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Western North Carolina’s Source for Weekly News, Entertainment, Arts, and Outdoor Information

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 Vol. 18 Iss. 27

N.C. wildfires wane, Smokies blaze hits Gatlinburg Page 3 Marty Stuart to perform at Lake Junaluska Page 22

CONTENTS On the Cover: George Ellison, a longtime naturalist and writer, discusses how his sense of place in Western North Carolina influenced his latest book, Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands. The collection of essays draws from his nature columns that appear in The Smoky Mountain News and AshevilleCitizen Times and is illustrated by his wife Elizabeth Ellison. (Page 6)

News N.C. wildfires wane, Smokies blaze burns Gatlinburg ............................................3 Haywood TDA revisits room tax increase ....................................................................4 Waynesville wants playground for disabled children ................................................9 Macon to pay off Parker Meadows loan early ............................................................9 SCC asks Macon for 40 percent of bond project cost ......................................10 Jackson works toward sustainable homeless shelter ..............................................1 Joe Sam Queen reflects on his latest loss ................................................................12 Duke proposes microgrid for Mt. Sterling ....................................................................4 Jackson NAACP researching provisional ballots ....................................................16 Business briefs ..................................................................................................................17



Scott McLeod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micah McClure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Moss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whitney Burton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Bradley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hylah Birenbaum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jessi Stone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Becky Johnson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cory Vaillancourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Holly Kays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garret K. Woodward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Singletary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Minick (writing), Chris Cox (writing), George Ellison (writing), Gary Carden (writing), Don Hendershot (writing), Susanna Barbee (writing).



CONTACT WAYNESVILLE | 144 Montgomery, Waynesville, NC 28786 P: 828.452.4251 | F: 828.452.3585 SYLVA | 629 West Main Street, Sylva, NC 28779 828.631.4829 | F: 828.631.0789

In a season of feasting, finding food for the soul ....................................................18



INFO & BILLING | P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786

Marty Stuart to perform at Lake Junaluska ................................................................22

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Fire down the mountain As N.C. wildfires slacken, Smokies blaze roars into Gatlinburg


HELP COMING FROM N.C. One piece of good news is that thousands of firefighters are already deployed in North Carolina, and for many of them the job they’re currently assigned to is wrapping up. Wildfire growth in North Carolina has slowed to a crawl, with changes in acreage of wildfires west of Asheville that had already been reported as of press time Nov. 22 adding up to a net negative, not a net positive. A newer start, the Camp Branch Fire near Franklin, accounts for all the gain in fire size, clocking

Preliminary figures are in on the cost of fighting wildfires in North Carolina, and the numbers are high. Arson is suspected in many of the blazes, with tips still sought to determine their origin. • • • • • •

Boteler Fire: $10.8 million* Maple Springs Fire: $6.5 million Tellico Fire Fire: $5.4 million Dicks Creek Fire: $920,000 Knob Fire: $203,000 Camp Branch Fire: $136,000

Total cost of firefighting in North Carolina’s National Forests: $27.7 million

*Figures are current through Nov. 26. in at 3,210 acres as of Tuesday morning. At that time it was 55 percent contained with 293 personnel. The fire started Nov. 22. “Some of the resources that still have time on them that were headed to be sent home are being redirected over to help Tennessee,” Erikson said, adding, “They’re getting things in Tennessee quicker than they would if they had to order them from Oregon.” The Party Rock Fire near Lake Lure, for example, is now 100 percent contained and continued management is being turned over to local agencies. The fire burned 7,142 acres — 2,489 acres on state park land and 4,653 acres on private land — and cost an estimated $7.65 million to fight. Many of those firefighters can now head


State of the fires NEAREST TOWN

Smoky Mountain News

ACREAGE ACREAGE ACREAGE ACREAGE CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE NOV. 8 NOV. 15 NOV. 22 NOV. 29 NOV. 8-15 NOV. 15-22 NOV. 22-29 Boardtree ...............................................Macon County.........................0........................0.5......................0.5 ......................0.5 ......................0.5........................0..........................0 Boteler Peak ..............................................Hayesville .........................2,532..................8,967 .................9,043..................9,036..................6,435.....................76........................-7 Buck Creek..................................................Highlands .............................8..........................8.........................6..........................6..........................0.........................-2.........................0 Bullpen .........................................................Highlands .............................0..........................0.........................6..........................6......................................................6..........................0 Camp Branch Fire .......................................Franklin...............................0..........................0.........................0 ......................3210 ......................0..........................0 ......................3210 Cathy Gap Fire ........................................Little Canada..........................0..........................0.......................123 .....................123 .......................0 .......................123 .......................0 Charley Creek ..............................................Sapphire..............................0..........................3.........................6..........................6..........................3..........................3..........................0 Cliffside ........................................................Highlands ...........................101......................101 .....................110 ......................110........................0..........................9..........................0 Dicks Creek .....................................................Sylva ...............................726 .....................728.....................729 .....................729 .......................2..........................1..........................0 Dobson 3 .....................................................Cherokee..............................0..........................0.......................756.....................756 .................................................756 .......................0 Grape Cove....................................................Franklin..............................35 .......................35 .......................11 ........................11.........................0........................-24........................0 Howard Gap...................................................Clayton ...............................0..........................0 .......................0.2 ......................0.2...................................................0.2........................0 Jones Creek ...............................................................................................0..........................0.........................0..........................1......................................................0........................1.3 Jones Gap ...................................................Highlands............................115 ......................115 .......................8..........................8..........................0.......................-107.......................0 Knob ...............................................................Franklin.............................664 ...................1,130 .................1,130..................1,130 ...................466 .......................0..........................0 Maple Spring/Averys ............................Lake Santeelah.....................2,178...................7,515..................7,788 ..................7,788 ..................5,337....................273 .......................0 May Branch Sheep Mountain..................Cullowhee...........................175......................175 .....................175......................175........................0..........................0..........................0 Moses Creek...............................................Cullowhee............................30 .......................30.......................30 .......................30 ........................0..........................0..........................0 Moss Knob ..................................................Cullowhee.............................7..........................7.........................7..........................7..........................0..........................0..........................0 Mulberry.........................................................Clayton ...............................0..........................0.........................1..........................1..........................0..........................1..........................0 Muskrat Valley ......................................Macon County.........................0........................103.....................104 .....................104 .....................103........................1..........................0 Nick .............................................................................................................0..........................0.........................2..........................0..........................0..........................2 .......................-1.8 Old Roughy.............................................Lake Santeelah ........................0 .......................657.....................657 .....................657 .....................657 .......................0..........................0 Ridge Gap....................................................Highlands .............................0..........................2.........................1..........................1..........................2.........................-1.........................0 Tellico/Ferebee ......................................Macon/Swain......................4,549.................13,679 ...............13,874 ................13,874.................9,130....................195 .......................0 Whitewater Falls ........................................Highlands ............................10........................23.......................23 .......................23 .......................13 ........................0..........................0 Wine Spring..................................................Franklin..............................95 .......................95.......................93 .......................93 ........................0.........................-2.........................0 TOTAL...........................................................................................11120 .............33255.5...........34567.7 ...........37886.2...........22135.5.............1312.2..............3202.5 Figures are current as of Nov. 29.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER ust as wildfires were beginning to subside in North Carolina, gusty winds whipped a flare-up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into a frenzy that climbed down the mountain to enter the town of Gatlinburg and spur forced evacuations around the area. The Chimney Tops Fire began on Wednesday, Nov. 23, a little 1.5-acre blaze according to the initial press release the park sent out. By Friday, Nov. 25, the fire — at that point a slow-moving affair creeping along the ground — had grown to 3 acres with crews busy building containment lines. As of Sunday morning, Nov. 27, it had reached 10 acres and hovered around 50 by the evening. And then the winds came. “The winds that we’ve been experiencing have been sustained at 20 miles per hour, and we’ve had gusts up to 50 miles per hour,” said park spokeswoman Dana Soehn at a press conference Monday afternoon. “We’re expecting those conditions to continue to evolve. We could have gusts up to 80 miles per hour throughout the rest of the day.” She was right. At the time of the press conference, the fire occupied 500 acres, but winds did nothing but increase as the day progressed and night fell, gusting continually at 50 to 60 miles per hour with the biggest gust clocking in at 87 miles per hour. Fueled by the blowing oxygen, the fire grew. No longer a slowly creeping ground fire, it leapt from tree to tree. Embers blew in the wind, resulting in new spot fires around the main fire. The fire escaped the park and entered the adjoining town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Evacuations were ordered. Homes and businesses were caught in the blaze. No fatalities have been reported, but four people received burn injuries requiring hospital treatment. As of 9 a.m. Monday morning, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency was reporting 11,595 people without power in Sevier County, with an estimated 1,100 people occupying four emergency shelters. Evacuations likely displaced more than 14,000 residents and visitors from Gatlinburg alone, not including evacuations in outlying areas and Pigeon Forge. As of press time on Tuesday, the size of the fire was still unknown. Heavy smoke and gusting wind had made it impossible for helicopters to fly and get a comprehensive sense of the situation. “Even with the rain that is currently falling there, the fires continue to burn and structures remain engulfed with little hope that the rainfall will bring immediate relief,” reads a TEMA press release. “We just continually had gusts of 50, 60 mile per hour winds,” said Jamie Sanders,

public information officer for the park. “That on top of the exceptional drought conditions made it to where it was able to move the way that it did.” As of press time, the park was still closed — even employees had to be evacuated at one point on Tuesday — and everyone’s working to get a handle on what the situation is, how best to address it and where the resources should come from. “Nobody is out doing anything operational or fighting fire right now,” Kris Eriksen, manager of the U.S. Forest Service’s Joint Information Center in Asheville, said Tuesday morning. “They’re just saving stuff. They’re just trying to get people out of the town, evacuated, get the engines in. There’s things that have to happen before (firefighting) happens. People have to be in radio contact. You have to make sure they’re safe and that you know where everyone is.”

Cost of a fire

over to Tennessee to assist with the Chimney Tops Fire now igniting Gatlinburg. State and federal agencies have guidelines as to how long a firefighter can work without a day off, so not all firefighters will be able to head there right away. Some will be legally required to take a rest beforehand. “Tired people don’t make the best judgments, so they’re trying to make sure that nobody gets so exhausted they can’t do a good job,” Eriksen said. Firefighters working for federal agencies work two-week shifts and can extend to three weeks but must have at least two days off after working 21 in a row. For those already on the scene in the Southern Appalachians, not even the Thanksgiving holiday was cause to stop fighting. The folks stationed in Franklin, for example, ate their Thanksgiving dinner — courtesy of the N.C. Baptist Men’s Association — outdoors at headquarters. “Turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie and green beans and all the regular things you’d normally have for Thanksgiving, except we had it in a tent and away from our families,” said firefighter Bill Beebe. Things are looking up over in that neck of the woods, Beebe said. Fires are getting pretty well contained, growth has been held to zero and firefighters are even getting some time to start remediation of the areas — covering up the evidence of dug-out fire lines around fires where hot spots are so far inside there’s little worry of them escaping. The Franklin area saw similar wind gusts to what Gatlinburg and the Smokies experi-


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Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016


ince 1983, the North Carolina General Assembly has allowed counties and municipalities to collect room occupancy taxes from any lodgings that also pay sales tax. In theory, every cabin, condo, rental home, bed and breakfast or hotel room rented in 81 of the state’s 100 counties or in 96 of the state’s 533 municipalities includes a small tax. Guests pay a percentage of their lodging’s rate to the renter, who in turn remits the collected money to the appropriate local government unit monthly. Usually, that money is administered by a Tourism Development Authority, as is the case in Haywood County. Over the past 33 years, this tax has generated billions of dollars statewide in revenue, all of which stays at the local level. Haywood County’s room tax rate currently stands at 4 percent. In essence, that 4 percent is split into two different accounts: into the first goes 75 percent of all room tax revenue, of which two-thirds must be used for promotion of the county as a whole, and one-third for tourism-related expenses in the county; the final 25 percent goes into an account that is further divided up into five separate accounts — one each for Canton, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, and Waynesville. Each zip code’s revenue is based on how much is collected within its boundaries. In each of those zip codes, two-thirds of the revenue must be spent on promotion of that jurisdiction and the final onethird must be spent on tourism-related expenses, also within the respective jurisdiction. For the 2015-16 fiscal year running from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, the Haywood County TDA collected $303,818 in the 1 percent account alone. All five zip codes saw double-digit growth compared to last year, with the county’s smallest — Clyde and Lake Junaluska — posting 82 and 41 percent growth, respectively. Tourism juggernaut Maggie Valley — which by far accounts for the lion’s share of room tax revenue — collected $163,932 on growth of 8 percent, and Waynesville likewise grew 20 percent, collecting $94,751. In Waynesville alone, some of that revenue helped fund events like Art After Dark, Folkmoot, the Haywood Chamber’s Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon and Apple Harvest Festival, and a number of Downtown Waynesville Association events like the street dances and the Church Street Arts and Crafts fest, all of which are designed to increase the number of overnight stays in town. Year in and year out, these events attract tourists to the area — many of whom pay the tax, which helps pay for more events, which hopefully helps attract more tourists. More than $600,000 in 1 percent occupancy tax has been collected in Waynesville since 2008 alone. 4


Support heard for TDA tax increase BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER upporters of a proposed hike in Haywood County’s room occupancy tax were silenced in the state legislature in 2013, but much noise was again made over the issue during the recent election. Now, with new players in place and old adversaries entrenched, is there a chance a room tax hike could pass?


HEARTBREAK HOTEL Since the legislation enabling room occupancy tax levies was first enacted more than three decades ago, many counties and municipalities have changed their rates, which must be approved by the General Assembly. Haywood County started off at 2 percent, but has since risen along with its neighboring counties. Right now, Buncombe County’s rate is the highest allowable by law, 6 percent. Transylvania County’s is 5 percent, although the county has been authorized to increase that to 6. Madison County’s is 5, Swain and Jackson counties are both at 4, and Macon’s is 3 — with an additional 3 percent in the Town of Franklin. Yancey County’s rate is also 3 percent. Although Haywood’s rate sits right in the middle of the pack, the total amount of revenue collected — more than $1.2 million dollars in 2015-16 — has a definitive local impact. Back in 2013, a movement proposing an increase in the county’s occupancy tax rate gained momentum. Adding 2 cents to the existing 4 cents would naturally boost all room tax revenue by 50 percent, pushing the TDA’s gross collections to about $1.8 million. Advocates of increasing the occupancy tax increase make a salient point — even though it is a tax, it’s generally not a tax paid by locals. It’s a revenue injection from outside the county. Detractors say a tax is a tax, and increasing the room occupancy tax could lead budget-conscious consumers to take their business elsewhere. Regardless, almost every single elected official in Haywood County at the time supported — at least in principle — the proposed increase put forth during the 2013 legislative session, although there were minor disagreements as to how, exactly, the money would be spent. On March 13, 2013, Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, filed “An act to authorize Haywood County to levy a two percent room occupancy tax.” On that same day, Sen. Jim Davis, RFranklin, filed the identically bill in the Senate. However, local bills have to make it through a legislative committee where the local delegation must testify that they all support the measure. Obviously, Davis and Queen were on board; the lone holdout was Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville.

Draft document discusses room tax hike The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority staff has developed a draft plan for how an increase in the room tax could be implemented and used, but the document is preliminary and has not been discussed by the TDA members or won their approval. Although it’s a draft, the document has been through four versions and is current as of Aug. 16. In summary, it explains how a new, separate 2 percent tax could be spent. The new money would be for capital projects rather than marketing, and so it could provide a different kind of boost to Haywood’s tourism market than what the current room tax provides. • The TDA will allocate funding for “tourismrelated product development,” or capital investments only — bricks and mortar projects, or design work in support of those projects. • The TDA will retain 5 percent to cover administration. • The TDA does not have to spend all of the

THE LONG RUN Since 2013, Haywood County has left probably $1.5 million or more in room occupancy taxes on the table, and any immediate rate increase would take additional time to pass, implement, collect and accumulate to a level where disbursements could be made — contributing to a growing sense of urgency among local officials that peaks every two years as the new legislative session convenes. Currently, an increase in the rate, even without specific details on how the money will be spent, still has widespread support across the county and across party lines. Prior to Election Day, some municipal officials openly bandied about the renewed possibility of rate hike, should Presnell suffer a then-expected loss to challenger Rhonda Cole Schandevel, D-Canton. Not only did that not happen but the measure’s foremost supporter — Queen — suffered a close loss in his re-election contest. So where does the delegation stand today?

money each year. • The TDA cannot promise ongoing financial support of a project. • Projects must be located in Haywood County. • Projects located on the property of an occupancy tax-collecting entity are not eligible for funding. • Projects must serve as “drivers of visitation” to the county, enhance the visitor experience or meet demonstrated tourist needs while also improving quality of life for residents. • Revenues in the 1 percent fund will henceforth be used only for marketing and promotion. • Funded organizations must be nonprofits or governments and must have a minimum 50 percent match for any monies requested; • Funded organizations may receive a grant, loan, or monies supporting debt service. • All usual application procedures and procedural check-ins can still be expected.

The re-elected Sen. Davis — in true representative form — declared his support only for letting the people of Haywood County decide whether or not the rate should be raised. “Yes,” he said when asked if he was agreeable to sponsor such a measure in the Senate again. “But I’m not willing to spend any political capital in a losing effort. It would have to be a referendum. I’m a local government guy, and I think people ought to have a chance to vote for it. If they want to vote to raise the tax themselves, so be it. That’s America at it’s greatest.” The House bill’s sponsor, Rep. Queen, won’t be returning to Raleigh this January, and will instead be replaced by Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City. “I would want to meet with the TDA, the Chambers of Commerce, and the county commissioners and get their thoughts on that before making a decision,” Clampitt said of his feelings on advancing another attempt to raise the rate.



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Smoky Mountain News

who wasn’t on the board in 2013, said he hadn’t really studied the issue yet. In Clyde, Mayor Jerry Walker said he’d probably support an increase, as did Alderman Jim Trantham, who said the current tax “doesn’t help Clyde much” but that he’d be for it, if only to support the rest of the county. Alderman James Mashburn, however, said he “wasn’t in favor of any tax right now.” In Maggie Valley, Alderman Janet Banks said her position in favor of an increase hadn’t changed. Alderman Mike Eveland — also a member of the TDA board and coowner of the Maggie Valley Inn — said he was in favor of it, as long as spending concerns were addressed. Alderman Clayton Davis expressed a similar opinion, saying he was “cautiously supportive” of an increase. Alderman Phillip Wight, however, continues to oppose an increase. In 2013, he and Mike Matthews, who is now Waynesville’s tax collector, were the only aldermen in Haywood County to oppose it. “I would be against it,” Wight said. “I’m not generally for that type of taxation. We’re growing, and I don’t really see a need for it.” However Wight, who himself owns a Maggie Valley motel, doesn’t think the tax hurts local business owners, as some claimed in 2013. “Not really,” he said. “Maybe for longterm stays, three or four days or more, it certainly eats into your budget, and your enjoyment of the area.”


Scottish Shortbread

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

That leaves only Presnell, who said she was about to meet with Haywood County Commissioner Mike Sorrells to discuss the issue. “I do not vote for any occupancy tax — not just in my district. It’s just an additional tax. It’s not a tax on the people that live there, but it is on the people that visit there,” she said, noting that consumers compare costs before choosing a vacation destination. “But I’m willing to listen,” she said. On the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, every commissioner, including the soon-to-be sworn in Brandon Rogers, supports the idea. Rogers is replacing retiring Commissioner Mark Swanger, who also supported it. Executive Director of the Haywood Economic Development Council Mark Clasby said that the EDC hasn’t made any changes in its opinion since issuing a formal statement in support of the previously proposed increase. President of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce CeCe Hipps echoed Clasby, but with a caveat. “We were in favor of it [in 2013], and we did support it. As far as a new effort, we would want to sit down and look what’s being proposed,” Hipps said. “I can’t speak for the board, but I feel positive they would support it.” Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown said that he would support the plan that was put forth several years ago, but Alderman Jon Feichter,

enced, but it certainly didn’t cause the devastation seen over there. “From my experience, I expect it outpaced them pretty quickly,” Beebe, whose 40-year firefighting career has spanned the country, said of crews near Gatlinburg. “But here we had fire lines around the fire. We had done burnouts and prepared for this coming through and we were more ready for it. Consequently it didn’t cause us as much trouble as it did for those guys over there. They didn’t have a chance to get ready.”


Of course, everyone — from Asheville to Gatlinburg and beyond — is keeping a close eye on the forecast, hoping that the promised rain will come and the fires will disappear. But what happens to the fires will depend a great deal on what form the rain takes, how long it sticks around and what the weather is like between showers. “In Alaska, I saw fires that overwintered even under snow and came out the next spring,” Beebe said. “It’s hard to say the rain will put it out.” Many of North Carolina’s fires are big ones. Think about a backyard campfire and how much water it can take to even put that out, Eriksen said. “A lot of these are larger fires that take what we call a ‘season-ending event,’” Eriksen said. “We need snow or we need sustained rain over a long period of time in order to put a fire out.”

However, nobody seems to be able to define what, specifically, “sustained rain” or “long period of time” mean. “It depends on how the rains come,” Beebe said Tuesday. “If this was all we got, the forest could be burning again tomorrow because it’s windy and it’s sunshiny. If we get rain again tonight and tomorrow, it might change things. But the potential today of a fire coming out is still there.” Especially, he said, with what firefighters call “one-hour fuels” — grass and leaves that can get soaked and be ready to burn again within the hour. “Ultimately what we’d love to see is a little bit of rain — like an inch, inch and a half over four to five days. Not 4 inches in one day because the ground can’t absorb that much so then you have flooding and mudslide problems,” Eriksen said. The current forecast shows what could turn out to be a season-ending amount of rain. But it’s not a guarantee. In the mountains especially, weather forecasting is not an exact science, and the severity of drought gripping the Southeast will require a lot more than a day or two or rain to vanquish. Then, too, there’s the potential for people to assume that because it rained one night it’s safe to burn again. And that is not the case. Burn bans are still in effect and will continue to be until fire danger falls down to less critical levels. “We will use the rain to our advantage, but we’re not going to say we’re going to leave because the rain came,” Beebe said. “We’re going to downsize quite a bit, but there is going to be work to do out there.”




Nestled in a cove bordered on three sides by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, their home is both a getaway and an inspiration to George and Elizabeth Ellison. Holly Kays photo

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Spirit of a place George Ellison releases new book, reflects on decades of life lived in nature

BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER he Fourth of July, 1976, was just around the corner when George and Elizabeth Ellison embarked on a hike that would change their lives forever. The two were walking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when their wandering brought them to the park’s edge, a remote and beautiful cove with a bubbling stream flowing through it. There was something special about that place, surrounded by the park on three sides with no people for at least a mile around. It spoke, and it spoke loudly. Within a week, the Ellisons had moved in — as renters, not knowing if it would ever be for sale. Until one day, it was, and they didn’t hesitate to buy it. “Out of the blue things sometimes happen,” George said. In the decades since, that 50-acre parcel has served as a well of inspiration for the writings and paintings they’ve spent their lives creating. George, a writer and naturalist, has made a niche for himself as a chronicler of Smokies history, both natural and human, while Elizabeth produces paintings suffused with the unique quality of light she can find 6 only in her backyard.

Smoky Mountain News


Both George and Elizabeth are quick to agree that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to separate their work from the place they call home. And the funny thing is, their home could very easily have been someplace else. George is from Danville, Virginia, while Elizabeth grew up in Caswell County. At the time they decided to move to Western North Carolina, George was teaching at Mississippi State. They were ready for a change, but neither of them had a firm picture of where that change should take them. “We could have gone anywhere,” George said. “It was one of those times when it was open-ended.” “I frankly would have been happy anywhere in the country, as long as it was country,” Elizabeth agreed. George was in the midst of researching a publication on Horace Kephart, a task that had caused him to travel to Western North Carolina. Afterward, they decided to move here — the plan was that George would get to refocus his career to pursue nonacademic writing, while Elizabeth would dive into her work as a painter. The decision would prove serendipitous. Having grown up in what George calls “the middle of nowhere,” Elizabeth had always felt a spiritual connection to the places where she’s lived. “But here,” she said, “it’s stronger.” Maybe that strength had something to do with the land’s limited human history. No white people had really lived there before they did — the former owners didn’t, anyway. Elizabeth will often visualize the Cherokee people as she walks her dogs through the

“I wanted to be two things. I wanted to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers, or I wanted to be a writer. And the Dodgers never called, so I went to school and majored in English.” — George Ellison

property, imagining them hunting and fishing this land hundreds of years ago. “It’s just a feeling of being, and I hate that word ‘connection’ because it seems overused, but being a part of nature — that’s what I truly believe is that all we are is a part of nature,” Elizabeth said. There is a place on the property where she feels that connection especially strongly — she calls it the “woodland cathedral” because of the way the light shines through the trees in that particular hollow. She’s worked to capture it in her painting. For George, Lands Creek’s path through the land is where he experiences the property’s essence. “It has a presence. You see it glinting in the sun. You hear it. And it’s going about its business,” he said of the creek. “You can see that bend in the creek, some areas out in the bend where there are enormous amounts of spring wildflowers.” He likes to think about the long journey on which the water flowing through his property is currently embarking — from his backyard to the Tuckasegee River to the Little Tennessee River to the Mississippi and, finally, to the Gulf of Mexico.


For somebody who likes to spend time in that sort of contemplative state, the property is set up just right. The porch is huge, surrounding and even dwarfing the house. Firewood is piled high underneath it. There’s a vegetable garden, an arbor leading to a

town. That’s not to say that the way to town is that difficult — it’s gotten a lot easier since the road leading from his driveway was paved for the first time in 2001. George makes sure to point out, however, that they weren’t “trying to make a statement” with their choice of a simple lifestyle. When the back-to-earth movement was just getting going they’d been contacted by a few of those types, who soon discovered they were barking up the wrong tree and “left us alone,” George said.

A LIFE OF MOMENTS For George, life at Lands Creek is about capturing moments — those transitory instances when something amazing happens that is, just as quickly, gone. That’s much of what he writes about in his new book Literary Excursions in the Southern

Highlands — the book also features Elizabeth’s artwork — which is essentially a collection of his favorite moments from 30 years of writing about moments. “We probably remember 10 or 20 percent of the experiences we’ve had,” Ellison said. “But you do have those moments that stay with you, and they usually come as some sort of revelation.” For instance, the time that he saw a bobcat, eyes aglow from the reflected light of George’s truck, perched on a boulder above the creek. The cat looked steadily onward, without fear or threat, before gliding to the opposite side of the creek and disappearing into the woods — “gone as completely as though he had never existed,” George writes. Or, similarly, a wintertime mink sighting in the mid-1980s. The sleek creature was perched on a log looking down into the water until he sensed George’s approach and darted away into the undergrowth.



The Wilderness Society and author of many published nature-based poems and essays, wrote. Ellison’s writings allow readers to “join the writer in a common experience of personal observation — or at least with a desire to experience firsthand what the observer notes,” added Dan Pittillo, Ph.D., a biology professor emeritus at Western Carolina University and the founding editor of Chinquapin.

