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location: 1616 NC 68 North, Oak Ridge, NC 27310 mail: PO Box 268, Oak Ridge, NC 27310
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Oak Ridge was a sleepy little farm community in the early ‘70s, and with the exception of the newly renamed Oak Ridge Military Academy, the four corners of the crossroads at N.C. 68 and 150 were occupied by pastureland and crops.
While the community was more bucolic in nature, its residents had big ideas about adding more recreational opportunities. One of those ideas was to build a community swimming pool for local families. That was 50 years ago, and Oak Ridge Swim Club is now an established community icon.
With the passage of time, most of the people involved in creating the swim club have passed away and there is little recorded history. However, there’s a consensus among those we interviewed that two men, Buster Linville and Walter Tice, who died in 2010 and 2011 respectively, were the main ones involved with instigating the project.
Oak Ridge resident Linda Pegg, who served on the club’s first board and was
secretary/treasurer of the organization for over a decade, remembered attending a meeting to gauge interest in a community swimming pool and tennis court.
Although this type of venture was quite progressive for such a small, rural community, there was enough interest that the group formed a committee to investigate the logistics of building the pool and clubhouse.
After determining that creating a swim club had enough community support, that committee became the first board, with Tice taking on the role of president. Pegg, along with five other area residents, Romulus Linville, John Clodfelter, J.C. Williams, Johnny Swicegood and John Peters, made up the first board.
The club was established as a private entity owned by members who were required to make a one-time stock purchase and pay annual dues. To make the plan work, Buster Linville put up the money to purchase the property, whichPhoto courtesy of Oak Ridge Swim Club Located on N.C. 150 across from Oak Ridge Elementary School, Oak Ridge Swim Club has been a popular place for families to enjoy swimming and spending time with friends for 50 years.
Fall is a great time to spend in your yard. It’s also a prime time of year to prep our living landscape for another favorite season – spring.
Here’s what you need to do now to have a yard you’ll enjoy this fall, as well as in the seasons to follow:
Mulch leaves: Autumn-colored leaves are beautiful, but if layers of leaves are left to accumulate on your lawn, they block light and trap in moisture. Rather than raking or bagging your leaves, consider mulching them with a lawn mower and spreading them around young trees, shrubs and flower beds to provide a natural boost of nutrients and help with weed control and keeping roots warm.
Aerate your lawn: Aerating prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch – a thick layer of roots, stems and debris that blocks water, oxygen and nutrients from
Lawn professionals advise homeowners to mulch, aerate, fertilize and overseed their lawns in the fall before winter sets in. It’s also a prime time to plant trees, shrubs and ﬂower gardens.
“I could not be happier with my new blinds! The initial consultation was within days of my call and the blinds were ready quicker than they promised. Nick and Sal are the best.”
Treat your lawn well this fall, and you’ll be rewarded next spring by PATTI STOKESAdobe Stock photo
OAK RIDGE – Located diagonally across the street from Oak Ridge Elementary, the historic house at the corner of N.C. 150 and Linville Road in Oak Ridge has had no residents since the late 1990s. Many have considered the empty, neglected house and the bamboo-covered acreage surrounding it to be an eyesore, especially given its highly visible location.
Sam Anders hopes that will soon change. The local accountant and lifetime Oak Ridge resident recently purchased the house and the 4.7 acres it rests on, and plans to create a small office complex there.
One of Oak Ridge’s most historic remaining structures, the house at 2102 Oak Ridge Road
was built about 1863 by Ansalem Moore (1809-1884). Moore’s grandmother was the daughter of Charles Benbow, whose historic 1823 home sits nearby on Oak Ridge Road. His grandfather, Camm Moore (1755-1845), was a silversmith who is renowned for
This historic house at the corner of Linville Road and Oak Ridge Road/N.C. 150 was last occupied in the late 1990s. Sam Anders, who owns an accounting ﬁrm in Oak Ridge, recently purchased 4.7 acres that includes the house, an adjacent building that is rented by a smallengine repair business, and the former two-story brick W.D. Grocery store. He plans to restore the house and buildings, as well as create an ofﬁce complex on the property.
making precision surveying equipment which is on display in local museums. One of his pieces sold in 2009 for $28,750.
Ansalem Moore made his living as a blacksmith and was named
New owner hopes to restore the historic house that has long been unoccupiedPhoto by Patti Stokes
What’s under your feet?by PATTI STOKES
Flooring designers and manufacturers have gotten very creative over the years, and homeowners have no shortage of unique flooring materials and patterns to choose from. Read on to learn more about some of the classic and trending styles in what’s on the floors beneath your feet.
Hardwood is always in Floors made of solid woods such as maple, oak and walnut are still a top choice for homeowners, and flooring professionals agree these floors will never go out of style. Besides the classic hardwood flooring with midtone colors and a smooth, glossy surface, other popular options include “lived-in
hardwood,” which offers a more rustic look with intentional signs of age and distress, and bleached or washed-out hardwood that lightens up a room and offers a relaxed, coastal feel.
Key advantages of solid hardwood floors are that they’re considered “timeless,” they can be sanded and refinished to extend their lifespan, and they add to the value of a home.
While ﬂooring styles that are popular today may be out tomorrow, ﬂooring professionals agree that natural, solid wood ﬂooring will never go out of style.Photo courtesy of CSM Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring, which is made of a high-quality plywood core with a thin layer of hardwood flooring on top, has become increasingly popular in recent years because it offers the same character as natural hardwood, but is more affordable. An advantage of engineered hardwood is that it is available in wider planks, and is ideal for environments where temperatures fluctuate.
One disadvantage of engineered hardwood is that, dependent on how thick the top wear layer is, you may be limited as to if or how many times it can be sanded and refinished.
Carpet is deﬁnitely still in Carpet remains a popular flooring choice, particularly for bedrooms.
“We’re still seeing about half of all homeowners putting carpet in bedrooms. Most are going with neutral tones, leaning back to the
beiges and taupes of the early ‘90s,” said Denise Mallary, a design/ sales consultant with CSM Flooring based in the Triad. “Popular textures in wall-to-wall carpeting are lower, tighter and denser than the trend of frieze, which is more similar to shag carpet.”
Mallary noted she’s seen many carpet trends come and go since she started in the flooring business in 1985.
“I watched the cycle go from wools to short shag (frieze), and now it’s back to thicker, softer and tighter, denser styles,” she said.
