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April/May 2016

SAND & PINE A Life of My Own Part 2, with Saif Ataya

The Blocksmiths Sisterhood of the Skies

A Real Trap Shoot Target Sports in the Sandhills


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contents 12

18

The Blocksmiths

SAND & PINE

We can dispense right now with the misguided notion that skydiving is just falling. After spending a day with the Blocksmiths, we know better.

Publishers Greg Girard, Amanda Jakl Editor Greg Girard

20

Garden Variety

Wondering what to do with your garden this spring? There’s an app for that. It’s 2016 after all; time to let technology get its hands dirty.

A Life of My Own

Saif Ataya had finally escaped the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein. After a harrowing journey through the desert, he was free...or so he thought.

SA N D & P IN E April/May 2016

greg@sandandpinemag.com

Creative Director Amanda Jakl

On the Cover

A Life of My Own

Photo: Saif Ataya on his backyard patio in Pinehurst.

Part 2, with Saif Ataya

amanda@sandandpinemag.com

Photo by Don McKenzie

Word Geek Katie Schanze Ad Peddler Vince Girard

cksmiths The Blo hood of the Skies

Trap Shillsoot A RealSport s in the Sandh Target

Sister

vince@sandandpinemag.com

Contributing Scribblers Darcy Connor, Karin Kent, Robert Nason, Anthony Parks, Dana Spicer Shutter Shooter Don McKenzie Visual Alchemist Carter Beck

4 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

P.O. Box 892 Southern Pines, NC 28388 Tel. 910.315.0467 info@sandandpinemag.com www.sandandpinemag.com facebook: SandandPineMag

SP

© Copyright 2016. Sand & Pine Magazine is published six times annually by Sand & Pine, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written consent is prohibited.


What’s on the Web ....... 6 Good Reads ....... 7 Quicksand ....... 8 Music ....... 34

26 At the Table

Eggs are perhaps the most versatile ingredient on the planet. Really, what would we do without eggs? They’re so good, they must have come first.

30 Trap Shooting

It takes a little bit more than yelling “pull” to turn that clay bird into powder. If you haven’t tried it, trap shooting is a hobby worth targeting.

To Your Health ....... 36 Puzzles ....... 37 Last Word ....... 38

editor note by Greg Girard

I

sat for several hours in Saif Ataya’s living room. He was gracious enough to talk about his life with me just a few days before Christmas. The room was dark but comfortable, the polite squeaks of footsteps upstairs reminding us both his sacrifices were worth it. As we talked and moved closer to the details of his life, I could tell we were touching on moments and experiences he hadn’t thought about in years while other moments evoked emotions that have remained clear and deep within him even today. I learned about Saif as we sometimes hear about stories. “You have to talk to this guy” is typically the phrase voiced when it comes to unsolicited story ideas. I’m often cautious when it comes to these recommendations; not because I don’t trust the person suggesting it or welcome the idea, but from a simple sense of survival. If I wrote a story on every suggestion received, I wouldn’t have time to write this. Or spend time with my family. Or eat.

While I certainly didn’t know Saif’s entire story, you can probably imagine my sadness, disbelief and joy as we journeyed through his life on that rainy December day. It is a life that puts your own in perspective. There are times when I’ve been accused of contemplation. I don’t know, perhaps it is a trait intrisic in many editors. I can often frustrate family and friends with my pursuit of why. So with the swirl of the holidays and the heightened focus on what is most important in my life, you can imagine the contemplative state I immersed myself in following my conversation with Saif. Fear not, I’ve safely emerged and I feel the better person for it. The endless flow of adjectives would be useless. Saif’s spirit, strength and belief are enough. If you haven’t read Part 1 of A Life of My Own, I strongly encourage you to go read it now. It’s online at our website sandandpinemag.com. If you’re ready for Part 2, it’s just few pages away. www.SandandPineMag.com | 5


What’s on the Web ... To follow the wild life of the human kind, check out our Facebook page and our Instagram account for Humans of Moore County. Follow #homc and #HumansofMooreCounty.

Picture Book The Gardener Written by Sarah Stewart Illustrated by David Small Like the returning flowers of spring, The Gardener, Sarah Stewart’s story with David Small’s gorgeous illustrations, is a beautiful way to welcome the new season. Set during the Great Depression, Lydia Grace is sent to live with her cantankerous Uncle Jim in the city. Through her love of gardening, Lydia is able to add sunshine to the lives of those around her, although putting a smile on Uncle Jim’s face is Lydia’s ultimate goal.

Good Reads by Darcy Connor

facebook.com/sandandpinemag instagram.com/sandandpinemag pinterest.com/sandandpinemag sandandpinemag.tumblr.com 6 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

Preschool/Toddler Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching Written by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Joyce Wan Sometimes trying new things can be really scary, especially for little ones. In this sweet book, young readers are encouraged to try. The bold illustrations of Joyce Wan add to this reassuring story. The repeating line of “I’m not hatching!” will make anyone want to join in the reading.


Elementary I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 (I Survived #13) by Lauren Tarshis The latest in the “I Survived” series, I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster follows the same popular format as the others. Told from the point of view of the main character, the story introduces readers to historical events in an exciting and fast paced way. This time the “I” is a boy named Hugo who is traveling home from Africa aboard the Hindenburg. Tarshis does well introducing other aspects to the story that occur before you get to the disaster, which helps keep the story moving.

Middle School The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd This new release from the author of the popular A Snicker of Magic will be sure to ensnare young readers with a story that is full of quirky characters and wonderful writing. In Key, we meet Emma Pearl Casey who comes from a magical and famous family and who, like the relatives before her, is introduced to her destiny in a dream. When her dream reveals a seemingly impossible task, Emma is unsure if she will be able to succeed. Will Emma learn the lessons of believing in yourself and finding courage in order to save her family home?

Adult Me Before You by Jojo Moyes If you somehow missed this wonderful story when it was first released in 2012, now is the time to read it before the movie comes out in June. Me Before You brings together Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, two people with nothing in common. You will laugh and cry your way through their time together (be prepared with a box of tissues!), but you won’t be able to put it down. And be sure to read this one before the sequel After You, which came out last fall.

SP www.SandandPineMag.com | 7


Quicksand ¡Cinco De Mayo!

5.5.1862 The date General Ignacio Zaragoza and a small

contingent of 2,000 Mexican loyalists successfully defended a small town from a heavily armed French force of 6,000. While the Battle of Puebla did not benefit the Mexicans strategically during the FrancoMexican War (1861-8167), it became a symbolic victory that rallied the resistance for five more years.

81M Average number of avocados consumed on Cinco de Mayo. 600M Average amount, in dollars, of beer sold for Cinco de Mayo each year. Beer sales on Cinco de Mayo are typically higher than the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day.

300,000 Average attendance of the Los Angeles Cinco de Mayo celebration, the largest in the world. Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico and is not Mexico’s holiday of independence (September 16).

34.9 The South’s percentage

of the nation’s margarita sales, the largest percentage of any region in the country.

1966 The year Doritos entered

the U.S. market, the first nationally sold toasted tortilla chip.

4,689 In pounds, the largest plate of nachos

ever made. A school in Kansas holds the record. The plate had 2,200 pounds of nacho cheese and was 80 feet long. Servings were sold to raise money for charity. 8 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


APT APPS...

A Look Ahead

iRecycle and Joulebug A great way to understand a topic is to immerse yourself in it. The fastest way to learn a language is to go to a country that speaks it. The same logic can apply to our environment, and that’s where iRecycle (free on iPad and iPhone) can play a part. iRecycle helps users find recycling facilities for just about anything, no matter where they are, providing access to “more than 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials in the United States.” Joulebug (free on iPhone and Android) is another cool app that takes on energy conservation. In a fun, educational format, users follow energy saving tips and earn rewards. So you can learn to save money and save the planet. Win-win in our book.

