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CATHY MARTIN EDITOR

editor@southparkmagazine.com

W

hen I was young, I loved taking art classes at the parks and rec center in my hometown in eastern North Carolina. The narrow room lined with wooden workbenches was chock-full of paint, clay, glitter, pipe cleaners, googly eyes ... you name it. Claudia, my teacher, was soft-spoken and kind, and every week I couldn’t wait to attend her class. She was also a little unconventional: One holiday season, Claudia invited a group of students to her home, where I remember the thrill when she let me paint colorful “stainedglass” designs on her dining-room French doors. I was one of those kids that tried a lot of activities, but nothing seemed to stick — I was small for my age and lacked the physical strength of many of my classmates. Lessons in gymnastics, taekwondo, soccer, swimming — pretty much any sport other than tennis — typically ended with me either quitting or reluctantly finishing the session, feeling horribly inadequate. Art class was a place where I felt no one was judging me by how fast I ran (not very), or critiquing my clumsy freestyle stroke. The same local arts council that sponsored Claudia’s classes also backed grassroots theater productions, where your insurance agent might appear onstage alongside your second-grade teacher. I remember seeing my older cousins perform in Oklahoma! It’s the only time I’ve ever seen the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, but the songs stuck with me forever. It was far from Broadway, but it didn’t matter. It

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united the community and was an inspiration for youth in our small town. In the same way that Claudia’s art room felt like my safe haven, my now college-aged kids found similar sanctuaries in their high-school art and orchestra rooms and backstage in the auditorium, where they worked behind-the-scenes on more than a dozen theatrical performances. I expect their early experiences have kickstarted a lifelong love of the arts just as mine did for me. We call this month’s effort The Arts Issue, though I like to think of every issue of SouthPark as an “arts” issue, where we tell the stories of writers, musicians, painters, interior designers, chefs and other creators who make our city more interesting and culturally rich. When we began planning for this issue, we had no idea that arts funding in Charlotte would become such a hot-button topic. It’s widely known that fundraising by the Charlotte Arts & Science Council is down significantly. Unfortunately, ASC’s fundraising model has long relied on corporate and workplace giving, support that has waned since the Great Recession. Inspired by other U.S. cities that have benefited from public funding for the arts, as I am writing this column Mecklenburg County commissioners have just approved a ballot referendum that would increase the local sales tax by a quarter-cent. About $24.5 million a year — roughly half of the proceeds — would go to ASC, while the rest would be earmarked for parks, greenways and education. Arts funding is complicated. For example, even if you never shell out as much as $100 for a ticket to Hello, Dolly! or another blockbuster Broadway show, revenue generated by such performances allows Blumenthal Performing Arts, the city’s premier nonprofit arts organization, to fund other community initiatives, including many events that are free to attend. Now, voters will decide in November whether they want to support a tax increase for additional public funding for the arts. We at SouthPark are not here to advise on how to tackle the arts-funding deficit. Instead, we’ve highlighted a few noteworthy performances and events to add to your calendar this fall, and our cover story spotlights some amazing community volunteers who are devoting much of their time and energy to help lead area arts organizations, both big and small. We hope their stories of why they serve and what they’ve learned will inspire you to get more involved in the local arts community. Whether by contributing financially, taking in a show, wandering into that gallery you’ve passed dozens of times, signing up for the pottery class you’ve always wanted to take, or checking out some of the amazing murals cropping up around town, Charlotte offers plenty of ways to soak in some culture. SP

PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM SAYER

FROM THE EDITOR


SouthPark Office 6857 Fairview Road Charlotte, NC 28210

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C H A R LO T T E C H A R L E S TO N World Class Living


August DEPARTMENTS 31 | Blvd. Noble Smoke’s true ’cue; Eric “Sleepy” Floyd’s favorite Queen City haunts; textile designer Laura Park builds a brand; local scoop shops offer cool treats.

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47 | Simple Life Every tourist should become a pilgrim.

53 | Omnivorous Reader A tree grows in Carolina.

59 | Bookshelf August’s notable new releases.

61 | Southwords Summer jobs, and climbing the ladder.

63 | Drinking with Writers A Carolina barbecue chef pens a new cookbook.

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98 | Cuisine A pig pickin’ primer; sweet tea for the soul.

115 | Swirl The Queen City’s biggest and best bashes and events.

SNAPSHOT 128 | Fostering Fitness Alyse Kelly Jones helps women of all fitness levels conquer their training goals.

ABOUT THE COVER Photo of Lise Hain, board chair at Charlotte Ballet, by Tim Sayer.

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91 FEATURES 67 | Why I Serve by Michael J. Solender

Charlotteans bring time and treasure to their favored cultural groups.

78 | Peace Amid Pain by Page Leggett

In her new book, cancer survivor Niki Hardy explores fear and faith.

82 | Country Cool by Whitley Adkins Hamlin

Coyote Joe’s is the backdrop for some of today’s hottest western looks.

91 | Show Stoppers by Page Leggett

Fall’s best music, art and theater events to add to your calendar.


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1230 West Morehead St., Suite 308 Charlotte, NC 28208 704-523-6987 southparkmagazine.com Ben Kinney Publisher publisher@southparkmagazine.com Cathy Martin Editor editor@southparkmagazine.com Andie Rose Art Director Alyssa Rocherolle Graphic Designer Contributing Writers Michelle Boudin, Sally Brewster Wiley Cash, Lauren Eberle Whitley Adkins Hamlin Susan S. Kelly, Jane Lear Page Leggett, D.G. Martin Gayvin Powers, Michael J. Solender Contributing Photographers Joseph Bradley, Mallory Cash Daniel Coston, Justin Driscoll John Koob Gessner, Tim Sayer Peter Taylor ADVERTISING Jane Rodewald Account Executive 704-621-9198 jane@southparkmagazine.com

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Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist/ Account Executive 704-996-6426 scott@southparkmagazine.com Brad Beard Graphic Designer

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Instagram: southparkmagazine Facebook: facebook.com/southparkmagazine Twitter: twitter.com/SouthParkMag ©Copyright 2019. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 22, Issue 8

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blvd. People. Places. Things.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE PLAID PENGUIN

TRUE ’CUE

Any notions that Charlotte lacks any real barbecue joints might be extinguished after the July opening of Noble Smoke, Jim Noble’s long-anticipated restaurant serving “heartfelt Southern barbecue.” Noble Smoke held its soft opening phase (serving a limited daily menu) on July 12, with plans to officially open July 25. Look for barbecue sandwiches, pork short ribs, smoked chicken, house-made sausage and wood-grilled fish, plus lots of sides including succotash, collards, mac and cheese, and hoppin’ john at the west Charlotte location. It’s Noble’s sixth restaurant, joining both Charlotte locations of Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, The King’s Kitchen, Copain Gatherings and A Noble Grille in Winston-Salem. “I fell in love with barbecue when I was a child, traveling with my father and stopping at the storied barbecue smokehouses around the state,” Noble says. “My hope with Noble Smoke is to carry on the tradition of classic, woodsmoked Carolina barbecue and honor all of the barbecue legends who came before me.” Unlike the teetotalling barbecue restaurants of old, Noble Smoke is teaming with The Suffolk Punch Brewery to include a biergarten and “blendery” that will develop sours and other wild ales. 2216 Freedom Dr., noblesmokebbq.com

southparkmagazine.com | 31


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Around Town

Cosmetic brand Morphe planned to open this summer in SouthPark mall; The Mint Museum reopened on Tuesdays at both locations; Charlotte Wine & Food Weekendp raised $180,000 for Charlotte-area children’s charities during its April events; custom candle shop The Candle Baru opened in its new permanent location at 1930 Camden Road; Chef Luca Annunziata opened forchetta

Seen:

Brat-packer Rob Lowe, in town for his one-man show Stories I Only Tell My Friends, was spotted in front of downtown’s Trademark building; actor Thomas Haden Church of Spiderman 3 was seen having lunch at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar; Carolina Panthers draft pick Will Grier held his first official autograph signing at Academy Sports & Outdoors in Mooresville; former stock-car racer and commentator Kyle Petty was spotted at Avenue Uptown condos in downtown Charlotte; Ivanka Trump was in town as part of a workforce-development tour. For more celebrity sightings, visit @CelebsinCLT on Twitter.

Home Stretch

A new fitness concept is open at Strawberry Hill: Longtime Cotswold residents Steve and Stacey Hitzemann launched StretchLab, a Venice, Calif.-based concept offering “assisted stretching.” Through customized routines, group classes and one-on-one services, StretchLab’s trained “flexologists” help clients relieve muscular pain and tightness and improve range of motion. A 25-minute session targets major muscle groups; for clients seeking more extensive stretching, including extremities such as lower legs, feet and ankles, a 50-minute session is offered. The Hitzemanns plan to open five more StretchLab locations in Dilworth, Lake Norman and south Charlotte. 4914 Old Sardis Road, stretchlab.com 32

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSH BANNEN/ANNA RIETZ/PROVIDED BY STRETCHLAB

at 230 N. College St. serving “authentic Italian cuisine with a twist;” Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse closed its Park Road location and opened a new one at Rea Farms.


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Color Play BY CATHY MARTIN

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PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISSY WINCHESTER

PHOTOGRAPH LEFT BY DUSTIN PECK

L

aura Park’s house was a hive of activity on the day that we spoke, with her three dogs underfoot, her oldest daughter packing up and rushing out the door, and boxes scattered about as she and her husband, Trip, were preparing to move from the Eastover home where they’ve lived for 18 years. Despite the chaos, the mother of four was calm and collected as she described how she came to develop her popular line of textiles, Laura Park Designs. Having launched just three years ago at Cotswold Marketplace, Park’s pillows, duvet covers, rugs and more are now sold in boutiques and showrooms across the U.S. Park never expected she would become an artist, let alone have a budding design business that keeps her hopping from Atlanta to Dallas to New York and other home-furnishings hubs. The Raleigh native majored in economics at UNC Chapel Hill before deciding to go back to school to get her master’s in teaching. Park taught elementary school for five years, and she and Trip lived in Chicago and New Jersey before settling in Charlotte six months before 9/11. When Cotswold Marketplace opened in 2010, she launched a retail business selling other people’s artwork. “Then my dad died suddenly, like eight years ago, at 67,” Park says, and that’s when she decided she wanted to learn to paint. “My husband’s an artist, so I’ve always been around it,” she says, referring to Trip’s career as a painter and illustrator of children’s books. “Oh, he’s a real artist,” Park says. “I just like to play with color.” Park may be modest when it comes to her work, but others were quick to recognize her nascent talent after she began selling her paintings at Cotswold. Before long, her work was on display at Shain Gallery on Selwyn Ave. and at Atlanta’s Gregg Irby Gallery, which spotlights up-and-coming artists. “Actually, I didn’t know I was going to be in Atlanta. [Trip] submitted my work and I didn’t know it ... and they called me.”


PHOTOGRAPH RIGHT BY DUSTIN PECK PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISSY WINCHESTER

Laura Park Designs launched in 2016 after Park began photographing her abstract designs and creating digital patterns that could be transferred to fabric. “There was a great seamstress and pillow-maker at Cotswold, Judy Brown, and I hired her to make pillows — and they started selling.” Three years ago, Park took her designs to the New York Now market trade show, and the brand was born. Recent collaborations include a collection with LeighDeux, the Charlotte-based dorm-decor business started by Leigh Goodwyn in 2013, and another with Annie Selke of Pine Cone Hill, a Massachusetts-based fine-linens company. With Selke, Park’s colorful designs are translated into bedding, pillows, rugs, tunics, wallpaper and more. Park’s pillows, duvet covers, throws and other items are still sold at Cotswold Marketplace and online, but these days the company is mostly focused on getting its products placed in fabric showrooms across the country. “My kids are getting older. It’s fun to have something creative and to keep me busy.” SP

southparkmagazine.com | 35


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My Favorite Things...

B

asketball fans might remember Eric “Sleepy” Floyd from his early days at Hunter Huss High School in Gastonia — his team won the 1977 state championship, defeating future Tar Heel James Worthy and Ashbrook High — or from Georgetown University, where he was team captain in 1981 and 1982. Floyd went on to enjoy a 13-year career in the NBA before retiring in 1995. Today, he’s a corporate partnership consultant and adviser at Pappas Properties.

FAVORITE PARK: I frequent Freedom Park a lot, especially during the summer. My favorite thing about it is the diversity: Whether it’s an art walk, different foods or types of music, Freedom Park has so much to offer. You also have the greenway and the pond. All types of people are out — people bring their dogs, and people are happy — I just really love to see people that are in a happy frame of mind. MUSIC: I love music, and in particular, I am big into jazz. Throughout the summer and fall, there are a variety of music-related events around town. JazzArts Charlotte

hosts an amazing jazz season that I can pretty much get locked into. The JAZZ ROOM, located in the heart of uptown, provides a casual and intimate setting with tables and a full bar, reminiscent of the classic jazz rooms of yesteryear. thejazzarts.org GIVING BACK: There are so many amazing charities in Charlotte that raise money for outstanding causes. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it, and I try to be involved in as much of this as I can. I have done 36

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SPORTS: Where do we start? Charlotte has so much to offer, from the Charlotte Checkers to the Charlotte Knights; obviously the Hornets, and definitely the Panthers. [Hornets majority owner] Michael (Jordan) and I grew up playing basketball together, so obviously I’m supportive of and proud of him. But also I just really like what the Hornets are doing in the community — they are giving back. And the Charlotte Knights baseball team is just a wonderful, family-oriented organization. DINING: Charlotte has had a great influx of restaurants. In the SouthPark area, I really like Peppervine. In South End, I like Barcelona Wine Bar. We also have

our longtime favorites like The Fig Tree and Cajun Queen — they have really great jazz upstairs. I like Del Frisco’s for steak, and if you like French food, La Belle Helene uptown is fantastic. Then you have the new Kimpton Hotelp and Farenheit. The rooftop

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILLIP HOFFMAN, PETER TAYLOR

a lot with St. Jude in the past — it is an amazing organization with a great cause. Economically, we are a city with many great organizations that try to raise money for lower-income areas. We are a city that is known for putting a hand out to try to help someone up. ... I am very proud of how philanthropic we are.