Get the book George Ellison will present his new book Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. The book is available for purchase in local bookstores throughout Western North Carolina. This is one of seven George Ellison titles published by History Press. His other books, all of which include artwork from Elizabeth, include Permanent Camp: Poems, Narratives and Renderings from the Smokies, High Vistas: An Anthology of Nature Writing From Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on the Blue Ridge Mountains in Essays and Art and Mountain Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains. His writing appears in many other places as well, including in the forward he wrote to the latest edition of Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart. And Ellison continues to produce. With Literary Excursions now on the shelves, he’s co-authoring a Horace Kephart biography to be published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

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kitchen, situated perfectly to watch birds pecking at the feeder through the large window beside it. A short hallway takes off to the right of the front door, down which the bedroom, bathroom and George’s office can be found. Elizabeth does her painting in a Main Street studio in Bryson City. Bookcases — all of them full — accent seemingly every piece of bare wall. “We love it,” George said. “It suits our needs.” For years, there was no electricity and not even any running water. Water came from the creek and was pumped into a springhouse. Now both 74 years old, the Ellisons maintained their electricity-free lifestyle until 2000, when their daughter and a friend came in to wire the house while her parents were on vacation in Wyoming. “I wasn’t particularly happy at first, but then I got used to the electricity and found out it wasn’t so bad,” George said. These days, he even has an internet connection so he can send his columns in over email without having to make the trek into

Elizabeth Ellison image

hen George Ellison first started writing nature columns for the Asheville Citizen-Times back in 1986, it was with the assumption that, while he enjoyed such things, reader interest was likely limited and the column would be a short-lived venture. So, when the editor called him in to talk, Ellison was surprised to get not a polite goodbye but promotion to permanent status. The resulting column, “Nature Journal,” is still published today. He’d later add regular columns for The Smoky Mountain News and Chinquapin: The Newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society to his docket, and with 30 years of column-writing under his belt he’s now released a new book — Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands — whose contents are drawn from those columns. The book includes 50 essays covering everything from acorns to panthers, each accompanied by full-color artwork from his wife Elizabeth Ellison. They’re not arranged in any particular order, Ellison writes in his “Note to the Reader,” though “there are recurrent themes throughout that I will leave it to you to discern, if that sort of thing is your cup of tea.” Personal experience from a lifetime of outdoor living — much of it spent on the 50-acre property where he and Elizabeth live, surrounded on three sides by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — figures heavily into the writing, as do the biological intricacies of organisms and their environment and the relationship of one to another. The book covers observations in nature ranging from Roanoke, Virginia south to Mount Oglethorpe in Georgia. Much of the book is prose, though Ellison brings out original verse from time to time. Many of the pieces begin with an epigraph — a quote from some other writer that brings meaning to the piece following. Others conclude with a coda. And, at times, Ellison brings his readers’ voices to the pages of the book, most notably in “The Panther Files,” which discusses Ellison’s thoughts on whether panthers, also called mountain lions or catamounts, still exist in the Smokies. A barrage of letters from readers reacting to one of his published columns on the topic brings dimension to the discussion. “It adds other voices so it’s not just me,” he said. Not that the critics seem to be all that critical of Ellison’s particular voice. The book is “informative, entertaining and personal,” full of “wit, humor and passion,” wrote Clemson University biologist and author Timothy Spira. For “denizens of all things wild and natural,” the book is “a vessel containing the essence of one of our region’s most significant voices of place,” Brent Martin, regional director for

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Elizabeth Ellison recreates the luminous glow emanating from the secretive bobcat’s eyes.

Ellison releases new title news

bridge over the creek, and of course the park on all sides but one. A smattering of neighbors have moved in along the non-park access over the years, but the Ellison home at the end of the road still remains fairly secluded. The house itself is tiny, an early version of a modular house designed during World War II that began its life as worker housing during the construction of Fontana Dam. The Ellisons bought it from Fontana Village, which was doing a massive sell-off of homes in conditions ranging from terrible to wonderful, for $700 and a promise that George would lead a wildflower walk there. Open the front door, and there’s a futon and swivel-bottomed chair, both draped with blankets, against the wall. A wood-burning stove occupies the center of the room, with a kitchen nook sporting lime green cupboards just to the right of the stove. A small kitchen table sits against the back wall opposite the


news Nature inspires the artwork Elizabeth Ellison produces in her Bryson City studio. Holly Kays photo E LLISON, CONTINUED FROM 7

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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Those kinds of experiences, he said, can be a “breakthrough, just a moment when you get outside yourself a little bit.” Not all of the 50 essays contained in the book are about sightings of elusive mammals, however. There’s a six-page entry on witch hobble and how the plant changes throughout the year. There’s a piece dubbed “Literary Toads” which discusses treatment of the toad in literature from Shakespeare up through Marianne Moore. Dragonflies, bracken, great horned owls and snails all get their moment in the spotlight. The pieces have their origins in one or all three of the natural history columns George writes on a regular basis — “Back Then” in The Smoky Mountain News, “Nature Journal” in the Asheville CitizenTimes and “Botanical Excursions” in Chinquapin: The Newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. And while personal experience plays a headlining role, the pieces are much more than simple ruminations on moments remembered. They occupy a space somewhere between storybook and textbook. “I tried to make the information different than just a handbook by the writer,” George said. “Personal experiences and descriptions and things.” Reading the bobcat story, for instance, would reveal a lot more than just the details of that one night when George and a bobcat happened to gaze into each others’ eyes across a creek. He opens the piece by describing the bobcat as a species — weighing about 30 pounds and measuring 40 inches in length, he writes, they’re secretive but not uncommon — and follows up the anecdote of his encounter with the shining-eyed bobcat by discussing the biological concept of eyeshine. Animals that are active mainly at night often have an additional layer of tissue 8 behind their retinas, which serves to reflect

“It’s just a feeling of being, and I hate that word ‘connection’ because it seems overused, but being a part of nature — that’s what I truly believe is that all we are is a part of nature.”

never went to school for ecology or biology or anything of the sort. He was an English major turned English professor before he left academia for the Smokies. “I wanted to be two things. I wanted to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers, or I wanted to be a writer,” George said. “And the Dodgers never called, so I went to school and majored in English.” He was a voracious reader, though, and always had a penchant for natural history. As a grad student at the University of South Carolina, he writes in a Literary Excursions essay titled “Burls and Cankers and Heart Rot,” when he found himself with a few extra dollars he’d drive to a book emporium in Abbeville to spend most of a day looking through the store’s delightfully disarrayed shelves. One of his favorite finds from those excursions was a 45-page booklet titled Northern Hardwoods Culls Manual, which attracted his attention because of his “interest in nature writing of any sort.” Meeting and marrying Elizabeth only fueled that fire. He credits his wife’s artistic sensibilities and intuition about the natural world with driving his desire to know more about it. “She’s got a real joy about the natural world that fortunately for me has rubbed off,” he said. Elizabeth, meanwhile, says that might be giving her too much credit. Even though George grew up in town, Danville, Virginia isn’t exactly a metropolis and he’d often go out in the country with his uncles to spend

time hunting and fishing. He always had it in him, she said, and his affinity for the natural world just got stronger over the years. Regardless of the answer to that chickenor-egg question, the reality across the most recent decades has been that George and Elizabeth work in sync, separately driven by the same desires to know and connect that bring their work into constant intersection. Elizabeth’s art often accompanies George’s words, whether in his columns or in his books. She’s an artist, not an illustrator, she said — but her bent as an artist so organically aligns with George’s direction as a writer that her work can easily accompany his, no compromise needed. “We have that same sensibility, so it’s not difficult to work together,” she said. “If he tells me, ‘I think this week in the paper is going to be a bird,’ I already have that painting or I can do one because I really enjoy doing them too.” Perhaps that shared sensibility is cultivated by the shared piece of land that they’ve lived on for so long. The way the light moves over the days and the seasons, the birds that parade past the kitchen window, the ever-present feeling that today could be the day that something amazing steps out of the woods — that inspires both of the Ellisons. And, sometimes, makes them wonder what they would have been — who they would have been — if not for that chance discovery of the Lands Creek Cove back in the summer of 1976. “It’s been our life,” George said.

— Elizabeth Ellison

light back and so double the amount of light entering the eye, improving night vision. The reflection is intensified when a bright light shines — such as a truck’s headlights — causing the animal’s eyes to glow. Different kinds of animals have different colors of eyeshine, George writes — pink for opossums, silvery-white for deer and greenish-yellow for wildcats.

NATURAL SENSIBILITY The biological information woven throughout George’s writings is detailed, layered and written simply enough for a layperson to understand. It has the ring of expert knowledge, a supposition backed up by the many awards he has received over his career. In 2012, George was named “Outstanding Journalist in Conservation” by Wild South, and he and his wife received this year’s Blue Ridge Naturalist of the Year Award from the Blue Ridge Naturalist Network. The Great Smoky Mountains Association included him in its 2016 listing of “100 Most Significant People in the History of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Given the accolades and the obvious depth of knowledge contained in his writings, it may come as a surprise to learn that George

George Ellison finishes up a column in his home office on Lands Creek. Holly Kays photo

“We probably remember 10 or 20 percent of the experiences we’ve had. But you do have those moments that stay with you, and they usually come as some sort of revelation.” — George Ellison

Macon to pay off Parker Meadows loan

Waynesville’s Recreation Park, proposed site of a new inclusive playground. Town of Waynesville photo


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up being socially excluded from their friends. Langston and the town won’t know if they’ve been approved for funding until February or March at the earliest. “Hopefully, it’ll go in our favor,” he said. “We did everything we were supposed to do in the application, and we’ve proven there’s a very strong need for it in Haywood County. And it’s what people would like to see in our parks. So we’ll see how it pans out.” If the project is funded, work would begin as soon as possible and be completed in relatively short order. The ADA-compliant playground will replace a pre-existing playset at Waynesville’s Recreation Park on Vance Street; conceptual drawings show plastic slides, plentiful handrails and large shades over the complex — all accessed with gently sloping ramps instead of staircases. The improvements don’t end there, however. Some disabled children — even those with autism spectrum disorders — have difficulty navigating surfaces that are uneven or feature rough textures. The new park will feature a rubberized surface for increased safety and mobility. The park’s parking lot will also be repaved, and a sidewalk will be installed to ensure that coming and going is as easy as enjoying the playset itself. A nearby picnic shelter will also be upgraded and will feature ADA-accessible seating and picnic tables. When nature calls, park users will be able to avail themselves of a newly remodeled, ADA-compliant bathroom, meaning that children with disabilities can enjoy a complete playground and picnic experience comparable to that which their non-disabled siblings and peers enjoy. “I think this will be enjoyed by a lot of children for years to come, because as we’ve indicated, it’s an inclusive playground, and would serve all children. I have heard that people have to go as far as Henderson County for this type of playground,” Langston said. Miller, however, was happy to hear of the town’s initiative. “Let’s hope it’s the first of many,” she said.

cost continued to rise as unexpected obstacles kept popping up. The project almost didn’t happen with a 3-to-2 vote split vote on the board of commissioners in early 2014. Commissioner Paul Higdon and former commissioner Ron Haven weren’t convinced it was the best time to build, but the payoff has been quicker than expected. The ballpark has only been in operation for a little over a year and has already shown it can support itself. Since the 6 percent sales tax increase wasn’t accounted for in the budget, that additional revenue would go into the county’s fund balance if commissioners didn’t want to pay the loan off early. Corbin said the county already has a very healthy fund balance and didn’t need to add more to it this year. The fund balance as of June 30, 2015, was $17.8 million and that increased to $21 million June 30, 2016. That equates to about 48 percent of the county’s overall budget — well above what the state requires local governments to keep in a fund balance. “We’ll still have a higher fund balance than we did a year ago — $2.5 million higher,” Corbin said. “What it amounts to is we’re in very good shape financially.” Commissioner Jimmy Tate agreed. His motion to pay off the loan early was approved unanimously.



Playground for disabled in the works for Waynesville BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER Connect N.C. bond application approved by the Town of Waynesville could bring more than $90,000 to the town for the construction of a first-of-its-kind playground designed specifically for children with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Waynesville aldermen approved the application, to be filed by Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Langston, early last month. The $90,300 request, if approved, will be supplemented by a $22,575 funding match from the town. “This is needed not only here in the county, but probably everywhere,” said Jody Miller, community engagement coordinator for Partnership for Children’s region A. The Partnership for Children is a nonprofit organization that administers Smart Start and N.C. Pre-K initiatives in the state’s seven westernmost counties, including the Qualla Boundary. Public input sessions centered around the town’s master recreation plan indicated strong support for such a feature, and a 2015 map from N.C. State University submitted with the proposal says Haywood County has 2.1 to 2.3 “exceptional children” per 100 residents. But more robust estimates from the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability suggest that number may be closer to 6 percent, meaning as many as 3,000 children in the county could benefit from an ADA-compliant playground. Miller works with children who have conditions that run the gamut of disabilities — from cerebral palsy to Down’s syndrome to autism, and everything in between. She said that disabled children would benefit on a case-by-case basis; while some can function relatively highly even in nonADA settings, others — like the wheelchairbound — can be excluded completely. And while the new playground carries with it the health and fitness benefits of outdoor activity, it will also benefit disabled children in another, slightly less obvious way. Miller said that disabled children who can’t join their peers on the playground miss out on important time for socialization, an can end

BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR ith an unexpected increase in sales tax revenue, Macon County commissioners voted in favor of paying off a $5 million loan early for the Parker Meadows Sports Complex project. At the advisement of Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin, the county will go ahead and pay off the $1.35 million remaining on the loan, which will save the county about $200,000 in interest. County Manager Derek Roland only budgeted a 1 percent sales tax increase into the 2016-17 county budget, but Corbin said the county has seen a 6 percent increase in sales tax that could be attributed to the number of people visiting the county for sports tournaments held at Parker Meadows. “Parker Meadows is a big contributor to that increase — half a million dollars a year or maybe more,” Corbin said. “Parker Meadows has essentially paid for itself and paying it off frees up $200,000 in the budget — we can reduce the budget by $200,000 or allocate it to something else that needs to happen.” The 48-acre sports complex project was several years in the making and cost big bucks to complete. The land alone cost the county $550,000, and the original $3 million estimated construction

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SCC asks Macon for 40 percent of bond project cost BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR outhwestern Community College is asking Macon County commissioners to pitch in 40 percent of the cost to construct a new training facility for first responders — much more than the 25 percent match the county was anticipating. The training facility — referred to as the burn building — is located on SCC’s Macon campus and was identified as a top priority for replacement through SCC’s master plan process. The building is literally set on fire for firefighter training purposes, but is in desperate need of replacement after 30 years of use. With the passage of the $120 million Connect N.C. Bond referendum in March, SCC is set to receive $7.17 million to spend on capital projects. SCC earmarked about $1.4 million of the $7.17 million to replace the burn building and the bond requires the local government to match $1 for every $3 of bond money being used. While discussing the project recently with commissioners, County Manager Derek Roland said the county wanted to use the land value of where the burn building will be constructed as its matching funds for the project. The county owns 12 acres next to the Macon SCC campus on Siler Road where the new building would be located. “It will take two appraisals to confirm the value of the property — one from the county

The first responder training facility located on Southwestern Community College’s Macon County campus is in desperate need of replacement.

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and one from SCC — then we take the average value of both of those,” Roland told the board. Roland said the structure and parking lot would only occupy about 3.5 acres, but that the remaining acreage would essentially be undevelopable after the burn building is constructed. “By the time you meet lot sizes and propose another building with setbacks and buffers — at that point you just can’t make it work in there,” he said. While the land donation sounded like a win-win for commissioners, SCC President

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Dr. Don Tomas said it wouldn’t be enough to fund the project. The burn building construction alone will cost an estimated $1.9 million — SCC budgeted $1.4 million with the assumption Macon would have to kick in the remaining $475,000 for its match. “$7.1 million doesn’t go very far for the projects we need at the college,” Tomas said. If commissioners decide to only use the land as matching funds, SCC will be short on cash needed to complete the building. Tomas said SCC would need the land and $475,000 from the county to complete the project.

Roland suggested asking the SCC Board of Trustees to revisit the project and its price tag. He reminded Tomas and commissioners that the county and SCC signed a MOU (memorandum of understanding) a couple of years ago that clearly stated the county wanted to assist with SCC projects by offering up the land as matching funds. The way the SCC board budgeted for the projects “assumes by default that the land already comes with it or they already had the land,” Roland said. “The bottom line is we’re in a situation where we either give them the land and come up with half a million or we discuss it with the SCC board to redraw something that fits our price range,” Roland said. The commissioners agreed to discuss other options with the SCC board before making a decision. Tomas said SCC would also have to ask commissioners to fund the cost of the land appraisal since SCC didn’t have that expense budgeted into the project or its annual budget. Since the building is paid for locally but used often by out-of-county departments, Commissioner Ronnie Beale had proposed at one time the idea of charging those nonresidents to train in Macon County. However, he said he found out the county can’t lawfully do that. Tomas said those first-responder training groups are also exempt from paying tuition to SCC so recouping expenses is difficult.

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• Apply to the task force. The Jackson County Commissioners are currently forming a task force to discuss the county’s homelessness problem and determine what might be the best way to address it. To be considered as a member, contact the county manager’s office at 828.631.2207. • Donate. Funding is always needed to pay for shelter and meet families’ needs as they seek a permanent housing situation. The organization also spends money on heating assistance and home weatherization. Mail checks to Jackson Neighbors in Needs, c/o Mountain Projects, Inc., 25 Schulman Street, Sylva, N.C., 28779. Checks should be payable to “Mountain Projects, Inc.” with “JNIN” in the memo line. ter then. The five-month model, with the sole paid employee a caseworker funded by a yearto-year grant, makes continuity difficult to achieve. And, on a per-night basis, sheltering people at a hotel that costs $60 to $65 per room, per night, becomes expensive. The JNIN folks agree that something has to change — with the funding, with the shelter model, or both. If use stays level with what the group saw last year, they’ll have enough money to make it through the winter, JNIN board member Eddie Wells told commissioners last month. The commissioners’ additional allocation of $16,000 will allow JNIN to hire two part-time assistant caseworkers in addition to the fulltime caseworker funded by a $20,000 Evergreen Foundation grant. Hiring for all three positions is still in process, with JNIN members hoping to have hires made and personnel in place as soon as possible. Over the winter, a group tasked with charting JNIN’s future will be forming. “That question that we keep coming back to is, ‘Does this community have a need for a

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BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER old temperatures have arrived, but efforts to ensure the future of Jackson Neighbors in Need are heating up. After allocating $16,000 to the group last month — on top of the $25,000 granted in the 2016-17 budget — the Jackson County Commissioners are on the verge of appointing a task force to plan a more sustainable future for the nonprofit. JNIN sounded the alarm last winter, when higher hotel prices and an increased level of need among clients resulted in a cash shortage that threatened to put Jackson County’s only cold weather shelter out of business during the coldest time of the year. Throughout 2016, JNIN leaders have been in serious conversation with the Jackson County Commissioners about how best to continue serving the county’s homeless going forward. “I just want help,” said Patsy Davis, director of Mountain Projects and a JNIN board member. “Help to find what is going to work in Jackson County. If we see homeless people, how are we going to address this as a county, as a community?” Currently, JNIN offers shelter only during the coldest months of the year, November through March. Clients are housed at a local motel while JNIN’s caseworker helps them find a permanent situation. That model has its drawbacks. Homelessness exists during the summer months, too, but there’s no shel-

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The same goes for most of the other people on JNIN’s board. They’re caring, hardworking, dedicated people, but by and large they already have demanding full-time jobs, mostly in the human services field. When JNIN first started in 2008, the group’s founding members did not anticipate the level of need that they’re now witnessing each winter. JNIN initially formed in response to the economic collapse, offering heating assistance and home weatherization in addition to shelter for those who had been hit the hardest. In the years since, Davis said, the number of homeless seems to be doing nothing but growing. “What I hear from the folks who come in and apply for rental assistance (with Mountain Projects), they’re underemployed or when the Affordable Care Act came into play and employers had to provide insurance, some employers couldn’t afford that so their hours got cut,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of different things in the community that influence those resources.” Commissioners are aware of the problem and eager to help. Both the current board and commissioners-elect Ron Mau and Mickey Luker have expressed support for the organization. “I don’t think I have any preconceived notion about what next year will look like other than we will have more help than just Jackson Neighbors in Need,” Davis said. “And we will have our elected officials on board and different people who can help us reach a solution.”


Helping Jackson’s homeless

year-round, full-time shelter?’” said Kristi Case, recovery services manager for the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority and a JNIN board member. Opinion differs among JNIN board members. Some believe that a brick-and-mortar, year-round homeless shelter is needed to adequately address a growing homelessness issue in Jackson County. Others feel that the hotel model, while it has its limitations, makes the most sense — operating a standalone shelter would bring with it a host of other responsibilities that the group is not yet prepared to shoulder, they say. Or, perhaps, there is some third alternative that will emerge as the best solution. The task force will need to resolve that question. One thing that everybody does seem to agree on, however, is that JNIN needs to have a year-round caseworker position. People who wind up seeking overnight shelter usually have more problems than just that immediate need for a warm place to sleep, and they need a caseworker to guide them toward achieving stability, whether or not winter has ended in the meantime. A year-round employee would also accumulate the institutional knowledge necessary to better work within the existing fabric of community organizations. In addition, he or she could focus on aggressive grant writing during the spring, improving JNIN’s financial position for the following winter. “We really need a JNIN person in my opinion,” Davis said. “I can do a little bit, but unfortunately I have a lot of other job duties.”



Down but not out Locked in the longestrunning ping-pong match in mountain politics, Joe Sam Queen reflects on his latest loss

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

BY B ECKY JOHNSON STAFF WRITER Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game. He’s run a staggering eight times for the state Senate and state House, nearly all of them hard-fought and high-dollar. He wins some, and he loses some, but he’s never fancied the bench. He’s always back up at the plate, bat in hand, ready to take another swing. “I’ve run eight times, and I’ve lost three,” said Queen, a Waynesville Democrat. Queen’s upset this November came as an unexpected shock, however. He narrowly lost his seat in the House of Representatives — by less than 300 votes out of 35,000 cast in the race — to Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, who Queen had fended off twice before by a comfortable 3 to 5 percent margin. “No one was more surprised on election night than me,” Queen said. “I didn’t think I would get beat.” Queen’s rise and fall over the years — with a total of six years in the state Senate and four in the House — has closely mirrored the national political tide. Queen’s races have tipped on a fickle fulcrum according to the top-of-the-ballot current. “I’ve always had tight races. We are in a transitional time in a transitional region,” Queen said. Party affiliation isn’t a tidy affair in Southern Appalachia. In a region where Lincoln Republicans and Southern Democrats differ in name only — a mere label that harkens back to what side their ancestors were on in the Civil War — reading the electoral map is increasingly more art than science. But Queen, like the vast majority of America, didn’t see the Trump curveball coming his way this election. “We didn’t think Trump had a snowball’s chance,” Queen said. “It was the most unpredicted outcome of my political career.” Queen spent time and money during the campaign season stumping and fundraising for fellow Democratic candidates running in other Senate and House seats. Queen was frustrated after four years of fighting a Republican majority in the legislature and governor’s mansion, and wanted to see more Democrats join him in Raleigh. “You might say ‘Joe Sam you needed to worry about your own election,’ but I wanted to build a majority,” Queen said. “I worked extra hard for Roy Cooper’s election. No one worked harder in Western North Carolina than Joe Sam Queen for Roy Cooper.” Queen began to see warning signs as 12

Election Day approached, however. A fellow Democratic candidate who overlapped with his district shared internal polling data with Queen in late October that hinted at a Trump landslide in the rural west. “If you get in a big wave and you’re down the ballot you can get swamped,” Queen said. Queen wasn’t alone. The trend was acutely rural. Elsewhere in the state, four sitting Democrats from rural districts lost their House seats. Democrats picked up four House wins in urban areas where Trump was trounced — like Charlotte where Hillary won with 62 percent. While Queen didn’t think he was vulnerable, he didn’t take his seat for granted either. “I was not arrogant. I did not slack up. I was attentive and I listened. Elections are for listening,” Queen said. Nonetheless, “If I had thought I was going to lose by a scant 277 votes, I would have doubled down and done some more.”

COLLATERAL DAMAGE Queen is no stranger to the sting of defeat. His first loss came in 2004, after just two years in the state Senate. The election that year was marked by a dismal showing by presidential candidate John Kerry in the mountains. “I got a presidential slam that year,” Queen said. Queen is accustomed to his lot as collateral damage over the years.

“I believe in government by the people, of the people and for the people. That is America’s great contribution to civilization. We brought good government to the world. The idea you would drown it in the bathtub is treasonous to me.” — Joe Sam Queen

“In politics, it is sometimes better to be lucky than right,” Queen said. Luck had been on his side when he first ran in 2002. Queen’s home base of Waynesville was but a speck on the edge of the sprawling sixcounty district, reaching as far north as Linville and far east as Morganton, taking in counties where registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats eight to one. “It was a wild district,” Queen said. “I was not supposed to win.” Yet, he’d scratched and clawed his way to first place, but he technically only netted 49 percent of the vote. If not for a Libertarian on the ballot, who stole votes from his Republican

Joe Sam Queen, a Waynesville Democrat who’s served a total of 10 years in the N.C. House and Senate, reflects on the ups and downs of his political career since 2002. Becky Johnson photo opponent, Queen likely would have lost. “I won on hard work and sweat — and the luck of a Libertarian candidate taking 3 percent of the vote,” Queen said. His first two years in Raleigh were a honeymoon. He was an upstart darling of the Democratic leadership, a folksy mountaineer who knew how to lead a square dance but was also the only architect in the legislature. Marc Basnight, the powerful Democratic Senate leader from down east, even took Queen under his wing as a protégé. The state Republican Party poured big bucks into ousting Queen in 2004, hoping to stop him before he got entrenched in the seat. But Queen’s real undoing that year was the trickle-down effect from John Kerry’s miserable showing among rural mountain voters. Where Queen fell short on votes, he made up for in resolve. “I decided on Wednesday morning after the election, I would run again and try to win that seat back to help the mountains,” Queen recalled. “I was literally running from that Wednesday morning until Election Day two years later. Most people still thought I was their senator those two years. If someone had a constituent issue, even though I wasn’t a senator, I could still take it to Raleigh and get it solved for them because my party was in the majority.” Despite his low odds in a Republican leaning Senate district across six far-flung counties, Queen reclaimed the Senate seat in 2006 and held it again in 2008. “I had worked this unbelievable district into a Democratic district,” Queen said. Queen had been bracing for another hit in 2008 like he witnessed in 2004, however. “I thought I was going to get slaughtered by the presidential vote, but it was one of those parabolic elections,” Queen said. While Obama didn’t carry the mountains, his grassroots, on-the-ground campaign fared far better than predicted here. Obama netted 10,000 votes more than Kerry had four years earlier among voters in Queen’s Senate district. “That was huge for me. My good luck was

Obama worked like a son of a gun,” Queen said. But it was a win he ultimately couldn’t sustain. In 2010, Queen lost the Senate seat again. And once more, he pledged on the spot to run again. “I was committed,” Queen said. But new legislative lines drawn in 2011 shifted Haywood County into a new Senate district, meaning Queen would have had to challenge former state senator John Snow in a 2012 primary to try and wrest the seat from then-freshman Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, who had beaten Snow in 2010. So instead, he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives — a district representing Jackson, Swain and the greater Waynesville area of Haywood County. That seat had long been held by Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva, but as luck would have it, Haire retired just as Queen needed something to run for. Four years later, Queen is at a crossroads once more. This time, Queen isn’t as quick to commit to another run. He isn’t sure what the cards will hold. But he doesn’t plan to bow out either. “I’m not going to give up politics because I‘ve got it in my blood,” Queen said. “I want public education to thrive. I want to stop fracking before it begins. I am committed to advocacy for health care, education, rural economic development, and the environment. I will continue in some role to be an advocate. These are important issues to the future of North Carolina.” Queen has reached out to Governor-elect Roy Cooper to offer his assistance. “I plan to help Roy Cooper be successful,” Queen said.


