February PineStraw 2015

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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.

www.QuailHavenOfPinehurst.com Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm 155 Blake Boulevard, Pinehurst, NC 28374


Come enjoy the Southern charm and relaxed sophistication of Pinehurst & Southern Pines

Jamie McDevitt, Broker/Owner

Golf Course Living at Pinehurst #9. Offered at $469,900

910.724.4455 JamieMcDevitt.com Jamie@JamieMcDevitt.com 107 NE Broad Street Southern Pines, NC

Knollwood Heights: “Homewood” a historic masterpiece! Sophisticated Colonial Revival style home with more than 9,000 square feet of elegant living space. Estate includes 4.66 acres of lush landscape designed by renowned landscape architect, E.S. Draper. Knotty pine paneled library with original, circa 1834, hand-blocked wallpaper mural Vues de L’Amerique du Nord by J. Zuber et Cie (Exact wallpaper installed in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House at the request of Jackie Kennedy, upon recommendation by historian Henry Francis du Pont during the Kennedy presidency). Breathtaking details throughout. Own a piece of history! $1,590,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

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

Lakefront at CCNC: Spectacular 4BR/5.5BA home includes a chef’s kitchen, private bath with each bedroom, lake view from every room/suite. Beautiful grounds with dock & Boat House! Offered at $2,495,000. Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

CCNC: Situated on 2.5 acres, golf front on Cardinal Course. Renovated in ‘09 down to the studs. Open floor plan. Exquisite finishes. 4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths with a downstairs master suite. 1,695,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

Old Town: “Shadowlawn” English tudor on over 1.5 private acres of lush grounds. Main residence plus a separate 2,200sf 3BR/3BA guest cottage. 6BR/7FBA/2HBA. $1,495,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Knollwood Heights: Charming estate designed by Donald Ross in the 1920s and featuring: leaded windows, wide plank oak flooring, 3-Frplcs, and a 2BR/2BA Carriage house. 4BR/7.5BA. Broker/Owner. $1,495,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

Reynwood Subdivision: Country Estate with 18+acres. 4BR/3.5BA home, 3-car garage with upstairs apartment. Pool & Cabana. 3-Stall Barn and Equipment Storage. $1,150,000 Frank Sessoms 910.639.3099

CCNC: Dramatic views of Cardinal Course fairways. Renovated in ‘09. Elegance exhibited in every detail of this dream golf front home! 3BR/3.5BA. $1,050,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

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

National/Pinehurst#9: Asian accents, 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

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: Spectacular golf course & pond views - Situated on the 4th green of Cardinal Course. Renovated in ‘07-’08. Remodeled Gourmet Kitchen. 3BR/2.5BA. $685,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Foxfire: Custom built Farmhouse on 12.4 secluded acres with a 1Bedroom Carriage House. Both beautifully finished! 2-Car Storage Bulding & Potting Shed. 4BR/3.5BA. $595,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

Weymouth Heights: Handsome brick Colonial on large .75 acre lot with a 20x40 heated pool, hot tub & pool house. Generous size rooms with formal & informal living areas. 5BR/3.5BA. $520,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

CCNC: Ideal golf retreat overlooking Dogwood Course. More

Southern Pines: Charming two story, brick home, with a

Pinehurst: Fabulous manor estate within walking distance

than 3,000 sq.ft. of living space. Great room is enhanced with a vaulted ceiling, fireplace and window wall. Screen Porch and Deck for entertaining. Four ensuite bedrooms. $500,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

finished basement. Surrounded by a privacy fence and beautifully landscaped. Entertain in style with an outdoor kitchen, hot tub and in-ground pool. 4BR/4.5BA. $495,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

to the Village. Across from Rassi Wicker Park. Gourmet Kitchen. Exquisitely appointed home! 4BR/3.5BA. $459,500 Pat Koubek 910.215.2869

Pinewild CC: Elegance and comfort combine in this lovely Old Town Pinehurst: Charming Cottage, circa 1928, golf front home. Crown moulding, hardwood flooring, gas-log renovated in ‘07. Heart pine floors & fireplace in original part. fireplace, & French doors that lead to the patio. Kitchen Kitchen has island w/granite counter & big storage drawers. combines with an open family room. 3BR/2.5BA. $440,000 Fenced yard. 4BR/2BA. $429,900 Kay Beran 910.315.3322 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Craftsman Home - 3 Years New: 4BR/3.5BA, open floor plan, kitchen w/granite & stainless, dining room, hdwd, stone FP, 1st floor master suite, screen porch & deck. $359,900 Carolyn Hallett 910.986.2319

7 Lakes West: Extremely well maintained home with outstanding floor plan and a walk-out basement. Wonderful kitchen! Spacious Carolina Room. Large screened porch. 4BR/3BA. $339,000 Linda Criswell 910.783.7374

Southern Pines: All one floor living! Beautiful, brick home in a convenient location. Lovely kitchen and a Carolina Room. Situated on .8+acre lot. 3BR/2BA. $250,000 Eva Toney 910.638.0972

Lamplighter Village:Pristine home with upgrades galore! Kitchen has maple cabinetry, Corian counters & black appliances. Private enlarged deck. PCC membership Courses 1 thru 9. 3BR/2BA. Move-in Ready! $315,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

www.BHHSPRG.com 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.

February 2015 Volume 11, No. 2

Features 55 Mr. Moore’s Sophomore Biology Poetry by Steve Cushman

56 Something Organic By Elizabeth Norfleet-Sugg

In the kitchen, a fine friendship is forged between mothers and daughters

60 Finding Mr. Barber By Laurie Bogart Wiles

Gilded Age Industrialist James Barber is Pinehurst’s most forgotten man — until now

70 Botanicus: Camellias By Barbara Sullivan

North Carolina’s beloved flowering shrub

73 Almanac By Noah Salt

The art of hort-speak and late winter’s to-do list


9 12 14 17 19

Simple Life Jim Dodson PinePitch Instagram Winners Cos and Effect Cos Barnes The Omnivorous Reader Brian Lampkin

21 Bookshelf 25 Stagelife Melissa Goslin 29 Vine Wisdom Robyn James


31 The Kitchen Garden Jan Leitschuh

37 Out of the Blue Deborah Salomon

39 Life of Jane Jane Borden

43 Hometown Bill Fields 45 Chasing Hornets Wiley Cash 47 Birdwatch Susan Campbell

48 51 74 87 93

Sporting Life Tom Bryant Golftown Journal Lee Pace February Calendar SandhillSeen The Accidental Astrologer Astrid Stellanova

95 PineNeedler Mart Dickerson 96 SouthWords Sally Ronalter Cover photograph from the Tufts Archives Photograph this page by Tim Sayer

February 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


PineStraw M A G A Z I N E

Jim Dodson, Editor 910.693.2506 • jim@pinestrawmag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director 910.693.2467 • andie@pinestrawmag.com Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer 910.693.2508 • kira@pinestrawmag.com Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer 910.693.2469 • lauren@pinestrawmag.com 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 Cos Barnes, Laurie Bogart Wiles, Jane Borden, Tom Bryant, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Steve Cushman, Al Daniels, Annette Daniels, Mart Dickerson, Bill Fields, London Gessner, Melissa Goslin, Robyn James, Melissa Johnson, Brian Lampkin, Jan Leitschuh, Meridith Martens, Elizabeth Norfleet-Sugg, Lee Pace, Jeanne Paine, Sally Ronalter, Raul Rubiera, Noah Salt, Astrid Stellanova, Barbara Sullivan, Angie Tally, Kimberly Daniels Taws

PS David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales

Pat Taylor, Advertising Director Ginny Trigg, PineStraw Sales Coordinator 910.693.2481 • ginny@thepilot.com Deborah Fernsell, 910.693.2516 Terry Hartsell, 910.693.2513 Perry Loflin, 910.693.2514 Darlene McNeil-Smith, 910.693.2519 Johnsie Tipton, 910.693.2515 Advertising Graphic Design

Kathryn Galloway 910.693.2509 • kathryn@thepilot.com 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 pinestraw@thepilot.com www.pinestrawmag.com

©Copyright 2015. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. PineStraw magazine is published by The Pilot LLC


February 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


TOYOTA Home of the 2015 Toyota Camry


PINEHURST TOYOTA 10760 US HWY 15-501 Southern Pines 910-684-5156 PinehurstToyota.com

*For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.

Superior products and superior service. An award-winning duo.

HYUNDAI Come See the 2015 Hyundai Sonata


10732 US HWY 15-501 Southern Pines 910-684-5160 HyundaiofPinehurst.com

Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program www.SaferCar.gov.


Now THAT’s a Pinehurst

simple life

Growing Older

By Jim Dodson

There are two great days in

Illustration by Kira schoenfelder

a person’s life, Mark Twain said — the day we were born and the day we figure out why.

Like it or not, once a year, everyone gets a birthday. It’s one of life’s few ironclad guarantees. For some, a birthday is an excellent reason to push back the rug, open something bubbly and be toasted by your friends. For others, it’s simply a good reason to retreat to the nearest wing chair and open a good book until the moment quietly passes, hoping no one pays much attention. “I’ve outgrown my need for birthdays,” a sprightly friend who recently turned 90 cheerfully confided not long ago. “At this point, I’m just looking forward to a nice weekend.” For better or worse, when it comes to celebrating birthdays — one of which I have this month, as it happens — I tend to fall somewhere between these social extremes: pleased that I’ve notched another year of good health (knock wood) and service to those around me (knock wood again) but no longer someone who needs, or even desires, a birthday party in his honor. For better or worse, wing chairs mean far more to me these days than wing dings. Since about age 40, in fact, birthdays — like every item on life’s crowded calendar — seem to come whizzing around again with the startling swiftness of tax day. Looking back from the milepost of threescore years, I’d scarcely gotten adjusted to cracking 50 before I was suddenly 52 and feeling powerfully nostalgic and not a little worried that only five minutes ago I was a giddy 40-year-old and first-time father cradling a pink and wiggly newborn in my hands, with a second one soon to follow. Now (and this is almost dizzying to accept) that beautiful wiggly newborn just turned 26, her kid brother is 24, and both live in Brooklyn, building admirable lives and making their fortunes in a city that never sleeps. Back here in the provinces, meanwhile, as of the second day of this month — Groundhog Day to the wider world, a day when a cantankerous, overweight rodent is expected to forecast winter’s end and spring’s arrival — yet another birthday has come with alarming celerity and their old man fields all sorts of bad jokes and silly cards from well-meaning friends and colleagues about seeing his shadow, all meant in the spirit of good clean furry fun, my having finally made peace with life’s brevity but mildly wondering where all the time went? How quickly tempus really did fugit. To many people, including this aging ground hog, the unsettling feeling that life speeds dramatically up as you age — summers that pass in a blur, Christmas decorations that seem to go up only weeks after they came down —

is a very real phenomenon and apparently quite commonplace among all of us as we age. Theories abound why. When you’re very young, the most prominent theory goes, the passage of a single day, week or even a year represents a larger percentage of your life than later years, hence “time” is stretched out, accounting for the relative slowness with which the hours seem to pass. Mathematically speaking, this explains why when you’re a sprout, quiet summer days can seem a small eternity, while Christmas takes its own sweet time coming. As cold theories go, this sounds remarkably logical — though in fact there’s not a lot of truth to it. According to folks unlocking the last frontiers of brain science, neurologists and geriatric psychologists and such, the real answer to this riddle lies purely in our brains, not our clocks, located in the realm of human perception and that portion of the brain researchers say is responsible for recording new experiences and emotions, setting down the vivid details of life as they happen, accumulating memories and forming impressions as the years unfold. In a nutshell, when you’re young, new experiences make a strong impression upon your raw perceptions of reality, stimulating the brain’s ability to record and process every small detail, and thus “time” appears to pass slowly as data is collected. As the brain matures and life becomes more routine, generally speaking, only fresh experiences or peak events (getting married, meeting your sports hero, visiting Tahiti, winning an Oscar) tend to highlight the passage of years, like distance markers on a memory highway. Other events flicker before us as if from the scrapbook of our lives — blurring memory with life as we age — thus speeding up the passage of time. One notable exception to this phenomenon that proves the rule involves individuals who live through some variation of a life-altering event (car crash, death of a loved one, earthquake, divorce) and often describe “time standing still” during such trials as their brain works overtime to record the details of what is happening. “Time is a rubbery thing,” notes neuroscientist David Eagleman. “It stretches out when you really turn your brain resources on, and when you say, ‘Oh, I got this, everything is as expected,’ it [time] shrinks up.” Which, in part, explains why many older folks — even those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia — seem to dwell in the past. They often hang onto amazing details from their earliest days, even as the sands of their hourglass dwindle, recalling distant events with startling clarity, almost as if “it happened just yesterday,” as my own mother used to say even as mild dementia ravaged her short-term memory. In other words, by the time you’re, say, 40 or 50 or 60, you’ve basically seen and done it all (or think you have) and most of your furry groundhog days are so ruled by devotion to familiar routines of work and play, time literally flies past without us bothering to notice.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


eXclUSiVe. tiMeleSS. chic.

A U n i q U e S p e c i A lt y S t o r e F e At U r i n g W e S t c oAS t c AS UA l l i F e S t y l e c l o t h i n g VillAge oF pinehUrSt | 910.295.3905 rAleigh glenWood VillAge | 919.782.0012 WrightSVille BeAch | 910.508.0273 W W W . c o o l S W e At S . n e t

simple life

The researchers say that the cure for altering this perception — slowing down the illusion of time’s inexorable flight, if you will — is to consciously alter the routines of daily life, adding fresh experiences that stir the soul and stimulate the brain and deepen one’s perception of the “here and now.” That way we revive time’s remarkable elastic ability to record different experiences and form new insights, awakening one’s awareness of moments as they arrive, something mystics, wise grannies and baseball philosophers have understood for millennia. “Age is a case of mind over matter,” observed one Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, the fireballing African-American pitcher who made his Major League debut pitching for the Cleveland Indians at age 42 in 1948. “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” Paige pitched brilliantly in the bigs until age 47, appearing in three All Star games. Satchel helped break the color barrier in American sports. Sophocles wrote new plays into extreme old age. Cicero took up learning to play the lyre in his 80s. Da Vinci’s most celebrated works and scientific breakthroughs came in his dotage. Astronomer, mathematician and philosopher Galileo Galilei was an old man approaching his 70th birthday when a papal court condemned and excommunicated him for the heresy of defending his view that the sun — not the earth — was the center of the universe. It only took the Catholic church another five centuries to issue an apology for its divine error in judgment. “Age, toward which you draw amid the storms of life,” wrote the Renaissance poet and scholar Petrarch to his anxious friends and former pupils near the end of his life, eight centuries before Satchel Paige came to the same conclusion, “is nothing so dreadful. Those who call it so have found all stages of life unwelcome, thanks to their mishandling of life, not a particular age. The latter years of a learned, modest man are sheltered and serene. He has appeased the storms within his breast, he has left behind the reefs of strife and labor, he is protected as by a ring of sunny hills from outer storms. So go securely and do not delay. A harbor opens where you feared a shipwreck.” As I’ve learned from sixty-two Groundhog Days, time may indeed fly, but it

also deepens things, including one’s appreciation for the onward journey. As your legs weaken, your perception of living in a world that is as flawed as it is beautiful and your ability to notice what makes us all so human, given half a chance and mind open to new experiences, really does gain strength as the days pass away. Perhaps as a result of this unexpected gift (one of life’s greatest unadvertised compensations, I think) the very idea of growing older doesn’t rattle me one bit, and quite the contrary advances the possibility — certainly the importance — that one may somehow grow in both stature and wisdom as we age and mellow, enjoying the opportunity to acquire the grace and perspective to accept life on its own terms instead of imposing our wills and agendas on people and circumstances. The older I get, for example, the more I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that I’m far less judgmental about a million little things [insert annoyance here] and find myself worrying less and less about death and where and how I’ll end my journey than how I choose to spend the precious hours of whatever time I have remaining, enriching my own days by giving more and needing less. Like T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock, who grew “old and old” and wore the bottoms of his trousers rolled, I find my tastes have become surprisingly simpler, perhaps an echo of the farming race I hail from. One way or another, as I grow closer again to the earth, I find the landscape of home and place means more than I ever imagined it would when I set off four decades ago to see what was over the horizon. So for my birthday this year, I plan to take a nice long walk with my wife and the dogs through a winter-brown field and maybe plant a couple of river birches in my yard. The definition of an optimist, my father told me many decades ago, is a fellow who plants a tree so late in his life he knows he’ll never be able to sit beneath it. Growing older helps you understand what such a gift really means. Besides, river birches grow rather quickly. PS Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@pinestrawmag.com.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



On Craft-ing a Narrative

Fortunately, The Ruth Pauley Lecture Series brings renowned thinkers, statesmen, artists, experts and extraordinary speakers to the North Carolina Sandhills season after season. On Thursday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Gregg Hecimovich, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and actress Wilma Laney will offer something truly spectacular. Here’s the backstory: In 2001, renowned Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. purchased a manuscript at auction titled “The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts: a Fugitive Slave Recently Escaped from North Carolina.” Dr. Gates authenticated it, and then published it in 2002 to great fanfare. The work became an instant New York Times Bestseller. While Dr. Gates identified the slave author’s probable master as John Hill Wheeler, he did not locate the mixed-race, fugitive slave named Hannah Crafts. After a decade of archival work and research among private papers, Dr. Hecimovich has uncovered the identity of the fugitive author. His talk is based on his forthcoming book, The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts, detailing his quest, not only to identify the author, but also to reclaim the “true” stories upon which the author’s autobiographical novel is based. Actress Wilma Laney will bring to life portions of Hannah Craft’s tale. Free and open to the public. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 245-3132 or www.ruthpauley.org.

A Finery Excuse

Sixty years ago, Anne Morrow Lindbergh published a little book of reflections that grew out of her brief retreat at Captiva Island, which she constructed around the natural beauty of seashells. “Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves,” she wrote. And in order to stumble upon treasures — gifts from the sea — one must be open to them. Of course the beach is a metaphor, but the same can be said of the Professional Women’s Network Finery Fair (think flea market meets upscale consignment) on Thursday, February 12, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Treat yourself to a mid-day sabbatical. Come search a sea of gently used accessories for a necklace, scarf or handbag — but it’s the unexpected that will likely draw you. Tickets, $10, include boxed lunch. Proceeds benefit the Sandhills Community College Foundation Scholarship Fund. Tickets available at Given Memorial Library, The Pilot, or at the door. Village Chapel, 10 Azalea Road, Pinehurst. Info: marilyn.neely@gmail.com.


Produce! Get Your Produce!

Regardless of what Punxsutawney’s famed groundhog predicts, Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative reminds us that spring is near — and that seasonal and full-year produce box subscriptions are now available. Weekly and bi-weekly deliveries begin mid-April and continue through mid-November. Boxes (standard, double or “bread box”) offer a fresh and colorful variety of what’s in season — all of it homegrown. See website to learn more about this grassroots “neighbors feeding neighbors” community project and its many offerings. Info: (910) 722-1623 or www. sandhillsfarm2table.com.

Conversation Hearts

Roses are nice. Chocolates, too. But if you’re looking for a more soulful way to say “Be Mine,” try snagging a pair of tickets to the 30th annual Heart ’n Soul of Jazz, a Valentine’s Day benefit concert that makes Cupid’s arrow seem, well, sorta dull. Presenting six-time Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton and the New Orleans-inspired Buick Creek Jazz Band (think Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver), this don’t-miss-it affair benefits the Arts Council of Moore County. Yes, nothing says “I love you” like honeyed vocals and Dixieland brass. Tickets: $65. Pinehurst Resort, 80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 6922787 or www.mooreart.org.

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Best in Show

The ninth annual Penick Village Art Show kicks off on Friday, February 27, 6:30 p.m. with an opening gala featuring an exquisite display of work by dozens of local artists. Joan Williams’ “Celebration of 100 Years of the Moore Hounds”, a 30-by-40-inch oil painting, will be one of many fine works for sale. Show runs through Sunday, March 1. Saturday hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday: 12–3 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Penick Village Benevolent Assistance Fund, which assures that no resident is ever turned away due to lack of funds. Last year’s event raised nearly $111,000. Penick Village, 500 East Rhode Island Avenue, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-0354 or www. penickvillagefoundation.org.

Rx for Health and Healing

The inspiration behind The Foundation of FirstHealth’s Arts, Healing and The Humanities series? “Many of us have forgotten the power of the arts as another dimension of health and the healing journey,” says Nancy Kaeser, Chair of the Clara McLean House Advisory Council. “The humanities are an antidote to the technological approaches to care. We can all experience greater wellness by taking a proactive role in our own health and healing. No prescriptions or state-of-the-art technology required.” This three-program series began in October, 2014, with “Flowers by Chagall: The Healing Powers of Flowers” presented by Bella Meyer, granddaughter of the celebrated artist Marc Chagall. On Wednesday, February 4, 5 p.m., John Coffey, Deputy Director for Art and Curator of American and Modern Art at NC Museum of Art, will present, “Curator’s Choice: Ten Masterpieces at the NC Museum of Art, A Curator’s Personal Favorites.” The third and final program in the series will be held on May 20 and will feature Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle. The Country Club of North Carolina Ballroom. Registration: (910) 695-7510. To make a contribution or to find out more about the Clara McLean House and the Healing Gardens, call The Foundation of FirstHealth at (910) 695-7500.

Messengers of Love

In 1933, George P. Oslin, public relations director of American telegraph company Western Union, had an inspired idea: singing telegrams. Friday and Saturday, Valentine’s weekend, the Golf Capital Chorus will offer a similar service — singing Valentines — but not over the wire. They’ll come knocking, dapper and with candy and rose, to deliver the songs of your heart to the person who makes it lub-dub a little bit faster. Cost: $50 (includes two romantic songs). Call or email to schedule: (910) 215-9796; dickcurl@nc.rr.com.

