December PineStraw 2014

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Retirement Living


At Quail Haven Village there is a new face for retirement living. A face that is active, desires adventure, is vibrant and never dull. You might say we have redefined retirement living. Our central location within Pinehurst, wealth of activities, spacious apartment homes and access to a full continuum of care are just a few reasons so many choose to call Quail Haven home. Life is full of

Schedule a Visit of Our Garden Apartment Homes Call 910-684-4205 or visit our website

opportunity and our residents do not take a moment for granted. Schedule a visit today to see how you can redefine the way you live. Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm 155 Blake Boulevard, Pinehurst, NC 28374


Home for the Holidays… let us help you get there!!


910-724-4455 • Pinehurst-Southern Pines •

We Can Find It For You. Whatever Your Dream Home,

Lovely 3 Bed Pinehurst Home with a Bonus Room All Brick and Nicely Updated with Lots of Storage Pinehurst Country Club Membership Attached Asking $285,000 • Call Dawn at 910-783-7993

Pine Needles Golf Front Great Golf Views New Lower Price $275,000 Call Elizabeth at 910-690-1995

Great Location in the Pinehurst No. 6 Neighborhood Nicely updated 3 bedroom home with a Bonus Room. Pinehurst Country Club Membership Attached. Asking $304,700 • Call Pete at 910-695-9412

All Brick Beacon Ridge Golf Front Gated Lake Community of Seven Lakes West Low Maintenance 4 Bedroom Home New Lower Price $419,000 Call Cathy at 910-639-0433

All Brick Home Near Lake Pinehurst Pinehurst Country Club Membership Attached Asking $230,000 Call Sue at 704-564-8139

Fantastic Home on the Historic Pinehurst No. 2 Golf Course Over 6,000 Sq Feet with 5 Bedrooms and 5 Baths! Asking $1,499,000 Call Margaret at 910-690-4561

Pinehurst resort realty Pinehurst Resort Realty is the preferred real estate company of Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, giving you direct resource into this Your Best Choice forand Moore CountyMembership world-renowned destination Pinehurst


The Preferred real esTaTe ComPany of The PinehursT resorT and CounTry Club. Visit Us in the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst December 2014 . . . . . . . . . . | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .| . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills 1.800.772.7588

Where life just keeps getting better.

Living fully takes on a whole new meaning at Belle Meade and Pine Knoll. Our communities offer a virtual feast of opportunities to connect with cherished friends and make new ones. Put down a 10% deposit at Belle Meade or Pine Knoll by December 31, 2014 and lock in your 2014 monthly service fee! So put down a deposit on a healthy, engaged lifestyle with the security of the St. Joseph of the Pines continuum of care today.

Call 910.246.1008 for lunch and a tour.




Southern Pines, North Carolina • • 910.246.1008 PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014 Belle Meade and Pine Knoll are two nationally accredited continuing care retirement communities.


December 2014 Volume 10, No. 12


13 Simple Life

16 19 21 23

27 31 33 35 39 44 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 63 96 111

Jim Dodson

PinePitch Instagram Winners Cos and Effect Cos Barnes The Omnivorous Reader Stephen E. Smith

Bookshelf Hitting Home Dale Nixon Vine Wisdom Robyn James The Kitchen Garden Jan Leitschuh The Good Stuff Nan Graham Photo Club Winners Hometown Bill Fields Pleasures of Life Tom Allen Out of the Blue Deborah Salomon Proper English Serena Brown Birdwatch Susan Campbell Chasing Hornets Wiley Cash Sporting Life Tom Bryant Golftown Journal Lee Pace November Calendar N.C. Writer’s Notebook Sandra Redding

113 SandhillSeen 123 Thoughts From a Porch Geoff Cutler

125 The Accidental Astrologer Astrid Stellanova

127 PineNeedler Mart Dickerson 128 SouthWords Caroline Hamilton 6

Features 67 Santa, Dear Santa Poetry by Joyce Reehling

68 Train of Dreams By Gayvin Powers

The Menzies family share their glorious Gilded Age train

78 The Gift of Giving Yourself By Melissa Goslin

Very good things come in threes

82 A Sherry Merry Christmas By Deborah Salomon

How artist Sherry Samkus does Christmas in The Pines

95 Almanac By Noah Salt

Christmas lists and Santa’s favorite hot chocolate

Cover photograph by John Gessner Period Costumes on the cover by Mary McKeithen

December 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Opulence of Southern Pines and DUXIANA at The Mews, 280 NW Broad Street, Downtown Southern Pines, NC 910.692.2744

at Cameron Village, 400 Daniels Street, Raleigh, NC 919.467.1781

Serving the Carolinas & More for 18 Years — Financing Available

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


PineStraw M A G A Z I N E

Jim Dodson, Editor 910.693.2506 • Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director 910.693.2467 • Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer 910.693.2508 • Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer 910.693.2469 • contributing Editors Deborah Salomon, Staff Writer Stephen E. Smith, Staff Writer Mary Novitsky, Proofreader Sara King, Proofreader contributing Photographers John Gessner, Tim Sayer, Brandi Swarms Contributors Tom Allen, Cos Barnes, Serena Brown, Tom Bryant, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Geoff Cutler, Al Daniels, Annette Daniels, Mart Dickerson, Bill Fields, London Gessner, Melissa Goslin, Caroline Hamilton, Robyn James, Jan Leitschuh, Meridith Martens, Dale Nixon, Lee Pace, Jeanne Paine, Gayvin Powers, Sandra Redding, Joyce Reehling, Noah Salt, Astrid Stellanova, Angie Tally, Kimberly Daniels Taws

PS David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales

Pat Taylor, Advertising Director Ginny Trigg, PineStraw Sales Coordinator 910.693.2481 • Deborah Fernsell, 910.693.2516 Terry Hartsell, 910.693.2513 Perry Loflin, 910.693.2514 Darlene McNeil-Smith, 910.693.2519 Meagan Powell, 910.693.3569 Johnsie Tipton, 910.693.2515 Karen Triplett, 910.693.2510 Advertising Graphic Design

Kathryn Galloway 910.693.2509 • Mechelle Butler, Maegan Lea, Scott Yancey Subscriptions & Circulation

Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488

PineStraw Magazine 145 W. Pennsylvania Avenue Southern Pines, NC 28387

©Copyright 2014. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. PineStraw magazine is published by The Pilot LLC


December 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills



This gorgeous custom home, located on the 4th green of Pine Needles, won the Judges Choice Award when it was built in 2000. Designed by Alan Walters, it features a small cozy fireplace in the breakfast area, vaulted ceilings with large windows and shining hardwood floors! Adjoining lot can be purchased for additional privacy. 3 BR / 3.5 BA 295 Central Drive






“Talent, Technology & TEAMWORK” Moore County’s Most Trusted Real Estate Team

This beautifully maintained home, built by Precision Builders, sits majestically on a meticulously landscaped lot with views of Pinewild CC’s Azalea Golf Course and pond. This home features crown molding and hardwood floors throughout. The eat-in kitchen has Bosch appliances, center island and wine cooler. Beautiful patio out back! 3 BR / 3.5 BA 33 Pinewild Drive



$258.000 $179,000 Southern Pines Pinehurst $199,900 Foxfire Lovely and pristine in Longleaf CC Lovely updated golf-front home Cute cottage w/nice renovations 3 BR / 2 BA 3 BR / 2 BA 4 BR / 4.5 BA

Lovely custom brick home located on one of the best lakefront properties in Whispering Pines! Wide water views from many of the rooms. Beautifully renovated on the interior with a brand new kitchen, bath updates, painting and much more. The owners enclosed the garage for more living area. 3 BR / 4 BA 21 Shadow Drive


This gorgeous custom, lakefront home is located on the end of a quiet cul-de-sac and enjoys beautiful wide water views! This lovely custom home was built by Alan Walters and offers a great open floor plan with a huge deck area and a full living area downstairs. The main floor has a great room with lots of windows, a charming separate dining room, open kitchen and breakfast room, Carolina Room, 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and an office. 3 BR / 3.5 BA 109 Patman Court



$585,000 Aberdeen $145,500 Pinehurst Fantastic, all-brick golf front home Cute home on large corner lot 4 BR / 3.5 BA 3 BR / 2 BA

Magnificent custom built home located on the 11th tee with views of the 7th, 8th and 9th fairways of Pinehurst course #4. Located in prestigious Fairwoods on Seven, this 5 bedroom/5.5 bath home possesses timeless golf front beauty and is designed for grand scale entertaining. Meticulous attention to detail is showcased with custom moldings, unique built-ins, expansive patio areas, a custom stone raised hearth fireplace, and graciously open living spaces. 5 BR / 5.5 BA 30 Spring Valley Court

Wonderful buy on this custom all brick home located on the 2nd green of the Holly course at Pinewild Country Club – oversized lot is .8 of an acre. This home has been recently renovated with expanded living area, hardwood floors and a full bath on the second floor. Lots of open space on the second floor for a studio, exercise room, pool room, craft room – great flex space! 3 car garage! 3 BR / 4.5 BA 52 McMichael Drive

$329,000 $890,000 Longleaf CC $449,000 Pinehurst $239,000 CCNC Pinehurst $75,000 Pinehurst Custom Built Villa Overlooking Water Custom built all brick golf-front home Brick single story w/view of 17th green Covered porch & large fenced lot Updated Immaculate Golf View Condo 3 BR / 2 BA 4 BR / 4 Full & 2PINEHURST Half Baths 1 BR / 1 BA SEVEN LAKES WEST $249,000 3 BR / 2.5 BA PINEHURST 3 BR / 2.5 BA $349,000 $1,300,000

$1,295,000 $189,000 Pinehurst $269,000 Pinehurst $475,000 Pinebluff 7 Lakes West $635,000 Pinehurst Stunning custom home in Fairwoods on 7 Charming brick ranch home GorgeoustownhomeintheheartoftheVillage Open plan, gourmet kitchen, pool & more! Stunning All Brick Water Front 4 BR / 4 BA & 2 Half BA 3 BR / 2 BA 3 BR / 2.5 BA 3 BR / 2.5 BA 3 BR / 4.5 BA This attractive home in Seven Lakes West has so much to offer! The great room has catheThis charming home in Pinehurst #6 is absolutely immaculate with great upscale features! This stunning custom home in Fairwoods on Seven is located on an oversized, private lot dral ceilings and lots of windows overlooking a private backyard. Bright and open, it offers high ceilings, lots of windows, hardwood overlooking the 15th fairway of the #7 course. Built by Pinehurst Each bedroom has a private bath and there is wonderful storage. Screened porch adds to outdoor enjoyment! Great curb appeal. Walking distance to playground and pool! 3 BR / 2.5 BA 541 Longleaf Drive



floors, and deep moldings. The bonus room upstairs could be a 5th bedroom. The owners have added a brick paver patio with an outdoor fireplace – great place to cook out with friends! Mature landscaping and lots of storage! 4 BR / 3 BA 31 Deerwood Lane



Homes, there are so many upscale features. The floor plan is very open and light with high ceilings, transoms, deep crown molding, hardwood floors, indirect lighting, surround sound and so much more. 5 BR / 5.5 BA 145 Brookhaven Drive



$269,900 $187,900 Pinehurst $185,000 Southern Pines $225,000 Pinebluff Pinehurst $375,000 Foxfire Great home in family- friendly neighborhood Stunning new construction condo Golf front new construction in The Pines Immaculate all-brick w/golf views Elegant & luxurious w/spacious rooms 5 BR / 3 BA 3 BR / 2.5 BA 3 BR / 2 BA 2 BR / 2 BA 4 BR / 3 BA

Gorgeous renovation of historic “The Ivy” cottage built in 1925 and located on a very priStunning golf front home located on one of the prime lots overlooking the 10th green in Beautiful, brick, golf front, cul-de-sac, home with expansive views of the 15th green from vate beautifully landscaped lot overlooking the 10th & 11th holes of Mid Pines Golf Course almost every room, including the study. The sunlight pours into the Mid South Club. Absolutely pristine with beautiful custom details throughout!Seven Gourmet Seven Lakes Lakes West $298,000 Pinehurst $895,000 Pinehurst $241,000 LakesThis South $199,000 includes Seven a Guest House. is one of the best golf views in Moore County! There has been large, open rooms. The kitchen is a chef’s delight with South plenty of cabinets, prep$279,500 and cooking kitchen opens onto a charming keeping room with a fireplace and lovely golf views. Inviting a major renovation to both the main house and guest cottage. Expansive, split level terraces surfaces, two dishwashers, and stainless appliances. Completely renovated golf front home Wonderful 2-story home on cul-de-sac Gorgeous home in the Old Town Charming golf front w/panoramic view Great family home w/private back yard patio area perfect for entertaining! allow for maximum enjoyment of outdoor entertainment. Enjoy the outdoors under the covered back porch or extensive brick patio. 44BRBR / 4.5 4 BR / 3BA / BA 3.5 BA 4 BR / 3 BA 3 BR / 2.53 BA BR / 3.5 BA 3 BR / 3 BA 3 BR / 3.5 BA 155 Crest Road 28 Plantation Drive 85 Leven Links Lane

View Floor Plans andTours Virtual of Our Listings andListings See ALL Moore Information County at View Floor Plans and Virtual of OurTours Listings and See ALL Moore County and Community Listings and Community Information at www.MarthaGentry.coM

Re/Max Prime Properties, 5 Chinquapin Rd., Pinehurst, NC 910-295-7100 • 800-214-9007

Military?!Check out our Military Advantage Program at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014

Re/Max Prime Properties, 5 Chinquapin Rd., Pinehurst, NC 910-295-7100 • 800-214-9007


Horse Country: Horse Country: Pristine 60 acre Horse Farm on the Foundation. Custom 3,400sf home, 6-Stall Barn, Dressage Ring, 7-Paddocks with room to grow. Acres of trails await! 3BR/2BA. $2,295,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

CCNC: The perfect expression of the balance and grace of classic Georgian architecture. Exceptional home on 5 acres with golf course views. 5,913 sq.ft., 4BR/4.5BA. $1,690,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

CCNC: Situated on 2.5 acres, golf front on Cardinal Course. Renoation down to the studs in 2009. Open floor plan and exquisite finishes. 4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths with a downstairs master sutie. Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

Horse Country: 45 Acres, 7-Stall Barn, Workshop, 4-Large Paddocks w/Runin Sheds. Direct Access to the Foundation. Charming 3Bedroom, 4 Bath Farm House, 3,000+sf. $1,550,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

National/Pinehurst #9: Magnificent home with comfortable elegance. Upgraded in 2001 with extraordinary detail in every room. Magnificent lake & golf course views! 4BR/4.5BA. Gunite Lap Pool. $1,298,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

Clarendon Gardens: Lovely estate - “Anchors Aweigh”! This home has been restored with every attention to detail. 11-Fireplaces, beautiful wood floors, beamed ceilings & much more! 7BR/6.5BA. $1,250,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Reynwood, FOXFIRE: Country Estate, 17+acres. 4BR/3. 5BA home, 3-car garage with upstairs apartment, pool, cabana, 3-stall barn, equipment storage. $1,150,000 Frank Sessoms 910.639.3099

Old Town Pinehurst: Masterful ground-up renovation of the former Rectory house. Gourmet kitchen, temperature controlled wine cellar, 5BR/5FBA/2HBA. Walk to Village! $995,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Fairwoods on 7: Enjoy golf course living in this certified “green” home. Beautiful architectural details. The lanai, fenced back yard and plunge pool area are a sanctuary for relaxation. 3BR/3FBA/2HBA. $875,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

CCNC: Golf front home renovated with detail and quality. All

CCNC: Move-in Ready: Spacious home with 4BR/3BA/2H-

National/Pinehurst#9: Asian aceents, 3BR, 3.5BA, golf front,

Kitchen Aid Stainless Steel appliances. Workroom/Storage, Heated Garden & Mud Room. 4BR/4BA. Lovely grounds. $799,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

BA, hrdwd flrs, 2-car gar, office, Carolina Rm, hearth rm, dining rm, new stainless applicances! Exterior just painted! Beautiful! $794,500 Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

text “BHHSNC305” to 87778

single level home. PCC Membership. Maple flooring, wine cellar, working kitchen. Great for entertaining! $695,000 Frank Sessoms 910.639.3099

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Southern Pines: 910.692.2635 • 105 W. Illinois Avenue • Southern Pines, NC 28387 ©2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of American, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC.

CCNC - Home with a Pool: 4BR/4.5BA, hand-pegged wood flrs, formal rooms, family room w/see-thru stone FP, 1st floor master, office, & 3-car garage! $690,000 Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

The Fields: Upscale Equestrian Community. Common Areas - Jump & Dressage Rings, X-City Course & Riding, Hiking & Carriage Driving Trails. Home has deliberate & tasteful details. 4BR/3BA. $629,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

Pinewild Country Club: Stunning Golf front home amidst the tree tops. Bring the outdoors in…light & bright! Beautiful golf course vistas. Impeccable! 3 Bedrooms/3 Baths. PCC Option available. $529,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

Horse Property: 15 Acre horse property in Aberdeen. 3BR,

Whispering Pines: Living at its best! All brick, single level

Pinemere: Across from Lake Pinehurst! Executive home in a wonderful neighborhood. Over 3,200 sq.ft. of elegant, comfortable living space. PCC Membership available. Lovely home! 4BR/3.5BA. $469,000 Kay Beran 910.315.3322

Mid South Club: Golf front home in prestigious gated community has custom features throughout. Split floor plan. Formal & Informal living areas. Screen Porch & Deck. 3BR/2BA. $429,900 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

Old Town Pinehurst: Charming Cottage, circa 1928, renovated in ‘07. Heart pine floors & fireplace in original part. Kitchen has island w/granite counter & big storage drawers. Fenced yard. 4BR/2BA. $429,900 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

CCNC: On 3.3 Wooded acres, house has 2693 sq.ft. of living

Craftsman Home - 3 Years New: Wonderful family home

Westlake Pointe: Moeld perfect townhome! Water views

Southern Pines: All one floor living! Beautiful, brick home in

2.5BA, with rentalbe Studio Apt., 3-Stall Center Isle Barn, Large Paddocks, Salt water in-ground pool $489,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

with 4BR/3.5BA, open flr plan!, kitchen has granite & stainless, dining room, hardwood, stone FP, 1st floor master, screen porch & deck. $359,900 Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

home with LR, DR, Family Rm, eat-in Kitchen, granite & stainless. Workshop. Fenced back yard. Screened Porch. 4BR/3.5BA. $480,000 Eva Toney 910.638.0972

from 2nd row. Great detail with Plantation Shutters and elegant wall coverings. Move-in Ready! PCC Membership available. 4BR/3BA. $295,000 Kay Beran 910.315.3322

space. Antique pine paneling in LR, DR, Den & Master suite. 3BR/3.5BA. Owner is a licensed NC Real Estate Broker. $360,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

a conenient location. Lovely kitchen and a Carolina Room. Situated on .8+ acre lot. 3BR/2BA. $250,000 Eva Toney 910.638.0972 We open Moore doors. Pinehurst: 910.295.5504 • 42 Chinquapin Road • Pinehurst, NC 28374 Berkshire Hathaway HomeSercies and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.Housing Opportunity.

Happy Holidays

910.315.9577 Storrs & Co. Real Estate

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JaniCe StorrS

Carolyn ragone

Newly listed in Longleaf! Lovely updated 3 BR/3 BA condo with open, golf course views. End unit with carport.

Search Online at:

910.603.4114 Carolyn Ragone Real Estate, LLC

119 Cliff Court, Southern Pines

3BR/2.5BA, light filled home near SPCC. Additional lot available to Buyer. Convenient to base

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910.315.2622 Binky Albright Properties LLC

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Binky alBright

1876 Montrose Rd. nearThe Carolina Horse Park. 9+/- acres, with 3 BR Brick home, other buildings and pasture. MLS# 145382

910.639-1751 Area Real Estate Partners, Inc.

142 Pine Lake Drive, Whispering Pines. Stunning Waterfront Views from this Brick 3BD/2.5BA home. 2,500+ SF Main Level;1,000+ SF Partially Finished Lower Level. Large Updated Kitchen-Generous Living Areas. New septic system-15 Seer Heat Pump. Roof replaced 2009


Covington Investment Properties







linda Covington

Shirley Starkey

3705 Youngs Rd, Wonderful Horse Farm with 3 stall barn. $745,000 3 Br/3 Ba, 5 acres. Less than a mile to Downtown So. Pines

910.691.2808 Real Estate Consultants, LLC

4BR 2.5B spacious home in much sought after Pinehurst #6. Very open and inviting! Water view and PH membership available. Call today!

lynette WilliamS


Cottage Properties of NC




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maureen o’hara

655 Fairway Drive, So Pines. On Pine Needles 15th Fairway. NO HOA! Brick 3 bed/3 bath with 1,815 sq ft on .69 acres. Oversized 2-car garage/ workshop.


Fox Creek Real Estate

1111 N. Glenwood Tr. Southern Pines 3BR 2Bath home in Highland Trails, updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, hardwood, tile, walk-in closet and full bath in the master.

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simple life

Goodbye, for Now By Jim Dodson

When I was young,

Illustration by Kira schoenfelder

the only thing harder than the coming of Christmas was saying goodbye to it.

