WALTER Magazine - July 2021

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JULY 2021

The Art & Soul of Raleigh








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Volume IX, Issue 10 JULY 2021




THEATER: History Reimagined A new vision for The Lost Colony


SIMPLE LIFE: Death of a Dragon A reminder of life’s impermanence


BOOKS: Flashlight Books Series and scary stories for summer


NOTED: A Charmed Life Intricate bracelets hold memories


EXPLORE: Take a Dip Five hikes with swimming spots


HISTORY: Leaves of Change Tea caddies with revolutionary ties


GIVERS: Cup of Love A warm ritual at The Women’s Center


MUSIC: Road Trip Playlist Tracks to drive to by N.C. artists



Editor’s Letter




Your Feedback




The Whirl


End Note

LOCALS: Maria Magic A beloved preschool teacher retires

On the cover: Wake County Speedway; photography by Bryan Regan


Joshua Steadman (LOST COLONY); courtesy North Carolina Museum of History (TEA CADDY)




On an Okra Flower by Paul Jones illustration by Preston Montague


Saving Chavis Neglected for decades, community efforts revived a historic park by Courtney Napier photography by Terrence Jones


82 10 | WALTER

Eye Candy Fresh and fun designs in blogger Erin Wheeler’s home by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Catherine Nguyen


The Need for Speed Scenes from the track at the Wake County Speedway by Ayn-Monique Klahre photography by Bryan Regan


Below Expectations Amber Share celebrates nature through her unique art by Addie Ladner photography by Eamon Queeney

Eamon Queeney (BOTTLE); Catherine Nguyen (ERIN WHEELER)



Raleigh Location 6616 Fleetwood Drive Appointment Only

Apex Location 123 North Salem Street 919.363.6990

Love Your CARPET


We had lots of fun this month! Our creative director, Laura, and I visited the Wake County Speedway, and WALTER staffers ffers past hd and present helped me celebrate my birthday.


5634 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC

Beauty, Artistry & Tradition FOR OVER 40 YEARS

nce we all got vaccinated, our little team of six started going back to the office. Not every day at first, just a couple days a week. I think that as much as we were craving a change of scenery, we also weren’t quite ready to give up the comforts of being at home. For me, that meant transitioning into wearing my ‘nice’ sneakers and jeans (the ones without holes in them) and giving up naps with my cat. On one of those early days back, my daughters had a virtual school day, so they swung by the office for lunch. That’s when they noticed the foosball table. It had turned up sometime during the pandemic, which coincided with a bunch of office moves at McClatchy (the parent company of The News & Observer, with whom we share a space). As far as I could tell, no one in our office had ever played it. But my girls wanted to. So my coworker Cristina and I split up into teams with my two girls and played several raucous rounds of foosball. Two reporters working nearby raised their eyebrows, but didn’t seem to mind (in fact, they challenged us to a game afterwards). The kids went home all jazzed up, and the tradition has continued. In fact, we grownups play almost every time we’re in the office lately.

Did I mention that I am actually really good at foosball? Our rounds of foosball have reminded me of the main reason to go to the office again, now that we can: I like my coworkers! They are FUN! And they’re getting better at foosball, every day. Much has been discussed about whether office culture will ever be the same, now that we’ve all learned to work remotely. There are debates about inperson meetings versus Zoom calls and the benefits of seeing butts in seats. But being back for the last few months has made it so clear to me that the biggest thing I’ve been missing this past year is the camaraderie of having a built-in daily hangout with like-minded folks. Who are not my family, or my cats. It seems that returning to work is coinciding with the onset of summer, a time when we’d normally be thinking about vacation. But here on Fayetteville Street, every day I see more people on the sidewalks and sitting outside for lunch. I’m grateful for it. And if you happen to be nearby, the WALTER team just may be up for a game of foosball.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor






JULY 2021



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COURTNEY NAPIER / W R I TE R Courtney Napier is a writer, journalist, gatherer, and anti-racism coach from Raleigh. She has written for national outlets like NewsOne and The Appeal, as well as regional and local publications such as Scalawag Magazine, The Carolinian, and INDY Week. She is also the founder of Black Oak Society, a collective of Black creatives in the greater Raleigh area. Their flagship publication, BOS Magazine, is a literary magazine focused on giving Black Raleigh her flowers now. “The very first BOS Magazine was based on Chavis Park. To be writing about it here for WALTER and celebrating the triumphant reopening with elders who have become friends is truly magical.”




P HOTO G R A P HE R Bryan Regan is a Raleigh-based photographer specializing in environmental, lifestyle, and portraits in his downtown studio. Regan learned his craft crisscrossing the country assisting other photographers back in the film days. He’s been working on a personal project of shooting small-town speedways and race tracks across North Carolina for the past 10 years. You can see more of his work on his website,

W R I TE R Katherine Snow Smith is a longtime journalist and Raleigh native. Over the years, she’s covered business, parenting, arts, and culture at The Daily Tar Heel, the Greenville (S.C.) News, the Charlotte Business Journal, and The Tampa Bay Times, and has written a book, Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker: Missteps & Lessons Learned. “I love storytelling, which is probably why I’m drawn to charm bracelets. Each charm symbolizes a moment and leads to a great conversation. I loved getting to know the collectors who shared their lives through their bracelets.”

P HOTOGR A PH ER Terrence Jones is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Raleigh. He launched his career in the New York’s Tri-State area as lead photographer and creative director for a regional magazine before switching to freelance photography for small businesses and national magazines. Jones’ clients have spanned corporations, ad agencies, and graphic design firms including Duke University and Agri-Waste Technology. When he’s not behind the camera, Jones enjoys mountain biking. “It was great fun meeting the women who devoted their lives to revitalizing Chavis Park and I’m happy that I can help them tell its story.”

Trey Earnest of Forged Visuals (NAPIER), courtesy contributor (SNOW SMITH), Bryan Regan (REGAN), Terrence Jones (JONES)


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Sig and Nancy Hutchinson take a selfie with their selfie in the May issue.


Fine Porcelains, Fun Furnishings, Vintage Barware, Unique Gifts

“Perfectly beautiful picture of a girl in love with a place in At the River. Brava, Riley! I know we will be reading more of your words in the future.” — Mamie Potter “Great story of a great North Carolina writer, Eddie Nickens.” — Warren Bingham “Love this story of the Hayes sisters!” — Ihrie Pou O’Bryant


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Alean Chavis, one of the Hayes sisters.



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for these upcoming author events V I RT U A L E V E N T



Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray The Personal Librarian Tuesday, July 6th 2pm

Leah Weiss All the Little Hopes Wednesday, August 4th 7pm

Gervais Hagerty In Polite Company Thursday, Sept 16th Time TBD Location TBD

The Personal Librarian tells the true story of Belle de Costa Greene. Hired by J.P. Morgan in 1905 as his personal librarian, and creator of the Morgan Library’s famous manuscript collection, she became one of the most powerful people in the art world, and one of history’s most prominent librarians. I N - P E R S O N S TO RY T I M E

Tribe of Daughters Queenie Wahine Little Surfer GIRL Tuesday, July 13th 3pm A Beautifully written and illustrated tale about a girl willing to face her fears and try again

A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, when the timeless troubles of growing up meet the murky shadows of World War II.

A captivating debut novel that looks inside the private lives of Charleston aristocracy, where a former debutante learns that sometimes good behavior leads to bad decisions


Chef Bailey Ruskins Cook. Heal. Go Vegan! Wednesday, Sept 8th Noon If you’ve already joined the vegan revolution or are just curious about adding vegan meals to your rotation, Chef Bai’s new Cookbook will guide readers to make easy, nutrientdense dishes while inviting purpose and intention into every meal.


Louise Marburg The Truth About Me October 7th Time TB Location TBD A Winner of the Independent Press Book Award for the short story, The Truth About Me was also shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her stories have appeared in such journals as Narrative, STORY, Carolina Quarterly, Ploughshares and elsewhere.


Heather Frese The Baddest Girl on the Planet Thursday, July 29th Noon Set on Hatteras Island, NC with a charming protagonist who happens to make mistakes at every turn, this is a perfect pick for book clubs and a strong addition to your beach read pile.

140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387 • 910.692.3211


OUR TOWN This month, turn up the heat at outdoor movies, live music, and food festivals — or stay cool indoors with silent films and art openings.

Courtesy UG Strategies



DURHAM SUMMER WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL July 1-4 | See website for times Calling all gastronomes! Spend four days eating and drinking your way through the Bull City at the Durham Summer Wine & Food festival, a cultural celebration of the area’s diverse cuisine offerings, great music, and craft beverage makers. One ticket gets you discounted meals at participating venues like The Honeysuckle at Lakewood, Durham

Food Hall, and Bull City Burgers and Brewery, plus access to live entertainment. “As the RDU restaurant and live-music venue communities begin to heal and come back from the pandemic, it’s a great opportunity to bring together folks to celebrate Independence Day weekend,” says Parag Bhandari of UG Strategies, the creative agency behind

Durham Summer. “We hope it will launch what will be a return of the Triangle’s culinary, music, small businesses, and independent arts.” In-person; day pass starting at $50; various locations;

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 21



All month | See website for times Cool off inside while enjoying free silent film screenings as a part of the Tribute to Silent Films program that celebrates people of color, women, and the rich history of motion pictures. The Black Sanderson Gallery inside North Carolina State University’s Gregg Museum will show 18 black-and-white films over the course of the summer, highlighting cinematic themes of the early 20th century such as the emergence of new art forms and the dawn of documentary film. The films range from a few minutes long to over an hour. Unlike today’s blockbusters that rely on animation, eye-popping 22 | WALTER

complement Patterson’s illustrations. In-person; free; 118 W Parrish Street, Durham;


colors, and catchy scores to transport the viewers — these silent films inspire a different kind of focus. In-person; free; 1903 Hillsborough Street; see website for showings;


All month | See website for times Horse and Buggy Press is hosting Hillsborough fine artist Ippy Patterson at its downtown studio space, PS118 Gallery, for an exhibit titled Looking Out / Looking In. Known for her detailed pen and ink work, the exhibit will feature drawings, prints, and books that showcase her botanical studies of form and color, fantasy explorations, gestural figure drawings, and studies of trees. Lisa Joyner of Fireside Farm will be selling mixed bouquets at the gallery to


July 10 | 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

July 3 - 4 | See website for times The 42nd Annual EnoFest in Durham is back for 2021, complete with food booths, environmental exhibits, live music, and artisan vendors. The Independence Day celebration supports the Eno River Association in their conservation efforts for the Eno River basin. Volunteers are also needed and receive free admission to the festivities. In-person; tickets from $18; West Point on the Eno - Durham City Park, 5101 N Roxboro Road, Durham;


July 4 | 5:30 p.m. Celebrate the birthday of the United States at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre with patriotic performances from the Cary Town Band and North Carolina Symphony, followed by a dazzling fireworks display over Symphony Lake. Doors open at 3:30 if you want to make an afternoon of it; there will be


Ahoy, matey! Bring the family out to Dorothea Dix Park for a starry-night showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Don your swarthiest pirate garb (best-dressed wins a prize!) to enjoy food trucks and the downtown Raleigh skyline as you sprawl out at the picturesque Flowers Field. Bring your own blanket or low lawn chairs and feel free to pack a picnic with a cooler full of your favorite beer, wine, and snacks. In-person; free but reservations required; Flowers Field, 2105 Umstead Drive, Raleigh;

Courtesy Gallery C (FARROW-SALVOS)

All month | See website for times “My women show their scars and wear them proudly — because after all, they make a good story, if nothing else,” says Elissa Farrow-Savos of her mixed-media sculptures. This month, Gallery C will host the Virginia artist for an exhibit of her pensive, mysterious figures in various forms made from clay, natural elements, and found objects. “There are common themes, such as physical, emotional, and spiritual burdens, connections lost and found, love and anger, dignity and strength,” says Farrow-Savos. “Meanwhile, they keep company with rusty chains, weathered wood, decaying bones, abandoned objects, and scraps of fabric — the debris of life, lived.” In-person; make an appointment or call ahead to visit; 540 N Blount Street;

concession stands and food trucks open for all your classic Fourth of July needs, from hot dogs and hamburgers to sweet treats like cotton candy and a variety of alcoholic beverages. Each table purchase comes with a parking pass and an order of Lumpy’s ice cream. In-person; free general admission, six- or four-seat tables available for purchase; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary;

Courtesy PineCone (TUTTLE); courtesy Raleigh Night Market (BRUNCH MOORE)


July 11 & 25 | 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. #BlackDollarNC and Queen Hustle Entertainment, two organizations committed to supporting Black businesses and promoting generational wealth, will host the Black Flea Market at Raleigh’s Union Station this month as a way to support local Black artisans and entrepreneurs. Shop from more than 30 vendors, including Woke Living Coffee, Natural Green Leo, The Shea Shack, Melanin Nation, and many others selling all manner of items like lotions, jewelry, edible gifts, handcrafted bags, and more. In-person; free admission; Raleigh Union Station, 510 W Martin Street;

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND July 23 | 7:30 p.m.

