December Pinestraw 2015

Page 1

Situated on 18 acres and convenient to local golf courses, shops, & the Village of Pinehurst; Quail Haven Village is also located close to major medical facilities & unique arts and cultural centers. Residents have access to all levels of care offering security for the future and enabling residents to live independently longer.

Continuing Care retirement Community There may come a time when you require additional care or assistance. Here we strive to make this transition as east as possible through a number of services. HOME CARE Our Licensed Home Care services range from medication reminders to personal care assistance FAMILY CARE HOME Our cottages create a small residential home in an intimate environment. Our staff is on-hand 24 hours a day and is trained to provide Memory Care support as needed. SKILLED CARE The Inn at Quail Haven Village provides health and nursing care in addition to personal care and support. REHABILITATION Our dedicated, highly experience team works one-on-one with our patients to provide in- and out-patient physical, occupational and speech therapies.

For more information contact Lynn Valliere.

155 Blake Boulevard, Pinehurst, NC 28374 910.295.2294 |

Merry Christmas from Our front porch to Yours

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


Imagine spending the Holidays in Pine Grove Village. 140 Lakeside Court offered at only $515,000.

Jamie McDevitt, Broker/Owner 910.724.4455 107 NE Broad Street Southern Pines, NC


) .IQ\P *I[ML 6W\ .WZ 8ZW٨\ Continuing Care Retirement Community

500 E. Rhode Island Ave. Southern Pines, NC (910) 692-0300

HOUSE & HOME SERVICES and Property Management, Inc. EST. 1999

Proudly introduces our Real Estate division


Properties Boutique brokerage specializing in Real Estate Concierge Services Mary Lou Vecchione, Broker/Owner, REALTOR® Wherever you are in the real estate process... WE CAN HELP



Mary Lou Vecchione

(910) 639-1387

Your Real EstateConcierge

• Representing buyers & sellers since 1999 • Exclusive access to House & Home Services





HOUSE & HOME SERVICES and Property Management, Inc.

• We manage exclusive service contracts to meet any and all of your real estate needs

• Renovate, remodel, refurbish • Lifestyle and property maintenance programs

5 Dowd Circle, Suite D • Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374 • (910) 639-1837

THE WONDERFUL PAIRING. DINNER AND YOU. What would you say to wonderful dining options, menus, selection, and well, no more cooking or dishes? At Pine Knoll, the accredited, full service retirement community, you have the freedom to do anything you want, anytime, because everything is taken care of: amenities, services, staff, dining, and healthcare. Be our guest and tour smartly designed one- and two-bedroom apartments, villas, and cottages. To see how your life can be more fulfilling, call 910.246.1023, or email

Welcome. 590 Central Drive, Southern Pines, NC 28387 - 910.246.1023 - A member of the St. Joseph of the Pines Aging Services Network continuing the legacy of the Sisters of Providence.

December 2015

84 By the Numbers


By Lauren Shumaker

Sandhills’ Holidays in digits

71 Ornaments

86 House

Poetry by Sam Walker

By Deborah Salomon

72 Photo Finish By Bill Case

The saving of Pinehurst’s Harness Track

78 Sacred Light By Jim Dodson

15 Simple Life By Jim Dodson

18 PinePitch 21 Instagram Winners 23 Cos and Effect By Cos Barnes

25 The Omnivorous Reader By Brian Lampkin

29 Bookshelf

By Kimberly Daniels Taws & Angie Tally

Christmas arrives gently at a showplace designed for creature comfort

97 Almanac

By Rosetta Fawley

Wherever it comes from, illumination is an act of love


Volume 11, No. 12

Keeping out cold with frames and feasts

98 December Calendar 115 SandhillSeen 123 Thoughts from the Manshed By Geoff Cutler

125 The Accidental Astrologer By Astrid Stellanova

127 PineNeedler

By Mart Dickerson

128 SouthWords

By Joyce Reehling

33 Proper English By Serena Brown

35 The Kitchen Garden By Jan Leitschuh

41 Vine Wisdom By Robyn James

43 In the Spirit

47 Papadaddy’s Mindfield

49 The Pleasures of Life

By Tony Cross

By Clyde Edgerton By Tom Allen

51 Out of the Blue

By Deborah Salomon

53 Hometown By Bill Fields

55 Birdwatch

By Susan Campbell

57 A Novel Year By Wiley Cash

61 Sporting Life By Tom Bryant

65 Golftown Journal By Lee Pace


Cover Photograph by

and Photograph

this page by L aura Gingerich

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

We Have Your Perfect Gift…

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

Old Town Pinehurst: Extensive renovations & upgrades

“Homewood” in Knollwood Heights: Stunning estate described as one of North Carolina’s finest residences. Rich history with magnificent architectural detail. Extensive gardens designed by E.S. Draper. 7BR/6.5BA. $1,590,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

Knollwood Heights: A true Southern Pines treasure built & designed by Donald Ross in the 1920’s. Sun filled rooms with charm in every detail. Carriage House has 2BRs/2BAs, & Kitchen. Brilliant remodel! 4BR/7.5BA. Broker/Owner. $1,295,000

Wemouth Heights: Delightful Colonial Revival designed by Aymar Embury II for the Boyd family in the 1920’s. Expanded & Updated in ‘05 with a sunroom addition in ‘12. Charming Guest House. 3BR/3Full&2Half Baths. $895,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

CCNC: Warmth & sophistication in this Incredible home designed with understated elegance, and a stunning location on Lake Watson. Showcase Kitchen, Living/Dining combo, a Gentleman’s Study, fabulous Workshop/Artist/Craft room w/fireplace, paneling & buttressed & Kay Beran 910.315.3322 valuted ceiling. $890,000

Old Town Pinehurst:

Breathtaking estate! Comfortable elegance abounds in this fine home featuring 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a chefs kitchen, formal areas, cozy study, Carolina Room, & Guest Apartment with a bedroom, living area, frplc & ktchn. $798,000

National Pinehurst #9: Stunning home & views! Premier location

on 3rd hole of Nicklaus Course & Lakefont overlooking water to the 2nd hole. 10’ & 12’ ceilings, wide plank Bolivian cherry floors, gourmet kitchen & much more. 4BR/4.5BA. $775,000

For the Golf Lover: Spacious and elegant! 4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath, custom home with sweeping golf views of the Magnolia Course in Pinewild Country Club. Superlative materials and workmanship throughout. $699,000 Bonnie Baker 910.690.4705

CCNC: Beautifully renovated home on the 9th fairway of Dogwood Course with 418’ of golf frontage. Renovated with attention to detail, and of the highest quality. Open design overlooks gardens & golf course. 4BR/4BA. $699,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

Pinewild Country Club: All brick, golf front home featuring an Office, Bonus Room, and more than 4,500 sq.ft. of living space. 3BR/3.5BA. $650,000 See more at: Frank Sessoms 910.639.3099

Lakota Farm a Magnificent Estate: Whether you are a golf or horse enthusiast, this property has it all. Turn of the century Elegance with the modern conveniences of today. The Farmhouse, circa 1896, was lovingly restored and expanded in 2000. Stunning! $1,950,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

Pinewild CC: Spectacular 4BR, 5.5BA French Country home custom designed for this site. Magnificent water feature and golf views. Lower level has a large Family Rm/Kitchenette, 2BRs/2BAs, and a home theater. Lovely! $1,559,000

Eva Toney 910.638.0972

to this circa 1905 home, providing today’s comforts while showcasing the original character & architectural design of yesterday’s grandeur. 5BR/5Full&3Half Baths. $1,600,000 Linda Criswell 910.783.7374

Bill Smith 910.528.4090

Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

text “BHHSNC305” to 87778

Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

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Southern Pines: 910.692.2635 • 105 W. Illinois Avenue • Southern Pines, NC 28387 ©2015 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 views of the 4th green on Cardinal Course & the pond. Renovated & enlarged in ‘07-’08. Stunning Kitchen w/Wolf gas cooktop, Wolf oven, 2-drawer dishwasher & more. Selling as Furnished. 3BR/2.5BA. $580,000.

Foxfire: Elegance resounds throughout this Southern Plantation

Old Town Pinehurst: Charming cottage, circa 1920, 2 blocks from the heart of the village. Beautiful gardens, pool with waterfall. Beautifully maintained & updated. Pinehurst Country Club membership available for transfer. 3BR/3BA. $495,000 Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Commercial Opportunity: Ideal location - 4/10 of a mile to down-

Pine Needles: Complete perfection inside & out on the 17th fairway of Pine Needles golf course. Exquisite detail! Updated & remodeled in ‘06. Garden features include formal gardens, a bocci court, and potting shed. 3BR/2.5BA. $465,000 Maureen Clark 910.315.1080

Pinewild Country Club: Elegant, comfortable living in this beauitful

Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

town Southern Pines. 6,000 sq.ft. office & warehouse space - 10 offices - reception area - work room area - break room - conference room - security & video monitoring system. $485,000

Bill Smith 910.528.4090

inspired residence. Endless tasteful details, each room a feast for the senses.In-ground salt water pool. Unfinished Bonus Room. Stunning! 3BR/2.5BA. $539,000 Debbie Darby 910.783.5193

Seven Lakes West: ONE-OF-A-KIND OFFERING! One of the last few water front lots available on Lake Auman with 180 degree views - Build Your Dream Home! Bulk-head, 2-Docks w/boat lift & swim ladder in place. $350,000 Linda Criswell 910.783.7374

New Price-Pinehurst:Spacious, all brick, low maintenance home! Pristine Condition! Office & a separate Recreation Room. 4 Bedrooms. Pinehurst Country Club Membership is available for transfer. $349,000 Frank Sessoms 910.639.3099

Southern Pines: REDUCED $5,000 - NOW $234,500! Charming ranch meticulously maintained. Beautiful wood floors in Living/Dining Room, Hall & 3 Bedrooms. NEW Roof; Windows Replaced EXCEPT in Living Room & Kitchen. A Must See!

Pinehurst: Beautifully wooded 4+acre piece of property on Midland Road, 1/2 mile from traffic circle going towards Southern Pines. House on property is uninhabitable & not to be entered. Land is rolling with beautiful pines. Perfect building site. $200,000

Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

Emily Hewson 910.315.3324

golf front home. Formal living and dining area, hardwood flooring, the kitchen with custom cabinetry & granite combines to an open family room. Beautifully appointed & well maintained. $420,000

Kay Beran 910.315.3322

Old Town Pinehurst: Reduced for Quick Sale - $30,000

Reduction! Great Investment Opportunity! 2,600 sq.ft. home is move-in ready! Priced BELOW tax value! PCC membership available at 50% discount! 3BR/3BA. $295,000 Bill Smith 910.528.4090

Commercial Opportunity: Own a part of history in Historical

District of Aberdeen. Circa 1919 this property was part of the Aberdeen Hotel Annex. 2 Prime Retail spaces on 1st floor. 10 Separate rooms on 2nd floor for potential office space. $198,000.

Bill Smith 910.528.4090 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.

eXclusiVe. tiMeless. chic. a unique specialty store Featuring west coast casual liFestyle clothing Village of Pinehurst 910.295.3905 raleigh glenwood Village 919.782.0012 wrightsVille Beach 910.509.0273

Let us wrap up your holida ys with Subtle Lux ury!



Tucked away on quit corner in desirable LongLeaf Country Club, this townhome enjoys wonderful privacy and water views from the secluded back deck. Great features include sound system in great room and deck, custom plantation shutters and walk in attic. Open floor plan, gourmet kitchen and HOA to cover exterior maintenance. 4BR / 3 BA 504 Cottage Lane






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

Amazing transformation in this updated home! The home is located on an oversized serene golf and waterfront lot. The interior lives like a new home but with the character and charm of an older custom home. The cozy den has a wood burning fireplace. The Carolina Room is very large, light and bright. There is a partial basement with access from the garage. Circular driveway provides for guest parking. 3 BR / 2.5 BA 21 Par Drive


Enjoy wide water views from this lovely custom built brick home on Lake Auman. This homes offers a spacious greatroom, great kitchen, sunny breakfast nook, and separate dining room. Lower level has separate living space with a small kitchenette with bedroom and full bath. Golf cart garage with double doors on the lake side for storage of lake items. 4 BR / 3.5 BA 148 Simmons 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 One of the originally, beautifully designed Cotswold units, this lovely home features outstanding quality in workmanship. Spacious living room features center fireplace with built-in bookcases. A gourmet kitchen and butler’s pantry, spacious informal dining and access to the elegant dining room with coffered ceiling. The master suite has a separate sitting room that also has access to the private patio and his and her bathrooms and walk-in closets. Oversized garage features an upstairs workshop and a large storage area. Great property! 3 BR / 3 BA 1 Sodbury Court Pinehurst $75,000 Pinehurst




$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

Wonderul style and design are yours in the sun-filled contemporary home designed by architects Hayes and Howell of Southern Pines. This unique home is a beautiful golf front property in the Country Club of North Carolina and offers great outdoor living with a full sized salt water pool and many decks, terraces, covered porches and balconies. The interior is very open with large living areas open to the exterior views . Huge master suite on the main floor and two guest suites on lower level. Needs some updating so it is priced to sell as is. 3 BR / 3 BA/ 2 ½ BA $239,000 CCNC 75 Lake Dornoch Drive $449,000 Pinehurst

This is a wonderfully unique home located on the 12th green of the West Course at Foxfire Golf Course! Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned apprentice, Eleanor Petterson and built by Cranford Garner, this is truly a one of a kind home with many incredible design features. Floor to ceiling window walls let in plenty of light, but the heavily wooded lot - almost an acre- offers plenty of privacy. Living areas are open with hand-built stone fireplaces. This is a very special home. 5 BR / 3 BA 19 Ridge Road

$329,000 $890,000 Longleaf CC Custom Built Villa Overlooking Water Custom built all brick golf-front home Brick single story w/view of 17th green Covered porch & large fenced lot Updated Immaculate Golf View Condo 3 BR / 2 BA$475,000 & 2 Half Baths PINES 3 BR / 2.5 BA SOUTHERN PINES3 BR / 2.5 BA PINEHURST1 BR / 1 BA $535,000 $359,0004 BR / 4 Full SOUTHERN

$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 3Gorgeous BR / 2 BA 3 BRin/ a2.5 BA BR / 2.5 BA There is a lot to love about this great house BRYear / 4.5 BAgated community of Pinewild. Excellent3curb Award winning Home of3the in the super neighborhood. This charming all home in Weymouth Pines offers quality craftsmanship and wonderful attention appeal 3 car garage and extensive landscaping. This all brick stunner features soaring brick golf front home is bright and open with 10-12 foot ceilings and appealing views of to detail. Hardwood floors throughout the first floor and open floor plan. Chef’s delight ceilings and high end details throughout such as wainscoting, and dramatic crown moldings, wood floors and custom plantation shutters. This home also features a true office and an up-stairs bonus room with full bath. This home has a great flow for entertaining. Extensive updates totaling over $60,000! Must see! 4 BR / 3.5 BA 52 Abbottsford Drive



Longleaf Golf course. The home has been beautifully maintained as well as new updates to the heating and cooling, bath fixtures and large pump and tank used for the irrigation system. Lower level walkout perfect for hobby or workout room! 3 BR / 2.5 BA 122 Steeplechase Way


in the kitchen with custom cabinets and breakfast area. Master suite with large walk in closet. Study with large built in bookcase off the foyer. A spacious rear deck offers space to entertain, relax and enjoy the private yard. 4 BR / 3.5 BA 205 Lazar Lane




$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

There is room for everyone’s busy lifestyle in this attractive brick home offering space This spacious home offers 5 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths and lots of space for everyone! Great This beautiful maintained home, built by Precision Builders, sits majestically on a galore! The open main floor features expansive hardwood floors, lots of windows, two decks room, formal dining, kitchen w/nook, two laundry rooms, huge master bedroom and a meticulously landscaped lot with views of Pinewild CC’s Azalea Course and pond. This and great trees for privacy. features granite, pantry closet screened porch. spacious family room with wet bar and sliding glass doors toSeven a paved Lakes West home features crown molding and hardwood throughout. include large Sevenfloors Lakes South Other features$279,500 $298,000 Pinehurst $895,000 Pinehurst $241,000 Seven Lakes SouthAn upscale kitchen $199,000 and breakfast bar and nook. Oversized downstairs family room to stretch out! Lovely patio. There is an oversized storage area upstairs that could be finished space for a bonus study with fireplace, finished lower level featuring a family room, third bedroom Completely renovated golf front home Gorgeous Old Town Charming golf front w/panoramic terraced backyard! view Great family home w/private back yard room. Full sized pool with ahome fenced in yardthe - the kids will love it! Wonderful 2-story home on cul-de-sac and full bath. Great house and ready to move in!! BR / 3.5 BA 54 BRBR / 3.5 BA BA 3 BR / 3.5 BA 3 BR / 3.5 BA 4 BR / 3BA / 3.5 4 BR / 3 BA 3 BR /230 2.54Sugar BA Pine Drive 5 Filly Court 33 Pinewild Drive

View Floor Plans and Tours of ALL OurMoore Listings and Seeand ALL MooreInformation County at View Floor Plans and Virtual Tours of Virtual Our Listings and See County Listings Community Listings and Community Information at www.MarthaGentry.coM

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

Military?!Check out our Military Advantage Program at

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

Premier Double Golf Front Location Country Club of North Carolina

M A G A Z I N E Jim Dodson, Editor 910.693.2506 • Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director 910.693.2467 • Serena Brown, Senior Editor 910.693.2464 • Lauren Shumaker, Graphic Designer 910.693.2469 • Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer 910.693.2508 • Contributing Editors Deborah Salomon, Staff Writer Mary Novitsky, Sara King Proofreader Contributing Photographers John Gessner, Laura L. Gingerich, Tim Sayer Contributors Tom Allen, Cos Barnes, Harry Blair, Tom Bryant, Susan Campbell, Bill Case, Wiley Cash, Geoff Cutler, Tony Cross, Al Daniels, Annette Daniels, Kimberly Taws Daniels, Mart Dickerson, Clyde Edgerton, Rosetta Fawley, Bill Fields, London Gessner, Robyn James, Brian Lampkin, Jan Leitschuh, Meridith Martens, Lee Pace, Jeanne Paine, Joyce Reehling, Astrid Stellanova, Angie Tally Sam Walker, Janet Wheaton


David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales

Pat Taylor, Advertising Director

Ginny Trigg, PineStraw Sales Coordinator 910.693.2481 •

25 Lake Dornoch Drive • Pinehurst The property is brilliantly located between 2nd & 16th holes of the Cardinal Course with dramatic views of the fairways. The residence was transformed in 2009 adding a combined dining room and kitchen, new roof, tray ceilings in the dining & living rooms, new, expanded terracing around the pool including a cook-out patio. A walk-in master closet and covered back porch were also added. A touch of elegance is evident in every detail of this dream golf property. The spacious living room opens to porch overlooking the pool and golf course. Additional features include a family room with the second fireplace, bar and beautiful oversized bay window overlooking the front terrace, new master bathroom, and master opening to an elevated pool terrace. A wide semi-circular drive sets off the entrance. $997,000

To view more photos, take a virtual tour or schedule a showing, go to:

Maureen Clark

Deborah Fernsell, 910.693.2516 Terry Hartsell, 910.693.2513 Kerry Hooper, 910.693.2489 Perry Loflin, 910.693.2514 Darlene McNeil-Smith, 910.693.2519 Johnsie Tipton, 910.693.2515 Advertising Graphic Design

Kathryn Galloway 910.693.2509 • Kirsten Benson, Mechelle Butler, Scott Yancey Subscriptions & Circulation

Darlene Stark, Circulation Director 910.693.2488

PineStraw Magazine

145 W. Pennsylvania Avenue Southern Pines, NC 28387 • ©Copyright 2015. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. PineStraw magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

when experience matters

Pinehurst • Southern Pines BHHS Pinehurst Realty Group • 910.315.1080


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

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

Stunning Lake Auman Home Your Dream Home is Waiting 122 McCracken Dr. 3 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths Completely Rebuilt in 2012! Reduced $799,000 Call Dawn: 910-783-7993

Walk into the Village of Pinehurst 1 E. McDonald Rd. 4 Beds, 3 Baths New Construction Pinehurst Country Club Membership Attached, Reduced $415,000 Call Pete: 910-695-9412

Lake Auman Water Front Lot Build Your Dream Home 103 Mace Pt, Seven Lakes W Stunning Views - Concrete Bulkhead Cul-de-sac Lot Near the Front Gate Call Cathy: 910-639-0433

It Doesn’t Get Any Better than This! Private 5 Acre Estate in the Center of The Fairwoods on 7 – Call Margaret for a Private Tour and Details of the Special Property with an Attached Pinehurst Country Club Membership – 910-690-4591

New Listing in Pinehurst Manor Pinehurst Manor 20A Nicely Updated 2 Bedroom 2 bath with Pinehurst Country Club Membership Options. Asking $127,900 Call Dawn: 910-783-7993

CCNC Vacation Get Away Home 14 La Gorce Place 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath + a Bonus Room Great Price! $209,000 Call Cathy: 910-639-0433

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

The Preferred real esTaTe ComPany of The PinehursT resorT and CounTry Club. Visit Us in the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst 1.800.772.7588 | |

simple life

Emma’s Bittersweet

By Jim Dodson

Where you come from, someone once said, is half of knowing who you are.

I come from rural Carolinians, farmers and a sprinkling of small town preachers, people of the soil and The Book. One half of my family were Southern Baptists, the other half Methodists. “Everyone starts out a Southern Baptist,” an uncle once pointed out to me, “. . . what those that’s been messed with.” I suppose my older brother and I were messed with. We grew up in a Lutheran church in Greensboro, sons of an itinerate newspaperman who hauled his family on a tour of Dixie before coming home for good to Greensboro. That was December of 1959. One of the first things we did was take a road trip over to Buckhorn Road in Hillsborough to visit my dad’s great elderly maiden aunts, Josie and Ida, spinsters in their upper 80s who still lived in the log house their father built after his return from the Civil War. The house was about a mile from Dodson’s Crossroads. In almost every respect these were ladies from another century. They wore long simple wool dresses and tall laced-up boots and sweaters they had knitted. Their four-room house had only a few bare-bulb ceiling lights because they much preferred to read their Bibles by oil lamps and heat by a woodstove I never saw sitting idle. They weren’t without modern conveniences, however, including an elderly slope-shouldered Frigidaire and a large old-fashioned radio that hummed when you turned it on, always tuned to old-timey gospel music. Water came from a hand pump in the kitchen sink. But each aunt had her own distinctively marked outhouse. Josie’s had a elegantly carved half moon hanging on its door; Ida’s a star. My dad called them the “Moon and Star Girls.” As best I can recall, we took them each a Whitman’s Christmas Sampler and new wool socks that first December visit. They were thrilled to receive these modest gifts. We also took them out to Sunday lunch at the fancy Colonial Inn in Hillsborough. You might have thought we’d taken them to the governor’s mansion. It was that first lunch, or maybe during the many Sunday afternoon visits we had with them over subsequent years, that Josie the Moon Girl — the more talkative one — first told my brother and me that a man named George Washington

Tate, our dad’s great-grandfather, had not only surveyed many of the central counties of the state following the Civil War but also established several Methodist churches from north of Durham to the western hills. Eventually another story came out as well. This one had an aura of mystery around it. During one of his horseback rides to spread the Gospel out west, according to family lore, he brought back an orphaned Indian infant girl he adopted and named Emma Tate. Quite possibly she was either Cherokee or Catawba, though her name was simply entered into the family Bible and county registry as the fifth child of George Washington Tate, the only daughter of one of the county’s most important figures. Her grave’s headstone in the Chestnut Ridge United Methodist Church burying ground near Hillsborough simply notes her birth and death as March 6, 1858 and

June 9, 1928, respectively. Emma grew up to marry Jimmy Dodson of Buckhorn Road, a horse farmer and dandy who played the fiddle at local dances and reportedly did little else if he could get away with it, according to Ida the Star Girl, the no-nonsense sister who always chopped the heads off the chickens and did most of the heavy work around their farm. Aunt Emma, as folks along Buckhorn Road called her, gave Jimmy Dodson four sons and two daughters, the oldest being my grandfather, Walter. He was an unusually quiet fellow and rural polymath who could make anything with his hands, grew up to become a master carpenter and, among other things, worked on crews with his younger brother Jerome raising the first electrical towers around the state, the two of them later helping to wire the Jefferson Standard building in Greensboro, the state’s second “skyscraper.” Over the course of her life, Walter’s mother, Aunt Emma, gained a reputation as a gifted natural healer who gathered her medicines from the fields around the family home place, where my dad spent some of the happiest summers of his life helping Uncle Jimmy with the horses and Aunt Emma in the garden. It took me years to realize why he connected so powerfully with the outdoors and Indian lore. Not long after that first December visit with Josie and Ida, we went in search of the homeplace and found it a mile or more off Buckhorn Road, evidently long abandoned, its front porch sagging, windows broken, surrounded by a grove of

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


simple life

magnificent oak trees that bore garlands of mistletoe. My father used his shotgun to shoot the mistletoe out of the trees, recalling stories of his many summers on that property. We also collected bittersweet for our front door wreath. For several years we returned every December to gather bittersweet and shoot mistletoe. Eventually we learned why the old place was abandoned, our family’s darkest secret. After her children were grown and gone, Aunt Emma committed suicide by hanging herself from a rafter of a room Uncle Jimmy was building on the rear of the house. No one knew why. The room was never finished. Uncle Jimmy lived another fifteen years but rarely in his own house. My dad’s theory about this tragedy was that she simply wearied of trying to live with one foot planted in two worlds, an Indian lady with a white woman’s name and a good time Jimmy for a husband. Dad had no doubt whatsoever about his grandmother’s native origins, for no one probably knew her better. I always wished I could see a photograph of Aunt Emma, but — tellingly — no one in the family seemed to possess one of her, only wonderful memories of her kindness, strength and earthy wisdom deepening the mystery. If she was indeed Native American, perhaps this explains her reluctance to be photographed. Some Indians believed a photographic image robbed their souls of vitality. My dad, in any case, tried to buy the family homeplace for years. But the property had already passed from our clan’s hands to a developer, who eventually built an upscale subdivision on the land. Though he never said as much, I always thought my father’s biggest — maybe only — disappointment in life was failing to get his hands on that old home place. Every December since, whenever I go in search of bittersweet and sprigs of mistletoe for our front door and Christmas tree, I think about Aunt Emma and how, in the nicest sort of way, this remarkable woman is my Ghost of Christmas Past. Not long ago, my wife, Wendy, and I spent an enchanting evening with my dad’s first cousin, Roger Dodson, and his lovely wife, Polly. Roger is the son of my grandfather’s younger brother, Jerome, and, also Emma’s grandson. Like many of the Dodsons, Roger is a man of faith and flying machines. My father and two of his four brothers became Air Force pilots and flew during the war. Roger, a bit younger, trained as an air cadet in Greensboro, built his own airplane and joined the Air Force during the Korean War. He and Polly later became missionaries in New Guinea and raised their four children, two girls and two boys, in some exciting faraway places, flying everywhere to distribute Bibles. “It was a great experience for our family,” Roger explained. “A real adventure for us all.” Though they were fifteen years apart in age, Roger was one of my dad’s favorite cousins, and I shouldn’t have been surprised he knew so many of the same stories I’d heard about Aunt Emma. Jimmy Dodson, in fact, lived with Uncle Jerome’s family for a time before his passing in 1942. “Jimmy was a real character, all right. Unfortunately, I was too young to know Emma,” Roger explained over a delicious homemade supper. “But it’s my strong belief that the love of hard work and interest in helping people many Dodson men have comes directly from Aunt Emma. There was always that mystery about her death, always the quiet talk about an Indian in the family. But those who knew her sure did love her. What a gift.” Cousin Roger smiled, powerfully reminding me of my late father. He added almost casually, “Polly and I have been cleaning out some drawers and going through family scrapbooks and papers. We recently found a photograph of Emma Tate, the only one I know of. Would you like to see it?” After all these years to finally place a human face to a woman who has been such a large and mysterious part of my life was an incalculable gift, the ultimate Christmas gift. There’s very little mystery left. As Roger agreed, something about her eyes tells you the bittersweet stories must all be true. PS Contact editor Jim Dodson at


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

© 2015 Pinehurst, LLC

121 years of planning. Two amazing ways to celebrate.