Bee-lieve in Magic

The Art of Real

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the skin horse to the stuffed rabbit of Margery Williams’ beloved children’s book. “It’s a thing that happens to you.” Similarly, when you observe the artwork of Mison Kim, you breathe it to life. On Friday, February 13, from 6–8:30 p.m., the David McCune International Art Gallery will hold an opening reception for Searching for the Real, drawings and paintings by Pratt Institute grad Mison Kim. “I draw by feel,” explains the artist of her style. “I have an acute awareness of what I choose when I draw the lines I draw. . . . From a distance, these drawings look quickly, almost sloppily done — like scribbles. Close inspection however, reveals lines that are highly considered and carefully rendered. The result is a palpable shift in the space and depth of the image. Awareness of these changes enables a person to feel that these drawings are not what he or she thought they were.” See for yourself. Free admission. Exhibit runs through April 15. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday from 12–4 p.m. William F. Bethune Center for Visual Arts, Methodist University. Info: (910) 425-5379 or www.davidmccunegallery.org.

According to ancient Pagan lore, the high energy of a full moon makes it the most powerful time for magical workings. Whether or not the moon is plump, we tend to believe that the Moore County Literacy Council’s annual Spelling Bee For Literacy is equally spirited. Just look at the costumes. The “Bee”, as it’s known, returns to Owens Auditorium on Sunday, February 8, at 2 p.m. Teams don outrageous costumes and compete for “Best Sandhills Spellers” title. Rob Hill and friends will enchant the crowd with a pre-contest jazz performance. General admission: $10; children accompanied by adults get in free. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910)692-5954 or www.mcliteracy.org. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015 13

Instagram Winners

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

“How are you quenching your thirst this winter?” #pinestrawcontest

Next months theme:

How many people can you get in a “Group Selfie?” Submit your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #pinestrawcontest (submissions needed by February 17th)

(Like Ellen did!)


New Instagram themes every month! Follow us @pinestrawmag

(And Lauren!)

February 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills



Located right in the Village, this one of a kind, picture perfect Pinehurst home in historic Old Town was one of the original Tufts cottages. Completely renovated inside and out, this gorgeous cottage has smooth 9’ ceilings, crown molding in all rooms, beautiful hardwood floors throughout and many more stunning features. 3 BR / 2.5 BA 200 Cherokee Road






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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. 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 www.205HunterTrail.com www.4DogwoodCourt.com www.17ChestnutLane.com

This stunningly beautiful home in Fairwoods on 7 features top of the line finishes, moldings, and marble, hardwood, and slate flooring! Gourmet kitchen, 2-story ceilings in the living and great rooms, luxurious bedroom suites, custom wood bar, and even a wine cellar! Finally, relax on the cascading terrace of your choice overlooking the 15th Green! 4 BR / 5.5 BA 80 Braemar Road


This stunning custom home in Fairwoods on Seven is located on an oversized, private lot overlooking the 15th fairway of the #7 course. Built by Pinehurst Homes, there are so many upscale features. The floor plan is very open and light with high ceilings. 5 BR / 5.5 BA 145 Brookhaven Drive



$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 www.80LakewoodDrive.com www.110RavenswoodRoad.com

Magnificent custom built home located on the 11th tee with views of the 7th, 8th and 9th fairways of Pinehurst course #4. The 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

Located on a quiet waterfront cove on Fly Rod Lake, this spacious home has over 190’ of frontage on the water. The interior is open with over 3500 square feet of living area and all the rooms are very nice sized. This home has been well maintained. Great school district and close to Ft. Bragg. 5 BR / 4 BA 12 Sunset 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 /$549,000 2 BA 4 BR / 4 Full & 2SOUTHERN Half Baths 3 BR / 2.5 BA $395,000 1 BR / 1 BA PINEHURST $399,000 3 BR / 2.5 BA CCNC PINES www.16SteeplechaseWay.com www.110HearthstoneRoad.com www.8RoyalDornoch.com www.210StAndrewsCondo.com www.1340BurningTreeRoad.com

$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 Exquisite townhome right in the heart of the Village. This gorgeous second floor home is Gorgeous renovation of historic “The Ivy” cottage built in 1925 and located on a very This elegant custom built Villa in CCNC enjoys a gorgeous setting overlooking water on www.170InverraryRoad.com www.145SugarPineDrive.com www.105MastersWay.com www.6HollyHouse.com www.135AndrewsDrive.com easily accessed by elevator and enjoys private views of downtown Pinehurst. The property private beautifully landscaped lot overlooking the 10th & 11th holes of

has been completely renovated with deep crown molding, hardwood floors, state of the art kitchen and much more. High ceilings and oversized windows give a wonderful open feel to the floor plan. 3 BR / 2.5 BA 6 Holly House



an oversized lot. Home is located on one lot and has a half lot on either side for complete privacy. Lovely water views from the large private patio and interior living areas, including a large Carolina room. 3 BR / 2.5 BA 8 Royal Dornoch Drive



Mid Pines Golf Course includes a Guest House. This is one of the best golf views in Moore County! There has been a major renovation to both the main house and guest cottage. Expansive, split level terraces allow for maximum enjoyment of outdoor entertainment. 3 BR / 3.5 BA 155 Crest Road



$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 www.23BerylCircle.com www.100CypressCircle.com www.153LaurelOakLane.com www.18ShamrockDrive.com www.10StantonCircle.com

“Between the Greens,” a storybook cottage in historic Old Town with views of famed This charming home in Pinehurst #6 is absolutely immaculate with great upscale features! Wonderful custom all brick home located on the 2nd green of the Holly course at Pinewild Pinehurst CC #2 course and the Village Chapel and Village Green, is perfectly situated for Bright and open, it offers high ceilings, lots of windows, hardwood floors, and deep Country Club – oversized lot is .8 of an acre. This home has been recently renovated with Lakes Seven $298,000 Pinehurst $241,000 Lakes walkableSeven Old Town living.South This Southern Living$199,000 floor plan homePinehurst provides a lovely setting moldings. The bonus room upstairs could be a 5th bedroom.$895,000 The owners have added aLakes West expanded living area, hardwood floorsSeven and a full bath onSouth the second floor. Lots$279,500 of open space with mature landscaping, picket fence and stone walks. Wall of windows bring light into the brick paver patio with an outdoor fireplace – great place to cook out with friends! on home the second for a studio, exercise room, poolrenovated room, craft room – great flex home space Completely golf front Wonderful 2-story onfloor cul-de-sac Gorgeous home in the Old Town Charming golf front w/panoramic view Great family home w/private back yard soaring vaulted family room. Cooks will love the stunning gourmet kitchen. Mature landscaping. and a 3 car garage. 4 BR / 3BA BR/ 3/BA 3.5 BA 4 BR / 3 BA 3 BR3/BR 2.5/ 3BA Full & 2 Half BA 44BR 3 BR / 4.5 BA 3 BR / 3.5 BA 35 Village Green East 31 Deerwood Lane 52 McMichael Drive www.117OxfordCourt.com www.108Rector.com www.50OrangeRoad.com www.11GraysonLane.com www.122DevonshireAvenue.com

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015

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February 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Cos and Effect

A Toy Angel

With scraps and sewing threads, Joan Byron creates joy By Cos Barnes

I thought I would

get this story written before Christmas, but it did not happen. Then I realized the toy makers work all year, so it doesn’t matter when we highlight them. They are the toy angels, the women who sew so that all our hospitalized children will receive toys for Christmas and at other times during the year.

Joan Byron is one of these dedicated workers. We have recently renewed our friendship although we met years ago when her daughter-in-law, Kathy Byron, and I were on the board of the Friends of the Southern Pines Public Library. We needed ornaments for a Christmas tree, and Kathy volunteered her mother-in-law to make them. Joan did just that, and they are still used by the library. They were made of felt and she represented each character from stories the children were reading. Joan is still plying her craft. She is a toy maker at the hospital, working from 8 a.m. until 11:30 two mornings a week with a group of dedicated sewers who have become fast friends. She has lived in Pinehurst for six years, moving here from Mansfield, Massachusetts. She has a history of allowing no waste and making what she can out of what she has. She tells me she collects all the scraps after their work sessions. She uses them for backing for back pillows, which must be fortified with strong products — which she is not about to buy. She says people ask if she has cement in the pillows, they are so hard with rows and rows of scraps and lots of them. She recycles all scraps. “I don’t like waste at all. I don’t throw anything out,” she admonishes. “Always give something back,” she says, and she does. She tells a wonderful story of a baby sweater she made for people who cut trees in her yard. They entered the sweater in an Anson County contest, it won the first place prize, and she won $5. You know what she did with the money? Invested it in material for more projects. Joan recalls her early training when she rested one foot on her mother’s treadle sewing machine and made dolls and doll clothes, quilts and even her own clothes. Her masterpiece was the doll which was Little Red Riding Hood when turned one way and the Big Bad Wolf when turned the other. I love this about Joan: Her mother bought a Featherlight sewing machine and Joan, then 10 years old, is who went for the lessons. She is a perfectionist as well as a saver. She said the toy makers have a book of rules and regulations and are very particular that everything is done right. And speaking of right, Joan says her son John married Kathy for her. “She is just right,” Joan said. PS Cos Barnes is a longtime contributor to PineStraw magazine. She can be contacted at cosbarnes@nc.rr.com.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


T h e O m n i v oro u s R e a d e r

The Perils of Reading

In Tim Johnston’s affecting new novel, Descent, our deepest longings for the safety of loved ones is brilliantly stirred By Brian L ampkin

There are novels that I

have stopped reading. The reasons are many: I left the book on the train; it was boring; or I simply left it unfinished on the nightstand in the ongoing chaos of daily life. I stopped reading Tim Johnston’s new novel, Descent (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015, $25.95), over and over again for none of the reasons above. I stopped because it hurt. I stopped because Johnston’s writing is exquisite — that is to say his writing is extremely beautiful, but painfully so. Descent is a novel that makes you feel too much. You must stop. And go on. Because you understand that this book offers something exceptional.

Which is funny to say because the book is in many ways conventional. It is openly referred to as a “literary thriller” — a genre saturating the book world. It is also centered on the abduction of a young woman. I don’t need to tell how familiar that story has become. So what makes it the best novel I’ve read in a long time? What makes it rise above its seemingly middle-ofthe-road ambitions? Of course I’m asking what makes a book sing and the answer to that question is a great mystery. It’s an alchemical mixture of literary elements, but I’ll argue here that it’s more about language and emotional tone than it is about plot or content. And I think it is the tone of Descent that so moves me. The abduction of 18-year-old Caitlin in the mountains of Colorado and the subsequent search for her — which plays out over years — could easily have become cliché or sensational in the worst way. But Johnston never lets us forget that this real pain (Even though it’s not. It’s a novel. An act of imagination.) is the pain that Caitlin’s family is feeling. It’s not a mystery waiting to be satisfactorily solved or a political polemic on the dangers of the world. This is raw anguish and guilt and loss: “One speck of difference in the far green sameness and he would stare so hard his vision would slur and his heart would surge and he would have to force himself to look away — Daddy, she’d said — and he would take his skull in his hands and clench his teeth until he felt the roots giving way and the world would pitch and he would groan like some aggrieved beast

and believe he would retch up his guts, organs and entrails and heart and all, all of it wet and gray and steaming at his feet and go ahead, he would say into this blackness, go ahead god damn you.” Maybe that’s not everyone’s idea of good bedtime reading, but I don’t want to undersell Johnston’s adeptness with plot and structure. Descent is a pageturner. And it does resolve in an action-filled, cinematic manner, but even then it’s not exactly conventional and certainly not predictable. In interviews, Johnston has said that he wanted it all; he wanted to combine all the best elements of a well-plotted thriller with his remarkable writing and emotional sensitivities. Johnston refuses to believe that these are mutually exclusive. And despite the horrors of this novel, it is sensitive to human feeling in a way that resonates deeply, at least with me. Johnston avoids the sexual depravity that is obviously at the core of the abductor’s reason for taking Caitlin. His choice is pitch-perfect; in other writers hands we’d suffer and witness this sexual torture, but Johnston will not exploit his work with that kind of horror. Strangely, Descent is really a book about love. It is about how much we all risk by the simple act of loving someone in a world that can destroy that love in an offhand moment of inattention or in the actions of a depraved individual. The novel swings back and forth between scenes of Caitlin and her abductor and Caitlin’s family’s search for her and their life without her. The novel asks what are the limits of love, or what are the limits of what can be endured both physically and emotionally for love. To some extent, we are asked to endure as well. You will need to stop reading. I think the first time I had to put Descent down was when Caitlin tried to call her parents just as the abduction was to occur: “She was smiling, she was crying, already hearing his voice: Hello? Caitlin? Where are you, sweetheart? And then she did hear his voice, deep and steady and familiar in her ear, and though it was only his voice mail she began to sob. Daddy, she said, before the first blow landed.” As a parent of three daughters, I suppose this novel frightens me directly, but Johnston’s empathetic skills surely make this a universally affecting work. Johnston won’t be happy to hear me say this, but some people will want to avoid this book. For the rest of us, though, Descent will stir our deepest longings for the safety of our loved ones while also thrilling us with a taut and relentlessly tense story. It’s early in 2015, but this novel will win awards this year. Now that’s never a good reason to read a book. Read Descent for its beautiful writing and for its tender care for its characters. Just stop when necessary before returning for more. PS Brian Lampkin is an owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, N.C.

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February 2015P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

B oo k s h e l f

February Books Great winter reads


All males who come to the aid, either directly or indirectly, of the crews of enemy aircraft coming down in parachutes or having made a forced landing, help in their escape, hide them or come to their aid in any fashion, will be shot on the spot. Women who render the same help will be sent to concentration camps in Germany.

“‘I guess I am lucky to be a woman,’ Isabelle muttered to herself. How was it that Germans hadn’t noticed by now — October of 1941 — that France had become a country of women? Even as she said the words, she recognized the false bravado in them. She wanted to feel brave right now — Edith Cavell risking her life — but here, in this train station patrolled by German soldiers, she was scared. There was no backing out now, no changing her mind. After months of planning and preparation, she and four airmen were ready to test the escape plan. On this cool October morning, her life would change. From the moment she boarded this train bound for Saint-Jean-de-Luz, she would no longer be Isabelle Rossignol, the girl in the bookshop who lived on the Avenue de la Bourdonnais. From now on, she was Juliette Gervaise, code name the Nightingale.” — The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

By Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. A riveting tale about two sisters and the French Resistance during World War II. In contrast to her sister Isabelle, Vivian claims she is not a brave woman. But as the war continues, each summons surprising strength and exemplifies the feats, not mentioned in history books, that were performed by women during the war. This is a book for when you have four hours, because once you begin reading it, you will not stop and you will cry and then hand it to your spouse, parents and friends. Hannah’s ability to weave a story is exemplary. Read this book. My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh Set against wonderful descriptions of Louisiana in the late 1980s and early ’90s comes a resonating story of lost innocence and its effects. Fully designed, well placed characters and an eloquently drawn suspenseful plot have people comparing this author to Pat Conroy at his peak. Addictive and thought-provoking, this book is wonderful fiction. Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King A mystery narrated by Sherlock Holmes’ wife, Mary Russell, delivers in both prose and suspense as the couple arrives home from Japan in 1925 to find a stone last seen in Japan’s future emperor’s garden. This is the third book in a promising mystery series. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler The Whitshanks are a family that exudes togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have shared not only

tender moments, laughter and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren, here are four generations, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor. A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power by Paul Fischer Prior to his dictatorship, Kim Jong-Il produced and wrote every movie made in North Korea for his job at the Ministry for Propaganda film studios and kidnapped the most famous actress and filmmaker in South Korea, Choi Eun-hee (Madam Choi) and Shin Sang-ok. After a few missteps they earned the Dear Leader’s trust, living in isolated luxury and attending only his dinner parties and were able to eventually escape. This story is full of passion, suspense and politics, and shines a rare light on Kim Jong-Il’s secret world. The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscapes at Mount Vernon by Adam Erby and Susan P. Schoelwer Erby and Schoelwer, the Robert H. Smith Senior Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, have a wonderful coffee table book about the finest example of grounds preserved from eighteenth century America. The essays and photographs chronicle Washington’s transformation of the gardens, their stewardship to today, and the recent archaeological dig that led to the restoration of the upper showpiece garden. A Matter of Breeding: A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs and How the Quest for Status Has Harmed Man’s Best Friend by Michael Brandow Brandow is a writer of all things dog-related in publications like

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



B oo k s h e l f

Town and Country, ARTnews and The New York Times. He brings an interesting social history around the “cult of pedigree” that traces the commercial rise of the purebred dog, combining consumer studies with sharp commentary that reveals how our brand-name pets pay the price. CHILDREN’S BOOKS



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Tu e s -Th u r. 1 1 - 5 . a n d. by. a p p o i nt m e nt. at. yo u r. co nve n i e n ce

JOP Pinestraw-2.indd 1

12/31/14 8:54:27 AM

Love Monster and the Perfect Present by Rachel Bright. Life is hard when you are a slightly hairy googly-eyed monster trying to find your place among the soft and cuddly residents of Cutesville, but sometimes Love finds you just when you least expect it. These two adorable books are the perfect way to tell someone you love just the way they are this Valentine’s Day. Ages 2–6. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. To fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder comes this emotionally charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever felt there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. Ally has made it to the fifth grade without learning to read. But when a special teacher helps her gain the confidence to be herself, the world starts opening up with possibilities. After all, great minds don’t always think alike. Thoughtprovoking reading for ages 10–14. Rule of Three by Eric Walters. The Rule of Three states: A person can survive three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food, but without vital lifeblood, a community begins to die in just seconds. One shocking afternoon, the Rule of Three becomes a reality in 16-year-old Adam Daley’s life when computers around the globe shut down, cellphones all die, utilities fail and chaos reigns. Teens age 14 and up who love The Hunger Games, Divergent and Compound series will clamor for this new Survivalist/Dystopian series that proposes the question: What if the screens all went dark? PS


February 2015 P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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February 2015P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

S ta g e l i f e

Storytelling & Swordplay In Cape Fear Regional Theater’s bold new production of The Three Musketeers, convincing an audience is all in the musicality of the blades and the intention of an actor’s movement

By Melissa Goslin

“It looks like this,” Steve Rankin says

Photographs by raul rubiera

as he bends his knees and dives, arms outstretched, off an eight-foot platform. This isn’t a trust exercise — at least not intentionally. Rankin has been brought in by Cape Fear Regional Theater to direct their production of The Three Musketeers. The actors on stage catch him; the ones off stage snap pictures with their phones.

“Man, it’s been a while,” Rankin laughs as he twists his back and pulls a few post-jump stretches. As a fight director, Rankin has plenty of street cred, such as the Tony Awardwinning Jersey Boys. Rankin isn’t always in the director’s seat, though. He’s shown his acting chops in films such as L.A. Confidential and Men in Black, as well television roles spanning the likes of Murphy Brown and True Blood. “In graduate school, I was the guy who said, ‘Hey, I’ll jump off that ten-foot platform and land on my head!’ Rankin says. After hurting himself a few times, he decided to learn a different way. Rankin put time to good use, working with the Actor’s Theater of Louisville and the famous Humana Festival of New American Plays, staging several plays that went to Broadway. He learned from the big names in the field — B.H. Barry and Normand Beauregard, for starters. Eight years and sixty plays later, it’s safe to say he left with a handle on things. “Fighting is all about storytelling,” Rankin says. “The actor needs it to feel real. They have to commit violent acts, but they have to remain completely safe.” Given the swashbuckling ways of the musketeers, the need for fight direction in this production seems obvious. However, Rankin points out that any physical

conflict requires special attention on stage. “In Streetcar Named Desire, for example, there are some serious slaps,” Rankin says. “You can’t let the actors just go at each other.” Based on the Alexandre Dumas novel Les Trois Mousquetaires, The Three Musketeers is the story of a young man named d’Artagnan who travels from the French countryside to Paris to join the Musketeers of the Guard. Once there, d’Artagnan is taken in by three inseparable friends — Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Their famous slogan — all for one and one for all — was the original bro code, and they held fast to it as they protected each other’s honor. The novel is set in the 17th century, when power was maintained by a select few, and the concepts of honor and name had to be defended. It is important to Rankin that his cast understands this context. “These men are launched into all of their fighting because of romance and love and friendship. You don’t want it to just be a romp,” Rankin says. “It has to be grounded in truth. The sword is secondary to the character.” Done right, a sword fight tells a complete story. It is a constant cycle of intention, action and reaction. Each move reveals a little more about the men — and women — behind the swords. “As a young actor, I was eager to learn about stage fighting. It’s every young man’s dream.” Rankin pauses and looks at the two actors entering the room with their swords. “And many, many young girls, too.” Jess Jones and Jae Powell are in the side room of the theater to work with Rankin on their fight scene. Cape Fear Regional Theater is staging the Ken Ludwig adaptation of the story, which ups the female presence. Rankin worked with Ludwig on his Treasure Island adaptation and appreciates the wily way the females navigate social hierarchies. They are resourceful women, but also very much women of their time. Jones plays the Countess de Winter, known as Milady, who is set on revenge. Jones herself has always been interested in physical theater. “It’s a way

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S ta g e l i f e

of telling a story through movement,” Jones says. “You get to talk in a way you normally can’t.” She opens and closes her hand over the handle of her rapier, then tucks a dagger into her boot. Powell plays Sabine, little sister of d’Artagnan, who follows him to Paris. “I’ve been stabbed in the stomach and slapped, but this,” she swipes her rapier in the space between herself and Jones, “this is new.” For the first few minutes, the actors seem tentative. They point and pull back their swords like dancers learning fresh steps. Rankin never speaks the word wrong. Instead, he speaks about the musicality of the blades, the intention behind each movement. He guides them with positive reinforcement, yelling ‘That’s it!’ when he sees a move he likes. “Steve is incredible,” Powell says. “He is the most enthusiastic, affirming director I’ve ever had. If he tells me to jump, I’m going to jump.” Rankin demonstrates how to rock back on your leg to get out of the way during a fight. He tells them to relax into their fight and slow down. He wants to know they are in complete control. Soon, they are circling each other like big cats in the wild. Their eyes are locked, their movements — even the smallest ones — are sharp. They’re searching for rhythm in the last move

of this sequence, when Jones steps on Powell’s dagger. Jones puts down her boot, but the dagger isn’t quite in place. “Sorry,” Powell says. “Sorry?” Rankin says, “There’s no sorry in sword fighting!”