Road trip! Here are some local events (and some within a few hours drive) worth checking out. For even more events with local flavor, check out our Facebook page, updated regularly.

and other tech marvels

Varia Vision This kind of technology is too cool not to share, so if you’re a cyclist, the Garmin Varia Vision is worth a look. Designed to hook onto your sunglasses, this lightweight gadget will display your performance data and directions in an augmented reality display (think Google Glass). It can also provide traffic alerts and will pair with Varia rearview radar to notify you of vehicles approaching from behind. Granted, a subtle but important disclaimer is on the Garmin website noting, “For situational awareness only. Users should view data on the display at a glance only and should always focus on surroundings.” There, you’ve been warned. Varia Vision is retailing at $400. Song Exploder If you’re like us, there’s nothing more interesting than digging a little deeper into a subject. What is the process for making a song, for instance? Song Exploder gives us the answer. In each 1015 minute podcast a band or musician shares the genesis of one of their songs, then you get to hear the song at the end, listening with a whole new perspective.

QUOTABLES A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle, and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.

- George William Curtis

APRIL 30 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance Pinehurst | PinehurstConcours.com

WHY: Local event with spectacular cars.

APRIL 6-10 North Carolina Azalea Festival Wilmington | NCAzaleaFestival.org

WHY: 69th annual, and it isn’t your grandma’s festival. Live music, food, spring weather, and Snoop Dogg…need we say more?

MAY 29 Coca-Cola 600 Charlotte | CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com

WHY: E  ven if you’re not a fan of NASCAR, it’s worth the experience.

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws. - Barbara Kingsolver

If at first you don’t succeed... so much for skydiving.

- Henny Youngman www.SandandPineMag.com | 9


Quicksand QUICK TIP

For some, the running season may already be in full swing – there have been several Sandhills Race Series events already this year. But for many of us, as we watch the pollen gracefully clear away from our cars while driving to work, wondering where we put our running shoes and the power cord to our GPS may just be starting to creep into our consciousness. Here are a few springtime tips for getting back on the running trail.

Slow.

Just take it slow. Even if you feel great on one of those low humidity, blue sky, bird chirping morning runs, try not to push it.

APRIL 3 ALL AMERICAN MARATHON Fayetteville Marathon, Half-Marathon, 5K | allamericanmarathon.com

Equipment check.

APRIL 16 RUN FOR THE RIBBONS Rockingham 5K, 1K | Active.com

Sneeze. Run. Sneeze. Run.

APRIL 16 RUN THE ROCK Lillington 50K, 25K | RoamUltras.com

Good time to check the tread on your shoes. Maybe even splurge a little and buy that new running outfit – you’ve got to look good for that finish line photo at the next 5K, right?

Especially in early spring, check the pollen count. According to pollen experts, the best time of day to run is early in the morning or late in the evening as pollen typically reaches peak levels from noon to early afternoon. If you’re very susceptible to allergies this time of year, be safe and think about the gym, or remove all the clothes hanging on your treadmill and use it.

DID YOU

KNOW? The creators of Sand & Pine Magazine now own Pinehurst Living Magazine. It’s true! Check it out at:

PinehurstLivingMagazine.com. 10 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

SP

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12 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


THE BLOCKSMITHS

I

STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY by AMANDA JAKL

t’s the final day of the two-day indoor skydiving competition at the vertical wind tunnel in Raeford. The Blocksmiths, an eight-woman team, enter the clear 16-foot wide tube, stepping into the 120-mph stream of wind blowing up from the powerful fans below. Their sleek jumpsuits and helmets give them an other-worldly look that only increases as they float, arms and legs outstretched. Then the dance begins. They maneuver their bodies into Block 19, also known as the Diamond Do-Si-Do, a kind of square dance in midair. The moves are rapid fire, just fifty seconds of swinging arms and legs, grabbing and releasing, spinning and grabbing again. 4

www.SandandPineMag.com | 13


The 19 is a difficult set of moves, explains Leslie Eggenberger, a temporarily sidelined team member. “They should call it the Diamond Disaster,” she says with a grin. But the team pulls it off without too much fuss. The bright flashing light signals the end of their round and the team exits the wind tunnel. A quick check of the scoreboard confirms they are the leaders. The Blocksmiths are literally and figuratively flying high.

The Blocksmiths

Montana Miller

The Blocksmiths’ coach, Kirk Verner

14 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

It’s Not Just Falling Montana Miller had no interest in skydiving. It wasn’t out of fear; rather it was the lack of it. She was one of the first women to dive the cliffs of Acapulco. She had a successful career as an aerialist and acrobat; in fact, she was the first American admitted into France’s elite circus school, Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque. After flying through the air via trapeze, skydiving just seemed like falling out of a plane, re: not that exciting. But then she agreed to an invitation to go skydiving with a friend. She figured she could “help keep him company and keep him calm.” While she may have fulfilled that promise, she also unexpectedly found her new passion. “The moment I left the plane I understood instantly how the force of the wind allows you to actually do all this different stuff and you can really fly,” remembers Miller. “You can change direction, you can go up and down; you can do all these acrobatic things. Once I realized that, I just made an instantaneous change.” Her aerial career, you could say, got its second wind, and soon after Miller was training and learning everything she could about skydiving – a task not for the faint of heart. Skydiving disciplines include canopy, wingsuit, formation, vertical formation, mixed formation, acrobatic, indoor and even accuracy landing, where jumpers have to hit a target that’s two centimeters in diameter. If it involves skydiving, Miller has probably tried it. She poured all her savings into her new sport and within three years of that first sky dive, she became an instructor, a tandem instructor and competed on multipleperson teams. It was after sampling every aspect of the sport that she realized that 8-way formation skydiving was what she wanted to concentrate on. “Eight-way is the discipline, competitively, that I find the most rewarding and the most aesthetically beautiful,” she says. “To me, it has this kind of kaleidoscope look to it that, when it’s done well, is gorgeous. When it’s done badly, it’s a mess.” The choreographed beauty of the 8-way competition, however, is also what makes it one of the most challenging in skydiving. An 8-way team needs high quality flyers, so before facing the challenges in the air, Miller faced the challenge of recruiting the right team. “You can’t have a weak link. You have to have eight people who really work together and are so together in their minds and in their discipline,” Miller explains.


Blocksmiths coach Kirk Verner agrees. “Skydiving is about a connected performance,” he says. “Everybody has got to do well together. In the wind tunnel and in the air, there’s no verbal communication, it’s all nonverbal communication by hand signals or reading each other’s faces, looking at each other’s eyes.” And beyond the instinctual traits and skills necessary for success in any team sport, team members also must be able to afford to do the training. Members, who live all over the country and have a variety of careers, pay for their own airfare to get to the training facility in Raeford. The wind tunnel time is charged by the minute –a quarter of an hour is several hundred dollars – while parachute time is charged by the jump, with prices depending on the cost of jet fuel. Not to mention the price of jumpsuits, helmets, parachutes, weight belts and other equipment. It is passion with a price, but a price many feel is worth spending. A Sisterhood In the mainly co-ed world of skydiving, it’s very unusual to have an all-female team. Miller insists, however, that it wasn’t a political decision. “I’ve never been a super feminist or anything. In fact, in my flying trapeze troupe, I was the only woman. I’ve never actually been on an all-woman’s thing before. I’ve always been a co-ed person.” When Miller originally thought of putting a team together, her first thought was small people, regardless of gender. Often small men and women have to wear weight belts to fly with tall, heavy men; matching fall rate is essential to a successful formation skydiving team and can be altered by suits, weight belts and body positioning. Selecting team members with similar body shapes would help eliminate potential problems. The idea of an all-female team, however, intrigued her. “I wanted to stand out,” she says. And Miller realized she craved a sisterhood – one she couldn’t get in her own family. “I have a couple sisters, but I’m not very close with them – maybe it was that. I wanted that feeling of ‘I have sisters that will stand by me.’” It’s clear that Miller wasn’t the only skydiver looking for some female bonding. Blocksmiths member Jocelyn Lewis felt the void as well. “Being in the military, I work with a lot of males and I never really had the opportunity to have female friends,” she says. “This team is a really great way to share a passion and build friendships with other ladies from all different walks of life and from all over the continental United States. It’s just amazing we all come together because we share this one passion.” Compared to other sports, the team’s training time is incredibly limited. They train with coach Verner about 30 days a year, usually at two-day or three-day camps once a month. The connection between members has to be immediate, almost visceral. “A big part of it is they support each other a lot during training. When one of them is not having the best day or training of their life, nobody gets angry at them, they all look www.SandandPineMag.com | 15


