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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 • VOL. 11 • NO. 5

 “Back to Titanic 100th Year ‘Tour Ireland’ Sweepstakes.”

 “Rose Petal Memorial Tribute at Sea”—Visit Titanic Museum Attraction and receive a rose petal symbolizing your eternal link to Titanic’s passengers and crew. We’ll collect your petal, then next April we’ll give them all to the U.S. Coast Guard to place on the North Atlantic in the same place Titanic went down 100 years ago.

THE MEANING OF MOUNTAIN MANLINESS • ON BOARD WITH CLYDE EDGERTON • FEATS OF MILITARY ENDURANCE • DESTINATION: BOONE, N.C.

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN. has already launched their centennial tributes to Titanic and her 2,208 passengers and crew. Ongoing special events, commemorative activities and ceremonies include:

— Win an 11-day trip for two to Ireland, where Titanic was built. Enter online today at www.TitanicAttractions.com. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years old to enter.

Smoky Mountain L I V I N G

Mountain

MEN Appalachia In Focus with Tim Barnwell

Eustace Conway and The Making of a Man PLUS MORE ...

smliv.com

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING

T

he eyes of the world were on Titanic when her maiden voyage set sail April 10, 1912. Almost a century later, all Titanic was—and all she was to become— will be in the spotlight next year when the Grand Lady turns 100.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER • 2011

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ON BOARD

$5.95US $6.95CAN

0

74820 08682

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with author Clyde Edgerton Tennessee’s 26-Mile Military March Destination:

Boone, N.C.


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Follow your inner compass.

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Have a Fall Fling.

Cherokee Style. October 4 -6

Fall Cherokee Rod Run Plus, join us for these Fun Events!

10/4 - 10/8 99th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair

10/14 - 10/16 Big Rigs Antique Truck Show

For more info, visit: cherokee-nc.com or call 800-438-1601 Sponsored in part by Cherokee Preservation Foundation


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I can’t live without family time. I can live without pain. Nothing is more disheartening than the inability to enjoy your favorite activities. Playing with his kids was too painful for Eric until he discovered the Pardee Orthopedic Center of Excellence. Our center ranks among the top orthopedic programs in the region and nation. We achieve this ranking by meeting the highest standards for quality of care, use of technology and staffing expertise. Eric can’t live without family time. But now he lives without pain. To find a doctor, call 1-866-790-WELL.

Watch Eric’s story.

www.pardeehospital.org

Eric Gash Pardee Orthopedic Patient


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WELCOME

from the managing editor

I didn’t mean to adopt a hound—at least not a barrel-chested, stick-legged, long-eared, musk-smelling hound. They told us he was a Norwegian Elkhound and Golden Lab mix. Golden Labs are reliable, if not overtly friendly dogs, and I’d known a Norwegian Elkhound at the horse stable where I rode as a teen. He was protective and fiercely loyal to those of us he saw on a regular basis. As I held that squishy double handful of puppy in my hands one late winter day, I was hooked. My husband didn’t want a dog. He was fine with other people having dogs; he just didn’t want us to have a dog. I was persistent, or perhaps I was simply annoying, and in that our first year of marriage, my husband caved. As we filled out the adoption papers, our puppy lolled in a sweet sleeping puppy coma, exhausted from playing with his six other brothers and sisters. That would be our last moment of peace for the next year. While my husband and I had both had dogs before, we had never been responsible for the raising of one. Bruce, as he was named, was more than we bargained for—even at rescue adoption prices. He never … ever … ever … ran out of energy. An hour at the dog park wasn’t enough. No amount of destroying stuffed toys was enough. Electrical cords were tasty treats. The three cats were horrified. Six living beings were too much for our little townhouse. There were tears shed and serious discussions as to whether or not we’d screwed up, whether we needed to find Bruce a new home. Even after we bought a new house with a fenced in yard, Bruce drew my husband’s ire by digging holes—a telltale sign of his then abundantly obvious hound traits. The breaking point was one night when Bruce chewed a hole through my husband’s Carhartt jacket. I made an online plea—“Save My Marriage, Adopt My Dog.” But as much trouble as Bruce caused, I loved him. He and I had a bond, and that night as we sat on the sun porch steps with our heads pressed together, my husband saw us. With a sigh he said, “You don’t have to give away your dog.” So Bruce stayed, and tried

From the Web We asked our Facebook fans how one proves that he is worth of “mountain man” status. Here’s some of what they said… “I would like to recommend Daniel Vincent who captured three copperheads in one day from the laundry room and around the yard.” — Deborah Wilson Pustorino “I would like to nominate Kenny Smith to the fact that the last three times we went camping with five children, it rained and he set camp for us in the rain while we watched from the van, used his skills to start the fire and when time to come home, packed everything up while it 4

harder to manage his energy through training. For all his faults, Bruce was never stupid. He knew no, sit, shake, down, stay, move, and my personal favorite—leave it/take it—in which he would lie on the kitchen floor and I would balance a treat on each paw, making him wait for my command, drool not withstanding, to gobble up the goods. “Leave it” also worked in regards to the cats, socks, and dropped non-food items. By age two, Bruce showed the makings of a real dog. He also ate an entire bar of Dial soap and learned how to steal a full beer from a camp chair cupholder. By age three, we figured he had to mature sometime soon. Friends with hunting dogs pegged him as a Black Mouth Cur and Plott Hound mix. By age four, he played patiently with our six-year-old niece who spent the whole of Christmas taking his rawhide and hiding it Bruce the hound. SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTO another room. Bruce turns five in January. He’ll sleep upside down, legs all akimbo next to the couch or bed, so long as he’s in the room with me. He’s scared of our cat Penelope, fireworks, lightning, gunshots— both real and on TV—and the dark. He’s just the kind of hound that most hound owners wouldn’t want, but he’s just the right kind of hound for me. This issue is dedicated to the mountain men who, like Bruce, are lovable troublemakers, perhaps a little rough around the edges but loyal nonetheless, true to their heritage and shaped by their upbringing. — Sarah E. Kucharski, managing editor

Mail your letter to Editor, P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786 or email editor@smliv.com.

rained and he let us stay dry in the van. He was our hero.” — Katy Baynes Smith

awake and seem to have more energy after a long summer of hiding in the A/C.” — John Benson

And as the weather turns crisp and cool, what’s our fans’ favorite part of fall in the mountains?

“The sky just seems bluer, the sun shining brightly thru a tree of yellow, orange or red. The smell of wood smoke, or coffee on a crisp morning. I hope heaven is a lot like that.” — Julia C. Turner

“Everything looks and feels like a fairytale!” — Robin Arramae Smathers

“Leaving Miami behind for a couple weeks.” — David Heche

“The fall has always been my favorite. It means summer is over. Cooler air. The changing colors. The birds are migrating, so I get a wider variety of species on my feeders. Even my cats are

Connect with us at facebook.com/smliv! Fans have access to special promotions and giveaways including subscriptions, tickets, and more.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


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About the writers VOL. 11 • NUMBER 5 Publisher/Editor

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott McLeod

editor@smliv.com General Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd ads@smliv.com Advertising Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Nichols jason@smliv.com Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah E. Kucharski sarah@smliv.com Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner travis@smliv.com Graphics . . . . . . . . . Margaret Hester, Micah McClure Finance & Administration . . . Amanda Singletary Sales

. . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd, Whitney Burton,

Scott Collier, Drew Cook, Lila Eason, Jason Nichols

Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Nichols Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Colby Dunn, Joe Hooten, Mackensy Lunsford, Anna Oakes, Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, Mary Casey-Sturk, Teresa Killian Tate, T. Wayne Waters Contributing Photographers . . . . . . Tim Barnwell, Randy Cotton, Colby Dunn, Kyle Gray Beach, Laura Bradey, Jack Carrier, Dee Gillespie, Ken Gordon, Margaret Hester, Randy Johnson, Ed Kelley, Nick Lanier, Anna Oakes, Patrick Parton, Sherry Shook, Roger Trentham, Judy Woodall Contributing Illustrator . . . . . . . . Mandy Newham Smoky Mountain Living is published bi-monthly by SM Living LLC. Smoky Mountain Living has made every effort to insure listings and information are accurate and assumes no liability for errors or omissions. For advertising information, contact Jason Nichols at 828.452.2251 or jason@smliv.com. For editorial inquiries, contact Sarah Kucharski at sarah@smliv.com. Smoky Mountain Living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Queries should be sent to Scott McLeod at editor@smliv.com. ©2011. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reprinted without the express, written consent of the publisher.

Colby Dunn is a writer,

reporter, and terrible golfer currently living in her native Asheville, N.C. She has degrees in journalism and international affairs and has spent the last half-decade living and working in London, Ireland, Spain, Georgia, and Tennessee. She loves writing about the human experience (especially if there’s delicious food involved), knitting, outdoor markets, antique children’s literature and, unfortunately, has never met a pastry she couldn’t get along with.

Mackensy Lunsford is an

avid foodie and adventurous eater with approximately thirteen years of professional culinary experience. Lunsford is now a civilian, generally limiting her cooking to parties of less than one hundred, and spending the majority of her time eating and writing about food (and visiting the gym). She is an award-winning food writer for the Mountain Xpress who has lived in the Asheville, N.C. area for twelve years, and finds herself continuously amazed by the quality of the food, landscape, and people that surround her on a daily basis.

Anna Oakes

was raised in the northern mountainous end of Caldwell County in a small community called Buffalo Cove. She has a great love for the Blue Ridge Mountains and will always call them home. In the summers you’ll find her on the New or Watauga rivers, and in the fall the fervent football fan will be rooting for the Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Carolina Panthers. She tolerates the cold mountain winters while she waits for late April, when she dedicatedly attends her favorite music festival, MerleFest, in nearby Wilkesboro.

WWW.SMLIV.COM

Mary Casey-Sturk is a

freelance travel and features writer. The daughter of a travelhungry British ex-pat and a multi-talented mountain man from Pike County, Kentucky, she brings an unusual and humorous perspective to everyday events. Growing up with a slight British accent made her somewhat of a curiosity and she has returned the favor by speaking of the virtues of a hot cup of tea on a warm summer day to anyone who will listen. Now residing in Northern Kentucky, she can often be seen squatting accommodations in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Teresa Killian Tate spends

her working hours in the public relations field at Western Carolina University and her playing hours in the great outdoors, often on a bike and often with her husband and four-legged friends. She lives in Sylva, N.C.

T. Wayne Waters is a

Knoxville-based wordsmith who loves to write about almost anything regarding Southern or Appalachian culture and society. He has a master’s in journalism and nearly a decade of freelance writing experience. A native Georgian, Waters lived in Asheville during the ’90s before taking up residence near the Smoky foothills of Tennessee. He thinks the beauty of the region and of the people who live here is often breathtaking. When not at the keyboard wordsmithing, Waters enjoys the occasional Smokies hike, a kayak glide on the Tennessee River, savoring a dark ale while enjoying Knoxville’s extraordinary music scene, or just sitting around at home nibbling on tropes and bon mots.

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in this issue: Focus on Appalachia Photographer Tim Barnwell has connected with the people and places of Appalachia with an eye for poignant detail and true appreciation for the mountains’ heritage. His work has been collected into three books that celebrate the region. By Teresa Killian Tate

Crafting a Cherokee Tradition Bob Reed learned his craft from his Cherokee elders and through that learned who he was. A woodcarver and native weaponry artisan, Reed honed his skills into that of a champion blowgun competitor. By Mackensy Lunsford

Wild Man of the Woods Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Last Great American Man tells the story of Eustace Conway, a subarbanite turned self-made mountain man whose adventures tell like fables. Today, Conway carves out a living in Boone, N.C., on an ecological preserve where he shares his lessons with those who will pay to listen. By Anna Oakes

Home to the Burley and Golden Tobacco growers are numbering fewer these days. However, the cash crop represents an important piece of mountain history. By Colby Dunn

A Natural Leader A man of faith can move mountains—so shows Tennessee’s Charles Maynard, inaugural director of the Friends of the Smokies. Maynard is now a district superintendent in the Maryville area of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church and teaches others how nature and God are intertwined. By T. Wayne Waters

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SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


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departments Mountain Music Dex Romweber and Uncle Mountain bring new music to the Asheville scene. 20

Arts Abingdon, Va.’s, Barter Theatre gets its name from its Depression-era tradition. 22

Letters On The Night Train with Clyde Edgerton and secrets of The Family Fang. 24

Mountain Voices

Destinations North Carolina’s high country town of Boone is a happening college town with a natural vibe. By Sarah E. Kucharski

Surmounting obstacles on Gatlinburg’s Mountain Man March. 26

Cuisine The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South 28

Out & About Explore Cades Cove on a heritage tour and visit the world of the Waldensians. 30

On the cover: A look at the faces of Appalachia through the lens of Tim Barnwell. TIM BARNWELL PHOTO

Outdoors Cherokee’s birding trails offer species spotting no matter the season. 36

Sustainable Living Reduce your carbon footprint with Appalachian Offsets. 38

resources: Shopping Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Shop Savvy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Select Lodging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Maggie Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Waynesville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 East Tennessee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Asheville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

WWW.SMLIV.COM

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Sherry Shook

Margaret Hester

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” — Mark Twain


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“A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality.” — Winston Churchill

Patrick Parton

Many things define a mountain man—his skills, his lifestyle, his looks. Our readers share their mountain men images as part of this issue dedicated to those who call these hills home whether he be a banjo player or the Dynastes tityus, the Eastern Hercules Beetle, which pound for pound is the strongest animal in the world.


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Jack Carrier Dee Gillespie

The next issue of Smoky Mountain Living will focus on all things home. Send us your photos of your hometown, animal homes, feeling at home, homemade things, and whatever else that is home that your lens finds. Submissions may be sent to photos@smliv.com by October 21.


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“Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t’were his own.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ed Kelley

Laura Bradey


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DEPARTMENT

destinations

Boone, N.C. Get into the college town groove

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

A pioneering namesake Named for Daniel Boone, the American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman born in 1734, Boone is tucked into a mountain valley in Watagua County, so named for the Watauga River, which takes its name from an Indian word meaning “beautiful water.” For years, the area around Boone was a seasonal hunting spot with few established settlers, but after the Civil War the community began to grow. By 1899, Boone supported 150 residents. This same year saw the Watauga Academy established. Today, Boone is a bustling college town and the tiny Watauga Academy is Appalachian State University, where 17,000 students root on the Mountaineers in black and gold. The school is known for both its commitment to environmental education and its championship football team—a juxtaposition that defines Boone’s unique sense of place and the people who live there.

B

oone’s central district is essentially part of the Appalachian State University campus where visitors will find unique restaurants, late-night bars, and eclectic shopping. Be sure to head to King Street to peruse and people watch. A King Street staple is Mast General Store, which provides outdoorsy clothing, shoes, adventure equipment, and housewares. Meanwhile, Footsloggers is the premier outfitter for the area with a paddle shop, climbing gear, camping supplies, knowledgeable guides, and more. Footsloggers partners with Rock Dimensions, an inhouse rock climbing guide service that welcomes novices and experienced climbers. Funky tie-dyes, incense, and posters are all the rage at Indo and Boone Rock-NRoll Emporium located next door to Anna Banana’s, a youthful but tasteful consignment store. Such shops represent a large portion of what’s to be found in King Street and add to the town’s unique vibe. Remember this is a place with a hookah bar. For more of a boutique experience, look to Gladiola Girls or Lucky Penny. Glug Beverages has made a nice addition to the wine and beer scene with an emphasis on regional brews and owners have created their own red and white wines. Stop in to the tiny store for a chat and to pick up a local libation—though note that Boone’s only local brewery, Cottonwood, was started in 1992 then acquired by Carolina Beer, which brews Carolina Blonde. Carolina has in turn sold to WinstonSalem’s Foothills Brewing. Cottonwood’s slogan—Brewed with Altitude—came from its High Country origins. Of particular note is Cottonwood’s award-winning fall seasonal, Pumpkin Spiced Ale. Outside of downtown on Highways 321 and 105 are the town’s larger retailers and chain stores. Head here for family-friendly dining, grocery shopping, and more. A visit to the only two-story, free standing Wendy’s in the country, and one of the busiest in the world, is obligatory. Find it located at the intersection of 321 and 105. 12

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 4

MARGARET HESTER PHOTOS


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Take to downtown to spend the day casually strolling around and exploring Boone’s interesting mix of culture. James Miller crafts a hand-turned wooden pen (below) outside ArtWalk.

The ASU Mountaineers play their rivals, the Western Carolina University Catamounts, in Boone on Nov. 12. Known as the Battle for The Old Mountain Jug, the rivalry has been—and will continue to be— one of the finest and most enduring in NCAA Division I-AA football, the State of North Carolina, and the South. In the mid-1980s, Sports Illustrated called it “the best football rivalry you’ve never heard of.” The jug— a representation of an old moonshine jug commonly used by bootleggers in the mountains of western North Carolina—came about in 1976. It bares the logo of the winning school in the rivals’ annual match. The Mountaineers have maintained possession of the Old Mountain Jug since 2004.

WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY PHOTO

Fierce rivalry

WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

destinations

Boone and the arts

JULIA MERCHANT PHOTO

T

he Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is the largest facility of its kind in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. Exhibitions focus on a blend of new and historically important artwork and feature works of nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as many of the finest artists of the region. The center is featured on the Downtown Boone First Friday Art Crawl, held from 7 to 9 p.m. the first Friday of each month through December. Guided docent tours are held every second Saturday at 2 p.m. Upcoming exhibitions include R. Martin Stamat’s “Northmost,” focusing on the role of nature, microcosms, and found objects that took hold of his imagination as a child and Val Lyle’s “Sanctuary,” a traveling body of work that continues the artist’s exploration about what it means to be a human being in Appalachia. The Turchin is a great starting point for a self-guided tour of the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. This national, juried competition continues a long-held tradition of showcasing the best of large-scale, contemporary American sculpture. Each year, ten sculptures are selected for exhibition, and are situated across campus. Works are on display through Feb. 29.

Music lovers will want to check out the school’s Performing Arts Series, which will feature the band KANSAS performing with The Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, the Soweto Gospel Choir, and the Punch Brothers with Christ Thile in coming months. Live music often can be found in the bars and restaurants close to campus, including Galileo’s Bar and Café, which typically hosts shows on Thursday and Saturday nights—though note that Friday brings Jager Bombs, Jello shots, and karaoke. Downtown is where shoppers will find a handful of galleries and art coops with a wide-range of works. Don’t miss ArtWalk, located in the remodeled the H. W. Horton Building built in 1924, where the works are funky and affordable, and seek out Hands Gallery, where members’ fine works include basketry, jewelry, woodwork, pottery, and more. Also visit Doe Ridge Pottery to find functional and decorative stoneware handmade by potter Bob Meier on site. Those with an artistic bent also will want to visit Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, which sells supplies and offers professional quality workshops including October’s West Meets the East-watercolor and Chinese painting.