Luxury vinyl is increasingly popular
Vinyl flooring has moved much closer to natural wood and stone looks in recent years. Luxury vinyl is a specific type of vinyl flooring. Unlike vinyl flooring of the past, which was offered in sheet form only
and therefore couldn’t mimic natural materials, LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and LVP (luxury vinyl plank) floors are offered in a wide array of patterns and
colors, and designed to look like wood, stone, tile and other natural materials.
Some LVT and LVP flooring continued on page 30
With hardwood ﬂooring as well as luxury vinyl planking (shown in photo), the trend has gone toward natural and bleached woods.CSM GREENSBORO & WILMINGTON | HARDWOODS UNLIMITED, BURLINGTON | CSMFLOORING.COM Photo courtesy of CSM Flooring
Rearrange, repurpose and reuseby ANNETTE JOYCE
Kara Winicki and her husband, Ed, moved into their Summerfield home about 16 years ago. For most of those years the couple had a full house –two growing boys, three dogs and two cats. On top of that, their home was the neighborhood hangout for their sons’ many friends.
Soon after moving in, the couple completely remodeled the kitchen. However, the rest of the spacious house stayed the same and featured lots of brown leather and dark wood furniture, much of it bearing chew marks and scratches from their various pets.
Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO Decorator Shelli Cottingham (left) and Realtor Kara Winicki teamed up to give Winicki’s home a refreshing facelift at an aﬀordable price.
That’s where Shelli Cottingham, decorator and owner of DECORgeous in Greensboro, came into the picture.
Having known each other from their days as teachers at Summerfield Elementary School, the two women joined forces to give Winicki the home she envisioned by primarily, as Cottingham said, “rearranging, repurposing and reusing.”
Cottingham’s approach to decorating is in some ways unique.
“It seems we always had a ton of boys over, so I never really worried too much about how things looked,” Winicki said. “We had to have a house that could take a beating.”
After she and her husband became emptynesters a few months ago, Winicki, who loves to entertain, felt it was time to majorly spruce up their home – but she didn’t want to spend a fortune doing it.
“I decided I wanted my house back,” she said. “My priorities changed. I wanted
to be in this house and feel really great about it.”
A Realtor with eXp Realty, Winicki also wanted to be able to provide her sellers with ideas about how they could transform their own homes to
“A lot of designers say you’ve got to push your clients out of their comfort zone. That’s not me,” she said. “I want to put my clients in their comfort zone. If someone tells me, ‘This furniture was my parents’ and it means a lot,’ I want to
12 Fall 2022 Conveniently located in Kernersville, NC 703 Park Lawn Court Showroom hours: Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm • After hours, Saturdays and Sundays available and welcome by appointment. Complimentary In-House Estimates: info@AmanziGranite.com amanzigranite.com • 1-855 4AMANZI (1-855 426.2694) get a better price, or enable her buyers to see the potential in the houses they were touring. By going through her own transformation process, she knew she would be better equipped to help her clients. continued on page 28
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KNOWLEDGE ... about northwest Guilford County
Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a newcomer, you may be surprised at some of the answers to the following questions. Just for fun, take our quiz and see how much you know about past and current happenings in northwest Guilford County.
1. What is the name of the new park to be built in Oak Ridge?
A. Whitaker Park, named for the family of Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker, who donated the property
B. Heritage Farm Park, to pay tribute to the property’s historic use as farmland
C. PARTF Park, named for the state grant which supplied nearly $500,000 to build the park
D. Linville Park, named in honor of the late Buster and Edna Linville, who made many generous financial contributions to the community of Oak Ridge
2. What colorful water source was Stokesdale originally named for?
A. Belews Lake (formerly Blue’s Lake)
B. Brown Town, a retention pond outside the downtown area with water that was often brown
C. Green Pond, a local pond with water that was greenish in color
D. Haw River, which was often stained with dye used by textile mills upstream
3. What’s the name of the airfield that eventually became Piedmont Triad International Airport, and what famous person visited there?
A. Lindley Field, opened by Charles Lindburgh in 1927
B. Potter’s Field, formerly the site of a pauper’s graveyard, visited by President Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression
C. Blue Skies Airfield, visited by screen stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in 1935
D. Flowers Airfield for the colorful wildflowers that grew there; it was dedicated by former First Lady Ladybird Johnson, who advocated for the planting of wildflowers in the U.S.
4. What does legend say the proprietor of the Old Mill dreamed the night before the mill was seized by British troops during the Revolutionary War?
A. His toe was being gnawed off by a bear locals called General Cornwallis
B. His toe was mangled and torn off when it was caught between the mill’s grinding stones
C. His toe was on fire (legend says it was shot in a skirmish with British troops)
D. His toe was blown off when some residents tried to explode a nearby beaver dam.
5. Who was Summerfield, once known as Bruce’s Crossroads, named for?
A. Robert the Bruce, former King of Scotland
B. Charles Bruce, early settler and American patriot
C. Bruce, the name film crews gave the great white shark replica in the movie “Jaws”
D. The ancestors of Oak Ridge Town Manager Bill Bruce
6. Besides the town’s municipal water system, what topic has been one of the most frequently discussed at Stokesdale Town Council meetings?
A. The charging of a property tax
B. Accessing water from nearby Belews Lake
C. Changing the form of government to allow hiring a town manager
D. Removal of a soft drink machine from the town park
7. What issue has Oak Ridge worked on for nearly 20 years that is about to become a reality?
A. Creation of a town water system for household use
and fire suppression
B. Turning N.C. 68 into an interstate highway, increasing traffic and business in the town
C. The installation of 20 tennis courts, making the town a local sports destination
D. Purchasing the Oak Ridge Military Academy campus and allowing commercial development and condos/apartments to be built
8. Which of these is correct?
A. Oak Ridge Councilman George McClellan is a descendant of General George B. McClellan, a Union general during the Civil War
B. Stokesdale Mayor Mike Crawford’s great-aunt was actress Joan Crawford
C. Summerfield Councilman Reece Walker was named for the 1990s show “Walker, Texas Ranger,” his mother’s favorite TV show during pregnancy
D. None of the above (at least, to our knowledge!)
9. How do the northwest area towns of Stokesdale, Summerfield and Oak Ridge plan to use the combined $11.8 million recently awarded by Guilford County?
