November Salt 2017

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212 S. Kerr Avenue • Wilmington, NC 28403 • 910-399-4802 Visit our showroom online at

1043 Ocean Ridge Drive • Landfall • $1,485,000

Located on a high bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway with distant views of Wrightsville Beach, the Atlantic Ocean, Mason’s Inlet and Figure 8 Island, this Mediterranean inspired residence features an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows!

2041 Montrose Lane • Landfall • $1,950,000

Located on two lots comprising 1.4 acres overlooking Landfall’s Jack Nicklaus designed marsh course with views of Howe Creek, this immaculate 5400 square feet features 4 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths and includes first floor master with elegant, updated bath and his/her walk-in closets.



1-3 Bedroom Condominium Residences

How you live is as important as where you live. River Place will offer unparalleled amenities and luxury features while putting you in the heart of Historic Downtown Wilmington – at the corner of Chestnut and Water Streets. Enjoy the Downtown lifestyle and walk to nearby restaurants, shopping, Thalian Hall, and the Wilson Fine Arts Center. Of course, you can also simply stay home and enjoy majestic views of the Cape Fear River from your living room.

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SOLD Landfall | 2336 Ocean Point Drive | $4,900,000 Nick Phillips | 910.620.3370 |

Figure 8 Island | 520 Beach Road N | $3,800,000 Nick Phillips | 910.620.3370 |

Wrightsville Beach | 115 N Channel | $1,575,000 Sam Crittenden | 910.228.1885 |

Landfall | 1009 Turnberry Place | $1,800,000 Will Musselwhite | 910.736.2869 |

12 ACRES Wilmington | 1280 Hill Valley Walk | $1,340,000 David Benford | 910.264.8889 |

Tidalwalk | 1356 Tidalwalk Drive | $1,301,307 John Pinter | 910.679.8823 |

Landfall | 2320 Ocean Point | $2,100,000 Monica Rolquin | 910.232.1427 |

Landfall | 2001 Balmoral Place | $2,650,000 David Benford | 910.264.8889 |

Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. ©2017 Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. All prices shown are list price.

Inlet Point Harbor | 7422 Sea Lilly Lane | $8,200,000 Monica Rolquin | 910.232.1427 |

Landfall | 813 Howes Point Place | $2,999,900 Nick Phillips | 910.620.3370 |

SOLD Wilmington | 334 Cabbage Inlet | $3,295,000 Nick Phillips | 910.620.3370 |

Holden Beach | 1283 Ocean Blvd | $1,900,000 Will Musselwhite | 910.736.2869 |

Shell Island Resort | Three Waterfront Units | $289,000 - $325,000 Sam Crittenden | 910.228.1885 |

Wrightsville Beach | 10 E Charlotte St | $1,049,000 Lisa Sledzik | 910.538.9190 |

Landfall | 2305 Ocean Point Drive | $3,195,000 Nick Phillips | 910.620.3370 |

Headwater Cove | 1039 Headwater Cove | $799,000 Joy Donat | 910.200.4117 |

Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. ©2017 Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. All prices shown are list price.


M A G A Z I N E Volume 5, No. 10 5725 Oleander Dr., Unit B-4 Wilmington, NC 28403 Editorial • 910.833.7159 l Advertising • 910.833.7158

David Woronoff, Publisher Jim Dodson, Editor Andie Stuart Rose, Art Director William Irvine, Senior Editor Lauren Coffey, Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle, Graphic Designer

IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE TODAY. Carolina Arthritis Associates is Eastern North Carolina’s most experienced and trusted arthritis and osteoporosis center.

Contributors Ash Alder, Harry Blair, Susan Campbell, Wiley Cash, Clyde Edgerton, Jason Frye, Nan Graham, Virginia Holman, Mark Holmberg, Ross Howell Jr., Sara King, D. G. Martin, Jim Moriarty, Mary Novitsky, Dana Sachs, Stephen E. Smith, Astrid Stellanova

We’re building a community where your health is our priority. Make an appointment and get started on the path to enjoying the best years of your life.

Contributing Photographers Rick Ricozzi, Bill Ritenour, Andrew Sherman, Mark Steelman

b Advertising Sales Ginny Trigg, Advertising Director 910.691.8293 •

Elise Mullaney, Advertising Manager 910.409.5502 • Susanne Medlock, Advertising Representative 910.520.2020 •

Courtney Barden, Advertising Representative 910.262.1882 • Alyssa Rocherolle, Advertising Graphic Designer 910.693.2508 •

b Darlene Stark, Circulation/Distribution Director 910.693.2488 Douglas Turner, Finance Director 910.693.2497

Your future is waiting. Visit us at





©Copyright 2017. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Salt Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Friday & Saturday November 24th & 25th 34th

of a holiday parade on water – at night. Enter your boat today!

EVENTS TREE LIGHTING & VISIT WITH SANTA Friday, Nov. 24 • 5:45 p.m. Wrightsville Beach Town Hall _________________ HOLIDAY FLOTILLA LAUNCH PARTY Friday, Nov. 25 • 7 p.m. Blockade Runner • with The Embers _________________ FESTIVAL IN THE PARK Saturday, Nov. 26 • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wrightsville Beach Town Park _________________ BOAT PARADE & FIREWORKS Saturday, Nov. 26 • Parade – 6 p.m. Fireworks following the parade Banks Channel

November 2017 Features

49 The Neighbor’s Pears

Poetry by Terri Kirby Erickson

50 Wilmington Reimagined

By J. Michael Welton Talented North Carolina architects recently spent two days rethinking the future look and function of the Port City — knitting us together one neighborhood at a time

54 Thanksgiving with the Carolina Housewife

Departments 12 Simple Life

38 Port City Journal

16 SaltWorks

47 Birdwatch

By Jim Dodson

By John Wolfe

21 Accidental Southerner By Nan Graham

22 Omnivorous Reader By Stephen E. Smith

By Susan Campbell

70 Calendar 76 Port City People 79 Accidental Astrologer

25 A Writer’s Life

By Astrid Stellanova

By Wiley Cash

29 Lunch With a Friend By Dana Sachs

80 Papadaddy’s Mindfield By Clyde Edgerton

33 The Artist Among Us By Jason Frye

58 Homegrown Dreamers

By Virginia Holman How the innovative Youth Ambassadors program shapes lives and grows a more sustainable world

60 Starting Over

By William Irvine Rising from the ashes, a dream home built from scratch

69 Almanac

By Ash Alder Pumpkins and paperwhites


Salt • November 2017

Cover Photograph by Andrew Sherman Photograph this page by John Wolfe

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

S i mpl e

L i f e

The Most Revealing Month Savoring the bittersweet fruits of November

By Jim Dodson

For a number of reasons, I call November

the Most Revealing Month.

To start, the gardener in me likes to see my gardens nicely mulched and tucked in for a decent winter snooze. This is when I step back and take stock of my brilliant and bonehead gardening maneuvers conducted over the long hot summer, while awaiting the post-holiday avalanche of spring gardening catalogs, which a fellow gardener pal calls “porn for plant people.” The outdoorsman in me loves the soulful sight of November’s bare hardwoods stripped clean of leaves, revealing nature in all her naked glory, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold,” as my fellow autumn-lover Will Shakespeare described in his 73rd sonnet, “When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang/ Upon those boughs which shake against the cold / Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.” During the two decades we lived in a house I built on a forested hill near the coast of Maine, surrounded by 600 acres of old-growth birch, maple and hemlock, November was prime time for topping up my woodpile and erecting my elaborate Rube Goldberg plant protectors that never failed to amuse the FedEx guy when he found his way up our lonely road into the forest. More than once he asked me why I went to all the trouble to build an elaborate garden deep in a wood that only family, friends, occasional lost strangers, the odd moose and the FedEx Guy himself would ever see. “Summer’s lease is brief. And bittersweet November simply reveals how far I’ve progressed on this earth,” I continued, though I don’t think he cared a fig for either bare ruin’d choirs or boughs shaking against the cold. Owing to the angle of the retreating sun, that said, the November sunlight always seemed deeper and richer on late autumn afternoons, a benedic-


Salt • November 2017

tion through stained glass, throwing the contours of my wooded patch of earth into stunning relief, while the rocky soil underfoot offered spicy scents of decaying leaves and the garden’s last gasp as my private world turned inward. As a bonus in the department of sidereal affairs, the stars on any clear November night tended to glitter like diamonds splashed across black velvet — ideal for catching the Milky Way, the year’s final meteor showers and in some years the rare treat of the Northern Lights. To my November-loving way of thinking, blazing fires, the earlier darkness and the annual gathering of the tribe for the slower, unrushed Thanksgiving rituals — cook, eat, watch football, doze in an armchair, take a walk in the woods, eat again, doze again, have a final slice of pumpkin pie before bed — made the holiday my top designated feasting day of the year. (Though I’m thankful it comes but once a year. Otherwise I’d resemble either Shakespeare’s Falstaff or at the very least Clifford the Big Red Dog balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.) Not surprisingly, November is the keeper of many of my favorite memories. Three decades ago, having uprooted my life and moved from Atlanta to a bend in the Green River outside of West Brattleboro, Vermont, I found myself unexpectedly renewed owing to the charms of the eleventh month. Having taken possession of a small wooden “solar cabin” owned by a pair of delightful aging hippies who’d grown wealthy selling chemical toilets to fellow urban escapees, I heated the place with apple wood I split by hand, falling asleep most nights under a down quilt, warmed by the glow of my Intrepid woodstove and a young golden retriever from the local Humane Society who believed two-dog nights were better than one. Before month’s end, I’d taken up fly fishing and playing golf again on a 9-hole course in town. An old-timer informed me Rudyard Kipling played there during the time he lived in Brattleboro, allegedly not long after he The Art & Soul of Wilmington




W I L M I N GT O N 8 1 8 S O U T H C O L L E G E R O A D 9 1 0 . 7 9 9 . 5 5 3 3 Ask a designer or visit for details. Sale going on for a limited time. ©2017 Ethan Allen Global, Inc.

S i mpl e published The Jungle Book. I never managed to confirm this story but the very idea of it helped me rediscover my favorite boyhood game. That November, my neighbors along the river road invited me to a community “alternative” Thanksgiving supper at a local hay barn. There was a fiddle band and lots of covered dishes made from local organic gardens, “all natural” dishes that to my traditional Southern palate tasted suspiciously like sautéed boxwood, including something that looked just like turkey but turned out to be my first encounter with tofu. To a slightly homesick Southern boy far from home, missing his mama’s famous collard greens, cornbread and fried okra, this constituted a walk on the wild side of American counter-culture that I cherish to this day. That evening, I danced with a beautiful gal named Snowflake who ran a mushroom farm and had more underarm hair than me and innocently inquired if — my being from “The deep South” — I’d ever met anyone who was “actually in the Ku Klux Klan.” I replied with a tongue firmly planted in cheek that my daddy his own self was once in “our local Klan – until his klaxon switched from wearing all-natural cotton sheets to perma-press.” For some reason, she did not find this amusing. The dance ended quickly and I never did get to try one of her gourmet mushrooms. The next time November rolled round, however, I went on a first date with a beautiful dark-haired girl who’d just graduated from Harvard and had come to work at the magazine where I was not only the senior writer but also the first Southerner in Yankee Magazine’s 75-year history. By then I was living in the middle of a New Hampshire apple orchard just outside Peterborough and having the time of my life writing about life in every cozy corner of rural New England — working at a legendary magazine where I learned most of what I know about the power of great storytelling. That next autumn, that beautiful girl and I got married in a salt marsh north of Boston, days after a hurricane swept up the coast from Carolina.

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

L i f e Our colorful Yankee neighbors in the village of Essex brought covered dishes — baked beans, turnip pie, Indian pudding and homemade wine. The dancing went on until well after midnight, about the time the dance floor began to sink in the mud. I’d come far and my romance with November continued — and grew — over the next two decades. It was the month I most loved for working in my large faux English garden at summer’s end in Maine, topping up my woodpile for the winter, cleaning my tools, tucking in plants, drinking hot cider, watching fires and changeable skies and the southward flight of birds, savoring the solitude and beauty of nature’s most revealing month. Between us, I thought I would never part with that house I designed and built on that beautiful forested hill of birch and hemlock; I had always imagined my ashes someday being spread over a garden I spent almost a third of my life building and tearing apart, fussing over and planning, digging into the soil and delving into its soul. But as Truman Capote once pointed out, every Southern boy comes home again — if only in a box. In time, after my children had grown and headed off on their own life journeys, I succumbed to a quiet longing for home that had to be answered. It was a decision I’ve never fully regretted, for memories are like glowing coals in winter and life is full of lovely compensations. One is this magazine and the circle I’ve somehow closed. Another is November in North Carolina where I can grow roses almost to December, a month just as sweet and revealing as it ever was on my soulful Maine hilltop . . . though I do miss the naked forest, that lonely moose and the mystified FedEx Guy from time to time. b Contact Editor Jim Dodson at

November 2017 •



SaltWorks Polka Party!