We’ve been perfecting our New Year’s Eve celebration since 1895. So whether you choose a six-course dinner with Big Band music or a gourmet buffet with the Band of Oz, the best parties of the year begin at Pinehurst. Party in the Pines with the Band of Oz $234*

New Year’s Eve in the Carolina Dining Room $275*

Gourmet dinner buffet in the Grand Ballroom

Six-course dinner

Live music with Band of Oz

Dancing with Leon Jordan’s Continentals

Both packages include: Resort accommodations Champagne toast and midnight breakfast Overflowing breakfast buffet on New Year’s day

Call 855.821.4191 or visit to reserve your spot today.

The Carolina Hotel • Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina • 855.821.4191 • *Rate is per person, per night based on double occupancy. Subject to tax and resort service fee. Some restrictions apply.

PinePitch Parade!

Santa Claus, elves, firetrucks, candy and Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! We have a wealth of parades across the Sandhills this month. Line the streets downtown, cheer and wave.

Lights Up

Santa will be in the village of Pinehurst on December 4 at 5 p.m. Have your photo taken with him — or decorate a cookie with one of his elves. There are hay rides too and, as if that weren’t enough, at 6:30 p.m. it will be time to light the tree. Merry Christmas everyone! Tufts Memorial Park, 110 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. For more information call (910) 2951900 or visit

December 1: Carthage. The parade will follow the 6 p.m. tree lighting ceremony and will proceed along Monroe Street from the Carriage Oaks Shopping Center to the historic courthouse. For information call (910) 947-2331 or visit December 3: Robbins. 5:30 p.m. Downtown Parade and Christmas tree lighting. For more information visit December 5: Southern Pines 11 a.m. Downtown from Vermont to Massachusetts and back along Broad Street. For information visit December 12: Aberdeen. 11 a.m. Through historic downtown. For more information call 910-944-7275 or visit And to celebrate our very own Horse Country traditions, don’t miss the horsedrawn carriage parade through downtown Southern Pines on December 12 at 1 – 1:45 p.m. A must for those that love horses, history and a good old-fashioned hurrah. For more information visit

Line Dancing

Tune up for Chatham County Line, who are bringing their superb bluegrass to the Sunrise Theater on December 18 at 7:30 p.m. The band started out as the opener for Tift Merritt’s The Carbines, and it’s been uphill ever since. They’ve played all over the States and throughout Europe. “You won’t hear a more moving song all year,” wrote Allison Stewart in The Washington Post of “Birmingham Jail.” They’ll come to us as part of their Christmas special series, after their most recent European tour, so they’ll be ready for some down-home partying. The Sunrise Theater, 250 N.W. Broad Street, Southern Pines. Tickets $25/general admission, $40/VIP. For more information call (910) 6923611 or visit


Come on In, We’re Open!

More for history lovers, and anyone who enjoys interiors and design: Three historic houses will be open for Christmas. All the open houses are free (but donations in the spirit of Christmas cheer are appreciated). December 6: The Bryant House, the oldest house in Moore County on its original site, and McLendon Cabin will be having their Christmas open house from 1 – 4 p.m. Good cheer, historic interpretations, live music and tours of the houses, as well as delicious homemade refreshments. Bryant House & McLendon Cabin, 3361 Mount Carmel Road, Carthage. For more information call (910) 692-2051 or visit December 11–13: Between 1 and 4 p.m. stop by the Shaw House, built and inhabited by some of Southern Pines’ earliest European settlers. Tour all three house museums and enjoy old-time decorations, homemade cookies and warm apple cider. Shaw House, 110 Morganton Road (at SW Broad Street) Southern Pines. For more information call (910) 692-2051 or visit December 12: Ride out to the House in the Horseshoe for an eighteenth century Christmas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Decorations, musket firing, re-enactments and, when the excitement all gets too much, dulcimer music and refreshments in the Great Chamber. The House in the Horseshoe, 288 Alston House Road, Sanford. For more information call (910) 947-2051 or visit

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

All Aboard the Arc

Sing for Santa! It’s time for the Arc of Moore County’s Christmas Movie and Snow Spectacular. On Saturday, December 19 beginning 11 a.m. at the Sunrise Theater there will be a carol sing-a-long, a visit from Santa, a screening of Elf and refreshments too. After the movie there’ll be a winter festival on the green white space, which will be covered with snow for sledding! There will be a bouncy house, face painting, live entertainment and food trucks available to make it a fun day for the whole family. The Sunrise Theater, 250 N.W. Broad Street, Southern Pines. Tickets $10, all proceeds benefitting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For tickets and more information visit or The Arc of Moore County, 673 S. Bennett Street, Southern Pines. Tickets will be available at the event but seating at the Sunrise Theater is limited, so it is recommended to book in advance.

Happy New Year!

Have you made your New Year’s plans yet? Don’t forget to include First Eve. The fun starts at 6 p.m. There’ll be face painting, live music and carnival games. Look out for falling pine cones too — there’ll be one dropping at 8 p.m. Join in the countdown. Downtown Southern Pines. Free and open to all. For more information call (910) 692-2463 or visit

Carols and Candelabra

Are you seeking inspiration for your holiday decorations? Look no further than the Weymouth Center, December 3 – 6. The house will be decked out in all its finery by no less than twenty-four decorators and designers. There’ll be refreshments too. Wander round, take notes and imagine all the literary greats who admired the holly and ivy before you. Can’t wait? On December 2 it’s the Christmas Gala and preview party. If you’re caroling with joy, go along to Carols at Weymouth on December 3 at 5:30 p.m. To see it all by evening light there’s the Candlelight Tour on December 5 from 7 – 9 p.m. Weymouth Center, 555 E. Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines. Daily tours 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information and ticket prices where applicable call (910) 6926261 or visit

Hoofing It

Unpack your antlers — on December 5 it’s time for the Reindeer Fun Run. Open to all, including pets, there’s the 5K Reindeer Fun Run/Walk, 12K Christmas Run and Kids Egg Nog Jog. Sprint, shuffle or stroll, it’s up to you. No matter how you take part, proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills. Courses take in beautiful downtown Aberdeen, the historic Bethesda district and Malcolm Blue Farm. Downtown Aberdeen. Race start times vary. For more information call (910) 693-3045 or visit

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


Homes NOW Available! Newest Neighborhood in Pinehurst! Several Floor Plans ranging from 2,000+sq.ft. to 2,200+sq.ft. Town Homes Starting in the $260,000’s & Homes Starting in the $300,000’s Located in Pinehurst on the Greenway Trail System

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Instagram Winners

Congratulations to our December Instagram winners!


Throw back Christmas #pinestrawcontest

Next month’s theme:

“Comfort Food” Submit your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #pinestrawcontest (submissions needed by Wednesday, December 16th)

I’ll be in My New Home for Christmas

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

Cos and Effect

All in a Name Remembering Harry and Henry and a fellow named John

By Cos Barnes

My mother-in-law always claimed

she did not know she was carrying twins, nor did the doctor, she said. Remember, this was 1930. She had already birthed three girls, so imagine their surprise and delight when a baby boy appeared. As was customary in that day, he was immediately named Henry Russ Barnes, Jr. after his daddy.

Then, she said, the doctor exclaimed, “Wait a minute. We’ve got another one . . . another boy.” What to name him? Back in those days parents frequently gave twins names that rhymed, like Jerry and Terry, Ronald and Donald, Bonnie and Ronnie, or sounded good together, like Peggy and Paul. So the new parents went to the grandfathers’ names, Henry Harrison and John Andrew, cutting Harrison to Harry, so the twins became Harry and Henry. That is the way they were always spoken of, although Harry was the younger. I think of this each Christmas when I read again the story of the birth of John the Baptist. Mary had learned she would be the mother of Jesus, and she visited her cousin, Elizabeth, whose husband, Zechariah, had been mute during her pregnancy. Their relatives and neighbors came on the eighth day to circumcise the boy and name him after his father, but Elizabeth spoke up and said, “No, he is to be called John.” They argued with her, saying, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” They made signs to the mute father, and he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” Merry Christmas to all. PS Cos Barnes is a longtime contributor to PineStraw magazine. She can be contacted at PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Something for everyone on your gift list... and your book list. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 AT 5:30 PM B.A. SHAPIRO: THE MURALIST Meet the Author: New York Times best-selling author of The Art Forger, B.A. Shapiro, discusses her new book The Muralist, A novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II. Event is free and open to the public.

The Country Bookshop

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

The Omnivorous Reader

Small Lives Matter Revisiting The God of Small Things

By Brian L ampkin

Here at the Omnivorous

Reader, I typically review newly published books, or perhaps newly reissued books like the tenthanniversary edition of John Green’s Looking for Alaska. A responsibility of the book review section in any publication is to expose readers to new writers or at least new books by old writers.

So forgive me if once a year I reach back into the past to highlight a forgotten gem, a neglected masterpiece, or, more likely, a book I love out of all proportion to its fame. Occasionally a book will fade from the public consciousness even if it was once a highly regarded bestseller. Such is the case of Arundhati Roy’s 1997 novel The God of Small Things (Random House, $16). The God of Small Things is the only novel Arundhati Roy has ever published, but what a splash it made. It won the Booker Prize in 1997 and was on many lists of the year’s best novels. But without a follow-up novel, Roy’s fiction has faded from view, partially because it has been supplanted by the extraordinary political work she has done over the last twenty years. There’s something in the American mind that neatly separates political writers from literary writers, as if the two could not coexist in the same person. More insidious is the insistence that “literature” should not be tainted by politics and that a work is necessarily weakened by a strong political structure. There are novels that are clearly consumed by the author’s adamant

stance. But for every novel masticated by an Ayn Rand diatribe or gnawed to tears by the overly simple moralizing of John Grisham, there are hundreds of books that matter because they have made an effective and convincing political response to the horrors of the world: 1984, Native Son, The Grapes of Wrath, etc., etc. etc. One of the things I most love about The God of Small Things is the way Roy weaves world-changing events into the very small lives of the 7-year-old twins Estha and Rahel who live in the small Indian town of Ayemenem. The manipulations of the powerful have disastrous effects on those trying to simply survive as best they can in a country seemingly determined to destroy their lives. The overarching systems that control behavior and economic possibility in India reach into the rural towns and humble homes of the characters in Small Things. Roy’s skill in revealing the role of the caste system — and the role of all the other smaller gradations of class and gender control — in the disturbing events that lead to Estha’s lifetime of silence and Rahel’s irrepressible sadness is remarkable. The novel is semi-autobiographical and it’s easy to imagine where Roy gathers her fuel to wage her righteous fight for India’s environment, the independence of Kashmir and the women’s movement. But it is the gross economic inequality that Roy witnesses that most drives her anger. In an article she wrote for The Guardian during the height of the Occupy movement in 2011, Roy makes clear the connection between American and Indian economic disparity: “The Indian government worships U.S. economic policy. As a result of twenty years of the free market economy, today, one hundred of India’s richest people own assets worth one-fourth of the country’s GDP while

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


The Omnivorous Reader

more than 80 percent of the people live on less than 50 cents a day; 250,000 farmers, driven into a spiral of death, have committed suicide. We call this progress, and now think of ourselves as a superpower. Like you, we are well-qualified: We have nuclear bombs and obscene inequality.” But I think there might be another reason I’m focusing so much on Roy’s critique of the larger impinging social forces that give so much power to her novel. I first read The God of Small Things nearly twenty years ago, and in my memory it remains one of the great books of my young adulthood. My recent rereading of the novel found me less moved, less emotionally engaged, less thrilled. You can’t always read the same novel twice. Twenty years ago I was still actively involved in the lives of two young boys from Fiji — one of them named Esa and the other Yahya (who had a stubborn insistence on silence as well) — whose difficult lives were made more difficult by social forces and mental illness. I know that I identified with the book for very personal reasons, and the suffering of the twins Estha and Rahel was visceral. Today, I’m not nearly so emotionally raw about Esa and Yahya’s lives and apparently by extension, not so moved by Estha and Rahel’s fictional lives. I am not the same reader I was twenty years ago, for better or worse. It would be a sad state of affairs if every book’s value were dependent upon the novel’s connection to personal events in a reader’s life. Surely we can read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See meaningfully without having lived through the Holocaust. But sometimes novels reach into our personal lives and resonate deeply with experiences we share with the various characters we encounter. The God of Small Things caught me at just the right time, and I’ll always have that initial reading experience, which is not diminished by my latest experience with reading the novel. Don’t get me wrong: It’s still an amazing book. I can think of no other book that so effectively brings actual scents to life. I can smell the mangoes and pickles, and feel the humid heat of the subtropics described on the pages. And the helplessness the reader feels in the face of stupid, brutal authority enacted upon children and lower caste individuals can be overwhelming. The twins’ aunt, Baby Kochamma, is as complicated and compelling a villain as you’re likely to encounter. By all means read The God of Small Things. It may very well be the book you need right now in your life. Or it might be the book you needed twenty years ago. PS Brian Lampkin is one of the owners of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro.


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

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B oo k s h e l f

December Books By Kimberly Daniels Taws

Garrison Keillor once said,

“A book is a present you can open again and again.” He is right. What I love about books is their lifespan — opened on Christmas morning, read over a long weekend in February, loved, passed to a friend for spring vacation with her family, given to a sister-in-law to enjoy. Or kept on your own shelf, full of memories and moments to be treasured by you alone.

Some of the popular books this year: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee, The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, and The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. They are perhaps more a collective reading list for the interested reader than they are a holiday gift. Book giving is the best kind of giving. Here are a few books you might like to read and pass along to others, or keep them for yourself. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf, is a very quiet book. It is about a widow and widower who have known each other for many decades. They are lonely and begin a friendship that takes on a whole new meaning when their grown children find out, disapprove and try to insert themselves. The Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation, by Dean Jobb, is the true story of Chicago lawyer Leo Koretz. During the Roaring Twenties he deceived people into investing in a non-existent Panamanian oil field. It is an interesting read: gullibility, greed and human nature at its clearest. Paper Love: Searching for the Girl my Grandfather Left Behind, by Sarah Wildman, is the true story of a young journalist who finds a bundle of love letters in her grandfather’s things upon his death. Without remorse or reservation her grandmother reveals those letters are from the love of his life. Wildman goes on a quest to find her. An eloquently drawn picture of what happens when war tears people apart. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, is a novel about a curmudgeon who is ready to remove himself from this world until the neighbor rings the doorbell. All of a sudden he has a purpose. Mr. Mac and Me, by Esther Freud, is the story of a young boy living on the coast of England at the beginning of World War I. The novel traces the

summer he learned to read and love books and his unlikely friendship with the visiting Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A Paris Apartment, by Michelle Gable, is a beautiful piece of fiction. Based on a real apartment, the story follows an auction house employee charged with cataloguing the exceptional furniture that last had fresh air seventy years before, when the apartment was shut against the Nazi invasion. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes, is a home run gift. It is a novel about a girl in the late 1800s who survives the Chinese purge from Northwest America. She leaves behind a clue that is found by a present-day woman from Seattle. The interweaving of the stories of these two women reveals an elegantly described piece of our history. The Gates of Evangeline, by Hester Young, is about a woman who loses her young son and starts having visions of other children who are dead. She is assigned a job to do a story on a 30-year-old cold case of a missing child in Louisiana and uses her new-found gifts to help crack the case. Birding for the Curious, by Nate Swick, is a beautiful book filled with watercolors and artistically presented information that makes birding accessible and enticing. The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild, is a novel about a young chef in London who unknowingly buys a masterpiece for her lover in a junk shop. The story follows the painting’s creation, capturing a torrent of unrequited love. The story follows its several-centuries journey through royal homes, bedchambers and war. The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, is a fun book for women of all ages. An editor at a top fashion magazine returns to work after battling breast cancer and finds her former assistant back from business school and trying to turn her beloved magazine into an app. Funny and easy, this is a great romp through the modern New York fashion publishing world. Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship and Sacrifice, by Adam Makos, is the true story of two pilots — one white and one black — who fight alongside each other in World War II and in the Korean War and their friendship that stands the tests of battle, time and race. B.A. Shapiro, author of The Art Forger, returns with The Muralist, about a modern-day woman on a search to find out what happened to her aunt, an artist who disappeared when she was working for the WPA painting murals during World War II. Prêt-À-Party, by Lela Rose, is the most fabulous cocktail party coffee table book. It is written by the famed fashion designer, who applies her creativity to everything from rooftop fundraisers to young girls’ birthday parties, cocktail parties and bicycle picnics in the park.

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


B oo k s h e l f

Mrs. Engels, by Gavin McCrea, is a novel about Lizzie Burns, who marries Frederick Engels and moves to London with him and struggles to integrate into the privileged world of their new life. The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, is a book by Tim Tzouliadis. First published in 2009, it deserves a second look now. It is the forgotten history of Americans lured to Soviet Russia by the promise of jobs and better lives, only to meet tragic ends. Three Many Cooks: One Mom, Two Daughters and their Shared Stories of Food, Faith and Family, by Pam Anderson, Maggy Keet and Sharon Damelio, is a fun read, showcasing three women’s different influences and approaches to cooking and life. No God But Gain: The Untold Story of Cuban Slavery, the Monroe Doctrine and the Making of the United States, by Stephen Chambers, gives us an interesting look at the Monroe Doctrine as the protection of the slave trade. The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944, by Ian W. Toll, is the second volume of the Pacific war trilogy. Toll continues with his talent of using history to appeal to both the head and the heart. It is an excellent collection of military history that can be read as a stand-alone. Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, by Pulitzer Prize-winner T. J. Stiles, is a magnificent biography that is vividly written and stunning in its scope. The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change and Basketball’s Lost Triumph, by Scott Ellsworth. In 1944, Durham, NC, was home to two of the best college basketball teams in the country: the all-white Duke University Medical School team and the North Carolina College for Negroes. In the shadow of World War II, the first black vs. white college basketball game was played — in secret. A wonderful piece of North Carolina and basketball history told in the most compelling way. CHILDREN’S BOOKS By Angie Tally The Knights Before Christmas, by Joan Holub, illustrated by Scott Magoon. Young readers will laugh out loud as the valiant knights work to protect their castle from a dangerous invader on Christmas Eve. Told in verse to the rhythm of the classic Clement Moore poem, this story is sure to become a new holiday favorite. Ages 3–8.


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

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VISIT OUR NEW RETAIL LOCATION! 175 W. Pennsylvania Ave. Southern Pines, NC 28387 910-246-3438


CLEAN BOTTLE Open both ends for easy cleaning

The Complete Brick Bible For Kids, by Brendan Powell Smith. The wildly popular Brick Bible series brings stories to life with illustrations created completely from Legos. There’s Noah and his ark, David and Goliath, Daniel’s survival in a den of ferocious lions, Josephs and his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream, Jonahs in the belly of a whale, and Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The perfect Christmas gift for any Lego enthusiast. Ages 3–12. Merry Christmas Squirrels, by Nancy Rose. Mr. Peanuts the squirrel loves Christmas, but holidays are even more fun when he has someone to share them with. When Cousin Squirrel invites him to spend the holidays together, Mr. Peanuts is in for a whirlwind of winter fun. Ages 2–adult. Who is Coming to Our House?, by Joseph Slate. Long the Country Bookshop’s favorite Nativity story, this simple board book chronicles the activities of farm animals as they await the arrival of a special couple and an amazing baby. The perfect first Christmas book to share with toddlers and young readers. Ages birth–3. Winter’s Gift, by Jane Monroe Donovan. Two unlikely hearts — one human and one horse — meet on a snowy Christmas Eve. They are both in need of companionship, of comfort, of warmth, and hope. They find those qualities in the most unlikely of places. Quiet and beautiful, this exquisite, lovely picture book is a Christmas treasure. All ages. Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein, by Amanda Peet. The fact that Rachel Rosenstein’s family is Jewish is not going to stop her from celebrating Christmas. She writes a letter to Santa, pays him a visit and covertly puts out latkes for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. In the midst of holiday confusion, Rachel finds a deeper understanding of her own identity and of the gift of friends and family. Ages 5–8. PS

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

VINTAGE CLASSIC IN THE VILLAGE 35 Shaw Rd SW, Pinehurst $750,000 MLS#170362 Meticulously restored 1922 cottage on beautiful 1 acre lot, just a few blocks from Pinehurst Resort. Over 3500sf main level living with 4bd/4ba, full basement w/ double garage, private inground pool and much more. Detailed list of features available upon request.

Stocking Stuffer

Tree Lighting Friday, Dec. 4th 5:00pm - 7:30pm Entertainment, photos with santa, hay rides and Caroling

Pine Cone Decorating

Dec. 5th-19th Bring in your best decorated – Holiday Themed - pine cone for a chance to win a prize! All pine cones will be on display in the Theater Building starting Dec. 5th – Dec. 20th Drop off your entry by Dec. 12th! Votes counted and prizes awarded Dec. 20th

Saturday, Dec. 5th Children’s 10:00am - 5:00pm Lantern Parade Purchase a stocking and select merchants Saturday, Dec. 5th will fill it with gifts and goodies while 5:30pm - 6:30pm you shop! Christmas fun for adults! Parade through the streets to Stockings are $15 caroling & lantern light. Everyone welcome! Bring your lantern or purchase one at

Holly-Days on the Square


Dec. 12 10am-6pm Come celebrate the Christmas Season and enjoy visiting with Santa, singers, dancers music, refreshments and much more as we open up Market Street to pedestrians only for a holiday experience like no other! Shop the Village of Pinehurst – Shopping the Way Shopping Should be!

Come visit with Santa Dec. 12th 1-5pm on Market Square and Dec. 19th from 2:30-4:30pm in the Theater Building!


Kim Stout 910-528-2008

Rudoloph Scavenger Hunt

Dec. 11th – 19th Pick up your entry form in the Theater Building or at participating merchants and look for Rudolph hiding somewhere in their establishment. Once you’ve found Rudolph in all the participating merchants you can enter to win some fabulous prizes!

