Lake Norman Currents 0512

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Currents Joe and Martha Nemechek’s Mooresville abode Take our Davidson quiz ESPN’s Shannon Spake balances it all

vol. 3 number

May 2012


Aric Almirola enjoys a multisport lifestyle

Start Your Engines


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Inventory Reduction Event 2012

Special Pricing Indications are that the real estate market is rebounding and this is a great time to offer substantial savings on our remaining home sites! We look forward to helping you choose the perfect setting for your dream home. Your plans, your builder and your time frame in which to build. Come take a look at our communities from Huntersville through Lincoln and Catawba counties and take advantage of the special pricing and the savings passed on to you.

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Contents |

10 The Main Channel What’s hip at Lake Norman

18 Porthole

Epic Chophouse Titantic Dinner and CMC-Huntersville Grand Opening

20 Captain’s Chair


ESPN’s Shannon Spake takes her career and motherhood in stride

23 Rip Currents — Style


Cool shades for summer

26 Rip Currents —



Bob Dyar communicates the gospel to Joe Gibbs Racing employees

28 Around the Track Sprint Cup driver Aric Almirola enjoys a multi-sport lifestyle

32 The Galley with


Lynn and Glenn

150 Grill offers an old fashioned, yet fresh twist

36 Grapevine


Tempranillo— A little on the shy side, but a grape that has plenty of character

40 Game On

Where you should be when NASCAR comes to town this month

46 Home Port

26 32

Joe and Martha Nemechek’s lakeside home will make your heart race

58 Home Port — In My Room

Anne Youngblood’s living room offers a cozy collection of pieces Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

61 Currently

North Mecklenburg Community Chorus makes some key changes

64 One More Thing Take our Davidson quiz




At the Helm |

Opposites Attract

The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

e dressed up as a car for Halloween when he was little. That’s what my mother-in-law told me about my husband, John, and there’s plenty of evidence to back up her story, including a delightful picture that I had enlarged to show all of his friends at a party. I couldn’t resist showing off his bowl cut. It’s no secret that the man loves cars. Look in our upstairs storage closets and you’ll find boxes of toy and model cars peppered with stacks of automotive magazines, books and car owner manuals. Look in our garage, a place I rarely ever venture into, and you’ll discover a variety of car tools that have purposes beyond my comprehension. Other than gas, what else could a car possibly need? Last month John took a vacation day just so he could enjoy a “dude day” at a car show. He texted me from the show about a 1935 LaSalle he would love to own. Turns out it was around the same price as a minivan we were considering buying. For a minute it was fun to think about throwing our responsible ideals out the window to purchase a classic automobile instead of a sensible family car, but as soon as I heard one of our twins waking up from their afternoon nap, it was clear that the minivan would win out. So a couple of weeks ago my husband and I found ourselves doing something together that we’d never done — buying a car. While this might seem trivial to some, it’s a pretty big deal in the Tate household. You see, my husband comes from an automotive lineage that encourages cars to be kept around until 8

2010 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Best Magazine 2009 APEX Award Winner for Publication Excellence

photo by Glenn Roberson

Lori K. Tate

Turns out an engineer and a creative type can get along just fine

they beg to be donated to the Kidney Foundation. My background is a bit different in that my dad used to come home with new and/or new-to-us cars all the time when I was growing up, as he’s a big believer in trading before the mileage gets too high. Neither approach to automotive ownership is wrong, but you can see that we’re coming to this from different viewpoints. Add to the fun that my husband works in the automotive industry as a mechanical engineer, and I’m a writer who has no idea what RPM stands for, and its obvious that we’re interested in different things when it comes to cars. For me, it’s all about the color and having a sunroof. For John, it’s about tire pressure monitoring, fuel injection and towing capacity. Even though he’s wired to read Consumer Reports, and I’m more likely to buy a car based on the fact that it matches my outfit, we had a great time making this decision together. We turned what could have been stressful outings into date days. It just goes to show that you don’t have to think just like someone to appreciate, and even benefit, from their opinions. Thanks to our collaborative effort, we found a sound vehicle with enough functional offerings to cut the mustard with an engineer and plenty of style to meet the approval of a creative type. But most importantly, we proved, yet again, how great it is when opposites attract.

Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses. Subscriptions are available for $19 per year. Send us your name, address, phone number and a check made payable to Lake Norman CURRENTS at the address below and we’ll start your subscription with the next available issue.

Lori K. Tate Editor Sharon Simpson Publisher

Carole Lambert Advertising Sales Executive

Cindy Gleason Advertising Sales Executive

Kim Morton Advertising Sales Executive

Trisha Robinson Advertising Sales Executive SPARK Publications Publication Design & Production Ad Production - Stacie Mounts About the Cover: Photo of Aric Almirola courtesy of Richard Petty Motorsports and enhanced by Larry Preslar.

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman. Lake Norman CURRENTS P.O. Box 1676, Cornelius, NC 28031 704-749-8788 • The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Venture Magazines, LLC.

Vol. 3 No. 5 May 2012

Meet the doctor that “Shares Your Vision” Joseph H. Krug, Jr., MD

“From the professional basketball player to a retired teacher, everyone’s vision is important and I want to always offer the most advanced technology to preserve their vision. The new Huntersville location is the first stop to prevent eye problems from becoming so complex.” As the trusted team ophthalmologist for the Charlotte Bobcats, professional basketball team and the Charlotte Checkers, professional hockey team, Dr. Krug gets to combine his love of sports and his commitment to preserving vision. Dr. Krug was the first in the Charlotte metro to perform Canaloplasty, an advanced lower risk treatment for glaucoma. Dr. Krug does not limit his practice to just glaucoma, he also performs LASIK Refractive Surgery, general ophthalmology and cataract surgery. He is proud to be part of Horizon’s team of premier cataract surgeons that will be the first in Charlotte to offer Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery, a technologically advanced procedure utilizing the femtosecond laser to aid in the surgical removal of cataracts. Dr. Krug and his wife Julie have one son and enjoy spending time with their very smart golden retriever.

This is a very exciting time for us at Horizon, as our new office location will allow us to better serve the community of Huntersville and the Lake Norman area with outstanding clinical and surgical eye care. cataract evaluations and Surgery • Routine eye care • LaSiK • Dry eyes • contact Lenses and Glasses Glaucoma Screening and treatment • Macular Degeneration Screening and treatment • canaloplasty cosmetic Procedures including BotoX • cornea Diseases and transplants • Pediatric ophthalmology • Diabetic eye Disease

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Main Channel Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman

From left, a business partner and Terrell’s Dina Haugstatter stand with products from the Forever Frogs line. Proceeds benefit the Payton Wright Foundation.

A Symbol of Strength Forever Frogs started with friendship

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

It was a connection to frogs that gave little Payton Wright the strength to courageously endure treatment for pediatric brain cancer, and while she passed away in May 2007, that love of frogs has carried over into a company whose products raise money to help other families in the same plight. Terrell resident Dina Haugstatter met the Wright family while living in Florida, and her daughter, Brooke, and Payton became fast friends as toddlers. Payton’s parents, Florida residents Holly and Patrick Wright, started the Payton Wright Foundation in 2008. The 10

foundation works to raise awareness and funds for pediatric brain cancer research, as it also helps families who have a child with brain cancer and supports organizations tied to cancer research and care. Haugstatter and her family relocated to the Lake Norman area several years ago, but after Payton’s death she began brainstorming ideas for products that could be sold with proceeds going to the foundation. Remembering the tiny silver frog Payton used to carry with her for strength, the idea for Forever Frogs was developed. Customers can order custom-colored backpacks, lunch, messenger, and drawstring bags and accessories through the company’s web site. A small frog is individually stitched in a different spot on each bag ordered in honor of Payton. “I wanted to get a product produced with the proceeds going to Payton’s foundation,” says Haugstatter, who now runs the business

out of her home in Terrell. Holly says she and her family had an enormous amount of support from their community when Payton received her diagnosis. However, their doctors explained that many families experience such financial hardships while putting their children through cancer treatment that they often can’t pay their utility bills. “We made a promise to Payton that we would do whatever could do to help children, and she said ‘I know you will,’ ” recalls Holly. “Having that frog represent strength is another way to get awareness. That was the plan behind Forever Frogs.” — Renee Roberson, photography by Laurie Martin

The Scoop For more information about Forever Frogs, visit

Cars, Collectors and Camaraderie

Huntersville’s Auto Country Club is about to make car collecting a shared and social pastime It’s no secret that the way local Charlotte and Lake Norman car enthusiasts and aficionados have traditionally displayed and stored their vehicles has been in personally designed and carefully planned spaces built on their own properties. A personal garage or storage unit is certainly a convenient way to keep your hobby or pastime close to home. But what happens when you want to talk performance, look under someone else’s hood or do some social bonding

Edward Bongart is about to make the way local car enthusiasts share and interact a bit more social with The Auto Country Club in Huntersville.