After weeks of anticipation and suspense, savoring the agonizing build-up to the big morning and everything that went with it — food, carols, festive lights, crowded stores, nights that held the prospect of snow — everything seemed to wind up in the twinkling of an ancient elfin eye, literally overnight. Suddenly, Christmas magic was over: There were no presents left to unwrap, a fine dinner was reduced to tin-foiled leftovers in the fridge, favorite cousins were heading home, leaving behind a kind of post-partum lethargy that carried through the week to New Year’s, a finale that felt anticlimactic compared to the assorted glories of Christmas. As the ball was dropping on New Year’s Eve, it was the rare first night when I was even awake. My parents, of course, were probably to blame for this phenomenon, for I was merely the product of their own unbounded enthusiasm for everything about the Christmas season. Beginning with Thanksgiving my mom became a baking fool and commenced decorating the house at the crack of December dawn. My dad, meanwhile, spent hours untangling and repairing strings of outdoor Christmas lights and lived for our annual trip down to the abandoned family home place deep in the woods near Hillsborough to shoot mistletoe out of the towering oaks that grew there. Our December trek to Ashe County to cut a live Christmas tree was a given, as was his Christmas office party, a lively afternoon affair conducted in the spirit of Dickens’ Fezziwig, a man whose love of commerce was only topped by his personal generosity to the people around him. In its own way, our mom’s annual open house before church service on Christmas Eve — the finale of her cooking and baking season — was equally festive, and something friends and neighbors counted upon every year to seal their own holiday spirit in a nimbus of love. It was the goodbye part that always got to me. The most exciting time of year — something I waited eagerly for eleven months of the year, a small eternity to a 10-year-old — seemed to suddenly arrive and disappear like the Christmas goose on the Cratchit family table. To compound matters, in our neighborhood, several folks actually took down their Christmas trees the day after Christmas and hustled them out to the curb for collection like a disreputable uncle who’d overstayed his welcome. I remember once taking a spin on a new Christmas bike and being startled to discover several of these sadly discarded Christmas trees, stripped bare save for a few straggling pieces of tinsel, discarded symbols of the season awaiting the coming of the trash man. To this day, that sight always saddens me. Looking back, though I didn’t begin to comprehend it at the time, I learned a valuable life lesson from the slow coming and quick going of such happy Christmas seasons, this seductive blending of Christian tradition and Father

Christmas — namely, that saying goodbye to people and things you love is, indeed, all about the wise use of time and simply one of life’s bittersweet inevitabilities, a fact of life that varies only by degrees of intensity and one’s own perception of what’s really important. In the spirit of Old Fezziwig, human generosity never goes out of season. Leavetaking of one kind or another happens every day in our lives, so commonplace and cordial it’s easy not to notice because such moments are so tightly woven into the fabric of the ordinary. The perfect evening ends. Guests say goodnight. You kiss your spouse goodbye in the morning without a passing concern about the day ahead. We operate on an unseen principle that goodbye is never really goodbye — just a temporary parting. And yet, in ancient times, given the brevity of ordinary life, goodbye really meant something. Roads were perilous and dangers rampant. The word “goodbye” was simply shorthand for “God be with you,” an acknowledgement of life’s fragile impermanence. By the same token, the word “farewell” comes from middle English and meant quite literally “fare thee well” on your onward journey, wherever it leads you and whatever rises up to meet you. Fare thee well on the road of this uncertain life. Daily rituals aside, sometimes the act of saying goodbye does penetrate to the heart muscle and strikes a deeper chord, causing us to pause and think, the throat to constrict, the eyes to burn. It happens unexpectedly when your child goes off to college or your favorite neighbors move. The job changes. Your daughter gets married. Illness comes. The dog must be put down. The effect of these goodbyes can alter your perception of everything. Following the death of his dog, the poet Pablo Neruda had nothing shy of a spiritual awakening. “I, the materialist,” he wrote, “who never believed in any promised heaven in the sky for any human being, I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter. Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom where my dog waits for my arrival waving his fan-like tail in friendship.” Death — believed to be the ultimate leavetaking by some, a mere hidden doorway to the onward adventure by others — makes everyone a believer in something, if only the value of a saying a heartfelt goodbye, for now. Twenty years ago, though it was quite painful at the time, the smartest thing I ever did was leave my own young family behind to come home to be my old man’s caretaker as he was slipping the bonds of this world. With the help of a kindly hospice worker, I sat with him in my boyhood bedroom and tended his daily needs, talking about things both inconsequential and profound, just being with Mr. Fezziwig through the last hours of his life. The night before he died, he politely asked me to help him into bed with my mother just down the hall. I remember how my eyes stung at the sound of them talking quietly beneath the quilt like the old lovers they were. They were saying goodbye. He passed serenely the next night, a goodbye that enriched my life immeasurably.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


simple life

Five years later, I was sitting with my mother at her favorite restaurant on the water near our house in Maine where she suddenly admitted how powerfully she missed my father — and life in North Carolina. When I apologized for moving her to the nice assisted care residence near our house, she simply smiled, patted my hand and sipped her wine. “Don’t worry, sugar. That’s just life. I’ll see your father soon.” Less than a week later, she suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. When I took my children to see their grandmother, she was lying in bed smiling at them. They kissed her and she seemed — crazy, I know — almost radiantly happy. I came back to sit with her that night and we held hands and talked of the smallest sorts of things — her love of peonies, her growing grandchildren and the pride she felt in all of us. Nothing was left unsaid. She passed away peacefully the next morning. Not too long afterward came another passing. We — well, I — said a painful goodbye to the rugged post-and-beam house I built with my own hands on a forested hilltop, the place where my own children were born and where I grew an ambitious garden in the woods. Handing over the keys to a couple from Massachusetts who had matching Doberman Pinschers was a moment that bruised my heart more than I care to admit. The house was my so-called “dream house,” the place I’d fully planned to spend the rest of my days digging in the garden and watching the seasons pass until some thoughtful person spread my ashes among the giant hosta plants and daylilies of my Redneck Philosopher’s Garden. But dreams have a funny way of changing shape. Instead of forever, one bright sunny May afternoon I bid the place a reluctant “fare thee well” with a lump the size of a tulip bulb in my throat, choosing to take writer Beryl Markham’s good advice on such moments: “I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never

believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” I closed the door and didn’t look back. I’ve never been back. Though that house still shows up in my dreams from time to time. “To live in this world,” echoes the poet Mary Oliver, “you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” Good advice for saying goodbye, I’ve learned, to anything you love from an old dog to a favorite holiday. A decade ago we moved home to North Carolina and brought a beloved holiday ritual that started in that house on a snowy hilltop more than twenty-five years ago. Our annual winter solstice party invites friends and neighbors to come share great homemade soup and my bride’s amazing desserts on the longest night of the year, illuminating the darkness with bawdy skits, Medieval songs, favorite poems, magic tricks — whatever moves the spirit — providing much laughter and Fezziwigian fellowship in a world that is forever passing away, an ancient celebration of our own fragile impermanence. For our ever-widening circle of friends and family, it must be said, the winter solstice has become a valuable part of the Christmas season, the perfect prelude to the day that always came so slowly and passed too quickly. When all the gifts are opened and the house has fallen quiet late on Christmas Day, I confess, I will stir the fire and pour myself a glass of good aged port and drink a little toast to all that’s passed through my life, still feeling a touch of the old sadness at saying goodbye — for now — to people and things I’ve loved, a bittersweet hollowness that is only filled by the hope that things don’t really end, that goodbye is really just another kind of beginning. PS Contact editor Jim Dodson at

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December 2014 P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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190 Turner Street, Suite D Coldwell Banker Advantage 100 Magnolia Road, Suite 1 Southern Pines, NC 28387 Pinehurst, NC 28374 PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014 15 910-693-3300 910-693-3300 Toll Free: (855) 484-1260

PinePitch Merry and Bright

Imagine the parties that must have taken place at Weymouth, the stately Georgian mansion that once belonged to James and Katharine Boyd. Between sips of mint julep, a young William Faulkner surely would have spun wild tales about his boyhood jaunts in rural Mississippi. Or F. Scott Fitzgerald, filling his belly with gin, might have nattered half the night about his tempestuous wife, Zelda. And what did the house look like at Christmas? One can only speculate. Still, one thing is certain: Not even the South’s literary greats have seen Weymouth like you’ll have the chance to see it. A Christmas Open House celebrating the music of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin will be held Thursday, December 4, through Sunday, December 7. Festivities include a Gala Preview Party on Wednesday, December 3, from 6 – 9 p.m., ($75) ; Carols at Weymouth on Thursday, December 4, 5 p.m., (free); and a Candlelight Tour on Saturday, December 6, 5–7 p.m., ($35). House open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 1–4 p.m. Tickets: $10/advance; $15/at the door. Weymouth Center, 555 East Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261 or

Glistening Once Again

On Friday, December 5, assuming you’ve been good, Santa and friends will return to Downtown Pinehurst for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony from 4– 7 p.m. Fun for all ages includes cookie and ornament decorating, hay rides and photos with you-know-who. Performers will include The Sophisticated Ladies Dance Troupe, Sandhills Theatre Arts Renaissance School Choir, Seven Lakes Dance, The Golf Capital Chorus and The Army Ground Forces Brass Quintet. Tree lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m. Tufts Memorial Park, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-2817.


Talk of the Town

On Saturday, December 6, the streets of downtown Southern Pines will be alive with the sounds of music, singing and laughter well before the annual Christmas Parade even starts. From 9 – 11 a.m., when the Junior Flea Market will be held at the Downtown Park, expect an array of festive activities sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The parade, which kicks off at 11 a.m., will be like spiked wassail to the soul. Think antique cars, beauty queens and little misses, marching bands, fire trucks, dance squads, and, yup, Santa Claus (rumor has it he’s the real one). See for yourself. Broad Street. Info: (910) 315-6508 or

Blue(grass) Christmas

The Chatham County Line will be on our side of the divide on Friday, December 19, 7:30–9:30 p.m., for their annual Electric Holiday Tour. For the last decade, CCL has performed a special holiday show that starts with a full acoustic set and ends with “an electric hullabaloo where mostly Greg [Readling] shows off that he can also play piano and pedal steel,” says the band on their own news feed. Special musical guests include Johnny Irion, Zeke Hutchins and Jay Brown. Folks, get ready for a bluegrass Christmas you won’t soon forget. Sunrise Theater, 250 Northwest Broad Street, Southern Pines. Tickets: $20. Info: (910) 6928501 or

December 2014 P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

. . . Prancing and Pawing of Each Little Hoof

Any Sami reindeer herder can tell you that reindeer can’t walk very far without stopping to answer the call of nature. This distance, allegedly no further than 7.5 kilometers, is known as a poronkusema (thank the Finns), and was an old-fashioned unit of measurement. On Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m., the eighth annual Reindeer Fun Run features a 5K route (that’s less than one poronkusema) through historic downtown Aberdeen and a “12Ks of Christmas” that incorporates a scenic tour of Bethesda and the Malcolm Blue Farm. Both courses finish near Union Station. Join in the holiday cheer with a run or walk and the Reindeer Fun Run After Party featuring a Kids Zone. Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen! On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem. (Yes! Your pets are welcome, too.) Info: (910) 693-3045 or

Paintings by Numbers

Friday, December 5, and Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the Arts Council of Moore County will host an art show and sale featuring paintings, pottery and various works by regional artists. The discounts will make your head swivel round. As for your art-loving friends who are all about shopping local? Their gifts are in the bag. The Arts Council of Moore County, Campbell House, 482 East Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines. Info:

Gift of Song

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There are parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and on Thursday, December 11, at 7 p.m., the Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will present Part I of Handel’s Messiah led by David Michael Wolff. First performed in Dublin in 1742, George Frideric Handel’s English-language oratorio received its London premiere almost an entire year later. Its public reception was unassuming, but the work eventually gained in popularity. Today it is one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Hear how Carolina Phil does it with its stellar line-up of guest vocal soloists. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College. Tickets: (910) 687-0287 or www.

A New Dawn

Big things come in small packages. One need only bite into the crumbly essence of a Moravian spice cookie to know that. The dough — packed with spices and molasses — is rolled paper-thin, and the wafers pack quite a punch. Which is sort of what it’s like to ring in the New Year at First Eve. On Wednesday, December 31, from 6–8 p.m, celebrate the turning of a new leaf with live music, carnival games, face painting and a countdown to the ever popular pinecone drop. Brought to you by Southern Pines Business Association and Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department. Downtown Southern Pines, 125 Southeast Broad Street. Info: (910) 692-7376 or

Hot to Trot

If you’ve never seen the Moore County Driving Club’s annual Christmas Horse Carriage Parade, mark your calendar for Saturday, December 13. You’ll see horses dressed as reindeer, bells on bobtails, Victorian-era carriages, elves on poop-scoop patrol and heaven knows what else. The parade will make its way from Youngs Road and drive straight through the heart of historic downtown Southern Pines. The show starts at 1 p.m., but come early to snag a good spot. Info: www.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Instagram Winners

Congratulations to our December Instagram winners! This months theme was:

“What is your tackiest Christmas Look?” #pinestrawcontest

“Puck broke out his tacky sweater & decorations while we were at work today! That guy . . . #pinestrawcontest #pinestrawmag”

“Christmas decorating gone wrong. . . Oops! #pinestrawcontest #marylandreadspinestraw #pinestrawmag”

“The kids. #pinestrawcontest”


Next months theme will be Pets! Submit your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #pinestrawcontest (submissions needed by Dec. 17th)

New Instagram themes every month! Follow us @pinestrawmag

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Cos and Effect

The Gift of a Name

By Cos Barnes

When our only son was born,

we named him John Harrison after his father and his great-grandfather. I wanted him to be called Harrison, but I knew the obstacles to calling a man by his middle name. We lived in a neighborhood surrounded by relatives, several of whom were named John. It was a small town, and the one department store had trouble sending the bill to the right John.

Also, back then, young men were drafted for military service and were automatically called by their first name. For many months we called this seven-pound baby John Harrison because we could not decide on his name. It was a big handle for a baby boy. Finally, we decided on Harrison. Then the problems started. He went to a private school for several years, where he excelled in basketball. They directed their applause to “Harry.” I told the headmaster his name was Harrison, which he said was inappropriate to cheer a basketball player, but I told him I was thinking of the name on a shingle, not on a scoreboard. When he went to get his driver’s license and passed, the examiner said, “Sign John Harrison Barnes here. “I was sitting in the back of the room, too timid to correct the examiner, but I told my son, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to sign your name.” Then the college entrance papers entrance arrived. They required the first name first. I got around that by pretending he did not have a first name. This boy’s name was very important to me. Before his birth, I spent hours writing it out, making sure the initials did not spell anything profane and making sure it looked on paper the way I wanted it to. When John the Baptist was born, the son of Elizabeth and the forerunner of Jesus, he was to be called Zechariah after his father. But Zechariah, who had been mute for many months, had been communicated to by an angel, and agreed with Elizabeth, saying, “His name is John.” Merry Christmas to all. PS Cos Barnes is a longtime contributor to PineStraw magazine. She can be contacted at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


The Country Bookshop

140 NW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC 28387 (910) 692-3211

T h e O m n i v o r o u s R e ad e r

Timeless Words The enduring power of a well-loved author

By Stephen E. Smith

I remember the moment. I was leafing

through my grandmother’s copy of Mademoiselle on Christmas Eve 1959 when I turned a page and my attention was drawn to a simple line drawing of a woman swan-diving from a tower, her arms spread wide, her back bowed, toes pointed. Below her waited a flaming cauldron. The opening paragraph of the accompanying short story read: “For several weeks, maybe a month or so, there she stood, a plump woman in a sequined one-piece bathing suit, poised on a stylized tower which rose into the very clouds, like Jacob’s dreamy ladder, with here and there around a few birds in tense swift V’s, and below, far, far below, there was a tub, flaming and terrible, into which she was surely going to plunge.”

I was 13 years old when I happened upon George Garrett’s “An Evening Performance.” I wasn’t in the habit of reading short stories, but a carnie show similar to the one described in the story had recently visited my hometown and I’d missed the performance, so I gave the story a careful read.

Before I’d finished the last paragraph, I knew that the author was writing about something more than a high diver. I kept my copy of the story in my bureau drawer and occasionally reread my favorite sections. A year later, I discovered a copy of Best American Short Stories 1960, and there was Garrett’s name on the cover. I slapped down 75 cents for the paperback and compared the story with the Mademoiselle version. Lo and behold, they were different in little ways — a word here, a sentence there; e.g., “regardless” had been changed to “irregardless” to add a touch of folksiness. The story had clearly been tampered with. Why would an author rewrite a story he’d already published? Another year would pass before I’d come upon a book of stories, In the Briar Patch, by Garrett, and there was another version of “An Evening Performance.” I compared the three texts side by side and concluded that Garrett had rewritten the story for each publication. That was nuts! I’d grown up reading what baby boomers read — Dick, Jane and Sally, Boys’ Life, science fiction stories, comic classics, Landmark and American Heritage books. Garrett’s short story was my first taste of a genre that celebrates what my college lit professor called “the ineffable mystery of the human soul.” I was impressed with Garrett, but I continued reading authors that pleased me — P.G. Wodehouse was a particular favorite. And while in college I was required to read most of the American canon. But the more George Garrett I read, the more I was impressed — King of the Mountain, The Finished Man, Cold Ground Was My Bed Last Night, A Wreath for Garibaldi, Which Ones Are the Enemy? Death of the Fox, The Succession, Entered from the Sun and many more. In 1972, I purchased Garrett’s short story collection The Magic Striptease and mailed my copy to him at the University of Virginia — or was it Princeton? — where he was teaching. I wrote that I intended to rent a copy of a movie he

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


T h e O m n i v o r o u s R e ad e r

had written as a gag, Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, and he returned my autographed copy of Striptease with a long letter about how bourbon had been a catalyst in the writing of the sci-fi classic that had Judith Crist “frothing in the pages of TV Guide.” Garrett claimed he’d written the script in one weekend and only saw the final product at a drive-in in Roanoke, Virginia. “It was the only time that drive-in movie patrons honked their horns and blinked their lights in rage and frustration,” he wrote. Not all of Garrett’s work was memorable. His early books of poetry — The Reverend Ghost, The Sleeping Gypsy, Abraham’s Knife — are decidedly 19th century in tone and content, and his novel Poison Pen is mean-spirited. But I admired his later novels, biographies, criticism and short stories — Whistling in the Dark, Double Vision, My Silk Purse and Yours, The Sorrows of Fat City, and Empty Bed Blues. Going to See the Elephant, a collection of prose pieces, contains the best essay ever written on James Dickey. “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: Some Notes on the Life and Art of the Late James Dickey” captures the Dickey I knew with a biting, humorous accuracy. In the conclusion of the essay, Garrett bemoans the razing of Dickey’s house in Columbia, South Carolina: “Now all the words and even the echoes of them are long gone. Lost except for fragments of fading and changing memory. Not a rusty nail, nor a sliver of broken glass. Nothing at all. Except, as it should be, the words of the dead poet in print, on audiotape, on the soundtrack of several films. And these words are as fresh and clear as when he wrote them and spoke them.” In 1985, Doubleday published An Evening Performance: New and Selected Stories, and, as expected, Garrett had rewritten the titled story, pulling together in final form a metaphor for the writing life: “But if the evening performance had been brief, it remained with them, haunting, a long time afterwards. Some of the preachers continued to denounce it as the work of the devil himself. The drunkards and tellers of tall tales embroidered on it and exaggerated it and preserved it until the legend of that high dive was like a beautiful tapestry before which they might act their lives, strangely dwarfed and shamed . . . .” George Garrett died in 2008. I miss him. I’m one of those who remain haunted by his vision. My ancient copies of his works fill an entire bookshelf, and for better or worse, they inspire every word I write. PS Stephen E. Smith’s most recent book of poems is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at


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B oo k s h e l f

December Books ’Tis the Season

“‘There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew: ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin. If anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that is has done me good, and will do me good; and I say God bless it!’” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol By Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally

I become truly aware of the vari-

ety of diverse interests my friends and family have as I start to Christmas shop for them. Here at the bookshop we love this fact because we know the incredible quality and variety of books that come out all year long . . . and the fact that the publishers save the very best titles for an autumn publication date! We have some suggestions so that no one is ever stumped about what to get those nearest and dearest. Grandmother, mother, hostess, the stylish friend:

Living Newport: Houses, People, Style by Bettie Bearden Pardee: This is a coffee table book in the classic and stunning style. It features Newport throughout the seasons by showcasing people and homes and parties. This is a book with stunning photographs that also has valuable and interesting content. This book is a beautiful, big and an undoubtable win.

Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten: This cookbook is sure to be the next classic by a renowned woman. Give this to a college student, mother, neighbor, friend — or just keep it for yourself and serve them the food! Natural Histories Opulent Oceans: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library by Melanie L.J. Stiassny: If you know anyone who has a beach house or has bought a beach house, or who wants a beach house then give him or her this amazing production. A stunning box holds an informative and beautiful book and reproductions of botany and animal prints that would make the most resourceful interior decorator drool — relatively expensive ($50.00) but worth it!

Amazing Novels to surprise and delight:

First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett: This novel is a wonderful treat about rare books and the mysteries tied up in them. It is a joy to read and share by a talented North Carolina author who is a true anglophile. Nearly Perfect Copy by Allison Amend (art forgery, cloning and the intersection of the two as both are nearly perfect copies). Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof (debut from former NPR producer that has interesting characters and an enjoyable, original plot). Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith (mothers of sons lost in WW1 head to Europe on a government sponsored trip, interaction of women with different personalities and class with a shared loss). Third Son by Julie Wu (a boy in Taiwan, badly mistreated and denied opportunity because of his birth place, wins a scholarship to America — against all odds and without a formal education- moving, well written). Audio books: These are a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer for anyone — especially in-laws, friends or children who have a long commute or vacation drives. What about that biography you loved last year and want to share . . . find it in an audio book and enjoy how quickly they devour it!

College or High School Child:

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe: This is a beautiful and fun package, an amazing book that is a delight for all the inquisitive minds in your world. Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry: This is the most unique book I have ever seen. It looks like a composition book with every single page covered in creative word doodles from the professor of an image class that teaches students to observe, be present and create- very cool.

Bill’s Winning Books from the Non-Fiction Section:

Higher Call by Adam Makos (the story of a German pilot who chooses not to pull the trigger one week before Christmas and the American man he did not kill). Devils Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin 1939-1941 by Roger Moorhouse (superb and brilliant history). George Marshall: A Biography by Debi and Irwin Unger with Stanley Hirshon (excellent long overdue new biography). Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen (drop everything and read this book). The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Geoffrey Ward with Susanna Steisel with preface by Ken Burns (pictures, essays and political cartoons, this coffee table book is excellent under the tree).

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


B oo k s h e l f

Children’s Books Here Comes Santa Cat. Ages 2-4 Gather round Pete, Splat and Bad Kitty, There is a new cat in town and he is NOT on the nice list. Young readers will laugh out loud as Cat tries to be good, but Cat and tree-decorating don’t exactly mix. Still, this holiday, Cat might surprise even himself with his generosity and leave the Grinchiest of readers laughing. Best of all, he may just get to meet the man in the red suit himself — and receive a holiday surprise of his own.


Once Upon an Alphabet. Ages 4-6. Author Illustrator Oliver Jeffers has created an alphabet book like no other. Each letter is the star of one of 26 interconnected short stories which young readers will want to hear again and again.

Children’s Lantern Parade

Tree Lighting

Friday, Dec. 5th 5:00pm - 7:30pm Entertainment, photos with santa, hay rides and Caroling

Saturday, Dec. 6th 5:30pm - 6:30pm Parade through the streets to caroling & lantern light. everyone welcome! Bring your lantern or purchase one at

Stocking Stuffer

Saturday, Dec. 6th 10:00am - 5:00pm purchase a stocking and select merchants will fill it with gifts and goodies while you shop! Christmas fun for adults! Stockings are $15

Village Open House - Thursday, December 11th ‘til 7:00pm Merchants open late every thursday thru Christmas!