With a laugh, Jones and Powell take a quick break before taking their weapons on the main stage, where Shad Ramsey, who plays Athos and is also the associate fight director, warms up the entire cast on stage. Ramsey calls out, ‘Advance!’ and the actors move upstage with their swords extended. A few

of them struggle not to bob their heads. Ramsey tells them all to move as if they’re on a skateboard, and it seems to do the trick. He calls, ‘Retreat!’ and they glide back downstage. “I enjoy giving people a new vocabulary for their bodies,” Ramsey says. “Everything a person would normally do goes out the window with a three-foot piece of steel in their hands.” Rankin changes into his fight clothes, then hops onto the stage. The fight scenes have been carefully orchestrated, planned and filmed. Still, Rankin considers them fluid. He sits back and watches the natural tendencies of the actors, then incorporates their natural style into the action. Finally, they rehearse the Luxembourg scene. It’s one of the biggest fights in the production, with over ten swords on stage at one time. They will practice this scene every day until the play opens. Safety is always on Rankin’s mind, and he wants to make sure this scene goes off without a hitch. He ensures each weapon is discarded in a safe way. He blocks out areas on stage where characters are safe to pass out. A few times, he dials the action back and ensures the actors they’ll get there. For now, he says, let’s just focus on the timing. Eventually, they’ll add sounds to their swordplay, but not before they’re ready. It’s still in their heads, counting beats and getting the moves down. Those sounds only come once movements drop into the gut. “It’s easy for a line to be crossed,” Rankin says. “If an actor falls incredibly hard on stage, it takes everyone out of the story. The audience is concerned about the human being, and they’re no longer watching the play.” There are no stunt men on stage. The actors can’t put on a helmet and let a stunt double take over. Here, the action is right in front of your eyes. The Luxembourg scene has everything expected from a Three Musketeers tale — high stakes, a little cheekiness and plenty of swords. After an hour, it’s all coming together. During the last run through of the day, Rankin seems to be watching for pure enjoyment. He lets out a laugh as Porthos parries with a chicken leg. He smiles broadly at the mix of rabblerousing dialogue and ensuing swordsmanship. This is a man who loves his job. “You can’t digitally reproduce this,” Rankin says. “It’s live theater, and there’s simply nothing like sitting down to watch live theater.” PS The Three Musketeers runs through February 18, at Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www. cfrt.org or call their box office at (910) 323-4233. Melissa Goslin is a frequent contributor to PineStraw, who is still sore from fencing in eighth grade PE class. She can be reached at mg@melissagoslin.com.


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© 2015 Pinehurst, LLC

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Vine Wisdom

California Bubbles Over Great sparkling wines for Valentines

By Robyn James

Valentine’s Day is definitely one of

Photograph by Brandi Swarms

those holidays that create demand for the bubbly, but what to do if you can’t cope with the high price tag of authentic French Champagne but want something better than Prosecco?

Check out the high profile sparkling wines from California that are produced methode traditionelle (the identical technique used in Champagne). In the European Union only those sparkling wines whose grapes are grown in the geographic region of Champagne in France may actually be labeled “Champagne.” This is not a law in the United States, but the better producers of sparkling wine here will not use the term Champagne on their labels out of respect for the true French wineries. The irony is that you will still see makers of bottles of the grossly cheap bubbles artificially shot with CO2 who do try to capitalize on the term Champagne. It was not until the 1980s that California started looking at producing world class sparkling wines. In Champagne, there are three primary grapes used: pinot noir, chardonnay and a lesser known red grape, pinot meunier. California uses almost none of the third grape, focusing primarily on pinot noir and chardonnay. The Champagne region in France has a much cooler climate where grapes are harvested earlier for their higher acidity levels that can contribute to the secondary fermentation that will take place in the bottle. California producers also choose the cooler areas of Sonoma, Carneros, Anderson Valley and Mendocino. Although there are some very fine native California producers such as “J” Winery founded by the Jordan family, Schramsberg and Scharffenberger, many have roots from Champagne in France. Louis Roederer founded Roederer Estate Anderson near the coast; the Mumm family chose Napa Valley for their Mumm Cuvee Napa Prestige; and Taittinger found

Carneros to locate their stunning California baby, Domaine Carneros. Moet Chandon, producers of the legendary Dom Perignon, also looked to Carneros and Napa Valley for a home for California Domaine Chandon. While France is confined by the geographic boundaries of the Champagne region, California offers a nearly limitless opportunity for French families to increase their volume of sparkling wine while keeping prices at exactly half their French twins. The Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is perhaps the only large producer of French Champagne with no plans or interest in extending to California. Another interesting standout, Gloria Ferrer in Carneros was founded by the most famous producers of Spanish Cava, Freixenet. Unlike their French peers, the Spanish products are much cheaper than their California wines. So, this Valentine’s Day, drink patriotic and try a premium California bubbly. I am a big fan of nearly all the domestic quality producers, but here are a few standouts that I really appreciate.

Gloria Ferrer Blancs de Noirs, Carneros, $23

Meaning white from dark, this cuvee is primarily pinot noir with just 8-percent chardonnay. “Fun and festive, with floral raspberry and graham cracker aromas leading to crisp and succulent lemon and strawberry flavors. A reliable value in California bubbly.” Rated 90 points, The Wine Spectator

J Cuvee 20 Brut, Sonoma, $29

“Crisp and lively, with green apple, cream and fennel aromas and vibrant tropical fruit. The lemon and spice flavors finish on a clean mineral note. Drink now.” Rated 90 points, The Wine Spectator

Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley, $24

“A rich version, loaded with spicy cinnamon notes. Bold apple aromas, with a whiff of yeast, lead to complex, layered pear, crème brûlée and baked apple flavors that linger. Drink now.” Rated 91 points, The Wine Spectator PS Robyn James is proprietor of The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room in Southern Pines. Contact her at robynajames@gmail.com.

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February 2015P���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h e k i tc h e n g ar d e n

Home Sweet Brew

Local hop heads skillfully adapt the flavors of the Sandhills

By Jan Leitschuh

While the kitchen garden

Photographs by Melissa Johnson

slumbers under February’s cold blanket, the sunny tastes of last summer and fall continue to live on in — of all things — beer. High quality, craft beer, that is, locally made, by ordinary folks in their homes.

Some fifty to 150 people in the area enjoy making their own home brew, according to enthusiasts. And with changing regulation and the explosion of interest in flavorful craft beer, these numbers may be expected to grow. “The majority of people who home-brew either truly enjoy good craft beer, or they enjoy making something — or both,” says Keith Bryant, current president of of the local home-brewing club Southern Hopheads. Nor is it all that difficult, he insists: “It’s basically just following a recipe.” At the same time, says Tim Emmert, fellow home—brewer and Southern Hophead, there are enough layers of complexity to hold anyone’s interest over time. “Home-brewers can get really geeky,” says Emmert, “but in a good way. They’re passionate. You begin to discover there is a ridiculous amount of stuff to know about brewing. Even among professionals, there are significant differences about what is going on at different times in the brewing process. “And, we can all be right. It doesn’t have to be either/or.” Last month we met a local farmer raising the very desirable two-row barley prized by brewers, both commercial and kitchen table. This month, we’ll visit with some of those enthusiasts who take the products of the land and turn them into beautiful beers right at home. And local flavors — peaches, blueberries, pumpkins, raspberries and more — may also find their way into the end product of home fermentation. “When I first started doing it, it was such a sense of accomplishment,” says Bryant. In the U.S., home-brewing was legalized by President Jimmy Carter on

February 1, 1979. A single person may brew up to 100 gallons of beer annually for personal enjoyment, and up to 200 gallons in a household of two persons or more of legal drinking age. NC alcohol laws, a relic of Prohibition, were fairly strict until 2005, when craft enthusiasts finally helped change the law. Prior to that, beers of up to only 6 percent alcohol could be brewed. “Some of the best beers are a little higher than that,” explains Bryant. “So prior to that, if you wanted to make an imperial stout or an abbey ale of 12 percent or so, either you had to have a friend bring it to you, or go somewhere and get it.” Once that law was overturned, NC saw its current explosion of craft breweries spring up around the state. Home-brewers followed in their wake. A conclave of home-brewing enthusiasts is a world with its own rich vocabulary: worts, mashing and malting, sparging, airlocks, carboys, cappers. Beer production starts with grain. “You take take barley and malt it — which means you wet it, it starts to germinate, and then you roast it,” says Bryant, who has fifteen years’ experience at the craft. “Then you go through a process called mashing, or soaking grains in water for an hour or so. The starches turn to sugars like maltose. The water is drained off and that liquid is called the wort.” That wort is then put into a kettle to be boiled. Some brewers skip this starting point: “There are companies that condense this process down to a malt syrup or powder and sell it,” says Bryant, “saving the brewers a step.” This is called “extract brewing.” Now things begin to get interesting, according to enthusiasts. To the sweet wort, brewers add hops for bitterness, aroma and flavor notes. Different hops produce different effects. “Some hops are citrusy,” says Bryant, “some are earthy, some are fruity. There are thirty to forty different hops now.” Before the widespread use of hops, the abbey monks and brewers of old used flowers, herbs, heathers, juniper and spices for flavoring — and sometimes they still do, to recapture those historical flavors. The critical thing to know about hops, says Emmert, “is that when they are added to the boil — beginning, middle, end or even after — makes a huge difference. “ Brewers boil the wort for about an hour total, says Bryant, to remove some

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T h e k i tc h e n g ar d e n

volatile compounds, to improve flavor, to kill competing yeasts. Then it is chilled to seventy—some degrees, and the liquid is poured into a sanitized fermenter. A fermenter can be as simple as a 5—gallon bucket with a lid and an airlock. “Most home— brewers make five gallons at a time,” says Bryant. Next, the brewers add, well, brewer’s yeast to the liquid in the fermenter. The yeast coverts the sugars in the boiled wort to alcohol and gives off carbon dioxide as a byproduct — hence, the airlock, which allows CO2 gas pressure to escape but keeps out wild yeasts and such. The rest is a matter of time and tweaking, and here again is where “following a recipe” veers off into “craft” land — a dance between time, ingredients and temperature. “For a standard pale ale you’re looking at four to ten days,” says Bryant. “It’s still very green, with byproducts that the yeast work on. Carbon dioxide is still given off. It can’t be sealed, or it would blow up.” Home—brewers sometimes do secondary fermentation to clean up the beer and remove some of the off flavors for another week or so. “So, about two weeks, total,” says Bryant. When it’s time to bottle or keg the brew into sanitary vessels, a little sugar is added before cap-

ping. “Because the yeast is still active, it will take that little extra sugar and convert it to carbonation (CO2). Two weeks in a warmish—ish place should do it,” says Bryant. “So, technically, you could drink a beer in four weeks, but six weeks is a better time for flavor and carbonation.” Brewing is often a weekend project for enthusiasts, and offers the same simple complexity as home baking, with plenty of room for master craft. “My brew day is anywhere between six to eight hours,” says Emmert, “and that includes setup and cleaning. For me, that’s a keg, approximately fifty bottles. What’s not included there is the time it takes to bottle or keg a brew. There’s a lot of wait time, waiting for your beer to ferment. It depends on the yeast, the amount of sugar, in combination for temperature. Some yeasts are aggressive, some less so.”


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A tool called a hydrometer measures the specific gravity of the batch. “We measure after the boil,” says Bryant, “then measure again after fermentation. The difference is your alcohol content.” Further innovative tweaking of ingredients can produce such seasonal flavors as chocolate stouts with cherries, strawberry blonde ales, spicy imperial pumpkin ales. “The club has brewers of all ranges of ability, folks who brew different types of beer,” says Emmert. “You’re going to make your IPAs, and your stouts, but most also try different stuff. To do that you have to go outside the box.” Local flavors got a little trot around this past fall, with the inaugural Crops & Hops beer competition. The beers entered in this lively club competition were required to be made from local ingredients as much as possible, even local grains if available. Entries included a peach ale, a gruit (pronounced “groot,” a beer brewed with herbs) of rosemary, sage, mugwort, yarrow, thyme and Sweet Annie, an acorn squash ale, a pumpkin porter, a mocha stout, and others, says Emmert As a venue, Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative’s popular Fall Harvest Hoedown celebration for volunteers and farmers was chosen. Professional judges were brought in: Joel McCloskey from Four Saints Brewing in Asheboro, and Micah Niebauer of Southern Pines Brewing. The pair — along with a civilian panel — spent three or four careful hours judging the beers. Keith Bryant won first prize from the Sandhills Farm to Table panel for his Mocha Moose Stout, and Kevin Robinson won first place from the professional panel for his Pumpkin Pie Porter, says Emmert. Anyone interested in home—brewing can easily begin on the Internet. Bryant is self—taught. John Palmer’s book How to Brew Your First Beer is free online, and Bryant strongly recommends a novice start here. A few local stores such as Blue Horse Market in Whispering Pines and Southern Pines Growler carry kits and supplies. A simple and complete kit can run under $100. The American Homebrewers Association website is another resource. For fellowship — and isn’t that a factor in serious beer appreciation? — the local club, the Southern Hopheads, meets monthly, and stays connected over the Internet. The website is southernhopheads.com. “It’s fun to make something that you can share with others, and they enjoy it,” says Bryant. “Like cookies, you get the pride of it, someone enjoying your work. It’s like its own little art form.” PS Jan Leitschuh is a local gardener, avid eater of fresh produce and co—founder of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative.


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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

O u t of t h e B l u e

I Am Smarter Than My Smartphone Maybe

By Deborah Salomon

Daresay, you’re read-

ing this to ridicule my jackass premise. Nobody’s smarter than a smartphone — not even the guy who invented it. But, don’t forget, there’s smart and there’s smart. The first kind is either booklearned, inherited or dumb luck. My smarts rest on practicality. Call it kneejerk, brand it gut reaction, but please, please gimme a chance.

I never wanted a smartphone because I don’t need 90 percent of its features. I have a computer, an ancient laptop, a flat-screen TV with premium cable, a Netflix DVD subscription, a land line and a flip phone with camera. People with arthritic fingers don’t text just like people with calculators can’t multiply. Ask a 15-year-old what’s 12 times 7 and watch where his hand reaches. Besides, like other mature users, I believe that texting is doublehandedly destroying written English. I’m not interested in accessing everything with one device, seeing as I work mostly from home, surrounded by the aforementioned. Besides, if all flows from one source and that source malfunctions . . . Then my flip phone died. You can still get them with some carriers, but I had a suitable plan with service to Canada, where my grandchildren live. Why poke a hornet’s nest? Since my carrier doesn’t have a store here, I went to Best Buy, told them my requirements and asked for the simplest model — one that makes calls and takes pictures. I didn’t care if it was an Apple, an orange or a pear, just so the keyboard was big and bright. No such thing, the sales rep replied. He handed me an approximation; then, with polite distain, explained the basics. The rest I could get from the manual. I’m smart enough to read a manual. Now, after six weeks of slapstick situations, I’ve decided that I’m smarter than my smartphone and the accompanying lifestyle. Pull up a chair . . . I’m smart enough to know that for a decade, women’s purses have been designed with a handy little pocket, often on the outside, to accommodate cellphones. Wrestling my Samsung (manufacturer of washing machines

and air conditioners) into it is like cramming an elephant into a VW Beetle. Instead, I must slip the phone into an interior compartment. By the time I get it out the call’s gone. I’m smart enough to know that a hand-held device shouldn’t be so slippery. It slithers as if coated with mercury from a broken thermometer. Ultra-slim makes holding on precarious. Get a grip, designers. I am gigabytes smarter than the geeks who camp out for days awaiting the newest iPhone. Obviously, they have no jobs, no relationships, no dogs to walk or children to feed. They must have grown up hugging Cabbage Patch dolls, obtained the same way. I am definitely smart enough to know that my email app should communicate with my email server. Nobody told me that it doesn’t, unless I perform some hostile takeover. C’mon kids, play nicely. I’m smart enough to know that flight attendants have better things to do than drone on regarding the state of cellphones and other electronic devices during take-off, cruising, landing, taxiing. How about practicing your airplane mode smile, hon? I’m much smarter than the authors of books with titles like “smartphones for dummies and seniors.” Because senior dummies don’t just get mad. They write columns using real words and proper punctuation. I’m smart enough to know you don’t pay thirty bucks for a molded plastic case that costs the Chinese seven cents to produce. A stocking footie protects just fine. I’m smart enough to bemoan pouring one’s total being into something so small that, when misplaced or, horrors, lost, causes a panic disorder for which the pharmaceutical industry has no cure. I’m smart enough to resent pitches for upgraded service and other sidecars hawked in pop-ups. This is my private telephone, a great-greatgranddaughter of Ma Bell, not a billboard. Look, smartypants — I invited you into my home, my life, my purse. Your raison d’etre is serving my needs. I’m a caller, not a geek or a tekkie. BTW, what’s the difference? I am, finally, smart enough to predict these rants won’t last. Already I’m snapping and texting cat photos. Eventually, if I survive this misbegotten honeymoon, I will melt into the hordes who cannot function without one hand wrapped around — and two eyes glued to — their lifelines. Any dummy knows that. PS Deborah Salomon is a staff writer for PineStraw and The Pilot. She may be reached at debsalomon@nc.rr.com.

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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Lif e of J a n e

Love on The Binge Was a tie that binds — until reality set in

By Jane Borden

My father called the

television a distraction when my sisters and I were growing up. He thought it robbed us of precious time otherwise spent outdoors or doing homework. He’d stride into the kitchen for dinner, gesture dismissively at the set and ask, “Can’t we turn that racket off?” To the outside viewer, this may sound aloof. But I know the truth. My father is not above television; he’s a victim to it.

One evening in high school, while perched on a stool by the tube, I heard a quiet rustle — the movement of papers or brushing of corduroy — and spun around to see my father in the doorway staring blankly at the screen. He’d been reading the paper in the den and, on his way upstairs, had peeked in the kitchen to check on me. But then, his eyes met the shiny, colorful screen and were instantly transformed into spinning kaleidoscopes. “Dad?” “Wha?” he asked, confused, before snapping back to reality. “Oh.” Then, he grumbled, “Dagnabbit!” before walking upstairs, leaving me with no

idea how long he’d been standing there, and no definition for the word “dagnabbit.” I should have known that this predisposition would be hereditary. I should have known that, if put to the test, I would also be weak to the distracting power of television. Ross loved the TV. He could come home from work, turn it on and sit for the night. I mean, I assume he still does: He’s not dead; we just aren’t dating anymore. As someone who felt guilty about how much she watched as a kid, I’d become determined as an adult to avoid it. So, in the beginning of our relationship, I often suggested we listen to music or play cards. He was happy to accommodate me. Still, at one point or another in the evening, the television was always turned back on. I’d be in his kitchen making drinks or doing dishes and hear the Herculean thud of it coming to life, hear the reverberation of the massive amount of energy required to animate the flat-screen HD beast and its many accessory heads. The six-foot space against his living room wall had enough wires to run a Broadway show. How ironic it could have been to watch An Inconvenient Truth on it. “But I like TV,” he’d say. And I honestly didn’t judge him for it. He’s an accomplished, award-winning writer who’d reached the point in his career where he could do what he pleased with his free time. Besides, “‘Each to his own’, said the lady who kissed the cow.” That’s one of my father’s favorite sayings. But if you aren’t from Eastern North Carolina, I’ll translate with one of my mother’s: “You can’t change people.” Instead, I dipped my toe into the shallow end of acceptable programming: Planet Earth, Errol Morris documentaries, 60 Minutes. The water

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Lif e of J a n e

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was fine. So I moved on to 30-minute comedies, the gateway shows: 30 Rock, South Park and The Colbert Report. And then I was hooked: Deadwood, Ugly Betty, Project Runway. I treated the DVR menu like a to-do list: “I can meet for drinks, Susanna, but I can’t stay for dinner: We’ve got two episodes of Wife Swap to get through before Monday.” One Saturday afternoon I came over and found Ross watching X-Men: The Last Stand. Still somewhat determined to fight the machine, I took my book into the bedroom. But after reading the same paragraph three times, I acquiesced and joined him on the couch. “OK, so . . . each of the mutants has a different power?” I asked with tepid curiosity. Before long I was glossy-eyed and engrossed: “Wait, you said Magneto can attract metal, right? Not concrete. So no way could he make the entire Golden Gate bridge hover in the air like that!” “This is where you choose to stop suspending your disbelief?” he joked. These were the TV salad days. We shared a love of entertainment. Some couples will always have Paris; Ross and I will always have Bravo’s Top Chef. Our relationship spanned the first two seasons and half of the third. When Harold, the Season 1 winner, opened a restaurant in the West Village, we went during its first week of business. But my favorite reality show, my biggest obsession was The Girls Next Door, a behind-the-scenes documentarystyle look at the lives of Hugh Hefner’s top three girlfriends, Holly, Bridget and Kendra (in that order). It’s “Big Love” with silicone breasts. It’s also crack for an otherwise discerning brain. I ordered the first season on DVD. This time, Ross was humoring me. “Who’s your favorite?” I asked. “Holly,” he replied earnestly. “She seems like the smartest.” “Smart?! She thinks Hef will actually marry her one day. That’s pretty stupid if you ask me.” Ross and I had delivered into a picture-book 1950s couple: The television was always in the background. But instead of cooking dinner, we had it delivered. Two beings, sitting an inch from one another and completely unaware of the other’s presence, interrupted only by the buzzer announcing our Thai food delivery — which, since we could fast-forward commercials, was our only break in the action. One night while sitting on the floor, chopsticks in hand, Ross asked, “Are there more napkins in the bag?” Or, at least, I think that’s what he asked. I didn’t hear him. “Jane!” He repeated in frustration. “Wha?” I asked in confusion before landing back on earth. “Oh.” Dagnabbit. I apologized and asked him to repeat the question — after pushing pause on the

DVR remote. It took months for me to realize that a few questions weren’t the only things I’d failed to notice. While we sat, blowing through the first season of Strangers with Candy, our relationship was falling apart. Television wasn’t to blame, mind you — we fell out of love for the sundry reasons people typically do — TV just facilitated our inability to recognize it. Shiny colors, pleasant sounds, pretty people. Watching wasn’t just a routine; it was the enormous tapestry obscuring the very ugly elephant in his living room. My bond with television has always been based on escape. I watch to take my mind off a bad day at work, a long plane flight, a hangover. But, then, the acknowledgment that I was using television as a drug only led me to self medicate more. One afternoon I got out of work early and arrived at his apartment before he did. I was listening to David Bowie and cooking when I heard his key in the lock and immediately tensed up. Talk to him, I thought. Express your doubts and concerns. Then again, we have a new Flight of the Conchords saved. That’d be easy — so easy, in fact, that you won’t even have to suggest it. He will. THUD. You won’t have to say anything at all. THUD. “Seriously, Holly is so deluded. She’s so blind.” THUD. We, on the other hand, are fine, I thought. This was where I chose to stop suspending my disbelief. We literally broke up to the television. It was so post-modern, the perfect fourth act. The Library of Congress Award special for Paul Simon was airing on PBS. Alison Krauss covered “Graceland.” “Things don’t feel the same,” I said. “I know,” he said. And she said, “They say losing love is like a window in your heart. Everybody sees you’re blown apart. Everyone sees the wind blow.” We hung out the next night too. Even though we knew it was over, we needed a coda. After the credits run, there’s usually one more scene. But in our case, there was nothing left to say. “We have a new episode of Top Chef,” he offered. “Want to order Thai?” And so we sat, inches from each other, chopsticks in hand, taking turns fast-forwarding commercials, discussing who we thought would get kicked off, sharing ideas for what either of us would have paired with the halibut instead. When you watch, when you focus on the action beyond you, you float above the circumstance, above the atmosphere. You can’t see the wind blow. PS Jane Borden is a Greensboro native living in Los Angeles, and the author of the much acclaimed memoir I Totally Meant to Do That. Follow her at twitter.com/ JaneBorden. JaneBorden.com, CorporateJuggernaut. com, I Totally Meant to Do That is in bookstores now.

