WALTER Magazine - June 2019

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JUNE 2019

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+ BBQ Guru Matt Register + Record-Breaking Veggies + Holy Howling Cow!


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INTO THE MYSTIC When that fog horn blows You know I will be coming home And when that fog horn whistle blows I gotta hear it I don’t have to fear it And I wanna rock your gypsy soul Just like way back in the days of old And together we will float Into the mystic

-Van Morrison



Volume VII, Issue 9

Smith Hardy (SHOP); Jannelle Blackman (TUCKER)

JUNE 2019








Letter from WALTER


SHOP: Dapper Design Downtown’s new men’s shop




Your Feedback


LOCALS: For the Birds Bill Satterwhite’s legacy


Happening Now


GIGS: Mellow Cello Shana Tucker’s soulful sound


THE USUAL: Set Sail Model yacht racing on Lake Crabtree


GIVERS: Family Promise Helping homeless families


NOTED: A Visit to Montgomery Larry Wheeler on Southern history

119 The Whirl 130 End Note: Lightning Bugs

On the cover: artist Corey Mason; photograph by Geoff Wood



61 61

SUMMER FOOD SPECIAL 32 pages of stories about what we love to eat and drink in our hottest season—and the people who bring us the goods


Take Note Sketches and musings from a Raleigh architect inspire reflection by Frank Harmon

104 Coastal Blues A Victorian home gets an airy, sea-inspired renovation by Katherine Poole photography by Trey Thomas

104 12 | WALTER

112 Modern Touch Artist Corey Mason boldly interprets the classics by Samantha Gratton photography by Geoff Wood


Justin Kase Conder (GIRL); Trey Thomas (ROOM); Frank Harmon (BIRD)


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njust love summer—these longer days fill me with the energy to get out and experience life to the fullest, to try to eke out as much joy as I can from each sunlit hour. This issue highlights one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season: Through food. This is the time of year to have sauce running down your chin, to eat fried fish with abandon, to enjoy produce at its peak and to lick the drips off your kids’ ice cream cones. Our Summer Food Special section (pg. 61) is an ode to all the ingredients—people, places, techniques and more—that make this season’s food the stuff you’ll remember all year long. Of course, the other way I enjoy summer is to use the freedom of those extra hours for quieter moments. That’s why I’m so pleased to share Frank Harmon’s sketches and notes from his book, Native Places. They’re an invitation to practice being truly present in the world around us (pg. 95). And on our very last page, an essay from his friend Eleanor Spicer Rice reminds to appreciate one of summer’s smallest miracles: Lightning bugs (pg. 130). I can’t end this letter without a Father’s Day shoutout, with particular thanks to my dad and my husband for the hard work and love they’ve each put into raising strong daughters. Look for a fun list of activities to check out with your own dad—no matter what he’s interested in (pg. 44). We hope you enjoy our June issue, and we always encourage you to subscribe—it’s the best way to get stories about the community you care about delivered right to your door. Plus, that’s one more great way to spend an extralong day: perusing the pages of WALTER.

Ayn-Monique Klahre Editor







Advertising Sales Manager JULIE NICKENS


Senior Account Executive & Operations CRISTINA HURLEY

WALTER is available by paid subscriptions for $20 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and advertiser locations throughout the Triangle. Subscribe online at

Editorial Assistant KATHERINE POOLE


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Contributing Writers

Advertising Coordinator ROBIN KENNEDY

Address all correspondence to: WALTER Magazine, 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601




JUNE 2019 Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company

WALTER does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact Ayn-Monique Klahre at for freelance guidelines. © The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the copyright owner.

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Photo by Surya

JUNE 2019



W R I TE R Klingenberg is a writer and copyeditor who calls Raleigh home. Her work is shaped by years of teaching N.C. State freshmen to write clearly, and think critically. A cellist herself, Klingenberg was thrilled to learn more about Shana Tucker, a cellist and singer/songwriter who is taking both the music scene and local schools by storm. “Shana is carving out her own niche as a musician—a niche that makes space for both captivating ChamberSoul performances and rambunctious elementary school jam sessions. I’m so happy to tell you more about her.”

P HOTO GR A PH ER Wood’s plan is to dive headfirst into life behind the lens. At the end, he hopes to look back with a close family, deep friendships and scars and shots that show the adventure. “Getting a chance to work with artists is one of my favorite things. So I jumped at the chance to photograph my friend Corey Mason. His work is phenomenal. The depth, the creativity and the ease at which he sketches is awe-inspiring.”

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TREY THOMAS / P HOTO G R A P HE R A lifelong passion for architecture and interior design coupled with a serious love of photography led to Thomas switching careers in 2012 to focus exclusively on commercial real estate, interiors and architectural photography. A longtime resident of downtown Raleigh, Thomas loves the excitement that comes from being a short walk from one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. On the subject of this month’s house feature, he says: “It’s not every day you get to walk in a home that’s had so much care and thoughtfulness poured into its renovation and design. This home has special details hiding in every corner, and was a joy to experience.”

W R I TE R Holly is a former journalist, most recently an editor at the News & Observer. He also has worked as a reporter or editor at the Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald and Newark Star-Ledger. Currently, he is a journalism professor at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh. “I tell my students to recognize the stories sitting right in front of them,” he says, “and I had the opportunity to take my own advice this month. Isaac Horton IV is someone I met a while ago but had never known particularly well. At a conference we both attended last year, we had a chance to sit down for beer and conversation. I was fascinated by his family’s story and quickly realized that others may find it interesting, too. I hope you do.”

Courtesy contributors (KLINGENBERG, WOOD, HOLLY, THOMAS)


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Erin Lane shared an essay on becoming a mom through adoption in our May issue.

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courtesy East Coast Greenway Alliance



Cycle to celebrate the growing greenway system


n June 8, local cyclists will gather to celebrate the greenway in the CrossTriangle Greenway Ride. All levels are welcome to join in on the ride to Raleigh, a 25mile jaunt starting in Cary or the full 40-mile ride beginning in downtown Durham. This ride is particularly special


because it uses the new White Oak Creek extension in Cary. “The opening of this trail earlier this year closed a key two-mile gap in the greenway system between downtown Durham and downtown Raleigh,” says John Martin, communications manager of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. “This ride will be the first major event held on this

stretch of greenway.” This 70-mile stretch is the longest protected stretch of the entire 3,000mile East Coast Greenway route in a metropolitan area, according to Martin. The Triangle greenway system and its preservation have become a model that other urban areas strive to replicate. “Along the trail you’ll pass city parks,

clockwise: Robert Willett; John Rottet; courtesy East Coast Greenway Alliance


the grounds of the state’s art museum, two universities and scenic boardwalks through woods and marshes,” Martin says. “You can leave downtown Durham at the trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail and enjoy traffic-free greenways all the way to downtown Raleigh.” The celebratory ride will include rest stops and conclude at Transfer Co. Food Hall. Not a biker? You can volunteer or just attend the after-party to join in on the fun. —Catherine Currin

40-mile ride starts at 9 a.m. at SouthPoint Crossing Trailhead; 25-mile ride starts at 11 a.m. at Bond Park. To register and find more information, visit

JUNE 2019 | 23

Happening NOW

MUSIC AT RED HAT AMPHITHEATRE ‘Tis the season for outdoor music! Catch one (or all) of the acts coming to Red Hat Amphitheatre this month. Rap, indie, reggae, grunge—it all sounds good to us. This month’s lineup includes: Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals June 6; Lake Street Dive June 7; Wu-Tang Clan June 8; O.A.R. June 12; Jon Bellion June 15; Vampire Weekend June 21; Slightly Stoopid June 22; Shinedown June 26. See website for showtimes and tickets; 500 S. Salisbury St.;



Triangle Restaurant Week kicks off June 3 for seven days of celebrating good eats in our area. Restaurants like 18 Seaboard, Garland, so•ca, Jose and Sons and Margaux’s Restaurant will offer special three-course menus with fixed pricing for lunch ($15) and/ or dinner ($20-$35). No reservations or special tickets are required. Visit the website for a list of participating restaurants. Table manners: price is per person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Elastic-waist pants are optional.

Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP (RED HAT); Juli Leonard (FOOD)

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YACHT ROCK Bless the rains down in Africa at Ritz Raleigh June 7 when Yacht Rock Revue sails into town. This light rock cover band from Atlanta brings it all: silky smooth crooning, saxophones and synths, polyester, mirrored shades and captain’s hats, too. This is an all-ages show, so bring your folks—it’s their music, anyway. It’s gonna take a lot to drag them away from this revue. 7:30 p.m. $15; 2820 Industrial Drive;

,HÉD LSRHB RÇQHJǜ an original chord At KINGS, Cheetie Kumar’s rocker personality and spirit shine loud and clear. Her popular indie music venue welcomes bands, visitors and locals to jam out in an intimate space with great acoustics and the coolest vibe. KINGS, along with Kumar’s restaurant, Garland, and cocktail bar, Neptunes Parlour, are all original places here in Raleigh to enjoy with friends and family. Learn more at


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Getty Images (STOCK); courtesy Raleigh Boychoir (CHOIR)




The three Stockton sisters—all hot messes—gather for a weekend in Cape Cod to sort out their deceased father’s affairs. What could go wrong? Theatre in the Park presents Of Good Stock, a new play by Melissa Ross, that explores the ties that bind and puts the “fun” in dysfunctional. See website for show dates and times; from $19; 107 Pullen Road;


RALEIGH BOYCHOIR CONCERT The Raleigh Boychoir presents Dawning of Spring at Christ Episcopal Church June 8. This year’s spring concert commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy and will feature music by American and French composers. 3 p.m.; from $10; 120 E. Edenton St.;

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Leslie Odom, Jr.

FRI/SAT, OCT 18-19 | 8PM

Best known for his Tony Awardwinning performance as Aaron Burr in the original cast of Broadway’s Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Symphony with a specially curated selection of Broadway and jazz hits.


Concert Sponsor: Causey Aviation – Private Jet Management

Holiday Pops

FRI, DEC 13 | 8PM SAT, DEC 14 | 3PM & 8PM

North Carolina Symphony Children’s Chorus Jeremy Tucker, chorus director

The Music of Elton John Featuring Michael Cavanaugh FRI/SAT, JAN 17-18 | 8PM

Concert Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC

Swing is the Thing


Dave Bennett, clarinet and vocals

nOg Run Club breaks a record


FRI, FEB 14 | 8PM SAT, FEB 15 | 3PM & 8PM

A Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration


FRI, MAR 6 | 8PM SAT, MAR 7 | 3PM & 8PM

Oscar Hammerstein III, host

Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd., and Warner/Chappell Music. © 2019 & TM LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © DISNEY


“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” in Concert FRI/SAT, APR 24-25 | 8PM

Don’t miss one of the most popular films of all time, shown on the big screen with John Williams’ unforgettable score performed live by the Symphony.

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oss on your flip flops and start jogging June 8—you may just be part of a world record! The nOg run club is hosting the 5th annual Flip Flop 1K, and club president Elizabeth Pagano says they are hoping to beat their own world record. “We need 1,347 people to beat our record from last year. The official world record is ‘the largest thong sandals race’—essentially the most people walking in flip flops,” says Pagano. The idea was born when the Irishinspired run club couldn’t break a different record. “We tried to break the Guinness World Record for the largest kilt run for five years and couldn’t do it,” says Pagano. “We were determined to break a record and started looking for one we could really do. That's how we came across the Flip Flop 1K.” Speed is not really the purpose: the

‘race,’ which Pagano says is more like a parade, is all about fundraising for the community. “Everything that we do is a fundraiser,” says Pagano. “We donate to a different charity every month.” Past fundraising recipients include Oak City Soccer, Read and Feed and Neighbor to Neighbor. This year’s Flip Flop 1K will benefit Wake County Holiday Cheer, a program that sponsors children during the holidays. The race begins at Bond Brothers Brewing in downtown Cary and is a loop around Chatham Street—sign up and you’ll get a t-shirt and commemorative medal. Can’t make the race? The nOg run club meets every Monday at the Raleigh Beer Garden on Glenwood Avenue—but for those runs, sneakers are required! — Catherine Currin $20; June 8; To register, visit

courtesy nOg Run Club

Cavanaugh, his energetic band, and the North Carolina Symphony will pay tribute to Sir Elton John’s greatest hits, including “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Crocodile Rock,” and more!

Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun (STAGVILLE); courtesy Camden St. Learning Garden (GARDEN)




A state historic site, Stagville was once the grounds of one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. Over 1,000 slaves were freed from the plantation at the end of the Civil War. Commemorate their emancipation at historic Stagville’s Juneteenth celebration June 8. Tour the grounds, hear storytellers, watch reenactors, take part in a cooking demonstration and learn about local history, including how freed people from Stagville helped shape communities in the area. 12 - 5 p.m.; free; 5828 Old Oxford Highway: events/juneteenth-stagville



Dig this: the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and CompostNow are partnering up for a Community Garden Party at the Camden Street Learning Garden (CSLG) June 8. The Garden Get Down celebrates the Southeast Raleigh community garden that provides neighbors with plots of land to cultivate and grow their own food. Get down and dirty and learn about volunteer opportunities at CSLG, participate in garden activities and get a hands-on composting lesson. Then, relax and enjoy free food, cooking demonstrations, garden tours and music. It’s good, green fun for the entire family. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; free; 315 Camden St.;





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AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL Dance like everyone is watching. The American Dance Festival (ADF) takes place June 13-July 20 in Durham. The nation’s preeminent modern dance festival, the ADF supports new works in the genre from emerging and established choreographers and fosters an appreciation of the art form with audiences of all ages. The six-and-a-half week festival features educational forums, training classes, camps and world-class performances. Highlights include: Icons, a tribute to master artists Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and Paul Taylor; Pepperland, inspired by the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Mark Morris Dance Group; and performances by Pilobolus, Malpaso Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Rennie Harris Puremovement American Street Dance Theater. See website for all festival information and ticketing;

Available at

435 Daniels Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27605 (919) 366-6902



The grass gets a little bluer at the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theatre in the Museum Park for the Steep Canyon Rangers with Chatham Rabbits June 14. The Grammy-winning, Asheville-based band has helped popularize bluegrass with modern audiences in part through their collaboration with comedian (and banjo player) Steve Martin. Bring a blanket, folding chairs and a picnic to enjoy that high lonesome sound. 6:30 p.m.; from $27; 2110 Blue Ridge Road;

Getty Images (DANCE); Sandlin Gaither (RANGERS)

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Trot on over to Apex for the Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest June 14-15 presented by the Apex Sunrise Rotary. It’s the pinnacle of pigging out—48 cook teams will compete for over $12,000 in prize money for chicken, ribs, brisket and pork in this Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event. The family-friendly fest kicks off Friday evening with a Pig Pick’n with all the trimmings, live music and a beer garden. Stroll the grounds and watch as the teams prepare for an all-nighter cooking. Come back Saturday to enjoy their hard work, more beer and live music as well as pig races and kid activities. Don’t miss the awards ceremony at 5 p.m. to see who brings home the bacon. See website for festival times; free admission; historic downtown Apex;

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Rubber ducky, you’re the one. The Wakefield Rotary Club presents the Super Duper Duck Splash June 15 at the WRAL Soccer Park in Wake Forest. The Duck Splash is the club’s signature fundraiser for youth initiatives in the community, including Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club, Note in the Pocket, SAFEchild and NC Football Club. Here’s how it works: individuals or organizations “adopt” rubber ducks to be entered into a race on a souped-up slip-and-slide. Ducks can be purchased in singles or groups (lonely ducks for $5; six quacks for $25; quacker’s dozen for $50; a flock of 25 for $100; a big quack pack of 50 for $200). Cash prizes are awarded to the top three finishers. Make a splash: in addition to the race, there will be family games, a bouncy house, food trucks, sponsor booths and giveaways, which all sounds just ducky. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.; free; 7700 Perry Creek Road;



There will be cobbler! Celebrate summer at The Well Fed Community Garden’s 3rd Annual Blackberry Festival June 15. The Well Fed Community Garden is an urban garden that grows seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers using organic practices. Celebrate the fruit of that labor with activities for the entire family, live music and frolicking in the garden. Enjoy a garden salad and a slice from the garden’s pizza oven. Oh, and blackberry cobbler. Did we mention there would be cobbler?




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See that iconic embrace in the surf on the big screen. The Rialto presents From Here to Eternity, the classic film set in an Army barracks in Hawaii days before the Pearl Harbor attack starring Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster. The screening is part of Mondays at the Movies, the Rialto’s classic film series presented every third Monday of the month. Enjoy a craft beer, popcorn, surf and Burt Lancaster’s turf. Don’t wait an eternity—tickets are only available for purchase in person during box office hours. 7 p.m.; $5; 1620 Glenwood Ave.;


Too much time on your hands? Set an open course for the Durham Performing Arts Center and come sail away with Styx. Members from the earliest line-up including Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young and Chuck Panozzo will play all the songs, including Lady, Renegade and Fooling Yourself. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. 7:30 p.m.; from $45; 123 Vivian St., Durham;




N.C. SYMPHONY SUMMERFEST June means music by moonlight when the N.C. Symphony decamps to Koka Booth Amphitheatre for Summerfest 2019. The relaxed atmosphere lends itself to such programs as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (June 8) and Broadway’s Greatest Hits (June 29), but it will be especially chill when singer-songwriter and Winston-Salem native Ben Folds joins the symphony June 22. Know when to fold them: lawn chairs, coolers and alcohol are permitted at this event. Concessions and beverages are also available for purchase. 7:30 p.m.; from $49; 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary:



Back this pack. Take part in the 2019 Dereck Whittenburg Foundation Golf Invitational at Cary’s MacGregor Downs Country Club June 24. Proceeds from the event benefit the Dereck Whittenburg Foundation Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to help students complete their college degrees. Sponsor a team, play with a celebrity guest or simply enjoy an afternoon on the links for a good cause. See website for event details and to register; 8311 Brier Creek Pkwy, Cary;

Columbia Pictures (ETERNITY); courtesy Ben Folds (SUMMERFEST); Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP (STYX); Getty Images (GOLF)

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Potter Donna Craven adds salt to a kiln at 2400 degrees; vase by Travis Owens

SEAGROVE POTTERY TOUR Meet the potters of Wood Fire NC


asting about for something to do the first weekend of June? Road trip down US-1 for the first-ever Seagrove Wood Fire NC Weekend Pottery Tour in Seagrove, N.C. Seagrove is one of the largest and oldest communities of potters in the United States, dating back to the 1700s when colonists from England and Germany began settling in the area. Today, Seagrove is home to over 100 potters and artisans, including the descendants of some of the original settlers of the area. A group of 17 of these potters make 36 | WALTER

up Wood Fire NC, a collective of artists established in 2017 that uses the traditional process of firing pottery in a wood burning kiln. Renowned potter Ben Owen III, whose family traces back to the early 1700s, explains: “We met as a group and decided it would be great for the public to be able to come into our studios to learn about the different ways each of use our kilns.” To take part in this premiere event, simply visit the website to download a map and hit the trail. You can also pick up a map at any Wood Fire NC affiliated studio. On the tour, you’ll meet

artists like Sid Luck, The Owens Family, Donna Craven, Hitomi Shibata and Daniel Johnston; talk with them about their craft as you shop your way through the scenic potters’ town. Wrap up your tour on Saturday at 5 p.m. and head to nearby StarWorks Tap Room for a meet and greet, microbrews and food truck fare. “We hope this will be a continuing event,” says Owen, “a new tradition for this historic community. ” —Katherine Poole Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, June 2, 12 - 4 p.m.;

courtesy Seagrove Wood Fire NC

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From the top: the studio of Ben Owen III; a platter by Hitomi Shibata; Venus by Anne Pärtna; a jar by David Stuempfle

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FATHER JOHN MISTY AND JASON ISBELL Play Misty for me. Father John Misty and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will co-headline at Koka Booth Amphitheatre June 25. Both singers are known for their introspective songwriting and engaging stage presence, which will make for an intimate evening under the stars. Travel light: all you need is a lawn chair. Coolers are prohibited, but there will be plenty of food and drink vendors open to keep the good vibrations flowing. 7 p.m.; from $49.75; 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary;


ALI WONG Ali Wong became a star after her wildly popular Netflix special Baby Cobra aired in 2016. She also became a mother: Wong famously performed the show while seven months pregnant. She continues to find success as a stand-up as well as a writer on the TV show Fresh Off the Boat. Catch this rising star June 26-27 at the Durham Performing Arts Center on her Milk and Money Tour. Know before you go: this show is for mature audiences and there is a strict no cell phone policy. 7 p.m.; from $39.50; 123 Vivian St., Durham;



DWIGHT YOAKAM Little sister, don’t you want to catch Dwight Yoakam June 27 for some guitars, Cadillacs and hillbilly music? The prolific and awardwinning singer-songwriter will bring that hip honky tonk sound to the Carolina Theatre for an evening of country cool as twangy as the artist’s own name. 8 p.m.; from $89.50; 309 W. Morgan St., Durham;


GOLDFINGER It’s been 55 years since 007 encountered the beautiful Shirley Eaton dipped in gold body paint. Get shaken and stirred all over again when Goldfinger screens at the Carolina Theatre in Durham June 28-30. Arguably the best of the Bond films, Goldfinger introduced us to Oddjob, the baddest of baddies, Q and his gadgets, that Aston Martin, Shirley Bassey’s scorching theme song and a certain Ms. Galore. See website for show times; $9.50; 309 W. Morgan St., Durham;

courtesy United Artists (WEST SIDE STORY); Jay Godwin (BESCHLOSS), Getty Images (FEAR, SUGAR)



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2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh


NORTH STAR CHURCH OF THE ARTS Durham’s new community space


t’s a place where creativity is sacred and artists are the ones preaching the gospel. The site of North Star Church of the Arts in downtown Durham has served as a house of worship since it was built as a church for the deaf in 1931, and functioned as an all-signing ministry and congregation until the 1970s. In January 2019, it started a new sort of sacred journey: as a venue to celebrate Triangle artists and explore how creativity and art feed spirituality. Here, creators and performers come together to share how art transforms them both as citizens and as artists. “Art has a capacity to help people contextualize, to move through trauma, and be therapeutic,” says Executive Director Heather Cook. Funny story: Cook and her husband, guitarist Phil Cook, almost purchased the church themselves to convert it into a space for performance. Other buyers struck the deal first, but unbeknownst to the Cooks, those buyers—creative First Couple of Durham, Nnenna and Phil Freelon—happened to share their vision of using it as a community performance space. It was a


matter of dreaming and scheming that amounted to a spiritual kismet of sorts. After a serendipitous meeting, Cook and the Freelons put their heads together over coffee for several months to make North Star Church of the Arts come to life. Cook says it best. “Art is sacred and worth fighting for.” North Star Church of the Arts curates programming for the third weekend of every month, then leaves the rest of the calendar open for community groups (past events have included rummage sales, film screenings and theatrical performances). For the third Thursday performances, expect to be delighted by music, poetry, puppetry or dance that culminates with a Sunday worship service led by a member of the creative community. Later this summer it will host The Gospel According to Nina Simone, programmed in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. —Ilina Ewen Visit for a calendar of upcoming events and rental information.

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8411 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 107 Raleigh, NC 27612 919-783-7100

108 E. Chatham St. Cary, NC 27511 919-467-6341

1201-J Raleigh Rd. Chapel Hill, NC 27517 919-929-1590

4209 Lassiter Mill Rd., Ste. 130 Raleigh, NC 27609 919-600-6200

Make tracks to the New Hope Valley Railway’s Brew ‘n’ Choo June 29. New Hope Valley is a heritage railroad in Bonsal, N.C., operated by the North Carolina Railway Museum, a volunteer-run nonprofit. Engineer a little family outing and enjoy a chargrilled chicken sandwich from The Spiedie Turtle or a tasty beverage from White Street Brewing. Get on board: proceeds from the event will go towards the construction of restrooms at the railway facility. See website for departure times; from $7; 3900 Bonsal Road, Bonsal;

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MOVIES UNDER THE MOON Catch a movie under the night sky at one of the area’s outdoor venues this month.

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LOOKING for an ITB LOT or TEARDOWN for a NEW HOME BUILD? June 1 Isle of Dogs: Sit, Stay, NCMA Movie Party June 7 Battle of the Rom-Coms Winner June 8 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse June 28 Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb June 29 Movie Party with Bohemian Rhapsody GARNER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER MOVIE NIGHT ON THE BACK LAWN SERIES June 6 JAWS June 20 Jurassic Park

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This Father’s Day, treat Dad to a day (or night!) out enjoying some of his favorite things. Whether he’s into sports, music, food or cars, consider one of these 17 extra-manly events happening on his special weekend.




Bond Brothers Brewery Tour June 15 • The Great Raleigh Trolley Brunch and Bubbly Tour June 16 • Party on the Blacktop at Glenwood Avenue House of Hops June 16

Nature Play Day at the Prarie Ridge Ecostation June 15 • Guided Farm Tour with goat cuddle time at Hux Family Farm in Durham June 16

LISTEN TO TUNES The Steep Canyon Rangers play at the Theater in the Museum Park June 14 at NCMA • Nightrain, a Guns N’ Roses Tribute Band, and Thunderstruck, an AC/DC Tribute Band, perform at the Lincoln Theatre June 15 • The N.C. Symphony Under the Stars at Koka Booth Amphitheatre June 15



GET SOME CULTURE Comedian Jay Mohr performs at Raleigh Improv June 14-16 • Trading Places and The Blues Brothers screen at the Carolina Theatre in Durham June 14 • Pippin is at Raleigh Little Theatre June 14-16

Carolina Mudcats play the Winston-Salem Dash June 15, and baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers will make a special appearance • The N.C. Courage take on the Portland Thorns June 15 • The Durham Bulls host the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders June 14-16

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Man Expo at the N.C. State Fairgrounds June 15-16 • Wake Forest Charity Car Show June 15 • Father’s Day Cars and Cue in Knightdale June 16


Just released: Phase II homes These premier homes represent the pinnacle of High Country grandeur. And they’re going quickly: our Phase I offering sold out in one weekend. Lookout Ridge presents a low-maintenance, lock-and-leave mountain living experience with multiple home options—all in a walkable, amenity-rich village that fosters connectivity and wellness.

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6I[HPU [OL 7YVWLY[` 9LWVY[ YLX\PYLK I` -LKLYHS 3H^ ILMVYL ZPNUPUN HU`[OPUN (SS PUMVYTH[PVU PZ ILSPL]LK [V IL HJJ\YH[L I\[ PZ UV[ ^HYYHU[LK ;OPZ PUMVYTH[PVU ZOHSS UV[ JVUZ[P[\[L H ]HSPK VɈ LY PU HU` Z[H[L ^OLYL WYPVY YLNPZ[YH[PVU PZ YLX\PYLK ;OPZ information and features and information described and depicted herein is based on proposed development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may or may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities, or facilities depicted by an artist’s rendering or otherwise described herein will be built, or, if built will be the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. © 2015 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC.


From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

Ealdwine owners Matt Gray, left, and Jim Pietryka, center, fit writer Billy Warden in a shirt and blazer.

