No No small small beer beer
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VOL 4, ISSUE 9 June/July 2016
82 ARTIST’S SPOTLIGHT Student artistry at Art2Wear
WALTER PROFILE Sepi Saidi: An optimist first
by Liza Roberts photographs by Robert Willett
STORY OF A HOUSE Modern traditions
by Jesma Reynolds photographs by Catherine Nguyen
AT THE TABLE Snap Pea Underground’s movable feast by Jesma Reynolds photographs by Tim Lytvinenko
RALEIGHITES No small beer: Raleigh’s taprooms by Dean McCord photographs by Nick Pironio
On the cover: Raleigh Flea Market; photograph by Geoff Wood
10 | WALTER
by Amber Nimocks photographs by Nick Pironio
WALTER’S BOOK CLUB with author Lee Smith
photographs by Joseph Rafferty
THROUGH THE LENS Raleigh Flea Market photographs by Geoff Wood
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48 48 Our Town
On Duty: Police on horseback The Usual: One-Armed Bandits Shop Local: Bald Head Blues Game Plan: Big Rock Tournament
by Jessie Ammons and Mimi Montgomery photographs by Christer Berg, Tim Lytvinenko, and Eric Waters
Green tomatoes: Better unripe by Kaitlyn Goalen photographs by Jillian Clark
Turning a blind eye
by Mimi Montgomery photographs by Eric Waters
12 | walter
Tapping designers; rebuilding lives by Settle Monroe photographs by Travis Long
120 The Whirl
Parties and fundraisers
Rasslin’ up a good time
by Billy Warden photographs by Nick Pironio
The road less biked by Mimi Montgomery
Senator Josiah Bailey by Garland S. Tucker III
In Every Issue 14 Letter from the Editor 18
24 Raleigh Now 36 Triangle Now
“The key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.” By Sean Connery from “Finding Forrester”
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Something about summer shifts the ordinary. school’s out, psychologically anyway, and it opens new possibilities. In colder, busier months with shorter days, it might seem feckless, for instance, to spend a lot of time drinking a lot of beer. But now that we’ve got a regular dose of after-work sunshine, Dean McCord’s 11-taproom tour of Raleigh’s best breweries (p. 82) suddenly seems like a summertime act of civic pride we should all experience. Ditto the Raleigh Flea Market. Through the eyes of photographer Geoff Wood (cover photo; p. 110), that eccentric standby at the State Fairgrounds transforms into a fascinating gathering of thingamagigs and humanity, well worth a sunny morning and a few dollars. A spirit of serendipitous summertime expedition also informs the pop-up, chef-made dinners put on by Snap Pea Underground in surprising locations all over the Triangle (p. 70); the humorous two-wheeled travels of our own Mimi Montgomery (p.114); and Billy Warden’s outrageous adventures in professional wrestling (p.106). Each of these stories involve a can-do spirit and a willingness to try new things. That kind of attitude can create meaningful change, as well: Entrepreneur Sepi Saidi (p.90) has harnessed a similar energy to found and build SEPI, a top civil engineering firm, and become an influential community leader at the same time. And students at N.C. State’s College of Design have tapped their own creative wellspring to create clothes worthy of a professional runway (p. 56). You can call it cool, you can call it summer, but the truth is that all of it – the enthusiasm, the optimism, the ingenuity, the teamwork – it’s all very Raleigh. We’re lucky to live here. My friend Charles Phaneuf, executive director of Raleigh Little Theatre, summed it up well recently: “We’re in a fantastic moment in Raleigh right now,” he told a group of civic leaders gathered on a brilliant May evening at the RLT’s outdoor amphitheatre (an idyllic summertime destination, by the way). “It really is a city where you can live a creative life.”
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Amber Nimocks is a frequent contributor to Walter magazine. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, and The News & Observer, where you can find her column on wine and spirits, Let It Pour. She has lived in downtown Raleigh since before living in downtown Raleigh was cool. Her work as a mother of one very active boy and her job as assistant director of communications for the North Carolina Bar Association keep her busy most of the time. “Spending a couple of hours talking with Sepi Saidi truly changed my outlook,” she says of her piece in this month’s issue. “It’s not just that her story is so inspiring, it’s that she has such a great, hopeful presence that you can’t help but leave a meeting with her thinking that the world is full of possibility.”
billy warden / w r i t e r Billy Warden is a writer, performer, and the co-founder of GBW Strategies, an RTP-based marketing company engaged with clients from Boston to Silicon Valley. Of his piece on G.O.U.G.E. wrestling, Billy says, “I’m fascinated by the sometimes virtuous, sometimes nefarious ways people navigate the world. Pro wrestling captures all that drama, though in a much tamer, more civil manner than real life.”
geoff wood / p h o t o g r a p h e r
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robert willett / p h o t o g r a p h e r North Carolina native Robert Willett is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology. He has been a photojournalist with The News & Observer for more than 30 years. Willett has “been fortunate enough to document the Art2Wear show every year since it began 15 years ago,” he says. In this issue, he covers the event for Walter.
There’s too much adventure out there and too many incredible people to work with, so Geoff’s plan is to dive headfirst into life behind the lens. He’s hanging off the side of the boat, pouring metal filings into old cameras to see what happens, and whenever possible taking the whole thing underwater. He’s getting to know each person, giving his all for each job, and using 10 years of design experience to compose the shot. At the end of his life, he hopes to look back with a close family, deep friendships, and scars and shots that show the adventure. “If you’re looking for interesting characters and hidden treasures, then the Raleigh Flea Market is where you want to be,” he says of his photo essay in this issue.
A beautiful place for beautiful memories
Make 2016 the summer it all started
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@WALTERMAGAZINE Thanks @WalterMagazine for the @vt_cnre shoutout in this article about @primland! –@vt_cnre (May, p. 36)
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Thanks for a beautiful and inspiring article @WalterMagazine! –@NCmuseumhistory (May, p. 60) Drank last night. Delicious! –Evelyn Lutz, (May, p. 86) Love him & his entire family! –Wren Harris Rehm (May, p. 89) Inspiring stories a/b Dr. Littleton, Dr. Garrison & more who took their specialties to underserved people overseas. –@RexHealthcare (May, p. 96) Very honored to have my photo selected for @WalterMagazine “Have Camera, Will Travel” photo contest. #mtfuji #japan –@kieranmoreira (May, p. 104) Love this @WalterMagazine article on stands this month! “Honk if you love foraging!” –@PiedmontPicnic (May, p. 114) Great storytelling fr Raleigh abt TB & a bond between mother & child and to build more hospitals. – @TJCOGnc (May, p. 118)
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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
TACO THE TOWN
Margarita popsicle, por favor!
Get to multitasking and enjoy a little nip while you cool off. These margarita popsicles call for avocado, Matcha green tea, and coconut – a fresh way to give your grown-up taste buds a kick. 4 tablespoons avocado 2 teaspoons Matcha green tea powder 6 ounces of coconut milk 4 ounces tequila Place all the ingredients, except the tequila, in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Add ice and blend until frosty. Add the tequila. Pour into 2 popsicle molds, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Borrowed from Well + Good
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s getting a serious overhaul with Taco Revolution. Established last year, the local group is all about fresh, top-of-the-line tacos, and its breakfast lineup is just that: With options like the Southern Charm, featuring buttermilk Cajun fried chicken, cage-free eggs, breakfast potatoes, honey, and cheddar cheese, you can’t really go wrong. Luckily for you, they serve lunch tacos, too. Check them out nearby at Brew Coffee Bar, Devolve Moto, Deja Brew Coffee House, and NOFO at the Pig. tacorevo.com
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A dip in the Eno River Rock Quarry in Durham...Stopping by the N.C. State D.H. Hill library ice cream shop for a cone from local cows...Singing along to Lake Street Dive at North Carolina Museum of Art June 10...A break from the heat at Marbles’ IMAX Theater to see the National Parks Adventure film narrated by Robert Redford...Dainty gold arm cuffs worn with tank tops...Muddling fresh fruit from the farmers’ market for summertime cocktails...Picking up boiled peanuts on the drive to the beach...Hopping on one of those new non-stop Delta flights to Paris...
BOOGIE SHOES Get down this summer with some of the big names coming to the area. This is just a sampling of all the music making its way to the Triangle in June and July.
RUB A DUB DUB, GLUG GLUG GLUG We all know Raleigh is known for its local beer, obviously, but what about beer soap? That’s right, Raleigh Beer Soapery is now crafting handmade bars of soap using local brews. Wash off with well-known favorites from Trophy Brewing Co., Blueprint Brewing Company, and Sub Noir Brewing Company, among others. Pop a cold one and scrub away – you can find them around town at Edge of Urge, State of Beer, and Retro Modern. (And read more about local taprooms on page 82.) raleighsoapery.com
RED HAT AMPHITHEATER
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Nothing’s better than a little liquid sunshine in the summer. Keep it local when reaching for the honey with The Carolina Bee Company. The small, familyoperated group in Vance County manages all its own hives to sustainably produce honey; it also uses its homegrown honey and beeswax to make lotions, lip balms, candles, soaps, and more. If you’re interested in a hive of your own, it can help with that, too, and even offers beekeeping workshops. 3630 Charlie Grissom Road, Kittrell; carolinabees.com
ELLIE GOULDING June 10, 6:45 p.m. RAY LAMONTAGNE July 15, 8 p.m. STEVE MILLER BAND July 16, 8 p.m. 500 South McDowell St.; redhatamphitheater.com
WALNUT CREEK AMPHITHEATRE JOURNEY & THE DOOBIE BROTHERS June 5, 7 p.m. TOBY KEITH July 10, 7 p.m. GWEN STEFANI & EVE July 24, 7 p.m. 3801 Rock Quarry Road; walnutcreekamphitheatre.com
Thinkstock (POPSICLE); Courtesy Raleigh Beer Soapery (SOAP); Courtesy Taco Revolution (TACO); Thinkstock (BEESWAX); Tim Lytvinenko (RUMINATIONS); Getty Images (GWEN STEFANI)
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CELEBRATING PULLEN PARK W
HEN PULLEN PARK BOUGHT A HAND-CRAFTED WOODEN CAROUSEL FROM nearby Bloomsbury Park for $1,425 in 1921, it got a bargain and a beauty. On one of the most beautiful spring days of April this year, more than 5,000 Pullen Park-goers got the same thing. Raleigh Fine Arts Society, which helped restore the carousel and is celebrating its 50th anniversary, underwrote free rides for all park-goers all day long. “Nobody’s ever done that before,” said Jenna Kostka, the park’s program manager. Crowds gathered to ride on the circa-1900 carousel’s 52 hand-carved and beautifully painted animals, which include fanciful tigers, reindeers, pigs, lions, ostriches, cats, rabbits, horses, and goats.
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JUNE/JULY The work of famed Pennsylvania carousel maker Gustav Dentzel, the carousel is “our treasured landmark,” Kostka said, “for our park, and for the city.” Considered one of the best surviving examples of Dentzel’s work – there are 23 still operating in North America – Pullen Park’s carousel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Raleigh Historic Landmark. It wasn’t always in such sparkling shape. It took several years in the 1970s and early 1980s to raise the money and do the work to fix its mechanisms and bring its animals back to life. Among other efforts, Raleigh Fine Arts members scraped off a thick coat of white paint that covered each of the animals, unveiling original colors beneath. Now, as many as 7,000 park-goers ride the restored carousel every day. At $1 a ride, the merry-go-round provides a reliable revenue stream for the 66-acre park, which
also has a miniature train and other rides, and bills itseslf the 5th oldest operating amusement park in the U.S. Five years ago, a $6 million renovation turned the park into a showplace. This summer, the carousel is just one reason to check it out. In addition to playgrounds and picnic sites, Pullen also features kiddie boats, a C. P. Huntington miniature train, and pedal boats. The Pullen Place Cafe offers healthy, tasty food including salads, sandwiches, and pita pizzas. The Summer in the Park Concert Series – outdoor, family-friendly events perfect for picnicking – includes concerts at 6 p.m. on June 5 and July 10; the park’s free Playdate at Pullen series for kids ages 3-5 takes place June 13 and July 11; and the Theatre in the Park puts on the musical Hair July 8-24. –L.R. Pullen Park: raleighnc.gov/parks
Raleigh now SHOP | DINE | UNWIND
Wind Down Wednesday
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
JUNE 1st – JULY 27th June 01 Magic Pipers June 08 Band Of Oz June 15 The Embers Adam Reich
June 22 Restless Raleigh June 29 Jim Quick & Coastline July 06 Bull City Syndicate July 13 Spare Change July 20 SwivelHip July 27 Soul Psychedelique
6-9pm | FREE More Info at
urham artist martha clippinger spent a month making art at Raleigh’s Artspace in April as PNC’s Pop-In Artist in Residence. The results – colorful patterns and mixed media works on both wood and fiber – will be on exhibit in Artspace’s Upfront Gallery through June 25. Clippinger’s colorful works emphasize the physical qualities of her materials and the significance of architectural space. They ride a thin line between painting and sculpture, each piece its own combination of wavy, woven, coated, or jagged material. Throughout the gallery, Clippinger’s pieces are installed high and low, across the floor, pinned to walls, and stretched along windowsills. While most of the work on display was made during Clippinger’s Artspace residency, it’s bolstered by art she made during a stay in Mexico City. Meet the artist at an intimate “art happy hour” class with snacks and beverages on June 9: She’ll offer techniques to create art from unlikely recycled materials. If you miss the Raleigh show, Clippinger can be found at her home base at Golden Belt in Durham. –Samantha Berlin Art happy hour: 7 - 9 p.m., $35; Exhibition: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Wednesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., free, suggested donation of $5; 201 E. Davie St.; artspacenc.org
At the intersection of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Road
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SHOP | DINE | UNWIND
If you’re considering a staycation, don’t write off Segway tours. They’re a goofy and undeniably fun way to learn about your own city. Triangle Glides is headquartered downtown in City Market, and the company’s tours include city center – Fayetteville Street, the Capitol, the governor’s mansion – and historic Oakwood. Or try the “Raleigh’s Darkest Secrets” spin, where you’ll learn about bizarre deaths, ghost stories, and political scandals. Times and dates vary; $49 - $55; 321 S. Blount St.; triangleglides.com
Ron Yorgason (PARKLET): courtesy Triangle Glides (SEGWAY)
Hand & Stone
VOM FASS Oils and Spices
Local troupe Bare Theatre wants to make drama accessible and interesting, so they’ve revamped one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known comedies. Two Gentleman of Verona follows two best friends who fall in love with the same woman, and Bare Theatre’s take is modernized and fast-paced. They’ll perform for free in the Raleigh Space Parklet – a tiny, lush, architectural bench meant to provide a reprieve from urban concrete – outside of Deco on Salisbury Street downtown. Friday June 3, 7 p.m. and June 4, 5, 11, and 12, 3 p.m.; free; 19 W. Hargett St.; baretheatre.org
Shower Me With Love
Color Me Mine | CinéBistro | Elegant Stitches | Enrigo Italian Bistro | Esteem Me Famous Toastery | Finley’s Boutique | Fresca Café | Gigi’s Cupcakes | Gigi’s Boutique Hand & Stone | Menchie’s | My Salon Suite | Pure Body Fitness Studio | Red Hot & Blue Shower Me With Love | Taziki’s Cafe | TFTC Martial Arts | The Joint Chiropractic Triangle Wine Company | Tre Nail Spa | V’s Barbershop | Violets Boutique Vom Fass Oils & Spices | Waverly Artists Group | Whisk Quality Kitchenware | Whole Foods
Coming Soon: CorePower Yoga | Parlor Blow Dry Bar
At the intersection of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Road
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RACE FOR THE CURE
PARADE OF COMBS
The Henside the Beltline Tour D’Coop on June 4 is a one-day garden tour of Raleighites’ chicken coops. The 20-plus backyard hen houses open to the public run the gamut from classic bareminimum coop structures to architectural gems. See for yourself while learning about poultry care; get beginners’ tips for a coop of your own. The tour happens rain or shine, and proceeds benefit Urban Ministries of Wake County. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; $10, or $20 for a family/carload ticket; locations vary; tourdcoop.com
Raleighites always turn out in droves for the Susan G. Komen Triangle Race for the Cure, historically held on Meredith College’s campus. In honor of its 20th anniversary on June 11, this year’s event is moving to RTP. Along with the annual 5K run/ walk, there will be a team tailgate zone, food trucks, brewery tastings, and live music. All of the race’s net proceeds benefit breast cancer screening and research and local breast health education. You can gather a group to register as a team and fundraise, too. 7:30 a.m. competitive race and 9:05 a.m. recreational race; $35 for competitive race and $30 for recreational race; The Frontier, 800 Park Offices Drive, RTP; komennctc.org
D i a m o n D S , e S tat e a n D a n t i q u e J e w e l ry • l o o S e D i a m o n D S o f a l l S h a p e S a n D S i z e S c e rt i f i e D a p p r a i S a l S • e x p e rt J e w e l ry r e pa i r S • w e B u y D i a m o n D S , g o l D a n D p l at i n u m
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Bright & Inviting
Pop-Up Sunday, a vintage and artisan craft market, used to set up shop in a downtown parking lot once a month. It has now outgrown its parking lot space and morphed into Pop-Up Raleigh at the new Trophy Maywood taproom. On the third Saturday of every month, there are indoor and outdoor booths of vintage wares, handmade jewelry and clothing, and local art. Trophy Maywood is south of downtown near the farmers’ market, so you can make it part of your shop-local Saturday loop. 12 noon - 5 p.m.; free; 656 Maywood Ave.; popupraleigh.com
every friday Creating beautiful rooms SINCE 1939 Christer Berg (SCREENING); Kristen Randall (POP-UP)
ALFRESCO SCREENINGS The Downtown Raleigh Movie Series is always a family favorite, and it returned May 27. Every Friday through July, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance will show a classic film on a giant inflatable screen in City Plaza. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., with a DJ playing throwback music inspired by the evening’s movie and craft beer and food trucks. Movies start at sundown. Don’t forget to bring your own lawn chair or blanket! Here’s the remaining summer lineup: June 3 The Karate Kid June 10 Jumanji June 17 The Princess Bride June 24 Sister Act July 1 The Sandlot
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6 - 11 p.m.; free; 400 block of Fayetteville Street; godowntownraleigh.com
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Monday through Friday 10-6 • Saturday 10-5:30 • Closed Sunday
arm weather is here, and who can resist playing outside? Add some structure to kids’ time outdoors this summer at cityorganized day camps. Both the Nature Adventures and Eco-Explorers sessions offer hands-on learning environments throughout June and July. For an immersive experience, explore the ins and outs of Durant Nature Preserve during Nature Adventures. Campers will be given free reign to romp around and then learn about the plant and animal species they find. By the end of the week, graduates will have thoroughly explored the forest, stream, and pond’s ecosystems. For a lighter take, weeklong Eco-Explorers sessions offer wildlife-inspired programming at Powell Drive Park. Campers embark on nature walks, conduct mini science experiments, play outdoor games, and even take a few boating and swimming field trips.