A. Updates to the restroom facilities at all the towns’ parks to prevent sewage backups
B. A landfill for the three towns, which would be built on one of the large hills in Summerfield Community
Park to be called the Grand Hill Landfill
C. Creating or expanding municipal water for consumption and fire suppression
D. Building a YMCA-type facility to help improve residents’ health and fitness levels
10. What is the only time since it was founded that Oak Ridge Military Academy closed?
A. During the Civil War, when all students reportedly left to join the war effort
B. During the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, when many students and teachers were stricken
C. During WWII, when many older students were drafted and others volunteered
D. During the 1950s polio epidemic, when most parents withdrew their children
11. What is the meaning of the Latin phrase “Amor Vincit Omnia” on the Stokesdale Town Seal?
A. Love is everywhere
B. Love one another
C. Love conquers all
D. Love of country
12. After it incorporated in 1998, where was Oak Ridge’s first Town Hall?
A. In the old Oak Ridge Fire Department building,
which has since been demolished
B. In Alumni Hall at Oak Ridge Military Academy
C. In a mobile unit across N.C. 68 from McDonald’s (the new Starbucks location)
D. In the former Post Office building beside Oak Ridge Military Academy
13. James Gillies, the Revolutionary War bugler whose likeness is on Summerfield’s Town Seal, was killed by British troops at what local site?
A. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro
B. On Oak Ridge Road near the Summerfield/Oak Ridge border
C. On U.S. 220 where it crosses Lake Brandt
D. Where a monument to him is located in front of Summerfield Elementary School
14. Where is Nathan Dillon, son of Old Mill of Oak Ridge’s founder Daniel Dillon, buried?
A. In Oak Ridge United Methodist Church’s cemetery
B. In Old Union Graveyard on E. Harrell Road in Oak Ridge
C. On a hill overlooking the Old Mill on N.C. 68 in Oak Ridge
D. In Ai Church cemetery at the corner of Alcorn Road and N.C. 68
You can check your answers on p. 30!
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Oak Ridge Garden Club
60 years and still growing strong!by LAURA RENEER, ORGC member
Have you ever driven by the school sign in front of Oak Ridge Elementary and noticed the beautiful flowers? Or maybe you’ve stopped by the Old Mill and enjoyed looking at the carefully tended gardens near the front porch. Those gardens, along with two others in Oak Ridge, are maintained by members of Oak Ridge Garden Club (ORGC), a group dedicated to beautifying their community and sharing their love of gardening.
Organized in October of 1962, ORGC began with the following objective: “To cultivate and promote an increased interest in gardening, to encourage planting and conservation of civic beauty, and to participate in the continuing study of the art of flower arranging.”
While the study of flower arranging is no longer the focal point for this 60-year-old club, the attention to civic beauty and the promotion of
Oak Ridge Historic D istrict
Are you in the Oak Ridge Historic District and considering remodeling or landscaping?
Are you in the Oak Ridge Historic District and considering remodeling or landscaping?
Talk to us before you start work!
Talk to us before you start work!
Our Historic District helps preserve the unique char acter of our town. We can help you make sure your project fits within the Design Standards for the district.
Our Historic District helps preserve the unique char acter of our town. We can help you make sure your project fits within the Design Standards for the district.
For more information, visit www.oakridgenc.com or call Town Hall at (336) 644.7009.
For more information, visit www.oakridgenc.com or call Town Hall at (336) 644.7009.
Oak Ridge Historic Preservation Commission
Oak Ridge Historic Preservation Commission
Promoting historic preservation in Oak Ridge (336) 644.7009 | www.oakridgenc.com
Promoting historic preservation in Oak Ridge (336) 644.7009 | www.oakridgenc.comPhoto courtesy of Martha Pittman This ﬂower garden beneath the sign at Oak Ridge Elementary is one of four gardens in the community that Oak Ridge Garden Club maintains.
Flowers by the front porch of the Old Mill on N.C. 68 in Oak Ridge are also maintained by Oak Ridge Garden Club. gardening are still a top priority.
The motto of the original club founders was “Not for self, but for all,” which still holds true today.
ORGC was quite formal in those early days of the 1960s. Flower arranging competitions were not only one of the club’s primary activities, but were actually required. Each member was expected to have several entries in the local flower shows, with strict rules about each category. Susie Westmoreland, who joined the club in 1987, remembers Isabelle Whitaker, a past member and aunt of lifetime Oak Ridge resident Frank Whitaker, taking her on long walks on the Whitaker property to help her learn about wildflowers and how she might incorporate them into her flower entries.
The annual Year Book, a scrapbook of sorts that contained the club’s mission statement, the prayer recited before meetings, a list of past presidents, photos, meeting details, and a schedule of the year’s activities, was also entered in a competition. According to Westmoreland, the keeper of the Year Book had an important task, and “The yearbook was a big deal! The hope was that it
might win in the annual contest sponsored by the Guilford County Council.”
Westmoreland and Elaine Papp, who joined in 1988, also recall spouses and guests being invited to the annual Valentine’s banquet held at Oak Ridge Military Academy. The school would cater the dinner, and cadets would serve as waiters and waitresses.
“It was a beautiful evening!” Papp said.
Even monthly meetings were a special occasion.
“Back before email, dear little Willow Way Benbow Terrell, who lived in the Charles Benbow House and had been known to keep a pet chicken in her kitchen, would call a few days ahead each month to remind us of our meeting,” Westmoreland said. “One did not skip out on meetings without a really good reason!”
Members dressed up for meetings, unless it was a work day, and meetings followed a speci c order as outlined in the bylaws.
While none of the original members are still around, Claudia Whitaker, who joined in 1976, is the club’s longest-standing member. Her husband, Frank, grew up in the beautifully-restored home on the grounds of Oak Ridge Military Academy known as Oakhurst and his Aunt Isabelle was a past club president. Claudia remembers well the ladies who served in that role throughout the years.
“They were very knowledgeable about gardening and flower arranging,” Claudia recalled. At that time, ORGC was a member of the Guilford College Council of Garden Clubs, and she said the first president was Totten Honeycutt, “of thePhoto courtesy of Martha Pittman
prominent Honeycutt family.” Totten lived in the large, white historic home at the corner of N.C. 150 and Bunch Road.
