for four years just that much more comfortable. PS Geoff Cutler is owner of Cutler Tree LLC in Southern Pines. He is a regular contributor to both The Pilot and PineStraw. He can be reached at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



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(July 23 - August 23) for the love of cod steak, Sweetheart . I’d sooner watch a scab form than be in your shoes this month . That said, mind your footing with mercury gone retrograde . for better or worse, you’re liable to find yourself in a situation that’s stickier than Anthony weiner’s Twitter feed on the 4th . when mars and uranus clash like stripes and plaid on the 9th, you’ll be redder than a smacked bum lest you learn to bite your tongue . (do as I say, not as I do, hon .) You and I both know that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs . A splash of spilled milk won’t hurt either .

Virgo (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23)

Well, I’ll be dipped! You’re in for a month that’s spicier than Grandma’s jambalaya. (It’s high time too, Toots. You Virgos tend to be duller than dried-up fish. No offense.) On the 1st, you can have your cake and eat it too, so long as you don’t skip out on your cardio. (You can’t live by bread alone, you know.) Mars aims to stir up trouble on the 9th. I say ride it out. No sense making life tougher than an old steamed clam. Here’s a nugget for you: Those who live in grass houses shouldn’t own goats. Or something like that.

Libra (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23)

Bless my Sunday bloomers. You can’t get to the top by sitting on your bottom, Sweet Cheeks — unless you happen to own a forklift. When life has you madder than an old wet hen on the 1st, take a deep breath and count your cotton-picking blessings. As Mama always said, it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. (I’d recommend something scented.) On the 17th, expressing your wishes may be rougher than a scratch in the eye with a wad of steel wool. No matter. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Scorpio (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)

Well I’ll be Jack Sprat. This month’s liable to be more colorful than exclamations at a rugby match. With change heading your way faster than Chuck Norris can chop suey, you’d be greener than a pickled pork hock to resist it (and dumber than a box of rocks to jump right in). Although Mercury will have you feeling more self-conscious than a hairless Persian in a pet salon, sulking is about as welcome as a fart in a phone booth. Trust me, Sweetie, if anyone can make chicken salad out of chicken spit, you can. East is east and west is west.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21)

What they say about sticks and stones may be true, but that bit on words is a hunk of bologna. Flattery won’t get you any farther than you can throw a sack of wet mice on the 5th. Nevertheless, with Mars and Uranus creating more friction than two teens in the backseat of Mama’s Monte Carlo, you’d be wise to take time for yourself in the middle of the month. (Trust me, Pumpkin. No one else will be bending over ass and elbow to entertain you.) As they say, many a good tune has been played on an old fiddle. Don’t forget that.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20)

Somebody’s got a rip in their marbles bag — and it ain’t me this time, Hon. With aspirations higher than Willie Nelson’s fan club on the 5th, try not to bite off more than you can chew. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. On the 21st, that pity party of yours will be about as appealing as a slap in the face with a wet fish. (Matter of fact, you may find out what that feels like if you can’t learn to can it and screw the moose.) That said, the new moon on the 28th could be your saving grace. Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19)

A bird in the hand is safer than the one overhead. That said, you’re greener than a pair of pickled pig’s feet not to look before you leap. Then again, the course of true love never did run smooth. When trouble surfaces like an arrowhead after a heavy rain on the 8th (and again on the 23rd), you’d be wise to take the high road. As Mama used to say: A ship in the harbor is out of harm’s way. Keep an open mind on the 28th when you feel you’ve lost your grip. Trust me, Sug’ums, your horizons will expand like a wet sponge soon enough.

Pisces (Feb. 20 - March 20)

Hold the phone. When the moon hits your eye like a big cattle pie on the 8th, consider it high time to stop and smell the roses. As they say, all work and no play makes Jack duller than a bowl of blanched oats. Take some time for yourself on the 13th, even if you’d sooner chew pork gristle. I declare, a little pampering won’t kill you. With Venus in your sign on the 30th, things are liable to be hotter than Grandma’s eggplant curry in the love department. Lord, love you! (Between you, me and the fencepost, I think you can take the heat.)

Aries (March 21 - April 20)

If you don’t like the cake, Dumpling, then don’t eat it. (Darned if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) On the 16th, Mars will put a chip on your shoulder big enough to make Arnold Palmer take note. Laugh it off, Honey Bun. No need for a sense of humor that’s drier than a burnt bush. Your fashion sense is dry enough. The new moon will open your eyes to new horizons at the end of the month. Just remember, if you weasel your way into a situation too hairy to comb through, try not to sweat it. After all, the writing’s on the wall.

