Page 1

Spotting Exceptional Customer Service Heather Hair Page 8

Meditation Moment

Embrace the Excitement Page 9

Linda Lemery

Photo Finish Page 14

Reading Holiday Tales See Page 5

Page  2 December 2019

Happy Holidays and


This holiday season reminds us that we are fortunate to be a part of this great community. We wish you and your loved ones a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

Photo by Michelle Dalton Photography

Editor’s Note

If you want to know excitement, just work with kids and dogs! We did both this month and loved every minute. Look at the smiling children in the pictures on page 5 and on the cover. Excitement happens every day for them because they live in the moment and see the wonder that is always around them. You can too. Read the Calendar on page 10 and know where to hear the music, taste the food, enjoy the fellowship, and sip the wine. Don’t leave behind your fourlegged friends. Show them “Photo Finish” on page 14 and then take them on the next Trails and Tails walk. You won’t have to ask twice. Even a quiet activity like gardening has its exciting moments if you know where to look. Read page 11. It’s healthy to “Embrace the Excitement” and Casey Molloy Davis will tell you how on page 9. For the quiet moments at the end of the day, snuggle with a book like The Overstory reviewed on page 13 or read Telisha Moore Leigg’s fictional short story on page 7. Marvel at the patience of Carla Minosh whose house has been under renovation for nineteen years (page 6). Let this Voice of Excitement be your guide to an exhilarating month and the countdown to 2020. Sincerely, Credits: Amber Wilson: hair; Catherine Saunders: skin care and makeup; Genesis Day Spa & Salon, 695 Park Avenue, Danville. Janelle Gammon: nails; Salon One 11, 111 Sandy Court, Danville. Clothes: Rippe’s 100 Years of Fashion, 559 Main St.

December Contents

3 Editor’s Note

5 Reflecting Forward Showing Gratitude for the Privilege of Living by Linda Lemery 6 Renovation Reality by Carla Minosh 7 Slotback Fiction by Telisha Moore Leigg 8 Spotting Exceptional Customer Service by Kristen Houser Barker

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CEO / Publisher Andrew Scott Brooks Editor Joyce Wilburn (434.799.3160) Associate Editors Jeanette Taylor • Larry Wilburn Contributing Writers

Diane Adkins, Kristen Houser Barker, Ellen Bass, Hosanna Blanchard, Sue Brooks, Courtney Dodson, Casey Molloy Davis, Lewis Dumont, Mary Franklin, Mark Gourley, Karen Harris, Judith Hodnett, Barbara Hopkins, Telisha Moore Leigg, Linda Lemery, Josh Lucia, C.B. Maddox, Kevin Matheson, Carla Minosh, Bernadette Moore, Dave Slayton, Elizabeth Whittaker, Joyce Wilburn, Isla Wiles, Annelle Williams

9 Meditation Moment / Embrace the Excitement by Casey Molloy Davis

Art & Production Director Demont Design (Kim Demont)

10 Calendar

Finance Manager Cindy Yeatts (1.434.709.7349)

11 Where Is the Excitement for Gardeners in Winter? by Isla Wiles 12 The Wine Spot / Prepare to Taste the Excitement! by Dave Slayton 13 Book Clubbing / The Overstory by Richard Powers / review by Diane Adkins

Around the Table / The Turducken of Desserts by Annelle Williams

14 Photo Finish

Marketing Consultants For ad information contact a marketing consultant listed below.

Lee Vogler Director of Sales and Marketing (434.548.5335) lee@evince Sam Jackson Marketing Consultant

On the Cover:

Linda Lemery shares her love of books with Sage Abercrombie, Louise Powell, Luke Nicholas and Ellie Nicholas in preparation for a Christmas Reading on December 17. See page 5. Photo by Michelle Dalton Photography.

Kim Demont (434.792.0612) demontdesign evince\i-’vin(t)s\ 1: to constitute outward evidence of 2: to display clearly: reveal syn see SHOW Deadline for submission of January stories, articles, and ads is Wednesday, December 18, at 5:00 p.m. Submit stories, articles, and calendar items to

Editorial Policies:

Evince is a free monthly magazine with news about entertainment and lifestyle in Danville and the surrounding area. We reserve the right to accept, reject and edit all submissions and advertisements.

EVINCE MAGAZINE 753 Main St. Suite 3, Danville, VA 24541 For subscriptions to Evince, email Cost is $24 a year.