DAPPER DESIGN Ealdwine brings sophisticated style to McDowell Street by BILLY WARDEN


photography by SMITH HARDY

att Gray’s soul is deeply invested in your soles. “When I put someone in a pair of these,” he proclaims, “I get cold chills. My hairs stand on end.” Gray gestures reverently to an array of shoes displayed on a handsome hardwood table. But to call them shoes is, as Gray tells it, like referring to a Bentley as a mere set of wheels. These are Aldens, a men’s brand that dates back more than a century. Evidently they cast a powerful spell: Rumor is that Harrison Ford was so bewitched with the brand that he insisted on wearing Alden boots—sometimes his own personal pair— throughout his globetrotting adventures as Indiana Jones. 46 | WALTER

Gray owns 50 pairs. Yes, 5-0, dwarfing the combined fancy footwear collection of my wife and me—and these are shoes that cost between $400 to $500 a pair. He is also the owner of Ealdwine Gentlemen’s Shop, which opened on McDowell Street in the spring and hopes to hook the capital city’s stylish set on the joys of not only Alden, but of tapping into a headto-toe collection of made-in-North America men’s clothes and accessories. The shop, named for the phrase “old friend” in Old English, arrives as high-end menswear is surging, with forecasts indicating luxury lines for guys will grow faster than women's over the next several years. In the meantime, Raleigh is just

as flush with growth and prosperity. But is the Oak City ready to shed its quasi-signature ensemble of a polo shirt, khakis and sneakers for this tailored, polished look? Gray’s business partner, Jim Pietryka, is optimistic. He’s also a relative laggard, owning a mere 40 pairs of Alden. However, he’s an ace at describing the traits that make the shoes special: The eyelets! The speed hooks! The durability! The partners met where everyone connects these days: online. Specifically, at, a hub for men’s fashion fanatics. They took note of each other’s passion for Alden and the fact that they both reside in Cary. Soon, they teamed up to pursue opening a rare Alden-sanctioned store. The shoe was, as it were, a fit: Alden approved the store and has so far produced seven styles available only there. But Ealdwine is not exclusively about footwear. The accessories include pens, one with an exterior shell made of acorn tops; and pocket knives, my favorite boasting a handle inlaid with fossilized woolly mam-

moth tooth (Father’s Day hint!). Slipping into the clothes at Ealdwine is a sensualist’s delight, I discovered on a recent visit. First comes an offer of bourbon, always a winning start. Soon I’m in a checkered button-down that feels refreshingly cool to the skin and is guaranteed to wick away moisture—you know, in case the price of the full ensemble gives me the sweats. The first pair of jeans I sampled were tight enough to have me squeaking in a pained falsetto, but that was remedied by a fuller fit. A lightweight blazer tops things off, though it’s not quite the topper: For the pièce de résistance, Pietryka guides my feet into an elegant, hand-sewn snuff suede penny loafer, “perfect for summer.” It may not be a religious experience, but, coming with all the pomp and circumstance, it certainly feels like a rite of passage. “Once you get your first pair,” promises Gray, “there’s no going back.” Gentlemen of Raleigh, are you ready to slide into a new obsession? JUNE 2019 | 47


FOR THE BIRDS Bill Satterwhite has been helping Raleigh bluebirds for decades by SUSANNA KLINGENBERG


n a fateful Saturday in 1992, Bill Satterwhite was teaching a Master Gardener class at Historic Oak View County Park when one of his students found an old bluebird box in a supply shed. “Hey, Bill!” the student said. “Know how to hang a bluebird box?” “Sure I do!” he replied. Satterwhite actually didn’t know how to hang a bluebird box. But he did like a challenge.


photography by S.P. MURRAY

After a bit of reading—this was before YouTube, after all—he returned to the park to install the box. By the time he’d stepped back to make sure it was level, a pair of bluebirds were already inspecting the box. Satterwhite laughs at the memory: “That’ll get you hooked!” Now, at 99 years old, Satterwhite is still hooked. Affectionately known as Mr. Bluebird, his knowledge, commitment and infectious enthusiasm for bluebirds has helped the bird recover from near

extinction in Wake County. Years ago, the Eastern bluebird could be spotted regularly in North Carolina. But the brightly colored species depend on old wooden fence posts and dead trees to build their nests. “When people clear land,” Satterwhite says, “they eliminate those possibilities. So bluebirds have become endangered. Today, without manmade boxes, we would have no bluebirds.” Thanks to Satterwhite, bluebirds in Raleigh have plenty of boxes to call

home. He has donated and installed more than 100 bluebird boxes across Raleigh, stretching from the Lonnie Poole Golf Course to Mordecai Historic Park to Historic Oak View County Park, where Satterwhite’s passion began nearly three

decades ago. Emily Catherman Fryar, Historic Oak View County Park manager, says visitors enjoy the fruits of this labor: “The boxes Mr. Satterwhite installed have produced countless hatchlings. They are an incredible addition to Historic Oak View!” N.C. State’s University Club enjoys their resident bluebirds too: General Manager James Ivankovich calls the club’s boxes “a source of conversation and education for members old and young alike.” In his many years teaching about bluebirds, Satterwhite’s favorite audience was young people. For decades, he made frequent appearances in Raleigh classrooms and after-school programs. He had an ongoing collaboration with the Martin Middle School Wonderous Wings Ornithology elective, donating supplies and labor to help students install bluebird boxes on the school campus. Alex Beko, a 7th grade science teacher at Martin, calls Satterwhite’s visits “…magical. He capti-

vated the kids’ hearts and imaginations.” It’s that enthusiasm that inspired Satterwhite to direct the North Carolina Bluebird Society and found the Wake County Bluebirders, a bluebird club with more members than any other county in the state. Satterwhite’s accolades from local groups are too many to name, but he doesn’t let it go to his head. He wants to focus people’s attention on the larger conservation movement his bluebird boxes are part of. To ensure his conversation efforts continue for years to come, Satterwhite is training the next generation of bluebirders. He wants to instill in young people the importance of protecting creatures that depend on humans for survival. He has mentored people like Joye Stephenson, who co-coordinates the Raleigh Bluebirders with him, and has made considerable bluebirding resources public online. To build your own bluebird box, visit

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Shana Tucker blends classical, jazz, folk and more in her distinct musical style by SUSANNA KLINGENBERG


hana Tucker can lean into her New York accent when the occasion calls for it. It was Long Island public schools that got her started in music, after all. But the cellist and singer-songwriter knows that roots don’t tell the whole story: “I tell people, ‘I grew up in New York, but I’m from North Carolina.’” As her chosen home kicks off the “Come Hear North Carolina” campaign in what Governor Roy Cooper has declared “The Year of Music,” Tucker is excited to contribute to the fun—both on-stage and in classrooms across the state. She chose North Carolina in part for its thriving music scene and rich musical heritage: “James Taylor, Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Roberta Flack, Anthony Hamilton, The Avett Brothers, so many more. There’s something in the water here!” The diversity of North Carolina’s musical heritage is reflected in Tucker’s style: you’ll hear bits of soul, jazz, samba, down-tempo pop, classical and folk. She calls it ChamberSoul—a nod to her classical training, but also a description of the intimacy she nurtures with fellow musicians and listeners. That intimacy is embodied in her story-forward lyrics and warm stage presence, full of honest backstory and a deep appreciation for her audience. Instead of letting her


Jannelle Blackman


technical mastery create distance, she uses it to draw listeners in, as if she were saying with a wink, “C’mere. Listen to this.” Her sound is described as a mix between Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman and Bill Withers. But however you describe it, the joy in Tucker’s work is this: her beats make you groove, her lyrics make you nod in recognition and her wide-open love of music makes you come back for more. The crowd that keeps coming back for more is just as diverse as Tucker’s ChamberSoul style. The seats at a recent Haw River Ballroom concert held some of the usual suspects—fellow musicians and creatives, locals and their families. But there was also a crew of teachers from schools Tucker had visited and down front, a rowdy, whoop-y throng: Tucker’s friends from the gym. This generous approach to her art serves Tucker as well in the classroom as it does on the stage. A passionate advocate for arts education, Tucker frequently visits local schools to deliver workshops, talk about the creative process and co-write lyrics with kids. She serves as an A+ (Arts Integration) School Fellow in Wake County, working with students, faculty, and staff to

ensure the arts are a fundamental part of education across the curriculum. Michael Tiemann, co-owner and general manager of Manifold Records in Pittsboro, says teaching is just a logical extension of what Tucker does on stage: “She’s a natural teacher and leader. She does a great job of reading a room, whether it’s a room full of musicians or a room full of kids.” And Tiemann would know: he recently commissioned Tucker to write a new composition to be recorded at Manifold Records. As he watched her shape the ensemble and the piece, he recorded the process of moving from idea to arrangement to rehearsal to final recording. The resulting documentary will be released later this year, and the commissioned piece, “In the Moment,” will debut late this summer. In the meantime, be sure to grab tickets now to the July 26 performance at Sharp 9 Gallery in Durham, where Tucker and saxophonist James “Saxmo” Gates will cover the album Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley.

“She’s a natural teacher and leader. She does a great job of reading a room, whether it’s a room full of musicians or a room full of kids.” — Michael Tiemann

To see more performances or invite Tucker to your child’s school, visit



From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise


Meet the group that races scaled-down yachts on Lake Crabtree by AYN-MONIQUE KLAHRE photography by TRAVIS LONG


t the blare of the horn, eight-foot-tall remote-controlled sailboats speed past each other around Lake Crabtree, tacking left and right to finish a course marked by buoys. These boats are not toys, and their pilots aren’t kids: these are to-scale models of Olympic-caliber yachts, steered with all the finesse you’d find in a full-size race. “It’s the same kind of racing you see at the regattas around the country, except


scaled down—and of course, the sailor is not on the boat!” laughs Rick Ferguson, a former commodore of the club, who’s been a member for about 12 years. On Sunday mornings from March through November, you’ll find Ferguson among about a dozen others setting sail on area lakes as part of the Triangle Model Yacht Club. It’s actually one of the older clubs in the country—the most famous one meets in New York City’s Central Park—and it attracts mostly

middle-aged-to-older men, tinkerers and ex-athletes. “We welcome new members of any age or gender—since most of us are of retirement age, recruitment is important!” says Ferguson. “And we are more than willing to help a total novice learn the ropes if they want to race.” The spirit is one of friendly competition and camaraderie, the kind that builds over years of spending Saturday mornings shoulder to shoulder with like-minded folks. “It’s a test of skill

SW reason to be there, it accelerates learning, and it scratches a competitive itch,” Ferguson says. The club races four classes of boats: EC12, Star 45, Victoria and RC Laser. In a two-hour session, they’ll usually have eight races, each about ten to 15 minutes long. “That’s one of the coolest things—that you can have a ton of races,” says Roberson. Beyond the weekly races, the group hosts regional and national regattas, and travels to other clubs for regattas. The club races three seasons a year, with the best sailing in the fall (“Summer is sort of a drifting contest,” says Ferguson). “If you’re interested in sailing, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to experience all the intricacies of racing without spending thousands on a boat,” says member Gerry Cobley. Beyond that: “It’s a fun way to spend a morning,” he says. “Even if you don’t understand it, it’s a beautiful sight to see these boats moving across the water.”


and strategy,” says current commodore Michael Roberson. “Everybody has a similar boat, the same lake and the same wind, so the winner is whoever does the best job of getting to the starting line first and racing around the course the fastest. It’s mentally challenging.” There are two ways to win: by sailing faster, and by using the wind to sail a shorter course. Most participants have raced full-size boats in the past—Roberson grew up sailing on Kerr Lake—and say that model yacht racing is surprisingly similar to being on the boat itself. “If it’s going really right and everything’s good, you feel it, if it hits a wave or slows down, you feel it,” says Roberson. The club is not about modeling or boat building—though some members do that, too—it’s about competition. “If there wasn’t racing involved, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much—it would be just sailing around in circles,” says member Chase Thomas. “Racing gives you a

Brightleaf Square, Downtown Durham 919-683-1474 •



Family Promise keeps families together that are experiencing homelessness by ADDIE LADNER photography by TYLER CUNNINGHAM


he path to homelessness can be unexpected. One Wake County family, for example, was living paycheck to paycheck, diligently paying rent each month. But when the landlord stopped paying the mortgage, the building was foreclosed on and the family displaced. Thanks to Family Promise, this family didn’t have to choose between staying together or having a safe place to sleep


at night: they were connected to an area church with a spare room, where they could stay until they found a new home. Family Promise of Wake County (an affiliate of the national organization) works with local churches to provide as many as ten families at a time safety and security for up to eight weeks. This year, the organization will celebrate 25 years of keeping families together that are experiencing homelessness through their support services and transitional

housing options. While other homeless shelters around Wake County may only accept women and children or have other criteria like age cut-offs, Family Promise of Wake County is able to accommodate the family as one unit. “We treat homelessness as an instance of trauma; we don’t want to cause more traumas by separating the family,” says Danielle Butler, executive director of FPWC. “If I’m experiencing a crisis, the last thing I want is to be separated from

my family. Any success will start from your own natural support system.” Butler says that homelessness in Wake County is largely linked to underemployment and low-paying part-time work in a city with high-priced rent. “Many of the families we work with are given 29 hours so companies don’t have to provide benefits. Parents are piecing together multiple part-time jobs and would have to work over one hundred hours a week to properly provide for their family,” she says. “What person could work that much and still provide childcare and have a healthy lifestyle?” Butler considers this the root of homelessness in our area. One local mother, who asked to remain anonymous, found herself and her three children homeless in the blink of an eye. She says that finding a church shelter through Family Promise was a

huge relief. “Just knowing that we’d all be together was what I needed. I didn’t have to worry about meals to cook; we took showers, we played games. We were safe and that’s all that really mattered.”

transportation for families. Utilizing local spaces allows the organization’s overhead costs to stay low so the majority of their resources can go directly into programs that can help individuals exit homelessness for good. These programs include job training, case management services, financial guidance as well as access to the organization’s office and day center, where families can do laundry, shower and spend time together. The staff of six wants the families to view the day center as their own space. “We tell them, this is your space, and we just work here. Take pride and ownership of it,” Butler says. The organization has served 1,500 Wake County families to date. “I’m not happy that we’ve had that many families experiencing homelessness, but I’m glad that we’re here to help them.”

