Northwest Observer / At Home Spring 2022

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Spring 2022

IN THIS ISSUE One man’s trash, another man’s treasure ............. 6 Bypassing a home inspection can be risky ......... 8 Belews Lake – close by, yet a world away ........... 10 Piedmont Triad Farmers Market ............................. 12 Home decorating: What’s in style.......................... 14 For luscious veggies, lush lawns, test your soil .....17 Garages – versatile, and underappreciated...... 18 A&Y Greenway, a hidden treasure ........................ 22 Family-friendly section ............................................. 23

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One man’s trash, another man’s treasure Those willing to invest the time in looking through what others no longer want are often rewarded with the ‘thrill of the hunt’ – and sometimes, a real gem By ANNETTE JOYCE For some people, there’s nothing like rising early on a Saturday morning and hitting the yard sales. These are often the same people who can spend untold hours at an estate sale or thrift store sifting through what others would consider junk. Then, there are those “bargain hunters” who have discovered that online sites such as Facebook Marketplace give them their fix with the simple click of a button. As they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and those willing to take the time to look often come away well-rewarded. Even when they don’t, they still enjoy the thrill of the hunt. For this article we talked with several bargain hunters who have walked away with some real treasures… As she had many times before, Emily McKinney, a self-proclaimed do-it-yourselfer, went looking on Facebook Marketplace for a piece of furniture she could repurpose for a kitchen island. When she ran across a solid wood sideboard, she

knew she had struck gold. “Although it had been painted a bright shade of red, I felt like it was the right size and it was a quality piece of furniture,” the northwest Greensboro resident said. “I And that she did. After knew I could make it work.” stripping off the red paint, she painted the sideboard yellow and added a butcher block top along with casters on the bottom to give the island more height. Black hardware was added to accent the doors and drawers. “I love it! I got exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the cost,” she said. Kim Dawson of Oak Ridge rarely walks out of a Goodwill or thrift store without some sort of Roof Replacement significant find. A few years ago, she needed a formal dress for NEW! Roof Rejuvenation a dinner cocktail party she was attending with a cousin who had Roof Repairs won a sales trip to Sweden. She didn’t want to spend a fortune, so she took to the Goodwill racks at a store in Mooresville, North Carolina. After paying a INSPECTIONS whopping $5, she left the store SHANNON & EDDIE LEISS | OWNERS with an elegant black formal dress that she’s since worn on many 336-780-7800 | occasions.







Spring 2022

Photos courtesy of Emily McKinney

Emily McKinney found this red sideboard (left) on Facebook Marketplace and transformed it into an attractive, functional island for her kitchen (opposite page).

Another great find was a Cuisinart coffee maker, also for $5. And, after discovering that Goodwill has an online site, she recently purchased a first edition of the “Harry Potter” book series. For home décor, Dawson frequents flea markets and secondhand furniture stores. She noted she especially liked the Metrolina Flea Market in Charlotte, which has closed. “My house is full of items from this flea market,” she said, adding that her finds include a church pew, lawyer-leaded glass bookcase and a large mahogany armoire. At a store in Greensboro, she found a Henredon solid oak server cabinet and a set of framed golf course prints from St. Andrews, Scotland. Always stylishly dressed, Casey Crossan veers toward unique clothing and often finds it in unexpected places. The Oak Ridge resident recently picked

up a vintage wool trench coat at a thrift store in Kernersville. In like-new condition, the belted, goldenrod-hued coat literally stopped her in her tracks. “I saw it in the window, and I knew I had to have it,” she said. The coat fit her perfectly, which she took as


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a sign that this one-of-a-kind find was meant to be hers. A resident of Stokesdale, Kelly Joyce is not a yard sale regular, but if something catches his eye as he’s driving by, he’ll stop and take a look. That’s how he picked up a practically brand-new push-pull golf cart for $10. Several years ago, while she was prowling through a Greensboro thrift store, Val Kepley of Oak Ridge was delighted to run across a Thomas the Tank Engine train table for her then young son. “It was in good condition, except the paint was flaking off the top of the table,” Kepley said. After she contacted the manufacturer for advice on what type of paint to use to fix the table, it turned out it had a lifetime guarantee and the company sent her a new tabletop to replace the old one. Casey Stone, who lives in Stokesdale, enjoys most forms of secondhand shopping and has “had some really good finds throughout the years.” She hit pay dirt when she found an American Girl doll in perfect condition at the Goodwill store.

The price? An incredible $1.99. New, the doll sells for $110. Stone said her daughter, Savannah, loves it and is always asking her to look for another one. A native of Russia, Olga Andreescu, who now lives in Summerfield, once spent an enormous amount of time in museums studying gorgeous artifacts, glassware and pottery. Along the way, she developed a keen eye for ferreting out valuable antique pieces. “I can walk into an antique or thrift store, take a quick look around and see if something stands out,” she said. Over the years, she’s found some interesting pieces that people have passed on without realizing the item’s value. One such piece was an Austrian vase she picked up in a High Point store for $25. Later, an appraisal revealed the vase, which dates back to 1908, is worth $600. Oak Ridge resident Anthony Holdaway spent some time working for a disaster relief company. Once, while repairing water damage in an Asheboro home, he ran across an “odd-looking lamp” hidden away in the dark, damp basement. Holdaway said the heavy, brass lamp didn’t look

continued on page 37

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Bypassing a home inspection can be a risky proposition The highly competitive housing market is tempting buyers to either skip inspections or let sellers off the hook to fix problems if they’re discovered. That can prove to be costly, according to inspectors and real estate agents. By CHRIS BURRITT NW GUILFORD – Home inspector Jeremy Beck arrived at a house for sale and noticed the owner had put new shingles on the side of the roof visible from the street, but not on the back side. The half job didn’t scare off the potential buyers. “They just wanted somewhere to live,” said Beck, who owns Oak Ridgebased SpecPROS home inspections with his wife, Nicole. The shortage of housing over

the past two years has increased the willingness of buyers to take chances with potentially the biggest investments of their lives. In one of the riskiest moves, some buyers are opting to skip home inspections altogether, according to Realtors. Or when they pay for inspections, buyers are waiving contingency clauses, essentially relieving sellers of any financial obligation to fix or compensate them for repairs discovered during inspections. “It’s definitely risky for buyers, but

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Jeremy Beck, co-owner of Oak Ridge-based SpecPROS, inspects the plumbing under the sink of a home. they’re trying to make their offers more appealing in multi-offer situations,” said Betty Smith, a Realtor and president of Smith Marketing in Summerfield. As more people bypass inspections and waive contingency clauses, stories of regret are not uncommon. One real estate agent shared with Nicole Beck that a local woman skipped an inspection, and after buying the house, she discovered a leak under the kitchen sink. Even worse, sewage was leaking into the basement. The buyer “took that risk because she felt like she had to get a place to live,” Nicole said. Sellers who’ve lost out in previous bidding for houses may feel especially compelled to skip inspections or waive contingency clauses, according to Morgan Langohr, a real estate agent with Allen Tate in Oak Ridge. “It’s their way to get creative and get an edge in appealing to sellers,” she said.