Taurus (April 21 - May 21)

Venus is fixing to close a door in your face faster than Peter Piper can pickle peppers. No matter. Keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to arise as unexpectedly as the symptoms of puberty. And when it does, take it and don’t look back, Toots! It was high time to shoot crow as it were. On the 8th, you’re liable to face a situation that’s tougher than boiled rubber. Think before you go leaping, Sweetie. (But seeing as you’re stubborn as an old mule, I should sooner save my breath.) Oh well. As Mama always said, when there’s a will, figure out a way to be in it.

Gemini (May 22 - June 21)

I swan. Your tongue works so fast you could whisk an egg with it. (And Mama thought I had the gift of the gab.) Put a cork in it on the 4th if you care anything about gaining perspective. Like it or not, yours isn’t the only one that matters. Although your head’s harder than a boiled egg, don’t be afraid to ask for help on the 13th. Everyone knows you’re softer than a ripe melon, Pudding. The only one you’re fooling is yourself. Oh, and be mindful of a certain someone’s feelings on the 25th. Slip up, and they’ll be gone as the golden days, Hon.

Cancer (June 22 - July 23)

You may have the patience of a Benedictine monk, but you’ll be sweating like a pregnant nun if you let an opportunity pass you by on the 9th. And here’s a pearl of wisdom for you (though I’m not certain you couldn’t use the whole darned necklace): Corn can’t grow in the same field as crow, Sweetheart. Trust your hunches on the 21st. If you play your cards right, you just might avoid finding yourself in more jeopardy than Alex Trebek’s bowels after a cup of curried beef stew. And if not, well, bon voyage, Buttercup. PS

Astrid Stellanova, 58, owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in Windblow, NC, for many years until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings opened up a new career path. Feel free to contact Astrid for insights on your personal stars or hair advice for any occasion at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011


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August PineNeedler Cool Down! COOL DOWN! 1





















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37 University (abbr.)

Surrender 39 Where you were at crime time 41 Make improvements to Downhearted 43 Imitate Cassette tape's replacement 44 Poisonous Pizza parlor owner on US #1 45 Cheek makeup Consumer 46 Speed contest Ball holder, on #2 48 Surrender French city Downhearted COOL 49 DOWN! 50 (2 Cassette Amateur words)tape’s replacement 52 Pizza parlor owner on US 1 Freezing 53 Consumer Attempt 54 Ball holder, on No. 2 Women's _____ 55 French city Canoe propeller 57 COOL DOWN! Long time 61 Amateur (2 words) Fib 65 Freezing Snake like fish 66 Attempt Unrefined metal _____ 67 Women’s Cell stuff 68 Canoe propeller Affirmative 69 Long time Vane direction 70 Fib MGM's Lion



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71 Snake-like fish Bluish white metal 72 Unrefined metal Fat cartoon character 73 Cell stuff Dining table paper 74 Affirmative Old Testament book 75 Vane direction Water (Spanish) 76 MGM’s lion

Not who Leering DOWN 1Unable COOL DOWN! 2Postal Greekadd. stringed instrument Movie award 3 Campers, dwelling 4Druggies Bride’s route country 5Island COOL DOWN! Sigmund 6Psychologist Allow 7Mends Bluish-white metal as rules 8Obey, Fat cartoon character 9Friendlier Dining table paper 10 Old Testament book Lure 11 Water (Spanish) Short-horned grasshopper 12 Not who Nicely 22 Leering Types of black wood 23 Unable name Sweetheart 24 Postal Not from,add. as email 26 Movie Lordly award 28 Druggies Fibbed 29 Island country Economics abrv. 30 Psychologist Sigmund Asian bird 33 Mends Tints 34 Obey, as rules COOL DOWN! 35 Friendlier Underdone 38 Lure Brand of sandwich cookie 40 Short-horned grasshopper Gen. Robt. E. ____ 42 Nicely

47 Types of black wood 51 Sweetheart name 54 Not from, as email 56 Lordly 57 Fibbed 58 Economics abbr. 59 Asian bird 60 Tints 62 COOL DOWN! 63 Underdone 64 Brand of sandwich cookie 67 Gen. Robert E. ____


Fill in the grid so every row, every column and every 3x3 box contain Greek stringed instrument the numbers 1-9. Campers dwelling