Despite his personal and financial sacrifices over his political career, Queen doesn’t have any regrets and doesn’t want anyone’s pity following his latest loss. “I didn’t do this for myself. It cost me money, absolutely. But it is important to my

By the numbers

2016 Results for House District 119 Clampitt: 17,757 (50.39%) Queen: 17,480 (49.61%) Swain Clampitt...................................................3,275 Queen.......................................................2,669 Jackson Clampitt...................................................9,164 Queen.......................................................8,970 Haywood* Clampitt...................................................5,318 Queen.......................................................5,841

* The N.C. House of Representatives District 119 includes all of Jackson and Swain counties but only a portion of Haywood, namely the greater Waynesville area from Balsam to Lake Junaluska.

Swain Trump.......................................................3,566 Clinton .....................................................2,196 Jackson Trump.......................................................9,870 Clinton .....................................................7,713 Haywood* Trump.......................................................5,778 Clinton .....................................................4,159

* Presidential results shown here are only for the Haywood precincts that lie in N.C. House District 119, namely the greater Waynesville area from Balsam to Lake Junaluska.

BORN A POPULIST There’s one thing Queen won’t miss about Raleigh: the dismantling of a progressive government that state Democrats were forced to witness. “I won’t miss the frustration of feeling powerless,” Queen said. “I was in the minority and couldn’t stop it and that was very frustrating.” Queen lamented a long list of Republican carnage from the past four years — cuts to higher education, public schools, unemployment benefits, environmental protections,

Smoky Mountain News

keep his shingle up, pulling in one or two jobs a year — including high-profile projects like the new Haywood Arts Regional Theater building and the renovation of the Folkmoot Friendship Center. Queen laughed when recalling his wife’s reaction to his mid-life career transition. “I said ‘Well, sweetheart, what do you think about me going into politics?’” Queen recounted. “She said ‘Well Joe Sam, I always hoped you’d amount to something.’” Queen’s wife, Kate, is so devoted to her professional life as a doctor, she was OK with him going to Raleigh part of the year. “My wife works 100 hours a week. She always has,” Queen said. Queen’s top concern when deciding to run back in 2002 was missing out on his son’s last years at home. His daughter, Sarah, was already in college, an architect student at North Carolina State University like her father. But his son, Charlie, had two years of high school left. So they made a deal: if Queen won, Charlie would apply to the School of Math and Science, and they would head to the Triangle together. “We had a wonderful two years down there,” Queen said.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

children’s future, my region’s future and my state’s future,” Queen said. “It’s your life, your fortune and your sacred honor. That’s what politics is. The writers of the Declaration got that right.” Queen rose from his chair and began rummaging through the jumbled piles of books and papers spilling from the bookshelves that ring his office. Artifacts paying homage to his Appalachian heritage topped the precarious mounds — a powder horn engraved with the Sons of the American Revolution, a set of Cherokee stick ball sticks, a random jar of honey. Despite the disheveled façade, Queen knew the wheat from the chaff and quickly located what he was looking for: a pocketsized copy of the Declaration of Independence. He flipped to the last line. “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” Queen read. “It means you will either stick together or hang together.” Queen comes from a long family line of Jeffersonian and New Deal Democrats, and he believes a progressive government plays a fundamental role in a strong society. “I love liberty, but you have to have justice. It is liberty and justice for all, and justice has to do with the general welfare and the public good and the common purpose,” Queen said. In the tradition of great Southern orators, Queen was a populist before it was en vogue. “I believe in government by the people, of the people and for the people. That is America’s great contribution to civilization. We brought good government to the world,” Queen said. “The idea you would drown it in the bathtub is treasonous to me.” When Queen launched his political life at the age of 52, he knew it would take a toll on his career as an architect. But he’s managed to

Presidential results among voters in House District 119 Trump: 19,214 (54.5 %) Clinton: 14,068 (40 %) Other: 1,935 (5.5%)

they need to see if their standard is met.” Queen pointed out that a couple thousand Trump voters crossed over and voted for him. Trump won among voters in House District 119 by 54.5 percent, but Clampitt only won the district by 50.39 percent — or 19,214 Trump voters compared to 17,757 Clampitt voters. “Joe Sam got a lot of Trump votes, because he represents a broad spectrum and the people like him and I will continue to be a voice for them,” Queen said. Queen also pointed out that he fared better than any other Democrat on the ballot in Jackson, Swain or Haywood. Queen gave Clampitt credit where credit is due, however. Like Queen, Clampitt didn’t give up running for the seat despite losing the first two times he took Queen on. “God kept tapping me on the shoulder and saying ‘Don’t give up,’” Clampitt said. “I did get a little tired from time to time. It does take a lot out of you. But sometimes you do the things that are hard because God wants you to do things that are hard.” Clampitt kept trying, despite the Democratic-leaning voter base in Jackson, Swain and Haywood. “I felt in my heart it was winnable from the very first time I ran in 2012,” Clampitt said. “My message was consistent all three times I ran: belief in God and country and family. My opponent had not fufilled a moral obligation to the communties he was wanting to serve. His positions just did not represent the values and traditions and morality of the people of Western North Carolina, and people finally picked up on it.”


N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, was narrowly defeated by his Republican opponent Mike Clampitt from Bryson City this fall. Since 2002, Queen’s yo-yo wins and losses for state House and Senate seats have mirrored national political sentiment.

Medicaid expansion and rural economic development initiatives. “They were unraveling all of the institutions that made our state great to pay for rich people’s tax cuts,” Queen said. “I was fighting against a conservative ideology of trickle down economics. Cutting the rich people’s taxes was the only strategy they had. And it was just poppycock.” Aside from his architectural firm, Queen owns and manages around 150 rental properties. It gives him a front-row seat to the struggles everyday people face. “My tenants don’t have jobs. If you are trying to house people without income, that’s a real problem,” Queen said. He shared the latest down-and-out story of one of his tenants, a minimum wage worker at McDonald’s with a physically disabled girlfriend. They eat at the Open Door soup kitchen regularly and struggle to make ends meet after losing $130 a month in food stamps due to state cuts in social welfare support, he said. Queen isn’t angry at Trump voters for dragging him down. He claims he’s on their side actually. He’s been battling against rural disparity and for the struggling middle class for years — the very demographic that drove Trump to victory. “The rising middle class, that’s what I’ve always fought for,” Queen said. While it had repercussions for Queen, he’s glad they’ve come to the table. “I am glad they are out there voting. I want citizens to be interested and I want the populist message to thrive,” Queen said. “Now


news A project similar to the proposed Duke Energy installation at Mt. Sterling. Duke Energy photo

Solar in the Smokies:

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Duke proposes microgrid for Mt. Sterling

BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER tility companies are not often known for being in harmony with nature; indeed, Duke Energy’s recent coal ash fiascos come readily to mind when environmental and industrial concerns begin to comingle. But Duke’s looking to change all that with the installation of a futuristic, environ-


mentally friendly microgrid on Mt. Sterling that will allow 4 miles of utility right-of-way — power poles and wires within The Great Smoky Mountains National Park — to revert back to nature. “It’s one of those where existing infrastructure has about a couple dozen power poles going up the mountain to serve that communications tower up there. It’s the only customer on that line,” said Duke Energy Spokesman Randy Wheeless. The communications tower he’s referring to sits 5,800 feet above sea level and serves the park’s emergency radio network. Currently, a downed line or broken pole would render it worthless. The proposed panel array and battery setup designed to remove it from the electrical grid would not only provide more selfsufficiency for the tower in a sustainable way, but also reduce maintenance costs and increase safety. “It’s a great way of introducing this technology into a real-life situation,” Wheeless said. “We’ve been doing a lot of work with microgrids and battery and solar storage, and it made perfect sense to try here with all the experience we’ve had with the technology.” That experience includes two existing microgrids — one at a Duke research facility in Gaston County that helps power the facility itself and one at Charlotte Fire Station 24. “The one in Charlotte serves as a backup to a fire station that is next door to the solar and the battery,” he said. “It has worked very well, perfectly the past few years. There were times that it looked like the station was

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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 Smoky Mountain News

going to lose power, but it never did.” Each panel is about 4 feet by 3 feet in size. According to Wheeless, the Mt. Sterling project will probably require a few dozen. “There definitely is a level landing up there where the tower is that will have plenty of space for the solar and the battery,” he said. The battery is made in the U.S., as are some of the panels. “We’ve been roughly half and half,” he said. “There’s a lot made in America but there’s a lot made in, like, Singapore, or the far East.” The microgrid system is designed to provide 10 kilowatts of power to the tower, which is about twice what a typical house might need. “The battery could run and serve the tower for a few days if there was no sun whatsoever,” Wheeless said. “It could probably power a house in much of the same way, but the tower doesn’t use much energy. We don’t think we should have a problem meeting those needs, even if it’s cloudy for several days.” Wheeless said that outside of heating or cooling seasons — when central climate control systems hog power — the Mt. Sterling setup could power a house for “maybe a few days.” Aside from the reliability factor, Duke also stands to realize a substantial cost savings on line maintenance to the tower. “When you are replacing those poles or a pole breaks, usually you have to bring in a helicopter, in that terrain,” he said. “The rental on a helicopter for a day, it’s pretty expensive. And that’s just for one pole.” Winter storms and other inclement weather on the mountain can result in numerous poles becoming compromised and needing to be replaced all at once, in addition to the natural attrition of the poles. “It’s hard to say ‘we’re going to save a million dollars a year,’ but over a period of time — and this project has a shelf life of 20 years or so — we think over time it will more than pay for whatever we’re investing in it today.” Duke hasn’t released the cost of the project, but it’s estimated to be under $1 million. The company hopes to begin work in the first half of 2017, once the lengthy permitting process has concluded. “I know we have the National Park Service,” he said, referring to their project requirements, “but also the North Carolina Utilities Commission. But from the Utilities Commission standpoint, it’s a relatively small project.” Wheeless said he didn’t anticipate any hang-ups in the process, and is eager to begin reaping the benefits of the Mt. Sterling microgrid. “Once we get it built, we’ll test it for a number of months to make sure everything’s working correctly and then eventually we’ll be able to take down some of those poles that are serving that tower,” he said. “Hopefully, most people will see the benefits of the project — it’s giving land back to the park service and hikers, and it’s still going to save our customers to do it this way, and still give them their reliable service with the tower.”



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Fraud alert in Franklin The town of Franklin is warning residents of a fraudulent “Business Reply Mailer” that seems to be going to some residents in Franklin, supposedly from the American Water Resources. It’s asking people to return the stub with payment in order to enroll in a water line protection program for a monthly fee of $5.49. The mailer makes it look like they are acting in collaboration with the town, but the town is not endorsing the solicitation. Residents should review their homeowner’s policy to verify what coverage they might have for broken water/sewer lines on their property, and to act accordingly.

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

WOW donates $4,000 for winter heating assistance


Women of Waynesville, a nonprofit organization that supports the needs of women and children in Haywood County, recently donated $4,000 toward Mountain Projects’ Share the Warmth campaign. Share the Warmth is an annual fundraising effort that provides heating cost assistance to people with no options and who are in critical situations trying to stay warm — single parents who have limited income, the elderly, sick and disabled. “WOW members work hard all year to fundraise and go after grants so we can make a big impact in our community — especially around the holidays,” said WOW President Jessi Stone. “We spend a lot of time deliberating on where our money will be best utilized and we feel confident in Mountain Projects’ ability to reach our most vulnerable residents through their Share the Warmth campaign.” With the help of Champion Credit Union’s matching funds, Mountain Projects will receive $8,000 to keep women and children warm this winter. For more information about WOW, visit or call 828.550.9978.

Enrique Gomez, president of the Jackson County NAACP, said they would consider the testimony of any voter, but specifically invite those voters who were made to cast a provisional ballot because they were told there was “no record of registration,” “no identification presented for first time voters” or “record previously removed.” “Yesterday, the Jackson County Board of Elections rejected 235 out 367 provisional ballots, and we are supplying our state NAACP lawyers and Democracy NC with data on the decisions to be analyzed in the context of the entire state,” Gomez said. “We are still studying the patterns in the data to make determinations how legal decisions and legislation may have had suppression effects on the election, if any.” This type of voter research is being conducted by NAACP branches all across the state as the gubernatorial race is still being decided and several state races are close enough that provisional ballots could still determine a victor. Haywood County Board of Elections reviewed a total of 244 provisional ballots and approved 88 of them. Swain County Board of Elections approved 17 ballots but could not immediately provide the total number of provisional ballots it received. Macon County Board of Elections approved 96 out of 172 provisional ballots. Voter information should be sent to Gomez at

Haywood Chamber hosts Issues & Eggs The Haywood Chamber of Commerce will host its December Issues & Eggs program from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Laurel Ridge Country Club. Christopher Chung, director of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, will be the guest speaker. Attendance is open to Chamber members and the community at large. Pre-registration is required. Admission costs $15 for members of the Haywood Chamber of Commerce and $17 for non-members. Visit or call 828.456.3021 to register.

Jackson NAACP researching provisional ballots

Roller Girls to hold food drive in Sylva

With a high number of ballots being rejected from the Nov. 8 election, Jackson County’s NAACP branch is asking for testimony from voters who cast a provisionary ballot. The Jackson NAACP chapter is working in coordination with the State Conference of the North Carolina NAACP Branches and Democracy North Carolina to receive testimonies from provisional ballot voters in Jackson, Haywood, Swain and Macon counties who are concerned their vote wasn’t counted when the local election board completed canvassing.

Smoky Mountain Roller Girls in Bryson City will be working to end hunger in Jackson County by collecting non-perishable food items at the Sylva Christmas Parade on Saturday Dec. 3. All food items will be donated to the Community Table of Jackson County for the food pantry program. Smoky Mountain Roller Girls have a tradition of donating proceeds from their ticket sales to local charities since their debut sold out bout in 2012 most recently giving money to Swain High School Marching Band and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.


Smoky Mountain News

Kobe Express expands to Franklin Kobe Express recently opened a Franklin location at 2726 Georgia Road in The Crystal Falls Shopping Center between the Gallery of Gems & Minerals and Roomful of Nuts. Kobe Express is a Japanese restaurant featuring a teriyaki, hibachi and sushi menu. The Franklin location is the fourth Kobe Express owned and operated by the Tran family. Dang Tran and Vinh Co are the owner/managers of the Franklin location and have been in the restaurant businesses for over 15 Co-owners of Kobe Express Dang Tran and Vinh Co years. Their other restaurants are in celebrate the opening of their new location in Cherokee, Andrews and Sylva. Franklin. Donated photo Call 828.524.5623.

HR basics for small businesses The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled “HR Basics for Small Business” from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in Room 3021 at the Regional High Technology Center. The speaker will be Sara Phillips. Visit or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register.

Free QuickBooks seminar offered The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled “Intro to QuickBooks Online” from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Building 200, Room 203 on the college campus. Presenter is Alicia Sisk-Morris, CPA PLLC. Visit or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register.

Old Edwards Inn earns Green Travel Award Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands is one of only two hospitality providers in North Carolina to be awarded the cardinal designation from NC Green Travel Award. Old Edwards Inn and Spa was awarded three Dogwoods and a Cardinal under the program. “Three Dogwoods for NC Green Travel”is the highest award, created to give special recognition to businesses that clearly meet the requirements of a green property. The Cardinal designation is a special designation for properties that exceed the top score of 150 points. By exceeding that score by 25 points, Old Edwards Inn and Spa received the Cardinal emblem in

addition to the three Dogwoods award. or 866.526.8008.

Atlantic Bay to fulfill senior wish lists Atlantic Bay Cares (AB Cares), the philanthropic arm of Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, is holding its 15th Annual Senior Wish List charity initiative and asking for community help. AB Cares is asking for the public’s help to reach its goal of 500 granted wishes. The donation drive ends Dec. 9. Items needed include nightgowns, adult diapers, lotion, socks, slippers and blankets. Drop off items at Atlantic Bay office at 33 South Main St., in Waynesville. 828.476.8980.

Jackson TDA unveils new website, campaign Updated photo galleries, hiking trails and maps, a blog, tourism video and an event calendar are just a few helpful resources included on the new Jackson County Tourism Development Authority’s website, The website, launched Nov. 16, aims to be a one-stop-shop on all things Jackson County and creates a comprehensive platform where visitors can plan a multi-day getaway or a single night on the town.

tenBiz provides business help in Franklin tenBiz, Inc., a professional firm owned by Tonya Snider that provides business strategy, training and project management services,

recently opened in Franklin. The business helps companies focus on growing, simplifying or connecting and has a complete team of experts to assist with all areas of business. In addition, they have resources on hand to deliver projects that your company doesn’t have the expertise or time to handle and can provide events and workshops to motivate and inspire your team.

Franklin Chamber seeks award nominations The Franklin Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for four prestigious awards — The Duke Power Citizenship and Service Award, Youth Citizenship Award, Citizen of the Year and Club/Organization of the Year. Nomination forms are available at the Chamber or by calling 828.524.3161 to be mailed, emailed or faxed. Nomination letters can be delivered to the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 425 Porter Street or emailed to The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. These awards will be presented at The Annual Awards Banquet and Chamber Annual Meeting held on Jan. 31 at Oak Hill County Inn.

Mountain Pediatric Group holds winter hours Mountain Pediatric Group is open for appointments 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the winter. In addition, Mountain Pediatric Group is offering a walk-in clinic from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. New pediatric patients are accepted • Rise and Shine, a gathering of the business community in Maggie Valley, will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Maggie Valley Pavilion next to Town Hall. Refreshment provided by Organic Beans Coffee Company. • Daily Bread Bakery, a new bakery in Canton, recently held a grand opening. The bakery is owned by Scott and Lisa Thompson and is located at 2 Church St.


• Bryant’s Antique Mall has relocated to a larger location at 10114 Georgia Rd in Otto just minutes north of the state line. The 15,000 square foot building houses a large selection of area antiques, primitives and collectibles and is locally owned and operated by Erik and Sarah Bryant. 863.662.7311. • Big Red Barn Trading Post recently held its re-grand opening at its new location at 79 Branner Avenue, Waynesville. The store features 20,000 square feet of vintage items,


from age birth to 18 years old. Services include well child checks, pre-natal visits, immunizations, sports physicals, sick visits, ADHD and newborn nursery coverage at Haywood Regional Medical Center. 828.452.8878 or

Body Fat Test opens in Franklin

Mobile business Body Fat Test of NC recently opened in Franklin. Mark and Yevette Ray are the proud owners of the hydrostatic mobile body fat lab. Persons being tested will only need a towel and a bathing suit. A changing room is supplied within the mobile lab. The lab will provide each person tested a four-page detailed print off of their body composition. The lab is set in a spalike setting using water displacement. or 828.582.9019.

Haywood Chamber adds new member benefit

The Haywood Chamber of Commerce has partnered with ZipEdTech, to offer its members quality workforce online education/training. The Haywood Chamber has its unique branded page where members can access relevant training for themselves, as the business owner and their employees. ZipEdTech has curated a vast library of online trainings that are relevant and affordable. The chamber will provide this benefit to chamber members, and has secured member-only pricing. This new program has launched and can be accessed via, see eCourses in the main menu. collectibles and quality antiques. 828.246.0567 or • Leading branding expert Roger Brooks will speak at a regional marketing workshop led by Smoky Mountain Host from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort. Tickets are $100 and include lunch and breaks. Visit • Scott Rodes of Sylva is the newest member of the sales team at Andy Shaw Ford. He will assume the responsibilities of Finance/Sales Manger for the dealership. He comes with over 32 years of experience in the automotive business. • Shannon Carlock, senior registered client associate, has once again been named a Distinguished Service Professional. She is among a select group of Client Associates who meet or exceed Wells Fargo Advisors’ high standards as measured by the Firm’s core values, including service, respect, integrity and teamwork.



Smoky Mountain News

In a season of feasting, finding food for the soul ’ve always embraced change, perhaps to my detriment. I suspect it has something to do with a youth where we moved to different homes as often as most people buy new sneakers, so it just seems normal — and somewhat cathartic — to do things differently, even to the point of dropping old traditions and embracing new ones. But some change I can’t accept, and one of those is Thanksgiving without deviled eggs that taste as much like my mom’s as possible. Some things are, Editor after all, sacrosanct. I guess that’s one of life’s challenges, embracing new traditions while preserving the old ones, especially those that provide emotional nourishment. Anyway, that’s what I was thinking as we loaded up the car with food on Thanksgiving morning (are we really going to be able eat that much?), making sure the eggs were safe and not somewhere they could slip off the tray and into the bowels of the 2002 Subaru and its 215,000 miles, the same car that has played taxi for two dogs, several cats, three kids, and hundreds of trips to Lowe’s and the dump. No telling what they would encounter if they came off the plate, but it would surely render

Scott McLeod


The media have always lied, so what’s new? To the Editor: While I agree with many of the concerns you have with fake news (, it didn’t start with social media or the internet. The “people [who] are too lazy to search out the truth or they just don’t really care” have existed since before Gutenberg, not just with the advent of social media. Your so-called “legitimate” media have been in free-fall for decades. Yellow Journalism started with newspapers, not social media. The only difference is one of magnitude. You ask, “What happens to democracy in a post-factual age? We have no idea because it hasn’t happened before.” You couldn’t possibly be serious. The old media have no equal when it comes to distorting facts or simply making them up. Contrary to your assertion, they have been doing it for years. And, I won’t even count the network quiz show scandals. Charles Hammond, in an editorial in the Cincinnati Gazette, wrote, “General [Andrew] Jackson’s mother was a Common Prostitute brought to this country by British soldiers. She afterwards married a Mulatto Man, with whom she had several children, of which General Jackson is one!!!” Who knew at the time that FDR was a cripple or that JFK was a drug and sex addict?


them un-edible. Feeling good about their security, we made the short trip to north Asheville, to the home of my wife’s sister and her husband, Joe and Julie Hooten, and their three young children. Young being the important word here, as they are 5, 8 and 12. Lori and I are recently emancipated empty nesters. Liam, our youngest, is 18 and in his freshman year at UNC Charlotte. His sisters are 21 and 24. But we haven’t been without kids at home long enough to forget the importance we placed on establishing family traditions for the youngsters. So for now, that’s Thanksgiving at the Hooten house with those young ones and as many members of the family who can make it to the mountains. And so this is the new and current tradition for us, one I’ve wholeheartedly embraced. We McLeods get up early on Thanksgiving Day, drive to Asheville for the annual downtown Turkey Trot 5K — some have trained, some haven’t — and run (suffer through?) the race. Then it’s back home for showers and finishing cooking and back again to Asheville for dinner at the Hootens. I guess it’s normal to trace the arc of one’s life through the holiday family gatherings. I remember Thanksgiving hunting trips as a kid that I looked forward to for months, and then years of traditional dinners at my mom’s house where aunts.

It was only with the conspiratorial aid of a complicit media that it was covered up. But, only those favored by the media received, and continue to receive, partiality. Using a quote from Thomas Jefferson to “re-emphasize civic education in our public schools” is rather peculiar when you consider that while he served as Secretary of State, he was the impetus to founding the National Gazette to counter the influence of the Gazette of the United States, a Federalist newspaper. He subsidized the paper with grants from the State Department. Back then, as now, it was all about politics. Fake news has been with us for generations. Then there is Dan Rather’s Killian documents controversy. The New York Times with the plagiarism of Jayson Blair and Rick Bragg. NYT’s John F. Burns and Newsday’s Roy Gutman’s reportage of the Balkans wars. Jack Kelley at USA Today. Brian Williams. Stephen Glass. Janet Cooke. George Stephanopoulos. Don’t forget that Newsweek had to retract a story claiming the Quran had been flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay by U.S. prison guards. Last, but by no means least, is Walter Cronkite. Despite his sobriquet of “The most trusted man in America,” his political slanting was so egregious that CBS replaced him as anchor at the 1964 political conventions with Robert Trout and Roger Mudd. He also led the media lies about the Tet Offensive. Cronkite lied. Young men died. In a rare, candid essay Will Rahn, manag-

uncles, cousins, cousins of cousins and a crowd of other relations would always come to eat or at least visit. Both of those gatherings included the aforementioned deviled eggs. My cousin, Corky, and I were the youngest in our families and so awarded the special status — aka, perhaps being a little spoiled — that comes with that distinction. We would begin chowing on the eggs as early as my mom would let us, and she got more lax with the deadline the older we got. When I was in college it would start as soon as I dropped by bags in my room — mom conveniently had them ready in anticipation of my arrival — and the assault on those delicacies became a leitmotif of the holidays, and one of the favorite memories of my mom: “Lordy Scott you’re gonna eat all the deviled eggs before people even get here,” she’d say, trying not to smile. For my part I tried to keep her honest and do as much damage as possible. So when I found myself this past Thanksgiving morning in our kitchen, the table from the porch pulled inside because we needed more prepping space, peeling eggs, cutting them and scooping out yolks, surrounded by all my own children and Lori, in that moment a wave of nostalgia swept over me as I realized I had all I needed: food for the soul, food for the body, healthy traditions. All is good. Happy holidays. (Reach Scott McLeod at

LOOKING FOR OPINIONS The Smoky Mountain News encourages readers to express their opinions through letters to the editor or guest columns. All viewpoints are welcome. Send to Scott McLeod at, fax to 828.452.3585, or mail to PO Box 629, Waynesville, NC, 28786. ing director of politics for CBS News Digital, confessed that the White House Press Corps “were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer.” “Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice…. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to ... admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover.” I’m certain a good many of your readers are not surprised by the content of his essay, but are surprised at the admission. We realize the media haven’t changed much from the days of the New York Times’ Walter (“you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs”) Duranty and his ill-gotten Pulitzer Prize despite lying about the

Holomodor. That’s why, when Donald Trump points to the media at his rallies and calls them liars, the response is overwhelmingly in agreement. Timothy Van Eck Whittier

Social media is new ‘opiate of the masses’

To the Editor: I would like to thank you for your excellent opinion piece in the Nov. 22 issue of the The Smoky Mountain News. Prior to the election I had a conversation with a friend of mine, a young college student. She expressed some positive feelings toward Hillary Clinton but said she was voting for Trump because Clinton was not a Christian. I asked her why she believed that. She seemed to have concluded this from listening to her boyfriend and social media. I presented her with what I felt were concrete examples to contradict her assumption. In response, she dismissed my examples in favor of her own set of “facts.” This example reinforced my concern that we have raised a generation of young Americans seriously lacking critical thinking skills. Karl Marx wrote that “Religion is the opium of the masses.” I am beginning to think that social media is the new opiate. Margery Abel Franklin

The Smoky Mountain News encourages readers to express their opinions through letters to the editor or guest columns. All viewpoints are welcome. Send to Scott McLeod at, fax to 828.452.3585, or mail to PO Box 629, Waynesville, NC, 28786.