Langohr and Smith said they urge all of their clients to pay for inspections, even if they decide they’re willing to share repair bills with sellers or let sellers off the hook entirely if problems are found. Smith said it’s a common discussion among buyers and their agents whether to skip inspections. A year and a half ago, she said, “I was doing inspections on every house. But as the supply got less and less and more and more people were looking to buy, it started getting crazy.” The emergence of another bargaining chip offered by buyers – non-refundable due diligence fees paid to sellers – has complicated the decision for buyers who find problems with inspections, according to Realtors. As an example, a buyer who has put down tens of thousands of dollars in due diligence fees may decide to

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Belews Lake – close by, yet a world away The recreational area of Duke Energy’s reservoir north of Stokesdale is preparing to spring back to life as warmer weather draws families with boats, jet skis and fishing poles By CHRIS BURRITT

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STOKESDALE – Andrew and Dana Angel have a short drive from their home to Belews Lake, where they often head in warm weather with their two children and 23-foot boat in tow. “We say we can be on the water in seven minutes,” Dana said. “It’s not a bad gig.” While the Stokesdale couple fishes year round, the real fun begins as the weather warms up and the Angels and their friends anchor their boats in a cove for a day of wake boarding, tubing and just hanging out. They start early, eating breakfast at Humphrey’s Ridge Marina where they launch their boats, followed by lunch at the Deck at Carolina Marina and a sunset cruise before heading home. “Our friends joke that a 12-hour lake day is nothing for the Angels,” Dana said. “It’s a special place for our family and so many others. There are no iPads, no phones, no email.” The tradition goes back almost half a century, when Duke Energy created the nearly 3,900-acre reservoir in Stokes, Rockingham, Guilford and Forsyth counties as a cooling reservoir for the Belews Creek Steam Station. Water used for the generation of electricity in the coal and natural gas plant is piped into the lake, resulting in warmer-than-normal water temperatures. While fishermen report seeing boats occasionally pulling skiers during frosty weather, the traditional summer season – from Memorial Day to Labor Day – is the

Photo by Chris Burritt/NWO

Stacked signs on a pole direct visitors to a lake villa on Belews Lake as well as the nearby dock, restaurant, and tourist spots as far away as Myrtle Beach.

Photo courtesy of Dana Angel

Brooklyn Angel gets an exhilarating ride on a wake board, a popular activity at Belews Lake.

busiest for the lake. As a general rule, fishermen set out early and quit by midmorning to avoid recreational boats that create big wakes – great for surfers but no fun and potentially dangerous for fishermen in smaller craft. “It’s hard to fish out there in the spring and the summer because of the wake boarders and ski boats,” said Hunter Gatewood, owner of Fisherman’s Cove, a bait and tackle shop in Stokesdale. “I’m not saying everyone does it, but Belews Lake is one of the biggest party lakes I’ve ever seen.” The lake, which has 88 miles of shoreline, has become even more popular in the two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan Kasper, Carolina Marina’s director of member services, recalled that on a particularly warm day in the spring of 2020, vehicles were backed up nearly a mile to launch their boats. Rising demand for easy access to the lake has created a waiting list for dock slips and dry-stack spaces, according to Kasper.

“When COVID started, there were not a lot of places you could go,” Kasper said. “You couldn’t go to the movies or a water park. Boating was one of the few things you could go out and do safely.” Dating back to the early years of the lake, 400-square-foot trailers, known as park models, on the marina’s property are also growing in popularity. One rainy afternoon earlier this month, the neighborhood of vinyl-clad houses was mostly vacant. In coming weeks, it will be filled with families socializing on decks and launching their boats. Owners scoot around on golf carts to visit one another and buy supplies from the marina, which is partly stocked by the Bi-Rite in Stokesdale. Over the years, a stop at Bi-Rite for groceries has been part of the experience of spending a weekend at Belews Lake, Chuck Higgins said. Higgins and his wife, Dwala, of Summerfield, have owned a park model at Carolina Marina for about 30 years. He wanted to teach his

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Courtney Adams (left) and her mother, Helen Duncan, buy bouquets of flowers at the farmers market to decorate their homes. Courtney’s son, Langston, stands in the center.

As farmers return to the Colfax market, selling cool-weather vegetables and flowers now and tomatoes, corn and cantaloupes in coming months, the crowds are sure to follow By CHRIS BURRITT COLFAX – In her first visit to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Lucia Estevez-Peters paid $20 for a bouquet of flowers. Wisps of white and pale purple sprouted from the paper wrap, hinting at the bounty coming later this spring and summer. “We will come back,” said David Peters, Lucia’s husband. Later in the morning, the couple bought vegetables before returning to their home in Gibsonville in eastern Guilford County. As the weather warms, vendors of pansies, tender lettuce, curled parsley and phlox are returning to the farmers market in Colfax, joining year-round shops and stands selling honey, eggs, cheese, soap and home décor. A fifth-generation farmer in

southeastern Guilford County, Michael Blake is selling produce from Georgia, Florida and California until he’s able to produce his own tomatoes, corn, squash and watermelons. “Things are locally grown and I think they are better,” said former Stokesdale Mayor John Flynt, shopping early on a recent Saturday morning in March for phlox and dianthus from Bethany Plants and Produce. Despite the chill and wind, the crowd grew steadily before noon, filling about half of the parking spaces that come summertime will be hard to find. A popular first stop is Home Grounds, a coffee shop inside of the Market Shoppes, an enclosed building. Vendors also sell from two large areas with roofs but no walls.

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Photo courtesy of Ray Bullins Construction Co.

A blue accent wall adds a pop of color to this clean white kitchen in a home built by Ray Bullins Construction Co.

Clean lines, lighter-looking decorative elements, accent walls and light greens are some of the latest styles and colors in today’s homes By ANNETTE JOYCE Whether you’re building a custom home, remodeling your existing home or simply updating the look of a room, tuning in to the latest decorating trends is a great place to start when you’re looking for a new look. To find out what’s in style, we spoke with some northwest area professionals in the home building and decorating industry.

Keeping it ‘clean’

Custom home builders we spoke with said many of their clients are looking for open floor plans with clean lines and without excessive bulkiness or decorative elements. Lisa Bullins, who along with her husband, Ray Bullins, owns Ray Bullins Construction Co. based in Kernersville, said the homes they’re building are a “mix between mid-century modern and farmhouse style.” She noted that homebuyers are adding more contemporary features to the farmhouse style to give it a sense of renewal.

Bullins stays in tune with the latest home styles and decorating trends while selecting interior home elements such as paint colors, countertops, tile and lighting fixtures for her clients. She said she’s definitely seeing a penchant for a light, fresh feel. “Wall colors are very muted. Gray is still in, but it’s gotten lighter,” she noted. “People still love the white subway tile. It’s a classic that won’t go out of style, and it goes with everything.” At R&K Custom Homes, Kathy Dumas, who owns the Summerfieldbased business with her husband, Rich, said the latest trends are “more simplistic with a little contemporary mixed in.” Surprisingly, after years of “more is better,” heavy trim and crown molding are falling out of favor in the houses R&K Custom Homes is building. “We’re seeing less trim, no crown molding and some homes with no trim at all,” Dumas said. “It’s all about simple and clean lines. Curlicue lines are out.”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Eric Van Wilson, Priba Furniture and Interiors

Kitchen countertops: quartz is in

At Priba Furniture and Interiors, green, ranging from celery to olive, is quickly becoming the color of choice for home furnishings.

There was a time when all high-end homes had to have granite countertops in the kitchen. That time has passed. Both Dumas and Bullins said quartz has become the countertop material of choice. According to “The Spruce,” an online resource for home improvement, quartz countertops, which are manmade products, “are not slabs of quarried stone but are instead formed from stone by-products that are ground up and formed into slabs for countertops and other products.” Harder and more durable than granite, quartz is known for being nearly indestructible. Very low maintenance, quartz countertops are non-porous and their surfaces resist staining, scratching and chipping. Dumas said white quartz or “white with a few color swirls in it” are the most popular looks in today’s homes.