at a way of how we can fix it,” Verner states, and he attributes that to being an all-woman team. He’s coached all-women teams, all-men teams and combination teams, and admits coaching women is often easier than coaching men. “With men, their egos get involved and they don’t take correction very well. [The Blocksmiths] don’t have an ego. They’re there to learn, you tell them what you’re expecting of them and they just do it without prejudice. It’s really a pleasure to coach them.” The team also has some famous local fans rooting for them – the Golden Knights, the elite parachute team of the U.S. Army. “They consider us their protégés,” Miller shares. “The Knights really care about the Blocksmiths success; they love it that we have the motivation and the passion for it, and the discipline. All of them have stepped up to mentor us.” Camaraderie, artistry and a little bit of danger make up the perfect combination for Miller and her teammates. “I have to say, the feeling of the all-female 8-way team, the bonding when it’s working well, there’s nothing like it.” The Blocksmiths will test that bond this October at the U.S. Parachuting Association Skydiving Championships in Eloy, Arizona.

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THE BLOCKSMITHS | WHO’S GOT THE KEY? What’s in a name? A great skydiving pun. In formation skydiving, a block is a sequence of moves the jumpers execute while falling. The key is a signal to go to the next move in the sequence.

INTERESTED IN TAKING A DIVE?

WANT TO FLOAT IN A WIND TUNNEL? Check out Paraclete XP in Raeford, the home base of the Blocksmiths and the Golden Knights. Located at 190 Paraclete Drive, about 20 minutes from Aberdeen, the vertical wind tunnel is the largest in the United States and offers packages for every level of jumper. For more information, check out paracletexp.com.

16 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


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SC

IS RIGHT AT Y OU R

FI

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BY MAST E R GA RDE NE R DA NA S P I CE R

18 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


iScape is a simple app that allows you to be the landscaper. Snap a picture of your yard and then use the app to add such features as trees and flowers, water features, and gravel paths and fences. It's a great app to see how your yard will look before you invest the time and money. Some options are free, but if you want more details you will have to pay. (iPhone & Android)

The Burpee Garden Time Planner will ensure a bountiful harvest in your vegetable and fruit garden. This free app has plant guides to help you pick what to grow with stepby-step instructions. There are “how-to” links and ideas for various types of garden projects. The app also works with your local weather and sends you planting, watering and fertilizing reminders.

The Garden Compass app is a must for plant and pest identification. Users can submit a picture of a plant, a diseased plant, or pest. An expert will identify it and, within 24 hours, tell you what you need to do to care for it. This app also includes features to maintain your garden and a journal to document your growing progress.

GrowIt! lets you garden socially. The app not only helps you garden but also connects you to your friends and neighbors. Users can upload pictures of their growing beauties and leave how-to advice for others to follow. You can rate your neighbor’s photos with a “leave it,” “like it” or “grow it” rating. (Free, iPhone & Android)

(Free, iPhone)

(Free, iPhone & Android)

• Know your yard. What areas receive full sun and which parts are cast in shade? Choose plants according to their light requirements. • When selecting plants, look for resource-efficient plants – ones that require less water, fertilizers and pesticides. • Consider your maintenance style and budget. How much time will you have to put into your landscape? Or how much money are you willing to pay someone else to maintain your yard?

/NCMGMooreCnty www.SandandPineMag.com | 19


P A R T

A

L I F E

T W O of a T W O

P A R T

O F

S E R I E S

M Y

O W N

BY GREG GIRARD

W

hen we left Saif Ataya in the last issue of Sand & Pine, he had finally made it to the Saudi Arabia border. After surviving ceaseless persecution toward his family by Saddam Hussein’s despotic regime; after years of fighting on the front line of the Iran-Iraq War; after experiencing the elation of revolution and the despondency of its cruel conclusion; and after a harrowing, nearly month-long journey across the desert, he could see the American troops. He finally found freedom. Or so he thought…. So you finally reach the border and the Americans… Yes. They treat us very well. Then a week later that’s when the disaster happens. A week later they hand us to the Saudi Army. And we tell them, “No, we came for you. We need your support to go back and fight the Republican Guard. We need your assistance.” It wasn’t our mind to escape. The purpose was to get the Americans to support us. That was the purpose. Never crossed our mind to escape and go somewhere else or be a refugee. No. We need to go back. We were insistent to go back. But, the Americans say, “You’re in Saudi land, we need to give you over.” We don’t want that though. We were screaming, “We don’t want that! We don’t want that!” But we were handed over, and Saudis put us in POW camp. I stayed there, in that camp, for one year and a half. What reason did the Saudis give for keeping you? No reason. We still don’t know. We stay month after month after month. None. And we needed explanation. We had no TV, no radio, no media. We don’t know what’s going on in the world. All we see is desert. How many people are we talking about in this camp? We’re talking about 48,000 people. 20 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

You’ve got to be kidding me? No. We ended up with 48,000 people and the world doesn’t know about us. And you’re all basically Shia? Yes, all Shia. All young guys from the south. All the south. And they designed each camp in a square for 400-500 people. Indeed, camps like Al Artawiya and one near Rafha, Saudi Arabia held thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilian refugees fleeing Iraq during Operation Desert Shield in the early 1990s. During that period, U.S. forces claimed to have captured nearly 70,000 Iraqis and estimates ranged from 30,000 to 50,000 held in Saudi internment camps without any real plan of what to do with them. As in Iraq, Saif again experienced the division between Sunni and Shia. Saudi Arabia is predominantly Sunni, and during the time of his internment human rights activists petitioned any government that would listen about the treatment of the detainees. Between 1991-93, U.S. newspapers, like The New York Times and Baltimore Sun, reported on the internment camp situation and noted the risks prisoners had of violence, “Iraqi secret police infiltrators” and religious persecution. The prisoners endured torture, murder and sometimes repatriation back to Iraq against their will – a certain death sentence for any Iraqi deserter.