Still can’t get my bearings in this alternative universe

Chris Cox


Smoky Mountain News

ticularly immature high school sophomore. The latest, which just happened a few days ago, was sparked by his irritation that he won the election but actually received about two million votes less than Hillary Clinton. “In addition to winning the Electoral We are excited to Bill focuses on a holistic College in a landslide, I won the popular vote have Bill Morris, if you deduct the millions of people who approach and specializes in: pharmacist & voted illegally,” tweeted Trump. nutritionist with There is absolutely no factual basis for this us full time! • Fibromyalgia claim whatsoever, but now that we live in a • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome “post-truth” world, it no longer seems to make any difference what the president-elect • Adrenal Fatigue says or does. Many of his supporters will • Sub-Clinical Hypothyroidism believe anything he says, regardless of how ridiculous or patently false it is, while many • Osteo & Rheumatoid Arthritis others simply shrug off his bizarre behavior • Gout as the harmless antics of a man who says what • ADHD he thinks, even if what he thinks cannot be supported by any available evidence. • Poor Immune System/Shingles At some point, I would imagine that these • Ulcerative Colitis episodes will become less charming to the • Acne more intelligent and well-meaning Trump voters, but I must also admit that I have been • Pain Relief wrong over and over again when making predictions about Trump. I never thought he 366 RUSS AVE | WAYNESVILLE | 828.452.0911 would win a primary. Then, when he did win one, I figured he would drop out because he BiLo Shopping Center didn’t really want to be the president. Then Find us on facebook: when he didn’t drop out, I thought the Republican Party would circle the wagons and get behind someone who would finally deliver a knockout blow. When that didn’t happen and he actually got the nomination, I thought Hillary Clinton would destroy him in the debates and win the election by a fairly comfortable margin. You know the rest. My son says it feels like this is a big prank, and I admit that I often feel that way myself. The other day, I saw someone — a self-proclaimed Christian — from my hometown post a message on Facebook that said it would be such a relief to finally restore some dignity to the White House, referring to President Obama and the First Lady as a “stupid bigeared baboon and his silver back gorilla wife.” I will not go so far as to say that this kind of overt racism — not to mention the utter detachment from reality her comment represents — is typical of Trump voters, but I would say that Trump’s relationship with the “alt right” has emboldened those confused souls who somehow have come to believe that the bitter hatred in their hearts is actually a burning and purifying righteousness, and that Trump is the oxygen. So, no thanks, I don’t think I will be heeding the call to unify, or to join the presidentelect’s new reality show, or to “agree to disagree,” or to try the orange Jello. It has been three weeks, and so far I’m not OK with any of this. It’s not going to be all right. I’m afraid that we’re going to end up having some quarrels — probably quite a few — but that doesn’t mean I love you any less. OK? (Chris Cox is a writer and teacher who lives in Haywood County. Reach him at            

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

t has been a few weeks now since the election, and I feel like someone who just came out of a coma and woke up in the hospital after suffering a traumatic injury. I am surrounded by dozens of cards and letters from friends assuring me that I am going to be OK and that “everything is going to be fine.” A couple of friends are by my side, trying to explain what happened, but I gradually realize they are speaking another language and I have no idea what they are Columnist saying. I tell them that I do not feel fine, but they just smile and nod. My head hurts and my toes are burning like French fries in hot grease. On a little table next to my bed, there is a half-eaten container of blue Jello, and next to that, my heart, slimy and still beating, as if the doctor — perhaps a graduate of Trump University — forgot to put it back in before sewing me back up. I am going to be OK. This is nothing really, just a minor mix up, probably happens all the time. A nurse appears, blonde and chipper as a real estate agent. She doesn’t seem to notice that my heart has been removed and left there on the table. “Nurse, am I dying?” I say, trying to reach out to her but unable to move my arm. “Would you like some more Jello?” she chirps. “The orange is quite refreshing.” “May I see the doctor?” I beg her. “I think there has been some mistake and no one seems to notice.” Then I see the doctor on the television above my bed, but he is a soap opera doctor. I see that some of my friends are also on the show, while others are not, and I can no longer tell which is real, the show or the hospital I am in now. Now I am wondering if those of us who are not on the show are still real. Because at some point, we are all going to need this doctor, regardless of whether he knows anything at all about medicine. In a nutshell, that is how I have been feeling since Election Day. Every day since then, there is some fresh horror, some incredible new absurdity to behold. One day, there is a room full of neo-Nazis gathering in Washington, D.C., celebrating Trump’s victory with choruses of “Sieg Heil,” and the next he is appointing as our new Secretary of Education a woman who has not only never taught or worked in public education for one moment of her life, but instead has spent her life working to dismantle public education. In the meantime, the President-elect has already made it a practice to turn down daily briefings that might just help him get up to speed on any number of significant issues he will be facing in a few short weeks after the inauguration. Instead, he stays up late at night pitching hissy fits on Twitter like a par-



tasteTHEmountains Taste the Mountains is an ever-evolving paid section of places to dine in Western North Carolina. If you would like to be included in the listing please contact our advertising department at 828.452.4251 AMMONS DRIVE-IN RESTAURANT & DAIRY BAR 1451 Dellwwod Rd., Waynesville. 828.926.0734. Open 7 days a week 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrating over 25 years. Enjoy world famous hot dogs as well as burgers, seafood, hushpuppies, hot wings and chicken. Be sure to save room for dessert. The cobbler, pie and cake selections are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

BLOSSOM ON MAIN 128 N. Main Street, Waynesville. 828.454.5400. Open for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Mild, medium, to hot and spicy, our food is cooked to your like-able temperature. Forget the myth that all Thai food is spicy. Traditional Thai food is known to be quite healthy, making use of natural and fresh ingredients, paired with lots of spices, herbs, and vegetables. Vegetarians and health conscious individuals will not be disappointed as fresh vegetables and tofu are available in most of our menu as well as wines and saki chosen to compliment the unique flavors of Thai cuisine. BLUE ROOSTER SOUTHERN GRILL 207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde, Lakeside Plaza at the old Wal-Mart. 828.456.1997. Open Monday through Friday. Friendly and fun family atmosphere. Local, handmade Southern cuisine. Fresh-cut salads; slow-simmered soups; flame grilled burgers and steaks, and homemade signature desserts. Blue-plates and local fresh vegetables daily. Brown bagging is permitted. Private parties, catering,

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

APPLE ANDY'S RESTAURANT 3483 Soco Road, Maggie Valley located in Market Square. 828.944.0626. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Wednesday and Thursday. Serving the freshest homemade sandwiches, wraps, and entrees such as country fried steak and grilled flounder. Full salad bar and made from scratch sides like potato salad, pinto beans and macaroni and cheese.

and take-out available. Call-ahead seating available. BOURBON BARREL BEEF & ALE 454 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville, 828.452.9191. Lunch served 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Monday through Saturday. Dinner 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday. We specialize in hand-cut, all natural steaks from local farms, incredible burgers, and other classic american comfort foods that are made using only the finest local and sustainable ingredients available. BREAKING BREAD CAFÉ 6147 Hwy 276 S. Bethel (at the Mobil Gas Station) 828.648.3838 Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef owned and operated. Our salads are made in house using local seasonal vegetables. Fresh roasted ham, turkey and roast beef used in our hoagies. We hand make our own eggplant and chicken parmesan, pork meatballs and hamburgers. We use 1st quality fresh not pre-prepared products to make sure you get the best food for a reasonable price. We make vegetarian, gluten free and sugar free items. Call or go to Facebook (Breaking Bread Café NC) to find out what our specials are. BRYSON CITY CORK & BEAN A MOUNTAIN SOCIAL HOUSE 16 Everett St.,Bryson City. 828.488.1934. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday brunch 9 a.m. to 3p.m., Full Menu 3 to 9 p.m. Serving fresh and delicious weekday morning lite fare, lunch, dinner, and brunch. Freshly prepared menu offerings range from house-made soups & salads, lite fare & tapas, crepes, specialty sandwiches and burgers. Be sure not to miss the bold flavors and creative combinations that make up the daily Chef Supper Specials starting at 5pm every day. Followed by a tempting selection of desserts prepared daily by our chefs and other local bakers. Enjoy craft beers on tap, as well as our full bar and eclectic wine list. CATALOOCHEE RANCH 119 Ranch Dr., Maggie Valley. 828.926.1401. Family-style breakfast seven days a week, from 8 am to 9:30 am – with eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and oatmeal, fresh fruit, sometimes French toast or pancakes, and always all-you-can-eat. Lunch every day from 12:00 till 2 pm. Evening cookouts on the terrace on weekends and Wednesdays, featuring steaks, ribs, chicken, and pork chops, to name a few. Bountiful family-style


dinners on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with entrees that include prime rib, baked ham and herb-baked chicken, complemented by seasonal vegetables, homemade breads, jellies and desserts. We also offer a fine selection of wine and beer. The evening social hour starts at 6 pm, and dinner is served starting at 7 pm. So join us for mile-high mountaintop dining with a spectacular view. Please call for reservations. CHEF’S TABLE 30 Church St., Waynesville. 828.452.6210. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday dinner starting at 5 p.m. “Best of” Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine. Set in a distinguished atmosphere with an exceptional menu. Extensive selection of wine and beer. Reservations honored. CHURCH STREET DEPOT 34 Church Street, downtown Waynesville. 828.246.6505. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Mouthwatering all beef burgers and dogs, hand-dipped, hand-spun real ice cream shakes and floats, fresh handcut fries. Locally sourced beef. Indoor and outdoor dining., CITY LIGHTS CAFE Spring Street in downtown Sylva. 828.587.2233. Open Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tasty, healthy and quick. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, beer and wine. Come taste the savory and sweet crepes, grilled paninis, fresh, organic salads, soups and more. Outside patio seating. Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly. Live music and lots of events. Check the web calendar at THE CLASSIC WINESELLER 20 Church Street, Waynesville. 828.452.6000. Underground retail wine and craft beer shop, restaurant, and intimate live music venue. Kitchen opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday serving freshly prepared small plates, tapas, charcuterie, desserts. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. Also on facebook and twitter. COUNTRY VITTLES: FAMILY STYLE RESTAURANT 3589 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley. 828.926.1820 Winter hours: Wednesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Family Style at Country Vittles is not a buffet. Instead our waitresses will bring your food piping hot from the kitchen right to your table and as many

refills as you want. So if you have a big appetite, but sure to ask your waitress about our family style service. FROGS LEAP PUBLIC HOUSE 44 Church St., Downtown Waynesville 828.456.1930 Serving lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Frogs Leap is a farm to table restaurant focused on local, sustainable, natural and organic products prepared in modern regional dishes. Seasonal menu focuses on Southern comfort foods with upscale flavors. J. ARTHUR’S RESTAURANT AT MAGGIE VALLEY U.S. 19 in Maggie Valley. 828.926.1817. Open nightly for dinner at 4 p.m.; Friday through Sunday 12 to 4 p.m. for lunch. Daily luncheon special at $6.99. World-famous prime rib, steaks, fresh seafood, gorgonzola cheese and salads. All ABC permits and open year-round. Children always welcome. Takeout menu. Excellent service and hospitality. Reservations appreciated. JOEY'S PANCAKE HOUSE 4309 Soco Rd Maggie Valley. 828.926.0212. Winter hours: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Joey’s is a family style restaurant that has been serving breakfast to the locals and visitors of Western North Carolina since 1966. Featuring a large variety of tempting pancakes, golden waffles, country style cured ham and seasonal specials spiked with flavor, Joey's is sure to please all appetites. Join us for what has become a tradition in these parts, breakfast at Joey’s. JUKEBOX JUNCTION U.S. 276 and N.C. 110 intersection, Bethel. 828.648.4193. 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Serving breakfast, lunch, nd dinner. The restaurant has a 1950s & 60s theme decorated with memorabilia from that era. MAD BATTER FOOD & FILM 617 W. Main Street Downtown Sylva. 828.586.3555. Open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Handtossed pizza, steak sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts. All made from scratch. Beer and wine. Free movies with showtimes at 6:30 and 9 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Visit for this week’s shows.

We’ll feed your spirit, too.

207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde

828-456-1997 20

Monday-Friday Open at 11am

Real Local Families, Real Local Farms, Real Local Food

Cataloochee Ranch 119 Ranch Drive, Maggie Valley, NC 28751 | | (828)926-1401

tasteTHEmountains MAGGIE VALLEY CLUB 1819 Country Club Dr., Maggie Valley. 828.926.1616. Open seasonally for lunch and dinner. Fine and casual fireside dining in welcoming atmosphere. Full bar. Reservations accepted. MOUNTAIN PERKS ESPRESSO BAR & CAFÉ 9 Depot St., Bryson City. 828.488.9561. Open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. With music at the Depot. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Life is too short for bad coffee. We feature wonderful breakfast and lunch selections. Bagels, wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads and quiche with a variety of specialty coffees, teas and smoothies. Various desserts. PAPERTOWN GRILL 153 Main St., Canton. 828.648.1455 Open 7 days a week 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Serving the local community with great, scratch-made country cooking. Breakfast is served all day. Daily specials including Monday meatloaf, chicken and dumplings on Thursdays and Friday fish. PASQUALE’S 1863 South Main Street, Waynesville. Off exit 98, 828.454.5002. Open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Classic Italian dishes, exceptional steaks and seafood (available in full and lighter sizes), thin crust pizza, homemade soups, salads hand tossed at your table. Fine wine and beer selection. Casual atmosphere, dine indoors, outside on the patio or at the bar. Reservations appreciated.

SAGEBRUSH STEAKHOUSE 1941 Champion Drive, Canton 828.646.3750 895 Russ Ave., Waynesville 828.452.5822. Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Carry out available. Sagebrush features hand carved steaks, chicken and award winning BBQ ribs. We have fresh salads, seasonal vegetables and scrumptious deserts. Extensive selection of local craft beers and a full bar. Catering special events is one of our specialties. SMOKEY SHADOWS LODGE 323 Smoky Shadows Lane, Maggie Valley 828.926.0001. Check Facebook page for

SPEEDY’S PIZZA 285 Main Street, Sylva. 828.586.3800. Open seven days a week. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 3 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Family-owned for 30 years. Serving hand-tossed pizza made to order, pasta, subs, gourmet salads, calzones and seafood. Also serving excellent prime rib on Thursdays. Dine in or take out available. Located across from the Fire Station. TAP ROOM BAR & GRILL 176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville. 828.456.3551. Open seven days a week serving lunch and dinner. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tucked away inside Waynesville Inn, the Tap Room Bar & Grill has an approachable menu designed around locally sourced, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients. Full bar and wine cellar. TRAILHEAD CAFE & BAKERY 18 N Main Street, Waynesville. 828.452.3881 Open 7 days a week Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You will find a delicious selection of pastries & donuts, breakfast & lunch along with a fresh coffee & barista selection. Happy Trails! VITO’S PIZZA 607 Highlands Rd., Franklin. 828.369.9890. Established here in in 1998. Come to Franklin and enjoy our laid back place, a place you can sit back, relax and enjoy our 62” HDTV. Our Pizza dough, sauce, meatballs, and sausage are all made from scratch by Vito. The recipes have been in the family for 50 years (don't ask for the recipes cuz’ you won't get it!) WAYNESVILLE PIZZA COMPANY 32 Felmet Street, Waynesville. 828.246.0927. Open Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday noon to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. Opened in May 2016, The Waynesville Pizza Company has earned a reputation for having the best hand-tossed pizza in the area. Featuring a custom bar with more than 20 beers and a rustic, family friendly dining room. Menu includes salads, burgers, wraps, hot and cold sandwiches, gourmet pizza, homemade desserts, and a loaded salad bar. The Cuban sandwich is considered by most to be the best in town.

MEDITERRANEAN & ITALIAN CUISINE 1863 S. Main Street • Waynesville 828.454.5002 Hwy. 19/23 Exit 98 LUNCH & DINNER TUES. - SUN.


Ask us about our 10% Discount for Waynesville Locals


Christmas cookies, pastries & desserts Breakfast - Lunch - Coffee - Donuts & More Monday - Saturday 7-4 | Sunday 9-3 18 N Main St. in the heart of Waynesville


Retail Retail

Restaurant Restaurant

LIVE LIVE Music Music

FRIDA FRIDAY, AY, DECEMBER 2 @ 7:15PM 7 Bob Zullo: guitar, guitar, vocals

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SATURDAY, SA AT TURDA AY, DECEMBER 3 @ 7:15PM 7 Joe Cruz: piano, vocals

MON.-SAT. 11 A.M.-8 P.M.

34 CHURCH ST. WAYNESVILLE 828.246.6505 C

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Reserve Reserve at at 828-452-6000 828-452-6000 Paid in part by Haywood County Tourism Tourism o 828-452-6000 828-452-6000 20 NC 20 Church Church Street, Street, Waynesville, Waynesville, NC

Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Closed Tues.

Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun. 12-9 p.m.

Smoky Mountain News

RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AND BAR Maggie Valley Inn and Conference Center 70 Soco Road, Maggie Valley 828.926.0201 Home of the Maggie Valley Pizzeria. We deliver after 4 p.m. daily to all of Maggie Valley, J-Creek area, and Lake Junaluska. Monday through Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. country buffet and salad bar from 5 to 9 p.m. $11.95 with Steve Whiddon on piano. Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 to 8 p.m. 11:30 to 3 p.m. family style, fried chicken, ham, fried fish, salad bar, along with all the fixings, $11.95. Check out our events and menu at

SMOKY MOUNTAIN SUB SHOP 29 Miller Street Waynesville 828.456.3400. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. A Waynesville tradition, the Smoky Mountain Sub Shop has been serving great food for over 20 years. Come in and enjoy the relaxed, casual atmosphere. Sub breads are baked fresh every morning in Waynesville. Using only the freshest ingredients in home-made soups, salads and sandwiches. Come in and see for yourself why Smoky Mountain Sub Shop was voted # 1 in Haywood County. Locally owned and operated.

Open for Breakfast

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

PATIO BISTRO 30 Church Street, Waynesville. 828.454.0070. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Breakfast bagels and sandwiches, gourmet coffee, deli sandwiches for lunch with homemade soups, quiches, and desserts. Wide selection of wine and beer. Outdoor and indoor dining.

hours, which vary. Call early when serving because restaurant fills up fast. Remember when families joined each other at the table for a delicious homemade meal and shared stories about their day? That time is now at Smokey Shadows. The menus are customizable for your special event. Group of eight or more can schedule their own dinner.

Visit Us and Discover

Dec. 19th Hours: 11AM - 5PM, Closed for Dinner

32 Felmet Street (828) 246-0927




Smoky Mountain News

Straight from the Source A conversation with Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart, Balsam Range at Lake J

BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER It’s about staying true to yourself. When you converse with country/bluegrass legend Marty Stuart, you’re speaking to the source. From being a teenager, touring and performing side-by-side with Lester Flatt in the 1970s, to finding country radio success in the 1980s and 1990s, to his enduring work with Doc Watson and Johnny Cash, Stuart has risen into the upper echelon of Nashville icons. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, Stuart will be the first to tell you that when it comes to staying power in Music City, what matters most is paying attention. It’s not flavor-of-the-week trends or a flash-in-the-pan hit. It’s sticking to your guns and never forgetting that what it comes down to is simply putting pen to paper, guitar lick to the old six-string. Stuart is a walking, talking encyclopedia of music history and heritage. He’s the living, breathing bridge to the “musical architects” long gone from this earth, but forever remembered by their songs immortal. And as his career comes full circle, the 58-year-old looks to impart his knowledge to those coming up behind him, those torchbearers who will become the next generation of performers showcasing the eternal sounds of traditional music.

The Balsam Range “Art of Music Festival” will be held Dec. 2-3 in the Stuart Auditorium at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. The event will feature country legend Marty Stuart, The Atlanta Pops miniOrchestra, Lonesome River Band, Whitewater Bluegrass Company, and two nights of Balsam Range (the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association “Entertainer of the Year.”) The schedule is as follows:

Garret K. Woodward: There’s always been an ebb and flow in Nashville. But, I feel right now we’re in another transitional phase. What do you see? Marty Stuart: The thing I keep my eye on isn’t the trends, it’s on what never changes. A great song is what drives everything, it’s the true star that appears. The Country Music Hall of Fame. The Grand Ole Orpy. A good band and a good show. Those are the kinds of things that keep people in the game for decade after decade. Stars come and go in Nashville. But, I learned a long time ago, if you play that game [of trends], somewhere along the line

SATURDAY, DEC. 3 • 6:30 p.m. – Whitewater Bluegrass Company • 7:30 p.m. – Balsam Range • 9 p.m. – Marty Stuart

FRIDAY, DEC. 2 • 7:30 p.m. – Balsam Range • 8:15 p.m. – Lonesome River Band • 9:30 p.m. – Jeff Collins, David Johnson, Tony Creasman with the Atlanta Pops mini-Orchestra • 10:15 p.m. – Balsam Range with Atlanta Pops mini-Orchestra

The musical celebration will not only include world class artists, but will also be an opportunity to attend workshops and visit the many attractions Haywood County and Western North Carolina has to offer. Tickets are $25 per day/$40 both days for general admission and $35 per day/$60 both days for reserved seating. For more information about the event, tickets and lodging, click on or call 800.222.4930.

Marty Stuart will perform at Lake Junaluska on Dec. 3 as part of the inaugural Balsam Range Art of Music Festival (Dec. 2-3).


Lines in the Sand Balsam Range looks ahead

Balsam Range is (from left) Tim Surrett, Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson, Buddy Melton and Marc Pruett. Garret K. Woodward photo

BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER The eternal struggle of bluegrass is being able to balance evolution with tradition. How does one adhere to the pickin’ and grinnin’ ways of the old days, but also be able to stretch the boundaries into new and innovative realms? That dilemma currently lies at the feet on the bluegrass world. And yet, as that question remains, so does the internal drive by all of the genre’s musicians to ensure the preservation and perpetuation of this melodic force at the foundation of this country. For Haywood County’s own Balsam Range, the bluegrass quintet has spent the better part of the last decade riding this fine line between tending to their roots, but also finding the freedom to take flight when the feeling is right. What Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass/dobro), Caleb Smith (guitar), Buddy Melton (fiddle) and Darren Nicholson (mandolin) have created is an entity that holds tight to its heritage, but aims



Last call at the Brar Patch





A I R S U P P LY J A N U A R Y 13


Visit or call 1-800-745-3000 to purchase tickets.

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Smoky Mountain News

Frog Level Brewing (Waynesville) will host its “Blue-collar heaven.” 5th anniversary party with Resonant Rogues When asked just what the (Americana) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Brar Patch is, Trey Smith was quick with that response. The Classic Wineseller (Waynesville) will host Huddled under a flickering light the Jingle Bell Bash with Dulci Ellenberger & of the tiny bar, Smith gets head Kevin Williams at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. nods of agreement from several The Water’n Hole Bar & Grill (Waynesville) will folks nearby. Standing next to host Porch 40 (rock/funk) at 9 p.m. Saturday, him was Marty Owens. Dec. 10. “I’d say it’s like an English pub, a place folks go where they know The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub (Franklin) everybody, have a cold beer, and will host Heidi Holton (blues/folk) at 8 p.m. where the old-timers are respectFriday, Dec. 9. ed,” Owens said. “It really is a loss for Haywood County.” No Name Sports Pub (Sylva) will host Situated at the intersection of The Colby Deitz Band at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Brown Avenue and South Main Dec. 3. Street in West Waynesville, the Brar Patch isn’t visible from the my lunch break, I drove to Jim’s. I wandered road. Sure, Jim’s Drive-In sits at that locaaround the building a couple times before I tion, but just where is this secret watering noticed a small tarnished sign hanging over hole? People that have lived in town most of the side door. It read: “Brar Patch.” Stepping their lives didn’t even know it existed (the into the closet-sized space, there were unassuming side door at Jim’s is the enough seats for a half-dozen folks, maybe entrance) until they found out the entire structure would be doing last call for the last enough standing room for another dozen. But, on this day, only a few seats were taken time on Nov. 22. as I bellied up and order a Budweiser (your “To me, this is the last redneck old-fashchoices are Bud, Bud Light and Michelob ioned bar in all of Western North Carolina,” said bartender Diane Volden. “I love it, and I Ultra). And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the coldest bottle of suds that ever touched my love the people — they’re mine.” lips as some Webb Pierce or Kitty Wells When I moved to Waynesville from melody came to mind. Upstate New York in August 2012, I was Immediately, those sitting at the counter (and still am) in search of real-deal characters, those iconic and irreplaceable faces and questioned my entrance. This wasn’t a place strangers just wandered into. But, what places that make Western North Carolina seemed to be an interrogation turned out to and greater Southern Appalachia so magical be a right-of-passage as 21 questions and a and mysterious. And when I asked a friend slight harassment for being a Yankee that led (a Haywood native) just where these critters to four new friendships (including the barcould be found, she simply said, “Well, dartender) by the time I finished my second ling, you need to go to the Brar Patch.” So, skipping out of the newsroom during beer and headed back to the office before

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

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This must be the place

ter, just like he used to do in a similar bar anyone noticed I was gone. back up on the Canadian Border years ago. And for the better part of the last five The Brar Patch is where a lot of folks’ grandfayears, I’d bring friends (and even my parthers and grandmothers, fathers and mothents) to the Brar Patch, all of which were ers, brothers and sisters probably frequented. automatically accepted when they rolled in, “My grandpa used to bring me in here a big “Hey Garret, where in the heck have when I was a little girl. He’d get his beer and yah been?” echoing from someone tucked burger and I’d get my hot dog and soda,” away in the corner. said Stephanie Pruett. “He’d hang out with Opened in 1939, the bar is quite possibly all his friends, hell they all grew up together. the oldest establishment of its kind left in Western North Carolina. Once the main spot for “I’m 78 years old and I’ve been social interaction for a handful of now defunct factories coming here for 50 years. All of us close by (including Dayco), have been here so long. This is the Brar Patch is where the old-timers, long-time farmmy family, and that’s what it’s all ers, construction workers and the good ole boys would about — family.” gather to banter on about, — Wade Duncan well, the good ole days. It’s a place where all of the world’s problems would seemingly be solved This is where the salt-of-the-earth folks come and gather — this is the heart of by the time last call rolled around at 6:30 Haywood County.” p.m. or so. If Nov. 22 truly was the last call for the “I’m 78 years old and I’ve been coming here for 50 years,” said Wade Duncan, situat- Brar Patch, then a long and dusty chapter of this area’s history has finally closed. If it does ed at his usual seat at the end of the bar. “All of us have been here so long. This is my fam- reopen in February, like a few whispers eluded to, then one can only hope to cross that ily, and that’s what it’s all about — family.” threshold once more. And, as I stood there on Nov. 22, being But, what remains are the memories. It’s handed another beer from a round paid for places like the Brar Patch that are the last down the line, I kept thinking of my grandfavestige of the old school, a bridge to an era ther. A lot of my appreciation for spots like that’s often all-too-easily forgotten, but not these is that a place like the Brar Patch is where my grandfather would probably sit and in the hearts and minds of those who were there, and lived it. talk, perhaps pull a few jabs of hearty laugh-


arts & entertainment

STUART, CONTINUED FROM 22 you’ll get your heart broke. What I did is that I got alongside the roots, which is such a timeless place.

tar, the song, and the honesty of it all. GKW: You’ve spent your life performing and creating music. What has that taught you about what it means to be a human being? MS: I had a conversation one time with [the late] Pete Seeger. Just the two of us sitting on the ground at the Newport Jazz Festival. Years ago, back in the late 1970s. I asked him about Woody Guthrie. And he said Woody was like a correspondent that traveled on a boxcar through life, looking to

GKW: What is it about bluegrass that sets it apart from other types of music? MS: Well, to me, it’s home. As a musician, it’s just as complicated as classical music in a lot of terms. The dexterity required is incredible, but to combine dexterity with heart and soul, and make it something that touches somebody, that’s something special. And “I learned a long time ago, if you with country music, too, my wife (country legend Connie Smith) play that game [of trends], calls it the “cry of the heart.” And somewhere along the line you’ll I think true bluegrass, I’m talking the real way back there stuff, get your heart broke. What I did that’s what I listen to more than anything else, even today — it is that I got alongside the roots, still speaks to me.

which is such a timeless place.”