All about the lighting

set the tone in a home. In keeping with the decorating simplicity trend, lighting fixtures have taken on a more delicate, contemporary look. Bullins, who leans toward the “bling-bling” of chandelier-type lighting, said the more contemporary fixtures pair well with the newer home trends. Even so, she makes her selections based on what the house or room calls for. “We’re using a lot of very simple, wrought-iron fixtures with thin lines,” she said, adding there’s always a place for the more elegant fixtures which she still uses, especially in bedrooms and baths.

How about a ‘pop’ of color?

All the light gray and white permeating homes in recent years sometimes cries out for a burst of color. That’s where the accent walls come into play. Homes built by Ray Bullins Construction Co. usually

Lighting fixtures and the temperature of lighting

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Before starting a new garden or planting one that has been struggling, take a soil test to know what, if any, fertilizer is needed to build a healthy soil foundation. Collecting soil samples from several places in your garden or yard and mixing them together in a bucket will help North Carolina’s soil lab provide you with the most accurate nutrient recommendations.

By CHRIS BURRITT NW GUILFORD – Testing your soil for nutrients before you plant grass or vegetables is like following a recipe when cooking. Applying the proper amount of lime, for instance, helps produce bodacious, blue-ribbon tomatoes. On the other hand, putting down too little lime leaves tomato plants at risk for developing a disease

called blossom end rot, which spoils the fruit. “If you want beautiful vegetables, soil tests really matter,” said Rachel Rees, a member of the Oak Ridge Garden Club and the Guilford Horticultural Society. Previously, she served as president of the two groups. “Tests tell you what’s going on in your soil.” The North Carolina Cooperative

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Garages – versatile, and sometimes underappreciated While their original intent is to provide space for parking and protecting vehicles, garages are often converted to multipurpose rooms for storage, work and play By ANNETTE JOYCE Garages may be the most versatile and underappreciated space in anyone’s home. Designed to protect homeowners’ vehicles and provide extra storage space, today’s garages are no longer limited to those functions. Instead, they are often transitioned to oversized multipurpose rooms with uses limited only by a person’s imagination.


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According to National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of 2019 Census data, a majority (65%) of new homes constructed in 2019 included two-car garages. Another 19% of homes possessed a garage large enough to hold three or more cars. While some homeowners settle for a garage to park one or two cars, many are now looking for a minimum of a three-car garage. Others who need extra storage space want an additional detached structure. Even with the popularity of garages, Gil Vaughan, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty One of Greensboro, said the low number of available homes for sale has forced his clients to be more flexible. “In the city areas, most people are just trying to get any type of garage or carport in a home,” he said. “It is different in the county, where most homes built since the ‘80s, or those

Spring 2022

Photo courtesy of Theresa Wilson

Kerry Wilson uses his garage as a space for rebuilding cars. that are under construction, have a garage or carport. Most people would like a three-car garage but will settle for a two-car garage or carport.” Kathy Dumas, who with her husband, Rich, co-owns R&K Custom Homes based in Summerfield, said a growing number of their company’s homebuyers are seeking oversized garages. “Many of our customers are purchasing golf carts so they can ride around in their neighborhood,” she said. “We are getting requests for oversized garages so the

homeowners have room to store them.” With more storage space in mind, some homeowners are opting to add detached garages. These can be as simple as a single-car metal enclosure to a more elaborate structure with space for specialty vehicles such as RVs and additional living space on a second level. Bobbie Gardner, Realtor and owner of Stokesdale’s Bobbie Gardner Realty, said her clients are also seeking larger garages that allow for multi-use opportunities. “Buyers are looking for extra

Photo courtesy of Emma McKinney

Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO

(Above) Detached garages can offer homeowners more flexibility for storage, work and living space that’s close to, but separate from their house. (Right) Bess and David Ragan’s home features a garage that previous owners converted into a cozy and comfortable recreation room perfect for watching movies and spending time with friends and family. Still, Bess Ragan said if given the choice between using the space as a theater room or a garage, she’d opt for a garage. space that is versatile,” Gardner said. “Whether they need a playroom, a ‘she shed,’ man cave or workshop, or separate space from living areas… Many buyers want to repurpose part of the garage for a shop, game room or craft area and three- and

four-car garages can accommodate these needs.”

Garage transformations

Garages at one time had basically two uses: providing shelter for vehicles and as a place to store

extra things such as lawnmowers, boats, garden equipment and sometimes just plain “stuff.” In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear people moan about there being so much of that extra “stuff ” in their garage that there’s no room left to squeeze

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Many of our new home sales come from repeat customers and clients who recommended us to friends and family. To us, this is the highest praise for what we do and the company we strive to be.





P.O. Box 130, Oak Ridge, NC 27310


Traveling the A&Y Greenway This well-used trail offers bikers, hikers, walkers and joggers an opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature By ANNETTE JOYCE Northwest Guilford County is home to several beautiful trailways, offering locals and visitors a scenic backdrop for enjoying the outdoors while exercising. Among one of the area’s most popular trails is the A&Y Greenway; with its northernmost point in Summerfield, the 7.5-mile greenway will one day extend all the way to downtown Greensboro. A combination of three greenway segments – the Lake Brandt and Bicentennial greenways and the Battleground Rail-Trail, the A&Y Greenway follows the abandoned bed of the Atlantic-Yadkin Railroad, which operated from 1899 until 1950.

According to “TrailLink,” an online resource and app that provides information on over 40,000 trails in the country, “some of the line was part of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway and ran from Wilmington to Mount Airy, transporting granite and, on occasion, visitors to the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park” in Greensboro. The trains have long since been replaced by runners, walkers, bikers and sightseers – all people who enjoy being outdoors in the quiet of nature.

On any given day – but especially when the sky is clear and temperatures are mild – the greenway is bustling. Summerfield resident Clark Doggett lives about two miles from the greenway and, when training for the Boston Marathon several years ago, he said he ran on it about three times a week. Although

he’s no longer running, he still regularly walks on the greenway and enjoys seeing the people he passes along the way. “Everyone is very cordial and friendly to each other,” he said. “There are people on bikes, people with dogs and people with strollers. Everyone gets along.” Doggett parks and gets on the greenway at the Summerfield Road Trailhead just beyond where the pedestrian tunnel passes under U.S. 220. On the other side of the busy highway, the nearby Anna Long Marshall Wayside parking lot also leads directly to the greenway. Kara Winicki, whose Summerfield home

Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO

The A&Y Greenway follows the abandoned bed of the Atlantic-Yadkin Railroad.

continued on page 34

Treating customers like family Residential & Commercial Mowing • Trimming • Overseeding • Fertilizing • Plugging Pine needle distribution • HOA Owner Curtis Atkins: • Lifelong Colfax resident • Northwest Guilford Class of 1985

For exceptional lawn care service, call or text your needs to Curtis at (336) 362-5860


Spring 2022

• 34 years of experience caring for lawns in northwest Guilford County • Recently retired after 30 years of service at Kernersville Fire Dept.