Dave Matthews Band will kick off its 2021 summer tour at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, marking their return to live music. The rock band is partnering with The Nature Conservancy in a pledge to plant a million trees throughout their tour, offering fans an option to donate an additional $2 with a ticket purchase to plant a tree of their own. After over a year without performances, Matthews is sure to have So Much to Say to fans in this long-awaited concert for a good cause.

others, found herself sheltering in place during the pandemic. To fill the time, she revisited favorite songs from nostalgic classics like The Rolling Stones’ She’s a Rainbow to new favorites such as Harry Styles’ Sunflower, Vol. 6, compiling them on her newest album, …but i’d rather be with you. At this in-person performance at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium’s Meymandi Concert Hall, she’ll perform tracks from this delightfully familiar record, along with other original tunes. In-person or virtual; from $42; 2 E South Street;



July 9 | 7:30 p.m. In 2017, acclaimed guitarist, banjo player, and songwriter Molly Tuttle was the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award. After performing around the world following the release of her debut album in 2019, Tuttle, like many

July 11 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Shop from over 60 local vendors while sampling food trucks, coffee, mimosas, and beer from Red White & Bubbly, then spread out on the sunny lawn of Moore Square for entertainment from Imagine Circus at Brunch Moore Square, an event hosted by Raleigh Night Market. Can’t make this one? They’re on the second Sunday of each month, and the Moore Square Farmer’s Market is ongoing on Sundays. “To me, there is no better way to spend a Sunday Funday than shopping local businesses outdoors with friends,” says Lauryn


In-person; tickets starting at $45; 3801 Rock Quarry Road; davematthewsband. com/tours

Stroud of Raleigh Night Market. “Stop by to sip and shop or bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic. Well-behaved pups are welcome!” In-person; free admission; Moore Square, 200 S Blount Street;


July 17 | See website for times Join one of Raleigh’s seven participating music shops, including Nice Price Books & Records, The Record Krate, and Sound Off Records & Hi-Fi for the second Record Store Day Drop of the year. The day, meant to support independent record stores, will feature releases of special vinyl and CDs, along with exclusive promotional products The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 23

including colorful new pressings of favorite albums by the likes of Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Aretha Franklin. What better time to join the record revival than with a limitededition item from a local, independent record store? In-person; free;

event is ideal for families with kids ages 5 to 11. In-person; $10 for members, $13 for nonmembers; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;

and a fish and chips basket with every ticket. Complete with music, a familyfriendly environment, and outdoor fun, it’s no surprise these tickets sell out fast. In-person, $10 for kids, from $25 for adults; 6404 Lake Wheeler Road;


July 17 | 10 a.m. Bring the whole family to the grounds of the North Carolina Museum of Art for their Sculpture Park-a-Palooza. As a group, you will work together to create large-scale, mixed-media temporary sculptures from found materials inspired by the art on public display and elsewhere. “Whether you’ve visited our park many times or are preparing for your first visit, this class will let you encounter our art collection from a new perspective,” says manager of family programs Courtney Klemens. This


July 17 | 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Come hungry to Lake Wheeler Park for the annual Southeast Crab Feast, supporting local fishermen and serving up fresh all-you-can-eat blue crabs,

July 21 | 6:30 p.m. Red Hat Amphitheater is back in action this summer with live concerts in a range of genres. Among the shows they’ve got on the docket is the group Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats with The Marcus King Band & Tre Burt. Liven up your Wednesday and make an evening of it: grab a bite beforehand from nearby Poole’side Pies to-go, A Place at The Table, or Capital City Club before an evening of Americana meets soul tunes. In-person; from $55; 500 South McDowell Street;

Presented by


Courtesy Southeast Crab Feast



HISTORY reimagined America’s oldest mystery gets a new look, life, and vision by GARY PEARCE photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN


drive that takes less than an hour from the Outer Banks can also take you back 434 years. Back to America’s beginnings. Back to the earliest English settlers. Back to America’s oldest mystery: what happened to the Lost Colony? You start the drive on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. You leave behind the beach-

es, the bars, the shops, the restaurants, the crowds, and the traffic. Cross over the causeway to Roanoke Island. Pass through the town of Manteo. Turn off the main road into the dark woods along the sound. Park and walk through the trees. It’s evening, nearly sunset. In the quiet, you hear only the wind and the water.

You’re standing where, in 1587, a band of English colonists abandoned a tenuous settlement they’d established less than a year before. They set off in search of a new home. And then… they disappeared. Today, you can sit in an open-air theater where, on summer nights since 1937, the colonists’ story and the mystery of their fate have been brought to life by The Lost The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 25

“The year off turned out to be a blessing. We had the time to reimagine the production, recharge our batteries, and refresh how we tell this story.” — Kevin Bradley Colony, America’s oldest outdoor symphonic drama. Last summer, the production was canceled for the first time since World War II due to the pandemic. This summer, The Lost Colony is back, with fresh energy, fresh casting, modern production techniques, an updated script, and a new musical score. Now, it offers another perspective at what might have happened when two cultures, English and Native American, came into contact and conflict. This will be the 84th summer that the drama is performed in Waterside Theatre, at the northern edge of Roanoke Island in Dare County. The theater is part of the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, which preserves the location of the Roanoke Colony. The colony was the first English settlement in the New World and 26 | WALTER

the birthplace of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America. The play itself is a historic dramatization. It began as a federally funded Depression-era project, when the theater was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Lost Colony was intended to be a one-year production. Then President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the show with a good deal of media fanfare on August 18, 1937, the 350th anniversary of Virginia Dare’s birth and a little more than a month after the July 4th premiere. After FDR’s visit, the crowds followed. The show was so popular that organizers decided to stage it every summer. They’ve been doing it continuously for 83 years, with the exception of a four-year cancellation forced by WWII. Last season’s cancellation in the pandemic was a financial blow to the

Roanoke Island Historical Association, which produces the drama. The yearround staff had to be greatly reduced. But having the break wasn’t all bad, according to Kevin Bradley, the association’s board chair. “The year off turned out to be a blessing,” says Bradley. “We had the time to reimagine the production, recharge our batteries and refresh how we tell this story.” The association also recruited a new director/choreographer: Jeff Whiting, whose Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway (six Tony Nominations), Big Fish, The Scottsboro Boys (12 Tony Nominations), Hair (Tony winner for Best Revival), and Wicked 5th Anniversary. The New York Times has called Whiting a “director with a joyous touch.” “My goal is to honor the history of what occurred here on Roanoke Island, and to honor the legacy of this important theatrical work,” says Whiting. “As the wind rolls off Roanoke Sound, it whispers the tale. I feel it’s my job as director to listen to that breeze and bring to life what happened here so

many years ago.” Whiting cut down the original, lengthy script, written by North Carolina playwright Paul Green, to allow the scenes and story to move faster and provide more time for storytelling. Whiting added new theatrical devices to support the narrative, including large-scale puppets, a military-style drum corps, and a new symphonic score. The show also now features traditional dances from both Native American and English historical cultures. But Paul Green’s imprint remains. Green was a Harnett County farm boy who became a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Green was the father of “symphonic drama.” He saw it as the people’s theater, a way of telling Americans about their past — including this story. Green had a deep concern about race relations. His vision of The Lost Colony reflects on what can happen when differ-

ent cultures and races come together. But in the past, the production didn’t always use Native American actors to portray the Native American roles. The Roanoke Island Historical Association sought to remedy that. The Historical Association reached out to Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and, with the tribe’s help, recruited Native American actors and dancers. Auditions were held in Robeson County, in the Lumbee tribal territories. “We are appreciative of the Historical Association’s desire for accurate and historical representation,” says Godwin, who now serves on the board of directors of the Roanoke Island Historical Association, as well. “With North Carolina’s American Indian population numbering more than 100,000, it enriches the production to see and hear their voices on stage.” Kaya Littleturtle, the Lumbee Tribe cultural enrichment coordinator agrees, adding that the new choreography, regalia, language accuracy, and orchestration help create “more of an authentic and

cultural American Indian perspective into the play.” But the real test is whether the new production will bring back audiences. “We want to give our audience an exceptional evening’s experience in an outdoor setting — an experience you can’t get many places,” says John Ancona, the play’s general manager. “We want to inspire interest in a part of history that remains a mystery today.” Ancona hopes that visitors will leave the theater intrigued by the story. Perhaps they’ll dip into the ongoing research and archeological exploration that still seeks clues about the Lost Colony. Where did they go? What happened to them? Did they drown at sea? Were they killed by Native Americans, or by Spanish raiders? Or did they quietly leave to go live with a friendly tribe? We don’t know. But we do know that the colonists dreamed of freedom. They dared a dangerous ocean voyage. They sought a new life in a new land. Take the drive back to their world. Walk where they walked. See and feel what they saw and felt. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 27

Far left: A scene from the play. Near left: Director Jeff Whiting.

Hear their story. Listen to the wind, the water, and the trees. Feel the mystery of the Lost Colony. The Lost Colony will be performed through August 21. For more information, visit Gary Pearce is a member of the board of directors of the Roanoke Island Historical Association. He and his wife, Gwyn, divide their time between Raleigh and Nags Head.

Plan an event without the phrase, “you cut out there for a second.” And we’re just the team And we’re just to help make it happen. the team to help

pull them off. And we’re just the team to help pull them off.

Virtual events certainly aren’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean we’re not excited to start enjoying more in-person again. So, if you’re ready to push beyond the screen to create an experience that brings together everything we’ve been missing about going to events, let us know. Whether it’s a conference, gala, award show or employee event, Attended is here to make it a reality.


FLASHLIGHT BOOKS Summer nights are perfect for reading under the covers — or under the stars. Keep your child or grandchild turning pages with these series and scary stories. by THE STAFF AT QUAIL RIDGE BOOKS TRISTAN STRONG NOVELS by Kwame Mbalia This fantastical (and fantastic) series by Raleigh’s Mbalia features seventh grader Tristan fighting alongside African American folk heroes and West African gods. (Ages 8-12)

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THE CARL SERIES by Alexandra Day For kids who can’t read yet, Day’s beautiful images feed the imagination of young ones as they accompany Carl and the baby on fun adventures. (Ages 4-7) ...AND SOME SCARY STORIES TO READ AROUND THE CAMPFIRE!

THE BAD GUYS by Aaron Blabey Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are always on a do-good mission — but things rarely go as planned! Your kids will be asking for the next book as soon as they turn the last page of the previous one. (Ages 7-10) NARWHAL AND JELLY BOOKS by Ben Clanton These books feature Narwhal and Jelly, a great duo whose adventures will have your early reader laughing out loud. They are also a wonderful introduction to graphic novels. (Ages 6-9) JADA JONES SERIES by Kelly Starling Lyons Written by award-winning North Caroli26 WALTER na |author Kelly Starling Lyons, Jada Jones

is a spunky science-loving heroine who finds herself in tricky situations with friends and at school. It’s a great pick for new chapter book readers. (Ages 6-8) A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS BOOKS by Lemony Snicket These classic books are about the adventures and misadventures of Baudelaire children Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. This series is full of thrills and, well, lots of misfortune. (Ages 8-12) THE SERAFINA SERIES by Robert Beatty Children and adults alike love NC writer Robert Beatty’s Serafina. These eerily suspenseful stories take place at the Biltmore estate in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Asheville and feature the 12-year-old rat catcher Serafina. (Ages 8-12)

BENEATH THE BED AND OTHER SCARY STORIES by Max Brallier Keep that flashlight handy after your child hears the tales in this scary (but not too scary!) book suitable for early readers. (Ages 5-7) SCARY STORIES FOR YOUNG FOXES by Christian McKay Heidicker Gorgeously illustrated by Junyi Wu, this book was selected as a 2020 Newbery Honor Book, which recognizes distinguished literature for young readers. (Ages 9-12) ROALD DAHL’S BOOK OF GHOST STORIES For older kids, this great anthology, which includes well-known writers like Edith Wharton and A. M. Burrage, is sure to bring on tingling scalps and shivery spines. (Ages 12-18)

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 29

Joe Pellegrino (ENO RIVER)


Eno River

TAKE A DIP The heat is rising! Here are five hikes near the Triangle that offer a chance to cool off in the water by JOE MILLER


panish explorer Ponce de León gets a bum rap for pursuing the fountain of youth. Sure, his primary focus was similar to that of fellow explorers — conquest and finding cities of gold. But his obsession with eternal youth had his peers (and parents, no doubt) questioning his commitment. Little did they know that Ponce was on 30 | WALTER

to something. The fountain of youth does exist. In fact, you can find them all over. You just have to know where to look. Water is the elixir of youth. Think about it: when did you ever feel younger than when you were frolicking, weightless, on — and especially beneath — the water? The neighborhood pool was great; that forbidden spot on the local lake or the river that ran outside of town was

even better. Fortunately, you needn’t board a barquentine bound for Bimini to find a watery return to your youth. In the Triangle, there’s a pretty good chance you can find one in less than an hour’s drive — we’re surprisingly close to waterfalls, swimming holes, and sandy shores. Here are five of our favorite lesser-known spots to get into the water.