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

GKW: What about traditional music surviving in our modern world moving forward? MS: I think if you were to walk the streets of Asheville, say on a busy Saturday, there’s some sort of version of Old Crow Medicine Show on about every corner. And as you play festivals around the world, roots music and bluegrass is still alive and well. I don’t think anybody is really filling up stadiums with it, but I also don’t think that matters, because it’s still alive and gaining. At the end of the day, it’s still about the gui-


— Marty Stuart

the left, looking to the right, reporting on the human condition. It was about love, mercy, compassion, justice and injustice. And what [Pete] said helped me understand that it’s not just about putting on cowboy clothes and making money. Whether it’s speaking out for a lost culture or lost cause, or shining a light on a new idea, my soapbox works for that, and that’s what it’s really all about.

BALSAM RANGE, CONTINUED FROM 22 to address their true potential as an awardwinning act that has found cross-over success after years of hitting the road and getting up onstage every night. In their latest album, “Mountain Voodoo,” the ensemble seemingly puts aside supposed expectations that come with being the International Bluegrass Music Association “Entertainer of the Year” (2014), and instead put forth a record as flexible as it is personal statement of just where the group is. They’re at the forefront of the modern bluegrass movement, one that champions its history, and also harnesses a curiosity only found in those ready to pioneer and not follow the well-worn paths of the past. Garret K. Woodward: Why the album title “Mountain Voodoo”? Darren Nicholson: It was a unique title, which came partially from the song on the album called “Voodoo Doll.” It’s basically paying homage to the culture and heritage of Western North Carolina. There are so many great musicians here. The musical culture is so deep, and when people come and experience the sounds here, it is spellbinding. And we just hope to take some of our mountain voodoo magic here on the road with us to share with people.

GKW: And now the band is in their 10th year, which is wild for a bluegrass act to have that much success, over that length of time, and yet all still be the same members… DN: Yeah, for bluegrass, for five guys to still be together after 10 years, that’s pretty unheard of. It’s one of those things you’re constantly working on, those relationships onstage and off. And yet, there’s a comfort that comes with playing and singing with the same folks for that many years.

GKW: The band was a second career for everyone involved. With all the obligations and accolades, where to now? DN: It does put a certain amount of pressure. We’re all from the Haywood County and we want to represent Westernj North Carolina the best we can. There’s a lot more pressure on the business and travel

GKW: It seems to be a slower burn, especially with “It’s one of those things you’re a softer song to open the record (“Something ‘Bout constantly working on, those That Suitcase”) than the shotgun blast that was relationships onstage and off. And “Moon Over Memphis” on yet, there’s a comfort that comes with the “Five” album. DN: Well, traditionally, playing and singing with the same you want that barnburner to folks for that many years.” start a record. But, we had so many good songs coming — Darren Nicholson into the studio, that we didn’t want the album to just be geared to bluegrass radio. I think this side of things. I think we’re finally more the best record we’ve done. It starts with a comfortable onstage, we’re hitting this medium-tempo Americana type sound, and stride. The challenge at this point is keeping that’s because I believe this band has the abil- it going, to find that place of true comfort. ity to tap into other markets and genres. When it comes to the stage, we all still have We’re a versatile band, and we wanted to that fire and excitement in our bellies to showcase that. entertain people.

@Smoky MtnNews

On the tree arts & entertainment

Christmas in Appalachia

s the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed to celebrate the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike. Families can partake in wagon rides, iceless skating, craft sales and art demonstrations, all the while enjoying authentic mountain f music, clogging and parades through several downtowns. These are just some of the innumerable activities to be had. Each and every date, time and place found within this section, each community around the region opening their arms to share in the winter festivities. It’s a winter wonderland out there. It’s yours for the taking, so reach out and grasp all Southern Appalachia has to offer.


Point of Grace will hit the stage Dec. 10 at Lake Junaluska.

The Polar Express train excursion runs through Dec. 24.

Polar Express returns to Bryson City

Christmas music by organist Point of Grace, craft show at ‘Appalachian Christmas’

Cowee’s ARTSaturday

Holiday ARTSaturday, the Macon County Arts Council’s crafts and music workshop for children, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center gym in Franklin. This annual event for elementary school-age children and young families offers make-and-take evergreen swags, ornaments and cards, cookies to decorate and eat, caroling with keyboardist Lionel Caynon, and fun for all. The Suminski Family sponsors ARTSaturday to honor the grandparents of Macon County. ARTSaturday is part of the Heritage Center’s Cowee Christmas, an all-day celebration featuring open studios, arts & crafts demonstrations, shows & sales, food, and a tree lighting. The free event is produced by the Arts Council of Macon County, with partial funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Schedule and details can be found at 25

Smoky Mountain News

All are invited to an “Appalachian Christmas,” a weekend of concerts and a craft fair Dec. 9-11 at Lake Junaluska. This year Lake Junaluska welcomes Point of Grace for a special Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. This multi-platinum country-gospel group is one of the most acclaimed artists in Christian music. In their latest album, “Directions Home,” they collaborated with legends like Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs. The group has two Grammy nominations and 13 Dove awards, and their talent is marked by flexibility, vocal range and inspiring melodies. The celebrations kick off with a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. “Messiah” is a baroque-era music composition by George Frideric Handel, composed in 1741-1742. This year’s performers includes Joyce Guyer, principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera for 16 sea-

sons; Mary Gayle Green, professor at Appalachian State; Randall Outland, voice teacher and performer; and Ed Davis, who has sung for numerous performances in this area. They will be accompanied by strings, trumpet, an organ and a chorus. The Cockman Family will play a matinee concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Their signature bluegrass-gospel sound, warm family atmosphere and instrumental proficiency will delight the audience. The Appalachian Christmas Craft Show features dozens of local artisans from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. You can find one-of-akind gifts including pottery, natural soaps, jewelry and stained glass. The craft show will take place in the Harrell Center at Lake Junaluska. Individual concert tickets are now on sale. Concert tickets are $18 for general admission. All concerts are held in Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska. To purchase concert tickets, visit or call 800.222.4930. Lodging packages are also available at one of Lake Junaluska’s hotels. Packages include meals, lodging, tickets to all three concerts and two tickets to Christmas at Biltmore.

Internationally known organist Dr. Jack W. Jones will perform a program of organ music to mark the Christmas season at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church in Highlands. The program includes works by J.S. Bach, Wilbur Held’s Nativity Suite, and carols from many lands, among others. Jones holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School, and is widely known as an organist, composer, recording artist, and music educator. He began his career as a church organist at age 17, and has served as organist and choirmaster at churches in California, Florida, and Georgia, and the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Jones has performed in many prestigious venues, including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England. After serving 25 years as OrganistDirector of Music for The Royal Poinciana Chapel of Palm Beach, Florida, Jones retired to Macon County and now serves as Organist for the Church of the Good Shepherd in Cashiers. The performance is free, but donations are accepted. This event is produced by the Arts Council of Macon County, sup-

ported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 828.524.ARTS or

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

The Polar Express train excursion hits the tracks through Dec. 24 at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad train depot in Bryson City. In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. The excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot

for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Santa will also be onboard to meet and greet with children and guests. Ticket prices begin $42 for adults, $28 for children and free for infants. Prices vary for all groups with other trip packages. For more information or to purchase tickets: 800.872.4681 or

arts & entertainment

On the tree

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

WCU ‘Sounds of the Season’


The annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert will be presented by Western Carolina University’s School of Music on Sunday, Dec. 4. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center with performances by the Jackson County Youth Chorus and WCU student ensembles, Concert Choir and University Chorus with special appearances by the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band and, direct from the North Pole, a visit with Santa Claus. In the spirit of the holidays, the audience is encouraged to bring canned food items, which will be delivered to the Community Table, a Jackson County nonprofit food bank. Reserved seat tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for WCU faculty and staff and those 60 and older, and $5 for students and children. Group rates are available for advance purchase only. Proceeds benefit the School of Music Scholarship Fund. For tickets, visit or call 828.227.2479.

Brasstown Ringers present ‘Holiday Memories’ The Brasstown Ringers will be showcasing two local performances of their annual Christmas program “Holiday Memories” in December. • 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin. • 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown. Musical selections will include holiday favorites and traditional carols, along with several sacred songs arranged for hand-bell choir. This concert series is being dedicated to Dianne Schickedantz, a passionate ringer and friend, who passed due to pancreatic cancer in September. The purple scarves and ties we are wearing this year are in memory of her, and all who have been impacted by pancreatic cancer. The Brasstown Ringers began in 1992 with just two octaves of bells and seven ringers. Now in their 24th year, the group has grown to 15 ringers and six octaves of bells and choir-chimes. All performances are free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated. 828.837.8822.

Cherokee Lights & Legends

The Cherokee Lights & Legends Christmas will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2-3 and 9-10 at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds. Stroll under the lights through fun, interactive displays that tell ancient Cherokee Christmas legends. See the lighting of the 40foot Christmas tree, have a visit with Santa, and take a spin on the synthetic ice rink. Your family will also find a bonfire with Cherokee storytelling, two bouncy houses, a nine-hole mini-golf course, face painting, balloon animals, the opportunity to create a ParT-Pet (similar to a Build-a-Bear®), and free cotton candy and popcorn. There will also be a New Year's Eve fireworks show. Admission is free to the celebration. Skating and photos with Santa are both $5, with most activities inside the Exhibit Hall at $7.

On the tree

of town with a live nativity scene at Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church. The church will showcase the Nativity, with the Fellowship Hall open for a warm break from the cold where refreshments will be provided. Children will love the Christmas atmosphere for they will find Rudolph and Santa’s elves strolling along the streets passing out candy canes, and they can share their wants and wishes at Santa’s Workshop in Town Hall. Dogwood Crafters will have music each night, plus “millions” of cookies, amongst numerous other activities around downtown. There will be a free shuttle service from Monteith Park.

Christmas in Bryson City Santa Claus and other Christmas activities will be held through Dec. 17 at the Swain County Heritage Museum in Bryson City. • Letters to Santa: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drop a line to Santa. All materials provided. • Santa at the Museum: 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy a

Celtic Woman Christmas show Renowned music group Celtic Woman will be performing “Home For Christmas: The Symphony Tour” at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. In just a few short years, the unique musical ensemble has emerged as both a spectacular commercial success and a genuine cultural phenomenon. Their evocative, uplifting music has transcended national and cultural borders to touch the hearts of a devoted fan base that spans the globe. The group is the product of the musical vision of David Downes, who had previously been musical director of the pioneering Irishthemed stage show “Riverdance.” Downes envisioned a creative entity that would combine the elemental appeal of traditional Irish music with modern production and staging. For tickets, visit or or call 800.745.3000.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

The Festival of Lights & Luminaries will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2-3 and 9-10 in downtown Dillsboro. With more than 2,500 candles in white bags lining the streets, the lights set the town aglow, the town will create a winter wonderland at the corner of Front and Webster streets. Inviting aromas slip from inside the open shops and restaurants where you are provided complimentary refreshments, music and voices raised in song, and have opportunities to purchase special selections for Christmas giving. Lavishing then in the warm glow of the holiday evening, you can experience oldfashioned horse and buggy rides, and the real reason for the season in the middle

The chancel choir at First United Methodist Church will present its annual Christmas Cantata at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the church sanctuary in Sylva. The cantata titled “Joy to the World” is comprised of a variety of musical selections that express the meaning of the season. The program will feature inspirational songs and traditional Christmas carols. Vocal solos and instrumental music will be included in the program. Tommy Ginn is director of the chancel choir. The Sylva Ringers, a community hand bell group, will play Christmas music in the sanctuary to kickoff the cantata. The hand bell music will set the tone for what is expected to be joyful, inspiring choral performance. Lorie Meservey is director of the hand bell choir. Actors from the church will portray the nativity scene as the Christmas story is read from the Bible. A children’s group lead by Valerie Tissue will be dancing to some of the musical selections. Following the cantata, heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Christian Life Center. The public is invited to be a part of this program, First United Methodist Church’s gift to the community. 828.586.2358.

free photo opportunity with jolly St. Nick on the porch of the cabin located in the museum. Cookies and cocoa served in the lobby. Santa will be at the Christmas Parade on Dec. 3. • Christmas Past — Mountain Traditions: 5 to 7 p.m. This brand new program is designed with the whole family in mind. Held at the cabin in the museum, the event offers a fun, educational lecture on the Christmas meal, the felling and decorating of the tree, traditional toys and gifts, and more. Kids get to decorate the cabin tree with traditional Appalachian decorations, as well as making their own popcorn, cranberry, or paper string to take home for their tree. Cookies and cocoa provided in the visitor center lobby. 800.867.9246.

arts & entertainment

Lights & Luminaries returns

First Methodist Christmas Cantata


Doors Open 6:00 Showtime: 6:30

Christmas Show featuring: Anne Lough, David Magill, Angie Toomey & Steve Whiddon

Tickets: $15 Door, $12 Advance $12 Door with goods donation

First Friday of each Month 6-9 p.m.

May through December

WAYNESVILLEGALLERYASSOCIATION.COM Funded in part by Haywood County Tourism Development Authority • 1.800.334.9036 •


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Silent Auction & Food/Hygiene Drive

Crystalwo od Studio Haywood Pharmacy Dr. John H ighsmith


On the tree arts & entertainment

advance are significantly discounted: $5 for students, $13 for WCU faculty and staff, $18 for general admission, and $15 per ticket for groups of 20 or more. On the day of the event, regular ticket prices apply: $10 for students, $18 for WCU faculty and staff, and $23 for general admission. The event is part of the 2016-17 Arts and Cultural Events series at Western Carolina University.

Celebrate Christmas with MercyMe

Christmas comes to Stecoah ‘Snowkus Pocus Cirque Holiday Show’

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

The “Snowkus Pocus Cirque Holiday Show” will usher in the season in an acrobatic way at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University. Performers will present wintry vignettes, including a bendy ballerina inside a living snow globe, a snowball battle between the North Wind and Jack Frost, and an aerial snow ballet. Tickets will be available at the box office and online at, or by calling 828.227.2479. Tickets purchased in

• The Cashiers Christmas Parade will be at noon Saturday, Dec. 10, in downtown. If you’d like to enter a float in the parade, visit or call the Cashier Area Chamber at 828.743.5191. • The Sylva Christmas Parade will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown. • The downtown Waynesville Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, on Main Street. The theme is “Christmas Past, Christmas Present.” • The “Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Bryson City. Floats, fire trucks, classic cars, beauty queens and Santa. • A special Christmas screening of the film “The Polar Express” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Smoky Mountain Center of the Performing Arts in Franklin. Pajamas, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals are encouraged. Doors open at 6 p.m. for pictures with Santa. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 or contact the Macon County Academic Foundation to purchase in advance or for group discounts. or 866.273.4615.

• The Cherokee Christmas Parade will be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in downtown. 28 Floats, bands, Santa and more.

There will be a handful of upcoming Christmas events at the Stecoah Valley Center in Robbinsville, which are as follows: • Breakfast with Santa — 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3: Join the center for breakfast with Santa and enjoy pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and coffee. After breakfast, Santa will be available for photos and wish lists. Bring your camera to capture this special event. Entry fee is $5 per person. Reservations preferred. • Christmas in the Mountains — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3: Indoor arts and craft show and sale with visiting artisans just in time for holiday giving. The Schoolhouse Cafe will be open all day.

• The annual “Fireside Sale” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown. The event showcases fine holiday crafts made by Folk School instructors and other talented artisans. Shoppers can browse for forged iron, jewelry, quilts, turned wood, fiber, photography, and more. or 828.837.2775. • “Oh What Fun, Good times, Good Cheer, It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” will be the theme for the “Holiday Party and Silent Auction” of the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society. The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Swain County Regional Business Education and Training Center in Bryson City. Join them for an evening of music, fun, live auction and holiday shopping. Live mountain music will be provided by Jesse Stephens and Friends. Auction proceeds will go to offset operating expenses for the society and to purchase needed equipment. • The “Christmas Worship in a Stable” living nativity scene will be recreated from 5:30 to 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the 3rd Generation Barn Loft on Frank Mann Road in Canton. In addition, patrons will have the opportunity to donate a non-perishable food item at the Manger for The Community Kitchen soup kitchen. Admission is free. • The Cowee Christmas Celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at

Award-winning Christian act MercyMe will perform a Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Since their inception, MercyMe's music has fueled a continual dialog both among people of faith and those who are grasping for it. Whether offering up encouragement with their multi-format hit "I Can Only Imagine" or their 13 consecutive Top 5 singles on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, with seven of them reaching No. 1. MercyMe has won eight Dove Awards and has had numerous Grammy Award nominations. Tickets start at $27. To purchase tickets, visit or 866.273.4615.

the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center in Franklin. The day-long event will include live music, arts and crafts activities, live artisan demonstrations, visit by Santa, cookies and lunch, and more. For a full list of events and times, click on • The Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation giftwrap project will be held Dec. 1-24 at Mast General Store in downtown Waynesville. Organizers are in need of donated wrapping materials and volunteers to work three-hour shifts at Mast General Store. Shoppers can bring their purchases to the gift-wrapping table in the lobby and volunteers will box and wrap the holiday gifts for a donation to Sarge’s. To donate wrapping materials, bring the items to Sarge’s Adoption Center, 256 Industrial Park Drive in Waynesville, from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Supply donations may also be taken to Mast General Store. To sign up to help gift wrap at Mast General Store, visit or call 828.400.5713.


• The Sylva Garden Club is hosting a Christmas Tea & Bazaar will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the First United Methodist Church of Sylva. Finger foods, sweets, and tea will be served. Christmas crafts, specialty pecans, silent auction, and raffle for door prize. Admission is $12 per ticket. Tickets are available from SGC mem-

bers and at the door. All funds raised go to SGC’s beautification projects and scholarships. • The “Craft Fair and Breakfast with Santa” will be on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva. Breakfast is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free for ages 10 and under, $5 for all others. Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is $5 for everyone. There will be a Christmas Music Performance starting at 12:30 p.m. and lasting until the craft fair ends at 2:30 p.m. 828.586.5494. • The “Christmas In My Hometown” musical celebration will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the Smoky Mountain Center of the Performing Arts in Franklin. Tickets are $15. or 866.273.4615. • The Cookie Walk & Christmas Bazaar will be at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 at the United Methodist Church in Bryson City. • “Christmas with Santa” with be at 9 a.m. Dec. 9 in the Fine & Performing Arts Theatre at Western Carolina University. Packed full of sing-a-long tunes, this show is the perfect way to get audiences of all ages into the Christmas spirit. Best for grades K-5. • There will a “Holiday Sing & Dance” program at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva. Cookies and cocoa with Santa. 828.586.5494.

On the beat

Gifts for

C hristmas

Puzzles • Candles •Jewelry Mailbox Covers • Flags

arts & entertainment

W e’r e m aking a List... of the Perfect

Joe Lasher Jr. will play Canton on Dec. 6.

Wine Caddies • C locks Signs • Ru gs • Soaps Boot Socks • Scarves Leggings • Gloves Blue Q Socks

Lasher to rock WNC


Affairs of the Heart

————————————————————————————— 120 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC • 828.452.0526

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Rising country/rock singer Joe Lasher Jr. will perform his show “Me, My Guitar and the Songs I Wrote” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Colonial Theater in Canton. Having shared the stage with the likes of Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Thomas Rhett, Lasher is proving to be one of the hottest new talents in music. The show will feature songs that Lasher written on his own, as well as with the slew of hit writers he has been working with in Nashville over the last two years. He’ll also perform some fan favorites and tell the tales behind them during this “storyteller” type event. Lasher will also perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Mars Hill Radio Theatre; 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at The Orange Peel in Asheville; and at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at The DFR Room in Brevard. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

T here’s Something for Everyone!

Popular blues/folk singer Heidi Holton will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub in Franklin. Free.

A “Christmas Concert” with Balfour Knight & Friends will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Clyde Central United Methodist Church. The program will be an eclectic mix of Christmas music, secular and religious, classical and popular. It will also include a reflective time of harp music to combat the hectic nature of the holiday season. Knight, who is well known for his musical accomplishments on a variety of instruments, will play the concerto harp, piano and organ.

Carol Lynn Knight will serve as the emcee. She and Susan Gaddy will serve as vocalists for the program. John Kimbrough will join the vocalists as well as play trumpet, guitar and piano. Kevin Kimbrough will be featured on the trombone. Pastor Dan Gaddy will be the narrator as he reads the Christmas story. There will be a reception immediately after the concert in the Fellowship Hall with hot, spiced cider, cookies, cheese balls, and more. There is no charge for the concert but an offering may be given for those wishing to do so; it will be to assist those less fortunate. For information or directions, call the church office at 828.627.2287.

Smoky Mountain News

Balfour Knight & Friends Xmas show


arts & entertainment

On the beat WCU Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble The Western Carolina University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will present their final concert of the year, titled “Songs and Dances,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center in Cullowhee. This combined concert will open with the Symphonic Band, conducted by David Starnes, director of WCU athletic bands, performing Alfred Reed’s composition “Russian Christmas Music,” as well as Reed’s arrangement of “Greensleeves.” The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Margaret Underwood, associate professor with the WCU School of Music, will perform works by Khachaturian, Shostakovich, Woolfenden and Bach. “This has been the first year that we have had two concert bands during the fall, and it has been fantastic to hear so much music happening in Coulter,” Underwood said. “The students

work extremely hard to perform great music well, and we love making music with them.” For more information, or 828.227.7242.

Haywood Christmas concert

World-renowned Irish musical act The Celts will perform a Christmas show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. The ensemble is a lively group whose performances include traditional Irish music and outstanding instrumentation. Ric Blair founded what was then called The Nashville Celts when he was a jazz major at the University of Cincinnati just over 15 years ago. He was inspired when he went to see an Irish group in concert. Today, Blair reigns as one of the country’s most respected performers and historians of Celtic music. Having shared the stage with

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

RATHSKELLER Athens, Georgia singer-songwriter Joe Cat will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub in Franklin. Free.

• Derailed Bar & Lounge (Bryson City) will have music at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 828.488.8898. • Frog Level Brewing (Waynesville) will host Ben Wilson (singer-songwriter) 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and the FLB 5th anniversary party with Resonant Rogues (Americana) 7 p.m. Dec. 3. All shows are free. 828.454.5664 or • Innovation Brewing (Sylva) will have an Open Mic night Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, a jazz night with the Kittle/Collings Duo Dec. 1 and 8, and Chris Jamison Dec. 3. All events are free and begin at 8 p.m.

30 • Marianna Black Library (Bryson City) will

The Celts will hit the stage in Franklin on Dec. 3. Donated photo

The Haywood Community Chorus will hold their Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the First United Methodist Church in Waynesville. The performance will be titled, “The Gifts of Christmas.” Kathy McNeil will be directing the chorus, along with guest accompanist Kyle Ritter, organist and choir master of All Souls Cathedral in Asheville. Music will include classical, traditional, and contemporary seasonal selections. Ritter will also join McNeil to perform two organ pieces arranged for four hands and four feet. Admission is free, but donations accepted.


• The Classic Wineseller (Waynesville) will host Bob Zullo (acoustic/folk) Dec. 2, Joe Cruz (piano/pop) Dec. 3 and 10, and the Jingle Bell Bash with Dulci Ellenberger & Kevin Williams Dec. 9. All events begin at 7 p.m. 828.452.6000 or

Christmas with The Celts

host a community music jam from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Anyone with a guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer, anything unplugged, are invited to join. Singers are also welcomed to join in or you can just stop by and listen. Free. 828.488.3030. • The Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee) will host an old-time music concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Bring your own stringed instrument to participate in the jam session from 8 to 9 p.m. Free. • No Name Sports Pub (Sylva) will host Log Noggins with Billingsly (rock) Dec. 2, The Colby Deitz Band Dec. 3, Glitter Bomb Burlesque with Bob Fleming & The Drunk Girl Chorus Dec. 7, Chris Monteith Karaoke Dec. 9 and I Heartbreak (hip-hop) Dec. 10. All shows are free and begin at 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. • The Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub (Franklin) will host Twelfth Fret Dec. 2, The Sweet Charity Rockin’ Replay Christmas Set

Dec. 3, Heidi Holton (blues/folk) Dec. 9 and Joe Cat (singer-songwriter) Dec. 10. All shows are free and begin at 8 p.m. • Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company (Sapphire) will host a jazz brunch with Tyler Kittle & Friends from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays. 828.743.0220. • Satulah Mountain Brewing (Highlands) will host “Hoppy Hour” and an open mic with Jimandi at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays, “Funky Friday” with Bud Davis at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Isaish Breedlove (Americana) at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 828.482.9794 or


• The Smoky Mountain Center of the Performing Arts (Franklin) will host Michael O’Brien (singer-songwriter) formerly of Newsong (Christian) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets are $18 per person. The Macon County School System “Christmas Concert” will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. The event is free.

artists such as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Patty Lovelace, The Celts unique blends make them popular with music fans of many genres. In 2010, The Celts produced a successful pledge show for PBS, which aired across the country for three years, called “Christmas with The Celts.” In 2015, The Celts appeared on the PBS TV show Music City Roots and will soon host another PBS special called “Roots of Great American Music,” which will feature some of the top country, Irish, and pop music stars in the industry. Tickets start at $24. or 866.273.4615. or 866.273.4615. • The Ugly Dog Pub (Highlands) will host a weekly Appalachian music night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays with Nitrograss. 828.526.8364 or • The Water’n Hole Bar & Grill (Waynesville) will host Porch 40 (rock/funk) Dec. 10. All shows begin at 9 p.m. • Western Carolina University (Cullowhee) will host featuring old-time music virtuosos Don Pedi and Bruce Greene at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the H.F. Robinson Administration Building. The show will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate. The Wind Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and the WCU Honor Band will be at 3 p.m. Dec. 10, both of which will be held at the Fine & Performing Arts Theatre. There will be a Woodwind Concert at 4 p.m. Dec. 7, a Brass Ensemble Concert at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and a Faculty Ensemble 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, all in the Coulter Building.