Works from the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition are dotted across the ASU campus (inset). Hands Gallery (top) offers a selection of fine crafts from juried co-op members. Doc Watson, a famous bluegrass musician sits for a permanent show (left) on King Street. The Turchin Center hosts art exhibits throughout the year (above) and is always free. SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTOS

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The finest collection of stoneware pottery handmade in the High Country by 14 local potters.

585 West King St. Boone, NC 828.264.1127

doeridgepottery.com

WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

destinations

Boone: A confluence of High Country cuisine

D

ining in and around Boone is what one wants to make it—from elegantly casual gourmet to barefoot-friendly vegan. The Gamekeeper, winner of OpenTable’s 2011 Diners’ Choice award, holds true to its name with menu selections including buffalo, duck, ostrich and pheasant, each served with seasonal flair. On lovely evenings aim for a table outdoors to dine under rustling tree leaves and watch the sun set over the far mountain range. Begin with the tender pork belly, accompanied by sautéed greens and a simple but inspired sauce incorporating raisins. The duck breast is perfectly seasoned with a crisp outer skin, and bacon-wrapped venison medallions served with acorn squash are at once gourmet and distinctly Southern comfort food. The Gamekeeper is also vegetarian friendly. Save room for dessert. Sorbets reflect the chef Wendy’s whims and may include flavors such as Thai tea or strawberries and Chambord. For more Southern goodness, order up the bourbon and caramel bread pudding, which wins rave reviews. Closer to town, Casa Rustica is a familyowned Italian restaurant where fresh pasta is the order of the day. Look to the spinach

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lasagna or six cheese pasta purses for an entrée, or top traditional noodles such as spaghetti or tortellini with homemade meatballs, carbonara, or pesto cream sauce. Non-pasta entrees include chicken or veal picatta with fresh capers in a white wine and lemon sauce, eggplant parmesan, New York strip, and filet mignon. On King Street, HobNob Farm Café is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. The giant menu features local chicken, sausage, and grass-fed beef, organic tofu and tempeh, fresh breads, and local desserts while spanning several cultures. Look for the jerk chicken plate; Thai burger with red curry sauce and pineapple; Port Obella Tofu Divinewhich that features blackened tofu, avocado, and red chili aioli; Tamale de Bayamo with spinach, squash, yams, black beans, plantains and more. Melanie’s Food Fantasy is an equally hip place with long lines for brunch in particular. Again the menu is decidedly vegetarian and vegan friendly, but the Eggs Florentine with local eggs poached to perfection and served on a bed of fresh spinach with homemade hollandaise are tempting for anyone. Lunch brings burgers, BLTs, and curried chicken SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

Clockwise from top left: The Gamekeeper’s Cornmeal Crusted N.C. Rainbow Trout with Lemon Caper Salsa; Hob Nob Café’s vegetarian-friendly Divinewich; the popular patio at Melanie’s Food Fantasy draws a consistent Sunday breakfast crowd. GAMEKEEPER: COURTESY OF KEN GORDON HOB NOB CAFÉ: SARAH E. KUCHARSKI MELANIE’S: MARGARET HESTER

salad. Try a glass of organic fresh squeezed carrot juice, which can be mixed with apple or orange juice. Several restaurants in the area make a point to serve Stick Boy Bread Company’s delicious products. Those looking for a quick pastry bite and a cup of coffee will find it at Stick Boy’s beginning at 7 a.m. Be sure to get a Magic Cookie—a chewy concoction with coconut, chocolate, and marshmallows.


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WELL-EQUIPPED CABINS FOR A MOUNTAIN GETAWAY So much of Boone’s appeal comes from the wild mountain peaks that surround the town. For more than just a room with a view, book a cabin with Blue Ridge Mountain Rentals, which offers more than 150 cabins around the High Country. Just outside of Boone, near Howard’s Knob, which overlooks the campus and surrounding valley, is Honeybear Haven. The cabin’s two bedrooms and sleeper sofa loft area sleeps up to seven with ample room for a family or three couples to spread out and each have a private bath. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the deck with mountain views or soak away sore muscles in the hot tub. A well-equipped kitchen makes for easy cooking—or head down just a few minutes down mountain for meals. Other amenities include a stone, gas-log fireplace, flat screen TVs, and wireless Internet. For more information, visit blueridgerentals.com or call 800.237.7975.

59650

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S E R V IN

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DEPARTMENT

destinations

A Boone for families Families will find lots to do in Boone. The area is ripe for adventure and activities. For a reasonable price, one can explore the mountains’ mining history by panning for gems at Foggy Mountain Gem Mine, located outside of town on Highway 105. A small bucket of rocks, dust, and gems runs about $35. It’s a distinctly different experience than most other gem panning in the mountains where sticky red clay bogs down the process. Foggy Mountain enriches their mining buckets with local and nonlocal stones so that forty different minerals are among those found. The mine guarantees that each bucket includes cuttingquality stones. Cutting is available on premises with prices varying based on the stone. Fashion your finds into keepsake jewelry, or pick some-

SARAH E. KUCHARSKI PHOTOS

Howard’s Knob (top) provides an outstanding view of the ASU campus and is a popular picnic spot. Gem mining (center, left) is a family-friendly activity for all ages. Tweetsie Railroad (center, right) has been in operation for more than 50 years. Grab a float (bottom, left) at Boone Drug on King St. and step back in time. Boone’s seasonal draw Horn in the West (below) recreates the Revolutionary War.

TWEETSIE RAILROAD PHOTO (ABOVE) MIKE AND AMY SNIDER PHOTO (BELOW)

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thing already made from among the sparkling display case selections. Boone Drug, located downtown, is a must for any fan of the old time soda counter. Take a seat at one of the counter stools or in a mustard colored booth and order up a float, a Parsons Choice—two hamburger patties layer with cheese and your favorite toppings—a homemade pimento cheese or egg salad sandwich, or a hotdog with chili and slaw, plus some onion rings. The staff is super friendly bedecked in their white paper hats and black aprons. Not too far around the corner is The Custard Depot. Frozen custard is like ice cream but smoother and containing eggs. Fresh custard is made daily in a variety of flavors, though chocolate and vanilla are standard. The shop is open even in cold months but only on Friday and Saturday. In the summer season, the outdoor drama Horn in the West, the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama, which brings to life the famous frontiersman for which the town is named, Daniel Boone. On the grounds of the drama’s theater space is the Hickory Ridge Homestead, an eighteenth-century living history museum. Interpreters in period clothing explain pioneer life and culture, and demonstrations often are offered. Toward Blowing Rock is the historic Tweetsie Railroad. The area’s railroad, the ET&WNC Railroad, began operating in 1882 with service from Johnson City, Tenn. to the iron mines at Cranberry, N.C. Some joked that the initial based name stood for Eat Taters and Wear No Clothes. Over the years floods and track degradation lead to the discontinuation of rail service in 1950. Three railroad buffs purchased Engine No. 12— Tweetsie—and moved it to Harrisonburg, Va. as a tourist attraction, but in 1956 the 80-ton locomotive was returned to North Carolina for refurbishing. The following year Tweetsie made its first run near Hickory on a one-mile track carrying passengers from the train station to a picnic area and back; the engine then was moved by truck to its new home near Blowing Rock, not far from its old stop in Boone. The engine became the center of a Wild West theme park with a threemile train loop. Today, the family attraction is still wildly popular. Special events include a Halloween Ghost Train that runs from on Friday and Saturday evenings from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29.

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Smoketree-Lodge.com 19


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DEPARTMENT

mountain music

Icon of underground sound hits the mark BY JOE HOOTEN

L

aid back in a plush but worn sofa chair in the darkened hallway of the Grey Eagle Music Hall & Tavern in Asheville, N.C.’s, River Arts District, Dex Romweber appears to be just like any other music fan, patiently waiting for the opening band to assemble onstage and flash the thumbsup to begin the night’s wild ruckus. In the moments before the house music fades away, a few folks stroll by unaware of the rock n’ roll legend, but eventually fans begin to gather round him, asking for autographs, a picture to be taken, a shake of the hand. He nervously taps his foot, smiles politely, and then gathers himself up from the comforts of the chair where he had found a bit of solitude, pardons himself to the crowd before heading backstage in preparation for the energy he and his older sister Sara are about to unleash on the crowd. It’s been two years since The Dex Romweber Duo have released a full-length release for Bloodshot Records, but the Chapel Hill siblings have created a wild and highly enjoyable album that continues Dex’s tradition of mixing rockabilly, surf, punk, and classic American blues into a genre of music that is unique as Romweber’s trademark soulful voice, which has been often mimicked but never replicated.

20

His latest offering, “Is That You in the Blue?” is a continuance of the Dex-ethic, flailing Brian Jones-esque drums from sister Sara and the Dick Dale approved guitar licks from Romweber that sound like they were from another era, hollowed in mounds of saturated reverb that evoke an appropriate placement in a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack. Recorded in Rick Miller’s Kudzu Ranch studio near Chapel Hill, N.C., the Southern Culture on the Skids front man took special care into placing Romweber’s vocals at the forefront. The smoky midnight tones that come out on the title track and the killer “The Death of Me,” lean towards a young Frank Sinatra that’s succumbed to the dark side, while tracks like “Jungle Drums” and “I Wish You Would” bring out the howling rockabilly devil that lurks within Dex’s expansive vocal range. Not to mention the high-octane instrumentals like “Gurdjieff Girl” and “Climb Down” that might test the shark infested waters off some remote island with its 60’s surf riffs and wall of sound drums. On “Is That You in the Blue?” it’s all classic Dex. A true icon of American underground music, Dex Romweber was the leader of the nearly world famous Flat Duo Jets, leading the way with the stripped down guitar\drums format that was certainly borrowed to its full potential by the likes of Jack White and his band The White Stripes. Romweber’s not bothered by the comparisons, “If he (White) got anything off those early records, that’s great, I mean– if anyone got something from them, I think it’s great! I’ve got no problem with it.” As the Flat Duo Jets dissolved in the early 90’s, Dex continued making music and albums with the same passion, eventually bringing in JUDY WOODALL PHOTO sister Sara, who had played with Let’s Active and Snatches of Pink, creating the Dex Romweber Duo. Growing up listening to bands like Kiss and Led Zeppelin, Dex began to explore 50’s and 60’s garage bands, digging into some more obscure groups that great influenced his sound, more so than the commercially successful acts of the day. What has been an ongoing legend-in-the-making path, Dex Romweber has earned cult status among music fans and critics alike with each album released. North Carolina is home to this musical sensation, and while he’s clearly left his mark—influencing generations of bands and musicians—he still carries on with extreme modesty and that unrestrained vigor he notoriously possesses.

info:

To hear samples, visit myspace.com/dexterromweberduo.

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mountaintops. Fall is that perfect season from almost any view, and now it’s nothing but miles As summer fades away and the other-worldly and miles of skyline. colors of fall begin to creep into view, the cool One of Asheville, N.C.’s, favorite indie-rock bands, breezes that bring a peaceful calm among the Uncle Mountain has weathered the months that it valleys and mountains of our area commence to took to create a delightful new album, one that blowing and sounds of music fill the air. Gone are builds upon the strengths of all three members the dog days of summer heat with its compliand goes in a direction that is remarkably distincmentary hazy, unclear vistas from our majestic tive with their sweet harmonies, creative arrangements, and stellar songwriting. “Miles of Skyline” avoids the prophetic sophomore slump and pushes the band that’s known for its exhilarating live performances to record an album that manages to capture that elusive intrinsic energy on tape. The three diverse songwriters that complete Uncle Mountain—Dan Shearin, Ryan KYLE GRAY BEACH PHOTO Lassiter, and Ryan Furstenberg—have all been playing music for a long time. “Ryan and I have been playing music Visit Smoky Mountain Living online at smliv.com for since we were quite young, an interview with Uncle Mountain. To order “Miles of maybe six years old or so,” Skyline,” visit unclemountain.com. says Shearin, “Furstenberg

This charming band

online:

THE HEART & SOUL OF THE NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS

Where

Explore Our Rich Heritage!

Memories Visit our Wineries

September

22-Oct. 30 • 41st Annual Oktoberfest, Festhalle, 706-878-1908 24 • Oktoberfest Parade, Downtown Helen 2 p.m., 706-878-1908 24 • Agri-Fest/Country Market and Pottery Comes to Town, Downtown Cleveland, 706-865-5356

October

1-30 • Oktoberfest, Festhalle, 706-878-1908 or 706-878-2181 15 • Georgia Literary Book Festival, SNCA, 706-878-3300 21-22 • Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown, SNCA, 706-878-3300

are made!

Bavarian Shops, Historical Landmarks, State Parks & Local Artists

Adopt Hand-Stitched Originals

has been playing since middle school I believe.” It’s obvious these guys are talented, the musicianship on “Miles of Skyline” is flawless, from the inspired jam on “False Alarm” to the Afro-pop percussion on the title track, to banjo-laden stomp of “Hot Sun,” Uncle Mountain brings a breezy calmness to each song while maintaining composure and poise that’s extremely charming. Each track on the new album is filled with the band’s greatest strength, one exclusively practiced—their harmonies. Smooth, sweet, and airy, the mellow vibes from their perfectly atoned voices create a sound reminiscent of a Brian Wilson meets Crosby, Stills and Nash on a back porch on an Appalachian fall afternoon. “Vocals are something we are always working on,” Shearin explains, “We have a lot of vocal practices and are singing sets of music each night.” The hard work has paid off for Uncle Mountain. Recorded in their own make-shift home studio, mostly live with minimal overdubs, “Miles of Skyline” is sure to gain this talented young band national attention and hopefully record labels. “We’d like to be playing together for as long as possible,” Shearin laments. “From a year from now to five years from now, if we’d be sharing our music with more and more people, that’d be a great feeling.”

Celebrate Oktoberfest

November

19 • Appalachian Christmas, Babyland General Hospital, 706-865-2171 25-Dec. 10 • Festival of Trees, Unicoi State Park, 1-800-573-9659 x 300 or 706-865-5356 25 • Annual Lighting of the Village, 6 p.m., Downtown Helen, 706-878-2181

December

1-9 • Festival of Trees, Unicoi State Park, 800-573-9659 x 300 or 706-865-5366 3 • Deck the Halls, Unicoi State Park, 1-800-573-9659 x 300 3 • Annual Christmas Parade, Downtown Helen, 2 p.m., 706-878-2181 3 • 12th Annual Christmas in the Mountains Celebration, Downtown Cleveland, 706-865-5356 3 • Lighted Christmas Parade, Downtown Cleveland, 7 p.m., 706-865-5356 10 • Nacoochee Village Christmas, Nacoochee Village, 706-878-2181 All events subject to change. Call the White County Chamber for new or changed information. 59626

From waterfalls to beautiful mountains, our natural surroundings are breathtaking!

1-800-392-8279

whitecountychamber.org

WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

mountain arts

HAVE PRODUCE, WILL PERFORM; ONE TROUPE’S HUNGRY TRADITION TENN. DEPT. OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT PHOTO

Fiddles, hill-folk soul, bluegrass, gospel, six-strings and the 1927 recording sessions all led to what is now known as the Birthplace of Country Music—Bristol, Tenn. With hopes to give this birthplace a home, an organization is working toward preserving the history to educate individuals about southern Appalachia music. The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA), a non profit organization dedicated to telling the story of Appalachia’s musical heritage and cultural traditions, has launched a campaign in hopes of getting a Cultural Heritage Center fully funded and running by 2013. The purpose of the center is to preserve Bristol’s heritage, promote the Birthplace of Country Music and create a place to tell the story of Bristol’s musical history. “It will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Bristol and our region to capitalize on our rich history and musical culture as an associate of the Smithsonian Institute,” says John Rainero, president of the BCMA. The goal of the campaign is for 1,927 people to donate $520 to the capital fund this year. The individuals who donate will be called “Friends of 1927” and receive benefits. Benefits include a pin, certificate, special preview of the center before the grand opening, as well as discounts, press conference invitations and future recognition. “We are asking people to rally for the Birthplace of Country Music,” says Rhythm and Roots Reunion Executive Director Leah Ross. “Until the Cultural Heritage Center is built, the Birthplace doesn’t have a real home.” Visitors at the facility will have the opportunity to listen to music and see exhibits showing the history, influences and development of country music. Plans for the center also include live musical performances, educational programs and other activities. “The Cultural Heritage will be a life changing educational experience for every visitor as well as members of the greater community,” says Rainero. To make a donation and become a “friend of 1927,” visit birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or for more information, call 423.573.1927.

BARTER THEATRE PHOTO

Documenting the birthplace of country music

Abingdon, Va.’s, Barter Theatre gets its name from a Depression-era tradition. An enterprising young actor named Robert Porterfield and his fellow actors found themselves out of work and hungry in New York City. Porterfield contrasted that to the abundance of food, but lack of live theatre, around his home region in Southwest Virginia. He returned to home with an extraordinary proposition: bartering produce from the farms and gardens of the area to gain admission to see a play. Barter Theatre opened its doors on June 10, 1933, proclaiming, “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.” The price of admission was 35 cents or the equivalent in produce, the concept of trading “ham for Hamlet” caught on quickly. At the end of the first season, the Barter Company cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly and enjoyed a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds. Seventy-eight years later, Barter Theatre is open February-December and most weekends welcome up to four shows, which makes it easy to enjoy this State Theatre of Virginia. The schedule includes “The Road to Appomattox,” “Dracula Bites,” “Swag Gas and Shallow Feelings,” followed by winter productions of “Wooden Snowflakes,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Call of the Wild,” and “Rudolph.” Reserve tickets in advance or, while in Abington, purchase them at the box office located by The Barter Café on the hill overlooking Main Street and the theatre. The café is open daily for lunch with extended hours for performances. The casual atmosphere offers up memorabilia from shows past and simple tasty food including sandwiches, desserts, and coffees. For more information visit bartertheatre.com or call 276.628.3991.