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bars have really changed the dynamics of Charlotte. GOLF: When I have free time, I enjoy playing as much golf as I can. Growing up playing competitive basketball during college and in the NBA, when you retire you try to find something to replace that competitive compulsion. Many athletes gravitate toward playing golf because it is so challenging and competitive. There are so many great golf courses in Charlotte: Quail Hollow, Charlotte Country Club and Ballantyne Resort, which has a really nice course. Raintree Country Club is an old traditional course that is challenging. NEIGHBORHOOD: l really enjoy living in the Solis SouthParkt community. It is so convenient and has great walkability to many restaurants, which makes it accessible and friendly. You can walk to the movies and to restaurants — I love Dogwood Southern Table. You meet so many people from across the world just walking around. solissouthpark.com

WINE: I really enjoy learning about wine, from tastings at Bond Street Wines in Eastover as well as at Foxcroft Wine Co.u on Fairview Rd. Wine is the common denominator for everyone, so you are able to share over something you enjoy and meet really interesting people at the same time. Just meeting good people and hearing their backgrounds and learning about places you’ve never been through socializing — that is what I enjoy most. AND, you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy this experience. bondstreetwines.com, foxcroftwine.com SP COMPILED BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN

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We All Scream For Ice Cream NOTHING SATIATES SCORCHING SUMMER DAYS BETTER THAN A TRIP TO THE ICE-CREAM PARLOR. HERE’S THE SCOOP ON THREE LOCALLY OWNED SHOPS WHERE YOU CAN TRULY COOL DOWN. BY LAUREN EBERLE

THE CRAFTED

With two neighborhood locations — SouthPark and South End — Golden Cow Creamery has the corner on smallbatch, handcrafted ice cream. Made from scratch with a real cream base, the shop’s six not-so-basic classics feature salted Oreo and Dunkaroos, while the menu also includes rotating options and a non-dairy vegan choice. Our order: When it’s too hard to choose, opt for a flight to enjoy four creative flavors such as blueberry-lemon or banana pudding. 720 Governor Morrison St. (SouthPark) and 170 West Summit Ave. (South End). goldencowcreamery.com

Located at Promenade on Providence, The Local Scoop is proudly choosy in sourcing its products. From highest-quality dairy to fruit and herbs, ingredients come straight from farmers across North Carolina. Need a nondairy option? Eight flavors, including chocolate coconut, delight. Our order: Enjoy the fizzle of a root beer float, made with Mooresville’s all-natural Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer. 5355 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., #100. thelocalscoopcharlotte.com

THE CLASSIC

Celebrating its 36th year, family-owned Carolina Cones in Cornelius dishes up a heap of nostalgia. A model train circles the perimeter inside, while a playground, small carousel and other attractions keep kiddos content outdoors. With more than 50 flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite. Plus, pack a couple quarters for the nostalgic trinket vending machines. Our order: We love the lemon cone if you’re eating on your own. Bringing a group? Choose an ice cream boat for a super-sized shareable dish. 20801 N. Main St., Cornelius

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PHOTOGRAPHS RIGHT PROVIDED BY GOLDEN COW CREAMERY

THE LOCAVORE


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|blvd.

TO-DO

LIST

AUGUST

THIS MONTH’S FIVE ESSENTIAL DATES

8/1-3

8/2

8/9

8/16-18

8/18

Now in its 10th year, JoeDance Film Festival expands its film screenings to three nights at Charlotte Ballet. The homegrown festival will showcase both short and featurelength films from the Carolinas, all part of an effort to raise money for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Tickets start at $30. joedance.org

Head to Bank of America Stadium for the annual Panthers Fan Fest, a night of football, fireworks and familyfriendly fun. Tickets are $5 — proceeds benefit Carolina Panthers Charities, serving communities across the Carolinas. panthers.com

Fans of ’60s rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful remember John Sebastian from hits like “Do You Believe In Magic?” and “Summer in the City.” But the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer who also penned the theme song for Welcome Back, Kotter continues to record and perform across the U.S. Catch the singer/ songwriter at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Tickets are $29.50$69.50. carolinatix.org

Take in the final weekend of Under Construction: Collage from The Mint Museum, featuring more than 100 works by more than 50 international artists, including Romare Bearden, Robert Motherwell and Sam Gilliam. mintmuseum.org

Following the June release of their third studio album, Help Us Stranger, singer/ songwriter and guitarist Jack White and his Detroit-based band The Raconteurs rock The Fillmore. fillmorenc.com

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Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint September 21 – April 26 Dutch artist collective Studio Drift has transformed the intersection of art, nature, and technology. And now, The Mint Museum is organizing Studio Drift’s first museum exhibition in the U.S. Five breathtaking works of art will be on view, including one neverbefore-seen installation premiering in Charlotte. Come intrigued, leave inspired.

Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint is organized by The Mint Museum and presented by PNC Bank. Generous support also provided by Duke Energy. IMAGE: Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3 (Detail), 2015, installation at Cidade Materrazo, Brazil


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|simple life

“The Reluctant Pilgrim”

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BY JIM DODSON

wo decades ago, on the eve of the new millennium, the acclaimed Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake was asked what single change in human behavior could make a better world. Every tourist, he replied, should become a pilgrim. Sheldrake earned the distinction of being the “world’s most controversial scientist” because he rejected the conventional belief that nature and the universe can only be explained by scientific data. His journey from atheism to an ever-expanding spiritual awareness and eventual embrace of his Christian heritage produced several fine books on the subject along the way, but it began with his simple curiosity about the common spiritual practices of the world’s religious traditions, highlighted by pilgrimages that awakened and expanded his own evolving views of human consciousness. What Sheldrake was getting at, I think, was that a tourist travels the world in search of new experiences that provide superficial pleasure or delight, a material quest, if you will, that looks outward rather than probing inward. A pilgrim, on the other hand, travels over unknown territory with an open mind and spirit willing to face any physical obstacle that arises, stepping out of the daily routine to deepen one’s awareness of a divine presence and the journey within. Pilgrimages are as old and varied as the world’s many religions, personal journeys that mean different things to every pilgrim. Two decades ago, I took my dying father on a journey back to England and Scotland to play the golf courses where he learned to play the game as a lonely airman just before D-Day. Ours wasn’t a conventional spiritual pilgrimage, I suppose, though in retrospect I see it as something akin. For ten days we traveled and talked about his life and mine, leaving nothing unspoken between us, ushering his long journey to a beautiful close and enriching mine in ways I’m still counting up today.

A couple of years later, in the midst of an unexpected divorce, I, my young daughter, Maggie, and our elderly golden retriever spent an entire summer camping and fly-fishing our way to the fabled trout streams of the West. Like a couple of modern-day pilgrims from Geoff Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales — or maybe a Hope-and-Crosby road movie — we went in search of new meaning and old rivers, lost the dog briefly in Yellowstone, blew up the truck in Oklahoma, saw soul-stirring countryside and met a host of colorful characters who made us laugh and cry, creating a bond my daughter and I share to this day. When Maggie’s little brother, Jack, asked to have his own mythic adventure, we took off the summer before 9/11 hoping to see every wonder of the Classical World. Owing to events in a suddenly unraveling planet, age-old conflicts in the Middle East, China and Africa, we only got a far as the Island of Crete before turning for home. But traveling together through the ruins of a mythological world — following the footsteps of Homer and Herodotus, Marcus Aurelius and Aristotle — brought us both a deeper understanding of how we got here. Today, my son works as a documentary journalist in the Middle East, still trying to make sense of its age-old conflicts. As it happens, I wrote books about these family adventures, which in my mind perfectly fit the definition of a spiritual pilgrimage, a journey over unknown ground that mystically leaves the traveler changed for the better. Last August, my wife and I joined 30 other pilgrims from our Episcopal Church for a more traditional spiritual walk along the Via Francigena — the ancient pathway linking Canterbury to Rome. In Medieval times, Christians pilgrims traveled the long road to pay homage to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul before catching ships to the Holy Land. I’ll confess, at first I was hesitant to go — a reluctant pilgrim who prefers to walk alone, or with only one or two others on such travels. southparkmagazine.com | 47


|simple life In a sense, my wife and I reversed this ancient tradition by making our first trip to the Holy Land weeks before our Tuscan walk to attend my son Jack’s wedding to a lovely Palestinian gal he met in graduate school at Columbia University. The wedding festivities lasted several nights in Old Jaffa, the ancient port town next to Tel Aviv, where legend holds that Saint Peter received his vision to take Christianity to the gentiles of the Levant. For the father of the groom, perhaps the most moving moment of this life-changing journey came on the morning of the ceremony when my wife, daughter and her fiancé Nathanial went for a swim on the beautiful beach that links the modern city of Tel Aviv to the ancient one of Jaffa. Afterward, following Arab tradition, I walked to the Char family patriarch’s house to ask permission for his beautiful granddaughter to marry my son. Tennuce, 77, smiled and gave his blessing, and we shared an embrace as both family’s applauded and music broke out. An hour or so later, the wedding took place at a stunning basilica on the bluffs over the Mediterranean Sea. The rooftop celebration went on well after midnight beneath a full summer moon, prompting my own bride and I to slip away and stand on Jaffa’s famous Bridge of Wishes, where we quietly renewed our own wedding vows — for it was our wedding anniversary, too. As we walked home to bed though Jaffa’s moonlit streets, I suddenly remembered that I’d left my watch on the beach

where we swam that afternoon. True, it was only an inexpensive Timex Expedition watch, one of half a dozen Expeditions I’ve owned — and lost — over the decades. But in this instance, it seemed like a metaphor for our travel through time and space. The last full day of this family pilgrimage was spent following a scholar from Hebrew University through the familiar and rarely explored corners of Old Jerusalem, whose famous public spaces — the Wailing Wall, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock —were jammed with tourists throwing down money or “holy” relics and cheap souvenirs while young Israeli guards kept watch with Uzis in hand, a stunning contrast that made these famous pilgrimage sites feel oddly oppressive. It was only in the much quieter Armenian and Christian sectors of the old city, where tourists rarely venture and the churches are spectacular, airy and cool, that that I found myself breathing easier and wondering why the so-called holy sites had felt anything but. An answer of sorts revealed itself weeks later when we set off on foot with our fellow pilgrims on the Via Francigena, an 80-mile walk through through the stunning countryside and soulful hill towns of Tuscany. On our first day out, we walked 18 miles through lush vineyards and olive orchards — sampling ripening grapes and recently cured olives as we went — traversing a forest

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|simple life where the annual wild boar hunt had just begun. Owing to my dodgy knees, I volunteered to be a sweeper bringing up the rear of the group, a pattern I repeated all week. This allowed me to walk at my own pace, get to know other pilgrims who took their turn bringing up the rear, and travel at my leisure, frequently by myself for hours at a time, entirely off the clock of the world and my lost Expedition watch — as our group leader Greg liked to say — off the hamster wheel of our lives. At the end of each grueling hike, I enjoyed getting to know my fellow travelers over pasta and good red wine, rowdy fellowship and swapping tales of blistered feet and the day’s ahha! moments. The excellent gelato cured a lot of what ailed my aching feet and muscles. For this pilgrim, however, it was the quiet hours of walking alone or with my wife that I came to savor most, following a stony trail traveled by untold thousands before us across the ages, through deep forests or over sweeping hilltops where distant villages and Medieval abbeys — our destination each day — sat like painted kingdoms in a Medici fresco. My only real concern was the fabled Tuscan heat of late summer. But after walking for two days in the heat, something rather marvelous happened. I emerged from a deep glen where I’d stopped to look at chestnut trees and wild mushrooms to find Wendy waiting for me on a rise in the stony road, just as a thunderstorm broke and a cooling rain fell. Over the hill, we came upon

idle orchards and an abandoned farmhouse being reclaimed by the wild. We sheltered there for a while, soaking in the glorious rain, looking at the vacant rooms, wondering about the people who once called this beautiful ruin a home half a century ago or just last year. Unexpectedly, I found this to be the most moving moment of the entire pilgrimage, a reminder of our own brief walk through the storms of life and a changing universe. Wendy was kind enough to take a photograph of it. The rain mercifully followed us to Sienna and Rome, where the skies cleared, the sun bobbed out, the heat returned and the summer tourists swarmed over the Vatican and its celebrated museums. I bailed out halfway on the official Vatican tour, feeling as oppressed by the grandeur of monumental Rome as the holy relics of Old Jerusalem, concluding I must either be a poor excuse for a Christian pilgrim or a true country mouse. Back home, I had a friend who is a gifted artist secretly paint the abandoned farmhouse, and gave it to my wife for Christmas. She loved the painting but joked that it was really for me. I couldn’t disagree, pointing out that I also gave myself a new Expedition watch for our next pilgrimage. SP

Contact Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com.

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|omnivorous reader

A Tree Grows in Carolina TWO DEBUT NOVELS RENEW OLD BROOKLYN TIES.

