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Volume IX, Issue 5 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021
OUR TOWN 22
FOOD: Chef’s Picks Specialty food shops to reignite your home cooking
SIMPLE LIFE: The Winter Woods Jim Dodson ﬁnds solace in bare-branched trees
NOTED: Rules for 2021 Katherine Snow Smith taps her father for New Year’s wisdom
GIVERS: A Swahili Sanctuary Felix Iyoko and Nicole Bishisha of Shiloh Restoration Church
VAULT: In Dialogue A the NCMA, Simone Leigh’s Corrugated sparks contemplation
IN EVERY ISSUE
Letter from WALTER
CREATORS: Bottling the Past In Robeson County, a Lumbee-owned winery thrives
MUSIC: The Hard Path Country musician Rissi Palmer
End Note: Singapore Fling
On the cover: Sir Walter Raleigh, by Caitlin Cary
8 | WALTER
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Madeline Gray (SNOW); Samantha Everette (PALMER)
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60 10 | WALTER
The Art of the Pivot Caitlin Cary reﬂects on the thread that ties her artistic pursuits by Colony Little photography by S.P. Murray
From the Ashes An abrupt fresh start made way for a family to build their dream home by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Catherine Nguyen
Outside(r) Raleigh A look at North Carolina’s closeknit folk art community by Addie Ladner photography by Bryan Regan
A Gift for Listening Architect Zena Howard infuses her designs with empathy by J. Michael Welton
Reaching for the Skies Discipline, experience and a strong bond unite this crew by Finn Cohen
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Chris M. Rogers (HOWARD); Bryan Regan (ELVIS)
HOMES BY DICKERSON
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LETTER FROM WALTER
Left: The Workshop Media team ﬁlms Tasty Holidays with Vivian Howard (to learn how to watch it, see page 86). Right: WALTER staﬀers Kait Gorman and Addie Ladner on set.
fresh start — I think that’s what a lot of us are hoping for in 2021. Sometimes a chance to start over comes in a dramatic fashion, shocking the system to come up with something brand-new, as it did for a family in Hyco Lake (pg. 50). Their new lake house literally rose from the ashes of their previous home, but after all the pain, they’re happier there than they could have imagined. A fresh start can in a more deliberate way, in the manner that, for example, architect Zena Howard starts her projects by listening to a community, well before she puts pen to paper in order to reimagine a neighborhood (pg. 70). Or a fresh start can happen as a slow build, as with Caitlin Cary’s transition from being an artist best known for her music to one sought after for her folksy fabric-andpaper collages that commemorate local landmarks (pg. 44). You can be energized by a shout-out — the way Rissi Palmer got respect from Marin Morris last fall, after advocating for herself and other musicians of color in the country music space for decades (pg. 36) — or by an invitation, as Bob Ingle found when he bumped into the crew he’d been trying to track down for months (pg. 76). And ﬁnally: you can create your own fresh start through a simple, conscious act, like seeking out a new ingredient for your pantry (pg. 24) or adopting a tried-and-true, but new-to-you, mantra to shift your attitude (pg. 40). As I look forward to 2021, whatever joys and trials it will bring, I personally hope to be more like a saint or a poet, as Katherine Snow Smith suggests, realizing life as I live it. And I hope this issue inspires you to do the same.
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VOLUME IX, ISSUE 5
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Hampton Williams Hofer graduated from the University of Virginia and has an MFA from New York University’s Writer’s Workshop in Paris, France. She lives in Raleigh where she writes and raises babies. “I was thrilled to learn and write about the NCMA’s timely acquisition of Corrugated, a masterpiece that should make everyone want to mask up and head to Blue Ridge Road. Simone Leigh is a force, and Raleigh is fortunate to have her ﬁngerprints here.”
P HOTOGR A PH ER Samantha Everette is a portrait photographer and Durham native. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from N.C. State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. Samantha spent a decade in New York City as a footwear designer and has since returned home to explore her passion for photography. “Photographing Rissi Palmer was a dream. I owe her many thanks for braving the 27 degree weather so that we could exploit the early morning light!”
COLONY LITTLE /
S.P. MURRAY /
W R I TE R Colony Little is a Raleigh-based writer and founder of the blog Culture Shock Art. She is a 2020 recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, which supports contemporary arts writing and criticism. Little is also a music lover, which is why it was a special honor for her to proﬁle artist Caitlin Cary. “It’s always a pleasure to speak with artists about their work, and it was especially thrilling to learn about Caitlin’s musical career. And as someone who understands career pivots (I worked in the ﬁnancial services industry before becoming an arts writer), I appreciated Caitlin’s honesty in sharing the trials and triumphs of embarking on a new career path.”
P HOTOGR A PH ER S.P. Murray, a national awardwinning photographer who has covered everything from Olympic athletes to Rockettes, had the pleasure of photographing the cover story for this month’s issue, artist Caitlin Cary. “Caitlin is amazingly talented in so many ways; she’s an accomplished vocalist, a songwriter, as well as an artist. Plus, she and her husband have three beautiful rescue dogs and two of them, Cherry and Gracie, joined us for the photo shoot and added to the fun!”
DESIGN WITH US IN 2021 STUDIO HOURS: Monday to Friday: 10am - 5pm Saturday by appointment 5850 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 104, Durham, NC 27713 (919) 806-3638
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´:H·UH VR JODG ZH PDGH the move to The Cypress.” Dana & Paul, Cypress Members
Candy Cane, the Johnston family elf, enjoys the December issue. “The December issue is stunning. The stories by Daniel Wallace brought beautiful tears to my eyes and the piece by Jim Dodson was breathtaking. The photography was fun and compelling — I even loved every advertisement. I’ve memorized every word, and I’m sending it to my daughter in San Francisco along with all her Christmas gifts. Thank you for your delightful magazine.” —Patricia Patrick
“ We are grateful to live in a place where we feel safe and taken care of in every way. We feel this now, more than ever. Moving was the best decision we to could have ever made.”
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Yellow Dog Bread Co. co-owner Tanya Andrews poses with the magazine. “I love Melissa Howsam’s wonderfullywritten story on A Christmas Carol. Thanks for ‘getting it right’ and spinning our tale. Thank you for continuing the magic of this wonderful show!” —David Moore
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1/8 CHARLOTTE RUSSELL POP-UP
Sunday - Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; free; 419B Daniels St.; charlotterussellcontemporary.com
all month HIKE THE ENO Start 2021 on the right foot. The Eno River Association is hosting its annual guided Winter Hike Series, a tradition that’s been around since the 1970s. Each Sunday, the hike will cover a diﬀerent trail, including a 4-mile walk through Cox Mountain and a 3.5-mile spin through the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area. Groups are limited to 10 and masks are required. If you can’t swing Sundays, head out on your own: The park’s BING-ENO game lets you check oﬀ boxes for each trail you explore and win prizes, too! 2 p.m.; see website for locations; free (donations encouraged); enoriver.org
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1/1-8 ILLUMINATE ART WALK Take a self-guided nighttime tour this ﬁnal week of Downtown Raleigh Alliance and VAE Raleigh’s Illuminate Art Walk. Download an interactive map to see pieces from more than a dozen local artists who have transformed public spaces and storefronts with light-based creations. Along the walk: Brian Brush’s SONARC — 1,000 plexiglass tubes lit with LEDs that change patterns and colors when you sing into a microphone — and Brandon Cordrey’s Monotony, a reﬂection of living through a pandemic.
Town of Cary's Dream Fest is honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in two ways: through storytelling and with a family service project. Listen virtually to Emmy-winning performance artist Willa Brigham share stories of King and watch a performance by another celebrated storyteller, Janice Greene, about the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. You can also participate in their Front Porch Food Drive through gifts of food or by hosting a donation site. Registered volunteers will receive a Food Donation Station kit via email that includes complete instructions on how to host a drive. See website for performance and ﬁlm details; free; virtual; townofcary.org
Hankfree; Smith of Hank, See website for locations; downtownraleigh.org/illuminatePatty & The Current
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Joe Miller (ENO RIVER); courtesy Town of Cary (TUBMAN)
WALTER’s roundup of events and activities in our community. For more ideas of things to do in January and February, visit waltermagazine.com.
Charlotte Russell Contemporary will hold a pop-up in Cameron Village for its inaugural exhibit, On The Horizon, through the end of March. The work, by artists Grace Clark and Alexandra Chiou, touches on themes of nature and its relationship to humans, from Clark’s small-scale images of horizons to Chiou’s sculptural torn paper ﬂorals. Up to six guests will be allowed at once, the gallery says, to “get up close and contemplate” the work.
British Field Sports with a Southern Accent
March 5&6 • Fast-Paced 5-Stand Sporting Clays Competition in the “Conservation Cup” • Up Close and Personal with Famed Wildrose Kennels Working Dog Demonstrations • The Artful Expression of Wildfowling with Lauded Decoy Carver Jerry Talton • Getting Sharp with Call Maker R.H. Jensen
For more information and tickets beaufortgamefaire.com Limited Tickets due to Covid-19 precautions
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IN HINDSIGHT, 2020
7-Stories and Raleigh Little Theatre are joining together to present In Hindsight, 2020, two evenings of live community storytelling that will touch on last year’s unprecedented events and, says the theater, explore the scars of 2020 and hope for the future. Storytellers will perform live on stage at Raleigh Little Theatre, with their performance streamed on RLT’s social media channels. 8 p.m.; free; virtual; raleighlittletheatre.org/ shows-and-events/
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AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CELEBRATION
Kick oﬀ Black History Month with the North Carolina Museum of History’s 20th Annual African American Cultural Celebration. This weekend-long virtual event will have something for guests of all ages, including performances by 105 Voices of History National HBCU Choir and The Allen Boys; speakers Keith Knight and Tameka Fryer Brown; and readings from All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. The event will be free, but most programs require registration ahead of time. Additional themed segments will focus on enterprise, heritage and wellness in both historical and current times. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; free; virtual; ncmuseumofhistory.org/aacc-2021
Courtesy Raleigh Little Theatre (HINDSIGHT)
Bob Karp (KING CAKE); Michael Pollard (MUMMIES)
This year, curate your own New Orleansinspired soirée. At St. Roch (223 W. Wilmington St.; strochraleigh.com) chef Sunny Gerhart will oﬀer a Chez Vous Kit with all you need to celebrate at home, including boudin, andouille and a Hurricane cocktail kit. Lucette Grace (235 S. Salisbury St.; lucettegrace.com) and La Farm Bakery (4248 NW Cary Parkway, Cary; lafarmbakery.com) have King Cakes (pre-order recommended), and The Big Easy (222 Fayetteville St.; bigeasync.com) will elevate its French Quarter dine-in experience with beads, Abita beer, Gambino’s iconic King Cake, live music and more.
LOVE STORIES & BROKEN HEARTS WALKING TOUR
In honor of Valentine’s Day, learn about some of Raleigh’s lesser-known love stories. Led by Tricia Sabol of Raleigh Walking Tours, take a stroll through downtown with stops at historically signiﬁcant spots. One example: at the North Carolina Executive Mansion, guests will learn about A.G. Bauer, the building’s designer, and his lover, Rachel Blythe, a Cherokee woman from Swain County. The two weren’t allowed to legally marry in N.C. in the 1800s, but went to Washington, D.C. to tie the knot. “I love sharing this city’s interesting history with the community,” says Sabol. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.; 200 N. Blount St.; free (donations encouraged); search “Downtown Walking Tours” on Eventbrite
Getting Creative with Science At Ravenscroft, hands-on activities and a STEM-rich learning environment get students of all ages engaged in strategic thinking, problem solving and collaboration — creating the excitement of “aha!” moments that ignite curiosity and foster a lifelong love of learning.