Avents Creek

SENNETT’S HOLE, ENO RIVER West Point on the Eno City Park, Durham It’s a hot August day, the temperature’s in the 90s. Relief seems weeks away. But then you ease into Sennett’s Hole, a rock-rimmed pool on the Eno River, and pierce the thermocline — that magical submersion point where summer abruptly gives way to winter — and the unthinkable happens: goosebumps. That’s not the only “magic” associated with this swimming spot. Legend has it that “General Sennett,” whose actual name was Michael Synott, had a mill near the hole back in the 1700s. It’s said he drowned trying to escape the devil, taking his silver and gold with him. The booty was never recovered, and is believed to still exist at the bottom of this bottomless (it’s maybe 10 feet deep) pool. You reach the pool after a hike that’s a little over a mile. And while the water itself is refreshing, what makes it especially ideal are the rocks around it, perfect for drying off after a dip. Swim, sun, repeat.

5101 North Roxboro Street, Durham. Park near the mill, cross the pedestrian bridge over the Eno and hike a mile upstream on the Eagle Trail/Mountainsto-Sea Trail. Hours: 8 a.m. to dusk More information: Sennett's Hole

JUMPING FISH FALLS, AVENTS CREEK Raven Rock State Park: Avents Creek Access, Fuquay-Varina If you’re familiar with Raven Rock State Park, it’s likely you’ve been to the portion of the park on the south side of the Cape Fear River. That’s where you’ll find the hiking trails, the mountain bike trails, the park’s 150foot namesake bluff, and the Visitor Center — the features that draw the vast majority of Raven Rock’s quarter million annual visitors. But on the north side of the river is the somewhat obscure Avents Creek Access. It includes a pair of 4-mile loop trails geared to equestrians, but open to hikers. That’s a good thing, because the West Loop offers access to the best cascade in the Triangle, Jumping Fish Falls. Hike the trail counterclockwise from the trailhead: you’ll hit Jumping Fish Falls about 3 miles in, making it an especially welcome respite as you loll about in the various small pools formed as Avents Creek courses over a series of rocky ledges. 1590 River Road, Fuquay-Varina. Park in the parking lot facing River Road, the Avents Creek Access will be on the left side. Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (June through August) More information: raven-rock-state-park BARTON’S CREEK BEACH, FALLS LAKE Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest A quarter mile from a busy boat ramp might be the last place you’d expect to find solitude on the water. But on a body of water with as many nooks and crannies as Falls Lake, such discoveries shouldn’t be surprising. From the upper lot (the gravel one) at the Barton Creek Boat Ramp, pick up the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (Day-hike Section G along Falls Lake) headed west, through a young cedar forest, beneath hardwoods, across a power line clearcut. After 10 minutes or so, cross a small creek on an innovative footbridge, then keep an eye out on The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 31

PARKERS CREEK RECREATION AREA Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, Chapel Hill Love the idea of losing yourself in a natural body of water — provided it’s not too natural? That’s why we have beaches at our State Recreation Areas, four at Falls Lake, four at Jordan Lake. One of our favorites is the beach at the Parkers Creek area of Jordan Lake. It’s got the standard features of a State Recreation Area swimming area: an expansive sandy beach, picnic shelters, bathhouse (with restrooms), and a roped swim area to contain the kids. The advantage here is that it’s on an isolated stretch of the lake, away from motor boat traffic. The amenities make this about as comfortable as your neighborhood pool, with the allure of a natural body of water. It’s also big enough that if you’re a swimmer, you can do laps along the buoys marking the swim area. That’s an especially good option if you’re training for a triathlon in a natural body of water and need to get used to swimming a straight line — minus lines on the bottom of the pool — on your own. Parkers Creek Beach Road, Chapel Hill Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (May through August) More information: 32 | WALTER

Hanging Rock Lake

HANGING ROCK LAKE Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury OK, it’s not in the Triangle (it’s within two hours of much of our area). But it is the closest you’ll get to experiencing a mountain lake. This 12-acre lake, formed by a dam on Cascade Creek, offers deep green waters that are cool on the surface, and cold a little farther down. Especially if you take advantage of the diving platform, it’s the kind of bracing escape from the heat of the summer that you’d expect to have to drive twice as far to find. Adding to the alpine experience are the park’s surrounding peaks, including Moore’s Wall, Wolf Rock, House Rock, and Cook’s Wall. A bathhouse offers a touch of civility and convenience (including a snack bar), the sand

beach, a place to warm and soak up the sun between dips. It’s especially rewarding after exploring those surrounding peaks. Less experienced hikers might like the 1.7-mile Wolf Rock Trail, avid hikers the more challenging 4.7-mile Moore’s Wall Loop. Incorporate waterfalls into your visit with short hikes on the Upper Cascades Trail and Indian Creek Trail, both of which begin from the Visitor Center. 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays More information:


your right for a side trail down to the lake. Within 30 yards you’ll emerge at an intimate beach accessing a cove too small to accommodate the motorboat crowd. It’ll likely be just you on this spit of sand, which gradually descends into the lake; cool just your feet if you want, wade in a bit further for full immersion. The only sense you’ll have of Falls Lake’s boaters is the occasional fading wake wafting in from the main channel. 1290 Six Forks Road, Wake Forest Hours: Dawn to dusk More information: mountainstoseatrail. org, click on “Trail Segments”


LEAVES of CHANGE Two diminutive porcelain artifacts spill the tea about North Carolina’s revolutionary roots by HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER photography by S.P. MURRAY


hese days, we’re all about coffee. But three centuries ago, it was tea. A staple of the colonists’ trade with England, tea anchored social gatherings and served as a sign of refinement, particularly among those who delighted in its lavish accessories, from hand-decorated teapots to Chinese-export cups and saucers. But

two porcelain caddies — embellished vessels used to store leaves — on display at the North Carolina Museum of History represent a lot more than just the tea culture of their time. It all started with a wealthy Edentonian named Penelope Barker. Her third husband had sailed to England in 1761 and was unable to return for 17 years due to the British blockade of American

ships. While she was in charge of their estate, the drive toward independence was growing in the colonies. Patriot leaders encouraged women — the main consumers of retail goods — to boycott British imports. Barker took it to heart, making the rounds of Edenton, garnering support from local women for a boycott of British teas and textiles. On the afternoon of October 25, 1774, The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 33

Left to right: The North Carolina Museum of History’s The Story of North Carolina exhibit; tea caddies on display.

51 women in Edenton gathered to sign a resolution: they were fed up with foreign rule. Their document, printed in the colonies and sent to England, stated that they would “not promote ye wear of any manufacturer from England, until such time that all Acts which tend to enslave our Native Country shall be repealed.” They even signed their real names in this bold protest, which later became known as the Edenton Tea Party. It was the first significant political movement in this country staged by women. And whether or not tea was actually present at the signing of the resolution, Penelope Barker likely had one of her last sips of pre-Revolution tea brewed from leaves stored in one of the caddies now on display at the museum. The history museum’s largest exhibit, The Story of


North Carolina, traces 14,000 years of our state’s history through all sorts of media, dioramas, interactive features, and artifacts. Beginning with American Indian life and moving through European settlement, museum visitors reach the story of the American Revolution. There, behind the glass, sit three relics from the Edenton Tea Party. The first is a large punch bowl, dating back to the 1760s, that was owned by Winifred Hoskins, secretary of the Edenton Tea Party. The second two are tea caddies, one of which may have been owned by Penelope Barker, and another that belonged to Lydia Bonner and Mary Bonner Blount, mother-daughter signers of the resolution. Well-preserved pieces from the 18th century do not pop up every day, so artifacts like these, donated by descendants of original owners, are exceptional finds. The caddies were used to store tea

leaves — an exceedingly expensive indulgence, and they look the part. Decorated in underglaze blue, with overglaze enamels, the Bonner caddy was likely made in China, with a handpainted blue design in the vein of a ginger jar. Hot water would have been brought up from the kitchen to make the tea, and caddies like these would have resided in living rooms, witnesses to the important business of patriot women. When British tea was off the table, colonists made their own, using mulberry leaves, lavender, and other local herbs. The petition of the Edenton Tea Party, while applauded in the colonial press, was the object of mockery across the pond. In the NCMH hangs a rendering of a cartoon published in the London press, depicting the women of the Edenton Tea Party with masculine faces and loose morals. “It’s a great piece of political satire,” says chief curator RaeLana Poteat. “It really lets you know what men of that time thought about women taking this sort of action.” Barker was progressive, outspoken,


Pigfish Lane Antiques & Interiors and brave. She famously earned the respect of British soldiers in later years when she used her husband’s sword to slash the reins out of the hands of a soldier attempting to steal her horses. It’s no wonder that she’s the same woman who assembled fifty others to her cause; as she wrote, “We cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears nearly to affect the peace and happiness of our country…” While Barker is the most talkedabout member of the group, all 50 women who signed the petition were equally important, and had as much to lose, says Annette Wright, a volunteer at the Penelope Barker House Welcome Center in Edenton. “There were wives of merchants and tavern owners, the daughter of a governor, the mother of an English Baronet,” says Wright. “The youngest woman to sign was 16 and the oldest was a grandmother.” As NCMH visitors continue through The Story of North Carolina, the legacy of the women of the Edenton Tea Party paves the way for other firsts for women in our state: one hundred years later comes Mary Jane Patterson, a free Black woman from Raleigh who became the first African American woman in the United States to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. Another hundred years after that comes Susie Sharp, North Carolina’s first female Superior Court Judge. The timeline of intrepid women in our state’s history marches on. Barker and her comrades won’t soon be forgotten, thanks to the meticulous preservation of relics that help us understand and relate to the past. Edentonians, with proud teacups on their town license plates, certainly aren’t forgetting. “The legacy of the Tea Party is alive and well in Edenton,” says Chris Bean, who has held supervisory responsibility over the Penelope Barker House. “But the real legacy is the pride that everyone feels in the bold political action of these women, so far beyond imagination in their time.”

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Hampton Farms in-shell peanuts are the perfect high protein pick-me-up for all of life's adventures. Before you hit the road this summer, hit the produce section of your local grocery store to find our tasty Unsalted, Salted and Cajun varieties.

GIVERS The Women’s Center barista Katie Koon with a guest

CUP of LOVE Serving up sunny mornings in downtown Raleigh with a weekly ritual at The Women’s Center by CC PARKER photography by TYLER CUNNINGHAM


proned and smiling, barista Katie Koon takes coffee orders. Cream and sugar? A dollop of Reddiwip? Make it a mocha? She knows most guests by name, and as Koon serves up the coffees, she checks in with their lives: How’s the week going? The kids? The job search? Her customers settle into their favorite tables and begin catching up with friends. But Koon is not your typical barista, 36 | WALTER

and this is not your typical coffee shop. It’s a special Thursday morning tradition at The Women’s Center downtown. Located just behind the train station on West Street, the WC serves as a day shelter for women living on Raleigh’s streets — a place to shower, pick up supplies, and receive services such as job counseling and medical care. “The Women’s Center provides a warm, safe environment to help women get back on their feet and find hope for a new

life,” says Koon. Along with her friend Betty Nelson, Koon helms the full-service coffee bar, with breakfast served to order, every Thursday. This coffee service has been happening at the WC for four years, says Koon. The idea evolved out of a weekly Bible study luncheon that was held at the nearby Alexander YMCA on Hillsborough Street. That study drew a regular crowd of displaced women, and friendships between the volunteers

Left to right: Koon fixes coffee. Sharing warmth.

and the guests formed. In time, the leaders realized that they offered their guests plenty of food, but not enough time to catch up. Koon and Nelson were looking for a regular time and place to meet up and visit with these friends. The “coffee talk” idea evolved into creating an opportunity for that desired extra time with these friends, and The Women’s Center was the perfect venue. Caring for Raleigh’s homeless women is not a new idea, Koon emphasizes. It’s been happening under the dynamic leadership of many Raleigh women, including Reggie Edwards at the Encouraging Place, a non-profit ministry which has served women and families through camps and community development for over a decade. My introduction to the weekly coffee was through Nelson, a dear friend of mine. She’d been talking about these ladies for years. And a few months ago, when I asked about being part of the fun, she said they could always use an extra set of hands — and would I be willing to bring a dozen hard-boiled eggs? Eggs in hand, I arrived at the WC on

a brisk February morning. Breakfast was already laid out on the glowing pine dining table: cut fruit, granolayogurt parfaits, orange juice. I added my eggs to the spread. I was handed pencil and paper and instructed to take each guest’s breakfast order. New to the scene, it seemed the crowd was reluctant to place breakfast orders with me — until Nelson swooped in bearing platters of Chick-nminis. With their favorite item on the menu, soon everyone was ready to order. After an hour or so, breakfast had been served, and the guests eased into conversation, with volunteers joining at various tables to chat. We discussed the erratic Raleigh weather, children, and chores for the day. One woman

said she hates doing laundry — and we all agreed. We talked vaccinations and where one could go to get them. Two friends chatted about the best bus route to get to another venue for dinner. Just as the postmeal lull set in, the disco music started. Koon, still aproned, had shifted from barista to DJ, asking for song requests. One table asked for Luther Vandross, another wanted Gloria Gaynor, and a request for Pharrell’s Happy came from the corner. Some guests popped to their feet to dance. Koon called out “hellos” to late arrival guests while she swayed to the tunes. Actually, we all swayed to the tunes. We couldn’t help ourselves — we were all in the same moment. As the dance party wound down, we

Katie Koon is not your typical barista, and this is not your typical coffee shop. It’s a special Thursday morning tradition at The Women’s Center downtown.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 37

started to clear tables. A beloved latecomer arrived to much fanfare as we were packing away the buffet — she’d just finished her shift at a new job, and was stopping by for a quick bite and visit with her friends. Big hugs all around; she told us her workday was terrific, and she loved her new gig. I asked Koon how folks could best support their work, and she said that while they welcome monetary donations, they always prefer a smiling face to join them for coffee talk. She reiterated something she’d said earlier in the morning: spending time on coffee Thursdays is as much for the volunteers as it is for the guests. And then it was over; Koon and Nelson packed away the food and coffee. Everyone slowly exited, hugging and waving their way out of the building, happy to know they had their next coffee date on the calendar. Sharing conversation over coffee.