Bride's route COOL DOWN! Allow

1 5 2 6 4 1







Puzzle answers on page 86


3 6

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 2011



Gone Home

A summer in my boyhood stomping ground reminds me of the beauty found everywhere

By Tom Stewart


one of us chooses the geography into which we are born. I was plunked down in Petoskey, Michigan, a 150-yearold Northern Michigan resort town on Lake Michigan. My father was a rural mail carrier, and my mother was a four-year- degreed registered nurse. I had two brothers and three sisters. We lived on a twenty-acre farm ten miles from town. Like everyone, I inherited my religion, politics, prejudices, and preferences. These were passed down consciously or unconsciously by family or the culture of the community. Much of who I became, however, came from being able to walk out of my back door and walk into a wilderness that captivated my childhood imagination. A mere 150 yards into the woods, I could step on ground where no human being had ever walked. The trees, birds, animals, and elements became my companions. These long walks provided me with great consolation from the turmoil that arose with eight people crammed into a small house with the lingering stress of money and alcohol issues. But as Whitman declared, I fit myself into the larger web of the natural world. The trees I climbed, the birds I listened to, the flowers I stopped to identify and the trout I caught all contributed to the peace I still find inside. Because of those early treks, I am still drawn to the wild places where the stillness and nature’s moods can reflect my own need for calm. Thus, this summer, I have returned to my boyhood home to reconnect with friends and those quiet places that are still embedded in my psyche and soul. In the past few days, for example, I’ve revisited some of my old trails, now 50 years overgrown or taken over by new housing. I still find avenues into the old woods, however, which today yield a sack full of the coveted black morel, which reportedly go for $100 a dry pound. The same afternoon I hike through a small swamp to get to a secluded section of Silver Creek. I throw a small dry fly into a pool that I remembered as a kid and pull in a plump brook trout on the fifth cast. As kids, my older brother Bob and I used to tell the neighbor boys not to go there because of quicksand holes. We would often bring home a creel full for breakfast. Today I release the three I catch and wonder if I caught the same one twice. This begs the question if even a nonbarbed hook hurts a caught fish, why will it come back to it again? Why do we do things that have hurt ourselves previously? I’ve snooped around my roots to remember what has shaped my values, my faith, and my bucket list of dreams. Northern Michigan is the umbilical cord to my character and personality. It is here that I learned to walk, to read, to think for myself, to care for others and to respect nature. I learned to love here, had my first kiss here, learned the value of work here. I learned to hunt here, and I learned to quit hunting here. It is here that golf became my passion and profession. We find pleasure and satisfaction in many ways, of course. But I seek those deeper areas that have brought me the simplest kind of joy. A sunset over Little Traverse Bay, a slow dance with a high school sweetheart, running ten miles


along Shore Drive, the loyalty of a dog named Sagebrush, an insight into a lingering mystery and the peak experience of knowing we are connected and interdependent. My optimism is born from these roots. My mentors, friends, teachers and family are all still a part of me. I marvel at their continued influence on my attitude and outlook. Coming home has served to remind me of my obligation to their memory and sacrifices. Douglas Steere, a noted Quaker theologian and author, during a hike on Mackinaw Island, pointed me to an obscure quote of Henry David Thoreau: “As a single footstep will not make a path on earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kinds of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” This is the kind of meditation that is born in the stillness of nature, broadens our attention span for serious things and slows down our world. Information is not wisdom. Whether the Sandhills of Carolina or the shores of Northern Michigan, I often wonder how I came to inhabit such a beautiful place. But for the grace of God or the providence of the universe I could easily have been born the son of a goat herder in Sudan or a garbage picker in Calcutta. My travels, study, and reflection tell me such answers are unknowable. Trusting the mystery helps us know that privilege is bound with responsibility. When I encounter people who claim the world and our country are going “to hell in a handbasket” and we are doomed to a lesser life, I invite them to witness what I have just encountered in the North. By turning off cable TV, watching a Lake Michigan sunset, reading a good book, spending time with college-age students and going out and doing something for someone else, a new optimism will emerge. In spite of some politicians and several greed- driven leaders of industry, we will muddle through to be a better place. As an adolescent, I went from a fate-driven inheritance of my world view to an active participant in my own reality. My world view and attitude would determine who I was and could become. By moving past the constricting expectations of others we find that our liberty is not a possession but an activity and process. As Norman Cousins has said, “The real tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of ourselves while we still live.” My trip home has reminded me of these truths, once learned, but often forgotten. Slowing down allows one to reclaim their priorities and preferences. As Seneca said, “Anyone who daily clears their vision and lives in full awareness of the world as it is, can never be bored with life.” Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.” You can, and I have. I am better for having made the visit. PS Tom Stewart is the owner of Old Sport Gallery and the Pinehurst Bookshop. He’ll be back after Labor Day. Illustration by Pamela Powers January

August 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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