Leroy Ninker Saddles Up. Ages 6-8. Kate DiCamillo, best-selling author of The Tale of Despereaux and The Mercy Watson Series tells the tale of Leroy Ninker, who really just wants to buy a horse. And when he sees Mabelline, it is love at first sight. Hilarious fun for beginning readers. Map to Everywhere. Ages 9-13. A boy whom no one can ever remember, a girl searching for a way home, a mysterious ship that travels on the Pirate Stream — a river that runs everywhere and a very unusual map all come together to make the absolute best book of the year for readers 9-13. I’ll Give You the Sun. Age 14+. Jude and Noah are the closest of twins until their worlds are rocked by a personal tragedy. Told with two narratives woven together over three years, their lives unfold into a can’t- putdown story. PS

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Hotel of Dreams

At the Hotel Concord, a lifetime of treasured memories

By Dale Nixon

December 19, 1960,

my first formal dance (actually, my first any kind of dance) — “Winter Wonderland,” featuring the Jimmy Brown Combo in the Hotel Concord Ballroom from 9 p.m. to midnight. The cost: with date, $1.75; stag, $1.50.

I wore a red taffeta dress my Aunt Betty made for me. The receipt from The Remnant Shop read: two yards of fabric @ $1.99 a yard; plus one spool of thread @ 15 cents, making the grand total (after taxes) for my ball gown $4.26. My shoes were not dyed to match. Mother offered me a pair of her screw-on “ear bobs” and her white cotton gloves with pearl buttons, which she usually reserved for Sunday church. My date came to the door and picked me up (no horn-blowing in those days), and his father drove us to the hotel and promised to be back to pick us up. As we ascended the stairs that led to the ballroom, I saw that the hotel had been transformed into a winter wonderland. White construction paper had been intricately cut in the shape of snowflakes, drenched in silver glitter and taped to the walls. Snowflakes were suspended from the ceiling, and the glow from the dimly lit chandeliers cast a sparkle that bounced off every object and person in the room. My escort was most kind, but he talked about the Green Bay Packers all night, didn’t know how to dance and spilled punch down the front of my new dress. I had the time of my life. For the next five years, I attended every high school dance that was held at the hotel — Autumn Rhapsody, Snow-Ball, Harvest Holiday, the Sweetheart Dances, Holly Hop and Sadie Hawkins, to name a few.

Aunt Betty learned to cut slits in the skirts and stitch stays in the bodices to make me look more woman than girl. I bagged groceries at a local supermarket to purchase a pair of long white gloves for $3.07. What a splurge! During my junior and senior years, it became apparent that the boys were riding the elevator to a rented room on the third floor to drink out of the bathtub a liquid that I do not believe was bathwater. Whatever it was, there was something in it that made them want to dance. And dance we did. Bob Meyer and the Rivieras and the Catalinas became the bands of choice. Special ceremonies were sometimes held during intermission of our dances, and they usually took place in the center of the ballroom. Inductees to clubs and sororities were asked to come forward, and a sweetheart or two were named there. Our parents were always invited to watch from the balcony any time an honor was bestowed. In 1965, my crowd graduated (most of them anyway), and we all went our separate ways. Those of us who stayed in Concord and never moved away continued the tradition of the Hotel Concord. My wedding reception was held there, and when my girls came along, we would walk down the street from church each Sunday to enjoy the buffet lunch — tossed salad, fried chicken, country ham, green beans, biscuits, sweetened iced tea and a variety of desserts. The fare was never a surprise; we never wanted it to be. The manager became a friend of mine, and she would always let my family watch the Christmas parade hanging out of the window from her hotel room. December, 2014, what beautiful memories I have of that old hotel . . . PS After nine years of wonderful service to the readers of PineStraw magazine, Dale Nixon has decided to hang up her dancing shoes. We will seriously miss her. — The Editors. Dale can be reached at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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Red Bubbly Comes of Age

Sparkling shiraz from down under

By Robyn James

It’s the signature color of

Photograph by Brandi Swarms

Christmas, and a flute full of crimson bubbles completes the holiday mood: sparkling shiraz from Australia.

We still get the puzzled stare when we recommend this wine. Just as white zinfandel ruined the market for fine dry European rosé, American consumers haven’t forgotten Cold Duck, a sweet, coarsely alcoholic, red bubbly beverage that didn’t deserve to be called wine. Australians don’t know about Cold Duck, and they value their beautiful sparkling shiraz that they frequently use for a daily toast. They love it so much that most of the small production is consumed in Australia. The challenge can be in just finding it in American markets, as very little is imported out of Australia. You can make sparkling wine with any grape you choose; all you have to do is allow the juice to go through a secondary fermentation. In Champagne the primary grapes are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, picked early at harvest so acidity is high, creating more structure for the light bubbly. Aussies typically use some of their finest shiraz fruit for their sparkles, and they harvest this fruit at the same time they would harvest for the still shiraz they would produce. The wine is also aged in oak barrels, a controversial practice for French Champagne. But unlike Champagne, Aussie producers are not looking for acidity but rather a heavier creaminess that coats the mouth with a long, lingering finish. The texture and the richness are more important than the acidity, even though vintners always use the painstaking detailed methode champenoise. If you were to compare a glass of Cold Duck to sparkling shiraz, the difference would be visibly obvious to you. The beautiful deep dark ruby color and the elegant tiny bubbles would be a dead giveaway for the shiraz. There are aromas of toasty new oak. Meaty, leathery shiraz is rich and velvety, and heavy in flavor with notes of cherries, strawberries, chocolate and violets. Sparky Marquis, owner of Mollydooker, says, “We not only take it seriously, we reserve some of our finest fruit to make it.” Weirdly, professional wine reviewers

rarely, if ever throw high scores at these wines. I’m just guessing, but I suspect they just can’t find a reference point for this unusual category. Although priced considerably less than French Champagne, these are not cheap sparklers; most are priced over $20 and can reach $100. Here’s a trio of delicious offerings that made it to our shores just in time for a Christmas salute!

Shingleback Black Bubbles Sparkling Shiraz, Mclaren Vale, approx. $26

“Deep garnet-purple colored, the Shingleback Black Bubbles Sparkling Shiraz displays aromas of earth, warm blackberries and black cherries plus a whiff of star anise. Medium to full-bodied and fully sparkling with medium sized bubbles of good persistence, it has a light to medium level of chewy tannins, medium sweetness (21.5 g/l) and lively acid, finishing long, with lingering chocolate and licorice notes.”

RATED 87 POINTS, ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE The Chook Sparkling Shiraz, Australia, approx. $21

“Deep garnet in color, the NV sparkling shiraz offers aromas of warm raspberry preserves, red plums and mulberries with hints of licorice and chocolate. Medium-bodied and medium-sweet with balancing acid and a medium level of chewy tannins, it has a good persistence of bubbles and a long finish.” RATED 86 POINTS, ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

Paringa Sparkling Shiraz, South Australia, approx. $17

“Soft and fizzy, offering lovely blueberry pie flavors that are pure and lingering. Drink now.” RATED 87 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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The Holiday Bird

Local pastured turkeys are showing up for Christmas

By Jan Leitschuh

“Christmas is-a coming, and the goose is getting fat Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!” — American Christmas carol

For a winter holiday dinner, what’s a locavore to do? Farmers markets and produce-box co-ops are closed for the season, pausing for a well-earned respite from the growing cycle. Little beyond collards and sweet potatoes are available “fresh and local” for the kitchen gardener this month, and then only “if you know a guy.” The celebratory bird, basted golden brown and crackling on the outside, moist, tender and juicy on the inside, is a winter holiday classic. While sales of locally grown geese to crown the Christmas table are quite rare, local pastured turkeys — though also uncommon — are growing in popularity among Sandhills area growers. “There have been several farmers interested in raising them. They ask me questions and such,” says Kaitlyn Johnson, Moore County Cooperative Extension livestock agent. “I tell them they need to market in advance, have a waiting list. That way you know how many you need to grow.” Big Woods Cattle Company of Carthage is one such local grower who sought Johnson’s advice for turkey tips. There are certain advantages to purchasing a local holiday bird and bypassing the supermarket Butterball for the holidays. First of all, “The birds are very fresh,” says Johnson. “Growers typically have them processed the week before. Some people even say they taste better. And you’d also be supporting local farmers and supporting local business.” Other enthusiasts cite more nutritious meat, a better texture to the flesh, and an interest in supporting breeds that don’t require artificial insemination to reproduce, as the commercial broad-breasted birds do. And the pastured turkeys get to live their lives moving freely outdoors on grass. This is meaningful to a growing number of consumers who want their meat animals to be treated humanely. “Turkeys raised outdoors and on pasture

are juicy and full of flavor, because they get to live like, well, turkeys — foraging seeds, vegetation and insects, with plenty of fresh air and room to strut,” says the website for Little River Eco Farm of Harnett County. Pastured poultry meat may truly be more nutritious, according to a USDA website: Higher levels of Vitamin A permeate the skin. And free-ranging, pastured meat may contain heart-healthy fats: two 2008 studies, published in “Poultry Science,” found that pasture-fed chicken contained significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than chickens raised without access to fresh forage, says the website. The cons of a local, pastured bird: greater expense, hard to find, and an entire carcass to utilize. Of course, our grandmothers had a simple answer for that largesse — three days of leftovers, casseroles and turkey sandwiches, and then turkey soup to eat and freeze. A quick Google search on “turkey carcass” brings up over 178,000 results, so ideas still abound in Internet-land. This fall, the community-supported agriculture program of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative offered free-range, pastured Thanksgiving turkeys from Carthage’s Big Woods Cattle Company, a family-run operation, and Little River Eco Farm. Little River Eco Farm’s M.J. Bartlett started with heritage pigs, beef and a few laying hens, but soon expanded the stock repertoire to include the seasonal turkeys. “One of the driving forces for me was that every holiday dinner the birds were always dry,” she says, “like cardboard. They were horrible. I was so tired of those cardboard birds. The idea of a succulent bird took hold. Bartlett says “Our turkeys move around, enjoy all the bugs, seeds and grasses they can find. The large whites and bronze commercial birds of today are never raised to maturity, and they never have a chance to forage,” Bartlett adds. Hence, the meat texture of commercial birds tends to be very soft or even mushy. Modern breast meat is usually so dry that most processing plants add a brine and “flavor-enhancing solution” to give the meat a little more juice and taste. Yep, that’s not really butter in yonder Butterball. Commercial Broad-Breasted White turkeys are almost a breed apart from heritage turkeys — that is, older farmyard breeds that retain the ability to reproduce naturally and more resemble the wild turkey. Heritage and pastured birds have a finer and a denser meat. Sometimes the dark meat of a heritage bird is actually reddish to maroon in color. The skin is thicker, with a good chew. The birds are

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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not injected with a “brine solution to give them flavor.” But a heritage turkey is a longer-term proposition. Some heritage turkeys can take twenty-eight weeks to become a well-proportioned and nutritious table bird, compared to an average of fifteen weeks for the gigantic Broad-Breasted Whites that dominate the supermarkets. Bartlett selected the older Broad-Breasted Bronze as a reasonable alternative. This is Bartlett’s second season raising turkeys. She began last year with thirty birds, both heritage Bourbon Reds plus Broad-Breasted Bronze, an older breed related to white commercial birds and popular in the 1950s. The Bourbon Reds were beautiful but would fly out of their enclosure. They are also excruciatingly slow-growing. “It was hard to keep them in, and it took five to six months to end up with a bird of eight pounds,” says Bartlett. “Not an efficient use of our time.” The Broad-Breasted Bronze is a heavier bird, and Bartlett said she grew them too long that first year. She now aims for a ten to fifteen pound bird: “They were twenty-five pound last year! When you sell for minimum of $6 a pound, that’s outrageous.” Still, the experience was promising enough to try again. This year Bartlett raised 65 Broad-Breasted Bronze birds, getting them as day-old chicks in the mail. The first month the chicks live in a warm brooder, then they go out on pasture with movable netting and a roost. Weekly, they are moved onto fresh grass, adding nutrients to the soil and offering the avian form of pest control, being voracious eaters of insects. “They get to do all their strutting, live a natural life,” Bartlett says. “They get to express their “turkey-ness.” Pasture, natural foraging, exercise and a properly balanced diet are all key to healthy development, says Bartlett: “We have our supplemental feed customground, including essential minerals and vitamins.” How did turkey become the classic winter holiday bird? Turkeys are fresh,

affordable, and big enough to feed a crowd. Americans have long preferred large poultry for celebrations because the birds could be slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice, according to food writer Michelle Tsai. “Cows were more useful alive than dead, and commercial beef wasn’t widely available until the late 19th century,” says Tsai. “Hens were valuable as long as they laid eggs. There was plenty of ham or brined pork around, but it wasn’t considered fit for special occasions. Eating turkey was also in keeping with British holiday customs that had been imported to the New World. “Turkeys were also cheaper than geese, which were more difficult to raise, and turkeys were cheaper by the pound than chickens,” adds Tsai. “The British once served geese, swans, and even peacocks on special occasions, but they came to prefer turkey after it was first introduced to England in about 1540.” By 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday, turkeys had claimed Thanksgiving. And while the bird had already been associated with Christmas, says Wikipedia, the turkey also gained iconic status as a yuletide meal around the same time: “The classic menu of turkey with gravy, stuffing, and plum pudding was popularized by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published in 1843 and widely read in the United States. Some culinary historians believe Scrooge’s gift of a Christmas turkey to the Cratchit family helped cement the turkey’s place at the center of the holiday meal.” Batlett, along with her husband, John, who teaches at Campbell University, feel good about the furred and feathered livestock they raise, and so do their customers. “When people buy a bird that’s pastured at special time, it makes them fieel good about what they’re doing. And we enjoy that, too. We’re proud of our efforts.” PS Jan Leitschuh is a local gardener, avid eater of fresh produce and cofounder of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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The Truth About Christmas Fruitcake

A short but tasty history (or, rather, everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask)

By Nan Graham

I was an adult before I realized that fruit-

cakes do not grow on the Southern Claxton Tree that produces the wondrous Christmas delight: a rectangular box-shaped produce with seasonal red and white stripes, harvested in Georgia during the month of December. I envisioned the Claxton trees, limbs sagging with the weight of their striped boxes. Row upon row in the hundred-acre orchard of the Yuletide cakes, with scores of seasonal workers plucking frantically round the clock so no grocery or convenience store would go without.

Ours was not a fruitcake family — at least not in the culinary sense. Our holiday treats were homemade divinity, penuche and pralines. So I was somewhat reluctant to take on the ubiquitous cake as a topic. I am determined to start at the beginning. The Egyptians were the first to make the eternal cake. Those clever guys! What better to accompany you into the afterlife and through eternity than the everlasting fruitcake? The Greeks, always a bit more artsy, further refined the fruitcake with figs, pomegranates, dates and more nuts and called the revised cake the “Food of the Gods.” (Forget ambrosia, Zeus, it’s the fruitcake!) Fast forward to Founding Mother Martha Washington, who made what was called “The Great Cake.” It is unclear if it were so named because of its size and weight (twelve pounds), or its deliciousness, or its “gracious plenty” quality. It is said to have easily fed 150 people. Her granddaughter Martha Parke Custis copied this recipe from Nana Martha: Forty eggs, worked into four pounds of butter, four pounds of sugar, five pounds of flour, and an equal quantity of fruit. Add mace, nutmeg . . . wine and brandy. Martha writes, “The true fruitcake should contain but little batter in proportion to its fruit.” Baking time: five-and-a-half hours.

Not included in the instructions but critical to all fruitcakes is the alcohol soak. Wine, brandy, bourbon, rum, sherry or combinations of these may be used, but the cake should be placed in an airtight tin, soaked with the chosen spirits, covered with a cloth, soaked again with the high-octane liquid and sealed in the tin. It is essential that the fruitcake be “fed” every single week a with teaspoon of the alcoholic liquid. This is important for its longevity and historic everlasting moisture. Just put “feed the fruitcake” down on your calendar, along with your plants penciled in to be watered weekly, or your children who may be bathed on a similar schedule. It is evident that First Lady Martha did not labor over the mammoth cake herself and spent little time in Mount Vernon’s kitchen. She certainly would pop in during the marathon baking time to check on it. It was actually the kitchen help who whipped up the monster cake to be served on the Twelfth Night (January 5) of Christmas. The English have long been fans of the fruitcake and are puzzled by the American fruitcake phobia. On Twelfth Night in London, the Drury Lane Theatre has celebrated for the last 220 plus years with punch and “the Baddeley cake,” thanks to the generous bequest of Robert Baddeley. This comic actor and philanthropist designated one hundred pounds (10,000 pounds or $15,000 in today’s money) in his 1794 will to be invested and the dividends spent to purchase cake and punch for an annual Twelfth Night celebration for the theater company. The Baddeley cake began as a plum pudding sort of dish with a bean for the king and a pea for the queen inserted. The finders of the legumes were the designated royalty for the evening festivities. Today the symbolic bean and pea have disappeared but the 21st century theater company still enjoys the evolved frosted fruitcake today. (White frosting: the English idea of gilding the lily. No one can persist in traditions like the Brits!) Another English custom: almost all traditional wedding cakes are fruitcakes covered with that white frosting. This is beyond any vision of our American fruitcake. Kate and William’s royal eight-tiered creation was built from seventeen individual fruitcakes stacked atop a twelve fruitcake base as a pedestal for the royal ubercake. The garlands on the cake were copied from the architectural details in the room, the nine hundred flowers each symbolized some Victorian meaning, and the tour de force were English roses for Great Britain, Scottish

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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thistles, Welsh daffodils and Irish shamrocks, all on the seventh tier. Heather frosting was the crown on the cake. Needless to say, we across the pond have never seen any fruitcake remotely like this one. We do know that the regal wedding cake was regularly “fed” imported French brandy. No comments available on how the dessert tasted, but the brandy-laced wedding cake may have rendered many guests speechless. Back in Alabama, Marie Rudisill, eccentric aunt of author Truman Capote, wrote a book with the memorable title: Fruitcakes. It is a tribute to her famous nephew and fruitcakes through the years, which gave Marie her own slice of fame. Johnny Carson famously claimed there was really only one fruitcake in the entire world, which is re-gifted and circulated around the globe every Yuletide season. Marie, plainspoken and irreverent, was a favorite of both Johnny Carson and later Jay Leno. As a result of Carson’s oft-quoted fruitcake remark, Marie became a regular on The Tonight Show, dispensing advice on the Q&A segment “Ask The Fruitcake Lady.” The hysterical blue words of wisdom the nonagenarian gave to called-in questions quickly became the favorite talk around the water cooler. But the really hilarious clips show Jay and the tarttongued Fruitcake Lady cooking with Mel Gibson, Cuba Gooding and Tom Cruise and giving them each “what for” can still be viewed on YouTube. Marie’s sister, known as Sook, was the key character in a favorite book of mine by Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory, which opens with Sook (whose real name was Nannie Faulk) raising the kitchen window, sniffing the morning’s crisp November air and pronouncing, “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!” The autobiographical story, a mini-masterpiece set in Monroeville, Alabama (yes, the hometown of Harper Lee), tells of the annual fruitcake making adventure of the young boy Truman and his favorite childlike Aunt Sook. Others, even her own family, considered her peculiar behavior more than a bit odd. Little Truman, while his mother was between husbands, lived with the Faulk relatives, and an extraordinary bond grew between the little boy and his aunt. Every fall, when the air was just right, she and Truman, whom she called Buddy, prepared for the fruitcake frenzy. She and her nephew made thirty some odd cakes every November in these dark Depression times. They saved money all year for the ingredients they could not pilfer, barter or steal. With the little feisty dog Queenie, they shook nuts from a neighbor’s pecan grove, filled an ancient baby carriage with the purloined ingredient and hightailed it through the fence with Queenie trotting behind them. Last of the ingredients to be shopped for was the most essential for any self-respecting fruitcake: liquor. The mysterious Mr. Haha Jones, self-proclaimed Apache Indian, was the local bootlegger and proprietor of a juke joint

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h e Good st u f f

where scandalous things happened. The usually disagreeable man always refused to let Sook pay for the whiskey, insisting on bartering with an exchange of two of her fruitcakes. Sook’s ingredients include the usual suspects (butter, sugar, eggs and flour) as well as Brazil nuts, blanched almonds, pecan halves, black walnuts, white and dark raisins, candied cherries, citron, candied pineapple, dried figs, grape jelly, grape juice, grated bitter chocolate, generous portions of bourbon, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. To whom did the thirty magnificent fruitcakes go? People that Sook and Buddy liked and admired. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor always got the pick of the lot, the very finest and first of the cakes to be mailed. “People who struck our fancy: The Baptist missionaries from Borneo, the bus driver of the six o’clock bus from Mobile,” writes Capote, and two fruitcakes for the notorious Mr. Haha Jones. Dozens of others went to families enduring even harder times than the Faulks. Sook and Buddy drank the last of Mr. Haha’s leftover liquor and drew the wrath of the family for their unseemly tipsy behavior. Even Queenie got a snout full of Christmas cheer. Christmas Day finds the aunt and nephew exchanging homemade kites as Christmas gifts. The two go outside and fly their creations in the winter breeze. Years later, an adult Buddy remembers those magical years with his now-deceased eccentric aunt and looks skyward to see if there are two kites drifting across the sky, strings tangled together. “I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven,” the Capote story ends. A most poignant and touching Christmas memory indeed. Fruitcakes in my family were of the human species. My great aunt refused to vote in any election, claiming she was not a citizen of the United States because she was born right after Alabama seceded from the Union. My aunts rocking on the front porch in their slips on steamy Alabama summer nights telling stories, each trying to top the other’s hilarious tale. My brainy non-cooking grandmother who proudly shared her recipe torn from a magazine (canned pineapple ring sitting on a leaf of iceberg lettuce, some grated cheese with a dollop of Hellman’s mayonnaise on top), then launched into a full discussion of Camus and existentialism. My mother-in-law who washed Jerusalem artichokes in the local laundromat to spare her own washer the angst of the gritty tuber, to name a few. Those half-baked fruitcake relatives I can say with all honesty, I loved. The baked kind . . . not so much. PS

110 West Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines, NC 910-695-HARK (4275)

Ask PineStraw contributor Nan Graham to tell you about the mythic, meatloaf-shaped family “French Loaf” she received on her first married Christmas. We’ll give you a hint: It was a fruitcake. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Sandhills Photography Club “Fog, Haze and Rain” Competition Winners