One of the club’s projects in 1985 was to assist with the planting of over 100 willow oak trees along N.C. 150, spanning east of N.C. 68 as far as East Harrell Road, and west to what is the future Heritage Farm Park (located on property formerly owned by Frank and Claudia Whitaker). Frank Whitaker started the trees from seedlings in 1981, and with the cooperation of property owners, he, Claudia and fellow garden club members as well as many other community volunteers, transplanted the then 6-foot trees along both sides of N.C. 150, helping to establish this treelined drive that reflects Oak Ridge’s rural charm to this day.
While ORGC has been a member of county, regional and national garden clubs throughout the years, current members have chosen to focus their efforts more on local community gardens.
Sometime in the early 2000s, a memorial garden was created at Oak Ridge Military Academy to honor past members of the club.
In more recent years, the club has adopted three more gardens in the community – the school sign at Oak Ridge Elementary, the two trail heads leading into the woods at Oak Ridge Town Park, and the gardens along the front porch of the Old Mill on N.C. 68.
Club member Laurie Brackett spearheads the garden work at the Old Mill, and owner Amy Klug said she is grateful for the assistance.
“Laurie and the rest of the club members are very knowledgeable
about native plants and knew exactly where to plant the flowers so they complement each other and the Mill,” Klug said. “The ladies at the Mill and I have enjoyed the many butterflies and hummingbirds that visit the flowers. The garden makes sitting on the front porch even more enjoyable!”
Every April and October, club members spend an evening planting, weeding, spreading mulch and generally sprucing up the four community gardens. Most of the plants are donated by members, usually an overflow from their own gardens, and the work days serve as a chance to beautify and contribute to the community while also providing a great opportunity for new members to learn from the veterans. When the work is complete, dinner is served by members who may prefer cooking to digging.
The club meets the first Tuesday of each month. Speakers are often invited to share their expertise on topics from beekeeping to native plants, and vegetable gardening to dahlias. Craft nights provide a fun opportunity to socialize and create something new for the garden, like the recent gourd birdhouse painting led by Judi Fleming.
Field trips to places like Reynolda Gardens in nearby Winston-Salem or local flower farms further encourage learning and fellowship, and picnics, the annual Christmas party and opportunities to help out fellow club members in their gardens round out the yearly activities. We might even throw in some flower arranging this year, just as a tribute to our garden sisters from the ‘60s!
Reflecting the feelings of many club members, Westmoreland said, “I love Garden Club because it gives me a monthly meetup with some amazing women in the community and we share information that enriches each other’s lives.”
want to learn more/join?
To learn more about ORGC, email firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram. The club is open to anyone in the area (not just women!) who loves to garden and has an interest in getting to know fellow gardeners and helping to beautify their community.Photo by Laura Reneer/NWO One of Oak Ridge Garden Club’s projects in 1985 was to assist with the planting of over 100 willow oak trees along N.C. 150. Initially about 6 feet tall, the trees have grown considerably over the last 37 years.
is on N.C. 150 across from Oak Ridge Elementary School.
“The swim club was very well received by the community,” Pegg confirmed. “Before, kids had to travel to Winston-Salem or Greensboro to go to a pool. This gave them a place to go closer to home.”
The group broke ground in October 1972 and Oak Ridge Swim Club was in operation the following summer, with families soon turning the club into the No. 1 place to be.
Sandra Smith, a life-long Oak Ridge resident, was 12 when the pool opened and remembers how excited she was. At the time, she worked in her family’s tobacco fields and garden, and there wasn’t much she could do for fun when she was finished.
The pool, which was a short distance from her home, changed her entire social life.
“I would get on my bicycle and ride to the pool every chance I got,” she said.
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“I could be with my friends and there was always something going on there.”
For Pegg and her family, who lived just off Stafford Mill Road, the pool became a home away from home during the summer. Pegg’s son and daughter enjoyed the pool so much that some weeks they would go every day. Sometimes this meant taking her chores along with her.
“(My friends) and I used to pick our green beans and take them to the pool and string them while the kids were playing,” she said.
That first year, there was a crew of about half a dozen lifeguards at the swim club. Courtenay Benbow Harton, who grew up in Oak Ridge, was one of the first guards on duty. At the time, she was attending college at UNCGreensboro and had taken the lifesaving course without any real plan for using it.
as cleaning the chairs, scrubbing the tile and making sure the trash was picked up.
She chuckles when recalling how she used her “authority” to keep the young kids and teenagers in line.
“I used it to my advantage,” she said. “If the kids misbehaved, I’d have them scrubbing tiles or chairs.”
Harton doesn’t remember having to perform any heroic lifesaving measures, but she does recall going into the water after one little boy who overestimated his ability to swim.
“It was a birthday party and I watched about half a dozen little 6-year-old boys climb up the ladder to the high dive,” she said. “They all jumped, and all but one swam to the side. That one just stayed underwater.”
Along with offering a place for recreational swimming, early on the club added a competitive swim team for youth. In the beginning, Pegg said there were about 15 to 20 swimmers; this past season, there were about 120 swimmers on the club’s swim team.
In 2004 the club underwent a major renovation when the pool was enlarged and resurfaced and the clubhouse building was torn down and rebuilt, making the club more attractive to both existing and potential members.
Board member Evan Smith said the club remains in a strong position.
“We’ve got 435 families who are members and 123 families on the waitlist,” he said. “That’s about a two-to-three-year waitlist.”
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She ended up being the only local lifeguard on the team. Harton’s memories are mostly of the families and the friendships that developed over the course of her two years lifeguarding.
While the younger swimmers saw Harton, dressed in her one-piece swimsuit and Ray-Ban sunglasses with a whistle dangling around her neck, as somewhat of a celebrity, Harton said being a lifeguard wasn’t all that glamourous. Along with overseeing the pool and making sure its occupants were safe, lifeguards were also responsible for such mundane duties
Harton immediately jumped in and pulled him to the side. That’s when she found out that the little fella thought he could swim but was completely clueless.
Whether they were just jumping in or showing off their diving skills, swimmers loved the high dive. With her gymnastics background, Harton was able to perform some fairly complicated maneuvers off of it.
David Linville, son of Buster Linville, said he loved the high dive for its splash potential.
“I could do a can opener and wet down everybody there,” he boasted.
Smith attributed the club’s continued popularity to the fact that the board and all the members are committed to ensuring the club is well-run and well-maintained. He said the same goes for past boards and members, who did what was necessary to maintain the club and keep it going.