On the street

A reception will be held for the Walton War exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. The Walton War was a border conflict between settlers from North Carolina and those from Georgia. This event took place in the early 19th century, but its legacy is still with us today, and can be felt in ongoing statewide concerns about water rights. The exhibit was created by Will McDaris (2017 History) as part of an internship for the Mountain Heritage Center and as part of an undergraduate research project from the summer of 2016. • A showcase on the life and times of Horace Kephart will be on display through March 31 in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. In 1904, Kephart was 42-year-old librarian when he came to Western North Carolina looking for a fresh start in the Southern Appalachian wilderness. Over the next 27 years, his numerous articles and books captured a disappearing culture, provided practical advice for generations of outdoor enthusiasts, and spearheaded the movement to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 828.227.7129.

arts & entertainment

Walton War exhibit, reception

Make this Christmas the stuff of legends.


Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

• “Public demonstrations: Agent of change or ‘virtue signaling?’” will be the topic for the Franklin Open Forum at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub in downtown Franklin. Those interested in an open exchange of ideas (dialog, not debate) are invited to attend. 828.371.1020. • A wine tasting will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 at Papou’s Wine Shop in Sylva. $5 per person. or 828.586.6300.

• The Classic Wineseller (Waynesville) will host a wine tasting on Wednesdays and a craft beer tasting on Thursdays. Both events run from 4 to 8 p.m. There will also be tapas from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. • Free cooking demonstrations will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays at Country Traditions in Dillsboro. Watch the demonstrations, eat samples and taste house wines for $3 a glass. All recipes posted online.

Stroll under the lights through festive, interactive displays featuring ancient Cherokee Christmas legends. Or come for our 40-ft. Christmas tree, a visit with Santa, our Christmas Carnival and Christmas Parade, and a spin on our synthetic ice rink. There’s plenty of inexpensive entertainment (cash only), and admission is free. Grab your little elves and join us at 545 Tsali Blvd., in Cherokee, NC.

Smoky Mountain News

• A free wine tasting will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 at Bosu’s Wine Shop in Waynesville. or 828.452.0120.

December 2–31, Fridays and Saturdays, from 5–10 p.m. (closed Dec. 23–24) | 828.359.6490 31

arts & entertainment

On the wall ‘It’s a Small, Small Work’ The Haywood County Arts Council’s (HCAC) latest exhibit, “It’s a Small, Small Work,” will run through Dec. 24 at their Gallery & Gifts showcase room in downtown Waynesville. The 2016 exhibit features 60 artists and almost 200 individual works of art for sale, which provides a unique opportunity for budding artists to exhibit their work alongside seasoned professionals. The small work show was launched in 2008 in response to a declining economy and to demonstrate that original artwork can be affordable. Most businesses, homes and apartments can accommodate smaller works of art — and the show promotes buying local and regional work to help support artists in Western North Carolina.

Blacksmithing class in Dillsboro

Smoky Mountain News

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

There will be a “War-Hammer Making” blacksmithing course taught by Brock Martin from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10-11 at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro. For more information of this workshop, class fees, the JCGEP, and more, visit • Cullowhee watercolorist Craig Forrest will present a 15-piece collection of new works at the It’s By Nature gallery in downtown Sylva. The opening reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the

gallery. The show will run throughout the month of December. 828.631.3020 or

‘Fear No Art’ Exhibit in Franklin

• The exhibition “Contemporary Clay: A Survey on Contemporary American Ceramics” will run until Dec. 16 in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University. The exhibit will show the diversity of the medium, exploring traditional and non-traditional functional objects, mixed media installations and the continuing evolution of ceramics and pottery. • A “Glass Ornament” class will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9 at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro. Time slots are available throughout the day, with each lasting 30 minutes. With the assistance of a resident artist, participants will work with molten glass to create a unique and beautiful piece of glass art. Cost is $30. 828.631.0271 or


• The final Art After Dark of the year will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in downtown Waynesville. Enjoy a stroll through working studios and galleries on Main Street and Depot Street. Festive Art After Dark flags denote participating galleries, including the Haywood County Arts Council Gallery and Gifts, Burr Studio, Earthworks Gallery, The Jeweler’s Workbench, Studio SG, Twigs & Leaves Gallery, TPennington Art Gallery, Cedar Hill Studios, Moose Crossing Burl Wood Gallery, and the Village Framer. or

The exhibit entitled “Fear No Art” by Isabella Jacovino, an artist and author of many dark-epic fantasy novels, will be on display throughout December at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. An artist reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at the library. Using the grit, grime and socially provocative nature of “guerilla art” as a foundation and blending influences from Dadaism alongside digital elements of bricolage and mixed media techniques, the exhibit offers an exploration of “anti-art” where in concern for “traditional” aesthetics are not present.

On the stage

Your town is my town.

London theater comes to Highlands

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Evoking inspiration from the Dada movement, along with the anarchist modality of urban art, “Fear No Art” serves to offer a visual narrative on the “self-taught artist,” as well as the decimation of creative boundaries both external and self-imposed. Various digital techniques such as painting, layering, airbrushing, blending, styles and actions, all lend themselves to creating digital pieces of brute force, unique imagery and explosive coloring. Most pieces will be for sale during the exhibition and all pieces are prints done via a digital platform using a variety of mixed media, photography and collage applications.

The National Theatre of London’s production of “The Deep Blue Sea, Live via Satellite” will be screened at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Highlands Performing Arts Center. Sea Helen McCrory (Medea and The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre, Penny Dreadful, Peaky Blinders) returns to the National Theatre in Terence Rattigan’s devastating masterpiece, playing one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. Tom Burke (War and Peace, The Musketeers) is also featured in Carrie Cracknell’s critically acclaimed new production.   A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London,

circa 1952. When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbors in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing. Tickets are available online at, at the door or by calling 828.526.9047. • Comedian Chad Daniels will perform at 9 p.m. Dec. 9 in UC Illusions at Western Carolina University.


Books Local bookstores should be celebrated, supported I Smoky Mountain News

Jeff Minick

n My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc., 2012, 378 pages, $23.95), 84 writers tout their favorite bookshops. The stores beloved by these writers range from Manhattan’s enormous Strand Book Store to our own City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, reviewed here by novelist and poet Ron Rash. My Bookstore celebrates local bookstores and their impact on the surrounding communities. Writers like Francine Prose, Jill McCorkle, Isabel Allende, Tom Robbins, and Wendell Berry sing the praises of the bookshops they love and treasure. In nearly every case, these authors explain Writer that their favorite bookshop is more than just a building where they buy books. No, for most of them bookshops like Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books or Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, are gathering places, in some cases a club or a second home where readers and writers meet their friends, where books and writers alive and dead are discussed and celebrated, where knowledgeable owners and employees guide their customers to the right books. An example of this passion for brick and mortar bookselling can be found in Pico Iyer’s laudatory tribute to Chaucer’s Books in Santa Barbara, California, in which he writes “It is my de facto office, my classroom, my place of worship, my site for dates, and (not unrelatedly) my ideal location for getting lost.” With its introduction by Richard Russo and illustrations of each shop by artist Leif Parsons, My Bookstore offers a vivid reminder of the importance of our local bookstores. And ‘tis the season to remember those shops. A great number of independent bookstores have closed their doors over the last 40 years. They fell victim first to the big chain bookstores — Walden’s, Books-A-Million, Borders, Barnes and Noble — and then to

online and two days later that book is in your hands. Like nearly all readers, I enjoy the convenience of online book services. When I can’t find a particular book and the shop owner offers to order it for me, I inevitably decline because I can order it more quickly from my home. And yet, if you and I fail to support our local bookshops — and our local businesses in general — we are not only hurting them, but also harming ourselves in the long run. Let me explain. When shopping online for books, we are usually after a specific book. Few of us browse, and as a result, few of us stumble across those delightful surprises we find when we My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, visit a library or and Shop. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2012. 378 pages. bookshop. We stroll through the online companies, particularly, of course, aisles of the shop, spot a remaindered history Amazon, which devoured not only many of of the Ancient Egyptians, hold it in our hands, the remaining independents, but took an look at the hundreds of pictures and sidebars, enormous bite out of the chains as well. remember our nephew’s interest in mummies Technology has also hurt the book trade. and pharaohs, and purchase his Christmas For many people, reading an electronic book present. We walk past the fiction shelves, spot on Kindle costs less money and saves time. Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years, and recall that You punch a few buttons, and the book pops two years earlier we had read a complimentaup on a device you can carry in your purse or ry review of her novel, but then neglected to pocket. If you want the real book, you order it follow up by reading it. When it comes to

‘Monsters in Appalachia’ reading Winston-Salem author Sheryl Monks will present her short story collection Monsters in Appalachia at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek, said of her collection, “A fresh, new voice in contemporary fiction, in stories of teenage angst, bonds of family, motherhood, and contradictions of middle age. Always surprising, these stories conjure both sorrow and mystery with intimate, loving detail.” Ron Rash, author of Serena also praised it by saying, “Monsters in Appalachia is wildly outrageous at times, but there is empathy in these stories as well. Humor and sadness achieve a delicate balance.” From gritty realism to the gothic, surreal and sometimes humorous, Monsters in Appalachia plumbs the hearts of a haunted landscape.


buying books for our grandchildren, we are clueless and so ask the manager what she might recommend. We bring our laptops to the shop’s café, order a coffee, and spend the next three hours happily pecking away at the keyboard, getting out of our chair every once in a while to graze the shelves, here and there pulling out a book. If bookstores die — and readers are the only people who can keep them alive — then a piece of our community dies as well. With apologies to those bookshops not mentioned in this paragraph, consider the treasures we still posses. In Sylva, City Lights Bookstore; in Highlands, Shakespeare & Co; in Waynesville, Blue Ridge Books and the Wall Street Book Exchange; in Asheville, Malaprops, the Captain’s Bookshelf, the Battery Park Bookstore, Downtown Book and News, and even Barnes and Noble: each store is different, but they share one thing in common. They have survived. To ensure that survival, our local booksellers need patrons. This Christmas, I encourage readers to shop locally as much as possible, not just in our bookshops but in all of our other stores as well. These excursions may cost us a bit more money, but keep in mind that the money we are spending stays in our community. And compared to online bargain hunting, shopping locally may cost us some extra time and trouble, but we will find ourselves meeting new people and experiencing adventures that definitely won’t happen when we order from Amazon. One hint: To help those of you who are unfamiliar with the reading tastes of your family or friends, keep in mind that readers love bookshop gift certificates. These allow them to ramble through the shop and make their own selection. I intend to give my grandchildren gift certificates to their local bookshops. That way, they can pick their own books as well as acquire the habit of visiting bookshops. (If my own children are reading this column, this is your hint for a holiday gift). Good hunting! (Jeff Minick is a writer and teacher.

• Author Thomas Thibeault will read and discuss his latest book Fake at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Set in newly liberated Holland in 1945, Fake follows the fortunes of Hans van Meegeren, the wealthiest artist in the world at the time. Van Meegeren made his money faking the paintings of Vermeer and selling his forgeries to Herman Goering.


• Beloved longtime natural history writer George Ellison has released his latest book, Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands. He will be presenting his collection at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.



Smoky Mountain News

To the bluffs

Trail crew members admire their handiwork from one of the few shady spots available midday at Alum Cave Bluffs. Holly Kays photo

Two-year Alum Cave Trail project culminates

restoration would outweigh the short-term consequences of closure was the first of many hurdles to cross. “The most challenging part is just having the vision and convincing everyone of the two-year process to close the trail, to have the long view,” Miller said. However, Miller said, concerns dissipated as the project got underway. “Halfway through the first season, everyone was really very excited,” he said.


BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER t’s a miraculously warm, blue-skied November day, the iconic Alum Cave Trail stretching smoothly from the trailhead. The trail invites, almost audibly, framed by a mosaic of rhododendron, leafless deciduous trees and towering hemlocks that have thus far resisted the onslaught of the hemlock wooly adelgid. Tightly constructed wooden bridges and steps interject the trail’s leaf-anddirt flooring, a stone drainage here and there waiting, shrouded with ferns, to siphon runoff from the trail when the drought finally ends. It’s everything a trail should be. And that’s not by accident. Folks hiking the trail that day, Nov. 17, were the first to do so following two years of intensive trail rehabilitation. Before the work began, Alum Cave was a hodgepodge of leaping rocks, eroded edges, unstable steps and braided trails. It took 50 positions working about 50,000 hours, funded with $500,000 from the Friends of the Smokies Trails Forever endowment to upgrade the popular route to its present state of idyllic tranquility. The trail had to be closed Monday through Thursday, May through October while the work progressed. With the ribbon cut on the renovated trail, hikers once again have full access. The result is a trail that makes those familiar with what the trail once looked like “ooh” and “ahh,” but it might appear unremarkably normal to a first-time hiker. It’s like building a road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s facilities management chief Alan Sumeriski explained to the crowd of about 50 gathered at the ribbon-cutting. If it’s treacherous and rutted and full of


potholes, people complain. But if it’s smooth and wide and moves traffic like a road should, nobody really comments. “That’s the same thing we deal with in trails,” he explained. “When we do it well, people don’t notice it.” In a way, though, that’s the point. Concentrating less on secure footing means concentrating more on spectacular surroundings. “It’s not just a rehabilitation of a trail, but it is a transformation of the whole experience, the whole hiking experience,” said Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan. “Now instead of looking down at your feet trying not to become the next victim hauled out by our park search and rescue team for an ankle, now you look up, look around you, and you embrace the beauty of the Smokies and of the whole experience.” One of the most popular hikes in the park, the 5-mile Alum Cave Trail was built about 80 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps — the crew created as part of FDR’s New Deal that constructed much of the original park infrastructure. In the years intervening, however, the trail had been degraded by heavy use, weather and the simple passage of time. It was heavily eroded, allowing sediment to flow into the nearby Alum Cave Stream. Usermade trails had braided around the main route, increasing the trail’s footprint on the surrounding environment. And parts of the trail were downright dangerous, with rocky scrambles and tripping hazards making it a regular destination for the park’s search and rescue team. All those characteristics — the heavy use, the degradation — made Alum Cave a priority

for the Smokies Trails Forever Program, an endowment fund that started when the Knoxville-based Aslan Foundation promised $2 million if Friends of the Smokies could raise an equivalent amount. Friends met that challenge in 2012 to start Trails Forever, and the endowment now holds about $5 million. Since then, the Trails Forever program has rehabilitated the Forney Ridge Trail, the Chimney Tops Trail and now the Alum Cave Trail. “It really feels good when you start a project with an idea, and less than 10 years later already three major trails have been restored,” Jim Hart, Friends of the Smokies president, said at the ribbon-cutting. The restoration was sorely needed, but even so, starting the project was not an easy decision, according to the park’s trails program manager Tobias Miller. Alum Cave Trail is immensely popular, and closing it for the two years it would take to do the work would surely inconvenience millions of park visitors. Getting buy-in that the long-term benefits of

To an outside observer, that excitement might be surprising, because the reality of rebuilding a trail is anything but a walk in the park. Take, for example, Arch Rock, an unmistakable landmark on the trail. True to its name, Arch Rock is a massive, arched rock sticking out of the mountainside with a hollow center. The trail passes right through it. Before the rehabilitation, it was “pretty tough” to get through, said Eric Wood of the Trails Forever crew. The rock steps inside were loose, rickety. Passage required a little bit of balance, a little bit of squeezing. It might take about 10 minutes to accomplish. The last time Steve and Janie Garrison, of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, hiked Alum Cave, Arch Rock pretty much did them in. They turned around there, at the 1.25-mile mark, rather than pressing on to the view from Alum Cave Bluffs, at 2.5 miles. This day, their experience was much different. They made it through the rock with ease and were confident in their chances of reaching the bluffs. “They made it so safe,” said Steve, 71. “It was great.” It’s easy to see that Wood is rather proud of the work that he and his crew did to achieve that result, and it’s no wonder. It took 10 workers five months to finish the section, due mainly to the 74 rock steps they installed in the process. Each step was made from a rock weighing 300 to 1,500 pounds. Workers first had to find suitable rocks in the forest surrounding Arch Rock, and then they had to move them using ropes and pulleys. Each rock had to be drilled, split using feathers and wedges, and installed with preci-


Rainbow Falls Trail up next With the Alum Cave Trail rehabilitation complete, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is jumping into planning for the next trail project in line under the Smokies Trails Forever Program — the Rainbow Falls Trail. The 6.5-mile trail, like Alum Cave, is one of the many routes to Mount LeConte. It sees heavy use, and because the lower portion leading to the falls is mostly level, it’s become so heavily braided that it can be hard to even tell where the original trail route should lie. “We pick the projects based off of what has the most degradation, the most impact, the most use,” explained Tobias Miller, the park’s trails program manager. Those criteria align closely with the Rainbow Falls Trail’s current state. Like the Alum Cave project, the Rainbow Falls Trail is expected to take two full seasons to complete. Park staff will spend the winter planning the particulars of the project. To donate to Smokies Trails Forever, visit

By the numbers

sion. The steps are made using drystone masonry, meaning no mortar is used — mortar can crack and degrade over time, so the drystone method is meant to result in longer-lasting steps. “I don’t really know what would move these rocks barring an earthquake,” Wood said. In addition to those 74 rocks destined to become steps, another 140 rocks were

Smokies, as she enjoyed lunch at the bluff. It was just unsafe, she said, but now visitors can take in the “epic” view without slipping on rocks and displacing soil. That’s important for park management, and it’s important for visitation. “This is a hikers’ park,” Zanetti said. “This is really what draws people to us is the hiking opportunities.”

GROOMING THE CCC 2.0 Even with the work done and the trail open, crew members along for the inaugural hike were busy looking around, testing footholds, wondering how this step or that stone would fare after a good rain. The general public was a lot less critical. “I was just amazed, amazed at the work they do,” said Debra Ferrell of Sevierville, who is also a trail guide author. “It’s beautiful.” Trail construction is artistry as well as engineering, an undertaking that’s markedly different from other types of building and development out there in the world today. So, in addition to the simple goal of building an improved trailbed, the project had a secondary goal as well — to show the next generation of trail builders how it’s done. Students from the nonprofit American Conservation Experience provided the bulk of the labor for the project, contributing more than 44,000 hours with a rotating roster of workers putting 44 people on the trail at all times. Throughout the season, one crew would stay camped out on Mount

LeConte, with another crew camping at the Pigeon Forge KOA and commuting to work on the lower portion of the trail. It’s vital, Sumeriski said, to keep those specialized skills alive among young people headed to work in the conservation field. “For us to continue to develop this crew through the efforts of Trails Forever is just phenomenal,” he said. ACE’s involvement is important beyond the simple preservation of trail building skills, added the organization’s southeastern director Adam Scherm. It also exposes students to a much larger picture of what their professional life could look like. “They get some of the basic skills and hard skills from working alongside Park Service members, but they also learn some of the bigger picture management techniques just by speaking with the park rangers,” he said. For all those reasons, Scherm is hoping to bring his crews back to the Smokies next year, when the park will begin rehabilitation of the next trail in the lineup — Rainbow Falls Trail. Looking at the results of the past two years, while the sun shines and the creek burbles, it’s easy to feel optimistic. “The trail was built by the CCC 80 years ago, and now we are getting to do kind of a CCC 2.0,” Miller said. “We’re basically refreshing it and hoping for another 100 years that Americans can enjoy these gems. That’s what it is for me. It gives access to the American public to these amazing places.”


Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Rebuilding the stone-step passage through Arch Rock took a crew of 10 five months to accomplish. Holly Kays photo


Reconstructing a 5-mile-long trail in a national park with almost no heavy equipment is not an easy task. Hand tools and raw strength were the key ingredients in producing the following results: ■ 354 steps totaling 10,000 square feet chiseled out of bedrock ■ 1.4 million pounds of hand-crushed rock filling steps ■ 108 rock steps ■ 285 locust ladder steps ■ 106 locust box steps ■ 220 square feet of locust wall ■ 165 square feet of rock wall ■ 264 new drainages ■ 270 linear feet of rerouted trail ■ 300 feet of inside drainage ditches ■ 18 user-created trails eliminated and rehabilitated ■ 25 hazard trees cut down ■ 5 miles — the entire trail length — brushed back to original trail standards with small roots and rocks removed.

installed along the sides to prevent erosion. If the average rock falls in the middle of that 300 to 1,500-pound range, then the Arch Rock section alone involved moving, shaping and installing nearly 200,000 pounds of rock. “It was quite the project,” Wood said. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the goal is a finished product that hides the fact that there was ever a project at all. Rocks must be positioned to hide the drill marks. Any turned-up earth must be restored to its original leaf-littered condition. Trail crews even planted vegetation alongside the newly installed trail infrastructure — nothing makes a rock look like it’s sat stationary for ages more than a cluster of fern fronds growing alongside it. “We try to make things look as natural as possible,” explained Trails Forever crew leader Josh Shapiro, gesturing toward a rock-walled drainage crossing the trail. “When we walk away from a project, we want it to look like it was here for 50 years.” The project is all about details — shaping the rock just so, fitting locust logs together without a gap, pulling hand cables tight and installing rocks so that even the feet of 100 million tourists won’t move them. Or, in the case of the dusty earth at the bluffs, cultivating a trail where before there was nothing but an unmarked expanse of rocky earth. “There was no defined trail though this area at all,” said Anna Lee Zanetti, North Carolina director for Friends of the


Waynesville Parks Department looking for opinions Opinions are wanted on the future of the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department, and a public meeting scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Waynesville Recreation Center will take input. The department is currently working on a 10-year comprehensive plan and wants to

hear which amenities the public uses, how those amenities could be improved and what new amenities are desired. The meeting will be a drop-in format, with people encouraged to come and go throughout the three-hour period. 828.456.2030 or


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Dicks Creek Fire could become outdoor classroom for WCU

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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

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Smoky Mountain News



reclaim your weekend


When the wildfires burning across Western North Carolina are extinguished, Western Carolina University faculty will likely be eying their footprints for outdoor classrooms. A wildfire is a complex event and can produce impacts, good and bad, for a forest ecosystem, said Peter Bates, an associate professor in WCU’s Natural Resource Conservation and Management Program. The program includes classroom discussions about the effects of wildfire, but those discussions deal primarily with the results of prescribed burning — intenPeter Bates. Donated photo tionally set and professionally controlled fires used as a management tool. More data about both prescribed burns and wildfires is needed to determine how their effects differ, he said. The closest major fire to the WCU campus is located in the Dicks Creek drainage, about 2 miles northwest of Sylva. It started on Sunday, Oct. 23, growing to more than 700 acres before being contained. “We are in preliminary discussions with the U.S. Forest Service and brainstorming about making the Dicks Creek burn the focus of our capstone class next spring,” Bates said. “We anticipate that students might map the fire, collect baseline fireseverity data, and perhaps develop a postfire monitoring plan.” Wildfires tend to create a mosaic effect on a landscape, with some areas burning more completely and intensely than others. Dicks Creek is likely no exception, Bates said. The fire likely skipped some areas but burned the trees completely in others. Most areas likely fall somewhere in the middle, with a casual observer unable to tell that a fire occurred at all after three to seven years. However, the impact on the plant community will last longer than that, and charcoal from fires can stay in the soil for thousands of years. “Based on what I’ve seen, I would expect fire effects (at the Dick’s Creek site) to range from nothing, since the fire missed some areas, to 100 percent tree mortality where the fire was most intense,” he said. “In most areas, natural forest, shrub and herbaceous regeneration will commence next spring. It would be interesting to study this pattern.”

Donation will restore HCC dahlia garden

The quest to clean up Haywood’s waterways and restore its native species has been a long one, and Steve Fraley of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will give a status report on those non-game species calling the Pigeon River watershed home during the Haywood Waterways Association’s annual dinner, 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Lambuth Inn, Lake Junaluska Assembly. In addition to hearing from Fraley, the evening will include a report on HWA’s year in review, a silent auction and an awards ceremony honoring those who have worked to protect and improve Haywood’s rivers, streams and reservoirs. $15 per person covers the holiday buffet-style dinner. RSVP by Dec. 1 to Christine O’Brien, or 828.476.4667.

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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Wrap up the year with waterways

North Carolina is working to establish rules for a pilot program allowing industrial hemp production, with the newly formed N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission holding its first meeting this month. “Our goal is to have a 2017 industrial hemp crop, but there are many, many steps we must work through before we can even put seed in the ground,” said Dr. Sandy Stewart, vice chairman of the commission and director of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Research Stations Division. Before May 2017, when planting would begin, the commission must navigate many obstacles, including import protocols to obtain seeds, which would likely come from outside the United States. Interest in the crop has grown due to industrial hemp’s numerous uses as a fiber and food crop, as well as the pharmaceutical benefits of plant extracts. Industrial hemp has less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive chemical THC, compared to 3 to 15 percent in marijuana. In North Carolina, hemp was cultivated through the early 1900s for its fiber. A 2015 state statute created the Industrial Hemp Commission following changes to federal policies that allowed institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to participate in research-focused pilot programs for industrial hemp production. To pave the way for obtaining seeds, the NCDA&CS has registered as an importer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The commission will next focus on drafting rules for a system to permit growers for the pilot program.


After disease wiped out Haywood Community College’s famed dahlia garden this year, the Carolinas Dahlia Society stepped up with a donation to restore the garden to its former glory. The society gave a $1,000 donation in honor of the late Billy Medford. Medford, an early member of the organization, promoted the society on campus and was responsible for designing and maintaining HCC’s dahlia garden. “It is important to the members of the Carolinas Dahlia Society and the Southern States Dahlia Association that this donation be made to continue the garden because of how much this means to the college history and Dahlia garden designer Billy Medford receives a certificate of appreciation from to the community,” said 1982 Board Chairman W. Curtis Russ. Donated photo (from files) Ken Zulla, treasurer of the Carolinas Dahlia Society. HCC’s dahlia garden has been a part of the college since the early years of the school’s existence. In 1966, A.L. Freedlander donated some of the money to build the campus in its present location, and with that gift he made a request that the campus maintain a collection of dahlias. That request has been honored throughout the school’s history.

Hemp could be grown in N.C. by 2017

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A Bugle Corps member educates visitors about elk. outdoors

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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

Elk volunteers snag support The elk viewing experience in the Cataloochee Valley area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will get a boost thanks to a $3,500 grant that Friends of the Smokies received from the Haywood County Tourism and Development Authority. The funds will cover training, uniforms and materials for the Elk Bugle Corps and Bike Patrol, a volunteer group that offers educational programs to tourists visiting Cataloochee. Bugle Corps volunteers make more than

45,000 contacts annually, helping with traffic control and visitor safety, especially during busy periods such as elk mating season in the fall. Elk were extirpated from the eastern U.S. due to overhunting and habitat destruction by the mid-1800s, and since their successful reintroduction to the park in 2001 the Smokies elk have developed into a strong draw for tourists. This is the fourth year that the Haywood TDA has supported the Bugle Corps.

Waynesville Judo Club wins big Each of the Waynesville Judo Club’s six members came home with a medal from their Oct. 29 competition at University of Tennessee Knoxville. Jessi Shell, David Daly and Trevor Daly won gold medals, while Logan Norman, Logan Grasty and Kendrick Roach earned silver medals. The team will head to Winston Salem in December hoping to finish out the year with another strong performance. The club is co-sponsored by the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department and open to boys and girls of all ages. 828.506.0327.