Merle and Curtis

UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS Sat., Aug. 20: Music in the Park

Gideon Grove United Methodist Church 2865 Gideon Grove Church Rd, Stokesdale 10:30am to 12pm | Egg hunt, crafts & light snacks Gideon-Grove-United-Methodist-Church

Sat., April 9: Music in the Park

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 6:30-8pm | Band: The Grassifieds (bluegrass)

Sun., April 10: Easter Egg Hunt

Summerfield Fire Dept., Station 9 7400 Summerfield Road, Summerfield 2pm | the Easter bunny will lead the egg hunt by age group: 0-3, 4-6, 7+

May 6-8: Spring Folly

Downtown Kernersville Music festival, food and drinks, crafts, performances by gymnasts, dancers and more

May 13-14: Founders’ Day

Downtown Summerfield 7300-7400 Summerfield Road Carnival rides, inflatables, music, food, vendors, parade Saturday morning – and much more

Sat., May 14: Music in the Park

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 6:30-8pm | Band: Nathan Ward (classic rock)

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 6:30-8pm | Bands: Barefoot Modern and Ghost of Liberty

Sat., April 30: Canine Capers

Oak Ridge Town Park, 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 10am to 2pm | dog shows, contests, vendors, food and dog-gone fun

Oak Ridge Town Park, 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge This three-day festival offers carnival rides, food, vendors, live music, a car show and more

Sat., July 16: Music in the Park

Summerfield Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Centerfield Road, Summerfield

Fri., Sept. 16: Movie in the Park

Summerfield Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Centerfield Road, Summerfield Dusk | Kid-friendly movie begins at dusk; free light refreshments; food truck onsite

Fri., Aug. 5: Movie in the Park

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge Dusk | Kid-friendly movie begins at dusk

Sat., Sept. 24: Heritage Day

Sat., Aug. 13: Music in the Park

April 15-16: Oak Ridge Easter Horse Show

Steeple Hill Farm 7000 Belford Road, Summerfield English, Western Pleasure, draft horse pull, mini-draft horse pull, professional rodeo and much more

Sept. 8-10: RidgeFest

Sat., June 11: Music in the Park

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 6:30-8pm | Band: Never Too Late (bluegrass)

Sat., June 18: Music in the Park

Summerfield Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Centerfield Road, Summerfield

Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 6:30-8pm | Band: 80’s Nation

Look for a lineup of fall and winter family-friendly community events in our fall At Home, coming Sept. 29




7200 Summerfield Rd. 336.549.2228




Oak Ridge Town Park 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 10am to 3pm | This annual event celebrates Oak Ridge’s history with crafts, food, music and re-enactments


@chartap VISITING



g/ Su mm

Sat., April 9: Easter Egg Hunt

Summerfield Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Centerfield Road, Summerfield Dusk | Kid-friendly movie begins at dusk; free light refreshments; food truck onsite

Summerfield Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Centerfield Road, Summerfield

Sat., July 9: Music in the Park


Glencoe United Methodist Church 601 Glencoe Church Loop, Summerfield 10am | Easter story, egg hunt, egg relay, music & more

Fri., May 6: Movie in the Park


Sat., April 2: Easter Egg Hunt


Daithnucsethis w r e m m u S


Take a close look as you explore Oak Ridge Town Park and search for the 12 images shown below. As you find each item, check off the box beside its description. Once you’ve found all 12 items, write your name, have your parent sign this page (if you’re under 18), and email a photo of you and your completed scavenger hunt page to by April 30 for a chance to win one of our park scavenger hunt prizes*. Remember to include your contact info! *All ages welcome to participate! Must submit completed scavenger hunt via email by midnight on April 30. Winners by age group (5 and under; 6 to 10; 11-18; 19-30; 31 and up) will be notified via email and their names will be published in our May 5-18 issue. Please, only one entry per person, per park. Entries are based on the honor system; submitting a completed form indicates you visited the town park and found all items. Email with questions.

NAME: ____________________________________________ Age: _______ CONTACT INFO (email preferred): _______________________________________________________


PARENT SIGNATURE (if under 18): ______________________________________________________

Ages 3-7 9am - 12pm Oak Ridge

June 27- July 1

Backyard Beach Party, $175

July 5-7 (mini camp) Jazzy Jungle, $105

A sign with some history

Not one, but two

Check this one off and run

A home among the trees

Woodn’t you like to know where this is?

Who let the dogs out?

Signed and sealed

Can you spot him in the daylight?

A creature ready for a ride

Stars... but not in the sky

Honoring a former teacher/ council member

Hope this doesn’t leaf you confused

July 11-15:

Princess Academy, $175

July 18-22:

Encanto Camp, $175

July 25-29:

Magical Unicorn Camp, $175



Offered in Oak Ridge & Summerfield For details call or visit our website (336) 740-6891


Spring 2022

FUN IN THE SUN! Spring 2022

Register for summer camp at the Y! Featuring swimming, field trips and more, the fun lasts all summer long. Register Today!


Don’t stop the


this summer


5404 Centerfield Road

Take a close look as you explore Summerfield Community Park and search for the 12 images shown below. As you find each item, check off the box beside its description. Once you’ve found all 12 items, write your name, have your parent sign this page (if you’re under 18), and email a photo of you and your completed scavenger hunt page to by April 30 for a chance to win one of our park scavenger hunt prizes*. Remember to include your contact info! *All ages welcome to participate! Must submit completed scavenger hunt via email by midnight on April 30. Winners by age group (5 and under; 6 to 10; 11-18; 19-30; 31 and up) will be notified via email and their names will be published in our May 5-18 issue. Please, only one entry per person, per park. Entries are based on the honor system; submitting a completed form indicates you visited the town park and found all items. Email with questions.

NAME: ____________________________________________ Age: _______ CONTACT INFO (email preferred): _______________________________________________________ PARENT SIGNATURE (if under 18): ______________________________________________________ Moore Music Company is pleased to partner with Guilford County Schools Summer Art Institute and offer the following summer camps: Jump Ahead Band & Orchestra Camp – rising 6th grade Re-Boot Band & Orchestra Camp – rising 7th-8th grade

Hang on tightly to this one

There’s a beaver at the park

This will light your way

A fish out of water

Something to light up the night

A useful squiggle

One of several brick pavers honoring veterans

A group collection

Wood ready to perform

Something for your quads

A couple enjoying the park

This one is for the book lover

Drum Line – rising 7th-9th grade Honors Jazz Camp – rising 7th-11th grade Rock Band – rising 7th-11th grade

Scan the QR code for more information

n Summer Camp Registratio


615 West Market Street, Greensboro 336.274.4636 full-service music retail store


Spring 2022

STOKESDALE TOWN PARK 8329 Angel Pardue Road

Take a close look as you explore Stokesdale Town Park and search for the 12 images shown below. As you find each item, check off the box beside its description. Once you’ve found all 12 items, write your name, have your parent sign this page (if you’re under 18), and email a photo of you and your completed scavenger hunt page to by April 30 for a chance to win one of our park scavenger hunt prizes*. Remember to include your contact info! *All ages welcome to participate! Must submit completed scavenger hunt via email by midnight on April 30. Winners by age group (5 and under; 6 to 10; 11-18; 19-30; 31 and up) will be notified via email and their names will be published in our May 5-18 issue. Please, only one entry per person, per park. Entries are based on the honor system; submitting a completed form indicates you visited the town park and found all items. Email with questions.