The 20th annual St. Stanislaus Polish Festival features a great day of family fun. Delicious Polish food — kielbasa, pierogis, kolachi, kruschiki, strudels — can be washed down with steins of St. Stan’s Baltic Porter, a delicious dark beer made with chocolate malt and crafted for the event by the Front Street Brewery. There are also a craft sale, raffle, children’s games and music from the Chardon Polka Band from Ohio. Free parking and admission. Nov. 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4849 Castle Hayne Road, Castle Hayne. For info: (910) 675-2336

A Whole New World

Major League Bargains

The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra will join forces with the Cucalorus Festival for an official Cucalorus Stage event, a performance of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” on Saturday, Nov. 11. Featured pianist William Hueholt is the grand prize winner of the 2014 UNCG student artist competition. Hueholt, who has studied piano since the age of 4, has performed in music festivals all over the world and most recently in a performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the UNC Greensboro Orchestra. Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. Wilson Center, 703 N. 3rd St., Wilmington. Info and tickets: (910) 362-7999 or

The Junior League of Wilmington has been promoting volunteerism and community service since its founding in 1952. On Nov. 17 and 18 the organization hosts its 64th annual Bargain Sale, a giant indoor event featuring electronics, furniture, housewares and a boutique of brand-new items sold at deep discounts. The Friday night Sip and Shop event ($20 admission) includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a raffle. Saturday ($5 admission) includes half-price shopping for all items. Cash only. Proceeds from the sale are used to develop the Junior League’s volunteer training programs. Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. For more information, visit the Junior League of Wilmington’s Facebook page. For tickets:

Wish Upon a Chef

Make A Wish Eastern North Carolina, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, presents Wish Upon a Chef, an evening of local gourmet chefs that raises funds for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Celebrity judges will vote on signature dishes prepared by 16 top chefs from local Wilmington restaurants, and there will be a live auction with gourmet-themed packages on the block. Entertainment provided by actor/comedian Orlando Jones and Jackie Jordan. Since Make A Wish Eastern North Carolina’s establishment in 1987, the chapter has granted more than 3,400 wishes to local children. Nov.30, 6-9 p.m. Burney Center, Price Drive, Wilmington. For tickets and info: 16

Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Cucalorus Festival

Go Fly a Kite

A glorious event for kids of all ages, the 12th annual Cape Fear Kite Festival is a great way to spend a fall day at the beach. Come see an extraordinary array of kites of all sizes and shapes (a 30-foot Pegasus, octopuses and sharks among them). The festival is attended by serious kite flyers as well as first-timers, and there are no competitions or rules. Nov. 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wind and weather permitting. Free. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach. For info: (910) 520-1818.

Sister Act

Two legendary Motown singers (and sisters), Scherrie and Freda Payne, will perform together for the first time at Thalian Hall as part of its Legends Series. Scherrie was the co-lead singer of The Supremes and recently joined Diana Ross for the “Return to Love” hits tour. Sister Freda is best known as a solo singer for her hit song “Band of Gold” and later work in television and film. Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. For info and tickets:

May the Force Be With You

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, the North Carolina Symphony will perform an evening of the music of John Williams, the most Oscar-nominated composer of all time (fun fact: He has won 23 Grammy awards), including highlights from The Force Awakens. Wesley Schulz, conductor. Tickets: $18-78. Wilson Center, Cape Fear Community College, 703 N. 3rd St., Wilmington. For info: (877) 627-6724. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

The 23rd annual Cucalorus Festival will take place Nov. 8-12 and is expanding its scope into three broad programs: Film, Stage and Connect. The Cucalorus Connect Conference will discuss the digital effects on the future of society and startups and will feature executive speakers from several North Carolina businesses. The Cucalorus Stage program will include more than 40 live performances of dance, music, theater and comedy. And last but not least are the films. Some highlights: The Misogynists - A satirical dark comedy by Onur Tukel set on the evening of Donald Trump’s presidential election. In a hotel room, a recently divorced businessman and his young protégé celebrate the Trump victory with an ensemble of quirky characters who wander in and out of the room over the course of the evening. Produced by Gigi Graff. Starring Dylan Baker, Ivana Milicevic, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Jamie Block and Nana Mensah. Nov. 9, 7:15 p.m. Thalian Hall. The Definites - Canadian filmmakers Hannah Cheesman and Mackenzie Donaldson’s story about a soon-to-be-married woman who flees her soonto-be-husband and escapes to a libidinous party weekend at Art Basel in Miami. Starring Brittany Allen, Kristian Bruun, Hannah Cheesman and Sam Coyle. Nov. 10, 7:15 p.m. Thalian Hall. Bernard and Huey - Based on Jules Feiffer’s beloved characters, who first appeared in his Village Voice column in 1957, Bernard and Huey is a comedy about two male friends who reunite after 25 years, and their various trials and tribulations with the women in their lives. Screenplay by Oscar winner Feiffer, who wrote Mike Nichols’s Carnal Knowledge and Robert Altman’s Popeye. Directed by Dan Mirvish. Starring Richard Kind and David Koechner. Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Sundogs - Jennifer Morrison, the star of the ABC series Once Upon a Time, makes her directorial debut in this compassionate story of a mentally challenged young man on a mission to serve his country. Starring Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney and Alvin Joiner. Nov. 11, 10:30 p.m., CFCC Union Station. Moss - Directed by Daniel Peddle, this comingof-age drama was filmed entirely in Carolina Beach and tells a tale of rural isolation and a young man’s initiation into adulthood (psilocybin and an attractive older woman help to move things along). Starring Mitchell Slaggert, a local actor who has gone from Cape Fear Community College student to Calvin Klein underwear model to actor in a New York minute. Also starring Christine Marzano, Billy Ray Suggs, Dorian Cobb and Erby Dalmus Burton III. Nov. 12, 1:15 p.m, Thalian Hall. For information: See the full schedule of films, panels and activities, plus purchase advance tickets to films and multi-ticket passes (ranging from $60 to $330) at November 2017 •



Local Holiday Favorites 2017 910.769.6245 | 4113 Oleander Drive, Unit E, Wilmington, NC 28403

FOR ALL YOUR WEDDING, GIFT, AND PAPER NEEDS ! Wilmington 1437 Military Cutoff Rd • Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 679-8797 •

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Bakery #: 222 Location: Wilmington Print

Landfall Center 1319-GG Military Cutoff Road Wilmington, NC | 910.239.9241

art + art classes + fine gifts OVER 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE WILMINGTON AREA

visionary clothes for visionary women

1437 Military Cutoff Suite 105 Wilmington, NC Mon-Fri 10-7 Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5 follow us: @ellewilmington 8006 Market Street | Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm | Sun: 12pm-6pm 910.512.3277 |

The best gifts to give and get this holiday season!

Local Holiday Favorites 2017 A bit of the beach, all year long. Scarffish, the Scarf with the Starfish Made by hand in Chapel Hill, NC

Sea Inspired Gifts & Decor 4107 B Oleander Dr. | 910.799.4216

Find a Treasure A fine jewelry consignment store specializing in antique and period jewelry.

7110 Wrightsville Ave B-4 Wilmington, NC 28403 910.431.6888 Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:30pm

910.762.1310 4107 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC

The best gifts to give and get this holiday season!

Local Holiday Favorites 2017 CAPE FEAR

Give the gift of Local this Holiday Season

THE AREA’S LARGEST SELECTION OF LOOSE LEAF TEAS & SPICES Featuring California Olive Oils & Vinegars Located at 20 Market Street, Downtown Wilmington

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Downtown’s newest art gallery and shop featuring over 75 diverse local artisans.

11-5 Mon-Thurs 11-7 Fri-Sat 12-5 Sun (910) 769-4833 208 N. Front St.

Wilmington’s source of hand poured, 100% soy wax candles for over 30 years!


blown-glass bowl by Richard Bunting

“Container with Lid” raku ceramics by Traudi Thornton

Come by and check out our Fall specials!

“Feathered Cross”

electric blue and orange temari embroidery by Cathie Schumaker

“Green Crawl Ikebana”

porcelain ceramics by Brian Evans

25 Market St Downtown Wilmington 910-763-1703

The best gifts to give and get this holiday season!

A c c i d e n t a l

S o u t h e r n e r

The Desperate Housewives of 1620 Pilgrim women in a brave New World

By Nan Graham

The women of the

Mayflower arrived 33 years after the doomed group (17 women, 113 men) we now call the Lost Colony. Some of the women’s names of the Virginia settlement were Agnes, Margery and Joyce. Notice right off the bat that the Pilgrim women had remarkably different names, reflecting their Separatist religious background. You’ve got to love these Desperate Housewives names: Fear, Constance, Remember, Chastity, Humility and (surprisingly) Desire, females with remarkable backstories.

According to Caleb Johnson of the Mayflower Society, only 18 adult women arrived aboard the Mayflower on that November day in 1620. All were married. Three of them had set sail at least six months pregnant. All three would have sons, though; of course, they didn’t know that when they boarded the ship. Many left their children in the Netherlands with hope of having them sent later when the colony was established. Many never lived to see these children again. One expectant mother gave birth to a son, appropriately named Oceanus, before the tiny ship sighted land. Another to son Peregrine while moored in harbor. The third birth was a stillborn son. That last hapless mother died during the following winter along with 12 other women. The first thing the group did was to draw up a document which would spell out a plan for governing the new group: the first such document in the New World. Forty-one men signed the Mayflower Compact, as it is called: nine adult men on the ship did not. These nine absent signatures would include the seamen and anyone too ill to sign. No women signed the document. None expected to. Not until the document was completed and signed did the landing party go ashore. It was to be the first such compact in the new country. The newcomers first set foot on this New World with an idea and written plan. In those early days, the women stayed on the Mayflower and only went ashore a few times in January, February and March. Women died at three times the death rate for men. By April, only four adult women remained. Interestingly, the 11 young girls, from age 1 to age 16 years old, aboard the ship fared better than their adult counterparts . . . or the men, for that matter. Only two girls were lost that dreadful first winter. The circumstances of these little girls being on the voyage might explain their deaths. The two children, 8-year-old Ellen and 4-year-old-Mary, were the children of Katherine More and her lover Jacob Blakeway. Katherine’s husband, Samuel, declared the girls would be better off in the New World with the Pilgrims, since they bore the stigma of illegitimacy. Sadly but not surprisingly, The Art & Soul of Wilmington

the abandoned girls died that first winter, far from any familiar faces. One mysterious loss was William Bradford’s wife, Elizabeth. Days after Bradford and the other men left to investigate the land, leaving all women aboard, Elizabeth disappeared. It is unknown whether she fell overboard or committed suicide. It seems reasonable to think she purposefully drowned herself. She had left her 4-year-old son in Europe an ocean away, a drastic thing for any mother to do. The ship was safely anchored and moored in a sheltered inlet; the weather was calm. Falling overboard seems unlikely. Aboard ship, the women were expected to make and mend clothes for everyone on the ship, including the “Strangers,” as the deckhands, seamen and nonPilgrims were called, for the cold months ahead. A party of Pilgrim men plus Miles Standish, their military passenger, and merchant Richard Warren rowed to shore soon after they landed. All four women with the children remained on board to clean and scrub the ship’s quarters, empty chamber pots, tend to the youngsters, prepare meals from provisions, do laundry and make the clothes for the entire group. They stayed aboard ship in the narrow, cramped area between the deck and the hold below — called the “Tween” — for weeks, while the men explored and built shelters and occasionally returned to the ship to bring aboard any game they may have captured. There was no return voyage back home. Winter seas made the voyage impossible. Besides, the captain and most of the crew were almost always ashore in those early weeks, off exploring the New World. Although most women could read a bit, their names were not included in the signatures on the Mayflower compact setting the rules and expectations for the group. Most of the women signed their names with an X, since they were not taught to write. So there are no diaries left (what Pilgrim woman had time to journal anyway?) to tell us what the Pilgrim women thought as they watched the second boatload of colonists arrive in 1621 with 33 more men, to make the cooking and sewing and washing workload even more impossible. Only two women arrived with this second boat. So six adult females shared the load of maintenance of the new settlement when it was finally built. (And you thought you were put upon with your Thanksgiving arrivals!) The Pilgrim woman could not vote or speak in town gatherings or church or interpret Scripture. A woman of Plymouth was allowed to choose her husband, could buy, own and sell her own property and got one-third of her husband’s estate at his death, no matter what his will said. She wore red, violet blue and green clothing, not the black garb we usually see depicted. She kept her head covered in every public place, bad hair day or not. We don’t know what these women of such courage dreamed of in this New World. It might have been simply for shelter and warmth and good food to eat and a day off. But most of all to be with family and friends, thankful to live in safety and peace in this new place. This Thanksgiving, we join them in those thoughts. b Nan Graham is a frequent contributor with unparalleled knowledge of the South. November 2017 •



O m n i v o r o u s

r e a d e r

Words to Ponder

David McCullough’s speeches deliver gentle sermons on the American character

By Stephen E. Smith

“If we are beset by problems,” David McCullough wrote in a 1994 commencement address, “we have always been beset by problems. There never was a golden time past of smooth sailing only.”

McCullough’s The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For has arrived in bookstores at an opportune moment. Whatever your political persuasion, there’s little doubt that we’re in need of inspiring words that suggest where we go from here — and David McCullough is superbly qualified to point us in the right direction. He’s the recipient of Pulitzer Prizes for Truman and John Adams, National Book Awards for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback, and he’s the author of 12 bestselling popular histories. Moreover, McCullough doesn’t shrink from his responsibility as a forward-looking historian, reminding us in his introduction that we live in a time of uncertainty and contention and that we need to recall who we are and what we stand for and “. . .the importance of history as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times.” To that end, The American Spirit is a collection of 15 chronologically arranged speeches delivered by McCullough over a 25-year period, most of them college commencement addresses or remarks offered at the anniversaries and the rededications of monuments and historic structures such as the White House, the Capitol, and Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia. Using these ceremonies as a platform, McCullough focuses on the contributions 22

Salt • November 2017

of the famous and near famous — John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, Simon Willard, James Sumner, John Quincy Adams, Margaret Chase Smith and JFK — whose spirit and commitment to the nation helped shape our moral core. McCullough is a believer in the Great Man theory, a biographical approach to history that offers access to a wealth of the inspiring words spoken by the founding fathers and their intellectual descendants. Quotes, memorable and repeatable as they are, are the stuff of thought-provoking commencement speeches — Stephen Hopkins, who suffered from palsy, scrawled his signature to the Declaration, saying, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not”; Margaret Chase Smith stood up to Joseph McCarthy by announcing that she didn’t want to see the Republican Party achieve political victory through “fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear”; physician and patriot Benjamin Rush reminded his fellow citizens that they were in need of “candor, gentleness, and a disposition to speak with civility and to listen with attention to everybody”; and John Adams offered a simple, timely truth: “. . . facts are stubborn things.” Predictable themes emerge from the collection — the importance of education, the significance of history, the impact of language, and the value of selective reading — and McCullough brings up the oft repeated assertion that we’re raising a generation of ill-informed Americans who are historically illiterate and that it’s imperative that we redouble our efforts to teach our citizens to value their forebears. But the strength of these essays is also their weakness. Commencement addresses and most dedication speeches are essentially mildly annoying sermons, timely reminders of the better citizens we ought to be. Americans, The Art & Soul of Wilmington