Embark on a cookie hike Smoky Mountain News

The Carolina Mountain Club will give a nod to the Christmas season with its annual cookie hike on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Bent Creek area near Asheville. Two versions of the hike — a 7-miler with 1,200 feet of ascent and a 4-miler with 300 feet of ascent — will be offered. The longer version will take Bent Creek trails up to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and wind up at the Lake Powhatan picnic area,

while the shorter hike will start at the Lake Powhatan connector trail and hike to the picnic area. The two groups will arrive at the picnic area at the same time to share a lunchtime cookie feast. All hikers are asked to bring cookies to share. RSVP to Ken and Carol Deal for the 7mile hike, 828.274.7070 or RSVP to Diane Stickney for the 4mile hike, 828.333.3207 or

Drought disaster declared in Haywood


Haywood County has been declared a primary disaster area due to drought, making family farms eligible for federal assistance such as Farm Service Agency emergency loans. Farmers in the six counties adjacent to Haywood may also qualify for assistance under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Those counties are Jackson, Swain, Madison, Transylvania, Buncombe and Henderson. Farmers have through July 17, 2017, to file an application for loans to cover physical and production losses and should contact their local Farm Service Agency for more information.

WNC Calendar COMMUNITY EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS • The Cataloochee Ski & Snowboard Swap Shop will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley. Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday. • Coloring Club will be hosted on the second Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m. at Canton Library. Color pencils and color pages supplied. For ages 8 to 108. 648.2924. • Beginners Chess Club is held on Fridays at 4 p.m. at the Canton Public Library. Ages 8-108 invited to participate. 648.2924. • Qualla Boundary Historical Society meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Everyone is welcome.

BUSINESS & EDUCATION • Registration is underway for a “Presenting with Impact” workshop, which is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at Western Carolina University’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville. Explore a concrete approach for connecting with an audience and delivering a message integrated with body and voice. $125. Visit and click on “Business and Management” or call 227.3070. • An “Improve Your Branding” workshop will be led by Roger Brooks from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. Includes sessions on finding your unique selling proposition, successful brands are built on product development and creating your digital marketing plan. $100. Register: Presented by Smoky Mountain Host, which will have its annual meeting after the workshop. • Smoky Mountain Host’s annual meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. • The Haywood Chamber of Commerce will hold its December Issues & Eggs program from 8-9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. Special guest is Christopher Chung, director of the economic development partnership of North Carolina. $15 for members, $17 for nonmembers. Preregistration required: or 456.3021. • Haywood Community’s College’s Small Business Center will offer a “HR Basics for Small Business” seminar from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in room 3021 of the Regional High Technology Center in Clyde. 627.4512 or • The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer an “Intro to Quickbooks Online” seminar from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Room 203 of Building 200 on the college’s campus in Clyde. or 627.4512. • One-on-one computer lessons are offered weekly at the Waynesville and Canton branches of the Haywood County Public Library. Lesson slots are available from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Canton and from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Waynesville Library. Sign up at the front desk of either library or call 356.2507 for the Waynesville Library or 648.2924 for the Canton Library.

FUNDRAISERS AND BENEFITS • The Sarge’s gift wrap project will be underway during regular store hours from Dec. 1-24 at the Waynesville Mast General Store. Bring purchases to the gift-wrapping table and get your gift wrapped for a donation to

All phone numbers area code 828 unless otherwise noted. Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation. Sign up to help wrap: 400.5713. • The Franklin House’s inaugural holiday wreaths fundraiser event is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 186 One Center Court in Franklin. Bid on your favorite wreath. Door prizes, wine, cheese, cookies, coffee and teas. RSVP: 371.2875 or 200.7091. • Lake Logan Conference Center is hosting a Christmas Tea from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 25 Wormy Chestnut Lane in Canton. The event will be collecting mittens for the Children of Haywood County’s Backpacks of Love program. Christmas carols, hayride and tasty treats. $5 for adults; children admitted free with unwrapped gift of new mittens for another child.

Smoky Mountain News


through the Affordable Care Act is currently open and lasts until Jan. 31. 452.1447 or 800.627.1548. • A support group meeting for those with Parkinsons Disease and their caregivers will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the Waynesville Senior Resource Center. Group will continue to meet monthly on the last day Wednesday of the month. • Free acupuncture clinics will be offered for Haywood County Veterans at 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 as well as at 10 a.m. on Dec. 17 at 1384 Sulphur Springs Road in Waynesville. 356.5577. • The American Red Cross will have a blood drive from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Haywood Regional Medical Center Health & Fitness Center in Clyde. or 800.RED.CROSS. • “Get Covered Haywood!” – an opportunity to learn about affordable care health insurance options – is from noon-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Waynesville Library. 452.1447.

Visit and click on Calendar for: ■ Complete listings of local music scene ■ Regional festivals ■ Art gallery events and openings ■ Complete listings of recreational offerings at regional health and fitness centers ■ Civic and social club gatherings • A free, weekly grief support group will meet from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursdays at the SECU Hospice House in Franklin. 692.6178 or • “ECA on the Move!” – a walking program organized by Jackson County Extension and Community Association – meets from 9-10 a.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. It’s an effort to meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 10,000 steps per day. 586.4009.

• “A Smoky Mountain Christmas at HART Theater” – a fundraising event for Haywood Early College – is at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. Silent auction, food/hygiene drive. Performances by Anne Lough, David Magill, Angie Toomey and Steve Whiddon. Tickets: $12 in advance or $15 at the door. $12 at the door with goods donation. Advance tickets available at the Jewelers Workbench and Maggie Valley Inn. Sponsored by High Country Style.

• Harris Regional Hospital Palliative Care and Hospice will hold a special memorial service at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 in the hospital’s main lobby for family members, friends and loved ones who are no longer with us.

• Tickets are on sale for the Sylva Garden Club’s Christmas Tea & Bazaar, which is from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the First United Methodist Church of Sylva. $12 per ticket. Tickets available from SGC members and at the door; funds go toward SGC’s beautification projects and scholarships.

• An Emergency Medical Technician Refresher training class will be offered through Landmark Learning on Dec. 2-4 in Cullowhee. Meets the National Registry of EMT’s requirement for recertification. 293.5384 or

• Sonshine Yoga Ministries is offering a four-week yoga series to celebrate the Advent season with sessions from 6:30-8:15 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at the Waynesville Country Club’s Blue Ridge Room. Advance registration required:

• A support group for anyone with Multiple Sclerosis, family and friends meets at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Heritage Room at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva. Sponsored by Greater Carolinas Chapter of National MS Society. Info: 293.2503. Offered in cooperation with the Southwestern Commission Agency on Aging.

• Walking in the Canton Armory starts Monday, Dec. 5, at 71 Penland Street across from Canton Middle School Open from 7:45-9 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays. Open until spring.

HOLIDAY GIVING • The ninth annual Community Food Drive is being conducted by the Town of Waynesville through Dec. 9. Nonperishable items accepted at the following town offices during regular business hours: Police Department/Development Services Office, Municipal Building, Hazelwood Office, Fire Station 1, the Waynesville Recreation Center, and the Old Armory. 456.4838. • Donations are being accepted from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at 394 Champion Drive for the Community Kitchen Yard Sale, which is Dec. 10.

VOLUNTEERS • Haywood Regional Medical Center is currently seeking volunteers of all ages for ongoing support at the hospital, outpatient care center and The Homestead. For info or to apply: 452.8301 or stop by the information desk in the hospital lobby. If specifically interested in becoming a hospice volunteer: 452.5039. • STAR Rescue Ranch is seeking volunteers to help with horse care, fundraising events, barn maintenance and more at the only equine rescue in Haywood County. 505.274.9199. • Volunteer Opportunities are available throughout the region, call John at the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center today and get started sharing your talents. 3562833 • Phone Assurance Volunteers are needed to make daily or weekly wellness check-in calls for the Haywood County Senior Resource Center. 356.2816.

HEALTH MATTERS • Assistance with Marketplace Open Enrollment is available through Mountain Projects. Enrollment

• Medicare Part D & Advantage Plans will be reviewed by SHIIP specialist John Chicoine from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Waynesville Library Auditorium. First come, first served. 356.2800.

• A monthly grief support group sponsored by The Meditation Center meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 East Main Street in Sylva. Info: or 356.1105. • Inner Guidance from an Open Heart will meet from 68 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 East Main Street in Sylva. Info: or 356.1105. • Dogwood Insight Center presents health talks at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. • Free childbirth and breastfeeding classes are available at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. Classes are offered bimonthly on an ongoing basis. Register or get more info: 586.7907. • Angel Medical Center’s diabetes support group meets at 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the AMC dining room. 369.4166. • A free weekly grief support group is open to the public from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursdays at SECU Hospice House in Franklin. Hosted by Four Seasons Compassion for Life Bereavement Team. 692.6178 or • A monthly grief processing support group will meet from 4-5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Homestead Hospice and Palliative Care in Clyde. 452.5039. • A Men’s Night Out will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of the hospital. on the first Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 E. Main St. in Sylva. or 356.1105.

• A Tuesday Meditation Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin.


• Zumba! Classes are held from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Dec. 13. $5 per class. More classes scheduled starting Jan. 10 ($60 for 15 classes). 648.2363 or • Ultimate Frisbee games are held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Mondays at the Cullowhee Recreation Park. Organized by Jackson County Parks & Recreation. Pick-up style. 293.2053 or • The Wednesday Croquet Group meets from 10 a.m.noon at the Vance Street Park across from the shelter. For senior players ages 55 or older. 456.2030 or • Pickleball is from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays at First Methodist Church in Sylva. $1 each time you play; equipment provided. 293.3053. • Cardio Lunch class will meet from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 16 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or • Flexible Fitness class will meet from 4:30-5:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 16 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or • Pump It Up class will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 16 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or • The Canton Armory is open to the public for walking from 8-10 a.m. on Monday through Friday unless the facility is booked. 648.2363. • Pickle ball is offered from 8 a.m.-noon on Mondays

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through Fridays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. 456.2030 or

POLITICAL • The Swain County Democratic Party will have an organizational meeting for the Bryson City 2 precinct at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the Swain County Democrat Headquarters at 122 Everett Street in Bryson City. 736.3470. • A lunch-and-discussion group will be held by the League of Women Voters at noon on the second Thursday of each month at Tartan Hall of the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin. RSVP for lunch: or 524.8369. • Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor has coffee and an open public discussion with Highlands residents from 11 a.m.-noon on the last Friday of each month at Hudson Library in Highlands. or 526.3031.

AUTHORS AND BOOKS • Beloved longtime natural history writer George Ellison will present his new essay collection at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. • Author Thomas Thibeault will read and discuss his latest book Fake at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. • Winston-Salem author Sheryl Monks will present her short story collection Monsters in Appalachia at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. • George Ellison will present “Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands” on Dec. 7 at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

• The Theme Team Book Club will be presented by the Waynesville Library from 2-4 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Pick any book from a chosen them; each participant gets a chance to discuss his/her book. Sign-up required: 356.2507 or • Cookin’ the Books will be held at noon on the last Wednesday of the month at the Waynesville Public Library. A book club focused on cookbooks. All members choose a recipe from the book and bring it to share. The group will discuss the good and bad aspects of the chosen cookbook. 356.2507. • Banned Book Club meets from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturdays at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. For those who enjoy literature and intellectual conversation. 456.6000, or

Smoky Mountain News

• Waynesville Book Club on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at Waynesville Library. Meet to discuss books, which are chosen by each member (taking turns) and provided by the library. New members are welcome. For more information, 356.2507.


SENIOR ACTIVITIES • The Jackson County Senior Center will host its annual Craft Show from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Heritage Room at the Department on Aging in Sylva. Christmas music performance at 12:30 p.m.; lunch is $5. • The Mexican Train Dominoes Group seeks new players to join games at 1:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 926.6567. • Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina – an effort to help area residents commit to a healthier lifestyle, will meet from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. • Haywood County Senior Resource Center is looking into starting a weekly Euchre Card Group. If interested, contact Michelle Claytor at or 356.2800.

• A Silver Sneakers Cardio Fit class will meet from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 60 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or • Book Club is held at 2 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2800 • Senior croquet for ages 55 and older is offered from 9-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Vance Street Park in front of Waynesville Recreation Center. Free. For info, contact Donald Hummel at 456.2030 or • A Hand & Foot card game is held at 1 p.m. on Mondays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2800. • Senior Sale Day is on the third Friday of every month at the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore. Patrons 60 and older get 20 percent off all purchases. Proceeds benefit the Sylva Library. • Pinochle game is played at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813. • Hearts is played at 12 p.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813. • Mah Jongg is played at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813.

KIDS & FAMILIES • “Plug in and Read,” a digital story time designed to help preschoolers (ages 4-6) learn early literacy skills, is held at 2 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at Canton Public Library. Visit or call 648.2924, sign-up required. • Children of all ages and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Katy at the Canton Library on Thursday, December 8th at 6:00 p.m. for a special evening storytime. We will be reading and learning about animals that hibernate and building bear caves in the children’s room. Please call 648-2924 for more information. • The Canton Library offers a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) program each month. On Tuesday, December 20th at 4:00 p.m. we will be making “snow” from different recipes. Children will use their observation skills to decide which recipe makes the most realistic snow. Children ages 6-12 are welcome to attend. Please call 648-2924 for more information. • Registration is underway for the Haywood County Youth Recreation Basketball League. Age groups range from 5-6 to 11-12. Age cut-off is Aug. 31. Games start Dec. 17. Register anytime at the HCRP office in Waynesville. 452.6789 or • A Tuesday Library Club for ages 5-12 meets at 4 p.m. each Tuesday (except for the fifth Tuesday on months that occurs) at the Canton Library. Hands-on activities like exercise, cooking, LEGOs, science experiments and crafts. 648.2924 or • “Art Beats for Kids” will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays at the Charles Heath Gallery in Bryson City. A new project every week. $20 per child, with includes lesson, materials and snack. To register, call 828.538.2054. • Stories, songs and a craft are offered for ages zerosix (and caregivers) at 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday at the Canton Library. 648.2924. • A program called “Imagine”, an art program for children 8-12 meets at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Jackson County Public Library. Program contains art, writing, and drama. 586.2016.

• Rompin’ Stompin’, an hourlong storytime with music, movement and books, is held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays and at 11 a.m. on Fridays at Canton Library. For ages zero to six. 648.2924.


• Crafternoons are at 2:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at Hudson Library in Highlands.

• Kid’s story time Saturdays, 11 a.m., all ages at City Lights in Sylva 586.9449.

• Library Olympics will be held at 2 p.m. on Fridays at Jackson County Public Library. Children age 5 and up get active through relay races, bingo, mini golf. 586.2016. • Get Moving, a program for children ages 5-12 to encourage children to live a healthy life through exercise and healthy eating, will be held on the first Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. at the Canton Public Library. 648.2924

• Baby Storytime is at 11 a.m. on Thursdays at the Jackson County Public Library. Songs, fingerplays and stories for infants through toddlers. 586.2016

• Kids story time, Fridays 11 a.m., Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. at Jackson County Public Library. Story time includes books, puppets, finger plays, songs and crafts. 586.2016. • Pre-school story time, second Wednesday, 11 a.m. at Cashiers Community Library. 743.0215. • Rock and Read storytime, 11 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Jackson County Public Library. 586.2016


• Full STEAM Ahead, a program for children ages 5-12 to allow them to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics through fun hands-on activities. Program open to the first 15 participants, at 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at Canton Public Library. 648.2924.

• Preschool Story time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Marianna Black Library. After a book or two is read, the children participate in games, songs, finger plays, puppet play and make a craft to take home. 488.3030.

• Family Story Time is held on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. at the Canton Public Library. Ages 0-6. Stories, songs, dance and crafting. 648.2924.

• Paws 4 Reading, a family story time, will be held from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. second Thursday of the month at Macon County Public Library. Children can read to a therapy dog. (grades K-6). 524.3600.

• Rompin’ Stompin’ Story Time is held on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. at the Canton Public Library. Ages 0-6. An hour long story time full of music and movement. 648.2924. • Storytimes are held at 10 and 10:40 a.m. every Thursday at Hudson Library in Highlands. • After-School Art Adventure will be on from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesdays at The Bascom in Highlands. Tuition is $40 for a four-class package.

KIDS MOVIES • A special Christmas screening of the film “The Polar Express” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Smoky Mountain Center of the Performing Arts in Franklin. Pajamas, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals are encouraged. Doors open at 6 p.m. for pictures with Santa. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 or contact the Macon County Academic Foundation to purchase in advance or for group discounts. or 866.273.4615.


• Toddlers Rock, Mondays, 10 a.m., Macon Public Library. Music, movement and instruments (Designed for children 0-24 months, but all ages are welcome). • Family Story Time is held at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 524.3600. • Family Story Time for ages 0 to 7 years is held at 10 a.m. on Thursdays at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 524.3600. • Bilingual Story time – 6 to 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 10. Program reads a children’s book in English and Spanish at the Macon County Public Library. 526.3600. • Paws 4 Reading, a family story time, will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Hudson Library in Highlands. Children (grades K-6) practice early reading skills by reading to a canine companion. Info:, or 526.3031.

• A family movie will be shown at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. Christmas classic about a nine-year-old who wants an air rifle but has to convince his parents and Santa that the toy is safe. Info, including movie title: 488.3030. • A family movie will be shown at 10:30 a.m. every Friday at Hudson Library in Highlands. • Family story time for ages zero to six years old is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday at the Canton Library. 648.2924.

KIDS STORY TIMES HAYWOOD • Mother Goose Time, a story time for babies and toddlers (5 months to 2 years) and their parents/caregivers, is held at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Waynesville Library. 452.5169 • Family Story Time, 11 a.m. Wednesdays at the Waynesville Public Library. Stories, songs, crafts. 452.5169. • Movers and Shakers story time is at 11 a.m. every Thursday at the Waynesville Library. For all ages. Movement, books, songs and more. 452.5169. • Family storytime with crafts, second Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Waynesville library. 4525169.

A&E HOLIDAYS • The annual tree lighting “Winter Wonderland” ceremony and candlelight will resume on Dec. 3, with the tree lighting at 7 p.m. and a human size snowglobe, take a photo inside. • Holiday ARTSaturday, the Macon County Arts Council’s crafts and music workshop for children, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center gym in Franklin. • Santa Claus and other Christmas activities will be held from now till Dec. 17 at the Swain County Heritage Museum in Bryson City. 800.867.9246. Letters to Santa: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Santa at the Museum: 1 to 4 p.m. Santa will be there from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 26 and at the Christmas Parade on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. • Registration is underway for a wreath-making workshop, which is scheduled for 1:30-4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at First Presbyterian Church in Sylva. $10 fee includes wreath ring and greenery. 586.4009.

• Canton Christmas Parade, “Silver Bells” will be held Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.

• Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas will be celebrated starting Friday Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Event will take place on Friday and Saturdays in December except for the 23rd and 24th. Enjoy interactive displays of Cherokee legends, ice skating, a 40 ft. Christmas tree and more at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds. 800.438.1601. Admission free with fees for activities. • The 12th annual Christmas Worship in a Stable is from 5:30-6:10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the 3rd Generation Barn Loft outside Canton. 84 Frank Mann Road. • Breakfast with Santa — 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3: Join Stecoah Valley Center in Robbinsville for breakfast with Santa and enjoy pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and coffee. After breakfast, Santa will be available for photos and wish lists. Bring your camera to capture this special event. Entry fee is $5 per person. Reservations preferred. • Breakfast with Santa is at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Department on Aging in Sylva. • The “Craft Fair and Breakfast with Santa” will be on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva. Breakfast is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free for ages 10 and under, $5 for all others. Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and is $5 for everyone. There will be a Christmas Music Performance starting at 12:30 p.m. and lasting until the craft fair ends at 2:30 p.m. 586.5494. • The 3rd annual Cowee Christmas Celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center in Franklin.

• The 13th annual Cookie Walk & Christmas Bazaar will be at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 at the United Methodist Church in Bryson City. • Highlands Christmas Parade will be Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. • Sylva Christmas Parade, “A Cinema Christmas” is Dec. 3 at 3 pm on Main St. in Sylva. Rain date is Dec. 4. • The 42st annual “Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Bryson City. Floats, fire trucks, classic cars, beauty queens and Santa. • Waynesville Christmas Parade, “Christmas Past, Christmas Present” will be Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. on Main St. • There will a “Holiday Sing & Dance” program at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva. Cookies and cocoa with Santa. 586.5494. • The “Christmas In My Hometown” musical celebration will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the Smoky Mountain Center of the Performing Arts in Franklin. Tickets are $15. or 866.273.4615. • “Christmas with Santa” with be at 9 a.m. Dec. 9 in the Fine & Performing Arts Theatre at Western Carolina University. Packed full of sing-a-long tunes, this show is the perfect way to get audiences of all ages into the Christmas spirit. Best for grades K-5. • A Night Before Christmas will be on Saturday, Dec. 10 in downtown Waynesville. Live music, caroling, Bethlehem Market Place, wagon rides, Santa and more. 6 to 9 p.m.

• Cashiers Christmas Parade, “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” will be Dec. 10 at 12 p.m. 743.5191. Parade entries now being accepted. • Cherokee Christmas Parade will be Dec. 10 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parade route is from the Cherokee Bear Zoo to The Museum of the Cherokee Indian. 800.438.1601. • Christmas in the Park will be held on Friday, Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Recreation Park in Cullowhee. Visit Santa, roast marshmallows and enjoy other activities. 293.3053 or

FOOD & DRINK • “Brown Bag at the Depot” – an opportunity to gather with neighbors – is at noon every Friday at Sylva’s newest park at the corner of Spring and Mill Street along Railroad Ave. For info, contact Paige Dowling at • Graceann’s Amazing Breakfast is 8-10 a.m. every Tuesday in the Sapphire Room at the Sapphire Valley Community Center. $8.50 for adults; $5 for children. Includes coffee and orange juice. 743.7663. • Free cooking demonstrations will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Saturdays at Country Traditions in Dillsboro. Watch the demonstrations, eat samples and taste house wines for $3 a glass. All recipes posted online. • A game day will occur from 2-9 p.m. every third Saturday of the month at Papou’s Wine Shop & Bar in Sylva. Bring dice, cards or board games. 586.6300. • A wine tasting will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays at Papou’s Wine Shop in Sylva. $5 per person. or 586.6300. • A free wine tasting will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays at Bosu’s Wine Shop in Waynesville. or 452.0120.

• A wine tasting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. Free with dinner ($15 minimum). 452.6000.

CLASSES AND PROGRAMS • An iPhone-iPad User Group meeting for all levels is from 1-3 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room in Franklin. Sign up: 524.3600 or visit the reference desk.

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• Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries runs on the Friday and Saturdays of Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The day-long event will include live music, arts and crafts activities, live artisan demonstrations, visit by Santa, cookies and lunch, and more. For a full list of events and times, click on

• Registration is underway for a welt-felting, hands-on workshop, which will be offered at 6 p.m. on, Thursday, Dec. 1, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Create a hat or slippers for winter. Preregistration required: (for WCU students); or (all others). • Lamar Marshall, cultural director of Wild South, will speak from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the basement of the Waynesville Public Library. Topic is “The Ancient Lines and White Settlement of the Tuckasegee Watershed.” • The annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert will be presented by Western Carolina University’s School of Music at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Proceeds benefit the School of Music Scholarship Fund. For tickets, visit or call 828.227.2479. • The annual “Fireside Sale” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown. The event showcases fine holiday crafts made by Folk School instructors and other talented artisans. Shoppers can browse for forged iron, jewelry, quilts, turned wood, fiber, photography, and more. or 828.837.2775. • “Public demonstrations: Agent of change or ‘virtue signaling?’” will be the topic of the Franklin Open

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 Smoky Mountain News

mobile technology to help you get a lot less mobile.

Log on. Plan a trip. And start kicking back.


wnc calendar

Forum at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub in downtown Franklin. Dialog, not debate. 371.1020. • Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 edition of Milestone, the biennial art and literary review published by Southwestern Community College. Firstand second-place cash prizes will be awarded in three categories: Poetry, Prose (short story or nonfiction works) and Visual Arts, including photography. In addition, one cash prize will be awarded for Cover Art. Open to residents of Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary – as well as SCC students and alumni. Info and submissions (by Dec. 5): or Info: 339.4314 or 339.4325. • The Appalachian Christmas Craft Show features dozens of local artisans from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. You can find one-of-a-kind gifts including pottery, natural soaps, jewelry and stained glass. The craft show will take place in the Harrell Center at Lake Junaluska. • A War-Hammer Making Class will be offered from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11, at Green Energy Park in Dillsboro. With Brock Martin from WarFire Forge. Cost is $300 and due at registration; materials included. Pre-registration required. Participants work out a war-hammer from a block of hardenable steel. Jackson County residents get a 10 percent discount. 631.0271.

ART SHOWINGS AND GALLERIES • Applications are being accepted through Dec. 1 for the “Best of the West” exhibit, featuring work from artists in Jackson and Swain Counties. Exhibit runs from January to July at the N.C. Welcome Center. For info or to apply, write:

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

• A “Recent Work” exhibit by Cullowhee watercolorist Craig Forrest is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at It’s by Nature gallery at 678 West Main Street in Sylva. 631.3020 or • A reception will be held for the Walton War exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. The Walton War was a border conflict between settlers from North Carolina and those from Georgia. The exhibit was created by Will McDaris (2017 History) as part of an internship for the Mountain Heritage Center and as part of an undergraduate research project from the summer of 2016. • An art reception featuring photography of Cold Mountain Photographic Society will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. View photographs and meet the photographers. Info on displaying artwork: 926.2800.

Smoky Mountain News

• A three-month ceramics exhibit at the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum is currently in Cullowhee. or 227.3591.

• A “Fear No Art” exhibit featuring the work of Isabella R. Jacovino will be on display from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room in Sylva.

Outdoors • A discussion on “Influencing Land Use and Conservations Planning Decisions in Macon County” with Jillian Howard is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room. • A Fly Rod Building class will be presented by Tommy Thomas, former president of the National Chapter of Trout Unlimited, from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from through Dec. 15 at Haywood Community College. Register: 565.4240. • Haywood Waterways Association’s annual holiday dinner is from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8. Steve Fraley from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will be the guest speaker. Year in review, awards ceremony and silent auction. $15 per person. RSVP by Dec. 1: or 476.4667.

FARM AND GARDEN • Registration is underway for a “Master Gardener Wreath-Making Event,” which is from 10 a.m.-noon and from 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Cooperative Extension Office in Waynesville. Materials provided; learn from master gardeners. $20. Reservations: 456.3575 or • Local farmers can stop by the Cooperative Extension Office on Acquoni Road from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every fourth Friday to learn about USDA Farm Service Agency programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Info: 488.2684, ext. 2 (Wednesday through Friday) or 524.3175, ext. 2 (Monday through Wednesday). • The Macon County Poultry Club of Franklin meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the Cooperative Extension Office on Thomas Heights Rd, Open to the public. 369.3916.