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BY D.G. MARTIN

ome North Carolina literary old-timers remember a special link between North Carolina and Brooklyn. In 1943 Harper & Brothers published the best-seller, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of America’s most-loved novels. The North Carolina connection? Although its author, Betty Smith, based the novel on her experiences growing up in Brooklyn, she wrote the book in Chapel Hill. As a struggling divorcée with two children, she had moved to North Carolina to work at the University of North Carolina as a part of Paul Green’s writing program. The money she earned kept her going until the success of her book gave stability to her economic life. This year, the literary connection between Brooklyn and North Carolina has been renewed by two debut novelists, each with connections in both places. It happened earlier this year when Smith’s publisher, now HarperCollins, released A Woman Is No Man, the debut novel of Etaf Rum. Like Smith, Rum based her novel on her life growing up

in Brooklyn. Like Smith, the divorced Rum moved to North Carolina. Like Smith, she had two children. Like Smith, she found work in higher education, in Rum’s case, community colleges near where she lives in Rocky Mount. Rum’s Palestinian immigrant family and neighbors in Brooklyn in the 1990s and 2000s are not the same as Smith’s families, whose roots were in western Europe. Still, both books deal with women’s struggles to make their way in families and communities dominated by men. The central character in the first part of Rum’s book is Isra, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl whose family forces her into marriage with an older man, Adam. He owns a deli and lives with his parents and siblings in Brooklyn. Adam and Isra move into his family’s basement. Isra becomes a virtual servant to Adam’s mother, Fareeda. She pushes the couple to have children, males who can make money and build the family’s reputation and influence. When Isra produces only four children, all girls, she is dishonored by Fareeda and by Adam, who begins to beat her regularly. southparkmagazine.com | 53


|omnivorous reader Isra and Adam’s oldest daughter, Deya, becomes the central character of the second part of the book. Adam and Isra have died, and Fareeda raises their children. When Deya is a high-school senior, Fareeda begins to look for a man in the Palestinian community for her to marry. Deya wants to go to college, but she is afraid to bolt from her family and the community’s customs. Though fiction, A Woman Is No Man is clearly autobiographical. As such, Rum explains, the book “meant challenging many long-held beliefs in my community and violating our code of silence.” “Growing up,” she writes, “there were limits to what women could do in society. Whenever I expressed a desire to step outside the prescribed path of marriage and motherhood, I was reminded over and over again: A woman is no man.” She writes that “what I hope people from both inside and outside my community see when they read this novel are the strength and resiliency of our women.” It will stir readers for other reasons, too. Its themes of conflict between a drive for individual fulfillment and the demands of community and family loyalty are universal. The author’s well-turned and beautiful writing makes reading this debut novel a pleasure. Finally, her careful, fair-minded, sympathetic descriptions of complicated and interesting characters give the story a classic richness. Whether or not A

Woman Is No Man attains the beloved status of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, it will surely be a widely appreciated treasure. Another debut novel connects Brooklyn and North Carolina. This time, it is a North Carolina native who moves to Brooklyn from Elizabeth City. From there, De’Shawn Charles Winslow moved to Harlem, where he wrote In West Mills, a book about African-Americans living and struggling in eastern North Carolina from roughly 1940 to 1987. There are no major white characters, and no focus on Jim Crow racism. There is almost nothing about racial conflict or the civil-rights struggle. Putting these themes aside, Winslow shows his characters grappling with universal challenges that people of all races confront as they deal with the human situation. West Mills is a fictional small town in eastern North Carolina, somewhere between Elizabeth City and Ahoskie, where the main character of the novel was born and reared. That main character, Azalea Centre — or Knot, as she is called by everyone — has moved to West Mills from Ahoskie, where her father is a dentist and a bulwark of the local church. Knot, however, wants to get away from her family and make her own way. She finds a teaching job in West Mills. Knot loves 19th century English literature. That sounds good for a teacher, but she also loves cheap moonshine and bedding a variety of men. One of them, Pratt Shepherd, wants to marry her.

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|omnivorous reader But after a session of enthusiastic lovemaking, she tosses him out of her life. Soon after Pratt leaves, Knot learns she is pregnant. She does not want to end the pregnancy, but wants nothing to do with the child after its birth. To the rescue comes a dear friend, Otis Lee Loving, and his wife, Penelope, or “Pep.” They find a local couple to adopt Knot’s daughter. Only a few people in the community know that Frances, daughter of Phillip and Lady Waters, is really Knot’s birth child. Shortly after she recovers from her delivery, Knot becomes pregnant again. Otis Lee comes to the rescue once more. He finds a place for the new baby with local storeowners, Brock and Ayra Manning. They name the baby Eunice.  When they grow up, Frances and Eunice, not knowing about their common origin, come to despise each other and fight for the attention of the same man. On this situation, Winslow builds a series of confrontations and complications that challenge the comfortable order of the West Mills community. Meanwhile, as time passes, the community seems immune to the racial conflicts developing in other parts of the state. In one of the book’s few mentions of racial conflict, Otis Lee hears stories in 1960 about “the young colored people in Greensboro who had organized a sit-in

a couple of months earlier” and pronounced it a terrible thing. Winslow writes, “Greensboro hadn’t come to them yet. And Otis Lee hoped things would get better so that it wouldn’t have to.” Otis Lee is not only Knot’s loyal friend and rescuer. He becomes a major character. In a flashback to prohibition days, he travels to New York City to rescue an older sister who is trying to pass for white. That effort fails, but his relationship with that woman provides a poignant thread that carries the book to one of its surprising endings. Gathering early praise, Charlotte Observer critic Dannye Romine Powell wrote of In West Mills, “Within its confines lies all you need to know of human nature — its stubbornness and grit, its tenderness and devotion, its longing and its sorrow, and how the best-kept secrets will threaten to take apart the heart, chamber by chamber.” She concludes, “You’ll be hearing more about Winslow and his stunning debut novel.” You will be hearing more about Winslow and Etaf Rum. Betty Smith would be amazed and proud. SP D.G. Martin, a Charlotte native, hosts North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 5p.m. on UNC-TV. The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel Tuesday at 8 p.m. To view prior programs go to unctv.org.

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CONVERGENCE & CRASH

LaCa Projects presents its inaugural women’s collective exhibition, featuring works by regional, national, and international contemporary artists.

Opening Reception Friday, September 6, 2019 6 - 8 PM

Summer (2018), Ines Raiteri, Silk thread on panama

1429 Bryant Street, Charlotte, NC www.lacaprojects.com | 704-837-1688


|bookshelf

August Books NOTABLE NEW RELEASES

COMPILED BY SALLY BREWSTER

The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America, by Karen Abbott We love great narrative nonfiction, and Abbott is in top form with her epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation. In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he’s a multimillionaire and owns 35% of all the liquor in the U.S. The decision to send in one of the top investigators to look into Remus’ empire ends in murder and a bitter feud that reaches the highest levels of government. Thirteen: The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury, by Steve Cavanagh What better way to influence the outcome of the trial of the century than to serve on its jury? Movie-star Bobby Solomon is charged with murdering his wife and his chief of security, both found naked in bed at Solomon’s Manhattan brownstone. High-powered attorney Rudy Carp takes the defense and persuades Eddie Flynn, con man turned lawyer, to assist him. When the movie studio pulls its financial support, Carp jumps ship but Flynn — believing his client innocent — stays the course. Flynn soon finds he’s up against the sophisticated serial killer known to the FBI as Dollar Bill for the distinctly marked bills he leaves by his victims. Dollar Bill’s unusual MO includes targeting those charged with the murders he commits himself. Things You Save in A Fire, by Katherine Center Cassie Hanwell is one of the few female firefighters in Texas. She’s seen her fair share of emergencies and is a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own to take care of. The old

school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew — even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that, because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters.  NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America’s Greatest Sports League, by Joe Horrigan The NFL has come a long way from its founding in Canton, Ohio, in 1920. In the hundred years since that fateful day, football has become America’s most popular and lucrative professional sport. The former scrappy upstart league that struggled to stay afloat has survived a host of challenges — the Great Depression and World War II, controversies and scandals, battles over labor rights and archives. Joe Horrigan is regarded as the foremost historian on professional football and has written a passionate, informative and educational book on the hundred-year anniversary of the game. A Better Man: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, by Louise Penny It’s a fitting way to end the month with the 15th installment of our literary love affair with Quebec’s most fascinating policeman. Louise Penny has thrilled millions of readers with her police procedurals, and Gamache, after his 9-month demotion and suspension, returns to the Surete du Quebec to help solve yet another murder. Penny derived inspiration from her years covering crime stories for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and from the line from “Herman Melville,” a poem by W.H. Auden: “Evil is unspectacular and always human.” SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com southparkmagazine.com | 59


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|southwords

Climbing the Ladder SUMMER JOBS ARE THE BOTTOM RUNG.

I

BY SUSAN S. KELLY

t’s August. How’s that summer job going for your prodigal son and daughter? You know, the fancy-pants NYC internship that you’re heavily subsidizing. Or are your offspring going to one day say accusingly, as mine have, “Why didn’t you make me get an internship?” The short answer is that we were clueless, and, more accurately, didn’t know anyone higher up the career-boosting food chain. Your father and I just figured everyone had the same kind of summer jobs we did, i.e., menial. Because the true purpose of summer jobs is to show you what you don’t want to be when you grow up. My husband: delivering Cokes from a flatbed truck all over Fayetteville in 100-degree heat; me, hustling quahog jewelry and fake scrimshaw in a tourist joint on Nantucket, where I was hired solely on the basis of my built-in “pleases” and “ma’ams.” Ergo, my children had glam jobs as caddies, counselors, ground trash collectors at apartment complexes (think candy wrappers and condoms; they came home with bloody knuckles from working the parking lot), and as stockroom employees packaging bolts of fabric in a warehouse for UPS pickup. Still, everyone should have to work in what’s known as the “service industry” at some time in their life: retail clerk, waitress, lifeguard, etc. If you know an adult who’s a jerk, I bet he or she never had to wait tables or take orders as a teenager. And if you have a college grad on the professional prowl, whatever you do, guide him or her away from the three jobs that nobody, nobody in their sane mind, wants: minister, head of a private school and the manager of a country club. Constituents — congregations, parents and members — of those occupations believe themselves entitled. In other words, they own you. And I have proof, with the following true-tolife examples.

Headmaster

My cousin William went away to boarding school. Before Thanksgiving had even arrived, the headmaster called my aunt to say that William just wasn’t going to cut it. He couldn’t conform to the rules, couldn’t toe the various lines, and William was just going to have to come home. My aunt wasn’t fazed. “Oh no, he is not,” she informed the head-

master. “I sent a perfectly good child to you in September. Whatever’s happened since then is your fault, and you’re going to keep him.”

Country Club Manager

Frank was an incorrigible charmer who basically lived at the country club. In the dining room, on the golf course, in the card room, but mostly in the bar. Your classic handsome bad boy, who was also drunk, demanding, misbehaving and embarrassing. One morning when the club manager found Frank sleeping under a table in the bar, glasses and cigarettes strewn around him, he called Frank’s mother. “Mrs. Simpson,” he said politely, “your son has become a real problem. I’m going to have to ask you to do something about his behavior at the club.” There was a pause over the line. “And you, sir,” Mrs. Simpson replied, “serve very ordinary chicken salad.”

Minister

My great-uncle Bill in Walnut Cove had a dog he loved better than life, named John G. But John G kept getting into Lou Petrie’s garden. Lou told Bill that if John G got into his garden one more time, he was going to shoot him. Bill paid no attention. One Sunday in church, where my grandmother played the organ, word got ‘round the congregation that John G had gotten into the garden again and Lou Petrie had flat-out shot him. Church stopped then and there, and everyone went to the Petries’ where, sure enough, John G was lying dead between the tomato vines. The minister’s wife dropped to her knees beside the lifeless animal. “Do not worry,” she said. “I’ll bring John G back to life,” and praying loudly, began massaging his bloody body. My grandmother looked on, horrified, then headed straight for the telephone. She dialed the operator and put in a long-distance call to the bishop of the North Carolina Diocese of the Episcopal Church on a Sunday morning. “Bishop,” she said, “you have a minister’s wife down here trying to raise a dog from the dead. What are you going to do about it?” My advice? Steer clear of a career that involves dues, tuition or tithing. SP Susan S. Kelly is a blithe spirit, author of several novels, and a proud grandmother. southparkmagazine.com | 61


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|drinking with writers

Southern Holy Smoke MATTHEW REGISTER’S QUICK RISE FROM ROADSIDE TO BARBECUE FAME

BY WILEY CASH • PHOTOGRAPHS BY MALLORY CASH

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or Garland, North Carolina, native Matthew Register, it all started with a dream, a dream of teaching his three young children how to cook barbecue. “In eastern North Carolina, you’re always around barbecue,” he tells me on a warm July day. The two of us are sipping pale ales from Winston-Salem’s Foothills Brewing on the back deck of his family’s vacation home in Kure Beach. “Soon I realized that I could stand outside and drink beer and listen to music and nobody would bother me if I was cooking. And then I read John Shelton Reed’s book Holy Smoke, and it changed me. I began experimenting with recipes and giving barbecue away. People started calling and asking if I’d make barbecue for their family reunions.” Once the people of eastern North Carolina, a place so steeped in barbecue history and culture that it has its own style of barbecue, came calling, Matthew and his wife, Jessica, knew they were on to something. They opened a roadside stand and sold barbecue sandwiches for $5. They wanted to sell 30 on the first day; they sold 150 instead. “We couldn’t believe it,” he says. “It all happened so fast.” And then the Sampson County Health Department got involved. “I have a really good relationship with the health

department now, but back then they made pretty clear that I couldn’t be selling sandwiches on the side of the road.” Matthew and Jessica began the search for a spot to open a small restaurant, and a former fish market seemed like the perfect place. In April 2014, Southern Smoke opened in downtown Garland, and the dream of teaching his children about barbecue exploded into something Matthew never could have imagined. Since then he has appeared on The Today Show. He has been featured in magazines and spoken at conferences around the country. And, in May, Register released his first cookbook, Southern Smoke: Barbecue, Traditions, and Treasured Recipes Reimagined for Today. Even after all those hallmarks of success — a thriving restaurant, national acclaim and a cookbook — Matthew, as he writes in the book’s introduction, “didn’t set out to become a chef. In fact, even once cooking all day was my full-time job, I was uncomfortable with the title.” I ask him if he has grown more comfortable with being considered a chef in recent years. “A little,” he says. “When I think of the word chef, I think, that’s what Keith Rhodes is. That’s what Dean Neff is. That’s what Ashley Christensen is. I’m slowly growing more comfortable with it.” He takes a sip of his beer and looks at his southparkmagazine.com | 63


|drinking with writers book, where it sits on the table between us. “But now I’ve got this cookbook, and I’m dealing with those same feelings when people call me author.” Make no mistake: Matthew Register can cook barbecue, but he can also write about it. While there are plenty of wonderful recipes in Southern Smoke, there are also the stories behind them. For example, the recipe for Smoked Chicken Quarters with Papa Nipper’s Church Sauce tells the story of Jessica’s grandfather, Jimmy Nipper, a man who “spent much of his youth shoveling hardwood coals into pits night after night, cooking whole hogs.” While he went on to join the North Carolina highway patrol, Jimmy continued to cook for fundraisers and church functions. One of my favorite recipes is for Saltine Cracker Fried Oysters, which features a secret passed down from his great-grandmother Grace Jarmen Hart. The recipe also features instructions for making his grandmother Dorothy Hart’s tartar sauce with Duke’s mayonnaise, to which Matthew dedicates a short essay that argues for Duke’s being the best mayonnaise around. Don’t use it? “That’s a shame,” writes Matthew. I ask him about the stories and historical information that accompany the recipes, and he tells me it was important both to honor his family as well as the diverse backgrounds of the people who have contributed to Southern cuisine.