O m n i v o r o u s r e a d e r unfortunately, have a long tradition of ignoring good advice (jurist Clarence Darrow claimed that no American is absolutely sure he’s correct unless the vast majority is against him). On the other hand, McCullough’s faithful readers will find reinforcement and encouragement in his lofty words. He’s most persuasive, and insofar as preaching to the choir is productive, these speeches succeed admirably. Not all the essays are straightforwardly instructive. In a 2007 address at Lafayette College, McCullough emphasizes the bonds that have long existed between Americans and the French, connections that are often overlooked in a world where the French chart an impartial course. (We may have changed “French fries” to “freedom fries” when the French claimed Iraq had no WMDs, but events proved them correct.) He reminds readers that the Marquis de Lafayette and the French military were instrumental in winning our struggle for independence and that 80,000 Americans died in France during World War I and 57,000 during World War II. “Time and again,” McCullough writes, “Paris changed their [young Americans’] lives and thus hugely influenced American art, American literature, music, dance, and yes, American science, technology and medicine.” In a 1994 commencement address at the University of Pittsburgh, McCullough proposed that the university take responsibility for rehabilitating the inner-city, working to eliminate drug addiction, violent crime, racial tensions, illiteracy, homelessness, and the cycle of poverty — the selfsame problems that trouble the country still. “And why not let it begin here in Pittsburgh,” McCullough said, “this city of firsts, with the University of Pittsburgh leading the way?” Taking a purely cynical view, it will no doubt occur to readers that The American Spirit will make a thoughtful birthday, holiday or graduation gift, and that McCullough and/or the publisher are in it for the money. After all, the book’s contents were written long before we found ourselves in our present dilemma. But it’s more likely that readers who carefully consider McCullough’s words will take the book in the generous spirit in which it’s offered. As McCullough writes: “Yes, we have much to be seriously concerned about, much that needs to be corrected, improved, or dispensed with. But the vitality and creative energy, the fundamental decency, the tolerance and insistence on truth, and the good-heartedness of the American people are there still plainly.” b Stephen E. Smith is a retired professor and the author of seven books of poetry and prose. He’s the recipient of the Poetry Northwest Young Poet’s Prize, the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for poetry and four North Carolina Press awards. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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A Drink With Friends A walking (and talking) tour of some of Wilmington’s most beloved watering holes

By Wiley Cash

It’s Sunday night and I’m standing near

Photograph by Andrew Sherman

the bar inside Blue Post, one of the oldest buildings in Wilmington, North Carolina, and easily one of its oldest bars, and I’m staring at the door that leads out to the alley. Even though it’s 2017, it’s easy to imagine a rowdy, bearded band of pirates tumbling through the low entrance after disembarking a ship docked on the Cape Fear. They’re doing their best to steady their sea legs after months of living aboard ship. Perhaps their pockets are full of gold doubloons or jewels or teeth or bullets. I don’t know who they are, or where they’ve been. But I know one thing for certain: They’re here for a drink.

So are we. At the bar are two bearded voyagers who’ve just returned from explorations of their own. Taylor Brown, author of River of Kings (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), has just come off the road from a long book tour. Jason Frye, culinary critic and author of nine guidebooks based on his travels, has pulled into town after a weekend at a food festival in South Carolina. Taylor has been riding his motorcycle all day. His helmet and gloves are tucked beneath his arm. Jason, fresh from the road, has a sack of dirty clothes waiting in the front seat of his Subaru. I may be the only one who doesn’t smell like a pirate. Not yet, anyway. In a couple of weeks I’ll be hitting the road for a long book tour in support of my new novel, The Last Ballad. Taylor and Jason come over with our drinks — vodka and soda for Taylor, a stout for Jason, and an IPA for me — and we walk along the wall where crumbling plaster exposes centuries-old brick, and pass into a high-ceilinged, narrow space that connects one half of Blue Post to the other. Legend holds that this was once known as Paradise Alley, where men would congregate to gaze upon the women who were offering themselves from the windows above. The alley was enclosed when the buildings were connected, and while the windows The Art & Soul of Wilmington

are still there, there are no women or the apparitions of women to be seen, although the darkness and the ghostly glow from the strands of lights snaking through the rafters could easily convince me otherwise. Jason pulls out his phone and flips through pictures from his weekend at the food festival: Culinary wonders fly past my eyes along with photos of well-known chefs and mouth-watering cocktails. There’s even a photo of Keanu Reeves posing with a group of Jason’s friends. I think about the photos I could return with from my upcoming book tour: a dry hamburger from a TGI Friday’s in an airport I can’t recall; a shot of me alone in my hotel room ironing my pants and wondering if it’s possible to iron a blazer without ruining it; that inevitable book signing where it’s just me and the bookstore employees wondering if it was the rain, the PTA meeting or the Saved by the Bell marathon that kept my devoted fans at home that night. I look at Taylor. “I don’t see things like this when I’m on the road,” I say. “Me either,” Taylor says. Jason, sensing our sadness, slips his phone into his pocket and takes a sip of his beer. He smiles. “Well, if it makes y’all feel better, I didn’t really get a chance to talk to Keanu.” Writing is a solitary exercise, and although Jason’s work requires him to visit bars and restaurants and other places of interest, most of the time the three of us are used to spending our time alone. I don’t see these two that often, so I’m happy to have this time with them now. The writers of the Lost Generation — Stein, Hemingway and Fitzgerald — had the bars and salons of Paris. The writers of Generation X — Brown, Frye and Cash — have Blue Post in Wilmington. The place is nearly empty tonight, but a group of M.F.A. students from the university has gathered by the bar. A few of them recognize Taylor and come over to say hello. They’re much younger than us, and they’re excited about being writers in the same way I was excited about being a writer years ago. When my work is going well, I can still tap into that original exuberance, but those days are harder to come by. When your passion becomes your career, the pressures begin to mount in ways that once seemed unimaginable. The three of us ask the students about the courses they’re taking, about their interests, and we share a few stories of our own. I watch the students’ faces change, and soon they politely excuse themselves and head back to their friends by the bar. The three of us finish our drinks and head outside. “That was brutal,” Jason says. “Do you think we crushed their dreams?” Taylor asks. November 2017 •




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“Probably,” I say. “They’re all going to become business students now.” We walk up the alley and then take a right on Front Street. A few blocks later we turn right on Orange and then follow the steps down into Lula’s Pub. Descending into Lula’s gives one the feeling that someone shot a torpedo into a hillside and then fashioned a bar from the crater that was left behind. The ceilings are low, and the stone walls are cool to the touch even on the warmest evenings. The place is lit by stained-glass windows that glow eerily considering that you’re deep underground. The bar, which feels like more of a small room, is also incredibly old, and like most old things in Wilmington, a series of rumors and legends have sprung up around it: It once served to quarantine recently arrived slaves; Outkast shot a music video here; a wealthy family once used it to store expensive wine; it’s haunted by a ghost named Cooter. For all the things Lula’s could have been, to me it feels like the belly of a small ship. The three of us walk toward its bow and take a seat at a table. After another round of drinks our talk returns to the students we’ve left behind at Blue Post, and we discuss the reasons we first began writing and the writers who’d inspired us to do it. “I just remember being enthralled with the act of reading,” Taylor says. “It was like stepping into a spell someone else had cast. I wanted to see if I could do it.” “How’d you learn?” I ask. “Barry Hannah,” Taylor says. “I listened to dozens of interviews with Barry Hannah. Writing was the most fascinating thing I’d ever heard someone talk about.” Jason, who holds an M.F.A. degree in poetry, admitted to being inspired by the poets of the Beat Generation, especially Allen Ginsberg. “It was the images and the beauty of the verse,” he says. “I was just so moved by the driving force of the lines.” I understand exactly how they feel. I can remember the first time I read a book and realized how badly I wanted to capture that magic for myself, and I can remember holding a text in my hand and feeling its pages quiver with their own power. It reminds me of how innocent those early experiences were and how willing I was to explore the act of writing without any idea of where it would take me or what I find once I arrived. “Are we jaded?” I ask. “Here we are talking about our influences after scaring a bunch of writing students to death.” “Of course we’re jaded,” Jason says. “We write for a living.” It’s close to midnight when we find ourselves walking north on the boardwalk along the Cape Fear River. The night is quiet, and we seem to be the only people on foot in downtown. The heat

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has broken. Cool air rolls off the water. We pass the federal building and turn right on Princess, then turn left on Front. Orton’s Pool Room bills itself as “America’s Oldest Billiards and Pool Room,” which may be true considering that it was once the basement of the Orton Hotel, which was built in 1885. Although the hotel burned down in 1949, its basement remains, and so do the pool tables. People say that the ghosts of those who perished in the fire remain as well, but as we descend the stairs from the street we realize that tonight the poolroom is probably too well-lit for those ghosts to appear. We take a seat at the bar and repeat the same order we’ve been giving all night: vodka soda, stout, IPA. Taylor and Jason ask me about the upcoming tour I’ve got planned, and Taylor fills me in on a few bookstores I haven’t yet visited, and Jason begins rattling off restaurants and bars I need to visit in various cities. I find myself taking notes: writing down the names of booksellers Taylor wants me to say hello to, the names of breweries Jason insists I try. Behind us, a young man and an older gentleman are shooting pool. The young guy is dressed in your standard downtown garb: skinny jeans, T-shirt, a hat turned backward. The older man is wearing a suit without a tie, a fedora tipped down toward a pair of dark sunglasses. A gold chain hangs from his neck and brushes the pool table as he lowers himself to take a shot. A quick glance tells us the young guy is easily outmatched. The two men pause in the game, and the gentleman excuses himself to take a phone call. The young guy notices our eyes on him, and he shrugs. “He’s killing me,” he says. “Did you put any money on it?” Taylor asked. “$20,” the guy says. “I’ve never played for money before.” “That was probably a bad idea,” Jason says. The guy winces as if he’s offended. “Oh, yeah,” he says. “Any of y’all play?” We all shake our heads no. “What do you do then?” he asks. “We’re writers,” we say. The older gentleman returns, takes up his pool cue, and quickly puts the young guy out of his misery. The old guy opens his palm for his $20, and he looks at Taylor, Jason and me where we’re seated at the bar. “Gentlemen?” he says. He raises an eyebrow, nods toward the table. No thanks, we all say. Like this shark, the three of us know exactly what we’re doing. b Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His forthcoming novel The Last Ballad is available wherever books are sold.

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Well Preserved

This December, after a job well done, George Edwards retires from the Historic Wilmington Foundation — an organization that has saved our architectural heritage

By Dana Sachs

George Edwards and I are having lunch

Photographs by Andrew Sherman

together at the Black Sea Grill on Front Street when I reach up and rap my knuckles against the wall next to our table. “Plaster?” I ask.

He gazes at the wall, then glances around the restaurant, taking in the framing of the windows and the height of the ceilings. Eventually, he comes to a conclusion. “I think plaster,” he says. “Yes, plaster.” No, we have not reached that awkward moment when, desperate for small talk, you chat about anything. My question about the wall is actually pertinent to our conversation. George is the executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, which, for half a century, has led the drive to protect southeastern North Carolina’s architectural heritage. We are talking about the construction of buildings. George can look at any property’s structural elements and give you a pretty good idea of its origins, purpose and role in the culture of the community. In fact, he speaks with such familiarity about local structures — the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church, the Mitchell-Anderson House, the Murchison Building — that I’m starting to believe he’s on a first-name basis with every property downtown, if not in the city. In December, George will retire from the foundation after running the organization for 13 years. He leaves it on solid financial footing, with a $250,000 revolving loan fund, a thriving educational program, a money-making architectural salvage shop, and an increasingly popular Azalea Festival Home Tour. These days, George tells me, HWF is likely “the strongest local preservation organization in the state.” It takes imagination, however, to consider HWF’s most profound achievement: the fact that so many architectural treasures have not disappeared.

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Southeastern North Carolina would have looked quite different without an energetic effort to preserve this heritage. By advocating for creative alternatives to demolition — particularly through tax credits and preservation easements — HWF has helped to save some 100 structures in recent years. These properties include houses throughout downtown Wilmington, a historic plantation in Pender County, and several Rosenwald Schools, the small early 20th century facilities built to educate rural African-American children. In other words, HWF is not just interested in saving pretty homes. “Our historic resources,” George says, “inform us about where we’ve come from.” Every year, HWF compiles a “Watch List” of endangered properties. In 2007 and 2008, the list included all of Brunswick County because no one there had ever conducted a historic resource survey. Under pressure, county officials completed the county’s first survey, which led to the addition of 22 properties to the National Register of Historic Places Study List. Similarly, in Pender County, HWF lobbied local officials to preserve the 1924 Topsail High School building. Through adaptive reuse, the property now houses county offices and a 236-seat community auditorium. “Suddenly,” George tells me, “it went from being a worthless building to being a treasure.” Sadly, the preservation movement is, to a certain extent, built on loss. Union Station, Wilmington’s former railway terminal, was demolished in 1970. In 2004, Babies Hospital — a 1920 Mediterranean Revival-style landmark that housed North Carolina’s first pediatric facility — came down, too. The valuable land, near Wrightsville Beach, became a site for retail space and condos. Despite the setbacks, George remains optimistic. The financial motives that lead to the destruction of one building might, in other cases, save another. “The preservation movement is heavily influenced by business interests,” he says. Back in 2011, HWF convinced the city of Wilmington to expand downtown’s historic district oversight. The organization made the case by reminding business leaders that “property values have increased due to preservation.” Instead of demolition, building owners now consider adaptive reuse. The 19th century November 2017 •



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St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, for example, became the Brooklyn Arts Center, and creative design transformed three adjacent historic buildings at Orange and South 2nd Street into the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Does George have personal favorites? He mentions 320 Chestnut Street, the recently renovated 1950s office tower next to Thalian Hall. “I love midcentury modern,” he explains. He also loves Wilmington’s bungalows. In fact, the city has so many significant buildings that eight local neighborhoods are National Register Historic Districts, including Carolina Heights, Carolina Place, Sunset Park and the racially and architecturally diverse Westbrook-Ardmore National Register District. These listings help protect vulnerable structures from demolition or encroaching development. “There’s a finite supply of old buildings,” George reminds me. “When they’re gone, they’re gone.” At the Black Sea Grill, which occupies the 1921 Pender Building, George sports a blue blazer and debonair bow tie, and he radiates the gentility of an earlier era. His manners are so polite, in fact, that he even feels the need to apologize when he leans forward to pierce a piece of falafel from our appetizer platter. “Excuse my boarding house reach,” he says, adding, “These are really good.” Dill, mint and oregano infuse the dolmas — stuffed grape leaves — with aromatic flavor. And, in the Veggie Delight, thick strips of eggplant lightly fried with onions, tomatoes and green peppers give the vegan dish an almost carnivorous heft. The restaurant does offer meat dishes, including kebabs and lamb chops. We try the kofte, grilled patties of lamb and beef, and filet of tilapia, which is lightly breaded to create a golden crust. One of the highlights of the meal is a deceptively simple green salad, which has been perfected with hints of sumac. For dessert, we turn to kunefe, a Middle Eastern favorite that dates to the 15th century. A mildly sweet concoction of shredded phyllo stuffed with cheese curd, soaked in simple syrup and topped with ice cream, the dish is both exotic and familiar, as George points out when he notes, “This morning, I had mini shredded wheats for breakfast.” One of George’s proudest accomplishments at the foundation is Tar Heels Go Walking, an educational partnership with the New Hanover The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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County schools that has, over nine years, taken some 22,000 third-graders on a downtown tour that includes Thalian Hall, the U.S. Post Office and the Main Library. The experience, George says, “gives them an appreciation for preservation and history and it helps them see their hometown in a whole new light.” One evening not long ago, George was walking his dog in his Lincoln Forest neighborhood when two children, an older boy and younger girl, rode up on bikes. “What’s your dog’s name?” they asked. Then, a few minutes later, “What do you do?” George said, “I save old buildings.” The boy looked like a fourth- or fifthgrader. “Maybe you went on the Tar Heels Go Walking Tour?” Suddenly, the boy started grinning. “Molly,” he said to his sister. “That is the coolest tour. You’re going to love it!”