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HIKING CLUBS • Carolina Mountain Club will have an eight-mile hike with a 2,200-foot ascent on Nov. 30 at Buckwheat Knob Coontree Loop. For info and reservations, contact leader Laura Frisbie at 337.5845 or • Great Smoky Mountains Association will have its final hike of the “Hike 100 with GSMA” on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Cades Cove Picnic Area in Townsend, Tenn. • The Nantahala Hiking Club will take a five-mile moderate hike with an elevation change of 950 feet on Saturday, Dec. 3, from Turkey Ridge Road to the Chattooga River in South Carolina. Reservations: 864.784.2124. • Friends of the Smokies will have a seven-mile hike on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to Grotto Falls on Trillium Gap Trail. Elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Led by author and outdoor enthusiast Danny Bernstein. $20 for members; $35 for new members. Register: • The Carolina Mountain Club will have its annual seven-mile Cookie Hike with a 1,200-foot ascent on Dec. 7. For info and reservations, contact leaders Ken and Carol Deal at 274.7070 or • The Carolina Mountain Club will have a shorter, alternate-route, four-mile “Cookie Hike” with a 300foot ascent on Dec. 7. For info and reservations, contact leader Diane Stickney at 333.3207 or • The Nantahala Hiking Club will hold a Christmas Social from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, in Celebration Hall at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship off Lakeside Drive, 85 Sierra Dr. Bring an appetizer. • The Nantahala Hiking Club will take an easy, six-mile hike, with an elevation change of 300 feet on Saturday, Dec. 10, on Camp Branch Forest Service Rd. Reservations: 421.4178. • The Nantahala Hiking Club will take an easy twomile hike with an elevation change of 630 feet on Sunday, Dec. 11, to Rufus Morgan Falls – named for the club’s founder. Reservations: 369.7352. • Carolina Mountain Club will have a 5.8-mile hike with a 1,800-foot ascent on Dec. 11 at Looking Glass rock. For info and reservations, contact leader Lee Belknap at 698.9394 or • Hike of the Week is at 10 a.m. every Friday at varying locations along the parkway. Led by National Park Service rangers. or 298.5330, ext. 304. • Friends of the Smokies hikes are offered on the second Tuesday of each month. • Nantahala Hiking Club based in Macon County holds weekly Saturday hikes in the Nantahala National Forest and beyond. • High Country Hikers, based out of Hendersonville but

hiking throughout Western North Carolina, plans hikes every Monday and Thursday. Schedules, meeting places and more information are available on their website, • Carolina Mountain Club hosts more than 150 hikes a year, including options for full days on weekends, full days on Wednesdays and half days on Sundays. Nonmembers contact event leaders. • Mountain High Hikers, based in Young Harris, Ga., leads several hikes per week. Guests should contact hike leader. • Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, located in East Tennessee, makes weekly hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park as well as surrounding areas. • Benton MacKaye Trail Association incorporates outings for hikes, trail maintenance and other work trips. No experience is necessary to participate. • Diamond Brand’s Women’s Hiking Group meets on the third Saturday of every month. For more information, e-mail or call 684.6262.

OUTDOOR CLUBS • The Jackson County Poultry Club will hold its regular meeting on the third Thursday of each month at the Jackson County Cooperative Extension Office. The club is for adults and children and includes a monthly meeting with a program and a support network for those raising birds. For info, call 586.4009 or write • The North Carolina Catch program, a three-phase conservation education effort focusing on aquatic environments, will be offered through May 15. The program is offered by the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department. Free for members; daily admission for non-members. 456.2030 or • An RV camping club, the Vagabonds, camps one weekend per month from April through November. All ages welcome. No dues or structured activities. For details, write or call 369.6669. • The Cataloochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited meets the second Tuesday of the month starting with a dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Rendezvous restaurant located on the corner of Jonathan Creek Road and Soco Road in Maggie Valley. 631.5543. • Cold Mountain Photographic Society is a camera/photography club for amateurs and professionals who want to learn about and share their knowledge of photography with others. Must be 18 or older to join. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the conference room of MedWest Health and Fitness Center, 262 Leroy George Drive in Clyde. More information at or

Puzzles can be found on page 46. These are only the answers.

PRIME REAL ESTATE Advertise in The Smoky Mountain News


MarketPlace information: The Smoky Mountain News Marketplace has a distribution of 16,000 every week to over 500 locations across in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties along with the Qualla Boundary and west Buncombe County. For a link to our MarketPlace Web site, which also contains a link to all of our MarketPlace display advertisers’ Web sites, visit


■ Free — Lost or found pet ads. ■ $5 — Residential yard sale ads, ■ $5 — Non-business items that sell for less than $150. ■ $15 — Classified ads that are 50 words or less; each additional line is $2. If your ad is 10 words or less, it will be displayed with a larger type. ■ $3 — Border around ad and $5 — Picture with ad or colored background. ■ $50 — Non-business items, 25 words or less. 3 month or till sold. ■ $300 — Statewide classifieds run in 117 participating newspapers with 1.6 million circulation. Up to 25 words. ■ All classified ads must be pre-paid.

Classified Advertising: Scott Collier, phone 828.452.4251; fax 828.452.3585

Great Smokies Storage 10’x20’








END OF YEAR RENTAL RETURN AUCTION - Including Dozers, Loaders, Trucks, Trailers & more. Wed, Dec 7, 9:30AM. 3500 N. Hwy 27, Carrollton GA. 678.673.9194. GA#2627

CONSTRUCTION/ REMODELING BATHTUB REFINISHING Renew or change the color of your bathtub, tile or sink. Fiberglass repair specialists! 5 year warranty. Locally owned since 1989. 888.988.4430.

INDUSTRIAL AUCTION Bid On-Site & Online! Construction Equipment & Trucks 12/6 @ 9 AM, Richmond, VA Have Equipment/Trucks to Sell? Accepting Consignments through 12/2. www.motleys.como 804.232.3300x4 3600 Deepwater Terminal Rd. VAAL#16

DAVE’S CUSTOM HOMES OF WNC, INC Free Estimates & Competitive rates. References avail. upon request. Specializing in: Log Homes, remodeling, decks, new construction, repairs & additions. Owner/Builder: Dave Donaldson. Licensed/Insured. 828.631.0747

TAX SEIZURE AUCTION Sat. Dec. 3 @ 10a.m., 201 S. Central Ave., Locust, NC. Selling 25+ Vehicles, Tools, Equipment for NCDOR & Others. ‘67 Mustangs, Danalis, ‘13 Altima 40K, Machine Shop Tools, 15+ Lista Cabinets. 704.791.8825 NCAF5479

HAYWOOD BUILDERS Garage Doors, New Installations Service & Repairs, 828.456.6051 100 Charles St. Waynesville Employee Owned.

ADVERTISE YOUR Auction, Job Opening, Event, Items For Sale, etc. in this newspaper plus 100 other newspapers across the state for only $375. For more information, contact the classified department of this newspaper or call 919.516.8018,

FOR SALE: HEATILATOR I-60 Wood Burning Fireplace, for Built In Applications, Large Firebox Opening, with 30ft. Chimney. New in Original Packaging, $600 For More Info Call 828.696.5039. ALL THINGS BASEMENTY! Basement Systems Inc. Call us for all of your basement needs! Waterproofing, Finishing, Structural Repairs, Humidity and Mold Control. FREE ESTIMATES! Call 1.800.698.9217




828.506.4112 or 828.507.8828 Conveniently located off 19/23 by Thad Woods Auction


MOTORCYCLES CRAZY BOB’S BIKER STUFF Jackets, Chaps, Vests, Helmets, Rain Gear, Saddlebags, Sissy Bar Bags, Tool Bags, Stickers, Patches. We also got you covered with 50 Sizes of Tarps: Heavy Duty Silver, Brown & Green, Blue & Silver, Blue & Camo. 1880 Dellwood Rd., Waynesville 828.926.1177

CARS A-1 DONATE YOUR CAR For Breast Cancer! Help United Breast Foundation Education, Prevention, & Support Programs. Fast Free Pickup - 24 Hr Response - Tax Deduction 855.306.7348 SAPA CARS/TRUCKS WANTED!!! Top Dollar! Free Towing From Home, Office or body Shop. All Makes/Models 2000-2016. Same Day Pick-Up Available! Call Now: 1.800.761.9396 SAPA HIGH RISK DRIVER? Had a DUI? Stop paying too much for R-22, FR-44, or similar HighRisk Car Insurance! Call our FREE hotline today & SAVE money! 888.591.1852 STOP PAYING FOR Expensive Auto Repairs! Get discounted warranty coverage from the wholesale source, and don’t pay for expensive covered repairs! Start saving now! Call 844.274.6148 SAPA

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ATTENTION FACEBOOK & TWITTER Users! Earn 3K+ per month for just using what you already use for free! For details follow this link: SAPA BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! Publications sold at all major secular & specialty Christian bookstores. CALL Christian Faith Publishing Now for your FREE author submission kit. 1.800.914.0159

WNC MarketPlace

EMPLOYMENT ENTRY LEVEL Heavy Equipment Operator Career. Get Trained - Get Certified - Get Hired! Bulldozers, Backhoes & Excavators. Immediate Lifetime Job Placement. VA Benefits. 1.866.362.6497 DRIVE WITH UBER. No experience is required, but you'll need a Smartphone. It's fun and easy. For more information, call: 1.800.655.7452

EMPLOYMENT MEDICAL BILLING & CODING Trainees! Process Insurance claims for Dr's & Hospitals!! No Experience Needed! Online Training can get you job ready! 1.888.512.7122 HS Diploma/GED & Computer needed. U.S. NAVY IS HIRING Elite tech training withgreat pay, benefits, vacation, $ for school. HS grads ages 17-34. Call Mon.-Fri. 800.662.7419



Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016



PEER SUPPORT SPECIALISTS Meridian is seeking Peer Support Specialists to work within a number of recovery oriented programs within our agency. Being a Peer Support Specialist provides an opportunity for individuals to transform their own personal lived experience with mental health and/or addiction challenges into a tool for inspiring hope for recovery in others. Applicants must demonstrate maturity in their own recovery process, have a HS Diploma or GED, valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and have moderate computer skills. If you are seeking some basic information about the role of Peer Support Specialists within the public behavioral health system, please go to NC Peer Support Specialist Certification Site: You do not have to be a certified peer support specialist prior to employment. For further information about these positions, visit the employment section of our website at: If interested, apply by completing the mini application and submitting your resume.


AIRLINE MECHANIC TRAINING Get FAA certification. No HS Diploma or GED - We can help. Approved for military benefits. Financial aid if qualified. Call Aviation Institute of Maintenance 866.441.6890. B.H. GRANING LANDSCAPES, INC Now hiring for the position of crew member - the grass is growing and so is our business come join our team. Full-time year round work, competitive wages, good work environment. Please call 828.586.8303 for more info or email resume to: roger.murajda@bhlandscapes. com BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE No Waiting List! ATTEND accredited Nursing School, Classes online in our blended program. Weekend clinical schedules. Financial Aid Available for those who qualify. Call Admissions 813.932.1710. SAPA FTCC Fayetteville Technical Community College is now accepting applications for the following positions: Automotive Systems Technology Instructor (10-month contract), Certified Nursing Instructor. For detailed information and to apply, please visit our employment portal: Human Resources Office Phone: 910.678.7342 Internet: An Equal Opportunity Employer

CAVALIER ARMS APARTMENTS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Offering 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Apartments, Starting at $400 Section 8 Accepted - Rental Assistance When Available Handicapped Accessible Units When Available

OFFICE HOURS: Wednesday 12:30pm - 4:00pm & Friday. 8:00am- 4:00pm 50 Duckett Cove Road, Waynesville

Phone # 1-828-456-6776 TDD # 1-800-725-2962 Equal Housing Opportunity



Cell (828) 226-2298 Cell

2177 Russ Avenue Waynesville NC 28786



Committed to Exceeding Expectations

Marilynn Obrig

Residential Broker Associate

(828) 550-2810

REAL ESTATE ANNOUNCEMENT LEASE TO OWN 1/2 Acre Lots with Mobile Homes & Empty 1/2 Acre + Lots! Located Next to Cherokee Indian Reservation, 2.5 Miles from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. For More Information Please Call 828.506.0578 OUR HUNTERS WILL PAY Top $$$ To hunt your land. Call for a Free Base Camp Leasing info packet & Quote. 1.866.309.1507

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18 This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All dwellings advertised on equal opportunity basis.

REAL ESTATE ANNOUNCEMENT NEAR TRYON, NC EQUESTRIAN Center, 7.84 acres of pasture, creek frontage, partially fenced $59,900. Also Mtn View acreage w/paved access starting at $24,900. 828.286.1666

HOMES FOR SALE BRUCE MCGOVERN A Full Service Realtor, Locally Owned and Operated McGovern Property Management 828.283.2112. SAVE YOUR HOME! Are you behind paying your MORTGAGE? Denied a Loan Modification? Is the bank threatening foreclosure? CALL Homeowner’s Relief Line now for Help 844.359.4330 SAPA

MOBILE HOMES FOR SALE REPOSSESSED MOBILE HOMES. Move in ready. No rent option, but buying could be cheaper than rent! Owner financing on select homes with approved credit. 336.790.0162

VACATION RENTALS FLAGLER BEACH FLORIDA Oceanfront Vacation Rental, Tripadvisor Award, Furnished Studio, 1-2-3 BR’s, Full Kitchens, WiFi, TV, Pool. Seasonal Specials. 1.386.517.6700 or visit:

NICOL ARMS APARTMENTS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Offering 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments, Starting at $400 Section 8 Accepted - Handicapped Accessible Units When Available

OFFICE HOURS: Monday & Wednesday 8:00am - 4:00pm 168 E. Nicol Arms Road Sylva, NC 28779

Phone# 1.828.273.3639 TDD# 1.800.735.2962 This is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer


STORAGE SPACE FOR RENT 1 Month Free with 12 Month Rental. Maggie Valley, Hwy. 19, 1106 Soco Rd. For more information call Torry

828.734.6500, 828.734.6700 12X28 STORAGE UNIT FOR RENT In Tuckaseegee, Half Mile Down Hwy. 281. $130/mo. For More Info Call 828.450.0534. GREAT SMOKIES STORAGE Conveniently located off 19/23 by Thad Woods Auction. Available for lease now: 10’x10’ units for $55, 20’x20’ units for $160. Get one month FREE with 12 month contract. Call 828.507.8828 or 828.506.4112 for more info.

FINANCIAL BEWARE OF LOAN FRAUD. Please check with the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Protection Agency before sending any money to any loan company. SAPA

SOCIAL SECURITY Disability Benefits. Unable to work? Denied benefits? We Can Help! Win or Pay Nothing! Contact Bill Gordon & Associates at 1.800.670.4805 to start your application today!

FURNITURE COMPARE QUALITY & PRICE Shop Tupelo’s, 828.926.8778. HAYWOOD BEDDING, INC. The best bedding at the best price! 533 Hazelwood Ave. Waynesville 828.456.4240

BORING/CARPENTER BEE TRAPS No Chemicals, Poisons or Anything to Harm the Environment. Handmade in Haywood County. 1 for $20, 2 or More for $15 each. 828.593.8321 HEMLOCK HEALERS, INC. Dedicated to Saving Our Hemlocks. Owner/Operator Frank Varvoutis, NC Pesticide Applicator’s License #22864. 48 Spruce St. Maggie Valley, NC 828.734.7819 828.926.7883, Email:


CHRONIC PAIN? Back or joint pain, arthritis? Recent Medicare/health coverage changes may benefit you! Products are little to NO COST, if qualified. FREE Shipping. Accredited Pain Specialists. Call 1.800.803.0612 SAPA GET HELP NOW! One Button Senior Medical Alert. Falls, Fires & Emergencies Happen. 24/7 Protection. Only $19.99/mo. Call Now 888.876.6128. SAPA GOT KNEE PAIN? Back Pain? Shoulder Pain? Get a pain-relieving brace at little or NO cost to you. Medicare Patients Call Health Hotline Now! 800.480.7503 SAPA LIFE ALERT. 24/7. One press of a button sends help FAST! Medical, Fire, Burglar. Even if you can’t reach a phone! FREE Brochure. CALL 800.734.2638 SAPA LUNG CANCER? And Age 60+? You And Your Family May Be Entitled To Significant Cash Award. Call 1.866.590.3140 for Information. No Risk. No Money Out Of Pocket. SAPA SAFE STEP WALK-IN TUB: Alert for Seniors. Bathroom falls can be fatal. Approved by Arthritis Foundation. Therapeutic Jets. Less Than 4 Inch Step-In. Wide Door. Anti-Slip Floors. American Made. Installation Included.Call 800.701.9850 for $750 Off. SAPA STRUGGLING WITH DRUGS Or Alcohol? Addicted to Pills? Talk to someone who cares. Call The Addiction Hope & Help Line for a free assessment. 1.800.511.6075. SAPA VIAGRA & CIALIS USERS! Cut your drug costs! SAVE $$! 50 Pills for $99.00. FREE Shipping! 100% Guaranteed and Discreet. Call 1.800.290.0314 SAPA

Beverly Hanks & Associates




828.506.0542 Ann Eavenson - Randy Flanigan - Michelle McElroy - Marilynn Obrig - Brooke Parrott -

• • • •

Catherine Proben - Ellen Sither - Mike Stamey - Pamela Williams -

Emerson Group

828.452.5809 office

• George Escaravage -

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8288-4452-1519 1519

Catherine Proben Cell: 828-734-9157 Office: 828-452-5809

74 N. Main St., Waynesville, NC





—————————————— 7 BEAVERDAM ROAD - SUITE 207





find us at:

ERA Sunburst Realty - • Amy Spivey - • Rick Boarder - EXP Realty • Rob Roland -

Haywood Properties - • Steve Cox - Keller Williams Realty • Julie Lapkoff - • Yvonne Kolomechuk -

Lakeshore Realty • Phyllis Robinson -

Mountain Home Properties • Sammie Powell -

McGovern Real Estate & Property Management • Bruce McGovern -

Realty World Heritage Realty • Carolyn Lauter • Martha Sawyer

RE/MAX — Mountain Realty • • • • • • | Brian K. Noland - Mieko Thomson - The Morris Team - The Real Team - Ron Breese - Dan Womack -


147 Walnut Street • WayneSville

MEDICAL A PLACE FOR MOM. The nation’s largest senior living referral service. Contact our trusted, local experts today! Our service is FREE/no obligation. CALL 1.800.319.8705 SAPA

Haywood County Real Estate Agents

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

SELL YOUR STRUCTURED Settlement or annuity payments for CASH NOW. You don't have to wait for your future payments any longer! Call 1.800.316.0271.

SAWMILLS FROM ONLY $4397.00 Make & Save Money with your own bandmill - Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship! FREE Info/DVD: 1.800.578.1363 Ext.300N


WNC MarketPlace


LAWN & GARDEN ABSOLUTE FARM AUCTION Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016 @ 11a.m. Owner: Charles Harrell; Stantosburg, NC 27883. 5% BP. Call EB Webb 252.245.1405 or visit:


Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

WNC MarketPlace





French 76 “Fuer —” (piano ACROSS piece) 1 Neighbor of Chile 77 Sun, e.g. 5 Chemist’s outerwear 79 — Moines, Iowa 12 Some captives 80 Prism, cone or sphere 20 Copies 82 Beach shoe 21 Magic’s city 85 Stands for hot dishes 22 Fearmonger 86 Melody 23 Centennial State 87 “Salud!,” say pageant winner 91 Dutch genre painter 25 Start to chew Jan 26 Clinic fluids 92 Port-au-Prince’s land 27 Enjoy a meal 98 No. on a road sign 28 DVR biggie 100 Navigator Islands, 29 Baste, e.g. now 30 Text giggle 101 Cry upon release 31 Output of Tolkien 102 1991 Denzel 38 Highly skilled people Washington film 40 Prudential competi- 109 Gave a meal tor 110 Hubbub 41 “— found it!” 111 Chiang Mai native 42 Member of a noted 112 Johnny — racecar-driving family 113 Pool coverer 47 Surplus item 115 Open ocean 51 Be a cast member of 118 Parts of it appear 52 Oklahoma tribe at both the starts and member ends of this puzzle’s 53 Placed in the middle, eight theme phrases to a Brit 123 Bel Air resident, e.g. 55 The NBA’s “King 124 Funicello of the James” screen 57 120-Down character 125 Cry in church Sarducci 126 Nonclerical females 61 Uru. neighbor 127 “Possibly” 64 Wildlife lair 128 Veg out, say 65 Proverb 66 Add liberally DOWN 67 Most August new1 Cook’s spray borns 2 Like serials 69 Popular energy drink 3 Pick again 73 Anderson of “WKRP 4 KGB funder in Cincinnati” 5 Lav, in Bath 74 Rome’s country, in 6 Specter in politics

7 Make swollen 8 Magna — 9 — par with 10 Stick in 11 Moreover 12 Natural home 13 With 84-Down, lunchmeat with pimiento 14 Goal in Zen Buddhism 15 Uno plus due 16 French bud 17 Knife of TV ads 18 Oxalate, e.g. 19 Vermont ski town 24 Wearing a lounge robe 28 Color a little 30 Tibetan priest 32 Ending for enzymes 33 She sang “Smooth Operator” 34 “— darn tootin’!” 35 4G — (T-Mobile offering) 36 Retaliate 37 Like some criticism 39 Singer Ochs 43 Actor Greene 44 — -Z 45 Luc’s denial 46 Chilling stuff 48 Camera stand 49 Fixed up 50 Studmuffin 54 West Germany’s Ludwig 56 Deprived 57 Not genuine 58 Wheel turner 59 Little jerk 60 Patients’ gp. 61 First groups of invitees

62 Snappy reply 63 Net minder 65 California’s — Woods 68 Splinters 70 MBA, say 71 — -ray Disc 72 Feature of the word “go” 75 — -Kit (police tool) 78 Tub traction aids 81 Medit. land 82 “Or — hear” 83 From way back: Abbr. 84 See 13-Down 86 Shut angrily 88 Structure of a plane without the engine 89 Belfry locales 90 Knotted 93 Quarterback Boomer 94 Spanish for “daddy” 95 Ball caller 96 “Sk8er —” (2002 hit) 97 Chick- — -A 99 Hold dear 102 Taj — 103 Singer Menzel 104 Drenched 105 1953 Alan Ladd title role 106 Disney mermaid 107 Religious branches 108 Die down 114 Rent- — 116 Chop down 117 — -mo 118 Animal gullet 119 A, in France 120 ‘75 TV debut 121 Ang of film 122 Certain M.D.

answers on page 42

PERSONAL BIRTHMOTHERS, Planning An Adoption? Unique Adoptions can help. We have an excellent adoption program. You choose from open or closed, select adoptive family. Financial Assistance. Ask about our 4-day recovery packages. Call toll free 24/7 to speak to an adoption specialist. 1.888.637.8200 SAPA MAKE A CONNECTION. Real People, Flirty Chat. Meet singles right now! Call LiveLinks. Try it FREE. Call now 1.888.909.9978 18+. SAPA TIRED OF THE SAME OLD Dating Sites? Meet real people in your area & make a new connection on your terms! 18+ Only. Call 1.800.610.0814 SAPA YOUR AD COULD REACH 1.6 MILLION HOMES ACROSS NC! Your classified ad could be reaching over 1.6 Million Homes across North Carolina! Place your ad with The Smoky Mountain News on the NC Statewide Classified Ad Network- 118 NC newspapers for a low cost of $330 for 25-word ad to appear in each paper! Additional words are $10 each. The whole state at your fingertips! It's a smart advertising buy! Call Scott Collier at 828.452.4251 or for more information visit the N.C. Press Association's website at

SCHOOLS/ INSTRUCTION EARN YOUR H.S. DIPLOMA At Home!!! Free Class Ring upon graduation with enrollment before December 31st, 2016. Nationally accredited. Call for Free Brochure 1.904.381.1935, or visit us at: SAPA BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE No Waiting List! ATTEND accredited Nursing School, Classes online in our blended program. Weekend clinical schedules. Financial Aid Available for those who qualify. Call Admissions 813.932.1710. SAPA FTCC Fayetteville Technical Community College is now accepting applications for the following positions: Automotive Systems Technology Instructor (10-month contract), Certified Nursing Instructor. For detailed information and to apply, please visit our employment portal: Human Resources Office Phone: 910.678.7342 Internet: An Equal Opportunity Employer

SERVICES DISH NETWORK New Flex Pack- Select Channels You Want. FREE Installation. FREE Streaming. $39.99/24 months. ADD Internet for $14.95 a month. CALL 1.800.918.0287

SERVICES *REDUCE YOUR CABLE BILL* Get a 4-Room All-Digital Satellite system installed for FREE and programming starting at $24.99/mo. FREE HD/DVR upgrade for new callers, so call now 888.302.6535 SAPA 19.99/mo. DIRECTV HD Channels + Genie HD DVR + 3 months FREE HBO, SHOW, MAX & STARZ + FREE NFL Sunday Ticket! Call Now 888.437.6598 SAPA EXEDE HIGH SPEED INTERNET. Plans from $39/mo. Blazing Fast Broadband in areas cable can’t reach. Great for business or home. We Install Fast. 1.888.822.0480. FAST INTERNET! HughesNet Satellite Internet. HighSpeed. Avail Anywhere. Speeds to 15 mbps. Starting at $59.99/mo. Call for Limited Time Price. 1.800.916.7609 SAPA CABLE AND INTERNET $29.99/month each! We are your local installers for ALL Brands! Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish, Cox, xfinity, Verizon fios and MORE! Call NOW for Super deals! 1.800.334.9870 SAPA DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket (FREE!) with Choice All-Included Package. $60/mo for 24 months. No upfront costs or equipment to buy. Ask about next day installation! 800.371.5352 SAPA

WEEKLY SUDOKU Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Answers on Page 42

When frost comes, we know winter has arrived


George Ellison

he first frost serves as a given year’s most distinctive dividing line. It’s hard to pinpoint just when winter becomes spring, when spring become summer, or when summer becomes fall. But the winter season has arrived when the first frost occurs. Like summer dew, the frost appears on clear windless nights as the air cools and can’t hold as much moisture as it did during daylight hours. In summer and early fall, this excess moisture condenses on the surfaces of weeds, spider webs, metal tools, and other Columnist exposed objects. But when the temperature falls below 32-degrees the same vapor crystallizes, forming frost. Through a process known as sublimation, the vapor does not turn first into water and then freeze. Instead, it changes directly from the gaseous state into a crystalline form. As more and more vapor freezes, two types of formations sometimes called “frost flowers” can be observed. One type I heard old-timers in my family refer to when I was growing up consisted of

BACK THEN the delicate feather-like patterns most noticeable when traced on windowpanes that glisten in the glow of a lamp at night or in early morning sunlight. A second type of “forst flower” occurs when thin layers of ice are extruded from long-stemmed plants. These form exquisite patterns that curl into “petals.” They only do so when the ground isn’t already frozen. The sap in the above ground portion freezes and expands causing cracks to form along the length of the stem. Water is then drawn out of the cracks via capillary action. Upon contact with the air the fluid freezes creating “frost flowers.” Like frost and dew, fog is the product of saturated air. So long as the tiny droplets in a fog can move unheeded through belowfreezing air, they remain super-cooled and unfrozen. Rime frost occurs when the droplets encounter tree limbs or other objects that cause them to crystallize instantly and coat the object with granular tufts of ice. Black frost of the sort that often occurs on highways is the most dangerous variety because since it isn’t accompanied by rime and can’t be seen by motorists until it’s too late. (George Ellison is a naturalist and writer. He can be reached at

season tickets

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016


Smoky Mountain News 47


Smoky Mountain News Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016

SMN 11 30 16  
SMN 11 30 16  

A weekly newspaper covering Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.