2 CLASS A WINNERS 1 1st Place – Debra Regula – Rainy Rude Awakening 2 Honorable Mention – Neva Sheve – Rain Puddle Reflections 3 3rd Place – Debra Regula – Mountain Rain, Rain, Go Away 44


4 2nd Place – Willy Chu – Morning Mist 5 Honorable Mention – Jill Margeson — Lifting Fog

December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills






CLASS B WINNERS 1 1st Place – Mary New – Contemplating Raindrops 2 2nd Place – Grace Hill – Driveway Abstract

3 Honorable Mention – Wendell Dance – Overflow 4 3rd Place – Bill Bower – Morning Mist

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


The Christmas Tree That Grew

And there it stands today, big as a water tower, beautiful as ever

By Bill Fields

When you don’t have children and

their experiences to nudge your own memories aside, what happened long ago can seem very fresh. Although I’ve had plenty of nice holiday moments with nephews and the kids of friends through the years, Christmas past remains largely mine, a box and bow of recollections I never tire of opening. I know how rare and special it is to be a person in his mid-fifties who has the pleasure of returning to the home where so many of my memories were made. That’s never more true than in December, when the now and then come together as easily as we did in shirtsleeves on Christmas afternoons at the backyard basketball goal in Southern Pines. The hoop is gone, its sandy court covered by opportunistic ivy, the dribble, swish and shout soundtrack of two-on-two games heard only in memory. Yet, just a three-pointer away, it is Christmas 1974. We were a cedar-tree family for a long time. Cedars weren’t the most ornament-friendly species, but they were cheap, traditional (for us, anyway) and they smelled great. My father loved blue lights — a string of outdoor lights illuminated a camellia bush and another string was tacked around the front door. More blue strands were wrapped around the tree inside, which was anchored in a red stand whose water level was monitored as closely as a baby’s fever. Still, as warm as those lights got, our miracle was that the only fire in the living room came from the faux fireplace, where a spinning aluminum wheel flickered in front of an orange bulb. Our first non-cedar tree was a cut white pine around 1970. It looked more like Christmas trees in books, or the one by the Santa Claus at Collins

department store in Aberdeen, where you told him what you wanted for Christmas near men’s shoes and a fascinating automatic shoe polisher. One white pine beget another, including living ones to plant after their decorative duty was over. Dad would carefully dig a hole and water the tree once it was in the ground. This was followed by instructions not to hit it with a golf ball, a Frisbee, a football or someone diving to catch a football. Cautions aside, the first two live trees had short lives, turning brown before Valentine’s Day with laments from my parents to never try that again. But they were persistent people and they did try again. The six-foot white pine in 1974, perhaps the arboreal equivalent of a first-grader and under whose limbs sat my full set of Wilson Dynapower clubs that Christmas morning, was different. It went into the ground with the same care and admonitions as its unlucky predecessors, but by mid-winter this one wasn’t discarded by the curb. This tree lived — and grew. For many years I have been able to eyeball it looking straight out a second-floor window from our house. In tandem with a mature holly over which we used to hurdle on a dare way back when, the white pine, at least ten times as tall as it was forty years ago and as wide as a water tower, has effectively closed our pitch-and-putt course. That the huge evergreen once fit through our front door is as amazing as the fact that the 32-waist Levis in a forgotten closet fit me four decades ago. The successfully transplanted white pine was our last. Dad satisfied himself by overseeding the yard with ryegrass in winter and growing tomatoes in summer. White pines and Scotch pines lost favor to spruces and firs, their shapes nearly as perfect as an artificial model assembled like a toy. I’m still partial to those imperfect cedars and grateful for the sight of the white pine that got to grow up. The essence of a Christmas tree, though, isn’t what kind it is but those who are around it with you. PS

Southern Pines native Bill Fields never lived on Connecticut Avenue but has lived in the actual Connecticut for a long time.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Tis’ Better to Give than to Retrieve

Gentlemen’s Corner Village Square | Pinehurst, NC | 910.295.2011 | Lumina Station, Wilmington, NC | Chapel Hill | Palm Beach


December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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

Silent Nights, Holy Nights

In monastic silence, our man in the monastery hears voices within and without By Tom Allen

“Speech is silver but silence is

golden,” wrote the English poet Thomas Carlyle.

Finding space for silence, even in my profession, is a gift. So off I go, to the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where silent nights and holy nights are kept every night and throughout the day. As an only child, I welcomed solitude, even silence. The experience, I hoped, would be refreshing. My first monastery sojourn was at a writer’s conference, in California in 2007. Silence ruled from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., but I slept most of that time. During the day, I conversed with other minister-writers. We listened, laughed and critiqued each other’s work. We spoke with the monks at lunch and dinner. Then in June, I helped chaperone a church youth mission trip to Boston, where our teens visited the Cambridge monastery, sang for the monks and observed Compline, the closing service of the day. Brother Luke, one of twelve monks ranging in age from late 20s to their 70s, explained their vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience. Paths to monastic life varied. All were dedicated to prayer, hospitality and silent interludes. Luke spoke of the Great Silence — no talking from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. But there was a “lesser silence,” from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., where “conversations of necessity” were allowed. “I might do this again,” I thought. Suggested fee for a room and three meals — $100 per person per night. Find a New England B & B for that price in October. My hesitation? As an extrovert, restricting conversation would present a challenge. But, a few days isn’t a lifetime. I arrived on a gorgeous New England autumn Tuesday, in time for noon prayers in the Romanesque chapel. Afterwards an intern showed me the guest house with reading rooms, chapels and gardens. My room was stark but comfortable. Tuesday’s supper, a “talking meal,” was served after 6 p.m. prayer. Other meals would be silent. A guest guide stipulated, “Please do not initiate conversation with others who are here on retreat.” Reminders were everywhere — “Please respect the silence . . . ” At the evening meal, I met Brother Curtis, a senior monk and director for those entering the order. I sat next to Patrick, an art student and occasional dinner guest. Three other retreatants, two men and one woman, along with students from surrounding colleges, shared food that was

anything but monastic — vegetarian shepherd’s pie, carrot and ginger soup, edamame salad, fresh-baked whole wheat bread. For the next few days, the sound of silence prevailed. I never conversed with the other retreatants, had no idea why they were there. Solitude and silence, probably. Wednesday and Thursday, I passed on 6 a.m.w prayer, but attended the four other brief daily services. In between, I read, wrote or napped. I watched rowing crews on the Charles River from my third-floor window, sipped fair-trade coffee and munched on the monastery’s homemade granola. Calls home were made during daily walks. Friday was for sightseeing and, at last, conversation with newlyweds from New Hampshire and some Clemson fans, in town for a football game. Then, voluntary silence at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Saturday, I slept in, joined the monks for noonday prayer, followed by silent lunch. Brother Luke celebrated his birthday by choosing the menu. What a painting: beautiful homegrown food, classical background music, black-robed monks. The meal, ending with carrot cake and singing “Happy Birthday,” provided my last chance to learn something about my hosts. Brother Geoffrey, a parish priest from England and the monastery’s superior, encouraged table conversation to celebrate Luke’s milestone. I used this opportunity to ask the monks what might happen if a brother couldn’t match pitch on plainsong chant. “We’d probably just tell him to whisper,” joked Brother Nicholas. The brothers, some yet to take their vows, shared stories of their journeys — Brother Jim was a middle school music teacher; Brother David taught at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. We explored common interests — two of the monks grew up Baptist — and we mourned the Red Sox’s less-than-stellar season. What a perfect ending to a retreat — a good dose of silence for rest and reflection; just enough conversation to satisfy my inner extrovert. A screaming toddler on the flight home went unnoticed. Perhaps my few days at the monastery affirmed what I already knew — much in life is beyond our control. And we could all talk less and listen more, to the voice of others as well as to the voice within. However you choose to celebrate this holiday season, I pray you’ll discover moments of peace and light. As the brothers continue the rhythm of their day, may each of us find time to reflect, to be grateful, and to savor a few nights, both sacred and silent. PS Tom Allen is minister of education at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines. You may email him at For more information on the Society of St. John the Evangelist visit

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

O u t o f th e B l u e

Mad Money Whither the coin of the realm?

By Deborah Salomon

Granddaddy called the

bill he slipped into my birthday card “a piece of folding money.” I don’t remember the amount, only the feel of that limp, silky-smooth paper. Where had it been? Where was it going? Granddaddy also walked me down to the train tracks on hot summer evenings. A few minutes before the Pullman from Washington rounded the bend Granddaddy laid a penny on the rail, with two nails crossed over it. Then we stepped way back, waving at the conductor as the train passed, leaving a unique (because no two were alike) artifact on the track. Granddaddy didn’t know defacing coins was against the law, or if he did, my squeals justified the risk. Watch out. Cash is an endangered species. Not its value. Only the physical manifestation. People who pay cash for big-ticket items, I understand, provoke suspicion. Can’t they qualify for credit cards? Piggy bank sales have plummeted. So have wallet greeting cards, with an oval opening framing the president’s face. Think quickly: Who’s on a $50 bill? A hundred? Which non-presidents received this honor? Who cares? Re paper checks: You can monitor a supermarket cashier practically all day before seeing one. Coins? Without pay phones and parking meters (most take credit cards), they just weigh down pockets and purses. Where oh where have March of Dimes pledge cards with dime-sized slots gone? I felt important, helpful, filling them from my allowance, also tendered in coins which I polished — silver cream for quarters, ketchup for copper pennies. My most precious audio-visual memory from a Manhattan childhood is the clink of coins tossed against the worn marble counter by an Automat change-maker. Now, money is invisible. I still want bills mailed, so I have something for my records kept in a brown accordion folder, lest a solar flare wipe out computer files, but I pay them online — a bloodless, paperless, cash-free transaction. This reverence for cash continued in college when my father, who traveled nationwide representing a small manufacturing company, mailed

newsy letters to my post office box. Once in a while he’d paperclip a fin to the letter. Shamefully, I felt up the envelope for the paper clip before ripping it open. How honest Abe looked! Now I could take my boyfriend out for roast beef at the Rathskeller. My mother, the family bookkeeper, never knew. Cash leaves no paper trail. When my son was old enough, I’d slip a ten-spot into his pocket as he left on a date — if I liked the girl. Canadians, I must say, show more respect for currency. Their new twenties, made of polymer, not paper, come with a holograph and transparent strip to deter counterfeiters. They are beautiful. But one- and two-dollar denominations remain heavy coins, called loonies (from the bird pictured) and toonies. Somehow, a two-dollar coin doesn’t convey the same gravitas as a couple greenbacks. Besides, coins slip through the fingers too easily. Some say cash will disappear altogether, with a click of the iPhone and fingerprint-activated devices. With it will disappear an entire lexicon: Penny for your thoughts. Drop a dime. Two bits. Loose change. Coin of the realm. Wooden nickel. Dime a dozen. Dollar for dollar. C-note. Flip a coin. Phony as a two-dollar bill and, don’t worry, the check’s in the mail. Pity the magician who pulls a 50-cent piece out of a kid’s ear. Before this happens, make a Christmas tree of crisp new dollar bills for a child who, by removing them one by one for several months, may connect money to merchandise. These days, twenty dollars doesn’t buy much of a gift — and a $20 gift card is so . . . plastic. Instead, tuck a fresh twenty in a change purse from the dollar (!) store. Teenagers love this mad money, immediately negotiable, fun to spend, one size fits all, no shipping, handling, returns or exchanges — and accepted everywhere. Hurry. Do it soon, before those pennies from heaven stop falling. PS Deborah Salomon is a staff writer for PineStraw and The Pilot. She may be reached at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

P r o p e r E n g l i sh

The Christmas Bow Too much, I say. Just ask the dog

By Serena Brown

While I’ve

been living in the states, it has become apparent to me that there’s some sort of academy that Americans attend in order to learn the art of ribbon-tying and present-wrapping. Coming as I do from the school of newspaper packages tied up with baling twine or whatever comes to hand, I have a keen appreciation for the beauty of the American parcelling technique.

I asked my friend the Southern Belle where I could sign up for these classes. She told me she hadn’t been enrolled at any point, but I think she was pulling my leg because I’ve seen her do gift-wrapping and it’s wonderful. Just about every present, table decoration and flower arrangement I see this month — any month really, but December’s got the festive edge — will be gorgeous and adorned with a beautifully tied ribbon. In our family the closest we come to this level of adornment is a tradition of putting a “Christmas bow” on our dogs to mark the special day. Don’t imagine this as an elaborate ornamentation. No, no, think back to the newspaper and twine. I know the dogs would be very grateful if I’d work on my ribbon-tying

skills. Every year the poor things have to endure a piece of green or scarlet satin for the two minutes it takes for the bow to unravel and be deposited in a soggy heap on the lawn. I looked for a photograph of the canines in their Yuletide regalia to illustrate this story but couldn’t find one. In an age in which it is possible to record every waking moment in 300 digital images, this gives some idea of the longevity of the Christmas bow. I’ve observed a way of overcoming, well, getting round, my lack of ability. Your gift bags are ingenious. As far as I’m aware we haven’t graduated to these yet in Britain. No scrambling around with the wrapping paper, trying to find the scissors, queuing up with the other last-minute wrappers for the Sellotape at 11 at night on Christmas Eve. Simply drop the present into a brightly colored bag and cover with a scrunch of tissue paper. Brilliant. Environmentally friendly too, because the bag can be reused. There’s something fun, though, about proper wrapping: digging out last year’s cardboard tubes of paper, the cries of “Who’s got the marker pen?” and the sudden magical appearance of the presents by noon(ish) on Christmas Day. Is that a satin ribbon trailing kitchen-ward down the corridor? Just the thing to make a present extra special, even if it is a bit hairy. Happy holidays, everyone. PS Serena Brown is a new mom and a treasured staff member at PineStraw magazine, despite her charming use of language.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014




Dont’ ForgetHoliday Shopping is just around the corner!



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128 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Southern Pines, NC

December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Christmas Bird Count It comes but once a year

By Susan Campbell

Photograph by debra Regula

It is the cold,

short days of December that get birdwatchers itching for the biggest event of the year: the Christmas Bird Count. What started out as a competitive shooting event in the late 19th century in nearby Moore County has become an international tradition for thousands of serious bird enthusiasts. Beginning on Christmas Day, 1,900 early bird conservationists ventured into the field in twenty-seven teams to count for the first time — not kill — as many birds as they could find. Frank Chapman, a member of the fledgling Audubon Society, gets the credit for kicking off the first CBCs, as these events are known to most of us. Although a few count days are actually on Christmas, most are scheduled sometime in the week before or after Christmas. The event does have very specific parameters. Also the standardization involved has made CBCs useful tools for documenting changes in bird populations. The basis for understanding the long-term health and status of birds across North America has been made possible, in large part, by these seasonal counts. A sudden decline in a local population may signal issues with habitat fragmentation or an immediate threat such as environmental contamination. Not only are numbers of species and individuals tallied by each observer, but level of effort is calculated for each party in the field. Since there are participants who will spend only a few hours out counting versus others who dedicate twelve hours or more, the time and distance they cover will be

very different. Of course, those birders further north will certainly tally fewer birds than those in warmer southern climes where wintering birds are typically more numerous. So not surprisingly, results will vary by location as well as with effort. Interestingly, experience of the counters does not affect the outcome as much as one would think. Since participants are, for the most part, tallying familiar birds, the count tends to be representative regardless of skill. People interested in helping with counts who are less knowledgeable are paired up with teams that have been volunteers for the area in question. It is a day of camaraderie and good exercise in the fresh air. However, those who find it difficult to get out into the field because they don’t have the leisure or have health issues may simply count the birds at their feeders the day of the count. Every bird is equally important on a CBC. Here in Greensboro, the Piedmont Bird Club organizes the annual count. The center of the fifteen-mile diameter of the count is the Lowe’s on Battleground. There will be about a dozen parties participating, half of which will venture out before dawn in search of owls and any other birds that might be calling in the early morning. If it is a good day, the group hopes to tally one hundred species. Some of the hard core participants will be searching hard for lingering warm weather species such as a blue-headed vireo or eastern phoebe. Cold weather feeder specialties include rufous hummingbird and Baltimore oriole. Occasionally birds from out of the area, such as red-breasted merganser or red-necked grebe may be spotted, both of which were found last year. If you would like to volunteer for the local CBC, Saturday, December 20th is the day. Elizabeth Link is the organizer and compiler, so shoot her an email ( If you do not have a lot of free time on count day or would rather stay indoors, perhaps you will consider being one of the “feeder watchers” in the circle. Either way, come join in the fun! PS Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at, by phone (910) 949-3207 or by mail at 144 Pine Ridge Drive, Whispering Pines, N.C. 28327.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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C has i n g H o r n e ts

The Misfits

Formed with players other teams didn’t want, the Charlotte Hornets were born. Now, they are back — and we still believe By Wiley Cash

It was the first day of Coach Dick

Harter’s summer basketball camp, and we’d just witnessed one of the Charlotte Hornets’ big men having his uncontested dunk blocked by the rim. You’d think a gymnasium full of pre-teen boys would laugh at seeing something like that — a 6-foot 10-inch center failing in such grand style — but instead we all gasped, held our collective breath, and then grew funeral-quiet. It wasn’t that we were afraid to laugh, we just knew it was the wrong thing to do. The first season in Hornets’ history had just ended with a 20 – 62 record, and the last thing this player needed to hear were the jeers of 200 sweaty, pimply boys.

I’m going to admit something I haven’t admitted since that sixth-grade summer: I had dreams of playing in the NBA. Like most of the kids I grew up with in Gastonia, North Carolina, I was a good — but not great — basketball player. I was tall for my age, could jump high, could run fast, and I had reliable jumper and solid ball-handling skills. I wasn’t exceptional, but in 1989 that seemed good enough. The Charlotte Hornets weren’t exceptional either.

I was 11 years old the first time the Charlotte Hornets came to town, but I remember them clearly; they seemed a ragtag bunch, these men in teal and purple. The 1988 Hornets roster was formed by a supplemental draft, which means that the other teams in the NBA could protect a certain amount of their rosters from being pillaged; whoever wasn’t protected was free game. All that to say this: The Hornets were largely formed by players other teams didn’t want anymore. These may seem like inauspicious beginnings, but we didn’t care. We loved the team for precisely that reason. No one else wanted them, which meant they were ours, and we were proud to claim these misfits. Several of them come to mind: Kelly Tripucka, a seven-year veteran and former All-Star whose good looks and well-coiffed hair made him seem more like a movie extra than a basketball player; Muggsy Bogues, who after his rookie year with the Washington Bullets was best known for being the shortest player in NBA history; and then there’s that 6-foot 10-inch center who will live forever in my memory as the only NBA player I’ve ever witnessed missing an uncontested dunk at a summer basketball camp. To understand what a big deal the Charlotte Hornets’ first season was one has to understand the situation the city of Charlotte found itself in back in 1988. At

the time, the city was better known for being the home of fallen televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker than it was for being the home of some of the nation’s largest banks. Radio personalities like Fox’s John Boy and Billy were considered royalty years before anyone knew names like Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis or Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. Aside from the region’s love of basketball — college basketball in particular — it seemed an unlikely place for an NBA franchise to take hold, much less flourish. But it did. It not only flourished, it thrived. By far, the most exciting moment of the first season was a Christmastime buzzer-beater against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Now, twenty-six years later, Michael Jordan is still the most exciting thing about the Hornets in their “second” inaugural season in Charlotte. He became the controlling owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010, and once the New Orleans Hornets relinquished the name at the end of the 2013 season, Jordan listened to the people of Charlotte and brought the Hornets home. Now, as the owner, Jordan has amassed another team of misfits: There’s Lance Stephenson, an ex-Indiana Pacer who’s best known for blowing in LeBron James’s ear during last year’s playoffs; Gerald Henderson, who was briefly the most hated man in North Carolina after breaking Tyler Hansbrough’s nose during one of the Tarheels’ epic battles against the Blue Devils; and Kemba Walker, another under-sized point guard who led the UCONN Huskies to a miraculous NCAA Championship in 2011. But Charlotte’s a different place than it was in 1988. The city’s more experienced, perhaps more jaded. Sure, it witnessed the collapse of the Jim Bakker empire in the 1980s, but the near-collapse of its world-renowned banking industry in 2008 was the much tougher blow. And there’s competition now; the Panthers came to town in 1996 and were the most successful expansion team in NFL history, making the playoffs in their second season and a Super Bowl appearance in 2003. When I think about the Hornets’ return to Charlotte and how the fans and city seem overwhelmed with joy in welcoming them back, I can’t help but think of that 6-foot 10-inch center who missed the dunk on that long ago summer afternoon when I was 12 years old. That day in that hot, dusty gymnasium, we all cheered for him to give that same dunk another shot. He did. And he made it. We’re still cheering. We still want the Hornets to make it, and I believe they will. The first game of the Charlotte Hornets’ 2014—2015 season just ended, and there was a Hornets game in Charlotte for the first time in twenty-six years. Kemba Walker led the team as they overcame a 24-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime. What’s ironic is that it was the largest comeback in Charlotte’s franchise history. The largest comeback. They came back. The Hornets are back. PS Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released in January 2014. He lives in Wilmington.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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Catching Up With Christmas Once more to the woods — and serenity

By Tom Bryant

It seemed as if the Christmas season

had sneaked up on me like a fox on a field mouse. Granted, the tree was already up and I planned to put the Polar Express electric train around the base as we had done the last couple of years, but something was just not right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the unseasonably warm weather, or perhaps the lack of good old Christmas carols on the radio. Radio stations had been playing the same holiday music constantly since Thanksgiving, but too much of a good thing turns into too much of nothing. Something was amiss, and I just couldn’t get into the spirit.