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When George tells me this story, I can see the satisfaction in his eyes. “That tells me that we’re doing something right,” he says. From his point of view, every kid who loves a building might grow up to become an adult committed to preserving it. b The Black Sea Grill, at 118 South Front St., is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. For reservations or information, call (910) 254-9990 or go to The Historic Wilmington Foundation has a broad range of programs. For more information, visit, or call (910) 762-2511. Dana Sachs’s latest novel, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, is available at bookstores, online and throughout Wilmington.


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Head in the Clouds, Heart in Nature

Photographs by mark steelman

How 15 minutes shaped artist/architect Chip Hemingway’s remarkable life and career

By Jason Frye

I think Chip Hemingway dreams of clouds.

Out on his boat, at the beach, in the mountains, surfing, in his backyard, his eyes always wander to the horizon to see what clouds hang there. I’ve seen him holding each of his three sons in his arms, pointing at the sky, whispering to them about the clouds, the light there, the bilious shapes, the crisp flat line of the bottom of summer thunderheads. In his studio, canvases are filled with clouds. Blue skies peeking around the edges. Crepuscular light creeping through breaks in their cover. Mirrored in the ocean, the marsh, tidally locked forever in oils. Birds pinned to a cloudy background.

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Hanging on the wall of his studio until recently was a painting of Captain Charlie’s Cottages, an icon of Bald Head Island. Sitting high on the dune ridge, these cottages were once home to Captain Charlie — the Cape Fear Lighthouse keeper — his family and assistant keepers. The lines of their roofs and walls a sharp contrast to the undulation of the dune, the windblown curve of dune grass, the twist of live oak branches and the dream of clouds overhead. Each line is perfect. Though Hemingway’s love for clouds — and waves, trees, landscapes — stands out in his paintings, his other love, architecture, shows as well. “This is my favorite view in Wilmington,” he says, pointing at a canvas. In it, the courtyard of the Burgwin-Wright House as seen in spring. It’s a big canvas, and Hemingway laughs when he says, “I walked down to the courtyard every November 2017 •



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T h e A r t i s t A m o n g U s day for three days with this canvas and my easel to paint this.” There’s only a sliver of sky in the painting, so only the suggestion of clouds; what sky there is holds the steeple of St. James Episcopal Church, a crescent moon suspended above the spire. Trees in the courtyard reach overhead, their branches just beginning to leaf. The house itself is rendered nearly flawlessly. Lines straight (as straight as they get on a

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house built in the 1770s), shadows just so, porches deep in shade, windows somehow rippled with reflection. In this painting the house is as natural an element as the trees, grass and clouds. Hemingway, an artist and architect for 30 years, says his work is “a journey into nature through art and architecture.” His work as a partner at Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects proves it true. As a firm, the partners have their own areas of passion and expertise. Hemingway’s is — no surprise — nature. His projects include Jennette’s Pier, a LEED Platinum fishing pier and NC Aquarium facility in Nags Head; the in-progress Audubon Center at Pine Island; the Oregon Inlet Lifesaving Station in Cape Hatteras National Seashore; the NC Aquariums at Roanoke Island and Fort Fisher, and an expansion at the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores; and the USS North Carolina restoration project. In everything he does, Hemingway finds ways to tie architecture, nature, art and the user experience together in a seamless package. “I believe there’s a beauty to architecture, that man can create something to enhance the experience of nature,” he says. “My work on the aquariums 20 years ago shaped me. So did surfing. A love of nature drove me to both.” Looking around Hemingway’s studio there are a hundred peeks into what inspires him. Paintings on canvases and practice boards hang on walls, lean on shelves and rest precariously on windowsills and door casings. Waterfalls; mountains wrapped in summer’s emerald green and the garnet flashes of autumn; waves; surfers; marsh creeks; shrimp The Art & Soul of Wilmington

T h e A r t i s t A m o n g U s boats; a sky so big it takes up two-thirds of a painting, a thin strip of Masonboro Island at the bottom; here a fly fisherman, there a quartet of boys swimming the creek and daredeviling on a rope swing; figure studies; the coasts of Italy, Maine, North Carolina; city scenes of Beaufort, Wilmington, Italy. Guitars hang on the wall and rest in cradles and cases. Raw canvases in one corner, a quiver of surfboards in another. Skateboards and scooters — he and his sons will ride them — and toys. A childsize easel with the first attempts at emulating Dad. “People ask me how I became an artist, and that’s a funny question with a lot of answers,” says Hemingway. He cites a book in his school library, You Should Have Been Here an Hour Ago, by Phil Edwards. “It was a surfing book that probably didn’t belong in a fifth-grade library, but we had it and I read it. The book says, ‘A man should have two houses, one for his formal self and one for his experimental side.’ I took that to heart, and in every home I’ve owned I’ve built a studio where I can create and experiment, where I’m free to paint.” Another influence came from school. A teacher taught the class to draw rudimentary stick figures and gave the assignment of practicing drawing over a holiday break. Hemingway, finally fascinated by an assignment, drew and drew until his older sister said, “That’s not how you draw people” and showed

him a better, more complex way to do it. “She opened my eyes and I said, ‘Yeah! This is better!’ and I practiced drawing people her way. I was so excited about it, but when I got back to school and showed my teacher how proud I was of the people I’d drawn she said, ‘That’s not how I showed you to do it.’ I was crushed, but I became determined to find a way to express myself and show that the way I saw the world was more beautiful than the way she saw it.” A final influence was an architect who told Hemingway that fortunes are made and lost 50 cents at a time. “I say they’re made and lost 15 minutes at a time. When I have 15 minutes, I come out to the studio and pick up a brush. I paint, I draw, The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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T h e A r t i s t A m o n g U s I’m always working on something. I guess I’ve been creating this body of work and now, a few decades later, here I am.” Here is his studio, a 1,500-square-foot barn with skylights and a big open floor. With the barn doors open and light flooding in from overhead, it’s ideal for painting. And gathering. He and his wife, Kimi, have had the barn packed with people. Kids running round or skateboarding through swarms of adults. The grown-ups talking and laughing, looking at Hemingway’s paintings like the most informal of gallery shows. Other groups outside around the fire pit. More sitting


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on couches or huddled in front of the wood stove or talking to Hemingway about whatever work-inprogress rests on the easel. “I don’t know what’s more complex, the art or the architecture,” he says on a summer evening. We’re sitting by the firepit as night comes on, and it’s getting hard to see my notebook. Still, we talk. “Buildings, they’re very complex things. You’re putting together all these subtle components and major elements, trying to achieve this aesthetic, this ideal you have. Sometimes it requires a two- or three-year vision. But art, well, I do plein-air paintings, which are born out of this quick moment of expression. You’re trying to capture the light, represent the atmosphere and time of a place as best you can. I see them as two sides of the goal — short and long term — and having both in my life keeps me balanced.” He sits quietly for a moment, shifts in his seat, then leans back. “True mastery comes only when you can removes yourself from the technique,” he says. “I think about this concept a lot. Artists, musicians, writers, we all want to get to the point where the technique doesn’t hinder you, when it’s just pure expression. For me it’s Brain > Heart > Canvas. When I achieve that, I’ll have mastered it. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there or if I’ll know I’ve gotten there, all I know is I keep painting in hopes of doing it.” b Jason Frye is a regular Salt contributor. You can follow him on Instagram: @beardedwriter.

10/11/17 2:58 PM

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



P o r t

C i t y

J o u r n a l

Free, Wild and Beautiful The life of a Cape Fear oysterman

Story & Photographs by John Wolfe

On an Elysian autumn day in late September,

I find myself perched on the bow seat of a jon boat, rocketing down the waterway behind Masonboro Island. The boat is green and solid, covered with a shining spiderweb of scuffs and scratches; its floor is buried under small white buoys and tough black mesh bags and long lengths of PVC pipe. A shimmering rainbow refracts in the cascading bow spray above the iridescent water. The sky above is Carolina blue, scattered with pulled-cotton clouds that march northwest on the breeze that ripples the channel’s face.

The man at the outboard’s tiller is tall, lanky Tom Cannon, oyster farmer. He peers out at the water from behind a pair of Ray-Bans, hiding from the sun beneath a long-sleeved shirt and a tattered tan sombrero that doesn’t quite tame his straw-blond hair. We are going to visit Soundside Oyster Farm, his four acres (soon to be six, he hopes) of sparkling, tide-hidden sand flats, leased from the state through the Division of Marine Fisheries. There, he is working to raise 400,000 Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from pinky-fingernail-size spat to palm-filling adults, ready for market. In North Carolina, oyster aquaculture is growing rapidly, with 266 leases on 1,835 acres in 2015,


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The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



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P o r t C i t y J o u r n a l producing 27,604 bushels valued at $478,856. Cannon’s own specialty, water column culture, had only two leases and six acres in 2011; in 2015 there were 35 leases spanning 110 acres. Last year there were almost 30 outstanding applications, which, once processed, will essentially double the industry. We arrive at the farm, hidden from the Intracoastal Waterway behind a thin grove of spartina marsh. Cannon’s farm consists of four long rope rows, 10 feet apart, strung between chest-high lengths of PVC pipe. From these hang 260 backpack-size floating mesh bags containing his oysters. Cannon steers between the rows and cuts the engine. The only noise is the ripple of water against the hull and the steady thrum of breeze in our ears.

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Already the growth in his industry is visible. Cannon points out, on both sides of his own acreage, the claims of people whom he considers his friends. It’s a community, he tells me. Everyone shares the same resources. Soundside is a direct result of time Cannon spent working with Tim Holbrook, a pioneering farmer in the waters behind Masonboro, learning the handson methods essential to an oyster farm’s success. Cannon hopes to create 10 jobs on his farm in the future, “employing as many good, local folk as possible,” but for now he says he’s “humbled to have the support of friends and family” who have helped out in his endeavor. We hop out, barefooted, into the clear, warm, waist-deep water. This time of year he comes out three days a week, but soon, as the water cools and the harvest begins, it will become five, with the other two days spent delivering his product. It’s his dream; every day he is either out here on the flats or traveling around. I admire how he lives a life of his own choosing. His is a free, wild and beautiful way. “It’s a profession where, if you put your heart and back into it, you’ll see benefits,” he says, unclipping one of his bags and hoisting it into the bow of the boat. It’s the perfect career for Cannon. Growing The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



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up on the water in New Bern, he’s always loved being outside. And he displayed a gastronomical penchant for marine bivalves at an early age (his mother tells stories of how, at 2, he would amaze waitresses by making an entire platter of clams disappear). His family has been harvesting oysters on the Carolina coast for 300 years, and Cannon, incredibly, buys his oyster seedlings at a hatchery down the road from the coastal cemetery where his maternal great-great-great-grandfather, commercial fisherman Sylvanus Barker II, is buried — a fact that seems more like destiny than coincidence. “Doing what I’m doing connects me to a portion of my past,” he says. Another part of the reason he became an oyster farmer began during his years at Appalachian State. In the mountains, dreaming of the coast, he wrote a research paper on oyster habitat restoration and how it relates to coastal development — how oysters can play a role in, as Cannon puts it, “rehabilitating waterways that need more love.” Nitrogen runoff, found in the discharged waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (hog and poultry factory farms) in eastern Carolina, led to eutrophication of the rivers he grew up on — the Trent and the Neuse — and caused two massive fish kills during his childhood, which remain embedded in his memory. Although he can’t change the past, he can affect the future. As more of Wilmington gets paved with impervious surfaces that drain directly into our tidal creeks and waterways, oysters, while not the whole solution, are “an integral part” of addressing the looming problem of overdevelopment of our coast. Oysters are filter feeders, meaning they siphon water through their bodies, removing things like nitrogen and other toxins and transforming them into edible protein — “the best food you can put in you,” according to Cannon. One little oyster can filter a staggering 50 gallons of water in one day. And they create habitat for the 94 percent of marine animals that begin life in these saltmarsh estuaries, hiding amongst the spartina before they venture out into the wide, open ocean. The ecosystem on Cannon’s farm appears to be thriving: All around our legs are schools of tiny fish and shrimp, darting and iridescent. A pod of dolphins breach nearby, their gasping exhalations audible from afar. Overhead, an osprey flaps its wings with intention. Its yellow-rimmed eyes spot a meal below and, as Cannon and I watch (and I cheer), the bird tucks its wings and arrows down. A splashing impact — after a few heavy soddenwinged flaps, the bird takes off again, in its talons clutching the prize of a startled mullet, turned aerodynamically in line with the flight vector back to the nest. Time for us to dine, as well. Cannon’s type of The Art & Soul of Wilmington