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ROAD TRIP playlist Roll down the windows and turn up the volume: these Carolina tunes will keep you cruising by DAVID MENCONI


oad trip season is upon us, which calls for some music to keep the momentum going. Whether you’re twisting along the Blue Ridge Parkway or cruising the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, when you hit the road for points beyond, bring along tunes made by artists from the Old North State. Here is the ultimate North Carolina road trip playlist.

CHUCK BERRY “PROMISED LAND” (1964) We begin with this classic from the great classic-rock elder Chuck Berry. Promised Land tells the story of a coastto-coast journey with a roll call of cities along the way, including both Raleigh and Charlotte. 6 STRING DRAG “GASOLINE MAYBELLINE” (1997)

One of the best bands from Raleigh’s mid-1990s alternative-country boom, 6 String Drag was a powerhouse with oldschool country harmonies and a soulful horn section. Nothing pile-drives like Gasoline Maybelline. BLUES MAGOOS “TOBACCO ROAD” (1966) Durham native John D. Loudermilk wrote a lot of great songs, none greater The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 39

DON DIXON “PRAYING MANTIS” (1987) After you’ve been driving a while and the caffeine starts to wear off, here’s a great sing-along pick-me-up. Praying Mantis dates back to the early 1980s and Dixon’s long-running band Arrogance. After Arrogance broke up, he had a solo hit with it.

Scan this barcode using the Spotify app to listen to WALTER’s Road Trip Playlist.

than this oft-covered garage-rock classic. New York’s Blues Magoos cut the definitive version of Tobacco Road, which you’ll find on the 1972 protopunk compilation Nuggets. SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS “PUT A LID ON IT” (1996) Hell, the big hit for the latter-day Chapel Hill hot-jazz band, could also go here as a good song for picking up the pace (or even speeding). But Put a Lid on It, featuring singer Katharine Whalen at her sassiest, is better for cruising. BLACK SHEEP “THE CHOICE IS YOURS” (1991) From Sanford, North Carolina, the hiphop duo of William “Mr. Long” McLean and Andres “Dres” Titus would like you to know: You can get with this / Or you can get with that.

Surf’s Up! Fish On! The New Hobie Lynx Raleigh • Chapel Hill

ETTA BAKER “ONE-DIME BLUES” (1991) Baker was one of the great legends of Piedmont blues guitar. That especially goes for her signature instrumental One-Dime Blues, which rolls on down the highway. If you can play it yourself and keep up, you’re “one-diming it.”

THE “5” ROYALES “THINK” (1957) Covered by James Brown and Mick Jagger, Think was one of the most enduring songs that the legendary WinstonSalem R&B band The “5” Royales left behind. It’s also a perfect cruising song — but keep your hands on the wheel, no air-guitar allowed. SYLVAN ESSO “SONG” (2017) Durham’s Sylvan Esso, made up of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, makes folksy electronic music with a warm, beating heart. This one is a great song for the wide-open highway. THE CONNELLS “STONE COLD YESTERDAY” (1990) Although they’re best known for the moody 1993 ballad ’74-’75, Raleigh’s Connells can pick up the tempo, too. This song’s call-to-arms guitar riff really should have been all over the radio. FANTASIA “SUMMERTIME” (2004) The High Point native and season-three American Idol winner has never been better than on her sultry performance of the George Gershwin classic. Perfect for long cruises. SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS “VOODOO CADILLAC” (1995) Once you’re close enough to your destination to exit the highway, here’s one to ease off the throttle, by Chapel Hill’s long-running garage-rock band. I got eight slappin’ pistons right here under my hood / Let’s ride.


MARIA MAGIC A beloved prekindergarten teacher retires after three decades by ADDIE LADNER photography by BOB KARP


ucked into the lower level of Cathedral School is their prekindergarten classroom, a cinderblockwalled space lined with posters and weather wheels, nursery rhymes, alphabet charts, and an impressive amount of craft projects hewn by a gaggle of four-year-olds. For the last 30 years, Maria Yeager has greeted her students here with grace and gusto, a friendly, reassuring presence for generations of children at the downtown Catholic school. In June, Yeager taught her last class, alongside her co-teacher of 18 years, Lou Ann Amato. Yet, the curriculum she developed

and the impression she has left on hundreds of children will leave a mark forever. Four- and 5-year-olds can be tumultuous to teach, with their strong opinions, newfound independence, and big emotions. But Yeager sees these as the glory days, full of opportunity. “They want to learn. They want to please you,” she says. Among those is my middle child, Charlotte, who defines the phrase “fiery redhead.” At home, she can be incredibly emotional and spirited — but when Yeager speaks, she calms with respect and attentiveness. I’ll never forget our confusion at her first report home: in a column of expectations for school, like I The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 41

can follow instructions and I share, she’d gotten nearly-perfect marks. “Do they have the right kid?” I asked my husband. For Yeager, this is par for the course: the kids are sponges, ripe with potential, and always up for a challenge. “They can rise to the occasion,” she says. Yeager was born in the Philippines, where she and her family lived until she was eight, before they moved to Pennsylvania. Yeager describes her younger self as a timid girl, attached to her mother. When she was in kindergarten, her mom would have to sit with her at the start of class to alleviate her separation anxiety. “My kindergarten teacher was so sweet and kind and helped me a lot. I empathize with kids who have difficulty separating from their parents and those who are quiet and shy,” she says. For Yeager, teaching is about getting to know each of the kids in her class on a personal level. “That’s really what I aim for.” The plan was to retire four years ago. “My husband and I had a deal for a while that when our son finished college, I’d retire,” says Yeager. “But I stayed on for four more years! I love it.” Yeager credits many things to the longevity of her teaching career — one that involves lots of noise, juggling, and children — but among them is the fact that she and her husband never discuss work. “We come home, we walk the dog. We like to exercise,” she says. Yeager, upper left, and Lou Ann Amato with their students on the Cathedral School playground. One of five sisters, and the daughter of a doctor; Yeager initially planned on being a nurse. But going through clinicals Yeager’s methods have changed with the times. “I remember made her realize it wasn’t for her. She when our principal was really pushing technology, I was like, changed her major mid-way through college to lower elemengosh I don’t know if I want this,” she says, “but when the Smarttary education. board came in our classroom, the kids embraced it.” Today, those “I remember being so worried to tell my dad, but he was innovations are just a natural part of the job. “Kids know so fine!” she says. After graduation, she followed her soon-tomuch,” she says, laughing. “They’ll pretend to take a selfie on toy be husband to Raleigh, where he had a job offer. She started phones and know how to swipe credit cards. It’s funny.” Though working at Aldert Root Elementary as a classroom assistant, even with new technology, the age-old core — learning the then was offered the job of pre-K instructor at Cathedral alphabet, counting, and shapes — dominates the curriculum. School in 1991. Last year, Yeager taught through a pandemic. Cathedral was Over the decades, Yeager has supported young children one of the few schools that went in-person in fall 2020. Virtual through all manner of life events: illness, divorce, loss. Somelearning was an option for grades kindergarten through eighth, times she has shared her own heartbreak; last year she lost her but not pre-K — so Yeager had a class full of students. sister to a brain aneurysm. “I talked about it a lot to my stu“There’s no way we could have done virtual learning at this dents, about how special she was to me, why I was gone for a age,” she says. She taught her 4-year-olds to social distance few days, and that grown-ups can feel sad too,” she says. 42 | WALTER

and mask up all day — not easy for kids this young, but for a teacher known for her delicate balance of gentle instruction and quiet authority, it stuck. One Cathedral parent appreciated Yeager’s knack for easing her son’s fears of going to school. “My youngest had a hard time transitioning to new things. She made him feel welcome and loved each day.” For her older daughter, who also had Yeager for pre-K, it was about expanding her horizons. “What Mrs. Yeager taught her was that diversity matters and that every child is different. I could tell my daughter grew in a different manner that year, not just academically.” “I always marveled at how these young students would come in and need to get adjusted on the first few days of school. But by the end of the first week, they would all be lining up, saying please and thank you, and pushing in their chairs,” says Donna Moss, who was the school principal for 19 years. “I used to say she was the best-kept secret in Raleigh, down in the basement at Cathedral — every day she would show up with her special brand of ‘Maria Magic.’”

“I used to say she was the bestkept secret in Raleigh, down in the basement at Cathedral — every day she would show up with her special brand of ‘Maria Magic.’” — Donna Moss In normal years, Yeager could be seen parading her troupe downtown like a mama duck and her ducklings, on field trips to the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center or the Raleigh Central Fire Station, where watching a firefighter slide down the pole always impressed. This year, there weren’t any field trips — but students got to experience other parts of the world by way of parent presentations and craft projects. They learned about constellations, they journaled, they made counting charts from found objects. Beyond their letters and numbers, the kids learned about the food groups, human anatomy, and historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges. And, within a full day of playing and learning, they all rested for part of the afternoon. (Well, usually.) It’s different every year, says Yeager, but kids are kids: “They are loving, they want to be heard. You can mold them.” Especially this year, she found herself telling them, “This is something you can do. I will never give you anything you can’t do.” And as her students move on to kindergarten and beyond, Yeager’s grateful she could prepare them for the next step. But to her: “I will always remember the kids as they were in pre-K, they’re etched in my memory.”


Death of a Green Dragon A gardener’s bittersweet reminder of life’s impermanence


ast month, I returned from my first trip since the start of the pandemic to discover a baffling mystery at home. The leaves of a beautiful Green Dragon Japanese maple I’d raised from a mere seedling appeared to suddenly be dying. Arching gracefully over the side of the driveway, the rare seven-foot beauty was the star of my garden. It had never been more vibrant than the day I departed for a week out West, lush and green with lots of bright spring growth. But suddenly, inexplicably, those delicate new leaves were limp and withering. A friend who knows his ornamental trees pointed out that a freakish, late-season cold snap might be the culprit. The leaves of nearby hydrangea bushes were also severely burned, but were already showing signs of recovery. “I think you should simply leave it alone. Give the tree water and maybe a little spring fertilizer and let things take their course,” he said. “Nature has a way of healing her own.” His theory seemed plausible. I’ve built and maintained enough gardens in my time to know that nature always holds the upper hand. Sometimes unlikely resurrections happen when you least expect them. So I waited and watered, trying to push the thought of losing my spectacular Green Dragon out of my mind. Perhaps by some miracle it would come back to life. As I went about other tasks in the garden — mulching and weeding perennial beds, transplanting ostrich and woodland ferns to my new shade garden — I thought about how the sudden death of a spring pig elicited both intense grief and something of a personal epiphany for writer E. B. White, inspiring one of his most affecting essays in 1948. Following a struggle of several days to heal his mysteriously


ailing young pig — such an ordeal blurs the passage of time, the author expressed — White, accompanied by his morbidly curious dachshund, Fred, walked out one evening to check on the patient, hoping for the best. Of this, he wrote: “When I went down, before going to bed, he lay stretched in the yard a few feet from the door. I knelt, saw that he was dead, and left him there: his face had a mild look, expressive neither of deep peace nor of deep suffering, although I think he had suffered a good deal.” The young pig was buried near White’s favorite spot in the apple orchard, leaving his owner surprised by the potency of his own grief. “The loss we felt was not the loss of ham but the loss of pig,” White recounts. “He had evidently become precious to me, not that he represented a distant nourishment in a hungry time, but that he had suffered in a suffering world.” Life, of course, is full of unexpected compensations. It’s possible that the grief White suffered with the loss of his pig was the literary world’s gain. Four years later, the author crafted a tale of a barn spider that saves a charming young pig, Wilbur, from slaughter by crafting upbeat messages in her web. It became an instant American classic, and Charlotte’s Web continues to rank among the most beloved children’s books of all time. I don’t know if a failed effort to save a spring pig bought “in blossom time” is anything like trying to save a young Japanese maple I’d raised from a seedling, but the sadness of its sudden loss combined with a palpable sense that I’d somehow failed my tree followed me around like Fred the dachshund for weeks, a reminder of life’s mystery and bittersweet impermanence. It didn’t help matters, I suppose, that I couldn’t even bring myself to dig up the deceased tree and cart it out to the curb for the weekly refuse crew. At this writing, as lush summer green explodes all around, the beloved tree stands like a monument to my botanical

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incompetence or simple bad luck. The autopsy is incomplete. The verdict is still pending. Gardeners and farmers, of course, experience dramas of life and death — and sometimes unexpected rebirth — on a daily basis. Pests and disease are constant threats that interrupt the cycle of life at any moment with little or no advance notice. Too much rain or not enough, violent winds, summer hailstorms, and unwelcome diners in the garden are simply part of the process of helping living things grow. My longtime friend and former Southern Pines neighbor Max Morrison, who is justly known for his spectacular camellias and probably the most abundant vegetable garden in the Carolina Sandhills, solved his deer and rabbit problem decades ago by transforming his edible landscape into something resembling a Soviet Gulag, with ten-foot wire fences and electric monitoring systems. On one of the first evenings I dined with Max and his wife, Myrtis, a gifted Southern cook, I noticed a large jar of Taster’s Choice instant coffee going round on the lazy Suzan. Attached to it with rubber bands was an index card covered with tiny dates written in pencil. “What’s this?” I asked, picking it up. Myrtis laughed. “Oh, that’s Max’s record of all the squirrels he’s dispatched with his pellet rifle over the years to keep them out of his garden.” The death count went back decades. Among other surprises, this cool, wet spring brought a noticeable uptick in the squirrel and chipmunk populations around the neighborhood, which made me briefly consider picking up an air rifle of my own. For the moment at least, our young female Staffordshire Bull Terrier has taken matters into her own paws, nimbly standing guard over the back garden from atop a brick terrace wall, ready to leap into action at the sight of a furry invader. Our in-town neighborhood is also home to a sizable community of rabbits that appear at dawn and dusk to feed in the front yards along the block. The dogs pay little or no attention to them. For the most part, ours seems to be a remarkably peaceful kingdom with no need to resort to sterner measures of defense. At the end of the day, this may be my form of post-pandemic compensation. My garden has actually never looked better, save for the untimely passing of a lovely Green Dragon. This morning, after I set down a few closing words, I’ve made up my mind to go out and do what I should have done weeks ago: dig up my dead maple and send it on to the town mulch pile. At least its remains may eventually enrich someone else’s garden. In its place, I’ll plant a border of peonies that will fill in nicely in a year or two. I shall miss that lovely Green Dragon, though. Jim Dodson is a New York Times bestselling author of Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey of A Lifetime. He lives in Greensboro.