919.847.0900 • www.ravenscroft.org 7409 Falls of Neuse Road • Raleigh, NC 27615
GOLDEN MUMMIES Through July 11, see the Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibit from the Manchester Museum here at the North Carolina Museum of Art — its debut appearance at an American art museum. Featuring eight gilded mummies and more than 100 related objects including papyri, jewelry and ceramics, “we’re able to explore concepts around humanity, divinity and ideals of eternal beauty,” says museum director Valerie Hillings. Reserve a timed ticket before visiting. See website for hours; from $14 per ticket; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd.; ncartmuseum.org
Whether you like your romance with a side of mystery, grit or North Carolina scenery, immerse yourself in one of these loves stories this month, curated by Sarah Goddin and Mamie Potter of Quail Ridge Books. PLUM WINE
by Angela Davis-Gardner Written by a beloved Raleigh author, this book is set during the Vietnam War and is the love story of Seiji, who survives the bombing of Hiroshima, and Barbara Jefferson, an American teaching in Japan. SUGAR RUN
by Mesha Maren If you like a gritty love story with lots of fighting and drinking, this novel is for you. Set in the rugged countryside of West Virginia, we find Jody and Miranda paying for past mistakes and trying to get through many obstacles to create a future together. EVEN AS WE BREATHE
by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle Unrequited love, an illicit affair, mystery and betrayal are all in this novel. The period is WWII and the setting is Grove Park Inn, where enemy dignitaries are interned and all the smitten lovers are employed. IF I HAD TWO WINGS
by Randall Kenan
SUNDAY DINNER: A SAVOR THE SOUTH COOKBOOK
by Bridgette Lacy Consider it a love affair with food: when you finish this combination of beautifully written family stories and traditional recipes, you’ll feel completely sated. THE DREAM DAUGHTER
by Diane Chamberlain Carly, living in Nags Head in 1970, loses her beloved husband in Vietnam, then discovers their unborn daughter has a heart defect. Saving her requires an unimaginable act — and an adventure through time and place. HIEROGLYPHICS
by Jill McCorkle In this novel, Lil and Frank marry young, connected by each having lost a parent. A lifetime later, moving to North Carolina to be near their daughter and grandchildren, they reflect on how their love has grown, shifted and been challenged over the years. MARANATHA ROAD
by Heather Bell Adams
When Kenan died unexpectedly in August, he left behind this just-published, highly acclaimed book of ten short stories. It’s a love letter to Chinquapin, where he was born and raised, which he renames Tim’s Creek.
Tinley Greene loved Mark Caswell, but maybe not as much as his mother Sadie. When Tinley shows up pregnant after Mark’s death, Sadie refuses to believe the baby is his. Set in the North Carolina mountains, this story is about learning to love after loss.
THE BEST OF ME
by David Sedaris This is a love story about the author’s relationship to his family, the folks who provided — willingly or not — the material for his work. Sedaris proves our theory that funny bones and tear ducts are connected! 26 | WALTER 22 | WALTER
by Ron Rash In the North Carolina mountains in 1929, we find a chilling tale of love gone bad, with tragic consequences. Serena is a heroine/villain to rival any in literature, in a story with Shakespearean plot twists. The Art & Soul of Raleigh
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It’s time to test your mettle on this rugged masterpiece. Renowned course architect Gil Hanse transformed what Donald Ross ﬁrst carved out of the sand a century ago into 18 dramatic holes you’ll want to play again and again. Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina | 877.899.8694 | Visit pinehurst.com
CHEF’S PICKS The Triangle specialty shops where culinary pros ﬁnd the ingredients for innovation — and inspiration by CATHERINE CURRIN
et’s face it: with all the cooking at home these days, some of us may be growing weary of making the same old recipes. So we asked a dozen culinary pros to share where they get inspiration and fuel for innovation around their own tables. The answer: at specialty retailers in
24 | WALTER
Raleigh and the surrounding area. “The unknown is what sparks interest,” says Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint. “Food is just like travel — we learn the culture, we learn the ingredients.” “One of the reasons to live in a city of any size is to have access to the unique cultures that people bring from all over,”
agrees Sean Umstead, co-owner of Kingﬁsher. Here in the Triangle, our blend of heritage agriculture, regional cooking and immigrant inﬂuences produces a lively culinary scene. Consider venturing to one of these niche food purveyors to spark your next meal at home. The Art & Soul of Raleigh
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ALMADINA SUPERMARKET Stanbury’s Drew Maykuth heads to this Middle Eastern store, which also carries goods from all over the world, for items like pickles and sumac. “Recently I’ve been picking up Injera, an Ethiopian ﬂatbread, and berbere spice, which I'm not sure where else you could ﬁnd in the area.” 1019 Method Rd., Raleigh
BULL CITY OLIVE OIL At this specialty shop, “olive oil is treated like wine,” says Umstead. Located in Durham’s Brightleaf Square, the shop offers a spectrum of oils for mixing, ﬁnishing or frying. 905 W. Main St., Durham CITY MARKET PRODUCE Capital Club 16 chef Jake Wood heads to City Market Produce to stock up on North Carolina-made jams, jellies and chow-chows as toppers and sides for sandwiches and more. “The pops of N.C. ingredients in otherwise very traditional recipes helps make things our own.” 333 Blake St., Raleigh
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COMPARE FOODS “Compare is the only place I can ﬁnd fresh garbanzo beans when I’m making my summer succotash,” says Moore. The Latin-centric market, known for its selection of goods for Caribbean, Central American and South American cooking, is also his source for Jamaican-style spices and Scotch bonnet peppers. 2000 Avondale Dr., Durham GRAND ASIA Garland chef Cheetie Kumar heads to Grand Asia, known for its selection of Asian produce and spices, for their meat and seafood counters. “Their selection is surprisingly diverse and their ﬁsh section is really fresh,” Kumar says. An unusual ﬁnd? Black-footed chicken. 1253 Buck Jones Rd., Raleigh
H MART “You could spend the whole day there being fascinated by food,” says Scott Crawford of Crawford & Son and Jolie. He ventures to the Korean supermarket for specialty condiments like fermented pepper paste and kanzuri, “the secret ingredients that build umami.” 1961 High House Rd., Cary KING’S GROCERY STORE The King’s off Roxboro Road gives Moore ﬂashbacks from his time working at the Piggly Wiggly in New Bern, he says, so head there for Eastern N.C. staples. “I go in there sometimes just to visit, but also for their homemade North Carolina airdried sausage. I like to use that when I'm making a chowder or to ﬂavor a rice and beans dish.” 305 E. Club Blvd., Durham
LIL’ FARM Umstead ﬁnds “fantastic” spices and syrups from Lil’ Farm in Person County at the Durham Farmers Market. “They do a ginger harvest each year and produce amazing ginger and turmeric syrups for cooking or making drinks.” 501 Foster St., Durham EL MANDADO SUPERMAKET Kumar recommends the freshly-pressed tortillas and the cheese and crema counter at this Latin American grocery store in North Raleigh. P.S. There’s a Mexican restaurant inside, if you get hungry while shopping. 2950 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh PATEL BROTHERS Kumar and husband Paul Siler are regulars at Patel Brothers in Cary, where they love to purchase unique produce and fresh spices. “Your spices should always be as fresh as your produce!” she says. It’s also a great spot to stock your snack drawer: “Some of my favorites are the Punjabi snack mix, Tandoori peanuts or the mini cocktail samosas that I can just pop in the oven.” 802 E. Chatham St., Cary QUE HUONG ORIENTAL MARKET This “hole-in-the-wall” Vietnamese market has a little bit of everything, including spices, unusual cuts of meat, snacks and other packaged goods. Maykuth speciﬁcally goes there for the bread. “Their awesome bread is meant for Banh Mis, but it’s equally good for Po’ Boys or any other sandwich,” he says. 3312 Capital Blvd., Raleigh RONNIE MOORE’S PRODUCE Crawford heads to Ronnie Moore’s stand at the State Farmers Market for fresh herbs for his restaurants. “It’s one of the few stands there that carry fresh herbs,” he says. “They have beautiful and fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and basil depending on season.” 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
courtesy Bull City Olive Oil (OIL); Smith Hardy (H MART)
AL-TAIBA “As a bartender, this is a great place to browse and get inspiration,” says Umstead, who visits Halal grocer Al-Taiba to pick up unique tinctures for his specialty cocktails at Kingﬁsher. “They’ve got wonderful essences like orange ﬂower water and rosewater.” 1008 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham
SPICE BAZAAR Spice Bazaar carries Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern and Halal groceries. Moore heads there for seasonings like sumac and cumin to pack his grilled ﬁsh with ﬂavor. “I’ve become good friends with the owner, and sometimes all I want from there is a little potato samosa — it’s the perfect snack,” says Moore. 4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham
EL TORO Maykuth says he loves to snack on the fresh tortillas with lime from this mostly Mexican market off Tryon Road, which offers a range of produce, meats, baked goods and packaged items. But for Maykuth, the “icing on top” of their selection is their chicharron: “I love the super crunchy chicharron carnudo, which is essentially deep-fried pork belly.” 3609 Junction Blvd., Raleigh TOTAL ORIENTAL FOODS Kumar adores this market for Vietnamese and Thai staples like galangal leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves. (She says there are great prices on coconut milk also.) Note: the sign above the entrance reads Saigon Market, so regulars use the two names interchangeably. 1629 Ronald Dr., Raleigh
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
LA SUPERIOR CARNICERIA You’ll ﬁnd Moore at La Superior when he’s planning to cook up ﬁsh tacos at the restaurant. “I usually stop by to get a pack of fresh tortillas in the morning. I’ll also substitute hominy from La Superior for my potatoes every now and then.” There’s also a cafe inside, popular for its house-made tacos. 3325 N. Roxboro St., Durham
GIVERS Below: Felix Iyoko and Nicole Bishisha, along with their children. Left: Congolese community members.