For More Information

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‘Tufts Point’ 1.5 Acres on Lake Pinehurst-panoramic lake views with over 550 ft of lake frontage. 1st house constructed on the lake by the Tufts Family, founding family of Pinehurst. Tastefully restored to a Tuscan Villa with breathtaking views from the 1300+ SF of outdoor terraces, patios & portico. 3-4BR/3BA, lower level guest suite with kitchenette. Terra Cotta tile roof, real stucco/solid masonry exterior, propane backup generator, pier, new boat dock, extensive outdoor lighting, steam shower, sec. system, phantom screens, updated kitchen and baths. MLS#170450 See a virtual tour at

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


P r op e r E n gl i s h

Believing Christmas Like old Ebenezer Scrooge, may we awaken the true spirit of giving

By Serena Brown

Apparently there’s a

point at which one stops believing in Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Père Noël, St. Nicholas, call him what you will. It seems I reached that pivotal moment, jumped and carried on.

I would often sleep on a camp bed in my brother’s room on Christmas Eve, the better to catch Father Christmas, as we call him in England, in the act of bringing in our stockings. Back in the old country Father Christmas doesn’t just have to park nine reindeer and a sleigh on the roof and negotiate a chimney before hanging up the stockings. We like to give him a bit of a challenge. We like the stockings to be on the end of our beds on Christmas morning. In order to make the extra work worth his while we leave him refreshment in the form of a snifter of brandy and a mince pie, and some carrots for the reindeer. It’s hard to describe the enchanting feeling of the weight of a Christmas stocking lying across your feet as you wake up. What could be in the stocking? And then pulling out the presents one by one, working only by feel to guess what they are as they emerge from a long tunnel of scratchy wool. Nowadays there are treats like hand cream and bubble bath, practical things like socks and toothpaste; as a child it was toy ponies and hoofpicks. One year there was a little harmonica. Father Christmas didn’t repeat that mistake. He also didn’t repeat the mistake of getting caught. That happened the year my siblings laid out elaborate traps for him. They have since reported that they heard the mysterious sounds of not one but two people falling over their carefully laid tripwire, laughing uproariously, frantic shushing and more giggling, somewhat suppressed. The smell of brandy wafted into their hiding place, so they were pleased Father Christmas had found that. Perhaps there was so much noise because he brought Mother Christmas with him on the tour that year. One Christmas morning we opened our stockings all together as usual, and my brother asked my mother where she had bought one of his stocking fillers. “I think I found it at Hooper’s,” she replied, naming a local department store. Realising what had been said, everyone stared at 7-ish-year-old me. And the penny dropped.

But that penny must have bounced, because every year on Christmas Eve I’ll look out of the window in the hope that I might just catch a glimpse of a sleigh among the frosty stars, or hear the muffled thud of cloven hooves landing on the roof. It’s a way to recapture the wonder of childhood. Often it’ll be well into Christmas morning before all our family goes to bed, and yet the magic still transpires. Even if it’s only a few hours later, there’ll be that weight across the end of the bed. Truly, that’s the beginning of Christmas. Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves that the festival begins on the 25th of December, and lasts for twelve days afterward. I don’t want to sound too much like Scrooge. No, on second thoughts, I don’t mind if I do. Like most villains he has the best lines. The word “humbug” is glorious. And it was always said of him, [following his awakening], that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! The thing is, I have an inkling that we might be getting it all wrong. Thanks to a multi-sensual assault by our larger stores, it sometimes feels as though Christmas begins in August and ends on December 26th. What’s happened? What are we lacking that we spend almost half the year in anticipation of a turkey dinner and an exchange of presents? Then, exhausted, we put everything away just as the fun should begin. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that whenever I drive along the highway I see a heart-wrenching billboard that tells me that there are children in North Carolina who don’t have enough to eat. So I ask that this year we revive the old English custom of Boxing Day, the day after Christmas Day that the leftovers are boxed up and given to the needy. I’m willing to bet there’s an awful lot of unused food that goes to waste over those twelve days. Not to mention superfluous gifts. Let’s make an effort to be more like an awakened Scrooge and distribute some largesse in whatever way we can. It would be truly magical to be able to look out the window on Christmas Eve and know that every one of those hungry children could expect to hear reindeer hooves and to eat a hearty meal. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! PS Serena Brown is wondering whether Father Christmas prefers calvados or armagnac.

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


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30 Chinquapin Road, Village of Pinehurst

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T h e k i tc h e n ga r d e n

Deer Me

Can a determined gardener foil a doe gourmandise?

By Jan Leitschuh

It’s tempting to say “the buck stops here,” but, in reality, it was a pretty little doe who drove me to despair this past summer. In the spirit of Christmas, let’s call her “Vixen.”

After years of co-existing peacefully with the abundant deer in our Weymouth Woods neighborhood — yes, a nibble here and there, but no outright carnage — a doe decided to make our quiet backyard veggie garden her own this summer. Even the officious and highly indignant presence of the dog in the backyard nearby failed to shift Vixen’s habits. Maybe it was the enclosed safety of the simple three-rail fence she hopped over with such ease. Maybe it was the certainty that the dog was a paper tiger, confined to the fenced backyard which is separate to the garden. Maybe it was the especially tasty organic goods therein, lovingly grown in the richest soil in the neighborhood. It drove me crazy to see her out there. You’d think she’d be put off her feed by my furious, charging, yelling, hand-waving forays to drive her off — the dog and I sharing certain sentiments in this regard — but she’d just chew a prize heirloom tomato until the last prudent moment, then hop nimbly back over the fence, her gravid belly neither impeding her grace nor even skimming close to the top rail. We’d several times extended the four-foot high three-rail fence with tall

extenders and electric cord. It took a bit of work, and didn’t look bad at all. But the deer jumped through that too, tearing it down. My husband said bad words. After several attempts at restoration, it stayed down. Even after birthing another little pansy-muncher in her own image, Vixen continued to hang out close to the house. And she laid waste to all before her. The strawberry plants were uprooted. Tomatoes were nibbled to nubs. Peppers cut down before their prime. Cukes and squash destroyed. Snap beans inhaled. Even the daylilies propagating nicely in the rich garden loam were shorn at ground level. About the only thing they didn’t touch were the iris (also propagating), basil, sage and rosemary. In the flower garden, I’d already resigned myself to losing the pansies, lilies and hosta, also known as “deer candy.” What’s a kitchen gardener to do? I’m a peaceable person. I like animals, I really do. I don’t want to make war with them. I share. But this was beyond the pale — and sometimes, even within it. I sought and received all sorts of advice. Hang soap (it has to be “Dial” soap, said one; has to be “LifeBuoy,” said another) in the garden. String up 30-pound test microfilament (still might give this a try). Sprinkle human hair about the garden (ummm, no. Just . . . no.). More: Hang used CDs to glitter and turn in the wind (tried it, didn’t work). Run a thin electric wire, and hang it with peanut-buttered tin foil strips (ditto). Plant aromatic herbs and plants such as lavender, marigolds, basil and rosemary (ditto).

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



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T h e k i tc h e n ga r d e n

Several YouTube videos encouraged the gardener to get your man to pee around the perimeter nightly. I thought this atavistic technique had great promise, but inexplicably, it met with home-front resistance. “I’m not going to walk out there when I have to pee,” was the reply to that query. For the first time in my life, I began thinking I might have to scale back my kitchen garden. Unfortunately, “scaling back” has not been a prominent life theme. I have forsworn the garden when I didn’t have one. I’ve grown items in containers — ginger, spring greens and potatoes being three of the slam-dunk successes — but I’m not keen on summer container gardening for a number of reasons: the hot sun baking plant roots, root-bound pots drying out quickly, the need for chemical fertilizers, the need for close attention, and more. And, it’s not really digging in the dirt now, is it? So I needed a solution. My trusty local garden center recommended spray repellents — smelly, expensive concoctions. “Everyone in Pinehurst uses them on their pansies,” I was told. This was actually the first suggestion that did slow down the progression of destruction. But there were drawbacks — one had to spray frequently, and also every rain diluted or washed away the scent. Still, I did this faithfully — until I ran out. I meant to get more, I really did. But life has its own imperatives, and before I could get back to the center, Vixen had flattened my summer garden and ripped out the strawberry plants. I was heartbroken. And more than a bit flattened myself. At this point I gave up on my summer garden. It was a very dry summer anyway. Better to spend the time researching do-it-yourself deer repellents. I raise a fair load of habanero peppers, and they can take your head off. They are HOT! Why not make something out of those? The result would be edible, might even add a nice flavor to the subsequent vegetables. But simply mixing it up in the blender volatilized the potent, fiery capsaicins, and practically caused a gasping asthma attack in one who normally does not have asthma. Next. . . The most promising deer repellent recipe I’ve

recently stumbled upon is a recent and untested find. It’s from the famous Kew Gardens in England. Kew Gardens holds some authority in the horticultural world, housing botanical research and one of the world’s largest collections of plants. Can’t have any pansy munchers there now, can we? The recipe is simple. In a plastic bucket with a spout, combine one egg yolk (no whites), a tablespoon of baking soda and a liter of water. Blend with an immersible blender. Strain and pour into a sprayer. Make this twice a month, spraying more often if the rains dilute the scent. They say it doesn’t affect texture or smell. I think: “It’s probably fine for pansies, daylilies, hosta. But on my salad?” Still, I’ll probably try it, and hope. The other solution is an eight-foot-high fence enclosing the garden. Some say a high fence will ruin the landscape, but I have a friend who did this, and her garden space is very, very attractive. No, my argument against a high fence is one of economics. It’s hard for me to justify spending thousands on a fence for my vegetables, beloved though they are. But Vixen and her reindeer games are getting to me. For the first time in years, I failed to plant October strawberries. I did manage some late veggies, unorthodox though my methods are. Currently, I’m growing fall and winter greens either in little tents of fence wire, or under unlovely sections of fence laid over buckets. It’s not pretty, it’s not large-scale, but it will do to keep us in fresh nibbles while I ponder the next move. Really good, fresh fruits and vegetables grown in a dark, spongy, life-rich soil are one of life’s deepest pleasures. The most pleasurable way for me to get them is homegrown. Perhaps you already have a kitchen garden solution. If so, I’d sure like to hear it — not something you read about or heard from a friend of a friend, mind you, but something you actually have deployed with stunning success. The fight is not over yet. I will report back from the front. PS

Currently, I’m growing fall and winter greens either in little tents of fence wire, or under unlovely sections of fence laid over buckets.

Jan Leitschuh is a local gardener, avid eater of fresh produce and cofounder of the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative.

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


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


Light her Fire this Year HOLIDAY SALE

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Vine Wisdom

Gifts for the Grape Geek Great seasonal wines and gadgets that are sure to please

By Robyn James

The wine industry is

going through a huge growth spurt, with more and more millennials making wine their drink of choice upon turning 21 years of age. Previously the industry’s target demographic was 44-66 years of age, but now, with 25 percent of all wine consumed by this new generation, the times are changing.

Whether young or old, here are some timeless gifts that will delight the oenophile on your Christmas list. The last one is perfect for the wine/techie fan!

Martinez 20 Year Old Tawny Port, approx. $30

Everybody loves an older tawny during the winter months, a delicious treat by the fire. “This has always been an excellent 20-year-old. Pretty aromas of light caramel, custard and flan. Medium-bodied, with toffee and boiled sweets character. Very long and refined. A totally delicious Port. Drink now.” Rated 92 points, The Wine Spectator

Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne, approx. $77

Made from predominantly pinot noir grapes, this is the most recognizable Champagne house, and the quality is sure to be appreciated. “The color of ballet shoes, this offers a floral nose partnered with a rich palate of flavor, subtly woven with brioche, toasted nut, black raspberry, apricot and graphite notes. This vibrant wine maintains a sense of elegance throughout.” Rated 91 points, The Wine Spectator


How about giving a friend a wine trip through France? Seek inspiration in this selection of three wines from the regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire Valley.

Christian Moreau Chablis, Burgundy, approx. $29 (chardonnay)

“The 2014 Chablis Villages has a crisp, chalky bouquet which feels a little more astute than the previous vintage. The palate is well balanced with quite piercing acidity, racy and linear with a slightly austere, slightly spiced, classic Chablis finish. It would serve as a perfect, affordable introduction to the delights of the region.” Rated 89 points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

Château Graves De Rabion Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, approx. $17

This is a well-balanced classic St. Emilion with a fine nose of black cherry fruit with black olive flavors and well integrated tannins. This is a quite concentrated, ripe raspberry scented red with dried flowers and herbal

notes. Rich, fleshy and round.

Petit Bourgeois Rosé of Pinot Noir, Loire Valley 2013

This rosé is from made from pinot noir grapes grown on chalky-clay soils of the Loire Valley. The wine has lovely light red cherries and roses on the nose, followed by red berries and dill on the palate. It’s dry with nice acidity.


For those with overflowing cellars, here are some essential accessories:

“The Grinch Stole My Wine” acrylic glass, approx. $5

These glasses are a must for the Christmas holiday. Stemless, unbreakable acrylic.

Marble Wine Chiller, approx. $19

Available in green or black marble, this is an elegant, functional addition to any holiday table.

Riedel Swirl Decanter, approx. $26

“For the more relaxed wine drinker, looking for a simpler design, the Swirl decanter is the perfect addition to their wine accessory collection. This decanter’s shape also makes it ideal for decanting white wines or champagnes as the vessel fits into a standard wine cooler or refrigerator allowing for the wine to remain chilled at the perfect temperature. Fine Crystal, Machine-made.”

Decanting Pourer, approx. $15

Menu’s patented decanting pourer filters, splits and oxygenates the wine as you pour. Goodbye to decanters and too many bottles opened before dinner. Drip-free and easy to use, features matte black rubber and brushed stainless steel.


Drum roll, please. Here is the newest, coolest wine gadget to hit the market since the corkscrew:

Coravin Wine Dispenser, approx. $300

Coravin claims it “is changing the way the world drinks wine.” I agree. The company was founded by Greg Lambert, an MIT graduate who had a passion for wine and was a medical device inventor. Lambert created a device that uses a very thin needle to go through the cork of a bottle of wine and extract however much of the wine you may want without removing the cork. It has a small argon gas cartridge that spits the gas into the bottle so no oxygenation takes place. What’s so cool about this device is that if you are a collector, you can taste all of your bottles anytime you want to without committing to opening and consuming the whole bottle. You can check the progress of the aging of the wine throughout the years. It also can be used by restaurants to offer wines by the glass in a whole new upper tier price range without the worry of spoilage if not enough customers order a glass. PS Robyn James is proprietor of The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room in Southern Pines. Contact her at

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


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In The Spirit

Punch-Perfect Or, how to make your holiday party go with a swing

By Tony Cross

photograph by Sarah Orensteen

I always feel like there’s a certain stigma around me when I return home for the holidays. Most of your beautiful families will come together and stay merry as the cocktails and wine flow through the cold winter night. And I’m jealous. You see, I have a deep appreciation of the festive cocktail, but my family does not. Growing up, alcohol was never in the house, and the holidays were no different. When returning home, I know that if I’m drinking, it’s BYOB.

As a child, spending the holidays with family meant sugar. Copious amounts of sugar. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My mom is a superb cook, and she loved showing off when loved ones came to town. But delicious as they are, I can live without the sugar cookies if it means I can mix up an oldfashioned. I’m very close with my parents and we always have a great time, but I like to unwind with a soothing spirit during the evening. I’ve never succeeded in turning my folks on to an alcoholic beverage that we can all agree on. I tried in my early 20s but to no avail. At that time I was drinking Jager-bombs, so it’s not really surprising. This year, however, I’m going with a new approach: punch. I’m not talking about the syrupy thirty-ingredient concoction with bad fruit that gets scooped out of a Coleman ice cooler with plastic cups. I mean the real thing, a delicious

amalgamation of spirit, sugar, citrus, water and spice. Before the cocktail was created, punch was the first globally popular mixeddistilled spirits drink. No one knows for sure who created it, but we can thank the British sailors who manned vessels for the East India Company for spreading the news westward. Punch is a must during any season, but with the barrage of holiday parties, you can really shine as a host with this beautiful balance of sweet and sour. It’s a boon for bartenders too — it makes a great low-maintenance drink special when there’s an onslaught of festive drink tickets flying our way. If you choose it for your own party, the added bonus is that you don’t have to play bartender. With some advance preparation, your guests can simply help themselves from the party bowl. Given that people will help themselves — a lot — it’s worth noting that a good punch will go fast, especially when the party’s rolling. Make sure to have transportation or lodging accommodations ready to go. Novice imbibers take warning: Even if you don’t like to drink, you’ll probably be changing your tune after a taste of this. Trust me; I’ve converted the most modest non-spirit drinkers. So be warned. You might wake up the next day not knowing how you got there. Here, I’ll offer a punch that I created during my days at 195 Restaurant called Saturday Night Wrist. It’s so-named in honor of one of my favorite albums, and because I came up with it on a Saturday. Cocktail historian David Wondrich wrote a fantastic book titled Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl. From Wondrich I learned many recipes and techniques that guided me through the trials and errors of getting that perfect balance. I took an old punch recipe (Major Bird’s Brandy Punch) and put my own spin on it.

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


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Saturday Night Wrist

(Note: this recipe needs to be made a night in advance) Yields 14 cups Ingredients Oleo-saccharum (see below) 2 quarts warm water (distilled if possible) 6 ounces pressed and strained lemon juice 3 cups brandy 1 cup dark rum 3 ounces Aperol 1½ /2 pineapple diced into 1” x 1” cubes Nutmeg Bundt pan or large ice molds As far as the brandy goes, I prefer Rémy Martin, but Hennessey will work as well. My favorite rum is Smith & Cross, a pure pot-stilled traditional Jamaican rum. You can get it from the Southern Pines ABC; you just have to ask them to order it. The code is NC 47-587. Ingredients for the oleo-saccharum The peel of 4 lemons 1 cup sugar To start your punch, you will need to make the oleo-saccharum (Latin for “oil-sugar”). This is crucial for most punches. Try not to have any of the pith from the lemons, it will add bitterness to the punch. Now, you can make this two ways: The original way is to muddle the peels into the sugar until your wrists and forearms are on fire, then let it stand for an hour. Or you can use the Morganthaler method: In this case, combine the peels and sugar in a vacuumsealed bag, then extract all of the air out of the bag and let it stand for an hour. Either way will work. If you have the time, I like to let the oleo-saccharum stand overnight before mixing it into the punch. When the oleo-saccharum is ready, mix it into the water until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and then the brandy, followed by the rum. Then add the Aperol. Similar to Campari, but not as rough around the edges, Aperol is an Italian aperitif with flavors of bitter orange and rhubarb. Once all of these ingredients are married, set your container in the fridge and let it sit overnight. Whatever container you’ll be serving the punch out of will need ice to keep it cold. Don’t ever use wet ice, it will over-dilute the punch. Instead, use a Bundt pan: Fill it with water and freeze it the night before your party. If you have to go smaller on the ice, there are plenty of websites that have ice molds. Again, distilled water works best here. When it’s showtime, grate fresh nutmeg over the punch and make sure that each guest gets a cube or two of pineapple in their glass. Congratulations, you’re a rock star! PS Tony Cross is a bartender who runs cocktail catering company Reverie Cocktails. He can also recommend you a vitamin supplement for the morning after at Nature’s Own.

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


910-944-2526 • ©2015 Lennox Industries Inc. Lennox dealers include independently owned and operated businesses. May be available with the installation of qualifying high-efficiency products. To find out more about tax credits, ask your tax adviser.

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

papa d a d d y ’ s M i n d f i e l d

Like Father, Like Son Neither is ready for cotillion class

By Clyde Edgerton

About a half-century ago

Illustration by harry Blair

I was an escort at a debutante ball in Durham and at another in New Bern. I knew that the young women I escorted were being introduced into society. I remember that the word “cotillion” was somehow associated with the event.

About a year ago I learned that a nephew (age 13) up in the Triangle was involved in cotillion. He’d be learning good manners at the dinner table, on the dance floor, and in social situations, etc. No problem. About two months ago I learned from my wife that my 10 -year-old son would soon be taking a cotillion class. No problem. About three weeks ago I discover that I am supposed to — in an hour — take my 10-year-old son to his first cotillion class. I learned this from a note my wife left on the kitchen table. I had an hour to prepare him and get us something to eat and then go to cotillion class. No problem. I look at the instruction sheet. He is required to wear khaki pants, shirt and tie, dress shoes, and a navy blue blazer. He and I go through his closet. We find shoes, pants, shirt and tie, but no navy blue blazer — nor any other sport coat that fits him. We go to his older brother’s closet, where we find a navy blue blazer, but it’s too big. I call my wife. She says go to Once Upon A Child (clothing for children) and buy a blazer. No problem — we have forty-five minutes — for shopping and dinner. At Once Upon A Child we find a blazer that is too big and one that’s too small. The one that’s too small looks so funny on him I take a photo with my iPhone. Then we find a sports jacket “of sorts” with shiny navy blue stripes over a navy background. He is trying to button the jacket but the buttons are too big for the button holes. Getting desperate, I pull out my Leatherman pocket tool, open the small knife and open all eight holes to a larger size — yes, eight holes. It’s kind of a long sport coat. It doesn’t look right. “What do you think?” I ask. “I don’t think so,” he says.

“I agree,” I say as I place the jacket back on the rack. “But time is running out and we have to get something to eat. You’re going to have to go without a jacket.” “OK,” he says. He seems unconcerned. I’m worried about him being the only one in class without the required blue blazer. We leave the clothing store and do drive-through at Chick-fil-A. The class is across town and I don’t want to be late. I visualize him walking in late without a coat. Being on time without a coat won’t be quite as bad. As we drive away from Chick-fil-A, he places a French fry on his knee. I tell him it might leave a grease spot. He removes it. Across town, we miss our turn-off. I do a U-turn and make it to the parking lot outside class with five minutes to spare. I take the key from the ignition and look at him as he opens the passenger door. I say, “Son, you’re going to have to tuck in your shirttail.” His feet are on the ground — and his car door is open. He turns and looks at me over his shoulder and says — and he is as sincere as a judge: “What does that mean?” I explain, get out, come around to his side and demonstrate as I tuck in my own shirttail. Inside, I’m wondering why I’m getting funny looks. I mean . . . I realize I’m wearing my very old jeans and my striped shirt with the cigar ash burn hole in front. Humm. I pull the cotillion instruction brochure from my back pocket, open it up. I find something like this: “Fathers bringing students to cotillion class should dress appropriately with coat and tie.” Yikes. Then I figure I’m just what they need. I can almost hear it: “Son, see that man over there. One reason you get training here in cotillion is so you won’t go out in public looking like that.” My son took the whole event in stride. Afterward he told me it wasn’t as bad as he’d thought it would be. We go back again in a few weeks. Or rather, he and his mother go back. I’m guessing they voted me out. PS Clyde Edgerton is the author of ten novels, a memoir and a new work, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW.

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


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

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

Hark, How All of Christmas Sings The importance of a festive tune By Tom Allen

Christmas is my favorite time of year, even with the hodge-podge of sacred and secular, the holy and the hokey.

Christmas music reflects the tension between carols and songs. On radio stations that trot out favorites before Halloween, “Silent Night,” a carol, follows “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” a song. “Carol” carries a broad definition, yet the word is typically associated with a melody highlighting the nativity of Jesus. Most of the carols we sing have English or German origins, with texts and music dating to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if not earlier. After decades of spending the Christmas season in church, I, like many, sing these songs from memory. They have invaded our hearts, perhaps the reason they remain part of our seasonal repertoire, textual quirks notwithstanding. Consider “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” a carol written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, brother to John, the founder of Methodism. Originally inscribed as, “Hark, How All the Welkin Rings,” the title was altered in 1754 by Charles’ buddy, clergyman George Whitfield, who took the liberty, presumably with his friend’s permission, to change “welkin” to “herald.” Thanks, George. Who the heck knows what a welkin is? Then, in 1855, almost eighty years after Charles’ demise, William H. Cummings fiddled with the carol again. The Englishman set Wesley’s text to a Felix Mendelssohn secular score. The beloved carol remains. And while “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” might sound archaic in 2015, imagine replacing the verb with “listen.” Queen Victoria must be spinning in her grave. Would Shakespeare have Romeo shout: “But Yo! what light through yonder window breaks?” I’ll stick with “hark.” Punctuation matters. Comma placement in “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” is crucial to understanding., an online etymology resource, notes that the carol’s first line is often “mis-punctuated” as “God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen” because in contemporary language rest “has lost its use with a predicate adjective following and qualifying the subject.” Where’s Mrs. Byrd, my tenth grade English teacher, when I need

her? Allow me to paraphrase the 1760 lyrics: “Peace, guys. All is well.” “Away in a Manger,” a lullaby and perhaps the first carol a child learns, is sweet and sentimental. Christmas began with a baby, “wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger,” a feeding trough for animals. The first stanza recalls the narrative. Although never mentioned in the Bible, stanza two assumes a bovine presence around that trough: “The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,” penned the anonymous writer. Of course he woke up. What baby could slumber surrounded by hungry, mooing cows? “The First Noel,” a personal favorite, opens with the story of an angelic visit to shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth. The second stanza tells of the shepherds looking up at a star. Oops! No star in Luke’s account of the shepherds. Matthew’s Gospel records the celestial wonder, wise men and three gifts. But hey, nobody’s perfect. Not even carol writers. The biblical record of the first Christmas is filled with wonder and mystery, but not much detail — a mother births her first child in crude conditions; shepherds (outcasts by the standards of that day) learn of the event, not through social media, but an angelic visit, and magi — astrologers from distant lands — follow a star to offer the child exotic gifts. Some carols color outside the boundaries of the biblical tradition. Bitter cold and a snowy evening? Unlikely. Talking animals? I don’t think so. Little drummer-boy at the manger? Your guess is as good as mine. This is certain: A baby was born and the world has never been the same. A holy Christmas or a hokey holiday? In truth, Christmas celebrants may express a preference, but we accept (and love) a little of each. How I long to hear “O Holy Night” sometime in December, but gimme a chorus of “Jingle Bells” while I’m trimming the tree. So deck the halls and haul out the holly. Do you hear what I hear? Whether it’s “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World,” may your days be merry and bright, happy and holy. ’Cause we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. Fa-la-la-la-la . . . la-la-la-la. PS Tom Allen is minister of education at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines.