NAME: ____________________________________________ Age: _______ CONTACT INFO (email preferred): _______________________________________________________ PARENT SIGNATURE (if under 18): ______________________________________________________


SUMMER CAMP Rising K-6th graders June 27 - August 5

Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm*

*aftercare available Monday - Thursday, 4:30-6pm

Helping youth to eXcel to new levels, academically, socially and emotionally

A little red box full of books

Seal the prize by spotting this

A rope near some sand

A sprouting tulip

OFFERED at TWO LOCATIONS Stokesdale United Methodist 8305 Loyola Drive, Stokesdale

Oak Springs Baptist 9070 US-158, Stokesdale

Breakfast & lunch provided

How Google Maps knows the park

That lucky number 8

Very important letters on brick

A puppy sitting by a fire hydrant Operation Xcel 3 Steps Ahead summer program keeps your children in the mindset of learning and makes sure they have fun at the same time! Each Friday students will enjoy field trips where they will learn about North Carolina resources. One Friday they will be a miner and the next week they will be a lion tamer. Join us for an exciting summer!

Two big eyes staring right at you

Someone waving from the sea

Something to quench your thirst Spring 2022

A sign that you’re in Stokesdale

For more details or to register, visit:



I cannot express enough gratitude to Phillip for his help with the purchase of my new home. Not only does he have a fantastic understanding of the housing market, but he goes above and beyond to make sure that I am ‘in the know.’ He explains every step of the process in detail and makes sure to communicate with all parties. Everyone at A New Dawn Realty has been supportive and encouraging throughout the process as well. An organization is only as good as those who represent it, and I think that is what makes A New Dawn Realty such an ideal company for those looking to purchase or sell a home.

continued from page 11

Phillip Stone REALTOR®

(336) 908-6528

Photo by Chris Burritt/NWO

The popularity of Belews Lake has risen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago; consequently, demand for these 400-square-foot trailers, known as park models, or “lake villas,” at Carolina Marina has peaked. children how to water ski, so he thought about buying a place on Lake Norman, north of Charlotte. However, his wife questioned whether the family would want to drive an hour and a half to water ski, and instead, they bought the trailer at Belews Lake. After enjoying the spot for many years, these days the Higginses visit less often. Chuck said they plan to keep it, though, partly for their six grandchildren to enjoy. Friends of the Higginses fish from the nearby dock. One simply enjoys sitting quietly, looking across the lake at the Sauratown Mountains. At times, the setting sun turns the sky and water a vibrant shade of orange. The natural setting and proximity to Greensboro and WinstonSalem have also boosted demand for traditional housing in existing subdivisions such as Belews Landing and ColdWater, a 56-lot subdivision slated for 127 acres in a cove located in northwestern Guilford and Forsyth counties.


“If I had more to sell, I’d be selling more,” said RE/MAX Realtor Nicole Gillespie, who has lived in Belews Landing with her husband, Jamey, and their two sons since 2007. In recent years, she’s sold waterfront lots for as much as $400,000. The Gillespies own a pontoon boat and speed boat and enjoy water sports. From her home office, Nicole looks across a natural preserve and one of the lake’s coves. “I feel like I’m in my own resort,” she said. “It takes you away from what’s going on in your day or what’s going on in the world.”

want to learn more? Popular activities on the nearly 4,000-acre Belews Lake include fishing, boating, wake boarding, jet skiing, water skiing and wake surfing. Boats and pontoon boats are available for half-day and fullday rentals. For more info, visit

Spring 2022

Let us introduce these local Realtors specializing in northwest Guilford County land and property sales

I am different from most real estate professionals. I have built my business on results, and I am confident I can deliver for you! I live in Summerfield and have been in the local real estate industry for over 30 years. Familiarity of the market is key! I’m also active in the local community, a member of the Greensboro Builders Association, Greensboro Realtors Association, Northwest Business Partners and Summerfield Merchants Association. We can help you buy, sell, or build today!


(336) 382-1849

Bobbie is extremely knowledgeable of the current market trends. She was very helpful and straightforward with us on the sale of almost 300 acres that was divided up into11land lots spanning across Rockingham and Guilford counties. She knew exactly what to do at every step of the process and gave us excellent guidance along the way. Bobbie is a professional in all aspects of the real estate business; her expertise and excellent interper interpersonal skills work cooperatively to make her a wonderful representative for anyone attempting to purchase or sell a home or land. She truly knows the market and made great recommendations for us. Our realtor for life is Bobbie!

Bobbie Gardner

– Larry & Amy Ingram

Bobbie Gardner Realty, Inc. GRS, CRS, Relocation Specialist (336) 382-5939

Appearing in the Northwest Observer’s third-Thursday issue each month, this section serves as a guide to what’s happening in our local business community and real estate market.

Serving buyers and sellers in the Triad area has been my passion for over 30 years! I began as an elementary teacher, and am mother of two wonderful children who graduated from Guilford County schools. My husband and I have lived in the Greensboro area for over 30 years. It’s a special place to call home and I enjoy helping others find their special place to live in our community. Give me a call – I would enjoy the opportunity to earn your business now or in the future! ‘Building Lasting Friendships One Sale At A Time!’

Sue Hutchinson CRS, ABR, GRI, SMS, Broker

“Finding Your Roots”

Real Estate Showcase ads are a cost-effective way to promote your listings year-round in our classified advertising section.

(336) 314-3441 •

Truly, Nicole Gillespie is the hardest working individual I’ve collaborated with. Her business acumen, customer service level and knowledge of the area are unparalleled. We’ve now purchased two homes with Nicole and it has been absolutely perfect. Buying and selling can be stressful but knowing that Nicole represents us gives us peace of mind that money cannot buy! I trust her implicitly and can’t imagine going through this process with anyone else. Do yourself a favor and have Nicole be your buying or selling guide. Your future self will thank you!

Nicole E. Gillespie REALTOR®/Broker, SPS

RE/MAX Realty Consultants (336) 210.3895 mobile 1.800.965.1893 efax

(336) 644-7035, ext. 11 |

Just one “home call” opens the door to record profits for sellers or the best advice for buyers on how to navigate this complicated and competitive market! An effective promotion plan maximizes results. Receive daily updates for new properties, how to win the bid and smoothly close the deal. Join neighbors and friends who have relied on my 23 years of experience and strong, unwavering commitment to assist northwest community clients and help them achieve their real estate goals! Professional expertise, reliability and a friendly, personalized approach are the right antidotes for these challenging times. Invest in your real estate future and let’s turn someday into NOW!

Kathy King

Experience... Integrity... Compassion... these are just a few words that describe the cornerstones of business for KERBAPPEALS REAL ESTATE. As a Realtor® in the Triad since 2005, customer service is my #1 priority. If buying and/or selling a home is your priority, please give me a call. I promise to work with you – and for you – every step of the way!

Gail Kerber, CDPE, ABR, SPS, SLS REALTOR®/Broker/Owner



(336) 516-1237

(336) 327-1165 cell

Spring 2022



continued from page 8 absorb costs of repairs or ask the seller to share them instead of walking away from the purchase. “With the limited listings, people are scrambling for homes,” Nicole said. Bypassing an inspection or waiving the contingency “can make a buyer’s offer stronger, but they run the risk of dealing with big issues later.”

Major repairs – such as fixing or replacing roofs, foundations and heating and cooling systems – can cost many times more than paying for inspections. The cost of inspections is based upon the square footage and age of houses. SpecPROS charges about $400 for a 2,000-square-foot house fewer than 50 years old.

About half of SpecPros’ clients are first-time home buyers, making them less likely to discover problems on their own, Jeremy Beck said.