30 | walter
The idea is to set a few paramaters and then let kids run wild; hopefully conscious playtime now builds environmetanlly responsible citizens later. In the meantime, it’s a pretty fun breath of fresh air. -Mary Powell Boney Nature Adventures
June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, and July 18-22; 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $150; sessions vary between ages 7-9 and 10-12
Eco-Explorers June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 1-5; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $160; sessions vary between ages 7-8 and 9-10 Visit parks.raleighnc.gov or call 919-996-4800 for a full summer camp brochure.
Ethan Hyman, News & Observer file photo
beautifying fine triangle properties since 2002
Tamara Lackey (SCENES); Thinkstock (PADDLE)
All summer long, Great Outdoor Provision Co. will offer free kayak and canoe demonstrations near some of its busiest shops in North Carolina and Virginia. One will meet at Lake Crabtree on June 23. The informal gathering is geared toward customers who have already visited a shop, narrowed down their boat preference, and want more information and some on-water time before making a purchase. It’s open to anybody curious about kayaks and canoes, though, and the environment is low-pressure and welcoming. 4 - 7 p.m.; free; Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Parkway; greatoutdoorprovision.com/event/triangle-boatdemo-3
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instant privacy with mature holly installation
La Farm Bakery in Cary is a member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America, a nonprofit community of almost 2,000 artisan bakers nationwide. In unison with other regional members, the Cary shop will host an open house on June 25. Get a tour of the bakery and its characteristic hearth oven before watching a bread shaping demo. It’s hard to resist the smell of fresh bread baking, and luckily there will be ample of free samples, too. 3 - 4 p.m.; free; 4248 N.W. Cary Parkway, Cary; lafarmbakery.com
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Yes to the
arie Cordella, 33, owner and designer at Cordella Bridal, says she’s “always loved aesthetics.” The Silver Spring, Md. native was originally inspired by the trips to the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. she took every weekend with her mother while growing up. The works of Chagall, Picasso, and modernist art left a lasting effect on her: “My mom secretly infused a love of fashion that took me until my early 20s to realize.” While studying design at Parsons and Virginia Commonwealth University, she got her hands on a vintage sewing machine and her knack for fashion clicked into place. She went on to receive a master’s in product design from N.C. State, where she held a residency in 2008 and participated in the Art2Wear fashion show. Once she decided to branch out into the world of custom bridal gowns, her fashion presence exploded: She’s been featured on a Lifetime channel show about designers, has appeared on NBC and Fox News to discuss fashion
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trends, and has had exhibitions at New York International Bridal Week and Charleston Fashion Week. Recently, she was one of four nationally established designers featured in the Spring Bridal Show at Charleston Fashion Week. “I would say it’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me,” Cordella says. Since 2013, she has been based out of her downtown studio, where she designs custom bridal gowns and couture evening gowns. She also does bridal alterations and modifications, and can pretty much turn a pre-purchased gown into whatever you please. “I can physically make anything,” she says. “I either do something or I don’t. There’s no in between. Once I commit to doing something, it’s going to be awesome.” Her relationship with her clients is a testament to that work ethic: Cordella so far has 37 custom dresses lined up for 2016 and says she ends up becoming close friends with her clients (as well as their mothers). “There’s a lot of trust,” when designing a wedding dress, she says. And she does her best to make her brides feel as special as possible on their big day. “It’s your one wedding day. I will not go to sleep and will stay up to make sure you’re happy.” Some of the trends she’s seeing this busy summer wedding season? Lots and lots of lace, as well as removable peplums or overskirts so brides can turn their gowns into cocktail dresses and dance worry-free at the reception. Happily ever after, indeed. -Mimi Montgomery 827 N. Bloodworth St.,Unit B; cordellabridal.com
courtesy Marie Cordella
Eating with an edge
Bring your appetite to the Got to be NC cooking competition July 11 - 24. Local chefs and restaurant teams compete Top Chef-style in a series of dinners throughout the week, during which they’re ranked by both judges and attendees. The pool begins with 12 chefs who face off at six battle dinners. The “tournament” is single-elimination, so by the end of the sixth battle dinner there are just two final chefs. At press time, participants were still under wraps, but last year’s contenders included Christopher Hill of Faire Steak and Seafood, Patrick Cowden of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, and ultimate winner Ryan Conklin of Rex Healthcare (who went on to become the subject of a Walter feature on his innovative, health-conscious hospital dishes). Tickets to a battle dinner allow you to cast your vote simply by eating and drinking – this one isn’t for those who like to know what they’re ordering beforehand. 6 - 9 p.m.; $59 battle dinners, $69 finale dinner; 214 Martin St.; competitiondining.com/events/Raleigh
courtesy Raleigh Little Theatre (MOVIES); courtesy Got to be NC (EDGE)
10, 17, 24, 31
Movies in the garden
Ease into the work week ahead with Sunday evening movies in the garden at the Louise Stephenson Amphitheatre next to the Raleigh Rose Garden. Hosted by Raleigh Little Theatre and Raleigh Brewing, the six-week film series includes beloved favorites and modern classics. This month, Victor Victoria plays July 10, Chimes at Midnight on July 17, The Peanuts Movie on July 24, and Cinderella on July 31. Arrive an hour before the show for a moviethemed activity and fuel up on Raleigh Brewing beer, food trucks, popcorn, and coffee, hot cider, and hot chocolate. The series continues through August 14. 8 p.m. activity and 9 p.m. show time; free; 301 Pogue St.; raleighlittletheatre.org/events/movies
ummer vacation may mean time off for the little ones; but for busy parents, that’s a little harder to come by. Between packing for summer camp, carting kids off to the pool, and arranging trips to the beach, it’s nice to have a hand with the shopping. Relay Foods is an online grocery delivery service that provides fresh, organic, nutritious food to customers in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and the Triangle. Users sign up online for free and browse through an endless list of groceries covering everything from produce, coffee and tea, and frozen foods to meats and seafood, paper towels, and dish soap. Relay will deliver straight to your doorstep in sealed bins and coolers – $12 for a one-time delivery, $19-a-month for an unlimited home delivery subscription – or you can select a local pick-up location and swing by to get them yourself. Relay sources local goods for each area it services, partnering with nearby businesses and farmers to make sure that it’s benefitting both its customers and the local
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community. Some favorite Triangle brands you can now get dropped off on your front step include Chapel Hill Creamery, Maple View Farm, Eastern Carolina Organics, Larry’s Coffee, Whisked, and even White Whale Bold Mixers. If you have picky eaters, food allergies, or just need menu inspiration, Relay Foods can help you there, too. It has online sections devoted solely to gluten-free, paleo, vegan, and dairy-free snacks and products, so you don’t have to scrounge around to find tasty food that fits your lifestyle. You can also shop by recipe – the website offers a catalogue of recipes for inventive dishes, and you can have every ingredient sent to you – making them not unlike a local Blue Apron. You can even upload recipes you find on other websites and Relay Foods will help you source the ingredients. Is it dinner time yet? -Mimi Montgomery relayfoods.com
courtesy Relay Foods and John Robinson
courtesy Lafayette Village (BASTILLE); David Wolff - Patrick (SHOW ME)
16 Bastille Day
July is the month to celebrate Bastille Day, a celebration of French culture that commemorates the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution. In France and among French citizens worldwide, the holiday warrants parades, fireworks, and merriment. Lafayette Village – the North Raleigh shopping center recognizable by its model Eiffel Tower – will hold a celebration on Saturday, July 16. Stop by for live French-inspired music, outdoor activities, and French-themed promotions and specials all afternoon. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; free; 8450 Honeycutt Road; lafayettevillageraleigh.com/bastille-day
Show me the way
Rock out with a double-headline performance by Peter Frampton and Gregg Allman on July 22. The two musicians will be at Red Hat Amphitheater, which means dinner downtown is walkingdistance to the show. The lineup includes anthems by both rockers along with joint covers of their peers. 7:30 p.m.; $25 - $185; 500 S. McDowell St.; redhatamphitheater.com
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BURK UZZLE TRIBUTE
Burk Uzzle, Camy Truck with Jesus, 2009, archival pigment print, 40 x 50 in., North Carolina Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the William R. Roberson Jr. and Frances M. Roberson Endowed Fund for North Carolina Art, © 2016 Burk Uzzle
Burk Uzzle, Stairs with Sock Monkey, 2006, carbon print, 43 x 36 1⁄2 in., Courtesy of the artist.
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NE OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST HIGHLY REGARDED photographers began his career at age 17 in his native Raleigh, where he was a staff photographer for the News & Observer. At 23, Burk Uzzle became the youngest photographer ever hired by Life magazine. In 1967, he joined noted photography agency Magnum Photos and went on to serve as its president for many years, capturing events from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral to Woodstock. “When you have a photographer like that in your backyard, you want to honor them,” says Patricia Leighten, a professor of art history and visual studies at Duke University. As a proper tribute, three art museums in every point of the Triangle will host concurrent exhibitions of Uzzle’s work this summer. While the shows at Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, and Ackland Art
S H O P
D I N E
It takes a
Museum in Chapel Hill begin and end at different times, they overlap during June, July, and August. “There’s a good, long time when all three (exhibitions) are open,” Leighten says, so that visitors can piece together a comprehensive look at Uzzle’s work and life. Leighten curated the Ackland leg, the largest of the three displayed collections with 40 photos. She says her goal is to give an overview of Uzzle’s entire body of work, from his black-and-white Raleigh reporter days to later idyllic color photos. The Nasher exhibit focuses on scenic landscapes: Uzzle lives and works in Wilson, N.C. and treasures the Southern countryside. At NCMA, you get an idea of Uzzle’s distinct take on American culture. “He has a wry, observant quality in the way that he looks at American culture,” Leighten says. “He sees its problems, but you also sense that
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The Body of Martin Luther King in the Funeral Home in Memphis, 1968 Gelatin silver print Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of Burk Uzzle, 2007.12.1, © Burk Uzzle.
he loves it. He loves America; he loves our eccentricity, our strangeness, the kind of odd things we do to our landscape and our environment. He sees it. He observes it. But it’s very nonjudgemental.” Odds are, you’ll recognize more than a few of the images. Relatable, diverse, and poignant, they’re worth driving to all three museums to see. -Jessie Ammons
In chronological order, see Burk Uzzle Triangle-wide at the following times: North Carolina Museum of Art, April 16 - September 25 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, May 28 - September 18 2001 Campus Drive, Durham; nasher.duke.edu
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Ackland Art Museum, June 24 - September 11 101 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill; ackland.org
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6/1, 7/2 Flower Power
Flower Power at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove shows how both pottery and flowers can affect our thoughts and feelings, and how their effect is even stronger when combined. It’s an easy and scenic hour-long drive to the center, perfect for a summer afternoon jaunt. The show began in March and will be on display until July 2, so you’ve got a full month left to take it in. All of the pieces are by local artists and available for purchase. Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; $2.50; 233 East Ave., Seagrove; ncpotterycenter.org
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Food For Thought
What began as a Sunday afternoon picnic to support the Center for Environmental Farming Systems is now a full-blown weekend of sustainable food culture events. This year’s Farm to Fork kicks off on June 3 with a family-friendly dinner and square dance at Haw River Ball Room in Saxapahaw. On June 4, Chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill and The Durham Hotel and President Obama’s former personal chef and assistant White House chef Sam Kass co-host an evening of dinner and discussion about child nutrition and activity. It culminates June 5 with the Bon Appetit-recognized annual picnic at Breeze Farm in Hurdle Mills, where local chefs and farmers team together to offer bite-sized dishes. Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. and Sunday 4 - 7 p.m. picnic; $35, $195, $100; farmtoforknc.com
Courtesy Sara Logan (FOOD); Courtesy North Carolina Pottery Center (FLOWER)
McDonald York Building Company + Union Bank
Celebrate National Trails Day on June 4 with a self-guided walking tour through a few of our area’s greenways. It’s called Triangle Volksmarch (a volksmarch is a non-competitive walk), and here’s how it works: pick up your passport and a map at participating locations; visit stamp stations all along the Capital Greenway between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; and if you get all the stamps, you earn an official 2016 Triangle Volksmarch patch. Along the way, make pit stops at various events along the trail (see below). At the end of the day, patch or not, join in the after-party with food and family-friendly fun at Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Cameron Village. Passport maps and stamps available 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and 4 - 7 p.m. after-party; all events free; ncparks.gov/triangle-volksmarch • Decorate a walking stick at the NC Museum of Art Amphitheater; 10 a.m. - 12 noon • Help biologists do science experiments at Prairie Ridge Ecostation and then fuel up on dumplings from Chirba Chirba food truck; 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Courtesy N.C. State Parks
• Meet Smokey the Bear and see live demonstrations at a Forestry Festival in Schenck Forest; 12 noon - 2 p.m.
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• Experience the park through the eyes of a 100-yearold Box Turtle with the help of park rangers at William B. Umstead State Park (Reedy Creek entrance); 1 - 3 p.m.
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If baseball isn’t enough to get you to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, there are two spunky reasons this month. The first: Bark in the Park on June 8 is geared toward the four-legged set, with a section just for dogs and their companions and special pricing for the hounds. All proceeds from those $5 canine tickets go to Second Chance Pet Adoptions. 7:05 p.m.; $7.99 human tickets, $5 dog tickets. Or, trek out for a Camp Out Night on June 25. There’s a pregame parade, and after the game, you can catch a fireworks show, roll out the sleeping bag, and spend the night on the field. A continental-style breakfast is provided in the morning. It’s perfect for a family or group activity. 5:45 p.m.; $21
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11 SOUTHERN TRIFECTA
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The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill is known for its Fridays on the Front Porch series, where local bluegrass musicians play on the front lawn every week throughout the summer. On June 11, they’ll up the ante with a BBQ Throwdown. Five chefs and four pit masters will offer enough tasty pork-heavy hor d’oeuvres to more than fill you up. Wash it down with select bourbons and beers, and then enjoy a hand-rolled cigar and live music as you digest. 1 - 4 p.m.; $55, $25 for ages 7-20; 211 Pittsboro St., Chapel Hill; carolinainnthrowdown.com
Courtesy Carolina Inn (SOUTHERN); Courtesy Durham Bulls (PARK)
Thinkstock (JAM); Courtesy Pat Meriman (EARTH)
The North Carolina Botanical Garden is in full bloom at this time of year, and worthy of an entire afternoon’s stroll. On June 19, begin or end your walk with with a summer solstice concert. The Village Chamber Players, a nonprofit community concert band, will play an hour-long set in the garden. It’s sure to be fresh and festive. 2 - 3 p.m.; free, but registration preferred; 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill; ncbg.unc.edu/educationand-events
DOWN TO EARTH
Hillsborough Gallery of Arts’ summer exhibition is Grounded, a collection of nature-inspired works. Stop by during the monthly Last Friday Art Walk for the opening reception, where you can meet included artists. Of particular note are wildlife collages by painter Pat Merriman and pottery by Evelyn Ward, who integrates etchings and stamps of leaves from her Hillsborough stomping grounds. 6 - 9 p.m. opening reception, normal gallery hours Mondays - Thursdays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sundays 12 noon - 4 p.m.; free; 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough; hillsboroughgallery.com
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this page, Pilobolus photo by Ian Douglas; opposite, Company Wang Ramirez photo by Frank Szafinski
Shall we dance? American Dance Festival
ovement is alive in the Triangle this summer when the American Dance Festival hosts its 83rd season in Durham June 16 July 30. Heralded by The New York Times as “one of the nation’s most important institutions,” the festival, founded in 1934, aims to foster creative growth in the modern dance world by bringing together dancers, choreographers, and students to learn and practice alongside one another. This season, the festival will present 61 performances in 13 Durham venues by 26 companies and choreographers from Israel, Russia, France, and the U.S. Throughout,
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JUNE/JULY professional training workshops will be held for dancers, choreographers, students, and teachers from around the world at Duke University. The gathering also aims to have a local impact: ADF Project Dance offers creative movement workshops to Triangle students and distributes over 500 free performance tickets to local nonprofits. The group also partners with Durham’s Central Park School for Children to introduce dance classes as an alternative to more traditional physical education classes. Throughout the summer, ADF will also partner with lululemon for free, public yoga classes; lead free tours throughout the ADF school; host a children’s Saturday matinee series featuring especially imaginative performances to captivate little ones; and hold free movie screenings focusing on the relationship between body movement and cinema. Plus, through the ADF Go program, young art lovers between the ages of 18-30 can purchase a $10 ticket to any performance (barring Savion Glover and Jack DeJohnette June 20-21). Go big, go small, but definitely go. There are plenty of performances happening throughout the two months and it’s easy to take your pick. -Mimi Montgomery
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For a full list of performances, events, locations, and ticket prices, visit americandancefestival.org.