© 2019 All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part in any medium without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Page  4 December 2019

Evince Magazine Page  5


e are not on our planet for very long. It’s important that we contribute to the world out of gratitude for the privilege of living. I see evidence of contributions through the lens of holiday celebrations. Sharing what we have is a way of giving thanks. Reading holiday tales to children is exciting. I’ve always loved books, and reading is never better than when it’s shared with youth. The positive themes of the stories are reflected in the children’s joy: their faces, their stances, their attention as they immerse themselves in the tales being told. As I read the stories, I catch brief glimpses of the adults these children may eventually become: this one, fascinated by the papercuts that create a popup book; that one, by the detailed drawings of talking animals; another one, by the rhythm and cadence of language; yet another one, by the vibrancy of color on the pages. We are united in a storybook world where goodness and light prevail. Holiday concerts are another showcase for people sharing their skills and talents with others. I’m excited about going to hear vocalists and musicians perform. The blend of voices and music is both fascinating and uplifting. It’s uniting to hear people come together with instruments and voices in celebration of hope and good in the world.

Linda Lemery shares her love of books with Sage Abercrombie, Louise Powell, Luke Nicholas and Ellie Nicholas in preparation for a Christmas Reading on December 17. See page 11. Photo by Michelle Dalton Photography.

The light of human creativity is also reflected in the lights of the season. I’ve always been excited about going to see holiday light displays: decorated trees, houses, grounds. There’s a gratitude that pervades these displays. It seems to tie people together as they gather for viewing. They light up the dark with their shared joy.

People are at their most generous and kind during the holiday season. They share what they have. There are coat drives to keep people warm on the outside and canned goods drives to warm and fill them on the inside. There are churchbased holiday meals for members and for the needy. Sometimes we make a difference one-by-one, through conversations like: “Oh,

Reflecting Forward Showing Gratitude for the Privilege of Living by Linda Lemery you’ve moved here and don’t have decorations? I have extra. Let me give you some …” “Oh, you don’t have a tree? I have my mother’s tree. Let me loan it to you …” “You’ll be alone on the holiday? Come to dinner with us … come to see a film with us … come be with us…” Neighbors we only see in passing show up on our doorstep with cookies and smiles, and

we show up on theirs with our holiday treats and smiles. It’s a season of giving that stems from an upwelling of gratitude. I am truly excited by the holidays: the joy and contributions that pervade the season, the human potential that showcases itself in so many expressions of joy, the joy that unites us in gratitude and expresses itself as creative holiday gifts. We have so much for which to be grateful. Have a wonderful holiday season. About the Author: When she’s not trying to figure out why she loves everything about the holidays, Linda Lemery llemery@ serves as Circulation Manager at Averett University’s Mary B. Blount Library in Danville. She welcomes reader comments.

Page  6 December 2019 Unlike HGTV shows where home renovations are completed within thirty to sixty minutes, the Victorian house at the corner of Chestnut Place and Main Street in Danville has been under a transformation for nineteen years. This series explores the truth of home renewal from someone who has been there and done that. If you missed any of the articles, visit


hile changes were happening to the interior of the house, we also were keeping true to the original look of the exterior by removing the white paint. The tower on the right side of the house proved excessively difficult to un-paint and required many passes with the chemical and hose. The job took twice as long as had been estimated, but there was not a drop of chemical left when we finished, so at least that was projected correctly.  With the paint now removed, we discovered that there were traces of an old limewash original to the house. Limewash was a traditional treatment for old brick.  It is

Renovation Reality by Carla Minosh made of the same material as lime mortar but with pigments mixed into it. Instead of being mixed into a paste like mortar, it is watered down into the consistency of a thin paint and painted on with a horsehair brush that Photo by Carla Minosh. holds the material in the bristles.  When it is applied to the surface, the pores of the brick drink it in. It it is not just a material that sits on the surface; it is also one that is absorbed into the brick. Limewash functions as a water repellent. Water beads off and isn’t absorbed into the brick. If water is absorbed, limewash

wicks the water out to the surface of the brick to dry quicker, rather than allow it to be trapped inside the brick to weaken it. (Think how soft and crumbly an old brick is that has been dug up from the moist ground.) The bonus feature is that it also protects the old lime mortar through the same process.  The icing on the cake is that it makes the white mortar lines disappear, giving the face of the building a unified, dignified, and stately look.   We scraped samples of the old