A TRIBUTE TO VIRGINIA’S ROCKABILLY ROOTS “Virginia Rocks: A History of Rockabilly in the Commonweath” explores the careers of dozens of 1950s rockers from across the state at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum of Ferrum College in Abingdon, Va. Most barely got beyond cutting a few 45s and playing the high school dance, but those such as Gene Vincent and Janis Martin took center states on the rockabilly scene in the U.S. and abroad. The exhibit includes performers’ costumes, musical instruments, studio equipment, records, photographs, and video footage. The exhibit runs through Dec. 1. For more information visit williamkingmuseum.org or call 276.628.5005. 22

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DEPARTMENT

mountain letters

Music, race and friendship BY REBECCA TOLLEY-STOKES

The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011. ISBN 0316117595. magine a secret friendship in a small North Carolina town between two high school boys in 1963, one black, the other white. Clyde Edgerton’s The Night Train captures the yearning of Larry Lime Nolan—of that bunch of Nolans with the funny names like “Sammy My Good God Almighty Nolan” or “Seaboard Air Line Railroad Kitchen Nolan “because he’d been born in the kitchen when the dern night train was coming through”—and Dwayne Hallston for adulthood and escape from Prestonville, N.C. United by their love of music, they work together at Dwayne’s father’s furniture store. Larry’s mother hopes that jazz “might get him outen the South,” she thought. It was a familiar thought for all her children—with other words for ‘jazz.’” Larry’s piano lessons expand. The Bleeder, a hemophiliac he meets at The Frog, a jazz club on the outskirts of town, takes him under his wing, mentors him by teaching him to hear different colors in chords, and teaches him to feel magic via Thelonious Monk. Likewise, Dwayne’s singing and performance with his boy band assumes new flavors and complexity as Larry introduces him to the new James Brown album “Live at the Apollo.” Dwayne ingests, mimics, and becomes “the hardest working-man in show business” and convinces his band, the Amazing Rumblers, that learning the songs and stylings was their ticket to winning an audition on Bobby Lee Reese’s country music show, the only show on at 10:30 on Saturday nights. Edgerton returns readers to the segregated South that many may recall, when Monday was the night that Blacks could recreate at Junebug’s Skating Rink; when domestic labor could be negotiated at fifty cents an hour; when the editor, reporter, and photographer at the newspaper was called because a white boy tried to sneak a black boy into the drive-in theater via the trunk of a 1960 Buick. Racial tension laces the pages of The Night Train, but so does humor. Larry’s dancing chicken Redbird makes for comical moments, as does Dwayne’s attempt to throw a mean rooster over the balcony at the theater during a matinee of “The Birds.” Home audiences tuned into Bobby Reese’s music show to hear stories of his backward relatives, but also to watch him toss dry dog food into the air and eat it; that was his shtick.

I

24

FOLLOWING FANGS MAKES FOR A ‘WEIRD BOOK’ The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. NY: Ecco, 2011. ISBN 0061579033. When Annie Fang hanged up the phone with Officer Dunham, she grabbed a bottle of vodka and drank from it. Her brother asked, “What did Mom and Dad do?” And Annie replied, “Something awful,” because when the Fang family van was discovered abandoned along the Tennessee-North Carolina line, the adult children never suspected foul play. Given the amount of blood detectives found at the scene, and the recent history of brutal murders along the two states’ borders, the police were sure the Fang disappearance was not another infamous performance art event. Annie and Buster were not convinced. The Family Fang follows the lives of Annie and Buster, sometimes referred to as Child A or Child B, who unwillingly participated in performance art events staged at malls by their artist parents, Caleb and Camille. But why malls? It was all accidental. Annie squalled and vomited on Santa’s lap. A light bulb illuminated Caleb’s mind: “You have a bunch of people, hypnotized by all this material consumption, stuck inside a big maze of a building that throws off their equilibrium.” Then, after discovering that they could create chaos by placing Annie in situations in which she’d be terrified, they discovered a way to integrate their children into their art because their mentor Hobart Waxman had convinced them that “Kids Kill Art.” The seed for The Family Fang grew from Kevin Wilson’s own experience as a new father. I heard him speak at a panel on Southern Fiction at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans in June this year, where I scored an uncorrected proof which he signed “with hopes that you like this weird book,” and he said that being a parent scared him because all the ways that you can screw up your children turn parenting into an awesome responsibility. Then, of course, his imagination ran away with him in the ways that parents could actually screw up their children. After performing at her parents’ behest for all those years, Annie turns to acting so that recognition in the midst of a Fang event would ruin her parents’ art. Buster published two novels and knows some success as a journalist until he suffers a severe head wound due to a potato gun blast at the hands of Iraqi War veterans, which sends him home to Tennessee. Likewise, a Hollywood scandal has Annie traveling east toward home as well and the convergence of four adult Fangs incite the Fang parents’ final performance.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


SML_Vol.11-Iss.5 TRAVIS:Layout 1 8/26/11 2:29 PM Page 25

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Clay County < North Carolina Come and enjoy Clay County year round. No matter what time of the year it is, there's always something to explore. From seasonal celebrations and special events to natural beauty and local history, every family member can find something enjoyable. Whether you like hiking on a mountain trail, fishing on Lake Chatuge, or shopping on the square. Also, history lovers will be interested in the Clay County Courthouse, which was built in 1888 and is designated in the National Register of Historical Places, the Clay County Museum, and the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Join us for our signature fall event Oct. 21-23 3rd Annual Punkin' Chunkin Festival

Games and Activities for All Ages • Craft Fair Saturday & Sunday • Pumpkin Carving Contest Family Fun, Food, and Entertainment for the entire Family FRIDAY OCTOBER 21: Family Costume Parade; Chili, Soups & Stew Contest; Street Dance; Beer & Wine Garden SATURDAY OCTOBER 22: Anything Pumpkin Bake Off • Craft Fair • Food Concessions Pumpkin Roll Contest • Beer & Wine Garden Round 1 Punkin Chunkin Contest • Music & Games All Afternoon SUNDAY OCTOBER 23: Craft Fair • Food Concesssions • Pie Eating Contest Beer & Wine Garden • Music & Games All Afternoon Final Round Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest

Clay County Chamber of Commerce

Contact us for event details and lodging information:

388 Business, Hwy. 64 | Hayesville, NC 877.389.3704 | www.NCMtnChamber.com WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

mountain voices

Iron will forged in the Smokies Training is underway for next spring’s Mountain Man Memorial March B Y T. W AY N E W AT E R S

W

hether uniformed and booted, as with the military teams and individual military competitors, or more comfortably dressed and shod, as with the civilian competitors, the Mountain Man Memorial March is a true test of mountain man (and woman) spirit, and prospective participants are already in training. “We start ROTC training in September five times a week, running a lot, building our leg muscles up,” says University of Tennessee Army Ranger Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadet Steven Cronin, captain of the UT Ranger team that won last year’s Mountain Man Memorial March military team “heavy full” category. “We train up hard for Mountain Man starting in early February with ruck marches several times a week, increasing the distance and with twice as much weight as we’d normally be marching with. We’ll train then with about 75 pounds while at the actual event it’ll be 35 to 40 pounds.” Cronin says last year the UT Ranger team also spent time running its way up and down the formidable steps of Thompson Boling Arena with 75-pound rucksacks. “That helped a lot, but it sucks,” he candidly admits. Conducted by the University of Tennessee Department of Military Science-Army ROTC program, Mountain Man Memorial March competitors traverse sidewalks, highways, and rugged mountain terrain between downtown Gatlinburg and the picturesque mountain community of Pittman Center during the march.

Imagine walking or jogging miles and miles for hours and hours carrying 35 pounds in a backpack in hilly terrain on a warm spring day, hitting a 9percent grade that rises for a mile or more, and doing it all in full military uniform—with boots— for 26.2 miles. The memorial march was originally conducted to honor U.S. Army 1st Lt. Frank Walkup, a UT ROTC alumnus who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. Each year’s race continues that individual honor and spreads it to other fallen comrades and families that received a Gold Star Lapel Button after losing a family member in service. “It started out as a way for students and cadre members who actually knew Lt. Walkup to honor his memory and his family,” explains 1st Sergeant Retired A. L. Dalton, Training Non-Commissioned Officer and Military Science Instructor at the University of Tennessee Department of Military ScienceArmy ROTC. “They went out and did it when there was absolutely no gain or recognition for them with 40 or more other cadets from East Tennessee. Then, as the event has grown, it’s become a recognition for Gold Star families, not just mothers as in the beginning but the whole family. Last year we honored 37

“It takes a highly competitive individual to decide to do this because you can’t just throw on a rucksack and go run 26 miles.”

Racers get ready to head out on the 26.2-mile Mountain Man March held in and around Gatlinburg, Tenn. The race weaves through town and up into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE KNOXVILLE/MILITARY SCIENCE-ARMY ROTC

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SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

— A. L. Dalton, 1st Sergeant, Retired


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Gold Star families. Right now we’re the largest Gold Star family event of this type in the Southeast.” The event now has 16 separate competitions including various categories based on military and civilian status, team and individual status, backpack and non-backpack, age range, and race distances ranging from the full 26.2-mile marathon to a half marathon and 10K. The competition, despite its title, also includes females. “It takes a highly competitive individual to decide to do this because you can’t just throw on a rucksack and go run 26 miles,” says Dalton. “There’s a lot of personal time and sacrifice to prepare for the event. It’s not just the distance. It’s the hills around Gatlinburg. The elevation at one point is a 9 percent grade for about a mile or so. That’s the makeor-break point for a lot of people. If they get to the top of that hill, they’ve had enough.” Mountain Man Memorial March participants have come from as far north as Michigan and as far south as Alabama, but the vast majority are from the Mountain South— East Tennessee, Western North Carolina,

info:

The 5th annual Mountain Man Memorial March is scheduled for April 20-21, 2012 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. For more information, visit mountainmanmemorialmarch.com.

Eastern Kentucky, Western Virginia, West Virginia. UT’s Rocky Top Battalion naturally fields the most competitors. Among next year’s Mountain Man Memorial honorees will be 1st Lt. Thomas Williams Jr. and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Cole, both of whom died in a helicopter crash during a routine military exercise over Campbell County Tennessee this past summer. The Tennessee Army National Guard pilots had been with Troop C of the 1/230th Air Cavalry Squadron based at McGhee Tyson Airport. Williams had been, according to Cronin, with the UT ROTC program and worked as a part-time ROTC instructor at UT the past summer. “It’s really cool to see these families experience something positive, even if it’s just one day out of the year,” says 21-year-old UT senior and ROTC cadet Cronin of the Gold Star families. “It’s pretty awesome. That makes everything worth it.” It’s that kind of perspective that makes one worthy of being a true mountain man. WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

mountain cuisine

SAMPLE SOUTHERN CUISINE, LOCAL WINE The Tennessee Food and Wine Festival, held Oct. 21-22 at the Knoxville Convention Center, is an annual event featuring educational sessions, gourmet food, and a special expo providing opportunities to sample and buy Tennessee food products and wines grown through the south. The festival will include more than 100 booths with product samples and sales, interactive kids’ culinary demonstrations and classes, wines of the South, giveaways, and more. General admission tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Children ten and under are free. Wine sampling is an additional $10. Educational sessions or special events are priced separately. The University of Tennessee sponsors the event to provide scholarship funds and work experience to Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management students. For more information, visit conferencesandnoncreditprograms.utk.edu/foodandwine/ or call 865.874.0280.

FROM THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. COPYRIGHT © 2011 BY SANDRA A. GUTIERREZ. USED BY PERMISSION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS. UNCPRESS.UNC.EDU

Latin spice meets Southern flair The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South features 150 original recipes created by Sandra Gutierrez, who was raised in the United States and Guatemala. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Mississippi Delta, and from West Virginia down to the Florida Coast, a subtle transformation is occurring in the culinary landscape of the American South as more Latinos make the region their home. Dishes in the cookbook, published by the University of North Carolina Press, include Sweet Potato Posole, MasaVisit smliv.com for a Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes special interview with with Cilantro Crème, and Guava Sandra Gutierrez. Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. “I chose to build a cuisine based upon our similarities, with flavors that both Southerners and Latinos can relate to, in hope of bringing people together at the table,” Gutierrez says.

online:

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Power Salmon from Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurant in Murphy, N.C. 4-6 Salmon filets 1 lb. Spinach 1 cup Quinoa ½ cup fresh pecans and ¼ cup roasted (crushed) 1 cup blueberries ¼ cup sherry ¼ cup melted butter ¼ cup panko bread crumbs 1 ¼ cup water Rinse and drain quinoa, then roast it and after cooling, place in boiling water and cook until done (boil for about 2 minutes, then cover and remove from heat for about 20 minutes). Mix panko and half of the crushed pecans. Coat salmon with melted butter and nut mixture and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Sautee spinach in 1 tbs. butter. In a separate saucepan, gently simmer blueberries and sherry until blueberries are soft. Cover the plate with quinoa and lay spinach over it. Place a salmon filet over the spinach and then spoon the blueberries over the salmon. Sprinkle toasted pecans over the plate and garnish as desired. — Chef Doyle Smith opened Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurant in 2002 after moving to the region from Atlanta, Ga. His is committed to using local and organic foods however possible.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


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WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

out & about

FIRST-HAND HISTORY OF CADE’S COVE Cades Cove Heritage Tours offers visitors a ride through the history, personal stories, and unique features that make the Tennessee landmark within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so special. Tours take the 11-mile winding loop of Cades Cove on a nineteenpassenger bus that is used to help alleviate overcrowding, traffic, and pollution in the Cove. Tours are available year-round, with regularly scheduled rides departing at 1 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays April 15 through Nov. 15. Tours last approximately three and a half hours. Riders meet at and depart from the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, Tenn. Reservations are recommended. For more information, visit gsmheritagecenter.org or call 865.448.8838.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF THE SMOKIES

Top honors for Gatlinburg aquarium Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence, which honors top-rated lodging businesses, restaurants and attractions, as reviewed by travelers on the world’s largest travel site. “This is such a great honor since the results are based upon the reports from our guests,” said Ryan DeSear, the aquarium’s general manager. Since opening its doors in 2000, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has hosted more than 14 million visitors and is the second most visited attraction in Tennessee. The aquarium was voted the Number One Aquarium in America by TripAdvisor.com, and Forbes Traveler named it one of America’s Best Aquariums. More than 100,000 exotic sea creatures live in its 1.4 million gallons of water. The aquarium is known for its shark exhibit that features 12-foot sharks and one of the longest underwater tunnels in the world. In 2010, the aquarium opened the multimillion dollar “Ripley’s Penguin Playhouse” an indoor/outdoor habitat featuring African Black Footed Penguins. For more information, visit gatlinburg.ripleyaquariums.com. 30

Cades Cove. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT PHOTO

A LITTLE ITALY IN THE FOOTHILLS In the late 1800s, Waldensian settlers from Northern Italy arrived in North Carolina in search of a new life and economic opportunities. Today, the Waldensian culture is still evident in the foothills town of Valdese. Attractions include the Waldensian Heritage Museum, the Trail of Faith—an outdoor museum of 15 replica buildings and monuments from the Waldensian valleys of Italy— the Old Rock School, home to art galleries and a railroad museum, and the Waldensian Winery, where more than 250 years of winemaking history is represented with special tours and tastings. For more information, go to visitvaldese.com.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


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A PRACTICAL APPLICATION FOR MOUNTAIN TRAVEL

ANNA OAKES PHOTO

FRASER FIRS ARE THE CHRISTMAS CHOICE A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the North Carolina Fraser fir is the premier Christmas tree. Known for its excellent needle retention, strong boughs, beautiful dark green color and long lasting aroma, the NC Fraser fir brings back many a return customer. North Carolina has 1,600 growers producing an estimated 50 million Fraser fir Christmas trees growing on over 25,000 acres. Fraser Fir trees represent over 90 percent of all species grown in North Carolina. The N.C. Christmas Tree Association is headquartered in Boone and represents growers across the region; and while cutting one’s own tree is a tradition, those who can’t make it to the mountains can have the mountains shipped to them. Visit ncchristmastrees.com/mail-order-trees.php for information about how to have trees and wreaths sent to one’s home.

WWW.SMLIV.COM

A free application for iPhone users is available from the Great Smoky Mountains Association that includes the Smokies Visitor Guide, which covers favorite destinations, recreation information, safety tips, services, and a road map. The Best of the Great Smoky Mountains application includes all the information contained in the free app, as well as guides to some of the most popular activities and destinations in the park. The app, which sells for $2.99, features auto touring in the Smokies, 32 favorite trails, waterfalls, and more. The Great Smoky Mountains Association benefits from every purchase. Look for the app in iTunes or visit thegreatsmokymountains.org/ nomad_mobile_guide to link to the purchase site.

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A DVERT ISING SEC T IO N

Haywood County, N.C. See Yourself in the Smokies! See Yourself in the Smokies this Fall and Winter in beautiful Maggie Valley and Waynesville North Carolina where the majestic vistas are never-ending. Here are some suggestions on where to view spectacular fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway. At an elevation of 6,047 feet, the Richland Balsam Overlook is a breathtaking experience. Just outside of Maggie Valley you’ll find Waterrock Knob where the views are magical. Don’t forget Graveyard Fields near Canton where you can enjoy both the upper and lower waterfalls, this is an easy hike sure to please. With winter fast approaching experience great skiing in the Great Smoky Mountains. Cataloochee Ski Area has 16 exciting slopes and trails for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Take a brisk ride down a huge hill at Tube World; this tubing sport is fun for all ages. Tube World also has the Wee Bowl Snowplay Area for young children who don’t make the tubing height requirement of 42 inches.

FALL THROUGH WINTER EVENTS • “Ride for Pink”, Supporting the Cure 10/01/2011 • High Country Quilt Show 10/06/2011 through 10/08/2011 • Lake Junaluska Singers 10/07/2011 through 10/08/2011 • Art After Dark 10/07/2011, 11/04/2011 and 12/02/2011 • Maggie Valley October Leaves Craft Show 10/08/2011 through 10/09/2011 • 28th Annual Church Street Arts & Crafts Show 10/08/2011 • Bethel 5k and Half Marathon Races 10/08/2011 • 3rd Annual 'Vairs in the Valley 10/14/2011 through 10/16/2011 • 22nd Annual Apple Harvest Festival 10/15/2011 • Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show 10/15/2011 through 10/16/2011 • World Championship Clogging Competition 10/21/2011 through 10/23/2011 • Appalachian Christmas Celebration 12/10/2011 through 12/11/2011 • A Night Before Christmas 12/10/2011

For detailed information connect with us at www.visitNCsmokies.com or on Facebook at www.facebook/SmokyMountainsNC.


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Celebrating 25 years as a NC Main Street City!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ED KELLEY

WAYNESVILLE

Stroll brick sidewalks lined with shade trees. Visit fine shops, galleries & restaurants. Sit on a bench surrounded by views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

OCT 8TH — 28th annual CHURCH STREET ART & CRAFT SHOW The regions finest one day juried art show on Main Street Live Mountain Music & Dance, Food

OCT 15TH — 23rd annual APPLE HARVEST FESTIVAL Craft booths, entertainment, food & more on Main Street

NOV 20TH — HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Enjoy the sights, scents and sounds as the Holiday season begins in festively decorated shops & galleries in the downtown area

DEC 10TH — “A NIGHT before CHRISTMAS”

A holiday tradition in Downtown Waynesville Live music, Caroling, Santa, old fashioned wagon rides, storytelling, luminaries & more

DOW N TOW N WAYN E SV I L L E A S S O C I AT I O N w w w.downtownwaynesville.c om • 828.45 6.3517

SPONS ORED IN PART BY HAY WOOD COUNT Y TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUT HORIT Y • 80 0.334.903 6 • W W W.VISITNCSMOKIE S.COM


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ARTIST OF THE

BLUE RIDGE

59617

Up River

Lake Logan, NC Original Colored Pencil Drawing

15 N. MAIN ST. • WAYNESVILLE • (828) 452-9284

tpennington.com

57336

From

Stovetop to Tabletop From

Soup to Nuts h

Home Tech has it all! 59618

HOME•TECH

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — “The Kitchen Shop” 5 N. Main Street Waynesville, NC

HOMES

828-452-7672 MON-SAT 9:30 A.M. TO 5 P.M. SUN. 11:30 A.M. TO 5 P.M.