a Swahili SANCTUARY Shiloh Restoration Church oﬀers community for resettled Congolese refugees by ANDREA RICE photography by TYLER CUNNINGHAM
here is a thriving community of Congolese refugees and immigrants in North Raleigh, where co-pastors Felix Iyoko and Nicole Bishisha have led Sunday afternoon sermons since 2016. It’s here that Reverends Iyoko and Bishisha, who are also husband and wife, built Shiloh Restoration Church as a place for
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Swahili-speaking people to gather. The church is both an answer to their own call to faith and a means to support others in their new home country. Twenty years ago, Iyoko ﬂed the Democratic Republic of Congo after his family was assassinated by the army of former President Laurent Kabila. He traveled hundreds of miles on foot before reach-
ing the Central African Republic, where he met Bishisha, who was leading a music program at a church. He soon proposed, and they were married the following year. Together, they applied for asylum in Nigeria, where they stayed for 12 years as refugees while Iyoko served as a volunteer minister of Agape Community Baptist Church in Lagos Island for six years. He The Art & Soul of Raleigh
was ordained as a minister in 2009 and helped plant 11 churches around West Africa on behalf of Kingsword Ministries International. In 2010, Iyoko and Bishisha, along with their ﬁve children, were selected to begin a resettlement program to move to the United States. It involved two years of security and background checks, multiple interviews and medical exams. By the
their refugee camps. I started thinking about what solution to provide and came up with the idea of starting an advocacy group to share refugee situations.” Iyoko registered with the Raleigh Immigrant Community, Inc. in 2016 and became an advisor to local Congolese refugees and immigrants. Since then, whenever a new Congolese family arrives at the Raleigh airport, even if it’s the
Over three years, Iyoko provided support for more than 1,400 refugees across the Triangle. time the family left Nigeria in November of 2013, Bishisha was pregnant with their sixth child. Adjusting to an unfamiliar place was not easy, and not just for the family. “When we got to Raleigh, we found our fellow refugees living with stress and mental health issues,” says Iyoko. “Some started requesting to go back to Africa to
middle of the night, Iyoko and Bishisha are the ﬁrst to greet them with groceries and hot, familiar food. That same year, Iyoko was awarded a grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to help secure employment, adequate education and housing for community members. Over three years, Iyoko provided support for more than
1,400 refugees across the Triangle. “Most of them got full-time, good-paying jobs, 11 became homeowners and eight refugees got their GEDs and are now enrolled in college,” Iyoko says. Despite these successes in social and professional achievement, Iyoko observed an absence in their spiritual lives. “The Lord spoke to me to start a church using the language they understand,” he says. Shiloh Restoration Church began as a congregation of about 30 members in Iyoko and Bishisha’s apartment complex in 2016, and with the help of local ministers, the growing congregation moved to a space inside a nearby Lutheran church that same year. Kim and Marc Wyatt, missionaries with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, met Iyoko and Bishisha at St. John’s Baptist Church shortly after their resettlement. They introduced the two to local church planting leaders, and by 2017, Shiloh became recognized as an affiliate
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of the CBF. Today, it’s a multicultural, multigenerational faith-based congregation that offers camaraderie to the growing community of the Triangle’s Congolese diaspora. “They are the tour guides for Congolese people that live in the Triangle,” says Kim Wyatt. The Wyatts collaborate with Iyoko and Bishisha, providing resources for the congregation and the community including furniture for new families and translation services. They also provide aid via Welcome House Raleigh, a local CBF ministry that offers refugees shelter, food and other support as they begin their new lives. During the recent Thanksgiving holiday, for instance, Iyoko, Bishisha and their children delivered meals to refugees in the area. Amanda Atkin, the minister of faith formation at Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, provides Bibles and other materials to Shiloh — Iyoko calls her the “Mother of the Congregation.” Atkin, in turn, describes the couple, who recently became naturalized United States citizens, as leaders in the community. (When Iyoko and Bishisha voted in the 2020 general election, it was also the ﬁrst election in which they’d ever participated.) “Displacement leaves you feeling separate and longing for a sense of community,” says Atkin. “When refugees come to America, nothing makes sense. But with Shiloh, they have created a space of sanctuary.” The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art
in DIALOGUE Simone Leigh’s Corrugated is a timely acquisition for the NCMA by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER
n the ﬁrst bay to the right of the info desk at the North Carolina Museum of Art, beyond a small room of paintings, is a large space where Simone Leigh’s Corrugated stands. It’s positioned in dialogue with other speciﬁc works: Mickalene Thomas’s triptych painting, Three Graces, serves as a backdrop, and Corrugated is mirrored by pieces from Black artists,
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including Amy Sherald’s Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) and Kehinde Wiley’s Judith and Holofrenes, along with another sculpture, Michael Richards’ Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian. “[Corrugated] is displayed at an angle, such that if you’re walking past, you can catch a glimpse of her and become curious,” says NCMA director Valerie Hillings. Art changes with its context,
she says, with the conversations it holds with its surroundings. “It really invites you in to contemplate portraiture, and how we represent individuals and groups of people, what we see and don’t see,” says Hillings. Leigh’s work often depicts Black female bodies with industrial building materials. Corrugated employs a sealed pipe coated in alloyed bronze beneath JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 31
the torso of a woman posed ceremoniously, her Afro distinct, her expression indecipherable. A raffia skirt, which plays into the stereotypical depictions of Africans throughout history, is fastened ﬁrmly around her neck. Standing at about six feet tall by six feet wide, her presence is larger than life. “I love the way she celebrates Black women with beauty and mystery,” says Hillings. Corrugated is a jackpot for the NCMA: a wonder of modern art, sculpted by an artist who has exploded in popularity and acclaim. Leigh received the 2018 Hugo Boss Prize along with a solo show at the Guggenheim, and has made history as the ﬁrst Black woman chosen to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale in 2022. The acquisition, a gift of Thomas S. Kenan, III, arrived in Raleigh in August, just before the museum’s reopening. It felt timely, after a summer of civil unrest and dialogue around representa-
tion of Black artists. But the museum and its curators emphasize that they have been working for more than a decade to diversify its collection in the realms of medium and gender, to amplify Black voices. “We got miraculously lucky,” says Linda Dougherty, NCMA’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “We were looking for someone whose work would withstand the test of time, but we needed to acquire the piece before it was out of our price range.” Beyond its signiﬁcance to the broader social and political climate of the country, Leigh’s work is relevant to North Carolina. The Brooklyn-based daughter of Jamaican missionaries, Leigh has worked in ceramics for more than 25 years, with an interest in African pottery, delving into the experiences and histories of Black women. Many of her pieces converge women’s heads with objects like pitchers, in the tradition of African-American face
jugs, which Leigh says “fuse the black body with a tool.” Many such face jugs, made by slaves in the mid-1800s, come from North Carolina. Their purposes, likely both practical and spiritual, included a form of selfportraiture for slaves, a piece of visual worth, a protest to their utter loss of autonomy. The legacy of these face jugs, so essential to the North Carolina pottery tradition, lives in the female ﬁgure in Corrugated. With bronze and raffia, Leigh has conceived an ethereal sculpture of a woman who, notably, has no eyes. The absence of eyes, a signature of Leigh’s work, creates an abstraction that allows the woman in Corrugated to remain anonymous. “It gives her a certain power that you can’t see her,” Dougherty says. We can only imagine who she is, or perhaps more accurately, what she is: a circumstance, a sensation, an experience.
BOTTLING the past In Robeson County, where the grapes grow sweet, a Lumbee-owned winery thrives by WILEY CASH photography by MALLORY CASH
wo legends persist in North Carolina, both of which have spread like twining vines from Roanoke Island westward across the state. One legend is about grapes, the other is about the Lost Colony, and both converge in Robeson County. First, the legend of grapes: It is believed that when British explorers sent by Sir Walter Raleigh arrived on Roanoke Island in 1584, they were greeted by the sweet aroma of muscadine grapes hanging ripe on the vines. Centuries later, the “Mother Vine,” which is believed to be the oldest known grapevine in the United
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States at 400 years old, is still thriving on the Outer Banks, roughly two feet thick at its base and covering nearly a half-acre. The second legend is the legend of the Lost Colony. Most North Carolinians know that Raleigh’s 1587 expedition, led by John White, disappeared while White was making a return trip to England for supplies. Three years later, when White came back to the colony, he discovered that nothing had been left behind aside from the word CROATOAN, which was etched into a gate, and the letters CRO that had been carved into a tree. What happened to these British colonists? Among the many theories, one is that JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 33
the settlers moved inland and befriended Native American tribes, eventually intermarrying and joining the vast network of Native people who had been living in the region for centuries before White settlers arrived. Many believe that descendants of the Lost Colony moved as far inland as present day Robeson County, eventually calling themselves Lumbee in honor of the Lumber (or Lumbee) River. Perhaps that would explain why the Lumbee Indians, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River with a population of over 70,000, have always spoken English as their common language. Not so, writes Malinda Maynor Lowery, associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC-Chapel Hill, who is herself a Lumbee Indian born in Robeson County. In her book, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, Lowery writes, “The Lumbees are descendants of the dozens of tribes in that territory, as well as of free European and enslaved African settlers who lived in what became their core homeland.” According to Lowery, the Lumbee’s use of English as their common language is not due to their being founded by the members of the Lost Colony, but was more a matter of convenience as a mixture of tribal communities began to coalesce in the area after migrating to escape disease, warfare and slavery. Native people have lived in what is now Robeson County for 13,000 years, long before Sir Walter Raleigh had his earliest notions of empire. If the Lost Colony cannot explain the existence of the Lumbee
Indians in Robeson County, it probably cannot explain the westward expansion of the muscadine grape either. According to the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association, “in the early 1800s, North Carolina was a national leader in wine production and in 1840 was the nation’s top wine producer, with an industry built entirely on muscadine grapes.” There are currently 200 licensed wineries in North Carolina, generating $375 million each year in wages and $89 million in state taxes. One of the 200 licensed wineries is Locklear Vineyard and Winery in Maxton. For the past 15 years, Charlie Locklear and his two sons, Charlie Jr. and Daryl, proud members of the Lumbee tribe, have been growing muscadine grapes and making a plethora of wines on the land that has belonged to the family for generations. The elder Charlie, who was born in 1942 and grew up farming tobacco, corn, cotton and “a little bit of hay” with his family, started making wine as a hobby. “I just loved to do it,” he says on one bright day in early fall, only a few weeks after the vines have been harvested. The operation is tightly run, primarily by family and close family friends, with everything from the growing to the harvesting to the bottling happening on the Locklears’ property, where an old barn has been converted into a winery that features a tasting room and retail space. Outside, the land stretches for miles. Charlie Locklear, whose likeness appears on all of Locklear Winery’s bottles, remembers a time when the family was no
“When I got married, we remodeled this house, which was my grandfather’s house, and we’ve been here ever since.” —Charlie Locklear
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less tied to the land, but simply had more land to tie themselves to. His great-grandfather owned 3,000 acres, and his grandfather came to own and farm roughly 300. “If you’re not farming the big way now, you just can’t make it,” Charlie Locklear says, referring to the boom and bust of the agribusiness cycle that often ﬁnds farmers relying on huge yields to pay down debts for machinery and land. Now, the Locklears own 70 acres of land, considerably less than in the past, but the land is put to good use, much of it comprised of the vineyard where two variations of muscadine grapes — Noble and Carlos — are grown. The Noble muscadine is red, the wine sweet yet crisp. The Carlos is a white grape, resulting in wine with a sweeter, smoother ﬁnish. “I like to experiment with different ways to make wine,” Charlie Locklear says. “If you make a good product that tastes good, people are going to buy it.” And people have bought it, and word of the sweet wine from Robeson County continues to spread. While their sales are highest in the local market, Locklear wines are sold throughout Eastern North Carolina, across the Piedmont and into the western part of the state. The winery now employs more people than ever before. Robeson County can be a conservative place, and one has to wonder what the locals thought when Charlie Locklear decided to turn his wine-making hobby into a family business. “Most people embraced it,” he says. “Probably 90 percent of them. You’re never going to get 100 percent on nothing.” But folks will go easy on a local boy, especially when the family name is nearly as old as the land itself. Along with other surnames — Oxendine, Chavis, Dial, Lowery or Lowry or Lowrie among them — Locklears have a long history in the region, and Charlie has the roots to prove it. “I was born here,” he says, “and in 1948 we went straight across the road and built a house. And when I got married in 1964, we remodeled this house, which was my grandfather’s house, and we’ve been here ever since.” Locklear is a prominent name, he continues, and there are a lot of them. “Our ancestors were here, and we were people with high education and businesses. We’re just continuing to promote the family tree, businesswise.” And what does it mean to Charlie Locklear to work this land and create a family business from it? “Well, I hope it’s an encouragement to Lumbees,” he says. “And I hope it’s an encouragement to whites and Blacks too: If you want to achieve something, you can achieve it. Don’t let other people tell you what to do. It’s like target practice: If you shoot at it long enough, you’ll hit it.” After centuries of his people being on this land, it’s clear that Charlie’s aim is pretty good. Wiley Cash and his photographer wife, Mallory, live in Wilmington, N.C. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.