I brought the train down from the closet in the attic and told Linda that I would lay out the track as soon as I got back from the dove field. “You aren’t going hunting today?” she asked. “We have a ton of stuff to do before we go to South Carolina.” We were planning to go down to the farm to visit the family and see if there was anything we could do before Christmas week. The plan was to spend Christmas day with my 95-year-young mother and my sister, Bonnie. Since my brother Guery had built himself a house on the back pasture of the home place and he would celebrate with us, the holiday would really seem like a family reunion. “No, I’m not going to hunt,” I replied. “I’m going shoot some mistletoe from that big white oak growing beside the pond. You remember, the one I showed you last week.” Linda and I always go to the little farm I lease for dove hunting to clip greenery for decorations. On our venture to the woods the week before, I

had spotted the mistletoe but didn’t have my rifle on hand to shoot it out of the tree. “Be careful and don’t be late. We’re having an early supper.” I flipped on the car radio for the ride to the dove field, but the same Christmas music was playing over and over again, so I put in a CD, Celine Dion’s newest holiday effort. Her rendition of “Silent Night” was as pretty as I’ve ever heard. Just what I needed, I thought, beautiful music and a trip to the woods. Finally, I’m catching up with Christmas. As I unlocked and opened the gate to the farm, I saw ten or fifteen Canada geese glide across the far end of the field. It looked as if they were dropping into the little pond bordered by the white oak harboring the mistletoe. Sorry, geese, I hate to disturb you, but I need that mistletoe. And if you come back after Christmas, I’ll be a welcoming party of one. It has been a while since I had a Christmas goose, and one would sure taste good around New Year’s. I pulled up to the little path that circled the pond and softly shut the door to the truck. As I eased around the far end, I saw the geese grouped under the big cypress that grows in about two feet of water. They saw me and began swimming hither and yon in confusion, reminding me of a Marx Brothers skit. Hemmed in by the tree line, the only way they could get flying room was to head directly toward me, setting up a classic duck hunting — or in this case — goose hunting shot. They flew over my head honking like a bunch of taxi drivers in a Manhattan traffic jam. I grinned as I threw up my imaginary shotgun and said, “Bam! Bang! Bam! Three geese in the pot.” The geese flew on complaining to each other about the interloper who disturbed their reverie. It was no problem shooting the mistletoe from the big white oak, and I got several clumps loaded with dainty, milk-white berries. Back at the truck, I slipped on my coat. It’s amazing how the temperature drops when the sun starts going down. The coolness reminded me of early season duck hunting

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


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December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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at our lodge. This was the second year in a row that I had not been duck hunting. Our group had dropped our lease on impoundments at Mattamuskeet, and unfortunately, duck hunting in the Sandhills leaves something to be desired. But seeing those geese had brought back great memories of my times water fowling. I opened the back gate to the Xterra and sat down as I would on the tailgate of a pickup, grabbed a drink out of the cooler and opened a pack of nabs for a little treat. Clouds were drifting in from the west. Could be the weather was about to change. I used to watch the Weather Channel religiously first thing every morning, but it’s not like it was in the early days. The folks running it now have turned it into something resembling reality TV, usually having some guy trying to survive, standing around in a hurricane or on the border of a tornado. Now my weather forecasting is to go outside, and if it’s raining I get some rain gear, if it’s cold, a coat. It’s a lot more fun having a little mystery in the atmosphere. A couple of deer moved out into the field on the north side of the farm. They were as pretty as a picture as they browsed the grasses. Two more joined them as if they were going to have a regular party. I switched off the overhead lights in the vehicle and decided to watch for a while as two more young deer came out of the tree line to feed. A solitary red-tail hawk soared effortlessly over the fields, perhaps looking for supper. Speaking of supper, time to go. I fired up the truck and watched as the deer moved back in the trees. On the way home, I thought about all the traditions our family has created in celebrating Christmas. I mentally made a list as I cruised through the country. Number one would have to be the nine-foot Frasier fir that we always get directly from Ashe County and all the decorations we have accumulated over many years. And I love the aroma of the festive greenery placed throughout the house. Then there are the wonderful holiday foods, including turkey, duck and venison, and all the colorful desserts: Christmas cakes, pies and cookies. All this leads to the climax with the family gathering for our classic gift-giving on Christmas morning. Wonderful family traditions. But what made this Christmas even more special was my late afternoon trip to the peaceful, silent serenity of the woods. Deer grazing along the edge of the field, the geese on the pond, and the lone red-tail hawk, backlit by an early winter sunset. It was as if Mother Nature had created a special Christmas card just for me. PS Tom Bryant is an avid outdoorsman who really does know how to cook a Christmas goose.

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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Santa’s List

Our man of the links shares his ardent Christmas desires

By Lee Pace

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the course, My ball just kept bounding through the heather and gorse. The flags were all bristling in the cool winter breeze My hopes were for birdies and to simply not freeze.

Bad poetry aside, the holidays are upon us. Frost delays, numb fingers and red noses are part of the game. Television images of golfers sauntering through the sunny climes of Southern California are still a month away. To pass the time, here’s my Santa’s wish list cobbled through my lusts and longings in the world of golf: An international golf trip to Royal County Down. I’ve been to Scotland several times, the northwest and southeast corners of Ireland and to Wales. But I’ve never been to this Tom Morris-designed links treasure on the coast of Northern Ireland. My mouth drools and my knees quiver when I see those iconic photos from the ninth tee, the highest point on the course, with the fairway in the foreground and the church steeple, the Mountains of Mourne and the Irish Sea in the background. Probably $3,500 for a week including airfare, with plenty of golf and comfortable lodgings. A North American golf trip to Cabot Links in Nova Scotia. Hanging around Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and their talented crew members during their 2010-11 restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 whetted my appetite to play any course designed from scratch or as a touch-up by this talented team. Cabot Links opened in 2011 outside the town of Inverness. It was designed by Ron Whitman and was immediately hailed for its views of the ocean on every hole, its taut playing surfaces and linksland feel. The C&C-designed Cabot Cliffs is expected to debut in July 2015, and one early inspector of the course pegged it “Pebble Beach on steroids.” You could get three nights lodging, three rounds of golf plus airfare for under two grand. A cross-state golf trip to Linville Golf Club. Donald Ross designed the golf course in 1924 in Avery County in northwestern North Carolina, and Old World charm permeates the golf experience and that of the adjoining Eseeola Lodge. Grandmother Creek crosses the course a dozen times, and the fifth hole kisses Lake Kawana, the seven-acre lake built for fishing and recreation. The greens are small and lightning-quick in the summer. The streams, ponds and lake on the resort campus are stocked with trout that form one of the mainstays of the Eseeola menu, and the Thursday night seafood buffet is a revered tradition. About $1,000

for three nights and three rounds of golf, all inclusive. A great book. There’s nothing better for melting time in the winter than a soft leather chair, a strong cuppa Joe and the British storyteller P.G. Wodehouse spinning golf yarns through the eyes of the Oldest Member. The Clicking of Cuthbert is his most renowned collection of stories woven around his passion for the game and the inevitable elements of love, rivalry and revenge at Wood Hills Club. A 1922 first edition can be snared for the tidy sum of $9,871 from Jonkers Rare Books in London. A collectible. Michael Horstman was a NASA scientist whose eye for detail and the fine print helped put a man on the moon in the 1960s. Upon retirement, the avid golfer set about assembling 27,000 pieces of wood and metal into a replica of the Royal and Ancient clubhouse in St. Andrews. It took six months to build and is for sale for $15,000, give or take, from Tom Stewart in Old Sport & Gallery in the village of Pinehurst. “It’s my favorite piece in the shop,” says Stewart, who’s sold books, artwork and collectibles in the shop since 1999. “It’s a really cool piece. The detail work is incredible.” An iconic golf course accoutrement. How cool would it be to have leaning in the corner of my office a wicker basket from Merion Golf Club, the five-time U.S. Open venue in the Philadelphia suburbs? Wicker baskets have been used on Merion flagsticks at least since 1915 instead of standard cloth flags; speculation has it that course designer William Flynn received a patent for manufacturing wicker baskets and thought this would be a clever marketing ploy. The baskets are red on the outgoing nine and orange on the incoming nine. Replica baskets and flagsticks occasionally pop up on eBay and golf memorabilia sites; one sold for $435 on Green Jacket Auctions last summer. A set of wedges. Is there anything more elegant in the world of golf equipment than the Vokey wedge, designed for Titleist since 2004 by master craftsman Bob Vokey? The heads come in tour chrome, oil can and black colors, and the new TX3 grooves are deeper and add extra spin from around the green. The Vokeys are renowned among Tour players and rank amateurs alike for their spin, distance and trajectory control. A set of three wedges 52, 56 and 60 degrees would cost around $400. A practice gadget. Seeing is believing when it comes to golf instruction and practice, and now golfers don’t need access to elaborate video systems and indoor hitting bays to detect spine-angle lifting, swaying or poor takeaway angles. Simply affix your iPhone or Android device to the Cradlz Universal Smart Phone Holster, mount it on a standard fiberglass aim stick, and now you can take your own video on the practice range. “I’m a big fan of using cell phones for video review,” says Pinehurst chief instructor Eric Alpenfels. “You can get an app from J.C. Video

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



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December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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that will allow you to review your swing with graphics. It’s a great tool for game improvement.” The holster is $19.95 plus shipping. A cashmere sweater. The new microfibers and Gen-X polyesters are an infinite improvement over the fiber du jour polyester of the ’70s, but there’s still something about a cashmere sweater on the golf course. Alan Paine Co. has been making fine English sweaters and knitwear since 1907, and one fetching garment from its inventory is a reversible gilet silver/gray on one side, steel blue on the other, with a center zip and leather pull. “It’s like getting two sweaters in one,” says Chris Dalrymple, proprietor of The Gentlemen’s Corner in Pinehurst, where the gilet retails for $345. “You can wear blue on the front nine, gray on the back.” A fitness device. There are plenty of hit-it-longer training devices out there. Some help you delay your release into the ball. Others entice you to swing hard. Still others attempt to strengthen your hands, arms, shoulders and core so that you can generate more clubhead speed. One in the latter category is the Momentus Golf Swing Trainer, which is a specially designed club that works to improve strength and flexibility in the golf-specific muscle groups while synchronizing the proper hand, arm and body movements. The device comes in 6.5 and 11.5-pound models for men at $99.99 each and is available from Momentus. A new set of head covers. Stitch Golf Inc. is a Carybased purveyor of fine golf accessories from head covers to slim-fit golf bags to shoe bags and divot tools. Today’s driver heads are bigger than ever, but hybrid clubs are used more frequently, and those heads vary greatly in size. Proper fit in head covers is more important than ever, and Stitch’s leather and knitted head covers promise to be tight enough to stay on your clubs but not so snug you have to wrestle them off. And they’re stylish to boot. A set of three leather head covers in the Roadster style in baseball glove brown runs $139.99. And for stocking stuffers: A can of Arnold Palmer Half & Half (lemonade and iced tea, under a buck); a pair of Kentwool low-profile socks made of a fabric developed for the U.S. Special Forces that could be worn comfortably at 20 degrees and 120 degrees ($20); a Moleskine notebook to use for swing thoughts, travel details and course minutia that you’d otherwise forget ($10); and a box of Nonnie Waller’s Tea Time Chocolates 18 gourmet chocolates in milk, dark and white chocolate flavors, molded in the form of golf balls ($35.95 plus delivery). The tab is just under $33,000, Santa. Now get busy before I come up with more ideas. PS A nice gift idea is an updated edition of Lee Pace’s book, The Golden Age of Pinehurst — The Story of the Rebirth of No. 2, available now at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


The first round after a great round starts here. The Ryder Cup Lounge Just off the porch of the historic Carolina Hotel, the Ryder Cup offers a generous selection of draft beers, scotch and bourbon as well as a mouth-watering menu with everything from Jumbo Lump Crabcake Sliders to Backyard Rib Stacks. So after your last putt drops, pick up a glass at the Ryder Cup.

Li v e Mu s i c Bob Redding

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The Carolina Hotel • Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina • 910.235.8415 • p ehurs i.comn t




Friday & Saturday Nights • Sunday Brunch

December Santa, Dear Santa


Twas the month before Christmas and not in my house could be found a nibble, not even by Spouse. The treats were all gone, given away, in hopes that my waist would come back one fine day. It seems that a joke has been played as of late, my boobs and my knees now appear to relate. I am looking for something to help me improve. Santa, dear Santa, what am I to do? Folks will come by expecting a nosh, how can I say “nothing” while still looking posh? Why is not Cab Sauv really a fruit? Must all the good things make me bulge in my suit? Santa, dear Santa, I have several weeks, is it possible still to slim down my cheeks? Don’t laugh at me Santa, you got me this way, with years of treats waiting each Christmas Day. On ankles, on thighs, on tush, pounds they go! Can you pretty please make me as light as the snow? Must I run at a track or climb up a wall. Is there something for women over 50 . . . at all? I am jolly and round but who wants a chubby old elf either running or standing or perched on a shelf? At least I have no bags on my face, although I see age coming on apace. So Santa, dear Santa, as you read my list just remember that clothes are meant to fit. Can you bring me that smaller waist I once knew . . . oh go on, surprise me, make me a size 2!

— Joyce Reehling

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014




Robert Menzies and family share — and celebrate — the glory of a Gilded Age train By Gayvin Powers • Photographs by John Gessner

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ernest Hemingway


t’s the time of year when holiday enchantment fills the air, building excitement of what is to come and inducing fond memories of times past. Apple cider simmers on the stove, mistletoe invites stolen kisses and children dream of ponies, play toys and sugar plums. In the distance, a train barrels down the tracks; these are not electric trains puttering around a Christmas tree; these are coal-fueled trains traveling 80 miles per hour past snow covered pine trees outside in the crisp winter air. Robert Menzies, owner of the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, wouldn’t have it any other way. In Menzies’ youth, electric trains were on lists to Santa, but he dreamed of riding the rails. His mother has been known to say that he was chasing trains from the time he walked. Menzies’ fascination with trains and travel only increased as he got older. By college, Menzies and his friends would hop the freight trains and feed their wanderlust. Throughout his life, trains provided him freedom, family and memories that he couldn’t experience any other way. Menzies attributes his love of trains and childhood wanderlust to having dyslexia. “Dyslexia taught me perseverance,” he says. “Because I couldn’t read well or live vicariously through books, I experienced life through trains and travel. What would have been considered a handicap was a gift.” This gift led Menzies to eventually own and operate a railroad business, located in Candor, North Carolina, specializing in freight shipping and passenger trains. With freight trains running from Charlotte towards Raleigh and extending south toward Pinehurst, it makes the company the “largest privately held shortline or regional freight railroad in North Carolina,” according to the company website. For Menzies, the pi®é® ce de résistance is his historical, cranberrycolored passenger cars used to promote economic development that were recently on display, parked alongside the U.S. Open last June in Pinehurst.


December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Robert Menzies, owner of the & Western Railway PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aberdeen . . . . . . . . . Carolina . . . . . . . . December 2014 69

period costumes by mary mckeithen

It was a long haul getting to Pinehurst. A lifetime to be exact. In 1987, Menzies bought a freight railroad with one locomotive and had three customers. He says that back in those days, “the ties were rotten and like butter. We had so many derailments that the Pilot stopped taking pictures as they were no longer newsworthy.” Fortunately, the derailments are in the past. “People told me I was crazy for buying the business. After six months, I agreed with them,” Menzies says. “It took me 17 years to be profitable.” He laughs, “My ignorance got me into my businesses, but it’s my Scottish perseverance that got me through them.” Along this journey, Menzies took his childhood passion and turned it into something greater by combining a love of traveling the rails and a career that he now shares with his family: His wife Rita and children from their previous marriages Andy Harrell, Anthony Menzies and Jennifer Harrell. Robert and Rita Menzies took their family on several trips throughout the United States in search of trains. They were looking for the right addition to their family — to make it complete. A favorite story is when they were in Flagstaff, Arizona. Late at night, the children were telling ghost stories, and ended with one about a man hit by a train who haunts the tracks. Robert Menzies, ever aware of train schedules, pulled their camper into a space to sleep for the night. At midnight, the entire family woke to bright lights, the camper shaking and train horns barreling down the tracks toward the camper. Robert Menzies had parked near two train tracks, knowing the trains would be whizzing by shortly. “It was payback to the children for listening to ghost stories all night,” Menzies says, chuckling.

It wasn’t until June 2012 that the Menzies family found what they were looking for in an 189,100-pound, passenger car named, “Roamer.” Made by American Car and Foundry, this child was unlike Robert and Rita’s other children. Born in 1917, the Roamer is remarkable due to the intricate, period details, including solid oak interiors; hand cut Italian tile bathrooms and

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

period costumes by mary mckeithen

gilded hardware. To the Menzies, it’s much more than a passenger car. They unanimously agree that she is a member of the family, a sister — she is simply too beautiful to be a brother. “I was the favorite child until the Roamer came along,” says Jennifer, the family’s youngest. While walking down the century-old, quarter sawn oak corridor of the Roamer, it’s easy to see how a guest could become a child again, lost in the enchantment of the Gilded Age when robber barons ruled the rails and their personal passenger cars were social, artistic and financial statements. A porter’s room allowed a chef and porter to prep behind the scenes during the day and a small space to sleep at night. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed tea and scones, turned-down beds and Irish linen tablecloths topped with hothouse roses in crystal vases. It’s a bit of an American Downton Abbey on the rails. One wonders if the Roamer’s walls could talk, what secrets would she reveal about her heydays in the 1920s? Did Florenz Ziegfeld, creator of the Ziegfeld Follies, and John Studebaker, car manufacturer, get royal flushes or stain the walls with cigar smoke while playing poker? When Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales and future King of England, went to sleep watching the passing landscape from his bed, could he imagine that in less then ten years he’d meet an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, fall in love and abdicate his thrown? Or in 1964, did former President Dwight Eisenhower revise his speech dedicating the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the Roamer’s ornate, built-in desk? These secrets remain within the walls of the Roamer, but Menzies made it his mission to revive the rich structural history buried under years of decay by

hiring a team of highly skilled crafts persons. Dale Parks, vice president and chief mechanical officer at Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, oversaw the restoration of the Roamer, managing up to 25 workers on the train at a time. During The Great Depression and World War II, in order to save money, paint was added over existing layers. It led to over 30 layers of paint peeling off the car. Todd Jorgensen, a Smithsonian-trained conservator, painstakingly revived

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

period costumes by mary mckeithen

the oak and gold leaf in the car and found an aged whiskey bottle behind one of the panels — courtesy from one of the original contractors. Modern upgrades were also added, such as air conditioning, updated electrical and more that were cleverly concealed to hide the modernism. Jorgensen predicted it would take two years to restore the car, but a team of devoted contractors worked around the clock for six months ensuring the Roamer would have her Inaugural Run dur-

ing the U.S. Open — it was the first time she’d run in 40 years. The Roamer wasn’t the only passenger car that received a makeover. The “Pinehurst,” a Pullman car that is a tribute to the village of Pinehurst itself, features memorabilia, old prints and décor from the early days of Pinehurst. A highlight in this car is exquisite murals created by Dave Marino, a well-known artist from Florida. The Pinehurst holds a 24-seat dining room, kitchen and room dedicated to comfortable, period chairs begging guests to read the latest novel by Edith Warton or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Included in the train restoration is “The Patio,” an open-air passenger car that originally started out as a freight car. Menzies reinvented the car by taking off the roof and sides of the car and installing beer on tap where guests can help themselves, allowing visitors to enjoy a mobile beer garden with scenic views of the countryside. “Robert has such a love for these historic cars,” says Rita. “I’m so happy that he has that. He’s put so much imagination and foresight into them.” All of this thought and effort culminated at the U.S. Open last June during a nighttime celebration where guests traveled on the train from Pinehurst to Candor and back again. With each step, guests fell more in love with the train, and it was easy to imagine how John Philip Sousa, Lillian Gish or Percy Rockefeller traveled throughout the country. The freedom, luxury and adventure of train travel, as guests discovered on the run from Pinehurst to Candor, is exhilarating, especially when experienced through Menzies’ vision.


December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

period costumes by mary mckeithen

“We want people to appreciate them,” says Menzies. It’s hard not to enjoy and indulge in the history when walking through his passenger cars, taking visitors back to a bygone era when traveling by train was the main mode of transportation and height of travel luxury. Menzies has enjoyed preserving the history of these cars so much that he’s currently restoring another Pullman car named, “Mission Santa Ynez,” expected to be finished in Spring of 2015. Currently, there is a historic revival going on in the United States regarding trains. People are beginning to explore the United States again through train travel with the last ten out of eleven years seeing increases in ridership. Train travelers are able to have a comfortable trip while exploring the states the way previous generations from the 1800s would have seen it. Rita Menzies adds that, “Now people can even attach their personal passenger cars on the back of Amtrak cars and travel that way.” Robert Menzies shares why trains are important to the future of transportation in the United States, “We can’t keep building roads. We have to relieve congestion. The railroad can help alleviate the roads and traffic in big cities. Passenger trains in Europe and Asia can travel over 200 miles per hour. If we had high-speed rail, it would take one hour and 20 minutes to go from New York to Washington D.C.” “Every industrialized country in the world has good passenger railroad systems except the United States. We have the best freight railway system in the world, but we’re way behind the rest of the world in passenger rail. The United States needs to get caught up,” he says, already knowing the benefits of passenger rail travel for families. During the holidays when families are drinking eggnog around the fireplace, Robert Menzies sits on the open platform on the last car of the train where Eisenhower gave his speech so many years ago. His wife and their adult children are next to him, watching the sun spill across the ever-changing scenery.

He happily looks across the tracks thinking on what he’s created. Life is good between his family, his passenger cars and his successful business. The cost for years of personally fixing derailments and issues with the railroad was paid in blood. The cost for purchasing and renovating the passenger cars was paid in sweat. The cost for ensuring his family persevered was paid in tears. The adventure continues for Menzies, a man who started his life hoping for boxcars for Christmas, while the family, freedom and memories that trains have provided him are priceless. PS Gayvin Powers is a frequent contributor to PineStraw magazine.

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T h e Gi f t of

Giving Yourself Made by hand, shaped by heart


y Grandmother Nettie despised Christmas lists. “Milk and eggs,” she would say in her long Louisiana drawl, “are for shopping lists. That’s all.” It wasn’t that she minded buying for others. On the contrary, she was incredibly generous. She did, however, feel strongly that gifts should be discretionary; the thought was what truly counted. Every letter she wrote, every gift she bestowed, had a singular purpose: to let her friends and family know they were loved. As a little girl, I lived for Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house. We donned our finest clothes and broke out the good china. After dinner, I was allowed my annual cup of cafe-au-lait to accompany a heaping slice of grasshopper pie. For the grand finale, my brother and I ripped opened our impeccably wrapped presents. One year — I must have been around 12-years old at the time I opened a bright purple polka-dot purse. It was banana-shaped and covered in clear plastic, like my Great Aunt Lexi’s loveseat. “I immediately thought of you when I laid eyes on it,” my grandmother said. She sensed my hesitation, the question mark at the end of my thank-you. “It’s so bold,” she said. “You are the only person on God’s Earth who could get away with slinging that thing across you.” It was my first brush with empowerment and it felt great. Every time I slipped that purse over my shoulder, I felt the presence of my grandmother, sitting in a dress shop, staring at this wildly eccentric handbag and thinking of me. That feeling did more for me than any bauble I could’ve put on a wish list. I see my grandmother’s selfless spirit reflected in the four women whose stories I have the honor of telling in these pages. For these ladies, the act of giving is a way of life, a philosophy independent of season. Their propensity toward giving manifests itself in different ways: hand written letters, homemade food and beautifully wrapped packages. In each case, however, I found a creativity and willingness to share of themselves that would’ve made Nettie proud.