Back in the day, most of those members were long-time residents of Oak Ridge and the surrounding area. Even today, many members are secondand third-generation descendants of the charter members.
As new members come and others move on, one thing remains the same –Oak Ridge Swim Club is still a place that brings families together and gives them the opportunity to have fun in their own community.Members of Oak Ridge Swim Club gathered to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary over Labor Day weekend in September. Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge Swim Club
He also remembers watching as a friend fell from the board onto the cement and broke his arm. Due to the danger of injury and the associated liability issues, the high dive was taken down years ago.
Oct. (Sat. & Sun.): Pumpkin Patch Days
5601 N Church St., Greensboro (o N.C. 150E)
10am-3pm | Enjoy a variety of activities during McLaurin Farms’ Pumpkin Patch days every Sat. & Sun. in October, when kids can enjoy jumping on a jump pad, a grain train ride, glitter tattoo, petting farm animals, playing on the playground with a 40-foot slide, picking out a free mini pumpkin and more.
For more details, including admission price for those 3 and older, see ads in Northwest Observer and visit mclaurinfarms.com/pumpkin-patch
Sat., Oct. 1: Stop, Drop and Roll 5K
Summer eld Fire Department
7400 Summer eld Road, Summer eld
9am | e 6th annual Stop, Drop & Roll 5K begins at 9 a.m. with the popular “Sparky’s Dash” for younger participants, followed by a 5K that includes a segment through Summer eld Community Park. Register at: www.runsignup.com/Race/NC/ Summer eld/StopDropandRoll5K
Sat., Oct. 1: Farmers’ Day
Stokesdale United Methodist Church, 8305 Loyola Drive, Stokesdale
9am-4pm | Sponsored by the nonpro t Friends of Stokesdale, this event o ers an opportunity to learn about the farming industry while enjoying food, live music and games for the entire family. ere will also be a Little Mr. and Miss Farmers’ Day contest for kids up to 5 years old, with the winners riding on the Friends of Stokesdale’s oat in the annual Stokesdale Christmas parade on Dec. 10. www.friendsofstokesdale.org
Sat., Oct. 8: Touch-A-Truck
Summer eld Athletic Park, 5200 US 220 N, Summer eld
10am-1pm | Hands-on family event with a wide variety of vehicles in one location for children to view, climb on, ask questions and learn about vehicles they see moving around their community. www.summer eldnc.gov
Sat., Oct. 8: Bur-Mil Fall Fest
5834 Bur-Mil Club Road, Greensboro (o U.S. 220)
10am-3pm | Celebrate the fall season at this family event which o ers lots of free activities for kids and adults alike. Enjoy bounce slides, a hay ride, face painting, demonstrations, vendors, food trucks and more.
Sat., Oct. 8: Music in the Park
Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater
6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
5-8pm | Band: Twin County Ramblers & e Robertson Boys www.oakridgenc.com
Fri., Oct. 14: Movie in the Park
Summer eld Community Park Amphitheater 5404 Center eld Road, Summer eld Dusk | Kid-friendly movie begins at dusk; free light refreshments; food truck onsite. www.summer eldnc.gov
Sat., Oct. 15: Honor Run 5K
Redmon Field at Oak Ridge Town Park (on Linville Road across from Scoggins Road) 8:30am | Inaugural 5K Honor Run and 1-mile family fun walk/run through Oak Ridge Town Park.
Proceeds from this charity 5K will go towards construction of the Veterans Honor Green in Oak Ridge’s new Heritage Farm Park. Register at: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/ OakRidge/5KHonorRunWalk
Oct. 21-22, 28-29: Halloween Terror Trail Oak Ridge Town Park 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 7-10pm | Hosted by Oak Ridge Youth Association’s Teen Leadership Team, the 4th annual Terror Trail o ers a spooky-fun experience for kids of all ages. www.orya.org
Sat., Oct. 29: Great Pumpkin Event
Oak Ridge Commons Shopping Center 2205 Oak Ridge Rd, Oak Ridge 2-4pm | Merchants of Oak Ridge invites kids of all ages to trick or treat with local merchants while enjoying live music, performances by Destination Arts students, pets and people costume contests and hay rides. Facebook.com/merchantsofoakridge
Fri., Nov. 11: Veterans Day Ceremony
Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater
6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge
10am | is annual event hosted by the town of Oak Ridge’s Special Events Committee pays tribute to those who have served our country in the armed forces. Local Scout troops will participate and there will be two guest speakers.
Nov. 17 - Jan. 1: Winter Wonderlights
Greensboro Science Center
4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro Experience spectacular shimmering lights and sounds of the season as you stroll along the Science Center’s outside trails through multiple zones including the Polar Pond, Dancing Fountains, Dino Disco, Treehouse Lights and more!
For more details, including admission prices, see ads in Northwest Observer and visit www. greensboroscience.org/winterwonderlights.
Sat., Nov. 19: Summer eld Tree Lighting
Summer eld Athletic Park 5200 US 220 N, Summer eld 5:30-8pm | Dance students and high school vocal students will perform before attendees help count down to the lighting of the Christmas tree in the town’s athletic park. Refreshments will be served and kids can enjoy visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as- roasting marshmallows and making S’mores by the bon re. www.summer eldnc.gov
Nov. 25 - Dec. 30: Country Christmas
McLaurin Farms 5601 N Church St., Greensboro (o N.C. 150E)
Enjoy a hayride through a trail of lights, walk through the farm’s lights and snow, make an ornament, visit the Grinch, ride the cattle cars, jump on the jump pad, see the farm animals, play in the playground, visit Santa (and purchase photos), and much more.
For more details, including admission price, see ads in Northwest Observer and visit mclaurinfarms.com/christmas-festival.
Fri., Dec. 2: Festival of Lights
5:30-9pm | Enjoy live entertainment at Center City Park (200 N. Elm Street) beginning at 5:30 pm and a community singalong leading up to the community tree lighting at 6:56 p.m. A er the tree lighting, stroll along Elm Street for more entertainment and family fun, including a laser show at the corner of MLK and S. Elm Street and Santa in Hamburger Square while you roast marshmallows along the way. Free admission. www.downtowngreensboro.org
Sat., Dec. 3: Holiday Parade
12-2pm | A downtown tradition for over 40 years, the Greensboro Holiday Parade features huge Macy’s-style balloons, professional oats, dance and drill teams, and the area’s best middle school, high school and college bands as they march along the streets of downtown Greensboro.