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the HARD PATH Country music star Rissi Palmer ﬁnds success in a genre that hasn’t always been welcoming by DAVID MENCONI photography by SAMANTHA EVERETTE
issi Palmer wasn’t actually present for her most recent high-proﬁle exposure. It came at the November 11 CMA Awards telecast on
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ABC, while rising country star Maren Morris was accepting her award for Female Vocalist of the Year. At the podium, Morris gave a shout-out to a half-dozen Black female Americana acts
— Palmer and fellow North Carolinian Rhiannon Giddens among them — for making “this genre so, so beautiful. I hope you know that we see you.” As it happened, Palmer was in the
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shower at the moment. “I got out of the shower and my phone was going insane,” she recalls, laughing. “My mind automatically went to, somebody clearly died. I still was not getting it from the texts — Maren Morris CMA OMG! — so I started watching and, WOW!” It was a nice piece of recognition for the 39-year-old Palmer, a long-respected music industry veteran, from country music’s current female It Singer. Morris has won ﬁve CMA Awards, three of them this year, with an R&B-ﬂavored style not too far removed from that of Palmer herself. Born in Pennsylvania, Palmer grew up there and in Missouri before coming to the Triangle in 2010, splitting the past decade between Raleigh and Durham. Her ﬁrst two vocal idols were Whitney Houston and Patsy Cline, and she’s always had a voice that can sing pretty much anything convincingly — country to soul, R&B, gospel or pop. Palmer ﬁrst began singing with the grown-up church choir at age ﬁve, when she needed to stand on a milk crate to reach the microphone. A chance meeting in an airport with superproducer Terry Lewis led to Palmer getting The Art & Soul of Raleigh
an offer from Lewis and Jimmy Jam’s Flyte Tyme Productions at age 19. But she turned it down because she wanted to sing country rather than pop, a nervy decision given how hard it has traditionally been for Black artists to break into country music. “Everybody was asking, What the hell is wrong with you?!,” Palmer says. “I’ve vacillated about whether or not I should have done that a lot over the years, especially when nothing else came my way for the next ﬁve years. But 20 years later, my take is that I would not be on the path I’m on now if I had. In hindsight, it’s easy to say it was the best decision. But it didn’t feel like that at the time.” Vindication arrived with Palmer’s 2007 eponymous debut album, which had two singles make the Billboard country singles chart. At the time, she was the ﬁrst Black woman artist to crack that chart in 20 years. “She’s a force,” says Jamie Katz Court with Raleigh-based Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, which has booked Palmer for several programs over the years. “She’s so connected to the history of the music, while also making her own new original music reﬂecting her experi-
ences. She has a great way of connecting with people. We love working with her.” Despite Palmer’s chart success, her record deal soured, leading to several years of legal difficulties. She has since chosen to go the independent route, keeping busy on multiple fronts including singing, teaching and recording. She self-released her latest album, 2019's Revival, with a powerful video for the song Seeds inspired by the 2014 death of Michael Brown at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri. Palmer is also the host of Color Me Country, an Apple Music radio show on which she showcases the lesser-known histories and music of Black, Indigenous and Latinx country artists. The way she sees it, that’s part of the mission of her career, because she always seems to wind up on the harder path. “There are moments when I just feel really, really tired,” Palmer admits. “But I’ve never been able to see any other life or career or passion for myself. I’ve known since I was a small child that this was what I wanted to do. It’s been a fun, horrifying, scary journey, but I can’t see doing anything else. Maybe singlemindedness is why I’ve stuck with it for so long.” JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 37
Among the bare-branched trees, nature speaks my favorite language
The Winter Woods by JIM DODSON
alf a century ago, a beautiful 50-acre woodland lay just beyond the backyard of the house where I presently live, which happens to be two doors from the one in which I grew up. That patch of suburban woods was full of wildlife — birds, deer, skunks, foxes, rabbits — and a winding creek where a small universe of aquatic life thrived. As a kid, those woods were my enchanted kingdom. The eccentric millionaire who owned those woods vowed he would never allow them to be developed. But his body was barely in the ground The quiet of the forest before his heirs sold it off to a developer. The forest and leaﬂess trees ampli- residential fell, and a new subdivision quickly ﬁed natural sounds and rose, a story repeated endlessly made seeing birds and across 1970s America. Fortunately I was off to college by then and movement easier. spared the sadness of watching my boyhood woods systematically plowed under. That vanished woodland was neither the ﬁrst nor last magical forest to shape my sensibilities. During the ﬁrst seven years of my life, our family lived in a succession of small towns across the deep South, places where ﬁelds and woods were 38 | WALTER
always a short walk away. I was drawn to them like a child from a Yeats’ poem. In summer, the woods teemed with life. But curiously, it was the winter woods that fascinated me most. The quiet of the forest and leaﬂess trees ampliﬁed natural sounds and made seeing birds and movement easier. Even before I came to understand that life underfoot was actually busier than ever, I was drawn to the stark beauty and solitude of winter. Scarce wonder that after seven years of unceasing work as an investigative journalist in Atlanta, I took an arts fellowship in the Blue Ridge Mountains, then subsequently ﬂed to a bend of the Green River in Vermont. I lived in a small house heated by a wood stove and fell even deeper under the spell of winter in the Great North Woods. It was there that I walked snow-covered dirt roads in blue Arctic dusks with my young dog, Amos, and snow-shoed through the forest for the ﬁrst time. During that quietest of all winters, I studied trees and read the complete works of a dozen poets, plus most of my favorite childhood books for the umpteenth time. Within ﬁve years, I’d built a post-andbeam house for my young family in a vast woodland of beech and hemlock on a The Art & Soul of Raleigh
coastal hill in Maine. Our closest neighbor was one-quarter mile distant. Winter nights were dark, cold and full of stars so crisp and vibrant you could almost reach up and touch them. Come the sub-zero nights of January, when a step on a wooden porch could sound like a pistol shot, I often donned a red wool coat and toted bags of sorghum meal through knee-deep snow to where a family of whitetail deer (and the occasional moose) waited patiently in the silver cast of the moon for a midnight feeding. In the morning, we would ﬁnd thousands of hoof prints where it appeared the deer stood on hind legs and danced in the woods, or so I told our two babes with a nearly straight face. Now on the cusp of their 30s, working in faraway Los Angeles and the Middle East, they still claim to believe the deer danced in winter moonlight. First frost was always the herald of my favorite season on the doorstep, beginning with the autumn stillness that was like that of an empty church, a cue to get my woodpile ﬁnished up and properly stacked. Ring-neck pheasants and ﬂocks of wild turkey appeared in the yard, feeding on the last seeds of summer, seemingly unmoved by our presence in their woodland world. Once, late for his winter nap, a black bear crossed the ancient road directly in front of us, pausing only to glance indifferently at the dude in the goofy red coat with his small, astonished children before going on about his business. I turned that bear into a bedtime story, with a character named Pete the Bear, who along with his bumbling partner-in-crime, dim-witted but good-hearted Charlie the Cub, often broke into our house whenever we were away in order to help themselves to snacks, play board games and get warm by the ﬁre. Pete and Charlie still reside somewhere in the forested memories of my far-ﬂung children, not to mention their winter-loving old man. And so it was a nice surprise when, earlier this winter, our friends Joe and Liz invited my wife, Wendy, and me to take a The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Sunday afternoon walk through the Hamilton Lakes Forest, a slim patch of urban parkland less than a mile from our house in Greensboro. Joe and Liz are trained foresters and ardent naturalists. Liz knows every native plant in the wild and Joe can tell you all sorts of wondrous things about trees. On a hike last winter, with traces of early spring appearing, we went with them up a small mountain near Asheboro, topped by giant stone monoliths that looked like columns from lost temples or bowling pins left by the gods. Joe explained that the unusual stones were visible for miles, navigational landmarks used by migratory birds and ancient native people in their annual seasonal movements from highland meadows to winter quarters in the ﬂatlands, sacred grounds used for their spiritual observances. There were even traces of a vanished farmstead, on a hilltop not unlike the one where I built my house in Maine, evidenced by wild narcissus that grew in patches around a crumbling stone foundation. Daffodils reportedly found their way to the Americas via Holland about 1800, though how they found their way to that ancient hilltop in Randolph County will probably forever remain a mystery. “Humans come and go,” Joe summed up the moment. “But the earth and forest
keep their own secrets.” Our Sunday afternoon walk through the Hamilton Forest wasn’t quite so wild, though it was revelatory in its own ways. Joe and I talked about our grown children and how to identify trees by their bark, while Liz and Wendy walked ahead of us chatting about grandchildren and, well, whatever else a pair of wise and worldly female friends talk about with their husbands lagging well behind. At one point, Joe stopped dead and tilted his head to the bare limbs above us: “Listen. Hear that?” I did. He explained it was the perfect, three-note call of a white-throated sparrow, a bird famous for its melodic winter song. That seemed the perfect coda. On that tri-note, we shared a nip of good Kentucky bourbon. We rounded a lake and started back as the light grew thinner and longer. As the temperature dropped, we listened to woodpeckers patiently at work, spotted squirrel nests high in the trees and greeted walkers with leashed dogs hurrying the opposite way through the woods, eager to reach home and warmth. Jim Dodson is the New York Times bestselling author of Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime. He lives in Greensboro. DECEMBER 2020 | 39
Katherine Snow Smith, along with her father A.C. Snow, oﬀers guidance for the future using wisdom from the past
RULES for 2021 by KATHERINE SNOW SMITH photography by MADELINE GRAY
hen WALTER asked me if my dad, longtime columnist A.C. Snow, might have some guidance for the new year, he was hesitant. “Just because you’re so old you don’t buy green bananas doesn’t mean you’re wise,” he laughed. But together, we came up with a few thoughts, many of which draw from columns he wrote in The Raleigh Times and The News & Observer over the past 70 years. We don’t know what this year will bring, but we hope you will ﬁnd that these lessons from the past still ring true. SEE THE PERSON, NOT THE POLITICS In a 1979 column titled Of No Concern to Jesse, my liberal dad took conservative Senator Jesse Helms to task: “I think prayer in the schools would have caused me to defect to the Devil long ago. That’s why I am repelled by Senator Jesse Helms’ continuing insistence on prayer in the schools,” he wrote. But when my sister died in a car accident in 1996, Helms was the ﬁrst person to call the day her obituary ran. He made the ﬁrst donation in her honor to the Raleigh S.P.C.A. My father visited Helms several times at Mayview Convalescent Center before
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the senator died in 2008. They were political opponents, but also saw each other as fathers, husbands and humans. EMBRACE CHAOS After my dad added a home office to the master bedroom, he realized he couldn’t work in the quiet. “I miss the kitchen — someone to listen to, the aroma of things cooking, the chatter of children smearing jelly and peanut butter. And the teapot is near,” he wrote. Keep that in mind when the commute to the office again becomes the norm. WONDER AT NATURE “I have no patience with skeptics who regard [birdwatching] as a prissy pastime,” my father wrote. “See an ordinarily ferocious red-bellied woodpecker gently stuff waffle crumbs down his baby son’s throat. Behold the robin strutting across the lawn like a Cornwallis redcoat… And then there are people still visited by bluebirds. They are the anointed.”
with four Cs and a D dragging a tail pipe in the driveway — you can’t deny the heart, which skips a beat and whispers to the soul: This is something I raised.” IF MAMA AIN’T HAPPY, AIN’T NOBODY HAPPY My dad saw this mantra on a bumper sticker in 1994, and he agreed: “A woman has so many duties, so many responsibilities and her inﬂuence is so inclusive that her mood can make or break a day for an entire family,” my dad wrote. This came not from a place of sexism, but of gratitude. He often professed that women were the saviors of society and should be thanked often — and he did.
SEE THE SKILL BEHIND THE SCORE “We have come a long way since women wore heels, fur coats and their best dresses to Saturday games,” he penned in 1993, after ﬁnding himself overdressed in a blazer and tie at a Carolina football game at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Then he recommended George Plimpton’s book Paper VALUE EVEN FLEETING CONNECTIONS “I escaped with- Lion, about the writer’s ﬁve weeks playing preseason “Strangers are the best out becoming with the Detroit Lions, to people to know. They make no demands; you an unread book, remind fans that it’s still worth it to show respect make no commitments,” interrupted in for the game. he wrote, after watching mid-chapter by an “Tell me,” he wrote, “is my mother share her pound cake recipe with a enemy bullet. But there a better classroom where the lessons of life woman from Oregon at we buried my less are taught more dramatithe baggage claim at San Francisco International lucky friends in cally and effectively than Like the Romans of Airport. lonely graves, now here? old, unfortunately, many overgrown by fans enjoy the violence and SHOW YOUR PRIDE “When the Chicago jungle.” —A.C. Snow the ﬁnal score more than they appreciate the skill, Bulls won the NBA the timing and endurance championship, I thought: that the game commands. It’s the latter What a Father’s Day gift!” my father wrote. “And what a comment from James that I take off my tie to.” R. Jordan: sitting in the locker room with KEEP IT SHORT his arm around his weeping son, he said “I can count on one hand the number to reporters, This is something I raised. of speeches that I wished would last “No matter if it’s a superstar soaring to impossible heights, a daughter waking longer than they did. The vast majority of orations could be cut by half with across the stage in cap and gown or a no harm done. Consider the length of prodigal son, coming home from college The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Lincoln’s Gettysburg address: 135 words. In Genesis, it took only 10 words to tell of the Creation. “A two-minute egg is tolerable; a three-minute egg is too hard to intake. So it is with speeches.” RECOGNIZE COURAGE, AND PAIN “I was never called on to be heroic, so I don’t know if I could have been or not,” my father, who served in World War II, wrote on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. “I would have done whatever I was told to do. Kids obeyed orders. That’s what most of us were — just kids. “As an airman in a troop carrier squadron, I never faced hand to hand combat and escaped without becoming an unread book, interrupted in mid-chapter by an enemy bullet. “But we buried several of my less lucky friends in lonely graves, now overgrown by jungle. We stood at attention as Taps sounded and ﬂags were folded, then left them there on Philippine islands, lulled in death by gentle waves lapping against long-forgotten coral shores.” Whether for soldiers overseas, or healthcare workers on the frontlines here, ask to hear their stories, acknowledge their strength or simply let them in front of you in line at the grocery store. Courage of all kinds deserves kindness. APPRECIATE LIFE, EVERY MINUTE “The only thing I can give you for the new decade is a thought from Emily in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town,” my father wrote in his column at the end of 1979. In the classic 1938 play, Emily has died, but has been given the chance to relive her 12th birthday. She’s dismayed because nobody appreciates the mundane yet beautiful moments of the ordinary day. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?” she asks the stage manager. “No,” he answers. “Saints and poets, maybe they do some.” This year, let’s all try to be more like the saints and poets. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 41
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Caitlin Cary reﬂects on her multifaceted career and the thread that ties her artistic pursuits
by COLONY LITTLE
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photography by S.P. MURRAY
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Above: Cailtin Cary at work in her studio. Opposite: Some of Cary's tools and supplies, including her many fabrics. Cary at work on the piece for the WALTER cover.
or Caitlin Cary, creative career pivots have deﬁned the depth and breadth of her artistic practice. From music and writing to visual arts, she has nimbly embraced change. Cary comes from a musical family, where she began playing the violin at four years old and continued to study the instrument well into her teens. She shelved her bow in favor of more adolescent pursuits (“boys and horses,” she quips), but her latent musical skills would resurface years later. After moving to Raleigh in 1993 to pursue a master’s degree in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University, Cary embarked on a successful, whirlwind career as a violinist, vocalist 46 | WALTER
and songwriter for the alt-country band Whiskeytown, then as a solo artist. In recent years, Cary has ventured down a new creative path that’s kept her rooted in Raleigh, where her visual arts career began to ﬂourish. As a textile artist, Cary reconstructs architectural landscapes and landmarks by stitching together pieces of upholstery that are then sewn to paper or stiffened canvas. She coined a term for this unique collage process: “needle print.” For her work, she sews together shapes to mimic familiar landmarks or scenes, layering the fabric elements over screen-printed paper. The fabrics that Cary incorporates play an important role in accentuating the unique design details of her subjects.