What was life like in the camp? I was very active guy. I became one of those that delivered the food – like eggs and rice. They (Saudis) don’t come inside. They never came inside. They’re afraid. So we organize ourselves, like an administration system. We delivered the food. We appointed people to cook. We have newspaper. We used the cardboard from the products, like tomato paste, they come in boxes, and the cardboard we make into a newspaper. And then I sit down


and I write about my specialty, about history, geography. Then you have a different specialty, because a lot of us were educated, and you’d write something and we’d put them on the fence and people come and read the boards. Were the guards friendly to you? Some. We know which guard is good. When the shift of that guard happens, we ask for paint and other things. He said, “Yeah I can bring you small things but don’t ask me for big thing,” because he could get in trouble. Others, they used to curse us, “Shia dog.” Things like that. The worst things. And we have nothing to do with Shia, Sunni conflict. But that’s what they called us. So you worked to organize the prisoners… My responsibility was to deliver food to 25 of the camps every day. Each camp had 400-500 prisoners. By the way, each camp only had one faucet. The water come between 5-6 in the morning and between 4-5 in the afternoon – one hour morning, one hour afternoon. So that one hour, all 500 people need to fill up water. So it was fight every day for this water. Bloody fights. But when I delivered the food, I passed messages to whoever was the leader in that camp. And I was careful who I passed messages to because you don’t know who is who. It went back to the same question Saif had lived with all his life in Iraq: Who can I trust? Saif’s role as a food distributor allowed him to coordinate what became a prisoner movement. They decided to organize a hunger strike, and on a pre-designated day between 100-150 prisoners from each camp joined.

How did the guards react to the hunger strike? They came with their fire engine and threw water on us. They shoot us. People got killed. Some fences knocked down. They killed a lot of them. What I did, I crucified myself. I made cross from the tent wood, and I tell the guys to tie me up and they raised me up. I was one of many people that did this. I never eat or drink for seven days. Seven days by miracle. Again, miracles happen. People don’t believe in miracles. Every day is a miracle. You come home, it’s a miracle. So then from United Nations, officers, three or four, stop at the camp. “How long have you been here?” Over a year, we

say. They ask what is going on. We say, we don’t know, you are the United Nations, you tell us. So after this point, it changed. They give us clothes, each camp gets one TV after this point, couple, three newspapers. We have light in every tent. It was better. Did you ever lose hope? For me, no. People lost hope. People even became atheists, for example. People say there is no such God. It’s all lie. There is no Allah. There is no God. There is no Islam. There is no Christianity. It is all a lie. Because look at us. If there is God, why? But I never lost hope. There is always hope. Something is going to happen. I always feel something is going to happen and good. I remember, one day I see a little scorpion. Small one. And that scorpion…the camp had three bars (fences). One for the main gate. Then another one. And another one. All metal. And at each corner a guard tower. Believe me, I look at that scorpion, and I said what if that was me. I wish I was that scorpion, because the scorpion goes through those bars, I see her, and she goes outside. My wish was to have the freedom of the scorpion. Two weeks later (after the United Nations visit), we stopped the hunger strike. Four or five months later, United States immigrant officers come and visit the camp and they call my name. They call 24-25 names from all the thousands. Just 24-25 guys. Why you, out of all the prisoners? Maybe we are the problem makers, I don’t know. But they call us. It’s not violent movement. It’s a hunger strike. We didn’t hit or beat. We just need freedom. Saif says the U.S. officials interviewed him twice, asking about his life in Iraq, his role with the army and how he escaped. He couldn’t allow himself to become too hopeful. In fact, during the hunger strike the prisoners had cameras smuggled in to document the events. Saif had one of the cameras and he buried it in the sand before going to the interviews. He was concerned they’d take the camera away and he’d have no evidence of the prisoner movement. After his second interview, the U.S. immigration officer gave Saif an envelope. Inside it said he was going to San Francisco. Within days, the men selected were transported first to the airport and then, after several days, to France and then the U.S. AJ www.SandandPineMag.com | 21


That first week in San Francisco, what was it like? What thoughts were going through your head? I was fearful and in shock – culture shock. I was alone. No family, no friend and no one to care about me. I was homesick, depressed, and kept silent for two reasons: I really don’t understand people, English. Second, I have no desire to talk because of the fear of what to expect or reaction of people. I remember when looking at the people how they are busy in their life. I remember looking at the metro station, high rise buildings in financial district, the beach, and felt very miserable remembering Iraq and wish one day this civilization could reach Iraq for all to live and enjoy life. Wow, there are nice people living here, not infidel as the dictator had brainwashed Iraq. I felt I am on this strange land, strange people, strange culture and language! It felt like I was on Wonderland, with mix sense of anxiety, excitement and uncertainty of what the future will bring. I came September 17 to New York, 1992. That’s the date I celebrate every year as my birthday. That’s my freedom birthday. As a political refugee, Saif was under the responsibility of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), part of the United Nations. They placed him in an apartment and began the paperwork for providing him with income. Saif, however, had other plans. He wasn’t looking for a handout. He wanted to build a life. If it couldn’t be a life in Iraq, then he wanted to build one in the U.S. When he received the first check from the IRC, he immediately went to their office.

They said, “You get to have this check as a political refugee and you’re going to have welfare check.” I don’t know what is welfare check, at the time. I have no idea.“Why are you complaining,” they ask. I said, “I came here not a beggar. That’s my honor. You give me government assistance. Shame on you. Take your check.” And she called the director. She says, “Look at this guy, look what he’s doing. Is there something wrong with him?” He laughs. People begging to get this kind of treatment and they were in shock. The director said he’d never had someone like that. Week later, after I refused to take the check, they find me a job. Security guard. Armed security guard because I know how to use the weapon. How’s your English at that point? That’s first two weeks, so nothing. But I was speaking so 22 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

I could make you understand. And when you talk I can understand 50 percent. So it was good. I was not afraid to throw a word. I just say it. Two weeks later, I go to the company, take the security guard test – test in English too – so I look at him, like what am I to do? So he says, “OK, 1. is A, 2. is B, 3. is C, OK. You pass the test.” They didn’t know what to do with me, so they wanted me to pass. So I started making every two weeks like $460 something. I was happy with that. What about a support system? Iraqi community? Other connections that you found? No. At the time, no. You ask why? Because at the time of Saddam, there were no passports. Only his people, Ba’athists, would get passports. So if you see Iraqi outside before that time, they are connected to Saddam. There was a prosperous Iraqi in California who tried to make contact with me. I refused contact with them. Because I don’t know them. Still can’t trust anyone? That’s the fear we have. And people asked me in San Francisco, “What’s your name?” I kept changing my name, 2,000 times, because I don’t want them to know who I am, where I came from. You’re scared. My family was still [in Iraq]. That’s the fear I have. And you have no idea how your family is? No. Two, three months later I decide to call my family, after I got the job. I call my neighbor, in case they tap the line. My neighbor, I tell them a name they could recognize as me. And my family, they left the phone for like 15 minutes, all I hear is crying. They said, “We thought you dead.” After two years of not hearing about me. Two years. From there, they know I’m alive. How was it for them in Iraq? I ask how is my mom and they tell me she is dead. And what happened to my mom? The Republican Guard, they use our home as a military unit base – a resting area for them because I was one of those in the rebellion. And my mom, she was screaming at them. One of them pushed her. She fell down and she never got up. Heart attack. And she stayed three days outside in the street. They didn’t allow anyone to carry her away. Three days. She was rotten. Dogs, they come and have bite of her at night. That’s what they told me. And then three of my sisters were under interrogation, they pass away. Three of them. My mom, my oldest brother. So sometimes I punish myself. I say, is it my fault? I’m the cause of this. Or sometime you feel like you’re very proud. I


said no to big dictator. You stand for your rights. So that’s a kind of conflict. It’s within me. Now. Today. Tomorrow. Next month. The question comes always. Is that worth it? What do you think the answer is? I have no answer. I have no answer. After several months as a security guard, Saif grew restless again and found a second job at a grocery store. Then he noticed a rundown storefront in a neglected area of downtown San Francisco. Still learning English and wary of others, Saif approached the manager of the hotel that the storefront was connected to asking about its availability. Soon he was speaking with the hotel owner and had negotiated a deal to rent the place out as a coffee shop. Saif remodeled the store, ordered a cappuccino maker and six months later he opened the shop.