Sat., Dec. 3: Light Up the Night
Oak Ridge Town Park 6231 Lisa Dr., Oak Ridge 1-8:30pm | is annual holiday celebration hosted by Oak Ridge’s Special Events Committee o ers a day packed full of activities including magic shows, dance performances, music by
Central Baptist Church’s band, Grinch hay rides, a performance by Oak Ridge Elementary’s chorus, cra and food vendors, a visit with Santa and his elves, lighting of the Christmas tree and over 1,300 luminaries in the park at dusk, hot chocolate and a photo booth courtesy of e Summit Church/Oak Ridge – and because the reworks show planned for this year’s RidgeFest was rained out, it was rescheduled and will bring a special close to the Light Up the Night event on Dec. 3. For more details, see ads in Northwest Observer and visit www.oakridgenc.com. Facebook.com/ OakRidgeNC
Sun., Dec. 4 : Christmas Parade
Downtown Kernersville 136 E. Mountain St., Kernersville 2:30-4pm | Downtown Kernersville comes alive with the sounds of Christmas during this annual event which features marching bands, re trucks, dance groups, antique cars, professionally decorated oats and of course, an appearance from Santa.
Sat., Dec. 10: Christmas Parade
Downtown Stokesdale 2pm | Stokesdale’s largest community event will draw throngs of residents downtown as they line the streets to watch the dancers, marching bands, antique cars, horses with riders, tractors, gymnasts and more pass by while spreading the holiday spirit.
Rising K-5th graders Monday - Friday 2:30 - 6 pm
Sept. 6 - May 26
Here’s pumpkin to talk about
1. Pumpkins are part of the cucurbita (Latin for “gourd”) family and are actually a type of squash.
2. e word “pumpkin” comes from the Greek word pepon, which means a “large melon.” Believe it or not, pumpkins are a fruit (not a vegetable)!
3. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest pumpkin ever grown was 2,702 pounds, 13.9 oz. Grown by Stefano Cutrupi from Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, the pumpkin was weighed at the 10th Campionato della Zuccone pumpkin festival held in Peccioli, Italy, on Sept. 26, 2021.
4. Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.
5. Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year in the United States. e top pumpkin-producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California. According to the University of Illinois, 95% of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. are harvested in Illinois. Morton, Illinois, calls itself the “Pumpkin Capital of the World,” and is home to Libby’s pumpkin canning factory, the largest such factory in the world. e yellow-orange owers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible.
6. Although much di erent than today’s pumpkin pies, pumpkin pie recipes originated in the colonies. Colonists would cut o the tops of pumpkins, remove the seeds, ll the pumpkins with milk, spices and honey, then bake them in hot ashes. Oh, and in case you were wondering, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever recorded weighed in at 3,699 pounds and was made by New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers at New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio, in September 2010. e pie measured 20 feet in diameter and the crust was made from 440 sheets of dough.
Oak Springs Baptist Church 9070 Highway 158, Stokesdale (Free transportation from Stokesdale Elementary)
7. Pumpkins were once considered a remedy for freckles and snakebites.
8. Pumpkins are 80 to 90% water.
9. Most varieties of pumpkins take 85 to 125 days to mature, so seeds must be planted around the rst week of June to ensure they’re ready to harvest in time for Halloween.
Operation Homework engages students in homework help, tutoring, and enrichment activities to advance their understanding in reading, math, science, and social skills.
We also strive to provide students with opportunities to develop character, learn valuable life skills, make new friends, and discover new interests. As a three-stranded program, your youth will eXcel to new levels, academically, socially, and emotionally.
Cut it out.
say to the
What do you call a pretty pumpkin? Gourdgeous.
Why were the two pumpkins so close? ey had deep roots.
What’s cookin’, gourd lookin’?
Give these pumpkin-themed recipes a try this fall!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t waste any part of the pumpkin! ese are a great snack rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc and magnesium.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Remove seeds from inside of pumpkin
Cut the top of the pumpkin and use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the pulp, strands and raw seeds from the pumpkin.
3. Clean seeds
Remove all pulp and bers from seeds. Wash with warm water. Let dry completely.
4. Season seeds
Choose a savory or sweet seasoning. Place seeds in a bowl and cover seeds. Savory seasonings include: olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper
Sweet seasonings include: melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and allspice
5. Roast seeds
Spread out seeds on lightly oiled sheet pan. Place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. When seeds start to brown, remove from oven!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
e perfect, healthy fall treat! Loved by kids and adults.
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 cup nut butter of choice
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup chia seeds
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp cloves
• 1/2 tbsp vanilla
• 1/4 tsp salt
1. Add all ingredients to large bowl and mix well.
2. Roll into 1-inch round balls. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before eating.
3. Enjoy! Store in refrigerator or freezer.
PaintingPumpkin the abstract pumpkin
Grab a small or medium-size pumpkin at the patch this year and try one of these creative pumpkin painting ideas!
the donut pumpkin the emotional pumpkin the wild pumpkin the magical pumpkin the heroic pumpkin
Oak Ridge postmaster in 1866. He and his wife had 10 children, but she died in 1863, about the time the house was built. Three of their daughters, Letitia, Louisa and Sarah, were in their late teens to early 20s at the end of the Civil War and never married – possibly because the number of eligible bachelors had dwindled due to the war. They lived with their father until his death, and remained in the house, sometimes sharing it with boarders. Sister Jane, a widow, later returned to the homeplace to live with Sarah, until they both died around the early 1930s.
It was perhaps Sarah or Jane who shared stories about living in the house with the late Bob Benbow, who grew up a few doors down the street. Sometime before his death last year at age 96, Benbow recalled a conversation he had as a child with one of the sisters about soldiers marching down Oak Ridge Road during the Civil War. The woman shared that the sisters were so afraid of the troops that they hid behind the house’s curtains as they watched them file past.
Oak Ridge resident David Cole related on the Old Oak Ridge Facebook page that Benbow once also told him that during the last days of the Civil War, Union troops marched past the house on their way home, with many stopping to get water for themselves and their horses at the Moores’ well. Cole recalls Benbow telling him that many of
the soldiers were so exhausted they were asleep in the saddle.