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Why I Serve CHARLOTTE COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERS BRING TIME, TALENT AND TREASURE THROUGH SERVICE TO THEIR FAVORED CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS. HERE’S WHY THEY DO IT. BY MICHAEL J. SOLENDER • PHOTOGRAPHS BY TIM SAYER

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harlotte museum visitors, concertgoers and theater enthusiasts know the city’s cultural scene is a burgeoning one. What may be less well-understood, however, is that for every musician, painter, actor and dancer, there’s a behind-the-scenes group of professionals volunteering to showcase their artistry. For area nonprofit arts and cultural institutions, an active and engaged board of directors can be the key difference between success and struggle. Having diverse and involved community leaders is critical to the health and viability of Charlotte’s cultural sector. So critical that, in 2005, Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council launched a Cultural Leadership Training Program to identify, educate and match a deep well of talent to serve on the boards of arts institutions throughout the city. “This program demystifies board service, provides a grounding in governance, roles and responsibilities and capitalizes on the influx of intellectual capital into Charlotte as the city continues to grow,” says Katherine Mooring, senior vice president of community investment at ASC. More than 400 graduates of the leadership training program have been matched with dozens of organizations in the past 15 years, Mooring says. Why do people serve on arts boards? The reasons are as diverse as the organizations they serve. We sat down with five board chairs alongside their executive directors to learn about how they support their organizations, the rewards of service and their passion for the arts.

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Arlene Ferebee is surrounded by gowns created with recycled playbills and postcards, part of Opera Carolina’s Recycle the Runway initiative. 68

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Arlene Ferebee Opera Carolina

Arlene Ferebee was beaming as she shared her enthusiasm about last year’s Charlotte debut of I Dream, the stirring opera chronicling the last 36 hours of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. “Our production came on the heels of the recent social unrest in Charlotte,” Ferebee says. “[It] really showed how art can be a safe space to create dialogue around sensitive subjects and issues that matter to the community. These opportunities excite me and are innovative forms of community engagement, an interest area I focused on as I came onto Opera Carolina’s board.” Opera Carolina’s roots extend back to 1948, when the company was founded by the Charlotte Music Club. The nonprofit is entering its 71st season in 2020 as the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas. Ferebee, senior director, strategic development for Novant Health, was approached about taking a board seat at Opera Carolina when one of her colleagues was rolling off the board. She joined in 2016, and became board chair 18 months later. “My interest in opera grew from having been a French Horn player in high school and loving classical music,” says Ferebee, who recalls Rossini’s The Barber of Seville as the first opera she attended. “I was [eager] to talk to diverse audiences about opera, leveraging the different programming we do, and illustrate there is a little piece of Opera Carolina for everyone.” Executive Director Beth Hansen says having a large board — it’s currently 28 members — comprised of community, business and philanthropic leaders is an advantage for the company. “We benefit with multiple vantage points,” says Hansen, who took on her current role after first serving on Opera Carolina’s board. “From arts advocacy and fundraising to community engagement and working with sponsors, a larger board gives us the expertise of senior community and corporate leaders — and [the perspective of] younger professionals we are cultivating to engage and help achieve our mission.” Opera Carolina’s board members commit to three years of service. As with most boards, directors are expected to make an annual financial contribution. “It’s been fantastic to be involved with the level of diverse expertise and knowledge found not only on the board, but with the staff,” Ferebee says. “As board chair, I’m more involved with different aspects of our operations, from the repertories to financials, and it’s satisfying to work shoulder-to-shoulder with such a great team.” Ferebee said the friendships she’s forged are among the most rewarding aspects of her board service. “I’ve met and worked with people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet elsewhere,” she says. “This has been invaluable, especially my friendship with Beth. I’ve learned so much about her. We’ve always had respect for each other, but this type of work leads to developing deeper friendships.”

“I’ve met and worked with people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet elsewhere. ... This has been invaluable ...”

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Lise Hain

Charlotte Ballet Lise Hain could hardly have picked a more exciting and heady time to serve on the board of directors at Charlotte Ballet. During her seven-year tenure, including the last two as board chair, Hain has seen a major company rebranding; the retirement of Charlotte Ballet’s long-tenured artistic director; the search, selection and transition of a new AD; and the company’s strategic growth into new markets and expanded community programming. “Serving on the board is a way I can promote something I feel passionate about,” Hain says. “I’m excited and motivated about what we are accomplishing.” Hain joined the board just as the company launched a rebranding initiative — Charlotte Ballet was previously known as the North Carolina Dance Theatre. “The experience was a great piece of education on the workings of our board and the deliberate nature of planning,” Hain says. “Listening to questions asked and seeing how roadblocks were navigated informed me on how we operate.” Growing up in Oregon, Hain was exposed to the ballet at an early age by her mother, who took her to live performances and always tuned in to public television whenever Baryshnikov was performing. “After graduate school, I moved to New York City and got the cheapest ticket I could to ABT (American Ballet Theatre) and so appreciated all the stimulating offerings of the city,” Hain says. “After moving here, I was aspirational for Charlotte and looked for ways to foster the arts.” Hain came to Charlotte Ballet after six years on the board at nearby Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Douglas Singleton, Charlotte Ballet’s executive director, is appreciative of the board’s support of the creative direction of Hope Muir as she has transitioned into the role of artistic director. “What the board has done is allow Hope to curate our programming,” Singleton says. “The first conversation we had as a search committee, was do we have a focus on curation vs. creation. We determined we wanted a balance of the two with a mixture of repertoire, as it takes time to mature and develop. Hope’s way of developing repertoire that both pushes the city and prepares the dancers to grow has really been embraced and is paying dividends for the company.” The New York Times has taken note, spotlighting the company’s American premiere of The Most Incredible Thing, a ballet based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Charlotte Ballet’s spring 2019 production was choreographed by Javier de Frutos. Opportunities to tour and perform nationally and internationally are presenting themselves as well. For example, Charlotte Ballet will be taking its Spring Works on the road to the Joyce Theater in Manhattan in May 2020. “We need to be cautious and deliberate in how we evaluate these opportunities,” says Hain, who acknowledges financial and other risks need to be balanced when considering how to expand the company’s reach. “We have a wonderful diversity of skill sets on our board. Our role is to be a sounding board and support the staff and the company.”

“Serving on the board is a way I can promote something I feel passionate about,” Hain says. “I’m excited and motivated about what we are accomplishing.”

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Keri Shull

Caroline Calouche & Co. For Keri Shull, the decision to serve on the board of directors at Caroline Calouche & Co., a nonprofit aerial dance company which blends contemporary dance and circus arts, was one that allowed her to both give back to the community and reconnect with her own personal roots in dance. “I was on a competitive dance team in high school and always enjoyed the dance space,” says Shull, head of specialty lending at Fifth Third Bank. “I was looking for an opportunity to be impactful and saw Caroline’s company as a smaller organization a bit higher on the needs continuum, and at a nice intersection of impact and passion for me.” Supporting a sole founder and artistic and executive director requires a great deal of alignment in vision — and a degree of faith, so that conflicts between creative ideas (and allocating resources to resolve those conflicts) can be worked through successfully. Shull, who’s served on the board for the last four years and became chair 18 months ago, wanted to be certain Calouche recognized this balance and was open to measured, sustainable growth. “It’s not unusual in the nonprofit arena to see someone overflowing with passion for the artistic side of things, but they can’t figure out how to navigate the rest,” Shull says. “I’ve found Caroline excels in areas that go well beyond the creative realm, from obtaining grant funding and business relationships to marketing and staff development.” As the company’s community presence has grown, sponsorship and performance opportunities have required additional work the board might not have been ready for. “I’ve always understood there is compromise involved in realizing artistic dreams,” says Calouche, acknowledging the tough financial realities of operating a nonprofit. “As our board has evolved, particularly since Keri has taken the chair, I’m comfortable [giving up some] administrative and operational responsibilities and working to put in place capabilities to catch up to our artistic goals.” Shull says potential board members considering nonprofit service should seek to understand the strategy and the routines in place. “How we drive strategic vision — who’s helping, what the structure is and what is required of board members to support the artistic piece — is critical. Knowing what you own, and what the measure of success is as a board member needs to be well understood.” What does Shull find rewarding about her board journey? “Seeing the behind-the-scenes of how we get things accomplished is very satisfying,” Shull says. “Our artistic product is top notch. It’s fun and interesting to see behind what makes that happen.”

“Our artistic product is top notch. It’s fun and interesting to see behind what makes that happen.”

Keri Shull, right, joined the board of the aerial dance company started by Caroline Calouche, left, four years ago. She became chair in 2017.

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Steve Dunn BOOM

After years of enjoying Charleston’s Spoleto Festival, Steve Dunn figured Charlotte was overdue for an engaging street art festival of its own and thought he might create one. “I approached my friend and former college roommate, Charles Thomas (Charlotte’s program director at the Knight Foundation),” says Dunn, a longtime arts advocate, attorney and owner of Steve Dunn Mediation. He told me about BOOM and introduced me to Manoj.” Manoj Kesavan is the founder, executive director and creative force behind BOOM, an annual three-day showcase of performance, visual, musical, contemporary and experimental art created on “the fringes of popular culture.” Launched in 2016, BOOM held more than 120 performances this past spring at ticketed venues such as Petra’s, The Rabbit Hole and Snug Harbor, as well as dozens of free events on street stages throughout Plaza Midwood. More than 15,000 people attended the three-day festival showcasing contemporary and experimental art. Dunn started working with Kesavan as a festival volunteer. “I helped with staging logistics like equipment rental, insurance, noise permitting and legal matters,” Dunn says. “I came onto the board in June of 2017 and became board chair last year. It was an easy transition, as BOOM remains an organization where there is a great deal of overlap between the board and key volunteers.” Dunn brings considerable experience to BOOM, having served as chair for Carolina Actors Studio Theatre, the long-running independent nonprofit theater company. “Being a board member is a year-round job — we meet monthly, look at finances, focus on the mission and vision of BOOM, and keep tabs on potential sponsorships, artists and growth opportunities.” BOOM’s nascent stage of development, however, is where Dunn can bring his board experience to bear. “We’re at a fascinating inflection point with BOOM,” Dunn says, “Somewhere between a scrappy band of friends putting on a street show and a long-established artistic organization. Where I’m useful is as someone who has been involved in organizations that are further along that path. I’ve seen how things get done, what’s important, and [I can] help articulate concrete actions we need to undertake to get better.” Kesavan, a serial people connector as adept at navigating corporate boardrooms as surfing for talent in underground clubs, welcomes the structural framework that Dunn and BOOM’s six-member board brings to the table. “While we remain an artist-driven organization, that doesn’t exclude the opportunity to operate at a professional level,” Kesavan says. “We need to have best practices and appropriate governance processes in place. Steve and the board deliver here.” As chair, Dunn is appreciative of all levels of contributions from his members. “It’s important to accept from people what they are willing and able to give rather than be resentful for what they are unable to do,” he says. “People contribute in many different tangible and practical ways beyond what’s always immediately visible. I’m thankful for everything, from their time to making community introductions. It all makes a difference.” His most rewarding moment during this year’s festival? “Surprisingly, it was just sitting back this year at the beverage tent,” Dunn says. “I draw my energy being there while it’s happening and being surrounded by so much cool talent.”

“People contribute in many different tangible and practical ways beyond what’s always immediately visible. ... It all makes a difference.”