limewash into a baggie and sent it off to be analyzed and color-matched. We then ordered barrels of slaked lime. When we received the formula for mixing the colors and slaked lime, it was rather comical. It listed both ingredients in ounces. Did they not realize that we have a huge house to cover? When we did the math and finally decided on the formula, we converted it to a much more practical recipe: one bucket of slaked lime, one Big Gulp cup of black, two Big Gulp cups of red, etc.  Now we were ready to mix colors and start.  An eighty-foot lift was delivered to the front yard, and Tom, “afraid-of-heights guy”, went up and started putting on limewash.  Conveniently, he would stop at windows and I could deliver him icy beverages and other supplies as needed.  It took only a few weekends to go around the upper part of the house and the lower part a few more, without the lift.  The result was perfection!

(to be continued)

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Slotback fiction by Telisha Moore Leigg It was just campus security, and they only asked my name, but I couldn’t say it. In the backseat, I tried to lean away from the beam of the flashlight. I heard the campus officer tap on the glass. I didn’t move, didn’t move an inch. I didn’t have my campus I.D. out. My dorm roommate, John, didn’t have his out either. We were headed out that Wednesday after practice for a very short Thanksgiving break, but I never left campus. The others in the car with me did: John, my dorm roommate did. Lucus, the Memphis transfer cornerback who usually just missed interceptions did, his arrogant ass did, but not me. I stayed. Lucus seemed to know exactly when to shoot in front of the receiver for an interception, but most of the time the ball bounced off his hands or his chest. I remember that night John was laughing through the driver’s side window with the campus police officer. Chord was on the nameplate. And John and Officer Chord kept talking, talking about ball, about plays, about good old days and good games to come. I know what happened. We had been eating burgers in John’s car, parked on the side of a campus street, and some permanent resident must have called. I don’t blame them, seeing a strange car parked. It must have looked suspicious. We all played ball for the college and everyone laughed but me. John showed his driver’s license; Lucus fumbled for his ID, pulled it out but balled it in his fist. My ID was in the suitcase in the trunk. I moved my hand then got scared for that little action. Every bad news story about black men rose in my subconscious. I’m a black man. I want to say no one did anything to me. No one even noticed me until that flashlight when they asked me again for my name and some campus ID, but I couldn’t talk. I sat in my polo shirt and jeans and concentrated on exhaling. A second officer came to the car smiling. John, still laughing, gestured wildly about a play he had made. He was our starting tight end. We were doing nothing wrong, just eating burgers. The other officer wrote something on a clipboard. John, still laughing, was waiting patiently to be able to pull on the road so we could go home. But Lucus said, “What if we are high or drunk? Huh, what then?” and the mood changed. I tell you Lucus was an ass; everyone knew that,

but the air choked up a little. “Are you?” Officer Chord asked, his voice level with all smiles gone. The other officer’s pen stopped moving on the clipboard. Lucas lifted his chin just like he did after he dropped the ball he should have intercepted. But that arrogant chin wasn’t playing here. “Okay, guys, please get out of the car.” It may have been a request, but I couldn’t hear it, and even on the fourth time still couldn’t do it. John looked at me, his blue eyes waking up finally and kinda nervous now, gave a shaky laugh. Lucus too, now a little less certain, was standing in the cool November evening, now finally quiet. Me, I had my hands on my knees. I didn’t move. “What’s wrong with him?” Lucas snickered, shifting from one foot the other. “Sir, can you please get out of the car,” Officer Chord said. I still didn’t move. I saw my mother’s face, Mean Keisha. I saw Mandy Blue Eyes, also my mother, and my Aunt Fallen’s vacant grimace, the one I saw when we found her violated behind some furniture in our garage. Bad things can happen. I know they happen. I know it. I couldn’t move. “Kwon,” John said, “get out.” John vouched for me, said I was a slotback for State, said my hands were like steel. I kept those hands on my knees. It was getting weird. The flashlight wasn’t needed because the overhead car light came on, but I couldn’t move. I stared straight ahead as the pen on the clipboard moved again. I waited for... whatever. After the officers left, John practically begged me to keep to the plan, said he would take me all the way home, even though he was only supposed to take me and Lucus to South Boston, Virginia. When I continued to not talk, John called Boris, North Carolina, and talked to Mean Keisha and Mandy Blue. Those women were upset about my not coming home. They wanted to come and get me, but Aunt Fallen said no, said something about how was I going to become a man if they didn’t let me breathe. After Thanksgiving, John’s mother sent me a pumpkin pie and I ate it to appease him. Lucas, ever the ass, shook his shaggy blonde head and at practice told the team how I froze, but most of them didn’t respond. Finally, John told him to shut the hell up. No one did anything to me, but I never forgot how I couldn’t even say my name. My name is Kwon. How I couldn’t move. I am a sophomore at State and I feel poetry in my blood. How Lucas found joy in my fear, but he had always been that kind of person. People have chanted my name in the stands when I run the ball. But that night, in that situation, I somehow felt small, my hands on knees, light beams in my eyes and the night blinded out.