While roofing and foundation problems are common with older houses, inspections of newly constructed houses also turn up problems, even after they’ve been inspected to ensure compliance

with building codes, according to Jeremy. Problems range from doors and windows that don’t latch properly to serious issues, such as deck stairs that lack adequate support, he said. Even if buyers decide to accept houses as they are, Nicole said, inspections let them know “what’s going on and guide them on how they’re going to move forward.” “It’s good to know even the small issues,” she said. “Small issues often become big issues.” Whether buyers pay for or bypass inspections, they should look themselves for obvious problems inside and outside of houses. Nerdwallet, a personal financial company, suggests asking these questions:  Are gutters and downspouts properly attached to the house and draining away from the foundation? Is the siding in good repair?  When was the roof replaced? Is it stained or growing moss? Are shingles missing?  Are cracks visible in the foundation? Are trees or roots growing close to the foundation? Is the ground sunken or wet around the foundation?  Do windows and doors open and close easily?

 

Are there signs of moisture around the frames or between the panes? Does the interior of the house smell moldy? Are there signs of moisture or water damage in the attic and basement? If insulation is visible, is it in good condition? Does the heating and cooling system work? When was it replaced? Is the old system, such as an oil furnace or storage tank, still in place? Do the plumbing fixtures work – or leak? Any signs of water in cabinets under sinks? How old is the water heater? Do light switches work? Are all outlets threepronged, indicating they are grounded? What’s the type of electrical panel – older with fuses or newer with circuit breakers? Are the oven, refrigerator, washer and dryer part of the sale? Are they in good condition?

for more information For an even more detailed inspection checklist and an explanation of the contingency clause in an inspection report, do an online search for “Rocket Mortgage, inspection contingency.”





Spring 2022


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Use Code NWO20 for 20% off your order This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Your Spring Begins at

New Garden Gazebo

Grow your Green Thumb! See Our Event Schedule at 3811 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro | (336) 288-8893 |

BEK Paint Company Locally owned and operated since 1998

Exterior & Interior • Residential • New Home Construction • Carpentry Front Door Refinishing • Cabinet Painting • Wallpaper Removal Pressure Washing • Deck Staining • Popcorn Ceiling Removal References Available | Licensed & Insured | All Work Guaranteed

David & Judy Long, owners

(336) 931-0600 |


Spring 2022

continued from page 19 homeowners looking for additional square footage for offices, home gyms, hobby areas, playrooms, workshops and entertainment/party rooms. Phillip Stone, a Realtor and coowner of A New Dawn Realty in Stokesdale, has seen many examples of people reinventing their garages – and in fact, he’s one of those people. “My wife and I didn’t grow up with garages, so we aren’t really concerned about having a covered area for our vehicles,” Stone said. “We have some storage area, but have converted half of the garage into a batting cage for our daughter, Savannah, who has just started playing softball.” While Stone’s setup is temporary, he said, as a Realtor, he’s seen numerous garages that have been permanently converted for other purposes. “People will finish them out and use them for extra bedrooms, or maybe even an in-law suite,” he noted. Stone referenced a friend who took down the door to his garage, completely remodeled the space and added a porch so it could be used as a dedicated classroom for his kids who were being homeschooled. Another Realtor we spoke with said she’s also seen a lot of garage transformations in her career. One of the most creative was as a performance area for the homeowner’s kids. Featuring an elevated stage with curtains, lights and a seating area, the setup gave the young thespians their own arena in which to entertain family and friends. Describing her garage as a “working garage,” Summerfield resident Theresa Wilson said her husband, Kerry, commandeers their garage for rebuilding and working on cars. “Right now, he’s working on his grandfather’s ’74 Porsche 914 and has the engine running after 35 years,” said Wilson, adding there’s basically nothing else in the couple’s garage but the car, car parts and her husband’s tools. About two years ago Bess Ragan

and her husband, David, purchased their northwest Greensboro home with a garage that had been converted into a home theater. The garage door had been replaced with French doors, a large movie screen installed, the floor was tiled and gas logs and custom cabinetry added. Ragan said she and her husband have enjoyed the extra space for large family events, entertaining, watching movies and just relaxing. Even so, she said if she had to choose between the theater room and a garage, she would “go with the garage every time.”

Temporary vs permanent conversions

Converting a garage for use as a home gym or workshop can be relatively simple – add the gym equipment or a workbench and some shelving and you’re set to go. If the area is not permanently heated or cooled, a portable heating or air conditioning unit can be used. Making the conversion permanent, however, is more complicated, expensive and requires a building permit. Things like removing the garage door and installing heating and air conditioning will likely require skilled professionals. “Planning ahead is crucial. If major changes are being made, the homeowner will need to consult with a licensed general contractor,” Gardner said. “Electrical and plumbing inspections will be required. And if converting the space for use as a bedroom, they’ll need to confirm that their septic system is permitted for an additional bedroom. Many times, if the work is done by unlicensed contractors or the homeowners themselves, the home inspector will find safety issues that require expensive repairs when the homeowner decides to sell the home.” On that note, a few years ago having a garage that had been converted for another use, especially permanently, was sometimes undesirable when it came to resale. With so many more people working from home and homeschooling their children, however, having extra

multipurpose space often outweighs the advantage of a garage. When unsure about whether to convert space back to a garage, home sellers often seek advice from their Realtor. Vaughan said his answer depends on whether the owner made changes that were temporary or permanent. “If it was a permanent fix, then let it stay. However, if there is no other garage, it will limit the possible candidates who will want to buy the home,” he said. “I recommend that people convert their garage to permanent space only if they plan to live there for a long period of time and are not concerned about the resale.” While using a garage for extra work and living space may be tempting, there are still many benefits to its original purpose – such as the joy of getting into a car on a cold winter morning without the need to scrape off ice, coming home to a lit area rather than trekking into a dark house, and finally, simply pulling into the garage, lowering the door and locking the world outside. Even so, the best thing about a garage is the versatility it offers homeowners to transform space into exactly what they want and need.


continued from page 15 feature a splash of color on at least one wall. In one of their recent homes, Bullins added a blue wall in the kitchen, which designated the area as a specific space for dining. Another trending feature is to cover the accent wall with wallpaper. “Instead of using a contrasting color, people are using wallpaper,” confirmed Dr. Eric Van Wilson, an interior designer with Priba Furniture and Interiors in Greensboro; he added that foliage is a popular wallpaper pattern. Although Bullins hasn’t used any wallpaper yet, she said she’s seen some eye-catching uses, such as a backdrop for bathroom mirrors or behind floating shelves found in the living areas. “It adds a bit of depth and dimension,” she said.

Finishing it off

The interior of the home is like a blank canvas that’s brought to life by its furnishings. According to Wilson, today’s trends in furniture and accessories give homeowners the opportunity to make their homes both comfortable and attractive. He noted that the formal living room is a thing of the past.

“(When I was a kid), the only people that could go into the (living room) were the pastor and his wife,” Wilson joked. “People don’t live like that anymore.

dge H Oa k R i

istoric District

“When it comes to upholstery, people want performance fabric in light colors that wears like steel,” he said, adding that manufacturers are successfully meeting customers’ demands in this area. The hottest upholstery colors right now come in shades of green, ranging from celery to olive. “I think green is the trend. Light greens, not the dark greens,” Wilson said. “The trend has already shown up in clothing and now it’s transposing into furniture.” Homeowners are also seeking comfort, and nothing is more comfortable than a recliner – except perhaps a luxury motion recliner. At Priba, electric reclining chairs, sofas and loveseats with articulating head rests are all the rage.

Taking it outdoors

Spaciousness is key in today’s homes, and people are taking advantage of outdoor areas such as patios and screened porches to increase their square footage. “The outdoor furniture industry has blossomed,” Wilson confirmed. As with their indoor furnishings, people are focused on performance. “(They) want cushions that can wick away moisture and are covered with Sunbrella fabrics,” Wilson said. Having created this spaciousness, homeowners are seeking to create little islands of living areas. Because of this, Wilson said he’s also seeing more demand for area rugs.