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


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

Out of the Blue

Don’t Stop the Press

The sad demise of the printed newspaper and subsequent loss of the paperboy crush: Where’s Penny when I need her?

By Deborah Salomon

These days I hear less about long-estab-

lished newspapers packing up and disappearing into cyberspace. This still happens; it’s just not, uh, frontpage news anymore. Then I learned that La Presse, Montreal’s French-language politically charged daily, established in 1884, will discontinue print editions, except Saturdays, on January 1. I lived in Montreal for 26 years; French is the official language of the city and province, also the mother tongue to more than 60 percent of the population.

Now, they — OK, the old-timers — are without a paper-in-hand. Terrible. The demise of the physical La Presse dredged up memories that will soon lose significance. In the 1940s Manhattan of my childhood, newspapers ruled. My parents read only The New York Times, no tabloid rags. I adored the Sunday cartoon sections — “funny papers,” as they were called — which birthed the “See you ….” expression. Beg as I might, my parents refused to buy the Herald Tribune, which fronted teenage, red-haired “Penny” — my fave. So on Monday mornings I haunted the incinerator cubicle where residents left papers on the floor, hoping to find a discarded “Penny,” maybe even “The Katzenjammer Kids” overlaying the forbidden Daily News. When I was about 8, my mother deemed me grown-up enough to walk to the bakery and newsstand on Sunday morning for bagels and “the papers.” Rebellious even then, I once fibbed about the Times being sold out, and bought the Herald Tribune, which looked respectable enough to me. We moved to Asheville when I was 11. How glorious! The Asheville Citizen-Times published morning AND evening editions (with Sunday color cartoon section), although I can’t think where they found enough news. I only cared about the afternoon paperboy. He was 14, with dirty-blond hair, very straight teeth and a collie. Naturally, I found plants on the porch that needed watering just as he trudged up the hill. Lassie got a biscuit but Dreamboy’s answer to my smile was a grunt. A crush on the paperboy was a rite of passage, one fading fast, like holi-

day gifts I wrapped in the funny papers which, folded properly, also made great pirate hats. Clippings; what will become of clippings? Weddings, graduations, obituaries, garden club luncheons and my most prized: A New York Times front page photo taken on March 5, 1919, of troops returning from France after World War I. My father had found and circled his face among the thousands on deck. Newspapers weren’t only for reading, clipping and wrapping packages. All summer, my father stacked papers neatly, in the basement. As fall approached he enlisted me, kicking and screaming, to pile four or five editions, roll them tightly and tie the roll in three places with wire cut from a spool. My fingers ached from twisting, but loose wire meant a do-over. Next, I was instructed to mist the rolls with the garden hose. Damp, not wet, he warned. This chore required a hot, sunny day so the damp rolls spread across the patio would dry compacted. Then, I loaded them into a hopper near the basement stairs to be used as fire-starter logs — darn good ones, at that. It was a tedious job that left my hands black from newsprint. I laughed when, in the very first episode of Downton Abbey, footman William ironed the morning paper so his lordship wouldn’t have inky fingers. The newer inks don’t rub off, not that it matters. Newspapers invaded entertainment, with The Front Page in 1931, remade in 1974; Citizen Kane, The Paper, All the President’s Men, Newsroom, and, of course, Superman’s Daily Planet. Who can forget Michael Corleone learning from a Daily News headline that his father, the Don, had been shot? Long gone, the green eyeshades and smoke-filled newsrooms, the flashbulbs and paperboys, the gritty romance of the industry. What’s the use of publishing an “extra” when everybody knows everything the minute after it happens? I participated in putting out an extra on 9/11. Because a story with local content fell into my lap, that 24-hour workday was the most electrifying of my life. Extras end up in time capsules and museums, in scrapbooks and, I guess, the cloud — which reassures me not at all — even though Yeats wrote: “I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above.” Forget fate. I’ll settle for a few fire logs … and Penny. PS Deborah Salomon is a staff writer for PineStraw and The Pilot. She may be reached at

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


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


Hungry for Christmas The fellowship of family and feasting

By Bill Fields

I get hungry in December, and I think I know why.

Recalling those Christmases a long time ago, before everyone knew how many calories are in everything, is what causes the appetite. Food wasn’t the reason for the season, but it sure was a good month for eating. Not that December had it all. Instead of pecks of locally grown peaches bought on weekend drives to West End or Candor during the summer, canned fruit cocktail took their place. Tomatoes that made the perfect summer sandwich had come and gone, their winter cousins a sad salad partner with the store-bought radishes, cucumber and iceberg lettuce. With shorter days and colder weather, Dad didn’t cook out as regularly. But, windbreaker on and flashlight in hand, he stayed in the grilling game as Christmas approached. When someone balked that their ribeye was still a little pink in the middle, Dad would dutifully return outside and put it back on the grill. Only occasionally would he get grumpy about this, but I sensed that he would have loved to plant brown “Well Done” markers in the steaks when he was finished. Mostly, though, Dad, like the rest of the family, was in a good mood as the year came to a close. One time he splurged on a bargain, bulk purchase of beef from an area meatpacking plant. When the steaks turned out to be a little tough, his disappointment was brief. He was a December baby, having been born about a week before Christmas in 1920. Dad wasn’t a cake person, but usually around his birthday he would make a pan of peanut butter and chocolate fudge. It was so sweet you felt from the first bite it wouldn’t be long before you were in Dr. Warlick’s chair in his Broad Street office getting a filling. My mother and siblings shared my father’s love of his homemade fudge more than I did, but in a month filled with food there was plenty to enjoy. I was born a little too late to fully appreciate the holiday feasts served by my maternal grandmother in Jackson Springs. The dining room table and

sideboard were packed with meats and vegetables she had taken days to prepare, and enjoyed by a large clan assembled from across the state. Snapshots jog my recollection of those delicious smells and tastes at Ma-Ma’s, but I don’t need any assists to remember Christmas dinner at our house. It was usually a ham and a turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, dressing and iced tea in our fancy glasses. Once, my restaurateur brother-in-law from High Point surprised us with a serving tray of prime rib, one of my father’s favorites. My mother was a self-deprecating but very good cook despite working outside the home most of her life, and she shined around Christmas. Sometime between the airing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the 25th, she would make an annual batch of “Trash,” the Worcestershire sauceseasoned snack mix of cereal, pretzels and nuts. Her delicious sugar cookies would fill a tin that had been the former home of a gifted fruitcake. Of course, Santa Claus did his part on the food front, never failing to leave plenty of things under our tree that we didn’t have the rest of the year, barring surplus candy from Halloween. These were pleasures that I looked forward to as much as whatever presents I had asked for from the Sears Wish Book. Between the tree stand and the toys, there would be a ring of treats: navel oranges, tangerines, assorted whole nuts, bags of Hershey Kisses and miniature candy bars (the Mr. Goodbars went fast; the dark chocolates would linger after the New Year’s Day bowl games were over). On holiday evenings, during a break from a family Monopoly or poker game, there would be rightful boasting when a hard-to-crack Brazil nut was freed from its shell. And starting in Christmas 1958, when my mother was expecting me, there was always a box or two of the chocolate-covered cherries for which she developed a craving during that pregnancy. I could never stand them, but Mom loves them still. PS Southern Pines native Bill Fields never lived on Connecticut Avenue but has lived in the actual Connecticut for a long time.

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


The 2015 Holly & Ivy Dinner

20’s Trivia: Pinehurst Then and Now

The Holly Inn

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Explore the history and traditions that make Pinehurst wonderful and unique, with a recreated Pinehurst menu from the era.

1920’s outfits are encouraged, but optional.

Cocktails at 6:30 pm • Dinner at 7:30 pm $125 Per Person (before Nov. 19) $150 Per Person (after Nov. 19)

Make your reservations at For more information, please call (910)295-3642

A Special Benefit for the Given Memorial Library & Tufts Archives


The Beautiful Vagrant A bewitching buff-bellied hummingbird causes a stir

By Susan Campbell

Every now and then — and it hap-

pens more than you would think — an out-of-place bird appears. Sometimes it’s on a beach, sometimes by the side of the road and sometimes even at your bird feeder. These wayward individuals are often very much on the move, so that all you get is a quick glimpse. But in some instances, for whatever reason, the bird decides to stick around for a while. Depending on how far it is from its home range and how exotic its plumage, these outlanders may cause quite a stir among birdwatchers. And for die-hard birders, those enthusiasts who keep track of each and every species they see — sometimes over a lifetime —vagrants are a really big deal. Recently an odd-looking, large hummingbird was spotted in a neighborhood in Winston-Salem. And what a happy accident that it had stumbled upon a sugarwater feeder that belonged to some biologists. At once, they realized this was a very special bird — and that bird lovers would be interested in knowing about it. Others on the block had also been feeding this bird, but didn’t think of spreading the word to a wider audience. When yours truly investigated this particular individual (I was called in pretty rapidly following its discovery by an N.C. Audubon staff member), it was clear the rare bird was a buff-bellied hummingbird. It’s a species not at all expected in our area. One had made a brief appearance closer to the coast some years ago but

did not linger. I got a glimpse of that buff-bellied invader, but not close up. This time it was a very different story! I quickly got the green light from Mindy and Bill Conner, whose yard happened to be ground zero, to trap and band this little marvel. At first light, the procedure went like clockwork and before I knew it, I had the wayward hummingbird in my hand, a feisty and healthy adult. In a matter of minutes, he had been processed, photographed and released, free to terrorize the remaining rubythroateds there in the neighborhood. The fact that he had no evident fat and was also molting his flight feathers meant that he would be around for a while. A bird in migratory mode would require not only energy reserves for the journey but also a full complement of wing feathers to get wherever he was bound. Although a number of enthusiastic local birdwatchers had already dropped by to see this handsome fella, dozens more came from all over the state to admire his brilliant blue-green iridescence, red bill and coppery tail. Everyone was thinking the same thing: Why is this buff-bellied in this yard in downtown WinstonSalem and not along the Gulf coast or in eastern Mexico where he belongs? Regrettably, this is a question no one can answer. He might have been caught up in a front that moved eastward back in mid-August, or more likely he overshot his winter destination as he flew north and east from the breeding grounds. Whatever the reason, residents of the neighborhood, as well as bird enthusiasts making the trip to Winston-Salem will continue to watch and be amazed by his antics as long as he sticks around. PS If you are interested in viewing this hummingbird, please contact me and I will be happy to give you status update and location information — if he is still present. Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos. She can be contacted by email at, or by calling (910) 585-0574.

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


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

A N o v e l Y e ar

Alone With Giants A productive week at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities was time well-spent

By Wiley Cash

art Print by Denise Baker

I should’ve been writing, but

instead I was staring at my iPhone, awaiting an incoming FaceTime call from my wife. While I waited, I flipped through Instagram, looking at pictures I’d already looked at dozens of times: our 1-year-old daughter, Early, eating breakfast; Early playing with toys; Early reading a book; Early and my wife, Mallory, at the playground. Across the room, North Carolina novelist Wilma Dykeman caught my eye; she watched me play with my phone. Her discerning gaze made me feel as if she were judging me for not writing. I moved to the sofa across from where I’d been sitting, but when I looked up I found that I was staring into Fred Chappell’s eyes. The eyes of a man who’s written dozens of books were not the eyes I wanted to be staring into while struggling to complete a first draft of a novel I’d already been working on for far too long. I moved again, and I was relieved to see Lee Smith’s smiling face. Lee Smith has never made anyone feel uncomfortable. Thank you, Lee, for not judging me.

To be honest, I shouldn’t have been sitting in the study, but the room that doubles as the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame is the only place, in Southern Pines, on the second floor of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, where writers-in-residence can pick up an Internet signal, which is a good thing when you spend most of your time in your room at your desk. The study is lined with portraits of famous North Carolina writers, and when you’re not feeling guilty for not sitting at the desk in your room, it can be very inspirational to immerse yourself in North Carolina’s immense contribution to American literature. Many of my favorite writers are honored there, including Elizabeth Spencer, Charles Chesnutt and Thomas Wolfe. Thomas Wolfe had a huge effect on American literature. He also made quite an impression on James Boyd, an American novelist who moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina, in 1920 and built the mansion known as the Boyd House on the estate known as Weymouth. At Weymouth, the Boyd family entertained a steady stream of literati, Thomas Wolfe among them. Legend holds that one evening Wolfe arrived in Southern Pines on the late train, and after walking from the station to Weymouth and finding everyone asleep, he located an unlocked window and climbed inside. The next morning, Boyd’s son discovered the giant form of Thomas Wolfe asleep on the floor of the living room in front of the great fireplace. There are four bedrooms for writers-in-residence at Weymouth, two of which are related to Wolfe: the Thomas Wolfe room and the Maxwell E. Perkins room. Perkins, who also edited F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, was Wolfe’s editor at Scribner’s. Perkins is best known as the man who helped Wolfe cut thousands upon thousands of words from the novel that would become Look Homeward, Angel. I stayed in the Perkins, room during my week at Weymouth, and I secretly hoped that a few of the thousands of words Max had cut from Tom’s North Carolina novel would find their way into my own.

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


A N o v e l Y e ar

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I’d attended other writing residencies before my week at Weymouth. In 2011, I spent a month at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, and later that summer I spent three weeks at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In the summer of 2014, I rented a cabin outside Asheboro and spent a week working on my third novel, the same novel I was now spending a week working on at Weymouth. Those earlier residencies had been immersive experiences. I woke up thinking about the novel I was writing; I went to sleep thinking about it as well. Things were different at Weymouth: I woke up thinking about Early, and I went to sleep thinking about her too. This isn’t to say that I didn’t get a ton of work done during my week at Weymouth. I’m someone who harbors an incredible amount of guilt when I’m away from home, something my career often requires when I’m on a book tour, at a writing residency, or teaching a workshop at a university. My feeling is that when I’m away from home I have to make my absence positive instead of negative; therefore, I work. At Weymouth, I aimed for 2,000 good words a day. After a week, I went home with 15,000 new words added to my novel. To be honest, I don’t know how I got that much writing accomplished at Weymouth, especially because I spent so many hours in the study, staring at Instagram and FaceTiming with Mallory and Early. Each time I saw Early’s face I made certain to check to see if anything had changed. Her eyes were still blue, her laugh familiar. She still threw scrambled eggs on the floor. Nothing, it seemed, had changed, but that didn’t stop me from willing the days to move faster. I wanted the week to speed by, and each night I threatened to come home to Wilmington in the morning, but my wife, who wanted me to talk less about writing this novel and spend more time actually writing it, encouraged me to stay and take advantage of the time that Weymouth had so graciously given me. I arrived home a week later to find Mallory and Early waiting for me on the front porch. When they saw me, Mallory stood and placed Early feetfirst on the ground, then, holding both of Early’s hands, the two walked toward me. This was new. This was something she hadn’t been doing the week before. Time, it seemed, had moved quickly after all. And Early was moving quickly too. She reached up and took my hand, and holding Mallory’s in the other she began walking back toward the front door, nearly pulling us along. “Slow down, Early,” said Mallory. “Slow down.” I was thinking the same thing. I still am. PS Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling author whose second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was released last year. He lives in Wilmington.

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

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


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

S p o rti n g Li f e

Ducks Revisited Boyhood memories of a perfect holiday duck hunt rekindle a passion gone dormant

By Tom Bryant

Now, two years later, it’s easy to

see how I was led down the road to my addiction. It began slowly, not something that grabbed me overnight, but I realise that in the beginning I was sucked in just as surely and steadily as a beagle on the trail of a rabbit. You see, I can say it now, and all the experts will tell you that the hardest part of admitting to an addiction is recognizing it and taking ownership. So for the record, I’m a recovering duck hunter. It all began in the little town of Pinebluff. I was 12 or 13 years old with a bicycle, a curly-coated retriever dog named Smut and a 12-gauge J.C. Higgins shotgun, a Christmas gift from my dad. During hunting season, Smut and I would spend a lot of time in the woods. Usually the scenario would work like this: Dad would take my shotgun and Smut to work with him at the ice plant right outside Aberdeen. I was in the sixth grade at Aberdeen Elementary, and after school I would hike down to the plant, do my homework, whistle up Smut, grab my shotgun and walk the tracks back to Pinebluff hunting all the way. In those days I was a hunter, period. I wasn’t partial to any species. If it was in season, it was game. A typical afternoon bag might include a couple of squirrels, a dove or two, maybe a quail or even — and not unusual — a rabbit. When I got home, a little after sundown, I’d clean the game and Mom would put it in the freezer for us to enjoy later. Then, on a special weekend, and depending on the diversity of what I had harvested, Mom would prepare a wild game feast fit for a king, or better yet a young boy who was extremely proud of his success in the field.

I hunted for two or three years before I bagged my first duck. It was a perfect day that still resonates in my mind. A couple of weeks before Christmas with a cold gray sky promising snow, Smut and I were on the game trail again. Feeling a little adventurous, I decided to hunt the tracks south of Pinebluff toward Addor. Smut and I rarely hunted this area, usually concentrating our efforts on the land north of our little village. It was a silent morning. Most of the wildlife was hunkered down preparing for the bad weather promised later in the day. Every now and then a little sleet would spit from the lowering sky, nature’s warning of what was to come. We ambled on down the tracks taking little side diversions to see what game we might be able to jump. It was slow, not much going on. Even Smut, who was always running far ahead, stayed close as if anticipating the weather. About a half-mile from the tracks, I noticed what looked to be a swampy area; and thinking that perhaps squirrels would be active around water, especially if it wasn’t frozen, I led Smut through heavy brush toward what turned out to be a little beaver pond. I could see open water reflecting out of the shadows of big cypress trees, and I decided to just watch for a minute and see if anything was roaming in the tall branches. Ripples on the water alerted me to a movement on the far side of the pond, and I crouched down and grabbed Smut to keep him close. I had just got to my knees when two wood ducks exploded from the far side and flew right at me. I don’t remember how I did it, but I fired two shots from the 12-gauge and down crashed the two wood ducks. The silence after the blast of the shotgun was deafening, and Smut and I stood for a second or two in awe. Then the celebration started. You would have thought that I had just brought down two Canada geese. I dashed to the spot where I thought one duck had fallen, and Smut raced to the other side of the pond for the second one. I found the drake as Smut came crashing back through the brush with the duck. He looked up at me with the little duck in his jaws as if to say, “Hey boss, this is pretty good stuff. Why haven’t we done this before?” It was a magical moment, two ducks in the bag, Christmas holidays right around the corner; and it began to snow. I think we floated home rather

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


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than walked, we were so proud. Mom bragged on us sufficiently, promising to cook a duck dinner later during the holidays, and Dad expressed his wonder that a boy and his dog accomplished what many adults had trouble doing. That was the beginning of my duck-hunting adventures. As I said, the addiction was insidious. I stopped hunting other game and concentrated on ducks. Smut and I would head to the swamp or any place that might harbor ducks and would sit and watch and wait. I didn’t get another duck that year. In the off-season, we would scout likely waters, and I read everything I could about water fowling. My gear in those days consisted of military surplus camouflaged clothing, a pair of leaky hip boots that I acquired from an uncle who had feet about the size of mine, and marshbrown feed sacks that I tied together to make a portable blind. We trained. I did everything I could to transform Smut into a duck-retrieving machine. It didn’t work. I would throw a stick that I tried to rig like a duck to get him to bring it back to me. He would race to it and look back as if to say, “This is nothing but a stick. What do you want me to do with it?” It was funny. Smut wasn’t a training, make-work kind of retriever; but in the woods when we were hunting, he was all business. We spent many happy times afield. Those early days ushered in the future, and I became a dedicated water fowling hunter. I acquired more gear, the latest in waders and clothing, boats, decoys and gundogs. If it had to do with duck hunting, I wanted it. And then a couple of years ago, after spending an inordinate amount of time and money traveling to our impoundments at Lake Mattamuskeet and having little luck in bringing home the bacon, as it were, I hung up my waders. I mothballed my duck boat fleet. I stored all my decoys on shelves in the garage. I put the steel shotgun shells in the far corner of my gun cabinet and considered selling my special Remington 870 12-gauge. For the first time in over fifty years, I didn’t buy a required duck stamp to attach to my regular hunting license making me legal to hunt ducks. The addiction was gone, cold turkey. But the other day while I was out at the little farm I lease to dove hunt, I watched as two wood ducks, a duck and a drake, rocketed into the pond that’s on the far side of the field. On the way home, I stopped at Walmart and bought a duck stamp. PS Tom Bryant, a Southern Pines resident, is a lifelong outdoorsman and PineStraw’s Sporting Life columnist.


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

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


G o l f t ow n J o u r na l

Buen Tiro

A young golfer’s life on the Latin Tour

By Lee Pace

Michael McGowan set off

Photograph provided by McGowan family

in mid-March for Colombia with his golf clubs, a suitcase and a couple of Spanish language and guide books.