Runyon Tyler III 919.271.6641
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ENO River festival
The Eno River Association’s annual Festival for the Eno is one of the area’s most fun ways to celebrate summer and the outdoors. The two-day event July 2 and 4 (that’s right, not July 3) features live music, arts-and-crafts activities, and local food and art vendors along the banks of the Eno River. While it feels like fun and games, all activities have an environmental or cultural connection to the Eno River basin. This year’s lineup of more than 65 performers includes folk rocker Hiss Golden Messenger, indie crooners Kamara Thomas and the Night Drivers, old-school ensemble Mighty Gospel Inspirations, and Brazilian percussionist Caique Vidal and Batuque. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. both days; $23 single-day pass or $35 two-day pass; West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro Road; enoriver.org/festival
Sarah Shaw, News and Observer file photo (ENO)
courtesy Fearrington Village (SIPS); Melissa Champlion (SCREAM)
Fearrington Village opened a seasonal beer garden outside casual eatery Roost in April. All summer long, the patio space hosts weekly live music, and the schedule is a good one. In June and July, hear folk harpist Andrew Kasab, beloved cover band The Guilty Pleasures, and the bluegrass Holland Brothers. Order a wood-fired pizza from Roost and a glass of local beer, sit back, and relax. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 5 - 8 p.m. and Sundays 3 - 6 p.m.; free to listen, food and drink for purchase; 270 Market St., Pittsboro; fearrington.com
17 WE ALL SCREAM
In honor of national Ice Cream Day, downtown Fuquay-Varina hosts a town-wide ice cream social on July 17. There are free scoops for all and live music, and younger family members always enjoy playing in the outdoor mineral spring. It’s like hanging out in your backyard – but with a much bigger neighborhood. 4 - 6 p.m.; free; Fuquay Mineral Spring Park; FuquayVarina; fuquay-varina.org
Snap, Crackle, Pop
f you’re staying in town for America’s birthday, there are plenty of festivities to partake in. From watermelon-seed spitting contests to sophisticated picnics with the Symphony, two-day small-town celebrations to parking lot firework displays, here’s a local roundup. In the holiday spirit, all events are free. -Jessie Ammons
The Works Downtown Raleigh’s main shindig begins at noon with live music and vendors. Throughout the afternoon, sign up for summer-ific contests like hot dog eating, ice cream eating, and watermelon-seed spitting; or, mill about the beer and wine tasting tent, conveniently next to the
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kids’ zone bounce house and slide. Fireworks happen around 9:30 p.m., which you can view from any vantage point on Fayetteville Street or from a seat at Red Hat Amphitheater. Music and performances continue until 11 p.m. raleighconvention.com/works Historical Bent Colonel Joel Lane was an officer in the Wake County militia during the Revolutionary War and a founding father of Raleigh. Today, his homestead remains preserved as a city museum. Visit during the site’s 25th annual Independence Day open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick the brain of a costumed docent, try your hand at writing with a quill pen, make a rag doll, and sip on
free lemonade. Herbs and trees from the garden will also be for sale – perfect to take back as a garnish to your cookout side dish. joellane.org Symphony Summerfest For a low-key holiday, head to Koka
Chuck Lidday, News & Observer (FIREWORKS); Michael Zirkle (SYMPHONY)
MEYMANDI CONCERT HALL, RALEIGH
Robert Willett, News & Observer (FOURTH OF JULY)
Blockbuster Film Scores FRI/SAT, OCT 1415, 2016 | 8PM
Featuring music from Saving Private Ryan, Vertigo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and more.
A Pink Martini Christmas FRI, DEC 9, 2016 | 8PM SAT, DEC 10, 2016 | 3PM & 8PM
Weekend Sponsor: Highwoods Properties
Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Part of the venue’s season-long Summerfest concert series with the N.C. Symphony is a free Independence Day performance. Bring blankets, chairs, and a picnic to enjoy while the symphony plays patriotic tunes, energetic classic arrangements, and a few modern surprises. Doors open at 3 p.m., the music starts at 7:30 p.m., and the night will conclude with fireworks. If your picnic runs out, there are food and beverage vendors on-site, too. boothamphitheatre.com/event/independence-day Show Time No matter where in the Triangle you’ll be, there’s a celebration to be found. Take careful note that some events are July 3! Apex Street festival and kids’ parade July 4 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Salem and Chatham Streets, Apex; apexnc. org/532/Olde-Fashioned-Fourth-of-July Brier Creek Fireworks July 4 at sundown; Brier Creek Commons and Brierdale Shopping Center, 10400 Moncreiffe Road, Raleigh; shopbriercreekcommons.com Chapel Hill Games, face painting, and fireworks July 4 beginning at 7 p.m.; Kenan Stadium, 104 Stadium Drive, Chapel Hill; townofchapelhill.org/july4
Clayton Family field events, ice cream, concert, and fireworks July 4 beginning at 4 p.m.; Municipal Park, W. Stallings Street, Clayton; townofclaytonnc.org Carrboro Lawn party and parade July 4 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Main and Weaver Streets, Carrboro; carrborojuly4th.com Fuquay-Varina Food vendors, inflatable rides, and fireworks July 3 beginning at 6 p.m.; Academy and Main Streets, FuquayVarina; fuquay-varina.org Garner Symphony concert and fireworks July 3 from 5-10 p.m.; Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Road, Garner; garnernc.gov Morrisville Music, games, and fireworks July 3 beginning at 5 p.m.; Morrisville Community Park, 1520 Morrisville Parkway, Morrisville; ci.morrisville. nc.us/index.aspx?NID=582 Wake Forest Fireworks July 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. and kids’ parade and games July 4 beginning at 10 a.m.; locations vary throughout downtown Wake Forest; wakeforestnc.gov/july4
Back by popular demand, Pink Martini delivers a festive holiday concert.
A Star Trek Spectacular FRI, JAN 20, 2017 | 8PM SAT, JAN 21, 2017 | 3PM & 8PM
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with host Jonathan Frakes, who created the role of Commander William T. Riker.
Music from Phantom of the Opera
FRI/SAT, FEB 1718, 2017 | 8PM
Hits from Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Gone with the Wind and more.
FRI/SAT, MAR 1718, 2017 8PM
The Tony award-winning singer, comedian, and dancer best known for his role on Seinfeld performs a variety of Broadway hits.
The Pirates of Penzance FRI, MAY 5, 2017 | 8PM SAT, MAY 6, 2017 | 3PM & 8PM
Actors from the UNC School of the Arts join the symphony for a semi-staged production of this comic masterpiece.
Subscribe and save, starting at less than $38 per concert ncsymphony.org | 919.733.2750
“Working with a horse is not only therapeutic for us, but it gives us an opportunity to meet people. It’s like an icebreaker for people in the community. They don’t see us, they see the horse.”
– Officer M.R. Sherian, Raleigh Police Department Mounted Unit
ou’ve likely seen them at street festivals and parades: police officers atop horses, towering above the crowd. They are the Raleigh Police Department Mounted Unit, four special-operations officers assigned to the unique role of serving public security on horseback. For this team, work and play are one and the same. “I’ve always had a passion for horses,” says officer J.A. Hood. “I applied for the Raleigh police department because they had horses. I love the animals and I love riding, and it’s something I wanted to do for work, too.” Making it to the mounted unit is a competitive process. As a special-operations unit, officers need to put in a few years of general department service before they can try out to work with a horse. They must not only be in tip-top physical shape themselves, they also need to keep a horse in tip-top shape, and to put its needs above all else. “You’re with that horse all the time,” says Officer Hood. “On duty, you can’t just take a lunch break.
pictured above, from left: M.R.Sherian on Willow, W. Byrd on Major, and J.A. Hood on Ike.
He comes first: his care, his water break, whatever he needs. You have to want to do this job.” Raleigh’s is the only patrolling mounted unit in the state. Officer Hood, who is the troop’s longest-serving member with 12 years of service, says there are a few remaining horses in the Winston-Salem police department at Old Salem and in downtown Wilmington. But none are maintained and work regular schedules like the capital city’s unit. Since horses are pack animals, the mounted unit always travels in pairs: Officers Hood and Sherian are a permanent professional duo. “We’re predominantly in the parks and on the greenways,” says Officer Sherian. They keep a careful eye out for lone walkers and mothers with strollers. With over 100 miles of public greenways, they’ve got a lot of territory to cover. “We can get to places on foot that cars can’t get to.” –Jessie Ammons
photograph by TIM LYTVINENKO
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“I used to pitch back in the day. I thought it’d be easier to throw a dart 7 feet or so than to throw a ball 65 feet. I’ve been proved wrong.”
-Jim White, Wells Fargo mortgage underwriter and member of The Raleigh Dart League
t’s all fun and games at The Raleigh Dart League, the state’s largest dart-playing group with around 500 amateur dart players. Players form teams of 6-10 people, pick a name and a home bar, and face off every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. more than 25 bars and restaurants throughout the Triangle. “It’s a mid-week break,” says building project manager Chris Moore, who throws alongside Jim White on the One-Armed Bandit team. “I’m the least skilled player, but I get to hang out with my buddies and have a beer. That’s why I enjoy it.” Moore joined the team a few years ago because of his backpacking friend and neighbor, Lyman Kiser. Kiser joined the league 18 years ago, at about the same time he got married (he posits the timing as more than coincidence). He and his group named themselves after a former captain’s affinity for slot machines in Vegas, and at the time their home base was Players’ Retreat, “the best bar in Raleigh.” As The PR prioritized food service, dart-throwing space got tight: “It was like Cameron Indoor Stadium in there,” Kiser says. Now, they call Proof on Glenwood Avenue home. Despite the league’s solidly 40-and-50-year-old (and admittedly mostly male) demographic, the schedule – a spring
from left: Jim White, Chris Moore, Dave Lewis, Lyman Kiser
and a fall season – roughly follows the academic calendar. “Wednesday nights are locked in,” Kiser says. Each season concludes with a three-week single-elimination tournament, but that’s not always the end. “Our league is self-contained,” Kiser explains, “but in the off-season, there’s a lot of other dart stuff going on. There are national tournaments. People fly overseas. The top talent in this league can be world-class.” For the One-Armed Bandits, it’s a chance to check in with friends and check out of the daily grind. Two years ago, Kiser promised the team a lobster dinner if they won the tournament. They did, and he flew to Maine to bring back fresh crustacea. “I like any game where you drink beer and it’s competitive and there’s a winner,” Kiser says. “But what I like most about darts is that moment when it comes down to one dart to win the match. We call it the glory dart, the one that seals the victory. If you get the chance to throw the glory dart, you jump on it. It’s like being in a play on stage. It’s electrifying. It’s either going to be a good week from then on, or you’ve got a long one ahead of you. Until next Wednesday, anyway.” –Jessie Ammons
The Raleigh Dart League’s website is under construction; search “The Raleigh Dart League” on Facebook for more information.
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photograph by TIM LYTVINENKO
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“I do have a really good loyal customer base … People that I’ve grown up with and have known my whole life are now my customers … They have really supported me.”– Claude Pope, III of Bald Head Blues
hird generation Raleighite Claude Pope III grew up spending summers on Bald Head Island with his family. After college, the College of Charleston graduate took his love of golf to the West Coast, working as a professional caddy at Cypress Point in Pebble Beach and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. He developed a deep affinity for golf apparel, but could never find a brand that combined his love of the links with his love for Southern beach life. After returning home to Raleigh, he decided to come up with a brand all his own. He and his father joined forces as business partners, and in spring 2014, Bald Head Blues was born. The line originally started with T-shirts and men’s polo shirts, shorts, and button downs, as well as women’s tunics and blouses. It now carries boxers, pullovers, bathing suits, sweaters, and more. All are emblazoned with his signature trademarked logo: a golf cart with a surfboard on the roof. Pope says his customers love the logo; it embodies what it means to live
frills-free and relaxed on the island, where there are no cars and people get around via golf carts loaded with beach chairs and boogie boards. This specific homage sets him apart from the critter logos of other preppy lifestyle brands on the market. “There’s so many brands out there that don’t have a compelling story,” Pope says. “I’m telling the Bald Head Island story … I’m selling the lifestyle of what it’s like to live life on the island.” The brand was launched from its flagship store on Bald Head, but has since expanded into Pope’s hometown of Raleigh, with a Five Points store that sells his products and other local Raleigh jewelry and clothing brands. You can also find the line in 60 stores across the country from Tucson, Ariz. to the Hamptons, N.Y. And its presence is growing: Shep Rose and Craig Conover of the Bravo reality television show Southern Charm are both returning for another season as brand ambassadors, and Raleigh professional golfer Grayson Murray will be representing the brand on the Web.com tour, as well. –Mimi Montgomery
In Raleigh: 2003-B Fairview Road; On Bald Head Island: 8 Maritime Way; baldheadblues.com
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photograph by ERIC WATERS
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“The Big Rock is the crown jewel for North Carolina and most of the East Coast.”– Ven Poole, Waste Knot crew member pictured above, from left: Joey McNeill, Scott Poole, Ven Poole, Todd Saieed
hen the 58th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament kicks off June 10 in Morehead City, Raleighites Ven Poole, Scott Poole, Todd Saieed, and Joey McNeill will be there. For the
37th time. The crew, which won the event in 1998, started fishing together as teenagers in an 18-foot Grady-White. They entered the tournament for the first time in 1979, following in the footsteps of the Poole brothers’ father and Saieed’s father, who also fished Big Rock. These days, the foursome (plus a few others) captain a 68-foot Jarrett Bay called Waste Knot. Having a custom-made Carolina boat in the tournament is just part of living out their dreams, the group says. “We put our heart and soul in (that boat),” says Scott Poole. They’ve taken it on fishing trips to Florida, the Bahamas, Mexico, and Bermuda. When competing in Big Rock, a fundraising tournament that has donated more than $3.7 million to Carteret County and marine life charities since 1986, teams are allowed to fish four days of their choosing out of six between June 13 and 18.
They’re vying for cash prizes – last year the total purse was more than $1.6 million – in a number of categories including dolphin, tuna, and wahoo. But the big money is in blue marlin. Only a few are brought back to the docks to be measured and weighed, and cash prizes are given to the biggest marlins brought in, many of which weigh over 500 pounds (the biggest on record is 831 pounds). The competition requires strategy: Each crew is up at 6:30 a.m. and fishing by 9 a.m., checking the weather and deciding which spots are best to fish and on what days. The Waste Knot crew says they’re on it, and hopeful they might win again. But the most important thing, they say, is the time spent together on the boat with longtime friends and family. “We’re all over the place all year long, and when the Big Rock happens, we’re all together,” says Scott Poole. “This kind of brings everybody back.” McNeill laughs: “We’ve got the socialization component of it totally down.” –Mimi Montgomery
June 10 - 18, Morehead City; For results and event schedule, visit thebigrock.com
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photograph by CHRISTER BERG
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SHOWTIME Above: Art2Wear is the culmination of months of work. Designer Leeza Regensburger takes a walk down the runway with her models and her line, Moth. Opposite: Olivia Brown models a piece from designer Bailey Knight’s line, MycoLogic.
by LIZA ROBERTS photographs by ROBERT WILLETT
With the wave of a visionary wand one night in April, ambitious students at N.C. State’s College of Design transformed Talley Student Union into a glamorous showcase for their manifold design talent. The event, in its 15th year and known as Art2Wear, was the culmination of a year of intense work by a team of nine designers chosen by a jury. These students spent months creating, sewing, knitting, and refining capsule clothing collections that ranged from stylish contemporary eveningwear to cutting-edge sportswear and flights of creative fancy. The theme: “The virtue of obsession.” “You can feel the energy,” says designer Justin LeBlanc, the show’s faculty advisor and chief cheerleader, as he watched a dress rehearsal. “This year is probably the best I’ve seen so far.”
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CATWALKING Designer Meaghan Shea takes a walk down the runway with her models and her line, Tetra, in a dress rehearsal. Sketches for Gena Lambrecht’s line, Gold, below.
The fashion on display was the event’s obvious highlight, but the show’s success also relied on a fleet of accomplished students who directed, produced, promoted, choreographed, photographed, fundraised, and modeled. They made films to spotlight the individual designers and to open the show. The highly produced event they created was a fitting forum for a range of fashion designs as unique as their creators. Designer Bailey Knight took her “obsession and romance for the earth and the magic it produces” and her love of Henry David Thoreau to craft an homage to mushrooms with a fanciful collection she called MycoLogic. Backstage, surrounded by friends modeling her creations, she pointed out the inspiration behind a ripply, mustard-hued coat: a Chicken of the Woods mushroom. A white cape with a blue pleated interior was an Indigo Milk. A few feet away and a world apart stood Leeza Regensburger, whose collection, Moth, included hip sportswear: plushy pastels, crop-tops, pom-pom-drawstring hoodies, fleece gym shorts. Meant to evoke “a moth to a flame,” Regensburger says she imagined the woman wearing her clothes as an insomniac running out in the middle of the night to grab something to eat from a corner store. Young, thrown together, unfussed, but stylish. In another realm was Angele Gray’s Vert, which took its cue from “Paris during the rise of Formalism and Modern Art.” This translated to a restrained palette – mostly black and white – 58 | WALTER
and a focus on line, composition, and texture. The result was a series of body-skimming dresses and ensembles that would be at home in any elegant setting. More fitting for an urban walk to the gym were the creations of former soccer player Grace Hallman, who based her collection, Mia, on “the obsession of being an athlete.” She dressed her fit and confident models in laser-cut, close-to-thebody synthetics that put a futuristic spin on the athleisure trend. For her part, Quinan Dalton took her own childhood home and “the obsessive sense of nostalgia many tend to feel when they think of their past” as her inspiration. Her collection, Kingdom, which also included designs for men, included
BACKSTAGE Clockwise from top: Art2Wear faculty advisor Justin LeBlanc rallies the troops; Designer Bailey Knight prepares a piece in her MycoLogic line; Designer Quinan Dalton’s line Kingdom; Designer Kathleen Davis adjusts her creation on model Ryan Burt; Model Emory Cooley is made up by Isabella Zazareei before modeling Angele Gray’s Vert collection.