Page  8 December 2019

Spotting Exceptional Customer Service

by Kristen Houser Barker

In June 2019, the crisis we all pray does not happen, happened. My ninety-two year old grandmother, who had been living independently in her assisted-living apartment, fell and fractured her hip. She required surgery that resulted in the need for in-patient skilled nursing/rehabilitation services. The decision about what facility would suit her needs best was a difficult one, even for a family of health care professionals. From our initial contact to the final conversation upon discharge, Heather Hair, a licensed social worker at Roman Eagle Rehabilitation and Health Care, 2526 North Main Street, Danville, provided exceptional customer service. The word no does not appear to be in her vocabulary. With each request, concern, and/or question, she earnestly listened and diligently responded. She demonstrated genuine compassion and concern for my grandmother’s needs and was quick to reassure us when the family needed support. With my grandmother now back on her feet and living in her apartment, my family will forever be grateful. Thank you, Heather! Evince and the Danville Pittsylvania Co. Chamber of Commerce want to encourage and recognize exceptional customer service. When someone gives you exceptional service, please let us know. In 300 words or less, tell us what happened. Email your story to or

Evince Magazine Page  9

Casey Molloy and Clark Davis were married at Vintage Oak Farms in Ramseur, North Carolina on October 19, 2019. Photo by Jefferson Mathis.

Meditation Moment

Embrace the Excitement by Casey Molloy Davis, RYT Just when you think the Monarchs have made their migration to Mexico, we experience our own butterflies aflutter in our bellies as we anxiously await what I fondly refer to as Eating Season. I am a sucker for the cozy comfort that winter affords and absolutely love spending the holidays with family and friends. All of my Christmases to date have been spent in the quintessential winter wonderland of Vermont. However, this year marks a monumental change in tradition, following the excitement of our recent wedding in October. The eighteen months leading up to our nuptials were filled with planning and coordination, and, of course, some stressors along the way. Likewise, during the planning process of special events and holidays, it can seem impossible to resist the tailspin of “what ifs” regarding the weather, food, guests, etc. Our minds tempt us to consider every worstcase scenario, upon which we can become fixated with worry. My tactic for stifling those worries is to genuinely embrace excitement. While doing yoga research recently, I stumbled upon a wonderful quotation from The writer explains, “Let go of concern around what might happen or what you expect to happen, and just enjoy what is happening.” This is a powerful perspective, and when applied, heightens our presence in each moment. As adults, we rarely have the opportunity to enjoy pure excitement due to our anticipation

of potential catastrophes accompanied by the fear that our experiences this year will not live up to the expectations imposed by years past. So, my friends, please allow yourself to be fully present and excited this holiday season! Release your attachment to worry and simply cherish the valuable times with loved ones that the holidays so generously offer.


on Danville! Janet Donna Holley • Gibson Owner Owner


339 Piney Forest Rd., Danville, VA 24540

Office: (434) 791-2400 Fax: (434) 791-2122 Visit our website at

Page  10 December 2019

December Calendar Abbreviation Key

• AU=Averett University, 434.791.5600 • DMFAH=Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, 975 Main St. 434.793.5644 • DSC=Danville Science Center, 677 Craghead St. 434.791.5160 • HNT=Historic North Theatre, 629 North Main St. Danville 434.793.7469 • PA=Piedmont Arts, 215 Starling Ave, Martinsville 276.632.3221 • The Prizery=700 Bruce St., South Boston, 434.572.8339,