Thai Cucumbers from eeZ Fusion & Sushi 10 cucumbers, peeled and seeded 2 Thai chilis, chopped fine 1 tablespoon Sambal Oeleck 1 red onion 2 cups white vinegar 1 1/2 cups water 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 tablespoon sea salt 1/2 cup honey 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro Instructions Peel and slice cucumbers, cut in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumbers thin on a bias 1/8-inch thick.Peel onion and cut in half, slice the onion in 1/8 slices. Remove the stems from the Thai chilis and mince. **Be careful to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after. Combine Thai chili, sambal, vinegar, water, sugar, salt and honey. Mix well. Add sliced onion and cucumbers. Allow to rest under refrigeration for 12-48 hours. Serve over mixed lettuce and garnish with chopped cilantro.

The Scoop For more information about The Auto Country Club, visit


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

over a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Shelby or that highly coveted stock car bought at auction? You have to leave your digs and make a special trip to a like-minded buddy’s space. Edward Bongart is about to make the way local car enthusiasts share and interact a bit more social. His multi-

million dollar Auto Country Club has found a home in Huntersville. And the 27-acre, high-end facility, complete with nearly one dozen 20,000-square-foot garage condo buildings, a clubhouse, dining facility and display promenade, will soon welcome its first members with luxury, security, attention to detail and a full social schedule. “How can I describe it?” Bongart asks. “We worked hard to find one of the top sites in the country, and our location is like a Sherwood Forest. Our concept, partnerships and growing list of supporters will make this country club like nothing collectors and car enthusiasts have ever seen before.” More than a storage facility, the Auto Country Club will host auto shows, memorabilia auctions, corporate gatherings and charity events. And through an exclusive partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway, members will have the opportunity to race their prized possessions in the red zone multiple times each year. “We have already begun attracting enthusiasts from a variety of different automotive backgrounds,” Bongart says. “A car buff may prefer one type of car to another, but one thing is certain, when they all come together, they will surely enjoy the synergy they experience and appreciate the camaraderie they build.” — Mike Savicki, photography by Laurie Martin

Just Make It

Main Channel |

Pull Up a Chair Our Towns’ Chair-ity event raises the roof

From left, Jessica Grantham, Amy DeCaron and Amy Williamson stand with a chair painted by students from Ohio Northern University.

Last year Our Towns’ Habitat for Humanity hosted its first ReStore ReStyle event at its Mooresville location. This year the event features seven interior designers competing to see who can design the most amazing room by repurposing ReStore merchandise, in addition to a Chair-ity event. Members from the community, as well as high school and Davidson College students participating in the Chair-ity event were allowed to take one chair from ReStore under $30 for free. They were then instructed to decorate the chair any way they saw fit. “We instructed them that they could paint it or reupholster it anything creative,” explains Jessica Grantham, youth and volunteer associate for Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. “In my instructions I said that it doesn’t even have to function as a chair afterwards. It can be anything.” At press time 20 chairs had been taken, and a group of students from Ohio Northern University had completed decorating a chair during a spring break visit. The chairs will be auctioned off through

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a silent auction during the Restore Restyle event on May 1. Money from the auction will benefit Our Towns’ Youth United House. Youth United is a program through Habitat International for youth ages 5 to 25. “Anyone can come to us and volunteer in different capacities depending on their age,” says Grantham. “We have what we call campus chapters, which are clubs at the school. Five high schools and Davidson College have chapters.” Those five high schools include Hough, Lake Norman, Mooresville, North Mecklenburg and Pine Lake Preparatory. Youth United has built eight houses in the community so far. Money from Chair-ity will go towards the group’s ninth build. — Lori K. Tate, photography by Sarah McGraw The Scoop The second annual ReStore ReStyle event is May 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Mooresville ReStore. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

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Going Above and beyond for 17 years! (and still going!)

Main Channel |

Shoes, glorious shoes Attention shoe lovers, and there are a lot of us in the Lake Norman area, there’s a new player in town. Mary Miller opened Charlotte Shoe Co. at Birkdale Village in February. The whole thing started last August when Neely Powell stopped by Miller’s summer boutique in Northeast Harbor, Maine. (Miller and her husband spend the academic year in Charlotte and summer in Maine.) Miller immediately noticed Powell’s red shoes. Turns out Powell designed the shoes and owns Charleston Shoe Co. in, well, Charleston, South Carolina. One thing led to another, and now Miller has a shoe store in Huntersville predominantly carrying Powell’s creations. Powell designs the shoes in Charleston, as every style is named for a street in Charleston. These fashionable kicks bring something new to the party in that they’re comfortable. “Neely’s shoes feature Italian fabric. She’s coming up with new fabrics and colors all the

On the far left, owner Mary Miller celebrates with fellow shoe fans during the opening of Charlotte Shoe Co. in Birkdale Village.

time,” explains Miller. “The sole of the shoe is designed by a fourth-generation cobbler in Mexico. …The sole is meant to distribute your weight evenly, so you’re taking as much pressure in the heel as you do in the ball of your foot.” Styles range from a four-and-a-half-inch bootie to a three-inch open-toe heel for sum-

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mer to a flat sandal. “They’re all equally comfortable,” says Miller. “They’re not tight or overdone. … A lot of women are saying, ‘I didn’t know I was uncomfortable until I started wearing these shoes.’ ” For more information, visit — Lori K. Tate, photography courtesy of Mary Miller


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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

Bring your friends and the beverage of your choice for an awesome evening of art filled fun. You’ll enjoy fabulous art instruction from a professional, Sanctuary of Davidson artist in a laid back, fun and inspiring environment, and leave with a masterpiece of your very own creation… completed in just one night!

Main Channel |

20 Things You Must do at Lake Norman this Summer Get you calendar out because it’s time to plan a fun-filled summer


Go to Mooresville’s Race City Festival This year marks the 30th anniversary of this festival that celebrates Mooresville’s arts and culture scene.

2. 3.

Take a cooking class at Wooden Stone through the Town of Davidson. Get ice cream at Carolina Cones in Cornelius. Be sure to sit outside.

4 5. 6.

Run the Warrior Dash at Huntersville’s . Rural Hill on May 19-20. Go see Davidson Community Players’ production of Crazy for You June 21-30.

Take your smaller children to Discovery Place KIDS when it’s too hot to play outside. Buy a membership and go as many times as you want.

7. 8. 9. 10.

Pack a picnic for Concerts on the Green in Davidson. No one sings the songs of summer better than Band of Oz. Learn to paddleboard if you haven’t already. It’s really not that hard. Plant something and watch it grow. Even better, plant it in a community garden.

Put on your jeans and go to the rodeo at Stegall’s Arena just over the Cabarrus County line. There’s a rodeo every Sunday night through November.

11. 12. 13.

Drive your boat all the way up the lake until the currents of the Catawba River take over. Go to one of the many outdoor movies offered in the area. Your kids (and you) will love it. Visit a variety of restaurants on the lake via boat. If you’re a boating novice, impress your friends by calling the ropes lines.

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14 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Go waterskiing on a weekday night . after work. You’ll be surprised at how smooth the water can be.

Buy produce at one of the local farmer’s markets. Its good for you, and its good for the local economy. Promise your dog that you’ll walk him every day at Jetton Park in Cornelius and then keep your promise. Buy a pair of sweet wakeboarding trunks at Icywakes in Cornelius.

Eat a bison burger at Blu Star Grill in Mooresville. Add a side of fried green tomatoes and you’ll be in heaven. Run through the splash pad at Birkdale Village. Eat a key lime cupcake at SweetCakes in Cornelius. —Lori K. Tate

Beautiful Gifts For Mother’s Day!

It’s a Short Drive to Exit 25... SHOP BLACKLION HUNTERSVILLE!


to: from: message:

to: from: message: $:


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


Porthole |

CMC-Huntersville Opening Celebration

CMC Grand Opening photography by | Titanic photos are by Adam Arkardi

On April 12, CMC-Huntersville held a grand opening celebration. CMC-Huntersville is a new freestanding emergency department operated by Carolinas HealthCare System. CMC-Huntersville is the fourth healthcare pavilion developed by CHS. The 21,000-square-foot facility includes nine treatment rooms providing round the clock emergency care, two observation beds, diagnostic imaging (including a CT scanner, ultrasound and digital X-ray), complete laboratory services, rapid triage and more. It is located at Exit 25. From left, Monifra Drayton and Tony Kouskolekas.