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SWAGGER Clockwise from left: Tanna Aljoe, center, is one of several models showing Grace Hallman’s line, Mia. Designer Susan Stephens’ 1919 line features largescale hand knits and custom-printed fabrics. Angele Gray’s designs for her collection, Vert.
carefree silhouettes with a childlike aspect, including fabrics like pique and tulle, embroidery, and knitwear. Gena Lambrecht’s collection, Gold, was all grown up. The glittery metal “has motivated some of history’s greatest conquests and caused the downfall of entire civilizations,” she says. Her ensembles, shown to the tune of Gold Digger by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, comprised a series of strutting, goldhued looks, including a showstopping waterfall-pleated tulle gown. Dionysian Contagion by Kathleen Davis was unique: a creative explosion of recycled plastics, gas masks, and light, meant to evoke the powerful effect live music can have. She described it as: “Movement. Silhouettes. Illumination. Color. Music. Your entire soul shifts. The infection spreads, until you awaken anew.” Indeed, inspiration for these makers came from very different places. Susan Stephens, with her 1919 collection, hon60 | WALTER
ored her own great-grandmother, who was born in that year, and the tradition of crochet she passed down through the generations. Stephens’ large-scale, knitted pieces were architectural and striking, paired with tailored pieces made of printed fabric Stephens created herself. Meaghan Shea also printed her own fabrics, and used “a single print, color scheme, and endless iterations” to inform her refined and carefully tailored clothes. Each piece spoke to the others through geometry and shifts in color. Together, these nine designers and their fellow students who put on the show showed “what the College of Design has to offer,” says LeBlanc. Art2Wear, he says, is “more than a fashion show … it showcases the talents of our students and their ability to transform their vision and dreams into reality.”
TOP TO TOE Clockwise from top left: Patrons including Linda Dallas and Susan Woodson applaud. Wearable paper creations by first-year students at the Design School open the show. Sketches for Quinan Dalton’s line, Kingdom. Designer Bailey Knight’s line, MycoLogic, celebrates her obsession with the earth with an homage to mushrooms.
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of a house
MODERN traditions 62 | WALTER
by JESMA REYNOLDS photographs by CATHERINE NGUYEN
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IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK, SO THEY SAY. IN THE CASE OF ELISABETH AND TODD McGowan’s recent house renovation, a decision to upgrade their kitchen led to a total first-floor overhaul that now brims with sophistication and style. To get the look she wanted, Elisabeth McGowan turned to Raleigh interior designer Katherine Connell, presenting her with an overflowing accordion file of pages torn from design magazines. “She has the self-confidence and knowledge of design,” says Connell. With a penchant for Swedish lines and bold color, Elisabeth was interested in creating dramatic interiors. Over the year-and-a-half that followed, the two women traveled by plane, car and internet to find furniture, lighting, and textiles for each room.
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RHAPSODY IN RED [AND BLUE] Above: A massive central island has a soapstone top and cobalt base. The hood and stove are La Cornue; Hickory Chair barstools are covered in a Sister Parish fabric. Opposite page: In the family room, a pair of Rose Tarlow sofas upholstered in Jerry Pair red leather make a statement. The club chairs are upholstered in a Lisa Fine weave. The rug is from The Rug Company. Peter Dunham hand-blocked drapery panels reinforce the blue-and-red theme. Previous pages: A Hickory Furniture dining table and chairs in a Liberty of London fabric sit beneath a red Fortuny chandelier. Turquoise walls and Zoffany panels help set the dramatic vision for the home. In the foyer, a piece of art featuring a cotton field by Thomas Sayre hangs on the wall above the stairs.
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Starting in the kitchen, they selected a celestial blueish-lavender-streaked granite for the bar that helped direct other decisions in that space. Cobalt cabinets and a La Cornue range and hood surround a generous square island with a cobalt base that serves as a central gathering spot. On a trip to Atlanta, the two spotted a Fortuny glass chandelier and chose a wow-red version for the dining room. They then picked a brilliant turquoise blue paint for the walls. The contrast is striking. “She’s not afraid to take risks,” Connell says. Though admittedly there were last-minute doubts about the choice of the bold red chandelier just before its arrival, Elisabeth now says she loves it, as does husband Todd, who claims it’s one of his favorite things. With a running color theme of red with splashes of blue established, Connell suggested a pair of Rose Tarlow sofas upholstered in lipstick red leather for the family room. Hand-blocked blue66 | WALTER
and-red star Peter Dunham drapery panels and club chairs in a Lisa Fine blue-and-red weave juxtapose to create an effect both dramatic and alluring. A softer, more ethereal look is employed in the mostly greenand-white living room, where one of Elisabeth’s treasured pieces, a Swedish grandfather clock, stands. Plenty of natural light from a bank of French doors creates a soothing atmosphere. Connell went back to Peter Dunham’s collection for a large, graphic figleaf print for drapery panels and pillows. She also introduced Elisabeth to Chapel Hill metalwork artist Tommy Mitchell, whose delicate framed floral sculptures grace a wall. The final effect of the renovation is at once timeless and effortlessly modern, something that was part of Elisabeth’s original vision as she and Todd planted their roots here. “We don’t plan to ever move. This is our forever house. I am picturing our granchildren having an Easter egg hunt in the garden one day.”
ALLURING DETAILS Opposite: In the hallway, a Cole and Sons tree wallpaper serves as the backdrop for a chest and mirror found on 1stdibs.com. The lamp was purchased at Raleigh’s La Maison, and the set of mounted agate slabs came from Ryder Hall, also in Raleigh. Above: An Urban Electric light fixture hangs above a table and chairs in the breakfast nook. The striped Roman shade fabric is by Hill Brown. Left: Cobalt blue cabintery and Azul Macaubas granite make for a dramatic bar.
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SERENE AND GREEN Above: Drapery panels, a side chair, and pillows feature a Peter Dunham fig-leaf print, anchoring the otherwise ethereal living room. An admirer of Swedish style, Elisabeth McGowan found the Swedish grandfather clock at A. Tyner in Atlanta. The custom chandelier is by David Iatesta. Left: A collection of framed, metal floral sculptures by Chapel Hillbased artist Tommy Mitchell hang on the wall. Opposite page: The McGowans spend much time on the covered porch and deck that overlooks their yard and gardens. The metal outdoor table and chairs are from Restoration Hardware. The couple enlisted garden designer Meriwether Hill to help find boxwoods large enough for their pair of Versailles planters, painted in a striking French blue. The house’s front exterior is charming and elegant.
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SNAP PEA underground’s
CULINARY STORYTELLER Jacob Boehm kicks off a Snap Pea Underground dinner at Raleigh Denim Workshop.
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movable feast by JESMA REYNOLDS
photographs by TIM LYTVINENKO
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CONNECTING FOOD TO PLACE Above: Radishes and seeded bark are “grown” out of black bean-black garlic hummus to represent the planting of cotton. Opposite: Guests dine inside Raleigh Denim Workshop as Jacob Boehm and his team prepare the following course.
It’s 3:30 p.m. on a recent crisp spring Sunday, and Raleigh Denim Workshop is humming. But it’s not the whirring of sewing machines that typically enliven the space – this is the weekend, after all. Today, the workshop is temporarily occupied by a small and scrappy band of cooks prepping for a pop-up dinner by Snap Pea Underground. In a few hours, 50 guests – all of whom managed to buy a ticket before the event sold out in under 15 minutes – will arrive for a nine-course meal. It will be inspired by the making of denim, from the planting of cotton through the final garment construction. But the diners don’t know that yet. They received the location’s address only 48 hours earlier, and have no idea what the meal will entail. No matter. The regulars among them know they’re about to experience an extraordinary meal.
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The mastermind behind this endeavor is Jacob Boehm, 27, who is in constant motion. Boyish in rubber chef clogs, faded jeans, and a red baseball cap pushed up and askew, he surveys the operations. He checks the cooking area set up on an outside loading dock and inspects a food-prepping station near the banquet table. He misses no detail. He zeroes in on a box of pea tendrils, plucking out a few unsuitable ones. He readjusts a place setting so a grouping of fork, plate, and napkin are just-so. The logistics of staging a multi-course dinner in a manufacturing warehouse are massive, but it’s this level of fastidiousness and relentless purpose that has successfully launched Boehm’s vision for “wildly creative concept dinners” in undisclosed locations around the Triangle every four weeks. Serving a locally sourced, plant-based (the meals are vegetarian, but that’s not their defining purpose), delicious, inventive, and sustainable nine-course dinner seems plenty ambitious, but not for Boehm. He’s equally interested in connecting food to place, telling stories, and weaving them
into the meals he hosts in locations around the Triangle. They have included the Hunt Library at N.C State, the rooftop of Citrix, the banks of the Haw River, and a food market in Durham. A self-taught cook, Boehm says the experimental nature of his creations are the most organic way he can express himself. As a music and theatrical lighting design student at Stanford University, he presented a similar multi-course concept dinner for a final class project. After a stint working for James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker at Pok Pok restaurant in Portland, Ore., he returned to his native Chapel Hill to launch his vision. Partnering with pastry chef Rachel Schmidt, formerly of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, he has elevated the pop-up dining experience for foodies in the area. Emails are sent out to a mailing list each month, and usually all three dinners in a series sell out right away. Tickets are generally in the range of $85. Demand has been high enough that Boehm recently branched out to launch a new series of Thai street food pop-ups
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IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN Cooking takes place outside on Raleigh Denim Workshop’s loading dock.
called Thai Yum-Yum with tickets in the $45 range. They’ve also sold out within minutes. An avid traveler, Boehm has a soft spot for Thai cuisine, something he gained experience cooking at Pok-Pok; he claims no one in the area is making the kind of food enjoys eating when he goes abroad.
Back at Raleigh Denim, it’s now 6:30 p.m. and guests are trickling in, wine bottles in hand – Snap Pea is BYOB. With no designated seating, parties fill in where chairs are empty, making for a truly communal dining experience. There’s a foursome from Durham comprised of a Duke surgeon, a metal artist, an Istanbul native, and his North Carolinian wife. A recently relocated couple from San Francisco who work in 74 | WALTER
technology beam as they describe the earthly paradise they’ve made their Raleigh home: a mini-farm complete with chickens and room to grow vegetables, they say, plus a never-ending list of DIY projects. They remark on how unpretentious folks in the area seem to be, and with that, Boehm taps a water glass, setting the stage for the multi-course meal, telling the story of the food we’re about to eat and how it relates to the making of denim. And just like that, the afternoon’s controlled chaos converts to a seamless presentation of both food and Southern agrarian history. Strangers quickly become dinner companions, engaging in each course by chiming in with questions for Boehm and responses to his narrative. They also leave their seats, getting up to visit the food prep area, as Boehm and his team have encouraged them to do. Six courses in, no one seems to miss the meal’s lack of meat, but everyone is becoming plenty full and plenty informed about King Cotton and garment-making. This is the New South, after all. Next comes the first of three (yes, three) desserts. A cube of sorghum brown sugar cake rests on top of a purple sweet potato jam accented by sorghum and
pecan krispies, representing the cutting phase of denim-making. This is followed by a black sesame brownie with blood orange and honey curd and topped with stitches of coconut caramelized white chocolate, which represent sewing – and also honor Raleigh Denim’s 82-year-old pattern maker, who was the second person hired at Levi Strauss. Though ingredients are simple and minimal, the resulting dishes are anything but straightforward. The flavors are complex and unexpected. As guests linger for questions and answers, Boehm reminds them how their participation in the dinners has a direct impact on local growers and purveyors by putting money back into the local economy. And he tells them to be on the lookout for an email announcing next month’s dinner series later in the week, which as expected, will sell out in less than 15 minutes. Snap Pea Underground’s recipe for beet risotto can be found on the next page. For more information and to join the mailing list, go to: snappeacatering.com/underground.
PREPPED AND READY Above: Pastry chef Rachel Schmidt preps a glass noodle salad for the spin course. The menu for the evening featured nine courses that tell the story of denim production using locally sourced ingredients.
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AT THE TABLE BEET RISOTTO 4 medium red beets with tops, peeled and tops removed and reserved 10 cups water 5 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, diced 1 head of green garlic or 4 cloves of regular garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups arborio rice 4 tablespoons of olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 3 ounces feta, shaved Kosher salt Flaky sea salt Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
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Shred 2 of the beets. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer. Meanwhile, dice the other 2 beets. Heat a large, wide pot over medium-high. Melt butter and add onion, beets, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of salt and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Clean reserved beet green and trim most of the stem off the leaf. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange in one layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast until crisp and dehydrated. If they are browning too quickly, simply lower the heat. While the beet greens are roasting, strain beet-infused water and return to the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add rice to the onion-beet pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is a bit toasted, about 5 minutes, then add 2 cups of broth. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid has evaporated. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time as rice absorbs liquid, stirring constantly and simmering until rice is tender, about 30–40 minutes. You might have beet stock left over. Finish the risotto by stirring in the lemon juice. Serve by topping with the shaved feta, crispy beet greens, a drizzle of the remaining olive oil, and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Serves 4. Total time: 1 hour.
At the table
GREEN tomatoes by KAITLYN GOALEN They say patience is a virtue, but it’s never been one that I can claim. Nowhere is my shortcoming more apparent than in the kitchen. I’m always going to be one of those cooks that paces in front of the stove while something is cooking, daring to take a peek before it’s done. I’m always going to dread the wait between spring and summer, when the weather is warm but my favorite produce is still unripe on the vine. Thankfully, it’s become something of a trend to cook with unripe, or “green” produce. It might seem like a head-scratcher: What, from a culinary perspective, would make unripe fruit attractive? It turns out that its tart flavor, when harnessed inten-
tionally, can be a delicious boon to a cook. Unripe ingredients also have less moisture, which is ideal for things like pies or pickles. Unripe strawberries are a good example: They make excellent pickles, a fact which well-known chefs across the country have taken advantage of. Of course here in the South, we’ve been ahead of the game as far as cooking with unripe fruit goes. Green tomatoes have long been a staple, even an icon, of Southern cuisine. While I can’t be sure, I like to think that fried green tomatoes are a holdover from our agrarian roots, a farmer’s way to use the tomatoes that fell from his vines too early. I like fried green tomatoes as much as
the next person, but green tomatoes have endless potential that deserves to be explored beyond that familiar dish. Green tomato pies are another old-school use for the fruit, and I’ve also experimented with green tomatoes as a base of a green gazpacho, capitalizing on their tart vegetal flavor. But I’m particularly enamored with using them to stud Sicilian-style arancini, a type of cheesy, deep-fried rice ball that makes an amazing snack. It capitalizes on the green tomatoes’ adeptness for being fried, and pairs it with plenty of gooey mozzarella.
photographs by JILLIAN CLARK
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Green Tomato-Mozzarella Arancini These are best eaten hot, straight from the fryer. After all, I’ve never been one for patience. 1½ cups Arborio rice Kosher salt 4 green tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided 1 cup whole milk 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 teaspoon chopped oregano 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
The 919 Roll
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3 eggs, divided 12 ounces whole milk mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs Canola oil, for frying In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add the rice, lower to a simmer, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the rice and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool. Place the tomato quarters and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until chopped, but not completely pureed. Transfer the tomatoes to a fine-mesh sieve to drain; let drain for at least 20 minutes. Then, press down on the tomato mixture to drain any more excess juices. Meanwhile, make the roux: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden in color. Whisk in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Cook, whisking, until the sauce begins to bubble gently (it will be quite thick). Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the rice, sauce, reserved green tomatoes, Parmigiano, oregano, garlic, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well. To form the mixture into balls, place about 2 tablespoons of the rice batter in the palm of your hand and flatten into an even layer. Place 1 cube of the mozzarella in the center, then cup the rice batter around the cheese so that it’s completely covered and mold it into a golf-ball size round. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter and cheese. (You should have about 24 balls.)
RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM DPAC! Basan is located in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus. Chef Toshio and his culinary team create specialty sushi rolls and tasty Japanese cuisine. Headed to a DPAC show? Make reservations so you can take time to enjoy your meal.
Place the remaining 2 cups flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Working one at a time, roll a rice ball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then roll it in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure to get an even crust. Set the ball on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rice batter. (You can make the balls up to this point and freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet in an even layer in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Do not thaw when ready to fry; just increase the frying time by 3 minutes or so.) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil until it reaches 330 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the rice balls in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, flipping the balls with tongs throughout, until they are deep golden brown on all sides. Transfer the rice balls to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Serve hot.
359 Blackwell Street • Suite 220 • Durham • BasanRestaurant.com
At the table
BLIND EYE by MIMI MONTGOMERY
Joey Barbour and Michelle Palacios met when Barbour was a bartender at Glenwood Avenue’s Cornerstone Tavern and Palacios came in for a drink. “I played the whole cool-bartender-role type thing,” he recalls. “And I played the girl that likes drinks,” says Palacios, with a laugh. The couple bonded over their interest in spirits and mixology. When Barbour decided to put his many years in the bar and restaurant industry to work by opening his own place, Palacios, a Ph.D.