Guided Walking Tours: Millionaires Row, Holbrook Street and Tobacco Warehouse District. Danville Historical Society. www.danvillehistory. org. 434.770.1974. DMFAH: self-guided audio tours. Brosville Library: 11948 Martinsville Highway 434.685.1285 Danville Public Library: 511 Patton St. 434.799.5195 DPL Westover Branch: 94 Clifton St. 434.799.5152 Gretna Library: 207 A Coffey Street, 434.656.2579 Gunn Memorial, Caswell County Public Library: 118 Main St, Yanceyville, NC www.caswellcounty. gov/library 336.694.6241 Halifax County Public Library: 177 South Main St. 434.476.3357 History Research Center and Library: 340 Whitehead St,, Chatham 434.432.8931 Mt. Hermon Library: 4058 Franklin Turnpike 434.835.0326 Pittsylvania County Public Main Library: 24 Military Drive, Chatham 434.432.3271 South Boston Public Library: 509 Broad St. 434.5575.4228

December 1 (thru 20)

Danville Art League Exhibit: DMFAH

December 1 (thru 31)

Master Gardener Class Registration: self-study computerbased training with hands-on labs. Classes begin 1/14/20. VA Cooperative Ext. Office 434.799.6558 dhale13@

December 2 (thru 20)

Decorating Trees for a Cause: View the trees in the lobby of the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, 150 Slayton Ave. Danville 8am-5pm M-F

December 3

Decorating Trees for a Cause Open House: Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, 150 Slayton Avenue. Danville 4:30-6:30pm free Choirs from Park Avenue, Forest Hills, and Schoolfield Schools will perform.

December 7

DHS Holiday Tour: Architectural Wonders, features four historic homes decorated for the holidays, lofts in a former knitting mill, a church with the Chrismons tree, and three museums. Admission price includes a souvenir booklet.  Tour at your own pace.  Docents at each location will inform and guide. Profits will benefit DHS preservation projects. $20 in advance $25 on tour day 11am-5pm www. or or 434.709.8398

December 4

Home for the Holidays: performed by Brad Bass, theatre director and choreographer at The Weber School and at Orbit Arts Academy in Atlanta; The Wednesday Club, 102 Main St, Danville free open to the public 3:15pm coffee; 3:45pm program 434.792.7921

December 5

AU Celebrates Christmas: presented by AU Music Dept., community + student performers; Pritchett Auditorium, 150 Mountain View Ave. free 7pm Painting with Ed Gowen: Twilight Beauty PA 9am-3:30pm adult class $75member/$85non-member All supplies provided. Register at or 276.632.3221. Advanced registration required. Christmas Tree Lighting: PA Gravely-Lester Art Garden 5pm

December 6

Science after Dark: includes showing of Elf on the giant digital dome screen 5:30pm Rock & Read: fundraiser for early literacy; silent auction of custom painted guitars by local artists, wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, art; South Boston Library, 509 Broad St. $10; 6-8pm

December 2019

S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Christmas Favorites-Rainer Trio and Leslie Mabe: Soprano Leslie Mabe will join the Rainier Trio for an evening of new arrangements of favorite songs as part of Christmas in Chatham celebrations. Celtic versions of “I Saw Three Ships” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” a narration of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas and selections from “The Nutcracker” and “Messiah”  Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 66 North Main St. Chatham 7:30pm Roanoke Symphony Holiday Pops:  Martinsville High School Auditorium $25reserved/$15general admission/$5student 3pm Altrusa will collect non-perishable food items for Grace Network in the lobby. Tickets at The Swanson Open Studio: demonstrations & conversations DMFAH 12-5pm; free; Select works of art will be for sale.

December 11

11th Annual Holiday Market: Over 100 artisans and crafters featuring baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, Christmas décor, gift items, meats, eggs, and produce. Danville Community Market 629 Craghead St 8am-2pm 434.797.8961 Christmas Cantata Together for Christmas: two historically black churches (High Street Baptist and Loyal Baptist) and two historically white churches (College Park Baptist and First Baptist) have formed a joint choir to sing for the community at High Street Baptist Church, 630 High St. 4pm South Boston Christmas Parade: Christmas in Candy Land downtown 5pm www.downtownsobo. com  434.575.4208 Christmas on the Plaza: JTI Fountain, Main St. Danville 4-6pm 434.791.0210 Christmas in Historic Milton: holiday décor, shopping, food, music, Santa, museum tours, special events at many local businesses and shops 1-5pm; Christmas tree lighting at 5:30pm

December 8

Riverview Rotary Christmas Parade: begins at Main & Broad Streets and ends at Main & Craghead Streets Danville 3pm