Passed down through generations, these intricate bracelets carry meaning in their baubles

A Charmed Life by KATHERINE SNOW SMITH photography by BRYAN REGAN


ong before life’s momentous events were posted on Instagram — or even foisted upon unsuspecting dinner guests via Kodak slide carousels — they were embedded in charm bracelets. A history of sorts, dangling from a wrist, that makes for a beautiful entry point for sharing special stories. Little gold booties with blue enamel on the toes represent a newborn boy; a tiny gold album spinning on a miniature record player marks a Sweet 16. Charm bracelets were in their heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, and while most charms at the time weren’t custom, they were still handmade, and production was limited. Many charms from this era have intricate moving pieces, like a lever that moves Parisian can-can dancers’ legs, or keys of a typewriter that move up and down. Today, you can find mass-market charms at the mall or the airport, but the versions of decades ago are a rarer find. Many are only on vintage bracelets passed through generations or at antique shops, estate sales, and trunk shows. Plenty of women in Raleigh have kept up the tradition by making their own bracelets or proudly wearing their mother’s or grandmother’s. And in a summer when we can finally travel, see far-flung friends again, and have a chance to build joyous new memories, it’s worth reconsidering the art of collecting charms. Here are four stories.


50 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP When Raleigh native Ellen DeRosset Bassett celebrated her 50th birthday at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, her friends planned a sentimental group gift: each brought a charm representing something from their friendship. Throughout the night, the birthday girl received individually wrapped baubles from various stages of her life. “It was so touching,” says Bassett. “All of them were so personal.” Now, 50 charms fill a very special bracelet, including an apple from a New York roommate, a motorboat from a fellow Camp Seafarer counselor, an airplane from a traveling buddy, and a little silver swimsuit from a lifelong friend she met in the dressing room at Belk, of all places. “This was the most incredible gift. It’s stuffed with so many great memories,” Bassett says. “It makes me feel loved whenever I wear it.” FAMILY HERITAGE “When I hear a charm bracelet jingling, it makes me think of my grandmother, Gina,” says another Raleighite, who prefers anonymity. “She was a ton of fun with big blue eyes.” She started her own charm bracelet as a young adult after her grandmother died; an aunt inherited Gina’s bracelet, but this woman received a gold charm engraved with her own birthdate to start to build her own memories. Over the years, she’s collected something special from each member of her family for a wrist full of charms from the people she loves most. There’s a horse on a disk, made from a pin her mother was given as a member of the Fillies, an organization that helped with the Kentucky Derby. Both grandfathers are represented — one by his fraternity pin from medical school, the other with his class ring from pharmacy school. She had her great grandfather’s watch fob made into a charm, and had disks engraved with her son and daughter’s birth dates. “Whenever I look down at my bracelet, it makes me smile because it reminds me of my family,” she says.

“Whenever I look down at my bracelet, it makes me smile because it reminds me of my family.”

MOTHER-DAUGHTER HISTORIES Another woman in Raleigh started her own bracelet as a young girl, and over the decades it’s been imbued with meaning. There’s a thumbnail-sized glass dome holding a mustard seed, a reference to the Bible passage, that she received for confirmation. There’s a well to celebrate her graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and scales of justice to commemorate law school graduation; baby shoes represent her son’s birth. Many charms came from her travels: a gondola from Venice, a beer stein with a hinged lid from Munich, and a little gold mermaid from Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. “This is the story of my life in a way,” she said. When her mother passed away, she inherited her bracelet. On it, the lid on the grand piano opens, a roof lifts off the Swiss chalet to reveal a tiny bed, and pieces of a camera move and click. It brings back memories from her childhood: “I’d beg my mother to let me wear her charm bracelet to church and I’d sit there the entire time and play with it,” she says. “That’s how I’d entertain myself.” AN UNKNOWN FRIEND Another woman was devastated 50 years ago when the bracelet she’d had since childhood was stolen. Her baby ring, confirmation cross, and trip souvenirs were irreplaceable. But decades later, fate conspired to return it to her — in a way.

“One day at an antique show, I saw a bracelet that had belonged to a most intriguing woman — one who, like me, apparently loved sports and travel,” she says. One charm was marked Africa 1900, another was from Capri, Italy. “From ships to foreign countries to a sporty car, I thought she was such an interesting person,” says the new owner. “She even had a champagne icing down in a bucket and a magnifying glass.” Since then, she has added charms she has bought for herself to the bracelet started by the woman she now considers her “unknown friend.” “I think she just might look down and smile every now and then that I have her bracelet,” she says. “Sometimes we have a unique and special bond with strangers.” These days, it’s tempting to collect and share memories with our smartphones and social media — but those digital memories can be fleeting. So this summer, put down the phone and start collecting old-fashioned souvenirs: pick up a seashell, send someone a postcard, or even keep an eye out for a new, old charm at a flea market. Whether displayed on a wrist or in your home, these objects have a way of inviting conversation, of welcoming friends and loved ones into the memories we hold dear. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 47


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A pollinating wasp sliding from white lip to purple darkness, the shadow-heart so deep inside, the plant, itself, tall African in the kitchen garden’s last row, speaks of passage and endurance, those far too common abstractions, made real here in the summer heat. Let it lead us, serve as a guide, tell how each struggle leads to bliss and what to bless when we decide to see the past and present blend into what we need to know — a mind aware or in a trance? — what to keep close, what to shun, made real here in the summer heat. What song can a wasp sing gliding the flower’s dark throat? A long kiss like winged tongues tangled deep inside — a blind passion, an obsession. I hear it as a prayer now, music for the world’s whirling dance. Sound, sight and scent. An orison made real here in the summer heat.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 51

After decades of neglect, one neighborhood led the charge to revitalize a park built for Raleigh’s Black families



hen John Chavis Memorial Park opened in 1937, it was truly a celebration. Over 3,000 people arrived at the lush, 24-acre attraction for its opening, and the excitement in the air was palpable. Music from the Wurlitzer organ inside the handcrafted carousel mingled with the laughter of children; splashes rang from the pool as teens dropped into the water like cannonballs. Black men, women, and children, dressed in their Sunday best, ate bountiful picnics on colorful blankets, bright like wildflowers on a field. The park was immediately embraced by not just Raleigh’s families, but families from across the Piedmont region. Sundays were for after-church picnics; during the week, young people played sports like baseball and swimming and watched band practice in the evenings. Saturdays were for dancing. “We would take jazz, tap, and ballet at the communi-


ty center under Mrs. Pecolia Jones. And Mrs. Copeland was our swim instructor,” says Virginia Talley, who grew up nearby in Chavis Heights. “This place was a safe haven. It was a place that we could call a home away from home.” Despite the joy it brought to guests, Chavis Park was less a gift and more a mandate. As racial segregation became more prominent after the turn of the 20th century, Raleigh’s city council no longer wanted Black residents visiting the existing Pullen Park. They saw the creation of a new park in the “Black side of town” as a solution to rising fears of race-mixing among Raleigh’s white residents. The saga of Chavis Park mirrors the story of the American South: it encompasses the promise of emancipation and the horrors of Jim Crow. It contains the complicated history of progress through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program and, nearly 70 years later, the HOPE VI Project. And on June 12, Chavis Park started a

new chapter of its story: one that honors the resilience and perseverance of the Black community in the face of it all. A “SUITABLE” SPACE During Reconstruction and the years following, Black and white Raleighites often lived separately but shopped, played, and even worked alongside each other. Pullen Park, founded in 1887 as a sprawling amusement destination, welcomed all of Raleigh’s families for many years, in the same way that Black and white business owners worked beside each other on Fayetteville Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. But by 1900, white supremacist forces at the state and local level ushered in the Jim Crow era. This affected every corner of Raleigh’s society, including Black families’ access to public spaces. Pullen Park was never fully segregated, but it was against North Carolina law for Black and white people to swim together in public pools. As racial tensions mounted over the course of decades, Black families felt

A scene from the grand opening of the revitalized Chavis Park on June 12.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 53

Pullen Park. Thus Pullen Park could be devoted to recreational activities for white people solely, which seems a wise course.” Two years later, WPA began the project to create “recreational facilities near the center of the Negro population and midway between two Negro colleges.” The public park would include a swimming pool, baseball diamond, tennis courts, and other amenities. The “Negro Park,” as Chavis Park was referred to during contruction, was built on the site of the demolished North Carolina Institution of Education for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, which had served the state’s disabled Black children. With a budget of $66,267.07 (down from the $130,000 investment initially requested by the city’s director of public works), Raleigh broke ground in 1936. On July 4 of 1937, the Negro Park celebrated its grand opening, but the Black community had already begun to make the park its own — starting with the name. Earlier that year, a group of Black residents petitioned the Raleigh City Council to hold a contest among the community to choose the name of the

new park. According to the National Historical Registration Application, “The Negro Citizen’s Committee of Raleigh, NC [a precursor to the present-day Wake Citizen’s Association] petitioned the City of Raleigh to rename the park for John Chavis (c.1763 -1838).” John Chavis was a free Black man born in Oxford, North Carolina. He fought in the Revolutionary War, and then became a minister, teacher, and activist, opening several schools where both Black and white children learned throughout Wake and Orange Counties. The park’s connection to Chavis was a strong signal to the city about how Black residents wished to be seen: liberated, accomplished, intelligent, and empowered. A LIVELY PARK Despite its complicated origins, the park was embraced by Black North Carolinians from Raleigh and the surrounding counties. None, however, enjoyed the park more than the residents of the South Park neighborhood and the families of nearby Chavis Heights, Raleigh’s oldest public housing project. Also funded by the WPA, the apartment complex

CHAVIS: the early years The park is dedicated to John Chavis. Born free in Granville County, Chavis fought in the Revolutionary War, became a Presbyterian minister, and founded schools for Black children in Wake County.

The WPA approves the development of a park “near the center of the Negro population” to include a swimming pool, baseball diamond, picnic shelters, and tennis courts.


1937 Over 3,000 people attend the opening of the park, which had a carousel manufactured by Allan Herschell Company with a Wurlitzer organ.



Temporary military housing for Black soldiers, called the Veterans Annex, is constructed on a portion of the park, then converted as part of the community center. It is later demolished.

1940s Sports including tennis, softball, track and field, football, basketball, and baseball are played at Chavis. Some professional athletes and Hall of Famers start their careers in Chavis Park.


This page: courtesy SPERNA (WPA DOCUMENT, CHAVIS BUST); Michael Zirkle for Raleigh Historic Development Commission (CAROUSEL); News & Observer (SOFTBALL LEAGUE); State Archives of NC (CONSTRUCTION). Opposite page: State Archives of NC (1937 CROWD); courtesy of SPERNA (POSTER, AIRPLANE SLIDE); WRAL/Capital Broadcasting Company (FROLICS); (BASEBALL FIELD, POOL, CAROUSEL)

less and less welcome at Raleigh’s first amusement park. Looking to dig the country out of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a massive infrastructure and jobs program entitled the Works Progress Administration. Cities desperate to employ their residents and fund languishing projects implored the administration for help, and in Raleigh, white politicians and residents believed they needed a separate park specifically for the city’s Black residents. In 1935, state senator Carroll Weathers of Wake County, a major proponent of Chavis Park, had this to say: “…[w]e now possess adequate park facilities for white people at Pullen Park. Obviously, there should be adequate and proper provision for a suitable park for the colored race. I think that the Public Park for Negroes would be of infinite value in affording the proper means for recreation of Negro children … Furthermore, it seems to me that having a suitable Public Park for Negroes in the Eastern section of our city would remove the necessity of attempting to provide facilities for both races at

Above: Crowds gather at the newly opened Chavis Park in 1937. Right: A poster designed by SPERNA and NC State from the 2008 Chavis Park Festival shows the airplane slide that was once in the park.

opened its doors shortly after the park was completed. The families that lived in Chavis Heights were of modest means, but they were also dedicated to their neighbors and were proud of their community. “In Chavis Heights, we had apartment homes,” says Virginia Talley. She stresses the word “homes” because the apart-

ments were well-furnished and pleasant. A child of the 1950s, most of the recreational activities Talley took part in were connected to Chavis Park, just across the street from the apartment complex. Talley and the other neighborhood children grew up having free reign of the park, almost an extension of their own front yards. Former Chavis Heights

Teenage Frolics, a dance and variety show, features both white and Black dancers. The show is hosted by J.D. Lewis, who was discovered announcing baseball games at Chavis Park, and runs until 1982.