My first day in that coffee shop I made $80. I was so happy. With expenses it was nothing, but I was happy with it. Three months later, I was selling $450-$500 a day. Then another three months, somebody came and said “Do you want to sell your coffee shop?” I said, yeah sure. I sold it for $65,000. And I look at the check. It’s like you’re talking 65 million, to me. I said, oh my God, what am I going to do with this $65,000? I said, why I don’t do this business now. If I did it once, I can do it again. I started buying coffee shop, grocery store, run down, losing business, not good management, fix it up and resell it. So how many times did you do that? I did like 8-10 times. I became real estate agent too. Selling commercial real estate. I came in 1992, two years later, I bought my own apartment in San Francisco. Two years after that, I bought my first house. Single-family house. This is the American dream. And you met your wife around that time? I met my beautiful, supportive, amazing wife Angelica in 1994 and we stay together since. You found a home, you found a life, you’re living the American Dream and then 2003 comes… Somehow, I got a call before Operation Iraqi Freedom. Congress was against Saddam. I got phone call to travel to D.C. for a job. And I went there and I became a linguist, political and military advisor. I don’t know I’m going to go back to Iraq. Then they said, “Would you like to go back to Iraq?” I say, sure I would like to. I would love to. I would do it voluntarily. That’s how I ended up in 2003. I joined the Special Forces at the time, too. You worked for a decade to build a life in San Francisco, wasn’t it hard to suddenly leave it all for the job in D.C.?

It was a big moment for me. It was my unknown future again, leaving behind my life that I build. My dream house in the city, my comfort, my job, friends and above all my wife and two baby daughters. The oldest, Zena, was 6 and Lena was 3. I left my heart. But I did not let my emotions hold me down when the country need my service. This was the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The invasion lasted from March to May 2003. Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003 and executed three years later. Saif was part of Special Operations and then later tasked with helping rebuild the country as a democracy.

And so you return to Iraq… The first time I enter the border, I went down and kissed the desert. And they (fellow soldiers) look at me like what are you doing? I said that’s the love of the land. I became an American citizen in 1998. They asked me questions, say, “What is your loyalty here, Iraq or United States?” I say, “Look, Iraq is my father, United States is my mother. I love them both. I love them both.” So I want the father and the mother together. That’s how I feel for that. I have two girls born in the United States. I marry in the United States. My life is United States. But that’s still my father, Iraq. So that’s how I feel. Saif worked for more than a year with Ambassador Paul Bremer, leader of the occupational authority after the fall of Hussein and his Ba’athist party. Saif was also with the Iraqi Redevelopment Committee and Coalition Provisional Authority. He was one of 120 Iraqi men, called the “technocrats,” that helped run the country before the interim government was elected. He stayed in Iraq for two years.

Did you ever sit back and say how did I get to this point? You’re with Bremer and you’re back in your home country and you’re part of running it? I still can’t believe. How I ended up there? How has that happened? Again, miracle of God. Yes, I work for it, but how am I one of the people who – proudly, Greg, proudly – one of the first people creating the new army of Iraq, the new police of Iraq. I can’t believe it. One of the front runners in making things right. You could be corrupted easy. I don’t have to say that. There was a lot of money and a lot of gold in the beginning. Temptation. Devil temptation. And in my mind, I say if I do this, what makes me different than Saddam and his people? That’s the question. That’s why I stay away from this temptation. It’s human to be tempted, right? Exactly. Yes. It’s happened. You’re not angel, but then the question is what makes me different from them. Why do www.SandandPineMag.com | 23


I have all this history to fight for freedom. To fight for democracy. To fight for the people. And when I have the opportunity, I’m going to be the same? That’s what prevent me. What was it like seeing your family again when you returned? Very emotional. After 12 years, returning home to see my father, brothers and sisters. The memories – it was indescribable feeling. I don’t think I can explain. My home town was the same and worse when I entered. It was sad. No electricity, no water, no services because of the war. Yet I was face to face with hundreds of new faces that I did not recognize – my cousins, nieces and nephews born after I left. I cried for hours. The house was full with family, relatives and neighbors. They slaughter a sheep for my return. I did not sleep for three nights… just talking, eating and catching up with sad and happy stories. Did you ever think of staying once you had returned? No, never thought about it. Living in the greatest country changes you forever. I felt and believe I am proud American. Things would never be the same again. So what are you most proud of from your work there that you can speak about? What did you come away with? The removal of Saddam Hussein is very important. Bringing a new baby, democracy, to the nation. I’m very proud. Because now every Iraqi, whatever you want to hear from CNN folks, news, whatever. Not all the reports are true. Every Iraqi, every single Iraqi; Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, Christian, you can meet with them and they speak freely. We didn’t have that. That’s achievement. Corruption? Yes, exists. But democracy isn’t free. How long it take this country to get to the point we see now? Can democracy work in that region? Is it possible? Absolutely. Yes. Iraq is now democratic country. There is free press. There is freedom of speech. There is constitution. But I call it still baby. You cannot expect that much in 10 years. You can’t. People say, look at Iraq. Disaster. They have ISIS, and this and that. It need time. We have Civil War in the United States too. We have bloody Civil War in United States. It’s the same. France, there was revolution too. So every democratic country, they have blood in their history. It’s not easy. Now, in Iraq, it’s a baby. Still growing. I’m not defending the Iraqi 24 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

government. Don’t take me wrong. There is corruption. But need time. The seeds are still being sown... That’s right. When new generation born, they see free press. I can speak. Those 10 years, that is the hope. I’m telling you. Kurdish from the north can talk about the central government freely. During Saddam, they hang him. Someone in the south can talk about the prime minister. Before, they used to be killed. That’s achievement. That’s the way I look at it. What have we achieved? Democracy is growing. The harvest is not yet. You have to wait. You plant the seeds, then you’ve got to wait for it, right? That’s exactly democracy. I know people anxious, but hold on. Calm down. Need time. Saif settled in Pinehurst in 2007. He received his master’s degree in education and his PhD in educational leadership, a dream and an achievement he was kept from attaining as a young man in Iraq. He now works as a foreign language professor at Fort Bragg and has written two books, Islam: Peace & Terrorism, Brief History, Principles, and Beliefs (2015), and a forthcoming book on ISIS. Saif has found a life of his own. But don’t mistake that for the last chapter…

Why did you run for mayor of Pinehurst last year? Because I appreciate the community. I want to do something again. People misunderstood that point. I had a lot of people tell me, ah, you’re not going to win. When I hear I can volunteer, I want to volunteer as a leader. Make things different. Offer a different view, why not? Political experience, military experience, civilian experience, educational experience. All I have, and I want to give. I have them, why not use them, you know? I want to see Pinehurst better. I want to see more of the young have their chance in Pinehurst. At the same time, we don’t forget our senior citizens and the resources for them too. You need to balance that. That’s how I ended up running. I thought, let me try it. What is going to happen? And I achieved a great experience. I met the mayor. I met who’s running. I have great relationships with them. I have honor to debate with them. Me, I’m sitting here, I was one of the first people to organize the first election in Iraq. I was one of the first guys to rebuild the military, the police, proudly. And I’m proud of that history. How I ended up to be there? God has message for me.

SP


At the

Table

eggs It’s been described as ‘edible’ and ‘incredible,’ and well, we can’t argue with those descriptors. The egg is one of the most versatile ingredients in cooking. From sweet to savory, breakfast to dinner, eggs can do it all. Once demonized because of their cholesterol levels, studies have debunked that myth. Eggs are high in protein, choline, iron and B vitamins. It is an ingredient or meal worthy of any table.

26 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


Shell Shock The cholesterol issue is almost a non-issue for the average person. For those who have to follow a low-cholesterol diet, choose eggs from vegetarian-fed chickens, as they are significantly lower in the arteryclogging stuff.