Economic Development in Danville: presentation by Delegate Danny Marshall at The Wednesday Club, 102 Main St, Danville 3:15 coffee/ 3:45 program; Marshall has served in the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 14th District since 2002 and on Danville City Council. free open to the public

December 13

Drizzle + Drink: Holiday Mixology: No skill is required for acrylic paint pouring with instructor Alisha Bennett offering a mix of the previously taught techniques. Smocks or old clothes encouraged. Bring drinks, snacks or dinner to enjoy during class. Register at or call 276.632.3221. Advanced registration required. 6-9pm PA adult class $35/ members $40non-members

December 14

Holiday Retail Show: 75+ artisans and crafters will offer baked goods, honey, and gift items also direct sales representatives will exhibit. Danville Community Market 629 Craghead St 8am-2pm 434.797.8961 Danville Symphony Orchestra Holiday Celebration Concert: Here Comes Santa Claus; GWHS Auditorium, 701 Broad St. Admission is free, but in the spirit of giving, the DSO members ask attendees to bring canned foods or cash donations for God’s Storehouse Food Bank 7:30pm Free Admission Weekend: DMFAH

The deadline for submitting information for the January calendar is Wednesday, December 18, at 5:00 p.m. Please send just the basic information following the format on these pages to

Evince Magazine Page  11 Sutherlin Mansion Holiday High Tea: DMFAH 11am to 1pm and 2-4pm $28non-members/$25 for DMFAH members Gingerbread House Building, Edible Architecture: A Collaborative Workshop: DMFAH 11am-1pm & 2-4pm $15adult + child/$10DMFAH members/$5for each extra child ages 3-11yrs.

December 17, 21 & 28

Wayne Alan’s Magic of Christmas: HNT 12/17-2pm; 12/21 & 28-7:30pm $15/$10 ages 12 and under

December 19

Art at Happy Hour: a casual gallery walk and talk through the museum’s exhibits, Hands, Head, Heart: Jill Jensen, Wild & Colorful World of Barbara Kobylinksa and Working Men. Complimentary drinks and light snacks provided. PA 5-7pm admission free December 17

December 19 (thru 22) December 15

Christmas with the Celts: Irish/ Scottish/American musicians and dazzling dancers celebrate the season with holiday favorites played on traditional Irish instruments. GWHS Auditorium 7pm. www.danvilleconcert. org 434.792.9242 See ad on page 7.

December 15 & 16

Christmas Concert: community singers The Prizery 3pm or 7:30pm

December 17

Dr. Betty Heard Christmas Readings: stories for children read by Linda Lemery. Santa might make an appearance. multipurpose room in the AU Student Center, 204 Woodland Dr. first floor; free 7-8pm

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play: presented by Smokestack Theatre Company DMFAH; Dec. 19 @ 7:30pm Pay what you can. Proceeds will benefit Out of Darkness Danville. Dec. 20, 21 @ 7:30pm; Dec 22 @ 2:30pm  $15adults/$13 children

December 21

Cars & Coffee: Old Dominion Classics Sports Car Club social 9-10:30am Crema & Vine,1009 Main St, Danville 434.548.9862    

December 22

The Charlotte (NC) Bronze Handbell Ensemble Concert: West Main Baptist Church, 450 West Main, Danville 5:30 pm. free and open to the public; an offering will be accepted. 434.792.5960.

Where Is the Excitement for Gardeners in Winter? by Isla M. Wiles, Master Gardener ‘Tis the season of religious and secular celebrations, special events, and general excitement. For most gardeners, the active outdoor season is over; gardening tools are put away, and plants are bedded down for the winter. Crisp, cold, rainy weather has arrived to replenish the water table and give perennials and deciduous trees the cold to accomplish their off-season rest and be more productive during the growing season. Where is the excitement for gardeners in the winter? High tunnels and greenhouses offer indoor gardening experiences protected from the elements. In these environments, cool/cold weather crops like greens, cabbage, and carrots grow. An advantage of such gardening, in addition to producing fresh vegetables, is the relative lack of pests and insects because most are dormant. With the use of grow lights, vegetables such as spinach, arugula, micro greens, and sprouts flourish. Even in cold weather blossoms are available outdoors. Dependable and pest-resistant hellebores (Lenten roses) bloom from late December through March. Camellias also bloom at various times during the winter. Yuletide camellias often blossom around Christmas. Pansies provide smiling, colorful faces from fall through early spring (if the deer are kept away). Indoors, poinsettias, amaryllis, and paper whites provide color and, in the case of paper whites, scent.