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Jeff Hay

Blumenthal Performing Arts When Jeff Hay was approached in 2013 about serving on the board of trustees at Blumenthal Performing Arts, he was concerned he wouldn’t be able to commit enough time to Charlotte’s largest nonprofit arts institution. Hay, who is corporate and securities practice group leader at Womble Bond Dickinson LLP, already served as president of the British-American Business Council of North Carolina. “I met with Tom Gabbard (president and CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts) to initially explore the opportunity,” Hay says. “I came to learn the Blumenthal, along with several other regional centers, had created the Independent Presenters Network and were investing in British theater.” The IPN consortium brings Broadway productions to more than 110 cities across North America. “My mission with the British-American Business Council was to foster bilateral trade and investment between the U.K. and the U.S., and I saw [great synergies]. By the time lunch was over, I’d agreed to sit on the board.” It was only three months later that Blumenthal brought Sir Matthew Bourne (a British choreographer of contemporary dance and theater) to Charlotte with his smash hit, Sleeping Beauty. “The British-American Business Council sponsored the production and hosted a reception for Matthew with a terrific talk-back interview,” Hay says. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard in the first three months serving on a board as I did then. I began to become more aware of what the Blumenthal does for the region from an economic-development perspective, and it’s a level of contribution, one I don’t think many in Charlotte fully realize.” There’s no question Blumenthal is an economic powerhouse for the region, infusing more than $60 million into the local economy and presenting more than 1,000 shows annually. The organization employs 100 full-time staffers, a militia of more than 350 volunteers and steady income to nearly 350 stagehands. “Our mission is to reach out into all corners of the community with our programming,” Hay says. “Broadway Lights is a tremendous revenue generator that allows Blumenthal to invest in a diversity of productions like Breakin’ Convention (an international festival of hip-hop dance) and the Charlotte Jazz Festival, where much of our programming is free, outside the four walls of theater, and beyond Tryon Street.” Now in his second year as chair, Hay sees the board’s role in connecting community members as a critical component to fulfilling Blumenthal’s mission of using the arts as a catalyst to strengthen education, build community and spur economic growth. “I’m very excited about our focus on kids. The Blumeys, our awards and recognition program for high school performing-arts programs, is nationally recognized and makes a tremendous impact across the region. [Blumenthal’s]’s ticket scholarships support youth mentoring organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Freedom School. These are the types of partners that extend our reach.” Trustee support also extends to many of the Charlotte community’s smaller arts organizations. “It’s especially gratifying to me when there is a healthy exchange of ideas and problem-solving between our trustees and those on the boards of our resident companies,” Gabbard says. “Our board has deep layers of expertise that is an invaluable resource in helping our arts community thrive.” Hay says the opportunity to mix with such a diversity of talent is ultimately the most rewarding aspect of serving on the board. “There’s a super network of talented, smart and engaged folks on our board that help me expand my perspective on our community. It’s always inspiring to work with them.” SP

“Our mission is to reach out into all corners of the community with our programming,”

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Peace Amid Pain IN HER NEW BOOK, CANCER SURVIVOR NIKI HARDY EXPLORES HOW FEAR AND FAITH CAN COEXIST, AND HOW LIFE CAN BE FULL — EVEN WHEN FACING OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES. BY PAGE LEGGETT PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER TAYLOR

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A

Charlottean by way of Oxford, England, Niki Hardy was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2012 at the age of 43. At the time, the mother of three was grieving the loss of her mother and very recent loss of her sister to cancer. On a sunny afternoon in May, Hardy sat with me on the back porch of her Myers Park home — with Charlie and Chester, her goldendoodles, at our feet and hot tea in our teacups. We talked about her cancer (and mine), how she came to write a book about the experience, and how fear and faith can coexist. Hardy and her pastor husband, Al, moved to the U.S. to start CityChurch Charlotte in Plaza Midwood in 2006. Our conversation has been edited for length. I love your voice — and I’m not just talking about your British accent. With this book, I felt that I was just having a chat. I wanted it to feel like you were sitting down for a cup of tea with a friend — not that you were being, you know, taught something.

That’s exactly what it felt like. I felt a connection, and not just because we both had cancer in our cabooses. For instance, you write that you like order — me, too. Describe how cancer messed with your orderly life. Well, life had already been tossed around a bit. My mum 80

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and [my sister] Jo had recently died of cancer. I was still reeling from that. And then I got my diagnosis. I talk in the book about how I wouldn’t know an emotion if it came up and introduced itself to me. Al is the much more emotionally intelligent one of us. I’m more like: I don’t know what this is called, but I want to hit someone. As for the timing, I thought: Are you kidding me? Has the heat-seeking missile of death locked in on me? As far as our children were concerned, they knew their grandma and my sister. They thought: People who get cancer die, and die quickly. ... You feel a little like a puppet on a string. You are dancing to the tune of the doctors. Suddenly, someone else is cooking your meals — which is a complete gift — and driving your kids to activities, which is also a complete gift. You’ve got treatments and bloodwork, and your body doesn’t feel like it’s your own because you’ve got a drug that could strip paint coursing through you. You also write about how you had to “hold hands with peace and fear in the same moment.” I don’t think doubt and faith are mutually exclusive. Doubt brings our faith to life. I didn’t doubt that God was there, but I went through a period where I wondered if God was mad at me. The logical, theologically educated, left side of my brain


You wrote that you felt you had to protect your husband from your fears. I’ve talked to other cancer survivors who have had similar experiences. We feel the need to be cheerful warriors. Yes, I think vulnerability is a scary place to hang out. I wanted to protect Al from how I was feeling, because he was already dealing with so much. He had his own fears about what my cancer meant … It felt that to be totally honest would burden him. What we ultimately realized, though, was being honest about our fears brought us closer together. Your book goes beyond cancer and offers inspiration for anyone who’s thrown a curveball in life — whether a divorce or job loss or grief. At what point did you decide your audience was bigger than just the cancer community? The message that was burning within me wasn’t so much about cancer, but about living life to the fullest. That came about through meeting the “thrivers” — the people who have late-stage cancer and are living their lives, anyway. They weren’t denying that life was bad — really bad. They weren’t glossing over it. They were saying: Life stinks right now, but I’m going to grab all the goodness out of it I can. That was so enticing, so potent ... Did having cancer deepen your faith? All the questioning deepened my relationship with God. I have a confidence that God is good even when life isn’t. How else did cancer change you? It’s given me more empathy. I’m quite a cut-and-dried person. It’s encouraged me not to wait. I just got back from visiting my stepfather, who’s 89, in Vancouver. And I went to visit my dad recently for his 80th birthday. This is what’s precious in life.

knew, of course, He’s not mad at me. He loves me. But the intuitive right side of my brain was running wild. Pain and peace were present at the same time, and I never knew that was possible. How did you talk about your cancer? [My husband and I] decided to be open and honest about it. First, with the kids, we told them about my cancer and that we were trusting God. We also quickly told our congregation. We pastor in a way that’s very real and upfront. People prayed for us and offered so much help. I started a CaringBridge site to keep friends updated. It became a way to help people who were dealing with not just cancer but any of life’s challenges. After my treatment was over, people asked me not to stop the posts. They suggested I start a blog. I didn’t even know what a blog was!

What did having cancer teach you about how to show up for a friend in crisis? People [in a crisis] aren’t looking for advice. They just need someone to sit with them in that space of unknowing. I think it’s a real gift when we can do that. One of my great friends, when I told her about my diagnosis, said, “Well, that sucks.” And it was just the perfect answer. In life, no one gets to skip the tough stuff. We’d like to think, after living through one crisis: Well, I’m now done with my trauma. But bad stuff happens to good people. I want people to know: Life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full. It’s possible to thrive — not just survive — no matter what life throws at you. SP Like a cup of tea with an old friend: Niki Hardy’s book, Breathe Again How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart will be available Aug. 6. An audiobook, which Hardy narrates, also comes out in early August. Follow Niki on Instagram @niki.hardy, and follow her blog at nikihardy.com.

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Country

Cool

VENERABLE COUNTRY-MUSIC HOTSPOT COYOTE JOE’S HAS ATTRACTED SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE BUSINESS SINCE OPENING IN 1991. GET READY TO KICK UP YOUR HEELS AND TAKE IN SOME OF TODAY’S HOTTEST WESTERN LOOKS. WARDROBE STYLING AND PRODUCTION BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN | THE QUEEN CITY STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSEPH BRADLEY HAIR AND MAKEUP BY PATRICE CLONTS SHOT ON LOCATION AT COYOTE JOE’S, 4621 WILKINSON BLVD.

Saint Laurent check print shirt, Tabor, $750; jeans, models own; Stetson hat courtesy of Tommy Saunders; vintage leather and silver buckle belt courtesy of Todd Potter.


Wrangler skull and feather embroidered denim snap shirt, Wrangler. com $49; Wiggy Kit floral peasant skirt, Poole Shop, $690; RG Renata Gasparian Lyla beaded clutch in gold, renatagasparian.com, $148.00; Indigo Tilt medium Kai cuff, $65, and pink medium stud cuff, $65, IndigoTilt.com; Noelle Munoz 6 stone ring, noellemunozjewelry.com, $135.


Her: Gucci stirrup print blouse, Capitol, $1,890; Indigo Tilt nilah top laser cut floral with brass studs in cognac brown, IndigoTilt.com, $480; RG Renata Gasparian Jodi multicolor wrap skirt red, renatagasparian.com, $118; Miron Crosby Caroline fall/winter mix boot, MironCrosby.com, $2,750. Him: Saint Laurent Western Pullover, Tabor, $1,290; Raleigh Denim Jones trouser in navy, Tabor, $225; Ben Silver leather belt with crown buckle and Double H boots both courtesy of Rusty Bryson. 84

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Novis The Woodville sleeveless ruffle yoke blouse apple green, Capitol, courtesy of Audrey Hood, $650; Wrangler high rise flare jean, Wrangler.com, $139; GANNI high Texas boots, Poole Shop, $585; vintage leather and sterling buckle belt courtesy of Gina Davis; Noelle Munoz Jewelry sundown earrings, NoelleMunoz.com, $265.

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Her: Saylor yellow stripe tie waist blouse, Monkee’s, $210; Petersyn Asia ruffle skirt, Monkee’s, $260; IG die green wood and metal earrings, Monkee’s, $68; Miron Crosby x Capitol Daisy Boot, Capitol, $2,195; Indigo Tilt medium Kai cuff, IndigoTilt.com, $65; Noelle Munoz alegre necklace, $485, and sundown earrings, $265, NoelleMunozJewelry.com. Him: Engineered Garments chambray workshirt, Tabor, $228; Raleigh Jones trouser in coffee can, Tabor, $265; Stetson hat courtesy of Tommy Saunders; Lucchese boots courtesy of Rusty Bryson; vintage leather and silver belt courtesy of Gina Davis. 86

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Ralph Lauren plaid western shirt, Tabor, $185; jeans, models own; Meshika hat from Tabor courtesy of Stephen Wilson; Ben Silver leather belt with crown buckle courtesy of Rusty Bryson.

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Her: Carolina Herrera short sleeve shirt dress with crystals, Capitol, $2,290; Jody Candrian black agate and sterling silver bolo necklace, Capitol, $950; Meshika hat, Tabor, courtesy of Stephen Wilson. Him: Ralph Lauren plaid western shirt, Tabor, $185.


Her: Ganni fringe denim blouse, Poole Shop, $295; Nick Fouquet hat, Capitol, courtesy of Aundrea Wilson. Him: RRL Sherman popover shirt, Tabor, $245; jeans, model’s own; Stetson hat courtesy of Tommy Saunders. SP

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J.C. Leyendecker, Couple in Boat, oil on canvas, 1922. © 2019 National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI. Photo courtesy American Illustrators Gallery, New York, NY.

For “For men men who are particular in all matters pertaining to dress.”

AN EXHIBITION of paintings and illustrations by J.C. Leyendecker, the Ameri-

AUG 31–DEC 31, 2 1

can illustrator who shaped 1920’s visual culture and defined the modern man. Debuting in August at Reynolda, in Winston-Salem. Get tickets and plan your visit at reynoldahouse.org/leyendecker

Reynolda House is grateful to the following Major Sponsors for their support of Leyendecker and the Golden Age of American Illustration: Joseph M. Bryan, Jr.; Frank and Gary; Michael Felsen, in honor of the Family Equality Council; The David R. Hayworth Foundation; John Hoemann and Howard Upchurch; Leonard Ryden Burr Real Estate; and Wake Forest University.


SHOW STOPPERS A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY:

THE MUSIC, ART, THEATER AND COMEDY TO ADD TO YOUR AGENDA FOR THE REST OF 2019. BY PAGE LEGGETT

This fall and winter will bring a bit of the old and the new to Charlotte’s cultural scene. Here are 20 events we’re most excited about.