Bud Blaylock, who grew up in a house where the State Employees’ Credit Union is now located (across the street from the Moore house, on the opposite side of Linville Road), also remembers the well beside what was previously the most traveled road in Oak Ridge. He recalls hearing that even decades later, travelers would stop, lower the wooden bucket into the well, and raise it for a cool drink before continuing on their journey.
The house was purchased in 1941 by Rob and Danie Stafford for a rental house and it remained in their family until it was purchased just a few months ago by Anders. For nearly 50 years, the Staffords and their descendants rented the house to Oliver and Evy Edwards. Oliver was a charter member of the Oak Ridge Fire Department and an avid antiques collector. Neighbors said the house was filled with the antique treasures he purchased at auction sales. Evy moved sometime after Oliver’s death in 1992, although she lived until 2007.
In an article published in the “Northwest Observer” in 2016, Barbara York, the Edwards’ daughter, shared memories of moving into the house in the early 1940s. She said there was no running water or bathroom, and the house was heated by an oil circulator. She rode her bicycle and learned to roller skate on Oak Ridge Road, walked across the road to Oak Ridge Public School (now Oak Ridge Elementary), and attended baseball games and the Oak Ridge
Horse Show on school grounds.
“I wouldn’t take anything for growing up that way,” York said at the time. “I think it makes you appreciate life.”
The house was eventually passed through the Stafford family until it was inherited by their grandchildren, Bill Newman and Dana Newman Sigmon. Bill Newman said in 2016 that he had been in the process of renovating the house, and had even found a new tenant, when extensive termite damage was discovered. Although he had already spent about $30,000 on modernizing and repairing the house, Newman said the damage was so severe that he told workers to stop immediately. Anders says when he purchased the property, many of their tools were still lying where they had been last used.
Anders hopes to restore the house and the two adjacent buildings on his recently-acquired property, as well as build a 4,000-square-foot building for his accounting firm. Current plans are for the office building to look like a craftsman-style house that has been turned into an office, which will fit well with the town’s Historic District.
As for the Moore house, Anders says he has high hopes.
“The long-term plan is to get it renovated. It’ll never be able to go back to (being) a house, but I think it’s going to be good,” he said.
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
RE/MAX Realty Consultants (336) 210.3895 mobile 1.800.965.1893 efax
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
REALTOR®/Broker (336) 516-1237
Keep it handy,
figure out a way to keep it.”
In a few months’ time, the two friends managed to turn the interior of the Winicki home into a place that’s lighter, updated and more inviting.
Winicki got a head start during COVID, when she and her husband decided the house needed a fresh coat of paint. It was at that point that she realized she had used the same yellowish gold paint color – called “Tobacco Road” – in their last three homes over the past 25 years. Around this same time, they also had the wood floors refinished.
When Cottingham came on the scene, it was time to move things around, add splashes of color and redo where needed.
The two friends started with the striking staircase in the home’s foyer and a couple of set-in wall niches. Although the foyer furnishings were nice enough, there was so much more potential.
Winicki was hoping to replace the white wooden staircase spindles with ones made of black wrought iron, but then Cottingham told her she had priced a similar job recently and it was going to run about $3,000. That wasn’t going to happen, so they went for the same look without the shocking price tag by painting the spindles and banister black.
A tall plant and niches that featured one item per shelf had dulled the personality of the entryway. It was brought to life by replacing the plant with a wooden serving cart that had been lost in the formal dining room and adding depth to the shelves with short stacks of interesting old books serving as pedestals for some of the Winickis’ most cherished items, most of which were moved from other locations in the house.
Replacing the plain, outdated foyer light fixture with a more dramatic and sparkling one was a splurge, but both Cottingham and Winicki felt the money spent on it was well worth the impact the new addition offered.
Next, they turned their attention to the room to the left of the foyer,
which is open to the formal dining room. Winicki admitted she had always been embarrassed to invite guests into this front room because it was dark and filled with large, clunky furniture.
Rather than purchase new furniture, Cottingham suggested reupholstering the room’s comfortable and sturdy sleeper sofa. Not only did this save money, but it also avoided an excessive wait time for new furniture to be delivered.
Loving the thrill of the hunt, Cottingham sought to get a quality fabric at the best price possible. After digging through mountains of fabric, she found one that was not only perfect, but cost only $5 per yard.
“You don’t have to break the bank to redo your home,” she noted, adding that she finds lots of bargains at places like
The light ﬁxture in the foyer was a splurge that Kara Winicki felt was well worth the cost. Painting the staircase banister and spindles, relocating a few items and adding a modern, dramatic-looking light ﬁxture transformed the Winickis’ foyer (before, left) into a much more striking gateway to their home (after, below).
At Home, a home décor store, and The Red Collection, a furniture and accessory consignment shop, both in Greensboro.
Cottingham also suggests shopping the clearance aisles in local furniture stores. That’s where she found the idealPhotos courtesy of DECORgeous
rug for the room, which originally sold for $1,100 and was marked down to $199 because it had been on the showroom floor and walked on by shoppers.
Instead of purchasing new tables for the room, Cottingham had one of her vendors repaint the ones already there, further brightening up the décor.
Many of the pieces throughout the
home belonged to Winicki’s parents.
Although these antiques might be out of vogue in today’s assembly-required, throwaway society, they have personal value to Winicki, and Cottingham made sure to incorporate them in both a stylish and a functional way.
Two large antiques – a china cabinet and another cabinet similar in size – face
Before its transformation, the Winicki home featured lots of browns such as seen here (far left) in the family room. Eliminating the “family shrine” of photos in that room and replacing it with a bold painting left the room open to the addition of fun and colorful accent pieces.
each other in the formal dining room and balance out the space. Worn chairs have been updated with another of Cottingham’s bargain fabrics.
In this room, an antique formal gold chandelier that Winicki purchased secondhand many years ago is a focal point and fits well with the home’s eclectic décor.
Winicki said she’s learned a lot in this process. For instance, she used to think everything needed to be “matchymatchy,” but now she enjoys mixing metals, textures and furniture styles. She also likes seeing how simply moving
something to a new location gives it an entirely different appeal.
Another thing Cottingham has taught her is that every room should have an inspiration piece. In the once rather drab family room, that piece is the oversized and colorful painting of New York that hangs behind the couch.
Not only does the painting add color, but it is personal to the Winicki family because they once lived in New York. It also inspired Cottingham to pull out bright splashes of color and add accents to the neutrally colored furniture that she was also able to purchase at a bargain price.