“We treat homelessness as an instance of trauma; we don’t want to cause more traumas by separating the family.” — Danielle Butler, Executive Director It’s a community-wide problem that requires a community-wide effort, as WCFP doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar shelters. Fortunately, Wake County is home to generous churches that have volunteered their space as shelters. Two churches operate per night, and the families stay on a week-by-week basis. The program relies on volunteers who turn the spaces into private bedrooms at night, serve meals and provide

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NOTED Two powerful sites challenge NCMA Director Emeritus Larry Wheeler to contemplate our Southern history

Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures

A Visit to Montgomery


just returned from Montgomery, Alabama, where I visited the Legacy Museum and its affiliated National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Together, along with dozens of sites in the capital city, these tell the story of how slavery came to define the South, its past and present history and that of America, as well. The impact of the experience on me as a Southerner and an American was profoundly emotional, a reawakened awareness that brings both grief and guilt. More than 835,000 African souls were


auctioned in the South between 1804 and 1862, a preponderant number of them in Montgomery. The purpose, as we know, was to service the cotton plantations, the backbone of the Southern economy. We all know how the Civil War came to be. What we struggle to feel fully, however, is the impact that slavery had on individual human lives, our regional value and what it means to be Southern. African families were separated from one another, placed in chains, beaten to death. Those who survived the horrors of the Civil War era

were often condemned to be victims of tyranny and terror that raged through the South for nearly a century more. The new National Memorial for Peace and Justice tells this story poignantly. Opened in April 2018 on a six-acre site overlooking downtown Montgomery, the elegant, sweeping pavilion contains more than 800 six-foot Corten steel slabs, each representing a state and county, etched with the thousands of names of victims according to the location of the murders. They hang from above. One passes through and under this mass of hanging forms representing real human beings: between 1877 and 1950, more than 4,400 racially-motivated lynchings occurred in 12 Southern states, North Carolina among them. Most of these victims were murdered because of hearsay of insults to white people. One man was hanged in 1889 for frightening a white girl, another for asking a white woman for a drink of water. The lynchings were most often mob-induced spectacles attended by the

created within a warehouse near the river, where slaves were incarcerated before being distributed for sale by boat or rail. The museum was founded and funded by the Equal Justice Initiative, an extraordinary organization which explores racial inequality both in the past and in the contemporary world. It is not as an afterthought that we are reminded that six million black persons migrated out of the South between 1910 and 1940. Unnerving stories are told in dramatic and engaging ways. Holograms featuring first-person accounts of the enslaved and incarcerated, video, photographs documenting racial violence and, yes, of the lynchings, are woven into the interpretive presentations. But there are also recorded dance, music and art performances which help interpret the story. One cannot help leaving the museum or memorial without feeling that we must do more to seek the truth about racial inequality. It’s easy to get caught up in romanticizing the South and our culture. There is much to be proud of in the

The aggregate impact of the memorial is to make us feel this history... the experience is emotional and transformative. community. The aggregate impact of the memorial is to make us feel this history. And to be sure, the experience is emotional and transformative. The surrounding gardens offer necessary opportunities for reflection and meditation with powerful works by my friend Hank Willis Thomas, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo and Dana King, and stirring words by Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Alexander and Maya Angelou. As you might have guessed, I consider this to be one of the great memorials of the world and a must-do experience for every woman, man and child. On the taxi ride back to the hotel, I asked my African-American driver if he had been to the memorial. “No,” he said, “it would be too difficult to be reminded of the reality.” The Legacy Museum, a short ride or a long walk from the Memorial, has been

literature, music and all the arts. And we do raise up and honor the African Americans who helped to shape this culture. But when all is said and done, there is still the history, the struggle, the discrimination, the segregation and the terror. A quote by Maya Angelou on the wall of the museum confronts us: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” My trip to Montgomery reminded me. I recommend a visit to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. While you are in Montgomery, you can also visit the Rosa Parks Museum, Martin Luther King’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and the Civil Rights Memorial Center. I encourage you to consult the websites and plan a visit. There is a lot to think about in Montgomery. There is a lot to think about. JUNE 2019 | 59

Smith Hardy


Take a Bite

Forget that beach body—come summertime, we want to taste all the goodness. This special section is an ode to the food we love and the people who make it so darn good. Warning: The following pages may induce hunger. 62 Surf-inspired beverages 64 Piled-high sandwiches 66 The king of giant veggies 68 Father-son food entrepreneurs 72 A case for plant-based grilling 76 Big-time, small-town BBQ 84 …and ice cream! JUNE 2019 | 61


From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

Co-owners of Lola’s Beach Bar, Larry Carter, left, and Bobby Lewis, right.

ISLAND TIME Lola’s Beach Bar livens up Five Points by CATHERINE CURRIN photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD


ne step off the bustle of Glenwood Avenue, and you feel like you’re on vacation. Welcome to Lola’s Beach Bar, the newest addition to Five Points, filled with freshly-made cocktails and beach-inspired cuisine. Co-owner and operator Larry Carter hopes that you feel a sense of paradise from the moment you enter, whether you’re there for a cocktail or ordering from the food menu. The bar has a come-as-you-are surfer vibe, from the board above the door to the cut-bamboo awning, to the abundance of real and painted palm leaves and the scattered, mismatched stools. “We want this to be a social atmosphere, and it’s already become somewhat of a neighborhood bar,” says Carter. Here, it’s summer all year long underneath the covered, dog-friendly patio, and the fruity and fresh cocktails—daiquiris, margari62 | WALTER

tas and a rainbow-colored Voodoo Juice for two, served in a bucket—flow like it’s always five o’clock somewhere. Carter and his wife, Ashley, partnered with Bobby and Cindy Lewis on the project. Bobby Lewis owns the Five Points building, and he says he’s thrilled that they’ve collaborated on this concept. “My wife and I have traveled many times to St. John and always loved the smaller beach bars that are so popular there. We thought, ‘This could really work here in Raleigh.’ Larry was the perfect person to help with that vision.” The two couples say they hope to open more locations with the same vision as Lola’s gains popularity. Cindy Lewis worked with Carter to create a menu filled with fresh produce and housemade ingredients whenever possible. “We developed the entire menu and manufacture the fresh components here daily. We wanted to give the whole

island experience, from the drinks to the food,” she says. Some menu favorites: nachos piled high, fish tacos bikinistyle (served as a lettuce wrap) as well as the pancake tacos—the tortillas swapped for a pancake filled with eggs and bacon—that are served during Saturday and Sunday brunch. Carter, who has worked in and owned bars in Raleigh since the 90s, developed a top-notch bar menu with everything from classic beers to margaritas with freshly-squeezed citrus—he even went to Jamaica to research the perfect combination for his rum punch. The bar’s name comes from a beach trip, too: Carter visited Costa Rica back in 2013 to surf, and met a pig named Lola at a beachside shack. He took the name and the vibe and ran with it. “Lola represents the surfer girl spirit,” he says. “We wanted this spot to be your escape when you can’t be at the beach.”

PINEAPPLE JALAPEÑO MARGARITA Ingredients: Jalapeño muddled in lime juice 1 1/2 oz Blue Agave tequila 1 /2 oz oz Triple Sec 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice 1 1/2 oz Lola’s Sour Mix (a proprietary blend of citrus) Shake, then serve over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

JAMAICAN RUM PUNCH Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rum 1 1/2 oz coconut milk Pineapple juice Orange juice Splash of grenadine Shake, then serve over ice. Garnish with citrus.

Unique, Brilliant, and Beautiful With a 10,000 square foot sparkling showroom and friendly non-commissioned experts on hand, you’ll find the ring she’s always dreamed of.


Billy Williams inside Boondini’s. Far right: A steak sub sandwich.

From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

MADE RIGHT HERE Boondini’s sandwiches pile it high by SUSAN BYRUM ROUNTREE


trip to Boondini’s Sandwich Superstore requires serious decision-making. With close to 45 sandwiches and seven salads on the menu, you could eat there every day of the week—some folks do—and not have the same thing twice.


photography by EAMON QUEENEY

Will it be The Secretary—fresh veggies and cheese on a pita with homemade cucumber dressing—or The Kaiser Bill—a hot sandwich, meat of your choice and two cheeses, served on a kaiser roll? That one’s self-named for Boondini’s owner Billy Williams, 68, who has manned the counter practically

every day for the past 30 years. You’ll find nothing like Boondinis anywhere around, and Williams piles his signature sandwiches high with creativity. There’s the Slawd Amighty, roast beef or turkey on a kaiser with Thousand Island and slaw, and The Bureaucrat, hot roast beef on pumpernickel, created as a

way to use more of that cucumber dressing. And fresh lemonade and orangeade, served over shaved ice. “We Make It Here” is the shop’s longtime slogan, and it’s true: Even the meatballs are handmade in the store. Boondini’s began in 1977, when Billy Williams wanted out of a government job in Alabama. As a graduate student studying product design in the mid70s, he’d devoured subs from Sadlack’s Heroes, the old sandwich shop on Hillsborough Street, and he thought he could duplicate the idea. He and a friend from Buies Creek rented a space near Campbell University’s campus–the first Boondini’s—borrowing the nickname of Williams’ step-niece. Boondini’s sandwiches are designed, not made, he says, piled high with ingredients that spill out of the edges. Soups simmer toward the very top of the bowl. Recipes have come from family and staff, but “we alter everything according to my taste buds,” he says. What makes the perfect sandwich? “It has to look good and taste good,” he says, pointing to the small posters he designed years ago describing how to make each one. In the mid-80s, a golfing buddy and customer offered to help him relocate

his signature menu to north Raleigh. He found space and started designing—everything from the staggered wall line and slanted counter to graphics describing how to build each of the sandwiches—hiring an artist to create a wall mural filled with characters from children’s storybooks, a rack of Highlights magazines nearby. Grab a table, read while you wait or study one of the halfdozen maps on the walls pulled from the pages of National Geographic. For more than 30 years, Boondini’s has developed a cult following in north Raleigh’s Six Forks Station. Business professionals, high school students and families line up at the counter to give Williams their order. “Go ahead,” he says, scribbling in a shorthand only the staff can decipher (there is actually a book about how to read it). “People can’t believe I still take orders with pen and paper,” Williams says. But creating the perfect sandwich requires extensive training on how to even take that order. Some of the newer sandwiches on the menu evolved from the kitchen staff, who Williams describes as the best in town. The Mexican Chicken Sub grew from the lunch cravings of Boondini’s largely Hispanic crew, and now it’s a

customer favorite. Dr. Lynn Wiggs, whose dentist office sits across the street, has been a regular at Boondini’s since it opened. His picture is on the wall. “The staff treats me like royalty,” he says. “You won’t find anything like his sandwiches anywhere.” Wiggs says that he has patients who schedule their dental visits close to lunchtime just so they can eat with him at Boondinis. “And then there is Billy himself,” Wiggs says. “I met him the first day. We have a standing $5 bet on every game State and Wake Forest play. It costs me $5 more than the food, every time.” In three decades, Williams has created a “real community place,” as he banters with customers—especially Carolina and Duke fans—when they walk through the door. Unfortunately, it’s a community that may soon be looking for a new home: Williams loses his lease at the end of this year, and he hopes to retire. If it reopens somewhere else he hopes the new owner will be just as passionate. Once Williams is retired, he says he won’t miss the everyday. There’s golf and playing the harmonica and fishing on the agenda. But he will miss the community—and the sandwiches. JUNE 2019 | 65

SSUMMER FOOD SPECIAL Danny Vester of Spring Hope, N.C., owns the world record for largest cantaloupe as well as three North Carolina state records for pumpkins, his biggest one topping 1,400 pounds, pictured at right.

From left to right: Designed For Joy co-founders Kristen Sydow and Cary Heise

LARGER THAN LIFE Science and the spiritual meld for a veggie whisperer by CHARLES UPCHURCH


anny Vester died in 2004. That makes his world record cantaloupe, grown last year in his garden in Macedonia, N.C., pretty remarkable. Not that a 65.9-pound cantaloupe isn’t an astounding feat on its own. The Guinness Book of World Records has verified 66 | WALTER

photography by BOB KARP

Vester’s mammoth fruit as the biggest cantaloupe ever weighed on planet Earth. That’s impressive, any way you slice it. But his pumpkins are noteworthy, too: The 64-year-old owns three North Carolina state records, the largest topping 1,400 pounds. He also grows big watermelons, turnips, mustard plants and anything else

he can cultivate from seeds with the right genetic codes. Vester is part of an international community of growers specializing in giant produce. Record breakers. They connect online, sharing tips and pictures and becoming friends. Seeds with proven genetic pedigrees are mailed around the