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The Band’s Visit

AU G U S T

Silence! The Musical

The Band’s Visit

Aug. 15 – Sept. 7

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Broadway Lights Series Aug. 6 – 25 After a mix-up at a train station, an Egyptian police band winds up in a remote village in the Israeli desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, the wayward travelers are taken in for the night by locals. In the middle of nowhere, strangers make very human connections. The musical adaptation of the 2007 Israeli film won 10 Tony Awards, including the 2018 Tony for Best Musical. Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25-$114.50. carolinatix.org

Actor’s Theatre Imagine the psychological thriller Silence of The Lambs, but funny — and set to music. One of the most terrifying movies of our time has been reimagined as a musical. Some of the song titles aren’t suitable to be printed here: This one’s for — well, not exactly mature audiences. Be warned — this show contains (very) adult humor. Hadley Theater at Queens University, 2132 Radcliffe Ave. Tickets are $30-$44 weekdays and $35-$50 weekends. atcharlotte.org

Jazz Room Special Edition: Matt Lemmler Reimagines the Music of Stevie Wonder Jazz Arts Charlotte Aug. 15 – 17 Renowned New Orleans pianist, singer and composer Matt Lemmler and friends play his jazz-imbued arrangements of the unmistakable music of Stevie Wonder. Boogie On, Reggae Woman. Stage Door Theatre, 155 N. College St. Tickets are $16-$20. thejazzarts.org

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SEPTEMBER Oliver! Theatre Charlotte Sept. 6 – 22 A big, boisterous cast of about 35 will include 14 kids between ages 9 and 16. Retiring Executive Director Ron Law directs the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved novel, Oliver Twist. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. Tickets are $12-$28. theatrecharlotte.org

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City Warehouse Performing Arts Center and Knight Gallery Sept. 20 – Oct. 5

Dixie’s Tupperware Party

Dixie’s Tupperware Party presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Aug. 27 – Sept. 8 Fast-talking Tupperware lady Dixie Longate is actually the alter ego of actor/writer/drag performer Kris Andersson. Dixie puts on the most colorful Tupperware parties, regaling guests with outrageously funny tales about life back in an Alabama trailer park. This’ll be a raunchy good time. Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $24.50-$54.50. carolinatix.org

Halley Feiffer, daughter of satirist and cartoonist Jules Feiffer, wrote the comedic play about a foul-mouthed 20-something comedian and a middle-aged man forced together when their moms, both cancer patients, become roommates in the hospital. Warehouse PAC Founder and Executive Director Marla Brown calls A Funny Thing “one of those beautiful theatrical experiences that allows you to laugh through your tears. It focuses on two strangers who meet in the shared hospital room of their mothers and the deep connection they create. Halley Feiffer’s work is simultaneously outrageous, crude, hilarious and yet deeply moving, so a fun challenge for actors to capture those transitions quickly.” Brown adds that the play addresses “the invisibility and difficulty of being a caregiver, especially to people we love most and with whom we are closest. Feiffer reminds us that ironically, mortality provides a space to heal fractured relationships.” 9216-A Westmoreland Rd., Cornelius (Sept. 20-29), Knight Gallery at Spirit Square (Oct. 3-5). Tickets are $15-$20. warehousepac.com

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Wait Until Dark Davidson Community Players Sept. 26 – Oct. 13 Desperate to get their hands on a doll stuffed with drugs, a con man and two criminal sidekicks try to fool the unsuspecting — and blind — Susy, who is in possession of the goods. A thrilling game of cat and mouse ensues inside Susy’s apartment. After dark, though, our blind heroine may have the upper hand. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson. Tickets are $15-$20. davidsoncommunityplayers.org

O C TO B E R Itzhak Perlman Plays Mendelssohn Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Oct. 5 Itzhak Perlman is to the violin what Yo-Yo Ma is to the cello. Both are the reigning masters. The legend got his break on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 and has since performed for Queen Elizabeth II in the East Room of the White House and for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Belk Theater. Tickets are $78-$309. carolinatix.org Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint

Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint Mint Museum Uptown Sept. 21 – April 26 Founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, Studio Drift creates larger-than-life sculptures that explore the intersection of humanity, nature and technology. Fragile Future 3 is made of hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds individually hand-glued onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. The work is a statement on the impermanence of everything in life — including life itself. 500 S. Tryon St. Admission is $15; free for members and children 4 and under. mintmuseum.org

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Peter Pan Children’s Theatre of Charlotte Oct. 4 – Nov. 3 The Tony Award-winning musical in which Peter whisks the Darling children off to Neverland is a classic adventure story with a great villain (Captain Hook) and an even better sidekick (Tinkerbell). ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th St. Tickets are $15-$34. ctcharlotte.org


N OV E M B E R Little Shop of Horrors

Protective Custody: PRISONER 34042

CPCC Theatre

Three Bone Theatre

Oct. 25 – Nov. 3

Nov. 1-3, 7-9

The timid floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his workplace crush. The foul-mouthed, R&B-crooning carnivorous plant promises fame and fortune to the down-on-his-luck Seymour as long as Seymour keeps feeding him. The only problem: Audrey II’s food of choice is human blood. This comedic musical is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows ever. Halton Theater, 1206 Elizabeth Ave. Tickets are $19-$21. tix.cpcc.edu

A powerhouse lineup is behind this extraordinary world premiere. Local theater icon Charles LaBorde wrote the play based on the memoir by Charlotte’s Susan Cernyak-Spatz, a Holocaust survivor. Dennis Delamar, who had the idea to turn the story into a play, directs Nicia Carla and Paula Baldwin. Protective Custody: PRISONER 34042 shares Cernyak-Spatz’s real-life experience as a young woman in Europe during the rise of Nazism and her against-the-odds survival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. Recommended for ages 16+. Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Tickets are $22-$28. threebonetheatre.com

Leonce and Lena Charlotte Ballet Oct. 24 – 26 Georg Büchner’s political satire was comedic theater before it was a ballet. The story concerns a bored prince (Leonce) and jaded princess (Lena) who have never met, despite being betrothed to each other since birth. On the eve of their wedding, they each flee — only to meet as strangers and fall in love. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Tickets are $25-$85; children’s Saturday matinee tickets are $15. charlotteballet.org Leonce and Lena

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

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The Simon & Garfunkel Story

Verdi’s Macbeth Opera Carolina Nov. 7, 9 and 10 A cautionary tale (“Something wicked this way comes ...”) about the dangers of pursuing power for its own sake, Verdi’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy feels both pressing and ageless. Macbeth gets a prophecy from three witches that he will one day become King of Scotland. Encouraged by his power-hungry wife, he murders the king and assumes the throne. Demented with guilt and paranoia, Macbeth is forced to commit even more murders to stay ahead of suspicion. Lady Macbeth, consumed by her own shame, is slowly driven mad. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $23-$194. operacarolina.org

The Simon & Garfunkel Story presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Nov. 2 Before they were the duo famous for “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Homeward Bound” and “The Sound of Silence,” they were two boys from Brooklyn trying to make it. This concert/ theatrical event uses state-of-the-art video projection and a live band to chronicle the rise of the duo once known as “Tom & Jerry.” Knight Theater. Tickets are $25-$74.50. carolinatix.org

Sinatra Returns, featuring Joe Gransden Jazz at the Bechtler Nov. 1

Sinatra Returns, featuring Joe Gransden

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Crooner Joe Gransden comes from a long line of musicians: His dad was a singer and pianist, and his grandfather was a professional New York trumpet player. After high school, Gransden toured as a sideman with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. “Emulating the jazz greats is always the very first step,” he has said. “But … to be true to myself — who I am, what I believe in, my family background — I need to have a sound that’s my own. One of the truly enjoyable things about my career has been finding that my audience appreciates my individual talents.” He brings those talents to the stage in a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St. Tickets are $10-$16. bechtler.org


Ellis Paul

DECEMBER Clara’s Trip: A Cirque & Dance Nutcracker Story Caroline Calouche & Co. Dec. 13 – 15 It’s The Nutcracker, but performed up in the air by Calouche and her team of aerial artists and acrobats. You know the familiar tale, but you’ve probably never seen it performed overhead. It’s an exciting twist on a classic. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $20-$45. carolinecalouche.org

Be A Lion Brand New Sheriff Productions Dec. 5 – 15 Be A Lion is a sequel of sorts to The Wiz. The lion, whose cowardice has been replaced by courage, is tasked with restoring harmony to Oz. His mission is threatened by the daughter of the late wicked witch. Rory Sheriff’s theatrical company produces plays that illuminate the African-American experience. Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Tickets are $15$22. brandnewsheriff.com

Ellis Paul The Evening Muse Nov. 29 The singer-songwriter’s ballads have landed on movie soundtracks — Me, Myself & Irene in 2000, Shallow Hal in 2001 and Hall Pass in 2014 — but folk singers don’t typically appear on Billboard’s Top 100. Paul is a Bostoneducated, Charlottesville, Va.-based folk troubadour whose literate songs tackle topics such as post-Katrina New Orleans, parenthood and the Civil War. He makes it to Charlotte just once a year. Paul’s Friday-afterThanksgiving show at the Muse is becoming an annual tradition. 2227 N. Davidson St. Tickets are $20-$22. eveningmuse.com

All information was correct as of press time. However, event details, including dates and pricing, are subject to change. We encourage you to check an event’s website before purchasing tickets.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) Chickspeare Dec. 13 – 14 Charlotte’s all-female Shakespeare troupe is bringing back its popular Christmas play — a mashup of everything from A Christmas Carol to It’s a Wonderful Life to Miracle on 34th Street. Santa, The Grinch and George Bailey all make appearances in the 90-minute interactive show. “We’ve had so many people ask us to bring this show back for the holidays,” said the Chicks’ executive director, Sheila Proctor. “The show has all their favorite nostalgic Christmas characters, carols and loads of Christmas cheer.” NoDa Brewing Company, 2229 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $24. chickspeare.org SP southparkmagazine.com | 97


|cuisine

Hog Heaven

A PIG PICKING — DOWN-HOME AND DRAMATIC ALL AT THE SAME TIME. INVITE THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND ICE DOWN PLENTY OF BEER. BY JANE LEAR

W

hen my editor asked me to write about a pig picking — that is, a roasted whole hog and one of the world’s epic, roll-up-your-sleeves culinary projects — I realized I would be inviting the sort of controversy that sparks thoughts of witness protection or, at the very least, a pseudonym. As John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed point out in Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, the problem is, when it comes to cooking a whole pig, “there are reputable, sometimes renowned, pitmasters who would tell you something different at each and every step. Literally, each and every one.” They are not kidding.

The Backstory

“The first pig roasts were occasions for families and communities to get together, and you’ll find various renditions all over the world,” wrote Jim Auchmutey in the “Foodways” volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. The barbecue tradition of the American South has its roots in the Caribbean, “where Spanish explorers of the early 1500s found islanders roasting fish and game on a framework of sticks they called [in translation] a barbacoa,” Auchmutey explained,

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adding that the first barbecuers were typically African slaves who combined their native methods of roasting meat with expertise picked up in the West Indies. There are numerous knowledgeable websites (including those of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the North Carolina Barbecue Society) devoted to barbecue, and it’s the subject of some great books. Among the favorites in my library are the aforementioned Holy Smoke as well as Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country by Lolis Eric Elie, and Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes From a Southern Odyssey by Robb Walsh. What I’m trying to say is that in the space provided here, all I can do is drive slow and point out a few landmarks.

The Meat

In most of the South, barbecue means pork, and particularly in eastern North Carolina, it means the whole hog. You can order a conventionally raised whole hog from a butcher, but if you prefer eating meat that is raised with the welfare of the animals and the environment in mind (hog farming can be especially brutal to both), you may want to seek out a local sustainable farm, or order from one such as Cane Creek


PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN KOOB GESSNER

Farm, in Saxapahaw (about two hours northeast of Charlotte in Alamance County). It’s known far and wide as a producer of absolutely delicious pork from pastured heritage breeds: In other words, those pigs only have one bad day. On a practical note, a whole hog is too big for the refrigerator and most coolers, so the most common place to stash it is in the bathtub with lots of ice. Just saying.

The Fuel

In a perfect world, you’d start with half a cord of well-seasoned hardwood logs and burn them down, but about 70 pounds of hardwood lump charcoal is a good compromise. You’ll also want lots of water-soaked hardwood chunks to add to the burning coals for smoke. Avoid mesquite; while it’s great for Texas-style beef brisket, it’s too strong for pork. Instead, choose hickory, oak, a fruitwood such as apple, or a mix.

The Method

The easiest option is to rent a charcoal (not propane) cooker, which you can tow behind a car, or plunk down a few hundred dollars for a Cuban-style caja China (Chinese box), available at Williams-Sonoma and other online retailers. A caja China is simple to use, and while it results in beautifully moist lechón pork, you won’t get much of a smoky whomp. A spit-roaster is yet another alternative, but again, you‘re not going to get the smokiness that aficionados crave. If, however, you’re the sort of person who can build a raised garden bed, you may not think twice about knocking together a temporary cinder block pit. It helps to have a truck-owning friend who owes you one, and a place nearby where you can buy supplies such as a sheet of expanded metal. (Avoid galvanized metal, which can give off toxic fumes.) It’s also helpful to have a kettle grill or fire pit to get additional coals working; that way, you can add them to the pit as needed. southparkmagazine.com | 99


“The coals go in a pit and the meat is put more or less directly above them, at some distance (to keep the cooking temperature low),” explain the Reeds. “The meat is kept moist by frequent mopping (basting), and most of the smoke comes from the meat drippings and basting sauce hitting the hot coals (coals produce very little smoke on their own). It’s hard to improve on this technique for cooking whole hogs.”

The Game Plan

Decide when you want to eat, and work backwards. Round up supplies a few days ahead. Think about delegating authority for the playlist, beer, snacks and the graveyard shift. As far as the cooking goes, give yourself plenty of leeway; depending on the size of the hog, the Reeds suggest at least 12 and up to 14 hours from start to finish.

The Equipment

• One or two large chimney fire starters • An oven thermometer (a remote-read type is nice but not necessary) • A meat thermometer • Heavy gloves (for you and a sidekick) • A squirt bottle of water to control flare-ups • Barbecue sauce (recipe suggestion below)

The Roast ing

There are numerous how-to’s online, so I’m not going to take up space here with the nitty-gritty. But here are some handy tips from the Reeds and various other backyard pitmasters. When shoveling hot coals into the pit, put more under where the thick, slow-cooking hams (hind legs) and shoulders of the hog will be. Check the oven thermometer; the temperature at grill level should reach 225–250 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a half-dozen water-soaked wood chunks where they’ll smolder, but not directly under the pig. Then put the pig, skin side up, on the grate and cover. After a while, start another batch of charcoal. Every half hour, check the temperature of the pit. If it’s dropping off, put more hot coals under the shoulders and hams and a couple of hardwood chunks off to the side. Use a shovel to push the dying embers into the middle of the pit to cook the ribs and loin. After six or seven hours, the hams and shoulders should be looking nicely browned and wrinkled. Stick a meat thermometer in those thick parts — don’t touch the bone — and see if the temperature has reached 165 degrees. Keep cooking until it reaches that temperature, even if it takes much longer. When it reaches 165 degrees, you and a friend don those heavy gloves and gently turn the pig over. You may need a spatula or (clean) shovel to loosen it first. Don’t worry if the pig comes apart when you do this. Once the skin side is down, you’ll be looking at the ribs. Generously fill the cavity with sauce, and mop the shoulders and hams, too. Let the meat cook another couple of hours, adding coals and wood as needed, until your meat thermometer reads at

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least 180 degrees in every part of the animal. The rib and shoulder bones should pull away with no resistance.