Lavish brocades, rich ﬂorals, classic tweeds and woven chenilles add depth and dimension to her collages. She has a closet full of upholstery fabric swatches and interior design sample books that she incorporates into her work. “The inspiration came in part from a trip to the Scrap Exchange in Durham,” says Cary. “It’s a pretty magical place for castoffs from all industries. What I found were sample books from upholstery and this incredible variety of fabric — it was a whole revelation to me that all this amazing texture and variety existed.” Many of her pieces feature historical and contemporary landmarks around Raleigh and the Triangle, The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Lavish brocades, rich ﬂorals, classic tweeds and woven chenilles add depth and dimension to her collages.
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Caitlin Cary in her studio with some of her needle print art.
including the legendary Krispy Kreme Donuts on Person Street and the Neuse River Greenway Trail. Other works, like Cary’s rendering of the Mid-century modern Durham Hotel, stay true to the building’s banking roots by incorporating imagery from the original Home Savings signage. This artistic process has become a way for Cary to memorialize the places that make the Triangle unique. “It felt important to make notes about what this place was and why I loved it,” she explains, “especially watching it change so rapidly, it felt like a documentary process.” But even with a featureless or run00 48 | WALTER
down building, Cary’s use of textiles lends the subject an endearing quality. “When buildings are rendered in fabric they become more adorable,” she says. “It helps me to sentimentalize the places I feel sentimental about.” In 2020, Cary embarked on yet another creative pivot, this time within her own textile medium. In her latest series, called Piers, she experiments with perspective by narrowing the focus of her architectural subjects to their structural elements. By shifting the viewer’s gaze toward these undergirdings, the work assumes a more abstracted quality.
A group of her new works are on view in the Wellborn Gallery at the Yadkin Cultural Center, and in 2021 Cary’s work will be exhibited at the Ravenscroft School, the Cary Arts Center in the summer and the Sertoma Arts Center in the fall. Throughout Cary’s artistic career, the theme of storytelling remains constant, whether it’s through music or collage. “The line that connects all creative endeavors and the kind of storytelling that you do to write a song feels kindred,” she says. “I feel like I tell a little story about the places that inspire me and I write a little song in my head.” The Art & Soul of Raleigh
A few of Cary's needle print pieces, clockwise from top: Raleigh Skyline II, 2019; Durham Home Savings, 2017; Krispy Kreme 2020.
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An abrupt fresh start made way for a family to build their dream home on Hyco Lake
FROM THE ASHES by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by CATHERINE NGUYEN
n early June of 2018, Tony Frazier of Frazier Home Design met his clients on the site of their spec house on Hyco Lake. Embers still smoked. Days earlier, an arsonist had burned down the nearly ﬁnished structure, an act of violence that remains unexplained. But from tragedy came opportunity: The homeowners were eager to move forward, and the complete wipe-out left room to reconsider everything from the ﬂoor plan to the siting to the architectural style. “It was literally in ashes, and the homeowners were in tears, but they wanted to work together to put it on a new path,” says Frazier. “It was very special, and I wanted to do my best to help them with their new home.” “There were no personal artifacts, just sticks and bricks, but our kids were obviously upset,” says the homeowner. “We’re just so thankful that no one was hurt.” Lori Moscato of Raleigh’s Casual Elegance Designs steered the overall design of the new home and the interiors, aiming for a lake house feel with a modern edge to it, “more Tahoe than North Carolina craftsman.” Frazier helped her bring it to fruition. “We blended the standard lake house with the ultra modern stuff,” he says, “and built something where the lines
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
LIVING ROOM When you walk through the door, the view is straight ahead. “We positioned the house for the best view, to open it up and work with the sunlight,” says Tony Frazier of Frazier Home Design. Interior designer Lori Moscato of Casual Elegance Designs outﬁtted the room in a palette of black and white, with warm natural accents like the leather loveseat and hemp-wrapped coﬀee table. “We matched the colors to the outdoors,” says Moscato. The deck beyond is not screened, so as not to detract from the view of Hyco Lake. To the right, the living room opens to the kitchen and dining areas and a guest suite; to the left is the master suite and stairs leading to the lower ﬂoor.
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are cleaner, and the proportions are more modern, but you still have many classic elements.” The build went quickly: Frazier had plans by September, they broke ground in December, and the family moved in by Memorial Day weekend of 2019. And by early 2020, with their two young teenagers in virtual school and isolation being the rule, this weekend house became the Raleigh family’s de facto primary home, a space where they could be together day after day, with the lake and surrounding woods at their disposal. “Living here, we realized we don’t want to retire to the coast or to Florida — this is our dream home,” says the homeowner. In the front of the house, peaked gables have prominent corbels that play up their shape, and the cedar columns holding up the front porch are accented by gently sloped brackets for an unexpected softness. Through the front door, an expansive living area opens to a double-height wall of windows, topped with another peaked gable. Inside, Moscato combined a neutral palette — mostly white walls and black cabinetry, furniture in grays, blacks and whites — with natural elements. She drew from the landscape to pull
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in warm wood tones and woven textures, and chose accents that reﬂected the view: deep blues and aquas, leaf and lawn greens. Keeping the bigger-ticket items neutral was strategic. “You want to spend wisely — if my clients want to switch the color scheme, they can swap pillows and throw blankets,” says Moscato, who also recommends upholstering just the backs of chairs in a dramatic pattern, since they can more easily be reupholstered. The more intimate rooms, like the master bedroom and dining room, commit to a little more color with walls painted lake-inspired shades of blue. “Every room in the house has a soft, natural feel,” says Moscato, who used reclaimed wood for accents like doors and headboards to lend the new build a “warm, rustic” feel. The home was built and furnished with an eye towards comfort and spending time together. Throughout 2020, the family was grateful for a place to gather through strange times. “It was down to ashes, but we built our dream home,” says the homeowner. “It has become our legacy.”
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KITCHEN & DECK Opposite page: The right side of the living room opens toward the kitchen, where the black-and-white palette continues. Moscato placed the sink on the back wall with three unobstructed windows to overlook the lake. This page: The screenedin porch is oﬀ of the dining room, which is accessed through doors on either side of the kitchen wall (where the range is located). This space opens completely to the dining room through accordion-fold doors. The homeowners’ three doodles (two labradoodles and a bernedoodle) have free range through the home (but have their own space, too; see page 59).
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
DINING ROOM & BEDROOMS Opposite page: Just oﬀ the kitchen, the dining room boasts a raw-edge table and chandeliers with wooden drops that echo the natural elements beyond. It’s painted a dusty aqua inspired by the lake. Opposite the deck is a wine cooler (not shown). This page: Each of the kids’ rooms, located on the lower level, houses bunk beds to make it easy to host friends and guests. The master suite (below) is located on the main ﬂoor. The rich wall color — called Waterloo, a navy touched with aqua — makes the space feel intimate, even with the wall of windows overlooking the lake. “The bedrooms are small so there’s more space to gather, whether it’s for entertaining or just with family,” says Frazier.
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FAMILY ROOM The lower level opens onto a stone patio, and holds a laundry room just inside for wet towels and swimsuits coming in from the lake. Here, a wall of built-in cabinets stores pillows, blankets and air mattresses for when the family hosts bigger groups. The luxury vinyl plank ﬂooring is waterproof, but warmer than the polished concrete often found in the ground level — and not slippery when wet. Grasscloth wallpaper from Phillip Jeﬀries gives the room a polished feel, and the two-pronged fan is a practical, sculptural way to make the space feel cozy and cool.
WET BAR Just to the left of the sofa is a small kitchen and bar area. The cabinet color was inspired by the woods beyond the doors, and olive canvas camp chairs and a framed Army jacket — used by the husband’s grandfather in WWII — give it a comfortable, utilitarian feel. Accordion-fold doors open to an outdoor kitchen.
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
BACK PATIO Just oﬀ the bar area is a full outdoor kitchen, complete with a grill and smoker for outdoor entertaining. Frazier added the gently sloped corbels to the cedar posts here to soften the right angles and echo elements from columns on the front porch. In the dining area (below) the family and guests have an unobstructed view of their cove on Hyco Lake. “It’s an unassuming spot, but you drive down the driveway and it’s awesome, you immediately feel like you’re on vacation,” says Frazier.
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FIRE PIT From the patio, graduated bluestone steps lead to an expansive lawn, the dock and a ﬁre pit. “It’s its own separate destination,” says Moscato. Beyond the ﬁre pit is the “playhouse,” which holds a rec room and a gym, the spot for game nights and dance parties. “The architecture borrows from the main house, but it’s not the same,” says Frazier, and the two are linked by a walkway. The home sits on a wide, shallow cove (below) where the family can frequently be found admiring the sunset. “Six out of seven days, you’ll ﬁnd us all in ﬂoats in the middle of the water,” says the homeowner. On either side of the property is a conservation area of undeveloped woods.
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
UTILITY ROOM & MASTER BATH The family loves dogs, and with three large, furry doodles, it made sense to dedicate a room to their gear. The utility room (above) hosts all of the dogs’ supplies, as well as their crates. “They have their own spot so if they come in muddy, they don’t wreck the house,” says the homeowner. The master bathroom (left) nods to industrial styling with the white subway tile and black-framed glass enclosure. The zero-threshold shower entry and ground-level location are smart touches for accessibility, since the homeowners plan to retire here.
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VEN Kentucky-bas ed Charles La ster stands in of his art car, front the Inner-Gal actic-Shack-o holding a pain -LLac, ting he did of Picasso. Crea something fro ting m found item s big and smal a unifying them l is e among folk art.
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Just down Highway 15, a folk art community thrives
) ( R E D I S T OU
H G I E RAL by ADDIE LADNER
photography by BRYAN REGAN
craps of tin covered in bright paintings of farm animals, mosaics made from broken glass and bottle caps, a car painted pastel-pink, covered in jelly molds — folk art can be hard to explain, but you know it when you see it. Approachable and often affordable, folk art is found all over the U.S., but particularly down Highway 15 in Pittsboro. It’s there that, historically, folk artists and enthusiasts gather each winter for the annual Fearrington Folk Art Show. “If you get invited to the Fearrington Folk Art Show, you feel like you made it,” says folk artist Charlie Frye, who hails from Lenoir. The show started 18 years ago when R. B. Fitch, the owner of Fearrington Village, took a liking to the quirky art genre on his travels. He wanted a place to gather the personalities behind the pieces he collected and to share their work with his community. “He loved the color and that it comes from the spirit inside these folks. These artists do it out of a need to do it,” says Kerstin Lindgren, Fearrington Village’s marketing director, who’s also a folk art enthusiast. Artists aren’t charged to show and sell at the show, or asked for a commission. It’s invitation-only and the artists are treated like guests. They’re fed BBQ dinners at Fearrington and hosted for free at local bed and breakfasts like the Rosemary House JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 61
THE ART SCEN
nd-selected to artists are ha More than 30 at Fearrington nual art show attend the an y hundreds of pa u t shows, yo Village. “Mos n't charge us to, but they do dollars to go this beautiful in re well. We’ and feed us so e,” says artist a special plac ch su s it' d an barn Charlie Frye.