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



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P o r t C i t y J o u r n a l farming focuses on producing a “high-quality, premium” oyster, for sale to elite restaurants within and beyond state borders. He hopes his oysters will end up on plates in places such as Catch, Pinpoint, Pembroke’s and Rx, and plans to ship a portion of his crop to Thailand. But today, wearing thick blue rubber gloves, he rummages around in the open bag and selects two plump oysters. Expertly shucking them, he pauses to admire the compact, meaty animal inside — globular and tan, floating in brine inside its self-made calcium cavern. The one he hands to me has a tiny red crab lurking inside, the size of a pea (hence its name: the pea crab). “The sign of a healthy ecosystem,” he says. We raise our shells in a toast to the sublime world around us, and down the hatch they go. A connoisseur of craft oysters might describe nutty and cheesy notes, with the iron tang of a rare steak at the end, but I’m not quite at that point yet. I can tell you this: I now know firsthand that old joy of how it tastes to be on top of the food chain (although the pinfish nibbling at my leg hair might disagree). What amazes me about this is how we are occupying the intersection of the ancient and the neoteric, here behind an island which, to me, represents the same. Cannon’s oysters are of a family of animals that have been on this planet longer than sharks, but the methods of grow-out he is using are high-tech, developed alongside scientists at the nearby UNCW Center for Marine Science. Some oyster farmers in North Carolina are using a satellite-driven “siting tool,” which analyzes waterways for water depth, turbidity and salinity to find perfect conditions to grow the best oysters. An element of the old remains for Cannon, who, even though we marked out his new acres with the GPS on his smartphone, still looks to the wildlife for guidance. They have been watching the marsh with unblinking eyes even before his own family’s impressive lineage. “The heron is my spirit bird,” he says with a free laugh. “They’ll teach you to look at things in the right way. And the blue crabs will teach you to stand up to anything.” A millennial like me (albeit a few years older; we bookend our generation), Cannon thinks it’s up to us to moderate how we use all this new technology. The tools of our species are better than ever before, but we must be careful not to let them eclipse our view of the real world: the world of the oyster, the heron, the water. I have a hunch that part of why both of us are out here is an attempt to reclaim that ancient, personal understanding of the planet — Tom Cannon through farming, John Wolfe through pen and pages — and connect with the older part of ourselves. John Wolfe studied creative nonfiction at UNCW. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

b i r d w atc h

Tree Swallow

Until frost arrives, the skies are full of them

By Susan Campbell

Perhaps you have seen them:

huge flocks of small birds, wheeling over open water or marsh, twisting and turning in deliberate arcs. They are most likely migrant swallows. And at this time of year, most will be tree swallows. Sometimes numbering in the thousands, swallows are feasting on the plethora of lateseason flying insects. The skies will be filled with these birds until frost moves them farther south to warmer climes, where food is still plentiful.

This handsome species is shiny green above and white below in adult plumage. Young of the tree swallows are a dusky gray-brown with a pale grayish breast band and pale lower parts. But both age classes have a black mask. Their call is a characteristic high-pitched liquid chirping, which becomes a harsh chatter when alarmed. Tree swallows are mainly insectivorous, but they will feed on berries (such as those of wax myrtle) during cold or wet periods in the fall. It is an odd sight: plants covered with fluttering birds, all tugging at tiny fruits. Most commonly they consume insects on the wing, swallowing anything small enough to enter their throat. Although they may pick insects out of the air, they will simply consume whatever may enter their mouth when flying through clouds of small flies, midges and the like. Furthermore, they may feed very close to the ground or water surface, especially in cool or windy weather. In late afternoon, large numbers of tree swallows will descend into thick vegetation to spend the night. In areas devoid of trees or shrubs, they will use marsh grasses as cover. Wind and rain as well as large owls such as great The Art & Soul of Wilmington

horned or short-eareds on the hunt are threats in the darkness. This species is a cavity nester, historically using holes in dead trees or adjacent to water. But with fewer dead trees on the landscape, the birds can be found using nest boxes or other man-made crevices. In fact, where the right sized bird boxes have been erected in wet habitats, tree swallows have moved right in. Only very large bodies of water attract these birds in the warmer months, since they need a steady stream of large flying insects while raising their families. Even so, there are more locations boasting breeding pairs in the Piedmont and coastal sections of the state each spring. Females can occasionally be found using wood duck or purple martin houses when smaller boxes are unavailable. Farther north, where more tree swallows breed, they may be found on small farm ponds as well as the shores of large lakes. They are loosely colonial, with a few to several pairs found in close proximity. Brood size is dependent on food availability, with four to six young produced depending on insect population numbers. In years of especially abundant insects, males may even bond with multiple females (behavior referred to as polygyny), further increasing local tree swallow productivity. Tree swallows form huge, often combined flocks during fall migration. Barn, cliff and northern rough-winged swallows may accompany them. We now find a cave swallow or two mixed in with them in late fall or early winter. If you are scanning a big group of swallows with binoculars, you may get lucky and spot one of these birds: a stockier individual with a pale rump patch and throat. Although typically a southwestern species, we now know that some caves do wander north and east, turning up along the Atlantic coastline late each year. But know that swallows will be with us along the southern coastline for some weeks yet. Even though the nights are getting chillier, as long as the insects are still active around our beaches, marshes and sounds, so too, will be the graceful tree swallows. b Susan would love to receive your wildlife sightings and photos at November 2017 •



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The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017

The Neighbor’s Pears The last of the pears dot the neighbor’s yard, their taut green skins giving way to brownish pulp. Yellow leaves flung

from wind-tossed branches scud across our lawns like golden clouds — the sun’s slim rays a decoration, a bit of gilding with no real warmth. It seems the time has come when all of life seeks its place before the soil hardens beneath a skein of frost and pale blue skies turn gray. Even pear trees go dormant, dreaming of budburst and blossoms — little green bells swinging again, from every limb. — Terri Kirby Erickson

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



Wilmington Reimagined

By J. Michael Welton

Talented North Carolina architects recently spent two days rethinking the future look and function of the Port City — knitting us together one neighborhood at a time


or two days in mid-September, 35 architects from across North Carolina studied, reimagined and redrew two neglected areas of downtown Wilmington. The results were engaging and dynamic — and offer potential glimpses into the future of the city’s built environment. The architects were working at the request of city planners in a design charrette — or workshop — organized by the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects. A charrette is an intense, deadline-driven exercise with a distinctly French pedigree. It draws its name from the 19th century Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and literally means “cart” in French. It’s named after the receptacle into which drawings were dropped at the end of a day-long student workshop.

A freight line turned trolley

In one case, the architects and planners were working to rethink the CSX freight line that runs through much of the downtown core, in a loop that some liken to the St. Louis Arch laid sideways. The rail line moves freight in containers from the port of Wilmington along 32 stops in the city, disrupting traffic all along the way. That can mean a 20-minute delay at some stops. “To get to the south side where the rail and shipyard is, it has to go through the city fabric,” says Chad Volk of Davis Kane Architects in Raleigh. “It goes through traffic, and as the city grows, it’s causing traffic and transportation problems.” There’s a proposal on the table to move the rail line across the Cape Fear River, and the city is interested in what kind of public transportation options could take its place once it’s gone. One option might be a trolley that moves people, rather than freight, throughout downtown. “The train bed is already there, so you don’t have to build anything from scratch,” says Raleigh architect Bob Andron of Andron Architects and Associates. “They can open up the existing track for trolley service — it’s already set up to go around town on the same track that’s in use now.” As it stands now, the rail line south of downtown cuts off a number of neighborhoods from one another, creating disconnection and isolation for residents. But a repurposed trolley could knit the neighborhoods back together, reconnecting them on a physical and psychological level — and open up downtown to their residents. A trolley also would mean fewer cars in the city, with cleaner air and less carbon. “It’s such a clean solution — it’s about making Wilmington a much more livable environment,” says Andron. 50

Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Volk, Andron and their team also focused on stations, stops and platforms for the Southside area that’s about a mile from downtown. “We looked at existing neighborhoods and certain streets and existing buildings, both commercial and residential, for potential stops or stations,” Volk says. “We were trying to make connections with the existing fabric and buildings in the community, so people would say: ‘I know that building — or that park!’” The idea was not to force a new name on the neighborhood, but to reference certain components to give it a sense of place while providing public transportation. “It’s a whole way of repurposing the railway to bring the community together and get them to places they couldn’t get to before, like areas of downtown with jobs or other opportunities,” Volk says.

New life for the railroad. Top: The existing rail line. Above: Three drawings fo raffordable housing and a trolley for the rail line, imagined by the N.C. State College of Design team. Renderings by Astha Shah.

Bottom-up design

While Volk, Andron and others looked at potential stops and stations, a group of seven students from N.C. State’s College of Design was engaged in a new, bottom-up initiative called public interest design. Led by N.C. State professor Bryan Bell, the students met in a neighborhood church with 50 residents from Southside neighborhoods. Their aim: to solicit the community’s wants and needs, should the CSX line move across the river. The residents were wary. CSX already had held an earlier public meeting to announce its intent to close off streets in a 10-block neighborhood. That plan was met with little enthusiasm — and no small amount of suspicion. “At the beginning, they were a little nervous and uncomfortable — they thought a lot of things had been hidden from them, and that something was not going to be done for them,” says Nicole Martinez, a student at the College of Design. “We explained that we didn’t have control over what would happen, but that we could help them visualize what they wanted so at least they’d have a say — that if they didn’t have a vision, they wouldn’t have a say.” The residents ticked off a set of priorities: First up were affordable housing, public safety and traffic calming. Then: bike paths and grocery stores, followed by parks and jobs. “It was a benchmark to have the residents realize that this was an important opportunity for the neighborhood — that it was worth becoming involved in the political process,” Bell says. “One woman asked, ‘Who represents me on city council?’ Up until the meeting, she was not aware of how the process worked.” That was precisely the City of Wilmington’s desired outcome. Its stated goals were to raise awareness and get the community involved in the planning process. With the charrette and public interest design from the College of Design, The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



both goals were met — along with a new appreciation for the democratic process. “We were not in opposition to the city — we wanted to work with the city to give a voice to its citizens,” Bell says. “It was critical for them to be heard.” Bell and his students made a presentation to the city, with drawings, charts and graphs indicating what the residents’ priorities were. They followed that up with a second meeting with residents, playing back to them their stated wants and needs. And they unveiled some design options as well. They proposed affordable housing alongside one trolley stop. They suggested a food market inside an abandoned linen warehouse at another — a place where commuters could hop off the trolley on the way home from work, pick up a few items for dinner, then jump back on the trolley for the ride home. “Rather than be a divide, the trolley would give the residents an opportunity to find jobs outside their neighborhood, and bring in new businesses that could potentially employ them,” says student Madison Plimpton. “I think the first step is to look at those old buildings and see what happens when the trolley comes through and helps everybody and unites the entire city.”

On the waterfront

Near the 6 1/2-acre, northern waterfront site now slated to serve as an entertainment park for national acts, a team of architects looked at ways to program the neighborhood for young professionals. “We wanted to give them a reason and a way to live downtown and start a business — to boost the economy and give them an identity with Wilmington,” says Albert McDonald, associate principal at Clark Nexsen in Raleigh. “We wanted to make a place for young people to exchange ideas and have a creative environment to work in.” The idea is to provide incubator space where start ups from Cape Fear Community College and UNCW can put down roots without spending an arm and a leg. “Once they’ve established an identity with Wilmington, they can move to a nicer space and leave room for the next entrepreneur to come in,” he says. McDonald’s team also was asked to look at a warehouse area that’s already emerging as the Brooklyn Arts District on Fourth Street near the waterfront. The team called for a new urban design solution on Bladen Street. They looked at the center of that street, which is currently used as an access strip to a warehouse. “We proposed making it a road again, and making it more pedestrian, and to run a green space up that Bladen Street extension to the PPD tower for the pharmaceutical company,” he says. Rob Johnson, an architect with Boomerang Design in Raleigh, was on the team assigned the city block containing the PPD Tower and an empty parking lot belonging to the community college. “It was a grid with a nice scale to it that had been ignored in development, where they’d turned smaller blocks into larger blocks,” he says. “First, we wanted to return it to the grid, and second, mirror an existing parking deck and calm the traffic.” 52

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The Art & Soul of Wilmington

They proposed returning the surface lot next to the tower back to the streetscape. “We recommended putting a parking deck in the center of the block and wrapping it with three- to four-story buildings with retail below, offices above and cars in the middle,” he says. “And then, walkable blocks, returned to the grid.” Wilmington is Johnson’s hometown — he was born in James Walker Hospital in 1955 and attended St. Mary Catholic school. And he’s seen a lot of changes over the years. “When I was growing up, downtown was a happy place — and then the mall came along,” he says. “Now, people are coming back, and it’s really great to see.” Laurie Jackson, a project manager for Raleigh’s Maurer Architecture, was assigned a wedge-shaped lot at the entrance to the city, on the northern waterfront area. Her team suggested that it function as a gateway — and as a bridge to old, historic Wilmington and the residential neighborhood to the east. The city had identified the Greyhound Bus building in the warehouse district as worthy of saving for adaptive reuse. “It’s an interesting history of Wilmington’s past, and it has a barrel-vaulted roof,” she says. “We envision it as a community building and a welcome center — as you come into the city, it’s right there, it’s kind of iconic, and it’s a landing point.” Her team suggested repurposing the building also as a farmers market and a space for food truck rodeos. And because it’s across the street from the 1898 Memorial at the corner of Davis and Front streets, they suggested linking it to that monument to the late 19th century race riot. “It’s a big part of Wilmington’s history,” she says. “It’s hard to get to, so we wanted to connect the site to that.” Allen Davis, former urban designer for the City of Wilmington and now director of the design division at the Charleston Civic Design Center, served as charrette facilitator for the northern waterfront area. He knows its history well. “Its legacy has been industrial for a long time,” he says. “There was urban renewal in 1965, but it didn’t do much in adding vitality.” By the early 1990s, the area was perceived as a waterfront district, and PPD made its headquarters in the middle of the site. The city then partnered with Riverfront Holdings, a private development partner for the marina district, to create Marina Village and Pier 33, an apartment complex. “There’s been quite a bit of money invested in infrastructure,” Davis says. The new park offers the city an opportunity to stitch the entire area around it back together, with retail at ground level, and offices and residences in towers up to 23 and 24 stories tall. “That means a vertical wall of activation, with balconies where people will engage with the park and the water,” he says. The charrette’s value, Davis says, lies in creating a cohesive framework for the area, and identifying main and secondary streets. It answered questions about where development would occur in empty blocks, how to maximize the public realm, and how to break up big blocks with tall buildings of varying sizes. “When you’re as big as we are, you have to define which is the front door and which is the back door,” he says. “And you have to have a good pedestrian experience that creates comfort and legibility in an urban district.” Each site studied by the architects — strictly on a pro bono basis — will now require more work from the city and the public at large to turn designs into reality. But now there’s a vision, where before there was none. b

A new city gateway, imagined. Opposite: An aerial view of the existing Greyhound Bus building. Inset right: The existing plan of North Waterfront Park. Inset below: Drawing of the reimagined Greyhoud Bus building by the Laurie Jackson team. This page, above left: The existing interior of the Greyhound Bus building and (above right) repurposed as a farmers’ market with additonial space for food trucks.