The change of seasons also shows another side of the beauty of nature. Once trees and shrubs drop their leaves, the bones and structure of the land and gardenscape can be seen. In winter, some plants display interesting trunks. Think of red twig dogwood stems appearing against a background of snow, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corkscrew Hazelnut Contorted Filbert) whose twisted limbs are most evident without leaves, the papery bark of willow trees, and Japanese maples that have green or red trunks and branches. Shrubs and trees present berries in the winter: nandina, winter berry, and holly. Evergreens play supporting roles in the background of the landscape during three seasons of the year but a starring role in the winter. They offer rich shades of green and variations of color such as that displayed by the goshiki osmanthus (false holly). Winter is the time gardeners become excited about the next growing season. Workshops, symposiums, and gardening events in the offseason are both educational and exhilarating options for gardeners. Locally, gardeners are eager to attend the upcoming Spring to Green event. Winter is truly an exciting season for gardeners! • The Tenth Annual Spring to Green will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020. For information call 336.340.1981 or contact the local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office 434.799.658.

Page  12 December 2019

The Wine Spot Prepare to Taste the Excitement! by Dave Slayton


a member of the Master Court of Sommeliers

n exciting event that takes place in November just in time for the holidays is Beaujolais Nouveau day. From the Beaujolais (bohzhoh-ley) region in France, a wine is produced that should be consumed soon after bottling. Nouveau (noovoh) means recently created in this context. Beaujolais Nouveau is made with the gamay grape using a process called carbonic maceration. Carbon dioxide causes fermentation to take place inside the uncrushed grapes inside a sealed container. The resulting wine is fresh, fruity, and soft. The gamay grape lends itself to this process easier than many other grapes. Gamay also can be used to make complex wines. The wine made in this process needs to be consumed in one to six months. Beaujolais always had a wine of the year to celebrate the end of the harvest, but until World War II it was for local consumption exclusively. Initially it could only be sold after

December 15 in the year of harvest, but that was changed in 1951 and the date was set as November 15 and later to the third Thursday of November. Selling wine at this time of the year was a help to the growers’ year-end cash flow. Then an idea of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage was born. This attracted media coverage and by the 1970s it had become a national event. The races spread to other countries in Europe followed by North America. Today this wine is shipped to various locations around the world ahead of the third Thursday of November and is released to local markets at 12:01 a.m. local time. In the not too distant past the quality of Nouveau slipped and consumption declined. But in recent years it seems to have made a rebound. I’m looking forward to sipping this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. I can almost taste the excitement especially at December’s holiday dinners and parties, can’t you? Cheers!

Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History proudly presents

January 12 - May 24, 2020 Opening Reception: January 12, 2020 2-4:30pm • Free, Open to the Public

For more information call: 434-793-5644, or email: C.B. Maddox:

Evince Magazine Page  13

Book Clubbing a review by Diane Adkins

The Overstory Richard Powers

The Overstory, this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction, is a big, weighty book, not only in size but in ideas. It has been said of author Richard Powers that he is not a painter of miniatures, and that is evident here. There are nine major characters, and the tree-centric narrative reaches through at least six decades. But don’t let that scare you off; this is a book that sticks with you long after you turn the last page, working its way into your thoughts like kudzu covers a fence. The characters are introduced in a series of stories. There’s Nick, an artist whose family planted a chestnut and documented its life in photographs; Mimi, who loves the mulberry her Chinese father plants in their yard; Adam, a boy fascinated by insects and trees, who later becomes a psychologist; Ray, a lawyer, and Dorothy, his wife, who are captivated by their yard’s abundance; Douglas, who plants fifty thousand seedlings, only for them to be harvested by logging companies; Neelay, who builds a computer game inspired by trees; Olivia, a reckless college student turned deforestation protestor; and the moral center of the book, Patricia Westerford, a deaf scientist enthralled with trees. As the story develops, several of the characters meet each other, and their lives become braided together through their love for trees and the natural world. Several years ago, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben astonished many with science-backed claims that trees communicate with and help each other, forming a veritable “wood wide web.” Powers seems to have drawn on Wohlleben’s work for his character Patricia Westerford’s writings. Westerford pays a price for those scientific findings, for if there is one thing forbidden in science (and I learned this the hard way in college biology many years ago) it’s anthropomorphizing animals and plants. She loses her stature and her livelihood until, years later, her work is ratified by others. What is wrong with humankind? How did we get to this place, where we view ourselves as self-made, the only living things that think, obsessed with self and self-aggrandizement? Until we learn to honor non-human nature, we are unlikely to face the crisis of our civilization, what one writer has called “the destruction of the natural conditions necessary for our own survival.” As Olivia says at one point, “Exponential growth inside a finite system leads to collapse. But people don’t see it.” This is not a book of science masquerading as a novel. The characters are nicely realized; the plot has all the action and drama a reader could want. But Powers is not neutral on the questions he raises. As Adam notes, “The best argument in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.” The Overstory more than delivers. Diane S. Adkins is a retired director of Pittsylvania County Libraries.