Chris Seward /The News & Observer (PUMPKIN)

world. Vester’s state record pumpkins had already given him street cred, but the world record cantaloupe has lifted him to celebrity status. “I won’t sell seeds,” he says, “but if someone sends me an envelope, I’ll send them some—only on the condition that if they grow something big, they’ll share those seeds with others.” He’s a modern-day Johnny Appleseed gone global, sharing his secrets for the care and cultivation of super-sized fruits and vegetables, of soil science and the balance of calcium, magnesium and iron, how to read leaves and learn their language, the effects of humidity, temperature and sunlight, the biology of cell growth and the life cycle spectrum, root to vine, flower to fruit. With his world-record cantaloupe, Vester discovered a way to extend its life beyond the natural terminus, slowing the ripening stage by cooling the plant under the cover of leaves, resulting in a bigger, heavier fruit. It’s not all genetics; there is much about the secret life of plants that remains unknown. Also unknown is the role that genetics or medical science or any other phenomena played in extending Vester’s life. The son of a tobacco share cropper in Nash County, Vester grew up playing baseball and working in the fields. “Me and that tobacco patch had a way of running into one another,” he says. After high school, he went to work for Carolina Telephone as a service technician, a job he held for almost three decades. He married, had three children, divorced. When he was 49, he had a heart attack. At the hospital, the stent inserted into his aorta shattered. He remembers riding on a gurney, headed for open heart surgery, as a doctor began to saw him open. “I had to shut my left eye to keep out the spray,” he says. “Then he started punching me in the chest to bust my ribs. That was right before I went to the light.” It’s an experience he doesn’t often speak about. “I went from being in the most pain I’ve ever been in, to being in no pain and having the most peaceful feeling I’ve ever had. Not a word was spoken. Not a soul

was seen. But I knew where I was at.” Then, he says, he felt someone take him by the shoulders and turn him around. He had gone into surgery in the late afternoon. He woke up around 3 a.m. “The doctors told me, ‘We don’t know how you made it. We didn’t save you.’” Vester recovered, returned to work. Six months later he was diagnosed with Stage 3 throat cancer. “They suggested I get my affairs in order,” he says. Vester recounts six bouts of chemotherapy and 36 radiation treatments. He lived with a feeding tube for six months. But the treatments worked. The cancer died away, and Vester lived on. The experience he had during heart surgery had given him solace, and he was given opportunities to comfort other cancer patients with his personal story. “When I died, it was the most wonderful feeling I could have ever imagined,” Vester says. “I went from thinking, I can’t die, I can’t die, to feeling like, this is perfect—the way it’s supposed to be. After that, nothing can really frighten you.” “I always wondered who turned me around; I was happy where I was at. Anyone who says they’ve gone to the light and fought to get back hasn’t been there.” After his recovery, Vester’s gardening got serious. He was able to spend time

with his plants, to nurture and attend to them, tuning in to their rhythms and cues. He has a pumpkin he’s growing that sits on a scale, with a camera set up to take pictures every 15 minutes tracking weight gain with time stamps. His new green house has a CO2 pump to boost the parts per million and turbocharge the metabolic pathways. He’s shooting to break 2,000 pounds. But there’s no hurry. As Vester likes to say, “Everything will work out.” At night, he’ll chat with friends in Russia, Great Britain or Germany about phosphorus and amino acids. In the morning, he’ll sit in his garden with a cup of coffee. He’ll read leaves, note his observations and find ways to extend life just a little bit longer. JUNE 2019 | 67


Isaac B. Horton IV, co-owner of Oak City Fish and Chips

SERVING UP SUCCESS The entrepreneurship gene runs strong in this Raleigh family by DAN HOLLY


photography by JOSHUA STEADMAN


t age seven, Isaac B. Horton IV started his first business: mowing lawns in his neighborhood. Between that and his allowance he had amassed $20, so a trip to KMart was in order. “I wanted an X-man action figure so bad,” he recalls. “But it cost $27! My parents gave me the rest of the money, but I said to myself, ‘Man! After a month of work, I don’t even have enough for an action figure? I need to make more money!’” His father used the incident as a teaching moment about the value of money. And thus, an entrepreneurial mindset

was born—and it has grown quite a bit. Horton IV, now 31, is a partner in a business that includes four food trucks, one of the most popular restaurants in the booming Morgan Street Food Hall and a free-standing restaurant in Southeast Raleigh. And if everything goes according to plan, he’s just getting started. Horton IV gives a lot of credit for his success to his father, Isaac B. Horton III, 62, a successful entrepreneur himself who has spent a lifetime preparing his children to imitate and surpass his own business ventures. Horton III has four decades of experience in technology, patents, international business and finance. After

earning a PhD in chemistry at Indiana University Bloomington, he began his career as a research chemist for Dupont and later spent eight years at Rohm and Haas, a specialty materials company later acquired by the Dow Chemical Company. Horton III left the corporate world in 1994 to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Through his various endeavors, his companies have been awarded more than 100 patents in areas like fiber optics and water purification. But with success, Horton III says, comes responsibility. He always included one day of service on every family vacation, whether it was bringing food to the JUNE 2019 | 69

poor or visiting people in hospitals. “I wanted my children to see what most of the people in the world were experiencing,” Horton III explains. These experiences gave Horton IV a framework for being both ambitious and generous. “My dad always taught me that it was important to have more than enough not out of greed, but out of benevolence,” he says. “Because at some point, God is going to call upon you to take care of somebody else.” Horton IV majored in economics at UNC-Greensboro, graduating in 2011. He took a job at Lenovo, as a sales manager, but the entrepreneurial spirit was calling: He learned about a man in Durham who was selling his seafood truck, and along friends, pulled together $13,500 to buy it. They fixed it up and rebranded the truck to launch Oak City Fish and Chips in July 2015. One of the keys to the brand's success is its proprietary blends of seasonings. “The seasoning was a hit!” says partner Ijeoma Nwankwo, who has been involved in the company since the beginning. “Every time we made it, we didn’t have enough.” When asked to reveal the recipe, Horton IV chuckled and politely declined. But he gave this hint: “The hushpuppies have brown sugar on them.” One truck grew to four trucks and, by 2018, demand was high enough that they started thinking about a brick-andmortar location. “I live in downtown Raleigh,” Horton IV says, “and every day I would go for a walk past every major construction site so I would be cognizant of economic development. One day I walked by this building and I saw the sign the first day they put it up.” The sign was for the Morgan Street Food Hall, a dining concept—then new to Raleigh—in which several restaurants share a large common space under one roof. The space, now home to 19 vendors, opened in August

2018. “He was the first person to sign up,” Horton III says. “He called me and said, ‘Dad, downtown is changing, and we have to be part of it.’” Today, Oak City Fish and Chips in the Morgan Street Food Hall is thriving, according to food hall personnel. “They have a line out the door every single day,” says Melinda Jackson, marketing director for the food hall. “They seem to have a cult following.” With the Morgan Street location under their belts, Horton IV led the opening of a stand-alone Oak City Fish and Chips restaurant on New Birch Drive in Southeast Raleigh this past February. “It’s right in the heart of where I grew up,” Horton IV says, “and it’s an area undergoing rapid development.” Civic leaders were particularly happy to see the restaurant open in that area. “Southeast Raleigh has a disparity in overall

greater good, the Hortons are thinking beyond traditional restaurants—even beyond food. Both father and son would like to expand into hydroponics, a system in which food is grown indoors using only water, amd Horton III is developing a concept for a restaurant in northeast Raleigh that would use it. He found a large, warehouse-like building that has room for hydroponics equipment in the back and space in the front for a restaurant. Both of the Hortons are passionate about hydroponics, which they tout as a superior method of producing food as it avoids pesticides, requires little land and cuts down on transportation. Horton III also has invested in solar energy—another venture that serves the goal of both father and son to use entrepreneurship for the greater good. In April, the Hortons got a boost for their dreams when they agreed to a partnership with Churchill & Associates, a multibillion-dollar asset management and private equity firm in Atlanta. “Having a strong financial partner enables us to start hydroponic food production and consider franchising Oak City Fish and Chips,” Horton III says. Chris Smith, managing partner of Churchill & Associates, in a statement announcing the partnership, made clear that the Hortons’ varied business interests is what attracted the firm: “The focus of the Horton family on food, real estate and renewables is aligned with Churchill’s Opportunity Zone Fund I and alternative assets on our platform.” As the Hortons grow their business ventures, it’s clear the son has taken all of the teaching moments he got along the way and ran with them. “I don’t have an MBA,” Horton IV says. “But there are two types of knowledge, theoretical and experiential. I don’t have to get an MBA because I’ve gotten experiential knowledge from my dad over the years.”

“He called me and said, ‘Dad, downtown is changing, and we have to be part of it.’” —Isaac B. Horton III


retail services compared to more affluent areas like North Raleigh,” says Wallace Green, a board member of the Raleigh Area Development Authority. Any retail establishment like a restaurant, Green says, adds jobs to the local economy and contributes to the tax base. To date, Oak City Fish and Chips has sold more than 100,000 meals at their varied locations, including the food trucks. But they’re not done yet. Everything they have done so far, Horton III says, is part of a larger effort to build a brand and customer base and to learn more about customer behavior. All of that will be used as part of an overall strategy to expand their business ventures. In Oak City Fish and Chips, Horton III has acted mostly in an advisory role to his son, but he is the primary driver in other planned ventures. In keeping with the spirit of using their success for the

JUNE 2019 | 71


GRILL YOUR GREENS Move over, meat—this chef argues that produce might be even better over an open flame by AMANDA CUSHMAN


photography by BERT VANDERVEEN

Author and chef Amanda Cushman


hen most people think of grilling, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a slab of meat or a juicy burger. People love to debate the merits of their apparatus of choice—Green Egg, gas, charcoal or old fashioned wood—alongside the question of marinating, smoking, BBQ or au naturel. I’m not here to settle any argument, but to offer a new option: grilled vegetables. Sure, it’s great to throw a steak on the grill, but as an omnivore, I enjoy eating less meat these days— and the nuances achieved with vegetables are far more interesting. Grilling requires little to no prep, minimal cleanup and few ingredients, and the finished product is always a big hit. Between the smoky flavor and the sweet, slightly charred caramelization that occurs when cooking over direct heat, grilling is a simple and quick way to prepare almost any vegetable. Especially in the warmer months when I want to be outside as much as possible—and produce is at its peak—I love to grilled vegetables. With fresh produce, getting back to basics is the key; don’t overthink it. The umami that is achieved from the direct contact with the heat is satisfying and often unexpected. When I taught vegetarian cooking classes at a plant-based cooking school in New York City, I found my students were often surprised by the burst of flavor that comes from a simple appetizer like grilled eggplant on crispy bread with a drizzle of olive oil, topped with julienne basil and a crumble of feta. Not only are most vegetables suitable for grilling, there are so many ways you can use them once they’re cooked.

I turn to portobellos, cauliflower steaks, eggplant and zucchini for entree-style grilling. Vegetables like these have a satisfying, meaty texture and lend themselves to marinating and serving— especially with a garnish like crumbled feta, chèvre or shaved parmesan. My personal go-to is the portobello mushroom; I think of it almost like steak. I marinate portobellos whole, overnight if possible, with balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, freshly chopped thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. When I grill them, I brush them often with the same marinade, and it takes about seven minutes per side to soften them. They’re also the perfect burger substitute, served whole on a toasted bun with cheese, arugula and tomato.

“The umami that is achieved from the direct contact with the heat is satisfying and often unexpected.”

JUNE 2019 | 73

Side vegetables can range from grilled asparagus and broccoli to sliced onions and tomatoes—it’s easy to throw them on while you’re cooking a meat as your main, since the grill is already hot and ready to go. Tomatoes are a particular summer favorite of mine: Simply slice the fruit about a half-inch thick and cook just long enough to give the slices grill marks. A grilled tomato at the height of the season—sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper—is just heavenly. I skewer cherry tomatoes, brush them lightly with olive oil and watch them closely. They cook in two to three minutes and are wonderful added to a salad or served alongside sliced grilled lamb or chicken. Some of my most popular cooking classes teach how to properly grill a meal with vegetables as the star, since people love grilled food and are always looking for new ways to add interest to vegetables. The opportunities for grilled vegetables are endless: Chop them up and add them to salads, pasta, omelettes or rice dishes. Serve them whole, as an arranged salad, on a sandwich or as part of an antipasto platter. Or simply serve them as they are—though often as a finishing touch I often drizzle a vinaigrette, yogurt sauce or lemon and olive oil. Whether they’re the star of the meal or a side to a protein, grilled seasonal vegetables offer a simple, surprisingly delicious way to include variety, color and nutrition to your meals all year round… but especially right now.


PREP NOTES To prep my vegetables for the grill, I cut them up and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet, then brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can also put them in a sealed plastic bag and toss them with the oil and seasonings. GRILLING TECHNIQUE I place vegetables on the grill, oil side down, and cook fairly quickly once that fat hits the grill. I sometimes brush the second side with oil, depending on the vegetable. Asparagus, for instance, doesn’t need to be brushed on more than one surface. The key is to use enough oil to insure even cooking and to produce the grill marks. CONSIDER SKEWERS I love to skewer vegetables that are cut into rounds or chunks. Zucchini, whole small mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, wedges of onion and sliced eggplant are all wonderful on a skewer (use metal, unless you don’t mind soaking bamboo skewers). I like to use freshly-chopped oregano, rosemary and thyme to season my skewers and serve them on their own or as a side dish with grilled or roasted meat, chicken or fish. A simple yogurt sauce such as tzatziki is a delicious accompaniment to grilled dishes (I make mine with plain Greek yogurt, finely grated cucumber, minced garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper). A NOTE ON GRILLING INSIDE Outdoor grilling is everyone’s first choice, but I suggest an indoor grilling pan when summer storms send you inside or you’re only making enough for two people and don’t want to light the whole outdoor grill (asparagus, sliced eggplant and zucchini are indoor favorites). The prep is the same, I use a cast iron grill pan on the stove because it gets nice and hot. It will get smoky, so remember to turn your vent on and open the window to allow the smoke to escape. JUNE 2019 | 75