Are you in the Oak Ridge Historic District and considering remodeling or landscaping? Talk to us before you start work! Our Historic District helps preserve the unique character of our town. We can help you make sure your project fits within the Design Standards for the district. For more information, visit or call Town Hall at (336) 644.7009.

Oak Ridge Historic Preservation Commission

Promoting historic preservation in Oak Ridge (336) 644.7009 |

Spring 2022



continued from page 22 backs up to Lake Brandt, can be found on the A&Y Greenway “at least a couple of times a week” with friends who share her enjoyment of the trail. “I love the greenway. It’s very peaceful, there are some hills and it’s never boring,” she said. “It’s a wonderful asset to our community.” Winicki and her husband, Ed, moved to the area about 15 years ago and chose their home because it was near the lake. “We wanted to have areas around us where we and our kids could fish,” she said. “It was an added bonus to have this trail where we could walk.” A Realtor with eXp Realty, Winicki noted that a lot of her clients specifically ask what trails are near homes they’re

considering, and are excited to find out about the A&Y Greenway. Offering a relatively easy terrain, most of the paved greenway is flat with a few inclines, making it a great fit for people of all ages and abilities. That’s one of the things that Oak Ridge resident Martha Pittman finds so appealing. Pittman enjoys Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO hiking and spends a This row of turtles tries to catch a few rays of sunshine in a pond along the A&Y Greenway. lot of time on more rugged dirt trails that run through the woods. But she also has a love for the A&Y Greenway, weather when she wants to get and sometimes joins a group outside but doesn’t want to navigate of walkers there. She said she through mud. especially likes to take advantage And, she enjoys taking her two of the greenway during wet inquisitive dogs on the greenway.

We’re Local, Independent Advisors that Guide & Advocate for You

Oak Ridge • Summerfield Greensboro • High Point CINDI BEAL Mortgage Sales Manager 336.880.1589

ANTHONY WILSON Mortgage Loan Officer 336.645.5375

Apply online 24/7: Mortgage Services are: Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.


BRENT SCHROYER Insurance Advisor

CHASTITY SPOFFORD Insurance Specialist

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Spring 2022

“When I’m taking my dogs I prefer the greenway,” Pittman confirmed. “There are so many distractions in the woods – so many things to see and smell! They’re just better behaved on the greenway.” Like Pittman, Summerfield resident Beth Kaplan has found the greenway to be a great place for dogs. “I got a puppy this year and we have been walking the A&Y Greenway section in Summerfield together. It helps with her leash training, meeting people, and working off some of that energy.” When her puppy’s not in tow, Kaplan, a runner, likes the peacefulness of the greenway, and said the quiet surroundings help work off some of her own energy. “I love that I can run for long periods of time without having to worry about traffic,” she said. “I also love running in such beautiful areas. Summerfield to Bur-Mil Park

is especially beautiful.” Summerfield resident Patti Stokes said she’s lived a mile from where the greenway crosses over Strawberry Road for 22 years, but it wasn’t until about two years ago, when she experienced a significant drop in her work hours, that she spent much time on it. “A few months after COVID surfaced in the spring of 2020, I cut back on my work schedule,” Stokes said. “With more free time, I decided to get outside more – a big change from being inside at a computer for hours on end – and to start walking regularly. “At first, I walked on my own – and I still do that a lot,” Stokes continued. “But one day, when I was talking to someone who I knew enjoyed spending time outdoors and running, I asked if she wanted to walk with me. That took what had long been a casual friendship to a whole new level, and we’ve since walked hundreds of miles together on the A&Y Greenway, sharing laughs, life’s challenges and our observations of the world as we

enjoy being unplugged and in the midst of nature,” Stokes said. “Along the way we see squirrels, deer, blue herons, egrets – and only occasionally, a snake (my least favorite part of being in nature),” she added. “When my friend is with me, she often reminds me to stop and enjoy the view as we cross by the fishing pier that juts out into Lake Brandt. It is simply beautiful.” The greenway’s scenic, peaceful surroundings, especially within the Summerfield section, might be its biggest draw. Although it runs parallel to U.S. 220, once the trail crosses over Strawberry Road and veers towards Greensboro, the highway noises fade into the background. The greenway weaves between short

stretches of sunny areas and the cool shade of towering trees. Pedestrian bridges stretch across the calm waters of Lake Brandt, and there are plenty of spots to take a break, gaze out over the water and observe the wildlife. It’s not uncommon to spot migratory birds such as blue herons, egrets, ospreys and even bald eagles. As the trail stretches into Greensboro, it meanders through a number of quiet neighborhoods and alongside Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Greensboro Country Park. Here, it heads into more commercial areas as it passes behind local restaurants and businesses and finally ends at a shopping center on Lawndale Drive.

continued on page 39

Photo by Patti Stokes/NWO

The view of this pier leading out to Lake Brandt provides a beautiful backdrop while walking, jogging or cycling on the A&Y Greenway.

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Photos by Chris Burritt/NWO

 Spicer’s Place sells sauces, spices and rubs at gun shows and flea markets, but maintains its only permanent outlet at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market due to steady traffic, said Liz Scott, who owns the Denton, North Carolina, business with her husband, Chris.  Starting early before shoppers arrive, Carmen Huffman puts out pansies and other colorful flowers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.

continued from page 12 “On a busy Saturday, we’ll sell 150 to 200 cups of coffee,” said Jenna Spaulding, who operates Home Grounds with her sister, Jacey Shelton. Their business has grown since they started in June 2020 as a mobile caterer in the midst of the pandemic. Moose Café serves southernstyle breakfast and lunch. Nearby, A.B. Seed operates a store selling landscape plants, fountains, pavers, benches and other garden supplies and decorations. Spicer’s Place sells sauces, spices and rubs at gun shows and flea markets, but maintains its only permanent outlet at the Colfax market due to steady traffic, said Liz Scott, who owns the Denton, North Carolina, business with her husband, Chris.

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This past weekend, sales were brisk for two vendors selling bouquets of flowers. Among the customers were Greensboro’s Helen Duncan, shopping with her daughter, Courtney Adams, and grandson, Langston. Both women bought flowers for their homes.

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celebrating 25 years of covering northwest Guilford County’s local matters


Spring 2022

Duncan said she grew up on a farm in Sampson County in eastern North Carolina.

“I believe in farm to table,” she said, explaining she visits the market every two weeks during the summer. The big crowds draw vendors such as Colfax’s Susan Gravley, who started Tarheel Bakery as a second career. She’s been selling at the market for 10 years, offering as many as 20 flavors of cakes – hummingbird, carrot and red velvet among them – along with pies and persimmon pudding. “Some people have suggested that I open a storefront,” Gravley said. “But why would I do that? On a Saturday in the spring time, 7,000 to 10,000 people will walk through here. This place will be full.” Several vendors said their businesses picked up during the COVID-19 outbreak, spurred by customers who turned to gardening while spending more time at home. “People didn’t have ballgames and things like that to do with their kids,” Carmen Huff said. She and her husband, David, grow flowers and vegetables in Iredell County, an hour and 15 minutes southwest of Colfax. Blake operated his business

throughout the pandemic because as a retailer of vegetables, beef and other foods, it qualified as an essential business. Last summer, he said, “we sold about everything we grew.” Vendors such as Blake and Huff benefit from repeat customers. “They want to patronize local people,” Huff said as she unloaded trays of pansies from her pickup truck. “They are helping small family businesses.” Gary and Melodie Rush visited Huffman’s stand last weekend to buy flowers for pots around their Greensboro home. “The flowers are fresher, and I like the colors,” Melodie said. “They are really beautiful.”

want to go? The Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is one of four stateowned farmers markets in North Carolina and is operated by N.C. Agricultural and Consumer Services. Located at 2914 Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax, it is open daily, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Follow the market on Facebook at PiedmontTriadFarmersMarket. For more information and a 2022 Event Schedule, visit


Photo courtesy of Anthony Holdaway

continued from page 7

Anthony Holdaway is still researching the origin of this unique lamp that he found in the basement of a work site.

like it was made in America and he thought it would look perfect in a medieval castle. The lamp stands about 3 ½ feet tall, is about 12 inches wide and, to put it mildly, isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing creation.