All Your Eggs in One Basket Brown versus white? Is one better than the other? Nope. Overall, white eggs come from white feathered chickens with white earlobes while brown eggs come from red/brown feathered chickens with red earlobes. There are some breeds that lay blue eggs, but for 99 percent of eggs available in stores, the earlobe rule applies.

Great Eggs-pectations Fresh eggs can be stored in the refrigerator (at 35-40 degrees) for up to five weeks. But keep them away from pungent food. Hard-boiled eggs in the shell will last for a week, or the same day if you’ve peeled them.

Prepared

Eggs-actly the way

You Want!

Hard boiled

Boiled in shell, cooked whites, cooked yolk Soft boiled

Boiled in shell, cooked white, runny yolk Scrambled

Fried, whites and yolks broken and mixed, both cooked Poached

Boiled, cooked whites, runny yolk

Don’t Get Scrambled Egg cartons at the grocery store come with a variety of labels that can be confusing to the average person. Free range, cage free, organic? Which labels are legitimate and which ones are just fancy marketing? Like it or not, most are marketing terms, so the best place to buy eggs is from your local farmer. Free range This term is unregulated and simply requires the hens have access to the outdoors. There are no requirements on the quality of the “outdoors” or the time spent outdoors, so five minutes could could be all they get. Cage free Another unregulated term meaning that hens are not kept in cages. They might still be kept in cramped conditions and may not have access to the outdoors. Organic An official term meaning the hens are fed organic, vegetarian feed, are only given antibiotics during an outbreak of disease and are allowed to molt naturally. The hens must also be cage-free and allowed access to the outdoors. Farms that are certified organic go through a rigorous process and are checked regularly to make sure standards are maintained.

Sunny side up

Fried, whites firm but not completely cooked and edges brown, do NOT flip, runny yolk Over easy

Fried, just like sunny side up, but flipped once, runny yolk Over medium

Fried, like over easy, but firmer whites and half cooked yolk Over hard

Fried, flipped 2-3 times, cooked whites, cooked yolk Baked or shirred

Baked, cooked white, cooked yolk. Shirred means baked but sounds fancier. www.SandandPineMag.com | 27


At the

Table

RECIPE Free-range Deviled Eggs with Chives by Amanda Curtis Farr Heirloom Eggs and Farr Afield Farm in Aberdeen My favorite thing for Easter is deviled eggs. Fresh eggs can be hard to peel so I add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the cooking water which is essential to being able to peel them without damage. I also boil my eggs as follows: place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water so that there’s one and a half inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for one minute.

Diner Lingo Adam and Eve on a raft Two poached eggs on toast

Cackle fruit/Cackleberries/Hen Fruit Eggs

Pope Benedict, meet Mike and Ike Eggs Benedict doused with salt and pepper

Family Reunion Chicken and Egg Sandwich

Fry two, let the sun shine 2 fried eggs with unbroken yolks

6 fresh boiled eggs 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons good mustard Smoked paprika 1 teaspoon fresh chives Salt and pepper to taste Peel and slice eggs in half, remove yolks and mash in bowl with mayo, mustard, chives, salt and pepper. Fill whites with mixture and top with smoked paprika.

About Heirloom Eggs:

We raise heritage breed chickens and keep more than 13 different breeds. Our hens are fed a high quality natural diet and are free range, meaning they roam all day and are allowed to act like happy healthy birds. The access to dirt, bugs and sunlight make our eggs healthy, delicious and sustainable. Our girls, as we call them, live in chicken heaven. We are based in Aberdeen at Farr Afield Farm. We sell our eggs in the same week they are produced, and they are available year round at Southern Whey and in the summer at Nature’s Own.

Feeling Peckish? Check out our Pinterest board with a slew of egg recipes to try:

pinterest.com/sandandpinemag

“You CAN make an omelet without breaking eggs. It’s just a really bad omelet.” - Stephen Colbert 28 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


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www.SandandPineMag.com | 29


A REAL

TR AP

SHOOT STORY BY ROBERT NASON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMANDA JAKL

“Pull!”

he calls, in a calm, even voice, triggering a mechanism 16 yards away that instantly propels an orange disc into the air. Just before yelling that single command, he goes through his simple routine: a deep breath, tuck the butt plate snug against the shoulder, cheek comfortably on the comb of the stock, point of the barrel just above the trap house, left foot slightly forward, knees slightly bent, leaning into the shot. Another deep breath. Ready. “Pull!” The clay target or “bird” streaks out of the trap house at more than 40 mph. He spots it instantly flying to his left. His upper body swivels gracefully as his eyes and the shotgun barrel track toward the speeding target, and as they converge he squeezes the trigger and see’s the orange target shatter. Twenty-four in a row. One more for a perfect round. One more, he thinks. One more. OK … deep breath, tuck the butt plate snug….

30 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


Trap shooting is the oldest shotgun sport in the United States, dating back to the early 19th century when a sports club in Cincinnati started keeping official records. Initially, glass balls containing feathers were used as targets (Annie Oakley hit 4,722 balls out of 5,000 in one exhibition), until 1880 when George Legowsky created the clay target. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, there are more than 500,000 target shooters in North Carolina (this number includes all forms of target sports: shotgun, rifle and handgun) and around 20 million across the United States. The Sandhills, particularly Pinehurst, has a rich tradition in target sports dating back to the founding of the village in 1895. Developed as a winter resort, Pinehurst established a gun club for visitors and eventually, in 1915, hired the famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler, to perform exhibitions and instruct the resort guests. Pinehurst Resort continues to offer trap shooting excursions for its guests to nearby ranges in Ellerbe and Laurel Hill. And the village still celebrates the artistry of sharpshooting with the Annie Oakley Festival in October each year (Oct. 8 this year).

Trap shooting is a relatively simple game to learn but a difficult one to master. Each round consists of five shots at five different positions on the course, for a total of 25 shots per round. To score a point, the shooter must hit some portion of the clay target. So while shattering a target is much more satisfactory for the shooter, even if the shooter hits just a small piece of the target, it counts as a point. If you were to challenge any good golfer to hit the fairway with a 3-wood off the tee box, they probably would. Then ask them to hit the fairway 100 times in a row. Not so easy. This is the world of trap shooting. It’s about sound fundamentals and repeating a process over and over without the smallest break in concentration or technique. Up for the challenge? For more information on trap shooting, check out the Amateur Trapshooting Association at shootata.com. For information on youth programs, go to aim4ata.com. 4

www.SandandPineMag.com | 31


“I like watching the clays break. You’re always competing against yourself and trying to do better. You don’t always break them all.

If I broke them all, I’d probably quit.” - Marty Hill, president, Fort Bragg Trapshooters Association (with Radar)

Shotgun sports Trap: A mechanism called the “trap” throws the clay

targets from the trap house located in front of the shooters. The trap throws the targets in random directions and angles, up to 45 degrees, away from the shooter. Skeet: Skeet requires two trap houses – the “high house”

on the left side of the field and a “low house” on the right. Skeet traps throw the targets at fixed angles, the high house targets start at a point around 10 feet above the ground and moving to the shooter’s right, and the low-house targets move in the opposite direction, starting around three feet from the ground. Sporting Clay: Designed to simulate field shooting,

sporting clays challenge shooters with a variety of targets that mimic the flight path of game birds. Courses are laid out in natural settings, much like a golf course, with shooters moving to different stations along the course. Tr ap shooting disciplines Single: Groups of up to five shooters participate. They

stand 16 yards away from the center of the trap house to shoot. Each shooter takes five shots at each of the five positions on the course. Doubles: Shooters must break two targets fired from the

trap house simultaneously, with the two targets flying in opposite directions. The target path in doubles remains constant, and each target is scored individually, not as a pair. Two barrel shotguns are used for this discipline.