By Melissa Goslin

It’s a Wrap The concept of last-minute shopping is completely lost on Jean Morrison. For Morrison, Christmas is the culmination of a year-long effort to give her time and attention to everyone she knows. At first glimpse beneath her tree, it seems to be all about the presentation. Perfectly pulled bows top stacks of gifts in coordinated papers. Ornaments hang from ribbons. Baskets of jewel-toned presents are wrapped in cellophane and tied with all manner of embellishments. On closer inspection, nothing under the tree is wrapped for show. “We grew up having great Christmases. We always did ‘big deal’ Christmases and had a wonderful mish-mash Christmas tree,” Morrison says. Her fondest memories are of stringing popcorn and icing gingerbread cookies to the sounds of classic Christmas albums. The eclectic colors and textures beneath her tree are a celebration of Morrison’s friends and family. She begins in the days right after Christmas, scouring sales and picking up large boxes of colorful ornaments. She collects wrapping paper in the off-season, from rolls of harlequin and chevron prints to popular characters and religious themes. “It gives me options, not just to match colors, but the likes and personality of the person I’m giving it to,” Morrison says. For many people, the holidays are a two-month sprint to the finish line. Morrison is more of a cross-country runner, paced and persistent. She’s not shy to admit she buys most gifts on sale throughout the year. “It’s not about money,” she says. “I absolutely enjoy bringing happiness to people.” Her gifts do come with one steadfast rule attached it’s always OK to regift. “If you get something from me you won’t use, but your best friend in Cleveland would love, by all means pass it on,” Morrison says. The intent behind each gift is to bring joy and to make her loved ones feel tended to and appreciated. As she pulls the year’s finds from her gift room, she begins assembling a present. First, she decides on boxes, baskets or even stockings great for wine bottles to hold the gifts. From there, she builds a basic shape and wraps each item individually. She selects colors and patterns that represent the recipient. “If you have just a modicum of observation, you can make note throughout the year of people’s likes and dislikes,” Morrison says. She has one friend who loves purple. Another collects elephants. Back in college, when Morrison didn’t even have the money for discount gifts, she decorated flowerpots with ripped magazine pages she’d collected. “It only took the time to do it,” she says. One of Morrison’s favorite parts of Christmas is pulling out the simple glass Nativity scene she received from her sister. “It was this precious thing I had looked at for a long time but was never expecting,” she says. To Morrison, opening that present meant her sister had given the most valuable gift of all her attention.

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Jean Morrison


The Gift of Giving yourself

Photograph by Tim Sayer PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Maggie Gehan

The Gift of Giving yourself

Photographs by Brandi Swarms

Paper Play Maggie Gehan uses everything at her disposal to make the world look brighter her infectious smile, her bins of Italian paper, her burgeoning stamp collection. “Everywhere I look, I think: I wonder if I could put a ribbon on that? What would that look like with a stamp on it?” Gehan says. Gehan grew up walking along the ocean in Long Beach, California, and has the sea glass to prove it. Towering vases and clear bowls are scattered throughout her house, hidden treasures like the turquoise, pink and blue sea glass, they hold. “I’ve collected every piece I share and create with,” Gehan says. One of her latest projects involves transforming pieces from her collection into jewelry. On a whim, she watched a YouTube video on how to wire sea glass then started practicing. “You can hang them on a gift, or on you or on a doorknob,” she says. Although Gehan has sold her art pieces in catalogs and stores, the real thrill is in the act of creating and sharing her work with friends. She believes in the transformative power of art. “We all have hardships, sorrows and losses,” Gehan says. “Art is a way to run away without leaving.” Whether in the kitchen or her home studio, Gehan is a born hostess. She invites her family and friends old and new into her studio and enjoys watching their creations emerge.


“I have the advantage of fifty years of collecting stamps and little pictures,” Gehan says. “It’s fun to share that. Everyone in the world is so good to me. I feel grateful, and I just want to share it.” Gehan inherited stamps from her parents, along with a love for collecting them. They’re organized by color and occasion and stuffed into bins throughout her house. “It’s easier than collecting tractors, I guess,” Gehan says. “At least I can tuck them away.” No surface is safe from Gehan’s scissors; she cuts images from paper napkins, tissue and vintage cards. “I can’t draw, but I can put together,” Gehan says, fiddling with a bag of small accordion books she’s assembled. She admires fine Italian paper the way other women fawn over shoes. Each book has been built from scratch, with a unique pattern and personality. She reaches in and pulls out one that inspires her and reflects the person or occasion for which it’s intended. “I just like to play,” Gehan says, untying a ribbon and extending the book to reveal a length of beautifully folded paper. She delves into her collections and begins assembling a tiny keepsake. Whether she is creating it for a dear friend or someone she’s never met, Gehan approaches each of her creations with a sense of excitement and wonder that seems to transfer into the final product. She rarely gives a paper gift without something sweet accompanying it, usually a small folded box filled with holiday-shaped cookies and adorned with more tiny treasures. “I love Christmas,” Gehan says, loading up a box of holiday treats to give away. “ It’s my favorite. But you know, I love them all. If there’s a holiday, I say let’s celebrate.”

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Denise baker

The Gift of Giving yourself

Photograph by Tim Sayer

Mail Time Making it onto Denise Baker’s Christmas card list is a gift in itself. Each year, she disappears into her studio and emerges with over one hundred handmade cards for friends and family. Baker recently retired after twenty-five years of teaching art at Sandhills Community College, which has meant a downgrade in studio space. Resourceful and imaginative, she’s converted her walk-in closet into a creative sanctuary at least until she finishes renovating the garage. In past years, the card making was a frenzied affair, as she was forced to wait until the end of a semester. “I’m taking my time this year because I have time to take,” Baker says. Without the rush, Baker enjoys getting lost in the work. As she cuts away at the linoleum sheet which will eventually be the stamp for this year’s card, she becomes one with the process. “This is where I get my Zen,” Baker says. Her hands and knife conspire to create a mirror image of the one in her head. “You’re always working with a backward image,” Baker says. “You gotta turn your brain inside out.” Once the stamp is prepared, she rolls paint onto the carved image and presses it against each card, then sets about slicing away more linoleum for the next layer. It’s a painstaking process, but one that grounds Baker in the true

meaning of the holidays. “I take this time to reflect about the people I miss in my life,” Baker says. “Many of them I may only talk to at Christmas.” Baker is also something of a mail junkie. In fact, all her most precious possessions have been run through the postal system. An entire wall of her home is dedicated to postcards, and she treasures a cardboard book stuffed with letters. When her children, Maggie and Justin, were in college, they went into their mom’s studio and made the book a roughly assembled mass of corrugated pages and pockets. With the book came a promise to write one letter a month for the next year. They kept their promise, and Baker says it’s the best gift she’s ever received. For Baker, it’s not about the money; it’s about letting the people on your list know they’re worth your time. She’s on a mission to spread the joy of what she calls windowless mail days, the increasingly rare times when the mailbox holds handwritten letters instead of bills and mass-marketing ploys in windowed envelopes. “What greater gift for forty-four cents can you get? You can’t buy a pack of gum for that, but you can give a personal gift to a dear friend,” Baker says. “Because I’m a letter writer, I’m also a stamp-collecting nerd.” In past years, she’s incorporated stamps into her Christmas card designs. She’s also used pages from books rescued out of burn bins. This year’s design is still in the works, but one thing is certain: it will spread plenty of joy to the world, one mailbox at a time. PS

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Story of a house

A Sherry Merry Christmas The Southern Pines design artist decorates with imagination, wit and style

By Deborah Salomon • Photographs by John Gessner

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


herry Samkus is, herself, a Christmas ornament: sparkly, bright, elfin, twirling like a glitter ball. Who better to decorate the holiday home than an artist/ designer known for pet portraits, trompe d’oeil and a brain stocked with more ideas than Yoplait has flavors? Yet walk through the front door of her downtown Southern Pines cottage and nothing shouts Christmas, since she integrates decorations with existing — and in this case wowee — décor. “Whatever trips my trigger,” she explains. No themes, as in Victorian, Dickens, angels, teddy bears, total blue. Just a purpose: Bring the outside in via greenery, seedlings in a row of antique bottles, a branch off her Bradford pear. Yet Sherry, a sentimentalist, replaces wall art with family photos taken at Christmas. And her collection of red toy trucks looks so right parked on the kitchen counters. “Don’t over-decorate,” she warns. Forsake a bathtub tree, fakes and trends. Instead, “look around, see what you have and what can be done with it.” Or find an attractive display in a magazine to adapt or reproduce.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


ake Sherry’s living room — a duet of Manhattan sophistication and country warmth. Her great-grandfather’s silk top hat, a container of peppermint sticks and polished silver containers compose a festive coffee-table tableaux, while glass containers on the bar hold silver balls. Her attention to detail shines in a photo of her toddler granddaughter gazing sideways. Sherry suspended a Christmas ball over the photo, as though it were the object of the child’s gaze. The dining room chandelier drips greenery, and in the corner, a pile of tiny gift boxes spill over her daughter’s and granddaughter’s red UGG boots. Sherry’s camp den, with a log wallcovering, backdrops the only full-sized tree. This rustic room reminds her of living in a real log cabin, in Georgia, after moving from a Tara-esque Atlanta mansion that accommodated a fifteen-foot. spruce. Her holiday touches here are

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

subtle: pillows, red flannel overhanging the window blinds, accessories found in that old-time hardware store in Vass. Sherry longed for a fireplace. Since last Christmas she purchased a mantel, attached it to the den wall and built out a brick platform that has a gas heat stove. All manner of Yule stuff covers the mantel shelf. “I love things with character,” whether Christmas-specific or not. Nowhere displays Sherry’s character more than the whimsical “shed” sunroom adjoining the kitchen, done in faded denim, clothesline art and peeling white paint. Overhead, the Bradford pear branch supports bird nests, one made of horsehair. Beneath a tiny live tree, gifts are wrapped in denim-printed paper that she created. Settee cushions wear bows and painted-on trees. Stocking caps hang from the walls. Scout, her blue-eyed mixed breed, owns a jester’s collar, with bells, for parties. Whither Santa? “Just one, a 60-year-old, in my studio, along with my son’s collection of trolls,” Sherry says.

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


herry began decorating outdoors before Halloween with shellacked fresh pumpkins, some of graduated sizes piled into columns. After Thanksgiving, they were replaced by wreaths, garlands, red bows and tiny white lights — mostly traditional, nothing plastic, no cartoon images. On the screened porch a live tabletop tree with multi-colored lights greets guests. After New Year’s, this hyper-organized Yule maven inventories, labels and stores her precious items in plastic totes with red and green lids, knowing that by next outing she will have found more treasures in consignment and second-hand shops. Because Christmas decorating isn’t rocket science. Nor is it settling for pre-made arrangements. Imagination dominates the Samkus brand. “Personalize your décor,” she advises. Family items matter. “Look inside, interpret what you feel (about Christmas) and go with what you’ve got.” PS

Traditions come and go. In Southeastern North Carolina, for instance, there’s the elusive Christmas Flounder, a Yuletide dish believed to have come about during the Depression when a store-bought turkey was out of the question. But other traditions are growing strong. Like the Candlelight Tour of Homes in the Sandhills. On Sunday, December 7, this thirty-seventh annual tour will give guests the opportunity to experience five gorgeous homes, including Sherry’s, all decked out in holiday finery. See why this tour is as popular as ever. Tickets: $15/advance; $20/at the door. Info:(910) 692-3492 or

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


H o m e S ty l e s

POTPOURRI A little something for ever yone

All Things Shiny and Bright Happy holidays

to all of our customers!

All in the Historic Village of Cameron

Just off US 1 on Hwy 24/27 between Sanford & Southern Pines


Pinewild CC in Pinehurst, NC


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European Villa Style Home on the Lake in Pinewild CC. Amazing architectural details like a Barrel Ceiling in the Foyer & Living Room. Beamed Cathedral Ceiling in the Family Room. Authentic Tin Ceiling in the Study. Salt Water Pool in a Private Courtyard. Fabulous views of Pinewild Lake.

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Luxury Collection Specialist

910-295-6455 or 910-691-3224 © 2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

December 2014 P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” — Dr. Seuss

By Noah Salt

Santa’s Favorite Hot Chocolate

The Almanac Gardener freely admits to being a serious chocolate freak, especially at the holidays when it comes to making and consuming hot chocolate. Here’s some invaluable time-tested guidelines for making the best hot chocolate Santa’s ever tasted, which we learned about a few years ago during a winter visit to England. Time to upgrade your chocolate. No Swiss Miss permitted. Santa will be pleased. Only use solid chocolate instead of cocoa power. Gourmet dark chocolate is best, high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet preferred, about two ounces for every cup. Whole milk is best but we sometimes even sneak in half a cup of evaporated milk for extra creaminess. Sweeten with natural sugar or honey — but don’t overdo it. Let the strong flavor of natural chocolate rule. Heat the milk and add the crumbled chocolate slowly, whisking until well blended. This prevents burning the chocolate and ruining the taste. Add modest pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt, to taste. A more adventurous friend sometimes dusts with chili power. A teaspoon of vanilla extract helps balance out the flavors. This is our secret ingredient. For non-teetotaling Santas, a thimble of Baileys Irish Cream or Amaretto adds the final touch. Add a scoop of marshmallow or — even better — dollop of homemade whipped cream. (Don’t forget the biscuit for the reindeer.)

Month of Lists The final month of the year seems to bring a blizzard of important lists: Christmas lists, Garden lists, Grocery lists, lists of party guests, to-do lists of household chores, bulbs to order for spring, crucial spirits to have on hand, cards that still must be addressed and mailed by whenever, and so forth. And, don’t forget, there’s Santa’s all-important wish list to keep in mind. Truthfully, the older we get, the more we like lists — or at least need them in order to make sure every vital task gets done. We genuinely don’t mind growing old gracefully, just not forgetfully. And December is a month tailor-made for long thoughts of one’s mortality by a warming fire, before the New Year’s Eve’s bubbly is purchased. With the final hours of yet another year suddenly passing, and the longest night of the year on the threshold, we’re tempted to make our own list of long and wooly thoughts on the subject of a dying year and our own mortality. We’ll simply let a heartfelt “Happy Christmas and New Year” suffice with a thought attributed to Leo Tolstoy as his days dwindled: “We shall all meet again — when we have arrived.”

Plants for Holiday Giving Cold winds whistle and the garden lies fallow. But that doesn’t mean everything must stop growing season’s over — at least indoors. For decades the pointsetta has been the holiday gift plant of choice but nowadays there are plenty of other appealing options. Here are a few Alamanac favorites: Paperwhites. Carefree bulb that produces bunches of cheerful, fragrant white blooms in the heart of winter. Amaryllis. Easy to grow from bulb and available at any garden shop in an array of splashy colors. Christmas cactus. One of our favorites, a succulent that produces beautiful blooms at the holidays. Prefers cool sunny places. Christmas fern. A great indoor plant that can easily translate to the outdoors come spring. Orchids. Low maintenance and elegant. Juniper bonsai plant. Requires some attention but provides a striking presence to any indoor setting. Potted herbs. Perfect for a kitchen window. Peace lily. Glorious green foliage with flag-like flowers that bloom constantly. Easy to care for and no-fuss. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

December 2014 •




Arts Entertainment C a l e n da r

Holiday Lights at Cape Fear Botanical Gardens

Jonathan Bird & the Pick Up Cowboys





Monday, December 1

ART EXHIBIT. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Arts Council of Moore County presents: PAINT NC, featuring plein air paintings by Triangle artists. The exhibit is open through December 20. Free and open to the public. Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2787 or

Tuesday, December 2

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. • Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 – 3 p.m. Join Quail Haven Village to celebrate the holidays and learn more about the lifestyle at the independent retirement community. Enjoy food and music and



• • Art



explore Quail Haven’s offerings. Quail Haven, 155 Blake Blvd., Pinehurst. Info: (910) 684-4205 or www.

Wednesday, December 3

LUNCH AND LEARN. 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Topic: • “Let it Glow.” Learn how to have your skin glowing

for this holiday season. Featured guest is Kendyl and CosMedix and Results Rx. Lunch, Gift Bags and Specials. Always the first Wednesday of every month. Kindly RSVP to 910.295.1130 or

PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 3:30 – 4 p.m. • Join us for stories, songs, and fun, and then stay for

playtime! Storytime is for infants and toddlers (ages birth through 5 years). Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

• • Film


• • Fun


Bolshoi Ballet at the Sunrise Theater



CHRISTMAS HOUSE FUNDRAISER. 6 – 9 • P.M. The Women of Weymouth will present their

Gala Preview Party. This year’s theme is “Where the Treetops Glisten, a White Christmas at Weymouth” celebrating Weymouth’s musical heritage. Tickets/$75 per person. Weymouth Center, 55 E Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines. Info: 910692-6261 or

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Jonathan Byrd & • the Pick Up Cowboys, with guest Corin Raymond. The Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Info: 910-944-7502 or www.

Thursday, December 4

FLOWER ARRANGING WORKSHOP. 10 • a.m. – 12 p.m. Maggie Smith of Maggie’s Farm

will conduct a workshop in which participants will


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ca l e n da r make a holiday floral arrangement to take home for the Christmas holiday. Sandhills Community College Horticultural Gardens, 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 695-3882 or CHRISTMAS CAROLS. 5 p.m. Come to • Weymouth for their annual “Carols at Weymouth.”

Free and open to the public. Weymouth Center, 55 E Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines. Info: 910-692-6261 or

FAMILY FUN NIGHT. 5:30 p.m. Holiday • songs, a puppet show and ornament making session.

Children are invited to wear their PJs for a comfy and fun end to the day! This program is for children in grades K–5. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 6928235 or

SINGING ON THE HILL. 6:45 – 9 p.m. Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will host a Christmas themed concert to benefit BackPack Pals. Featuring the Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants from Morganton, NC and is part of their Home For Christmas Christmas Tour. Special guests the Jay Stone Singers. Info: (910) 692-7360 or (910) 692-0992 or

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS TRAIN. Ride the • Handy Dandy RR and see the lights and Nativity

movie along the way. Visit the church and hear the story of Silent Night, sing carols and do arts & crafts. Admission: free. 4259 Handy Road, Denton. Info:

JAZZY FRIDAY. 7 p.m. An evening of live jazz • and popular music provided by the Mike Wallace

Quartet. Admission is $10 per person. Food vendor, soda and water for sale. Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Road, Wagram. Info: (910) 369-0411 or

Friday December 5 – 6

ART SHOW & SALE. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The • Arts Council of Moore County, Campbell House, 482 E. Connecticut, Southern Pines.

Saturday, December 6

REINDEER FUN RUN. 9 a.m. Kick off the holi• day season with a run through historic downtown

Aberdeen. Downtown Aberdeen, 100 East Main St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 693-3045 or

CHRISTMAS PARADE. 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Enjoy ROOSTER’S WIFE. 8 p.m. Al Petteway and Amy • • marching bands, activities, fun and more in beautiful White. The Cameo Art House Theater, 225 Hay St., Fayetteville. Cost: $12. Info: 910-944-7502 or www.

Thursday, December 4 – 7

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. Weymouth Christmas House will be dressed up by 24 decorators, merchants, garden clubs and community organizations. This year’s theme, “Where the Treetops Glisten.” Live music and refreshments. Tickets: $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Weymouth Center, 55 E Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines. Info: 910-692-6261 or www.

Friday, December 5

PINEHURST TREE LIGHTING. 5 – 7:30 p.m. Fun for all ages. Cookie & ornament decorating with Santa’s Helpers, hay rides, photos with Santa, musical performances, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tufts Memorial Park, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-2817.

Downtown Southern Pines! The Annual Christmas Parade is sponsored by the Southern Pines Business Association and co-sponsored by the Town of Southern Pines. Be sure to check out the Jr. Flea Market prior to the parade at Downtown Park from 9 – 11 a.m. Downtown Southern Pines, 125 SE Broad St. Info: (910) 315-6508 or

CANDLELIGHT TOUR. 5 – 7 p.m. Candlelight • Wine and Cheese. Come visit Weymouth for their Candlelight Tour. Tickets: $35 per person including refreshments. Weymouth Center, 55 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: 910-692-6261.

HOLIDAY POPS AND HOLIDAY LIGHTS. • 7:30pm. Join the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra

for an evening of holiday music and holiday lights in the garden. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door. Limited seating available. Orangery of Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 433-4690 or www.

The Met December 13th Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Bolshoi December 7th La Bayadere December 21st The Nutcracker

Sunday, December 7

37TH ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT TOUR OF • HOMES. The Candlelight Tour of Homes has become

a holiday tradition in the Sandhills, providing guests the chance to tour five gorgeous homes decked out in holiday finery. Admission: Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 door. 340 E. Massachussetts Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3492 or

BOLSHOI BALLET. 1 p.m. “La Bayadere.” Story • of ancient India and a professional dancer, forbidden love, mystery. Beautiful choreography and costuming. Cost: $20. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or www.

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 – 4 p.m. • Traditional Christmas decorations, refreshments,

and enjoy tours by Friends of the Bryant House at the (1820s) Bryant House and (1760s) McLendon Cabin, 3361 Mt. Carmel Road, Carthage. Admission is free. Info: (910) 692-2051.

CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES. 2 – 5 p.m. • Carthage Historical Committee presents their Tour

of Homes. Tour multiple historic sites in Carthage. Tickets: $10. Info: (910) 947-2331 or kpohara.admin@

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Claire Lynch. The • Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight

St., Aberdeen. Cost: $20. Info: 910-944-7502 or www.

NC SYMPHONY. 6:30 p.m. Handel’s Messiah. • One of the most inspiring works of music ever con-

ceived, Handel’s masterpiece is full of passion, drama and faith. Pre-concert talk in the Pinecrest High School Band Room. R.E. Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School, 250 Voit Gilmore Lane, Southern Pines. Info: (919) 733-2750 or

Tuesday, December 9

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. • Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

Wednesday, December 10

PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 3:30 – 4 p.m. • Join us for stories, songs, and fun, and then stay for


For a complete list of show times

ThE MET $27 BolShoI $20


Available Online, at the Box Office or Over the Phone

250 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387

or call


PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


ca l e n da r playtime! Storytime is for infants and toddlers (ages birth through 5 years). Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

Wednesday, December 10 – 23 HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDEN. 5:30 • – 9 p.m. Embrace the outdoors and create a holiday

tradition as you view thousands of sparkling lights while strolling in the Garden. Admission: Garden members $5; Non-members $10; Military & Seniors 65+ $9; Children ages 6-12 $5; Under age 5 enter free. Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: 910.486.0221 or www.