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photographs by ERIC WATERS
student in microbiology at UNC-Chapel Hill, decided to join him as his partner in business and in life – the couple is getting married in September in Raleigh. They both knew they wanted to open something a little different from the crowded, loud bar scene where people jostle each other for a Bud Light. “We like going out for nice drinks, not the crazy scene,” says Barbour. “We wanted it to be more quiet, just really a relaxing type of place.” The Blind BARbour is that. The duo opened it Valentine’s Day weekend on Medlin Drive off Dixie Trail. It’s a reflection of their mutual love for craft cocktails, vintage-inspired design, and the customers that sit across the bar. “Coming up with this place and the feel, it was like ‘Where would we want to go? Where would we want to hang out?’” says Palacios. “It has this sort of feel of somewhere we’d want to go on a date
night.” Prohibit i o n -era vibes define the space. Barbour has a fascination with the 1920s, and the bar’s name is a nod to that time’s speakeasies, when patrons would buy a ticket to see a “blind pig” or a “blind tiger,” hand it to the bartender, and get a covert drink instead. No one is coming in here to get a haircut, after all. Prohibition -era-style wood paneling covers the wall, chandeliers hang from the ceilings, and rows of glinting liquor bottles are reflected in an ornate, gilded mirror. Barbour and his father, a carpenter, did almost all of the work themselves, fashioning the wooden bar, booths, and walls by hand. “Everything you see we touched,” he says. That the bar isn’t located downtown adds to its hidden-gem status. Barbour and Palacios wanted to provide craft cocktails and high-end ingredients in a neighborhood where regulars could walk over in the evenings and everyone could get to know one another on a firstname basis. The approach is working: The couple cites a handful of loyal, weekly regulars from the immediate area. Some have even crafted their own bitters which Barbour serves on the menu, and if someone has a particular brand of spirit that isn’t on the shelf, he’s sure to order it for them. “It’s not just customers,” he says. “We’re making friends with people … We want anyone that walks in to feel like it’s their bar.” They’re also happy for Walter read-
ers to turn their own kitchens into makeshift speakeasies with the Blind BARbour Hornitoad cocktail recipe. Incorporating tequila that’s been aged in Maker’s Mark and Jack Daniel’s barrels for a smooth, oaky taste, the concoction is perfect for the tequila-averse. Paired with Fernet-Branca, yellow Chartreuse, bitters, and a lemon peel, it’s a simple drink; refined with a twist. Hey – sounds just like this bar we know down on Medlin Drive. Visit The Blind BARbour in June, when the Hornitoad cocktail will be featured: 3055 Medlin Drive; blindbarbour.com
HORNITOAD 2 ounces Hornitos Black Barrel tequila ½ ounce yellow chartreuse ⅛ ounce Fernet-Branca 2 dashes Crude Ginger No. 2 bitters 2 dashes Scrappy’s or Fee Brothers’ cardamom bitters 1 lemon In a mixing glass, add tequila, Chartreuse, Fernet-Branca, and both bitters. Add ice and stir for 10-15 seconds, letting the drink chill and dilute. Pour the drink into a rocks glass without ice. Squeeze a lemon over the drink and discard the lemon.
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RALEIGH TAPROOMS AND COMMUNITY by DEAN McCORD photographs by NICK PIRONIO
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Yes, we need beer. What was once an afterthought in the U.S. – craft beer – has become a phenomenon. In the early ’80s, there were fewer than 100 craft breweries in the entire country. Today, there are nearly 160 in North Carolina alone. Twenty-two of them are in Wake County; 11 are within Raleigh city limits. And more are on the way. This is remarkable, because until 10 years ago, state law capped beer alcohol content at six percent, severely restricting the type of beer that could be sold or produced in North Carolina. But when House Bill 392 passed in 2005, that cap bumped up to 15 percent, and a brave new world of beer drinking and beer brewing dawned in the Old North State.
Today, breweries are part of the community fabric. Raleigh’s What these brewpubs all have in common is their diversi11 taprooms each have a different personality and a unique sense ty, dynamism, and inclusivity – making for a true reflection of of place and history. Some have a hominess about them, someour community. Although beer is generally thought of as being thing akin to a small British pub, with less highbrow than wine, that’s often not darts, billiards, and small anterooms for the case. The complexity of some of today’s “Ah, beer. The cause of peace and quiet. Others are boisterous, brews give wine a run for its money, and cavernous, and industrial. Crowds are varthere are plenty of beer snobs who will and the solution to all ied: Some cater to a younger crowd, others talk about ABV, IBU, and SRM (these are of life’s problems.” are filled with older working stiffs. Some measurements of a beer’s alcohol content, – Homer Simpson places are ultra-creative, incorporating bitterness, and color, respectively). If you peanut butter, chocolate, salted caramel, walk into one of our local taprooms, some coffee, and other flavors into their brews. of this technical information might be on Others are beholden to tradition – not necessarily going so far as the menu of available beers, but you won’t get lectured about it. to follow Reinheitsgebot, the classic German beer purity law that The bartender might ask you what type of beer you like: hoppy, allows only four ingredients (yeast, hops, malt, and water) – but creamy, light, dark, fruity, rich. But what you’ll get is something not too far off that dogma, either. special, a beer made on the premises by some folks who likely got JUNE/JULY 2016 | 83
A bike-loving crowd enoys the sunshine at Crank Arm.
into this business as homebrewers; folks who are now riding the wave of beer’s popularity. This story will not appeal to the beer geeks, because it’s really not about the beer. It’s about the taproom, and how each one in Raleigh has a different approach to creating a community center.
The elder statesman of Raleigh breweries is but 10 years old. Big Boss Brewing opened in 2006 and has developed a strong following for several locally iconic beers, including Bad Penny dark brown ale and Angry Angel Kőlsch-style ale. Its upstairs taproom has a small pub-like atmosphere, where you can play darts, Ping-Pong, or table shuffleboard. You can also sneak away and have private conversations in one of their small anterooms. The newer taproom in the lower level with a view of the brewing tanks has a more industrial vibe, and offers picnic tables, cornhole, and plenty of room to spread out. Big Boss also invites social in84 | WALTER
teraction in a somewhat unexpected way – through running, of all things. The Big Boss Run Club, which just celebrated its 5th anniversary, starts at the brewery every Tuesday evening. Participants can run anywhere from three to six miles along
“A good local pub has much in common with a church, except that a pub is warmer, and there’s more conversation.” – William Blake Raleigh’s greenways. It’s a fun run, there’s no pressure to go far or fast, and beer and food trucks make for a nice prize afterwards.
If running isn’t your thing, how about cycling? Crank Arm Brewing in downtown Raleigh took the love of bikes
and combined it with beer. “We always wanted to open a pedestrian-friendly, German-style beer hall and brewery that combines the love of cycling with beer,” says co-owner Adam Eckhardt. The idea quickly caught on – Crank Arm is one of the most crowded taprooms in the area (but not uncomfortably so). Its location near the Red Hat Amphitheater doesn’t hurt, but it’s the long communal tables, bicycle-themed artwork on the walls, and sense of fun that has made Crank Arm the place for millennials to drink great beer (all with cycling-themed names, of course, like Low Gear Irish-style dry stout, White Wall Wheat, and Uphill Climb Belgian-style blonde ale). On a recent late afternoon, the tables were filled with folks playing Jenga, board games, and watching sports. A long, arcing bar has plenty of seats if you want to interact with the bartenders, who are knowledgeable and friendly. But it just might be that emphasis on cycling that truly makes people love Crank Arm. “We have a group ride every Wednesday, where we’ll go for a 10-to-15-
Big Boss is one of Raleigh’s oldest taprooms.
mile outing,” Eckhardt says. We typically have 50 or so riders, but we can also get over 100. And it doesn’t matter your cycling experience; no one gets left behind.” And then they return to the brewery, relax, and enjoy a brew.
Gizmo Brew Works
A taproom’s location may not matter that much. Take Gizmo Brew Works, near the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and I-540. Many breweries are in industrial areas, but Gizmo takes it to an extreme. If you are looking for a boat trailer, a metal fabricator, or some replacement glass, you’ve come to the right neighborhood. It’s not the smallest taproom in the area (more on that honor next), but it’s certainly intimate. Gizmo just completed a taproom renovation to celebrate its third anniversary. But the crowd flows outside the confines of the room, sometimes under a tent across the parking lot, or into the lot itself. It’s a free and easy kind of place.
Sub Noir Brewing Company
Another strangely located brewery
(in a strip near Tica’s X-Clusive Salon off Whittaker Mill Rd.), is Sub Noir Brewing Company, which is really all about beer – experimental beer, at that. The taproom, if you can call it that, looks like it could be the waiting room of a third-rate tax preparation service. And although the upstairs has a bit of a rustic hideaway charm to it, you don’t come here for the ambiance. You come here for the beer, which often sells out quickly. If you want to try something unique, this is your spot. You can get a Flanders sour brewed with tart cherries or a chocolate stout made with Videri chocolate and, yes, Count Chocula cereal. It might be too offbeat for many, but this beer is some of the most fun stuff in the region.
Although William Blake’s quotation about the advantages of a good local pub over a church (“A good local pub has much in common with a church, except that a pub is warmer, and there’s more conversation”) may be controversial, there’s no doubt that taprooms foster conversation. Lynnwood Brewing Concern has grown
Brewing JUNE/JULY 2016 | 85
considerably since it first started making beer in the back of the Lynnwood Grill restaurant. The beer was a huge hit at the grill, and when a local brewery with a lot of production space decided to close, restaurant owner Ted Dwyer jumped at the opportunity. “I wanted a fun place, where beer snobs, beer novices, locals, tourists, and people coming home from work would be comfortable.” Dwyer hit a home run (pun fully intended), as Lynnwood is the “sports bar” of Raleigh taprooms, with a large, open room, lots of televisions, and tons of conversation. This might be the loudest brewpub in Raleigh, and one of the least self-important, as evidenced by Lynnwood’s playful beer names, including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Amber, Blonde Moment Belgian blonde, and Big Papi porter (for Red Sox fans, apparently).
Neuse River Brewing Co.
One brewery that feels like it rep-
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resents its community particularly well is Neuse River Brewing Co., and that may be because it’s in Five Points. Brewer Ryan Kolarov was having trouble finding the right spot for his planned venture when
“Things don’t make me nearly as happy as talking and having a beer with my friends. And that’s something everyone can do.” – Drew Carey
his parents happened to see a For Lease sign. “We just got lucky,” said Kolarov. “The place was overgrown and beat up,” he says, but he recognized a gem behind the weeds. Kolarov’s wife, Jen Kolarov, used her design skills to create a space that calls to mind the wine tasting rooms of her
home in Northern California. Along with co-owner David Powell, the Neuse River crew built everything inside, from tables and benches to the bar itself. The place is inviting, with a pleasant patio, filled with families, dogs, and beer lovers. “This isn’t a darts pub,” said Kolarov. “Being in a residential neighborhood, we like that many of our customers walk here.” Neuse River has been open less than a year, but it’s already gained a strong following, with its focus on tasty Belgian-style beers. The beer is clean, without a lot of goofiness, but complex nonetheless. It’s also a perfect complement to food. Or just something to sip on a lazy evening.
Nickelpoint Brewing Co.
Right next door to Neuse River is Nickelpoint Brewing Co., which also likes to emphasize its connection with the area’s residents. “The ability to provide community outreach was one of the big things that we were looking for when seeking
COMMUNITY CENTER Above: Fun and games at Lynnwood Brewing Concern. Right: Neuse River Brewing Co. patrons play life-size Jenga. Opposite: Like many breweries, Neuse River Brewing Co. is kid- and dog-friendly.
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out a location,” said co-owner Shaluka Perera (see Walter’s Snapchat with Perera or listen to our podcast interview with him at Waltermagazine.com). “We like to appeal to each of our three types of customers,” he says, “the beer nerds, the people who just want to hang out, and families.” Nickelpoint has perhaps the most unusual layout of all the breweries, with a bar area, a side area that feels more like a cafe, an industrial brewing area (where musicians often play in front of the tanks), and an outside patio. The beer is fairly traditional, which is getting harder to find in this era of mega-innovation.
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“It’s extraordinary how friendly you can make a lot of people on a couple bottles of beer.” – Baron Frankenstein, in the 1931 film Frankenstein
The people are very friendly at Compass Rose Brewery, another newcomer. The room is cavernous and often hosts live music, which can result in an older crowd. But that crowd loves this brewery, and
they love to have a good time. Thursdays are trivia nights; they’ve done beer dinners with local chefs; and their beers are solid. But there’s plenty more to do, with darts, board games, and more.
Trophy Brewing Co.
The newest brewery in town is Trophy Brewing Co.’s Trophy Brewing on Maywood, located on the south side of town. For years, Trophy has been known for its pizza and tiny brewery located on Morgan Street, but just a few months ago, the group opened a larger production facility and taproom on Maywood Avenue, not far from the State Farmers Market.
quadruple ale at the other end.
Raleigh Brewing Company
Happiness. A taproom can definitely be your happy place, and Raleigh Brewing Company is one of them. The company, which includes a brewery and attached homebrew store, was started by a husband-and-wife team; the wife, Kristie Nystedt, is the President and CEO, and the couple’s two daughters are also involved in the business. “We understood that Raleighites are very busy, without a lot of time,” Nystedt said. “We wanted a place where people could relax and have good conversation, maybe with their kids.” The walls are filled with colorful murals of Raleigh cityscapes, painted by local artists. And like many other breweries, Raleigh Brewing works to give back to the com-
“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.” – Samuel Johnson munity, donating 10 percent of its Tuesday revenues to the N.C. Multiple Sclerosis Society.
SOUTH SIDE Trophy Brewing Co.’s new location on Maywood Avenue features a taproom and larger production facility.
The room is warm and has a view of the brewing space, with lots of wood on the walls and ceiling, and – what else? – trophies for tap handles. Dogs are welcome, as are their two-legged friends. On a recent Saturday afternoon, the brewery was packed, inside and out, with customers enjoying lighter cream ales (“the perfect lawnmower beer,” according to Trophy) on one end of the spectrum, and a Belgian
Perhaps the most successful craft brewery in Raleigh is Lonerider, which now ranks as one of the 150 largest breweries in the nation and is distributed in many states. Lonerider found a marketing angle – the Wild West – and has stuck with it. “Ales for Outlaws,” is the company’s tagline. It’s a masculine theme, and the beers and labels, with rough-cut cowboys and buxom maids, reflect the beers’ names: Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen, Peacemaker pale ale, and Hoppy Ki Yay IPA. The brewery’s small taproom sticks with the concept – it’s called The Hideout, and it features beer in categories such as “Outlawed Seasonal” and “Beers of Ill Repute.” Is it campy? Sure. But it’s fun, with a loyal and large fan base. I guess everyone wants to be an outlaw.
Monday 3 p.m. - 12 midnight, Tuesday Thursday 3 p.m. - 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. - 2 a.m., Sunday 1 - 7 p.m. 1249-A Wicker Drive; bigbossbrewing.com
Monday - Thursday 4 p.m. - 12 midnight, Friday 4 p.m. - 2 a.m., Saturday 12 noon - 2 a.m., Sunday 12 noon - 10 p.m. 319 W. Davie St.; crankarmbrewing.com
GIZMO BREW WORKS
Wednesday and Thursday 4 - 10 p.m., Friday 3 10 p.m., Saturday 1 - 10 p.m., Sunday 1 - 7 p.m. 5907 Triangle Drive; gizmobrewworks.com
SUB NOIR BREWING COMPANY
Friday 6 p.m. - 12 midnight, Saturday 12 noon 8 p.m., Sunday 2 - 8 p.m. 2039 Progress Court; subnoir.net
LYNNWOOD BREWING CONCERN
Monday - Thursday 4 - 11 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. - 1 a.m., Saturday 12 noon - 1 a.m., Sunday 12 noon - 10 p.m. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road, lynwoodgrill.com
NEUSE RIVER BREWING CO.
Wednesday and Thursday 5 - 10 p.m., Friday 5 - 11 p.m., Saturday 12 noon - 11 p.m., Sunday 12 noon - 10 p.m. 518 Pershing Road; neuseriverbrewing.com
NICKELPOINT BREWING CO.
Monday - Thursday 4 - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 noon - 12 midnight, Sunday 12 noon - 10 p.m. 506 Pershing Road, nickelpointbrewing.com
Monday - Wednesday 3 p.m. - 12 midnight, Thursday - Sunday 12 noon - 12 midnight 3201 Northside Drive, Suite 101; compassrosebrewery.com
TROPHY BREWING CO.