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications, and edits a digital design magazine at He is the author of Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand (Routledge: 2015). He can be reached at The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



Thanksgiving with the

Photography by Andrew Sherman

The Carolina Housewife is a cookbook written in 1847 by Sarah Rutledge, a well-born lady of Charleston, and was originally published “for charitable purposes.” 170 years later, it is still in print, and modern readers will find that many of the recipes can be re-created today. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Salt has enlisted the culinary talents of chef Thomas Mills of Little Pond Caterers to select and adapt a few of the more appealing recipes. 54

Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Carolina Housewife R ecipes adapted by Thomas Mills


he Carolina Housewife is more of a guidebook than a cookbook. It assumes you know what you’re doing and are just stuck without any ideas and your husband — that wretch — has just brought home some company for dinner without telling you.

Each of these dishes was interesting to prepare. (Some are better for 2017 than others.) But the art was in the way that they were cooked. The instructions assume you know how to use a stove, from building the fire to keeping low, medium and high temperatures. This was never explained, so we had to guess with temperatures, equipment and timing. But one thing certainly hasn’t changed since 1847: our love for communion around the table and the joy of good friends, good food and good spirits. — Thomas Mills The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



Carolina Pilau with White & Egg Sauce

This is a simple Chicken Velouté. I loved the rice portion — a very fatty rice but tasty. The sauces are classic—the egg sauce is strangely wonderful, a cross between a mousse and a Hollandaise. It would be a really nice base sauce to add just about anything: capers, smoked salmon, thyme, basil, lemon. The same goes for the white sauce.

Carolina Pilau

1 1/2 pounds bacon 1 quart of rice Fowl, 1 or 2 according to size Boil bacon. When nearly done, add rice. Then put in fowls and season with pepper and salt. To serve, put rice on dish with bacon and fowl upon it.

Egg sauce

3 tablespoons butter 5 egg yolks from hard-boiled egg Cayenne pepper & salt

White sauce

Large spoonful of butter kneaded with flour Teacup full of milk Yolk of an egg with a teaspoonful of cream Melt butter with milk, add yolk & cream.

Stewed Cucumbers

North Carolina Dabs

The Carolina Dabs need a little tinkering, but they are like an 1840s corn nut. A nice snack. 1 pint corn meal 1 small dessert spoon of lard 2 eggs Wine glass of milk

The jury is still out on cooking cucumbers . . . They were good (and if you wanted a hot vegetable, this works if cucumbers is all you have).

Cut cucumbers in thick slices. Add some chopped onion and salt. Simmer over a slow fire. Pour off large portion of liquor and add a little vinegar, pepper, butter and flour. Let stew a few more minutes.

Scald corn meal. While hot, rub in lard. Beat eggs very light, add to meal. Stir in milk and a little salt. Spoon-drop on a tin and bake in a medium oven.


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Turnip Soup

The scrag of a lamb is a portion of the neck usually used in flavoring — it’s a soup bone kept from slaughter and a great base for this hearty autumn turnip soup, which feeds a lot of people. I would add carrots for sweetness and color. 3-pound scrag of mutton 3 large onions 3 heads celery Pepper & salt 5 large turnips boiled and sieved Combine ingredients. Add broth to thicken. Garnish with cream and lemon juice.

Green Peas à la Bourgeoise

Dressed Sweet Potatoes

Sweat the cabbage first and then add the peas with the cabbage juice and cook.

I love these twice-baked sweet potatoes. Actually doing them this way was a real treat. I used olive oil and salt but on the second bake you could season with just about anything. And the second bake seems to enhance the flesh.

Pint and a half green peas Bit of fresh butter Sprig of parsley Cabbage lettuce cut into four A little sugar 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon cream

Bake sweet potatoes, peel back again after seasoning with pepper, salt and butter.

Cook in its own juice until almost gone. When boiled away, add 2 yolks and a little cream. Let sit a bit longer on the fire.

Tomato Omelette

This is a Southern dish I would do again. It’s really a tomato pie but better (even without the dough!) I would suggest a cast-iron pan, something large enough to serve from. Autumn tomatoes in the South would stew down to nothing. As for the fire, don’t trust the fresh hot coals part. I would let the eggs slowly simmer with the tomatoes. You could even bake it and maybe get more of a rise. The best thing, though, is the smell of stewing tomatoes “for no less that 3 hours.” 2 onions, parboiled 3 pints peeled tomatoes, chopped A teacup and a half fine breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon salt 1 heaping teaspoon black pepper 4 tablespoons of butter Boil onions and add to chopped tomatoes. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat thoroughly together. Set them over a slow fire gradually to stew. Cook never less than 3 hours. Longer is better. 15 minutes before serving, beat up 6 eggs and stir them in. Place on hot fresh coals and give one more boil. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Sweet Potato Pone

1 quart grated sweet potato 3/4 pound of sugar 10 ounces of butter 1/2 pint milk 3 tablespoons powdered ginger Grated peel of a sweet orange

Rub ingredients well together and bake in a shallow pan in a low oven. b November 2017 •





How the innovative Youth Ambassadors program shapes lives and grows a more sustainable world Story & Photographs By Virginia Holman


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington


hen you’re sitting in traffic on Market Street, shopping at the new Publix or Aldi, or visiting one of the local microbreweries, it’s easy to forget that Wilmington is a booming coastal town surrounded by substantial rural areas. Country life has many pleasures — one of which is privacy — but it can also be isolating, especially if you’re short of resources. Say you live in Whiteville, and you’re looking for a new job, but don’t have reliable computer access or transportation. Say you are single parent in Delco and need support and education about conflict resolution and parenting. Perhaps you want to get your GED diploma or obtain basic computing skills. If you live in Columbus, Brunswick or Bladen counties, one of your best bets is to call Men and Women United for Youth and Families. Men and Women United offers a wide variety of resources. Most offerings are located at their centrally located TriCounty Resource Center in Delco. There, on the aptly named Dream Avenue, residents can take high school equivalency, computer and masonry classes, participate in a biweekly food pantry, gain free computer access and obtain résumé preparation assistance, job search guidance and help with interview preparation. Executive director Randolph Keaton says that Men and Women United for Youth and Families was founded in 2006 with a simple mission: to offer scholarships to students. The organization’s mission soon expanded from offering financial support to individual students and now includes services aimed at strengthening families and communities. Randolph describes the organization’s growth as an organic one, arising from both the needs and the strengths of the people it serves. “First, we established a summer camp and an after-school program,” he says. “It kind of grew from there and became a community hub where people can come and have access. We were able to obtain items like computers through an initiative established by President H. W. Bush.” In recent years, the foundation has received grants from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. One of the most popular and ambitious initiatives is their youth and junior youth ambassadors program. Randolph says the unofficial motto of the group is “Know your history and know your culture.” For rural kids growing up in communities with long agrarian histories, that means “learning about their roots from farmers in the community.” Students must apply to participate, write an essay and attend an interview. They are mentored by working farmers about the basics of planting, maintaining and harvesting a garden crop. In addition, the Youth Ambassadors have several garden plots throughout the Cape Fear region, including one behind the Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington. They also sell seasonal vegetables with Feast Down East at the Weekly Fresh Market at Rankin and 11th streets during the summers and throughout the growing season on Saturdays at the

Columbus Farmers Market in Whiteville, North Carolina. The Youth Ambassadors program does more than just teach students about farming and entrepreneurship; it involves the students in their communities. The area around Rankin is something of a food desert, an area with a low-income population and limited access to fresh, nutritious food. The Weekly Fresh Market not only allows the students to take pride in selling their harvest, they also learn firsthand about issues of social and environmental justice by partnering with the folks at Feast Down East and extending their impact. Randolph also comments on the importance of raising a new generation of students who are informed about agrarian practices. “When we first started going to the Columbus Farmers Market, the kids were the only youth participants. They were also the only farmers of color. It’s been great to see the Columbus farming community welcome the Youth Ambassadors and encourage their efforts in the community.” He says that the skills learned — hard work, collaboration, responsibility and reliability — transfer to all lines of work. That’s a good thing, because the Youth Ambassadors I spoke to have dreams as diverse as becoming farmers, engineers, graphic designers, filmmakers and entrepreneurs. When they talk about college, they mention schools like UNCW, NC State, NC A&T and UNC, but they also mention Yale, Georgia Tech, Spelman and Howard. These are students whose dreams are fostered not only by the Youth Ambassadors’ leadership, but by one another’s skill, ambition and confidence. In a mere two years, this program has enrolled approximately 75 students. In addition to their farm entrepreneurship, they have attended conferences like Rooted in Community in Greensboro, where the students learned about sustainable food systems, refugee struggles and food equity. Ambassadors also assume roles as leaders in their communities; they have given presentations about their work at the Optimist Club in Elizabethtown, and organize an annual golf tournament scholarship fundraiser at the Land O Lakes Golf Club in Whiteville. Randolph points out that it’s the notion of ownership — owning one’s responsibility to self, others and service to the community — that is the core of the Youth Ambassadors’ mission and the heart of Men and Women United for Youth and Families. What better way to reap a sustainable future for the youth in our rural communities than by sowing seeds of support and empowering them to share the fruits of their labor? To learn more about Men and Women United for Youth and Families, contact Randolph Keaton: 910-655-3811 Author Virginia Holman lives and writes in Carolina Beach. November 2017 •



S t o r y

o f


h o u s e

Starting Over

Rising from the ashes, a dream home built from scratch By William Irvine • Photographs by R ick R icozzi


t is always an unexpected pleasure when a designer and her client are on the same wavelength, and that’s what happened when Gigi Sireyjol-Horsley, the stylish proprietor of Paysage Home, met MaryAnn Largen in her shop: “She fell in love with a French tapestry table in my store and we both realized that we loved the piece, but installing it in her bedroom would be quite a challenge. The table got installed — I still wonder how—but from there we moved on from room to room, challenge to challenge, always with good laughs.” In 2007 Largen, who lives in Charlotte, and her business partner had bought a house together in Carolina Beach. Fast-forward to a few years later: The partner decided to buy his own place on Figure 8 and she bought him out. That’s when Gigi came on the scene: “MaryAnn was trying to rearrange a house she had shared for years with another couple and make it hers,” she says. “She was thrilled with the results, but infrastucture is hard to change.” But then in 2013, the unthinkable happened. “I had just finished the house in December,” Sireyjol-Horsley recalls. “The flowers were in the vases, Champagne was in the fridge, the crib for her granddaughter was ready — everything was set for her to come down and spend her first weekend at the beach house.” MaryAnn called her just after the New Year: “I have two pieces of news for you. One good, one bad. Which do you want first?” The house had burned to the ground. The 3 a.m. blaze was so intense that the firemen could not even reach the fire hydrants, which were too hot to touch. The good news was that Largen wanted to start again and build a new house from scratch. “The silver lining is that you get to do things that you wanted that were not ideal the first time,” says Largen. “I was able to redesign the house so that every bedroom had a bathroom. And there are now more common spaces where people can go to get away from each other when needed.” And Largen needed some space. She has two sons with 60

Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

five grandchildren between them who come down from Charlotte to use the house on weekends. “It’s a family house,” she says. “ I call it the heirloom. I have given it to friends for visits but otherwise my sons and their families and friends get to use it as well.” Largen turned to the Wilmington firm of Harris Cothran Architects with a vision in mind. She wanted something both stylish and kid-friendly —not too traditional, not too modern: “And I told then I wanted a lighthouse or a ship look, and I think they achieved that,” she says. And that they did. The stucco-and-shingled structure resembles not so much a house as a ship that has ended up on the edge of a salt marsh. Upon entering the house, one is in a welcoming entry hall and a large kids’ bedroom, which can accommodate Largen’s four granddaughters in pairs of bunk beds flanking a central staircase. And there are lovely turtle sconces and linen curtains with animal silhouettes. It is clearly a children’s room but is chic and sophisticated. (And its location on the lowest level keeps all the noise downstairs.)


he steep stairs to the second floor are inset with beautiful Moroccan tiles. “I love the risers. Their Mediterranean look brings a smile to my face every time. It’s like being in Ibiza!” says Sireyjol-Horsley. A soothing living area upholstered in beachy sand and sea colors features a bold and beautiful William Sofield chair for McGuire. It leads to a hallway containing four ensuite guest bedrooms, a nice retreat from the activity of the other floors of the house. The third floor is the main part of the house with the most common spaces, and its centerpiece is a large living/kitchen/dining area whose centerpiece is a striking blue Lacanche stove. “What a piece!” says SireyjolHorsley. “You have to be brave to start a house with a turquoise stove. She knew what she wanted and I did the rest around it.” The adjacent dining