Good shot: Buen tiro. You’re away: Estás lejos. Ninety-five yards to the flag: Noventa y cinco yardas a la bandera. “I took probably six years of Spanish from middle school on and then a semester in college,” he says. “I had a pretty good grasp of the language. But you figure out it’s one thing to read it all day on paper and another to listen to it and use it in real life. So many times you’re with someone and you’ll ask, ‘What did he say?’” McGowan grew up in the game of golf, his family owning and operating the Pine Needles and Mid Pines resorts in Southern Pines, and has spent the last year navigating the netherworld between amateur golf and his goal of the PGA Tour. He missed out on qualifying for the 2015 Tour, so his options were to hone his game and learn to travel on assorted “mini tours” such as the eGolf Gateway Tour, which runs some three dozen events on the East and West coasts from headquarters in Charlotte; the Swing Thought Tour (formerly the Hooters Tour), which operates 72-hole events mostly in the Southeast and Texas; the Carolina Mountain Pro Tour, which has been operating for nearly two decades with one- and two-day competitions on Mondays and Tuesdays; and the Minor League Golf Tour, which holds tournaments year-round in South Florida. Or he could try the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, a seventeen-event schedule of events held from the tour’s northern outpost of the Dominican Republic and ranging as far south as Santiago and Buenos Aires. The tour is owned and operated by the PGA Tour. “I didn’t want to go the mini-tour route,” McGowan says. “That’s fine for some guys, I know a lot who have done it. But I thought the entry fees for the minitours were a little stiff. I liked the fact that the Latin American tour was run by the PGA Tour. They’re well-run, mostly good courses in good shape. I have played a few mini-tour events and showed up for one and there were no range balls.” To say it would take an adventuresome streak to opt for a steady diet of foreign soil, language, food and culture is quite the understatement. But those who’ve known McGowan, a 2013 Chapel Hill graduate and member of the Tar Heel golf

team, think the move fits his personality nicely. “He’s been shaking hands since he was 3 years old,” says his dad Pat, who played the PGA Tour from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. “He’s really good at meeting people. He has the personality to travel, he’s very self-sufficient and very independent.” Adds Andrew Sapp, who coached McGowan at UNC: “To say Michael is extremely social wouldn’t quite cover it. People remember him and enjoy spending time with him. I meet people all of the time who have had a connection with Michael. It could have been playing a round of golf with him in a tournament eight years ago, but they remember him. Everyone is Michael’s friend because he draws people to him. So seeing him take a risk of playing on the Latin America tour fits his personality because I can see him fitting in anywhere socially.” The Latin American tour might be compared to AA baseball, with the Web. com Tour equivalent to AAA ball on the way to the big leagues — the PGA Tour. There are eight Latin American tournaments in the spring and then nine more in the fall, with summer months open and players free to travel the Mackenzie Tour, the minor-league equivalent in Canada. McGowan, 25, turned pro in early 2015 and has been traveling Latin America most of the spring and fall, putting some 50,000 miles on his American Airlines card as he’s hit Mexico, Columbia, Uruguay, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Chile and Brazil. Through the end of October, McGowan had made eight of thirteen cuts and had one top ten finish and a tie for seventh in Honduras after opening with a 63 and earning $5,600. A lukewarm finish like fifty-ninth in Ecuador netted him only $665, and of course missing the cut leaves him eating his expenses. McGowan travels mostly with Hans Reimers, a former Mercer University golfer whom McGowan met playing a tournament in Florida. He’s seen the Christ The Redeemer statue looming 2,700 feet above the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and played golf in Guatemala with active volcanoes next door and ash blowing on the course. “I’ve seen some awesome sights, have some cool memories,” he says. “It’s been a lot of fun. The toughest part is just managing the travel, handling your flights and arrangements. One day I hope to have an agent doing all that for me, but I’m not there yet.” Certainly McGowan has the bloodlines to succeed at the game. Grandmother

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


G o l f t ow n J o u r na l



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Peggy Kirk Bell is a founding member of the LPGA Tour and one of golf’s most noted instructors. Mom Bonnie played collegiately at UNC and has been active in teaching and running Pine Needles’ “Golfari” golf schools. And Pat played at Brigham Young, met Bonnie while staying at Pine Needles for a tournament in the 1970s, and today heads the resort’s instruction programs. Pat McGowan has sent his son out with two resounding messages: It’s all about attitude and the short game. “I pound those two things till I’m blue in the face,” he says. “The sooner kids realize that, the better off they are. “I feel very strongly that attitude is pretty much everything in life. Michael has the physical skills, but there are 400 kids like him at 25 who could make it on the Tour, and only about forty will make it. I’ve told him he needs to have the very best short game he can possibly have, be the best putter out there, and have a great attitude and mental game.” Michael McGowan shot a 65 in October at Irish Creek Golf Club in Kannapolis in an early qualifying round for the Q-School — just a day after beating it around and hitting the ball horribly on the practice range late in the day. “He was hitting it right, left, everywhere. His timing was off. He just didn’t have it that day,” Pat says. “Then he hit one good drive and said, ‘I’m going to leave it at that.’ That was very mature. Some would have stayed out there two hours and not gotten anywhere. The next day, he shot a 65 and it was the best I’ve ever seen him hit it. He went from hitting it poorly to the best ever. If you stay patient and keep your mind clean instead of staying out there and fighting and worrying, it pays off. That to me was a sign of maturity.” A week later McGowan was back at the airport, headed to Uruguay and another tournament. Problem was, his luggage was lost for two days, and he didn’t get his golf clubs until Wednesday night, having played just nine holes in practice rounds with someone else’s clubs. His tee time was 7:10 a.m., starting off the side he hadn’t played. “It was not a good mix, definitely translating to not-so-good-golf,” he said of his 75-73 and missed-cut performance. “I was not nearly prepared like I would like to have been. But that’s part of the process, learning to deal with those things. It was a learning experience in itself. “It’s been a great year, I’ve seen a lot of things I would never have seen before if I tried the minitours. But next year, I’m definitely planning to play a little closer to home.” Or as they might say in Honduras, Hogar dulce hogar (Home sweet home). PS Lee Pace is the author of a dozen books on golf history, including Sandhills Classics — the Stories of Mid Pines and Pine Needles.

Pinestraw-Dec.indd 1 11/9/15 3:22:02 PM 66JOPDecember 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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



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© 2015 Pinehurst, LLC


December 2015


Their faint calls come on the early winds of Winter and grow louder as the days lengthen. From attics and basement shelves, storage lockers and plastic cartons come their voices — “Is it now? Bring us home!” Out they come at last to take their places — these reflectors of the light. Unpacked with care — unwrapped from bubbles’ protection and admired these keepers of our memories not yet placed to do their work again — as reflectors of the light. “Is it now? Bring us home!” The conch shell Santa — the sand dollar and oyster Madonna with child A tin drum with sticks of red and white — a powder horn — the garb of velvet, ribbon and wood The glass scenes of earth’s children with hands clasped ’round a globe of blue Tiny picture frames of faces long since grown — tender gifts from students, family, friends The fragile old ones shaped like trumpets, pipes and fish All take their places on boughs of fir and pine — once again reflectors of the light. “Is it now? Bring us home!” Not every place is filled or should be — room must remain, open spots and empty branches leave space for ones yet to come — the unexpected call, the doorbell’s chime, sounds of small voices, the lonely ones, those from long ago yet strangely and always here — present in all reflectors of The Light. And it is Now and we are Home. — Sam Walker PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Sacred L ight Wherever it comes from, illumination is an act of love


By Jim Dodson

ecause I’m a habitual early riser and probably would have made a decent Medieval monk, morning light always seems special to me. I might even say sacred. First there is the small beeswax candle I light on my writing desk, a common act across the centuries — and every faith tradition — meant to symbolize the presence of the divine. By its light, I simply say a few grateful prayers and invite assistance from any kindly muse that happens to be passing through the neighborhood darkness. On clear mornings before the sun comes up, I often follow our dogs out to the backyard with a cup of joe just to take in a different kind of light show from whichever stars or planets happen to be loitering over our darkened hilltop, aglitter like diamonds on black velvet, a sight that never fails to stir delicious puniness in this cosmic coffee-addicted pilgrim. Finally comes the sunrise, sometimes rainy and subdued by low clouds, but more often than not a pageant of tinted clouds and golden rays painting the eastern horizon with heavenly light. Scant wonder young Henry Thoreau — Transcendental poet and fellow devoted early riser — was moved to say that morning light brings back the heroic ages. Among God’s first acts in creating this world, after all, was to flood it with light — and by my count there’s no less than seventyfive mentions of light in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Darkness — a metaphor often used for spiritual lostness — is one of the ten plagues Moses visited upon Pharaoh that ultimately persuaded him to release his Israeli captives. King David said the Lord was his “light and Salvation.” St. Matthew said Jesus was “the light of the world.”


Photograph by John Gessner

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

Photograph by Brandi Swarms

Photograph by Tim Sayer PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Photograph by L aura Gingerich

Photograph by L aura Gingerich

Photograph by L aura Gingerich 72

Of course, everyone has his or her own definition of sacred light, especially this time of year when days grow short and nights grow long. In pre-Christian times from Rome to Europe, roaring bonfires were built on the longest night of the year to illuminate an annual celebration of the winter solstice that typically included communal prayers and ceremonial dances, sharing of autumn’s final bounty as a means of pressing back the darkness and facing the “dying of the light,” as one ancient Celtic text describes it, “the coming of the bleakest days.” This year, once again, our grown kids will all wander home from afar for our family’s winter solstice party that attracts old friends and new neighbors and curious newbies who drop in at dusk to read a poem, play a song, share a drink, perform a trick or simply spin a worthy tale for a long winter’s night — all in exchange for seasonal beverages and my wife’s homemade soup and legendary caramel cake. At this point, our annual solstice bash has gone on so long — it started with a group of us from church on a snowy night in Maine at least twenty-five years ago — I’ve lost formal count of its age but not its purpose: to bring the joy of human light and fellowship to the darkest night of the year. Just to be clear, we also hang a lighted Moravian star and string about a zillion white Christmas lights around the old house and grounds to heighten the effect. Our effort at artificial illumination pales when compared to the ambitious lights you’ll find, say, in McAdenville, North Carolina, a wee town of just over 600 souls that calls itself “Christmas Town USA” and lights more than 700 trees and 200 lampposts, a light show extravaganza that annually attracts more than half a million visitors who journey though the winter night to see the lights. Speaking of journeys through the night, Christian churches put on their finest garb of greens and lights, Advent wreaths and illuminated trees, preparing for Christmas Eve services rendered even more magical by the soft light of burning tapers and ancient tidings of shepherds and sojourners who followed the light of a new star to a messiah. This year, December 6 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights remembering the dedication of the second temple of Jerusalem in 160 BCE, marking the start of an eight-day period during which the faithful give small gifts to each other. Being a spiritually blended family, we light a menorah, too, happy to have the extra sacred light — yet another reason to give thanks during a season of darkness.

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

Photograph by John Gessner

Photograph by John Gessner

Photograph by Tim Sayer

Photograph by John Gessner

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


Photograph by Timothy Hale

Photograph by L aura Gingerich 74

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

As everyone from Plato to Ben Franklin has pointed out, beauty is invariably found in the eye of the beholder — and so, it follows, is one’s own definition of sacred light. To a new mother, the light in her newborn’s eyes as they take in a dazzling new world must seem downright holy to behold. Ditto the lights of home when one has been away far too long. A campfire on a bone-chilling night. Fireflies on a summer lawn. An intimate dinner by candelight. A rainbow after a thunderstorm. Flickering votives in a darkened cathedral. The Northern Lights — if you’re ever fortunate enough to see them. Fireworks over the water. Morning sun through a kitchen window. A walk at twilight. Reading a book or a poem or even just a letter that stirs your heart can have this same effect of switching on the soul’s track lights. Quaker doctrine holds that every human being contains the light of God, a spark of the divine just waiting for the right moment to illuminate and shine. “All God needs is a crack in the door,” writes spiritual writer Marianne Williamson. “The door is cracked. Illumination follows.” In his popular anthem for a flawed yet wondrous world forever in search of a savior, poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen seems to agree. “There is a crack in everything,” he reminds us. “That’s how the light gets in.” In this context — and the spirit of the season — we wondered how some of our favorite photographers see sacred light though the lens of their cameras. Every gift of light, says the ancient Persian poet Rumi, is really an act of love. We couldn’t agree more. PS

Photograph by L aura Gingerich

Photograph by Brandi Swarms PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Photo Finish At North Carolina’s oldest continuously operating racetrack, the hoof beats go on — thanks to a dedicated group of horse lovers who refused to give up By Bill Case Photographs from The Tufts Archives


Matinee Races

n November 30, the Pinehurst Harness Track observes the 100th anniversary of the first race held at the venerable facility. Nowadays North Carolina’s oldest continuously operating racetrack thrives under public ownership and management by the Village of Pinehurst, which acquired the Harness Track in 1992. But few institutions last to their centennial without encountering rough sledding along the way, and the Harness Track is no exception. When the property passed out of the Tufts family’s hands on December 30, 1970, many in Pinehurst dreaded that less benevolent owners might ultimately raze the Harness Track and blanket its 111 acres with a golf course or — worse yet — high-density condominiums. Those fears simmered until the late 1980s, when increasing uncertainty regarding the Harness Track’s future galvanized horsemen, historic preservationists and community groups into taking concerted action to protect it. The unstinting efforts of these disparate groups culminated in the village’s acquisition of the Harness Track, thus safeguarding it for posterity. The story of its saving is replete with twists, turns and political intrigue. Suffice to say that the


Harness Track boasts a history of rich interest to devotees of both harness racing and the Pinehurst community. In the early decades of the Pinehurst Resort, the Harness Track served as a mecca for all manner of equestrian-related events. In addition to racing, the Sandhills Fair (which featured a shooting exhibition by Annie Oakley in 1917), horse shows and polo were regularly staged on the property. Resort guests brought their horses south to compete. In the late 1930s the Harness Track transitioned to a winter training ground for breaking in Standardbred yearlings, and for resting trotters and pacers in preparation for upcoming racing elsewhere. Several horses wintering here won important races that comprise harness racing’s Triple Crown. The Harness Track’s three clay-based tracks, vast array of barns, tack and blacksmith shops, restaurant and prevailing cool weather form an ideal training environment for trainers and horses. Many of the greatest names in harness racing — Del Cameron, Gary Cameron, Frank Safford and Octave Blake — were drawn to the facility. During much of the Harness Track’s existence, the horsemen who used it managed and operated the track themselves. In 1949, the horsemen, at their

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

own expense, built an additional 1 mile track, even though the Tufts family’s corporation, Pinehurst, Inc., owned the property. The horsemen also instituted the annual “Matinee Races” that year. Suitably impressed with their industry, Jimmy Tufts, the family member overseeing the Harness Track’s operations, chose to foster a more formal and enduring relationship between Pinehurst, Inc. and the enterprising horsemen’s organization, the Pinehurst Driving and Training Club (D & T Club). Effective June 1, 1952, Jimmy Tufts granted the D & T club a forty-year lease of the Harness Track’s facilities at the annual rent of $1. While the D & T Club was responsible for upkeep and operation of the Harness Track, the club was excused from the payment of any real estate taxes. The “purpose clause” of the forty-year lease expresses Jimmy Tufts’ confidence that the D & T Club would keep the track’s operations on a “high plane” that would promote enjoyment by the resort’s guests. Guests’ interest in the track may have been high in 1952, but their focus gradually drifted to the resort’s other pastimes. By the late 1960s, the closest most visitors came to the track was playing the adjoining first four holes of the No. 1 golf course. The horsemen became more isolated from the rest of the community. In December 1970, the Tufts family sold its resort and town holdings, including the Harness Track, for $9.2 million to Malcolm McLean’s Diamondhead Corporation. Shortly thereafter, Diamondhead unveiled its “Master Land Use Plan” for the development of Pinehurst. The plan’s sheer volume of new development projects and other changes shook up many longtime residents. According to the plan, the Harness Track would not emerge unscathed. While the 1/2 mile and 5/8 mile tracks were shown as untouched, the mile track built by the D & T Club in 1949 — the “crown jewel” of the Harness Track, according to current manager Ray Skellington — was slated to be replaced by an executive golf course with residential housing adjacent to the fairways. When horseman and local resident Parker Hall got wind of the plan’s contents, he deemed it “a wake-up call to everyone in the D & T Club. Even had Diamondhead developed only the area of the mile track, that would have ruined the Harness Track as a viable winter training facility.” But Hall and other D & T Club members were not immediately alarmed because the term of the forty-year lease would not expire until June 1, 1992. Diamondhead has been castigated by many for its overdevelopment of Pinehurst and its alterations to the golf courses of the Pinehurst Country Club. But during its 11 year tenure as owner, Diamondhead never made a move toward development of the Harness Track. By 1982 Diamondhead was swimming in red ink and was taken over by a consortium of its creditor banks. Those banks elected to liquidate the resort’s many assets, including the Harness Track .The entity formed by the banks, “Pinehurst Enterprises, Inc.” (“PEI”), proceeded to market the various properties in earnest. Club Corporation of America (“ClubCorp”), led by Robert Dedman Sr., purchased most of those holdings in 1984. But significantly, ClubCorp passed on buying the Harness Track. This severed the ownership connection

1932 Aerial

1932 Grandstands

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

1950 Matinee Races


1947, Babe Zaharius

1954 Horse Show

between the track and the resort. Pat Corso, who served as ClubCorp’s head of operations in Pinehurst, recalls that “Robert Dedman had no interest in developing real estate or running businesses that were ancillary to the management of his clubs. In fact, he was even reluctant to acquire the hotel.” By the time PEI began liquidating Diamondhead’s assets in Pinehurst, the community had been incorporated as a municipality. The village promptly enacted zoning for the entire village. The Harness Track’s land was zoned “A-5 agricultural”, which meant that the track could potentially be subdivided into 5-acre residential lots. Those events did nothing to allay fears that the Harness Track’s days were numbered. Serving as landlord of a horse training facility was not the best way to maximize return on an owner’s investment. The probability was high that the next owner would pursue a more profitable use. Moreover, the clock was ticking on the forty-year lease. In 1988 Tom Connolly decided to take action. Connolly, a local branch bank manager, also dabbled as an amateur trainer at the Harness Track. According to Parker Hall, Connolly often said that upon retirement, “I’m going to spend all my time at the track. I just love the smell of horse shit.” Connolly recruited a small band of concerned citizens, including Hall, retired Brigadier General William Ryder and wife, Muriel, William Emerson and wife, Marcia, Chris Patton, Ann Eberle, Bob Guess and Barbara Kull to join him in forming the, “Friends of the Pinehurst Harness Tracks.” In the summer of 1988, Connolly’s group sought to find a friendly buyer who would ensure the survival of the Harness Track, but to no avail. Next, The Friends investigated the possibility of raising money through a combination of loans, tax-exempt financing and foundation grants. Connolly approached PEI on July, 11, 1988, and proposed allowing The Friends one year to raise $1.5 million to buy the Harness Track. However, by then two well-heeled Vero Beach businessmen were already poised to acquire the property. When The Friends got wind that the Harness Track might be on the verge of acquisition by out-of-state investors, they drafted a petition addressed to the Village Council expressing opposition to development of the Harness Track property for uses other than harness racing. More than 800 residents signed. Vero Beach real estate investors Alex MacWilliam and George Tuerk were golf buddies who vacationed in Pinehurst on a regular basis. On one such visit in the 1970s, their golf game at Pine Needles was rained out. Instead, they whiled away the day checking out area properties. That washout resulted in their purchasing (under the name “SP Partners”) the 275-acre Magruder-Dent property near Pine Needles. As a rule, MacWilliam and Tuerk were in no rush to market their holdings, and that was true with the Magruder-Dent property. But in 1988, the Bell family (Pine Needles’ owners) contacted the investors to express interest in that property. While receptive to the Bells’ overture, the savvy Tuerk wanted to avoid taxable gain on the sale. Tuerk, now retired and living in Orange County, California, explained this strategy to me: “We wanted to

Mrs. Cameron, mother of 78 December 2015P������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills Del Cameron

Photograph from Parker Hall

exchange properties with the Bells in order to affect a tax-free exchange. To do that, Alex and I needed to find a property for the Bells to swap with us. We found the racetrack was on the market, and thought it a good investment.” In August 1988, PEI, SP Partners and Pine Needles Country Club, Inc. consummated a three-way deal that achieved the desired tax-free result. Pine Needles purchased the Harness Track and eleven additional acres located off Monticello Drive from PEI for $1.2 million. Then Pine Needles Country Club conveyed both properties to SP Partners in exchange for the Magruder-Dent property. Tuerk says that PEI added a sweetener in the deal in the form of fifty Pinehurst Country Club memberships, which would be made available to future residents of the the Harness Track’s area. Contained in the deed pertaining to the Parker Hall works out the great Niatross. Many believe this Harness Track was a provision that immediately Standardbred to be the greatest harness horse of all time. sparked local controversy. It provided that SP Partners and successive owners must pay an “85 lot not secure the Harness Track’s future. To persuade the village to go further was water and sewer availability fee of $365 per month.” going to take some doing because the council was already dealing with a full An alarmed reporter for the Citizen News-Record newspaper, noting the complate. The village was engaged in controversial litigation in which it sought to ing expiration of the forty-year lease, asked in October: “Are the generations of obtain ownership of the local water company’s facilities. And it was also dealing horses which have trained and wintered at [the Harness Track ] . . . destined to with fallout from the excesses of development during the Diamondhead era. be replaced by 85 house lots in four years?” Moreover, there were concerns registered by some in village government The Friends’ leader Tom Connolly initially expressed cautious optimism that regarding whether it was appropriate for the village to own the Harness Track. the new owner would not disturb the Harness Track. He understood that “SP Then-councilwoman Sharon King recalls these objections: “One was, ‘Why Partners is interested in the property for tax purposes only,” and that the gentleshould we be subsidizing a facility for rich guys that own horses?’ Another conmen from Vero Beach were not presently looking to develop the property. cern was whether this was the type of thing that government should be getting Then on November 15, 1989, SP Partners conveyed the Harness Track (and into. And of course, there was the issue of how large the deficit would be if we the 11 acres bordering Monticello Drive) to “TWM Investors, Inc.” In my recent owned it. We hoped that it would break even but learned pretty quickly that this interview with Tuerk, he related that the sole reason for changing ownership was unlikely. And how would we pay for the purchase?” to a corporate entity was to eliminate risk of personal liability in the event of an Aware of these impediments, The Friends planned a “Save the Track Town accident at the Harness Track. Meeting” at the Harness Track that would hopefully serve as a show of force that The investors generally kept a low profile, letting their local realtor, Bill would overcome these concerns. Hall concedes that this was a “make or break” Saunders, handle inquiries. But growing public unrest that the Harness Track event. If attendance was disappointing it would serve as a negative signal that would soon be no more caused Alex MacWilliam (now deceased) to make a notwithstanding the yeoman efforts of The Friends, the community as a whole conciliatory statement on December 12, 1989, indicating that TWM was open was not that fired up about preserving the Harness Track. to negotiating a renewal of the lease with the D & T Club after the forty-year As the 4 o’clock starting time for the event approached, the apprehensive lease expired. MacWilliam stated, “As for renewal of the Harness Track lease Hall was heartened to see an unending caravan of cars and golf carts descendwhich expires in 1992, we of course can’t afford to renew it at one dollar a year, ing upon the Harness Track. Eventually a boisterous crowd of over 600 would but all we ask Gary [Cameron of the D & T Club] is that each of us goes halfcome to applaud the various speakers as they made their presentations. Hall, way.” While MacWilliam failed to specify his perception of a fair rental, George after thanking a number of contributors to the track saving effort, delivered the Tuerk did in my interview. He mentioned $150,000 to $200,000 per year. While keynote address stressing the need to preserve “the last open space in Pinehurst.” this may seem a staggering figure given the SP Partners’ purchase price of $1.2 “Parkie” also cited the need to protect the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker million, it should be remembered interest rates ranged well into double-digits — a denizen of the wooded area of the Harness Track. Then Dr. Charles Lowry, during 1988–90. rector emeritus of The Village Chapel and an accomplished driver and trainer, But Parker Hall knew that his fellow horsemen in the D & T Club would mounted the stage. Lowry’s rousing sermon stressed “the challenge to be good never consent to pay anything beyond nominal rent. They would choose to stewards to keep a soulless development from swallowing us completely.” take their horses elsewhere for the winter season. Moreover, any perception that Other presentations by Bob Guess, former mayor Charles Grant and the horsemen were all wealthy and could easily afford divvying up a substantial Barbara Kull followed. Kull suggested that preserving the Harness Track could rental was way off base. As there seemed no way to break through what was “set an example for North Carolina and the entire United States.” Mayor Al certain to be an impasse, time became increasingly of the essence. Bethel also addressed the assembly. While promising no specific action, the By 1990, Parker had ascended to the presidency of The Friends. Given that mayor stated that the council was “ working with The Friends to explore ways no Tufts-like angels loaded with money were likely to step forward, he had come and means . . . to preserve the track.” Finally, Emerson Cole rhetorically asked to the conclusion that ownership by the village was the only way to ensure the the crowd, “Do you want to preserve it [the track] like no other?” A chorus of Harness Track’s future. resounding yeses reverberated through the pines. Observing Village Council The Village Council had gone as far as adopting a Land Use Plan on April members took note. 19, 1990, that recognized the importance of retaining the Harness Track as an Riding this tide of momentum, The Friends circulated a petition that sum“important Pinehurst landmark related to agriculture, a 119-acre tract used for mer urging the village to take the necessary steps to acquire the Harness Track. horse training.” But this measure was aspirational, without real teeth, and did PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Among others, Barbara Kull spent considerable time camped in front of the Pinehurst Post Office soliciting signatures. Eventually 1,769 residents, more than one-fourth of the village’s population, signed. This overwhelming show of support caused the Village Council to pass a resolution of intent to acquire the harness track properties (including the 11 acres off Monticello Drive) on September 17, 1990. The resolution authorized the exploration “of all available avenues for financing.” To assist it in negotiating with the investors, the village contacted a nonprofit organization, the Trust for Public Lands, which in turn agreed to lend a hand at no cost. But the investors were disinclined to sell at what they considered a bargain basement price. Tuerk told me that in ensuing negotiations the village tentatively agreed to pay $1.8 million for the Harness Track but then backed away. He claims he discouraged another interested buyer from making an offer because Tuerk felt he already had struck a deal with the village. Tuerk says that he and MacWilliam were somewhat miffed with the village’s recalcitrance, and discussions slowed to a crawl. The resulting stalemate dragged into 1991, and the expiration of the forty-year lease now loomed less than a year away. In April 1991, the council took further steps relative to the financing of an ultimate purchase. Concerned about the high cost of a submitting a general obligation bond issue to the voters, it began exploring an alternative. Louis Lloyd of Southern National Leasing Corporation had pioneered a little-used fundraising method for North Carolina municipalities, known as an installment purchase loan that would not require a public vote and would be far less expensive to process. The council was receptive to Lloyd’s pitch to use this method to acquire the Harness Track. However, the state regulatory authority would require a legal opinion on the legitimacy of this technique, so the council authorized the retention of the prestigious LeBoeuf law firm to render an opinion. The minutes of the April meeting also indicate that the Trust for Public Lands had been unsuc-


cessful in its negotiations with the investors. Armed with LeBoeuf’s legal opinion, the village still needed the state’s Local Government Commission’s approval of this financing mechanism. The commission had been formed to supervise municipal borrowing after numerous North Carolina cities went bankrupt in the Great Depression. The village selected its new village manager, Andy Wilkison, to team with Lloyd to make the clinching presentation in Raleigh. The 28-year-old Wilkison experienced a moment of panic when, just prior to their meeting with the commission chief Bob High, Lloyd turned, grabbed Wilkison’s arm, looked him in the eye, and said, “You gotta convince this guy!” But young Wilkison calmed his nerves and made his pitch effectively. Realizing that the public purpose of the loan might be an issue, he pointed to other municipalities that had bought fields for the purpose of fielding minor league baseball teams and similar passive recreational activities. And the City of Aiken, South Carolina, owned a harness training facility too. After Wilkison finished, High, after a dramatic pause, nodded, exclaiming, “If you can get this guy (Lloyd) to give you the money, we will approve it.” Locking down prospective financing meant nothing without a signed purchase contract between the village and the investors, and the village had one more card to play. On October 21, 1991, the council convened to take up the question of exercising its eminent domain power to acquire the Harness Track by court action. The council faced a difficult dilemma. Filing of a lawsuit would commit the village to the unpredictable expenses of litigation, and there was the possibility that a court might rule that the village was not entitled to use the power here. Councilman John McKeithen recollects that authorization of eminent domain was a difficult step to take because the council “wanted to be fair to the owners.” However, it was critical from McKeithen’s perspective “to save the track.”