Thursday, December 11

CAROLINA PHILHARMONIC. 7 p.m. Fifth • Annual presentation of Part I of Handel’s Messiah

will feature David Michael Wolff leading the Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, with a stellar line-up of guest vocal soloists. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College. Tickets: (910) 6870287 or

Friday, December 12

NIGHT OWLS. 10 a.m. Come learn about owls • as we read a book, play some games, and make a craft.

All activities geared towards 3 to 5 year-olds and meant for parents to do with their children. Weymouth Woods,
1024 Fort Bragg Road,
Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167 or

BEACH FRIDAY. 7 p.m. An evening of live jazz • and popular music provided by The Sand Band. Admission is $10 per person. Food vendor, soda and water for sale. Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Road, Wagram. Info: (910) 369-0411 or

Friday, December 12 – 14

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 – 4 p.m. The Shaw • House will feature old time Christmas decorations,

tours, refreshments, each day. Free admission. The Shaw House, the corner of Morganton Road and Broad Street in Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2051.

Saturday, December 13

SNOWFLAKE CRAFTS. A day of fun with • crafts for kids K-5! Stop by the Library any time

during the day to participate in self-led crafts. We provide the materials, you provide the imagination! Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.

WAGNER’S DIE MEISTERSINGER VON • NÜRNBERG. 12 p.m. James Levine returns to

one of his signature Wagner works conducting this

••• • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Film Literature/Speakers Sports


• • •

Dance/Theater Fun History

December 2014 P����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


ca l e n da r epic comedy about a group of Renaissance “master singers” whose song contest unites a city. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or

CHRISTMAS HORSE CARRIAGE PARADE. • 1 p.m. The Moore County Driving Club decorates their horses and carriages for Christmas and drives them through the historic district in downtown Southern Pines. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info:

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Doug & Telisha • Williams, Rod Picott, Amy Speace. Cost: $15. The

Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Info: 910-944-7502 or

Sunday, December 14

FILM SERIES. 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. The library • presents a film based on the book, One for the

Money, from bestselling author Janet Evanovich. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.

HOLIDAY CONCERT. 4 p.m. A concert by • the 100-voice chorus featuring traditional sacred

Happy Holidays!

and secular music, with brass accompaniment, and music from other cultures.Tickets: $15/adults, $7.50/ students. Presented by the Moore County Choral Society. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 692-6979 or

Tuesday, December 16

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. • Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines Info: (910) 692-8235 or

YOUNG ADULT READERS’. 5:30 p.m. The • program continues with a DFTBA (Don’t Forget to

be Awesome) night. Taking the cue from the catchphrase of John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, the program guarantees a memorable evening! For grades 6 – 12. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines Info: (910) 6928235 or




Our “Enhanced Living” program provides extra assistance, in your home, when needed, therefore allowing loved ones to stay together.

Beyond Expectations

CITIZEN’S ACADEMY. 6 – 8 p.m. The • program continues with a session conducted by

the Administration, Finance, and Utility Billing Departments. A light supper will be served. Call the Library to sign up. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines Info: (910) 6928235 or

Wednesday, December 17

•PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 3:30 – 4 p.m. ••• • • • • • Key: Art Music/Concerts Film Literature/Speakers Sports


Dance/Theater Fun History

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



ca l e n da r Join us for stories, songs, and fun, and then stay for playtime! Storytime is for infants and toddlers (ages birth through 5 years). Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

Friday, December 19

HOLIDAY TOUR. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Chatham • County Line brings their Electric Holiday Tour to the

Sunrise with special guests Johnny Irion, Zeke Hutchins and Jay Brown. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or

Saturday, December 20


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MOVIE SPECTACULAR. 11 a.m. The Arc of • Moore County’s Third Annual “Christmas Movie

Spectacular . . . Sing, Show, Snow!” will include an additional movie presentation in the evening. Tickets are $10 per person for each show. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Bennett St., Southern Pines. Info: www.

Sunday, December 21

BOLSHOI BALLET. 1 p.m. Live via satellite • from Moscow. The Nutcracker. Cost: $20. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or

SUNDAY KIDS MOVIE. 2:30 p.m. A holiday • classic. Travel with Buddy the Elf as he heads to New York City to find his birth father and adventure. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.


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Wednesday, December 31

NEW YEAR’S EVE CRAFTS. All day at the • Library kids and their families can participate in

making a variety of fun and festive crafts! And if you can’t make it New Year’s Eve, stop by and catch the crafts on Jan. 2. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

FIRST EVE. 6 – 8 p.m. Come join us for a Winter • Wonderland as we ring in the New Year early. The event will be held in Downtown Southern Pines featuring live music, carnival games, face painting, and much more! The highlight of the evening is the countdown to the pinecone drop. Brought to you by Southern Pines Business Association and Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department. Downtown Southern Pines, 125 SE Broad St. Info: (910) 6927376 or

Art Galleries ABOUT ART GALLERY inside The Market Place Midland Bistro Building, 2160 Midland Road,

••• • •

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• • •

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December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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Ballroom Dancing for ALL AGES!

5 LESSONS $25 Single / $50 Couples 3 Half Hour Lessons 1 Group Class • 1 Practice Party

New Students Only. Expires 12/31/14 712 SW Broad Street | Southern Pines, NC | 910.725.1846


ca l e n da r com.

Pinehurst. The gallery features local artists. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (910) 215-596. ART NUTZ AND RAVEN POTTERY, 125 SW Broad St., Southern Pines. Come see the potter at work. Features art, pottery from local potters, handmade jewelry, glass and more. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (910) 695-1555, Artist GAlleRy OF SOUTHERN PINES, 167 E. New Hampshire Avenue., Southern Pines. Features art and fine crafts from more than 60 North Carolina artists. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday. (910) 692-6077. Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St. in historic Aberdeen. Exhibit hours are noon – 3 p.m., Monday-Saturday. (910) 944-3979. Broadhurst Gallery, 2212 Midland Road, Pinehurst. Showcases works by nationally recognized artists such as Louis St. Lewis, Lula Smith, Shawn Morin, Rachel Clearfield, Judy Cox and Jason Craighead. Meetthe-artist opportunities available. Monday-Friday (closed Wednesday), 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m and special appointments. (910) 295-4817, The Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Avenue., Southern Pines. MondayFriday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and every third weekend of the month from 2 – 4 p.m. (910) 692-4356, www.

Practicing the 3 C’s Care • Compassion • Comfort • Interactive Caregiving™ • Personal Care • Companionship Services • Home Safety Technology

(910) 246-8000 10677 Hwy 15-501 Southern Pines Most offices independently owned and operated

Contact Steven Graves for all your Real Estate Needs

Buying? Selling? Investing? 910-690-8381

The Downtown Gallery inside Cup of Flow, 115 NE Broad St., Southern Pines. Everchanging array of local and regional art, pottery and other handmade items. (910) 693-1999. Exchange Street Gallery, Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange Street in historic Aberdeen. “It’s Southern, Ya’ll,” works of Pat McMahon and Betty DiBartolomeo. September 2-28. Regular hours noon to 3:00, Monday-Saturday. (910) 944-3979. The Gallery at Seven Lakes at the St. Mary Magdalene building, 1145 Seven Lakes Drive. Just nine miles from the Pinehurst Traffic Circle up 211, this gallery is dedicated to local artists. WednesdayThursday 1 – 4 p.m. Hastings Gallery in the Katharine L. Boyd Library at Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 7:45 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 7:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. HOLLYHOCKS ART GALLERY, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Features artwork by local award winning artists, Diane Kraudelt, Linda Griffin, Jessie MacKay, Julie Messerschmidt, Charles Roberts, and artist/ owner, Jane Casnellie. Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (910) 255-0665, www.hollyhocksartgallery. Key:

• • Art



Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour, 21 Chinquapin Road, Pinehurst. Features local artists. Tuesday-Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (910) 255-0100, The Old Silk Route, 113 West Main St., Aberdeen. Specializes in Asian original art, including silk paintings, tapestries, Buddhist Thangkas and Indian paper miniatures. Monday, ThursdaySaturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (910) 295-2055. SANDHILLS WOMAN’S EXCHANGE, 15 Azalea Road, Pinehurst. All merchandise at the Exchange is handmade by consignors who live in the community. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Lunch served 11.30 a.m – 2 p.m. (910) 295-4677. Seagrove Candle Company, 116 N.W. Broad St., Southern Pines. Showcases art of the Sandhills and Seagrove area. Monday, WednesdaySaturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (910) 695-0029. SKY Art Gallery, 602 Magnolia Dr., Aberdeen. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (910) 944-9440, www. Studio 590 by the pond in Dowd Cabin, 590 Dowd Circle, Pinehurst. This historic log cabin is the working studio and gallery of artists Betty DiBartolomeo and Harry Neely. Fine oil paintings, commissions and instruction. (910) 639-9404. White Hill Gallery, 407 U.S. 15-501, Carthage, offers a variety of pottery. (910) 947-6100.

Nature Centers Sandhills Horticultural Gardens (32 acres of gardens). The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens are handicapped-accessible. Daylight hours year-round. (910) 695-3882. Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (898 acres). 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. (910) 692-2167. VILLAGE ARBORETUM. 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. (9 10) 947-2331. House in the Horseshoe. Open year-round.

• • Film


• • Fun



PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Emmanuel Episcopal Church Christmas Eve Services

3:00 p.m. Children’s Service with the Reading of the Christmas Story/Holy Eucharist 5:00 p.m. Family Service, Holy Eucharist 7:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. Choral Eucharist

Christmas Day Service

10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist (All church services are now being held in the Parish Hall. The entrance to the Parish Hall is located on South Ridge Street.)

350 E. Massachusetts Ave. Southern Pines, NC 28387 Phone: 692-3171 •

COMMUNITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH UCC Saturday, December 6 • 7 pm • “Living Madonnas” A Christmas Program of Art & Music Sunday, December 14 • 11 am • Worship Service Christmas Music Program • Performed by the Church Choir Luncheon sponsored by the Men’s Fellowship

Rediscover the Real Joy of Christmas Christmas Vigil Mass 5:00 P.M., 8:00 P.M. (Spanish) & 11:00 P.M. Christmas Day Mass 11:00 A.M. Confession Mon-Fri 11:15 -11:45 A.M. Sat 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. or by appointment

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Located at the corner of Ashe 910-692-6613 & Vermont • Southern Pines

Bethesda Presbyterian Church Everyone Welcome

Sunday, December 21 • 11 am • Worship Service Special Music by the Children of the Church

12/7 • Children’s Musical • 11am 12/21 • Adult Cantata • 11am 12/24 • Christmas Eve Candlelight Service • 11pm

Christmas Eve • 6 pm • Candlelight Service with Communion

Sunday School: 9:45 • Worship Service: 11:00

The Rev. Michael C. Dubbs 141 N. Bennett Street • Southern Pines • (910)692-8468

1002 N. Sandhills Blvd. (US 1) Aberdeen NC • 910-944-1319

invites you to celebrate Christmas with us

Sunday, December 21, 7:00 PM Sounds of the Season

A Choral Concert featuring carols and anthems of Advent and Christmas Presented by the Sanctuary Choir, One Voice, Young Musicians and Music Makers Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5:00 pm Christmas Eve Communion at 7:00 pm


200 East New York Avenue

Southern Pines United Methodist Church 175 Midland Road 692-3518 Join us for worship Sundays 8:30 am Praise & Worship (Nursery for all services & programs) 11:00 am Traditional Worship

Come celebrate Christmas with us! Dec. 14 Cantata

(with orchestra) at 8:30 & 11 am

Dec. 21 Live Nativity 5:30-7:30pm

Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Service 5:30 pm

December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills (910)692-8750 •

ca l e n da r

C oope r & Bai l e y ’s an d Th e Pi n e h ur st Ol i ve O il Co. invit e you t o a

Grand Opening Celebration

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.

Thursday, December 11th 10-7pm

Enjoy refreshments while you shop

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 Avenue., Southern Pines. (910) 692-6261. Shaw House. Open 1 – 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. (910) 692-2051. Tufts Archives. 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., MondayFriday, and 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Saturday. (910) 295-3642. Union Station. Open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Located in downtown Aberdeen. (910) 944-5902. Sandhills Woman’s Exchange Log Cabin. Open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (910) 295-4677. PS

To add an event, email us at by the first of the month prior to the event. Or go to and add the event to our online calendar.

Come meet the new ladies of the Village of Pinehurst!

trendy • ageless • style

105 Cherokee Road BB Pinehurst, NC 910-603-8088

105 Cherokee Rd., Ste B-E Pinehurst, NC 28374 910-986-0880

Pinehurst Olive Oil Co.

November LOCAL PineNeedlerBREW-HAHA! Answers from page 127

Try some local Holiday Cheer1





7 3 6 4 8 5 1 9 2


2 4 9 3 7 1 8 6 5

8 1 5 9 6 2 7 3 4

4 7 8 5 3 6 2 1 9


9 6 3 2 1 7 4 5 8

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3 9 7 6 2 8 5 4 1

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



i n i n g




OLD TOWN PINEHURST Book your Holiday Parties with Us! We also have gift cards!

Live Music Every Weekend 40 Chinquapin Rd. (910) 295-3193

Sun & Mon 11am-10pm, Wed & Thurs- 11am-11pm Fri & Sat- 11-1 or 2am – Closed Tues Kevin Drum - proprietor

Come enjoy our Italian Atmosphere for great food with friends and family! Tues., Wed., & Thurs. Fri. & Sat. Sun. & Mon. 5pm to 9pm 5pm to 10pm Closed

We accept reservations. 515 S.E. Broad St | Southern Pines, NC 28387 910-725-1868 |


Make the Season

Restaurant Authentic Thai Cusine

U.S. Hwy 1 South & 15-501 1404 Sandhills Blvd. Aberdeen, NC 28315

Open 7 Days

Smoke Free Environment


Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Sunday 11:30am - 2:30pm


Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:30pm See our menu on MooCo under Oriental Restaurants

(910) 944-9299 Carryout and Vegetarian Dishes 108

for friends, family and business associates with elegant cocktail cheese biscuits (cheddar or spicy blue cheese) and authentic homemade Southern pound cakes, in five flavors, lovingly baked with “a pound of everything.”

195 american fusion cuisine supporting local farmers

lunch tues-sat 11-3 dinner wed-sat 5:30-9:30 chef prem nath

195 bell avenue southern pines 910.692.7110

Candace’s Cakes 910-850-9183 “A Southern Tradition”

Candace Williams Delivery to Sparrows (next to Fresh Market) Southern Pines

December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Thank you for shopping at the


November thru mid-April Thursdays: 604 W. Morganton Road- Armory 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

“Open on Wednesday Dec. 24th for Christmas Week” “Open on Wednesday Dec. 31th for New Year’s Week” Greenhouse and in-season produce will be available plus meats, goat cheese, baked goods, and crafts FirstHealth & Downtown Southern Pines closed for the Season at the end of October and will re-open the middle of April 2015 Facilities Courtesy of FirstHealth & Town of Southern Pines

Call 947-3752 or 690-9520 for more info. Web search Moore County Farmers Market Local Harvest SNAP welcomed here

The Dining Guide

of the Sandhills To a d v e r t i s e , c a l l 910-693-7271

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



THUR, JAN 22 | 8PM Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor Kate Farrar, mezzo-soprano Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 Tickets can be purchased locally at:

Campbell House | 482 E. Connecticut Avenue The Country Bookshop | 140 NW Broad Street Series Sponsors


Tickets start at just $24! | 877.627.6724


December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

By Sandra Redding

December Literary Events

December 11 (Thursday, 7 p.m.). An Evening with Livingston Press. Scuppernong Books, Greensboro. Readings by three N.C. writers: Durham’s Gregg Cusick, My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible; Raleigh’s L. C. (Charles) Fiore, Green Gospel; and Greensboro’s Miriam Herin, Stones for Bread (see Q&A below). This in-the-know trio, all published by the same University of West Alabama-based press, will be delighted to answer writing and publishing questions. Info: December 31 (Wednesday). Sam Ragan, one of North Carolina’s literary giants, was born in Berea on New Year’s Eve in 1915, but he spent most of his life in Southern Pines. Folks there recall the colorful bow ties he wore, the perpetual twinkle in his eye and his unending devotion to North Carolina’s writing community. During his lifetime, he published six collections of poetry and four of nonfiction. He was also editor and publisher of The Pilot newspaper and helped found Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities. In 1982, Gov. Jim Hunt named Ragan Poet Laureate, a position he held until he died in 1996.

Contests & Winners Poetry is the dark side of the moon. — Charles Wright, Poet Laureate of the United States Who will be North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate? In July, shortly after Valerie Macon received the honor, she resigned. Gov. Pat McCrory will announce her replacement this month. Will our new verse ambassador sing “Hallelujah” or “oy vey”? When the Library of Congress recently selected Charles Wright to be 2015’s National Poet Laureate, stunned by the unexpected honor, he said, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Soon as I find out, I’ll do it.” Now 78, Wright, who once studied writing at Davidson College, lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. A gentle genius, his meditative poems praise Southern landscapes and traditions.

2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry: Kendal Privette of North Wilkesboro is one of ten finalists. Two more N. C. poets — Steve Cushman of Greensboro and Janet Joyner of Winston-Salem — are among the twenty-five semi-finalists. Winner will be announced later this month. The 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is open for submissions until December 31, 2014. Info: Lee Smith’s superb Guests on Earth tops the list of recommended books at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines. Recently released Familiars by Greensboro’s Fred Chappell is immensely popular, particularly among devotees of cats, not to mention poetry. Catwalk, by Sheila Webster Boneham, of Wilmington, entertains mystery fans with chills, thrills and a dollop of humor. Perhaps Jason Mott’s latest spellbinding novel, The Wonder of All Things, will be adapted for cinema like his previous, The Returned?

Writing Lessons

Miriam Herin of Greensboro began writing at age 6. For decades, teaching at colleges and universities interfered with her literary goals. In 2007, her first novel, Absolution, won the Novello Literary Award. Clyde Edgerton of Wilmington praised Herin for writing “a big story, compelling and suspenseful, bringing home consequences of war and misguided love.” Her second novel, Stones for Bread, runner-up in The William Faulkner — William Wisdom Creative Writing Contest, will be released in 2015. This book is about poems believed to have been taken from a Nazi camp and the man, disgraced N.C. poet Henry Beam, who published them. Herin recently answered a few questions about her life as a novelist: What do you enjoy most about writing? I love creating a world and peopling it with characters who did not exist until I typed them on the page. What do you like least? Most writers dislike the reality that writing is a business which requires us to be salespeople, marketers, publicists and sometimes even publishers to get our work out. What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Surround yourself with people who will love and respect you whether you publish or not. Happy holidays! Do keep me updated on writer happenings. sanredd@ PS Greensboro writer Sandra Redding’s novel, Naomi Wise: A Cautionary Tale, is a riveting story about heartbreak and hope in a Quaker Community.

Arts & Cu lt u r e

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Put Your

Best Face Forward

Join us for our Botox Clinic December 11th & 18th• 2 to 5pm By Appointment Only

FDA Approved | Simple, Non-surgical procedure | Restlyne, Perlane & Dermal Fillers


20% off any product with the purchase of a treatment Expires 12/31/14

(910) 295-0216: Jefferson K. Kilpatrick, MD, FACS (910) 235-9759: Hannah Cox, Licensed Esthetician Toll Free 1-855-294-BODY(2639) |


December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Gracie, Mike Searles

Kristi Dehl, Koda

The Companion Animal Clinic Foundation’s Dog Festival Sunday, October 26, 2014 Photographs by Jeanne Paine

Lynda Lea Goodall, Princess

Alba & Shawn Polonkey

Judith Adeimy, Gracie

Neelex & Holleigh McLaurin, Abbey

Wade Meachan, Finn

Melissa Lung, Finn

Erin Wilson, Scooby Jerry Stone, Petey

Exchange Street Gallery of Fine Art

20th Annual Exhibit & Sale Paintings on Sale through December 18th Gift Certificates for Classes Available Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday 12-3pm 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen, NC • 910-944-3979

Unto us a child is born...! DECEMBER SPECIAL

Eat, Kiss & Smile Better!

20% OFF LASER TREATMENTS 185 Page Road, Suite B | Pinehurst NC 910-295-8760 | Elena Avila, PA-C Monday-Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm Closed for Lunch - Noon-1:30pm | Closed Friday

Open Friday & Saturday 200 Westgate Drive, Suite C, Pinehurst 910-687-4423

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Celebrate special times both past and present with this fine collection of sterling silver jewelry reminiscent of 18th and 19th century ironwork throughout the South.

day i l o h r o f s! e e i u t r n e a ct v siness p e f r e The pts and bu even !

OW BOOK N Celebrate special times both past and present with this fine collection of sterling Celebrate special times both past present thisthroughout fine collection silver jewelry reminiscent of 18thand and 19th centurywith ironwork the South. of sterling silver jewelry reminiscent of 18th and 19th century ironwork throughout the South.

MeJanna Mediterranean Restaurant

Private Dining Available

Extensive Wine List Celebrate special times both past and present with this fine collection of sterling silver jewelry reminiscent of 18th and 19th century ironwork throughout the South.

110 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387 Celebrate special times both past and present with this fine collection of sterling silver jewelry reminiscent of 18th and 19th century ironwork throughout the South. 910-692-2388



211 Central Park Ave. • Pinehurst, NC 28374

Serving Lunch & Dinner 7 Days a Week!

4 Courses

2 Clubs

YOUR Membership!

to the people you love.