From left, Greg Hathaway, Bill Leonard and Joe Piemont.

Some guests dressed in period attire.

Center, Monifa Drayton, administrator of CMC-Huntersville, enjoys the celebration.

From left, Rose Brandau, Tony Kouskolekas, Monifa Drayton, Bill Leonard, Joe Piemont, Lisa Alexander and Dr. Ed McCutcheon.

From left, Rhonda Favoright and Dennis Cowardin.

Center, Bob Amon served as the captain of the ship during the evening.

From left, Jim Morasso, Adam Arkardi and Larry Sponaugle.

Guests checked into the dinner and were given character names.

The Titanic Dinner at Epic Chophouse

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

On Saturday, April 14, exactly 100 years since the Titanic met its demise in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 100 folks gathered on the second floor of Epic Chophouse in Mooresville to enjoy the same exact dinner as Titanic’s first-class passengers did that fateful night. Jon Spencer, the head chef at Epic Chophouse, led a team of all-star chefs in preparing the 11-course meal, including, Tim Chung, Troy Gagliardo, Philip Lloyd, Tim Schafer, Michael Spencer, David Thomas and Jonathon Williams, plus students from the Art Institute of Charlotte and various other sous chefs and caterers from other venues. Guests were serenaded by a string quartet throughout the evening, while some guests chose to dress in attire from the time period of Titanic. 18

The tables were set exactly as they were on the Titanic.

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A Balancing Act

Shannon Spake takes her career and motherhood in stride


f Shannon Spake looks familiar, there’s a reason why. The Cornelius sports reporter covers NASCAR and college sports for ESPN. Before that she worked at Charlotte-based Speed, as well as the local Fox station. But away from work, Spake is a 35-yearold wife and mother of 2-year-old identical twin boys. And the Florida native loves living on Lake Norman. We talked with her about the lake, wearing a maternity fire suit and balancing a high-profile career with motherhood.

Your family has a pontoon boat. Besides actually being on the water, what do you like about the lake?

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

I love the convenience, the access. Just being able to go to Birkdale — our bank is right there, our grocery store is right there. I can go running with the kids anytime. There are bike lanes and sidewalks. And the people are great. I feel like there’s a little more of a laid back attitude. I just always say it’s really good living up here. Cornelius resident Shannon Spake covers NASCAR and college sports for ESPN. Before that she worked at Charlotte-based Speed, as well as the local Fox station.


What’s a typical race weekend like for you? I usually leave Thursday night. I’m at the track all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And then I’ll fly out Sunday night or

day morning. And then when I’m home, I’m home. I work from home during the week, so I get to spend time with the kids.

You’re one of the few women to wear a fire suit on national TV. What was it like the first time you put that on? I felt like I had arrived. I was so excited because you’re on pit road, you’re part of the action. It’s big time auto racing, and you’re down there wearing the same gear as everybody else. I actually like the fire suit.

Did you have a special suit when you were pregnant? We did. (Laughs) It was an expandable fire suit. I think I had to have it expanded three or four times. And the last week in Homestead I was 28 weeks pregnant. And even my maternity shirts were starting to get a little too small. And I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “I am really glad this is the last race because this is a little much.”

How do you make it all work? It’s so challenging to balance the work, the mommy, the life. But I try to shut [the work] down when I’m with my kids. If you’re not fully engaged with them, they know. And they are not happy about it. And they want your attention. So when I walk in the house I try to put my cell phone away, I try to check my email at night or during their naps, and to be fully engaged with

my kids. I used to be ‘Shannon what I do’. Now, I’m a mommy. It’s a balance, but it’s doable. LNC To read more about Shannon Spake, visit Scott Graf is a Corneliusbased broadcaster and freelance writer. A native of Iowa, he has lived in the Lake Norman area since 2006.


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What’s your favorite thing about covering NASCAR? It truly is a family. You are with everybody, from public relations people, to crew, to drivers, to wives, to parents, for 10 months, four days a week every year. You become like family. From a competition standpoint, there’s just something about man and machine. And when you’re there, you get a sense for just how talented these drivers are.

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

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Bob Dyar communicates the gospel to Joe Gibbs Racing employees

by Scott Graf photography by Sarah McGraw

Guiding the way Bob Dyar is the chaplain at Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing. To his knowledge, only one other NASCAR team has a full-time chaplain (Richard Childress Racing).


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

ob Dyar used to joke that he was the best in the world at what he does. He also liked to say he was the worst. Dyar could accurately say both since he was truly one of a kind: the first-ever chaplain employed full time by a NASCAR team. Things have changed a little, but not much. Dyar is the chaplain at Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing. To his knowledge, only one other NASCAR team has a full-time chaplain (Richard Childress Racing). It might be unusual work, but Dyar finds it very satisfying. “I love it,” he says. “It’s just been great.”

The track less taken Fifty-eight-year-old Dyar has taken an unusual path to get where he is today. Armed with an MBA, he spent 15 years working in 26

computer software. But in the early 1990s, he switched careers. He went to work for Motor Racing Outreach, an organization that helps guide the spirituality of those in the racing world. By 1996 Dyar accepted an offer to work exclusively for Gibbs. Today, Dyar has an assistant chaplain and three part-time chaplains. They offer spiritual assistance to the more than 400 people who work at JGR. “Typically, if you have 100 people at a

Bob Dyar

“The bulk of my ministry is during the week, what I call relational ministry. Walking around the shop, talking to guys, trying to be available,” Bob Dyar says.“And we just try to be there when somebody needs to talk with us.”

His goal, Dyar says, is simply to improve the lives of those who call JGR home. church you need a full-time pastor,” Dyar explains. “Here we have 450 employees. This is a pretty good-sized congregation if you look at it that way.” Most JGR employees don’t travel to races, so Dyar doesn’t either. He guesses he only goes to five or six races each season. “The bulk of my ministry is during the week, what I call relational ministry. Walking around the shop, talking to guys, trying to be available,” Dyar says. “And we just try to be there when somebody needs to talk with us.” Dyar and his staff oversee 10 Bible studies each week. The largest is a Wednesday session held at JGR’s Sprint Cup shop. Dyar says between 80 and 100 employees usually attend. If such numbers are surprising, Dyar says they shouldn’t be. There’s a lot of love in the NASCAR garage he says, but there’s also a lot

of frustration. He thinks the success of the JGR ministry is tied to a low-key approach in dealing with those trying to work through their frustration. “We don’t try and beat people over the head with Bibles or preach at people,” Dyar says. “We just try to communicate the gospel in a way that is loving and caring, and give people an opportunity to understand God’s love for them.”

Abundant life Crew chiefs regularly attend Dyar’s Bible studies, but he says drivers’ busy schedules usually prevent them from participating. Dyar says there’s a misconception that JGR is a Christian company. It’s not. He says it’s a company led by Christians, but that religion plays no part in hiring. Employees are never required to attend any of the re-

ligious meetings. Dyar’s weekly schedule does not include a church service. Employees are encouraged to attend services away from work. “We’re not trying to replace what the church does,” Dyar says. “We’re just really trying to supplement the opportunities and the needs here, and help people who are struggling, going through a crisis or who just want to ask some questions.” His goal, he says, is simply to improve the lives of those who call JGR home. “We believe that if people’s lives are in order and that they’re growing their relationship with God, they’re going to be better employees,” says Dyar. “Therefore we want people to experience the abundant life that they can find, and we hope they can find that here at Joe Gibbs Racing.” LNC

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

hen you spend your weekends redlining at 200 mph alongside 42 other NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, you’d think a little down time might come in handy once in a while. Maybe some time to kick back and relax. Maybe some time to slow down and simply get off your feet. Aric Almirola sees it a bit differently. The Tampa native uses his time away from the track to get outdoors and get active. You’ll likely catch him cycling the local country roads near his Mooresville home or piloting his mountain bike on the trails in and around Lake Norman State Park. He has even been known to grab his running shoes and head to Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run and, as of last summer, stand-up paddle boarding has become a new hobby. “If I’m not racing — and there’s nothing I love more than racing — then it’s a sure bet I’m doing something outdoors,” 28-year-old Almirola says. “We are so fortunate around here that a lot of people in our community have put a great deal of time and energy into the roads and mountain bike trails, and getting out there on them is something I really enjoy.” Almirola keeps a variety of bikes in his quiver and pursues his multisport passion with fervor, adding, “I really enjoy mountain biking, and we are so fortunate to have the network of trails right around Lake Norman. However, if it rains and the trails are muddy, you are supposed to wait 24 to 48 hours to get out on them, so while I’m waiting for the trails to dry, I’ll break out the road bike.” There’s also stand-up paddle boarding. “It’s a new summertime hobby


I just started last summer. It’s a lot of fun, and it kind of caught me by surprise,” Almirola says with excitement. “At first I got a board just to break up my workout routine and add some

Aric Almirola, a Tampa native who now lives in Mooresville, uses his time away from the track to get outdoors.