February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Hom e to w n

Riding a Silver Star The train that finally took me home again

By Bill Fields

Growing up

photograph by glenn sides

in Southern Pines when freight and passengers went through day and night, trains were as much a part of the town as evergreens and streets named for Northern states. Since I lived three blocks from the tracks, their noises were A-side songs of my childhood soundtrack along with the pop of a baseball in a glove and the hum of a fan in the window doing its best against the heat. To hear a train whistle, that plaintive burst of coming or going, was to feel at home.

With neighborhood buddies, I made the short walk west to place pennies on a rail to be flattened, count the cars in a never-ending procession, wave to the man in the caboose who always waved back, float toy boats in the trackside ditch that filled nicely after a heavy rain. Sometimes it seemed as if you could hardly go downtown without having to pause at the tracks. I would see trains while getting a haircut at Hill’s Barber Shop and hear them when watching a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Sunrise. Even a couple of miles away, to those playing the eighth hole at Knollwood Fairways, the area’s railroad heritage was evident in a hump and a sign noting the electric trolley that had transported Pinehurst guests arriving in Southern Pines around the beginning of the 20th century. For a long time, of course, nearly everyone got to the Sandhills by train, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1896 touting the area’s “dry air stimulating as Champagne.” (They weren’t talking about the summers.) Southern Pines has had a train station since 1899, and over the decades visitors from the North would ride the “Seaboard Fast Mail,” “Mid-South Special” and “Carolina Golfer.”

Despite the railroad’s enduring presence, to a local boy whose longest journey of the year was usually in a station wagon to Ocean Drive, South Carolina, there was always mystery. What filled those freight cars? Who was on those passenger trains, and where were they headed? Like entries in the World Book and the distant radio stations that a transistor could get on a clear night, the train made a curious kid wonder about the larger world and want to experience it. Aside from getting to take a train ride from Aberdeen to Sanford on a second-grade field trip, I was merely an observer in those years. In decades of living in New England, I have flown or driven home. I usually chose the latter despite the inevitable traffic jams in northern Virginia or in New Jersey that can make 600 miles feel like 6,000 and cause me to rue the day I thought a manual transmission was a good idea. I finally filled that void over the recent holidays, taking Amtrak’s Silver Star from New York to Southern Pines and back again. When I heard the conductor on the outbound leg bark, “No shoes, no service” to anyone venturing to the café or dining cars, it was clear this wasn’t my grandfather’s train with drawing rooms, barber-valets and maid-manicurists. While the scheduled travel time from New York City to Southern Pines of eleven hours and thirty-seven minutes was just shy of six hours shorter than it had been in 1897, it didn’t scream progress. And both my arrivals were late, by thirty minutes and nearly an hour and a half. But instead of an abstract view down on the Atlantic Seaboard from 37,000 feet or brake lights and billboards through a windshield, from the train I could gaze upon the muted winter landscape of browns and grays perked up by an inflatable Santa on a lawn, spray-canned graffiti on an overpass or a red pickup at a crossing. Aboard Train 92 pulling out of Southern Pines on a cold January morning, leaving one home for another, I could, leaning forward and looking hard, see our front yard. 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

C h asi n g h or n e ts

Local Hero

The tale of how an out of work painter went up a billboard and saved a season. Can the ultimate Hornets fan, Dennis Easterling, do it again? By Wiley Cash

Today is December 6,

2014, and the Charlotte Hornets’ record stands at 5-15. They haven’t won two in a row since early November.

It may surprise you — I know it surprised me — but this is the second time the Hornets have been 5-15 on December 6. The first time it happened was in 1991; that team hadn’t won two in a row since mid-November. Their losing record and dearth of back-to-back wins came in spite of solid play from guards Muggsy Bogues and Kendall Gill and forward Larry Johnson, who would go on to be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. Truth is the Hornets were exploited at the center position, finishing in the middle of the league in rebounds and last in blocked shots. At only six-foot-nine, Chapel Hill standout J. R. Reid couldn’t dominate in the NBA like he had in college, and minutes were limited for former Duke star Mike Gminski. There seemed to be nothing the Hornets could do to make up for their lack of a serviceable big man. That’s when a 42-year-old painting contractor offered the height the Hornets needed, and with that height came the perspective that many of the team’s fans had lost. Don’t get me wrong; Dennis Easterling isn’t a tall man, but what he did was big. On December 6, 1991, he set up camp on a LongHorn Steakhouse billboard on East Independence Boulevard and announced he wouldn’t come down until the Hornets won two in a row. Unfortunately for Mr. Easterling — and the Hornets — he’d be up there until January 9. In a recent phone conversation, I asked Mr. Easterling why he did it. “I got up there because it was my soapbox to tell everybody not to get down on the Hornets,” he said. “People were expressing all this negativity, and I got up there to make a positive statement. My slogan was ‘You Gotta Believe.’” Mr. Easterling wanted fans to remember what their support meant to the Hornets, even in the toughest of times. “I was at the old coliseum for the first game they ever played,” he told me. “We lost by 46 points, and after the game the crowd stood and gave them a standing ovation. We were just so happy to have a team.” Charlotte basketball fans — most of whom had grown up cheering for Chapel Hill, Duke or North Carolina State — were used to winning, but they kept the faith when the Hornets won only twenty games during the 1988-89 season, which seemed like the good old days when they only won nineteen the following year. They increased their total by seven the next season, but they still finished at the bottom of their division and fired coach Gene Littles. Only two months into the fourth season and the team was already down, and that’s why Dennis Easterling was the perfect hero; he was down

too. “I was out of work,” he said. “I’d hurt my back in the painting business, and I didn’t work for about nine months. I got together with a friend who did local promotions, and we came up with the idea.” It turns out that aside from boosting fans’ spirits during their commutes, Mr. Easterling was also promoting something that would boost fans’ spirits at games. “I’d invented a little foam stinger, a product like the foam tomahawk used at Braves’ games, and I was hoping to get that started in the Coliseum so people could cheer with something instead of just sitting on their hands.” So here he was, this contractor turned creator turned daredevil Hornets’ fan who was given a view of Charlotte that few citizens will ever have, but that wasn’t necessarily a new perspective for Mr. Easterling. “I’ve lived in Charlotte my whole life,” he said when I asked about how the view from his perch on Independence affected his perception of the Queen City. “We used to drag race on Independence on Friday nights, and now there are stoplights everywhere. The city’s grown: highrises, the number of people. An old codger like me misses the old days.” But there are days Mr. Easterling doesn’t miss, and most of them revolve around former Hornets’ owner George Shinn. “He really brought down the fans’ fever. All his shenanigans: threatening to leave unless we built a new arena with a bunch of skyboxes. Finally he did leave, and we were glad to see him go. He tarnished the glory of how great it was to have an NBA team in Charlotte.” Now the Hornets are back, and those days of believing have returned. “The most positive thing that’s happened has been Michael Jordan taking over ownership,” Mr Easterling said. “The buzz is back again.” Mr. Easterling knows things can change, both over the course of decades and over the course of an NBA season. “I finally came down after thirty-five days and the Hornets went on to fall just one game shy of making the playoffs.” They’d draft Alonzo Mourning with the second overall pick, and the following season would be one of the best in the team’s history, winning fortyfour games and making it all the way to the second round of the playoffs. When I asked Mr. Easterling about the current Hornets squad, he admitted they’re off to a rocky start. “But I’ve got something up my sleeve,” he said. “I’m working with the Hornets. The only thing I can say is that we’re waiting on an NBA license.” That something up the sleeve may be just what these second generation Hornets need. Maybe Dennis Easterling can do it again. b Editors Note: As of publication time in mid-January, the Hornets’ record stands at 15-24, just two games out of third place in the Southeast Conference of Eastern Conference. 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Feeder-Watching This is the time to watch the backyard show

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) from February 13–16, 2015. Anyone who knows even a few species of birds is encouraged to participate. The GBBC is a citizen science project involving tens of thousands of international volunteer observers. It is a joint endeavor conducted by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. In 2014, some 17.7 million birds of 4,296 species were tallied during the four-day event. Record numbers of over 144,000 checklists were submitted by backyard birdwatchers. And North Carolina observers were once again in the top ten U.S. states with 5,453 lists entered statewide during the count period. Participation in the GBBC is free and takes only a minimum of fifteen minutes of observation on one of the days during the count period. Results are entered via an online data form (http://www.birdcount.org). And what’s fun is that data summaries and distribution maps can be viewed at the project website instantly. A number of count resources, including identification tips and a photo gallery, can also be found at the website. Happy feeder-watching! PS

By Susan Campbell

This is the time

Photograph by debra Regula

of year when bird feeder activity is, without question, at its peak. Faced with cold weather and shrinking supply of bugs, seeds, fruit and berries, Sandhills birds are winging their way to backyards where seeds, suet and other goodies are on tap. Our year- round friends, including woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees and nuthatches, are now being joined by visitors from the North — yellow-bellied sapsuckers, white-throated sparrows, dark-eyed juncos and yellow-rumped warblers.

Some fifty species of birds flock to our feeders in the Sandhills. These are mainly seed-eating birds but can include a variety of insectivores. Eastern bluebirds, pine warblers, yellow-rumped warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets will take advantage of protein-based foods such as fat- and/or peanut butter-based suet blocks. And birdbaths attract others such as fruit-loving cedar waxwings and American robins, which do not frequent feeders. There was a time when handsome Baltimore orioles were attracted here during the winter to sweet foods such as oranges, grape jelly and marshmallows. Once upon a time, oriole attractors might bring dozens of individuals every winter. But for unknown reasons, they are now very scarce in the Sandhills. If you spot an oriole any time from November through March, please let me know. As a result of this change in their wintering habits, I am keeping detailed records of winter oriole distribution for the State of North Carolina. Some bird species occur in significant numbers but only in certain years. Redbreasted nuthatches, purple finches, evening grosbeaks and pine siskins arrive at feeders only during “irruption” years when scarce natural seed sources to our north push birds southward. This year, as luck would have it, flocks of both siskins and purple finches are turning up at sunflower and thistle feeders across the state. A scattering of red-breasted nuthatches can be found at suet feeders as well. A fantastic way to combine enjoyment of backyard birds while contributing to a national scientific survey of feeder birds is to participate in the twelfth annual

Author’s Note:

An irresistible suet mix for insectivores (including bluebirds): Melt 1 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1 cup lard (or bacon fat). Add 2 cups yellow cornmeal, 2 cups uncooked oats and 1 cup flour and mix well. Pour into a bread pan and let cool, then slice into cakes (for a suet basket). Or simply let the mix cool and then spoon it onto pine cones and hang them for the birds to enjoy. Any species of bird will devour this mix — if it is within reach! To find out what winter birds are being seen in the area, including at local feeders, visit the Sandhills Natural History Society web site (www. sandhillsnature.org) for current reports and photos. Send your wildlife sightings and photos to Susan Campbell, who can be contacted by email at susan@ncaves.com, by phone at (910) 949-3207 or by mail at 144 Pine Ridge Drive, Whispering Pines, N.C. 28327.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


T h e sporti n g l if e

Wood Duck Roost

Of beaver ponds and a judge who ruled in our favor

By Tom Bryant

It was toward the end of January and I was

getting in a little dove hunting before the season ended, concluding a weird bird-hunting season for me. Not much going on, I thought, as I sat under a dead pine on the edge of the cut-over soybean field. You’ve got to play to have a chance to win, and this season found me more occupied with other things than the need to be in the woods. That’s got to change, I thought, as I watched a pair of ducks dive into the swamp that bordered the end of the farm. I wasn’t duck hunting, but the way to find the ducks is to follow the ducks, as it were; so I decided to reconnoiter that part of the farm.

A creek borders the land that I lease to bird hunt, but I hadn’t been in that area since my old yellow Lab, Mackie, died. She was a great duck-hunting dog and loved to romp around in the swamp that bordered the creek. She even jumped a couple of quail in the hardwoods next to the water and retrieved them from the beaver pond when I made a lucky double, knocking them both down. I tried to be as quiet as I could as I eased through heavy growth right at the edge of the water, and I heard the pair of ducks as they got up from the swamp. Black ducks, I said to myself as I watched them kick in the afterburner and gain altitude. How pretty is that. The beavers had done an admirable job of enlarging their home pond. The energetic little animals are nature’s waterfowl habitat builders without equal and provide home space, especially to wood ducks. They can be disruptive, though,


and some landowners hate what they do to trees bordering the water sources where they decide to live, but I love them. Some of my most successful duck hunts took place around beaver ponds. In this case, the family of beavers had been as busy as, well, beavers, because the pond had more than doubled in size since the last time I had ventured this far toward the creek. I eased out to the edge of the pond and decided to sit for a while and see what action the habitat would generate toward sundown. The days are short this time of year and when the sun angles to the west, daylight goes away fast. I had just leaned back against a big oak and made myself comfortable when I heard the whistling wings of a pair of wood ducks. They came in right over my head and dropped in the swamp like they had anchors tied to their legs. No chance for a shot, though, because short of swimming there was no way to retrieve the duck if I did knock it down. The pair brought in more ducks, and before I knew it, the swamp was teeming with the colorful little waterfowl. The beaver pond was a wood duck roost with ducks everywhere. I watched until the sun was almost gone and then silently headed back to the truck. Out in the open of the cut over, a north wind had picked up speed and I hustled to the truck, picked up my dove decoys and loaded everything in the back. I let the truck idle and warm up a bit before I drove to the gate, thinking about my two Labs that had gone on to that duck blind in the sky and how much fun they would have had this afternoon at the beaver pond. Paddle would have loved it, I thought, remembering the time we had hunted a wood duck roost in Orange County. There were three of us: Bubba, my good friend and long time hunting partner, the landowner, and me. The farmer discovered the roost while plowing a field not far from the pond. Bubba had dealings with the farmer and in the course of an idle conversation one afternoon, the old guy told Bubba about the ducks, which naturally put us on the hunt. We arrived at the beaver pond/wood duck roost around lunch, and after a little investigation, decided to kick back, maybe take a little rest and wait until sundown when the ducks should arrive for their evening nap. Paddle and I settled down on the east end of the pond where a big cypress anchored one side of the beaver dam. Bubba and the farmer were stationed farther up the swamp, toward

February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h e sporti n g l if e

the dirt road, where we had parked the truck. To successfully hunt a wood duck roost, you’ve got to have a little luck, which is that the ducks will arrive for their winter siesta before sundown. Nothing the law frowns upon more than shooting ducks after the legal time limit. They are so strict about it that a chart has been devised for different parts of the state, designating sunrise and sundown timed to the minute, and woe be to the hunter that is caught shooting a few minutes early or late, as it may be. On this adventure, though, the ducks cooperated, they arrived en masse ten minutes before sundown. Then the war broke out. Ducks were everywhere. There had to be at least a hundred or more. I really don’t remember the limit in those days but it only took us a little while before each of us had one. Paddle was working herself into a frenzy; she would retrieve one duck and tear off after another, beating the swamp into a brown froth. As quickly as it started, it was over, and silence pervaded the darkening area. There was one wounded duck that Paddle was hard after, and I got an angle on it and shot it. I knew if I didn’t, Paddle would run the duck slap across the swamp and I didn’t want her to get lost in an area that was unfamiliar to both of us. Paddle came back with the drake wood duck cradled in her mouth as if to say, OK sport, that’s all I could find out there. Let’s go home to supper. And that’s what we did. But before we could hit the road, waiting at the dirt trail were not only the landowner and Bubba, but also a state game warden. I was the last one out and thought that the officer was just checking licenses, guns and limits, but I was wrong. Bubba came up and said that the game warden was going to cite us for shooting after the legal time limit. No way! I replied. I had my watch and we all stopped at least on time or right before. But wait, I did shoot to kill a cripple a couple of minutes after the legal time, but surely he’ll take that into consideration. The officer didn’t. He was one of those who go directly by the book, and the book only. After a lengthy conversation with the officer, we accepted our tickets as gentlemen and headed toward home. The next day I got a call from Bubba. “Hey, Bryant, I got us a lawyer over in Orange County. We’re going to fight this thing. I’ll let you know the trial date.” It was almost dark by then, so I edged the truck toward the gate. Trying to make as little noise as possible. Too bad Paddle’s gone, I thought, or tomorrow we’d have a heck of a duck shoot; but it’s also too bad that the season goes out today. Oh, by the way, the Orange County judge ruled in our favor. PS

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Beyond Expectations

Tom Bryant, a Southern Pines resident, is a lifelong outdoorsman and PineStraw’s Sporting Life columnist.