Monday - Thursday 3 p.m. - 12 midnight, Friday 3 p.m. - 2 a.m., Saturday 12 noon - 2 a.m., Sunday 12 noon - 12 midnight 656 Maywood Ave.; trophybrewing.com
RALEIGH BREWING COMPANY
Monday - Thursday 12 noon - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 noon - 12 midnight, Sunday 12 noon - 6 p.m. 3709 Neil St.; raleighbrewingcompany.com
Monday - Thursday 2 - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 2 - 11 p.m., Sunday 2 - 7 p.m. 8816 Gulf Court, Suite 100; loneriderbeer.com
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An optimist first
by AMBER NIMOCKS
photographs by NICK PIRONIO
With another narrator, the story might seem a tragedy: A young woman leaves her home for opportunity in a far-off land, only to learn shortly after her departure that her father has died and that a violent revolution has turned her country inside out. But when Sepi Saidi recalls the tumultuous events of her own high school years, the story becomes the foundation for a life grounded in optimism. It’s this optimism, she says, that has guided her beyond the tumult of her youth and helped her found and grow SEPI, a top civil engineering firm that today employs 225 people. Recognized by Inc. Magazine and listed on the Zweig Group Hot Firm List, the firm has boomed under her leadership. Last year, she was named among the top 20 CEOs of the year by the Triangle Business Journal; in 2013, she was the Business and Professional Women of Raleigh’s careerwoman of the year. DECEMBER/JANUARY JUNE/JULY2015 2016| |75 91
She inspires confidence, says Charles Hayes, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, on whose board Saidi serves. “With Sepi, you know you’re going to get good, reasoned, well-thought-out answers and direction,” he says. “She’s a good business person who understands what it takes to grow businesses and recruit businesses, so she is extremely helpful in that arena. And she gives of her time and energy to do what she can to make our region a better place.” SEPI’s engineers work across the state has included site design of Raleigh’s Sycamore Creek Elementary School, survey work for Charlotte’s street car line, revamping the entryway to Campbell University in Buies Creek, and environmental planning for many other commercial and government developments. The mother of two grown children, Saidi has also immersed herself in the community. The past-chair of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, she currently sits on the boards of directors of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, 92 | WALTER
the WakeEd Partnership, the Triangle Land Conservancy, and N.C. State’s Institute for Emerging Issues, among others. When Saidi came to the United States in 1977 to attend Cardinal Gibbons High School, she was following the path of her brother, who attended N.C. State. Then, she had no idea Raleigh would become her home, the place where she would make her mark. She’d come from a comfortable Tehran family, prospering in the Western-facing Iran of the 1970s. After she left, it was never the same. A year after she arrived in Raleigh, her father passed away. Then, in early 1979, revolutionaries drove the Shah of Iran from power and installed the Ayatollah Khomeini as their supreme leader. The West watched in shock as the social and political dynamics of Iran and the Middle East changed overnight. While scenes of chaos in her homeland played nightly on her television in Raleigh, Saidi grappled with personal turmoil that few of her classmates understood.
Courtesy Sepi Saidi (Sepi with truck)
GROWTH MINDSET Left: Saidi stands at the construction site of the N.C. State Center for Technology and Innovation on Centennial Campus. The project includes the construction of an approximately 105,000-squarefeet, four-story building, seeking LEED Silver certification. SEPI is providing topographic and boundary surveying, construction permitting, stormwater management design, erosion control design, water and sanitary sewer layout and design, and construction administration. Above: Saidi poses with the company’s first truck. Opposite: Saidi meets in her office with Steve Thomas, David Webb, Karen Crawford, and Steve Scott.
Optimism seemed her only option. “Being pessimistic was so draining, it seemed like a waste of life,” she says. “I remember in college I kind of thought, ‘I have to feel how I want my life to be and I have to believe and understand that there’s nobody who can control my life but me.’ ” Saidi credits her mother for that positive outlook. “My mom had this big emphasis on making us completely responsible for our lives – when something happens in a negative way or in a positive way,” she says. “There was a lot about taking responsibility for your life. We would never be able to come home and complain about a teacher. We would never get away with much excuses – at all, ever. Figure it out.” ‘You Don’t Know Until You’re Tested’ The resilience instilled by her mother – today, they call it “grit” – stood Saidi in good stead as she graduated from Gibbons, earned two degrees from N.C. State – one in civil
engineering, another in agricultural engineering – and then worked her way up in the North Carolina Department of Transportation. After a dozen years in highway design and traffic engineering there, she set out on her own, founding SEPI Engineering in 2001. She gave her new venture her own nickname, a shortened version of Sepideh, which means “dawn” in Farsi. “It seemed simple and very easy to say,” she says. The company, which was then focused on civil and road design, traffic engineering, and surveying, grew steadily for the first five years, from a lone employee to a staff of 38. In 2008, when the housing bubble burst and the recession bulldozed the economy, Saidi decided to be assertive rather than retreat. “It had a huge impact on me,” she says. “It really tested my resilience. Sometimes you just don’t know until you’re tested. It helped me diversify our market more quickly than we would have.” JUNE/JULY 2016 | 93
ON SITE Left: Saidi talks with Mitch Craig at the job site for the N.C. State Center for Technology and Innovation. Opposite: Saidi stands on the roof of her Frank Harmon-designed house, currently under construction.
Again, she says her attitude was key. “It was very important to teach me to stay optimistic … the only choice is to be optimistic,” Saidi says. “By staying optimistic it helped to tell the employees, ‘Let go of what you can’t control. Find what you can control.’” She led by example, expanding SEPI’s staff while other firms were laying engineers off. “It was still hard to grow, but during those years I figured there were a lot of really talented engineers in the market,” she says. “I took a chance and hired them.” By betting big when others were forced to contract, she set the company up for expansion once the economy recovered. She also repositioned SEPI to offer a wider range of engineering services. Today the company’s portfolio includes environmental planning and permitting, water resources, and inspection work. Its clients include state and federal agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers among them. Maintaining a balance After almost four decades in the U.S., Saidi’s accent retains the imprint of her native Iran. Her thick brown hair swings to her shoulders and her dark eyes are bright and steady. Something in her bearing recalls the confidence of 94 | WALTER
the Allison Janney character C.J. from The West Wing – but with more style. That quality manifests itself in decisions large and small, from the intuitive way she has built her business to the large hoop earrings she wears with a beautifully tailored suit; the bright red accents that dot her Glenwood Avenue office; her choice of acclaimed modernist architect Frank Harmon to design her dream home. Saidi says she surprised herself a bit with that choice. “I had sort of a change in my taste,” she says. “I never thought about building a modern home, but after considering it, it started feeling so good to me that I would have a modern home – completely from scratch.” The design process took a year, and construction began this spring. Clearly, Saidi has learned to follow her own instincts. But being an engineer, she says, that wasn’t always easy. “I’m very motivated by reason – there’s an x and a y – everything is very rational,” she says. “As a business leader – or a leader at any level, there’s a real balance because so much of what we’re solving for is not rational.” You have to learn to see that fuzzy area, she says. For her, that means leading with optimism, following her gut, but also preparing for loss if things don’t go according to plan.
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“I try to get myself ready for it,” she says. All of this Saidi has worked to impart to her children – her daughter Nakisa, 25, and her son, Bardia, 21 – mostly, she says, by simply being herself. “The way I look at it is, our children learn so much about how we look at the world from how we are – the conversations we have at the dinner table, the stories we tell,” she says. “Ninety-nine percent of it is what they get exposed to just by watching us. If we just work on being naturally who we are, they just soak it up.” She recalls a time her former husband was away, and there was a mouse in the house. No bigger fan of rodents than anyone else, she capably trapped it and disposed of it as her children looked on. Lesson: Conquer your fears. Of course there were many other days less remarkable, when her children came to her office and watched as she engaged in the work of building a business. Lesson: Show up and do your best. Also: Bloom where you’re planted. Her children were born and raised here and her business started and thrived here, even though Raleigh was a universe away from the massive, multicultural city that was her native Tehran. When she graduated from N.C. State, she considered moving – Raleigh in the early 1980s was not the boomtown it is today – but 96 | WALTER
then took a job with the state Department of Transportation when it came her way. “One thing led to another, and it became the best choice I never made,” Saidi says. She found Raleigh’s manageable size and abundant amenities and academic opportunities for children made being a working parent easier than it might have been elsewhere. It also allowed her to get involved in the community in a myriad of ways. Being involved boosted her business relationships, of course. “It’s much easier to do business with people you already know,” she says. “It smooths out the bumps.” But Saidi wishes that more of her peers were women. “It’s so important for all businesses to think about the experience and value that women bring to boards, to understand the value of diversity,” she says. Women in business should recognize their own value as well, she points out, and be proactive about getting and making opportunities for themselves. She has high hopes for the next generation of women in business. As with all else, Saidi remains optimistic.
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with LEE SMITH
Bestselling author Lee Smith’s adoring fans were out in force on the first day in May for Walter’s Book Club at the Umstead. The hotel’s ballroom was filled with 250 readers, all eager to hear Smith read from her latest book, Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, and to spend an afternoon with their favorite writer at an elegant Sunday luncheon. The book, which Smith describes as “a love song to every small town in America,” is her first memoir. Her novels, 13 in all, have earned her legions of readers everywhere, as well as multiple awards, including the O. Henry Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for fiction, and the North Carolina Award for literature. As champagne was passed, readers, who included UNC President Margaret Spellings and N.C. State Treasurer Janet Cowell, compared notes. Many had already read Dimestore, which was published in March. The book centers on Smith’s childhood in the mountain coal mining town of Grundy, Va., and the dimestore her father owned and ran there. It’s about a bygone era, and it’s also about coming of age, finding a path, love, chaos, motherhood, and resilience. The author Roy Blount Jr. summed it up: “You know how in Lee Smith’s fiction there’s always something so fresh, crazy, and loving? In Dimestore,” he says, “is the essence of Lee.”
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photographs by JOSEPH RAFFERY
Walter editor Liza Roberts
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Susan Gladin, Jana Antos, Leah Goodnight Tyler
Jenny Burns, Sharon Scott
• MENU • Cypress Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cypress Vineyards Chardonnay Hors d’oeuvres Edamame hummus, black rice crisp, radish salad; N.C. farmer’s cheese, scallion scone, sweet pepper jam Salad Summer melon salad with lettuce, fennel, red onion, feta, and mint vinaigrette Entrée Beef tenderloin and shrimp; potato puree, roasted vegetables, rosemary jus Dessert Devil’s food cake with red fruits, dark chocolate ganache, vanilla cream
Mary Thompson, Robert Williams
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That essence, Smith told the crowd, owes a huge amount to the mountain culture she grew up in, which shaped her as a person and as a writer. “The kind of writer we become has to do with how we first hear language,” she told the audience, “and under what circumstances.” For Smith, those circumstances included the stories she heard her father and other family members tell. “The mountain culture I was born into is a very specific culture, because it’s a real storytelling culture,” she said. “Even today, I think that I’m not much of a writer, or a writerly writer. I’m much more of a storyteller. Nobody in my family was really reading too many books. But they were really telling some world-class stories, and they were world-class storytellers.” She described her writing process in near-mystical terms. “Stories, when I’m writing them, come to me in a human voice,” she said. “It’s like I just think about them a long time, and they just come to me, and all I have to do is write them down. I hear the voice of the narrator in my ear, and it’s usually the main character in the story … sometimes it seems to be the voice of the story itself. But I just try to pay attention. And write it down. “ Writing nonfiction, on the other hand, forced her to draw from real voices and real life. The process of writing it for the first time, she said, was meaningful. “The great gift of writing nonfiction is something I never would have known had I not tried to do it,” she said. “And that is that the more you write, the more you remember … At my age now, this is the huge gift.” But some of what Smith remembered and writes about in Dimestore is sad – even tragic – including the mental illness that plagued both of her parents and her son. She told the group that it was important to tell those stories, too. “My father was what would now be called bipolar, and my mother suffered too from depression and anxiety,” she said, “and when I was a little girl, they were very often in the hospital, usually one or the other. There was only one year when I lived for a whole year with my Aunt Millie, up in Maryland. And that’s a part of the family, too. I was very interested in writing
about that, and about my son Josh’s schitzophrenia. Because I think that these are illnesses that touch all of us … They happen to us, affecting two out of five families in this country, and I think it’s really important to talk about them.” Communities need to support “these most vulnerable members,” Smith said, just as the town of Grundy and her wider family supported Smith and her parents when they were ill, and how the town of Chapel Hill also rallied to support her son Josh. An entirely different slice of real life inspired the passage Smith chose to read to the group. The gist was familiar even to those who hadn’t yet read Dimestore, because the experience served as fodder for Smith’s New York Times bestseller The Last Girls: An actual trip Smith took with a group of classmates following their college graduation. “Fifty years ago this month,” she told the group, “I went down the Mississippi River in a raft with my classmates from Hollins. I cannot believe our parents let us do it. I can’t believe we didn’t die.” Taking their cue from Huckleberry Finn, the group of young women – referred to in that era as “girls” by themselves and everyone around them – did the extraordinary and unlikely thing of making a raft with their own hands and setting out on a many-day voyage down the river (with an experienced captain). It was their blithe disregard of the dangers of such a junket she remembers with fondness and disbelief. “If anything really bad happened to us, we figured we could call up our parents collect and they would come and fix things,” she read from the book. “We expected to be taken care of. Nobody had yet suggested to us that we might ever have to make a living, or that somebody wouldn’t marry us and then look after us for the rest of our lives. We all smoked cigarettes; we were all cute. We headed down that river with absolute confidence that we would get where we were going.
We worked and fished and played cards, and talked and talked and talked. It was wonderful.” What did she learn on that improbable voyage? “Not much. Only that if you were cute, and you sing a lot of songs, people come out wherever you dock and bring you pound cake, and ham, and beer, and keys to the city. And when you get to New Orleans you will be met by the band from Preservation Hall on a tugboat, and showered by red roses, dropped from a helicopter, paid for by somebody’s daddy.” She and her friends, she said, “were the last girls.” Her 50th Hollins reunion, she recalled, brought home the truth that the reality of life was slightly different than she might have predicted as she disembarked from that raft in 1966. “Life has turned out to be wild and various, full of the unexpected,” she said. “And it’s a monstrous big river out there.” Luckily for her fans, that river is supplying Smith with more stories to tell. She hinted at the possibility of another memoir: “I’ve got more,” she said. “There’s a lot more stuff that’s not even in (Dimestore) that I’ve been writing ever since.”
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Green Chair executive director Jackie Craig and Antoinette Hoskins
Rebuilding lives; tapping design donors by SETTLE MONROE
In the fall of 2014, life was going well for Antoinette Hoskins, a working mother of three. She was living in a lovely townhome with her children, had health insurance, an established 401(k), and a shiny new car. Hoskins was even about to purchase her first home. She never could have imagined that six short months later, she would find herself suddenly unemployed, sleeping on the floor of a friend’s apartment, separated from her children, and staring at a rapidly depleting savings account. Her two teenage daughters and 7-year-old son went to live with out-of-town family for the summer
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photographs by TRAVIS LONG
while she began the hard work of putting her life back together. With the children’s well-being her priority, Hoskins knew she needed to secure a job and find a place to live before school began in August. For the first time in her life, she was forced to reach out for help. With sheer determination – and the help of Triangle Family Services – Hoskins was able to land a job and save enough money to rent a two-bedroom apartment for herself and her children before the start of school. But starting over is expensive. Her children did not have beds to sleep on, and there was not a cup or a pot in the kitchen. With no extra money to buy towels, lamps, or a table for family meals, Hoskins accepted that rebuilding her life would be a long, uphill battle. At the time, Hoskins had no idea that just miles down the road on Raleigh’s Capital Boulevard was an expansive warehouse, full of high-quality donated furniture and home furnishings, abuzz with eager volunteers and a dedicated staff ready to help people just like her. When Hoskins’ caseworker eventually pointed her in the direction of The Green Chair Project, Hoskins knew she had found a home. Under the leadership of executive director and co-founder Jackie Craig, Green Chair helps people like Hoskins every day. With donated home furnishings, the agency helps people transition out of crisis and renew their lives. Many participants come to Green Chair from violent domestic situations, homelessness, or devastation caused by a natural disaster. Since its beginning in 2010, Green Chair has partnered with more than 55 local agencies and churches to help more than 1,000 families furnish their homes
“We help with furniture, yes. But we also come alongside our participants to cheer for them and encourage them. We help them to get over the incredibly large hump of rebuilding a life.” and provide the extra boost needed to rebuild their lives. “We help with furniture, yes,” says Craig. “But we also come alongside our participants to cheer for them and encourage them. We help them to get over the incredibly large hump of rebuilding a life.” The community at large helps, too, donating their gently used furnishings, as well as their talents. A recent Green Chair fundraiser tapped the generosity and expertise of a fleet of local interior designers to raise funds with an auction of refurbished chairs. The designers say they believe in Craig’s mission. “Working in an industry fueled by ‘wants,’ I find it especially important to find ways to give back to those who may be struggling to fulfill basic needs,” says designer Lindsay Speace. Hoskins says her needs were met with compassion.“Walking into the Green Chair was such a relief for me. I went there completely overwhelmed. The new job, the kids’ new school, an empty house – it was a lot of change. I was starting from scratch. But I went to the Green Chair, and I felt totally at peace.” Using “Green Points,” a currency that places a nominal monetary value on everything in the warehouse, she came away with everything from dish towels and sheets to a living room couch and a full dining room set. By giving choice and autonomy to its particpants, Craig says, the shopping experience promotes independence and pride. Most participants are able to fully furnish their homes for the equivalent of about $200. Today, Hoskins is working full-time and taking real estate classes on the side. She is re-establishing her savings and hopes to soon become a full-time real estate agent. And she proudly opens her home to her children’s many friends and family. “I am eternally grateful to the Green Chair. They met me at the point when I was about to throw up my hands and give up. But they helped me to keep going. They did not just give me furniture. They truly gave me my life back.”
The Green Chair Project’s
rom its earliest days, The Green Chair Project has honored those it serves by providing clean, tasteful, well-made furnishings. So it was a natural evolution to tap into the area’s local interior design talent for an April fundraiser. Eleven local designers rose to the occasion, donating chairs they’d refurbished with fabric donated by Robert Allen Design Group (the company’s CEO, Phil Kowalczyk, lives in Raleigh and serves on the Green Chair board) for a live auction. Each designer brought his or her unique style to the task, resulting in an assortment of seats to please any sensibility. Walter asked each one to tell us how they came up with their creations and what motivates them to give back, providing a window into who they are and what makes them tick.
MA ALLEN INTERIORS MA ALLEN Design philosophy Balance is my key. I aim to create balance between aesthetics and function, between old and new, and between varying styles. I plant some element of surprise in each space, from a combination of styles or colors and patterns. Chair description I have been hoarding this green vintage Ming armchair for a few years now. The seat cushion is covered in Robert Allen Windsor Park Palm with an unexpected pop of color with the contrast welt in their Coral Reef Brushed Linen. What motivates you to give back? When we work with clients who have so much, it’s easy to lose sight of how many have so little. Working with a group like The Green Chair Project is grounding.