34

Your guide to Real Estate in Haywood County, North Carolina

MountainHomesNow.com VISIT

Waynesville NORTH CAROLINA


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ITALIAN

MEDITERRANEAN

STEAKS • PIZZA • CHICKEN SEAFOOD • SANDWICHES NEWLY REMODELED AND SMOKE-FREE!

Christmas Open House

———————————————————————————————————

OPEN FOR LUNCH MON-FRI • DINNER SERVED MON-SAT

Sunday, November 27 • 1-5 p.m.

Register to win a $100 gift certificate

1863 S. MAIN ST. WAYNESVILLE 828.454.5002 HWY. 19/23 EXIT 98

Mon.-Sat. 10-5 • 784 N. Main St. Waynesville • 828-452-5720

59517

59619

We Carry ... • German Cuckoo Clocks • Dolls including Lee Middleton & Adora • Over 3,000 Ornaments • Jim Shore • Wood Wick Candles • Much, much more! 113 N. Main St. • Waynesville 828-452-7945 christmas-is-everyday.com 59962

A Gallery WHERE Art

Gifts  Jewelry Artwork  Candles Home & Bath Accessories

DANCES WITH Nature

BreezeArt garden flags & mailboxes are permanently dyed for fade-resistant color.

TANASEE CREEK LAKE JACK STERN, ARTIST

98 NORTH MAI N STR EET • WAYN ESVI LLE 828.456.1940 • W W W.T WIGSA N DLEAVES.CO M

828-452-2432 • Mon.-Sat. 10-5

Explore all of Waynesville. Visit us at 460 Hazelwood Ave.

VISIT

Waynesville NORTH CAROLINA

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DEPARTMENT

outdoors

Cradling the Catawba River

N

ear Morganton, N.C., South Mountains State Park spreads across 100,000 acres in the state’s foothills. The South Mountains once served as a buffer zone between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians, and the first European settlers in the area farmed the fertile land along the Catawba River. Park lands were developed in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed Camp Dryer at Enola. Those employed at the camp built forest service roads, cleaned streambeds, and built a fire tower. The Park itself was not created until the mid-1970s. The Park’s most popular trail, High Shoals Fall Loop Trail, travels a mile along the Jacob Fork River to the base of High Shoals Falls, then continues to the top of the falls before looping back around over rugged terrain. The Park also is one of few in the state system that offers mountain biking trails. An 18-mile, strenuous loop trail follows old logging roads through the backcountry. Camping at South Mountains State Park requires backpacking in to a site—as close as 1.2 miles or as far as 5.4 miles from the Jacob Fork parking area. A primitive family camping area is located a half-mile from the parking area. There also is an

36

Linville Gorge, known as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, provides a wonderful escape for nature lovers. Lake James State Park offers waterfront camping near the mouth of the gorge. PHOTOS COURTESY OF BURKE COUNTY, N.C. TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

info:

Visit ncparks.gov or call 1.877.7.CAMPNC for more information or reservations.

equestrian campground with fifteen primitive sites, a 33-stall barn, and bathhouse. Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. The lake was created between 1916 and 1923 with the construction of dams across the Catawba River and two tributaries, Paddy Creek and Linville River. Named for James B. Duke, founder of Duke Power Company, Lake James has been a hydroelectric unit for the power company since the early 1900s. Boating, fishing, and camping are available at the Park. The 20 walk-in sites offer lake views and are open through the end of November.

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NO DISPUTING THIS OFF-ROAD MECCA

Where

the isfocus you!

Southern West Virginia is home to one of the best managed off-highway vehicle trails systems to be found—the award-wining Hatfield-McCoy Trails. The trails, patrolled by state police academy and ATV Safety Institute certified rangers, have been developed using GIS technology. Trails are color-coded by degree of difficulty ranging from wide logging roads to extremely steep, rocky paths. Permits are required but are good until Dec. 31 of the calendar year in which they are purchased. Drop by the visitor center south of Charleston, W.V., for trailhead information and to learn about trail system friendly vendors. For more information, visit trailsheaven.com or call 800.592.2217.

Boutique-focused brands that cater to your style, plus one of western North Carolina’s largest selections of Brighton Accessories.

BIRDING ABOUNDS IN CHEROKEE Miles of trails in Cherokee, N.C., offer visitors remarkable bird-watching opportunities for novice and veteran birders alike. The Oconaluftee Indian Village Botanical Gardens, located on Drama Road beside the Oconaluftee Indian Village and the Mountainside Theatre, showcases native and cultivated plants, with small flower gardens scattered along the path. The Garden Path gently winds Rose-breasted uphill to a traditional Grosbeak. U.S. FISH AND Cherokee vegetable WILDLIFE SERVICE PHOTO garden before looping back to the trailhead. The Gardens are open May through October. Mingo Falls’ 120-foot cascades plunge into thick tangles of rhododendron and forest cover that provide an excellent habitat for songbirds. No matter the season, the hike offers a dramatic forest experience from spring’s early blooms to fall’s golden glow. Look for wood thrushes, Louisiana waterthrushes, scarlet tanagers, and pileated woodpeckers. At the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road species such as northern parula; blue-headed and red-eyed vireo; a variety of warblers; rose-breasted grosbeak; and wild turkey often can be seen. Red crossbills, black-capped chickadees, and pine siskins are at higher elevations. For more information about Cherokee, visit cherokee-nc.com or call 800.438.1601.

121 N MAIN ST. • WAYNESVILLE, NC

(828) 452-3611

2 SWAN ST. • ASHEVILLE, NC

(828)277-3650

www.shopatstyle.com 59159

STROLL THE GALLERIES OF WAYNESVILLE UNTIL 9 P.M. THE FIRST FRIDAY OF MAY-DEC.

Presented by the Waynesville Gallery Association.

For more information visit www.waynesvillegalleryassociation.com.

Haywood County Tourism Development Authority 800-334-9036 or www.VisitNCSmokies.com WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

sustainable living

Taking a cue from nature

A

new exhibit coming to The North Carolina Arboretum introduces visitors to the functions of shelters and how animals and humans have adapted to different environments through a diversity of structures. Opening Sept. 24, “Sustainable Shelter” explores biodiversity, human and animal architecture, ecosystems, and energy and water conservation, all from the perspective of the “home.” Just as birds select and gather materials from their local environments to fashion safe and nurturing nests, humans build homes that use natural resources to meet a vast array of our needs and desires. Sustainable Shelter investigates the ways that human dwellings extract, use, and discard energy, water, and other precious natural resources. The exhibit reveals innovative new building technologies and strategies that can help restore the health and viability of natural cycles. More than 15 interactive components uncover how we can learn from nature to make our dwellings more sustainable parts of the earth’s natural systems. Graphics, cartoons and interactive computer games explore how daily actions are part of the earth’s carbon and water cycles. Visitors can test ways to make homes more sustainable Sustainable Shelter with hands-on will be on display at exhibits. Scale The North Carolina Arboretum through Jan. models show how 2, 2012. For information, the size and call 828.665.2492 or visit environmental ncarboretum.org. impact of American homes have changed over time. Visitors can then build a model of a home that incorporates many of the environmental features presented in the exhibition. To broaden the visitor experience, an exhibit called Home Green Home will be featured in the Baker Exhibit Center Greenhouse. Designed and produced by Arboretum staff, the exhibit includes a variety of animal shelters, insect hives, and nests native to our area. Visitors will be introduced to xeric landscaping examples, and local green home building products will be on display, courtesy of Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty. The North Carolina Arboretum is the first facility to host Sustainable Shelter as a traveling exhibit. The exhibit is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Energy, and was developed by the Center for Sustainable Building Research, and the Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota. Support is provided locally by Community Partners of The North Carolina Arboretum: Smoky Mountain Living, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, WNC Green Building Council, and Mathews Architecture, P.A.

info: A bisected replica termite mound (above) uncovers how the architecturally inclined insects build elaborate systems of tunnels. Visitors can compare typical single-family homes (below) at three points in time: 1800s, 1950, and 2010. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA ARBORETUM

38

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The Magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child! Watch the Toymaker make Appalachian wooden toys by hand Hear the story of why oranges mean Christmas in the mountains See and smell Frankincense and Myrrh while the Toymaker tells the story of the first Christmas Listen to sleigh bells ring as the story of St. Nicholas is told

Dr. David Marshall, public wheat breeder and pathologist with UDSA-ARS, in Waynesville at Mountain Research Station. DONATED PHOTO

The North Carolina Organic Bread Flour project aims to link farmers, bakers, and millers across the state with the goal of providing a viable market for organic hard and soft wheat and other small grains. Closing the distance between the farmer and baker is key. This need was made evident when in 2008 a perceived wheat deficit caused prices to soar, says project coordinator Jennifer Lapidus, a retired baker. Consumers and bakers alike felt the pinch. Additionally, in North Carolina, where the vast majority of bread wheat is trucked in from other parts of the US, the price of wheat is compounded with the ever-increasing cost of fuel. Fostering the relationship between the grower, miller, and baker provides a tangible level of security and sustainability for all three. NCOBFP is an initiative of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. For more information on the project, visit ncobfp.blogspot.com.

Bryson City, NC â&#x20AC;˘ (828) 488-5705

59924

FIELD AND OVEN JUST GOT CLOSER

November 5 through December 23 STORYTELLING CENTER OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS

    

of Rabun County, GA . Beginning with The Foxfire Maagazine 45 years ago, high school students took an h h l

Take US 441 to Mountain City, GA. Turn onto Black Rock Mtn. Parkway. About one mile up, follow the     

 

 

CALCULATE AND OFFSET YOUR IMPACT Appalachian Offsets, a program of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council, is a voluntary carbon offset program to combat global climate change through local renewable energy and efficiency projects in Western North Carolina. Calculate your carbon footprint at wncgbc.org/offset and offset all or part of it at $15 per ton. All participants who choose to offset two tons of carbon or more will receive an Appalachian Offsets bumper sticker and a listing on the Green Building Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offset website. Offsets are tax deductible. Businesses or civic and community groups interested in Appalachian Offsets may contact the Green Building Council at info@wncgbc.org for more information about presentations and a free carbon footprint audit and reduction suggestions.

Close To The Action, Far From The Crowds! 59381

RIVER ESCAPE INN & SUITES

828-586-6060 248 WBI Drive â&#x20AC;˘ Dillsboro, NC Each Best Western is Independently owned & operated. WWW.SMLIV.COM

Overlook the Tuckasegee River from your spacious room or relax on our scenic riverside patio. Enjoy deluxe guest rooms, suites, a heated indoor pool and hot-tub spa, a complimentary hot breakfast bar and an atmosphere flowing with charm. One block from Historic Dillsboro, NC. Railroad Tickets Sold Here www.bwriverescape.com 39


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59646

Main Street to the Mountains

Get Real!

Cocke County, Tennessee

Day Trips on Back Roads in Greene County, Tennessee

t"+PVSOFZUP1BJOU3PDL t"5SBDL5ISPVHI(SFFOF$PVOUZ t"MPOHUIF'PPUPG(SFZTUPOF

For your next “Real” Smoky Mountain adventure, give us a holler!

t3JWFST 3PBETBOE3BJM-JOFT

GREENE

COUNTY

TOURISM

www.cockecounty.com 423.625.9675

(423) 638-4111 www.VisitGreenevilleTN.com 59647

THE

SEQUOYAH

BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM

576 Hwy 360 • P.O Box 69 Vonore, TN

423.884.6246

Open Year Round • Mon-Sat 9-5 • Sun 12-5 Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years 59923

40

VISIT

Eastern Tennessee


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A DVERT ISING SEC T IO N

Jonesborough, Tenn.: Take a look at Tennessee’s oldest town Historic Jonesborough, Tenn., is beautiful all year, but there is no better place to spend the holidays than in this picturesque town that takes you back in time through its Christmas in Olde Jonesborough series. • Nov. 26th at 6 p.m., Lighting of the Tree - The series kicks off with the annual lighting of the town's 80 ft. spruce tree at the center of the award winning Town Square. • Dec. 3rd from 3 to 7 p.m, Dickens at Dusk - Rekindle an oldfashioned spirit, with carolers in period dress, sleigh rides and a production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre. Reservations are recommended. • Dec. 10th at 6 p.m., Christmas Parade - Catch Jonesborough's annual lighted parade with nearly 60 participants traveling through the festively decorated historic district including holiday music and decorations.

• Dec. 11th from 2 to 6 p.m., Holiday Tour of Homes - Tour the famous historic district and experience some of the Town's most elegantly decorated homes, unique architecture and nationally known bed & breakfasts. Reservations are recommended. • Dec. 17th from 5 to 8 p.m., Spirit of Christmas Stroll - The series ends with the festive Spirit of Christmas Stroll as guests experience caroling and other holiday activities inside Historic Jonesborough's churches and designated areas exhibiting beautifully decorated sanctuaries complete with horse-drawn sleigh rides. Historic Jonesborough - just a short drive from Johnson City, Bristol or Kingsport - is nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. For more information about Jonesborough and the Christmas in Olde Jonesborough event series, call 866.401.4223 or visit www.historicjonesborough.com

Find us at facebook.com/HistoricJonesborough

Storytelling Capital of the World Tennessee’s Oldest Town

1779

866.401.4223 www.historicjonesborough.com VISIT

Eastern Tennessee

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WWW.SMLIV.COM

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STILL LIFES

of

Appalachia

Asheville photographer Tim Barnwell spends his life capturing artistic images of disappearing rural ways B Y T E R E S A K I L L I A N TAT E • P H O T O S B Y T I M B A R N W E L L 44

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The man known for plowing

his mountain farm with a steer instructed, “Berry, look at the camera,” and, sure enough, the bovine with horns that came up to the farmer’s shoulders turned toward Asheville photographer Tim Barnwell.

The moment was magic for Barnwell, who spent hours that day in 1981 getting to know Madison County farmer Collie Payne and his wife, Zola, in his quest to capture the special relationship the couple had with the land, their steer Berry, and each other. When he returned with prints as a thank you for letting him take their photographs, he saw tears form in Zola Payne’s after seeing a photo of her with her husband. “I said, ‘Is there something wrong?’ She said, ‘No. In all who have come here, you’re the first to take a picture of me with him.’ That meant a lot to me that it meant a lot to her—to show that part of his life,” said Barnwell. Since 1978, the 56-year-old fine art and commercial photographer has spent days off exploring the Appalachian mountains with his camera, recording an increasingly rare way of life. He has photographed mountain farms, tobacco harvests, people making molasses, river baptisms, fiddle players, basket-makers, quilters, junkyards, church homecomings, mill workers and old country stores. His portraits have depicted such moments as a father preparing to take his son bear hunting on Christmas Eve and a woman touching the hand of her 89-year-old aunt, who was in bed after falling ill. Barnwell has met people who likely never traveled more than 10 miles from their home, and has seen the close connection formed with animals with names such as Red and Big Boy. He has toted his 4-by-5 view camera, tripod, light meter, lens and film in July heat up hills so steep “if you started rolling, you wouldn’t stop till you got to the creek,” he said. In one case, after spending time with a man named Amos Henderson on Lonesome Mountain in Madison County, he packed up his equipment only to see Henderson pick up a one-legged chicken that he had raised as a pet. “I dragged all my photo equipment out again,” said Barnwell. His photos have been widely published in newspapers, books and magazines, and his fine art work has been in more than 65 exhibits and resides in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the New Orleans Museum of Art. His collections of Appalachian images fill three books and are accompanied by the oral histories he gathered. For Barnwell, spending time hearing the stories of the people he photographs, which meant visiting sometimes for hours and on more than one occasion, was key to his work and part of

MEN OF THE MOUNTAINS The true mountain man is hard to find these days. Modernity has encroached on even the most backwoods hollers, and overall we are less connected with the land and the sense of place that makes one man’s home different from another man’s home. Yet there are those whose souls are still carved from the mountains, from the wildness and the wilderness, from the people and places that have kept Appalachia unique. With this issue, Smoky Mountain Living celebrates the mountain man and his role in Appalachian culture through five stories profiling photographer Tim Barnwell, environmental advocate and adventurer Eustace Conway, Cherokee crafter and champion blowgun competitor Bob Reed, man of ministry and nature Charles Maynard, and tobacco farmers and the golden leaf itself. These stories help define what it means to be a mountain man; however, this cross section is exactly that—a sampling of the species as a whole. We hope you are inspired to share your own mountain man stories with one another, stories of grandfathers and brothers, uncles and sons, those who love the land where they live and carry it in their hearts.

what he enjoyed most. The people he met were accustomed to long visits, having lived the kind of life that if someone had to walk an hour to visit, he stayed awhile. “I was always interested in what the person had to say,” said Barnwell. “There’s an honesty and a directness that I really admire. I have been fascinated with people’s abilities to be selfsufficient—to grow food, to raise livestock. They are very much in touch with the earth and the seasons in a way I think we are getting away from. There’s a connection with community. If they get hurt and are not able to plant, they rely on their neighbors. They might work on one person’s farm together for hours. There’s a kind of community-mindedness, and churches bind those communities together.” Barnwell began taking photographs of people in the Appalachian mountains in earnest in 1978 shortly after graduating from the University of North Carolina Asheville and while working as chief photographer for Mountain Living magazine. Although his degree was in political science, his passion was photography. As a child, he was drawn to photos in Life magazine. He bought his first camera for $5 from an uncle and had a darkroom in his family’s basement. His interest in photographing life in the mountains was tied to his own heritage. Barnwell was born in Bryson City to two teachers, and spent part of his childhood in Franklin and Madison County, as well as in

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“I said, ‘Is there something wrong?’ She said, ‘No. In all who have come here, you’re the first to take a picture of me with him.’ That meant a lot to me that it meant a lot to her—to show that part of his life.”