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(owned by folk art collectors) and the Small Museum of Folk Art and B&B. “It’s fascinating to meet these people when they stay with us,” says Small Museum owner Dave Clark. Today, it’s one of the best-known and most-respected folk art shows in the Southeast, in part because of Fearrington’s hospitable approach. For Fearrington Village, it’s about celebrating these artists while helping them make a living. And for the artists, it’s as much about showing their work as it is about gathering as a community. “We’re probably the most approachable group of artists you will ever meet,” says Charlie Frye. “Most of us are good friends, just enjoy making our art and making people smile.” Often made from repurposed items recombined in vibrant colors, folk art is scrappy multimedia, usually made by self-taught artists. The art is often a visual narrative of the maker’s experience, presented without pretense. For Frye, that means giving glimpses into his upbringing in the mountains of western North Carolina with barn doors as his canvas. “It’s the inspiration from my memories and dreams,” he says of his bold paintings of mountains and farm animals. His wife Susan Frye’s work is a mix of torn paper art and sculpture. “I tend to make things I like: angels and little girls, things that make you feel good, pleasant memories,” she says. The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Her latest art pulls from a bittersweet childhood — she had a strained relationship with her adoptive parents, but recently, amid the pandemic, reconnected with her birth mother. “I just ended up doing a DNA ancestry test and never thought I’d have a relationship with her,” Susan Frye says. “We connected at the beginning of the pandemic and it’s inspired my work lately.” Theresa Gloster, who’s also from Lenoir, paints whimsical scenes of children together in a bedroom or church that recall her childhood in a rural Black community. She has attended the show every year since its inception. At the start of the pandemic, she found it hard to create — until she revisited some paintings she did around the turn of the century that were surprisingly pertinent. “People were nervous about starting the year 2000,” she says, reﬂecting on Y2K, then considering a painting she made in 2005 when Pope John Paul II passed away. “I had painted a big group of people mourning; they were trying to get inside a church.” She sold those pieces, then felt inspired to paint again. “It ﬁlls a void inside me — God gave me a gift to touch someone else’s life,” Gloster says. Kentucky-based Charles Laster got his start in folk art about 30 years ago. He was working in construction and started JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 63
“He loved the color and that it comes from the spirit inside these folks. They do it because they need to do it.” –Kerstin Lindgren
RSUITS SPIRITUAL PU ve), known as Missionary y Proctor (abo l, bright
Mar cheerfu spiritual art — Mary, creates ant colors. br vi in cs ai os m paintings and from God, ng lli ca a work as “She sees her k that she or w this joy to the Fearrington which brings ith w en gr rstin Lind es lots of does,” says Ke at or rp Cap Man inco t: gh Ri . ge lla Vi his art. chickens into
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TRASH TO TR
RE Left: Artist Miz Thang, based in Georgia, gi a double peac ves e sign. Above: Artist Deron Br ton Harris mak axes "Hobo Cand les" out of old soup cans. Be low: Work by Lee Neary.
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The art is often a visual narrative of the maker’s experience, presented without pretense.
UPCYCLED OBJ EC
TS Above: Susan Frye’s torn pa per art. She fo es on media sc cusulpture and m aking renderin of people and gs ﬂowers. She an d husband Charlie Frye (b elow) have a ga llery, Folk Keep er Gallery and Antiques, in Le noir. Both wer teachers to be e gin with, but are now full-tim artists. “Folk e artists don’t kn ow they’re fo artists until so lk meone tells th em,” says Char Frye. “I painte lie d for years an d had no eart idea!” Mark M hly ay (above right ) based out of Pennsylvania, makes small ro bot sculptures that he create s with anythi ng from wood keys to dice. It to started one w eekend when he was home from graduate school visitin his parents, w g ho were antiq ues dealers. H rummaged th e rough their ba sement to mak his ﬁrst robot e and now sells them primarily through his Et sy shop to his collectors. May who is also a , teacher, tries to keep the m ity of his piec ajores under $80 so that his wor accessible to k is everyone.
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TINGS r booth (top). above, and he r, te os yGl a es er Th I like that. Ever our style and in nt re ﬀe “We all have di d es are alike an folk one’s experienc of her fellow ay,” she says w of nd ce the sin ar some ki ye y er s attended ev artists. She ha her childhood art draws on er H g. beginnin Lenoir where in k community ac d Bl l al sm a in d she was raise d in mining an ts her in pa her dad worke en ev r arents. Gloste of by her grandp ful paintings surround play ch hi w ed , ck tu or frames y sk e aching for th kids outside re e work of arist ooms. Right: Th dr be r ei in in th Athlone Clark.
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making things from recycled items he’d collect on the job. It was fulﬁlling for him, a reminder that you can make something from nothing. The side hobby ballooned when he felt called to work with underprivileged children. “I wanted these kids to know they don’t need art supplies to make art,” says Laster. He draws inspiration from both pop culture and classic artists. For the past nearly 20 years, you’d ﬁnd him and his wife, Grace, driving South in an unusually decorated Pontiac Montana to Fearrington. The Inner-Galactic-Shacko-LLac, as they call it, is an example of a “true art car,” he says. Painted in pink and covered in knick-knacks — bull horns on the front bumper; pieces of wrought iron, animal ﬁgurines and more on the hood and roof — it has more than 400,000 miles on it. During the show, these artists get to enjoy being around like-minded makers while generating a bit of income, in an area of the state that supports their niche. “Pittsboro and Fearrington are such a magic square of 10 miles. It’s our second home,” says Charlie Frye.
FOLKSY FINDS Even without an organized Fearrington Folk Art Show, you can still ﬁnd folk art and experience the hospitality of this close-knit arts community. And at under an hour from Raleigh, it’s worth it to take a day to explore the area for its warmth, creativity and scenic drives. A few spots to check out in and around Pittsboro: CLYDE JONES’ CRITTER CROSSING AT THE HAW RIVER A legend on the folk art scene, Clyde Jones is known for his large hand-carved and painted critters made from scrap wood. Though his work has wound down in recent years, some of Jones’ famous critters are on display outside his home near the mouth of the Haw River in the Bynum community. It’s believed that Jones has never sold, only given away, his work. Bynum Hill 68 | WALTER
This year, the Inner-Galactic-Shack-o-LLac won’t be driving to Fearrington Village. Like most other events that have been canceled since March of last year, art shows are no exception. “No show this year was a huge blow. We actually cried when they canceled it,” says Charlie Frye. Galleries, art shows, lessons: these human-to-human experiences are vital for artists, both ﬁnancially and mentally. To help with this, the team at Fearrington Village set up a website that will allow people to engage with these artists directly (fearrington.com/folk-art), and artists and their supporters are leveraging platforms like Etsy and social media to connect. “Whatever we can do to support these artists right now, when it’s hard to congregate like we usually do this time of year, we will do it,” says Clark. And while they will be missing their cohorts at Fearrington Village come February, these artists are leaning into what they know best as a way to cope, for now. Gloster says, “I tell myself to keep painting, just keep painting.”
FEARRINGTON VILLAGE This community is a destination on its own, with restaurants, shops and gardens, including the popular Belted Goat cafe, McIntyre’s bookstore and Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs in multiple spots on the grounds. 240 Market St. FRENCH CONNECTIONS Score folk art for your yard, sustainable textiles from Europe and Africa, and more at this eclectic goods shop in a home built in the 1900s. 178 Hillsboro St. ODDCO (ODD COMPANY) Shop from a wide selection of gifts, including screenprints, original art and jewelry at this unique shop. 684 West St. POSTAL FISH COMPANY Enjoy fried oysters or seared scallops at this ﬁsh house specializing in Carolina-caught seafood, located in a former post office building. 75 W. Salisbury St. THE ROSEMARY HOUSE B&B This colonial home built in 1912 is a gathering place for folk artists and enthusiasts alike. It’s owned by Jamie
and Heather Buster, who also have a folk art gallery inside called The Kindred Gallery. 76 West St. S&T’S SODA SHOPPE Try a classic hot dog and ice cream ﬂoat at this old-fashioned diner that’s open for lunch, dinner — or just dessert. 85 Hillsboro St. ALLEN AND SON BBQ An apple fritter or BBQ sandwich from this classic walk-up joint just off Highway 15 is hard to beat. 5650 US-15 SMALL B&B CAFE AND FOLK ART MUSEUM This joint bed and breakfast and cafe also has a small folk art museum on the grounds. The cafe, a favorite among locals for their lemon ricotta hotcakes, is owned by folk art advocates Dave Clark and Lisa Piper. 219 East St.
2020 | 00 TheSEPTEMBER Art & Soul of Raleigh
Architect Zena Howard is a principal and managing director of Perkins&Will’s North Carolina practice in Durham.
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Architect Zena Howard infuses her design solutions with empathy
a gift for listening by J. MICHAEL WELTON
o matter the assignment, Durham-based architect Zena Howard’s reputation usually precedes her. When David Hill, head of the North Carolina State School of Architecture, asked Koﬁ Boone if he’d consider teaming up with Howard to teach an urban design studio, Boone’s response was succinct: “You mean the Zena Howard?” Boone, a professor of landscape architecture and environmental design, readily agreed to partner with Howard, a principal and managing director of Perkins&Will’s North Carolina practice. In a studio environment, he says, an
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instructor’s job is to get out of the way. Howard not only understands that, he says, but she’s also patient — and listens to what her students are doing. “She gives ﬁrm but constructive feedback,” he says. “And she’s willing to roll up her sleeves and get to work. Conscientious is the best word to describe her.” That word applies particularly to her project management work on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington, D.C. But it’s equally evident in her designs for projects in Black communities across North America, through her trademarked Remembrance Design process. It’s a method of approaching urban design that, accord-
ing to Howard, “engages historically under-served and negatively impacted communities to redress painful issues, bridge diverse experiences, inspire resilient communities and infuse culture into projects.” For these projects, Howard employs a two-step process. First, she and her team of designers listen to the people who live in the communities they’re developing, to help them heal from the pain caused in the 1960s. In that decade of “urban renewal,” entire neighborhoods were subjected to redlining — where mostly Black homeowners were denied access to funds for investing in or maintaining their inner-city properties — and then declared slums, demolished and replaced
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with public housing or highways. Second, Howard and her team strive to help people harness the power of good design in their communities by reconceiving the spaces. “She’s walking a ﬁne line where folks can feel like they’ve been heard and seen — and she has really interesting solutions to complex problems,” Boone says. HOGAN’S ALLEY | VANCOUVER, B.C. When Kevin McNaney, director of special projects for the City of Vancouver, searched in 2017 for solutions for a Black community decimated decades before, word of Howard’s work resonated with him. He contacted her, then brought her to British Columbia. “She turned out to be a godsend,” he says. With Howard in the lead, the city held a series of ten meetings with former residents of a neighborhood known as Hogan’s Alley. Once a thriving block of Black-owned homes, food and culture, it was obliterated by the end of the 1960s. Two hulking, unused highway viaducts were left in its wake. “Zena came in and there were a lot of tears and emotion, but they got a plan from council,” he says. “The viaducts
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were replaced, and as development occurs now, there’s an emphasis on social housing and a Black cultural center. Community is being created in a meaningful way.” The plan was part of a larger project that won an award from the American Planning Association. A Hogan’s Alley Society was formed, and the city hired a diversity manager for cultural issues. What started out in pain and tears turned into a program of redress after hundreds of years of repression. “Zena brought a magic touch,” he says. TOWN COMMON | GREENVILLE, N.C. Closer to home, Howard and her team were asked to work with a group of residents whose neighborhood had been razed by the city in the 1960s. “In Greenville, older people watched their houses and their church get torn down,” Howard says. “The challenge is hearing those difficult things and allowing people to express those stories.” Her objective is to engage with residents and dredge up memories — good and bad — so they know how to move ahead. “And then it’s like, Wow! We’ll be able to address this,” she says.