Sampson County’s Matt Register is gaining nationwide attention with his spin on Southern barbecue and unique sides



veryone has their favorite: From West to East, barbecue can get controversial in North Carolina. Matt Register, a native of Garland and a fan of the Eastern stuff, is cooking it with the best of ‘em at his restaurant, Southern Smoke. It’s on the way— kind of—when you’re headed to Wilmington or its nearby beaches, and only an hour and change from Raleigh. Any way you slice it, a visit to Southern Smoke is well worth the detour. On the Western edge of Sampson County, Garland has under 1,000 residents, but it’s rich in agriculture and Southern flavor. Register’s restaurant is smack-dab in the center of the 1.1-square-mile town, and officially opened in 2014—before that, Register was smoking and grilling just for fun. “I was JUNE 2019 | 77

always a grill guy because I could stand outside, listen to music and drink beer,” he says. He credits the genesis of his career in barbecue to a book: “I read John Shelton Reed’s Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina BBQ and it changed me. It inspired me to start my own barbecue journey, using traditional techniques that had fallen by the wayside.” And since he started smoking the old fashioned way, on oak wood, he’s certainly made a name for himself. Register and Southern Smoke have been featured on The Today Show, he travels to share his dishes at festivals like Charleston and Wilmington’s Wine + Food and was named 2019’s Top 10 Best N.C. Barbecue by USA Today. Back home in Garland, however, he’s keeping it simple, and the decision to stay in his small town was intentional. “If we were going to succeed or fail, the best thing for us was to do it in Garland. My focus was to build it here and do it our way,” he says. “I wanted it to be a 78 | WALTER

bright spot, not just for Garland but our whole county.” His charming joint is exclusively open for lunch Thursdays and Fridays, and the limited menu is likely to sell out before close. The atmosphere feels like you’re right at home in your backyard; the space is small but packed with all the fixins’ and the menu changes daily. After ordering from the chalkboard menu, head out back to find picnic tables and a wraparound bar that’s built from a 1965 Ford truck. Sell-out specials include Delta tamales—simmered in a spicy broth—and fried chicken sandwiches. Some mainstays are classics like pulled pork, slaw and ribs, but Register flexes his creativity when it comes to sides. “People love our barbecue, but the sides are just as important. We have funky, weird sides that people love.” Bill Smith, renowned chef of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner, says he was blown away by Register’s creative vegetable combinations. “I immediately loved his point

of view: the way he sees his cooking and the way it informs how he lives his life. Matthew is doing a cool take on a traditional North Carolina thing. The barbecue is top notch, and when I tried his collard chowder, it was both familiar and a surprise at the same time.” Taste anything on the menu at Southern Smoke and you’ll feel just that: familiarity, surprise and perhaps a pang of why didn’t I come up with that? Register’s hospitality and Southern Smoke’s atmosphere, plus the squash casserole and fried chicken on the day of my visit, had me feeling right at home. Even if you don’t have Eastern N.C. roots like I do, take one trip to Southern Smoke and you might feel like you’ve been there your whole life. Some of Register’s creativity is driven by local farmers (of which there are a plethora in Sampson County), who drop by with whatever’s in season that week or month. “We’re sourcing everything we can from local farmers. Sometimes we

From left to right: Southern Smoke in Garland, N.C.; Rodolfo Sandoval and Matt Register at the smoker; ready-to-eat ribs

have a ton of squash, or a ton of sweet potatoes, and we work with what we get.” Register is joined in the kitchen most days by his right-hand man Rodolfo Sandoval, who started four years ago as a

only two cooking out back, it takes a village to run the place. “Most of our employees didn’t interview. They were either friends, customers or students of my wife, who’s a local high school

dad, Tim, ‘manages the chaos,’ helping with everything from brining chicken to manning the smoker. His wife, Jessica, and three children, Taylor Grace, Nash and Harrison, serve as sounding boards

“I’ve always eaten barbecue, but I never grasped how important it was to who we are.” high-schooler looking to make some money, but is now crucial to the business, working events and developing new recipes with Register. “I was sitting outside talking to Rodolfo about soccer, and told him I needed a little extra help. He’s been with us ever since.” After Sandoval graduates from UNC-Pembroke, he’ll join Register full time at Southern Smoke. “Most people don’t realize that Rodolfo and I are the only ones that cook at the restaurant,” he says. While Sandoval and Register may be the

English teacher. Now they’re like family,” says Register. Register is a self-proclaimed bookworm, and credits his collection of quirky cookbooks to his creativity in the kitchen. “Our house is full of books. I’ve got everything from The French Laundry Cookbook and Sean Brock’s Heritage to vintage books on Southern cuisine. We really want to expose our kids to all different kinds of things.” Family, which he mentions often, is a constant for Register and his business. He says that his

for new recipes. “When I’m going through a process of new recipes, they’re the first I go to. Especially my wife, she just has an amazing palate. And she has no problem telling me when I’ve missed something.” He also named his two signature sauces after his children: Sweet Grace, a Memphis-style sauce and Two Brothers, a vinegar-based blend. Register says that he also draws a lot of inspiration from his wife’s Italian roots, where he’s learned to stretch outside his comfort zone of Southern cuisine. Jessica RegisJUNE 2019 | 79

ter’s grandfather owned a barbecue restaurant in Sanford, North Carolina, and Register says he learned much of his business from conversations with him. “I can remember things he said to me vividly before we even started talking about a restaurant. I was just trying to gain knowledge and learn his philosophy,” says Register. “He never got to see Southern Smoke, but he was very influential in the early stages of my career in barbecue.” While Register doesn’t have any formal culinary training, it seems that watching his family members cook turned out to be just as helpful. “I was so lucky to be surrounded by cooks in my childhood.” His first book, Southern Smoke, which was released in May, pays homage to a particularly special cook—his grandmother, Dorothy Hart. Many of the recipes in the book are from the influence of her kitchen. “There was always substance to her food, what most people would call soul. I don’t think she intend-


ed to cook food from the soul every day; it just seemed to happen… As a kid, I wondered why she would constantly be sending my grandfather out on a food delivery to someone I didn’t even know. But as I got older, I understood that food was her way of showing someone that she cared. When you were eating her food, you were family.” Register has certainly maintained that feeling in his own cooking. So much, in fact, he’s selling out his restaurant each day and is booked full with catering gigs across the state. As a result, he expanded his business and launched South Catering, the upscale sister to Southern Smoke. “We wanted to showcase the diversity we’ve been doing for several years now. It’s the more elegant side to Southern Smoke,” he says. The catering menu features items like smoked tomato gazpacho, pimento cheese crostinis and oyster shooters—but don’t worry, you can cater classic barbecue items, too. At the root of it all, Register says that

he hopes to celebrate the South and the history of Southern cuisine. “Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I’ve always eaten barbecue, but I never grasped how important it was to who we are.” He says he hopes to teach people the stories behind the recipes in his book. “The barbecue guy is going to buy my book, but his wife will probably use it more,” Register laughs. It includes over 100 recipes from cornbread to catfish, as well as a condensed history of three regions of cuisine: Memphis and the Delta, the Low Country and of course, North Carolina. He delves into topics including: the age-old East vs. West N.C. barbecue debate, the origins of Frogmore Stew and why you should try a Kool-Aid pickle (hint: they resemble the bread-and-butter variety). There are anecdotes and historical references, like a tribute to the Gullah People and the legend of Country Captain (a curried chicken and rice dish). “I didn’t feel like I could share these recipes without including some sort of

history behind them.” Register says that these regions have meant the most to him while cooking, and each recipe is something he has served at Southern Smoke or South Catering. “When you look at regions where we predominantly cook from in Southern cuisine,” he says, “these are it. These are places that have shaped the way I cook.” Register calls his book deal ‘a dream come true,’ but he wasn’t sure at first if he had a story to tell. “When I sat down, I just started writing. It’s easy to write about something you really love.” He says that he hopes people read the book and learn something about Southern cuisine: Why is fried chicken important? How did okra get here? Why do we eat rice with everything? His book answers all of these questions and more. “A book about Southern food is really like a love letter about why this is important,” he says. “I finished writing knowing more about the food I cook than when I started.” Possibly the most important thing,

however, is that you can actually make recipes yourself. In the book’s foreword, Smith agrees: “Matthew means for you to really use this book. He starts with the elemental, like in the Joy of Cooking, where they tell you how to boil water.” Aside from the storytelling and mouthwatering recipes (see next pages for an excerpt), Register offers tips and tricks, like why he believes Duke’s Mayonnaise is always the best option or to make sure the butter for your biscuit mix is cold. There’s a page on what belongs in a Southern pantry—including Texas Pete Hot Sauce, made in Winston-Salem (“This classic hot sauce has a great balance of heat and salt.”) and a hot tip on mustard (“No need to get fancy. I find that the vinegary acidity of Piggly Wiggly brand mustard goes well with most recipes”). Register also includes recommendations for further reading, including Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots and The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis. Register’s book is an

anecdotal how-to of Southern food, filled with nostalgia and humor. “I did not want to write a chef-y cookbook. You can get most of these ingredients at any regular grocery store.” Register isn’t just teaching with his cookbook. He coaches high school women’s soccer at nearby Harrells Christian Academy and he visits other local high schools to talk about his food and his business. He even recently judged a Shark Tank-style food truck competition at Lakewood High School in Salemburg, N.C. He says these relationships are important to him, as many of his employees are high school or college-aged. He talks to them about cooking, owning a business and finding success in your hometown. “I hope some local kids can look at the success I’ve had and say ‘If he can do it where he is, I can do it where I’m from.’ You don’t automatically have to go to a big city to start something. I can provide for my family and lift up the community where I am.” JUNE 2019 | 81

Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce Makes 1 gallon 1 gallon apple cider vinegar 1 1/4 cups salt 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper 3 1/2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes This is my recipe for a classic Eastern-style sauce. Make sure you shake it well before using it because most of the spices will settle to the bottom as it sits. When you are saucing your barbecue, remember to lightly sauce it and let people add extra if they want it. You can add more, but you can’t take it out. If I bite into a barbecue sandwich and the first thing I taste is sauce, I immediately think the pit master is trying to hide something from me. Each bite should be a balance of smoke, pork and sauce. So add a little sauce and taste it, then adjust from there. In a large stockpot, bring the vinegar and salt to a boil over high heat. When the mixture begins to boil, add the cayenne, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir the mixture with a ladle until combined and remove from the heat. The finished cooled sauce can be stored in the empty vinegar gallon jug. It can be stored in a dry, dark place for a month or refrigerated for slightly longer. Shake well before using!

Smoked Boston Butt with Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce Serves 6-8 1 whole Boston butt, about 8-10 pounds 1 1/2 cups Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce (see recipe at right) 1

/4 cup red pepper flakes

When it comes to the difference between Eastern and Western North Carolina barbecue, it’s not all about the sauce. The differences begin with the pig itself. In the Eastern part of the state, the traditional method is to fire whole hogs over oak coals. Then the chef pulls and chops the meat, finishing it with red pepper flakes and salty, spicy vinegar sauce. In the Western part of the state, the tradition has been to cook pork shoulders over hickory coals. The meat is coarsely chopped and served with a tomato-based sauce affectionally known as dip. (If you like the tougher meat from the outside of the shoulder, you can try asking for a little “outside brown.”) I admit I prefer the Eastern style, but then again that’s where I’m from! I love the taste of the vinegar sauce cutting through the fatty pork—and of course the hit of heat from the red pepper flakes. But don’t get me wrong. I can find myself craving a little piece of outside brown dipped in that sweet sauce from the West. For the recipe that follows, you’ll smoke a pork shoulder as I believe that’s the best way to smoke pork at home. Teaching how to pit barbecue would


eat up more pages than it’s worth in a book not devoted to the topic. And the reality is, if you use oak wood and vinegar sauce to dress the meat, you can get pretty darn close to traditional Eastern barbecue with this recipe. Prepare a smoker using oak if you can. Place the Boston butt on the prepared smoker fat cap side up. This way the fat will cook through and drip down the meat the entire time it is on the grill, keeping the meat tender. Cook for 8 to 10 hours, or until the butt reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees. When the butt is finished, carefully pull the meat off the bone. You will want to let the meat cool for a few minutes first; I recommend pulling the middle part of the butt open and letting the steam pour out. When you pull the meat, discard any solid fat and gristle. Once the meat has been pulled and cleaned, place it on a cutting board and lightly chop it with a cleaver. Transfer the chopped meat to a bowl. Toss it with the Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce and red pepper flakes, starting with about 1 cup of the sauce and adding more to taste. Serve hot.

Western North Carolina BBQ Sauce Makes 3 cups 2 cups apple cider vinegar 3

/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons hot sauce 1

/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper Traditionally, this sauce is served on the side as a dip, though it can be used to baste meat as well. I’ve found plenty of uses for it beyond pork, like chicken cooked on the grill. In a medium pot over medium-low heat, whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for a few months in the refrigerator.

Squash and Rice Pudding Serves 8 2 tablespoons butter 2 pounds yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slices 2 teaspoons salt, divided 3 cups uncooked white rice 2 cups sour cream 2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Creamed Corn Serves 4 1 2

/ cup (1 stick) salted butter

8 ears fresh corn 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons sugar 1 2

/ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Corn represents the official halfway point of summer to me as it tends to come into the restaurant right around the Fourth of July. It’s not only at every potluck this time of year, but we also put it up. For country folk, putting up corn—preserving it for later—is no small task. Most people pick up 15 to 20 dozen ears of corn. As a group, everyone works to shuck it, get the silk off, sash it, cream it, and then freeze it in plastic bags. This recipe for creamed corn is different from the one I grew up on, which was very sweet. I tried instead to let the sweetness of the corn shine through and complement it with the nutty, salty flavor of brown butter. Lots of fresh basil amps up the feeling of summer.

In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, melt the butter and then brown it. The butter will go through distinct stages, foaming and turning from lemon yellow to tan. Finally, it will turn brown and give off a nutty aroma. At this point, remove it from the heat and set it aside (it’s a good idea to refrigerate it to stop the cooking process, if you can). Cut the corn kernels from the cobs with a small paring knife and collect them in a large mixing bowl. Once the kernels have been removed, use the back of the knife blade and scrape along the cob to get the milky liquid out of the cob and into the mixing bowl. Set the bowl aside. You can discard all the cobs at this point except one. Cut the reserved cob in half to use like a soup bone. Transfer the cob halves to a small pot and add the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat until the cream begins to slowly boil, about 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and set aside. Place the pot with the brown butter back on the stove over medium heat. If the butter solidified in the fridge, melt it again, then add the garlic, cut corn, basil, sugar and pepper and stir until well combined. Cook for 1 minute. Remove the corn cob halves from the heavy cream and slowly add the cream to the corn mixture. Stir until the mixture is uniform and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. The mixture will begin to thicken and become creamy as it cooks.