Greenville, S.C., and Black Mountain, N.C. As an adult, he and his wife, Kathryn, made their home in Asheville, where they raised daughter Callie, who is now in college. The first mountain man he photographed for a magazine story was Byard Ray from Madison County. “I had heard him play fiddle, and I talked him into it,” said Barnwell. He soon began spending his days off driving in the mountains. “It was just something I enjoyed. I wanted a project I could do in a day’s drive. I would pack a lunch and get in the car. Some days you don’t find anything. Some days you strike it rich,” said Barnwell. Initially, he took a map and marked in colored pencil where he had been. Sometimes he would discover that what looked like a dead end on the map actually continued on into the mountains. “I tried to get lost. That was when I knew I found somewhere new. I like having a view, getting on top of a mountain. I like the possibilities—so many possibilities—about what you can find in a place that may have been inaccessible for generations,” said Barnwell. At first, he focused on landscapes but then gathered the courage to ask people he met if he could take their photographs. “I’ve learned how to talk to just about anybody about something,” said Barnwell. Some people wondered why he would want pictures of them doing everyday things. He tried to convey that he was trying to show a way of life, and would share some of the past photos he had taken. “I wanted to show something unique yet universal, what it means to be human,” he said. He would return weeks or months later with prints. “I always kept money out of it. I wanted to give them the pictures. In many cases, they just don’t have photographs other than a few taken by itinerant photographers. People just didn’t have cameras,” said Barnwell. Peggy Harmon, special collections supervisor in the Appalachian Room at Mars Hill College, said she is grateful for the time he spent with her family. “Tim took a photograph of my parents and one of my aunt that I would never have had if it had not been for him,” said Harmon. “He has captured so much history that is gone.”’ Madison County resident Lockie Coates said her husband, Johnnie, had retired from working at his store when he met Barnwell. Johnnie took the photographer under his wing and helped him find some of the more “old-timey” stuff in the area—stuff the couple knew firsthand. The Coates lived in the house where Johnnie was born. They got electricity in 1949—the year they were married and acquired a refrigerator, the same one still running in the house today. “My husband was forever glad to be with him,” said Lockie Coates. “He came to


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a homecoming here at our church. We didn’t have a fellowship hall, so we had tables by the creek. He also came to the baptizing. He made a picture of me and my cat, and I had a hoe in my hand in the winter garden. I had pulled up

a cabbage head. I like that. I have never seen anybody that could do photographic work like Tim Barnwell. He can take a picture from our cemetery down toward the barn and house, and honestly you can see the barbed wire fence a WWW.SMLIV.COM

mile away. He has preserved our heritage.” Johnnie Coates died not long after Barnwell’s father, and the photographer was struck by the difference in his father’s military-style funeral and Coates’. “It was a different burial. Four preachers were there, and each preached for about half an hour. We went up to the gravesite. We took shovels and dug the grave by hand. It was an all-day kind of thing. There was something complete about that—very right. It made perfect sense,” said Barnwell. In the mid-1980s, Barnwell began sending proposals for a book of his mountain photos to university presses and was universally rejected. After an exhibit in 2000, and partly as a New Year’s resolution to get the book published, he hired a graphic artist to help put the book together. He prepared the oral histories he had gathered to publish with the photos. His daughter, Callie, said she remembered spending time with him in the darkroom and picking out which pictures should go in the books. “He would tell me the story behind the picture, and he had a story for every photo,” said Callie, now 47


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“I like the possibilities— so many possibilities—about what you can find in a place that may have been inaccessible for generations”


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a doctoral student at North Carolina State University. Her personal favorite is of James Henderson, a man who has a pack of cigarettes in his sleeve, a cigarette in his mouth and he’s reaching for a lighter from his pocket. “I love his face, the lines on his arm and the truck in the background,” she said. “Every time I look at it, it’s the one that draws my attention.” Both publishers to whom Barnwell sent the book made offers. He chose W.W. Norton & Co. because of the ability to print the books in duotone. The Face of Appalachia: Portraits from the Mountain Farm was published in 2003; On Earth’s Furrowed Brow: The Appalachian Farm in Photographs was published in 2007; and Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia was published in 2009. He was purposeful to select black-andwhite photos for the books that showed a kind of harmony with the land in which the people live without romanticizing what he describes as a brutally hard lifestyle. When settlers first came, they claimed wide-open

tracts near water sources. “Tops of mountains often had cemeteries because that was considered unusable land. Now, that’s where people buy—mountain tops—because they

can grade roads there now. Then, if you had to do that by hand, it wouldn’t be practical. Older places were built in harmony with the land. You considered the contours and which way the wind blew. It was very organic.” said Barnwell. The arrival of the railroad had a huge impact on the area. Barnwell heard the story of a man whose child was sick and would look for the lantern in the window as the train passed his home. “He would always look up the hill near their house because two lanterns would mean she had passed,” said Barnwell. He also met a woman whose father fell between train cars and died when she was 16, leaving her to help raise the rest of the family. “You learn things that happen in the blink of an eye can have a profound effect,” said Barnwell. That way of life is becoming increasingly scarce. In his own family, his paternal grandmother, Cora Barnwell, lived her life on the family farm and had 13 children, six of whom lived to be adults. Barnwell’s father was part of a generation that left to go to war, discovered the larger world, returned to school on the GI Bill and created a

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life away from the farm. “Many times on the farms, of seven or eight children, one would continue the farming tradition,” said Barnwell. Today, he is struck by how fast change is coming to the mountains, and by the number of developments popping up. “I never used to see ‘for sale’ signs when I would drive around Madison County, and now there are probably a dozen up Big Pine Creek,” said Barnwell. Meanwhile, Barnwell continues to share his work in exhibits and takes photographs and oral histories for projects such as a recent exhibit featuring eight people associated with important historic structures for the Cashiers Historical Society. “He just has this way of making people feel comfortable so when you see their picture, it’s like you really see them, and, then, to read their stories alongside of that is incredibly powerful,” said Lydia Doyle, executive director of the Cashiers Historical Society. “So often 50

“He just has this way of making people feel comfortable so when you see their picture, it’s like you really see them, and, then, to read their stories alongside of that is incredibly powerful.” — Lydia Doyle, Cashiers, N.C. Historical Society

people glance at works and quickly move on, but with Tim’s pieces, they really linger. They read all of the text and look at the picture, and SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

you can see them absorbing the person, those stories and that moment in Cashiers history.” Barnwell sees his work on such projects and photographing people of the mountains as creating art. “It’s about what you have to say, how you see the world and conveying that to other people,” he said. It’s also about developing a sense of place and connecting with the people. “They give me a sense I’m part of the community,” said Barnwell, who spends a lot of time going back to visit the people he has met along the way. The comment he hears most often about his mountain photos is “This reminds me of ….” “So many people thank me for documenting this,” said Barnwell. “It’s something you take for granted that you don’t really miss until it is gone. To see more of Tim Barnwell’s work, visit barnwellphoto.com.


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Bob Reed Cherokee Mountain Man BY MACKENSY LUNSFORD

“People ask me all the time what that was like. I just don’t know. I’d never had another life. I’ve always lived the life of the Cherokee, because that’s how I was raised.”

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hough many boys play cowboys and Indians, few get to be the real thing. But Bob Reed, at the age of 15, learned from a family friend that he was a full-blooded Native American after spending most of his childhood unaware of his heritage. Reed was born in the Big Cove Community in Cherokee, N.C., on July 21, 1944, deep in the home turf of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, right in the center of the Qualla Boundary. A swath of l56,000 acres entrusted to the Native American tribe, the Qualla Boundary, whittled away by two centuries of broken treaties, is less than half its original size. Why the Cherokee blood that flowed through his veins was a secret to him for so long is something that Reed doesn’t quite know how to answer, except to say that being identified as an “Indian” at the time of his youth was not exactly a romantic prospect. After all, he points out, Native Americans weren’t granted U.S. citizenship until just two decades before his birth. But he does know that his blood ties his heart to the land of his people, and that Cherokee is where he intends to finish his life. A family friend and mentor, Ray Kinsland, helped young Reed learn the truth of his lineage. “As I grew up, I just didn’t know I was Cherokee until I left Big Cove and came to the Cherokee Central School in 1955, and he told me at that time.” Reed says in his slow, Southern drawl. Kinsland’s Cherokee name is Di-sde-li-sgi-a-ni-wi-ni, a mouthful that translates roughly as “Helper of Young Men.” Kinsland was a mentor to many other boys of the Cherokee nation before and during his tenure as the general manager of the Cherokee Boy’s Club—a position he held for 53 years before his retirement earlier this year.

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REVELATION OF THE ELDERS It sounds like a scene from a movie, really. A Native American elder takes a young boy under his wing, ostensibly teaches him how to how trap animals and build fires, eventually revealing that the young boy is, in fact, just like his teacher. “He looked at me and said, ‘You are a plain, red-blooded Cherokee,” Reed recalls. “He said, ‘You’re nothing else. You were born a Cherokee.’” While it’s easy to envision the boy immediately embarking on a vision quest, clutching a knife and wearing eagle feathers in his hair, the revelation brought nothing quite so dramatic. The young Reed took the news in stride and with a surprising amount of basic acceptance. He simply went to school the next day, then came home and tended the chickens on the family farm. “People ask me all the time what that was like,” Reed says. “I just don’t know. I’d never had another life. I’ve always lived the life of the Cherokee, because that’s how I was raised,” he says. His childhood, and that of his nine younger brothers and little sister, was, by his telling, no different from that of any other child growing up in a rural environment. For Reed, Cherokee life, perhaps, was just life as he understood it. And for 67 years, Reed has lived that life in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, just east of the North Carolina-Tennessee border, “excepting for those two years I was in the military,” he says. For as long as he can remember, Reed has fished the streams that flow through and out of the verdant wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park using flies he ties on his own. He carves bows out of sturdy but pliant branches of yellow locust and handtwists the sinew lines that form the strings. Now, more often than not, it’s his 12-year-old grandson who stretches those bows taut using his younger, more limber hands. “I always call him Jarvis,” Reed says of his young protegee. “But his name is Xavier.” With Jarvis at his side, Reed searches the banks of the rivers that he fishes, looking for flint- and hammer-stones to make arrowheads. “I make the arrowheads from flint, doing it the way that I was taught as a kid,” he says. “No 54

metal tools or nothing—just your bare hands and a big old river rock for a hammer-stone on a piece of flint.” This is the practical wisdom he’s learned from tribal elders like Kinsland, wisdom he crafts into simple maxims to pass on to the younger generations. “I’ve got an old saying that the larger the stone, the larger the flake, the smaller the stone the smaller the flake,” he says,

used to bring down invaders or dinner are now a souvenir from the Indian village tourists visited on summer break. The full-blooded Cherokee is employed as a mentor and historian to the curious, a possessor and maker of curio. But to Reed, the passing on of these traditions is like story-telling—it’s his way of preserving his heritage. He sometimes speaks to classes of school-age children and shows them what he

“I’ve also wondered, what is a hero? To me, it’s somebody I’ve learned something from, like Mr. Ray Kinsland. I learned right from wrong from him—the difference between a good life and a bad life. He told me that I had to make that decision myself. I’ve learned a lot from Mr. Kinsland.” — Bob Reed

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explaining how to select the perfect tools for the job. “Then, you get that arrowhead chipped out to look like one, and then use the point of a deer antler to press the small edges off the flint, work the shoulders in and sharpen it.”

HONORING A TRADITION Reed says that, for him, the art of making bows and arrowheads is simply a way of honoring a tradition; what he crafts won’t likely end up embedded in the flanks of a buck any time soon. In fact, he spends much of his workday on Antique Row in Cherokee, “across from the KFC,” he says. There, he vends his wares and makes crafts that he sells to tourists. “They’re more or less just to hang around tourists’ necks,” he says of the arrowheads. And the bows he and his grandson fashion out of yellow locust wood during their afternoons together—do they make for an accurate shot? “I don’t know because I’ve never shot them,” Reed says. And that, in a way, reveals the modern truth of the proud and storied Cherokee tradition. The once-vital weaponry now finds its place as a showpiece on the wall, the tips of arrows once SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

knows. For Reed, it’s natural to follow in the footsteps of his own mentor and teacher, showing younger boys the way of the natural world and the history of the Cherokee. “I enjoy teaching the younger ones,” he says. “My grandson now is learning to shoot the blowgun, and I’m trying to teach him everything I know. He’s trying to make arrowheads and doing woodcarvings and fishing—that’s what I love to do, too.”

INDIAN-STYLE When Kinsland revealed Reed’s heritage to him, he tethered the boy’s future to it with unequivocal strength. “My uncle Johnson Bradley—poor fellow, he’s at rest now—he and Mr. Ray Kinsman, in 1957, got me a job as a guide for visitors coming here to Cherokee,” Reed recalls. “And when I got older, I went to work at the Oconaluftee Living History Village as a guide and a craftsperson.” It was at that time that Reed began to really hone his traditional skills, the arrowhead-making, woodcarving, hand-crafted blowguns and blowgun darts, all of the skills that still sustain him today. “I’m good at just about all of it,” he says. He still makes an adept guide, he adds. “I


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talk to the visitors about the heritage of our people, the Cherokees. The way of life then and the way of life today.” But when it comes to shooting blowguns in particular, Reed was a bit of a hotshot in his youth. An elder, known simply as G. B. for “Going Back,” was the undisputed master of the blowgun when Reed was just a young upstart, and once skilled in the art of the blowgun, Reed made it his mission to beat the best. “Then when I finally came along and competed against him, I did beat him,” he says. The success, it seems, gave him a bit of a swagger among his tribe, though he wishes he’d reeled it in a bit, he says. “I really wished I’d listened to the old people more than I did then,” Reed says. “But you know, kids always think that old people say crazy things—I thought they were all stupid. But now, after all of these years, I really wished I’d listened instead of being a know-it-all.” But every champion’s reign must come to an end. Reed was finally defeated 15 years ago by a boy known to the tribe as Juggy Swimmer. “He beat me. I came in second, and now when I shoot I still come in second to him,” he says. “I guess I just ain’t got it like I did when I was younger.”

THE STUFF OF HEROES It was about the time that Reed became an expert with the blowgun that he tried his hand at another form of sharpshooting. From 1965 to 1967, he served the United States in the Vietnam War. “When I went into the military, it was a whole different world,” he says. “I had never been out of Cherokee, out of the Smoky Mountains. I think the furthest place I had went growing up was Christmas shopping with a school group. Our principal teacher, we called him Mr. Hatcliff, took us on the bus to Asheville to let us shop over there.” Reed’s own father had served in the Korean War, and the young man, wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps, enlisted in the army. First, he was sent to Fort Jackson, S.C., then to Fort Bragg, N.C. He trained a bit more in Fort Raleigh, Kansas, before finally getting shipped out to Vietnam. “And I don’t want to see or hear Vietnam no more,” says Reed with great conviction. On Feb. 18, 1966, Reed and the other soldiers in his division were ambushed as their truck bounced on a road cutting through the steamy

fields of Vietnam. “The truck I was in was hit by a mortar and blew it up, and I wound up with shrapnel in the arm and in the leg,” Reed says. Gravely injured, he found himself shipped to hospitals in Japan, and then Korea, where he got the chance to see the country that his own father once described to him. “I loved Japan and Korea,” he says. “But flying back home from Tempo, Korea, when I got home—it was just something to see the Smoky Mountains again.” It’s an experience he wouldn’t like to repeat, but seeing other parts of the world is something he appreciates. “But, like I said, Vietnam, I don’t care nothing for that,” Reed says. “That’s why when people ask me if I’m full-blood Cherokee, I say ‘Not any more. I went to Vietnam and left a lot of my blood over there, so I can’t be full-blooded no more.’” Despite his sacrifice, Reed does not consider himself a hero. “I’ve also wondered, what is a hero?” he says. “To me, it’s somebody I’ve learned something from, like Mr. Ray Kinsland. I learned right from wrong from him—the difference between a good life and a bad life. He told me that I had to make that decision myself.” Reed pauses in consideration. “I’ve learned a lot from Mr. Kinsland.”

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Don’t Say. Do.

Eustace Conway finds self and simple living in the woods STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANNA OAKES

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E

ustace Conway wasn’t born a mountain man. Or maybe he was. Maybe he inherited the gene from his mother, who grew up on the grounds of a rugged outdoor boys camp in the mountains outside of Asheville, who got it from Eustace’s grandfather, C. Walton “Chief” Johnson, the founder of that camp. But the fact is that Eustace spent the nights of the first 17 years of his life sleeping in a suburban home in the Piedmont, first in South Carolina outside of Columbia, then in Gastonia, N.C. So no, he’s not “from” the mountains, but he is most certainly a mountain man, which speaks to that old repeated school-age axiom that we can be whoever we want to be when we grow up, the central meaning, essentially, of the “American Dream” once one strips away the caricature of picket fences and families with 2.5 children and the dog and the four-bedroom house with an immaculately groomed lawn. It’s upward mobility characterized not by cars or boats or watches but by a higher sense of self, casting away any predetermined notions of who we are supposed to be or what we’re supposed to do, and being whoever we damn well please. That’s the allure of Eustace, of course. Not what he says—“Don’t stop. Tenaciously commit yourself to that goal and critically analyzing anything and everything that gets in the way”— though these words can be meaningful and powerful for those who take them to heart, they’re not particularly profound. Similar directives could very well have been plucked from the speeches of any number of college circuit lecturers. No, what sets him apart from the suits and ties, what has seduced and mesmerized countless numbers of college students, journalists and documentarians, is that he does it. He did—and still does—what many have only dreamed of doing, breaking away from modern society and all of its ills to return to the land.

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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ustace’s parents and grandfather cherished and nurtured experiential education in a woodland setting. His mother’s father in 1923 founded Camp Sequoyah, a summer camp for boys in Weaverville, N.C., where campers spent days swimming, horseback riding, competing in field games, camping in tepees, handling snakes, rock climbing and learning skills such as archery, insect classification, backpacking, basket weaving, and beading.