The Payoff

You can serve the cooked pig as is, pig-picking style, so that guests can choose what they like — moist, tender, pale “inside meat” or the dark, smoky, bark-like “outside meat.” Don’t be surprised if folks don’t stray far from the pit, but simply stand around and the meat right off the bones. Or you can chop or pull the meat for a luscious mix of the two, dress it with some remaining sauce, and add in some crunchy cracklings for yet another texture. The traditional way to eat pulled pork is to sandwich it, along with a generous dollop of coleslaw, in a hamburger bun.

Recipes

The sauce

This “Old-Time Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce,” which appears in the Reeds’ Holy Smoke, is staggeringly simple. Just mix together 1 gallon cider vinegar, 1 1⁄3 cups crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons black pepper, and 1⁄4 cup coarse salt, and let stand for at least four hours.

The sides

Pork is the star of any self-respecting pig picking, but you (or the kind souls who volunteered) will feel obligated to round out the feast with side dishes. And although there is absolutely nothing wrong with baked beans out of a can or jumbo bags of barbecue potato chips, upping the drama quotient, so to speak, can be part of the fun.

Corn on the cob

If you have a kettle grill going for those additional coals, for instance, it’s an easy matter to grill corn on the cob. Here’s how: Pull back the corn husks but leave them attached at the base of each ear. Remove the corn silk, then put the husks back around the ears. Grill over moderately hot heat, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. Let the corn cool a few minutes, then holding each ear with a kitchen towel, peel back the husk and discard. Serve with mayonnaise blended with a little sriracha, harissa or minced canned chipotles in adobo.

Potato salad

When it comes to potato salad, if you are lucky enough to find honest-to-goodness new (that is, freshly dug) small potatoes, with their thin, delicate skins, at the market or farm stand, there’s no reason to camouflage their earthy flavor with mayo and bits of hard-boiled egg. Simmer the spuds in well-salted water until tender, about 15 minutes or so, and cut into quarters when cool to the touch. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and gently toss with finely chopped shallot, chopped fresh thyme leaves (include some thyme flowers if you’re harvesting out of the garden) and/or parsley. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


The coleslaw

PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES STEFIUK

Craig Claiborne’s Goldsboro Coleslaw is an homage to the straightforward type you’ll find in Goldsboro, and it is hard to beat. The last two ingredients in this recipe — a tiny amount of sugar and cayenne or smoked paprika — are my usual embellishments, but I sometimes include grated carrot as well and/or a drizzle of rice vinegar. For a tangier coleslaw, replace some of the mayo with a dollop of sour cream. When tinkering, don’t forget to taste as you go. You can always add more mayo, salt, or cayenne, for instance, but you can’t remove them once they’ve joined the party. 1 small cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds) 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 1 cup finely chopped onion Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper A scant 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional) A pinch of cayenne or Spanish smoked paprika 1. Remove the core of the cabbage and the tough or blemished outer leaves. Cut the head in half and shred fine. There should be about 6 cups. Coarsely chop the shreds and put them into a mixing bowl. 2. Add the mayonnaise, onion, salt, and pepper and toss to blend well. Let the slaw sit about 30 minutes so the cab-

bage wilts a bit and the flavors have a chance to mingle. One of the things I learned during my tenure at Gourmet magazine is the wonderful affinity watermelon and tomatoes have for one another, and I love the combination to this day. Stir together chunks of seedless watermelon and juicy sun-ripened tomatoes. Add some crumbled feta, chopped cilantro, extra-virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of arugula or watercress or just as is.

Reality Check

If roasting a whole hog sounds like more than you bargained for, take heart. Especially if you are new to outdoor cooking or can’t undertake the considerable investment of time and money, there’s no shame in starting with something smaller and more manageable, like a pork shoulder. Specifically, I’m talking about a Boston butt, the meaty upper part of the shoulder that’s also called pork butt or butt end of a pork shoulder roast. A bone-in Boston butt usually weighs a good 8 to 10 pounds, and it can be cooked on the grill. Any which way, done right, the result is hog heaven. SP

Jane Lear is a food and travel writer formerly at Gourmet magazine and Martha Stewart Living. southparkmagazine.com | 101


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Sweet Tea for the Soul A SOCIABLE SOUTHERN GREETING IN A GLASS BY GAYVIN POWERS

I

n the South, summer heat takes on a personality of its own, inspiring thoughts like, “I’m walking through soup,” or “If it gets any hotter, I’ll have to take off stuff I really ought to keep on.” One of the only things to do on a day like this is to crank up the AC and have a cold glass of iced tea. Not the iced tea Northerners refer to, the kind that’s missing that one, all-important, ingredient. No, the sweet kind, the kind that Grandma made fresh when she welcomed you every time you knocked on her screen door. Grandmas know tradition, and the sweet tea tradition in the South goes way back to 1839 and a recipe for “Tea Punch” in The Kentucky Housewife cookbook. To understand the full story of how Southern sweet tea came to be, one needs to understand the building blocks of this cultural icon. It’s the coming together of a trifecta of luxuries in Colonial America: tea, ice, and sugar. The first is tea. Prior to the 1800s, tea was served hot. As a colony of Great Britain, Americans enjoyed their lavish green tea, drinking more of it than coffee. In 1773, when Britain put a 25% tax on tea imported to the American Colonies, the Colonists saw themselves being priced out of one of their favorite refreshing pastimes. And they rebelled. Of course,

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the Founding Fathers may have had a few other grievances in mind, but it was tea that went into Boston Harbor. After the War of Independence the new nation’s clipper ships sailed directly to China, cutting out the British middlemen and providing the states with tea — and some of its first millionaires. The second ingredient originated from the wild concept of “ice harvesting.” In the early 1800s, ice became year-round thanks to Frederic Tudor, a Boston businessman who masterminded the trading of ice, garnering him the title “Ice King.” Tudor hired workers for the dangerous job of chipping away frozen ponds in the North. Once gathered, the ice was stored and shipped to hotter locations, like the Caribbean, Europe and India. On blistering summer days, cold treats like ice cream and sorbets became available to patrons who could pay the high prices for it. Sugar, the third luxury in sweet tea, was domesticated 10,000 years ago on the island of New Guinea, where it was used as ceremonial medicine. Erin Coyle, a North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar who specializes in tea, says, “Sugar was the oil of its day.” It was introduced to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who engaged in a month-long affair with the extraordinarily beautiful Beatriz de


Bobadilla, governor of Gomera in the Canary Islands — the westernmost islands of what the Europeans considered the known world and a logical place to lay in supplies for an exploration into the unknown. With a reputation for extraordinary beauty, the “Lady of the Gallows,” as she was known, gave him cuttings of sugar cane that found their way to Hispaniola. “The cost of sugar dropped by the 1700s. Everyone was consuming it,” Coyle says. “In the 1700s, the average Englishman ate 4 pounds of sugar per year. In the 1800s, it increased to 18 pounds. I can only imagine the average amount of sugar a person consumes today.” One of Coyle’s favorite stories is about a popular establishment just to the southern side of the “tea line” dividing the North and the South — the unsweetened from the sweetened. A Northerner waited his turn behind an older Southern gentleman at the iced tea counter. When the Northerner filled up his cup, he took a deep swig, almost spit it out, and said, “I never tasted anything so terrible in my life.” The Southern gentleman patted him on the back and said, “You’ve got to work up to it, son.” Debates on how to make sweet tea are resolute and plentiful. Lipton or Luzianne? Crushed or cubed ice? Baking soda? Simple syrup, yes or no? And the amount of sugar in sweet tea is as complex as the DNA of its maker. The original iced teas, called “tea punches,” had various blends of sugar, juice, alcohol, lemon, water, tea, spices and cream. In the beginning, these punches had loyalist names such as “George IV,” then made way for more patriotic drinks, called “Charleston’s St. Cecilia Punch” and “Chatham Artillery Punch.” While these drinks may have had fancy names, none can take home the grand prize for being the original sweet tea. That honor stays with Mrs. Lettice Bryan, whose recipe for “Tea Punch” was published in The Kentucky Housewife cookbook in 1839, making it the first sweet iced tea. The “Southern Sweet Tea” common today has its roots in the Housekeeping in Old Virginia cookbook, written by Marion Cabell Tyree and published in 1878. Unlike its tea punch predecessor, this version is non-alcoholic and uses large amounts of sugar.

Over time, the production of sugar, tea and ice cost less, and the once expensive refreshment reserved for tea parties and galas became commonplace. It wasn’t long before sweet tea took up residency in the South, where anyone from a neighbor to a mail carrier to one’s grandparents could be greeted with a glass of Southern hospitality. “Sweet tea isn’t a drink, really. It’s culture in a glass,” wrote Allison Glock in Garden & Gun. It’s steeped in culture, cooled with tradition and sweetened with kindness. In the South, people take their tea recipes seriously. “The important part about tea is that, no matter where one travels in the world, it’s known for welcoming guests,” says Coyle, who tells the story of one family reunion. “Every family brings their own iced tea, and they all pour it into one vessel. A communal pot, so to speak. Their uncle would doctor it. He usually used pineapple juice as one of the ingredients — that’s one of the popular juices from the original tea punches. That tea would be shared with the whole family. It’s very ritualistic.” When it came to making sweet tea, green tea was the Bible until the 1900s. During World War II, when it was virtually impossible to get one’s hands on green tea, the United States imported black tea from British-controlled India. In the South’s sticky summer weather, an icy batch of sweet tea hits you right as rain as you rock on the front porch, watching the fireflies come out. A glass of sweet tea can take you back to childhood — the humidity on your skin as the screen door swings open, the scent of gardenia on the breeze, Grandma smiling, handing you a cold glass and saying, “Come on in, darlin’.”

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TEA PUNCH (THE FIRST ICED TEA)

From The Kentucky Housewife cookbook by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, published in 1839 “Make a pint and a half of very strong tea in the usual manner; strain it, and pour it boiling (hot) on 1 pound and a quarter of loaf sugar. Add half a pint of rich sweet cream, and then stir in gradually a bottle of Claret or Champagne. You may heat it up to the boiling point and serve it so, or you may send it ‘round entirely cold in glass cups.”

ORIGINAL SOUTHERN SWEET TEA

From Housekeeping in Old Virginia cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree, published in 1878 “Ice Tea – After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea. If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast. At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher. Let it stand till tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.”

ARNOLD PALMER

Arnold Palmer left his mark on golf — and sweet tea. The winner of seven major championships who designed over 300 golf courses is described by Jim Dodson in A Golfer’s Life as “a king with a common touch.” The story behind the refreshing Arnold Palmer drink is a bit mythical. Tea punches with juices have been around for over a hundred years with everyone making their own variation, including Palmer in the mid-1950s. Since there wasn’t a name for his favorite drink, he spent years describing the mixture of iced tea and lemonade to wait staff. In the 1960s, Palmer ordered his lemonade-tea concoction after a hot day designing a golf course in Palm Springs, Calif. A woman overheard Palmer order his drink, and said, “I’ll have that Palmer drink.” During an interview with ESPN, Palmer said, “From that day on, [the Arnold Palmer] spread like wildfire.” The Original Arnold Palmer 3/4 parts tea 1/4 part lemonade (healthy splash) Serve in a glass full of ice. The Modern Arnold Palmer 1/2 part tea 1/2 part lemonade Serve in a glass full of ice.

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SOUTHERN SWEET TEA WITH A TWIST

Since its inception, everyone has put his or her own spin on Southern sweet tea. Few have had the accolades for their iced tea mixology as Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes, the founder of Rachelle’s Island Tea. In 2018, her famous tea won the People’s Choice Best Sweet Tea at the seventh annual Sweet Tea Festival in Summerville, S.C., and in May, the sweet tea was voted BEST Sweet Champion at the ninth annual Taste of Black Columbia in South Carolina. Jamerson-Holmes owns and runs Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast in Orangburg, S.C., with her husband, chef Fred Hudson. They know that sweet tea is a welcoming necessity when guests visit — which is why people can enjoy a glass onsite or buy it by the gallon (or commemorative bottle) every day at their bed and breakfast. “Sweet tea was and still is like water,” Jamerson-Holmes says, “always in the refrigerator waiting to quench someone’s thirst.” Jamerson-Holmes’ tea story has an authentic Southern beginning that starts with family. She remembers joining her great-grandmothers and grandmothers, often drinking sweet iced tea from a Mason jar “on the front porch or under a shaded pecan tree for summer comfort and conversation.” Currently, she is writing the Southern Sweet Tea Cocktails recipe book, and Thee Matriarch Spiked Island Tea is her signature drink. This recipe is a modern twist on the classic tea punch and Southern sweet tea. “I love fruity drinks,” Jamerson-Holmes says. “This drink is me.” Sweet, refreshing, and full of tradition. Thee Matriarch Spiked Island Tea 1 quart Rachelle’s Island Tea 1/3 cup peach rum 1/3 cup coconut rum 1/3 cup mango-pineapple vodka 2 cups crushed ice Pineapple spears to garnish 1. Mix tea, rums and vodka in a pitcher. 2. Add ice to glasses. 3. Pour cocktail in glasses. 4. Garnish with pineapple. SP Gayvin Powers is author of The Adventures of Iona Fay series and writing coach at Soul Sisters Write. She can be reached at hello@gayvinpowers.com.