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February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

G o l fto w n J o u r n a l

Hot Compress Golf shots with a dash of Tabasco

McGowan says today. He bought into it. He’s an interesting case study. He absolutely understood the concept of hitting three-and-a-half down and through the ball. decades of playing golf I have Martin Chuck is a teaching pro who in 2008 was frustrated trying to get a golfer been counseled by swing coachto hit down on the ball and stop trying es, psychologists, cab drivers, to scoop and pick it. Chuck took a 5-iron bartenders, caddies and the into his club repair shop and ground off the bottom four grooves of the club, odd reverend on swing theory rendering it worthless unless the golfer hit from A to Z. down on the ball sufficiently to force contact in the middle of the clubface — not the More athletic stance. A little stronger bottom edge. Any shot hit on the bottom grip. Let the right elbow hang loose. Hinge of the clubface would simply dribble along the wrists going back. Don’t sway. Better the ground. extension at the top. Too much lift in the “Immediately, he saw how to play from backswing. Swing out to right field. Right the sweet spot up, rather than from the shoulder closest to the target on the followsweet spot down,” says Chuck, who was through. Most of it’s been spot-on and has in Bend, Oregon, at the time and now helped me maintain a handicap that’s been operates out of Phoenix. “And when I as low as a 4 while posting three career saw how his body responded, then I said: rounds under par. ‘Well, I’ve kind of got something here.’” Despite reasonably good form and temChuck commissioned a clubmaker po, though, I’ve never been powerful and to design what would become the Tour never pounded it out with the big boys, one Striker training club — a 7-iron with a reason being that I can remember seeing rounded sole and high-bottom clubface. videotape of my action in a Pinehurst golf The club was introduced at the PGA school in 1991 that showed an early release Merchandise Show in early 2009 and of the club in the downswing, thereby desince has helped thousands of golfers actupriving me of that pop through the hitting Bobby Clampett works with junior golfer on delaying the ally feel the art of compressing the ball. I zone that all elite players ride to 185-yard release, the true “secret of golf.” acquired one about three years ago, hit a seven-irons. Any effort to achieve that lagfew balls with it and shrugged it off. ging action led to scrapes and scruffs and “I’ve got this down,” I said, when in fact I didn’t at all. shots so ill-timed the squirrels in the woods were tsk-tsking. Fortunately, I found the club in my closet last summer when I was scraping So my goal for 2015 as I traipse into the back nine of my golf life is to learn my way out of a slump. The light popped on and the Tour Striker became a to delay my release, compress the ball, lean the shaft, take a consistent and staple of any practice session — ten shots with the Tour Striker, ten with my healthy divot, extend down the line and, ergo, strike my shots with a dash of regular 7-iron and so on for several rotations before hitting any other shots. Tabasco. Less about the preliminaries and window-dressing, if you will, and The official turning point came in July when I faced a 170-yard shot on the more about the moment of truth — club strikes ball. fourth hole of Pinehurst No. 8. I told myself over the shot to replicate the feelThe topic came up on the golf course one day with Pat McGowan, the ing from the Tour Striker — lean the shaft, compress the ball. It was as pure a former PGA Tour pro and chief golf instructor at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf shot as I’ve hit in many moons. Club in Southern Pines. McGowan told of giving lessons to a beginning golfer The final piece to this puzzle arrived courtesy of Bobby Clampett and his for six months and all they worked on was the concept of leaning the shaft Impact Zone teaching system that includes a book, videos, golf schools and a into the impact zone and compressing the ball. The man, in his late 50s at the website. Clampett was a technique and swing theory guy when he came onto time, did nothing but practice for half a year before venturing onto the golf the PGA Tour in the early 1980s, winning one tournament and notching course, remarkable given the natural tendency of a beginner to take instrucfifteen top ten finishes in 1981-82. Clampett was viewed as one of the future tion for fifteen minutes and sprint to the first tee. The man parred the first stars of the game, but he ventured off the reservation that got him to the Tour hole he ever played; sadly, his progress has been waylaid by shoulder surgery. in search of perfect form, lost his way and never reclaimed his promise. When he gets through with shoulder rehab, he’ll be back out there, By Lee Pace



PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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G o l fto w n J o u r n a l

“That opened up a career in golf broadcasting,” he says with a rueful smile. “While working for CBS, I hardly played golf for about fifteen years. But I began studying the golf swing with an entirely new perspective.” It had always puzzled Clampett that great players like Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Hubert Green could use such variant and eclectic swing styles but win multiple major championships. While working for CBS, Clampett became intrigued studying shots through the SwingVision, a high-tech camera that produced super slow-motion and high-resolution footage. What was most significant was seeing that every golfer’s iron shots bottomed out at precisely four inches past impact. “It dawned on me that impact is the same with all the great players. You see a lot of weird stuff, but impact’s the same,” says Clampett, who to illustrate his point can do spot-on impersonations of Palmer, Player, Trevino, Green and other golfers with distinctive motions. “The average player does not know what good impact is. They take lessons that focus on swing style, but impact is rarely discussed in a lesson.” Clampett took his ah-ha moment and launched a teaching system that began with a book published in 2007, The Impact Zone—Mastering Golf’s Moment of Truth, and extends through the fourDVD system that I watched over the holidays. His philosophy is built around five bedrock fundamentals: a flat left wrist; bottoming out four inches in front of the ball; cocking the wrists on the backswing; holding the lag through impact; and extending the club straight down the target line at impact. My progress with the Tour Striker the last six months gives me a head start; Clampett’s idea of making practice swings twice a day, five minutes each time, and trying to bottom out four inches in front of an imagined ball dovetails with the action of the Tour Striker. The next step will be tough: learning to hold the lag and maintain some angle between my arms and club shaft entering the impact zone. “Clubhead lag, that’s the secret of golf,” Clampett says. “You can measure quantity and quality—how much angle can you create, and how long can you maintain it? The longer, the more effective. Regain that angle deep into the downswing.” My resolution and mantra for 2015 is simplicity and focus — with diet and exercise in particular. I will apply that to golf as well. Learn one thing. Compress the confounded ball. At 57 I qualify as an old dog, but this is a new trick worth learning. PS An updated edition of Lee Pace’s book, The Golden Age of Pinehurst — The Story of the Rebirth of No. 2, is available onsite and online at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and includes coverage of the 2014 U.S. Opens at Pinehurst.


February 2015P��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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February 2015 Mr. Moore’s Sophomore Biology Dissecting frogs and what I wanted was to see the inside of a thing how its heart kept beating when all around there was heartbreak, Dina saying we should be friends now Dad saying he was going to move out for a bit and there lay the frog, flayed open, white, no blood, but of course, this was something without a beating heart because those we don’t get to see and all we can do is imagine the way they squeeze and beat and open and close and there is Mr. Moore at the front of the class talking kidney, talking liver, lungs, all these organs that meant nothing to me when all I ever wanted was to get to the heart of things.

— Steve Cushman

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Something Organic

An evolving friendship and shared passion for locally sourced food and imaginative cooking bonds a pair of talented moms and their daughters


By Elizabeth Norfleet-Sugg • Photographs by Tim Sayer

rganic: an often-used word that one would associate with Ashley Van Camp, a homegrown girl whose “Eat Local” stamp has helped cultivate a grass-roots enjoyment and expectation in the Sandhills area of an everyday sharing of one’s garden, market shopping, and then later in the day, spontaneously cooked, aromatically delicious food. Another equally satisfying meaning of organic doesn’t necessarily relate to food. Sometimes projects and connections with people spawn something “organic” just because the essence and reasons for coming together presented themselves . . . nothing forced, just right for the times. That’s what happened with Ashley and me last August, and it is spawning a fun wave of creativity in this new year. Our daughters, Chase and Evie, are the same age; so Ashley and I met when our now high school freshmen were at Learning Tree Preschool many moons ago. Always looking for someone to road-trip to food events with when I spy one, I recruited Ashley to go with me to one of Ashley Christensen’s (Poole’s Diner/ James Beard Best Chef Southeast 2014 award winner) Stir-the-Pot fundraisers in the Triangle just before school started, hoping our daughters and the two of us could reconnect, and we did. Armed with two side dishes that this style of fundraiser requires from attendees while the chef provides the entrée (beer and wine is donated), the four of us had a great night at the Raleigh Contemporary Art Museum, and the evening’s till went to Southern Foodways Alliance.


In October Ashley recruited me to help her at the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill, a jaw-dropping gathering of top North Carolina chefs, brewers, distillers, food artisans, cookbook authors at the top of their game sharing their delectable, locally sourced offerings of the day. After serving people third and fourth helpings of her pine cone-smoked heritage pork mini-tacos topped with a shredded okra slaw that vegetarians could also chow down on, making Ashten’s table ever-so-popular, I asked Ashley if she was writing her recipes down, and she confessed that doing just that is very hard for her. Hard for her, easy for me. So that is the natural progression of things in 2015, the great meshing that happens when friends help friends, a reminder that sometimes the best of ourselves becomes brighter when talents are shared. I have been mostly a home mom these last years, and have missed dabbling in books, writing and recipe development, so this outgrowth is perfect for my rusty new beginning. Next up on the recipe recording front is a cooking class program Ashley has been invited to do for Hoke County schools; she had been hesitant to accept because of the recipe thing, but I told her about an outreach that Wake Forest University had asked me to be a part of in the teaching kitchen of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, so she is now saying “yes” to Hoke. Then in early fall, the two of us will be doing our version of a Stir-the-Pot fundraiser in the Sandhills, called Stone Soup, held at Rubicon Farm in West End. While Ashley is preparing the evening’s entrée, I will scratch down her method and amounts.

February 2015P�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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February 2015P�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

A creative spirit with an open mind and an equally open palate, Ashley’s gift is creating dishes that are not bound by any cuisine but are more of a flavor interpretation of tastes and cooking styles that are global yet still anchored in her Southern, distinctly Sandhills and Horse Country perspective. Think back to the pine cone-smoked pork at TerraVita: When we first talked about what she makes for her family, her face lit up with a favorite one-pot meal, her chicken posole, “because it is something I can cook, leave on the stove, then go ride with no worries.” Even though posole has roots in Mexico, Ashley thinks of her Jacksonville, North Carolina, grandmother who loved to cook anything with corn and could never add enough pepper; the family used to call her scrambled eggs “pepper eggs.” We hope these recipes find their way into your February cooking repertoire, even as a fun family-style Valentine’s dinner. Enjoy!

Chicken Posole for a Crowd

Posole is a dish so embedded in the Mexican culture that there are many variations of it, the common thread being a long-cooked stew cooked with hominy, corn that was introduced in the 16th century, and smoky chiles. Cuts of pork were the prominent meat in the earliest hours of this legendary dish — a shared pot of posole being the crowning evening meal of the fiesta that was Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s wedding day in 1929 — yet as the centuries have rolled on, cooks have embraced chicken, seafood and vegetarian versions of this onedish crowd pleaser. Ashley makes her chicken posole in the simplest of fashions. In her words, “You can make this as long a process that you want with dried, not canned, hominy and stewing your meats to make your own broth, but at the end of the day, my short version and the long version both give you a fragrant pot of stew.” We made our stew on a Monday morning, Ashley’s day off, and once it was put together she went off to ride her horse and have a day of catch-up. When I saw her daughter later, Chase said, “The house smelled so good when I came in the door!” There is one step with hydrating the ancho chiles that can be skipped (see note) however, just as a dark roux flavors the best of gumbos, the depth of flavor from the smoky anchos is worth the 30-minute bit of effort while vegetables are chopped and chicken is seared. 1.5 -2 ounces dried ancho chiles (about 5-6) 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs Salt and black pepper to taste Olive oil 2 large onions 4 stalks celery 4 medium carrots 7-8 garlic cloves 2 teaspoons cumin 2 teaspoons oregano ½1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste 2 32-ounce containers chicken broth 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes 3 15-ounce cans hominy (Ashley prefers white) Posole Garnishes: Bunch or two fresh cilantro 3 limes, cut into wedges 2-3 avocados, sliced Shredded lettuce Sliced radishes Tortilla chips Hot sauce Make an ancho chile purée (smoky, not hot): Lightly toast and turn the dried chiles with tongs in a cast-iron skillet until fragrant. Wearing gloves in case of hot seeds, slit chiles lengthwise with paring knife, pick out the seeds and remove the stems. Put anchos in saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Simmer 30 minutes, allowing some of the water to cook off, then pour into a blender and pulse until a milkshake consistency is reached. Set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Ashley did about 20 grinds of a pepper mill.) Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, and sear chicken in batches until just cooked through. Remove and set aside until cool enough to shred into long pieces. Add another tablespoon or so of olive oil to the pot with chicken drippings, and over medium heat, cook the onions about 5 minutes before adding the carrots, celery and garlic, cooking together at least another 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano and cayenne. Next, add the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a rolling simmer and break the tomatoes down with a spoon, leaving large pieces, adding a rustic beauty to the final stew. Drain the hominy and add to the pot along with the ancho purée. Bring the stew up to a nice simmer, and then turn down to as low a temp as your stove allows for as long as you can to meld flavors; at least an hour and a half for best results. To serve, put out chopped, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, the traditional shredded lettuce and radishes in Mexico, hot sauce and some good tortilla chips, then dig in! Serves eight generously. Note: If skipping the ancho chile part (try not to), substitute with a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adding amounts to desired taste. The result is tasty but masks the flavor of the hominy somewhat, yet is still good in a pinch.

Triple Chocolate Bread with Chantilly Cream

For a less sweet, less buttery but still yummy chocolate dessert, the two friends played with a dessert bread of Elizabeth’s, adding cinnamon and cayenne to the blend of three chocolates. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream flavored with vanilla and optional sugar, which is what makes it “Chantilly.”

5 ounces semisweet chocolate 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1¼ /4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 2 cups all-purpose flour 3¾ /4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1½ /2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 2 large eggs 3¾ /4 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup white chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with vegetable spray. Melt semisweet and unsweetened chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over very low heat; set aside to cool. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and vanilla with melted chocolate in medium bowl until well blended. Pour into flour, then fold in white chocolate chips just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing it on top. Bake for an hour, testing bread with toothpick after 50 minutes. Cool on rack before slicing. Makes one loaf, serving 8-10. Fun to Know: Guess who worked with Ashley at a vegan restaurant called The Heath Pub in the early ’90s in Manhattan, then road-tripped to North Carolina before a 21-year career began at 195? Prem Nath. While managing a New York City restaurant, Ashley took a call from Milton Pilson asking about ideas for a special restaurant he and his wife, Karen, were planning to open, and when Ashley got off the phone, she asked Prem if he would consider riding down to Southern Pines with her, a great place for his family, yada, yada. Small world, a shared history and good stuff! PS Elizabeth Norfleet-Sugg has a publishing and recipe development background including two of her own cookbooks. She currently is designing book covers for an Atlanta publisher.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Mr. Barber



The Mystery of the Most Influential Man in the Sandhills By L aurie Bogart Wiles Photographs from the Tufts Archives and by John Gessner

hursday, March 18, 1917 — Fifty-five gentlemen, splendidly attired in starched white tie and black tails, assembled under Old Glory in front of the Clubhouse, their heavy gold watch chains spanning their waistcoats like the cable suspensions of the Brooklyn Bridge. Doctors, lawyers, diplomats and industrialists — indeed, some of the most prestigious and influential men in the country — they were the members of that exclusive golf fraternity, the Tin Whistles, and tonight was their fourteenth annual banquet. They migrated South like geese each winter, with their woods, mashies and irons, wedges, putters and chippers, to play their beloved game from December ’til April on Pinehurst’s three spectacularly challenging golf courses — No. 2 and No. 3 especially, designed by fellow-member Donald Ross, golf professional at Pinehurst Resort. Bright sparkled the vintage and loud caroled the full cry, and many and merry were the greetings among the old familiar figures. Precisely at 7 o’clock, the guttural bellow of the bagpipes signaled to the members. Led by the piper, the Tin Whistles made their triumphant entry into the garlanded and festooned ballroom to the strains of “Auld Lang Syne.” Place cards with their names in flourishing calligraphy marked their seats around the damask-covered tables and as they sat down, the “pop” of champagne bottles being uncorked announced the first of many toasts that would be made before the evening was done. Though Pinehurst was notoriously dry, this was a private affair, and besides, Leonard Tufts, who owned the place, provided the champagne. When everyone was seated, Tufts remained on his feet. “It is always a pleasure to welcome the return of the Tin Whistles to the village and the courses which they have done so much to establish. Our friend Donald Ross was accused of skinning the landscape alive when he laid out the bunkers on No. 2. Well, time might come when golfers come no more, but thousands will always flock to see the Grand Canyons of Pinehurst! And so,” he proclaimed, raising his champagne flute, “I give you the Tin Whistles! Good health, Godspeed, and God bless America!” “The Tin Whistles!” the Tin Whistles cried in unison. Henry Clay “Pop” Fownes cast his good eye about the room with pride and pleasure. At 61, he appeared older than his years. A grizzled veteran of the game, his weather-beaten face and stooped shoulders betrayed too much sun and too much golf (if, indeed, too much was possible). It was the agreeable duty of the Club president to act as host. As Pop stood up, he noticed a halo of smoke encircling T. B. Boyd’s head. “Good old Boyd!” he chuckled to himself. Predictably, Boyd had prematurely lit his cigar — a social infraction before Port in most circles and utterly unthinkable when women were


present — but this, after all, was the Tin Whistles. “I knew he would!” Pop thought, elated, for Boyd was the object of ribbing in the speech he prepared for tonight. He gently tapped his knife blade against his wine glass and the silvery ring commanded silence. “There are two unbreakable rules of our club by which every member is sworn to abide,” he gravely pronounced. “First, ‘to promote a golfing fellowship at Pinehurst and to maintain there a neutral zone for a choice and chosen few from outside organizations to which it will be pleasant to return year by year.’” “I second the motion!” Malcolm Johnson cried out. “There’s no motion to second, you bloody fool!” George Statzell chided. “And finally,” Fownes continued, “‘It shall be the duty of each member to suppress the incipient conceit of any fellow member who thinks he is in line for the United North and South Amateur Championship.’” An explosion of laughter erupted like Vesuvius showering lava on Pompeii. “And now, pray silence for George Dunlop, who will report on this year’s annual tournament.” A thunderous foot-stomping like a herd of stampeding buffalo greeted Dunlop as he pushed back his chair and adjusted his spectacles. “Once again, Parker W. Whittemore was champion of the Tin Whistles, without discussion, in one of the most sustained and conclusive matches played during the year, with fifty-four holes of medal play extending over three days, eighteen on each of the major courses. He led the legion home on every course: No. 1 he made in 77, No. 2 in 75 and No. 3 in 75, a total of 227. The second day his 81 reduced his chances by six and his 80 on the third course made second best gross. The handicap of 8 on each 18 reduced his total to 215 and has landed him safely in a class by himself, capturing the Johnson prize for the best net of the tournament.” Cheering like a blast of steam from a locomotive at full throttle ensued. Then, J.R. “Jock” Bowker stood up and insisted upon the immediate adoption of a resolution in favor of more votes for women. The place went wild. The sages of the assembly, amid this great demonstration, called for order and amended this to, “More clothes for women,” to universal satisfaction. Channing Wells leaned over to James Barber, who sat on his right. They both were elected to the Tin Whistles in 1905 and had suites at the Holly Inn during the season. Their wives, who also played golf, were close friends caught up in a social whirl of teas, bridge luncheons and cotillions. In 1916, the Barbers moved into a large house they had built called Cedarcrest and were already building another, even larger one — a mansion on Beulah Hill Road that would have a tennis court, formal gardens inspired by Versailles, and a real novelty: an eighteen-hole pitch and putt course that would be named “Thistle Dhu.” In a voice just above a whisper, Wells said, “My wife

February 2015P�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

would have something to say about that. At breakfast this morning, she made the comment that women are more patient than men and therefore more adept with a putter.” “Really?” Barber chuckled. “I could hardly let that go by, could I?” continued Wells. “So, I replied, ‘My dear, in most things under this roof you have superior claim but with all due respect, you Silver Foils flocked together fully five years after we Tin Whistles formed our club!” “And what did she say?” “‘Flock?’ cries she. ‘Flock! Channing McGregory Wells, are you suggesting that women are like sheep?’ Well, I was skating on thin ice now, wasn’t I, Jimmy? So, I said, ‘Only insomuch as husbands are bound by duty to care for their wives. As the Good Book says, ‘A good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’” Barber roared. “What did you do then?” “I did what every red-blooded husband would do. I dashed over to the Pinehurst Department Store and bought her a new putter!” “She must have been pleased,” James Barber laughed. “Not nearly as pleased, as she was with the gold bracelet I also bought her!”

Now Angus Hibbard, who liked to write music, announced he had written a song especially for this evening. “Apologies to Sir Harry Lauder. I borrowed his tune, ‘I Love a Lassie,’ without his permission — not that he would ever find out unless Ross, here, betrays me to his brother Scotsman. What, Donald? You played a round on the Old Course with him last summer? Who won?” Song sheets were passed around and Chicago’s own Oscar J. Klose of the mighty voice gave a nod to James Barber, who led the gathering on the tuneless flute of the salad fork — I have a driver, a bonny, bonny driver, You should see me with it standing on the tee; When my arms begin a swinging. Then the ball it goes a singing Just as far as any honest man can see. And then I have a brassy, It’s a club so mighty classy That I know the shot will surely go a mile, Then my chest is all puffed out

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And I hear my caddy shout, “He’s a Golfer, he’s just the proper style.” Come every golfer, take off your cap and doff her To the ancient and honorable name, For it’s ever fair weather, When golfers get together, Golf is the grand old game. Homage was then paid to the mashie and the putter, then the song concluded — I have a story, a bonny, bonny story, All about the game of Golf I play each year, So I just elaborate it, careful not to overstate it, ’Till it makes a story very good to hear. When I tell my Golfing brother, Sure he up and tells another, And his yarn’s a wee bit better one than mine, But around the nineteenth hole, As we sip our modest bowl, Ain’t those Golfing stories mighty fine? Walt Milliken, spectacular in the highland dress plaid of his ancestral clan from the West of Scotland, called for silence. “I regret to announce the arrival of a message that a man has been killed on the railroad tracks,” he said gravely. “It appears that he was tired of life and had tied himself to the track to await the Florida Limited, due in a few minutes — and he died of starvation!” When the moaning over the poor joke subsided, Milliken introduced the perennial toastmaster, T. B. Boyd. “While Angus’ song is destined to become one of the great anthems of golf, none can surpass the ever-popular, ‘That Tufts Ain’t Just Such That He Ain’t Got No Style.’” Leonard Tufts stood up and took a deep, good-natured bow. Boyd continued. “I will now recite, ‘Ode to Pinehurst,’ which I have written for this evening,” and assuming the Shakespearean air of a bard, recited: That France is proud of her Napoleon, But Napoleon would resemble a honeybee compared with Colonel Ormsbee. England has her Cromwell, But Pinehurst has her Truesdell. And Tammany is proud of its boss, But the Tin Whistles have her Donald Ross! With that, dinner was served. Frank Butler stood up and announced the local quail was provided by his wife, Annie Oakley, the internationally famous markswoman, with her compliments, and how she shot fifty-five with forty-five shells and made ten Scotch doubles. There were medallions of spring lamb, asparagus, filet mignon from Tufts’ celebrated herd of Ayrshire cattle, Blue Point oysters, bisque d’écrevisses, salted almonds, celery, black olives, fillet of trout and peaches from Tufts’ peach orchard for the pêches flambées au Grand Marnier. Pop Fownes again stood up, with a twinkle in his eye. “As you all know, our brother, Trustin Brown Boyd of St. Louis, made war on bogey in last month’s round robin tournament, but bogey got the best of him and he finished four down in the first division of match play. As his own consolation prize, he had a shipment of Partagás Culebras imported from Havana especially for this evening, which will be handed out with the Port.” After a round of appreciative applause, Fownes continued. “I read last month in Punch that Austrian tobacconists are now prohibited from selling more than one cigar a day to a customer. To conserve the supply still further, it is proposed to compel the tobacconist to offer each customer the alterna-


tive of nuts. And German soldiers are officially rationed two cigars and two cigarettes a day! Although we face the threat of war, it’s war indeed if our cigars are to be rationed!” Everyone got up from the table. Groups of four and five men huddled together like football players on the forty-yard line deliberating the next play. “Will America finally take off its cloak of isolationism?” “How much longer can England stand without our support?” “A German U-boat was sighted just thirty miles southeast of New York harbor! They say 430 boats have already been sunk by the ruddy Krauts!” James Barber, all the while, remained quiet and unobserved. Square shouldered, seated tall and erect, his posture had been molded years before when he was a young soldier in the Anglo-Boer War. His dinner suit fit impeccably, a credit to his personal tailor, who he held in the same esteem as the Archdeacon of Canterbury. His impressive, snow-white Anglaise moustache concealed his upper lip and the corners of the lower. His piercing blue eyes were bright and steady and changed with his emotional temperature: steel-blue when his feelings ran cold, and the color of a bluebird’s wing when his heart was warmed. He observed everything and everyone — and at this precise moment, he could see what lay ahead. The storm clouds of war that darkened Europe since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, in June 1914, were sweeping across the Atlantic. For two years, this man had secretly worked with certain members of Congress and the War Department to plan the transport of American soldiers and war materiel to Europe. Even then, the men in power in Washington knew America was destined to enter the war. James Barber, 67, was a London-born shipping magnate who immigrated to America in 1887, at the age of 35, with his then-22-year-old wife, Kate, and their infant (and only) son, Edward. He was president of the Barber Steamship Lines, located at 17 Battery Place, Whitehall, New York City, and known throughout the world as the “dean of American shipping.” There was a Barber steamship in every port — from Le Havre and Dunkirk, to Aden, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kobe and Yokohama in the Far East; Montevideo, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Bahia Blanca, Rosario, Point Madryn in South America; all along the coast of South Africa; and from Vladivostok through the Bering Straits. Eighteen months later, when 1.2 million American soldiers were engaged in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought in United States history, newspapers would proclaim, “These days it is well to reflect how much we owe to the men and firms that have steadily kept the American flag floating in all parts of the world. Of these no name is more prominent or more respected in the shipping world than that of James Barber of the Barber & Company, Incorporated, and its subsidiary companies.” Three weeks after this auspicious evening, on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson stood before a joint session of Congress to request a Declaration of War against Germany. Three days later, American soldiers, tanks and guns shipped out for France to join Great Britain, France and Russia in the bloodiest war the world had ever known. They were transported on the ships of the newly formed U. S. Merchant Marine. Over half the fleet was made up of commercial transport vessels that had been voluntarily requisitioned by privately held shipping companies to augment America’s underequipped Navy. Twenty-five percent of that fleet was made up of the merchant ships of the Barber Line. And when, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the Great War armistice was proclaimed, it was determined that German U-boats had sunk more than 6,000 Allied and neutral ships — over 14 million tons destroyed — many had once flown the flag of the Barber Line. James Barber loved his adopted country. He loved the Carolina Sandhills, which he made his home. He came to live here in 1912 and by the time of his death, in 1928, had acquired sixteen square miles of land that lay between Pinehurst and Southern Pines — and upon it built the foundation for the Knollwood community we know and cherish today.