Chief Johnson wanted his campers “to be the most that they could be. To reach their human potential. To look within themselves and find out who they were, not what somebody else wanted them to be,” Eustace remembered. Karen, Eustace’s mother, grew up on the summer camp grounds, living in a log cabin heated by an open stone hearth. What skills city boys managed to learn a few weeks out of the year she practiced year round and, as a mother, passed on to her son. Eustace spent time at his grandfather’s camp for a couple of weeks in his early years and at least 10 weeks each year after he turned 11. “They were very powerful, very influential times,” Eustace remembers. “As a youngster I bonded with the mountains in a deep and powerful way.” His father, a chemical engineering professor, was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hike and take Eustace along, teaching him to identify the flora and fauna. The elder Eustace even

“The point is: you can do this, too.” — Eustace Conway

brought his son along on a whitewater canoe trip—when he was 4. Eustace calls the areas where he spent early childhood “pseudo-suburbia,” because in the early ‘60s there were still hundreds of acres of wilderness that surrounded the cities and which backed up to his home. Young Eustace struck out in the woods alone at 6 years of age. He camped alone in the woods for a week at age 12. And by 17, he made the forests his home for good, living for 17 years in a tepee, at first squatting on land he did not own. “Backing away from masses of people, backing away from the norm, being reflective, stepping out of society … almost forces you to look—and I wanted to look—I wanted to sort of see from a perspective what was going on. That just afforded me the opportunity,” Eustace explained. “It’s hard to analyze things when you have obscurity. A lot of our modern-day life is sham and illusion. Most of what we believe is going on in this country is unfair, incorrect propaganda.” With only the earth and himself as teachers, he became proficient in truly living off of the land, creating his own tools and fashioning his own buckskin clothing from the hides of the animals he hunted for food. At Appalachian State University in Boone, where he earned degrees WWW.SMLIV.COM

in English and anthropology, he was conspicuous even amongst the hippies. “Eustace stood out from everybody at ASU,” wrote photographer Forrest MacCormack of Raleigh, who attended Appalachian State in the ‘80s, on his blog. “He often walked barefoot, even in the dead of winter back in those days. I remember talking to him one day on the school ‘quad,’ and our conversation always stuck with me. He told me about having some money that he was going to buy some land or had already bought some land near Boone. He lived in a tepee on that land. That he was going to live off the land. I thought he was delusional and likely doing wayyyy too many drugs. Boy was I totally wrong.” Eustace wasn’t content to spend all of his days in the North Carolina wilderness, however, and he describes a long list of adventures that cross national borders and bodies of water. He canoed 1,000 miles on the mighty Mississippi as an 18-year-old. He hiked across eastern America via the Appalachian Trail, traveling the full 2,181 miles. He has backpacked more than 5,000 miles in wilderness, deserts and jungles in North America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, visiting with Indian tribes along the way. Setting a world record, he crossed America from the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean by horse in 103 days. He navigated around the southern coast of Alaska, amongst icebergs and whales, in a kayak. Through these extreme adventures, Eustace learned how to harness his fears and to how to survive. “I remember one time when a big storm came up and I was out at sea in a 16-and-ahalffoot-long kayak, a big, choppy storm came in, and I couldn’t really hardly move. The current was against me, wind was against me, it was terribly dangerous, 10-minute survival rate in the water, icebergs blowing all over the place, and I realized that I didn’t have a very good chance of living,” he said. “And the only chance I had was if I could get over my fear, because I got very afraid, and adrenaline started flowing like crazy, and I realized that I needed to conserve every bit of that energy. So I started controlling my breathing and just really working on focus. And every single paddle stroke made a difference. I had to brace and react to every piece of water that came flying at me. Over time, I slowly got my way into the land … and literally hugged and kissed the earth and laid down in a big pile of exhaustion.” It was in 1987 that Eustace founded Turtle Island Preserve at a tract of land he had amassed east of Boone, N.C., in a community called Triplett, at the base of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The name for the environmental education center and 1,000-acre wildlife preserve comes 57


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E ustace Conway hitches a wagon with a student at Turtle Island Preserve. RANDY JOHNSON PHOTO


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from an American Indian legend about the creation of life on land on the back of a sea turtle. Here, Eustace built a farmstead with nine log buildings using materials harvested on site and trained mules and horses to pull logs, sleds and wagons and to plow the garden. And now, after many years of living in the woods without other humans, Eustace shares his Turtle Island abode with a rotating cast of interns, volunteers and apprentices. But Eustace insists he was never really alone. “You’re not alone because there’s a whole forest around you that’s a rich and thriving community, and you’re just a visiting member in a huge community,” he emphasized. “It’s important for us to recognize that these mountains are the home for thousands of creatures before the human beings and will be after we’re gone. “I hope,” he added, quietly.

info: Turtle Island Preserve Triplett, N.C. 828.265.2267 turtleislandpreserve.org Turtle Island offers summer camps, a family camp, school camps, an adult camp, workshops, retreats, horse-drawn carriage rides and open house days. All visits are by appointment only. Guests stay in log houses or primitive tents, use the preserve’s outhouses and receive hands-on experience in living in the natural world, whether harnessing a mule, blacksmithing or killing a rooster for supper. There is much to be learned from being away from other humans, he’ll nevertheless tell you. “For anyone, even people persons, you might say … it’s real important to have time by yourself,” he stated. Our culture doesn’t give much opportunity for that—especially time by yourself surrounded by nature.” Though he finds a few hours for time to himself in the early morning hours and at dusk, and though he finds the task of teaching others very meaningful and important, he yearns for his days of solitude. “I miss it about every hour.”

“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” – Steve McQueen

T

o reach Turtle Island from Boone, one must first plunge off the edge of the Blue Ridge, fishtailing down paved, winding switchbacks, and then take a right on a country road, driving past a few small houses before turning onto the bumpy, rocky and narrow passage into the holler. Better than an old logging trail, but not much better. As the preserve emerges as a clearing in the forest, the sun’s heat feels heavier, thicker here than most places, and the odor of earth and wood chips is strong. Other than the chirps of birds and squirrels, the first sign of animal life is a goat, black as night, chained to a stake in the wooded area next to the preserve’s driveway. The beast stops grazing to hold its gaze. The noisiest creatures on the property are the farm fowl: chickens, ducks and guineas, which help control insect and tick populations. A black and white horse flicks its tail in a field as a rooster of the same color palette struts in the grass nearby. And from up the hill come the first human voices, as Eustace and a few assistants are seated around a fire pit with a group of youth from Germany. The group spent the prior night at the preserve and everyone in the circle, one by one, takes turns describing his or her experience and what was learned. “Seeing how you used everything,” one woman, perhaps a group leader, said. “Nothing is wasted.” The kids lingered, reluctant to leave. “Let’s go!” the woman repeated. After their exit, Eustace’s eyes sparkled as he recapped the visit with his assistant, Desere. Though he must have hosted thousands of students and visitors to the preserve, he still seemed genuinely excited by the students’ reactions. He congratulated Desere for her leadership of the night walk—an activity in which visitors help each other through the woods in complete darkness, learning to trust their senses. Afterward, seated at the lunch table in the preserve’s kitchen, Eustace described how his years of subsisting in the woods made him feel human, made him feel alive. “When I’m living close to the land and the sun is hitting me and I’m stressing and challenging myself with the exercises of being involved with the land, like when I’m sailing or canoeing across the big expanse, or sneaking up on a bear. What’s most alive—that’s when you’re putting yourself on the edge. Which is very different than watching television. Or playing some video game where you’re killing people by pushing buttons.” WWW.SMLIV.COM

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And he spent several years studying what nature had to say about the difference between man and woman. “One of the weirdest things going on with culture today, especially during my lifetime … is that there’s such a big question about what’s masculine or feminine,” Eustace remarked.

live in nature long enough you realize you’re an animal. I touched my wildness. It’s good to get clarity on that. I think that we should celebrate masculinity just as we should celebrate femininity, just as we should celebrate aging and elders, just as we should celebrate infancy and birth.” Thirty-four years after forsaking the comforts of suburbia to make a home deep in the forest, to live as an animal amongst animals, Eustace is anything but anonymous. He has been the I asked Eustace what he tells people seeking subject of countless newspaper, magadvice about how to live more in tune with azine and television profiles, from the land. These are his exact words. MSN to Our State to National Geoy Get closer to the land, even if it’s on an graphic to GQ. A documentary, Full hourly basis. Circle: A Life Story of Eustace Cony Turn off your television and the things that way, has been screened at internadistract you from reaching that goal. tional film festivals. The requests y Identify what does it take to get to that from journalists no doubt multiplied goal. What’s in the way? Get rid of what’s in after 2002, the year Eat, Pray, Love the way. author Elizabeth Gilbert published y Put your own hands on it; put your own feet The Last American Man, the most on it. detailed account of his life to date. y Just do it. Does all of this media attention, the y Don’t stop. Don’t forget. Keep going. clamoring for face time, the hype— Tenaciously commit yourself to that goal does it embarrass him? and critically analyzing anything and everything that gets in the way. “It’s only been more recently. But y [Make] continuous choices in the right I’m not embarrassed by it; it’s indirection day by day by day by day by day triguing,” Eustace replied. “I try to so that you’re climbing a ladder or a flight think of it as an honor and try to of stairs that you can climb, instead of make use of the attention to do somegoing overboard and then failing.” thing good that goes beyond my ego. “People [say,] ‘Oh, this guy is so different,’” he added. “But the point is: you can do this, too, if this is important and “People are trying to get away from gender … you want to. I learned a lot along the way. I sort of trying to wash away the differences. didn’t know that much, but I was willing to not “Inherently, by nature, a man is very differlet fear and others’ opinions stop me.” ent than a woman,” he continued. “You see Completely isolated from society he is not, these things in nature. How a male animal acts and anyone looking for contradictions or compared to a female animal. And when you

Eustace’s Advice

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hypocrisies in his story, or the oft-romanticized stories that have been told about him, will find them. He decries the binds of “capitalistic slavery,” for example, but Eustace is an active participant in the free market economy, with his soft-spoken words serving as his main commodity—he frequently leaves the preserve for public speaking engagements at festivals, educational programs and other events, and a twohour buggy ride with Eustace at Turtle Island runs $75. And he didn’t acquire 1,000 acres within miles of resort areas with, well, acorns. Yet, for anyone looking to escape the materialistic excesses of modern civilization and to live a simpler life closer to the land, Eustace’s experience is unquestionably exemplary. There is no “mountain man” gene, of course, though many claim the mountains to be “in my blood.” A mountain man, Eustace quite simply remarks, is a man who lives in the mountains— “you could be a mountain man that’s a stockbroker from your own room in your house.” Any characteristics attributed to the mountain man—independence, self-sufficiency—were shaped by the remote environments in which they lived. Were. “Our people are changing. Culture always changes,” said Eustace. “The mountains and mountain people have been identified as a different sect of people no matter what mountains in the world you’re from, and that’s historically been that way. But there’s something happening right now that is making that different. And that is … the technology, the changes. People are overpopulating the mountains. Now you’ve got people from Boca Raton that have their house on top of a mountain and they want their grocery store to be five minutes away. “What is a mountain man? That is changing at this moment.”


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Tobacco’s Golden Days Mountain farmers keep a historic crop alive and plan for the future BY COLBY DUNN

COLBY DUNN PHOTO

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I

n the sliver of time that lines the far edge of summer, burley tobacco is tinged with a thin, spreading ring of gold. Baking for months under the summer sun, it gives off a surprisingly gamey aroma, reminiscent of natural fertilizer or unwashed mushrooms. In just a few weeks, an entire eight-acre field, cradled in a valley in the heart of Haywood County, N.C., will turn brilliant gold with the broad leaves of tobacco ready for harvest. In part, the color is what gives the plant gets its nickname, the golden leaf. However, the moniker also refers to its pride of place in the Appalachian economy for the last century or more. As one of the only cash crops sustainable in the rocky and steep mountains, tobacco was nigh upon invaluable to the region. Don Smart tells how, as a child, he would wait up sleeplessly deep into the night on two nights out of every year: the day the tobacco was weighed and the day it was sold. “I knew if the tobacco sold good, it would be a good Christmas,” says Smart, a fifth-generation Haywood County farmer. He has farmed tobacco all his life, still has 40 acres of it dotted around the region, and in the Smokies, he is a dying breed of mountain man.

In 2004, the government bought up all the quotas — $7 per pound if you owned the quota, $3 per pound if you were renting it from another farmer, which was common. And the multitude of small farmers that once grew burley up and down the mountains saw a golden opportunity to get away from the golden leaf. “Everybody else, I guess, dropped off because they didn’t like fooling with it,” says Smart, laughing loudly as he strolls in dirt-caked boots through the sandy soil of his hillside field, snapping unwanted leaves from six-foot stalks. “It’s the one thing I know how to do.” His point is relevant, too, to why most of the burley is grown by large farms today. It’s an intensely labor heavy crop. Nothing is machine harvested; the plants must be topped, cut, dried, and cured by human hands. Other crops like corn and soybeans may not bring as much money, but they don’t require as much on the front end, either. There are two problems with the large-farm trend, though, and the most pressing and potentially costly is quality, followed by regulation. “Even the companies will admit that the highest quality is coming from small farms,” says

growers. But it is not at all a popular idea. It is quite close to what it sounds like, a manual for how a crop must be grown, from plant to harvest and beyond. Scott Bissette, who works in tobacco for the N.C. Department of Agriculture, wrote a set of GAP guidelines for flue-cured tobacco growers. Flue-cured tobacco is half of what goes into a cigarette, imparting its distinctive flavor. Most of North Carolina grows that variety because it’s not bothered by the heat that characterizes summers down east. Burley, which is far more bitter and gives the cigarette its signature burn, is much more sun-shy. The N.C. Department of Agriculture’s role in the business is severely diminished in the post-buyout world, but he still does things like this, offering guidance and future support to the growers who are still out there. “What it’s really doing is documenting what you’re already doing,” says Bissette, and that’s the problem most farmers have with it. Yes, one may use the correct chemicals in safe amounts. Yes, one may use sustainable soil practices. But that doesn’t mean one has time to write all that down. That’s Don Smart’s gripe with the idea—GAP rules wouldn’t change his farming, they would change his record keeping.

“I knew if the tobacco sold good, it would be a good Christmas.” —Don Smart, fifth-generation farmer

“There might be about 10 burley growers still in Haywood County,” he says. “At one time, there were about 700.” Smart’s 40 acres aren’t destined for a long life as tobacco fields if he can’t find someone to take the helm of his business when he retires. Smart is 59 and has no children, just a niece and two nephews who are still in grade school. “I’m 59 years old now and there’s nobody coming up behind me,” says Smart. “And they’re fools if they do.” The precipitous drop can be easily traced to 2004 and what growers colloquially call ‘the buyout.’ The buyout was the moment the government got out of the tobacco business. Officially, it was called the very governmental Tobacco Transition Payment Program. The tobacco program itself was the lone holdout of FDR’s Depression-era stimulus ideas. Essentially, it kept both the supply and demand sides of tobacco in its hands. Quotas were attached to land where tobacco was grown, and farmers agreed to stick to the quotas in return for price stability from the feds.

Roger Quarles, president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative. He represents farmers in five states—pretty much all the burley out there—so he’s well acquainted with the nuances of the business. “The larger farms, they’re all trapped into using high-priced labor, and the smaller farms typically don’t have to do that,” Quarles said. “The larger farms have to start very early and work very late in the season, then their harvest is anywhere from July to November, and none of that is good for quality or yield.” Even a cursory mention of burley tobacco to anyone involved in the business will reveal the fact that product grown in these mountains is actually the best in the world. They get the highest prices and 80 percent of it goes overseas, mostly to Asia, so big farmers who are missing out on the quality and burdened with high overhead are losing out, around 30 cents a pound on average. And then there are the Good Agriculture Practices, which are already being implemented for consumable things like vegetables. Tobacco farmers aren’t yet under the thumb of legally required GAP rules, but most think that the day is coming. GAP is a popular subject among WWW.SMLIV.COM

There’s a song made famous by the one-time country darlings the Dixie Chicks about a former burley family. The story opens with a vacant field and siblings who have found work elsewhere as the farm languishes and the singer tries his luck in Nashville. It’s a common and overwrought theme in Southern country, reminiscence for the heyday of the farm. The song ends on what would seem to be an unrealistically hopeful note—the singer sees the emptiness of showbusiness and returns to his roots in the land. “We’re probably down to about 65 to 70 percent across the whole belt of what we were just before the buyout,” says Paul Denton, a burley tobacco specialist with the University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky. “We think in Tennessee we may have lost more than 80 percent of our producers.” Small producers, though, could have an opening to get back into the game, and back in profitably. Those two factors that are hurting large farms—quality and regulation—aren’t a problem for small farms. Little outfits were exempted from GAP rules on vegetables, as it would’ve been far too onerous for them to stay 63


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“Farmers that are going to survive are going to be the small ones. Mid-size farmers like us, our days are numbered.” — Don Smart

COLBY DUNN PHOTO

Flue-cured tobacco barn, Upper Crabtree, Haywood County, N.C. RANDY COTTON PHOTOS


afloat. Most believe that, when the rules eventually come down, the little guys will escape the hammer in tobacco, too. Then there’s the quality. Small farms, we’ve learned, make better quality product and their overhead is lower. In the triad of states that have long been the only place to produce burley—Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee—no one is really taking advantage of that fact, and for decades, no one has ever been able to find a place like the southern Applachians that will grow that crop like we do. The soil, the climate, the particular crispness of the fall, it’s a perfect storm for perfect tobacco. “If you look worldwide I’m sure there are [other places], but nobody’s been able to find them,” says Denton. “The possible exception is Pennsylvania.” Which is now the third-largest burleygrowing state in the nation. The small farms concept has caught on there with a truly unlikely demographic. That’s right. The Amish are now producing cigarette tobacco, along with their ideological neighbors, the Mennonites. In a surprise move, the Amish have become the new mountain men of tobacco, and it’s working for them because they’ve embraced small production that can be done by their families. It also helps that they’ve got large families full of free labor who are motivated by commitment to God. “It is a little bit self limiting, because basically they’re going to go up to what the family can handle,” says Denton. “But they’ve jumped on the burley tobacco opportunity pretty heavily.” While farmers back in the traditional growing regions may not have a bevy of hard-working offspring at hand, the model is at least workable as long as seasonal labor is around. For mid-size growers like Smart, the prospects are a little dimmer, because the larger you get, the harder it is to find seasonal help and maintain such a labor-intensive crop. “Farmers that are going to survive are going to be the small ones,” says Smart. He’s looking into the sun that’s priming his tobacco for harvest, while right next to it is a field of corn he’s using to diversify his income from what was once his best cash crop. “Mid-size farmers like us, our days are numbered,” Smart said. Tobacco farming in the mountains will never be what it once was, the main moneymaker for many a mountain farmer, but it could start making its way back into the

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Most tobacco grown in Western N.C. is burley tobacco, which is air-cured, and the barns are different from the compact flue-cure barns in the northern piedmont and coastal plain. While there are some barns built expressly for the purpose of curing burley, most any type of ventilated building could serve. However, flue-cure tobacco was cultivated for a brief period in western counties in the early 20th century, and at least a couple of those barns were still standing in recent years and have been photographed in historic building surveys. NICK LANIER PHOTO

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profitable crop. Farmers can, even on relatively smaller acreages, make a living. An acre of tobacco grosses about $5,000 and an acre of corn grosses $400, so do the math. You can make a living on smaller acreage with tobacco.”

Don’t Just Run With The Pack… Dare to be Different!

— Scott Bissette, N.C. Department of Agriculture

aresenals of small growers, just one of many crops that rotate in and out of his soil. “I definitely think diversified is better,” says Bissette. “Nowadays, it’s very competitive and if you’re not a top-notch producer, your contract can be cut or eliminated.” The free market approach means anyone can get into tobacco, but it also means that not everyone will succeed as they did before. “There’s very few dedicated tobacco growers,” says Quarles. “Very few, anywhere, particularly burley.” Having a tomato or soybean or corn crop to fall back on is just wise in this new economy, but having an acre or two of tobacco might be, too. “Tobacco is a profitable crop. Farmers can, even on relatively smaller acreages, make a living,” says Bissette. “An acre of tobacco grosses about $5,000 and an acre of corn grosses $400, so do the math. You can make a living on smaller acreage with tobacco.” Even as a mid-range farmer, Smart has diversified in more than a few ways. He has a dairy, the corn crop, some soybeans as well as cucumbers and tomatoes. No one, not the growers or the experts, believe that tobacco as a crop is going away anytime soon. People still smoke, at home and abroad, and no government initiative is going to regulate that away. Tobacco as king of the mountains is gone, and the mountain tobacco man with it. But tobacco as money-making crop is still making its leafy, golden way. And the part-time tobacco man? Well, he might just be making a comeback.