Aric Almirola enjoys a multisport lifestyle

spice to it, but it has become one of my ‘go to’ activities in the summertime. When it’s 100 degrees outside, even in the evening, there’s no place I’d rather be than on the water cooling down.” He snow skis, too, but that’s a topic for another season. It’s racing that has defined Almirola since he was first introduced to the sport as an 8-yearold go-kart driver who grew into an open wheel modified champion. His first foray into NASCAR competition came in 2004 behind the wheel of a late model stock car, and by 2006, he earned his first Nationwide series pole. Last season, Almirola drove to seven top five and 18 top 10 Nationwide efforts for JR Motorsports. Almirola is now in his first full Sprint Cup season driving the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford and is taking to heart the lessons he is learning from The King. “The biggest message Richard has relayed to me since before the season began is to be in shape, to be ready and to be prepared,” Almirola says. “One thing Richard was always so successful with in his career was being prepared, and I know I can be, too.” Almirola believes he is ready to compete against the best in the sport. “I have been very fortunate and blessed to have worked with the teams I have and now, to work with such a legendary race team, and to drive such an iconic race car with the number 43, I really realize it’s an incredibly special deal, and I’m excited about it,” he says. “There’s definitely some pressure that comes with racing the 43, but there’s no one that expects more out of me than I do. So the pressures I feel when I get behind the wheel are my own, and that’s how I like it.” LNC

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by Lynn Roberson photography by Glenn Roberson The Chicken Philly features eight ounces of boneless chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms and provolone cheese on a hoagie roll. Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

150 Grill offers an old fashioned, yet fresh twist 32

The Smoked Stack Sandwich comes with Boar’s Head deluxe ham, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and Boar’s Head honey mustard.


he 150 Grill opened earlier this year on Highway 150, giving residents of Terrell, Sherrills Ford, Mooresville and the surrounding communities a local option for good food. “If people don’t want to drive across the bridge from our area to eat, they don’t have to,”

A perfect match The grill is located in the Jeten Plaza in Terrell, close to the bridge that crosses Lake Norman near the Duke Energy Marshall Steam Station. It’s a casual place, with red and buff-

colored walls decorated with photographs of local historical sites. It features hot and cold deli sandwiches and wraps made with Boar’s Head products, salads, 100 percent all-beef burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and other options. Sides include fresh-cut fries; fried okra, mushrooms and pickles; potato and mac salads, onion rings, and corn nuggets. The breakfast crowd can find scratch-made biscuits, omelets made to order, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, eggs cooked a variety of ways and sides such as liver mush, grits and country ham. 150 Grill is a friends and family kind of place, where new guests are greeted as if they are longtime pals. Partner Shawn Whittlesey came into the fold when he moved to the area after spending years working for Boar’s Head Provisions Company and in deli merchandising with Safeway stores. The two men met through Nancy Falasca, who had gotten to know Whittlesey years ago. “Shawn was at a high school near our son’s school,” says Falasca. “They wrestled on opposing teams.” When Whittlesey came to the Lake Norman area, she introduced him to Tarantino. “Eddie knew my background, and he knew I was looking for something,” Whittlesey says. “He knew I had a lot of experience with the delis.” They realized their interests and experiences were a good match, and Whittlesey joined the business in March, after its opening in January. Whittlesey and Tarantino say the grill distinguishes itself with its focus on quality ingredients. “You can’t cut corners when you’re in the deli business,” Whittlesey says. “Making it fresh has more appeal.” Whittlesey enjoyed creating sandwiches and invented sandwiches that were named by him when he was with Boar's Head. In addition to high quality meats and cheeses, the deli offers a variety of breads and wraps, including whole-wheat options. Anything you want Then there’s the atmosphere, which also draws guests. “It’s laid back,” customer Jewel Van De Venter says. “It’s a chill place. If you’re a chill person, you’ll like it. To me, it seems like they treat everybody like they’re a regular customer. They pretty much can make anything you want, even if it’s not on the menu.” After introducing the partners, Falasca continues to help out occasionally at 150 Grill during busy times. 33

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

The reuben features Boar’s Head corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese on rye bread with Thousand Island dressing.

says owner Eddie Tarantino.

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She has watched the restaurant grow, as the owners respond to guests’ requests and needs. “I like that we started selling the deli meat by the pound,” she says as an example of customer responsiveness. “It gives an alternative to the grocery stores.” Tarantino is a well-established Lake Norman business owner, with Highway Tire and Service and associated businesses located a few doors up from 150 Grill. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Sherrills Ford-Terrell and has vol-

unteered with Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society. He is Past President and active leader with the small business networking group BNI Winner’s Circle Mooresville. Whittlesey, who runs the day-to-day operations, estimates that the grill has doubled its business since opening. It draws from the local communities, as well as from the Duke En-

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One way the restaurant is building its guest base is through mobile marketing, Eddie Tarantino says. Guests can sign up for its text-only specials, by texting 150GRILL to 72727. Text customers receive special coupons that are available only to them. ergy Marshall Steam Station. “We have the same breakfast crowd seven days a week,” he says. “We have loyal customers.” The grill may expand its hours in the future and will continue to seek new customers. They open bright and early each day, and want to capture more lake visitors in the mornings. “We’re really trying to get the fishing crowd,” Whittlesey says. One way the restaurant is building its guest base is through mobile marketing, Tarantino says. Guests can sign up for its text-only specials, by texting 150GRILL to 72727. Text customers receive special coupons that are available only to them. “It’s a form of getting our customers to come back,” Tarantino says. “Me being in the customer service business, we appreciate our customers and want to focus on our loyal customers. Text message marketing enables us to easily communicate with our customers.” The grill also worked with Mobile Marketing Max to offer an online menu that is designed for easy use on mobile devices, such as smart phones, at The web site design includes large buttons that are easy for people to tap on smart devices, to view the complete menu, for example. This all adds up to a hometown place committed to old fashioned service — with modern twists. LNC The Scoop 150 Grill 8594 Highway 150 Terrell 828.478.5300 Hours: Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

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The Grapevine | by Trevor Burton

tempranillo A little on the shy side, but a

grape that has plenty of character

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

Rioja is the most well known Tempranillo wine.


ntil very recently the Tempranillo grape has stayed close to home and kept its name out of the headlines. That doesn’t mean you haven’t sipped on a glass or two; it just means that the grape didn’t 36

toot its own horn too loudly. That’s beginning to change. Tempranillo is the workhorse grape of northern Spain, but its name rarely appears on any of the labels of wines from that region.

That’s because, like most Old World wines, the majority of Spanish wines are named for the region they come from rather than the grape that’s in them. There’s more than a decent chance that in your wine tasting

ments you’ve come across a wine from the Rioja region of Spain. If you have, you’ve already made friends with Tempranillo. If not, give it a try. Rioja wines are typically blended, but it’s Tempranillo that plays the major role, 70 percent or more. The other players are Garnacha, Graciono and Mazuelo. There used to be a French influence with the use of Cabernet Sauvignon, but that faded as growers figured out that local Spanish grapes produced an excellent wine. They were right. Some like it hot Tempranillo (and its friends) thrive in the hot, almost desert-like conditions in Rioja. And that shows through in the wines. They scream out the character of the climate they are grown in. Rioja wines are a deep red-black color. There’s lots of fruit on the nose — blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. There’s a little bitterness or harshness, kind of like a charcoal aroma. These are definitely mouth-filling, ‘meaty’ wines. Lots of structure that comes from the grape’s tannin; structure that stays around to the finish. On the palate the wine is spicy — sweet, peppery fruit with chocolate and butter oak. Great, complex wines. Some of the depth of character of Rioja wines comes from their aging. On the label of some of the wines you’ll see ‘Crianza’, ‘Reserva’ or ‘Gran Reserva.’ These designations tell you how long the wine has been aged in an oak barrel and then in a bottle. Crianza wines are aged for 12 months in a barrel and then 12 more months in a bottle. At the higher level, Gran Reserva wines are aged 24 months in a barrel and then 36 months in a bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are deeper and more complex due to this extra aging time. In addition to all the fruit, there are hints of grilled meat, leather and spice. Again, tannins in the background give the wine plenty of good structure.

comparison, Rioja’s more rugged topography has gorgeous mountain vistas, yet most of its vineyards lie between 400 to 600 meters (1,300 to 2,000 feet) elevation. It’s Ribera’s altitude that has a great influence on its wine. There is clear air with more than 2,400 hours of sunlight per year. And, very important, during the summer there is a huge diurnal swing; the vineyards experience temperature fluctuations ranging from 100ºF during the day to 50ºF at night. The cool night temperatures do two