Now on the neighborhood site is a town common that offers 21 acres of open green space adjacent to the Uptown Greenville District. A small component of that acreage, Sycamore Hill Gateway, stands on the foundation of the former Sycamore Hill Baptist Church, to commemorate the most signiﬁcant institution from the displaced community. The designers considered three themes as they worked: community, spirituality and history. Today they’re represented with three outdoor gallery spaces, along with plaques encouraging congregation, learning and reﬂection. There’s a prominent riverside entrance to the park, along with a stained glass tower and freestanding windows that recall the church’s design. “The ironwork in the stained glass panels references the layout of the homes, taken from photos and information from the church community,” says Lamarco Morrison, former parks planner for the City of Greenville. DESTINATION CRENSHAW | LOS ANGELES, CALIF. In 2017, city and community leaders in Los Angeles brought Perkins&Will in
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
left: Keith Isaacs; right: Chris M. Rogers
In Greenville, North Carolina, Howard and her team created a 21-acre town common with memorials to commemorate a Black community demolished in the 1960s.
“In Greenville, older people watched their houses and their church get torn down. The challenge is hearing those diﬃcult things and allowing people to express those stories.” —Zena Howard
Howard rests on the pedestal for one of a series of stained glass panels at Sycamore Hill Park in Greenville. The ironwork in the panels references the layout of homes in the former neighborhood.
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Howard served as senior project manager for the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to the documentation of African American life, history and culture.
to hear out a Black community devastated by half a century of disinvestment in South L.A., by both the public and private sectors. Howard’s work in other neighborhoods was known to leaders there, but her methods were not. “She listened to what people had to say, before she even picked up a pencil to design anything,” says Joanne Kim, a Los Angeles-based community organizer and city council aide. “That’s not a process I’d seen before.” First, Howard and her team led the community through a two-and-a-half day listening session where people shared their personal stories, along with the history, culture and aspirations of their community. It wasn’t easy. “She let people tell their stories — some were raw, and some were holding back, like, Who are you and what’s your agenda?” Kim says. “It was not a uniﬁed group, getting along.” Howard and her team persevered with more sessions, while an advisory council took the ideas and designs out for testing and feedback from the community at large. All the while, Howard was digging deep, with healthy debate. “It takes a master facilitator to listen to 20 people The Art & Soul of Raleigh
— it’s a skill to hone and develop over a period of time,” Kim says. Black community projects like L.A.’s Destination Crenshaw, which broke ground last February, are different from other memorials. “Fundamentally it’s about racial justice, not just building a park or a garden or a house, because of 50 years of disinvestment,” Kim says. Eventually, Destination Crenshaw will be a 1.3-mile-long, outdoor museum of African American art and culture. It’s designed to prevent cultural erasure, a direct response to changes that would come with the addition of an abovegrade metro line being built through Crenshaw Boulevard, which would have divided and displaced the community. Instead, Destination Crenshaw soon will have its own Metro stop. In essence, Howard designs with the community, not just for it. “That leads to lasting relationships and bold designs, and pushes us forward,” says Kenneth Luker, design principal at Perkins&Will. “It’s engagement that’s cathartic for the community — and it advances some strong design ideas that otherwise we would not be able to do.”
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE | WASHINGTON, D.C. Perhaps the most prominent project Howard has been involved with now glows over the National Mall in Washington, D.C.: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The project was won in a 2009 international competition by a consortium of architects called Freelon Adjaye Bond/ SmithGroup. The late Phil Freelon, who founded the Durham-based ﬁrm bearing his name before a 2014 merger with Perkins&Will, had been tracking museum legislation in Congress since 2006. He’d recruited Howard in 2003, and together they began positioning The Freelon Group to win the commission. That meant teaming up with New York architect Max Bond, who wrote the winning program for the museum, and British architect David Adjaye, who designed it. The Freelon Group was the architect of record, managing all contracts and a complex delivery process. Howard was senior project manager for much of the project’s construction until well after it opened in 2016, up until 2019. “It was day-in, day-out, nonstop — and quite the commitment,” she says. “There was a lot of investment, but it was worth it. When we were in it, it was all-consuming.” As she worked on the museum, her integrity and ethics were self-evident, says Brenda Sanchez, senior architect/ senior design manager at the Smithsonian. “I consider her high on both,” she says. “And she has a big interest in people too, that their story gets out. It’s not just a building, but information too.” Beyond her empathy, patience and dedication to listening, Howard’s approach to architecture builds on Freelon’s belief that great design should be accessible to everyone. “That’s the foundation I’ve catapulted from, in terms of design philosophy,” she says. “I believe that culture should not be the privilege of membership — I want to expand cultural expression in every single project.” JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 75
A smoke-on National Anthem Flyover with the Bandit Flight Team. Photo by Denis Zholob.
Discipline, experience and a strong bond unite this crew of pilots
Reaching for the
SKIES by FINN COHEN
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THE CREW This page: Bandit Flight Team members Vince Tryer, Paul Franzon, Jamison Baysden, Brad Freels, Hal Bowman, Devon Reyes, Jim Kilpatrick, Greg Vouga, Bob Ingle, Andy Stanaski, David Schlabach, Stephen Graham, Sam Huﬀstetler, Cecil Boyd, Wanda Jackson and Tom Stevens in 2019. Photo by Chris Richman. Opposite page: The compass rose at Raleigh Executive Jetport, the home base for the team. Their pilots ﬂy in from multiple cities all over North Carolina and Virginia. Photo by Denis Zholob.
n fall of 2014, Bob Ingle was sitting in the stands of Carter-Finley Stadium with a friend before a North Carolina State University football game, listening to the National Anthem. As the song reached its trademark crescendo, he looked up — and saw a group of familiar planes ﬂying in formation over the crowd. Ingle, a 22-year Air Force veteran who ﬂew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, ﬂew the same model of aircraft, an RV-8A, for fun near his home in Goldsboro. His interest was piqued, but after six months of ﬁnding no information about the ﬂight team, he gave up. The following May, Ingle was at an airshow at Goldsboro’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and ran smack into a few members of the group he’d been seeking: the Bandit Flight Team, a coterie of vintage aircraft enthusiasts. “And lo and behold, they’re like, Hey
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you got an RV? We need a couple more pilots to ﬁll our team. You interested?” Ingle says. “I’m like, Dude I’ve been looking for you! It was an incredible moment.” These days, Ingle is a lead pilot for the Bandit team, a 17-member squad that ﬂies out of Sanford’s Raleigh Executive Jetport. The group, which formed in 2009 with just four members, claims to be the most active ﬂight team in the United States, with more than 50 events a year. Almost all of them are in North Carolina — Durham Bulls games, NASCAR races, charity events and military ceremonies. The Bandit team doesn’t do any barrel rolls or ﬂips (aerobatics, in the industry parlance). Their specialty is ﬂying in tight formation over events with extremely precise timing and coordinated smoke trails. For those N.C. State games, at which Bandit has appeared since 2012, they line up two minutes away from the stadium with the intent of appearing exactly as the National Anthem ends. Seems simple enough,
but at 120 miles per hour, those two minutes involve a lot of planning. “You can’t stop six planes in the air and they just park,” says Wanda Jackson, one of the Bandit ground coordinators. “They are ﬂying around in ﬁgure eights in the sky, just waiting for the right time to ﬂy over — the more they know in advance what to expect, the better it is.” Jackson, an accountant who worked for American Airlines for years in Cary before getting a pilot’s license, is part of the eyes and ears for the team on the ground. When she hears the anthem start, she gives the go-ahead. Like Ingle, she had a chance encounter that led to her joining the Bandit group: she crossed paths with several of the pilots at a picnic in Sanford in 2017. After accepting their invitation to ﬂy along one day, she was hooked. “I had done aerobatics — taken some aerobatic training in Florida — and I thought that was exciting,” Jackson says. “But ﬂying in formation was The Art & Soul of Raleigh
way more exciting: you spend all your time as a pilot trying to stay away from other airplanes. The ﬁrst time you ﬂy in formation, and you’re that close to somebody else, it’s really freaky.” Behind each of those few minutes in the sky are combined lifetimes of training. Each member of the team has a commercial pilot’s license, and many of them served in the military and/or as commercial pilots. They have dedicated training sessions a couple times a year as a group, but for the most part, their collective experience and disciplined bond as a team make each appearance run smoothly. Ingle, as the team’s lead, acts as their glue at 1,000 feet. “He decides where we’re going to turn, when we turn, what our track is — he makes all the decisions because all the other members are maintaining position off of him,” says Jim Kilpatrick, a retired Air Force pilot and 34-year veteran of American Airlines. “If they look away, and he makes a turn, we all run into each other. We have a saying: If he’s got a ﬂight of six and he runs into the side of the mountain, there better be ﬁve holes right with him. They won’t even see the mountain coming because they’re staring at him.” Kilpatrick, one of the founding members of Bandit, helped get the word out initially by doing some cold-calling to concerts and events: “Would you like a ﬂyover?” A neighbor made some connections to the N.C. State athletic department, which got the ball rolling for larger events. Now the team’s schedule is packed, which is a beneﬁt for its pilots, because the upkeep for those planes — some of which the members have built themselves — gets expensive pretty quickly. “We have a really good group of pilots that are willing to donate their time and effort to ﬂy this. For them their logic is, Well, I’m paying for the maintenance, and I’m paying for the hangar and insurance — all the ﬁxed costs,” Kilpatrick says. “Without a doubt it is a huge, huge labor of love for everybody.” The Art & Soul of Raleigh
“The ﬁrst time you ﬂy in formation, and you’re that close to somebody else, it’s really freaky.” —Wanda Jackson
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SKY SCENES Clockwise from top left: Paul Franzon’s RV-8 (photo by Denis Zholob); the Bomb Burst formation (photo by Zholob); Abigail Ingle, a coordinator for the Bandits (photo by Abigail Ingle); Vince Tryer’s RV-4 (photo by Zholob); an echelon turn with Tryer’s RV-4 in the center; the spinner on Franzon’s RV-8; a view from the second seat (photo by Abigail Ingle); Bob Ingle ﬂying his RV-8A (photo by Abigail Ingle).
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
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IN FORMATION A diﬀerent view of the smoke-on National Anthem Formation, as seen from the back seat of the #2 in formation. Looking at Bob Ingle’s RV-8A, with Wendy Jackson in the back seat; Andy Stanaski’s RV-8; Sam Huﬀstetler’s RV-7A; and Jamison Baysden’s RV-8A. Each of the pilots has call signs; Baysden’s is Flash, Stanaski’s is Nasty (a play on his surname, Jackson clariﬁed) and Bob Ingle’s is Spock. (Photo by Mark Herboth)
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THE WHIRL WALTER’s roundup of gatherings, celebrations and virtual fun around the Triangle.
Courtesy Raleigh Country Club / Dianne McKinney
Bagpipes at the grand reopening of the Raleigh Country Club.
86 Tasty Holidays with Vivan Howard 90 Raleigh Country Club Grand Reopening 90 First in Flight Young Men's Service League 90 National Signing Day 91 Fenton Groundbreaking 93 A Shopping SPREE! 93 Donate Sport Service Project 94 Overﬂowing Hands & Rocky Top Catering Food Distribution 94 Remodelers Outstanding Construction Awards
During this time of social distancing, we want to see how you are staying connected with your community. Submit images on our website waltermagazine.com.
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
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tasty holidays with VIVIAN HOWARD O
n October 15, the WALTER team ventured out to Kinston to catch up with one of our favorite North Carolina chefs, Vivian Howard. The award-winning chef had recently released her latest book, This Will Make it Taste Good. It’s half cookbook, half memoir, a collection of her favorite Flavor Heros, sauces and bases that work with a range of different recipes. Along with the team at Workshop Media, and with the support of sponsor Fink’s Jewelers, we ﬁlmed a cooking demonstration and interview with Howard. The cooking demonstration showed off Howard’s Community Organizer, a sofrito-style, tomato-and-pepper base than can add depth to casseroles, stews, tacos and more. Howard shared the origin of the recipe (a delicious gift from a stranger!), why it works and how to use it for different styles of cooking. In her interview, Howard was candid about the origins of her book. While her ﬁrst book, Deep Run Roots, delves into the traditions of Eastern North Carolina cooking, This Will Make it Taste Good is all about Howard: how she cooks at home, the balance of working motherhood (or lack of it) and the way her cooking has —and continues to — evolve. She spoke with WALTER editor Ayn-Monique Klahre about this and more in her intimate living space inside her Kinston test kitchen. The exclusive video was released just before Thanksgiving to WALTER readers to inspire them to get creative with their cooking over the holidays. It was fun to see the notes and photos from home cooks who used her recipes! In case you missed it, you can now view the video at waltermagazine.com/vivian-howard.