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CHARLES MAYNARD’S

MOUNTAINS MINISTRY

B Y T. W AY N E W AT E R S

The Appalachian Mountains are dear to Charles Maynard. They’ve been a constant in his life since he was scampering around on Signal Mountain as a kid growing up around Chattanooga. He’s spent his life hiking all over the Appalachian Range and tending to its needs. He’s mountain through and through, and the peaks’ solid, stony grandeur seem to have forged in his soul a deeper appreciation for all creation. Maynard’s three roles—as mountain man, storyteller and minister—complement each other. From preaching at a small church years ago to his work with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church to his involvement with the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tenn., to the numerous speaking engagements and workshops he’s conducted through the years and the 43 books he’s written, he is clearly a man with something to say and the wherewithal to say it. “You hear people talk as if the environment is something over there, when of course it’s what we live in every day,” Maynard said. “I do think there is something about being outside that makes you more aware of the whole universe, of creation itself. Some may say that doesn’t have anything to do with God but for me it does.” Maynard, who has a master’s in divinity, has served in years gone by as a pastor for a United Methodist Church and is now a district superintendent in the Maryville District of the Holston Conference of the UMC, often conducts ministry retreats and camps.

“I was at a camp recently and an adult was standing near me and we were observing children playing outside,” Maynard said. “This adult leans over to me and says, ‘You know, it’s really interesting, but people seem to relate differently to each other when they’re outside.’ I wanted to say, ‘Well, of course! That’s why we have these camps; that’s why we have these parks.’” It was more than 20 years ago, while he was a minister in the Knoxville, Tenn., area, that Maynard’s relationship with the mountains took him down a new trail. He was hiking frequently back then with two of his best friends, David Morris and Hal Hubbs, when they collectively formulated a very good idea. “We’d do an easy trail with our families and we wouldn’t see people with their families and we’d wonder why other people wouldn’t bring their families to this,” Maynard said. “Then we’d do difficult trails and we’d run across a family and we’d think ‘Why in the world would you bring your kids up here?’ We kept saying, ‘Somebody ought to write a book.’ So we were all having dinner together one night and it came up and another friend said, ‘Well, who knows more about it than you three?’ We kinda laughed, but that was the germ of the idea for the book. So we pulled together our 25 favorite hikes for children.” That book, Time Well Spent: Family Hiking in the Smokies: A Guide to 25 Enjoyable Family Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, was published in 1991 and later transformed into a fuller book, and has now been through some six editions more simply titled Family Hiking in the Smokies: Time Well Spent. After the success of the trio’s first book they found other friends asking what they were going to write next, according to Maynard. A waterfall guide to the Smokies became the answer to that question. Waterfalls & Cascades of the Smokies: A Guide to Finding & Enjoying 30 Waterfalls of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was published in 1992. The three complemented each other on the trail quite well, Maynard says. He knew a lot about the history and culture of Appalachia. Morris was the ace naturalist of the bunch, able

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“At the time the Friends was started, [the tower] was just rotting away. The catwalk had rotted off. The roof was caving in. It was going to become just nothing but a crumbling stone remnant.”

to call off the names of trees and plants they saw along the way. Hubbs was the bird man, recognizing the fine feathered friends they’d see and hear. “When we’d hike together we’d really have a blast because each one of us knew something different,” says Maynard. “Over the course of years we’ve taught each other what we know, but you know you’re always looking for something else.” By this time, Maynard had gained quite a reputation as an outdoorsman and public speaker through his frequent hiking expeditions, his books and his nature talks. The book on waterfalls resulted in him getting an offer to do a book on the waterfalls of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. “Of the three of us, I do the most talking,” Maynard says with a laugh, explaining how it was he garnered perhaps more recognition as a naturalist than his two buddies. “So when someone would approach us and say, ‘Can you guys come do a program,’ I was usually the one who did the program.” In 1993, the Friends of Great Smoky 70

Restoring the Mount Cammerer fire tower was the first project undertaken by Friends of the Smokies. Its station on the Tennessee-North Carolina line was symbolic of the two-state support the group would enjoy for years to come. ROGER TRENTHAM PHOTO • FLICKR.COM/ROGERTRENTHAM

Mountains National Park was formed. The independent nonprofit organization was created to provide volunteers and fund-raising for the park. The newly elected board of the nascent Friends of the Smokies organization asked Maynard if he would serve as inaugural director. Thrilled with the organization’s mission, Maynard agreed and in February of 1994 began working part-time while he sorted out his various other commitments. He took his family with him to Yellowstone that summer to do the fieldwork for his Yellowstone and Grand Tetons book project. When he came back to Tennessee, he stepped in as the full-time director of Friends of the Smokies, a position he would keep until 2002. “Initially we had nothing,” Maynard said. “We had a borrowed office and a borrowed SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

computer and a borrowed phone. There were only about eight or 10 Friends groups at the time in the entire country. Now there are over 200. We were kind of inventing how to be in partnership with the park.” The partnership accomplished quite a bit during Maynard’s tenure. Four historic log cabins were restored, as was the wheel on Cable Mill in Cades Cove. An endowment was established that enabled Discover Life in America to begin its important All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory to catalog every living species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Elk were returned to the Smokies after 150 years. Numerous campgrounds, restroom facilities, other buildings and trails were rehabilitated. Of the Friends’ building projects, one holds a special place in Maynard’s heart. It was the first major project the new Friends organization undertook—the rehabilitation of the Mount Cammerer fire tower. The twostory octagonal stone and timber fire tower sitting up on a narrow ridge straddling the Tennessee-North Carolina state line had been neglected for decades.


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“It’s a western fire tower design,” Maynard said. “You don’t find many of this type east of the Mississippi. At the time the Friends was started, it was just rotting away. The catwalk had rotted off. The roof was caving in. It was going to become just nothing but a crumbling stone remnant.” Maynard admits the fire tower wasn’t the thing the National Park Service folks thought most crucial but Maynard and the board were savvy enough to understand that this kind of iconic structure with the dramatic historical purpose that happened to be a two-state project would form the basis for a far more appealing fundraising campaign than would a project to fix up bathrooms or shore up a spot of trail somewhere. The project proved successful and garnered considerable attention, and Maynard feels a special connection to the locale to this day. His only connection with Friends of the Smokies now, he says, is as a donor and volunteer. “Many nonprofits don’t survive their founders,” Maynard said. “I wanted the Friends to move to the next step. I thought it was important for the board to rotate. It was a good parting but necessary. I can’t say enough about the board. They were, still are, very dedicated people who worked quite hard to form that organization. Of course most of the original board members have rotated off by now.” After leaving Friends of the Smokies, Maynard’s other great constant— storytelling—took him to Jonesborough, Tenn., where he was for a time the director of advancement for the International Storytelling Center. He says he and his family had always attended the national storytelling festival in the northeast Tennessee town and so it seemed a natural fit. But perhaps Maynard’s most prolific storytelling has been with the written word. Almost all of his 43 books have been non-fiction for young readers, and many tell the tales of great outdoor explorers and adventurers. He also wrote the essays on a couple of collaborative book projects with photographer Jerry Greer. One, The Blue Ridge: Ancient and Majestic, won the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment from the Southern Environmental Law Center. The duo teamed up again for the soon-tobe-published The Blue Ridge

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“I do think there is something about being outside that makes you more aware of the whole universe, of creation itself. Some may say that doesn’t have anything to do with God but for me it does.”

Parkway. He says yet another, this one on Cataloochee, is presently in the works and he’s also writing a book of essays on the Smokies for the University of Tennessee Press. Life is good for this 56-year-old mountain man. He lives with his wife Janice, who is an avid hiker herself and a romance novelist with more than 10 books to her credit, in Maryville, Tenn., in the foothills of his beloved Smoky Mountains. The couple’s two daughters live in the area and have given them three grandchildren. He’s still great friends with his early writing partners Hal Hubbs, a computer 72

Charles Maynard recently led several hikes and discussions about local nature in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near The Swag. MARGARET HESTER PHOTO

specialist, and Morris, a registered anesthetist. Both Hubbs and Morris live in Knoxville, Tenn., and the trio still hike together when they can find time. Maynard continues to be involved with organizations devoted to the Appalachian Mountains. He’s on the regional Southeast Advisory Council of the National Parks Conservation Association and on the board of

Discover Life in America. He has served on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy board for the past four years and was recently re-elected to continue in that capacity. One thing’s for sure with Maynard. Whether with his family, his buddies, or folks who participate in the hikes he leads through the church or with one of the several outdoor education and recreation organizations he’s involved with, he’s going to be out on a trail as much as he can. “Hiking is part of how I relax and how I recharge my batteries, renew myself,” Maynard says. Maynard leads a hike up to Cammerer every year during Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and also usually leads one to Albright Grove through a section of old-growth forest between Gatlinburg and Cosby, Tenn. He does a program on waterfalls for the University of Tennessee Smoky Mountain Field School every spring and this past July he led a hike up to the Walker Sisters cabin and told stories on the front porch before walking back down. He also occasionally adds to the charm of The Swag, a mountain inn located 5,000 feet up on the Cataloochee Divide in North Carolina on the border of the Smokies, where he’ll lead daily hikes for several days at a time and then tell mountain stories around the fireplace after supper. “That understanding that God created this place is something I’ve long had,” Maynard said. “I can’t even say when it started exactly, but it’s driven everything I’ve done. I don’t necessarily overtly try to connect the dots for people, but I do try to help them see this place and understand it from that perspective. When I was with Friends of the Smokies, that’s what I was doing. I couldn’t take care of my whole world but I could help take care of this place.”

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DIRECTORY

shopping

ART ON DEPOT Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., The Gallery is where Contemporary Fine Arts & Crafts can be found from local and regional artists. Carrying a wide range of custom handmade pottery, paintings, sculpture, photography and woodworking and unique gifts to suit any style! Cathey can be found creating her pottery in her onsite studio. Located in Historic Frog Level 250 Depot St. • Waynesville, NC 828.246.0218 • artondepot.com

regional artists Appalachia has to offer from watercolor to woodwork, photography to pottery, jewelry to acrylics & oils, mixed media to stained glass. Located in the heart of Waynesville’s Historic Frog Level District. 262 Depot St. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.6100 • gallerytwosixtwo.com

CACKLEBERRY MOUNTAIN Waynesville’s best kept secret offers a huge selection of affordable home décor, gifts and custom floral designs. 460 Hazelwood Ave. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.2432 • cackleberrymountain.com

GLASS FEATHER STUDIO GALLERY April-Dec., Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Unforgettable mountaintop shopping. Featuring functional art glass and fine art photography. Help us celebrate our 29th year. Holiday Open House November 25, 26 and 27 from 10-5. 200 Glass Feather Dr. (off Reasonover Rd.) Brevard/Cedar Mountain, NC 828.885.8457 • glassfeather.com

CHARLES HEATH GALLERY, THE The Charles Heath Gallery is located at the corner of Depot and Everett Streets in Bryson City, North Carolina. Look for the old train depot and the Gallery is just across the street. Featuring works in Acrylic, Photography, Oils, Pastels and Pen & Ink. Original art and prints for sale framed and unframed. Custom framing available. 7 Depot Street • Bryson City, NC 828.488.3383 • www.charlesheath.com

JEWELER’S WORKBENCH Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., A working gallery offering design services, along with on-sight repairs. Dedicated to providing a gallery that offers the best in hand-crafted jewelry, along with a venue to display the works of local metalsmiths. Your jewelry says a lot about you, so don’t just run with the pack … dare to be different! 80 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC 828.456.2260 • thejewelersworkbench.us

CHRISTMAS IS EVERYDAY Located in beautiful downtown Waynesville. Offering wonderful ornaments and gifts year round. Visit our website for special items. 113 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.7945 • christmas-is-everyday.com

JUST DUCKY ORIGINALS Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Waynesville open until 7 p.m. on Fri.) Classic fashions and unique gifts, just perfect for the children in your life. 25 Miller St. • Waynesville, NC 100 Charlotte St. • Asheville, NC 828.456.4297 • justduckyorignals.com

FINE ART & CRAFT—SCENIC 276 CORRIDOR A 13-mile stretch showcasing galleries, studios, shops, lodging and dining venues. See member listing for hours. Brevard/Cedar Mountain, NC 828.883.3700 • artsofbrevard.org/tours GAINES KIKER SILVERSMITH/GOLDSMITH STUDIO AND GALLERY Specializing in custom design jewelry and accessories. Gaines’ creative influences vary from the natural world to the simplicity of pure geometric forms. Located in the village of Blowing Rock, the working gallery is open to the public Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 132 Morris St. • Blowing Rock, NC 828.295.3992 • gaineskikersilversmith.com GALLERY TWO SIX TWO Open Mon. and Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Gallery Two Six Two is a progressive, modern gallery featuring some of the finest local & 74

MAST GENERAL STORE Experience the nostalgia of an authentic general store. The Original store, on the National Historic Register, has operated in Valle Crucis since 1883. Restored emporiums also in Boone, Waynesville, Hendersonville, Asheville, Knoxville, TN and Greenville and Columbia, SC. Hwy. 194 • Valle Crucis, NC 828.963.6511 • mastgeneralstore.com MUD DABBERS POTTERY & GIFTS Open all year. Functional and contemporary handmade pottery in Western NC. The creations of 23 local potters in a working studio. Locations in Brevard and Balsam, NC 828.456.1916 • 828.884.5131 OCTOPUS GARDEN Open Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 1-6 p.m. Five locations to serve you in the Asheville SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

Area! Smoking accessories, gifts, T-shirts and more. Call for directions: 828.232.6030 RUBY CITY April 1–Dec. 31: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.–Sat. Winter hours: Tues.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. One of a kind gemstones, investment stones, diamonds and cut stones of all kinds as well as 14kt jewelry. 828.524.3967 • rubycity.com SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS CRAFT GUILD The Craft Fair is an event where connoisseurs and novices alike come to craft a collection, connect with tradition, and invest in regional culture. The Craft Fair takes place in beautiful downtown Asheville October 2023 at the Civic Center. 828.298.7928 • southernhighlandguild.org TOOL SHED Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “The place to shop in Waynesville”—gifts, decorative accessories, jewelry, Christmas Shoppe and bridal registry. 784 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.5720 mountainshops.com/ maggievalleywaynesville/hpages/toolshed T. PENNINGTON ART GALLERY Colored pencil drawings of Western North Carolina scenery, landmarks, flora and fauna by Teresa Pennington. Unique gift items, music boxes made to order, night lights, note cards, Christmas ornaments, etc. Have your favorite scripture included in the framing on any print. Custom framing for your prints or ours. Shipping available. 15 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.9284 • tpennington.com TWIGS AND LEAVES GALLERY Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. (seasonal) Browse this unique gallery with its unforgettable collection of nature inspired works by 180 artists and craft persons. 98 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC 828.456.1940 • twigsandleaves.com WHITE SQUIRREL SHOPPE Open 7 days a week year round (Sun. 1-5 p.m.) Celebrating our 23rd year with the same owner. 4,000 sq. ft. of quality merchandise! Largest selection of candles in the area, Amish furniture, home accessories, local crafts, unique lamps, large bird, white squirrel and lodge departments. Downtown Brevard, NC 888.729.7329 • whitequirrelshoppe.com


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shop savvy

Gaines Kiker Silversmith & Goldsmith 828.295.3992 132 Morris St. • Blowing Rock, NC www.gaineskikersilversmith.com Sterling silver serving set with elk antler handles.

Mast General Store 866.367.6278 Valle Crucis • Boone • Asheville Waynesville • Hendersonville Greenville • Knoxville • Columbia www.mastgeneralstore.com Pictured: handcrafted Amish rocker.

Tool Shed 828.452.5720 784 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC Stay warm this fall with the new scarf in Floral Nightingale.

Glass Feather Studio Gallery 828.885.8457 • 200 Glass Feather Dr. Brevard/Cedar Mountain, NC www.glassfeather.com Unforgettable mountaintop shopping, fine art glass and photography. Fused glass and photography classes.

The Jeweler’s Workbench 828.456.2260 80 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC www.thejewelersworkbench.us Don’t just run with the pack ... dare to be different. Specializing in hand-crafted jewelry and distinctive watches.

Art on Depot

White Squirrel Shoppe

828.246.0218 250 Depot St. • Waynesville, NC www.artondepot.com A studio and gallery where you can watch artist and owner Cathey Bolton create pottery while viewing a wide range of contemporary arts and crafts.

888.729.7329 2 W. Main St. • Brevard, NC www.whitesquirrelshoppe.com Willow Tree™ sculptures by Susan Lordi speak in quiet and meaningful ways of healing and hope, love and family.

Cackleberry Mountain

Christmas Is… Everyday

828.452.2432 460 Hazelwood Ave. Waynesville, NC Featuring Donna Sharp™ bags and an array of jewelry including Bauble Lulu beads.

T. Pennington Art Gallery

Gallery Two Six Two 828.452.6100 262 Depot St. • Waynesville, NC www.gallerytwosixtwo.com A modern gallery showcasing the finest in local & regional art. Pictured: Jere Smith, woodworker / furniture

DIRECTORY

828.452.9284 15 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC One in a series of eight—leaves with different scenes. To see them all go to www.tpennington.com

WWW.SMLIV.COM

800.490.3433 113 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC www.christmas-is-everyday.com WoodWick Candles feature a natural wooden wick that creates the soothing sound of a crackling fire.

Twigs and Leaves 828.456.1940 98 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC www.twigsandleaves.com Twigs and Leaves Gallery—where art truly dances with nature. Pictured: clock by Bob and Lucy Gibson.