The first sign that summer is around the corner is when our farmers switch from dropping off greens to dropping off squash. By May, our squash farmer is making frequent trips from his farm to drop off 20-pound boxes. This recipe was inspired by a classic rice pudding from the Women’s Cookery Cookbook, published in 1914. Because the base for the pudding is quite soupy, I decided that it was a perfect fit for summer squash. Fresh summer squash releases all the extra cooking liquid you’ll need. This should be a dish that screams summer, despite it being a hot rice casserole. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the squash and cook for 15 minutes, or until very tender. Let the squash cool in the pan; do not drain off the liquid. While the squash cools, start the rice. In a medium pot, bring 5½ cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the rice. Cover the pot and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. If the rice is not done but it’s getting dry, add more water and continue to cook until the rice is fully cooked and tender. Pour the cooked rice into a casserole dish. Add the cooked squash and juices to the rice, then fold in the sour cream, heavy cream, basil, oregano, the remaining salt and pepper. Stir until completely mixed. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

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Take a tour of the facilities where Howling Cow ice cream gets made



HOMETOWN TASTE An aerial view of the NC State Dairy Farm, which houses the cattle that provide milk for Howling Cow ice cream. The 389-acre farm is just six miles from downtown Raleigh.

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ummertime or anytime, we love Howling Cow ice cream. Everyone seems to have their favorite flavor—Wolf Tracks, Campfire Delight, Cookies and Cream—and it seems like no matter how much you have, you always want just one more spoonful. Most of us know that Howling Cow is a product of N.C. State, but we wanted to trace the treat right down to its roots: on the 389-acre NC State Dairy Farm just six miles from downtown. Here, a mix of agriculture students and staffers grow crops to feed cattle and keep about 170 milking cows at any given time, that rotate between the pastures, the free stall barn and milking parlor. The farm is used as a business, research facility and education center. At this point, you can visit the on-site Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum by appointment only (the farm is a bio-secure area, so tours are rare), but by this fall they plan to build an education center that will be open to the public to teach about dairy farming and offer tractor tours of the grounds. “People always ask to visit the farm, and we’ll finally be able to do it,” says Alex Ives, the Dairy Education Coordinator for the Dairy Enterprise System. Day to day, the farm is bustling by dawn. Jersey and Holstein cows are milked twice a day, a process that takes less than 15 minutes to garner up to 90 pounds of milk from a single cow at a time. The raw milk flows directly from the cow through various tubes and tanks, getting cooled and tested along the way, then it’s stored until a tanker truck from N.C. State comes to pick it up sometime after midnight. It will go to the Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab on campus and get tested one more time before being unloading. “The milk never touches human hands,” says Mike Veach, the Dairy Farm Manager. Next comes the ice cream-making part: The milk is pasteurized and cooled, then mixed with a proprietary blend of ingredients, including granulated cane sugar, to get the base ice cream. A fruit feeder incorporates the fruit, nuts or other chunky pieces, then they swirl in things like fudge, caramel or marshmallow. The ice cream is then doled out into cups or tubs and sent to the freezer to harden. It takes about seven hours to make 500 gallons of ice cream, and the processing facility is available for research when it’s not actively packaging. The dairy farm provides all the milk for the University as well as some State of North Carolina prisons—the fat that’s skimmed off their one percent milk is used to make the ice cream—supplies local restaurants and, as of May, Holwing Cow ice cream will be sold at 45 locations of N.C.-based grocery chain Harris Teeter. The brand was started by Gary Cartwright and Carl Hollifield in 2008 as both a business and education opportunity, and took off right along with rising interest in eating local. Students do all the branding, sales and marketing in addition to the cow-herding and processing, often winning national awards for their efforts. “The students embraced Howling Cow and ran with it,” says Hollifield. We’re sure happy they did!


FARM FRESH Dawn on the farm. The cows eat a mix of corn silage (choppedup, lightly fermented corn), cottonseed hulls (full of fiber and fat), citrus pulp, grass hay, soy hulls and grain. Farm workers like Mike Veach, below left, mix them all together, adjusting the ratios to the cow’s dietary needs. “We breed and feed our cows for higher production,” says Veach.

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GREENER PASTURES “We’re all about optimizing the cows’ health and comfort,” says Mike Veach. Cows rotate between open pastures, the milking parlor and the barn, where they like to lay on beds of sand. On hot days, giant fans and a mister cool them off. The milking parlor has rubber floors to keep the cows comfortable while they’re being milked.

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LEARNING MORE A small museum on site is open by appointment. The day we were there, a family that won a tour at the N.C. State Fair was there learning about the farm with Alex Ives, below. Naturally, the tour ended with ice cream.


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READY FOR MARKET The milk is transformed into ice cream on campus. It takes about seven hours to make ten batches of ice cream. It starts with a base, then the flavorings are added as the ice cream flows from vat to filler through frosty tubes. Once it’s packaged, it’s stored in a huge walk-in freezer.


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TAKE illustrations and words by FRANK HARMON


hether you’ve lived here for decades or just a few months, it’s easy to be oblivious to your surroundings. In Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, architect Frank Harmon reminds us to see beauty all around through a collection of sketches and notes he created over the years. “Since I was a boy, sketching has proved invaluable. If I took a photograph of a place, I would forget it. But if I drew it, I would remember it forever,” he says. By putting pen to paper, Harmon turns ordinary scenes into extraordinary ones and finds joy in the familiar. “I hope readers will share my delight and find some native places of their own... and perhaps even draw.”

Slash pine Eastern North Carolina

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A WREN AND CHANGE FOR A TWENTY At 3 p.m. on April 20, 2016, a Caterpillar 315L Excavator operated by Steve Finch cut into a hill on Bryan Street in Raleigh, North Carolina. A few feet away, a Carolina Wren fed her young in a nest she’d built in the rafters of a partially framed house. The Caterpillar, which was digging a hole for a swimming pool, weighed 18 tons and its 102 horsepower engine consumed 75 gallons of diesel fuel a day. The wren, which weighed two-thirds of an ounce, delivered her weight in caterpillars, spiders, cockroaches, worms, and centipedes every few hours. The roar of the excavator was earsplitting. Earlier that day, the US Treasury Department had announced that the portrait of Harriet Tubman would replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Thus, a runaway slave who couldn’t read but was impatient for the freedom of her people will replace a slave-owning President. Harriet Tubman repeatedly put her life on the line. Later that afternoon, the wren paused to assess the roaring excavator, cocked her head then flew off to gather spiders for her chicks. “Hope,” wrote Emily Dickinson, “is the thing with feathers.” Bryan Street Raleigh, NC 4.20.16


Dr. Scott Ralls tours the Perry Health Sciences Campus, where students learn skills to meet our region’s healthcare needs. JUNE 2019 | 97

Chief Brewing Officer Les Stewart at Trophy’s brewing facility on Maywood Avenue.


POTS AND BARNS Japanese potter Shoji Hamada (1894-1978) often quoted this Zen proverb: “The frog in the well does not know the great ocean but he does know Heaven.” Hamada, who worked in Japan and England, didn’t sign his pots. He believed creation is the manifestation of a universal spirit, empowered by such qualities as anonymity, humility, usefulness, honesty, and repetition. Hamada focused his life on making useful things that are now treasured for their quiet beauty. Something of his plain, tranquil spirit can be found in this barn in North Carolina. For Hamada, beauty lay in the right use of what lay at hand. Here a carpenter used stones picked out of a ditch and wood cut from nearby trees. We don’t know the builder’s name because his barn is one of a multitude built anonymously over two centuries in the middle South. The barn now belongs to the potter Mark Hewitt, who trained in the tradition founded by Hamada and others. Hewitt’s pots are made of North Carolina clay and share the barn’s usefulness and honesty. Through repetition, barn and pots gain freedom from conscious design. Their beauty is a result of ordinariness. Hewitt Pottery Pittsboro, NC 12.6.14

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DARKNESS AND HOPE Tonight the newspaper was full of world crises. Between global warming and war, children at the border and terrorism, we seemed to be on the edge of oblivion. But then I read this headline in The Washington Post: “New cricket discovered in long-neglected amber collection.” The story was about a cricket that flourished 20 million years ago. I stepped outside. Overhead the sky was a dark ceiling. Lightning bugs fired up and bats flashed by in the night-shade of trees. The visible world had given way to the sound of a thousand crickets, the same species whose ancestors sang so long ago. “Place before your mind’s eye the vast spread of time’s abyss, and consider the universe; and then contrast our so-called human life with infinity,” wrote Michel de Montaigne in 1580. It’s not that listening to a 20-million-year-old cricket-song at night makes crises in the news inconsequential. It’s just that there’s nothing in the news than can equal the wonder of the eternal song of a creature no bigger than your thumb. 8:30 PM Raleigh, NC 8.3.14

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Dr. Scott Ralls tours the Perry Health Sciences Campus, where students learn skills to meet our region’s healthcare needs. JUNE 2019 | 101

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A RUG IN THE WINDOW Every Tuesday morning at eight o’clock, my neighbor across the street opens her second floor window and shakes a carpet outside. My heart leaps for joy. I live on a street of houses built before 1941, when people were tough and resourceful. They cooled their houses by opening the windows. At night the sounds of crickets and nighthawks entered. Then air conditioning arrived and a whole technology of home design and decor disappeared. Lace curtains and shutters were obsolete, so were paperweights and paper fans, insect screens and flypaper. We were happy to see them go, but we stopped sitting out on the porch at night. As a result, no one opens the windows anymore and our houses look as if they have glaucoma. That’s why I am thrilled when my neighbor opens her window. There’s life on our street! Today, houses are bigger and tighter with windows that rarely open. But hope is at hand. New ways of building include old-fashioned windows because outdoor air is cleaner than indoor air. Brooks Ave Raleigh, NC 10.25.16

Find more of Harmon’s sketches and notes in his book, Native Place: Drawing as a Way to See (ORO Editions, 2018) and on his online journal,

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COASTAL The open kitchen and dining area of this Glenwood-Brooklyn home is designed for neighborhood gatherings. “We wanted a really big island,” says homeowner Jessica Widener. “We kept going back to the designer to make it bigger.” Honoring the Victorian-era home’s history, heart of pine floors are used throughout the new addition. The bar stools were passed down by Widener’s grandmother and the table is a custom design from Wake Forest furniture maker Under the Table. The pottery on the table was collected over the years through Empty Bowls, a charity supper in Wilmington, N.C.

Seaside hues flow through a family home, renovated to be bright and airy


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Jessica and Warren Widener, and their sons Gus, 1o, and George, 7, loved their slice of the neighborhood in Glenwood-Brooklyn’s historic distoric district, but they were starting to outgrow their home. “Our street is a pretty tight knit group,” she says. “The houses pass down amongst friends.” So, they kept their eyes on the house right across the street. “We used to laugh that we would trade houses,” Jessica Widener says of her neighbors, an older couple that was considering a downsize. In 2016, those neighbors decided to relocate and the Wideners became the owners of the two-story Victorian home built in 1911, the historic William A. Johnson House. The previous owners had completed an extensive remodel to bring the home up to date, but the Wideners wanted to reconfigure the living space. “It felt dark and closed off, and we wanted it to be bright and open,”

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she says. They enlisted architect Meg McLaurin, who designed a roomy, open concept living, kitchen and dining area with a screened-in porch off the back. They also added a master suite, playroom and laundry room upstairs. The renovation by Greg Paul Builders took a year to complete, which the Wideners oversaw from right across the street. The changes created a welcoming, bright and airy space that suits the family, who enjoy entertaining friends. “We moved into the house on July 2 and hosted the neighborhood two days later for the 4th of July,” laughs Widener. Jessica Widener grew up in Wilmington, N.C. and Warren Widener grew up in Jacksonville, N.C., so beach living is in their blood. Interior designer Lindsay Speace understood the vibe they were looking for. “Jessica and Warren were open to color and pattern and they are drawn to that casual, coastal aesthet-

ic,” says Spease, who used a palette of blues and greens, bold fabrics and a mix of modern furnishings and lighting fixtures. To give the home a classic cottage feel, Spease layered in vintage finds and special family pieces, including chairs that had belonged to Widener’s grandmother and her grandfather’s 1960s-era stero cabinet. “I am pretty sentimental,” says Widener, “I have a lot of old things that Lindsay was able to give new life by incorporating them into the design.” The family’s favorite new spot is the puzzle room, a space just big enough for a table and chairs. It was a top design priority for Widener. “I wanted a puzzle room. I grew up doing puzzles with my Dad and wanted a place we could always have one going,” she says. Comfortable, casual, eclectic and puzzle-friendly, this updated home lets the Widener family live the salt life in the city.

Opposite page: Vibrant shades of blue punctuate the the living room. It’s anchored by the painting over the couch called Carolina Blue by Widener’s friend, artist Ellen Burgin, that was inspired by the water patterns of the North Carolina coast. The long and narrow room (“Like a bowling alley!”) was a challenge for decorator Lindsay Spease. She and Widener designed a custom 12-foot couch to fit the proportions of the room and provide ample seating for guests. The swivel chairs and vintage Ming tables easily move to accomodate traffic flow. The couch and chairs are upholstered in bold indoor/outdoor fabrics to be durable for an active family. This page: The antique sideboard was modernized with white paint and sea glass-inspired drawer pulls. Artwork by Matthew Izzo is flanked by retro lamps.

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In contrast to the strong colors on the first floor, Spease used pale tones to create a calming retreat for the family’s bedrooms and playroom. The master (shown this page) is a sea of tactile blue, including the custom-upholstered bed and pillows made from block print fabric Spease found on a trip to Africa. Opposite page: The dragonfly curtains in the playroom moved with the family from the old house, where Spease incorporated bold statements in the wallpaper, lighting fixture and shag rug. “Lindsay went for it,” Widener says. Spease gave the stairs a kid-friendly “runner” with navy paint. With a nod to turn-of-the-century decor trends, Spease painted the trim in George’s room blue, which balances the red in the linens, window treatments and upholstered chair, which belonged to Widener’s grandmother.