Winicki could not be happier with the results of her collaboration with Cottingham. She has the home that suits this new chapter in her life, and she has the confidence and know-how to help her clients visualize how they can transform their own homes “without breaking the bank.”Photos courtesy of DECORgeous
WHAT’S ON YOUR FLOOR?
continued from page 11
options even have seams for grout, with tiles and planks offered in narrow or wide styles.
Luxury vinyl is often touted as being waterproof and more kid- and pet-friendly than other flooring options.
“Of all the people who still prefer hardsurface flooring (as opposed to carpet), over half of it is being won over by luxury vinyl planking – especially for people who just want low-maintenance,” Mallary said.
“But one thing that sets us apart from big box stores is that we still talk a lot about how much your oor can take, no matter what material it is, because all ooring has to be maintained properly. ere really is no such thing as waterproof, pet-proof and indestructible ooring if you don’t properly maintain your oor.”
Although typically found in bathrooms and kitchens, ceramic and porcelain tile floors offer a timeless look for any room in your home.
Ceramic tile is not as durable as porcelain tile, but less expensive. Both come in various sizes, shapes and colors, and are more resistant to water, stains and dents than many other types of hardsurface flooring.
One disadvantage to tile flooring is that it isn’t a very good heat conductor, which is a consideration for those living in areas where temperatures take big dips in the fall and winter.
Whether it’s hardwood, carpet, luxury vinyl, tile or any one of dozens of other flooring choices including granite, marble, slate, laminate, cork, linoleum and bamboo, homeowners will find no shortage of flooring materials, patterns and colors to choose from. In fact, today’s flooring options are so plentiful that it can be overwhelming to narrow them down. The good news is, you don’t have to choose just one – invest a little time in researching your options, assess your requirements for style, maintenance, cost and durability, and then enjoy mixing and matching floor coverings throughout your home while your feet do the walking.
HOW DID YOU DO?
Answers to northwest Guilford County trivia questions on p. 14
1. b (Heritage Farm Park)
2. c (Green Pond) 3. a (Lindley Field)
4. c (his toe was on fire)
5. b (Charles Bruce)
6. d (removal of a soft drink machine)
7. a (creation of a municipal water system)
8. d (none of the above)
9. c (creating or expanding municipal water)
10. a. (during the Civil War)
11. c (love conquers all)
12. a (in the old Oak Ridge Fire Dept. building)
13. b (on Oak Ridge Road)
14. d (in the Ai Church cemetery)
for making this publication possible
Disney Custom Homes 3
Don Mills Builders 32
Greensboro Builders Association 31
R&K Custom Homes 5
Superior Outdoor Spaces 6
Walraven Signature Homes 16-17
Oak Ridge Historic Preservation Commission............. 18
Destination Arts 25
HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES
HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES
5 Star Roofing 29
BEK Paint Company 29
Budget Blinds 7
Hedgecock Builders Supply
Madison Flooring....................................................... 10
New Garden Landscaping & Nursery 19
Old School Home Repair 9
Pest Management Systems 20
Pro-Care Restoration 10
Triad Land Surveying 8
Bank of Oak Ridge 19
REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS
Bobbie Maynard – Allen Tate 15
Carolina Real Estate Pathways/Kristi Lucas ................ 13
Kathy King – Advantage Realty.................................. 27
Maureena Shepherd – Allen Tate ............................... 21
Nicole Gillespie – RE/MAX Realty Consultants ....... 8, 27
Tim Atkins – Allen Tate
Priba Furniture and Interiors 2
Operation Xcel 24
reaching the soil. An aerator punches holes through that thatch and pulls up plugs of soil to keep water from pooling while allowing nutrients to reach the roots over the winter.
“It’s a good idea to aerate a lawn right before fertilizing,” says Scott Frith, CEO of the nationally franchised Lawn Doctor. “All those holes in your turf will let the fertilizer reach right to the roots, where it can do the most good.”
Keep mowing, but at the right height: Continue cutting your grass until the first hard frost. Find the just-right length for your species, typically between 2-3 inches, to keep your grass healthy when it turns cold.
Water wisely: Many people stop watering their lawns in the fall, as temperatures begin to drop and there is less evaporation. However, if you’re not getting at least an inch of water a week from Mother Nature, you should keep watering through the fall. Consider installing watering solutions, such as smart controllers on irrigation systems, to help conserve water.
Add fertilizer: Lawn experts recommend a late-fall
application of a slow-release granular 24-0-10 fertilizer*. The numbers indicate the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important at this time because it aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. *Note: Before applying fertilizer, a soil test to conﬁrm the pH and nutrient needs speciﬁc to your lawn is recommended.
A word of caution – avoid spreading fertilizer close to waterways, which are vulnerable to contamination from runoff. Lawn Doctor’s company policy is to maintain a 5-foot buffer wherever water is present.
Overseed: Spread grass seed over existing grass to fill in thin spots or bare patches. Fall is the ideal time to do this because the ground is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day.
But even then, “overseeding is one of the most challenging lawn-care chores,” Frith says.
“You can’t simply broadcast seeds over an established lawn and expect them to take hold. They need to be in full contact with the soil, kept moist until they germinate, and be well enough established before it gets too cold,” he explains. “Renting a slit seeder is a
better option than broadcasting, but those machines are notorious for tearing up turf and leaving your lawn looking like a harrowed field.”
Stay on schedule: Lawn professionals caution that each of the steps above has to be done at the right time for the best results. Otherwise, it’s wasted effort.
For instance, overseed too late and the seedlings will be too tender to survive. Fertilize too early and the grass will send up tender blades that will fall victim to the cold. Fertilize too late and the grass roots won’t be able to absorb all those nutrients you’re feeding them. Thinking about aerating in the spring because you can’t get around to it this fall? Don’t bother. Spring aeration just makes it easier for weed seeds to get established.
“If sticking to the schedule during the fall is proving too difficult, a lawn care service can handle the jobs that aren’t getting done. Most often, those are the ones that require renting heavy machinery like core aerators and slit seeders, which are hard to transport, a bear to operate, and often in short supply at the rental yards at this time of year,” Lawn Doctor advises. “Delegating one or two of those chores to a pro during this busy season will ensure the work gets done when it should – and that you will be enjoying a thick carpet of green grass next year.”