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DIRECTORY

select lodging

OAK HILL ON LOVE LANE BED AND BREAKFAST Awarded Best in the South by BedandBreakfast.com, Oak Hill on Love Lane features “The service and amenities of a fine hotel in the quiet comfort of a B&B.” Each luxuriously appointed room in this historic 19th century home is equipped with hypo-allergenic bedding, fine linens, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, private en-suite baths and wireless internet access. Enjoy 24-hour access to the Butler Pantry, daily maid service, nightly turn-down service and full 3-course gourmet breakfast reflects. Within walking distance of historic downtown Waynesville. 244 Love Ln. • Waynesville, NC 888.608.7037 • oakhillonlovelane.com MAGGIE MOUNTAIN VACATIONS Maggie Mountain Vacations offers cabin rentals in the Smoky Mountains! Large or small cabins with hot tubs, views, creeks, waterfalls and privacy - anything you need for a great mountain escape - we've got you covered. Call us today or check out our website for 24/7 online booking. 213 Soco Rd. • Maggie Valley, N.C. 888.926.4270 maggiemountainvacations.com ANDON REID INN Experience the Smoky Mountain views from our beautifully restored 1902 home. Sumptuous breakfasts, private baths, Jacuzzis, working fireplaces, fitness studio and distinctive features that contribute to your comfort. Moments away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, waterfalls and Asheville. Let us “wow” you! 92 Daisy Ave. • Waynesville, NC 828.452.3089 • andonreidinn.com BOYD MOUNTAIN LOG CABINS AND CHRISTMAS TREE FARM Featured in 2011 Southern Living Best Weekend Getaways . Enjoy a peaceful country setting in charming authentic log cabins,1—4 bedrooms, located on 130 beautiful acres. Full kitchens, wood burning fireplaces, Wifi, & A/C. The cabins overlook the Smoky Mountains, our Fraser Fir Christmas tree farm, 3 stocked fishing ponds ,flower and vegetable gardens. Hiking trails to the top of Boyd Mountain, volleyball, basketball and badminton, swimming hole in the creek, sledding in the winter. Open every season . 828-926-1575 • boydmountain.com BEST WESTERN RIVER ESCAPE INN AND SUITES A Best Western with a style all its own. Overlook a rambling river from your spacious room or relax on our scenic riverside patio. 76

Enjoy deluxe guest rooms, suites, a heated indoor pool and hot tub, a hot breakfast bar and an atmosphere flowing with charm. One block from Historic Dillsboro, NC. 248 WBI Dr. • Dillsboro, NC 828.586.6060 bestwestern.com/riverescapeinnandsuites HISTORIC PROSPECT HILL BED AND BREAKFAST INN Catch the feel of "Home". Stylish, Affordable and Luxurious large, private rooms where you belong to a beautiful, quiet place. A/C, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, king/queen beds. Mountain views. Wake up to birds, fresh air and tasty breakfast. Go to bed with firefly and star-studded skies. 40 minutes from Parkway - near Mountain City's 1950's vibe. Guest rooms $99-$179. Online discount promo code: PARKWAY 801 W. Main St./Hwy. 67 Mountain City, TN 423.727.0139 • prospect-hill.com BLUE RIDGE RENTALS Blue Ridge Mountain Rentals offers a huge selection of the finest cabins and mountain homes in the Boone and Blowing Rock areas! Visit us at blueridgerentals.com or call us at 800.237.7975. We look forward to serving you. 800.237.7975 • blueridgerentals.com RESIDENCES AT BILTMORE HOTEL Ideally located between Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville. Studio, 0ne- and twobedroom suites available with full kitchens, fireplaces, balconies and most with whirlpool jet tubs. Property amenities include 24-hour Concierge, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, hot tub and fire-pit. Your mountain retreat in the heart of the city. 700 Biltmore Ave. • Asheville, NC 866.433.5594 residencesatbiltmore.com THE SWAG COUNTRY INN Chosen by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the #2 Best Small Hotel in the Unites States, the secluded hideaway itself consists of 250 private acres. The main lodge and cabins, consisting of 15 rooms, are built of 17th and 18th century hand hewn logs and local field stone. Join us for our 30th season to experience just how remote, rustic, refined and remarkable it can be at 5,000 feet. 3 gourmet meals are served daily, with turn down service each evening. 800.789.7672 • theswag.com SMOKY MOUNTAIN MANSION BED & BREAKFAST/FULL HOUSE RENTAL Breathtaking mansion with six B&B rooms that include breakfast; groups can rent out SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

the entire house, self-catering or catering options available. Outdoor dining pavilion, grill area, even a chapel/fellowship hall on site! The Mansion is the ideal setting to relax in spacious, comfortable surroundings, convenient to the Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, rafting, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and scenic drives. We also host weddings, reunions, and retreats. Come stay and play at the Mansion! P.O. Box 259 • Robbinsville, NC 828.479.4220 smokymountainmansion.com BETTY’S AT HAWKSNEST This comfortably decorated condo, includes a deck, with a breathtaking view of Grandfather Mountain. This magnificent 1200 ft. 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo for four is conveniently located on the ground level. Parking is on a level driveway with plenty of room. We are located in the Grandfather Mountain Community area almost mid-way between Boone, Banner Elk, Linville, and Blowing Rock. The condo is fully furnished with both comfort and convenience to meet your needs. 704.237.4372 • vrbo.com/129334 GRANDVIEW LODGE Tucked away in a mountain cove just off the beaten path near Waynesville, North Carolina, the newly-remodeled farm style home on 3 acres features 8 deluxe, country rooms with private baths. There’s also the 2-bedroom, 2-bath Grandview Cottage with full kitchen, living area and dining area. Sunday Brunches 11-2 with Live Music. It’s the perfect place for a private getaway! 466 Lickstone Rd. • Waynesville NC 800.730.7923 • 828.456.5212 grandviewlodgenc.com SMOKETREE LODGE Smoketree’s cozy atmosphere and prime location allows its visitors the choice of enjoying the peace and solitude of the Blue Ridge Mountains or the opportunity of partaking in the many activities available in the High Country! 11914 NC Hwy. 105 S. • Banner Elk, NC 800.422.1880 • smoketree-lodge.com LODGE AT TELLICO The motorcycle-friendly Lodge at Tellico, located one mile from the Cherohala Skyway, offers three room options—basic, deluxe, and premium—with king beds, soaking tubs, fireplaces, microwaves, refrigerators, and porches. Garage parking for motorcycles is included with the premium rooms and can be purchased with deluxe and basic rooms. 9436 Hwy. 68 • Tellico Plains, Tenn. 423.253.3087 • lodgeattellico.com


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CALENDAR

upcoming events 15th Annual Pumpkin Fest

A street festival complete with hayrides, crafters, the famous Pumpkin Roll, live music, pie eating contest, games, costume contest and parade. Downtown Franklin, N.C. Oct. 21- 22. 828.524.2516 or pumpkinfestfranklin.com

Woolly Worm Festival

Residents and visitors gather to predict the intensity of the coming winter. Woolly worm races, crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and more. Banner Elk, N.C. Oct. 15-16. woollyworm.com

Moogfest 2011

Three days of live music, exhibitions, installations, films, workshops, and discussions celebrating the spirit and expansive vision of Bob Moog. Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, N.C. Oct. 28-30. moogfest.com

NOVEMBER PHOTO COURTESY OF LEAF

Christmas at Biltmore

Lake Eden Arts Festival

Enjoy America’s largest home decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias; miles of evergreen garland; thousands of ornaments, tinsel and beading; and a magnificent 35-foot Fraser fir. Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. Nov. 1-January 2012. 828.225.1333

Enjoy a full weekend of art, music, and outdoor fun in a beautiful mountain lake setting. Experience cultural enrichment from all over the world. Lake Eden in Black Mountain, N.C. Oct. 20-23. Call 828.68.MUSIC or visit theleaf.com for more information.

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

Enjoy more than 425 arts and crafts vendors, 100 food concessions along with four concert stages featuring bluegrass, country, folk, gospel and Appalachian Heritage music. Woodcarving, chair making, soap making, pottery throwing and quilting also will be on display. Local apple growers set up throughout the festival selling fresh apples, apple cider and dried apples. North Wilkesboro, N.C. Oct. 1. applfestival.net

Over 200 talented artists and craftspeople showcasing woodworking, pottery, basket weaving, stained glass, broom making and more. Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Oct. 6-23. 865.436.7479

Honoring the historic tradition of quilt making this annual show features handcrafted quilts in a spectacular display of color, skill and creativity. Marion, N.C. Oct. 1-31. 828.652.8610

Forest Festival Day

Folk School Fall Festival

Celebrate the rich heritage of the Appalachians. Features approximately 200 crafts people with live music, dancing, craft demonstrations, food and much more. John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. Oct. 1-2. 828.837.2775

Cherokee Indian Fair

A five-day fair with nightly musical entertainment, fireworks and a carnival midway full of rides and games. Craft and food vendors including some traditional Cherokee food along with an exhibit hall displaying the Eastern Band enrolled members’ traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.

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The John C. Campbell Folk School features some of the finest artist-blacksmith work, as well as other unique and handcrafted items. 828.837.2775 or folkschool.org

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

Mountain Glory Quilter’s Show

Over 50 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and entertainers gather at the Cradle of Forestry to celebrate our forests and forest heritage. Includes live music, woodcarving, weaving and more. The day also includes a John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet. Brevard, N.C. Oct. 1. 828.877.3130

Annual Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction

Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds in Cherokee, N.C. Oct. 48. 828.497.9195

The Polar Express

PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOTHILLS FALL FESTIVAL

OCTOBER

Foothills Fall Festival

A three-day festival featuring juried arts and crafts from around the country, activities and shows for the whole family. Fifteen live concerts featuring Sara Evans, Reba, The Band Perry, Chicago and more. Maryville, Tenn. Oct. 7-9. foothillsfallfestival.com

Carolina Bonsai Expo

This two-day horticultural extravaganza in the mountains features a display of bonsai from enthusiasts in a six-state region. Also features live demonstrations, workshops and a bonsai marketplace. Explore the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which offers a world-class display of bonsai. At the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, N.C. Oct. 8-9. 828.665.2492

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5

Journey to the North Pole via the Polar Express. Read along with the magical story and meet Santa. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa, along with a special treat and a memento for the children. Bryson City, N.C. Nov. 4-Dec. 24. 1.800.872.4681 or gsmr.com

The Nashville Legends Show

Features four popular stars from the Grand Ole Opry. Music from Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely. Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Nov. 11. 1.800.792.4308

National Gingerbread House Competition & Display

Contestants from across the country will bring their culinary masterpieces to The Grove Park Inn this holiday season. Delight in the imagination shown in these sugar-and-spice creations, strolling through the competition display is a sure way to be swept up in the holiday spirit. Asheville, N.C. Nov. 14-Jan. 1, 2012. groveparkinn.com

Turkey Strut Square and Round Dance Festival

Enjoy a lineup of national callers and cuers during this weekend of dancing. Grand Resort Hotel Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Nov. 17-20. 1.800.251.4444

Festival of Trees

Experience Christmas in the Smokies with dozens upon dozens of ornately decorated Christmas trees. W.L. Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg Tenn. Nov. 21-25. eventsgatlinburg.com


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5th Annual Hometown Christmas

Choose and cut your own Christmas tree in an oldfashioned family outing, enjoy the Festival of Trees at the Ashe Arts Center, as well as participate in a handmade and home-grown Holiday Market. Stroll the streets and galleries in West Jefferson to see the downtown lights and decorations. Enjoy the lighting of the community Christmas tree and Santa’s arrival in an old-fashioned fire engine with treats for everyone. West Jefferson, N.C. Nov. 25-Dec. 17. visitwestjefferson.org

Includes children’s activities, demonstrations and live music. Marion, N.C. Dec. 3. 828.652.8610

8th Annual New Year’s Eve Possum Drop

Ring in the New Year with a Miss Possum contest, bluegrass music, Little Brasstown Church Choir, the Blessings, cider and good clean fun. Brasstown, N.C. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, 2012. 828.837.3797

High Mountain Squares New Years Eve Dance

DECEMBER

Celebrate the arrival of the New Year with Mainstream and Western style square dancing. Franklin, N.C. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, 2012. 828.349.0905 or highmountainsquares.org

36th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

JANUARY

This popular parade features over 100 illuminated floats, marching bands from all over the southeast, equestrian units and helium balloons in the streets. Don’t miss Santa’s autograph party! Gatlinburg, Tenn. Dec. 2. 800.568.4748 or gatlinburg.com

49th Annual Christmas Parade

A traditional hometown parade with baton twirlers, pageant winners, marching bands and floats leading up to the appearance of the Grand Marshal, Santa Claus. In historic downtown Sevierville, Tenn. Dec.3. 1.888.738.4378

Appalachian Potters’ Market

An annual event showcasing 66 potters from across North Carolina. Features various forms of clay work including raku, sgraffito, decorative stoneware, earthen cookware and traditional folk pottery.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SANTA HUSTLE CHICAGO

Santa Hustle Smokies

Runners and walkers alike will don Santa hats and beards for the first annual Santa Hustle 5k and Half Marathon. Features holiday decorations, Christmas music and an after party offering a buffet of food and plenty to drink. Sevierville, Tenn. Dec. 11. santahustlesmokies.com

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks All of downtown Gatlinburg will celebrate the coming of the New Year with a ball drop from the Space Needle and a choreographed fireworks show. Gatlinburg, Tenn. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, 2012. 1.800.568.4748 or gatlinburg.com

22nd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week

Enjoy a full schedule of outdoor recreational activities amidst the rustic beauty of nature in the Smokies. Nearly 100 mountain experts will guide guests on walks, hikes, seminars, hands on workshops and lectures on topics ranging from Smoky Mountain history to plant and animal habitation. Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Jan. 7-14. pigeonforge.com

Winterfest Celebration

Celebrate the fun side of winter with ice carving, hayrides, a wine auction, live bluegrass music, a chili cook-off, and kids activities. Or take the Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake. Blowing Rock, N.C. Jan. 26-29. blowingrockwinterfest.com

INTERNATIONAL NORTH CAROLINA’S FESTIVAL

July 19-29, 2012 “Thank you” to all our sponsors Performances in 12 Western NC counties Tickets on sale November 2011

OUR SPONSORS

Eleven Days of World Music & Dance Tickets & Information 877.FolkUSA | www.folkmootusa.org WWW.SMLIV.COM

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DEPARTMENT

mountain views

The (Mountain) Men in my life BY MARY CASEY-STURK

M

y father was raised in Pike County, Ken., where the hills are high, the air is crisp, and the men have their own notions about romance. In his early courting days things were easier; everyone knew everyone and everybody wanted to get married and have babies, so it was simply a matter of making arrangements. I jest to some extent, but as I watch my father—happily divorced since the 1980s—date while in his seventies, I still cannot help but feel something is missing. His suitors are mostly attractive widows of his deceased real estate clients. The ladies bring dinners and baked goods right to his front door. It’s more like “Meals on Wheels” than dating. Being the daughter of this self-professed “Mountain Man” should have prepared me for dating the same practical, no-frills kind of guy my mom fell for, but it did not. The fellows I knew in the Appalachian area where I grew up took the words “travel is a curse” to heart. “Travel” to me, a wanna-be globe hopper, meant anywhere from out of town to Timbuktu and anywhere in between. “Travel” to my mountain man ex-boyfriend (circa high school and slightly beyond) meant going to his brother’s house—down the road. Hopping in the pickup and heading out was OK at first. For really special occasions, we’d go to his sister’s—the other direction down the road. Making these singular left or right turns weekend upon weekend for years was not enough for me, and the pick up truck without air conditioning was not good for my big 1980s hairdo. I moved to a more metropolitan area for college, but found the men there equally ‘mountainesque.” Still seeking romance and life adventures as promised on cable television, I dated more mountain men and got the same results. Trips to the drive-in theater were replaced with hunting trips. Trips to exotic destinations, like, say, Dollywood, were

replaced with fishing excursions. Cuddling up to watch a chick flick was replaced with NASCAR races. New ideas and suggestions were strictly taboo, and no amount of arguing ever changed the outcome—I once suggested tasting hummus and one would have thought I was a serial killer. Home and auto repairs were another challenge. Paying people to do what one could do oneself was a ridiculous notion (like leaving THE road). Whether one had the skills or not to do the repair was not the point—one tried it on his own, only enlisting the help of family or a very close friend as a last resort. It goes without saying that the only payment required for assistants was cold beer. Thriftiness and manliness go hand-inhand in the mountains. I’m not Paula Deen—cooking has never been nor will ever be my forte. And that’s probably a good thing, because no girlfriend or wife could ever cook as good as a mountain man’s Mama, and we girls all knew that going in. Beyond this, one needed to pass the assorted other “Mama Tests” before being given girlfriend status. The matriarch of the family is a proud and hardworking person, and most often gets final word. Cooking, cleaning, fi-

“I’m not Paula Deen—cooking has never

MANDY NEWHAM ILLUSTRATION

been nor will ever be my forte. And that’s probably a good thing, because no girlfriend or wife could ever cook as good as a mountain man’s Mama.”

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delity, fertility and language skills had to be mastered before receiving the stamp of approval. The language skills test could go either way, and one had to be prepared with a few colorful expletives just in case. Meeting Mama was always the point when I knew it was time to fish or cut bait. She was a young man’s first love, after all, the one to measure up to at all costs. Orphaned single guys were in short supply, so I did my best. Did I pass? Well, honestly, no, and after various attempts I gave up and was beginning to accept the prospect of always being single. Throughout college, I wondered what it would take to have a little romance and adventure in my life. What was the secret recipe or code word I lacked? Was I to build a deer stand, climb up into it and wait in a lace teddy, and if I did, would I get attention or would my perfume simply scare away the deer? In the end, my mountain man came from Michigan, where a mountain is a hill and bears are in short supply, but his mom approves—even if I still can’t cook—and I couldn’t be happier. The truth of the matter is though, that I now understand why women still flock to my father. His quiet talents and understated romantic gestures are priceless. What the mountain man lacks in storybook romance, he makes up for with loyalty and pride—proudly not asking for directions (should he actually leave THE road) and loyalty to his town, his family, his pickup truck, and to his woman, who he can surprise when she least expects it. There is nothing more beautiful then freshly picked wildflowers, even if they come in a Ball jar.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 5


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Follow your inner compass.

ANDREWS 828-321-2050 BAKERSVILLE 828-688-5800 BLOWING ROCK 828-295-8072 BREVARD-DOWNTOWN 828-884-3649 BREVARD-STRAUS PARK 828-884-2600 BRYSON CITY 828-488-1168 BURNSVILLE 828-682-9992 CASHIERS 828-743-6600 CHEROKEE 828-497-3734 ETOWAH 828-890-3600 FRANKLIN 828-369-6197 HAYESVILLE 828-389-6363 HENDERSONVILLE 828-698-5684 MURPHY 828-837-9291 NEWLAND 828-733-9281 ROBBINSVILLE 828-479-3037 SPRUCE PINE 828-766-8880 SYLVA 828-631-9166 SYLVA-ASHEVILLE HWY. 828-631-9600 WAYNESVILLE 828-452-0307

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 • VOL. 11 • NO. 5

 “Back to Titanic 100th Year ‘Tour Ireland’ Sweepstakes.”

 “Rose Petal Memorial Tribute at Sea”—Visit Titanic Museum Attraction and receive a rose petal symbolizing your eternal link to Titanic’s passengers and crew. We’ll collect your petal, then next April we’ll give them all to the U.S. Coast Guard to place on the North Atlantic in the same place Titanic went down 100 years ago.

THE MEANING OF MOUNTAIN MANLINESS • ON BOARD WITH CLYDE EDGERTON • FEATS OF MILITARY ENDURANCE • DESTINATION: BOONE, N.C.

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN. has already launched their centennial tributes to Titanic and her 2,208 passengers and crew. Ongoing special events, commemorative activities and ceremonies include:

— Win an 11-day trip for two to Ireland, where Titanic was built. Enter online today at www.TitanicAttractions.com. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years old to enter.

Smoky Mountain L I V I N G

Mountain

MEN Appalachia In Focus with Tim Barnwell

Eustace Conway and The Making of a Man PLUS MORE ...

smliv.com

SMOKY MOUNTAIN LIVING

T

he eyes of the world were on Titanic when her maiden voyage set sail April 10, 1912. Almost a century later, all Titanic was—and all she was to become— will be in the spotlight next year when the Grand Lady turns 100.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER • 2011

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ON BOARD

$5.95US $6.95CAN

0

74820 08682

11

7

with author Clyde Edgerton Tennessee’s 26-Mile Military March Destination:

Boone, N.C.

Smoky Mountain Living Oct. 2011  

Smoky Mountain Living is a bi-monthly magazine covering the people, places and events that make the Smoky Mountain region of western North C...

Smoky Mountain Living Oct. 2011  

Smoky Mountain Living is a bi-monthly magazine covering the people, places and events that make the Smoky Mountain region of western North C...