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This page: The puzzle room is in the home’s original sitting room and features historic elements including the door and fireplace. A chimney cleaner told Widener that the fireplace’s unusual glazed tile must have been popular because he had seen it in other homes in the area. Spease complements the colorful tile with pops of turquoise in the lighting feature, window treatment and chair fabric.

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Emerging artist Corey Mason has captured international attention



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assive canvases fill the basement studio of Corey Mason’s home in Cameron Village when I step inside: Three paintings are pinned up on the white walls, one’s laying flat on the floor, a small pile of canvases are rolled up on the ground and several older pieces are tucked in a corner. Despite their impressive scale— many of them are bigger than he is—the walls almost look bare in comparison to how they have looked in the past several months, as Mason worked long hours into the night while preparing to show at the prestigious Marfa Invitational art fair in Marfa, Texas, as well as gallery shows in Palm Beach, Florida and Brescia, Italy. His most recent work features oil pastel on reverse-primed canvases, using bold colors like Prussian blue, neon pink and brick red to depict stylized renderings of ancient vessels, pastoral motifs and familiar symbols. Although Mason’s art work has an international reach, life as an artist is relatively new to him. The real estate developer and former landscape architect sold his first few pieces in 2014 when art curator Marjorie Hodges (who now works at the North Carolina Museum of Art) saw his collection of abstract 114 | WALTER

paintings hanging in BREW Coffee Bar and acquired it on behalf of Citrix. At the time, he painted just when the urge happened to hit, often outside in the driveway or in a friend’s garage. “I remember Marjorie saying, ‘You could have a really good career as an artist.’” says Mason. Mason was born and raised in Texas and had always drawn as a kid. He went to Texas A&M University and received a degree in landscape architecture. He says he didn’t start creating art until 2009 while working in Anchorage, Alaska. “My mother-in-law really encouraged me to do it. She was a teacher for 30-something years, and I think she has a talent for recognizing the core of who people are. She would constantly call me an artist,” Mason says. “So I was like, if I’m an artist, maybe I should start doing something.” As a refuge from the dark Alaskan winters, he began painting in his garage, watching how the paint froze on the canvas and reacted to the environment. When he moved to Raleigh in 2012, he continued to paint when he could, but only as a hobby. After showcasing at BREW, he says, not much happened for a few years aside from selling a few pieces locally. Making art simply continued to be a creative release, and he created more simply because he loved it and wanted to get better. Most of his pieces were abstract then, thick lines and strong blocks of color, but he began to feel like there was not a lot of substance to the style. “I don’t know that art needs to be understood, but maybe I wanted to understand it more,” says Mason. So he started to make the lines thinner and more

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figurative until it evolved as a representation of real-world imagery and classic icons. This new style of art, he feels, better communicates thoughts and ideas while showing a point of view. The pots, scenes and iconography that show up in his paintings harken back to common motifs from the past, but Mason adds a youthfulness through the bold strokes and color palette. “I’m just interested in something that’s old meeting something that’s new,” says Mason. “How those collide is what I’ll probably continue to explore.” He draws inspiration from Roman, Egyptian, Italian and African art, but intentionally forms a “mishmash” of the various styles to create something new. Mason feels that these themes have a soul, and the fact that people are still interested

in them hundreds or even thousands of years later confirms it. In 2018, the owners of Achenbach Hagemeier, a gallery in Düsseldorf, Germany, found Mason on Instagram and invited him to do his first show. He’d been using the platform to share his art with others, but didn’t expect it to lead to business. “With social media, I’ve learned it’s possible to have your artwork be seen, get noticed or be a part of the conversation outside of the art markets,” Mason says. “You don’t have to live in a big art city like New York, London or Paris to make connections, you can live wherever you want and be a working artist.” That said, Mason makes a point to travel to New York at least twice a year. “You have to expose yourself to great art.

Part of what I’ve been doing over the last several years is educating myself. I didn’t go to art school, so I’m learning from galleries and curators: ‘What is good? What makes it good? And why is it good? What is it trying to say? Or, why is it important?’” His work sold out at the gallery in Düsseldorf, which then opened up several more opportunities, including ones in Beirut and Brooklyn. For each show, he says, he tried to create art that reflected what was stirring in him, but also pieces that fit the feel of the city it was in, adjusting the subjects and color schemes to match its vibe. For Mason, art has to feel genuine, be interesting and come from the inside. “At the end of the day, you’re trying to just create a picture that stirs some emotion in somebody.” JUNE 2019 | 117



or call 919.836.5613

THE WHIRL Kate Pope Photography

WALTER’s roundup of galas, gatherings, fundraisers and just-for-fun events around the Triangle.

Triangle Wine Experience dinner to benefit the Frankie Lemmon School. Top Row: Eliza Kraft Olander, Ashley Christensen, Katie Button, Lindsay Autry, Cheetie Kumar, Kaitlyn Roman, Caroline Morrison, Jamie Malone. Bottom Row: Charlotte Coman, Erin Kanagy-Loux, Mashama Bailey

120 WakeMed Foundation Appreciation Gala 121 Bright Futures Breakfast 122 Triangle Wine Experience 12 Roses Dinner 124 SAFEchild Gala 125 Grand re-opening of Marbles Kids Museum exhibit 126 UNC REX Hospital’s Art & Healing event 128 Burning Coal Theatre’s 2019 Gala

The Whirl is now online! Visit JUNE 2019 | 119

THE WHIRL WAKEMED FOUNDATION APPRECIATION GALA The WakeMed Foundation Appreciation Gala was held at the Raleigh Convention Center April 13. The event celebrated 25 years of the WakeMed Foundation along with the generosity of their many donors and community supporters. More than 1,100 attended the gala, where they enjoyed a special live performance by Boyz II Men.

Molly Smith Anderson, Chris Anderson, Brittany Pomeroy, Brad Pomeroy

f8 Photo Studios

Over 10,000 roses filled the Raleigh Convention Center for the gala.

Bottom Row: Catie Redick, Alyssa Light, Ron Gibson, Brenda Gibson Top Row: Leslie Pulley, Randy Pulley, Brittney Massey

Henry Darnell, Carolyn Darnell

Boyz II Men took the stage to celebrate 25 years of the WakeMed Foundation

120 | WALTER

Kate Pope Photography

Greg McNamara, Paul Warren, Mark Moeller, Neil Winland

Noah Watts

Trey Bailey, Thomas Ragsdale, Frances Harris

BRIGHT FUTURES BREAKFAST The 2nd Annual Bright Futures Breakfast was held April 25. The complimentary event offered attendees an opportunity to learn more about Frankie Lemmon School and the amazing difference the school makes for children of all abilities in our community. table decor

Sydney Jamison, Nicole Nesheim, Kristen Votta

We discover and prepare the region’s next generation of diverse talent.


Top Row: Brian McHenry, Thomas Walters, Tina Williford, Lenora Evans, Mark Williford Bottom Row: Jennifer Walters, Carissa Mondavi, Peter Grossi, Jane Trinh

Top Row: Jackie Locklear, Jill Matthiasson, Linda Leithe, Mark Leithe, Julie Miller, Jason Miller, Kristen Daniels, Steve Daniels Bottom Row: Eliza Kraft Olander

Top Row: Oz Nichols, Mike Nichols, Michaela Rodeno, Lori Moscato, Rob Moscato, Melinda Corbett, Pam Swanstrom Bottom Row: Carry Idler, Suji Idler, Susan Forrest

Top Row: Carly Browning, Pam Browning, Pam Starr, Alison Prager, Gerry Schwartz, Kaitlyn Goalen, Brenda Schwartz, David Messerly, Bill Hamlin. Bottom Row: Larry Sommers, Katie Sommers, Leslie Anderson, Stacy Bennett , Anna Donegan

122 | WALTER

Kate Pope Photography

TRIANGLE WINE EXPERIENCE 12 ROSES DINNER The 10th annual 12 Roses Dinner was held at the home of Eliza Kraft Olander March 16. The event raised funds for the Frankie Lemmon School, a school for children with and without special needs. The 12 Roses represent 5 female chefs, 5 female winemakers and 2 sommeliers who lend their talents to this fundraiser.

Join us for an evening of inspiration and creativity as local female entrepreneurs share their stories, from challenges and successes to ideas and lessons.





September 20 The Umstead Hotel & Spa For more information, please visit

THE WHIRL SAFECHILD GALA - PAINTING THE FUTURE SAFEchild supporters gathered at The Pavilions at the Angus Barn March 21 to begin “painting the future”—a future without child abuse, in which every child in Wake County thrives in a calm and peaceful environment at home, in school and in the community.

Tamaro Johnson

Denise Hughes

Ken Smith, Cristin DeRonja

Clay Jackson, Anna Parry Jackson, Amie Reinert, Kevin Reinert

Caroline McCullen, Anne Underwood

James Voltz, Beth Voltz, Anita Blomme Pinther, George Pinther, Dan DeLeo, Sara DeLeo


GRAND OPENING OF THE REIMAGINED MARBLES KIDS FINANCIAL LITERACY EXHIBIT Marbles Kids Museum celebrated the reopening of its Moneypalooza financial literacy exhibit April 11. The exhibit saw its first renovation in a decade thanks to a $75,000 donation from the Capital Bank Foundation. Moneypalooza makes it fun to learn about money and helps families and educators talk to children about healthy money habits.

The reimagined Moneypalooza exhibit


Laura Bunn, Sally Edwards Partygoers at Quail Ridge Books

Serving the Raleigh area since 1899 We welcome new patients! 3709 National Drive Raleigh, NC 27612 919-782-0801 Children explore the new exhibit

OUR SIGNATURE SERVICES INCLUDE: Comprehensive & Cosmetic Dental Care Same-day CEREC Crowns Invisalign Orthodontics Dental Implants Sleep Apnea Screening & Therapy Tru-Denta Headache & TMJ Therapy


THE WHIRL ART & HEALING, A CELEBRATION OF THE NORTH CAROLINA HEART & VASCULAR HOSPITAL ART COLLECTION A reception was held at the North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital April 4 to celebrate its art collection featuring over 60 paintings, photos, sculptures and more created by North Carolina artists. Guests included the artists, donors, physicians, UNC REX executives and others.

Grant Young, Chris Young


Sylvia Hackett, Lance Landvater



Brian Strickland, UNC REX Healthcare


Randy Woodson, Susan Woodson, Jeff Collins, Ann Collins

Ladies Who Lunch. dolls, tea sets & lunch in the café

nofo @ the pig | 2014 fairview rd | 919.821.1240 |

828.261.4776 • 2220 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602 •

Steve Burriss, Earl Johnson

Gordon Richardson, Lillian Richardson, Helen White, Agnes Marshall Alan Campbell Ann Roth, Dan Gottlieb, John Beerman, Richard Weiss

Hickory Furniture Mart • South Side • Level 2

THE WHIRL BURNING COAL THEATRE’S 2019 GALA The 2019 Burning Coal Theatre Gala took place at their historic Murphey School space March 16. As a sneak peek for its production of Camelot next season, attendees were encouraged to dress up, and guest vocalists performed selections from the musical. Cast members from the current production, The Great Celestial Cow, were also present to promote the show.

Darryl Morrow

Alec Donaldson, Natalie Re-der, Juan Isler, MeMe Cowans, James Hale

Juan Isler

Cast of “The Great Celestial Cow” - Maneesha Lassiter, Sonia Desai, Snehal Bagwat, Seema Kukreja, Anu Virkar, Deepak Dhar

SCRIBO ACROSS 5. This north Raleigh sandwich shop has been around for decades 6. Bill Satterwhite helps protect this animal 7. You can shop for high-end menswear at this downtown store DOWN 1. You can drink a delicious margarita at this Five Points spot 2.Local retirees race these at Lake Crabtree 3. Matt Register cooks this Southern favorite 4. This product of N.C. State is cold and sweet


Jerome Davis

Morgan Cadell Photography



State Farmers Market

An epic celebration of food and wine featuring scenery, soundtracks and special effects from your favorite movies.

Backboard Baller

2019 Culinary Adventures Three Big Nights Remaining. Get Your Tickets Today!

Brent Walters







To learn more visit or contact Scott Marcuson | 919.438.6719 | 2319 Laurelbrook Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

6:30 PM

Pretty Produce

Lights, Camera, Action And The Gastronomic Tour De Force!

6:30 PM

Southeast Raleigh YMCA

6:30 PM

For all


and watch firefly lights bloom and fade in the warm air. Raleigh hides a wealth of fireflies—lightning bugs—those gentle little beetles with lanterns on their bottoms. The Southeastern United States is one of the richest places for fireflies on the planet. We have about ten firefly species blinking their love signals into our darkening nights. Each species blinks a different Morse code, dots and dashes of light from males in the air signaling to females waiting below. Males of our most common species, the big dipper fireflies, flash their question in the shape of a graceful J. They dip and rise their lights to ask, “Who will love me?” Their lovers wait patiently on leaves or blades of grass. They blink back their response three short times: “I will. I will. I will.” We can pretend to be females and lure fireflies to our fingertips by flashing a small light three times on our hands, answering those hopeful suitors’ calls in their own language. Try it—they’ll come! But we won’t be the only one tricking big dippers in our yards; females of another firefly species have learned the big dippers’ language. They watch for the J and also blink back three times. But instead of finding a mate hidden in the grass, the lovestruck male finds a femme fatale, who will make a quick meal of her paramour. In early evening, when shadows lie low, fireflies flicker close to the ground. As the sun sets and shadows rise, so do our fireflies, setting the treetops ablaze with a twinkling chorus before they go to bed. It’s time to turn off the flickering blue lights of our televisions. Time to take off our shoes and let our soles settle in the soft summer grass, to let our children stay out just a little late with their nets and jars, to let the canopy of oaks capture their laughter. It’s time to watch the – Eleanor Spicer Rice whole world shimmer.

130 | WALTER

Getty Images

These are the best nights of the year, when we sit in our yards

4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 571-2881



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