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he history of the geographical anomaly that is the Sandhills of North Carolina, and the village and towns it spawned, is widely known and well-chronicled and I, as a relative newcomer (and a Northerner, at that) do not presume to re-tell it. But I unexpectedly came upon a forgotten story, a magnificent story that began — and may very well end — with an abandoned mansion called Thistle Dhu, and the remarkable and mysteriously forgotten man who built it: James Wells Barber. No one lives now, who lived then, to corroborate my story. Like an archeologist, I have dug for clues — parched, brown newspaper clippings that disintegrated to the touch; a Maritime Register from 1917 listing commercial freighters and their trade routes; society engagements and weddings, and golf and bridge scores; a chapter in a long out-of-print book that explained where and why, but not how. Barber and his sociable wife, Kate, moved into Cedarcrest in March of 1916. Located at 225 Beulah Hill Road, it was a two-story, weather boarded, Tuscan-columned “cottage” (as manors and mansions were called in Pinehurst in the Gilded Age) that Leonard Tufts’ brother-in-law, architect Lyman Sise, designed for them. Even before they moved in, they commissioned Sise to build a larger, grander “cottage” diagonally across the street, at Five Shaw Road. (Cedarcrest, along with most of the cottages, houses and mansions mentioned in this story, still stand today, many meriting National Register designation.) At first it was referred to as “Mrs. Barber’s house,” but so pleased was James Barber upon its completion, he purportedly exclaimed, “This will do!” Giving his response a Scottish twist, the house became known as “Thistle Dhu.” (Others say the golf course was first named Thistle Dhu.) It was a Federal Revival mansion with a low-hipped copper roof, nine en suite bedrooms for James, Kate, and their seven children; three full stories of living space, an attic, a complement of reception and living rooms, a library and parlor, a state-of-the-art kitchen, butler’s pantry and baronial dining room. North Carolina pine was used exclusively, and a series of Palladian archways framed the front entrance. “The folks at home think (these suggestions) are desirable, (such as) the location of the linen chute, which as located now appears to cut out a closet which it would be desirable to retain,” Barber wrote to his friend, Leonard Tufts, in a letter dated April 25, 1916. (New homes in Pinehurst were built by Pinehurst Resort’s construction business.) It seems to me, however, that the closet can be retained as the linen chute need not come up more than 12/15 inches above the floor, nor require an opening over 10/12 inches in diameter. Kate had also suggested raising the foundation of the house four inches ‘to allow more light into the basement.’” The advantages of a slightly higher foundation also appealed to Barber. While half the basement housed the coal room, furnace and laundry room, the rest was set aside for James Barber’s personal space. There was a massive billiard room, which had one of only two fireplaces in the house (the other was in the drawing room). This was a modern house, one of the first centrally heated homes in America, and it stood to reason that the owner of the largest steamship company in the world would build the guts of a steamship, which PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



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was fueled by coal, in the bowels of his own house. Adjacent to the billiard room was a smoking room with a built-in bar (since alcohol was prohibited in Pinehurst, it was only common sense to locate the bar in the basement); and next to that, a locker room for his fellow Tin Whistles so they could change after they came off the golf course before they settled into a single malt Scotch and lit a Habanos Montecristo. There was a two-year hiatus on the construction of all twenty-six of the new homes going up all at once in Pinehurst during the Great War. Thistle Dhu was finally completed in 1919, and it was the most magnificent of all. The cost was a staggering $33,820 — a half a million in today’s dollars. Sadly, I could find no interior photographs of Thistle Dhu when it was owned by the Barber family. Barber would build many houses in Pinehurst and Southern Pines — Pinecandle at 290 Beulah Hill Road, and Casablanca, the first fireproof house in the Sandhills at 250 Beulah Hill Road. He built “Cloverleaf,” an apartment building at 160 Palmetto, and a four-bay garage/apartment behind it. He would buy the first lot, and build the first house on it, in Knollwood Village, plus a dozen or so more in that neighborhood, besides. And though he built all these and more, he never lived in any of them. “Thistle Dhu” was the place James Barber called home.

Barber was the dominant financial partner of the Knollwood Corporation, which developed Mid Pines and Pine Needles resorts, and built their golf courses, designed by Donald Ross. “James Barber is a man not heard of as often as some,” The Pilot wrote in 1921, “but he is one of the big forces in the development of The Sandhills. His holdings in Pinehurst and at Mid-Pines are large, and between the two places he has a small empire. The Pilot has no notion of what amount of money Mr. Barber has invested in the Sandhills country, but it is likely that a million dollars would be a low estimate. Possibly it may be a great deal more, but it is so much that he is one of the foremost of the backers of this neighborhood. Curiously, he is not as well-known as a power in the community as some men who have not done a tenth as much in a positive way. He is not a man to have many drums beating when he comes down the road, so his actions are not heralded as loudly as they might be. But he moves along on the line he is traveling, and where he puts his finger something arises.” There’s another mystery — perhaps the greatest of all. In 1923, Barber acquired the town of Lakeview, North Carolina, which lies between Southern Pines and Vass. There he built a palatial stone-and-timber resort overlooking the crystal-clear lake. He christened it the Lakeview Inn, drawing a number of guests from Boston to Florida. It even had its own train station

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on the main Seaboard line. Every Saturday night, people came from far and wide to dance to the Inn’s popular orchestra. Beloved in local lore, Lakeview vanished without a trace sometime prior to or just after the Second World War. Some say its foundation remains — but when my husband, John, and I set out to find it, we could discover no trace. In this context, few if any modern Sandhill residents understand or appreciate the full extent to which James Barber left his mark on the area. Neither did I when I first stepped into his house — but when I suddenly did so, I was awed by the scope of the surviving elements of a grand imagination, seized with a burning desire to find out as much about the man as I possibly could — to find, if you will, the forgotten Mr. Barber. The Tufts Archives, of course, was my starting point (and thank goodness for Audrey Moriarty and Kay Lund, who suffered me so graciously as I burrowed through files). Again and again I would return to Thistle Dhu. I felt the old place calling out, a whisper across the years. But it was the neglected, wildly overgrown north side of the property — an area of 40,000 square feet — that intrigued me as much as that majestic house. For here James Wells Barber built an eighteen-hole pitch-and-putt course, like the one King Henry VIII of England had at Hampton Court a few centuries before, simply because Barber thought it would be jolly fun to have one, too. Barber had previously built a nine-hole “Lilliputian” putting course at Cedarcrest, but it was the course at Thistle Dhu that is considered “the first miniature golf course in America.” Designed by Vermont architect Edward H. Wiswell, I believe the edge of difficulty was honed by Barber’s close friend and sometime business partner, Donald Ross, who surely was consulted in the planning. The Popular Science Monthly published an article in the August 1919 issue, Volume 95, entitled, “Thistle Dhu: A Miniature course that requires all the skill of the expert golfer,” penned by no less than its designer, Edward Wiswell. “It comprises eighteen holes of which no two are alike,” he wrote. “The first nine holes are divided from the second nine by a terraced garden,


fountain, summer-house, flower bed and iris garden.” He then forewarned, “The Thistle Dhu course was laid out to force the player to carefully study each shot and also to provide a good test for the expert golfer as well as school those new to the game.” However, it was an article entitled, “A Golf Course on Your Front Lawn,” by W.H. Follett, which appeared in the British magazine Country Life in the July 1920 number that really pointed out the challenges of the course: “Miniature golf courses have frequently been tried, with more or less non-success, but it has remained for Mr. James A. Barber to build one at Pinehurst, N.C., which for interest and skill in design marks a very distinct step in the art of course-architecture. Edward H. Wiswell, an amateur architect of fiendish ingenuity, was employed to lay out the course. When his work was completed, Mr. Barber expressed his pleasure briefly, ‘This’ll do,’ he said, which accounts for the extremely Scotch name ‘Thistle Dhu’ by which the course is known. “Variety being the spice of golf, Mr. Wiswell had made no two holes of the same length. But variation in the length of the holes is the smallest factor on which the designer has relied to give variety. One hole may call for a straight-forward putt on to a small plateau green with sloping sides, where the nicest combination of strength and direction is necessary. Failing this combination, patience is the only path to ultimate success. The next hole may demand knowledge of billiards, and a truly hit shot off two banks will be the only method of negotiating a double dog-leg hole that abounds with traps. On another hole a single tree obstructs the line to the hole, but there is an almost invisible slope to the fairway, and a ball hit with the right strength will curve around the tree; if hit too hard the ball will reach a counter slope, and instead of drifting in toward the hole, will fade by easy stages into a trap on the right. And so on around the course, which is built for the hard thinker rather than the hard hitter.” He then described each and every hole with detail so precise, the course most likely could utilize his observations and be reconstructed. But Thistle Dhu’s golf

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course hasn’t been reconstructed. In fact, six years ago, Thistle Dhu’s three lots were subdivided and a new home was built upon the severed section. Lost was the grand, gated front entrance and half-acre driveway, the two side entrances — and probably nine holes of Barber’s beloved miniature golf course. When I made that discovery, my dreams that someone might recover this lost gem of the Sandhills and restore it to the glory it deserves were briefly dashed. But gilded dreams die hard. After all, a documentary on PBS told the tale of Prince Charles of England’s rescue of an historic Scottish estate called Dumfries House, a jewel designed by the Chippendale brothers in the 18th century, containing the largest extant collection of decorative furnishings in the world, especially its Chippendale furniture. I had harbored thoughts along the same lines — of how I (or someone else) might do as James Barber did, and bring Thistle Dhu back to life in a worthy way. On Saturdays and Sundays, he would open Thistle Dhu to anyone willing to pay a half-dollar (about $20 today) to play his course, and that included lemonade and sandwiches served in the summer pavilion. The proceeds went to a school in Aberdeen for the education of area children. Would that Thistle Dhu could benefit the community in a similar way! Undergirding my own passion for such a grand undertaking, I had a couple of decades of experience in professional restorations that took me around the world doing similar kind of work, and the house I was raised in had thirteen bathrooms (and forty rooms.) This could work. What a jewel in the crown of The Sandhills, and how lovely if people could come and enjoy the restored gardens and grounds again. But then I remembered, the golf course was no more. I couldn’t get out of my head Prince Charles’ concept and how Dumfries House now supplies jobs to the young people of the community and is a place of pride for all, where concerts could be held, and dinners, and lec-

tures, and I thought — Maybe, just maybe, there’s enough ground to rebuild Thistle Dhu’s golf course after all. So I went to the Tufts Archives, and pulled out the old familiar files once more. In the back of one of the files was a map of the original course, complete with measurements, that I did not recall seeing before. A copy was made and I raced to Thistle Dhu, and paced the property. “My God,” I cried, bursting into tears. “It’s here! It’s all here! The entire eighteen holes is still here.”


ames Barber died on February 19, 1928 at the age of 75, in his own bed, at his beloved Thistle Dhu. His funeral was held at the Village Chapel, which he largely and quietly funded. (He, in fact, entirely paid for the church steeple.) The place was filled to overflowing with his friends and neighbors, black and white, captains of industry and caddies, the young and the old, and leading the procession as the coffin came down the center aisle were the one-hundred members of the Tin Whistles. The week before he died, the election for the officers of the Knollwood Corporation had been held. Mr. Barber, though still president, was at Thistle Dhu, at the point of death. Although it was a certainty that he never again would stand for re-election, he was unanimously re-elected by the Board of Directors nonetheless, with a complete disregard by his peers for the uncertainty that hangs over life. Such high regard was held for James Wells Barber that no other man was permitted to supersede him as long as he lived. His longtime friend and fellow Tin Whistle Reverend Cheatham, minister of the Village Chapel, officiated. This was his eulogy: “It is not my custom at services of this kind to say anything outside the

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regular service. At death we are on common ground — rich and poor, saint and sinner — leaving behind our accumulations and leaving our monuments, and the forces that we set in motion. I cannot let this occasion pass without paying tribute to our great-hearted friend who has gone from us. For a long time he has been a director and a benefactor. He was one of the leading spirits in making possible the erection of this beautiful temple. I need not recount his many activities in the development of the Sandhill country. He has been my friend for many years. I know and can pay tribute to his generosity and faith. In all the time that I have been here, he has been ever ready to help in every good cause. He did his good deeds with a beautiful spirit of simplicity and without ostentation. I could always count on him. He never failed.” After James Barber’s death, Thistle Dhu was sold to a Wall Street maverick named Michael J. Meehan. He died in 1948 and left the estate to the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and it became a retreat for the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Maryville. In the mid-1980s it was sold by the Church and over the past three decades, attempts were made, and failed, to bring some semblance of life back to Thistle Dhu. Thistle Dhu stands empty, now, as it has for several years. It possesses the desperate atmosphere of a great house that was once deeply loved and has been too long forgotten. The price has been dropped to a fire-sale and over a dozen people have made offers — including this writer. But it’s not about the purchase price that troubles anyone who understands what is needed; it’s the hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours of work it would take to restore the house and the legendary golf course to their former glory. There is a song in the musical, 1776, the brilliant Tony Award winning Broadway play about the American Revolution and a conflicted Congress that debated intensely over whether to strike out for independence from Great Britain. The vote had to be unanimous and up until the final vote,


the fate of our country was uncertain. John Adams despairs and in the most moving song cries out, “Is anybody there, does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?” I play this song in my mind when I think of Thistle Dhu. Revealing the mystery of James Barber may never bring Thistle Dhu back to its former glory — not the way I see the place in my dreams, at least. But we have found Mr. Barber and uncovered his legacy. And perhaps, in the end, that is the greatest tribute of all. He had a glorious story to tell — and now we have. PS A native New Yorker who emigrated to Pinehurst from New Hampshire last year, Laurie Bogart Wiles is the author of a dozen books, specializing in memoir, biography, historical works, poetry and outdoor writing.

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A Pinehurst Band of Brothers

based “The Annual Banquet” on an actual account published in the March 17, 1917 issue of The Pinehurst Outlook, liberally pulling out quotes to capture the lively atmosphere as best I could, and the colorful, vibrant personalities of some of the men. Here’s a key to the cast of characters who were there that evening: There was Henry Clay “Pop” Fownes, a president of the Tin Whistles, one of the most prominent figures in the history of golf. He had built a fortune upon the fortunes of his father and grandfather from the Midland Steel Company and the Carrie Furnace Company in Pittsburgh. Tragedy struck twice in 1896, first when a spark from a welding torch flew in his eye and later his beloved younger brother, William, died prematurely. At 33, Fownes decided life was too short, so he sold out to Scottish-American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie at spectacular advantage and devoted his life to golf. In 1903, on a 200acre plateau above the Allegheny River and northeast of Pittsburgh, he built the Oakmont Golf Club and a 6,400-yard golf course (the longest in the country at the time) to suit the newest technology, the Haskell ball, which was rapidly replacing the old gutta-percha. In winters, when snow covered the only course he would ever design, Fownes came to Pinehurst for the season. Here he built a sprawling New England, shingle-faced mansion on three lots on Village Green East and modestly christened it Fownes Cottage (recently restored to its former glory by Robert Dedman). Henry and his son, William C. Fownes Jr., named after his brother, were inseparable. Bill called his father Pop — and everyone else did, too. Bill Fownes would become one of the great figures in amateur golf, a president of the USGA, and a major force in the development of the game. “Good old Boyd” was T. B. Boyd, a retired merchant, staunch Republican, devoted Methodist, avid angler, keen wingshooter and scratch golfer. Malcolm B. Johnson was a lawyer and business magnate from Cleveland who lived at 20 Shaw Road in an expansive Colonial Revival house he named Hillcrest. George Statzell was president of the distinguished Philadelphia clothier and furnisher, Cluett, Peabody Company. He and his wife, Alice, lived at 35 Carolina Vista, in a handsome, two-story, Colonial Revival house that, in 1934, was the first house in Pinehurst to be air-conditioned. George T. Dunlop was the illustrious founder and president of Grosset and Dunlap, one of the great New York publishing firms, today a subsidiary of Penguin Putnam. Dunlop, in Pinehurst, and author James Boyd in Southern Pines at his home, Weymouth, entertained between them some of the most shining literary luminaries of their day, such as John Galsworthy, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, among many others. Dunlop quickly outgrew Column Lodge, which he built on Ritter Road, and four years later, built Green Dial Cottage

at 105 Magnolia Road. A decade after that he built his final home in Pinehurst, Broadview, a baronial two-story Tudor Revival with a hipped roof located at 100 Beulah Hill Road. Channing M. Wells was vice-president of the American Optical Company of Southbridge, Massachusetts. A prominent collector of early American furniture, he and his two brothers founded Old Sturbridge Village, a 200-acre historical reconstruction of a rural New England village as it would have appeared between 1790 and 1830, with over forty period buildings that were relocated from nearby locales. The composer of “I Have a Driver,” which actually was sung at the banquet that evening, was Wisconsin-born telephone executive and inventor Angus Hibbard, a pioneer in the fledgling telephone industry. He also wrote the hymn, “Father in Heaven, in Thy Love Abiding.” Oscar J. Klose was a well-known German American composer noted for his organ compositions. Walter L. Milliken was a prominent art collector from Indianapolis and major benefactor of the Herron Museum, to which he bequeathed an important watercolor collection in memory of his wife, who predeceased him. The colorful Trustin Brown Boyd, also of Indianapolis, owned the T. B. Boyd Furnishings Goods Company and for many years, served as president of the St. Louis Exhibition, charmingly depicted in the 1944 MGM musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland and my friend, Oscar winning actress Miss Margaret O’Brien. Frank Butler was the husband of the legendary Annie Oakley. In 1915, he became the manager of the Pinehurst Gun Club, founded in 1895 by James Tufts and organized in 1902 by Leonard Tufts and Donald Ross. Together with Leonard Tufts, Butler invented the first motorized trap for clay target shooting. As for Leonard Tufts, the only son of industrialist, philanthropist and visionary James Walker Tufts, the founding father of Pinehurst, his incredible accomplishments are too numerous to mention. Finally, there was Donald Ross, the greatest golf course architect in the history of the game, and whose contribution to the Sandhills is beyond reckoning. He built several houses in Pinehurst and, with his partner, W. J. MacNab, would acquire the Pine Crest Inn in 1921. These men were some of the members of the Tin Whistles, the original “band of brothers of golf,” an impregnable circle of lifelong friends who played golf together, shot trap, raised and ran bird dogs and hunted quail together, socialized with their families, and comprised the core group of businessmen who invested their fortunes and their visions in the development of the Sandhills. No one would have a greater impact, or leave a greater legacy, than James Wells Barber. And yet, no one knows his name.

These men were some of the members of the Tin Whistles, the original “band of brothers of golf,” an impregnable circle of lifelong friends . . .