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

The council chambers were filled to capacity that night, and all speakers were emphatic in urging the village to proceed. Bud McManus of the Pinehurst Civic Group argued, “Pinehurst could not sustain the loss of this tranquil setting to be replaced by cars, traffic and people.” To the satisfaction of those assembled, the council unanimously approved the filing of an eminent domain action. Based on an independent appraiser’s opinion, the village authorized a payment of $1,150,000. After the eminent domain action was filed, the parties rapidly came to an amicable settlement. On January 3, 1992, Mayor Bethel announced the village had come to an agreement with the investors to buy the Harness Track for $1.5 million, with closing to take place on June 1, 1992 — the day on which the forty-year lease was to expire. MacWilliam and Tuerk would retain the 11 acres on Monticello Drive. The installment purchase loan from the bank would be repaid by a three cent per hundred dollar levy on local real estate. The announcement also advised that the village, The Friends, and D & T Club would form a team to facilitate the smooth transition of track operations. After the announcement, Andy Wilkison visited Aiken to find out more about the financial aspects of operating a harness training facility. He was told, “You are not going to make money at this.” To think otherwise was “wishful thinking.” What would have happened had the village not bought the Harness Track? George Tuerk ventured the view that if the D & T Club had rejected a lease at what Tuerk viewed as fair market rent, “it probably would have resulted in a deserted racetrack.” If that had occurred, it is easy to imagine an extended period of deterioration of the facility ultimately followed by demolition. It is the fate many historic buildings have unfortunately experienced. But both investors fared well by selling. The proceeds of the sale were used by them to purchase property in the Hilton Head area, which exploded in value. They also profitably sold off lots on the 11 acres off Monticello. The last four were marketed last year. Before the properties were marketed, Tuerk allowed them to be used for U.S. Open parking free of charge. While it is true that the Harness Track would not run at a profit, many positive developments occurred during the following decade that validated the village’s wisdom in acquiring the property. A million dollar fundraising campaign resulted in the transition of a dilapidated and vast horse barn into the Fair Barn, which has become the primary Pinehurst venue for civic and cultural events. Certainly Pinehurst No. 2 could not have staged the U.S. Open without the Harness Track’s vast open space serving as an ideal staging area. Fifty-six acres of the Harness Track occupied by pre-World War II barns were placed on the National Historic Register. Muriel Ryder, a founding member of The Friends, worries that people in Pinehurst take the Harness Track for granted. “They don’t realize it almost went down the drain.” And when Andy Wilkison was asked to sum up his feelings about the village’s acquiring of the Pinehurst Harness Track, he responded simply, “Just think what Pinehurst would be without it!” PS

1932 Spectators

Having retired from the practice of law, Pinehurst resident Bill Case is enjoying his “second act” as a history writer. PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015

1932 Mule Chariot Races


Christmas By Numbers By L auren Shumaker


Yards of


decorate the Carolina this year (that equals 1.42 miles)




of ice make up the snow yard in Southern Pines for the ARC’s benefit on Dec. 19th

Nutcrackers can be found at the Carolina

800 Poinsettias sit pretty throughout Pinehurst Resort



20,000 Lights twinkle on the Pinehurst Resort’s Christmas tree

decorate the town of Carthage each holiday season


Christmas trees line the streets of Downtown Southern Pines

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

This year at PineStraw the holidays are a numbers game. Behold some numerical wonders and statistics from our Sandhills seasonal happenings.





have been gifted by Mr. Earl Wright at Bo’s parking lot in Southern Pines

glass ornaments at STARworks’ holiday sale on Dec. 12th


2,600 P


eople enter

decorated for the Episcopal Day School Annual candlelight Tour of Homes on Dec. 4th

the Reindeer Run each year. Held on Dec. 5th in Aberdeen

2001 The year


Firetrucks in the Carthage Parade on Dec. 1st

of the first Pinecone Drop. On Dec. 31st in Downtown Southern Pines

2,500 Feet of Garland decorate the interior and exterior of the Carolina PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015 83

S to r y of a h o u s e

A Family of

Believers Christmas arrives gently at a showplace designed for creature comfort By Deborah Salomon Photographs by John Gessner


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

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



f Santa’s elves were ever looking for a post-holiday hideaway, then Ashlee and Will Huntley’s home would fit the bill perfectly. Doorframes, some arched, soar close to the 10-foot ceilings, which vault even higher in Will’s “gentleman’s den,” where a sailfish landed by his grandfather hangs over the much-used fireplace. With more than forty-feet of counter space and an island that’s a chef’s dream, the kitchen could easily accommodate any size Twelfth Night feast. A North Pole day care would hardly fill the children’s homework room and adjoining carpeted play area (with balance beam and arcade-sized hoops machine). Ashlee’s dressing room resembles the boutique in a five-star hotel lobby — “Exactly the look I wanted,” she says. The custom cabinetry/moldings throughout represent enough lumber for Noah to build a yacht, while floorlength ball-fringed drapes at most windows, if joined, might make a swishing, smashing opera house curtain. Yet, except for the dining room, Ashlee has created a colorful, fanciful, relaxed family atmosphere which she dubs informal, to match their lifestyle. “It’s me — I’m a colorful person,” she says, acknowledging help from French country motifs in Matisse patterns and hues. This is what transpires when the outdoorsy professional builder of fine homes marries a stunning blonde interior designer. The couple saw opportunity in local gated communities catering recently to more full-time than vacation residents. After relocating from Raleigh to Moore County in 2011, Will and Ashlee required not only a family residence but also a functioning showplace for their product.


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

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


“It was built to look old,” Ashlee says. “ . . . Like a farmhouse with wings added and rustic elements that are timeless . . .”

“I can’t count how many [clients] I’ve brought [to the house],” Ashlee says. They looked for land with high visibility. A lot overlooking the 13th tee of the Dogwood Course at CCNC worked fine. But, above all, the house should appear more Hyannis Port or Virginia horse country than Versailles. “It was built to look old,” Ashlee says. “ . . . Like a farmhouse with wings added and rustic elements that are timeless,” Will adds, which explains the elongated façade with dormers, painted brick and green shutters. Flooring throughout actually is old; dark wide-board pine planks from a tobacco warehouse lie rough side up, with visible nail holes — a worthy backdrop for bright floral and geometric hooked and woven area rugs echoing colors Ashlee mixes boldly in her fabric choices. Walls and woodwork are white except for the dining room, covered in faux painting — not wallpaper — resembling tufted pillows. An L-shaped staircase with metal railings keeps the hallway open and airy. The unusual floor plan, totaling 5,000 square feet, makes sense for a busy family. Ashlee’s home office and storage area (the “drop zone”) forms the hub, branching out to the most-used front door, garage and laundry/utility room which, characteristically, is bigger than most apartment living rooms. Speaking of living rooms: The Huntleys don’t have one, per se, another expression of their informality. A dining table separates the kitchen from a family room furnished in upholstered pieces, including a bench-coffee table. The Huntleys and guests congregate here and on a covered but unscreened outdoor living/dining area, also with fireplace, that they use year-round. Exception: On cold, rainy nights they hole up in Will’s (relatively) small den, to watch TV by the fire.


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

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



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

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



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

What must Christmas be like amid such informal grandeur? Surprisingly simple, traditional, organic — more Perry Como than Katy Perry, resembling Ashlee’s childhood home more than Will’s, which was bedecked not only for Christmas but also for Halloween, Easter and other holidays. “Our décor evolved over the years, lots of sentimental stuff,” Ashlee notes. “We only decorate rooms we live in.” No reindeer on the roof or neon on the lawn. No kitchen or bathroom theme trees. No special lighting effects. No Santa collections. Instead, Ashlee puts her energy into oversize fresh balsam wreaths with 6-inch-wide ribbons cascading to the floor. Will provided her with an electric outlet per window, for candles, activated by a single switch. Ashlee confines her palette to white, red and gold with dashes of hot pink, her signature color. Tubs of greenery adorn tables and flank doorways; rosemary bushes rest on windowsills. A convenient cupboard holds Christmas dishes, used at every meal. A corner of the family room is reserved for the main tree, with a children’s tree upstairs, surrounded by a Disney monorail and laden with ornaments made by Mary Grace, 10, and William, 8, who still put out milk and cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer. “We’re a family of believers,” Ashlee smiles. And in the air, softly, from a built-in sound system, country-style Christmas music completes the effect. “Warm, inviting, comfy,” Ashlee says. Not too big, “Because we live in every square inch.” PS

What must Christmas be like amid such informal grandeur? Surprisingly simple, traditional, organic — more Perry Como than Katy Perry

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


day, December 19th • 11:0 Satur ise Theater, Southern P 0am ines


Join us for our fourth year of bringing a

winter wonderland to Southern Pines!








join us for a self-guided tour of seven styled ceremony & reception sites

Your donation to The Arc of Moore County of


includes your entry to the movie, refreshments and festivities. All proceeds benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Seating at the Sunrise is limited!



$35 online|$45 at the door

t icke t include s dow ntow n v en ue to ur on satur day & b r u n c h o n s u n day at c o u r t ya r d b y m a r r i o t t

sponsored by




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

By Rosetta Fawley Nescis quid vesper vehat. Roman proverb, quoted by Macrobius, Saturnalia, “Thou knowest not what evening may bring.” How true. They were clever chaps, those ancient Romans. They had the Pantheon, under-floor heating and succinct party philosophy. December was the silly season for them too. They celebrated Saturnalia, the forerunner of Christmas. It was the festival of Saturn, the god of seeds and sowing. Beginning on December 17 in the Julian calendar, the festival lasted several days and featured a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn followed by days — and nights — of feasting, drinking and celebration until December 23. Slaves were honored with a dinner served by their masters, and were permitted to speak freely. Both slave and master were allowed to gamble, either among themselves or with each other if they chose. Gifts were exchanged during the Sigillaria on December 19. However, since class and status were supposed to be suspended, the gifts tended to be modest and universal; often they were sigillaria, wax or pottery figures made especially for the festival.


The Romans chose a good time to celebrate the god of seeds. Now is the moment to look over your garden and plan for next year’s harvest. Your kale, cabbage and collards will probably still be producing winter greens. Hooray. Now, between turkey leftovers and Saturnalian hangovers, put your feet up and leaf through a seed catalog or ten. Consider investing in a cold frame to extend your growing season. If the budget is tight, as it tends to be at this time of year, then think about building a frame. It’s really just a box with a sloping glass lid. Look out for old windows at yard sales and flea markets. Apart from practicality, they’re more attractive than modern options. You want something no wider than a couple of feet to be sure that you can reach all the plants inside when you’re gardening. Build a frame from wood that won’t rot — black locust, cedar, cypress, white oak and redwood are all species resistant to decay; again, keep an eye out for scrap at lumberyards. On very cold nights it’s worth throwing a blanket over the cold frame to give an extra layer of warmth. Gardeners tend to be hardy types, but if the temperatures really drop, then you might want to indulge in an extra blanket for yourself too. Should we have a warm snap, open the lid during the day. You don’t want temperatures higher than about 70–75 degrees. Not for the plants, anyway.

Gardeners and Romans aren’t the only ones with their minds on seeds this season. If our feathered friends could choose from a catalog over the winter months, they’d probably go for sunflower seeds and white proso millet. If you use commercial bird foods, read the ingredients carefully. Be sure to avoid mixtures that use golden millet, red millet or flax as fillers. Most birds don’t like these and they will avoid them. The resulting leftovers develop fungus and bacteria, spoiling the food the birds would want. You can also put out suet, fruit and peanuts. With all foods, keep an eye on the birds’ consumption and keep your bird table clean to avoid the growth of bacteria. And fatty foods, such as suet or peanut butter, should be removed in the warmth of the sun. The melting fat can clog birds’ plumage, making it difficult for them to fly and to maintain their body temperature. If you’re boiling eggs to devil for the party season, keep the shells and crush them into small pieces. It may sound like a strange thing to feed to birds, but they’re a good source of calcium and protein, which they need during the winter because there are fewer insects for them to feed on. Once the temperatures drop below freezing, remember to put out shallow dishes of water so that birds can drink and clean their feathers. They need fresh water every day. The ancient Romans probably felt the same at this time of year.


If you’re one of those who share a birthday celebration with Jesus, you’re in exalted company. Here are a few other greats whose birthday presents were wrapped in tinsel and red and green paper: Isaac Newton (1642–1726/7) Clara Barton (1821–1912) Humphrey Bogart (1899–1957) Cab Calloway (1907–1994) Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010)


Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in the trances of the blast, Or if the secret ministry of frost Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon. From Frost at Midnight, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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



Arts Entertainment C a l e n da r

Open House at Hollyhocks Art Gallery



Flower Arranging Workshop



Given Holiday Party



Tuesday, December 1–31

Tuesday, December 1–19

Thursday, December 3

PARADE OF TREES. Local businesses decorate Christmas trees that line the downtown blocks and compete to win Best in Show! Downtown Southern Pines. Info: Southern Pines Business Association. Info:

ART EXHIBIT. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays and 2 – 4 p.m., Saturday, December 19. “Art For All Ages” features artwork by Douglas Byrne (drawings), Susan Edquist (jewelry), Betty Hendrix (drawings) and Shelly Rappaport (wood). Exhibit is free and open to the public. Campbell House Galleries, 482 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 6922787 or

SENIORS DAY OUT. 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Temple Theater’s A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ timeless and inspiring classic. An event for ages 50+. The group will lunch together prior to the show. Cost: $38/residents; $76/non-residents (cost of lunch not included). Pinehurst Parks and Recreation, Assembly Hall, 395 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 2951900 or

Wednesday, December 2

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 5 – 7 p.m. Fine wine, fine art, holiday fun and refreshments. Wine courtesy of Elliott’s on Linden. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or

Tuesday, December 1–17 ART SHOW AND SALE. Gallery hours: 12 – 3 p.m. Mon – Sat. Continuing from last month, The Artists League of the Sandhills Annual Fall Show and Sale includes oils, watercolors, pastels and other media. Exchange Street Gallery of Fine Art, 129 Exchange St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 944-3979. NATURE TALES. 10 – 11 a.m. for ages 2 to 4, and 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. for ages 5 and 6. “Snow Bunnies.” Preschool story and nature time. Cost and registration: No cost for program, but please pre-register two business days in advance. (Admission to garden is not included in program.) Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 486-0221 (ext. 20) or


WIFFLEBALL COACHES MEETING. 6 p.m. Recreation Room, 300 Kelly Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-1900 or WEYMOUTH HOUSE CHRISTMAS GALA. 6 – 9 p.m. Music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres and bar. Catering by Elliott’s. Black tie optional. Reservations required. $75/members; $85/non-members. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 6926261.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT. 5:30 p.m. Children grades K – 5 and their families are invited to participate in holiday songs, a puppet show and an ornament-making session. Refreshments provided. Children may wear PJs for a comfy and fun end to the day! Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

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

Meet B.A. Shapiro

Elvis Christmas Special




LIVE MUSIC. 8 p.m. John Doyle at the Cameo. Cost: $15. Cameo Theater, 225 Hay St., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 486-6633,, or (910) 944-7502,


Thursday, December 3–6 WEYMOUTH CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 1 – 4 p.m. Sunday. Daily tours of the house decorated to the theme of “In A One-Horse Open Sleigh.” Cost: $15 in advance, at Weymouth Center, Country Bookshop, Given Library, Lady Bedford’s Tea House, and Sandhills Winery; $20 at the door. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 6926261 or





CAROLS AT WEYMOUTH. 5:30 p.m. This holiday tradition of music and Christmas stories is free and open to the public, but does not include the house tour. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E .Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 6926261 or

They’re back!

Bolshoi Ballet at The Sunrise


Individual Ticket Sales Now thru Performance Date

HORSE SHOW. 7 a.m. Thursday – 7 p.m. Sunday. The Triangle Farms Sandhills Holiday Classic presents hunter/jumper shows. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Road, Raeford. Info: (910) 875-2074, (910) 556-7321.

Thursday, December 3–17 WIFFLE BALL ADULT LEAGUE REGISTRATION. For 18 and older (co-ed). Teams must have a minimum of five players. Games played indoors at the Pinehurst Elementary School Gym, from January 6 and through February 17.

Ticket s on ! Sale Now

at the

Located in Beautiful Downtown Southern Pines

250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC • 910-692-8501

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


ca l e n da r


the Moment,

Wear Lilly Clothing • Bags • Accessories Children’s • Shoes

204 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387 Mon.-Sat. 10:00 am - 5:30 pm • Sun. 1-5:30 910-725-0546

The Wine Cellar & Tasting Room Retail Wine Shop/Wine Bar

as! hristm Merrhays C f! the best prices! Woo My Mom

Christmas is for Family • Friends Wine from the certified Sommeliers at The Wine Cellar and Tasting Room

241-A NE Broad St | Downtown Southern Pines

910.692.3066 98

Tournament on February 17. Costs: TBD. Info and Registration: (910) 295-1900 or

Friday, December 4 NATURE EVENT. 10 – 10:45 a.m. “Feathered Feeding Frenzy (For Wee Ones!).” Come learn how you can help our feathered friends this winter as we read a book, play some games, and make an edible craft for the birds in your backyard! (For 3 to 5-yearolds. Parent participation expected.) Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167. CANDY CANE HUNT. 5 p.m. For children ages 4 to 10 (must be accompanied by an adult). Bring the whole family for some outdoor holiday fun, including cookie decoration, crafts, games, photos with Santa, and the candy cane hunt. Memorial Park and Southern Pines Recreation Center, 160 and 210 Memorial Park Court, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2463. PINEHURST CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING. 5 – 7:30 p.m. The evening includes photos with Santa, hayrides, Santa’s elves, and musical entertainment. Tree lighting at 6:30. Tufts Memorial Park, 1 Village Green Road W., Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-1900 or JAZZY FRIDAYS. 6 p.m. Enjoy a bottle of wine and dancing with friends under the tent while Cool Heat entertains you with live jazz music. Food vendors onsite. Cost: $10/person. Reservations and pre-payment required for eight or more. Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Road, Wagram. Info: (910) 369-0411 or LIVE MUSIC AT THE ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Doors open at 6:16 p.m. John Doyle performs. Cost: $15. The Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 944-7502 or

Friday, December 4 and 5 YULETIDE FEASTE. 7:30 p.m. A Renaissance-style dinner featuring an elegant four-course meal, festive banquet hall setting, costumed characters straight out of Tudor England, carols, and madrigal music. Ticket required. Hay St. United Methodist Church, 320 Hay St., Fayetteville. Info and tickets: Linda Volman at (910) 630-7100.

Saturday, December 5 REINDEER FUN RUN. 7:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. A community event for serious runners, recreational walkers, families and pets. Join in the holiday cheer with the 5K Reindeer Fun Run/Walk, 12K Christmas Run, and Kids Egg Nog Jog to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sandhills. 100 E Main St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 693-3045 or JR FLEA MARKET. 9 – 11 a.m. (Setup: 8 – 9 a.m.) Young people (ages 7 to 16, accompanied by a parent) will set up their stores (crafts, toys, clothes, etc.) and put their bargaining skills to the test. Sellers must pre-register (space is limited). For more information and prices: (910) 692-2463 or

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

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

Come celebrate Christmas with us! Dec. 13 Cantata

(with orchestra) at 8:30 & 11 am

Dec. 20 Live Nativity 5:30-7:30 pm

Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Service 5:30 pm

Come and Celebrate the Christmas Season at

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church 320 N. Ashe Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387

Schedule of Masses Advent Penance Service (Confessions) December 15th 6:30 pm Christmas Eve Mass (Thursday) December 24th 5:00 pm | 7:00 pm | 9:00 pm (Spanish) | 12:00 Midnight

Christmas Day Mass December 25th (Friday) 11:00 am


New Year’s Eve Mass December 31st (Thursday) 6:00 pm | 8:00pm (Spanish)

Village Chapel

New Year’s Day Mass January 1st, 2016 12:00 (noon)

Christmas Event Dates

For more information please contact us at | 910-692-6613


Wednesday, December 2nd at 6:30pm

175 E. Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines, NC 28387


Sunday, December 6th at 4pm CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES

Thursday, December 24th

Children’s Play, Lessons and Carols at 5pm Holy Communion at 9pm

CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE Friday, December 25th • 10:00am Adjacent to the Village Green • Pinehurst

910-295-6003 •

Bethesda Presbyterian Church

The Advent of Peace Sermon Series Nov. 29 - Dec. 20, 11:00 a.m. worship Cakes and Carols immediately following 11:00 a.m. worship, Dec. 6 Christmas Cantata, Let the Whole World Sing, Dec. 20, 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service, Dec. 24, 5:00 p.m. Rev. Whitney Wilkinson, Pastor • 910-245-7901

Everyone Welcome

Nov. 26 Nov. 29 Dec. 20 Dec. 24

Community Thanksgiving Dinner 12-2pm Hanging of the Greens Musical Service 5pm Chancel Choir Cantata and Moore Brass (during worship) 11am Community Christmas Eve Service (Aberdeen First Baptist) 5pm Candlelight Communion Service (Bethesda Presbyterian) 11pm

Sunday School: 9:45am • Worship Service: 11:00am 1002 N. Sandhills Blvd. (US 1) Aberdeen NC • 910-944-1319

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




Residential & Custom Home Design Engineer Drafting Home Additions Historic Renovation 3-D Rendering Structural Inspections

Happy holidays

to all of our customers! Thank you for your continued patronage throughout the year.

Enrique J. Artiga (910) 315-2710

ATTENTION REALTORS! offers quick, comprehensive floorplans for your listings! Field Measurements Personalized Sales Flyers Saves you time! We do it for you!

From The Antique Shops of


11 Antique Shops • 3 Great Lunch & Coffee Spots

All in the Historic Village of Cameron

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



for a 6 ft. Fresh Cut Fraizier Fir Christmas Tree Bring your tree stand & we will install your Christmas Tree for you!

Poinsettias 6” & 10”

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Christmas Wreaths

Advertise your services here! call (910) 692-7271

$10.00 & up

255 Green Haven Lane, Hwy 22 • Carthage 947.2702 • Mon - Sat 8-5 • Closed Sunday 100

December 2015 i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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NATURE TALES. 10 – 11 a.m. for ages 2 to 4, and 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. for ages 5 and 6. “Snow Bunnies.” Preschool story and nature time. Cost and registration: No cost for program, but please pre-register two business days in advance. (Admission to garden not included in program.) Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 4860221 (ext 20) or MEET THE ARTIST AT WORK. 12 – 3 p.m. Visit with artist Jane Casnellie and learn about her techniques and background in art. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 2550665 or hollyhocksartgallerycom. MAKER SATURDAY. 11 a.m. “Power Legos.” Maker Saturdays allow students to explore technology in a relaxed environment. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or HOLIDAY PARADE. 11 a.m. Local marching bands, activities, fun, Santa and more. Downtown Southern Pines, beginning at Vermont Avenue. Info: HOLIDAY GLASS ORNAMENT SALE. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Over 2,000 handmade ornaments & gifts created at STARworks Glass. Ornaments not available until the event and cannot be reserved. STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise, 100 Russell Drive, Star. Info: (910) 428-9001 or

WREATH-MAKING WORKSHOP. 1 – 4 p.m. Create a wreath using a variety of natural materials from the garden. Materials, assistance, a warm drink and cookies provided. (Bring gloves and hand pruners; we have a few to share.) Cost: $40/members; $50/non-members. Pre-registration required. Space is limited. Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 486-0221 or THE CREATIVE CHRISTMAS TABLE. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sponsored by Moore County Extension & Community Assoc. (ECA). Proceeds go to Sandhills Community College Scholarship program and other charities supported by ECA. Chapel Hall at The Village Chapel, 10 Azalea Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 949-3357. CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR. 7 – 9 p.m. Candlelight tours at Weymouth Center with wine and cheese. Cost: $35/members; $45/non-members. Call for reservations. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261 or CHILDREN’S CHORUS HOLIDAY CONCERT. 5 p.m. The Moore County Children’s Chorus will present their holiday concert. Admission is free. Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, 330 S. May St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6252.