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

Some like to chill out What shapes the character of Rioja wines is the Ebro River. The vineyards of the region are found on the northern and southern slopes along the river. A little further south is another river that gives its own, distinct character to wine — the Duero River. This wine is also made

mainly from the Tempranillo grape. The name of the wine is Ribera del Duero, which means the riverbanks of the Duero in the Duero Valley. The Duero River, by the way, flows into Portugal on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. There it is called Duoro and is home to the vineyards that produce grapes for Portugal’s famous Port wine. Ribera del Duero is all about altitude. The region is at 700 to 1,000 meters (2,300 feet to 3,300 feet) elevation. This is the highest average elevation in Europe for growing vines. For

The Grapevine |

things. They slow down ripening — more hang time for the grapes to develop their flavor components. And they allow grapes to build up a good level of acidity. These are exactly the right conditions for producing deep, complex wines. More than Rioja’s big brother Inevitably, Ribera del Duero is compared to the Rioja region. The two wines are both made mostly from Tempranillo. Ribera del Duero wines are subtler than their Rioja sib-

lings. The goal of many of the winemakers in Ribera del Duero is towards a Burgundian style rather than a Bordeaux style. More towards nuance than power. The wines are a rich, red color. The aromas are refined. There are scents of ripe strawberries, chocolate and figs. The supple tannins and acidity create a velvety feel in the mouth. There’s a floral aspect — violets. And the fruits are brighter than those found in Rioja. In the background there’s a bit of earthiness. All of this leads to a long and satisfying

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

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Ribera del Duero, where the Tempranillo grape really struts its stuff.

finish. One grape, two regions that shape its character. Terrific. California, here I come Tempranillo is branching out a little bit. And, if you’re a grapevine, where better to set down your roots than California. Other grapes have done it, why not Tempranillo? They’re a little bit of a work in progress as winemakers try to find the growing conditions that can coax the best out of the grape. An area where they seem to be getting it right is Paso Robles. No surprise there, as this is the area that started making great wines in the style of the Rhône region of France, the start of the Rhône Rangers. Bodegas Paso Robles has a goal of producing wines using Spanish and Portuguese varietals. They make blends of Tempranillo and a wine with 100 percent Tempranillo. An indication of how Tempranillo might become a star in California is the fact that the prestigious Jarvis winery is getting on board. Jarvis produces premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines. They are now producing wines from 100 percent Tempranillo grapes. So, it seems that the grape is well on its way to making a name for itself in California. I guess the shyness has worn off. Here’s a fun thing to do now that we’re into warmer weather. Sit outside some evening and watch a sunset on the lake. While you’re doing that, try a Tempranillo trio — a Rioja, compared to a Ribera del Duero and, finally, a California wine. Interesting and tasty. Enjoy. LNC Trevor Burton of Mooresville is certified by the International Sommelier Guild, he is founder of SST Wine Experiences and, along with his wife, Mary Ellen, conducts wine education and tasting tours to wine regions throughout the world.

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


4/12/12 3:41:54 PM

Game on | by Mike Savicki photography courtesy of Joe Gibbs Racing

It’s Time for You

The eyes of NASCAR focus on Charlotte this month with two solid weeks of racing and special events from Huntersville, Cornelius and Mooresville to Concord and Charlotte.

to go Racin’

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


o ahead and admit it, you’ve never been to a NASCAR race. How does it feel to get that secret off your chest? Somewhat of a relief, I’m guessing. Say it again, it’s perfectly fine. You do know the sport lives here in your back yard, but you don’t knock what gives it a heartbeat. You are aware there is


Where you should be when NASCAR comes to town this month a speedway nearby and perhaps you do periodically drive by a race shop or two, but that’s really the extent of it. It’s a nice start, but in the world of racing, that knowledge doesn’t

really count for much. Feeling a little guilty now? Maybe you feel as guilty as I did many years ago after a chance encounter with a

driver shortly after I moved to the lake. Here’s what happened. Trying to be the courteous and outgoing transplant, I was making a habit of introducing myself to whoever would listen. One evening, I told an unknown gentleman that I was a newly relocated transplant and foolishly joked that I had heard of NASCAR but wouldn’t be able to identify Ricky Rudd if I ran into him at a restaurant. The gentleman smiled, stuck out his hand and introduced himself as Ricky Rudd. We were in a restaurant. As a lifelong sports fan, I felt guilty and embarrassed. I was raised in the Northeast Huntersville’s Joe Gibbs Racing welcomes fans with display cases of awards and memorabilia.

Local race shops offer all sorts of way to show pride for your favorite driver.

circled the first date that NASCAR would be in town. As the date drew closer, I visited a few race shops, went to Pole Night (for you guilty novices, that’s when every driver races individually to claim qualifying positions), bought a fan guide and learned the names, faces, car designs, sponsors and team desigContinued on page 43


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

to bow to a cloud or shadow if it resembled a Boston baseball, football or hockey player, but racing, I’ll admit, was a foreign language to me. After that uncomfortable first meeting, I took every step possible to ensure an encounter like this never happened again. I drove to the local Cashion’s, found a race schedule, sat down with my calendar and

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someone they love is our goal at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home and Cremation Services. For five generations our family has worked with other local families to create a meaningful experience, offering funeral options tailored to their needs. We are proud to be a part of the Lake Norman community and proud to carry on the tradition of excellence started by the Raymer family in 1989. Thank you for allowing our family to guide and comfort you through the loss of a loved one.

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


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an autograph session and enjoy a charity barbecue and silent auction to benefit the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Game On |

nish, Jr., along with enthusiastic fans, the sport’s top sponsors and representatives from nearly one dozen race teams for the 4th Annual “King’s Cup — Karting for a Cause” at Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center. Many drivers use go-karts to hone their reaction time and test their quickness so don’t be surprised if you catch a familiar face taking his turn behind the wheel. Teams compete in a series of timed knockout races to determine a champion. Arrive early for

Tour the shops of the stars It’s no secret that drivers from all across racing call Lake Norman home, and many chose this location to be close to their team’s race shops. Welcoming race fans and offering unprecedented access to the inner workings of the complex operations are what

Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville. Continued from page 41

nations of every driver in the sport. Why didn’t I just hit the Internet? It hadn’t been invented yet. My first night of racing was something I will never forget. I caught the bug and, to this day, I still make it a priority to stay in tune with what’s happening at NASCAR’s highest levels. The eyes of NASCAR focus on Charlotte this month with two solid weeks of racing and special events from Huntersville, Cornelius and Mooresville to Concord and Charlotte. If you are thinking about experiencing the sport for the first time or are looking for a reason to learn just a bit more about NASCAR during the sport’s spring swing, here are just a few special events you might want to write on your calendar. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with a driver or two at any or all of these events, and to avoid embarrassment, do your homework first. Feel free to use the Internet.

There was a time when you needed a day’s drive and a tank of gas to tour enough furniture factory showrooms to find the brands and styles you wanted. That was then, this is now...Merinos Home Furnishings’ three-acre Mooresville showroom, filled with furniture, rugs and decor. You’ll find the pieces your’re looking for in one location, priced at or below factory showroom prices. Come visit Merinos Home Furnishings on South Main Street in Mooresville. The brands, style variety and value that once meant a day’s driving are now within a leisurely stroll under one roof.

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

Richard Petty goes “Karting for a Cause” Less than three days after the checkered flag waves to end the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR Hallof-Famer, Richard Petty will host drivers including Brad Keselowski, AJ Allmendinger, Martin Truex, Jr., Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Patrick Kilgerman and Sam Hor-

On time and space (your time, our space)

Game On |

teams offer to the public, so grab a guide and set aside an afternoon or full day to tour. Huntersville’s Joe Gibbs Racing welcomes fans with display cases of awards and memorabilia. The race shop lets you dissect actual Sprint Cup cars and offers a huge viewing window above team operations. At Michael Waltrip Racing’s Raceworld USA in Cornelius, fans enjoy a feature film and join a guided tour of the facility. Your tour guides are longtime NASCAR experts so

test them with a difficult question or two. In Mooresville, follow the signs to Penske Racing and get up close and personal with a NASCAR hauler and dozens of IndyCar, Nationwide and Sprint Cup machines. Go the extra mile to visit the personal shops of drivers like Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., along with Germain Racing and Inception Motorsports. Hone up on your driver knowledge beforehand since there is a good chance you might

Joe Gibbs Racing lets you dissect actual Sprint Cup cars and offers a huge viewing window above team operations.

take home a signed helmet or race suit during a special event or contest scheduled just for fans during race week.