The TurDuckEn of Desserts by Annelle Williams

What’s on your dessert table for the holidays? I recommend always having a rum cake on hand. It will become more moist as the days pass. You might want to make two if you’re having lots of company. Freeze one and bring to room temperature before serving. I also like to have an assortment of cookies and truffles. Pumpkin pie and persimmon pudding are only for the big meals. The new dessert I want to add to the list of sweet treats is a chocolate brownie-cheese cake-pecan pie combination that will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. It’s the sweet response to the TurDuckEn (turkey, duck, chicken dish) except better. This needs to be baked and refrigerated for a day before it’s served. It will keep several days in the refrigerator, so it’s definitely a make-ahead dessert. Whatever you prepare, make it with love and the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas!

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Chocolate Brownie Crust Chocolate Brownie Crust 1 box Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (or your favorite) 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 egg

Mix water, vegetable oil and egg. Pour in brownie mix and stir until combined. Line a 10-inch springform pan with foil in case it leaks. Pour mixture into bottom of springform pan. Set aside.

Cheesecake Layer Bring cream cheese, eggs, sour cream and heavy cream to room temperature.

(4) 8oz. pkg. cream cheese 1 1/3 cups sugar 3 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°. Place a large casserole dish or pan half full of water on bottom rack. This will add moisture to oven and help keep the cheesecake from cracking. Beat cream cheese until smooth (30 seconds). Add sugar and beat again until combined (60 seconds). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Gently pour batter over brownie layer and smooth with a spatula. Place in oven and bake until firm about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn oven off, prop oven door open, and leave cheesecake in oven until it cools, at least one hour. Place cheesecake in fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

Pecan Topping 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup maple syrup

3 T butter 1/8 tsp. salt

Toast pecans in a pan over medium heat until you can smell the nuts toasting. Be careful not to burn them. Pour the toasted nuts into a bowl and set aside. In a medium- sized saucepan, bring maple syrup to a low boil for one minute. Add butter, salt and pecans and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour the pecan syrup over the cake either now or wait until ready to serve. Questions or comments? Email me: I look forward to hearing from you!

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Photo Finish Every second and fourth Sunday of the month, Anglers Park on Northside Drive in Danville, becomes a gathering spot for participants in the “Trails and Tails” program. On a sunny, warm Sunday in November, Von Wellington tagged along with his camera and captured the fun on the short, guided hike. Jesse, a boxer, seems to enjoy posing for the camera with Kim Adkins.

Dogs and their owners will meet again on Sunday, December 8, and Sunday, December 22, beginning at 2:00 p.m. for a two-hour walk. It’s free, but please register by calling Danville Parks & Recreation Department Outdoor Recreation Division 434.799.5150.

Marshall, a Pomeranian, likes the attention given by Bryan and Cathy Gee.

Caroline Turner, Outdoor Program Coordinator, and Motley, a pit bull, wait for his four-legged friends to arrive.

Photos by Von Wellington For more info visit www.vonwellington or call 434.770.3553. See more pictures on Facebook.

Jessica Austin is surrounded by Lucy, a rescue mutt, and friends.

Minny, a Jack Russell, is ready to walk with Robin Turner.

Cathy Gee welcomes Sheba, an Alaskan Malamute. Terri Blackwell holds on to a Walker Hound.

Two-legged and four-legged creatures are ready to have fun.

The two-hour walk begins!

Evince Magazine Page  15

Page  Page 16 16December December 2019 2019

Profile for Andrew Brooks Media Group

Evince Magazine December 2019  

The December 2019 issue of Evince Magazine featuring The Voice of Excitement.

Evince Magazine December 2019  

The December 2019 issue of Evince Magazine featuring The Voice of Excitement.