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

area is an exercise in cool understatement, with square-back Louis XVI-style sand-colored chairs beneath a surprisingly large old-school chandelier. “My favorite place in the house is the master bedroom, which has a lot of artwork,” says Largen. Her own personal collections are highlighted by nice details. “The lamps in the bedroom are metal but look like a huge shell. And from a few feet away they look like two hearts,” says Sireyjol-Horsley. “You cannot do much better than that for a bedroom.” And atop the house on the fourth floor is the best room of all: “My grandchildren call me Glamma, like a combination of glamour and Grandma,” says Largen. “When they first saw the widow’s walk, they said, ‘That’s Glamma’s room.” It’s a clean, serenely modern and white space made for entertaining, also with a chandelier. “MaryAnn called me one day and said she was not crazy about a floor lamp I had selected. She wanted a glamour piece, so we did glamour!” says Sireyjol-Horsley. There are also spectacular unobstructed views across the salt marsh to the ocean, and it’s a great place to unwind with a cocktail and watch the fireworks every Thursday night in Carolina Beach. It is clear that the rapport between client and designer has paid off. “During the whole process, MaryAnn read between the lines —and my French accent!—and gracefully enforced her own vision. She allowed for the best experiences to happen. It has been a fantastic journey.” b The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



a r t s & c u lt u r e


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

By Ash Alder Sweet, bare-branched November. Sweet hearth fires and gray dawns and Indian corn. Sweet, sweet pumpkin bars. Many consider this 11th month to be an auspicious time for manifestation. But first we must clear out the old. We rake leaves for compost, pull weeds, rid the garden of debris. And as we harvest the last of the eggplant and peppers, autumn sunlight washing us golden, we offer gratitude for the glory and abundance of the present moment. Wisdom and beauty are here, now. Like the white-tailed deer, peacefully grazing on the forbs and grasses along the quiet back road. She will disappear beyond the forest veil in an instant. In the spirit of manifestation, here are 11 seeds of inspiration for the November gardener: Sow poppy seeds on the full Frost Moon (November 4) for a dreamy spring. Ditto larkspur. The spur of this showy and complex flower resembles the hind toe of the crested songbird for which it was named. Watch the last of the leaves turn. Plant a fruit tree. Fig, apple, persimmon or plum? One way to decide: Consider future chutney, pudding and pie. Cilantro is surprisingly cold hardy. Growing some? More is more. Feed the birds. Plant asparagus crowns. Stop and smell the witch hazel flowers. Force paperwhites, hyacinth, and amaryllis bulbs for holiday bloom. Visit a pumpkin patch. Sow gratitude and watch it grow.

In the evenings I scrape my fingernails clean, hunt through old catalogues for new seed, oil work boots and shears. This garden is no metaphor — more a task that swallows you into itself, earth using, as always, everything it can. —Jane Hirshfield, November, “Remembering Voltaire”

a r t s & c u lt u r e

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2017 •



Arts Calendar

November 2017




Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE

Coasta Roasta Oyster Roast

Surf to Sound Challenge

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Friday); 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Saturday); 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Sunday). A family-fun weekend of surfing and paddle boarding hosted by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, featuring races and routes around Wrightsville Beach for all ages and skill levels. Please see website for registra70



5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Social event of the year for the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce featuring all-you-can-eat oysters and shrimp prepared by the board of directors, live entertainment, an open bar and more. Admission: $75. Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, 1 Estell Lee Place, Wilmington. Info: (910) 762-2611 ext. 202 or




7:30 p.m. A Brooklyn-based dance company combines traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word in a celebration of culture and human will. Admission: $15–40. UNCW Kenan Auditorium, 601 South College Road, Wilmington. Info: (910) 962-3500 or


Flavor of North Carolina

Port City RibFest

The Wizard of Oz

Salt • November 2017

tion prices. Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Boulevard, Wrightsville Beach. Info:

Admission: $40. Wilson Center, 703 North Third Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 362-7999 or


11/4 Wilmington Fur Ball MasquerAID

Willie Stargell Celebrity Invitational

Schedule of events available online. Join in on a weekend of fun and golf at the annual celebrity golf tournament, hosted by the Willie Stargell Foundation, and support the fight against kidney disease. Country Club of Landfall, 800 Sun Runner Place, Wilmington. Info: (910) 509-7238 or

6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. A masquerade ball benefitting the animals of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, featuring live music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a live and silent auction. Admission: $100. Cape Fear Community College Union Station, 502 North Front Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 274-8953 or



Polish Festival

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The 20th annual Polish festival hosted by St. Stanislaus featuring an assortment of Polish food, live polka music, craft sales and more. Free parking included. Admission: Free. St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4849 Castle Hayne Road, Castle Hayne. Info: (910) 675-2336 or


The Wizard of Oz

2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. A live, on-stage performance of the MGM classic The Wizard of Oz. Great for families and theater-lovers alike.

Scherrie Payne of The Supremes and Freda Payne

7:30 p.m. A live musical performance by legendary sisters and singers Scherrie Payne, a lead singer of The Supremes, and Freda Payne as part of Thalian Hall’s Legends and Main Attractions series. Admission: $59–79. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 6322285 or


Beautification Endowment Fundraiser

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Join the Cape Fear Garden Club The Art & Soul of Wilmington

c a l e n d a r

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas





Cape Fear Kite Festival

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Show off your favorite kite and join your fellow fliers for a fun, no-rules kite festival at Kure Beach. Spectators welcome. Admission: Free. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Road, Wilmington. Info: (910) 520-1818 or

11/4 & 5, 11/11 & 12

Whole Foods Holiday Tasting

12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Join Whole Foods for a complimentary tasting of holiday favorites. Pick up a menu, place your order at the Holiday Table, and schedule pickup at your convenience. Admission: Free. Whole Foods Wilmington, 3804 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 777-2499 or




for their biannual fundraising event. This year’s event is a Southern soiree, featuring Southern fare, live music by L Shape Lot, a reverse raffle, silent auction and more. Admission: $60. Trask Family Farm, 5519 Bavarian Lane, Wilmington. Info:

11/4 & 5

Sleeping Beauty Ballet

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

Bumper Jacksons

7:30 p.m. A lively night of folk music performed The Art & Soul of Wilmington

by the Bumper Jacksons as part of Thalian Hall’s Legends and Main Attractions series. Admission: $22–40. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 632-2285 or


Chamber Music Concert

7:30 p.m. An enchanting evening of fresh and powerful classical music performed by The Schumann Quartet. This talented foursome have performed all over the world and will now take the Chamber Music Wilmington stage. Admission: $30. UNCW Beckwith Recital Hall, 5270 Randall Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 9623500 or


Rare Harpy Eagles in Belize

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Cape Fear Audubon presents Jamie Rotenberg, professor of Environmental Studies at UNCW who leads the Integrated Community-based Harpy Eagle and Avian Conservation Program. Dr. Rotenberg will describe recent work with humans, snails, monkeys, and drones, to understand the life of a newly-arrived pair of nesting harpy eagles in Belize. Admission: Free. Halyburton Park

Event Center, 4099 South Seventeenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 409-5160 or


23rd Annual Cucalorus Film Festival and Connect Conference

See website for showing schedule. Annual film festival showcasing over 200 films in every genre, dance performances, music videos, kid-friendly films, and more. One of the most popular events in town. Various venues around Wilmington. Info: (910) 393-5995 or


The Music of Star Wars

7:30 p.m. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, join the North Carolina Symphony for an evening of music as they perform wellknown tunes from the sci-fi classic films in a one-night-only show. Admission: $43–71. CFCC Wilson Center, 703 North Third Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 362-7999 or www.cfcc. edu/capefearstage.


Port City RibFest

11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (Friday & Saturday); 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday). Fifth annual barbecue competition with entries nationwide featuring live November 2017 •



c a l e n d a r music, arts and crafts, kid-friendly activities, karaoke, local vendors, and more. Admission: Prices available online. North Waterfront Park, 11 Harnett Street, Wilmington. Info: (336) 7079188 or


Fourth Annual Flavor of North Carolina

Junior League of Wilmington, featuring a sipand-shop preview event on Friday and bargain sale on Saturday including new and pre-owned items. Admission: $20 (Friday and Saturday); $5 (Saturday only). Sears wing of Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 799-7405 or

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. An evening of food, drinks, music, dancing, and more at Wrightsville Beach’s Blockade Runner Beach Resort to benefit our local Good Shepherd Center and their mission to help the homeless in our region. Admission: $60. Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Boulevard, Wrightsville Beach. Info: (910) 7634424 or


11/11 Blue Moon Holiday Open House

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk

classic tale, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, presented by the Wilmington Conservatory of Fine Arts in honor of their tenth anniversary. Admission: $10–25. CFCC Wilson Center, 703 North Third Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 362-7999 or

11/20-12/31 Cape Fear Festival of Trees

7:30 p.m. A contemporary circus performance combining aspects of a traditional circus, a Rube Goldberg machine, and an aerial acrobatics show. Admission: $24–44. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 6322285 or

9 a.m. A winter wonderland of Christmas trees decorated by local businesses, presented by First Citizens’ Bank and organized by Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation. Admission: $8.95– 10.95. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach. Info: (910) 796-9000 or

11/18 & 25 Kure Beach Holiday Market

10 a.m – 5 p.m. Annual holiday open house hosted by Blue Moon Gift Shops, featuring giveaways, tastings and more. Admission: Free. Blue Moon Gift Shops, 203 Racine Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 799-5793.

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping while supporting local artisans. Shop from dozens of local art, craft, and food vendors. Admission: Free. Ocean Front Park, 105 Atlanta Avenue, Kure Beach. Info: (910) 458-8216 or

11/21 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

11/17 & 18


11/23 Habitat for Humanity Turkey Trot

Bargain Sale Fundraiser

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Friday); 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Saturday). Annual fundraiser for the

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

3 p.m. An encore presentation of C.S. Lewis’s

7:30 p.m. A festive holiday music and multimedia show showcasing the Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller, presented by Cape Fear Stage. Wilson Center, 703 North Third Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 362-7999 or 8:30 a.m. Annual fundraising event for Cape Fear’s Habitat for Humanity including a timed

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Salt • November 2017

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c a l e n d a r 5K or untimed 1-mile course along The Loop at Wrightsville Beach. Admission: $11–35. Wrightsville Beach Park, 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach. Info: (910) 762-4744 or


The Lighting at the Lake

7 p.m. Kick off the month-long Island of Lights Festival in Carolina and Kure Beaches with a tree-lighting ceremony and an array of Christmas light displays for you to wander. Free refreshments and a visit with Santa are included. Admission: Free. Carolina Beach Lake Park, Atlanta Avenue, Carolina Beach. Info: (910) 6122487 or

11/24 & 25

Enchanted Airlie

11/24 & 25

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

5 p.m. – 7 p.m., 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wander through a winter wonderland of lights in the enchanting Airlie Gardens, featuring a 1/2-mile self-guided tour, a visit from Santa Claus and local food and beverage vendors. Admission: $27 per carload. Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington. Info: (910) 798-7000 or

Come and see all the wonderful services Spring Arbor offers and start living the easy life! • Full social & activities calendar • Medication management • Delicious meals • Plus much more!

Call or come by for your tour today! 809 John D Barry Dr, Wilmington, NC 28412 910.799.4999

5:45 p.m. (Friday); 10:00 a.m. (Saturday). A beloved annual holiday tradition featuring various events including a Christmas tree lighting, visits with Santa, Festival in the Park, boat parade/ contest, and fireworks. Admission: Free. $25 registration fee for a boat entry. Various venues in Wrightsville Beach. See website for details. Info: (910) 256-2120 or


What Sets Us Apart? Here is one way. . .

New York’s Ballet for Young Audiences: Sleeping Beauty

7 p.m. A kid-friendly ballet performance of the timeless tale of Sleeping Beauty as part of Thalian Hall’s Legends and Main Attractions series. Admission: $10–20. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 632-2285 or


Sunday on the Porch

3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Enjoy music from local bands while grabbing a drink or a bite to eat at the beautiful Porches Cafe at River Bluffs, a unique waterfront community. Live performances on Nov. 5, 12 and 19. Admission: Free. Porches Cafe at River Bluffs, 1100 Chair Road, Castle Hayne. Info: (910) 623-5015 or

Helping you with the biomechanics of your horse, the agility of your dog, the suppleness of your cat and . . . EVERYONE’S HEALTH!

Dr. Gail Galligan, BA, DC, AVCA

Inducted into Animal Chiropractic Hall of Fame in 2015

1221 Floral Pkwy #103 • Wilmington, NC 28403 910.790.4575 • AmeRiCAN VeteRiNARy ChiRoPRACtiC AssoCiAtioN Recognized as the World Leader in Animal Chiropractic

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Loyal Employees like Jeanette Pollock! Director of Clinical Nutrition for 15 years

1011 Porters Neck Road 83 Cavalier Drive, Suite 200 Wilmington, NC 28411 910.686.7195 | November 2017 •



c a l e n d a r

Tuesday - Sunday

State of the Art/Art of the State

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Tuesday through Sunday); 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Thursday). An art exhibition at Cameron Art Museum focusing on contemporary art by arts living in or native to North Carolina. Admission: $8–10. Cameron Art Museum, 3201 South Seventeenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or


Poplar Grove Farmers Market

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open-air market held on the front lawn of historic Poplar Grove Plantation offering fresh produce, plants, herbs, baked goods and handmade artisan crafts. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 U.S. Highway 17 North, Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or


T’ai Chi at CAM

12:30–1:30 p.m. Qigong (Practicing the Breath of Life) with Martha Gregory. Open to beginner and experienced participants. Admission: $5–8.