1945 During and shortly after WWII, an airplane slide, train, and the War Mothers Memorial bench are added to the park. Various classes, including canning, are held on site.


resident Linda Graham remembers wanting to spend all her time at the park as a young child. She’d even sneak over there alone without her mother knowing. “I would make sure to get back home before she did, though,” she says with a chuckle, “Because if I got caught, I would hear about it.” As the children became teenagers,

The Olympic-sized pool is reduced in size. A new community center is constructed. Neighborhood schools are closed and sporting venues are no longer supported; the airplane slide is eliminated.

1964 The Civil Rights Act passes to end segregation. Many amenities are removed from Chavis Park and little is invested in maintainence. Increased crime in the surrounding neighborhood plagues the park.


1980s-90s Chavis gets a new carousel house, tennis courts, and an addition to the community center.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 55

but equal” facilities now felt there was no need to fund these spaces. Parks like Chavis, and the communities they held together, began to fall into ruin. Like many predominantly Black neighborhoods and towns across the country, disinvestment of public dollars in parks, the closure of many Black public schools, and the expansion of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Wilmington Street took a toll on the South Park neighborhood. In the 1990s, after decades of neglect, the federally backed HOPE VI Project demolished the Chavis Heights apartments to make way for new, mixed-income housing. Families that had lived and played in the community for generations were displaced. Many never returned to the area once the reconstruction was complete; the people who had enjoyed the park the most were gone. PUSHING BACK In 2007, longtime South Park resident Ms. Frances Lonnette Williams was informed by a Raleigh City Council member about the city’s plans for John Chavis Memorial Park. “Have you heard about the plan for a new aquatic multiplex?”

the former councilman said. The city had commissioned a study to determine where it could build a new state-of-theart aquatic center, and Chavis Park was a top contender. “Say what?” replied Williams, in shock. She followed with one of her signature expressions — “Nuh uh!” — and that was the beginning of a community effort that would stretch out for over a decade. She brought the issue to her community through her neighborhood association, the South Park-East Raleigh Neighborhood Association (SPERNA), and they, along with the Central Citizens Advisory Council, petitioned the City Council about their aspirations for the park in December 2019. The group wanted to see the park restored, much like the city had done over the lifespan of neighboring Pullen Park. Those first meetings were met with questions — and outright disbelief. “One council member questioned if there really had been a train and a swimming pool at Chavis Park,” reflects Williams, referencing two beloved attractions that were removed from the park in the 1970s. In reality, many of Raleigh’s

CHAVIS: recent history Glimpses of the Promised Land, a sculpture by North Carolina artist Mike Roig, is installed. The contemporary structure with abstract birds and airplanes honors the Tuskegee Airmen.


On the heels of the reopening of the carousel, Raleigh launches the Chavis Park Community Conservation committee to develop a master plan for the park.

2012 Chavis Park carousel reopens with a new house, a project that costs more than $2 million dollars.



After two years of work from the Public Leadership Group, the John Chavis Memorial Park Master Plan is adopted to redesign the park.

2013 The Shaw University Band performs at the Chavis Park 75th year celebration.


this page: (SCULPTURE); Terrence Jones (CAROUSEL); (CHAVIS PARK SIGN); courtesy of SPERNA (Shaw UniversityMarching Band); (MAP OF PARK) opposite page: State Archives of NC (CROWD) ; (DESIGN PLAN); (BREAKING GROUND, CONCEPTUAL ILLUSTRATION) ; Raleigh Parks (PROGRESS)

Chavis Park’s activities grew with them. Teenage Frolics, a popular show featuring the music and dancing of Black teenagers, which was filmed at the Chavis Park Community Center, debuted on WRAL’s Channel 5 in 1958. Hosted by J.D. Lewis, and billed by the station as “a live and lively dancing party featuring colored teenagers from high schools in the Channel 5 area,” the show was a pioneer in Black television, preceding Soul Train by thirteen years. Young people from all over the city, but especially the South Park neighborhood, were featured on the show as they danced along to the music of chart-topping acts like Lou Rawls and Issac Hayes. During its 25-year run, Lewis broke racial boundaries in television while creating a space for Raleigh’s Black teenagers to have fun and feel accepted at a time when school integration left many feeling displaced and unwanted in the classroom. Eventually, however, the changes to society reached the beloved park. After the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which banned segregation and other race-based discrimination, cities all over the South that had invested in “separate

From left to right: Carol Smiley Love, Frances Lonnette Williams, Margaret Egerton, and Virginia Talley stand in front of the refurbished carousel.

A schematic design plan is presented to Raleigh Parks and Recreation and approved by Raleigh City Council.

2016 Chavis Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Significant progress is made at the park. Construction of the community center, splash pad, and playgrounds progresses.

2019 There is a groundbreaking celebration for the new Chavis Park involving the PLG, which helped preserve the history and the future of the park.


2021 The newly refurbished Chavis Park and community center opens to the public on June 12, 2021. The community center includes an indoor gym, walking track, and meeting spaces.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 57

Above: A SPERNA poster from the 2009 rededication of the John Chavis Historical Marker. Right: Inside the new community center.

white residents had never been to or even heard of Chavis Park; its location in what was considered an undesirable part of town made it easy to overlook. Pullen Park, by contrast, had just begun a $6 million renovation of its aquatic center. The next time Williams came to a council meeting, she brought photographs and documents to prove that the park had once been as spectacular as she described. A Public Leadership Group (PLG) composed of community members, including Frances Lonnette Williams, Mary Brooks, and Virginia Talley, was appointed by the city council in 2012 and worked together for two years to revise the John Chavis Memorial Park Master Plan. The success of the community engagement process — as well as North Carolina State University professor Kofi Boone’s innovative use of cell phones to record oral history — attracted Landscape Architecture Magazine for a feature on the park in 2015. Two years after SPERNA’s first efforts, 58 | WALTER

city council voted unanimously to adopt the new master plan. The main features of the plan were determining what messages and elements were essential to the park, and outlining the phases in which they would be brought to life. Raleigh residents approved a $15 million bond to begin the first phase, promising money for the later phases would come from an upcoming parks bond. In the spring of 2016, another victory: Chavis Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places, which ensured that it will remain a permanent fixture in the city. For the next five years, not a single pile of dirt moved. Complications with the bidding process and lack of unity on council were just some of the issues that plagued the project. Even when meetings did occur, communities were often selecting from options predetermined by staff members who had met in earlier, separate conversations. But Williams and SPERNA persisted through continuous meetings with Raleigh council members

and staff inside and outside of City Hall. Finally, in September 2019, the city broke ground to begin construction on the first phase of Chavis Park’s renovations. The June 12 reopening of Chavis Park introduced phase one of construction. The renovations include a state-of-theart community center, artistic homages to the neighborhood’s past, an elevated walking track, basketball courts, event spaces, and a new playground with a splash pad. The carousel house, home of the original carousel and organ, has been renovated; it’s now a community rental space equipped with a warming kitchen and restrooms. The next phases of the park will include the return of the swimming pool and a dedicated center to honor the history of John Chavis, the park, and Raleigh’s Black community entitled Heritage Plaza. “There were at least 50 public meetings and presentations during the planning and design process for the Chavis community center,” said Raleigh’s Parks and Recreation director, Oscar Carmona, re-

A view from the new community center of the new playground; inside are a basketball court, elevated walking track, and play area.

The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 59

The Chavis Park carousel


“It is awesome! All of our hard work paid off.”

body can see the work that they’ve put in over the years,” Carmona says.

–Frances Lonnette Williams

garding the extensive planning process. The project drew many stakeholders in its seven-year process, including SPERNA, the Chavis Park Circle of Friends, NC State, and Shaw University, along with other institutions and neighbors. Their input was reflected in the 2014 John Chavis Memorial Park Revised Master Plan, as well as the John Chavis Memorial Park Cultural Heritage Plan finalized this February. In addition to input on amenities, the community was also integral to choosing the historic, cultural, and artistic pieces that would be featured around the park. Residents chose artist David Wilson to bring the history and culture of Chavis Park and the surrounding neighborhoods to life through innovative interpretive panels — large glass panels etched with a collage of historical text and imagery — that stand throughout the new community center. Wilson has experience capturing the historic contributions of Black communities throughout North Carolina, with

past partnerships including the Black Wall Street mural at Phoenix Square in Durham, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, and the Kinston Music Park. “There’s something special about hearing an elder recalling their days as a youth at the park or a new community member expressing their desire to want to learn more of a culture that may not reflect theirs,” says Wilson. “These are the real moments that drive the creative process and inspire me to create a work that the community can be proud of.” Throughout the process, Wilson felt fully embraced by the South Park community and supported by the city of Raleigh’s public art department. “I enjoyed every moment!” he says. Eyvonne Dailey, a member of the social group Chavis Park Circle of Friends, shared her hope that phases two and three of Chavis Park’s revitalization go smoothly, something that Carmona is hopeful for as well. “My goal is to get these projects on a quicker timeline to completion, so every-

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD As the first phase of Chavis Park neared completion at the end of April, the Parks and Recreation staff invited Raleigh residents to the old community center for a last hurrah before it was demolished. The weeklong event, called The Memory Tour, consisted of six exhibition rooms representing the eight decades of Chavis Park’s history from the 1930s up to the present day. “We had the unique opportunity to tell eighty years of history through storytelling, movement, and interactive exhibitions where people can hear, see, and reflect,” says Grady Bussey, the new director of Chavis Park Community Center. “It created the ambiance which Chavis Park was known for.” In each room, guests were greeted by the sights and sounds of various eras of the park’s existence. Large posters with photos, newspaper clippings, and old maps hung from the ceiling, alongside artifacts from the park like retired horse figurines from the carousel and sports jerseys. The display transported attendees from one decade to the next. Community members stretched out their arms to point out familiar faces as fond memories of childhoods spent in Chavis Park flooded their minds. Many of the community members who used the park in its heyday will be able to enjoy it again now — and their efforts toward its revitalization will make it available to the next generation, too. “This park will impact the folks that were here when the work first started,” says Dailey. “Those of us who are still here will be thinking about our friends on the committee who have passed along the way.” Williams walked slowly into the exhibition after her personal tour of the new community center. “It is awesome!” she said. “All of our hard work paid off.” After catching her breath, she took it all in: the homage to the past, and the facilities of the future. The Art & Soul of Raleigh | 61


In designer Erin Wheeler’s home, there’s a new idea around every corner



photography by CATHERINE NGUYEN


tep into Erin Wheeler’s home for the first time, and you might have a sense of dejà vu — have I been here before? Probably not, but it’s possible you have seen her spaces on Instagram or Pinterest. Wheeler is the brains behind Sunny Circle Studio, a blog and interior design firm known for its upbeat, layered designs. And her Westlake Village home in Northwest Raleigh is where she tries out her ideas — a place to play with visuals and come up with solutions that work for herself and her family. “The sky’s the limit,” she laughs. “There’s always a next project!” Wheeler started Sunny Circle Studio as “an experiment” in 2017, while working in graphic design. She’d long had an interest in interiors and an eye for photography, and she channeled that passion into her home. “I just wanted to play around and


share it with my friends, then was lucky enough to pick up people who were interested,” she says. “As a creative, you drift to things that inspire you, and my home has always been that way.” Wheeler and her family — husband David and children Wyatt and Zora — have lived here since 2014, when they moved to Raleigh from Winston-Salem.When they got into the house, which was built in 1989, it was “very 90s, lots of brown and yellow tones.” But the floor plan was friendly, and it offered classic detailing in the molding and doors. “I really saw potential,” she says. The first, sweeping change was paint: Wheeler filled the home with bright whites and cooler tones of blue and gray throughout. Then the rest of the house evolved slowly; piece by piece, project by project. “If you truly love your home and want to surround yourself with things

Erin Wheeler in her kitchen. The layout has stayed the same since she moved here, but thoughtful changes make it feel up-to-date: she swapped the old yellow-ish, solid-surface countertops for white marble, added new appliances, painted the brown cabinets white and filled the open space above them. “It’s just plywood and trim, but it makes them feel more custom,” she says. She ran subway tile all the way up to the ceiling for a modern touch, and swapped out cabinet hardware and fixtures for ones in brass tones. Her Rejuvenation pendant above the sink is a favorite piece. The biggest change was removing a few cabinets to make space for open shelving. “My husband was super skeptical, but now he has told me many times that I was right and he was wrong,” she laughs. “He says that now he really appreciates the shelves because it’s so easy to grab our everyday items!”