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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

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Go big at the Coca Cola 600 I recently crossed paths with Jeff Burton (at a restaurant, go figure), and he reminded me that every single NASCAR race is like a Super Bowl and World Series game rolled into one. Burton knows from experience that big game tickets are hard to obtain, but because 140,000 people can sit comfortably in Charlotte Motor Speedway, he says getting into a NASCAR race like the Coca Cola 600 can be a bit easier and is just as exciting. The 600 is the Sprint Cup’s longest race and transitions from a late afternoon start to an exciting nighttime finish under the lights. Arrive early and visit the merchandise tents and sponsor expo booths, catch the pre-race celebrations and have your camera ready for driver introductions and that surprising celebrity sighting somewhere on the infield. “I grew up attending the Coke 600 as a kid,” Burton says, “and long before I drove in NASCAR, I knew that race in Charlotte was a special night. It is something everyone should experience.” Ready for something special? I was. Now it’s your turn. LNC Freelance writer Mike Savicki has lived and worked in the Lake Norman area for 15 years, frequently covering the racing scene.


• Preserve and protect your shoreline with rip-rap and river rock delivered by barge • Dredge to make deep water • Repair any storm damage to shorelines or docks • Build your DREAM DOCK • Storm proof your dock • Facilitate all applicable permits. Our location on the lake is susceptible to some of the roughest water on Lake Norman. Shannon Miller and Lake Norman Dredging built our boardwalk/dock and seawall in 1997 and, fifteen years later, I can say we definitely made the right decision in choosing Shannon and his team. Quality work and customer service are important to me and to Shannon. Lake Norman Dredging excels at both. — Joe Gibbs - Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing

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Home Port | by Deb Mitchell photography by Wes Stearns Joe and Martha Nemechek built their lakeside home in Mooresville in 2009.

Custom and casual

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


rom the outside, Joe and Martha Nemechek’s home in Mooresville seems like any of the other Southern-style homes in their picturesque neighborhood. But step inside the 3,368-square-foot lakefront home, and it’s clear that this home is unique. Joe and Martha, parents of long-time NASCAR driver, Joe Nemechek Jr., built their home in 2009 on a lot next to Joe Jr. and his family. They wanted the house to include all the best features of their previous homes, especially the


Joe and Martha Nemechek’s lakeside home will make your heart race

Joe and Martha, parents of long-time NASCAR driver, Joe Nemechek Jr., wanted their house to include all the best features of their previous homes.

Home Port |

They wanted the house to include all the best features of their previous homes, especially the last — a New England barn style they loved.

The Nemecheks wanted their home to reflect a New England barn style.

last — a New England barn style they loved. So they hired the designer of that home, Residential Designer Jenny Pippin of Pippin Home Design, Inc. Willis Spivey of Spivey Homes built the house. Together Pippin and Spivey used

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


their experience and their knowledge of the Nemecheks’ previous home to give the couple everything they wanted. Continued on page 50

Willis Spivey of Spivey Homes constructed the home.

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Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

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Home Port |

Continued from page 47

Framing the View Throughout the house, pine walls and ceilings in a natural finish lend barn-style appeal. The great room’s cathedral ceiling opens up the space with a lodge-like sensibility. The room’s size is perfect for the casual gatherings Joe and Martha love to host. Perhaps the pièce de résistance of the en-

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Perhaps the pièce de résistance of the entire home is the great room’s massive windows. tire home is the great room’s massive windows. Specializing in “homes with a view,” Pippin masterfully positioned and shaped these windows to frame the lake view without catching distracting glimpses of neighbors’ homes. She even painstakingly placed the windows’ sashes so they never cut through the middle of the view. The sunroom is one of Martha and Joe’s Continued on page 52

Home Port | Even the furniture radiates a barn-style feel.

The home office, shared by Joe and Martha, is both headquarters for organizing Joe Jr.’s fan mail and a personal museum for the family’s racing history.

A lake bath off the sunroom means sandy, dripping grandkids can clean up post lake without leaving a trail through the house. Continued from page 47

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

favorite places to relax, offering another view of the lake, their private beach and their dock. A lake bath off the sunroom (complete with a steam shower) means sandy, dripping grandkids can clean up post lake without leaving a trail through the house. While Joe Sr. defers to Martha on much of the commentary about the home, he is sure about one thing, “Every home needs a four-car garage,” he says. This home’s version includes a workshop space so that when the Continued on page 54


The home office also serves as a personal museum of the family's racing history.

Home Port |

Continued from page 47

former machine shop owner isn’t helping Joe Jr. at his race team’s Mooresville shop, he can be found either tinkering here or just sitting with both garage doors wide open, enjoying the sound of the birds outside. Office space The home office, shared by Joe and Martha, is both headquarters for organizing Joe

Jr.’s fan mail and a personal museum for the family’s racing history. Built-in shelving and cabinets hold items for Joe Jr. to autograph, and the island in the middle is the perfect workspace for Martha to ready these items for mailing. Models fill custom displays built atop the cabinets, representing every vehicle (cars, trucks, and motorcycles) that Joe Jr., their son John (whom they lost tragically 14 years ago in a truck racing accident), and now grandson, John Hunter, ever raced.

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The office is also where Martha spends countless hours connecting via email with others in need. When Joe Jr. drove an Armysponsored car, she tirelessly emailed encouragement to deployed soldiers; now her focus is on those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Covering the office walls along with notes from her grandchildren are images from the family’s years in racing. Photographs document Martha’s brief turn at the wheel, which lasted until the day her car caught fire. Other photos show Joe Sr. ‘spotting’ for Joe Jr. at races or Martha cheering her son on, often while wearing the drill sergeant’s hat and military uniform she became known for when he drove for the Army. The couple, who split their time between here and their home in Lakeland, Florida, is thrilled with how Pippin’s design turned out. “We wouldn’t change a thing,” Martha says. The Nemecheks’ unique home proves that a good design can incorporate everything homeowners desire: personal style, comfort and features that enhance a lifestyle — and if you’re as lucky as the Nemecheks, breathtaking Lake Norman views to boot. LNC

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You will absolutely adore this waterfront estate w/exquisite charm & master craftsmanship throughout! An amazing backyard boasts heat-pool/spa overlooking beautiful natural sandy beach. Grand foyer w/1 of 7 firplcs opens to a stunning Great Rm w/gorgeous built-ins & soaring tin ceiling. Spectacular lower level with fabulous billiard, game room, new home theater & wine cellar. Offered at $2,850,000 #2074067

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You will love this spacious & open floor plan that boasts soaring ceiling in the great room w/cozy fireplace, gourmet kitchen w/breakfast & elegant dining rm. Master suite on main w/luxury bath. Upper level features 2 bedrms & huge bonus rm w/wet bar & media rm. Awesome lower level offers billiard w/bar, den, & huge storage space, perfect 2nd living quarters. Covered porch, stamped concrete patio from walkout basement. $559,900 #2075461

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Home Port — In My Room |

11 18



by Lori K. Tate photography by Sarah McGraw

17 4






Cottage Chic Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

Ann Youngblood’s living room offers a cozy collection of pieces



n a winding road that could only be found on the edge of a lake you’ll find a quaint cottage nestled in the woods. Ann and Bob Youngblood have lived in this cozy space for 20 years. When not distracted by their beautiful lake view, you’ll be struck by how well their space, though small, works. One of the best places to see this is in their living room. “I always like to have enough

seating for eight people. I want guests to feel comfortable,” says Ann, an interior designer in Mooresville who owns Ann Watts Youngblood, Inc. “This room is not really easy to decorate just because of the size of it.” Easy or not, Ann filled the space with pieces that have special meaning and seamlessly work together to exude a comfortably chic look.

1 The striped sofa was custom made. 2 The deep coral chenille ottoman was custom made via Ann’s design. “I tried to do a different design that you typically don't see because I’m math oriented. I was a math major,” says Ann, who calculated exactly how many nailheads it would take to make the design the same size all the way around.



3 The floral chair was also custom made and features a multi-color trim. “You gotta love trim. I try to use lots of trim in all of my projects,” says Ann.


4 Ann fell in love with this chest of


drawers as soon as she saw it. “I saw it and liked it and bought it,” says Ann, adding that she found it in an antique shop in her native Winston-Salem.

7 16 15

5 Her great, great grandfather built the walnut cupboard in the corner. He was from North Carolina and was a pine woodworker. He was also a coffin maker. Ann says he used to make a coffin for $8. “He had 12 children, and my grandmother was the next to the youngest. My mother and father went down to the farm [outside of Winston-Salem] and found this in a barn and had it refinished,” explains Ann. “I was the lucky recipient.”