Cameron Art Museum, 3201 South Seventeenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or

23). Ticket prices available online. TheatreNOW, 19 South Tenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 399-3now or



Weekly Exhibition Tours

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. A weekly tour of the iconic Cameron Arts Museum, featuring presentations about the various exhibits and the selection and installation process. Cameron Arts Museum, 3201 South Seventeenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or


Yoga at the CAM

12–1 p.m. Join in a soothing retreat sure to charge you up while you relax in a beautiful, comfortable setting. Sessions are ongoing and are open to beginner and experienced participants. Admission: $5–8. Cameron Art Museum, 3201 South Seventeenth Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or

Friday & Saturday

Riverfront Farmers Market

8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Curbside market featuring local farmers, producers, artisans, crafters and live music along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Riverfront Park, North Water Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 538-6223 or www. b

To add a calendar event, please contact calendar@ Events must be submitted by the first of the month, one month prior to the event.

Dinner Theatre

7 p.m. TheatreNOW presents We Can Be Heroes (Nov. 3–11) and The Greatest Gift (Nov. 17–Dec. B RI N G IT D O W N T O W N

drESSES $5 oFF, SwEatShIrtS $10 oFF, EvErythIng ElSE buy onE gEt onE 25% oFF Cotton Exchange | Front Street | Independence Mall 910.343.9245 | 910.769.3676 | 910.784.0444

shop and explore

dine or have a drink

downtown wilmington

over 150 unique shops, galleries, boutiques and salons promoting local and regional specialties.

at over 100 restaurants and pubs, many wth outdoor terraces or sidewalk cafe seating.

showcases the history of the town and promotes the vibrancy of the Cape Fear River.

park free for the first hour in city decks and catch a ride on our free trolley! w ww. B r i n g i t D o w n t o w n . c o m


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Second-Generation Craftsmanship That’s Second To None. Coastal Cabinets founder Mike Powell has been building fine cabinetry since childhood. Now with more than a dozen skilled artisans, Coastal Cabinets can handle any size custom project.

Dr. sAm smith Dr. stephen AnDerson Dr. nAtAlie-Anne reinhArt Dr. CArrie mAGrAnn Practicing in Preventive & Internal Medicine, Advanced Dentistry and Surgery for Cats, Dogs and Exotics

“Devoted Vets for Beloved Pets” 202 Giles Ave, WilminGton nC 28409 910.399.3768 | info@pAWsClAWsAh.Com WWW.pAWsClAWsAh.Com

“My father taught me what it means to work hard and to make sure every customer is happy with the finished product.”

Environmentally Responsible Luxury Day Spa Offering: • Finnish Sauna & Swiss Shower • Swiss Vichy Shower & Steam Room • Award Winning Organic Skin Care Facials • Micro-dermabrasion Oxygen treatments • Full Service Organic Salon from Italy Non toxic 5 Free Vegan Nail services Massages: Relaxation to Therapeutic, Ayurvedic, Bamboo Fusion, Table Thai, Reflexology, Advanced Athletic, Cupping, Lymphatic Drainage Integrative & Wellness Services & Classes

2013 Castle St. Wilmington, NC 28403 910.762.3345 | Monday - Friday from 8am-5pm

The Art & Soul of Wilmington


Our Spa is Your Spa Visit website and Facebook for Videos, Specials and Seasonal Offerings

Find Your Ahhh... 910.803.2500 13460 NC 50/210 Gateway Plaza Surf City, NC

Gift Certificates Available

Our Awards & Recognitions November 2017 •



Port City People

John & Sue Lettieri

William, Laura & Nate Jahnes

Street Fest at Progress Point Hosted by Progress Point and Good Shepherd Center Saturday, September 9, 2017 Photographs by Bill Ritenour

Sophia MacDonald, Rose Boucher, Dayla MacDonald, Charlotte Gergel Lynn & Ellen Tucker, Lauren & Allen Henderson

Nathan & Charlotte Gergel, Dean Kemp Evelyn Thomas, Ellie Bryan

Alexa Murray, Rena Lunsford, Cat Marinich, Katie Helmick

Brianna Colton, Kevin Novak

Donna Hickman, Linda Ritenour Jenson & Jason Swinny

Nick & Donna Scarangella

Alycia James, Stacy Geist, Gabrielle Dorn


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Kellie Furr, Ryan Daly

Port City People

Tim & Stephanie Markley

One Less Hungry Child Gala Presented by Sound Harbor Wealth Partners - Hosted by Nourish NC Saturday, September 16, 2017 Photographs by Bill Ritenour

David & Sarah James, Anastasia & Ray Worrell

Jahleese Jadson, Davis Hadley Marisa Henry, Dr. Kelley Evans

Justin Debord, Steve McCrossan, Bobby Zimmerman, Holly White

Matthew & Kristina McLeod

Hedley & Liz Mendez, Sheila & Stu White

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Kathi Bender, Susan Sabatini, Carol Downs

Melissa Brooks, Emily Reinichi, Melissa Schosek

Barry Brunjes, Sarah Smith, Nae Hamilton, Joe Dykes

Jessica & Stephen Cline

November 2017 •



Port City People

Madison Harlett, Levi Bradburn

John Buchser, Lindsey Bazen

“A Night of Magic” Gala Presented by the Cape Fear Literacy Council and Star News Saturday, September 23, 2017 Photographs by Bill Ritenour

Elaine Legett, Rob Kaiser, Dana Fisher, Ashley Miller

Brian & Nicole Johnson, Elena & Jeff Pohl

Jim & Monica Rolquin

Liz & Keith Forkin Brooke & Kelly Stewart

Annie Milkes, Howard Evans, Maggi Apel

Colleen Rozier, Brannon Walters Robert, Yasim & Mia Tomkinson Will Ellis, Meagan O’Neill, Kyle Hamblin

Hilary Snow, Suzi Drake


Salt • November 2017

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

T h e

A cc i d e n ta l

A s t r o l o g e r

Mystery Men and Women

Sexy and secretive Scorpio vamps it up in November By Astrid Stellanova

Sugar, here’s wishing all your champagne and caviar birthday wishes will come true.

For starters, Dynasty is returning to the airways, checking at least one box for you. Scorpio is all about mystery, vamping and tramping. Everybody wants to date or be a sexy Scorpio at some point. And yet, think about how much we really know about even very public Scorpios . . . Julia Roberts, Katy Perry, Matthew McConaughey, Kathy Griffin, Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton are Scorpios. — Ad Astra, Astrid Scorpio (October 23–Novetmber 21)

You haven’t wasted time this year; but you can’t get it back either. So don’t bother wishing you were younger, better looking, or had the body of an Olympic skater. Like Grandpa said, don’t we all wish we could be like a load of laundry and spin in the dryer to get rid of our wrinkles and shrink a few sizes? But you can realize you are one of the lucky ones, possessing your own teeth, both kidneys, and more class and sass than ought to be allowed. Mystery is not your whole history, Sweet Thing.

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

Are you kidding me right now? Don’t question yourself. Colonel Sanders had his finger-lickin’ chicken, but you have your own secret recipe. Yours is a finely tuned sense of intuition, and it is right on the money. Change your passwords, hide your money and don’t trust the very person you know you shouldn’t trust with your deep dark secrets.

Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

You get your revenge. And Honey, it feels so good, like sitting in a tub of Cool Whip after a bad sunburn. But you will have to move on with your fine life and let it go. That double crosser won’t double-cross you again, but ask yourself if you wouldn’t be better off high-tailing it on out, and getting yourself into a new circle of trust.

Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

You had a breakthrough and took a stand that needed taking, Sugar. But Lordy, Nancy Grace, just reel that self-righteous anger back in a little. By this time you are reading this, everybody that mistook your good nature for being a fool has figured out only the first part is true.

Pisces (February 19–March 20)

Yes, you won it hard and square, Sweetheart. But your windfall of cold hard cash had the effect of making your heart harden up faster than a pan of hot lard. It is possible to be frugal and also to help those who need it. Compromise a little and you will be rich in ways that matter.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

A straightjacket is not your best fashion statement. You’ve always had a knack for spotting trends, being the first and making others follow. But look behind you, Darling. Nobody’s there. It doesn’t matter so much how you look as how fulfilled you are, and right now you know you’re a quart low on fulfillment.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Jack Daniel’s said you could dance, just like it said you could do a lot of things. At least The Art & Soul of Wilmington

the glass was half full, Honey. When the line dancing ended, everybody had to agree you outdid yourself. Sometimes you just have to fly your freak flag and howl at the moon. No real harm done, Sugar.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Scary to take a long, hard look at yourself, right? Sometimes it’s like visualizing your skinny cousin Oscar wearing a hot dog bun. But being truthful and vulnerable is a good thing, and you are right to ask yourself if you are being true to yourself in your current situation. Don’t let yourself settle for a scenario that doesn’t honor your true self.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Mr. Sun and Mrs. Moon might have been your parents. Now, you are having an eclipse of your own. You helped someone and they somehow managed to cut in line in front of you. You are going to learn from this, recover, and they will make amends. Honestly. You’ll be basking in the sunlight and the moonlight.

Leo (July 23–August 22)

Attitude? Honey, you might want to chill. Lately, you make Leona Helmsley look like a GoFundMe charity organizer. Something got into you and all the state and half of Georgia knows it, too. You have bigger things to attend to, and after an attitude adjustment you’ll be sitting in the butter — and not alone.

Virgo (August 23–September 22)

Cool your heels, Darling, and let time wound all heels. Seriously, karma is reckoning with someone who took credit for your work. Whistle while you work and never let ’em see you sweat. Because very, very soon, they will. In the meantime, an escape from your worries is needed. Don’t ignore your health.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

You don’t need a whip. But a carrot would help your motivation, Honey Bun. Everybody thinks you are self-sufficient but you are like the rest of us — a kind word helps you feel your life is on track. Trouble is, the person you want approval from is not catching your drift. Hang on, hang in and don’t sweat it. b

For years, Astrid Stellanova owned and operated Curl Up and Dye Beauty Salon in the boondocks of North Carolina until arthritic fingers and her popular astrological readings provoked a new career path. November 2017 •



P apa d a d d y ’ s

M i n d f i e l d

What the Cell?

By Clyde Edgerton

You know your phone service pro-

vider? The organization that helps you with cellphone matters in their store, a place where the walls are covered with gadgets (like a hard shell case that costs more than your phone), gadgets that you and your children needed yesterday? The place where you — if you ask about your phone bill — are politely taken to a large blackboard with a chalk tray and erasers, or to a blank sheet of paper, and somebody starts politely writing down tiny lists of numbers and explaining the charge for many things, including the data-connectionbluemoon-raython-regulator charge?

That place. I decided to call the billing department on my cell the other day — the billing people up the chain of command. I wanted to save some time by not going into the place described above. The reason I called was because I got a text from my wife that said, “Please call our service provider. I think they are offering some kind of new discount.” I called. I got a message that went something like this: “Please enter your nine-digit phone number, including your area code and the six numbers that follow. Si quieres, press four. If you are a robot, say ‘no’ and sing the first verse of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ If you are calling about a medical emergency, hang up and dial 911. If you have hemorrhoids and sometimes have pain during a backyard barbecue or while frolicking through a field of flowers, then tell your doctor about Lo-Evorona. You’ll be glad you did, because your doctor may follow your suggestion rather than follow her knowledge about treatment — but remember that during your visit with your doctor, just say ‘Lo-Evorona’ because that’s probably all you will have time to say during your short time with your doctor, who is hurrying to a conference with a drug rep. But while waiting in the doctor’s waiting room, on the other hand, you perhaps had time to write a short novel.” I started pressing random keys on my cellphone, and on the number 7, I got this: “Because of the recent hurricane, we are experiencing a high volume of water. Stay on the phone while you evacuate. A service representative will be with you shortly.” I press “Speaker” on my cellphone face and place the phone on the couch. Some music starts. I continue watching Shark Tank. A few days later, a service representative comes on the line. “Hello, my name is Indiana. Your phone number please — including area code and the six digits that follow.” (These are the people who 21 years ago invented the possibility of reading, on the receiving end of the call, the number of the person calling you.)


Salt • November 2017

I give Samantha my number. She says, “And with whom am I speaking?” And I tell her. She says, “How are you today?” I say, “Fine, and you?” She says, “I’m doing well. Thank you for asking.” I think, this might be easy. I tell her why I am calling, and she says, “Let me get your records up in front of me.” I wait a little while and she says, “I see that you have recently received a discount of $7.” I say, “I’m not sure about that. I recently got a text from my wife that said we might qualify for some discounts.” “Let me check on that,” she says. “Please hold.” I start to say something, but music begins. The music I’m listening to is the kind of music that if you held a survey among 4 million Americans of every ethnicity, of every social class, of every wage bracket and most occupations, of most ages, heights and weights, each person would, individually and independently, swear that this music I’m listening to now is the most God-awful, worst music they’ve ever heard. The music plays through the phone on the couch as I watch another Shark Tank and then Naked and Afraid, How I Learned to Gain Weight, and Hanging Out With Your Neighbor’s Spouse. What happens during this time is that the music gets interrupted by spoken lines like this: “Did you know you could reduce your phone bill by up to 50 percent if you rent your car with Thrifty at any stop-over during a Carnival Cruise adventure before Christmas 2017?” And then, “Thank you for continuing to hold. We are experiencing a high volume of calls because we don’t hire enough operators with our 9-billion-dollar profit margin each month. If you ever have to not wait then we are too lax with profits and our way-cool, wealthy shareholders will fall into a tizzy-fit.” A little bit of the above may be slightly exaggerated. The rest is not. I hang up. Within 15 minutes the phone rings. I answer. A perky automated voice says, “Would you like to take a short survey regarding the service you received in your most recent call to your service provider?” “Yes, I would.” “Are you satisfied with your service?” “No.” “I see,” the voice artfully muses. So artfully that I picture her hand to her chin. “At the tone,” the voice continues, “would you please comment briefly?” The tone sounds. I start talking and within — it could not have been more than six seconds — I hear another tone and this: “Please listen to your recording and if you are satisfied, disconnect, or press 1 to continue recording.” As I’m listening to the start of my complaint (which is that Samantha never returned to our first conversation as promised) there is a beep and I’m disconnected. I swear. If I had an old-fashioned phone I’d hang up. Come to think of it, when I did have an old-fashioned phone I could dial “0” and immediately talk to a human being. b Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW. The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Illustration by Harry Blair

Your service provider is here (or somewhere) to drive you crazy

chip hemingway’s restored barn/art studio as seen in salt magazine


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