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UNIQUE NOOKS Just off the main hallway, the small powder room, right, packs a surprising design punch. Wheeler renovated it herself, tiling the walls, updating the fixtures and lighting, and adding the wallpaper from Farrow & Ball. The subway tile is an element she repeated throughout the home. “It’s classic and cheap, but you can do all sorts of patterns with it that go against the grain, you can play with it,” she says. In a corner of the open kitchen is a little office area, below right. While she doesn’t typically work there, it does get a lot of use: “That’s the Minecraft zone,” Wheeler says. The woven baskets in the cubbies came with the house and hold all sorts of things, and she periodically swaps out the displays in the cabinets.

you love, it takes time,” she says. Over the past four years, she’s decorated the space top to bottom, tackling painting and wallpapering projects, plumbing and tiling, and simply rearranging furniture and objects. “I update things regularly, maybe not every day, but enough to confuse my family,” she says. “I’ll be looking at the kitchen one day and the next day my husband’s like, where’d you put the bowls?” Wheeler’s taste is broad, not confined to a particular style of furniture or decorating scheme. “It’s about having a blend,” she says. “My style leans toward Mid-century modern, but living in this house, which is very traditional, I’ve been mixing more of that in.” Wheeler always has her eye out for unique pieces, whether she’s browsing a local consignment shop, IKEA, or the showrooms at High Point. And having Sunny Circle Studio as a platform is an


ongoing inspiration to go ahead and just do the project she has in mind, to follow her instincts. One example: her in-home gym. It’s located just inside the front door, where one would expect to find a study or a formal living room. “I just kind of went for it,” she says. “I just decided that, screw the trends, this is great and this is how I want to use the space.” As her blog approaches five years old, Wheeler is more confident and energized than ever to keep reimagining her home. The pandemic offered her time to evolve and work on fresh projects, and to follow her heart, too — whether that finds her wallpapering her dining room or roller skating over to the kitchen. “These days — and especially in the last year — I’m more comfortable with my design,” she says. “I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously and just go with it.”

SUNNY SPOTS A window-lined breakfast area adjoins the kitchen. Here, Wheeler hasn’t done “too much,” she says, just painted and removed old Roman shades to let in the light and show off the details in the windows. A round marble table is grounded by black cane chairs. “They are super well made,” she says. She always keeps a stack of newspapers nearby to protect the table from her daughter Zora’s art projects.

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LOUNGE ACT Just off the kitchen and breakfast area is a comfortable and functional family room filled with smart storage. “It used to have a lot more toys, but we’ve moved a lot of stuff out since quarantine ended,” Wheeler says. “But it’s still sort of the movies-andLegos room.” Open shelves house a mix of books, with craft supplies and games tucked in among more decorative pieces. The hutch in the corner, above, was a Craigslist find; the art is a mix of new and old picked up here and there. The “Work Hard” print, near right, is a favorite both for its design and message — “it’s simple and good” — and the Frame TV displays art while not in use. She painted the bricks in the fireplace, far right, white for a modern streamlined look.


FORM & FUNCTION One of the craziest things Wheeler did during the pandemic was to convert her front room into a gym (it had previously been her office). “It was pretty but untouched, I never worked in here,” says Wheeler, who had made a commitment to focus on her health in early 2020. “At the peak of the pandemic, my husband suggested we make this a gym.” At first, she wasn’t sold — what about resale value? — but then she realized it might be possible to do it her way. “I wanted it to feel cozy and homey and cohesive with the rest of the house,” she says. She added molding around the mirrors and television and painted the room Hague Blue by Benjamin Moore, then invested in great-looking athletic gear from German gear company NOHrD. Her newest sport is roller skating. “It’s one of those things where you fall a lot in the beginning but then get good quickly,” she says. Wheeler added the delicately patterned wallpaper and hall tree to the small entryway, near left, to create a landing zone for everyone’s stuff. “It’s just a nice greeting when you walk in,” she says. She also removed the carpet from the stairs, far left, to expose the hardwood.

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JEWEL BOX The teal-blue dining room is Wheeler’s most recent project — up until a few months ago, the walls were a nice, safe gray. “Before, the room was super neutral. It was bright and happy, and I liked that vibe for a while, but I played it out,” she says. “I’ve learned to love darker, bolder color schemes, and I’d had the wallpaper bookmarked for years,” she says. The first step was painting the walls and molding in Aquamarined by Sherwin Williams, then adding the wallpaper by Farrow & Ball (a splurge, but worth it, she says). She added a rug from Citizenry to go with her vintage table. She found the cabinet at High Point, designed by a friend under the Bobby Berk label. “I just loved it so much, so I bought it as soon as it was available,” she says. The portrait resting on top is of her mother, done in 1960. “It’s my most prized possession,” she says.

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NATURAL TOUCHES In Wheeler’s bedroom, the goal was to create a calm, serene space with layers of neutral tones. “The color scheme is so peaceful, and this room gets great light,” she says. The adhesive wall mural echoes the trees outside, and the hanging seat and rainbow of books keep the space playful. Wheeler used a mix of different patterns and textures of linens to give the room a sophisticated, collected touch.


TRANQUIL SPACES The vision for the guest room started with the wallpaper. “I thought it was really cool and it had a sort of boutique hotel look to it,” says Wheeler. She layered portraits on top of the peel-and-stick paper, which she found all over: a mix of family pieces, vintage finds, and downloads from Etsy. The rest of the room sticks to a neutral, linear scheme to offset the quirkiness of the walls. In her daughter Zora’s bedroom, below right, Wheeler worked to create a palette that was feminine, but sophisticated. An adhesive wall mural decorated with clouds offers a dreamy feel, with the house-shaped bed offering a cozy spot to snuggle in. (“If,” Wheeler jokes, “she ever chooses to sleep in her bed!”) Wheeler’s bathroom, below, is structurally the same as it was when they moved in, but a few design tweaks have made this one of her most popular spaces on Instagram — and for herself. Wheeler installed the freestanding tub and reframed the window in walnut for a more modern finish. Here, she repeated the subway tile again, this time in a herringbone pattern, for a trendier twist.

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COMFORT RULES On the second floor of the house, a bonus room offers a space for the kids to play, lounge, or watch TV. “The sectional is so comfy, everyone has space to spread out,” says Wheeler. Here, she swapped out the original carpeting for one with a geometric design, then layered in all sorts of comfy textures (sheepskin, velvet, leather, wool) and energetic prints to make it feel cozy. “I wanted it to have fun patterns but still be neutral,” she says. The patterned accent wall, left, perks up a sunny reading nook. The bonus room also holds Wheeler’s desk (which previously lived in what’s now the home gym), which lately has served as a spot for virtual school just as often as it has for work with clients.


Our annual women’s innovation summit returns with inspiring workshops and moving talks by local female leaders.


sharing STORIES inspiring ACTION

Friday, September 17 at the Umstead Hotel & Spa Early-bird sign up at

Click into a classic pastime, just a few miles outside of downtown


The Ground Pounders race around the Wake County Speedway in Raleigh. “It’s electric when the lights go down,” says track promoter Charlie Hansen.



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I WANNA GO FAST An aerial view of the Wake County Speedway. For a few extra dollars, you can get a pit pass to meet the drivers and see the cars up close before the race begins. Wake County Speedway is part of the NASCAR Home Tracks system of local sanctioned speedways, where many drivers get their starts.


few miles south of downtown off Fayetteville Road, a gravel road leads through a stand of trees. Beyond, a gentle loop leads to a grassy parking lot; metal bleachers loom ahead. The air smells like funnel cake and burnt rubber, and a few bucks get you beyond a chain-link fence. That’s where you’ll find the Wake County Speedway, a NASCAR-sanctioned track that draws legions of racing enthusiasts to its stands for weekly events, spring through fall. “This is like a playground to me,” says William Brown, the track manager and self-proclaimed “fix-it guy.” Brown and his team have spent many hours revitalizing the Speedway, which was built in 1962 and still had a dirt track in the 1980s. Particularly over the past year, when they weren’t able to host spectators, they spent their time shoring up the grandstands, repainting the track, installing new lighting, and getting new plumbing into the bathrooms. Brown is the master of getting it done on a budget: the bright yellow bumper at Turn 2, for example, was 76 | WALTER

created from pipes salvaged from a construction site out in Clayton. He and his crew cut the pipes to size, sunk them in place, and filled them with cement to create a new barrier that replaced the “prehistoric” telephone poles that were there before. As the sun sets, the bleachers fill with families, groups of young folks with cases of beer or coolers in tow, old-timers with stadium seats and blankets to ward off an evening chill. Returning guests match their noise-canceling earmuffs to their outfits; newcomers can buy them at a stand. You can also get soda and a hot dog, fried Oreos, or nachos doused in delicious, neon-orange cheese. “It’s all about family entertainment,” says Brown. The show begins before the races even start, as groups of cars enter the track for a warm-up loop, then race through time trials to see who will compete. The cars are as varied as the drivers: small-scale Bandoleros, which can be driven by kids as young as eight; Mod-4s (four-cylinder cars geared up for track racing); Legends and Bombers, whose retro chassis have been modified with powerful engines. Some seem just to be seats and frames, powerful exo-

skeletons around roaring engines. Like the fans, the drivers are young and old, male and female. The Southern Ground Pounders, a vintage racing club, are regular guests, with their own internal rules to race safely. The official races begin with an invocation and the National Anthem; t-shirts are shot and candy is thrown out for kids. Then it comes: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The track roars to life; you feel it down to your bones. The noise is deafening, a buzz that pitches and deepens as the cars move around the track. (“These aren’t even the loudest,” Brown laughs.) Thirty loops, or 100, go by in a flash, the cars jockeying for position and always, imminently, on the verge of collision. Sometimes they do — the action pauses as medics and mechanics assess the damage, then it starts again. It’s thrilling and mesmerizing. You leave humming with energy, trying not to lean too hard on the gas pedal on your way back home. Photographer Bryan Regan has spent the last 10 years visiting the speedway to capture the people and energy that bring it to life. Here are some of his images.

READY, SET Fans and staffers assemble for a Friday night race. In the pit, drivers and their teams listen to the rules and schedule for the evening.

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ON TRACK SKY SCENES Clockwise This page: Late model from top Paul Franzon’s driver Carter left: Langley RV-8a(photo by Denis and scenes from recent evening.Zholob); Oppositethe Bomb Burst formation (photo page: Manager William by Zholob); Abigail Brown got involved Ingle, a coordinator with the speedway the Bandits (photo when his son,for who Abigail races, was inby college atIngle); Vince Tryer’s North Carolina StateRV-4 (photo by Zholob); University. Since then,an echelon turn with Tryer’s RV-4 he has invested much in the the center; the of his time getting spinner on Franzon’s course into shape. RV-8; a view from the second seat (photo by Abigail Ingle); Bob Ingle flying his RV-8A (photo by Abigail Ingle).


“The heart of why I do it? The people you meet are the jewels.” –William Brown

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LIGHTS ON Bandolero driver Phoenix Kimball. “We’re trying to showcase and attract younger people — we already have the older generation hooked,” says Brown. Part of that includes having more, shorter races for fans to enjoy. A lot of drivers start at the Bandoleros, then move up to Legends and then Late models.


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).

NIGHTS TO REMEMBER The 2021 Miss Wake County Speedway, Lexi Chapman. Race director Steve Hensley inside the control tower and announcer Dennis McDonald on deck. The evenings are as much about the races as they are about the event: eating State Fair-caliber food, catching up with friends, and enjoying some classic entertainment.

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Amber Share’s tongue-in-cheek take on promoting America’s natural treasures




don’t claim to be from anywhere,” says Amber Share. The daughter of a Navy chief, Share and her family spent much of her childhood on the move. By the time she entered high school, Share had lived in Italy and five different states, and family trips took her all over the country. In Hawaii, she explored the lava-laced shores of the Ala Kahakai Trail; in Florida, she trekked through the Everglades with manatee and alligator sightings. A road trip across the southwestern United States brought her through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Badlands National Park in South Dakota. For Share, these national parks became home. Those visits were timeless, everlasting, grounding experiences


to her. “Parks solidified a vacation in my mind,” she says. Those experiences have stayed with her since, etched in her mind and soul. “Even as an adult living in Washington, D.C., a bustling city, I would go to Rock Creek Park for reprieve,” she says. “Or I would drive to Shenandoah. Anytime I want a break in my life, I wind up in a park.” Share studied graphic design and fine art at the University of Nebraska. After graduation, she landed a job working full-time in Raleigh at a design agency. But she began to crave a creative project of her own. “As a professional designer, you don’t get to draw. I wanted a side project that was a creative outlet for me and pertained to my interest.” She thought about all those national parks she visited over her lifetime and started sketching them on her iPad.

Graphic designer and Subpar Parks creator Amber Share at one of her go-to natural areas, William B. Umstead State Park. The one-star review of the park that a disgruntled guest offered, see page 85, seems not to take into consideration that Umstead offers more than 20 miles of trails, bridle paths, bike routes, creeks to play in, and opportunities for canoeing.