Laurie Bogart Wiles

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Camellias B o t a n i c u s

The beloved plants of North Carolina

By Barbara Sullivan


f Lord Grantham’s grandfather had invited a Japanese Samurai warrior to Downton Abbey in, say, 1840, they might have found they had a lot in common — contrary to what the historical stereotypes would suggest. It wouldn’t be just that they both shared an exalted social status, a heap of accumulated wealth and an almost religious reverence for tea drinking. (They both certainly would have enjoyed sipping a hot cup of lapsang souchong.) It turns out the Japanese warrior class and the British fox-hunting class of that particular period shared a delight and obsession with the growing of that most beautiful and formally elegant of evergreens, the camellia. The plant, which in the wild grows to a height of about sixty feet as an understory forest tree, used to be called the Chinese rose. It is a native of both China and Japan although its Latin name, Camellia japonica, gives credit to only one country. Whether in its original species form or one of its thousands of cultivars, it’s now grown throughout the American South and in many other temperate parts of the world for its showy winter blooms and handsome evergreen form. But until the 1600s no Westerner had ever laid eyes on it. And it wasn’t until the late 1700s that the British were finally able to import a viable specimen that didn’t immediately up and die. From that point on the Western plant world never looked back. Camellias became more and more popular and continued their reign as “queens of the winter garden” until the turn of the twentieth century. Cargo ships and tea drinking factor heavily into the story of how the camellia came to grow so happily and abundantly in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, California and many parts of the American South. During the years when the British East India Company carried out its lucrative trade in imports from the Far East, tea was among its most prized cargo. The tea, then as now,


was made from the tender new leaves of another kind of camellia native to China, C. sinensis. The story goes that the East India Company bribed Chinese officials to obtain a living specimen of C. sinensis to bring back to England so that they could grow the plants directly themselves, eliminate the middle man and eventually make a killing. When the plant arrived, however, botanists realized it was the ornamental C. japonica, not its cousin, C. sinensis. The flowers of C. japonica were much bigger and more colorful, but the leaves were not so tasty. In any case, sometime soon after the first European gardeners set eyes on the first C. japonica in full bloom, the craving set in. In the late 1700s, both British and American gardeners were obsessed with reports of newly discovered plants from China and Japan. Novelties arrived regularly on cargo ships; plants were traded among friends; nurseries sprang up to meet the demand for the new imports; the rarer the plant the greater the bragging rights. Gentlemen farmers on both sides of the Atlantic became amateur botanists, keeping detailed records of their prize acquisitions. Camellias were among the most prized of all. Because camellias were considered exotic and rare, and because of their exorbitant cost, the standard procedure was to protect them from the elements in stove-heated greenhouses or sun-warmed conservatories and to coddle them like babies. Only later did westerners learn that the plants weren’t as fragile as they’d imagined and would thrive outdoors with minimum care as long as they were grown in mild-winter climates. For the next hundred years camellias took pride of place in the collections of wealthy families on both sides of the ocean. The cultivation and study of the plant became a gentleman’s hobby; male-only camellia societies sprang up; camellia aficionados named new cultivars after their wives and daughters. By the mid-1800s every European princess or duchess worth her salt had a

February 2015P�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

camellia named after her. At the height of the craze, Alexander Dumas wrote his famous novel, La Dame aux Camellias, and a few years later Giuseppe Verdi turned it into the opera La Traviata. By the middle of the nineteenth century the camellia craze in Britain had spread to France and Germany. Prices came down far enough that suburban gardeners with small plots were able to participate in what became an everexpanding cultivation of new varieties. Professional and amateur breeders introduced hundreds of new cultivars of C. japonica and the earlier-blooming relative the sasanqua. Not to be outdone, the Americans installed a camellia conservatory at the White House. Along with a rose house, orchid houses and other conservatories, it showcased the choicest plants from around the world. At the turn of the twentieth century, Theodore Roosevelt tore the whole plant complex down so he could build what is now the West Wing. This happened to coincide with the public’s waning interest in camellias. It’s not clear what lay behind this sudden fall from grace, although we do know that plants, like hemlines and hairdos, fall victim to fashion trends. Possibly the camellia was too much a symbol of the Victorian sensibilities which were being overthrown on a wholesale basis by all things modern. In any case, it wasn’t until after World War II that the plant began to grab the imagination of gardeners on anything resembling the scale of the initial camellia mania. At around this time, in the early 1950s, Bill Howell was working as an Agricultural Extension agent for New Hanover County, helping farmers primarily with tobacco and cotton cultivation. He’d grown up working on his parents’ tobacco farm in Wayne County and then gotten a degree in agronomy from N.C. State. While raising a family and working in the Extension office, he found time to develop a hobby that turned into a passion. Like so many others before him, when he fell in love with his first camellia blossom he became hooked. At that time in Wilmington, he says, “it was all azaleas, azaleas, azaleas. I thought the camellias were much prettier flowers.” He met a group of fellow enthusiasts at the Tidewater Camellia Club, an organization founded in 1952 by the noted plantsman Henry Rehder. At that time club membership was only open to men. They met downtown at St. James Episcopal Church to talk about all things camellia. Over time, Bill gained an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the differences that made one bloom stand out from another. The petals might be ruffled at the edges, swirled or fluted. They might overlap in concentric layers completely hiding the stamens (a “formal double”) or they might spread out into one cup-like layer (a “single”). Somewhere in between was the “semi-double.” Blooms might be peony shaped, anemone shaped or rose shaped. Stamens might be fused at the bottom, standing up almost cylindrically, or they might each be separate and spill out into an exuberant sunburst. If you looked closely enough, you might see that the leaves were covered in a network of fine veins or cut in the shape of fish tails. An almost infinite gradation in shades of pink, red and white could set one variety apart from another in a way only a true connoisseur could appreciate, let alone identify. Over the years, Bill Howell learned all this and more. He ended up growing over 200 varieties in his backyard, trading cuttings with fellow camellia lovers throughout the South and propagating new plants whenever he got a free moment. He entered camellia shows up and down the East Coast from Norfolk, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida. Whenever one of his shrubs set out a “sport,” that is a bloom unlike all the other blooms on the shrub, he would remove it and create a new cultivar from it, the ultimate pleasure of the camellia grower. And when his blooms competed in shows, they won prizes.

The process of presenting an award-winning bloom is not a quick one. It starts with the painstaking grafting of a scion onto rootstock, which involves lining up the millimeters-wide cambium layers as precisely as possible, wrapping it all in plastic until the graft “takes” and then growing the new shrub to a flowering size. In the meantime there’s watering and fertilizing to be done. In late summer and fall every year, a serious grower will disbud a certain number of growth buds each week and apply gibberellic acid to encourage larger blossoms. Finally, the large, perfectly formed flower is presented on a bed of cotton in a specially prepared box like the treasure it is. This takes a lot of love. Camellia mania seems to be going through another waning stage at the moment. The kind of devotion Bill Howell and his fellow Carolina camellia buffs lavished on their plants may not be trending, as they say. But the plant will always have a certain magnetism that defies fashion and fads. The plant has been revered, from what we can tell, for thousands of years. One camellia tree growing near a temple in Yunnan province in China has been around for 600 years. People still come to marvel at the hundreds of ruffled crimson blossoms it puts out. A plant like this — and all its thousands of beautifully varied cousins — is a plant which speaks so directly to people’s hearts. Surely it will never lose its power of seduction. PS

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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February 2015P�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

“Whatever our path, whatever the color or grain of our days, whatever riddles we must solve to stay alive, the secret of life somehow always has to do with the awakening and freeing of what’s been asleep.” — Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening By Noah Salt

Hearts in Bloom Someone once said that February is the month when we can thankfully abandon impossible New Year’s resolutions and get on with the simple business of living. Indeed, as Old Man winter begins to toddle for the exit, much new life is stirring — awakening — all around. Out in the garden, winter daphne is gloriously in bloom with its delicate white flowers and dizzyingly sweet scent. And the oft-transplanted, winter-loving Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, is a beautiful harbinger of things to come. Snowdrops are visible and the deep red berries of mature nandina, so-called the “Bamboo of Heaven,” are at their peak of color on the gloomiest gray day, nature’s contribution to the red roses and candy hearts of Valentine’s Day and red-letter Presidential birthdays. According to the Greeting Card Association, 145 million Valentine cards will be sent worldwide this year, which does not include the very cutest ones, those exchanged in schools. Growing ever more rapidly, of course, is the number of digital e-cards. Cnn.com’s estimate that $1.6 billion will be spent on candy and $1.9 billion on flowers seems impressive until you consider the $4.4 billion people spend on diamonds, gold and silver. All this giving and getting stems from a blend of numerous traditions of courtly love that gained popularity, much of it from the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer during Britain’s high Middle Ages. Celebrating the end of winter — by feasting and a formal display of romantic inclinations — is married to broader pagan traditions hidden from view “bye wintere’s cloack,” as one ancient source metaphorically puts it. The idea, of course, is that winter’s death leads us to new life come spring. The official observance of Valentine’s Day on February 14 stems from the ecclesiastical legend of a Roman saint named Valentine who was jailed, tortured and executed on this date around 270 A.D. during the reign of Claudius II (a.k.a. “Claudius the Cruel”) for conducting marriages in secret during a period of turmoil on the empire’s borders. At one point, Roman authorities actually banned engagements and marriages out of fear that attachments to wives and families would keep citizens from serving in the army. Hence a tradition was born — that of messages of love and fidelity sent in secret, sometimes unsigned, pledges of hidden love.

New on the Shelf: “Hort Speak” Made Plain For newcomers and even old gardening hands alike, the terminology of the garden can sometimes be a source of frustration and confusion. For some of us, the Latin names are a pure impossibility, thus keeping things simple and relying on the common names of plants is a must. Hence our delight at receiving a nifty little book called Gardenpedia in the New Year mail. This handy “A to Z Guide to Gardening Terms” by horticulturists Pamela Bennett and Maria Zampini, lays out more than 300 simple, beautifully illustrated definitions literally on everything from “Abiotic” (it simply means a “nonliving organism”) to helpful illustrated “Zone Hardiness” maps. Every term from the familiar “Flower” to the obscure “Volcano mulching” is presented in this clear and entertaining resources guide that even includes suggested books, websites, plant organizations and useful databases, ideal for garden newcomers and veterans alike on the cusp of a new growing season. Dare we suggest even the perfect gift for your garden-mad valentine? St. Lynn’s Press, Pittsburgh, $16.95.

February Garden To-Do List Begin your spring garden with a good clean-up of all garden beds. Early February is the last best opportunity to prune shrubs and trees including crepe myrtles and camellias. This is the time to enrich your soil by digging in composted manure and garden waste and turning under cover crops, such as annual rye, vetch and clover. Now’s also the time to plant (and transplant) perennials, bare root roses, shrubs, vines and trees. Indoors, this is when you should start those summer veggies under light. Outside, you may direct-seed cabbage family veggies, carrots, spinach, onions, peas and late collards. Also, think about planting dahlia and begonia tubers. PS

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



Arts Entertainment C a l e n da r

Flower Workshop



Sunday, February 1

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Clark Stern Trio. The Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Admission: $12, $15 at the door. Info: (910) 9447502 or www.roosterswife.org.

Tuesday, February 3

TAI CHI. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin. Held every Tuesday. Cost: Single class: $15 member /$17 non-member. Monthly: $50 member/ $60 non-member. 
Info: (910) 4860221 or capefearbg.org.

• FLOWER WORKSHOP. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Carol Dowd of Botanicals Florist will conduct the “Body Flowers Workshop.” Cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Sandhills Community College Horticultural Gardens, 3395 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 695-3882.

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Baby


• • Art






Painting Class at the Horticultural Gardens 2/

Art Exhibit


bunnies storytime is for ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

Thursday, February 5

BEGINNERS DANCE CLASS. 6:30 p.m. Learn the basics for the lovely elegant waltz! No pre-registration necessary. Cost: $10 cash. Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst.

Wednesday, February 4

BALLROOM FOR BEGINNERS. 6:30 p.m. Carolina Pines Chapter of USA Dance invites you to learn to dance foxtrot and salsa. Cost: $10. Class held at Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

“Introducing The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of The Bondwoman’s Narrative.” Free and open to the public. Owens Auditorium, Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 245-3132.

TAX HELP. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. AARP will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays through April 15. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net. 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 www.sppl.net.

• • Film

STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Calling all 3 – 5 year olds • and their parents for stories followed by a craft. Given


• • Fun


RUTH PAULEY LECTURE SERIES. 7:30 p.m. • Dr. Gregg Hecimovich and Wilma Laney on the topic:

Friday, February 6

Marvelous Mammals. 10 a.m. Learn what makes a mammal a mammal and which ones live here. Geared toward 3- to 5 year-olds. Weymouth Woods, 1024


February 2015 P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

ca l e n d a r Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167 or www.ncparks.gov.

ARTS FESTIVAL. 5 – 7 p.m. The Arts Council • presents the 19th annual Young People’s Fine Arts Festival to highlight student work. Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2787 or www.mooreart.org.

• ART EXHIBIT. 5 – 7 p.m. “Expressions in Layers” presented by three award-winning artists from the Artists

League of the Sandhills. The opening reception will be held at The Exchange Street Gallery of Fine Art, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 944-3979 or www.artistleague.org.

Saturday, February 7

• MEET THE ARTIST. 12 – 3 p.m. Come visit with Julie Messerschmidt and enjoy a free wine tast-

ing courtesy of Elliott’s. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or www. hollhocksartgallery.com.

MUSIC AT THE WINE CELLAR. Jen Hillard performs. The Wine Cellar, 241A NE Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3066.

Sunday, February 8

SPELLING BEE FOR LITERACY. 2 p.m. A lighthearted competition to benefit Moore County Literacy Council. $10 donation for open seating - kids free when accompanied by an adult. Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College, 3395 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Reserved seats available for Bee Boosters. Info: (910)6925954 or www.mcliteracy.org.

• FILM SERIES. 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. A story that follows Jackie Robinson from his signing with the Brooklyn

Dodgers organization in 1945 to his historic 1947 rookie season. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. The Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Admission: $16, $20 at the door. Info: (910) 944-7502 or www.roosterswife.org.

Friday, February 13 CHAMBER MUSIC. 8 – 10 p.m. Alexander String • ART EXHIBIT. 6 p.m. Searching for the Real, an exhibi• Quartet. Tickets: $29. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., tion of drawings and painting by Mison Kim. William F. Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2787 or www.mooreart.org.

Bethune Center for Visual Arts, Methodist University. Info: (910) 425.5379 or www.davidmccunegallery.org.

Tuesday, February 10

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Baby bunnies storytime is for ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net. BEGINNERS DANCE CLASS. 6:30 p.m. Come • try the exciting and dramatic tango! No pre-registration

necessary. Cost: $10 cash. Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

Wednesday, February 11

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 www.sppl.net.

VALENTINE’S DAY. Stop in the Library for special • crafts and activities to celebrate this holiday! Southern Pines

Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

OPERA. 12:30 p.m. Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta /
Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle — new production. Live via satellite. The Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Tickets: $27. Info: (910) 692-8501.

evening of fun, music and dancing. Cost: $11 cash at door. Elks Lodge, Country Club Circle, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 331-9965.

FINERY FAIR. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hosted by the Professional Women’s Network. Shop for gently used accessories. Tickets are $10. Proceeds benefit the Sandhills Community College Foundation Scholarship Fund. Village Chapel, 10 Azalea Road, Pinehurst. GATHERING AT GIVEN. 3:30 p.m. MaryBeth Bailar, a clinical neuropsychologist, will discuss the myths and facts about the aging brain. Free and open to the public. Given Memorial Library, 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-6022.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT. 5:30 p.m. Become astronauts for the evening and create your own space mission. For grades K-5. outhern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

MOSTLY MOZART. 7:30 p.m. The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and St. John’s Episcopal Church present “The Salon Series.” St John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green St., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 433-4960 or www. fayettevillesymphony.org.

SANDHILLS PHOTO CLUB MEETING. 7 – 9 p.m. Program: A member competition on winter. Guests welcome. Hannah Center Theater at The O’Neal School, 3300 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Info: www.sandhillsphotoclub.org.

Saturday, February 14

Thursday, February 12

• PAINT CLASS. 5 p.m. Sip & Paint with Jane Casnellie. No experience necessary and all materials

provided. Take home your own masterpiece. Cost: $35. Hollyhocks Art Galley, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665.

SINGING VALENTINES. 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Golf Capital Chorus magically arrives to sing two romantic songs and present candy, a card, and a rose to the special person. Cost: $50. To schedule: (910) 215-9796 or dickcurl@nc.rr.com.

MEET THE ARTIST. 12 – 3 p.m. Come visit with Jane Casnellie and enjoy a free wine tasting courtesy of Elliott’s. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or www.hollhocksartgallery.com.

BALLROOM FOR BEGINNERS. 6:30 p.m. Carolina Pines Chapter of USA Dance invites you to learn to dance rumba and swing! $10 per person. Class held at Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

Monday, February 9

February 13 – February 14

The Met February 14th Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and 12:30pm Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle February 28th Rossino’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia 1:00pm

VALENTINE DANCE! 7 –10 p.m. Carolina • Pines Chapter of USA Dance invites you for an

HEART ’N’ SOUL OF JAZZ. 8 – 10 p.m. For our 30th anniversary we will present Tierney Sutton and Buck Creek Jazz Band. Pinehurst Resort, 80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst. Tickets: $65. Info: (910) 692-2787 or www. mooreart.org.

MUSIC AT THE WINE CELLAR. Tony Barnes performs. The Wine Cellar, 241A NE Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3066.

Sunday, February 15

KID’S MOVIE. 2:30 p.m. A group of sympathetic humans help a dolphin with a damaged tail. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

CONCERT. 3 p.m. Anthony Dean Griffey – Metropolitan Opera. Tickets: $40 members/$50 nonmembers. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.


Available Online, at the Box Office or Over the Phone

For a complete list of show times

visit sunrisetheater.org or call


250 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



February 2015 P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

ca l e n d a r

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Brooks Williams. The Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Admission: $15, $20 at the door. Info: (910) 9447502 or www.roosterswife.org.

Monday, February 16

WOMEN OF WEYMOUTH. 9:30am – Lecture: “Getting Our Financial House in Order”
Brianna Dillon, financial advisor will speak. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.

PAINTING CLASS. 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Joan Williams will host a follow the leader painting class. Horticultural Society members $60, non-members $65. Sandhills Horticultural Gardens, 3395 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 695-3882.

AUTHOR EVENT. 6 p.m. Gabrielle Zevin will be coming to Southern Pines for an author dinner event to speak about her New York Times best-seller The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry. Tickets: $50. Southern Prime Steakhouse, 270 SW Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211.

Tuesday, February 17

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Baby bunnies storytime is for ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

JAMES BOYD BOOK CLUB. 2 p.m. Home, by SammArt Williams. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.

CITIZEN’S ACADEMY. 6 – 8 p.m. A session conducted by the Southern Pines Planning Department. Info: 910-692-8235. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

BEGINNERS DANCE CLASS. 6:30 p.m. Learn the basics for the foxtrot and the exciting salsa! No pre-registration necessary. Cost: $10 cash. Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

Wednesday, February 18

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 www.sppl.net.

Thursday, February 19

BALLROOM FOR BEGINNERS. 6:30 p.m. Carolina Pines Chapter of USA Dance invites you to learn to dance the Cha Cha! $10 per person. Pinehurst Dance Studio, Pinehurst Executive Center, 300 Hwy 5, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 331-9965.

Friday, February 20

ROARING ’20s. 6 – 11 p.m. Harness the roaring ’20s at the Pinehurst Harness Track 100 year celebration. Tickets: $65 each or two for $120. Live Pperformance by The Atomic Rhythm Big Band. Harness Track, 200

••• • •

Key: Art Music/Concerts Film Literature/Speakers Sports

• • •

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ca l e n d a r Beulah Hill Road South, Pinehurst. Info: 910-295-0166 or www.thefairbarn.org.

Saturday, February 21

HOUNDS. 9 a.m. Moore County Hounds will be leaving from Weymouth. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.

MEET THE ARTIST. 12 – 3 p.m. Come visit with Jane Casnellie and enjoy a free wine tasting courtesy of Elliotts. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or www.hollhocksartgallery.com.

MUSIC AT THE WINE CELLAR. Tim Wilson performs. The Wine Cellar, 241A NE Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3066.

Sunday, February 22

PREHISTORIC WEYMOUTH. 3 p.m. Learn more about how natural processes and potential inhabitants shaped Weymouth Woods before written history. Weymouth Woods, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167 or www.ncparks.gov.

LECTURE SERIES. 3 – 4 p.m. Explorations hosts Adam Miller with the program, “Singing through History.” Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. The Rooster’s Wife at the Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Admission: $25, $30 at the door. Info: (910) 944-7502 or www.roosterswife.org.

Monday, February 23

SANDHILLS NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY MEETING. 7 p.m. Susan Miller will discuss the redcockaded woodpecker population. Weymouth Woods Auditorium, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167 for more information or visit online at www. sandhillsnature.org.

Tuesday, February 24

BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Parents and children will be engaged in early literary practices. Baby bunnies storytime is for ages birth to 18 months. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or www.sppl.net.

JAM SESSION. 7 – 9 p.m. Bring a beverage and listen to great music. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.

Wednesday, February 25

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 www.sppl.net.

Thursday, February 26

MEN’S INVITATIONAL. The Pine Needles • Invitational attracts some of the best amateur players.

Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, 1005 Midland Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8611 or graham.gilmore@ rossresorts.com.

Preparing the next generation of leaders... SCHEDULE A TOUR


www.episcopalday.org 910-692-3492

Friday, February 27

• ART GALA. Come view local artists’ work at the PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


ca l e n d a r Penick Art Show. Joan Williams will be selling a painting and donating the proceeds to the Penick Benevolent Assistance Fund. Penick Village House.

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.

Saturday, February 28

• SHAKESPEARE COMPETITION. 10 a.m. Winner competes in New York City for a trip to England.

Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St. in historic Aberdeen. Exhibit hours are noon – 3 p.m., Monday-Saturday. (910) 944-3979.