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FURNISHING SOLUTIONS MARIAN HARRISON Design philosophy A home should be designed for one’s self, not for others. The colors and design should reflect the personality of the people that live inside.
DESIGN BY TULA TULA SUMMERFORD Design philosophy Your home should be a reflection of your personality, unique and multi-dimensional. The objects in your home should tell a story of where you have been and where you are going.
Chair description My traditional, dark wood chairs were high-gloss lacquered in classic white for a fresh, crisp feel. Colors of coral, green, and gray, along with mixing oversized florals and patterns, create a whimsical feel.
Chair description Vintage black lacquered Ming-style chair, circa 1970. I updated the chair with Robert Allen Velvet Swirled Fabric giving it a classic yet chic feel. What motivates you to give back? By giving back, I can show my appreciation and commitment to our community. I have been fortunate to realize many life and career goals as a result of living in such a wonderful community, and feel a responsibility to help others who have not had the same opportunities.
What motivates you to give back? Everyone takes pride in where they live. I have had firsthand experience with some of the families on the receiving end of The Green Chair. The joy on their faces is amazing, and that is what really makes me the happiest. FURBISH STUDIO JAMIE MEARES Design philosophy More is more, old is better than new, and a home should always tell the story of the person who lives in it. Chair description This sweet loveseat is extra-pretty newly upholstered in a pink floral, and I love how the soft, gray background keeps it from feeling too girly. I would use it at the end of a bed.
LA MAISON, INC. MARTHA SCHNEIDER Design philosophy Sophisticated comfort with a touch of glam and attention to detail. Chair description This is a chair that fits everywhere. It is dressed in a crisp, white velvet as a neutral palette with a little touch of glam using antique silver nailheads. The pillow is my favorite design color of aqua in an artful, rich velvet cut pattern. What motivates you to give back? Personally, there are so many reasons for me to give back. When I see what The Green Chair Project can give to those who need the basic comforts of home, I want to do more.
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What motivates you to give back? I’ve had so much support from the community starting my business – I’m glad to be able to help people who helped me so much when I needed it.
LINDSAY SPEACE INTERIOR DESIGN, LINDSAY SPEACE Design philosophy Homes should be lived in and loved. The most beautiful spaces highlight the personality of their owners rather than having the distinct mark of a decorator. Good design doesn’t have to be terribly serious. It can be playful and still classic. Chair description A classic wingback chair modernized with a cotton linen ikat fabric in shades of indigo and a contrasting tribal pattern for the pillow trimmed with navy leather welt. What motivates you to give back? Working in an industry fueled by “wants,” I find it especially important to find ways to give back to those who may be struggling to fulfill basic needs.
SUSAN TOLLEFSEN INTERIORS SUSAN TOLLESFSEN
THE GILDED ACORN MARY NELL THOMPSON
Design philosophy Surround yourself with things you love … even if they would scare your grandmother!
Design philosophy I encourage my clients to buy traditional furniture, and then we update it with accessories and fabrications. I prefer antiques, but a good quality reproduction will work, too. Every room needs a variety for depth and interest.
Chair description I chose to do a pair of club chairs in a simple, neutral geometric. My thought was that the pair would be easy to place in any decor and a pair of chairs may get a higher bid and hopefully make more money for The Green Chair Project. I have done fun and wild chairs for the past two years. I thought I would appeal to the masses this time around.
Chair description I purchased this chair from The Green Chair at one of its sales. I would call it mid-century French. It is covered in Robert Allen Tranquil Flower in the color Water. It’s fun but classic.
What motivates you to give back? In a nutshell, it brings me great happiness to give. Just knowing that someone is having a less stressful life makes me feel good.
What motivates you to give back? God has given each one of us a gift, and when we can find a way to channel that gift into improving the lives of others, then we have fulfilled our purpose.
DESIGN LINES, LTD. ROB MACNEILL Design philosophy Design tells your story. For us, the design process is a collaborative effort. We’re interested in developing beautiful, livable solutions, rather than imposing any particular style. We’re continually learning and collaborating.
MWEAVER DESIGNS MARGARET WEAVER Design philosophy Because each client and each set of challenges is unique, my design solutions must be unique, as well. I want my clients to enjoy the spaces they live and work in. I work toward creating an environment for them that is not only comfortable but also highly functional and beautiful at the same time. Chair description A low-slung version of a 19th century library barrelback chair. The size fits easily into modern interiors with a comfy cushioned seat with coordinating pillow. What motivates you to give back? Once you’ve seen the joy that fresh design can give to people, you want more people to have that feeling. I love the idea of giving back to the community in a way that is fun and creative.
Chair description We contributed two counter stools upholstered in a Robert Allen chinoiserie fabric in tones of citron and raspberry. We added an additional punch of color on the buttons and welt. What motivates you to give back? We believe that everyone deserves great design.
ROBERTA FRANK DESIGNS ROBERTA FRANK Design philosophy My design philosophy is to apply creative solutions for each client’s lifestyle, striking the perfect balance between form, function, and elegance; to design expressing the client’s spirit and vision, while completing jobs on time and within budget. Chair description European vintage luxury, with a bit of Hollywood glam. The legs were refinished. Multiple Robert Allen fabrics were selected, without going overboard. What motivates you to give back? All that has been given to me. It’s not just myself, but my team Kristen Mayer, Ryan Frank, and Jay Tucker also contributed. Fabric and finishes were a group effort.
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RASSLIN’ UP A
G.O.U.G.E. puts on a show by BILLY WARDEN
Making people mad enough to scream at you – in person, not on social media – is hard work. But I was willing to give it a go. In the spirit of the kind of “participatory journalism” made famous by writer George Plimpton, who sparred with Sugar Ray Robinson, teed off in a PGA tournament, and practiced with the Detroit Lions, I leapt at the chance to throw a hammerlock on the world of professional wrestling.
And so one recent evening, I outfitted myself in a slick suit, gold-rimmed aviators, and a regal sneer to prowl the ring and incite the crowd during a G.O.U.G.E. wrestling card at Draft Line Brewing Co. in Fuquay-Varina. As two muscled behemoths awaited the opening match, I introduced myself to the rabble as “Ronald Rockefeller Trump” and demanded their admiration, applause, and obedience. The fact that the mob responded
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photographs by NICK PIRONIO
instead with insolence meant it was all going according to plan. This kind of wrestling is a well-thought-out spectacle, mashing together the precision moves of an ornery ballet, the chest measurements of the Chicago Bears, and the mindset of Marvel Comics. The emphasis on fun rather than the blood and bad vibes of “extreme” wrestling promotions is built into the name: G.O.U.G.E. stands for Gimmicks Only Underground Grappling Entertainment. Presiding over the calculated pandemonium is a man draped in a Dracula-style cape who calls himself Count Grog. He is known to fans as the nefarious manager of G.O.U.G.E.’s most notorious rogues. “Our shows are meant to be entertaining,” he says. “Kids love it; hipsters love it.” Indeed, G.O.U.G.E. has put together bouts at rock clubs, Fourth of July celebrations, fire stations, even Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum. “Grog has a vision and it’s all about a fun environment,” says chiselled super-nerd Seymour Snott, aka “The Geek with the Physique,” aka Mike Phillips. “It sells itself to lots of different people – and lots of people are who you want to perform for.” I knew that much already. In scouting out my opportunities for full wrestling immersion, I had quickly realized that the other men were somewhat larger than I – in the way an oil tanker, say, is larger than a lily pad. So in the interest of surviving the night, instead of actually grappling, I decided to play the venerable role of outside agitator. Instead of being on the wrong side of a chokeslam, I’d be on the right side of the rabble-rousing.
My storyline: As Ronald Rockefeller Trump (photo below), under the wise counsel of my “cousin” (a certain presidential candidate), I have just bought a controlling interest in the scrappy independent outfit running tonight’s show. And with imperious contempt for my surroundings, I am determined to make G.O.U.G.E. – and its audience – “great again.” First, I take my mission to the children, 6-to-10years old, sitting cross-legged, gape-mouthed in the front row. “Do you know what ‘work’ is?,” I lean over the ring ropes to inquire. “Well, one day, you’re all going to work for me. And if I don’t see you clapping at the things I say tonight, when you grow up, I’m going to fire each and every one of you.” A mother cranes forward in her seat, stabbing her finger into the charged air between us: “Are you talking to my kids? My kids?! You shut your mouth!” Fury is infectious. More of the other 300 or so grownups get into the act. I hone in on a man in a purple polo who’s booing loudly. Hopping off the ring and strutting his way, I vow to buy the man’s house before the end of the night and evict him. Now the crowd is howling and growling and
ready to rrrrr-UUU-mble. Everyone, including me, is reveling in the show, this cartoonish but compelling battle between good and evil. The stage is set. Ultimately, the mounting tension will come to a head when Timmy Lou Retton takes his corner. He is the love child of Olympic champions Mary Lou Retton and Carl Lewis – or so he says. It’s undeniable that the 235-pound-er moves with astounding grace – flips, splits, and all. Timmy sees himself one day cracking skulls as part of World Wrestling Entertainment, home to contemporary clobberers Roman Reigns and Apollo Crews; the former stomping ground of legends Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. To get there, Timmy plans to make a name as part of a high-profile wrestling circuit in Japan. Once he gets his passport, of course. Tonight, he must successfully defend his G.O.U.G.E. championship belt. I meet Timmy backstage, in a storage room behind a mountain of pony kegs. The champ’s foe for the evening, Jakob Hammermeier, is here, too. In the ring, Jakob will preen and pout and cheat like the practiced “heel” he is. But in the dressing room, he’s friendly and professional. He and Timmy pantomime through key parts of tonight’s match.
Count Grog founded G.O.U.G.E. 10 years ago. For decades before that, he loved the sport and its soap operas. “I started watching at my step-granddad’s house. He would get all excited and start yelling at the TV. I was like 5, and knew this was something good.” Now in his 50s, the Count clearly still loves this circus, exorcising his frustrations with the workaday world by sucker-punching a “baby face” (i.e. a “good guy”) or browbeating a boisterous fan. But workaday worries do infringe on these weekend warriors. The Count’s real name is Greg Mosorjak, and when not
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HERE FOR THE SHOW Top left: Count Grog, aka Greg Mosorjak, founded G.O.U.G.E. 10 years ago. Top right: Billy Warden, aka “Ronald Rockefeller Trump,” talks with some of the wrestlers prior to the show. Bottom: Timmy the champ and his fan base.
decked out as the world’s preeminent dark prince, he is an education analyst. Timmy is a gymnastics instructor. Jakob works construction. Seymour is an insurance claims clerk. The other guys – hailing from Raleigh, Asheboro, and as far away as Richmond, Va. – are bartenders, teachers, handymen. Tonight, though, they are so much more: heroes, villains, champions. Back in the ring, two tag-teams sprawl onto the cement floor with convincing splats, apparently unconscious. The referee declares a double disqualification. And then it’s time for the evening’s final match. The audience seems primed. Management reports beer is selling well. A trio of thirtysomethings attending their first-ever wrestling card sets the tone: chanting, chortling,
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practically ready to leap into the ring themselves. But before introducing the final contestants, a last insult from Ronald Rockefeller Trump is in order – something to push the mood over the top: “I’m thinking of buying the whole town, but we’ll have to change the name. It sounds like an illness. You know, ‘I didn’t catch Zika virus, but I did come down with Fuquay-Varina.’” The crowd roils. Some boo. Some raise a toast. Taking their cues from the noisy grown-ups, the kids scream senselessly. It’s time for the main event. And neither Timmy the champ, nor Jacob the challenger, disappoints. In fact, they dazzle. Timmy repeatedly flings himself off the top turnbuckle, flipping in mid-air and colliding with Jacob’s reddening chest. Jacob whines and wails in frustration, distracting the ref so that Count Grog can furtively clamp a chokehold on Timmy, very nearly costing the champ the match. As the ring itself groans and trembles, Timmy launches a final aerial assault, pinning Jacob and earning the right to again hoist the championship belt high above his battered head. The fans at the small-town brewery rise to the occasion, roaring like a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden. For a moment, this is the big time. Then the cheers subside, and a handful of grown men in ridiculous outfits face their final job of the evening. With agility that rivals their ring moves, the gladiators set up merch tables, hawking T-shirts and posing for pictures. “For some of these guys, this is living their dream, to be a
wrestler,” says Count Grog. “For some this is as good as it will ever get, and that’s OK. Some will try until they’re old to make it to the WWE and never will. And for some, this really is a stepping-stone to the big stage. Those are few in number.” At his merch table, Timmy shifts from boot to boot, seemingly in pain. “Oh, very much,” the champ affirms. “We were hittin’ hard in there.” When he’s done at the brewery, he’ll ease into a hot tub, then ice bruised body parts. Tomorrow, he’ll be back in the gym. The wrestlers who aren’t selling mingle. The toilet in the dressing room is out of order, so some line up with fans at the public loo. And it’s in this surreal atmosphere that I come face-toface with the angry mother who Ronald Rockefeller Trump offended early on. Cautiously, I ask about her kids – the ones whose futures my character for
Tonight, though, they are so much more: heroes, villains, champions. the evening had threatened to destroy. What’s the lesson they’ll take away from G.O.U.G.E. wrestling? Breaking into a smile, Emily doesn’t hesitate: “Dedication. These guys are dedicated. And you know what? I’m proud because the whole time, my kids were cheering for the underdogs.” Boom: There it is. G.O.U.G.E. may delight in gimmicks, but there’s nothing fake about the spirit. The wrestlers who trade headlocks and the fans with whom they trade insults – we’re underdogs. And watching that happy mom round up her still wide-eyed kids, it’s clear that tonight we’re all winners. Billy Warden, co-founder of the business consultancy GBW Strategies, is a writer from Raleigh.
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weird and wonderful
WHEN THE RALEIGH FLEA MARKET GOT ITS START IN 1971, IT BOASTED SIX TABLES AND A handful of vendors. These days, the State Fairgrounds’ 20,000-square-foot indooroutdoor extravaganza, held every weekend (except in October), is ranked by CNN as among the nation’s 10 best, and lures as many as 2.4 million shoppers a year. They come to check out more than 600 vendors who sell a weird and wonderful variety of things from art to auto parts. Just as interesting as the wares are the people – those doing the selling and those doing the buying. Photographer Geoff Wood spent the day capturing the spirit of the place. “If you’re looking for interesting characters and hidden treasures,” he says, “then the Raleigh Flea Market is where you want to be.” The Raleigh Flea Market is open at the State Fairgrounds every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except in October; raleighfleamarket.net 110 | WALTER
photographs by GEOFF WOOD
text by ILINA EWEN
This page, clockwise from top left: Jack W. Phillips wheels and deals; 8-year-old Gibson Wood holds a mounted bull horn; Chase Brock of Brock’s Leather Craft stamps a name into a leather belt; collections of glass botttles and fishing lures. Opposite page: A guitar player who wished to remain anonymous strums among the stuff.
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Through the lens This page, clockwise from top left: A customer steps up for a slice of pizza; wrestling action figures; Emma Lee Johnson, 5, enjoys a snow cone; Native American turquoise and silver jewelry at Kory Kante’s booth. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: A framed velvet Elvis Pressley and animal skulls; artist Francisco Joseph of Gallery Languedoc; hothouse tomatoes; Nathan Hodges and Pri Marrow with Marrow’s dog, Nahla; Kory Kente’s bohemian mobile truck.