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Soon, she had retro-style illustrations of places like Joshua Tree National Park’s desert landscape and the Grand Canyon’s rocky ochre horizon. But she wanted text on her illustrations, something to identify them, something other than the park name. “Drawing the parks proved to be a nice capsule project,” says Share. “But I wanted something more unique.” She stumbled across a perplexing onestar review of a national park on Reddit that had her laughing out loud. “Save yourself some money. Boil some water at home,” said one visitor to Yellowstone — a landmark that spans three states and is home to the world’s tallest active geyser. That became her a-ha moment. “This review was too good not to do anything with,” she thought. Soon, she found other strange, yet hilarious, reviews. “The only thing to do here is walk around the desert,” said a guest of Joshua Tree National Park. Another griped that the Grand Canyon is just “a hole. A very, very large hole.” These one-star reviews were the perfect amount of words to add to the bottom of her illustrations. “You might not notice the words at first, it’s just a beautiful landscape,” Share says. And she chose the reviews strategically: “My focus was reviews that have to do with the experience of nature. I’m not here to make a statement about how well or not well the parks are managed. It’s more about people being underwhelmed by nature. Most people just find it hilarious.” And indeed, they do: in December of 2019 she shared her illustrations on Instagram with the handle @subparparks — and they went viral. By spring of 2020, sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed, Boston Globe, and Insider found the juxtaposition between these natural wonders and under-enthused reviewers as hysterical as she did. Soon, people wanted her illustrations to hang on their walls and send to their friends. So she created an online shop with things like stationery and posters. After that came more illustrations around the great outdoors; and 84 | WALTER

A favorite for hikers, Raven Rock State Park offers varied terrain and beautiful foliage. Share has turned into a serial entrepreneur since the Subpar Parks phenomenon, making stickers, postcards, and planners. “I can’t not be doing something creative,” she says.

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Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi and North Carolina’s first official state park. Its elevation makes for a vastly different climate than the rest of the state, as it’s often windy and cold.

products like planners, too. “It’s funny because when I started it didn’t occur to me that anyone would want it as a sticker or postcard,” she says. Share left her full-time job in March of 2020 and has since focused solely on the Subpar Parks project and other creative gigs. Her book, America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors, debuts this month. It holds all her most popular illustrations, plus new parks for which Share has unearthed one-star reviews. Landmarks and national monuments, like Cape Hatteras and the Blue Ridge Mountains, also make an appearance. It shows her illustrations of 63 national parks with 13 additional national monuments, seashores, lakes, and national recreation areas, many of which haven’t yet appeared on her Instagram. “It’s more than 200 pages with half of it, new content,” Share says. And on these pages, as a nod to her resident state’s diverse and awe-inspiring state parks resting on mountains, sand dunes, and dense forests, Share illustrated a North Carolina series of Subpar Parks, just for WALTER. For example: along the Outer Banks in Nags Head rests Jockey’s Ridge State Park. It’s a vast rolling dune — the largest dune system in the eastern United States — with vantage points as far as the eye can see. But to one visitor, it’s “sand but nothing else.” At Hanging Rock State Park, a mountainous region known for its waterfalls and spring rhododendrons, another visitor found that “trees obscure the view.” Share’s illustrations are a reminder of how lucky we are to be surrounded by incredible state parks and recreation areas in North Carolina that encompass mountain balds, waterfalls, massive dunes, and lush forests. Use them as inspiration to get outside this summer and reconnect with nature.

“Anytime I want a break in my life, I wind up in a park.” –Amber Share

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Addie Ladner


Carol Dowd and AynMonique Klahre shooting Behind the Scenes at Art in Bloom.

WALTER’s roundup of gatherings, celebrations, and virtual fun around the Triangle.

90 Behind the Scenes at Art in Bloom 92 Evening on the Piazza 92 Day of Service 92 Art in the Garden 93 Drinks & Design 93 Ana Guzman Exhibit Opening 94 Five Points Feasy

To have your event considered for The Whirl, submit images and information at

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Staffers from A Prideful Place work on their piece.

An arrangmement by Ailsa Tessier and Jenna Fowlkes of The Flower Shuttle.


Catherine Mangum Phelps of the Hillsborough Garden Club explains her inspiration.

The Workshop Media team sets up photography and video equipment



n June 16, WALTER released Behind the Scenes at Art in Bloom, an exclusive video showcasing the makers behind the North Carolina Museum of Art’s popular Art in Bloom event. This year, Art in Bloom was held over two weekends, with more than 30 participating floral designers creating floral arrangements inspired by art in the NCMA’s permanent collection. WALTER editor Ayn-Monique Klahre spoke with floral designers Ailsa Tessier, Morgan Howell Moylan, and Carol Dowd about their process as they pulled the final pieces together on-site. WALTER would like to thank our sponsors Fink’s Jewelers, Design Lines Signature, Green Front Interiors & Rugs, and Specialists in Plastic Surgery for making this video event possible. Special thanks to Workshop Media for bringing the video to life.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! WALTER and Design Lines Signature asked readers to #bloomwhereyoureplanted and make their own arrangements inspired by art in their homes. Here are four beautiful creations.

Hannah Kaufman

Ellen Best

Ashley Evans Foster

Anne Paul

presented by

AN AMERICAN MYSTERY Epic battles, exhilarating dances, elegant costuming, beautiful music...under the stars. Don’t miss the all new 2021 season of The Lost Colony May 28-August 21.


WATERSIDE THEATRE Performances Monday-Saturday at 8:30PM. Tickets start at $20. For more information, please visit or call (252) 473-6000.


Wine & Culinary Festival September 25 2PM-5PM

THE WHIRL EVENING ON THE PIAZZA On May 7, Il Palio at the Siena Hotel hosted bartender Carrie Brogren from Chapel Hill-Carrboro Foodies for An Evening on the Piazza. Brogan and Il Palio beverage manager Annabel Butler created cocktails with North Carolina spirits, served with oysters shucked by chef Adam Rose. Penny’s Bend performed and a portion of proceeds benefitted Orange County Meals on Wheels.

Guests at the event

DAY OF SERVICE Rotary Club of Raleigh and Rotary Club of Southeast Raleigh participated in a district-wide day of service on April 17, when nearly 200 Rotarians served organizations including Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Girls and Boys Clubs, Healing Transitions, and Oak City Cares. The event raised over $7,000 for the Raleigh club’s partner nonprofits.

Andrew Forester, Adam Rose

Guests at the event

ART IN THE GARDEN On the evening of Saturday, June 5, Conduit for Change artist and leadership coach Mary-Michele Nidiffer of North Hills StyleFinder Boutique hosted an Art in the Garden dinner party at The Well Fed Community Garden. Guests participated in an art class led by Conduit for Change owner Annelies Gentile then enjoyed garden fresh fair including a spinach and sweet potato satay with a yogurt and beet salad and dark chocolate covered strawberries.

Judy Goergen, Christy Satacana, Carrie Larsen Suffern, Alex Kensinger

Front row: Van Sapp, Byron Laws, Mia Davis, Mary Farrar, Chalisa Williams, Sevealyn Smith, Pamela Blizzard. Back row: Mael Lumas, Anna Rose, Sam Dardenh


Guests at Art in the Garden

Triad Studios (PIAZZA); Pamela Blizzard (ROTARY); Mary Moss (TREE); Tami Purdue (GARDEN)

Freshly shucked oysters

THE WHIRL DRINKS & DESIGN On May 23, 125 guests gathered to support The Green Chair Project. Guests enjoyed cocktails from Junction West, snacks from Nosh Raleigh and a chance to bid on 14 designer chairs reimagined to support the programs of The Green Chair Project. TGCP reuses essential furnishings donated by our community to help neighbors in need and provides beds for children in Wake County.

ANA GUZMAN EXHIBIT OPENING On Friday May 7, Gallery C hosted a party to celebrate the debut North Carolina exhibition of work by Cuban painter Ana Guzman. Known for her bold use of color in scenes inspired by her childhood, Guzman spoke with guests about her process and inspiration.

Courtesy The Green Chair Project (DESIGN); Charlene Newsom (GUZMAN)

Catherine Currin, Kim Ridge, Rae Marie Czuhai, Graham Satisky, Jackie Craig, Lakeisha George, Robin Madison, Suzi Bevacqua, Katie Dukes

Glen Sappie, Ruth Sappie, Ana Guzman, Charlene Newsom, Leah Finch, Julio Guzman

Liane Ricci, Antoine Ponton, Ryan Lenz, Tula Summerford, Warté Moore

Janet Dixon, Lynn Dixon

Astra Ball, Kenneth Ball

Designer Chair by Lauren McKay

Kristin Tharpe, Gray Tharpe

Ana Guzman, Charlotte Tart, Teresa Daniels

Julio Guzman, Ana Guzman

Robert Huckabee, Ana Guzman

Ana Guzman, Charlene Newsom

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THE WHIRL FIVE POINTS FEAST After a long year of being cooped up, a group of close friends threw a dinner party for Kyla Brazel’s 50th birthday. Allison Smith, party planning extraordinaire, and Kyla’s husband, Joe, led the team that converted wooden pallets, outdoor pillows, and handmade oyster shell napkin holders into a table set for a Five Points Feast. Guests enjoyed the party well into the night.

Ron Price

Sharon Hansen, Allison Smith, Ron Price, Lisa Price, Tommy Tant, Shannon Tant, Leslie Howes, Kyla Brazel, Joe Brazel, Mike Williamson, Lissa Williamson, Kristen Harvey, Adam Howes, Jessica McIntyre, Josh Hansen


The scene for the evening

Fruit and photos

PART OF THE FABRIC OF RALEIGH SINCE 1899 Our patients receive state-of-the-art care in a warm, professional, safe and friendly environment. We welcome new patients!

The spread

OUR SIGNATURE SERVICES INCLUDE: Comprehensive & Cosmetic Dental Care Same-Day CEREC Crowns Invisalign Orthodontics Dental Implants Sleep Apnea TMJ Therapy


Shannon Tant, Kyla Brazel, Lisa Price, Lissa Williamson, Kristen Harvey, Allison Smith

EXTRAS Take WALTER to go! There’s always something to discover on our website and social media. Here’s what’s been happening.

Taylor McDonald (FOOD); Addie Ladner (PICNIC); courtesy UNC Press (HIKES); Mallory Cash (WILSON); Cat Nguyen (HOTEL); Courtesy AirBNB (BEACH)



10 REFRESHING SUMMER COCKTAILS TO MAKE AT HOME From light and bubbly to smooth and fruity, these boozy recipes are perfect to enjoy on the patio or by the pool.

20 NORTH CAROLINA PIT STOPS WORTH A ROAD TRIP DETOUR Decamping for summer? Here are the hot dog stands, sandwich shops, and barbecue joints to stop at on the way.

YOUR GUIDE TO TRIANGLE ROADSIDE STANDS, U-PICK FARMS, AND MARKETS From berries to lettuces to honey and more, here’s where to shop for local produce yearround.




Exteriors of historic Hayes Barton @steadyfilm @Sloanctanner I used to walk by those houses every day for years and years. @lolosphotos That first house is my favorite when walking in the neighborhood! So cool. I thought I was about to see interior photos and was soooo excited. @Ericadelong So pretty.



Studio scenes with Jessica Johnson Moore of @littlegreyline. The former architect turns Oxford shirts passed down from fathers & grandfathers into classic heirloom children’s clothing. SP Murray from our June issue. @cbs722 What a wonderful way to pass on. @mkpateconnor The best part about the woman behind @littlegreyline - she is as good of a person as she is a designer and craftsman. @Ashleyjanegeorgia Insanely talented! She has it all! And the treasures she creates for so many are just priceless.



SUNDAY OPEN HOUSE: “I would call it a little bit storybook, with gothic elements,” says Kim Shirley of her West Raleigh home. Peak inside & link in Stories @pironio @Jsgadd That is so beautiful! I love the storybook details and the intimate scale of the rooms inside! @jenschaafsma It is Storybook and Whimsical… BEAUTIFUL home, Kim! @Astukoste Gorgeous! I love the fireplace.

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WILD miracles Elizabeth Bradford’s paintings celebrate the outdoors by LIZA ROBERTS


o have arrived at this age, having survived several brushes with mortality, I find myself in an unexpected time of growth and newness,” says artist Elizabeth Bradford. “My ability to be expressive has never been stronger or clearer.” Bradford’s large-scale, technicolor depictions of the natural world draw a viewer into the untamed wilds of North Carolina and beyond: beside riverbanks and millponds, into tree canopies, reedy creeks, bays, lagoons, and eddies where


people have left no trace. With its unapologetic devotion, unexpected color, and subtle focus, Bradford’s work has been the subject of many prominent exhibitions over the course of her career. Her work is also in the permanent collections of museums, including the Mint in Charlotte and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, and many corporate collections. If you find yourself headed toward the beach this summer, consider visiting the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, where A House of One

Room: Elizabeth Bradford will highlight her work through October 17. If one of her pieces is mesmerizing, 20 are transporting. The artist, who is from Davidson, constantly seeks new inspiration, taking long excursions into unmapped wilderness for days at a time, camera and sketchbook in hand. Lately, those trips have been especially fruitful. “For me, the wild world is all miracles, unreeling from some endless spool,” Bradford says. “The paintings are me trying to bring miracles inside, to live with us in the human world.”

Courtesy Elizabeth Bradford (BONE TREE REFLECTIONS)


4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 571-2881



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