The Club of the Sandhills 4 Championship Golf Courses

Designed by Ellis Maples and Gene Hamm

CONCEPT SALON The Art & Science of Pure Flower & Plant Essences




Unlimited Golf at All Four Courses Unlimited Complimentary PGA Golf Instruction Swimming Pool & Fitness Center Access Exceptional Meeting Space for 10 - 345 Guests

Beautiful Wedding Venues Experienced Event Planner & Culinary Team Lodgings at CCWP Golf Courses Open To The Public For Membership, Events & Accommodations 910.949.4332

ACTive DUTY Military Discounts on All Memberships

December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Candy and Fred Hitchcock

Tracy Doyle, Benjamin Findlay, Judith Vesely

Baxter Clement’s Irish American Spectacular Sunrise Theater, Southern Pines Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Photographs by Al & Annette Daniels

Elizabeth & Philip Parsons

Jim and Emilie Simeon, Aidan Clarke Ashly & Josey Harris

Elaine and Bob Baillie, with service dog D.J. Fred & Paula Womack Quent & Michelle Neptune

Nicole Vogt, Katherine Bumgarner

Spice up the season! Book your holiday party today. Build Strength, Flexibility, Body Awareness and Confidence

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your next visit Expires 12/31/14

Pole Fitness Classes Chair Dance Classes Booty Beat Classes

910-725-1931 • 180 S. Page St. • Southern Pines, NC 28387

Buy 3

Get the 4th FREE! November 28th-December 24th

181 NE Broad Street Southern Pines 910-692-JACK (5225)

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



Fabulous Designer Furniture Huge Discounts

416 S. Elm St. High Point, NC 27260 336.887.1315 M/C, Visa, AMEX, Cash Accepted Open Mon. – Sat. 10-5

Mid-State Furniture of Carthage

403 Monroe Street | Downtown Carthage 910-947-3739 116

December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Charlie and Lulu Eichhorn

Rich & Carole McFarland, Kurt Kreuger

Givens Memorial Library’s 50th Anniversary Event Fair Barn, Pinehurst Thursday, October 30, 2014 Photographs by Al & Annette Daniels

Eleanor Sintef, Eleanor and Jody Demyan

Kelly & Mike McCrann

Chris Kreutzfeldt, Kathy McPherson

Bill & Sis Mann

Christi & Dean Carras

Marilyn Grube, Eric and Helen Von Salzen

Chuck & Cav Peterson


We Are Buying: • Rare Coins & Bullion • Scrap Gold & Silver

• Sterling Flatware

(910) 975-9185 1030 Seven Lakes Dr. Suite E Seven Lakes, NC


• Platinum, Gold & Silver Coins

• Diamond, Gold & Silver Jewelry • US Paper Money & Notes • Free Appraisals • Private Transactions Rooms Available Upon Request • On Site Smelting and Assay • View our Entire Inventory On Our Website



Pinehurst Coin Exchange Inc.

1420 Highway 5 | Pinehurst, NC

910.235.COIN (2646)

Cracked Screen? Water damage? Need help with data transfer or recovery?

Contact us for a free estimate.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Give and You Shall Receive

This Holiday Season!

Purchase a $100 Gift Card and receive an additional $20 Gift Certificate! Certificates must be used by February 28, 2015.

Now taking reservations for Large Holiday and New Years Parties! Serving Only the Best! 270 SW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387

(910) 693-0123

Monday-Thursday: 5:00pm-9:30pm Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm-10:30pm Sunday Dinner: 4:00pm-9:00pm


y r r e Mistmas! r h C Paul

& Blake

A s s o c i at e s


Proudly serving buyers and sellers in Moore and surrounding counties with pride for over 30 years. Licensed & Bonded. Refer to The Pilot Newspaper for current sale dates & locations or go to Paul Blake 910.315.7044 | Chuck Helbling 910.315.4501


December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Mel Wyatt, Isabelle Jones

Moore County Hounds 23rd Hunter Pace Sunday, November 2, 2014 Photographs by Jeanne Paine

Liz and Kim Phelps Danielle Veasey, Dr. Deborah Day

Serena, Nathaniel & Paul Brown

Neil Schwartzberg, Leigh Allen Lincoln Sadler, Kevin Riley, Dr. Fred McCashin

Michelle Lahr, Chuck Younger

Ceci & Wade Liner

M I N K A G R O U P ®

House of Lights 2611 Dogwood St, Sanford • 919-774-1044 Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm

Elizabeth Hart

Exciting New Fashions for the Winter Holiday Specializing in Missy Fashions, Da-Rue, Leon Levin, Foxcroft, City Girl, Painted Pony

Lookin ’ for Linda Monday - Saturday 10a.m. - 5p.m. 5485 US 1 • Just North of Southern Pines 910.695.2622

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


Joy to the “ Girled ”

Gift Certificates Available


December 2014i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

SandhillSeen DAR Luncheon Pinehurst Members Club Saturday, November 15, 2014 Photographs by London Gessner

Mary & Bill Gozzi

Billy & Mary Sue Woodard Jerry Ruddle, Sue Ruddle Whitehurst, Ann White

Dr. Sarah Hawes, Kay Lund, Susan Ruddle Whitehurst

Warren Clark, Jeff Clark, Ana Clark, Cos Barnes, Sue Clark

Sandra & Sam Everhart

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


THE E GIVEN M MEMORIAL EMO EM MORIAL L LIBRARY IBR wishes to thank the community for their loyal support for over the past 50 years, and promises many more years of fun, adventure and great books! Given Memorial Library/Tufts Archives No Card Fees. No Residency Requirements. Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:00pm

150 Cherokee Road Pinehurst, NC (910) 295-6022 GML • (910) 295-3642 TA

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December 2014i������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 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

The Lost Art of Caroling O, come let us do it again this year

By Geoff Cutler

O come all ye faithful . . . joyful

and triumphant . . . they were prepared for us because we stopped at their house every year. And when they threw back the door, O come ye O come ye to Bethlehem . . . and the snow blew in scurrying eddies across the threshold as the family, who’d gathered there to hear the carolers joined in merrily. Come and behold him, born the king of angels . . . and now we were in full voice, a halo of carolers, muffled and nuzzling against the wind and falling snow, rejoicing in song and praise on the eve of Christmas Day.

Do we go caroling anymore? I suppose we must, but it seems somewhat rarer now than it used to be. Why is that, do you suppose? Could it be because by the time modern day Christmas arrives, we’re sick of it? The day after Halloween, we were watching the New England Patriots run roughshod over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. And when it went to commercial break, there was Santa Claus hawking us a red Mercedes. In unison, we let out an audible: Ugh! O come let us adore him . . . O come let us adore him . . . pretty much every year Dr. Russell and his family held the Christmas party. The Russells had four children roughly the same age as all the kids in our clan, and it was great to catch up with them and all our other neighbors on Christmas Eve. Dr. Russell wore the same green jacket with the Santa Claus bauble on his lapel. And you pulled the string and Santa’s nose lit red. Silly, perhaps, but a fixture of Christmas every year that no guest ever forgot. Sometimes before we bundled up and went out caroling, we’d practice a little by the piano in Dr. Russell’s living room. One of his daughters would play and we’d sing . . . O come let us adore him Christ The Lord. When those Christmas commercials come on the day after Halloween, turkeys still think they’ll live till their feathers turn gray, but the ad agen-

cies must think we couldn’t care less about Thanksgiving, and that we’ll sprint down to the dealership to buy the red Mercedes. Otherwise, why would they try to sell us a car when the wicks on our pumpkin candles have yet to cool? Sing choirs of angels . . . (it turns out there’s actually another verse before “Sing choir of angels” that starts, “God of God light of light.” I didn’t know that.) Mrs. Russell’s dining room was lit by candle. And the table was spread end to end with wonderful things to eat. Smoked turkey and a spiral ham. Breads and cheeses, vegetables and dips. There were cakes, pies and puddings, and we crammed in there, and with our mouths full, we said garbled hellos to those we hadn’t seen for a while . . . sing in exultation . . . Or maybe we don’t carol much anymore because we’re fearful that somehow we’ll offend others by rejoicing this way. Maybe we think those doors won’t open, and the porch lights will turn out if we begin our song. I hope that’s not true because that would be too bad. As I child I knew that not everyone celebrated Christmas. That seemed exciting somehow. That people were different, had different beliefs, different gods, different traditions. I had no idea what they celebrated, but I figured they were just as happy about whatever it was to care about what we celebrated, and I hoped they got as much joy out of their celebrations as we got out of Christmas. Why anyone would be upset about what another person rejoiced, I wouldn’t have been able to imagine. Sing all ye citizens of heaven above . . . and Dr. Russell said it was time. We stepped back into our overshoes and boots, pulled on our winter parkas, gloves and mittens, wrapped our scarves around our necks, and off into the snow and down the road we went. Glory to God in the highest . . . we laughed and carried on and the children hung behind the adults to throw snowballs at each other. Our route took us around the neighborhood known as “the farm.” At one time, before the land was sold off for development, most of it actually had been a farm. When we were really little, there was still a small barn, home to a few cows and chickens. We bought fresh eggs and milk there. Dr. Russell knew the route we would take to carol, and those who would be home to greet us. We turned into the walkway between the gate and the snow-covered yew hedge. O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord. PS Geoff can be reached at

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014



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December 2014i������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h e A cc i d e n tal A st r o l o g e r

Star Power, Baby

It’s a big universe out there. Better get moving By Astrid Stellanova It’s entertaining to know a Sagittarian. No big shockeroo that a boatload of them are entertainers — Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift. Even the U.S. of A.’s favorite uncle Walt Disney was a Sagittarian. Ditto for Winston Churchill . . . crazy Joe Stalin . . . Steven Spielberg . . . Pope Francis. Get the picture? Honey, it’s a big, big picture for this star sign. But let’s turn our attention to a new screen, Star Children. You, too, can be center stage. Time to put a bow on 2014 and wrap business up. Astrid’s going to hand it to you straight up.

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) Sagittarius, a centaur, is supposed to be half human and half horse. Sounds a lot like my stubborn first boyfriend, Robert Lee Roy Wallace . . . except he was actually half mule. The new moon on the 6th is going to shine a light on something you just won’t believe. Good news arrives — and a supersized surprise! By the 21st, you get another piece of unexpected news and this time it is (ca—ching!) financial. Be generous when you go Christmas shopping, Sweet Thing, ’cause the universe just fattened your wallet! Capricorn (December 22–January 19) From the 16th until early next year, Mercury is in your sign and that means you will have a lot of energy. Use it to get some unfinished business squared away so you start 2015 with a clean slate, hear me? The 21st is going to be another pivotal date in your sign, too, and it will mean you end this year on a very high note. (Well, a LOT of us will end this year on a high note, but that ain’t what I mean, Sugar.) Aquarius (January 20–February 18) Telling an Aquarius to get out of their head and not to overthink things is like me telling Beau not to use Stiff hair gel. Ain’t happening. So let’s concentrate on what you can do. The full moon early this month is in fellow air sign Gemini. Astrid thinks this means your romantic situation is going to be very nicely affected. I’ve got an eye on Uranus, and there is an aspect there with significance to you and your projects — something creative you want to start but haven’t. Start it, Honey. Pisces (February 19–March 20) There’s more than a few things you wish you could undo about 2014. I know. Me, too. Like my new red hair color this month. A big bust. But that is how we roll, and if you are going to be creative and experimental, sometimes you just pick the wrong crayon in the box. In the time some people are still whining about a gnarly knot, Pisces can unravel it. This is a fun month, and you will get all kinds of opportunities for good times. Gamer that you are, you will say goodbye to 2014 with a big old smile on your face. Aries (March 21–April 19) The first third of December is an early pre-holiday present for you. Your active mind gets a chance to exercise, and a favorite, hoped-for project lands in your lap. And, better yet, that bittersweet mystery finally gets resolved this month after years of not knowing about a friend who has always been (secretly) in your corner. Career shifts are very much on your mind this month. Before Christmas, you will get an offer and have to make some great choices — between good, better and best. Choose your words carefully for once. It won’t kill you. And try humility first, last and always. Taurus (April 20–May 20) Don’t be too selfish; last month was downright scary good, and you can’t expect a repeat. Can you? Well, maybe, Baby. Astrid sees it this way: You get almost all of what you want, but you will have to decide what that is. Keep your head. Your career is at the heart of all developments this month. Late in December, when the new moon is in Capricorn, you are so distracted you might forget to pay the mortgage. Don’t. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Gemini (May 21–June 20) This month is a karmic blast for you. Somebody that never looked good in plaid shows up and makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself. (Plaid is big this year.) But there is also a good chance some spirits may come calling earlier in the month when Jupiter is in your third house. The full moon on the 6th is in Gemini — meaning a fun, crazy time for you. You will be shaking and baking Baby, right up until Santa falls down the chute. Cancer (June 21–July 22) This is a good time to be a little retrospective, Honey, and watch what happens next. Partnerships, work, family — everything is under the big old cosmic telescope this month. Should you go in business with your lover? Venus transits Capricorn, and will stir up ideas just like that. The full moon on the 6th will bring some answers, and your whole world just opens up. Ain’t kidding you. Leo (July 23–August 22) By the time you read this, you may be under scrutiny by the FBI: the F.B.I. as in Farm Bureau of Indiana. Actually, you will be on your boss’s radar, your sweetie pie’s radar, and your neighbor’s radar, because you will be like catnip to Felix the Cat all month long. You have a lot of natural magnetism, and it expands and gathers all the way from December 16th until the 5th of January. Power? Check. Restraint? Not much. Fly high, Leo, or else get under the radar. Virgo (August 23–September 22) This month is going to soothe your soul like a cosmic Tums. You have had a rough patch, and now you get to slide into home plate with a smile all over your face. On the 10th of December, Venus transits Capricorn in your fifth house, and the upshot is all good. You will have a white-hot holiday, with good times and a New Year’s end that you won’t forget anytime soon. Astrid wants you to know you earned it, Sugar. Libra (September 23–October 22) You have been feeling squirrely, and have your eye on somebody new. Honey, it ain’t gone unnoticed. Get your party shoes on, because fun is in the cards! This is a month when you are going to be unusually motivated; love and work are both jiving, and so are you. Wear bright colors and don’t hide when you get to the dance floor of life; shine on! Wear more sequins, too, is Astrid’s best advice. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) You like for the world to bring pretty gift-wrapped packages to you — ain’t no lie. But you also like giving them. Use some of the skills you perfected being a worrier and turn that energy into being a planner. Look at the new year as just one more gift you’ve been given. It absolutely is never too late to reinvent yourself — or develop a sense of humor. Laugh a little; don’t worry about them laugh lines around the corner of your mouth, because it extends your life line. PS For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path.

December 2014

O.Henry 125

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LOCAL BREW-HAHA! December PineNeedler

By Mart Dickerson

some localholiday Holiday Cheer1 Local Brew-haha! TryTry some local cheer! 1
















1 shut the door hard 2 Pocket bread 16 17 18 7 Canoe propeller 3 business class, abrv Hoards away money in the bank 4 Put 8 19 20 21 22 Primate 5 Wild9sheep 23 24 6 Cat's 10cry Mined metals 7 Canoe 11 propeller El __ (Texas city) 25 26 27 28 29 30 8 hoards away 12 Zeal, vivacity 9 Primate 31 32 33 34 35 14 Fast pace, on Youngs 10 Mined metals Road 36 37 38 11 el __ (texas city) 20 Bog 12 Zeal, vivacity 39 40 41 42 43 Feel pace, on sickly youngs rd. 14 Fast22 bog 24 Orate 20 44 45 46 47 sickly 22 Feel25 Taxis 48 49 24 orate 26 White poplar 25 taxis 27 Bar coke, soda, ice, etc. 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 26 White poplar 28 Large scarf for a soda,wide ice, etc 27 bar coke, 57 58 59 60 male 28 large wide scarf for a male 29brew Local brew at brewery at railhouse 29 local 61 62 63 Railhouse Brewery 30 Privileged group 30times Privileged group 64 65 66 33 Many 33 with Many coldtimes cubes 35 Chilled at railhouse brewery 40 local 35brew Chilled with cold 31 “Aid and ____” in Brewing Company41 drunk noisily ACROSS cubes at the local court 37 local brew ay railhouse brewery breweries 57 Shoshonean 1 ACROSS Ignored the speed sign 40 Local brew at Pen brand 38 32 Sits for a picture Railhouse Brewery law 42 Makes into 58 Braid 5 Famous cookies Ghetto 1 Ignored the speed sign 39 34 Painter of melting struts, like a showey ladyat the 43 41 Drunk noisily 60 Church niche 9 5 Wish for Famous cookies clocks 41 add wood to a fire, use the poker local Indian breweries 45 southwestern 61 Teenage sassy 13 9 Itchy head critters Wish for animal into law 36 Wager 43 Fill to satisfy 47 antlered 42 Makes comment (2 words) 1413 “The ____Gatsby” Itchy head critters 44 ornament for military uniform trickerylike a showy 49 Foxiness, 37 Local brew at 43 Struts, 62 English noblemen ho;e-punched paper "the ____Gatsby" Got closer 46 Brewery 1514 Spoken debris 50 Railhouse lady spoken 63 Harvard’s rival 51 thorny flower 48 surprise 1615 On the apex 38 Pen brand 45 Southwestern Indian on the apex 49 Guys' dates 64 Unable to hear 52 Capital of Western samoa 1716 Ancient Greek 47 Antlered animal ancient Greek marketplace 39 Ghetto 50 What a meteorite leaves 17 marketplace 65 Dick Van __ Show53 not light 41 Add wood to a fire, brew at southern Pines 49 gem Foxiness, trickery 18 Mountain plateau 53 local 54 opaque 66 Pig food 18 Mountain plateau brewery 19 local brew at southern Pines use the poker 50 ofHole-punched paper Capital norway 55 19 Local brew at 43 Fill to satisfy brewery 57 shoshonean a secret 56 save, likedebris Southern Pines DOWN 21 local brew at southern Pines 58 braid 44 Ornament for Thorny flower as tile 59 set,51 Brewing Company military60uniform brewery Church niche 1 Shut the door hard 52 Capital of Western 2123 Local brew at exchange for money comment, (2 bread 61 teenage sassy 2 46 Got closer Pocket Samoa Southern Pines lower leg,Company often kicked 24 Brewing 48 Surprise words) 3 Business class (abbr.) 53 Not light las Vegas gambling house 62 english noblemen 49 Guys’ dates 2325 Exchange for money 4 Put money in the 54 Opaque gem 28 acting like King Kong 63 harvard's rival bank 50 What a meteorite 2431 Lower leg, often kicked 55 Capital of Norway "aid and ____" in court leaves 64 unable to hear 5 Wild sheep 2532 Las Vegas gambling 56 Save, like a secret sits for a picture 65 dick Van __ show 53 Local brew at house 6 Cat’s cry 34 Painter of melting clocks 66 Pig food 59 Set, as tile Southern Pines 2836 Acting Wager like King Kong


Fill in the grid so every row, every column and every 3x3 box contain the numbers 1-9.

2 8 4 9 3 1 6 3 3 8 7 6 3 1 2 6 7 4 9 3 1 2 4 9

When You Let Us Do The Repair (A $79 Value)

3 6 8



7 4 Puzzle answers on page 107

2 8 9 6


Mart Dickerson lives in Southern Pines and would welcome any suggestions from her fellow puzzle masters. She can be reached at


218 Ellerbe Hatchery Rd., Ellerbe

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2014


s o u t h w o r ds

A Thimble of Love

By Caroline Hamilton

When I was a little girl spend-

ing Christmas at my grandparents’ house in North Carolina, we played a game called “Who Has the Thimble?” While the adults were still sitting around the mahogany dinner table, my grandfather would catch my eye and wink, signaling me to grab a thimble from my grandmother’s sewing drawer.

The game was a variant of duck, duck, goose. The person who was “it” walked around the table clasping the thimble. Everyone else held his or her hands in prayer position, making a sliver of an opening into which the thimble-carrier might drop the prize. “Hold tight to what I give you,” the thimble-carrier said to each person, pretending to drop the thimble into his or her hands. I sat tensely, always hoping it would drop into my palms, but it rarely did. Then we all began guessing: Did my Eagle Scout cousin, Harris, who could walk on his hands, have the thimble? Did one of my glamorous aunts, with freshly manicured fingernails, have the thimble? Did my grandfather, whose Parkinson’s made him a bit too shaky to really play, somehow have the thimble after all? Sometimes I’d hear the clink of tin on a gold ring, and realize that Uncle Hugh had the thimble. One by one, each family member who was guessed burst open his or her hands saying, Nope! Not me! I do not have the thimble! Sometimes you could guess around the whole circle before the dead last person finally raised his with the shiny thimble on his pinky. After college, I moved to New York, where I came to compare the thimble game of my childhood to my love life. Dating was a game of looking and guessing, praying that my future husband had been delivered to my circle by a playful nymph, and all I had to do was go find him. Amid the clamor of subways and crowded bars and neon-lit offices, I was straining to hear the clink of love against my life. Could love in the North be as simple as a family game in the South? “Keep shining your light,” my best friend, Lily, told me over $25 macaroni one Saturday night in the West Village. But looking around at the other tables in the trendy restaurant, it appeared that the whole city was made up of romantic couples and “girls’ nights out.” I dated doctors, musicians, vegetarians. One prospective boyfriend explained to me over a dinner of roasted goat how he liked to go jogging in


the park. Barefoot. “Ouch,” I thought to myself as I walked home alone, not sure if I was cringing over the thought of a rusty nail or another lukewarm date. I forced myself to believe that I was in the circle with the thimble, that it was just a matter of time. But as the seasons passed, the circle got larger and larger. I worried that I would run out of time. Or guesses. One autumn night, I went to a pumpkin carving party at a friend’s house in Hell’s Kitchen. It started off particularly hellish: I rang the wrong doorbell and stood outside for half an hour. Even then, I was too early and watched uselessly while the hostess heated pigs-in-a-blanket. Three hours later, as I was writing off the evening as another booby trap in my scavenger hunt for love, he appeared. He was coming from work, late, in a suit and tie. He was six-footfive, maybe 180 pounds. His nickname was “Lanky.” Immediately I liked him: the way he looked at me, the way he asked questions, his energy. You could tell he was awake-smart, look at you across the table and “get it” smart. I guessed by his sweet brown eyes that he’d probably had more relationships with chocolate Labs than New York City girls. And best of all, he was from North Carolina. We only spoke for ten minutes, largely interrupted. But when I went to leave, he jumped off the couch to say goodbye. I left the party feeling like I’d found the thimble. After a Wilmington wedding, one in which a hurricane pounded down on our Manhattan guests, Lanky and I moved into a brownstone on the Upper West Side, just a few blocks from my old single-girl apartment. As I walk down Columbus Avenue on my way to work these days, it is easy to remember the gambler I used to be: moving briskly toward the subway in a new dress; looking, wide-eyed, in every direction for my thimble; imagining the cool press of it in my palms so vividly that my open hands ached. My grandfather had not been steady enough in his last years to circle the table with the thimble saying, “Hold tight to what I give you”; instead, we tiptoed around him. I wish I could lean close to him again. Tell him I found something good, and I am holding on. PS Caroline Hamilton is a writer in New York. She studied creative writing at UNCChapel Hill and received her MFA in non-fiction from The New School. Her work has been published in The New York Times and The Charlotte Observer. She is working on a first novel.

December 2014i������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Illustration by Meridith Martens

Like the ancient parlor game I learned as a little girl, I hold tight to what I was finally given

The Foundation of a STEWART CONSTRUCTION HOME Begins with Building Relationships

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