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by MIMI MONTGOMERY
I’VE NEVER HAD THE BEST LUCK WITH CARS. I ACTUALLY CONSIDER MYSself a good driver, but I seem to be a walking, breathing manifestation of an automotive Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will surely come barrelling toward me and usually in an extremely public setting. On my driving record we have: three failed driving tests; uprooted mailboxes; fender benders; countless keys locked behind closed car doors; an incident with a flying bug and an air conditioner (don’t ask); numerous expired registration tickets; several middle fingers administered by portly, aggressive older men who could clearly use a hug; confrontations with neighbor’s trash cans; dislodged door handles; and a brief run-in with a boulder that I still maintain was not my fault (it was a very ill-placed boulder). Considering my colorful automotive past, I was a little intrigued when I took my car into the shop to be repaired for a week (yes, you don’t have to ask – another fender bender). What would it be like to commute without a car in a city like Raleigh? I’ve often thought that the parameters of inside-the-beltline Raleigh were just small enough to be pretty conducive to getting around car-less. Sure, you may not want to walk everywhere, but most places are within a decent bike-ride’s distance, and they’ve already got all the painted bike lanes and sidewalks set up for you. It’s clearly a city that wants to be bike-friendly, so why aren’t there more Raleighites who travel by two wheels or two feet? It seems that most distances that people drive here are stretches that big-city dwellers
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would stoically walk or bike in a heartbeat. When I lived in Manhattan for a summer, I would walk 30 minutes to work every day in the kind of sun-beating heat that leaves you praying for a solar eclipse. I frequently showed up to work looking like I had just ended an eight-month sojourn in the Amazonian wilderness: I would stumble in everyday loaded down like an urban sherpa with my gym and work bags, sweating like a nervous pig in a steam room, and grimy head-to-toe with city sludge. It was either that or take the subway, which during that time of year was basically like submerging one’s self into the subterranean molten lava of the Earth’s core. In fact, I would have rather licked the concrete sidewalk in Times Square than spoon the subway passenger standing in front of me in that overcrowded, overheated catacomb. But the thing is, I couldn’t really complain. I was hardly alone in this endeavor; everyone did it. No one thought twice about a half-hour’s walk in the middle of summer to
wherever you were going. Part of that has to do with practicality, yes – it’s extremely expensive to keep a car in a large city, much less grab a taxi everywhere. But I also think Manhattanites all know something that I didn’t fully realize until that summer: There’s a certain paradoxical stillness to commuting outdoors in a city, to finding yourself perfectly aware of and in contact with your surroundings. Traveling unencumbered from a car, I was forced to actively participate in the world around me, to see the Hare Krishnas chanting in Union Square, the Middle Eastern man selling bananas out of a cart on my corner, the woman who put fresh flowers out every morning in front of the local bodega. These were the talismans of my morning walks, my own personal New York souvenirs, the bits of life that ingrained themselves into my own existence – steadily, slowly – like water-worn grooves on a rock. At the risk of sounding like Thoreau on a Transcendentalist ramble, I will confess this: I am an American consumer through-and-through. I have the carbon footprint of a diesel 18-wheeler – there’s nothing better than hopping into my fuel-eating Jeep SUV, turning on the air conditioner full blast, drinking out of a plastic water bottle I probably won’t recycle, and emitting some serious greenhouse gases as I easily cruise to my next destination and the ozone layer slowly withers away above me. Of course I feel a bit guilty about this, but it’s the kind of guilt I feel when I don’t floss for a few days or purposefully “forget” to set the trash cans out before the garbage trucks come – a certain apathetic cringe and knowledge that I could do better, while ultimately allowing sloth convenience to reign. So, when my most recent car misadventure forced me to revert to my ancestral state as a weary bi-ped traveler, I got strangely excited. This would be kind of fun, I thought, my mind racing: There I’d be, biking to work on a beautiful spring day on a cute beach cruiser with an adorable little basket, wearing some sort of chic ensemble like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. As you’ve probably already guessed,
that’s not how it panned out. Since I don’t own a bike of my own, I borrowed my roommate’s, who is a small, lithe girl about four inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than I am. When I hopped on her bike, it groaned like an old Grand Canyon pack donkey resigned to the fact that it had to take another obese person on a trail ride. The bike sagged to the ground and my knees were practically up to my ears as I took off, low-rider style, down my street. I tried to practice some Zen mindfulness as I cruised down Brooks Avenue onto Hillsborough Street, doing my best to take in the spring morning and the sights around me. Look – there was a beautiful collection of spring flowers, and some pretty birds perched in that tree, and was that an early morning dew I felt softly misting my face? No – that was sweat. A massive quantity of sweat, spurting from
We live in a great city, full of life, vibrancy, new things, and kind, interesting people, and getting to see it from a new perspective reminded me of that all over again. my pores like a ruptured water pipe. As I cruised by the N.C. State belltower, the cars beside me slowed down to get a good look at the girl in the highly-bike-inappropriate summer sandals wobbling on a bike clearly made for an undersized toddler. It became apparent that even though there are lanes specifically denoted for bike riders on Hillsborough, the majority of Raleigh drivers are still confused and frustrated by bike riders. Many cars veered too close into my lane or just lurked slowly behind me, unsure of what to do. Honestly, the way some people stared, you’d think I’d decided to ride a unicycle topless through morning traffic. One of the good things about this commute, though, was that I gained some major street cred with the Raleigh hipsters. As I got closer to downtown, they began springing up like mushrooms in the grass after a rainstorm, easily identified by their rolled-up jeans, purposefully
nerdy glasses, canvas NPR tote bags, sustainably sourced coffee cups, and Bernie 2016 campaign stickers. As I passed by on my eco-friendly steed, they gave me a cool, vaguely visible nod as if to say, “Right on, man. You’re one of us,” before whooshing off toward whichever local start-up or alternative coffee shop lay on the distant horizon. If they had seen me in my Jeep, they probably would have given me a withering glance and mentally condemned me for driving something not fueled by hempseed oil or recycled kombucha. My embrace by the hipster subculture aside, by the time I got to work, my knees were aching like a geriatric and I looked like I had just emerged from a swamp, with enough perspiration covering me for three grown men combined. And I still had to bike home at the end of the day! Was it worth it? Yes and no. Raleigh is definitely a bike-able city, although I wouldn’t necessarily call it bike-friendly. Sure, you can get around where you want to on a bike if need be, and there are a good number of painted bike lanes and sidewalks for your use, but I would say bike transportation is nowhere near an expected or accepted norm. But maybe it should be – ridiculousness follows me like an ever-persistent shadow, sure, but there was a stretch of time on my commute where things seemed to fall into place (however briefly). As I rode past the North Carolina Democratic Party building, that old, white house sitting full of history and charm, and down along the various shops and businesses that line Hillsborough Street, I had that feeling of shimmering, full joy that comes from knowing you’re exactly where you need to be when you need to be. We live in a great city, full of life, vibrancy, new things, and kind, interesting people, and getting to see it from a new perspective reminded me of that all over again. Outside of a car, you simply catch things you wouldn’t otherwise. For better or worse (for my own well-being and that of the city of Raleigh), I’m sure I have some more bike rides ahead of me. If you happen to pass me on the open road, give me a honk – I’ll be the grown adult with training wheels and a padded crash suit. JUNE/JULY 2016 | 115
N.C. Senator Josiah Bailey by GARLAND S. TUCKER III
The most enjoyable aspect of writing my second book, Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, from Jefferson to Reagan, was that I got to choose the heroes. I set out to identify a consistent philosophical thread, lived out chronologically down through American history by leaders of real ability and integrity. All 14 of these leaders were admirable public servants who made important contributions and served, in Newton Baker’s words, as members of a “faithful band fighting for a philosophy as old as the Republic itself.” Some of these 14 are well known (e.g., Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan), but others are largely forgotten. I found it was much more fun to write about the largely forgotten ones, and it was a joy to introduce the modern reader to the more obscure members of this “faithful band.”
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Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Of the 14 leaders featured, there are roughly one-third with whom the reader would be well acquainted, another third whose contributions would be vaguely appreciated, and a final third about whom the reader would know little or nothing. Among this third group, without question the most obscure is Josiah W. Bailey. Countless times I have been asked, “Now, who was this Josiah Bailey?” I actually grew up hearing about “Senator Bailey” from my father, who was raised two doors down from the Baileys on Blount Street in Raleigh. My grandparents and the Baileys were close friends, and my father and the Bailey’s son, Pou, were lifelong friends, serving as best men in each other’s weddings. While Senator Bailey had long since died by the time I came along, I can well remember tagging along with my grandmother to visit his widow, known affectionately to our family as “Miss Edie.” Like all the Baileys, Miss Edie was what’s known colloquially as a “real character” in her own right: witty, caustic, irreverent, and very humorous. My favorite Senator Bailey story involved The News & Observer. As a diehard conservative, Senator Bailey had clashed early and often in his career with Josephus Daniels, the equally die-hard progressive editor of the N&O. In a fit of exasperation, Bailey had very publicly canceled his subscription to the paper, and Daniels had equally publicly announced that his newsboys would forevermore toss a complimentary copy of the N&O onto the Bailey porch. According to my father, he could always tell when Senator Bailey was in town by peering out toward the Bailey house around 7 a.m. If the Senator was in residence, one could see him stride on to the porch in his pajamas and bathrobe, snatch up the N&O, march to the curb, and hurl the paper ceremoniously into the middle of Blount Street. Despite this general familiarity with the Baileys, I never really had any sense of Josiah Bailey’s national prominence until a few years ago when I somehow happened to read a book entitled Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal. It was here that I first learned about Bailey’s rise in 1937 to the forefront of American political life. In mid-1937, Bailey led a successful Senate fight to block President Roosevelt’s “court packing scheme.” This proposal was designed to add enough Roosevelt-appointed justices to the Supreme Court to insure judicial approval of New Deal legislation. Its defeat represented the first significant reassertion of congressional, constitutional authority during the New Deal years. Emboldened by the successful defeat of the court packing scheme, Bailey led a second challenge to FDR when he authored and championed The Conservative Manifesto in late 1937. Joined by a bipartisan coalition of fellow conservatives, Bailey hoped to secure the endorsements of a majority of senators for his 10-point statement of basic conservative principles and thereby to alter the leftward direction of national policy. Premature leakage of the effort to The New York Times resulted in faint-hearted supporters running for cover, while Bailey stoutly defended the manifesto on the Senate floor. For days, the Raleigh native was front page news – not just in the N&O, but also in The New York Times and The Washington Post. While the Conservative Manifesto never attained the support which Bailey had envisioned, it does stand as a landmark in American conservative history. Because of these two incidents in 1937, Senator Bailey was, appropriately I would argue, enshrined in the panoply of conservative heroes I included in my book. A parting aside: There are no doubt hundreds of WALTER readers who affectionately remember Senator Bailey’s colorful son, Pou. A respected Raleigh lawyer and judge, James H. Pou Bailey was the source of innumerable witty comments, humorous anecdotes, and outrageously non-PC statements. There’s no question that Pou Bailey would be a great subject for a future book. But there’s just one problem: My father often said he was sure that “only half of what Pou said was true, but I never could tell which half!”
osiah Bailey was in every way a product of his native state. Born in Warrenton, North Carolina, into a devout Baptist family, he graduated from Wake Forest College in 1893 with distinction in Greek and English classics. Family financial hardship prevented his attending Johns Hopkins for graduate study, but his father, a well-respected Baptist minister, assisted him in securing the editorship of the Biblical Recorder, the official organ of the State Baptist Convention, in 1895. For the next twelve years he ran the Recorder, often taking political positions on public education, the disenfranchisement of black voters, prohibition, women’s suffrage, and other critical issues. At the age of thirty-three he resigned his editorship to begin the study of law. He quickly became one of the twenty best-paid attorneys in the state and a force in Democratic politics. In 1912 Bailey endorsed Woodrow Wilson and led his campaign in North Carolina. By 1914 he was widely acknowledged as the leader of the more liberal faction within the state Democratic Party and asserted unabashedly, “I am a progressive Democrat.” Under Wilson, Bailey was appointed collector of internal revenue for eastern North Carolina, where he served for eight years. With the 1920 Republican victory, Bailey returned to private practice in Raleigh but remained an important party leader, even running for governor (unsuccessfully) in 1924. He supported Al Smith for president in 1928, when many party leaders in North Carolina opted to sit out the election because of Smith’s urban Catholicism. » continued on p. 126
JUNE/JULY 2016 | 117
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A SPECIAL EVENING WITH BETH LEAVEL The North Carolina History Museum hosted an evening with Raleigh native and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel to benefit the Community Music School April 14. The 180 guests enjoyed a wine reception and hors d’oeuvres, and Leavel and CMS students performed throughout the evening.
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ROTARY CLUB OF NORTH RALEIGH CASINO NIGHT The Rotary Club of North Raleigh held its second annual Casino Night fundraiser at the North Carolina State University Club April 9. Guests played blackjack, craps, Texas Hold’Em, and roulette and enjoyed music by Elvis impersonator Billy “E” Thomas. The evening’s proceeds benefited Food Bank of North Carolina, Interfaith Food Shuttle, Triangle Literacy Council, Operation Coming Home, Stop Hunger Now, Lake Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home, Total Life Center, scholarships for high school seniors, and the club’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2017.
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TONY TATA BOOK SIGNING April 27, Kensington Books hosted a release party for Tony Tata’s latest book, Three Minutes to Midnight, at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Steve McCarthy of Fidelity won the auction and will have his name as a character in Tata’s next novel, Besieged, due for 2017 release.
» continued from p. 117
In 1930 Bailey challenged the venerable incumbent senator Furnifold M. Simmons, who had dominated North Carolina Democratic politics for more than thirty years. Although Bailey’s challenge was initially seen as an exercise in futility, he was able to position himself as slightly more progressive than Simmons and considerably more energetic. Bailey scored a convincing victory over Simmons and entered the U.S. Senate at age fifty-six. In a letter to a friend, Bailey wrote: “I shall go to the Senate with no view to cultivating popularity, for I have never seen the man who could divine what is popular. I have gone uphill and up-stream these thirty years. I shall continue in the same direction.” True to his Baptist upbringing, Bailey defined issues in moral terms of black and white – never shades of gray. It was not difficult to goad Bailey into righteous indignation over even the most minor issue, and he was sometimes referred to as “Holy Jo.” One political foe labeled Bailey “superethical, superconstitutional, and supercilious.” On his arrival in the Senate, the liberal magazine The Nation characterized North Carolina’s new senator as a “diligent scholar whose devotion to abstract principles of right and wrong, and specifically to righteousness in civil and political affairs, borders on fanaticism.” The magazine continued: “He is a brilliant but painstaking student whose mind quickly cuts through to the heart of a thing, with a logic that is irrefutable, and a command of language probably unequalled by any other living North Carolinian.” These personal characteristics, coupled with his underlying philosophy of government, were to define Bailey’s service in the Senate. His guiding principles were pure Jeffersonian philosophy: devotion to limited government, strict constructionism, individual liberty, and economy in government. His foundation was at once religious and political: “Being a Baptist, I am liberal, and believe in liberty. Being a Democrat, I am a liberal and believe in liberty. Once we abandon the voluntary principles, we run squarely into Communism. . . . There can be no half-way control.” Like many other Democrats who served enthusiastically under Wilson, Bailey became increasingly conservative later in his
career. It was not so much a conversion to conservatism as a gradual realization that Wilson’s progressivism had begun to undermine basic Jeffersonian principles. As the Great Depression deepened under Hoover, Bailey called for balancing the budget through lower spending and lower taxation. As early as 1931, he foresaw the damage that government activism could do to the economy and the nation: “The danger in such a situation is that ill-informed and inconsiderate men will get into the leadership and bring to pass measures that will not only not accomplish the purpose desired, but will actually do lasting injury to all of us.” Although he accurately presaged the effects of the New Deal, Bailey supported FDR in 1932 and headed his presidential campaign in North Carolina, perhaps displaying more enthusiasm for the party platform than for the candidate himself. That platform called for a balanced budget and reduced government expenditure. By Inauguration Day 1933, however, FDR had jettisoned these conservative principles. With the much-heralded “Hundred Days,” the new administration led frenetic legislative activism designed “to get the country moving,” massively expanding federal intervention into the economic life of the nation. Bailey now saw battle lines forming between “the bureaucrats in Washington and the representatives of the people in Congress.” True to his character, he responded defiantly: “I shall go straight forward for economy, regardless of this stimulated propaganda proceeding out of the bureaus at Washington for the purpose of frightening our people, and thereby bringing pressure on me.” Raleigh resident Garland S. Tucker III is the author of Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, from Jefferson to Reagan and The High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election. He serves as chairman of Triangle Capital Corporation, a publicly traded company in Raleigh. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington and Lee and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. A former member of the New York Stock Exchange, he serves on the boards of a number of companies, schools, and charitable organizations.
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Snap CHAT WHICH DO YOU LIKE BEST: SWIMMING, BIKING, RUNNING? Biking, no doubt. WHY? Everyone has one sport that comes easier for them, either due to body type, biomechanics, temperament, etc. Cycling has always come easily to me.
CID CARDOSO W
hen São Paulo, Brazil native Cid Cardoso, a competitive swimmer and cyclist, graduated from the University of Virginia in 1991, he moved to Raleigh and took a job exporting car and truck parts to Latin America. On the side, he competed in triathalons. “The great thing about the sport is the huge sense of accomplishment you get,” he says, “and there’s always so much you can do to improve. Improvement is never-ending. There’s always a new goal.” It wasn’t long before Cardoso traded his consuming hobby for his day job, opening Inside-Out Sports, a sporting goods store catering to triatheletes. The store near N.C. State quickly became the area’s leading triathalon source and community hub. More than two decades later, Inside-Out Sports is based in Cary with stores in Raleigh and Charlotte, and ranks as the largest triathalon retailer on the East Coast. On June 5, Cardoso plans to race the Ironman 70.3 race in Raleigh. “It’s a fun race,” he says, designed to incorporate scenic roads for biking and a downtown double-loop run that makes for great crowds and spectator support. “Ironman has really done a good job creating a course that works well for the city.”–L.R.
daughter, so it includes stuff like The Killers, Fall Out Boy, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Matisyahu, and whatever new she finds, like Strumbellas and the Chainsmokers. We also like country so I have some Eric Church, Josh Thompson, Lady Antebellum, and Brad Paisley. FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR? A good wetsuit for swimming, a power meter for the bike, and Hoka running shoes for those two-plus hour runs.
WHERE DO YOU TRAIN LOCALLY FOR BIKING? I usually ride from Cary toward Jordan Lake and then north to Chapel Hill and Saxapahaw or south toward New Hill and Shearon Harris. I also like the ride from Cary to Wrightsville Beach, which is about 145 miles.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHILE TRAINING? Work, races, kids, things that I need to get done. Working out helps me refresh my mind and see things more clearly, so sometimes it’s better to just let the thoughts flow.
SWIMMING? My wife works at SAS, so I’m fortunate to have access to a very nice pool on campus.
WHILE RACING? I think about racing. I tend to keep the focus on the task at hand and on what’s ahead.
RUNNING? I run at Umstead Park as much as possible. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU MOST? Probably having a goal. Having a goal makes me wake up at 5 a.m. to ride the trainer, or go swimming that extra day. The goals are usually the races or events that I pick. DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE TRAINING? Only if I’m riding or running by myself. WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST? A lot of ’80s music, especially one-hit wonders (In a Big Country and Come on Eileen included). But most of my new music I get from my 18-year-old
HARDEST RACE EVER? Probably UB515 (Ultraman Brazil), which includes 6.2 miles swimming, 261 miles cycling, and 52 miles running over three days. BEST RACE EVER? Doing Ironman Brazil in less than 10 hours comes to mind, but there have been others. Maybe my best race ever will be the next one. Inside-Out Sports: Raleigh: Brennan Shopping Center, 8111-124 Creedmoor Road Cary: Preston Walk Shopping Center, 2002 Grisdale Lane insideoutsports.com
photograph by KELSEY HANRAHAN
130 | WALTER
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