Handicap: The handicap discipline was created to make

competition more equal, much like golf handicaps. In handicap trapshooting, the more skilled shooters stand farther away from the trap house. Handicaps are based on the shooter’s past performances, with the most skilled shooters placed at the farthest point, the 27-yard line of the course.

32 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


Auto Insurance Made In North Carolina Etiquette • Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re not sure of the etiquette when first starting out, ask a regular at the range. Even though most everyone has a gun in their hands, they can be surprisingly helpful. • Silence (accept for the loud shotgun blasts). The voice-activated traps can be sensitive, so any voice sound will potentially throw a target. It’s also polite not to speak while another shooter is concentrating. • At the ready. Trap shooting is very much a rhythm sport. There’s no need to rush, but be ready when it’s your turn to shoot. • Be prepared. Before you walk onto the course for a round, be sure you have a full box of shells (with a few spares), along with your safety glasses and ear protection. Don’t make your fellow shooters wait as you run back for something.

Insurance isn’t meant to be mass produced, packed up, and shipped out across state lines. With North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance*®, you get bonafide, grade-A, homegrown auto coverage with great discounts from local agents you can trust. Auto insurance is not just a product; it’s a service. And the only way to get the best service is to get it locally. Because helping you is what we do best.

Expense Trap shooting can be an expensive sport. Along with the cost of a trap gun ($900 and up), ammunition can also put a dent in your wallet. Shooters use 25 shells for each round and will typically shoot several rounds for each visit to the range (more during competition). A box of 25 tournament grade ammo costs around $7.

910-947-2295

Try it out Eight years old and older are allowed at the Clay Target Center in Spring Lake. The center is open to the public and guns rentals are available, so you can give the sport a try before making an investment.

www.ncfbins.com

Jason C. Burgin

LUTCF Agency Manager jason.burgin@ncfbins.com

Real service. Real people.

Where to shoot

Fort Bragg Clay Target Center SPRING LAKE fortbraggmwr.com

DeWitt’s Outdoor Sports ELLERBE dewittsoutdoorsports.com

King Fisher Society LAUREL HILL kingfishersociety.com

SP

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www.SandandPineMag.com | 33


Music

Clyde provides the bass BY ANTHONY PARKS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLIE PEEK

N

aturally my son wanted to learn to play the upright bass a few years ago. My home is filled with numerous guitars, keys, drums, a mandolin, violin and even Native American flutes. So it makes perfect sense that instead of the two-pound ukulele that has been laying around the house for years, my son’s orchestra class sparked his interest in one of the largest, most expensive instruments you can find. The bass is big, heavy and fragile. It can’t be moved with just any ol’ car and can cost nearly as much as one. So, after a few years of sticking with the bass at school, it was time to get him one to practice on at home. Still believing in my small town Net more than the Internet, I made just one call before I found what I needed. I called Mr. Clyde Maness. Mr. Maness helped me find what I needed and then encouraged me to bring my son up to his place for some lessons, something I hope to take him up on very soon. Talking with Clyde made me realize that it was time for me to get up and see Mr. Maness myself. After all, his shop is only 20 minutes away, even if once you’re there you feel you’ve stepped back in time. So we went up to the other side of Carthage to the Maness Pottery Barn, where every Tuesday night since 1974 Clyde has been a sort of musical magnet, pulling in Bluegrass musicians from all over the region. What started as a few friends getting together at his home has turned into a weekly event hosting 200 or more music lovers, friends and soon to 34 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

be friends. Each Tuesday night is filled with great food, wonderful harmony and playing and a sense that the laws of time are left outside as soon as you enter. The stage was already full of pickers, and the potluck spread had already survived the first wave when we arrived. There is a main hall full of tables where people eat, talk and warm up for their turn on stage. Off to the side, in a work room with a kiln and half way finished pots there’s another group standing in a circle playing a slow, mournful tune. We went into the show room and joined 100 or so more people. I was glad to see that most of the players were older but the bass player looked to be in high school. The walls are lined with old photos, dusty bottles, pottery and old instruments. If it weren’t for some modern LED rope lights around the stage, you’d swear you had found this place with Dr. Who. And that’s why, to me, this place deserves to be shared. Maness Pottery Barn is special and it has been for more than 40 years. Bluegrass and old time music are both deeply rooted in North Carolina, and what Clyde has done with his venue is provide a sanctuary for the music and ideals of another time. I noticed that not a single cell phone was out, other than mine, the entire night. People were there to do what people did long before Twitter and cable… spend time together. They come to enjoy the music, which is free of charge, by the


The Mix Catfish John Alison Krauss High on a Mountain Del McCoury Cold on the Shoulder Tony Rice Foggy Mountain Top Bill Monroe and Doc Watson Man of Constant Sorrow Dan Tyminski Same Old River Sam Bush Old Home Place J.D Crowe and New South Texas Barbecue Bela Fleck Sweet Sonny South The Bluegrass Album Band Bluegrass Stomp Peter Rowan Lonesome River Ralph Stanley Tuesdays Letter Greensky Bluegrass Crosseyed Cricket Tony Trischka

way. They come to share their talents, ideas and news. They come to dance to songs that have been sung a million times but never get old. They come because Mr. Clyde Maness has created this place for them, for us, to be welcome. Clyde encouraged my son and anyone who wants to enjoy or learn to play bluegrass to come on out to his little shop on 24/27. I would do the same. “We’ll teach him to play,” he said, “and he won’t need to bring a bass. We have plenty.” So leave your phone at home – you won’t even need your GPS. Bring a donation for the pot luck supper, and get a sample of local history, great music and lasting community.

SP

www.SandandPineMag.com | 35


Arm Yourself for Summer by Bridget Anthony

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ank top season is fast approaching, which means

it’s a priority to get those nice toned arms in time for the warm weather. The arms are made of three main muscles: biceps, triceps (back of the arm) and deltoids (shoulders). When trying to sculpt your arms, you want to address each one of these muscles. Pushups, specifically close-grip pushups, are a great way to hit your triceps and deltoids while still getting some core benefit. Make sure you maintain that straight line from your head to your heels or your knees, if you prefer to kneel. If you do kneel, keep that booty down and suck your belly in. You can also modify this movement by using an elevated surface like a counter top or a staircase. Keep in mind, these are pushups for arms, so keep those hands in line with your shoulders or closer and elbows tight to the body throughout the movement. As for the biceps, they are a “pulling” muscle, so you can use the old standard, bicep curls, or wrap an exercise band around something and use it to perform a bicep curl or a modified row. With your bicep curls, same as with your close grip pushups, keep your elbows close to your sides. Jump on the Internet and look up bicep curls or close grip row for more tips on form. It never hurts to get a visual. Perform around 10-25 repetitions and three or four sets, depending on your ability level and fatigue. Just make sure you get those muscles good and tired, and enjoy what’s left of spring!

Twinkle Toes April is Foot Health Month and with sandal season just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to give your feet the attention they deserve. Check out these tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association to keep you on your toes all summer long. Moisture. Feet have sweat glands, not oil glands, so they need to be moisturized daily. Stretch often. Avoid foot cramps by raising, pointing and curling your toes for five seconds, repeating a dozen times. Give ‘em a good rub. Rubbing your feet can release tension and boost circulation, not to mention feel heavenly. Raise your legs. Too much or too little activity can make your feet swell. Elevating your legs above your heart can help reduce swelling. Wear smart shoes. We know those flip flops are comfy, but if you’re going to be on your feet all day, choose shoes with good arch support and a padded sole. 36 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

To Your

Health! Bridget owns The Fitness Studio in Southern Pines. She has spent more than 15 years in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and nutrition coach.