This page: Vivian Howard in her Kinston test kitchen. Opposite page, clockwise from top: Howard talks while preparing the Green Bean Casserole. Howard's book alongside a jar of the Community Organizer. Howard with the ﬁnished dish. An overhead view. The Workshop Media crew at work.
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Whats Not to “Lake”?
701 Lakestone Drive Lakestone $1,950,000.00
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The Art & Soul of Raleigh
BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.%AE Equal Housing Opportunity.
INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS
WIN i 20 21 P R ESENT ED BY
S UPPORTE D BY
Join us for our fourth annual WINi summit celebrating young women, diversity and innovation. Hear ﬁve female leaders in our community share their career journeys — from overcoming obstacles and pushing boundaries to achieving their goals. Our workshop will be led by UNC Chapel Hill’s Innovate Carolina.
Sunday, February 21 Virtual Event For more information, please visit
2021 WINi Panelists Meet the ﬁve inspiring women leading this year’s talk JENNIFER DASAL Jennifer Dasal is the curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art. She received her Bachelors in Art History from the University of California, Davis, her Masters in Art History from the University of Notre Dame and her doctorate in art history from Pennsylvania State University. In 2016 Dasal launched the ArtCurious podcast, an internationally popular, bi-weekly show exposing “the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in art history.” It was chosen as one of PC Magazine’s Best Podcasts of the Year for three years in a row and selected as one of the Best History Podcasts of 2019 by O, the Oprah Magazine. In September 2020 Dasal released her ﬁrst book, ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History.
JESS EKSTROM Jess Ekstrom founded Headbands of Hope in 2012 as a junior in college with a mission: for every headband sold, one is donated to a child with cancer. Since then, she’s been named The Ultimate Game Changer by Women’s Health magazine and a “top motivational speaker” by Forbes. Additionally, Ekstrom and Headbands for Hope have been featured on Today, Good Morning America, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, Forbes and People, when the magazine ran an exclusive on her book, Chasing the Bright Side. More importantly, Headbands of Hope has donated over half a million headbands to kids in children’s hospitals all over the world. She and her husband Jake enjoy traveling around the country in their Airstream with their dog, Ollie.
CARLY JONES Carly Prentis Jones is a performing artist and cultural arts leader from Raleigh. She currently serves as the program director for artists & organizations for the North Carolina Arts Council. Diversity, equity and inclusion are a part of her core values, and she leads work surrounding ways to make the arts more inclusive and accessible across socioeconomic boundaries for all. These values translate into her involvement with social justice movements and community planning organizations. Jones attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Black Music History, with a minor in arts management.
CARI ROCCARO Professional athlete Cari Roccaro is a Women’s World Cup Champion and two-time NWSL Champion soccer player on our state’s winning team, the North Carolina Courage — the ﬁrst team to win the Championship on its home ﬁeld. Originally from New York, Roccaro is a graduate of Notre Dame College, where she studied sociology. Roccaro has made 16 appearances with the United States Youth National Team and has played ﬁve seasons of professional soccer. In 2020, Roccaro was the recipient of the Community Service Award with the NC Courage.
VICTORIA SCOTT-MILLER Victoria Scott-Miller owns Liberation Station Bookstore, a local, globally-recognized independent pop-up bookstore with four permanent locations in Durham and international locations forthcoming. An innovator and literacy advocate, Scott-Miller believes in the power of community and creates initiatives around legacy building and historical guardianship. Her work has been in O, the Oprah Magazine, CNN, The Washington Post and Good Morning America. Scott-Miller is a member of the American Bookseller Association and founder of The Getaway, a program that partners with the hotel industry to offer micro-residencies for published authors of color.
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 89
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FENTON GROUNDBREAKING On November 12, international real estate ﬁrm Hines, along with Columbia Development, started construction of Fenton, a 69-acre mixed-use development in Cary, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2022. The groundbreaking was celebrated with a hors d'oeuvres, music, and of course, to shovels to break the ground. courtesy Fenton; courtesy First in Flight
FIRST IN FLIGHT YOUNG MEN'S SERVICE LEAGUE In 2019, the Young Men's Service League, a national volunteer organization of mothers and sons, created its ﬁrst North Carolina chapter, First in Flight. The group has volunteered over 2,000 service hours so far. One highlight: helping the Northwest Cary YMCA to build its community garden.
Starr Cumming, Jesse Amundson, Paul Zarian, Kurt Hartman, Scott Grigg, Rob Reynolds, Rodger Rose, Kristie Ray, Becky Goodwin
Being said about
le On iSna ary Febru
Hugh McColl has never stopped learning, listening, caring, investing, and sharing his remarkable resources and knowledge with people from all walks in life.” – Paul Leonard, former CEO of Habitat for Humanity
Building a great bank has been upgraded to Bu building a better community. (McColl) still has the energy and courage to believe he has much to offer in making the world a better place. What a legacy!” – Harvey Gantt, Charlotte civic leader and former mayor
Noo Nothing N motivates Hugh McColl more than leading collaborations of strong voices to spark innovative solutions for the challenges of our time.” – Michael Marsicano, president and CEO of the Foundation For The Carolinas
Volunteers with benches they helped build for the Northwest Cary YMCA
Hugh McColl’s McColl’s Chapter Two The twenty years Hugh McColl’s spent since stepping down as Bank of America CEO is a primer for anyone who believes irrelevancy is a part of retirement. This is the story of how McColl, at 85, remains essential in a city that bears his imprint, from building Uptown to investing social capital in all corners of the community. A new book by Howard E. Covington Jr. NEW N EW FROM
O sale at Park Road Books, Charlotte; Scuppernong Books, On Greensboro; The Hub Bookshop, Spartanburg; Books & Beans, Rocky Mount; y Bookshop, p Southern Pines and other local bookstores in the Carolinas. The Country
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Courtesy Raleigh Country Club / Dianne McKinney
RALEIGH COUNTRY CLUB GRAND REOPENING On November 6, Raleigh Country Club celebrated the major renovation of its historic golf course. RCC, which ﬁrst opened in 1948 just east of downtown Raleigh, is the ﬁnal design of legendary architect Donald Ross. Golf course architect Kyle Franz oversaw the restoration, which began in February.
Becca McKinney, Gloria Allen
John McConnell, Paul Dickens, Christian Anastasiadis, Billy Cole, Kyle Franz
Courtesy the Junior League of Raleigh; courtesy DonateSport.org
A SHOPPING SPREE! In November, the Junior League of Raleigh raised money through their annual A Shopping SPREE! event, this year held virtually. With this fundraiser, they were able to award $20,000 in grants to community nonproﬁts, including The Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center, Garner Road Community Center, Haven House Services and The Women's Center.
Dorothea Bitler, Nadine Vargas Stewart, Taylor Wilson Twine, Randi Ligon, Brooke Tonkin, Toni Chatman, Marsha Hargette
DONATE SPORT SERVICE PROJECT On November 13, Donate Sport completed their largest service project to date, with support from volunteers from Truist Bank’s Lighthouse Project. More than 40 volunteers came together to donate $367,000 worth of clothing, footwear and sports equipment to charities across the Triangle, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Note in the Pocket and Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy.
Georgette Jung, John Michael, Anissa Hager, Susan Saran, Ruby Dryer Teri Wade, Bill Mitchell, Rick Suter, Bobby Robbins, Mala Kasthurirangan Andrew Jung, Jocelyn Jung, Jackson Jung
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
Happy New Year!
Fresh Start. Fresh Food. Fresh Finds.
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY Alice Hinman, Frank Harmon, Arthur Gordon, Nina Szlosberg-Landis On November 10, the TriangleGreg Rowing who signed Hunter Faust, Kevin DeHimer, Cox Club celebrated Foodseven readyathletes for distribution with elite rowing programs and colleges around the country. This is a record number from a senior squad of about 30 young women. The Triangle Rowing Club is a competitive youth rowing team in Wake County comprised of men’s and women’s middle school and high school squads.
Top row: Christine Shaﬀer, Madison Haller, Chase Pate, Jane Atkeson, Katie Young, Will White. Bottom row: Caley Petersen, Emma James, Isabella Humbert
REMODELERS OUTSTANDING CONSTRUCTION AWARDS On November 5, the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties announced their 2020 Remodelers Outstanding Construction winners. The competition is open to all member projects completed within the past year in categories such as kitchen, bath, addition, outdoor living and whole house.
Guests at the Remodelers Outstanding Construction Awards
The Art & Soul of Raleigh
courtesy Overﬂowing Hands; courtesy Trianlge Rowing Club; courtesy Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties
OVERFLOWING HANDS & ROCKY TOP FOOD DISTRIBUTION At the start of the pandemic, Raleigh nonproﬁt Overﬂowing Hands enlisted Rocky Top Catering to help them feed hungry kids in Wake County. The two organizations worked with individual school principals and the Wake County School Board to distribute comfort food and produce. As of November 13, they’d delivered more than 550,000 meals and counting.
CO MIN G I N
MARCH 2021 CC Parker Visits the Beaufort Game Faire
Method, Past and Present Creative Writing with Belle Boggs waltermagazine.com
SINGAPORE FLING A Raleigh love story, from the far side of the globe
n 1980, Raleigh native John O’Neal surprised his Southern family when he decided to leave East Carolina University for a career in deep-sea diving. He got his commercial diving license in California, then bought a one-way ticket to Singapore — $200 to his name — to look for off-shore diving jobs. Three years later, Raleigh native Ann Norris got a call from her brother, asking if she wanted to move to Singapore with him and his wife to help them start an import-export business. “Sounds tropical, sure!” she replied. Norris was no stranger to adventure. “My mother would pack us all up and travel,” she recalls. “We took a road trip to Mexico when we were little, we had cousins in San Miguel, we even drove to Nova Scotia to spend a few weeks.” When she was a teen, they moved to Switzerland. In college, she studied French and sociology so she’d be able to study abroad. The O’Neal and Norris families had known each other for generations — both long-time members of Carolina Country Club, Milburnie Fishing Club and White Memorial Presbyterian Church — but the two had only met briefly. Norris spent much of her time horseback riding and O’Neal spent most of his on the water. And both had their eyes on the outside world. But nine months later, settled in Singapore and working, Norris called O’Neal, who by this point had been there for several years. He pulled up on his motorcycle, the biggest one on the island. She thought to herself: “He
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looks cuter than I remember!” “I was smitten,” she says. Thee next year would be one for thee books: motorcycling through the backroads of Southeast Asia, passing palm oil plantations and families of monkeys, exploring Jurong Bird Park and visiting villages in Malaysia. “Man, we had fun,” she says. “We loved learning about new cultures and he wasn’t afraid of anything.” They bought an old wooden boat they named The Singapore Fling, a twist on the popular cocktail and a reference to their fledgling romance. “That’s all we really thought it was going to be,” she says, “a fling.” They cruised up the eastern coast of Malaysia to Singapore. And when he surprised her in Bali on her 25th birthday after being off-shore for a diving job, “that’s when I knew,” she says. They married in 1989 at the White Memorial Presbyterian Church and set down roots in North Carolina. But the adventures didn’t stop. John O’Neal broke his collarbone the night before their wedding and the two were in the emergency room until four in the morning. At the tail end of their first backpacking trip around Europe, Ann O’Neal got sick as a dog — but sent her new husband out to explore vineyards in Burgundy without her, though he didn't speak an ounce of French. Settled in Raleigh, they’re still as carefree as ever, now with two grown
courtesy Ann O'Neal
by ADDIE LADNER R
children, Katie and Johnny (their biggest adventure to date, they say). The Singapore Fling has been replaced by The O’No out of Beaufort (the name is a combo of their surnames). They watch sunsets at Cape Lookout, visit the horses on Carrot Island and spend hours shelling. This will be their 36th Valentine’s Day together, and they’ll spend it much as they did in the Singapore days. “We just like to be on the water, that’s our happy place,” says Ann O’Neal. “Carving out your own adventures, however small, is so important.”
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