6 Ann has collected blue and white china over the years. “Some things are from my parents. Some things I’ve purchased. Some I bought on a trip to Russia,” says Ann.

7 Ann found her alder side table while she was on an antique buying trip in Provence, France. “I just like the lines and the color and the patina of the wood,” says Ann.

9 The two smaller pictures on the wall are from places she and her husband have traveled. “The top one is Mykonos, Greece, and the bottom one is a little house we stayed in when we visited Williamsburg,” says Ann.

10 The two red tapestry chairs are her mother’s. She got them when her mother downsized. Her mother used them as host and hostess chairs in her dining room.

11 The mirror above the chest of drawers belonged to her aunt.

12 She found her majolica cheese dome while visiting France on a buying trip. “You’re supposed to put cheese in it, but I don’t let anybody use it,” says Ann.

13 A panoramic picture from her mother’s 90th birthday party in Hilton Head sits behind the sofa. “My mother is now 95 and still driving, playing bridge four days a week,” says Ann. “These are all of my first cousins and their spouses and their children and grandchildren.”

14 The Ireland book reminds her of a wonderful trip she and her husband took there. “We love to travel,” says Ann.

15 The cherry tray on the ottoman was custom made by James Taylor, a woodworking colleague of Ann’s.

16 The orchid on the tray was a birthday gift from friends. “I don’t grow orchids. I buy orchids,” says Ann.

17 She purchased the Murano glass candies sitting on the chest of drawers during a trip to Italy.

18 Her window treatments are white linen

the back of the room to avoid sun damage. “I’ve had that a right long time. I love my Arless Day. I would have liked to have had more of his work,” says Ann.

with a blue linen banding on three sides. “I like the way linen drapes,” says Ann. “I like that it is more casual.”

Ann Youngblood


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

8 Ann moved her Arless Day painting to



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Currently A month of things to do in the Lake Norman area

In Tune with the Community

North Mecklenburg Community Chorus' spring show, Bella Notte, celebrates Italian music made popular by American singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney.


by Holly Becker

Songs,” and it provides an avenue for singers to perform secular music in a chorus setting. “Our purpose is not just to sing but to socialize and have a good time together,” Sims adds. Currently, NMCC Inc. consists of two vocal groups. The Main Chorus, the largest ensemble, is open to singers of all backgrounds. The Jazz Ensemble, which launched in 2011, is a smaller group of vocalists performing tight jazz harmonies. In the future, NMCC hopes to form children’s and youth choruses too. Both choirs will perform at NMCC’s spring show, Bella Notte, May 18-20. The performance celebrates Italian music made popular by American singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean

Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney. In addition to singing, the show will include professional dancers and comedy skits. One noticeable difference at the spring show from previous ones is that audience members will be seated around tables. Italian desserts and coffee will be served. And on select songs, the audience will be invited to take to the dance floor. LNC The Scoop The North Mecklenburg Community Chorus presents Bella Notte May 18-20 at Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road, Huntersville. Tickets are $12.50. For more information, visit or call 704.644.7368.


Lake Norman Currents | May 2012

orth Mecklenburg Community Chorus is singing a song of change. The 35-year old chorus, which sprung from a vocal class at Central Piedmont Community College, recently revamped to form the nonprofit, North Mecklenburg Community Chorus, Inc. Daniela Sims, a NMCC singer and spokesperson for the organization, says becoming a nonprofit allows opportunities for expansion in this rapidly growing community. “We’re a chorus for the community and by the community,” she says, “and we want to bring more music programs to the area.” The organization’s motto is “No Boring

North Mecklenburg Community Chorus makes some key changes as it celebrates Italian Music

Calendar |

A month of things to do in the Lake Norman area CHILDREN

a wide variety of traditional Asian offerings such as authentic food, stage performances, intense Dragon Boat Races, cultural exhibits and a most colorful Hershey’s Track and Field Event (May 22) This nationally affiliated program is designed to introduce display of young talents in the annual Miss Asian Festival Scholarship competition. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. children between the ages of 9 and 14 to physical Ramsey Creek Park, 18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius, fitness. 9 a.m. Free. Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius, Davidson Town Day (May 5) This annual festival features food and entertainment, as well as a chance to visit with your neighbors. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cornelius Concert Series (May 6) The Ballantyne Downtown Davidson, Brass Quintet performs. Sanctuary of Mt. Zion United Spartan 5K Road Race (May 5) The Community Methodist Church, 19600 Zion Street, Cornelius, School of Davidson is sponsoring this year’s 5K road race as part of the Davidson Town Day Davidson’s Concerts on the Green (May 6, 20) Celebration. 8:30 a.m. $5 per registrant. The race This is a warm weather tradition around these parts. will begin and end on the Village Green, www. Pushh performs on May 6. Rough Draft performs on May 20. Bring a picnic and enjoy the music. 6-8 p.m. World War II Reenactment (May 5-6) Remember Free. Davidson Town Green, the sacrifices of Americans who fought in World Music at St. Alban’s (May 6) The Sitka Trio and War II. Each day the battle will take place in 1945 Friends performs music from many centuries, from Germany. Demonstrations throughout the weekend both the traditional (folk) and classical repertoires. 3 will include, On the Front Line, On Patrol, Weapons p.m. $15, $10 students and seniors, children under Training, Knowing Your Enemy, POW Interrogation 12 free. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Davidson, www. and a Mortar Demo. Explore the grounds, visit the Allied and Axis camps, and learn about the USSO in the plantation house. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $7 per person, ages 5 and under free, World War II Veterans admitted free, other veterans receive $1 discount. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www. Second Annual ReStore ReStyle Event to Benefit Our Towns Habitat for Humanity (May 1) Seven area designers will compete to see who can design Hello Huntersville (May 12) The talent of local the most amazing room by repurposing ReStore artists hits the streets during this one-day festival. merchandise. Youth United will also host a ChairLocal businesses, music, food, rides and fun make ity Silent Auction during the event. 6:30 p.m. $15. this a great day for families. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Downtown Mooresville ReStore, 121 Norman Station Boulevard, Huntersville, Mooresville, 2nd Annual North Carolina Brewers and Music Q & A with Jan Blodgett and Ralph Levering, Festival (May 12) This festival celebrates our authors of One Town, Many Voices (May 3) The state’s great craft breweries and authentic music. authors of the newly released One Town, Many The music line-up includes the distinctive blend Voices answer your questions regarding the book of neo-folk, classic soul, and Americana jam of the and the history of Davidson. 7 p.m. Free. Davidson Ryan Montbleau Band, guitar legend and acoustic College Presbyterian Church, Davidson, www. Americana flat picker Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, quickly rising CMT stars The Black Lillies, Happy Hour History Walk with Davidson Historical the Los Angeles punk-bluegrass band Old Man Markley, Charleston-based Sol Driven Train and Society (May 4) This 30- to 40-minute tour starts at BIG Something, winners of the Home Grown Music the Village Green then wraps up at Summit Coffee, Network’s 2010 “New Band of the Year” award. Noonwhere copies of the new history One Town, Many 10 p.m., beer tasting 12:45-4:15 p.m. $7-$35. Rural Hill, Voices by Jan Blodgett and Ralph Levering will be 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, www.ncbrewsmusic. available for purchase. 4-6 p.m. Free. Village Green, com. Davidson, McKinney Academy Spring Fling (May 12) This Partido un Dia Temprano! (May 4) The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host a Partido un festival offers food, games, music, raffles and more for Dia Temprano! (Party a Day Early!), a fundraising event the whole community. 10-2 p.m. Free. Village Green, Davidson, for the Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Business Tennis Fun Day! (May 12) Bring the whole family Build 2012. 5:30 p.m. $20. Pelican’s Patio, 19930 W. to this event, featuring tennis drills, fun games, Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, www.ourtownshabitat. prizes and giveaways. Join instructors from the Lake org. Norman Tennis Academy for a great time on the Blue Oval Car Classic (May 5) The Ford Owners courts. 1-3 p.m. Free. Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Association of the Carolinas holds its 8th Annual Road, Cornelius, Blue Oval Classic Car Show with proceeds benefiting 3rd Annual Catwalk for a Cause (May 16) Enjoy an Dove House. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Spectators free. evening filled with fashion, entertainment, gourmet Registration fees range from $15 to $25 depending good, a silent auction and raffle prizes. Proceeds on class. Mooresville Ford, 139-151 East Plaza Drive, raised from the event benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Mooresville, Special Needs Fund at Levine Children’s Hospital. The Charlotte Asian Festival (May 5) This one-day The fund provides financial assistance for patients festival entertains visitors from across the globe with and families of children being treated at the hospital.



Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


6-9 p.m. $75-$125. Martin Truex Jr. Motorsports, Mooresville, 20th Annual Davidson-Cornelius Child Development Center 5K/Taste-Nic (May 19) The day begins with a one-mile fun run and continues with a 5K through Davidson. The TasteNic is an opportunity for local chefs to use food from local farms for delicious dishes. Fun run begins at 8:30 a.m., 5K begins at 9 a.m. Davidson Village Green, Davidson,, www. Race City Festival (May 19) The Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce hosts this annual event for the community. Celebrating its 30th years, the festival features local merchants, the arts and culture of the community, live music and entertainment, an International food court, beer garden (new this year), plus a children’s area with rides and activities. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Downtown Mooresville, Civil War Mustering Event (May 19-20) The Sample boys left their home at Latta (then called Riverside) 150 years ago and were mustered into the Company B Mecklenburg Grays. Experience the Civil War as those did who were mustered into the army. Visit the camps, watch the company drill, and much more. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, Warrior Dash (May 19-20) Warrior Dash is a fierce 5K where participants bound over fire, trudge through mud, and scale all sorts of obstacles and heights. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and GreenSneakers. 500 Warriors will take off for the Battleground every half hour starting at 9 a.m. both days. Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville,, www.

GALLERIES Andre Christine Gallery Contemporary Skylines and Architecture. Through June 1. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun by appointment. 148 Ervin Road, Mooresville, 704.775.9516, Cornelius Arts Center Various exhibitions. Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-Noon. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, “Cotton” Ketchie’s Landmark Galleries Various exhibitions. The work of watercolorist ‘Cotton’ Ketchie. Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 212 North Main Street, Mooresville, 704.664.4122, www.landmark-galleries. com. Depot Art Gallery Various exhibitions. The Mooresville Artist Guild hosts an artist reception the second Friday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. 103 W. Center Avenue, Mooresville, Foster’s Frame and Art Gallery Various exhibitions. 403 N. Old Statesville Road, Huntersville, 704.948.1750. Four Corners Framing and Gallery Various exhibitions. Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 112 S. Main Street, Mooresville, 704.662.7154, Lake Country Gallery Various exhibitions. MonFri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Exit 36 – Mooresville, between Belk and Kohl’s, 704.664.5022,

MONTHLY EVENTS Carolina Raptor Center Live bird presentations, flight shows, behind-the-scenes tours and more take place at Carolina Raptor Center throughout the month. Visit for more details. The Artisan Market Craft Crawl (First Saturday) Formerly known as the Mooresville Craft Crawl, this market features baked goods, clothing, embroidery, jewelry, paintings, pottery, quilts and woodcarvings

with an edge. 4-9 p.m. Free. Mooresville Town Square across from Lowe’s Foods. artisanmktnc. Blue Planet Water Environmental Center Tour (First Tuesday, Third Thursday) Learn about water and wastewater through a hands-on tour. Fun for all ages. Tours are available the first Tuesday and the third Thursday of the month on a first-come, first-served basis. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission TBA. Call 704.621.0854 or e-mail to schedule a tour. Davidson Farmer’s Market (Every Saturday) Farmers sell a bounty of seasonal vegetables; pasteurized meats and cheeses; and freshly baked breads, cakes and pies. 8 a.m.-noon. Free. Next to Town Hall between Main and Jackson streets in downtown Davidson, www. The Huntersville Market (Every Saturday) Sponsored by The Town of Huntersville Parks and Recreation Department, The Huntersville Market offers citizens wonderful local fresh produce, delicious baked goods, jewelry and charming crafts. Free. 7 a.m.-noon. 103 Maxwell Avenue, Huntersville, Open Air Market at the Crossing (Every Saturday) Buy local flowers/plants, jam/honey, soap, candles, baked goods, handmade crafts and more. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 9525 Birkdale Crossing Drive, Huntersville.

MOVIES Movies in the Park Huntersville (May 2) Enjoy Happy Feet 2 on the soccer fields at the back of North Mecklenburg Park. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Park opens at 6 p.m., movie begins at dusk. Free. North Mecklenburg Park, 16131 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville,

Movies on Main (May 26) Enjoy a viewing of Cars at the Charles Mack Citizen Center. 7 p.m. Free. Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 North Main Street, Mooresville,


Calendar | Merrill-Jennings Galleries Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 463 S. Main Street, Davidson, 704.895.1213, www.merrilljennings. com. Mooresville Artist Guild 34th Annual Spring Artfest. Opening reception May 11, 6-8 p.m. Through May 26. 103 West Center Avenue, Mooresville, Sanctuary of Davidson Various exhibitions. 108 S. Main Street, Davidson, Tropical Connections Various exhibitions. Tue- Fri 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. 230 N. Main Street, Mooresville. 704.664.0236. Van Every/Smith Galleries, Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Art Center Art Exhibitions features art by senior class studio art majors Taylor Thomas, Sara Claire Chambless, Rachel Means, Lauren Kamperman, Brenda Schamu and Cristina Casal. The artists will exhibit their work for a week at a time. Through May 4. Weekdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday noon-4 p.m. Davidson College, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson, 704.894.2519, www.

Davidson College Men’s Baseball Nothing says spring like baseball. The Citadel (May 4, 6 TBD), USC Upstate (May 9, 6 p.m.). Davidson College, www. Lake Norman Yacht Club It’s time to hit the water. Flying Scot Great 48 (May 5-6).

TEENS Rock Band Friday (Fridays) Learn how to play Rock Band after school. 3:30-6 p.m. Free. Ben & Jerry’s, 202 South Main Street, Davidson.

THEATRE The Comedy Improv Musical Variety Extravaganza (May 11) Join the Chuckleheads for a combination of improvisational comedy, musical games/ activities, game show elements and the heavy duty audience participation that has become a staple of Chuckleheads’ shows over the years. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Warehouse Performing Arts Center, 9216-A Westmoreland Road, Cornelius, www., The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (May 18-19) Masterworks School of the Arts presents Mark Twain’s classic story as it comes to musical life in this Broadway adaptation of America’s favorite book. Visit www. for more information.

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t’s been 10 years in the making, but it’s finally here. One Town, Many Voices: A History of Davidson, North Carolina was released last month. Written by Jan Blodgett, college archivist for Davidson College, and Ralph B. Levering, Vail Professor of History at Davidson College, the 312-page book focuses on the experiences of Davidson’s diverse population, starting with the arrival of the first class at Davidson College in 1837 until now. Blodgett got the idea for the book when it was brought to her attention that there was a lack of Davidson’s recorded African American history. “The genesis of this project was recognizing that as archivist I had the ability and the data to do this,” says Blodgett, who brought Levering into the project later on. “I think what will surprise readers is that a town that is as small as Davidson has as complex of history as it does.” We recently studied a copy of the book and came up with our own Davidson quiz. See how much you know about the area’s favorite college town. LNC

When was Davidson first incorporated? a. 1879 b. 1862 c. 1885 d. 1895


Which former Davidson College men’s basketball coach went on to coach at the University of Maryland? a. Dean Smith b. Bobby Cremins c. Mark Turgeon d. Charles “Lefty” Driesell

3. Who did the two Ms in the

former M & M Soda Shop stand for? a. Mary Rogers and Matt Boggs b. Mary Potts and Murray Fleming c. Madeline Mayberry and Margaret Mitchell d. Mark Singer and Matthew Anderson

4. Which annual event began as a six-

day clean-up campaign in 1970? a. Christmas in Davidson b. Art On the Green c. Town Day d. The North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade

Lake Norman Currents | May 2012


What was the name of the firm that built the first cotton mill in Davidson? a. The Linden Manufacturing Company b. Cannon Inc. c. Fieldcrest d. Burlington Industries

6. Who served as president

of Davidson College from 1997-2007? a. Sam Spencer b. John Kuykendall c. Bobby Vagt d. Tom Ross


What year did Davidson’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity begin? a. 1955 b. 1987 c. 1994 d. 1972


Which former Davidson College student went on to be president of the United States? a. John K. Kennedy b. Gerald Ford c. Ronald Reagan d. Woodrow Wilson


Which type of recreational venue has never had a home in Davidson? a. Bowling alley b. Ice skating rink c. Miniature golf course d. A ski resort


For whom is Davidson named after? a. General William Lee Davidson b. Harley Davidson c. John Davidson d. Henry David Thoreau

Answers Ralph B. Levering and Jan Blodgett.


1. a, 2. d, 3. b, 4. c, 5. a, 6. c, 7. b, 8. d, 9. d, 10. a.

by Lori K. Tate photography by Laurie Martin

We studied the newly released Our Town, Many Voices to learn more about the area’s favorite college town



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