• OPERA. 1 p.m. Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). The Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St.,

• MEET THE ARTIST. 12 – 3 p.m. Visit with Diane Kraudelt and enjoy a free wine tasting courtesy of Elliott’s.

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. Meet-the-artist opportunities available. Monday-Friday (closed Wednesday), 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m and special appointments. (910) 295-4817, www.broadhurstgallery.com.

• MUSIC AT THE WINE CELLAR. Cousin Amy performs. The Wine Cellar, 241A NE Broad St., Southern

The Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Avenue., Southern Pines. Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and every third weekend of the month from 2 – 4 p.m. (910) 692-4356, www.mooreart.org.

Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.

Southern Pines. Tickets $27. Info: (910) 692-8501 or www. sunrisetheater.com.

Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or www.hollhocksartgallery.com.

Pines. Info: (910) 692-3066.

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.

Art Galleries

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.

FARM 2 TABLE. Sign up for Sandhills-Fresh Produce Subscription Boxes from your community-owned Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative. Deliveries start mid-April and run until mid-November. Info: (910) 722-1623 or www.sandhillsfarm2table.com.

ABOUT ART GALLERY inside The Market Place Midland Bistro Building, 2160 Midland Road, Pinehurst. The gallery features local artists. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (910) 215-596. Key:

• • Art



The Gallery at Seven Lakes at the St. Mary Magdalene building, 1145 Seven Lakes Drive. Just nine

• • Film


• • Fun


miles from the Pinehurst Traffic Circle up 211, this gallery is dedicated to local artists. Wednesday-Thursday 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.com. Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour, 21 Chinquapin Road, Pinehurst. Features local artists. Tuesday-Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (910) 255-0100, www. ladybedfords.com. 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, Thursday-Saturday 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, Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (910) 695-0029.




Sunshine Antique & Mercantile Company


Bene fits Moore Cou nty Charities & Nursi ng Schol arship s for SCC Stude nts Donations Accepted During Regular Business Hours

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm 7299-A, 15-501 in Eastwood (Behind Wylie’s Golf Cart) 910-235-5221

Antiques • Collectables Vintage • Primitive Unique Home & Office Decor New & Consigned Furniture www.westendpastimes.com Find us on Facebook!

5336 NC 211 • West End, NC • 910-673-2065

Buying Vintage

and Military Watches

ROLEX & TUDOR Especially 1950s-1980s era GMT & SUBMARINER WARPATH MILITARY COLLECTIBLES 819 Hope Mills Road, Fayetteville Ed Hicks (910) 425-7000 edhicks82@aol.com • warpathmilitaria.com


1579 Rays Bridge Rd, Whispering Pines, NC 910-688-7119 1 mile N of Airport, Off Hwy 22

Buy, Sell or Trade Specializing in Primitive & Country Furnishings Thursday- Saturday 10 to 5 Monday-Wednesday by appointment or chance 115 N. Sycamore St., Aberdeen, NC (919) 995-3488 shop • (919) 673-9388 or (919) 673-9387 cells

Advertise your antique, consignment or thrift shop on the PineStraw Encore Page! Call 910-692-7271

February 2015 P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


195 american fusion cuisine supporting local farmers

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


Valentines Day! Moms, Wives, Girlfriends and Friends - Bell tree will be serving from 11:00am until 10:00pm on Valentines Day! Join us with that special someone for lunch or dinner on Saturday, February 14th!

chef prem nath

195 bell avenue southern pines 910.692.7110 www.195americanfusion.com

155 NE Broad Street • Downtown Southern Pines 910.692.4766 • belltreetavern.com Open 7 Days a Week

Restaurant Authentic Thai Cusine

Valentines Evening Specials Nightly Specials

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

20 Entrees Under $20 All You Can Eat Salad Bar with All Dinner Entrees Banquet Facilities from 1 to 100 People Burgers and Sandwiches available in Our Lounge Daily.

Combining New Traditions & Classic Cuisine Locally Owned & Operated for Over 25 Years Monday-Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm 910-692-5550 • 672 SW Broad St. Southern Pines, NC www.beefeatersofsouthernpines.com

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 | www.curtscucina.com

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

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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PineStraw Magazine Subscription Form $35/year In-State Subscription • $45/year Out-of-State Subscription

110 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387 910-692-2388


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To subscribe fill out and mail this form, call 910-693-2490 or email dstark@thepilot.com!

February 2015 P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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9/10/14 12:33 PM

ca l e n d a r SKY Art Gallery, 602 Magnolia Dr., Aberdeen. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (910) 944-9440, www.skyartgallery.com.

Carthage Historical Museum. Sundays, 2 – 5 p.m. or by appointment. Located at Rockingham and Saunders streets, Carthage. (9 10) 947-2331.

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.

House in the Horseshoe. Open year-round. Hours vary. 288 Alston House Road (10 miles north of Carthage), Sanford. (910) 947-2051.

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.

Malcolm Blue Farm and Museum. 1 – 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Group tours can be arranged by appointment. (910) 944-7558 or (910) 603-2739. North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities, 555 E. Connecticut Avenue., Southern Pines. (910) 692-6261. Shaw House. Open 1 – 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. (910) 692-2051.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

To add an event, email us at pinestraw.calendar@ gmail.com by the first of the month prior to the event. Or go to www.thepilot.com and add the event to our online calendar.


February PineNeedler Answers Solution:







9 7 4 5 3 6 1 2 8


from page 95


2 8 5 9 4 1 6 3 7

1 6 3 7 2 8 5 9 4




8 2 7 1 5 4 9 6 3

4 5 6 3 7 9 8 1 2

3 9 1 8 6 2 4 7 5

6 1 2 4 8 3 7 5 9

7 3 8 6 9 5 2 4 1









5 4 9 2 1 7 3 8 6

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DISCOVERING ACRYLICS FOR BEGINNERS Pat McMahon – Monday/Tuesday, February 16, 17, 1:00-3:00 $40 PLEIN AIR PAINTING Harry Neely –Thursday, February 19, 9:30-3:00, $40 FOLLOW THE LEADER - (OIL) Joan Williams – Thurs., March 26, 10:00-3:30 $75 no discount Supplies included. FOLLOW THE LEADER - (OIL) Joan Williams – Sat., March 28, 10:00-3:30 $75 no discount Supplies included.


WATERCOLOR ON GESSO Irene Dobson – Tuesday/Wednesday, March 10, 11, 1:00-3:30 $50


COLORED PENCIL FOR BEGINNERS Betty Hendrix - Wednesday, February 4, - 10:00-4:00 $55 FLORAL COLOR, REALISTIC OR WHIMSICAL!?!? Betty Hendrix - Wednesday, February 18, - 10:00-4:00 $50 COLORED PENCIL ON PASTELMAT Betty Hendrix - Wednesday, March 25, - 10:00-4:00 $56 LANDSCAPE ON SANDED PAPER USING PASTEL UNDER-PAINTING Betty Hendrix - Wednesday, March 25, - 10:00-4:00 $50



THUR, MAR 12 | 8PM LEE AUDITORIUM, PINECREST HIGH SCHOOL, SOUTHERN PINES Grant Llewellyn, conductor North Carolina Master Chorale Bach: Jesu, meine Freude Brahms: Song of Destiny

GELLI PRINTING Pat Halligan – Saturday, February 7, 10:00-12:00 $35 (Gelli plate included) COLLAGING OUT OF THE BOX Sandy Stratil – Monday/Tuesday, February 9, 10, 10:00-4:00 $105 ALCOHOL INK AND BEYOND Sandy Scott – Wednesday, February 25, 10:30-3:30 $40 SCRATCHBOARD AND PEN & INK Kate Lagaly - Friday, March 5, 10:00-3:30 $45 REDUCTION PRINTING Lynn Goldhammer – Tues.Wed., March 10, 11, 12:30-4:00 $95 Supplies included. ADVANCED GELLI PRINTING Pat Halligan – Friday, March 13, 10:00-3:00 $40 ADVANCED ALCOHOL INK TECHNIQUES Sandy Scott – Tuesday, March 24, 10:30-3:30 $40


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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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Emi Briggs, Dick Webb, Jenna Taylor


Kerry Briggs, Michele Smith

Moore County Hounds Hunt Breakfast for Junior Riders December 20 & 27, 2014 Photographs by Jeanne Paine Mel Wyatt

Lisa Taylor, Ann Robinson, Kerry Briggs

Colin MacNair, Maggie Tally, Robert Seals

Allison Johnson, Jenna Taylor Chuck Younger, Terry & Charlie Cook, Beth Younger

Chuck Younger, Angie Tally, Dennis Paules, Janie Boland

Ada Catherine, Elizabeth Hays


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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Admissions Testing Saturday, February 28th • 9 a.m. PreK4 - 10th grade Now Enrolling The Hannah Center for 2015-2016 O’Neal Campus

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Randy & Cindy Hughes

Lynn Yates, Ron & Xuan Callahan

Rooster’s Wife Concert January 11 & 18, 2015

Photographs by London Gessner Katie Malloy, Helenka Lepkowski, Kathie Wilson

Gary & Allyson Bowers

Katie & Brian Thwaites

Dane Alderson, Bill Wick, Janet Kenworthy

Pam Houston, Sue Deutsch

Mary and Nancy Gebler

Trey Hensley, Janet Kenworthy, Burt, Andie Rose, Rob Ickes

Mark Hunsicker, Danielle Czastellino, Wilham Darnwald

John Brumer, Butch Taylor, Samantha Tinsley, Robert Jospe

Dave Wilson, Tom Konold

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


Save the Date MARCH 6th • 12-5 7th • 9-5 8th • 11-5 Returning to

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Jenna Taylor, Dick Webb

Hunt field Mel Wyatt, Colette Lieber

Lefreda Williams, Paul Striberry

Maggie Tally, Angela Royal

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Isabelle Jones Junior Riders

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PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



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February 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h e A c c i d e n ta l A st r o l o g e r

Love is in the House By Astrid Stellanova

February’s stars

Love, Star Children, is what February is all about, and love just happens to be Astrid’s favorite topic. Let’s talk about love, make love and think love. A little naked guy named Cupid has my full attention. I concentrated on love connections and nothing else, and here’s what the stars say: Be grateful. Take nothing for granted. Love may be just that simple.

Aquarius (January 20–February 18) I’ve gotta hand it to Aquarius. Despite all evidence to the contrary, you believe in love and keep committing to it. (I keep telling you: Jennifer Aniston, Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres are famous Aquarians.) Do I advise you to look before leaping? I surely do, but even if I did, you wouldn’t listen. And you leap so gracefully, Sugar. The arms of some stranger are always open to you because you are so attractive and ready to love. Keep leaping; keep loving — that is just how you are made. Protect that heart just a wee little bit and hold something back — because you give more than you probably have ever taken. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Grandpa claims that time wounds all heels. He was looking straight at Beau when he said it, too. Beau ignored him and flashed his pearly whites. Melted me, naturally. Beau has a lot of Piscean traits — think Justin Bieber, another Pisces. Pisces can charm the birds from the trees and worry later about how to take care of them or where to buy bird seed. You inflict more wounds than you receive so quit your bitching. Somebody in your life is needing some love; unconditional, true love. Give it up, Buttercup. Aries (March 21–April 19) If you could stop trolling the Internet, you might just find the love of your life is standing right in front of you at the 7-Eleven drinking a giant Slurpee. Or, you might fall back in love again with that freckle-faced thing you dated in high school that keeps showing up wherever you go. Life is like this, my hard-headed Ram, and you sometimes don’t see what is just because you are so dazzled by other possibilities. Pay attention, Honey, and discover the sweetness right there in your own cup. Taurus (April 20–May 20) If a simple flat tire didn’t flap you so much, you might recognize Mother Nature threw a wrench in the works just to stop you from blasting right past something important. Go back — what did you miss the first time around, Child? The stars point to the fact that this is a month that is going to demand you pay attention. You have been in high gear since the New Year, and yet notice you wind up in the same place you started. Somebody is trying very hard to make contact with you, and you are going to have to stop to notice. You are one lucky bull — and the world is really your pasture. Gemini (May 21–June 20) The life lesson facing you has more to do with opening yourself up to love than to finding the right person to love. You are naturally magnetic, with all the pull of twins — usually feeling you are pulled in equally opposite directions. (Think evil twin, good twin, and that’s what you’re up against.) The bigger challenge for you remains trust. Let it go, Baby. You ain’t frozen, are you? You are wasting a lot of time convincing yourself you have been wronged, when in fact, you have been luckier than the average. A very interesting (read that happy) coincidence of the heart is about to hit you right slap in the head — or somewhere lower. Cancer (June 21–July 22) Steal for the third base and run like hell. You have got some formidable opponents behind you, but you are faster and craftier. The last time I saw a chart like yours I would have sworn it would be the perfect time to buy a lottery ticket. But then, I been buying ’em for about twenty years and I guess you already know I ain’t rich, unless you count being rich in love. You have got one piece of unfinished business trailing you. Say I’m sorry like you mean it, Honey. All will turn out just fine in the love department.

Leo (July 23–August 22) Yes, you deserved better, and no, you didn’t get it last month. But here’s a second chance. The stars are right for you to finally resolve a festering problem with a family member. This is a boil that needs to be opened, Honey. Be the bigger person. Also, forgive your mother. She did the best she could. If you get this family stuff sorted out, you can get your love house in order. Surprise someone with a little sweet treat. Make it chocolate if you want some action — and let’s be honest. Who doesn’t? Virgo (August 23–September 22) Somebody close to you is so persuasive that he could talk you into a spa week in Windblow. Seriously, Honey, you need some objective distance from this snake charmer. But what you don’t need is distance from someone who has carried a torch for you since grade school. They are a lot better looking than they used to be, and twice as nice. Just don’t revisit your school album — their nose finally fits their face. And you two fit right into the same cozy frame. Libra (September 23–October 22) This is a year that you might as well treat like the gift that it is. Mysteries are resolved, enemies vanquished and property you lost will be restored. What’s the price of all this good luck? Gratitude, Honey Bun. If you keep thanking the Universe, you will keep reaping the good karma coming to you. What else do you need to know? You are very, very lucky in love and get as much as you give. Yum! Scorpio (October 23–November 21) You love romance, and think this world is one big old Turner Movie Classic. It ain’t, Darling. But there is plenty of opportunity for you to be the giver this month. You tend to be passive and wait for it to get heaped onto your plate; return the favor or make the first move. Somebody you know is starved for a little affirmation and sweet honey. Get ready for your close up, cause you will win more invitations and dinner dates than you can handle this month. Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) There are two unusually good-fortune days coming this month. One just happens to be Valentine’s Day. Make some special plans, and show someone who cares you feel the same way. By special plans, I ain’t meaning Joe’s Diner or the drive-in either. Your long-time love has never forgotten how special you made them feel. You may not feel you deserve all the affection you get, but, Honey, you sure do get. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) It’s a good time for you to make a list of all the things you want to change about yourself, not about your neighbor. Take stock of your own self, Honey, and stop being so critical. If you do that, some very interesting love developments are lining up and you won’t blow the chance you are about to get. Be especially aware of your surroundings on the 19th. And do something sweet for a total stranger — good karma is worth banking. 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.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015


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February 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

February PineNeedler February

By Mart Dickerson




















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4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 21

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37 Civil wrong 67 Make a noise with ACROSS yourwindshield fingers 38 Fib 44 Clean a winter ACROSS 1 Remain 39 Baby bed 45 have a hissy fit 5 Rub clean DOWN 41 Vacation mail remain 46 Quick 1 Carbonated drink 10 1 Bluish green 44 Clean a winter rub clean 14 5 Buckeye state windshield47 Pointed2weapon Gangly bluish 15 up green 50fit Jell 10 Got 45 Have a hissy 3 Am not, slang 16 shape 46 Quick 4 escape Bear or spot Berra buckeye state 51 February 14 Convex 17 Doorbell sound 47 Pointed weapon 5 Planet 53 February escape spot 15 Got up 18 Turret 50 Jell Slavic person 58 Famous6 cookies 16 Convex shape 19 Kilt wearer 51 February escape spot 7 Propel with oars 59 bodily cavity 17 doorbell sound 20 February escape spot 53 February escape spot 8 Takes advantage of turret users 61 troop division 18 Tobacco 22 58 Famous cookies 9 February escape spot Kilt wearer 62 __ ranger 19 24 Creative work 59 Bodily cavity 10 Elephant horns February escape spot 25 20 Miffed 63 January11escape 61 Troop division Host ofspot a pageant 26 escape spot 62 __ Ranger 64 departed 12 Terminate, as a flight tobacco users 22 February 30 color 63 January escape 13 eat Oodles Creative work "you can't just one" 65 spot 24 DisappearLose 32 Take illegally 64 Departed 21 France and Belgium, brand 25 Miffed anciently 33 A person from 65 “You can’t eat just car February escape 26 European country on spot one” brand66 type of23 Ajar Sea noise with your disappearlose color66 Type of car 67 Make a 26 30 Adriatic Clock time (abbr.) fingers take illegally 32 33 a person from european country on adriatic sea 2 1 DOWN 6 5 37 Civil wrong 9 1 7 Fill in the grid so 38 Fib 1 Carbonated drink every row, every 39 baby bed 4 3 2 Gangly 6 8 column and every 41 Vacation mail 3 am not, slang 3x3 box contain 9 3 8 4 2 Puzzle answers on page 83


the numbers 1-9.

2 6 1 8 6

7 6 9 9 3 8 4 3 1 7 5 4 3 5

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

1650 Valley View Road • Southern Pines, NC Adjacent to Hyland Golf Course on US 1



Winter Hours: Fri. & Sat. 10AM-5PM, Sunday 1PM-5PM.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 2015



By Sally Ronalter

The squirrel and I stare at

each other from opposite sides of the glass. I move my face closer to his as slowly as I am able, not wanting to spook him. Other than his nose, which sniffs the air constantly, he moves not at all. This staring contest has become a ritual between the two of us. He comes to the window and scratches softly until I see him, and turn my attention away from the computer and toward him. He never blinks. (Can squirrels blink? I have no idea.) What does he see as he stares at me, or maybe is he just looking into the room beyond? Is he angry that my husband has put a metal baffle around the bird feeder pole so that it is impossible for him to get at the seed? It is ingenious; a metal cylinder that floats around the pole, wide enough for him to climb inside, but with a top that prevents him from actually reaching his goal. (So close, and yet so far!)

He certainly tries, though, and that is why I am so interested in him. He is fearless. He climbs the metal tower I use to support clematis in my garden and launches himself at the birdseed holders. He has not made it yet, but he tries, doggedly, repeatedly. His little body flies through the air, his arms, legs and tail extended, graceful and triumphant until the second he starts to nosedive. He lands on the ground and rolls, like a tiny gymnast, and goes up the pole again. He can go as high as the top of the cylinder, but it is a dead end. He pokes his head out from the bottom of the cylinder and peers at the birds feasting above him. It must drive him crazy. In my mind, I name him Rocky, after the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. Rocky used to wear a tiny aviator’s hat, which I wish I could give to my Rocky, to cushion his (numerous) falls. My mother-in-law had a thing for squirrels as well. Bill (my husband) has told me stories about waking to the sound of her pumping, then firing her pellet gun, followed by either “that’ll teach you,” or “darn it,” and the window


slamming as she stomped downstairs to start breakfast. The neighborhood, apparently, was populated with maimed squirrels in her heyday. One night, at a dinner party, a guest dared to question her shooting skills. “Nancy, you wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone shoot a squirrel!” She sent him a tail by Priority Mail the next day. When the pellet gun eventually broke (or, as I like to think, was broken by my father-in-law), he refused to fix it, telling her, “Nan, it’s time for you to start getting along with the wildlife.” My eldest gave her a bird feeder with a squirrel spinner the next Christmas. It too, was ingenious. The weight of the squirrels would start their perch spinning round until they lost balance and flew off, backward, landing on their (umm) tails. Nancy loved it. But what about all of her old bird feeders? She had them at every window, and the squirrels just learned to avoid the new one in favor of the older ones. She got out the Crisco and greased all the poles. They climbed to the top and waved to her. She mixed chili powder into the Crisco. She won. They moved down the street. I set up an alternate bird feeder for the squirrels. I put cheap, Lowe’s brand birdseed in it, hoping to mollify Bill, who only buys the good stuff for his birds. He sneaked out and replaced it with a block covered in chili powder. Not even the birds will touch it. It emboldens Rocky, though. He becomes ever more brazen, until, on a Sunday morning (Hallelujah!) he finally makes it! I am not there to see it, and am alerted only by Bill’s howl. I run to look out the window and watch Rocky do a little victory dance on top of the seed block. Then, grabbing a chunk of seed and suet, he leisurely hangs upside down to enjoy it. Bill bangs on the window, and poor Rocky takes yet another nosedive. Bill goes upstairs to find the boys’ old air soft guns. Alas, someone has broken them all beyond repair. He moves my clematis support; I move it back. Another Sunday, another successful leap! Clearly, God loves Rocky. Rocky is all business this time, though. He’s caught on to Bill. He wraps himself around the seed cylinder and gorges. Five minutes, ten, fifteen before he stretches himself upside down with pleasure. He rocks back and forth, then leaps heavily to the ground. (He is getting fat.) Bill tells me that there are several squirrels (actually, he says, A LOT of squirrels) getting fat in our garden. I concede this; we do have a lot of squirrels. Then you need more names, he tells me. How do you know it’s the same one making the leap every time? Maybe we should mark them somehow, and I immediately envision a tailless Rocky, or poor sweet Rocky II with a peg leg and eye patch, Rocky III with white pellets in his little ears. “Bill,” I deadpan, “you really need to start getting along with the wildlife.” PS Sally Ronalter is an occasional contributor to PineStraw who loves to get along with wildlife.

February 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Illustration by Meridith Martens

Squirrel Wars

Sandhills Pediatrics, Seven Lakes, NC

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