Intrigued by the lamp’s unattractiveness and uniqueness, Holdaway asked his supervisor what was going to happen to it. Since everything in the house had been deemed junk and was being removed before the property went up for sale, the supervisor told Holdaway it was his for the taking.

Now that Holdaway has his treasure home, he’s not sure what’s he’s going to do with it. He’s already spent hours on research, but hasn’t been able to gain any information about it. Once he finishes his research, who knows? He might find some owner of a medieval castle who absolutely must have this particular lamp for his lair.

Holdaway added he’d be interested if anyone knows anything about the lamp or if they might be interested in purchasing it. “Make me an offer!” he said. Whenever they can, Chis Rodenbough and his wife, Rhonda, enjoy spending their weekends unwinding from the workweek by checking out local yard sales. The Stokesdale couple heads out early on Saturday mornings so that Rodenbough can be back in time to feed the animals at

Camp Carefree, where he works as property manager.

Rodenbough said he and Rhonda have gotten several great yard sale bargains over the years – such as the Persian rug they purchased for $120. After some research, they found out it was worth $1,100. A few years ago, they purchased some attractive and sturdy patio furniture at a bargain price – and it’s still in use on their back deck.

While all of these local residents have certainly been lucky at finding treasures in the secondhand market, none have been as fortunate as the Concord, North Carolina, artist who picked up a painting in the Oak Ridge Goodwill store about 10 years ago and literally made a fortune. In town for the “Keep It Local Art Show,” Beth Feeback bought a large painting at the store for $9.99, with the idea of recycling the canvas by painting over it. Although she considered painting it a couple of times, she decided to first

Photo courtesy of Olga Andreescu

After purchasing this vase for $25, Olga Andreescu discovered it was worth $600. Google the Ilya Bolotwsky painting. Turns out it was worth quite a bit more than she paid for it. In fact, it sold for $27,500 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York and Feeback netted nearly $23,000. Granted, most people won’t hit the jackpot like Feeback did or even find an item worth a lot of money, but more often than not, those who enjoy the hunt walk away with something of value to them, if not to anyone else. After all, it is true what they say – one man’s junk really is another’s man’s treasure.

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the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Gardening Moment” television and radio program.


continued from page 17 Extension conducts soil tests from samples submitted by farmers who farm hundreds or thousands of acres as well as home gardeners raising vegetables in their back yards. Start by picking up a brown cardboard box for depositing your soil samples and submission and instruction sheets from Guilford County’s Extension office at 3309 Burlington Road in Greensboro. Oak Ridge Town Hall also keeps a supply of the boxes and instructions for gardeners.

The Extension office recommends using a spade to collect samples, or cores, from a variety of areas around your lawn or garden. For areas an acre in size, it suggests digging 10 to 20 cores. Put the samples in a clean plastic bucket and stir them together to create a sample representative of the entire area. A state lab conducts soil tests at no charge for North Carolina residents except during the Dec. 1 – March 31 peak season, when the fee is $4.

Early spring and fall are good times to conduct soil tests, since you can make needed changes when preparing your garden, according to Melinda Myers, author of more than 20 gardening books and host of

Test the soil when starting a new garden or when you notice your garden or lawn is struggling. In areas where soil types and fertilization practices vary greatly, collect and put samples in separate boxes, Myers said.

The results will tell you what type and how much, if any, fertilizer is needed for the plants you are growing.

Allow several weeks for the test to be completed and the results to be returned. Most basic soil tests report the amount of phosphorus and potassium in the soil. Phosphorus promotes flowering, fruiting, and root development, according to Myers. Potassium promotes drought tolerance, disease resistance and hardiness. Many soils are high to excessive in these plant nutrients. You cannot remove the excess, but soil test reports can help you avoid adding to the problem.

Most labs do not measure the amount of nitrogen in the soil since the levels change quickly and are not easy to test accurately. Instead, they make nitrogen recommendations based on the plants you are growing or will grow in the area being tested, Myers said. Aside from following the recommendations in soil test results, Rees also suggests that northwestern Guilford County gardeners select plants that grow well in

our area. In soil with lots of clay, she recommends putting down organic materials to create rich, loamy earth. “You want high nutrient soil,” she said. “But without a test, you’re not going to know what’s going on in your soil.” The state’s Cooperative Extension instruction sheet explains how to gather, package and mail soil samples. A form for homeowners asks them to identify the plants they’re growing or plan to grow so the lab can recommend the proper nutrients. Email addresses are required because the soil testing lab no longer mails soil test reports. Mail the soil sample boxes and forms to: N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Soils (NCDA&CS) Agronomic Division, 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1040.

for more information For information about soil testing and other gardening topics, Google “soils, North Carolina Extension.” You can also call the Guilford County Cooperative Extension office at (336) 375-5876.

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continued from page 35

Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO

Summerfield resident Donna Pearson and her dog, Dunkin, enjoy walking on the A&Y Greenway.

While the paved segment of the A&Y Greenway follows a specific route, there are several opportunities to veer off onto one of the greenway connectors, such as the 3.6-mile Natty Greene Trail, the 4.3-mile Owl’s Roost Trail (voted the “best urban mountain biking trail” in the country by “Bicycling Magazine” in 2003), and the 1.6-mile naturalsurface Palmetto Trail (although it’s currently closed due to storm damage). Pittman noted a portion of the A&Y Greenway is also part of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail, an 1,100-mile network of trails and roads connecting the Great Smoky Mountains on the western side of our state to the Outer Banks on the eastern side. Those who enjoy the A&Y Greenway may be happy to know there are plans to extend it. “It’s not fully finished,” confirmed Jennifer Hance, community engagement coordinator with Greensboro Parks and Recreation. The city of Greensboro and the town of Summerfield are each working to make the greenway longer and even more connected,

and it will eventually extend farther northwest in Summerfield and farther south to downtown Greensboro. “Summerfield plans to extend the A&Y route beginning on the west side of the U.S. 220 pedestrian tunnel and build it through to Medearis Street north of Summerfield Community Park,” the town’s manager, Scott Whitaker, said. “The town has done 65% of the engineering and design and just implemented a project funding agreement with NCDOT with construction planned for 2024. The project is called A&Y Greenway (South).”

want to go? Access the A&Y Greenway in Summerfield from the Anna Long Marshall Wayside parking lot off U.S. 220, just north of Strawberry Road, or, a little farther north is the newest trailhead parking lot, where Summerfield Road ends at U.S. 220. The greenway is also accessible from Bur-Mil Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Greensboro Country Park. All have ample parking. For more details, visit departments/parks-recreation and type “A&Y Greenway” in the Search bar.

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