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Charlotte’s Own

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SPECIAL VENDOR SECTION

Make the most of retirement at The Barclay at SouthPark The Barclay at SouthPark is nestled in a quiet spot that is close to all the amenities the area has to offer. Construction on the continuing care retirement community, also known as life plan community, is well underway — The Barclay is slated to welcome its first residents in late 2020. Residents who move to The Barclay will quickly realize they’ve sacrificed nothing but gained so much. They’ll bid farewell to the hassles of home ownership and focus on all The Barclay has to offer, including participating in whole-person wellness programming, enjoying chef-prepared meals in three distinctive venues, being pampered in the day spa and salon, or simply enjoying old and new friends in the community’s lovely surroundings. So why choose The Barclay? In addition to its entirely new campus in a location that’s second to none, The Bar-

clay brings a new business model to the SouthPark area. As a rental community, there is no large, out-of-pocket entry or buy-in fee. This allows residents to let their hard-earned assets continue to work for them while still enjoying the carefree lifestyle they want and the security of future care they may need. The team working to bring The Barclay at SouthPark to fruition looks forward to the day the first of its residents arrive to enjoy this extraordinary, maintenance-free lifestyle. With more than 40 different floor plans from which to choose, there truly is something for everyone, and Priority Partner reservations are now being accepted to reserve the luxury apartment that’s right for you. We welcome the opportunity for you or your loved ones to learn more about joining us at The Barclay!

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Live your best life possible with ComForCare. We take home care personally ComForCare-Greater Charlotte provides homebased care to the area’s seniors, new moms and anyone who may have a disability or is recovering from injuries or surgery. Services include companionship, personal care, safety supervision, mobility assistance, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, light housekeeping, family respite and more. Meet the owners: Carol and Joe Costanzo Carol first became involved with senior care options when her Dad required help. While guiding him through his care journey, she met and befriended other older adults in similar situations. She started volunteering as a caregiver and after a long career in teaching, eventually started a full time private home care business in Cary, North Carolina. Joe decided to join Carol in the

business after a 30 year career in software and software services. In August 2018, they relocated to Charlotte and soon acquired a ComForCare franchise, which has served the greater Charlotte area since 2005. As a business, ComForCare’s mission is to enable clients to remain at home- living as independently as possible with dignity, respect and a high quality of life. “As the owners, our responsibility is to build, maintain and promote a culture of care throughout the organization. Our clients and their families can feel confident knowing they are receiving the best care, tailored to their unique needs. Our success is determined by our ability to empower our clients and their families to live their best lives possible,” said Carol and Joe.

7215-200 Pineville - Matthews Rd Charlotte NC 28226 | 704.543.0630 | https://comforcare.com/north-carolina/greater-charlotte 110

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We Invite You To Discover The Cypress. One Visit, And You’ll Want To Stay. “I had no idea how beautiful it was here.” Those, or something similar, are the words first-time visitors usually exclaim after they pass by The Cypress gatehouse and set eyes on our stately clubhouse and lush grounds with private lakes. But the beauty here is far more than skin deep. What also separates The Cypress from other Charlotte retirement communities is a combination of services and amenities that simply aren’t available elsewhere. With all home maintenance and housekeeping covered, you’re free to indulge in the lifestyle and activities of a world-class resort. Enjoy meandering bike rides through our campus, pickleball matches or Zumba classes in our sports & fitness center, exciting cuisine prepared by top chefs, a night on the town with your

friends, or simply relaxing at home in your pajamas. There’s also the liberating convenience of exceptional, onsite health care. And a rarity among senior living communities, at The Cypress you receive the financial advantages of true home ownership without any of the burdens of upkeep – making a Cypress home a wise investment for you and your family. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of living at The Cypress is our endless social opportunities. The Cypress is more than a friendly community; it’s a community of friends. To learn more about The Cypress difference, schedule a visit to come see it all in person. Chances are you’ll want to join us by making The Cypress your new home.

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SPECIAL VENDOR SECTION

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SPECIAL VENDOR SECTION

Choose Windsor Run for vibrant senior living that’s close to home—and close to perfect. Located in the beautiful community of Matthews, Windsor Run is fast becoming Mecklenburg County’s most popular address for active retirees. The private 60-acre campus has just about everything you could want for a maintenance-free, worry-free lifestyle. Windsor Run’s courteous, full-time team takes care of all repairs and upkeep, leaving residents the time and energy to enjoy all of Windsor Run’s convenient amenities. You can dine with friends at the on-site restaurants, swim in the all-season pool, and enjoy the convenience of a well-equipped fitness center. Staying healthy and active is woven into the fabric of Windsor Run. An on-site medical center is led by a full-time physician who works with residents to create personalized wellness plans. And if your health needs

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swirl A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

S

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

ince 1996, the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase has been one of the region’s premier sporting and social events. Held in the spring on the grounds of the Brooklandwood Racecourse in Union County, the annual steeplechase attracts thousands for tailgating, hat contests, live music and more. The Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation, the Queen’s Cup’s organizing sponsor, has donated more than $900,000 to regional charities, including current beneficiary the Alzheimer’s Association of North Carolina.

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|swirl

A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Coveted Couture Gala Mint Museum Randolph

Ashley Anderson Mattei & Scott Mattei

Michael & Ann Tarwater

Ryan & Katrina Hutchins

Nazy & Durham Weeks

Lori Collins, Moses Luski, Kelley Anderson, Ann Caulkins

This year’s Coveted Couture Gala marked the closing of the exhibition “African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization and Style,” reflecting colorful, diverse and global-inspired fashion. Ashley Anderson Mattei and Scott Mattei co-chaired the April 27 soiree, which netted more than $335,000 for The Mint Museum. Nearly 400 civic leaders and museum supporters turned out for the black-tie dinner and dance at Mint Museum Randolph.

Luke Calvin, Stacee Michelle

Michael & Neely Verano

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Charles W. Thomas, Micaila-Ayorinde Milburn-Thomas

Brad & Nina Johnson

Melanie Juraschek, Sabrina Brathewhite, Amy Fritsche

Perry Poole & Laura Vinroot Poole southparkmagazine.com | 117


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Women for Courage Luncheon Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage Charlotte Convention Center More than 1,700 guests filled the Crown Ballroom at the fifth annual Women for Courage luncheon, the foundation’s largest fundraiser to date. The organization is dedicated to ending the cycle of domestic and partner violence through education, awareness and research. Esta Soler, founder and president of Futures Without Violence, delivered the keynote address at the April 11 event emceed by WSOC’s Erica Bryant. Honorary co-chairs were Andrea Smith, chief administrative officer at Bank of America, and Jesse Cureton, executive vice president and chief consumer officer at Novant Health.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Jesse Cureton, Andrea Smith, Jan & Ron Kimble

Shelley Wilfong, Anna Lassiter, Bev Lassiter

Joan Higginbotham, James Mitchell

Claire Samuels, Meg McElwain

Kim Overman, Carol Hampton, Diane Wolfe

Aish Sharma, Monika Tubb, Taylor Riley

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Shira Lissek, Erica Bryant

Marcus Jones, Braxton Winston, Greg Phipps

Michael Tanck, Willie Ratchford

Lori Henkel, Jan Kimble, Jenny Ward southparkmagazine.com | 119


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Room to Bloom The Mint Museum Auxiliary Spring Symposium The Mint Museum Auxiliary closed out its 2019 Room to Bloom fundraising season at an April 3 luncheon at Charlotte Country Club. Acclaimed British interior designer Nina Campbell was the guest of honor. Guests at the Spring Symposium, led by co-chairs Keri Clavin and Amy Kerr, enjoyed lunch, a raffle, auction and book-signing by Campbell.

Beth Quartapella, Pat Haworth, Catharine Pappas

Leigh Rogers, Ann Pendergrass

Leary Scarborough, Sara Delaney

Hannah McCann, Jaime Tokarczyk, Carmen Reitnour, Meredith Beregovski, Amanda Swaringen

Felipe Edmiston, Claire Talley

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Ellie Osborn, Todd Herman

Amy Kerr, Caroline O’Brien

Amy Hines, Maria Owen, Lisa Beebe, Kimberly Klimas

Liz Hilliard, Clary Hilliard Gray, Krissie Nuckols

Blair Scheuer, Austin Carey, Katherine Culp

Nina Campbell southparkmagazine.com | 121


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Inauguration Gala Johnson C. Smith University The Inauguration Gala held April 5 was part of a five-day celebration welcoming new college president Clarence Armbrister. Michael A. Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia, gave the keynote address, and guests grooved to jazz band A Sign Of The Times.

Bridget Anne Hampden, Clarence Ellis

Thomas Parham, Sheila Brown

Rocio Gonzalez, John Reid

Sandra James, Terry Shook, Tami Simmons, Regina & Nick Wharton

Clarence Armbrister, Denise Armbrister

Michael A. Nutter, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles

Sally & Russell Robinson

Gina Nunery, Leroy Nunery

Jessica Saunders

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams southparkmagazine.com | 123

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Angela & Jesse Cureton


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

2019 Queen’s Cup Steeplechase Mineral Springs Horses, hats, bow ties and swanky tailgates were on display at the 24th annual Queen’s Cup, one of the most-anticipated social and sporting events of the spring, held on April 27. Since 1996, the Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation has donated more than $900,000 to local and regional charities.

Julie Slattery, Trinity Wright

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Mecklenburg Hounds

Dick Crenshaw, winner of the men’s hat contest

Kenny Loughlin, Matt Branniff

Peaches May

Patrick Paolantonio, Elibeth Rezzoli

Michelle Cashin, Scott Wickersham

Marissa Vest, Rick Roque southparkmagazine.com | 125


THEATRE CHARLOTTE OLIVER! SEPTEMBER 6-22, 2019 AND THEN THERE WERE NONE OCT 25-NOV 10, 2019 A CHRISTMAS CAROL DECEMBER 6-15, 2019 THE ODD COUPLE JAN 31-FEB 16, 2020 CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF MARCH 20-APRIL 5, 2020 DREAMGIRLS MAY 22-JUNE 7, 2020

THEATRECHARLOTTE.ORG OR 704.372.1000

YOUR STAGE. YOUR LOCAL THEATRE. 126

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Visit our gallery’s NEW LOCATION

705 S. Sharon Amity Rd [Below Leroy Fox’s - Cotswold]

Featuring original art from very famous & emerging artists from around the world

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This exhibition is presented to the community by

Funding for the conservation of this artwork was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Additional conservation work supported by generous donations from Yvonne and Richard McCracken, Lee Rocamora and John Thompson, Cassandra and David Wagner.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art at Levine Center for the Arts | 420 S. Tryon St. | Charlotte, NC | 704.353.9200 | bechtler.org Roy Lichtenstein, Modern Tapestry (detail), 1968, wool and cotton. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

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1300 Baxter St, Suite 114 • Charlotte, NC 28204 8001 N Tryon St • Charlotte, NC 28262 (University Area) 70 Lake Concord Rd NE • Concord, NC 28025 16507 Northcross Dr, Suite B • Huntersville, NC 28078 southparkmagazine.com | 127


SNAPSHOT

Fostering Fitness

TRY IT FOR LIFE FOUNDER ALYSE KELLY JONES HELPS WOMEN OF ALL FITNESS LEVELS MEET THEIR TRAINING GOALS.

lyse Kelly Jones is all about empowering women. The 54-year-old managing partner at Novant Health Mintview OB/GYN is known for helping women improve their sex lives — her TedX Talk Charlotte was called “Shedding Sexual Shame (and Some of Your Clothes Along the Way).” But Jones says one of her proudest accomplishments was founding Tri It For Life. a nonprofit that trains women of all fitness levels — many who have never exercised before — to run a triathlon. Now in its 13th season, more than 3,500 women have crossed the finish line thanks to TIFL. The organization is now in four cities and looking to expand nationwide. What made you start TIFL? I went to Chapel Hill, and I did a women’s only race — I was really inspired by all these women racing together and supporting each other. It was pouring rain and freezing cold, and I left that race and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to get 100 women to do the same race when it came to Huntersville? I don’t even think I knew what I was creating when I was creating it. It was just about the power behind women helping each other. We did the first season and had more than 100 women do it. All of them said we had to keep doing this. I thought it was a crazy idea, but I said OK, let’s see if we can make it happen. How does it work? It’s a 12-week training program. Women sign up, and we

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train them in all their sports. Mentors work with them on every aspect. Then we take them through a mock tri and then the actual race. What’s it all about? Women putting themselves first and taking care of themselves. We’re often last on the list, then once you do put yourself first, it gives you this feeling of what can you do now? Now that you’re putting yourself on the list, what else can you accomplish in your life? You’re probably going to take better care of yourself and everyone else in your life. What’s been the impact? There’s a different individual impact for every woman. For some women, it’s just about checking a triathlon off their bucket list, but for many women its life-changing: Their health is impacted in such a high quality way that it then impacts those they’re connected to — partners, family, children, co-workers. It ends up touching so many lives. What is it like to know you started this? For me it’s almost miraculous. I just I never thought in my wildest dreams it would get to where it is, and when you believe in your heart and soul that it’s something that needs to be in the world, and then it comes to fruition despite the difficulties in everyday life . . . You see the impact, and the continued impact. It’s very moving for me. SP

PHOTOGRAPH BY PIPER WARLICK

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BY MICHELLE BOUDIN


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August SouthPark 2019  

The Art & Soul of Charlotte

August SouthPark 2019  

The Art & Soul of Charlotte