Sunday, December 6 HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 – 4 p.m. Moore County Historical Association’s Yuletide Open House at the (1820s) Bryant House and the on-site McLendon Cabin (1760s) next door. 3361 Mount Carmel Road, Carthage. Free to public. Info and directions: (910) 692-2051 weekdays 1 – 4 p.m., info@, or BOLSHOI BALLET SERIES. 1 p.m. The Lady of the Camellias, in HD via satellite, is based on Alexander Dumas’s tragic masterpiece of love between a young bourgeois and a beautiful courtesan in Parisian high society. Cost: $25. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or A DAY AT THE FARM. 12 – 4 p.m. Pony rides, hayrides, barrel train, concessions, baked goods and crafts. Visit with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost: $15/ child for all day ride pass; $5/per ride, no admission charge to farm. Peaceful Meadows Farm, 831 Priest Hill Road, Carthage. Info: (910) 986-4774. CANDLELIGHT TOUR. 1 – 6 p.m. The 38th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes includes five gorgeous homes decked out in holiday finery. Cost: $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Info: (910) 692-3492 or STORYTIME WITH NC SYMPHONY. 3:30 p.m. A North Carolina Symphony member will host a musical storytime, then children will get hands-on


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


Dining Guide


195 american fusion cuisine supporting local farmers

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

195 bell avenue southern pines 910.692.7110

Early Bird Specials $3.00 Off Entrees 4-6pm • Dine in only

Thank you for shopping at the


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

“Open on Thursday Dec. 24th for Christmas Week” “Open on Thursday Dec. 31th for New Year’s Week”

Now Accepting Reservations for Holiday Parties and Catering for All Occasions. Visit us for Daily Specials

(910) 215-9800

9735 US 15-501 • Fairway Village, Pinehurst, NC Mon - Thurs 5pm-9pm Fri - Sat 5pm-10pm

Local (within 50 miles) in-season produce, kale, collards, Swiss chard, turnips, winter squash, greens, lettuce, sweet potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes, grass fed beef, free range pork and chickens, eggs, baked goods, jams, prepared foods, plants, crafts, pecans, plus others

FirstHealth & Downtown Southern Pines will re-open the middle of April 2016 Facilities Courtesy of FirstHealth & Town of Southern Pines

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

Celebrate the Holidays With Us!

Live Music & Entertainment

Wishing you a Merry Christmas! e Flair ovativ e • Inn Cuisin ic s s la C

Wishing You & Yours Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! Join us and Treat your Family & Friends Lunch Tues-Fri 11:30-2:00 Dinner Wed-Sat 5:30-9:00 910-235-4600 111 Central Park Ave, Suite L Olmsted Village, Pinehurst


28 Balsamics • 25 Olive Oils Pastas & Sauces • Herbs & Spices Pottery • Cutting Boards • Gourmet Condiments Olive Oil Skin Care Products

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Reservations Suggested

Elegant dining in a family-friendly atmosphere, pairing American Cuisine with exotic tastes of Thailand.

Thank you for

10 Great Years! Banquet Rooms Available

Tues - Sat 11:30am-2:30pm • 5:00pm-9:00pm Sunday 9:30am - 1:30pm

910-295-3240 • 910-295-4118 Midland Country Club • Midland Road

December 2015i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

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time with an instrument “petting zoo.” Preschoolers of all ages (birth to 5 years) are invited to this unique and unforgettable storytime. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or AUTHOR EVENT. 2 p.m. Sarah Edwards will be at The Country Bookshop to talk about her new book Pandora, Let’s Talk. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211. LIVE MUSIC AT THE ROOSTER’S WIFE. 6:46 p.m. Doors open at 6:16 p.m. Jonathan Byrd brings not just the Pick Up Cowboys, but also the mighty Corin Raymond along for quite the ride, soaring spirits, breaking hearts, affirming life. Cost: $15. The Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 944-7502 or

secure your place in class. Payment due at registration. Ball Visitors Center of Sandhills Horticultural Gardens, 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 695-3882.

Wednesday, December 9 TAI CHI CLASS. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays through December 30. Tai Chi Master Lee Holbrook leads this peaceful workout for people of all levels to increase body awareness, coordination and longevity. Cost: $21/residents; 42/non-residents. Pinehurst Parks and Rec, Recreation Room, 300 Kelly Road, Pinehurst. Info and pre-registration: (910) 295-1900 or 295-2817 or

Thursday, December 10

A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS. 7:30 p.m. North Carolina Symphony presents the music of Handel and Bach. Enjoy the Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, and much more. Cost: $32 – 53.Lee Auditorium, Pinecrest High School, 250 Voit Gilmore Lane, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6554 or

GIVEN HOLIDAY PARTY. 6:46 p.m. Doors open at 6:16 p.m. The Rooster’s Wife house band (Joe, Craven, Newberry, and Walsh) and special guest Molly McGinn come to Pinehurst for this special occasion. Refreshments from Mark Elliott. Cost: $25. Given Outpost, 95 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 944-7502 or

Tuesday, December 8

Thursday, December 10-12

HOLIDAY FLOWER ARRANGING WORKSHOP. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Maggie Smith of Maggie’s Farm Designs shows participants how to make a floral arrangement for the Christmas holiday. Cost: $35/members, $40/non-members. Pre-pay to

TEEN CHALLENGE CHRISTMAS BANQUET. 6:30 p.m. The 29th Annual Sandhills Teen Challenge Christmas Banquet. Cost: $75/table or $10/person by check to Sandhills Teen Challenge, P.O. Box 1701, Southern Pines. Adults only please. Sandhills

Teen Challenge Center, 444 Farm Life School Road, Carthage. Info: (910) 947–2944.

Friday, December 11 MEET THE AUTHOR. 5:30 p.m. B.A. Shapiro, New York Times best-selling author of The Art Forger, discusses her new book, The Muralist, a story about the birth of abstract expressionism set against the backdrop of the Depression and the eve of World War II. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211. COOKING CLASS. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Spanish Tapas and Appetizers. Join professional chef Sonia Middleton as she brings a little international culture to cooking. Cost: $40/residents; $80/non-residents. Pinehurst Parks and Recreation, Program Room, 300 Kelly Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-1900 or DAY TRIPPERS. 4 – 9 p.m. “The Lights at Denton Ridge.” An opportunity for teens and young adults (ages 14+) to visit Denton Ridge; enjoy the lights; and see the old country store, Model-T, Santa and Mrs. Claus in her bake house. Cost: $30/residents; $60/ non-residents. Group departs from and returns to Pinehurst Parks and Recreation, Village Hall, 395 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-1900 or 295-2817 or JAZZY FRIDAYS. 6 p.m. Enjoy a bottle of wine and dancing with friends under the tent while The Sand Band entertains you with live jazz music. Cost: $10/

Dining Guide

Restaurant Authentic Thai Cusine

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

Smoke Free Environment

it’s not too Late to book your

HoLiday PaRty!

Our Place or Yours -

We CateR to youR WHims!


Closed Monday Tuesday - Friday 11:00am - 2:30pm Saturday Closed for Lunch Sunday 11:30am - 2:30pm


Tuesday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:30pm Saturday 4:00pm-9:30pm See our menu on MooCo under Oriental Restaurants

(910) 944-9299

Carryout and Vegetarian Dishes

Groups • Banquets • CateRing ReseRvations taken for groups of 6 or more

1720 US 1 South Southern Pines, NC


Casual Dining. serious FooD.

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


Fabulous Finds in Fayetteville

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person. Reservations and pre-payment required for 8 or more. Food vendors on-site. Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Road, Wagram. Info: (910) 369-0411 or

Wrap it up!

PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. The Grinch. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211

Friday, December 11–13 HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. 1 – 4 p.m. Moore County Historical Association’s Yuletide Open House at the Shaw Homestead. Enjoy old-time decorations, warm apple cider and homemade cookies; tour three house-museums built between the 1700s and 1800s. Free to the public. Corner of Morganton Road and Broad St., Southern Pines. Info:

high cotton CONSIGNMENT


2800-4 Raeford Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28303 Follow Us on Facebook

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Call Ginny at (910) 693-2481

Photo Credit: JMReidy/Creative Commons

Friday, December 11–23 and December 26 and 27 HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDEN. 5:30 – 9 p.m. (Last entry at 8:15 p.m.) A sparkling wonderland aglow with thousands of lights, holiday music, photos with Santa, seasonal treats, beer and wine garden, holiday shopping in the Gift Shop and more. Cost: Call for prices and details. Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 486-0221 or

Saturday, December 12 CHRISTMAS HORSE CARRIAGE PARADE. 1 – 1:45 p.m. The Moore County Driving Club decorates their horses and carriages for Christmas and drives them through the historic district. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: YOUNG CHEFS COOKING. 2 – 6 p.m. Chef Sonia Middleton teaches young chefs (ages 9 to 14) how to make delicious soups and sandwiches for the winter, as well as unique Christmas cookies. Cost: $50/residents; $100/non-residents. Pinehurst Parks and Recreation, Recreation Room, 300 Kelly Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 2951900 or pinehurst MEET THE ARTIST AT WORK. 12 – 3 p.m. Visit with artist Jane Casnellie and learn about her techniques and background in art. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 2550665 or hollyhocksartgallerycom.

Silhouette ~ Tom Ford ~ Ferragamo ~ Porsche Design ~ Valentino Calvin Klein ~ Christian Dior ~ Gucci ~ John Varvatos other Luxury Eyewear


201 South McPherson Church Road / McPherson Square Suite 105 in Fayetteville


SNOWMAN CRAFTS. A day of fun with self-led crafts for kids K – 5. We provide the materials, you provide the imagination! Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. The Fayetteville Symphony performs traditional holiday music with international vocalist and Fort Bragg military spouse Kaitlyn Lusk. Costs: $27/adults, $24/ senior and military, $11/children ages 6 – 18 and students. Huff Concert Hall, Methodist University, 5400 Ramsey St., Fayetteville. Tickets and info:, (910) 433-4690, fayettevillesymphony. org/2015-2016-concerts. HOLIDAY SHOPPE CHRISTMAS ART & CRAFT SHOW. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Come find that

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perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Choose from a wide array of handcrafted items, beautiful wooden benches, stained glass, custom leather work, handmade soap, pottery, jewelry, wooden toys and more. National Guard Armory, Morganton Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 528-7052 AUTHOR EVENT. 2:30 p.m. Cos Barnes, Toy House at Tryon. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211.

Sunday, December 13 MURPHY FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHOW. 3 p.m. A Sunrise tradition. Join the Murphys as they fill the theater with rich talent that will keep you coming back for more. Cost: Call for prices. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or EXPLORATIONS SERIES FOR ADULTS. 3 – 4 p.m. Local author and frequent contributor to PineStraw, Cos Barnes will read from her works and share her methods for writing personal stories. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or LIVE MUSIC AT THE ROOSTER’S WIFE. 5:46 p.m. Doors open at 5:16 p.m. Holiday show with Barefoot Movement performing. Cost: $15. The Poplar Knight Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen. Info: (910) 585-1614 or WINTER CONCERT. 7 p.m. Moore County Choral Society will present their “Holiday Spirit” concert at Sandhills Community College. Cost: $15/adult; $7.50/student. Tickets available at The Country Bookshop, Kirk Tours of Pinehurst, the Sandhills Winery in Seven Lakes, and the Campbell House.

Y H T L A HE S E C I O CH & Cat e in n a C r for you

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Located in Cam Square 1150 Old US Highway 1S, Southern Pines

HOURS: M to F 10-6 • Sat 10-5


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WINTER CONCERT. 4 p.m. Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra Winter Concert. Students of all ages from all over the southeastern region perform. Free to the public. Huff Concert Hall, Methodist University, 5400 Ramsey St., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 630-7609 or

Monday, December 14 SANDHILLS PHOTO CLUB MEETING. 7 p.m. Holiday Dinner. Hannah Theater Center at The O’Neal School, 3300 Airport Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6920 or

Tuesday, December 15 CITIZENS ACADEMY. 6 – 8 p.m. The town of Southern Pines continues its Citizens Academy with a session conducted by the Administration, Finance, and Utility Billing Departments. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or Please call the library at (910) 692-8235 if you want to sign up. Availability is limited. JAMES BOYD BOOK CLUB. 2 p.m. Leaning Against the Sun, by Gerald W. Barrax. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261 or LITERARY EVENT. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Writers in Residence Monthly Reading with Valerie Niemen, PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


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author and poet. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261 or


SIP & PAINT WITH JANE. 5 – 7 p.m. Join resident artist Jane Casnellie for an evening of sipping and painting and take home your own masterpiece! No experience necessary. All materials provided, including a glass of wine. Cost: $35. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info and registration: (910) 255-0665. A CELTIC CHRISTMAS. 7 p.m. Enjoy Christmas traditions, stories and songs with the Jennifer Licko band, a four-piece acoustic ensemble, including Patrick Mangan from Riverdance. Cost: $25. The Weymouth Center Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261 or, or

Friday, December 18 LIVE HOLIDAY MUSIC. 7 – 9:30 p.m. The Chatham County Line Holiday Tour returns with acoustic and electric performances of progressive bluegrass. Cost: $25 – $40. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or JAZZY FRIDAYS. 6 p.m. Enjoy a bottle of wine and dancing with friends under the tent while Black Water Rhythm and Blues entertains you with live jazz music. Cost: $10/person. Reservations and pre-payment required for eight or more. Food vendors on site. Cypress Bend Vineyards, 21904 Riverton Road, Wagram. Info: (910) 369-0411 or

Saturday, December 19

This holiday season, we wish you enough...

enough happiness to keep your spirit bright enough pain so that the smallest of joys seem large enough gain to satisfy your wanting enough loss to appreciate all that you possess enough faith, courage and friends to take you through life. It’s a wonderful life....spread your joy!

166 NW Broad St. | Southern Pines • 910.692.5356 | Mon - Sat 10-5

Instagram us at shopmorganmiller | Like us “Morgan Miller” on Facebook for up to date info on what’s in the store right now.


NATURE EVENT. 9 a.m. “Winter Bird Walk.” See dark-eyed juncos, yellow-bellied sapsuckers and ruby-crowned kinglets in North Carolina for the winter only. Dress for the weather and be prepared for a two-hour (2-mile) walk outdoors. Bring binoculars and field guides if you can. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167. MEET THE ARTIST AT WORK. 12 – 3 p.m. Visit with artist Charlie Roberts and learn about his techniques and background in art. Hollyhocks Art Gallery, 905 Linden Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 255-0665 or hollyhocksartgallerycom. MAKER SATURDAY. 2 p.m. “WaterColor Bot.” Maker Saturdays allow students to explore technology in a relaxed environment. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or CHRISTMAS MOVIE AND SNOW SPECTACULAR. 11 a.m. The Arc of Moore County presents Christmas carols, a visit from Santa, the movie Elf and a winter festival. Live entertainment and food trucks. Cost: $10 donation, proceeds benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or Tickets online in

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advance at, at The Arc of Moore County; and available at the door.

casual living redefined

ELVIS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. 6 p.m. Hosted by Rich Rushforth and presented by the Sandhills Rotary Foundation. Santa Claus at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. Cost: $15 general admission, reserved seats $25. Group rates available. Lee Auditorium, Pinecrest High School, 250 Voit Gilmore Lane, Southern Pines. Tickets in advance at The Country Bookshop or Given Memorial Library. Info: (910) 585-6585 or

Sunday, December 20 BOLSHOI BALLET SERIES. 1 p.m. The Nutcracker, in HD via satellite. A beloved holiday classic about a young girl and her toy nutcracker that comes to life. Cost: $25. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8501 or SUNDAY MOVIE. 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. In this film set in a Norman Rockwell-esque small town at Christmastime, the rules of “Don’t expose him to bright light. Don’t ever get him wet. And don’t ever, ever feed him after midnight” are ignored, with devastating results. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235.

Tuesday, December 22 YOGA CLASS (ADV BEGINNER). 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Tuesdays through Jan 26) Carol Wallace leads this co-ed course for individuals who have a basic understanding of yoga and wish to advance their skills. Cost: $35/resident; $70 non-resident. Pinehurst Parks and Rec, Recreation Room, 300 Kelly Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-1900 or Registration open until Dec 22. JAM SESSION. 7 – 9 p.m. Acoustical Musicians Group. Acoustical musicians welcome to bring instruments and join in. Casual. Bring something to drink and enjoy the music. Public is welcome. Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, 555 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-6261.


new * vintage * restyled furniture, gifts & objects of interest Follow us on Instagram @ lavender_restylemarket T-F 10:30-5:30, S 10:30-4:30 157 NE Broad Street, SP (910) 315-1280

Mid-State Furniture of Carthage

403 Monroe Street Downtown Carthage 910-947-3739


Wednesday, December 23 and Saturday, Sunday, December 26 and 27 HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDEN. 5:30 – 9 p.m. (Last entry at 8:15 p.m.) A sparkling wonderland aglow with thousands of lights, holiday music, photos with Santa, seasonal treats, beer and wine garden, holiday shopping in the Gift Shop, and more. Cost: Call for prices and details. Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info: (910) 486-0221 or

Thursday, December 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE CRAFTS. All day. Kids and their families can participate in making a variety of fun and festive crafts. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

Casual to Dressy


CLOTHES HORSE LADIES CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES • Beside The Fresh Market • 163 Beverly Lane, Southern Pines, NC 28387


Monday-Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday 10am-5pm

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


TRANSIT— Family-Owned DAMAGE FREIGHT — Since 1966 — Since 1966 — A unique, one-of-a-kind furniture store selling new and A unique, one-of-a-kind furniturefurniture store selling new and transit-damaged transit-damaged and new bedding at prices you can afford. furniture and newatbedding prices you can afford.

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FIRST EVE. 6 – 8 p.m. Enjoy live music, carnival games, face painting, and much more! Join the countdown to the Pine Cone Drop at 8 p.m. For all ages. Brought to you by Southern Pines Recreation & Parks and the Southern Pines Business Association. This event is free and open to the public. Downtown Southern Pines near the Historic Train Station. Info: (910) 692-2463.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays BRIDGE. 1 – 4 p.m. A card game played by 4 people in 2 partnerships, in which “trump” is determined by bidding. Douglass Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-7376.

If it’s not in stock, we can special order it for you! If it’s not in stock, we can specail order it for you!

Seven locations in North Carolina to serve you, with two in Lexington:

346 Grant Road | Main Vass, Just offChapel US 1Road North (Next to Carolina Storage) 1604 South Street NC | 7917 Moores 5766 Highway 421 West Lexington, NC Charlotte, NC Wilkesboro, NC 910-245-4977 | Monday-Saturday 10:00am(336) - 5:30pm (336) 248-2646 (704) 392-8661 973-4124 8397 Old Salisbury Road 346 Grant Road 1638 US Highway 74A, Suite 180 Lexington, NC (336) 853-8112

Vass, NC (910) 245-4977

Spindale, NC (828) 287-2268

251 West Avenue Kannapolis, NC (704) 938-9010

Walk out your front door... to one of Arnold Palmer’s Signature Courses. Membership to Mid South Club and Talamore Golf Club included…

NATURE STUDY. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Migration bird banding. Warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, and more. Spectators are welcome at the banding station along James Creek. Note: Migration season can end without notice—please call before coming. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167.

Tuesdays–Saturdays SANDHILLS WOMAN’S EXCHANGE. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lunch served 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gift shop features local artisans’ crafts. (If interested in volunteering, call [910] 783-5169.) Sandhills Woman’s Exchange, 15 Azalea Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-4677.

Tuesdays BABY BUNNIES STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. December 1, 8, & 15 only. This storytime, intended for babies from birth to 18 months, will engage parents and children in early literary practices. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or BROWN BAG LUNCH/GAME DAY. 11:30 a.m. Bring your lunch and enjoy fellowship and activities, including card games, board games, and the Wii. The Douglass Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-7376. TAI CHI FOR HEALTH. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Practice this flowing Eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Cost: Single class: $15/member; $17/non-member. Monthly rates available. No refunds or transfers. Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville. Info and registration: (910) 486-0221.


DETACHED VILLAS NOW AVAILABLE Maintenance Free Living at its Best! Prices start at $299,900 Shown by appointment only - 910.724.9555 VA Approved


Mary Wilson-Wittenstrom, Realtor

NATURE STUDY. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Migration bird banding. Warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, and more. Spectators are welcome at the banding station along James Creek. Note: Migration season can end without notice—please call before coming. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167 BRIDGE. 1 – 4 p.m. A card game played by four people in two partnerships, in which “trump” is

December 2015 i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Opening doors...

Comprised of the owner’s residence, guest house, staff quarters, barn, arena, outbuildings, pastures, pond & pool, this gated estate is truly a private resort. One of the most beautiful facilities in the Triad, it is simply amazing. Offered at $1,700,000. Request a brochure today!

to a brighter future.

Merry Christmas and a Joyus New Year From All of Us at 2922 Camp Easter Road, Southern Pines, NC 910-692-6241 •

Your go-to for Triad farms!

Nancy Hess


C hristmas and Merry and Merry Christmas Happy Holidays Holidays from Happy fromour our family to family to yours yours Aldena Frye Floral & Event Design

120 W Main St • Aberdeen, NC • 910.944.1071

Aldena’s on South A Four Seasons Store 107 South St • Aberdeen, NC • 910.944.1580 | one eleven main street | aberdeen, north carolina

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



Giving families

a brighter future

May the Force Be W ith You!

PERMANENT MAKE-UP BY KRIS now being offered at

STUDIO ELITE in Aberdeen EYELINER • BROWS • LIPS • LIPLINER without running or smearing!


compassionate home care.

Color & Shape Correction!

Hypoallergenic • MRI Safe Permanent Pigments BEFORE


24 hour, 7 days a week availability

780 NW Broad Street • Suite 410 Southern Pines, NC



Watch & Clock Specialist


910.303.8346 • 106 E. Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines, NC


NC Licensed & Nationally Accredited Home Care Agency




Call for FREE Consultation 910-944-4744 Studio Elite, 127 N. Sycamore St. Aberdeen

Kris Witchek

American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics Certified

Get Ready for

Christmas OPEN

Mon. - Thurs. 8:30am-6pm Fri. & Sat. 8am-6pm Sunday 9am 5pm

Gif Certifictsate Available!s

By the Project By the Hour Call for appointment


11085 Hwy 15-501 Aberdeen



Where European Tradition meets Southern Charm

The Bakehouse & Cafe Established 1948


Bakery Tues-Sat 8am-3pm Sun 11am-3pm Lunch Tues-Sun 11am-2:30pm Breakfast Tues - Sat 8 - 10:30am



Gift Baskets & So Much More!

910.944.9204 120 N. Poplar St. Aberdeen

Trish Fleming, B.Msc Psychic

Guided in and Thru Spirit Also: Energy Healing Aura, Chakra and Etheric Bodies Spiritual Clearing for Home & Office

1057 Seven Lakes Dr • West End , NC 27376 Tues,Wed,Fri& Sat, 10am-7pm Thurs, 10am-9pm Thusday Tasting Time, 5:30-8pm 910.673.2949


By Appointment Gift Certificates Available

719-231-6827 Pinehurst, NC

We Have...

ALL U.S.Mail & Fed-Ex Services International & APO/ FPO Military Shipments Big & Small, We Pack & Ship It !! Heavy and/or Large Packages can be economically shipped via Fed Ex We Look at ALL Shipping Options for You! Christmas and Thanksgiving party supplies, decor, cards etc…

910-400-5459 SEVEN LAKES

145 W. Plaza Drive

December 2015i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

ca l e n da r

determined by bidding. Douglass Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-7376. PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 3:30 – 4 p.m. (December 2, 9, & 16 only) The focus of these storytimes, for all children through age 5, will be stories, songs, fun, and activities to build skills necessary for kindergarten. Southern Pines Public Library, 170 W. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-8235 or

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEW YEAR Check Pinehurst Parks and Recreation ( for art and dance classes starting in January. Registration may already be open. To add an event, email us at by the first of the month prior to the event. Or go to and add the event to our online calendar.

Thursdays STORY HOUR! 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. For ages 3 to 5. Given Memorial Library. 150 Cherokee Road, Pinehurst. Info: (910) 295-6022. MOORE COUNTY FARMERS MARKET. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Produce only, fresh and locally grown. Armory Sports Complex, 604 W. Morganton Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 947-3752 or or

December PineNeedler Answers from page 127

MAHJONG (Chinese version). 1 – 3 p.m. A game played by 4 people involving skill, strategy, and calculation. Douglass Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-7376.