To Toss or Not To Toss Have an unopened bottle of ibuprofen past its expiration date that you hesitate to toss? If it’s only been a couple months, you probably won’t have to. Most over-the-counter drugs in tablet form are shelf stable long after they expire, including ibuprofen. What’s definitely not shelf stable? Drugs that are in liquid form (so toss that Pepto) and any prescription medications, like antibiotics or insulin. Want to make sure? Check out drugs.com to check the safety of your expired meds.

SP

?


Puzzles

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Difficult

Place numbers into the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains each of the digits 1 to 9. No guessing is needed.

Easy

Across 1. Grime 5. Obtained 8. Small drink of liquor 12. A person that uses 13. Not 14. Jaguarundi 15. Baseball team 16. Metal-bearing mineral 17. Device for securing 18. Respect 20. Supple 21. Resembling tweed 24. Slender boat 27. Regret 28. Not good 31. On the top 32. Label 33. Den

34. Encountered 35. Greek goddess of the dawn 36. Fatigued 37. Uncovered 39. Pertaining to oats 43. Border 47. Ancient Greek coin 48. Pledge 50. 12th month of the Jewish calendar 52. Statute 53. Vex 54. Withered 55. Vessel or duct 56. An auction Down 1. Sand hill 2. Egyptian goddess of fertility 3. Hire

4. Uppermost part of a tree 5. Aphorism 6. Lever for rowing 7. Golfers mound 8. Delicatessen 9. Peasant 10. Shrewd 11. Bring into existence 19. Female sheep 20. Alkali 22. Efface 23. Invest with nickname 24. Eccentric shaft 25. Consumed 26. Nae 28. Bleat of a sheep 29. Atmosphere 30. Not wet 32. Summit 33. Account books

35. Long period of time 36. Marry 38. Efts 39. Exclamation of mild dismay 40. Showing unusual talent 41. Travel from place to place 42. Otherwise 44. Hip bones 45. Without value 46. Exultation 48. 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet 49. Wood sorrel

Wascally Wabbit!

puzzle answers found on sandandpinemag.com

Across 1. The telling of lies 3. Tenacious 5. Traveling by bicycle 6. Upright

7. Engraver 8. Land measure 9. More mature 10. Severe experience 11. Garment worn by dancers

12. Eats to a plan 13. Cease 14. Cut in pieces 15. Heat excessively 16. Speaks publicly 17. Hearing distance

Down 2. Pursue 4. Trap

Ladderword puzzles are like crosswords but with a twist. The words in the middle column are anagrams of the words of the first column. The words in the last column are anagrams of the middle column plus one additional letter. The anchor words, the down clues, are related by a common theme.

www.SandandPineMag.com | 37


Last Word Lessons Learned by Karin Kent

R

aising funds to build schools sounds easy. Of course we need new schools. Bigger, safer, more advanced schools. Education is so important, and our kids are our number one priority. We vote with our wallets and emotions, but our attention spans are limited. If you’ve got a point to make, it had better be made fast and clear, without too much nuance. There is certainly no room for shades of grey. The March 15 primary ballot in Moore County contained a “local use and sales tax” referendum in the amount of 0.25 percent that citizens could vote for or against. The final vote was 12,766 against to 12,390 for. It failed by 376 votes. Does this mean Moore citizens are against education, new schools and our kids? Of course it doesn’t. But it does mean we all need more education. The referendum was written as per NC statute G.S. 105-537(c), which dictates the precise wording of the ballot question to say, “[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST Local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter percent (0.25%) in addition to all other State and local sales and use taxes.” The wording cannot be altered or amended by the local Board of Elections (BOE), the County Commissioners or the Board of Education (BOEd) to clarify what it will be used for. Efforts to make the voting public aware of this wording included sample ballots on the BOE website, in local newspapers and on various websites and Facebook pages. Even with all these efforts, enough people still came away from the polling station confused and wary of the proposal. And as someone on the front line of this initiative, I can understand the confusion. As a county tax, these funds would be collected in Moore on sales purchases (NOT including gasoline, prescription medications or grocery staples) made by tourists and residents, and the money would stay in Moore. No siphoning off by state officials – unlike state lottery funds. Further, the sitting county commissioners passed a resolution in November last year that allots 100 percent of the new funds to be used for school

construction and the corresponding debt service. Conservative estimates of this tax meant $2.2 million annually would be added to the Moore County School construction coffers. It’s important to note the Moore County Schools and the BOEd have no funding or taxation authority, but together they have developed a detailed Master Facilities Plan of the top 10 building priorities for schools and worked diligently to refine and efficiently plan for the best use of the schools. The county commissioners concurred with the plans but insisted on transparency and detailed oversight of the projects as they progress. As part of the Master Facilities Plan, the Advanced Career Center will provide free college credits and paths to jobready certificates for all interested Moore County high school students by graduation. The three new elementary schools in Vass/Sandhills Farm Life, Aberdeen and Southern Pines will relieve ridiculous overcrowding and intolerably aged facilities, bringing safety and modernity to the most needed locations. After these first priorities are achieved, the funds will go to support renovations and capacity issues at Pinecrest, Union Pines and North Moore High schools. And just to reiterate, the funding comes from both tourists and citizens. Everyday necessities are not taxed. Funds will not disappear to Raleigh or be repurposed within the county. And our County Commissioners will insure efficient spending. Now we need to spread the word. The fight is not over. We are hopeful the proposal will be back on the ballot in November. Our responsibility to improve our children’s education extends beyond simply agreeing. We, as parents and voters, need to be educated, and then we need to educate our friends, coworkers and neighbors. We need to reach out to communities who may not read this column. We cannot assume someone else is taking care of it. We cannot assume everyone sees this coming. We must make this happen. We must see this pass. For more information and to help support this initiative, please visit parentsformoore.org and investinmoorekids.org.

SP Karin Kent is a retired pediatrician and parent of two children in Moore County Schools. She is the administrator of Parents for Moore, a non-partisan, web-based group focused on advocating for increased funding and fiscal responsibility for Moore County Schools and public education in North Carolina. She can be reached at kkinpinehurst@gmail.com.

38 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016


WAT C H M Y WA G Š

Make your yard

Tip #27

mosquito

free!

Stop training and start partnering with your dog. You both have to learn new skills to become the most effective team.

Stay. Play.

Train. Groom. BEHAVIOR CENTER & KENNEL

Play and training programs supervised by Vrnda Bailey - Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

259 Commerce Avenue, Southern Pines

910-725-1888

Call 910.944.2474

www.WatchMyWag.com I N T E R N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F A N I M A L B E H AV I O R C O N S U LTA N T S

A B E X TCO,

I N C .

D B A

A B E R D E E N

E X T E R M I N AT I N G

Be Part of the Solution The Companion Animal Clinic Foundation makes affordable spay and neuter available for individuals without a private veterinarian and animal welfare groups at the Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic thanks to your support.

More than 50,000 surgeries since 2008. Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic 5071 US Hwy. #1, Vass, NC (910) 692-3499 (FIXX) Donate at www.companionanimalclinic.org

Companion Animal Clinic Foundation PO Box 148, Southern Pines, NC 28388 www.companionanimalclinic.org • info@companionanimalclinic.org 1-855-439-3498 (FIXT) 501c3#20-2886984

Lynette Williams

910.690.3113

www.SandandPineMag.com | 39


SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016 Don’t miss the event of the year in the Sandhills Purchase tickets online NOW before they sell out!

ADMISSION INCLUDES A CONCERT BY MOTOWN LEGENDS...THE COMMODORES

Cars, Courage and Concert...The Pinehurst Way 40 | SAND& PINE MAGAZINE April/May 2016

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