Fridays PRESCHOOL STORYTIME. 10:30 a.m. Appropriate for children ages 2 to 6. Event is free and open to the public. The Country Bookshop, 140 NW. Broad St., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-3211. BRIDGE. 1 – 4 p.m. A card game played by 4 people in 2 partnerships, in which “trump” is determined by bidding. Douglass Community Center, 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-7376. FREE COOKING DEMO. 5 p.m. A great way to start off the weekend and get scrumptious ideas. No reservations needed. The Flavor Exchange, 115 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 725-1345 or COOKING CLASS. 6:30 p.m. Chef Maria DiGiovanni leads hands-on preparation of menu items (gnocci, Thai, ravioli, Moroccan, Lebanese, cannolis, pasta). Reservations and pre-payment required. Call for prices and specific menu. The Flavor Exchange, 115 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 725-1345 or the

Saturdays NATURE STUDY. 8 a.m. –12 p.m. Migration bird banding. Warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, and more. Spectators are welcome at the banding station along James Creek. Note: Migration season can end without notice—please call before coming. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines. Info: (910) 692-2167. COOKING CLASS. 6:30 p.m. Chef Maria DiGiovanni leads hands-on preparation of menu items (gnocci, Thai, ravioli, Moroccan, Lebanese, cannolis, pasta). Reservations and pre-payment required. Call for prices and specific menu. The Flavor Exchange, 115 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines. Info: (910) 725-1345 or the


online @ PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015


Arts & Culture

Artists League of the Sandhills

Holiday Happenings

Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto SUN, JAN 17 | 7:30PM

Fall Show

Continues through December 17th Exchange Street Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday Noon to 3pm

Inon Barnatan, piano Brahms: Tragic Overture Andrew Norman: Suspend Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

Orchestral Love Stories

Holiday Open House

THUR, FEB 4 | 8PM Concert Sponsor: St. Joseph of the Pines

Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th

Grant Llewellyn, conductor

11:00am – 3:00pm Shop and enjoy refreshments while watching artists at work! Beautiful art work, note cards, gift certificates for classes, and much more.

Enjoy classic love stories through the ages with selections from Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Samson and Delilah and Tristan and Isolde, plus much more. Tickets can be purchased locally at:

Sign up for January Classes!

Oil • Watercolor • Drawing and more… Contact the League for details and to register!


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


Tickets on sale now! | 877.627.6724

’re I nvite d!

Instruc tor’s Demon stratio n Day Januar y 2:00pm 10th -5:00pm

129 Exchange St • Aberdeen • 944-3979 112

December 2015 i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Arts & Culture

We’re “Raising the Barre”

T he S ouThern P ineS B uSineSS A SSociATion & T he T own o f S ouThern P ineS inviTe you To

viSiT Classes for ages 3 and older in Ballet Pointe Tap Jazz Lyrical


Improvisation Hip Hop Tumbling Competition Team!




Now offering adult classes too!


Cape Fear Botanical Garden

st P


340 Commerce Ave, Suite 2, Southern Pines, NC 28387

ed Vot

NO RISK OFFER! Bring this ad with you to try your first class for FREE!

nG ues ts

(Ballet Barre, Jazz, Hip Hop)


e to

for The hoLiDAyS

w To f o Bring Out

Parade of Trees

November 21 - December 31

Come and Glow with Us!

Decorated Christmas trees light up downtown Broad Street for a festive ambience for the holiday season.

Christmas Parade

December 5, 11:00am

Downtown Southern Pines Marching bands, loads of floats, Santa, street musicians & more!

First Eve

Established in 1989

Holiday Lights in the Garden

December 31, 6:00 - 8:00pm

Downtown Broad Street Family-friendly festival with the dropping of the Pine Cone at 8 p.m.

PRESENTING SPONSOR Direct Mail Solutions

Open December 11th - 23rd and 26th - 27th, 2015 Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Last admission at 8:15 p.m. Details and tickets online at Cape Fear Botanical Garden • 536 N. Eastern Blvd. • Fayetteville, NC Tel. 910.486.0221 • •

The mission of the Southern Pines Business Association is to encourage and enhance thecommercial well-being of Southern Pines and improve the quality of its common life.

PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015 Holiday Lights PineStraw Ad.indd 1

11/4/15 2:17 PM


Arts & Culture

HEART’N SOUL OF JAZZ Starring our favorite 1980s teen queen

MOLLY RINGWALD SPECIAL EARLY PRICE $60 EACH $70 after January 13. Includes concert, Meet-the-Artist, Dessert Reception and Chance for Great Door Prizes. Tickets/Information

FEBRUARY 13TH 2016 Concert at 8:00pm • Doors Open at 7:30pm


Cardinal Ballroom, Pinehurst Resort

Call 910-692-2787 or Visit Sponsors : American Airlines, Duke Energy, King Fisher Society, Pinehurst Resort, BB&T and Wells Fargo

Claim your spotlight To advertise here, call 910-692-7271

Givens Performing Arts Center 2015-16 Season

Don’t miss these upcoming shows!

Featuring former members of Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons

Saturday, December 5, 8 p.m. Join jazz legend, David Benoit and a local children’s choir as they perform the holiday music from the classic TV show. Sponsored in part by Two Hawk Employment Services and McDonald’s A portion of net proceeds will go to benefit the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Initiative


Thursday March 3

Thursday, January 14 Sponsored in part by Allen Orthopedics and Robeson Family Practice

Saturday, April 23

All tickets on sale now! For tickets: 910.521.6361, or Join our Email Club online at: Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: GivensPAC

December 2015i������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Stop and shop in Sanford



Moore County Hounds Hunter Pace November 1, 2015

Photographs by Jeanne Paine

Danielle Veasy, Kelly Hoy

Sara Hoover, Heidi Grimm Powell


OPEN EVERY DAY!! MON-FRI: 10:00am-5:30pm SUNDAYS: 1:00pm-5:00pm 118 SOUTH MOORE ST. SANFORD, NC 919.775.1969

Alan & Rhonda Dretel Ella & John Hoover

find us at 148 S. Moore Street, Sanford, NC N.C. POTTERY • JEWELRY • FURNITURE • ART • CANDLES

& MUCH MORE! OPEN EVERY DAY 919.776.3489

Kate Liner, Kate Lahr Bob Seals


Hand tools, Power Tools, Weedeaters, Hedge Trimmers, Edgers,

Elise & Amy Henderson

Kelly Elliott, Kerry Briggs Allison Johnson, Madison Elliott


Kendale Pawn Shop

2715 Lee Avenue Ext., Sanford, NC 27332 Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am-6pm • Sat. 9am-4pm (919)774-7195 •

Tara’s Jewelry

• Inside Kendale Pawn Come see our full line of gold, silver, and platinum jewelry

Jennifer Shattuck, Liz Poulin

(919)774-7196 • Special Orders Available

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


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416 S. Elm St. High Point, NC 27260 • 336.887.1315 NEW HOURS: 10-5 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday M/C, Visa, AMEX, Discover


December 2015 i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

SandhillSeen Man and Woman of the Year Banquet Moore County Community Foundation Thursday, October 15, 2015 Photographs by Al and Annette Daniels

Jesse & Dawn Neighbors

Hugh & Jill Bingham

Andie Rose, Walker Morris: MCCF Man and Woman of the Year

Frank Quis, Louis Morris, John May, Alice Robbins, Walker Morris

Ryan Kastner, Heather Martin

Janet Kenworthy, Holly Floyd

Ashley Deemer, Dana Belcher, Andie Rose, Stacey Greenhalgh Ellen Brown, Anita Holt

Ginny Trigg, David Woronoff, Kathryn Galloway, Kerry Hooper

Jordan Wolfe, Emma Souza

Hannah Stanton, Kylie Waynick, Randall Phillips


Bene fits Moore Cou nty Cha rities & Nu rsing Schol a rships 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 Collectibles Fine Furniture Old Dolls Old Toys & Trains Glassware China Civil War Militaria US Coins Located in Town & Country Antique Mall • Hwy. 1 Aberdeen (across from Aberdeen Lake/Park) 910-944-3359 • 910-638-4542 •

Antiques & Newtiques 5336 NC Hwy 211, West End, NC 27376 (at the traffic light)


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 (910) 691-3100 shop • (919) 673-9388 or (919) 673-9387 cells

G ift y da oli eH iqu Un

Sunshine Antique & Mercantile Company


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 •

Tues-Sat 11am-4pm • Sun 1pm-4pm

Rustic, Retro, Funky, Shabby Chic & Antique The Vintage Barn Unique Hand Picked Finds 108 McReynolds St • Carthage


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


Using Dikson Italian Hair color technology for less damage, zero fade, complete gray coverage and no carcinogens. OFFERING A VARIETY OF ORGANIC STYLING PRODUCTS.

104 Bradford Village, Southern Pines

(910)692-2825 Please visit our website for location and directions.


s• Burger Sandwich es •

e Ice Cream


mad me Ho

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

aily Specia ps • D ls • u o S Sh • ak s p e ra





176 NW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC 28387 (910) 692-7273 Monday-Saturday 10:30am-9:00pm Sunday 10:30am-8:00pm

December 2015 i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Mary Ann Yakel, Linda Dalton


Jim & Judy Allen, Gwen Murray

Arts Council of Moore County’s “Soup for Art” Campbell House Sunday, October 18, 2015 Photographs by Al and Annette Daniels

The Cowboy Band: Steve Lapping, Paul Recio, David Kellis.

Walter Oldham, JoAnn & Dale Erickson

Pam Hill, Johnsye White, Mary Ann Welsch

Kay Bozarth, Martha Parsons, Valerie Kessinger, Kate Fabian

Helen Ozment, Chris Dunn, Joyce White

Elizabeth Strickland, Judy Oldham

Teresa & George Graham

Beth & Ted Stevens, Barbara Sherman, Jon Hoffman Manlio & Michelle Goetzl

Kathy Wilford, Walt Hess

Nanette & Chuck Zeller

Carol Conover, Vicki Hancock

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


Offering Exceptional Outpatient Surgical Care from Physicians You Know and Trust


A Joint Partnership with FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital

10 FirstVillage Drive | Pinehurst, NC 28374 | (910) 235-5000 | Fax (910) 295-5739



state of the ART • north carolina

Offer valid on select Monogram appliances packages purchased January 1, 2015– December 31, 2015. See participating stores for details. Instant savings may vary by dealer. Visit for a list of select models.

Kees Appliance Center 104 E. Main St. Aberdeen 910-944-8887


Store Hours Mon-Thurs: 8:30am-5:30pm Fri: 8:30am-5:00pm Sat: 9:30am-1:00pm

© 2015 General Electric Company

Dead and Gone • Original Artwork Oil on Linen Canvas • 36” x 48” • $3,500

f MeridithMartens.Artist • 910.692.9448

December 2015i����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills


Neil Schwartzberg, Leigh Allen

David Raley, hunt field

Moore County Hounds Informal Hunting September, 2015

Photographs by Jeanne Paine Angela Royal

Lincoln Sadler

Betsy Rainoff, Mel Wyatt

Kayela Smith

Tayloe Compton, Mary Cremins


Dominick Pagnotta, Alan & Rhonda Wretel, Hossien Kamalbake

Ceci & Wade Liner

Dr. Jock Tate, Betsy Rainoff, Mel Wyatt Cindy Pagnotta, David Raley

SandhillSeen Moore County Hounds Informal Hunting October, 2015

Photographs by Jeanne Paine

Shirley & John Gaither

Mel Wyatt David Raley

Alan & Rhonda Dretel

Cameron Sadler, hunt field Rev. John, Shelly Talk, Mike Russell

Dr. Jock Tate

Jan Van Fossen

Summer Compton, Harper Hisko

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



Come Home to

Over 30 Years Experience of Custom Home Building.

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DMI Desk w/ Return • List Price $4,300 Special Close-Out Price $795

- NEW CONSTRUCTION - REMODELING - ADDITONS Winner of 8 2014 Moore County Home Builders Awards

Come see our selection of over 500 New & Used Chairs in Stock. 6895 NC HWY 211 W • WEST END, NC

3864 US Hwy. 15/501, Carthage •



y r r e Mistmas! r h C Paul

If creatures are stirring... It may be time to protect your home with PMi’s TRi-Annual Pest Control!

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


(910) 947-2541

Our gift to you! Mention this ad and save $50 on your first service!* Pinehurst: (910) 215-9700 Triad: (336) 272-4400 *Expires 01/2016. Conditions may apply.

December 2015i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

T h o u g h ts F r o m T h e Ma n s h e d

Turkey, Ties and Sweaters

By Geoff Cutler

The kids were still little at this point, and they

woke early to open the stockings that Santa had left at the ends of their beds. We’d have coffee and listen to them from in front of the fire, and got a great kick out of how excited they’d be that Santa had left them a new box of coloring pencils or a yo-yo. Our routine ran about the same every year. After the littles opened their stockings, they’d jump from their beds, quickly get dressed and come into the living room to start ravaging the wrapped presents under the tree. They’d open their presents so fast that part of the day would be over before our coffee got cold. Nothing particularly remarkable about this, it’s what children do the world over. It’s the impatience of it that I never understood. Even as a kid, I’d go slow opening my presents because I figured out the faster I opened them, the quicker the day would be over. The only problem with this tactic was that by the time I finally got around to opening my presents, I pretty much knew what each was going to be. My mother was apt to give each child — there were six of us — the same things. Oh, Mum was pretty good at not buying the same tie for each boy, or sweater for the girls, but any kid paying the slightest attention could see which presents were boxed and packaged the same way and so, unless the kids were all opening the like packages at exactly the same time, you knew what to expect later as a present-opening dawdler. I wasn’t the only dawdler either. My oldest sister was a dawdler, and my mother was a dawdler. “Why don’t you finish opening your presents?” my sister would say. And I’d snap that she had plenty of her own left to go. I suspected she wanted to be the only one left that had any presents to open while the rest of us looked on in misery, having long past ended that part of our day. Well, my kids would wrap the opening business up in no time and then they’d be excited to go over to their grandmother’s house to see what she might have for them. We haven’t done this for years now because my mother isn’t able to, and it occurred to me the other day that I miss having Christmas with her. Even as ridiculous as those last Christmases were. “I must call your brother to see how to prepare the cranberry sauce,” my mother said as we came through the back door into the kitchen. “Merry Christmas!” we called to her, dropping our bags of presents on

the floor to give her a hug. There were two cans of cranberry sauce on the counter, and we wondered what else might be involved for those cranberries, other than opening the cans and spooning their contents into a dish. “Mmm, the turkey smells so good, Mum, when did you put it in?” I asked. “Oh, a couple of hours ago. It should be ready by 3. Come now, let’s go in by the fire and we’ll open some presents.” The house was warm and inviting, even if about half the Christmas tree was lit, and ornamented by just a handful of plastic apples. My mother always liked a sparse tree. “Mum, would you like me to string some more lights?” I asked. “Oh, do you think it needs more lights, Weffrey? I thought it looked so nice this year. Not too big, and not too fat,” she said. We shuffled her cards and papers and crossword puzzles out of the way and sat down next to the fire. She had a couple of presents for each grandchild, and they opened the ties and sweaters and made such an extra fuss about how lovely the presents were. They hugged and kissed and thanked her and I was so proud of them then. My wife and I opened our presents and laughed, recognizing the gently used bric-a-brac she’d pulled from a closet, shelf or bureau and wrapped. “Oh, Mum, where did you find it? Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, in hardcover no less.” When we were children, this was something Mum always did when she thought she hadn’t gotten enough stuff for each kid. She’d just wrap something up she’d already given us, and when we opened it, we’d all laugh. Then we gave her the presents we’d gotten for her. We’d do the same thing every year. Fill brown bags of wrapped knick-knacks we’d find at Burney’s Hardware. She’d open wooden spoons and can openers. Tape and gloves. Whisk brooms and bars of soap. And she giggled at all of them and said how much she loved each and every thing. The girls warmed the spinach and mashed potatoes and finished setting the table. My son read Harry Potter, and I lit the dining room fire. Then it was time. Time to carve the turkey. It looked a little odd getting it out of the oven. A little scrawny, withered and dark. Overdone, I wondered? I touched the carving knife to it and both breasts collapsed, spilling off the platter onto the countertop. “Mum,” I said. “What time did you say you put the turkey in?” “Oh my goodness,” she said. “Perhaps it was a little earlier than I thought.” We laughed about that poor turkey till the tears came. It tasted good despite its looks and consistency, and the canned cranberries were . . . canned cranberries, and I’d give about anything to do it all over again, every year. PS Geoff can be reached at

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


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December 2015 i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 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

Lift a Toast and Drink the Punch December’s stars

By Astrid Stellanova

Children, I just love the holidays! The Stellano-

vas celebrate it all: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus. Ain’t no casserole, matzo ball, jujube, ham, turkey or sweet tater safe when our brood gets together. Grandpa Hornblower likes to say that if its and buts were candies and nuts, every day would be like Christmas. Well, indecision ain’t exactly a gift. But good humor is. Give yourself some, Star Children. Being happy, as the elders said, is a way of becoming wise. See you in 2016, older and wiser! — Ad Astra Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) You may have been naughty January till November, but Darling, you are not nearly so dumb as to be a major pain in the run-up to your birthday and Christmas. Everybody is relieved that you found at least part of what you have been searching for, and nobody expected it. You have never had much sense of direction, but at least you can find your car at Walmart. That’s something, Honey. Capricorn (December 22–January 19) Looks like somebody drank a big ole cup of Hater-ade. But two wrongs finally made a right for you, so just count your blessings and tell the universe thank you. You are one of the few signs that can look good while tipsy, wearing your birthday suit with a giant bow stuck on your head. Just be sure it ain’t on YouTube. Aquarius (January 20–February 18) About the only time you were outstanding this month was when everybody else went inside for eggnog and cookies. Time to get your game face on and make happy, happier, happiest. Go on. Drink the punch; smile for the camera. Tell Grandma you love the socks. It won’t kill you, Sweet Thing. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Use the good sense the Lord gave you and take you a BC Powder when that co-worker drives you mad. Maybe he chews with his mouth open or doesn’t understand the concept of an inside voice, but he’s somebody’s baby. If you can teach by example, you are going to have a much better year, Honey. Aries (March 21–April 19) There was a time in the not-so-distant past when you were the last to leave the party. Thank heavens you have learned some self-control and have started getting off the train before it stops at Stupid Land. I see you’re growing up, wising up, my Ram. Put a bow on that thought and see if you can’t keep the lamp shade off your wild and crazy little head. Taurus (April 20–May 20) The holidays bring out the best in you. You help everybody enjoy the festivities just a little more than they would without you. That’s a gift to everybody, Love. Just remember, when you walk in the door nobody wants to leave — that may not make it onto your tombstone, but it is what everybody will remember!

Gemini (May 21–June 20) If I could grant you one wish, it would be a do-over. Somebody needs your love and forgiveness. Maybe you can offer it. You have a bigger heart than you admit, you wacky little Twin. Green is your color — goes with your birthstone, and goes with all those greenbacks coming your way. Cancer (June 21–July 22) For the next two astral cycles, you have got some choices to make. Will you stay? Will you go? Will you go back to bed and pull the covers over your head until it’s February? Honey, you have got to trust your gut. If it don’t feel right, it ain’t right. Leo (July 23–August 22) Time was that you could name every one of the seven dwarfs. Now you feel like you have become three of them: Grumpy, Sleepy and Dopey. Smile more. Sleep more when you crawl into those sheets. And don’t say as much as your moving lips want to, Honey. You’ll look Happy, Perky and Smart. Virgo (August 23–September 22) You did some heavy lifting and all you got in thanks was a hernia. No more gut-busting heroics for you. Time out is just about the best cure, and you will be visited by the Good Deed Fairy at least once this month. Kick back and allow, Love Muffin. Libra (September 23–October 22) Somebody fooled you once but they didn’t fool you twice. You were on to their ways, and now you feel all chuffed up. If you must seek revenge, re-gift Grandma’s fruitcake and move on, Baby. Be jolly; you look younger and cuter that way. Scorpio (October 23–November 21) By the time you read this, you will have launched headlong into your annual holiday excess. That’s all right; some people (ahem, you and me) just love glitter porn. Tie a bow on it and call it your season. It is. 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 2015



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December 2015i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

December PineNeedler

Home for the Holidays B M HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! y

ACROSS 3 Holiday month 6 Santa’s helpers 8 Stringed decorations 10 Starchy mashed side dish 12 Christmas color 13 Sparkly tree decor 16 Pretty package 17 Holiday greenery 20 Warble a carol 22 Sipping cocktail 23 “The First ____”

1 2


4 5 6

7 8

art Dickerson



11 12




DOWN 1 Jesus’ shelter 2 Pecan, Apple, Sweet Potato, e.g. 3 Trim the house (3 words) 4 Roasting nut 5 “Gift of the ____” 7 Santa’s ride 9 Greetings, old style 10 Celebratory gathering 11 Turkey filler 14 Climbing greenery 15 Twinkling sky sight 17 Sacred 18 Seasonal log 19 Seasonal tree 21 Pinecrest, Manor, Holly, e.g.


5 17


18 19




Puzzle answers on page 111

Mart Dickerson lives in Southern Pines and 20 Warble a carol would welcome any suggestions from her fellow puzzle masters. (4) Holiday She canmonth be reached at

Across 3


6 Santa's helpers (5) 8 Stringed decorations (6) 10 Starchy mashed side dish (6) 12 Christmas color (3) 13 Sparkly tree decor (6) 16 Pretty package (4) 17 Holiday greenery (5)


22 Sipping cocktail (6) 23 "The First ____" (4)

Down 1 Jesus' shelter (6) 2 Pecan, Apple, Sweet Potato, ie (3)

7 Sudoku: Santa's ride (4) Fill in the grid so every

every column 9 row, Greetings, old and every 3x3 box contain style (7) the numbers 1–9.

10 Celebratory gathering (5)

8 9 1 8 3

7 6 2 5 9


11 Turkey filler (8) 14 Climbing greenery (3) 15 Twinkling sky sight (4) 17 Sacred (4)

3 Trim the house (3 words) (4,3,5)

18 Seasonal log (4)

4 Roasting nut (8)

21 Pinecrest, Manor, Holly, ie (3)

5 " Gift of the ____" (4)


5 2 4 3 9 7 4 3 5 4 6

19 Seasonal tree (3)

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



Picture Perfect

By Joyce R eehling

As I write this

we are in New England. The leaves have yet to turn and the lakes still look inviting. I sometimes still yearn for New England, particularly at the Christmas season. I long for lovely snow and a crackling wood fire that you actually need rather than a gas fire for aesthetic purposes.

Sometimes I imagine myself back in New England: It is early December and, with Christmas list in hand, I go to small local shops to find gifts. There is a real chill in the air, nipping my nose and making me want to dash inside, but it’s not cold enough to hurt like some Northern winters can. I see myself finding everything I want. I stop in some little place I know for a coffee or tea, and I watch out the window as a flurry begins to fall, promising a white Christmas. While I love Christmas, North or South, it is only fair to say that most of my Northern Christmases were never at all like my imaginings. They were mainly spent rushing about on Saturday with everyone else, during a time of year in which the weather vacillates between wet and very cold and dry and very, very cold. I am “remembering” a life I never really had. I blame MGM and 20th Century Fox. Somehow their movies can supersede my own life. The Shop Around the Corner fills me with the desire to find a department store just like the one Jimmy Stewart is trying to manage as he falls in love with Margaret Sullavan. I think of Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas with the beauty of Vermont, even without snow. Then, right on cue, the snow. Everyone falls in love and has sandwiches and milk around an indoor firepit. Where is this place, and how can we get there? It is all snow, Christmas trees, mulled wine and friends coming by in their horse-drawn sleighs, bundled in fur. Everyone brings things and no


one is left out. There are no arguments and no one gets a wrong gift. Well, that is not my world. I do love a Southern Christmastime now, although it would be nice to have a dusting of snow. I do go to local shops to find a gift that is just right. I do have tea with Lady Bedford or coffee at the Java Bean. Tasty treats are aplenty in Southern Pines and Pinehurst. But it just ain’t the same as MGM paints it. No man grabs me in the street to do an impromptu waltz of winter joy. No friend appears and pronounces me the “richest man in town” as in It’s A Wonderful Life. No Ward Bond and no friendly cabbie serenading me. Cary Grant does not come to our house and fall in love with me and take me ice skating — even though he is an angel — as in The Bishop’s Wife. In fact, no one is skating on Lake Pinehurst! Even so, he doesn’t even take me for a pontoon ride! Nevertheless, in my world Santa still comes every year as he promised to do some 66 years ago. He kisses my forehead before he leaves, and he plants a dream to get me through the year with a bit of joy in my heart. I hear the bells and hooves on the roof, of this I am sure. However, were it not for Darling Husband, panettone and hot chocolate on Christmas morning, I would feel the need to fly North to get my New England fix — if it ever really existed. Instead of making that journey, I take out the Christmas movies just after Thanksgiving and watch them all, ending with Alastair Sim as Scrooge. That way I can feel that I have a shot at being “As good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew. . .” May that be said of us all. North or South, snow or not, it was ever thus; happiness and indeed, Christmas, lie within our hearts and can be visited more than one day. Better than MGM or 20th Century Fox is our desire to be joyful and kind, happy and filled with wonder whatever our faith or homeland. Let us unwrap the gifts of tolerance and listening for this coming year, let us find less anger and more acceptance. I don’t have Cary but I do have Darling Husband. Snow can take care of itself. PS Joyce Reehling is a veteran actor of stage and screen and an old friend of PineStraw.

December 2015i��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� PineStraw : The Art & Soul of the Sandhills

Illustration by Meridith Martens

How to create a Hollywood Christmas down South, or anywhere

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